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jrplorattons auD Settlements 

JEn America 

tO tf)C 










Copyright, 1886, 

All rights reserved, 

rside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. 
nted by H. O. Houghton & Company. 







The Editor. 

\ tOND his birth, of poor and respectable parents, we know nothing 
JFrpositively about the earliest years of Columbus. His father was 
Poly a wool-comber. The boy had the ordinary schooling of his 
L ind a touch of university life during a few months passed at Pavia ; 
it fourteen he chose to become a sailor. A seaman s career in 
Hays implied adventures more or less of a piratical kind. There are 
inanitions, however, that in the intervals of this exciting life he followed 
Ire humanizing occupation of selling books in Genoa, and perhaps 
|| ne employment in the making of charts, for he had a deft hand at 
We know his brother Bartholomew was earning his living in this 
en Columbus joined him in Lisbon in 1470. Previous to this there 
to be some degree of certainty in connecting him with voyages 
a celebrated admiral of his time bearing the same family name, 
>o; he is also said to have joined the naval expedition of John of 
igainst Naples in I459. 1 Again, he may have been the companion 
her notorious corsair, a nephew of the one already mentioned, as is 
lies maintained ; but this sea-rover s proper name seems to have been 
kely Caseneuve, though he was sometimes called Coulon or Colon. 2 

t e 



Life of Columbus, app. no. vii. 

Columbus tried to make his 

t his father was of some kin- 

. The story of Columbus 

rrom a naval fight off Cape 

entering Portugal by floating to 

**> not agree with known facts in his 

lleged date. (Harrisse, Les Colombo, 

T T 

p. 36.) Allegri Allegretti, in his Ephcmerides 
Senenscs ab anno 1450 usque ad 1496 ( in Muratori, 
xxiii. 827), gives a few particulars regarding the 
early life of Columbus. (Harrisse, Notes on Co 
lumbus, p. 41.) Some of the latest researches 
upon his life previous to his appearing in Portu 
gal are examined in Harrisse s Fernau Coloml^ 
and in his essays in support of that book. 


Columbus spept the years 1470-1484 in Portugal. It was a time 
*.jv|i&n tli^/^ii- < i r |s: filled with tales of discovery. The captains of Prince 
lienry of .Portugal had been gradually pushing their ships down the Afri- 
|aH;4^^*H 1 d:i" S e .^ e f these voyages Columbus was a participant. To 
one of his navigators Prince Henry had given the governorship of the 
Island of Porto Santo, of the Madeira group. To the daughter of this 
man, Perestrello, 1 Columbus was married ; and with his widow Columbus 
lived, and derived what advantage he could from the papers and charts 
of the old navigator. There was a tie between his own and his wife s 
family in the fact that Perestrello was an Italian, and seems to have been 
of good family, but to have left little or no inheritance for his daughter 
beyond some property in Porto Santo, which Columbus went to enjoy. 
On this island Columbus son Diego was born in 1474. 

It was in this same year (1474) that he had some correspondence with 
the Italian savant, Toscanelli, regarding the discovery of land westward. 
A belief in such discovery was a natural corollary of the object which 
Prince Henry had had in view, by circumnavigating Africa to find a way 
to the countries of which Marco Polo had given golden accounts, [t was 
to substitute for the tedious indirection of the African route a direct western 
passage, a belief in the practicability of which was drawn from a confidence 
in the sphericity of the earth. Meanwhile, gathering what hope he ^ould 
by reading the ancients, by conferring with wise men, and by questioning 
manners returned from voyages which had borne them more or less west 
erly on the great ocean, Columbus suffered the thought to germinate as it 
would in his mind for several years. Even on the voyages which he made 
hither and thither for gain, once far north, to Iceland even, or perhaps 
only to the Faroe Islands, as is inferred, and in active participate i in 
various warlike and marauding expeditions, like the attack on the Venetian 
galleys near Cape St. Vincent in 1485, 2 he constantly came in contact \\lith 
those who could give him hints affecting his theory. Through ali thise 
years, however, we know not certainly what were the vicissitudes which fell 
to his lot. 3 

It seems possible, if not probable, that Columbus went to Genoa ari.d 
Venice, and in the first instance presented his scheme of western explora 
tion to the authorities of those cities. 4 He may, on the other hand, have 
tried earlier to get the approval of the King of Portugal. In this case 
the visit to Italy may have occurred in the year following his de( .irture 
from Portugal, which is nearly a blank in the record of his life. De Lorgues 

1 This name is sometimes given Palestrello. 4 It cannot but be remarked how Italy, in 

2 Rawdon Brown s Calendar of State Papers Columbus, Cabot, and Vespucius, noij: to name 
/ // the Archives of Venice, vol. i. (1864). others, led in opening the way to a ne\v stage in 

3 Prescott (Ferdinand and Isabella,).^. 1873, tne world s progress, which by making the 
vol. ii. p. 123) says: "The discrepancies among Atlantic the highway of a commerce jthat had 
the earliest authorities are such as to render mainly nurtured Italy on the Mediterranean, 
hopeless any attempt to settle with precision conduced to start her republics on that, de.cline 
the chronology of Columbus s movements pre- which the Turk, sweeping through thajt inland 
vious to his first voyage." sea, confirmed and accelerated. 



believes in the anterior Italian visit, when both Genoa and Venice rejected 
his plans ; and then makes him live with his father at Savone, gaining a 
living by constructing charts, and by selling maps and books in Genoa. 

It would appear that in 1484 Columbus had urged his views upon the 
Portuguese King, but with no further success than to induce the sovereign 
to despatch, on other pretences, a vessel to undertake the passage westerly in - 
secrecy. Its return without accomplishing any discovery opened the eyes 
of Columbus to the deceit which that monarch would have put upon him, 
and he departed from the Portuguese dominions in not a little disgust. 1 

The death of his wife had severed another tie with Portugal ; and taking 
with him his boy Diego, Columbus left, to go we scarcely know whither, so 
obscure is the record of his life for the next year. Munoz claims for this 
period that he went to Italy. Sharon Turner has conjectured that he went 
to England ; but there seems no ground to believe that he had any rela 
tions with the English Court except by deputy, for his brother Bartholomew 
was despatched to lay his schemes before Henry VII. 2 Whatever may 
have been the result of this application, no answer seems to have reached 
Columbus until he was committed to the service of Spain. 

It was in 1485 or 1486 for authorities differ 3 -that a proposal was 
laid by Columbus before Ferdinand and Isabella; but the steps were slow 
by which he made even this progress. We know how, in the popular story, 
he presented himself at the Franciscan Convent of Santa Maria de la 
Rabida, asking for bread for himself and his boy. This convent stood on 
a steep promontory about half a league from Palos, and was then in charge 
of the Father Superior Juan Perez de Marchena. 4 The appearance of the 
stranger first, and his talk next, interested the Prior ; and it was under his 
advice and support after a while when Martin Alonzo Pinzon, of the 
neighboring town of Palos, had espoused the new theory that Columbus 
\vas passed on to Cordova, with such claims to recognition as the Prior of 
Rabida could bestow upon him. 

It was perhaps while success did not seem likely here, in the midst of 
the preparations for a campaign against the Moorish kings, that his brother 
Bartholomew made his trip to England. 5 It was also in November, 1486, it 

1 Notwithstanding this disappointment of Almimnte, cap. 10 ; Herrera, dec. i. lib. 2 ; 

Columbus, it is claimed that Alfonso V., in 1474, Oviedo, lib. i. cap. 4; Gomara, cap. 15; Har- 

had consulted Toscanelli as to such a western risse, Bibl. Anier. Vet., p. 4. 
passage " to the land where the spices grow." 3 As, for instance, Oviedo and Bossi. 

- There is great uncertainty about this Eng- 4 The same whom Isabella advised Colum- 

lish venture. Benzoni says Columbus s ideas bus to take " as an astrologer " on one of his 

were ridiculed ; Bacon (Life of Henry VII.} later voyages. Cf. P. Augustin d Osimo s Chris- 

says the acceptance of them was delayed by tophe Colomb et le Pere Juan Perez de Marchena ; 

accident ; Purchas says they were accepted too on, dc la co-operation des franciscains a. la decou- 

late. F. Cradock, in the Dedication of his vertc dc PAIncrique, 1861, and P. Marcellino da 

Wealth Discwercd, London, 1661, regrets the Civezza s Histoire generate des missions frauds- 

loss of honor which Henry VII. incurred in not caines, 1863. 

listening to the project. (Sabin, v. 55.) There is 5 Cf. Schanz on " Die Stellung der beiden 

much confusion of statement in the early writers, ersten Tudors zu den Entdeckungen," in his 

Cf. Las Casas, lib. i. cap. 29 ; Barcia, Hist, del Englische Handel spolitik. 


would seem, that Columbus formed his connection with Beatrix Enriquez, 
while he was waiting in Cordova for the attention of the monarch to be 
disengaged from this Moorish campaign. 

Among those at this time attached to the Court of Ferdinand and Isa 
bella was Alexander Geraldinus, then about thirty years old. He was a 
traveller, a man of letters, and a mathematician ; and it was afterward the 
boast of his kinsman, who edited his Itinerarium ad regiones sub cequi- 
noctiali plaga constitutor 1 (Rome, 1631), that Geraldinus, in one way and 

another, aided Columbus in pressing 
his views upon their Majesties. It 
was through Geraldinus influence, or 
through that of others who had be 
come impressed with his views, that 
Columbus finally got the ear of Pedro 
Gonzales de Mendoza, Archbishop 
of Toledo. The way was no^v surer. 
The King heeded the Archbishop s 
advice, and a council of learned men 
was convened, by royal orders, at 
Salamanca, to judge Columbus and 
his theories. Here he was met by 
all that prejudice, content, and igno 
rance (as now understood, but wisdom 
then) could bring to bear, in the shape 
of Scriptural contradictions of his 
views, and the pseudo-scientific dis 
trust of what were thought mere vis 
ionary aims. He met all to his owi? 
satisfaction, but not quite so success 
fully to the comprehension of his 
judges. He told them that he should 
find Asia that way; and that if he 
did not, there must be other lands 
westerly quite as desirable to dis 
cover. No conclusion had been reached when, in the spring of 1487, the 
Court departed from Cordova, and Columbus found himself left behind 
without encouragement, save in the support of a few whom he had con 
vinced, notably Diego de Deza, a friar destined to some ecclesiastical 
distinction as Archbishop of Seville. 

1 Stevens, Historical Collection, vol. i. no. The book was written in 1522; its author was 

1,418; Leclerc, no. 235 (120 francs); Carter- born in 1465, and died in 1525 as bishop of 

Brown, vol. ii. no. 376; Sabin, vol. vii. no. Santo Domingo. 

27,116; Murphy, no. 1,046. This book, which 2 This follows a cut in Ruge s Geschichtt 

in 1832 Rich priced at \ ios., has recently been des Zeitaltcrs der Entdeckungen, p. 245. The 

quoted by Quaritch at ,*> ^s. Harrisse calls armor is in the Collection in the Royal Palace 

the book mendacious (Notes on Columbus, p. 37). at Madrid. 



During the next five years Columbus experienced every vexation attend 
ant upon delay, varied by participancy in the wars which the Court urged 
against the Moors, and in which he sought to propitiate the royal powers 
by doing them good service in the field. At last, in 1491, wearied with 
excuses of pre-occupation and the ridicule of the King s advisers, Columbus 
turned his back on the Court and left Seville, 1 to try his fortune with some 
of the Grandees. He still urged in vain, and sought again the Convent of 
Rabida. Here he made a renewed impression upon Marchena ; so that 
finally, through the Prior s interposition with Isabella, Columbus was sum 
moned to Court. He arrived in time to witness the surrender of Granada, 
and to find the monarchs more at liberty to listen to his words. There 
seemed now a likelihood of reaching an end of his tribulations ; when his 
demand of recognition as viceroy, and his claim to share one tenth of 
all income from the territories to be discovered, frightened as well as dis 
gusted those appointed to negotiate with him, and all came once more 
to an end. Columbus mounted his mule and started for France. Two 
finance ministers of the Crown, Santangel for Arragon and Ouintanilla 
for Castile, had been sufficiently impressed by the new theory to look with 
regret on what they thought might be a lost opportunity. Isabella was 
won ; and a messenger was despatched to overtake Columbus. 

The fugitive returned; and on April 17, 1492, at Santa Fe, an agreement 
was signed by Ferdinand and Isabella which gave Columbus the office of 
high-admiral and viceroy in parts to be discovered, and an income of one 
eighth of the profits, in consideration of his assuming one eighth of the 
costs. Castile bore the rest of the expense ; but Arragon advanced the 
money, 2 and the Pinzons subscribed the eighth part for Columbus. 

The happy man now solemnly vowed to use what profits should accrue 
in accomplishing the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre from the Moslems. 
Palos, owing some duty to the Crown, was ordered to furnish two armed 
caravels, and Columbus was empowered to fit out a third. On the 3<Dth 
of April the letters-patent confirming his dignities were issued. His son 
Diego was made a page of the royal household. On May 12 he left 
the Court and hastened towards Palos. Here, upon showing his orders 
for the vessels, he found the town rebellious, with all the passion of a 
people who felt that some of their number were being simply doomed 
to destruction beyond that Sea of Darkness whose bounds they knew 
not. Affairs were in this unsatisfactory condition when the brothers 
Pinzon threw themselves and their own vessels into the cause ; while a 

1 There are two views of Seville in Braun no. 712. The book is in the Harvard College 

and Hogenberg s Civitates orbis terrarum, pub- Library. 

lished at Antwerp in 1572, and again at Brussels 3 Santangel supplied about seventeen thou- 

(in French) in 1574. In one of the engravings sand florins from Ferdinand s treasury. Bergen- 

a garden near the Puerta de Goles is marked roth, in his Introduction to the Spanish State 

" Guerta de Colon ; " and in the other the words Papers, removes not a little of the mellow splen- 

" Casa de Colon " are attached to the top of one dor which admirers have poured about Isabella s 

of the houses. Muller, Books on America, 1877, character. 



third vessel, the " Pinta," was impressed, much to the alarm of its 
owners and crew. 

And so, out of the harbor of Palos, 2 on the 3d of August, 1492, Columbus 

1 Fac-simile of the engraving in Herrera. de Espana. (Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 281.) 

It originally appeared in De Bry, part iv. Irving described it in 1828. Its present unmari- 

" Palos is no longer a port, such has been time character is set forth by E. E. Hale in Amer. 

the work of time and tide. In 1548 the port is Antiq. Soc. Pro:., ii. 159; Seven Spanish Cities^ 

described in Medina s Libra de grandezas y cosas p. 17 ; and Overland Monthly, Jan., 1883, p. 42. 



1 This representation of the vessels of the 
early Spanish navigators is a fac-simile of a cut 
in Medina s Arte de navegar, Valladolid, 1545, 
which was re-engraved in the Venice edition of 
1555. Cf. Carter-Brown Catalogue, vol. i. nos. 137, 
204 ; Ruge, Geschichte des Zeitalters der JLntdeck- 
ungen, pp. 240, 241 ; Jurien de la Graviere s Les 
mar ins du XV e ct du XVI e siecle, vol. i. pp. 38, 
151. In the variety of changes in methods of 
measurement it is not easy to find the equivalent 
in tonnage of the present day for the ships of 
Columbus s time. Those constituting his little 
fleet seem to have been light and swift vessels 
of the class called caravels. One had a deck 
amidships, with high forecastle and poop , and 
two were without this deck, though high, and 

covered at the ends. Captain G. V. Fox has 
given what he supposes were the dimensions 
of the larger one, a heavier craft and duller 
sailer than the others. He calculates for a 
hundred tons, makes her sixty-three feet over 
all, fifty-one feet keel, twenty feet beam, and ten 
and a half feet draft of water. She carried the 
kind of gun termed lombards, and a crew of 
fifty men. U. S. Coast Survey Report, iSSo, app. 
18 ; Becher s Landfall of Columbus ; A. Jal s Ar- 
cheologie nai ale (Paris, 1840) ; Irving s Columbus, 
app. xv. ; H. H. Bancroft, Central America, i. 
187; Das Ansiand, 1867, p. i. There are other 
views of the ships of Columbus time in the cuts 
in some of the early editions of his Letters on the 
discovery. See notes following this chapter. 


sailed with his three little vessels. The " Santa Maria," which carried his 
flag, was the only one of the three which had a deck, while the other two, 
the " Nina " and the " Pinta," were open caravels. The two Pinzons com 
manded these smaller ships, Martin Alonzo the " Pinta," and Vicente 
the " Nina." 

The voyage was uneventful, except that the expectancy of all quickened 

the eye, which sometimes saw over-much, and poised the mind, which was 

; alert with hope and fear. It has been pointed out how a westerly course 

1 from Palos would have discouraged Columbus with head and variable winds. 

Running down to the Canaries (for Toscanelli put those islands in the lati- 


tude of Cipango), a westerly course thence would bring him within the con 
tinuous easterly trade-winds, whose favoring influence would inspirit his 
men, as, indeed, was the case. Columbus, however, was very glad on the 
22d of September to experience a west wind, just to convince his crew it 
was possible to have, now and then, the direction of it favorable to their 
return. He had proceeded, as he thought, some two hundred miles farther 
than the longitude in which he had conjectured Cipango to be, when the 
urging of Martin Alonzo Pinzon, and the flight of birds indicating land 
to be nearer in the southwest, induced him to change his course in that 
direction. 2 

1 This follows a fac-simile, given in Ruge, Ge- 
schichte des Zeitalters dcr Entdeckungen p. 240, of 
a cut in Bernhardus de Breydenbach s Peregrin- 
ationes, Mainz, 1486. 

2 Cf. Irving, app. no. xvi., on the route of 
Columbus. Brevoort in his Verrazano, p. 101, 
describes the usual route of the early navigators 
from Spain to the West Indies. Columbus kept 

two records of his progress. One was an un 
worthily deceitful one (reminding us of an earlier 
deceit, when he tampered with the compass to 
mislead his crew), by which he hoped to check 
the apprehensions of his men arising from his in 
creasing longitude ; and the other a dead reck 
oning of some kind, in which he thought he was 
approximately accurate. The story of his capit- 


About midnight 
between the nth and 
12th of October, Co 
lumbus on the look 
out thought he saw 
a light moving in the 
darkness. He called 
a companion, and the 
two in counsel agreed 
that it was so. 1 At 
about two o clock, the 
moon then shining, a 
mariner en the "Pinta" 
discerned unmistaka 
bly a low sandy shore. 
In the morning a land 
ing was made, and, with 
prayer 2 and ceremony, 

ulating to his crew, and agree 
ing to turn back in three days 
in case land was not reached, 
is only told by Oviedo on the 
testimony of a pilot hostile to 

1 It may have been on some 
island or in some canoe ; or 
just as likely a mere delusion. 
The fact that Columbus at a 
later day set up a claim for 
the reward for the first dis 
covery on the strength of this 
mysterious light, to the exclu 
sion of the poor sailor who 
first actually saw land from 
the " Pinta," has subjected his 
memory, not unnaturally, to 
some discredit at least with 
those who reckon magnanim 
ity among the virtues. Cf. 
Navarrete, iii- 612. 

2 The prayer used was 
adopted later in similar cases, 
under Balboa, Cortes, Pizarro, 
etc. It is given in C. Clem- 
ente s Tablets chronologicas, 
Valencia, 1689. Cf. Harrisse, 
JVbfes on Columbus, p. 140; 
Sabin, vol. iv. no. 13,632 ; Car 
ter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 1,376 ; 
Murphy, no. 599 ; and H. H. 
Bancroft s Central America, i. 

3 This follows a map given 
in Das Ausland, 1867, p. 4, in 
a paper on Columbus Jour 
nal, "Das Schiffsbuch des 

VOL. ii. 2. 


possession was taken of the new-found island in the name of the Spanish 


On the third day (October 14) Columbus lifted anchor, and for ten days 

sailed among the minor islands of the archipelago ; but struck the Cuban 

coast on the 28th. 1 
Here the " Pinta," 
without orders 
from the Admiral, 
went off to seek 
some gold-field, of 
which Martin Alon- 
zo Pinzon, its com 
mander, fancied he 
had got some inti 
mation from the 
natives. Pinzon 
returned bootless ; 
but Columbus was 
painfully con 
scious of the muti 
nous spirit of his 
lieutenant. 2 The 
little fleet next 
found Hayti (His- 
paniae insula, 3 as 
he called it), and 
on its northern 

SHIP OF COLUMBUS ? S TIME.* side the Admiral s 

ship was wrecked. 

Out of her timbers Columbus built a fort on the shore, called it " La 

Navidad," and put into it a garrison under Diego de Arana. 5 

Entdeckers von Amerika." The routes of Colum 
bus four voyages are marked on the map accom 
panying the Studi biografici e bibliografici pub 
lished by the Societa Geografica Italiana in 1882. 
Cf. also the map in Charton s Voyagetirs, iii. 155, 
icproduced on a later page. 

I * Humboldt in his Cosmos (English transla- 
\ tion, ii. 422) has pointed out how in this first 
J voyage the descriptions by Columbus of tropi- 
] cat scenes convince one of the vividness of his 
/ impressions and of the quickness of his obseis 

2 Pinzon s heirs at a later day manifested 
hostility to Columbus, and endeavored to mag 
nify their father s importance in the voyage. Cf. 
Irving, App. x. In the subsequent lawsuit for 
the confirmation of Columbus s right, the Pin- 
zons brought witnesses to prove that it was their 

urgency which prevented Columbus from giving 
up the voyage and turning back. 

3 This Latin name seems to have been ren 
dered by the Spaniards La Espanola, and from 
this by corruption the English got Hispaniola. 

4 This follows a fac-simile, given in Ruge, 
Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 241, 
of a cut in Bernhardus de Breydenbach s Pere- 
grinationcs, Mainz, 1486. 

5 There is a wide difference as reported by 
the early writers as to the number of men which 
Columbus had with him on this voyage. F^erdi- 
nand Columbus says ninety ; Peter Martyr, one 
hundred and twenty ; others say one "Hundred 
and eighty. The men he left at Hayti are reck 
oned variously at thirty-nine, forty-three, forty- 
eight, fifty-five, etc. Major, Select Letters, p. 12, 
reckons them as from thirty-seven to forty. The 



With the rest of his company and in his two smaller vessels, on the 4th of 
January, 1493, Columbus started on his return to Spain. He ran northerly to 
the latitude of his desti- 
nation,and then steered 
due east. He experi 
enced severe, weather, 
but reached the Azores 
safely; and then, pass 
ing on, entered the 
Tagus and had an in 
terview with the Portu 
guese King. Leaving 
Lisbon on the I3th, he 
reached Palos on the 
1 5th of March, after an 
absence of over seven 

He was received by 


the people of the little 
seaport with acclama 
tions and wonder ; and, despatching a messenger to the Spanish Court at 
Barcelona, he proceeded to Seville to await the commands,, of the rrion- 

archs. Hp was soon 
bidden to hasten to 
them ; and with the tri 
umph of more than a 
conqueror, and pre 
ceded by the bedizened 
Indians whom he had 
brought with him, he 
entered the city and 
stood in the presence of 
the sovereigns. He 
was commanded to sit 
before them, and to toU 
the story of his discov 
ery. This he did with 
conscious -pride ; and 
not forgetting the past, 


lists show among them an Irishman, " Guillermo 
Ires, natural de Galney, en Irlanda," and an 
Englishman, " Tallarte de Lajes, Ingles." These 
are interpreted to mean William Herries prob 
ably " a namesake of ours," says Harrisse and 

1 Fac-simile of a cut in Oviedo, edition of 1547, 
fol. lix. There is another engraving in Char- 
ton s Voyageiirs, iii. 124. Cf. also Ramusio, Nav. 
et Viaggi, iii. 

2 This is Benzoni s sketch of the way in which 

Arthur Lake. Bernaldez says he carried back the natives cure and tend their sick at Hispa- 

with him to Spain ten of the natives. 

niola. Edition of 1572, p. 56. 





he publicly renewed his previous vow to wrest the Holy Sepulchre fronj 
the Infidel. 

The expectation which had sustained Columbus in his voyage, and 
which he thought his discoveries had confirmed, was that he had reached 

1 This is a reduction of a fac-simile by Pil- 
inski, given in Margry ^ Z<?J Navigations Fran- 
Daises, p. 360, an earlier reproduction having 
been given by M. J:J in La France maritime. It 
is also figured in Charton s Voyageurs, iii. 139. 
The original sketch, by Cclumbus himself, was 
sent by him from Seville in 1 502, and io pre 
served in the city hall at Genoa. M. Jal gives 
a description of it in his DC Paris a Naples, 1836, 
i. 257. The figure sitting beside Columbus is 
Providence; Envy and Ignorance are hinted at 
as monsters following in his wake ; while Con 
stancy, Tolerance, the Christian Religion, Vic 
tory, and Hope attend him. Above all is the 
floating figure of Fame blowing two trumpets, 
one marked " Genoa," the other " Fama Co- 
lumbi." Harrisse (Notes on Columbus, p. 165} 
says that good judges assign this picture to 
Columbus s own hand, though none of the draw 
ings ascribed to him are authentic beyond doubt ; 

while it is very true that he had the reputation 
of being a good draughtsman. Feuillet de Con 
ches (Revue contemporaine, xxiv. 509) disbelieves 
in its authenticity. The usual signature of Co 
lumbus is in the lower left-hand corner of the 
above sketch, the initial letters in which have 
never been satisfactorily interpreted ; but per 
haps as reasonable a guess as any would make 
Christo fcrens." Others read, " SERVIDOR sus 
[or YOSEPH ]." The "Christo ferens " is some 
times replaced by " El Almirante." The essav 
on the autograph in the Cartas de Indias is 
translated in the Magazine of American History, 
Jan., 1883, p. 55. Cf. Irving, app. xxxv. Ruge, 
Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 
317 ; Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings. 
xvi. 322, etc. 



the western parts of India or Asia; and the new islands were accordingly 
everywhere spoken of as the West Indies, or the New World. 

The ruling Pope, Alexander VI., was a native Valencian ; and to him an 
appeal was now made for a Bull, confirming to Spain and Portugal respec- 

1 Fac-simile of engraving in Herrera, who follows DeBry. 


tive fields for discovery. This was issued May 4, 1493, fixing a line, on the 
thither side of which Spain was to be master ; and on the hither side, Portu 
gal. This was traced at a meridian one hundred leagues west of the Azores 
and Cape de Verde Islands, which were assumed to be in the same longi- 


tude practically. The thought of future complications from the running 
of this line to the antipodes does not seem to have alarmed either Pope 
or sovereigns ; J^ut troubles on the Atlantic side were soon to arise, to 
be promptly compounded by a convention at Tordesillas, which agreed 
(June 4, ratified June 7, 1494) to move the meridian line to a point three 

1 Last page of an autograph letter preserved a photograph in Harrisse s Notes on Columbus, 
in the Colombina Library at Seville, following p. 218. 


hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape de Verde Islands, still 
without dream of the destined disputes respecting divisions on the other 
side of the globe. 1 

Thus everything favored Columbus in the preparations for a second 
voyage, which was to conduct a colony to the newly discovered lands. 


Twelve hundred souls were embarked on seventeen vessels, and among 
them persons of consideration and name in subsequent history, Diego, 

1 The line of 1494 gave Portugal, Brazil, the 
Moluccas, the Philippines, and half of New 
Guinea. Jurien de la Graviere, Les marins du 
XV et du XVI* siedc, i. 86. 

2 As given in Oviedo s Coronica, 1547, fol. x., 
from the Harvard College copy. There is no 
wholly satisfactory statement regarding the ori 
gin of these arms, or the Admiral s right to bear 

them. It is the quartering of the royal lion and 
castle, for Arragon and Castile, with gold islands 
in azure waves. Five anchors and the motto, 


were later given or assumed. The crest varies 
in the Oviedo (i. cap. vii.) of 1535. 



the Admiral s brother, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Ojeda, and La Cosa, with 

the Pope s own vicar, a Benedictine named Buil, or Boil. Columbus and 

the destined colonists sailed from Cadiz on the 25th of September. The 

ships sighted an island 
on the 3d of November, 
and continuing their 
course among the Car- 
ibbee Islands, they final 
ly reached La Navidad, 
and found it a waste. It 
was necessary, however, 
to make a beginning 
somewhere; and a little 
to the east of the ruined 
fort they landed their 
supplies and began the 
laying out of a city, 
which they called Isa 
bella. 1 Expeditions were 
sent inland to find gold. 
The explorers reported 
success. Twelve of the 

ships were sent home with Indians who had been seized ; and these ships 

were further laden with products of the soil which had been gathered. 

Columbus himself went with four hundred 

men to begin work at the interior mines ; but 

the natives, upon whom he had counted for 

labor, had begun to fear enslavement for this 

purpose, and kept aloof. So mining did not 

flourish. Disease, too, was working evil. 

Columbus himself had been prostrated ; but 

he was able to conduct three caravels west 

ward, when he discovered Jamaica. On this 

expedition he made up his mind that Cuba 

was a part of the Asiatic main, and somewhat unadvisedly forced his men 

to sign a paper declaring their own belief to the same purport. 4 

Returning to his colony, the Admiral found that all was not going well. 

He had not himself inspired confidence as a governor, and his fame as an 

explorer was fast being eclipsed by his misfortunes as a ruler. Some of 

his colonists, accompanied by the papal vicar, had seized ships and set sail 



1 Bancroft, Central America, i. 496, describes 

Navarrete, ii. 143. It is the frequent re- 

the procedures finally established in laying out currence of such audacious and arrogant acts on 
towns. the part of Columbus which explains his sad 

failure as an administrator, and seriously im 
pairs the veneration in which the world would 

2 This is Benzoni s sketch, edition of 1572, 
p. 60. 

As given in Oviedo, edition of 1547, fol. Ixi. rejoice to hold him. 


for home. The natives, emboldened by the cruelties practised upon them, 
were laying siege to his fortified posts. As an offset, however, his brother 
Bartholomew had arrived from Spain with three store-ships; and later 
came Antonio de Torres with four other ships, which in due time were 


sent back to carry some samples of gold and a cargo of natives to be sold 
as slaves. The vessels had brought tidings of the charges preferred at 
Court against the Admiral, and his brother Diego was sent back with 
the ships to answer 
these charges in the 
Admiral s behalf. Un 
fortunately Diego was 
not a man of strong 
character, and his ad 
vocacy was not of the 

In March (1495) Co 
lumbus conducted an 
expedition into the in 
terior to subdue and 
hold tributary the na 
tive population. It was 
cruelly done, as the 
world looks upon such 
transactions to-day. 

Meanwhile in Spain 
reiteration of charges 

was beginning to shake the confidence of his sovereigns ; and Juan 
Aguado, a friend of Columbus, was sent to investigate. He reached 

1 As depicted in Oviedo, edition of 1547, fol. 2 Benzoni gives this drawing of the canoes 

Ixi. There is another engraving in Charton s of the coast of the Gulf of Paria and there- 

Voyageurs, iii. 106, called " Pirogue Indienne." about. Edition of 1=572, p. s. 
VOL. II. *. 





Isabella in October, Diego, the Admiral s brother, accompanying him. 
Aguado did not find affairs reassuring; and when he returned to Spain 
with his report in March (1496), Columbus thought it best to go too, and to 
make his excuses or explanations in person. They reached Cadiz in June, 
just as Nino was sailing with three caravels to the new colony. 

1 Fac-simile of engraving in Herrera. 


Ferdinand and Isabella received him kindly, gave him new honors, and 
promised him other outfits. Enthusiasm, however, had died out, and de 
lays took place. The reports of the returning ships did not correspond 
with the pictures of Marco Polo, and th< 

new-found world was thought to 


be a very poor India after all. Most people were of this mind ; though 
Columbus was not disheartened, and the public treasury was readily opened 
for a third voyage. 

