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Spanish discoverer of Chesapeake Bay, and the first of those daring navigators who tried to find a northwest passage from Europe to Asia, date of birth uncertain; died 18 October, 1526. He was a member of the Superior Council in San Domingo. He sent an expedition to Florida under Francisco Gordillo, who, in June, 1521, landed in lat. 33 deg, 31', somewhere near Cape Fear in North Carolina. In quest of the Northwest passage, Ayllon came up from Hispaniola in 1524, and tried the James River and Chesapeake Bay. He received from Charles V a grant of the land he had discovered, and, in 1526, founded the settlement of San Miguel de Guandape, not far from the site of the city of Jamestown, built by the English fully eighty years later. The employment of negro slaves in this work is perhaps the first instance of negro slave-labour within the present territory of the United States. Ayllon died of ship fever, and of the colony of 600 souls he had brought with him only 150 survivors made their way back to Hispaniola.

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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