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:■: SPANISH Conquest 








VOL. 1. 

Then I unbar the Aoon; my palhi lead « 

Tleeiodusolnatieiiii Idiipene 

Heo lo all ihoio Ihu frout the hoary mail 



Cte aetittrrAM ■^vii, CambribBr 


LlS P.a-t-(i>,^. I 


Gin OF 

ttataikKt 2i, 1931 

AH right! raemed. 











Thb present irork is the outcome of two lines of 
study pursued, witli more or less iDtermption from 
o&er studies, for about tliirty years. It will be 
observed that the book has two themes, as difEerent 
in character as the themes for voice and piano ia 
Schubert's " Friihliugaglaube," and yet so closely 
related that the one is needful for an adequate 
comprehension of the other. In order to view in 
their true perspective the series of events com- 
prised in the Discovery of America, one needs to 
form a mental picture of tiutt stnuige world of 
savagely and barbarism to which civilized Euro- 
peans were for the first time introduced in the 
course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in 
their voyages along the African coast, into the 
Tm^iflp and Pacific oceans, and across the Atlantic. 
Nothing that Europeans discovered during that 
stirring period was so remarkable as these antique 
phases of human society, the mere existence of 
which had scarcely been suspected, and the real 
character of which it has been left for the present 
generation to begin to understand. Nowhere was 


this ancient aotnety so fnll of instmctive lessons as 
in abori^nal America, whioh had pureoed its own 
coarse of development, cot off and isolated from 
the Old World, for probably more than fifty thou- 
sand years. The imperishable interest of those 
episodes tn die Discoveiy of America known as 
the conquests of Mexieo and Fern eonsists chiefly 
in the glimpses they afford ns of this primitive 
Torld. It was not an nninhabited continent that 
the Spaniards foimd, and in order to comprehend 
the course of events it is necessary to know some- 
thing about those social features that formed a large 
part of the burden of the letters of Columbus and 
Vespucins, and excited even more intense and gen* 
eral interest in Europe than the purely geograph* 
ical questions su^ested by the voyages of those 
great sailors. The descriptions of ancient America, 
therefore, which form a kind of background to die 
present work, need no apolc^. 

It was the study of prehistoric Europe and of 
early Aryan institutions that led me by a natural 
sequence to the study of aboriginal America. In 
1869, after sketching the plan of a book on our 
Aryan forefathers, I was turned aside for five years 
by writing " Cosmic Philosophy." During that in- 
terval I also wrote ** Myths and Myth-Makers " as 
a side-work to the projected book on the Aryans, 
and as soon as the excursion into the field of gen- 
eral philosophy was ended, in 1874, the work on 


that book was resumed. Ftnilauuitoly it was not 
then carried to completion, for it would have been 
Badly antiquated by this time. The revolntion in 
theory concerning the Aryans has been as remark- 
able as the revolution in chemical theoiy which 
some years ago introduced &6 New Chemistry. It 
is beooming eminently probable that the centre of ' 
diffusion of Aryan speech was much nearer to 
Lithuania than to any part of Central Asia, and 
it has for some time been quite clear that the state 
of Bociety revealed in Homer and the Vedas is not 
at all like primitive society, but very far from it 
By 1876 I had become convinced that there was 
no use in going on without widening the field of 
study. The conclusions of the Aryim school needed 
to be supplemented, and often seriouslf modified, by 
the study of the barbaric world, and it soon became 
manifest that for the study of barbarism there is 
no other field that for fruitfulness can be c<mipared 
with aboriginal America. 

This is because the progress of society was much 
slower in the western hemisphere than in the east- 
em, and in the days of Columbus and Cortes it 
had nowhere " caught up " to the points reached 
by the Egyptians of the Old Empire or by the 
builders of Myceme and Tiryns. In aboriginal 
America we therefore find states of society pre- 
served in stages of development similar to those of 
onr ancestral societies in the Old World long ages 


before Homer and the.Yedsfi. tSxaj of the social 
phenomena of ancient Eorcpe are also found in 
aboriginal America, but always in a more primitive 
condition. The clan, phratry, and tribe among 
the Iroquois help ub in many respects to get back 
tc the original oonoeptioiis of the gens, curia, and 
tribe among the Rconaas. We can better under- 
stand the growth of kingdiip of the Agamemnon 
type when we have studied the leas deraloped type 
in [Montezuma. The honse-oommunities of the 
southern S\uva ue full ot interest for tiie student 
of the early phases of social erolution, but the 
Mandan round-house and the ZuSi pueblo carry us 
much deeper into the past. Aboriginal AnLorican 
institationB thus afford one of the richest fields in 
the world for the application ot the comparatiire 
method, and the red Indian, viewed in this light, 
becomes one of the most interesting of men ; for 
in studying him intelligently, one gets down into 
the atone age of human thought. No time should 
be lost in gathering whatever can be learned of 
his ideas and institutions, before their character 
has been wlu^y lost under the influence of white 
men. Under tliat influence many Indiana have 
been quite tmnaformed, while others have been as 
yet but little affected. Some extremely anci^it 
types of society, still preserved on this continent 
in something like puri^, are among the most in- 
structive monuments of the past that can now be 


found in the -world. Snoh a type ia that of the 
Mot^uis of northeastern Arizona. I have heard a 
romonr, which it is to be hoped is ill-founded, that 
there aie persons who wish the United States 
government to interfere vi&i this peaceful and 
■elf-refipecting people, break vp their pueblo life, 
scatter them In farmsteads, and otherwise compel 
them, against their own winhes, to change their 
habite and customs. If su^ a cruel and stupid 
dung irere ever to be done, ire mi^ justly be 
8ud to have equalled or surpassed the folly of 
those Spaniards who used to make bonfires of 
Mezicaii hieroglyphics. It is hoped that the pres- 
^it book, LQ which of course it is impossible to 
do more than sketch the outiines and indicate the 
bearings of bo vast a subject, will eerre to awaken 
readers to die interest and importance of American 
BTchseology for the general study of die evolution 
oChaman society. 

So much for the first and subsidiary theme. As 
fm my principal theme, the Discovery of America, 
I was first drawn to it through its close relations 
widi a subject which for some time chiefly occu- 
pied my mind, the history of the contact between 
dte Aryan and Semitic worlds, and more particu- 
larly between Christians and Mussulmans about 
die shores, of the Mediterranean. It is idso in- 
teresting aa part of the hist<s7 of science, and 
forthennore as connected with the beginnings of 



one of the most momentonB events in the career of 
mankind, the colonization of the barbaric world by 
SuTopeans. Moreover, the discovery of America 
has its fall share of the rtMoantic fascination that 
belongs to most of the work of the BeoaiBsanoe 
period. I have sought to exhibit these different 
aBpecta of the subject. 

Hie present book is in all its parts written from 
the original sonrces of information. The work of 
modem scholars has of coarse been freely used, 
but never without full adoiowledgnieat in text or 
notes, and seldom without independent verification 
from the original sources. Acknowledgments are 
chiefly due to Humboldt, Morgan, Bandelier, Major, 
Varnhagen, Markham, Helps, and Harrisse. To 
the last-named scholar I owe an especial debt of 
gratitude, in common with aJl who have studied 
this subject since his arduous researches were 
begun. Some of the most valuable parts of his 
work have consisted in the discovery, reproduction, 
and collation of documents ; and to some extent 
his pages are practically equivalent to the original 
sources inspected by bim in the course of years of 
search through European archives, public and prl- 
vate. In the present book I must have expressed 
dissent from his conclusiouB at least as often as 
agreement with them, but whether one agrees 
with him or not, one always finds him helpful and 
stimulating. Though he has in some sort made 


himself a Frenchman in the course of his kboun, 
it is pleasant to recall the fact that M. Haniase 
is by birth our feUow-conntryman ; and there aro 
Bnrely few Americans of our time whom BtO' 
dente of hiBtory have more reason for holding in 

I hare not seen Mr. Winsor's " Christoi^ier 
Golnml»iB"in time tomakeanyoseof it. Within 
the last few days, while my final diapter is going 
to press, I have received the sheets of it, a few 
days in advance of publication. I do not find in 
it any teferences to sources of information whic^ 
I have not already folly considered, so that onr 
differences of opinion on snndry points may serve 
to show what diverse condnsions may be drawn 
from the same data. The most oonspicuous differ^ 
ence is that which ooneems the personal character 
of Columbus. Mr. Winsor writes in a spirit of 
enei^tio (not to say violent} reaction against the 
absurdities of Boselly de Loi^ea and others who 
have tried to make a s^nt of Colnmbua ; and 
under the influence of this reaction he offers us a 
picture of the great navigator that serves to r^se 
a pertment question. No oae can deny that Las 
Casae was a keen judge of men, or that Ma stan- 
d^d of right and wrong was quite as loffy as any 
one has reached in our own time. He had a much 
more intimate knowledge of Columbus than any 
modem historian can ever hope to acquire, and he 


alvsj'S speaks of him with warm admiratioii and 
respect. But how oould Las Casas ever have re- 
spected the feeble, mean-apirited drireller whose 
portrait Mr. Winaor asks ns to accept as that of 
the DisooTerer of America ? 

If, however, instead of his biographical estimate 
of Colmnbua, we consider Mr. Winsor's oontribu- 
tions toward a correct statement of the difBoolt 
geographical qneittons connected with the subject, 
we recognize at once the work of an acknowledged 
master in his ohosen field. It is work, too, of the 
first order of importance. It would be hard to 
mention a subject on which bo many reams of dire- 
ful nonsense have been written aa on the disooveiy 
of America ; and the prolific source of so mu(di 
folly has generally bean what Mr. Freeman fitly 
calls *' bondage to the modem map." In (nrder to 
understand what the great mariners of the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries were trying to do, and 
Triiat people suppcned them to have done, one moat 
beg^ by resolntely banishing the modeon map from 
one's mind. The ancient map most take its plaoe, 
but this must not be the ridiculous " Orbis Yete- 
ribus Notns," to be found in the ordinary classical 
aUas, which simply copies tha otitlines of coun- 
iriea with modem acoaracff_from the modem map, 
and then scatters andeat names over them t Such 
maps are wcnrse than useless. In dealing wilh the 
discovery of America one must steadily keep beftwe 


PBBTACX. xiii 

one's tuind iihe quaint notioiiB of ancient geogra- 
phers, especially Ptolemy and Mela, aa portrayed 
upon such maps as are reproduced in tlie present 
volume. It -was just these distorted and hazy notions 
that swayed the minds and guided the moTements 
o£ the great disooTerers, and vent on reproduoing 
themaelves upon newly-made majM for a oentury 
or more after the time of Columbus. Without 
eonetant reference to these old maps one catmot 
begin to understand the cironmetances of the dis- 
ooTery at Amerioa. 

In no way can one get at the heart of tlie matter 
more otanpletely Hum by threading the labyrinth 
oi cansee and effects through which the western 
hemisphere came slowly and gradually to be known 
l^ the name Auerica. The reader will Qot foil to 
observe the pains which I hare taken to elucidate 
this subject, not from any peculiar regard fm Amer- 
icus Vespnoins, but becanse the quintessenoe of the 
whole ge(^nq>hioal problem <^ the disooTery of 
the New World w in <me way or another involved 
in the disoossion. I can think of no finer instance 
of Hk queer oomplications that oan come to sur- 
round and mystify an increase of knowledge too 
great and rapid to be comprehended by a single 
generation oi men. 

In the solution of Hia problem as to the first 
Vespncias voyage I f (dlow the lead of Vamh^en, 
bat alwf^ independently and with the documen. 



tary evidence fnUy in sight. For some years I 
vainly tried to pnrBue Humboldt's clues to some 
inteUigibld conclusion, and felt iahospitably inr 
dined toward Vamhagea'a viewB as altogether 
too plausible ; he seemed to settle too many diffi- 
culties at once. But after becoming conTinoed 
of the spmiouBiiesB of the Bandini letter (see 
below, vol. ii. p. 94) ; and observing how the air 
at once was cleared in some directions, it seemed 
that further work in textual criticism would be 
well bestowed. I made a careful study of the dic- 
tion of the letter from Vespucius to Soderini in its 
two principal texts : — 1. the Latin version of 
1507, the original of which is in the library of 
Harvard University, appended to Waldseemiiller's 
" Cosmographiffi Introductio " ; 2. the Italiaji text 
reproduced severally by Bandini, Canovai, and 
Vamhagen, from the excessively rare original, of 
which only five copies are now known to be in 
existence. It is this toxt that Vamhagen regards 
as the original from which the Latin version of 
1507 was made, through an intermediate French 
version now lost. In this opinion Vamhagen does 
not stand alone, aa Mr. Wiosor seems to think 
(" Christopher Columbus," p. 540, line 6 from 
bottom), for Harrisse and Avezac have caressed 
themselves plainly to the same effect (see below, 
vol. ii. p. 42). A minute study of this text, 
with all its quaint interpolations of Spanish and 


PortngaeBe idioms and seafaring phiaaes into the 
Italian ground-woik of its diction, long ago oon- 
vinced me that it never was a translation from any- 
tlmig in heaven or earth or the waters nnder the 
earth. Nobody would ever have translated a docu- 
ment itUo such an extremely pectdiar and individ- 
nal jargon. It is most assuredly an original t^rt, 
and its author was dther Vespncins or the Old 
Kidi. It was by starting from this text as prim> 
itirc that Yamhagen started correctly in his inter- 
pretation of the statemente in the letter, and it 
was for that reason that he was able to dispose of 
so many difBenlties at one blow. When he ahowed 
that the 1 an H fall of Vespncins on his first Toyi^ 
was near Cape Honduras and had nothing what- 
ever to do with the Pearl Coast, he h^^ to fcJlow 
the right trail, and so the facts which had puzzled 
everybody began at once to fait into the right 
places. This is all made clear in the seventh 
chapter of the present work, where the general 
irgmnent of Vamhagen is in many points strongly 
reinforced. The evidence here set forth in con- 
nection with the Cantino map is especially signif- 

It is interesting on many accounts to see the 
first voyage of Yespuciua tfaus elucidated, though 
it had no connection with the application of his 
name by Waldseemiiller to an entirely different 
region from any that was visited upon tliat vaya^. 


Hie real ugnificaiice of tlie third voyaga of Ve» 
puciuB, in connection with the naming oi America, 
is now Bet forth, I believe, for the first time in the 
light thrown upon the subject by the opinitms of 
Ptolemy and Mela. Neither Hvunboldt nor Major 
nor Harriase nor Vamhagen seems to have had a 
firm grasp of what was in Waldseemitller's mind 
when be wrote the passage photographed below in 
vol ii. p. 136 of this work. It is only when wa 
keep the Qreek luid Roman theories in the fore- 
ground and nuflinchingly bar out that intrusive 
modern atlas, that we realize what the Freibui^ 
geographer meant and why Ferdinand Columbua 
was not in the least shocked or smrprised. 

I have at various times given lectures op tb? 
discovery of America and questions connected 
therewith, more especially at University College, 
London, in 1879, at the Philosophical Institution 
in Edinburgh, in 1880, at the Lowell InstitutA 
in Boston, in 1890, and in the course of my work 
as professor in the W^^^uiigl^ii University at St. 
Louis ; but the present work is in no sense what- 
ever a reproduction of such lectures. 

Acknowledgments aw due to Mr. Wiusop for 
his cordial permission to make use of a number of 
reproductions of old maps and facsimiles already 
used by him in the " Narrative and Critical His- 
tory of America ; " they are mention^ in the lists 


PMXFACX. xvii 

of illustntioiu. I have also to thank Dr. Biinbm 
£ox aUowing me to reiffoduoe a page of old Mezioan 
marao^ and the Hakln^ Society for penousioQ to 
ose tlie Z^K) and Catalan maps aod the view of 
Eakoitt^ chorelL Dr. Fewkea has vexj kindly 
favoured me with a sight c^ proof-sheets of some 
recent monographs by Bandolier. And for oour^ 
teens assistance at various libraries I have meet 
particularly to thank Mr. Kieman of Harrard 
University, Mr. Appleton Qriffin of the Boston 
Fublio Library, and Mr. Uhler of the Feabody 
Institute in Baltimore. 

There is one thing which I feel obliged, thongh 
with extreme hesitatioD and reluctance, to say to 
my readers in this place, because the time has 
come when something ought to be s^, and there 
seems to be no other place available for saying it. 
For many years letters — often in a high degree 
interesting and pleasant to receive — have been 
coming to me from persons with whom I am not 
acquainted, and I have always done my best to 
answer them. It is a long time since such letters 
came to form the hu^er part of a voluminous mass 
of correspondence. The physical fact has assumed 
dimensions with which it is no hmger possible to 
eope. If I were to answer all the letters which 
arrive by every mail, I should never be able to do 
another day's work. It is becoming impossible 


even to read tliem all ; and there is scarce^ time 
for giving due attention to one in ten. Kind 
friends and readers will thns understand that if 
their queries seem to he neglected, it is by no 
means from any wajit of good wUl, but simply from 
the lamentable fact that the day contains only 
fouF-and-twenty hours. 

CuiBBiDoB, Octobtr 25, 188L 





The Amencan iborigiaM ...>.. 1 
Quealdon as to their a/rigai , , . . . 8, 3 

Antiqnitj of man in Amerioa 4 

Shell-moiinds, or middeiu , . . . , . 4, 5 

The GUoial Period 6, 7 

DUooreries in the Trenton grsTel .... 8 
PiMoreries in Ohio, Indiana, and Uiniwsota . . 9 
Mr. Crewon's disooveiy at Claymout, DeUwara . . 10 

The Calaveraa skull 11 

Fleistooene men and mannnalil . • • • 12, 13 

EleTation and snbsidenoe 13, 11 

Waves of migration 15 

The Cave men of Europe in the Glacial Period . . 16 
The Estdmos ate probably a remnant of the CaTe men 17-19 
There waa probably uo connectioa or iotereoane by 

mter between ancient America and the Old World . 20 
There ia <me great Amerioon red race .... 21 
Different senaes in which the word " race " is used 21-23 
TSo neoeaiaij connectioD between diffarencCB in onltnre 

and differences in race 23 

Mr. Lewis Morgan's claaaifioation of grades of col- 
tare 24r.32 

Distinction between Sar^^rjr and Barbarism . . 2S 
Origin of pottery ....... 26 

Lower, middle, and upper stains of saTagerj . . 26 
Lower status of barbarism ; it ended differently in the 
two hemispheres ; in ancient America there was uo 
pastoral stage of develt^ment 27 



Importance of Indian com 28 

Tillage with irrigation 29 

Use of adobe-briok and stone in bnilding * . .29 

Middle Btatna of barbariam 29, 30 

Stone and oopper toolfi 30 

Working of metals ; smeltii^ of iron .... 30 

Upper status of baibarism 31 

The alphabet and the beginnings of oivilizatiou . . 32 
So-called " civilizations " of Mexico and Peru . 33, 34 

Loose use of the wi^ds " a&Tagerj " and " oiTilizatioa " 35 
Value aod importance of the term " barbarism " . 35, 36 

Hm status of barbarism is most oompletelj ezempUfled 

in andeut America S6, S7 

SaiTiTal of bjgone epoohs of ouhnn ; work of tk* 

BoTeaa of Ethnolt^j 37, 38 

Tribal sooietj and mnltipliwtj of langnoges in aborigi- 
nal America 38, 88 

Tribes in the upper status of Mragerj ; Atkabaskans, 

Apaches, Sbotbonee, etc 39 

Tribes in the lower status ol barbarism ; the Dakota 

gronp or family 40 

Tho Minnitarees and WnnJmm .... * 41 
The Pawnee and Ariekaree group .... 42 

The Uask<^ group 42 

Hie Algonquin group . 43 

The Horon-IioqnoiH group 44 

Hie Hre Nations 45-47 

IKstinction between horticnlton and field ^rionlture . 48 
Perpetual intertribal waifare, with tortam and auini- 

balism 4»-61 

Myths and folk-lore 51 

Ancient law . 58, 63 

The patriarchal family not primitive .... 63 

"Mother-right" 54 

Primitive mairiage ....... 66 

The Bjstem of reckoning kinship throogh females only 56 

Original reason for the system 67 

The primeval human horde £8, 59 

Enrliest family-group ; ths olau 60 

oExogamy" 60 



Phntry Uid trfba 61 

Effect of jMatond life npon propeity and npon tiw 

family 61-83 

T^B eioganUma elan in ancient America ... 61 
Intimate comieotion Df aborigine arohitectiiTe with 

BociAl life 6S 

The long hftiuea of tbe Iioqnoia . . . . 66, 6T 

Summarj dirortfe 68 

Hospitality 68 

Stnioture of the olan 69, 70 

Oii^ and struetaire of the phnti; . . , T0| 71 
Structure of the tribe ....... 78 

Croso-relationshipB between dans and tribes ; the bo- 

qnois ConfedcMCy 72-74 

StFueture of the confederacy . . ■ . 7S, 76 

The " Long Hoom "..;.... 76 
SjUunetrioAl dsTelopment <yf institntions in ancient 

America 77,78 

Circular houses of tbe Mandans .... 79-8t 
llie Indians of the pneblos, in Uie middle status of 

barhftrigm 82,83 

Horiicultate with irrigation, and arcbitBotnre with 

adobe 83,84 

t'ossible origin of adobe arahiteetoM • . . 8^ 85 

T&i. Cuihing's Hojoum at Znfil 86 

Typical structure of the pueblo .... 88-88 

Pueblo society 89 

Wonderful andent pneblos in the Chaeo valley . 00-92 

The Moqni pueblos 93 

The clift-dwellings 93 

FueUo of Zn8i 9% M 

Pueblo of TlascaU 94-96 

The ancient city of Mezieo was a great eompoeite 

pueblo 97 

The Spanish discorerers could not be expected to nn- 

dentand the state of society which they found 

there 97,ffi 

Contrast between feudalism and gentillsm ... 98 
Change from gentile society to political aocie^ in 

Grbeoe and Rome 99, 100 



Knt snspioioiiB aa to the erroneonaneBa of th« Spamih 

ftoeounta 101 

DetMtioii and explanstioi) of the erroM, by Lewis 

Moigw 102 

Adolf Bandeliet'B reseandies 103 

The Azteo Confedeiaej 101, 105 

Axtoo oIbiu 106 

ClauofBeeifl 107 

lUghta and dutiei of the oUn lOB 

Azteo phratries 108 

The Uatocart, or tribal oouudl 100 

The dhuaMall, ot " Buake'-womau " . . , . 110 

TheliocofMuAflt, ot"ehief-of-tiieu" .... Ill 

Evolulioii (rf kiugBhip in Greeee and Borne . . ■ 112 
Medieval kingship 

Mode of sncoemion to the ofBoe .... 114,115 

UanneT of colleotiog tribute 116 

Uexiean roads 117 

Aztec and Iroquois confederacies contrasted . . 118 
Aztec priesthood ; bnman sacrifices . 119, 120 

Aztec slaves 121, 122 

The Aztec famil; 122, 123 

Aitso property 124 

Mr. Morgan's rules of criticisin 12S 

He BometinieB disregarded his own rules . . . 126 
Amnsing illustrations from his remarics on " Mont^ 

zoma's Dinner" 126-128 

^nie reaotioa against aucritdcal and exaggerated state- 

menta was often carried too far bj Mr. Morgan 128, 129 
Great importanoe of the middle period of barbarism . 130 
The Mexioons compared with the Mayas . . 131-133 

Maya hicn^lypMc writing 132 

Knined cities of Central America . . 134r-138 

They SM probably not older than the twelfth century 136 
Recent discovery of the Chnmiole of Cfaicxnlab . 133 

Maya coltore very closely related to Mexican . . 139 

The"Moand-Bnilders'' 140-146 

The notion that they were like the Aztecs . . .142 
Or, perhaps, like the ZnOis 143 


CONTENTS. xxiii 

These notions are not well BnsUined .... 144 
3^ moDndn were probably built bj diiferent pBoplea 
b Uie lower Htatas of baibariam, hj Cherokees, 
Sbawnees, and other tribes .... 144, 145 
It is not likelj that there was s " race of Mound Build- 

Sooiet; in America at the time of the Diseoreiy had 
reached stages similar to stages reached b; east- 
em Mediterranean peoples fifty or silt; centuries 
earlier 146,147 



Stories of voyages to Amenoa before Colnmbns ; the 

Chinese US 

The Irish 149 

Blowing and drifting ; Consin, of Dieppe . . . ISO 

These stories are of small value 160 

Bnt ti>B case of the Northmen is quite difleient . ISl 

The Viking exodus from Norway . . . 151, 162 
Fom>diiig of a oi^ony in loeland, A. D. 874 . . 153 

Icelandic literature 154 

Disoovery of Greenland, A. D. 876 .. . 156, 156 
Eric the Bed, and his eolouy in Greenland, A. D. 

966 167-161 

Voyage of Bjami fieijulfsson 162 

Converaiou of the Northmen to Christianity . 163 

Leif Ericsson's voyage, a. a. 1000 ; Hellulond and 

Marklaud 164 

Leif 8 winter in Yinland 166, 166 

Voyages of Thorvald and Thomtein .... 167 
Thorflnn Korlsefni, and his nnsnoceaafnl attempt to 

found a colony in Vinland, a. p. 1007-10 . 167-169 

Freydis, and her evil deeds in Vinland, lOU-12 170, 171 

Voyage into Baffin's Bay, 1135 172 

Description of a Viking ship disoovered at 8andefl<mU 

in Norway 173-175 



'tit irtwt extent the climate of GreenUnd may hare 

cbanged within the last thonsand yean . . ITS, 177 
With the Northman oBoe in Greenlaod, the diacoTety 

of the American continent was inevitable 178 

Ear-marks of tmtb in tJie loelandie nanativea . 179, 180 

Northern limit of the vine 181 

Length of the winter day 182 

Indian com 182,183 

Winter weather in Vinland 184 

Yinland was probably sitnat«d aomewheie between 

Cape Breton and Point Judith 186 

Further eat-maiks of iiutb ; lavagea and barbarianB 
□f the lower BtatuB were unknown to medisval En- 

lopeiuifi 186,186 

The DBtives of Vinland as described in the Icelandic 

norratiTes 187-19$ 

Meaning of the epithet " Sknelings " . . . 188, 189 
PsTsonal ai^arance of the Skrslinga .... 189 
The Sknelings of Tinland were Indians, — Teiy Ukely 

Algonqnins 190 

llie "balista" or "demm'B head" . . . 191, 192 

lie story of the " uuiped " 193 

Character aS the loelandid records ; misleading aao- 

ciationa with the word " saga " . . . . 191 
The compariaon between Leif Ericsmm and Agamem- 
non, made by a committee lA the Massacbusetts His- 
torical Society, was peoalisrly unfortunate and in- 
appropriate 194,197 

He story of the IVojan War, in the shape in which we 

find it in Greeli poetry, is pare folk-lore . . . 19S 
The Saga at Erie the Red is not folk-lore . , . 196 
Mythical and historical sagas ..... 197 
The western or Hauks-bi^k Tarsion of Erie the Ked'i 

Saga 198 

The northern or Flateyar-b6k veraios . . ,199 

Presumption agunst sources not contemporary . . 200 
Hauk Erlendssou and his manuscripts 201 

The story is not likely to have been preserred to 

Hank's time by oral tradition only .... 202 
AUtuions to Vinland in otlier Icelandic dooiunentB 202-207 


coxTXiirTa. «t 

fiyrbfg'gja Sagk .... ... 203 

The abbot Nikaka, «io fi04 

Ari FnSdhi and Hia works 201 

Hia sigtiiflcuit allnsioD to VinUud .... 206 

DiSerenoei between Hwdo-bft kod natt^u-Mk Ter- 

sioTw 207 

kAttta of Bremen SOS 

ImpoitaDce of his tesdmoDj 200 

Hia misDoneeptiitu of the sitaatM» of VinlMul . . 210 

Sonuiiaiy of the aTgament 211-213 

Abenrd Bpecnlatioiifi of lealoiu uitiqD&riaiis 213-215 

The Dighton iMsur^tion wm made l^ Al|>DnqiilBa, and 

has nothing to do witk the KorUimeti . . 213, 214 
GoTsraor Amold'a atone windmill .... SIS 
^Iwre is no reaaon tor supposing tiwt the N<ntlHiiea 

foa&ded a eolonj In TinUnd 210 

No arebceologioal remiiins of tkem have been found 

Bontii of DaviB Btrait 21 T 

If the Nortiunen had foimded a moaemtid colony, the^ 

would have introduced dwBettio oattle into the ISatQi 

Americaa fauna 218 

And suoh animals ooold not hare TUiiBhed and left no 

toaoe of their existence 218, 220 

{'arther fortDbes of Uie Graenlaad oolong . . . 221 
Bishop Eric's vojage in search of Vinland, 1121 . . 222 

Hw skip from MarUand, 1347 223 

The Greenland colon; sMaoked \tj Eskimos, 1349 . 224 
Qoeen Margaret's monopol;, and ita baneful effects . 225 
Story of the Venetian brothera, NicoUi aod Antonio 

Zeno 226 

Nicolb Zeno wreaked upon one of the Fseroe islands . 227 
He enbu« the serviee of Henrf Sinclair, Earl of the 

Orkneja and Caithness 228 

Nieol6'B To;age to Greenland, inr. 1994 . . . 220 
Tojage of Earl Sinelair and Antonio Zeno . 22% 230 

Pnblioation of the remains of the documents b; the 

younger NiccJb Zeno, 16S8 231 

The Zeno map 282, 233 

Qoeer taaoafoniMtioM «f mhum .... 234^136 



Tb« nams Faroitltmder became Frislanda . 

Th» narrative nowhere mokeB a elaim to the " dis- 

<!OTerj' of America" 

Ih« " Zichmni " of the narrative means Heniy Sin< 

Bardsen'i " Description of Gteeolsnd " . . I 

The monaiterf of St. Olans and its hot spring . . ! 

Volcanoes of the north Atlantio ridge . . . , ! 

Fate of Gmmbjaro'B Skerries, 1456 .... I 
Voloanic phenomena in Greenland . , . 242, 1 

Estotiland ; 

Drogio 1 

LthaUtants of Drogio and the countries beyond . , 1 

The Elshemum's retnm to Frislanda ... . ! 
Was the acooont of Drogio woven into the narrative 

bj the yoonger Nioolb 7 ! 

Or does it represent aetoal experiences in North 

The case of David Ingram, 1568 . 

The case of Cabeza de Taca, li 

There may have been unrecorded instances of viwts to 

North America 

The pre-Columbian voy^es made no real contribntions 

to geographical knowledge 

And were in no trno sense a discovery of America 
Beal contact between the eastern and westeni bemi- 

apheie was first established by Colombna 



Why the voyages of the Northmen were not followed 

"P : 

Ignorance of their geographical significance . . I 

Lack of instrnments for ocean navigalion . . . : 
Condition of Enrope in the year 1000 . . . 26S, : 

It was not such as to favour colonial enterprise • . : 

The outlook of Bnrope was toward Asia . . . I 

Bontes of trade between Europe and Aka . . . : 



Clandnu Ftolemf and his knowUd^ of the emrth . S63 

£»rij mention of Chiiu 264 

Hw monk Cosmaa Indiooplenites , , , . 266 
Sh&pe of the earth, Booording^ to Cosnuu , . 266, 267 
His knowledge of Aaia 268 

Effects of the Saraoen conqneita 289 

ConBtantinople in the twelfth Mntniy .... 270 

The Crusades 270-274 

Bubannng^ ohaiacter of Tnrkiali QouqnMt . , . 271 

General effects of the Cnuades 273 

The Fontth Crusade 273 

BiTabjr between VeiuM and Geno* .... 274 
Centres and rontei of mediBral trade . . 275, 276 

Effects of the Mongol oonquest* 277 

Cathaj, origin of the name 277 

Carpini and Babrnqnia ..,,,, 27S 
first knowledge of an eastern oceckn beyond Cathaj , 278 
The data were thus prepared for Colnmbns ; bnt as 
yet nobodf reasoned from these data to a practioal 

. conolnsiou 279 

Jhe Polo brothers 280 

KnbUi Khan's message to the Fope .... 281 
Marco Folo and his traTeb in Asia . . . 281, 282 
Yxni recorded vojage of Enropeana aronnd the Indo- 
Chinese peninsnla 282 

Betani of the Polos to Venice 2S3 

Marco Polo's book, written in prison at Genoa, 1299 ; 
, its great contributioDS to geographical knowledge 284, 285 
PrcBterJohn 285 

The Catalan map, 1375 288, 289 

Other visits to China 287-291 

Overthrow of the Mongol dynasty, and shutting up of 

China 291 

Urst rumours of the Molucca islands and Japan . . 292 
The accustomed routes of Oriental trade were out off 

in the fifteenth oentnry bj tbe Ottoman Tnrks . 293 
Necessity for finding an " outside route to tbe Indies " 291 




QnMtiou as to whether Asia could be reftehed bj atH- 

iag arooDd Africa 295 

Views of Eratosthenes 2S9 

Opposing theory of Ftoleinj 297 

Story of the Phcenici&n voyage in the (inw of Nedw 293-3W 

Voyage of Homio SOd, 301 

Voyages of SataspeB and Endoxna .... SOS 

Wild eKoggeratiooB 303 

Views of PompoDina Mela 301, 306 

Anoient theory of the five lones .... 306,307 
The Inhabited World, ot (Eoiuneiie, wad the Anti- 
podes 308 

Cnrioiu uotiona aboat Taprobaoe (Ceylon) . . . 309 
QnestioD m to th« possibility of eroasiug the tomd 

son? 300 

Notions abont swling " np and down hill " . . 310, 311 

SiqiergtitJous fancies 311, Sli 

Chunainess of ships in the fifteenth century . . 313 

Dangen from famine aad scurvy .... 313 
The marioer's compass ; an interesting letter from Bm- 

netto lAtini to Guido Cavaleanti . . . 313-315 
Calontetiiig latitudes and longitudes .... 316 
Friuee Henry tba Navigator .... 316-326 
His idea of an ocean route to the IndiM,.«nd what it 

might bring 318 

The Sacred Promontory 319 

The Madeira and Canary islands • ■ ■ 320-322 

Gil Eannes passes Cssfe Bojndor 323 

Beginning of the modem slave-trade, 1442 . ' . . 323 
^^al grant of heathen countries to the Portngnese 

erown 32^326 

Advance to Siena Leone ^6 

Advance to the Hottentot coast .... 326, 327 
Kote upon the extent of European acquaintance with 



BAYKgerj and the lower fanns of baibuum preriuKUi 

to the fifteenth century 327-329 

Effect of the Portuguese diiaoreriea upon the theoriM 

of Ptolemy and MeU 329,330 

News of Freater John ; CoTlIham'* jonraey • • 331 
Bartholomeir Dias passes the Cape ot (jood Hop* and 

enters the Indisji ocean ...... 33S 

Some elleots of this discorery . . . • - 333 
Bartholomew ColiuuboB took part in it . . • 833 
Connection between these voyages and tb« work of 

Chiiatopher Colnmbus 334 




Sonrcea of information concerning the life of Coloio- 

bus ; Laa Casas and Ferdinand Columbus • ■ 335 
The BibIiote«a ColombinA at SeTille . . . 336,337 

fiemaldez and Feter Uartyr 33S 

Letters of CoIumbuB 33S 

Defects in Ferdinand's informatum . . . 339, 310 

Researches of Henij Harrisse 341 

Date of the birth of Columbus ; arcIuTM of Sftvona . 343 

Statement of Bflmald;ez 343 

Columbus's letter of September, 1501 . ... 344 
The balance of prolwUlity is in favour of 1438 . . 345 
n^ family of Domenico Colombo, and its changes of 

Columbus tells ns th^ be vm horn in the city of 

Bia early years 

Cbriatopher and his brother Bartholomew at Lisboa 351, 352 

Philippa Mofliz de Perostrelo 352 

Personal appearance of Columbus .... 353 
His marriage, and life upon the island of Porto 

Swito 353,354 

The king of Portngat asks advice of the great astrono- 
mer TofcanelU 356 


ixx CONTElfTS. 

Toscanelli's first letter to Colnmbos . 
His second letter to Columbus .... 361, 362 
Who first suggested the feasibleness of a westirard 
route to the Indies ? Was it Columbus ? . . 363 

FerhapB it was Toscanelli 363, 364 

Note on the date of Toscanelli's firat letter to Colum- 

Tha idea, being naturally suggested hj the globular 
form of the earth, was as old as Aristotle . 368, 369 

Opinions of ancient writers 370 

Opinions of Christian writers 371 

The " Imago Mondi " of Petrus Alliaous . 372, 373 

Ancient estimates of the size of the globe and the 
length of the (Ecnmene 374 

Toscanelli's calculation of the size of the earth, and of 
the poution of Japan (Cipango) . . 375,376 

Colnmbus's opinions of the size of the globe, the length 
of the (Ecnmene, and the width of the Atlantic 
ocean from Portugal to Japan . . . 377-380 

There was a fortunate mixture of truth and error in 
these opinions of Columbus 381 

The whole point and purport of Columbus's scheme 
laj in its promise of a route to the Indies shorter 
than that which the Portuguese were seeking hj 
waj of Guinea 381 

Colnmbus's specniations on climate ; his Tojages to 
Gninea and iiit« the Arctic ocean .... 3S2 

He may have reached Jan Majen island, and stopped 
at Iceland 333,384 

^e SoandinaTian hypothesis that Columbus "mnst 
have " heard and nnderetood the story of the Vin- 
land voyi^(es 384, 386 

It has not a particle of evidence in its fovonr . . 38S 

It is not probable that Columbus knew of Adam of 
Bremen's allusion t« Vinland, or that he would have 
nnderstood it if he had read it 386 

It is doabtful if he would have stumbled upon the 
story in Iceland 387 

If he had heard it, he would probably have classed it 
with such tales as that of St. Brandan's isle . .388 



He could not pos»blj have obtained from aoch a 
Boiiice hia opinion of tho width of the ocean . 388, 389 

If he liad known and understood the Viiiland storj, be 
had the strongest motives for proclaiming it and no 
motive whatever for concealing it . . 390-392 

No trace of a thought of Vinland appears in any of his 
voyages 383 

Why did not Norway or Iceland uttei a protest in 

The idea of Vinland was not associated with the idea 

of America until the seventeenth century . ■ 391 
Recapitulation of the genesis of Columbns's aoheme . 396 
Martin Behaim's improved astrolabe . . 395, 396 
Negotiations of Colambus with John II. of Portu- 
gal 396,397 

The king is persuaded into a shabby trick . . . 398 
Colnmbus loaves Portngal and enters into the service 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, 1486 . . . 398-100 

The junto at Salamanca, 1486 401 

Birth of Ferdinand Columbus, Augnat 15, 1488 . . «l 
Bartholomew Columbus returns from the Cape of Good 

Hope, December, 1487 402,403 

Christopher visits Bartholomew at Lbbon, cir. Sep- 
tember, 14S8, and sends him to England . . 401 
Bartholomew, after mishaps, reaches England cir. Feb- 
ruary, 1490, and goes thence to France before 

1492 40&-407 

The duke of Medina-Celi proposes to furnish the ships 
for Columbua, bnt the queen withholds her coa- 

sent . . 408,409 

Columbus makes up his mind to get his family to- 
gether and go to France, October, 1491 . 409, 410 
A change of fortune ; he stops at La lUbida, and meets 

the prior Juan Perez, who writes to the qaeen . 411 

Columbus is sammoned back to court .... 411 
Hie junto before Granada, December, 1491 . 412,413 

Surrender of Granada, January 2, 1492 . . .414 
Columbus negotiates with the queen, who considers his 

terms exorbitant 414r416 

Imtetpoution of Luis da Santaugel . • • . 416 


xxxii CONTEXTS. 

Agreement between Colnmbm and the sorereignf . 417 

Coat of tiie TojBge 418 

Dismay at KOos 419 

The three Eunoag cacaTela 4S0 

Delay at the Canary islands 421 

Uartin Behaim and his globe .... 422,423 
ColumbDH starts foi Japan, September 6, 1492 . . 424 
Terrors of the voyage : — 1. Defleotion of the needle . 425 

2. The Sargasso sea 426, ^7 

3. Tbe trade wind 428 

Impatienoe of the crews 428 

Change of oonrse from W.toW.S.Vf . 429, 430 

DiscoTBiy of land, October 12, 1492 .... 431 
Guanahani : which of the Bahama islands was it ? . 432 
Groping for Cipango and the route to Quinsaj . 433, 431 
Columbns reaches Cuba, and sends euToys to find a 

certain Asiatic prince ..... 434,438 

He tarns eastward and ^inzon deserts him . . . 435 

Columbns arriTes at Hayti and thinks it miut be Japan 436 
Bis flagship is wrecked, and he decides to go bach to 

Spain 437 

Building of the blookhonse. La Navidad . . 438 

Terrible storm in mid-ocean on the letom voyage . 439 

Cold reception at the Azores 440 

Columbus is driiven ashore in Ptntngal, where the king 

is advised to have him assassinated .... 440 

Bnt to offend Spain so grossly would be imprudent 441 
Arrival of ColnmbuB and Pinzon at Palos ; death of 

Pinzon 442 

Colambns is received by the sovereigns at Barce- 
lona 443,444 

General excttemeot at the news that a way to the 

Indies had been fonnd 44S 

This voyage was an event withoat any parallel in his- 
tory 446 




Xhe Disooverj of Amerioa wai a gradnal process 447, 448 
The letters of Colnmbas to Santaagel and to Sancbei . 449 
VeniflcatioD of the story bj Ginliaao Dftti . . 460 

Earliest referenoes to the discovery .... 461 
The earliest leferenee in English .... 462 
The Portuguese claim to the Indies .... 453 

Bulls of Pope Atezandei VI 464-468 

The treaty of Totderillas 469 

Juan Kodriguei Fonseca, and his relationa with CoIiuih 

bus 460-462 

Friar Boyle ' . . .462 

Notable persons who embarked on the second voyage . 463 

Departure from Cadiz 464 

Cmise among the Cannibal (Caribbee) islands . 466 

Fate of the eolony at La Navidad .... 466 

Building the town of Isabella 467 

Exploration of Cibao 467, 468 

Westward cruise ; Cape Alpha and Omega . 468-470 

Discovery of Jamaica 471 

Coasting the sonth side of Cnba 4'^ 

The " people of Mangou " 473 

Speculations couceming the Golden Chersonese . 474-476 

A solemn expression of opiuioo 477 

Yidssitndes of theory 477,478 

Arrival of Bartholomew Columbus in Hispaniola 478, 479 
Mutiny in Hispaniola ; desertion of Boyle and Marga- 

rito 479,480 

The government of Columbus was not tyranmoal ■ 481 

Troubles with the Indians 481, 482 

Mission of Juan Aguado 482 

Discovery of gold mines, and speculations about Ophit 483 

Founding of Sao Domingo, 1496 484 

The return voyage to Spain 465 

Edicts of 1496 and 1497 486, 487 

VeiatJous otaiduct of Fonseca ; Columbus loses his 

, temper 487 


miv COyTENTS. 

Deputnre from San Lncar on the third Tojage . . 488 

The belt of calms 489-491 

Trinidad and the Orinoco 491, 492 

SpeculatioDE as to the earth's shape ; the monntain of 

Paradise 494 

Eelation of the " Eden continent" to " Cochin China" 495 

BiacoTeiy of the Pearl Coast 495 

Columbns arrives at San Domingo .... 496 
Boldan's rebellion and Fonseca'a machinations 496, 497 

Gama's voyage to Hindoatan, 1497 .... 408 
Fonseca's creature, Bobadilla, sent to investigate the 

tionbles in Hiapaniola 499 

He imprisons Columbus 500 

And sends him in chains to Spain .... 601 

Release of Columbus ; his interview with the S0Tet^- 
eigna ......... 602 

^ow far were the sovereigns responsible for Bobadilla ? 503 
Orando, another creature of Fonseca, appointed gov* 

emor of Hispaniola 503, 504 

Purpose of Cotumbos's fourth voyage, to find a pas- 
sage from the Caiibbee waters into the Indian 

ocean 504,506 

The voyage across the Atlantic 606 

Columbus not allowed to stop at San Domingo . . 507 

His arrival at Cape Hondnras 508 

Cape Gracias a Dios, and tlie coast of Veragua . . 609 
Fruitless search for the strait of Malacca • • . 610 
Fntile attempt to make a settlement in Veragua . 611 

Columbus is shipwrecked ou the coast of Jamaica ; 
shameful conduct of Ovando ..... 612 

Columhns's last return to Spun 513 

His death at YaUadolid, May 20, 1506 . . .513 
" Nuevo Mundo ; " arms of Ferdinand Columbns 514, 615 
When Columbus died, the fact that a New Worid had 
been discovered by him had not yet begun to dawn 
upon his mind, or upon the mind of any voyager or 
any writer 516, 516 

by Google 


Portrait of tbe author . . . FronUtpitee 

View uid gFonod-pIan of Seneea-Iroqaois long honee 

rtdueedjnm Morgan'* Houtet and Hoaae-Life of the 

Ameriean Aboriffines 66 

View, cross-Beotion.aud groimd-plan of Maodttn ronnd 

haose, diUo 80 

Groand-plan of Pueblo Hnngo Pavie, ditto ... 86 
ReBtoratioD of Paeblo Himgo Pavie, ditto ... 88 
BeBtoration of Pueblo Bonito, ditto .... 90 
Ground-plan of Pneblo PeBasca Blanca, ditto . , 92 
Giaund-plan of stMtalled " Honee of tiie Nmu " at 

Uzmal, ijifto 133 

Map of the East Bjgd, or eastern wttlement of the 

Nortlimen in Greenland, rtdwxd from Rafn't ATtti~ 

qtiitata Amerii^ntt 160, 161 

Buina of the church at Kakortok,,^vnn Major't Voyage* 

of the Zeni, pvbliihed by the Hakluyt Sodelg . . 222 

Zeno Map, cir. 1400, <fiUo 2^233 

Map of the World acoording to dandina Ptolemy, cii. 

A. D. ISO, on abridged sketch after a map in Bun* 

bmy't Hittory of Anaent Geography Facing 266 

Two sheets of the Catalan Map, 1375, from Yule'* 

Cathay, published by the Haldvyt Society . ■ 288,289 
Map of the World acoording to Pomponius Mela, cir. 

A. D. 50, Jrom Wiruor'* Narratiix and Crideai Hit- 

lory of America .301 

Map illuatTBting Portagoeie voyages on the coast of 

Africa, /rom a sketch by the author .... 321 
Toscauelli's Hap, 1474, redrawn and improved from a 

Ikelch in Wiiuor"! America , . . Facing 367 



i by Columbus, rediictd from a phctognqA 
in Harrisie's Notes on Columbu* .... 873 

Sketch ot Martin Behtum'a Globa, 1492, preserved in 
tiw city hall at Nuremberg, reduced to Meroator't 
prcgection and nketehed by the author . , 422, ^3 

Sketch of Martin Beh&im's Atlantic Ocean, with oat- 
line of the American continent snperimpOBed,yroni 
Wimor'i America 429 

Map of the discoverieB made by Colnmbua in his first 
and second voyages, ik^hed bg the author . 439 

Map of the diaooTcries made by Columbus in hia third 
and fonrth Toyages, ditto til3 

Anna of Ferdinand Columbus, from the title-page of 
Sarriaee't Femand Ct^omb 616 





When the civilized people of Europe firat be- 
came acquainted with the continents of North and 
South America, they foimd them inhabited by a 
race of men quite unlike any of the races with 
which they were familiar in the Old "World. Be- 
tween the various tribes of this aboriginal Ameri- 
uan race, except in the Bub-aretic region, ^^ AjmriaiB 
there is now seen to be a general phys- ■*«'W»«- 
ical likeness, such aa to constitute an American 
type of mankind as clearly recognizable as those 
types which we call Mongolian and Malay, though 
far less pronounced than such types as the Aus- 
tralian or the negro. The moat obvious charao- 
teristics possessed in common by the American 
aborigines are ^he copper-coloured ot rather the 
oimiamon-colonred complexion, along with the high 
cheek-bones and small deepset eyes, the straight 
hiack hair and absence or scantiness of beard. 
With regard to stature, length of limbs, massive- 
ness of frame, and shape of skull, considerable 



dirergencieB may be noticed among the ^ 
Aiaerican tribes, as indeed is also the case among 
the members of the white i-a«e in Europe, and of 
other races. With regard to culture the difEer- 
ences have been considerable, although, with two 
or three apparent but not real exceptions, there 
was nothing in pre-Columbian America that could 
properly be called civilization ; the general condi- 
tion of the people ranged all the way from sav- 
agery to barbarism of a high type. 

Soon after America was proved not to be part 
of A^ia, a puzzling question arose. Whence came 
these " Indians," and in what manner did they find 
their way to the west«m hemisphere. Since the 
beginning of the present century discoveries in 
geology have entirely altered our mental attitude 
toward this question. It was formerly argued 
upon the two assumptions that the geographical 
relations of land and water had been always pretty 
much the same as we now find them, and that all 
the racial differences among men have arisen since 
the date of the "Noachian Deluge," which was 
QoeoioiiHia generally placed somewhere between 
ihrir origin, j^^ j^^ three thousand years before 
the Christian era. Hence inasmuch as Ern-o- 
pean tradition knows nothing of any such race as 
the Indians, it was supposed that at some time 
within the historic period they must have moved 
eastward from Asia into America ; and thus 
** there was felt to be a sort of speculative neces- 
sity for discoverir^ points of resemblance between 
American langn^;es, myths, and social observances 
and those of the Oriental world. Now the abori- 



^es of this Continent were made out to be Kam- 
tch&tkans, and now Chinamen, and again they were 
shown, with quaint erudition, to be remnants of 
the ten tribes of Israel. Perhaps none of these 
theories have been exactly disproved, but they 
have all been superseded and laid on the shelf." ' 

1 S«a my Excaraiont of ait Evolutionist, p. 1 4g. A grood ano- 
anet account of these Toriana dteariea, manameuta of wasted in- 
gemiitr, ia givsD in Short's North Americans of Antijaity, chap, 
iii. The most elaborate statement of tlie theory of an laraelita 
oolonization of America is to be fonnd in the ponderoos tomes of 
IiOid Eingaborongb, Uezican Antiquities, London, 1831-48, 9 tdIb. 
elephant-folio. Such a theory vu entertained by the anther of 
that aaiions [ueos of literaryimpoBtore, The Booi of Mormon. In 
this book we are told that, when the tongues were oonfounded 
at Babel, the Lord selected a certain Jared, with his family and 
friends, and inatraot«d them to bnild Mght ships, in which, after 
a voyage of 344 days, they were bninght to America, where they 
"did build many mighty cities," and "prosper exceedingly." 
Bnt after some centuries they perished because of tlieiT iniquities. 
In the reign of Zedekiah, when calamity was impending orer 
Judah, two brotheis, Nepbi and Lamsn, nuder diTiiie guidance 
led a colony to America. There, says the Teracioos chronicler, 
thdr descendants became great natdons, and worked in iron, and 
had staffs of tilk, besides keeping plenty of oxen and theep. 
(EUier, a. IS, 19; i. 23, 34.) Christ appeared and wrongbt 
many wonderful works ; people spake with tongues, and the 
dead were raised, iji N^hi, uri. 14, IS.) But about ilie oloM 
«f the fourth century of onr era^ a terrible war between Laman- 
itea and Nephites ended in the destmction of the latter. Soma 
two million wturiois, with their wives and children, having been 
■langhtered, the prophet Mormon escaped, with his son Moroni, 
to the " hill Cmuorah," hard by the " waters of Rjpliancam," or 
Lake Ontario. (EiAer, kv. 2, 8, 11.) There they hid the sacred 
tablets, which remained ooneealed antil they were miraculously 
discovered and translated by Joseph Smith in 1827. There is, of 
eonne, no element of tradition in this story. It is all pure fiction, 
and <^ a very clumsy sort, such as might easily be devised by an 
ignorant man accnstomed to the lango^e of the Bible ; and of. 
eouise it was snggssted by the old notion of the Israelitish origin 
of the red men. The references are to TlAe Book of Monaon, Salt 
Lake City; Daseret News Co. , 1S85. 



The tendeBcy of modem diBcovety is indeed to- 
ward agreement with the time-honoured tradition 
which makes the Old World, and perhaps Aeia, 
the earliest dwelling-plaoe of mankind. Competi- 
tion has been far more active in the fauna of the 
eastern hemisphere than in that of the western, 
natural selection has accordingly resulted in the 
evolution of higher forms, and it is there that we 
find both extinct and gorviving species of man's 
nearest collateral relatives, those tailless half- 
human apes, the gorilla, chimpajizee, orang, and 
gibbon. It is altogether probable that the people 
whom the Spaniards found in America came by 
migration from the Old World. But it is by no 
means probable that their migration occurred 
within BO short a period as five or six thousand 
AnUqui^ot years. A series of observations and 
Amtrio. discoveries kept up for the last half- 
century beem to show that North America has been 
(Mmtinuously inhabited by human beings since the 
earliest Pleistocene times, if not earlier. 

The first group of these observations and dis- 
coveries relate to " middens " or shell-heaps. On 
the banks of the Damariscotta river in Maine are 
some of the most remarfiable eheli-heaps in the 
world. With an average thickness of six or seven 
feet, they rise in places to a height of twenty-five 
feet. They con^st almost entirely of 
huge oyster-shells often ten inches in 
length and sometimes much longer. The shells 
belong to a salt-water species. In some places 
" there is an appearance of stratification covered 
by an alternation of shells and earth, as if the 



deposition of shells had been from time to time in- 
terrupted, and a vegetable mould had covered the 
surface." In these heaps have been found frag- 
ments of pottery and of the bones of such edible 
animals as the moose and deer, " At the very 
fomidation of one of the highest heaps," in a sit- 
uation which must for long ages have been undis- 
turbed, &tr. Edward Morse " found the remains of 
an ancient fire-place, where he exhumed charcoal, 
bones, and pottery." ' The significant circum- 
stance is that "at the present time oysters are 
only found in very small numbers, too small to 
make it an object to gather them," and so far as 
memory and tradition can reach, such seems to 
have been the case. The great size of the heap, 
coupled with the notable change in the distribution 
of this mollusk since the heap was abandoned, im- 
plies a very considerable lapse of time since the 
vestiges of human occupation were first left here. 
Similar conclusions have been drawn from the 
banks or mounds of shdls on the St. John's river 
in Florida,^ on the Alabama river, at Grand I^e 
on the lower Mississippi, and at San Pablo in the 
bay of San Francisco. Thus at various points 
from Mune to California, and in connection with 
one particular kind of memorial, we find records 
of the presence of man at a period undoubtedly 
prehistoric, but not necessarily many thousands of 
years old. 

^ Second Anrtual Btpart of tht Peabods Mtaeum ijf American 
Ardtaology, eto., p. 18. 

* Visited in 1866-74 bj Prof eflsot Jeffries Wjman, and deMribed 
in hu Frak-WiatT 8hdl limnda of the Bt. Jolm'$ Siva-, Cam. 
bridge, 1875. 



The second group of discoveries carries us back 
much farther, even into the earlier stages of that 
widespread glaciation which was the most remark- 
able feature of the Pleistocene period. At the 
periods of greatest cold " the continent of l^orth 
nisoiuiii America was deeply swathed in ice as 
Period. f3j. gQytjj ag tijg latitude of Philadel- 

phia, while glaciers descended into Korth Caro- 
lina." ' The valleys of the Kocky Mountains also 
supported enormous glaciers, and a similar state of 
things existed at the same time in Europe. These 
periods of intense cold were alternated with long 
interglacial periods during which the climate was 
warmer than it is to-day. Concerning the anti- 
quity of the Pleistocene age, which was character^ 
ized by such extraordinary vicissitudes of heat and 
cold, there has been, as in all questions relating to 
geological time, much conflict of opinion. Twenty 
years ago geologists often argued as if there were 
an unlimited fund of past time upon which t^ 
draw ; but since Sir William Thomson and otber 
physicists emphasized the point that in an anti- 
quity veiy far from infinite this earth must have 
been s molten mass, there has been a reaction. 
In many instances further study has shown that 
less time was needed in order to effect a given 
change than had formerly been supposed ; and so 
there has grown up a tendency to shorten the time 
assigned to geological periods. Here, as in so 
many other cases, the truth is doubtless to be 
sought within the extremes. If we adopt the 
magnificent argument of Dr. Croll, which seems 
• Excmtiom o/an^volatior.'it.p. S9. 



to me Btill to liold its ground against all adrerse 
criticism,^ and regard the Glacial epoch as coin- 
cident with the last period of high eccentricity of 
the earth's orbit, we obtain a result that is moder- 
ate and probable. That astronomical period be- 
gan about 240,000 years ^o and came to an end 
about 80,000 years ago. During this period the 
eccentricity was seldom less than .04, and at one 
time roBO to .0569. At the present time the eccen- 
tricity is ,0168, and nearly 800,000 years will pass 
before it attains such a point as it reached during 
the Glacial epoch. For the last 50,000 years the 
departure of the earth's orbit from a circular fonn 
has been exceptionally small. 

Now the traces of the existence of men in North 
America during the Glacial epoch have in recent 
years been discovered in abundance, as for ex^u- 
ple, the palaeolithic quartzite implements found 
in the drift near the city of St. Paul, wliich date 
from toward the close of the Glacial epoch ; ^ the 
fragment of a human jaw found in the red clay 
deposited in Minnesota during an earlier part of 

1 Croll, Climata and Time in their Geological Selaiiona, TStrn 
York, 1875; Ditaasiora m Climate and Cosmology, New Torfc, 
1S86 ; AicMbald Geikie, Text Book of Geology, pp. 23-2B, 883- 
909, London, 1882 { Junes Oeilde, The Great Ice Age, pp. 04-138, 
New Tork, 1874 ; Prehistoric Earcpe, pp. 558-562, London, 1881 ; 
WallMe, Iiland Life, pp. 101-226, New York, 1881. Some objec- 
tions to Croll'a thaorjraaj be foaitd in Wright's Ice Age in North 
America, pp. 405-605, 585^6, New York, ISSfl. I have pven 
a, brief aoooont of the tJieor^ In m; Excuriiotu of an Ev(^utioniil, 
pp. 57-76. 

' See Miss F. E. Babbitt, " Tesdges of Olaeinl Man in Minne- 
■Dto," in Froceedingt of &» Amencaa Atiociation, toL xxxlL, 



that epoch;' the noble collection of palieoliihs 
found by Dr. C. C. Abbott in the Trenton gravels 
in New Jersey ; and the more recent discoveries 
of Dr. Metz and Mr. H. T. Cresson. 

The year 1873 marks an era in American archie- 
ology as memorable as the year 1841 in the in- 
vestigation of the antiquity of man in Europe. 
With reference to these problems Dr. Abbott 
occupies a position similar to that of Boucher de 
Perthes in the Old World, and the Trenton valley 
is coming to be classic ground, like the valley of 
the Somme. In April, 1873, Dr. Abbott published 
his description of three rude implements which he 
had found some sixteen feet below the surface of 
the ground " in the gravels of a blufE overlooking 

the Delaware river." The implements ■ 
tbs Tnucon wcro in placc in an undisturbed deposit, 
and could not have found their way 
thither in any recent time ; Dr. Abbott assigned 
them to the age of the Glacial drift. This was 
the beginning of a long series of investigations, 
in which Dr. Abbott's work was assisted and sup- 
plemented by Messrs. Whitney, Carr, Putnam, 
Shaler, Lewis, Wright, Haynes, Dawkins, and 
other eminent geologists and archEeoIogists. By 
1888 Dr. Abbott had obtained not less than 60 
implements from various recorded depths in the 
gravel, while many others were found at depths 
not recorded or in the talus bf the banks.^ Three 
human skulls and other bones, along with the tush 

1 Sea N. H. Winchell, Anmal Beport oftht State GtohgUt qf 
Minneima, 187T, p. 60. 
■ Wright's Jci Ag* in North Amtrica, p. SIS. 



of a mastodoo, liare been discovered in the same 
gravel. Careful studies have been made of the 
conditions nnder which the gravel-banks were de- 
posited and their probable age ; and it is generally 
agreed that they date from the later portion of 
the Glacial period, or about the time of the final 
recession of the ice-sheet from this r^on. At 
tlut time, in its climate and general aspect, New 
York harbour must have been much like a Green- 
land fiord of the present day. In 1883 Professor 
Wright of Oberlin, after a careful study of the 
Trenton deposits and their relations to the terrace 
and gravel deposits to the westward, predicted 
that similar palaeolithic implements would be 
found in Ohio. Two years afterward, the predic- 
tion was verified by Dr. Metz, who found a true 
palsedith of hhuX fiint at Madisonville, in the 
Little Miami valley, eight feet below the surface. 
Since then further discoveries have been made in 
the same neighbourhood by Dr. Metz, and in Jack- 
son county, Indiana, by Mr. H. T. Ores- jy„„„,„^^ 
son ; and the existence of man in that ^"j^^^ 
part of America toward the close of the """^ 
Glacial period may be regarded as definitely es- 
tablished. The discoveries of Miss Babbitt and 
Professor Winchell, in Minnesota, carry the con- 
clusion still farther, and add to the probability erf 
the existence of a human population all the way 
from the Atlantic coast to the upper Mississippi 
valley at that remote antiquity. 

A still more remarkable discovery was made by 
Mr. Cresson in July, 1887, at Claymont, in the 
north of Delaware. In a deep cut of the Balti* 



more and Oluo Biulroad, in a stratum of Philar 
ud In Deio- dclpliia red gravel and brick clay, Mr. 
'"^ Creeson obt^ed an unquestionable pa- 

Ifeolith, and a few months afterward Hs diligent 
search was rewarded with another.^ This forma- 
tion dates from far back in the Glacial period. 
If we accept Dr. Croll's method of reckoning, we 
can hardly assign to it an antiquity less than 
160,000 years. 

1 The oliipp«d implementB discoreied b j Hems. Abbott, Metx, 
and Crenou, and by Uiss Babbitt, ai« all on eihibitiDii at the 
Peabod; Museum in Camliridge, vhither it is DsaeBsarr to g^o if 
me vonld get a ooinprebenBive view of the reliiia of interg-laoial 
maD in North America. The collectioD of implemeiits made b? 
Dr. Abbott inclodes mnob more than the palnoliths alreadj re- 
ferred to. It 18 one of lie moat important ooUeotions in tJBe 
vorld, and is vorth a long jonmey to aes. Containing mors than 
20,000 implement, all foimd vi^iu a very limited area in Neir 
Jersey, "as now arranged, the colleotion eihibitH at one and the 
some time the seqnenoe of peoples and phases of development in 
the valley of the Delaware, from palnolithio man, thnnigk the 
iotermediate period, to the recent Indians, and the rdative 
nnmerical proportion of the many fcmns of thur implements, 
each in its time. ... It is doubtfnl vbether any similar oolleo- 
tion exists from which a student can gather bo much inf ormatian 
at sight as in tiaa, where the natnrai pebbles from the gravel be- 
gin the series, and the beantif nlly chipped points of cbert, jasper, 
and qnartz terminate it in one direction, and the polished oelts 
and grooved stone axes in the other." There ere three principal 
giDnps, — first, the interglaina] pabeolitha, secondly, the acgillite 
points and flakes, and thirdly, tbe arrow-heads, knives, mortan 
and peatles, axes and hoes, ornamental stimes, etc, of Indians of 
die recent period. Dr. Abbott's Primilive Induilry, published in 
1881, is a nsefnl mannal for stadyiug this oollection ; and an ac- 
oonnt of his diaooveriea in the glacial gravels is given in Beporti 
oftAg Feabods Maimm, vol. ii. pp. .10-48, 225-2.58 ; see also vol. 
iii. p. 4S2. A succinct and jndicIoDS accoant of the whole subject 
is given by H. W. Baynea, "The Piebistorio Arcbwoli^y of 
Nordi Amerioa," in Wiusor'a Narratiet and Crilicai Histarji, 
yoL L pp. 829-368. 



But according to Profesaor Joaiah Wliitney 
there b reason for supposing that man esisted in 
Calif oraia at a still more remote period. .^^^ o^mu 
He holds that the famous skull dis- **^ 
covered in 1866, in the gold-bearing gravels <^ 
Calaveras oounty, beloi^ to the Pliocene age.' 
If this be so, it seems to surest an antiquity uot 
less than twice as great as that just mentioned. 
The question as to the antiquity of the Calaveras 
skull is still hotly disputed amoi^ the foremost 
palieontologists, but as one reads the arguments 
one c^mot help feeling that theoretical difficulties 
have put the objectors into a somewhat inhospit^ 
able attitude toward the evidence so ably pre- 
sented by Professor Whitney. It has been too 
hastily assumed that, from the point of view of 
evolution, the existence of Pliocene man is im' 
probable. Upon general considerations, however, 
we have strong reason for believing that humao 
beings must have inhabited some portions of the 
earth throughout the whole duration of the Plio- 
cene period, and it need not surprise us if their 
remains are presently discovered in more plaoea 
than one.' 

1 J. D. Whitoej, " The ADiifennis OraTeb of the Siena Ke- 
vada," Memoirs 0/ the Maieum of CemparaHoe ZoSiogy at Bar- 
vard College, Cambridge, 1880, vol. vL 

' In an essay publiahed in 1S82 on " Enrope before the Atriral 
of Man" {EzcargiamofanEwlutionUt.jip. 1-40), I ar^ed tiiat 
if ve are to fiod tiacea of the "musii^ link," oc primoidiBl 
■tack of priniBtea from which man has been derived, we mnst 
undoubtedly look foi it in Che Miocene (p. S6). I am pleased 
at finding the saiae opinion lately expreHsed by one of the highest 
liTinf; anthorities. The oaae is thns stated by Alfred Russel Wal- 
laee ' " The STidenoe we now pOHsen of the exact uatuie of ths 

by Google 


Whatever may be the 6nal outcome of the Ca- 
laveras controversy, there can be no doubt as to 
the existence of man in North America far baek 
in early Pleistocene times. The men of the River- 
drift, who long dwelt in western Europe during 

Tesemblsooe of man to tt« nnow spedM of antfaiopoid ftpea, 
Bhova na that he has littla spedal sfBuitv for any one rather than 
another speeiea, while he differs from them all in several impor- 
tant characters in which they agree with each other. The oon- 
olnmon to ba drawu from these facta is, that hia points of affinity 
connect bim with the whole ^ronp while hia apeoial pecnliaritiea 
eqnally separate hitn from Hbe whole gronp, and that he most, 
therefore, have diverged from the oomnioa ancestral form before 
the enating types of anthropoid apes had diveiged from each 
otlier. Now (Jiis dlTeigenoe almost certunly took place ss early 
as the Miocene period, becaose in the Upper Mionene deposits of 
western Europe remains of two apeciea of ape baye been fonnd 
allied to the gribbons, one of them, dryopithecna, nearly aa large 
as a man, and believed by M. Lartat to have approached man 
in its dentdtion more than the eiistiDg; iqies. We seem hardly, 
therefore, to have reached in the Upper Miocene the epoch of the 
common anceBtor of man and the anthropoids." {Daraiimsm, p. 
45fi, London, 1BS8.) Mr. Wallace goes on to answer the objec- 
tion of Profenor Boyd Dawkini, " that man did not probably 
exist in Pliocene times, becanae almost all the known tintminnH n 
of that epoch are distdnot species from those now living on the 
•arth, and that the same changes of the environment wbioh led 
to the modifioatian of other mammalian species wonid also have 
led to a change in man." This argnment, at fint sight apparently 
formidable, qnit« overlooks the fact that in the evolntion of man 
there came a point after wbioh variations in hia intell^nce were 
seized upon more and more eiclnuvely by natural selecldon, to 
the comparative neglect of physical vaidatdona. After that point 
man chained but little in physical characteristics, except in siie 
and Domplezit; of brain. This is the theorem first proponnded 
by Mr. Wallace in the AnthropvlosKal Reviea, May, 1864 ; re- 
stated in his Contrilmtiont to Natural Selediaa, chap, ii., in 18T0 ; 
and fnrther extended and developed by me in connection with the 
ilieory of man's origin first soggestad in my lectures at Harvard 
in 18T1, and worked ont in Cosmit FhilaiojAj/, part i 



the milder intervals of the Glacial period, but 
seem to have become extinct toward the end of it, 
are well known to paheontologists through their 
bones and their rude tools. ContemporaneouBly 
with these Europeans of the River-drift there cer- 
tainly lived some kind of men, of a similar low 
grade of culture, in the Mississij^i valley and on 
both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes of 
North America. Along with these an- uwDudnuiii- 
cient Americans lived some terrestrial 
TTn^mnift la that BtiU survive, such as the oHt, rein- 
deer, prairie wolf, bison, musk-ox, and beaver; 
and many that have long been extinct, such as the 
mylodon, megatherium, megalonyx, mastodon, Si- 
berian elephant, mammoth, at least six or seven 
species of ancestral horse, a huge bear sinular to 
the cave bear of ancient Europe, a lion similar to 
the European cave lion, and a tiger as large as 
the modem tiger of BeogaL 

Now while the general relative positions of those 
stupendous abysses that hold the oceans do not 
appear to have undergone any considerable change 
since an extremely remote geological period, their 
shallow mai^inal portions have been repeatedly 
raised so as to add extensive territories to the edges 
of continents, and in some cases to convert archi- 
pelagoes into continebts, and to join continents 
previously separated. Such elevation is followed 
in turn by an era of subsidence, and almost every, 
where either the one process or the other is slowly 
going on. If you look at a model in relief of the 
continents and ocean-fioors, such as may be seen at 
the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, 

by Google 



showing the results of a vast numbeT of soundings 
xiaTitioiiud "* ^ parts of the world, you cannot fail 
"'''■'''•°°^ to be struck with the BhaJlowness of 
Bering Sea ; it looks like a part of the continent 
rather than of the ocean, and indeed it is just that, 
— an area of Bubmeiged continent. So in the 
northern Atlantic theifi is a lofty ridge running 
from France to Greenland. The British islands, 
the Oi'kney, ShetUod, and ^Fieroe groups, and Ice- 
land are the parts of this ridge high enough to re- 
main out of water. The remainder of it is shallow 
sea. Again and again it has been raised, tc^ther 
with the floor of the Grennan ocean, so as to be- 
come dry land. Both before and since the time 
when those stone tools were dropped into the red 
gravel from which Mr. Cresson took them the other 
day, the northwestern part of Europe has been 
solid continent for more than a hundred miles to 
the west of the French and Irish coasts, the Thames 
and Humber have been tributaries to the Ehine, 
which emptied into the Arctic ocean, and across 
the Atlantic ridge one might have walked to tiie 
New World dryshod.^ In similar wise the nor^ 
western comer of America has repeatedly been 
joined to Siberia through the elevation of Bering 

There have therefore been abundant opportunities 
for men to get into America from the Old World 
without crossing salt wator. Probably this was 
the case with the ancient inhabitants of the Dela- 
ware and Little Miami valleys; it is not at all 

^ See, for example, &e map of Eorops in stdy post-cUoUl 
timeo, in Jamea Qeikie'* PreAiidinc Ewropr 



likely that men who used their kind of tools knew 
much about going ou the sea in boats. 

Whether the Indians are descended from this 
ancient population or not, is a question with which 
we hare as yet no satirfactory method of dealing. 
It is not nnlikely that these glacial men may have 
perished £rom off the face of the earth, having been 
crushed and supplanted by stronger races. There 
may have been several snocesuve waves wmmot mi- 
of migration, of which the Indians were '""'^ 
the latest.^ There is time enough for a great 
many things to happen in a thousand centuries. 
It will donbtless be long before all the evidence 
can be brought in and ransacked, but of one thii^ 
we may feel pretty sure ; the past is more full of 
changes than we are apt to realize. Our &Tst 
theories are usually too simple, and have to be en- 
laiged and twisted into all manner of shapes in 
order to cover the actual complication of facts,^ 

' " Here an tiiree himuui cnmis in the Miuenm, which weta 
foimd in die gta,yd. at Tranton, one Hvectl feet belov the Bnrfaoe, 
the otben neu the surfaost Tbera iknIlB, whkh are of i«iaark- 
able nmf ormity, are of iiiibII nze and of oral shape, cliSeiii^ from 
all other aknlla in the MnMimi. In {act thej are 4^ a dialinet 
tjpe, and benoe i^ the greatest impcaiaiiM. So tax aa they go 
they indicate that pabedithio man iraa exterminated, or has be- 
oome loM by aduixtare with othen dnriiiK the many tbomand 
yean which have passed mnce he inbsUted the Delaware Tslley." 
V. W. PirtiUHu, "The Peabody Mnsemu," Proaedinga of the 
Atiurican Aatigvarian Soeittg, 1S8S, New Series, tiA. tL p. 180. 

* An exoellent example of this ia the expansion and modifiea- 
tion nnde^one during the post twent? yeais by our theories at 
the Aryan eettlement of Europe. See Benfey's tuefaoe to Illok's 
Woerlerlmeh der IndogoTtumuditii GrundipriuAe, 1668 ; Geiger, 
Znr EnimidcfiangtgetckichU der MensclUuit, 1871, Cano, For- 
mhttngen iia Oebitit der ailtn Voeiierhinde, 1871 ; Solunidt, J>i'« 
VenBtaidtsckiftmtrMltiutM der Indagermanuthai ^proeAsn, 1813i 



Tn this connection the history of the EskinuM 
introduces us to some interesting problems. Men- 
tion has been made of the Eiver-drift men who 
lived in Europe during the milder intervals of the 
Glacial period. At such times they made their 
way into Germany and Britain, along with leopards, 
hyffinas, and African elephants. But as the cold 
intervals came on and tlie edge of the polar ice- 
sheet crept southward and mountain glaciers filled 
np the vaU^, these men and beasts retreated 
into Africa ; and their place was tahen by a sub- 
Tt» On DHD BTctic roce of men known as the Cave 
^^KSli° men, along with the reindeer and arctio 
^"*°^ fox and musk-sheep. More than once 

with the secular alternations of temperature did 
the Biver-drift men thus advance and retreat and 
advance again, and as they advanced the Cave men 
retreated, both races yielding to an enemy stronger 
than either, — to wit, the hostile climate. At 
length all traces of the Eiver-drift men vanish, but 
what of the Cave men ? They have left no repre- 
sentatives among the present populations of Europe, 
but the musk-sheep, which always went and came 
with the Cave men, is to-day found only in snb- 

PoHohe, Die Arier, 1876 ; Lindancluiitt, HaadbaeM der deiaiAe* 
Aiunkumihunde, 1880 ; Pank», Origina Anaca;, 1883, end Dit 
Berkunft der AriBT, 1880 ; Spiegel. Die ariidie Periodt und ikr» 
Zustande, 1887; Rendal, Cradle of ike Aryani, 1888; Sehrader, 
SprachBergUkhuag und UrgaddcMe, 1883, and second edidoa 
tmislated into English, wiQi tlie title PreAiiforic Aiaiqaitia of 
the Aryan Peoples, 1800. Schrsder's is am epooh-makiiig book. 
A" attempt to defend tJie older and aimpler viem U made by 
Has Mijller, BiograpUa of Words and the Borne of the Aryae, 
1888 ; sea also Tan den Oheyn, L'origine ewopfenae del Argot, 
ISSe. The irhole tsmaa is Troll aaiDined np by lauM Taylor, 
Origin qftte Aryaat, 1889. 



arctio America among tlie Eskimos, and the foB> 
Bilized bones of the musk-eheep lie in a regular trail 
across the eastern hemisphere, from the Pyrenees 
through Gremtany and Russia and all the vast 
length of Siberia. The stone arrow-heads, the 
sewing-needles, the necklaces and amulets of cut 
teeth, and the daggers made from antler, used by 
the Eddmos, resemble so minutely the implements 
of the Cave men, that if recent Eskimo remains 
were to be put into the Pleistocene caves of France 
and England they would be indistinguishable in 
appearance from the remuns of the Cave men 
which are now found there.' Tliere is another 
striking point of resemblance. The Eskimos have 
a talent for aitistic sketching of men and beaste, 
and scenes in which men and beasts figure, which 
is absolutely unriTalled among rode peoples. One 
need but look at the sketches by common Eskimo 
fishermen which illustrate Dr. Henry Bink'a fas- 
cinating book on Danish Gbeenland, to realize that 
this rude Eskimo art has a character as pronoonced 
and onmistakable in its way as the much higher art 
of the Japanese. Now among the European remans 
of the Cave men are many sketches of nuCmmoths, 
cave bears, and other animals now extinct, and 
hunting scenes so artfully and vividly portrayed 
as to bring distinctly before ns many details of 
daily life in an antiquity so vast that in comparison 
with it the interval between the pyramids j.^, smom 
of Egypt and the Eiffel tower shrinks l^;;,^;^^^! 
into a point. Siujb a talent is unique ''"'^•••''^^ 
among sa^^ peoples. It exists only among the 
living Eskimos and the ancient Cave men; and 
> See Dsvkiia, Early Itm in Britain, pp. 233-240. 



when considered in ooimeotion with bo many other 
points of agreement, and with the indisputable fact 
that the Cave men were a sah-arctic race, it affords 
a strong presumption in favour of the opinion of 
that great paleontologist, Professor Boyd Daw- 
kins, that the EskimoB of North America are to- 
day the Bole survivors of the race that made their 
homes in the Pleistocene caves of western Buiope.' 

1 Asoording to Dr. Bink the Eakimoa formarlj' inhmbHed ths 
central portdooB of North Amerioa, uid have retreated oi bees 
driven northward ; lie vonld make the EBkimoi of Siberia an 
oSahoot fiom those of Ajaerioa, though he freely admits that 
there are groimdB for entertuning the oppoaite TJev. Dr. Abbott 
is inclined to attribnte an Kakimo origin to some of the palno- 
tithe of the Trenton giaieL On tlie other hand, Mr. Clements 
Hatkliam deriree the American EUimoa bom thoae of Siberia. 
It eeemi to me that these viem may be oomprehended and 
reoiHHuled in a -nidei one. I would mggeet that dm4ng th* 
Olatnal period the anoeetial Eildmoa may have gradoally be- 
oome adapted la anjlia conditione of life ; that in the mild intet- 
glaoial interrala they migrated northward along with the mnak- 
■heep ; and that apou the return of the cold they migrated aondt- 
ward aguD, keeping alwayi uasc the edge of die ioe-aheet. 
Such a BODthward miration wonld naturally enon^ bring them 
in one oonUneot dawn to the Pyrenees, m the other down to the 
AU^hanies ; and naturally enough the modem inquirer has hia 
attention first directed to the indications of their final retreat, 
MA BOrtlTwatd in America and northeaotward from Europe 
through Kberis. This ia like what happened with so many 
planb and «■"■"»>' Compare Darwin's remarks on " Diaperaal 
in the Glodal Period," Origin of Speeia, cliap. lii. 

The beet books on the Bakimos are those d Dr. Bink, ToJs* 
and Tradiliom a/lJu EiJdtKO, Edinburgh, 18TG i DanUh Omaiand, 
London, I8TI ; The Eskimo Triba, (Aetr Ditribation and Ciara^ 
ttrittict, apeciaHf in regard to Language, Copenhagen, 1887. See' 
also Franz Boas, "The Centiai Eskimo," Sixth RepeH of tht 
Bunau of Ethnology, Watihii^ten, 1888, pp. 399-666 ; W. H. Dall, 
AUuka and iti Ramtrca, 1870; Marhham, ''Origin and Migra* 
tionsof the Qreenland Eaquiraaux," Jotcnud of tAt Boi/al Geo- 
gnpikal SoeUly, 186C ; Ciam, Bulorit von Groadiaid, I^npaie, 



If we have always been acenstomed to think of 
races of men only as they are placed on modem 
maps, it at first seems strange to think of England 
and France as ever having been inhabited by Es- 
kimos. Facta equally strange may be cited in 
abundance from zoology and botany. The camel 
ia found to-day only in Arabia and Bactria ; yet 
in all probability the camel originated in Amer- 
ica^ and is an intruder into what we are accus- 
tomed to call his native deserts, just as the people 
of the United States are European intmders upon 
the soil of America. So the ^ant trees of Mari- 
posa grove are now found only in California, but 
there was once a time when they were as common 
in Europe ^ as maple-trees to-«lay iu a New Eng^ 
land village. 

Familiarity with innumerable facts of this sort, 
concerning tlie complicated migrations and distri- 
bction of plants and animals, has entirely altered 
our way of looking at the question as to the origin 
of the American Indians. As already observed, 
we can hardly be s^ to possess sufBcient data for 
determining whether they are descended from the 
Fl^stocene inhabitants of America, or have come 
in some later wave of migration from the Old 
"World. Nor can we as yet determine whether 
1765 ; Petitot, Traditioiu indiama du Canada norJ-oaal, Puia, 
1886 ; Filling-'i Bibliograpkjl of the Eikiaui Language, WuHaagtoa, 
1887 i Wella ud Kelly, EngHih-Eakimo and Ei/amo-Engliih Vo- 
cahalatitt, viih Ethnograpldad iltmtrranda eoneeming tie Aivtie 
Eikimoi in AUuka and Siberia, WatdungtoD, 1890; Cantenaui^ 
TiBO Summert in Greenland, LondoD, 1890. 

' Wall«ce, Qeagrapkical Dirtntirfion of Animtdt, vol, iL p. 165. 

1 Asa Qny, " SeqnoU and its Hiatory," in his DorwiniViiui, 



they were earlier or later comers tima the Eskimos. 
But since we have got rid of that feeling of specu- 
lative necessity above referred to, for bringing the 
red men from Asia within the historic period, it has 
become more and more dear that they have dwelt 
upon American soil for a veiy long time. The 
aboriginal American, as we know him, with his 
language and legends, his physical and mental 
peculiarities, his social observances and customs, is 
most emphatically a native and not an imported 
article. He belongs to the American continent as 
strictly as its opossums and armadillos, its maize 
and its golden-rod, or any members of its aborigi- 
,^^^,^ ,^ nal faima and flora belong to it. In all 
I^^Cor probability he came from tbe Old World 
Sl!tariS™J ** some ancient period, whether pre- 
ISi°l^d tb^ glacial or post-glacial, when it was pos- 

OW World. gJl^Ig J^ (.Qjj^g Ijy 1^^. g^ ^^^ ^ ^ 

probability, until the arrival of white men from 
Europe, he remained undisturbed by later comers, 
onless the Eskimos may have been such. There is 
not a particle of evidence to suggest any connection 
or intercourse between aboriginal America and 
Asia within any such period as the last twenty 
tbousand years, except in so far as there may per- 
haps now and then have been slight sniges of 
Eskimo tribes back and forth aoross Bering strait. 
The Indians must surely be regarded as an en- 
tirely different stock from the Eskimos. On the 
other hand, the most competent American ethnol- 
ogists are now pretty thoroughly agreed that all 
the aborigines south of the Eskimo r^on, all the 
way from Hudson's Bay to Cape Horn, belong 



to one and the same race. It waa formerly sap- 
posed that the higher culture of the Aztecs, Majas, 
and Peruvians must indicate that they were of 
different race from the more barbaroua Algonquins 
and Dakotas ; and a speculative necessity wm felt 
for proving that, whatever may have been the case 
with the other American peoples, this TiHniaonB 
higher culture at any rate must have ^^'J^^ 
been introduced within the historic ""^ 
period from the Old World.^ This feeling waa 
caused partly by the fact that, owing to cmde 
and loosely-framed conceptions of the real pointa 
of difference between civilization and barbarism, 
this Central American culture was absurdly exag- 
gerated. As the further study of the uncivilized 
parts of the world has led to more accurate and 
precise conceptions, this Mnd of speculative neces- 
sity haa ceased to be felt. There is an increasing 
disposition among scholars to agree that the war- 
rior of Anahuac and the shepherd of the Andes 
were just simply Indians, and that their culture 
vraa no less indigenous than that of the Qierokees 
or Mohawks. 

To prevent any possible misconception of my 
meaning, a further word of explanation may be 

needed at this point. The word " race " , 

is r»ed in such widely different senses ™°'^''''°'' 
that there is apt to be more or less ^j^""* 
vagueness about it. The difference is 

< Illiutratiiiiu ma; be fonaii in pleutr id the leanwd voAb ot 
Braeeenrds Banrbonrg: — Hiitoirtdttnitiioiucivilii^adiiilixiqat 
et de VAm^igue centrale, 4 Tola.. Pari., 1851-58 i Fopal Vuh, 
Paru, 1861 ; Quatre Uttra w k Mixi<iue, Pari», lS08i Lt mam- 
«cHf ZVoono, Paris, 1870. eto. 



m^nly in what logicians call extension ; Bome- 
timee the word covers very little ground, some- 
times a great deal. We say that the people of Eng- 
land, of the United States, and of New Sou^ 
Wales belong to one and the same race ; and we 
say that an Englishman, a Frenchman, and a 
Greek belong to three different races. There is 
a sense in which both these statements are true. 
Bat there is also a sense in which we may say 
that the Englishman, the Frenchman, and the 
Qreeh belong to one and the same race ; and that 
is when we are contrasting them as white men 
with black men or yellow men. Now we may 
correctly say that a Shawnee, an Ojibwa, and a 
Kickapoo belong to one and the same Algonquin 
race ; that a Mohawk and a TuBcarora belong to 
one and the same Iroquois race ; but that an Al- 
gonquin difEers from an Iroquois somewhat as an 
Englishman differs from a Frenchman. No doubt 
we may fairly say that the Mexicans encountered 
by Cortes differed in race from the Iroquois en- 
countered by Chaiuplain, as much as an English- 
man differs from an Albanian or a Montenegrin. 
But when we are contrasting aboriginal Ameri- 
cans with white men or yellow men, it is right to 
say that Mexicans and Iroquois belong to the 
same great red race. 

In some parts of the world two strongly eon- 
trasted races have become mingled together, or 
have existed side by side for centuries without in- 
termingling. In Europe the big blonde Aryan- 
speaking race has mix^ with the small brunette 
Iberian race, producing the endless varieties in 



stature and complexion wihich may lie seen in any 
drawing-room in London or New York. In Africa 
south of Sahara, on the other hand, we find, inter- 
Bpersed among negro tribes but kept perfectly dis- 
tinct, that primitive dwarfish race with yellow akin 
and tufted hair to which belong the Hott«ntots and 
Bushmen, the Wambatti lately discovered by Mr. 
Stanley, and other tribes.' Now in America south 
of Hudson's Bay the case seems to have been quite 
otherwise, and more as it would have been in Eu< 
rope if there had been only Aryans, or in Africa 
if there had been only blacks.^ 

The belief that the people of the Cordilleraa 
must be of radically different race from other 
Tn dian8 was based upon the vague notion that 
grades of culture have some necessary connection 
with likenesses and differences of race. 
There is no such necessary connection.^ mnnecBm te- 
Between the highly civilized Japanese < 
aud tii^ barbarous Mandshu cousins < 
the difference in culture is much greater 

' See Werner, "Tba Afrioan Pygndea," Ftpytar Sciaica 
JfoKlUy, Saptembvt, 18D0, — a [lioDghtfnl *Dd interesting Bitiole. 

* Thia sort ot iUustxatdoD Teqnires oontiDnal limitation and 
qualifioatjou. The ease in auoient America vae not qaiU as it 
vonld baie been in Enrope if there bad been onlj AiTaos then. 
The umi-^riliied people of the Cordilleras were Klativel; hi*- 
ehjoephalouB aa compared villi the niOTe barbarous Indians north 
and east of Nev Meiica It is oorreot to sail this a dutinctJon 
of raoe if we mean thereby a distdnotion developed npou Ameri- 
can wril, a differentjstion within the limit* of the red race, and 
not an Intnudon from without. In this sense the Caribs also ma; 
be regarded u a distinct snb-race ; and, in the same sense, we 
may call the Kafirs a distinct sub-race of African blacks. See, 
aa to the latter, Tylor, Anlhri^mlogy, p. 39. 

' As Sir John Lubbock well saja, " Different raoea in omilM 


24 THE mscovEsr of America. 

iban the difference between Mohawks and Mex- 
icans ; and the same may be said of the people 
oi Israel and Judah in contrast with the Arabs 
of the desert, or of the imperial Eomana in com- 
parison with their Teutonic kinsmen as described 
bj Tacitus. 

At this point, in order to prepare ourselves the 
more dearly to underatand sundry facts with 
which we shall hereafter be obliged to deal, espe- 
cially the wonderful esperiences of the Spanish con- 
querors, it will be well to pause for a moment and 
do something toward defining the different grades 
GrodMoiooi- of culture through which men have 
'""■ passed in attaining to the grade which 

can properly be called civilization. Unless we 
begin with clear ideas upon this bead we cannot 
go far toward understaoding the ancient America 
that was drst visited and described for us by 
Spaniards. The various grades of culture need 
to be classified, and that most original and su^es- 
tive scholar, the late Lewis Morgan of Kocbeater, 
made a brilliant attempt in this direction, to which 
the reader's attention is now invited. 

Below Civilization Mr. Moi^an^ distinguishes 
two principal grades or stages of culture, niunely 
Savagery and Barbarism. There is much loose- 
ness and confusion in the popular use of these 

ttagva of derelopment ofteo preaent mure f eaterea of Teaembtamw 
to one another tUan the ume tso« does to itself in different stagvi 
«f itahi^tor;." {Origin of CinilUaiion, p. 11.) If every atndent of 
tiiatory and ethnology would begin by learning this leuoD, tha 
trorld wonld be spared & vast anionnt of nnprofitable theorizing. 
1 S«e lus great work on Ancient Saciets, New York, 1877. 



terms, and tliia is liable to become a fruitful 
aonrce of misapprehension in the case of any 
statement involving either of them. When popu- 
lar usage discriminates between them DirthKUoo*.. 
it disorinuiiatee in the right direction ; ^^^' 
there is a vague but not uncertain feel- ™''"*™^ 
ing that savagery is a lower stage than barbarism. 
But ordinarily the discrimination is not made and 
the two terms are carelessly employed as if inter- 
changeable. Scientific writers long since recog- 
nized a general difference between savagery and 
barbarism, but Mr. Moi^n was the first to sug- 
gest a really useful criterion for distinguishing 
between them. His criterion is the making of 
pottery ; and his reason for selecting it is that the 
making of pottery is something that presupposes 
village life and more or less progress in the simpler 
arts. The earlier methods of boiling food were 
either putting it into boles in the ground lined 
with skins and then using heated stones, or else 
putting it into baskets coated with clay origin m pot. 
to be supported over a fire. The clay ^'^^ 
served the double purpose of preventing liqiuds 
from escaping and protecting tiie basket against 
the flame. It was probably observed that the clay 
was hardened by the fire, and thus in course of 
time it was found that the clay would answer the 
purpose without the basket.^ Whoever first made 
this ingenious discovery led the way from sav- 
agery to barbarism. Throughout the present work 

1 See the erldenoe in Tylor, Researckes info iHt Early Historj 
tf Mankind, pp. 289-272 ; of. Labbook, Prdualork Timea, p. 573 { 
and a)M Cmhii^'B maaterlf " Stud7 of Pneblo Pottery," etd 
B^ortt qf Bureau of Ethnology, n., 473-621. 



we shall apply tlie name "savages" onlj to nn- 
ciTilized people who do not make pottery. 

But within each of these two stages Mr. Moi% 
gan distingui&hes three subordinate stages, or 
Ethnic Periods, which may be called either lower, 
middle, and upper statns, or older, middle, and 
later periods. The lower status of saragery was 
Ldwst •utu '^^ wholly prehistoric stage when men 
Hi Mngerf. jiyed in their ori^^nal restricted habitat 
Mid subsisted on fmit and nuts. To this period 
must be assigned the beginning of articidate 
speech. All existing races of men bad passed be- 
yond it at an nnknown antiquity. 

Men began to pass beyond it when they dis- 
covered how to catch fish and how to use fire. 
They could then begin (following coasts and 
Middle itatni rivers) to Spread over the earth. The 
rf««gMj. middle status of savagery, thus intro- 
duced, ends with the invention of that compound 
weapon, the bow and arrow. The natives of Aus- 
tralia, who do not know this weapon, are still in 
the middle status of sav^ery.^ 

The invention of the bow and arrow, which 
marks the upper status of savageiy, was not only 
a great advance in military art, but it also vastly 
Upper itatiu increased men's supply of food by in- 
ofHAgv;- creaMug their power of killing wild 
game. The lowest tribes in America, such as 
those upon the Columbia river, the Athabaskans 
of Hndson^s Bay, the Fuegians and some other 
South American tribes, are in the upper status of 

' Luniholtz, Among Cannibals, London, 1886, giie* a Trrid jn» 
tare of abonginal life in Australia. 



llie traBsition from this status to the lower 
status of barbarism was marked, aa before 
observed, by the iuTention of pottery. The end 
of the lower status of barbarian was marked in 
the Old World by the domestication of animals 
other than the dog, which was probably domesti- 
cated at a much earlier period as an aid to the 
hunter. The domestication of horses and asses, 
oxen and sheep, goats and pigs, marks l„^ „,tn, 
of course an immense advance. Along J^dSSlS?' 
with it goes considerable development iSJ^Si?'''* 
of agriculture, thus enabling a small '^•™™- 
territory to support many people. It takes a 
wide range of conntry to support hunters. In 
the New World, except in Peru, the only do- 
mesticated animal was the dog. Horses, oxen, 
and the other animals mentioned did not exist in 
Amenca, firing the historic period, until they 
were brought over from Europe by the Spaniards. 
In ancient American society there was no snch 
thing as a pastoral stage of development,^ and the 
absence of domesticable anima Jg from the western 
henuBphere may well be reckoned aa very impor- 
tant among the causes which retarded the pro- 
gress of mankind in this part of the world. 

On the other hand the ancient Americans had 
a cereal piaat peculiar to the Kew Worid, which 
made comparatively small demands upon the in- 
telligence and industry of the cultivator. Maize 
or "■ Indian com " has played a most important 

' The GOBB of Pern, which fomu an apparent bat not leal ex- 
ceptioa t« tbia gsnetal statement, vUl be conudered belaw in . 



part in the Iiistory of the New World, as regards 
both the ted men sod the white men. It could 
be planted without clearing or ploughing the soil. 
It was only necessary to girdle the trees with a 
stone hatchet, so as to destroy their leaves and let 
in the stmshine. A few scratches and digs were 
made in the ground with a stcme digger, and the 
seed once dropped in took care of itself. The ears 
iiiwaitu»a( *>ovi\dL hang for weeks after ripening, 
i»uu earn, j^^j could be picked ofE without med- 
dling with the stalk ; there was no need of thresl- 
ing and winnowing. None of the Old World o&- 
reals can be cultivated without much more industry 
and intelligence. At the same time, when Indiui 
com is sown in tilled land it yields with little la- 
bour more than twice as much food per acre as any 
other kind of grain. This was of incalculable ad- 
vantage to the English settlers of New England, 
who would have found it much harder to g^n a 
secure foothold upon the soil il they had had to 
begin by preparing it for wheat and rye without 
the aid of the beautiful and beneficent American 
plant.' The Indians of the Atlantic coast <^ 
North America for the most part lived in stock- 
aded villages, and cultivated their com along with 
beans, pumpkins, squashes, and tobacco ; but their 
cultivation was of the rudest sort,^ and populaticm 
was too sparse for much progreas toward civiliza- 

1 See Shuler, " Phjsiography of Kortli America," in TVmBor'i 
Ifarr. and Crit. Hiit. toI. W. p. zin. 

' " No muTOTS was used," SAji Mr. Parkman, gpeakiug of tli« 
Hnrona, " but at uiterrak of from ten U> twenty years, when the 
■oil was exlianBted and flrewoiHl distant, the tiIIb^ was aban. 
doii«d and a nsw one built." Jtttiitt in North Amaica, p. zzx> 



tion. But Indian com, when sown in carefuUj 
tilled and irrigated land, had mach to do with 
the denser population, the increaeing organization 
of lahonr, and the higher development in the arts, 
which characterized the confederacies of Mexico 
and Central America and all the pueblo Indians 
of the southwest. The potato played a somewhat 
similar part in Peru. Hence it seems proper to 
take the regular employment of tillage with irri- 
gation as markiag the end of the lower period of 
barbarism in the New World. To this Mr. Mor- 
gan adds the use of adobe-briek and stone in ar- 
chitecture, which also distingnished the Mexicans 
and their neighbours from the ruder tribes of 
North and South America. AH these ruder tribes, 
except the few already mentioned as in the upper 
period of savagery, were somewhere within the 
lower period of bfurbarism. Thtis the Algooquins 
and Iroquois, the Creeks, the Dakotas, etc., when 
first seen by white men, were within this period ; 
but some had made much further progress within 
it than others. For example, the Algonqtun tribe 
of Ojibwaa had little more than emei^ed from sav- 
agery, while the Creeks and Cherokees had made 
considerable advance toward the middle status of 

Let us now observe some characteristics of this 
extremely interesting middle period. It began, 
we see, in the eastern hemisphere with ^^^1, ,t,tm 
the dMnestioation of other animals than "■ i«i»rt™- 
tbe dog, and in the western hemisphere with culti- 
'rotion by irrigation and the ose of adobe-brick 
and stone for buildii^. It also possessed anoth^ 



feature which, diatmgniBhed it from earlier p&. 
riods, in the materials of which its tools were 
made. In the periods of eavagerj hatchets and 
epear-heads were made of rudely chipped stones, 
la the lower period of barbarism the chipping be. 
came more and more skilful until it gaye place to 
polishing. In tlie middle period tools were greatly 
multiplied, improved polishing gave sharp and 
accurate points and edges, and at last metals be- 
gan to be used as materials preferable to stone. 
In America the metal used was copper, and in 
some spots where it was very accessible there were 
instances of its use by tribes not in other respects 
above the lower status of barbarism, ■ — as for ex- 
ample, the " mound-builders." In the Old World 
the metal used was the alloy of copper and tin 
familiarly known as bronze, and in its working it 
c^led for a higher degree of intelligence than 

Toward tlie dose of the middle period of bar- 
barism the working of metals became the most im- 
portant element of progress, and the period may be 
Working <a regarded as ending with the invention 
"""'*• of the process of smelting iron ore. 

According to this principle of division, the in- 
habitants of tlie lake villages of ancient Swit^r- 
land, who kept horses and oxen, pigs wid sheep, 
raised wheat and ground it into flour, and spun 
and wove linen garments, but knew nothing of 
iron, were in the middle status of barbarism. The 
same was true of the ancient Britons before they 
learned the use of iron from their neighbours in 
GauL In the Mew World the representatives of 



the middle status of barbarism were Bnch peoples 
as tlie Znflis, the Aztecs, tbe Mayas, and the Fern- 

The upper Btatus of barbarism, in so far aa it 
implies a knowledge of smelting iron, was never 
reached in abori^nal America. In the Old World 
it is the stage which had been reached jj^^^ ^ 
by the Greeks of flie Homeric poems ' 
and the Germans in the time of Ceeaar. The end 

I In tLe inteteadi^ architoctnial remaiiis nneartiied by Dr. 
Soblisnuum at Hyoeiue and 'Hryns, UiBre have been foond at tli« 
former place a few iron keys aod knirea, at the latter om inm 
IanB«-bead; but the fonn and wothmaiidiip of these objecta 
mark them as not older than <lie beginning: of tihe fifth oentnr; 
B. c, or the tune of the PersiaD waia. With thcae emepliona 
die we^ioni and tools fooad in theaa aiti«a, as also in Troy, were 
of bronze and stone. Bronn was in oonmton use, but obtddian 
kniTes and arrow-heads of fine workmaoahip abanud in the mins. 
Aooording to Profegsor Saycw, these rnins mmt date from 2000 
to 1700 B. a The Greeks of that dme would aocordingly be 
placed in the middle status of barbaiisin. (See Schliemami's 
Mgcaut, pp. 70, 364; Tirgna, p. 171.) In the state of sodety 
deamibed in the Enmeria poems the smelting of iron was sell 
known, bnt the process seems to hare been cosdy, so that bronze 
we^KMW were still oommonly nsed. (Tylor, Aruhropolog!/, p. 
3tl9.) The Remans of the regal period were ignorant of iron. 
(Laneiani, Ancient Bomt in tie Lighi of Bectnl Ditcovtriei, Bos- 
ton, 1888, pp. 30-48.) lie upper period of barbarism was 
shortened for Greece and Rome through the idronmatanoe that 
they learned the workiDg' of icon from E^ypt and the use of the 
alphabet from Phtenioia. Such copyii^, of conrse, affects the 
symmetry of such schemes as Mr. Horgan's, and allowances have 
to be made for it. It is onrions that both Greeks and Romans 
aeem to haTC preserred some tradition of the Bronze Age : ^ 

Hadod, 0pp. Di. 13L 



of this period and the beginning of true (aviUza- 
tion is marked l^ the invention of a phonetiQ 
alpliabet and the production of written records. 
This brings within the pale of civilization such 
people as the ancient Fhcenicians, the Hebrews 
BxKbuihit ot *^^ t^^ exodus, the ruling claases at 
driiiiuion. Nineveh and Babylon, the Aryans of 
Persia and India, and the Japanese. But clearly 
it will not do to insist too narrowly upon the pho- 
netic character of the alphabet. Where people 
acquainted with iron have enshrined in hieroglyph- 
ics so much matter of historic record and literary 
interest as the Chinese and the ancient Egyptians, 
they too must be classed as civilized ; and this Mr. 
Morgan by implication admits. 

This brilliant classification of the stages of early 
eidture will be found very helpful if we only keep 
in mind the fact that in aU wide generalizations 
of this sort the case is liable to be somewhat un- 
duly simplified. The story of human progress is 
really not quite so easy to decipher as such de- 
scriptions would make it appear, and when we 
have l^d down rules of this sort we need not be 
surprised if we now and then come upon facts 
that will not exactly fit into them. In such an 

Bt priar mrU arttt qnun f eiil coffoltmi mnv, «tc- 

LncnUu, T. 1283. 
Peiluipa, M Mimra anggests, LncreHiu tm thinking of Heraod ; 
bnt it doea not HBam improbable tbat in botL cues thera may 
bale been a gvimiDe trsditioii that their anoeston med bronza 
tools and weapon* before iron, since t^e change «as comparativel; 
recant, and Bnndrj reli^ooa ohtei^aiioM tended to perpetuate die 



event it is best not to ti; to squeeze or distort the 
unruly facts, but to look and see if our rules will 
not bear some little qualification. Hie faculty 
for generalizing is a good serraut but a bad mas- 
ter. If we observe this caution we eball find Mr. 
Morgan's work to be of great value. It will be 
observed that, with one exception, His restrictions 
leave the area of civUizatioa as wide as that which 
we are accustomed to assign to it in our ordimuy 
speaking and thinking. That exception is the case 
of Mexico, Central America, and Fen. We have 
so long been accustomed to gorgeous accounts of 
the civilization of these countries at the time of 
their discovery by the Spaniu^ that it may at 
first shock our preconoeived notions to see them 
set down as in the " middle status of barbarism," 
one st^e higher than Mohawks, and one stage 
lower than the warriors of the Diad. This doee 
indeed mark a chmige since Dr. Draper expressed 
the opinion that the Mexicans and Pe- ,. oithio. 
ruvians were morally and intellectually ke^ud 
superior to the Europeans of the six- ^"°' 
teenth century.^ Ths reaction from the state of 
opinion in which such an extravagant remark was 
even possible has been attended with some contro- 
versy ; but on the whole Mr. Morgan's main position 
has been steadily and rapidly gaining ground, and 
it is becoming more and more clear that if we are 
to use language correctly when we speak of the civ- 
ilizations of Mexico and Peru we really mean civil- 
izations of m extremely archaic type, considerably 

> See bis ItOtlUetuai Daidopiiuni of Europe, Neir York, 1663; 
pp. 418,464. 



more archaio than that of Egypt id the time rd 
the Pharaohs. A " civilizatioa " like that of the 
Aztecs, without domestic animala or iron tools, 
with trade still in the primitive stage of barter, 
with human sacrifices, and with cannibalism, has 
certunly some of the most vivid features of baiv 
haiism. Along with these primitive features, how- 
ever, there seem to have been — after TnalriTig all 
due allowances — some features of luznry and 
splenctour such as we are wont to associate with 
civilization. The Aztecs, moreover, though doubt- 
less a full ethnical period behind the ancient 
Egyptians in general advancement, had worked 
out a sysliem of hiert^lyphic writing, and had be- 
gun to pnt it to some lit^ury use. It would seem 
that a people may in certain special points reach 
a level of attainment higher than the level which 
they occupy in other points. The Cave men of 
the Glacial period were ignorant of pottery, and 
thoB had not risen above the upper status of sav- 
agery; but their artistic talent, upon which we 
have remarked, was not such as we are wont to 
associate with savagery. Other instances will oo- 
our to us in the proper place. 

Tbs difficulty which people usually find in real- 
izing the true position of the ancient Mexican 
culture arises part^ from the nusconoepticais which 
have until recently distorted the facts, and partly 
from the loose employment of terms above noticed. 
iMMDH of It is quite correct to speak of the Aus> 
••Hngtrr" tralian blaokfeUows as "savages," bat 
tko." nothing is more common than to near 

the same epithet employed to characterize Shaw- 



nees and Mohawks; and to call those Indians 
"savi^eB" is quite misleading. So on the other 
hand the term " civilization" is often so loosely used 
as to cover a large territory belonging to ** barbar- 
ism." One does not look for scientific precision 
in newspapers, bat they are apt to reflect popular 
habits of thoi^ht quite faithfully, and for that 
reason it is proper here to quote from one. In a 
newspaper accoimt of Mr. Cushing's recent discov- 
eries of buried towns, works of irrigation, etc., in 
Arizona, we are first told that these are the remains 
of a ** splendid prebistorio civilization,*' and the 
next moment we are told, in entire unconsciousnest 
of the contradiction, that the people who con- 
structed these works had only stone tools. Now 
to call a people " civUized " who have only stone 
tools is utterly misleading. Kothing bat confusion 
of ideas and darkening of counsd can come from 
such a misuse of words. Such a people may be in 
a high degree interesting and entitled to credit for 
what they have achieved, bat the grade of culture 
which they have reached is not " civilization,*' 

With "savagery" thus encroaching upon its 
area of meaning on the one side, and "civilization" 
encroaching on the other, the word " barbarism," 
as popularly apprehended, is left in a vague and 
unsatisfactory plight. If we speak of Montezuma's 
people as barbarians one stage further advanced 
than Mohawks, we are liable to be charged with 
calling them " savages," Yet the term vihuud 
"barbarism" is a very useful one; in- SfJ^JS" ** 
dispensable, indeed, in the history of " ''•'''•''™- 
hnman progress. There is no other word which 



oan Berre in its stead as a designation of the enoi^ 
mons interval which begins with the invention of 
pottery and ends with the invention of the alphabet. 
The popular usage of the word is likely to be- 
come more definite as it comes to be more generally 
realized how prodigions that interval has been. 
When we think what a considerable portion of 
man's past existence has been comprised within it, 
and what a marvellons tranaformation in human 
knowledge and human faculty has been gradually 
wrought between its b^^nning and its end, the 
period of barbarism becomes invested with moat 
tiirilling interest, and its name ceases to i^pear 
otherwise than respectable. It is Mr. Moi^an'a 
chief title to fame that he has so thoroughly ex- 
plored this period and described its features with 
such masterly skilL 

It is worth while to observe that Mr. Morgan's 
Tiew of the successive st^es of culture is one which 
oould not well have been marked ont in all its parts 
except by a student of American arcbteology. 
Aboriginal America is the richest field in the 
world for the study of barbarism. Its peo[de pre- 
sent every gradation in social life during three 
ethnical periods — the upper period of savagery 
and the lower and middle periods of barbarism—- 
so that the process of development may be most 

syst^naticaUy and inslructively stnd- 
tMTbariun I* icd. Until we have become familiar with 
ptstohfli'ua. ancient American society, and so long 
uwi«nt%iMr- as our view is confined to the phases 

of progress in the Old World, the de- 
mwxsation between civilized and uncivilized life 



seems too abrupt and sudden ; we do not get a cor- 
rect measure of it. The oldest European tradition 
readies baek only through the upper period of bar- 
bmsm.^ The middle and lower periods have lapsed 
into utter oblivion, and it is only modern archieo- 
lineal research that ia beginning to recover the 
traces of them. But among the red men of Amer- 
ica the social life of ages more remote than that 
of the lake villages of Switzerland is in many 
particulars preserved for us to-day, and when we 
study it we be^n to realize as never before the coit- 
tinuity of human development, ite enormous dura> 
tion, and the almost infinite accumulation of slow 
efforts by which progress has been achieved. An- 
cient America is further instructive in presenting 
the middle status of barbarism in a different form 
from that which it assumed in the eastern hemi- 
sphere. Its most conspicuous outward manifesta- 
tions, instead of tents and herds, were strange and 
imposing edifices of stone, so that it was quite 
natural that observers interpreting it from a basis 
of European experience should mistake it for civ- 
ilization. Certain aspects of that middle period 
may be studied to-day in New Mexico and Arizona, 
as phases of the older periods may still be found 
among the wilder tribes, even after all the contact 
they have had with white men. These HnrTivij.eFf 

... ■ • ... bvgona epoch* 

survivals from antiquity will not per- « oaitu™. 
manently outlive that contact, and it is important 
that no time should he lost in gathering and put- 

1 Nov and then, perhaps, bat very raralj, it jnat tonchea tbe 
diMe ot tiia middle period, oa, e. g., In the linee from Hedod aikd 
LBoratiBi abore quoted. 



ting on record all that can be learned of the speecli 
and arts, the cnstoms and beliefs, everythmg that 
goea to constitute the philology and anthropology 
of the red men. For the intell^ent and vigorous 
work of this sort now conducted by the Bure&u of 
Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, under 
the direction of Major Powell, no praise can be too 
strong and no encouragement too hearty. 

A brief enumeration of the principal groups of 
Indians will be helpful in enabling us to compre- 
hend the social condition of ancient America. The 
groups are in great part defined by differences of 
language, which are perhaps a better criterion of 
racial affinity in the New World than in the Old, 
because there seems to hare been little or nothing 
of that peculiar kind of conquest with incorporation 
resulting in complete change of speech which we 
Bometimes find in the Old World ; as, for example, 
when we see the Celto-Ibcrian population of Spain 
and the Belgic, Celtic, and Aquitanian populations 
of Gaul forgetting their native tongues, and adopt- 
ing that of a confederacy of tribes in Latium. 
Kxcept in the ease of Peru there is no indication 
that anylihing of this sort went on, or that there 
Xrib«i»eietj was anything even superficially analo 
EMyoftaa- ' gouB to "empire," in ancient America. 
Sri^ii Amp- What strikes one most forcibly at first 
is the vast number of American lan- 
guages. Adelung, in his " Mithridates," put the 
number at 1,264, and Ludewig, in his "laterature 
of the American Languages," put it roundly at 
1,100. Sguier, on the other hand, was content 



with 400.* The discrepancy arieea from the fact 
that where one scholar sees two or three distmct 
languages another sees two or three dialects of 
one language and counts them as one; it is like 
the difficulty which naturalists find in agreeing as 
to what are species and what are only varieties. 
The great number of languages and dialects 
spoken by a sparse population is one mark of the 
universal presence of a rude and primitiTe fonn 
of tribal society.* 

Hie lowest tribes in North America were those 
that are still to be found in California, in the val- 
ley of the Columbia river, and on the shores of 
Fuget Sound. The Athabaskans of Hudson's 
Bay were on about the same level of savagery. 
They made no pottery, knew nothing of horticul- 
ture, depended for subsistence entirely 

,,^n, , 3 WbM In tll» 

upon bread-roots, nsh, and game, and nnmMatiu 
thus had no village life. They were 
mere prowlers in the upper status of savagdiy.' 
The Apaches of Arizona, preeminent even among 
red men for atrocious cruelty, are an o&hoot 
from the Athabaskan stock. Very little better 
are the Shosfaones and Bannocks that still wander 

* Wmot, " BibliogTapUoBJ Notea on Amerioan lingnlatiog," 
in bii Nan. and Cril, Hist., vol. 1. pp. 420-~12S, gives an admimblB 
nnrey of the mbject. See also Filling's bibbograpLical baHetiua 
of Iraqirolsa, Sooan, and MnskhageaDlangaages, published bjthe 
Banaa of Ethnalogy. 

' Exatriioru of an Evolvtionitt, pp. 147-174 

* Fora good aceonnt of Tndiiuis in t^ apperatatna of iav^^ry 
imtdl modified bj contact with ciiilii&tion, see Mjron Eells, " Tba 
Twaoa, Chemaknin, and Klallani Indiana of Washington Terri- 
tory," Smithmniaa B^ort, 1887, pp. 605-681. 



among the lonely bare mountains and over the 
weird sage-bruah plains of Idaho. The region 
west of the Hooky Moiintaina and north of New 
Mexico is thus the regioa of savagery. 

