Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo (born 1499(?), died January 3, 1543) was a maritime navigator, known for exploring the West Coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire. Cabrillo was the first European to navigate the coast of present-day California in the United States.
Cabrillo's nationality – Portuguese or Spanish – has been debated for centuries. He was described as Portuguese by Spanish chronicler Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas; in his Historia General de los hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas y tierra firme del Mar Oceano, written 60 years after Cabrillo's death, Herrera referred to Cabrillo as Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Português. The Portuguese claim him as a national hero, and several locations in Portugal claim to be his birthplace (e.g. Lapela (Cabril), Portugal). However, the source for Herrera's description is unknown.
For more details about the trip see: SAN SALVADOR 1542; viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15808.
Portugal 1984;45,0;SG? USA 1992 29c sg2751, scott2704.
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