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at was now triumphantly established; The name AMERICA which was apand Columbus had secured to himself plied to a portion of the Western Cona glory aš lasting as the world itself. | tinent soon after its discovery, and The land thus reached proved to be which has now become its unalthe island Guanahani—now called Cat terable title, took its rise from a Island, one of the Bahamas*_which voyage made in 1499* by Amerigo Columbus named SAN SALVADOR, in Vespucci, a distinguished Florentine token of his devout gratitude to God navigator. Vespucci wrote several letour Saviour
ters in Latin to Lorenzo de Medici, one Of the further and important voyages of which was printed in 1505, being
and discoveries of Columbus, and the first of his narratives that was pubof the varied fortune which it lished. He also wrote a letter, dated
was his lot to meet with, it Lisbon, September 4th, 1504, addressed is not our present purpose to speak to René, duke of Lorraine, in which it Envy, detraction, injustice and cruelty is claimed that he discovered the main embittered his latter days. Deprived land in 1497. Now, as he was a man of the honor, which was only his just of superior learning and intelligence, due, of giving his name to the newly and as his name was thus publicly condiscovered world, and rendered hope- nected with the New World as the Disless of all redress by the death, in coverer of the Continent—although he 1504, of his patron and fast friend, the was not the first to reach Terra Firma, good queen Isabella, Columbus died at Columbus, and Cabot, and others havValladolid, May 20th, 1506, at peace ing preceded him—it happened that a with the world, and sustained in his famous cosmographer, Martin Waldlast hours by the hopes and consola- seemüller, of Fribourg, patronized by tions of the Christian religion. The René, thought good, in 1507, to apply selfish Ferdinand did indeed order a this name AMERICA to the New World. monument to his memory, with the The geographical works of Waldseemotto taken from Columbus's coat of müller, who styled himself by the arms-A CASTILLA Y À LEON NUEVO Grecianized title, Hylacomylas, went MUNDO DIO COLON: To Castile and Leon through repeated editions, and thus the Columbus gave a new world—but it name America became familiarized to could add nothing to the fame of Co- the larger part of the civilized world. lumbus; it simply serves to stamp the And so must it remain, though there character and conduct of Ferdinand can hardly be any one who can repress as one who was an unfeeling, ungene- a sigh of regret at the injustice which rous, ungrateful king.
has thus been done to Columbus.
* Mr. George Gibbs, in an interesting paper read * Mr. C. E. Lester (“ Life and Voyages of Ameribefore the New York Historical Society, Oct. 6th, cus Vespucius," pp. 93-108,) argues in favor of an 1846, presents several cogent reasons for believing earlier voyage, said to have been rnade in 1497: Mr. that the Grand Turk Island was the one which Co- Irving has, however, successfully controverted this lumbus first touched at: his paper is worth ex- view, and his authority is followed in the text. (See amining
"Life of Columbus," vol. iii., pp. 330—345.)
SEBASTIAN CABOT'S VOYAGES.
The marvellous discovery of a new five ships, of what burden or quantitie world aroused the spirit of maritime soever they may be, and as many marienterprise in England, and to one of ners and men as they will have with her sons indisputably belongs the glory them in the said ships, upon their own of having first reached the Continent proper cost and charges, to seeke out, of NORTH AMERICA. England had not discover and find whatsoever isles, counyet assumed that position of preëmi- treys, regions or provinces of the heanence in naval affairs which she after then and infidels, whatsoever they may wards acquired. Long and exhausting be, and in what part of the world socivil wars had prevented the develop- ever they may be, which before this ment of that active energy and hardy time have been unknown to all Chrisendurance which have since character- tians."* The expedition sailed under ized the natives of England on the the command of Sebastian Cabot, who
Yet when the news of what was born in Bristol, England, a youthColumbus had done reached England, ful but sagacious mariner, and Henry VII., a shrewd and thrifty mon- on June 24th, 1497, they discovarch, was ready at once to enter into ered land, which was a part of the coast competition for the prizes which the of Labrador, and which they named new world might disclose. Accord- Prima Vista : they saw also an island, ingly, he availed himself with eager- which they called St. John's Island, ness of the offer of John Cabot, a Ve- from the day on which it was discovnetian* merchant, residing in Bristol, ered: it was “full of white bears, and to fit out several vessels for discovery stagges, far greater than the English.”+ which might be made any where north Disappointed in his expectation of findof the route originally taken by. Co- ing a north-west passage to the land of lumbus. In a patent obtained from Cathay, or the Indies, with its marvels the king, and signed at Westminster, and wonders, as old Marco Polo tells
March 5th, 1496, Cabot was au- them, Cabot returned to England. He
thorized, with his three sons, made a second voyage to America, the Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius, “ to saile particulars of which have been but to all parts, countreys and seas of the scantily preserved. On a third voyage, East, of the West, and of the North, in 1517, Hudson's Bay was undoubtunder our banners and ensigns, with edly entered, and Cabot penetrated to
about the sixty-seventh degree of north * Charlevoix (" Travels, doc., ir 1720,”) notices a point connected with early discoveries in America latitude; but his crew, terrified by the well worth remembering :-“I cannot dispense with fields of ice, in the month of July, a passing remark. It is very glorious to Italy, that clamored for a return, and Cabot remost the whole of America, owe their first discove- luctantly sailed back to England. This ries to Italians—the Spanish to Columbus, a Genoese, eminent navigator, having lived to a the English to John Cabot and his sons, Venetians, and the French to Verrazzani, a citizen of Florence.” * Hakluyt's “Voyages and Discoveries," vol. iii., Sebastian Cabot, however, as noted above, was a native of England.