Between the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantio 
coast the aborigines, at the time oi the Discovery, 
might have betm divided into »x or seven groups, 
of which three were mtnated mainly to the east 
of the Miasismppi river, the others mainly to the 
west of it. All were in the lower period of bar- 
barism. Of the western croups, bv far 
iMmijot the most numerous were the Uakotas, 
comprising the Sioux, Foncas, Omahas, 
lowas, Kaws, Otoes, and Missouria. From the 
headwaters of the Mississippi their territory ex- 
tended westward on both sides of the Missouri for 
a thousand miles. One of their tribes, the Win- 
nebagos, had crossed the Mksissippi and pressed 
into the region between that river and Lake 

A second group, very small in numbers but ex- 
tremely interesting to the student of ethnolt^y, 
comprises the Minnitarees and Mandans on tbe 
upper Missouri.' The roinants of these tribes 
now live together in the same vilh^e, and in per- 
sonal appearance, as well as in intelligence, they 
are described as superior to any other red men 

' An esMlknt deanipliaD tit -diem, pn^naily iDiMlnted with 
oolooml pictnrea, may be found in Catlin'a Norii American J»- 
diaas, vol. i. pp. 08-207, 'Jth ed., London, 1648 ; the Htiior wu 
an aoonrate and tnutworthj olnerTer. Some wiitera lune placed 
these tribee in tiis Dakota gronp because of tba large nmnber of 
Dakota wonla in their Ungni^ ; but Iheae are probablj borrowed 
Wonli, like the ntunerooa Frescli words in English. 



north of Kev Mexico. From th^ first disooT* 
ery, by the brothers La Vfirendrye «^^jn™i. 
in 1742, down to Mr. Catlin's visit J^St^S!* 
nearly a oentury later, there waa no 
change in their condition,^ but shortly afterward, 
in 1838, the greater part of them were swept 
away by small-pox. The exceUence of their borti- 
onlture, the framework of their bouses, and their 
peculiar reli^ous ceremonies early attracted at^ 
tention. Upon Mr. CatUn they made such an 
impresraon that he fancied there must be an iufu- 
uon of white blood in them ; and after the fashion 
of those days he sought to account for it by a ref- 
erence to the legend of Madoc, a Welsh prince 
who was dimly imagined to have sfuled to America 
about 1170. He thought that Madoc'e party might 
have sailed to the Mississippi and founded a col- 
ony which ascended that river and the Ohio, bnilt 
the famous mounds of the Ohio valley, and finally 
migrated to the upper Missouri^ To this specu- 
lation was appended the inevitable list of words 
which happen to sound somewhat alike in Man- 
dan and in Welsh. In the realm of free fancy 
everything is easy. That there was a Madoc who 
went somewhere in 1170 is quite possible, but as 
shrewd old John Smith said about it, "where 
this place was no history can show."^ But one 

' Se« Francis PukniBii'B paper, " Hie THaeowrj of &e Rocky 
Monnfftina," AtlanHi: Monthly, Jime, 1888. I hope the appear- 
ance of tbii article, two yean ^o, mdioatee that we hare act 
much longer to wait for the next of that magnificent serieB of 
Tolames on tJie hiatorj of the Frenoh in North America. 

^ North American Indians, toI. ii,, AppendiT A. 

' Smith's Generail Hiitorie of Virginia, Nob Eiylajid and th$ 
Summer Iilet, p 1, London, 1620. 



part of Mr. Gatlin's speculation may have hit 
somewhat nearer the truth. It is possible that 
the Minnitarees or the Mandans, or both, may be 
a remnant of some of those Mound-bnilders in 
the Mississippi valley concerning whom something 
will presently be said. 

The third group in this western region consists 
of the Pawnees and Arickarees,' of thd 
Platte valley in Kebraska, with a few 
kindred tribes farther to the south. 

Of the three groups eastward of the Mississippi 
we may first mention the MaskoM, or Muskhogees, 
HHkokiiuB- consisting of the Choctaws, Chickasaws, 
"'■ Seminoles, and others, with the Creek 

confederacy.^ These tribes were intelligent and 
powerful, with a culture well advanced toward 
the end of the lower period of barbarism. 

The Algonquin family, bordering at its south- 
ern limits upon the Maskoki, had a vast range 
northeasterly along tiie Atlantic coast until it 
reached the confines of Labrador, and north- 
westerly through the region of the Great Lakes 
and as far as the Churchill river ' to the west of 

1 For iLe history and eUmolo^ of iLese intereatiiig tribes, see 
tbxee learned papers by J. B. Donbar, in Magaam qfAmtrican 
HiiUrry, vol. i». pp. 241-281 ; toI. t. pp. 321-342 ; toI, viii. pp. 
134r-756 ; also Oriimell's Pawnee Bero Storieg and FoOc-Tala, 
New York, 1889. 

' TheM tribes of Hm Onlf region were formerly gronped, bIoii{; 
with others not akin to them, ab " Mnbilians." The Cherokees 
were supposed to belong to tJle Haekoki famUj, bnt they have 
lately been deoltmd an intniBiTe offshoot from tlie Iroqnins Htoolc 
The remoaDta of snother alien tribe, the once famoos Natohei, 
were adopted into the Creek oonfederacy. For a, fnll accoant of 
these tribea, see Oatachet, A Migration Legtnd of the Creek lit- 
diant, vol. L, Philadelphia, 1884. 

* Howse, Grammar of the Cree Language, London, 1865, p. viL 



Hudson's Bay. In other wordu, the Algonqaim 
were bonnded on the south by the Maakoki,^ on 
the west by the Dakotas, on the north- 
west by the Atbf^>a^aiis, on the north- < 
east by Sakimos, and on the east by 
the ocean. Between Lake Superior and the Bed 
KiTer of the North the Creea had their hunting 
grounds, aud closely related to them were the 
Pettawatomiea, Ojibwas, and Ottawa^. One off- 
shoot, including the Blackfeet, Cheyennes, and 
Arrapahos, roamed as far west as the Bochy 
Mountains. The great triangle between the up- 
per Mississippi and the Ohio was occupied by the 
Menomoneee and Kickapooa, the Sacs and Foxes, 
the Miamis and Illinois, and the Shawnees. Along 
the coast r^on the principal Algonquin tribes 
were the Powhatans of Virginia, the Lenape or 
I>elawares, the Munsees or Miniainks of the moun- 
tains about the Susquehanna, the Mohegans on 
the Hudson, tiie Adirondftcks between that river 
and the St. I^wrenoe, the Narragansetts and th^ 
congeners in New England, and finally the Mia- 
macs and Wabenaki f^r down East, aa the last 
name implieS' There is a tradition, supported to 
some extent by linguisdo evidence,' that the Mo- 
hegans, with their cousins the Pequots, were more 
closely related to the Shawuees than to the Dela- 
ware or coast group. While all the Algonqnin 
tribes were in the lower period of barbarism, there 
was a noticeable gradation among them, the Crees 

' Except in BO far aa the Cherokees and Toaoarorac, pceienUy 
to be mentioned, were interposed. 
' Brinton, Tkt Xenqjie and their Legends, p. 30. 



and Ojibwas of the far NortK standing lowest in 
ooltore, and tlie Shawnees, at their southernmost 
limits, standing highest. 

We have observed the Dakota tribes pressing 
eastward agunst their neighbours and sending out 
an offshoot, the Winnebagos, across the Missis- 
sippi river. It has been supposed that the Huron- 
Iroquois group of tribes was a more re- 
qiioii[(BiOj<i( mote offshoot from the Dahotas. This 
is rery doubtful j but in the thirteenth 
or fourteenth century the general trend of the Hn- 
ron-Iroqnois movement seems to have been east- 
ward, either in successive swarms, or in a single 
Bwarm, which became divided and scattered by 
segmentation, as was cwmmon with all Indian 
tribes. They seem early to have proved their 
superiority over the Algonquins in bravery and 
intelligence. Their line of invasion seems to have 
nm eastward to Niagara, and thereabouts to have 
bifurcated, one line following the valley of the St. 
Lawrence, and the other that of the Susquehanna. 
The Hurons established themselves in the penin- 
flula between the lake that bears their name and 
Lake Ontario. South of them and along the 
northern diore of Lake Erie were settled their 
kindred, afterward called the " Neutral Nation." * 
On the southern shore the Eries planted themselves, 
while the SiisquehamiockB pushed on in a direc- 
tion sufficiently described by their name. Farthest 

' BecBiue tbe; refmed to take part In the strife betvreen die 
Enroiu imd tbe Fire Ndtduiu. Their Indian name was Attiwan- 
dATona. They were muarpaBsed for ferooitx. Seo FarkmaiL 

Jetxit* in North Aatriea, p. xUt. 



of all penetrated the Tuscaroras, even into tiw 
pine forests of North Carolina, where they nutin> 
tained themselves in isolation from their kindred 
nntil 1715, These invasions resulted in some dia. 
placement of Algonquin tribes, and began to sap 
the strength of the confederacy or alliance in 
which the Delaw&res had held a foremost place. 

But by far the most famous and important of 
the Huron-Iroquois were those that followed the 
northern shore of Lake Ontario into the valley of 
the St. Lawrence. In that direction their progress 
was checked by the Algonquin tribe of Adiron- 
dacks, but they succeeded in retaining a foothold 
in the country for a long time | for in 1635 Jacques 
Cartier found on the site which he nuned Mont- 
real an Iroqnois village which had vanished before 
Champlain's arrival seventy years later. Those 
Iroquois who were thrust back in the struggle for 
the St. Lawrence valley, early in the fifteenth 
century, made their way across Lake Ontario and 
established themselves at the month of the Oswego 
river. They were then in three small tribes, — the 
Mohawks, Onondagas, and Seneoas, — but as they 
grew in numbers and spread eastward to the Hud- 
son and westward to the Grenesee, the intermediate 
tribes of Oneidas and Cayngas were formed by seg- 
mentation.' About 1450 the five tribes — after. 
wards known as the Five Nations — Then™ 
were joined in a confederacy in purau- ^"''™- 
ance of the wise counsel which Hayowentha, or 
Hiawatha,' according to the legend, whispered into 



the ears of the Onondaga sachem, B^anoweda. 
This union of their reBources combined, with their 
native braveiy and cunning, and their occupatiim of 
the most commanding military poaition in eastern 
Korth America, to render them invincible among 
red men. They exterminated their old enemiea 
the Adirondachs, uid pushed the Mohegana over 
tiie mountains from the Hudson river to the Con- 
nectioot. When they first encountered white men 
in 1609 their name had become a terror in Mew 
England, insomuch that as soon as a single Mohawk 
was caught sight of by the T"'^''^"'' in that coontiy, 
tihey would raise the cry from hill to hill, " A Mo- 
hawk t a Mohawk t " and forthwith would flee hke 
sheep before wolves, never dreaming of resistance/ 
After the Five Nations had been supplied with 
firearms by the Batch their power increased with 
portentous rapidity.^ At first they sought to peiv 
suade their neighboun of kindred blood and speech, 
the £ries and others, to join their confederacy ; 

the least, doabtfoL At a traditional iniltiiie4ieni hw attribntM 
■n tluHi ot loHkeha, Miohabo, Qaetetlooatl, VirHwehai tutd all 
that dan of Bk;-gt>da to which I Bball again bare ocoasiou to lef ai. 
S«e Bnaton'a Mythi o/the Nob World, p. 172. When the Indian 
■pealu ot Hiawatlia vhiapering adTlce to Daganoirida, his meao- 
ing it probably die same as that of the ancient Greek when ha 
Mtribotad tlie wisdom of aoiiie mtwtal bero to vbispercd adrioe fron 
Zens OF bia messenger Hermes. Longfellow's famona poem is 
based upon Schoolcraft's book entitled He HiavxUha Legeitdi, 
which is really a misDomer, for the book conrists obiefly of Ojibwa 
■tories abont Manabozho, ton of the West Wind. Then waa 
really no sneh legeod of Hiawatha as that which the poet has 
immortalized. Sea Hale, The Jroquoit Book of Eites, pp. 30, 

* Codwallader Colden, Hiatarg of the Fie* Nationa, New Turk, 

* Mmgait, Leagua oflielroqmU, p. 12. 



and failing in this they vent to var and extermi* 
nated them.* Then they overthrew one Algonquin 
tribe after another until in 1690 their career waa 
checked by the French. By that time they had 
reduced to a tributary condition most of the Algon- 
quin tribes, even to the Missiaaippi river. Some 
vriters have spoken of the empire of the Iroquois, 
and it has been surmised that, if they had not been 
interfered with by white men, they might have 
played a part analogous to that of ihe Bomans in 
the Old Worid ; but there is no real similarity be- 
tween the two cases. The Romans acquired their 
mighty strength by Jncorporatii^ vanquished peo- 
ples into their own body politic' No American 
aborigines ever had a glimmering of the process of 
state-building after the Soman fashion. No incor- 
poration resulted from the victories of the Iroquois. 
^Vliere their burnings and massacres stopped short 
of extermination, they simply took tribute, which 
was as far as state-craft had got in the lower period 
of barbarism. General Walter has smmned up 
their military career in a single sentence : " They 
were the scourge of God upon the aborigines of 
the continent."' 

The six groups here enumerated — Dakota, 
Mandan, Pawnee, Maskoki, Algonquin, Iroquois 

1 All except tbeduttmt Tiucaionia, who in 1715 migrated fram 
Nortli Gaioliika to New Tork, and joindng tbe Imqaoia leajpie 
made it the Six Nations. AH die reet of the ontlyii^ Hnron- 
boqneii (took was wip«d out of eziMeDoe before die end of tbe 
■eTenteenth eeatarr, except the lenuiaiit of Hnroos siiice known 
as WyandotH. 

* See my Btgimdngs of Nob England, ohap. L 

■ P. A. Walker, " The Indian Qneetion," North Amencaa Bf 
view, April, 18T<i, p. 37a 



—made op the great body of the aborigines of 
North America who at the time of the Discovery 
lived in the lower statna of barbarism. All made 
pottery of various degrees of rudeness. Their 
tools and weapons wero of the Neolithic type, — ■ 

stone either polished or accurately and 
mi^ ba di»- artistically chipped. For the most 
from fleid part they lived in stockaded villages, 

and cultivated maize, beans, pumpkins, 
squashes, sunflowers, and tobacco. They depended 
for subsistence partly upon such vegetable prod- 
ucts, partly upon hunting and fishing, the women 
generally attending to the horticulture, the men to 
the chase. Horticulture is an appropriate desig- 
nation for this stage in which the groimd is merely 
scratched with stone spades and hoes. It is incip- 
ient a^culture, but should be carefully distin- 
guished from the _field agriculture in whidh exten- 
sive pieces of land are subdued by the plough. 
The assistance of domestic animals is needed be- 
fore such work can be carried far, and it does not 
appear that there was an approadi to field agri- 
culture in any part of pre-Columbiau America 
except Peru, where men were harnessed to the 
plough, and perhaps occasionally llamas were used 
in the same way.' Where subsistence depended 
upon rude horticulture eked out by game and fish, 
it required a lai^ ten-itory to support a sparse 
population. The great diversity of languages 
contributed to maintain the isolation of tribes 
and prevent extensive confederation. Intertribal 

■ Sen Hnmboldt, AntuAtea der Natur, 3d ed., Stattgait, 1819^ 
ToLLji. 203. 



varfare was perpetual, save now and then for 
truces of brief duration. Warfare was attended 
by wholesale massacre. Aa many prisoners as 
could be managed wei« taken home by pontiui 
their captors ; in some cases they were ''™™ 
adopted into the tribe of the latter as a means of 
increasing its fighting strength, otherwise they 
were put to death with lingering torments.^ There 
was nothing which afforded the red men snoh ex- 
quisite delight aa the spectacle of live human flesh 
lacerated with stone hnivea or hisEong under the 
touch of firebrands, and for elaborate ingenuity in 
devising tortures they have never been equalled.' 

* " Women asS. obildren jconed in these fiendish atrooities, and 
when *t length Ae victim yielded op hi» life, liis heart, if he irers 
bTBTe, was ripped from his bod;, cut in pieces, broiled, and ^vea 
to the joDiig men, under the belief that it voold increase their 
oonrage ; they drank his blood, thinking it ironld moke them 
more iraly ; and finally his bod; was dinded limb from limb, 
roasted or thrown into Uie seething pot, and handi and feet, 
•nns and 1^8, head and trunk, were all sMwed into a horrid 
mess and eaten amidst yells, songs, and daooes." Jeffries W;- 
man, in StvaOh Beport ofPtahody Mateum, p. 37. For details 
of the most appalling oharaoter, see Bnttorfield's History of the 
Qirty; -pp. 176-182 ; Stone's Life o/Joaeph Brani, voL ii pp. 31, 
82 ; Dodge's Plains of tlie Cheat West, p. 418, and Oar WUd In- 
dians, pp. 625-529; Parkman's Jesuits in Iforth America, pp. 
387-301 ; and man; other plaoea in Parkman's writings. 

^ One often heais it said tJiat the cmelty of the Indians was 
not greater than that of mediarsl Enropeana, as exemplified in 
jndicial torture and in the hmnns of the Inquiaitioii. But in 
snch a judgment there Is lack of due discrimination. In the 
practice td tortoie by oivil and eoclesiasticsal tribaoals in the 
ACddle Ages, there was a definite moral pu^HMe which, howerer 
lamentably mistaken or perverted, gave it a var; different char- 
aoter from tortoie wantonly inflicted for amusement. The atro.. 
cities formerly attendant apon the sack of towns, as e. g. Beiiera. 
Uagdebnrg, etc., might more piopeil; be regarded as an iUostia- 



Gamubaltsm was quite commonly practised.^ The 

lion of the Burviial of a spirit fit only for the lowest luvbarism : 
and the Siuuiieh cimqaaroRi of the New World themBalTes often 
exhibited onieltr enoh ■■ even Indiun Midom aarpam. See be- 
low, ToL ii p. 444. In spite of euoh caies, howerer, it nmat I>« 
held Uiat for artistio skill in inflicting the greatest pOHaible in- 
tensitj of eiemeiating pain apon every nerve in the body, the 
l^uiaid was a bangla and a novios aa compared with the In- 
dian. See Dodge's Our Wild Indiani, pp. &S6-538. Colonel 
Dodge was in farniliar contact with Indians for more (han thirty 
years, and writes with faimOHs and discrimination. 

In truth the question as to comparative cmelty ie not so nscb 
oBo of race as of ooonpatdou, except in so far ae raoe is rooolded 
by loi^ ooonpation. The " old Adam," i. e. the inheiitanee from 
onr bnite anoestors, is very strong in the hnman noe. CallooBr 
ness to the snfferinj; <d otheis than self is part of this bnrt^jn- 
heritUKM, and nnder the influence of certun habits and ooea- 
patdona tlus gena of calloneness may be developed to almost any 
height of devilish omelty. In the loner stages of onltore the 
lack of political a^regation on a . large sonle is attended with 
iiicesBBnt warfare in the shape in which it comes home to every- 
hody's door. This state of things heeps alive the passion of re- 
venge and gtimnlates craelty to the highest d^ree. As long as 
snoh a state of things endures, as it did in Europe to a limited 
•itent throoghont the Middle Ages, there is snie to be a dread- 
Ail amoimt of cruelt?. The change in (he conditions of modern 
warfare has been a very important factor in the rapidly incnM- 
ing mildneas and humanity of modern times. See my Begiitningi 
of Sew England, pp. 228-229. Something more will be said 
hereafter with reference to the special casses concerned in the 
omelty and bmtality of the Spaniards in America. Meanwhile 
it may be observed in the present connection, that the SpaniA 
taakiOssters who mntilated and burned their slaves were not rep- 
leseutative typee of their own race to anything like the same 
extent as the Indians who tmtnred Br^beuf or Crawford. U 
the fiendish Fedrarias was a Spaniard, so too was the s^tly Lm 
CasBS. Tbe latter type would be as impoeuble among harbari- 
ana as an Aristotle or a Beethoven. Indeed, though there we 
writers who would like to prove the contrary, it may be donbt«d 
whether that type bas ever attuned to perfection except ander 
die inflnenoe of Chrisldanity. 
, 1 See the evidence collected by Jeffries Wyman, in Steeath Bt- 



■calps of slain enemiea Trere always taken, and 
until tbey had attained such trophiea the young 
men were not likely to find favour in the eyes of 
women. The Indian's notions of morality were 
Uiose that belong to that state of society in which 
the tribe is the largest well-established political 
a^regate. Murder without the tribe was meri- 
torious unless it entailed risk of war at an obvious 
disadvantage ; murder within the tribe was either 
revenged by blood-feud or compounded by a pres- 
ent ^ven to the victim's kinsmen. Such rudi- 
mentary wergild was often reckoned in wampum, 
or strings of beads made of a kind of mussel shell, 
and put to divers uses, as personal ornament, 
mnemonic record, and finally money. Belig^ona 
thought was in the fetishistic or animistic stage,^ 
while many tribes had risen to a vague conception 
of tutelar deities embodied in human or nnima l 
forms. Myth-tales abounded, and the folk-lore of 
the red men is fomid to be extremely interesting 
and instructive.' Their reli^on consisted mainly 

port ofFeabody Muteam, pp, 27-37 ; cf . Wake, Evoiution of Mo- 
raiity, toL i. p. 243. Many iUnatrationa are giTen b; Mr. Park- 
tnon. In this oonnectdon it may be observed that the namo 
" Mohawk " meana "Cannibal." It ia an Algonqnin word, ap- 
plied to tliis IroqnoiB tribe by their enemiea ia the CcnmeeticDt 
valley and aboat the lower Hndson. The name by which tbo 
MoTiawka called themselvea vaa " Ganiengaa,'* or " Feople-at* 
tte-FKnt" See Hale, I^ Iroqaoit Bilk ofBUa, p. 173. 

' For acoonnts and eiplanaiiona of amniiBm aee Tylor'g Primi- 
tive Cidiure, London, 1871. 2 Tola. ; Caapari. Urgeschiclite der 
WHMcM«i(, Leipsic, 1877, 2 vols.; Spencer's Priacipla ofSod- 
clogg, part [. ; and my Mytht and JfytAmaiej-j, ohap. vii. 

1 No time ahonld be lost ia ^tbering and reaoiding every 
■orap of this folk-lore that can be found. The American Folt- 
Iiore Soolety, fotutded ehiefly through the ezertioni of my friend 



in a devout belief in witchcraft. Mo well-defined 
priestly class had been erolved; the so-called 
"medicine men" were mere conjurers, though 
possessed of considerable influence. 

But none of the cbaracteristicB of barbarous 
society above specified will carry us so far toward 
realizing the gulf which divides it from civilized 
society as the imperfect development of its do- 
mestic relations. The importance of this subject 
is such as to call for a few words of special eluci- 

Thirty years ago, when Sir Henry Maine pub- 
lished that magnificent treatise on Ancient Law, 
which, when considered in all its potency of sug- 
gestivenesg, has perhaps done more than any 
other single book of our century toward placiug 
the study of history upon a scientific basis, he be- 
gan by showing that in primitive soci- 
ety the individual is nothing and the 
state uothing, while the family^^up is everything, 
and tbat the progress of civilization politically has 

Ur. W. W. Nevell, and orgBoized Jbdubt; 4, 1S8S, IB altead J Adaji 
eioellant work and promises to 'beoome a Tolmible aid, witHin hg 
field, to the -work of the BnrsMi of Ethnology. Of the Journal 
of dlmerican JUJt-Lore, pablished for the K>d«t; by Measn. 
fionghtoQ, MiPHin &, Co., nme nambers have appeared, and the 
leader -wiU find th?m full of valnable inf onnation. One may also 
profitably oonsnlt Enortz'a JfaircAen and Sagm der nordamerika- 
niacAen Indiana; Jena, 1811 ; Brinton'a Miftka of the New World, 
K. T., 1868, and his American Sero-Myths, Phila., 1882 ; Leland's 
Algonquin Legendaof Nob England, Boston, 1384; Mrs. Emerwrn's 
Indian Mgtlu, Boatoo, 18M. Some brief refiectiona sad criticUnu 
of mnoh Taloe. in relation to aborif^aJ Amertoan folk-lore, may 
bo found in Cnidn's Myllu and FoUo-Lore of Ireland, pp. 12-27. 



consisted on the one lumd in the a^$;r^ation and 
building up of family-groups tlirough intermediate 
trihal organizations into states, and on the other 
hand in the disentanglement of individuals from 
the family thraldom. In other words, we began 
by having no political communities larger than 
clans, and no bond of political union except blood 
relationship, and in this state of things the indi> 
vidual, as to his rights and obligations, wa£ sub- 
merged in the clan. We at length come to have 
great nations like the English or the French, in 
which blood-relationship as a bond of political, 
union b no longer indispensable or even mnch 
thought of, and in which the individual citizen is 
the possesaor of legal rights and subject to legal 
obligations. Mo one in our time can forget how 
beautifully Sir Henry Maine, with his profound 
knowledge of early Aryan law and custom, from 
Ireland to Hindustan, delineated the slow growth 
of individual ownership of property and individ- 
ual responsibility for delict and crime out of an 
earlier stage in which ownership and responsibility 
belonged only to family-groups or clans. 

In all these brilliant studies Sir Henry Maine 
started with the patriarchal family as we find it at 
the dawn of history among all peoples of Aryan 
and Semitio speech, — the patriarchal 
femily of the ancient Roman and the uchaua 
ancient Jew, the family in which kin- 
ship is reckoned through males, and in which all 
authority centres in the eldest male, and descends 
to hia eldest son. Maine treated this patriarchal 
family as primitive ; but his great hook had hairdly 

tchal family 



appeared when otlier scholars, more familiar than 
he with races in savagery or in the lower status of 
barbarism, showed that his view was too restricted. 
We do not get back to primitive sociely by study- 
ing Chreeks, Bomans, and Jews, peoples who had 
nearly emerged from the later period of barbarism 
when we first know them.' Their patriarchal fam- 
ily was perfected in shape during the later period 
of barbarism, and it waa preceded by a much ruder 
and less definite form of family-group in which 
kinship was reckoned only through the mother, 
and the headship never descended from father to 
son. As so often happens, this discovery was 
made almost simultaneously by two inrestigat<)rs, 
each working in ignorance of what the other was 
doing. In 1861, the same year in which " Ancient 
Xjaw " was published, Professor Bachofen, of Basel, 
"Hotho^ published his famous book, " Das Mut- 
''*'^" terrecht," of which his co-discoverer and 

rival, after taking exception to some of his state- 
ments, thus cordially writes : " It remains, how- 

1 Until lately our aoqnaintaQM vith hnniaii hiatorj waa derived 
altuoM eiotnaively from literary memorials, amoDK vliiiA the 
Bible, On Homerio poenii, and tJie Tedaa, carried <u baek aboat 
M far as Utentnre eonld take ns. It wu natnral, therefon, to 
(nippoae that the eodet? of the limea of A'braluHu or Agamemuoa 
ma "primitive," and the wisest soholan reasoned apou snoh an 
anamption. With vision thtiB restricted to civQized man and hia 
ideas and works, people felt free to specnlate aboat nnoiviliwd 
races (generally gionped together indiscriminately as " savages ") 
««oording to any & priori wHm that might happen to oaptivate 
their fancy. Bat Oie discoveries of the last haJf-cantnry have 
Opened inch stupeadoaB vistas of the past tjiat the ago of Abra- 
ham seems bat as yesterday. The state of society described in the 
book of Genesis had five entire ethnical periods, and the greater 
part of a sixth, behind it ; Had its imtitatlona were, oomparativelj 
speaking, modem. 



ever, after all qnalificatioiis and dediiotioiis, that 
Badiofeii, before aaj ooe else, discovered the fact 
that a BjBtem of kinship through mothers only, 
had aucierLtly everywhere prevailed before the tie 
of blood between father and child had found a 
place in ^Btems of relationships. And the honour 
of that discovery, the importance of which, aa 
affording a new starting-point for all history, can- 
not be overestimated, must without stint or cinalr 
ificatioo be assigned to him." ' Such are the gen- 
erous words of the late John Fei^^uson McLennan, 
who had no knowledge of Bachofen's work when 
his own treatise on " Primitive Marriage " was 
pablisbed in 1865. Since he was so modest in ui^- 
ing his own claims, it is due to the Scotch lawyer's 
memory to say that, while he was infeiior in point 
of erudition to the Swiss professor, his book is char^ 
acterized by greater sagacity, goes more prtmiun 
directly to the mark, and is less enoum- ""^""^ 
bered by visionary speculations of doubtful value.' 
Mr. McLeimaa proved, from evidence colleeted 
chiefly from AuHtralians and South Sea Islanders, 
and sundry non-Aryan tribes of Hindustan and 
Utibet, that systems of kinship in which the father 
is ignored exist to-day, and he furthermore discov- 
ered unmistakable and veiy significant traces of the 
former exiatence of such a state of things among 
the Mongols, the Greeks and Fhoenioians, and the 
ancient Hebrews. By those who were inclined to 

1 MaLennan'B Studies in Amioit Historg, con^riiiitg a nprint ^ 
Primiliae Marriage, eto. London, 1876, p. 421. 

' There is nrooh that ia anBonnd in it, however, as ia often 
ineTitablj the case with books that strike bold]; into a. new field 



regard Sir Henry Maine's views as final, it was 
argued that Mr. McLennan's facts were of a spo- 
radic and exceptional character. But when the 
evidence from this vast archie world of America 
began to be gathered in and interpreted by Mr. 
Morgan, this argument fell to the ground, and as to 
the point chiefly in contention, Mr. McLennan was 
proved to be right. Throughout abo- 

Tha nitem of . . , , . ... 

iwkoDiug nginal America, with one or two ex- 
thnng^ ceptions, kinship was reckoned through 

females only, and in the exceptional in- 
stances the vestiges of that system were so promi- 
nent as to make it clear that the chai^ had been 
but recently efEected. During the - past fifteen 
years, evidence has accumulated from various 
parts of the world, untU it is beginning to appear 
as if it were the patriarchal system that is excep- 
tional, having been reached only by the highest 
races.^ Sir Henry Maine's work has lost none o£ 

* A general tww of the anbisot m&; be obtuiied from the fol- 
ItnriiiK worki: Bacbofen, .Dm ifuUarecU, Stnttgut, 18T1, 
and Dit Bage son Taaaqmi, Heidelbeig, IBTO; MoLemuui's Stud- 
ia in Anaent Hiiton/, LoDdon, 18T8> and The Fatriardial 
Theory, London, 13S4; Mohan's SyMms of CaruangiBTUlS 
(^nitlwiniaa Contribatians to Knowledge, ToL iriL), Washing- 
ton, 1871, and Ancitnt Sodas, New York, 1877; Kobertaon 
Soutli, Kin^p and Marriage in Early Arabia, Cambridge, Eng., 
1886; Lnbbock, On'jin of Civiliiaiioii, 6th ed., Londoa, 1880; 
QitaBd-Tenlon, La 3Rrt lAtx ctrtaint pagiUt de Van^gwiti, Paris, 
1867, and Lti Originci dt la Famitie, Qeneva, 1874 ; Staicke (of 
Copenhagen), Tht Primitive Famitj/, London, 1889. Some oriti- 
MDoi npon HoLennan and Morgan may be fonnd in Maine's later 
wsrks, Early HiHory of Itutitutione, London, 1876, and Early 
Law and Cuitom, London, 1883. By far the ablest critical anrvey 
of the vhcJe field is Chat in Spenoar's Prineiples of Sociology, toL 
L pp. 621-797. 



its Talue, only, like all human work, it is not final; 
it needa to be supplemented by the further study 
of Barageiy aa best exemplified in Australia and 
some parts of Polynesia, and of barbarism as best 
exemplified in America. The subject is, more- 
over, one of great and complicated dif&oulty, and 
leads incidentally to many questions for solving 
which the data at oiur command are still inade- 
quate. It is enough for us now to observe in 
general that while there are plenty of instances 
of change ^m the system of reckoning kinship 
only through females, to the system of reckoning 
through males, there do not appear to have been 
any instances of change in the reverse direction ; 
and that in ancient America the earlier system 
was prevalent. 

If now we ask the reason for snch a system of 
reckoning kinship and inheritance, so strange ac- 
cording to all our modem notions, the true answer 
doubtless is that which was given by 
prudent (xnrw/i^oc) Telemachus to the nn toi tiw 
goddess Athene when she asked him to 
tell her truly if he was the son of Odysseus : —■ 
" My mother says I am his son, for my part, I 
don't know ; one never knows of one's self who one's 
father is." ^ Already, no doubt, in Homer's time 

1 "AAX' liyt /lOi TiAlc flirt jhI irptjc^vi Kanbifoi', 
(I 3j) J{ atraln jiao] rah tit 'OSuo^oi. 
otnat 7<t|> iC(f oAii'' t( icbI tl>i>4ara Ka\i foiKOi 
Kfir<f, Irtl Ba/iiroior l/tioyiiieff iAAlSXoio-ii', 
rplr yt rit is Tpoli))' hyalK)iiiivM, tyBa np SUoI 
'Apyttay ol SpiUTOi f0ay ml\pi i»l i^valr' 
U ToE r oth' 'OSvir^a iyiv ttoii oti' i^i (hTfoi. 



there was a gleam of satire about this answer, sneh 
as it would show on a modem page ; but in more 
primitive times it was a very serious affair. From 
what we know of the ideas and practices of unoiv- 
ilized tribes all over the world, it is evident that 
the sacredneas of the family based upon indisaolu- 
ble majTiage is a thing of comparatively modem 
growth. If the sexual relations of the Austra- 
lians, as observed to-day,^ are an improvement 
upon an antecedent state of things, that antece- 
naprbuni ^^nt State must have been sheer pro- 
'™°™ ' miscuil^. There is ample warrant for 
supposing, with Mr. McLennan, that at the be- 
ginning of the lower status of savagery, long since 
everywhere extinct, the family bad not made itself 
distinctly visible, but men lived in a horde very 
much like gregarious brutes.^ I have shown that 

/iffrrip fUr r* tf/A ^vi rim %mttvrUf abrltp ^tyvy4 
oiic oB" ■ sii yip li Tw ttf yirar aiihs Iviyvu. 

Odjatey, L208. 

1 Lmnholtz, Atiumg Canmbtdt, p. 218; Labbook, Origin q^ 
CivSization, p. 107 i Morgan, Ajicitnl Society, part iii-, oliap. iii- 
" After baMs it freqnentlf happenB amoi^ tlie nativfl tribeB of 
Anatmlia that tbe wives of the eonqasred, of their own free-vill, 
Eoorerto the vietms; ramiadinK us of the Uoneaa which, quietly 
wstoMog the fight betveen two lioiu, goes oS with the ooo- 
qneror." Spencer, Prinaj^es of Sociology, vol. i. p. 6S2. 

* The notioii of tbe descent of the hmntui race from a nngle 
" pajr," or of differaut racea from different " purs," is a cnrione 
instance a! traastacrii^ modem instdtnttons into times primeTtil. 
Of conree the idea is abanrd. When tbe elder Agassiz so em- 
phatically declared tiiat " pineB have originated io forests, heaths 
in heaths, grasses in prairies, bees in hires, herrings in shoals, 
bnfEaloes in herds, men in nations " (£l3ajran Claia\ficaiioti,'Loa- 
don, 1859, p. 58), he mode, indeed, a mistake of the same sort. 



tlie essential difference between this primeval hu- 
man horde and a mere herd of brutes consisted in 
the fact that the gradual bat very great prolon- 
gation of infancy had produced two effects : the 
lengthening of the care of children tended to dif- 
ferentiate the horde into family-groups, and the 
lengthening of the period of youthful mental plas- 
ticity made it more possible for a new generation 
to improve upon the ideas and customs of its pre- 
decessors.^ In these two concomitant processes 
— the development of the family and the increase 
of mental plasticity, or ubility to adopt new meth- 
ods and strike out into new paths of thought — lies 
the whole explanation of the moral and intellectual 
superiority of men over dumb animals. But in 
each case the change was very gradual.' The true 
Bava^ is only a little less imteachable than the 
beasts of the field. The savage family is at first 
barely discernible amid the primitive social chaos 

■0 far as oonoemB die origin of Man, for the natioD ia a still IQ«« 
modenn mititatiini dian the familj ; bnt in the other Vtataa of hii 
■tatement he vw right, and ai regard the haman race he wa« 
thliilriii|[ in the rif^t diieotioD when he pUoed maititade instead 
of duality at the begtnniog. If instead of that eztramely oon^ 
plez and higUy organized mnltitnde oalled " nation " (in the pin- 
nd), he had Btart«d with the extremely einiple and almoHt nnot- 
ganized innltitnde called "horde" (in the singular), the Btst«- 
ment tor Man wonld ha*e been oonreot. Sndi views were hardly 
witJiin tlie reach of soienoe thirty yean ago. 

' Out/in** of Cosmic Pkilosigihy, part ii., chapa. ivi., ra., nii. j 
BxcuTiioni of an Evolationist, pp. 306-.SI9 ; DonDmwm, and other 
Etiayi, pp. 40-49; The Deatiny of Man, g§ ili.-ia- 

* The slownesa of the daTolopment has apparently heen such 
ai befits the tranecendeiit value of the result. Though the qnea- 
tion is confeeaedly beyond the reach of science, may we not hold 
that civilized man, the creature of an infinite past, is the child ol 
eternity, matnring for an inheritance at immtntal life ? 



in wUch it had its orig^ Along with polyandiy 
fmd polygyny in various degrees and forms, in- 
stances of exclusive piuring, of at least a tempo- 
rary character, are to be fomid among the lowest 

existing savages, and there are reasoDs 
■h-gmip : tiH for supposing that such may have been 

the case even in primeval times. But 
it was impossible for strict monogamy to flourish 
in the ruder stages of social development; and 
the kind of family-^roup that was first clearly 
and permanently differentiated from the primev^ 
horde was not at all like what civilized people 
would recognize as a family. It was the gens or 
dan, as we find it exemplified in all stages from 
the middle period of savagery to the middle pe- 
riod of barbarism. The gens or dan was simply 
— to define it by a third synonym — the Mn ; it 
was originally a ^x>up of males and females who 
were traditionally aware of their ctnnmon descent 

reckoned in the female line. At this 

stage of development there was quite 
generally though not universally prevalent the cus- 
tom of "exogamy," by which a man was forbid* 
den to marry a woman of his own clan. Among 
such Australian tribes as have been studied, this 
primitive restriction upon promiscuity seems to be 
about the only one. 

Thionghont all the earlier stages of culture, 
and even into the civilized period, we find society 
organized with the clan for its ultimate unit, al- 
though in course of time its character becomes 
greatly altered by the substitution of kinship in 
the paternal, for that in the maternal line. By 



long-continued growth and- repeated segmentatton 
tlte primitive dan waa developed into a na*tj wd 
more complex structore, in which a "'*' 
group of clans constituted a pkratry or brother^ 
hood, and a gi^np of phrstries constituted a tribe. 
This threefold grouping is found ao commonly in 
all parts of the world as to afford good ground 
for the helief that it has been univereah It was 
long ago familiar to historians in the case of 
Greece and Borne, and of ouz Teutonic forefathers,^ 
but it also existed g^erally in ancient America, 
and many obscure points connected with the his- 
tory of the Greek and Roman groups have been 
elucidated through the study of Iroqnoia and Al- 
gonquin institutions. Along with the likenesses, 
however, there are numerous unlikenesses, due to 
the change of hinship, among the European 
groups, from the female liae to the male. 

This change, aa it occurred among Aryan and 
Semitic peoples, marked one of the nuist numien- 
tous revolutions in the history of mankind. It 
probably occurred early in the upper period of 
barbarism, or late in the middle period, after the 
long-continued domestication of ftniTtiftlH had re- 
sulted in the acquisition of private property (j>e- 
cas, pectdium, pecunia) in huge amounts by in< 
dividuals. In primitive society there 

,. ,, * , ' , BS«sttitpa» 

waa very little personai property ex- com lue npon 
cept m weapons, dothii^ (such as it upon tiw luu- 
was), and trinkets. Keal estate was un- 
known. Land was simply occupied by the tribe. 
There was general communism and social equal- 
' The Tsntoiiis tMndred and Boiiuui curia aoaweied to the 
Greek ^mfry. 



itj. \a the Old World the earliest instance of 
extensive " adverse possession " on the part of in- 
dividuals, as against other individuals in the dan- 
community, was the possession of flocks and herds. 
Distinctions in wealth and rank were thus inaugu- 
rated ; slavery began to be profitable and personal 
retainers and adherents' useful in new ways. Aa 
in earlier stages the community in marital rela- 
tions had been part of the general community in 
possessions, so now the exclusive possession of a 
wife or wives was part of the system of private 
property that was coming into vogue. The man 
of many cattle, the m^i who could attach subor- 
dinates to him through motives of self-interest as 
well as personal deference, the nian who could de- 
fend his property against robbers, could also have 
his separate household and maintain its sanctity. 
In this way, it is believed, indissoluble marriage, 
in its two forms of monogamy and polygamy, 
ori^^nated. That it had already existed sporadi- 
cally is not denied, but it now acquired such sta- 
bility and permanence that the older and looser 
forms of alliance, hitherto prevalent, fell into dis- 
favour. A natural result of the growth of private 
wealth and the permanence of the marital rela- 
tion was the change in reckoning kinship from the 
maternal to the paternal line. This change was 
probably favoured by the prevalence of polygamy 
among those who were coming to be distinguished 
as "upper classes," since a large family of chil- 
dren by different mothers could be held together 
only by reckoning the kinship through the father. 
Thus, we may suppose, originated the patriarchal 



family. Eyen in its rudest form it was an im- 
mense imprOTement upon what had gone before, 
and to the stronger and higher social organization 
thus acquired we must largely ascribe the rise of 
the Aryan and Semitic peoples to tlw foremost 
rank of civilization.' 

It is not intended to imply that there is no 
other way in which the change to the male line 
may have been brought about among other peo- 
ples. The explanation just given applies very 
well to the Aryan and Semitio peoples, but it is 
inapplicable to the state of things which seems to 
have existed in Mexico at the time of the Dis- 
covery.^ The subject is a difficult one, and some- 
times confronts us with questions much easier to 
ask than to answer. The change has been ob- 
served among tribes in a lower stage than that 
just described.' On the other hand, as old cus- 
toms die hard, no doubt inheritance has in many 
places continued in the maternal line long after 
paternity is fully known. Symmetrical regularity 
in the development of human institutions haa by 
no means been the rule, imd there is often much 
difficulty in explaining pari;icular cases, even when 
the direction of the general drift CEUi be discerned. 

1 Fenton'a Earlg Hebrea Lift, Londoii, 1880, is Bo inteieiting 
atndy of Oie apper period of barbarimn ; lae alBO Spencec, PHn- 
«9i. ofSoeioi., i. 724r-737. 

' See below, p. 122. 

* Aa among Uie Heirey IsUndsTs ; Qill, Mt/lit and Soitgi of tha 
Sooth Fac\fic, p. 36. Sir John Lnbbock vonld aooaiuit for the 
cniioiu and videlj spread cnstoni of the Coavade m & feature of 
this ohange. Origin of Civiiixatiim, pp. 14-11, 150 ; eL TjUx, 
Earlg Hilt. qfUankiad, pp, 288, 297. 



la aboriginal America, ae already obserml, 
kinship through femalee only was the rule, and 
muMOBn- exogamy was strictly enforced, — die 
^SJi^f^ vnie must be taken from a different 
'^ oLbji. Indissoluble marriage, whether 

monogamous or polygamous, seems to have been 
nnknown. The marriage relation was terminable 
at the ■will of either party.' The abiding nnit 
npon which the social etruohire was founded was 
not the funily but the exogamous clan. 

I have been at some pains to elucidate this 
point beoause the lioose-life of the Ameri^caa 
aborigines found visible, and in some instances 
very durable, expression in a remarkable fftyle ci 
house-architecture. The manner in which the In- 
dians built their houses grew directly out of the 
requirements of their life. It was an unmistidi- 
ably diaracteristic architectnre, and while it ex- 

' "HieTe ia no smbuTBaoiUDt growing out oC problenu le- 
Bp«<stiiig tlie woman's future sapport, tlie diviBion of pnpert;, or 
do adJBHliBeot of ol^ms for tlhs pomeasioD of tke ohildien. Tba 
isdepeiKleDt aelf-Biipport of Bvery adult healtliy bidiaa, male or 
female, and the gentile lelationship, whioh is more wide-teaehing 
and Bntlmiitatire tluu that of maniage, have already dupoeed of 
these qneatioiia, vhich are miully h perpleiing for die yAita 
man. So f ar aa personal maintenance is concerned, a woman is, 
as a role, jnA M well off wiihoitt a hmbHod aa with one. What 
Is hen, in the shape of property, remaim her own whether ahe is 
married or not. In fact, marriage amivig these Indians seems to 
be but the natural matit^ of the sexes, to oeaae at 6tt option of 
either of die interested parties." Clay MaoCanley, " The Semi- 
nole Indians of Florida," in Fijlk Annual B^ort of the Bureau of 
Elhnology, Washii^ixin, 1887, p. 497. For a graphic aceonnt of 
the state of tiiii^ uooi^ the Cheyennes and Azrapahos, sea 
Dodge, Our WOd Indian*, pp. 204-320. 



hibita manifold nnlikenessea in detail, dne to dif- 
ferences in intelligence as well as to . ,,^ 
thfi presence or absence of sundry ma- ii«iiKm<K»b- 

^ ^ original uchi- 

terials, there is one underlying princi- J*^'?,'"*'' 
pie always manifest. That underlying 
principle ie adaptation to a c^iaun mode of com- 
munal living such as all American aborigines tliat 
have been carefully studied are known to have 
practised. Through many grada;tions, from the 
sty of the California sara^ up to the noble sculp- 
tured ruins of Uxmal and Chichen-Itza, the prin- 
ciple is always present. Taken tu connection with 
evidence from other sources, it enables us to ex- 
hibit a gradation of stages of culture in aboriginal 
North America, with the savages of the Sacra- 
mento and Columbia valleys at the bottom, and the 
Mayas of Yucatan at the top ; and while in going 
from one end to the other a very long interval was 
traversed, we feel that the progress of the abori- 
gines in crossing that interval was made along 
similar lines. ^ 

The principle was first studied and explained by 
Mr. Morgan in the case of the famous "long 
houses " of the Iroquois. . " The long house . . . 
was from fifty to eighty and sometimes one hun- 
dred feet long. It consisted of a stroi^ frame 
of upright poles set in the ground, which vras 
strengthened with horizontal poles attached witih 
. withes, and surmounted with a triangular, and in 
some cases with a round roof. It was covered over, 

' See Slogan's Hoaaet aad Hmue-IAfe of the Anuriean Abori- 
giM$, Waalungton, 1881, an epocli-niakinff book t£ rare and mk- 



both sides and roof, with long strips of ehn bark 
tied to the frame with Btrings or epLtnts. An ex- 

ternal frame of poles for the sides and of rafters 
The Ion ^^^ *^^ ^°°^ Were then adjusted to hold 

j™^^ ^» tbe bark shingles between them, the 
two frames being tied together. The 
interior of the house was comparted * at intervals 

M i I I I I M M M 
r 1 1 i I i J 1 I i I I I 

Oroand-pliui of long honaik 

of six or eight feet, leaving each chamber entirely 
open like a stall upon the pasBagewa.y which 
passed throagk the centre of the house from end 
to end. At each end was a doorway covered with 
suspended skins. Between each four apartments, 
two on a side, was a fire-pit in the centre of the 
haJl, used in common by their occupants. Thus a 
house with five fires would contain twenty apart- 

> Hub veib of Mr. Morgan's at firat strack me as odd, bat 
tliinig;li rarely osed, it U anppoited bj |;oad authorit; J aee Cm- 
iUry Dictionary, s. v. 



ments and accommodate twenty families, nnleas 
eome apartments were reserved for storage. They 
were warm, roomy, and tidily-kept habitations. 
Raised bunks were constructed around the walla 
of each apartment for beds. From the roof-polee 
were suspended their strings of com in the ear, 
braided by the husks, also strings of dried squashes 
and pumpkins. Spaces were contrived here and 
there to store away their accumulations of provi- 
sions. Each house, as a rule, was occupied by re- 
lated families, the mothers and their children be- 
longing to the same gens, while their husbands 
and the fathers of these children belonged to other 
gentes ; consequently the gens or clan of the 
modier largely predominated in the household. 
Whatever was taken in the hunt or raised by cul- 
tivation by any member of the household . . . 
was for the common benefit. Provisions were 
made a common stock within the household." ^ 

" Over every such household a matron presided^ 
whose duty it was to supervise its domestic econ* 
omy. After the single daily meal had been cooked 
at the different fires within the house, it was her 
province to divide the food from the kettle to the 
several families according to their respective needs. 
What temained was placed in the custody of an- 
other person until she agmn required it." ^ 

* The Iroqnma oeased to bnild ancli hoDB« before the begin- 
ning of the preaent iwntnrT. I quote Mr. Morgan's dwmiptfon 
M Isngth, bee&nse his book is ont of print and hard to obt^n. 
It ought to be republished, and in ootaro, like hia Ancient So- 
titty,oi which it is a condnnation. 

* Lnoien Care, " On tha Social and Political Position of Woman 
■nHmg th« Hnroo-Iroqaoia Tribes," SqiorU of Feabodg lliaeum, 
vd. ia p. 21G. 



Kot only ihe food was oonnnon properly, bat 
msny chattels, including tlie children, belonged to 
the gens or clan. When a yonng woman got mar- 
ried she broi^ht ber buBband home with her. 
Tliougb thenceforth an inmate of this household 
be remained an alien to her clan. " K he proved 
lazy imd failed to do his share of the providii^, 
woe be to him. No matter how many children, or 
whatever goods he might have ia the house, he 
g„„„„^ might at any time be ordered to pick 
*"*™- np his blanket and budge; and after 

such orders it would not be healthful for him to 
disobey ; the house would be too hot for him ; and 
unless saved by the intercession of some aunt or 
grandmother [of his wife] he must retreat to his 
own clan, or, as was often done, go and Btmt a 
new matrimonial alliance in some other. . . . The 
female portioD ruled the house." ' 

Though there was but one freshly-cooked meal, 
taken about the middle of the day, any m^nber of 
the household when hungry oould be helped from 
the common stock. Hospital!^ was universaL If 
a person from one of the other communal house- 
holds, or a stranger from another tribe (in time of 
peace), were to visit the house, the women would 
immediately offer him food, and it was 
a breach of etiijuette to decline to eat it. 
This custom was strictly observed aU over the 
continent and in the West bidia Islands, and was 
often remarked upon by the early discoverers, in 



vhose minds it was apt to implant idyllic notions 
that were afterward rudely disturbed. He prev- 
alence of hospitality among miciviliaed races has 
loi^ been noted by travellers, and is probably in 
most oases, as it certainly was in ancient America, 
closely connected with communism in living. 

The clan, wbioli ]>ntotised tlus communism, had 
its definite organization, ofBcere, rights, and duties. 
Its official head was the " sachem," whose fnnc- 
tioQB were o£ a civil nature. The sachem was 
elected by the clan and most be a member of it, 
BO l^t a son ooidd not be chosen to succeed bis 
father, but a sachem could be succeeded Btmctora at 
by his uterine brother or by his sister's ' 
son, and in this way customary lines of a 
could and often did tend to become established. 
The clan also elected its " chiefs," whose functions 
were military ; the nnmber of chiefs was propor- 
tionate to that of the people composing the clan, 
nsually one chief to every fifty or sixty persons. 
The clan conld depose its sachem or any of its 
chiefs. Personal property, such as weapons, or 
trophies, or rights of user in the garden-plots, was 
inheritable in the female line, and thus stf^ed 
within the clan. The members were reciprocally 
bound to help, defend, and avenge one another. 
Tlie clan had the right of adopting strai^rs to 
strengthen itself. It had the right of naming its 
members, and these names were always obviously 
significant, like Little Turtle, Yellow Wolf, etc ; 
of names like our Eichard or William, with the 
meaning lost, or obvious only to scholars, no trace 
is to be found in aboriginal America. The chta 



itself, too, always had a name, which waa osually 
that of some animal, — as Wolf, Eagle, or Salmon, 
and a rude drawing or pictograph of the creature 
aeiTed as a " totem " or primitive heraldic device. 
A mythological meaning was attached to this em- 
blem. The clan had its own common religions 
rites and common burial place. There was a dan- 
council, of which women might be members ; there 
were instances, indeed, of its being composed en- 
tirely of women, whose position was one of much 
more dignity and influence than has commonly 
been supposed. Instances of squaw sachems were 
not 80 very rare.' 

The number of clans in a tribe naturally bore 
some proportion to the popolousneaa of the tribe, 
varying from three, in the ease of the Delawares, 
to twenty or more, as in the case of the Ojibwas 
and Creeks. There were usually eight or ten, and 
these were usually grouped into two or three phra> 
Qj,^ j^ tries. The phratry seems to have origi- 
jJj^J^J^ nated in the segmentation of the over- 
grown clan, for in some cases ext^amy 
was originally practised as between the phratries 
and afterward the custom died out while it was 
retained as between their constituent elans.' The 

^ Amonj^ the Wyaodots thsre is in eaoh dan a ooandl com- 
posed of {om sqnawB, ud this oomteil eleota the male uehem who 
h its head. Thetefore the tribal oomudl, which in tlie aggngaie 
o{ tlie olan-conncila, oonoista one fifth of lofln aad four fiftha of 
inimen. See PowtJl, " Wjandot Goyernmeat ; a Short Stud? of 
Tribal Socnaty," in First Annual Rtpvrt of the Bureau of Ethttal' 
egt, Waahington, 18B1, pp. 59-49 ; and alM Mr. Cair'a interavtiDK 
eaaa; above oited. 

* H. H. Bancroft, Native Bacei of the Pacific SlaUt, toL i. p. 



Bysteni of naming often indicates this origin of 
tiie pLratrj, though seMom qnite so forcibly as in 
the case of the Mohegan tribe, which was thus 
composed : ^ — 

I. WOLP Phratet. 
Clana : L Wolf, 2. Bear, 3. Dog, 4. OposBum. 

H. Tdetle Pheatbt. 

Clans : 5. Little Turtle, 6. Mud Turtle, 7. Great 

Turtle, 8. YeUow Eel. 

UL TuBKET Phbatbt. 
Clans : 9. Turkey, 10. Crane, 11. Chicken. 

Here the senior dan in the phratry tends to keep 
the original clan-name, while the junior clims have 
been guided by a seme of kinsHp in choosing their 
new names. This origin of the phratry is further 
indicated by the fact that the phratry does not al- 
ways occur ; sometimes the clans are oi^anized di- 
rectly into the tribe. The phratry was not so much 
a goremmental as a reli^ous and social organiza- 
tion. Its most important function seems to have 
been supplementing or reinforcing the action of the 
single elan in exacting compensation for murder ; 
and this point is full of interest because it helps us 
to understand how among our Teutonic forefathers 
the " hundred " (the equivalent of the phratry) 
became (diarged with the duty of prosecuting 
criminals. The Gireek phratry had a precisely 
analogous function.^ 

' Morg*"? Sousea and Hoase-I^e, p. 18. 

* See Fieeman, Comparative Folitia, p. 117 ; Stabbs, Caait. 



The In^an. tribe was a group of people distiu' 
guished by the exclusive possession of a dialect in 
common. It possessed a tribal name and occupied 
Btnirtoj, ^ a more or less clearly defined territory ; 
"^'^'^ there were also tribal religious rites. 
Its supreme government was vested in the council 
of its clan-chiefs and sachems ; and as these were 
thus officers of the tribe as well as of the clan, the 
tribe exercised the right of investing them with 
office, amid appropriate solemnities, after their 
election by their respective dans. The tribal- 
council had also the right to depose chiefs and 
sachems. In some instances, not always, there 
was a head chief or military commander for the 
tribes, elected by the tribal council. Such was 
the origin of the office which, in most societies of 
the Old World, gradually multiplied its functions 
and accumolated power until it developed into 
true kingship. Nowhere in ancient North America 
did it quite reach such a stage. 

Among the greater part of the aborigines no 
higher form of social structure was attained than 
the tribe. There were, however, several instances 
Onj^Mtatton. °^ permanent confederation, of which 
^a batmen jj^ ^^q most interesting and most 
S^iloi.'c^ highly developed were the League of 
teieiicj. (jjg Iroquois, mentioned above, and the 
Mexicau Confederacy, presently to be considered. 
The principles upon which the Iroquois league . 

Sid., vol. i. pp. 98-104 ; Grote, History of Greece, vol. iii. pp. 74, 
88. It is intereBting to oompiire Grotc's desciiptioo with Mor- 
gan's {Anc. Soc., pp. 71, 94) Bud note both the oloseneas <J the 
^Deral parallelism and the ohamoter of the specific ' 



was fotmded have been tWroo^ily and minutely 
explained by Mr. Moigao.' It originated in a 
union of five tribes oomposed of clana in common, 
and speaking five dialects of a common language. 
These tribes had themselves aiisen through the. 
segmentation of a single oT«^;rown tribe, so that 
portions of the origioal clans survived in them all. 
The Wolf, Bear, and Turtle clan were commoD to 
all the five tribes ; &iee other clans were coounon 
to three of the five. " AH the members of the 
same gem [clan], whether Mohawks, Oneidas, 
Onondagas, Cayugas, or Senecas, were brothers 
imd sisters to each other in virtue of their descent . 
from the same common [female] ancestor, and 
they recognized each other as such with the full- 
est cordiality. When they met, the first inquiry 
was the name of each other's geus, and next the 
immediate pedigree of each other's saeheras ; after 
which they were able to find, under their peouli^ 
system of consanguinity, the relationship in which 
they stood to each other. . . . This cross-relation- 
diip between persons of the siune gens in the dif- 
ferent tribes is still preserved and recognized 
among them in aU its original force. It explains 
UiB tenacity with which the fragments of the old 
confederacy still cling together." ' Acknowledged 

^ In his Leagm of Ae InqitoU, Boolw rt w, 1851, a book nam 
mA of print and ezoMnTsl; ntie. A brief »oniioaiy ia given in 
bit AmuoiI iSbcuty, oh^h v., and in hia Hmuet tmd Boaaa-IAfe, 
pp. 23-4L Mr. Morgan vas adopted into tbe S^uoa tribe, and 
his life wcrit wu b«gim by a prafound and exhanatm itnd? at 

' Haiutt and Houit-I^t, p. 33- At the period of tt* gieateet 
pamr, aboot 1071^ the people of tha oonfederaoy weie about 
25,000 In nnmber. Id 1875, aoooKtii^ to ofBoial ttatUtiM (sea 



consanguinity is to the barbarian a sound reason, 
and tbe only one conceivable, for permanent po- 
litical union ; and the very existence of BQch a 
confederacy as that of the Five Nations was ren- 
dered possible only throogh the permanence of 
the clans or communal households vhicb were its 
ultimate units. We have here a cine to the policy 
of these Indians toward the hindred tribes who 
refused to join their lea^e. These tribes, too, so 
far as is known, would seem to have cont^ed the 
same clans. After a, separation of at least four 
hundred years the Wyandots have still five of 
their eight dans in coounon with the Iroquois. 
When the Eries and other tribes would not join 
the league of their kindred, the refusal smacked 
of treason to the kin, and we can quite understand 
the deadly fury with which the latter turned upon 
them and butchered every man, woman, and child 
except such &s they saw fit to adopt into their own 

table appended to Dodge'e Flain$ of the Great Well, pp. 441- 
448), then vera in the state of New 7ark 1S8 OatMaa, 203 
Oiurndsgaa, 166 Cajugaa, 8,043 Senseaa, and 448 Tmotuoiaa, — id 
all 4,067. Beeidee these there were 1,279 Oneidas on a reeervaldMi 
in Wuoonain, and S07 Seueoas in the Indian Tenitar;. Tbe Ho- 
hawka aie not mentioned in the liit. During the Revolntiiaiar; 
War, and just «f terward, the Mohawb migratnd into Upper Can- 
ada (Ontario), for an aoooimt of whiob the readei may connilt 
the BBCond Tolnme of Stone's Life of Brant. Portdtnu of th« 
other tribes also went to Canada. In New York the Oneidaa and 
Toscaroiaa wen conrerted to Christdanity by Samnel Eiiklllnd 
and withheld from alliance with the British during the BeToIa- 
tdon ; the othera still retun their ancient relif^on. They an tor 
die most part f anaers and are now inoreaaii^ in nmnbeis. Their 
treatment by the state of New York has been honourably distin- 
guished for joBtiee and humanity. 



E^h of the Five Tribes retained its local aelf- 
govenunent. The supreme government of the con- 
federacy was vested in a General Coimcil of fifty 
sachems, " equal in rank and authority." The fifty 
saehemships were created in perpetuity in certain 
clans of the several tribes; whenever a vacancy 
occurrsd, it was filled by the clan electing one of 
its own members; a sachem once thus elected 
could be deposed by the clan-council for 
good cause; "but the right to invest ihaemisd- 
■ these sachems with office was reserved ""'" 
to the General Council." These fifty sachems of 
the confederacy were likewise sachems in their 
respective tribes, "and with the chiefs of these 
tribes formed the council of each, which was su- 
preme over all matters pert^ning to the tribe ex- 
clusively." The General Council could not con- 
vene itself, but could be convened by any one of 
the five tribal councils. The regnlar meeting was 
once a year in the autumn, in the valley of Onon- 
daga, but in stirring times extra sessions were fre- 
quent. The proceedings were opened by an ad- 
dress from one of the sachems, " in the course of 
which he thanked the Great Spirit [i. e. loskeha, 
the sky-god] for sparing their lives and permit- 
ting them to meet together ; " after this they were 
ready for business. It was proper for any orator 
from among the people to address the Council 
with arguments, and the debates were sometimes 
very long and elaborate. When it came to vot- 
ing, the fifty saoheros voted by tribes, each tribe 
counting as a unit, and unanimity was as impera- 
tive as in an English jury, so that one tribe could 



block the prooeedings. Tlie confederacy had no 
head-sachem, or oivil chief-m^strate ; bnt a mili- 
tary commander was indispensable, and, cnrionsly 
enoogli, withont being taught by the experience ^ 
h Taiquin, the IroqncHB made this a dual office, 
like the Boman consulship. There were two per- 
manent ehieftainehips, one in the Wolf, tiiB other 
in the Tattle olui, and bot^ in the Seneca tribe, 
because the western border was the most exposed 
to attack.^ The chiefs were elected hy the olao, 
and inducted into office bf the General Council ; 
their tennre was during life or good behariouT. 
This office never encroached upon the others ia its 
powcFB, but an able wanior in this position eoidd 
wield great influence. 

Snoh was the famous confederacy of the Iro- 
quois. They called it the Long House, and by 
Tbe"Leat *^ uune fls commonly as ai^ other it 
^''°^" is known in history. The name by 
whieh they oalled themselves was Hodenosannee, 
or ** People of the Long House." The name was 
picturesquely descriptive of the long and naiTow 
strip of villages with its western outlook toward 
the T^isig!a&, and Hs eastern toward the Hudson, 
three hundred miles distant. Bot it was appro- 
priate also for another and a deeper reason tfaan 
this. We have seen that in its social and political 

' Scmmrlist an die kobo piinvifJe that ia medinral Eompe 
fed an eari or oount, oimmaDdiiif; an exposed Iraider district or 
muu-ch to nae in power and importaiKW and beeome a ' ' mai^rave " 
(nart -)~ ifo/' ^ roarah-eonnt] or "marqiiiB." Compare the in- 
oreaaa of lovereigiit; aooorded to the earls of Chester and biahopa 
of Diirbain m nden of the tvo prindpal march cooDtiea of £ii(t- 



Btmctore, from top to bottom and from end to 
end, the confederacy was based upon and held to- 
gether bj the gentee, clane, comroimal hoiueholds, 
or " long houBes," which were its component units. 
They may be compared to the hypothetical inde- 
atruetible atoms of modem physics, whereof all 
material objects axe composed. The whole insti' 
tutional fabric was the oat^rowth of the group of 
ideas and habits that beloi^ to a state of sociely 
ignorant of and incapaUe of imagining any other 
form of organization than the clan held together 
by the tie of a common maternal ancestry. The 
bouse architecture was as much a c<Histataent part 
of the fabric as the council of sachems. There is 
a transparency about the system that is very dif- 
ferent from the obscurity we continually find in 
Europe and Asia, where different strata of ideas 
and institutions have been superimposed one upon 
another and crumpled and distorted with as little 
apparent significance or purpose as the porches 
and gables of a so-called " Queen Anne " honse.^ 
Conquest in the Old World has xesulted in the 
commingling and manifold fusion of peoples in 
very different stages (^ derelopment. In the Kew 
World there has been very little oi that sort of 
thing. Conquest in ancient America was pretty 
much all of the Iroquois type, entitling in its 
milder form the impowtion of tribute, in its more 
desperate form the exterminatiou of a tribe with 
the adoption of its remnants into the aimilarly- 

' For iiutuioe, the vhola dUcuauon in Qomroe'n Tillage Com- 
vatnity, Ltrndon, 1800, ao eicellent boofc, abounds yiiih ii 



coDstitnted tribe of the conquerorH. Tliere was 
therefore but little modification of the social Btmo- 
ture while the people, gradually acquiring new 
arts, were passing through savi^ry and into a 
more or less advanced stage of barbarism. The 
symmetry of the structure and the relation of 
one institution to another is thus distinctly ap- 

The Gonununal household and the political struc- 
ture built upon it, as above described in the case 
of the Iroquois, seem to have existed all over an 
cient North America, with agreement in funda- 
mental charaGteriBtics and variatioa in details and 
degree of development. There are many comers 
aa yet imperfectly explored, but hitherto, in so far 
as research has been rewarded with information, it 
all points in the same general direction. Among 
the tribes above enumerated as either in savagery 
or in the lower statue of barbarism, so far as they 
have been studied, there seems to be a general 
agreement, as to the looseness of the marriage 
tie the clan with descent in the female line, the 
phratry, the tribe, the of&cers and cooncils, the 
social equality, the community in goods (with ex- 
ceptions already noted), and the wigwam or house 
adapted to communal living. 

The extreme of variation consistent with adhere 
enoe to the common principle was to be found in 
the shape and material of the houses. Those of 
the savage tribes wbre but sorry huts. The long 
house was used by the Powhatans and other Al- 
gonquin tribes. The other most highly developed 
^ype may be illustrated by the circular frame- 



bonses of the Mandana,' These houses were from 
forty to sixty feet in diameter. A dozen 
or more posts, each about eif^ht inches honw -a tt* 
in diameter, were set in the gnnmd, 
" at equal distances in the circumference of a cir- 
cle, and rising ahont six feet above &e level of 
the floor." The tops of the posts were ccmnected 
by horizontal stringers; and outside each post a 
slanljng wooden brace sunk in the ground about 
fonr feet distant served aa a firm support to the 
structure. The spaces between these braces were 
filled by tall wooden slabs, set with the same 
slant and resting against the stringers. Thus the 
framework of the outer wall was completed. To 
support the roof four posts were set in the ground 
about ten feet apart in the form of a square, near 
the centre of the building. They were from 
twelve to fifteen feet in height, and were connected 
at the top by four stringers forming a square. 
The rafters rested npon these stringers and apon 
the top of the circular wall below. The rafteA 
were covered with willow matting, and upon this 
was spread a layer of prurie grass. Then both 
wall and roof, from the ground up to the summit, 
were covered with earth, solid and hard, to a thick- 
ness of at least two feet. The rafters projected 
above the square framework at the summit, so as 
to leave a circular opening in the centre about 
four feet in diameter. This hole let in a little 
light, and let out some of the smoke from the fire 
which blazed underneath in a fire-pit lined with 

1 MoTj^, Houtf and Hinut-Lift,^p. 120-129; CaUiD'i Narti 
AMer. Indunu, L 81^. 


View, Cioaa-aeotioD, and Groniid-plaii of MnTwiB n ronud honia. 



Btooe slxbe set on ed^. like tmly other aperture 
for light WHS the doorway, whioh waa a kiod of 
Testibole or passage some ten feet in length. Ciu> 
tains of buf^Jo robee did duty instead of docos. 
The family compartments vere tnaogles with base 
at the onter wbU, and Kfex. opening opcML the 
central hearth; and the partitions were hanging 
mats or skins, whit^ were tqatefolly fringed and 
ornamented with qnill-worh and piot<^raphB.^ In 
the lower Mandan village, vimted by Catlin, there 
were about fifty sooh houses, each able to accom- 
modate frtHtt thirty to forty persons. The village, 
situated upon a bold bluff at a bend of the Mis- 
SOTiri riv^, and Buirounded by a palisade of stent 
timbers more than ten feet in height, was very 
strong for defensive puiposes. Indeed, it was 
virtually impregnable to Indian methods of attack, 
lor the earth-covered houses could not be set on 
£re by blarang wrrows, and just widiin the palisade 
waa. a trench in which the defenders conld securely 
ricnlk, while throu§^ the narrow ohinks between 
the timbers they could shoot arrows iaeb eaav^ 
to keep their assailants at a distance. Tbis pur- 
pose was further secured by rude bastions, and 
considering the structure as a whole one oanucrt 
help admiring the ingenuity which it exhibits. It 
shows a marked superiority over the conceptions 
of military defence attained by the Iroquois or 
any other Indians north of New Mexico. Besides 
the communal houses the village contained its 
** medicine lodge," or council house, and an open 
uea for games and ceremonies. In the spaoes 



between the houeeB were the soafolds for drying 
maize, bufEalo meat, etc., ascended by weU-made 
portable ladders. Outside the village, at a short 
distance on the prairie, was a group of such scaf- 
folds apon which the dead were left to moulder, 
somewhat after the fashion of the Parsees.^ 

We are now prepared to understand some es- 
sential points in the life of the groups of Indians 
occupying the re^on of the Cordilleras, both 
north and south of the Isthmus of Darien, all the 
way from Zuiti to Quito. The principal groups 

are the Moquis and Zufiis of Arizona 
tbeptHbigii.- and New Mexico, the Nahuas or Na- 
^■ra^^bu- hua4lac tribes of Mexico, the Mayas, 

Quiche, and kindred peoples of Cen- 
tral America ; and beyond the isthmus, the Chib- 
chas of New Granada, and sundry peoples com- 
prised within the domain of the Incas. With 
regard to the ethnic relatiODBhips of these various 
groups, opinion is still in a state of confusion ; but 
it is not necessary for our present purpose that we 
should pause to discuss the numerous questions 
thus arising. Our business is to get a clear notion 
in outline of the character of the cidture to which 
these peoples had attained at the time of the Dis- 
covery. Here we observe, on the part of all, a 
very considerable divergence from the average In- 
dian level which we have thus far been describing. 
This divergence increases as we go from ZuBi 
toward Cuzco, reaching its extreme, on the whole, 
amoDg the Feruvians, though in some respects the 
» Cotlw, i. W. 



nearest approach to civilization wa« made by the 
Mayas. All these peoples were at least one full 
ethnical period nearer to tme civilization than the 
Iroquois, — and a vast amount of change and im< 
provement is involved in the conception of an en- 
tire ethnical period. According to Mr. Morgan, 
one more such period would have biooght the 
avetf^ level of these Cordilleran peoples to as 
high a plane as that of the Greeks described in 
the Odyssey, Let us now observe the principal 
points involved in the change, bearing in mind 
that it implies a considerable lapse of time. While 
the date 1325, at which the «nty of Mexico was 
founded, is the earliest date in the history of that 
country which can be regarded as securely estab- 
lished, it was preceded by a long series of genera- 
tions of migration and warfare, the confused and 
fragmentary record of which historians have tried 
— hitherto with scant success — to unravel. To 
develop such a culture as that of the Aztecs out of 
an antecedent culture similar to that of the Iro- 
quois tflust of course have taken a long time. 

It will be remembered that the most conspioo- 
ouB distincrive marks of the grade of culture at- 
tained by the Cordilleran peoples were two, — the 
cultivation of maize in lai^e quanti- 
ties by irngatioa, and the use of adobe- with iri«- 
brick or stone in building:. Probably cucwtun 
there was at first, to some extent, a 
causal connection between the former and the lat- 
ter. The region of the Moqui-Zu8i culture is a 
r^on in which arid plains become richly fertile 
frhen water from neighbouring cliffs or peaks is 



dixeoted down upon them. It b nuuolj an affaii 
of dnioes, not of pump or well, which seem to have 
been alike beyond the ken of aboriginal Ameri- 
oans of whatever grade. The change of occupa- 
tion involTad in raising large crops of com by the 
aid of sluices would facilitate an increase in density 
of population, and would encourage a preference 
for B^^cultuial over predatory life. Such changes 
would be likely to farour the developiueDt of de- 
fensive military art. The Mohawk's surest de- 
fence lay in the terror which his prowess crested 
hundreds of miles away. One can easily see how 
the forefathers of our Moquis and Zuflia may have 
come to prefer the security gained by living more 
dosdy tf^ether and building impregnable for- 

The eardien wall of the Mandan, snpported on 
a framework of jwsts and slabs, seems to me eur 
riously and strikingly suggestive of the incipient 
pottery made by surrounding a badiet with a 
coating of day.^ When it was diaoovered how 
to make the earthen bowl or clish without the 
basket, a new era in progress was begun. So 
when it was discovered that an earthen wall could 
be fashioned to answer the requirements of house- 
builders without the need of a permanent wooden 
framework, another great step was taken. Ag^ 
the consequences were great enough to 
fliBdobeH^f make it mark the be^nning of a new 
ethnical period. If we suppose the 
central portion of our continent, &10 Mississippi 
and Missouri valleys, to have been occupied at 
1 Sao sboTe, p. SH, 



lome time by^ tribes familiar with the Maodiui 
style of buildiDg; and if we further suppose a 
gradual extension or migration of this population, 
or some part of it, westward into the mountain re- 
gioD ; that would be a movement into a re^on in 
which timber was scarce, while adobe clay was 
abundant. Under such circimistances the oBeful 
qualities of that peculiar clay could not fail to bo 
soon discovered. The simple exposure to sunshine 
would quickly convert a Maadan house built with 
it into an adobe house ; the coating of earth would 
become a coating of brick. It would not then take 
long to ascertain that with such adobe-brick could 
be built walls at once light and strong, erect and 
tall, such as could not be built with common clay. 
In some such way as this I think the discovery 
must have been made by the ancestors of the 
Zu&ia, and others who have built pueblos. After 
the pneblo style of architecture, with its erect 
walls and terraced stories, had become developed, 
it was an easy step, when the occasion eoggested 
it, to substitute for the adobe-brick coarse rubble- 
ttones embedded in adobe. The final stage was 
reached in Mexico and Yucatan, when soft coral- 
line limestone was shaped into blocks with a flint 
chisel and laid in courses with adobe-mortar. 

The pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona are 
among the most interesting structures in the 
world. Several are still inhabited by the de- 
sceadants of the people who were living in them 
at the time of the Spanish Discovery, and their 
primitive cnstoms and habits of thought have 
been preserved to the present day with but little 



change. The long sojourn of Mr. Cashing, of 
Mr. craiiiBg til® Bureau of Ethnolc^, in the Zufii 
uzuBL pueblo, has already thrown a flood of 

light upon many points in American arehieology.^ 
As in the case of American aborigines generally, 
the social life of these people is closely connected 
with their architecture, and the pueblos which are 
still inhabited seem to furnish us with the key to 
the interpretation of those that we find deserted 
or in ruins, whether in Arizona or in Guatemala. 









^--U .---^ 

Typtod atrnc- 

ln the architecture of the pueblos one typical 
form is reproduced with sundry varia- 
ofthB tions in detail. The typical form is 
that of a solid block of buildings mak- 
ing three sides of an extensive rectangular en- 

' See his articleB in tlie Centary Magazine, Deo., 1882, Fab., 
1883, May, 1883 ; and his papers on " Zutli Fetdches," Extorts of 
the Bvreau of Ethjidogy, a. 9-46 ; " A Study o( Poeblo Potterf 
aaBlostistiveof ZofliCnltnraGnnrd)," id. ir. 473-621 ; seealso 
Hn. Steremon's paper, " Religions Life of a ZuDi Child," id. t. 
639-6fiS ; SylveBter Baxter, " An Aboriginul Pilgrinuige," Cea- 
targ l^igatine. An^., 1882. 



closure or courtyard. On the inside, facing upon 
the courtyard, the structure ia hut one story in 
height ; on the outside, looking out upon the sur- 
rounding country, it rises to three, or perhaps 
even five or six stories. From inside to outside 
the flat roofs rise in a aeries of terraces, so that 
the floor of the second row is continuous with the 
roof of the first, the floor of the third row is eon- 
tinuouB with the roof of the second, and so on. 
Tha fourth side of the rectangle is formed by a 
solid block of one-story apartmetits, usually with 
one or two narrow gateways overlooked by higher 
structures within the enclosure. Except these 
gateways there is no entrance from without ; the 
only windows are frowning loop-holes, and access 
to the several apartments is gained through sl^- 
lights reached by portable ladders. Such a struc- 
ture is what our own forefathers would have na- 
turally flailed a " burgh," or fortress ; it is in one 
sense a house, yet in another sense a town ; ^ its 
divisions are not so much houses as compart- 
ments ; it is a jointr-tenement affair, like the Iro- 
quois long houses, but in a higher stage of de- 

So far as they have been studied, the pueblo 
TnfUanH are found to be organized in clans, with 
descent in the female line, as in the case of the 
ruder Indians above described. In the event of 
marriage the young husband goes to live with his 
wife, and she may turn him out of doors if he 

' Cf. Greelt oTfn», " house," with Latin ct'cus, " atreet " or " »il- 
Iige," Sanakrit veia, " dvellinK-place," K"gi"*' vide, "mut- 


by Google 


deserreB it.^ The ideas of property seem still lim- 
ited to that of poseesaory right, with po,tio,o- 
the idtimate title in the clan, except '*'''■ 
that portable articles subject to individual owners 
ship have become more numeroos. In govern- 
ment the council of sachems reappears with a 
principal sachem, or cacique, called hj the Span- 
iards " gobemador." There is an organized priest- 
hood, with distinct orders, and a ceremonial more 
elaborate than those of the ruder Indians. In 
every pneblo there is to be found at least one 
" estnfa," or council-house, for governmental or 
reli^ouB transactions. Usually there are two or 
tlu^e or more such estufas. In mytholf^, in 
what we may call pictography or rudimentary 
hieroglyphics, as well as in ordinary handicrafts, 
there is a marked advance beyond the Indians of 
the lower status of barbarism, after making due 
allowances for such things as the people of the 
pueblos have learned from white men.' 

« the btone of 
lien he rieh}; deBerrea ib" Bat ihoald unt tit. 
Cnahmfc have aaid " hems of hi* mothim," or pvibitfu, ot " his 
•iaten) and his oonriia u>d hii annia ? " For a moment after- 
ward he telle na, " To her belong- aH the children ; and desoent, 
inolndiiig iDheritaaaa, is on her aide." Century Magazine, May, 
1883, p. 86. 

* For ezampla, atniM the arriral ol the SpamardB eanis or per- 
liape all of the poebloe have introdoeed ohimiieyB into tlieii apart- 
menta ; hat irlien the; were flnt Tinted by Coronado, ha fonnd 
the paopU wsvin; cotton gonnenta, and FranoiMan friara In 
1581 remarked upon tlie superior qnaJity of their ehoea. In apio. 
bIdi; at>d veavii^, ai well m in the griuding of nwtl, a notablo 


by Google 


From the pueblos still eziBtmg, whether io- 
habited or in ruins, we may eventnall j get aome 
sort of clue to the populations of ancient toims 
visited by the Spanish discorarers.' woodertui »». 
The pueblo of ZuBi seems to have had fl";/cK 
at one time a popidation of 5,000, but ^'^' 
it has dwindled to less than 2,000. Of the. ruined 
pueblos, built of stoue with adobe mortar, in the 
valley of the Kio Cbaeo, the Pneblo Hungo Pavie 
contained 73 apartments in the first story, 58 in 
the second, and 29 in the third, with an average 
sizeof 18 feet by 13 ; and would have accommo- 
dated about 1,000 Indians. In the same valley 
Pueblo Bonito, with four stories, contained not less 
than 640 apartments, with room enough for a pop. 
ulation of 3,000 ; within a third of a mile from 
this huge structure stood Pueblo Chettro Kettle, 
with 506 apartments. The most common variation 
from the rectangular shape was thdt in which a 
terraced semicircle was substituted for the three 
terraced sides, as in Pueblo Sonito, or the whole 
reotangular design was converted into an ellipse, 
as in Pneblo Peflasca Blauca, There are indica- 
tions that these fortresses were not in all cases 
built at one time, but that, at least in some cases, 
they grew by gradual accretions.^ The smallness 
of the distances between those in the Chaco val- 
ley suggests tha;t their inhabitants must have been 
united in a confederation ; and one can easily see 
that an actual juxtaposition or partial coalescence 

' At lesat B better one tLoD Mr. Prescott had vheu h» nuielj 
leokoned five persons to a. honaeliold, Conguesf of Mexico, ii. 91. 
^ Heigsn, Houtai and Houie-Lj/t, cluq>. tu. 



of such Gommuuities would bare made a city of 
veiy imposing appearance. The pueblos are air 

ways found situated near a river, and their gar- 
dens, lying outside, axe easily accessible to sluices 



from neigliboiiring cliffs or mesas. But in some 
cases, as the Wolpi paeblo of the Mo- tih.m«iiii 
guis, the whole stronghold is built upon p"'^"' 
the Bununit of the cliff ; there is a coalescence of 
conununal stmctures, each enclosing a cour^^ard, 
in which there is a spring for the water-supply ; 
and the irrigated gardens are built in terrace-form 
just below on the bluff, and protected by solid 
walls. From this curious pueblo another transi- 
tion takes OB to the extraordinary cliff-houses 
found in the Chelly, Mancos, and McElmo c^ons, 
and elsewhere, — veritable human eyriea perched 
in crevices or clefts of the perpendio- rheeu^ 
ular rock, accessible only by dint of a i™'''™- 
toilsome and perilous climb ; places of refuge, per- 
haps for fragments of tribes overwhelmed by more 
barbarous invaders, yet showing in their dwelling- 
rooms and estufaa marks of careful building and 
tasteful adornment.^ 

The pueblo of Zufii is a more extensive and 
complex stractore than the mined pueblos on the 
Chaoo river. It is not so much an enormous com< 
munal house as a small town formed of a number 
of such houses crowded tr^ther, with access from 
one to another along their roof-terraces, p^iu^ ^ 
Some of the structures are of adobe ^^'''^ 
brick, others of stone embedded in adobe mortar 

' For oarefnl desoiiptdona of tlie mined paebloa and cliff. 
bonwa, we Uodaillac'g Prehittark America, chap, v., and Short'a 
North Americani of Aniiqitity, chap. viL The latt«c sees in them 
tli« melanuhol; leetigea of a peopls gradnallj " ■DcamubiDg' to 
iiwiT onpnipitJong Bnrronndings — a land which is fast beoomin^ 
a howUng' vilderueas, with its anoni^ng sunda and roaming aavage 
Bedouin — the Anachea." 



and covered with plaster. Tliere are two open 
plazas or squares in the town, aad several streets, 
some of wMgIi are covered ways passing beneath 
the upper stories of bouses. The effect, though 
not splendid, must be very picturesque. Mid would 
doubtless astonish and bewilder visitors - unpre- 
pared for such a Bight. When Coronado's men 
JisGovered Zufii in 1540, although that style of 
building was no longer a novelty to them, they 
compared the place to Granada. 

Now it is worthy of note that Cortes made the 
same comparison in the case of Tlascala, one of the 
famous towns at which he stopped on his march 
from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico. In his 
letter to the emperor Charles V., he compared 
p„i,,o oi Tlascala to Oranada, " affirming that it 
^""""^ was larger, stroi^r, and more populous 
than the Moorish capital at the time of the con- 
quest, and quite as well built," ^ Upon this Mr. 
Prescott observes, "we shall be slow to believe 
that its edifices could have rivalled those monu- 
ments of Oriental magnificence, whose light aerial 
forms still survive after the lapse of ages, tlie ad- 
miration of every traveller of sensibility and taste. 
The truth is that Cortes, like Columbus, saw ob- 
jects through the warm medium of his own fond 
imagination, giving them a h^her tone of colour- 
ing and larger dimensions than were strictly war- 
ranted by the fact." Or, as Mr. Bandelier puts 

* " lift qua] cindsd . . . es omj mayor qne Qranada, y inny 
mas fuerte, y de ban baeaos edificiog^ y de Tuucha maa ^nte, que 
Oranada tenia al tjempo que ae gaQo." Cortes, Relacion sf.yunda 
al Emperador, ap. Lorenzana, p. 58, cited in PreHcott'a Conqueal 
^Mexico, vd. i. p. 401 (7th ed., London, 18&6). 



it, when it cranes to general statements about 
Dumbera and dimensions, " the descriptions of the 
conqiierors cannot be taken as facts, only aa the 
expression oil feelings, honestly entertained but 
uneritieal." From details given in various Span* 
Uh descriptions, including those of Cortes himself, 
it is evident that there could not have been much 
difference in size between Tlasc^ and its neigh> 
bour Cholula. The population of the latter town 
has often been given as from 150,000 to 200,000 ; 
but, from elaborate arclneologioal inveetigationB 
made on the spot in 1881, Mr. Bandelier con- 
cludes that it cannot have greatly exceeded 30,- 
000, and this number really agrees with the esti- 
mates of two very important Spanish authorities, 
Las Casas and Torqaemada, when correctly under- 
stood.i We may therefore suppose that the popu- 
lation of Tlascala was about 30,000. Kow the 
population of the city of Granada, at the time of 

^ See Btuidelier's Ardaoiogicai Tow in Mexico, BoBton, 1886, 
pp. 160-164. Torqaemada'a words, cited by Bandelier, sro 
" Qoondo entraroD los EspaSolea, dicen que tenia maa da qaaieiit» 
mil vaoiDOS eata dadad." MoHaryiMa Indiana, lib. iii. cap. ■"■', 
p. 281. A proUfic wmro* of error is the ambigrnitj in die word 
vedrtot, which maj mean eitbei " inhabitants " or "hoaBehold- 
en." Wliere Torquemada meant 40,000 inhabitanU, nncriticBl 
wiiten fond of the nukrrellonB lutTO imdentood him to mean 
40,000 honaea, and multiplying thia flg^nre by 6, the average 
Domber at perarau In a modtrnfatidly, have obbtined the fignio 
200,000. Bnt 40,000 honaea peopled aft«r the old Mexican faah- 
ion, with at least 200 peTSona in a honse ifa pat it ae low aa po*~ 
nble), would make a city of 8,000,000 inhabitants I Laa CieaB, 
tn his liatraycion de las India*, rii., pata the popnlation of Cho- 
lola at about 30,000. I obaarve that Llorante (in hir CEuvrei d* 
Lot Catat, torn. i. p. 38) translate* the statement connotly. I 
■hall recor to this point below, voL U p. SS4. 



its conquest by Perdinand and Isabella, is said by 
the greatest of Spanisli historians ^ to have been 
about 200,000. It vouU thus appear that Cortes 
sometimes let bis feelings run away with him ; 
and, all things considered, small blame to him if 
he did! In studying the story of the Spanish 
conquest of America, liberal allowance must often 
be made for inaccuracies of statement that were 
usually pardonable and sometimes inevitable. 

But when Cortes described Tlaseala as " quite 
as well btult " as Granada, it la not at all likely 
that he was thinking about that exquisite Moorish 
arohiteeture which in the mind of Mr. Prescott 
or any cultivated modern writer is the first thing 
to be su^ested by the name. The Spaniards of 
those days did not admire the artistic work of 
" infidels ; " they covered up beautiful arabesques 
with a wash of dirty plaster, and otherwise be- 
haved very much like the Puritans who smashed 
the "idolatrous" statues in English cathedrals. 
When Cortes looked at Tlaseala, and Coronado 
looked at Zufii, and both soldiers were reminded 
of Gixanada, they were probably looking at those 
places with a professional eye as fortresses hard 
to capture ; and from this point of view there waa 
doubtless some justice in the comparison. 

In the description of Tlaseala by the Spaniards 
who first saw it, with its dark and narrow streets, 
its houses of adobe, or " the better sort " of stone 
laid in adobe mortar, and its flat and terraced 
roofs, one is irresistibly reminded of such a pueblo 

* MantuuK Bttioria de EsjuSia, Valencia, 179&, toni. Tiii. p 



as ZaQi. Tlascala was a town of a type prob- 
ably common in Mexico. In some rcBpects, as 
will here^tor appear, the city of 
Mexico sbowed striking variations from city oi Hsiiaa 
the common type. Yet there too were o^po^^ 
to be seen the huge houses, with tet^ ^""^ 
raced roofs, built around a square courtyard; in 
one of them 450 Spaniards, with more than 1,000 
Tlascalan allies, were accommodated ; in another, 
called "Montezuma's palace," one of the conquer- 
ors, who came several times intending to see the 
whole of it, got so tired with wandering through 
the interminable succession of rooms that at 
length he gave it up and never saw them all.' 
This might have happened in such a building as 
Pueblo Bonito ; and a suspicion is raised that 
Montezuma's city was really a vast composite 
pueblo, and that its so-called palaces were com- 
munal buildings in principle like the pueblos of 
the Chaco valley. 

Of course the Spanish discoverers could not be 
expected to understand the meaning of what they 
saw. It dazed and bewildered them. They knew 
little or nothing of any other kind of Natimi mis- 
society than feudal monarchy, and if ^^uii^ 
they made such mistakes as to call the """"^ 
head war-chief a "king" (i. e. feudd king) or 
" emperor," and the clan-chiefs " lords " or " noble- 
men," if they supposed that these huge fortresses 
1 " Et io entru pin di qoattro Tolte in ma casa del gran Signor 
uon par altro effotto che per Tederla, et o^ volta vi cBmminano 
taoto ohe mi atancano, et mai la fini di Tedere tntta." EeUuiorie 
fatta per un gentiV huomo del Signor Fernando Corlese, apnd Ba- 
mumo, Naoigatioai et Viaggi, Venice, IffiS, torn. iiL fol. 309. 



were like feudal castles aod palaces in Europe^ 
they were quite excusable. Soclt misoonceptioiiB 
were common enough before barbarous societies 
had been much- studied ; and many a dus^ war- 
rior, without a tithe of the pcnnp and splendour 
about him that surrounded Montezuma, has figured 
in the pages of hietory as a mighty potentate girt 
with many of the trappings of feudalism.^ Initial 
misconceptions that were natural enough, indeed 
unavoidable, found expression in an absurdly in- 
appropriate ncHnenclature ; and then the use of 
wrong names and titles bore fruit in what one 
cannot properly call a theory but rather an inco- 
herent medley of notions about barbaric society. 
Nothing could be further icom feudalism, in which 
the relation of landlord and tenant is a funda- 
mental element, than the society of the American 
aborigines, in which that relation was utterly un- 
fjaottttt^- known and inconceivable. This more 
twwokadai- prinutiye foim of society is not improp- 
■°'™"°- erly called gentUism, inasmuch as it is 
based upon the gens or clan, with communism in 

' Whan Pooahontaa vimted London in 1816 aha yrae received at 
^oort SB befitted & " kingU danghter/' &nd tlie old VirgimB his- 
toriao, William Sdth (born in 1680), sajB it was a " constant 
badition " in his day that James I. "beoaniB jaalaiu, and was 
Ugbly offended at Hr. Bcdfe for marrying a prioceaa." The no- 
tion wBB that " if Virginia deecanded to Poeahoutaa, as it might 
do at Poirhatan'B death, at her ovn death the Idngdom would be 
Tested in Mr. Rolfe's poaterity." f^ten Cooke's Virgiaia, p, 100. 
Powhatan (i. e. Wabnnsimakok, chief of the Fovhatan tribe) waa 
often called "emperor" by the Fji gliah settlera. To their in- 
tanse bewildennent be told one of them that hia office wonid de- 
aaend to his [maternal) brotheis, even though he had sooa liring. 
h wai thought that thi« could oat be tme. 



living, and with the conception of individual own" 
eiship of property undeveloped. It was gentilism 
that everywhere prevailed throughout the myriads 
of nnrecorded centuries during which the foremost 
races of mankind stru^led up through savagery 
and barbarism into civilization, while weaker and 
duller races lagged behind at various stages on 
the way. The change from "gentile" chimir™ 
society to political society as we know it U^'tSId*' 
was in some respects the most impor- "*W- 
tant change that has occurred in human affairs 
since men became huroan. It might bo roughly 
defined as the change from personal to territorial 
organization. It was accomplished when the sta- 
tionary clan became converted into the town^p, 
and- the stationary tribe into the small state ; ' 
when the conception of individual property In land 
was fully acquired ; when the tie of physical kin- 
diip ceased to be indispensable ss a bond for hold- 
ing a society together ; when the <dansman became 
a citizen. This momentous ohai^ was accom- 
plished among the Greeks during a period begin- 

1 The mnBiU. atates into vhich tribes were at first tTansformed 
have in taaajeaaea aniriTed to {he preunt time as portions of 
great itatas or natioiiB. The ahires or coimtieB of England, vluoh 
have been leprodneed id the United States, oi^uated in thia 
way, 08 I have briefly explained in my little book on Ci'vil Goo- 
amnent in lAe Utdted States, p. 49. When yon look on the map 
of England, and see the town of Iciiittghan in the oonnty of 
Suffolk, it means that this place was onoe <Jie " home " of the 
"loklinga" or " children of Ickel," a clan which formed part of 
the tribe of Angles known as " Sonth folk." So tbo names of 
Ganliflh tribes anrviTed as munea of French provincea, e. g. Au- 
vtrgne from the Arvrmi, Paitou tmn the Pictavi, Anjou from 
the AiuUeaoi, Biam from the BigaroiuM, etc 



ning shortly before the first Olympiad (b, c. 776), 
and ending with the reforms of Kleistheoes at 
Athens (b. c. 509) ; among the Eomans it was 
accomplished by the series of legislative ohangea 
beginning with those ascribed to Servius Tullius 
(about B. C. 550), and perfected by the time of 
the first Punic War (b. c. 264r-241). In each 
case about three centuries was required to work 
the change.' If now the reader, familiar with Eu- 
ropean histoiy, will reflect upon the period of more 
than a thousand years which intervened between 
the date last named and the time when feudalinn 
became thoroughly established, if he "will recall to 
mind the rasfc and powerful complication of causes 
which operated to transform civil society from the 
aspect which it wore in the days of Eegulus and 
the second Ptolemy to that which it had assumed 
in the times of Henry the Fowler or Fulk of An- 
jon, he will begin to realize how much " feudal- 
ism " implies, and what a wealth of experience it 
involves, above and beyond the change from " gen- 
tile " to " civil " society. It does not appear that 
any people in ancient America ever approached 
very near to this earlier change. None had fairly 
begun to emerge &om gentilism ; none had ad- 
vanced so far as the Greeks of the first Olympiad 
or the Romans under the rule of the Tarquins. 
The first eminent writer to express a serious 

1 "It wtw no easy taak to aocompliah Bach a fandamontal 
ehan^, hoveTer umple and obTioos it may now seem. . . . An- 
teriw to 6ip«n6ac9j a towBahip, aa the tmit of a political Hyfltem, 
waa aliatniae enough to tax the Qreeke and Bomiuia to die depths 
of thur capaoitiea before die coooeptdon was formed and get id 
pnutical opemtion." Mocgan, Aneient Society, p. 218. 



doubt Bz to the correctness of the earlier views of 
Mexican civilization was that sagacious 
Scotchman, William Kobertson.* The tatmm*. 
illustrious statesman and philologist, uwBpMiWi 
Albert Gallatin, founder of the Araeri- 
cui Ethnological Society, published in the first 
volume of its " Transactions " an essay which reo- 
c^nized the dai^r of trusting the Spanish narra- 
tives without very careful and critical scrutiny.' 
It is to be observed that Mr. Gallatin approached 
the subject with somewhat more knowledge of 
aboriginal life in America than bad been pos- 
aessed by previous writers. A eimilar scepticism 
was expressed by Lewis Cass, who also knew a 
great deal about Indians.' Next came Mr. Mor- 
gan,* the mMi of path-breaking ideas, whose mi- 
nute and profound acquaintance with Indian life 
was joined with a power of penetratii^ the hidden 
implications of facts so keen and so sure as to 

■ BobartjKJD's EiOaty of America, 9th ed. W. uL pp. 274, 281. 

^ " Notes on the S«im-aiTUized Nations of Meiieo, Yncat&n, 
and CeDtral Ameiica," American Ethnologicai Societg'i IVanaaa- 
tiont, Tol. ;., New York, 1852. There ia a liriaf acoonnt of Mr. 
Gallatdn'B pioneer work in American pMlolo(^ and ethsologj in 
Stevens's Albert QaOatin, pp. 386-S»e. 

* Csas, "Aboiigiual S t met iir efl," North Amer. Bevieic, Oct., 

* Hr. B. A. unison's New Sitlory of the Conqaext of Mexico, 
Philadelphia, 1859, denonnoed the Spanish conqoerois as vhoie- 
sale liars, bnt as bis book vas ignorant, nncritical, and foil of 'wild 
fancies, it produced little effect. It was demolishad, with neatr 
ness and despatch, in two articUs in the Allanlie Monlhlg, April 
and May, 1359, by the eminent historian John Foster Kirk, whoaa 
HiatOTg of Charles the Bold ia in man; respflcts a worth; oompk.^ 
ion to the works of Fiescott and Motley, Mi. Kirk had been V \ 
Fnsoott'a secretary. 



amount to genias. Mr. Morgan saw the nature 
of the delusion nnder which the Spaniaixls \ar 
boured ; he saw that what they mistook for feudal 
castles owned hj great lords, and inhibited by 
r„t,jtijj, ,na dependent retainers, were really huge 
Sf^^^' conunnnal houses, owned and inhabited 
LewiiHotsBo. ^y gifljig^ qj. ]^ther by segmeute of over- 
grown elans. He saw this so vividly that it be- 
trayed him now and then into a somewhat impa- 
tient and dogmatic maimer of statement ; but that 
was a slight fault, for what he saw was not the 
outcome of dreamy speculation but of scientific 
insight. His researches, which reduced " Monte- 
zuma's empire " to a confederacy of tribes dwell- 
ing in pueblos, governed by a council of chiefs, and 
collecting tribute from neighbouring pueblos, have 
been fully sustained by subsequent investigation. 

The state of society which Cortes saw has, in- 
deed, passed away, and its monuments and hiero- 
glyphic records have been in great part destroyed. 
Nevertheless some monuments and some hiero- 
glyphic records rem^n, and the people are still 
there. Tlasealans and Aztecs, descendants in the 
eleventh or twelfth generation from the men whose 
bitter feuds gave such a golden opportunity to 
Cortes, still dwell upon the soil of Mexico, and 
speak the language in which Montezuma made 
his last harangue to the furious people. There is, 
moreover, a great mass of literature in Spanish, 
besides more or less in Nahuatl, written during the 
century following the conquest, and the devoted 
missionaries and painstaking administrators, who 
vrote books about the country in which they were 



wolfing, were not engaged in a wholesale conspu^ 
aoy for deoeiTing mankind. From a really critical 
Btudy of this literatnre, combined with arcluBolog- 
ical investigation, much may be expected ; and a 
noble b^inning has already been made. A more 
extensive acquaintance with Mexican literatnre 
would at times have materially modified Mr. Moi^ 
gan's conclusions, though without altering their 
general drift. At this point the work 
has been taken up by Mr. Adolf Baude- deiisr'i »- 
Her, of Highland, Dlinoia, to whose rare 
sagacity and untiring industry aa a field archrotJ- 
ogist is joined such a thorough knowledge (d 
Mexican literature as few men before him have 
possessed. Armed with such resources, Mr. Ban- 
dolier is doing for the ancient history of Amer- 
ica work as significant as that which Monunsen 
has done for Borne, or Baur for the beginnings 
of Christianity. When a suf&cient mass of facts 
and incidents have once been put upon record, it 
is hard for ignorant misconception to bury the 
truth in a pit so deep but that the delving genius 
of critical scholarship will sooner or later drag it 
forth into the light of day.^ 

At this point in our exposition a very concise 
summary of Mr. Band^er's results will suffice to 

1 A mmniBTy <f Mi, Bandelier's prinripal recalls, with oopioiu 
ratadoD and diiciwioii of original G^MUUBh and NaJiiut] Bonniea, is 
HmtBioed in hii three papers, " On (he art of irar and mode <d 
vacfiie at the sneient Hexioaus," — "On the distiibDliou and 
tenure of laud, and the oiutomB -with tetpect to inlieritaDce, 
unoDi; the ancient Meiicara," — "On the aocial organization and 
mode of government of the aueient Mexicans," Pdi&ufy Mvaeum 
Btpmti, ToL ii., 1876-19, pp. 95-161, 385-44?, 567-69^. 



enaUe the reader to understand tlieir import. 
What has been ealled the "empire of Monte- 
zuma" was in reality a confederacy of three tribes, 
the Aztecs, Tezcucans, and Tlacopans,' dwelling in 
three large composite pnebios situated very near 
together in one of the strongest defensive po- 
sitions ever occupied by Indians. This 
Aztec confederacy extended its " sway " 
over a considerable portion of the Mexican pe- 
ninsula, but that " sway " could not correctly be 
described as " empire," for it waa in no sense a 
military occupation of the country. The confeder- 
acy did not have garrisons in subject pueblos 
or civil officials to administer their affairs for 
them. It simply sent some of its chiefs about 
from one pueblo to another to collect tribute. 
This tax consisted in great part of maize and 
other food, and each tributary pueblo reserved a 
ceri}ain portion of its tribal territory to be culti- 
vated for the benefit of the domineering confed- 
eracy. If a pueblo proved delinquent or recalci- 
trant, Aztec warriors swooped down upon it in 
stealthy midnight assault, butchered its inhab- 
itants and emptied its granaiies, and when the 
paroxysm of r^e bad spent itself, went exulting 
homeward, carrying away women for concubines, 

^ In the IraqncH confederacy tlie Hohawks enjoyed a certain 
pieoedence or Beniority, Che Onondagas had the central ooimoil- 
fira, and the Seneoss, who had the two head war-ohiefs, wera 
mnch the most nomeroas. In the Meiiotui eonfedenwy the Ttr 
rions pointa of superiority seem to have heen mora ooneentrated 
in the Ait«i» ; bnt spcnla and tribute were divided into five poi- 
tiana, of which Mexico sod Tezcoeo each took two, and Tlaoopan 



men to \» sacrificed, and soch misccllaneons 1>oo^ 
as could be conveyed witliout wagons or beasts to 
draw tliem.' If the sudden assault, with scaling 
ladders, happened to fail, the assailants were likely 
to be baffied, for there was no artillery, and so Ut- 
ile food could be carried that a siege meant starviu 
tion for the besiegers. 

The tribntary pueblos were also liable to be 
summoned to famish a contingent of warriors to 
the war-parties of the confederacy, under the same 
penalties for delinquency aa in the case of refusal 
of tribute. In such cases it was quite common for 
the confederacy to issue a peremptory summons, 
followed by a declaration of war. When a pueblo 
was captured, the only way in which the van- 
quished people could stop the massacre was by 
holding out signals of submission ; a parley then 
sometimes adjusted the af^iir, aJid the payment of 
a year's tribute in advance induced the conquerors 
to depart, but captives once taken could seldom 
if ever be ransomed. If the parties could not 
agree upon terms, the slaughter was renewed, and 
sometimes went on until the depariong victors left 
nought behind them but ruined houses belching 
from ioop-hole and doorway lurid clouds of smoke 
and flame upon narrow silent streets heaped up 
with miuigled corpses. 

The sway of the Aztec confederacy over the 
Mexican peninsula was thus essentially sinulu' to 
the sway of the Iroquois confederacy over a great 
part of the tribes between the Connecticut riter 

' The -wmtohed priaonen were Drdinaril; compelled to cair; 



and the Mississippi. It was simply the levying of 
tribute, — a system of plnnder enforced by terror. 
The so-called empire was "only a partnership 
formed for the purpose of carrying on the busi- 
ness of warfare, and that intended, not for the ex- 
tension of territorial ownership, but only for an 
increase of the means of subsistence." ^ There 
was none of that coalescence and incorporation of 
peoples which occurs after the change from gen- 
tilism to civil society has been efEected. Among 
the Mexicans, as elsewhere throughout Korth 
America, the tribe remained intact as the highest 
completed political integer. 

The Aztec tribe was oiganized in clans and 
AttecdMB. plirat"^^! SI"! tli^ number of clans 
would indicate that the tribe was a very 
large one.^ There were twenty clans, called in the 
Nahuatl language " calpullis." We may fairly 
suppose that the average size of a clan was lai^r 

' Bandsliflr, op. cit. p. 663. 

' Tbs notion of an immeRae popuUtioii groaniDg under tiw 
laah of taskmasMra, and building hoge palaces for idle despots 
must ba digmiageil. The atatemenCe which refer to aueb a, vast 
popolation are apt to be araninipaiiied fa; inoompstible state- 
menlB. Mr. Moigwi is rigbt in throwing the burden of ptooi 
upon thoae who mBintaiu that a people without domeatic OT'iniitls 
or field agriculture oonld have been bo nnmerous (Anc Soc, p. 
1S5). On the other hand, I beliere Hi. Morgan makes a grave 
mistake in the opposite ditectiou, in undeiestimatii^ the nnmberB 
that conld be aupported upon ludiao com eren under a system of 
horticulture without the use of the plougrh. Some pertinent re- 
marks on the extraordinary leproductiTe power of maize in Mex- 
ico may be found in Humboldt, Easai psitti^ae mr la NmatrlU 
Espagne, Paris, 1611, torn. iii. pp. 51-60 ; the great naturalist is 
of coniae speaking of the yield of maize in ploughed lands, but, 
after making due allowances, tlie yield under the aneient syBtem 
must have been wellnigh unexampled in haibaiic agriculture. 



than the average tribe of Algonquins or Iroquois ; 
but owing to the compact " city " life, this increase 
of numbers did not result in segmentation and 
Hcattering, as among Indians in the lower status. 
Each Aztec clan seems to have occupied a number 
of adjacent communal houses, fonning a kind of 
precinct, with its special house or houses for offi- 
cial purposes, corresponding to the estufas in the 
New Mexican pueblos. The houses were the com- 
mon property of the clan, and so was the land 
which its members cultivated; and euch houses 
ajid land could not be sold or bartered away by 
the clan, or in anywise alienated. The idea of 
'*[eal estate " had not been developed; the dan 
simply exercised a right of occupancy, and — as 
among some ruder Indians — its individual mem- 
bers exercised cert^ limited rights of user in 
particulw garden-plots. 

The dan was governed by a clan council, consist- 
ing of chiefs (tecuhtW) elected by the clan, and 
inducted into office after a cruel religious ordeal, 
in whidi the candidate was bruised, tortured, and 
half starved. An executive deptuiment 
was more clearly differentiated from the 
conncU than among the Indians of the lower sta- 
tus. The clan (calpvlli') had an official head, or 
sachem, called the calpuUec ; and also a military 
commander called the ahcacautin, or " elder 
brother." The ahcacautin was also a kind of 
peace ofBcer, or constable, for the precinct occapied 
by the clan, and carried about with him a staff of 
office ; a tuft of white feathers attached to this 
staff betokened that his errand was one of death. 



Tie clan elected its calptdlec and ahcacautin, and 
could depose tKem for cause. ^ 

The members of the clan were reciprocally 
bound to aid, defend, and avenge one another ; but 
wergild was no longer accepted, and the penalty 
for murdet was death. The clan exercised the 
right of naming its members. Such names were 
invariably significant (as Nezdhualcoyotl, "Hungry 
Coyote," Axayacatl, " Face-in-the-Water," etc.), 

and more or less " medicine," or super- 
dritoa of um Btitious association, was attached to the 

name. The clans also had their signifi- 
cant names and totems. Each clan had its pecul- 
iar religious rites, its priests or medicine-men who 
were members of the clan council, and its temple 
or medicine-house. Instead of burying their dead 
the Mexican tribes practised cremation ; there was, 
therefore, no common cemetery, but the funeral 
ceremonies were conducted by the clan. 

The clans of the Aztecs, like those of many 
other Mexican tribes, were organized into four 
phratries ; and this divided the city of Mexico, 
inee tbor ** *^* Spaniards at once remarked, into 
trf"- four quarters. Hie phratry bad ac- 

quired more functions than it possessed in the 
lower status. Besides certain religions and social 
duties, and besides its connection with the punish- 
ment of criminals, the Mexican phratry was an 
organization for military purposes.^ The four 

I Coinpare this description with that of the inn 
£uu in the low gtatos, aboTfl, p. 60. 

' In tUs raipect it seeniB to haTe bad same reaemblaiioe tl 
Rmn.n cetitaria and Tsntonia kimdrtd. So in prahistorio Qi 



phratries were four divisioas of the tribal host, 
each with its captain. In each of the qo&rters 
was an ^^senal, or "dart-house," where weapons 
were stored, and from which they were handed out 
to war-parties about to start on an expedition. 

The supreme government of the Aztecs was 
Tested in the tribal council composed The Mb*! 
of twenty members, one' for each clan. *'™*"- 
The member, representing a dan, was not its cat- 
pvllec, or "sachem;" he was one of ^ba tecuktli, 
or clan-chiefs, and was significantly called the 
" speaker " (tlatoani). The tribal council, thus 
composed of twenty speakers, was called the tlor 
tocan, or "place of speech."^ At least as often 
as once in ten days the council assembled at the 
tecpaji, or official house of the tribe, but it could 
be convened whenever occasion required, and in 
cases of emei^ncy was continually in sesBion. Its 
powers and duties were similar to those of an an- 
cient English shiremote, in so far as they were 
partly. directive and partly judicial. A large part 
of its business was settling disputes between the 

we TOKj periiapa infer from Nestor's advice to Agsmenmon that s 
mmilai organizatiou existed : — ■ 

KfHv* iptpca Kari fiCAo, K^ri ^fr'[rpai, 'Ayiiuftnii, 

But die phiatry seems nsTer to haTe leaobed so high a, develop- 
ment ajnong- the Qreeka as amoiig tlie Romans aod the early 

' Compare parliameni from parler. These twenty were Om 
"giandeeB," " oonnBellaiB," and " captains " mentioned hy Bsmal 
Diaz tiH always in Monteimna's aompany ; " y eiempre i, la 
oontina eataban en bu compailfa veinte grandes sefiares y consejeroa 
7 Gapitaoes," etc Hiiloria verdadera, ii. 06. See Bandelier, if. 
tit. p. 646. 



dans. It sapermtended the oeremonieB of mves- 
titure with which the chiefs and other officers 
of the clans were sworn into office. At intervals 
(A eighty days there was an *' extra session " of 
the tlatocan, attended also by the twenty '* elder 
brothers," the fom: phratry-captains, the two exec- 
utive chiefs of the tribe, and the leading priests, 
and at such times a reconsideration of an unpopo- 
lar decision m^ht be urged ; but the author!^ of 
the datocan was supreme, and from its final deci- 
sion there could be no appeal.^ 

The ezecutive chiefs of the tribe were two in 
number, as was commonly the case in ancient 
America. The tribal sachem, or civil executive, 
bore the grotesque title of ciAuacoatl, or " snake- 
Ttia><Buk»- voman."^ His relation to the tribe 
'™°™'" was in general like that of the ccUpui- 
lec to tlie ehoL. He executed the decrees of the 
tribal council, of which he was ex offitdo a mem- 
ber, and was responsible for the housing of tribute 
and its proper distribution among the clans. 
Jle was also chief judge, ajid he was lieutenant 
to the head war-chief in command of the tribal 

1 Hr. B&ndelier'B note on tbia ptUDt ^vea an eapodidlf apt 
illustration of the oonfosiaD of ideas and inconsistenciea of Mate- 
tnent amid which the early Spanish irnten Htmg^led to under' ^ 
■tand and deaoribe this atraog^e society ; op. at. p. 651. 

' In Aztee nytholi^y Cihnaooatl vas wife of the mprame 
night dsit?, Teioatlipoca. Sqnier, 8ap»at Sj/aAal in America, pp. 
159-loa, 174-183. On the cooneotioD between serpent wonhip 
and homao saarifioea, see FergnsaoD'a 7V« and Sapenl Worthip, 
pp. 3-5, 88-41. Much eridence bh to Amsrioan serpent worship 
is oolleoted in J. Q. Miiller's GtKhi(Ai» der amerikauitdien Urr»' 
Ugiomn, Basel, 18S5. The blBTOglniluo emUam of the AatM 
fedbal aarhffm was a ^^"wa^ft head sormomitad by a anako. 



ftoat.^ He was elected for life 'ov Uie tribal council, 
vhich could depose him for misconduct. 

The office of head war-chief was an instance of 
prinutive royalty in a very interesting stage of 
development. The title of this officer was daca- 
teeuMli, or "chief- <tf -men,"* He was primarily 
head war-chief of the Aztec tribe, but about 1430 
became supreme military commander of ■a„ "chiatef 
the three confederate tribes, so that his "™"" 
office was one of peculiar dignity and impor- 
tfuice. When the Spaniards arrived upon the 
scene Montezuma was tlacateeuAtU, and they oal- 
urally called him "king." To understand pre- 
cisely how far sooh an epithet could correctly be 
applied to him, and bow far it was misleading, we 
must recall the manner in which early kingsbip 
arose in Europe. The Boman rex was an officer 
elected tor life ; the typical Greek basUeus was 
a somewhat more fully developed king, inasmucb 
as his office was becoming practically hereditary ; 
otherwise rex was abont equivalent to ktoioUob o( 
ha»ileu8. Alike in Rome trnd in Greece ^^^ 
the king had at least three great fane- "™* 
tions, and possibly four.* He was, primarily, chief 

' Other tribes bemdea tliB Azteo had &b " male-womoit." In 
llie city of Heiioo the Spaniaids mistook Min tor » " aecond- 
kinp," or "royal lieatenant" In otLer toirnti O1S7 regarded him, 
Aomeirbiit more oorreotly, aa "goTemor/* and called hira gober- 
naiiar, — a title atill applied to die tribal Bachem of the pneblo 
IndisDi, M e. g. in ZnDi heretofore mentioned ; jee afaore p. 89. 