Coronel sailed early in 1498 with two ships, and Columbus followed with 
six, embarking at San Lucar on the 3Oth of May. He now discovered 

1 This :s the earliest representation which 
we have of the natives of the New World, show 
ing such as were found by the Portuguese on the 
north coast of South America. It has been sup 
posed that it was issued in Augsburg somewhere 
between 1497 and 1504, for it is not dated. The 
only copy ever known to bibliographers is not 
now to be traced. Stevens, Recoil, of James 
Lenox, p. 174. It measures 13-! X 84- inches, 
with a German title and inscription, to be trans 
lated as follows : 

" This figure represents to us the people and 
island which have been discovered by the Chris 
tian King of Portugal, or his subjects. The 
people are thus naked, handsome, brown, well- 
shaped in body; their heads, necks, arms, pri 

vate parts, feet of men and women, are a little 
covered with feathers. The men also have 
many precious stones on their faces and breasts. 
No one else has anything, but all things are 
in common. And the men have as wives those 
who please them, be they mothers, sisters, or 
friends ; therein make they no distinction. They 
also fight with each other; they also eat each 
other, even those who are slain, and hang the 
flesh of them in the smoke. They become a 
hundred and fifty years of age, and have no 

The present engraving follows the fac-simile 
given in Stevens s American Bibliographer, pp. 
7, 8. Cf. Sabin, vol. i. no. 1,031 ; vol. v. no. 
20,257 ; Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 20. 


Xtioidad (July 31), which he named either from its three peaks, or from 
the Holy Trinity; struck the northern coast of South America, 1 and skirted 
what was later known as the Pearl coast, going as far as the Island of 
Margarita. He wondered at the roaring fresh waters which the Orinoco 
pours into the Gulf of Pearls, as he called it, and he half believed that its 
exuberant tide came from the terrestrial paradise. 2 He touched the south 
ern coast of Hayti on the 3Oth of August. Here already his colonists had 
established a fortified post, and founded the town of Santo Domingo. His 
brother Bartholomew had ruled energetically during the Admiral s absence,, 
but he had not prevented a revolt, which was headed by Roldan. Colum 
bus on his arrival found the insurgents still defiant, but was able after a 
while to reconcile them, and he even succeeded in attaching Roldan warmly 
to his interests. 

Columbus absence from Spain, however, left his good name without 
sponsors ; and to satisfy detractors, a new commissioner was sent over \vith 
enlarged powers, even with authority to supersede Columbus in general 
command, if necessary. This emissary was Francisco de Bobadilla, who 
arrived at Santo Domingo with two caravels on the 23d of August, 1500, find 
ing Diego in command, his brother the Admiral being absent. An issue 
was at once made. Diego refused to accede to the commissioner s orders 
till Columbus returned to judge the case himself; so Bobadilla assumed 
charge of the Crown property violently, took possession of the Admiral s 
house, and when Columbus returned, he with his brother was arrested and 
put in irons. In this condition the prisoners were placed on shipboard, 
and sailed for Spain. The captain of the ship offered to remove the man 
acles ; but Columbus would not permit it, being determined to land in 
Spain bound as he was ; and so he did. The effect of his degradation was 
to his advantage ; sovereigns and people were shocked at the sight ; and 
Ferdinand and Isabella hastened to make amends by receiving him with 
renewed favor. It was soon apparent that everything reasonable would 
be granted him by the monarchs, and that he could have all he might wish, 
short of receiving a new lease of power in the islands, which the sover 
eigns were determined to see pacified at least before Columbus should 
again assume government of them. The Admiral had not forgotten his 
vow to wrest the Holy Sepulchre from the Infidel ; but the monarchs did 
not accede to his wish to undertake it. Disappointed in this, he proposed 
a new voyage ; and getting the royal countenance for this scheme, he was 
supplied with four vessels of from fifty to seventy tons each, the " Capi- 
tana," the " Santiago clc Palos," the " Gallego," and the " Vizcaino." He 

1 The question of the priority of Columbus del descobrimiento de la America septentrional, 

discovery of the mainland over Vespucius is first published in Mexico in 1826 by Busta- 

discussed in the following chapter. M. Herrera mante, alleges that Columbus in this southern 

is said to have brought forward, at the Congres course was intending to test the theory of King 

des Americanistes held at Copenhagen in 1883, John of Portugal, that land blocked a westerly 

new evidence of Columbus s landing on the main- passage in that direction. 
land. Father Manoel de la Vega, in his Historia 2 Irving, app. xxxiii. 


sailed from Cadiz May 9, 1502, accompanied by his brother Bartholomew 
and his son Fernando. The vessels reached San Domingo June 29. 

Bobadilla, whose rule of a year and a half had been an unhappy one, 
had given place to Nicholas de Ovando ; and the fleet which brought the 
new governor, with Maldonado, Las Casas, and others, now lay in the 
harbor waiting to receive Bobadilla for the return voyage. Columbus had 
been instructed to avoid Hispaniola ; but now that one of his vessels leaked, 
and he needed to make repairs, he sent a boat ashore, asking permission to 
enter the harbor. He was refused, though a storm was impending. He 
sheltered his vessels as best he could, and rode out the gale. The fleet 
which had on board Bobadilla and Roldan, with their ill-gotten gains, 
was wrecked, and these enemies of Columbus were drowned. The Admiral 
found a small harbor where he could make his repairs; and then, July 14, 
sailed westward to find, as he supposed, the richer portions of India in 
exchange for the barbarous outlying districts which others had appropri 
ated to themselves. He went on through calm and storm, giving names to 
islands, which later explorers re-named, and spread thereby confusion on 
the early maps. He began to find more intelligence in the natives of these 
islands than those of Cuba had betrayed, and got intimations of lands 
still farther west, where copper and gold were in abundance. An old 
Indian made them a rough map of the main shore. Columbus tpok_ him 
on board, and proceeding onward a landing was made on the coast of Hon 
duras August 14. Three days later the explorers landed again fifteen 
leagues farther east, and took possession of the country for Spain. Still 
east they went; and, in gratitude for safety after a long storm, they named 
a cape which they rounded Gracias a Dios, a name still preserved at the 
point where the coast of Honduras begins to trend southward. Columbus 
was now lying ill on his bed, placed on deck, and was half the time in 
revery. Still the vessels coasted south. They lost a boat s crew in getting 
water at one place ; and tarrying near the mouth of the Rio San Juan, 
they thought they got from the signs of the natives intelligence of a rich 
and populous country over the mountains inland, where the men wore 
clothes and bore weapons of steel, and the women were decked with corals 
and pearls. These stories were reassuring; but the exorcising incanta 
tions of the natives were quite otherwise for the superstitious among the 

They were now on the shores of Costa Rica, where the coast trends 
southeast ; and both the rich foliage and the gold plate on the necks of 
the savages enchanted the explorers. They went on towards the source 
of this wealth, as they fancied. The natives began to show some signs 
of repulsion ; but a few hawk s-bells beguiled them, and gold plates were 
received in exchange for the trinkets. The vessels were now within the 
southernmost loop of the shore, and a bit of stone wall seemed to the 
Spaniards a token of civilization. The natives called a town hereabouts 
Veragua, whence, years after, the descendants of Columbus borrowed the 


ducal title of his line. In this region Columbus dallied, not suspecting 
how thin the strip of country was which separated him from the great 
ocean whose farther waves washed his desired India. Then, stiU pursuing 
the coast, which now turned to the northeast, he reached Porto Bello, as 
we call it, where he found houses and orchards. Tracking the Gulf side 
of the Panama isthmus, he encountered storms that forced him into har 
bors, which continued to disclose the richness of the country. 1 

It became now apparent that they had reached the farthest spot of 
Bastidas exploring, who had, in 1501, sailed westward along the northern 
coast of South America. Amid something like mutinous cries from the 
sailors, Columbus was fain to turn back to the neighborhood of Veragua, 
where the gold was ; but on arriving there,, the seas, lately so fair, were 
tumultuous, and the Spaniards were obliged to repeat the gospel of Saint 
John to keep a water-spout, which they saw, from coming their way, so 
Fernando says in his Life of the Admiral. They finally made a harbor at 
the mouth of the River Belen, and began to traffic with the natives, who 
proved very cautious and evasive when inquiries were made respecting gold 
mines. Bartholomew explored the neighboring Veragua River in armed 
boats, and met the chief of the region, with retainers, in a fleet of canoes. 
Gold and trinkets were exchanged, as usual, both here and later on the 
Admiral s deck. Again Bartholomew led another expedition, and getting 
the direction a purposely false one, as it proved from the chief in his 
own village, he went to a mountain, near the abode of an enemy of the 
chief, and found gold, scant, however, in quantity compared with that 
of the crafty chief s own fields. The inducements were sufficient, how 
ever, as Columbus thought, to found a colony; but before he got ready 
to leave it, he suspected the neighboring chief was planning offensive 
operations. An expedition was accordingly sent to seize the chief, and 
he was captured in his own village ; and so suddenly that his own people 
could not protect him. The craft of the savage, however, stood him in 
good stead ; and while one of the Spaniards was conveying him down the 
river in a boat, he jumped overboard and disappeared, only to reappear, 
a few days later, in leading an attack on the Spanish camp. In this the 
Indians were repulsed ; but it was the beginning of a kind of lurking war 
fare that disheartened the Spaniards. Meanwhile Columbus, with the ship, 
was outside the harbor s bar buffeting the gales. The rest of the prison 
ers who had been taken with the chief were confined in his forecastle. By 
concerted action some of them got out and jumped overboard, while those 
not so fortunate killed themselves. As soon as the storm was over, Colum 
bus withdrew the colonists and sailed away. He abandoned one worm-eaten 
caravel at Porto Bello, and, reaching Jamaica, beached two others, 

A year of disappointment, grief, and want followed. Columbus clung 
to his wrecked vessels. His crew alternately mutinied at his side, and roved 

l H. H. Bancroft, Central America, vol. i. of this voyage and the varying cartographical 
chap, iv., traces with some care the coast-findings records. 


about the island. Ovando, at Hispaniola, heard of his straits, but only 
tardily and scantily relieved him. The discontented were finally humbled ; 
and some ships, despatched by the Admiral s agent in Santo Domingo, at 
last reached him, and brought him and his companions to that place, 
where Ovando received him with ostentatious kindness, lodging him in his 
house till Columbus departed for Spain, Sept. 12, 1504. 

On the 7th of November the Admiral reached the harbor of San Lucar. 
Weakness and disease later kept him in bed in Seville, and to his letters 
of appeal the King paid little attention. He finally recovered suffi 
ciently to go to the Court at Segovia, in May, 1505; but Ferdinand 
Isabella had died Nov. 26, 1504 gave him scant courtesy. With a fatal 
istic iteration, which had been his error in life, Columbus insisted still on 
the rights which a better skill in governing might have saved for him; 
and Ferdinand, with a dread of continued maladministration, as constantly 
evaded the issue. While still hope was deferred, the infirmities of age and 
a life of hardships brought Columbus to his end ; and on Ascension Day, 
the 20th of May, 1506, 
he died, with his son 
Diego and a few devoted 
friends by his bedside. 

The character of Co 
lumbus is not difficult to 
discern. If his mental 
and moral equipoise had 
been as true, and his 
judgment as clear, as his 
spirit was lofty and im 
pressive, he could have 
controlled the actions of 
men as readily as he 
subjected their imagina 
tions to his will, and 
more than one brilliant 

opportunity for a record befitting a ruler of men would not have been 
lost. The world always admires constancy and zeal ; but when it is fed, 
not by well-rounded performance, but by self-satisfaction and self-inter 
est, and tarnished by deceit, we lament where we would approve. Co 
lumbus imagination was eager, and unfortunately ungovernable. It led 
him to a great discovery, which he was not seeking for ; and he was far 
enough right to make his error more emphatic. He is certainly not alone 
among the great men of the world s regard who have some of the attributes 
of the small and mean. 


1 This follows an engraving in Ruge, Geschichte des Zcitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 313. taken 
from a photograph. The house is in Valladolid. 



IT would appear, from documents printed by Navarrete that in 1470 Columbus was 
brooding on the idea of land to the west. It is not at all probable that he would 
himself have been able to trace from germ to flower the conception which finally possessed 
his mind. 1 The age was ripened for it; and the finding of Brazil in 1500 by Cabral 
showed how by an accident the theory might have become a practical result at any tim* 
after the sailors of Europe had dared to take long ocean voyages. Columbus grew to 
imagine that he had been independent of the influences of his time ; and in a manuscript 
in his own hand, preserved in the Colombina Library at Seville, he shows the weak, almost 
irresponsible, side of his mind, and flouts at the grounds of reasonable progress which 
many others besides himself had been making to a belief in the feasibility of a western pas 
sage. In this unfortunate writing he declares that under inspiration he simply accomplished 
the prophecy of Isaiah. 2 This assertion has not prevented saner and later writers 3 from 
surveying the evidences of the growth of the belief in the mind, not of Columbus only, but 
of others whom he may have impressed, and by whom he may have been influenced. The 
new intuition was but the result of intellectual reciprocity. It needed a daring exponent, 
and found one. 

The geographical ideas which bear on this question depend, of course, upon the 
sphericity of the earth. 4 This was entertained by the leading cosmographical thinkers 
of that age, who were far however from being in accord in respect to the size of the 
globe. Going back to antiquity, Aristotle and Strabo had both taught in their respective 
times the spherical theory; but they too were widely divergent upon the question of size, 
Aristotle s ball being but mean in comparison with that of Strabo, who was not far wrong 
when he contended that the world then known was something more than one third of the 
actual circumference of the whole, or one hundred and twenty-nine degrees, as he put it; 
while Marinus, the Tyrian, of the opposing school, and the most eminent geographer before 
Ptolemy, held that the extent of the then known world spanned as much as two hundred 
and twenty-five .degrees, or about one hundred degrees too much. 5 Columbus calculations 
were all on the side of this insufficient size. 6 He wrote to Queen Isabella in 1503 that " the 
earth is smaller than people suppose." He thought but one seventh of it was water. In 
sailing a direct western course his expectation was to reach Cipango after having gone 

1 Helps says : " The greatest geographical hand is that of Ferdinand Columbus when a boy, 
discoveries have been made by men conversant and that it may have been written under the 
with the book-knowledge of their own time." Admiral s direction. 

The age of Columbus was perhaps the most il- 3 Irving, book i. chap. v. ; Humboldt, Exa- 

lustriou s of ages. " Where in the history of na- men critique and Cosmos ; Major, Prince Henry 

tions," says Humboldt, " can one find an epoch so of Portugal, chap. xix. and Discoveries of Prince 

fraught with such important results as the dis- Henry, chap. xiv. ; Stevens, Notes ; Helps, 

covery of America, the passage to the East Indies Spanish Conquest ; and among the early writers, 

round the Cape of Good Hope, and Magellan s Las Casas, not to name others, 

first circumnavigation, simultaneously occurring 4 Columbus, it is well known, advocated later 

with the highest perfection of art, the attain- a pear-shape, instead of a sphere. Cf. the"Ter 

ment of intellectual and religious freedom, and cer viage " in Navarrete. 

with the sudden enlargement of the knowledge 5 Robertson s America, note xii. Humboldt 

of the earth and the heavens ? " Cosmos, Eng. cites the ancients ; Examen critique, i. 38, 61, 98, 

tr., ii. 673. etc. 

2 This manuscript is the Libra de las prof ecias, 6 Ferdinand Columbus says that the Arab 
of which parts are printed in Navarrete. Cf. astronomer, Al Fergani, influenced Columbus 
Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 156, who calls it to the same end; and these views he felt 
a " curious medley of quotations and puerile in- were confirmed by the reports of Marco Polo 
ierences ; " and refers for an analysis of it to and Mandaville. Cf. Yule s Marco Fdo. val i. 
Gallardo s Ensayo, ii. 500. Harrisse thinks the p. cxxxi. 


about three thousand miles. This would actually have brought him within a hundred miles 
or so of Cape Henlopen, or the neighboring coast ; while if no land had intervened he 
would have gone nine thousand eight hundred miles to reach Japan, the modern Cipango. 1 
Thus Columbus earth was something like two thirds of the actual magnitude. 2 It can 
readily be understood how the lesser distance was helpful in inducing a crew to accom 
pany Columbus, and in strengthening his own determination. 

Whatever the size of the earth, there was far less palpable reason to determine it than 
to settle the question of its sphericity. The phenomena which convince the ordinary 
mind to-day, weighed with Columbus as they had weighed in earlier ages. These were the 
hulling down of ships at sea, and the curved shadow of the earth on the moon in an eclipse. 
The law of gravity was not yet proclaimed, indeed ; but it had been observed that the men 
on two ships, however far apart, stood perpendicular to their decks at rest. 

Columbus was also certainly aware of some of the views and allusions to be found in 
the ancient writers, indicating a belief in lands lying beyond the Pillars of Hercules. 3 He 
enumerates some of them in the letter which he wrote about his third voyage, and which is 
printed in Navarrete. The Colombina Library contains two interesting memorials of his 

1 By a great circle course the distance would 
have* been reduced to something short of five 
thousand eight hundred miles. (Fox in U. S. 
Coast Survey Report, 1880, app. xviii.) Marco 
Polo had not distinctly said how far off the coast 
of China the Island of Cipango lay. 

2 Cf. D Avezac in Biilletin de la Societe de 
Geographic de Parts, August -October, 1857, 
p. 97. Behaim in his globe placed China 120 
west of Cape St. Vincent; and Columbus is sup 
posed to have shared Behaim s views and both 
were mainly in accord with Toscanelli. Hum- 
boldt, Examen Critique, ii. 357. 

3 Not long from the time of his first voyage 
the Orbis breviarium of Lilius, which later 
passed through other editions and translations, 
summarized the references of the ancients 
(Stevens, Bibl. Geog. no. 1,670). But Harrisse, 
Notes on Columbus, p. 180, holds that the . ear 
liest instance of the new found islands being 
declared the parts known to the ancients, and 
referred to by Virgil in the 6th book of the 

" Jacet extra sidera tellus," etc., 
is in the Geographia of Henricus Glareanus, pub 
lished at Basle in 1527. Cf. also Gravier, Les 
Normands sur la route des Indes, Rouen, 1880, p. 
24; Harrisse, Bibl. Am. Vet. 262. Mr. Murphy, 
in placing the 1472 edition of Strabo s De Situ 
orbis in his American collection, pointed to the 
belief of this ancient geographer in the exist 
ence of the American continent as a habitable 
part of the globe, as shown when he says : 
" Nisi Atlantic! maris obstaret magnitude, posse 
nos navigare per eundem parallelum ex Hispa- 
nia in Incliam, etc." Cf. further, Charles Sum- 
ner s Prophetic Voices concerning America ; also 
in his Works ; Bancroft s Native Races, v. 68, 
122; Baldwin s Prehistoric Nations, 399; Fon 
taine s How the World was peopled, p. 139; Las 
Casas, Historia general; Sherer, Researches 
touching the New World, 1777 ; Recherches sur 
VOL. II. 4. 

la geographic des anciens, Paris, 1797-1813; 
Memoirs of the Lisbon Academy, v. 101 ; Paul 
Gaffarel, L Ameriyue avant Colomb, and his " Les 
Grecs etles Remains, ont ils connu 1 Amerique ? " 
in the Revue de Geographic (iSSi), ix. 241, etc.; 
Ferdinand Columbus life of his father, and 
Humboldt s examination of his views in his 
Examen critique; Brasseur de Bourbourg s 
Introduction to his Popul-Vtih. 

Glareanus, above referred to, was one of the 
most popular of the condensed cosmographical 
works of the time ; and it gave but the briefest 
reference to the New World, "de regionibus 
extra Ptolemasum." Its author was under thirty 
when he published his first edition in 1527 at 
Basle. There is a copy in the Carter-Brown 
Library (Catalogue, i. 90). Cf. also Bibl. Amer. 
Vet., 142; Ffuth, ii. 602; Weigel, 1877, p. 82, 
priced at 18 marks. It was reprinted at Basle, 
the next year, 1528 (Tromel, 3), and again in 

1529. (Bibl. Amer. Vet., 143, 147.) Another 
edition was printed at Freiburg (Brisgau) in 

1530, of which there are copies in Harvard Col 
lege and Carter-Brown (Catalogue, no. 95) libra 
ries. (Cf. Bibl. Amer. Vet., 147; Muller, 1877, 
no. 1,232.) There were other Freiburg imprints 
m : 533> T 536, J 539> T 543 an d 1551- (Bibl. Amer. 
Vet., 183, 212, 248 ; Additions, 121 ; Carter-Brown, 
i. 160 ; White Kennett, p. 12; Tromel, no. 12; 
Murphy, 1049.) There were Venice imprints in 
T 534> 1537, I53 8 > J 539> and J 544- (Bibl. Amer. 
Vet., 225, 228, 259; Additions, 120; Lancetti, 
Buchersaal, i. 79.) An edition of Venice, with 
out date, is assigned to 1549. (Catalogue of the 
Sumner Collection in Han ard College Library.} 
Editions were issued at Paris in 1542, with a 
folded map, " Typus cosmographicus univer- 
salis," in 1550 (Court, 144), and in 1572, the 
last repeating the map. (Bibl. Amer. Vet., 139.) 
The text of all these editions is in Latin. Sabin, 
vol. vii. no. 27,536, etc., enumerates most of the 


connection with this belief. One is a treatise in his own hand, giving his correspondence 
with Father Gorricio, who gathered the ancient views and prophecies ; l and the other is a 
copy of Gaietanus edition of Seneca s tragedies, published indeed after Columbus death, 
in which the passage of the Medea, known to have been much in Columbus mind, is scored 
with the marginal comment of Ferdinand, his son, " Hrec prophetia expleta e per patre meus 
cristoforu cold almirate anno 1492." Columbus, further, could not have been unaware of 


the opposing theories of Ptolemy and Pomponius Mela as to the course in which the fur 
ther extension of the known world should be pursued. Ptolemy held to the east and west 
theory, and Mela to the northern and southern view. 

The Angelo Latin translation of Ptolemy s Greek Geographia had served to dissemi 
nate the Alexandrian geographer s views through almost the whole of the fifteenth century, 

1 Such as Plato s in his Critias and Timcrus, 3 Fac-simile of a cut in Icones sive imagines 
and Aristotle s in his De Mundo, cap. iii., etc. z ivcz literis d. virortim . . . aim elogiis varih 

2 Harrisse, Bibliotheca Americana Vetiistis- per A T ico!autn Reusnernm. Basili<z, CI3 ID 
sima ; Additions, no. 36. XfC, Sig. A. 4. 


for that version had been first made in 1409. In 1475 it nac ^ been printed, and it had 
helped strengthen the arguments of those who favored a belief in the position of India as 
lying o\ r er against Spain. Several other editions were yet to be printed in the new typo- 


dtinus l^t 


graphical centres of Europe, all exerting more or less influence in support of the new views 
advocated by Columbus. 2 Five of these editions of Ptolemy appeared during the interval 

1 Fac-simile of cut in Icones sive imagines 
virorum literis illustrium . . . ex secnuda recog- 
nitione Nicolai Reusneri. Argentorati, CIO ID XC, 
p. i. The first edition appeared in 1587. Bru- 
net, vol. iv., col. 1255, calls the editions of 1590 
and Frankfort, 1620, inferior. 

- Bernaldez tells us that Columbus was a 
reader of Ptolemy and of John de Mandeville. 
Cf. on the spreading of Ptolemy s views at 
this time Lelewel, Geographic dn moyen age, ii. p. 

122 ; Thomassy, Les papes geographies, pp. 15, 34- 
There are copies of the 1475 edition of Ptolemy 
in the Library of Congress and the Carter-Brown 
Library (cf. also Murphy Catalogue, no. 2,044) ; of 
the 1478 edition, the only copy in this country, 
so far as known, is the one in the Carter-Brown 
Library, added to that collection since its cata 
logue was printed. The Perkins copy in 1873 
brought ;So (cf. Livres pay es en vente pttblique 
1,000 francs, etc., p. 137 ). It was the first edition 



from 1475 to 1 49 2 - Of Pomponius Mela, advocating the views of which the Portuguese 
were at this time proving the truth, the earliest printed edition had appeared in 1471. 
Mela s treatise, De situ orbis, had been produced in the first century, while Ptolemy had 
made his views known in the second ; and the age of Vasco da Gama, Columbus, and 
Magellan were to prove the complemental relations of their respective theories. 

It has been said that Macrobius, a Roman of the fifth century, in a commentary on the 
Dream of Scipio, had maintained a division of the globe into four continents, of which 
two were then unknown. In the twelfth century this idea had been revived by Guillaume 
de Conches (who died about 1150) in his Philosophia Minor, lib. iv cap. 3. It was again 
later further promulgated in the writings of Bede and Honore d Autun, and in the Micro- 
cosmos of Geoffrey de Saint-Victor, a manuscript of the thirteenth century still pre 
served. 1 It is not known that this theory was familiar to Columbus. The chief directors 
of his thoughts among anterior writers appear to have been, directly or indirectly, Alber- 
tus Magnus, Roger Bacon, and Vincenzius of Beauvais ; 2 and first among them, for 
importance, we must place the Opus Majus of Roger Bacon, completed in 1267. It was 
from Bacon that Petrus de Aliaco, or Pierre d Ailly (b. 1340; d. 1416 or 1425), in his 
Ymago mundi, borrowed the passage which, in this French imitator s language, so 
impressed Columbus. 3 

with maps. Lelewel (vol. ii. p. 124) had traced 
the influence of the Agathoclaemon (Ptolemean) 
maps on the cartography of the Middle Ages. 
The maps representing the growth of geograph 
ical ideas anterior to Columbus will be exam 
ined in another place. The Ulm edition of 
Ptolemy, 1482, showed in its map of the world 
a part of what is now called America in repre 
senting Greenland ; but it gave it a distinct rela 
tion to Europe, by making Greenland a peninsula 
of the Scandinavian north. There seems reason 
to believe that this map was made in 1471, and 
it passes for the earliest engraved map to show 
that northern region, " Engrone-lancl," as it is 
called. If \ve reject the Zeno map with its alleged 
date of 1400 or thereabout (published long after 
Columbus, in 1558), the oldest known delinea 
tions of Greenland (which there is no evidence 
that Columbus ever saw, and from which if he 
had seen them, he could have inferred nothing to 
advantage) are a Genoese manuscript map in the 
Pitti palace, which Santarem (flistoirc de la Car 
tographic, vol. iii. p. xix) dates 1417, but which 
seems instead to be properly credited to 1447, 
the peninsula here being " Grinlandia " (cf. Lele 
wel, Epilogue, p. 167 ; Magazine of American 
History, April, 1883, p. 290) ; and the map of 
Claudius Clavus, assigned to 1427, which be 
longs to a manuscript of Ptolemy, preserved in 
the library at Nancy. This, with the Zeno map 
and that in the Ptolemy of 1482, is given in 
Trois cartes precolombiennes rcprescntant Green 
land, fac-simile presentes au Congres des Ameri- 
canistcs a Copenhague ; par A. E. A T ordenskiold, 
Stockholm, 1883. In the Laon globe (1486-1487) 
" Grolandia " is put down as an island off the 
Norway coast. There is a copy of this 1482 
edition of Ptolemy in the Carter-Brown Library, 
and another is noted in the Murphy Catalogue, 
no. 2,046. Its maps were repeated in the 1486 

edition, also published at Ulm ; and of this 
there was a copy in the Murphy Collection 
(no. 2,047, bought by President White, of Cor 
nell); and another belongs to the late G. W. Riggs, 
of Washington. In 1490 the Roman edition of 
1478 was reproduced with the same maps ; and 
of this there is a copy in the Carter-Brown Li 
brary ; and another is shown in the Murphy Cata 
logue (no. 2,048). A splendidly illuminated copy 
of this edition sold in the Sunderland sale (part 
v. no. 13,770) has since been held by Quaritch 
at ;6oo. See further on these early editions of 
Ptolemy in Winsor s Bibliography of Ptolemy s 
Geography, published by Harvard University. 

1 Gravier, Les Normands sur la route des 
Indes, Rouen, 1880, p. 37. 

2 Humboldt, Cosmos (Eng. ed.), ii. 619. The 
Speculum naturale of Vincenzius (1250) is an 
encyclopedic treatise, closely allied with other 
treatises of that time, like the De rerum natiira 
of Cantipratensis (1230), and the later work of 
Meygenberg (1349). 

3 Humboldt, Examen Critique, i. 61, 65, 70; 
ii. 349. Columbus quoted this passage in Octo 
ber, 1498, in his letter from Santo Domingo to 
the Spanish monarch. Margry, Navigations 
Francises, Paris, 1867, p. 71, "Les deux Indes 
du XV e siecle et 1 influence Franfaise sur Co- 
lomb," has sought to reflect credit on his country 
by tracing the influence of the Imago mundi in 
the discovery of the New World; but the bor 
rowing from Bacon destroys his case. (Major, 
Select Letters of Columbus, p. xlvii ; Harrisse, 
Notes on Columbus, p. 84.) If Margry s claim 
is correct, that there was an edition of the 
Imago mundi printed at Nuremberg in 1472, it 
would carry it back of the beginning of Colum- 
bus s advocacy of his views ; but bibliographers 
find no edition earlier than 1480 or 1483, and 
most place this edilio princeps ten years later 


2 9 

An important element in the problem was the statements of Marco Polo regarding a 
large island, which he called Cipango, and which he represented as lying in the ocean off 
the eastern coast of Asia. This carried the eastern verge of the Asiatic world farther than 
the ancients had known ; and, on the spherical theory, brought land nearer westward from 



. ccco:cn. 


as Humboldt does. It is generally agreed that 
the book was written in 1410. A copy of this 
first edition, of whatever date, is preserved in 
the Colombina Library in Seville ; and it was 
the copy used by Columbus and Las Casas. Its 
margins are annotated, and the notes, which are 
by most thought to be in the hand of Columbus, 
have been published by Varnhagen in the Bulle 
tin de la Societe de Geographic de Paris, January, 
1858, p. 71, and by Peschel in his Geschichte des 
Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 112, who, how 

ever, ascribes the notes to Bartholomew Colum 
bus. A fac-simile of part of them is given on 
p. 31. Cf. Major, Prince Henry, p. 349; Carter- 
Brown, vol. i. no. 3 ; Murphy Catalogue, no. 27, 
bought by Cornell Univ- and Dinaux, Cardinal 
P. d Ailly, Cambray, 1824. 

1 Fac-simile of cut in Reusner s Icones t 
Strasburg, 1590, p. 4. There is another cut 
in Paulus Jovius s Elogia virorum litteris illus- 
trium, Basle, 1575, p. 7 (copy in Harvard Col 
lege Library). 


Europe than could earlier have been supposed. It is a question, however, if Columbus 
had any knowledge of the Latin or Italian manuscripts of Marco Polo, the only form in 
which anybody could have studied his narrative before the printing of it at Nuremberg 
in 1477, in German, a language which Columbus is not likely to have known. Humboldt 

has pointed out that neither Colum 
bus nor his son Ferdinand mentions 
Marco Polo ; still we know that he 
had read his book. Columbus fur 
ther knew, it would seem, what 
yEneas Sylvius had written on Asia. 
Toscanelli had also imparted to him 
what he knew. A second German 
edition of Marco Polo appeared at 
Augsburg in 1481. In 1485, with the 
Itinerarius vi Mandeville, 1 published 
at Zwolle, the account " De regioni- 
bus orientalibus " -of Marco Polo 
first appeared in Latin, translated 
from the original French, in which it 
had been dictated. It was probably 
in this form that Columbus first saw 
it. 2 There was a separate Latin edi 
tion in I49O. 3 

The most definite confirmation 
and encouragement which Columbus 
received in his views would seem to 
have come from Toscanelli, in 1474. 
This eminent Italian astronomer, who 

was now about seventy-eight years 
MARCO POLO. 4 old? and was to diCj in I482j before 

Columbus and Da Gama had con 
summated their discoveries, had reached a conclusion in his own mind that only about 
fifty-two degrees of longitude separated Europe westerly from Asia, making the earth 
much smaller even than Columbus inadequate views had fashioned it ; for Columbus had 

1 Mandeville had made his Asiatic journey 
and long sojourn (thirty-four years) thirty or forty 
years later than Marco Polo, and on his return 
had written his narrative in English, French, and 
Latin. It was first printed in French at Lyons, 
in 1480. The narrative is, however, unauthentic. 
- A copy of this edition is in the Colombina 
Library, with marginal marks ascribed to Co 
lumbus, but of no significance except as aids to 
the memory. Cf. Harper s Monthly, xlvi. p. I. 

