The coast from the Rio Sao Francisco to Bahia was granted to Francisco Pereira Coutinho; the bay itself, with all its creeks, was afterwards added to the grant.
He was surrounded by a patriarchal establishment of wives and children; and to him most of the distinguished families of Bahia still trace their lineage.
He was instructed to build a strong city in Bahia and to establish there the seat of his government.
In pursuance of his commission he arrived at Bahia in April 1549, with a fleet of six vessels, on board of which were three hundred and twenty persons in the king's pay, four hundred convicts and about three hundred free colonists.
The new city, to which the name of Sao Salvador was given, was established on the heights above the Bay of All Saints (Todos os Santos), from which its later name of Bahia is taken.