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The present volume brings down the annals of America to the revelution under William and Mary. Its chronological form, and the great quantity of matter condensed in it, render it not very susceptible of analysis or abridgement; but as it is, at present, little known here, we shall abstract from it a sketch of the early progress of discovery and colo
nization in America.
Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, hoping to find a passage to India by the western ocean, after experiencing many painful delays, received a commission from Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of Spain, to make a voyage of discovery. On the third day of August, 1492, he sailed from Palos, in Spain, with three vessels and ninety men, on a voyage the most grand and daring in its design, and the most important in its result, of any that had ever been attempted. Leaving the Canary Islands on the 6th of September, he observed on the 14th a variation of the compass toward the west, which greatly alarmed his mariners. On the 12th of October, when the crews were clamorous and ready to mutiny, he discovered land, which proved to be Guanahana, one of the Bahama islands, which he named San Salvador *. On the 15th of the same month he discovered Cuba, and on December 6th, arrived at an island called by the natives, Hayti, which, in honour of the kingdom by which he was employed, he named Hispaniola. Here, through the carelessness of his sailors, one of his ships was lost, on which occasion he received the most friendly assistance from the natives. An Indian cazique or prince, sent his subjects to save what they could from the wreck, and placed armed men to guard the goods preserved, who stood by them all day and all night.' All the people,' says the admiral, lamented as if our loss had concerned them much.' Such were the people destined to be speedily exterminated, by the rapacity and cruelty of the Spaniards. Leaving 38 men in a fort erected on the harbour which he called Navidad, Columbus sailed for Spain in January 1493, and after a dangerous voyage, arrived, March the 15th, at Palos, where he was received with the highest tokens of honour by the king and queen. On the 25th of September, he sailed from Cadiz on his second voyage, with three ships of war and fourteen caravels, furnished with all necessaries for settlement or conquest, and having on board 1500 people, some of whom were of the best families in Spain. On Lord's day, November the 3d, he discovered and named Dominica, one of the Caribbee islands; and soon after Marigalante, Guadaloupe, and 50 other islands, in his run to Navidad, where he arrived November the 28th, but the fort was demolished, and not a Spaniard to be seen. By their licentious conduct, they had drawn upon themselves the resentment and attack of the natives, and had all miserably perished. Sailing to another part of Hispaniola, Columbus founded the first town built by Europeans in the New World, which, in honour of the queen of Castile, he named Isabella. Leaving Peter Margarite, with 360 foot and 14 horse, to reduce the island to the obedience of their Catholic majesties, Columbus sailed for Cuba in 1494, and on the 5th of May discovered Jamaica, where he met with much opposition from the natives. Returning to Hispaniola, he met his brother Bartholomew, after a separation of thir
It is often called Cat Island, in maps,
teen months; and found, that during his absence, the outrageous conduct of the Spaniards, had provoked four of the sovereigns of the island, to unite with their subjects to drive out their invaders. Columbus, marching first against a cazique, who had killed 16 Spaniards, easily subdued him; and sent several of his subjects prisoners to Spain. The unsubdued caziques shewing a determination in 1495, to destroy, if possible, the Spanish colony, Columbus waged war against them, with 200 Christians, 20 horses, and as many dogs.' The Indian army, though 100,000 in number, was soon subdued, and the whole island reduced. Columbus imposed a severe tribute on all the inhabitants, who were above fourteen years of age. In the province of Cibao, where gold was found, each person was to pay a hawk's bell* full of gold dust every three months; every other inhabitant of the island, 25 pounds of cotton. Columbus returned to Spain in 1496, leaving the government of Hispaniola to his brother Bartholomew, who, this year, sent 300 Indians as slaves to Spain. This was in compliance with the mandate of their Catholic majesties, who had ordered, that whoever killed a Spaniard should be sent to Spain. On the credit of Herrera it is asserted, that, in consequence of the Spanish invasion, one-third of the wretched inhabitants of Hayti had already perished!
In May 1496, John Cabot, and his son Sebastian, sailed from Bristol, in two caravels, with a commission from Henry VII. They made land the 24th of June, which is supposed to have been part of the island of Newfoundland. Continuing their course westwardly, they soon reached the continent, and sailed along the coast northwardly to the latitude of 67 degrees. Despairing to find the desired passage to India' in that direction, they sailed back along the coast as far as Florida, and returned to England. Thus the continent of America was first discovered, in a voyage performed under a commission from the English crown; but, through a singular succession of causes, sixty one years elapsed from this discovery, before the English attempted to colonize the country.
Columbus sailed from Spain on his third voyage at the end of May 1498, with six ships. On the 1st of July he discovered Trinidad, and on the 1st of August the continent at Terra Firma. Sailing 200 leagues on this coast to Cape Vela, he discovered many islands, and returned to Hispaniola. This year, the city of St. Domingo, which had been founded in the preceding, was made the capital of the Spanish settlements.