3 There were other editions between his first 
voyage and his death, an Italian one in 1496, 
and a Portuguese in 1502. For later editions, 
cf. Harrisse, Bibl. Am. Vet., no. 89 ; Navarrete, 
Bibl. maritima, ii. 668 ; Brunet, iii. 1,406; Saint- 
Martin, Histoire de la Geographic, p. 278. The 
recent editions of distinctive merit are those, in 
English, of Colonel Yule ; the various texts is 
sued in the Recjicil de voyages et de memoires 
publics par la Societe de Geographic de Paris ; 
and Le livre de Marco Polo, redige en Fran$ais 

sous sa dictee en 1 298 par Rusticien de Pise, publ. 
pour la \ c fois d apres 3 MSS. ined., cm. variantes, 
comment, geogr. et histor., etc., par G. Pauthier. 
2 vols. Paris: Didot, 1865. Cf. Foscarini, Delia 
Ictt. Ven. 239; Zurla, Di Marco Polo ; Maltebrun, 
Histoire de la Geographic ; Tiraboschi, Storia della 
Ictt. Ital, vol. iv. ; Vivien de Saint-Martin, His 
toire de la Geographic, p. 272 ; and the bibliog 
raphy of the MSS. and printed editions of the 
Milione given in Pietro Amat di S. Filippo s 
Stiidi biog. e bibliog., published by the Societa 
Geografica Italiana in 1882 (2d eel.). A fac 
simile of a manuscript of the fourteenth century 
of the Livre de Marco Polo was prepared under 
the care of Nordenskiold, and printed at Stock 
holm in 1882. The original is in the Royal 
Library at Stockholm. 

4 This follows an engraving in Ruge s Gesch- 
ichtc dcs Zcitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 53- The 
original is at Rome. There is a copy of an old 
print in Jules Verne s Decouverte de la Terre. 


satisfied himself that one hundred and twenty degrees of the entire three hundred and 

sixty was only as yet unknown. 1 With such views of the inferiority of the earth, Tosca- 

nelli had addressed a letter 

to Martinez, a prebendary of 

Lisbon, accompanied by a 

map professedly based on 

information derived from the 

book of Marco Polo. 2 When 
Toscanelli received a letter 
of inquiry from Columbus, 
he replied by sending a copy 
of this letter and the map. 
As the testimony to a west 
ern passage from a man of 
Toscanelli s eminence, itwas 
of marked importance in the 
conversion of others to sim 
ilar views. 3 

It has always been a 
question how far the prac 
tical evidence of chance 
phenomena, and the abso 
lute knowledge, derived from 

1 The actual distance from 
Spain westerly to China is two 
hundred and thirty-one degrees. 

2 Cf. Zurla, Fra Maitro, p. 
152; Lelewel, ii. 107. 

3 The Italian text of Tos 
canelli s letter has been long 
known in Ferdinand Colum 
bus Life of his father ; but 
Harrisse calls it " tres-inexact 
et interpolee ; " and, in his Bibl. 
Am. Vet. Additions (1872), p. 
xvi, Harrisse gives the Latin 
text, which he had already 
printed, in 1871, in his Don 
Fernando Colon, published at 
Seville, from a copy made of it 
which had been discovered by 
the librarian of the Colombina, 
transcribed by Columbus him 
self in a copy of /Eneas Sylvius 
(Pius II. s) Historia re rum 
nbique gestarum, Venice, 1477, 
preserved in that library. Har 
risse also gives a photographic 
fac-simile of this memorial of 
Columbus. Cf. D Avezac, in 

the Bulletin de la Societe de Geographic de Paris, 
October, 1873, P- 46 ; and Harrisse, Les Cortereal, 
p. 41. The form of the letter, as given in Navar- 
rete, is translated into English in Kettell syiw- 
nal of Columbus, p. 268, and in Becher s Landfall 
of Columbus, p. 183. Cf. Lelewel, Geographic du 
moyen age, ii. 130; Bulletin de la Societe de Geo 
graphic, 1872, p. 49; Ruge, Geschichte des Zeit- 

>firo Cnfatn rfrgiitm au 
ifoius nun eg carcncem bs 
iftranrcs *f 11009 < <Tehra 
mcac f rugea wcc byertus 
bomtnes . depfoances in 
Hijqmxtf .ignn.ipltt 
A preaofbe planmotf "Jbt 
>dbonc8 vgnflFc9 ac tmmcfb 
f n o la palDemagnac-FOa? 
>ta rft orna para babicabt 
ipfe bicat 

O t**i A: l,T 

Dieoigit" cp frone Inote 
t pr^ccr re^ioncm *pacbs 
<i$ marts magnu oefcenoea 
.am rnferiorem feu /iPnca^ 
us inoieodcenottatropi 
dOmonrcrn AOa!?^. T rcgi 
,-?nunc ~ 
,-fl Gycne 

aci in meoiobabJrariQnis 
jCQDtte fcptecrione i meri 
i monisponeds t^icrufat t 
^7al^tcrn urjrKOio cerre 
. e babicabu IrBToReno^F 
am ncucrupraDicaim eft 

q?acate 9eorr 
\janefatc. FOa 
|5tgm nouoft cub i to ni^ 
pariiit ocraiaorcndcunt 
uimen ferpcticnm qui tbi. logi 
lasher unguea pfminc 
f o in tgne amorc alrcr ai 
parac a : impiu0 iu 

r^ * 


alters der Entdeckungen, p. 225. H. Grothe, in 
his Leonardo da Vinci, Berlin, 1874, says that 
Da Vinci in 1473 nac ^ written to Columbus re 
specting a western passage to the Indies. 

4 On a copy of Pierre d Ailly s Imago 
mundi, preserved in the Colombina Library at 
Seville, following a photograph in Harrisse s 
Notes on Columbus, p. 84. 




, xJ TV.U-.A iuLci. 


fum paruas genres qujauftraliacaucafi 

qucponti ScptcnmonalelarusailtraCtU 


claudicaboricci utPtbolomfo placet R. 

j . A <3cW- JLr ^CAfcA 




j, ,i.ont 

*> - 

colunc fcytbarum norr 
uis Ptbolomcus Sarmatbas appellatiqu 
cft:& alios afiancos uocac a Tbanai u(q 
os Eiiropcsrqiu gemiaruam inter Tbana 
&: mrra linaum montem collocat 


> i /\ C* 1 O l_ 

f riimcit.ScripcorcsaliiSa tbarumnonn 

\ r * 

pcUgiiSOCaiparcarhicranturidC daitbab 
Etbyopibus iradidcrunr : part niodoScj 

quoscurn Sarmacbis confudcrunc . DIQ< 
n , , 

tern apud Araxim n umcn ongincm bab 

abinicionacioncni fuiilc ckmodiccccrr 
ignobilicaccma uicinis concemptafnzn 
qucndam bcllicofum: & milicaauircuf 
phafle montanos: quod ufq^ ad Cauca 
afqjad occeanum ^ Mcocidem flurn< 
am quoque adducic natam apud Scyc 

. ..^ --- ^-7 - : C. --- : 7 

belhcoreniis bomims fotwrdiua in 

me nomine 

ndmen ex fe popuhs uocabulunxincti( 
ros duo fiacres extitermt fumma.iurniJ 
flppellacus:cj magnis rebus geftis regn 
populos Pluconesralterosnapas uoat. 
nies regiones ultra Tbanaim ufquead 
fifquedemdeinalceram partemarmis 
neritrredacftis in poteftatem omnibus 
tibus d<ufcp ad orienasocceanura:5Ci 
protederit.-rhuk^f^reges babiu c " 


1 On a copy of the Historia rertim ubique gestarum of tineas Sylvius, preserved in the Colombina 
Library at Seville, following a photograph in Harrisse s Notes on Columbus, appendix. 


other explorers, bearing upon the views advocated by Columbus, may have instigated or 
confirmed him in his belief. There is just enough plausibility in some of the stories which 
are cited to make them fall easily into the pleas of detraction to which Columbus has 
been subjected. 

A story was repeated by Oviedo in 1535 as an idle rumor, adopted by Gomara in 1552 
without comment, and given considerable currency in 1609 by Garcilasso de la Vega, of 
a Spanish pilot, Sanches, as the name is sometimes given, who had sailed from 
Madeira, and had been driven west and had seen land (Hispaniola, it is inferred), and 
who being shipwrecked had been harbored by Columbus in his house. Under this roof 
the pilot is said to have died in 1484, leaving his host the possessor of his secret. La 
Vega claimed to have received the tale from his father, who had been at the Court of 
Spain in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella. Oviedo repeated it, but incredulously ; l 
and it was later told by Gomara, Acosta, Eden, and others. Robertson,- Irving, 3 and 
most later writers find enough in the indecision and variety of its shapes to discard it 
altogether. Peter Martyr, Bernaldez, and Herrera make no mention of it. It is singular, 
however, that Ferdinand de Galardi, in dedicating his Traite politique des abassadeurs, 
published at Cologne in 1666, to a descendant of Columbus, the Duke of Veraguas, men 
tions the story as an indisputable fact ; 4 and it has not escaped the notice of querulous 
writers even of our day. 5 

Others have thought that Columbus, in his voyage to Thule or Iceland, 6 in February, 
1477, could have derived knowledge of the Sagas of the westerly voyages of Eric the Red 
and his countrymen. 7 It seems to be true that commercial relations were maintained be 
tween Iceland and Greenland for some years later than 1400; but if Columbus knew of 
them, he probably shared the belief of the geographers of his time that Greenland was a 
peninsula of Scandinavia. 8 

The extremely probable and almost necessary pre-Columbian knowledge of the north 
eastern parts of America follows from the venturesome spirit of the mariners to those 
seas for fish and traffic, and from the easy transitions from coast to coast by which they 
would have been lured to meet the more southerly climes. The chances from such natu 
ral causes are quite as strong an argument in favor of the early Northmen venturings as 
the somewhat questionable representations of the Sagas. 9 There is the same ground for 
representing, and similar lack of evidence in believing, the alleged voyage of Joao Vas 
Costa Cortereal to the Newfoundland banks in 1463-1464. Barrow finds authority for it in 
Cordeyro, who gives, however, no date in his Historia Insulana das I/has a Portugal, 
Lisbon, 1717; but Biddle, in his Cabot, fails to be satisfied with Barrow s uncertain ref 
erences, as enforced in his Chronological History of Voyages into the Arctic Regions, 
London, 1818. 10 

1 Xavarrcte, iii. 28. winter for Iceland in 1477, which Columbus rep- 

2 Note xvii. resents at Thule. 

3 Appendix xi. 7 A like intimation is sustained by De Costa 

4 Stevens, Bibl. Gi-og., no. 1147, and Sabin, in Columbus and t/ie Geographers of the North, 
Dictionary, vii. no. 26,342, give different dates. Hartford, 1872; and it is distinctly claimed in 

5 Goodrich s Life of the so-called Christopher Anderson s America not discovered by Columbus, 
Columbus. Cf. Luciano Cordeiro, " Les For- 3d edition, 1883, p. 85. It is also surmised that 
tugais dans la decouverte de 1 Amerique," in Columbus may have known the Zeni map. 
Congres des Americanistes, 1875, i- 2 74- 8 Humbolrlt discusses the question whether 

6 Humbolclt sees no reason to doubt that Ice- Columbus received any incentive from a knowl- 
land was meant. (Examcn critique, i. 105 ; v. 213 ; edge of the Scandinavian or Zeni explorations, 
Cosmos, ii. 6n.) It may be remarked, however, in his Examcn critique, ii. 104; and it also forms 
that "Thyle " and " Islanda" are both laid down the subject of appendices to Irving s Columbus. 
in the Ptolemy map of 1486, which only signifies 9 This problem is more particularly exam- 
probably that the old and new geography were hied in Vol. I. Cf. also Vol. IV. p. 3. 

not vet brought into accord. Cf. Journal of 10 Harrisse, Les Cortereals, p. 25, who points 

the American Geographical Society, xii. 170, 177, out that Behaim s globe shows nothing of such 

where it is stated that records prove the mild a voyage, which it might well have done if the 
VOL. II. 5. 



Another of these alleged northern voyagers was a Polish navigator, John Szkolny, 
a name which we get in various Latinized or other forms, as Scolve, Skolnus, Scolvus, 
Sciolvus, Kolno, etc., who is said to have been on the Labrador coast in 1476, while in 
the service of Denmark. It is so stated by Wytfliet, 1 Pontanus, 2 and Horn. 3 De Costa 
cites what is known as the Rouen globe, preserved in Paris, and supposed to belong to 
about 1540, as showing a legend of Skolnus reaching the northwest coast of Greenland in 
I476. 4 Hakluyt quotes Gemma Frisius and Girava. Gomara, in 1553, and Herrera, in 
1 60 1, barely refer to it. 5 

There is also a claim for a Dieppe navigator, Cousin, who, bound for Africa, is said to 
have been driven west, and reached South America in 1488-1489. The story is told by 
Desmarquets in his Mtmoires chronologiques pour servir a rhistoire de Dieppe, i. 92, 
published at Paris, 1785. Major, giving the story an examination, fully discredits it. 6 

There remains the claim for Martin Behaim, the Nuremberg cosmographer and navi 
gator, which rests upon a passage in the Latin text of the so-called Nuremberg Chronicle 1 
which states that Cam and Behaim, having passed south of the equator, turned west 

voyage had been made ; for Behaim had lived at 
the Azores, while Cortereal was also living on a 
neighboring island. Major, Select Letters of Co- 
himbus, p. xxviii, shows that Faria y Sousa, in 
Asia Porttiguesa, while giving a list of all expe 
ditions of discovery from Lisbon, 1412-1460, 
makes no mention of this Cortereal. W. D. 
Cooley, in his Maritime and Island Discovery, 
London, 1830, follows Barrow; but Paul Barron 
Watson, in his " Bibliography of pre-Columbian 
Discoveries" appended to the 3d edition (Chi 
cago, 1883) of Anderson s America not discovered 
by Columbus, p. 158, indicates how Humboldt 
(Examen critique, \. 279), G. Folsom (North 
American Review, July, 1838), Gaffarel (Etudes, 
p. 328), Kohl (Discovery of Maine, p. 165), and 
others dismiss the claim. If there was any truth 
in it, it would seem that Portugal deliberately 
cut herself off from the advantages of it in ac 
cepting the line of demarcation in 1493. 

1 Edition of 1597, folio 188. 

" Follows Wytfliet in his Rerum Danicarum 
historia, 1631, p. 763. 

3 Ulyssea, Lugduni, 1671, p. 335. 

4 Journal of the American Geographical So 
ciety, xii. 170. Asher, in his Henry Hiidson, 
p. xcviii, argues for Greenland. 

5 Gomara, Historia general de las Indias, 
Medina, 1553, and Anvers, 1554, cap. xxxvii, 
folio 31 ; and Herrera, Historia general, Madrid, 
1601, dec. i, lib. 6, cap. 16. Later writers have 
reiterated it. Cf. Humboldt, Examen critique, 
ii. 152, who is doubtful; Lelewel, iv. 106, who 

says he reached Labrador; Kunstmann, Ent- 
deckung Amerikas, p. 45. Watson, in his Bibli 
ography of tJie pre-Columbian Discoveries, cites 
also the favorable judgment of Belleforest, 
L histoire universelle, Paris, 1577 ; Morisotus 
Orbis maritimi, 1643; Zurla s Marco Polo, 1818; 
C. Pingel in Gronlands Historisk Mindesmaeker, 
1845 ; Gaffarel, Etude, 1869 ; and De Costa, 
Columbus and the Geographers of the A T orth, 
1872, p. 17. 

6 America not disccrucred by Columbus, p. 164. 
Estancelin, in his RecJierches sur les voyages et 
decouvertes des navigateurs Normands en Afrique, 
dans les Indes orientales. et en Amerique ; suivies 
d observations sur la marine, le commerce, et les 
etablissemens coloniaux des Fran$ais, Paris, 1832, 
claims that Pinzon, represented as a companion 
of Cousin, was one of the family later associated 
with Columbus in his voyage in 1492. Leon 
Guerin, in A T avigateurs Francais, 1846, mentions 
the voyage, but expresses no opinion. Parkman, 
Pioneers of France, p. 169, does not wholly dis 
credit the story. Paul Gaffarel, Ettule sur les 
rapports de r Amerique et de r an den continent 
avant Colomb, Paris, 1869, and Dccouverie du 
Bresil par Jean Cousin, Paris, 1874, advocates 
the claim. Again, in his Histoire du Bresil Fran- 
cats, Paris, 1878, Gaffarel considers the voyage 
geographically and historically possible. (Cf. 
also a paper by him in the Revue politique et litte- 
raire, 2 mai, 1874.) It is claimed that the white 
and bearded men whom, as Las Casas says, the 
natives of Hispaniola had seen before the com 
ing of the Spaniards, were the companions of 
Cousin. Cf. Vitet s Histoire de Dieppe, Paris, 
1833, vol. ii. ; David Asseline s Antiquitez et 
cJironiques dc Dieppe, avec introduction par Hardy, 
Guerillon, et Sauvage, Paris, 1874, two vols. ; and 
the supplemental work of Michel Claude Guibert, 
Memo ires pour servir a fhistoire de Dieppe, Paris, 
1878, two vols. Cf. Sabin, vol. xii. no. 47,541 ; 
Dufosse, Americana, nos. 4,735, 9,027. 

7 The ordinary designation of Hartmann 
Schedel s Registrum huius operis libri cronica- 
rum cu figuris et ymagibus ab inicio miidi, 
Nuremberg, 1493, p- 290. The book is not 
very rare, though much sought for its 2,250 
woodcuts ; and superior copies of it bring 
from $75 to $100, though good copies are often 
priced at from $30 to $60. Cf. Bibliotheca Spen- 
ceriana ; Leclerc, no. 533; Carter-Brown, vol. i. 
nos. 12, 18 ; Huth, iv. 1305; Sunderland, no. 
2,796; Harrisse, BibL Amer.Vet., no. 13 ; Muller, 



and (by implication) found land. The passage is not in the German edition of the same 
year, and on reference to the manuscript of the book (still preserved in Nuremberg) 
the passage is found to be an interpolation written in a different hand. 1 It seems 
likely to have been a perversion or misinterpretation of the voyage of Diego Cam down 
the African coast in 1489, in which he was accompanied by Behaim. That Behaim him 
self did not put the claim forward, at least in 1492, seems to be clear from the globe, 
which he made in that year, and which shows no indication of the alleged voyage. The 
allegation has had, however, some advocates ; but the weight of authority is decidedly 
averse, and the claim can hardly be said to have significant support to-day. 2 

It is unquestionable that the success of the Portuguese in discovering the Atlantic 
islands and in pushing down the African coast, sustained Columbus in his hope of west 
ern discovery, if it had not instigated it. 3 The chance wafting of huge canes, unusual 
trunks of trees, and even sculptured wood and bodies of strange men, upon the shores of 
the outlying islands of the Azores and Madeira, were magnified as evidences in his mind. 4 
When at a later day he found a tinned iron vessel in the hands of the natives of Guade- 

Books on America, 1872, no. 1,402 ; Cooke, no. 
2,961 ; Murphy, no. 2,219, w i tn a note by tnat 

1 Cf. Von Murr, Memorabilia bibliothecarum 
Norimbergensium, vol. i. pp. 254-256 : " nee locus 
ille de America loquitur, sed de Africa." 

- Watson s Bibliography of pre-Columbian 
Discoveries of America, p. 161, enumerates the 
contestants; and Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 
13, 14, epitomizes the authorities. The earliest 
reference, after Schedel, seems to be one in 
Guillaume Postel s Cosmographies discipline com 
pendium, Basle, 1561, in which a strait below 
South America is named Behaim s Strait ; but 
J. Chr. Wagenseil, in his Sacra parentalia, 1682, 
earliest urged the claim, which he repeated in 
his Historia imiversalis, while it was reinforced 
in Stiiveu s or Stuvenius De vero novi orbis 
inventor e, Frankfort, 1714. (Copy in Harvard 
College Library ; cf. Carter-Brown, vol. iii. no. 
195.) The first important counter-argument ap 
peared in E. Tozen s Der luahre und erste 
Ent decker der Neuen Welt, Christoph Colon, 
gegen die ungegrilndeten Auspriiche, welche Amer- 
icus Vespucei iind A far tin Behaim auf diese Ehre 
machen, vertheidiget, Gottingen, 1761. (Sabin, 
xii. 489.) Robertson rejected the claim ; and so, 
in 1778, did C. G. von Murr, in his Diplomatische 
Geschichte des Ritters Behaim, published at Nu 
remberg (2d ed., Gotha, 1801 ; Jansen s French 
translation, Paris, 1801, and Strasburg, 1802 ; 
also appended to Amoretti s Pigafetta : English 
in Pinkerton s Voyages, 1812). A letter from 
Otto to Benjamin Franklin, in the American 
Philosophical Society s Transactions, 1786, ii. 263, 
urged the theory. Dr. Belknap, in 1792, in 
the Appendix to his Discourse on Columbus, 
dismissed it. Cladera, in his Investigations 
historicas sobre los principales descubrimientos 
de los Espanoles, Madrid, 1794, was decidedly 
averse, replying to Otto, and adding a transla 
tion of Von Murr s essay. (Leclerc, nos. 118, 
2,505.) Amoretti, in his Preface to Pigafetta s 

Voyage, Paris, 1801, argues that Columbus 
discoveries convinced Behaim of his own by 
comparison. Irving says the claim is founded 
on a misinterpretation of the Schedel passage. 
Humboldt, in his Examen critique, i. 256, enters 
into a long adverse argument. Major, in his 
Select Letters of Columlnis, and in his Prince 
Henry, is likewise decided in opposition. Ghil- 
lany, in his Geschichte des Seefahrers Ritter 
Martin Behaim, is favorable. Gaffarel, Etude 
sur les rapports de F Amerique et de Vancien con 
tinent avant Colottib, Paris, 1869, s sceptical. 

It seems to be a fact that Behaim made a 
map showing the straits passed by Magellan, 
which Pigafetta refers to ; and it is also clear 
that Schoner, in globes made earlier, also indi 
cated a similar strait ; and Schoner might well 
have derived his views from Behaim. What we 
know of Behaim s last years, from 1494 to 1506, 
is not sufficient to fill the measure of these 
years ; and advocates are not wanting who as 
sign to them supposed voyages, on one of which 
he might have acquired a personal knowledge 
of the straits which he delineated. Such advo 
cates are met, and will continue to be answered, 
with the likelier supposition, as is claimed, of 
the Straits in question being a happy guess, 
both on Behaim s and Schoner s part, derived 
from the analogy of Africa,- 5 - a southern ex 
tremity which Behaim had indeed delineated on 
his globe some years before its actual discov 
ery, though not earlier than the existence of a 
prevalent belief in such a Strait. Cf. Wieser, 
Magalhaes- Strasse. 

3 Las Casas is said to have had a manuscript 
by Columbus respecting the information derived 
by him from Portuguese and Spanish pilots con 
cerning western lands. 

4 These were accounted for " by the west 
erly gales, the influence of the Gulf Stream 
not being suspected. Humboldt, Cosmos, Eng 
lish translation, ii. 662 ; Examen critique, 


loupe, he felt that there had been European vessels driven along the equatorial current to 
the western world, which had never returned to report on their voyages. 

Of the adventurous voyages of which record was known there were enough to inspire 
him ; and of all the mysteries of the Sea of Darkness, 1 which stretched away inimitably 
to the west, there were stories more than enough. Sight of strange islands had been often 
reported ; and the maps still existing had shown a belief in those of San Brandan 2 and 
Antillia, 3 and of the Seven Cities founded in the ocean waste by as many Spanish bish 
ops, who had been driven to sea by the Moors. 4 

The Fortunate Islands 5 (Canaries) of the ancients discovered, it is claimed, by the 
Carthaginians 6 had been practically lost to Europe for thirteen hundred years, when, in the 
beginning of the fifteenth century (1402), Juan de Bethencourt led his colony to settle them. 7 
They had not indeed been altogether forgotten, for Marino Sanuto in 1306 had delineated 
them on a map given by Camden, though this cartographer omitted them on later charts. 
Traders and pirates had also visited them since 1341, but such acquaintance had 
hardly caused them to be generally known. 8 The Canaries, however, as well as the 

1 See Major s Preface to his Prince Henry. 
Cf. H. H. Bancroft, Central America, i. 373, for 
the successive names applied to the Atlantic. 

2 Cf. Les voyages merveilleux de Saint-Bran- 
dan a la recherche du paradis terrestre. Legende 
en vers du Xle siecle, publiee avec introdtiction 
par Francisque- Michel, Paris, 1878 ; and refer 
ences in Poole s Index, p. 1 59. 

3 Humboldt points this island out on a map 
of 1425. 

4 Cf. Humboldt, Examcn critique, ii. 156- 
245 ; Kunstmann, Entdeckung Amerikas, pp. 6, 
35 ; D Avezac on the " Isles fantastiques," in 
Nouvettes annales des voyages, April, 1845, P 1 
55. Many of these islands clung long to the 
maps. Becher (Landfall of Columbus] speaks 
of the Isle of St. Matthew and Isle Grande in 
the South Atlantic being kept in charts till the 
beginning of this century. E. E. Hale tells 
amusingly of the Island of Bresil, lying off the 
coast of Ireland and in the steamer s track from 
New York to England, being kept on the Admi 
ralty charts as late as 1873. American Anti 
quarian Society Proceedings, Oct. 1873. Cf. 
Gaffarel, Congres des Auicricanistes, 1877, i. 423, 
and Fornialeoni s Essai sur la marine ancienne 
des venitiens ; dans lequel on a mis au jour plu- 
siettrs cartes tirees de la bibliotJieque de St. Marc, 
anterieures a la decouverte de CJiristophe Colomb, 
6 qui indiqucnt clairemcnt ^existence des isles 
Antilles. Trad nit de ritalien par le chevalier 
d Henin, Venise, 1788. 

5 There are seven inhabitable and six desert 
islands in the group. 

6 Cf. Die Entdeckung der Carthager und 
Griechen anf dem Atlantischen Ocean, by loa- 
chim Lelewel, Berlin, 1831, with two maps (Sa- 
bin, x. 201) one of which shows conjecturally the 
Atlantic Ocean of the ancients (see next page). 

~ Two priests, Bontier and Le Verrier, who 
accompanied him, wrote the account which we 
have. Cf. Peter Martyr, dec. i. c. I ; Galvano, 
p. 60; Muiioz. p. 30; Kunstmann, p. 6. 

8 Charton ( Voyageurs, iii. 75) gives a partial 
bibliography of the literature of the discovery 
and conquest. The best English book is Major s 
Conquest of tJie Canaries, published by the 
Hakluyt Society, London, 1872, which is a trans 
lation, with notes, of the Bethencourt narrative ; 
and the same author has epitomized the story 
in chapter ix. of his Discoveries of Prince Henry. 
There is an earlier English book, George Glas s 
Disco-t>ery and Conquest of the Canary Islands, 
London, 1764, 1767, which is said to be based 
on an unpublished manuscript of 1632, the work 
of a Spanish monk, J. de Abreu de Galineo, in 
the island of Palma. The Bethencourt account 
was first published in Paris, 1630, with different 
imprints, as Histoire de la premiere descovverte et 
conqueste des Canaries. Dufosse prices it at from 
250 to 300 francs. The original manuscript was 
used in preparing the edition, Le Canarien, issued 
at Rouen in 1874 by G. Gravier (Leclerc, no. 267). 
This edition gives both a modern map and a 
part of that of Mecia de Viladestes (1413) ; 
enumerates the sources of the story ; and 
(p. Ixvi) gives D Avezac s account of the pres 
ervation of the Bethencourt manuscript. The 
Spanish translation by Pedro Ramirez, issued 
at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1847, was ren 
dered from the Paris, 1630, edition. 

Cf. Nunez cle la Pena s Conquista y anti- 
giiedades de las Islas de la Gran Canaria, Madrid, 
1676, and reprint, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1847 ; 
Cristoval Perez de el Christo, Las siete Islas de 
Canaria, Xeres, 1679 (rare, Leclerc, 110.644, 
100 francs) ; Viera y Clavijo, Historia general de 
las Islas de Canaria, Madrid, four volumes, 1772- 
1783 (Leclerc, no. 647, calls it the principal 
work on the Canaries) ; Bory de Saint Vincent, 
Essais sur les Isles Fortunees, Paris, an xi. (1803) ; 
Les lies Fortunees, Paris, 1869. D Avezac, in 
1846, published a A T ote sur la premiere expedition 
de Bethencourt aux Canaries, and his Isles 
d Afrique " in the Uf livers pittoresque may be 
referred to. 






/%em*tef 1/fV ^\ 

Kenniuiss ."Vbr stelhmg 

-von Aer 

^\o? Zeit de s 
Acistoiele s 


der Ziicre Alexanders d.G-. 
J Jahre340.333 


1 This is part of a map of the ancien . world thager und Griechcn a:if dem Atlantischen 
;iven in Lelewel s Du- Entdeckung der Car- Berlin, 1831. 



Azores, appear in the well-known portolano of I35I, 1 which is preserved in the Biblioteca 
Mediceo-Laurenziana in Florence. A chart of the Brothers Pizigani, dated in 1367, gives 
islands which are also identified with the Canaries, Azores, and Madeira ; 2 and the Canaries 
also appear on the well-known Catalan mappemonde of 1375. 3 These Atlantic islands 
are again shown in a portolano of a period not much later than 1400, which is among the 
Egerton manuscripts in the British Museum, and is ascribed to Juan da Napoli ; 4 and in 1436 
they are conspicuous on the detailed sea-chart of Andrea Bianco. This portolano has also 
two islands on the extreme western verge of the sheet, 4i Antillia" and " De la man Sata 
naxio," which some have claimed as indicating a knowledge of the two Americas. 5 It 
was a map brought in 1428 from Venice by Dom Pedro, which, like the 1351 map, showed 
the Azores, that induced Prince Henry in 1431 to despatch the expedition which rediscov 
ered those islands; and they appear on the Catalan map, which Santarem (pi. 54) describes 
as "Carte de Gabriell de Valsequa, faite a Mallorcha en 1439." ^ was m : 466 that the 
group was colonized, as Behaim s globe shows. 6 

The Madeira group was first discovered by an Englishman, Machin, or Macham, ~ 
in the reign of Edward III. (1327-1378). The narrative, put into shape for Prince Henry 
of Portugal by Francisco Alcaforado, one of his esquires, was known to Irving in a French 
translation published in 1671, which Irving epitomizes. 7 The story, somewhat changed, is 
given by Galvano, and was copied by Hakluyt ; 8 but, on account of some strangeness and 
incongruities, it has not been always accepted, though Major says the main recital is 
confirmed by a document quoted from a German collection of voyages, 1507, by Dr. 
Schmeller, in the Memoirs of the Academy of Science at Munich, 1847, and which, secured 
for Major by Kunstmann, is examined by him in his Prince Henry? The group was 
rediscovered by the Portuguese in 141 8-1420. 10 Prince Henry had given the command of 
Porto Santo to Perestrello ; and this captain, in 1419, observing from his island a cloud in 
the horizon, found, as he sailed to it, the island now called Madeira. It will be remem 
bered that it was the daughter of Perestrello whom Columbus at a later day married. 11 


1 It is given by Lelewel, Geographic dn tilio ; " and again in the portolano belonging to 
Moycn Age ; and has been issued in fac-simile by the Egerton manuscripts in the British Museum, 
Ongania at Venice, in iSSi. It is also given in and supposed to represent the knowledge of 
Major, Prince Henry, 1868 edition, p. 107, and in 1489, just previous to Columbus s voyage, and 
Marco Polo, edition by Boni, Florence, 1827. Cf. thought by Kohl to be based on a Benincasa 
Winsor s Kohl Collection of Early Maps, issued chart of 1463, the conventional "Antillia" is 
by Harvard University. called " Y de Sete Zitade." It is ascribed to 

2 This chart is given by Jomard, pi. x., and Christofalo Soligo. Behaim s globe in 1492 also 
Santarem, pi. 40. Ongania published in iSSi a gives " Insula Antiliagenannt Septe Citade." Cf. 
Pizigani chart belonging to the Ambrosian Li- Harrisse, Les Cortereal, p. 116. The name " A li 
brary in Milan, dated 1373. tilhas seems first to have been transferred from 

3 This map is given in Mamiscrits de la Bib- this problematical mid-ocean island to the archi- 
liothtque du Roi, vol. xiv. part 2; in Santarem, pi. pelago of the West Indies by the Portuguese, 
31,40; Lelewel, pi. xxix. ; Saint-Martin s Atlas, for Columbus gave no general name to the 
pi. vii. ; Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitalters der Ent- group. 

dechtngen, 1881, and full size in fac-simile in c Cf. Kunstmann, Entdeckung Amerikas, pp. 

