Juan de la Cosa was a Spanish explorer and cartographer best known for his 15th century voyages with Christopher Columbus in witch they discovered the lands of Americas. He was born in 1460. in Sta. Maria del Puerto, Canrabria Spain and from his early live he lived by the water. Before his voyages to the New World he made several travels in Mediterranean and one expedition to the West Coast of Africa.
In 1492 Juan de la Cosa joined Christopher Columbus on his voyage to the America as the owner and master of the expedition flagship "Santa Maria". Almost five months later his ship sunk near the coast of Haiti, an event for witch Christopher Columbus blamed him. On a next two voyages De la Cosa commanded ships "Marigalante" and "La Niña". At that time he started making maps of the new land they encountered.
In 1499 he embarked on his fourth journey with Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci. They explored the coast of South American continent from Essequibo River to Cape Vela. During this expedition he made the first map of the known lands of the "New World", a map called "Mappa Mundi" that will make him considerably famous in the Europe. It represented the first undisputed map of the lands of Americas.
His fifth voyage happened one year later in 1500, when he, Rodrigo de Bastidas and Vasco Núñez de Balboa explored the lands of Colombia, Panama and the western coast of South America. Upon his return on Haiti in 1502, he was tasked with the job of delegate in the Spanish dispute against Portugal regarding the rights of the some newly discovered land. During the negotiations he was incarcerated by the Portugal, but soon after he was liberated by the help of Spanish Queen Isabella.
On his next voyage he embarked on his own, carrying settlers to the Pearl Islands and Gulf of Uraba, but he also visited lands of Jamaica and Haiti.
His last seventh voyage started in 1509 when De la Cosa carried two hundred settlers on three ships to the coast of Haiti. There he joined his fleet with Alonso de Ojeda and Francisco Pizarro, and after few disputes they landed their ships in the area where is currently located Columbian city Cartagena. Soon after hostile Indians attacked their camp and killed De la Cosa with several poison arrows. Alonso de Ojeda managed to flee to his anchored fleet in Turbaco where he carried the news of Juan de la Cosa's death.
|Name||Juan de la Cosa|
|Born||Between 1450 and 1460|
|Place of Birth||Santoña|
|Died||28 February 1510|
|Place of Death||Turbaco|
|Category (Occupation/Profession)||Navigator, cartographer|
|Known For||First and second voyage of Christopher Columbus to the West Indies|
|Notable Work(s)||Map of Juan de la Cosa|