* Thii tide seems precisely eqniTHlent to ira^ irSp&r, 00m- 
inonly applied to AgsmenmoD, and eometimes to other chieftaine, 

* BamsaT'i Bomtm Antiquities, p. 84 ; Hermann's Foiitieat 
AiOiqidlUt of Qreeee, p. 106 ; Uorgan, Ane. Soe., p. S48. 



oomnumder, secondly, chief priest, thirdly, chief 
judge ; whether he had reached the fourth stage 
tmd added the functions of chief civil executive, 
is matter of dispute. Kingship in Eome and in 
most Grreek cities was overthrown at so early a 
date that some questions of this sort are difficult 
to settle. But in all probability the office grew 
up through the successive acquisition of ritual, 
judicial, and civil functions by the military com- 
mander. The paramount necessity of consulting 
the tutelar deities before fighting resulted in mak- 
ing the general a priest competent to perform 
sacrifices and interpret omens ; ' he thus naturally 
became the most important among priests ; an in- 
creased sanctity invested his person and of^e; 
and by and bj he acquired control over the dispen- 
sation of justice, and finally over the whole civil 
administration. One step more was needed to 
develop the htsUeus into a despot, like the king 
of Persia, and that was to let him get into his 
hands the law-maldng power, involving complete 
control over taxation. When the Greeks and Bo- 
mans became dissatisfied with the increasing pow- 
ers of their kings, they destroyed the office. Th« 

' Sdah would DAtarallj result from the de&r&blenan of ■eoor- 
In^ nnily of oomniand. If DemoBtlisTiea bad baen in sole oom- 
rnand of the Athenian srmanient in the lurhour of Sjraaiue, and 
had been ft bmUeut, vith priestly antharity, who cao donbt liiat 
■ome raoh tlieary of the eclipse as Ihat eoggeetod bj Philochonig 
would baTe been adopted, and thns one of the wcrld's gieat 
tn^ediea averted P See Grote, Hitt. Grtece, toL tu. ehap. Iz. 
M. Fn«lel de ConlangB*i in !>» adiDirable book La CiU antique, 
pp. 205-21C, makes the priestly fanction of the ^ng primildTe, 
and the nulitar; fonolion aeoondary ; whieb is entirely inoonsiBt. 
ent with what we know of barbarons races. 



Romans did not materially dimiiuslt its fanotionB, 
bat put them into commission, by entrustiDg them 
to two consuls of equal authority elected annually. 
The Greeks, on the other hand, divided the royal 
functions among different officers, as e. g. at Ath- 
ens among the nine archoos.'- 

The typical kingship in mediieval Europe, after 
the full development of the feudal system, was 
very different indeed from the kingship in early 
Greece and Rome. In the Middle Ages Mwuam 
all priestly functions had passed into "'w'^ 
the hands of the Church.^ A king like Charles 
Vn. of France, or Edward III. of England, was 
military commander, civil magistrate, chief judge, 
and supreme lajtdlord ; the people were his ten- 
ants. That was the kind of king with which the 
Spanish discoverers of Mexico were familiar. 

Now the Mexican Uacatecuhtlif or " chief -of- 
men," was much more like Agamemnon in point 
of kingship than like Edward IIL He was not 
supreme landlord, for landlordahip did not exist 
in Mexico. He was not chief judge or civil mag- 

' It is worthy of note that tbe aiohon who retuned the priestly 
function was called bagUetia, lowing perhaps tliat at diat time 
this bad come to he most prominent among the royal fuictioni, 
or more lilcely that it was the ooe with which reformeis had aome 
religiooa scrnplm alioiit interfering. Tlie Bonuuia, too, retained 
part of tlie king's priestly function in an of&cer called rex tacro- 
rum, whose duty was at times to offer a saoriGoe in the fonun, 
and t^n mn away aa fast as legs coold carry bim, — V Oiaat 1 
3a(riAtbt, NHT^ Tifxot S'tHTt ^iyar ii iryopas (!) Plutarch, Quatt- 
Bojn. 63- 

' SometMng of the priestly qnslity of "sanctity," however. 
■mronnded the king's person ; and the ceremony of anointing 
the king at Ms coronation was a surrival of the ancient rite which 
invested the head war-chief with priestly attributes. 



iBtrate ; those functions belonged to the ** snake- 
woman." Mr. Bandelier regards the " chief -of- 
men" as simply a military commander; but for 
reasons which X shall state hereafter,^ it 
nis"pTie>^ seems qtute clear that he exercised cer- 
tain very important priestly functions, 
although beside faim there was a kind of high- 
priest or medicine-chief. If I am right in hold- 
ing that Montezuma was a " priest-eonunaiider," 
then incipient royalty in Mexico had advanced 
at least one stage beyond the head wamihief of 
the Iroquois, and remained one stage behind the 
hasUeus of the Homeric Greeks. 

The tlacatecuktli, or " chief -of -men," was elected 
by an assembly consisting of the tribal eonncil, 
the " elder brothers " of the several clans, and cer- 
tain leading priests. Though the office was thus 
elective, the choice seems to have been 
esMion to ths practically limited to a particular clan, 
and in the eleven chiefs who were 
chosen from 1375 to 1520 a certain principle or 
custom of succession seems to be plainly indi- 
cated.^ There was a further limit to the order of 
succession. Allusion has been made to the four 
phratry-captains commanding the quarters of the 

• Thay can be most eonveniantly stated in connection with th» 
Story of the oonquest of Mezica ; see below, yol. ii. p. 278. When 
BCr- BaadeliM compleifd hia long-promised paper on <he andebt 
Mezicwi religion, perhaps it will appear that he has taken tbeaa 
fubiinto the aoooniit. 

* [ caiukot follow Mr. Bandelier io discreditiBs ClaTigero't 
i[tot«nteiit that (he office of tlaeatecuAili " ahonld always remain 
in the hon» of AcamapitoD," inaamnch aa the elaTon who were 
actoally elected were all oLwely akin to one another. In point of 



city. Their cheerful titles were "man of ^ 
house of darts," "cutter of men," " blootJshedder,'* 
and "chief of the eagle and cactus." These cap- 
ttuns were military chiefs of the phratries, and also 
magistrates charged with the duty of maint^n- 
ing order and enforcing the decrees of the council 
in their respectiTe quarters. The " chief of the 
eagle and cactus" was chief executioner, — Jack 
Ketch. He was not eligible for the office of 
" chief -of -men ; " the three other phratry-captains 
were eli^ble. Then there was a member of the 
priesthood entitled " man of the dark house." 
This person, with the three eligible captains, made 
a quartette, and one of this privileged four must 
succeed to the office of " chief -of-men." 

The eligibility of the " man of the dark house " 
may be cit«d here as positive proof that some- 
times the "chief-of-men" could be a "priestcom- 
mander." That in all cases he acquired priestly 
functions after election, even when he did not 
possess them before, is indicated by the fact that 
at the ceremony of his induction into ofBce he 
ascended to the summit of the pyramid sacred 
to the war-god Huitzilopochtli, where he was 
anointed by the high-priest with a black ointment, 
and sprinkled with sanctliied water ; having thus 
become consecrated he took a censer of live coals 
and a bag of copal, and as his first official act 
offered incense to the war-god.' 

' H. H. Banoroft, Native Bacei of the Pacific Stala, vol. ii. p. 
245. Hence tlia acconats of the raverent demeanour of the peo- 
ple toward Montemma, thongh perhaps oTeroolonred, are not 
so alwnrd as Mr. Moigan deemed them. Mr. Morgan -waa Bome- 
tjmen Uso anxious to reduce MoDteiunis to the level of an Inr 
qocHB woT-ohiaf. 



As the "chief-of-men" yraa elected, so too lie 
eould be deposed for mialaeliaviour. He was ex 
officio a member of the tribal council, and he had 
his official residence in the tecpan, or trib&l home, 
where the meetings of the council were held, and 
where the hoBpitalities of the tribe were extended 
to strangers. As an administtatiTe officer, the 
" chie£-of -men " had little to do within the limits 
of the tribe ; that, as already observed, was the 
bnsinesB of the " snake-woman." But outside of 
the confederacy the " chief-of -men " exercised ad- 
ministrative functions. He superintended the col- 
lection of tribute. Each of the three confederate 
uuiur at eoi- tribes appointed, through its tribal 
iMUDgtritnM. council, agents to visit the subjected 
pueblos and gather in the tribute. These agents 
were expressively termed calpixqui, " erop^ther- 
ers." As these men were obliged to spend con- 
siderable time in the vanquished pneblos in the 
double character of tax-collectors and spies, we 
can imagine how hateful their position was. Their 
security from injury depended upon the reputation 
of their tribes for ruthless ferocity.^ The tiger- 
like confederacy was only too ready to take of- 
fence; in the lack of a decent pretext it often 
went to war without one, simply in order to get 
human victims for sacrifice. 

Once appointed, the tax-gatherers were directed 

' Ab I have dsevhere obserred io s sunilar cage : — " Each 
•nnuneT tiiera came two Mohavk eldeiB, Beenre in the dread that 
IraqnoiB proireBa had'eTeiywhsTe inspired ; and up and down the 
ComiBctiont valley they Beized the tribate of weapons and wam- 
pnm, and proclaimBd the last harsh ediot iasned from the savaga 
ooundl at Onondaga." Beginnings qf Neui England, p. 121. 



by the "chief-of-men." The tribate was chiefly 
maize, but might be anythiiig the conquerors 
chose to demand, — weapons, fine pottery or 
featherwork, gold ornaments, or female slaves. 
Sometimes the tEibutmy pueblo, instead of sacri- 
ficing all its prisoners of war upon its own altars, 
sent some of them up to Mexico aa part of its trib- 
ute. The ravening maw of the horrible deities 
was thus appeased, not by the pueblo that paid 
the blackmul, but by the power that extorted it, 
and thus the latter obtained a larger share of di- 
vine favour. Generally the unhappy prisoners 
were forced to cany the com and other articles. 
They were convoyed by couriers who saw that 
everything was properly delivered at the tec^an, 
and also brought information by word of mouth 
and by picture-writing from the calpixqui to the 
"chief-of-men." When the newly^arrived Span- 
iards saw these couriers coming and going they 
fancied that they were " ambassadors." This sys- 
tem of tribute-taking made it necessary to build 
roads, aiid this in turn &i3ilitated, not only military 
operations, but trade, which had already made some 
progress albeit of a simple sort. These " roads " 
might perhaps more properly be called Indian 
trails,^ but they served their purpose. 

Hie general similarity of the Aztec confederacy 

1 See Salmeron'e letter of Angoirt 18, 1&31, to tha Conncil of 
the IndidH, cited Id Baudeliei, cp. at. p. 696. The letter reeom- 
mends tliat to inereaee the >eonrit7 ol the Spauuili hold apoa the 
«oantr; the roads ehoold be made pTactJcable for heaeta and 
wagons. Tliey were narrow paths numing Btiaight ahead np hill 
and davn dale, eometiines oroeaing narraw mTinQH npon heavy 
■tone oolTertB. 



to that of th& IroquoiB, ib point of social structure, 
ia thus clearly manifest. Along with this gener^ 
Alton ud iio- similaiity we have observed some points 
S^^rS^ of higher development, such ae one 
*'**^ might expect to find in traversing the 

entire length of an ethnical period. Instead of 
Blockaded villages, with houses of bark or of clay 
supported upon a wooden framework, we have 
pueblos of adobe-brick or stone, in various stages 
of evolution, the most advanced of which present 
the appearance of castellated cities. Along with 
the systematic irrigation and increased dependence 
upon horticulture, we find evidences of greater 
density of population; and we see in the victo- 
rious confederacy a more highly developed organi- 
zation for adding to its stock of food and other 
desirable possessions by the systematic plunder 
of neighbouring weaker communities. Naturally 
Buoh increase in numbers and organization entails 
some increase in the number of officers and some 
differentiation of their functions, aa illustrated in 
the representation of the clans (calpulli) in the 
tribal council (Jlatocan), by speakers (tlatoani') 
chosen for the purpose, and not by the official 
heads (calpuUec) of the dan. Likewise in the 
military commander-in-chief (flacatecuhtli) we 
observe a marked increase in dignity, and — as I 
liave already suggested and hope to maintain — we 
find that his office has been clothed with sacerdo- 
tal powers, and bas thus taken a decided step to- 
ward kingship of the ancient type, as depicted in 
the Homeric poems. 
No feature of the adv^ice is more noteworthy 



than the developmetit of the medicine^nen into aa 
OTganized priesthood.^ The presence of 

,, . 1 , ■, . .1 ArtwpriMt- 

this priesthood and its ntaal was pro- hood : hunuai 
claimed to the eyes of the traveller in 
ancient Mexico by the numeroue tall truncated 
pyramida (teoa^lia), on the flat sunuaits of whidi 
men, women, and children were sacrificed to the 
gods. This custom of human sacrifice seems to 
have been a characteristic of the middle period 
of barbarism, and to have survived, with dimin- 
ishing frequency, into the upper period. There 
are abundant traces of its existence throughout 
the early Aryan world, from Brit^ to Hinda- 
stan, as well as among the ancient Hebrews and 
their kindred.^ But among all these peoples, at 
the earliest times at which we can study them 
with trustworthy records, we find the custom of 
human sacrifice in an advanced stage of decline, 
and generally no longer accompanied by the cus- 
tom of cannibalism in which it probably origi- 
nated.' Among the Mexicans, however, when they 
were first visited by the Spaniards, cannibalism 
flourished as nowhere else in the world except 
perhaps in Fiji, and human sacrifices were con- 

' The prieathood was not beraditary, nor did it form a oaste. 
There was no hereditary nobility in ancient Mexico, nor vara 
there any hereditary Tocatiniu, aa " artjgaiu," " menhants," ete. 
gee Baodelier, op. at, p. 599. 

* See the copious refereocea in Tytot'a Primiltve GuUure, li 
840-3'?] ; Mackay, Sdigioia Development of the Gredct and He- 
breai, ii 406-434 ; Oort and Hooykaas, The BUJe for ¥oa«g 
People, I 30, 189-193 ; ii. 102, 220 ; iii. 21, 170, 316, 393, 395 ; iv. 
65, 226. Qhillany, Die menschenopfar der alien Hebraer, Nurem- 
berg, 1842, treats tbe Babject with maah learning. 
^ » Speooer, Prindp. Sociol., i, 287 ; Tjlor, q>. cU. iL 34G. 



ducted on euch a scale as could Dot have been 
witnessed in Europe withoat going back more 
than forty centuries. 

Hie custom of sacrificing captives to the gods 
was a marked advance upon the practice in the 
lower period of barbarism, when the prisoner, uq- 
leas saved by adoption into the tribe of his cap- 
tors, was put to death with lingering torments. 
There were occasions on which the Aztecs tortured 
their prisoners before sending them to the altar,i 
but in general the prisoner was well-treated and 
highly fed, — fatted, in short, for the final ban- 
quet in which the worshippers participated with 
their savage deity.^ In a more advanced stage 
of development than that which the Aztecs had 
reached, in the stage when agriculture became 
extensive enough to creat« a steady demand for 
servile labour, the practice of enslaving prisoners 
became general ; and as slaves became more and 
more valuable, men gradually succeeded in com- 
pounding with their deities for easier terms, — a 
ram, or a kid, or a bullock, instead of the human 

1 He. Frescott, to SToirl shoeing the reader ynlAt detuls, re- 
fen tiim to iOie twentj-fiiat oonto of Dante's Inferno, Ciinqae^ oj 
Mexico, Tol. i. p. 64. 

' See lielow, yo\. ii. p. 28S. 

' The Tictim, b; the offer of whiah tlie wralli of the god was 
appeased or bis faTonr solicited, ronst always be some Taloed 
posaesnon of the sacrificer. Hence, e. g., among the Hebi«»B 
" wild snimBils, as not beii^ property, were generally aonsidered 
onfit for gacrifice." (Machay, op. at. ii. 398.) Among the Aztecs 
(Frescott, toe. cit.) on certun occasiona of peooliar goleiniiity llie 
oloD offered some of its own members, nanally children. In the 
lack of priBoners gnch oSeringa vonld more oft«n be neceesary, 
hence one powerful incentive to war. Hie use of pnsonen to 



The ancient Mexicans had not arrived at thia 
stage, which in the Old World characterized the 
upper period of harbarisn. Slavery had, however, 
made a beginning among the Aztecs. ^^ 
The nucleus of the small slave-popu- 
lation of Mexico consisted of outcasts, persons 
expelled from the clan for some misdemeanour. 
The simplest ca^ was that in which a member 
of a clan failed for two years to cultivate his 
garden-plot.^ The delinquent member was de- 
prived, not only of his right of user, but of all his 
rights as a clansman, and the only way to escape 
starvation was to work upon some other lot, either 

bD7 tii> KDd'i tammx vaa to aoine extant a snlifltitnte tor the hm 
of tHa ii1bii'« ovo membeis, and at a later stage the tue of di>> 
meBtia »nim»la was a further rabstitnlitm. The legend of Abi»> 
ham apd Isaac (Genma, nii 1-14) preserrel the tiaditioii of diia 
latter mbatitation amoi^ Jtlie ancieut Hebrewa Compare Qie 
Bmotian legend of the temple of IKonysos Aigoboloa : — Morrif 
•fif Tfi 9t^ Tpoix^"^ *<"' <^ liiBjit li SBp^r, £trT( ul toE &■»• 
riaau rir ttpia iroKTiSrovirif iTmcrttyairrai S) abrSxa At/\a3* 
r6irot tiOi/uilhis- kbJ cr^iirtr i^ilKiro i/m ix &t*j^r, r^ ^wviimi 
Miir xoiBa iipajw trm ti ot roAAo?! tirrtpar ray Btiy fovi* 
tHyK Ufntr hwaXXifyu a^aui irrX tdS vaitoi. Fauaaniaa, ix. 8l 
A further stage of prcf^resa iras the snbetdtntion of a mere inBui- 
mate aymbol for a living rictim, whether hniuaji or bnite, aC 
ahown in tlie old Roroao oaaCom of appeasing " Father Hber '' 
□noa a year hj the oeremony of drowning a lot of doUa in that 
river. Of this signiGoont lite Uommsen aptly ohoervea, ' ' Ka 
Ideen gottlicber Onade and Vereohnbarkeit aind hier onnnteT- 
aoheidbar gemisoht nut der fronunen Schlanigheitf velche ea yep- 
■Doht den gefShilichen Eerm durch echeinhafta Betriedigimg m 
iMrttekeo uud abzafinden." BSaiedia Gtichichtt, 4* Anfl., 1865, 
bd. i. p. ITS. After readioi; moh a remark it may seem odd to 
find the writer, id a footnote, refnaiiig to aooept tlie tme eiplana. 
tion of tlie custom ; bnt tliat was a quarter of a oentur; aiftt, 
wheu moob leas was known abont anoieat sooiet; tban now. 
" ~ ■ "" r, op. «(. p. 611.. 



in his own or in some other dan, aod be paid in 
such pittance from its produce as the occupant 
might choose to give him. This was slavery in 
embryo. The occupant did not own this outcast 
labourer, any more than he owned his lot ; he only 
possessed a limited light of user in both laboiu^r 
and lot. To a certain extent it was " adverse " or 
exclusive possession. If the slave ran away or 
was obstinately lazy, he could be made to wear a 
wooden collar and sold without his consent ; if it 
proved too troublesome to keep him, the collared 
slave could be handed over to the priests for 
sacrifice.^ In this class of outcasts and their 
masters we have an intereeting illustration of a 
rudimentary phase of slaveiy and of private prop- 

At this point it is worthy of note that in the 
devdopment of the family the Aztecs had ad- 
vanced considerably beyond the point attained by 
Shawnees and Mohawks, and a little way toward 
the point attained in the patriarchal family of the 
ancient Romans and Hebrews. In the Aztec clan 
(which was exogamous ^) the change to descent in 


the male line seems to have been acoom- 

'*°^- plished before the time of the Discovery. 

Apparently it had been recently accomplished. 
Names for designating family relationships re- 
mained in that primitive stage in which no dis- 
*- Theia vu, hovever, in thia exbeme oase, a right of sanctiuuT. 
If the doomed alave oonld flee and lude himgelf in tlie Ucpan be- 
fora die master or one of his sons conld catnh him, he beoame 
free aod leeoTered bU olao-rights ; and no tHird peisoD vas al- 
lowed to Interfere io aid of the pnrmier. TorqneinadB, Monarquia 
Indiana, ii. S64r-560. 

t, Nativt Bacu of the Fadjic SUUei, tiJ. ii. p. 361. 



finctioD is m^e between father and imcle, grand- 
children and cousins. The family was still too 
feebly established to count for much in the struc- 
ture of society, which still rested firmly upon the 
clan.^ Nevertheless the marriage bonds were 
drawn much tighter than among Indians of the 
lower status, and penalties for incontinence were 
more Bevere. The wife became her husband's 
property and was entitled to the protection of his 
clan. AU matrimonial arrangements were con- 
trolled by the clan, and no member of it, male or 
female, was allowed to remain unmarried, except 
for certain religious reasons. The penalty for 
contumacy was expulsion from the cl^i, mid the 
same penalty was inflicted for such sexual irregu- 
larities as public opinion, still in what we should 
call quite a primitive stage, condemned. Men 
imd women thus expelled went to swell the num- 
bers of that small class of outcasts already noted. 
With men the result, as we have seen, was a kind 
of slavery ; with women it was prostitution ; and 
it is curious to see that the same penalty, entail- 
ing such a result, was visited alike upon unseemly 
frailty and upon refusal to marry. In either case 
the sin consisted in rebellion against the clan's 
standards of proper or permissible behaviour. 

The inheritance in the male line, the beginnings 
of individual property in slaves, the tightening of 
the marriage bond, accompanied by the condemna- 
tion of sundry irregularities heretofore tolerated, 
are phenomena which we might expect to find 
associated together. They are germs of the up- 
' Baodelier, cp. cit. pp. 429, 670, 620. 



per BtatuB of barbarism, as well ae of the earliest 
st^us of civilization more remotely to follow. 
The common canse, of which they are the manifes- 
tations, is an increasing sense of the value and im- 
ahm prop, portance of personal property. In the 
"^- Old World this sense grew up during a 

pastoral stage of society such as the New World 
never knew, and by the ages of Abraham and 
Agamenmon ^ it had produced results such as had 
not been reached in Mexico at the tiqae of the 
Discovery. Still the tendency in the latter coun- 
try was in a similar direction. Though there was 
no notion of real estate, and the bouse was st^ 
clan-property, yet the number and value of arti- 
cles of personal ownership had no doubt greatly 
increased during the long interval which must 
have elapsed since the ancestral Mexicans entered 
npon the middle status. The mere existence of 
large and busy market-places with regular and 
frequent fairs, even though trade had scarcely he- 
gun to emerge from the stage of barter, is 8uf&- 
cient proof of this. Such fairs and markets do 
not belong to the Mohawk chapter in human pro- 
gress. They imply a considerable number and di- 
versity of artificial products, valued as articles of 
personal property. A legitimate inference from 
them is the existence of a certain degree of luxury, 
though doubtless luxury of a barbaric type. 

^ 1 here use these world-faiDons TUune^ vithcmt &flj hnplieatioa 
as to their historical ohaiacter, of their pracise date, vhich are 
in tJiamselTeB iDtereBdng- anbjects far discnaaion. I nse ihem as 
i^st Bymbolirijig the Btate of society whif^ e:(isted about the 
northern and easMm shores of the eastera Mediterraoean, scTeial 
sentniies befrae the Ol^piftdi. 



It is at this point, I think, that a judicious critio 
will begin to part company with Mr. Morgan. 
Ab regards the outward aspect of the society 
which the Spaniards found in Mexico, it, Hofgm'. 
that eminent scholar more than once "''°*' 
used arguments that were inconsistent with prin- 
ciples of criticism laid down by himself. At the 
beginning of his chapter on the Aztec confederacy 
Mr. Moi^an proposed the following rules : — 

"The histories of Spanish America may be 
trusted in whatever relates to the acts of the 
Spaniards, and to the acts and personal character- 
istics of the Indians ; in whatever relates to their 
weapons, implements and utensils, fabrics, food 
and raiment, and things of a similar character. 

" But in whatever relates to Indian society and 
government, their social relations and plan of life, 
they are nearly worthless, because they learned 
nothing and knew nothing of either. We arc at 
full liberty to reject them in these respects and 
commence anew ; using any facts they may contain 
which harmonize with what is known of Tm^ii^Ti 
society." ^ 

Perhaps it would have been better if the second 
of these rules had been somewhat differently 
worded; for even with regard to the strange so- 
ciety and government, the Spanish writers have 
recorded an immense number of valuable facts, 
without which Mr. Bandelier's work would have 
been impoBBible. It is not so much ihefactB aa 
the mterjjretations of the SpaniBh historians that 
are "nearly worthless," and even their misinter. 
' Moigan, Atident SocUtg, p. 18Q, note. 



pretationa are interesting and instructive when 
once we rightly understand them. Sometimes 
they really help us towa,rd the truth. 

The broad distinction, however, as stated in 
Mr. Morgan's pair of rules, is well taken. In re- 
gard to such a strange form of society^ the Sptm- 
ish discoverers of Mexico could not help making 
mistakes, but in regard to utensils and dress their 
senses were not likely to deceive them, and their 
ui. HoTgu statements, according to Mr. Morgan, 
^^^t^ may be trusted. Very good. But as 
"IJoSfflio- ^'^^ "* ■^' Moi^an had occasion to 
"*''™™"" write about the social life of the Az- 
tecs, he forgot his own rules and paid as little 
respect to the senses of eye-witnesses as to their 
judgment. This was amusingly illustrated in his 
famous essay on " Montezuma's Dinner." ' When 
Bemal Diaz describes Montezuma as sitting on 
a low chair at a table covered with a white cloth, 
Mr. Morgan declares that it could not have been 
80, — there were no chairs or tables 1 On second 
thought he will admit that there may have been 
a wooden block hollowed out for a stool, but in 
the matter of a table he is relentless. So when 
Cortes, in his despatch to the emperor, speaks of 
the " wine-cellar " and of the presence of " seer&- 
taries " at dinner, Mr. Morgan observes, '* Since 
cursive writing was unknowii among the Aztecs, 
the presence of these secretaries is an amusing 
feature in the accoont. The wine-cellar also is 
remarkable for two reasons : firstly, because the 

1 North Amer. Review, April, 1876. The Bubstance of it WM 
nproduoed in his Houses and HoutC'Li/e, ehajf. x. 



level of the streets and courts was but four feet 
above the level of the water, which made cellars 
impossible ; and, secondly, because the Aztecs had 
no knowledge of wine. An acid beer (^que\ 
made by fermenting the juice of the maguey, was 
a common beverage of the Aztecs ; but it is hardly 
supposable that even this wa£ used at dinner." ' 

To this I would reply that the fibre of that 
name useful plant from which the Aztecs made 
their " beer " supplied them also with paper, upon 
which they were in the habit of writing, not in- ■ 
deed in cursive cbaanctets, but in hieroglyphics. 
This kind of writing, as well as any other, ac- 
counts for the presence of secretaries, which seems 
to me, by the way, a very probable and character- 
istic feature in the narrative. Frcmi tiie moment 
the mysterious strangers landed, every movement 
of theirs had been recorded in hien^lyphics, and 
there is no reason why notes of what they said 
and did should not have been taken at dinner. 
As for the place where the pidque was kept, it 
was a venial slip of the pen to eall it a " wine-cel- 
lar," even if it was not below the ground. Tlie 
language of Cortes does not imply that he visited 
the " cellar ; " he saw a crowd of Indians drinking 
the beverage, and supposing the great house he 
was in to be Montezoma's, he expressed his sense 
of that person's hospitality by saying that " his 
wine-cellar visa open to all." And really, is it not 
rather a captious criticism which in one breath 
chides Cortes for calling the beverage "wine," 
and in the next breath goes on to call it " beer " ? 

I Bmut and Bime-Lifi, p. S41. 



The pulque was neither the one nor the other ; 
for want of any other name a German might have 
oaUed it beer, a Spaniard would be more likely to 
call it wine. And why is it *' hardly supposable " 
that pulque was used at dinner? Why should 
Mr. Morgan, who never dined with Montezuma, 
know BO much more about auch things ibiai Cortea 
and Bemal Diaz, who did?' 

The Spanish statements of facts are, of course, 
not to be accepted uncritically. When we are 
told of cut slabs of porphyry inlaid in the walls 

_,rfj •'f * room, we have a right to inquire 
wdwoncrit- how SO hard a stone could be cut with 
tggawttii flint or copper chisels,' and axe ready 
to entertain the su^^estion that some 
other stone might easily have been nustaken for 
porphyry. Such a critical inquiry is eminently 
profitable, and none the less so when it brings as 
to the conclusion that the Aztecs did succeed in 
cutting porphyry. Again, when we read abont 
Indian armies of 200,000 men, pertinent questions 
arise as to the commissariat, and we are led to re- 
flect that there is nothing about which old soldiers 
spin such unconscionable yams as about the size 

> Mr. Andreir Lang asks sbme dmilar qnastioiu in Us Mgtk, 
Bitaal, and S^igioa, toI. iL p. 349, bat in a tone of impatieiit 
iHMitampt wUch, aa applied to a. man of Mr. Morgso'B calibro, is 
hardly beooming. 

9 For an excellent aooonnt of anaient Mexioan knives and 
obisela, see Dr. Valentdni's paper on " Semi-Lunar and Crescent- 
Kiaped TooIb," in Frocftdingt of Amor. Antiq. Soe., New Seriea, 
ToL iii. pp. 440-1T4. Compara the very interesting Spamih 
oliservations on oopper hatchets and flint ehiBsla in Clavigero, 
Uiaoria antigua, torn. L p. 242; Meudieta, Hitlmia todtdtutka 



of the armies they have thrashed. In a fairy tale, 
of course, such suggestiona are impertineiit ; things 
«an go on anyhow. In real life it is different. The 
trouble with most historians of the conquest of 
Mexico has been that they have made it like a 
fairy tale, and the trouble with Mr. Morgan waa 
that, in a wholesome and muclwieeded spirit of 
reaction, he was too much inclined to dismiss the 
whole story as such. He foi^ot the first of his 
pair of rules, and applied the second to everythiog 
alike. He felt *' at full liberty to reject " the 
testimony of the discoTerere as to what they saw 
and tasted, and to "commence anew," reasoning 
from "what is known of Indian society." And 
here Mr. Morgan's mind was so full of the kind 
of Indian society which he knew more minutely 
and profoundly than any other man, that he was 
apt to forget that there could be any other kind. 
He overlooked his own distinction between the 
lower and middle periods of barbarism in his at- 
tempt to ignore or minimize the points of differ- 
ence between Aztecs and Iroquois.^ In this way 
he did injustice to his own brilliant and useful 
classification of stages of culture, and in particular 
to the middle period of barbarism, the significance 
of which he was the first to detect, but failed to 
realize fully because his attention had been so in- 
tensely concentrated upon the lower period. 

' It often happens tJiat ibe follovera of H great man are more 
likel; to ran to extremeB than their roaster, ai, for eiaropU, wlien 
ve Bee the qoeen of pueblos raahlj deftoribed aa *'& eolleotion of 
mnd hats, snoli aa Cort«B fonnd and dignified with the name of a 
city." Smilkaonian Beport, 1887, part i. p. 691. This ia qoitA 



In truth, the middle period of barbarisin was 
one of the most important periods ia the career 
of the human raice, and full of fascination to the 
Tmp- t.^^ Bt student, as the imfa^Ting interest in an- 
Sri^'Sur- <»«"* Mexico and the huge mass of lit- 
"™- erature devoted to it show. It q)amied 

the interval between such society as that of Hia- 
watha and such aa that of the Odyssej. One 
more such interval (and, I suspect, a briefer one, 
becanse the use of iron and the development of 
inheritable wealth would accelerate progress) led 
to the age that oould write the Odyssey, one of 
&e moat beautiful productions of the human mind. 
If Mr. Morgan had always borne in mind that, on 
his own classification, Montezuma must have been 
at least as near to A^amenmon as to Powhatan, 
his attitude towanl the Spanish historians would 
have been less hostile. A Moqiii pueblo stands 
near the lower end of the middle period of bar- 
barism ; ancient Troy stood next the upper end. 
Mr. Morgan found apt illustrations in the former ; 
perhaps if he had lived long enough to profit by 
the work of Schliemann and Bandelier, he might 
have found equally apt ones in the latter. Mr. 
Bandelier's researches certainly show that the an- 
cient city of Mexico, in point of social develop- 
ment, stood somewhere between the two. 

How that city looked may best be described 
when we come to tell what its first Spanish vis- 
itors saw. Let it suf^ce here to say that, upon a 
reasonable estimate of their testimony, pleasure- 
gardens, menageries and aviaries, fountains and 
baths, tessellated marble floors, finely wrought pot- 



tery, exquisite feath^swork, brilliant mats and 
tapestries, silver goblets, dainty spices burning in 
golden censers, varieties of highly seasoned dishes, 
dramatic performances, jugglers and acrobats, bal- 
lad singers and dancing girls, - — - such things were 
to be seen in this city of snake-worshipping canni- 
bals. It simulated civilisation as a tree-iem sunu- 
lates a tree. 

In its general outlines the account here ^ven of 
Aztec society and government at the time of the 
Discovery will probably hold true of all the semi- 
civilized communities of the Mexican peninsula 
and Central America. The pueblos of Mexico 
were doubtless of various grades of size, strength, 
and comfort, ranging from such structures as Zu&i 
up to the city of Mexico. The cities jjeiiBm md 
of Chiapas, Yucatan, and Ghiatemala, '"'^^ 
whose ruins, in those tropical forests, are so im- 
pressive, probably belong to the same class. The 
MayarQnich^ tribes, irho dwelt and still dwell in 
this region, were different in stock-language from 
their neighbours of Mexico ; but there are strong 
reasons for believing that the two great groups, 
Mexicans and Mayas, arose from the expansion 
and segmentation of one common stock, and there 
is no doubt as to the very close simihirity be- 
tween the two in government, religion, and social 
advancement. In some points the Mayas were 
superior. They possessed a considerable literar- 
tuie, written in highly developed hier(^lyphic 
characters upon m^ney paper and upon deerskin 
parchment, so that from this point of view they 



stood npOD the threshold of civilization as strictly 
defined.^ But, like the Mexicans, they were igno- 

* Thii writing was at onoe recognized by leoTDed Sponiarda, 
like Lag Caua, as entirel; different from anything found elaa- 
where in Ameiioa. He fonnd in Yncataa " letferoa de ciertot 
eaiaetOMft que en otra mngnna parte/^ Laa Caaaa, Historia t^io- 
iogitica, cap. oxziiL For an aooount of the hierog-lyphioa, see ilitt 
learned eiaaya of Dr. Cyroa Thomns, A Study of the Manatcript 
ZVoono, Washington, 1682 ; " Notes on certain Maya and Mexican 
MSS.," Third Bqiort of the Bureau of Eihrtatogy, pp. T-I53 ; " Aids 
to the Study of the Maya Codicea,^' Sixth Report, pp. 259-371. 
(The paper last mentioned ends with the weighty vorda, " The 
more I study theae oharaoten the' atronger beeomea Qie convio- 
(ion that the; have grown ont of a pictographio syHtem similar to 
diat common among the Indiana of North America." Exactly 
BO ; and this is typical of e-rery aapeot and every detail of ancient 
American onltnre. It ia becoming daily more evident that tHe 
old notion of an influence from Asia has not a I^ to stand on.) 
See alio a soggestiTe paper by the astronomer, E. S. Holden, 
" Studies in Central American Pictnie- Writing," Firtl Report of 
theBmeaa qf Ethndagy, pp. 205-24B; Bnaloa, AneUjil Phoaetie 
Alphabet of Tacatan, Ifev York, l&Ti ; Eaiasi of an Americanist, 
Philadelphia, 1800, pp. 193-30* ; I^on de Rosny, Le» fcrituret 
figurativet, Paris, 1670 ; L'ttiierprflaiiiM det ancieni texiet Magtu, 
Faiia, 1B76 ; Eitai tar le didaffrement de Cicritare hUratique de 
PAm^riqve Ceatraie, Paris, 1876 ; FSratemann, Erlavterangen da- 
Maga BandvArift, Dresden, 1886. Tlie deoipherment is as yet 
bat p^tially accomplished. The Me:dcan ayatem of viitdng la 
dearly developed from Ihe ordinary Indian ptctegraphs ; it oonld 
not have arisen from the Maya ayatom, but the latter inight vdl 
have been a fnrther development of the Mexican ayatem ; the 
Maya syateni had probably developed eome eharactera with a 
phonetic valne, i. e. was groping toward the alphabetical stage ; 
bat how far this gropii^ had gone must lem^n very donbtfnl 
nntjl the dedpherment has prooeeded further. Dr. Isaac Taylor 
ia too hasty in saying that "the Mayas employed twenty-seven 
eharactera which mnat be admitted to be alphabetic " (Taylor, 
The Alphabet, yd. i. p. 24) ; this statement ii followed by the 
concluuon that tlie Maya system of writing waa '* superior in 
simplicitj and oonvemence to that employed ... by the great 
Assyrian nation at the epoch of its greatest power and glory." 




rant of iron, their society was organized upon tlie 
principle of gentilism, they were cannibals and 
sacrificed men and women to idols, some of which 
were identical with those of Mexico. The Mayas 
had no conception of property in land; their 

164 f: 







Gnmnd-plan at so-oalled "Honae of the Nuns" atUimaL 

buildings were great communal houses, like puel> 
los ; in some cases these so-called palaces, at first 
supposed to be scanty remnants of vast cities, were 
themselves the entire " cities j " in other cases 

Dr. Taylor has beeo misled by Diego de Landa, whose work 
{Rdation des doses (f< VYacalan, ed. Brassenr, Paiia, 1864) hu 
in it some pitfalU for the nnwacT-. 



tliere vere doabtieas large composite pnebloB fit 
to be called cities. 

These noble ruins have excited great and in- 
creasing interest since the publication of Mr. Ste- 
phens's charming book just fifty years ago.^ An 
air of profound mystery surronnded them, and 
many wild theories were propounded to account 

for their existence. They were at first 
(dcentni accredited with a fabulous antiquity, 

and in at least one instance this notion 
was responsible for what must be called misrepre- 
sentation, if not humbug.' Having been placed 

' Stephens, IncidetiU of Travd in Ceatrai America, Chttgiat, 
and Yucatan, 2 voU., New Yorh, 1S41. 

^ It oceaired in tbe drawings of the artist FrMerio de Wal- 
deck, who visited Psleuqne before Stephens, bat whoee re- 
■earohes were published latar. " His drawings," says Mr. Winsor, 
" are ezqniute { bnt he wits not fiee from a tendena; to improve 
and restore, where the conditions gave a hint, and so as we have 
tliam in the finsl pnblieation they have not been accepted ss 
wholly tniBtworaiy." N arr. and Crit. Hiit., i. liti. M. de Cha»^ 
nay pats it more atnmgly. Upon his drawing of a certun panel 
at Palenqoe, M. de Waldeok " has seen fit to place three or four 
elephants. What end did be propose to himself in ^ving this 
. fiotitioiis representation ? Fresamably to give a prehistoric origin 
to these rains, einee it ia an ascertained fact that elephants in a 
fossil state only have been foand on llie American continent. It 
is needless to add that neither Catherwood, who drew these in- 
■oriptions most minutely, nor myself who bionght impressions of 
tbem away, nor living man, ever saw tiiese elei^taots and their 
fine trunks. Bat snch is tbe mischief engendered by precon- 
ceived opinions. With some winters it would seem that to give 
a reoent date to these moniuneats would deprive tham of all in- 
t«i«st. It wonld have been fortunsle had eiploreis lieen imbued 
vith fewer prejudices and gifted with a little more common sense, 
for then we should have known the truth with regard to these 
rains long since." Chamay, The Ancient Citiei of the Neta 
Worid, London, ISST, p. 246. The gallant ezploier's iudignb. 
tion is oert^nly quite pardonable. 



by popTilar fmicy at such a remote age, they were 
naturally supposed to hare been built, not by tiie 
Mayas, — who still inhabit Yucatan and do not 
absolutely dazzle ua with their exalted civilization, 
— but by some wonderful people long since van- 
ished. Now as to this point the sculptured slabs 
of Uxmal and Chichen-Itza tell their own story. 
They are covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, 
and these hieroglyphs are th6 same as those in 
which the Dresden Codex and other Maya manu- 
scripts still preserved are written ; though their 
decipherment is not yet complete, there is no sort 
of doubt as to their being written in the Maya 
characters. Careful inspection, moreover, shows 
that the bnildings in which these inscriptions oc- 
cur are not so very ancient. Mr. Stephens, who 
was one of their earliest as well as sanest ex- 
plorers, believed them to be the work of the 
Mayas at a comparatively recent period.^ The 
notion of their antiquity was perhaps suggested 
by the belief that certain colossal mahogany trees 

' Some of lus remarka are worth quoting Id dott^, oapeciftUy 
in Tiew <d tbe tune when the; were vritten: " I repeat my 
o^mon that we are not vananled in gmng baak to any ancient 
nation of the Old World for the boildera of these oities ; that they 
are not the work of people who have passed, away and whose bis- 
toiy ia lost, but that there are strong ceasons to believe them the 
creations of the same raoes who Inhabited the oonntry at the time 
of the Spanish oonqnestT or some not very distant progenitors. 
And I would remark that we began our eiploration without any 
theory to anpport- . - . Some are beyond doubt older than others ; 
Bome are known to have been Inhabited at the lime of the Span- 
ish conquest, and others, perhaps, were really in mina before ; . - ■ 
bnt in regard to Uimal, at leaat, we believe that it was an enisl- 
ing and inhabited city at tJie time of the arrival of the Spaniards." 
Stephens, Central America, at«., vol. ii. p. 455. 



growing between and over the ruins at Falenqae 
must be nearly ^,000 years old. But when M. de 
Chamay visited Palenque in 1859 lie had the east- 
em side of the " palace " cleared of its dense 
vegetation in order to get a good photograph; 
and when he revisited the spot in 1881 he found 
a sturdy growth of young mahogany the age of 
which he knew did not ezoeed twenty-two years. 
Instead of maldng a ring once a year, as in our 
sluggish and temperate zone, these trees had made 
rings ct the rate of about one in a month ; their 
trunks were already more than two feet in di- 
ameter ; judging from this rate of growth the big- 
gest giant on the place need not have been moi-e 
than 200 years old, if as much.^ 

These edifices axe not so durably constructed as 
those which in Europe have stood for more thMi 
a thousand years. They do not indicate a high 
civilization on the part of their builders. They 
do not, as Mr. Andrew Lang says, " throw My- 
_^ cense into the shade, and rival the re- 

«bij not older mains of Cambodia," ^ In pictures 
twBifthoan- they may seem to do so, but M. de 
Chamay, after close and repeated ex- 
amination of these buildings, assures us that as 
stractures they "cannot be compared with those 
at Cambodia, which belong to nearly the same 
period, the twelfth century, and which, notwith- 
standing their greater and more resisting propor- 
tions, are found in the same dilapidated condi< 

1 Chamar, Tht Ancient Cities of the New World, p. 260: 
' Lang, Mi/th, Ritual, and Religion, toI. li. p. 348. 



tion."' It seems to me that if Mi. Lang bad 
spoken of the Yucatan ruins as rivalling the t&- 
mains o£ Mycente, instead of " throwing Uiem into 
the shade," he would have come nearer the mark. 
The builders of Uxmal, like those of Mycenie, did 
not understand the principle of the arch, but were 
feeling their way toward it.^ And here again we 
are brought back, as seems to happen whatever 
road we follow, to the middle status of barbarism. 
The Yucatan arcbitecture shows the marks of its 
ori^n in the pdobe and rubble-stone work of the 
New Mexico pueblos. The inside of the wall " is 
a rude mixture of friable mortar and small irregu- 
lar stones," and under the pelting tropical rains 
the dislocation of the outer facing is presently ef- 
fected. The lai^ blocks, cut with fiint chisels, 
are of a soft stone that is soon damaged by 
weather ; and the cornices and lintek are beams 
of a very hard wood, yet not so hard but that in- 
sects bore into it. From such considerations it is 
justly inferred that the highest probable antiquity 
for most of the ruins in Yucatan or Central Amer- 
ica is the twelfth or thirteenth century of our era.' 
Some, perhaps, may be no older than the ancient 
city of Mexico, built A, D. 1325. 

^ Chonisy, i^. cit. p. 209. " I may remark tliat [the] vicgia 
forests [bera] luiTa no Tsry old treas, being destrojed bj insects, 
mcHBtare, liaoaa, etc ; and old moateroB tell me that maliagauy 
and oedor troet, whiob are most dmable, do not Uts aboTe 200 
yBars," id, p, 447. 

^ The reader ynQ find it sngg^stiTe to compare portioDB of 
Schliemaan's Mycente and M. de Chamay'a book, jnat ntfid, vidl 
Morgan's Hbusej and Houst-Life, eliap. li. 

9 Chamay, op. cit, p. 411. Copau and Palenqne may be two or 
Qiree centuries older, and Imd probably fallen into mins betoia 
the amval of the SpaniardB. 



But we are no longer restricted to purely ais 
chfeolo^cal evidence. One of the most impressice 
of all tliese ruined cities is Chiclien-Itza, whidi is 
regarded as older than Uxmal, but not so old as 
T«ftm^, Now in recent times sundry old Maya 
ohrooicieof documents have been discovered in 
ouoimub. Yucatan, and among them is a brief 
history of the Spanuh conquest of that country, 
written in the Boman character by a native chief, 
Nahuk Pech, about 1562. It has been edited, 
with an ^glish translation, by th3,t zealous and 
indefatigable scholar, to whom American philol* 
ogy owes such a debt of gratitude, — Dr. Daniel 
Brinton. This chronicle tells us several things 
that we did not know before, and, among others, 
it refers most explicitly to Chiehen-ltza and Iza- 
mal as inhabited towns during the time that the 
Spaniards were coming, from 1519 to 1542. If 
there could have been any lingering doubt as to 
the correctness of the views of Stephens, Morgan, 
and Chamay, this contemporaneous documentary 
testimony dispels it once for aJL' 

' Brinton, The Maya Chnmidei, Philadelphia, 1882, "C&nm- 
iole of Chicxnlnb," pp. 18T-2GS. This book is of gnat impor- 
tanoe, and foe the aDoient history of Gutrtemala Brinton's Annali 
of the CaidUquds, Philadelphia, 1885, is of like value and in- 
Half a eentory agx) Mr. Stephens wrote in trulj prophetic Tain, 
" the conrents aie rich in manascripts and docnmenta written b7 
the early fatJiera, Cftciqnes, and Indians, vho very soon acqnired 
the knowledge of Spanish and the art of wHtiDg. These have 
never been examined with the slightest referenoe to this subject ; 
and I eannot Mp (JSintinjf that tome prKJoas memorial u now 
moMering in the iibniry of a tiaghhottring coraxnt, which mmld 
daermim the ktstory of some one of these ruined ciliet." Vol. iL p. 
466. The italidzing, of couise, is mine. 



The Mexicana and Mayas believed theniBelves 
to be akin to each other, they had seYeral deities 
and a large stock of traditional lore in common, 
and there was an essential similarity in k,^ nutan 
their modes of life; so that, aince we ^32^'^'' 
ate now aunred that such cities as JxSr *"*''>»• 
mal and C^oheo-Itza were contemporary with the 
city of Mexico, we shall probably not go yery far 
astray if we assume that the elaborately oarred and 
bedizened ruins of the former may give us some 
hint as to how things might hare looked in the lat- 
ter. Indeed this complicated and grotesque earr- 
ing on walls, door-posts, tuid lintels was one of the 
£rst things to attract the attention of the Spaniards 
in Mexico. They regarded it with mingled indig- 
nation and awe, for serpents, coiled or uncoiled, 
with gaping months, were most conspicoous among 
the objects represented. The viaitora soon learned 
that all this had a symbolic and religions meamog, 
and with some show of reason they conclnded that 
this strange people worshipped the DeviL 

We haTe now passed in review the varions peo- 
ples of North America, from the Arctic circle to 
the neighbourhood of the isthmus of Darien, and 
can form some sort of a mental picture of the con- 
tinent at the time of its discovery by lEuropeans 
in the fifteenth century. Much more might have 
been said without goiug beyond the requirements 
of an outline sketeh, but quite as much has been 
said as is co:isi3tent with the general plan of this 
book. I have not undertaken at present to go be- 
yond the isthmus of Darien, because this prelim- 



inaiy chapter is already disprc^rtionately long, 
and after this protracted discuAeion tlie reader's 
attention may be somewhat relieved by an entire 
change of scene. Enough has been set forth to 
explain the narrative that foUows, and to justiiy 
US henceforth in taking certain things for granted. 
The outline description of Mexico will be completed 
when we come to the story of its oonqoest by Span- 
iards, and then we shall be ready to describe some 
principal features of Femrian society and to under- 
stand how the Spaniards conquered that country. 

There is, however, one conspicuous featmre <^ 
North American antiquity which has not yet re- 
ceived OUT attention, and which calls for a few 
words before we close this chapter. I refer to the 
ThB "MoBoa. mounds that are scattered over so lai^ 
B'^'^"*-" a part of the soil of the United States, 
and more particularly to those between the Mis- 
sissippi river and the Alleghany mounttdns, which 
have been the subject of so much theoriring, and 
in late years of so much careful study.^ Vague 
' Fm <^^nal icaoMfllun in Ote momidB one oaDDot do iMtter 
Hum eoiHiiU die foUowiiiK papea In tha B^ierU <^ tie Bartau <^ 
Ethnology:— 1. by W. H. Holmea, "Art in Sbell of the An- 
cient AmerioMiB," u. 181-305; "Tha Ancient Pottery of tho 
Maaaapp VaUey," It. 3S5-436; "Prehiatorio Texdle Fabrics 
of ihe TJnUed Sbitee," iu. S97-431 ; foUoved by an iUnatrated 
eatalofpie of objecta collected cbieSy from mounds, iit 433-516 ; 
<— 2. H. W. Henehaw, " Animal Carvings from tbe Monnds of the 
HisHaipin Valley," ii. 121-168; — 3. Cyrna Thomas, "Bniial 
flfonitda of the Northern Section of tlie United States," t. 7-119 ; 
alao three of Oie BnreBn'a "BnlletinB" by Dr. Thomaa, "The 
Probleni of tbe Ohio Mounds," " The Cirenlar, Square, and Oc- 
tagonal Eaithvorhs of Ohio,'' and "Work in Moand Exploration 
ff the Bniean of Ethnology;" alao two artiolea by Dr. ThotoM 



and wild were the speculations once rife about 
the " Mound-Builders " and their wonderful civil- 
ization. They were supposed to have been a race 
quite different from the red men, with a culture 
perhaps superior to our own, and more or less eio~ 
quence waa wasted over tbe Tauished "empire" 
of the mound-builders. There is no reason, how- 
ever, for supposing that there ever waa an empire 
of any sort in ancient North Anteriea, and no relic 
of the past has ever been seen at any spot on onr 
planet which indicates the former existence of a 
vanished civilization even remotely approaching 
our own. The sooner the student of history gets 
his head cleared of all such rubbish, the better. 
As for the mounds, which are scattered in such 
profusion over the country west of tbe Allegha- 
nies, there are some which have been built by In- 

In the Magazine of Avurican History : — " The Honaea of the 
Honud-Bnilden," zi. 110-115; " luduu Tribes in Prahistoiia 
Times," xz. 193-201. See also Horatio H»Ie, "In^an M^ra- 
(dam," in Anurican Antiquarian, t. 18-28, lOS-124 ; M. F. Fonw, 
To What Eace did the Mound-Bailden bdong f Cinoinnati, 1875 ; 
Lncien Carr, Moimdi of the Miaiittippi VaUes hittorieaili/ con- 
tidend, 1688 ; NadeilUB'i Frddttorie Ameriea, «d. W. H. DaU, 
ohaps. iiL, iv. The earliest ^tak of fondaiDeDtal importanne on 
the subject was Squier'a Andetit Momments of the Mii$imppi 
Voiles, Philadelphia, 1S4S, beiiv the first Tolnme of the Smith- 
soman Conlnhntiaiia to Knowledge. — Foi atatementa of the 
thsOT; vhioh p»«ames dthei a raoe ocnneotjoii or a nmilarity in 
ODltore between the monnd-bnilden and the paehlo Indiana, see 
Dawsna, Fottil Men, p. 66 ; Foater, Prehittoric Saat of tht 
United Statei, CUoa^, 1873, ohsps. iii., v.-i. ; Sir Daniel Wilson, 
Prdattoric Man, ohap. x. The annual Smilheonian Sg>orti for 
thirty jaata past iUtBtiate the growth of knowledge and progres- 
UTe chai^ei of oioiuoa <»i tlie snbject. The bibliographical ao- 
ooont in Winsor's Narr. and Oil. BiiL, i. 881-418, is full of 



dians since the arrival of white men in Ameiica, 
and which contain knives and trinkets of Euro- 
pean manufacture. There are many others which 
are much older, and in which the genuine remains 
sometimes indicate a culture like that of Shawnees 
or Senecas, and sometimes surest something per- 
haps a little higher. With the progress of re- 
search the vast and vague notion of a distinct 
race of "Mound-Builders " became narrowed and 
ThsDouon defined. It began to seem probable 
^^™ that the builders of the more remark- 
**"' able mounds were tribes of Indiana 

who had advanced beyond the average level in 
horticulture, and consequently in density of popu- 
lation, and perhaps in political and priestly organ- 
ization. Such a conclusion seemed to be supported 
by the size of some of the " ancient garden-beds," 
often covering nlore than a hundred acres, filled 
with the low parallel ridges in which com was 
planted. Hie mound people were thus supposed 
to be semi-civilized red men, like the Aztecs, and 
some of their elevated earthworks were explained 
as places for human sacrifice, like the pyramids of 
Mexico and Central America. It was thought 
that the " civilization " of the Cordilleran peoples 
might formerly have extended northward and east- 
ward into the Mississippi valley, and might after 
a while have been pushed back by powerful hordes 
of more, barbarous invaders. A f lulher modification 
and reduction of this theory likened the mound- 
builders to the pueblo Indians of New Mexico. 
Such was the opinion of Mr. Morgan, who of- 
fered a very ingenious explanation of the extensive 



earthworks at High Bank, in Boss comity, Ohio, 
as the fortified site of a pueblo.^ Although there 
is no reason for supposing that the mound-build- 
ers practised irrigation (which would not be re- 
quired in the Miiisissippi valley) or used adobe- 
brick, yet Mr. Morgan was inclined to admit them 
into his middle status of barbarism be- „ uks tba 
cause of the copper hatchets and chisels ^"'"^ 
found in some of the mounds, and because of the 
apparent superiority in horticulture and the in- 
cr^iased reliance upon it. He su^ested that a 
people somewhat like the Zufiis might have mi- 
grated eastward and modified their building hab- 
its to suit the altered conditions of the Mississippi 
valley, where they dwelt for several centuries, 
until at last, for some unknown reason, they re- 
tired to the Bocky Moimtain region. It seems to 
me that an opinion just the reverse of Mr. Mor- 
gan's would be more easily defensible, — namely, 
that the ancestors of the pueblo Indians were a 
people of building habits somewhat similai' to the 
Mandana, and that their habits became modified 
in adaptation to a country which demanded care- 
ful irrigation and supplied adobe-clay in abun- 
dance. If ever they built any of the mounds in 
. the Missisrippi valley, I should be disposed to 
place their mound-building period before their 
pueblo period. 

Becent reaeiuwhes, however, make it mora and 

more improbable that the mound-builders were 

nearly akin to such people as the Zufiis or simOar 

to them in grade of culture. Of late years the ex. 

' Zbiun OBtf Stmae-Li/e, ebap, iz. 



plomtion of the moundB has been carried on with 
mcreasing diligence. More than 2,000 mounds 
hare been opened, and at least 38,000 ancient 
relics hare been gathered from them: such as 
quartzite arrow-heads and spades, greenstone ases 
and hammers, mortars and pestles, tools for spin- 
ning and weaving, and cloth, made of spun thread 
and woven with warp and woof, somewhat like a 
coarse sail-cloth. The watei^jugs, kettles, pipes, 
and sepulchral urns have been elaborately studied. 
The net results of all this investigation, up to the 
present time, have been concisely summed up by 

Dr. Cyrus Thomas.^ The mounds were 
nn ^otobiy not all bnilt by one people, but by dif- 
ferwit p»pi« f erent tribes aa dearly distinguishable 
■uiiuotbu- from one another as Algonqmns are 

diatingmshable from Iroquois. These 
mound-building tribes were not superior in cul- 
ture to the Iroquois and many of the Algonquins 
as first seen by white men. They are not to be 
classified with ZuBis, still leas with Mexicans or 
Mayas, in point of culture, but with Shawnees 
and Cherokees. Nay more, — some of them were 
Shawnees and Cherokees. The missionary Johann 
Heckewelder long ago published the Lenape tradi- 
tion of the Tallegwi or Allighewi people, who have ■ 
left their name upon the Alleghany river and 
mountains.^ The Tallegwi have been identified 
1 Work in Mouttd Exploration of the Bureau of Ethnotogy, 
Waahuigtiaii, 18S7. For a sig-lit of tlie thonsands of objecta 
gathered from thti nionnds, one ehonld viiat die Peabodv Mn- 
■emn at Cambridge and the SmithBouian InatitntJOD at Wttshing- 

* Heckewelder, Hulory i^tit Indian Nation* of PaauslBoma, 



with tlie CKerokees, who are now reckoned among 
the most intelligetit and pn^^ressive of Indian 
peoples.^ The Cherokees were formerly clasaed 
in the Muskoki eroup, along with the 
Creeks and Choctaws, but a chteer study 
of their language seema to show that they were a 
somewhat remote o&hoot of the Huron-Iioquois 
stock. For a long time they occupied the coun- 
try between the Ohio river and the Great Lakes, 
and probably built the mounds that are still to be 
seen there. Somewhere about the thirteenth or 
fourteenth century they were gradually pushed 
southward into the Muskoki region by repeated 
attacks from the Lenape and Hurons. The Chero- 
kees were probably also the builders of the mounds 
of eastern Tennessee and western Korth Carolina. 
They retained their mound-building habits some 
time after the white men came upon the scene. 
On the other baud the mounds and box-shaped 
stone graves of Kentucky, Tennessee, 
and northern (jeorgia were probably De«,<uid 
the work of Shawnees, and the stone 
graves in the Delaware valley are to be ascribed 
to the Lenape. There are many reasons for be- 
lieving that the mounds of northern Mississippi 
were constructed by Chickasaws, and the burial 
tumuli and " effigy mounds " of Wisconsin by Win- 

eto., Pbiladelpbia, 181S; of. Sqoier, Hiatorical and ift/thelogical 
IVaditiona of the Algoaqaini, a paper read befcoe the New York 
Higturical Society in Jnne, 1848 ; also BriDton, The Lenapt and 
their Legendi, FhUailelphia, 1885. 

' Foe a detailed account of tlieir later V\Sbory, see C. C. Royce, 
"The Cherokee Nation," BeporU of Bureau of Ethnologs, y. 



nebagos.' The Minnitarees imd Mandans wer« 
also veiy likely at one time a mound-building peo- 

If this view, wluch is steadily gaining gronnd, 
be correct, our imaginary race of " Monnd-Build- 
ere " is broken up and vaiiisliea, and henceforth 
we may content onrselvea with speaking of the 
authors of the ancient earthworks as " Indians." 
There were times in the career of simdry Indian 
tribes when circumstances induced them to erect 
moundB a8 sites for communal houses or council 
houses, medicine-lodges or burial-places ; somewhat 
as there was a period in the history of our own fore- 
fathers in England when circumstances led them 
to buUd moated castles, with drawbridge and port- 
cullis ; and there is no more occasion for assum- 
ing a mysterious race of " Mound-Builders " in 
America than for assuming a mysterious race of 
" Castle-Build ers " in England. 

Thus, at whatever point we touch the subject of 
ancient America, we find scientific opinion tending 
more and more steadily toward the conclusion that 
its people and their cultore were indigenous. One 
of the most important lessons impressed upon us 
by a long study of comparative mythol- 
|?^?*"» ogy ia that human minds in different 
I parts of the world, but under the influ- 
I ence of similar circumstances, develop 
, similar ideas and clothe them in simi- 
S?^^ lar forms of expression. It is just the 
tiiriM»rUs(. ggj^g with political institutions, with 
the development of the arts, with social customs, 



with cnltnre generally. To repeat the remark 
already quoted from Sir John Lubbock, — and it 
is well worth repeating, — *' Different races in 
similar stages of development often present more 
features of resemblance to one another than the 
same race does to itself in different stages of its 
history." When the zealous Abb^ Btasseur found 
things in the history of Mexico that reminded him 
of ancient Egypt, he hastened to the conclusion 
that ■ Mexican culture was somehow " derived " 
from that of Egypt. It was natural enough for 
him to do so, but such methods of explanation are 
now completely antiquated. Mexican culture was 
no more I^yptian culture than a prickly-pear is a 
lotus. It was an outgrowth of peculiar American 
conditions acting upon the aboriginal Amencan 
tnind, and such of its features as remind ua of an- 
cient Egypt or prehistoric Greece show simply that 
it was approaching, though it had not reached, 
the standard attained in those Old World coun- 
tries. From this point of view the resemblances 
become invested with surpassing interest. An- 
cient America, as we have seen, was a much nwre 
archaic world than the world of Europe and Asia, 
and presented in the time of Columbus forma of 
society that on the shores of the Mediterranean 
had been outgrown before the city of Rome was 
tuilt. Hence the intense and peculiar fascination 
of American archteology, and its profound impor- 
tance to the student of general history. 




Theke ia aomething aolemn and impressive in 
tlie spectacle of human life thus going on for count- 
less ages in the Eastern and Western Iialves of our 
planet, each all unknown to the other and uninflu- 
enced by it. The contact between the two worlds 
practically begins in 1492. 

By this statement it ia not meant to deny that 
occasional visitors may have come and did come 
before that famous date from the Old World to 
the New. On the contrary X am inclined to sus- 
pect that there may have been more such occa- 
sional visits than we have been wont to suppose. 
For the most part, however, the subject is shrouded 
in the mists of obscure narrative and fantastic con- 
jecture. When it is lu^ed that in the fifth cen- 
tury of the Christian era certain Buddhist mission- 
ary priests came from China by way of 
Kamtchatha and the Aleutian islands, 
and kept on till they got to a country which they 
called Fusang, and which was really Mexico, one 
cannot reply that such a thing was necessarily and 
absolutely impossible ; but when other critics aa- 
sute us that, after all, Fusang was really Japan, 
perhaps one feels a slight sense of relief.' So of 
1 IliU notioii of tile Chinese visitiiig Mexico was sat forti by 



the dim whispers of voyages to America under- 
taken by the Irish, in the days when the cloisters of 
sweet Innisfallen were a centre of piety and culture 
for northwestern Europe,^ we may say 
that this sort of thing has not much to 
do with history, or history with it. Irish ancho- 
rites certainly went to Iceland in the seventh cen- 
tury,^ and in the course of this hook we shall have 
frequent occasion to observe that first and last 
there has been on all eeas a good deal of blowing 
imd drifting done. It is credibly reported that 
Japanese junks have been driven ashore on the 

Uie celebrated Deguignes in 1T61, in the U^maiTti de I'Acadlmie 
del laacriptioas, tom. uriii. pp. 50ti-62B. Its abenrdity wag 
ehawn by Klaproth, "Recherchea aai le pays de Fou Sang," 
NoUBtilea annaiea des oo^gei, Paria, 1831, 2e tine, torn, ni, pp. 
53-OS ; Bee also Klapmth^e introduction to Annies des enipercurs 
du Japan, Pane, 1834, pp. it.-Ii:. ; Hamboldt, Examen critique de 
Ha$toire de la giographie du novveaa continent, Parig, 1837, lom. 
ii. pp. 62-84. ThefancT was rerited bj C. G. Leland (" Hans 
Breitmann "), in his Fugang, l^ondon, 187S, and was agrain demol- 
bhed by the nuadonary, S. W. Williama, in the Joanud of the 
American Oriental Sod^y, vol. zi , New Haven, 1881. 

1 On the noble work of the Iriah ohurch and its missionaiieB in 
the sixth and serenth oentories, see MontaUtmbeit, Lea minnei 
d'Ocddenl, torn. iL pp. 465-861; torn. iii. pp. 79-332; Burton's 
History of Scotland, vd i. pp. 234r-277 , and tlie inatractive map 
in Miss Sophie Bryant's Celtic Irdand, London, 1880, p, (10. Tho 
uotiae of the sabjeot in Milmau's Latin Ctristianitj/, toL ii. 
pp. 236-247, is entirely inadeqnate. 

* The passion for solitude led some of the disoiplea of St. Co- 
Inniba to make their way from lona to tbe Hebrides, and thenoe 
ta the Orkneys, Shetlands, Faroes, and Iceland, where a colony 
of them remained nniil the anivil of the Northmen in 874. See 
DionU, Liber de meniura Orbi» Terrie (A. D. 825), Paris, 1807 ; 
Innea, Scalland t'n the Middle Ages, p. 101 ; Lanigan, Ecdeaasti- 
•xd Hittory of Ireland, chap. iii. ; Maurer, BeiirSge lur BedUi' 
geschiiAte des Qermanischen Nordtni. i. 35. For the legend of St- 
Bcandau, aee QaSarel, Let voyages de SL Brandaa, Paris, 1881. 



coasts of Oregon and California ; ' and lihere is a 
cmaa, ot story that in 1488 a certain Jean Cousin, 
^**'*' of Dieppe, while Baling down the west 

coast of Africa, was caught in a atomi and Idown 
across to BrazU.' This was certainly quite possible, 
for it was not so very unlike what happened in 
1500 to Pedro Alvarez de Cabral, as we shall here- 
after see;' nevertheless, the evidence adduced in 
support of the story will hardly bear a critical ex- 

It is not my purpose to weary the reader with a 
general discussion of these and some other legends 
or rumours of pre-Columbian visitors to America. 
We may admit, at once, that " there is no good 
reason why any one of them may not have done " 
what is claimed, but at the same time 
*» oi uttia the proof that any one of them did do 
' it is very far from satisfactory.' More- 

over the questions rused are often of small impor- 
tance, and belong not so much to the serious work< 
shop of history as to its limbo prepared for learned 
trifles, whither we will hereby relegate them.' 

' C. W. Brooks, of San FranoiBoo, <nted in Higginwn, iMtger 
Biitoiy of tie United States, p. 24. 

* DeaiDarqneta, Minirirei chronologiqaeM pour servir a rhiitoire 
de Diqpe, Puii, 1186, toni. !. pp. 91-98; Ektancelin, BerJioThei 
tar la voi/agea et dicouvertes da naoigattitri nomoWs, etc., Paris, 
1832, pp. 332-381. 

* Sas below, toL iL p. 86. 

< AsHarriase laySiOonoendngtluialltgfedToyageaofCoiuuiand 
otb«T8, "Quant aox toji^sb dn LMeppois Jean Conmn en 1468, 
de JoSo Ramalho en 1490, et ie JoSo Vax Gortereal en 1464 on 
1474, le leotenr noos pardonnera de Io< passer hoob fdlence." CAris- 
lopAe Coiomb, Paris, 18&i, torn. i. p. 307. 

» Winsop, JVurr. and Cril. Hist., i. 59. 

* SnAtnentl; fall lefereuoes maj be fonod in Watson'* BfUv- 



But when we come to the voyages of the North- 
men in the tenth and eleventh eentu- biitu»«» 
ties, it is quite a different affair. Not mS^™^|iy 
only is this a subject of much liistoric **^*"'* 
interest, but in dealing with it we stand for a great 
paxt of the time apon firm historic ground. The 
nanatiTes winch tell us of Vinland and of Leif 
Ericsson are closely intertwined with the authentic 
history of Norway and Iceland. In the ninth cen- 
tury of our era there was a process of political 
consolidation going on in Norway, somewhat as in 
England under Egbert and his successors. After 
a war of twelve years, King Harold Fairhair over- 
threw the combined forces of the Jarls, or small 
independent princes, in the decisive naval battle 
of Hafursfiord in the year 872. This 
resulted in making Harold the feudal < 
landlord of Norway. Allodial tenures 
were abolished, and the Jarls were required to be- 
come his vassals. This consolidation of the king- 
dom was probably beneficial in its main conse- 
quences, but to many a proud spirit and crafty 
brain it made life in Norway unendurable. These 
bold Jarls and their Viking ^ followers, to whom, 

ography of tie Pre-Colun^ian DUroveriei of America, appended 
to Andeison'a America not ditcovertd by Coiumbut, 3d ed., Chi- 
oago, 1883, pp. 121-1S4 ; sod Bse tbe learned ehapters by W. H. 
HUini^iaat on " The Oeographioal Knowledge of the Ancients 
eonsideTed in lelatiou to iLe Discoier j of Ainerica,' ' and by Jos- 
tin WioBor on '' Pre-CoIaiDbiui ExploraticnB,^^ in Ifarr- and CriU 
Hilt., ToL L 

' The proper diTidon of this Old Norae word ia not into vi-Jcing, 
Irat inio uii-i'nj. The first syllable means a " bay " or " fiord," 
tlie second is a patronymic temiinMion, so that "vikings" bto 
"boos of the fiord," — an eminently appropriate and descriptive 

. Th« Viking 



as to the ancient Greeks, the sea waa not a barrier, 
but a highway,^ had no mind to stay at bome and 
Bubmit to unwonted thraldom. So they maoDed 
tbeir dragon-prowed keels, invoked tbe blessing of 
Wodan, god of storms, upon tbeir enterprise, and 
sailed away. Some went to reinforce tieir Jdna- 
men who were making it bo hot for Alfred in Eng- 
land' and for Charles tbe Bald in Graul; some 
bad already visited Ireland and were establishing 
themselves at Dnblin and Limerick; others now 
followed and found homes for themselves in tbe 
Hebrides and all over Scotland north of glorious 
Loch Linnbe and tbe Murray frith; Bome made 
their way through the blue Mediterranean to 
"Mickl^ard," the Great City of the Byzantine 
Emperor, and in bis service wielded their stout axes 
against Magyar and Saracen ; ^ some found their 
amphibious natures better satisfied upon tbe islands 
of tbe Atlantic ridge, — the Orkneys, Shetlands, 

I Cnrldiu iGritdiiicAe Etpnologie, p. S8T} ommecla irAn-oi with 
mCrai ; oompaie the Homerio expreHmooa iJypik k/AiuSo, IxBuiiyra 
jeAcvAi, etc. 

" The deaeendanta o( diese NorUimen funned a totj large pro- 
pMtion of the popnlation of the East *"g1'»" oonntjes, and cod' 
■equentH; of the men who founded New Engplaud. The Baat An- 
gliaa Qonnties Have been oonspionoaB for redstanoe to tyranny 
and for freedom of thought. See my Btginningi of ffew Eng- 
land, p. 62. 

' They were the Varangian g^usfd at Coustanlmaple, deacribed 
by Sir Walter Soott in Count Roberl of Fans. Abont thia same 
time their kiosmen, the Ross, moring eastward from Sweden, 
Tffere subjecting Slavic tribes ae far as Novgorod and Kief, and 
laying the f onudations of the power that has UDoe, throogh many 
and strange vicissitudes, developed into Russia. See Thomsen, 



and Fferoes, and especially noble Iceland. There 
an aristocratic republic soon grew up, 
owning slight and indefinite allegiance ic«iud, t. d. 
to the kings of Norway.' The settle- 
ment of Iceland was such a wholesale colonization , 
of communitiee of picked men as had not been 
seen since ancient Greek times, and was not to be 
seen again tmtil Winthrop sailed into Maseachn- 
setts Bay. It was not long before the population 
of Iceland exceeded 50,000 souls. Their sheep 
and cattle flourished, hay crops were heavy, a lively 
trade — with fish, oil, butter, skins, and wool, in 
exchange for me^ and malt — was kept up with 
Norway, Denmark, and the British islands, polit- 
ical freedom was unimpaired,' justice was (for 

^ Fealty to Nortray vaa not formally declared until 1262. 

* The wttlement of Iceland U oelebrated by Robert Love in 
Tenei which Bhov that, wLateiec his opinion may have been id 
later yean ■■ to the nm of a dasBical education, lus own eariy 
•todiee must always have been a Boorce of oomf ort to him : — 

Eat rvfi'i nai tTiMTfiAif r^vi jToAcvOfL^' 

lleseTerffiB are dms rendered by Sir Edmund Head {Viga 
Glwiit Saga, p. y.) ; — 

Ttaft NorthnHO Aad H^nuit moavcli^A wnttli.r 

Hat«, oliHTed bj Bug uid ftoiy, dwelt tbej free, 

And held muntlied tta^ lawi and llbertj." 

L^n^ (Heiinakringla, vol. i. p. 57) couples Iceland and New Bn^ 

land as the two modem ooloniee most distinctly "founded on 

prinoipla and peopled at firat from bigber motives than want or 



tlie Middle Ages) Mrly well administered, naval 
superiority kept all foes at a distance ; and under 
such conditions the growth of the new community 
in wealth ^ and culture was surpriBingly rapid. In 
the twelfth century, before literature had begun to 
blossom in the modem speech of France or Spain 
or Italy, there was a flourishing literature in prose 
and verse in Iceland. Especial attention was paid 
to history, and the " Landnamar-bok," or statistical 
and genealogical account of the early settlers, was 
the most complete and careful work of the kind 
which had ever been undertaken by any people 
down to quite recent times. Few persons in our 
day adequately realize the extent of the early 
Icelandic literature or its richness. The poems, 
legends, and histories earlier than the date when 
Dante walked and mused in the streets of Flor- 
ence survive for us now in some hundreds of works, 
for the most part of rare and absorbing interest. 
The " Heimskringla," or chronicle of Snorro Sturle- 
Bon, written about 1215, is one of the greatest his- 
tory books in the worH," 

' Joit vliat was ihaa ooumdered wealtJi, tor an indiridiial, ms; 
1>«at be nuderatood by a ooncrete iiutanoe. The historian Snorra 
Stnrlesoa, bom in 1178| nsa called a rich man. " In one year, in 
-which fodder was scarce, he lost 120 head of oxen withont being 
•eiionaly affected by it." The f<ntnne whioh he got with hia first 
-wife Herdiaa, hi 1199, vaa equivalent nominally to $4,000, or, 
according; to the standard of to-day, ahoat (80,000. Laing-, 
Heimakrlngla, toI- i pp. IBl, IBS. 

^ L^og^e excellent Bngliah translation of it wna published in 
London in 1B14. The preliminary dissertation, in fire ohaptera, 
is of great calne. A new edition, reTised by Prof. RamuoEi An- 
deiHon, was pnbliahed in London in IS89. Another ohumii^ 
book in Sir Oearge Daaent's Stori/ of Burnt Njat, F ~ ~ 



Now from various Icelandic chroniclea ' we learn 
that in 876, only two years after the island com* 

1861, 2 voIh., tmulated from the NjaU Saga. Both tbe aaga 
itself and the translator's learned intrudnotiou give an admirable 
descriptioii of life in Icalaud at the eod of the tenth centnrj, the 
time vhen the TOjagea to America were made. It is a ver? iu- 
BtmctiTe chapter in lustory. 

The loelanderH of the present daj retun the Old None lon- 
gfuage, while on the Contiaent it has been modified into Swedish 
and Norw^ian-Dauiah, They are a vell-ednoat«d people, and, 
in proportion to their numbeis, publish many hooka. 

1 Afnll oolleotion of these ohnmioleBisgiTeii in Rafn's jdnfijui- 
talei AmericaiuB, Copenhagen, 1837, in tbe original Icelandic, 
with Danish and Latin tianalatious. Hiis book is of great valoe 
fsr its f nil and oarefnl reprodnction of original texts ; although 
the laah specnlationB and the want of critical discernment shown 
in the editor^B efforts to determine the precise situation of Yin- 
land hare done mnoh to discredit the whole subject in the eyes 
of many soholars. That is, however, Tery apt to be the case 
with first attempts, like Rofn's, and ibo obvioos defects of his 
work shoold not be allowed to blind ns to its merits. In the foot- 
notes to the present cbaptsr 1 shall mte it simply as " Rafn ; " as 
the exact phraseology is often important, I shall usually cite the 
original Icelandic, and (for the benefit of readers nn familial- vith 
diat langnage) shall also give the Latin veruon, which has been 
well made, and qnite happily refieota the fresh and pithy rigour 
□f the orJginaL An English translation of all the essential parts 
ma; be fotmd in De Costa, Pre-Caiumbian Discovery of America 
bi/ the NorikmeB, 2d ed., Albany, 1890 ; see also Slof ter, Voyage* 
qflhe Northmen to Anxrica, Boston, 1877 (Prince Society). An 
Icelandic Tersion, interpolated in PeringBkiold's edition of the 
Heimshringla, 1697, is translated in Lung, vol. fii. pp. 344-361. 

The first modem writer to call attention to the Icelandic voy- 
i^es to Greenland and Tinland was Amgrim Jdnason, in his Cry- 
raogaa, Hamburg, I6I0, and more explicitly in his Speciinen 
Islandm kistorimm, Amsterdam, lt)43. The voyages are also 
mentioned by CamponioB, in his Kort beskrifning om proeincitn 
Nya Saerige lUi America, Stockholm, 1702. The fint, however, 
to bring the subject prominently before Eurcpean readera waa 
that judicious soholar Tbormodus Torf tens, in his two books Hia- 
toria Viaiandia aniiqaa, and Histaria Groniandias anciqua, Co' 



nkOQwealth was founded, one of the settlers named 

Ounnbiom was driven bv fonl weatbei 
tHwoitrrot , ■• ,, ,, ^ t r^ 

onaniud, to some point on the coast of Lrreen- 

land, where he and his crew contrived 

to pass the winter, their ship being locked in ice ; 

penbagen, 1705 suid 1T06. Later writers ba.vB oatil ver; raoently 
added bat little that U importaot to the vork of Tortoiu. In 
the TcJmmiions literature of the aubject the diacnwiona obiefly 
irorthy of mentioii are Forster'a Geidachte der Erttdtchmgtti unif 
SeiifairUn im Norden, FmiktoTt, 1734, pp. 44-88; ud Hnm- 
bddt, Examen cntique, eto. , Paria, 1837, torn. L pp. Sir-XOi ; see, 
alio, Major, Select Letttn of Calumbta, London, 1847 (Haklu^ 
Soo.) pp. xiL-^xL The fifth chapter of Samael Laing'a preliml. 
nary dianrtatioD to the HtiBulcringla, vhieh is devoted to thia 
mbjeot, ia full of |;ood sense ; for tbe most part the shiewd Ork- 
BeTiium gfelB at the oore of the diiiig, (hough now and then a 
little oloser knowledge of Amerioa would baTe been nsafnl to 
him. The latest oritdoal disctuuon of the souroea, mackiDg' a 
Terj decided advanoe Binoa Rafn'a time, ia the paper hy GnstaT 
Stom, professor of history in tbe Univenity of ChristJauia, 
" Stndiec oyer Vinlandsreiseme," in Aarhfgrr for Norditk Old- 
lyndighed og Hiitorie, Copenhairen, 1SS7, pp. 203-372. 

Since this obapter vaa vritten I have seen an English transla- 
tioD of the valuable paper just mentioned, " Studies on the Yine- 
land VoyBges," in llimmm de la tocUU rogale da antiquairtt du 
Nord, Copenhagen, 1888, pp. 307-370. I have therefore in mort 
oaaeA altered my footnote referenoea below, ninlriTig the pag^ 
numbers refer to the Wngllah veinon (in which, b; the way, 
if^oe parte of the Norwegian original are, for no very obviotu re^- 
■on, omitted). By an odd ccnncidence there oomes to me at (b« 
■ame time a book fresh from the praaa, whose rare beauty of 
mechanical wodananship is tnlly equalled by iti intiindo merit. 
The Finding of Windand the Good — the History of the Icdandie 
Ditctniay of America, edited and translated from the earheat 
records by Arthur Middleton Beeves, London, 1890. Tbia 
beautifnl quarto contuns phototype plates of the original lee* 
landio vellnnu in the HauJti-bdk, the H3. AM. 667, and the 
Flauyar-idk, tt^^ether with tlie texte oarafully edited, an admi- 
rable English translation, and several chapters of critical discufr. 
riOD decidedly better than anything that has gone before it. Oa 


FRE-C0LUMBlA2f V0TA6B8. 157 

when the spring set tbem free, they returned to 
Iceland. In tlie year 983 Eric the Red, a settler 
upon Oxney (Ox-island) near the mouth of Brei- 
dafiord, was outlawed for killing a man in a 
brawl. Brio then determined to search for the 
western land which Gunnbjom had discovered. 
He set out with a few followers, and in the nexb 
three years these bold sailors explored the coasts 
of Greenland pretty thoroughly for a considerable 
distuice on each side of Cape Farewell. At 
length they found a suitable place for a home, at 
the head of Igaliko fiord, not far from the site of 
the modem Julianeshaab.^ It was fit work for 
Vikings to penetrate so deep a fiord and find out 
such a spot, hidden as it is by miles upon miles of 
craggy and ice-«overed headlands. They proved 
their sagacity by pitclung upon one of the pleasant- 
est spots on the gaunt Greenland coast ; and there 
upon a smooth grassy plain may still be seen the 
ruins of seventeen bouses built of rough blocks of 
sandstone, their chinks caulked up with 
clay ajid graveh In contrast with most id onsnii^ 
of its bleak surroundings the place 
might well he called Grreenland, and so Eric named 
it, for, said be, it is well to have a pleasant name 
if we would induce people to come hither. The 
name thus given by E/ric to this chosen spot has 
raadingr it oarafBlly Omngh, it teena to me the beat book we 
hkre on the subject in EngliHh, or perhapa in an; lang^mige. 

Snoe the above waa tnitUia, the news baa ranne of the aodden 
aud dteadf al death of Hr. Reerei, in the railroad diaaiter at H»- 
getatowa, lodiana, Febmar; 25, ISQl. Mr. Reeves waa an Aiiier> 
icon Boholor of moat brilliant pnaniae, onljinbia Uiirtj^fth jean 

' Bink, Damik Greedand, p. 0. 



been extended in modem usage to the whole of 
the vast continental region north of Davis strait, 
for the greater part of which it is a Qagrtaxt nuB- 
nomer.^ In 986 Eric ventured hack to Iceland, 
and was so successful in enlistir^ settlers for 
Greenland that on his return voyage he started 
with five and twenty ships. The loaa from foul 
weather and icehergs was cruel. Eleven vessels 
were lost ; the remaining fourteen, carrying prob- 
ably from f oiiT to five hundred souls, arrived safely 
at the head of Igaliko fiord, and began building 
their houses at the place called Brattahlid. Their 
settlement presently extended over the head of 
Tunnudliorbik fiord, the next deep inlet to the 
northwest ; they called it Ericsfiord. After a 
while it extended westward as far as Immartinek, 
and eastward as far as the site of Friedrichsthal ; 
and uiother distinct settlement of less extent was 
also made about four hundred miles to the north- 
west, near the present site of Godthaab. The 
older settlement, which began at Igaliko fiord, was 
known as the East Bygd ; * the younger settlement, 
near Godthaab, was called the West Bygd. 

1 We thus see the treacheronsneati of one of the aignments 
cited b; the iUaEitni<nB Arago to proTe tliat the Greenland coast 
most b« oolder now than in the tenth oentnij. The loelanderg, 
he thinka, oalled it " a green land " becange of its leidaie, and 
thecefore it must have been warmer than at present. Bot the 
land which flric called green was evidently nothing more than 
the re^au about Jnlianeshaab, which Btill haa plenty of Terdore ; 
and BO the arpunent falls to the ground. See Arago, Sar Vdal 
ihermomitriqae da globe terrealre, in his OSuvres, torn. v. p. 243. 
There are reasons, howeyer, foe belieTing that Greenland was 
warmer in the tenth oentnry than at present. See below, p. 176. 

^ The map is reduced from Rafn^s Antiquitates Americance^ talk 
IT. The luins dotted here and there upon it have been known 



This colonization of Greenland hy the North- 
men in the tenth century is as well established as 
any event that occurred in the Middle Ages. For 
four hundred years the fortunes of the Greenland 
colony formed a part, albeit a very humble part, 
of European history. GeographioaUy speaking, 
Greenland is reckoned as a part of America, of 

ever bIuos the last lediscoTerj of Graenland in 1721, but until 
riter 1831 they were generally Boppmed to be the mina of the 
West B^^ After the fifteenth oentary, vben tbe old aalony 
bad perished, nnd its enatence bad beoome a mere literary 
tradition, there grew ap a notion that the names Eaat Bjgd. 
and West Bygd indicated lliat the two settlements mnst bave 
been reapestively eastward and westward of Cape Farewell; 
and after 1T21 much tome was wasted in lookii^ tot -vestJges of 
haman habitatinns on the barren and iee-bonnd eastern coast. 
At lei^[th, in 182B-31, the exploring expeditjrai sent oat by the 
Danish gnrernment, under the Tery able and intelli|rent CapluD 
Graah, demonstrated that both settlements were weat of Cape 
Faiewell, and that the rnins here indicated upon the map aie the 
rdiu of the East Bygd. It now beeama apparent that a certain 
deeoriplion of Greenland b; Ivar Bardsen — written in Greenland 
in the fouiteenlli century, and gpenerally accessible to Enropean 
scluJaTS dnoe the end of the aixteenth, but not held in much 
esteem before CaptMO Graah's expedition — was quite accurate 
and extremely valuable. From Bardsen'a deeeription, about 
which »e shall have more to saj hereafter, we can point ont apon 
the map the ancient mtes with mnch oonfidenoe. Of those men- 
tdoned in the present work, the bishop's ohurcb, or " cathedral " 
(a view of wlfich is ^ven below, p. 22S), was at EakoriJik, The 
village of Gardai, whioh gave its name to the bishoprio, was at 
Eakdarank, at the northeastern extremity of Igaliho fiord. Op- 
posite Kaknarsuk, on the western fork of the fiord, the reader will 
obeerve a mined ohurch ; that marks the rate of Brattablid. The 
fiord of Igaliko was called by the Northmen Eanarsfiord j and 
that of Tnnnudliorbik was their Ericafiord. The monastery of St. 
Olana, visited by Nicoli. Zeno (see below, p. 240), is supposed by 
Mr. Major to have been situated near the lisblink at the bottom 
of Tessemiint fiord, between the eaet shore of the fiord and ths 
null lake indicated on tihe map. 



The Bust Bygd, or Eastern Settlement 



■f tha Northmen in Oreenland. 



the weetem hemiBphere, and not of the eastern. 
The Northmen vho settled in Grreenland had, there- 
fore, in this sense found their way to America. 
Nevertheless one rightly feels that in the history 
of geographical diseovery an arrival of Europeans 
in Greenland is equivalent merely to reachii^ the 
vestibule or ante-chamber of the western hemi- 
sphere. It is an affair begun and ended outside 
of the great world of the red men. 

But the story does not end here. Into the world 
of the red men the voya^ra from Iceland did a&- 
suredly come, as indeed, after once getting a foot- 
hold upon Greenland, they could hardly fail to do. 
Let us pursue the remainder of the story as we 
find it in our Icelandic soutccn of information, and 
afterwards it will be proper to inquire into the 
credibility of these sources. 

One of the men who accompanied Eric to 
Greenland was named Herjulf, whose son Bjami, 
after roving the seas for some years, came home to 
Iceland in 986 to drink the Ynletide ale with his 
father. Finding him gone, He weighed anchor 
and started after him to Greenland, but encoun- 
tered foggy weather, and s^ed on for many days 
by guess-work without seeing sun or 
B^Hsi^ stars. When at length he sighted land 
it was a shore without mount^ns, show- 
ing only small heights covered with dense woods. 
It was evidently not the land of fiords and glaciers 
for which Bjami was looking. So without stopping 
to make explorations he turned his prow to the 
north and kept on. The shy was now fair, and 
after scudding nine or ten days with a brisk breeze 



astern, Bjami saw the icy crags of Grreenland 
looming up before him, and after some further 
searching found Ms way to his father's new home.' 
On the route he more than once dghted land on 
the larboard. 

Thie adventure of Bjami's seems not to have 
excited general curiosity or to have awaJiened 
speculation. Indeed, in the dense geographical 
ignorance erf those times there is no reason why it 
should have done so. About 994 Bjami was in 
Norway, and one or two people expressed some 
surprise that he did not take more pains to learn 
something about the country he had seen ; but 
nothing came of such talk till it reached the ears 
of Leif, the famous son of £ric the Ked. This 
wise and stately man ^ spent a year or two in Nor- 
way about 998, Roman missionary priests were 
then preaching up and down the land, oonnnLan of 
and had converted the king, Olaf Tryg- S'cmSIS^ 
gvesson, great-grandson of Harold Fair- "'' 
hair. Leif became a Christian and was baptised, 
and when he returned to Greenland he took priests 
with him who converted miuy people, though old 
Eric, it is said, preferred to go in the way of his 
fathers, and deemed boisterous Valhalla, with its 
cups of wassail, a place of better cheer than the 
New Jerusalem, with its streets of gold. 

' In Heijnlfifiord, at tha entrance to which the modem 
Friedrichithal ii utnatAd. Acroea the fiord from Friedriahathal 
» mined ohnrch gbuula upon die oape fonoerl; known aa Her- 
jnlf sneos. See map. 

' * "LeitrTtkr mikill madLr ok steikr. msnna skSruligMtr at sjA, 
YitT TnaHhr ok gddhr htSfsmadhr nm alia hlati," i. e. " Leif 
wu a Uxga man and strong, of noble aopect, prudent and mod- 
erate in all tlungB." Bafu, p. 33. 



Leif B zeal for the oonTemon of lus friends in 
Greenlancl did not so far occupy his mind as to 
prevent him from undertaking a Toyage of dis- 
covery. His curiosity had been stimulated by 
what he had heard about Bjami's experiences, and 
he made up his mind to go and see what the ooasts 
to the south of Greenland were like. He sailed 
i.^ Krioc from Brattahlid — probably in the sum- 
Koo. mer or early autumn of the year 1000 ^ 

— with a crew of five and thirty men. Some 
distance to the southward they came upon a barren 
oountiy covered with big flat stones, so that they 
called it Helluland, or "slate-land." 
There ia litde room for doubt that this 
was the coast opposite Oreenlxud, either west or 
east of the strait of Belle Isle ; in other words, 
it was either Labrador or the northern coast of 
Newfoundland. Thence, keeping generally to the 
, southward, our explorers came after some days to 
a thickly wooded coast, where they landed and 
inspected the ooontry. What chiefly impressed 
th^n was the extent of the forest, so that they 
called the place Markland, or " wood-land." Some 
critics have supposed that this spot was 
somewhere upon the eastern or southern 
coast of Newfoundland, bat the more general 

1 Tbe Toar seems to haTe beeo (list in whioh ChnBtJnmtf wu 
da&nitel; eatablished by law in loeland, tu., a. d. 1000. The 
olironicle IKoAr Eirela BaaJha ia caxetal about TeritTing iia datea 
bj cheotdng one Bgainst another. See Bafn, p. 16. The moBt 
masterly vork an the oonraimon of the Soandinavian people is 
Manrer'i DU Bdcehrvng da Narw^iaditn Staaunea zun Ciria- 
tailAume, Umuob, 1855 ; for an aooonnt of the misnonary work 
iBlMkiiduidQi«eDland,MeToLL pp. 191-242, 443-152. 



Ofnnion plaoeB it somewhere upon the coast of 
Cape Breton island or Nova Scotia. From this 
MarUand our voy^;er8 stood out to sea, and run- 
ning brisklj before a stiff oortheaater it vas more 
than two days before they came in sight of laud. 
Then, alter following the coast for a while, they 
went ashore at a plaoe where ativer, iesoing from 
a lake, fell into the sea. They brought their ship 
up into the lake and cast anchor. The water 
abounded in excellent fish, and the country seemed 
so pleasant that Leif decided to pass the winter 
there, and accordingly hia men put up some oom- 
f<n:table wooden huts or booths. One day one of 
the party, a "south country "man, whose name 
was Tyrker,' came in from a ramble in the neigh- 
bourhood making grimaces and talking to bimnAlf 
in his own langoage probably Grcr- 
mao), which his oomrades did not under- 
stand. On being interrogated as to the cause of his 

1 The name meang " Turk," aaid has served as a tonehabine for 
t^e dullnen of ooniinentators. To tKe Northineu a ^' Soathmao " 
vould natnrall; be a German, and irh; ehonld a, GeimBn be called 
K Turk t or how dionld these NortJunen happen to lia:v» had m 
Turk in their oompan? 7 Mr, laing snf^eata that he may have 
been a Magyar. Yeti i or he may have viaited the Eastern Gmpiie 
and taken part in a fig^bt agaiiut Torki, aiid ao have got a aonbri- 
qnet, jnat a« lliorhall Oamlsaon, after retiinuni; from Tinland 
to Iceland, vaa ever afterwaid known aa " the Yinlander." 'Riat 
did not mean t^t he wae an American redskin. See below, p. 203. 
From Tytker'a grimaoea one oommentator sagely infera that he 
had beeo eatiiv gnpee and got druDk ; and another (even Hr. 
Ltuog t ! thinks it neoesaBr; to remind ns that all the grape-jnioe 
in Vinland would not fnddlea man nnleas it had been fermented, 
— andtlieD goes on to ascribe the absurdity toonr innocent cbrort- 
ids, instead of the stupid annotator. See HtinuiriHgla, vol. L p. 



excitement, he replied that he had dieoovered viaea 
loaded with grapes, and was mach pleased at the 
sight inastnoch as he had been brought up in a 
vine country. Wild grapes, indeed, abounded in 
this autumn season, and Leil accordingly called the 
country Vinland. The winter seems to have passed 
o£E very comfortably. Even the weather seemed 
mild to these visitors from high latitudes, and they 
did not fail to coounent ou the unusual iength of 
the winter day. Their langu^e on this point has 
been so construed as to make the length of the 
shortest winter day exactly nine hours, which 
would place their Vinland in about the latitude of 
Boston. But their expressions do not admit of 
any such precise construction ; and when we re- 
member that they had no accurate instruments for 
measuring time, and that a difference of about 
fourteen minutes between sunrise and sunset on 
the shortest winter day would make all the differ- 
ence between Boston and Halifax, we see how idle 
it is to look for the requisite precision in narratives 
of this sort, and to treat them as one would treat 
the reports of a modem scientific exploring expe- 

In the spring of 1001 Leif returned to Gireen- 
land with a cargo of timber.^ The voyage made 
much talk. Leifs brother Thorvald caught the 

^ On tlie homeward voyage be resoned some shipwrecked ssil- 
oa near tike coast of Greenland, and was thenceforward called 
Leif the Lncky (et postea ot^nomiiiatiiB eat Leivns Fortanatae). 
The pleasant reptvts from the newly fonnd country gave it the 
name of " Vinland the Good." In the conne of the winter fol> 
lowing Leif B retnni his father died. ' 



iDspiration,' and, borrowing Leif 8 ship, sailed in 
1002, and succeeded in finding Vinland and LeiTg 
liuts, where Ms men spent two winters. In tLe 
intervening summer they went on an voy»gM of 
exploring expedition along the coast, SoSX"* 
fell in with some savages in canoes, and ''"'^-"''■ 
got into a fight in which Thorvald was killed by 
an arrow. In the spring of 1004 the ship re- 
turned to Brattahlid. Next year the third brother, 
Thorstein Ericsson, set out in the same ship, with 
his wife Grudrid and a crew of thirty-five men ; 
but they were sore bestead with foul weather, got 
nowhere, and aecomplished nothing, l^rstein 
died on the voyage, and his widow returned to 

In the course of the next summer, 1006, there 
came to Brattahlid from Iceland a notable person- 
age, a man of craft and resource, wealthy withal 
and well bom, with the blood of many kinglets 
or jarls flowing in his veins. This man, Thor- 
finn Earlsefni, straightway fell in love with the 
young and beautiful widow Gudrid, and in the 
course of the winter there was a merry wedding at 
Brattahlid. Persuaded by his adventurous bride, 
whose spirit had been roused by the re- _ 

^ * TbDrflDb 

ports from Vinland and by her former KariMtn], ud 
unsuccessful attempt to find it, Thar- m 1*1™?* to 
finn now undertook to visit that country JJ^Jij},""*' 
in force sufficient for founding a col- 
ony there. Accordingly in the spring of 1007 he 

"Jam orebfi de Leivi in Iflnlandiam profee) 

serebantar, ThoriaJdiiB varo, fratec ejiu, ni 
•zplontta fniase jadicavit" Kafn, p. 3U. 



started with tliree or four ships,^ carrying one hun- 
dred and dztj men, several women, and quite a 
cai^ of cattle. In tLe course of that year his son 
Snorro was bom in Vinland,^ and our chronicle 
tells us that this child was three years old before 
the disappointed company turned their backs upon 
that land of promiBe and were fain to make their 
way homeward to the fiords of Greenland. It 
was the hostility of the natives that compelled 
Thorfinn to abandon his enteipnse. At first they 
traded with him, bartering valuable furs for little 
strips of scarlet cloth which they sought most 
eagerly ; and they were as terribly frightened by 
his cattle as the Aztecs were in later days by the 
Spanish horses." The chance bellowing of a bull 
sent them squalling to the woods, and they did 
not show themselves again for three weeks. After 
a while quarrels arose, the natives attacked in 

' Three is the mmibeT mnally given, bnt at least four of their 
diipa vonld be Deeded (or bo Uage a sempany ; and besideB 
Thorfinn hinuHiU, tbree other c^ttniuB are mentioned, — Snorro 
Thorbrandsson, B}Bnii Qrimolfaeon, and Thorhall Gamlaaoo. 
The narrative g^vea a picturesque account of this Thorball, who 
iras a p^an and fond of deriding hie aomrades for th^ belief in 
the nsv'fangled Chrisdaa notions. He seems to have left his 
oomiadea and returned to Bnrope before they bad atiandoned 
their enterprise. A fnrther reference to him vill be made below, 
p. 203. 

9 To this bo; Snono man; eminent men have tiBoed their an- 
oeetry, — bishopa, miiverBit; professors, govemora of Iceland, 
and ministers of state in Norwa; and Demnarh. The learned 
antiquarian Finn HagnnsHOn and the oelebrated scnlptflr ThoF- 
valdsen r^;aided themsalTea as thus descended from Thorfinn 

' Compare the alarm of the Wampanoag Indians in 1003 at 
t^e Bght of Uartin Piing'a mastiff. Winaor, Narr. and Crit, 
Si*; iii 174. 



greet Dumbers, Qumy \(»dimen were killed, oad 
in 1010 the survivors returned to Grreenland with 
a cai^ of timber and peltries. On the way 
tluther the ships seem to have separated, and one 
o£ tjiem, commanded by Bjami Gximolfsson, found 
itself bored by worms (the tertdo) and sank, with 
its commander and half the erew.' 

Among Karlsefni's companions on diis mem- 
orable expedition wae one Thorvard, with his wife 
Freydis, a natural daughter of Erie the Bed. 
About the tame of their return to Greenland in 
Uie summer of 1010, a sldp arrived from Norway, 
eommanded by two brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi. 

1 The UiK at Bjarni wM padietio and noble. It vu decided 
Uiat aa Diany as possible ihoold saTS themselTes in the stem boat. 
" Then BJand ordered that the men should go in tha boat bjlot, 
ud not according to nuk. As it wonld not hold all, thej ao- 
eeptad the sajiugp, and when the lots were drami, the men went 
out of the ship into the boot. The lot was that Bjami should 
go down £ican the ship to the boat with one half of the men. 
'Than thoe« to whom the lot fell went down fnHo the ship to the 
boat. When the; bad come into the boat, a yonng Icelander, 
who ws« the eompanioB of Bjami, &ud ; ' Now thoa do ;ou in- 
tend to leare me, Bjami?' Bjami npbed, 'That now seems 
ueoenai?-' He replied with these words : ' Thou art not tme to 
the promise made when I left my father's hones in leeland.' 
Bjami replied : ' In this thing I do not see an; other way ' ; oon- 
tinnii^, ' Wh&t oooise can yon sog^st ? ' He nuA : ' I see this, 
that we change places and thon oome np here and I go down 
there.' Bjarni replied: 'Let it be so, sinoe I see diat yon 
are BO anxious to live, and are frightened by the prospect of 
death.' Then they changed places, and he descended into the 
boat with the men, and Bjami went np into the sUp. It is r». 
laud that Bjami and the sailors with him in the ship perished in 
die worm sea. Those who went in the boat went on their oonree 
tmtil they came to land, where thejr told all these things." Dv 
Costa's reision from Saga Thorfimi EarlsefnU, Rafn, pp. lS4r 



During the winter a new expedition was planned, 
Frtvaii, iDd ^•"^ ™ *^® aummer of 1011 two ships 
SiV^tT*' ^* ^^ '<*'" Vinland, one with Freydis, 
1011-12. Thorvard, and a crew of 30 men, the 

other with Helgi and Pinnbogi, and a crew of 
35 men. There were also a number of women. 
The purpose was not to found a colony but to cut 
timber. The brothers arrived first at Leif s lints 
and had b^un carrying in their provisions and 
tools, when Freydis, arriving soon afterward, or- 
dered them off the premises. They had no right, 
she said, to occupy her brother's houses. So tliey 
went ont and built other huts for their party a 
little farther from the shore. Before their business 
was accomplished " winter set in, and the brothers 
proposed to have some games for amusement to 
pass the time. So it was done for a time, tall dis- 
cord came among them, and the games were g^ven 
np, and none went from one house to the other ; 
and things went on so during a great part of the 
winter." At length came the catastrophe. Frey- 
dis one night complained to her husband that the 
brothers had given her evil words and struck her, 
and insisted that he should forthwith avenge the 
affront. Presently Tborvard, unable to bear her 
taunts, was aroused to a deed of blood. With his 
followers he made a night attack upon the huts of 
Helgi and finnbogi, seized and bound all the 
occupants, and killed, the men one after another in 
cold blood. Five women were left whom Thorvard 
would have spared; as none of his men would 
raise a hand against them, Freydis herself took an 
axe and brained them one and alL In the spring 



of 1012 tlte party sailed tor Brattahlid in the skip 
of the murdered brothers, which was the larger 
and better of the two. Freydis pret^ided that 
they had exchanged ships and left the other party 
in Vinland. With ^fts to her men, and dire 
threats for any who should dare tell what had been 
done, ^e hoped to keep 4^m silent Words were 
let drop, however, which came to Leif 's ears, and 
led him to arrest three of the men and put them 
to ^ torture imtil they told the whole story. 
** ' I have not the heart,' sud Leif, * to treat my 
wicked sister as she deserves ; but this I will for^ 
tdl them fFreydis and Thorrard} that their pos- 
terity will never thrive.' So it went that nobody 
thought anything of them save evil from that time." 
With this grewsome tale ends all account of 
Norse attempts at exploring or colonizing Vinland, 
tiiongh references to Vinland by no means end 
here.^ Taking the narrative as a whole, it seems 
to me a sober, stnughtforward, luid eminently prob- 
able story. We may not be able to say 
with confidence exactly where such iriiamhHDttr 
places as Markland and Vinland were, 
but it is clear that the coasts visited on these 
southerly and southwesterly voyages from Brat, 
tahlid must have been paiis of the coast of North 
America, unless the whole stcry is to be dismissed 
aa a figment of somebody's imagination. But for 
a figment of the imagination, aad of European 

^ TIm fltotiee of Qniileif GndlAiigswin and An Mofsaon. viUi 
&» faneifnl apeanlatioiia about " Hvitramiinnalanii" Bnd"Iclaiid 
it Mikl^ " do not SQQTD vorthy of notice in this ooDnection. They 
may be foond in Da Cotta, cp. oil, pp. 159-177; and aee BtuiieM, 
The Fiadiag of Wiaeland the Uood, chap. ¥. 



imagination vitlial, it baa far too many points of 
Terisimilitude, as I shall presently show. 

In the first place, it is an extremely probable 
story froip the time that Eric once gets settled in 
Brattahlid. The founding of the Grreenland col- 
ony is the only strange or improbable part of the 
narrative, but that is corroborated in so many other 
ways that we know it to be true ; as already 
observed, no fact in mediaeval history is better 
established. When I speak of the settlement of 
Greenland as strange, I do not mean that there is 
anything strange in the Northmen's accomplishing 
the voyage thither fi-om Iceland. That island 
is nearer to Grreenland than to Norway, and we 
know, moreover, that Norse sailors achieved more 
difScult things than penetrating the fiords of 
southern Crreenland. Upon the island of Kingi- 
torsook in BaeSn's Bay (72° 55' N., 56° 5' W.) 

near Upemavik, in a region supposed to 
E^^ Biv> have been unvisited by man before the 

modem a^ of Arctic exploration, there 
were found in 1824 some small artificial mounds 
with an inscription upon stone ; — " Erling Sigb- 
vatson and Bjami Thordhaj-son and Eindrid Odd- 
son raised these marks and cleared ground on Sat- 
urday before Ascension Week, 1135.'^ That is 
to say, they took symbolic possession of the land.^ 
In order to appreciate how such daring voyages 
were practicable, we must bear in mind that the 
Viking " ships " were probably stronger and more 
seaworthy, and certainly much swifter, than the 
Spanish vesseb of the time of Columbus. Ona 
1 Lung, 3titukrin^, i 152. 



was unearthed a few years ago at Saadefiord in 
Norway, and may be seen at tlie museum ^ y^^^^ ^^ 
in Chriatiania. Its pagm owner had H^^'^l 
been buried in it, and his bones were ^""v- 
foiind amidships, along with the bones of a dog 
and a peacock, a few iron fish-hooks and other 
articles. Bones of horses and dogs, probably 
sacrificed at the funeral according to the ancient 
Norse custom, lay scattered about. This craft has 
been so well described by Colonel Iligginson,' that 
I may as well quote the passage in full : — 

She "was Bcventy-seven feet eleven inches at 
the greatest length, and sixteen feet eleven inches 
at the greatest width, and from the top of the 
keel to the gunwale amidships she was five feet 
nine inches deep. She had twenty ribs, and would 
draw less than four feet of water. She was clinker- 
built ; that is, had plates slightly overlapped, like 
the shingles on the side of a house. The planks 
and timbers of the frame were fastened together 
with withes made of roots, but the oaken boards of 
the side were united by iron rivets firmly clinched. 
The bow and stern were similar in shape, and must 
have risen high out of water, but were so broken 
that it was impossible to tell how they originally 
ended. The keel was deep and made of QsKriptioo 
thick oak beams, and there was no trace °' "" '''*'' 
of any metallic sheathing ; but an iron anchor was 
fotmd almost rusted to pieces. There was no deck 
and the seats for rowers bad been taken out. The 
oars were twenty feet long, and the oar-holes, six- 
teen on each side, had slits sloping towards the 
1 See his Larger Siitory of the United Stalei, pp. 32-54. 



stem to allow the blades of the oars to be pot 
through from inside. The most peculiar thing 
about tlie ship was the rudder, which was on the 
starboard or right side, this mde being origiuallj 
cal^ ^ steerboard ' from this circumstance. The 
rudder was like a large oar, with long blade and 
short handle, and was attached, not to the side of 
the boat, hut to the end of a conical piece of wood 
which projected almost a foot from the side of the 
vessel, and almost two feet from the stem. This 
piece of wood was bored down its length, and no 
doubt a rope passing through it secured the rudder 
to the ship's side. It was steered by a tiller at- 
tached to the handle, and perhaps also by a rope 
fastened to the blade. As a whole, this disinterred 
vessel proved to be anything but the rude and 
primitive craft which might have been expected ; 
it was neatly built and weU preserved, constmoted 
on what a sailor would call beautiful lines, and 
eminently fitted for sea service. Many snoh vessels 
may be found depicted on the celebrated Bayeux 
tapestry ; and the peculiar position of the rudder 
expMnjs the treaty menticmed in the Heimskringla, 
giving to Norway all lands lying west of Scotland 
between which and the mainland a vessel could 
pass with her rudder ' shipped. . . . This was not 
one of the very lai^^ ships, for some of them 
had thirty oars on each side, and vessels carrying 
from twenty to twenty-five were not uncommtm. 
The lai^st of these were called Dragons, and 
other sizes were known as Serpents or Cranes. 
The ship itself was often so built as to represent 
the name it bore : the dragon, for instance, was a 



long low vessel, with the gilded head of a dr^on 
at ^e bow, and the ^ded tall at the stem ; the 
moving oars at the side might represent the legs 
of the imaginary creature, the row of shining red 
and white shields that were hung over the gun- 
wale looked like the monster's scales, and the 
sails striped with red and blue might si^fgest his 
wii^. The ship preserved at Christiania is de- 
scribed as having had but a single mast, set into 
a block of wood so huge that it is s^d no such 
block could now be cut in Norway. Probably the 
sail was much like those still carried by lai^e open 
boats in that coimtry, — a single square on a mast 
forty feet long.^ These masts have no standing 
rising, and are taken down when not in use ; and 
this was probably the practice of the VikingB." 

In such vessels, well stocked with food and 
weapons, the Northmen were accustomed to spend 
niaay weeks together on the sea, now and then 
touching land. In such vessels they made their 
way to Algiers and Constantinople, to the White 
Sea, to Baffin's Bay. It is not, therefore, their 
voyage to Grreenland that se^ns strange, but it 
is their success in founding a colony wMck could 
last for more than four centuries in that in- 
hospitable climate. The c[nestion is sometimes 
asked whether the climate of Greenland j^ ^^^^^^^ ^ 
may not have undergone some change 0"™i»^ 
within tke last thousand years.^ If there has been 

^ Perbaps it may hava be«n a «qii«M-he*d6d Ing, like those of 
dke De&l gallej-pntits ; see Leslie's OUl Sea Wings, Wags, and 
Wordt. in the Dagi of Oak and Htrkp, London. 1890, p. 21. 

" Some people must haTe queer DotioDB about die lapse of part 



any change, it must have been very alight ; rach 
as, perhaps, a small variation in the fiow of ocean 
currents might occasion. I am inclined to be- 
lieve that there may have been suuh a change, 
from the testimony of Ivar Bardsen, steward of 
the Oardar bishopric in the latter half of the four- 
teenth century, or about halfway between the time 
of Eric the Ked and our own time. According to 
Bardsen there had long been a downward driftii^ 
of ice from the north and a consequent accumular- 
tion of bergs and fioes upon the eastern coa^t of 
Greenland, insomuch that the customary route 
formerly followed by ships coming from Iceland 
was no longer safe, and a more southerly route 
had been generally adopted.* This slow southward 
extension of the polar ice-sheet upon the east of 
Greenland seems still to be going on at the present 
day.^ It is therefore not at all improbable, but on 
the contrary quite probable, that a thouoand years 
ago the mean annual temperature of the tip end of 
Greenland, at Cape Farewell, was a few degrees 

■ome va^e impiewion of the tune when oaks and cheatnals, vinea 
and magnoliaa, grew liuori&iitly over a g^reat part of Greenland 1 
But that vaa in tlie Miocene peiiod, prohahl; not lasa tl^an Q 
million jean ago, sod baa no obvioiu bearing npen the deeds of 
Eric the Red. 

' Bardsen, Dttcnptio Ortadandia, appended to Major's Vogagte 
of the Tenttian Brotieri, etc., pp. 40, 41 ; and see belo«,p. 242. 

' 7«tiit.Tinaim^ Joumol of Boyol Geographicai Society, London, 
183S, ToL T. p. 102. On diia general Bnfaject see J. D. Whi|nej, 
" The Climate Changse of Later Oealt^oal TiiDes," in Jiemotrt 
of the Muxan of Comparative Zoelogy at Harvard CoiUgt, Cam- 
brid|^, 1382, ToL lii. AooordiDg- to Profeseor Whitnej there hat 
ftl«o been a detemcation in the climate of loelacd. 



higheT than now.^ But a slight difference of this 
sort might have an important bearing upon the 
fortunes of a colony planted there. For example, 
it would directly affect the extent of the hay crop. 
Graas grows very well now in the neighbourhood 
of Julianeshaah. In summer it is still a "green 
land," with good pasturage for cattle, but there is 
di£Scult7 in getting hay enough to last through the 
nine months of winter. In 1855 " there were in 
Greenland 30 to 40 head of homed cattle, about 
100 goats, and 20 sheep ; " but in the ancient col- 
ony, with a population not exceeding 6,000 per- 
sons, '^ herds of cattle were kept which even yielded 
produce for exportation to Europe." ^ So strong 
a contrast seems to indicate a much more plentiful 
grass crop than to-day, although some hay mi^t 
perhaps have been imported from Iceland in ex- 
change for Greenland exports, which were chiefly 
whale oil, eiderdown, and skins of seals, foxes, 
and white bears. 

When once the Northmen had found their way 
to Cape Farewell, it would have been marvellous 
if such active sailors coidd long have avoided 
stumbling upon the continent of North America. 
Without compass or astrolabe these daring men 
were accustomed to traverse long stretches of open 

' One most not too hastil; infer -Ihat the mem temperature of 
points on the -AmericBD coast BOnth of Dans strait wonld be 
aSeetei in the uune vaj. The relation between tlie phenomena 
is not quite bo simple. For eiHlnple, a warm early spring on the 
coast of Greenland inBreasea the dischai^ of icebergs from ito 
fiords to vandar down the Atlantic ocean ; and this increase of 
floating ice tends to chill and dampen the summeis at least as tax 
Mnth as Long Island, if not farther. 