Choix de documents geographiqnes conserves a la i, etc.; Drummond, Annales da Ilka Terceira ; 

Bibliotheque Nationals, Paris, 1883. Ernesto do Canto, Archivo dos Acores ; Major s 

4 Winsor s Kohl Collection of early maps, Discoveries of Prince Henry, chap. x. ; Quarterly 
part i. no. 17. Review, xi. 191 ; Cordeyro s Historia insulana, 

5 Cf. Santarem, Histoire de la Cartographic, Lisbon, 1717. 

iii. 366, and the references in Winsor s Kohl 1 Appendix xxv. 

Collection, part i. no. 19; and Bibliography of 8 Vol. ii. part 2, p. I ; also Purchas, ii. 1672. 

Ptolemy, sub anno 1478. A sea-chart of Bartol- 9 Edition of 1868, pp. xvii and 69; Kunst- 

omeus de Pareto, A. D. 1455, shows "Antillia" mann, Entdeckung Amerikas, p. 4. 

and an island farther west called " Roillo." An- 10 Cf. Caspar Fructuoso s Historia das Ilha* 

tillia is supposed also to have been delineated on do Porto-Santo, Madeira, Desertas e Selvagens, 

Toscanelli s map in 1474. In 1476 Andreas Be- Funchal, 1873. 

nincasa s portolano, given in Lelewel, pi. xxxiv. n Cf. Stndi biog. e bibliog. i. 137, which places 

and Saint-Martin, pi. vii. shows an island "An- Perestrello s death about 1470. 



It was not till 1460 * that the Cape De Verde Islands were found, lying as they do 
well outside of the route of Prince Henry s vessels, which were now following down the 
African coast, and had been pursuing 
explorations in this direction since 

There have been claims advanced 
by Margry in his Les navigations Fran- 
Daises et la revolution maritime dn 
XIV* an XVI siecle, d aprh les docu 
ments inedits tires de France, d A ti 
ghter re, d^Espagne, et d ltalie, pp. 
13-70, Paris, 1867, and embraced in 
his first section on " Les marins de 
Xormandie aux cotes de Guinee avant 
les Portugais," in which he cites an 
old document, said to be in London, 
setting forth the voyage of a vessel 
from Dieppe to the coast of Africa in 
1364. Estancelin had already, in 1832, 
in his Navigateurs Normands en Af- 
rique, declared there were French es 
tablishments on the coast of Guinea 
in the fourteenth century, a view 
D Avezac says he would gladly accept 
if he could. Major, however, failed to 
find, by any direction which Margry 
could give him, the alleged London 
document, and has thrown -to say the 
least discredit on the story of that 
document as presented by Margry. 2 

The African explorations of the Portuguese are less visionary, and, as D Avezac says, 
the Portuguese were the first to persevere and open the African route to India. 4 

The peninsular character of Africa upon which success in this exploration depended 
was contrary to the views of Aristotle, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy, which held to an 


1 It has sometimes been put as early as 1440; 
but 1460 is the date Major has determined after 
a full exposition of the voyages of this time. 
Prince Henry (1868 edition), p. 277. D Avezac 
Isles de V Afrique, Paris, 1848. 

2 Prince Henry, edition of 1868, pp. xxiv and 
127. Guibert, in his Ville de Dieppe, \. 306 
(1878), refers, for the alleged French expedition 
to Guinea in 1364, to Villault de Belfond, Rela 
tion des cosies d" 1 Afrique appelees Guinee, Paris, 
1669, p. 409 ; Vitet, Anciennes villes de 
France, ii. I, Paris, 1833; D Avezac 
Decouvertes dans I 1 ocean atlantique an- 
terieurement aux grands explorations 

du XV e siecle, p. 73, Paris, 1845; Jul es 
Hardy, Les Dieppois en Guinee en 1364, 
1864; Gabriel Gravier,Z^ Canarien, 1874. 

3 This follows a portrait in a contemporary 
manuscript chronicle, now in the National Li 
brary at Paris, which Major, who gives a colored 
fac-simile of it, calls the onlv authentic likeness, 

probably taken in 1449-1450, and representing 
him in mourning for the death of his brother 
Dom Pedro, who died in 1449. There is an 
other engraving of it in Jules Verne s La 
Decouverte de la Terre, p. 112. Major calls the 
portrait in Gustave de Veer s Life of Prince 
Henry, published at Dantzig, in 1864, a fancy 
one. The annexed autograph of the Prince is 
the equivalent of IFFAXTE DOM ANRIQUE. 
Prince Henry, who was born March 4, 1394, died 

Nov 15, 1463. He was the third son of John I. 
of Portugal ; his mother was a daughter of Johr 
of Gaunt, of England. 

4 Cf. Jurien de la Graviere s Les marins di 
XV et du XVI* siecle, vol. i. chap. ?. 


enclosed Indian Ocean, formed by the meeting of Africa and Asia at the south. The 
stories respecting the circumnavigation of Africa by the ancients are lacking in substan 
tial proof; and it seems probable that Cape Non or Cape Bojador was the limit of their 
southern expeditions. 2 Still, this peninsular character was a deduction from imagined 
necessity rather than a conviction from fact. It found place on the earliest maps of the 
revival of geographical study in the Middle Ages. It is so represented in the map of 
Marino Sanuto in 1306, and in the Lorentian portolano of 1351. Major 3 doubts if the 
Catalan map of 1375 shows anything more than conjectural knowledge for the coasts 

beyond Bojador. 

^ Of Prince Henry the moving spirit in the African 

enterprise of the fifteenth century we have the most sat 
isfactory account in the Life, of Prince Henry of Portugal, 
siir)ia)tied the Navigator, and its Results . . . from Au- 
tJicntic Contemporary Documents, by Richard Henry Major, 
London, 1868, 4 a work which, after the elimination of the 
controversial arguments, and after otherwise fitting it for 
the general reader, was reissued in 1877 as The Discoveries 
of Prince Henry tJie Navigator. These works are the guide 
for the brief sketch of these African discoveries now to be 
made, and which can be readily followed on the accom 
panying sketch-map. 5 

Prince Henry had been with his father at the capture 
of Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar, in 1415, when the Portuguese 
got their first foothold in Africa. In 1418 he established a 
school of nautical observation at Sagres, 6 the southwestern 
promontory of his father s kingdom, and placed the geo 
grapher, Jayme, 8 of Majorca, in charge of it. The Prince at 
once sent out his first expedition down the Barbary coast : 
but his vessel, being driven out of its course, discovered the 
Island of Porto Santo. Expedition after expedition reached, 

in successive years, the vicinity of Cape Bojador ; but an inexpressible dread of the uncer 
tainty beyond deferred the passage of it till 1434. Cape Blanco was reached in 1445 ; Cape 
Verde shortly after ; and the River Gambia in 1447. Cadamosto and his Venetians pushed 


1 Humboldt, Examcn critique, i. 144, 161, 
329; ii. 370; Cosmos, ii. 561; Jules Codine s 
Memoire geographique sur la mer des Indcs, 
Paris, 1868. 

- Irving, app. xiv. 

3 Prince Henry, p. 1 16 ( 1 868). Cf. Studi biog. 
e bibliog. delta Soc. Geog. It at., ii. 57- 

4 The author tells, in his preface, the condi 
tion of knowledge regarding his subject which 
he found when he undertook his work, and re 
counts the service the Royal Academy of Sciences 
at Lisbon has done since 1779 in discovering and 
laying before the world important documents. 

5 Gustav de Veer s Prinz Heinrich der See- 
fahrer, und seine Zeif, Dantzig, 1864, is a more 
popular work, and gives lists of authorities. Cf. 
H. Monin in the Re-cue de geographic, December, 

3 There is some question if the school of 
Sagres had ever an existence ; at least :t is 
doubted in the Arc/tiro des Acores, iv. 18, as 
quoted by Ilarrisse, Les Cortereal, p. 40. 

7 Cf. Heinrich Wuttke s " Zur Geschichte 
der Erclkunde in der letzten halfte des Mittel- 
alters : Die Karten der Seefahrenden Volker 
siid Europas bis zum ersten Druck der Erd- 
beschreibung des Ptolemaus," in the Jahrlnich 
des Vereins fiir Erdkunde in Dresden, 1870, 
J. Codine s " Decouverte de la cote d Afrique 
par les Portugais pendant les anne es, 1484- 
1488," in the Bulletin de la Societe de Geographic 
de Paris, 1876; Vivien de Saint-Martin s His- 
toire de la geographic et des decouvertes geogra- 
pJiiqnes, depuis les temps les plus recides jusqii a 
nos jours, p. 298, Paris, 1873 > Ruge s Geschichte 
des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 8 1 ; Clarke s 
Progress of Maritime Disccrvery, p. 140 ; and G. T. 
Raynal s Histoire pJiilosopJiique et politique des 
etablissemens ct du commerce des Europeens dans 
les deux Indes, Geneva, 1780; Paris, 1820. Paulit- 
schke s Afrika-literatur in der Zeit von 1500 l>is 
1750, Vienna, 1882, notes the earliest accounts. 

8 Cf. Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. ret., 261; adds 


still farther, and saw the Southern Cross for the first time. 1 Between 1460 and 1464 
they went beyond Cape Mesurado. Prince Henry dying in 1463, King Alfonso, in 1469, 
farmed out the African commerce, and required five hundred miles to be added yearly to 
the limit of discovery southward. Not long after, Diego Cam reached the Congo coast, 
Behaim accompanying him. In 1487, after seventy years of gradual progress down six 



thousand miles of coast, southward from Cape Non, the Portuguese under Diaz reached 
the Stormy Cape, later to be called the Cape of Good Hope. He but just rounded it 
in May, and in December he was in Portugal with the news. Bartholomew, the brother 
of Columbus, had made the voyage with him. 3 The rounding of the Cape was hardly a 
surprise : for the belief in it was firmly established long before. In 1457-1459, in the 
map of Fra Mauro, which had been constructed at Venice for Alonzo V., and in which 
Bianco assisted, the terminal cape had been fitly drawn. 4 

1 Major (p. xvi) has more or less distrust of 
Cadamosto s story as given in the Paese nova- 
niente. Cf. the bibliography in Studi biog. e bib- 
Hog, della Soc. Ceog. Hal., i. 149 (1882); and 
Carter-Brown, i. 101, 195, 202, 211 ; also Bibl. 
Amer. Vet. Add., no. 83. 

2 This map follows a copy in the Kohl Collec 
tion (no. 23), after the original, attached to a manu 
script theological treatise in the British Museum. 
An inscription at the break in the African coast 
says that to this point the Portuguese had pushed 
their discoveries in 1489; and as it shows no in 
dication of the voyages of Columbus and Da 
Gama, Kohl places it about 1490. It may be 
considered as representing the views current be 
fore these events, Asia following the Ptolemean 
VOL. II. 6- 

drafts. The language of the map being partly 
Italian and partly Portuguese, Kohl conjectures 
that it was made by an Italian living in Lisbon ; 
and he points out the close correspondence of 
the names on the western coast of Africa to the 
latest Portuguese discoveries, and that its con 
tour is better than anything preceding. 

3 " Through all which I was present," said 
Bartholomew, in a note found by Las Casas. 

4 The original is now preserved at Venice, in 
the Biblioteca Marciana. A large photographic 
fac-simile of it was issued at Venice, in 1877, by 
Miinster (Ongania); and engraved reproduc 
tions can be found in Santarem, Lelewel, and 
Saint-Martin, besides others in Vincent s Coni- 
merce and Navigations of the Ancients, 1797 and 



HO COMDE ALMIRANTE (Da Garnets Autograph}. 

Such had been the progress of the Portuguese marine, in exemplification of the south- 

erly quest called for by the theory of Pomponius Mela, when Columbus made his westerly 

voyage in 1492 

and reached, as 

he supposed, 

the same coast 

which the Por 
tuguese were 

seeking to touch 

by the opposite 

direction. 1 In 

this erroneous 


belief Columbus 

remained as 

long as he lived, 

a view in which Vespucius and the earlier navigators equally shared ;- though some, 

like Peter Martyr, 3 accepted the belief cautiously. We shall show in another place how 

slowly the error was eradicated 
from the cartography of even the 
latter part of the sixteenth century. 
During the interval when Co 
lumbus was in Spain, between his 
second and third voyages, Vasco 
da Gama sailed from Lisbon, July 8, 
1497, to complete the project which 
had so long animated the endeavors 
of the rival kingdom. He doubled 
the Cape of Good Hope in Nov. 
1497, and anchored at Calicut, May 
20, 1498, a few days before Co 
lumbus left San Lucar on his thin! 
voyage. In the following August, 
Da Gama started on his return ; 
and after a year s voyage he reached 
Lisbon in August, 1498. The Por 
tuguese had now accomplished their 
end. The eclat with which it 
would have been received had not 

nand Colomb, pp. 121-127; Major s 
Prince Henry, p. 420 ; Stevens s Notes, 
p. 372. When the natives of Cuba 
pointed to the interior of their island 
and said " Cubanacan, Columbus in 
terpreted it to mean " Kublai Khan ; " 
and the Cuban name of Mangon be 
came to his ear the Mangi of Sir John Mandeville. 

3 Dec. i. c. 8. 

4 This follows the engravings in Ruge s 
Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. in, 
and in Stanley s Da Gama, published by the 
Hakluyt Society. The original belongs to the 
Count de Lavradio. Another portrait, with a 
view of Calicut, is given in Lafitau s Decotivertei 
des Portugais, Paris, 1734, iii. 66. 


1807 ; and in Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitalters der 
Entdeckungen, 1881. A copy on vellum, made 
in 1804, is in the British Museum. 

1 Cf. G. Gravier s Recherches snr les naviga 
tions Enropeennes faites an in oy en-Age, Paris, 1878. 

2 Navarrete, i. 304, ii. 280; Bandini s Amerigo 
Vespucci, pp. 66, 83; Humboldt, Examen critique, 
i. 26, iv. 1 88, 233, 250, 261, v. 182-185 ; and his 
preface to Ghillany s Bch-iim : Harrisse, Ferdi- 




-fi *E S ."2 r, ^ S " 

THE LINE OF DEMARCATION (Spanish claim, 1527).* 




Columbus opened, as was supposed, a shorter route, was wanting; and Da Gama, follow 
ing in the path marked for him. would have failed of much of his fame but for the 
auspicious applause which Camoens created for him in the Lusiad* 

1 This follows the cut in the Gazette des Beaux- 
Arts, xxv ii. 500, representing a bust in the Berlin 

:2 Da Gama s three voyages, translated from 
the narrative of Gaspar Correa, with other dfocu- 

ments, was edited for the Hakluyt Society by 
H. E. J. Stanley, in 1869. Correa s account was 
not printed till 1858, when the Lisbon Academy 
issued it. Cf. Navarrete, vol. i. p. xli ; Ramusio, I 
130 ; Galvano, p. 93 ; Major, Pri+ice Henry, p. 391 ; 



Da Gama at Calicut and Columbus at Cuba gave the line of demarcation of Alexander 
VI. a significance that was not felt to be impending, five years earlier, on the 3d and 4th 
of May, 1493, when the Papal Bull was issued. 1 This had fixed the field of Spanish 
and Portuguese exploration respectively west and east of a line one hundred leagues 2 west 
of the Azores, following a meridian at a point where Columbus had supposed the mag 
netic needle 3 pointed to the north star. 4 The Portuguese thought that political grounds 
were of more consideration than physical, and were not satisfied with the magnet governing 
the limitation of their search. They desired a little more sea-room on the Atlantic side, 
and were not displeased to think that a meridian considerably farther west might give 
them a share of the new Indies south and north of the Spanish discoveries; so they entered 
their protest against the partition of the Bull, and the two Powers held a convention at 
Tordesillas, which resulted, in June, 1494, in the line being moved two hundred and sev 
enty leagues westerly. 5 No one but vaguely suspected the complication yet to arise about 
this same meridian, now selected, when the voyage of Magellan should bring Spaniard 
and Portuguese face to face at the Antipodes. This aspect of the controversy will claim 
attention elsewhere. 6 From this date the absolute position of the line as theoretically de 
termined, was a constant source of dispute, and the occasion of repeated negotiations. 7 

Cladera, Investigaciones hist6ricas\ Saint-Martin, 
Histoire de la geographic, p. 337 ; Clarke, Progress 
of Maritime Discovery, p. 399; Rage s Geschichte 
~des Zei falters der Entdeckungen pp. 109, 135, 
1 88, 189; Lucas Rem s Tagebuch, 1494-1542, 
Augsburg, 1 86 1 ; Charton s Voyageurs, iii. 209 
(with references), etc. 

" Portugal," says Professor Seeley, " had 
almost reason to complain of the glorious intru 
sion of Columbus. She took the right way, and 
found the Indies ; while he took the wrong way, 
and missed them ... If it be answered in Co- 
lumbus s behalf, that it is better to be wrong 
and find America, than to be right and find India, 
Portugal might answer that she did both," 
referring to Cabral s discovery of Brazil (Ex 
pansion of England, p. 83). 

1 The Bull is printed in Navarrete, ii. 23, 
28, 130; and in the app. of Oscar Peschel s 

Die Theilung der Erde unter Papst Alexander VI. 
jind Julius II. , Leipsic, 1871. Ilarrisse, Bill. 
Amer. Vet., Additions, gives the letter of May 17, 
1493, which Alexander VI. sent with the Bulls 
to his nuncio at the court of Spain, found in the 
archives of the Frari at Venice. Cf. also Hum- 
boldt, Examen critique, iii. 52 ; Solorzano s Po- 
litica Indiana: Sabin s Dictionary, vol. i. no. 
745; and the illustrative documents in Andres 
Garcia de Cespedcs Reg. de nav., Madrid, 1606. 

2 There is more or less confusion in the esti 
mates made of the league of this time. D Av- 
ezac, Bulletin de la Societe de Geographic de Paris, 
September and October, 1858, pp. 130-164, 
calls it 5,924 metres. Cf. also Fox, in the U. S. 

Coast Survey Report, 1880, p. 59; and H. H. 
Bancroft, Central America, i. 190- 

3 Cf. Humboldt, Examen critique, iii. 17,44, 
56, etc. 

4 Humboldt, Examen critique, iii. 54 ; Cosmos, 
v. 55. Columbus found this point of no-varia 
tion, Sept. 13, 1492. In the latter part of the 
sixteenth century, for a similar reason, St. Mich 
ael s in the Azores was taken for the first meri 
dian, but the no-variation then observable at that 
point has given place now to a declination of 
twenty-five degrees. 

5 See the documents in Navarrete, ii. 116, 
and Peschel s Theilung der Erde unter Papst 
Alexander VI. mid fiilins IL 

6 Cf., however, Juan y Ulloa s Dissertacion 
sobre el meridiano de demarcation, Madrid, 1749* 
in French, 1776. Carter-Brown, vol. iii. no. 910; 
and "Die Demarcations-lime" in Ruge s Das 
Zeitalter der Entdeckungen, p. 267. 

7 In 1495 J aume Ferrer, who was called for 
advice, sent a manuscript map to the Spanish 
Monarchs to be used in the negotiations for 
determining this question. (Navarrete; also 
Amat, Diccionario de los escritorcs Catalanes.) 
Jaume s different treatises are collected by his 
son in his Stntencias catlwlicas, 1545. (Leclerc, 
no. 2,765, i ,000 francs; Ilarrisse, Bibl. Am. Vet., 
no. 261 ; Additions, no. 154.) This contains 
Jaume s letter of Jan. 27, 1495, an< ^ the ^I n * 
archs reply of Feb. 28, 1495; anc ^ a letter writ 
ten at the request of Isabella from Burgos, Aug. 
5, 1495, addressed to " Christofol Colo en la 
gran Isla de Cibau." 



A. FIRST VOYAGE. As regards the first 
voyage of Columbus there has come down to us 
a number of accounts, resolvable into two dis 
tinct narratives, as originally proceeding from the 
hand of Columbus himself, his Journal, which 
is in part descriptive and in part log, according to 
the modern understanding of this last term ; and 
his Letters announcing the success and results of 
his search. The fortunes and bibliographical 
history of both these sources need to be told : 

JOURNAL. Columbus himself refers to this 
in his letter to Pope Alexander VI. (1503) as 
being kept in the style of Cassar s Commen 
taries ; and Irving speaks of it as being penned 
" from day to day with guileless simplicity." In 
its original form it has not been found ; but we 
know that Las Casas used it in his Historia, and 
that Ferdinand Columbus must have had it be 
fore him while writing what passes for his Life of 
his father. An abridgment of the Journal in the 
hand of Las Casas, was discovered byNavarrete, 
who printed it in the first volume of his Coleccion 
in 1825 ; it is given in a French version in the 
Paris edition of the same (vol. ii.), and in Italian 
in Torre s Scritti di Colombo, 1864. Las Casas 
says of his abstract, that he follows the very 
words of the Admiral for a while after recording 
the landfall ; and these parts are translated by 
Mr. Thomas, of the State Department at Wash 
ington, in G. A. Fox s paper on "The Landfall " 
in the Report of the Coast Survey for 1880. The 
whole of the Las Casas text, however, was trans 
lated into English, at the instigation of George 
Ticknor, by Samuel Kettell, and published in 
Boston as A Personal Narrative of the First Voy 
age in 1827 ; ! and it has been given in part, in 
English, in Becher s Landfall of Cohimlnis. The 
original is thought to have served Herrera in 
his Historia General? 

LETTERS. We know that on the i2th of 
February, 1493, about a week before reaching 
the Azores on his return voyage, and while his 
ship was laboring in a gale, Columbus prepared 
an account of his discovery, and incasing the 
parchment in wax, put it in a barrel, which he 
threw overboard. That is the last heard of it. 

He prepared another account, perhaps duplicate, 
and protecting it in a similar way, placed it on 
his poop, to be washed off in case his vessel 
foundered. We know nothing further of this 
account, unless it be the same, substantially, with 
the letters which he wrote just before making 
a harbor at the Azores. One of these letters, 
at least, is dated off the Canaries ; and it is pos 
sible that it was written earlier on the voyage, 
and post-dated, in expectation of his making the 
Canaries; and when he found himself by stress 
of weather at the Azores, he neglected to change 
the place. The original of neither of these let 
ters is known. 

One of them was dated Feb. 15, 1493, with 
a postscript dated March 4 (or 14, copies varv, 
and the original is of course not to be reached; 
4 would seem to be correct), and is written in 
Spanish, and addressed to the " Escribano de 
Racion/ Luis de Santangel, who, as Treasurer 
of Aragon, had advanced money for the voyage. 
Columbus calls this a second letter ; by which he 
may mean that the one cast overboard was the 
first, or that another, addressed to Sanchez (later 
to be mentioned), preceded it. There was at 
Simancas, in 1818, an early manuscript copy of 
this letter, which Navarrete printed in his Colcc- 
don, and Kettell translated into English in his 
book (p. 253) already referred to. 8 

In 1852 the Baron Pietro Custodi left his 
collection of books to the- Biblioteca Ambrosi- 
ana at Milan; and among them was found a 
printed edition of this Santangel letter, never 
before known, and still remaining unique. It is 
of small quarto, four leaves, in semi-gothic type, 
bearing the date of 1493,* and was, as Harrisse 
and Lenox think, printed in Spain, Major sug 
gests Barcelona, but Gayangos thinks Lisbon. 
It was first reprinted at Milan in 1863, with a 
fac-simile, and edited by Cesare Correnti, in a 
volume, containing other letters of Columbus, 
entitled, Lettere antografe edite ed inedite dl 
Cristoforo Colombo? From this reprint Har 
risse copied it, and gave an English translation 
in his Notes on Columbus, p. 89, drawing atten 
tion to the error of Correnti in making it appear 
on his titlepage that the letter was addressed to 
" Saxis," (; and testifying that, by collation, he 

1 Cf. North American Rev feu; nos. 53 and 5;. 

- Cf. portions in German in Das Aitsland, 1867, p. r. 

3 It is in Italian in Torre s Scritti di Colombo, 

4 Brunei, Supplement, col. 277. 

5 It appeared in the series Biblioteca rara of G. Daelh. 
<3 Cf. Historical Magazine, September, i86-<- 



had found but slight variation from the Navar- 
rete text. Mr. R, H. Major also prints the 
Ambrosian text in his Select Letters of Columbus^ 
with an English version appended, and judges 
the Cosco version could not have been made 
from it. Other English translations may be 
found in Becher s Landfall of Columbus, p. 291, 
and in French s Historical Collections of Louisi- 
atia and Florida, 2d series, ii. 145. 

In 1866 a fac-simile edition (150 copies) of 
the Ambrosian copy was issued at Milan, edited 
by Gerolamo d Adda, under the title of Lettera 
in lingua Spagnuola diretta da Cristoforo Colombo 
a Luis de Santangel. 1 Mr. James Lenox, of New 
York, had already described it, with a fac-simile 
of the beginning and end, in the Historical Mag 
azine (vol. viii. p. 289, September, 1864, April, 
1865) ; and this paper was issued separately 
(100 copies) as a supplement to the Lenox edi 
tion of Scyllacius. Harrisse 2 indicates that 
there was once a version of this Santangel letter 
in the Catalan tongue, preserved in the Colom- 
bina Library at Seville. 

A few years ago Bergenroth found at Si- 
mancas a letter of Columbus, dated at the Cana 
ries, Feb. 15, 1493, with a postscript at Lisbon, 
March 14, addressed to a friend, giving still an 
other early text, but adding nothing material to 
our previous knowledge. A full abstract is given 
in the Calendar of State Papers relating to Eng 
land and Spain, p. 43. 

A third Spanish text of a manuscript of the 
sixteenth century, said to have been found in 
the Colegio Mayor de Cuenca, was made known 
by Varnhagen, the Minister of Brazil to Por 
tugal, who printed it at Valencia in 1858 as 
Pnmera epistola del Almirante Don Christobal 
Colon, including an account " de una nueva copia 
de original manuscrito." The editor assumed 
the name of Volafan, and printed one hundred 
copies, of which sixty were destroyed in Brazil. 3 

This letter is addressed to Gabriel Sanchez, and 
dated "sobre la islade Sa. Maria, i8de Febrero; " 
and is without the postscript of the letters of 
Feb. 15. It is almost a verbatim repetition of 
the Simancas text. A reprint of the Cosco text 
makes a part of the volume ; and it is the opin 
ion of Varnhagen and Harrisse that the Volafan 
text is the original from which Cosco translated, 
as mentioned later. 

Perhaps still another Spanish text is pre 
served and incorporated, as Munoz believed, 
by the Cura de los Palacios, Andres Bernaldez, 
in his Historia de los reyes catolicos (chap, cxviii). 
This book covers the period 1488-1513 ; has thir 
teen chapters on Columbus, who had been the 
guest of Bernaldez after his return from his 
second voyage, in 1496, and by whom Columbus 
is called " mercador de libros de estampa." The 
manuscript of Bernaldez s book long remained 
unprinted in the Royal Library at Madrid. Irving 
used a manuscript copy which belonged to Oba- 
diah Rich. 4 Prescott s copy of the manuscript 
is in Harvard College Library. 5 Humboldt a 
used it in manuscript. It was at last printed at 
Granada in 1856, in two volumes, under the 
editing of Miguel Lafuente y Alcantara." It 
remains, of course, possible that Bernaldez may 
have incorporated a printed Spanish text, instead 
of the original or any early manuscript, though 
Columbus is known to have placed papers in 
his hands. 

The text longest known to modern students 
is the poor Latin rendering of Cosco, already 
referred to. While but one edition of the ori 
ginal Spanish text appeared presumably in Spain 
(and none of Vespucius and Magellan), this 
Latin text, or translations of it, appeared in 
various editions and forms in Italy, France, 
and Germany, which Harrisse remarks 8 as in 
dicating the greater popular impression which 

1 Harrisse, Bill, Aincr. Vet. Additions, p. vi., calls this reproduction extremely correct. 

2 Bill. Amer. Vet., p. xii. 

3 Ticknor Catalogue, p. 387 ; Stevens, Hist. Coll., vol. i. no. 1,380 ; Sabin, iv. 277 ; Leclerc, no. 132. It was 
noticed by Don Pascual de Gayangos in La America, April 13, 1867. Cf. another of Varnhagen s publications, 
arta de Cristobal Colon enviada de Lisboa a Barcelona en Marzo de 1493, published at Vienna in 1869. It has 
a. collation of texts and annotations (Leclerc, no. 131). A portion of the edition was issued with the additional 
imprint, "Paris, Tross, 1870." Of the 120 copies of this book, 60 were put in the trade. Major, referring 
to these several Spanish texts, says: ; I have carefully collated the three documents, and the result is a certain 
conclusion that neither one nor the other is a correct transcript of the original letter," all having errors which 
could not have been in the original. Major also translates the views on this point ot Varnhagen, and enforces 
his own opinion that the Spanish and Latin texts are derived from different though similar documents. Varn 
hagen held the two texts were different forms of one letter. Harrisse dissents from this opinion in Bibl. 
Amer. Vet. Additions, p. vi. 

4 Cf. Irving s Columbus, app. xxix. 

5 Prescott s Ferdinand and Isabella, revised edition, ii. 108 ; Sabin, vol. ii. no. 4,918; Harrisse, Notes on 
Columbus, no. 7, who reprints the parts in question, with a translation. 

6 Cosmos, English translation, ii. 641. 
~ Ticknor Catalogue, p. 32. 

8 He points out how the standard Chronicles and Annals (Ferrebouc, 1521 ; Regnault, 1532; Galliot du 
Pre, 1549; Fabian, 1516. 1533, 1542, etc.), down to the middle of the sixteenth century, utterly ignored the 
acts of ColiMiibus, Cortes, and Magellan (Bill. Amcr. Vcf. p. ii). 

4 8 


the discovery of America made beyond Spain 
than within the kingdom ; and the monthly de 
livery of letters from Germany to Portugal and 
the Atlantic islands, at this time, placed these 
parts of Europe in prompter connection than 
we are apt to imagine. 1 News of the discovery 
was, it would seem, borne to Italy by the two Ge 
noese ambassadors, Marches! and Grimaldi, who 
are known to have left Spain a few days after 
the return of Columbus. 2 The Spanish text of 
this letter, addressed by Columbus to Gabriel 
or Raphael Sanchez, or Sanxis, as the name of 
the Crown treasurer is variously given, would 
seem to have fallen into the hands of one Ali- 
ander de Cosco, who turned it into Latin, com 
pleting his work on the 29th of April. Harrisse 
points out the error of Navarrete and Varnha- 
gen in placing this completion on the 251)1, 
and supposes the version was made in Spain. 
Tidings of the discovery must have reached 
Rome before this version could have got there ; 
for the first Papal Bull concerning the event is 
dated May 3. Whatever the case, the first pub 
lication, in print, of the news was made in Rome 
in this Cosco version, and four editions of it 
were printed in that city in 1493. There is 
much disagreement among bibliographers as to 
the order of issue of the early editions. Their 
peculiarities, and the preference of several bib 
liographers as to such order, is indicated in 
the following enumeration, the student being 
referred for full titles to the authorities which 
are cited: 

I. Epistola Ckristofori Colom [1493], Small quarto, 
four leaves (one blank), gothic, 33 lines to a page. 
Addressed to Sanchis. Cosco is called Leander. 
Ferdinand and Isabella both named in the title. 
The printer is thought to be Plannck, from similar 
ity of type to work known to be his. 

