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1508. Paranaguazu, afterward called Rio de Plata, or River of Silver.
Proceeding to the 40th degree, they erected crosses wherever Rio de Pla- they landed, took formal possession, and returned to Spain. In
this voyage they discovered an extensive province, known afterYutacan. ward by the name of Yucatan. Cuba found Sebastian de Ocampo by command of Ovando sailed around
Cuba, and first discovered with certainty, that this country, which island.
Columbus once supposed to be a part of the continent, is a large
island.2 Ovando re- Don Nicolas de Ovando was divested of the government of
St. Domingo by king Ferdinand, and commanded to return to Spain.
Spain. He is represented as a man of distinguished merit; whose removal was occasioned by complaints raised against him for instability, and the known will of queen Isabella, who had sworn to chastise him for having put to death the cazique Anaco
ana, and had left her decree in charge to Ferdinand.3 Commerce. The gold, carried from Hispaniola in one year, amounted to
460,000 pieces of eight. Cotton, sugar, and ginger, now also became considerable articles of exportation from the West Indies
to Spain. Negroes The Spaniards, finding the miserable natives not so robust and imported
equal to the labour of the mines and fields, as negroes brought paniola. from Africa, began about the same time to import negroes into
Hispaniola from the Portuguese settlements on the Guinea
coast.4 Hurricane. A hurricane demolished all the houses in St. Domingo, and
destroyed upward of 20 vessels in the harbour.5 The French Thomas Aubert, a shipmaster, made a voyage from Dieppe to first sail up. Newfoundland ; and, proceeding thence to the river of St. Law
rence, was the first who sailed up this great river to the country of Canada. On his return, he carried over to Paris some of the natives. 6
Don Diego, son of Christopher Columbus, having for two years after the death of his father made incessant but fruitless
1 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 6. c. 17. Life of Columbus, c. 89. Robertson, b. 3. Southey, c. 2. See A. D. 1516.
2 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 7. c. 1.
4 Anderson, Hist. Commerce, A. D. 1508. Herrera, d. 1. lib, 5. c. 12.
6 Univ. Hist. xxxix. 406. Brit. Emp. Introd. 46. Anderson, ii. 15. Forster (402) says, he made this voyage in a ship called the Pensée, belonging to his father Jean Ango, viscount of Dieppe.
application to king Ferdinand for the offices and rights to which he was legally entitled, at last commenced a suit against the king before the Council of the Indies, and obtained a decree in con- Don Diego firmation of his claim of the viceroyalty, with all the other privi- succeeds leges, stipulated in the capitulation with his father. Succeeding Ovando as Ovando in the government of Hispaniola, he now repaired to governor. that island, accompanied by his wife, his brother, and uncles, and a numerous retinue of both sexes, of good parentage ; and the colony acquired new lustre by the accession of so many respectable inhabitants. Agreeably to instructions from the king, he settled a colony in Cubagua, where large fortunes were soon acquired by the fishery of pearls. He also sent to Jamaica John de Esquibal with 70 men, who began a settlement on that island. 1
Alonso de Ojeda, having sailed from Hispaniola with a ship An attempt and two brigantines, carrying three hundred soldiers, to settle the to settle the continent, landed at Carthagena ; but was beaten off by the proves unnatives. While he began a settlement at St. Sebastian, on the successful. east side of the Gulf of Darien, Diego Nicuessa with six vessels and 780 men began another at Nombre de Dios, on the west side. Both, however, were soon broken up by the natives. The early historians say, that the natives of these countries were fierce and warlike; that their arrows were dipped in a poison so noxious, that every wound was followed with certain death; that in one encounter they slew 70 of Ojeda's followers; and that the Spaniards, for the first time, were taught to dread the inhabitants of the New World. This was the first attempt to take possession of Terra Firma; and it was by virtue of the pope's grant, made in a form prescribed by some of the most eminent divines and lawyers in Spain.? Henry VII, king of England, died on the 22d of April, aged Death of
Henry VII. 52; and was succeeded by Henry VIII.3
1 Robertson, b. 3. Harris' Voy. i. 271. Herrera, d. 1. lib. 7. c. 11. Edwards, W. Indies, b. 2. c. 1. Alcedo, Art. JAMAICA.
2 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 8. c. 2. Harris' Voy. i. 271. Robertson, b. 3. Harris, from Galvano, calls St. Sebastian a fort, and says, it was the first built by the Spaniards in Terra Firma. The name Terra Firma was first given “because it was the first place where from the Islands the Castellares did inhabit.” Purchas, iv. 912. Herrera says, that Nicuessa obliged all his men, whether sick or well, to work at his fort, and they died at their labour; and that the 780 men, whom he brought from Hispaniola, were soon reduced to 100.-Nombre de Dios was narned from the words of Nicuessa, “Let us stay here in the name of God.”en nombre de Dios. See NOTE VIII.
