Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Felipe
|←Felder, John Myers||Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography
|Felix, Louis, Baron→|
|Edition of 1900. See also Felipillo on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
FELIPE, or FELIPILLO (fa-le'-pa, or fa-le-peel'-yo), Peruvian Indian, b. in Poeches, Peru, in 1508, or, according to the historian Gomara, in 1510; d. on an expedition to Chili in 1535. When Francisco Pizarro arrived at Tumbez in 1527, he asked the Indian chiefs, who received him well, for some boys to learn Spanish, so that they might serve him on his return as interpreters. He carried two boys to Spain, where they were baptized, and one of them, receiving the name of Felipe, returned with Pizarro in 1531, and was of great use in the conquest of Peru, saving the life of the conqueror and his followers at the beginning of the campaign by revealing to him a conspiracy of the natives of the island of Puna to cut the Spanish vessels adrift and kill the invaders. After the fall of Cajamarca, 15 Nov., 1532, Pizarro sent Felipillo with Hernando de Soto to treat with the Inca Atahualpa. While on this mission he fell in love with one of the Inca's wives, and, thinking that the latter's death would give him possession of the woman he loved, he began to give the Spanish chiefs an incorrect translation of Atahualpa's words in the different interviews with Soto, in which he assisted as interpreter. He thus excited a suspicion that the Inca was collecting troops and making other secret preparations for the destruction of the invaders, and this was one of the causes of Atahualpa's execution, which was decided upon partly through covetousness, partly, as Gomara says, in the belief that his death would save the lives of the Spaniards. Felipillo had even arranged with some Yanacona chiefs, enemies of Atahualpa, to confirm his calumnies about the Inca's hostile preparation. The historians Garcilaso de la Vega, Herrera, and Gomara, speaking about Felipillo, are all of opinion that he was the only native that assisted in the destruction of his emperor. In 1533 Felipillo was assigned to the service of Almagro, and accompanied him in 1534 on his expedition against Pedro de Alvarado, who had invaded the province of Quito. He deserted Almagro, and gave Alvarado information about the inferior force of the former, proposing to serve as a guide in surprising his little army, but Alvarado, who is supposed to have known that he was in territory already ceded to Pizarro, preferred to make an advantageous arrangement with Almagro, and caused him at the same time to pardon Felipillo's treason. In Cuzco, Felipillo incited the Inca Manco against the Spaniards by underhand intrigues, and contributed thereby to the revolt of the Indians and the burning of the city in 1535. He also took part in the dissensions between Pizarro and Almagro. When Almagro marched, in September, 1535, to the conquest of Chili, he carried Felipillo with him as interpreter, but a few days after passing the desert Felipillo fled. He was taken prisoner and strangled by Almagro's orders, who knew of his repeated treasons. The historian Gomara says that before his death Felipillo confessed that he had falsely accused Atahualpa.