^ Rink's Danish Greedaitd, pp. 27, 96, 97. 



sea, trusting to the stars; and it needed only 
a stiff northeasterly breeze, with per- 
NorthmsD eisteot clouds and fr^, to hind a west- 
lud.thediB- ward bound "dragon" anywhere from 
j^^^ Cape Race to C^pe Cod. Iliis is what 
iiiBtHt bur- appears to have happened to Bjaroi 
Herjulfsson in 986, and something quite 
like it happened to Henry Hudson in 1609.' Cu- 
riosity is a motive quite sufficient to explain 
LeiFs making the easy summer voyage to find out 
what sort of country Bjami had seen. He found 
it thi(My wooded, and as there was a dearth of 
good timber both in Greenland and in Iceland, it 
would naturally occur to Leif s friends that voy- 
ages for timber, to be used at home and also to be 
exported to Iceland, might turn out to be profit- 
TojugMto able.' AaXiaiDg says, "to go in quest 
'''"'™'' of the wooded countries to tbe south- 

west, from whence driftwood came to their shores, 
was a reasonable, intelli^ble motive for making a 
voyage in search of the lauds from whence it came, 
and where this valuable material could be got for 
nothing." * 

If now we look at the details of the story we 
shall find many ear-marks of truth in it. We 
must not look for absolute accuracy in a narra^ 
tive which — as we have it — is not the work of 

* See Sead'a ^Horical Inqairg concerning Hmty Hudion, Al- 
bany, 1866, p. 160. 

' "Nd tekst nmnedhs at b^ nm Y(nlBDdaf erdh, tliTiat id 
ferdh thikir bradld ^ddh til fjir ok lifdhln^r, " i. e. "Now tbey 
began to talk again abont a voyage to Vinland, for the Toyaga 
diither was both gsinfol and honooiable." Safn, p. 66. 

• Seinutrt'njrfo, i. 168. 



licif or Tfaorfinn or any of ilieir comractes, but 
of eompilers or copyists, honest and careful ae it 
seems to me, but liable to misplace details and to 
call by vrong names things which they had nerei 
seen. Starting with these modest expectations we 
shall find the points of verisimilitude 
numerous. To begin with the least sig- StTto a^ 
nificant, somewhere on our northeast- "" 

em coast tlie voyi^ers found many foxes.^ These 
animals, to be sure, arc found in a great many coun- 
tries, but the point for us is that in a southerly and 
southwesterly course from Cape Farewell these 
sailors are said to have found them. If our narra- 
tors had been drawing upon their im^nations or 
dealing with semi-mytMcal nmteriak, they would as 
likely as not have lugged into the stoiy elephants 
from Africa or hippogriifs from Dreamland ; medi- 
EBval writers were blissfully ignorant of all canons 
of probability in such matters.^ But our narrators 
simply mention an animal which has for ages 
abounded on our nortiheastem coasts. One such 
instance is enough to suggest that they were fol- 
lowing reports or documente which emanated ulti- 
mately from eye-witnesses and told the plain truUu 
A dozen such instances, if not neutralized by 
counter-instances, are enough to make this view 
extremely probable ; and then one or two instances 

' " Fjiildi var thor iDelrakk&," L e. "ibi Talplum maguiu 
NUicnii srat," Bafn, p. 133. 

" [t U axtremel; diffianlt for an impoHtor to ooncoot a iian«- 
tlTv widuHit nsakiug blnndeis tliat can eomly be detected by a 
oritio^ acholai. For Bxampte, the Book of Mormon. In the pna- 
■age cited (w* abore, p. 3), in mpiemelylilisafnl ignonmoe.iDtro- 
dne«e oxen, iheep, and inlk-ininiui, as well aa the knowledge of 
■melting iron, into pie-Colnnibiaii Amerioo. 



vhicli could not have originated in the imagiiutjoii 
of a European writer will suffice to prove it. 

Let UB observe, then, that on coming to Mark- 
land they " slew a hear ; " ^ the river and lake 
(or bay) in Vinland abounded with salmon bi^^r 
than LeiTs people had ever seen;^ on the coast 
they caught halibut ; ^ they came to an island 
where there were so many eider ducks breeding 
that they could hardly avoid treading on their 
eggs ; ^ and, as already observed, it was because 
of the abundance of wild grapes that Leif named 
the southernmost country he visited Vinland. 

I "Thar f dripo tbeir eimi bjom," i a. "in qua uiBDm iuter- 
feoomnt," id. p. 138. 

^ " HTorki skorti thnr lax f ^m tA ( T&tninn, ok ■berra lax 
enu theii hefdhi f jrr skill," i. e. " ibi neqae in flnvio Deque in 
laon deerat 8almaDam oopia, et quidem maioria corporis qnani 
antea Tidinnnnt." id. p. 32. 

* "Helgir fiakar," L e. "saori [nsces," id. p. 148. The Dan- 
ish phrase is "helleflyndre," L e. "holy floander." The Eng- 
ligli halibat ia hali — holy + iirf = fioandtr. This word but \a 
classed as Middle English, but may atill be heard in the north of 
England. The fish may bare been so oaUed " from being eaten 
particularly on holy days " (Century Dict.i. v.); or possibly from a 
pagan BaperatildoD that water ahaunding in flat fishes is espetually 
safe for marineis (PLny, Hiat. Nat. ix. TO) ; or possibly from some 
lost folk-tale aboot St. Peter (Maorer, hiaadische VeUcuagen 
der Gegancart, Leipdc, 1860, p. 195). 

* " StS Tar mJirg ndhr 1 eynni, at larla miCti ginga fyri egg- 
jnm," L e. "tantns in insula aoatam moUismmanuu namema 
eiat, nt pra oris tianuii fere non posset," id. p. 141. Eidei doeks 
breed oa oar noTtkeastem coasts as tax south as Portland, and are 
■ometdmes in winter seen as far south as Delaware. They also 
abound in Greenland and Iceland, and, as Wilson oUerves, " their 
nests are crowded so close together that a person can aearcely 
walk without treading on them. . . . The Icelanders hare tor 
agea known the ralne of eider down, and have done an extendTS 
bnaineas in it." See Wilson's American Omiihehgs, voL iiL 
p. 50. 



From the profusion of grapes — such that the 
ship's stem boat is said on one occasion to have 
been filled with them ^ — we get a clue, though less 
decisive than coiild he wished, to the looatioa of 
VinlaudL The extreme northern limit 
of the vine in Canada is 47°, the paral- iimit oi tha 
lei which cuts across the tops of Prince 
Kdward and Cape Breton islands on the map.' 
Near this northern limit, however, wild grapes are 
by no means plenty ; so that the coast upon which 
Leif wintered must apparently have been south of 
Cape Breton. Dr. Storm, who holds that Vinland 
was on the southern coast of Nova Scotia, has 
collected some interesting testimony as to the 
growth of wild grapes in that region, but on the 
whole the abundance of this fruit seems rather to 
point to the shores of Massachusetts Bay.^ 

We may now observe that, while it is idle to 
attempt to determine accurately the length of the 
winter day, as given in our chronicles, Length ta tbe 
nevertheless since that length attracted "'""'^■ 
the attention of the voyagers, as something re- 

* ( "&rtl or BBgt at eplirbitr theirra var fyUdr ai tJd- 
1 So it-ie-said that afterboat their vas £lled of vine- 

beniea. ) 

* Storm, "StsdieB on the Yinland Voyagei," Mfmoiret da la 
aoeiitd royale da antiqua ires du Nord, Copenbag«D, 18SS, p. 361. 
The limit of tlie vine at this latitude ia some distance inland ; near 
Hie shore the limit is a little farther south, and in Newfonndlimd 
it da« not grow at alL Id. p. 308. 

' The attempt of Dr. Kohl (Maine HisJ. Soc. , New Seriea, voL 
L) to connect the voyage of 'Hiurfiun trith the ooa«t of Maine 
■eemg to be sucDeasfull; refuted by De Casta, tforthmtn in Maine, ' 
etc., Albany, 1870. 



markable, it may fairly be snpposed to indicate a 
latitude lower than tibey were accustomed to reach 
in their trading voyages in Europe. Sucli a lati- 
tude as that of Dublin, which lies opposite Labra* 
dor, would have presented no novelty to them, for 
voyf^eB of Icelanders to tiieir kinsmen in Dub- 
lin, and in Rouen as well, were common enou^ 
Hull fax lies about opposite Bordeaux, and Boston 
a little south of opposite Cape Finisterre, in Spain, 
so that either of these latitudes would satisfy the 
conditions of the case ; either would show a longer 
winter day than Rouen, which was about the south- 
em limit of ordinary trading voyages itom Ice- 
land. At all events, the length of day indicates 
for Yinland a latitude south of Cape Breton. 

The next point to be observed is the mention of 
" self-sown wheat-fields." ' This is not only an 
important ear-mark of truth in the narrative, but 
it helps us somewhat further in determining the 
position of Vinland. The " seK-sown " cereal, 
which these Icelanders called " wheat," was in all 
probability what the English settlers six hundred 
years afterward called "com," in each 
ease applying to a new and nameless 
thing the most serviceable name at hand. In 
Ei^land " com " means either wheat, barley, rye, 
and oats collectively, or more specifically wheat ; 
in Scotland it generally means oats ; in America it 
means maize, the " Indian com," the cereal pecul- 
iar to the western hemisphere. The beautiful wav- 
ing plant, with its exquisitely taaselled ears, which 



was one o£ the first tUnga to attraet Champlam'a 
attention, could not have escaped the notioe of 
such keen olMerrers as we are beginning to find 
Leif and Thotfinn to have been. A cereal like 
this, requiring ao little cultivation that without 
much latitude cA speech it might be described as 
growing wild, would be interesting to Europeans 
visitiag the .&jnerican coast ; but it would hardly 
oooor to European iasusy to invent such a thing. 
The mention of it is therefore a very significant 
eai^mark of the truth of the narrative. As re- 
gards the position of Yinland, the presence of 
maize seems to indicate a somewhat lower lati- 
tude than Nova Scotia. Maize requires intensely 
hot summers, and even under the most careful 
European cultivatioa does not flourish north of 
the Alps. In the sisteenth century its northern- 
most limit on the American coast seems to have 
been at ihe mouth of the Kennebec (44°), though 
farther inland it was found by Cartier at Hoche- 
h^a, on the site of Montreal (45° 30'). A pre- 
sumption is thus raised in favour of the opinion 
that Yinland was not farther north than Massa- 
chusetts Bay.* 

This presumption is supported by what is sdd 
about the climate of Tinland, though it must be 
bome in mind that general statements about cli- 
mate are apt to be very loose and misleading. We 

* Dr. Storm in>k« p«Aapa too mach of tliia pnsiunptJoB. He 
tr«atB it as decisive agaimt bis owa opinion that Vinlond naa the 
sonUism coast of Nora SootiOf &nd accordii^lj he tricB to prorv 
tliat the self-sown corn was not maize, bnt " wild tioe " {Zixama 
aqvalKa). Mfmoira, eta., p. 3&S. But his aigTunent is weokeMd 



are told that it seemed to Leifs people that cattle 
would be able to pass the winter out of doors there, 

for there was no frost and the grass v/as 
wBUhariu not much withered.^ On the other 

hand, Thorfinn's people found the win- 
ter severe, and suffered from cold and himger." 
Taken in connection with each other, these two 
statements would apply very well to-day to our 
variable winters on the coast southward from Cape 
Ann. The winter of 1889-90 in Cambridge, for 
example, might very naturally have been described 
.by visitors from higher latitudes as a winter with- 
out frost and with grass scarcely withered. In- 
deed, we might have described it so ourselves. 
On Narraganaett and Buzzard's bays such soft 
winter weather is still more common ; north of 
Cape Ann it ia much less common. The severe 
winter (magiia hiema) is of course familiar enough 
anywhere ^ong the northeastern coast of America. 
On the whole, we may say with some confidence 

that the place described by our chroni- 
uisD at vin- clers as Vinland was situated somewhere 

between Point Judith and Cape Bre- 
ton ; possibly we may narrow our limits and say 

I "Thu TBT ktS gddhr Luidakoatr at thd er theira a^dtst, at 
tiiar moiidi eing^ f^nadbr fddhr thurf a d Tetram ; thar kToma 
eingfifroat i Tetram, okllttriQndbntbargTos,"!. e, "tanta antem 
erat teme bonitoB, nt inde intelli^re esset, pecora hieme pabolo 
non indig«re posse, niiUis inoidentibiu al^ribos hieDialibns, et 
grsmimbiu panun flaeoescentibiu." Rafo, p. 32. 

* " Tbar Tom their nm Tetriiui; ok gjordluBt Tstr mikill, en 
ekki f jri uniiit ok gjSrdhlBt flit til matarins, ok tiSkust af vei. 
dbimar," L e. " bio hietnaroDt ; ottm lero magna incideret hiems, 
nnllamqne pioYiaDm asset alimentam, oibns ccepit defioete oaptw 
■ "" Id. p. 114. 



that it was Bomewliere between Cape Cod and 
Cape Ann, But the latter conclueion is much less 
secure than the former. lu such a case as tias, 
the more we narrow our limits the greater our 
Kability to error.* While by such narrowing, 
moreover, the question may acquire more interest 
as a bone of contention among local antiquarians, 
its value for the general historian ia not increased. 
But we have not yet done with the points of veri- 
similitude in otir story. We have now to cite two 
or three details that are far more striking than any 
as yet mentioned, — details that could never have 
been conjured up by the fancy of any mediaeval 
European. We must bear in mind that " sav- 
ages," whether true sav^es or people in "a„,g„t. 
tibe lower status of barbarism, were prac- ^'^^^"' 
tically unknown to Europeans before "^p«»^ 
the fifteenth century. There were no such people 
in Europe or in any part of Asia or Africa visited 
by Europeans before the great voyages of the 
Portuguese. Mediaeval Europeans knew nothing 
whatever about people who would show surprise at 
the sight of an iron tool ^ or frantic terror at the 

1 A favourite metliod of determining the fliaot spoU viidted by 
the Northmen has been to oumpare theii statements r^ardiug 
the shape and trend of the ooasta, their bayt, headlands, etc., 
vith vaiiona well-hnovn points on tlie Nev England ooaat. It is 
a tempting method, bnt unfortnnatel? treacheroos, beoanse the 
same general descnption -will often apply well enough to Beveral 
difieient plaaas. It ia like anmmer boarders in the oonntry stmg- 
gjing to toll one another where they have been to drive, — past a 
seliool-honse, down a Rteep hill, tJirongh some voods, and by a 
saw-mill, etc 

' It is not meant that stone implements did not oontinae to be 
wed in some parts of Europe far into the Middle Agw. But 



Toice of a bull, or who vould eagerly trade (^ 
Taluable property for worthless trinkets. Their 
imagination might he up to inventitig hol^Uins 
and people with heads under their shoulders,^ hot 
it wa9 not up to inventing such simple touches of 
natore as tliese. Bearing this in mind, let ns 
ohserve that Thorfinn found the natives of Vin* 
land eager to give valuable furs ^ in exchange for 

this was not beeaiue iron waa not perfeotiy weH knoim, but be- 
0>ii» in many baokward TO^DS it wa« dLffieoH to obtain or to 
work, M> tbat atone ocailiniud in nae. As my friend, Mr. T. S> 
Perry, lemindB me, Helbig aajB diat ttone-poiiited apeaiH were 
wed by aome of the Bngliah at the battle of HaMingv, and atone 
battle-axes by some of the Seota onder William Wallace at the 
end of the thirteenth oentnry. Die Italiker in der Poebate, Leip- 
on, 1879, p. 42. Belb^;'i statement as to Hastings is confirmed 
by EVeeman, Norman Coaqnesl of England, >ol. iii. p. 473. 

^ My use of the word ^^mrentiTig'^^ ia^ in tJiia mDneotioiiT aalip 
of the pen. Of oonne the taJea of " men whose heada do p»w 
beneath their shonldeis," the Soiopedse, ato., aa told by Sir John 
MandeviUe, were not invented by the mediffival ima^natioUi bat 
copied &om anoient anthors. lliey may be fomtd in Pliny, HUt. 
Nat., lib. Til, and were mentioned before his time by Ktesaa, aa 
well aa by Hecatans, aeooiding to Stophamu of Byiautinm. Cf. 
Ariatoi>haaea, Avii, 1553 ; Julius Solinus, PoiyhUtor, ed. Salma- 
aina, cap. 240. Joat as these sheets are going to press there eomei 
to me Mr. Perry's aonte and learned Eittort) qf Grade Ltttratwe, 
New York, 1890, in which thia anhjeot is mentioned in oonneo- 
tion with the mendaciona and medical Ktedas : — Theee stories 
hsTe prabahly acquired a literary onrrency " by ezennse of th« 
habit, not unknown even to students of aeienoe, of indiscriminata 
copying from one's predecessors, so tbat in reading Maudeville 
we have the ^oats of the liea o^ Ktaaiaa, almost aanetifled by 
the authority of Pliny, who quoted tbem and thereby made 
them a part of mediieval folk-lore — and from folk-lore, proba- 
bly, they took their remote start " (p. 522). 

> " En that Tar grivara ok Bafvall ok allakonar skinnaTSia" 
(Baf n, p. 5{)), — L e. gray fnr and aable and all sorts of akin. 
wares ; in another acoonnt, " ekinnaviini ok algrA sfcinn," which 
In the Danish veraiiHi is "akiadvarer og «^te gtsaskind" (td 



little strips of scarlet clotli to bind abont tlieir 
heads. When the Northmen found the cloth grow- 
ing scarce they cut it into extremely narrow strips, 
but the desire of tihe natives was so great diat 
they would still give a whole skin for the smallest 
strip. They wanted also to buy weap- -j^ „ti™ at 
ons, bnt Thorfinn forbade his men to ''^'•^•^ 
sell litem. One of the natives jncked up an 
iron hatehet and cut wood with it ; one after an- 
other tried and admired it ; at length one tried it 
on a stone and broke its edge, and then they scorn- 
fully threw it down.^ One day while they were 
trading, Thorfinn's bull ran out before them and 
bellowed, whereupon the whole company was in- 
stantly scattered tn headlong flight. After this, 
when threatened with an attack by the natives, 
Thorfinn drew up his men for a fight and put the 
bull in front, very much as I^rrhus used elephants 
— at first with success — to frighten the Komans 
and their horses.^ 

p. 160), — L e. skinvKras aodgviinuie gint; tarn. Cutier in Can- 
ada and tlie Pniitnua in Mssaaoliiuetbi were not long in finding 
tlut the natires had good fun to selL 

iRafn,p. 100. 

* Much onrianti infoimalion teapecling tbe nae of elepbtmta in 
var ma; be foond in die learned work <A the CheTalier Armandl, 
HiMoire tnUilairt da Afj^ntt, Pans, 1843. Aa rogsida Thor- 
finn's bun, Mr. Laii^ makes the kind of blunder that our Brit- 
iah connm ara lomedmea known to make when they get tbe 
Bockr MoDDtidns within sight of Bunker Hill monnment. " A 
oonldaeutal people in that part of Amerioa," says Hr. haiog, 
" ooidd not h% atrangsiH to the much more framidable bison." 
Hdm^mn^a, p. 169. Bisons on the Atlantic eoaat, Hr. Laii^ ? I 
And then his comparison quite misses the point ; a bison, if die 
nativat hod been familiar with him, would not have been at all 
formidable as compared tc the bull which tbe; had never before 



These incidents are of surpaasing interest, foi 
they were attendant upon the first meeting (in all 
probahility) that ever took place between civilized 
Europeans and any people below the upper status 
of barbarism.' Who were these natives encoun- 
tered by Thorfinn? The Northmen called them 
" Skraelings," a name which one is at first sight 
strongly tempted to derive from the Icelandic verb 
skrcekja, identical with the English screech. A 
crowd of excited Indians might most appropri- 
ately be termed Sereeehers.^ This derivation, 
however, is not correct. The word shrceling sur- 
vives in modem Norwegian, and means a feeble 
or puny or insignificant person. Dr. 
"s^^lL" Storm's suggestion is in all probability 
correct, that the name " Skrjelings," as 
applied to the natives of America, had no ethno- 
logical significance, but simply meant "inferior 
people ; " it gave concise expression to the white 
man's opinion that they were " a bad lot." In 
Icelandic literature the name is usually applied to 
the Eskimos, and hence it has been rashly inferred 
that Thorfinn found Eskimos iu Yinland. Such 
was Rafn's opinion, and since his time the eom- 

seen, A torse U mnoh l«aa {onnidable than a congor, Wt Aztoo 
wairiocs who did not mind a coagai were paralyTod with terror at 
Hie Big-ht of men on honeback. It is the onkiiawii that fnghtens 
in BDoh oaaeH. Thot^im'B natiTes weTS probabl; familiar with 
Bnch Ituge aninuJa as moose and deer, but a deer ia n't a boll. 

1 The Phcenioiaiia, havever (who in this conneotiou ma; be 
classed vith Enropeans), most have met with some |noh people in 
the aoniBe of th^ voya^feii npon the ooasta of Africa. I shaU 
treat of this more fnllj below, p. 327. 

3 As for Indians, says Cieza de Leon, they aro all n<risy (alhanu 
qniontos). Segaada Parte de la CrCiaca del Peat, cap. iiiii 



mentators have gone off upon a wrong trail and 
much ingenuity has been wafited.^ It would be 
well to remember, however, that the Europeans of 
the eleventh century were not ethnologists ; in 
meeting these inferior peoples for the first time they 
were more likely to be impressed with the broad 
£act of tiieir inferiority than to be nice in making 
distiactions. When we call both Australians and 
Fuegians " savages," we do not assert identity or 
relationship between them ; and so when the 
Northmen called Eskimos and Indians by the 
same disparaging epithet, they doubtless simply 
meant to call them savages. 

Our chronicle describes the SkrEeliiiga of Vin- 
land as swarthy in hue, ferocious in aspect, with 
ugly hair, big eyes, and broad cheeks.' This will 
do very well for Indians, except as to 
the eyes. We are accustomed to think mppauukoe ot 

t T J- 11 I. * - 4.I.- tt^BkiBlingt 

of Indian eyes as small ; but m this 
connection it is worthy of note that a very keen 

1 For example, Dr. De Costft refers to Dr. Abbott's digoovenea 
as mdicatiiig ' ' that the Indian was preceded b; a people like the 
Egkimoa, whose atooe implements ace found in the Trenton 
grayel." Pre-ColumUan Diicovery, p. 132. Qoite so ; bnt that 
was in the Glacial Period (J I), and when the edge of the ioe^beet 
slowly retreated northward, tbe Eskimo, who is emphatically an 
Arctic creatnie, donbtlesa retreated with it, jnst as he retreated 
from Europe. See above, p. 18. There ia not tlie alighteat rea- 
son for snppoaiDg tbat there were any Eskimos sontb of Labrador 
•o Utely as nine hundred yean ago. 

' " Their totu avartir menn ok illiligir, ok havdhn Olt hir i 
hofdhi. Their rora mjdk ey^dhir ok breidhir 1 kinnnm," i. e. 
"Bi homines erant nigri, tracolenti specie, fcedam in oapite 
eomam hsbentea, ocnlis magnia et gems latis." Rafn.p. 148. The 
Icelandic avarlr is more precisely rendered by tlie identical Eng- 
lish swarthi/ than by the X-atin niger. 



obaeryer, Maro Lesoarbot, in his minute and elab< 
orate description of the physical appeaiance of the 
Micmace of Acadia, speaks with some emphasis of 
their large eyes.' Dr. Storm quite reasonably 
suggests that the Norse expression may refer to 
the size not of the eye-ball, but of the eye-socket, 
which in the Indian face is apt to be lai^ i and 
very likely this is what the Frenchman also had 
in mind. 

These Skrselings were clad in skins, and their 
weapons were bows and arrows, slings, and stone 
hatcbets. In the latter we may now, I think, be 
allowed to recognize tlie familiar tomahawk ; and 
when we read that, in a sharp fight with the na> 
tives, Thorbrand, son of the commander Snorro, 
was slain, and the woman TVeydis aftei-ward found 
his corpse in the woods, with a fiat stone sticking 
in the head, and his naked sword lying on the 
ground beside him, we seem to see how it all bap- 
TbeSiuw- pened.' We seem to see the stealthy 
!1^>^J^ Indian suddenly dealing the death-blow, 
ukS^Iig^ *™'l *hsi obliged for his own safety to 
'•""^ dart away among the trees without r^ 

covering his tomahawk or seizing the sword. The 
Skrselings came up the river or lake in a swarm of 

1 " this qoXt b noi SanTagna, ponr ce qui raganle les lens ila 
De les oat ni bleoi, ni Terda, mala Doira pour U pluspart, ainai que 
lea chsTeui ; & neantmtnns ite sont petJia, oSnie eenz des snoiena 
Scythea, urnia d'nne grandeur Men a^freable." Lescarbot, Bit- 
toire de la Noavdle Frawx, Paris, 1612, torn. ii. p. 714. 

3 " Hib farm fyrir sir tnann dandhan, thar var Thorbrandl 
SnoTTSwn, ok at6dh beUnstoinn ( hiifdhi haaiun ; averdhit U berl 
( hjdi bonnm," i. e. " Bla incidit In martttDm bomtaem, Thorbran- 
dnm Sdorrii filium, onjiu capiti lapia planus impactoe atetit ; niK 
dua joita enm g-lodioe jaooit." Bafn, p. 154 



eanoes, all yelling at the top of tlieir voices (et 
illi omnes valde acutum ululabanf), aod, leaping 
ashore, began a formidable attack with slings and 
tOTOwa, The narrative calls these canoes *'skin< 
boats " (hudhkeipaT), whence it has been inferred 
that the writer had in mind the kayaks and umiaka 
of the Eskimos.^ I suspect that the writer did 
have such boats in mind, and accordingly used a 
word not strictly accurate. Very likely his author- 
ities failed to specify a distinction between bark- 
boats and skin-boats, and simply used the handiest 
word for designating canoes as contrasted with 
their own keeled boats.' 

One other point which must be noticed here in 
connection with the Skrsalings is a singular ma- 
nceuvre which they are said to have practised in 
the course of the fight. They rtdsed upon the end 
o£ a pole a big ball, not unlike a sheep's paunch, 
and of a bluish colour ; this ball they swung from 
the pole over the heads of the white men, and 
it fell to the ground with a horrid noise.^ Now, 

' lliem Egklmo skiii-boats are described in lUnk's Duni'aA 
Gretrdand, pp. 113, 179. 

> Cf . Storm, op. at. pp. 366, S67. 

' " That si tkeii Karliwfiii at SkneKngar fnrdhn app i. stong 
kuStt ■taodar mykiiui thTf luer dl at jafoa sem wuidlianSiDb, ok 
belzt blin at lit, ok flej^dha at stongiuui npp i laodit yfir lidh 
tbeirra Karlaefnis, ok lit illilega vidhr, tW eem uidhr kom. 
Vidli thetta sU dtta myhlnm i. KarlseFiii ok allt lidh hBiH, Bvfi at 
thi f^iti engii anuan eun fljja, ok balda nndau npp medb iiaa, 
thvlat tlieim tli^tti lidt Skneliiiga drfCa at ibt allmn megin, ok 
IMta eigi, fjn enii tlieir koma til bamra nokknna, ok Teitiu thar 
Tidhrtoka hardha," i. a. "Viderant Ksrleefniani qaod Sknalinfp 
bn^nrio sustnleruDt globum iiq^ntem, ventti ovillo hand abu- 
milem, colore fere ofendflo ; hnno ex longnrio in terrain enper 



according to Mr. Schoolcraft, ttia was a mode at 
fighting formerly common among the Algonquins, 
in New England and elsewhere. Thia big ball waa 
what Mr. Schoolcraft calls the "balista," or what 
the Indians themselves call the "demon's head." 
It was a lai^ ronnd boulder, sewed up in a new 
skin and attached to a pole. As the skin dried it 
enwrapped the stone tightly ; and then it was 
daubed with grotesque devices in various colours. 
** It was borne by several warriors who acted as 
balisteers. Plunged upon a boat or canoe, it was 
ct^ble of siuMiig it. Brought down upon a 
group of men on a sudden, it produced consterna- 
tion and death." ^ This is a most remarkable 
feature in the narrative, for it shows us the Ice- 
landic writer (here manifestly controlled by some 
authoritative source of information) describing a 
very strange mode of fighting, which we know 
to have been characteristic of the Algonquins. 
Karlsefni's men do not seem to have relished this 
outlandiBh style of fighting ; they retreated along 
the river bank until they came to a favourable situ- 
ation among some rocks, where they made a stand 
and beat off their swarming assailants. The lat- 
ter, as soon as they found themselves losing many 
warriors without gaining their point, suddenly 
nuit. Hao ra tenon peccaUus est Karlsefimu amqne omnes, nt 
mhil alind ODperent quam fngvre et gradain referre auisom AecoD- 
dcm fluTiuin : credebuit enim se »b SkrmiingU nndique oirenm- 
Teniii. Hinc nou gradtua Btiterfl^ prioaqaam ad rapes qnaedam 
pBryeniassnt, nti aoriter reaistabant." Eafa, p. 153. 

I Schoolcraft, Ardiieea of Aboriginal Knowledge, Philadelpliia, 
1860, 6 ydIb. 4t«, vol. i. p. S»; a figure of thia weapoa ia giren in 
the oame Tolmna, plate zr. 6g. 2, from a careful descriptim 
bj Chingwaok, an Algonquin chief. 



turned and fied to their canoes, and paddled awa^ 
with astonishing celerity. Thronghont the account 
it seems to me perfectly clear that ve are dealing 
with Indians. 

The coexistence of so many unmistakable marks 
of truth in our nuratives may fairly be aald to 
amount to a demonstration that they must be de- 
rived, through some eminently trustworthy chan- 
nel, from the statements of intelligent eye-wit- 
nesses who took part in the events related. Here 
and there, no doubt, we come upon some improb- 
able incident or a touch of superstition, such as 
we need not go back to tfae eleventh 
century to find very conunon among sea- 
men's narratives ; hut the remarkable thing in the 
present case is that there are so few such features. 
One fabulous creature is mentioned. Thorfinn and 
his men saw from their vessel a glittering speck 
upon the shore at an opening in the woods. They 
hailed it, whereupon the creatiu^e proceeded to per- 
form the quite human act of shooting an arrow, 
which killed the man at the helm. The narrator 
calls it a "uniped," or some sort of one-footed 
goblin,^ bnt that is hardly reasonable, for after the 
shooting it went on to perform the further quite 
human and eminently Indian-like act of running 
away.' Evidently this discreet " uniped " was im- 
pressed with ,the desirableness of living to fight 

1 BafD, p. 160 i De Costs, p. 134 ; Storm, p. S30. 

* Here the narrator Bsenis datanmnBd to pTO ua a geniuDe 
gmack of the marielloaa, for vhen the £eeing uniped comea to a 
place where his retreat eeema cut off by an arm of the sea, he 
mna (g^lidea, or hope ?) acroaa the vater withont Binhing. In 
VigfuwoD'e Tsisiaii, however, the marrellous ii eliminated, and 



another day. In a narrative otherwise characteiw 
ized by sobriety, auch an instance of fancy, even 
Bupposing it to have come down from the original 
sources, counts for as much or as little as Henry 
Hudson's description of a meinmd.i 

It is now time for a few words upon the charao- 
ter of the records upon which our story is based. 
And first, let ua remark apon a possible source of 
misapprehension due to the associations with which 
a certain Norse word has been clothed. The old 
Norse narrative - writings are called "st^as," a 
word which we are in the habit of using in £ng- 
lish as equivalent to legendary or semi-mythical 
joii^abtg narratives. To cite a " saga " as author- 
wfftthsmid ^*y ^<^^ * statement seems, therefore, to 
"**>^" some people as inadmissible as to cite a 
faiiy-tale ; and I cannot help suspecting that to 
some such misleading association of ideas is due 
the pardcular form of the opinion expressed some 
time ago by a committee of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, — " that there is the same sort 
of reason for believing in the existence of Leif 
Ericsson that there is for believing in the exist- 
ence of Agamenmon. They are both traditions 
tbe enatan ^m^j nun otot the itabUe and dis&ppean. Tha 
iBcddaut ia eridcntl; an insUDoe where the mmiivB hta been 
" embeUiehed " by iDtrDdneing a feature from uioient olaeeioal 
Tiiteia. The " Monoeoli, " or one-legged pec^e, ue mentioiied 
by Pliny, Hist. Nat., tu. 2 ; " Item haminain genaa qni Mooocali 
Toaaientnr, mngnlia amribna, mine pemicitAtis ad aaltum." Cf. 
Aoliu GelUoe, NocUi Attica, yiii, 4. 

' Between Spitzbei^a and Notb Zembla, Jane 16, 1008. For 
the deaoiiption, with its droll detaile, see Parchai Ail Pilgrimei, 



accepted by later writers, and there is 
reason for r^;arding as true tlie details 
related about the discoveries of the for- 

toric ti-uth the narrative contained in 
the Homeric poemB." The report goes on to ob- 
serve that "it is antecedently probable that the 
Northmen discovered America in the early part of 
the eleventh century ; and this discovery is con- 
firmed by the same sort of historical tradition, not 
strong enough to be called eridence, upon which 
our belief in many of the accepted facte of history 
rests." ' The second of these statements is char- 
acterized by critical moderation, ^id expresses the 
inevitable and -wholesome reactiou against the rash 
enthusiaBm of Professor itafn half a century ago, 
and the vagaries of many aji uninstructed or nn- 
critical writer since his time. But the first state- 
ment ia singularly unfortunate. It would be diffi- 
cult to find a comparison more inappropriate than 
that between Agamemnon' and Leif, between the 
niad and the Saga of Eric the Eed. The story of 
the Trojan War and its heroes, as we have it in 
Homer and the Athenian dramatists, is pure folk- 
lore as regards form, and chiefiy folk- 
lore as regards contents. It is in a ^'■£^°' 
high degree probable that this mass of iu!^"" 
folk-lore surrounds a kernel of pl^ ^" 
fact, that in times long before the first Olympiad 
an actual " king of men " at Mycenie conducted an 
expedition against the great city by the Simois, 
that the Agamemnon of the poet stands in some 
> Pnxttdi/igs Maa. EiiC Soc., December, 1887. 



Buch relation toward this chieft^ as that in which 
the Charleim^ne of mediceval romance stands to- 
ward the mighty Emperor of the West.^ Never- 
theless the story, as we have it, is simply folk-lore. 
If the Qiad and Odyssey contain faint reminis- 
cences of actual events, these events are so inex- 
tricably wrapped up with mythical phraseology 
that by no cunning of the scholar can they be con- 
strued into history. The motives and capabihties 
of the actors and the conditions under which they 
accomplish their destinies are such as exist only in 
fairy-tales. Their world is as remote from that 
in which we live as the world of Sindbad and Ca- 
maralzaman ; and this is not essentially altered by 
the fact that Homer introduces us to definite local- 
ities and familiar customs as often as the Irish 
legends of Finn M'CumhaiL^ 

It would be hard to find anything more unlike 
such writings than the class of Icelandic sagas to 
which that of Eric the Eed belongs. Here we 

have quiet and sober narrative, not in 
Eric the Radia the Icast like a f ^ry-talc, but ofteu much 

like a ship's tog. Whatever such nar- 
rative may be, it is not folk-lore. In act and 
motive, in its conditions and laws, its world is the 
every-day world in which we live. If now and 
then a '^ uniped " happens to stray into it, the in- 

1 I used this ailment twenty yetm a^ in qnaJMcadim of die 
OTer-zealooB aolajiua^ views of Sir G. W. Cox and others. Sfipe 
my SfylAs and Mythmakeri, pp. 191-202; and et. Freeman on 
"The MythiCBl ajidRomande Elements mEarlyEiiglialiHiBtory," 
in his Historical Essays, i. 1-39. 

" Cnrtin, Mythi and Faik-Lore of Ireland, pp. 12, 204, 303; 
Kennedy, Legendary Fictioni of the Mah Oeitt, pp. 203-311. 



congruity b as conspicuous as in the case of Had- 
bod's mermaid, or a ghost in a modem cotrntiy 
inn ; whereas in the Homeric fabric the super- 
natural is warp and woof. To assert a likeness 
between two kinds of literature so utterly different 
■8 to go very far astray. 

As already observed, I suspect that misleading 
associations with the word " saga " may have 
exerted an unconscious influence in producing this 
particular kind of blunder, — for it is nothing less 
than a blunder. Resemblance is tacitly assumed 
between the Iliad and an Icelandic saga. Well, 
between the Iliad and some Icelandic sagas there 
b a real and strong resemblance. In truth these 
sagas are divisible into two well marked and 
sharply contrasted classes. In the one class be- 
long the Eddie Lays, and the mythical sagas, such 
as the Volsunga, the stories of Eagnar, „^.^ ^ 
Frithiof, and others ; and along with iiiitoriiai 
these, though totally different in source, 
we may for our present purpose group the roman- 
tic sagas, such as Parceval, Eemund, Karlamag- 
nus, and others brought from southern Europe. 
These are alike in being composed of legendary 
and mythical materials ; they belong essentially to 
the literature of folk-lore. In the other cla^s 
come the historical sagas, such as those of Njal 
and Egil, the Sturlunga, and many others, with 
the numerous biographies and aunab.' These 

> Nowhere can 70D find a more masterly critdcaJ aocoant of 
Icelandio Uteratare than in Vigfnason's " Prolegomena " to hU 
edition of Sturlunga Saga, Oxford, 1S7S, vol. i. pp, ii.-coTiT. 
Then ia a good bat verj brief aocoonl in Hom'a Hittay 0/ du 



writings give ua hiatory, and often very good his- 
toiy indeed. " Saga " meant simply any kind of 
literature in narrative form ; the good people of 
Iceland did not liappen to have such a handy 
word as " lustory," which they could keep entire 
when they meant it in sober earnest and chop 
down into " story" when they meant it otherwise. 
It is very much as if we were to apply the same 
word to the Ardmr legends and to William of 
Malmesbury's judicious and accurate chronicles, 
and call them alike " stories." 

The narrative upon which our account of the 
Vinland voyages is chiefly based belongs to the 
class of historical sagas. It is the S^a of Eric 
the Ited, and it exists in two different versions, of 
which one seems to have been made in the north, 
the other in the west, of Iceland. The western 
version is the earlier and in some respects the 
Thewortemor better. It 19 found in two vellums, that 
tmiU^ rf^BHo °^ *^ great collection known as Hauks- 
"»'^''B««- h6k (AM. 544), and that which is 
simply known as AM. 567 from its catalogae 
number in Ami Magnusson's collection. Of these 
the former, which is the beat preserved, was writ- 
ten in a beautiful hand by Hauk Erlendsson, 
between 1305 and 13S4, the year of his death. 
This western version is the one which has generally 
been printed under the title, " Saga of Thorfinn 
Karlsefni." It is iihe one to which I have most 
frequently referred in the present chapter.^ 

LUeraiitre of Uit Seaadinavian North, tronal. by B. B. i 
Chioago, 1884, pp. 60-70. 
' It i> printed in Bain, pp. 81-187, and in GrOnUmdi M*lmi*kt 



The northern Ter«on is that vhioh was made 
about the year 1387 by the priest J6n ThtSrdhar- 
son, and contained in the famous compilation 
known as the Flateyar-b6k, or " Flat Island 
Book."* This priest was editine the 

^ " TbsnDrtham 

B^a of King Olaf Tryggvesson, which « 'J;*;??- 
is cont^ed in that compilation, and 
inasmuch as Leif Ericsson's presence at King 
Olaf s court was connected both with the introduc- 
tion of Christianity into Greenland and with the 
discovery of Vinland, Jon paused, after the man- 
ner of mediEBval chroniclers, and inserted then and 
there what he knew about Eric and Leif and Thor- 
finn. In doing this, he used parts of the original 
saga of Eric the Bed (as we find it reproduced in 
the western version), and added thereunto a con- 
siderable amount of material concerning the Yin- 
land voyages derived from other sources. Jfin's 
version thus made has generally been printed under 
the title, " Sa^ of Eric the Red," * 

Now the older version, written at the begin- 
ning of the fourteenth century, ^ves an acconnt 
of things which happened three centuries before it 
was written. A cautious scholar will, as a rule, be 
slow to consider any historical narrative as quite ' 

MindeimcBrker, i. 362-443. The moat eesential part of it may 
DDw be found, nnder its own name, in VigfuBBon'B lalandic Prate 
Seader, pp. 12S-140. 

' It belonged 1a a man vbo lived on Flat Island, in one of the 
Iceland fiords. 

I Itia printed in Rafn, pp) 1-76, under the title " Tluet^ af 
Eireki Randa ok arsnlendfngnm." For a critical aeconnt of 
tliese Tenions, see Storm, op. cit. pp. 310-325 ; I do not, in all is- 
(pecta, follow him in his dapreciation of the Flatejar-b<Sk veniolL 



satisfactory authority, evea when it contains no im- 
Fiwimption probablc statements, unless it is nearly 
^J^ j^ contemporary with the events which it 
oonteinppnrj. recottls. Such was the rule Iwd down 
by the late Sir George Comewall Lewis, and it 
is a very good rule ; the proper application of it 
has disencumbered history of much rubbish. At 
the same time, like all rules, it should be used with 
judicious caution and not allowed to run away with 
us. As applied by Lewis to Koman history it 
would have swept away in one great cataclysm not 
only kings and decemvirs, but Brennns and his 
Gaids to boot, and left ns with nothing to swear 
by until the invasion of Pyrrhns.^ Subsequent re- 
search has shown that this was going altogether too 
far. The mere fact of distance in time between a 
document and the events which it records ia only 
negative testimony against its value, for it may be 
a faithful transcript of some earlier document or 
documents since lost. It is so dif&cnlt to prove 
a negative that the mere lapse of time simply 
r^ses a presumptioD the weight of which should 
be estimated by a careful survey of all the prob- 
abilities in the case. Among the many Icelandic 
' vellums that are known to have perished ^ there 
' Lewia's Inquay inio the CredibUity of the Early Hainan Sts- 
tors, 2 vols., London, 1355. 

^ And not&bl; in that terrible fiie of Ootober, 1728, whioh 
conaomed the Univet»t; Librar; at Copenhagen, and broke the 
heart of the noble oollectoi of manoBcripta, Ajni MagnoBBon. The 
great emption of Heola in 1390 overwhelmed two famona home- 
■teads in the immediate neighbonrhood. From the local history 
of these homSBteada and their inmates, Vi^nasoD thinks it not 
nolibely that Bome records mayatill be there "awaiting the spads 
and plokaze of a new Sohliemaim." Sturlunga Saga, p. oliy. 



ma; well have been earlier copies c^ Enc the 
Eed's Saga. 

Hauk Erlendssou reckoned himself a direct de- . 
Bcendant, in the eighth generation, from Snorro, 
son of Thorfinn and Gudrid, bom in Yinland. 
He was an important personage in Iceland, a man 
of erudition, author of a brief book of oontempo- 
raiy annab and a treatise on arithmetio in which 
he introduced the Arabic numerals into Iceland. 
In those days the lover of books, if he 
would add them to his library, might >« ud his 
now and then obtain an original manu- 
script, hut usually he had to copy them or have 
them copied by hand. The Hauks-b6k, with its 
200 skins, one of the most extensive Icelandic vel- 
lums now in existence, is really Hank's private 
library, or what there is left of it, and it shows that 
he was a man who knew how to make a good 
choice of hooks. He did a good deal of bis copy- 
ing himself, and also employed two clerks in the 
same kind of work.^ 

Now I do not suppose it will occur to any 
rational being to suggest that Hauk may have 
written down his version of Eric the Bed's Saga 
from an oral tradition nearly three centuries old. 
The narrative could not have been so long pre- 
served in its integrity, with so little extravagance 
of statement and so many marks of truthfulness in 
detaib foreign to ordinary Icelandic experience, if 

' An excellent facumile of Hank's handwriting is giveii in 
R&fn, tab. iii., lower part ; tab. iv. and the npper part of tab. 
iii. are in tbe hands of hia two tmanaense*. See Vigfnuon, 
^ cit. p. dxL 



it had been entrusted to oral tradition alone. One 
might aa well try to imagine Drake's 
.not 1^^ ta " World Encompaflsed " handed down 
teni to by oral tradition from the days of Queen 
by oni t^- Elizabeth to the days of Qaeen Victoria. 
'' Such transmission is possible enough 
with heroic poems and folk-tales, which deal with 
a few dramatic situations and a stock of mythical 
conceptions familiar at every fireside; but in a 
simple matter-of-fact record of sailors' observa- 
tions and experiences on a strange coast, oral 
tradition would not be long in distorting and 
jumbling the details into a result quite undecipher- 
ablei The story of the Zeno brothers, presently to 
be cited, shows what strange perversions occur, 
even in written tradition, when the copyist, instead 
of faithfully coj^ng records of unfamiliar events, 
tries to edit and amend them. One cannot reason- 
ably doubt that Hauk's vellum of Eric the Bed's 
Saga, with its many ear-marks of truth above men- 
tioned, was copied by him — and quite carefully 
and faithfully withal — from some older vellum 
not now forthcoming. 

As we have no clue, however, beyond the inter- 
nal evidence, to the age or character of the sources 
from which Haiik copied, there is nothing left for 
AUmioM to us to do but to look into other Icelandic 
oth^o^ documents, to see if anywhere they be- 
"*"**■ tray a knowledge of Vinland and the 

voyages thither. Incidental references to Vinland, 
in narratives concerned with other matters, are of 
great significance in this connection ; for they im- 
ply on the part of the narrator a presumption that 



his readers understand such references, and that it 
ia not necessary to interrupt his story in order to 
explain them. Such incidental references imply 
the existence, during the interval between the 
Vinland voyages and Hauh's manuscript, of many 
intermediate links of sound testimony that have 
since dropped out of sight ; and therefore they go 
far toward removing whatever presumption may 
be alleged aghast Hank's manusciipt because of 
its distance from the events. 

Now the Eyrbyggja Saga, written between 1230 
and 1260, is largely devoted to the settlement of 
Iceland, and is full of valuable notices of the hear 
then institutions and customs of the tenth cen- 
tury. The Eyrby^a, having occasion B^byggj- 
to spe^ of Thorbrand Snorrason, ob- ***^ 
serves incidentally that he went from Greenland 
to Vinland with Karlsefni and was killed in a bat- 
tle with the Skr^lings.' We have already men- 
tioned the death of this Thorbrand, and bow Frey- 
dis found his body in the woods. 

Three Icelandic tracts on geography, between 
the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, mention Hel- 
luland and Vinland, and in two of these accounts 
Markland is interposed between Helluland and 
Vinland.^ One of these tracts mentions the voy- 
ages of Leif and Thorfinn. It forms part of an 
essay called " Guide to the Holy Land," by Nik- 

' yigtaaaoD, Eyrbyggja Saga, pp. SI, 92. Another of Karlsef- 
ni's ooiDiadea, ThorbaU QamlaBon, ia meutiaDeil in GreUii Sa^a. 
Copenhagen, 1859, pp. 22, 70; he went back to Iceland, settled 
on a taim there, and was. known for the rest of his life an " the 
Tinlukter," See aboTe, pp. 165, 168. 

a Warianf, SyabtJa ad Oeogr. Medii Mvi, CopenbAgen, 182a 



nlaa SmntmdsBon, abbot of Thvera, in the north 
Tbsibbot o* Iceland, who died 1159. This Nik- 
Hikuiu, ate. ^igg ,y^g curious in matters of geogr^ 
phy, and had b-avelled extensively. 

With the celebrated Ari Thoigilsson, nsually 
known aa Pr6dhi, " the learned," we come to tes- 
timony nearly contemporaneous in time and ex- 
tremely valnable in character. This erudite priest, 
bom in 1067, was the founder of historical writing 
in Iceland. He was the principal aathor of the 
" Landn&m»-b6k," iJready mentioned aa a work 
of thorough and painstaking research 
unequalled in medisBval literature. Hib 
other principal works were the " Konunga-bok," 
or chronide of the kings of Norway, and the 
" Idendinga-bok," or description of Iceland.^ Ari's 
books, written not in monkish Latin, but in a good 
vigorouB vernacnlar, were a mine of information 
from which all subsequent Icelandic historians 
were accustomed to draw such treasures as they 
needed. To his diligence and acomen ih^ were 
all, from Snorro Sturlason down, very much in- 
debted. He may be said to have given the tone 
to history-writing in Iceland, and it was a high 

Unfortunately Ari's Islendinga-b6k has per- 
ished. One cannot help suspecting that it may 
have contained the contemporary materials from 
which £iric the Bed's S^a in the Hauks-bok was 
' For a critical eatiinato of Ari's literary aetiTity and the ei- 
tent of his work, the reader is referred to Mobiiu, Are'i lalSndtr- 
tacA, Leipaic, 186Q; Hanrer, "Uber Ari ThoTgilawHi nnd sein 
Isltoder'buoh," in Germania, xr. ; Olaen, Ari TTiorgiltmn kin* 
XhsdM, EejkjaTik, 1888, pp. ai4-24a 



ultimately drawn. For Ari made an abridgment 
or epitome of hie great book, and this epitome, 
commonly known as " Libellus lalandorum," still 
survives. In it Ari makes brief mention of Green- 
land, and refers to his paternal uncle, Tborkell 
Gellison, as authority for his statements. This 
Thorkell Gellison, of HelgafeU, a man of high 
consideration who flourished about the 
middle of the eleventh century, had vis- unt'iu^ai 
ited Greenland and talked with one of 
the men who accompanied £rio when he went to 
settle in Brattahlid in 986. From this source Ari 
gives us the interesting information that Eric's 
party found in Greenland " traces of human habi- 
tations, fragments of boats, and stone implements ; 
so from this one might conclude that people of the 
kind who inhabited Vinland and were known by 
the (Norse) Greenlanders as Skrslings must have 
roamed about there." ' Observe the force of this 
allusion. The settlers in Greenland did not at 
first (nor for a long time) meet with barbarous or 
savage natives there, hut only with the vestiges of 
their former presence. But when Ari wrote the 
above passage, the memory of Vinland and its 
fierce Skrselings was still fresh, and Ari very prop- 
erly inferred from the ardueological remains in 

' Their " fmido tbar awmu luter bwtbi Brastr ok vestr & landi 
dk. lueiplAbtot dk. Bteitumltlu, that ea af thvl mi iciliB, at thnr 
hafdhi theaaocmai thjdth farith ea Vinland hefer bjgt, ok QmD- 

qnam Occidents tente parte, homaiue habitationis TssCdgia, uari' 
Dnlamm fiagineiita et opera fabiilia ex lapide, ax quo intelligi 
potest, ibi Tenstmn ewB natioDem qua Vinlanduup iocolnit qnant. 
^JUi Qitenlaodi SknelugoB appallaut." Kafn, p. SOT. 



Greenland that a people similar (in point of bai> 
barism) to the Skrselinga must have been there. 
Unless Ari and his readers had a distinct recolleo- 
tion of the accounts of Vinland, such a reference 
would have been only an attempt to explain the 
less obscure by the more obscure. It is to be re- 
gretted that we have in this book no more allusions 
to Vinlaod ; but if Ari could only leave ue one 
such allusion, he surely could not have made that 
one more pointed. 

But this is not quite the only reference that Ari 
makes to Vinland. There are three others that 
must in all probability be assigned to him. Two 
occur in the Landnama-b^k, the first in a pas- 
sage where mention is made of Ari Marsson's Toy- 
^e to a place in the western ocean near Vin- 
land ; • the only point in this allusion which need 
here concern us is that Vinland is tacitly assumed 
oihm refer, to be a kuown geographical situation to 
"**^ which others may be referred. The sec- 

ond reference occurs in one of those elaborate and 
minutely specific genealogies in the Landnama- 
bok : " Their son was Thordhr Hest-hofdhi, fa- 
ther of Karlsefni, who found Vinland the Good, 
Snorri's father," etc.* The third reference occurs 
in the EIristni Saga, a kind of supplement to the 
Landnama-b6k, giving an account of the intro- 
duction of Christianity into Iceland ; here it is re- 
lated how Leif Ericsson came to be called " Leif 
the Lucky," 1. from having rescued a shipwrecked 
Drew off the coast of Greenland, 2. from having 

' Landndma-bak, part ii ohap. nii 
* Id. put iii. olup. z. 



discovered " Vinland the Good." ' From these 
hrief allusiniis, and from the general relatioa in 
which Ari Frodhi stood to later writers, I suspect 
that if the greater Islendingarhok had survived 
to our time we should have foimd in it more about 
Vinland and its discoverers. At any rate, as to 
the existence of a definite and continuous tradition 
all the way from Ari down to Hauk Erlendsson, 
there can be no question whatever.* 

* R-iitia Saga, apnd Biakapa SUgur, Copenhagen, 1868, vol. 1. 

' Indeed, tlie puallel eiiataape of the FlsteyBi~b<n[ veraioD ot 
Eric the Bed's Saga, alongnde of the Haake-bdk Torsion, is pretty 
g^ood proof of the eiigteiioe of a written aceonnt older than Hank's 
tiiDS. The discrepanciea between the two venuma are snch as to 
■how that Jdn Thordhanon did not copy from Hank, bat followed 
some other vervon not now fonJiooiuiiig. J6b meatiaiw sii Toy- 
ages in connection with Vialand : 1. Bjami nerjulfsaon ; 2.Leifi 
a Thorvald i 4. Thoiatein and Qndrid ; 6. TborGnn Earlsefni ; 
6- Freydig. Hank, on the other hand, mentions only the two 
principal Toyagee, those of Ijoif and Thorfiun ; ig-noring Bjami, 
he accredits hia adTentnreg to Leif on his rctnni Toyage from 
Norway in 999, and be makes Tborrald a comrade of Thorfinn, 
and nuxflS his advcntiireB with the events of Thorfinn's voyage. 
Dr. Sconn conaideni Hank's account intrinsically the more prob- 
able, and thinks that in die Flateyar-Ixtk we have a later amplifi- 
cation of the tradition. But while I agree with Dr. Storm as to 
the general snperiority ot the Hank veision, I am not convinced 
hy his argnments on this point. It seems to me likely that the 
Flateyar-bdk here preserves mora Eaithf ally the det^ls of an older 
tradition too sammarily epitomized in the Hanks-biSk. As the 
p(4nt in no way affects tbe general conclnmons of the present 
chapter, it is hardly worth arguing here. The nuun thing for ns 
ia that the divergencies between flie two verwong, when conpled 
with their agreement in the most important features, indicate 
that both writers were working npon the baMS of an antecedent 
written tradition, like the authors of the first and third synoptio 
gospels. Only here, of oom^s, there are in the divergencies no 
tymptoma of what the Tiibingen school would call "tendenx," 
impEuring and obscuring to an indeterminate extent the general 



The testimoDf of Adam of Bremen brings ns yet 
one generation nearer to the Vinland voyages, and 
AdunotBrc Js Very significant. Adam was much 
?°^ interested in the missionary work in 

the north of Europe, and in 1073, the same year 
ihat Hildebrand was elected to the papacy, he pub- 
lished his famous "Historia Ecclesiastioa," in 
which he gave an account of the conversion of the 
northern nations from the iime of Leo III. to that 
of Hildebrand's predecessor. In prosecuting his 
studies, Adam made a visit to the court of Swend 
Estridhsen, king of Denmark, nephew of Cuut the 
Great, ting of Denmark and England. Swend's 
reign began in 1047, bo that Adam's visit must 
have occurred between that date and 1073. The 
voyage of Leif and Thor&m would at that time 
have been within the memory of living men, and 
would be likely to be known in Denmark, because 
tlie intercourse between the several paj-ts of the 
Scandinavian world was incessant; there was con- 
tinual coming and going. Adam learned what he 
could of Scandinavian geography, and when he 
published his history, lie did just what a modem 
writer would do imder similar circumstances; he 
appended to lus book some notes on the get^aphy 
of those remote countries, then so little known to 
his readers in central and Eouthem Europe. After 
giving some account of Denmark, Sweden, and 
Norway, he describes the colony in Iceland, and 

traatwortliiiiesa of Oie lunatiTeB. On the vhole, it is pretty clear 
Outt Hanks-bdk and Flate;ar-bdk ware independent of saeli other, 
and oollatedf o&ch in its own waj, earlier docamenti that havs 
prabahlj since periihed. 



tihen the further colony in Qreenland, and con- 
cludes by saying that out in that ocean there is an- 
other country, or island, which has been visited by 
many persons, and is called Vinland because of 
wild grapes that grow there, out of which a very 
good wine can be made. Either rumour had oxAg- 
gerated the virtues pf fox-grape juice, or the 
Northmen were not such good judges of wine as of 
ale. Adam goes on to say that com, likewise, 
grows in Yinland without cultivation ; and as such 
a statement to European readers must needs have 
a smack of falsehood, he adds that it is based not 
upon fable and guess-work, but upon "trustworthy 
reports (certa relatione) of the Danes." 

Scanty as it is, this single item of strictly con- 
tranporary testimony is very important, because 
quite incidentally it gives to the later accounts such 
confirmation as to show that they rest upon a solid 
basis of continuous tradition and not upon mere 
unintelligent hearsay.' The unvuying character 
of the tradition, in its essential details, indicates 
that it must have been committed to writing at a 
very early period, probably not later than the time 
of Ari's uncle Tborkell, who was contemporary 
with Adam of Bremen. If, however, we read the 
1 It ii further intereBtiDK as die onlj ludoabteil refeienee to 
VtnlAitd in a mediEeral book vritten beyond the limits of the 
BosDcUnaTiaa vorid. There is alao, bowerer, a paasage in Oideri- 
B1U Vitalia {Hiatona EeeU*iatlIea, W. 20), in wbiob Finland and 
the Orkney!, alon^ with Qreeuland and loeland, aie looaaly de- 
■oiibed aa forming; part of the dominionfl of the iuage of Nonraj. 
This Finland does not appear to refei to the cimntry of the Finns, 
east of the Baltic, anil it has been snppawd that it may have been 
meant for Viuland. The book of Oniericiu was vritten about 




whole passage in which Adam's mention of Vinland 
occurs, it is clear from the context that his own 
information was not derived from an inspection of 
Icelandic documents. He got it, as he tells us, hy 
talking with King Swend; and all that he got, or 
all that he thought worth telling, was this curious 
fact about vines and self-sown com growing so 

near to Grreenland; for Adam quite 
™™^™o| misconceived the situation of Vinland, 

and imagined it far ap in the frozen 
North. After his mention of Vinland, the conti- 
nental character of which he eviden% did not sus- 
pect, he goes on immediately to say, " After this 
island nothing inhabitable is to be found in that 
ocean, all being covered with unendurable ice and 
boundless darkness." That most accomplished 
king, Harold Hardrada, says Adam, tried not 
long since to ascertain how far the northern ocean 
extended, and plunged along through this darkness 
until he actually reached the end of the world, and 
came near tumbling off I ' Thus the worthy Adam, 

' The passaffe from Adam of Bremen desecvea to be qnoted in 
full : " Pneterea nnam adhnB iiwnlam [leg^onam] remtavit [L a. 
Svendna lez] a mnltdi in eo repertam ooeano, qiuB dioitm Vin- 
land, eo quod ibi vitca spante naBnantnr, viDum bonom gerentea 
[ferantes] ; nam et fmgSB ibi nan a«miuatas abniidBre, non tabn- 
\osBi opinione, sed oerta comperimoB relatione Donorum. Foot 
qnam ininlam terra nnlla inTemtni habltabilis in illo ooeano, sed 
omnia qnffl ultra snot glaoie Intolerabili ao oaligToe immenaa 
plena sont ; oojni lei MamianoB ita menunit : ultra Th;le, in- 
qniens, navigwe nnina diei mare concretmn eat Tentavit hoo 
nnper eiperientiaumiis Nordmannonini princeps Haroldna, qui 
latitndinem septentrionalis oceani peracrutatos navibos, tandem 
ealigantibns ante oca defieientia mundi finibna, imnuuie abyssi 
baiMmm, xetroactiB Tsstigiis, vii Balvna evasit" Ihscriplia in- 
tdarvm aqmUmia, oap. 88, apnd Sitt. Ecdetiattiea, iv. ed. Lin* 



while telling the truth about fox-grapes and maize 
as well aa he knew how, spoiled the effect of his 
story by putting Yin land in the Arctic regions. 
The juxtaposition of icebergs and vines was a little 
too close even for the mediaeval mind so hospitable 
to strange yams. Adam's readers generally dis- 
believed the "trustworthy reports of the Danes," 
and when they thought of Yinland at all, doubt- 
less thought of it as somewhere near the North 
Pole.* We fdiall do well to bear this in mind when 
we come to consider tiie possibility of Columbus 
having obtained from Adam of Bremen any hint 
in the least likely to be of use in his own enter- 

To sum up the argument : — we have in Eric the 
Red's Saga, as copied by Hauk Erleuds- Bummarj or 
son, a document for the existence of "^ "ki™™*- 
which we are required to account. That document 

denbn^, Leyden, 1596. No such voyage is known to have been 
undertaken by Harold of Norway, nor ia it Hkaly. Adam woa 
probabl; thinking of an Arotio yoyage undertaken by one Thoiip 
under the auspices of King Harold ; one of die company broug-ht 
back a polai bear and g[aTe it to King Swend, who was mnch 
pleased with it 8«e Rafn, 33S. " ReKionam " and " f erentee " 
in tho above extract are variant i«adingB foond in some editions. 

' " Det Iiai imidlertjd ikke f orliindret de senere torfattere, der 
benytt«de Adam, fro at blive mistenkaomme, t^ aaalsBnge Adams 
betetniug atod alene, har man i ragelen vE^ret sig for at tio den. 
Endog den norake forfatter, der skrev ' Historia Norvegin ' og 
Bom fornden Adam vel ogsaa har kjendt de hjemlige sagn om Vin- 
land, maa have anseet beretningen for fabelagdf* og derfor for< 
bigaaet den ; ban kjendt« altfor godt Qranland som et nordligt 
isfjldt Folarland til at villa tro paa, at i nterheden fandtes et 
VinJand." Storm, in Aarbfga- for Ifqrdiik Oidki/ndighed, etc., 
Copenhagen, 1887, p. 300. 

" See below, p. 380. 



oontains muuistakable knowledge of some thinge 
which medueval EuropeanB could by no human 
possibility have learned, except through a visit to 
some part of the coast of North America fnrther 
south than Labrador or Newfoundland. It tells 
an eminently probable stoiy in a simjde, straight- 
forward way, agreeing in its details with what we 
know of the North Americrai coast between Point 
Judith and Cape Breton. Its general accuracy 
in the statement and groufung of so many remote 
details is proof that its statements were controlled 
by an exceedingly strong and steady tradition, — 
altogether too strong and steady, in my opinion, to 
have been maintained simply by word of mouth. 
These Icelanders were people so much given to 
writing that their historic records daring the Mid- 
dle Ages were, as the late Sir Richard Burton 
truly observed, more complete than ihose of any 
other country in Europe.^ It is probable that the 
facts mentioned in Hauk's dociunent rested upon 
some kind of a written basis aa early as the elev- 
enth century; and it seems quite clear that the 
constant tradition, by which all the allusions to 
Vinland and the Skrselings are controlled, had be- 
come established by that time. The data are more 
scaniy than we could wish, but they all point in 
the same direction as surely as stravra blown by a 
steady wind, and their cumulative force is so great 
as to fall but little short of demonstration. For 
these reasons it seems to me that the Saga of Eric 
the Ked should be accepted as history ; and there 
is another reason which might not have counted 
1 Bnrtoa, Ultima Tkait, LoDdon, 1375, I 2ST. 



£or much at the begiiming at this disenBaion, but 
at the end seems quite solid and worthy of respect. 
The narratiTe begins with the oolonizatioa of 
Grreenlaad and goes on with the visits to Yinland. 
It is unquestionably sound history for the first 
part ; why should it be juiything else for the second 
part? What shall be said of a style of criticism 
which, in dealing with one and the same document, 
arbitrarily cuts it in two in the middle and calls 
the first half history and the last half legend? 
which accepts its statements as serious so long as 
they keep to the north of the sixtieth parallel, and 
dismisses them as idle as soon as they pasa to the 
south of it ? Quite contrary to conuuon sense, I 
should say. 

The only discredit which has been thrown upon 
the story of the Vinland voyages, in the eyes either 
of scholars or of the general public, has arisen 
from the eager credulity with which ingenious an- 
tiquiudans have now and then tried to Abmrd ^md- 
prove more than facts will warr^it. It ^'utiquriT 
is peculiarly a case in which the ju- "* 
diciouB hiBtoriau has had frequent occasion to 
exclaim, Save me from my friends I The only 
fit criticism upon the wonderful argument from 
the Digbton inscription is a reference to the 
equally wonderful discovery made by Mr. Pick- 
wick at Cobham;^ and when it was attempted, 

I 9e« Fiekmek Piters, chap. zi. I am uidel>ted to Mr. 'Hl- 
linghaiit, of Hairard UnivBrsity Library, for caUiiig my attention 
to a letter from Rev. John Lathrop, of Boston, to Eon. John 
Dbtib, AngDBt 10, 1S09, eontjuning- Geof^ Washmgton'a opinion 
of the Digliton ijucription. When President Washington -nutad 



some aixty yeara ago, to prove that Governor 

Cambridge in the fsll of 1789, ha wu abawn abont the coUege 
buildiiigs by the president sjid fellows of the uoiiersitj. While 
in the mnmun he vaa oheened to " fii hia eye " npan a f oll-aiis 
nop; of the Dighton inscriptian made by the libroriaji, Jamea 
Winthrop. Dr. Lothrop, who happened to be standing neap 
Washington, " ventured to give the opinion which several learned 
men had entertained -with reepeet to the origin of the inacriptioD." 
Inaamnoh Ba some of the chaiactets weie thooght to lesemble 
" oriental " oharacters, and inasmnch as the ancient Phcenieiana 
h«d sailed ontaide of the PillatB of Heicnles, it was "oonjec- 
tured ' ' that some FhiBnician vesseb had sailed into Narraganeott 
bay and np the Tannton river. " While detained hy winds, or 
other caoBes now unknown, the people, it has been conjectured, 
made the inscriptiDn, now to be seen on the face of the rock, and 
vhioh we may snppoee to be a record of their f ortnnes or of their 

" After I had given the above aocoont, the President nulled 
and said he believed the learned gentlemen whom I had maa- 
tioned were mistaken ; and added that in the younger part of his 
Ute his bannew called him to be very mnoh in the vilderueaa of 
'^t^nia, which gave him an opportunity to become acquiunted 
with many of the customa and piactioes of the Indians. The 
Indiana, he said, had a way of writii^ and recording their trans- 
aotaons, either in war or hnntii^. When they wished to make 
any snob reconl, or leave fax accoont of their eiplvits to any who 
might come after them, they scraped o3 the onter bark of a 
tree, and with a vegetable ink, or a litde paint which they car- 
ried with them, on the smooth anrface tbej wrote in a way that 
was generally nnderatood by the people of their i«epedive tril>e8. 
Ae he had so often examined Ihe mde way of writing praotjaed 
by the Indiana of Virginia, and observed many of the characters 
Ou the injBcriptdon then before him so nearly rescmbied the char- 
aolen lued by the Indiana, he had no donbt the inscription waa 
made long ago by some natdves of America." Frocetdinga of 
2ftu9(icJtimA< Historical Society, vol. z. p. 116. This pleasant an- 
ecdote shows in a new light Wnshiagton' a acanracy of observa- 
tion and unfailing common-sense. Such inscriptions have been 
found by the thousand, scattered over all parts of the United 
States; for a learned study of tbem see OarHck Mallery, " Pic- 
tographs of the North American Indiana," Eqxjrts of Bureau of 
Etinoiog!/, iv. 13-256. *' The voluminous diBcosaion npon th« 



Arnold's old stone windmiU at Newport > was a 
tower built by the Northmen, no wonder if the 
exposure of this rather laughable notion should 
have led many people to suppose that the stoiy of 
Leif and Thor&m had thereby been deprived of 
some part of its support. But the story never 
rested upon any such evidence, and does not call 
for evidence of such sort. There is nothing in the 
stoiy to indicate that the Northmen ever founded 
nghtoD Toek inseripUon," uya Colonel Mailer;, " lenden it im- 
poMdble wholly to DeBlect it. ... It is meiel; a tjp« of Algon- 
quin nxik-tiarTing:, Dot ao intereating aa nisor others. ■ . ■ It ii 
of pnrely Indian origin, and is eiecnted in the peenliar ajmbolie 
chsiacter of the Eekeewin," p. 20. The oharacters obserred 
hj Washington in ihe Vir^puia forests wonld very probably have 
heen of tiie sAme type. Judge Dims, to whom Dr. Lathrop'a 
letter was addressed, published in 1809 a paper maintaining the 
Indian raigin of the Dighton ioBoriptioii. 

A popnluT error, once started on ite career, is aa hard to kill aa 
a oat. Otherwise it would be sarprimug; to find, in so meritoiiona 
a book as Oscar Pesohel's Gtadiichu det Zeitaller) da Entdeckun- 
gen, Stnttgart, 1877, p. 83, an ansnspectlng reliance npon Bafn'a 
ridicnlons iDterpretation of this Algonqnin piotograph. In an 
American writer as well equipped aa Pesehel, tliis pardenlar 
kind of blunder wonld of coarse be impossible ; and one is la- 
minded of Humboldt's remark, "II est dee reohercbeH qui na 
peuTents'eiicnter que prh des Bouroaa mSmea." Ezameit crit- 
ique, etc., lorn. ii. p. 102. 

In old dmee. I may add, auch yagaries were UButiUy saddled 
npon the Pbcenicians, until since Kafn's time the Nortlmiea hare 
taken Hieir place aa the pack-horses for all sorts of antiquoriaa 
" conieotnte." 

' See Palfrey's Hittory of New England, toI. i. pp. 67-60 ; 
Hason'a EeminisceBcei of Ntwport, pp. 363-407. Lsung (Heims- 
tringla, pp. 182-185) thinks the Yankees must have intended to 
fool Professor Rafn and the Royal Society of Antiquaries at 
Copenhagen ; " Thoss sly lognea of Americans, " says he, " dearly 
love a quiet boar ; " and be can almost hear them chuckling over 
their joke in their clnb-room at Newport. I am afr^d dieae Yan- 
kees were leas nq^nes and more fools than Hr. Lung makes ont. 



s colony in Vinland, or baik dnnble buildiiigs 
there. The distinctum implicitly drawn 
MHofnrnit- W AdaiQ »rf Bieoien, who narrates 
ionboB, the colonizsdon of Iceland and uieen- 
n^jinTiB- land, and then goes on to speak of 
Yinland, not as colonized, bat «in]dy 
as discovered, is a distinction amply borne ont l^ 
oax chronicles. Nowhere is there the slightest hint 
o£ a colony or settlement established in Yinland. 
On the contrary, our pl^n, business-like narralave 
teUs US that Hiorfinn Karlsefni tried to fonnd a 
colony and failed; and it tells ns why he failed. 
The Indians were too many for him. The North- 
men <^ the deventh century, without firearms, 
were in much less favourable condition for with- 
standing the Indians than the Englishmen o£ the 
seventeenth; and at the former period there existed 
no cauBQ for emigration from Norway and Iceland 
at all comparable to the economic, political, and 
religious circumstances which, in a later age, sent 
thousands of Englishmen to Virginia and New 
England. The founding of colonies in Ameriea 
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was no 
pastime ; it was a tale of drudgery, starvation, and 
bloodshed, that curdles one's blood to read; more 
attempts fuled than succeeded. Assuredly Thor- 
film gave proof of the good 'sense ascribed to him 
when he turned bis back upon Vinland. But if 
he or any other Northman had ever succeeded in 
establishing a colony there, can anybody explain 
why it should not have stamped Uie fact of its 
existence either upon the soil, or upon history, or 
both, as unmistakably as the colony of Green* 



lacd? Arcliffiological remains of the NDrttmen 
abound in Greenland, all the way from Inunarti- 
nek to near Cape Farewell ; the existence of one 
such relic on the North American continent has 
never jet been proved. Not a single Noircii»oio- 
vestige of the Northmen's presence here, ^"thJsjS 
at all worthy of credence, has ever been f^d»u£^ 
found. The writers who have, from ^''' """" 
time to time, mistaken other things for such ves- 
tiges, have been led astray because they have failed 
to distingoish between the different conditions of 
proof in Greenland and in Vinland. As Mr. 
Laing forcibly put the case, nearly half a century 
ago, "Greenland was a colony with communica- 
tions, trade, civil and ecclesiastical establishments, 
and a considerable population," for more than four 
centuries. "Vinland was only visited by flying 
parties of woodcutters, remaining at the utmost 
two or three winters, but never settling there per- 
manently. ... To expect here, as in Greenland, 
material proofs to corroborate the docmnentary 
proofs, is weakening the latter by linking them to 
a sort of evidence which, from the very nature of 
the case, — the temporary visits of a ship's crew, 
— cannot exist in Vinland, and, as in the case of 
Greenland, come in to support them."^ 

The most convincing proof that the Northmen 
never founded a colony in America, south of 
Davis strait, is furnished by the total absence of 
horses, cattle, and other domestic animals from 
the soil of North America until they were brought 
hither by the Spanish, French, and English set- 
1 Laing, HtiTHikringla, toI. i. p. 181. 



tiers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

If the Northmen had ever settled in 

mu lud Vinland, thev would have brought eat- 

ceaiiuiooiaii;, tie With them, ana if their colony had 

they would , r . . Ill . 

taveintro- been successful, it would ha,ve mtro- 
tio outie lata duced such cattle permaoiently into the 
Am^MD fauna of the country. Indeed, our nar- 
rative teUs us that Karlsefni's people 
"had with them all kinds of cattle, having the 
intention to settle in the land i£ they could." ^ 
Naturally the two things are coupled in the nar- 
rator's mind. So tlie Fortugnese carried live- 
stock in their earliest expeditions to the Atlantic 
islands ; ^ Columbus brought horses and cows, with 
vines and all kinds of grain, on his second voyage 
to the West Indies;^ when the French, under 
Baron L^rj, made a disastrous attempt to foimd a 
colony on or about Cape Breton in 1518, they left 
behind them, upon Sable island, a goodly stock 
of cows and pigs, which throve and multiplied 
long after their owners had vone ; * the Pi^rims at 
Plymouth had cattle, goats, and swine as early as 
1623.^ In fact, it would be dif&cult to imagine » 

' " Their hofdhn medh. sir allskonar finadb, tbTlat their ntlS- 
dhu St byggja laudit, ef their mietti that," i. e., " iUiomne iieca- 
dnm ((eiina ssanin babuemiit, nun terrain, si lioeret, ooloniis 
{reqnentare oojptamnt." Rafn, p. 57. 

'■' Major, Prince Henry the Navigator, p. 241. 

» Irvii^'s Life of Coiumbus, New York, 1828, vol. i. p. 293. 

' Histoire chronologique de la NouvfUe France^ pp. 40, 53 ; thia 
work, written in 1666 by the ReooUet friar Siite le Tac, has at 
length been published (Paris, IS88) with notes and other origina) 
documents b; EagSoe E^Teilland. See, abo, Liet, Novas Orbit, 

■ John Smith, Qenerail Hiatorie, 247. 



commimity of Kuropeans subsisting anywhere for 
any length of time without domestio animala. We 
have seen that the N^orthmen took pains to raise 
cattle in Greenland, and were quick to comment 
upon the climate of Yinland as favourable for pas- 
tura^. To suppose that these men ever founded 
a colony in North America, but did not bring do- 
mestic ftniTnala thitiher, would be absurd. But it 
would be scarcely less absurd to suppose that such 
animals, having been once fairly introduced into 
the fauna of Xorth America, would afterward have 
vanished without leaving a vestige of ud .Hih ut 
their presence. As for the few cattle Cn nniikaS 
for which Thorfinn could find room in tnoe^'uidr 
his three or four dragon-ships, we may "'^"^ 
easily believe that his people ate them up before 
leaving the country, especially since we are told 
they were threatened with famine. But that do- 
mestic cattle, after being supported on American 
soil during the length of time involved in the es- 
tablishment of a successful colony (say, for fifty or 
a hundred years), should have disappeared without 
leaving abundant traces of themselves, is simply 
incredible. Horses and kin^ are not dependent 
upon man for their existence ; when left to them- 
selves, in almost any part of the world, they run 
wild and flourish in what natur^ists call a "feral" 
state. Thus we find feral homed cattle in the 
Falkland and in the Ladrone islands, as well as in 
the ancient Chillingham Park, in Northumber- 
kmd; we find feral pigs in Jamaica; feral Euro- 
pean d<^ in La Plata; feral horses in Turkestan, 
and also in Mexico, descended from Spanish 



bones.* If the Northmen had ever fonnded a 
colony in VinLtnd, how did it happen that the 
Engliab and French in the serenteenth century, 
and from that day to this, have never set eyes upon 
a wild horse, or wild cattle, pigs, or hounds, or 
any such indication whatever of the former pre- 
sence of civilized Europeane ? I do not recollect 
ever seeing this ai^^ument used before, but it 
seems to me conclusive. It raises gainst the by- 
potbesiB of a Norse colonization in Vinland a pre- 
Bomption extremely difficult if not impossible to 

1 Danrin, AiumaU and Planti under Dmatttieatiou, LoDdon, 
1868, ToL i pp. 27, n, 81 

^ The Tiflws of pTofeasor Horsfrad as to the greogrsphicat dtn- 
ttjoa at YiulaDd and its Boppoaed colanization by Northmen are 
BQt forth in hia four numogTaphSf IHscovery of Amerita by HorlX^ 
men — addmt at the unveiling of the ttaiue of Leif Erikten, etc, 
Borton, 1888; The PToHlem of the Northjwn, Cambridge, 1880; 
The Diarxmery ef the Ancient Cily of Nommbega, Boston, 1890 ; 
J^ Defincet of Nontmbega, Boston, 1891. Among Profeasor 
Honfra^'a oonolimoDa the two principal are : I. that the " rirer 
flowiDE through a lake into the sea " (Rafn, p. 147) ia Charles 
river, and that Leif '> bootha were erected near the site of the 
presant Cambridge, hospital ; 2. that "Nommb^a" — a word 
looiely applied by some eatly eiplorera to some region or re- 
gions iomewhera between the New Jersey ooast and the Bay of 
Fundy — waathe Indiaii utterance of "Norbega" or "Norway;" 
and that certain stone walls and dama at and near Watortown are 
Teatiges of an anoient " dty of Nonunbega," wbieh was founded 
and peopled by Northmen and carried on a mora or leas eztenaiTB 
trade with Eorope for more than three eentnries. 

With r^ard to the first of these condodons, it is perhaps as 
likely that Leif ■ booths were within the present limits of Cam- 
bridge as in any of the nnmeroos pUoes which difFerent writers 
have oanfidently aadgned for them, all the way from Point Jaditli 
to Cape Breton. A judioioos scholar will object not so much to 
the oonolnaion as to the charactor of the argnments by which it is 
reaobed. Too much weight is attached to hypothetioBl etj>mah)> 




As for the colony in Greenland, while ita popa- 
latdon seems nerer to hare exceeded 5,000 or 
6,000 souls, it maintained its existence i^irtbactor- 
and its intercooise with Europe unin- S ^^' SS. 
terruptedly £rom its settlement in 986, "'' 
by Erie the Bed, for more than four hmidred 
years. Early in the fourteenth century Uie West 
Bygd, or western settlement, near Godthaab, 
seems to have conWned ninety farmsteads and 
four churches; while the East Bygd, or eastern 
settlement, near Julianeshaab, contained one hun- 
dred and ninety farmsteads, with one cathedral 
and eleven smaller churches, two villages, and 
three or four monasteries.^ Between Tunnudlior- 
bik and Igaliko fiords, and about tliirty miles from 
the ruined stone houses of Brattahlid, there now 
st^ids, imposing in its decay, the simple but mas- 
sive Btmctnre of Kakortok church, once the 
" cathedral "church of the Gardar bishopric, where 
the Credo was intoned and censers swung, while 
not less than ten generations lived and died. 
About the b^inning of the twelfth century there 
was a movement at Rome for establishing new 
dioeesee in "the islands of the ocean;" in 1106 a 

\nth regaid to the Norse colony aUeg^ed to have flonrubed for 
throe centimes, it is pertinent to aak, vhat became of its cattle 
tuid horses ? Why dai>e find no Testdges of die buritJ-pl&ceB at 
these Earopeam ? or of inm tools and weapons of mediaTal 
workmanship ? Why is Uiere no da«ninent>ry mention, in Soan- 
dinaria or elsewhere in Europe, of tliis transatlantic trade ? etc., 
eto. Until anoh points U theae are disposed of, any further con- 
rideradou of tlie hypothesis may properly be postponed. 

~ Laiug, HantskrtBgia, i. 141. A description of the ruins may 
be found in two papers in liedddeUtr on Groniand, Copeohagen, 



biahop's see was erected in the north of Iceland, 
and one at about the eame time in the Fieroes. 
In 1112, Erie Grnupason,^ having been appointed 
by Pope Paschal H. "bishop of Greenland and 

Bmna of the ahnTch at Eakortok. 

Vinland in partihus injiddium" went from Ice- 
land to organize his new diocese in Grreenland. 
It ia mentioned in at least six difFerent vetliuns 
Btebop Brio'B t^hat in 1121 Bishop Erie "went in 
•m^Stiii. search of Vinland."* It ia nowhere 
Luia,iiM. mentioned that he found it, and Dr. 
Storm thinks it probable that he perished in the 
enterprise, for, within the next year or next but 
one, tbe Grreenlanders asked for a new bishop, 

' Sametimes called Erio Uppsi ; he U mentjoned in the Land- 
Dttma-bdk u B natiTe of Iceland. 

' Storm, Itlandiike Annaler, Chrigtiania, 1888 ; Reeves, Th* 
Finding of Wineiand the Good, Loiidon, 1300, pp. 7&-81. 



Kad Eric's aucoessor. Bishop Arnold, was con- 
secrated in 1124.' After £rio there was a regu- 
lar succession of bialiops appointed bj the papal 
court, down at least to 1409, and seventeen of 
these bishops are mentioned by name. We do 
not learn that any of them ever repeated Erie's 
experiment of searching for Yinland. So far as 
existing Icelandic vellums know, there was no voy- 
age to Yinland after 1121. Very likely, however, 
there may have been occasional voy^es for timber 
from Greenland to the coast of the American con- 
tinent, which did not attract attention or call for 
comment in Iceland. This is rendered somewhat 
probable from an entry in the "Elder Sk^olt 
Annals," a vellum written about 1362. This in- 
forms us that in 1347 "there c^ne a 
ship from Greenland, less in size than HtrUsfd, 
small Icelandic trading-vessels. It was 
without an anchor. There were seventeen men on 
board, and they had sailed to Markland, but had 
afterwards been driven hither by storms at sea."* 

1 Storm, in Aarbtgerfor NordiA Omyndighed, 1887, p. 319. 

^ Reeves, op. at. p. 83. Id acotJier Tellam it is mentaoaed thai 
in 1347 " & ship oame from Qreanland, wlilsh had aaHad to Mack- . 
land, and there weie eigbtaen men on board." A> Hr. R«evea 
well obierrM ; " The oatuie of the iufoimatioii Indicates that tha 
knoirledge of the dixoorsT? had not altogetlieT faded fcom tho 
memories of die loelaadeia settled in Greenland. It seems fur- 
ther to lend s measnie of planaibilit; to a, theory that people 
from the Greenland coIod; may from time to time bave vidtAd 
the coast to the sontbvest of their home for supplies of wood, at 
for some kindred purpose. The Tisitors id tbis ease had eTideotly 
intended to retom directly from Marklapd to Qreenlaod, aDd 
had tbey Dot been driven ont of their oonrae to loelaod, the prob- 
ability is that tbis voyage would never have f onnd mention in 
Tf^'lapdiff ohronioles, aod all knowledge of it must have vamshed 

by Google 


Thia is the latest mention of any voyage to or 
from the countries beyond Greenland. 

If the reader is inclined to wonder why a colony 
could be maintained in souUiem GreenUnd more 
easily than on the coasts of N^ova Scotia or Massa- 
chusetts, or even why the Northmen did not at 
once abandon their fiords at Brattahlid and come 
in a flock to these pleasant«r places, he must call 
to mind two important circumstanoeB. First, the 
settlers in southern Greenland did not meet with 
barbarous natives, but only with vestiges of their 
former presence. It was not until the twelfth 
century that, in roamii^ the icy deserts of the far 
north in quest of seals and bearskins, the Norse 
hunters encountered tribes of Eskimo using stone 
knives and whalebone arrow-heads ; ' and it was 
not unto the fourteenth century that we hear of 
Ti>eOi«aii«id ^^u^ getting into a war with these 
1^1^ t^ people. In 1349 the West Bygd was 
°*' attacked and destroyed by Eskimos; 
in 1379 they invaded the East Bygd and wrought 
sad havoc; and it is generally believed that some 
time after 1409 they completed the destruction of 
the colony. 

Secondly, the relative proximity of Greenland 
to the mother country, Iceland, made it much eas- 
ier to sust^ a colony there than in the more dis- 
tant Yinland. In colonizing, as in campaigning, 
distance from one's base is sometimes the supreme 
circumstance. This is illustrated by the fact that 

u oompletelj a* did the aolony to which the Marklaud liaiton 
* StwTo, JUbnuMenfa Auinrtea Nonxgia, p. T7. 



the very existenoe of tlie Greenland colony itself 
depended upon perpetaal and untranunelled ex- 
cliange of commodities with Iceland; and wlien 
once the sonrce of supply was cnt off, the colony 
soon languished. In 1380 ajid 1387 the crownB 
of Norway ajid Denmark descended upon Queen 
Margaret, and soon she.made her precious contri- 
bution to the innumerable Bwarm of instances that 
show with how little wisdom the world is ruled. 
She made the trade to Grreenland, Iceland, and 
the FsBroe isles *' a ro^ monopoly which ^^^ w,,—. 
could only be carried on in ships belong- ^''^.J'gJ** 
ing to, or licensed by, the sovereign. Jj^^"" 
, . . Under the monopoly of trade the 
Icelanders could have no vessels, and no object for 
.sailing to Greenland; and the vessels fitted out by 
government, or its lessees, would only be ready to 
leave Denmark or Bergen for Iceland at the seasim 
they ought to have been ready to leave Iceland to 
go to Grreenland. The colony gradually fell into 
oblivion." ' When this prohibitory management 
was abandoned after 1534 by Christian III. , it was 
altogether too late. Starved by the miserable pol- 
icy of governmental interference with freedom of 
trade, the little Qreenland colony soon became too 
weak to sustain itself against the natives whose 
hostility had, for half a century, been growing 
more and more dangerous. Precisely when or how 

1 I^n^, Hamtkringta, i. 147. It has been Eappooed diat (ho 
Black Death, by vhioh all Enrope was Tavagred in dia middla 
part of tlie fourteenth eeatnTy, may have otoffied to Qreenlaiid. 
and fatally weakened the oolony then ; bat Vigf nnon aaya &at 
the Black Death aeyet tonobed loelaad (Slurianga Saga, voL L 
P> oziiz.), ao that it ia not BO likely to have teadied Qieenland. 



it periEibed we do not know. The latest notice we 
have of the colony is of a marriage ceremony per- 
formed (probably in the Kakortok church), in 
1409, by Endrede Andreaseon, the last bishop.'- 
When, after three centuries, the great nussionary, 
Hans Kgede, visited Greenland, in 1721, he found 
the ruins of farmsteads and villages, the popula- 
tion of which had vanished. 

Our aoconnt of pre-Columbian voyages to 
America would be very incomplete without -some 
mention of the latest vc^»ge s^d to have been 
made by European vessels to tlie ancient settie- 
ment of the East Bygd. I refer to the famous nar- 
Tm itoiT ot "^ti^* of *^ Zeno brothers, which has 
^jj™™ furnished bo majiy subjects of conten- 
tion for geographers that a hundred 
years ago John FinkertOQ called it "one of the 
most puzzling in the whole circle of literature.'*' 
Nevertheless a great deal has been done, chiefly 
through the acute researches of Mr. Richard 
Henry Major and Baron Nordenskjold, toward 
clearing up this mystery, so that certain points in 
the Zeno narrative may now be regarded as es- 
tablished; ° and from these essential points we may 

1 I^ng, op, cit.L 143. 

* Yat tliii leuued hisbnisD im qmts onniet in bis mrn inter. 
preMioti of Zeno's Btor;, for in the «ame plaoe he mjn, " If rml, 

Piiikertan'a Hutory of Seetland, London, 1707, -nLLp. 281. 

* Major, Tin Voyages of tke Vtnetiaa BrBtitn, Nteold and 
AtUonio Zeno, to llie fiorthera Sena in ti« XIVA Century, London, 
18T3 (H&klayt Sooietj) ; cf. Notdeiakiald, Om brBdena Zatet 
VBMT «dl ife aU(ta iorter- fl/wr Jfoxf en, StooUKd^^ 1883. 



form an opinioa b& to the character of sundry 
questionable details. 

The Zeno family was one of the oldest and most 
distinguished in Venice. Among its members in 
the thirteenth and fonrteenth centu- ihezeaofui. 
ties we find a doge, several senators and "*' 
members of the Council of Ten, and military com- 
manders of high repute. Of these, Pietro Draccne 
Zeno, about 1S50, was captain-general of the 
Christian league for withstanding the Turks; and 
his son Carlo achieved such success in the war 
against Genoa that he was called the Lion of St. 
Mark, and his services to Venice were compared 
with those of Canullus to Eome. 'Sav this Carlo 
had two brothers, — Nicolb, known as "the Chev- 
alier," and Antonio. After the close of the Gen- 
oese war the Chevalier Nicolb was seized with a 
desire to see the world,^ and more particularly 
England and Handers. So about 1390 he fitted 
up a ship at his own expense, and, passing out 
from the strait of Gibraltar, sailed northward 
upon the Atlantic. After some days of fair 
weather, he was canght in a storm and 
blown along for many days more, until wiwked npon 
at length the ship was oast ashore on ^w laimmi, 
one of the Pseroe islands and wrecked, 
thoi^h most of the crew and goods were rescued. 

> "OrH. Tfioalh il CBoAlieni . . . entr6 in grai 

rio di neder il mondo, e peregnnare, e f aid oapaoe di vaiij coa- 
tami e di lingne de gli hnonuni, acoib che oon la ocoauoni ptd 
pot«a8e meglio far >eniigio alia sua patria ed & w aoqaiatsr fama 
Bonote." The narratiTe giTes 1380 as die date of the 'royBe«, bnt 
Mr. HaJDT has ahowu that it motC baT« been a mirtake f<s 1390 



According to the barbajNiiui custom of the Middle 
Ages, some of the nativeB of the iciUuid (Scandimi- 
viauB) came swarming about the unfortunate str^i- 
gere to kill and rob them, but a great chieftain, 
with a force of knights and men-at-arms, arriTed 
upon the spot in time to prevent such an outrage. 
This chief was Hemy Sinclair of Kf»lyn, who in 
1379 had been invested by King Hacon VI., of 
Norway, with the earldom of the Orkneys and 
Caithness. On learning Zeno's rank and impor- 
tance, Sinclair treated him with much courtesy, and 
presently a friendship sprang up between the two. 
Sinclair was then engaged with a fleet of thirteen 
vessels in conquering and annexing to hia earldom 
the Fieroe islands, and on several occasions prof- 
ited by the military and nautical skill of the Vene- 
tian captain. Nico^ seems to have enjoyed thi? 
stirring life, for he presently sent to his brother 
Antonio in Venice an account of it, which induced 
the latter to come and join him in the Fseroe islands. 
Antonio arrived in the course of 1391, and remained 
in the service of Sinclair fourteen years, returning 
to Venice in time to die there in 1406. After An- 
tonio's arrival, his brother Nicolb was appointed 
to the chief command of Sinclair's little fleet, and 
assisted him in taking possession of the Shetland 
islands, which were properly comprised within his 
earldom. In tho course of these adventures, 
Nicolb seems to have had his interest aroused in 
reports about Greenland. It was not more than 
four or five years since Queen Margaret had un- 
dertaken to make a royal monopoly of the Grreen- 
land trade in furs and whale oil, and this would 



be a natoral topic oi Gonversatioii ia the Fieroee. 
In July, 1393, or 1394, Nicolb Zeno aailed to 
Greenland with three ships, and visited „ „, 

.-n T. 1 .!■ 1. KIooli'lKFy- 

the Eaat bygd. After spending some {^"iPrs;- 
time theie, not being accustomed to such 
a climate, he caught cold, and died soon after his 
return to the Fseroes, probably in 1395. His 
brother Antonio succeeded to his (Mce and snch 
emoluments as pertained to it ; aud after a while, 
at Earl Sinclair's instigation, he undertook a voy- 
age of discovery in the Atlantic ocean, in order 
to verify some fishermen's reports of the existence 
of land a thousand miles or more to the west. 
One o£ these fishermen was to serve as guide to 
the expedition, but unfortunately he died three 
days before the ships were ready to sail. Never- 
theless, the expedition started, with Sinclair him- 
self on board, and encountered vicissi- 
tudes of weather and fortune. In fog *J^.' ^^ 
and storm they lost all reckoning of 
position, and found themselves at length on the 
western coa^t of a country which, in the Italian 
narrative, is called "Icaria," but which has been 
supposed, with some probability, to have been 
Kerry, in Ireland. Here, as they went ashore for 
fresh water, they were attacked by the natives and 
several of their number were slain. From this 
point they sailed out into the broad Atlantic again, 
and reached a place supposed to be Greenland, but 
which is so v^uely described that the identifier 
tion is very difficult.' Our narrative here ends 

* It appears on du Zeoo map aa " Tnn jimantor," about the 
iHm of C«pe Farewell ; but bow ooold mz dkja' iail W. ttom 



somewhat confusedly. We are told that Sinclaii 
remained in this place, "and explored the whole 
of the countiy widi great diligence, as well as the 
coasts on both sides of Greenland." Antonio 
Zeno, on the other hand, returned with part of 
the fleet to the Faroe islands, where he arrived 
after sailing eastward for abont a month, during 
five and twenty days of which he saw no land. 
After relating these things and paying a word of 
affectionate tribute to the virtues of Earl Sioclair, 
"a prince as worthy of immortal memory as any 
that ever lived for his great bravery and remark- 
able goodness," Antonio doses hia letter abruptly: 
"But of this I will aay no more in this letter, and 
hope to be with you very shortly, and to satisfy 
your curiosity on other subjects by word of 
mouth." * 

The person thus addressed by Antonio was his 
brother, the iUustrious Carlo Zeno. Soon after 
reaching home, after this long and eventful ab- 
sence, Antonio died. Besides his letters he had 
written a more detailed account of the aiEairs in 
the northern seas. These papers remained for 
more than a century in the palace of the family at 
Venice, until one of the children, in his mischiev- 
ous play, got hold of them and tore them up. 

Keiry, fdlowed by f oni days' nil N. K, reach aoyniak point 7 
and how does thu ahorb outward huI conMst with die retnm voy- 
age, twenty days B. and eight days S. E., to the Faroes ? The 
plaoe IB alsosajd to have had "a fertile soil" and "goodriTon," 
B dateription in nowiee answering to Qreenland. 

^ " Peri nan oi dirb altro io questa letters, sperando toRto dl 
wore oon aoi, o di sodiafaroi di molto altre ooee eon la iiiua noo^" 




This child was Antonio*9 great-great-great-grand- 
eon, Nicolb, bom in 1515. When this yoni^ Ni- 
DO^ had come to middle age, and was a member of 
the Ck>uncil of Ten, he happened to come across 
some renuumte of these documents, and then all at 
once he remembered with grief how he had, in his 
boyhood, pulled them to pieces.^ In the light of 
the rapid progress in geographical discovery since 
1492, this story of distant T<^ages had p„bu,ati„ ^ 
now for Nicolb sa intorest such a& it SSd^SSiu 
could not have had for his immediate jg^^^** 
ancestors. Searching the palace he 
fonnd a few grimy old letters and a map or sailing 
chart, rotten with age, which had been made or at 
any rate brought home by his ancestor Antonio. 
Nieolb drew a fresh copy of this map, and pieced 
together the letters as best he could, with more or 
less explanatory text of his own, and the result 
was the little book which he published in 1558.^ 

Unfortunately young Nicolb, with the laudable 
purpose of making it all as clear as he could, 

I " All tliew lettonirera written by Hewire Antonio to Mesdre 
Carlo, his brother ; and I am grieved that the book and many 
other vrittngg on these anbjeots have, I don't knmr hov, oome 
aadl; to ruin ; for, being but a child when they fell into my 
hands, I, not knowing what they were, tore them in pieces, aa 
ohildien wiU do, and sent them all to ruin ; a ciromuBtanee whiah 
I cannot now reoall viUiont the greatest sorrow. Nevertheless, 
in order that snob an important memorial shanld not be lost, I 
have pnt the whole in order, as well as I could, in the above uar- 
rativa." Major, p. 35. 

' Nicol& Zeno, Ddlo sa^mtnto dell' isole Fridanda, Edanda, 
Eagrondanda, Eaiolilanda, ^ Icaria./atto per due fratdli Zeni, 
if. Nicoib il Cauaiiere, ^ M. Antonio. Libro Vno, coi disegno di 
d^te Iiole, Yenioe, 1558. Mr. Ma'or's book oonbuna the entire 
text, with an English trauslalion. 







tlionglit it neoessaiy not aimply to reproduce the 
old weather -beaten map, but to amend it by put- 
tang on here and there such places and luunes aa 
his diligent peruaal of the manuscript led him to 
deem iraating to its completeness.^ Under the 
meet favourable circmnstancea that is a very diffi- 
cult sort of thing to do, but in this case the cir- 
cumstances were far from favourable. Of course 
Nicolb got these names and places into absurd 
' Tba nup istakan tromWiaaat't Narr. and OrU. Hitt.,L 127, 
where it u i«dnaed fiom Noidenskjold'B Btudien ok Fortkningar. 
A batter beeaiue larger oopy may be found in Hajn'a Vojfoge* 
of the Venetian BroAtri. The em^nsl map meaanrea 12 X l&i 
inohea. In the legend at the top the date is giveo aa M oca '■"'i 
but endently one X haa been omitted, for it should be 1390, and 
ia ooiiectl; ao giTea bj Harco Barbaro, in hia Genealogie da mbSl 
Veaeti ; of Antonio Zeno he says, " Seriase oon il tiatella Ni- 
oolli Kav. U viaf^ dell' Isole aott« il polo artdoo, e di quci aoo> 
primente del 1390, e che per online di Zicno, re di Frialanda, m 
portji nel continente d' Estotilanda nell' Amerioa. settentrionale a 
ohe si fermb 14 anni in Prialanda, cioA 4 oon ano fratello NioidA 
e 10 solo." (This valnable work has never beeo pnbliabed. The 
oiiginal M3., in Barbaco's own handwritiiig:, ia preserved in die 
Biblioteoa di San Haroo at Venice. There is » seveat«entli cen- 
tnry oopy of it among the Bgerton MSS. in the British Hn- 
aemn.) — Nioolb did not leave Italy nnlil aftflr December 14, 
1388 (Uuratori, Berum Itaiioarvn Scriptores, torn. iziL p. TK). 
The map oan hardly hare been made before Antonio's voyagn, 
aboat 1400- The plaeee on the map are wildly ont of poation, aa 
vraa common enongh in old maps. Greenland is attached to Nra- 
vay according to Ou) general belief in the Middle Agea. In hia 
oonf Dsion between the uamea " Estland " and " lalanda," yoong 
Nicolb haatriedtorepTodnoe the Shetland gronp, or something Uke 
it, and attach it to Iceland. " Icaria," probably Kerry, in Ireland, 
has been made into an island and carried far ont into the Atlantio. 
The qneerost of young Nicold's miatakes was in placing tbe moo, 
aster; of St. Olans (" St. Thomas "). He shoold have placed it 
on the soathveat ooaat of Greenland, near hia " Af pmontlH' ; " 
bnt he has got it on the eitieme oortheaat, juat abont when . 
QMenland is jnund to Snrope. 



^sitioiis, thus perplflxing the map and damaging 
its reputation. With regard to aameB, there was 
obscurity enough, to begin with. In the first 
place, they were Icelandic names falling upon 
the Italian ears of old NicoU> and Antonio, and 
spelled hy them according to their own 
notions ; in the second place, these out- lonuuoiu at 
landish names, blurred and defaced 
withal in the weather-stained manuscript, were a 
puzzle to the eye of young Nicolb, who could bat 
decipher them according to his notions. The havoc 
that can be wrought upon winged words, subjected 
to such processes, is sometimes marvellous.^ Per- 
haps the slightest sufferer, in this case, was the 
name of the group of Lslands upon one of which the 
shipwrecked Nico^ was rescued by Sinclair. The 

^ *^ Gmobien de coqnillcs typogTaphiqaoB on de lootnTQB d^fec- 
tneusee oat BtM de noma boiteni, qa'il eat enanite bien diffieile, 
qnelqnefoiH impoemblB de redreaseT Z l^hujtoire et ]a g^t^rapbie 
en Bont pleinea." Avezac, Martin Waltzem^ler, p. 9. 

It u intereslang to Be« how tbinmi^ily wonb naa be diignised 
b7 aa nnfamiliar phooedo apelling. I bBT« seea peivle hiqie' 
leatd; puzzled by Uie folloHiug bill, sapposed to have been made 
out by BD illiinrate stftble-heeper somewheie in England i — 

Ogaf oda Tb 6d 


SoTBe yeara ago ProEessOT Hniley told me of a letter from 
Kance which came to the London post-office tbos addressed : — 

Fiqnd dn lait, 

Tlua letter, after ezuting at fint helpless bevildennent sod 
then boay speculation, mis at length delivered to the right per- 
Boa, Sir Hum^ay Davg, in hk rooms at the Boyal Inadtation on 
Albemarle etreet. just off from FiccadiUs I 



name Fceroi/lattder sounded to Italian ears as 
FrialaTida, and was uniformly bo written.^ Then 
the pronunciation of Shetland waa helped by pre- 
fixing a vowel sound, as is couunon in Italian, and 
00 it came to be Eatland and Esland. This led 
youi^ Nicole's eye in two op three places to con- 
found it with lalanda, or Iceland, and probably 
in one place with Irianda, or Ireland. Wbere 
old Nicolo meant to say that the island upon which 
he was living with Earl Sinclair was somewhat 
larger than Shetland, young Nicolo understood 
him as saying that it was somewhat larger than 
"Friiimdi." ^"^^^i '™'l ^ upon the amended map 
"Frislanda" appears as one great island 
surrounded by tiny islands.' After the publica- 
tion of this map, in 1558, sundry details w^-e cop^ 
ied from it by the new maps of that day, so that 
even far down into the seventeenth century it was 
common to depict a big "Frislanda" somewhere 
in mid-ocean. When at length it was proved that 
no such island exists, the reputation of the Zeno 
narrative was seriously damaged. The nadir of 
reaotion against it was reached when it was de- 
clared to be a tissue of lies invented by the younger 
Nicolo,^ apparently for the purpose of setting up 
a Venetian claim to the discovery of America. 

1 Colnmbna, aa tuB journey toloelattd !d 14T7, also heard tin 
B>me Eamiiiatuler as Frislawla, and so wrote it in the letter pre- 
eerred for mi in his biography hj his bod Ferdinand, hereafter to 
be espeeially notioed. Sea Majw'B Temarks on this, cp. cil. p. lix. 

' Perhaps in the old wom-ont map the arcMpelatro ma; hava 
been blnrred ao a> to be mistaken for one island. This would aid 

* Sm die elaborate paper by Admiral Zahrtnwim, in ifwitui 



The narrative, however, not only sets np no such 
elmm, but nowhere betrays a consciousness that its 
incidents entitle it to make such a claim. •[^^ nimUn 
It had evidently not occurred to young ™^" cinim 
Micolb to institute any comparison be- ^u^of'"*^ 
tween his ancestors' voy^es to Green- ■*■' 

land and the voyages of Columbus to the western 
hemisphere, of which we noto know Greenland to 
be a part. The knowledge of the North Amer- 
ican coast, luid of the bearing of one fact upon 
another fact in relation to it, was still, in 1558, in 
an extremely vagne and rudimentary condition. 
In the mind of the Zeno brothers, as the map 
shows, Greenland was a European peninsula ; 
such was the idea common among mediEeval North- 
men, as is nowhere better illustrated than in this 
map. Neither in his references to Greenland, nor 
to Estotiland and Dro^o, presently to be consid- 
ered, does young Nicolb appear in the light of a 
man ui^g or suggesting a "claim." He ap- 
pears simply as a modest and conscientions editor, 
interested in the deeds of his ancestors and im- 
pressed with the fact that he has got hold of im- 
portant documents, but intent only upon giving 
his material as correctly as possible, and refrain- 
ing from all sort of comment except such as now 

Tidahry/lfor Oldkyndighed, Copeahag^n, 1S34. vol. i., and die 
£i>g;lisli tituulaticiD of it in Journal qf Royoi Gtographical 
SodelS, hoadoa, 1838, vol. t. All tliat humBn ingremiity is ever 
likely to devise tgwmt &e honesty of Zeno'a nairative is pre- 
sented in thi* enidiM essay, wliiah has liean so oompletely dn- 
molished mider Mr. Major's heavy strokes t)iat there is not 
•noi^h of it left to jnck np. Aa to this port of the qi 
may now safely ery, " finis, lans Deo 1 " 



and then seems needful to ezplaia the t«xt as he 
himself understands it. 

The identification of "Frislanda" with the 
Fseroe islands was pnt beyond doubt by the dis- 
covery that the "Zichnmi " of the narrative means 
Henrv Sinclair ; and, in order to make 
this discovery, it was only necessary to 
know something about the history of the Orkneys; 
hence old Finkeiton, as above remarked, got it 
right. The name "Zichmni " is, no doubt, a fear- 
ful and wonderful beju^lement ; but Henry Sin- 
clair is a personage well known to history in that 
comer of the world, and the deeds of "Ziohnini,'* 
as recounted in the narrative, are neither more not 
less than the deeds of Sinclair. Doubtless Anto- 
nio spelled the name in some queer way of his 
own, and then young Nicolfi, unable to read his 
ancestor's pot-hooks where — as in the case of 
proper names — there was no clue to guide him, 
contrived to make it still queerer. Here we have 
strong proof of the genuineness of the narrative. 
If Nicolb had been concocting a story in which 
Karl Sinclair was made to figure, he would have 
obt^ed his knowledge from literary sources, and 
thus would have got his names right; the earl 
might have appeared as Enrico de Santo Claro, 
but not as "Zichmni." It is not at all Hkely, 
however, that any literary knowledge of Sinclair 
and his doings was obtainable in Italy in the six- 
teenth century. The Zeno narrative, moreover, 
in its references to Grreenland in connection with 
the Chevalier Kicolb's visit to the East Bjgd, 
shows a topographical knowledge that was other> 



wise quite inaccessible to the younger Nieolb, 
Late in the fourteentli oentuTy Ivar Bardeen, 
steward to tlie Gardar bishopric, wrote a descrip- 
tion of Oreenland, with sailing direc- B>rd»ii'> 
tiong for reaching it, which modem re- of^™?*™ 
search has proved to have been accurate '*°^" 
in every particular. Bardsen's details and those 
of the Zeno narrative mutually oorroborato each 
other. But Bardsen's book did not make its way 
down into Europe until the very end of the six- 
teenth century/ and then amid the dense igno- 
rance prevalent concerning Greenland its details 
were not understood until actual exploration within 
the hist seventy years has at length revealed their 
meaning. The genuineness of the Zeno narrative 
is thus conclusively proved by its knowledge of 
Arctic get^^phy, such as could have been obtained 
only by a visit to the far North at a time before 
the Grreenland colony had finally lost touch with 
its mother country. 

The visit of the Chevalier Nieolb, therefore, 
about 1394, has a peculiar interest as the last dis- 
tinct glimpse afforded us of the colony founded by 
!Eric the Bed before its melancholy disappearance 
from history. Already the West Bygd had ceased 
to exist. Five Mid forty years before tiat time it 

1 It was translated iDto Diitcb by the famona Arctio explorer, 
William Bannti, whose voyages are so gT^pbicaJly deacribed in 
Motley's VniUd Netherlands, toI. iiL pp. 552-576. An English 
tnuitlation was made for Henry Hudson. A very old Danish 
TBTmon may be foond in Rofn'a Ajaiquitatea Anerieana, pp. DOO- 
B18; Danish, Ijitin, and Engliah veraions in Major's Vcyaget oj 
the Venetian Brnthers, etc., pp. 39-54 j and on English version in 
De Costa's Sailing Dindiona of Henry Hadton, Alban7, 1869, 

iip. ei-ett. 



had been laid waste and its people massacred by 
Eskimos, and trusty Ivar Bardsen, tardily sent 
with a small force to the reaeue, found nothing left 
alive but a few cattle and eheep running wild.' 
Nicolb Zeno, arriving in the Ea^t Bygd, found 
Thsmomu- there a monastery dedicated to St. 
otaLJ'i^iti Olaas, a name which in the narrative 
^•i'^- has become St. Thomas. To this mon- 
astery came friars from Norway and other coun- 
tries, but for the most part from Iceland.' It 
stood "hard by a hill which vomited fire like Vesu- 
vius and Etna." There was also in the neighbour- 
hood s spring of hot water which the ingenious 
friara conducted in pipes into their monastery and 
church, thereby keeping themselves comfortable in 
the coldest weather. This water, as it' came into 
the kitchen, was hot enough to boil meats and veg- 
etables. The monks even made use of it in warm- 
ing covered gardens or hot-beds in which they 
raised sundry fruits and herbs that in milder cli- 
mates grow out of doors.^ "Hither in summer- 

' So he tells ns himMlt i " Qua Bom venissent, dhUdih homi- 
nem, nequa ohiiBtiaaom neque paguiimi, invenerunt, r-iuitnminodo 
feis peeors Bt oyes deprehenderunt, ex qaiboB qoBntnin naves 
ferre potenut in has deportato domam redierunt." Deicriptio 
Qroctdandia, apud Major, p. 63. The g^UcUl men had done their 
^roA of slaughter and lamahsd. 

* "Mala maggior parte >ono diille IsUnde." Mr. Major is 
clearly vn>n{( in tianslatii^ it " from the Shetland Isles." The 
yonn^«T Nicolft was pnmled b j the similarity of the names Islaii- 
da and FjlanJn^ and sometimes confounded Iceland with the Shet- 
land KTO«p. Bat ID this place Iceland is eTideatly meant. 

* TIus application of the hot water to prnpoBss of gardening 
reminds na of the similar covered gardens or hot-heds conBtmcted 
by Albertos Magnos in the Dominican monaatery at Colc^ne it 
the thirteenth century. See Humboldt's Kosmot, IL 130. 



time come many vessels from . . . the Cape above 
Korway, and from Trondheim, and brii^ the 
friars all sorts of comforts, taking in exchange fish 
■ • . and skins of different kinds of animals. 
. . . There are continually in the harbour a num- 
ber of vessels detained by the sea being frozen, 
and waiting for the next season to melt the ice." ^ 
This mention of the volcano and the hot spring 
is very interesting. In the Miocene period the 
Atlantic ridge was one of the principal 

, , . . . , VolennoM of 

seats or volcanic activity upon the tbs no^ At 
globe; the line of volcanoes extended 
all the way from Greenland down into central 
France. But for several himdred thousand years 
this activity has been diminishing. In France, in 
the western parts of Great Britain and the Heb- 
rides, the craters have long since become extinct. 
In the far Xorth, however, volcanic action has 
been slower in dying out. Iceland, with no less 
than twenty active volcanoes, is still the most con- 
siderable centre of such operations in Burope. 
The huge volcano on Jan Mayen island, between 
Greenland and Spitzhergen, is still in action. 
Among the submei^d peaks in the northern seas 
explosions still now and then occur, as in 1783, 
when a small island was thrown up near Cape 
Beykianes, on the southern coast of Iceland, and 
sank again after a year.^ Midway between Ice- 
land and Greenland there appears to have stood, 

' Majoi, op. at, p. 10. The Dsnatire ^oes on to give a descrip- 
tion of the gkin-boata of the Eskimo fishermen. 

* Danbeny, Deicription of Active and Extinct Volcanoet, Lon- 
don, 1348, pp. 301 ; of. Judd, Voicanoes, London, 1881, p. 284. 



in the Middle Ages, a Bmall volcaoio island discov- 
ered by that Gunnbjbm who first went to Green- 
land. It was known as Gunnbjbm'a 
yara'iiaksr- Skerries, and was described by Ivar 
Bardsen.' This island is no longer 
above the surface, and its fate is recorded upon 
Ruysch's map of the world in the 1508 edition of 
Ptolemy: "Insula hsec anno Domini 1456 fuit 
totaliter combusta," — this island was entirely 
burnt (i. e. blown np in an eruption) in 1456 ; and 
in later maps Mr. Major has found the corrupted 
name "Gombar Scheer" applied to the dangerous 
reefs and shoals left behind by this explosion.^ 
Where volcanic action is declining geysers and 
boiling springs are apt to abound, as in Iceland; 
where it has become extinct at a period geologi- 
cally recent, as in Auvergne and the Rhine coun- 
try, its latest vestiges are left in the hundreds of 
thermal and mineral springs whither fashionable 
invalids congregate to drink or to bathe. ^ Now 
in Greenland, at the present day, hot 
Dowuia sprugs are found, of which the most 
noted are those on the island of Ounar- 
tok, at the entrance to the fiord of that name. 

' " Ab SnetekneBO lalandiEe, quS breTisBunna in Oronlandiam 
trajectiiB est, duornm dienuD et dDamm noctdnm spatio n&ii- 
gandnm est recto cnna veiBaB oecideutem ; ibiqne Gnnnbjceniu 
toopolofi inTeniea, inter GronliuHliaTD at lalandiAm medio rato 
intoijaeentes. Hie oanas actdqnitOs freqaentabatnr, nmw vent 
glades ex ie>»asa oceani enroaqnilouaii delats soopnlos t/ate 
memorBtoa tam prape atl%it, ot nemo sine yitie diacrimine 
antiqnnm cnrsDm teners poant, qnemadmodum infra dicetnr." 
Detcriplio Onealandia, apnd Major, op. cil. p. 40. 