3 of Henry VII. it has been justly remarked : “ This prince was rather a prudent steward and manager of a kingdom than a great king, and one of those defensive geniuses who are the last in the world to relish a great but problematic design.” Europ. Settlements in America. But, with all his caution and parsimony, he received the overtures of Columbus with more approbation than any monarch to whom they had been previously communicated. “ Neither,” says
1510. The greater part of those who had engaged with Ojeda and
Nicuessa in the expedition for settling the continent, having A small col- perished in less than a year, a few who survived now settled, as ony settled a feeble colony, at Santa Maria on the Gulf of Darien, under the of Darien. command of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.
Juan Ponce de Leon, who had commanded in the eastern
district of Hispaniola under Ovando, now effected a settlement, Puerto by his permission, on Puerto Rico. Within a few
this Rico. island was subjected to the Spanish government; and the natives,
treated with rigour and worn out with fatigue and sufferings, soon became extinct.?
1511. Don Diego COLUMBUS proposing to conquer the island of Conquest of Cuba, and to establish a colony there, many persons of distinction
in Hispaniola engaged in the enterprise.' Three hundred men, destined for the service, were put under the command of Diego Velazquez, who had accompanied Christopher Columbus in his second voyage. With this inconsiderable number of troops, Velazquez conquered the island, without the loss of a man, and annexed it to the Spanish monarchy.3 The conqueror was now
appointed governor and captain-general of the island. 4 Hipaniola. Hispaniola was not completely subdued until this year. Two
bishops were now constituted here, one at St. Domingo, and another at the Conception. Three bishopricks had been previously erected in the island, but no bishops had been sent to them.5
lord Bacon," was it a refusal on the king's part, but a delay by accident, that put by so great an acquest ”—referring to the “tender of that great empire of the West Indies.” Hist. K. Henry VII; in the conclusion of which, lord Bacon observes : “ If this king did no great matters, it was long of himself; for what he minded he compassed.”
1 Robertson, b. 3. Prince, Chron. Introd. 83.
2 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 7. c. 13. Robertson, b. 3. This island was discovered by Columbus in his second voyage. John Ponce passed over to it in 1508, and penetrated into the interior of the country. B. de las Casas (4.) says, that above 30 islands, near this, were in like manner entirely depopulated.
3 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 9. c. 3. Robertson, b. 3. Prince, 1511. The island is about 700 miles long, and at that time had two or three hundred houses, with several families in each, as was usual in Hispaniola. Hatuay, a rich and potent cazique, who, to avoid slavery or death, had fled from Hispaniola to Cuba, was taken in the interior part of this island, and carried to Velazquez,
who condemned him to the flames. When he was fastened to the stake, a Franciscan friar, labouring to convert him, promised him immediate admittance to the joys of heaven, if he would embrace the Christian faith; and threatened him with eternal torment, if he should continue obstinate in his unbelief. The cazique asked, if there were any Spaniards in that region of bliss, that he described. On being told, there were ; " I will not go," said he,“ to a place where I may meet with one of that accursed race.' B. de las Casas, 20, 21,
4 Alcedo, Art. CUBA. He governed with great applause until his death, in 1524. 5 Univ. Hist. xli. 467. Herrera, d. 1. lib. 8. c. 10.
Ferdinand established the Council of the Indies, in which was 1511. vested the supreme government of all the Spanish dominions in America. He now permitted the importation of negroes in Council of greater numbers, than before, into his American colonies,
Juan PONCE DE LEON, sailing northwardly from Puerto Rico 1512. with three ships, discovered the continent in 30 degrees 8 minutes April 2. north latitude, and called it Florida. Having gone ashore, and Juan Ponce taken possession, he returned to Puerto Rico through the chan- Florida. nel, afterward known by the name of the Gulf of Florida. The discoverer went afterwards to Spain, and obtained of the king the government of Florida ; but he had scarcely reached the shore at his return, and begun to prepare for the erection of a town and fortress, when the natives assailed him and his company with their poisoned arrows, killed the greater part of them, and obliged the rest to re-embark, and abandon the country. The Spaniards claimed Florida from this discovery of Ponce; and the English, from the prior discovery of Cabot.
Baracoa, the first town of Cuba, was built on the northeast Baracoa. part of the island by Diego Velazquez. Havana, the capital, Havana. was also built by Velazquez, while he was governor of Cuba.3 Amerigo Vespucci died at the age of 61 years. A
1 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 8. c. 9. Robertson, b. 3, 8.