The gold remitted to Europe, stimulated private persons to make equipments at their own expense. Among the earliest of these adventurers was Alonso de Ojeda, a gallant officer, who had sailed with Columbus in his first voyage. Patronised by the bishop of Badajos, and aided by the merchants of Seville, he sailed from St. Mary's, in Spain, on the 20th of May 1499, with six ships. Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine gentleman skilful in navigation, accompanied him. They discovered land in 5o north latitude on the coast of Paria, and proceeded as far as Cape Vela. They ranged a great extent of coast, beyond that on which Columbus had touched. Amerigo, by the early publication of his voyage, was erroneously supposed to be the discoverer of the continent, which not long after unjustly obtained his name, and has ever
* A small bell attached to hawks in falconry.
since, by universal consent, been called AMERICA. If priority of discovery should confer the title, Columbus himself must yield to CABOT.
In 1500 Vincent Yanez Pinzon sailed from Palos with four caravels. He stood boldly to the south, and was the first Spaniard who passed the equinoctial line. He discovered Cape Augustine in eight degrees south latitude, and, sailing to the north-west, found and named the river of the Amazons. The fertile district, on the confines of which Pinzon stopped short,' was soon more fully discovered by Pedro Alvarez Cabral, who had been sent by the king of Portugal with 13 ships to the East Indies. Standing far to the westward to avoid the calms on the Guinea shore, he accidentally discovered fand in 10 south latitude, and coasted that part of South America which has since been called Brazil. In this year Columbus, through the intrigues of his enemies, was sent in chains to Spain, by Bovadilla the new judge and governor of Hispaniola. Caspar de Cortereal, a Portuguese gentleman, sailed from Lisbon with two ships, at his own cost. He arrived at Newfoundland, proceeded to the mouth of the great river of Canada, and discovered the coast of Labrador. In a second voyage, undertaken to find a passage to India, it is presumed that he fell by the hands of the Esquimaux, or perished among the ice. Roderigo de Bastidas, sailing from Cadiz for the western continent in 1501, discovered all the coast of Terra Firma, from Cape Vela to the Gulf of Darien. Early in 1502, a new governor was sent to Hispaniola, with a fleet conveying 2500 persons, among whom were ten Franciscan friars. Columbus, acquitted at the court of Spain with a promise of restitution, sailed in May on his fourth and last voyage. Soon after his arrival at Hispaniola, a fleet sailed for Spain, on board of which were Bovadilla, and the greater part of the enemies of Columbus. Being overtaken by a storm soon after their departure, they were swallowed up with the immense wealth they had unjustly ac quired. After the storm, Columbus sailed to the continent, discovered the bay of Honduras, proceeded along the main shore to Cape Gracias a Dios, and thence to the isthmus of Darien, where he gave name to the harbour of Porto Bello, on account of its beauty and security. Leaving it in January 1503, he entered the river Yebra. The fertility of the country, and the abundance of gold induced him to attempt a settlement in its neighbourhood, but meeting with a repulse from the natives, he relinquished the design; being driven by a storm on his return, he was obliged to run his ships ashore at Jamaica, where he was detained eight months. In 1504, this distinguished navigator returned to Spain,but found, to his inexpressible grief, that his friend and patroness queen Isabella was dead. In this year some adventurers from Bretagne and Normandy, went in small vessels to fish on the banks of Newfoundland. The war against the Indians in Hispaniola, was renewed in 1505. Ovando, the Spanish governor, under the pretence of a respectful visit, treacherously seized Anacoana, a female cazique, who was carried in chains to Domingo, and condemned to be hanged. This atrocious conduct toward the Haytian princess, who had been uniformly friendly to the Spaniards,' completely humbled the natives, who, without farther resistance submitted to the Spanish yoke.
The year 1506 was distinguished by the death of Columbus, at Valladolid, in Spain; and by the introduction of the sugar-cane into Hispaniola, from the Canary Islands. In 1507, the inhabitants of Hispaniola,
computed at a million when the island was discovered, were reduced to sixty thousand. 'Those of the Lucayo islands, to the number of twelve hundred thousand, wasted in the mines of Hispaniola and Cuba, or by diseases and famine, had previously become extinct.' In 1508, Juan Diaz de Solis, and Vincent Yanez Pinzon, discovered the Rio de Plata. Negroes were now imported into Hispaniola* from the coast of Guinea, because the miserable natives were found unequal to the labour of the mines and fields! Thomas Aubert made a voyage to Newfoundland, and was the first who sailed up the river St. Lawrence to Canada. On his return he carried over some of the natives to Paris. Alonso de Ojeda made an unsuccessful attempt in 1509, to settle a colony on the east side of the Gulf of Darien, At Puerto Rico a settlement was established in 1510, but the natives, treated with rigour under the Spanish government, soon became extinct. Cuba was completely conquered in 1511; and negroes, in greater numbers than before, were imported into the Spanish colonies.
