Abbildungen der Seite
[blocks in formation]


NORTH AMERICA was discovered in the reign of Henry VII. a period when the Arts and Sciences had made very considerable progress in Europe. Many of the first adventurers were men of genius and learning, and were careful to preserve authentic records of such of their

proceedings as would be interesting to pofterity. These records afford ample documents for American historians. Perhaps no people on the globe can trace the history of their origin and progress with so much precision as the inhabitants of North America; particularly that part of them who inhabit the territory of the United States. The fame which Columbus had acquired by his first discoveries on

this western continent, spread throngh Europe and inspired many 1496 with the spirit of enterprize. As early as 1496, four years only

after the first discovery of America, John Cabot, a Venetian, obtained a commission from Henry VII. to discover unknown lands and annex them to the crown.

In the spring he failed from England with two ships, carrying with him his three fons. In this voyage, which was intended for China, he fell in with the north side of Terra Labrador, and coated northerly as far as the 67th degree of latitude.

1497.-The next year he made a second voyage to America with his fon Sebastian, who afterwards proceeded in the discoveries which his father had begun. On the 24th of June he discovered Bonavista, on the north-east side of Newfoundland. Before his return he traversed the coast from Davis's Straits to Cape Florida. 1502.-Sebaftian Cabot was this


at Newfoundland; and on his return carried three of the natives of that island to Henry VII. 1513.-In the spring of 1513, John Ponce failed from Porto Rico


northerly and discovered the continent in 30° 8' north latitude. He landed in April, a season when the country around was covered with verdure, and in full bloom. This circumstance induced him to call the country Florida, which, for many years, was the common name for North and South America.

1516.-In 1516, Şir Sebastian Cabot and Sir Thomas Pert explored the coast as far as Brazil in South America.

This valt extent of country, the coast whereof was thus explored, remained unclaimed and unsettled by any European power, (except by the Spaniards in South America) for almost a century from the time of its discovery.

1524.-It was not till the year 1524 that France attempted discoveries on the American coaft. Stimulated by his enterprizing neighhours, Francis I. who possessed a great and active mind, fent John Verrazano, a Florentine, to America, for the purpose of making discoveries. He traversed the coast from latitude 28° to 50° north. In a second voyage, some time after he was loft.

1525.—The next year Stephen Gomez, the first Spaniard who came upon the American coast for discovery, failed from Groyn in Spain, to Cuba and Florida, thence northward to Cape Razo, in latitude 46° north, in search of a north-west passage to the East Indies.

1534.--In the spring of 1534, by the direction of Francis I. a flect was fitted out at St. Malo's in France, with design to make discoveries in America. The command of this fleet was given to James Cartier, He arrived at Newfoundland in May of this year. Thence he failed northerly; and on the day of the festival of St. Lawrence, he found himself in about latitude 48° 30' north, in the midst of a broad gulf, which he named St. Lawrence. He gave the same name to the river which empties into it. In this voyage, he sailed as far north as latitnde 51°, expecting in vain to find a passage to China.

1535.—The next year he failed up the river St. Lawrence 300 leagues to the great and swift Fall. He called the country New France; built a fort in which he spent the winter, and returned in the following spring to France.

1542.-In 1542, Francis la Roche, Lord of Robewell, was sent to Canada, by the French king, with three ships and 200 men, women and children. They wintered here in a fort which they had built, and returned in the spring. About the year 1550, a large number of adventurers-failed for Canada, but were never after heard of. In 1598, the king of France commissioned the Marquis de la Roche to conquer nada, and other countries not possessed by any Christian prince. We do



not learn however, that la Roche ever attempted to execute his commise fion, or that any further attempts were made to settle Canada during

this century.

1539.-On the 12th of May, 1539, Ferdinand de Soto, with goo men, besides feamen, failed from Cuba, having for his object the conquest of Florida. On the 30th of May he arrived at Spirito Santo, from whence he travelled northward 450 leagues from the sea. Here he dis

covered a river a quarter of a mile wide and 19 fathoms deep, 1542 on the bank of which he died and was buried, May 1542, aged 42 1543 years. Alverdo his fucceffor built seven brigantines, and the year

following embarked upon the river. In 17 days he proceeded down the river 400 leagues, where he judged it to be 15 leagues wide. From the largeness of the river at that place of his embarkation, he concluded its source must have been at least 400 leagues above, so that the whole length of the river in his opinion must have been more than 800 leagues. As he passed down the river, he found it opened by two mouths into the gulph of Mexico. These circumstances led us to conclude, that this river, fo early discovered, was the one which we now call the Mililippi.

Jan. 6, 1549. This year king Henry VII. granted a pension for life to Sebastian Cabot, in consideration of the important services he had rendered to the kingdom by his discoveries in America.

