Ayllón, Lucas Vázquez de | South Carolina Public Radio

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“A” is for Ayllón, Lucas Vázquez ​de [ca. 1480-1526]. Colonizer; Explorer. Ayllón, the founder of the first Spanish town in what is now the United States, was a native of Toledo, Spain. By 1504, he was in the West Indies, where he had become an important colonial official. In addition to his official duties, he participated in trade and slaving expeditions. The Spanish king granted Ayllón the privilege of establishing a Spanish presence in what is now North America. In 1526, Ayllón established a settlement, San Miguel de Gualdape,  somewhere along the coast of present-day South Carolina. Ayllón and many colonists died, and the settlement was abandoned. Although unsuccessful, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon’s efforts gave the Spanish a great deal of information about the South Atlantic Coast. After 1526, many Spanish maps referred to what is now South Carolina and Georgia as the “land of Ayllón.”