Major calls this the editio princeps, and gives elabo 
rate reasons for his opinion (Select Letters oj Columbus, 
p. cxvi). J. R. Bartlett, in the Carter- Brown Catalogue, 
vol. i. no. 5, also puts it first ; so does Ternaux. Varnha- 
gen calls it the second edition. It is put the third in order 
by Brunet (vol. ii. col. 164) and Lenox (Scyllacius, p. xliv), 
and fourth by Harrisse (Notes on Columbus, p. 121 ; Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., no. 4). 

There are copies in the Lenox, Carter-Brown, and 
Huth (Catalogue, 1.336) libraries; in the Grenville (Bibl. 
Gren., p. 158) and King s Collections in the British Mu 
seum ; in the Royal Library at Munich ; in the Collection 
of the Due d Aumale at Twickenham ; and in the Com 
mercial Library at Hamburg. " The copy cited by Har 
risse was sold in the Court Collection (no. 72) at Paris in 

II. Epistola Christofori Colom, impressit Rome, 
Eucharins Argenteus [Silber], anno dni 
MCCCCXCIII. Small quarto, three printed 
leaves, gothic type, 40 lines to the page. Ad 
dressed to Sanches. Cosco is called Leander. 
Ferdinand and Isabella both named. 

Major, who makes this the second edition, says that 
its deviations from No. I. are all on the side of ignorance. 
Varnhagen calls it the editio frinceps. Bartlett (Carter- 
Brown Catalogue, no. 6) puts it second. Lenox (Scylla- 
c/ us, p. xlv) calls it the fourth edition. It is no. 3 of Har 
risse (Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 3 ; Notes on Columbus, p. 121). 
Graesse errs in saying the words " Indie supra Gangem " 
are omitted in the title. 

There are copies in the Lenox, Carter-Brown, Huth 
(Catalogue, i. 336), and Grenville (Bibl. Gren., p. 158) 
Libraries. It has been recently priced at 5,000 francs 
Cf. Murphy Catalogue, 629. 

III. Epistola Christofori Colom. Small quarto, four 
leaves, 34 lines, gothic type. Addressed to 
Sanxis. Cosco is called Aliander. Ferdinand 
only named. 

This is Major s third edition. It is the e ditto princeps 
of Harrisse, who presumes it to be printed by Stephanus 
Plannck at Rome (Notes on CohnnbTts, p. 117; Bibl. A mer. 
Vet., vol. i.) ; and he enters upon a close examination to 
establish its priority. It is Lenox s second edition (Scyl- 
lacius, p. xliii). Bartlett places it third. 

There are copies in the Barlow (formerly the Aspin- 
wall copy) Library in New York ; in the General Collec 
tion and Grenville Library of the British Museum ; and in 
the Royal Library at Munich. In 1875 Mr. S. L. M. 
Barlow printed (50 copies) a fac-simile of his copy, with a 
Preface, in which he joins in considering this the first edi 
tion with Harrisse, who (Notes on Columbus, p. 101) gives 
a careful reprint of it. 

IV De insulis inventis, etc. Small octavo, ten leaves, 
26 and 27 lines, gothic type The leaf before the 
title has the Spanish arms on the recto. There 
are eight woodcuts, one of which is a repetition. 
Addressed to Sanxis. Cosco is called Ahender. 
Ferdinand only named. The words " Indie supra 
Gangem" are omitted in the title. 

This is Major s fourth edition. Lenox makes it the 
editio princeps (as does Brunet), and gives fac-similes of 
the woodcuts in his Scyllachis, p. xxxvi. Bossi supposed 
the cuts to have been a part of the original manuscript, and 
designed by Columbus. 4 Harrisse calls it the second in 
order, and thinks Johannes Besicken may have been the 
printer (Bibl. Amer. Vet., 2), though it is usually ascribed 
to Plannck. of Rome. It bears the arms of Granada; but 
there was no press at that time in that city, so far as known, 
though Brunet seems to imply it was printed there- 

The only perfect copy known is one formerly the Libri 
copy, now in the Lenox Library, which has ten leaves. The 
Grenville copy (Bibl. Gren., p 158), and the one which 
Bossi saw in the Brera at Milan, now lost, had only nine 

Hain (Repertorium, no. 5,491) describes a copy which 
seems to lack the first and tenth leaves; and it was proba- 

1 Murr, Histoire diplomatique de Behaiin^ p. 12^. 

2 They are mentioned in Senarega s " De rebus Genuensibus," printed in Muratori s Rcriun Italicaritin 
scriptures, xxiv. 534. Cf. Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 41. 

3 Harrisse says that when Truss, of Paris, advertised a copy at a high price in 1865, there were seven 
bidders for it at once Quaritch advertised a copy in June, 1871. It was priced in London in 1872 at .140. 

4 This view is controverted in TJie Bookworm, 1868, p. 9. Cf. 1867, p. 10^. The ships are saicl to be 
galleys, while Columbus sailed in caravels. 


4Tpf ftob bA ftofozf (Eofem : eof ft&moftm nroleu &&er: de 

rendaaoctauo antes menfe aufpfdjs i pr inuictiffim! f ernani 
di WfparuanmKegiemHru8fno^t:ad9?agniftcumdnm fta 
pbaclcm Sanria-nufdcm fntnifftmi "Regie iCefaursriu miffa* 
quamnobtlie aclttreratue rtr SlianderdcCofco abttffpano 
f dtomare in lattruim connertir : rmio fcafe 0?9i]*cccc*cii j+ 
pomiftcanja SIcjcandri Sexti Hnno piimo* 

tfonf amfttfceptf piottlntff rcm pcrfectam mccSfccunim 
e gratum ribi fbzc fcfo: l>aa confHtuf cjcarare: qo j re 
ufcuiufcprd in bocnoftro irmcre geflf fnucnrjcp ad/ 
Itionjant: Zrlccfimorertto die pofl$ (Sadibuedifcefli in nwre 
3^dicu peruenirrbi plurimas infulaa innumerie babitataa bor 
mm? boa itpperltquarom omnium p?o foclidffmio Hegc noftro 
pz{ conio cclebzaro T rcjrilTis cjcfenfmtonrradiccntf ncminc pof/ 
fcfTroncmaccepi.-pzim^ carom dm! Saluarozienomcn fnipof 
fui:euiU9fneni9 aunlio ram ad banc.-tp ad c^rcrae aliae peruc/ 
nimu9am *a Jndi (5uanabanin racant BIiarametia rnam 
quanc^ nouo nomine nuncupaui(Qmppf alta tnfulam Sanrcj 
IWarif <onceprioni9 aliam fcrnandmam aliam t)prabfllfl7n 
flliam 3obanam-7 fie de reliquie appcltari iufTt(QDamp2imum 
I n cam infulam qua dudum jobana rocari din appulimuenu 
rta ciu3 Iirtu0ocddcnrcm rerfus aliqtianrulumpzoccfTr:tamcp 
cam majna nullo rcpcrro fine inucnitr r non infulam: fed conil 
ncnrcm (Zbatai prouinciam cffc crediderinnnulla tn ridcns op/ 
,pida municipiauein maritimie lira conftnib^pzfrcr aliquosri/ 
OBI p;cdia rufhca.-cumqno? incolie loqui ncquibam-quarcfl 
wml acnoevidcbanr furnpiebanrfugftm < p?ogrcdubarrlrrft: 
crifhmane aliqua me rrbcm nllarucmucnturumrZDcrncp rides 
q? longe admodum p!ogre(Tf8 tu bil noui cmcrgcbatn bntoi via 
noe ad Seprenrrionem defcrcbar:q iprefugcrcei:opraba:terrift 
crenim rcgnabar b;uma: ad fiuftrmncperatiB yoro1:ondcrc{ 

bly this copy (Royal Library, Munich) which was followed This is Lenox s (Scyllacius, p. xiv.), Major s, and 

by Pilinski in his Paris fac-simile (20 copies in 1858), which Harrisse s fifth (Notes on Columbus, p. 122 ; Bibl. Amer. 

does not reproduce these leaves, though it is stated by Vet., p. 5) edition. 

some that the defective British Museum copy was his The Ternaux copy, now in the Carter-Brown Library, 

guide. Bartlett seems in error in calling this fac-simile a was for some time supposed to be the only copy known ; 

copy of the Libri-Lenox copy. 1 but Harrisse says the text reprinted by Rosny in Paris, in 

1865, as from a copy in the National Library at Paris, cor- 

V. Epistola de insulis de novo repertis, etc. Small responds to this. This reprint (125 copies) is entitled, 

quarto, four leaves, gothic, 39 lines ; woodcut on Lettre de Christophe Colomb sur la decouverte du nou- 

verso of first leaf. Printed by Guy Marchand in veau monde. Publiee d apres la rarissime version Lat- 

Paris, about 1494. Addressed to Sanxis. Cosco is ine conservce a la Bibliothequc Imperiale. Traduite en 

called Aliander. Ferdinand only named. Franfais, commentee [etc.] par Lucien de Rosny. Paris: 

1 But compare his Cookc Catalogue, no. 575 ; also, Pinart-Bourbourg Catalogue, p. 249. 
VOL. II. 7. 



J. Guy, 1865. 44 pages octavo. This edition was published 
under the auspices of the " Comite d Archeologie Ameri- 

VI. Epistola de insults noviter repertis, etc. Small 

quarto, four leaves, gothic, 39 lines ; woodcut on 
verso of first leaf. Guiot Marchant, of Paris, 
printer. Addressed to Sanxis. Cosco is called 
Aliander. Ferdinand only named. 

This is Major s sixth edition ; Harrisse (Notes on 
Columbus, p. 122; Bibl, Amer. Vet., no. 6) and Lenox 
(Scyllacitts, p, xlvii) also place it sixth. There are fac 
similes of the engraved title in Harrisse, Lenox, and 
Stevens s American Bibliographer, p. 66. are copies in the Carter-Brown, Bodleian 
(Douce), and University of Gbttingen libraries; one is 
also shown in the Murphy Catalogue, no. 630. 

John Harris, Sen., made a fac-simile edition of five 
copies, one of which is in the British Museum. 

VII. Epistola Cristophori Colom, etc. Small quarto, 

four leaves, gothic, 38 lines. Addressed to Sanxis. 
Th. Martens is thought to be the printer. 

This edition has only recently been made known. Cf. 
Brunei, Supplement, col. 276. The only copy known is ic 
the Bibliotheque Royale at Brussels. 

The text of all these editions scarcely varies, 
except in the use of contracted letters. Lenox s 
collation was reprinted, without the cuts, in the 
Historical Magazine, February, 1861. Other bib 
liographical accounts will be found in Graesse, 
Tresor , Bibliotheca Grenvilliana, i. 158; Sabin, 
Dictionary, iv. 274 ; and by J. Ho Hessels in 
the Bibliophile Beige, vol. vi. The cuts are also 
in part reproduced in some editions of Irving s 
Life of Columbus, and in the Vita, by Bossi.- 

In 1494 this Cosco-Sanchez text was ap 
pended to a drama on the capture of Granada, 
which was printed at Basle, beginning In lau- 
dem Serenissimi Ferdinandi, and ascribed to 
Carolus Veradus. The " De insulis miper in- 
ventis " is found at the thirtieth leaf (Bibl, 

1 M. de Rosny was born in 1810, and died in 1871. M. Geslin published a paper on his works in the Actes 
de la Societe d? Ethnologic, vii. 115. A paper by Rosny on the " Lettre de Christoph Colombo," with his ver 
sion, is found in the Rcmte Orientals et Amcricaine, Paris, 1876, p. Si. 

2 The earliest English version of this letter followed some one edition of the Cosco-Sanchez text, and 
appeared in the Edinbiirgh Review in 1816, and was reprinted in the Analectic Magazine, ix. 513. A trans 
lation was also appended by Kettell to his edition of the Personal Narrative. There is another i the 
Historical Magazine, April, 1865, ix. 114. 


Amcr. Vet., no. 15; Lenox s Scyllacius, p. xlviii ; 
Major, no. 7; Carter-Brown Catalogue, no. 13). 
There are copies in the Carter-Brown, Harvard 
College, and Lenox libraries. 1 

By October, in the year of the first appear 
ance (1493) of the Cosco-Sanchez text, it had 
been turned into ottava ritna by Guiliano Dati, 
a popular poet, to be sung about the streets, 
as is supposed ; and two editions of this verse 
are now known. The earliest is in quarto, 
black letter, two columns, and was printed in 
Florence, and called Qutsta c la Hystoria . . . 
:xtracte duna Epistola Christofano Colombo. 
It was in four leaves, of coarse type and 
paper; but the second and third leaves are 
lacking in the unique copy, now in the Brit 
ish Museum, which was procured in 1858 from 
the Costabile sale in Paris. 2 

The other edition, dated one day later 
(Oct. 26, 1493), printed also at Florence, and 
called La Lettera delCisole, etc., is in Roman 
type, quarto, four leaves, two columns, with 
a woodcut title representing Ferdinand on the 
European, and Columbus on the New World 
shore of the ocean. 3 The copy in the British 
Museum was bought for 1,700 francs at the 
Libri sale in Paris ; and the only other copy 
known is in the Trivulgio Library at Milan. 

In 1497 a German translation, or adaptation, 
from Cosco s Latin was printed by Bartlomesz 
Kiisker at Strasburg, with the title Eyn schon 
\iibsch lesen von ctlichen inszlen die do in kurtzen 
zyten fitnden synd durch d~e kiinig von hispania, 
ynd sagt vo groszen tvtinderlichen dingen die in de 
selbe inszlen synd. It is a black-letter quarto of 
5even leaves, with one blank, the woodcut of the 

title being repeated on the verso of the seventh 
leaf. 4 There are copies in the Lenox (Libri copy) 
and Carter-Brown libraries; in the Grenville and 
Huth collections ; and in the library at Munich. 


The text of the Cosco-Sanchez letter, usually 
quoted by the early writers, is contained in the 
Belhun Christianorum Principum of Robertus 
Monarchus, printed at Basle in I533- 5 

1 It was priced by Rich in 1844 at 6 6s. ; and by Robert Clarke, of Cincinnati, in 1876, at $200. There 
was a copy in the J. J. Cooke sale (1883), vol. iii. no. 574, and another in the Murphy sale, no. 2,602. 

2 Sabin, vol. v. no. 18,656 ; Major, p. xc, where the poem is reprinted, as also in Harrisse s Notes on 
Columbus, p. 186; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 8, p. 461. This first edition has sixty-seven octaves; the second, 
sixty-eight. Stevens s Hist. Coll., vol. i. no. 129, shows a fac-simile of the imperfect first edition. 

3 Notes on Columbus, p. 185 ; Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 9; Additions, no. 3 ; Lenox s Scyllacius, p. Hi. The 
last stanza is not in the other edition, and there are other revisions. A fac-simile of the cut on the title of this 
Oct. 26, 1493, edition is annexed. Other fac-similes are given by Lenox, and Ruge in his GcscJiichtc des Zei- 
talters der Entdeckungen, p. 247. This edition was reprinted at Bologna, 1873, edited by Gustavo Uzielli, as 
no. 136 of Scclta di curiosita Icttcrarie incdite, and a reprint of Cosco s Latin text was included. 

4 Lenox s Scyllacius, p. lv, with fac-similes of the cuts; Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 19: Notes on Columbus, 
p. 123; Huth,\. 337. The elder Harris made a tracing of this edition, and Stevens had six copies printed 
from stone ; and of these, copies are noted in the C. Fiske-Harris Catalogue, no. 553 ; Murphy, no. 632 ; Brinley, 
no. 14; Stevens s (1870) Catalogue, no. 459; and Hist. Coll., vol. i. nos. 130, 131. The text was reprinted in 
the Rhcinischcs Archil , xv. 17. It was also included in Ein schonc ncu<c Z,cytung, printed at Augsburg about 
1522, of which there are copies in the Lenox and Carter-Brown libraries. Scyllacius, p. Ivi ; Brunet, Supple 
ment, col. 277; Harrisse, Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 115. The latest enumeration of these various editions is in the 
Stiidi biog. e bibliog. dclla Soc. Geog. Ital., 2d edition, Rome, 1882, p. 191, which describes some of the 
rare copies. 

5 Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 175; Carter-Brown, no. 105; Lenox, Scyllacius, p. Iviii ; Stevens, Hist. 
Coll., vol. i. no. 163, and Bibl. Gcog., no. 2,383; Muller (1872), no. 387; J. J. Cooke, no. 2,183; O Callaghan, 
no. 1,836. The letter is on pages 116-121 of the Bellum, etc. The next earliest reprint is in Andreas Schott s 
Hispanice illustrate, Frankfort, 1603-1608, vol. ii. (Sabin, vol. viii. no. 32,005 ; Muller, 1877, no. 2.914 : Stevens, 
1870, no. 1,845 ) Of ^ ie tater reproductions in other languages than English, mention may be made of those in 
Amati s Ricerche Storico-Critico-Scicntifiche, 1828-1830; Bossi s Vita di Colombo. 1818; Urano s edition of 
Bossi, Paris, 1824 and 1825; the Spanish rendering of a collated Latin text made by the royal librarian GOP- 



B. LANDFALL. It is a matter of contro 
versy what was Guanahani, the first land seen 
by Columbus. The main, or rather the only, 
source for the decision of this question is the 
Journal of Columbus ; and it is to be regretted 
that Las Casas did not leave unabridged the 

parts preceding the landfall, as he did those 
immediately following, down to October 29. 
Not a word outside of this Journal is helpful. 
The testimony of the early maps is rather mis 
leading than reassuring, so conjectural was their 
geography. It will be remembered that land 

zalez for Navarrete, and the French version in the Paris edition of Navarrete ; G. B. Torre s Scritti di Colombo, 
Lyons, 1864 ; Cartas y testamcnto di Colon, Madrid, iSSo. There is in Muratori s Rcruni Italicantm scriptores 
(iii. 301) an account " De navigatione Columbi," written in 1499 by Antonio Gallo, of Genoa; but it adds 
nothing to our knowledge, being written entirely from Columbus s own letters. 

The earliest compiled account from the same sources which appeared in print was issued, while Columbus 
was absent on his last voyage, in the Noitissime Hystoriarum omnium rcpercussioncs, qne supplcmentum 
Supplement i Cronicarum nuncupantiir . . . iisquc in annum 1502, of Jacopo Filippo Foresti (called Bergo 
menses, Bergomas, or some other form), which was dated at Venice, 1502 (colophon, 1503), and contained a 
chapter " De insulis in India," on leaf 441, which had not been included in the earlier editions of 1483, 1484, 
1485, 1486, and 1493, but is included in all later editions (Venice, 1506 ; Nuremberg, 1506 ; Venice, 1513, 1524 ; 
Paris, 1535), except the Spanish translation (Harrisse, Bill. Amcr. Vet., nos. 42, 138, 204, and Additions, 
nos. n, 75 ; Sabin, vol. vi. nos. 25,083, 25,084 ; Stevens, 1870, no. 175, $11 ; Carter-Brown, vol. i. nos. 19, 27; 
Murphy, no. 226; Ouaritch, no. 11,757, 4). There are copies in the Library of Congress, the Carter-Brown 
and Lenox libraries, and in the National Library in Paris. 




was first seen two hours after midnight ; and 
computations made for Fox show that the moon 
was near the third quarter, partly behind the 
observer, and would clearly illuminate the white 
sand of the shore, two leagues distant. From 
Columbus s course there were in his way, as 
constituting the Bahama group, taking the 
enumeration of to-day, and remembering that 
the sea may have made some changes, 36 
islands, 687 cays, and 2,414 rocks. By the log, 
as included in the Journal, and reducing his 
distance sailed by dead reckoning which then 
depended on observation by the eye alone, and 
there were also currents to misguide Colum 
bus, running from nine to thirty miles a day, 
according to the force of the wind to a course 
west, 2 49 south, Fox has shown that the dis 
coverer had come 3,458 nautical miles. Apply 
ing this to the several islands claimed as the 
landfall, and knowing modern computed dis 
tances, we get the following table : 






To Grand Turk . 

W. 8 i S. 




W. 6 37 S. 



Wading . . 

W. 4 38 S. 



Cat .... 

W. 4 20 S. 



Samana . . 

W. 5 37 S. 


38 7 

Columbus speaks of the island as being 
"small," and again as "pretty large" (bien 
grande}. He calls it very level, with abundance 
of water, and a very large lagune in the middle ; 
and it was in the last month of the rainy season, 
when the low parts of the islands are usually 

Some of the features of the several islands 
already named will now be mentioned, together 
with a statement of the authorities in favor of 
each as the landfall. 

SAN SALVADOR, OR CAT. This island is 
forty-three miles long by about three broad, with 
an area of about one hundred and sixty square 
miles, rising to a height of four hundred feet, the 
loftiest land in the group, and with no interior 
water. It is usual in the maps of the seven 
teenth and eighteenth centuries to identify this 
island with the Guanahani of Columbus. It is 
so considered by Catesby in his Natural History 
of Carolina (1731); by Knox in his Collection 
of Voyages (1767) ; by De la Roquette in the 
French version of Navarrete, vol. ii. (1828) ; 
and by Baron de Montlezun in the Notivelles 
annales des voyages, vols. x. and xii. (1828-1829). 
Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, of the United 
States Navy, worked out the problem for 
Irving-, and this island is fixed upon in the 
latter s Life of Cclumbus, app. xvi., editions 
of 1828 and 1848. Becher daims that the mod 
ern charts used by Irving were imperfect ; and 
he calls " not worthy to be called a chart " the 


fr (faupmmn %r fdjifftmg^e 

lon von ()ifbanui fdfcbt $cm fiwtg von *>tfpanta v<5 


int>ifd> m6?. Sic er nclicen etf nnt>cn $ar, vrt 
u fwt>en gefctftcft iff mir QilfP vn grofer fcffiffung, Hub 
ouc^etlid? vo:fagungvo $en in^leru Wee grogmed>rigtften 
?unig9 jFernd-oo genant von f)ifpajmdJTBacf) 9ent vnnt> id? 
gefaren bin von $em gefta&t %ee lajiWwn flifpania/fos man 
nennet Colunas ^etcalce* ot>er vo 
ten in %p t?nt> ^:rffig t4gen m $ao ihT>ifc^ m 
fUo&en vtl in^len ?nit o^alber volcfe wo^ 
aiimgenomen mtt vff gen?o2ffncm bancrvnfcrs med>figiffen 
f unige.SIut) npeman ^at fid? geu?tT>ert no 
in f cincrlef weg4Ti er|? ^ie ici> gcfunt>c ^ 


BoPen nuieftat^ie mirror 5u geflolffcn arvn^ie von3nt>ui 
0eiffent fie Q\vmafhpirf &ie an-oer pab icf? getfeiffen vng fro 
tpen cnengnF^^fBTl Dte^ft gab ic^geJ?ei(fen fcman55ina 
fumge nainciu^ne vtenoc ^db icfi gefteiffen ^u: ^ub 
sie fimftte lo^anam, VIID f^ab al fo emer pcghc^ 
cnften namen gegebeiu^lnt* ala bab ic? fain in %e m^el to^ 
al|b genant 9o fur ic^on^emgcffaipe ^inujf gegen oc 

vnnt femenfceUu: aru 

fa^ctc^oucRf cine fTert nod> fc^loffer am 
etlic^eburcn ^tf/erfar/Irnnt) gc|Iet>el 
vnt> %e felbenglic^en^Hnt) mit ^ii felbenpnvonern tnoc^C 



La Cosa map, which so much influenced Hum- des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen (1858). R. H, 

boldt in following Irving, in his Examen critique Major s later opinion is in support of the same 

(1837), iii. 181, 186-222. views, as shown by him in the Journal of the 

WATLING S. This is thirteen miles long by Royal Geographical Society (1871), xvi. 193, and 

about six broad, containing sixty square miles, Proceedings, xv. 210. Cf . A r ew Quarterly Review, 

with a height of one hundred and forty feet, and October, 1856. 

having about one third its area of interior water. Lieut. J. B. Murdock, U.S. N., in a paper on 

It was first suggested by Munoz in 1793. Cap- "The Cruise of Columbus in the Bahamas, 

tain Becher, of the Royal Navy, elaborated the 1492," published in the Proceedings (April, 1884, 

arguments in favor of this island in the Journal p. 449) of the United States Naval Institute 

of the Royal Geographical Society, xxvi. 189, and vol. x, furnishes a new translation of the pas- 

Proceedings, i. 94, and in his Landfall of Colum- sages in Columbus Journal bearing on the sub- 

bus 011 his First Voyage to America, London, 1856. ject, and made by Professor Montaldo of the 

Peschel took the same ground in his Geschiehte Naval Academy, and repeats the map of the 






modern survey of the Bahamas as given by Fox. 
Lieutenant Murdock follows and criticises the 
various theories afresh, and traces Columbus 
track backward from Cuba, till he makes the 
landfall to have been at Watling s Island. He 
points out also various indications of the Jour 
nal which cannot be made to agree with any 
supposable landfall. 

GRAND TURK. Its size is five and one half 
by one and a quarter miles, with an area of 
seven square miles ; its highest part seventy feet; 
and one third of its surface is interior water* 
Navarrete first advanced arguments in its favor 
in 1825, and Kettell adopted his views in the 
Boston edition of the Personal Narrative of 
Columbus. George Gibbs argued for it in the 

1 This map is sketched from the chart, made from the most recent surveys, in the United States Coast-Survey 
and given in Fox s monograph, with the several routes marked down on it. Other cartographical illus- 
of the subject will be found in Moreno s maps, made for Navarrete s Coleccion in 1825 (also in the 
version); in Becher s paper in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, xxvi. 189, and in his 
// of Columbus; in Varnhagen s Das wahre Guanahani ; in Major s paper in the Jotirnal of the 
Geographical Society, 1871, and in his second edition of the Select Letters, where he gives a modern map, 
^rrera s map (1601) and a section of La Cosa s ; in G. B. Torre s Scritti di Colombo, p. 214 ; and in the 
" Wo liegt Guanahani ? " of Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 248, giving all 
;es, except that offered by Fox. See further on the subject R. Pietschmann s " Beitrage zur Guanahani- 
in the Zeitschrift fiir ivissenschaftliche Geographic (iSSo), i. 7, 65, with map; and A. Breusing s 
jeschichte der Kartographie," in Ibid., ii. 193. 


New York Historical Society s Proceedings (1846), 
p. 137, and in the Historical Magazine (June, 
1858), ii. 161. Major adopted such views in 
the first edition (1847) of his Select Letters of 

MARIGUANA. It measures twenty-three and 
one half miles long by an average of four wide ; 
contains ninety-six square miles ; rises one hun 
dred and one feet, and has no interior water. 
F. A. de Varnhagen published at St. Jago de 
Chile, in 1864, a treatise advocating this island 
as La verdadera Guanahani, which was reissued 
at Vienna, in 1869, as Das wahre Guanahani des 

miles long by one and a half wide, covering eight 
and a half square miles, with the highest ridge 
of one hundred feet. It is now uninhabited ; but 
arrow-heads and other signs of aboriginal occu 
pation are found there. The Samana of the early 
maps was the group now known as Crooked 
Island. The present Samana has been recently 
selected for the landfall by Gustavus V. Fox, in 
the United States Coast Survey Report, 1880, 
app. xviii., " An attempt to solve the prob 
lem of the first landing-place of Columbus in 
the New World." He epitomized this paper 

in the Magazine of American History (April, 
1883), p. 240. 

During the interval between the return of 
Columbus from his first voyage and his again 
treading the soil of Spain on his return from 
the second, 1494, we naturally look for the effect 
of this astounding revelation upon the intelli 
gence of Europe. To the Portuguese, who had 
rejected his pleas, there may have been some 
chagrin. Faria y Sousa, in his Europa Portu- 
guesa, intimates that Columbus purpose in put 
ting in at the Tagus was to deepen the regret of 
the Portuguese at their rejection of his views ; 
and other of their writers affirm his overbearing 
manner and conscious pride of success. The in 
terview which he had with John II. is described 
in the Lyuro das obras de Garcia de Resende? 
Of his reception by the Spanish monarchs at 
Barcelona, 3 we perhaps, in the stories of the 
historians, discern more embellishments than 
Oviedo, who was present, would have thought 
the ceremony called for. George Sumner (in 
1844) naturally thought so signal an event would 
find some record in the " Anals consulars " of 
that city, which were formed to make note of 


1 Still" 1 import anza d^un manoscritto inedito della Biblioteca Impcriale di Vienna per verificarc 
la prima isola scoperta dal Colombo, . . . Con una carta gcographica, Vienna, 1869, sixteen page 
hagen s paper first appeared in the Anales de la Univcrscdad de Chile, vol. xxvi. (January, 1864). 

2 Evora, 1545, and often reprinted. Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 45 : Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. * 

3 A fac-simile of Irving s manuscript of his account of this reception is given in the Mass. Hist. *. 



the commonest daily events ; but he could find 
in them no indication of the advent of the dis 
coverer of new lands. 1 It is of far more import 
ance for us that provision was soon made for 
future records in the establishment of what be 
came finally the " Casa de la Contratacion de 
las Indias," at this time put in charge of Juan 
de Fonseca, who controlled its affairs through 
out the reign of Ferdinand. 2 We have seen how 
apparently an eager public curiosity prompted 
more frequent impressions of Columbus letter 
in other lands than in Spain itself ; but there 
was a bustling reporter at the Spanish Court 
fond of letter-writing, having correspondents in 
distant parts, and to him we owe it, probably, 
that the news spread to some notable people. 
This was Peter Martyr d Anghiera. He dated 
at Barcelona, on the ides of May, a letter mention 
ing the event, which he sent to Joseph Borromeo ; 
and he repeated the story in later epistles, written 
in September, to Ascanio Sforza, Tendilla, and 
Talavera. 3 There is every reason to suppose 
that Martyr derived his information directly 
from Columbus himself. He was now probably 
about thirty-seven years old, and he had some 
years before acquired such a reputation for learn 
ing and eloquence that he had been invited from 
Italy (he was a native of the Duchy of Milan) 
to the Spanish Court. His letters, as they have 
come down to us, begin about five years before 
this, 4 and it is said that just at this time (1493) 
he began the composition of his Decades. Las 
Casas has borne testimony to the value of the 
Decades for a knowledge of Columbus, calling 
them the most worthy of credit of all the early 
writings, since Martyr got, as he says, his ac 
counts directly from the Admiral, with whom 
he often talked. Similar testimony is given to 
their credibleness by Carbajal, Gomez, Vergara, 

and other contemporaries. 5 Beginning with 
Munoz, there has been a tendency of late years 
to discredit Martyr, arising from the confu 
sion and even negligence sometimes discerni 
ble in what he says. Navarrete was inclined 
to this derogatory estimate. Hallam 6 goes so 
far as to think him open to grave suspicion 
of negligent and palpable imposture, antedat 
ing his letters to appear prophetic. On the 
other hand, Prescott 7 contends for his veracity, 
and trusts his intimate familiarity with the 
scenes he describes. Helps interprets the dis 
order of his writings as a merit, because it is 
a reflection of his unconnected thoughts and 
feelings on the very day on which he recorded 
any transaction. 8 

What is thought to be the earliest mention 
in print of the new discoveries occurs in a 
book published at Seville in 1493, Los trata~ 
dos del Doctor Alonso Ortiz. The reference 
is brief, and is on the reverse of the 43d folio. 9 
Not far from the same time the Bishop of 
Carthagena, Bernardin de Carvajal, then the 
Spanish ambassador to the Pope, delivered an 
oration in Rome, June 19, 1493, m which he 
made reference to the late discovery of un 
known lands towards the Indies. 10 These refer 
ences are all scant ; and, so far as we know 
from the records preserved to us, the great 
event of the age made as yet no impression on 
the public mind demanding any considerable 

D. SECOND VOYAGE (Sept. 25, 1493, to June 
n, 1496). First among the authorities is the 
narrative of Dr. Chanca, the physician of the 
Expedition. The oldest record of it is a manu 
script of the middle of the sixteenth century, in 
the Real Academia de la Historia at Madrid. 

1 Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella (1873), n - I 75 Major s Select Letters, p. Ixvi ; Harrisse, Bibl, Amer. 
Vet., Additions, p. ix. 