' Op. cit. p. Imi. See below, vol. ii. p. 115, note B. 

* Jndd, tp. at. pp. 211-22% 

■ DiqilizDdbyGoOgle 


These spring seem to be the same that were de- 
scribed five hundred years ago by Ivar Bardsen. 
Aa to Tolcanoea, it has been generaJly assumed 
that those of Greenland are all extinct ; but in a 
country as yet so imperfectly studied this only 
means that eruptions have not been recorded.* 
On the whole, it seems to me that the mention, in 
our Venetian narrative, of a boiling spring and an 
active volcano in Greenland is an instance of the 
peculiar sort — too strange to have been invented, 
but altogether probable m itself — that adds to the 
credit of the narrative. 

Thus far, in dealing with the places actually vis- 
ited by Nicolb or Antonio, or by both brothers, we 
have found the story consistent and intelligible. 
But in what relates to countries beyond Greenland, 
countries which were not visited by either of the 
brothers, but about which Antonio heard reports, 
it is quite a different thing. We are introduced 
to a Jumble very unlike the clear, business-like 
account of Vinland voyages in the Hauks-bok. 
Yet in this medley there are some statements curi- 
ously suggestive of things in North America. It 
will be remembered that Antonio's voyage with 
Sinclair (somewhere about 1400) was undertaJien 

' My friend, ProfeeBor Shaler, tells ms that " a Toloana during; 
emplion might shed ila ice majitle and af tervard don it again in 
aoch a manner as to hide ita trae character even on a near viev ; ^^ 
and, on liie other handf ^ ' a voyager not fanuliar with Toloanoas 
might easily mistake the cload-banDet of a peak for the smoke 
ti avolcano." This, however, will not account for Zsno'B"hiIl 
that vomited flt«," for be goes on to describe the nse which the 
monkB made of the pnmice and calcareoua tufa for baUdiiig pmy 



in order to Terify certain reports of the existence 
of land more tlian a thousand miles west of the 
Fseroe islands. 

About six and twenty years ago, said Antonio 
in a letter to Carlo, four small fisliing craft, ven- 
turing very far out upon tlie Atlantic, had been 
blown upon a strange coast, where their crews 
were well received by the people. The land 
proved to be an island rather smaller 
than Iceland (or Shetland?), with a high 
mountain whence flowed four rivers. The inhab- 
itants were intelligent people, possessed of all the 
arts, but did not understand the language of these 
Norse flshermen.^ There happened, however, to 
be one European among them, who had himself 
been cast ashore in that country and had learned 
its language; he could speak Latin, and found 
some one among the shipwrecked men who could 
understand him. There was a populous city with 
walls, and the king had Latin books in his library 
which nobody could read.^ All kinds of metals 
abounded, and especially gold,' The woods were 
of immense extent. The people traded with 
Grreenland, importing thence pitch (?), brimstone, 
and furs. They sowed grain and made *'beer." 
They made small boats, but were ignorant of the 
loadstone and the compass, for this reason, they 

' They wece, thetefiHTS, not NoiliniieD. 

" PrDiiiiig tliis sentence of ita ^lu^priloqnelll;e, ought it periuqn 
meui that there was a lai^ palisaded Tillage, and that the chief 
had aome hooka in Bonmn charMten, a relic of Bome castaway, 
which he kept as a fetish ? 

' With all possible latdtnde of intorptetation," tlus conld not be 
made to apply to any part of Amerioa north of Menoo. 



held the newcomers in Iiigli eetimation.^ The 
name of the country was Estotilaaid. 

There is nothing so far in this vague descrip- 
tion to show that Estotilaud was an American 
coimtry, except ite western ditection and perhaps 
its trading with Greenland. The points of unlike- 
ness are at least as numerous as the points of like- 
ned. But in what follows there is a much 
stronger suggestion of North America. 

For some reaison not specified an expedition was 
undertaken by people from Estotiland to a. country 
to the southward named Drogio, and ^^ 
these Norse mariners, or some of them, 
because they understood the compass, were put 
in charge of it.^ But the people of Drogio were 
cannibals, and the people from Estotiland on their 
arrival were taken prisoners and devoured, — all 
save the few Northmen, who were saved because 
of their marvellous skill in catching fish with 
nets. The barbarians seemed to have set much 
store by these white men, and perhaps to have re- 
garded them as objects of "medicine." One of 
the fishermen in particular became so famous that 
a neighbouring tribe made war upon the tribe 
which kept him, and winning the victory took him 
over into its own custody. This sort of thing 
happened several times. Various tribes fought to 
secure the person and services of this Fisherman, 

' The magaetie needle had been used b; the niarineni of west- 
era and DOrthem Enrope a!noe the end of the thirteenth century. 

' "Fanno nanigli e naoigano, ma nan banno la calamlta ne 
intendeno col baeuilo la tramontaiiB. Per ilche qnesti peecatori 
(arono in gran pregio, si che il re li sped! oon dodici nanigli aerBO 
wtio nel paMe ohe earn chiamaua Drogio." Major, qp. cif. p. 21. 



BO tbat he was passed almut among more than 
twenty chiefs, and "wandering up and down the 
country without any fixed abode, ... he became 
acquainted with all those parts." 

And now conies quite an interesting passage. 
The Fisherman " says that it is a very great coun- 
iniubitiLiita (>< tT> ^D^ii 3^ it were, a new world; the 
SlSriMb^ people are very rude and uncultivated, 
'^"^ for they all go naked, and suffer cruelly 

from the cold, nor have they the 'sense to clothe 
themselves with the skins of the animals which 
they take in hunting [a gross exaggeration]. They 
have no kind of metal. They live by hunting, and 
cany lances of wood, shaipened at the point. 
They have bows, the strings of which are made of 
beasts' skins. They are very fierce, imd have 
deadly fights amongst each otber, and eat one an- 
other's flesh. They have chieftMns and certain 
laws amoi^ themselves, but differing in the differ- 
ent tribes. The farther you go southwestwards, 
however, the more refinement you meet with, be- 
cause the climate is more temperate, and accord- 
ingly there they have cities and temples dedicated 
to ^ir idols, in which they sacrifice men and 
afterwards eat them. In those parts they have 
some knowlec^ and use of gold and silver. Now 
this Fisherman, having dwelt so many years in 
these parts, made up his mind, if possible, to re- 
turn home to his own country ; bat his companions, 
despuring of ever seeing it again, gave him God'a 
speed, and remained themselves where they were. 
Accordingly, he bade them farewell, and made his 
escape dirough the woods in the direction ot 



Drogio, where he was welcomed and very kindly 
received by the chief of the plaee, who knew him, 
and was a great enemy of the neighbouring chief- 
tain; and so passing from one chief to another, 
being the same with whom he had been before, 
after a lon^ time and with much toil, he at length 
reached Dro^o, where he spent three years. 
Here, by good luck, he heard from the natives that 
some boats had arrived off the coast ; and full of 
hope of being able to carry out his intention, be 
went down to the seaside, and to his great delight 
found that they had come from Estotiland. He 
forthwith requested that they would take him with 
them, which they did very willingly, and as he 
knew the language of the country, which none of 
them could speak, they employed him as their in- 

Whither the Fbherman was first carried in these 
boats or vessels, Antonio's letter does not inform 
us. We are only told that he engaged in soipa 
prosperous voyages, and at length returned to the 
Faeroes after these six and twenty years -^^ n,hBr- 
of strange adventures. It was appar- ^™']f^J^ 
ently the Fisherman's description of Es- '^" 
totiland aa a very rich country (^aese ricchissimo) 
that led Sinclair to fit out an expedition to visit it, 
with Antonio as Ms chief captain. As we have 
already seen, the Fisherman died just before the 
ships were ready to start, and to whatever land 
they succeeded in reaching after they sailed with- 
out him, the narrative leaves us with the impres- 
sion that it was not the mysterious Estotiland. 
' Hajor, op. cit, pp. 20-22. 



To attempt to identify that country from the 
description of it, wMch retida like a parcel of in- 
digested sailors' yama, would be idle. The most 
common conjecture has identified it with New- 
foundland, from its relations to other points men- 
tioned in the Zeno narrative, as indicated, with 
fair probability, on the Zeno map. To identify 
it with Newfoundland is to brand the description 
as a "fish story," but from such a conclusion there 
seems anyway to be no escape. 

With Drogio, however, it ifi otherwise. The 
description of Drogio and the vast country stretch- 
Vuthsu- ing beyond it, which was lite a "new 
So^ovenlDto World," is the merest sketch, bnt it 
b'S^thS'JS!^ seems to contain enough characteristic 
" ' details to stamp it as a description of 

North America, find of no other country accessible 
by an Atlantic voyage. It is a sketch which ap- 
parently must have had ite ultimate source in some- 
body's personal experience of aboriginal North 
America. Here we are reminded that when the 
younger Nicolo published this narrative, in 1558, 
some dim knowledge of the North American tribes 
was beginning to make its way into the minds of 
people in Europe. The work of Soto and Cartier, 
to say nothing of other explorers, had already been 
done. May we suppose that Nicolo had thus ob- 
tained some idea of North America, and wove it 
into his reproduction of his ancestors' letters, for 
the sake of completeness and point, in somewhat 
the same uncritical mood as that in which the most 
worthy ancient historians did not scruple to invent 
speeches to pnt into the mouths of their heroes? 



tt may have been ao, and in sueh case the descrip- 
tion of Drogio loses its point for us as a feature 
in the pre-Columbian voyages to America. In 
Sueh ease we may dismiss it at once, and pretty 
much all the latter part of the Zeno narrative, re- 
lating to what Antonio heard and did, becomes 
valueless; though the earlier part, relating to the 
elder Nioolb, still remains valid and trustworthy. 

But suppose we take the other alternative. Aa 
in the earlier part of the story we feel sure that 
young Nicolb must have reproduced the ancestral 
documents faithfully, because it shows knowledge 
that he coiJd not have got in any other way ; let ns 
now suppose that in the latter part also he added 
nothiuEr of himself, but waa simply a 
faithful editor. It will then follow that f™^' "*^ 
the Fisherman's account of Drogio, re- ?^ *™^ 
duced to writing by Antonio Zeno about 
1400, must probably represent personal experiences 
in North America; for no such happy combination 
of details charact«ristic only of North America 
is likely at that date to have heen invented by any 
^European. Our simplest course will be to sup- 
pose that the Fisherman reaUy had the experiences 
which are narrated, that he was bandied about 
from tribe to tribe in North America, all the way, 
perhaps, from Nova Scotia to Mexico, and yet 
returned to the Fieroe islands to tell the tale I 
Could such a thing be possible ? Was anything 
of the sort ever done before or since ? 

Yes: something of the sort appears to have 
been done about ten years after the Zeno narra- 
tive was published. In October, 1568, that great 



sailor, Sir Jolm Hawkins, by reason of eeaxci'ej of 
food, was compelled to set about a hnn- 
DkvtdiDgnui, dred men ashore near the Rio de Minas, 
on the Mexican coast, and leave them to 
their fate. The continent was a network of rude 
paths or trails, as it had doubtless been for ages, 
and as central Africa is to-day. Most of these 
Englishmen probably perished in the wilderness. 
Some who took southwesterly tr^ls found their 
way to the city of Mexico, where, as "vile Lu- 
theran dogges," di^ were treated with anything 
but kindness. Others took northeasterly trails, 
mid one of these men, David Ingram, made hia 
way from Texas to Maine, and beyond to the St. 
John's river, where he was picked up by a 
friendly French ship and carried to France, and so 
got home to Ei^laud. The journey across North 
America took Um. about eleven months, but ooe 
of his comrades. Job Hortop, had no end of ad- 
ventures, and was more than twenty years in get- 
ting back to England. Ingram told such blessed 
yams about houses of crystal and silver, and other 
wonderful things, that many disbelieved hia whole 
story, hvk he was subjected to a searching exami- 
nation before Sir Francis Walsingham, and as to 
the main &ct of his journey through the wilder- 
ness there seems to be no doubt.' 

1 IngTBm'a uanadTe was fiist pnblisbed in Haklayt'a folio cd 
1689, pp. 557-5fl3, bnt in his larear work, Principal Navigatioia, 
et4!., London, 1600, it is omitted. Ab Porchas quaiudy bsjb, " As 
for DaTld IngrajD^a peramlialation to th& norlJl parte, MutAF 
Baklnyt in liJB iint edition published the sanie; bat it seemeth 
some inoredibililJflH of his reports CBDsed him to leaoe him out in 
the next imprewion, the reward of lying being not to be beleeoed 



Far more important, historioally, and in many 
ways more instructive than the wanderings of 
David Ingram, was the jonmey of Cabeza de 
Vaca and his ingenious comrades, in _^ 
1528-36, from the Mississippi river £»'»"5S. „ 
to their friends in Mexico. This re- 
markable journey will receive further considera- 
tion in anotner place.' In the course of it Cabeza 
de Vaca was for eight years held captive by sundry 
Indian tribes, and at last his escape involved ten 
months of arduous travel. On one occasion he 
and his friends treated some sick Indi^is, among 
other things breathing upon them and making the 
sign of the cross. As the Indians happened to get 
well, these Spaniards at once became objects of 
reverence, and different tribes vied with one an- 
other for access to tl^m, in order to benefit by 
their supernatural gifts. In those early days, be- 
fore the red men had become used to seeing Euro- 
peans, a white captive was not so likely to be pnt 
to death as to be cherished as a helper of vast and 

IntrutliB." Pureluti hi> Pilgrimes, London, 1Q2S, vol. iv. p. 11T9. 
The eiajninaition befora WaJnngliAin had refennce to the pn>- 
jectod voyage of ^ Hninphiey GHlbert, which was made in 1688. 
loffiam's reUtJon, " v<^ he reported mto S' FraonoyH Walmng^ 
hfii. Knight, and diners others of good judgment and oreditt, in 
Angoat and Septembar, Ac IM, 1582," ia in the BritiBli Mnaenm, 
Slnaue MS. No. 144T, fol. 1-18 ; it wbb copied and privately 
printed in Plovden Weston's Documents amneOed unth the Hittoiy 
of Stmt* Carolina, Ixaidon, 1656. There is a Ma copy in the 
Sparks collection in the HHrrard University Ubraiy. See the late 
Mr. Charles Deane's note in his edition of Haklnyt's Diacourat 
concerning Weattme Plaati-^, Cambridge, 1877, p. 229 (Coiled 
liona of Maine Ilia. Soc., 2d serieB, vol- ii.) ; see, ahk>, Wamot, 
Sarr. and Crit. Hitl., m. 186. 
1 Sea below, vuL iL p. 001. 



nndetennined TtJue.^ The Indians set so maoli 
store by Cabeza de Vaca that he found it hard to 
tear himself away; but at length he used his in- 
fluence OTer them in Buoh wise as to facilitate Ms 
moving in a direction by which he ultimately soc- 
ceeded in escaping to his friends. There seems to 
be a real analogy between his strange experiences 
and those of ihe Fishermao in Drogio, who became 
an object of reverence because he could do things 
that the natives coidd not do, yet the value of 
which they were able to appreciate. 

Kow if the younger Nicolb had been in the 
mood for adorning his ancestors' narrative by in- 
serting a few picturesque incidents out of his own 
hearsay knowlec^ of Korth America, it does not 
seem likely that he would hare known enough to 
hit so deftly upon one of the peculiarities of the 
barbaric mind. Here, again, we seem to hare 
come upon one of those incidents, inherently prob- 
able, but top strange to hare been invented, that 
tend to confirm the story. Without hazarding 
anything like a positive opinion, it seems to me 
likely enough that this voyage of Scandinavian 
fishermen to the coast of North America in the 
fourteenth century may have happened. 

It was this and other unrecorded but possible 
•B,^ aaj instances that I had in mind at the be- 
JSJ^^dedt^ ginning o£ this chapter, in saying that 
S^toSorth occasional visits of Europeans to Amer- 
ica in pre-Columbian times may have 
occurred oftener than we are wont to suppose. Ob- 

1 In tiie first reception of the 9paniarda in Pen, we tbtU CM 
tniiiUai idea at vork, toL iL pp. 398, 407. 



■erve Uiat our scanty records — naturally somewhat 
perplexed and dim, as treating of remote and un- 
known places — refer us to that northern Atlantic 
region where the ocean is comparatively narrow, 
and to that northern people who, from the time of 
their first appearance in history, have been as 
much at home upon sea as upon land. For a 
thousand years past these hyperboreaji waters have 
been furrowed in many directions by stout Scandi- 
navian keels, and if, in aiming at Greenland, the 
gallant mariners may now and then have hit upon 
Labrador or Newfoundland, and have made flying 
visits to coasts still farther southward, there is 
nothing in it all which need surprise ns.* 

Nothing can be clearer, however, from a survey 
of the whole subject, than that these pre-Colum- 
bian voyages were quite barren of re- 

, , ,. . . T - Theppe-Oo- 

sults of hiBtonc uuportance. In point lumMu 

-,,, , , ,, Tt^Bg« mad* 

of colonization they produced the two ^i^""*^ 
ill-fated settlements on the Greenland ^^^' . 
coast, and nothing more. Otherwise 
they made no real addition to the stock of geo- 
graphical knowledge, they wrought no effect what- 
ever upon the European mind outside of Scandi- 

* Tbe latest pre-ColambiaD yoy^ige mentioned as hsTiug oo- 
omred in tbe nordiem seas vas that of the Polish pilot J<Jiii 
Sikolnj, who, io the seirioe of King Christian I. of DenniBA, is 
■aid to have sailed to Gieenlaud in 14T6, and to have touched 
upon the eomt of Labradar. See Qomara, Hiiioria de lai Indiat, 
Saragfoasa, 1553, cap. zxxvii. ; Wyt^et, Detcrip^omt FtoUtnaiea 
Augmentam, Doaay, 1603, p. 102 j PontaaDB, Bentnt Damamtm 
Hittoria, AnisteidaDi, 1631, p. 703. The vise Hnmboldt men- 
tions die report vidumt eipiessiiig an opinion, Examen critipu, 
torn, il p. 153. 



navia, and even in Iceland itself the mention of 
coasts beyond Greenland awakened no definite 
ideas, and, except for a brief season, excited no 
interest. The Zeno narratiTe indicates that the 
Vinland voyages had practically lapsed from mem- 
ory before the end of the fourteenth century.^ 
Scholars familiar with saga literature of course 
knew the story; it was just at this time that 3&a 
Thi5rdliarson wrote out the version of it which is 
preserved in the Flateyar-b6k. But by the gen- 
end public it must have been forgotten, or else 
the Fisherman's tale of Estotiland and Dro^o 
would surely have awakened reminiscences of 
Markland and Vinland, and some traces of this 
would have appeared in Antonio's narrative or 
upon his map. The principal naval officer of the 
Fieroes, and personal friend of the sovereign, after 
dwelling several years among these Korthmen, 
whose intercourse with their brethren in Iceland 
was frequent, apparently knew nothing of Leif or 
Thorfinn, or the mere names of the coasts which 
they had visited. Nothing had been accomplished 
by those vc^rages which could properly be called a 
■nd wan Id Contribution to geographical knowledge. 
SwISS^I^ To speak of them as constituting, in any 
*™^"' legitimate sense of the phrase, a Dis- 
covery of America is simply absurd. Except for 
Greenland, which was supposed to be a part of the 
European world, America remained as much un- 
discovered after the eleventh century as before. 

> PraeticBll;, but not entirely, for we hsTs Heea Markland 
mentioned in die " Elder SUlholt Annala," about 1362. See 
above, p. 223. 



Xn. the midsnimner of 1492 it needed to be discov- 
erad as much ae if Leif Erioaaou or the whole race 
of Korthmen had never existed. 

As these pre-Columbian royages produced no 
effect in the eastern hemisphere, except to leave 
in Icelandic literature a scanty but interesting 
record, so in the western hemisphere they seem to 
have produced no effect beyond cutting down a 
few trees and killing a few Indians. In the out- 
lying world of Greenland it is not improbable that 
the blood of the Eskimos may have received some 
slight Scandinavian infusion. But upon the abo- 
ri^nal world of the red men, from Davis stnut to 
Cape Horn, it is not likely that any impression ol 
any sort was ever made. It is in the highest de- 
gree probable that Leif Ericsson and his friends 
made a few voyages to what we now Jcnow to have 
been the coast of America ; but it ia an abuse of 
language to say that tiiey "discovered" America. 
In no Bcose was any real contact established be- 
tween the eastern and the western halves of our 
planet until the great voyage of Columbus in 




The question has sometimes been aaked, Winy 
did the knowledge of the voyages to Vinland so 
long remain confined to tiie Scandinavian people 
or a portion of them, and then lapse into oblivion, 
insomuch that it did not become a matter of noto- 
riety in Europe until after the publioatiou of the 
celebrated book of Thormodus Torfaeua 
SJifTiT'' in 1705? Why did not the news of the 
wnenonoi- voyages of Leif and Thorfinn spread 
'°**^'*' rapidly over Europe, like the news of 
the vf^rage of Columbus? and why was it not 
presently followed, like the latter, by a rush of 
conquerors and colonizers across the Atlantic ? 

Snch queationa arise from a failure to see histor- 
ical events in their true perspective, and to make 
the proper allowances for the manifold differences 
in knowledge and in social and economic conditions 
which characterize different periods of history. In 
the present case, the answer is to be found, &rst, 
in the geographical ignorance which prevented the 
Northmen from realizing in the smallest degree 
what such voyages really signified or were going to 
signify to posterity; and, secondly, in the political 
and commerciaJ condition of Europe at the close of 
the tenth century. 



In the first place the route which the Norsa 
voyagei^ pursued, from Iceland to Greenland and 
thence to Vinland, was not such as to give them, 
in their ignorance of the shape of the earth, and 
with their imperfect knowledge of latitude and 
longitude, any adequate gauge wherewith to meas- 
ure their aehierement. The modem ignomnMot 
reader, who has in his mind a general ^•'«'^*'' 
picture of the shape of the northern Atlantic ocean 
with its coasts, must carefully expel that picture 
hefore he can begin to realize how things must 
have seemed to the Korthmen. None of the Ice- 
landic references to Markland and Vinland betray 
a consciousness that these coimtries belong to a 
geographical world outside of Europe. There was 
not enough organized geographical knowledge for 
that. They were simply conceived as remote 
places beyond Greenland, inhabited by inferior 
but dangerous people. The accidental finding of 
such places served neither to solve any great com- 
mercial problem nor to gratify and provoke scien- 
tific curiosity. It was, therefore, not at all strange 
that it bore no fruit. 

Secondly, even if it had been realized, and 
could have been duly proclaimed throughout Eu- 
rope, that across the broad Atlantic a new world 
lay open for colonization, Europe could not have 
taken advantage of Uie fact. Now and then a 
ship might make its way, or be blown, across 
the waste of waters without compass or j^^ ^ j^ 
astrolabe ; but until these instruments Jj^l^ri^ 
were at hand anything like systematic **"* 
ocean navigation was out of the question; and 



from a colonization whicli could only b^;in hy 
creeping up into the Arctic seas and tiding Green- 
land on the way, not much was to be expected, af- 
ter all. 

But even if Hie compass and other facilitiea for 
oceanic navigation had been at hand, tlie state of 
Europe in the days of Eric the Red was not such 
as to afford surplus energy for distant enterprise 
of this sort. Let us for a moment recall what was 
going on in Europe in the year of graice 1000, just 
enough to get a si^estire picture of the time. 
In England the Danish invader, fork-bearded 
Swend, father of the great Cnut, wag wresting 
Hie kingship from the feeble grasp of Ethelred 
KnmH! In Ok ^^ Bedeless. In Gaul the little duchy 
jMTiooo. of France, between the Somme and 
t^e Loire, had lately become the kingdom of 
France, and its sovereign, Hugh Capet, had suc- 
ceeded to feudal rights of lordship over the great 
dukes and coimta whose territories amrounded 
him on every side; and now Hugh's son, Robert 
Hie Debonair, better hynm-writer than warrior, 
was wa^ng a doubtful Btn^;Ie with these un- 
ruly vassals. It was not yet in any wise appar- 
ent what the kingdoms of England and France 
were going to be. In Grermany the youthful Otto 
ni., the "wonder of the world," had just made 
his weird visit to the tomb of his mighty pre- 
decessor at Aachen, before starting on that ]a«t 
journey to Rome which was so soon to cost him 
his life. Otto's teacher, Oerbert, most erudite 
of popes, — too learned not to have had deal- 
ings with the Devil, — was beginning to raise the 



papacy ont of the abyss of infamy into which the 
preceding age had seen it sLnk, and so to prepare 
the way for the far-readiing reforms of Hilde- 
brand. The boundaries of Christendom were as 
yet narrow and insecure. With the overthrorf of 
Olal Try^vesson in this year 1000, and the tem- 
porary partition of Norway between Swedes and 
Danes, the work of Christianizing the North 
seemed, for the moment, to languish. Upon the 
eastern frontier the wild Hungarians had scarcely 
ceased to be a terror to Europe, and in this year 
Stephen, their first Christian king, began to reign. 
At the same time the power of beretieal Bulgaria, 
which had threat«ned to orerwhelm the Eastern 
Empire, was broken down by the sturdy blows of 
the Macedonian emperor Basil. In this year the 
ChristianB of Spain met woful defeat at the hands 
of Almanaor, and there seemed no reason why the 
Mussulman rule over the greater part of that pen- 
insula should not endure forever. 

Thus, from end to end, Europe was a scene of 
direst confusion, and though, as we now look back 
upon it, the time seems by no means devoid of 
promise, there was no such cheering outlook then. 
Nowhere were the outlines of kingdoms or the 
ownership of crowns definitely settled. Frivate 
war was both incessant and universal ; the Truce 
of God had not yet been proclaimed.^ As for the 

I The " Truce of God " (Treaga Da) waa introdnoed by tlio 
cleig; in Qnienne sboot 1032 ; it vas adopted in Spun before 
1050, and in BngrUiHl by 1080. Sm DtM, De pace imperii pahlica, 
Bb. i. Mp. a. A oessation id all violent qnarrela vim enjoined, 
under eodeaiaitical penaltdeH, doiii^ ohnrch festinds, and from 
twtaj Wedneada; eTening until the following Monda; mormng. 



common people, their hardships were well-oi^ 
incredible. Amid all this anarchy and miseiy, at 
the close of the thousandth year from the birth of 
Christ, the belief was quite common throughout 
Europe that the Day of Judgment was at hand for 
a world grown old in wickedness and ripe for its 

It hardly need be ai^^oed that a period- like this, 
in which all the vital energy in Europe was con- 
sumed in the adjustment of affairs at home, was 
not fitted for colonial enterprises. Before a peo- 
ple can send forth colonies it must have solved the 
problem of political life so far as to ensure stabil- 
ity of trade. It is the mercantile spirit that has 
_ supported modem colonization, aided 

Ths ooalKlon " , . 

oiauinwu by the spunt of mtellectual curiosity 
fiwonr«i«iw and the thirst for romantic adventure. 
In the eleventh century there was no 
intellectual curiosity outside tiie monastery walls, 
nor had such a feeling become enlisted in the ser- 
vice of commerce. Of trade there was indeed, 
even in western Europe, a considerable amount, 
but tiie commercial marine was in its infancy, and 
on land the trader suffered sorely at tiie bands of 
the robber baron. In those days the fashionable 
method of compounding with your creditors was, 
not to offer them fifty cents on the dollar, but to 
inveigle them into your castle and broil them over 
a slow fire. 

In so far as the attention of people in Europe 

This left onl; aboat eight; dayi in the year sTuUble tor shooting 
■nd itabbing ane'i naighhonra. The truce seems to haie aooom- 
pUshed mneh good, dioiigfa it WM Tery impetfeotlj obaerred. 



Was called to any quarter of the globe outside of 
the Beething turbulence in which they dwelt, it was 
directed toward Aaia. Until after 1492, Europe 
stood with her back toward the Atlantic. What 
there might lie out beyond that "Sea of Darkness " 
(J/are Tenebrosutn), as it used commonly to be 
called, was a question of little interest and seems 
to have excited no speculation. In the view of 
mediseval Europe the inhabited world Tbaqatiook 
was cut off on the west by this myato- ^,^^ *" 
rioua ocean, and on the south by the ^*^ 
burning sands of Saliara; but eastward it stretched 
out no one knew how far, and in that direction 
dwelt tribes and nations which Europe, from time 
immemorial, had reason to fear. As early as the 
time of Herodotus, the secular antagonism be- 
tween Europe and Asia had become a topic of re- 
flection among the Grreeks, and was wrought with 
dramatic effect by that great writer into the stmc- 
ture of his history, culminating in the grand and 
stirring scenes of the Persian war. A century 
and a half later the conquests of Alexander the 
Great added a still more impressive climax to the 
story. The struggle was afterward lonp main- 
tained between Roman and Parthian, but from 
the fifth century after Christ onward through the 
Middle Ages, it seemed as if the Oriental world 
would never rest until it had inflicted the extrem- 
ities of retaliation upon Europe. Whether it was 
the heathen of the steppes who were in question, 
from AttUa in the fifth century to Batu Khan in 
the thirteenth, or the followers of the Prophet, 
who tore away from Chtiatondom the sonthern 



shores of the MediterraneaD, and held Spain in 
their iron grasp, vhile from age to age they ex- 
hausted their strength in vain against tlie Eastern 
Empire, the threatening danger was always com- 
ing with the morning snn ; whatever might be the 
shock that took the attention of Europe away from 
herself, it directed it upon Asia. This is a fact 
of cardinal importance for us, inasmuch as it was 
directly through the interest, more and more ab- 
sorbing, which Europe felt in Asia that the dis- 
covery of the western hemisphere was at last 

It was not only in war, but in commerce, that the 
fortunes of Europe were dependent upon her rela- 
tions with Asia. Since prehistoric times there 
Bmteaia 1'^ always been some commercial in- 
S^i^'^J™ tercourse between the eastern shores of 
^"^ the Mediterranean and the peninsula of 

Hindustan. Tyre and Sidon carried on such 
trade by way of the Ited Sea.' After Alexander 
had led bis army to Samarcand and to the river 
Hyphasis, the acquaintance of the Greeks with 
Asia was very considerably increased, and im- 
portant routes of trade were established. One 
was practically the old Phcenician route, with its 
western terminus moved from Tyre to Alexandria. 
Another was by way of the Caspian sea, up the 
river Oxus, and thence .with camels to the banks 
of the Indus.' An intermediate route was throi^h 
Syria and by way of the Euphrates and the Per- 
sian gulf; the route which at one time made the 



j^reatDesB of Palmyra. After the extension of 
Roman sway to the Nile, the Euphrates, and tihe 
Euxine, these same routes continued to be used. 
The European commodities carried to India were 
light woollen cloths, linens, coral, black lead, ra- 
rions kinds of glass vessels, and wine. In ex- 
change for these the traders brought back to Eu- 
rope divers aromittit spices, black pepper, ivory, 
cotton fabrics, diamonds, sapphires, and pearls, 
silk thread and silk stuffs.^ Detailed accounts of 
these commercial transactions, alid of the wealth 
of personal experiences that must have been con- 
nected with them, are excessively scant. Of the 
Europeans who, during all the centuries between 
Alexander and Justinian, made their way to Hin- 
dustan or beyond, we know very few by name. 
The amount of geographical information that was 
gatliered during the first half of this period is 
shown in the map representing Claudius cundiu 
Ptolemy's knowledge of the earth, about p""™? 
the middle of the second century after Christ. 
Except for the Scandinavian world, and some very 
important additions made to the knowledge of Asia 
by Marco Polo, this map fairly represents the mas- 
imum of acquaintance with the earth's surface pos- 
sessed by Europeans previous to the great voyages 
of the fifteenth century. It shows a dim know- 
ledge of die mouths of the Ganges, of the island of 

1 Roberlsoii, nistoriad Diaquisiliaa concerning tie Ktvndedgt 
mMch the Ancknls bad of India, Dahhn,VJ&l, p, 55. InByerhaYB 
occiwoD to consult Dr. Robertson withoat being impreeged aaew 
with his Bcientifie habit of thonght and the solidity of his scholar- 
ship ; and in none of bia vorbs are theae qualities better illiw 
tmted than in tliis noble easa;. 



Ceylon, and of what we sometimes call Farther Li- 
dia. A very dim knowledge, indeed; for the huge 
peninsula of Hindustan is shrunk into insignifi- 
cance, while Taprobane, or Ceylon, unduly magni- 
fied, usurps the place belonging to the Deccan. At 
the same time we see that some hearsay knowledge 
of China had made its way into the Eoman world 
before the days of Ptolemy. The two names by 
which China was first known to Europeans were 
lui J mutimi "Seres" or "Serica," and "Sinie" op 
ofofiiB. "Thin." These two differing names 
are the records of two different methods of ap- 
proach to different parts of a vast country, very 
much as the Northmen called their part of eastern 
North America ''Vinland," while the Spaniards 
called their part "Florida." The name "Seres" 
was given to northwestom China by traders who 
approached it through the highlands vi central 
Asia from Samarcand, while "Sinse" was the 
name given to soutJieastem China by traders who 
approached it by way of the Indian ocean, and 
heard of it in India, but never reached it. Ap- 
parently no European ships ever reached China 
before the Portuguese, in 1617.^ The name 
"Sinffl " or "Thin " seems to mean the country of 
the "Tchin" dynasty, which ruled over the whole 
of China in the second century before Christ, and 
over a portion of it for a much longer time. 
The name "Seres," on the other hand, was always 
associated with the trade in silks, and was known 

* The Polos uiled back from Chink to the Penien' gnlf ii 
12&2-04 i Me below, p. 282. 


byGoogIc ^ 



to the Romans in the time of the Emperor Claa- 
diuB,' and somewhat earlier. The Romans in Vir- 
gil'a time Bet a high value upon ailk, and every 
scrap of it they had came from Cliina. Th^ knew 
notldng about the silk-'womi, and supposed that 
the fibres or threads of this beautiful stufF grew 
upon trees. Of actual intercourse between the 
Roman and Chinese empires there was no more 
than is implied in this current of trade, passing 
through many hands. But that each knew, in a 
vague way, of the existence of the other, there is 
no doubt.' 

In the course of the reign of Justinian, we get 
references at first hand to India, and coupled 
withal to a general theory of cosmography. Tim 
curious information we have in the book of the 
monk Cosmas Indicopleuates, written oomuwindi- 
somewhere between a. d. 580 and 650. «»'*•*-■ 
A pleasant book it is, after its kind. In his 
younger days Cosmas had been a merchant, and in 
divers voyages had become familiar with the coasts 
of Ethiopia and the Persian gulf, and had visited 
India and Ceylon. After becoming a monk at 
Alexandria, Cosmas wrote his book of Christiui 

1 nenuM "Seres" ^ipeanon theinsp rf PompcudDB Heh 
(dr. A. D. SO), vhile "Smm" doeenDl. See belov, p.S04 

Jun Tirtesduo qa» Hlmmt lequon TIUo 
In noctem dlffmug aquofl, Jungelnt Belt 
Uttoiflni, prtmiqw noTo PbnatfaiHite n*eoU 
Ben* lulgstU repetetant lellsrm Inob. 

Sillni lUUcDB, Utk tL ml Alii. 

* Tot thu whole snbjeet eee Coloiiel Sir Henry Yule's CaAaf 
tmd the Way Hdlhar, London, 1806, 2 vola., — a work of profoniHl 
himiiij; and nuire deligtittol tlua a noreL 



geography,' nmmtainiitg, in oppoBition to Ptolemy, 
that the earth is not a sphere, but a rectanguhii 
plane forming the floor of the imiverse; the heav- 
ens rise on all fonr sides abont this rectangle, like 
the four walla of a room, and, at an indefinite 
height above the floor, tbese blue w^ls support a 
anHotuu vaulted roof or flrmameut, in which 
^^Cu- God dwells with the angels. In the 
"'**' centre of the floor are the inhabited 

lands of the earth, surrounded on all sides by a 
great ocean, beyoud which, somewhere out tn a 
corner, is the Paradise from which Adam and 
Eve were expelled. In its general shape, there- 
fore, the universe somewhat resembles tiie Taber- 
nacle in the WUdemess, or a modem "Saratoga 

1 Ita title u Xpim-tnmi' fftffiun, tpniinta «(t rhr Orrirnxor, 
i. e. ogaiint Ptolemj's Oeography in eight books. The uuae 
CaamSB Indicapleiutea BeeniB merely to mean " the aosmogrspliei 
vha haa sailed to India." He begins bie book in a tone of extrama 
and BomewliBt unKavory humility : 'Sratyti t& /uryiAiUa nbI fipJti- 
yXaaira x<^i| i iiiaimiKlii ml rdkat iyA — "I, the anner and 
wretch, open my gtammering, stattering lipH," ete. — The book 
haa been tJie oooasion of some injndioioiia eioitement iritliin Uie 
bat half emtaij. Coamae gave a deeeiiption of nms aampaT»- 
tiTely recent insoriptJODS on the peninaola of Siniu, and beoaoaa 
ha eonld not find anybody able to read them, he inferred tliat ^lay 
mail be teeorda of the ImaeliteA on their panage thnn^i tlia 
desert. (Compare the Kghton rook, above, p. 214. ) Whethei 
in the aixth eentnry of gnuM or in the nineteenlh, yonr nnte- 
geneist« and nnahast«nad imtiqaaiy snaps at oonelndoos aa a 
drowsy dog doe* at flies. Some yean a^ an English olergyman, 
Charlee Forater, startad op the nonsense again, and az^ed that 
these insoiiptions might afford a clae to man's primeialapeeah! 
Cf. Bunsen, ChHttiamty and Matitind, toI. iii. p. 231 ; Miilleriiiid 
Donaldson, History of Greek Liieraitire, vol. iii. p. 353 ; Bnry, His- 
tory of the Later Boman Ea^trefiom Arcadiui to .frow, voL iL p> 



trunb." On the nortlieni part of the floor, under 
the firmament, la a lofty conical mountain, around 
vhich the sun, moon, and planets perform their 
daily reTolutions. In the summer the sun takes a 
turn around the apex of the cone, and is, tJierefore, 
hidden only for a short night; but in the winter 
he travels around the base, which takes longer, 
and, accordingly, the nights are long. Such is the 
doctrine drawn from Holy Scripture, says Cos- 
mas, and as for the vain blasphemers who pretend 
that the earth is a roimd ball, the Lord hath stul- 
tified them for their sins until they impudently 
prate of Antipodes, where trees grow downward 
and rain falls upward. As for such nonsense, the 
worthy Cosmas cannot abide it. 

I cite these views of Cosmas because there can 
be no doubt that they represent beliefs current 
among the general public until after the time of 
Columbus,^ in spite of the deference paid to Ptol- 
' SaohyiewshavetheiTttdTocateBeven DOW. There atill lires, I 
beliete, iu En^^nd, a oertain John Hampden, who with danntleaa 
breaab m^ntains (Jiat the earth is a cirenlar plane vith centre at 
the north pole aad a circnmfereiice of nearly 30,000 miles where 
poor mis^ded astronomers aappose the aoath pale to be. The 
HQQ moves acroea the eky at a distance of abont 800 miles. I^m 
the boundless abyss beyond the sonthem circumference, with ita 
barrier of ie; monntaina, came the waters whioh drovned the 
antediluvian woild ; for, aa this antfaor quite reasonably obaerres, 
" on a globular earth sach a delage wanld have been physioally 
hnpoeaibte. ** Hampden^s title is somewhat lihe that of Cosmaa, — ' 
The Nob Manwd of BibUcai Cosmographi), London, 1877 ; and 
he began in 1870 to pnblish a periodical called The TnOi-Setker'i 
Orade and Srripturai Science Review. Similar viewshaTB been set 
forth by one Samnel Rowbotham, under the pseodonjm of " Par- 
allax," Zeletic Aslmnomg. Earth not a Globe. An experimeni(d 
tnguiry into the trvefignre of the earth, proving it a plane icitAoul 
trbitai or axial motion, etc, IjOBdon, 1873 ; and hj « WilliMD 



emy's views by the learned. Along with theee 
coBmographical speculations, Cosmos shows a wider 
geographical knowledge of Asia than any earlier 
writer. He gives a good deaJ of interesting in- 
fonnation about India and Ceylon, and has a 
fairly correct idea of the position of China, which 
he oalU Tzinista or Chinistau. This land of sUk 
is the remotest of all the Indies, and beyond it 
**therei8 neither navigation nor inhabited country. 
. . . And the Indian philosophers, caUed Brach- 
mans, tell you that if you were to stretch a 
straight cord from Tzinista through Persia to the 
Eoman territory, you would just divide the world 
in halves. And mayhap they are right." ^ 

In the fourth and following centuries, Nestorian 
missionaries were very active in Asia, and not 
Ybc only made multitudes of converts and 

xeMaiaia., established metropolitan seee in snch 
places as Ea^igar and Herat, but even found tbeir 

Carpent^o', One Baitdred Prta/i that ihe Earth it lut a OlcU, 
Baltdmore, 1885. There is a, very oousiderabla qnaatity of soeh 
litenttore aflomt,tlM product of akind of mental abemttioD Qist 
thrireB npoD paradox. WheD I was snperiDteitdent of lite BBtalogue 
el Harrard Umrerntf libraiy, I made the class " Boeentrio Liter- 
atnre " ooder vUch to gioap sadi books, — the laDabratiooe (d 
oircle-squaiets, auglo-triBeotAiB, inventraB ol perpetaal motion, 
devisere of recipes foi living forsTer irithont djiag, crazy inter- 
preteta of Daniel and the Apoealypse, npeetterB of tlie undalatory 
tlieory of light, the Bacon-Shalceapeare iDoaticB, etc. ; a dismal 
prooesuon ot Iraigp-eared bipeds, with very raaoons bray. Th)e lata 
Prof easor De Uoigan devoted a bnlhy and instmctiTe Tolnme to 
an account of gooh people and their crotchets. See lik Budget a/ 
Paradoxet, Londoa, 1872. 

> Cosmas, n. 138. Further mention of China was made early 
fai the seventh cantnry by Theophjlactos Snmootttta, lii 7. Sea 
Knle's Catk^ nd. L ^. ■'I'-'-, olzriu. 



way into China. Their work forms an interesting 
though mehmchoLy chapter in history, but it does 
not seem to have done much toward making Asia 
better known to Europe. As declared heretics, 
the Nestorians were themselves ahnost entirely cat 
off from intercoorse with European Christians. 

The immediate effect of the sudden rise of the 
vast Saracen empire, in the seventh and eighth 
centuries, was to interpose a barrier to the exten- 
bitm of intercourse between Europe and the Far 

East. Trade between the eastern and 

... BBertioflh* 

western extremities of Asia went on '*™™^ 
more briskly than ever, but it was for 
a long time exclusively in Mussulman hands. 
The mediseval Arabs were bold sailors, and not 
only visited Sumatra and Java, but made their way 
to Canton. Upon the southern and middle routes 
the Arab cities of Cairo and Bagdad became thriv- 
ing centres of trade; but as Spain and the whole 
of northern Africa were now Arab countries, most 
of the trade between east and west was conducted 
within Mussulman boundaries. Saracen crnisers 
[oowled in the Mediterranean and sorely har- 
assed the Christian coasts. During the eighth, 
ninth, and tenth centuries, Europe was mmre shut 
in upon herself than ever before ot since. In 
many respects these were especially the dark ages 
of Europe, — the period of least comfort and 
least enlightenment since the days of pre-Roman 
barbarism. But from this general statement Con- 
stantinople should be in great measure excepted. 
The current of medissval trade through the noble 
highway of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus 



vns subject to fluctuations, but it was always 
great. Tlie <nty of the Byzautiue emperors was 
before all things a commercial city, like Venice in 
later days. Until tie time of the Crusades Con- 
stantinople was the centre <^ the Lerant trade. 
coiutuUDo- "^^ great northern route from ' Asia 
l^h*^ remained available for commercial inter- 
ti»7- course in fbis direction. Persian and 

Armenian merchants sent their goods to Batoum, 
whence they were fliipped to Constantinople ; and 
silk was brought from northwestern China by car- 
avan to the Ozus, and forwarded thence by the 
Caspian sea, the rivers Cyms and Phasis, and the 
Euxine sea.' When It was visited by Benjamin 
of Tudela in the twelfth century, Constantinople 
was undoubtedly the richest and most magoificent 
city, and the seat of the highest civilization, to be 
found anywhere upon the globe. 

In the days <^ its strength the Eastern Empire 
was the staunch bulwark of Christendom against 
the dangerous assaults of Persian, Saracen, and 
Turk; alike in prosperity and in calamity, it 
proved to be the teacher and civUizer of the west- 
em world. The events which, at the close of the 
eleventh century, brought thousands upon thou- 
sands of adventurous, keen-witted people from 
western Europe into this home of wealth 
and refinement, were the occasion of 
the most remarkable intellectual awakening that 
theworld had ever witnessed up to that time. The 
Crusades, in their beginning, were a symptom of 

< Bob«rtson, Historicai Disqmtition, p. 93; Feus, Tie FaS 
ff Conttantinqpie, p. 117, — a book of gi«at mwit. 



the growing enei^ of western Europe under the 
ecclesiastical reformation effected by the mighty 
Hildebrand. They were the military response of 
Europe to the most threatening, and, as time has 
proved, the most deadly of all the blows that have 
ever been aimed at her from Asia. Down to this 
time the Mahometanism with which Christendom 
had so long been in conflict was a Mahometanism 
of civilized peoples. The Arabs and Moors were 
industrious merchants, agriculturists, and crafts- 
men ; in their society one might meet with learned 
scholars, refined poets, and profound philosophers. 
But at the end (A the tenth century, Islam hap- 
pened to make converts of the Turks, a nomad 
race in the upper status of barbarism, with flocks 
and herds and patriarchal families. Inspired with 
the sudden zeal for conquest which has always 
characterized new converts to Islam, the Turks 
began to pour down from the plains of central 
Asia like a deluge upon the Eastern Empire. In 
1016 they overwhelmed Armenia, and presently 
advanced into Asia Minor. Their mode of con- 
quest was peculiarly baleful, for at first B„t„j^^ 
they deliberately annihilated the works ^^^^ 
of civilization in order to prepare the ™^""'- 
country for their nomadic life ; they pulled down 
cities to put up tents. ThoTigh tiey long ago 
ceased to be nomads, they have to thisday never 
learned to comprehend civilized life, and they have 
been simply a blight upon every part of the earth's 
surface which they have touched. At the begin- 
ning of the eleventh century, Asia Minor was on© 
of the most prosperous and highly civilized parts of 



the world ; ^ and the tale of its devastatioa by 
the terrible Alp Aralaa and the robber chiefs 
that came after him is one of the most moura- 
fnl chapters in history. At the end of that oen- 
tnry, when the Turks were holding Niciea and 
aetuallj had their outposts on the Marmora, it was 
high time for Christendom to rise en masse in self- 
defence. The idea was worthy of the greatest of 
popes. Imperfectly and spasmodically as it was 
carried out, it undoubtedly did more than any- 
thing that had ever gone before toward strength- 
ening the wholesome sentiment of a common 
Christendom among the peoples of western Kurope. 

The Crusades increased the power of 
imu of tba the Church, which was equivalent to 

pntting a curb upon the propensities of 
the robber baron and making labour and traffic 
more secure. In another way th^ aided this good 
work by carrying off the robber baron in hucge 
numbers to Egypt and Syria, and killing him 
there. In this way they did much toward rid- 
ding European society of its most turbulent ele- 
ments; while at the same time they gave fresh 
development to the spirit of romantic adventure, 
and connected it with something better than va- 
grant freebootiug.^ By renewing the long-sus- 

' " It is difficult for the raodem traTellei vlio ventores into 
the heart of Aaia Minor, and Saia Dothiiig' bnt Toie KdkU and 
Tuikish peaauits liHag axaoog monntainB and wild paatnres, Dot 

connected even by ordinary roads, to imagine tiis splendour and 
rioh onltdTBtion of diis vast country, willi its brilliant cides and 
Eta teeming popaktion." HahnfEy, 7^ Grerk Worid ander J{i>- 
nan Sway, London, ISW, p. 229. 

^ The general efFecta of the Cmsadea are diecnssed, with much 
kaming- and lagncitv, by Choiaenl-Dailleconrt, De I'lif/laame del 
Croiiada tur VOal despei^es dt i'Eurape, Paris, 1809. 



pended intercourse between the minds of western 
Cnrope and the Greek culture of Constantinople, 
they served as a mighty stimulus to intellectual 
curiosity, and had a lai^ share in bringing about 
that great thirteenth century renaisaauce which is 
forever associated with the names of Giotto and 
Dante and Roger Bacon. 

There can be no doubt that in these wa^ the 
Crusades were for our forefathers in Europe the 
most bracing and stimulating events that occurred 
in the whole millennium between the complicated 
disorders of the fifth century and the outburst of 
maritime discovery in the fifteenth. How far they 
justified themselves from the military, point of 
view, it is not so easy to say. On the one hand, 
they had much to do with retarding the pr<^ress 
of the enemy for two hundred years; they over- 
whelmed the Seljukian Turks bo effectually that 
their successors, the Ottomans, did not become 
formidable until about 1300, after the last crusad- 
ing wave had spent its force. On the other hand, 
the Fourth Cnuade, with better oppor- n, Fomth 
tunities than any of the others for strik- *" 

ing a crushing blow at the Moslem, played false 
to Christendom, and ir 1204 captured and de- 
spoiled Constantinople in order to gratify Venice's 
hatred of her commeroial rival and superior. It 
was a sorry piece of bnsiness, and one cannot look 
with unmixed pleasure at the four superb horses 
that now adorn the front of the church of St. Mark 
as a trophy of this unhallowed exploit.^ One can- 

' They were taken from Chiog in the fonith eantopj by tlis 
emperor Theodoeios, and placed in the hippodrome at Conatanti- 



not help feeling tliat but for this colossal treachery, 
the great city of Constantine, to which our own 
civilization owes more than can ever be adequately 
told, might, perhaps, have retained enough strength 
to vdthstand the barbarJaji in 1453, and thus have 
averted one of the most lamentable catastrophes in 
the history of mankind. 

The general effect of the Crusades upon Orien- 
tal commerce was to increase the amount of traffic 
through Egypt and Syria. Of this lucrative trade 
Venice got the lion's share, and while she helped 
support the short-lived Latin dynasty upon the 
throne at Constantinople, she monopolized a great 
part of the business of the Black Sea also. But 
in 1261 Venice's rival, Genoa, allied 
'"™veiii» herself with the Greek emperor, Mi- 
chael Palseologiis, at Kicsea, placed him 
upon the Byzantine throne, and again cut ofF 
Venice from the trade that came through the 
Bosphorus. From this time forth the mutual 
■ hatred between Venice and Genoa " waxed fiercer 
than ever ; no merchant fleet of either state could 
go to sea without convoy, and wherever their 
ships met they fought. It was something like the 

nople, whenoe the; wen taken by tbe VeuetLans in 1204. Ths 
opinian that "the reaulta of the Fourth Crusade upon Baropean 
oiTilizatioi) were altOEVther disBHtrooa" is abl; set forth b; Mr. 
Fb4i8, Th Fail of CoiulaiUiitopie, London, 188C, and would be 
difBoult to refute. Voltaira might well sa; in this ease, "Ainsi 
le saul &oit des ahrdtiens dans leun barbarae onnsadea fat d'ei- 
trnniqer d'^utre* chrdllens. Ces Dnnsfc, qui minuent I'eminre, 
Boruent pa, blen plus usdment que tons lenn prMeoessenra, 
phasser leg Turcs de I'Aue." Eiaai sur ki Mfeurt, torn. ii. p. 
JSg. Voltaire's geqerol new i>f the Crusades is, howerer, very 



Btate of thingB between Spain and England in the 
days of Drake." ^ In tlie one case as in the other, 
it was a strife for the mastery of the sea and its 
commerce. Genoa obtained full control of the 
Euxine, took possession of the Crimea, and thus 
acquired a monopoly of the trade from central 
Asia along the northern ront«. With the fall of 
Acre in 1291, and the consequent expulsion of 
Christians from Syria, Venice lost her hold upon 
the middle route. But with the pope's leave' 
she succeeded iu making a series of advantageous 
commercial treaties with the new Mameluke sover- 
eigns of Egypt, and the dealings between the Ked 
Sea and the Adriatic soon came to be prodigious. 
The Venetians gained control of part of the Pelo- 
ponnesus, with many islands of the ^gean and 
eastern Mediterranean. During the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries their city was the most 
q>lendid and luxurious in all Christendom. 

Such a develoinnent of wealth in Venice and 
Genoa implies a large producing and consuming 
area behind them, able to take and pay for the 
costly products of India and China, Before the 
end of the thirteenth century the volume of Euro- 
pean trade had swelled to great proper- CBut™ and 
tions. How full of historic and liter- SJ^"'""*" 
ary interest are the very names of the '™'°' 
centres and leading routes of this trade as it was 
established iu those days, with its outlook upon the 

' Tide's Marco Polo, toI. i. p. Ini 

* A papal diapenaaCion vaa neceHsarr lietoM a comniercisl 
treat; could be made with Mabometaos. See Leibnib, Codex 
Jur. OtfU. D^aM,, i. 48a 



Mediterraneati and the distant East \ Far up in 
the North we see Wlsby, on the little isle of Goth- 
lajid in the Baltic, giving its name to new rules 
of international law; and the merchants of the 
famous Hansa towns extending their operations as 
far as Novgorod in one direction, and in another 
to the Steelyard in London, where the pound of 
these honest "Easterlings " was adopted as the 
"sterling" unit of sound money. Fats and tal- 
lows, furs and wax from Russia, iron and copper 
from Sweden, strong hides and unrivalled wools 
from England, salt cod and herring (much needed 
on meagre church fast-days) from the North and 
Baltic seas, appropriately followed by generous 
casks of beer from Hamburg, were sent southward 
in exchange for fine cloths and tapestries, the 
products of the loom in Ghent and Bruges, in Ulm 
and Augsbui^, with delicious vintages of the 
Bhine, supple chain armour from Milan, Austrian 
yew-wood for English long-bows, ivory and spices, 
pearls and silks from Italy and the Orient. Along 
the routes from Venice and Florence to Antwerp 
and Rotterdam we see the progress in wealth and 
refinement, in artistic and literary productiveness. 
We see the early schools of music and painting in 
Italy meet with prompt response in Flanders; in 
the many-gabled streets of Nurembei^ we hear 
the voice of the Meistersinger, and under the low 
oaken roof of a Canterbury inn we listen to joy- 
ous if sometimes naughty tales erst told in pleas- 
ant groves outside of fever-stricken Florence. 

With this increase of wealth and culture in cen- 
tral Europe there came a considerable extension *d 



knowledge and a powerful stimulus to cmiosity 
concerning the remote parts of Asia. The con- 
quering career of Jenghis Khan (1206-1227) had 
shaken the world to its foundations. In the mid- 
dle of that century, to adopt Colonel Yule's lively 
expression, ''throughout Asia and eastern Kuropef ' 
scarcely a dog might bark without Mon- 
gol leave, from the borders of Poland uorsoioint- 
and the coast of Cilicia to the Amur 
and the Yellow Sea." About these portentous 
Mongols, who had thus in a twinkling over- 
whelmed China and Russia, and destroyed the 
Caliphate of Bagdad, there was a refreshing touch 
of open-minded heathenism. They were barba- 
rians willing to learn. From end to end of Asia 
the barriers were thrown down. It was a time 
when Alan chiefs from the Volga served as po- 
lice in Tunking, and Chinese physicians could be 
consulted at Tabriz. For about a hundred years 
China was nu>re accessible than at any period be- 
fore or since, — more even than to-day; and that 
country now for the first time became really known 
to a f^w Europeans. In the northern provinces 
of China, shortly before the Mongol deluge, there 
had reigned a dynasty known as the KhUai, and 
hence China was (and still is) commonly spoken 
of in central Asia as the country of the Khitai. 
When this name reached European eara it became 
Cathay, the name by which C^na was 
best known in Europe during the next 
four centuries.' In 1245, Friar John of Piano 
Carpini, a friend and disciple of St. Francis, was 
' Ynle'i Cathay, voL i. p. ozti. j Marco Pole, vol. i. p. zlij. 



sent by Pope Innocent IV. on a missionary er- 
flirpiai ukd r«ad to the Great Khan, and visited 
Bubtuquu. j^ £j, ]jjg (.amp at Karakonun in the 
very depths of Mongolia. In 1253 the king of 
France, St. liouis, sent another Franciscaji monk, 
Willem de Rubruquis, to Karakorum, on a mis^ 
sion of which the purpose is now not clearly un- 
derstood. Both these Franciscans were men of 
shrewd and cultivated minds, especially Bubruquis, 
whose narratiTe, "in its rich detail, its vivid pic- 
tures, its acuteness of observation and strong good 
sense . . . has few superiors in the whole library 
of travel."^ Neither Itubmquis nor Friar John 
visited China, but they fell in with Chinese folk 
at Karakormn, and obtained information concern- 
ing the geography of eastern Asia far more definite 
than had ever before been possessed by Euro- 
peans. They both describe Cathay as bordering 
upon an eastern ocean, and this piece 
todwofm' of information constituted the first im- 
bejoBiOf portant leap of geographical know- 
ledge to the eastward since the days of 
Ptolemy, who sappoaed that beyond the "Seres 
and SinsB " lay an unknown land of vast extent, 
"full of reedy and impenetrable swamps."* The 

1 Tole'a Marco Polo, vol. L p. erxi. ; ef. Hnnboldt, Examett 
eritique, torn. i. p. 71. The oomplete raiginal teita of As re- 
ports of both monhs, with learned notes, may be found in the 
Becueii de Voyages et de Mrtnoires, publU par la SodfU de Geo- 
graphie, Paris, 1339, torn. St. , viz. : Johanmi de Plana Carpini Bh- 
toria Mongolomm quos noi Tartaros appeltamm, ed. M. d'ATeuo; 
IfineronuM WiUelm de Rubruk, ed. F. Miehel et T. Wright. 

= Yule's Cathay, vol. i. p, lEtii. ; Ptolemy, i. 17. C(. Bunbn. 
ly's Biitary <^ Andml Geography, London, 16S3, voL ii. p. 606. 



information gathered by Rubruquis and Friar John 
indicated that there was an end to the continent 
of Asia; that, not as a matter of vague specula- 
tion, but of positive knowledge, Asia was bounded 
on the east, just as Europe was bounded on the 
west, by an ocean. 

Here we arrive at a notable landmark in the 
history of the Discovery of America. Here from 
the camp of bustling heathen at Karakorum there 
is brought to Europe the first annonncement of a 
geographical fact from wMeb the poetic mind of 
Christopher Columbus will hereafter _ 

1 p 1 1 rm • - '*• ^•'* **" 

reap a wonderful harvest, rhis is one J"™ pnp«»d 
among many instances of the way in 
which, throughout all departments of bum^i 
thought and action, the glorious thirteenth cen- 
tury was beginning to give shape to the problems 
of which the happy solution has since made the 
modem world so different from the ancient.^ 
Since there is an ocean east of Cathay and an 
ocean west of Spain, how natural the inference — 
and albeit quite wrong, how amazingly fruitful — 
that these oceans are one and the same, so that 
by sailing westward from Spain one might go 
straight to Cathay I The data for such an in- 
ference were now all at hand, but it bntuwt no- 
does not appear that any one a* yet rea- ^^ SmT^ 
soned from the data to the conclusion, 0^^,^,^^ 
although we find Roger Bacon, in 1267, *'"■ 
citing the opinions of Aristotle and other ancient 

I S«e ni; Beginmngs of New England, cbap. i. How licUy 
niggestJTe to an American ig tho contempacaoeity of Bubmqnia 
and Eail Siinrai of Leic«eterl 



writers to the effect that the distance bj sea from 
the western shores of Spiun to the eastern shores 
of Asia cannot be so very great.^ In those days 
it took a long time for such ideas to get from the 
heads of philosophers into the heads of men of ac- 
tion; and in the thirteenth century, when Cathay 
was more accessible by land than at any time be- 
fore or since, there was no practical necessity felt 
for a water ronte thither. Kurope still turned her 
back upon the Atlantic and gazed more intently 
than ever upon Asia. Stronger and moie general 
grew the interest in Cathay. 

In the middle of the thirteenth centmy, some 
Yta Polo members of the Polo family, one of the 
brothiM. aristocratic families of Venice, had a 
commercial house at Constantinople. Thence, in 
1260, the brothers Nicolb and Maffeo Polo started 
on a trading journey to the Crimea, whence one 
opportunity after another for making money luid 
gratifying their curiosity with new sights led them 
northward and eastward to the Volga, thence into 
Bokhara, and so on until they reached the court of 
the Great Khan, in one of the northwestern prov- 
inces of Cathay. The reigning sovereign was the 
famous Kublai Khan, grandson of the all-conquer- 
ing Jenghis. Kublai was an able and benevolent 
despot, earnest in the wish to improve the condi- 
tion of hia Mongol kinsmen. He had never before 
met European gentlemen, and was charmed with 
the cultivated and polished Venetians. He seemed 
quite ready to enlist the lioman Church in aid of 
his civilizing schemes, and entrusted the Polos with 

1 BoKtt Bacon, Op<u Majva, ed. Jebb, Loudon, 1733, p. 163. 

' DiqilizDdbyGoOgle 


to the Pope, asking him for a bim- 
dred missionary teachers. The brothers , 

' reached Venice in 1269, and found that ueuageutiH 
Pope Clement IV. was dead and there 
was an interregnum. After two ycMs Gregory X. 
was elected and received the Khui's mess^e, bat 
could furnish only a couple of Dominican friars, 
and these men were seized with the dread not un- 
commonly felt for "Tartareans," and at the last 
moment refused to go. Nicolb and his brother 
then set out in the autumn of 1271 to return to 
China, taking with them Nicolb 's son Marco, a lad 
of seventeen years. From Acre they went by way 
of Bagdad to Hormuz, at the mouth of the Per- 
sian gulf, apparently with the intention of pro- 
ceeding thence by sea, but for some reason changed 
their course, and traveUed through Kerman, Kho- 
rassau, and Balkh, to Kashgar, and thence by way 
of Yarkand and Khotan, and across the desert of 
Gobi into northwestern China, where they arrived 
in the summer cf 1275, and found the Khan at 
Kaipingfu, not far from the northern end of the 
Great WaU. 

It has been said that the failure of Kublai's 
mission to the Pope led him to apply to the Grand 
Ijanm, at Thibet, who responded more efficiently 
and successfully than Gregory X., so that Bud- 
dhism seized the chance which Catholicism failed 
to grasp. The Venetians, however, lost nothing 
in the good Khan's esteem. Young 
Marco began to make himself proficient "d ^!» oimf 
in speaking and writing several Asiatic 
ianguages, and was presently taken into the Khan's 



serrice. His Ditme is mentioned in the Chinese 
Annals of 1277 as a newly-appointed commis- 
sioner of the privy council.' He remained in 
Knblai's service until 1292, while his father and 
uncle were gathering wealth in varioos ways. 
Marco made many ofBcial journeys up and down 
the Khan's vast dominions, not only in civilized 
China, but in r^ons of the heart of Asia seldom 
visited by Enropeans to this day, — "a vast eth- 
nolo^cal gai^en," says Colonel Yule, "of tribes 
of various race and in every st^e of nnciviliza- 
tion." In 1292 a royal bride for the Khan of 
Persia was to be sent all the way from Peking to 
Tabriz, and ae war that year made some parts of 
the overland route very imsafe, it was decided to 
send her by sea. The three Polos had for some 
time been looking for an opportunity to return to 
Venice, but Kublai was unwilling to have them go. 
Now, however, as every Venetian of that day was 
deemed to be from his very cradle a seasoned sea- 
dog, and as the kindly old Mongol sovereign had 
an inveterate land-lubber's misgivings about ocean 
voyages, he consented to part with his dear friends, 
so that he might entrust the precious princess to 
their care. They sailed from the port 
^t^^ of Zaiton (Chinchow) early in 1292, 
uDimd ii» and after long delays on the coasts of 

Sninnu, Sumatra and Hindustan, in order to 
»2-w. ., , ,, . 

avoid unfavourable monsoons, they 

reached the Persian gulf in 1294. They found 

that the royal bridegroom, soinewhat advanced in 

years, had died before they started from China; 

1 Pantfaier's Marco Polo, p. 361 ; Ynle'i Marco Poio, p. li 



80 the young princess became the bride of his 
son. After tarrying awhile in Tabriz, the Foh>§ 
returned, by way of Trehizond and the ^^ 
Bosphonis, to Venice, arriving in 1295. Poimto Tm- 
When they got there, says Ramusio, af- 
ter their absence of four and twenty years, "the 
same fate befel them as hefel Ulysses, who, when 
he returned to his native Ithaca, was recognized 
by nobody." Their kinsfolk had long since given 
them up for dead; and when the three wayworn 
travellers arrived at the door of their own palace, 
the middle-aged men now wrinkled graybeards, 
the stripling now a portly man, all three attired 
in rather shabby clothes of Tartar cut, and "with 
a certain indescribable smack of the Tartar about 
tliem, both in air ajid accent," some words of 
explanation were needed to prove their identity. 
lifter a few days they invited a party of old friends 
tu dinner, and bringing forth three shabby coats, 
ripped open the aeams and welts, and b^an pulling 
out and tumbling upon the table such treasures of 
diamonds and emeralds, rubies and sapphires, as 
could never have been imagined, *' which had aU 
been stitched up in those dresses in so artful a 
fashion that nobody could have suspected thefact." 
In such wise had they brought home from Cathay 
their ample earnings ; and when it became known 
about Venice that the three long-lost citizens had 
come hack, "straightway the whole city, gentle 
and simple, flocked to the house to embrace them, 
and to make much of them, with every conceivable 
deuLonstration of a£Eection and respect."' 

}, opW Tole'a Marto Pnio, TdL i. p. zzzril 



Three years afterward, in 1298, Marco coiib- 
manded a galley in the great naval battle with the 
Genoese near Curzola. The Venetians were to- 
tally defeated, and Marco was one of the 7,000 
prisoners taken to Genoa, where he was kept in 
durance for about a year. One of hia companions 
Huso Poio'i "^ captivity waa a certain Ruaticiano, 
^'^iJ^'JJ" of Pisa, who was glad to listen to his 
*™™' '^^^ descriptions of Asia, and to act as hia 
amanuensis. French was then, at the close of the 
Crusades, a language as generally understood 
throughout Europe as later, in the age of Louis 
XIV. ; and Marco's narrative was duly taken 
down by the worthy Rusticiano in rather lame and 
shaky French. In the summer of 1299 Marco 
was set free and returned to Venice, where he 
seems to have led a quiet life until his death in 

"The Book of Ser Marco Polo concerning the 
Kingdoms and Marvels of the East " is one of the 
most famous and important books of the Middle 
Ages. It contributed more new facts toward a 
ita^rutiiau. knowledge of the earth's surface than 
J^J^J^^ any book that had ever been written 
'~^'"^ before. Its author was "the 6rat trav- 
eller to trace a route across the whole longitude 
of Asia;" the first to describe China in its vast- 
ness, with its immense cities, its manufactures and 
wealth, and to tell, whether from personal expe- 
rience or direct hearsay,' of Thibet and Burmah, 
of Siam and Cochin China, of the Indian archi- 
pelago, with its islands of spices, of Java and 
Sumatra, and of the savages of Andamtm. He 



knew of Japan and the woful defeat of tlie Mon- 
gols there, when they tried to invade the island 
kingdom in 1281. He gave a description of Hin- 
dustan far more complete and characteristic than 
had ever before been published. From Arab sail- 
ors, accustomed to the Indian ocean, he learned 
som^hlng about Zanzibar and Madagascar and 
the Bemi-Christian kingdom of Abyssinia. To the 
northward from Persia he described the country 
of the Golden Horde, whose khans were then hold- 
ing £.ussia>in subjection; and he had gathered 
some accurate information concerning Siberia as 
far as the country of the Samoyeds, with their 
dog-sledges and polar bears, ^ 

Here was altogether too much geographical 
knowledge for European ignorance in those days 
to digest. While Marco's book attracted much 
attention, its influence upon the progress of ge- 
ography was slighter than it would have been if 
addressed to a more enlightened public. Many 
of its sober statements of fact were received with 
incredulity. Many of the places described were 
indistinguishable, in European ima^^ation, from 
the general multitude of fictitious countries men- 
tioned in fairy-tales or in romances of chivalry. 
Perhaps no part of Marco's story was so likely to 

interest his readers as his references „ ,__ , ^ 

to Prester John. In the course of the 
twelfth century the notion had somehow gained 
possession of the European mind that somewhere 
ont in the dim vastness of the Orient there dwelt 
a mighty Christian potentate, known as John the 
* YdIb'i Marco Palo, toI. i p. cmL 



Presbyter or "Prester."^ At different times he 
was identified with various known Asiatic sover- 
eign- Marco Polo identified him with one Togrul 
Wang, who was overcome and slain by the mig^jy 
Jenghis ; but he would not stay dead, any more 
than the grewsome warlock in Russian nursery 
lore. The notion of Prester John and his wealthy 
kingdom could no more be expelled from the Eu- 
ropean mind in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies than the kindred notion of El Dorado in 
the sixteenth. The position of this kii^om was 
shifted about here and there, as far as from Chi- 
nese Tartary to Abyssinia and back again, but 
Thu " Aiimu- somewhere or other in people's vague 
^aa." mental picture of the East it was sure 

to occur. Other remote regions in Asia were peo- 
pled with elves and grifilins and " one-eyed Arimas- 
pians,"^ and we may be sure that to Marco's 

1 ^ Bat for to ipeike of rlcbH ud of itoDH, 
And mim uhI IwnSt 1 trow Uw Ur^ wow 
Of Prutlr Jabii,»>Utaiat»»rie, 
Ulght not muMth hiTS bogbt the lonth purtla," 

Chuioar, Ths Flcvtr and Iht Leaf, 200. 
The fabnloDS kingdain of PrtHter John is ably treated in 
Tnle'B CoMay, toI. i, pp. 174-182; Marco Palo, tqI. i. p. 204- 
216. Colonel Tale anspeots that its prototype ™»-7 bave been the , 
semi'-Chriitian kingdom of Abyoinis. This ia Tsiy likely. Aa 
for its rat^, shifted hither and thither ae it vaa, «J1 tlie vBy from 
the opper Nile to th« Hiian-Shan mountains, ve oan easily nn- 
dentend this if ve remember how an ignoraDt mind oonoeiTea all 
points distajit from its ovn position as near to one another ; i. e. 
if you are about \a start from New York for Arizona, your 
honsemaid will perhaps ash you to deliver a message to har 
brother in Manitoba. Nowhere more than in the history of g»- 
offraphy do we need to hoep beforo nst at every stepf the limits 
tdons of the ontatored mind and its feebleness in graiping the 
Bpace-relatjona of remote regions. 
' These Arimaspians afford an interesting example of Oie nn- 



readers these beings were quite as real as the pol- 
ished citizens of Cambaluc (Peking) or the canni- 
bals of the Andaman islands. From such a chaos 
of ideas sound geographical knowledge must needs 
be a slow evolution, and Marco Polo's aoquisitions 
were altt^ther too far in advance of his age to be 
readily assimilated. 

Nevertheless, in the Catalan map, made in 1375, 
and now to be seen in the National Library at 
Paris, there is a thorough-going and not unsuccess- 
ful attempt to embody the results of othnTWuto 
Polo's travels. In the interval of three """^ 
quarters of a century since the publication of 
Marco's narrative, several adventurous travellers 
had found their way to Cathay. There was Friar 

oiitdiMl BtatementB of tcavaUers at an early tiroe, as veil as of 
their t^uaniona Titalitj. The fiist mention of t^ese mythical 
people seems to haie IieeD made by Qreek traTellere in Soythis 
as early aa the seventh centory before Ghnot ; and they furnished 
Ariateas of ProeonneauH, somewhat later, with the theme of his 
poem " Aiimispeia," vhich has periahad, all except aix veraea 
qnot«d by LonginnH. See Mure^a Litfrature of inherit Qreece^ ^ 
ToL iv. p. 68. Tbeuee the nodoa of the Arimaapiana seema to 
haTe passed to Herodotus (iii. 116 ; iv. 21) and to ^laohylua: — 
h(vrTifiout yip Z^ytn aiepvytU Kvvut 

Thence it passed on to PaaganiaB, i. '2A ; Pomponina Mela, a. 
i ; Pliny, Hirt. Nat., tH, 2; Lncan, PhaTiedia, iu. 280; and so 
aa to Milton : — 

PnnoH the ArliiwIIliu who bj stenlth 
Had I»m Us nkatul mutody puiloliied 
OLacuaided gold." 

■Paradita Lttt, IL ML 





the Catabu Man. 137d- 



Odoric, of Pordenone, who, during the years 1816- 
30 visited Hindustan, Sumatra, Java, Oocliin 
China, the Chinese Empire, and Thibet.^ It was 
from this worthy monk that the arraut old impos- 
tor, "Sir John MandeviUe," stole his descriptions 
of India and Cathay, seasoning them with jams 
from Pliny and Ktesias,'and grotesque conceits of 
his own.^ SevCTal other missionary friars visited 
China between 1302 and 1330, and about ten 
years after the latter date the ^orentiue mer- 
chant, Francesco Pegolotti, wrote a very nseful 
handbook for commercial travellers on the over- 

^ Odoric mentions Jnggemant proceaaioiis and the burning of 
widows ; in Sumatra ho oLaerTod camiibBliain and oommunit j of 
irTveftj he found the kingdom of Prester John in Chiiaeae Tar- 
taiy; "but as regaids Mm," says wise Odorio, "not one hun- 
dredth part ia tme of what ia told of him as if it were onde- 
iu»ble." Yule's Cathay, vol. i. pp. TO, 85, 148. 

^ Golonfll Tulfl giTSH a liat of fourteen important passages 
taken bodily from Odorio hy Mstiderille. Op, at. L '^. It ia 
vary doubtful if that f amona book, ' ' Sir John Mandeville's Trav- 
els," was written by a Mandeville, or by a knight, or even by an 
Englishman. It seema to have been originally written in Freooh 
by Jean de Bourgogne, a phydeian who lived for gome yeais at 
li^, and died there Bo:Ljewhere abont 1370. He may poedbly 
have been an Engliahman naioed Jtdm Bnrgoyne, who was obliged 
some years before that date to Bee hia oonutry for homicide of 
flH' Borne politioal offence, He had travelled as far as F^ypt and 
Palestine, but no farther. Hia book a almost entirely cribbed 
from othera, among whiob may be mentioned the works of 
Jaoqoes de Vitiy, Piano Carpim, Hajfton the Armenian, BtA- 
denaele'fl Itinerary, Albert of Aix's chronicle of the firat crusade, 
Bnmetto Latini's Trisor, Petnu Comestor's Misloria scholastica, 
the Spectdam of Vincent de Beauvaia, etc., etc It ia one of the 
most wholesale and sacoesafnl iuatanoes of plagiarism and impos- 
tore on reoord. Sea The Bake of John Ma»devill,from the ufiiqut 
copy {Bgerton MS. 1982) in the British Museum. Edited by Q. F. 
Warner. Weatmintter, 183S. (R<Bbnighe Club.) 



land route to that country.^ Between 1838 and 
1353 Giovanni Marigaolli spent some years at 
Peking, as papal legate from Benedict XI. to the 
Great Khan, and also travelled in Ceylon and 
Hindustan.^ That seems to have been the last of 
these journeys to the Far East. In 1368, the 
people of China rose against the Mon- 

11 1 1 ■ mi <. OiSTthHw of 

gol dynasty and overthrew it. 1 he first J^i")"*?^ 
emperor of the native Ming dynasty ^"ci^'''' 
was placed upon the throne, and the 
Chinese retorted upon their late conquerors by 
overrunning vast Mongolia and maJditg it Chi- 
nese Tartary. The barriers thrown down by the 
liberal policy of the Mongol sovereigns were now 
put up again, and no more foreigners were al- 
lowed to set foot upon the sacred soil of the Flow- 
ery Kingdom. 

Thus, for just a century, — from Carpini Mid 
Bubruquis to Mariguolli, — while China was open 
to strangers as never before or ednce, a few Euro- 
peans had availed themselves of the opportunity in 
such wise as to mark the be^nning of a new era 

^ Oiw piece of Pegnlotti'B Kdvioe is Btdll useful for traieUeis 
in the nineteentta ccctnry who visit benig'hted heathen canntriea 
alUctfld wit^ robber tsrifFs : " And don't foif^t that if ;on treat 
tlie cnstom-houBe officers with respect, and make them someUiing 
of a preaent in goods or niona;, they will behave with great ciV' 
ility and always be ready to appraise yoar wai«B below t^eir real 
Talus." Op. cit. iL 307. 

^ The wDrks of all the writers mentdoned in this pai'agraph, or 
ooinons ertraots from them, may be found in Tula's Calhag, 
which comprises also the book of the celebrated Ibn Batata, of 
Tangier, whose travels, between 1826 and 1356, covered pretty 
much the whole of Asia eicept Siberia, beddes a jooniey serosa 
Sahara to the river Niger. Hia book does not seem to have at- 
tiAeted attention in Europe nntil eariy in the present aeniury. 



in tliehistoiyof geographical knowledge. Thoi^h 
the discoveries of Marco Polo were as yet but im- 
perfectly appreciated, one point, and that the most 
significant of all, was thoroughly estahlidied. It 
was shown that the continent of A^ia did not ex- 
tend indefinitely eastward, nor was it bounded and 
barricaded on that side, as Ptolemy had imag- 
ined, by vast impenetrable swamps. On the con- 
trary, its eastern shores were perfectly accessible 
through an open sea, and half a dozen Europeans 
in Chinese ships had now actually made the 
voyage between the coast of China and the Per- 
sian gulf. Moreover, some hearsay knowledge — 
enough to provoke curiosity and greed — had 
been gained of the existence of numerous islands 
mHtraiBoum "* ^^^ far-off eastern ocean, rich in 
tawiuiSd. ^^ spices which from time inuuemo- 
«Bd JapMi. pj^ jjg^ formed such an important ele- 
ment in Mediterranean commerce. News, also, 
had been brought to Europe of the wonderful 
island kingdom of Japan (Cipango or Zipangu) 
lying out in that ocean some hundreds of miles be- 
yond the coast of Cathay. These were rich coun- 
tries, abounding in objects of lucrative traffic. 
Under the liberal Mongol rule the Oriental trade 
had increased enough for Europe to feel in many 
way^ its beneficial effects. Now this trade began 
to be suddenly and severely checked, and while 
access to the interior of Asia was cut off, Euro- 
pean merchants might begin to reflect upon the 
value of what they were losing, and to consider if 
there were any feasible method of recovering it. 
It was not merely the shutting up of China by 



the first Ming emperor, in 1368, that checked the 
intercourse between Europe and Asia. A still 
more baleful obstacle to all such intercourse had 
lately come upon the scene. In Asia Minor the 
beaslly Turk, whose career had beenr^ 
for two centuries arrested by the Cru-j ES'orieiibd** 
sadea, now reared his head agun. Thel 
Seljukian had been only scotched, notlj 
killed; and now he sprang to life as the Ottomaoi, 
with diarper fangs than before. In 1365 the 
Turks established themselves in the Balkaji pe- 
ninsula, with Adrianople bb their capital, and 
began tightening their coils about the doomed 
city of Constantine. Each point that they g^ed 
meant the strangling of just so much Oriental 
trade ; for, as we have seen, the alliance of Con- 
stantinople with Genoa since 1261 had secured to 
the latter city, and to western Europe, the advan- 
tages of the overland routes from Asia, whether 
through the Volga coimtry or across Armenia. 
"When at length, m 1453, the Turks took Con- 
stantinople, tie splendid commercial career of 
Genoa was cut with the shears of Atropos. At 
the same time, as their power was rapidly extend- 
ing over Syria and down toward Egypt, threaten- 
ing the overthrow of the liberal Mameluke dy- 
nasty there, the commercial prosperity of Venice 
also was seriously imperilled. Moreover, as Turk- 
ish corsairs began to swarm in the eastern waters 
of the Mediterranean, the voyage became more and 
more unsafe for Christian vessels. It was thus, 
while the volume of trade with Asia was, in the 
natural course of things, swelling year by year. 



that its accustomed routes were being ruthlessly 
cut off. It was fast becoming necessary to con- 
sider whether Uiere might not be other practicable 

routes to " the Indies " than those which 
JuiioBi •= had from time immemorial been fol- 
routaio tua lowcd. Could thcrc be Buch a thing as 

an "outside route" to that land of 
promise ? A more startling question has seldom 
been propounded ; for it involved a radical depar- 
ture from the grooves in which the human mind 
had been running ever since the days of Solomon. 
Two generations of men lived and died while this 
question was taldng shape, and all that time Ca- 
thay and India and the islands of Spices were ob- 
jects of increasing desire, clothed 1^ eager fancy 
with all manner of charms and riches. The more 
effectually the eastern Mediterranean was closed, 
the stronger grew the impulse to venture upon 
unknown paths in order to realize the vague but 
glorious hopes that began to cluster about these 
remote countries. Such an era of romantic enter- 
prise as was thus ushered in, the world has never 
seen before or since. It was equaUy remarkable 
as an era of discipline in scientific thinking- In 
the maritime ventures of unparalleled boldness 
now to be described, the human mind was groping 
toward the era of enormous extensions of know- 
ledge in space and time represented by the names 
of Newton and Darwin. It was learning the right 
way of putting its trust in the Unseen. 




As it dawned upon men'^ minds that to fiiid 
some oceanic route from Europe to the remote 
shores of Asia waa eminently desirable, the first 
attempt woidd natiiraJly be to see what could be 
done by sailing down the western ooaet Q„rtion u to 
of Africa, and ascertaining whether JJSa^*^ 
that continent could be circnmnavi- HSfS^mnnd 
gated. It was also quite in the natural ""^ 
order of things that this first att^npt should be 
made by the Portuguese. 

In the general history of the Middle Ages the 
Spanish peninsula had been to some extent cut off 
from the main currents of thoi^ht and feeling 
which actuated the rest of Europe. Its people 
had never joined the other Christian nations in 
the Crusades, for the good reason that they al- 
ways had quite enough to occupy them in their 
own domestic struggle with the Moora. From the 
throes of this prolonged warfare Portugal emei^d 
somewhat sooner than the Spanish kingdoms, and 
thus had somewhat earlier a surplus of energy 
released for work of another sort. It was not 
strange that the Portuguese should be the first 
people since the old Northmen to engage in dis- 



tant maritdme adventure upon a grand scale. Nor 
Yraa it strange that Portuguese seamansbip should 
at first have thriveu upon naval warfare with Mus- 
sulmans. It was in attempting to suppress the 
intolerable nuisance of Moorish piracy that Portu- 
guese ships became accustomed to sail a little way 
down the west coast of Africa; and snch voyages, 
begun for military purposes, were kept up in the 
interests of commerce, and presently served as a 
mighty stimulus to geographical curiosity. We 
have now to consider at scmie length how grave 
was the problem that came ap for immediate solu- 

With regard to the oircamnavigability of Af- 
rica two opposite opinions were maintained by the 
ancient Gtreek and Latin writers whose authority 
the men of the Middle Ages were wont to quote 
as decisive of every vexed question. The old Ho- 
meric notion of an ocean encompassing the terres- 
trial world, although mentioned with doubt by 

Herodotus,^ continued to survive after 
Entntbenn, the globular form of the earth had come 

to be generally maintained by ancient 
geographers. The greatest of these geographers, 
Eratosthenes, correctly assiuned that the Indian 
ocean was continuous with the Atlantic,^ and that 
Africa could be ciroumnavigated, just as he incor- 

• Thr Si 'tlittarhv KSyif /iiy KiyoaiTi ir ii\hv irara\4iir ip(i- 

ptvor yTJi Tipl xaaar piiir, Jlfyip Si oix ijioSiiKn: ~ 

' Kal yip KitT' fluT*!- 'EparoffWtTj ttit ixtiis BiKarrm' Sraa 
yin (&«•. Strabo, L 3, S IB. 



rectly assumed that the Caspian sea was a huge 
gulf coramunioatiiig with a northern ocean, by 
which it would be possible to sail around the con- 
tinent of A^ia as he imagined it.^ A aimilar opin- 
ion as to Africa was held by Posidonius and by 
Strabo.' It was called in question, however, by 
Polybius,' and was flatly denied by the great as- 
tronomer Hipparchus, who thought that certain 
observataons on the tides, reported by Seleucus of 
Babylon, proved that there could be no connection 
between the Atlantic and Indian oceans.* Clau- 
dius Ptolemy, writing in the second century after 
Christ, followed the opinion of Hippar- oppmdne 
ohus, and carried to an extreme the S^J^yJe!,. 
reaction against Eratosthenes. By *■ "■ ""■ 
Ptolemy's tame the Caspian had been proved to be 
an inland sea, and it was evident that Asia ex- 
tended much farther to the north and east than 
bad once been supposed. This seems to have dis- 
credited in his mind the whole conception of outside 
oceans, and he not only gave an indefinite north- 
ward and eastward extension to Asia and an in- 
definite southern extension to Africa, but brought 
these two continents together far to the southeast, 
thus making the Indian ocean a landlocked sea.' 
These views of Hipparchus and Ptolemy took 

^ BDnbury, History of Ancient Qeognrphy, voL i. p. 044. 

« Strabo, ii. 3, 5 4 ; irii. S, § 1. 

■ RsM*tp t\ <nl Tni 'Afffsi ical rqi Ai^difi, mSi mivirtowrir 

roff TJtvj Kaip9v, irSrfpOJ' ^vtip6j iffri xarit rb trvrtx^i "^^ rpbs t^f 
lumniBpiiw, 5 floAiTTj; mpiixi'rat- PoIybioB, iii. 38. 

* BnDbnry, ^. eiL voL ii. p. 15. 

* See the tstKp oi Ptoleniy'i worid, abore, p. 264. 



no heed of the story told to Herodotus o£ tlie (a» 
cunmavigatioQ of Airica by a Phceniciaa squadron 
st<n;of tbs &t some time dtiring the reign of Neoha 
^^^^t^ in Egypt (610-595 B. c.)> The Phce- 

from the Hed Sea and to have retnmed through 
the Mediterranean in the third yeai- after start 
ing. In each of the two autumn seasons they 
stopped and sowed grain and waited for it to 
ripen, which in southern Africa would require ten 
or twelve weeks.^ On their return to Egypt they 
declared ("I for my part do not believe them," 
says Herodotus, " but perhaps others may ") that 
in thus sailing from east to west around Africa 
the^ had the sun upon their right hand. Ahont this 
alleged voyage there has been a good deal of con- 
troversy.^ No other expedition in any wise com- 

1 Ptolemy eipresalj declares that the equatorial reborn had 
never been yisited by people from the northem hemiaphere; 
Tfni M tlaii' of oliriinii Din b Ixaiiuy nniT(Uv«T ■tvnf. 'Ar- 
pivTOi "^ip ccV( fUxpt TOi itvpo Tois itrh T^s Hnff' fifias olxovfiJvrfjj 
Kai tlxaalm' fia/^\ov Sv tis 1l tuTnplaii iyiiiriuTa ri XFyi/ttra wt/i 
ouTwi'. Synlaxiit ii. 6. 

" RavliuHm's Havdoiui, vol. Ui. p. 29, note 8. 

* The story ia discradited by Manaert, OtognyjhU der Gritdua 
und Bdmer, bd. i. pp. 10-26; Goesellin, Bec/iercket tw la gieg- 
Taphie del Ancieni, torn. L p. ]49 ; Lewis, Aitrononi^ vf (An /In- 
rient*, pp. 608-616; Vineent, CoBKotaix and Navigation of tint 
AtKienU in Iht Indian Ocean, toL i. pp. 303-311, toI. ii. pp. IS- 
IS; Leake, Diiputed Queitiom of AncUnt Geography, pp. 1-6. 
It is defended by Heeren, Ideen iiber die Polilik, dot Vtrlcehr, eta-, 
3e anfl., Gottin^n, 1815, bd. i. abth. ii. pp. 81-03 ; Rennell, Ge- 
ographg of Herodotua, pp. 672-114; Grote, HiHorg of Greece, -vol. 
iii. pp. 377-365. The esse is ably preseDted in Bnnbnry's HMtorjt 
of Ancieni Geography, toI. i. pp. 289-296, vhera it n conolnded 
that the story " cannot be disproved or pFODounced to be absO' 
Intely iroposaible ; bat the difBoulties and in^irobabilities attenil 



parable to it for length and difficulty can be cited 
from ancient histor]', and a critic^ scbolar is in- 
clined to look mth suspicion upon all such accounts 
of uniqne and isolated events. As we have not 
the det^U of the story, it is impossible to ^ve it a 
satisf a«tory critical examination. The circumstance 
most likely to convince us of its truth is precisely 
that which dear old Herodotus deemed incredible. 
The position of the sun, to the north of the mari- 
ners, is something that coidd hardly have been 
imagined by people familiir only with the northern 
hemisphere. It is therefore almost certain that 
Necho's expedition sailed beyond the equator.^ 
But that is as far as inference can properly carry 
us ; for our experience of the urcritical temper of 
ancient narrators is enough to surest that such 
iog it are so great thftt they cannot reasomifaly be set anda vith- 
OQt betMr eTidenoe tban the mere Btatement of Herodotiui, npon 
the aathority of unknown informsnta." Mr. Bonbary (voL L p. 
317) says that be baa reasoDS for believing that Mr. Grata aftei- 
trrrda changed hia opinioii and oame to agree with Sic George 

1 In reading the learned vorka of Sii Qeoige Comewall Lewis, 
one is often reminiled of what Sainte-Beuve Bomewbere saya of 
the great scholar Letronne, when he had spent the hoar of hia 
lecture in demotishing Bome pretty or popnlar belief : ' ^ 11 ae fititta 
les maina et s'en alia liieii content." When it came to ancient 
history, Sir George waa undeniably fond of " the everlasting 
No." In tlie preaeot caae hia skeptidsm aeemg on the whde 
well-judged, but some of his arguments savour of undue haata 
toward a negative oonolnaion. He thna strangely forgets that 
vhat we ^all autumn is springtime in the aouthem hemisphere 
{AslroBomy of iM AncieKts, p. 511). Hia argument tiiat tlie time 
alleged was insufficient for tlie voyage is folly met by Major 
'Bennell, who has shown that the Uiue was amply sufficient, and 
that the direction of winds and tK«an currents would make ths 
voyage around sonthem AfTi<ia from east to west much eaaieF 
than from west to east. 



an achieTement nught ea^y be magnified by rrb 
mour into the story told, more than a century aftei 
tbe event, to Herodotus. The data are too alight 
to justify us in any dogmatic opinion. One thing, 
however, is clear. Even if the circumnavigation 
wds effected, — which, on the whole, seems improb- 
able, — it remained quite barren of results. }t 
produced no abiding impression upon men's minds ^ 
and added notbing to geographical knowledge. 
The veil of mystery was not lifted from southem 
Africa. The story was doubted by Strabo aind 
Posidomus, and passed unheeded, aa we have seen, 
by Hipparchus and Ptolemy. 

Of Phcenician and other voyages along the At- 
lautio coast of Africa we have much more det^led 
and trustworthy information. As early as the 
twelfth century before Christ traders from Tyre 
had founded (Wiz (Grades),^ and at a later date 
the same hardy people seem to have made the be- 
g^nings of Lisbon (Olisipo). Erom such advanced 
stations Tyrian and Carthaginian ships sometimes 
found their way northward as far as Cornwall, and 
in the opposite direction fishing voyages were made 
along the African coast. The most remarkable un- 
vojiBo of dertaking in this quarter was the famous 
^™^ voyage of the Cartha^nian conmiander 

Hanno, whose own brief but interesting account 

> " No traoe of it ooold be foniid In the Aleiaodiiui libTary, 
aither by EratostiiBiieB in the third, or by MarinuB ot Tyre in the 
aecood, osntary before Christ, althongh both of them irere dili- 
gent eiamiuerB ot aiuuenb reconb." Major, Prince Henri/ tht 
Navigator, p. 90. 

* BavlinBOo's MstBry of Phanicia, pp. 1(6, 41S ; Fsando-Aria 
tode, Mirab. AiuciiH., 146; Velleiua Patercnliu, L 2, § 0. 




ti it Itaa been preserved.* This expedition con- 
sisted of sixty peatecontera (^fifty-oared sliips), and 
its chief purpose was oolonization. Upon the 
Mauritanian coast seven am&U trading stations 
were founded, one of which — Kerne, at the mouth 
of the Bio d' Ouro * — existed for a long time. 
From this point Hanno made two voyt^es of ex- 
ploratitm, the second of which carried him as far 
as Sierra Leone and the neighbouring Sherboro 
ishuid, where he found " wild men and women cov- 
ered with hair," called by the interpreters "goril- 
las." ' At that point the ships turned back, ap- 
parently for want of provisions. 

No other expedition in andent times is known 
to have proceeded so far south as Sierra Leone. 
Two other voyi^s upon this Atlantic coast are 
mentioned, but witliout definite details. The one 
was that of Sataspes (about 470 b. o.), narrated 

1 Huno, Persia, in Httller, OtogrofM Ortrci Minora, tsm. L 
pp. 1-14 Of two Of three oommauders named Honno U ia aa- 
Mitafn wbioh wu the one who led this eipedition, and thus its 
data hsa been Tarionslj aaagnei from GTO to 470 B. a 

' For die detenuinatiim of thoM looalities see Bunbor;, cp, cic. 
roL i. pp. 31&~335. There is tu iotoiestdng Spaniah deaeriptloii 
of Hanno's expedition in Mariana, Hiatoria de JS^mHa, Madrid, 
1788, torn. i. pp. 89-S3. 

* The sailora panned thsm, bat did net captme an; of the 
nudes, vho aorambled up the oliff» oat of their reach. They 
osptBTed three females, irho bit and scratched so fieroely that it 
was ngeless to try to take them away. So they killed them and 
took their skins home to Carthage. P«r^ujr. niii Acoording 
to Plinjr (Hilt. Nat., ri. 39) theas sking were hong up as a votire 
offering in the temple of Jnno (i. e. Astsrte or AshtorBth ; see 
Apnleins, Melantorph., iL 267 ; Geeeoios, MomuKenia Phaiac, p. 
166), where they might hare been seen at any time before the 
Bomsna dastioyed the oitr- 



by Herodotus, who merely tells ns that a eoast waa 
reached where undersized men, clad in palm-leal 

garments, fled to the lulls at sight of 
B^Mmd the strange visitors.^ The other was 

that of Eudoxus (about 86 b. c), re- 
lated by FosidoniuB, the friend and teacher of 
Cicero. The story is that this Eudoxus, in a voy- 
^e upon the east coast of Africa, having a philo- 
logical tura of mind, wrote down the words of 
some of the natives whom he met here and there 
along the shore. He also picked up a ship's prow 
in the form of a horse's head, and upon his return 
to Alexandria some merchants professed to recc^- 
nize it as belonging to a ship of Cadiz. Eudoxus 
thereupon concluded that Africa was circumnavi- 
gable, and presently smled through the Mediterra. 
nean and out upon the Atlantic. Somewhere upon 
the coast of Mauritania he found natives who used 
some words of similar sound to those which he had 
written down when visiting the eastern coast, 
whence he concluded that they were people of the 
same race. At this point he turned back, and the 
sequel of the story was unknown to Posidonius,' 

It is worthy of note that both Pliny and Pompo- 
nius Mela, quoting Cornelius Nepos as their author- 
ity, speak of Eudoxus as having circumnavigated 
Africa from the Sed Sea to Cadiz; and Pliny, more- 
over, tells us that Hanuo sailed around that conti- 
nent as far as Arabia,^ — a statement which is 

1 Herodotiu, iv. 43. 

' The story U preserred by Straljo, ii. 3, §§ 4, 6, who reJBOtol it 
witi ■ TehemBDoo for whioh no adequate roasoo ii asdgned. 
« Plinr, Hilt. Nat., iL 87 ; Mela, De Situ OrbU, iii. 9. 



dearly false. These examples show how stories 
grow when carelessly and imcritically repeated, 
and they strongly tend to confirm the „nj e„gger, 
doubt with which one is inclined to re- '*'''"■ 
gard the tale of Necho's sailors above mentioned. 
In troth, the island of Gorillas, discovered by 
Hanno, was doubtless the most soatherly point on 
that coast reached by navigators in ancient times. 
Of the islands in the western ocean the Carthagin- 
ians certainly knew the Canaries (where they have 
left undoubted inscriptions), probably also the 
Madeiras, and possibly the Cape Verde group. ^ 

The extent of the knowledge which the ancients 
thus had of western Africa is well illustrated in 
the map representing the geographical theories of 
Fomponius Mela, whose book was written about 
A. D. 50. Of the eastern coast and the interior 

^ After the mvil war of Sartoring (b. O. 80-72), tha RomaDa 
became aoqntunted iritli die Canaries, which, becanse of theii 
lumriant Tegetation and n>ft climate, vere identified vith tbe 
ElfBium described b; Homer, and were conunonly fciwvn ae tbe 
Fortunate islauds. . " Contra Fortnnats Inenln abnudant ena 
■ponte ^mtiB, et Bobinde aliis saper aliia inikaacentibna nihil sol- 
licitos alnnt, beatins qoam alite nrbes eicultle." Mela, iii. 10. 

s i,E}iod. Ti. 41-68) the Canary islandB have 
been a favourite theme for poetx. It was here that Tasao placed 
Ibe loves of Rinaldo and Armida, in the deli(uons garden where 

TeEiod augelll lofn le varde frouda 

Tamprano a proTa Uacivatta note. 

Uonnon V aura, « fa l« toglie « 1* ooda ' 



Mela knew less than Ptolemy a centoiy later, but 
Tiem or **^ ^^^ Atlantic coast he ksew more than 
SilSr^r Ptolemy. The fact that the former 
*■ "■ "*■ geographer was a native of Spain and 
the latter a native of Sgypt no doubt had some- 

thing to do with this. Mela had profited by the 
Carth^inian discoreries. His general conception 
of the earth was substantially that of Eratosthe- 
nes. It was what has been styled the " oceanic " 



theory, in contrast with tlie " continental " theory 
of Ptolemy. In the unviaited regions on all sides 
of the known world Eratosthenes imagined vast 
oceans, Ptolemy imagined vast deserts or impene- 
trable swamps. The former doctrine was of course 
much more favourable to maritime enterprise than 
the latter. The works of Ptolemy exercised over 
the mediieval mind an almost despotic sway, 
which, m q>ite of their many merits, was in some 
respects a hindrance to progress ; so that, inasmuoh 
us the splendid work of Strabo, the most eminent 
follower of Eratosthenes, was unknown to medite- 
val Europe imtil about 1450, it was fortunate that 
the Latin treatise of Mela was generally reed bmA 
highly esteemed. People in those days were euch 
uncritical readers that very likely the antagonism 
between Ptolemy and Mela may have failed to 
excite comment,^ especially in view of the lack of 
suitable maps such as emphasize that antagonism 
to our modem minds. But in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, when men were getting their first inklings of 
critical scholarship, and when the practical ques- 
tion of an ocean voyage to Asia was pressing for 
solution, such a point could no longer fail to at- 
tract attention ; and it happened fortunately that 
the wet theory, no less than the dry theory, had a 
popular advocate among those classical authors to 
whose authority so much deference was paid. 

1 Jost as onr grnindfathera need to read the Bible witlioat no- 
ticing mob points as the diver^neei between the books of Kings 
ind Chionifles, the oontradictiona between the genealogies of 
JesoB in Matthew and Lnke, the ndically different theoriee of 
Chriat's penonaility and career in the Fourth Ooapel as compared 
Mrith the thiee Sjnoptics, eto. 



If the Portuguese mariners of the generation 
before Columbus had acquiesced in Ptolemy's views 
as final, they surely would not have devoted their 
energies to the task of circuumavigating Africa. 
But there were yet other theoretical or fanciful 
obstacles in tbe way. When you look at a mod- 
em map of the world, the "five zones " may seem 
like 3 mere graphic device for marking conven- 
^^^ iently the i-elations of different regions 

orjr oi tbB to the Bolar source of heat ; but be- 
fore the great Portuguese voyages and 
the epoch-making third voyage of Vespucius, to be 
described kereafter, a discouraging doctrine wa^ 
entertuned with regard to these zones. Ancient 
travellers in Scythia and voyagers to " Thule " — 
which in Ptolemy's scheme perhaps meant the 
Shetland isles * — had learned somethingof Arctic 
phenomena. The long winter nights,^ the snow 
and ice, and the bitter winds, made a deep impres- 
sion upon visitors from the Mediterranean ; ^ and 

' BnnbuT7, op. cit. voL ii pp. 492, 52T. The uame U used in 
different geographioat seiweB b; Yariooi apcient writoia, aa is veil 
aliDwn in Lewie's Aitronomy of Oie AnderiSa, pp. 467-481. 
' The Romans, at least bj the first oentnrj A. D., knew also of 
» of northern nighU in sommei'. 

Arm* qnldeiD ultn 
k InTemiB pnnnovlmiu, et dukJo wptia 

See also Pliny, EUu Nat., it. 80; Mardaniu Capella, vL 5t 
AchiUes Taiius, zzxr. 

' The leader will remember Virgil's msgnifioent dsHOriptioD 

» Sojlhian'winter (Georg., iii. 352) ; — 

Jsmgalu late, Hftfipgae unugtt In 



when such facts were contrasted with the soorch- 
ing blasts that came from Sahara, the resulting 
theory was undeniably plausible. In the extreme 
north the ocean must be frozen and the countiy 
uninhabitable by reason of the cold ; contrariwise, 
in the far south the ocean must be boiling hot 
and the country inhabitable only by gnomes and 
salamanders. Applying these ideas to ibe con- 
ception of the earth as a sphere, Pomponius Mela 
tells us that the surface of the sphere is divided 
into five zones, of which only two are fit to sup- 
port human life. About each pole stretches a 
dead and frozen zone ; the southern and northern 
hemispheres have each a temperate zone, with the 
same changes of seasons, but not occurring at the 

S«iiipfli hlami, Hmper ijdiutei frigoTA CHnri- 
Tum Sol pnUaDtei hiud iw*q"»"i diKutit umbru ; 
Neo aum lavActiu «qali tltmu pedt nthenk, iwo cttm 

Stitliiqiie impsxl* indanilt hoirldm bu-bli. 
ZntareA toto nun hcIik htb ningit ; 
ZntanuDt |i«cud« { atimt clrcu mf ijM prulajg 

Torpent nutla DOnh at m jo m i i tIi cDmibiu iiT i Un t 

Ipd In dafouU apdcuboa, ucora tab alta 
OUa Bfunt terra, oongutftqua robCFn, totuqua 
Af^'Olvnn fool! ultDot, igsJque dedece. 
HU: DDCtem lado dacimt, at pocuU IffiCI 

Qk0 Roman ooaoeption of tJiB aitafttioti of tJiOBO " Hjp«ri>oM- 
SBB " aud of the Rhipiesii moimtaiiia ma? be seeD in the map of 
Mela's world. 



same (but opposite) times; the north temperate 
_ zone is the seat of the CEcmnene (oiKov 

The InlnUled , ^ t , , - , -nr , , . . 

World undtiM u(i'ij), OP Inhabited World; the south 

Antlpodw. r- '^' .,.,,.,,, 

temperate zone is also inhabited 07 the 
Antichthones or Antipodes, but about these people 
V0 know nothing, because between ns and them 
there intervenes the burning zone, which it is im- 
possible to cross.' 

This notion of an antipodal world in the south- 
em hemisphere will hare especial interest for us 
when we come to deal with the voyages of Ves- 
pucius. The idea seems to have originated in a 
guess of Hipparchus that Taprobane — the island 
of Ceylon, about which the most absurd reports 
were brought to Europe — might he the be^nning 
of another world. This is very probable, says 
Mela, with delightful naivete, because Taprobane 
is inhabited, and still we do not know of anybody 
who has ever made the tour of it.^ Mela's con- 

' " Hnic madid terra BoUimia cingitur nniliqae mari : eodem- 
qne in duo latera, qme liemuphieTitii nomiusntur, ab oriento 
diviwi (ul occasnm, lonis qnlnqne distinfpiituc. Mediam teatns 
iufeBtat, frigua nltimaB: reliqnee habitabiles paria agnot tumi 
tempora, TBrnm non pariter. Antiobtlioiies alteram, aoB alteram 
intwlimoB. lUins aitu ab ardiuem intercedeiitis pUgn ioci^ito, 
hnJDs dicsndna est," eto. De Silu Orlni, LI. A wmilar theor; 
J8BatforthbjOvid{MelaniorpA., i. 45), and hjViigU {Oeorg.,L 

Samper Sola ruWna, «t turridft sempeT 4b ^dI i 

Cffinile* glacto coDoretB Btqus Embrlbua iitrU. 
Hai inter medlamque, diue mortiiUbuft egrii 

Obliqau qoi le •IgnDrum •ertont ordo. 
* " TapiobHDa ant gtandia admodnm insula ant prima pan cm 
bis alteniu Eippamho dicitnr ; sed quia habitsta, oeo qoisqaan 
cinnuiuneasBe txaditor, prop« Tenuu eat." Le Situ OriU, iii. 7. 



temporaiy, the elder Fliny, declares tihat Taprobane 
*' has long been regarded " as part of 
another world, the name of which is ^oruibgnt 
Atttichthon, or Opposite-Earth ; ' at the 
same time PUny vouchsniea three oloBely-printod 
pages of information about this mysterious coun- 
try. Throughout the Middle Ages the conception 
of some sort of an antipodal inhabited world wa« 
Tsguely entertained by writers here and there, but 
many of the clergy condemned it aa implying the 
exiatenoe of people cut off from the knowledge of 
the gospel and not included in the plan of salva- 

Aa to the possibility of crossing the torrid zone, 
opinion was not unanimous. Greek explorers 
from Alexandria (cir. b. C. 100) seem to hare 
gone far up the Nile toward the equator, and the 
astronomer Geminua quotes their testimony in 
proof of his opinion that the torrid zone is inhab- 
itable.* PansBtius, the friend of the younger 
Scipio Africanus, had already expressed a similar 
opinion. But the flaming theory prevmled. Ma- 
orobins, writing about six hundred years later, 
maint^ed that the southernmost limit of the hab- 
itable earth was 850 miles south of Syene, which 
lies juat under the tropic of Cancer.' Beyond this 
point no man could go without danger from the 

' " Taprobaneu alteram orbem terranun esse, din eiistima- 
timi est, AntiahthDimin appellationa." Hitl. Nat., vi. 21. 

' Qaminns, Iiagage, oap. 13. 

" Maoniblai, Sommum Scipionit, ii. 8. Stralra (ii. &, ££ 7, 8) 
MtB the sonUieni boundary of die Inhabited WtnU SOD niilee 
Bantb of Syene, and the noiihem boimdar; at the north of Ite- 



fiery atmosphere. Bejond some such latitude on 
The auy ^^ ocean no ship could venture without 
""* risk of being enguKed in some steam- 

ing whirlpool.^ Such was the common behef before 
the great voyages of the Portuguese. 

Beaidea this dread of the burning zone, another 
fanciful obstacle beset the mariner who proposed 
to undertake a long voyage upoa the outer ocean. 
It had been observed that a ship which disappears 
in the offing seems to be going downhill ; and 
many people feared that if they should happen thus 
to descend too far away from the land they could 
Goto J down- never get back again. Men accustomed 
**"'' to inland sea travel did not feel this 

dread within the regions of which they had experi- 
ence, but it assailed them whenever they thought 
of braving the mighty waters outside.^ Thus the 

' Another Dotioo, less easily explicable and lesa commonly 
eDtertained, bnt inteivatii^ far its literary assooiadouB, was 
the notioD of a moDntain of loadstone in the Indian ooean, which 
pravented access to the torrid zone by drawing the luiilB from 
■hips and thna wreaHng them. This imaginary monntain, with 
some vaiiations in the description, is made to oany a serions 
Keographical urgument by the satrologer Pietro d' Abano, in his 
book Conciliator Differfntiamn, written about 1312. (See Major, 
Priaa Henry tht Navigator, p. 100.) It plays an important part 
tnone of the finest tales iu the Arabian Nig&is, — the atory of 
the " Third Royal Mendicant" 

^ Ferdinand Golnmbns tells ns that this objection was n^red 
agtunst the Portngaew captains and afterwards against his 
father: " E altri di oi6 quasi cos) dispntayano, oome gijt i Porto- 
ghesi intomo al naiigare in Qniuea ; dicendo ohe, se a allargasse 
slcDDo a far cammino diritto al oncideDte, come I' Anuniraglio 
dioeva, non potiebbe pcd tJiroaie in lapagna per la rotondit^ della 
■fera ; tenendo per oertinlrae, ohe qnalunqne usoisse del emiapo- 
rio conoeciqto da Tolomeo, anderebbe in giCi, e poi gli sarebbe 
impoamtdle dar la volta ; e affermando che cii> sarebbe qnaai un« 



master mariner, in the Middle Ages, might con- 
template the possible chance of being^ drawn by 
force of gravity into the fiery gulf, sbould he 
rashly approach too near ; and in such misgiringB 
he would be confirmed by Virgil, who was as much 
read then as he is to-day and esteemed an author- 
ity, withal, on scientific questions ; for according 
to Virgil the Inhabited World descends toward 
ihe equator and has its apex in the extreme north.' 
To such notions as these, which were supposed 
to have some sort <d scientific basis, we must add 
the wild superstitious fancies that clustered about 
all remote and nnvisited comers of the world. In 
maps made in the fifteenth and sixteenth centu- 
ries, in such places as we should label " Unex- 
plored Region," there were commonly depicted 
uncouth shapes of " Gorgons and Hydras and Chi- 
aaoendere all' inall di on monta. n ahe non potrebbono fare i 
navigli con grauiliafflmD veato." Vita deli' Atamiroglio, Venios, 
1671, cap. lii. The same thing ia told, in almost llie ■ame words, 
bj Las Caaaa, since both writers followed the same original doca- 
tnents : " Aftiilian niaa, que qnien navegaae por via derecha la 
TDelta del pomente, oomo el CristiSbal Colon proferia, no podria 
deepues Tolver, BapoDiendo que el mundo era redondo j yendo 
hdcU el oecidento iluui cneata abajo, y saliendo del hemisf erio que 
Ptolomeo escribib, i, la vnelta ^rales necesario snbir cneata aniba, 
lo que loa navies era imposible haoer." The gentle bnt keen sar- 
casm that follows is Tery charaoteriitio of Las Caaaa : " EJFta era 
geutil y profunda raion, y seilal de haber bien el negodo entendi- 
dol " Bisloria de las /nJi'os, tom. i. p. 230. 

Hie «rM. nobis Hmper miblimi. ; it iUma 
Snb pedlbiu Stji atn ildet Mauuqaa prof undl. 

GtoTB; I 240. 
For an account of the deference paid to Yii^l in the Middle 
Ages, BS well as the groteaqne fancies about hiia, aee TimisoD^ 
MaiUr Virgil, 2d ed., Cincinnati, 1890. 



mierae dice," fumisliiiig eloquent testimony to t^e 
feelings wttti which the unknown uraa regarded. 
Bupcntitiimi "^^ barren wastes of the Sea of Dark- 
fwcJw jiggg awakened a shuddering dread like 

that with which children shrink from the gloom of 
a cellar. When we remember aJl these things, and 
consider how the intelligent purpose which ui^ed 
the commanders onwanl was scarcely witjiin the 
comprehension of their ignorant and refractory 
crews, we can begin to form some idea of the dif- 
fitniltiea that confronted the brave mariners who 
first sought an ocean route to the far-off shores of 

Less formidable than these obstacles based on 
fallacious reasoning or superstitious whim were 
those that were furnished by the clumsiness of the 
ships and the erudeness of tlje appUaaces for 
navigation. As already obserred, the Spanish and 
Portuguese caravels of the fifteenth century were 
in .— ri~«i ^ less swift and manageable craft than 
thBc«.'«ii tjjg Norwegian "dragons " of the tenth. 
Mere yachte in size we should call them, but far 
from yachtlike in shape or nimbleness. With their 
length seldom more than thrice their width of 
beam, with narrow tower-like poops, with broad- 
shouldered bows and bowsprit weighed down with 
spritsail yards, and with no canvas higher than a 
topsail, these clumsy caravels could make but lit- 
tle progress against headwinds, and the amount 
of tacking and beating to and fro was sometimes 
enough to quadriiple the length of the voy^e. 
For want of metallic sheathing below the water- 
line the ship was liable to be sunk by the terrible 



^orm which, in Hakluyt's phrase, "manjr times 
pearceth and eateth through the strongest oake." 
For want of vegetable food in the larder, or any- 
thing save the driest of bread and beef stiffened 
with brine, the sailors were sure to be attacked by 
scurvy, and in a very long voyage the crew was 
deemed fortunate that did not lose half its num- 
ber from that foul disease. Often in traversing 
imknown seas the sturdy men who sur- j^^n, „^ 
vived all other perils were brought *™'^- 
face to face with starvation when they had ven- 
tured too far without taming back.' We need not 
wonder that the first steps in oceanic discovery 
were slow and painful. 

First among the instruments without which sys- 
tematio ocean navigation would have been impos- 
sible, the magnetic compass had been introduced 
into souihem Furope and was used by xm ■nuinw'B 
Biscayan tmd Catalan s^lorg before the ■"™i™* 
end of the twelfth century.^ Parties of Crusaders 
had learned the virtues of the suspended needle 
m from the Arabs, who are said to have got their 
knowledge indirectly from China in the course of 
their eastern voyages.^ It seems to have been 

1 Or simply becaofie a viong coarse happened to be taken, 
tbnjagh ^Dorance of atrDOflpIierie conditions, as in the second 
homevard and third ontward Toyages of Colnmbua. See boloir, 
pp. 485, 490. 

