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address of the admiral were scarcely sufficient to preserve
his ascendency and ensure the completion of his voyage.
When their patience was nearly exhausted, the signs of
land began to appear.
The water had become more shallow;
flocks of strange birds were observed; a curiously wrought
staff was taken up by the men of the Pinta; and weeds were
seen floating in the water, of a kind different from any which
were known to the voyagers. During the night of the 11th
of October, a light was observed by Columbus himself, at a
distance, moving as if carried by some fisherman or traveller.

This last appearance was considered by him as decisive evidence of land; and, moreover, that the land was inhabited. They continued their course till two o'clock in the morning, when a gun from the Pinta gave the signal that land was in sight. It proved to be one of the Bahama islands.

On the morning of the 12th of October, Columbus, richly attired in scarlet, and bearing the royal standard, entered his own boat, accompanied by the other commanders in their boats, and landing on the island took possession of it on behalf of the Castilian sovereigns, giving it the name of San Salvador.

The landing was accompanied with every demonstration of joy and gratitude to Heaven. The admiral and his followers knelt on the shore, and kissed the ground, with tears and thanksgiving. The natives, who had assembled in great numbers on the first appearance of the ships, were struck speechless with astonishment. They stood around the Spaniards, unable to comprehend the import of those ceremonies with which the newly discovered land was claimed by these formidable visiters. They considered them as beings of a superior order, children of the sun, descended from heaven to dwell among the inhabitants of the earth; little imagining that they were speedily to exterminate the peaceful nations who then possessed the western Archipelago.

The island was called, by the inhabitants, Guanahani. It is one of the Bahama group, and is distant about 3000 miles from the most westerly of the Canaries. Columbus afterwards discovered and touched at other islands in the

What signs of land appeared?

Who first saw the light?


What is said of the natives?
What was the island called?
Where is it?

When did Columbus land in the New What other discoveries did Columbus

make on his first voyage?


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same group, and also added the extensive islands of Cuba and Hispaniola to the possessions of the Spanish sovereigns, before completing his first voyage. All these newly discovered lands he supposed, conformably to the theory which he had adopted, to be at no great distance from India; and as they had been reached by a western passage, they were called the West Indies. Even when the increase of geographical science had discovered the error, the name was retained, and it is continued to the present day.

Columbus's return to Spain was hailed with acclamations of joy. His journey from Palos to Barcelona, where he was to meet the sovereigns, was a perfect triumph, and his reception by Ferdinand and Isabella was attended with marks of favour and condescension proportioned to the magnitude and importance of his services.

Columbus afterwards undertook several voyages to the New World, planted colonies, and built cities and forts. In his third voyage, he visited the continent of America, landed at different places on the coasts of Paria and Cumana. But his discovery of the continent had been anticipated by an English voyager, Cabot, as will hereafter be related.

Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine gentleman, who had sailed with Columbus, visited the continent some years afterwards; and published an account of his expedition, so plausibly written as to lead his contemporaries to the supposition that he was the real discoverer. The continent, in consequence, received the appellation of America; at what

What is the origin of the name West |

How was Columbus received in

What was done by Columbus in his
subsequent voyages?

Who first discovered the continent of

What is said of Vespucci ?



period is not well ascertained. Although we cannot but regret the injustice of this proceeding, which deprives Columbus of an honour so nobly earned, yet the consent of all nations has given the name a sanction, which it were vain to dispute or disregard.

It was the lot of Columbus to receive injustice and neglect in return for the greatest benefits. He was deprived of the rewards and honours promised him by Ferdinand and Isabella, superseded in the government of the colony which he had founded, and sent home in chains from the New World which he had found for Castile and Leon;' and, after having attracted the admiration and applause of the whole civilized world by the brilliancy of his achievements, he was suffered to die in comparative poverty and neglect..



ALTHOUGH Columbus discovered the New World, he was not the first navigator who reached the American continent. This was the achievement of John Cabot and his son Sebastian; who conducted an expedition of five ships, under a commission from Henry VII, of England, to search for unknown islands and countries, and take possession of them in the king's name. The expedition was fitted out from Bristol, in England, and reached the American continent, probably in 56 degrees of north latitude, on the coast of Labrador, June 14th, 1497, nearly fourteen months before Columbus, on his third voyage, came in sight of the main land.