2 Irving s Columbus, app. xxxii. 

3 Humboldt (Examen critique, ii. 279-294) notes the letters referring to Columbus ; and Harrisse f 
(Notes on Columbus, p. 129) reprints these letters, with translations. In the 1670 edition the Columbus refer 
ences are on pp. 72-77, 81, 84, 85, 88-90, 92, 93, 96, 101, 102, 116. 

4 There are eight hundred and sixteen in all (1488 to 1525), and about thirty of them relate to the New 
World. He died in 1526. 

5 Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella (1873), " /6- 
8 Literature of Europe, vol. i. cap. 4, 88. 

7 Ferdinand and Isabella (1873), u - 507, and p. 77. Referring to Hallam s conclusion, he says : " I suspect 
this acute and candid critic would have been slow to adopt it had he perused the correspondence in connection 
with the history of the times, or weighed the unqualified testimony borne by contemporaries to Martyr s minute 

8 Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., p. 282; Irving, Columbus, app. xxvii. ; Brevoort s Verrazano, p. 87 ; H. H. 
Bancroft s Central America, i. 312. A bibliography of Martyr s works is given on another page. 

9 Ttcknor Catalogue, p. 255 ; Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 135 ; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 10 ; Sabin, 
vol. xiv. no. 57,714. 

10 It is not certain when this discourse was printed, for the publication is without date. Harrisse, Notes on 
Columbus, p. 136 ; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. n ; Sabin, vol. iii. no. 11,175 ; Carter-Brown Catalogue, vol. i. no. 4. 
There are copies of this little tract of eight leaves in the Force Collection (Library of Congress), and in the 
Lenox and Carter-Brown libraries. Others are in the Vatican, Grenville Collection, etc. Cf. Court, no. 255. 
VOL. II. 8. 


From this Navarrete printed it for the first time, 1 
under the title of " Segundo Viage de Cristobal 
Colon," in his Colcccion, \. 198. 

Not so directly cognizant of events, but get 
ting his information at second hand from Gugli- 
elmo Coma, a noble personage in Spain, 
was Nicolas Scyllacius, of Pavia, who translated 
Coma s letters into Latin, and published his nar 
rative, De insiilis meridiani atque indict maris 
nuper inventis, dedicating it to Ludovico Sforza, 
at Pavia (Brunet thinks Pisa), in 1594 or 1595. 
Of this little quarto there are three copies known. 
One is in the Lenox Library ; and from this copy 
Mr. Lenox, in 1859, reprinted it sumptuously 
(one hundred and two copies 2 ), with a transla 
tion by the Rev. John Mulligan. In Mr. Lenox s 
Introduction it is said that his copy had origin 
ally belonged to M. Olivieri, of Parma, and then 
to the Marquis Rocca Saporiti, before it came 
into Mr. Lenox s hands, and that the only other 
copy known was an inferior one in the library of 
the Marquis Trivulzio at Milan. This last copy 
is probably one of the two copies which Harrisse 
reports as being in the palace library at Madrid 
and in the Thottiana (Royal Library) at Copen 
hagen, respectively. 3 Scyllacius adds a few de 
tails, current at that time, which were not in 
Coma s letters, and seems to have interpreted 
the account of his correspondent as implying 
that Columbus had reached the Indies by the 
Portuguese route round the Cape of Good 
Hope. Ronchini has conjectured that this blun 
der may have caused the cancelling of a large 
part of the edition, which renders the little book 
so scarce ; but Lenox neatly replies that " almost 
all the contemporaneous accounts are equally 
rare. " 

Another second-hand account derived, how 
ever, most probably from the Admiral himself 
is that given by Peter Martyr in his first Decade, 
published in 1511, and more at length in I5i6. 4 

Accompanying Columbus on this voyage was 
Bernardus Buell, or Boil, a monk of St. Benoit, 

in Austria, who was sent by Pope Alexander VI 
as vicar-general of the new lands, to take charge 
of the measures for educating and converting the 
Indians. 5 It will be remembered he afterward 
became a caballer against the Admiral. What he 
did there, and a little of what Columbus did, one 
Franciscus Honorius Philoponus sought to tell 
in a very curious book, A r ova typis transacta 
navigatio novi orbis India; occidentalism which 
was not printed till 1621. It is dedicated to 
Casparus Plautius, and it is suspected that he 
is really the author of the book, while he as 
sumed another name, more easily to laud himself. 
Harrisse describes the book as having " few 
details of an early date, mixed with much sec 
ond-hand information of a perfectly worthless 

So far as we know, the only contemporary 
references in a printed book to the new discov 
eries during the progress of the second voyage, 
or in the interval previous to the undertaking of 
the third voyage, in the spring of 1498, are these : 
The Das Narrenschiff (Stivp of Fools) of Sebas 
tian Brant, a satire on the follies of society, 
published at Basle in I494, 7 and reprinted in 
Latin in 1497, 1498, and in French in 1497, 1498, 
and I499, 8 has a brief mention of the land pre 
viously unknown, until Ferdinand discovered in 
numerable people in the great Spanish ocean. 
Zacharias Lilio, in his De origine et laudibus 
scientiarum, Florence, I496, 9 has two allusions. 
In 1497 Fedia Inghirami, keeper of the Vatican 
Archives, delivered a funeral oration on Prince 
John, son of Ferdinand and Isabella, and made 
a reference to the New World. The little book 
was probably printed in Rome. There is also a 
reference in the Cosmographia of Antonius Ne- 
brissensis, printed in I498. 10 

n. THIRD VOYAGE (May 30, 1498, to Nov. 
20, 1500). Our knowledge of this voyage is 
derived at first hand from two letters of Colum 
bus himself, both of which are printed by Na- 

1 It is given in Italian in Torre s Scrittl di Colombo, p. 372 ; and in English in Major s Select Letters of 
Columbus, repeated in the appendix of Lenox s reprint of Scyllacius. The " Memorial , , . sobre ei suceso 
de su segundo viage las Indias," in Navarrete, is also printed, with a translation, by Major, p. 72. 

2 They were all presentation-copies ; but one in Leclerc, no. 2,960, is priced 400 francs. The Menzies 
copy brought 835. 

3 Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 16 ; Notes on Columbus, p. 125. Cf. Intorno ad un rarissimo ofuscttlo 
di Niccolo Scillacio, Modena, 1856, by Amadeo Ronchini, of Parma. 

4 Cf. ante a note for the bibliography of Martyr, in Vol. I. 

5 Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 36, refers, for curious details about Buell, to Pasqual s Descubrimientc 
de la situacion de la America, Madrid, 1789, and the letter of the Pope to Boil in Rossi s Del discacciamcntc 
di Colombo dalla Spagnuola, Rome, 1851, p. 76. 

6 There two copies in Harvard College Library. Cf. Rich (1832), no. 159, 2 2s. ; Carter-Brown, 
il no. 252; Quaritch, 6 i6s. 6d. ; O Callaghan, no. 1,841 ; Murphy, no. 1,971 ; Court, nos. 271, 272. 

< Harrisse, Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 2. 

8 Carter-Brown, vol. i. nos. 16, 17, 276, 356; Bibl. Amcr. Vet., nos. 5, 6. 

9 Folios ii and 40. Cf. Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 17 ; Sabin, vol. x. no. 41,067. Harrisse, Notes on Columbu: 
p, 55, says Rich errs in stating that an earlier work of Lilio (1493) nas a reference to the discovery. 

1 BiW. Amer. Vet,, no. 7, 




varrete, and by Major, with a translation. The 
first is addressed to the sovereigns, and fol 
lows a copy in Las Casas s hand, in the Archives 
of the Duque del Infantado. The other is ad 
dressed to the nurse of Prince John, and follows 

Academia at Madrid, collated with a copy in 
the Columbus Collection at Genoa, printed by 
Spotorno. 2 

F. FOURTH VOYAGE (May 9, 1502, to Nov. 

a copy in the Munoz Collection in the Real 7, 1504). While at Jamaica Columbus wrote 

1 Fac-simile of cut in Reusner s I cones, Strasburg, 1590. 

2 Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, no. 126. The Coronica de Aragon, of Fabricius de Vagad, which was pub 
lished in 1499, makes reference to the new discoveries (Bibl. Amer. Vet., Additions, no, 9), as does the Coronica 
van Coellen, published at Cologne, 1499, where, on the verso of folio 339, it speaks of "new lands found, in 
which men roam like beasts " (Murphy, no. 254 : Baer, Incunabeln, 1884, no. 172, at 160 marks ; London Cata 
logue (1884), 12 i os.). In 1498, at Venice, was published Marc. Ant. Sabellicus In rapsodiam historiaruin 
(copy in British Museum), which has a brief account of Columbus family and his early life. This was enlarged 
in the second part, published at Venice in 1504 (Bibl, Amer. Vet., no. 21). An anchor lost by Columbus on 
this voyage, at Trinidad, is said to have been recovered in iSSo (Bulletin de la Socitts Geographique d l An < vers l 
v. 515). 






A reproduction of the map in Charton s VoyageurS) iii. 179. 




BfleT:alB des 

es ia Colomb, 


1 A reproduction of the map in Charton s Voyageurs^ iii. 178. 


to Ferdinand and Isabella a wild, despondent 
letter, 1 suggestive of alienation of mind. It 
brings the story of the voyage down only to 
July 7, 1503, leaving four months unrecorded. 
Pinelo says it was printed in the Spanish, as he 
wrote it ; but no such print is known. 2 Navar- 
rete found in the King s private library, at 
Madrid, a manuscript transcript of it, written, 
apparently, about the middle of the sixteenth 
century ; and this he printed in his Colccciou* 
It was translated into Italian by Costanzo 
Bayuera, of Brescia, and published at Venice, 
in 1505, as Copia de la letter a per Colombo 
mandata.^ Cavaliere Morelli, the librarian of 
St. Mark s, reprinted it, with comments, at 
Bassano, in 1810, as Lettcra rarissima di Cris- 
toforo Colombo^ Navarrete prints two other 
accounts of this voyage, one by Diego Por- 
ras ; G the other by Diego Mendez, given in his 
last will, preserved in the Archives of the Duke 
of Veraguas J 

While Columbus was absent on this voyage, 
as already mentioned, Bergomas had recorded 
the Admiral s first discoveries. 8 

Ferdinand Columbus if we accept as his the 
Italian publication of 1571 tells us that the 
fatiguing career of his father, and his infirmi 
ties, prevented the Admiral from writing his 
own life. For ten years after his death there 
were various references to the new discoveries, 

but not a single attempt to commemorate, bv 
even a brief sketch, the life of the discoverer. 
Such were the mentions in the Commentariorum 
itrbanorum libri of Maffei, 9 published in 1506, 
and again in 1511; in Walter Ludd s Speculi 
orbis, etc. ; 10 in F. Petrarca s Chronica ; n and in 
the O ratio l ~ vi Marco Dandolo (Naples), all 
in 1507. In the same year the narrative in the 
Paesi novamente retrovati (1507) established an 
account which was repeated in later editions, 
and was followed in the Novus orbis of 1532. 
The next year (1508) we find a reference in the 
Oratio 13 of Fernando Tellez at Rome ; in the 
Supplement} d e le chroniche vulgare, novamente 
dal frate Jacobo Phillipo al anno 1503 viilgarizz., 
per Francesco C. Florentine (Venice); 14 in Jo 
hannes Stamler s Dyalogns ; 15 in the Ptolemy 
published at Rome with Ruysch s map ; and in 
the Collectanea^ of Baptista Fulgosus, published 
at Milan. 

In 1509 there is reference to the discoveries 
in the Opera nova of the General of the Carmel 
ites, Battista Mantuanus. 17 Somewhere, from 
1510 to 1519, the New Interlude 131 presented 
Vespucius to the English public, rather than 
Columbus, as the discoverer of America, as 
had already been done by Waldseemiiller at 
St. Die. In 1511 Peter Martyr, in his first 
Decade, and Sylvanus, in his annotations of 
Ptolemy, drew attention to the New World ; 
as did also Johannes Sobrarius in his Pane- 
gyricwn carmen de gestis heroicis divi Ferdinandi 

1 Que escribio D. Cristobal Colon a los . . . Rey y Rcina dc Espana. Cf. Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, 
p. 127. It is given, with an English translation, in Major s Select Letters ; also in the Relazione delle 
scoperte fatte da C. Colombo, da A. Vespucci, e da altri dal 1492 al 1506, tratta dai manoscritti della Bibli- 
oteca di Ferrara e pitbblicata per la prima volta ed annotata dal Prof . G. Fcrraro, at Bologna, in 1875, as 
no. 144 of the Scelta di cnriosith letterarie inedite o rare dal secolo xiii al xvii. A French translation is 
given in Chartoil s Voyageurs, iii. 174. 

2 It is usually said that Ferdinand Columbus asserts it was printed ; but Harrisse says he can find no such 
statement in Ferdinand s book. 

3 Vol. i. pp. 277-313. 

4 It is a little quarto of six leaves and an additional blank leaf (Lenox, Scyllacins, p. Ixi ; Harrisse, BibL 
Amer. Vet., no. 36). There is a copy in the Marciana, which Harrisse compared with the Morelli reprint, and 
says he found the latter extremely faithful (Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 17). 

5 Leclerc, no. 129. 

6 In Italian in Torre s Scritti di Colombo, p. 396. 

" This is also in Italian in Torre, p. 401, and in English in Major s Select Letters. 

$ Stevens (Notes, etc., p. 31) is said by Harrisse (BibL Amer. Vet., Additions, p. 35) to be in error in saying 
that Valentim Fernandez s early collection of Voyages, in Portuguese, and called Marco Paulo, etc., has any 
reference to Columbus. 

9 BibL Amer. Vet., nos. 43, 67, and p. 463; Additions, nos. 22, 40; Thomassy, Les papes geographcs, 

10 BibL Amer. Vet., no. 49. See the chapter on Vespucius, 

11 Ibid., Additions, no. 27. 

12 Ibid., no. 28. 

13 Ibid,, no. 30. 

14 Sabin, vol. vi. no. 24,395. 

15 Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 51, 52; Murphy, no. 2,353; Stevens, BibL Gcog., no. 2,609. There are. copies 
in the Library of Congress, Harvard College Library, etc. 

16 Sabin, vol. vii. no. 26,140; Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 39; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 34; Graesse, ii. 645; 
Brunei, ii. 1421. There were later editions in 1518, 1565, 1567, 1578, 1604, 1726, etc. 

17 BibL Amer. Vet., no. 35. 

is See Vol. III. pp. 16, 199; BibL Amer. Vet., pp. 464, 518; and Additions, no. 38. , 


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i Fac-simile of a portion of the page of the Giustiniani Psalter, which shows the beginning of the marginal 
note on Columbus. 

6 4 


Catholici. 1 The Stobnicza (Cracow) Appendix 
to Ptolemy presented a new map of the Indies 
in 1512; and the Chronicon of Eusebius, of the 
same date, recorded the appearance of some of 
the wild men of the West in Rouen, brought 
over by a Dieppe vessel. Some copies, at least, 
of Antonio de Lebrija s edition of Prudentii 
opera, printed at Lucca, 1512, afford another in 
stance of an early mention of the New World. 2 
Again, in 1513, a new edition of Ptolemy gave 
the world what is thought to have been a map 
by Columbus himself; and in the same year 
there was a Supplemcntwn supplement of 
Jacobo Philippo, of Bergomas. 3 In 1514 the 
De natura locorum (Vienna), of Albertus Mag 
nus, points again to Vespucius instead of Co 
lumbus ; 4 but Cataneo, in a poem on Genoa, 5 
does not forget her son, Columbus. 

These, as books have preserved them for 
us, are about all the contemporary references 
to the life of the great discoverer for the first ten 
years after his death. 6 In 1516, where we might 
least expect it, we find the earliest small gath 
ering of the facts of his life. In the year of 
Columbus death, Agostino Giustiniani had 
begun the compilation of a polyglot psalter, 
which was in this year (1516) ready for publi 
cation, and, with a dedication to Leo X., ap 
peared in Genoa. The editor annotated the 
text, and, in a marginal note to verse four of the 
nineteenth Psalm, we find the earliest sketch of 
Columbus life. Stevens 7 says of the note : 
"There are in it several points which we do 
not find elsewhere recorded, especially respect 
ing the second voyage, and the survey of the 

south side of Cuba, as far as Evangelista, in 
May, 1494. Almost all other accounts of the 
second voyage, except that of Bernaldez, end 
before this Cuba excursion began." 

Giustiniani, who was born in 1470, died in 
1536, and his Annali di Genoa** was shortly 
afterward published (1537), in which, on folio 
ccxlix, he gave another account of Columbus, 
which, being published by his executors with 
his revision, repeated some errors or opinions 
of the earlier Psalter account. These were not 
pleasing to Ferdinand Columbus, 9 the son of 
the Admiral, particularly the statement that 
Columbus was born of low parentage, "vilibus 
ortus ( parentibus." Stevens points out how 
Ferdinand accuses Giustiniani of telling four 
teen lies about the discoverer ; " but on hunt 
ing them out, they all appear to be of trifling 
consequence, amounting to little more than that 
Columbus sprang from humble parents, and 
that he and his father were poor, earning a live 
lihood by honest toil." 10 

To correct what, either from pride or from 
other reasons, he considered the falsities of the 
Psalter, Ferdinand was now prompted to com 
pose a Life of his father, or at least such was, 
until recently, the universal opinion of his au 
thorship of the book. As to Ferdinand s own 
relations to that father there is some doubt, 
or pretence of doubt, particularly on the part 
of those who have found the general belief 
in, and pretty conclusive evidence concerning, 
the illegitimacy of Ferdinand an obstacle in 
establishing the highly moral character which 
a saint, like Columbus, should have. 11 

1 In the section " inventio novarum insularum," Bill. Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 39. 

2 Brunet, iv. 915 ; Bill. Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 44. 

3 Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 57 ; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 73. There is a copy in the Boston Athenaeum. 

4 Carter-Brown, no. 48 ; Murphy, no. 32. 

5 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 75. 

u Cf. bibliographical note on Columbus in Charton s Voyageurs, iii. 190. 

1 Historical Collections, vol. i. no. 1,554; Bibl. Hist. (1870), no. 1,661 ; J. J. Cooke, no. 2,092; Murphy, 
no. 2,042 (bought by Cornell University) ; Panzer, vii. 63 ; Graesse, v. 469 ; Brunet, iv. 919 ; Rosenthal (1884) ; 
Baer, Incunabeln (1884), no. 116. Cf. Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 74, for the note and translation; and 
other versions in Historical Magazine, December, 1862, and in the Christian Examiner, September, 1858. 
Also, see Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 88, for a full account ; and the reduced fac-simile of title in Carter-Brown, vol. i. 
no. 51. The book is not very rare, though becoming so, since, as the French sale-catalogues say, referring to 
the note, " Cette particularity fait de ce livre un objet de haute curiosite pour les collectionneurs Americains. : 
Harrisse says of it : " Although prohibited, confiscated, and otherwise ill-treated by the Court of Rome and the 
city authorities of Genoa, this work is frequently met with, owing, perhaps, to the fact that two thousand 
copies were printed, of which only five hundred found purchasers, while the fifty on vellum were distributed 
among the sovereigns of Europe and Asia." (Cf. Van Praet, Catalogue des livres sur -velin, i. 8.) Its price is, 
however, increasing. Forty years ago Rich priced it at eighteen shillings. Recent quotations put it, in London 
and Paris, at ^7, 100 marks, and no francs. The Editor has used the copy in the Harvard College Library, and 
in the Boston Public Library, which last belonged to George Ticknor, who had used George Livermore s copy 
before he himself possessed the book. Ticknor s Spanish Literature, i. 188; Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., x. 431. 

8 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 220 ; Stevens, Historical Collections, vol. i. no. 242. There is a copy in Harvard 
College Library. 

9 We know that Ferdinand bought a copy of this book in 1537 ; cf. Harrisse, Fcrnand Colomb, p. 27. 
10 Historical Collections, vol. i. no. 1,554. 

n On the question of the connection of Columbus with his second companion, Donna Beatrix Enriquez 
who was of a respectable family in Cordova, that there was a marriage tie has been claimed by Herreraj 


Ferdinand Columbus, or Fernando Colon, Italian version made by Alfonzo de Ulloa, and 

was born three or four years before his father was entitled Historic del S. D. Fernando Colombo; 

sailed on his first voyage. 1 His father s favor nelle quali s ha particolare & vera relations ddla 

at Court opened the way, and in attendance vita, &> dc 1 fatti del? Ammiraglio D. Christoforo 

upon Prince Juan and Queen Isabella he gained Colombo, suo padre. It is thought that this trans- 

a good education. When Columbus went on lation was made from an inaccurate copy of the 

his fourth voyage, in 1 502, the boy, then thirteen manuscript, and moreover badly made. It be- 

years of age, accompanied his father. It is said gins the story of the Admiral s life with his 

that he made two other voyages to the New fifty-sixth year, or thereabout; and it has been 

World; but Harrisse could only find proof of surmised that an account of his earlier years 

one. His later years were passed as a courtier, if, indeed, the original draft contained it 

in attendance upon Charles V. on his travels, was omitted, so as not to obscure, by poverty 

and in literary pursuits, by which he acquired a and humble station, the beginnings of a lumi- 

name for learning. He had the papers of his nous career. 3 Ferdinand died at Seville, July 

father, 2 and he is best known by the Life of 12, I539, 4 and bequeathed, conditionally, his 

Columbus which passes under his name. If it library to the Cathedral. The collection then 

was written in Spanish, it is not known in its contained about twenty thousand volumes, in 

original form, and has not been traced since print and manuscript; and it is still preserved 

Luis Colon, the Duque de Veraguas, son of there, though, according to Harrisse, much neg- 

Diego, took the manuscript to Genoa about lected since 1709, and reduced to about four 

1568. There is some uncertainty about its later thousand volumes. It is known as the Biblio- 

history ; but it appeared in 1571 at Venice in an teca Colombina. 5 Spotorno says that this 

Tiraboschi, Bossi, Roselly de Lorgues, Barry, and Cadoret (Vie de Colomb, Paris, 1869, Appendix); and 
that there was no such tie, by Napione (Patria di Colombo and Introduction to Codice Colombo- Americano), 
Spotorno, Navarrete, Humboldt, and Irving. Cf. Historical Magazine (August, 1867), p. 225 ; Revue des 
questions historiques (1879), xxv. 213 ; Angelo Sanguinetti s Still 1 origine di Perdinando Colombo (Genoa, 
1876), p. 55 ; Giuseppe Antonio Dondero s Donestd di Cristoforo Colombo (Genoa, 1877), p. 213 ; Harrisse, 
Fernand Colomb, p. 2 ; D Avezac, in Bzdletin de la Societe de Geographic (1872), p. 19. It may be noted that 
Ferdinand de Galardi, in dedicating his Traitc politique (Leyden, 1660) to Don Pedro Colon, refers to Ferdi 
nand Colon as "Fernando Henriquez." (Stevens, Bibl. Geog., no. 1,147). 

The inference from Columbus final testamentary language is certainly against the lady s chastity. In his 
codicil he enjoins his son Diego to provide for the respectable maintenance of the mother of Ferdinand, " for 
the discharge of my conscience, for it weighs heavy on my soul." Irving and others refer to this as the com 
punction of the last hours of the testator. De Lorgues tries to show that this codicil was made April i, 1502 
(though others claim that the document of this date was another will, not yet found), and only copied at Segovia, 
Aug. 25, 1505, and deposited in legal form with a notary at Valladolid, May 19, 1506, Columbus dying May 20, 
the effect of all which is only to carry back, much to Columbus credit, the compunction to an earlier date. 
The will (1498), but not the codicil, is given in Irving, app. xxxiv. Cancellieri, in his Dissertazioni, gives 
it imperfectly ; but it is accurately given in the Transactions of the Genoa Academy. Cf. Harrisse (Notes on 
Columbus] p. 160; Torre s Scritti di Colombo ; Colon en Quisqueya, Santo Domingo (1877), pp. 81,99; Cartas 
y test amenta, Madrid, 1880; Navarrete, Coleccion; and elsewhere. 

1 De Lorgues, on the authority of Zuiiiga (Analcs eclesidsticos, p. 496), says he was born Aug. 29, 1487, 
and not Aug. 15, 1488, as Navarrete and Humboldt had said. Harrisse (Fernand Colomb, p. i) alleges the 
authority of the executor of his will for the date Aug. 15, 1488. The inscription on his supposed grave would 
make him born Sept. 28, 1488. 

2 Prescott (Ferdinand and Isabella, ii. 507) speaks of Ferdinand Columbus "experience and opportu 
nities, combined with uncommon literary attainments." Harrisse calculates his income from the bequest of his 
father, and from pensions, at about 180,000 francs of the present day. (Fernand Colomb, p. 29.) 

3 There has been close scrutiny of the publications of Europe in all tongues for the half century and more 
following the sketch of Guistiniani in 1516, till the publication of the earliest considerable account of Columbus 
in the Ulloa version of 1571, to gather some records of the growth or vicissitudes of the fame of the great dis 
coverer, and of the interest felt by the European public in the progress of events in the New World. Harrisse s 
Bibliotheca Americana Vetiistissima, and his Additions to the same, give us the completest record down to 1550, 
coupled with the Carter-Brown Catalogue for the whole period. 

4 A copy of the inscription on his tomb in Seville, with a communication by George Sumner, is printed in 
Major s Select Letters of Columbus, p. Ixxxi. 

5 Cf. Edwards, Memoirs of Libraries, and a Memoir of Ferdinand, by Eustaquio Fernandez de Navarrete, 
in Colec. de doc, ined,, vol. xvi. A fac-simile of the first page of the manuscript catalogue of the books, made 
by Ferdinand himself, is given in Harrisse s D. Fernando Colon, of which the annexed is the heading : 


r( v 

VOL. ii. - 9 . 



Luis Colon, a person of debauched character, 
brought this manuscript in the Spanish lan 
guage to Genoa, and left it in the hands of 
Baliano de Fornari, from whom it passed to 
another patrician, Giovanni Baptista Marini, 
who procured Ulloa to make the Italian version 
in which it was first published. 1 

Somewhat of a controversial interest has 
been created of late years by the critiques of 
Henry Harrisse on Ferdinand Columbus and 
his Life of his father, questioning the usually 
accepted statements in Spotorno s introduction 
of the Codice of 1823. Harrisse undertakes to 
show that the manuscript was never in Don 
Luis hands, and that Ferdinand could not 
have written it. He counts it as strange that 
if such a manuscript existed in Spain not a 
single writer in print previous to 1571 refers to 
it. " About ten years ago," says Henry Stevens, 2 
"a society of Andalusian bibliographers was 
formed at Seville. Their first publication was 
a fierce Hispano- French attack on the authenti 
city of the Life of Columbus by his second son, 
Ferdinand, written by Henri Harrisse in French, 
and translated by one of the Seville bibliofilos, 
and adopted and published by the Society. The 
book [by Columbus son] is boldly pronounced 
a forgery and a fraud on Ferdinand Columbus. 
Some fifteen reasons are given in proof of these 
charges, all of which, after abundant research 
and study, are pronounced frivolous, false, and 

groundless." Such is Mr. Stevens s view, colored 
or not by the antipathy which on more than one 
occasion has been shown to be reciprocal in the 
references of Stevens and Harrisse, one to the 
other, in sundry publications. 3 The views of 
Harrisse were also expressed in the supplemen 
tal volume of his Bibliotheca Americana Vetus- 
tissima, published as Additions in 1872. In this 
he says, regarding the Life of Columbus : " It 
was not originally written by the son of the bold 
navigator ; and many of the circumstances it re= 
lates have to be challenged, and weighed with 
the utmost care and impartiality." 

The authenticity of the book was ably sus 
tained by D Avezac before the French Acad 
emy in a paper which was printed in 1873 as 
Le livre de Ferdinand Colomb : Revue critique 
des allegations proposes contre son authenticite. 
Harrisse replied in 1875 m a pamphlet of fifty- 
eight pages, entitled L histoire de C. Colomb attri 
bute a son fils Fernand : Examcn critiqite du 
memoire hi par M. d Avezac a rAcademie, 8, 13, 
22 A out, 1873. There were other disputants on 
the question. 4 

The catalogue of the Colombina Library as 
made by Ferdinand shows that it contained orig 
inally a manuscript Life of the Admiral written 
about 1525 by Ferdinand Perez de Oliva, who 
presumably had the aid of Ferdinand Columbus 
himself ; but no trace of this Life now exists, 5 un 
less, as Harrisse ventures to conjecture, it may 

There is a list of the books in B. Gallardo s Ensayo ds una bibliotheca de libros esfanoles raros, Harrisse 
gives the fullest account of Ferdinand and his migrations, which can be in part traced by the inscriptions 
in his books of the place of their purchase ; for he had the habit of so marking them. Cf. a paper on Ferdi 
nand, by W. M. Wood, in Once a Week, xii. 165. 

1 Barcia says that Baliano began printing it simultaneously in Spanish, Italian, and Latin; but only the 
Italian seems to have been completed, or at least is the only one known to bibliographers. (Notes on Cohtmbus. 
p. 24.) Oettinger (Bibl. biog., Leipsic, 1850) is in error in giving an edition at Madrid in 1530. The 1571 
Italian edition is very rare ; there are copies in Harvard College, Carter-Brown, and Lenox libraries. Rich priced 
it in 1832 at 1 10^. Leclerc (no. 138) prices it at 200 francs. The Sobolewski copy (no. 3,756) sold in 1873 
for 285 francs, was again sold in 1884 in the Court Sale, no. 77. The Murphy Catalogue (no. 2.881) shows a 
copy. This Ulloa version has since appeared somewhat altered, with several letters added, in 1614 (Milan, 
priced in 1832, by Rich, at \ los. ; recently, at 75 francs; Carter-Brown, ii. 165); in 1676 (Venice, Carter- 
Brown, vol. ii. no. 1,141, priced at 35 francs and 45 marks) ; in 1678 (Venice, Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. i,iSi. 
priced at 50 francs); in 1681 (Paris, Court Sale, no. 79); in 1685 (Venice, Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 1,310, 
priced at 1 8s.)- and later, in 1709 (Harvard College Library), 1728, etc. ; and for the last time in 1867, 
revised by Giulio Antimaco, published in London, though of Italian manufacture. Cancellieri cites editions of 
1618 and 1672. A French translation, La Vie de Cristofle Colomb, was made by Cotolendi, and published in 
1681 at Paris. There are copies in the Harvard College and Carter-Brown (Catalogue, vol. ii. no. 1,215) libraries. 
It is worth from $6 to $10. A new French version, " traduite et annotee par E. Muller," appeared in Paris 
in 1879, the editor calling the 1681 version " tronque, incorrect, decharne, glacial." An English version 
appears in the chief collections of Voyages and Travels, Churchill (ii. 479), Kerr (iii. i), and Pinker- 
ton (xii. i). Barcia gave it a Spanish dress after Ulloa s, and this was printed in his Historiadores primi 
tives de las Indias occidentales, at Madrid, in 1749, being found in vol. i. pp. 1-128. (Cf. Carter-Brown, 
vol. iii. no. 893.) 

2 Historical Collections (iSSi), vol. i. no. 1,3/9. 

3 The Spanish title of Harrisse s book is D. Fernando Colon , historiador de su padre: Ensayo critico. 
Sevilla, 1871. It was not published as originally written till the next year (1872), when it bore the title, Per- 
nand Colomb : sa vie, ses ceuvres ; Essai critique, Paris, Tross, 1872. Cf . Arana, Bibliog. de obras anonimas, 
Santiago de Chile (1882), no. 176. 

4 Le Comte Adolphe de Circourt in the Revue des questions historiques, xi. 520; and Attsland (1873)-, 
p. 241, etc. 

5 Harrisse, Fernand Colomb, p. 152. 


6 7 

have been in some sort the basis of what now 
passes for the work of Ferdinand. 