^ NavarrBte, Diicarao lustarico tobre ioa prograioa dtl aitt <U 
naiiegar en EspaHa, p. 28 ; see aleo Raymond Lulty'a treadse, 
Libra feiix, d Maravillai del mvnila (A. D. 1286). 

■ See Humboldt's Saamoa, hd. i. p. 294 ; Klaprotli, Lettrt d li. 
it Humboldl iw i'invention de la boassoh, pp. 41, 45, 50, 66, 79, 
BO. Bat Borne of Klaproth'a oonclusioiu have heen donb(«d : 
"Poor ]» bonaw^, rien ne prouTe que lea ChinrnsI'iiieDt em- 



at A nialfi that the needle was first enclosed in a 
box and connected with a graduated compass-card. 
Apparently it had not come into general use in 
the middle of the thirteenth century, for in 1258 
the famous Branetto Latioi, afterwards tutor of 
Dante, made a visit to Soger Bacon, of which he 
gives a description in a letter to his friend the 
poet Ouido Cavalcanti : " The Parliament being 
summoned to assemble at Oxford, I did not f^ to 
see Friar Bacon as soon as I arrived, and (among 
other things) he showed me a black ugly stone 
called a magnet, which has the surprising property 
of drawing iron to it ; and upon which, if a needle 
be rubbed, and afterwards fastened to a straw so 
that it shall swim npon water, the needle will in< 
stantly turn toward the Pole-star: therefore, be 
the night ever so dark, so that neither moon nor 
star he visible, yet shall the mariner be able, by 
the help of this needle, to steer his vessel ari^t. 
This discovery, which appears useful in so great a 
degree to all who travel by sea, must remain con- 
cealed until other times ; because no mast«r mari- 
ner dares to use it lest he should fall under the 
imputation of being a ma^cian ; nor would the 
sailors venture themselves out to sea under his 
command, if he took with him an instrument which 
carries so great an appearance of being constructed 
under the influence of some infernal spirit.^ A 

ploy4e poor la navigation, tsn^ que nons la tronvans d^ la xi> 
BiMe obez Ub Aj&bes qm s'eu serreot uoa eealement dans lenn 
traTeraies maiitiineg, maia dajis lea loyagBs de caraTanes «i 
milien Ae» d^eertB," eta. S^dillot, Sisloire da Arabes, totn. il 

p. 130. 

' la it not a onrionti imtaiiM of human perrS'^tj that vhile 



Hme may arrire when these prejudices, which are 
of such great hindrance to researches into the 
secrets of nature, will he overcome ; and it will 
he then that mankind shall reap the benefit of the 
labours of such learned men as Friar Bacon, and 
do justice to that industry and intelligence for 
which he and they now meet with no other return 
flian obloquy and reproach." * 

That time was after all not so long in arriving, 
for by the end of the thirteenth century the com- 
pass had come to be quite generally used,^ and the 
direction of a ship's course could he watched con- 
tinuously in foul and fair weather alike. For 
taking the sun's altitude rude astrolabes and jack- 
staffs were in use, very crazy afi^irs as compared 
with the modem quadrant, hut sufficiently accu- 
rate to enable a well-trained observer, j^i^^, ^^ 
in calculating his latitude, to get som&- ><"*"^'^ 
where within two or three degrees of the truth. 
In calculatmg longitude the error was apt to he 
much greater, for in the absence of chronometers 
there were no accurate means for marking differ- 
ences in time. It was necessary to depend upon the 
dead-reckoning, and the custom was first to s^ 
due north or south to the parallel of the place of 
destination and then to turn at right angles and 

OastoiDarjiua^frDintiTneiiiuneniorialliBSoIiaracteTiied u " acta 
of God" such horrible eveDts as famineB, psBtilenDes, and earth- 
qnakeST on the other band when some pnroly benefioeiit invention 
baa appeared, anch aa the mariner's compass or the printing 
press, it has commoDly been accredited to the Devil ? Hie case 
of Dr. Fanatna ia tbe most familiar eitunple. 

' This Tersion is cited from Major's Princt Sews '^ Naviga- 
or, p. 58. 

* HiiUmaim, Stadtanesen da MittelaJten, bd. i. pp. 125-137. 



aail dne east or west. Errors of eiglit or even tea 
degrees were not uncommon. Thus at the end of 
a long outward voyage the ship might find itself 
a hundred milea or more to the north or soutJi, and 
six or seven hundred miles to the east or west, of 
the point at which it hod been aimed. Under all 
these dif&Gulties, the approximationa made to cor- 
rect sailing by the most skilful mariners were some- 
times wonderful. Doubtless this very poverty of 
resources served to sharpen their watehf ul sagacity.* 
To s^l the seas was in those days a task requiring 
high mental equipment ; it was no work for your 
conmionplace skipper. Human faculty was taxed 
to its utmost, and human courage has never been 
more grandly displayed than by the glorious sail- 
ors of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

We are now prepared to appreciate the charac- 
ter of the work that was done in the course of the 
first attempts to find an oceanic route from Europe 

to Asia. Then, as in other great epochs 
tbeNnim!^, of Mstory, men of genius arose to meet 

the occasion. In 1394 was bom Prince 
Henry of Portugal, since known as Henry the 
Navigator.^ He was foiu^h son of King John I., 

' Compare the Temarki of Hr. Clark Rnssnll on the niaiiiieK! 
of the Beventeenth centiirjr, in hia William Dangiier, p. 12. 

^ My chief anthorities for the nchieTeraenta of Prince Henry 
and his anccessois are the Portngfnese historians, Barros and Azn- 
larft. The best edirion of the formeria a modem one, Barros y 
Coato, Decadas da Asia, noua edicSo con Indice geral, Lisbon, 
1718-88, 24 Tols. 12nio. I also refer sometimes to the Liabon, 
1752, edition of the Decada primeira, in folio. The priceless con- 
temporary work of Ainrftra, written in 1453 under Prince Henry's 
direction, was not printed until the present centniy : Azurar^ 



&.& valiant and prudeot Idog under whom began 
the golden age of Portugal, which lasted until the 
conqnest of that country in 1580 by Philip II. of 
Spain. Henry's mother was Philippa, daughter 
oE John o£ Gaunt. He was therefore cousin to 
our own Henry V. of England, whom he quite 
equalled in genius, while the laurels that he won 
were more glorious than those of Agincourt. In 
1416, being then in his twentj-firat year. Prince 
Henry played a distinguished part in the expe- 
dition which captured Centa from the Moors. 
While in Morocco he gathered such information 
as he could concerning the interior of the conti- 
nent ; he learned something about the oases of 
Sahara, the distant river Grunbia, and the carayan 
trade between Timis and Timbiujtoo, whereby gold 
was carried from the Guinea coast to Mussulman 
ports on the Mediterranean. If this coast could 
be reached by sea, its gold might be brought to 
Lisbon as well. To divert such treasure from the 
infidel and secure it for a Christiaji nation was an 
enterprise fitted to kindle a prince's enthusiasm. 
While Heniy felt the full force of these consid- 
erations, his thoughts took a wider range. The 
views of Fomponius Mela had always been held in 
high esteem by scholars of the Spanish peninsula,' 
and down past that Gold Coast Pricce Henry saw 

Chronica do Dacobrimaiio t Conqmata de GuiW, Parii, 1841, a 
■nperb edition in royal quarto, edited by the Viseoimt da Car- 
reirs. vitli introdaotiDii and Dotea by iiia Viseoont de Santarem. 

' Partly, peibapa, because M«Ia wae himself a Spaniard, and 
vartly becsuae his opinions had been shared and supported by St. 
Isidore, of Seville (a. d. 570-630), vhoae learned vorka exereiaed 
inuoense authority thionghont tlie Middle Ages. It ii in ciae of 



&e ocean route to the Indies, the road vherel^ 
„,,,_. a vast empire mi^t be won for Porto- 

Hli Idea of IB *_ . , 

Doauirautato rral and millions of wandering heathen 
^ji It migtit aouls might be gathered into the fold 
of Christ. To doubt die sincerity of 
the latter motive, or to belittle its influence, would 
be to do injustice to Prince Henry, — such cTuical 
injustice as our hard-headed age is only too apt 
to mete out to that romantic time and the fresh 
enthusiasm which iospii^d its heroic performances. 
Prince Hemy was earnest, conscientiouB, large- 
minded, and in the best sense devout; and there 
can be no question that in his mind, as in that of 
Columbus, and (with somewhat more alloy) in the 
minds of Cortes and others, the desire of converting 
the heathen and strengthening the Churdi served 
as a most powerful incentive to the actions which 
in the course of little more than a century quite 
changed the kux of the world. 

Filled with such lofty and generous thoughts. 
Prince Henry, on his return from Morocco, in 
1418, chose for himself a secluded place of abode 
where he could devote himself to his purposes un- 
disturbed by the court life at Lisbon or by political 
solicitations of whatever sort. In the Morocco 
campaign he had won such military renown that 
he was now invited by Pope Martin V. to take 
chief command of the papal army ; and presently 
he received similar flattering ofFers from his own 
cousin, Henry V. of England, from John II. of 

St. ludore'a bimks (Elt/maiogiamat, xiii. 10, apud Migne, I'atrct 
togia, tom. Ixixii. cal. 484) that we first find the word ' ' Medit«rm 
nean ' ' used at a proper oanie lor that great land-locked Bea. 



Castile, and ixota the Empenn- Si^amnnd, who, 
for shamef uUj violating Ma imperial ' word and 
permitting the burning of John Hubs, was now 
sorely pressed by the enraged and rebellious Bohe- 
mians. Bach invitations had no charm for Heniy. 
Kefusing tjiem one and all, he retired to the pro- 
jnontcay of Sagres, in Hie southernmost ^^^ B«nd 
province of Portugal, the ancient king- p™™™*"^- 
dom of Algarve, of vhioh his fatiher now appointed 
him governor. That lonely and barren rook, pro- 
truding into the ocean, had long ^o impressed the 
imagination of Greek and Boman writers ; they 
called it the Sacred Promontory, and supposed it 
to be the westemdiost limit of the habitable earth.' 
There the yoong prince proceeded to build an 
astrononu<3al observatory, the first that his country 
had ever seen, and to gather about him a school of 
men competent to teach and men eager to leani 
the mysteries of mapwaking and the art of navi- 
gation. There he spent die greater part of Ue 
life -, thence he sent forth his captains to plough 
the soutiiem seas; and as year after year the 
weather-beaten ships returned from their venture- 
some pilgrimage, the first glimpse of li<»ne that 
greeted them was likely to be the beacon-light in 
the tower where the master sat poring over prob- 
lems of Archimedes or watching the stars. For 
Henry, whose motto was " Talent de bien f aire," 
or (in the old French usage) " Desire ^ to do well," 

' 'OlLottit !i Hal ir«p! Tijt t^u ht^Xuv Kiytiat • iuaianAraToy iiiu 
yip (Tii/ifToy Tqi oiHOo/iiints, rb r&y 'IjS^^v ([j(fwrj}piav, i mAouTUi 
Itpir. Strabo, a 5, £ M ; of . Dianysius Perie^etea, v. 161. In 
reality it lies not qaita so far west a» tha country around Luban. 

* See Iiittrd, Didwiumn:, s. v. " Xaleot; " Da Ga»tfi~i, Qiouo' 



was wont to throw himself vhole- hearted into 
whatever he undertook, and the study of astron< 
omy and mathematics he purxued so zealously as 
to reach a foremost place among the experte of his 
time. With such tastes and such am^bition, he 
was singularly fortunate in wielding ample pecu- 
niary resources; if such a combination could be 
more often realized, the welfare of mankind would 
be notably enhanced. Prince Henry was Grand 
Master of the Order of Christ, an organization 
half military, half religious, and out of Its abundant 
revenues he made the appropriations needful for 
&B worthy purpose of advancing the interests of 
science, converting the heathen, and winning a 
commercial empire for Portugal. At first he had 
to encounter the usual opposition to lavish expen- 
diture for a distant object without hope of imme- 
diate returns ; but after a while his dogged perse- 
verance began to be rewarded with such successes 
aa to silence all adverse comment. 

The first work in hand was the rediscovery of 
coasts and islands that had ceased to be visited 
even before the breaking up of the Boman Em- 
pire. For more than a thousand years the Ma- 
deiras and Canaries had been wellnigh 
wdcuiuj forgotten, and upon the coa^t of the 
African continent no ship ventured be- 
yond Cape Non, the headland so named because 
it said " No 1 " to the wistful mariner.' There 

n'uin, " taJeatmn, ■nimi deoretnm, Tolnntss, deaiderium, onpidi- 
tas," etc. i cf. Raynonud, Giossairt Pnnietiqale, torn. t. p. 296. 
French was then fashioDsble at aonrt, in Liahon as well aa in 
' Hw Portagneaa prorerb vas "Qnem panar o C»bo de Nl* 



had been some re-awakening of maritime aotivity 
in the course of the fourteenth century, chiefly 
due, no doubt, to the use of the compass. Be- 
tween 1317 and 1351 certain Portuguese ships, 
with Genoese pilots, had visited not only the Ma- 
deiras and Canaries, but even the Azores, a thou- 
sand miles out in the Atlantic ; and these groups 
of islands are duly l^d down upon the so-called 
Medici map of 1S51, preserved in the Laurentian 
library at Florence.^ The voyage to the Azores 
was probably the greatest feat of ocean navigation 
that had been performed down to that time, but it 
was not followed by colonization. Again, some- 
where about 1377 Madeira seems to have been 
visited by Kobert Machin, an Englishman, whose 
adventures make a most romantic story ; and iu 
1402 the Norman knight, Jean de B^thencourt, 
had begun to found a colony in the Canaries, for 
which, in return for ud and supplies, he did hom- 
age to the King of Castile.' As for the African 

on Toltati on alio," t e- " Wliotner puHM Gape If on wOl letiun 
or not." See Laa Cauu, Blit. de las Indiat, toio. 1. p. 173 ; Ua- 
Hana, Hill, de EspaSa, torn. i. p. 91 ; Barroe, torn. i. p. 36. 

^ An eagrared copy of this map may be fooud In Majorca 
Prinee Henry the Navigator, London, 1868, faoing p. 107. I need 
haidly say that in all that relates to the Portuguese Toyagea I 
am under great oblation to Mr. Major's profonndty learned and 
Oiitical lesearches. He haa fairly oonqaered this anbject and 
mads it his ovn, and whoerer tonohas it after Imn, boweTer 
lightly, mnat always owe bim a tribnte of acknovledgmeiit. 

* See Bontier and Le Verrier, TV Cananan, or, BtxA qf Sh» 
Conquest and Convernon qf the Canaries, translatod and edited 
by R. H. Major, London, 18T2 (Haklayt Soc.). In 1414, B6- 
thenoonrt'a nephew, left in oharge of these ialands, sold them to 
Prinoe Henry, bat Castile pei«ated in claming them, and at 
length in 147dbeTaUmwaareoagmiedb;tceatTirith PoHngal. 
















sir-' — ' 



«>. *—. 






Pottngneae Toyagea on the coast of Africa. 

land to instruct their heatlien brethren. The kingc 
of Portugal should huve a Christian empire in 

Africa, and in course of time the good 
hMthi^un- work might be extended to the Indies. 
PortugnH Accordingly a special message was sent 

to Pope Eugenius IV., informing lum 
of the discovery of the country of these barbar- 



0118 people beyond the Hmits of the Mussulmaa 
woi;I(l, and a^kii^ for a grant in perpetuity to 
Foi-tugal of all heathen lands that might be dis- 
covered in farther voyages beyond Cape Bojador, 
even bo far aa to include the Indies.^ The request 
found favour in the eyes of Eugenius, and the 
grant was solenmly confirmed by succeeding popes. 
To these proceedings we shall agwn hare occasion 
to refer. We have here to observe that the dis- 
covery of gold and the profits of the slave-trade — 
though it was as yet conducted upon a very small 
scale — served to increase the interest of the Por- 
tngueae people in Prince Henry's work and to 
diminish the obstacles in his way. A succession 
of gallant captains, whose names mi^e a glorious 
roll of honour, carried on the work of exploration, 
reaching the farthest point that had been attained 
by the ancients. In 1445 Dinis Fernandez passed 

1 " En el alio de 1442, viendo el Infante qne ae hahia pasado el 
cabo del Boiador y qn« la tiern ibft mny adelante, j que todm 
loa cavlos qne inviaba tniaa machos esolaToa monw, con que pa- 
gabB loH gaatae qne bacia y qne cada dia erecia mis el proTecho 
y se pmeperaba bo amada neffociaoion, detennind de inTlar i en- 
plicar al PiqM Martino V-. - . ■ que hiciese graeia i, la Corona 
teal de Portegal de los reinaa y aeDorloa que hafaU y hobioM 
<^eHle el oabo del Boiador adelante, hioia el Oriente y la India 
inclusive ; y ami ae las ooneedid, . . . con todas laa tieiras, pa- 
ertoo, ialaa, tratos, rescates, peaqnerfss y coeas i eato pertooa- 
cientes, ponienda censnraa y penaa i todoa loa reyes eriatianaa, 
prindpea, y leBorea y oomnnidadeB qne i eato le pertorbaaen; 
deapnes, dioen, que los anmoa pontifloeB, aoceaorea de Martino, 
oomo Engemo IV. y Nioolas V. y Caliito IV. lo confirmaron." 
Ids CasHS, Hitt. de laa India), torn. i. p. 185. The name of Mar- 
tin V. la a slip of the memory on the part of Las Casaa. That 
pops had died of apoplexy eleven years befiwe. It waa Eagemos 
£V. who made this memorable grant te the oroini of PortogsL 
The eiroT is repeated in Irnng's Colun^at, vol. L p. 339. 







they ehoald have found it posdble at onca to bu] 
eastward to the gulf of Aden. What if it should 
turn out after all that there was no oonneotion b^ 
tween the Atlantic and liidian oceans? Every 
added league of voyaging toward the tropic of 
Capricorn must have been fraught with added 
discoar^ement, for it went to prove that, even if 
Ptolemy's theory was wrong, at any rate the ocean 
route to Asia was indefinitely longer than had 
been supposed. But was it possible to imagine 
any other route that should be more direct ? To 
a tr^ed mariner of ori^nal and imaginative 
mind, sojourning in Portugal and keenly watching 
the progress of African discovery, the years just 
following the voyage of Santarem and Escobar 
would be a period eminently fit for suggesting 
such a question. Let us not foi^et this date of 
1471 while we follow Prince Henry's work to its 
first grand climax. 

About the time that Diego Cam was visiting the 
tribes on the Congo, the negro king of Benin, 
a country by the mouth of the I^iger, sent an 
embassy to John II. of Portugal (Prince Henry's 
nephew), with a request that missionary priests 
might be sent to Benin. It has been thought that 
the woolly-h^red chieft^ was really courting an 
alliance with the Portuguese, or perhaps he thought 
their " medicine men " might have the knack of 
confounding his foes. The negro envoy told King 
John that a thousand miles or so east of Benin 
there was an august sovereign who ruled over many 
subject peoples, and at whose court there was an 
order of chivalry whose badge or emblem was 



a bntzen cross. Such, at least, was the king's in- 
terpretati<m of ihe negro's words, and forthwith he 
jumped to the ctmclufuon that this Af ri- nbwi oi 
can potentate must be Preater John, ^"^''^ 
whose name was redolent of all the marvels of the 
' mysterious Bast. To find Frester John woold be 
a long step toward golden Catbaj and &.e isles of 
spioe. So the king of Portugal rose to the occasion, 
imd attached the problem on both flanks at once. 
He sent Pedro de Corilham by way of Egypt to 
Aden, and he sent Bartholomew Dias, with three 
fifty-ton caravels, to make one more attempt to 
find an Mtd to the Allantio coast of Africa. 

Ooyilham's journey was full of interesting expe- 
riences. Ho flailed from Aden to Hindustan, and 
on his return visited Abyssinia, where o<,^u,aa., 
the semi-Christiaii king took such a lik- ><">™v- 
ing to him that he would nev» let him go. So 
Covilham sp^it the rest of his life, more than 
thirty years, in Abyssinia, whence he was able 
now and then to send to Portugal items of infor- 
mation concerning eastern Africa that were afteiv 
wards quite serviceable in voyages upon the Indian 

The daring captain, Bartholomew Dias, started 
in Auguat, 1486, and after passing neariy four 
hundred miles beyond the tropic of Capricorn, 
was driven due south before heavy winds for 
thirteen days without seeing land. At the end of 
this stress of weather he turned his prows east- 
ward, expecting soon to reach the coast. But as 
be had passed the southernmost point of Africa 
, '- Sea Uwir's India in tke Fifteenth CetUurg, pp- Izxzv.-xe. 



a scheme of nnpreeedented boldiiess £or wliich bis 
dder brother had for aome years been seeking to 
obtun the needful funds. Mot long after that dis- 
appointing voyage of Santarem and Escobar in 
1471, this original and imaginative sailor, Chris- 
topher Columbus, had conceived (or adopted and 
made his own) a new method of solving the prob- 
lem <^ an ocean route to CaUiay. We have now 
to sketch the early career o£ this epoctmaking 
man, and to see how he came to be brought into 
close rdations with the work of the Portuguese 




Ous informatioii conoeming the life of Coluni' 
bus before 1492 is far from being as satisfEUitory 
as one could wish. UaqueBtioiiably be is to be 
deemed fortunate in baving had for his biographers 
two such men as his friend Las Casae, one of the 
nobleBt characters and most faithful historians of 
that or any age, and his own son Ferdinand Co- 
lumbus, a most accomplished scholar and bibli- 
ographer. The later years oi Perdinand's life 
were devoted, with loving care, to the gg„„„ ^f 
preparation of a biography of hie ™™wj„ 
father ; and his book — whioh imfortu- ^:°'l2i '^ 
nately survives only in the Italian trans- f^h^ 
lation of Alfonso Ulloa,' published in ^'"™'''™- 
Venice in 1571 — is of priceless value. As "Wash- 
ington Irving long ago wrote, it is " an invaluable 
document, entitled to great faith, and is the comer- 

' HistorU dd S. D. Fernando CoJonSa ; IfdU qvali i' ka parti- 
eotoTt., ^ vera rdatumt delta pita, ^ de' faiti dell' Ammiraglio D. 
Gkriitoforo Cdombo, fuo padre: Et dello jetiprimenfo, ch' egli/ece 
dtW Indie Ocridentali, dette Monde - JVivdo, kora poiuedute dai 
Sereniss. Re Catalico : Nuouamenie di lingua Spagntiola tradotte 
neW Italiana dal 3. Alfonso VUoa. Con.priiiUegio. In VEnETiA, 
H D I Til. Appresso Franceico dt' Pranaichi Sanete. The prin- 
cipal reprlnU are those of Milan, 1614; Venice, 1673 and 1678; 
London, 1SC7. I atways ciM it as Vila delP Ammiragiio. 



Btone at the history of the Amencan conlineiit.'* * 
After Ferdinand's death, in 1539, his papers seem 
to have passed into the hands of Los Casas, who, 
from 1552 to 1561, in die seclnsion of the college 
of San Gregorio at V^lladolid, was engaged in 
writing his great " History of the Indies."' Fer- 
dinand's saperb library, one of the finest in Eu- 
rope, was bequeathed to the cathedral at Seville.^ 
It contained some twenty thonsand volumes in 
print and manuscript, four fifths of which, throu^ 
shameful neglect or vandaliam, have perished or 
been scattered. Four thouaand volumes, however, 
are still preserved, and this library (known as the 

" Bibliot«ca Colombina "} is full of in- 
ccioriUiiXm terest for the historian. Book-buying 

was to Ferdinand Columbus one of the 
most important occupations in life. His hooka 
were not only carefully numbered, but on the last 
leaf of each one he wrote a memorandum of the time 
and place of its purchase and the sum of money 
paid for it.* This habit of Ferdinand's has fur- 

1 Irring's Life of Columbus, New York, 1868, vol. iii. p. 875. 
M; lefereooBa, onleBB otherwiaa Specified, are to duB, the " Geof- 
frey Crayon," edition. 

^ Lai CsBBs, Uistoria de lai IndioM, ahara porprimera vez dada 
d luzpor d Marquii de la Fuentanta del V<dte jf D- Joai SancHo 
Rayoa, Madrid, IS75, 5 voU. Sva 

' " Fd qnegto D. Eraando di Don minor Taloie del padre, ma 
di molts piil lettere et Boienie dotato ohe quelle non fu j at Q 
quale lOHoib sUa Chieaa maggioie di SiTiglia, dove hof^ si rede 
honoreTolments sepolto, una, non sola nmnerouannut, ma riohisai 
ma libtaria, et pieoa di mold libri in ogni facoltJt et Bciania ranasi' 
mi : laqaale dn colon) ahe 1' ban vedata, vien etimata delle piti 
rare cose di tntta Emopa." Moleto'a prefatory latter to Vita ddV 
Ammiraglio, .4pri] 25. 1571. 

* Foreiiuuple, " Manuel de la SanctaFe calilliea.Soyia^ 14S6, 



nished us with clues to tlie solution of some mt«F- 
esting questions. Besides this, he was much gtren 
to making marginal notes and comments, which 
are sometimes of immense value, and, more than 
all, there are still to be seen in this libraiy a few 
books that belonged to Christopher Columbus him- 
self, with very important notes in his own hand- 
writang and in that of his brother Bartholomew. 
Las Casas was familiar with this grand collection 
in the days of its completeness, he was well ac- 
qu^nted with aU the members of the Columbus 
family, and he had evidently read the manuscript 
sources of Ferdinand's book ; for a comparison 
with Ulloa's version shows that considerable por- 
tions of the original Spanish text— or of the doc- 
uments upon which it rested — are preserved in the 
work of Las Casas.' The citation and adoption of 
Ferdinand's statements by the latter writer, who 
was able independently to verify them, is therefore 
in most cases equivalent to corroboration, and the 
two writers together form an authority of the 
weightiest kind, and not lightly to be questioned or 
set aside. 

in4. CiwtJ en Toledo 34 maravedis, ado 1511, 9 de Octnbie, No. 
3004." " Tragicomedia de Caliato y Mdibea, SoTilU, 1502, in-4. 
Mncbaa figrnrBB. Coatd en Roma SS anatrineB, poi' Janio da 1516. 
No. 2417," etc. See Harriaae, Femand Calomb, Para, 1872, p. 13. 
' "L' sntorita di Laa Casas k d' una aaprerna e vitale impor. 
tanza tanto nella storia di Cristoforo Colombo, come nell' aeome 
dells Hittorie di Fernando soo figlio. . , , E dal eonfronto tra 
qaeoti das soriltori emei^rerlk una omogeneiU bI perfetta, che st 
pofaebbe em tennini del frate domonieaoo ritrovate o rifare per 
dno tera it testo ong^nale apag^aolo delle Hiatorie di Fernando 
Colombo." Perapdlo, X' autentkilH delU Hi^orie di Fernando 
Vokmbo, Genoa, 1884, p. 21 _ . 



Besides these books of most faadamental impop- 
tanoe, we ham valuable accotmts of some parts of 
the life of Columbus by his friend Andres Ber- 
Bnnkidei and Diildez, the Curate of Los Falaoios near 
PMHMutTT. Seville.' Pet«r Martyr, of Anghiera, 
by Lago Maggiore, was an intimate friend of 
Columbus, and gives a good account of his voy- 
ages, besides mentioning him in sundry epistles.^ 
Columbus himself, moreover, was such a volu- 
minous writer that his contemporaries laughed 
about it. "God grant," says ZuDiga in a ktter to 
tihe Marqnis de Pescara, " God grant that Gutier- 
rez may never ccnne short for paper, for he writes 
more than Ptolemy, more than Columbus, the man 
who discovered the Indies."' These writings are 
Letianof ^ great part lost, though doubtless a 
'^™'™- good many things will yet be brought 
to light in Sp^n by persistent rummaging. We 
have, however, from sixty to seventy letters and 
reports by Columbus, of which twenty-three at 
least are in his own handwriting ; and all these 
have been published.* 

Nevertheless, while these contemporary mate- 

' Hiatoria de lot Beyei CaUSlieoa D. Fernando y D" Iiahel. 
CrUnica inidita del aiglo ZV, exrita par el Backiller Andrit 
Bernaldtx, curu que fai dt Los Palacios, Qraaadts 1850, 2 toIb. 
small 4to. It ia a book of very high aathority. 

' De orbe novo Decades, Aloali, 1519 ; Opus epiit<Jarum, Cora- 
pluli (Alcaic), 1530 ; Hairiaae, Bibliolheca Americana Vetustis- 
fima, Nos. 88, 190. 

f ' ' A Oatierrez vneBtra BolicitAdor, me^ jk IKoo q-ao naDca la 
ftlU pa{ioli poFQiie esoribe mas qne Tolomeo ; qoe CoIod, el qoa 
balld Iw India*." ftiT44Bneyrfl, Curiondadei bibliagntficat, p. 5^ 
l^ad Harriwe, Oliristiplit Colatni, torn. i. p. 1 . 
^ gaiiisw, liK- cil.f iq 1364, g:ir^ ik? onmber at aix^-foar. 



rialB ^ve as abundant information concerning the 
great discoverer, from Hie year 1492 until hie 
death, it is quite otherwise with his earlier years, 
especially before his arrival in Spain in 1484. His 
own allusions to these earlier years are sometimes 
hurd to interpret ; ^ and as for his son Ferdinand, 
that writer confesses, with characteristic and win- 
ning frankness, that his information is 
impeifect, inasmuch as filial respect had i 
deterred him from closely interrogating 
his father on such points, or, to tell the pl^n 
truth, being still very young when his father died, 
he had not then come to recognize their impor- 
tance,* This does not seem strange when we re- 
flect that Ferdinand must have seen very little of 
his father imtil in 1502, at the age of fourteen, he 
accompanied him on that last difficult and disas- 
trous voyage, in which the sick and harassed old 
man could have had but little time or strength for 
anght but the work in hand. It is not strange 
that when, a quarter of a century later, the son set 
about his literaiy task, he should now and then 
have got a date wrong, or have narrated some inci- 

' Sometiniea tronx a slip of raemorj m carelesaneu of phraa- 
ing, on Columbns'B part, goinetiniBB from onr lacking tile doe, 
■omctiiiieB from an enoi in nunieralB, common enongli at all 

^ "Ora, 1' Ammiraglio avendo oogniiioBs dolle dett« soieniB, 
domiiicid ad atteadsre al mate, e a fare aleaoi vii^gi in leTante e 
in poneate; da' qnali, e di molte altre coae di qvei primi dl io 
Don ho piena notizia ; perciocch^ egli renne a moTto a tempo che 
io noD aieva tanto ardire, o pratica, p«r la riyerenza filiale, che io 
ardini di riohiederlo di cotali oose ; o, per pariara piil TerameDta, 
allora mi ritiwava io, come gioTane, molto loutauo da cotal pen- 
■iKo," Vita deli' Ammiragiio, c^ iv. 



dents iu a confused manner, or have admitted 
some gossipping stories, tlLC {alsehood of which can 
now plainly be detected. Such blemishes, whidh 
occnr chiefly in the earlier part of Ferdinand's 
book, do not essentially detract from its high au- 
thori^.' The limits which bonnded the son's 

' Twenty yein ago M. Hanine pablkhed in Spanuh and 
Freneh • eiitiol SHay muntBimi^ Uut Uw Vita ddl' Amniinf 
glio wai not written by Ferdinand Colnmbna, trot pTababl; by the 
famon* •uholai Perei de Oliva, profsaenT in tlie nniTeidty (d Sal- 
Broancs, wbo died in 1530 (D. Fernando Colon, kutoriadar de su 
padrt, Beville, 1871 ; Femand Colomb: sa cie, aa iruvrei, Paris, 
1872). The Spaiu^ nunnacript of the book had qoite a caieer. 
At already obterred, it is clear that Laa Caaaa uaed it, probablj 
between 1552 and 1501. From Ferdinand'a nephew, Lota ColmD- 
bni, it aeanis to have paased in 1568 into the bands of Baliano di 
Fotnarl, a prominent idtiien of Genoa, who gent it to Venice with 
the intention of baring: it edited and pabliBhed with Latin and Ital- 
ian Tertioni. All tliateTerBppeared,howeTer,wB8 tha Italianver- 
■ion made by UUoa and published in I5T1. Harrissemppoeestbat 
the SpanishmaDnscript, written byOliTB, WB8 taken to Qenoa by 
■ome adveRtnreF and palmed off npon Baliano di Fonari as the 
work of Ferdinand Colnmbos. Bntinasmnch aHHorriaBe also snp- 
posea that Oliva probably wrote the book (abont 1525) at Serille, 
nnder Ferdinand'a eje» and with docnmeala famished by him, it 
bacomea a qnestinn, in sack caee, how far van Oliia anything 
more than an amannenaia to Ferdinand ? and there seeme really to 
be precions little wool after ao mnck load erying. If the miuiD> 
script was aotnally written " aous le» yeni de Femand et aveo 
dooumenta foornia par Ini," most of the arguments alleged to 
prove that it oonld not have emanated from the aon of Colnmbna 
fall to the ground. It becomea simply a qneation whether Ulloa 
may have here and there tampered with the text, or made addi- 
tions of hia own. To some extent he aeems to hare done so, bnt 
wherever the Italian version is corroborated by the Spanish 
eitraeta in Las Casaa, we are on aolid ground, for Las Casaa died 
five years before the Italian veieion was published. M. Hacrisse 
does nut seem aa yet to have oonrinced many Hcholais. Hia axgn- 
ments have beenjustiy, if somewhat severely, characterizsd by my 
old friend, the lamented Hem; Stevens {HiUorical CaiiaOuMU, 


ReuarchAi t>f 


accurate knowledge seem also to have bounded 
that of such friends as Berualdez, who did not be- 
come acquainted with Columbus luitil after his 
arrival in Spain. 

In recent years elaborate researches have been 
made, by Henry Harri:sse and others, in the ar- 
chives of Genoa, Savoua, Seville, and 
other places with which Columbus was Hen 
connected, in the hope of supplements 
ing this imperfect information concerning his ear- 
lier yeu^.' A number of data have thus been 
obtained, which, while deariug up the subject 
most reniarkably in some directions, have been 
made to mystify and embroil it in others. There 
is scarcely a. date or a fact relating to Columbus 
before 1492 but has been made the subject of hot 
dispute ; and some pretty wholesale reconstruc- 
tions of his biography have been attempted.^ The 
general impression, however, which the discussions 
of the past twenty years have left upon my mind, 
is that the more violent hypotheses are not likely 

Landon, 1881, Tol. i. No. 1379), and have been elaboratol; refuted 
by M. d' Arezac, Le liiire de Ferdinand Coloi^ : revue critiqag da 
atlegatioiut proposfa contre son aathenticilt, Paris, 1873 ; and by 
Prospero Peragallo, L' autenticilii delle Hiatorie di Fernando Co- 
lo-iibo, Genoa, 1384. See also Fabid, Vtda de Frag Sartoiami de 
Las Cuwj), Madrid, 1860, torn. i. pp. 380-372. 

' See Harriua, Chi^opht Colomb, Paris, 1884, 2 vols-, a work 
of immense reseanjh, absolutely indispensable to every etodent of 
Che subject, tlioogfh bere and there aomewbat over-ingenious and 
hyperoritieal, and in t^neral unduly bUaed by the author's pri- 
vate orotchet aboat the work of Ferdinand. 

^ One of the moat radical of these reconstructions may be 
found in tbe esaay by M. d'Aveiao, " Canevss chronologique de la 
•ie de Cbristophe Colomb," in Btdietin de la Soci&i de Giographit, 
Paris, 1872, 6' tiirm, torn. iv. pp. 5-59. 



to be anstuited, and that &e newly-ascertained ftuxta 
do not call for any Tery radical interference with 
the traditional lines npon whidi the life of Colmn- 
bus baa heretofore been written.' At axiy rate 
there seems to be no likelihood of such interfer- 
ence as to modify our views of the causal sequence 
of events that led to the westward search for the 
Indies ; and it is this relation of cause and effect 
that chiefly eonoems us in a history of the Discov- 
ery of America. 

The date of the birth of Columbus is easy to 
determine approximately, but hard to determine 
with precision. In the voluminous discussion 
upon this subject the extreme limits assigned have 
been 1480 and 1456, but neither of these extremes 
is admissible, and our choice really lies somewhere 

between 1436 and 1446. Among the 
Wrthof town archives of Savona is a deed of 

■rebinaot sale executed August 7, 1473, by the 

&,ther of Christopher Columbus, and 
ratified by Christopher and his next brother Gio- 
vanni.^ Both brothers must then have attained 

1 Wubiiqcton Irvii^'s I^fe of Columbus, oayB Hanisse, " ia 
a biitoTT vtitteii vith jadgment and impartdalitf, vliioh Ibbtih 
far bahind it all dswriptdtma of the diacoTer; of the Hew World 
pablialied befoK or unoe." Cbri^opAt Ct/lomb, tosi. i. p. 136. 
Irrii^ was ths fliM to make nee of the anperb work of Narar- 
TeM, Coleccion da lot vioga g daaU/rimiaaoi gve hicteron per mar 
loi EapdUDlea tUsdt Jinti dd giglo XV., Madrid, 1825-37, 6 vola. 
4to. Next followed Alexander von Homboldt, with hia Eiaanat 
cn'tiguc de VhiAoirt de la giogrigAit de Noaneau Continent, Puria, 
183&-39, 5 vols. 6io. This monumaut of gif^antio emditioa 
(which, nnfortnnatel]-, wbh Dever completed) will alwajs rem^ 
indispeiiBable to the historiBii. 

' Harrnae, pp. cit. tom. i. p. 1B6. 



their majority, wtidi in the republic of Genoa mu 
fixed at the age of tweDty-five. Christopher, there- 
fore, can hardly have been less than seven and 
twenty, so that the latest probable date for his 
birth is 1446, and this is the date accepted by 
MuBoz, Uajor, HarrisBe, and Avsac There is no 
doctunentaiy proof, however, to prevent our taking 
an earlier date ; ajid the curate of Los Palaeios — 
strong authcaity on such a point — says Butmartrf 
expressly tibat at the time of his death, ^™'''^ 
in 1506, Columbus was " in a good old age, seventy 
years a little more or less." ^ Up<Hi tiiis statran^it 
Navarrete and Hnmboldt hare accepted 1436 as 
the probable date of birth.' The most plausible 
objection to this is a' statement made by Columbus 
himself in a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella, 
written in 1501. In this letter, as first given in 
the biography by his son, Columbus says that he 
was of " very tender age " when he began to sail 
the seas, an occupation which he has kept up until 
the present moment ; and in the next sentence but 
one he adds that " now for iorty years I have been 

' " In aenedute bona, de edad ds aetenta aam pooo mas o me- 
noa." Bemaldei, Eegea Catdlicos, torn. i. p. 334. 

^ M. d'Avezac (Canevat chrtmolagique, eto.) objects to thk date 
tbat we have pomtive doaamentuy endence of tiie biith of Oirb- 
topher's youngest brother Qiacomo (afteraanU apaDuhed inte 
Diego) IB 1468, which msikes an interyal of S2 yean ; ao t^at if 
the mother vere (bbj) 18 in 143S she mnst haTe home a child at 
the age of 50. That would be nnnatial, bat not nnpreoedented. 
Bot M. Hanisae (torn. ii. p. 214), from a more thorooKh aifting of 
this doonmentary evideaoe, seems to have proved that while Gia- 
como cannot hare been boni later Chan 1468 he may have beMi 
bom as early as 1460 ; «o that whatever ia left of M. d' Avezan'a 
•bjectdou falls to the ground. 



in tiiu Wi^iiMfH ani Ibtb pine to evar [dace wlme 
tL^YK U aoT naTi^adoo op to the pres- 
kww' ■*.*-?■ ent lime." ^ Tlie expres^<Mi - tot ta»- 
AtfT age " screes with FenHitaiid's state- that bis {atlurr was imaietn jean old irfien 
h« fint bx^ to the sea.' Since iU€-14-40= 
I'VXt, it i« argned tltat Odnmbns was probably 
ffom about 1446 ; some sticklns far eiiroue pte- 
ciMOD say 1447. Bat now there were ciglit jeais 
spent by Colmnbas in Spain, from 1484 to 1492, 
without any voyages at all ; tbey were years, as he 
forcibly says, "draped oat in dispdations.'* * 
IHd he mean to include those eight years in his 
forty spent upon the sea? Navanete thinks he 
did not. When he wrote nnder excitement, as in 
this Iett«r, his langn^e was apt to be loose, and 
it ia &ir to construe it according to the general 
probabilities of the case. This addition of eight 
years brings his statement substantially into har- 
mony with that of Bemaldez, which it really will 
not do to set aside lightly. Moreover, in the origi- 
nal text of the letter, since published by Navairete, 
Columbus appears to say, "now for more than 
forty years," so that tbe ^reement with Bemaldez 
becomes practically complete.* The good curate 

' " Sennlmimi pt4iuiipi, di tXk niolto tonera io entni in man 
narlgando, et vi ho conduorato Bu' hoggi : . . ■ et hoggimu pas- 
•ano qnu'Uita onni clie io luo per tntto qnelle partd clie fin faogsi 
■1 DATigano." Vita ddV AmmiTuglia, cap. it. 

' Op. cit. cap. iv. ad Jin. 

' " Traido an diaputaa," Navarrete, CoUccitm, torn. ii. p. 254. 

* "Mny alCiM Re;e>, de mn; peqoetia edsd entr^ en la mat 
naTSKUido, i Io be conUnnado fasta hoy. . . . Yi pasan de ooa. 
ranta ahoa que yo toj en este oso : todo la que boy se navega, 
todu Io be luidado." Navarcete, Coieccion, torn. ii. p. 2S2. Ob. 



Bpoke from direct personal acquaintance, and his 
phrases " seventy years " and " a good old age " 
are borne ont by the royal decree of TK. h.i.._ ^ 
Febniaiy 23, 1505, permitting Colum- ^^S^SIl'Si'' 
bus to ride on a mule, instead of a horse, **^ 
by reason of hia old age (amdanidad') and infirm- 
ities.^ Such a phrase applies much better to a 
nma of sixty-nine than to a man of fifty-nine. On 
the whole, I think that Washington Irving showed 

■errs &e lame phrase "pasands cnaranbi; " what bnunus has that 
" de " in such a plaoe without " mas " before it P " Posiui mai de 
onuenia," i. e. " mora thtu fort; ; " imting' in haste and eioit«' 
meet, ColamboB left out a little woid ; or shall we blame the 

proof-reader P Avezae himself tranalareB it " il y a ploa de qna- 
rant« ane," and ao does Engine Miiller, in hia French version of 
Ferdinand's book, Hisloire de ia vie de CVisJopfc C'olomb, Paris, 
187S, p. 15. 

' That was the golden age of somptuarj lawa. Becaoae Al- 
foDBo XI. of Castile (1312-1350), when he tried to impress horses 
for the army, found it hard to |;et as many as he wanted, he took 
it into his head that his snbjecta were raising too man; mnles and 
not enongh horses. So he tried to remedy the evil by a wholesale 
decree prohibiting all Caatilians from riding apon moles I In prac- 
tice this precioos decree, like other Tillunoos pn^bitory laws that 
try to prerent honest people from doing what they have a per- 
fect right t» do, proved so veEBtioas and inefFectJve withal that it 
had to be perpetoally fussed with and tinkered. One year yoa 
conld ride a male and the next year yon could n't. In 1492, as 
we shall see, Colnmbns immortalized one of these patient beaata 
by riding it a few miles from Granada. But in 14(4 Ferdinand 
and Isabella decreed t^t nobody except women, children, and 
clergymen eonld ride on mules, — " dont Is marche est beaoooup 
plus donee que cells des chevanx " (Humboldt, Examen critique, 
torn, iii, p. 336). This edict remained in force in 1505, so fiat 
the Discoverer of the New World, the inauKurator of the greaieat 
histono event since the birth of Cbriet, could not choose an easy- 
going animal for the comfort of liis weary old weatJier-ahaken 
bones without the bother of getting a special edict to fit hia caso. 
Eheu, quampama sapienCia regiiur mundus I 



good sense in accepting the statement of the curate 
of Los Palacios as decisire, dating ae it does the 
birth of Columbas at 1436, " a litUe more or less." 
With regard to the place where the great disooy- 
erer mis bom diere ought to be no dilute. Bines 
we have his own most explicit and unmistakable 
word for !t, as I shall jo^sentlf show, Neverthe- 
less there has been no end of dispute. He has 
been claimed by as many places as Horner,^ but 
the only real question is whether he was bom in 
the city of Genoa or in some neighbouring village 
within the boundaries of the Genoese repubhc. It 
is easy to understand how doubt has arisen cm this 
point, if we trace the changes of residence of his 
family. The grandfather of Columbus seems to 
have been Giovanni Colombo, of Tenarossa, an in- 
land hamlet some twenty miles cast by north from 
' "Nous avom (Umontrd I'iiuuiit^ desth^orieaqiulefoiittiattTe 
k Prsdella, k Coccaro, & Cogoleto, k Savons, i, Nervi, % Albis- 
sda, k Bt^lioaco, k Coweria, k Fiiude, k Od^Ub, voire mSme en 
Asgleterre on d>DS I'iide de Corse." Harrime, tom. i. p. ?17- 
lu Cogol«ta, aboat aiiteen mileg vest of Genoa on the Corniche 
road, the visitor ia shonn a boose vhere Golnmbiu is said flist to 
have Been the lig-ht. Upon its front ia a quunt inscription in 
vhich file disoorerer is compared to tlie dure {CUomba) whioh, 
when sent b; Noah from the ark, diBoorered dry land amid the 

V iiDit> In cfA Colombo, no' ^ juicoDde, 

E dk nuft pfttris il mu HlcHjido f«Qde % 

TemDD il fin icDpnndD dJede fondo, 

Offenndo all* lApano rai Kuovo Mondo. 

This honsa is or haa been mentioned in Baedeker's Northern 

Italg as the probable birthplace, along- with Peschel's absurd date 

145Q. It IB pretty cert^n that Colnmbna was rut bom in that 

honao or in Cog^eto. See Hairisse, tom, i. pp. 148-155. 



Genoa. GKoTanni's son, Domenico Colombo, was 
probably bom at Teirarossa, and moved thence 
with his father, somewhere between 1430 
and 1445, to Quinto al Mare, four milee Doineld^Go- 
eaet of Genoa on the coast. All the f am- alL^Jot 
ily seem to have been weavers. Before "^ 
1445, but how many years before ia not known, 
Domenico married Susanna Fontanarossa, who be- 
longed to a family of weavers, probably of Quezzi, 
four miles northeast of Genoa. Between 1448 
and 1451 Domenico, with his wife and three chil- 
dren, moved into the city of Genoa, where he be- 
came the owner of a house and was duly qualified 
as a citizen. In 1471 Domenico moved to Savona, 
thirty miles west on the Comiche road, where he 
set up a weaving establishment and also kept a 
tavern. He had then five children, Cristoforo, 
Giovanni, Bartolommeo, Giacomo, and a daughter. 
Domenico lived in Savona till 1484. At that 
time his wife and his son Giovanni were dead, 
Giacomo was an apprentice, learning the weaver's 
trade, Christopher and Bartholomew had long been 
domiciled in Portugal, the daughter had married 
a cheese merchant in Genoa, and to that city 
Domenico returned in the autumn of 1484, and 
lived there until his death, at a great age, in 1499 
or 1500. He was always in pecuniary difiBiCulties, 
and died poor and in debt, though his sons seem 
to have sent him from Portugal and Spain such 
money as they could spare.^ 

The reader will observe that Christopher and 
his two next brothers were bom before the family 
» HBciigse, toin. I pp. 166-216. 



■went to live in the city of Genoa. It haa hence 
been plausibly inferred that they were bom either 
in Quinto or in Terrarossa; more likely the lat- 
ter, since both Christopher and Bartholomew, as 
well as their father, were called, and sometimes 
signed themselves, Colmubns of Terrarossa.' In 
this opinion the moat indefatigable modern inves- 
tigator, Harrisse, agrees with Las Casas.^ Never- 
theless, in a solemn legal instnunent executed Fe)> 
mary 22, 1498, establishing a mayorazgo, or right 
of succession to Ms estates and emoluments in the 

Indies, Columbus expressly declares 
taiiB m oa* that be was bom in the city of Genoa : 
uhi^oi "I enjoin it upon my son, the said Don 

Diego, or whoever may inherit the said 
mayorazgo, always to keep and maintain in the 
City of Grenoa one person of our lineage, because 
from thence I came and in it I was bom." ^ I do 
not see how such a definite and positive statement, 
occurring in such a document, can be doubted or 
explained away. It seems clear that the son was 
bom while the parents were dwelling either at 

* EsrriBse, torn. i. p. 188 ; Vila dflT Ammiraglio, eap. ri. 

' " Fii4 eBt« varon eseogido de nacion g«ninis, da tigan Ingw 
de la praTincia de Qdnova ; coal f aese, donde oacid 6 qni nombrs 
tnvo el tai lagrar, no oonata la lerdad dello mis de que w Bolia 
llamar iLnteH qae llegaae al estnda que llegd, Cristobal Colombo 
de Terra-rabia ; lo miamo en hermano Bartolomi Calon." Las 
Casas, Histaria de las Tndiai, torn. L p. 42 ; cf. HairUae, tom. 
i. pp. 217-222. 

' " Maudo al diclio D. Diego, mi hijo, iiln persona qae here- 
dare el dieho mayoroigo, que tenga y soetenga uempre en la 
Ciudad de Ginova una pecBona de nnestro linage . . . pnea qne 
della Ball y en elia nad " [italios mine]. Navarrete, CakcdoH, 



a or at Qainto, but what is to hinder our 
supposing that the event might have happened 
when the mother was in the city on some errand 
or visit? The fact that Christopher and his bro- 
ther were often styled " of Terrarossa " does not 
prove that they were bom in that hamlet. A fam- 
ily moving thence to Quinto and to Grenoa would 
stand in much need of some such difitinctive epi- 
thet, because the name Colombo was extremely 
common in that part of Italy ; insomuch that the 
modem historian, who prowls among the archives 
of those towns, must have a care lest he get hold 
of the wrong person, and thus open a fresh and 
prolific source of confusion. This has happened 
more than once. 

On the whole, then, it seems most probable that 
the Discoverer of America was bom in the cify of 
Genoa in 14S6, or not much later. Of his child- 
hood we know next to nothing. Ijaa Casas tells 
us that he studied at the University of Favia and 
acquired a good knowlet^e of Latin.^ This has 
been doubted, as incompatible with the statement 
of Columbus that he began a seafaring life at the 
a^ of fourteen. It is clear, however, chrtitopiMt'i 
that the earlier years of Columbus, be- "'■"'•^ 
fore his departure for Portugal, were not all 
spent in se^aring. Somewhere, if not at Pavia, 
he not only learned Latin, but found time to 
study geography, with a little astronomy and 
matJieniatics, and to become an expert drat^hts- 
man. He seems to have gone to and fro upon the 
Mediterranean in merchant voyages, now and then 
' Las Caoas, Hiitoria, laat. L p. 46. 



taking a hand in sharp scrinunages with Mussul- 
man pirates.' In the interrals of this adventu- 
rous life lie was probably to be found in Genoa, 
earning his bread by maldng maps and charts, for 
which there was a great imd growing demand. 
About 1470, having become noted for his skill in 
such work, he followed his younger brother Bar- 
tholomew to Lisbon,^ whither Prince Henry's 

' The reader mmt benare, however, of some of the stories of 
adventure attacliing to thia paxt of hia life, even vhere they are 
eonflnned by Laa Caaas. They evidently rest npon hearsay, and 
the iDoidents are 90 confused that It in almost impossible to extract 
the kernel of truth, 

' The date 1470 rests apon a letter of Colambns to King: Per- 
dinand of Arajfon in Hay, I5D5. He aays that Qod mnit have 
directed him into the service of Spain by a kind of miracle, since 
he had already been in Fortu^, whose king was more interested 
than any cither sovereign in making discoveries, and yet Ood closed 
his eyes, his ean, and all his senses to saoh a degtea that in Jour- 
Utn years Colombus coold not prevul npon him to lend aid to his 
scheme. " Dlje mil^piosamente porque foi i aportai i, Portugal, 
adonde el Rey de aJll antendif en el descnbrir mas que otro : 
tl le atajd la vlata, oido y todoe los sentidos, que en eaiome aSos 
no le pudo haoer ontender lo qna yo dije." Lbs CaaBs, op. eiL 
Una. iii. p. 187 ; Navarrete, torn. iii. p. S28. Now it is known 
that ColombuB Snally left Portugal late In 1484, or very eailj in 
14S.5, so that fonrtaen jeani would carry ns back to brfore 1471 
for the firat arrival of Columbus in tliat conntry. H. Harrissa 
(op. Gil. tom. i. p. 2S3) is nnneoessarily tronblad by the tact that 
the same penon was not king of Portugal during the whole of 
that period. Alfonso V. (brother of Henry the Navigator) died 
in 14St, and was saoceeded by hia sou John II. ; but during a 
considerable pwt of the time between I47fi and 1481 the royal 
andiority was exercised by the lattor. Both kii^ were more in- 
terested in making discoveries than any other Eoropean sover- 
eigns. Whick king did Columbua mean ? Obviously his words 
were used loosely ; be was too mnoh preovcnpled to be oaiefnl 
about'triflesi he probably had John in his mind, and did not 
bother hunaelf about Alfonso ; King Ferdinand, to whom he was 
wrilii^, did not need to have each points minutely qiecified, and 



andertakings liad attracted able navigators and 
learned geographers until that city had come to 
be the cluef centre of nautical science in Europe. 

oonld Dndeistand an elliptical BtatamaDt ; and the faot atatod b; 
Colninbiis was Bimply that during a rendence of fourteen years 
in Portt^al lie bad not been able to enlist even that enterpriaing 
pivernment in behalf of his novel acheme. 

In the town archivea of Savona we find ChriBtophec Colnmbna 
witneaaiag a dcnoment Uarch 20, 1472, endorsing a kmd of prom- 
issory nato for his father Angnst 26, 1472, and Jmrnng- with his 
mother and his next brofhsr Giovanni, Augmt 7, 147^, in relin- 
qnishing all olaimB to the hoose in Genoa sold by his father Do- 
meuico by deed of that dat«. It will be remembered that Domen' 
ioo had moved from Genoa to Savona in 1471. From these 
doooments (whiob are aU printed in hia C/trislophe Colomb, torn. 
ii pp. 419, 420, 424-426) U. Harrisse concludes that Cbristopber 
oannot have g;one to ForCngal nnldl after Aaguat 7, 1473. Prob- 
ably not, so far as to be domiciled there ; but inasmuoh as he had 
long been a sailor, why should he not have been in Portugal, or 
npon the African coast, in a Portuguese ship, in 1470 and 1471, 
and nevertheless have been with his parents in Savons In 1472 
dod part of 1473 ? His own statement " fourteen years " ia not 
to be set aside on such slight grounds as this. Furthermore, from 
the fact that Bartholomew's name is not signed to the deed of 
August 7, 1473, M. Harrisse infers that he vaa then a minor ; i. e. 
under five and twenty. Bnt it seems to me more likely that Bar- 
tholomew was already domiciled at Lisbon, since we are eipr«s8ly 
told by two good contomporary anthoritjes — both of them Geno- 
ese writers withal — that be moved to lisbon and began making 
maps there at an ea^er date than Christopher. See Antonio 
Gallo, De navigatione Colunibi per itiaccaiam antea Oceantim Coin- 
mmlariolas, apud Muratori, torn, ixiii. col, 301-304; Qiastiniani, 
I'talterium, M^^a", 1516 (annotation to Psalm xii.) ; Harrisse, 
BibliolAeca Americana Vetviliuima, No. 68, To these atatements 
M. Harrisse objects that he finds {In Belloro, Notitie, p. 8) men- 
tdon of a document dated Savona, June 16, 1480, in which Do- 
menioo Colombo gives a power of attorney to bis son Bar- 
tholomew to act for him in some matter. The document itself, 
however, is not forthooming, and the notice cited by M. Harrisse 
Teally affords no ground for the assumption that Bartholomew 
WM in 1480 domiciled at Savona or at Genoa. 



Las Caaaa aaaares ua that Bartholomew was quite 
otarittopher c^u^ to Christoplier as a sailor, and silt- 
H^Bjrttoio- paaged him in tfie art of making maps 
'™^ and globes, as well as in the beauty 

of his handwriting.^ In Portugal, a& before in 
Italy, the work of the brothers ColumbuB was an 
alternation of map-making on land and adventure 
on the sea. We have Christopher's own word for 
it that he sailed with more than one of those Poiv 
tnguese expeditions down the African coast ; ^ and I 
think it not altogether unlikely that he may have 
been with S^itarem and Escobar in l^eir famous 
voyage of 1471. 

He had not been long in Fortagal before he 
found a wife. We have already met the able 
Italian navigator, Bartholomew Perestrelo, who 
was sent by Prince Henry to the island of Porto 
Santo with Zarco and Vaz, about 1425. In recog- 
nition of eminent services Prince Henry after- 

wards, in 1446, appointed him governor 
M^fjd'i^ of Porto Santo. Perestrelo died in 1457, 

leaving a widow (his second wife, Isa- 
bella Moiliz) and a charming daughter Fhilippa,' 

■ L» Cuaa, op. til. torn. i. p. 224 ; torn. ii. p. 60. Ha poa- 
■esBed man; rnape aikd docomentB bj both the brothera. 

* "^HBse Tolte Davigaiido da Liiboru ■ Ouinea," etc Vila 
ddr Ammiraglio, oap. iv. The original antliority U Colnmbna'i 
maif^nal note in luB copy of the Imago Mundi of AUiacui, noir 
preBerred in the Colombina at Seville : "Nota qnoil aepiiu naii- 
g:ando ei Ulixbona ad aoatram in Onineun, notavi exaa diligentia 
yiam, etc. Compare die ollasions to Guinea in hia letlen, Ns- 
varrete, Coleccion, torn. i. pp. 55, 71, 101. 

* There are same vexed qnestJoiu concerninfc this lady and die 
Doniiectioni between the Mofiiz and Pereatrelo f amiiiea, for whioli 
lee Hamue, torn. L pp. 287-292. 



whom Columbus is said to have first met at a reli- 
gious service in the chapel of the convent of All 
Saints at Lisbon. From the accounts of his per- 
sonal appearance, given by Jjos Casas and othera 
who knew him, we can well understand how Co- 
lumbus should have won the heart of this lady, so 
far above him at that time in social position. He 
was a man of noble and commanding presence, 
tall and powerhdly built, with fair ruddy 
cronplexion and keen blue-Enrav eyes that p«mu» ^ 
easily kindled ; while his waving white 
hair must have been quite picturesque. His man- 
ner was at once courteous and cordial and his con- 
versation charming, so that strangers were quickly 
won, and in friends who knew him well he inspired 
strong afFection and respect,^ There was an inde- 
finabk air of authority about him, as befitted a 
man of great heart and lofty thoughts,^ Out of 
those kindling eyes looked a grand and poetic soul, 
touched with that divine spark of religious enthu- 
siasm which makes true genius. 

The acquaintance between Columbus and Phi- 
lippa Moltiz de Perestrelo was not long in ripening 
into afFection, for they were married in 147S. As 
there was a small estate at Porto Santo, hi. m.niime, 
Columbus went home thither with his "^m^'Jo? 
bride to live for a while in quiet and se- ^°^ ^™^ 
elusion. Such repose we may believe to have been 

' Las Caws, Hittoria, tom. L p. 43. He deBcribes Bartholmneir 
as not nnlike hia brother, bnt not bo toll, Usa affable in majmsr, 
and more gtem in diapofution, id. torn. ii. p. 80. 

' " ChristOTal Colon . . . persona de Rran oorawm y altoa pen- 
i, Hiiteria de E^aiia, torn, viil p. 341. 



&rourable to meditation, and on that little island, 
three hundred miles out on the mysterious ocean, 
we are told that the great scheme of sailing west- 
ward to the Indies first took shape in the mind 
<rf Columbus.' Hie Eather-in-law Perestrelo had 
left a quantity of sailing chartB and nautical 
notes, and these Columbus diligently studied, 
while ships on th^ way to and from Guinea every 
now and then stopped at the island, and one can 
easily ima^ne the es^r discussions that must 
have been held over the great commercial problem 
<rf the age, — how far south that African coa^t ex- 
tended and whether there was any likelihood of 
ever finding an end to it. 

How long Columbus lived upon Porto Santo is 
not known, but he seems to have gone from time 
to time back to Usbon, and at length to have 
made his home — or in the case of such a rover 
we might better say his headquarters — in that 
dty. We come now to a document of supreme 
importance for our narrative. Paolo del Fozzo dei 
Toscanelli, bom at Florence in 1397, was one of 
the most famous astronomers and cosmi^raphers of 
his time, a man to whom it was natural that ques- 
tions involving the size and shape of the earth 

> Upon thftt iaUnd liu eldest aon Diego vae 'bora. ThiB vbole 
itory of the life upon Porto Santo and its raUtion to the g^netna of 
Cohuabiis'a Mheme is told yeiy eipliaitlj by Las Casaa, who says 
&at it Tiu told to him bj Diego Colmnhns at Baroelona is 1G19, 
iriien they were waidng' upon Chailee V., jnet elected Emperor 
■nd aboat to start for Aaahea to be crowned. And yet then are 
modem oiitios who are disposed to deny the whole story. (See 
Hatriaas, t«m. i. p. 298.) The groande for doubt are, howeTer, 
extremely triTlal vhen nonfrouted aith Laa Casaa, Hiatoria, ton 



sliould be referred. To him Alfonso V, of Portu- 
gal made application, through a gentle- 
man of the royal household, Fernando MkimdyiMof /^ /"^ 
Martinez, who happened to be an old ««raiiomBr 
friend of Traeanelli. What Alfonso 
wanted to know was whether there could be a 
shorter oceanic route to the Indies than that which 
his captains were seeking by following the African 
coast ; if so, he begged that Toacanelli would ex, 
plain the nature and direction of such a route. 
The Florentine astronomer replied with the letter 
presently to be quoted in full, dated June 25, 
1474 ; and along with the letter he sent to the king 
a sailing chart, exhibiting his conception of the 
Atlantic ocean, with Europe on the east and Cathay 
on the west. The date of this letter is eloquent. 
It was early in 1472 that Santarem and Escobar 
brought back to Lisbon the news that beyond the 
Gold Coast the African shore turned southwards 
and stretched away in that direction beyond the 
equator. As I have already observed, this was 
the moment when the question as to the possibility 
of a shorter route was likely to arise ; ^ and this 
is precisely the question we find the king of Portu- 
gal putting to Toscanelli some time before the 
middle of 1474. Now about this same time, orf 
not long afterwards, we find Columbus himself! 
appealing to Toscanelli. An ^ed Florentine mer- 
chant, Lorenzo Criraldi, then settled in Lisbon, 
was going back to his native city for a visit, and 
to him Columbus entrusted a letter for the eminent 
astronomer. He received the following answer : 
1 See above, p. 830. 



"Paul, the physicist, to Christopher Columbns 
greeting,^ I perceive your great and noble desire 
to go to iiie place where the spices grow ; where- 
fore in reply to a letter of yours, I send 
(In* letter to you a copv of another letter, which I 

Columbui -' ; , 

wrote a few days ago [or some time 
^o] to a friend of mine, a gentlenum of the 
household of the most gracious king of Portugal 
before the wars of Castile,^ in reply to another, 
which by command of His Highnera he wrote me 
oonceming that matter: and T send you another 
s^ng chart, similar to tjie one I sent him, by 
which your demands will ise satisfied. The copy 
of that letter of mine is as follows : — 

" * Paul, the physicist, to Fernando Martinez, 
canon, at Lisbon, greeting." I was glad to hear 

' I tranaUte this prologne from the Italian text of the Vila 
deW Ammiraglio, cap. vUi. The ori{^iial Latin has uowhere been 
foond. A Spanish Tersion of the whole may be found in Las 
CasM, Hietoria, torn. i. pp. »2-9tt. Lu Casas, b? a mers slip of 
the pen, calk " Paul, the physiciat," Marco Paulo, andfiftiy yeaia 
later Mariana ealla him Jtlarco Polo, phyaiclan : '* per aviao qne 
Is d\6 un cierto Marco Polo medico Florentin," etn. Historia de 
E^iana, torn. riii. p. 843. Thna Btop by step doth error gTow. 

' He meani ttiat his fciand Martinez has been a member of 
Kin^ Alfonso^ honsehold ever since the time before iJie civil wars 
t^t began with the attempted deposition of Henry IV. in 1465 
and can hardly be said to have come to an end before the death 
of that prince in December, 1474. See Hmnboldt, Examtn cri- 
tujuE, torn. I. p. 225. 

B I translate this enclosed letter from the original Latin text, 
as found, a few years ago, in the handwriting of Columbus upon 
tie fly-leavea of his copy of tie Historia remm abigue geitamn 
ot .aineas Sjlyias Piooolomini (Pope Pins IL|, pnblishedat Ven. 
ice in 14TT, in folio, and now preserved in the Colombina at 
SeviUe. ThU Latin text ts given by Harriaae, in his Fermind 
Celotnb, pp. lTS-180, and also (with Dwre strict regard to tha 

■ DiqilizDdbyGoOgle 



by Google 


of your intunacj and favour with your most Boble 
aud illuatiious king. I have formerly tojo^biii-, 
spokeu with you about a shorter route ^^^Ssr 
to the places of Spioes by ocean navi- JSc'i^l?" 
gation than that which you are pursu- ^iSSif**' 
ing by Guinea, The most gracious king '™- 
now desires from me some statement, or rather an 
exhibition to tihe eye, eo that even slightly educated 
persons oaa grasp and comprehend that route. 
Although I am well aware that tills can be proved 
from the spherical shape of the earth, neverthe- 
less, in order to make the point clearer and to 
facilitate the enterprise, I have decided to exhibit 
that route by means of a sailing chart. I there- 
fore send to his majesty a chart made by my own 
hands,' upon which are liud down your coasts, and 

abbreviadons of tlie original) in big BibliollKea Americana Veiat- 
(iwl'ma — Additions, Paxia, 1872, pp. iri.-iriii. Very likely 
Colnmbiu had occasion to let tbe original MS. go ont of his hatula, 
and so preeened a cop; of it npon the flj-leaieB of one of his 
books. These same fly-leaveB contain eitraatg from JogephoB and 
S^nt AnguBtine. The reader will rightly infer from my tranala^ 
doD i)hat the aatronomer's Ladn was somewhat ragged and lack- 
ing in literary grace. Apparently be vaa aniioDS to jot down 
quickly what he had to sny, and get back to bis work. 

^ A sketch of this moat roemorabU of maps is given oppo- 
n'te. Colambtu carried it with him npon his first voyage, and 
shaped his oonrse in accordance with it Las Casas afterwards 
had it in bis possession {Hiat. de las Indiat, torn. i. pp. 96, 2T9). 
It has since been lost, that is to say, it may sdU be iu existence. 
but nobody knows where. Bnt it has been so well described that 
the work of resbirin^ its general oDtlineS is not difBcnlt and 
has several times been done. The sketch here given Is taken 
froro WinsOT (Narr. and Crit. Mil., ii. 103), who takes it from 
Dot Ausiand, 1867, p. 5. Another restoradon may be found in 
St. Martin's Atiai, pi. ii. This map was the soorce of the we*t- 
em part of Martin Bebaim's globe, as given below, p. 422. 



the islands from wliich you mtist begin to shape youi 
oourse steadily westward, and the places at which 
you are bound to arrive, and how far from the 
pole or from the equator you ought to keep away, 
and thiough how much space or through how many 
miles you are to arrive at places most fertile in all 
sorts of spices and gems ; and do not wonder at 
my calling west the parts where the spic^ are, 
whereas they are commonly called east, because to 
persons sailing persistently westward those parts 
will be foimd by courses on the under side of the 
earth. For if [you go] by land and by routes on 
this upper side, they will always be found in the 
east. The straight lines drawn lengthwise upon 
the map indicate distance from east to west, while 
the transverse lines ^ow distances from south to 
north. I have drawn upon the map various places 
upon which you may come, for the better iuformar 
tion of the navigators in case of their arriving, 
whether through accident of wind or what not, at 
some different place from what they had expected ; 
but partly in order t^t they may show the inhab- 
itants tihat they have some knowledge of their 
country, which is sure to be a pleasant thing. It 
said that none but merchants dwell in the 
islands.' For so great there is the number of nav- 
igators with their merchandise that in all the rest 
of the world there are not so many as in one very 
splendid port called Zaiton.^ For they say that a 

1 All the desoriptjon thst follows is takmi by Toacsuelli from 
die book of Marco Polo. 

* On modern mapa usually called CliaD(;-chow,abaut 100 milta 
B. W. from Fov-chow. 



Enrndred great ships of pepper unload in that port 
every year, besides other ships bringing other 
spices. That country is very populous and very 
rich, with a multitude of provinces and kingdoms 
and cities without number, under one sovereign 
who is called the Great Kh^, which name signi- 
fies King of Kings, whose r^idence is for the most 
part in the province of Cathay. His predecessors 
two hundred years ago desired an alliance with 
Christendom ; they sent to the pope and aaked for 
a number of persons learned in the futh, that they 
might be enlightened ; but those who were sent, 
having encountered obstacles on the way, returned.' 
Even in the time of Sugenius ^ there came one to 
Eugenius and made a declaration concerning their 
great goodwill toward Christians, and I had a long 
talk with him about many things, about the great 
size of their royal palaces and the remarkable 
length and breadth of their rivers, and the multi- 
tude of cities on the banks of the rivers, such that 
on one river there are about two hundred cities, 
with marble bridges very long and wide and every- 
where adorned with columns. This country ie 
worth seeking by the Latins, not only because 
great treasures may be obtained from it, — gold, 
silver, and all sorts of jewels and spices, — bi;t on 
account of its learned men, philosophers, and 
skilled astrologers, and [in order that we may see] 
with what arts and devices so powerful and splen- 
did a province is governed, and also piow] they 
conduct their wars. This for some sort of answer 



to Ms request, so far as haste and my occupations 
have allowed, ready in future to make fur^Ler 
response to his royal majesty aa much as he may 
wish. Griren at Florence 25th June, 1474.' 

"From' the city of Lisbon due west there axe 
26 spaces marked on the map, each of which oon- 
ooodoMooof ^^'^ 260 miles, as far aa the very great 
J^;;'^'^ and splendid city of Quinsay." For it 
coiumbut jg ^ hundred miles in circumference and 
has ten bridges, and its name means City of Hea- 
ven, and many wonderful things are told about it 
and about the multitude of its arts and revenues. 
This space is almost a third p^rt of the whole 
sphere. That city is in the province of Mangi, or 
near the province of Cathay in which land is the 
royal residence. But from the island of Antilia, 
which you know, to the very splendid island of 

1 This pOFOgraph ia evidently the conclnsion of tbe letter to 
Colmnbiu, and not a part of the letter to Martinez, which has jmt 
ended with the dats. In Ft'la delT Amnara^io the two letters 
are mixed toother. 

' On modern maps HaDg~ohow. After 1127 that dtywae for 
eome time the capital of China, and Marco Polo'a name Quinsaj) 
lepiesents the Chinese word Eing-iie or " capital," now generally 
applied to Peking. Marco Polo calU it the finest and noblest 
city in the world. It appears that he does not overstate the cir- 
comference of ita walk at 100 Chinese milee or li, ecinivalent to 
abont 3Q English miles. It has greatly dimiDiahed unce Polo'a 
time, while other cities have grown. Toscaoelli was perhaps 
afraid to repeat Polo's fignre as to the nnmber of stone bridges ; 
Polo says there were 12,000 of them, high enongh for ships to 
pass nnder 1 We thus see how his Venetian fellow^citiiens came 
to nickname him " MesserManio Milione." As Colonel Yntesays, 
" I believe we must not btid|f Mai«o to book for the literal accn- 
racy of his atatementa as to the bridges ; but all travellers have 
noticed the nnmber and elegance of the bridges of ont stone iM 
this part of China." Marco Palo, voL ii p. 144. 



Cipango' there are ten spaces. For that island 
aboimda in gold, pearls, and precious stones, and 
they cover the temples and palaces with solid gold. 
So through the unknown parts of the route the 
sti-etches of sea to be traversed are not great. 
Many things might perhaps have been stated more 
clearly, but one who duly considers what I have 
said will be able to work out the rest for himself. 
Farewell, most esteemed one." 

Some time after the receipt of this letter Co- 
lumhua wrote again to ToscaneUi, apparently send- 
ing him either some charts of his own, or some 
notes, or something bearing upon the subject in 
hand. No such letter is preserved, but Toscanelli 
replied as follows : — 

" Paul, the physicist, to Christopher Columbus 
greeting.^ I have received your letters, with the 
things which you sent me, for which I thank you . 
very much. I regard as noble and grand 
your project of suling from east to west Hcood letur 
according to the indications furnished '""° ^ 
by the map which I sent you, and which would ap- 
pear still more plainly upon a sphere. I am much 
pleased to see that I have been well understood, 
and that the voyage has become not only possible 

' For Cipango, or Japao, HBO Yale' a Marco Polo, to!, ii. pp. 195- 
207. The vensnible astronomer's style of compogitian ia amoB- 
ing. He seta oat t» denioiwtiat« to ColoinbDa that the part of die 
TOjttge to be acoomplishad through new and unfamiliar stretches 
of the Atlantic is not great ; bat he ia so full of tibe glories of 
Cathay aud CipaoBO that he keeps reveitinf- to that snhiect, to 
the manifest detriment of his expoution. Hia argument, hoiv- 
avar, is perfectly clear. 

* The original of this letter ia not forthcoming. I translate 
{mm Vila deU' Ammiragiio, cap. TiiL 



but oertain,' frangbt with honour as it must he, 
and inestiiiiable g^n, and most loft; ia»a& among 
all Christian people. Yoa cannot take in all that 
it means except by actnal experience, or without 
such copions and accurate information as I have 
had from eminent and learned men who have come 
from those places to ihe Roman conrt, and from 
merchants who have traded a long time in those 
parts, persons whose word is to be believed (per- 
807ie di groTide autorita). When that vo;;^ 
shall be accomplished, it will be a voyage to pow- 
erful kingdoms, and to cities and provinces most 
wealthy and noble, abounding in all sorts of things 
most desired by us ; I mean, with all kinds of 
spices and jewels in great abundance. It will also 
be advantageous for those kings and princes who 
are eager to have dealings and make alliances 
with the Christians of our countries, and to learn 
from the entdite men of these parts,^ as well in 
religion as in all other branches of knowledge. 
For these reasons, and many others that might be 
mentioned, I do not wonder that you, who are of 
great courage, and the whole Portuguese nation, 
which haa always had men distinguished in all such 
enterprises, are now inflamed with desire ^ to exe- 
cute tha said voyage." 

' Yet poor old TaBcanelli did not live to see it accompluhed : 
hn died in 1482, before Colambua left Fortngjr&l. 

' That is, of Enrape, and eBpeciolly of Ital;. ToBcanelli agtan 
rntera to Kublu Khan's nie»8i^^ to the pope vhich — more at 
logg mixed up with tlie TOgiie notions about PreBt«r John — bad evi- 
dmitty leCt a deep impression upon the European mind. In trans- 
Inlinjr the above scntenro 1 have somewhat retrenched its eices- 
Bivs verliiiiEfl without nffectiiig the meanii^. 

" In ini'liidiiig the " vvliole Portugoese nation'* as faelins tbk 



These letters are inteosely inteiestang, especiaUy ^ 
the one to Martinez, which reveals the fact that ' 
as early as 1474 the notaoii that a westward rente 
to the Indies would be diorter than the sonthward 
roate had somehow been su^eated to Alfonso 
V. ; and had, moreover, sufficiently arrested hia 
attention to lead him to make inquiries viia unt ng- 
of the most eminent astronomer within SiSi™rfT 
reach. Who could have suggested this J^JSTTViu 
notion to the king of Portugal? Was »"=oi™i™.T 
it Columbus, the trained mariner and map^naker, 
who might lately have been pondering the theo- 
ries of Ptolemy and Mela as affected by the voy- 
E^ of Santarem and Escobar, and whose connec- 
tion with the Mofiiz and Perestrelo families would 
now doubtless facilitate his access to the court? 
On some accounts this may seem probable, espe- 
cially if we bear in mind Columbus's own state- 
ment implying that his appeab to the crown dated 
almost from the beginning of his fourteen years 
in Portugal. 

All the circumstances, however, seem to be 
equally consistent with the hypothesis that the 
first su^;estion of the westward route 
may have come from Tosoaaelli himself, *u tok*- 
througb the medium of the canon Mar- 
tinez, who had for so many years been a member 
of King Alfonso's household. The words at the 
beginning of the letter lend some probability to 
this view: "I have foi-merly spoken with you 
about a shorter route to the places of Spices by 

derare, tlie good astroaomer^s entfaumaam again ruiu •ra; wiih 



ocean navigation than that which you are pursn- 
ing by Giiinea." It was accordingly earlier than 
1474 — how much earlier does not appear — that 
such discussions between Toscanelli and Martinez 
must probably have come to the ears of King 
AHoDBo ; and now, very likely owing to the voy- 
^;e of Santarem and Escobar, that monarch began 
to think it worth while to seek for further infor- 
mation, " an exhibition to the eye," so' that mari- 
ners not learned in astronomy like Toscanelli 
might " grasp and comprehend " the shorter route 
suggested. It is alb^ther probable that the Flor- 
entine astronomer, who was seventy-seven years 
old when he wrot« this letter, had already for a 
long time entertained the idea of a westward 
route ; and a man in whom the subject aroused so 
much enthusiasm could hardly have been reticent 
about it. It is not likely that Martinez was the 
only person to whom he descanted ^ upon the glory 

' Lai|^ Pnloi, in his famous rconuitio poem published in 1481, 
hu a coapla of striking stanzBa in whioh Astarotte (uys to Ri' 
n*ldo that the time is at hand when Hercnles shall Uneh to sea 
how far befODd his Pillais the ships shBll soon go forth to find 
another hemisphere, for althonghtlie earth is as round aa a, wheel, 
yet the wttter at anj given point is a plane, and inasmuch as all 
thinge tend to a common centre so tihat hj » divine m^sterj the 
earth is suspended in eqailibriura among the /itata, jiist so there is 
an antipodal world with aitiea and castles nnknown to men of olden 
time, and the snn in hastenii^ westwards descends to shine npon 
those peoples who are awaitii^ him below the hmtioa : — 

Em ^ti groma allDr li geatfi nmw, 
nd oh« potrebbe UTOHirne le gole 
Srculfi aacoT, d' vrm poBti que' oegnl, 
FvRhA i^b oltre pHseraano L legaL 



and riches to be found by sailing " straight to 
Cathay," and thera were many channels through 
which Columbus might have got some inkling of 
hia views, even before going to Portugal. 

However this may have been, the letter dearly [ 
proves that at that most interesting period, in or 1 
about 1474, Columbus was already meditating ; 
upon the westward route.^ Whether he owed the 

E puofifd andar gih hbU^ mitro BmJflperiaT 
ParA aha a] atatro v^ com rtprfioe : 
SIccbi ll tam par dliin mlrteilo 
BospesB flta f rm le Bt«llB BubUma, 
K laggib BOn cittl, cutclU, a hopario ; 
Ha hdI f^D^obboD quelle ganta prima. 

DOTO lo dic<j cbe lugglii B* lapeltL 

Pulci, MorganU Maggion, ni. 229, 230. 
TMb propbecj of TaBtern disoorerj combines with the aatro- 
Dondeal kiiowltHlg« here shown, to remind ns that the Florentine 
Pnlci WB8 a fellov-towiiBnian and moat likely an acgnaintanee of 

' It was formeily assamed, without hesitation, that the letter 
from Toacanelli to ColnmbuH waa written and gent in 1474. The 
reader will observe, hovever, that while the enclosed letter to 
Martdnez U dated June 25, 1414, the latter to ddnmbna, in which 
it was enclosed, has no date. Bat according to the t«xt as given 
in Vita deW AmmiTaglio, cap. viii., this would make no difference, 
for the letter to Colombns was sent only a few daya later than 
the original tetter to Martinez: "I send yon a copy of another 
letter, which I wrote a few days ago (alguanti giomi fa) to a 
friend of mine, a gentleman of the honsefaold of the king of 
Portugal before the wars of Castile, in reply to another," etc. This 
friend, Martinez, had evidently been a gentleman of the house- 
hold of Alfonso V. Atum before the oivil wan of Castile, which 
in 1414 had been Eoing on intermittently for nine yeara under the 
feeble Henry IV., who did not die nutil December 12, 1474. Tos- 
canelli apparently means to say " a friend of mine who has tor 
ten yean or more been a gentleman of the royal household," ete. ; 
only instead of mentioning the number of years, he allades lesa 
predsely (as most people, and perhaps especially old people, are 
mf)t to do) to the moat notable, mentionable, and glimng fact in 



ides to Toscanelli, or not, is a question of no great 
TheWwwM importance so far as concerns tis own 
Jgra^JJ^)' originality ; for the idea was already in; 
iwmofttiB ti,e 3ij._ xte originality of Columbusi. 
did not consist in his concaiving the \ 
the hiBtor? of tlie PeDinmla for thttt decade, — namely, tlie oivil 
wan of Castile. Aa if an American writer in 1864 had said, " a 
friend of mine, who has bean secretary to A. B. ainoe before tie 
WOT," instead of aapn^ " for four years or more." This is tha 
only reaaonable interpretation of iJie phrase as it stands above, and 
it was long ago suggested by Hnmboldt (Examen critique, torn, L 
p. 225). Italian and Spaniah writers of that day, however, were 
lavish with their commas and sprinkled them in pretty much at 
haphazard. In this case Ferdinand's translator, Ulloa, sprinkled 
in one comma too many , and it fell just in front of tha clause 
"before the wars of Castile ; " ao that ToscaneiU's sentence was 
mada to read aa follows ; " I sand you a copy of another letter, 
which I wrote a few days ogt) to a friend of mine, a gentleman of 
the honsahold of tha king of Portngal, before the warn of Cas- 
tile, in reply to another," eto. Now thia unhappy comma, coming 
after tla word " Portugal, " has caused ream aftsr ream of good 
paper to be inkei ap in diecnasion, for it has lad some critina to 
aodarstand the sentence as follows : " I send yoB a copy of an- 
other letter, which I wrote a few days ago, before the wars of 
Castile, to a friend of mine," etc. This reading brought things 
to a pretty pass. Evidentiy a letter dated June 25, 14T4, conld 
not have been written before the civil wars of Castile, which be- 
gan in 1465. It was therefore assumed that the phrase must 
refer to the "War of Succesdon" between Castile and Portugal 
(in some ways an outgrowth from the civil wars of Castile) which 
began in May, 1475, and ended in September, 1479. M. d'Avezac 
thinks that the letter to Columbus mnst have been written after 
Uie latter date, or more than five years later than the enclosed 
letter. M. Harriase is aomewhat less exacting, and is willing to 
admit that it may have been written at any time after this war 
bad fairly begun, — say in the summer of 1475, not mora than a 
year or so later than the enclosed letter. Still he is disposed on 
some aaaounta to put the date as late as 1462. The phrase o^ 
quaiUi giomi/a will not allow either of these interpretations. It 
means " afcw days ago," and cannot possibly mean a year ago^ 
■till less five yean ago. Th« Spanish letiaaalator from Ulio« 



possibility of reaching the shoTes of Cathajr by sail- 
ing west, but in his conceiving it in such distinct 

renders it exaclly aigunot diia id (Nsvarreto, CoUccion, torn. iL 
p. 7), and Hnmboldt {loc. cii.) has it it n a guetques joura. If we 
conid be sore that the eipreaaiaii ia a correct rendering of tlie 
lost Latin Diiginal, ve niight feel bbts that the letter to Colam- 
buB mu>t have been written as early m the begimiiDg of Angnat, 
1474- 'Bat now the great work of Laa Coaas, aft«r lying in man' 
Dscript for 314 years, baa at length been published in 187S. Lag 
Caeaa {pvee a Spanish Terwon of the Toacanelli letters (Hiiioria 
de Uu Indioi, torn. L pp. 92-97), vhioh is anqnestiouably older 
than UUoa's Italian verHuiu, though perhapa not neoessarily more 
BccnraM. The phrase in Las Caaas ia not algvnoa dias hd, but 
Arf (full, i. e. not " a few days ago," but "eome tima ago." Juat 
vhioh eiipreanon Toseanelli used cannot be determined unless 
Bomebody ia fortunate enongh to diaeover the lost Latin original 
The phrase in Lata Casaa admits much more latitude of meaning 
than the other. I should suppose that hd diai might refer tn an 
event a year or two old, which would admit of the interpretation 
Conaidered admissible by M. Harriaae' I ahould hardly Bnppcse 
that it oonld refer to an event five or six years old ; if Toseanelli 
had been referring in 1479 or 1480 to a letter written in 1474, his 
phraae would probably haTe appeared in Spanish as aJgunoa aSci 
hd, i. e. " a few yeara ago," not aa hd diat. M. d'Avezac'a hy. 
potheais seema to me not only inconsistent with the phraae hd 
dias, but otherwise improbable. The fr^htful anarchy in Cas- 
tile, which began in 1465 with the atteinpt to depose Henry IV. 
and alter the snocesdon, was in great measure a series of rav- 
nfpngo^mpaigna and raids, now more general, now more local, and 
can har^y be said to have oome to an end before Henry's death 
in 1474. The war which began with the invadon of Castile by 
Alfonso V. of Portugal, in May, 1475, waa aimply a later phase of 
the same aeiiss of conflicts, growing out of disputed olaima to the 
crown and rivalries among great barona, in many respects similar 
to the contemporary anarch; in England called the Wars of the 
Koses. It ia not likely that Toacanelli, writing at any time be- 
tween 1475 and 1480, and speaking of the " wars of Castile " in 
the plnral, conld have bad 1474 in hia mind as a date previous to 
those ware ; to hia mind it would have rightly appeared as a date 
in the midat of them. In any case, therefore, his reference must 
be to a time before 1405, and Humboldt's interpretation is in ail 



and practical shape as to be ready to make the 
adventure in his own person. As a matter of theory 
the possibility of such a voyage could not fail to 
be suggeated by the globular form of the earth ; 
and ever since the days of Aristotle that had been 
generally admitted by men learned in physical 
science. Aristotle proved, from the different alti- 
tudes of the pole-star in different places, that the 
earth must necessarily be a globe. Moreover, 
says Aristotle, " some stars are seen in Egypt or 
at Cyprus, but are not seen in the countries to the 
north of these; and the stars that in the north 
are visible while they make a complete circuit, 
there undergo a setting. So that from this it is 
manifest, not only that the form of the earth is 
round, but also that it is part of not a very large 
sphere ; for otherwise the difference would not be 
so obvious to persons making so small a change of 
place. Wherefore we may judge that those per- 
sons who connect the region in the neighbourhood 
of the Pillars of Hercules with that towards 
India, and who assert that in this way the sea is 
ONE, do not assert things very improbable." ^ It 

probaliilitj correct. The IstMr frum Taacanelli to Colambus 
was probsbly writtan within ■ year or two after Jane 25, 1474, 
On aooonnt of the TSBt importauoe of the ToooBnelli lelteis, 
and because the early texts are found in booka whioh the reader 
is not likel; to have at hand, I have given them entile in the 
Appendix at the end of this work. 

Xtl'i It"! t^^ TaEra f atmrttti irpli ipirroi' Tt aai nfOTitiBpl'* lata, 
Batyovaiy ' trioi yitp iv Al^^rr^ fiif iin4pes ipmyrai. itai wtpt 
Kiwpor ir raU rpis ipirrov Si x*pf"« "'X ifwi^a' nal ri Sii wan. 
Tit 4r Toit ■pjj ipKrlni ^irS/Lfya ran i/TTpan, ly /jcdi'onToi'i TiJiTBil 



thus appears that more than eighteen centimes 
before Columbus took counsel of Tosea- ,uid™.«oid 
nelli, " those persons " to whom Aristotle " *=ri"«'i»- 
alludes were discussing, as a matter of theory, this 
same subject. Eratosthenes held that it would 
he easy enough to sail fi-om Spain to India on 
the same parallel were it not for the vast extent of 
the AtJantio ocean.' On the other hand, Seneoa 
maintained that the distance was probably not so 
very great, and that with favouring winds a ship 
might make the voyage in a few days.^ In one 
of his tragedies Seneca has a striking passage^ 
which has been repeatedly quoted as referring to 
the discovery of America, and is certainly one of 

T^i Tnt, iXAik Kill (R^affWi ai HfyiXits. Ov yif if olru -raxh tnU 
StjAov jnlcl ju.c6urr(^(Fait oErw $paxi. HA roi/l iioXaixBiroms 
amiwTny liyripi ris 'HpaKkflom (tt^\oi tAto* t# itpl riit 'IvSmiiv, 
mi vouTBy rir -rpitoy ftyai riir BiXarTnv /ilov, nh \lay lrwo\a/iPi- 
rtw liirurTB tattit: Aristotle, De Cedo, ii. 14. He goes on to mj 
that " those perBona " all^fe the eiiateiKe of elephantB alike in 
Uanretania and in India in proof of their theory. 

' 'Oirr' (2 lA ri fUftBos roi 'AtAbj-tikoB KAilyoui hii\vi, xfy 
ir\t7y iiMi Ik rfii 'Ifljjploi cti A' Ti^«*' 8"^ "C "^toS xapaAX^. 
Aa». Strabo, i 4, § 6. 

. 3 " Qoantom eniin est, quod ab nitimia litoribua HiBpani» naque 
ad Indoa jaoet ? PaueiBsiiaorum dienim apntioni, si navem Bans 
Tentns implevit." Seoeca. Nat. Qiucsf-, i- pr»f. % 11. 

Luet, M lagenB paMat CellDi, 

Teth;M]ii« novos datagkt orbai, 

Nw lit Cenis ultima Thule. 

Seneca, Vtdea, STS. 
In the copy of Seneoa's tcoKsdies, published at Veniee in 1510, 
boi^ht at VaUadolid by Ferdinand Colnmbiu in Mai«h, 1518, foi 
4 reals ddni 2 teals for binding), and now t« be Bean at the Biblio- 
teoa Colombina, there a ft marginal note attached to these verses : 
" hnc prophetis ezpleta 5 per patre meaj oristof oru nolo almii^tS 



the most notable inatancea of prophecy on Tecord. 
There will come a time, he says, in the later years, 
when Ocean shall loosen the bonds by which we 
have been confined, when an immense land shall 

lie revealed, and Tethys shall disclose 
■o^«;t new worlds, and Thule will no longer 

be the moat remote of countrieB. In 
Strabo there is a passage, less commonly noticed, 
which hits the truth — as we know it to-day — 
even more closely. Having argued that the total 
length of the Inhabited World is only about a 
third part of the circumference of the earth in the 
temperate zone, he suggests it as possible, or even 
probable, that within this space there may be an- 
other Inhabited World, or even more than one ; 
but such places would be inhabited by different 
races of men, with whom the geographer, whose 
task it is to describe the known world, has no con- 
cern.' Nothing could better illustrate the philo- 
sophical character of Strabo'a mind. In such 
speculations, so far as his means of verification 
went, he was situated somewhat as we are to-day 
with regard to the probable inhabitants of Venus 
or Mars. 

Early in the Christian era we are told by an 

»»!. Stfabo, i. 4, § e ; ical yiip tl oBras tx". <>UX ^^ roiray yt 
alHiTai tSc trap" jJiiTy • iw' ineirjir (AAjj* olKOa/Unir Siriar. 
Eir*p 4(ttI wittardy. 'H/iTt ii rli ir airf mora ^.iKrJoy. Id. ii- 
5, § 13. Tbii haa always Beamed to me one of the moat remukabls 
antidpatioiB of modem truib tn all anOient literstnTa. Hr. Bqd- 
bnry thinks it may have snggeatod the faiuoiu Tones of Senecf 
Jwrt qooted. Hiatorg (^Ancient Geogr^g, voL u. p. 224. 



eminent Greek astroDomer that the doctrine of the 
earth's sphericity was accepted by all competent 
persons except the Epicureans.^ Among the Fa- 
thers of the Church there was some difference of 
opinion ; while in general they denied the existence 
of human beings beyond the limits of 
their (Ecumene, or Inhabited World, c^niu 
this denial did not neceasarily involve 
disbelief in the globular figure of the earth.' The 
views of the great mass of people, and of the more 
ignorant of the dei^, down to the tame of Colnm- 
bua, were probably well represented in the book of 
Cosmos Indicoplenstes already cited.^ Neverthe- 
less among the more enlightened clergy the views 
of the ancient astronomers were never quite for- 
gotten, and in the great revival of intellectual life 
in the thirteenth century the doctrine of the earth's 
sphericity was again brought prominently into the 
foreground. We find Dante basing upon it the 
cosmical theory elaborated in his immortal poem.* 
In 1267 Roger Bacon — stimulated, no 
doubt, by the reports of the ocean east 
of Cathay — collected passages from ancient writers 

' Ol St ii/iiTtpoi p. e. the Stoical ml ii-b iM0T]iiArmi wirvn, ml 
el TXtfoui rSir iirbToC ZoMpartKoE BiiarKaktlcu ir<paipiK)>y tlrai rh 
"XV)^" ^< T^' B'i0t;Sai^ira>-ra. Cleomedes, i. 8 ; of. LccretiuB, 
De Benim Nal., i. 1052-lOg^ ; Stobnna, Eclog. L IB; Plntarch, 
Dt facie in Orbe lama, cap. Tii. 

* S«e AngoBtiiui, De civUale Dei, zri. 9 ; Lactantiiu, Jiul. Div., 
fiL 23 ; Jerome, Comrn. in Ezeehiel, L 6; yfbawiU' a HiHory if L'le 
hductiee Sciences, toI L p. 196. 

■ Sae nbovB, p. 260. 

* For an a<!connt of the aoaniDgTaphy ot the Divine Comedy, 
iUiutnted with interesting diagrame, eee Artand de Montor, 
Hiamre de DanU Alighia-i, Paris, 1841. 



to prove that the distance from Spain to the eastern 
shores of Asia could not be very great. Bacon's 
argument and citations were copied in an extremely 
curious book, the *' Imago Mundi," published in 
1410 by the Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, Bishop of 
Cambrai, better known by the Latinized form of 
his name as Fetrus Alliacus. This treatise, which 
throughout the fifteenth century enjoyed 


prt?i a great reputation, was a favourite 

*^"""- book with Columbus, and his copy of 
it, covered with marginal annotations in his own 
handwriting, is still preserved among the priceless 
treasures of the Biblioteca Colombina.' He found 
in it strong confirmation of his views, and it is not 
impossible that the reading of it may have first put 
such ideas into his head. Such a point, however, 
can hardly be determined. As I have already ob- 
served, these ideas were in the air. What Colum- 
bus did was not to originate them, but to incarnate 
them in facts and breathe into them the breath of 
life. It was one thing to suggest, as a theoretical 

1 It vaa firat printed withont indicatJOQ of place ot date, bat 
probably the place wag Fane and the date wimewhere from 14S3 
to 1490- Maniiacript copies were very coiuraoTif and Colombua- 
probably knew the book long^ before iLat time. There ia a g;ood 
acconDt of it in Humboldt's Ezamen critique, torn. i. pp. 61-73, 
06-108. Humboldt thinks that ench hnowled^ us Columbus had 
of the opinions of ancient writers vas chiefly if not wholly ob 
tuned from Alliacoa. It is doubtful if Columbus had any direct 
aoqoajntanee with the works of Eoger Bacon, bat be knaw the 
liber Cosmogr<^)kiaa oi Albertua Magnus and the Specidum Na- 
turak of Vincent de BeauvaU (both abont 1250), and drew en- 
conragement from them. He also kaew the book of Mandeville, 
first ptinted in French at Lyons in 1460, and a Latin translation 
ef Marco Polo, pabliahed in 1485, a copy of which, with marginal 
MS. notes, ia now in the Colombina. 





[iafoCM«niUi<5«roiam.b« t«^-r*'ff"-''— •**#*• 

. AmcatFnisti tticr byoitts 
1^ boimocs ■ dtpbanccB in 

..^bpiojqoocsligTiB.ipUi .^.^.t^^^l,-;,.,^ 
1^pmioR»plDnmoi)7{jt -«-M.i.5^t2:vj4„fi7, 
laniKvvsnfFn ac tirnneTo ^u^^j^-^t^^^:,^^ 
Thom Baloeiniwi«c-Pa ? ^♦™^^!,-a-v;ttf ' 


ipfirbicat&iropajrfftma , + 
Dicoisit'cpfrona^noie f^.-4.«w;wJ',tvf«j 
<propQrrregionmi-jia[ba *-'p«nt-"«' 
iijmariBmaanuoffftTiDea „t,tV~^«-«v^ ' ■ 
iOT mfmornn feu flfricaj «*;;;** ;ftw;.-r„"* 
ir9 inoit orieenoit a cropi 
■dOmonrmi rtOfltrt.iregi 
jf nunc /Ir^mDnfflcor RS 
ift 6)«ne - una fuU form b„-i^ rr^ w. r £ '* 
"oocuBflnunceftremio-, lit-K^u^^L.^^'. - 
'W! in mroio babiMoonis ^^ ' 

jCdDeTfreptttrionenmeri ." 

■ moniapQneng-fttenifale Hfj-f .-^Li^^iur 
^t ralLitttn injn roio ttm f "r-^WKTrr' 
i( babiuBilToBfolTeiiDur 
i'lniriQitrupraDicmmtn I 
^'t(ib?Tnt)if.' Caitw. 
noialo^awtf- eeort 
iiirabiliii oanecau. F)a 

fitgrn q ouoa cub itonij !'^a-^o.t.fc?jl^-» 
(wriiit octauo ftneimnr ■ ■?'"**5/ "^--jr^* /|-«^ 
^men frrprnnim qui ibi. ff" *U- 
Krobtt.nL,ciibtto?i logi -iJ*'^H'»«4.terAr-.Aj^ 
'l(ifl<»eriiDgnMpftmne ys-'P^' ' ^f^^ 

Annotations bj Columbua. 



possibility, tliat Catbay might be reacbed by sailing 
westward ; and it was quite another tbing to prove 
that the enterprise was feasible with the ships and 
instruments then at command. 

The principal consideration, of course, was the 
distance to be traversed ; and here Columbus was 
helped by an error which he shared with many 
geographers of his day. He somewhat underesti- 
mated the size of the earth, and at the same time 
greatly overestimated the length of Asia. The 
' first astronomer to calculate, by scientific methods, 
' the circumference of our planet at the equator 
incimtont ^"^ Eratosthenes (a. c. 276-196), and 
SSm'Sm" ^ came — all things considered — fairly 
ttS^^ °^^ *^^ *™*^ ' ^^ ™*i® ^' 25,200 geo- 
*"™™"- graphical miles (of ten stadia), or about 
one seventh too great. The true figure is 21,600 
geographical miles, equivalent to 24,899 English 
statute miles.1 Cnrioualy enough, Posidoniua, in 
revising this calculation a century later, reduced 
the figure to 18,000 miles, or about one seventh 
too emaJL The circumference in the latitude 
of Gibraltar he estimated at 14,000 miles ; the 
length of the (Ecumene, or Inhabited World, he 
called 7,000 ; the distance across tihe Atlantic from 
the Spanish strand to the eastern shores of Asia 
was the other 7,000. The error of Posidonius waa 
partially rectified by Ptolemy, wTio made the equa- 
torial circumference 20,400 geographical miles, and 

1 See EemcherB Ou^ina of Aatnmomy, p. 140. For an aeoDDUt 
of die method employed by EratoBthenes, see Delambre, Histoin 
de Vastronomu ancienw, tom. i. pp. 80-91; Lewis, Astronomy ^ 
the Andents, p. 198. 



die length of a degree 56.6 miles.^ Thig estimate, 
in which the error was less than one sixteenth, pre- 
vailed until modem times. Ptolemy also supposed 
the Inhahited World to extend over about half the 
circumference of the temperate zone, but the other 
half he imagined aa consiBting lai^elj of bad lands, 
qu^;mires, and land-locked seas, instead of a vast 
and open ocean." 

Ptolemy's opinion aa to the length of the In- 
hahited World was considerably modified in the 
minds of those writers who toward the end of the 
Middle Ages had been strongly impressed by the 
book of Marco Polo. Among these persons was 
ToscaneUi. This excellent astronomer X(M«i«n!'> 
calculated the earth's equatorial cir- ^^^^^ 
cumference at almost exactly the true •*"''' 
figure; his error was less than 124 Kngllsh miles 
in excess. The circumference in the latitude of 
Lisbon he made 26 x 250 x 3 = 19,500 miles.* Two 
thirds of this figure, or 13,000 miles, he allowed 

' See Baiibni7'a Hirtory qf Anckrit Geography, toI. li. pp. ^6- 
97, 54S-679; Miillerand DonaldsoD, HiHoiy of Greek lAteratare, 

' Strabo, in ai^nini; agtunirt thia tbeor? of 1>ad luida, eto., M 
obstacles to ocean DBvigadon — a Itieorjr vkich seems to be at 
least » old » Eipparcbiu — has a passage which finely expresses 
the loneliness of the sea: — Olrt fip nipitKf'y iiiix"p^>""^'!i 
rZra iiraaTpii^aiTtSt objc ^^ Ijjrtlpait rtifht iwrLrtTToiaiis Ktd 
moXiioiffijj, rir Mnniia rXoSr iranpau'reTiyai ^aair, ixxi iri 
iiropias Kal ipJi/ilas, oiiir firrav tjii Bakirr-qi ixoiarit rhr itipav 
(lib. i. cap. L § S). When one thinks of this inafiia and iimiile, 
one fonciiw oneself far ant on the Atlantic, alone in an open boat 
on a dondy night, bewildered and hopeless. 

* See aboTO, p. 300. Toscanelli'a mile was nearly equivalent 
to the English statute mile. See the very importwit note in Win- 
■or, Narr. and Crit. Bitt.,rtH. i. p. 51. 



for the length of the CEIcnmene, from Lisbon east, 
ward to Quinsay (i. e. Hang-chow), leaving 6,500 
for the westward voy^e from Lisbon to Quinsay. 
Thus Toscanelli elongated Asia by nearly the whole 
width of the Pacific ocean. His Quinsay would 
come about ISO" W., a few hundred miles west 
of the mouth of the Columbia river. Zaiton (i, e. 
ChangKjliow), the easternmost city in ToscaneUi's 
China, would oome not far from the tip end of 
Xiower California. Thus the eastern coast of Ci- 
pango, about a thousand miles east from Zaiton, 
would fall in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere near 
the ninety-third meridian, and that isl^id, being 
over a thousand miles in length north and south, 
would fill up the space between the 
^^m oi parallel of New Orleans and that of the 
'p«n«o- ^jy qI Guatemala. The westward voy- 
E^ from the Canaries to Cipai^o, according to 
Toscanelli, would be rather more than 3,250 
miles, but at a third of the distance out he placed 
the imaginary island of " Antilia," with which 
he seems to have supposed Portuguese sailors 
to be familiar.^ " So through the unknown parts 
of the route," said the venerable astronomer, " the 
stretches of sea to be traversed are not great," 

' The reader will also notice npon Toscanelli's map the udiuidB 
of Braal and St. Braodan. For aD account of all tiiese faboloos 
islanda Bee Winsor, Narr. and CW(. Hist., yol. i. pp. 46-51. The 
name of "Antilia" surriresio the name " AntilloB," applied fdnoe 
abont in02 to die West India islarida. All the islands wast of 
ToBoauelli's ninetieth meridian belong in the' Pacific. He drev 
them frcon his nndentandine of the descriptdona of Marco Polo, 
Fiiar Odoric, and other tTBTelleis. Th«Be vere the islands sup- 
posed. Tightly, though Ti^^iielr, t« aboiuid in spices. 



— not much more than 2,000 English miles, not 
BO long as the voyage from Lisbon to the Guinea 

While Columbus attached great importance to 
these calculations and carried Toscanelli's map 
with him upon his first voyage, he improved some- 
what upon the estimates of distance, and thus made 
his case still more hopeful. Columbus was not 
enough of an astronomer to adopt Tos- 
canelli's improved measurement of the oiuon oi uw 
size of the earth. He accepted Ptolemy's globe, tfas 
fismre of 20,400 geographical miles for mcumene, 

° ...,11., ,, , mdthewddtli 

the equatonai girth,' which would make ot theAtina- 
the circumference in the latitude of 

^ Columbus was confirmed in this opinian by the book of fJie 
Atabiaa astronomer Alfragan, viitten aboDt A. D. 950, a Latin 
bfljialation o£ whiob appeared in 1447> There iH A oonciae anm- 
mary of it in Delambie, Histoire de Vastrononiie du Moyen Age, 
pp. 63-73. CoImnbTiB proceeded throoghout on the asBumption 
that the laDglh of a degree at the equator is 56.6 gei^Tsphical 
miles, instead, of the correot figure 60. Thia would oblige him to 
reduce all ToHcanelli'B figures hy about m. per cent., to begin with. 
Upon this point we baTe the highest authority, that of Colombua 
himself, la an autograph matgiual note in bis copy of tbe Imago 
Mundi, where he eipreases himself moat explicitly ; " Nota quod 
eepius DaTigsndo ex Ulixbona ad Anatmm in Ouiueam, notavi cunt 
diligeutia viank, nt solitnm naucleria et maliueriia, et preteria ac- 
cepi altitn^nem solis cam qoadrante et aliis ingtmmeDtis plnres 
vices, et inreni oonoontare onm Alfragano, videlieet respondero 
qoemhbet gradnm milliariis 5Sf. Qnare sd hano menauram 
Gdero adbibendam. Tunc igitar possumus dicere quod circuitus 


eaub < 

ir» eq 

oinoctiali est 2( 


milliariorom. Sfaniliter 


id inve 

mit ms 

igister Josephns 


leas et aetrologus et alii 


s missi 

i speoialitec ad hoc per sen 


," etc. 

; ,>ngli, 

iB, "ObBorrethE 

ailing often from Usbon 

hwird t« Gninea, I carefully marked the coDrsa, according to 
cnsMm of akipp«ra and roarinera, and moreover I took the 
B altitude several times with a quadrant and other instm- 



&B Caoaries about 18,000 ; and Columbiu, on the 
strength of sundry passages from ancient authors 
which be found in AUia«ua (cribbed from Roger 
Bacon), concluded that six sevenths of this cir- 
cumference must be occupied by the CEktamene, 
including Cipango, so that in order to reach that 
wonderful island he would only have to sail over 
one seventh, or not much more than 2,500 miles 
from the Canaries.' An authority upon which he 

ments, and in agreement witli Alfnlgsn I found that each degree 
[i. e. of longitude, measured on a great diole] antwers to 66} 
milea. So that one may rely npoo this measnre. We may there- 
fore lay that the equatorial oiraamfereace of the earth ia 20,400 
mileB. A Himilar Teanlt was obtained by Master Joseph, the phj- 
moiBt [or, perhaps, phyaician] and aBtronamer, and aeTeral othen 
lent for this apeaial purpose by the roost gracious king of Porlii- 
gaL" — Master Joseph was physician to John II. of Portagal,and 
was asaociated with Hartin Bebaim in the invention of an im- 
proved astrolabe vhich greatly facilitated ocean navigation. — 
The exact agreement with Ptolemy's flgorea ahows that by a mile 
Colunbua meant a geographical mile, equivalent to ten Greek 

1 One seventh of 18,000 is 2,571 geographical mileB, equivalent 
to 2,663 Bngliah railea. The aotnal length of Colamhas'H first 
Toyage, from last sight of land in the Canaries to lintmght of land 
in the BahamaB, was according t« his own dead reckoning about 
3,230 gec^raphical miles. See bis jonraal in 14'avarrete, Coieccion, 
torn. L pp. 6-20. 

I give here in parAllel columns the passage from Bacon and the 
one from Alliacus upon which Columbus placed so much reliance. 
In the Middle Ages (here was a generoos tolerance of mnoh that 
we have since learned to stjgmatiio as plagiarism. 

From Roger Bacon. Optis From Petms Alliacns, Di 

Majlis (a. d. 1267), London, imagine Mundi <a. d. 1410), 

1733, ed. Jebb, p. 183; — "Sed Paris, oir. 1490, cap. viii. fol. 

Ariatoteles vnlt in fine sceandi Hi b: — "Sumraus Aristotsles 

Cteli et Muudi quod plas [teme] dioit quod mare parvnm est in- 

habitetur quam qnarta pars. Et ter finem Hispaniffi a parte occi- 

Averroes hoc confirmat Dicit dentis et inter principium India 



placed great reliance in this connection wag the 
fourth book of Esdrae, which althongh ^^ ^^^^^^^^ 
not a canonical part of the Bible was ££^ 
approved by hoi; men, and which ex- 
Aiistotslea quod inaie pumm k parte orienlia, et Tnlt qnod 
eat inter finem Hupama a parte plna habitator qnani qoarla 
oooidentis et inter piinaipimu pan, at ATerroee boo oon- 
Indite a parte orientii. Bt Sen- fiimat. Ingaper Seneea, libra 
eoa, libra quiuto Natotalimn, quinto Natnialinm, dint qnod 
di<nt qnod mare hoo eat navi- mare eat navigabile in panoia 

ventwi ait conTBiiiang. Et PU- Et Plinina dooet in Natmalibiu, 

luns di>oet in NatnraJibiu qnod libro aeonndo, qnod DaTigatmn 

BavigBtnm est a una Aiabiea est a sinn Arabioo naqne ad 

nsqae ad Gadea : onde refert Qadea Hefonlia non mnltmn 

quendam fngieae a rege auo nuigno tcmpoie, 

pne dmore et mtravit ainnm 

Maria Babri . . . qui oiraitai 

apatjnm narigatitniiii ff"""q'W 

distat a Hari Indico: . . . ez 

qno patet prinoipinm Indj» in 

oriente multnm a Dobia distare 

et ab Hiapania, poatqnBm tan- 

tnm diatat a principio Arabiie 

verana Indiam. A fine Hiapanite unda oonoln- 

■nb terra tam parnuD mare est duut aliqui, qnod mare non sM 

qnod non potest oooperire tres tantnni qnod poadt oooperire 

qnartaa teme. Et hoo per trea quartaa teme. Acnedit ad 

anotoritalflni alterins ramaide- boo auotoritaa Esdis libro sua 

rationis probatnr. Nam Eadras qnarto, dioentia qnod aez partea 

dkit qnsrto libro, qnod sex 

partes teme aont habitats et terrae snnt habitata et aeptima 

■epttma eat cooperta aqoia. Et eat cooperta aqnia, 

ue aliquis impediat hano ancC4>- 

ritatam, dicens qaod liber ille 

est apooryphna at ignotffi aoo- 

toritatia, dioendnm eat qnod cnjua libri a 

Baucti baboerunt ilium libruTn habnemnt in 

in nau et CDnfirmant veHtates 

sacroB per illam lilmim." 

Columbna miiat either have oairisd the book of Allituna with 



preaaly asserted tliat six parts of the earth (i. e. of 
the length of the CEcumene, or north temperate 
zone) are inhabited and only the seventh part 
covered with water. From the general habit of 
Columbus's mind it may be inferred that it was 
chiefly upon this scriptural authority that he based 
his confident expectation of finding land soon after 
accomplishii^ seven hundred leagues fi-om the 
Canaries. Was it not as good as written in the 
Bible that land was to be found there ? 

Thus did Columbus arrive at bis decisive con- 
clusion, estimating the distance across the Sea of 
Darkness to Japan at something less than the 
figure which actually expresses the distance to the 
West Indies. Many a hopeful enterprise has been 
ruined by errors in figuring, but this wrong cal- 

him on his Toyages, or else hare raad hia faroimte passages until 
he knew tlkem by hearty as may be seen from the following pa^ 
sage of a letter, written from HUpaniola in 1498 to Ferdinand 
and Isabella (NaTOrrete, torn i. p. 261) : — "EI Ariatotel dice qne 
este mundo ea peqneBo ; es el agna moj poca, y qne tacilmente 
se pnede pasai de Eapafla Jk las Indias, y esto conBrma el Avenryx 
[ATerroeB], y le alega el oardenal Pedro de Aliaco, autoriiando 
este decir y aq^nel de Seneca, el qnal coDfonua eon eatos. ... A 
esto trae una autoridad de Esdias del tercoro libro anyo, adonde 
dice qne de uete partes del mnndo las seia son descnbiertaa y la 
ana es onbieita de agna, la eual autoridad es aprobada por San- 
tos, los cnales dan autoridad al 3" 4 4° libro de Esdras, anal come 
BS S. .^aalin 4 S. Ambrosio en an exdmeron" etc. — " Siagulap 
period," eiolainia Hnmboldt, " when a mixture of testimomea 
from Aristotle and Averroaa, Esdras and Seneca, on tke small 
extent of the ocean compared with the magnitude of contduental 
land, afforded to moiiarcha gnaranteeB for the safety and expe- 
diency of costly enterprises! " Cosmos, tr. Sabine, vol. ii. p. 250 
The pas»t{(ea cited in this note may be f onnd in Humboldt, Exa- 
Ren critique, tom. i. pp. 35-69. Another interesting pass^« fron 
Imago Mundi, cap. xv., is quoted on p. '18 of the same work. 



cnlatioa was cert^nly a great help to Columbus. 
When we consider how difficult he found j-prtunj^e 
it to obtain men and ships for a voyage ^j'^";^ 
supposed to be not more than 2,500 "■"'■ 
miles in this new and untried direction, we muat 
admit that his chances would have been poor in- 
deed if he had proposed to s^ westward on the 
Sea of Darkness for nearly 12,000 miles, the real 
distance from the Canaries to Japan. It was a 
case where the littleness of the knowledge was not 
a dangerous but a helpful thing. If instead of the 
somewhat faulty astronomy of Ptolemy and the 
very haay notions prevalent about "the Indies," 
the correct astronomy of Toscanelli had prevailed 
and had been joined to an accurate knowledge of 
eastern Asia, Columbus would surely never have 
conceived his great scheme, and the discovery of 
America would probably have waited to be made 
by accident.^ The whole point of his 

•' , . .. • i 1. _x Tta whole 

scheme lay in its promise of a shorter point uid 
route to the Indies than that which the coiombm's \ 
Portuguese were seeking by way of ij 

Guinea. Unless it was probable that it could 
furnish such a shorter route, there was no reason 
for such an extraordinary enterprise. 

