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Historical Fragments
The World in 1500
The Discoverer
The Chronicler
The Fortunate King
The Discoverer  
Little is known about Pedro Alvares Cabral, the commander of the Portuguese expedition that first landed in Brazil.

He was born in the city of Belmonte, in 1467 or 1468. He was a nobleman of Portuguese aristocracy and not a seafarer with a reputation like Vasco da Gama or Bartolomeu Dias.

The circumstances of his selection by King Dom Manuel to command the important second expedition by the Portuguese to the Indies are still vague.

What we do know is that he had the absolute trust of the Crown.

After leaving Brazil, Cabral had successful business ventures in India and was lavished with honours by King Dom Manuel on his return to Portugal.

But the Portuguese Crown never used his services again. Some documents suggest Cabral was a victim of palace conspiracies.

Pedro Alvares Cabral died in Santarem, on an unknown date. Some historians cite 1520; others 1526.