Cristóvão Jacques

Cristóvão Jacques

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Cristóvão Jaques also known as Cristóvão Valjaques Algarve, cerca 1480 - after 1530, was a Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 noble of Aragonese
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...


He was the illegitimate son of Pero Jaques, and was legitimized by D. João II
John II of Portugal
John II , the Perfect Prince , was the thirteenth king of Portugal and the Algarves...

 (1481–1495) and was later made a nobleman by the Royal House of D. Manuel I
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...


He married a daughter of Francisco Portocarreiro, with whom he had three children.

In 1503 he first came to the coast of Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in the fleet commanded by Gonçalo Coelho
Gonçalo Coelho
Gonçalo Coelho was a Portuguese explorer who belonged to a prominent family in northern Portugal. He commanded two expeditions which explored much of the coast of Brazil....


In 1516, in command of two caravel
A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave her speed and the capacity for sailing to windward...

s, he was in charge of patrolling the coast of Brazil in order to discourage incursions by French pirates. In November of that year he landed in a large bay, which he named Baía de Todos os Santos
Baía de Todos os Santos
Baía de Todos os Santos is the main and biggest bay of the state of Bahia, Brazil. Its name expanded to include a whole province, now known as the state of Bahia), where the city of São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos was built...

 (Bay of all Saints). In Río de la Plata
Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata —sometimes rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth, and occasionally rendered [La] Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the river and estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River on the border between Argentina and...

 he conquered and imprisoned many French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

. He traveled up and down the coast until 1519.

On July 21, 1521, he sailed from the mouth of Rio Tejo
The Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is long, in Spain, along the border between Portugal and Spain and in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon. It drains an area of . The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course...

 (Tagus) to Brazil, founded an outpost in Itamaracá
Itamaracá is an island and a city in Pernambuco, Brazil, in the Atlantic Ocean. The name means "stone shaker" in Tupi, from the words itá and mbara'ká . Itamaracá has a total area of 65.41 square kilometers and had an estimated population of 18,658 inhabitants in 2009 according with IBGE...

, Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

, one of the most popular anchorages on the Brazilian coast, where there was plenty of Brazil wood (Caesalpinia echinata) and had frequent contacts between Indians and Europeans, before going south to Río de la Plata.

Finally, in 1526, he was appointed, by King João III
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

, as Governor of all Parts of Brazil, replacing Pero Capico, and returned again in command of a ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

 and five caravels, having countless battles with French pirates. In 1527 he imprisoned three French galleons in Recôncavo, Bahia, in what is considered the first naval battle in Brazil. But having acted with barbarity towards the prisoners, this gesture eventually caused him major problems with D. João III (1521–1557).

Upon returning to Portugal, he made an offer to the King, in which Jacques would take one thousand colonists, at his own expense, to begin the permanent occupation of the new lands in Brazil, but nothing came of the proposal.

Records show that, only four years after the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, the French traveled the shores of Rio Paraguaçu
Paraguaçu River
The Paraguaçu River is a river in Bahia state of eastern Brazil. It originates in the Chapada Diamantina highlands of central Bahia following the chain of mountains called Sincura, and flows east 500 km to empty into the Baía de Todos os Santos....

, dealing with the natives. The official discovery of the river is, however, attributed to Cristóvão Jacques, commander of the expedition bodyguards in 1526. Three rivers flow into the Bahia de Todos os Santos - the Jaguaripe, the Subaé and Paraguaçu
Paraguaçu River
The Paraguaçu River is a river in Bahia state of eastern Brazil. It originates in the Chapada Diamantina highlands of central Bahia following the chain of mountains called Sincura, and flows east 500 km to empty into the Baía de Todos os Santos....

. The Paraguaçu is the longest, with 600 km long, which made it be called "big river" in Indian language. Subaé River, which borders Santo Amaro, Bahia
Santo Amaro, Bahia
Santo Amaro is a municipality in the state of Bahia in Brazil. The population in 2003 is 58,414, the density is 120.2/km² the area is 486 km²...

 would be the river of sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 mills, the Jaguaripe River that is present in the city of Nazaré, Bahia
Nazaré, Bahia
Nazaré, Bahia is a town and municipality in the state of Bahia in the North-East region of Brazil.-References:...

, the river of flour, and Paraguaçu, with its length, the river of penetration into the captaincy.

In a letter from Frei Vicente do Salvador, it is recorded that Christóvão Jacques found an island (already controlled by the French), on the lower river course of the Paraguaçu two ships that traded with the Indians, and were properly sunk. At the site there would be a town later named village of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Cachoeira, in the early 17th century allotment of Gaspar Dias Adorno, ideal for penetration of the captaincy.