The years between 1474 and 1480 were not fa- 
vourable for new maritime ventures on the part of 
the Portuguese government. The war with Castile 
absorbed the ener^es of Alfonso V. as well as his 
money, and he was badly beaten into the bargain. 
About this time Columbus was writing a treatise 
' See b«io«, Tol. ii- p. 96. 



on " the five liabitable zones," intended to refute 
the old notioDB abont regiona so fiery 

Colombiu'i . • ., ■ 

■pMuiuiuu or so frozen aa to be inaccessible to man. 
Ab this book is lost we know little or 
nothing of its views and speculations, but it ap- 
pears that in writing it Columbus utilized Simdi^ 
observationB made by himself in long voyages into 
the torrid and arctdc zones. He spent some time 
Hii nna, ** *■*** f ortress of SoB Jopgc de la Mina, 
to ouisH. Qn ^ijg (JolJ Coast, and made a study of 
that equinoctial climate.^ This could not have been 
earlier than 1482, the year in which the fortress 
was built. Five years before this he seems to have 
gone far in the opposite direction. In a fragment 
of a letter or diary, preserved by his son and by 
Las Casas, he says : — ''In the month of February, 
1477, 1 sailed a hundred leagues beyond 
inco t^£ntia the island of Thule, [to ?] an island of 
'""°' which the south part ia in latitude 73°, 

not 63°, as some say ; and it [i. e, Thule] does not 
lie within Ptolemy's western boundary, but much 
farther west. And to this island, which is as big 
as England, the Enghsh go with their wares, es- 
pecially from Bristol. When I was there the sea 
was not frozen. In some places the tide rose and 
fell twenty-aix fathoms. It is true that the Thule 
mentioned by Ptolemy lies where he says it does, 
and this by the modems is oaUed Frislanda." ' 

' Vita deir Ammiraglio, cap. \v. ; Las Ctwis, Hittoria, bun. i. 

' " lo navi^ I' umo ic coco Lxxvu nel meee di Febrsio oltra 
Tile isola aento leghe, la cui parte AuBtrale i lontana dall' Eqni' 
notriaU setbtiitatrt gradi, e non seaBantatrt, oome alcani Ti^liono ; 
ni giace deutio della linea, she inolade 1' Oooidente di Tolomeot 



Taken as it stands tliis passage is so bewildering 
that we can Lardly suppose it to Iiave come in jnst 
this shape from the pen of Columbus. It looks as 
if it had been abridged from some diary of his by 
some person unfamiliar with the Arctic seas ; and 
I have ventured to insert in brackets a little prep- 
osition which may perhaps help to straighten out 
the meaning. By Thule Columbus doubtless means 
Iceland, which lies between latitudes 64° and 67°, 
and it looks as if he meant to say that he ran be- 
yond it as far as the little island, just a hundred 
leagues from Iceland and in latitude 
71°, since discovered by Jan Mayen in ""had Jm 
1611. The rest of the paragraph is 
more intelligible. It is true that Iceland lies 
thirty degrees farther west than Ptolemy placed 
Thule ; and that for a century before the dis- 
covery of the Newfoundland fisheries the English 
did much fishing in the waters abont Iceland, 

Dw % molto pih Occidentals. £t a qneeta isola, che i taoto grands, 
cornel' Ingbiltens, TBano gV Inglesi con le loro neicataDtie, 
apecislmeute qnelli di Bristul. Et al tempo che io vi andai, noD 
•la oocgslsto il mare, qnantnnqae li foasera si grtumt maiee, chs 
in olonni Inaghi ascendeva Tentiaei liraccia, e diacendeva altretanti 
in altena. £ bene il lero, che Tile, qnella, dj oni Tolomeo fa 
menidene, |(iaoe dove ogli dice \ & qnedta da^ modem! 6 chiamata 
Frialanda. " Vila ddP Ammiriigtiii, oap. if. Id the ori^nal edi- 
tion of 15T1, there are no qnotation-marks ; and in some rooderc 
editions, where these are sapplied, the qnotation ia vnmgl; made 
to end jnat before the last lentenoe, so as to make it appear like 
a gloss of Ferdinand's. This is, however, imposuble. Ferdinand 
died in 1539, and the Zeno uarrBtiTe of Fnslanda vas not pnb- 
Hahed till 1&!>S, au iLat the only source from which llkat name 
oonld have come into hia book was his father's docnment. The 
f^enninsnesa of the passage ia proTed b; il 
wtvd for word, in Iisa Caaas, Hitloria, torn. L p. 48. 



and carried wares thither, especially from Bristol.^ 
There can he no doubt that by Frialanda Colam- 
hna means the Feroe islands,^ which do lie in 
■Bd itoppMi ^^ latitude though not in the longitude 
ui«iud. mentioned by Ptolemy. As for the 
voyage iato the Jaa Mayen waters in February, it 
would be dangerous but by no means impossible.^ 
In another letter Columbus mentions visiting Eng- 
land, apparently in connection with this voyage,* 
and it is highly probable that he went in an Eng- 
lish ship from Bristol. 

The object of Columbus in making these long 
voyages to the equator and into the polar circle 
was, as he tells us, to gather observations upon 
climate. From the circumstance of his having 
made a stop at some point in Iceland, it was 
conjectured by Finn Magnuason that Columbus 
The hTpoth. might have learned something about Vin- 
inmbm"™* ^"^ which scrvcd to guide him to his 
uld'n'liK^ own enterprise or to encourage him in 
S^.'KiS it- Starting from this suggestion, it 
"•yv^ has been argued ^ that Columbus must 

have read the geographical appendix to Adam of 
Bremen's " Ecclesiastical History ; " that he must 

1 See Thorold Rogers, 2^ Economic Interpretation of Biltory, 
London, 1388, pp. 103, 319. 
' See above, p. 230. 

* See the graphic dewriptdon of a voyage in these waters in 
Hsieh, 1882, in Nansen's The First Croinng of Grtei^nd, Lon- 
don, 1890, voL i. pp. 149-152. 

* " E vidi hitto il Leiante, e tutto il Fonente, cbe « dice pei 
andare verao it Settentrione, cio^ t' Inghilteira, e ho aamminato 
per la Guinea." Vita deW Ammiraglio, cap. iv. 

* Sea AndetBon'a America not discovered bj/ Columbat, Chioago, 
1814 ; 3d ed. enlaised, Chicago, 1S83. 



iiave imderatood, as we now do, tlie reference 
therein made to Yinland ; that he made his voyage 
to Iceland in order to obtain further informatioD ; 
that he there not only heard about Yinland and 
other localities mentioned in the sagas, but also 
mentally placed them about where they were 
placed in 1837 by Professor Rafn ; that, among 
other tilings, he thus obtained a correct knowledge 
of the width of the Atlantic ocean in latitude 28° 
N. ; and that during fifteen subsequent years of 
weary endeavour to obtain ships and men for Ma 
westward voyage, he sedulously refrained from 
using the moat convincing argument at his com- 
mand, — namely that land of continental dimen. 
sions had actually been found (though by a very 
different route) in the direction which he indi- 

I have already given an explanation of the pro- 
cess by which Columbus arrived at the firm belief 
that bysailingnotmore than about 2,500 geograph- 
ical miles due west from the Canaries he should 
reach the coast of Japan. Every step of that ex- 
planation is sustained by documentary evidence, 
and as his belief is thus completely accounted for, 
the hypothesis that he may have based it upon in- 
formation obtained in Iceland is, to say the least, 
superfluous. We do not need it in order to ex- 
plain his actions, and accordingly his actions do 
not affoi'd a presumption in favour of it. There 
is otherwise no reason, of course, for iiatbjpotti- 
refusing to admit that he might have |Ji5™^'in 
obtained information in Iceland, were ""'■'™'- 
there any evidence that he did. But not a scrap 



of Buch evidence has ever been produced. Eveiy 
step in the Soandinavian hypoUiesis is a pure as- 

f^t it ia assumed that Columbus mvst have 
read the appendix to Adam of Bremen's history. 
But really, while it is not impossible that he should 

have reaa that document, it is, ou the 
tMttbat^"'^ whole, improbable. The appendix was 
kiHwotAduB first printed in Lindenbr(^'a edition, 
niDMonu published at Leyden, in 1696. The 

eminent Norwegian historian, Gustar 
Storm, finds that in the sixteenth oentnry just six 
MSS. of Adam's works can now be traced. Of 
these, two were preserved in Denmark, two in 
Hamburg, one had perhaps already wandered 
southward to Leyden, and one as far as Vienna 

Dr. Storm, therefore, feels sure that 

G)lumbus nev^r saw Adam's mention 

u ha had of Vinlsnd, and pithily adds that " had I 
Columbus known it, it would not have I 
been able to show him the way to the West Indies, 1 
but perhaps to the North Pole." ^ From the ao- J 
count of this mention and its context, which I 
have already given,^ it is in the highest degree im- 
probable that if Columbus had read the passage he 
could have imderstood it as bearing upon his own 
problem. There is, therefore, no ground for the 

' "Det «r derfor wkkert, at Colambni ikke, aom Qogle hai 
foimodet, kan haTe kjendt Adam ai Bremeni Beratmi^ om Vin. 
land ; ti kau (^eme tilfoie, at havde Colambni kjendt den, TOde 
den ikke have koniKt vm ham Vei til VsbMd (Indian}, men 
kanake tU Xordpolen." Aarbtger /or Nardil: Oldkyndigltal, 
1887, ii. 2, p. 301. 

' See above, p. 210. 



asBumptioD that Columbus went to Iceland in 
order to make inquiries about Vinlaud. 

It may be argued that even if he did not go for 
such a purpose, nevertfaelesa when once there he 
could hardly have failed incidentally to get the 
information. This, however, is not at all clear. 
Observe that our sole authority for the journey 
to Iceland is the passage above quoted at second- 
hand from Columbus himself; and there is no- 
thing in it to ahoT whether he staid a few hours 
or sever^ weeks ashore, or met with any j, i, aonhtfm 
one likely to be possessed of the know- "^"S^ 
ledge in question. The absence of any ^"tlJ^rto^ 
reference to Vinland in the Zeno narra- *" ^'"■"^ 
tive is an indication that the memory of it had faded 
away before 1400, and it was not distinctly and gen- 
erally revived until the time of TorfieuB in 1705.^ 

1 In 1689 the Swedish vriter, Ole Radbeck, oonld Dot ondeT- 
itaod Adma of Bremen's allamon to Vinlaiid. The poBsagre ia 
instructive. Rndbeck deoUres that in speaking of a vine^rov- 
iag Gouutr; near to the Aictia ocean, Adun must have been mis- 
led bj some poedool or figurative phrase ; he was deceived either 
b; his tnuC in the Dimes, or by his own credulity, for he mani- 
(eatly ref an to Finland, for which the form Viniand does not once 
OOOnr in SturlesoD, etc: -~" Ne tAmaa poetis solia hoc loquendi 
geniiB in suii regionum laudationibns familiaje f nisse quis exisd- 
met, saeras adeat literas quffi Paliestins fffionnditatem appeUa- 
Goub Jltuntontm lactis & mellii designont. Tale oliqnid, sine omne 
dubio, Adams Bremensi quondam peisuaserat '"■">"" esse in 
ultimo septeatrions sitam, man f^aciali vicinsiit, vini feraoem, & 
ea, propter fide tometi Dauonun, Viniandiam dictam pront ipse 
. . . fateri Don dnbltat. Sed deaeptam enm baa «ve Dajiorum 
fide, nve crednUtate sua planam faoit affine isd Tocahulom Fin- 
tandia proviniute ad Regnmn noatrom pertinentis, pro qno apud 
Snorronem & in Hist Hegnm non semel occurrit Vtniandia no- 
men, cujuB proruontotiimi ad ultimnm aeptentrionem & oaqne ad 
mare glaciate uae eitendit." Rudbeck, Atland effar ManJuitK, 
Upsala, cir. 1089, p. 291. 



But to hear about Vinland was one thing, to be 
guided b; it to Japan was quite another affair. It 
was not the mention of timber and peltries and 
Skrselings that would fire the im^iuation of Co- 
lumbus ; his dreama were of stately cities with 
busy wharves where ships were laden with silks 
and jewels, and of Oriental magnates 
ii«rdit,iie decked out with "barbaric pearl and 
»Nj luiYB gold," dwellino; in pavilions of marble 
- withwch and jasper amid nowery gardens in " a 
oiscBmi- summer fanned with spice." The men- 
tion of Vinland was no more likely to 
excite Columbus's attention than that of St. Bran- 
dan's isle or other places supposed to lie in the 
western ocean. He was after higher game. 

To suppose that Columbus, even had he got 

hold of the Saga of Eric the Eed and conned it 

from beginning to end, with a learned interpreter 

at his elbow, could have gained from it a know- 

ledE:e of the width of the Atlantic ocean, 

H« could not . ° , ^ ,. ,, , . 

bitTc obuined IS Simply prepostcrous. It would be im- 
•ourcB bis possible to extract any such knowledge 
wwih <a the from that document to-day without the 
aid of our modern maps. The most 
diligent critical study of all the Icelandic sources 
of information, with all the resources of modem 
scholarship, enables us with some confidence to 
place Vinland somewhere between Cape Breton 
and Point Judith, that is to say, somewhere be- 
tween two points distant from each other more 
than four degrees in latitude and more than eleven 
degrees in longitude ! When we have got thus far, 
knowing as we do that the coast in question b& 



longa to the same <M)iitiiieiital system as the West 
Indies, we can look at our map and pick up our 
pair of compasses and measure the width of the 
ocean at the twenty-eighth parallel. But it is not 
the mediieral document, but our modem map that 
guides us to this knowledge. And yet it is inno- 
cently assumed that Columbus, without any know- 
ledge or suspicion of the existence of America, and 
from such vague data concerning voyages made five 
hundred years before his time, by men who had no 
means of reckoning latitude and longitude, could 
have obtained hia figure of 2,500 miles for the 
voyage from the Canaries to Japan I ^ The fallacy 
here is that which underlies the whole Scandina- 
vian hypothesis and many other fanciful geo- 

' The BOQioe of auch a coufumon of ideas ia probably the ridic- 
ulous map in H^tl^h Antiquitatea Aia^carnE, npou vhicli ^Nortli 
Amerioa is repreaented in all the aacanM;; of outline attainable 
by modem maps^ and then the Icelandic namee are put on whero 
Bafn thongbt they onght to go, i. e. Markland npon Nora Sooda, 
Vinland npon New England, etc Any person amng Bach a map 
is liable to foigret that it cannot poBsibly represent the crude no- 
tions of locality to whicb ibe reports of the Norse voyages moet 
baTe giren rise in ap ignorant age. (The reader will find tbe map 
teproduced in Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hiat. , i. 96.) Haf n's fault 
waa, hoTerer, Do greater tban that committed by the modem 
makers of so-called " ancient atlases " — still ourreat and in use 
in schools — when, for eiajnple, they take a correct modem map 
of Europe, with parts of Africa and A^, and npon oonntrieB so 
dimly known to the anmenla as Scandinavia and Hindnstan, bnt 
now drawn with perfect aeenracy, they simpty print the ancient 
namee 1 1 Nothing but coufu^OD can come from using aneb 
wretched maps. The only safe way to stndy the history of 
geography is to reproduce tbe ancient maps themselTes, as 1 have 
done in the present work. Many of the maps giien below in the 
second Tolome will illoatrate the slow and painful growth of the 
knowledge of the North American coast daring the ti 



graphical speculations. It is the fallacy of pro* 
jectiDg our present knowleiige into the past. 

We have next to inquire, if Columbus had heard 
of Ytnland and comprehended its relation to his 
own theory about land at the west, why in the 
world should he have concealed this val- 
kaown ud nable knowledge ? The notion seems to 
uwVhiiBid be that he must have kept it secret 
tte •tKwirnt through an unworthy desire to claim a 
pnwiiimiDg It priority in discovery to which he knew 
rot eoDSHiJDg that he was not entitled.' This is pro- 
jecting our present knowledge into the 
past with a vengeance. Columbus never professed 
to have discovered America ; he died in the belief 
that what he had done was to reach the eastern 
shores of Asia by a shorter route than the Portu- 
guese. If he had reason to suppose that the North- 
men had once come down from the Arctic seas to 
some imknown part of the Asiatic coast, he had no 
motive for concealing such a fact, but the strongest 
of motives for prochdming it, inasmuch as it would 
have given him the kind of inductive ai^;ument 
which he sorely needed. The chief obstacle for 
Columbns was that for want of tangible evidence 
he was obliged to appeal to men's reaaon with 
Bcienti£o arguments. When you show things to 
young children they are not content with looking ; 
they crave a more intimate acquaintance than the 
eyes alone can give, and so they reaoh out and 

' " The fault that ws find «itli ColnmbnB is, Uiat be mu nol 
boDeBt and front imcni^h to UsH where and how he had obtained 
Hb previona informatjan abont the lands which ha pretended t» 
ijaoover," Asdenon, America not diacatiered by Colurabua, p. 90. 



handle tii& things. So when ideas are presented to 
grown-up men, they are apt to be unwilling to trust 
to the eye of reason until it haa been supplemented 
by the eye of sense ; and indeed in most affairs of 
life such caution is wholesome. The difference be- 
tween Columbus and many of the " practical " men 
whom he sought to convince was that he could see 
with his mind's eye solid land beyond the Sea of 
Darkness while they could not. To them the ocean, 
like the sky, had nothing beyond, unless it might be 
the supernatural world.^ For while the argument 
from the earth's rotundity was intelligible enough, 
there were few to whom, as to Toscanelli, it was a 
living truth. Even of those who admitted, in the- 
ory, that Cathay lay to the west of Europe, most 
deemed the distance untraverBable. Inductive 
proof of the existeuoe of accessible land to the 
west was thus what Columbus chiefly needed, and 
what he sought every opportimity to find and pro- 
duce ; but it was not easy to find anything more 
substantial than sailors' vague mention of drift- 
wood of foreign aspect or other outlandish jetsam 
washed up on the Portuguese strand.^ What a 

' See below, p. 308. note. 

' For example, the pilot Mardn Vicenti told ColumbuB UtaA 
1,200 miles weet of Cape St. Vinceot be hwl picked np from the 
sea a piece of carved wood evidedUy not carved with iroii tooli. 
Pedro Correa, who had majried ColnmbnH^e vife^e eiflter, had seen 
upon Porto Santo a nmilar piece of earring that had drifted from 
the weet. Huge reeda Bometimea floated ashore apou thoee islands, 
and had not Ptolem; mentioned eDcamons reeds as growing in 
eastern Asia ? Piue-ttees of strange species were dii*ea b; west 
winds upon the eoaat ef Fajal, and two corpses of men of an un- 
known race had been washed oahoie upon the ueighbouriug island 
of Flore*. Certain aailois, on a, Tojage from the Azores to Ireland, 



godsend it would have heen for Columbus if be 
could have bad die Yinland business to burl at tbe 
heads of faia adversarieB I If he could have said, 
" Five hundred years a^ some Icelanders coasted 
westward in tbe polar regions, and then coasted 
southward until they reached a country beyond 
tbe ocean and about opposite to France or Portu- 
gal; therefore that country must be Asia, and I 
can reach it by striking boldly across tbe ocean, 
which will obviously be shorter than going down 
by Gruinea," — if he could have said this, he would 
have had precisely tbe unanswerable argument for 
lack of which his case was waiting and suffering. 
In persuading men to furnish hard cash for his 
commercial enterprise, as Colonel Higginson so 
neatly says, "an ounce of Vinland would have 
been worth a pound of cosmography." ^ We may 
be sure that the silence of Columbus about the 
Norse voy^es proves that be knew nothing about 
them or quite failed to see their bearings upon his 
own undertaking. It seems to me absolutely deci- 

Furthermore, this silence is in harmony with the 
fact that in none of his four voyages across the 
Atlantic did Coliunbus betray any consciousness 
that there was anything for him to gaio by steei^ 
ing toward the northwest. If he could correctly 
have conceived the position of Vinland he surely 
would not have conceived it as south of the for- 

had canght glimpges of land on tlie west, and believed it to be ths 
coast of " Tartary ; " etc., etc. See Vita deli' Ammiraglio, cap. it 
Since be cited tbege sailors, why did be not cite tbe Northmen tivt, 
if be knew whst tbe; bad done ? 

' Larger Hittorj/ qf the United StaU», p. 54, 



lieth paraUeL On his first voyage he steered due 
west in latitude 28° hecause Toscanelli irotrmoaati 
placed Japan opposite the Canaries. wS^^ 
When at length some doubts began to ^^uoi' 
arise and he altered his course, as we ''°"'""™- 
shall hereafter see, the change was toward the 
southwest. His first two voyages did not reveal to 
him the golden cities for which he was looking, and 
when on his third and fourth voyages he tried a 
different course it was farther toward the equator, 
not farther away from it, that he turned his prows. 
Not the slightest traoe of a thought of Yinland 
appears in anything that he did. 

Finally it may be asked, if the memory of Yin- 
land was such a living thing in Iceland in 1477 ' 
that a visitor would be likely to be told about it, 
why was it not sufficiently alive in 1493 
to call forth a protest from the North ? Morw»y w 
When the pope, as we shall presently itprouMia 
see, was proclaiming to the world that 
the Spanish crown was entitled to all heathen lands 
and islands already discovered or to be discovered 
in the oceui west of the Azores, why did not some 
zealous Scandinavian at once jump up and cry out, 
" Ijook here, old Columbus, we discovered that 
western route, you know ! Stop thief I " Why 
was it necessary to wait more than a hundred 
years longer before the affair of Vinland was men- 
tioned in this connection? 

Simply because it was not until the seventeenth 
century that the knowledge of North American 
geography had reached such a stage o£ complete- 
ness as to suggest to anybody the true significance 



of the old voyages from Greenland. Tliat 3igni& 
cance could not have been understood by Leif and 
Thorfinn tliemselres, or by tbe compilers of Hauks- 
bok and Hateyar-bok, or by any human being, un- 
til about the time of Henry Hudson, Kot earlier 
T)» idu of tlian *;^t' time should we expect to find 
Bw'SiSUi '* mentioned, and it is just then, in 1610, 
of AmSrfM™ *^' ^* *^*' ^^ '* mentioned by Amgrim 
«*M^omI Jonsson, who calls Viulaud "an island 
""y- of America, in the region of Green- 

land, perhaps the modem Estotilandia." ^ This is 
the earliest glimmering of an association of the 
idea of Vinland with that of America. 

' " Tenam rerd Lauda Rolf oni qiUEaitua euBtdmarem ease Yiit- 

Ameticn e ngione GronlandiEe, qa» fortA hodie EstolJlaiidiB," 
eto. Crgmogaa, Hamburg, ISIO, p. ISO. 

Alwaham Ortelina in 1606 speaks of the Northmea comii^ ta 
America, but bases his opinion upon the Zeno oerradTe (published 
in 1558) and upon tlie sonnd of the name Nommbega, SJid appaf- 
SDtly knovs nolJiing of Vmland : — . " loaephilB Aoosta in hia book^ 
Dt Natitra noui orbit indeaon by many leasoDS to prone, that 
this part of America waa originaUy inhabited by certaina Indians, 
forced thither by tempestiions weather ooer the South sea which 
now they call Mare del Zor, But t« me it seemee more probable, 
out of the biatoiie of tlie two Zeni, gentleiaen of Tenioe, . . . that 
this New World many ages past was entred apon by some island' 
ere of Europe, as namely of Grcmiand, Island, and Frisluid j being 
much neerer thereanto tlian the Indiana, Dor diaioyned thence . . . 
by an Ocean so hnga, and to the Indians so vnnanigable. Also, 
what else may ve coniecture to be signified by this Nommbega [the 
name of a North region of Aaerica] bnt that from Nonnat), ug- 
nifying a North land, some Colonie in times past hath hither 
beene transplanted ? " Thattre of the WAoie WorW, London, 1606, 
p. 5. These passages are qaoted and discussed by EeeTes, TOe 
Finding of Windand ike Good, pp. 95, »6. The sappased eon- 
nedaon of Nommbega «ith Norway is very doubtful. Poasibly 
SteplianiuB, in his map of 1570 (Toifams, Gronlandia aniigaa, 
170A), may have had reference to LabradOT or the north of New- 



The genesis of the grand scheme of Columbus 
has now been set forth, I believe, with sufficient 
fulness. The cardinal facte are 1, that the need 
for some such scheme was suggested in R^,n„^of m* 
1471, by the discovery that the Guinea g^Jj!^., 
coast extended south of the equator; k*"""- 
2, that by 1474 advice had been sought from 
Tosoauelli by the king of Portugal, and not very 
long after 1474 by Columbus ; S, that upon Tos- 
canelli's letters and map, amended by the Ptole- 
maio estimate of the earth's size and by the author- 
ity of passages quoted in the book of AUiacus (one 
of which was a verse from the Apocrypha), Colum- 
bus based hia firm conviction of the feasibleness of 
the western route. How or by whom the , su^es- 
tion of that route was fii-st made — whether by 
Columbus himself or by Toscanelli or by Fernando 
Martinez or, as Antonio Gallo declares, by Barthol- 
omew Colimibus,^ or by some person in Portugal 
whose name we know not — it would be difficult to 
decide. Neither con wo fix the date when Colum- 
bus first sought aid for Ms scheme from the Portu- 
guese government. There seems to be no good 
reason why be should not have been talking about 
it before 1474 ; but the affair did not come to any 
Idnd of a cliipas until after his return from Guinea, 
some time after 1482 and certainly not j,g^„ 
later than 1484. It was on some ac- ^^^ 
counts a favourable time. The war "*""»■»■ 
with Castile was out of the way, and Martin Be- 
haim had just invented an improved astrolabe which 

' Gallo, De naeigatione CUumbi, apnd Maiatori, Benua Jtali- 
tanim 8cr^tore», iam. iriii. coL 302. 



made it ever so much easier to finil and keep one's 
latitude at sea. It was in 1484 that Portuguese 
discoveries took a fresh start after a ten years' lull, 
and Diego Cam, with the learned Behaim and his 
bran-^iew astrolabe on board, was about to sail a 
thousand miles farther south than white men had 
ever gone before. About this time the scheme of 
Coltunbus waa formally referred by King John It 
to the junto of learned cosmographers from whom 
the crown had been wont to seek advice. The pro- 
ject was condemned as " visionary," ^ as indeed it 
was, — the outcome of vision that saw farther than 
those men could see. But the king, who had some 
of Ms uncle Prince Henry's love for bold enter- 
prises, was more hospitably inclined toward the 
ideas of Columbus, and he simunoued a council of 
BeoDtritioiu ^^^ most learned men in the kingdom to 
SiS^^ discuss the question.^ In this council 
sfFortogii. ^g jjg^ scheme found some defenders, 
while others correctly urged that Columbus must 
be wrong in supposing Asia to extend so far to 
the east, and it must he a much longer voyage 
than he supposed to Cipango and Cathay.* Others 

' Laloente, Huioria de E^mHa, torn. ix. p. 428. 

^ Vaaconcelloa, Vida dd rei/ Don Juan II., lib. iv. ; La ClMe, 
SialoiTe de Portugal, lib. xiii. 

' The VartngneaB haTe iwTer been able to fotgive Columbus fi^ 
diecoveriag a uev vorld for Spain, and their ohagrrn sometimea 
lenls itself in omomng waya. After all, says Cordeiro, Columbus 
waa no anch great man aa some people tbiolE, for he did not dia- 
cuver That he promised to disoover ; and, moroorer, the ForCu- 
gneae geographers vere ng:ht in condemning his scheme, beeaase 
it really is not so far by sea from Lisbon around Africa to Hin- 
dnalAn aa from Liabon by any practicable roote westward to 
Japan! See Laeiajv) Corisiio, De ia part priie par Ut Partogait 



argued that the late war had impoverished the 
ooimtry, and that tlie enterprises on the African 
coast were all that the treasury could afford. Here 
the demands of Columbus were of themselves an 
obstacle to his success. He never at any time 
held himself cheap,^ and the rewards and honours 
for which he insisted on stipulating were greater 
than the king of Portugal felt inclined to bestow 
upon a plain Genoese mariner. It was felt that if 
the enterprise should prove a failure, as very likely 
it would, the leaa heaj^ily the government should 
have committed itself to it beforehand, the less it 
wonld expose itself to ridicule. King John was 
not in general disposed toward unfair and dishon- 
est dealings, but on this occasion, after much par- 
ley, he was persuaded to sanction a proceeding 

dam la dtcouverte d'Amerique, Lisbau, 1678, pp. 23, 24, 20, 2a. 
Well, I don't know that tlieTe b any ansver to be made to thia 
aigunutut. Log;ic ia It^ic, says the wise Antocnit : — 
'^ Bud <tf the voDd«if ol oat^tom Alny, 
IjO^C l« logic, tJut^aUlttj." 
Cordmnt's book ia elaborately oritioised in die learned worlc of 
Proflpero Peragallo, Cristoforo Colombo in Fortogallo .- stadi criiici, 
Genoa, 1882. 

' " PercioccbA eseendo 1' AmmiragLo di generod ed alti penMeri, 
rolls oapitolare cod sno grande anore e vantaggio, per laeciar la 
memona Boa, e la ^randezza della Baa casa, cunfonne alia gran- 
deua delJe ana opere e de' snoi meriti." Vila ddP Amniraglio, 
eap. It. The jealous Portuguese bistorian speaks in a somewhat 
different tone from the affectionate son :^ " Vei reqnarer & el rey 
Dom Jolo qae le desse algnms navios peia ir & descabrir a ilba 
de Gypango [aic] per eata mar occidental. ... £3 rej, porqne via 
ser este ChristovSo Colom bomem falador e ^orioeo em mosCrar 
soas babilidadee, e mas fantaetico et de inug^nsoEhi com gna ilba 
de Cypango, qne certo no qne deraa ; davalhe ponco eredito." 
Barros, Dtcada primara da Asia, Lisbon, 1'752, liv. iii. cap. xL 



quite unworthy of lum. Having obtained ColTUft- 
AgtuAb; bus's Sailing plana, he sent out a ship 
'**• secretly, to carry some goods to the 

Cape Verde islands, and then to try the experi- 
ment of tlLe westward voyage. If there should 
turn out to be anything profitable in the scheme, 
this woidd be safer and more fmgal than to meet 
the exorbitant demands of this ambitiouB foreigner. 
So it was done ; but the pilots, having no grand 
idea to urge them forward, lost heart before the stu- 
pendous expanse of waters that confronted them, 
and beat an ignominious retreat to Lisbon ; where- 
upon Columbus, having been informed 
iwvu portu- of the trick,^ departed in high dudgeon, 
to lay his proposals before the crown of 
Castile. He seems to have gone rather suddenly, 

' It has lieeo nrged in the king's deFence that "snob a, pro- 
eeeding -woa not bd instance of had faith or perfidy (I) hnt rather 
of the policj cnBtomary at that time, Tfaioh consisted in diatmst- 
ing- eTBTTthing that was foreign, and in promoting h; vhateTer 
means the nation&l glorj." Tes, indeed, vbether the meana were 
fair or fonl. Of oourae it waa a oommon enong;h policf , hat it 
vu lying and cheating all the aame. " N9o fin aem dnvids far 
mk f& ou perfidia qne taoitamente a* msndon armar hum navio )i 
on jo oapilSo se eonflon o piano que Colombo havia piopoato, e oaj> 
eiecnfao se Ihe encarregaa i mas sun per aegnir a, polildoa naqnelle 
tempo nsada, qne toda conustia em olhar com desconGan^ para 
tndo o qne era eotrangelro, e en pnnnover por todos ea modoe a 
^oria nscionaL oaptllo ntHneado para a empreia, oomo nio 
tavesse nero o espirito, nem a conTiofSo do Colamlio, depois de 
hnniB cnrta viagrem noe maree do Ostte, fex-se na volta da terra : 
e arribon k Lishoa descontente e desanimado." Camps, Hiitoria 
do descobrimetUo da Ameriai, Paris, 1836, torn. i. p. 13. The 
frightened Bsilara protested that TOV HIOHT AS WELL BXTBOT TO 

Laa Caans, Hist, dt taa ladiai, torn. i. p. 221. Lbs Casas oalls thi 
kiog'a oondnct b; ita right name, doUadw, " triokeiy." 



leaving his wife, who died shortly after, and one 
or two children who must also have died, for he 
tells us that he never Baw them again. Bnt his 
Bon IHego, aged perhaps four or fire years, he took 
with him as fai' as the town of Huelva, near the 
little port of Falos in Andalnsia, where he left him 
with one of his wife's sisters, who had married a 
man of that town named Muliar.^ This arrival in | 
Spain was probably late in the autumn of 1484, I 
and CohuubuB seems to have entered „aB„ter«the 1 
into the service of Ferdinand and Isa- "^^"Jg^ , 
bella January 20, 1486. What he was "^.i^a- 
doing in the interval of rather more than a year 
is not known. There is a very doubtful tradition 

' It hag ganenjly been gnppoaod, on the authority of Vita deW 
Ammiragiio, cap. li., that Mb wife had lately died ; hot an anto- 
graph letter of ColnmboB, in the poaaeSBtiHi of hia lineal deacend- 
ant and representaldve the present Dnke of Veragnas, prares that 
tliia la a miatake- In this letter Coloiahna saya expreasly that 
■when he left Portngal he left wife and children, and never gaw 
them ^lun. (NaTarrete, CoUccion, torn. ii. doc. axzzvti. p. 255.) 
Ac Laa Casaa, vho knev Diego »o well, aUo auppoeed hia mother 
to have died before his father left Portngal, it is most likely ibat 
she died Boon aflorwards. Ferdinand ColomboB aaya that Diego 
was left in oharge of some friais at the couTent of La RAMda 
near Paloa (toe. cit.) ; Laa Caaaa ia not qoite ao anra ; he thinkn 
Diego was left with some friend of hia father at Falos, oi perhaps 
(por Ventura) at La Rdbida. (Historia, torn. L p. 227.) These 
miatahes were easy to make, for hotli La Hibida and HnelTa vera 
close by Pslos, and we know thaH Diego'a aunt Muliar was liTing 
at Huelva. (Las Casas, op. cit. tciDi. i. p. 241 j Harrisae, tom. i. 
pp. 2T9, S56, 391 ; torn. li. p. 229.) It is pretty clear that Colum- 
boa never viaited La Rdbida before the autnmn of 1491 (see be- 
low, p. 412). My own notion ia that Colombua may have left his 
wife with an infant and perhaps one older child, relieving her of 
the care of Diego by taking him to his annt, and intending aa aoon 
■s practicable to reunite the family. He clearly did not know at 
the outset whether he should stay in Spain or not. 



tliitt lie tried to interest tlie republic of Grenoa 
in his enterprise,' and a. still more doubtful ru- 
mour that he afterwards made proposals to the 
Venetian senate.' If these things ever happened, 
there was time enough for them in this year, and 
they can hardly be assigned to any later period. 
In 1486 we find Columbus at Cordova, where the 
sovereigns were holding court. He was unable to 
effect anything until he had gained the ear of Isa- 
bella's finance minister Alonso de Quintanilla, who 
had a mind hospitable to large ideas. The two 
sovereigns had scarcely time to attend to such 
things, for there was a third king in' Spain, the 
Moor at Granada, whom there now seemed a fair 
prospect of driving to Africa, and thus ending the 
struggle that had lasted with few intermissions for 
neM-ly eight centuries. The final war with Gra- 
nada had been going on since the end of 1481, and 
considering how it weighed upon the minds of Fer- 
dinand and Isabella it is rather remarkable that 
cosmography got any hearing at all. The aSair 
was referred to the queen's confessor Fernando de 
Talavera, whose first impression was that if what 
Columbus said was true, it was very strange that 
other geographers should have failed to know all 
about it long ^o. Ideas of evolution had not yet 
begun to exist in those days, and it was thought 
that what the ancients did not know was not worth 

' It reMs upon an improbable Btutement of Bamiuio, vbo places 
tlie BTent aa early as 1470. Tbe first Oetiarae writer to allude to 
it is Caaoni, Anaaii d^a B^iMiea di Gtn/ma, Genoa, 1108, pp. 
26-31. Suoh tostimoDy ia oS amall Taloe. 

' Firat mentiooed in 1800 by MariD, Storia dd comnurcio dt! 
Venaiani, Veiriae, 1796-1808, torn. rii. p. 236. 



knowii^. Toward the end of 1486 the Spanish 
Bcvereigna were at Salamanca, and Talavera re- 
ferred the question to a junto of learned ^j,, ju„„ ^ 
men, including professors of the famous ^*'™"'*- 
university,^ There was no lack of taunt and ridi- 
cule, and a whole arsenal of texts from Scripture 
and the Fathers were discharged at Columbus, but 
it is noticeable that quite a number were inclined 
to think that his scheme might be worth trying, 
and that some of his most firmly convinced sup- 
porters were priests. No decision had been reached 
when the sovereigns started on the Malaga cam- 
paign in the spring of 1487. 

After the surrender of Malaga in August, 1487, 
Columbus visited the court in that city. For a 
year or more after that time silken chains seem to 
have bound him to Cordova, He had formed a 
connection with a lady of noble family, ^^^^ ^ 
Beatriz Enriquez de Ai-ana, who gave c*imw 
birth to his son Ferdinand on the 15th *•«■ ^^*««- 
of August, 1488.^ Shortly after this event, Colum- 
bus made a visit to Lisbon, in all probability for 

' The dfiflcriptioD usually given of tliiB canfereace reatH upon 
the' authorit; of RemeBol, Hiiioria de la prouiacia de C^^o^, Ma- 
drid, 1610, lib. ii. cap. Tli. p. 52. Laa Casaa merely saya that the 
queetjon iras referred tn cert^n persons at the court, Hia. de las 
Indias, torn. i. p. 22S. It la probably not true that the project of 
Columbus was officially condemned by the uniTerBity of Sala- 
Diaaca as a corporate body. See Cainara, Bdigion y Ciencia, Val- 
Jadolid, 1680, p. 261. 

^ Some historians, anwilliiif; to admit any blemishes in the 
ehiracter of Colnmbna, have suppoaed that this union ma aanc- 
doned by marriage, but this is not probable. Be seems to have 
been tenderly attached to Beatriz, who survived him many yeais. 
.See Hturime, torn. ii. pp. 3S3-3&I 



the purpose of meetiag hia brother Bartholomew, 
j^^yjijj^ii^^ who had returned in the last week of 
S^lSfc™ I^eoember, 1487, in the Dias expedition, 
^id'So^ with • the proud news of the (Usoovery 
D», iwtT df ttg Cape of Good Hope,^ which was 

' The authority for Barllicdonieir ColnDibiu hsTing sailed to 
the Cape of Qood Hope with Diaa is a maniuciipt note of his own 
in Chriatopher'a cop; of the Imago JIundi : " Hota quod hoc anno 
de SS [it iboold be 81] in mense deoembri appulit in ITlizbona 
Barthdloniem DidMiu capitonena trium carabelonun quem 
miserat aereuiinmnB m Portngalia in Onineam ad tantandimi 
tenam. Et MHiiuciavit ipse aereniaamio regi proat luiTigaverat 
alba jam narigata leaohas 000, videlicet 450 ad anatnim et 160 
ad aqoilonem naqne montein per ipsnm nominatom Cabo de boa 
e^ieranta qnem in Agsomba eitimBmna. Qui qnidsm in eo looo 
inTemt ee diitare peraatrolabium nltia lineam eqninoclialein gia- 
dn* 36. Qoem Tiagiom piatavit et scripait de leadia in lencham 
in nnaoarta nafigratioiiia at oculi lienm oBt«ndetet ipoo sereulaalma 
regi Inqnibng omniboB interfni." M. Vamhagen haa eismined 
this note and thinks it is in the handwriting of Cfariatopher Co- 
Inmbos {Balletin de G/ographie, Janvier, 1858, torn. zv. p. 71} ; 
and U. d'Avezao (Canevai cAi-onologique, p. 58), accepting this 
opinion, thinks that the worda in quibua omnibia inierfui, " in all 
of whieh I took part," only mean that Christopher was present 
in Lisbon when tbe expedition returned, and heard the whole 
•tjn^ I Wit^ all poanble raspect ior ancb g^ieat scholars as MM. 
d'Avezac and Vamhagen, I eubmit that the opinion of Lbb Cbbss, 
who fint called attentioQ to this note, mnst be much better than 
thein on mob a ptnnt aa the handwriting el the two brnthera. 
When Las Casas fonnd the note he WMidered wbetbei it waa 
meant far Bartholomew or Christopher, 1. e. wondered which of 
the two was meant to be described as having " taken part ; " but 
at all events, says LbbCbsbs, the handwridug is Bartliolomew'H :— 
" Estas son palabras escritas de la mano de Bartolomj Colon, no 
■d d Isa eacribi<{ de sf it de sa letra por sn heimano Crist4Sbal 
Colon." Under these circnmstanaes it seems idle to suppose that 
Las Casaa could have been mistaken abont the handwriting ; he 
evideptiy pnt his mind on that point, and in the next breath he 
goes on to say, "la letra yo oonoroo ser de Bartolomd Colon, 
porqne tnve mochaa snjas," i. e. " I know it ia Bartholomew'* 
writing, for I liave had many letters of his ; " and again " estaf 



rigtdy believed to be the extremity of Africa ; and 
we can well understand how Christopher, on seeing 
the success of Prince Henry's method of reaching 
the Indies so nearly vindicated, must have become 
more impatient than ever to prove the superiority/ 
of his own method. It was probably not long 

palabras . ■ . de la mUma letra y maiio de Bartolomd Colon, la 
onal ma; bien couocl y agon t«ngo hstlaa cartas y letras snyas, 
tratsndo deste viaje," i- e. " ditHe worda . . . from the TSry 
nriting and hand of Bartholomew Columbiu, which I knew Tory 
well, and 1 hava to-day nmoy cliarts and letters of tiia, treating 
of this voyage." (Hist, de las India!, toia. I pp. 21S,21i.) This 
last sentence makes Las Casaa an independent witness to Bar- 
tholomew's pressDoe in tba expedition, a matter about which ha 
woe not likely to be mistaken. What pnzzled him was the qaeatian, 
not whether BartbolomeH' went, bnt whether Christopher conld 
have gone also, " pado ser tambicn qae Be hallase CriMxibal Colon." 
Now Christopher certainly did not go on that voyage. The eip©- 
ditiou started in Augost, 1466, and returned to Lisbon in Decem- 
ber, 1487, after an abaence of sixteen months and seventeen daya, 
"aaendo dezaseis mesea et dezasete dias que eiio parlidoB delle." 
(BacTca, Decada primeira da Asia, Lisbon, 1T52, torn. i. foL 42, 
44.) The account-book of the treasury of Caetile ahows that eoma 
of money were paid to Christopher at Seville, May 5, Joly 3, 
August 27, and October 15, 1467 ; so that he could not have gone 
with Dias (see Hanisse, torn. li. p. 191). Neither could Chris- 
topher have been in Lisbon in December, 1487, when the little 
fleet returned, for his safe-conduct from Eing John is dated 
March 20, 1483. It was not until the antumn of 1488 tbat Co- 
lumbus made this viut to Portugal, and M. d'Avezac has got the 
return of the fleet a year too late. Bartholomew's note followed 
» ouBtom which made 1438 begin at Christmas, 1487. 

In reading a later chapter of Laa Cases for another porpose 
(ton. i. p. 227), I come agiun upon this point. He rightly oon- 
olndei that Christopher could, not have gone with Dias, and 
agun declares most poutively that the handwriting of the note 
was Bartholomew's and not Christopher's. 

This footnote affords a good illustration of the kind of diffi- 
ralties that gurrotind such a subject aa the life of Columbus, and 
Hm ease with wbiob an eiosss of ioganoity majr discover mare's 



after Bartboloniew's retam diat Gmsboifket d» 
tennined to go and see him, for be applied to King 
John II. for a kind of safe-condnct, whicli was 
duly granted Mansh 20, 1488. This docnment^ 

.gaaranteefl Christopber i^ainst arrest or amugn- 
ment or detention on any charge civil or crinunal 
whatever, daring his stay in Fortngal, and com- 
mands all magistrates in that kingdom to respect 
it From this it wonld seem probable that in the 
eagerness of his geographical speculations he had 
n^lected his bnsiness a&irs and left debts behind 
bim in Portugal for which he was liable to be 
arrested. The kinefs readiness to erant 

Chriilcphw . 1 - 1 . ■! ■ ?- 

tmu Bwtiu^ the desu-ed privilege seems to mdicate 
bon, cir. Bept,, that he may have cherished a hope of 
regaining the servicea of this accom- 
plished chart-maker and mariner. Christopher did 
not avail himself of the privilege until late in the 
summer,^ and it is only fair to suppose that he 
waited for the birth of bis child and some assur- 
ance of its mother's safety. On meeting Barthol- 
omew he evidently set him to work forthwith in 
widHDdi him making overtures to the courts of Eng- 
loBdiiud. j^j ^^ France. It was natural 
enough that Bartholomew should first set out for 
Bristol, where old shipmates and acqu^tances 
were sure to be f6un(i. It appears that on the 
way he was captured by pirates, Mid thus some 
delay was occasioned before he arrived in London 

' It may be toimd ia Nararrete, CoUccion de viaga, tarn. ii. pp, 

' The aeeoUDt-book of Uie treasnrj showii that on June 16 he 
wu «tiU in Spain. Sea Haituse, torn. L p. 356. 



and showed the king a map, probably similar to 
Toscanelli's and embellished with quaint 

t ,. . ^ ,1 • Bartholonmr, 

Latin verses. An entry on this map *tua mubtp*, 
informs us that it was made by Bar- i»ndcii.rS,, 
tholomew Columbus in London, Febru- 
ary 10, 1488, which I think should be read 1489 
or even 1490, so we may suppose it to have been 
about that time or perhaps later that he approached 
the throne.^ Henry VII. was intelligent enough 

> The entij, as pven by Las Casiia, is " Pro autliaTe, gen pic- 
tore, || Oennna cni patria eat, nomen cui BartDlDmens HColombiui 
da terra mbea, opus edidit istad |i Londonij..' : anna domini mil- 
leumo quatercentesBimo twtieiqua uno || Atqne iiuuper anno 
ootATo : decimoqne die meusia Febmarii. |j Laades Christo ean- 
tentnr abimde." Hiitoria, tom. i. p. 225. Noif sinca Bartholo- 
mew Colambas vas a fairi; educated man, writing this note in 
Bngland on a map made for die eyea of the king of Eng-land, I 
Hnppoaa he used the old English stjle which made the year begin 
at the Tcmal equinox instead o£ Chriatmas, ao that hie February, 
1488, means the next month hut one after December, 1488, i e. 
what in onr new style becomes Febmary, 1489. Bartboioraew re - 
turned to Lisbon from Afnca in the last week of December, 1487, 
and it is not likely that bis plana could have been matured and 
himself settled down in London in less than seven weeks. The 
logical relation of the ayents, too, shows plainly that Christopher'a 
visit to Lisbon was for the purpose of consuitiag bis brotlier and 
gettinjif first-hand information about the greatest voyage the world 
had ever aeen. In the early weeks of 1488 Christopher sends his 
request for a safe-condnet, gets it March 20, waits till his child 
is bom, August 15, and tben presently goes. Bartholomew may 
have sailed by the Srst of October for England, where (according 
to this reading of his date) we actually find him four months 
later. What happened to him in this interval ? Here wo come 
to the slory of the pirates. M. Harrisse, who never loses an op- 
portnuity for throwing discredit Dpon the Vita deW Ammii-aglio, 
has failed to make tbe correction of date which I have here sug- 
gested. Ha puis Bartbolomewin London in Febmary, 1438, and is 
thus unable to aaaign any reason for Chiistopher's viait to Lisbon. 
He also finds that in the forty-six days between Christmas, 1487, 
and February, 10, 1488, there is hardly room enough for any delay 



CO see the bearings of Bartholomew's ar^umenti^ 
and at the aasne time, as a good man of business, 
dns to*DgraTeaiiaiueai<iapeiit«by i^iatea. (CKrufopAa Colomb, 
ToL iL p. 192.) He tharefore sonoindea tbat ibs statement in the 
Vila delP AniMiraglio, o&p. zi., is umrortliy of ofedH, and it ii 
apon an aoomuolAtioii of amAll difBcoltUB like llus Uutt he baoea 
nil opinioQ that FeidinaiMl Columbos oaimot have written that 
book. Bat Lab Caaai also givea the atory of the piratea, aad addi 
the infonnation that tbej were " EuterlingB," though he oanikot 
aay of what uatiiM, i. e. whethei Dutch, Qemian, or perh^a 
Danes. He >aya that Bartholainew was stripped of his money and 
fell siok, and aftet hia recovery waa obliged to cam money by 
tnap-making before he oonld get to England. (Hialoria, torn. L 
p. 225.) Conld all thia hare happened within the four montha 
which I haTS allowed lietween October, 1483, and February, 148B ? 
Voyagea before the InTention of ateainboata were of very nncei^ 
tain dnnUion. John Adams in 1734 was fifty-four daya in getting 
from London to Amsteidam (aee my Crilicai Paiod of Anuri- 
con HuUry, p. 106). Bat with favoorahle weather a Portngnese 
oaiaiel in 14S8 ought to have ran from Uabon to Bristol in funr- 
teen days or leas, so that in fooi montha there would be time 
enongb for quite a chapter of accidenta. Laa Caaaa, howsTer, 
says it was a long time before Bartholomew was able to i«soh 
England : — " £sto f u^ caosa qne enfermoae y viniese i muoha 
pobreia, y estniiese mncbo tempo sin poder llegar i Inglatarra, 
hsata tanto qne qniso Didb sanarle ; j reformado algo, por an 
indaetria y trabajos de sua mauoe, baciendo cartas de marear, 
llegiS i Inglaterra, y, pasadoa nn dia y otroa, hobo de alcanzar 
qne le oyese Enrique VIL" It is impossible, I think, to read thia 
paaai^e without feeling that at least a year mnst have been oon- 
anmed ; and I do not think we are entitled to disregard the words 
of Las Gasas in luch a matter. But how shall we get the time ? 
Is 't posuble that Las Caaas made a slight mistake in decipher- 
ing the date on Bartholomew's map ? Sither that mariner did 
not give the map to Henry VIL, or the hiug gave it bank, or 
more likely it was made in daplioate. At any rate Laa Caaaa had 
it, along with his many other Cali.^nbua docnments, and lor anght 
wo know it may still be tombling about somewhere in the Spanish 
archives. It waa so badly written (de muii mala t comtpta Ittra), 
apparently in abbreviations (»i'b oriografia), that Las Casas says 
he fonnd eitreme difficolty in making it out. Now let na obserre 
that date, whiek ia (^reu in f ontaatic style, apparently beoanae tht 



he was likely to becautioas aboat inveBtdng money 
in remote or doubtful enterprises. What argu- 
ments were used we do not know, but the spring of 
1492 had arrived before any decisive ^^ 
answer had been given. Meanwhile J^^^^n 
Bartholomew had made bis way to ^*^ 
France, and found a powerful protector in a cer- 
tain Madame de Bourbon,' while he made maps for 

Inscriptioa is in a rade dogfcerel, and die ntitei' aeaaa to have 
wiohed to keep lil»"»w»e8" tolerably btbh. (Thej don't m»ii 
much bettor than Walt Whitman'!.) Aa itatanda, the daU reads 
anno i^mntni milie$inui quaUnenletiinv) oetieiqae uno atqae inguper 
anno odaeo, L a. " in the year of onr Lard the thousandth, foor 
hDudredtlii Aim xiobt-tihes-OME, and thereaftor the eig-hth 
year." What hneinesa has thia cardinal nnmber octiaqae uno in 
a row of ordinals? If it were trBDBlatable, whiah It is not, it 
■would give OBl,000 + 400 + 8 + 8 = 1416, an absurd date. The 
moat obvions way to make the passage readable ia to insert the 
oidiml odagnimo priaa instead of the inoongiiunis oetieiqae uno ; 
then it will read " in the year of onr Lord the one-thonaand-foni- 
hnndred-aud-eifchty-fiist, and thereafter tbe eighth sear," that ii 
to say 1489. Now translate old style into new style, and February, 
1489, becomea Febniary, 1400, wbiob I believe to be the correct 
dato. Tbis allows liiteen mouths for BarUioIomew's mishaps ; 
it justdGes the statement in wbicb Ids Casus confirms Ferdinand 
Colambns ; and it barmoniies with the statement of Lord Bacon : 
" For Christopbems Colnmbus, refused by the king of Portugal 
(who wonld not embrace at onoa both east and west), employed 
his brother Bartholomew Columbus unto King Henry to n^fotdato 
for his disoorery. And it so fortnned that be vss taken by 
pirates at sea ; by whiok accidental impediment be was long ere 
he oame to the king ; so long that before he bad obtained a ca- 
pitnUtJon witb tbe king for bis brother the enterprise was achiered, 
and BO the West Indies by Praridence were then reserred for tbe 
crown of Castaio." HiHorie of the Raygne of E. Henry die Seventh, 
Baco^i's Works, BoetoD, 1860, voL li. p. 296. Lord Baoon may 
tare taken the statement from Ferdinand's biography; bnt it 
probably agreed with English traditions, and onght not to be 
alighted in this connection. 

1 One of the sieteis of Charles VIIL See Harnsae, torn. ii. 
p. 10^ 



people at the court and w^ted to see if there were 
any chances of getting help from CharleB VIII. 

As for Christopher Columbus, we find him back 
in Spain again, in May, 1489, attending court at 
Cordova. In the following autumn there was much 
suffering in Spain from floods and famine,^ and 
the sovereigna were too busy with the Moorish war 
to give ear to Columbufi. It was no time for new 
undertakings, and the weary suitor began to think 
seriously of going in person to the French court. 
First, however, he thought it worth while to make 
an attempt to get private capital enlisted in his 
enterprise, and in the Spain of that day such pri- 
vate capital meant a largess from some wealthy 
grandee. Accordingly about Christmas of 1489, 
after the Beza campaign in which Columbus is said 
to have fought with distinguished valour,^ he seems 
to have applied to the moat powerful nobleman in 
Spain, the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, but without 
success. But at the hands of Luis de la Cerda, 
The vakt oi Duke of Medina-Celi, he met with more 
||^^!^to encouragement than he had as yet found 
•hinltor'" in any quarter. That nobleman enter- 
" '™" tuned Columbus most hospitably at his 
castle at Puerto de Santa Maria for nearly two 
years, until the autunm of 1491. He became con- 
vinced that the scheme of Columbus was feaai* 
ble, and decided to fit up two or three caravels 
at his own expense, if necessary, but first he 
thought it proper to ask the queen's consent, and 
to offer her another chance to take part in the 

' BemaJdaz, £ey« CoKlicot, oap. ici. 

' ZoAiga, Analea lit StviUa, lib- lii p. 404. 



enterprise.^ Isabella was probably unwilling to 
bare tbe duke come in for a large Bhare of the 
profits in case the venture should prove saccessfuL 
She refused the royal license, savinsr 

, III . . , bntlMbelU 

that she had not quit« made up her wicnboid* hn 
mind whether to take up the aff^r or 
not, but if she should decide to do so she would be 
glad to have the duke take part in it.^ Meanwhile 
she referred the question to Alonao de Qnintanilla, 
comptroller of the treasury of Castile. This was 
in the spring of 1491, when the whole country was 
in a buzz of excitement with the preparations for 
the siege of Granada. The baJEled Columbus 
visited the sovereigns in camp, but could not get 
them to attend to him, and early in the autumn, 
thoroughly disgusted and sick at heart, 
he made up his mind to shake the dust nuku up hii 
of Castile from his feet and see what bi> (uni^ to- 
could be done in France. In October ETsSnea,*" 
or November he went to Huelva, ap- 
parently to get his son Diego, who had been left 
there, lu chai^ of his aunt. It was probably his 
intention to take all the family he had — Beatriz 

1 See &e letter of Ifaroh 19, 1493, from die Duke at Medina. 
Cell to the Oraod CardiiiBj of Spain (from tlie arcluTea of S>- 
DUniua) in Naiairete Coltccion dt viagei, bun. ii. p. 20. 

' This pramise waa never fulfilled. When Colnmhoa Tetnmed 
in triumph, arriving March 6, I4eS, at Lisbon, and March 15 at 
Paloe, the Duke of Medina-Celi wrote the letter jnat cited, re- 
calling- the queen's pronuBe wid Bskiog to be allowed to send to 
the Indies onoe each year an expedition on hia own account ; for, 
he aaja, if be had not kept Colnmhoa with bLm id 1400 and 1481 
he woold haie gone to France, and Castnle would li»Te lost the 
prize. There was some force in (Ma, bat Isabella does not appear 
to have heeded the request. 



and her infant Bon Ferdinand, of -vrhom he was ez- 
tremely fond, as well as Diego — and find a new 
tome in either France or England, besides ascer- 
taining what had become of his brother Bartholo- 
mew, from whom he had not heard a word since 
the latter left Portugal for England.' 

But now at length events took a favourable turn. 
Fate had grown tired of fighting against such in- 
domitable perseverance. For some years now the 
stately figure of Columbus had been a familiar 
sight in the streets of Seville and Cordova, and as 
he passed along, with his white hair streaming in 
the breeze, and countenance aglow with intensity 
of purpose or haggard with disappointment at 
some fresh rebuff, the ragged urchins of the pave- 
ment tapped their foreheads and smiled with min- 
gled wonder and amusement at this madman. 
Seventeen years had elapsed since the letter from 
Toscanelli to Martinez, and all that was mortal of 
the Florentine astronomer had long since been 
laid in the grave. For Columbus himself old age 
was not far away, yet he seemed no nearer the ful- 
filment of his grand purpose than when he had 
first set it forth to the king of Portugal. We can 
well imagine that when he started from Huelva, 
with his little son Diego, now some eleven or 
twelve years old, again to begin renewing his suit 
in a strange country, his thoughts must have been 
sombre enough. For some reason or other — tri- 
dition says to ask for some bread and water for 
his boy — he stopped at the Franciscan monastery 

' Hub tlworj td tlie dtnatum ia fallj Bostuned by Las Caiaa^ 
tcm. i- p. 24L 



of La Babida, about lialf a leagae fr<»n Falos. 
The prior, Juxa Perez, who had never 
seen Columbus before, became greatly B^dn.imd 
interested in him and listened with ear- ^or jnu 
nest attention to his stoiy. This wor- 
thy monk, who before 1478 had been Isabella's 
father-confessor, had a mind hospitable to new 
ideas. He sent for Graroia Fernandez, a physiciazi 
of Falos, who was somewhat versed in cosmography, 
and for Martin Alonso Pinzou, a well-to-do ship- 
owner and trained mariner of that town, and in 
the quiet of the monastery a conference was held 
in which Columbus carried conviction to the minds 
of these new friends. Finzon declared himself 
ready to embark in the enterprise in person. The 
venerable prior forthwith sent a letter to p,^ ^„^f^ 
the queen, and received a very prompt •"""i"™! 
reply summoning him to attend her in the camp 
before Grranada. The result of the interview was 
that within a few days Ferez returned to the con- 
vent with a purse of 20,000 maravedis (equivalent 
to about 1,180 dollars of the present day), out of 
which Columbus bought a new suit of clothes and 
a mule ; and about the first of Decem- 
ber he set out for the camp in company i* mimBOMd 
with Joan Ferez, leaving the boy Diego 
in ohai^ of the priest Martin Sanchez and a cer- 
t^ Rodriguez Cabejudo, upon whose sworn testi- 
mony, together with that of the physician Garcia 
Fernandez, some years afterward, several of these 
facts are related.^ 

' Mj accatuit of these proceedings at La lUbida differs in some 
paiticulan from any heretofore given, and I tliink gets the event* 



At once upon the amval of G)liimbiis in Uta 
oamp before Granada, his case was ai^ed then 

&Dto ui order of tequenm QaMt la Mt ones tnarm lo^icml and more 
In hamumj with th» aonnia of infonnaticHi than anj other. The 
aiTor of Fardmaad Colnmbiu — t, verj easy one la eamniit, and 
not in the lust damaging to his genenl aharacter u tnogrtpber 
— 1b7 in Qonfiuiiv lua father's two real Tiaita (in 1484 and 1491) 
to HnaWs witli two Tints (one innBginaij in 1484 and one real in 
1491) ta L> Ribida, which waa olwe b;, between Hnelva and 
Paloa. The Tint* were all the more likely to get mixed Dp in 
recollectian beeame in each case thdr object was little Dit^o and 
in each caae he waa left in cluuge of wmebody in that De^hboor- 
bood. The coof Duon baa been helped by another for which Fec- 
dinand i« not reapomible, viz. : the friar Jnan Perez haa been ooo- 
foonded with another friar Antonio de Haichena, who CotmnbiiB 
•aya waa the only penon who from the time of his first arriTsJ in 
Spain had alwaya befriended him and Dever mocked at him. 
These worthy friara twain have been made into one (e. g- **tlie 
prior of the oonTent, Jnan Perez de Marohena," Irrit^'s Colam- 
bvMj Tol- i. p. 1^)t and it has often been supposed that MarcheTia'a 
Boqnunlance began with Colnmbna at La Bibida in 1464, and 
that Diego was left at the Donvei^ at that time. Bat some mod- 
em wmrcea of iaformation have sened at first to bemnddle, and 
then when more earefnlly sifted, to clear np the atory. In 1608 
Diego Golmnbna brought suit aguust the Spanish crown to Tindi* 
oate bis olium to certain territories disooTeied by his father, and 
there waa a long inTeetigation in which many witnesses were snm. 
moned and past events were hnalj raked over the coals. Among 
these witneesea were Rodriguez Cabejndo and the phyncian Qar- 
eia Fernandez, who gave from personal lecoUeotian a very lucid 
account of the aSurs at La RAhida. HieBe proaeedings are 
printed in Navarrete, CoUccioa de viage), torn. iii. pp; 238-C>91. 
More recently the pnblioatJon of the great book of Las Casaa baa 
furnished some very significant clues, and the elaborate researehea 
of M. Hanisaa have f mnished others. (See Las Casas, lib. i. oap. 
xiix., ixxi. ; Harrisse, tom i. pp. 341-372 ; torn. iL pp. 23T-231 ; 
of. PeragaMo, L' aulenlidIA, eto., pp. 117-134.) — It now seems 
clear that Marchena, vbom Columbus knew from his first arrival 
in Spain, vaa not associated with La TUbida. At that time Co- 
InmbuB left Diego, a mere infant, with bis wife's uster at Uuelva. 
Seven yean later, intending to leave Spain forever, he went t« 
Huelva and took Diego, then a small boy. On his way fiwa 



and there before an assembly of learned men aod 
was received more hospitably than for- 
merly, at Salamanca. Several eminent fin oniud^ 
prelates bad come to think favourably 
of bis project or to deem it at least worth a trial. 
Among these were the royal confessors, Deza and 
Talavera, the latter having changed bis mind, and 
especially Mendoza, archbishop of Toledo, who 
now threw his vast influence decisively in favour of 
Columbus.^ The treasurers of the two kingdoms, 
moreover, Quintanilla for Castile and Luis de San- 
tangel for Ar^on, were among bis most enthusi- 
astic supporters ; and the result of the conference 
was the queen's promise to take up the matter in 
earnest as soon as the Moor should have surren- 
dered Granada. 

Hatslva to tho Sevilld roodf and Uienoe to Cordova (whore be 
vonld haie been joined b; Beatrii and Ferdinand), he bappened 
to pan by Lb Ribida, where up to that time he wag oTidentlj nn- 
known, bdu to attract the attention of the prior Jnan Peiez, and 
the vheel of fortune snddenly and unexpectedly tnmed' Aa 
Colombiu'B next start was not for Frsnoe, bnt for Oranada, hit 
boy waa left in charge of two tmatworthy persons. On May 8, 
1492, the little Diego was appointed page to Don John, heir- 
apparent to the thrones of Castile and Aragon, with a stipend of 
6im maraTedia. On Febraary 10, 1498, after the death of that 
f oang prinofl, Diego became page to Qneen IsabelLi. 

' In popular allusions to Colnmbua it is quite aommoD to aa- 
•ume or imply that be encountered nothing bat oppodtion from 
the clergy. For eiimple the account in Draper's CotjfiKt b&wetn 
Science niuf Rdigiim, p. 161, can hardly be otherwisa nndentood 
by the rr^er. Bat observe that Marchena who nerer mocked at 
Columbus, Joan Ferez who gave the favonrable torn to his affain, 
the great prelates Deia and Mendoia, and tJie two treasurers Sao- 
fongel and Qnintanilla, were every one of them prieats 1 With- 
out cordial support from the cleigy do such enterprise W that of 
Colnmbus could have been undertaken, in Spain at least. It ia 
quite right that we should be free-thinkeis ; and it is also deaiisr 
bla that we should have some respect for faots. 



CcJumbuB was cot long in finding friends to 
advance or promiBe on Mb acooimt an eighth part 
of the sum immediately required. A considerable 
amount was assessed upon the town of Palos in 
ponishment for certiun misdeeds or delinquencies 
on the part of its people or some of them. Castile 
assumed the rest of the harden, though Santangel 
may have advanced a million maravedis ont of ^e 
treasury of Ar^on, or out of the funds of the S&^ 
mandad,^ or perhaps more likely on his own ao- 
oount.' In any case it was a loan to the treasury 
of Castile simply. It was always distinctly under- 

NftiBiTete, torn. ii. p. 7. A few days later the tide of " Don " 
was granted to Colnmbna aud made heredhar; in hia family along 
with die offices of Tieero; and goTemar-geaeraL 

' A polioa OTganizatioii farmed in 1476 for Bappreaaing highwa; 

' It is not eaar to give an ae<iDrat« aoconnt of the eoat of 
this most epooh-making vojage in all hiatorj. ConfliotiDg atato- 
ments by different aathcffities oombina with the flnotnating valnea 
of diSeient kinda of money la puzzle and mislead na. Accoid- 
ing to IS. Hanigae 1,000,000 maraiedis would be eqiuTalaiit (o 
296,175 fiBuoB, or about 69,000 gold dollan of Uidted Stataa mmie? 
at ptesent valnea. Laa Caaaa (torn. L p. 2&6) aays that the eighdt 
part, laiaeA by CotombnB, was SOO.COO maravedia (29,500 dollan). 
Aceoont-booka preserved in the arohlTea of Simauoas show that 
the aonu paid from the treasury of Castile amounted to 1,140,000 
marafedia (67,600 dcJlan). *«"""! -g the atatameut of Las Casaa 
to be oorrect, tlie amounts oontributed would perhaps have been 
as follows : — 

Qneen Isabella, from Caatile treaanry . . . 167,500 
" loan from Santangel .... G9,(IOO 

Colnmbna 29,500 

Odier eooroea, including contribution levied 

upon the t«wn of Falos 80,000 

Total f236,000 

This total seema to me altogether too large for probability, and 
■o does the last item, which ia smplj put at die figure neoBssarj 



Btood that FeFdinand as king of Aragon had ao 
share in the enterprise, and that the Spanish Indies 
were an appurtenaoce to the crown of Castile. 
The ^reement was signed April 17, 1492, and 
with tears of joy Columhus Towedto devote every 
maravedi that should come to him to tlie rescue of 
the Holy Sepnichre. 

When he reached Palos in May, with royal orders 
for ships and men, there had like to nbimtjt 
have been a riot. Terrible dismay was 
felt at the prospect of launching out for such a voy- 

to make tlu total ei^bt timei 20,600. I am inclined to smp«ct 
that Ida Caoas (with whom arithmelio «a> not alwaji a Btnmg 
pcont) may liave got hii B)[am wrong. The unaant of Sautan- 
gel'a loan aUo dependa npoD ibe statement of Lag Caaaa, and wo 
do not know whether he took it from a doonment or from heatsa;. 
Nor do we know whether it ahaitld be added to, or inolnded in, 
the first item. More likely, I think, the latter. The onlj item 
that we know with dooumentarj oertainty is tbe firet, so that oar 
•tatement becomes modified aa follows : — 

Queen Isabella, from Castile treaanry . . . (6T,G00 
" loan from Santangel .... ? 

Colambna ? 

C rent of two f nil; 

Town of Fakx -< equipped caravels 

( for two months, etji. 

Total . . . r 

{Cf. Harriase, tom. i. pp. 301-404.} Unsatdsfuitar;, bnt cer- 
tain as far as it gnes. Alas, how often historical statements are 
thus ledooed to meagieneas, afterthe hypothetical or ill-mpported 
part has been sifted out I The story that the Rnzoa brothers ad- 
vanced to Colnmbns his portion is told by Las Casaa, but he very 
shrewdly doubts it. The famous story that Isabella pledged her 
crown jewels (Vita ddl' AniTiiiraglio, cap. iit.) has also been 
donbtod, but perhaps on inaufSdent grounds, by M. Harrigse. 
It is confirmed by Las Caeaa (tom. i. p. 240). Aooording to one 
aoDount she pledged them to Santangel in secnrity for bis loon, — 
which seems not altogether improbable. See Pizarro y Orellana, 
Vanma ibutrei del Nueao Mtmdo, Madrid, 1630, p. 10. 



age apon the Sea of Darkness. Groans and cnrses 
greeted the announcement of the forced contribu- 
tion. But Martin Flnzon and his brothers were 
active in supporting the crown ofBcials, and the 
work went on. To induce men to enlist, debts were 
forgiven and civil actions suspended. Criminals 
were released from jail on condition of serving. 
Three oararela were impressed into the service of 
the crown for a time unlimited ; and the rent and 
TiM tiin* Ik- miuntenanee of two of these vessels for 
nSi? iSt ^° months was to be paid by the town, 
suuMui.. rpjjg largest caravel, called the Santa 
Maria or Capitana, belonged to Juan de La Cosa, a 
Biscayan mariner whose name was soon to become 
famous.^ He now commanded her, with another 
consummate smlor, Sancho Ruiz, for his pilot. 
This single - decked craft, about ninety feet in 
length by twenty feet breadth of beam, was the 
Admiral's flag-ship. The second caravel, called" 
the .Finta, a much swifter vessel, was 
commanded by Martin Finzon. She 
belonged to two citizens of Falos, Gomez Eas- 
con and Cristobal Quintero, who were now in her 
crew, sull^ and ready for mischief. The thiid and 
smallest caravel, the NiHa ("Baby"), 
had for her commander Vicente YaSez 
Finzon, the youngest of the brothers, now about 
thirty years of age. Neither the Finta nor the 
Nifla were decked amidships. On board the three 
laravels were just ninety persons.^ And so they 

' NaTarrete. Bihliottca maritinia, torn. ii. pp. 208, 200. 
' The a<H!ountB of tlie arroament are well mmmed op and dis- 
euMed in Harrisse, torn. i. pp. 405-108. Eigbtj-BeTea names, out 



set s^ from Faloa on Friday, August 3, 1492, 
half an hour before sunrise, and by aunset had 
run due south five and forty geographical miles, 
when they shifted their course a couple of points 
to starboard and stood for the Canaries. 

No thought of Vinland is betrayed in these pro- 
ceedings. Columbus was aiming at the northern 
end of Cipango (Japan). Upon Toscanelli's map, 
which he carried with him, the great island of Ci- 
pango extends from 5°. to about 28° north lati- 
tude. He evidently aimed at the northern end of 
Cipango as being directly on the route to Zaiton 
(Chang-chow) and other Chinese cities mentioned 
by Marco Polo. Accordingly he began by run- 
ning down to the Canaries, in order that he might 
sail thence due west on the 28th paral- Tiig,p,toth8 
lei without shifting his course by a sin- SlJ'^^^ 
gle point until he should see the coast *''"* 
of Japan looming up before him.^ On this pre- 
liminary run signs of mischief began already to 
show themselves. The Pinta'a rudder was broken 
and unshipped, and Columbus suspected her two ' 
angry and chafing owners of having done it on 
purpose, in order that they and their vessel might 
be left behind. The Canaries at this juncture 
merited the name of Fortunate Islands ; fortu- 
nately they, alone among African islands, were 
Spanish, so that Columbus coidd stop there and 
make repairs. While this was going on the sailors 

of the ninety, have been reoovered, and the list ib given below, 
Appendix C. 

' " Para de aUI tomar mi deirots, y navegar tanto que jo 
llegase i las Indiaa," he Bays in his jonmal, Navanete, Coiexion 
dl viaga, torn. i. p. & 



Uutiu Bebum'a Globe, 1492, 

1 Hudn Behum «i« bom at Nnremberg in 1436, Rod is moA 
to bave been a pupil of the oelebrated astroDoiDer, R^omco- 
tanna, aathor of tihe finit abnuun pnblighed in Enrope, ftod of 
EpbemeriJes, of priceless valne to nsTigston. He Tinted Por- 
tagal about 1480, invented a new kind of astrolabe, and swled 
vitli it in 1484 Rfl cosmotrraplier in Ke^ Cam's voyages to the 
Congo. On his return to Lisbon he vas knighted, and pi»nntlf 
went tc lire en die iatandtrfFafal, of vhiohhiawife^ father wi« 



leraator's projection.^ 

gorernor. He waa B friend of Cidnmlnis. Towaid 1402 hs tw- 
ited Nnrambei^, to look after some family affain, and while 
tliere " he gratified some of hie toirnspeople by embodying in a ' 
globe tile ^c^rflpliioal viova whicli preTailed in tiie maritime 
Doontriea ; and tiie globe waa finished before Colurobna had yet 
accoraplislied his voyage. The next year (14D3) Behaim retnned 
to Portug-al ; and after having been sent to the Low CoonfarieB on 
a diplomatic miaaion, he was oaptmed by £^gliah cnuaera and 



were scared oat of their wits by aa eruption at 
Teoeriffe, wtijch they deemed an omen of evil, and 
it was also reported that some Portuguese caravela 
were hovering in those waters, with intent to cap- 
ture Columbus and carry him off to Lisbon. 

At length, on the 6th of September, they set 
Cotumiw ^^ from Gomera, but were becalmed 
jm^'^pt ^^^ ^^ made only thirty miles by the 
*''*^ night of the 8th. The breeze then 

freshened, and when next day the shores of Ferro, 
the last of the Canaries, sank from sight on the 
eastern horizon, many of the sailors loudly la- 
mented their unseemly fate, and cried and sobbed 
like children. Columbus well understood the diffi- 
cult of dealing with these men. He provided 
against one chief source of discontent by keeping 
two different reckonings, a true oue for himself 

oarried t« England. Gsc&ping fin&Ily, and reaobii^ die Conti- 
nent, he pasBes from our view in 1404, and ia ncaroel; heard of 
agaia." {Wiosor, Narr. and CrU. Hiit., ii. 104.) He died in 
May, 1500. A ridiculous story that he anticipated Colnmbna in 
the diacorer; of America originated in tie miBnaderstacding of 
an interpolated passage in the I.atiD text of Schedel's Reg(>lrum, 
Nuremberg, 1493, p. 290 (the ao-called Nwemberg Chronicle). See 
Winsor, op. cit. ii. 34 ; Major's pTi7u:t Btnry, p. 326 i HnmW^ 
Examen critique, torn. L p. 256 ; Murr, Diplomaiiiche Gaehidite 
det Rittert Behaim, Noremberg, 1TT3; Claden, Imjettigacionet 
iisWnraj, Madrid, 1704; Harrisse, Bibllolheca Americana Vettit- 
tiaiima, pp. 37-43. — The globe made by Behaim may noir be 
seen in the olt; hall at Nuremberg. It " is made of papier- 
machJ^ aovered with gypanm^ and over this a parvbinent anrfaee 
receiTsd tlie drawing; it is twenty iaches in diameter." (Wiusor, 
op. cil. ii. 105.) The portion west of the 330th meridian is evi- 
dently copied from Toscanelli's map. I give helow (p. 429) « 
sketch (from Winsor, after Rage's GtschicAle det ZeitaUert der 
Entderkvngcn, p. 2.W) of Behaim'a ocean, with the outline of Um 
American oontiuent supenniposed in the pioper plao*. 



and a false one for his officers and crews. He was 
shrewd enough not to overdo it and awaken dis- 
trust. Thus after a twenty-four hours' run of 180 
miles on Septemlier 10, he reported it as 144 
miles ; next day the run was 120 miles and he 
announced it as 108, and so on. But for this pru- 
dent if somewhat questionable device, it is not 
unlikely that the first week of October would have 
witnessed a mutiny in which Columbus would have 
been either thrown overboard or forced to tium 

The weather was delicious, and but for the bug- 
a-boos that worried those poor sailors it would 
have been a most pleasant voyage. Chief among 
the imaginary terrors were three which deserve 
especial mention. At nightfall on September 13 
the ships had crossed the magnetic line of no vari- 
ation, and Columbus was astonished to see that the 
compass-needle, instead of pointing a iMfiHtionoi 
little to the right of the pole-star, began "" '™^- 
to sway toward the left, and next day this devia- 
tion increased. It was impossible to hide such 
a fact from the sharp eyes of the pilots, and all 
were seized with ahum at the 'suspicion that this 
witch instrument was beginning to play them some 
foul trick in punishment of their temerity ; but 
Columbus was ready with an ingenious astronom- 
ical explanation, and their faith in the profundity 
of his knowledge prevailed over their terrors. 

The second alarm came on September 16, when 
ttey struck into vast meadows of floating seaweeds 
and grasses, abounding in tunny fish and crabs. 
They had now come more than 800 miles from 



Ferro and were entering tlie wonderful Sai^asso 
Ths BufWD Sea, that re|^on of the Atlantic six times 
"^ as large as Trance, where vast tangles 

of vegetation grow upon the eurfaee of water that 
is more than 2,000 fathoms deep, and furnish sus- 
tenance for an nntold wealth of fishy life.' To 

m of thii SoigasBO region in mid-ooean seems to 
be determined b; its cbAracter aa a qniet neutral gtonnd between 
tbe great ooean-amrvnts that flow past it on ever; side. Soigawo 
plants aie fonikd eiaewhen npon tbe surface of the waves, bnt 
nowhere else do tbej oongregaCe as bere> There are TeamnB for 
supposing that in ancient times this re^on extended nearer to 
the Afriean coast. Skylax {Persia, cap. 100) sajs that beyom 
Kerne, at the month of Rio d' Ooni the Sea (uumot be navi^ited 
on Bcoonnt of the mnd and seaweed. Sataspes, on his letnm to 
PerBla, B. o. 470, told King Xenea that his -nijage failed be- 
cBDBe his ship stopped or wBs stock fast. (Heiodotos, iv. 43.) 
Festns Avienns mentdona vast qnantitiee of seaweed in the ooaaa 
west of the Pillan lA Hereoles : — 

A.tque Impeditur ntut «i ullglDe . , < 
Bill nulla Ut« OiibrA pntpellunt ntem, 
BIq HgnU hiuooT nquorlt pl^ <(apet. 
Ad][cLt eC lHud, plurimum inter furglbes 
Xutare locum, eC wpe TlrgulU.Tloa 
BaUnen pappirn, etc, 

Adfuiii, Om MartHma, 108, UT. 

See also AristotJs, 3fef«tirof., ii I, 14; PseadiKAnatotle, Sa 
Mirab. AiucvU. , p. IM ; Theopbtastos, Hiatoria pUmtanm, iv. 7 
Jomandes, De rebae Getida, apud Mnratjiri, torn. L p. 191; ao- 
coiding to Strabo (iii. 2, $ 7) tunny fish were caught in ahnndanea 
in (he ocean west of Spain, and were highly valued tor the tabis 
on account of their fatness wluch was due to Bubiaarine vegetahlea 
on which they fed. Pogsibly the reports of these Sargasso mead- 
ows may have had some share in suggesUng to Plato his nodou of 
a bnge submeiged island Atlantis ( Timaus, 25 ; Eriliat, 108 ; cf . 
the notion of a, viscoas sea in Plntareh, Dt facie in Orbe Luna, 26). 
FlaM's fancy h«s furnished a (heme for mnch wild speonlatioo. 
See. for example, Bailly, Letlrea sur PAtlantide de Platan, Paris, 
1110. The belief that ^ere can ever have been such an island i> 
that part of the Atlantic is disposed of by the fact that the ooeaa 



&B eye of the marmer the Sargasso Sea presents 
BOBoewhat the appearance o£ an endless green pr^- 
rie, but modem 'ships plough through it Vith ease 
and BO did the caravels of Columbus at first. 
After two or three days, however, the wind being 
light, their progress was somewhat impeded. It 
was not strange that the crews were frightened at 
such a sight. It seemed uncanny and weird, and 
revived ancient fancies about mysterious impass- 
able seas and overbold mariners whose ships had 
been stuck fast in them. The more practical 
spirits were afraid of running ^ronnd upon sub< 
merged shoals, but all were somewhat reassured 
on this point when it was found that their longest 
plummet-lines failed to find bottom. 

On September 22 the journal reports " no more 
grass." They were in clear water ag^n, and more 
than 1,400 gec^raphical miles from the Canaries. 

Qiere in nowhere leu tbtui two miles in depth. See the beaatifiil 
map of the Atlantic sea^bottAm in Alexander Agaaaii's T^rta 
Crviaes <if the Blake, Boston, 1888, vol. i. p. 106, and compare 
chap. vi. of that noble work, on " The Permanence o^ Continente 
and of Oceanic Baaina ; " see also Wallace'H Iiland Life, chap. yi. 
It was formerly snpposed that Uia Sargsaso plants grow on the 
ca-botiom, and becoming- detached rise to the surface (Peter 
Hartyr, De rebat oceanicis, dec iii. lib. t. p. 53 ; Hnmboldt, Per- 
xmai Narrative, book i, chap, i.) ; bnt it is now known that they 
are simply rooted in the snrfacB water itaalf . " L'accumnlation 
de ces plant«e marines est I'eiemple le pins frappant de plantes 
ooD^jnires rdoiueB sor le mSme point. Ni lea forSta calosBales de 
I'Himalaya, ni lea gramindea qai s'dtendent k perte de tos dans 
les saiauee am^ricaines on lea steppes uhdriens ne riyaliseat aveo 
ces prairies ob^niqnea. Jamais sac nn espsce anssi ^tendn, ne so 
rencontrant de teUes maaaes de plantea aemhlables. Qnand on a 
TXi la mer dea Sarffaasee, on n'oubUe point nn psreil apectacle." 
Panl QaSarel, "La Mer dea Sargasaea," BuIUtin de Giog-apkU, 
Paria, 1872, » sAie, tom. iv. p. 622. 



A ihird sonroe of aWm had already begun to dis< 
turb the sailors. They were discoTering much 
more ihafi they had bargained for. They were in 
The tnda ^^ belt of the trade winds, and as the 
""^ gentle but unfailing breeze wafted them 

steadily westward, doubts began to arise as to 
whether it would ever be possible to return. Foi^ 
timately soon after this question began to be dis- 
cussed, the wind, jealous of its character for ci^ri- 
(^onsness even there, veered into the southwest 

By September 25 the Admiral's chief difficulty 
had come to be the impatienoe of his crews at not 
finding land. On that day there was a mirage, or 
impatiaiai at some such lUusion, which Columbus and 
the crews. ^ hands supposed to be a coast in front 
of them, and hymns of praise were sung, but at 
dawn next day they were cruelly undeceived. 
Flights of strange birds and other signs of laud 
kept nusing hopes which were presently dashed 
again, and the men passed through alternately hot 
and cold fits of exultation and dejection. Such 
mockery seemed to show that they were entering a 
realm of enchantment. Somebody, perhaps one 
of the released jail-birds, hinted that \i a stealthy 
thrust should happen some night to push the Ad- 
miral overboard, it could be plausibly s^d that he 
had slipped and fallen while star-gazing. His sit- 
uation grew daily more perilous, and the fact that 
he was an Italian commanding Spaniards did not 
help bim. Perhaps what saved him .was their 
vague belief in his superior knowledge ; they may 
have felt that they should need him in going 



By October 4 tliere were ominous symptoms of 
mutiny, and tlie anxiety of Columbus was evinced 
in the extent of bis bold understatement of tbat 

Mttin Btlwim'a Atlcutlo Oeean (witli ontline of Anurisan 
oontdmiit Biipwiinpaaad). 

day's nm, — 188 miles instead of the true figure 
189. PoF some days his pilots had been beting 
him to ohange his course ; perhaps they had passed 
between islandH. Anything for a change! On 
the 7th at sunrise, they had come 2,724 ^ 
geographical miles from the Cananes, ^JJ"^"^^ 
which was farther than the Admiral's 
estimate of the distance to Cipango ; but accord- 
' ing to his false statement of the runs, it appeared 
that they had come scarcely 2,200 miles. This 
leads one to suspect that in stating the length of 
the voyage, ae he had so often done, at 700 leagues, 



he ma; have purposely made it out eomewhak 
shorter than be really believed it to be. But now 
after coming more than 2,500 miles he began to 
fear that he might be sailing past Cipango on the 
north, and so he shifted his course two points to 
larboard, or west-southwest. If a secret know- 
ledge of Yinland had been his guiding-star he 
surely would not have turned his helm that way ; 
but a glance at the Toscanelli map shows what 
was in his mind. Numerous flights of email birds 
confirmed his belief that land at the southwest 
was not far off. The change of direction was 
probably fortunate. If he had persisted in keeping 
on the parallel, 720 miles would have brought him 
to the coast of Florida, a little south of Cape Mal- 
abar. After the change he bad but 505 miles of 
water before him, and the temper of the sailors was 
growing more dangerous with every mile,^ — until 
October 11, when the signs of land became unmis- 
takable, and the wildest excitement prevailed. Are- 
ward of 10,000 maravedis had been promised to the 
person who should first discover land, and ninety 
pair of eyes were strained that night with loofc. 
ing. About ten o'clock the Admiral, standing oi 
the tower-like poop of his vessel, saw a distant 
light moving as if somebody were running along 

I The often-npeatfid stor? diat a day or two befon die end of 
the Tojags Columbna capitnlated with hia oiaw, piomiuDg to turn 
book if land were DOt Been within three daye, Testa npon ttie (dii|;le . 
and lel&tiTelj inferior antliorit; of Oriedo. It is not mentioned 
by Las Casas or Bemaldez or Peter Martyr or Ferdinand Cdnm- 
bna, and it is discredited by the tone of the Admiral's joomal, 
whioh shows ae nnoonqaeiable determination on tbe last day <A 
Uw TOji^c* M oa any i^rioos d^. Cf. Irvii^, <ral. L p. 191. 



the shore vith a torch. This interpretation was 
doubted, but a few hours later a sailor on the 
Hnta saw land distinctly, and soon it was visible 
to all, a long low coast about five miles 
distant. This was at two in the mom- Oct nas. a. 
ing of Friday, October 12,^ — just ten 
weeks since they had sailed from Falos, just thirty- 
three days since they had lost sight of the coast 
of Ferro. The sails were now taken in, and the 
ships lay to, awaiting the dawn. 

At daybreak the boats were lowered and Co- 
lumbus, with a large part of his company, went 
ashore. Upon every side were trees of unknown 
kinds, and the landscape seemed exceedingly 
beautiful. Confident that they must have Tin.oMw»io 
attained the object for which they had "'"™ 
set sail, the crews were wild with exultation. Their 
heads were dazed with fancies of' princely fortunes 
close at hand. The officers embraced Columbus or 
kissed his hands, while the sailors threw themselves 
at his feet, craving pardon and favour. 

These proceedings were watched with unutter- 
able amazement and awe by a multitude of men, 
women, and children of cinnamon hue, t^ uton- 
different from any kind of people the '•'"^ ■>"""■ 
Spaniards had ever seen. All were stark naked 
and most of them were more or less greased and 
painted. They thought that the ships were sea^ 
monsters and the white men supernatural creatilres 

> Applying the Qregoriui Calendar, or " new »tyls, " it beoomes 
t}ie 21at The toar himdiedtli uuuTenar; will pn>p«rl; fall on 
0Dtobar21, 1892. 



dewewled from the sky.i At fint tbey Bed in 

terror as these formidable beings came ashore, but 
presently, as tbej found themselres nnmolestedf 
curi'Mily began to OTercome fear, and they slowly 
approached the Spaniards, stopping at every few 
pa£«s to prostrate themselves in adoration. After 
a time, as the Spaniards received them irith en- 
couraging nods and smiles, they waxed bold enough 
to come close to the visitors and pass their hands 
over th^m, doubtless to m^e sure that all this 
marvel was a reality and not a mere vision. Ex- 
periences in Africa had revealed the eagerness of 
barbarians to trade off their possessions for trin- 
kets, and now the Spaniards bc^aa exchanging 
glass beads and hawks' bells for cotton yam, tame 
parrots, and small gold ornaments. Some sort of 
convornation in dumb show went on, and Columbas 
naturally interpreted everything in snch wise as to 
flt his theories. Whether the natives understood 
him or not when he asked them where they got 
their gold, at any rate they pointed to the south, 
and thus confirmed Colimibus in his suspicion that 
he had come to some island a little to the north of 
tlie opulent Cipango. He soon found that it was 
uuwkiiu]: R small island, and he understood the 
uriMnwMttT jjjmg of it to be Guanahani. He to<A 
formal possession of it for Castile, just as the di»- 
t'ovurers of the Cape Verde islands and the Guinea 
txtasta had taken possession of those places for 
■ T)m k k oootmoa aotka amOBff laritwum. "TlaPbljn- 
MM iiMfijM Ihat IIm ikj dsaceada »t tbt bcoiioa aad btIimbi 
Ut* MuOi. Hm«« Aty 0*11 hrn g mt n juguian^', tir 'bmnn. 


UaUer, ClvBJ^w- a GtrMoa H'« 


Foitogal ; and he gave it a Christdan name, San 
Salvador. That name has since the seventeenth 
centory been given to Cat island, but perhaps in 
porsuance of a false theory of map-makers ; it is 
not proved that Cat island is the Guanabani of 
Columbus. All that can positively be asserted of 
Guanahani is that it was one of the Bahamas: 
there has been endless discussion as to which one, 
and the question is not easy to settle. Perhaps 
the theory of Capt^n Gustavus Pox, of the United 
States navy, is on the whc^ best supported. Cap- 
tain !Fox maintains that the true Ghianahani was 
the little island now known as Samuia or Atwood's 
Cay,' The problem well illustrates the difficulty 
in identifying any route from even a good descrip- 
tion -of landmarks, without the help of persistent 
proper names, especially after the lapse of time 
has somewhat altered the landmarks. From this 
point of view it is a very interesting problem and 
has its lessons for us; otherwise it is of no im- 

A cnuse of ten days among the Bahamas, with 
visits to four of the islands, satisfied Columbus that 
he was in the ocean just east of Cathay, for Marco 
Polo had described it as studded with g |j, f„ 
thousands of spice-bearing islands, and SJj^Se'to 
the Catalan map shows that some of *"»•«'■ 
these were supposed to be inhabited by naked sav- 
ages. To be sure, he could not find any spices or 

^ " An Attsmpt to solve tha Probleni of the Tint Lmiduif; 
Place ot Colnmbiu in die New World," in United States Corat 
and Geodetic Swvtf — S^mrl fat leSO—Ajgxadix 18, Wsflhing- 



valuable drugs, but tbe air was full of fragrance 
and the trees and herbs were strange in aspect and 
might mean anything ; so for a while he vas ready 
to take the spices on trust. Upon inquiries about 
gold the natives always pointed to the south, ap- 
parently meaning Cipango ; and in that direction 
Columbus 3t«ered on the 25th of October, intend- 
ing to stay in that wealthy island long enough to 
obtain sM needful information concerning its arts 
and commerce. Thence a sail of less than ten days 
would bring him to the Chinese coast, along which 
he might comfortably cruise northwesterly aa far as 
Quinsay and deliver to the Great Khan a friendly 
letter with which Fevdinand and Isabella had pro- 
vided him. Alas, poor Columbus — unconscious 
prince of discoverers — groping here in Cuban 
waters for the way to a city on the other side of 
the globe and to a sovereign whose race had more 
than a century since been driven from the throne 
uid expeUed from the very soil of Cathay I Could 
anything be more pathetic, or better illustrate the 
profound irony with which our universe seems to 
be governed ? 

On reaching Cuba the Admiral was charmed 
with the marvellous beauty of the landscape, — a 
point in which he seems to have been nnusually 
sensitive. He found pearl oysters along the shore, 
coiumbu *"^ although no splendid cities as yet 
SS™d°'iS? appeared, he did not doubt that he had 
JSt^A^ reached Cipango. But his attempts at 
^'™^ talking with the amazed natives only 

served to darken counsel. He understood them to 
say that Cuba was part of the Asiatic continent^ 



and that there was a king in the neighbourhood 
who was at war with the Great Khan I So he 
sent two measengera to seek this refractory poten- 
tate, — one of them a converted Jew acquainted 
with Arabic, a langui^e sometimes heard far east- 
ward in Asia, as Columbus must have known. 
These envoys found pleasant villages, with large 
houses, surrounded with fields of such unknown 
vegetables as maize, potatoes, and tobacco ; they 
saw men and women smoking cigars,^ and little 
dreamed that in that fragrant and soothing herb 
there was a richer source of revenue than the 
spices of the East. They passed acres of growing 
cotton and saw in the houses piles of yam wait 
ing to be woven into rude cloth or twisted into 
nets for hammocks. But they found neither cities 
nor kings, neither gold nor spices, and after a 
tedious quest returned, somewhat disappointed, to 
the coast. 

Columbus seems now to have become perplexed, 
and to have vacillated somewhat in his piu-poses. 
If this was the continent of Asia it was nearer 
than he had supposed, and how far mis- coinmi™ 
taken he had been in his calcidations no t;^,'^,on 
one could tell. But where was Cipango '( **°"* """^ 
He gathered from the natives that there was a 

' The fiist raoorded mention of tobacco is in Colombas'a Siaij 
for November 20^ 14Q2 : — " HaUaraii los dos crisdaniM par el 
oamino mncha gente qne atiaTewibs i sub pnebloe, mngereg y 
Iiombrea coa on tdsju en la mano, yerbaa pars tomar bob sahnme- 
tios qne acostambrebaii," i. e. "the two ChngHam met on the 
Ktad a great many people goii^ to their Tillages, men and women 
with bnuidB In dieir hands, made of herba for taking their cna- 
tooiaiy amoke." NaT«ireta, torn. i. p. 61. 



great island to the soatheast, abounding in gold, 
and BO he tnmed his prows in that direction. On 
the 20th of November he was deserted by Martin 
Pinzon, whose ship conhl always ontsail the others. 
It seems to have been Finzon's design to get home 
in advance with such a story as would enable him 
to claim for himself an undue share of credit for 
the discovery of the Indies. This was the earliest 
instance of a kind of treachery such as too often 
marred the story of Spanish exploration and con- 
quest in the New World. 

Yta a fortnight after Finzon's desertion Co- 
lumbus crept slowly eastward along the coast of 
Cuba, now and then landing to examine the coun- 
try and its products ; and it seemed to him that 
besides pearls and mastic and aloes he found in the 
rivers indications of gold. When he reached the 
cape at the end of the island he named it Alpha and 
Omega, as being the extremity of Asia, ~ Omega 
from the Portuguese point of view, Alpha from his 
own. On the 6th of December he landed upon the 
northwestern coast of ihe island of Ilayti, which he 

called Esptuiola, Hispaniola, or " Spanish 
uriTu kt land." ' Here, as the natives seemed to 
thiiiki It mnit tell hkn of a re^on to the southward 

and quite inland which abounded in 
gold, and which they called Cibao, the Admiral at 
once caught upon the apparent similarity of sounds 
and fancied that Cibao must be Cipango, and that 

' Not "Little Sp^n," as the form of the Tord, bo mnohlike a 
diminDtiTO, niig-ht seem to indicate. It is nmpl; the femmine of 
EspaHol, " Spanish," sc. tierra or iala. Colnmbiis beliered that 
the island was larger than Spain. See hi( letter to Qabriel Saa- 
obex, in Eani«s«, torn. i. p. 426. 



at length he had arrived apon that island of mtiT^ 
vets. It vaA much nearer the Asiatic mainland 
(i. e, Cuba) than he had supposed, but then, it 
was beginning to appear that in any case some- 
body's geography must be wrong. Columbus was 
enchanted with the scenery. "■ The land is ele- 
vated," he says, " wit^L many mount^ns and peaks 
■ . . most beautiful, of a thousand varied forms, 
accessible, and full of trees of endless varieties, so 
taJl that they seem to touch the sky ; and I have 
been told that they never lose their foliage. The 
nightingale [i. e. some kind of thrush] and other 
small birds of a thousand kinds were singing in 
the month of November [December] when I was 
there,"* Before he had done much toward ex- 
ploring this paradise, a sudden and grave mishap 
quite altered his plans. On Christmas 
morning, between midnight and dawn, sn^Msri*, 
owing to careless disobedience of Orders 
on the part of the helmsman, the flag-ship struck 
upon a sand-hank near the present site of Port au 
Faix. AU attempts to get her afloat were unavail- 
ing, and the waves soon beat her to pieces. 

This catastrophe brought home, with startling 
force, to the mind of Columbus, ^he fact that the 
news of his discovery of land was not yet known 
in Europe. As for the Pinta and her insubordinate 
oonmiander, none could say whether 
they would ever be seen again or d«tdMWgo 
whether their speedy arrival in Spain 
might not portend more harm than good to Colum- 
1 CoIumlHU h> Sontangel, Febnuti; 15, 1493 (NaTorreto, Mm. L 



bos. His armament was now reduced to the little 
undecked Ni9a alone, such a craft as we should 
deem about fit for a snmmer excursion on Long 
Islsjid Sound. What if his party Bhonld all perish, 
or be stranded helpless on these strange coasts, be- 
fore any news of their success should reach the ears 
of friends in Europe I Then the name of Columbus 
would serve as a by-word for foolhardineas, and his 
mysterious fate would »mply deter other expedi- 
tions from following in the same course. Obviously 
the first necessity of the situation was to return to 
Spain immediately and report what had already 
been done. Then it would be easy enough to get 
ships and men for a second voyage. 

This decifdoa led to the founding of an embryo col- 
ony upon Hispaniola. There was not room enough 
for all the party to go in the Xi8a, and quite a num- 
ber be^ed to be left behind, because they found 
life upon the island lazy and the natives, especially 
the women, seemed well-disposed toward them. So 
a blockhouse was built out of the wrecked ship's 
BDtMiiu at timbers and armed with her guns, and in 
£«»B,i» commemoration of that eventful Christ- 
H»yu»d. pjj^g jj. yf^ called Fort Nativity (ia 
Navidad). Here forty men were left behind, with 
provisions enough for a whole year, nnd on Jan- 
uary 4, 1493, the rest of the party went on board 
the NiHa and set sail for Spain. Two days later 
in following the northern coast of Hispaniola they 
encountered Uie Finta, whose commander had been 
icggttau with delayed hj trading with the natives and 
P*"™- by finding some gold. Pinzon tried to 

explain his sudden disappearance by alleging that 



etreaa of weather liad parted him from Mb com- 
rades, but liis excnses were felt to be lame and im- 
probable. However it may hare been with hia 
excuses, there was no doubt as to the lameness of 
his foremast ; it had been too badly sprang to carry 
much sail, so that the Finta could not agun run 
away from her consort. 

On this return voyage the Admiral, finding the 
trade winds dead against him, took a northeasterly 
course until he had passed the thirty-seventh par- 
allel and then headed straight toward Spain. On 
tbe 12th of February a storm was brew- 
ing, and during the next four days it inmid-ocns, 
raged with such terrific violence that it 
is a wonder how those two frail caravels ever came 
out of it. They were separated this time not to 
meet again upon the sea. Expecting in all likeli- 
hood to be engulfed in the waves with his tiny 
craft, Columbus se^d and directed to Ferdinand 
and Isabella two brief reports of his discovery, writ- 
ten upon parchment. Fach of these he wrapped 
in a cloth and inclosed in the middle of a large 
cake of wax, which was then securely shut up in a 
barrel. One of the barrels was flung into the sea, 
the other remained standing on the little quarter- 
deck to await the fate of the caravel. The anxiety 
was not lessened by the sight of land on the 15th, 
for it was impossible to approach it so as to go 
ashore, and there was much danger of being dashed 
to pieces. 

At length on the 18th, the storm having abated, 
the ship's boat went ashore and found that it was 
the island of St. Mary, one of the Azores. It is 



worthy of note that such skilful s^ors as the 
Nifia's captain, Vicente Yafiez Pinzon, and the pilot 
Ruiz were so confused in their reckoniog as to 
Cold Hi«>iit:i« Huppose tliemselvea near the Madei- 
■t (iw AioiH. j^g^ whereas ColumbuB had correctly 
maintained that they were approaching ihe Azores, 
— a good instance of his consununate judgment in 
nautical questions.^ From the Portuguese gov- 
ernor of the island this Spanish company met with 
a very ungracious reception, A party of sailora 
whom Columbus sent ashore to a small ohapel of 
the Virgin, to ^ve thanks for their deliverance 
from shipwreck, were seized and held as prisoners 
for five days. It afterwards appeared that this was 
done in pursuance of general instructions from the 
king of Portugal to the governors of his various 
islands. If Columbus had gone ashore he would 
probably have been arrested himself. As it was, 
he took such a high tone and threatened to such 
good purpose that the governor of St. Maxy was 
fain to give up his prisoners for fear of bringing 
on another war between Portugal and Castile. 

Having at length got away from this unfriendly 
island, as the Nifia was making her way toward 
Cape St. Vincent and within 400 miles of it, she 
was seized by uiotber fierce tempest and driven 
upon the coast of Portugal, where Co- 
diiieDuiiait lumbus and his crew were glad of a 
wban the chauce to run into the river Tagus foe 
to tii,T6 him shelter. The news of his voyage and 
' his discoveries aroused intense excite- 
ment in Lisbon. Astonishment was mingled witih 
> Lw CwM, ton. i pp. 413, 44& 



diagrin at tlie thought that the opportunitjr for all 
this glory and profit had first been offered to Por- 
tugal and foolishly lost. The king even now tried 
to persuade himself that Columbus had somehow 
or other been trespassing upon the vaat and vague 
undiscovered dominions granted to the Crown of 
Portugal by Pope Eugenius IV. Some of the 
king's counsellors are said to have ui^ed him to have 
Columbus assassinated ; it would be easy enough 
to provoke such a high-spirited man into a quarrd 
and then run him through the body.^ To clearer 
heads, however, the imprudence of such a course 
was manifest. It was already impossible to keep 
the news of the discovery from reaching ^^ ^^ ^g^^^ 
Spain, and Portugal could not afford to ?fSB3T"onia 
go to war with her stronger neighbour. " ^™g"o™- 
In fact even had John II. been base enough to re- 
sort to assassination, which seems quite incompat- 
ible with the general character of Lope de Vega's 
" perfect prince," Columbus was now too important 
a personi^ to be safely interfered with. So he was 
invited to court and made much of. On the 13th 
of March he set s^ ag^ and arrived in the har- 
bour of Palos at noon of the 15th. His little cara- 
vel was promptly recognized by the people, and as 
her story flew from mouth to mouth all the busi- 
ness of the town was at an end for that day.* 

' This Btoi7 rests Dpon the ezpliint statement of a ooutempontrj 
Fortogneae historian of hlg-h antbority, Oaicia de lUsende, Chron- 
ica dd Set/ Dom JoSo II., Lisbon, 1622, cap. cIxit. (written aboat 
X516) : see bUo VBscoQoeUaa, Vida del Beg Dm Juan II., Madrid, 
11639, Ub. yi. 

^ ** Wben they learnt that she retnmed in triumph from the 
discovery of a wotld, the whtJe commimity broke forth into tians. 



Towards erening, wliile the bells were ringmg 
and tlie streets brilliant with torches, another ves- 
sel entered the harbour and dropped anchor. She 
coinmbM ud "*^ none other than the Finta ! The 
pid^"^«ii storm had driven her to Bayonne, 
(HKnion. whence Martin Pinzon instantly de- 
spatched a message to Ferdinand and Isabella, mak- 
ing g^eat claims for himself and asking permission 
to wait upon them with a full a4!eount of the dis- 
covery. As soon as practicable he made his way 
to Palos, but when on arriving he saw the Nifia 
already anchored in the harbour his guilty heart 
failed him. He took advantage of the general hub- 
bub to slink ashore as qnickly and quietly as pos- 
sible, and did not dare to show himself until after 
the Admiral had left for Seville. The news from 
Columbus reached the sovereigns before they had 
time to reply to the message of Pinzon ; so when 
their answer came to him it was cold and stem and 
forbade him to appear in their presence. Pinzon 
was worn out with the hardships of the homeward 
voyage, and this crushing reproof was more than 
he could bear. His sudden death, a few days after- 
ward, was generally attributed to chagrin.^ 

From Seville the Admiral was summoned to at- 
tend court at Barcelona, where he was received 
with triumphal honours. He was directed to 

ports of joy." Irving'g Cofumitu, vol. Lp. 318. Hub bprajectsng 
our pretent koowledge into the post. Wecovkiiowtli&tColniiibm 
but disooreied a, new worid. Ha did not bo nmoh an Bnspeot tliat 
he had done anytbing of the BOTt ; neither did the people of Psloe. 
^ CharloToii, Hisloire de I'iste EtpagmiU, m de St. Domingue, 
Puie, 1730, liT. ii. ; MoBoz, Historia de taa Indtag a Naevo Vunda 
Uadrid, 1193, lib. iv. g 14. 



seat himBelf in the presence of the soTereigns, a 
courtesr uauaUv reserved for royal per- 
sonages.^ Intense mterest was felt m i«*i™db» 
his specimens of stuffed birds and small at Bmnioak, 
mammals, his live parrots, his collection 
of herbs vhich he supposed to have medicinal vip- 
tnes, his few pearls and trinkets of gold, and 
eBpe(»ally his six painted and bedizened barbarians, 
the enrviTors of ten with whom he had started 
from Hispaniola. Since in the vagne terminology 
of that time the remote and scarcdy known parts 
of Asia were called the Indies, and since the islands 
and coasts jnst discovered were Indies, of course 
these red men must be Indians. So Columbus had 
already named them iu his first letter written from 
theNifia, off the Azores, sent by special messenger 
from Palos, and now in April, 1493, printed at 
Barcelona, containing the particulars of his dis- 
covery, — a letter appropriately addressed to the 
worthy Santangel but for whose timely interven- 
tion he might have ridden many a weary league on 

* He vu also alloved to quarter the royal arms with hb own, 
" whioh wmmBted of «. group of golden ialands amid aznTs bil' 
lows. To theae were afterwards added Bve aoehoia, with tl» 
celebrated motto, well known as being oarred on hk aepnlohre." 
PreBcott's Ferdinand and Iiabdla, pt. >■ chap. Tii. This stato- 
nient about the motto ia enoneoae. See below, p. S14. Condd- 
aring- the splendonr of the reoBptdon given to Colombna, and the 
great interest felt in his achievement, Mr. Presoott ia sniprised at 
finding DO mentdoD of this ocoasion in the local annala of Barae- 
lona, or in tba ro^al arcIuTea of Aragon. He conjectures, wit^ 
some probability, that the cause of the omiauon may hare been 
what an American wonld call " sectional " jealonsy. This Cathay 
and Cipai^ bnsineBS was an affair of Caatile'e, and, as anch, quite 
beueath the notJce of palriotio Aragonese archivists 1 That is the 
way history baa too often been treated. With meat people it is 
only a kind of ancestor worship. 



tiiat mule of bis to no good purpose.' It was gencr< 
ally assumed without question tliat the Admiral's 
theory of his discovery must be correct, that the 
coast of Cuba must be the eastern extremity of 
China, that the coast of Hispimiola must be the 
northern extremity of Cipango, and that a direct 
route — much shorter than that which Portugal 
had so long been seeking — had now been found 
to those lands of illimitable wealth described 
by Marco Polo.^ To be sure Columbus had not 

1 The unii^ne oop; of this first editdon oE diis SpaniBh letter is 
a small folia of tva leaves, or four pages. It vas announced for 
ude in Qnaiitch's Catalogue, April 16, 18S1, No. Ill, p. 47, for 
£1,750. Eridently most book-lovera wiU have to content them- 
BelTes witli the facsimile published in LoDdoD, 1891, price two 
guineas. A unique copy of & Spanish reprint in small quarto, 
made in 1493, is preserved in the Ambmsian libiarj at Milan. 
In 1880 Messrs. EUis & Elvej, of London, published a facsimile 
alleged to have been made from on edition of about the same elate 
as the Ambrosiiui quarto ; but there are good reasons for believ- 
ing' that these highly respectable puhlishem have been imposed 
upon. It is a time just now when Ectitions literary discoveries of 
this sort may command a high price, and the dealer in early Ameri- 
eana must keep his eyes open. See Qnaritch'a note, op. cit. p. 49 ; 
and Jnstin Wi.nsor's letCei in Tlie Nation, April 9, 1891, vol. LL 
p. 29a 

^ "The lands, therefore, which Colnmbns had visited were 
called the West Indies ; and aa he seemed to have entered npon i. 
vast r^on of unexplored countries, existing in a state of natoie, 
the whide received the comprebendve appellation of the New 
World." Irving's Caivnibtit, voL i. p. 333. These ore Tery grsva 
errors, Bf^un involving the projection of our modem knowledge 
into the past The lands which Columbus had visited were called 
simply the Indies ; it was not until long after hia death, and after 
the crossing of the Pacific ocean, that they were distinguished 
from the East Indies. The Neic WorU was not at first a " com- 
prehenuve appellation" for the countries discovered bj Colum- 
bus ; it was at first applied to one particular region never visited 
by him, viz, to that portion of tJie southeastern eoast of South 
Ameiica fiist ezploied by Vespudus. See vol, ii. pp. 129, 13IX 



as yet seen the evideDces of this Oriental spleit 
dour, and had been puzzled at not finding them, 
but he felt confident ihat he had come very near 
them and would come full upon them in a second 
voyage. There was nobody who knew enough to 
refute these opinions,^ and really why should not 
this great geographer, who had accomplished so 
much already which people had scouted fl,„B^ „_ 
as impossible, — why should he not Jj^^J Jj„ 
know what he was about ? It was easy JoSSid" 
enough now to get men and money for '"^ '™™'- 
the second voyage. When the Admiral siuled 
from Cadiz on September 25, 1493, it was with 
seventeen ships carrying 1,500 men. Their dreams 
were of the marble palaces of Quinsay, of isles of 
spices, and the treasures of Frester John. The 
sovereigns wept for joy as they thought that such 
untold riches were vouchsafed them by the special 
decree of Heaven, as a reward for having over- 
come the Moor at Granada and banished the Jews 
from Spain.^ Columbus shared these views and 

^ Peter Martyc, however, aeema to h&ve entertained some Tapne 
doubts, inaamDoh as this asmnied nearness of tbe China coast 
on the ireet implied a grieator eastward extension of the A^tio 
continent than Bflemad to him probable : — " Inanlas reperit 
plnres ; has esse, de qoibns fit apud coamographos mentio extra 
oaecnnm orientalem, adjacentes ludiEe arbitrantnr. Neo infieioT 
ego penitna, i/aamvis sphara magniiudo aliler aentire videitiw; 
neqne enim desnnt qui parto traotu a finibns Hispanite distare 
littns Indienm pntent." 0pm Epist., No. 1S5. The ital 

' This abominable piece of wichednesa, driving 200,000 o€ 
Spiun's best oitizens from theic homes and their native land, was 
aceompliahed in pncsnance of an edict signed March 30, 1492. 
There is a brief account of it in Prescott's Ferdinand and Itaielia, 
pt i. ohap. vL 



regarded himeelf as a special instnimsnt for eze- 
cutmg the divine decrees. He renewed his vow 
to rescue the Holy Sepuldire, promising within 
the ne^ seven years to equip at his own expense s 
crusading army oi 60,000 foot and 4,000 horse; 
■within five /years thereafter h« would follow this 
with a secohd army of like dimensions. 

Thus nobody had the faiDtest suspicion of what 
had been done. In the famous letter to Santangel 
there is of course not a word about a New World. 
The grandeur of the achierement was quite beyond 
the ken of the generation that witnessed it. For 
Thi* lOTnge ^^ have since come to learn that in 1492 
Sth" ti^' ^^^ contact between the eastern and the 
J^'l'" western halves of our planet was firat 
really begun, ajid the two streams of 
human life which had flowed on for countless ages 
apart were thenceforth to mingle together. The 
first voyage of Columbus is thus a unique event in 
the history of mankind. Nothing like it was ever 
done before, and nothing like it can ever be done 
again. Ko worlds are left for a future Columbus 
to conquer. The era of which this great Italian 
mariner was the moat illustrious representative 1i8A 
closed forever. 




