|Since the Spaniards arrived in Chile in 1535, Valdivia was one of the first city that the Spaniards colonists founded. The city, founded in 1552, was named after the Spanish explorer Pedro de Valdivia (Valdivia (1541-53) became the first governor of Chile). The main reason for the Spanish colonization in the area was gold, infact in the area they found many goldmines. The first contact of a Dutchman with Chile was in the year 1600 when a Dutch pirate called Sebastian de Cordes captured Valdivia from the Spaniards, he left the place after a few days.|
The Dutch West-India Company (in Dutch: “Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie” or WIC) always had want to have parts of Chile because they also wanted to trade in gold. But the Dutch East-India company (in Dutch: “Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie” or VOC) also had interest in the plan. The Dutch decided to send an expedition to Chile. The control of the expedition was entrusted to Hendrick Brouwer a Dutch General who had been in service of the VOC. He had been a commander of a fleet of ships and he was the “Opperhoofd” (Governor) of the Dutch post in Japan Deshima. He had discovered a new sea route to Dutch India, and he was Governor-general of the VOC. Brouwer was a men who controlled his men with much austerity. His assistant was “Elias Herckmans” who had worked with the WIC and he had maked a name with the capture of Dutch Brazil.
In 1642 finally the expedition left from Dutch Brazil towards Chile. The route was for Cape Horn through the Street of Le Maire.
The tasks who the Company gave Brouwer were:
* To capture the first goldmines. * To capture the city Valdivia. * To discover the island Santa Maria. * And to make alliances with the Indians.
Moreover Brouwer had to watch if it was possible to capture Peru.
When the Dutch arrived (in May 1643) they didn’t need to do much to capture Chiloe island from the Spaniards. Also Brouwer has met an Indian tribe: the “Araucaniers”. The Indians hadn’t liked the Spanish colonists because the Spaniards wanted their gold. Brouwer said that he wanted to get lost of the Spanish also and they became ‘partners’. Together they easily captured the city Valdivia.
Everything seemed to go well, until the General Hendrick Brouwer died on 7 August of the year 1643. His body was burried in Valdivia, that was called after him “Brouwershaven”. The death of Brouwer was the first sign that the expedition would be a failure.
The much milder vice-general Elias Herckmans take over the comand. He arrived in Valdivia on 24 August, and then two tings went wrong:
* He let the Indians know that he and the other Dutch were looking for gold, this means the and of their cooperation. * He was soft to his men, eventually causing them to start a mutiny.
This thread did him decide to go back to the Dutch part of Brazil when there wasn’t make any progress. The only thing that the expedition had produced, was that they know that the “Staten Island” wasn’t a part of the unknown “Southland” bud that it was an island. Herckmans arrived in Dutch Brazil on 7 August 1643. The expedition had failed.
After the Dutch expedition the Spanish made in Valdivia more stronger forts, because they didn’t want to have an attack of an other European country again.