1562.-The admiral of France, Chatillon, early in this year, fent out a fleet under the command of John Ribalt. He arrived at Cape Francis on the coast of Florida, near which, on the first of May, he discovered and entered a river which he called May river. It is more than probable that river is the fame which we now call St. Mary's, which forms a part of the southern boundary of the United States. As he coasted northward he discovered eight other rivers, one of which he called Port Royal, and failed up it several leagues. On one of the rivers he built a fort and called it Charles, in which he left a colony under the direction of Captain Albert. The severity of Albert's meafures excited a mutiny, in which, to the ruin of the colony, he was lain. Two years after, Chatillon fent Rene Laudonier, with three ships, to Florida. In June he arrived at the River May, on which he built a fort, and, in honour to his king, Charles IX. he called it Carolina.

In August, this year, Capt. Ribalt arrived at Florida the second time, with a fleet of feven vessels to recruit the colony, which, two years be. fore, he had left under the direction of the unfortunate Capt. Albert. The September following, Pedro Melandes, with fix Spanith ships,

pursued 3

pursued Ribalt up the river on which he had settled, and overpowering him in numbers, cruelly massacred him and his whole company. Me. landes, having in this way taken possession of the country, built three forts, and left them garrisoned with 1200 soldiers. Laudonier and his colony on May River, receiving information of the fate of Ribalt; took the alarm and escaped to France.

1567.--A fleet of three ships was this year sent from France to Flo. tida, under the command of Dominique de Gourges. The object of this expedition was to dispossess the Spaniards of that part of Florida which they had cruelly and unjustifiably seized three years

be1568 fore. He arrived on the coast of Florida, April 1568, and foon

after made a successful attack upon the forts. The recent craelty of Melandes and his company excited revenge in the breast of Gourges, and roused the unjuftifiable principle of retaliation. He took the forts; put most of the Spaniards to the sword; and having burned and demolished all their fortresses, returned to France.

During the fifty years next after this event, the French enterprized no settlements in America.

1576.–Captain Frobisher was sent this year to find out a north-west passage to the East-Indies. The first land which he made on the coast was a Cape, which, in honour to the queen, he called Queen Elizabeth's Foreland. In coasting northerly he discovered the straits which beats his namu.

He prosecuted his search for a passage into the western ocean till he was prevented by the ice, and then returned to England.

1579.-In 1579, Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained a patent from queen Elizabeth, for lands not yet poffeffed by any Christian prince, provided

he would take poffeffion within fix years. With this encourage1583 ment he failed for America, and on the first of August, 1983,

anchored in Conception Bay. Afterward he discovered and took poffeflion of St. John's Harbour, and the country fouth. In pursuing his discoveries he lost one of his ships on the shoals of Sablon, and on his return home, a storm overtook him, in which he was unfortunately loft, and the intended settlement was prevented.

1584.- This year two patents were granted by queen Elizabeth; one to Adrian Gilbert, (Feb. 6.) the other to Sir Walter Raleigh, for lands not possessed by any Christian prince. By the direction of Sir Walter; two ships were fitted and sent out, under the command of Philip Amidas, and Arthur Barlow. In July they arrived on the coaft; and anchored in a harbour seven leagues west of the Roanoke. On the 13th of July, they, in a formal manner, took possession of the country, and, in honour of their virgin queen Elizabeth; they ealled it Virginia. Till this

time the country was known by the general name of Florida. After this VIRGINIA became the common name for all North America.

1585.- The next year, Sir Walter Raleigh sent Sir Richard Greenville to America, with seven ships. He arrived at Wococon Harbour in June. Having stationed a colony of more than a hundred people at Roanoke, under the direction of Capt. Ralph Lane, he coasted northeafterly as far as Chesapeek Bay, and returned to England.

The colony under Capt. Lane endured extreme hardships, and must have perished, had not Sir Francis Drake fortunately returned to Virginia, and carried them to England, after having made several conquests for the queen in the West Indies and other places.

A fortnight after, Sir Richard Greenville arrived with new recruits; and, although he did not find the colony which he had before left, and knew not but they had perished, he had the ralhness to leave 50 men at the same place.

1587.— The year following, Sir Walter fent another company to Virginia, under Governor White, with a charter and twelvé aslistants. In July he arrived at Roanoke. Not one of the second company remained. He determined, however, to risqué a third colony. Accordingly he left 115 people at the old settlement, and returned to England.

This year (Aug. 13) Manteo was baptized in Virginia. He was the firlt native Indian who received that ordinance in that


of America. On the 18th of August, Mrs. Dare was delivered of a daughter; whom the called VIRGINIA. She was the first English child that was born in North America.

1590.-In the year 1590, Governor White came over to Virginia with supplies and recruits for his colony; but, to his great grief, not a man was to be found. They had all miserably familhed with hunger, or were massacred by the Indians.

1602.-In the spring of this year, Bartholomew Gofnold, with 32 persons, made a voyage to North Virginia, and discovered and gave names to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Elizabeth Islands, and to Dover Cliff. Elisabeth Island was the place which they fixed for their first settlement. But the courage of those who were to have tarried, failing, they all went on board and returned to England. All the attempts to settle this continent which were made by the Dutch, French, and English, from its discovery to the present time, a period of 110 years, proved ineffectual. The Spaniards only, of all the European nàtions, had been successful. There is no account of there having been one European family, at this time, in all the valt extent of coast from Florida to Grçenland, No, III.



« ZurückWeiter »