† See Hayward's “Life of Sebastian Cabot,” p. 8.
good old age, after many and various flowers, and from this as well as the day adventures, died in the city of London. on which he saw the land, he gave to It is an instructive lesson of the uncer- the new region the name of FLORIDA. tainty of human distinction, that al- On his return from Spain some though he gave a continent to England, years after, he was unable to efneither the date of his death is known, fect a settlement in consequence of the nor does the humblest monument show hostility excited among the natives by where his remains lie interred.
previous injustice and ill usage. In 1498, Vasco de Gama, under It was about this date that another
the patronage of Emanuel, king famous Spanish captain, Vasco
of Portugal, an able and enter- Nuñez de Balboa, discovered the prising monarch, doubled the Cape of Pacific Ocean. This memorable event Good Hope, and opened to the Portu- took place on the 26th September, guese a new and most important route 1513. It certainly was one of the to the Indies. The same king sent most sublime discoveries that had yet
Gaspar Cortereal with two ves- been made in the New World, and sels to explore the north-western must, as Mr. Irving says, have opened
This navigator sailed some a boundless field of conjecture to the seven hundred miles along the shores wondering Spanish adventurers who of North America. His only exploit from the mountain summit gazed down was the kidnapping a number of the upon the vast ocean, with its waters natives, and carrying them to Portugal glittering in the morning sun. as slaves.
The hardy English and French mariJuan Ponce de Leon, a hardy old ners had engaged with zeal and sucSpanish warrior, and one of the com- cess in the productive fisheries on the panions of Columbus, having conquered banks of Newfoundland at the beginPorto Rico, greatly enriched himself ning of the century. Fishermen from by the compulsory labor of the un- Brittany discovered and named happy natives. But, growing in years, CAPE BRETON in 1504. “This and ill content to let go his grasp upon fishery,” says Hildreth, “on the coast the possessions for which he had fought and bank of NEWFOUNDLAND formed and toiled, he listened to the romantic the first link between Europe and story of that miraculous fountain fabled North America, and, for a century, alto restore to youth and vigor all who most the only one. bathed in its waters. He actually set
Francis I. of France, although busily out to find this wonder of nature. occupied in his contests with the astute
In the course of his voyage, on and powerful Charles V. of Spain and Easter Sunday, March 27th, which the Germany, was not wholly unaware of Spaniards call Pascua de Flores, he the importance of giving due attention discovered that peninsula which sepa- to discoveries and settlements in the New rates the Gulf of Mexico from the At
Hildreth's "History of the United States," vol. i., lantic. It was the beautiful season of
World. Accordingly, he engaged Juan Verrazzani, “ that these are like the Verrazzani, a Florentine, to explore, on woods of Hercynia, or the wild deserts
his behalf, new regions in the un- of Tartary, and the northern coasts,
known West. With a single vessel, full of fruitless trees; but they are full the Dolphin, this mariner left Madeira, of palm trees, bay trees, and high and wrote to the king a description of his cypress trees, and many other sorts undiscoveries, which was the earliest ever known in Europe, which yield most penned, and which is remarkable for its sweet savors far from the shore.” The freshness and graphic clearness. After land he represents as “not void of drugs
as sharp and terrible a tempest as or spicery, and of other riches of gold, ever sailors suffered, whereof with the seeing that the color of the land doth Divine help and merciful assistance of so much argue it.” He dwells upon Almighty God, and the goodness of our the luxury of the vegetation, the wild ship, accompanied with the good-hap of vines which clustered upon the ground her fortunate name—the Dolphin---we or trailed in rich festoons from tree to were delivered, and with a prosperous tree, the tangled roses, violets, and wind followed our course west by north, lilies, and sweet and odoriferous flowers, and in other twenty-five days we made different from those of Europe. He above 400 leagues more, when we dis- speaks of the wild deer in the woods, covered a new land, never before seen and of the birds that haunt the pools of any, either ancient or modern." This and lagoons of the coast. But, after was the low, level