If the right of discovery be valid, a point which it is hardly worth while to discuss here, England had certainly the best right of any of the nations of Europe to plant colonies in North America. Her claim, however, was warmly disputed by Spain, Portugal and France.

The Cabots made another voyage to North America in 1498, and explored the coast as far south as Maryland;

How was Columbus treated by the What nations disputed the claim of
sovereigns of Spain?
England to the discovery of North

What is said of the Cabots ?

When did they discover the conti- What was done by the Cabots in nent of America?





Cabot describing his discovery to Henry VII.

and Sebastian Cabot, who, on account of his nautical skill and enterprise, was called the Great Seaman, sailed, in 1517, up the straits and bay which afterwards received the name of Hudson, until he reached the latitude of sixty-seven and a half degrees, expecting to find a north-west passage to India. A mutiny of his crew compelled him to return.

The Portuguese, who at this period were very active in prosecuting distant voyages of discovery, fitted out an expedition under Gaspar Cortereal. He explored the coast for 600 miles, as far to the north as the 50th degree, and brought off upwards of 50 Indians, whom he sold as slaves on his return. (1501.)

The French were among the early voyagers to North America. The banks of Newfoundland were visited by their fishermen as early as 1504, and in 1523 John Verrazani, a Florentine, was sent on a voyage of discovery by Francis I. He explored the American coast from North Carolina to Nova Scotia, and held friendly intercourse with the natives. The French claims to their American territories were founded upon his discoveries.

Another expedition, under James Cartier, was fitted out in 1534, and the gulf and river of St. Lawrence were visited, many of the harbours and islands explored, and the country declared a French territory. The next year, Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence again. and discovered and named the island of Montreal. He passed the winter in Canada, and in the spring erected a cross with a shield upon it, bearing the arms of France, and an inscription declaring Francis I to be

By Sebastian in 1517?

What was done by the Portuguese?

By the French?



the sovereign of the territory; to which he gave the name of New France.

In 1540, Francis de la Roque, Lord of Roberval, obtained from Francis I a commission to plant a colony in America, giving him a viceroy's authority over the territories and islands on the gulf and river St. Lawrence. Cartier was, at the same time, commissioned as captain general and chief pilot of the expedition, with authority to raise recruits for the colony from the prisons of France, a circumstance by no means favourable to the permanence of the proposed settlement. These lead

ers were rather too independent of each other. They did not even depart from Europe in company. Cartier left France in May, 1541, sailed up the St. Lawrence, built a fort near where Quebec was subsequently founded, passed the winter there, and returned in June, 1542. About the time of his return, Roberval, with a colony, arrived in Canada, or Norimbega, as it was then sometimes termed, remained till the next year, and then abandoned his vice-royalty and returned home. He afterward sailed again for Canada, but is supposed to have perished on the sea.

The civil wars of France prevented any further attempts at colonization in America till 1598, when the Marquis de la Roche, a nobleman of Brittany, formed a temporary settlement on the isle of Sable. His colony had been peopled by sweeping the prisons of France; and it was of very short duration.


In 1603, an expedition was fitted out by a company merchants of Rouen, and placed under the command of Samuel Champlain, an able and enterprising officer, who 'became the father of the French settlements in Canada.'* On his first expedition, he made considerable geographical researches, observed carefully the nature of the climate and soil, and the character of the natives; and selected the position of the future capital of the province.

After he returned to France, a charter was granted to De Monts to settle Acadia, under which name was included all the country from the 40th to the 46th degree of north latitude. His expedition left France in 1604 in two ships; and, after their arrival in Nova Scotia, Poutrincourt, one of the leaders who accompanied De Monts, made choice of the spot where

Describe Roberval and Cartier's ex-
peditions. De la Roche's.
What is said of Champlain ?

His first expedition ?
De Monts?

What was included in Acadia ?

* Bancroft.

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