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Fray Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres was a Spanish soldier from a noble family and a Knight of the Order of Alcántara. He was Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 until 1509. His administration is perhaps best known for its brutal treatment of the native Taino population of Hispanola.

On February 13, 1502, he sailed from Spain with a fleet of thirty ships. It was the largest fleet that had ever sailed to the New World. The thirty ships carried 2,500 colonists. Unlike Columbus's earlier settlements, this group of colonists was deliberately selected to represent an organized cross-section of Spanish society. Ovando's plan was to develop the West Indies economically and thereby expand Spanish political, religious, and administrative influence in the region. Along with him also came Francisco Pizarro, who would later explore western South America and conquer the Inca Empire. Another ship also carried Bartolomé de las Casas later known as the 'Protector of the Indians'. Plans were made in 1502 also for Hernán Cortés to sail to the Americas with him, a family acquaintance and twice distant relative, but an injury he sustained while hurriedly escaping from the bedroom of a married woman of Medellín prevented him from making the journey.

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Fray Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres was a Spanish soldier from a noble family and a Knight of the Order of Alcántara. He was Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 until 1509. His administration is perhaps best known for its brutal treatment of the native Taino population of Hispanola.

On February 13, 1502, he sailed from Spain with a fleet of thirty ships. It was the largest fleet that had ever sailed to the New World. The thirty ships carried 2,500 colonists. Unlike Columbus's earlier settlements, this group of colonists was deliberately selected to represent an organized cross-section of Spanish society. Ovando's plan was to develop the West Indies economically and thereby expand Spanish political, religious, and administrative influence in the region. Along with him also came Francisco Pizarro, who would later explore western South America and conquer the Inca Empire. Another ship also carried Bartolomé de las Casas later known as the 'Protector of the Indians'. Plans were made in 1502 also for Hernán Cortés to sail to the Americas with him, a family acquaintance and twice distant relative, but an injury he sustained while hurriedly escaping from the bedroom of a married woman of Medellín prevented him from making the journey. More...

 
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