coast of North Caro- his rude tossing on the stormy Atlantic, lina, along which, illumined at night by he is beyond measure transported with great fires, they sailed fifty leagues in the calmness of the sea, the gentleness search of a harbor ;-at length they of the waves, the summer beauty of the cast anchor and sent a boat on shore. climate, the pure and wholesome and The wandering natives at first fled to temperate air, and the serenity and the woods, yet still would stand and purity of the blue sky, which, “if covlook back, beholding the ship and ered for a while with clouds brought sailors “with great admiration,” and at by the southern wind, they are soon the friendly signs of the latter, came dissolved, and all is clear and fair again." down to the shore, “marvelling greatly Verrazzani also entered the harbors of at their apparel, shape, and whiteness." New York and Newport, and coasted Beyond the sandy coast, intersected northwardly to the fiftieth degree of “with rivers and arms of the sea," they north latitude. No settlement, howsaw “ the open country rising in height ever, resulted from this voyage of Verwith many fair fields and plains, full of razzani to America. mightie great woods," some dense and The first attempt at colonization by others more open, replenished with dif- the English was disastrous in ferent trees, “as pleasant and delectable the extreme. A London merto behold as it is possible to imagine. chant, named Hore, with others who And your Majesty may not think,” says joined him, undertook to found a set
1536. 夏 1534.
tlement in Newfoundland. But they this effort likewise from being successhardly escaped from starvation, and ful, and France gave up for a long seizing a French fishing vessel which time all further attempts at founding had just arrived, they returned again colonies in North America. What had to England.
been done, however, served in later While the Spaniards were engrossed days as a basis for claims, on the part with plans and efforts for conquest in of France, to the northern portion of
South America, Chabot, admiral the American Continent.
of France, dispatched Jacques The disastrous attempt of Narvaez, Cartier, an able mariner of St. Malo, in 1528, to conquer and obtain posses
an exploring expedition to the sion of Florida did not deter other bold north-west coast of America. After a spirits from efforts of a like character. rapid passage over the Atlantic, he Ferdinand de Soto had been one of the sailed across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, most distinguished companions of Piand entered a bay which he called zarro, and a main instrument in annexDes Chaleurs, from the extreme sum- ing to Spain the golden regions of mer heat then prevailing; but he soon Peru; but in the conquest of Peru his
after returned to France. The part had been secondary—the first
next year, with three large ships prize had been carried off by another; and a number of colonists, Cartier re- and he now sought to find a country, visited the scene of his former discove. the glory of conquering which should ries, entered the Gulf on St. Lawrence's be wholly his; and Charles V. was Day, and so gave it that name which it quite willing to gratify his desires. He now bears, ascended the river to the isle was created Adelantado of Florida, of Bacchus, now Orleans, and thence combining the offices of governoradvanced to Hochelaga or Montreal. general and commander-in-chief. Cartier wintered on the isle of Orleans; In May, 1539, Soto sailed from but his company suffering much from Havanna with six hundred men in the the scurvy, they took a disgust at the bloom of life, a number of priests, beprospects of colonization, and Cartier sides sailors, more than two hundred was compelled to return home. With horses, and a herd of swine. Arriving that too common disregard for the rights on the 30th of May at the bay of of others, he also must needs carry off Spiritu Santo, on the western coast of some of the natives to France.
Florida, he landed three hundred men, Some years afterwards, Francis de la and pitched his camp; but, about the Roque, lord of Robertval, in Picardy, break of day the next morning, they
attempted to colonize the same were attacked by a numerous body of region. Cartier was furnished by natives, and obliged to retire. Having
the king with five vessels, and had marched several hundred miles, he associated with him Robertval to act passed through a number of Indian as governor in Canada and Hochelaga. towns, to Mavila, a village enclosed Delays and misunderstanding prevented | with wooden walls, standing near the