Title: Balboa Bust, Balboa High School Monument
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093710/00001
 Material Information
Title: Balboa Bust, Balboa High School Monument
Physical Description: Artifact
Language: English
Donor: DODDS ( endowment )
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Canal Zone
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
Scope and Content: The bust of Balboa was displayed in front of Balboa High School, one of two American high schools in the Panama Canal Zone. From time to titme the bust was vandalized and/or stolen. As a result of these "incidents", Balboa's head was painted a variety of colors, and traveled to various locations throughout the Canal Zone. Although it was suspected that a rival institution of learning was responsible, no positive proof was ever produced.
Biographical: Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer. He was the first European to see (and stand in the waters of) the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean, on September 13, 1513. He accomplished this feat after an arduous trek through the jungles of what is now Panama. He claimed the Pacific Ocean and all its shores for Spain, which opened the way for Spanish exploration and conquest along the western, coast of South America. But it was the Portuguese explorer, Magellan (not Balboa), who, because its waters seemed so calm, gave this ocean the name "Pacifica" (meaning peaceful). Balboa was born in Jerez de los caballeros, Spain. Columbus reached America In 1492 (when Balboa was only 17 years old.) In 1501, at age 26, he joined a Spanish expedition to South America. The expedition explored the northern coast of what is now Colombia, but because they did not have enough men, food or supplies, they were unable to start settlement there. Balboa became the unofficial, acting governor of Darien and led expeditions Into Panama while conquering some Indians and making agreements with others in the area. In 1511, Indians told him of a sea on the other side of the Isthmus of Panama, as well as stories of gold and other wealth In an area farther to the south (referring to the Incas of Peru). Knowing his claim to the governorship of Darien was weak (It had not been approved by the King of Spain),Balboa needed to do something spectacular that would win the King's approval. Therefore, early In September 1513, Balboa led an expedition of about 90 Spaniards and a large number of Indians to find this large ocean the Indians had told him about. Three weeks later, his Indian guides told Balboa he would be able to see the ocean from a nearby mountain, so Balboa climbed the mountain peak. From there, he sighted the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Once the King learned of Balboa's discovery of the Pacific Ocean, he appointed Balboa to serve under Davila as governor of Panama. Unfortunately for Balboa, Davila was a jealous man who did not like seeing the growing popularity and influence which Balboa was developing. In 1518, Governor Davila falsely accused Balboa of treason, had him arrested, ordered a speedy trial and sentenced Balboa to death. In January 1519, Balboa and four friends were beheaded.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093710
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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