For a long time after the Historie of 1571 
there was no considerable account of Colum 
bus printed. Editions of Ptolemy, Peter Mar 
tyr, Oviedo, Grynseus, and other general books, 
made reference to his discoveries ; but the next 
earliest distinct sketch appears to be that in 
the Elogia virorum illustriitm of Jovius, printed 
in 1551 at Florence, and the Italian version made 
by Domenichi, printed in I554- 1 Ramusio s 
third volume, in 1556, gave the story greater 
currency than before ; but such a book as 
Cunningham s Cosmographical Glasse, in its 
chapter on America, utterly ignores Columbus 
in I559- 2 We get what may probably be called 
the hearsay reports of Columbus exploits in 
the Mondo nuovo of Benzoni, first printed at 
Venice in 1565. There was a brief memorial in 
the Clarorum Ligurum elogia of Ubertus Folieta, 
published at Rome in I573- 3 In 1581 his voyages 
were commemorated in an historical poem, Lau- 
rentii Gambara Brixiani de navigatione Christ o- 
phori Columbi, published at Rome. 4 Boissard, 
of the De Bry coterie at Frankfort in 1597, 
included Columbus in his Icones viroruni illus- 
trhtm ; b and Buonfiglio Costanzo, in 1604, com 
memorated him in the Historia Siciliana, pub 
lished at Venice. 6 

Meanwhile the story of Columbus voyages 
was told at last with all the authority of official 
sanction in the Historia general of Herrera. 
This historian, or rather annalist, was born in 
1549, and died in 1625; 7 and the appointment of 
historiographer given him by Philip II. was con 

tinued by the third and fourth monarchs of that 
name. There has been little disagreement as to 
his helpfulness to his successors. All critics 
place him easily first among the earlier writers ; 
and Munoz, Robertson, Irving, Prescott, Tick- 
nor, and many others have united in praise of 
his research, candor, and justness, while they 
found his literary skill compromised in a meas 
ure by his chronological method. Irving found 
that Herrera depended so much on Las Casas 
that it was best in many cases to go to that ear 
lier writer in preference ; s and Munoz thinks 
only Herrera s judicial quality preserved for him 
a distinct character throughout the agglutini/ing 
process by which he constructed his book. His 
latest critic, Hubert H. Bancroft, 9 calls his style 
" bald and accurately prolix, his method slavishly 
chronological," with evidence everywhere in his 
book of " inexperience and incompetent assist 
ance," resulting in " notes badly extracted, dis 
crepancies, and inconsistencies." The bibliog 
raphy of Herrera is well done in Sabin. 10 

Herrera had already published ( 1 591 ) a mono 
graph on the history of Portugal and the conquest 
(1582-1583) of the Azores, when he produced at 
Madrid his great work, Historia general de los 
hechos de los Castcllanos, in eight decades, four of 
which, in two volumes, were published in 1601, 
and the others in 1615. n It has fourteen maps ; 
and there should be bound with it, though often 
found separate, a ninth part, called Description 
de las Indias occidentales^ Of the composite 
work, embracing the nine parts, the best edition 
is usually held to be one edited by Gonzales 
Barcia, and supplied by him with an index, 
which was printed in Madrid during 1727, 1728, 

1 Sabin, vol. vii. no. 27,478. Also in 1558, 1559. 

2 Sabin, vol. v. no. 1 7^,97 1. 

3 Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 293. 

4 Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 340 ; Leclerc, nos. 226-228 ; J. J. Cooke, no. 575. There were other editions In 
1583 and 1585 ; they have a map of Columbus discoveries. Sabin, vol. vii. no. 26,500. 

5 Sabin, vol. ii. no. 6.161-6,162; Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 509. There was a second edition, Bibliotheca, 
sive thesaitrtis virtutis et gloria, in 1628. 

6 Sabin, vol. iii. no. 9,195. 

" He assumed his mother s name, but sometimes added his father s, Herrera y Tordesillas. Irving 
(app. xxxi. to his Life of Columbus} says he was born in 1565. 

8 Life of Columbus, app. xxxi. ; Herrera s account of Columbus is given in Kerr s Voyages, iii. 242. 

> Central America, i. 317; cf. his Chroniclers, p. 22. 

10 Dictionary ; also issued separately with that of Hennepin. 

H In comparing Rich s (1832, 4 45.) and recent prices, there does not seem to be much appreciation in the 
value of the book during the last fifty years for ordinary copies ; bat Ouaritch has priced the Beckford (no. 735, 
copy so high as 52. There are copies in the Library of Congress, Carter-Brown, Harvard College, and Boston 
Public Library. Cf. Ticknor Catalogue ; Sabin, no. 31,544 ; Carter-Brown, ii. 2; Murphy, 1206; Court, 169. 

12 Sabin. no. 31,539- This Descripcion was translated into Latin by Barlseus, and with other tracts joined 
to it was printed at Amsterdam, in 1622, as Noviis orbis sire descriptio India occidcntalis (Carter-Brown) 
vol. ii., no. 266; Sabkn, no. 31,540; it is in our principal libraries, and is worth Sio or $15). It copies the 
maps of the Madrid edition, and is frequently cited as Colin s edition. The Latin was used in 1624 in part 
by De Bry, part xii. of the Grands voyages. (Camus, pp. 147, 160 ; Tiele. pp. 56, 312, who followed other 
engravings than Herrera s for the Incas). There was a Dutch version, Nieitive Werelt, by the same publisher, 
in 1622 (Sabin, no. 31.542; Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 264), and a French (Sabin, no. 31,543; Carter-Brown, 
vol. ii. no. 265 ; Rich, 1832, i IQJ. ; Ouaritch, 2 i2s. 6d.). 


1729, and 1730, so that copies are found with all niversary of the discovery, celebrated by the 

those dates, though it is commonly cited as of Massachusetts Historical Society, when Dr. Jer- 

I73O. 1 emy Belknap delivered an historical discourse, 6 

included later with large additions in his weil- 

The principal chronicles of Spanish affairs in known American Biography, The unfinished his- 

the seventeenth century contributed more or less tory of Munoz harbingered, in 1793, tne revival 

to Columbus fame ; 2 and he is commemorated in Europe of the study of his career. Finally, the 

in the Dutch compilation of Van den Bos, Leven series of modern Lives of Columbus began in 

en Daden der Zeehelden, published at Amsterdam 1818 with the publication at Milan of Luigi 

in 1676, and in a German translation in i6Si. 3 Bossi s Vita di Cristoforo Colombo, scritta e corre- 

There were a hundred years yet to pass be- data di nuove osservaziontf In 1823 the introduc 
fore Robertson s History of America gave Colum- tion by Spotorno to the Codice, and in 1825 the 
bus a prominence in the work of a historian of Colcccion of Navarrete, brought much new ma- 
established fame ; but this Scotch historian was terial to light ; and the first to make use of it 
forced to write without any knowledge of Colum- were .Irving, in his Life of Columbus, iS2S, 8 and 
bus own narratives. Humbolclt, in 

In 1781 the earliest of the special Italian his Examen cri- 

commemorations appeared at Parma, in J. Du- tiqiie de V histoire 

razzo s Elogi storici on Columbus and Doria. 4 de la geographie du nouveau continent, published 

Chevalier de Langeac in 1782 added to his originally, in 1834, in a single volume; and again 

poem, Colomb dans les fers a Ferdinand et Isabellc, in five volumes, between 1836 and i839- 9 "No 

a memoir of Columbus. 5 one," says Ticknor, 10 " has comprehended the 

The earliest commemoration in the United character of Columbus as Humboldt has, its 

States was in 1792,011 the three hundredth an- generosity, its enthusiasm, its far-reaching visions, 

1 There are copies in the Boston Athenaeum, Boston Public, and Harvard College libraries (Sabin, 
nos. 31,541, 31,546; Carter-Brown, vol. iii. nos. 376, 450; Huth, vol. ii. no. 683; Leclerc, no. 278, one 
hundred and thirty francs; Field, no. 689 ; ordinary copies are priced at 3 or 4; large paper at 10 or 
12). A rival but inferior edition was issued at Antwerp in 1728, without maps, and with De Bry s instead 
of Herrera s engravings (Sabin, no. 31,545). A French version was begun at Paris in 1659, but was reissued 
in 1660-1670 in three volumes (Sabin, nos. 31,548-31,550; Field, no. 690; Carter-Brown, vol. 875; 
Leclerc, no. 282, sixty francs), including only three decades. Portions were included in the Dutch collection of 
Van der Aa (Sabin, nos. 31,551, etc. ; Carter-Brown, iii. in). It is also included in Hulsius, part xviii. (Carter 
Brown, i. 496). The English translation of the first three decades, by Captain John Stevens, is in six volumes, 
London, 1725-1726; but a good many liberties are taken with the text (Sabin, no. 31,557; Carter-Brown, 
vol. iii. no. 355). New titles were given to the same sheets, in 1740, for what is called a second edition (Sabin, 
no. 31,558). " How many misstatements are attributed to Herrera which can be traced no nearer that author 
than Captain John Stevens s English translation ? It is absolutely necessary to study this latter book to sec 
where so many English and American authors have taken incorrect facts" (H. Stevens, Bibliothcca Hist., 
p. xiii.). 

2 Such as the Anales de Aragon, 1610 ; the Compendia historial de las chronicas y universal historia de 
todos los rcynos de Espana, 1628 ; Ziiniga s Annales eclcsiasticos y sccnlarcs de Seville, 1677 , Los reyes de 
Aragon, par Pedro Adarca, 1682 ; and the Monarqina de Espana, par Don Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, 
1770. The Varones ilustres del micvo mondo of Pizarro y Orellana, published at Madrid in 1639, contained 
a Life of Columbus, as well as notices of Ojeda, Cortes, Pizarro, etc. 

8 Sabin, vol. ii. no. 6,440; Asher, no. 355 ; Tromel, no. 366; Muller (1872), no. 126. 

4 Sabin, vol. v. no. 21,418. Cf. Arana s Bibliograf ta de obras anonimas, Santiago de Chile (1882), no. 143. 

5 Sabin, vol. x. no. 38,879. Harrisse (Notes on Columbus, p. 190) enumerates some of the earlier and later 
poems, plays, sonnets, etc., wholly or incidentally illustrating the career of Columbus. Cf. also his Fernand 
Colomb, p. 131, and Larousse s Grand dictionnaire universe!, vol. iv. The earliest mention of Columbus in 
English poetry is in Baptist Goodall s Tryall of Traiiell, London, 1630. 

6 Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., i. 45 ; xii. 65. 

7 A French version, by C. M. Urano, was published at Paris in 1824 ; again in 1825. It is subjected to an 
examination, particularly as regards the charge of ingratitude against Ferdinand, in the French edition of 
Navarrete, i. 309 (Sabin, vol. ii. no. 6,464). 

8 There was a Spanish translation, made by Jose Garcia de Villalta, published in Madrid in 1833. 

9 In vol. iii., " De quelques faits relatifs a Colomb et & Vespuce." In vol. i. he reviews the state ot 
knowledge on the subject in 1833. The German text, Kritische Untcrsuchungcn, was printed in a translation 
by Jules Louis Ideler, of which the best edition is that of Berlin, 1852, edited by H. Muller. Humboldt never 
completed this work. The parts on the early maps, which he had intended, were later cursorily touched in his 
introduction to Ghillany s BeJiaim. Cf. D Avezac s Waltzemiiller, p. 2, and B. de Xivrey s DCS premieres 
relations entrc V Amerique et r Europe d aprcs les rechcrches de A. de Humboldt, Paris, 18355 taken from the 
Revue de Paris. 

1 History of Spanish Literature, i. 190. 


6 9 

which seemed watchful beforehand for the great 
scientific discovery of the sixteenth century." 
Prescott was warned by the popularity of Irv- 
ing s narrative not to attempt to rival him; 
and his treatment of Columbus career was con 
fined to such a survey as would merely com 
plete the picture of the reign of Ferdinand and 
Isabella. 1 

In 1844 there came the first intimation of 
a new style of biography, a protest against 
Columbus story being longer told by his natu 
ral enemies, as all who failed to recognize his 
pre-eminently saintly character were considered 
to be. There was a purpose in it to make the 
most possible of all his pious ejaculations, and of 
his intention, expressed in his letter to the Pope 
in 1502, to rescue the Holy City from the infidel, 
with his prospective army of ten thousand horse 
and a hundred thousand foot. The chief spokes 
man of this purpose has been Roselly de Lorgues. 
He first shadowed forth his purpose in his La 
croix dans les deux mondes in 1844. It \vas not 
till 1864 that he produced the full flower of 
his spirit in his Christophe Colomb, Histoire de sa 
vie et de ses voyages d aprts des documents authen- 
tiqnes tires d Espagtie et d ltalie.- This was fol 
lowed, in 1874, by his L ambassadeur de Dieu et 
le Pape Pie IX. All this, however, and much 
else by the abetters of the scheme of the canoni 
zation of Columbus which was urged on the 
Church, failed of its purpose ; and the move 
ment was suspended, for a while at least, be 
cause of an ultimate adverse determination. 3 

Of the other later lives of Columbus it re 
mains to mention only the most considerable, or 
those of significant tendency. 

The late Sir Arthur Helps wrote his Spanish 
Conquest of America with the aim of developing 
the results political, ethnological, and eco 
nomic of the conquest, rather than the day- 
by-day progress of events, and with a primary 
regard to the rise of slavery. His Life of Colum 
bus is simply certain chapters of this larger work 
excerpted and fitted in order. 4 Mr. Aaron Good 
rich, in A History of the so-called Christopher Co 
lumbus, New York, 1874, makes a labored and 
somewhat inconsiderate effort, characterized by 
a certain peevish air, to prove Columbus the 
mere borrower of others glories. 5 

In French, mention may be made of the 
Baron de Bonnefoux s Vie de Christophe Colomb, 
Paris, 1853, and the Marquis de Belloy s Chris 
tophe Colomb et la decouverte du Nouveau Blonde, 
Paris, 1 864. 7 

In German, under the impulse given by 
Humboldt, some fruitful labors have been given 
to Columbus and the early history of Amer 
ican discovery ; but it is only necessary to 
mention the names of Forster, 8 Peschel, 9 and 
Ruge. 1 " 

bus there is no likeness whose claim to consid 
eration is indisputable. We have descriptions 
of his person from two who knew him, Oviedo 
and his own son Ferdinand ; we have other 

1 Harrisse {Notes on Columbus^ p. 50) speaks of Prescott as "eloquent but imaginative." 

- The work was patronized by the Pope, and was reproduced in great luxury of ornamentation in 1879. -^ n 

English abridgment and adaptation, by J. J. Barry, was republished in New York in 1869. A Dutch translation, 

Lcven en reizen van Columbus, was printed at Utrecht in 1863. 

3 Some of the other contributions of this movement are these : Roselly de Lorgues, Satan centre Christophe 
Colomb, on la pretendue chute du serviteiir de Dic,u, Paris, 1876 ; Tullio Dandolo s I secoli di Dante e Colombo, 
Milan, 1852, and his Cristoforo Colombo, Genovese, 1855 ; P. Ventura de Raulica s Cristoforo Colombo rivcn- 
dicato alia chiesa ; Eugene Cadoret, La vie de Christophe Colomb, Paris, 1869, i n advocacy of canoniza 
tion ; Le Baron van Brocken, Des vicissitudes posthumes de Christophe Colomb, et de sa beatification possible, 
Paris, 1865, which enumerates most of the publications bearing on the grounds for canonization; Angelo 
Sanguineti, La Canonizzazione di Cristoforo Colombo, Genoa, 1875, the same author had published a 
Vita di Colombo in 18.46 ; Saintcte de Christophe Colomb, resume des merites de ce scrvitcur de Dieu, 
traduit de ritalien, twenty-four pages ; Civilta cattolica, vol. vii. ; a paper, " De 1 influence de la religion 
dans les decouvertes du XVe siecle et dans la decouverte de PAmerique/ in Etudes par des Peres de la Com- 
pagnie de Jesus, October, 1876 ; Baldi, Cristoforo Colombo glorificato dal voto deir Episcopato Cattolico, 
Genoa, 1881. A popular Catholic Life is Arthur George Knight s Christopher Columbus, London, 1877. 

4 There are various reviews of it indicated in Poole s Index, p. 29 ; cf. H. H. Bancroft s Mexico, ii. 488. 

5 A somewhat similar view is taken by Maury, in Harpers * Monthly, xlii. 425, 527, in " An Examination 
cf the Claims of Columbus." 

3 From which the account of Columbus early life is translated in Becher s Landfall of Columbus, pp. 1-58. 

~ An English translation, by R. S. H., appeared in Philadelphia in 1878. We regret not being able to have 
seen a new work by Henry Harrisse now in press : Christophe Colomb. son origitic, sa vie. ses voyages, sa 
famille, et ses descendants, d aprcs documents incdits, avec cinq tableaux gcncalogiques et un appendice 
dncnmentaire. [See Postscript following this chapter.] 

8 Fr. Forster, Columbus, der Entdecker der Neuen Welt, second edition, 1846. 

9 Oscar Peschel, GeschicJitc des Zeitaltcrs der Entdeckungcn, second edition, 1877. 

10 Sophus Ruge, Die Weltanschaintng des Columbus, 1876 ; Das Zcitalter der Entdcckungen, 1883. 
Cf. Theodor Schott s Columbus und seine Weltanschauung/ in Virchow and Holtzendorff s Vortrage^ 
xiii. 308. 




accounts from two who certainly knew his con 
temporaries, Gomara and Benzoni^ and in 
addition we possess the description given by 
Herrera, who had the best sources of informa 
tion. From these we learn that his face was 
long, neither full nor thin ; his cheek-bones 
rather high ; his nose aquiline ; his eyes light 
gray; his complexion fair, and high colored. 
His hair, which was of light color before thirty, 
became gray after that age. In the Pacsi nova- 
mente retrovati of 1507 he is described as having 

a ruddy, elongated visage, and as possessing a 
lofty and noble stature. - 

These are the test with which to challenge 
the very numerous so-called likenesses of Colum 
bus ; and it must be confessed not a single one, 
when you take into consideration the accessories 
and costume, warrants us in believing beyond 
dispute that we can bring before us the figure 
of the discoverer as he lived. Such is the opin 
ion of Feuillet de Conches, who has produced 
the best critical essay on the subject yet written. 3 

1 Fac-simile of cut in Rcusner s hones, Basle, 1589. There is another cut in Pauli Jorjii elogia "viroritm 
bcll ica virtute illiistrium, Basle, 1575 (copy in Harvard College Library). 

2 Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 50. 

3 It appeared in the Revue conteinporainc, xxiv. 484, and was drawn out by a paper on a newly discovered 
portrait of Columbus, which had been printed by Jomard in the Bulletin de la Socicte dc Geographic ; by 
Valentin Carderera s Informc sobre los retratos de Cristobal Colon, printed by the Royal Academy of History 
at Madrid, in 1851, in their Mcmorias, vol. viii. ; and by an article, by Isidore Lowenstern, of the Academy of 
Sciences at Turin, in the Revue Archeologique, x. 181. The paper by Jomard was the incentive of Carderera: 


COLUMBUS (after 

A vignette on the map of La Cosa, dated 
1500, represents Saint Christopher bearing on 
his shoulders the infant Christ across a stream. 
This has been considered symbolical of the 
purpose of Columbus in his discoveries ; and up 
holders of the movement to procure his canoni 
zation, like De Lorgues, have claimed that La 

Cosa represented the features of Columbus in 
the face of Saint Christopher. It has also been 
claimed that Herrera must have been of the 
same opinion, since the likeness given by that 
historian can be imagined to be an enlargement 
of the head on the map. This theory is hardly 
accepted, however, by the critics. 2 

both treatises induced the review of Lowenstern ; while Feuillet de Conches fairly summed up the results. 
There has been no thorough account in English. A brief letter on the subject by Irving (printed in the Life of 
Irving, vol. iv.) was all there was till Professor J. D. Butler recently traced the pedigree of the Yanez 
picture, a copy of which was lately given by Governor Fairchild to the Historical Society of Wisconsin. 
Cf. Butler s paper in the Collections of that Society, vol. ix. p. 76 (also printed separately); and articles in 
Lippincot? s Magazine, March, 1883, and The Nation, Nov. 16, 1882. 

1 Fac-simile of the woodcut in Paolo Giovio s Elogia virorum bellica virtute illustrium (Basle, 1596), p. 124. 
There are copies in the Boston Athenaeum and Boston Public Library. It is also copied in Charton s Voya- 
gcurs, iii. Si, from whom Hazard (Santo Domingo, New York, 1873, p. 7) takes it. The 15/5 edition is in 
Harvard College Library, and the same portrait is on p. 191. This cut is also re-engraved in Jules Verne s 
La decouverte de la tcrre, p. 113. 

2 The vignette is given in colored fac-simile in Major s Select Letters of Columbus, ad edition. Herrera s 
picture was reproduced in the English translation by Stevens, and has been accepted in so late a publication as. 
Gay s Popular History of the United States, \. 99. Cf. also the portrait in the 1727-1730 edition of Herrera, 
and its equivalent in Montanus, as shown on a later page. There is a vignette portrait on the titlepage of the 
1601 edition of Herrera. 


Discarding the La Cosa vignette, the earliest 
claimant now known is an engraving published 
in the E login virorwn illustrium (I575) 1 of 
Paolo Giovio (Paulus Jovius, in the Latin form). 
This woodcut is thought to have been copied 
from a picture which Jovius had placed in the 
gallery of notable people which he had formed 
in his villa at Lake Como. That collection is 


(National Library, Madrid}.* 

now scattered, and the Columbus picture cannot 
be traced ; but that there was a portrait of the 
discoverer there, we know from the edition of 
Vasari s Lives of the Painters printed by Giunti 
at Florence (1568), wherein is a list of the pic 
tures, which includes likenesses of Vespucius, 
Cortes, and Magellan, besides that of " Colombo 
Genovese." This indicates a single picture ; but 
it is held by some that Jovius must 
have possessed two pictures, since 
this woodcut gives Columbus the 
garb of a Franciscan, while the 
painting in the gallery at Florence, 
supposed also to follow a picture 
belonging to Jovius, gives him a 
mantle. A claim has been made that 
the original Jovius portrait is still in 
existence in what is known as the 
Yanez picture, now in the National 
Library in Madrid, which was pur 
chased of Yanez in Granada in 1763. 
It had originally a close-fitting tunic 
and mantle, which was later painted 
over so as to show a robe and fur 
collar. This external painting has 
been removed ; and the likeness 
bears a certain resemblance to the 
woodcut and to the Florence like 
ness. The Yanez canvas is cer 
tainly the oldest in Spain; and the 
present Duque de Veraguas con 
siders it the most authentic of all 
the portraits. a The annexed cut of 
it is taken from an engraving in 
Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitalters der 
Entdeckungen (p. 235) . It bears the 
inscription shown in the cut. 4 

The woodcut (1575) already men 
tioned passes as the prototype of 
another engraving by Aliprando 
Capriolo, in the Ritratti di cento 
capitani illustri, published at Rome 
in I5Q6. 5 

1 The edition of Florence, 1551, has no engravings, but gives the account of Columbus on p. 171. 

2 This picture was prominently brought before the Congress of Americanistes which assembled at Madrid in 
1881, and not, it seems, without exciting suspicion of a contrived piece of flattery for the Duke of Veraguas, 
then presiding over this same congress. Cf. Cortambert, Nouvette histoire des voyages, p. 40. 

3 Magazine of American History, June, 1884, P- 554- 

4 Cf. Bolctin dc la Socicdad geografica de Madrid, vol. vi. A portrait in the collection of the Marquis de 
Malpica is said closely to resemble it. One belonging to the Duke of Veraguas is also thought to be related to 
it, and is engraved in the French edition of Navarrete. It is thought Antonio del Rincon, a painter well 
known in Columbus day, may have painted this Yanez canvas, on the discoverer s return from his second 
voyage. Carderera believed in it, and Banchero, in his edition of the Codice Colombo Americano, adopted it 
(Magazine of American History, \, 511). The picture now in the Wisconsin Historical Society s Rooms is 
copied directly from the Yanez portrait. 

5 This Capriolo cut is engraved and accepted in Carderera s Informe. Lowenstern fails to see how it cor 
responds to the written descriptions of Columbus person. It is changed somewhat from the 1575 cut ; cf. Ma get 
sin pittoresqnc, troisieme annee, p. 316. The two cuts, one or the other, and a mingling of the two, have 
given rise apparently to a variety of imitations. The head on panel preserved now, or lately, at Cuccaro, and 
belonging to Fidele Guglielmo Colombo, is of this type. It was engraved in Xapione s Delia patria di Co 
lombo, Florence, 1808. The head by Crispin de Pas, in the Effigies rcgnm ac principum, of an early year in 
the seventeenth century, is also traced to these cuts, as well as the engraving by Pieter van Opmeer in his Opus 



The most interesting of all pictures bearing 
a supposed relation to the scattered collection at 
Lake Como is in the gallery at Florence, which 
is sometimes said to have been painted by 
Cristofano dell Altissimo, and before 
the year 1568. A copy of it was made 
for Thomas Jefferson in 1784, which was 
at Monticello in 1814; and, having been 
sent to Boston to be disposed of, be 
came the property of Israel Thorndike, 
and was by him given to the Massachu 
setts Historical Society, in whose gal 
lery it now is ; and from a photograph 
of it the cut (p. 74) has been engraved. 1 
It is perhaps the most commonly ac 
cepted likeness in these later years. 2 

After the woodcut of 1575, the next 
oldest engraved likeness of Columbus 
is the one usually called the De Bry 
portrait. It shows a head with a three- 
cornered cap, and possesses a Dutch 
physiognomy, its short, broad face 
not corresponding with the descriptions 
which we find in Oviedo and the others. 
De Bry says that the original painting 
was stolen from a saloon in the Council 
for the Indies in Spain, and, being taken 
to the Netherlands, fell into his hands. 
He claims that it was painted from life 
by order of Ferdinand, the King. De 
Bry first used the plate in Part V. of 
his Grands Voyages, both in the Latin 
and German editions, published in 1595* 
where it is marked as engraved by Jean de Bry. 
It shows what seem to be two warts on the cheek, 

which do not appear in later prints. 3 Feuillet de 
Conches describes a painting in the Versailles gal 
lery like the De Bry, which has been engraved by 

COLUMBUS (after Capriolo}.* 

Mercuri ; 5 but it does not appear that it is claimed 
as the original from which De Bry worked. 6 

chronographiciim, 1611. Landon s Galerie historiqne (Paris, 1805-1809), also shows an imitation; and 
another is that on the title of Cancellieri s Notizia di Colombo. Navarrete published a lithograph of the 1575 
cut. Cf. Irving s letter. A likeness of this type is reproduced in colors, in a very pleasing way, in Rosellyde 
Lorgues Christophe Colomb, 1879, an d in woodcut, equally well done, in the same work; also in J. J. Barry s 
adaptation of De Lorgues, New York, 1869. Another good woodcut of it is given in Harpers Monthly 
(October, 1882), p. 729. It is also accepted in Torre s Scritti di Colombo. 

1 See 3 Mass. Hist. Soc. Co!!., vii. 285 ; Proc., vol. ii. pp. 23, 25, 289. 

2 There are two portraits thought to have some relation with this Florentine likeness. One was formerly 
in the Collection d Ambras, in the Tyrol, which was formed by a nephew of Charles V., but was in 1805 removed 
to the museum in Vienna. It is on panel, of small size, and has been engraved in Frankl s German poem on 
Columbus. The other is one whose history Isnardi, in his Sulla patria di Colombo, 1838, traces back for three 
centuries. It is now, or was lately, in the common council hall at Cogoleto. 

3 What is known as the Venetian mosaic portrait of Columbus, resembling the De Bry in the head, the 
hands holding a map, is engraved in Harpers 1 Monthly, liv. i. 

4 This is a reproduction of the cut in Charton s Voyageurs, iii. 85. It is also copied in Carderera, and in the 
Magasin pittoresque , troisieme annee, p. 316. 

5 A proof-copy of tkis engraving is among the Tosti Engravings in the Boston Public Library. 

6 Engravings from De Bry s burin also appeared, in 1597, in Boissard s Iconcs quinquaginta z iro- 
rum ad vivum cffictcc ; again, in the Bibliothcca sive thesaurus virtutis ct glories (Frankfort, 1628- 
1634), in four volumes, usually ascribed jointly to De Bry and Boissard ; and, finally, in the Biblio- 
theca chalcographica (Frankfort, 1650-1664), ascribed to Boissard; but the plates are marked Jean Theodore 
de Bry. The De Bry type was apparent in the print in Isaac Bullart s Academic des Sciences ct des Arts, 
Paris, 1682; and a few years later (1688), an aquaforte engraving by Rosaspina came out in Paul Freherus 
Theatre des homines celcbrcs. For the later use made of this De Bry likeness, reference may be made, among 
others, to the works of Xapione and Bossi, Durazzo s Eulogium, the Historia de Mexico by Francisco Carbajal 
Espinosa, published at Mexico, in 1862, tome i, J. J. Smith s American Historical and Literary Curiosities, 
sundry editions of Irving s Life of Columbus, and the London (1867) edition of Ferdinand Columbus Life of 

VOL. II. 10. 


COLUMBUS (the Jefferson copy of the Florence picture). 

Jomard, in the Bulletin de la Societe de Geogra- a Christophe Colomb : son portrait," * in expla- 
pkie (3d series), iii. 370, printed his " Monument nation and advocacy of a Titianesque canvas 

his father. There is a photograph of it in Harrisse s Notes on Columbus. De Bry engraved various other 
pictures of Columbus, mostly of small size, a full-length in the corner of a half-globe (part vi.) ; a full- 
length on the deck of a caravel (in part iv., re-engraved in Bossi, Charton, etc.); a small vignette portrait, 
together with one of Vespucius, in the Latin and German edition of part iv. (1594); the well-known picture 
illustrating the anecdote of the egg (part iv.). Not one of these has any claim to be other than imaginative 

1 There was a movement at this time (1845) to erect a monument in Genoa. 








which he had found at Vicenza, inscribed the features corresponded to the written de- 
" Christophorus Columbus." He claimed that scriptions of Columbus by his contemporaries 

His larger likeness he reproduced in a small medallion as the title of the Herrera narrative (part xii., German 
and Latin, 1623-1624), together with likenesses of Vespucius, Pizarro, and Magellan. Another reminiscence of 
the apocryphal egg story is found in a painting, representing a man in a fur cap, holding up an egg, the face 
wearing a grin, which was brought forward a few years ago by Mr. Rinck, of New York, and which is described 
and engraved in the Coinpte rendii of the Congres des Americanistes, 1877, ii. 375. 

7 6 


and accounted for the Flemish ruff, pointed 
beard, gold chain, and other anachronous ac 
cessories, by supposing that these had been 
added by a later hand. These adornments, 


however, prevented Jomard s views gaining any 
countenance, though he seems to have been 
confident in his opinion. Irving at the time 
records his scepticism when Jomard sent him 

a lithograph of it. Carderera and Feuillet de 

Conches both reject it. 

