Pedro de Ibarra was a Spanish soldier who served as Royal Governor of Spanish Florida between 1603 and 1610.
Originally from the Basque Country, Ibarra joined to Spanish Army in his youth, where excelled, becoming in General.
In 1549 he explored the region in Zamora.
Governor of La Florida
On 20 October 1603 he was appointed governor of Florida. Upon arrival in Florida he checked the disruption of society and the confrontation between natives and Spaniards, the first of which subjected to force and killed to some religious in the place.
This rebellion, caused by his predecessor in command, Gonzalo Méndez de Canço, also meant the death of many Spanish soldiers. Pedro de Ibarra managed to quell the fighting, with kindness and intelligence in dealing with the natives and he was able to consolidate peace and progress.
Later, on August 28, 1603, English pirates captured two Spanish ships along Cayo Romano, (Cuba), one of which was under command of Pedro de Ibarra. Pedro de Ibarra managed to escape captivity that night, and after 32 days arrived at Havana. He left the government of the province in 1609.
When Philip III of Spain ordered Ibarra to carry out a reconnaissance expedition to find Jamestown, Virginia, Ibarra decided assigned Capt. Francisco Fernandez de Ecija to lead the expedition. In addition, Ibarra told to Ecija that if he found that Jamestown settlement had been abandoned, he should go further north to determine what Champlain was doing in Canada.
On other hand, in 1605 Pedro de Ibarra moved the hospital created by Gonzalo Méndez de Canço to La Soledad.
Period of friendship
Pedro de lbarra worked at establishing peace with the native cultures to the South of St. Augustine. An account is recorded of his meeting with great Indian caciques (chiefs).
On September 2, 1605 the elusive Captain Grande finally arrived in St. Augustine accompanied by his manadado, the chiefs of Surruque and Urabia, and 20 Indians of high status. Yabarra (Pedro de Ibarra) cordially welcomed and entertained them in his own home. The friendship of the Indians had been won. In the words of Ybarra, "Since then the Caciques come and go as they please, and our soldiers do the same, by sea as well as by land, with the greatest security."
Ybarra (Ibarra) had earlier sent Alvaro Mexia a cartographer on a mission further south to meet and develop diplomatic ties with the Ais Indian nation as well as produce a map.
After travel to different Amerindian people, in 1604, Ibarra traveled to Guale to confer with the heads of the principal towns: the heads of the northern peoples he met gathered in Santa Catalina; the heads of the peoples of Central Florida met in Zapala; while the South met in San Simon. Pedro de Ibarra traveled to San Simon, Sapelo, and Guale. His object was, among others, to listen to complaints and compose differences, but he also wanted to Christianize the Amerindian people of the province. So, churches were built at Asao, on or near San Simon, in Guale, and at Espogache near Sapelo.
According to a rumor collected by Historian Susan Parker, in 1605, Ibarra tried to establish a friendly relationship with the Ais people, an Amerindian people living in Cape Canaveral and Vero Beach, as this people allowed the arrival of British and French to its shores in boats, which was considered as a territorial violation to Spanish officials in Saint Augustine. In addition it increased the chances of a foreign attack on the city from the south (as these two peoples were enemies of the Spaniards). So, Ibarra sent an emissary to the people of the Ais, to establish a treaty with the its leader. The leader of the Ais, informed him that the Spaniards and the Ais, could exchange young boys as a way of goods and symbols. In addition, the two peoples could learn each other's language. However, the son of the leader of the people said that some horses in Sain Augustine ate people, and the exchange they did not exchange Although It is known, they did establish peaceful relations with Ibarra.
Ibarra ruled in Florida until 1610, when he was replaced with Juan Fernández de Olivera.
Pedro de Ibarra married Ana de Unzueta and he was proclaimed Lord of the house Unzueta (Vizcaya), formerly Parish Onacinos bias.