A brief biography.
Gaspar of Carvajal, was born in Estremadura, Spain, ca. 1500. Having entered the Order of St. Dominic, he went to Peru in 1533 and devoted himself to the conversion of the native Indians.
In 1540 Carvajal accompanied the expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro to the territory of Quixos and the Amazon. After several months of toilsome travel Pizarro and his followers reached Canelos, the limit originally proposed for their expedition; but hearing from the natives of the existence of a rich and fruitful land beyond, they resolved to press forward. They soon found themselves in a country destitute of provisions and infested with tribes of fierce and unfriendly Indians. Coming to the River Napo, Pizarro decided to send a small band of men accompanied by Carvajal and under the command of Francisco de Orellana down the river in search of provisions. Having reached the point of confluence of the Napo and Amazon, Orellana resolved to abandon his brigantine to the course of the river.
Carvajal and another member of the expedition, Sánchez de Vargas, protested against this proceeding of dishonour and treachery. They were both promptly landed by Orellana, and later Pizarro and his men found them in the wilderness. The expedition returned to Quito in 1542 with only eighty survivors of the original four hundred.
Carvajal was sent by his superiors to the mission of Tucuman. Having been elected to the office of provincial, - July 1557 -, he spent the greater part of four years in organizing and extending the province and founding new priories. In 1565 he was chosen to represent the province of Peru at Rome, but in all probability he did not cross the ocean.
He died at Lima, Peru, 12th June 1584.
Gaspar of Carvajal in fantasy outfit, with Cross.
Astern a Franciscan.
Brasil 1991, Mi 2434, Sc 2344.
Gaspar of Carvajal was chaplain
of the Spanish troops in the
discovering of the Amazone by Gonsalvo Pizarro and Francis
Orellana. De Carvajal with the Cross and the Bible.
Peru 1943, Mi 428, (433); Sc 399, (404).