Vasco Nunez travelled across the isthmus of Darien in 1513, with 290 men, and from a mountain on its western side discovered the ocean, which, from the direction in which he saw it, took the name of the South Sea. In his passage over the mountains, 600 Indians were destroyed like brute beasts. Vasco ordered about 50 to be torn to pieces by dogs t. In the following year, a dissension arose between Vasco Nunez and Arias d'Avila, who had been appointed governor of Darien. Vasco, charged with calumny against the government, after some formalities of a trial, was beheaded-This history we see, like all others, is a record of crimes and punishments.
Panama, on the South Sea, was peopled by Arias in 1515, who explored 250 leagues on the coast. The islands of Bermudas were also now discovered by Gonsales Oviedas. In 1416, Juan Diaz de Solis, reputed the ablest navigator in the world, was sent by the king of Spain, to find a passage to the Molucca or Spice islands, by the west. He entered the
Rio de Plata, but attempting a descent in the country, he and several of his crew were slain by the natives, who devoured the bodies within sight of the ships. The hateful and iniquitous traffic in slaves between Africa and America, was first brought into a regular form in 1517, by some Genoese merchants, who bought for 25,000 ducats a patent granted
* On this island, the first theatre of Spanish cruelty, both towards the original inhabitants and African negroes, the negro-slaves, in modern times, have first succeeded in forcibly regaining their liberty, and by their horrid massacres have dreadfully retaliated the cruelties of Europeans. Can the believer in a Providence fail to remark this coincidence? Does not the righteous Governor of the world still visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation? We look forward with much apprehension to the next national punishment for national crimes. Rev.
+ Canum opera nostri utuntur in præliis contra nudas eas gentes: ad quas rabidi insiliunt, haud secus ac in feros apros aut fugaces cervos." P. Martyr, 180.
to a Flemish favourite by Charles V. for the exclusive importation of 4000 negroes into America. This year is also memorable for the discovery of the coast of Mexico by Francis o Hernandez Cordova. Sailing in February trom the Havanna, he made land at Cape Catoche, the eastern point of that large peninsula, to which the Spaniards have given the name of Yucatan. They were here astonished at the approach of five canoes, full of Indians, decently clad in cotton garments. Cordova, continuing his course to the west, passed Canpeachy, and some leagues to the northward of that place, 47 of his men were killed by the natives, and himself mortally wounded; he died at Cuba. Fifty Spanish, French, and Portuguese ships were this year employed in the cod fishery on the banks of Newfoundland Velasquez, governor of Cuba, sent Juan de Grijalva, in 1518, to Yucatan, with four ships. He discovered the southern coast of the bay of Mexico to the river Panuco, and first called the country New Spain. Five hundred leagues, on the northern coast of this bay, were discovered the same year, by Alvarez Pinedo. In Grijalva's voyage, the Spaniards heard of the rich and extensive empire of Montezuma. In 1519, Velasquez dispatched the celebrated Hernando Cortes, with eleven ships and 550 soldiers for the invasion of Mexico. Arriving with the armanient at the river of Tobasco, he took possession of the town, though defended by 12,000 warriors. The next day he marched his troops to a plain, where he was attacked by an immense body of Indians, who wounded above seventy Spaniards by the first discharge of their weapons. The Spanish artillery did great exe. cution; but when the cavalry came to the charge, the Indians, imagining the horse and rider to be one, were extremely terrified, and fled to the woods and marshes.'
Cortes next sailed to St. Juan de Ulua, where he received ambassadors from Montezuma, with rich presents; and a message, expressing his respect for the Spaniards, but his disinclination to receive any visits at his court. After settling the town of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, Cortes, determined to conquer or to die, destroyed his fleet, and commenced his march towards Mexico. In his way he first conquered, and then associated in his interests, the Tlascalans, a warlike people, less civilized than the Mexicans, and at enmity with them. Taking with him many thousands of his new allies, he forced his way through the most formidable opposition to Iztapalapan, six miles distant from Mexico, and the next day marched his army along the graud causeway, which extended in a straight line to that city.
The timid and impolitic generosity which suffered them to enter this splendid capital without molestation, the treacherous seizure of Montezuma, the battle of the temple, the death of the captive monarch, the disastrous retreat of the Spaniards on the night of July 1st 1520, the battle of Otompan, and their arrival at Tlascala, are succinctly related. During these transactions, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese in the service of Spain, sailed through the Straits which bear his name, into the great Southern Ocean, which he called the Pacific.
Under the year 1521, the author narrates the preparations made by Cortes, at Tlascala, for the conquest of Mexico, the fruitless attempt' to take the city by storm at the commencement of the siege, the terrible