But ibat era did not close with Columbus, oae 
did he live long enough to complete the DiscoTery 
of America. Oar practice of affixing specific 
dates to great events is on manj accounts indis- 
pensable, but it is sometimeB mislead- ^^ i>i,oot- 
ing. Such an event as the discovery of Jli'J^S^ 
a pair of vast continents does not take p™»» 
place within a single year. When we spea^ of 
America as discovered in 1492, we do not mean 
that the moment Columbus landed on two or three 
islands of tihe West Indies, a full outline map <^ 
the western hemisphere from Liabrador and Alaska 
to Cape Horn suddenly sprang into existence — 
like Pallas from the forehedd of Zens — in the 
minds of European men. Tet people are perpet- 
ually using ai^uments which have neither force nor 
meaning save upon the tacit assumption that some- 
how or other some such sort of tldng must have 
happened. This grotesque fallacy lies at the bot- 
tom of the tradition which baa caused so many 
foolish things to l>e said about that gallant mari- 
ner, Americas Vespucius. In geographical discus- 
sions the tendency to overlook the fact that Co- 
lumbus and his immediate successors did not sail 
with the latest edition of Black's Qeneral Atlas in 



their cabins is almost inveterate ; it keeps reveal- 
ing itself in all sorts of queer statements, and 
probably there is no cure for it except in famil- 
iarity with the long series of perplexed and strug- 
ling maps made in the sixteenth century. Properly 
regarded, the Discovery of America was not a 
single event, but a very gradual process. It was 
not like a case of special creation, for it was a case 
of evolution, and the voyage of 1492 *aB simply 
the most decisive and epoch-marking incident in 
that evolution. Columbus himself, after all his 
four eventful voyages across the Sea of Darkness, 
died in the belief that he had simply discovered 
ihe best and straightest route to the eastern shores 
of Asia. Yet from bis first experiences in Cuba 
down to Ms latest voyage upon the coasts of Hon- 
dnraa and Yeragua, he was more or less puzzled 
at finding things so different from what he had 
anticipated. If he had really known anything with 
SiOcuracy about the eastern coast of Aiiia, he would 
doubtless soon have detected his fundamental error, 
bat DO European in' his day had any such know- 
ledge. In his four voyages Columbus was finding 
what he supposed to be parts of Asia, what we 
now know to have been parts of America, but what 
were really to hira and hia contemporaries neither 
more nor less than Strange Coasts. We have now 
to consider briefly his further experiences upon 
these strange coasts. 

The second voyage of Colninbus was begun in a 
very different mood ajid under very different aa»> 
[Hces from either his former or his twa subsequent 



voyages. On his first dopartore from Palos, in 
1492, all save a few devoted frieodB r^arded liim 
as a madman rushing upon his doom ; and outside 
the Spanish peninsula the expedition seems to 
have attracted no notice. But on the second start, 
in 1493, all hands supposed that they were going 
straight to golden Cathay and to boundless riches. 
It was not now with groans but with paeans that 
they flocked on board the ships ; and the occasion 
was observed, with more or less interest, by some 
people in other comitries of Europe, — as in Italy, 
and for the moment in France and England. 

At the same time with his letter to Santangel, 
the Admiral had despatched another account, sub- 
stantiaily the same,^ to Gabriel Sanchez,' ^ba iMn to 
imother officer of the royal treasury. ^"""'^ 
Several copies of a Latin translation of this letter 
were published at Borne, at Paris, and elsewhere, 
in the course of the year 1493.* The story which 

* "Uu dnplicat& da c«tte reladon," Hairiaie, CbnitopAe Colomb, 
toin L P' 419- 

* Often called Raphael Sanchez. 

* The follawiug; epigraiD was added to ilv> Bisk Tm,tia edHiim (d 
Aw latter b; Corbaiia, BUhop of Monto-Peloao : — 

Ad IntJictiitiTnwn Ecgem HUpawtantm: 
lam nullft Hl^iaiib tfiUns iddfindB trlomphli, 
Atqiu panim tantlA Tliibiu orbli ant. 

Unda rspsrtorl locrlta refBreada Coliunbo 
Qal Tincanda pant noui regna llblque sEbiqne 

tliMe lines are tlma paraphraBed bj M. Hairiwe : — 

To At Itvsiiuible ICing of Ihe Spaint i 
Leu wide the world thu tbe lenown of SpA 



it contained was at once panipIiFaaed in Italian 
verse by Giuliano Dati, one of the most popular 
poets of the age, and perhaps in the autumn 
of 1493 the amazing news that the Indies had 
been found by sailing weat^ was sung by street 

Bejojoe, Ilwlit sh Ch; luse tncieuedl 

And tiw in]il40«a nimmm* to thj tmj I 
Otrethukntohlin— bntlolUeTboiiugc puf 
Td Qod Bivnme, wbo |Ith Ha ndu tA UiM 1 

Onatut ot moniirctu, Brn ot HmuU l» I 

BOliolheoa Ameriims VttvUlMlma, p. ItL 

The follinrh^ IB a litukl Terman : — " Already there is DO Uod 
to be added to the triiunplu of Spnin. and the earth waa t«> imall 
for Buub great deeda. Nov a far oaaiitr; nnder tbe eBatem wavea 
has been diacovered, and will ba an additJon to thj titlee, graat 
BietisB I wherefore thanks are dne to ths iUaatriooB diaaorer Co- 
lumbos ; but greater thanka to the snpreme Qod, who is tnaVing 
leady new realms to be eooqnered for thee and for Himself, and 
Tonohsafce to thee to be at onoa strong and piooa." It wiU be 
observed that nothing is siud about " another world." 

An alaborate ac«onnt of these earliest and eiceswvel; ran edl- 
tioDS ia gnen b; M. Hanina, loe. ciL 

^ Or, aa Mr. Major oarelessi; puts it, " the astounding news of 
the disoorery of a dbw irorld." {Sdtct Lettert of Cnfumhis, p. vi.) 
Mr. Major kuowa very well that no aaah " news "was posuble for 
many » year after 1493 j hia remark is, of coone, a mere iilip of 
tba pen, hat if we are ever gaing to atraightau out the tan^e of 
misooaoeptdoiiB with which this aobjeot is aommouly anrroouded, 
we mnit be careful in oni choice of words. — As a fair spacimeu 
•f the oh^t-book style of Dati's stanzas, ve may cite the fon^ 
taenth: — 

Hot (0 torsu ulinlo tvbno tnotMo 

■I fifl ofa^oatohL aensDfirfl Q vaa itsJ 
H. Harrine g^ea the following version : — 

And hwr ol klMida an tnkiwni to a 



urchiQB in FloreBce. We are alao informed, in 
an iU-vouoIied but not improbable clause in Ra- 
musio, that not far from that same time the neva 
waa heard with admiration in London, where it 
was pronounced '* a thing more divine thaa hu- 
man to sail by the West unto the East, where 
spices grow, by a way that was never known be- 
fore I " ' and it seems altogether likely that it was 
this news that prompted the expedition of John 
Cabot hereafter to be mentioned.* 

The references to the discovery are very scanty, 
however, until after the year 1500, and extremely 
vague withal. For example, Bernardino do Carva^ 
jal, the Spanish ambassador at the papal court, de- 
livered an oration in Rome on June 19, 1493, in 
which he said ; *' And Christ placed under their 
[Ferdinand and Isabella's] rule the Foi^ 
tnnate [Canary] islands, the fertility of «»ih to tb* 
which has been ascertained to be won- 
derful. And he has lately disclosed some other 
unknown ones towards the Indies which may be 
considered among the most precious things on 
earth ; and it is believed that they will be gained 

Iiluda wbanol Cbe gaaA iimonrj 
ChuDCod in tliU yeoi ot 1 ourtaen Dioety-tbifle. 
Ona OhiUtopher ColombOt whosa luort 
Wu tyet in Che King Fsnundo'a caait, 
BsDt hlruelt gtni to ron» tmd itlmnlita 
Tba King to Bwell the bordan of hl> SCatA. 

BOHel/itai Amerleaaa rehuMufBU, p. 3a 
Tbe entire poem of «xty-eight atanzaa is given in Major, op. cii. 
pp. LaJiL-zo. It was pnblished at Florence, Oat. 26, 1493, and 
waa eolled " the etcry of the diaoorerj (not of a new world, bat] 
ef tbe new Indian islanda of Csuaryl " {Sioria deila infenfiont 
^«2Ze mume imie dicanan'a indiane. ) 
> Bacaila di Navigazioni, eto., YeiiiM, 1550, torn. i. foL 414> 
' See below, toL iL pp. 3-15. 



over to Chiist by the emissaries of tibe king.'** 
Outside of tlie Romance countriea we find one Geis 
man versioQ of tlie first letter of Coliunbus, pub- 
lished at Strasburg, in 1497,* and a brief allusion 
to the discovery in Sebastian Bi-andt's famous 
allegorical poem, "Das Narrenscliiff," the first 
edition of which appeared in 1494.* The earliest 
distinct reference to Columbus in the English Ian- 
gu^e is to be found in s translation of this poem, 
"The Shyppe of Fooles," by Henry Watson, pub- 
lidied in London by Wynkyn de Worde in 1509. 

The purpose of Brandt's allegory was 
■nee in Eug. to Satirize the follies conumtted by all 

sorts and conditions of men. In the 
chapter, " Of hym that wyll wryte and enquere of 
all regyons," it is said: "There was one that 

' HamsBe, Blbliolheca Americana Tetiatiisima, p. 36. 
« 14 p. 60. 

• Aach bat mlD ardt In Portigtill 
0Dd In HyapanyeD uberaU 
Goli'lnnln fimdeut imd luckeb lAt 

HutUbs, BOt. AvUT. Vll. ,- AddOiomt, p. 4 

find nod luktfl LeDt«, 
Bat Narrmtckiff. ed. BiimiHk, Berlin, IBTZ, p. ISl. 
Id Qie Ladn reisiou oi IdQT, nov in tlie Nfttional Library at 
Pwia, it goea somewhat differently : — 

ADt«« qnf fnarat ptIkIa Incognita tellni : 

Bipoalti Bat Knilla & multeeti pibit. 

Hflfipeil^ ocddn^ r«T Ferdinvi^ni : In iilta 

AequDTV mma gant«e repperlt UmumerH. 

Hsrriwe, op. eU. ; Addmanl, p. T. 
It vil! ba observed duit these foreign referencoB are so uiigtl- 
Wt, tuid so incorrect, as t« giyt all the credit to Fsidinand, whila 
poor IsabelU U not meataouedl 



knewe tihat in y* ysles of Spayne was enliabitimtes. 
Wherefore he aaked men of Kynge Ferdynandna 
& weate & founde them, the whiche lyred as 
beestea." ^ (Jntil after the middle of the sixteenth 
century no English chronicler mentions either Co- 
lumbus or the Cabots, nor is there anywhere an 
indication that the significance of the discoverieB 
in the western ocean was at all understood.^ 

North of the Alps and Pyrenees the interest in 
what was going on at the Spanish court in 1493 
was probably confined to veiy few people. As for 
Venioe and Genoa we have no adequate means of 
knowing how they felt about the matter, — a fact 
which in itself is significant. The interest was 
centred in Spain and PortugaL Tbere it was in- 
tense and a^kened fierce heart-bnminga. Though 
John II. had not given his consent to the proposal 
for murdering Columbus, he appeivs to have seri- 
ously entertiuned the thought of send- 
ing a small fleet across the Atlantic aa < 
soon as possible, to take possession of 
some point in Cathay or Cipango and then dis- 
pute the claims of the Spaniards.* Suoh a sum. 
mary proceeding might perhaps be defended on 
the ground that the grant from Pope Eugenius V. 
to the crown of Portugal expressly included " the 
Indies." In the treaty of 1479, moreover, Spiun 
had promised not to interfere with the discoveries 
and possessions of the Portuguese. 

But whatever King John may have intended, 

' Harrisse, (j?. ttJ. ; Additiont, p. 46. 

* HarriBse, Jean el Seboitiai Cabot, Paris, 1882, p. 15. 

' VauMuicelks, Vtda del Ben Dm Juan JL, Uadrid, 1688^ 



Ferdinand and Isabella were too quick for him. No 
sooner had Columbus arrived at Barcelona than 
an embassy was despatched to Rome, asking for a 
grant of the Indies just discovered by that navi- 
gator in the service of Castile, The notorious 
Bodrigo Bor^a, who had lately been placed in the 
apostolic chair as Alexander VI., waa a nalive of 
Valencia in the kingdom of Aragon, and would 
not be likely to refuse such a request through any 
excess of regard for Portugal. As between the 
two rival powers the pontitTs arrangement was 
Buiti oi Pope ^^^ "^ * spirit of even-handed justice. 
uo""^^ On the 3d of May, 149S, he issued a 
bull conferring upon the Spanish sovereigns all 
lands already discovered or thereafter to be discov- 
ered in the western ocean, with jurisdiction and 
privileges in all respects similar to those formerly 
bestowed upon the crown of Portugal. This grant 
was made by the pope " out of our pure liberality, 
certain knowledge, and plenitude of apostolic pow- 
er," and by virtue of " the authority of omnipotent 
God granted to us in St. Peter, and of the Vicar- 
ship of Jesus Christ which we administer upon 
the earth." ^ It was a substantial reward for the 
monarchs who had completed the overthrow of 
Mahometan rule in Spain, and it afforded them 

* " De Doatra mera llberalitate, et ez cects ■dentu, us de &poB- 
toliBEe poteatatia plenitadiiie/' . 

nobis in beato Petro ooniieasa, so Ticariatna Jean Cbristi qua fnii- 
gimnT in tarru." The same lajtgnage U DBed in t^e second buU. 
Hr. Preacott (Ferdinand and laabella, part i. cbap. tU.) trsnE^tea 
Mria icientia " infallible knowledge," but In onler to aroid an; 
eomplicatioDg vith modem theories oonoeniing p^ial infallibiiitfi 



opportunities for further good work in oonvertiiig 
the heathen inliabitants of the tslanda and main- 
land of Asia.^ 

On the following day Alexander issued a 8ecM)nd 
bull in order to prevent any occasion for quarrel 
between Spain and Portugal^ He decreed that 

^ A year or two later llie aovereigna wera further rewarded 
with the decorative title of " Most t^tholic." See Zniita, HU- 
toria del Bey Hemando, Saxagotatt, 15bO, lib. ii. cap. il. ; PeUr 
Martjr, EpUt. olvii. 

> The oamplete text of this boll, witli Richard Eden's traDsla- 
tion, ia given at tlie end of this work ; aee below, Appendix B. 
The official text ia ia Magmim Btdlarivm Bomamim, ed. Chera- 
bini, LyooEi, 1655, iojo. i. p. 466. Tho original doonntent received 
by Ferdinand and Isabella ia presecved va the Archivea of the 
Indies at Seville ; it is printed entire in Navarrete, Cdaxion de 
viagea, torn. ii. No. 16. Another copy, lees complete, may be 
fonnd in Raynaldiu, Annalea eccleaiatlici, Laoca, 1754, torn. zL 
p. 214, No. 19--22 ; and another in Leibnitz, Codex JHj^omaticiu, 
torn. L pt. i. p. 471. It is often oalled the Boll " Inter Getars," 
from its opening words. 

The origin of the pope's alaim to apostolic anthcoity for g:iving 
away kingdoms ia closely connected with the fictitions " Donation 
of CoQstantiiie," an edict probably fabrioated in Rome about the 
middle of the eighth century. The title of the old Latin text is 
Edictvm damini Cfmetantim Jmp., apnd Pgcado-IaidoniB, Decreta- 
lia, Conatantine's transfer of the seat of empire from the Tiber 
to the Bosphorua tended greatly to increase Ihe dignity and power 
of the papacy, and I preenme that the fabrication of tliis edict, 
four centuries afterward, waa the eipreesion of a sincere belief 
that the first Ghrietian emperor meant to leave the tempor^ su- 
premacy over Italy in the hands of the Roman see. The edivL 
pnrported to he such a donation from Gonstantine to Pope Sylves- 
ter I., but the eitent and cbaracter of the donation was stated 
wilh BDch vagueness as to allow a wide latitude of interpretation. 
Its genninencfls was repeatedly called in question, but belief in it 
seems to have grown in strength nntil after tbe thirteenth oentnry. 
Leo IS., who was a strong baliever in its gennineness, granted in 
1054 to the Normans their conqnests in Sicily and Calabria, to he 
held as » fief of the Roman see. fMuratori, Atmali d' Italia, 
tom. vi. pt ii. p. 245.) It was next nscd to sustain the papal 



all lands diBeovered or to be discovered to the 
west of a meridiaa one hundred leagues west of 

daim to amenunty over tlie istand of Coraica. A centar; later 
John of Salisbury maintained the right of the pope to diapose " of 
all idanda oa which Chriitt, the San of righteoDBnesB, hath ahined," 
&nd in conformitj with this opinion Pope Adriao IV. (Niebolae 
Breakspeai«, an EngliBhiuau) authorized in 1164 King Henrjr II. 
of England to invade and conquer Ireland, (See Adrian IV., 
Episl. 76, apud Migne, Patrologia, torn, clxxiviii) Dr. Lanigan, 
in treating of thia matter, is more an Iriahman than a papiat, and 
daridea " thia nonsenae of the pope's Ijeing the head-owner of all 
Chriatian islands." {EccUiiastieol History of Ireland, toI. it. p. 
150.) — Gregory VII., in working np to the doctrine that all 
Chriatian kingdoms should he held as fiefs under St. Peter (Baro- 
niua, Annaka, torn. xrii. p. 430; of. ViUemain, Histaire de Gr(- 
goire VIL, Paria, 1873, torn. ii. pp. 59-61), does not seem to haT» 
appealed to (he Donation. Perhaps he waa ahrewd enongh to 
foresee the kind of objection afterwards r^sed by the Albigvn- 
eiaoB, who pithily declared that if the suzertdnty of the popes wai 
derived from the Donation, then they were BQCceasora of Conatan- 
tdne and not of St. Peter. (Moneta CrentoneDsis, Adversus Carha^ 
Tos tt Wddenses, ed. Gicchini, Rome, 1743, t. 2.) But Innocent 
IV. summarily disposed of this argument at the Council of Lyona 
in 1245, when be deposed the Emperor Frederiot H. and King 
Sancho n. of Portn^, — saying: that Christ himself had bestowed 
temporal as well as spiritual headship upon St. Peter and his suo- 
oessors, so that ConstantJne only gave up to the Church what 
belonged to it already. The opposite or Gbibelline theory waa 
eloquently set forth by Dante, in his treatise He Manarchia ; he 
held that iuasmncb as the Empire existed before the Church, it 
oould not he deriyed from it. Dante elsewhere expressed bin 
sbhoirencs of the Donation; — 

hi CDDfttantlii, dl 

710, lii. IIG. 

Similar seDtmuinta were expressed by many of the moat popolar 
poeta from the twelfth oentury to the sixteenth. Walther ion 
ier Vogelweide was sure that if the firat Chriatian emperor could 
have foreseen the evils destined to flow from hia Donation, ba 
would have withheld it ; — 



the Azores and Cape Vercle islands should belong 
to the Spaniards. Inasmuch as between the 

Do gsb It ants Ml du Kueolk KonMODlln, 

HigBn, Minntitngn-SamTiilme, leipsic, IBSS, bd. L p. 2ro. 
Arioato, in & paaaog^ rollicking with satiref maiceB liis itinerant 
paladin find the ^' stinking' " Donation in the course of hu jonmo; 
npou the moon ; — 

D] TariL florl ad on ^thu niDnt« pun, 
Ch> ebbet gii bnoiio odors, or puiiu forte, 
Qneita en U dono, » par6 dlr lece, 
Oho CotatmatjBO al bnon SUveetro fooa. 

Orlando FarioiOf xnLr. BO. 

lie DoDBtiiiD vaa finally proved to be a for^erj by Lsureotini 
Valla in 1440, in bia Defalso audita el ementfta Constantiid dona- 
(I'one dedamalio (afterwaiil spread far and wide by Ulricb Ton 
Hotten), and independintl; bj the noble Reginald Pecook, biahop 
of Chioheater, in his Reprtssor^ written aboat 1447. ^ Dnnng the 
preceding centnry the theory of Gregory VH. and Innooent IV. 
had been carried to its attermost extreme by the Franciscan toonk 
Alvaro Pelayo, in hia Be I'lanctu Eccksia, written at ATi^an 
dnrii^ the " Babylonish Captivity," abont 1350 (printed at Venice 
in 1560), and by Af^oetiiio Trionfi, in hia Surama depdestaU ecrU- 
liaiiica, Angsbnrjr, 1473, an eices^vely race book, of which there 
b a, vcpy in the Brideh Mnsenm. These writers maintained tliat 
the popes were snzer^ns of the whole earth and had absolute 
power to ^p<se not only of all Christian kingdoms, bat also ot 
all heathen lands and powers. It was npon this theory that En- 
genius IV. seems t« have acted with leferenee to Forti^al and 
Alexander VI. with reference to Spain. Of oonrse there was nevei 
a time when such alajms for the papacy were not denied by a 
loi^ party within the Church. The Spanish sorereigns in ap- 
pealing tfl Alexander VI. took care to hint that aome of their 
advisers regarded them as already entitled to enjoy the fmitB of 
their discoveries, even hefoi* cbfmning tbe papal pemussion, hut 
tliey did not cboose to act upon that opinion (Herrera, decad. i. 



weatemmoat of the Azores and tlie easternmost 
of the Cape Verde group the difference in longi- 
tude ia not far from ten degrees, this description 
must be alloved to he somewhat vague, especially 
in a document emanating from "oertiun know- 
lib, ii. cap. 4). The Idnf^ of Portngd were less reserved in their 
Babmifflion. In yalaaci Ferdinandi ad Innocenlivnt oclaiium de 
oUdientia oratio, a, aniall quarto printed at Rome about 1488, 
John 11. did hoTDage to the pope for the oonntrioB just disoovered 
by Bartholomew Kaa. Hia saooessor Emanuel did the same after 
the Toyaj^ of Gama and Veapacioe. In a small qnarto, Obedieai' 
tia potentUsimi Entanueiii Lwilania regis 4^, per dariinmum jarii 
oontidtum Dieghum Pacettu oralorem ad lalii Font. Max., Rome. 
1505, all the newly fonnd lands are laid at the feet of Jalioa II 
in a paae^e that ends with words worth notii^ : " Aodpe tan- 
dem orbem ipsnm tenarnm, Deoa enim noster es,' ' i. e. " Accept 
in fine the earili itself, for than art onr Ood." Similar hnmagre 
was Tendered to Leo X. in 1513, on acoonnt of Alboqaerque's oon- 
qaesta in Asia. — We may anapect tliat it the papacy had retuned, 
at the end of the fifteenth oentnry, anything like the oversiiadow- 
iag power which it poaeeased at the end of the twelfth, the kings 
of Portugal would not have been quite bo onatiuted in th^ 
homagpe. Aa it came to be leas of a reality and more of a flouriah 
of words, it cost less to offer it. Among some modern Catholics 
I haTe observed a dispodtion to imagine that In the famous bull 
of partitdon Alexander VI. acted not aa aupreme pontiff but 
merely «s an arbiter, in the modem sense, between the crowns of 
Spun and Fortngal; but such an interpretation is hafdly com- 
patible with Alexander'fl own words. An arbiter, as suoh, does 
not make awards by virtne of " the authority of Omnipotent God 
grantod to na in St. Peter, and of the Vioaiship of Jeans Chriat 
which we administer upon the earth." 

Since writing this note my attention has been called to Dr. Igraa 
von Dollinger's Fnifes resptding tlie Popes of the Middle Ages, 
London, 1811 j and I find in it a chapter on the Donation of Con- 
stantine, in which the auhjeot is treated witL a wealth of learning. 
Some of my hrief raferenoeB are there diacussed at conaidereble 
length. To the references to Dante there is added a still moie 
striking- passage, where Congtantine ia admitted into Hearen ii 
^nte of hia Donation {Paradiio, xx. 55). 



ledge ; " ^ and it left open a source of f atnre dis- 
putes wliich one would suppose tlie " plenitude oi 
apostolic power " might have been wortliily em- 
ployed in closing. The meridian 26° W., however, 
would have satisfied the conditions, and the equi- 
table intent of the arrangement is manifest. The 
Portuguese were left free to pursue their course of 
discovery and conquest along the routes which 
tihey bad always preferred. King John, however, 
was not satasfied. He entertained vague hopes of 
finding spice islands, or something worth having, 
iu the west«m waters ; and he wished to have the 
Line of Demarcation carried farther to the west. 
After a year of diplomatic wrangling a .^^^ ^ 
treaty was signed at Tordesillaa, June T«d"flJ»- 
7, 1494, in which Spain consented to the moving ot 
the line to a distance of S70 leagues west from the 
Cape Verde islands.^ It would thus on a modem 
map fall somewhere between the 41st and 44tb 
meridians west of Greenwich. This amendment 
had important and curious consequences. It pres- 
ently gave the Brazilian coast to the Portuguese, 
and thereupon played a leading part in the singu- 
lar and complicated series of events that ended iu 
giving the name of Amerions Vespucius to that 

^ The language of the bull li ersn more vagae than my vecmoi 
In the text. His Holmew desciibea the lands to be ^ven to the 
Spaniards aa lying " to the vest and soDth " (venus oooidentem et 
meridiem) of his dividing meridian. Laud to the Boath of a merid- 
hui vonld be iu a queer poution I Frobably it vas meant to say 
that the Spaniaida, onoe ire>t of the papal meridian, might go 
■onth as veil aa uort^. For the king of Fortogal had sngg^eeted 
that they ongfat to confine thenuelTea to northern waters. 

* For die original Spanish text of the treaty of Tordeullaa, Ma 
NaTaiT«t«, torn. ii. pp. llO-lSa 



region, whence it was afterwards gradually ezy 
tended to tlie whole western hemisphere.^ 

Already in Ajnnl, 1493, without waiting for the 
papal sanction, Ferdinand and Isabella bent all 
their energies to the work of fitting out an expedi- 
tion for taking possession of "the Indies." Pirst, 
a department of Indian affairs was created, and at 
Rirfri '*" ^^^ "^"f^ placed Juan Bodriguez de 
gu« da Fob. Fonseca, archdeacon of Seville : in 
Spain a man in high office was apt to 
be a clergyman. This Fonseca was all-powerful 
in Indian afFturs for the next thirty years. Ha 
won and retained the confidence of the sovereigns 
by virtue of hie execntive ability. He was a man 
ctf coarse fibre, ambitious and domineering, cold- 
hearted and perfidious, with a cynical contempt — 
auch as low-minded people are apt to call " smart " 
— tor the higher human feelings. He was one 
oi those ugly customers who crush, withoat a 
twinge of compunction, whatever comes in their 
way. The slightest opposition made him furious, 
and his vindictiveness was insatiable. This dex- 
teroiw and pushing Fonseca held one after another 
the bishoprics of Badajoz, Cordora, Palencia, and 
Conde, the archbishopric of Bosano in Italy, to- 
gether with the bishopric of Burgos, and he was 
also principal chaplain to Isabella and afterwards 
to Ferdinand. As Sir Arthur Helps observes, 
^^ the student of early American history wiU have 
a bad opinion of many Spanish bishops, if he does 
not discover that it is Bishop Fonseca who reap 
1 See below, loL iL pp. 06-154 



pears imder various deaignatioiiB." * Sir Arthur 
fitly caJla him " the ungodly bishop." 

The headquarters of Fonseca and of the Indian 
department were established at SeviUe, and a spe< 
cial Indian custom-house was set np at Cadiz. 
There vaa to be another custom-house upon the 
island of Hispaniola ([supposed to be Japan]), and 
a minute registry waa to be kept of all ships and 
their crevs and cargoes, going out or coming in. 
Nobody was to be allowed to go to the Indies for 
any purpose whatever without a license formally 
obtained. Careful regulations were made for ham- 
pering trade and making everything aa vexatious 
as possible for traders, according to the ordinary 
wisdom ctf governments in such matters. All ex- 
penses were to be borne and all profits received by 
the crown of Castile, saving the rights formerly 
guaranteed to Columbus. The cost of the present 
expedition was partly defrayed with stolen money, 
the plunder wrung horn the worthy and industri- 
ous Jews who had been driven from their homes 
by &e infernal edict of the year before. Exten- 
nve " requisitions " were also made ; in other 
words, when the sovereigns wanted a ship or a 
barrel of gunpowder they seized it, and impre^ed 
it into the good work of converting the heathen. 
To superintend this missionary work, a Franciscan 
monk ^ was selected who had lately distinguished 

• Sittory of the Spaniih Conqaea, toI. L p. 487. 

> Iniiig;all>himsBei»diotiiie, but heiiaddiMBedaa "fntrf 
Hdhiia Minonmi " iu tha bnll elothing him with apostolic ontfaor- 
itj in the Indies, June 26, 1493. See Rayitaldns, AmmUt secfegi- 
wd'ci, torn. zi. p. 210. I oanntrt imagine what M. Hanisee means 
by callinif him " nHgienz de Sunt-ViBoent dePanla " (CirwfcplM 
CvlotiA, torn. iL p. 66). Vincent i» Paul was not boin dll 15TG. 



himself as a diplomatast in the dispute with France 
„_,„_, over die border province of Housillon. 
This person was a native of Catalonia, 
and his name was Bernardo Boyle, which strongly 
su^ests an Irish oii^. Alexander VI. appointed 
him his apostolic vicar for the Indies,' and he 
seems to have been the first clergyman to perform 
mass on the western shores of the Atlantio. To 
assist the vicar, the six Indians brought over by 
Columbus were baptized at Barcelona, with the 
king and queen for their godfather and godmother. 
It was hoped that they would prove useful as mis- 
sionaries, and when- one of them presently died he 
was BEud to be the first Indian ever admitted .to 

The three summer months were occupied in fit- 
ting out the little fleet. There were fourteen cai> 
avels, and three larger store^hips known as car- 
racks. Horses, mules, and other cattle were put 
on board,^ as well as vines and sugarKianes, and 
the seeds of several European cereals, for it was 
intended to establish a permanent colony upon 
Hispaniola. . In the course of this work some 
slight matters of disagreement came up between 
Columbus Mid Fonseoa, and the question having 
been referred to Uie sovereigns, Fonseca was mildly 
snubbed and told that he must in all respects be 
guided by the Admiral's wishes. From that time 
forth this ungodly prelate nourished a deadly ha- 

' Not for " the New World," as Irring' careleBBlj has it in hia 
Columius, tdI. L p. 340. No saah phrase had been thought of in 
J4S3, or imtil long; aftenraid. 

' Eeireia, .^st. de lot Indiat, deoad. i. lih. iL cap. 6. 

* Vita deU' Anmira^u, nag. xUv. 



tied toward Columbus, and never loat an oppor- 
tunity for wluspering evil things about liim. The 
worst of the grievous affliotiouB that afterward 
beset the great discoverer must be ascribed to the 
secret madbioatioiis of this wretch. 

At last the armament was ready. People were 
80 eager to embark that it was felt necessary tc 
restrain them. It was not intended to have more 
than 1,200, but about 1,500 in all contrived to go, 
BO that some of the caravels must have been oveiv 
crowded. The character of the company was very 
different from that of the year before. Those 
who went in the first voyage were chiefly common 
sailors. Kow there were many aristocratio young 
men, hot-blooded and feather-headed hidalgos 
whom the surrender of Oranada had left without 
an occupation. Most distinguished among these 
was Alonso do Ojeda, a dareJevil of iiot«Ma[»r. 
unrivalled moscular strength, full of en- i^kad'm'tfae 
ergy and fanfaronade, and not without "™^"T"«* 
generous qualities, but with very little soundness 
of judgment or character. Other notable person- 
ages in this expedition were Colimibus's youngest 
brother Giacomo (henceforth called Diego), who 
had come from Genoa at the first news of the 
Admiral's triumphant return ; the monk Antonio 
de Marchena,^ whom historians have so long con- 
foanded with the prior Juan Perez ; an Aragonese 
gentleman named Pedro Margarite, a favourite of 
the king and destined to work sad mischief ; Juan 

1 Efl vent M astrDnniner, f rotn vhiali wa may peduips suppose 
that scieDtdfio conaiderations had made biro one of die earliest and 
vast steadfast upholders of CtJumbos's views. 



Ponee de Leon, who afterwards gave its name to 
Florida; Francisco de Las Casas, father of the 
great apostle and historian of the Indies; and, 
last but not least, the pilot Juan de La Cosa, now 
chai^^ed with the work of chartmaking, in which 
he was an acknowledged master.^ 

The pomp and bnstle of the departure from 
Cadiz, September 25, 1493, at which the Admi- 
ral's two sons, Diego and Ferdinand, were present, 
must have been one of the earliest i-ecolleotiona of 
the younger ho^, then just five years of age.' 
Ag^ Columbus stopped at the Canaiy islands, 
this time to take on board goats and sheep, pigs 
and fowls, for he had been struck by the absence 
of all such animals on the coasts which lie had 
visited.^ Seeds of melons, oranges, and lemons 
were also taken. On the 7th of October the ships 
weighed aaebor, heading a trifle to the south of 
west, and after a pleasant and uneventful voyage 
they sighted land on the 3d of November.* It 

> See Harrisse, Chrittophe Cohmb, torn. li. pp. 65, 66; Lbs 
Caaaa, EUt. de leu Indias, torn. L p. 498 ; FaMi, Vida de Lot 
Catas, Hadrid, 1879, torn. L p. 11 ; Oriedo, Hitt. de lot Indiat, 
torn. i. p. 46T ; Kavariete, CvieeeiOK dt viagu, torn. U. pp. 143- 

* "£coD qaestoprepBiamentoilntercoledd ai 26 del mese dl 
■ettembie dall' ■ano 1403 on' an, BTanti il levar del kiIb, emea- 
dori io e duo tratel prewiit), 1' Ammiraglio IstJi le ancore," etc. 
yUa d^ Amtairaglit), cap. xUt. 

* Eight sows were baaght for 70 maravedU apiece, and"deatas 
ocho pnercas se ban mnltiplioado todoB lot paereoa qne, haata bo;, 
ha habido y b»y ca todaa eatas Indias," etc. Laa Caaaa, HiiCoria, 

* The telatioD of tbia aeeond Tojags by Dr. Chtmoa niAy be 
tonnd in NsTarrote, torn. 1 pp. 198-241 ; an interesting reUtios 
tu Italian by Simane Veide, a Fiorootiue merchaot then liriiig i^ 



tamed out to be a bhulU mountainous island, and 
as it was discovered on Sunday they called it 
Dominica. In a fortnight's cruise in these Carib- 
bean waters they discovered and named several 
islands, such aa Maj^galante, Guadaloupe, Anti- 
tnia, and others, and at length reached 
Porto Kico. The inhabitants of these ^^uonibu 
islands were ferocious cannibals, very 
different from the natives encountered on the 
former voyage. There were akirmislies in which a 
few Spaniards were killed with poisoned arrows. 
On Gnadalonpe the natives lived in square houses 
made o£ saplings intertwined with reeds, and on 
the rude porticoes attached to these houses some 
of the wooden pieces were cu'ved so as to look 
like serpents. In some of these houses human were hanging from the roof, cured with 
smoke, like ham ; and fresh pieces of human flesh 
were found stewing in earthen kettles, along with 
the flesh of parrots. Now at length, said Peter 
Martyr, was proved the truth of the stories of 
Polyphemus and the Lseatrygonians, and the reader 
must look out lest his hair stand on end.^ These 
western Laestrygonians were known as Caribbees, 
Oaribales, or Canibales, and have thus furnished 
an epithet which we have since learned to apply to 
man-eaters the world over. 

Yalladalid, la pnblialied in Hairiage, Ch-iilophe Colomb, torn. n. 
pp. 68-T8. ThB narratiTB of the onrate of Loa Palaoio» U of 
especial Tslne for thin vojiis«- 

' Martyr, Epilt. oilvii ad Fomponium Latum; at. Odysieg, 
X 119 ; Thncyd. ri. 2. — Irriag (vol. i. p. 386) finds it hard to be- 
lieve tbeto storioo, "but the preTBlence nf cannibaliHin, not only in 
these islands, bnt throughout a very lo^^ part of a" 
AMwrioa, has been soperabnudantl? proved. 



It was late at night on the 27th of Norember 
that Columbus arrived in the harbour of La Navi- 
dad and fired a salute to arouse the attentioQ of 
the pfurty that had been left there the year before. 
There was no re|dy and the silence seemed fraught 
with evil omen. On going a^ore next morning 
and exploring the neighbourhood, tihe Spaniards 

came upon sights of diBmal significance. 
^^1^1* The fortress was pulled to pieces and 

partly burnt, the chests of provisions 
were broken open and emptied, tools and fragments 
of European clothing were found in the houses of 
the natives, and finally eleven corpses, identifiable 
as those of white men, were found buried near the 
fort. Not one of the forty men who bad been left 
behind in that place ever turned up to tell the 
tale. The little edony of La Navidad had been 
wiped out of existence. From the Indians, how- 
ever, Columbus gathered bits of information that 
made aauf&cientlj probable story. It was a typ- 
ical instance of the beginnings of colonization in 
wild countries. In such instances human nature 
has shown considerable uniformity. Insubordina>- 
tion and deadly feuds among themselves had com- 
bined with rechless entries upon the natives to 
imperil the existence of this little party of rough 
s^ors. The cause to which Horace ascribes so 
many direfol wars, both before and since the 
days of fairest Helen, seems to have been the 
principal cause on this occasion. At length a 
fierce chieftain named Caonabo, from the region 
of Xaragua, had attacked the Spaniards in ovei^ 
whelming force, knocked their blockhouse about 



their head^, and butchered all that were left of 

TH? was a gloomy welcome to the land of prom* 
ise. There was nothing to be done but to build 
new fortifloations and fotmcl a town. The site 
chosen for this new settlement, which Buuaingof 
was named Isabella, was at a good har- '*•**"*■ 
bour about thirty miles east of Monte Christi. It 
was chosen because Columbus understood from the 
natives that it was not far from there to the gold- 
bearing mountuns of Cibao, a name which still 
seemed to signify Cipango. Quite a neat little 
town was presently built, with church, nmrket- 
plaoe, public granary, and dwelling-houses, the 
whole encompassed with a stone wall. An explor- 
ing party led by Ojeda into the mountains of Gbao 
found gold dust and pieces of gold ore in the beds 
of the brooks, and returned elated with this dis- 
covery. Twelve of the ships were now sent back 
to Spain for further supplies and reinforcements, 
and specimens of the gold were sent as EipitmtioQ 
an earnest of what was likely to be found. "* """^ 
At length, in March, 1494, Columbus set forth, 
with 400 armed men, to explore the Cibao country. 
The march was full of interest. It is upon this 
occasion that we first find mention of the frantdo 
terror manifested by Indians at the sight of liorses. 
At first they supposed the horse and his rider to 
be a kind of centaur, and when the rider dis- 
mounted tibis separation of one creature into two 
overwhelmed them with aupematural terror. Even 
when they had begun to get over this notion they 



were in dread of being eaten by tbe horees,^ TheBe 
natives lived in honses gronped into villages, and 
had carved wooden idols and rude estufaa for their 
tutelur divinities. It was ascertained that different 
tribes tried to steal each other's idols and even 
fought for the possession of valuable objects of 
"medicine."^ Columbus observed and reported 
the customs of these people with some minuteness. 
There was nothing that agreed with Marco Polo's 
descriptions of Cipango, but so far as concerned 
the discovery of gold mines, the indications were 
such as to leave little doubt of the success of this 
recoonaissance. The Admiral now arranged his 
forces so as to hold the inland r^ons just visited 
and gave the general command to Margarite, who 
was to continue the work of exploration. He left 
his brother, Diego Columbus, in charge of the 
colony, and taking three caravels set sail from 
Isabella on the 24tb of April, on a cruise of dis- 
covery in these Asiatic waters. 

A brief westward sail brought the little squadron 
into the Windward Passage and in sight of Cape 
Mayzi, whidi Columbus on his first voyage had 
named C^)e Alpha and Omega as being the east- 
c iipj, emmost point on the Chinese coast. He 
iKlomsg.. believed that if he were to sail to the 
right of this cape he should have tbe continent on 
his port side for a thousand miles and more, as far 
as Qainsay and Cambaluc (Peking). If he had 

' For SD inBtHooe of 400 hoatile lodiaiu fleeing: before a Bis^ 
Bimed horBeinan, we Fi'Ia d^' A mrairagiii), oag. lii. ; Lu Cam^ 
Biit. torn. iL p. 46. 

' Compare the FiBhermaji's stor; d( Drogio, ftbore, pp- 24^ 


i « 





□ o 

u n 

in; ■ 






sailed in this direction and had sncceeded in keep- 
ing to the east of ilorida, he would have kept a 
continent on his port dde, and a thousand miles 
wonld have taken him a long way toward that Yin- 
land which our Scandinavian friends would fondly 
have us believe was his secret guiding-etar, and 
the geographical position of which they suppose 
him to have known with such astounding accuracy. 
But on this as on other occasions, if the Admiral 
had ever received any infommtion about Yinland, 
it must be owned that he treated it very cavalierly, 
for he chose the course to the left of Cape Mayzi. 
His decision is intelligible if we bear in mind that 
he had not yet circumnavigated Hayti and was not 
yet cured of his belief that its northern shore was 
the shore of the great Cipango. At the same time 
he had seen enough on his first voyage to convince 
him that the relative positions of Cipango and the 
mainland of Cathay were not correctly laid down 
upon the Toscanelli map. He had already in- 
spected two or three hundred miles of the coast to 
the right of Cape Mayzi without finding traces of 
civilization ; and whenever inquiries were made 
about gold or powerful kingdoms the natives inva- 
riably pointed to the south or southwest. Colum- 
bus, therefore, decided to try his luck in this direc- 
tion. He passed to the left of Cape Mayzi and 
followed the southern coast of Cuba. 

By the 3d of May the natives were pointing so 
persistently to the south and off to sea that he 
]^^,g^ 0, changed his course in that direction and 
/uuio. g^^^ came upon the northern coast of 
the island which we still know by its native name 



Jmn^ca. Here lie found Indians more intelligent 
and more warlike than any he had as yet seen. He . 
was especially struck with the elegance of their 
oanoeB, some of them nearly a hundred feet in 
length, carved and hollowed from the trunks of tall 
trees. We may already observe that different tribes 
of Indians comported themselves very differently at 
the first sight of white men. While the natives of 
some of the islands prostrated themselves in ad- 
oration of these sky-creatures, or behaved with 
a timorous politeness which the Spaniaj-ds mis- 
took for gentleness of disposition, in other places 
the red men showed fight at once, acting upon the 
brute impulse to drive away strangers. In both 
cases, of course, dread of the unknown was the 
prompting impulse, though so differently mani- 
fested. As the Spaniards went ashore upon Ja- 
maica, the Indians greeted them with a shower of 
javelins and for a few moments stood up against 
the deadly fire of the cross-bows, but when they 
turned to fiee, a single bloodhound, let loose upon 
them, scattered them in wildest panic.^ 

Finding no evidences of civilization upon this 
beautiful island, Columbus turned northward and 
struck the Cuban coast again at the point which 
still bears the name he gave it. Cape Cruz. Be- 
tween the general contour of this end of „ 
Cuba and that of the eastern extrem- 'J'JM^ 
ity of Cathay upon the Toscanelli map 
there is a curious resemblance, save that the direo- 
1 Bemaldez, Begei CaiifUcoi, cap. czxr. Domesticated doga 
were fonnd genera]!; In aboriginal America, bot the; were very 
paid; aura compared to thtsa fierce hounds, one of vblch ooold 
luwdle an onarmed man aa ea^y aa a temer handles a rat. 



Hon is in the one ease more east and west and in 
the other more novth and south. Columbus passed 
no cities like Zaiton, nor cities of any sort, but 
when he struck into the smiling archipelago which 
he called the Queen's Gardens, now known aa 
Cayosde las Doce Leguaa, he felt sure that he was 
among Marco Polo's seven thousand spice islands. 
On the 3d of Jmie, at some point on the Cuban 
coast, probably near Trinidad, the crops of several 
doves were opened and spices found in them. None 
of the natives here had ever heard of an end to 
Cuba, and they believed it was endless.^ The next 
country to the w^t of themselves was named Man- 
gon, and it was inhabited by people with tails 
which they carefully hid by wearing loose robes of 
cloth. This information seemed decisive to Co- 
lumbus. Evidently this Mangon was Mangi, the 
province in which was the city of Zaiton, the prov- 
ince just south of Cathay. And as for the tailed 
men, the book of Mandeville had a story o£ some 
naked savages in eastern Asia who spoke of their 
more civilized neighbours as wearing clothes in 
order to cover up some bodily pecuHariity or defect. 
Could there be any doubt that the Spanish cara- 
vels had come at length to the coast of opulent 

■ As a Qmefc would hftTe SMd, tfr«ipoj, a continent. 

3 BenuJdez, Seyei Catdlicot, cap. ciivii. Mr. Irring, in mtiiig 
these same iuaLdenta from Bemaldex, coold not quite AA lumaelf 
of the feeling that i^ere wa« samet^ing attange or peculiar in the 
Admiral's method of int«Tpi«ting' Rich information : " Animated 
by one of tlie pleadi^ illusioag of his ardent imagination, CiJnm- 
V)tu pnrsned his vojagv, with a prooperons breeie, along the rap- 
posed continent of Aria." {Life of Columbus, vol. i. p, 483.) 
This lends a falsa colour to the pictnie, which Ike gaeeral raadsa 



Under the inBuence of this belief, when a few 
dajB later they landed in search of fresh water, 
and a certain archer, on the lookout for game, 
caught distant glimpses of a flock of tall white 
cranes feeding in an evei^lade, he fled to his com- 
rades with the etory that he had seen a party of 
men clad in long white tonics, and all tiw" people 
agreed that these must be the people of "* ""H"^" 
Mangon.^ Columbus sent a small compajiy ashore 
to find them. It is needless to add that the search 
was fruitless, but footprints of alligators, inter- 
preted as footprints of griffins guarding hoarded 
gold,' frightened the men back to their ships. 

ii pretty Ban to make still falser. To anppoM the ■oathem soast 
of Cuba to be the ioothem coast of ToBcanelli's Mai^ requited 
no illnuoD of an "ardent imagination." It vas umply a plain 
eommon-eense eonelasion reached by sober naHraing from awA 
data aa were then acceseible (i. e. the Toscauelli map, amended by 
infonuatioo such as was undentood to be given by tbe natives) ; 
it waa more prahable than any other theory of the situation likely 
to be deTirnd from those data ; and it seems f anoifnl to n« to-daj 
only because Icnowled^ aequired since ttie time of Colnmbos ban 
shown ns how fac from coneet it was. Modem historims abound 
in onoonsoious turns of erpresdon — as in this qnotalion from 
Irvinjf '^ which pr«ject modem knowledge back into the past, 
and thus destroy the historical perspective. I shall mentioa sev- 
eral oilier inatances from Irving:, and tbe reader must not suppose 
that tbis is any indicatiiHi of captiousnefla on my part toward a 
writer for whom my only feelinj* is diat of sinceiest love and 

' These tropical birds are called soldados, or " soldiers, " be- 
oaose their stately attitudes remind one of sentinels on duty. The 
vhole torn of Ao^ostara, in Tenemela, was one day fi^htened 
out of its wits by tbe sudden appearance of a flock of these cranes 
on the summit of a neighbouring hill. Hiey were mistaken for a 
wai^party of Indiana. Humboldt, Voyage ava Tigiona (qainoxialtt 
du Nmvean Continent, tom. ii. p. 314. 

* See above, p. 287, note. 



From the natives, with whom the Spaniards could 
converse only by signs, they seemed to leani 
that they were going toward the realm of Prester 
John ; ^ and in such wise did they creep ^ong the 
coast to the point, some fifty miles west of Broa 
Bay, where it begins to trend decidedly to the 
southwest. Before they had reached Point Man- 
gles, a hundred mOes farther on, inasmuch as they 
found this southwesterly trend persistent, the proof 
that they were upon the coaat of the Asiatic con- 
tinent began to seem complete. Columbus thought 
that they had passed the point {lat. 23°, long. 145" 
on Toscanelli's map} where the coast of Asia began 
to trend steadily toward the southwest.^ By pur- 
suing this coast he felt sure that he would eventn- 
ally reach the peninsula (Malacca) which Ptolemy, 
who knew of it only by vague hearsay, called the 

^ For these eventA, see Bemaldai, Stya Caidlicot, cap. czxiii. ; 
F. Colimibiu, Vita deW Ammiragtio, cap. Ivi. ; MaHoz, Hiatoria 
del Nweo Mundo, lib. v. g 10 ; Hnmboldt, Eiamen critique, tarn, 
n. pp. 287-263 ; Irring-'B Columbus, vol. L pp. 491-504. 

^ That U to say, he thooght he had passed the coast of Mangi 
(southern China) and reached the beginniiig of the coast of 
Champa (Goohin Chiiia; see Tale's Marco Polo, voL ii. p. 213). 
The name Champa, ooming to European writeia thmogh an Ital- 
ian sonroe, was vritteo Ciompa and Ciamba. See its podtion on 
the Behaim and ToacAnelli maps, and also on Rnysch's map, 1508, 
below, vol. ii. p. 114. Peter Martyr says that Colambas was snie 
tbat he had reached the coaat of Gangpetio (i. e. what we call 
Farther) India: "Indife OangetidiB eontinentem eam fCnbsa) 
plagam esse oontendit Colonus." Epiel. leiii ad Bemardinum. 
Of cmuse Columbus nnderBtood that this reg:ion, while agreeing 
well enongh with Toscanelli's laUtnde, was far from agreeint; 
with his lon^tade. But from the moment when be turned east- 
Ward on hia firat voyage he seems to have made np his mind that 
Toscanelli's longitudes needed serious amendment. Indeed Iw 
bad always naed difEerent meBanrements from TaseanellL 



Golden CherBOiieBe.^ Ad itimieii6« idea now flitted 
through tlie mind of Columbus. If he j 
could reach and double that peninsula 
he could then find his vay to the mouth of the 
Ganges river ; thence he might cross tlie Indian 
ocean, pass the Cape of Good Hope (for Dias had 
surely shown that the vay was open), and return 
that Tay to Spain after circumnaTigating the 
globe I But fate had reserved this achievement for 
another man of great heart and lofty thoughts, a 
quarter of a century later, who should indeed ac- 
complish what Columbus' dreamed, but only alter 
crossing another 8ea of Darkness, the most stu- 
pendous body of water on our globe, the mere ex- 
istence of which until after Columbus had died no 
European ever suspected.^ If Columbus had now 
sailed about a hundred miles farther, he would 
have found the end of Cuba, and might perhaps 
have skirted the northern shore of Yucatan and 
come upon the barbaric splendours of Uxmal and 
Campeche. The excitement which such news 
would have caused in Spain might perhaps have 
changed all the rest of his life and saved him from 
the worst of his troubles. But the crews were now 
unwilling to go farther, and the Admiral realized 
that it would be impossible to undertake such a 
Toyage as he had in mind with no more than their 
present outfit. So it waa decided to return to 

' For an sooonnt of Ptolemy'H ^mcHt pnrely Iijpotliatioa] and 
flurioosly dutorted uotiona about «ouUieiiBteni Ana, we Bimbnrj'a 
UUtory of Ancient Qeography, voL il pp. 601-60S. 

» See below, vol. ii. pp. 200-210 



Upon consultation with La Cosa and othera, it 
was unanimously agreed that thej were upon the 
coast of the continent of Asia. The evidence 
seemed conclusire. From Cape Mayzi (Alphaand 
Omega) they had ohserved, upon their own reckon- 
ing, 335 leagues, or ahout 1,000 geographical milcB, 
of continuous coast nmning steadily in nearly the 
same direction.' Clearly it was too long for the 
coast of an island ; and then there was the name 
Mangon ^ Mangi. The only puzzling circum- 
stance was that they did not find any of Murco 
Polo's cities. They kept getting scraps of infor- 
mation which seemed to rsfer to goi^eous king- 
doms, but these were always in the dim distance. 
Still there was no doubt that they had discovered 
the coast of a continent, and of course such a con- 
tinent could he nothing else but Asia I 

Such unanimity of opinion might seem to leave 
nothing to he desired. But Columbus had already 
met with cavillers. Before he Started on this 
cruise from Isabella, some impatient hidalgos, dis- 
gusted at finding much to do and little to get, had 
b^nn to hint that the Admiral was a humbug, and 
that his " Indies " were no such great affair after 
all. In order to sileoce these ill-natured critics, he 
sent his notary, accompanied by four witnesses, to 
every person in those three caravels, to get a sworn 
statement. If anybody had a grain of doubt about 
this coast being the coast of Asia, so tihat you could 

' The lengtli of Cjiba from Cape Hajxi to Cape S&n Antoiiio is 
about 700 English milea. But id foUoni:^ the nnnoaitJea of the 
eoBBt, and including' taclra, iht eatimate of these pilots vaa pcoba 
ably not far from oorroot. 



go ashore tliere and walk on dry land all the way 
to Sp^a if 3o disposed, let him declare his doubta 
once for all, so that they might now be 
duly considered. No one expressed any a^^on of 
doubts. All declared, under oath, their 
firm belief. It was then agreed that if any of the 
number should thereafter deny or contradict this 
sworn statement, he should have his tongue slit ; ^ 
and if an officer, he should be further punished 
with a fine of 10,000 maravedis, or if a sailor, 
with a hundred lashes. These proceedings were 
embodied in a formal document, dated June 12, 
1494, which is still to be seen in the Archives of 
the Indies at Seville.' 

Having disposed of this solemn matter, the three 
caravels turned eastward, touching at the Isle of 
Pines and coasting back aloi^. the south side of 
Cuba. The headland where the Admiral first 
became convinced of the significance of the curva- 
ture of the coast, he named Cape of Good Hope,' 
believing it to be much nearer the goal which all 
were seeking than the other cape of that name, dis- 
covered by Dias seven years before. 

It will be remembered that the Admiral, upon 
his first voyage, had carried home widi viidMicodeiof 
hiTn two theories, — first, that in the Cu- ''™''- 
ban coast he had already discovered that of the eon- 

* " E cortada la lengna : " " y Is cortarian la lang^ia, " Iryiog 
nndeistanda it to mean cnttdng off the toni^ne. Bat b thoBe daya 
ol Bymlwligm ilittiiig the tip of that unruly membar was a noog- 
nized punishment for HerioUB lyin^- 

* It JB printed in foL in Navarreto, torn. ii. pp. 14S-149. 

* It ia given npon Ia Coaa'i map; see below, toL iL, fNmds- 



tinent of Asia, secondly that Hispaniola was Ci' 
paago. The first theory seemed to be confirmed by 
further experience; the second vraa now to receive 
a serious shock. Leaving Cape Cruz the caravels 
stood over to Jamaica, leisurely exjJored the south- 
em side of that island, and as soon as adverse 
winds would let them, kept on eastward till land 
appeared on the port bow. Nobody recognized it 
until an Indian cidei who had learned some Span- 
ish hailed them from the shore and told them it 
was Hispaniola. They then followed that southem 
coast its whole length, discovering the tiny islands, 
Beata, Saona, and Mona. Here Columbus, over- 
come by long-sustained fatigue and excitement, 
suddenly fell into a death-like lethargy, and in this 
sad condition was carried all the way to Isabella, 
and to his own house, where he was put to bed. 
Hispaniola had thus been circumnavigated, and 
either it was not Cipango or else that wonder- 
land must he a much smaller afEair than Tosca- 
nelli and Martin Behaim had depicted it.^ There 
was something truly mysterious about these Strange 

When Columbus, after many days, recovered 
consciousness, he found his brother Bartholomew 

standing by his bedside. It was six 
BartMmnaw years since they had last parted company 

at Lisbon, whence the younger brother 
started for England, while the elder returned to 
Spain. The news of Christopher's return from his 

' Hispaniola twDtinned, however, foi nuutj ;eija to be oom- 
monlj ideuldfied witli Cipango. See Bote D oo Gujach's mtig, 
i508, below, yd. ii. p. 114. 



first voy^e found Bartholomew in Paris, whence 
he started as soon as he could for Seville, but did 
not arrive there until just after the second expedi- 
tion had started. Presently the sovereigns sent 
him with three ships to Hispaniola, to carry sup- 
plies to the colony ; and there he arrived while the 
Admiral was exploring the coast of Cuba. The 
meetii^ of the two brothers was a great relief to 
both. The affection between them was very strong, 
and each was a support for the other. The Admi- 
ral at once proceeded to appoint Bartholomew to 
the of&ce of Adelantado, which in this instance was 
equivalent to making him governor of Hispaniola 
under himself, the Viceroy o£ the Indies. In mak- 
ing this appointment Columbun seems to have 
exceeded the authority granted him by the second 
article of his agreement of April, 1492, with the 
sovereigns; ' but they mended the matter in 1497 
hj themselves investing Bartholomew with the 
ofBce and dignity of Adelantado.^ 

Columbus was in need of all the aid he could 
summon, for, during his absence, the island had 
become a pandemonium. His brother 
Diego, a man of refined and studious hah- !"jgS''''i 
its, who afterwards became a priest, was ^J^gJ; 
too mild in disposition to govern the hot- 
heads who had come to Hispaniola to get rich with- 
out labour. They woidd not submit to the rule of 
this foreigner. Instead of doing honest work they 
roamed about the island, abusing the Indians and 
elaying one another in silly quarrels. Chief among 

' Se« above, p. 417. 

* Las Catfts, Hilt, dt lot Indian, tom. ii. i>. 80. 



tibe offenders was King Ferdinand's ^vourite, the 
commander Margarite; and he was aided and 
abetted bj Friar Boyle. Some time after Barthol* 
omew's arrival, these two men of Axagon gathered 
ahont them a parly of malcontents and, geizing 
the ships which had brought that mariner, sailed 
away to Spain. Making their way to court, they 
sought pardon for thus deserting the colony, say- 
ing that duty to their sovereigns demanded that 
they should bring home a report of what was going 
on iu the Indies- They decried the value of Co- 
lumbus's discoveries, and reminded the king that 
HispanioLa was taking money out of the treasury 
much faster than it was putting it in; au argu- 
ment well calculated to influence Ferdinand that 
amnmer, for he was getting ready to go to war 
with France over the Naples affair. Then the two 
recreants poured forth a stream of accusations 
against the brothers Columbus, the general purport 
of which was that they were gross tyrants not fit 
to be trusted with the command of Spaniards. 

No marked effect seems to have heeu produced 
by these first complaints, but when Margarite and 
Boyle were once within reach of Fonseca, we need 
not wonder that mischief was soon brewing. It 
was unfortunate for Columbus that his work of 
exploration was hampered by the necessity of found- 
ing a colony and governing a parcel of unruly men 
let loose in tbe wilderness, far away from the pow- 
erful restraints of civilized society. Such work 
required undivided attention and extraordinary 
talent for command. It does not appear that 
Coltmibus was lacking in such talent. On the oon- 



trary both he and his brother Bartholomew seem to 
have possessed it in a high degree. But the situ- 
ation was desperately bad when the spirit of mutiny 
was fomented by deadly enemies at court. I do 
not find adequate justification for the ThBgoreni. 
charges of tyranny brought f^^nst Co- KSbui'i™ 
lumbua. The veracity and fairness of '"'^r*^''^ 
the history of Las Casas are beyond question ; in 
his divinely beautiful spirit one sees now and then 
a trace of tenderness even for Fonseca, whose con- 
duct toward Mm waa always as mean and malig- 
nant a& toward Columbus. One gets from Laa 
Casas the impression that the Admiral's high tem- 
per was usually kept under firm control, and that 
he showed far less severity than most men would 
have done under similar provocation. Bartholo- 
mew was made of sterner stuff, but his whole career 
presents no instance of wanton cruelty; toward 
both white men and Indians his conduct was dis- 
tinguished by clemency and moderation. Under 
the government of these brothers a few scoundrels 
were hanged in Hispaniola. Many more ought to 
have been. 

Of the attempt o£ Columbus to collect tribute 
from the native population, and its con- ttouWm wtm 
sequences in developing the system of "»i"*™^ 
repartimtentos out of which grew Indian slavery, 
I shall treat in a future chapter.' That attempt, 
which was ill-advised and ill-managed, was part of a 
plan for checking wanton depredations and regulat- 
ing the relations between the Spaniards and the 
Indians. The colonists behaved so badly toward 
1 Se« below, voL iL pp. 433, 434. 



the red men that l^e chieftain Caonaho, who had 
destroyed La Navidad the year before, now formed 
a scheme ^ for a general alliance among the native 
tribes, hoping with sufficient numbers to over- 
whelm and exterminate the strai^rs, in spite of 
their solid-hoofed monsters and death-dealing thun- 
derbolts. This scheme was revealed to Columbus, 
soon after his return from the coast of Cuba, by 
the chieftain Gruacanagari, who was an enemy to 
Caonabo and courted the friendship of the Span- 
iards. Alonso de Ojeda, by a daring strat^em, 
captured Caonabo and brought him to Columbus, 
who treated hitn kindly bnt kept him. a prisoner 
until it should be convenient to send him to Spain. 
But this chieftain's scheme was nevertheless put in 
operation through the influence of his principal 
wife Anacaona. An Indian war broke out; roam- 
ing bands of Spaniards were ambushed and massa- 
cred; and there was fighting in the field, where 
the natives — assailed by fire-arms and cross-bows, 
horses and bloodhounds — were wofully defeated. 
Thus in the difficult task of controlling mutinous 
mjjonui white men and defending the colony 
*'"*^ against infuriated red men Columbus 

spent the first twelvemonth after his return from 
Cuba. In October, 1495, there arrived in the 
harbour of Isabella four caravels laden with wel- 
come supplies. In one of these ships came Juan 
Aguado, sent by the sovereigns to gather informa- 
tion respecting the troubles of the colony. This 

' The fint of A wneB of anch Bohemes in American histcry, Id- 
Inding those of Saagaoiu, Philip, Pontiac, and to some extent 



appointment was doubtless made in a friendly 
epirit, for Columbus had formerly recommended 
Aguado to favour. But the arrival of such a 
person created a hope, which quickly grew into a 
belief, that the sovereigns were preparing to de- 
prive Coliunbus of the government of the island ; 
and, as Irving neatly says, **it was a time of ju- 
bilee for offenders ; every culprit started up into 
an acenser." All the ills of the colony, many of 
them inevitable in such an enterprise, many of them 
due to the shiftleBsness and folly, the cruelty and 
lust of idle BwaBh-bueUers, were now laid at the 
door of ColumbuB, Aguado was pres- j^Kowerjia 
cntly won over by the malcontents, so b^**"*™- 
that by the time he was ready to return to Spain, 
early in 1496, Colmubue felt it desirable to go 
along with him and make his own explanations to 
the sovereigns. Fortunately for his purposes, 
just before he started, some rich gold mines were 
discovered on the south side of the island, in the 
neighbourhood cS. the Hayns and Ozema rivers. 
Moreover there were sundry pits iu these mines, 
which looked like excavations and seemed to indi- 
cate that in former times there had been digging 
done,^ This discovery confirmed the Admiral iu 
anew theory, which he was beginning to form. If 
it shoidd turn out that Hispaniola was not Cipango, 
as the last voyage seemed to suggest, perhaps it 
might prove to be Ophirl ^ Probably these ancient 

' The Indians then living; upon the Uland did not dig, bat 
acraped up die amall pteeea of g^ld that vere more or lea aban' 
dftnt in the beds of sballov etreame. 

' Peter Martyr, Oe BAia OceanUis, deo. L lib. it. 



ezcaTations were made by King Solomon's men 
when they came here to get gold for the temple at 
Bj«ui.i«™ Jerusalem! If so, one might expect to 
Bbout ophir. jjjj^^ silver, ivory, red saadal-wood, apea, 
and peacocks at no great distance. Just where 
Ophir was situated no one could exactly tell,^ but 
the things that were carried thence to Jerusalem 
certainly came from "the Indies." Columbus con- 
ceived it as probably lying northeastward of the 
Golden Chersonese (Malacca) and as identical with 
the island of Hispaniola. 

The discovery of these mines led to the transfer 
of the headquarters of the colony to the mouth of 
the Ozeraa, river, where, in the summer 
^Domingo, of 1496, Bartholomew Columbus made 
a settlement which became the city of 
San Domingo.^ Meanwhile Aguado and the Ad- 
miral sailed for Spain early in March, in two car- 
avels overloaded with more than two hundred 
homesick passengers. In choosing his course 
Columbus did not show so much sagacity as on his 

01 Anby tbe Bleit," 

bat the name aeemB to have become applied indiscriniiDfttely to 
tiie i«mote coantries reached by ships that Bulled past that coast ; 
oblefly no doubt, to Hindnatan. See Laaaen, Indiaehe AUerlkam- 
ikunde, bd. i. p. 533. 

^ Bartholomew'a town «aa bnilt on the left nde of the riier, 
and waa called New Isabella- Id 1504 it was destroyed by a har- 
licaae, and rebuilt on the right bank in ita present situation. It 
was then named San Domingo after the patron sunt of Domenioo, 
the father of Columbus. 



first return voyage. Instead of Tvorking northward 
till clear of the belt of trade-winds, he Tioretum 
■ kept straight to the east, and so spent a '"J'**"' 
month in beating and tacking before getting out of 
the Caribbean Sea. Scarcity of food was immi- 
nent, and it became necessary to stop at Guadaloupe 
and make a quantity of cassava bread. ^ It waa 
well that this was done, for as the ships worked 
slowly across the Atlantic, struggling ^sjnst per- 
petual head-winds, the provisions were at length 
exhausted, and by the first week in June the fam- 
ine was such that Columbus had some difficulty 
in preventing the crews from eating their Indian 
captives, of whom there were thirty or more on 
board. ^ 

At length, on the 11th of June, the haggard and 
starving company arrived at Cadiz, and Columbus, 
while awaiting orders from the sovereigns, stayed 
at the house of his good friend Bemaldez, the 
curate of Los Palacios.^ After a month he attcndei 
court at Burgos, and was kindly received. No 
allusion was made to the complaints against him, 
and the sovereigns promised to furnish ships for a 
third voyage of discovery. For the moment, how- 

^ While the Spanionla vera od this iaiaad Ihey enconatered a 
party of tall and powerful vomen armed vith bowa and oitowb ,- 
HO iha.t Columbus sappoaed it must be tho Aaiatio ialaod of Ama- 
zoiu raentimed by Marco Polo. S,'e Yule's Marco Polo, vol. ii. 
pp. 3:18-340. 

' Among them waa Caonabo. who died on the voyage. 

' The curate thue heard the story of the second Tojage from 
Columbus hinoself while it was fresh in his mind- Columbus also 
left with him written memoranda, so tliat for die events of this 
eipeditian the HUloria de loi Reye* CaiiSlicat is of the highest 



ever, otlier things interfered wifli this enterprise. 
One was the marriage of the son and daughter of 
Ferdinand and Isabella to the daughter and son of 
the Emperor Maximilian. The war with France 
was at the same time fast draining the treasury. 
Indeed, for more than twenty years, CastUe had 
been at war nearly all the time, first with Portugal, 
next with Granada, then with France; and the 
crown nerer found it easy to provide money for 
maritime enterprises. Accordingly, at the ear- 
nest solicitation of Vicente Y^ez Finzon and other 
enterprising mariners, the sovereigns had issued a 
Ediouoiiw proclamation, April 10, 1495, granting 
iDd i«7. ^ jjj native Spaniards the privilege of 
making, at their own risk and expense, voyages of 
discovery or traffic to the newly found coasts. As 
the crown was to take a pretty heavy tariff out of 
the profits of these expeditions, while aU losses 
were to be borne by the adventurers, a fairly cer- 
tain source of revenue, be it great or small, seemed 
likely to be opened.' Columbus protested against 

' "All vewela were to sail eiolnaiyaly from tha port of Cadiz, 
and under the iuspectjon of officers appointed b; the orown. 
Hums vho embarked for Hiapaniota. withnnt pay. and at t^eir 
own expeuie, were to have lands assigned to them, and to be prori- 
^oned for one year, wit^ a right to retain anch lands and ^ honsos 
they might erect npon them. Of all gojd which they might ct^ect, 
they ven to retun one third for tLemselveB, and pay two ihinla 
to the crown. Of all other articles of mercbsndise, the prodnce 
of the island, they were to pay merely one tenth *o the mown. 
Their purchases vere to he made in the presence of officers ap- 
pointed by the Bovereigns, and the royal duties paid into the hands 
of tis king's receiver. Each ship sailing on private enterprise 
was to take one or two persons named by the royal ofBcers at 
Cadiz. One tenth of the tonnage of the ship was to be at the ser- 
fioe of the crown, free of charge. One taoth of whatever snob 



Saa edict, inasmuch ae he deemed himself entitled 
to a patent or monopoly in the work of conducting 
expeditions to Cathay. The sovereigns evaded the 
difficulty by an edict of June 2, 1497, declaring 
that it was never their intention " in any way to 
afFectthe rights of the said Don Christopher Colum- 
bus." This declaration was, doubtless, intended 
simply to pacify the Admiral. It did not prevent 
the auUiorization of voyages conducted by other 
persons a couple of yeturs later; and, as I shall 
show in the next chapter, there are strong reasons 
for believing that on. May 10, 1497, three weeks 
before this edict, an expedition sailed from Cadiz 
onder the especial auspices of King Ferdinand, 
with Vicente Y^ez Pinzon for its chief commander 
and Americas Vespueius for one of its pilots. 

It was not until late in the spring of 1498 that 
the ships were ready for Columbus. Everything 
that Fonseca could do to vei taid delay j^^^^^ 
him was done. One of the bishop's loMiiiitHD- 
minions, a converted Moor or Jew 
named Ximeno Breviesca, behaved with snch out- 
rageous insolence that on the day of sailing the 
Admiral's indignation, so long restraiaed, at last 
broke out, and he drove away the fellow with kicks 
and cu£Fs.^ This imprudent act gave Fonseca the 
shipg aboold proonie in the newly-dkooTeied oonntrim waa to ba 
paid to the orown on their i^tom. Ilew ref^ationa inclnded 
piiTBte ship* tr&dhigf to Hispaniols with pioTisioiu. For erery 
veesel thiu fitted oat cm prirate adTentnre, Colunbiis, in- oomideT- 
ktiou of hit) priiil^« of an eigbtli of tmnago, vas to have the 
i^it to fr^ht oBfl on fais own aoconnt." living'it CUumAiu, vol. 
M. p. 76. 

^ " P4U«M que nno debiera do, an natoa TSTeaea, J, [lor vautura, 
VI piUbraa oontra & y ooDtca la n^;ociacion dastss Indias, inw 



opportunity to maintain that what the Admiral's 
accusers said about hia tyraanical disposition must 
be true. 

The expedition started on May 80, 1498, from 
the Kttle port of San Lucar de Barrameda. There 
Ths third were six ships, carrying about 200 men 
"'•**■ besides the sailors. On June 21, at the 

Isle of Ferro, the Admiral divided his fleet, eeud- 
ing three ships directly to Hispauiola, wbile with 
the other three he kept on to the Cape Verde is- 
lands, whence he steered southwest on the 4th of 
July. A week later, after a mn of about 900 
miles, his astrolabe seemed to show tihat he waa 
within five degrees of the equator,^ There were 
three reasons forgoing so far to the south: — 1, 
the natives of the islands already visited always 

qoe otro eeBalaise, ; aogaa enteDcU, do debieia Ber EiiiduM rie jo, 
J oreo qne se Uamsba Ximeuo, oontra el eutl dabid el Alminnte 
(psTemente aentiiae y mojum, y a^oardi el dia que ae bizo i la 
Tela, 7, i OD la nao qoe eutrd, pot Tentora, «1 dicho ofitnal, A en 
tiena qiuuido qmiia deaembaroana, anebablla el Almirante, 7 
ddle nmohas oooea 6 remeaones, par mBnera qne la tntti tool ; j i 
mi piuecer, por eata caiua principalmedte, sobre otiaa qnejsi qiie 
fneron de aci, 7 ooau qne mnnuuramn iA j eoutra 41 loa qae 
bten ODD ^ no eetabaa y le aoninularoit ; IwReyefl indigitados pn^ 
Teyeroo de qnitsrle la ^bernaoioa." Las Casaa, Hiatoria de lot 
Indiat, torn. ii. p. 109. 

' Tbe figure given by Colnmbaa ia eqnivaleiit only to 360 geo- 
f^pbioal miles (Na* airete, Col«cdim, torn. i. p. 246), bnt aa Laa 
Caaaa (Hixl. torn, ii, p. 226) already notaced, there mmrt be aome 
mistake bere, tar on a 8. W. aonrte from the Cape Verde ialanda 
it vonld reqnire a distance <^ 900 Keagiaphioal milea to nnt the 
fifth paiallel. From the weather that foUowed, it is dear that 
Colombns stated his latitude pretty correotly ; he bad oome into 
tbe belt of oaJma. Therefore his error most be in tbe diitauot 



pointed in tliat direction when gold was mentioned ; 
2, a learned jeweller, who had travelled in the 
Bast, had assured Columbus that gold and gems, 
as well as spices and rare drugs, were to be found 
for the most part among black people near the 
equator; 3, if he should not find any rich islands 
on the way, a sufficiently long voyage would bring 
him to the coast of Champa (Cochin China) at a 
lower point than he had reached on the preceding 
voyage, and nearer to the Golden Chersonese 
(Malacca), by doubling which he could enter the 
Indi^i ocean. It will be remembered that he sup- 
posed the southwesterly curve in the Cuban coast, 
the farthest point reached in his second voyage, to 
he the beginning of the coast of Cochin China 
according to Marco Polo. 

Once more through ignorance of the atmos- 
pheric conditions of the regions within the tropics 
Columbus encountered needless perils and hard- 
ships. If he had steered from Ferro straight 
across the ocean a trifle south of west-southwest, 
he might have made a quick and comfortable voy- 
age, with the trade-wind filling his sails, to the 
spot where he actually struck land.' As it was, 
however, he naturally followed the custom then so 
common, of first running to the parallel The belt oi 
upon which he intended to sail. This **'™' 
long southerly run brought him into the belt of 
calms or neutral zone between the northern and 
southern trade-winds, a little north of the equator.^ 

» Humboldt in 1799 did jnat tbU tMng, starting from Teneriffe 
and reaching Trinidftd in nineteen days. See Bmbn's Life qf 
Humbaidt, loL i. p. 263. 

" "The Btreugth ot the tiade-niodB depends entiiel; npoa tho 



No words can describe wliat followed so well as 
those of Irving; "The wind suddenlj fell, and a 
dead sultry calm commenced, which lasted for 
eight days. The air was like a fnmace ; the tar 
melted, the seams of the ship yawned; the salt 
meat became putrid ; the wheat was parched as if 
with fire; the hoops shrank from the wine and 
water casks, some of which leaked and others 
burst, while the heat in the holds of die Teseels 
' Was BO suffocating that do one could remain below 
a sufficient time to prevent the damage that was 
taking place. The mariners lost all strength and 
spirits, and sank under the oppressive heat. It 
seemed as if the old fable of the torrid zone was 
about to be realized ; and that they were approach- 
ing a fiery region where it woidd be impossible to 
exist." ^ 

Fortunately, tiey were in a r^on where the 
ocean is comparatively narrow. The longitude 
reached by Columbus on July 13, when the wind 
died away, must have been about 36° or 37° W., 
diSennoe in tomperatare betwaeii die eqnator and the pole ; tlia 
greater tlie dUterence, tlie stronger the vind. Ifow, at the preBetit 
time, the sonth pole iti much colder than the Dortli pole, and the 
Hoatham tiades are consequently nineb Btronger than the Dortbem, 
HO that the nentral lone in whioh thej meet lien some fire degrees 
north of the equator." ExcvrtioTa of an Evaiutiemtt, p. 04. 

1 Irving'e Cotumbai, toL ii, p. 137. One is reminded of a Boeoe 
In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner : — 

" All Id s hot and oopper Ay 

The bloody hid, U mvui, 

Bight up tare the mut did itasd. 

Ho bigger tbu tha bhmo. 
** Dkj mfter dity, day after d^. 



and a run of only 800 miles west from that point 
would have brought him to Cayenne. Hia oourse 
between the ISth and 21st of July must have in- 
tersected the thermal equator, or line of greatest 
mean annual heat on the globe, — an irregular 
curve which is here deflected as much as five 
degrees north of the equinoctial line. But altbongh 
there was not a breath of wind, the powerful equa- 
torial current was quietly driving the ships, much 
faster than the Admiral could have suspected,- to 
the northwest and toward land. By the end of 
tliat stifling week they were in latitude 7° N., and 
caught the trade-wind on the starboard quarter. 
Thence after a brisk run of ten days, in sorry 
plight, with ugly leaks and scarcely a cask of fresh 
water left, they arrived within sight of land. 
Three mountain peaks loomed up in the offing 
before them, and as they drew nearer it appeared 
that those peaks belonged to one great mountain ; 
wherefore the pious Admiral named the island 

Here some surprises were in store for Columbus. 
Instead of finding black and wooll/-haired natives, 
he found men of cinnamon hue, like xrinid»d»ad 
those in Hiapaniola, only — strange to ""O^"™- 
say — lighter in colour. Then in coasting Trini' 
dad he caught a glimpse of land at the delta of the 
Orinoco, and c^ed it Isla Santa, or Holy Island.^ 

' He "g&TS it the name at lila Santa," isya Irriuif (voL li. 
p- 140), " little imagiiniig tlut he ntnr, for tlie Giat tune, b«held 
that Dontineat, that Tens Elrma, which had been the object of hii 
eamwt HaToh." The reader of thia paaHoge abould bear in mind 
liiat the coDtineiit of Soath America, vhich nobody had ever 
beard of, vas ml tiie object of Columbtu's tearch. The Tmia 



Bat, on passing into the gulf of Paria, thronglt 
tlie stmt which be named Serpent's Mouth, his 
ships were in sore danger of being swamped by the 
raging surge that .poured from three or four of the 
lesser mouths of that stupendous river. Presently, 
finding that the water in the gulf was fresh to the 
taste, he gradually reasoned his way to the correct 
conclusion, that t^e billows which had so nearly 
overwhelmed him must have come out from a river 
greater thau any he had ever known or dreamed 
of, and that so vast a stream of running water 
could be produced only upon land of continental 
dimensions.^ This coast to the south of him was, 
therefore, the coast of a continent, with indefinite 
extension toward the south, a land not laid down 
upon ToscanelH's or any other map, and of which 
no one had until that time known anything.^ 

S^mu wluch vtu tbe object of his Bearoh ifbb tlis mainland of 
Alia, and that be Dever beheld, though ha felt positdTely mra 
that he bad alreadj set foot apoa it in 1462 and 1^4. 

1 A modeiu traveller thus deseribea tbii river: "lUght and 
left of DS lay, at some distance oS, the low banks of the Apnri, at 
liiis pcont qiute a broad Mieaia. Bnt before ns the voters qiread 
ont like a wide dark flood, limited on the horizon only by a lov 
blsok atieak, uid here and there ebowing a few distant hilla. 
This was the Orinoeo, rollii^ -with iirt^tpeasible power and ma- 
jeat; lea-wai^ and often apheavii^ its billows like the ocean 
when laahed to fnry by the wind. . . . The Orinooo sends a eur- 
rent of fredi water f si into the ooean, its waters — generally green, 
bnt in the shallows milk-white — contrasting sharply with the in- 
digo blue of the sarrounding sea." Bates, Cenfro/ America, the 
Wat Indies, and South Avurica, 2d ed., London, 1882, pp. 234, 
235. The island of Trinidad ianos an obstaale to the escape of 
this hnge volnme of fiesb water, and hence the furious commo- 
tion at the two outlets, the Serpent's Month and Dragon's Hauth, 
eepedally in Joly and Angnst, when the Orinoco is swollen with 

* In Colnmbns's own words, in his letter to the soveieigns da- 




Ill spite of ihe correctness of this Burmise, Colum- 
bus was still as far from a true interpretation of 
the whole situation as when he supposed Hispaniola 
to be Ophir. He entered upon a series trf specula- 
tions which forcibly remind us how empirical was 
the notion of the earth's rotundity before the inau- 
guration of physical astronomy by Gal- 
»ITtM°" ileo, Kepler, and Newton. We now 
know that our planet has the only shape 
possible for such a rotating mass that once was 
fluid or nebulons, the shape of a spheroid slightly 
protuberant at the equator and flattened at the 
poles ; but this knowledge is the outcome of mechan- 
ical principles utterly unknown and unsuspected in 
the days of Columbus. He understood that the 
earth is a round body, but saw no necessity for its 
being strictly spherical or spheroidal. He now 
su^csted that it was probably shaped like a pear, 
ratiier a blunt and corpulent pear, nearly spher- 
ical in its lower part, but with a short, stubby 
apex in the equatorial region somewhere beyond 
the point which he had just reached. He fimcied 
he had been sailing up a gentle slope from the 
burning glassy sea where his ships had been be- 
calmed to this strange and beautiful coast where 
The monntidn ^^ found the cUmato enchanting. If 
ofpkndiM. jjg were to follow up the mighty river 
just now revealed, it might lead him to the sum- 
mit of this apex of the world, the pla<» where the 
terrestrial paradise, the Garden which the Lord 

wribing tlus tliird voyage, " T digo que . . . viene eate rio ; "par 
cede de tierra Infimta. pneB al aoBtro, de la caal fasta agora no M 
lia habido uotdcia. " NsTairete, Colfxiim, torn. i. p. 262. 



planted eastward in Eden, was in all probability 
situated ! ^ 

As Columbus still held to the opinion that by 
keeping to the west from that point he should soon 
reach the coast of Cochin China, Ms Beuaooofthe 
conception of the position of Eden is '^^^^ca- 
thus pretty clearly indicated. He im- «^<"'i»^" 
^ined it as situated about on the equator, apon a 
continental ma^s till then unknown, hut evidently 
closely connected with the continent of Asia if not 
a part of it. If he had lived long enough to bear 
of Quito and its immense elevation, I should sup- 
pose that might veiy well have suited his idea of 
the position of Eden. The coast of this continent, 
upon which he had now arrived, was either contin- 
uous with the coast of Cochin China (Cuba) and 
Malacca, or would be found to be divided from it 
by a strait through which one might pass directly 
into the Indian ocean. 

It took some little time for this theory to come 
to maturity in the mind of Columbus. Not expect- 
ing to find any mainland in that quarter, ,^^ p^^j 
ho began by calling different points of ^""^ 
the coast different islands. Coming out through 
the passage which he named Dragon's Mouth, he 
caught distant glimpses of Tobago and Grenada to 
starboard, and turning westward followed the Pearl 
Coast as far as the islands of Mai^arita and Cnha- 
1 ThuB would b« eiplained the aatoimilid{; force with which 
the water won ponred down. It waa cDmnion in Hie Middle Ages 
to iniB^e the terraBtial paradise at the top of a monntain. See 

ties in favour of liia opinion. The whola litter is wotBi rending. 
See Nanwrete, torn. i. pp. 212-261. 



gnft. The fine pearls wluch he found there in 
abundance confirmeil him in the good opinion he 
had formed of that country. Bj this time, the 
15th of August, he had so far put facts bother as 
to become convinced of the continental character 
of that coast, and would have been glad to pursue 
itwestward. But now his strength gave out. Dur- 
ing most of the voyage he had suffered acute tor- 
ments with gout, his temperature had been very 
feverish, and his eyes were at length so exhausted 
with perpetual watching that he could no longer 
make observations. So he left the coast a little 
beyond Cubagua, and steered straight for Hispiui- 
*rri™i at su ^^^^i aiming at San Domingo, but Mt- 
^*™^'^ ting the island of Beata because he did 
not make allowance for the westerly flow of the 
currents. He arrived at San Domiugo on the 30th 
of August, and found his brother Bartholomew, 
whom he intended to send at once on a further 
cruise along the Pearl Coast, while he himself iv 
should be resting and recovering strength. 

But alas I there was to be no cruising now for 
the younger brother nor rest for the elder. It was 
Koidu') ^ B^ story that Bartholomew had to 
nboiu... tgji War with the Indians had broken 
out afresh, and while the Adelantado was engaged 
in this business a scoundrel named Koldan had 
taken advantage of his absence to stir up civil 
strife. Roldan's rebellion was a result of the iU- 
advised mission of Aguado. The malcontents in 
the colony interpreted the Admiral's long stay in 
Spain as an indication that he had lost favour with 
the sovereigns imd was not coming back to the is- 



land. Gathering tt^ther a strong h6dy of rebels, 
Roldan retired to Xaragna and formed an alliance 
with the brother of the late chieftain Caonabo. 
By the time the Admiral arrived the combination 
of mutiny with barbaric warfare had brought about 
a frightful state of tJiings. A party of soldiers, 
sent by him to suppress Roldan, straightway 
deserted and joined that rebel. It thus became 
necessary to come to terms with Boldan, and this 
revelation of the weakness of the government only 
made matters worse. Two wretehed years were 
passed in attempts to restore order in Hispaniola, 
while the work of discovery and exploration was 
postponed. Meanwhile the items of information 
that found their way to Spain were skilfully 
employed by Fonseca in poisoning the p„ 
minds of the sovereigns, until at last ' 
they decided to send out a judge to the island, 
armed with plenary authority to make investiga- 
tions and settle disputes. The glory which Colum- 
bus had won by the first news of the discovery of 
the Indies had now to some extent faded away. 
The enterprise yielded as yet no revenue and en- 
tailed great expense; and whenever some reprobate 
found his way back to Spain, the malicious Fon- 
seca prompted him to go to the treasury with a 
claim for pay alleged to have been wroi^fully with- 
held by the Admiral. Ferdinand Columbus tella 
how some fifty such scamps were gathered one day 
in the courtyard of the Alhambra, cursing his 
father and catehing hold of the king's robe, cry- 
ing, " Pay us ! pay us I " and as he and his brother 
Di^o, who were pages in the queen's service, hap- 



pened to pass by, they were greeted with hoots : — ■ 
"There go the eons of the Admiral of Mosquito- 
land, the man who has discovered a land of vjmity 
and deceit, the grave of Spanish gentlemen ! " ^ 

An added sting was given to such taunts hy a 
great event that happened about this time. In the 
^^, summer of 1497, Vasco da Gama started 

•»»» Bi^ from Lisbon for the Cape of Good Hope, 
and in the summer of 1499 he returned, 
after having doubled the oape and crossed the 
Indian ocean to Calicut on the Malabar coast of 
Hindustan. His voyage was the next Portuguese 
step sequent upon that of Bartholomew Dias. 
There was nothing questionable or dubious about 
Gama's triumph. He bad seen splendid cities, 
talked with a powerful Kajah, and met with Arab 
vessels, their crews madly jealous at the unprece- 
dented sight of Christian ships in those waters; 
and he brought back with him to Lisbon nutmegs 
and cloves, pepper and ginger, rubies and emeralds, 
damask robes with satin linings, bronze chairs 
with cushions, trumpets of carved ivory, a sun- 
shade of crimson satin, a sword in a silver scab- 
bard, and no end of such gear.^ An old civiliza- 
tion had been found and a route of commerce 
discovered, and a factory was to be set up at once 
on that Indian coast. What a contrast to the mis- 
erable performance of Columbus, who had started 
with the flower of Spaio'e chivalry for rich Ci- 

' " Booo i figliaoli dell' Amnuraglio de' HosoioUni, di oolni che 
ha trorate terra di TOnitd e d' ingfantio, per sepoltuni o miseria de' 
gentilaomini coBtig-liani," Vita drlV Ammiraglio, cap. IuxLt. 

• Major, Prince Henrg the Navigator, pp. 39S-401. 



pango, and had only led them to a land where they 
must either starve or do work fit for peasants, while 
he spent his time in'cFuising among wild islands! 
The king of Portugal could now 3na,p his fingers 
at Ferdinand and Isabella, and if a doubt should 
have sometimea cro'bsed the minds of those cha- 
grined sovereigns, as to whether this plausible Gre- 
noese mariner might not, aft«r all, be a humbug or 
a crazy enthusiast, we can hardly wonder at it. 

The person sent to investigate the aSairs of His- 
paniola was Francisco de BobadiUa, a knight com- 
mander of the order of Calatrava. He 
carried several documents, one of them MMture, 
directing him to make inquiries and pun- 
ish ofEenders, another containing his appointment 
as governor, a third commanding Columbus and 
his brothers to surrender to him all fortresses and 
other public property.' The two latter papers 
were to be used only in case of such grave mis- 
conduct proved against Columbus as to justify his 
removal from the government. These papers were 
made out in the spring of 1499, but Bobadilla was 
not sent out until July, 1500. When he arrived 
at San Domingo on the 23d of August, the insur- 
rection had been suppressed; the Admiral and 
Bartholomew were bringing things into order in 
distant parts of the island, while Diego wae left in 
command at San Domingo. Seven ringleaders 
had just been hanged, and five more were in prison 
under sentence of death. If Bobadilla had not 

' The doonments are fpttn in NBTarreto, CoUcdon de viagei, 
torn. ii. pp. 235-240; and, with Bocoropaojiiig oanatiTe, in laa 
CtMM, Hist, de lot Indiat, tom-.ii. pp. 472-487. 



come upon the scene this wholesome lesson might 
h&ve worked some improvement in affairs.^ He 
destroyed its moral in a twinkling. The first day 
after landing, he read aloud, at the church door, 
the paper directing him to make inquiries and pnn< 
ish ofEenders; and forthwith demanded of Diego 
Columbus that the condemned prisoners shoilld be 
delivered up to him. Diego declined to take so 
important a step until he could get orders from the 
Admiral. Next day Bobadilla read his second and 
third papers, proclmmed himself governor, called 
on Diego to surrender the fortress and public 
buildings, and renewed his demand for the prison- 
ere. As Diego still hesitated to act before newn 
of these proceedings could be sent to his brother, 
Bobadilla broke into the f oi'tress, took the prison- 
ers out, and presently set them free. All the re- 
bellious spirits in the colony were tbuS drawn to the 
side of Bobadilla, whose royal commission, under 
such circumstances, gave him irresistible power. 
He threw Diego into prison and loaded Tiim with 
fetters. He seized the Admiral's hoiise, and con- 
fiscated all bis personal property, even including 
his business papers and private letters. When the 
Admiral arrived in San Domingo, Bobadilla, with- 
ont even waiting to see him, sent an of&cer to put 
^umbiuiii ^^ ^ irons and take bim to prison. 
"""^ When Bartholomew arrived, he received 

the same treatment. The three brothers were 

' No better jnitifioBtion for tha p''*''"'i6nt ot the brodeis Ci>- 
lninbaa eon be found than to contrast it vith the infinitely vane 
state of affura that enaned imder the admiDiatratdona of BobadiUa 
ami Oraodj. See below, vol iL pp. 4S5-140. 



Donfiaed in different places, nobody was allowed to 
visit them, and they were not informed of the 
offences with which they were charged. While 
they lay in prison, Bobadilla busied bimseU with 
inventing an excuse for this violent behaTiour. 
Finally he hit upon one at which Satan from the 
depths of hia bottomless pit must have grimly 
smiled. lie said that he had arrested and impris- 
oned the brothers only because he had reason to 
believe they were inciting the Indians to aid them 
in resisting the commands of Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella!! In short, from the day of hb landing 
BobadiUa made common cause with the insurgent 
rabble, and when they had furnished liim with a 
ream or so of charges against the Admiral and his 
brothers, it seemed safe to send these gentlemen to 
Spun. They were put on board ship, with their 
fetters npon them, and the officer in charge was 
instructed by Bobadilla to deliver them into the 
hands of Bishop Tonseca, who was thus to have the 
privilege of glutting to the full his revengeful spite. 
The master of the ship, shocked at the sight of 
fetters upon such a man as the Admiral, would 
have taken them off, but Columbus R,t„n, („ 
would not let it be done. No, indeed! ^p*"^ 
they should never come off except by order of the 
sovereigns, and then he would keep them for the 
rest of bis life, to show how his labours had been 
rewarded.^ The event — which always justifies 
true manliness — proved the sagacity of this proud 

' Las Casas, Hisi. de Itu Indiai, torn. ii. p. 501 ; F. Colambns, 
Vita ddV Amnaraglio, cap. luiv. Ferdinand adds that he tad 
itften a^en disse fettais hanging; in hia fathet*! room. 



demeanour. Fonseca waa baulked of his gratifica- 
tion. The clumfy Bobadilla had overdone the 
busiDesa. The sight of the Admiral's statelj and 
venerable figure in chains, as he passed through 
the streets of Cadiz, on a December day of that 
year 1500, awakened a popular outburst of sym- 
pathy for him and indignation at his persecutors. 
While on the ship be had written or dictated a 
beautiful and touching letter ^ to a lady of whom 
the queen was fond, the former nurse of the Infante, 
whose untimely death, three years since, hia mother 
was still mourning. This letter reached the court 
at Granada, and was read to the queen before she 
had heard of Bobadilla's performaucea from any 
other quarter. A courier was sent in all haste to 
Cadiz, with orders that the brothers should at once 
be released, and with a letter to the Admiral, 
inviting him to court and enclosing an order for 
money to cover his expenses. The scene in the 
Btinuot Albambra, when Columbus arrived, is 
c^uotnu. Qj^g Qf jjjg jgyg). touching in history. 
Isabella received bim with tears in her eyes, and 
then this much-enduring old man, whose proud and 
EoaBterful spirit had so long been proof against all 
wrongs and inaults, broke down. He threw him- 
aelf at the feet of the sovereigns in an agony of 
tears and sobs.^ 

How far the sovereigns should be held responsi- 
ble for the behaviour of their {^ent is not alto- 
gether easy to determine. The appointment of such 
a creature as Bobadilla was a sad blunder, but one 

' It U given in fnlj in Laa Casas, op. cil. torn, it pp. 602-610. 
* Henera, HiUoria, deo. i. lib. i*. cap. 10. 



sttch as is liable to be made andeT any goTem- 
ment. Fonseca was very powerful at how id wen 
court, and Bobadilla never would tave S^Sl*^ 
dared to proceed as he did if he had '"»>»»*»^' 
not known that the bishop woidd support him. 
Indeed, from the indecent haste with whidi he 
went about his work, without even the pretence of 
a judicial inq^uiiy, it is probable that he started 
with private instructiona from that quarter. But, 
while Fonseca had some of the wisdom along with 
the venom of the serpent, Bobadilla was simply a 
jackass, and behaved bo that in common decent^ 
tiie sovereigns were obliged to disown him. They 
took no formal or public notice of his written charges 
against the Admiral, and they assured the latter 
that he should be reimbursed for his losses and 
restored to his vieeroyalty and other dignities. 

Hiis last pronuse, however, was not fulfilled; 
partly, perhaps, because Fonseca's influence was 
still strong enough to prevent it, partly because the 
sovereigns may have come to the sound and rea- 
sonable conclusion that for the present there was no 
use in committing the government of that disor- 
derly rabble in Hispaniola to a foreigner. What 
was wanted was a Spanish priest, and a military 
priest withal, of the sort that Spain then had in 
plenty. Obedience to priests came nat- o™i4>, *■>. 
ural to Spaniards. The man now selected "^"o^^ 
was Nicolas de Ovando, a knight com- S^S^of 
mander of the order of Alcantara, of "^p"*^ 
whom we shall have more to say hereafter.^ Suffice 
it now to observe that he proved himself a famous 
> See bel<nr, nd. iL pp. 435-44tt. 



disciplmaxian, and tliat he was a great &,v(mrita 
with Fonseca, to whom he Beems to have owed hia 
appointment. He went out in February, 1502, 
with a fleet of thirty ships carrying 2,500 persons, 
for the pendulum of public opinion had taken an- 
other swing, and faith in the Indies was renewed. 
Some great discoveries, to he related in the next 
diapter, had been made since 1498 ; and, moreover, 
the gold mines of Hispaniola were b^inning to 
yield rich treasures. 

But, while the BOTereigne were not disposed to 
restore Columbus to his viceroyalty, they were 
quite ready to send him on another voy- 
coinmbui'. ^c of discovery which was directly sug- 
gested by the recent Portuguese voyage 
of Gama. Since nothing was yet known about 
the discovery of a New World, the achievement of 
Grama seemed to have eclipsed that of Columbus. 
Spain must make a response to Portugal. As 
already observed, the Admiral supposed the coast 
of his "Eden continent" (South America) either 
to be continuous with the coast of Cochin China 
(Cuba) and Malacca, or else to he divided from 
that coast by a strait. The latter opinion was the 
more probable, since Marco Polo and a few other 
Europeans had sailed from China into the Indian 
ocean without encountering any great continent 
that had to be circumnavigated. The recent expe- 
dition of Vespucius and Ojeda (14'*9-1500) had 
followed the northern coast of South America for 
a long distance to the west of Cuhagua, as far as 
the gulf of Maracaibo. Columbus now decided to 
return to the coast of C^hin Ouna (Cuba) and 



follow the coast southwestward until he shonlcl find 
the pass^e between his Eden continent and the 
Gxtlden ChersoDese (Malacca) into the Indian 
ocean. He would thus be able to reach by this 
western route the same shores of Hindustan which 
Gama had lately reached by sailing eastward. So 
confident did he feel of the success of this enter- 
prise, that he wrote a letter to Pope Alexander 
VI. , renewing his vow to furnish troops for the res- 
cue of the Holy Sepulchre.' It was no doubt the 
symptom of a reaction against his misfortunes that 
I^ grew more and more mystical in these days, eon- 
soling himself with the belief that he was a chosen 
instrument in the hands of Providence for enlarg- 
ing the bounds of Christendom. In this mood he 
made some studies on the prophecies, after the fan- 
tastic fashion of Ms time,^ and a habit grew uptm 
him of attributing his discoveries to miraculous 
inspiration rather thaji to the good use to which 
his poetical and scientific mind bad put the data 
furnished by Marco Polo and the ancient get^ra- 

The armament for the Admiral's fourth and last 
voyage consisted of four small caravels, of from 
fifty to seventy tons burthen, with crews craaing the 
numbering, all told, 150 men. His ^"^"^ 
brother Bartholomew, and his younger son Ferdi- 
nand, then a boy of fourteen, accompanied, him. 
They sailed from Cadiz on the 11th of May, 1502^ 

> NBTHTTeto, CoUcaon, torn. iL pp. 280-282. 
^ The HS. TiJnme of notea on the propheaies is in the Colom- 
binB. There ia b deHcripdon of it in Nsvureto, torn. ii. pp. 230- 



and finally left the Canaries behind on the 26^1 of 
the same month. The course chosen was the same 
as on the second voyage, and the nnf ailing trade- 
winds brought the ships on the ISth of June to an 
island called Mantinino, probably Martinique, not 
more than ten leagues distant from Dominica. 
The Admiral had been instructed not to touch at 
Hispaniola upon his way out, probably for fear of 
furtlier commotions there until Orando should have 
succeeded in bringing order out of the confusion 
ten times worse confounded into which Bobadilla's 
mia^vemmenthad thrown that island. Columbus 
might stop there on his return, but not on his out- 
ward voyage. His intention had, therefore, been, 
on reaching the cannibal islands, to steer for 
Jamaica, thence make the short run to "Cochin 
China," and then turn southwards. Bnt as one of 
bis caravels threatened soon to become unmanage- 
able, he thought himself justified in touching at 
San Domingo long enough to hire a sound veaatA 
in place of her. Ovando had assumed the govern- 
ment there in April, and a squadron of 26 or 28 
ships, containing !Roldan and Bobadilla, with huge 
quantities of gold wrung from the enslaved Indians, 
was ready to start for Spain about the end of June. 
In one of these ships were 4,000 pieces of gold des- 
tined for Columbus, probably a part o£ the reim- 
bursement that had been promised him. On the 
29th 'of June the Admiral arrived in the harbour 
and stated the nature of his errand. At the same 
time, as his practised eye bad detected the symp- 
toms of an approaching hurricane, he requested 
permission to stay in the harbour until it should 



be over, and he furthermore sent to the cotmnaQder 
of the fleet a friendly warning not to venture out 
to sea at present. Hie requests and his warnings 
were alike treated with contumely. He ooiambmnot 
was ordered to leave the harbour, and 2op"irt sm 
did so in great indignation. As his i>™i°k°- 
first care was for the approaching tempest, he did 
not go far but found safe anchorage in a sheltered 
and secluded cove, where his vessels rode the stonn 
with difficulty but without serious damage. Mean- 
while the governor's great fleet had rashly put out 
to sea, and was struck with fatal fury by wind and 
wave. Twenty or more ships went to the bottom, 
with Bobadilla, Eoldan, and most of the Admiral's 
principal enemies, besides all the ill-gotten treas- 
ure ; five or six shattered caravels, unable to pro- 
ceed, foimd their way back to San Domingo; of 
all the fleet, only one ship arrived safe and sound 
in Spain, and that, says Ferdinand, was the one 
that had on board his father's gold. Truly it 
was such an instance of poetical justice as one does 
not often witness in this world. "We will not 
inquire now," says Las Casas, who witnessed the 
affair; "into this remarkable divine judgment, for 
at the last day of the world it will be made quite 
clear to us." ^ If such judgments were more often 
visited upon the right persons, perhaps the ways of 
Providence would not have bo generally come to be 
regarded as inscrutable. 

1 " Aqueate tan gr&n jnicio da INob □□ ooremoe de escudrinallo, 
pusB ea el dia final deate mniido noa seri bieo claro." Hilt, do 
lot Indiai, torn. iii. p. 32 ; of. Vita dell' Ammiraglio, cap. Ixnvii. 
As Las Caaae was then in San Domingo, haiiiig come out in Ovan- 
do's fleet, and as Ferdinand CfllombnH waa witli his father, the 



The Imrricane was followed bj a dead calm, dur- 
ing which the Admiral's shije were ijarried by the 
currents into the group of tiny ialanda 
oupeHoudif called the Queen's Gardens, on the 
south side of Cuba.. With the lirst fa- 
vourable breeze he took a southwesterly course, in 
Older to strike that Cochin-Chinese coast farther 
down toward the Malay peninsula. This brought 
him directly to the island of Guanaja and to Cape 
Honduras, which he thus reached without approach- 
ing the Yucatan channel.' 

Upon the Honduras coast the Admiral found 
evidences of semi-civilization with which he was 
much elated, — such as copper knives and hatchets, 
pottery of skilled and artistic workmanship, and 
cotton garments finely woven and beautifully dyed. 
Here the Spaniards first tasted the ekicha, or maize 
beer, and marvelled at the heavy clubs, armed with 
sharp blades of obsidian, with which the soldiers 
of Cortes were by and by to become unpleasantly 
acquainted. The people here wore cotton clothes, 
and, according to Ferdinand, the women covered 
themselves as carefully as the Moorish women of 
Granada.^ On inquiring as to the sources -of gold 
and other wealth, the Admiral was now referred to 
the west, evidently to Yucatan and Guatemala, or, 
as he supposed, to the neighbourhood of the Gan- 
ges. Evidently the way to reach these countries 

^ In the next chapter I shall give Bome tsssotib for nipposiiig 
that tfas Admiral had learned the eiistence of the TacstiiD ohaii- 
nel from the pilot Ledeama, coupled with inforniation which made 
it unlikely that a paesoge into the Indian ocean wonld be found 
that way. Sea below, toI. ii. p. 02. 

' Vita dell' AmmiTagliOy cap. IzxiiiiL 



was to keep the land on the starboaxi] and search 
for the passage between the Eden continent and 
the Malay peninsula.^ This course at first led 
Columbus eastward for a greater number of leagues 
than he could have relished. Wind and current 
were dead £^ainst him, too ; and when, after forty 
days of wretched weather, he succeeded in doub" 
ling the cape which marks on that coast ^^ qmoUb 
the. end of Honduras Mid the beginning ' "* 
of Nicaragua, and found it taming square to the 
south, it was doubtless joy at this auspicious 
change of direction, as well as the sudden relief 
•from head-winds, that prompted him to name that 
bold prominence Cape Gracias a Dios, or Thanks 
to God. 

As the ships proceeded southward in the direction 
of Veragua, evidences of the kind of semi-civiliza- 
tion which we recognize as characteristic of that 
part of aboriginal America grew more and more 
numerous. Great houses were seen, built of "stone 
and lime," or perhaps of rubble stone with adobe 
mortar. Walls were adorned with carvings and 
piotographs. Mummies were found in a j.^ „(,^ ^ 
good state of preservation. There were '•'•'"^ 
signs of abundant gold; the natives wore plates 

I Irving (vol. iL pp. 836, 3S7) seemB to tliink it Btraii(re Hiat 
Calnmbns did not at once torn westward and cironmnaTigate 
Yucatan. Bnt if — aa Irving aapposed — ColamboahBdnotseen 
the Ynoatao cbanael, and regarded the Hondnras coast as contdn- 
noos with that ot Cabo, ha oonld only expect b; tnnung west- 
ward to be carried back to Cape Alpha and Omega, where be had 
aliead; been tnice before I In the next ebapter, hawever, I shall 
■how that Columbiis ma; have shaped his coarse in aococdanos 
with the advice of the pilot Ledesma. 



of it bung hj cotton cords about their necks, and 
were ready to exchange pieces worth a hundred 
ducate for tawdry European trinkets. From these 
people Columbus heard what we should call the 
first "news of the Pacific Ocean,"thougb it bad no 
sucb meaning to his mind. From what he heard 
he understood that be was on the east side of a pe- 
ninsula, and that there was another sea on the other 
aide, by giuning which he might in ten days reach 
the moutb of the Ganges.^ By proceeding on his 
present course be would soon come to a "narrow 
place " between tie two seas. There was a ciuious 
equivocation here. No d6ubt the Indians were 
honest and correct in what they tried to tell Co- 
lumbus. But by the "narrow place" they meant 
narrow land, not narrow water; not a strait which 
ji^om^ connected but an isthmus which divided 
Btoiiu ofH^ the two seas, not the Strait of Malacca, 
""^ but the Isthmus of Darien ! ' Columbus, 

of course, understood them to mean the strait for 
which he was looking, and in his excitement at 
approaching the long-expected goal he pressed on 
without waiting to verify the reports of gold mines 
in the neighbourhood, a thiag that could be done 
at any time.^ By the 6th of December, however, 

* NuTturete, CoUctMn de vtaga, torn. L p. 200. 

' Vita deiP Ammiraglio, cap. Itttjt ; Humboldt, Examen Ori- 
tiqof, torn. I p. 350, 

' "Nothing ooold aviuce mora cleat4; Iuh geneniiiB smliilion 
thsD hnrrying^ in this brief msiiner along a ooaat where wealtli 
wu to be gathered at every step, for t^ pnrpoae of seeking; a. 
Bliait which, however it might prodnce vast benefit to manhdnd, 
conld yield little else to hiraaelf than the glory of the dlsooTory," 
Irving's Ceiumbaa, vcJ. ii. p. 406. In this voyage, however, tho 



Iiaving reached a poiot on the isthmus, a few 
leagues east of Puerto Bello, without finding the 
strait, he yielded to the remonstrances of tfae crews, 
and retraced Lis course to Veragua. If the str^t 
could not be found, the next best tidings to carry 
borne to Spain would be the certain information 
of the discovery of gold mines, and it was decided 
to make a settlement here which might 
serve as a base for future operations. tomakB^Ht- 
Threemonths of misery followed. Many 
of the party were massacred by the Indians, the 
fitook of food was nearly exhausted, and the ships 
were pierced by worms until it was feared there 
would be no means left for going home. Accord- 
ingly, it was decided to abandon the enterprise and 
return to Hispaniola.^ In order to allow for the 
strong westerly currents in the Caribbean sea, the 
Admiral first sailed eastward almost to the gulf of 
Darien, and then turned to the north. The allow- 
ance was not enough, however. The ships were 
again carried into die Queen's Gardens, where 
they were caught in a storm and nearly beaten to 
pieces. At lei^th, on St. John's eve, June 23, 
1503, the crazy wrecks — now fnll of water and 
unable to sail another league — were beached on 

rapreBB pnrpoBa from die start was to find the ntcut of Malacca 
as a passage to the very same rc^ons irhicli had been Tinted by 
Qama, and ColnmbDa expected thoa to get «ealtb enangb to equip 
an arm; of Cmsaden. Irriog'a Btatement does not oonectly de- 
■oiibe the Admiisl'a purpose, and as aavonriiig of misplaned enlogy. 
ia sore to provoke a reaction on tbe part of captions critics. 

' A graphic acoonnt of these soenoa, in which he took part, 
is giTen by Ferdimuid ColnmboB, Vita ddP Atatairagiio, aa^ 



the coast of Jamaica and converted into a sort 
(jo,^^,^ of mde fortress; and wliile two trosty 
Aipwmiiud. jjjgj, ^^^ gg^j Q^er to San Domingo in 
a canoe, to obtain relief, Columbus and his party 
remained slupwrecked in Jamaica. Tbey waited 
there a whole year before it proved possible to get 
any relief from Ovando, He was a slippery knave, 
who knew how to deal out promises witiiout taking 
tis0 first step toward fulfilment. 

It was a terrible year that Columbus spent upon 
the wild coast of Jamaica. To all the horrors 
Atwk inseparable from such a situation there 
•™^' was added the horror of mutiny. The 

year did not end until there had been a pitched 
battle, in which the doughty Bartholomew was, as 
usual, Tictorious. The ringleader was captured, 
and of the other mutineers such as were not sl^n 
in the fight were humbled and pardoned. At 
length Ovando'e conduct began to arouse indigna- 
tion in San Domingo, and was openly condemned 
from the pulpit; so that, late in June, 1504, ho 
sent over to Jamaica a couple of ships which 
brought away the Admiral and Ms starving party. 
Ovando greeted the brothers Columbus with his 
customary hypocritical courtesy, which they well 
nnderstood. During the past year the island of 
Hlspamola had been the scene of atrocities such 
as have scarcely been surpassed in history. I 
shall give a brief account of them in a future 
chapter. Coltunbus was not cheered by what he 
saw and heard, and lost no time in starting for 
Spain. On the 7th of November, 1504, after a 
tempestuous voyage and narrow escape from ship- 



(vreck, he landed at San Lucar de Barrameda and 
made his way to Seville, Queen Isa- j^^ „juj„ j, 
bella was then on her death-bed, and ^''''°- 
breathed her last just nineteen days later. 

The death of the queen deprived Columbus of 
the only protector who could stand between him 
and Fonseca. The reimbursement for the wrongs 
which he had suffered at that man's hands was 
never made. The laat eighteen monthB of the 
Admiral's life were spent in sickneBS and poverty. 
Aecumnlated hardship and disappointment had 
broken him down, and he died on Aseen- i,,,^ ^ fj^ 
sion day, May 20, 1506, at Valladolid. '™'™ 
So liljtie heed was taken of his passing away that 
the local annals of that city, "which give almost 
every insignifieant event from 1333 to 1539, day 
by day, do not mention it." ' Hia remains were 
buried in the Franciscan monastery at Valladolid, 
whence they were removed in 1513 to the monas- 
tery of Las Cuevas, at Seville, where the body of 
his son Diego, second Admiral and Viceroy of the 
Indies, was buried in 1526. Ten years after this 
date, the bones of father and son were removed to 
Hispaniola, to the cathedral of San Domingo; 
whence they have since been transferred to Havana. 
The result of so many removals has been to rmse 
doubts as to whether the ashes now reposing at 
Havana are really those of Colmnbus and his son; 
and over this question there has been much critical 
discussion, of a sort that we may cheerfully leave 
to those who like to spend their time over such 

>, Ifolei on (WuMitu, New York, 186«, p. 73. 



There is a traditioii tliat Ferdinand and Isabella, 
at some date unspecified, liad granted to Colum- 
bus, as a legend for his coat-of-arms, the noble 
motto: — 

A CBHtdll& ; i LeOD 
Nniivo mnDdo did Colon, 

i. e. "To Castile-and-Leon Columbus gave a New 
World; " and we are further told that, when the 
.. K„,„ Admiral's bones were removed to Seville, 

Mundo." tij£g jQoj^ ^g^^ }jj Qp^j. of King Ferdi- 
nand, inscribed upon his tomb.* This tradition 
crumbles under the touch of historical criticism. 
The Admiral's coat-of-arms, as finally emblazoned 
onder his own inspection at Seville in 1502, guar- 
tors the royal Castle-and-Lion of the kingdom of 
Castile with his own devices of five anchors, and a 
group of golden islands with a bit of Terra Firma, 
apon a blue sea. But there is no legend of aay 
sort, nor is anytldng of the kind mentioned by Las 
Casas or Bemaldez or Peter Martyr. The first 
allusion to such a motto is by Oviedo, in 15S5, 
who gives it a somewhat different turn : — 

t. e. *'For Castile -and -Leon Columbus found a 
New World." But the other form is no doubt the 
better, for Ferdinand Columbus, at some time not 
later than 1537, had adopted it, and it maybe read 
to-day upon his tomb in the cathedral at Seville, 
The time-honoured tradition has evidently trans- 

' Vita dd Antmiragtie, cap. crii. Thu is nuqueatiooabl; a 
glo« of the tmulator Utltn. Cf. Hairiwe, CArisl^pAe Cthinb, 
torn. iL pp. 177-179. 



ferred to the father the legend adopted, if not ori- 
ginally devised, by hia son. 

Bat why is this mere question of heraldry a matter 
of importance for the historian ? Simply because 
it fmmshes one of the most striking among many 
illustrations of the fact that at no time during 
the life of Columbus, nor for some years after his 
death, did anybody use the phrase "New World" 
with conscious reference to his discoveries. At the 
time of his death their true significance had not yet 
begun to dawn upon the mind of any voyager or any 
writer. It was supposed that he had found a new 
route to the Indies by sailing west, and that in the 
course of this aohievement he had discovered some 
new islands and a bit or bits of Terra Firma of 
more or less doubtful commercial value. To group 
diese items of discovery into an organic whole, and 
to ascertain that they belonged to a whole quite 
distinct from the Old World, required the work 
of many other discoverers, companions and succes- 
sors to Columbus. In the following chapter I shall 



endeavouT to show how the conception of the New 
World was tiius originated and at length became 
developed into the form with which we are now 

fumiliftr . 




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