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Lived: 1475-1519

Vasco Nunez de Balboa, a Spanish conquistador, found his way into history as being the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from its western shore. Balboa, along with Francisco Pizarro and Fernandez de Enciso, founded the first Spanish mainland colony in the New World, Nuestra Senora de la Antigua, in what is now modern Panama. Balboa quickly took control of the colony, despite its poor location, setting up decent relationships with the natives, ousting Enciso and relegating Pizarro to a subordinate position. But it was Balboa's trip across the isthmus of Panama that would make him famous. Setting off on the trip in order to beat an expedition to a spoken-of land filled with "rivers of gold" Balboa and less than 200 men made their way across the steep hills of the Panamanian interior, never finding their sought after rivers of gold, instead making history.

Civilization IV: Colonization Founding Fathers

Samuel AdamsBen FranklinPatrick HenryWashington IrvingJohn JayJames MadisonThomas PainePocahontasBetsy RossAlexis de TocquevilleJohn Winthrop


Vasco Nunez de BalboaJuan de BermudezPedro Alvares CabralAlexander von HumboldtJuan Ponce de LeonLewis and ClarkJacques MarquetteGonzalo Jimenez de QuesadaJohn SmithGiovanni da Verrazano


William BrewsterBartolome de las CasasJohn HarvardNathanial HawthorneThomas HookerSor JuanaGabriel LallemantGregorio de Mattos e GuerraWilliam PennJuan de SepulvedaRoger Williams


John Jacob AstorLord BaltimoreAlexander HamiltonCyrus McCormickPeter MinuitJohn RolfeAdam SmithEli WhitneyJan de Witt


Ethan AllenFrancisco de CoronadoHernan CortesDiego Velazquez de CuellarMarquis de La FayetteJohn Paul JonesPaul Chomedey de MaisonneuveDom Pedro IFrancisco PizarroChief PowhatanHernando de Soto