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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Huden, Lucas Van

HUDEN, Lucas Van, Flemish adventurer, b. in Ghent in 1509; d. in Araucania in 1553. He served in the expedition that conquered Venezuela in 1535, and, attaching himself to the fortunes of Valdivia, passed with him to Peru and joined Francisco Pizarro. Valdivia was instructed by the latter to conquer Chili in 1540, and Huden, following his protector, greatly distinguished himself in the subsequent campaigns. He took a prominent part in the battle of the valley of Aconcagua, and decided the issue of the action through a timely movement. When Valdivia founded the city of Santiago, in the valley of Mapocho, 12 February, 1541, Huden was made a member of the cabildo or common council, and given command of the fortress that was built upon the mountain of Santa Lucia. After the assassination of Pizarro, Huden assisted in the election of Valdivia as adelantado. He commanded the artillery which decided the victory in the battle (1541) with the powerful Indian chief Michimalonco, who had succeeded, during the action, in setting fire to Santiago. He offered afterward to go to Cuzco to re-establish communications with Peru, and bring re-enforcements. In company with Alonso de Monroy, Pedro de Miranda, and four cavalry men, he set out on a perilous journey in which his escorts met their death, and Monroy himself was made prisoner by the Indians. Returning to Santiago in September, 1543, with a vessel full of provisions, tools, and ammunition, sent by the governor of Peru, Vasca de Castro, he took part in an expedition sent by Valdivia to explore the south coast, commanded by an Italian mariner, Pastene, and Captain Geronimo de Alderete. They discovered the Chiloe islands in 1544, and advanced along the coast of Chili as far as the Strait of Magellan. Huden was a member of the council of government, appointed by Valdivia to assist his deputy, Villagra, when he left for Peru, in December, 1547, to assist President La Gasca; afterward held several commands, and was sent, in 1543, to re-enforce the fortress of Tucapel in Araucania, besieged by the Indians. The governor resolved to evacuate the fortress, but Huden opposed the plan and remained almost alone in Tucapel, where he was killed in an assault by the Indians.