2 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 9. c. 10, 11. Harris' Voy. i. 271. Univ. Hist. xl. 378. Brit. Emp. ii. 208. Roberts, Florida, 25. Encyclop. Methodique, Hist. Art. CABOT; & Geog. Art. FLORIDE. Cardenas, Hist. Florida, A. D. 1512. Thua. nus (1. 44.) says: “Floridam qui primus invenerit, inter scriptores ambigitur. Hispani ... gloriam Joanni Pontico Legionensi deferunt ... verum quod et certius est, plerique affirmant, jam ante Sebastianum Gabotum . primum in eam Indiarum provinciam venisse." See A. D. 1497. Purchas (i. 769.) says, it was called Florida,“ because it was first discovered by the Spaniards on Palm Sunday, or on Easter day, which they call Pasqua Florida (de Flores, Herrera); and not, as Thevot writeth, for the flourishing verdure thereof.” De Bry agrees with him ; also P. Martyr, who says “ Floridam appellavit, quia resurrectianis festo repererit. Vocat Hispanus Pascha floridum resurrectionis diem.” Herrera says, Juan Ponce had regard to both reasons : “ se quiso conformar en el nombre, con estas razones.” De Bry says, Ponce died of his wound at Cuba : “ Pontius ipse in hoc tumultu jaculo infecto lethaliter vulneratus, unus è fugientibus fuit, et vento Cubam Insulam delatus ex vulnere istic expiravit.” Cardenas has preserved his Epitaph. “Y en su sepulcro se puso este Epitafio:
Mole sub hac fortis requiescunt ossa LEONIS,
Qui vicit factis Nomina magna suis.” 3 Alcedo, Art. CUBA. Havana was at first called Puerto de Carenas. It afterwards became one of the most considerable cities of America, taking the name of San Christoval de la Havana. Id. Art. HAVANA.
4 Muñoz, Introd. xix. He was born at Florence in 1451. In 1508, he was appointed chief pilot to the king of Spain, with a salary of 50,000 maravadis a year, at which time a bounty also of 25,000 was granted him. The same salary and bounty were granted to his successor Juan Diaz de Solis, who was appointed in 1512; but with a proviso of giving 10,000 maravadis annually to the widow of Vesputius, Maria Cerezo, during her life. Id. The house of Vesputius is shown at Florence, having over the door the following inscription : “Americo
ñez discovers the
Vasco NUNEZ DE BALBOA, a Spaniard, employed in the con
quest of Darien and the Gulf of Uraba, having travelled across the Sept. 25.
isthmus of Darien with 290 men, from the top of a high mountain Vasco Nu- on the western side of the continent discovered an ocean, which,
from the direction in which he saw it, took the name of the South Sea. South Sea. Falling on his knees, and lifting up his hands to
heaven, he gave thanks to God for being the first discoverer. Having proceeded with his followers to the shore, he advanced up to his middle in the water with his sword and buckler, and took possession of this ocean in the name of the king his master, vowing to defend it, with those arins, against all his enemies.
In token of possession, he erected piles of stones on the shore. Friars go to Peter de Cordova, a Dominican friar, having obtained leave
of the king, now went over from Spain to the continent of America, with other friars of his order, to preach to the Indians at Cumana ; but the treachery and abuse of the Spaniards concerned in the pearl fishery exciting the indignation of the natives,
they soon after put these missionaries to death.2 Decree con- Ferdinand issued a decree of his privy council, declaring, that cerning In- the servitude of the Indians is warranted both by the laws of
God and man; and that, unless they were subjected to the dominion of the Spaniards, and compelled to reside under their inspection, it would be impossible to reclaim
them from idolatry, and to instruct them in the principles of the Christian faith.3
Vasco Nuñez having sent the king of Spain an account of his discovery of the South Sea, and of what he had heard of Peru, acquainting him at the same time, that it would require a thousand men to effect that conquest; his majesty ordered Pedrarias Davila to embark for America, as governor of Darien. He accordingly sailed from St. Lucar with 15 vessels and 1500
Vespuccio, Patricio Florentino, sui et Patriæ Nominis Illustratori, Amplificatori
1 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 10. c. 1. P. Martyr, 178–182, 205. Venegas, California, i. 119. Harris' Voy. 271. Dalrymple, Voyages, i. 3, from “Conquista de las Islas Philipinas por Fr. Gaspar de San Augustin.” Prince, Introd. Robertson, b. 3. Forster, Voy. 263. P. Martyr says, that the Indians opposed Balboa's passage over the mountains; that they fled at the discharge of the Spanish guns, that the Spaniards, pursuing them, cut them in pieces; that 600 of them, together with their prince, were destroyed like brute beasts; and that Vasco ordered about 50 to be torn to pieces by dogs. “ Canum opera,” adds the historian, “nostri utuntur in præliis contra nudas eas gentes : ad quas rabidi insiliunt, haud secus ac in feros apros aut fugaces cervos.' Vasco returned in February, 1514, to Darien, without the loss of one man in any of his numerous actions with the natives.
2 Herrera, d. 1. lib. 9, c. 14, 15.