A similar out-of-date ruff and mustache 

characterize the likeness at Madrid associated 
with the Duke of Berwick-Alba, in which 
the finery of a throne makes part of the 
picture. The owner had a private plate 
engraved from it by Rafael Esteve, a copy 
of which, given by the engraver to Oba- 
diah Rich, who seems to have had faith in 
it, is now in the Lenox Library. 2 

A picture belonging to the Duke of 
Veraguas is open to similar objections, 
with its beard and armor and ruff ; but 
Munoz adopted it for his official his 
tory, the plate being drawn by Mariano 
Maella. 3 

A picture of a bedizened cavalier, as 
cribed to Parmigiano (who was three years 
old when Columbus died), is preserved in 
the Museo Borbonico at Naples, and is, 
unfortunately, associated in this country 
with Columbus, from having been adopted 
by Prescott for his Ferdinand and Isa 
bella? and from having been copied for 
the American Antiquarian Society. 5 It 
was long since rejected by all competent 

A picture in the Senate chamber (or 
lately there) at Albany was given to the 
State of New York in 1784 by Mrs. Maria 
Farmer, a granddaughter of Governor Ja 
cob Leisler, and was said to have been for 
many years in that lady s family. 6 There 

are many other scattered alleged likenesses of 

Columbus, which from the data at hand it has 

not been easy to link with any of those already 

mentioned. 7 

1 This is a reproduction of the cut in Charton s Voyageurs, iii. 87. 

2 Ticknor Catalogue, p. 95. The medallion on the tomb in the cathedral at Havana is usually said to 
have been copied from this picture ; but the picture sent to Havana to be used as a model is said, on better 
authority, to have been one belonging to the Duke of Veraguas, perhaps the one said to be in the Consisto- 
rial Hall at Havana, which has the garb of a familiar of the Inquisition ; and this is represented as the gift 
of that Duke (Magazine of American History , i. 510). 

s It is re-engraved in the English and German translations. Carderera rejects it; but the portrait in 
the Archives of the Indies at Seville is said to be a copy of it ; and a copy is in the Pennsylvania Academy 
of Arts in Philadelphia. A three-quarters length of Columbus, representing him in ruff and armor, full 
face, mustache and imperial, right hand on a globe, left hand holding a truncheon, called " Cristoval Colon: 
copiado de un Quadro origl. que se conserva en la familia," was engraved, and marked "Bart. Vazque. la 
Grabo, 1791-" 

4 It is still unaccountably retained in the revised 1873 edition. 

5 Cf. their Proceedings, April, 1853. 

6 It was restored in 1850 (Magazine of American History, v. 446). 

" Such are the following : (i) In full dress, with ruff and rings, said to have been painted by Sir Anthony 
More for Margaret of the Netherlands, and taken to England in 1590, engraved in one of the English 
editions of Irving, where also has appeared an engraving of a picture by Juan de Borgona, painted in 1519 
for the Chapter-room of the Cathedral of Toledo. (2) A full-length in mail, with ruff, in the Longa or 
Exchange at Seville, showing a man of thirty or thirty-five years, which Irving thinks may have been taken 
for Diego Columbus. (3) An engraving in Fuchsias Mctoposcopia et ophthalmoscopia^ Strasbarg, 1610 
(Sabin s Dictionary, vii. 89). (4) An engraving in N. De Clerck s Tooneel der beroemder hertogen, etc.. 
Delft, 1615, a collection of portraits, including also Cortes, Pizarro, Magellan, Montezuma, etc. (5) A 




The best known, probably, of the sculptured which was placed in 1821 at Genoa on the re- 
effigies of Columbus is the bust of Peschiera, ceptacle of the Columbus manuscripts.- The 

full-length, engraved in Philoponus, 1621. (6) An old engraving, with pointed beard and ruff, preserved 
in the National Library at Paris. (7) The engraving in the Nieuu>e en onbekcnde Weereld of Montanus, 
1671-1673, repeated in Ogilby s America, and reproduced in Bos s Lcvcn en Daden, and in Herrera, edition 
1728. A fac-simile of it is given herewith. Cf. Ruyter s See-Helden, Nuremberg, 1661. (8) A copper 
plate, showing a man with a beard, with fur trimmings to a close-fitting vestment, one hand holding an 
astrolabe, the other pointing upward, which accompanies a translation of Thevet s account of Columbus 

1 Reproduced from a cut in Charton s Voyageurs, iii. 188. 

2 A view of this receptacle of the papers, with the bust and the portfolio, is given in Harpers 1 Monthly^ 
vol. liv., December, 1876. 


artist discarded all painted portraits of Colum 
bus, and followed the descriptions of those who 
had known the discoverer. 1 


The most imposing of all the memorials is the 
monument at Genoa erected in 1862 after a de 
sign by Freccia, and finished by Michel Canzio.-* 

COLUMBUS. There is no mention 
of the death of Columbus in the 
Records of Valladolid. Peter Mar 
tyr, then writing his letters from 
that place, makes no reference to 
such an event. It is said that the 
earliest contemporary notice of his 
death is in an official document, 
twenty-seven days later, where it is 
affirmed that " the said Admiral is 
dead." 4 The story which Irving 
has written of the successive bur 
ials of Columbus needs to be re 
written ; and positive evidence is 
wanting to show that his remains 
were placed first, as is alleged, in a 
vault of the Franciscans at Valla 
dolid. The further story, as told 
by Irving, of Ferdinand s ordering 
the removal of his remains to Se 
ville seven years later, and the 
erection of a monument, is not con 
firmed by any known evidence. 5 
From the tenor of Diego s will in 
March, 1509, it would seem that the 
body of Columbus had already been 
carried to Seville, and that later, 
the coffins of his son Diego and 
of his brother Bartholomew were 
laid in Seville beside him, in the 

in the appendix to the Cambridge, 1676, edition of North s Plutarch. (9) An old woodcut in the Neu- 
er off notes Amphithcatrnm, published at Erfurt in 1723-1724 (Brinley Catalogue, 00.48). (10) A man with 
curly hair, mustache and imperial, ruff and armor, with a finger on a globe, engraved in Cristobal Cladera s 
Jnvestigaciones historicas, sobre los principalcs dcscubrimientos de los Espanoles en cl mar Occano en d 
siglo XV. y principles del XVI.. Madrid, 1794. (n) Columbus and his sons, Diego and Ferdinand, engraved 
in Bryan Edwards The History, civil and commercial, of the British Colonies in the IVest Indies, 1/94; 
again, 1801. Feuillet de Conches in his essay on the portraits calls it a pure fantasy. 

1 It is engraved in the first edition of the Codice diplomatico Colombo- Americano, and in the English trans 
lation of that book. It is also re-engraved in the Lenox edition of Scyllacius. Another bust in Genoa is given 
in the French edition of Navarrete. Of the bust in the Capitoline Museum at Rome purely ideal there is 
a copy in the New York Historical Society s Gallery, no, 134. The effigies on the monument at Seville, and the 
bust at Havana, with their costume of the latter part of the sixteenth century, present no claims for fidelity, 
Cf. Magazine of American History, i. 510. 

2 This is copied from one given in Ruge s Gcschichte des Zcitaltcrs der Entdcckiingcn, p. 234, which fol 
lows a photograph of the painting in the Ministry of Marine at Madrid. 

3 There is a model of it in the Public Library of Boston, a photograph in Harrisse s Notes, p. 182, and 
engravings in De Lorgues, Torri, etc. There is also a view of this monument in an article on Genoa, the home 
of Columbus, by O. M. Spencer, in Harpers Monthly, vol. liv., December, 1876. The mailed figure on the 
Capitol steps at Washington, by Persico, is without claim to notice. There is a colossal statue at Lima, 
erected in 1850 by Salvatore Revelli, a marble one at Nassau (New Providence), and another at Cardenas, Cuba. 

4 Navarrete, ii. 316. 

5 The Informc de la Real Acadcmia says there is no proof of it ; and of the famous inscription. 

" A Castilla y a Leon 

Nuevo Mundo dio Colon," 

said to have been put on his tomb, there is no evidence that it ever was actually used, being only proposed in the 
Elcgias of Castellanos, 1588. 



COLUMBUS (from Montanus}. 

cuevas, or vaults of the Carthusians. Meanwhile 
the Cathedral in Santo Domingo was begun, < 
not to be completed till 1540 ; and in this island 
it had been the Admiral s wish to be buried. 
His family were desirous of carrying out that 

wish ; but it seemed to require three royal 
orders to make good the project, and overcome 
objections or delays. These orders were dated 
June 2, 1537, Aug. 22, 1539, and Nov. 5, I54O. 1 
It has been conjectured from the language of 

1 They are in the Archives at Madrid. Harrisse found one in the Archives of the Duke of Veraguas (/.or 
restos, etc , p. 41), The orders are printed by Roque Cocchia, Prieto, Colmeiro, etc. 



Ferdinand Columbus will, in 1539, that the 
remains were still in the aievas ; and it is sup 
posed that they were carried to Santo Domingo 
it 1541, though, if so, there is no record of 
tneir resting-place from 1536, when they are 
said, in the Convent s Records, 1 to have been 


delivered up for transportation. The earliest 
positive mention of their being in the Cathedral 
at Santo Domingo is in 1 549 ; 3 and it is not till 
the next century that we find a positive state 
ment that the remains of Diego were also re 
moved. 4 Not till 1655 does any record say that 
the precise spot in the Cathedral containing the 
remains was known, and not till 1676 do we 
learn what that precise spot was, " on the right 
of the altar." In 1683 we first learn of " a 
leaden case in the sanctuary, at the side of the 

platform of the high altar, with the remains of 
his brother Don Luis on the other side, accord 
ing to the tradition of the aged in this island." r > 
The book from which this is extracted 6 was 
published in Madrid, and erred in calling Luis 
a brother instead of grandson, whose father, 
Diego, lying beside the 
Admiral, seems at the 
time to have been for 
gotten. 7 

Just a century later, 
in 1783, Moreau cle 
Saint-Mery, prefacing 
his Description topog- 
raphique of Santo Do 
mingo, 8 sought more 
explicit information, 
and learned that, short 
ly before his inquiry, 
the floor of the chancel 
had been raised so as 
to conceal the top of 
the vault, which was 
" a case of stone " (con 
taining the leaden cof 
fin), on the " Gospel 
side of the sanctuary." 
This case had been 
discovered during the 
repairs, and, though 
" without inscription, 
was known from unin 
terrupted and invaria 
ble tradition to contain 
the remains of Colum 
bus ; " and the Dean of 
the Chapter, in certi 
fying to this effect, 
speaks of the " leaden 

urn as a little damaged, and containing several 
human bones ; " while he had also, some years 
earlier, found on " the Epistle side " of the altar a 
similar stone case, which, according to tradition, 
contained the bones of the Admiral s brother. 9 

A few years later the treaty of Basle, July 
22, 1795, gave to France the half of Santo Do 
mingo still remaining to Spain ; and at the cost 
of the Duke of Veraguas, and with the con 
currence of the Chapter of the Cathedral, the 
Spanish General, Gabriel de Aristazabal, some- 

1 Harrisse, Los rcstos, p. 44. 

2 This follows an engraving given in John G. Shea s " Where are the Remains of Columbus ? " in Maga* 
zinc of American History, January, 1883, and separately. There are other engravings in Tejera, pp. 28, 29, 
and after a photograph in the Informc dc la Real Academia, p. 197. The case is i6f6 X 8^ X S l /s inches. 

3 Prieto, JSxdmen, etc., p. 18. 

4 Colmeiro, p. 160. 

5 Quoted in Harrisse, Les sepultures, etc., p. 22. 

6 Synodo Diocesan del Arzobispado di Santo Domingo, p. 13. 

7 Plans of the chancel, with the disposition of the tombs in 1540 or 1541, as now supposed, are given in 
Tejera, p. 10 ; Cocchia, p. 48, etc. 

8 Published both in French and English at Philadelphia in 1 796. 

9 Harrisse, Los rcstos, p. 47. 



what hurriedly opened a vault on the left of the 
altar, and, with due ceremony and notarial 
record, 1 took from it fragments of a leaden 
case and some human bones, which were 
unattested by any inscription found with them. 
The relics were placed in a gilt leaden case, 
and borne with military honors to Havana.- 
It is now claimed that these remains were of 
Diego, the son, and that the vault then opened 
is still empty in the Cathedral, while the genu 
ine remains of Columbus were left undisturbed. 

seem to have been suitable precautions taken 
to avoid occasion for imputations of deceit, 
and with witnesses the case was examined. 3 
In it were found some bones and dust, a leaden 
bullet,* two iron screws, which fitted the holes 
in a small silver plate found beneath the mould 
in the bottom of the case. 5 This casket bore 
on the outside, on the front, and two ends 
one letter on each surface the letters 
C. C. A. On the top was an inscription here 
reduced : 



In 1877, i n making some changes about This inscription is supposed to mean " Discov- 

the chancel, on the right of the altar, the erer of America, first Admiral." Opening the 

workmen opened a vault, and found a leaden case, which in this situation presented the ap- 

case containing human bones, with an in- pearance shown in the cut on page 80, the under 

scription showing them to be those of Luis, surface of the lid was found to bear the follow- 

the grandson. This led to a search on the ing legend : 

opposite, or " Gospel, side " of the chancel, 
where they found an empty vault, supposed 
to be the one from which the remains were 
taken to Havana. Between this and the side 
wall of the building, and separated from the 
empty vault by a six-inch wall, was found 
another cavitv, and in it a leaden case. There 

This legend is translated, " Illustrious and re 
nowned man, Christopher Columbus." G A fac 
simile of the inscription found on the small silver 
plate is given on page 82, the larger of which 
is understood to mean " A part of the remains 
of the first Admiral, Don Christopher Colum 
bus, discoverer." 7 The discovery was made 

1 Navarrete, ii. 365; Prieto s Examcn, p. 20; Roque Cocchia, p. 280 ; Harrisse, Los rcstos, app. 4. 

2 Irving s account of this transportation is in his Life of Columlms, app. i. Cf. letter of Duke of 
Veraguas (March 30, 1796) in Magazine of American History, i. 247. At Havana the reinterment took place 
with great parade An oration was delivered by Caballero, the original manuscript of which is now in the 
Massachusetts Historical Society s Library (cf. Proceedings, ii. 105, 168). Prieto (Los rcstos} prints this 
oration; Navarrete (vol. ii. pp. 365-381) gives extracts from the official accounts of the transfer of the remains. 

3 The Spanish consul is said to have been satisfied with the precautions. Cf. Do cxistcn defositadas las 
cenizas de Colon? by Don Jose de Echeverri (Santander, iS/S). There are views of the Cathedral in Hazard s 
Santo Domingo, p. 224, and elsewhere. 

4 Which some have supposed was received in Columbus body in his early piratical days. 

5 This plate was discovered on a later examination. 

6 Both of these inscriptions are given in fac-simile in Cocchia, p. 290 ; in Tejera, p. 30 ; and in Armas, 
who calls it " inscripcion autentica escritura gotica-alemana " of the sixteenth century. 

7 Fac-similes of these are given in the Informe dc la Real Acadcmia, Tejera (pp. 33, 34), Prieto, Cocchia 
(pp. 170, 171), Shea s paper, and in Armas, who calls the inscription, " Apocrifas escritura inglesa de In 
epocha actual." 




known by the Bishop, Roque Cocchia, in a 
pastoral letter, 1 and the news spread rapidly. 2 
The Spanish King named Senor Antonio Lopez 
Prieto, of Havana, to go to Santo Domingo, 
and, with the Spanish consul, to investigate. 
Prieto had already printed a tract, which went 
through two editions, Los restos de Colon: 
exdmen historico-critico, Havana, 1877. In 
March, 1878, he addressed his Official Report 
to the Captain-general of Cuba, which was 
printed in two editions during the same year, 
as Informe sobre los restos de Colon. It was an 
attack upon the authenticity of the remains at 
Santo Domingo. Later in the same year, Oct. 
14, 1878, Senor Manuel Colmeiro presented, in 
behalf of the Royal Academy of History of 

Madrid, a report to the King, which was printed 
at Madrid in 1879 as L s restos de Colon: 
informe de la Real Academia de la Historia, etc. 
It reinforced the views of Prieto s Report ; 
charged Roque Cocchia with abetting a fraud ; 
pointed to the A (America) of the outside in 
scription as a name for the New World which 
Spaniards at that time never used ; 3 and 
claimed that the remains discovered in 1877 
were those of Christopher Columbus, the grand 
son of the Admiral, and that the inscriptions 
had been tampered with, or were at least much 
later than the date of reinterment in the Cathe 
dral. 4 Besides Bishop Roque Cocchia, the prin 
cipal upholder of the Santo Domingo theory 
has been Emiliano Tejera, who published his 

1 Descubrimiento de los verdadcros restos de Cristobal Colon: carta pastoral, Santo Domingo, 1877, 
reprinted in Informe dc la Real Academia, p. 191, etc. 

2 The Bishop, in his subsequent Los restos dc Colon (Santo Domingo, 1879), written after his honesty in the 
matter was impugned, and with the aim of giving a full exposition, shows, in cap. xviii. how the discovery, as 
he claimed it, interested the world. Various contemporaneous documents are also given in Colon en Quisqiieya, 
Coleccion de documentos, etc., Santo Domingo, 1877. A movement was made to erect a monument in Santo 
Domingo, and some response was received from the United States. New Jersey Historical Society 1 s Proceed 
ings^ v. 134; Pennsylvania Magazine of History, iii. 465. 

3 Mr. J. C. Brevoort, in " Where are the Remains of Columbus t " in Magazine of American History, 
ii. 157, suggests that the " D. de la A." means " Dignidad de la Almirantazgo." 

4 This was a view advanced by J. I. de Armas in a Caracas newspaper, later set forth in his Las ccnizas 
de Cristobal Colon suplanfadas en la Catedral de Santo Domingo, Caracas, 1881. The same view is taken by 
Sir Travers Twiss, in his Christopher Columbus : A Monograph on his True Burial-place (London, 1879), a P a P er 
which originally appeared in the Nautical Magazine. M. A. Baguet, in " Ou sont ces restes de Colomb 1 " 
printed in the Bulletin de la Socicte d Anvcrs (1882), vi. 449, also holds that the remains are those of the 
grandson, Cristoval Colon. For an adverse view, see the Informe of the Amigos del Pais, published at Santo 
Domingo, 1882. Cf. also Juan Maria Asensio, Los restos de Colon, segunda ed., Sevile, iSSi. 


Los restos de Colon en Santo Domingo in 1878, 
and his Los dos restos de Cristobal Colon in 
1879, both in Santo Domingo. Henry Harrisse, 
under the auspices of the " Sociedad de Biblio- 
filos Andaluces," printed his Los restos de Don 
Cristfcal Colon at Seville in 1878, and his Lcs 
sepultures de Christophe Colomb : revue critique 
du premier rapport official fublie sur ce sujet, 
the next year (1879) at Paris. 1 From Italy we 
have Luigi Tommaso Belgrano s Sulla recente 
scoperta delle ossa di Colombo (Genoa, 1878). One 
of the best and most recent summaries of the 
subject is by John G. Shea in the Magazine of 
American History, January, 1883 ; also printed 
separately, and translated into Spanish. Rich 
ard Cortambert (Nouvelle histoire des voyages, 
p. 39) considers the Santo Domingo theory over 
come by the evidence. 

year and place of Columbus birth, and the station 
into which he was born, are questions of dispute. 
Harrisse 2 epitomizes the authorities upon the 
year of his nativity. Oscar Peschel reviews the 
opposing arguments in a paper printed in Ausland 
in i866. 3 The whole subject was examined at 
greater length and with great care by D Avezac 
before the Geographical Society of Paris in 
1872.* The question is one of deductions from 
statements not very definite, nor wholly in ac 
cord. The extremes of the limits in dispute are 
about twenty years; but within this interval, 
assertions like those of Ramusio 5 (1430) and 
Charlevoix 6 (1441) may be thrown out as sus 
ceptible of no argument. 7 

In favor of the earliest date which, with 
variations arising from the estimates upon frac 
tions of years, may be placed either in 1435, 
1436, or 1437 are Navarrete, Humboldt, Fer 
dinand Hofer, 8 mile Deschanel, 9 Lamartine, 10 

Irving, Bonnefotix, Roselly de Lorgues, 1 Abbe 
Cadoret, Jurien de la Graviere, n Napione, 12 Can- 
cellieri, and Cantu. 13 This view is founded upon 
the statement of one who had known Columbus, 
Andres Bernaldez, in his Reyes catolicos, that 
Columbus was about seventy years old at his 
death, in 1506. 

The other extreme -= similarly varied from 
the fractions between 1455 and 1456 is taken 
by Oscar Peschel, 14 who deduces it from a letter 
of Columbus dated July 7, 1503, in which he 
says that he was twenty-eight when he entered 
the service of Spain in 1484; and Peschel ar 
gues that this is corroborated by adding the 
fourteen years of his boyhood, before going to 
sea, to the twenty-three years of sea-life which 
Columbus says he had had previous to his 
voyage of discovery, and dating back from 1492, 
when he made this voyage. 

A middle date placed, according to frac 
tional calculations, variously from 1445 to 1447 
is held by Cladera, 15 Bossi, Munoz, Casoni, 16 
Salinerio, 1 " Robertson, Spotorno, Major, San- 
guinetti, and Canale. The argument for this 
view, as presented by Major, is this : It was 
in 1484, and not in 1492, that this continuous 
sea-service, referred to by Columbus, ended ; 
accordingly, the thirty-seven years already men 
tioned should be deducted from 1484, which 
would point to 1447 as the year of his birth, 
a statement confirmed also, as is thought, by 
the assertion which Columbus makes, in 1501, 
that it was forty years since he began, at four 
teen, his sea-life. Similar reasons avail with 
D Avezac, whose calculations, however, point 
rather to the year I446. 18 

A similar uncertainty has been made to ap 
pear regarding the place of Columbus birth. 
Outside of Genoa and dependencies, while dis 
carding such claims as those of England, 19 

1 Originally in the Bulletin de la Socicte de Geographic, October, 1878. Cf. also his paper in the Revue 
critique, Jan. 5, 1878, " Les restes mortels de Colomb." 

2 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., p. 3. 

3 Pages 1177-1181 : " Ueber das Geburtsjahre des Entdeckers von America." 

4 Annee veritable de la naissancc de Christophe Colomb, et revue ckronologique des principales epoqucs 
tfe sa vie, in Bulletin de la Socicte de Geographic, Juillet, 1872 ; also printed separately in 1873, pp. 64. 

5 Based on a statement in the Italian text of Peter Martyr (1534) which is not in the original Latin. 

6 Also in Prevost s Voyages, and in Tiraboschi s Letteratura Italiana. 

7 Humboldt, Examen critique, iii. 252. 

8 Nouvelle biographic gcnerale, xi. 209. 
> Christophe Colomb, Paris, 1862. 

10 Christopher Colomb. 

11 Lcs marins du XVe ct du XVIc sicclc, i. 80. 
l- Patria di Colombo. 

13 Storia univcrsalc. 

14 Zcitalter der Entdeckungen. p. 97 ; Ausiand, 1866. p. 1178. 

15 Investigaciones historic as, p. 38. 

16 Annali di Genova. 1708, p. 26. 
!" Annotationes ad Taciturn. 

18 These various later arguments are epitomized in Ruge. Das Zcitalter der Entdeckungen, p. 219. 

Charles Malloy s Treatise of Affairs Maritime, ^ ed., London, 1682 ; Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 69. 

8 4 


Corsica, 1 and Milan,- there are more defensible country, the Republic of Genoa." Ferdinand 

presentations in behalf of Placentia (Piacenza), calls his father "a Genoese." 8 Of modern 

where there was an ancestral estate of the Ad- writers Spotorno, in the Introduction to the 

tniral, whose rental had been enjoyed by him Codice diplomatico Colombo- Americano (1823), 

and by his father ; 3 and still more urgent de- and earlier, in his Delia origine e delta patria 

mands for recognition on the part of Cuccaro di Colombo (1819), has elaborated the claim, 

in Montferrat, Piedmont, the lord of whose with proofs and arguments which have been 

castle was a Dominico Colombo, pretty well accepted by Irving, Bossi, Sanguinetti, Roselly, 

proved, however, not to have been the Domin- De Lorgues, and most other biographers and 

ico who was father of the Admiral. It seems writers. 

certain that the paternal Dominico did own There still remains the possibility of Genoa, 

land in Cuccaro, near his kinspeople, and lived as referred to by Columbus and his contempo- 

there as late as I443- 4 raries, signifying the region dependent on it, 

In consequence of these claims, the Academy rather than the town itself ; and with this latr 

of Sciences in Genoa named a commission, in tude recognized, there are fourteen towns, 01 

1812, to investigate them; and their report, 5 hamlets as Harrisse names them, 9 which present 

favoring the traditional belief in Genoa as the their claims. 10 
true spot of Columbus birth, is given in digest 

in Bossi. 6 The claim of Genoa seems to be Ferdinand Columbus resented Giustiniani s 

generally accepted to-day, as it was in the Ad- statement that the Admiral was of humble ori- 

miral s time by Peter Martyr, Las Casas, Ber- gin, and sought to connect his father s descent 

naldez, Giustiniani, Geraldini, Gallo, Senaraya, with the Colombos of an ancient line and fame ; 

and Foglietto. 7 Columbus himself twice, in his but his disdainful recognition of such a descent 

will (1498), says he was born in Genoa; and in is, after all, not conducive to a belief in Fer- 

the codicil (1506) he refers to his "beloved dinand s own conviction of the connection. 

1 Documentary proof, as it was called, has been printed in the Revue de Paris, where (August, 1841) it is 
said that the certificate of Columbus marriage has been discovered in Corsica. Cf. Margry, Navigations 
Franc^aiscs, p. 357. The views of the Abbe Martin Casanova, that Columbus was born in Calvi in Corsica, and 
the act of the French President of Aug. 6, 1883, approving of the erection of a monument to Columbus in that 
town, have been since reviewed by Harrisse in the Revue critique (18 Juin, 1883), who repeats the arguments 
for a belief in Genoa as the birthplace, in a paper, " Christophe Colomb et la Corse," which has since been 
printed separately. 

2 Domingo de Valtanas, Compendia de cosas notables de Espana, Seville, 1550; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 183- 

3 The claim is for Pradello, a village neighboring to Placentia. Cf. Campi, Historia ccclcsiastica di 
Piacenza, Piacenza, 1651-1662, which contains a " discorso historico circa la nascita di Colombo," etc. ; Har 
risse, Notes on Columbus, p. 67; Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 711. 

4 Napione, in Memoires de / Academic de Tiirin (1805), xii. 116, and (1823) xxvii. 73, the first part 
being printed separately at Florence, in 1808, as Delia Patria di Colombo, while he printed, in 1809, Del prlmo 
.scopritorc del contincnte del nuovo mondo. In the same year J. D. Lanjuinais published at Paris, in reference 
to Napione, his Christophe Colomb, ou notice d^un livre Italicn conccrnant cct illustre navigateur. Cf. the 
same author s Etudes (Paris, 1823), for a sketch of Columbus, pp. 71-94; Dissertazioni di Francesco Can- 
ccllieri sopra Colombo, Rome, 1809; and Vicenzio Conti s historical account of Montferrat. In 1853 Luigi 
Colombo, a prelate of the Roman Church, who claimed descent from an uncle of the Admiral, renewed the 
claim in his Patria e biografia del grandc ammiraglio D. Cristoforo Colombo dc" 1 conti e signori di Cuccaro, 
Roma, 1853. Cf. Notes on Columbus, p. 73. 

5 Ragionamcnto ncl quale si confirma Vopinionc generale intorno al patria di Cristoforo Colombo, in 
vol. iii. of the Transactions of the Society. 

6 A view of the alleged house and chamber in which the birth took place is given in Harpers 1 MontJdy, 
vol. liv., December, 1876. 

" In his Claroritm Ligurum clogia, where the Genoese were taunted for neglecting the fame of Columbus. 

8 See his will in Navarrete, and in Harrisse s Fernan Colon. 

9 Bibl. Amer. Vet., pp. xix, 2. 

10 The claims of Savona have been urged the most persistently. The Admiral s father, it seems to be 
admitted, removed to Savona before 1469, and lived there some time; and it is found that members of the 
Colombo family, even a Cristoforo Colombo, is found there in 1472 ; but it is at the same time claimed that this 
Cristoforo signed himself as of Genoa. The chief advocate is Belloro, in the Corrcs. Astron. Gcograph. dn 
Baron de Zacli, vol. xi., whose argument is epitomized by Irving, app. v. Cf. Giovanni Tommaso Belloro, 
Notizic </ atti csistcnti ncl publico archivio de notaj di Savona, conccrncnti la famiglia di Cristoforo 
Colombo, Torino, 1810, reprinted by Spotorno at Genoa in 1821. Sabin (vol. ii. no. 4,565). corrects errors 
of Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 68. Other claims for these Genoese towns are brought forward, for which 
see Harrisse, Notes on Columbus : J. R. Bartlett, in Historical Magazine, February, 1868, p. 100; Felice 
Isnardi s Disscrtazionc, iS^S. and Nitovi document i, 1840, etc. Caleb Gushing in his Reminiscences of Spain, 
i. 292 (Boston, 1833), gave considerable attention to the question of Columbus nativity. 



There seems little doubt that his father 2 was landed properties, at one time or another, in or 
a wool-weaver or draper, and owned small not far from Genoa ; 3 and, as Harrisse infers, 

1 This follows an ancient medallion as engraved in Buckingham Smith s Colcccion. Cf. also the sign- 
manual on p. 56. 

2 Bernardo Pallastrelli s // snoccro e la moglie di C. CW0;#fo (Modena, 1871 ; second ed., 1876), with a 
genealogy, gives an account of his wife s family. Cf. also All^cmcine Zeitung, Beilage no. 118 (1872), and 
Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc., October. 1873. 

3 Philip Casoni s Annali di Genoi ct. Genoa, 1708. 





it was in one of the houses on the Bisagno road, 
as you go from Genoa, that Columbus was per 
haps born. 2 

The pedigree (p. 87) shows the alleged de 
scent of Columbus, as a table in Spotorno s 
Delia origine e delta patria di Colombo, 1819, 
connects it with other lines, whose heirs at a 

later day were aroused to claim the Admiral s 
honors ; and as the usual accounts of his imme 
diate descendants record the transmission of his 
rights. After Columbus death, his son Diego 
demanded the restitution of the offices and 
privileges 3 which had been suspended during 
the Admiral s later years. He got no satisfac- 

1 This is a fac-simile of an engraving in Herrera (Barcia s edition). There is a vignette likeness on the 
title of vol i., edition of 1601. Navarrete s Memoir of Bartholomew Columbus is in the Coleccion de docu- 
mentos incditos, vol. xvi. 

2 Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 73. Harrisse, in his Lcs Colombo de France ct d" 1 Italic, fameux marins 
du XVe sicclc, 1461-1492 (Paris, 1874), uses some new material from the archives of Milan, Paris, and Venice, 
and gathers all that he can of the Colombos ; and it does not seem probable that the Admiral bore anything more 
than a very remote relationship to the family of the famous mariners. Major (Select Letters, p. xliii) has also 
examined the alleged connection with the French sea-leader, Caseneuve, or Colon. Cf. Desimoni s Rasscgna 
del nuovo libra di Enrico Harrisse: Lcs Colombo dc France et a" Italic (Parigi, 1874, PP- T 7) > anc ^ the appen 
dices to Irving s Columbus (nos. iv. and vi.) and Harrisse s Lcs Colombo (no. vi). 

8 Conferred by the Convention of 1492 ; ratified April 23, 1497; confirmed by letter royal, March 14, 1502. 




o S 






II - 






u I e 


_ k 3 



- 8 
f 1-^1 




tion but the privilege of contending at law with 
the fiscal minister of the Crown, and of giving 
occasion for all the latent slander about the 
Admiral to make itself heard. The tribunal 
was the Council of the Indies ; the suit was 
begun in 1508, and lasted till 1527. The docu 
ments connected with the case are in the 
Archives of the Indies. The chief defence of 
the Crown was that the original convention 
was against law and public policy, and that 
Columbus, after all, did not discover Terra 
firnia, and for such discovery alone honors of 
this kind should be the reward. Diego won the 
Council s vote ; but Ferdinand, the King, hesi 
tated to confirm their decision. Meanwhile 
Diego had married a niece of the Duke of 
Alva, the King s favorite, and got in this way 
a royal grant of something like vice-royal au 
thority in the Indies, to which he went (1509) 
with his bride, prepared for the proper state 
and display. His uncles, Bartholomew and 
Diego, as well as Ferdinand Columbus, accom 
panied him. The King soon began to encroach 
on Diego s domain, creating new provinces out 
of it. 1 It does not belong to this place to trace 
the vexatious factions which, through Fonseca s 
urging, or otherwise created, Diego was forced 
to endure, till he returned to Spain, in 1515, to 
answer his accusers. When he asked of the 
King a share of the profits of the Darien coast, 
his royal master endeavored to show that Die 
go s father had never been on that coast. After 
Ferdinand s death (Jan. 23, 1516), his succes 

sor, Charles V., acknowledged the injustice 
of the charges against Diego, and made some 
amends by giving him a viceroy s functions in 
all places discovered by his father. He was 
subjected, however, to the surveillance of a su 
pervisor to report on his conduct, upon going to 
his government in 1 520.2 In three years he was 
again recalled for examination, and in 1526 he 
died. Don Luis, who succeeded to his father 
Diego, after some years exchanged, in 1556, his 
rights of vice-royalty in the Indies for ten thou 
sand gold doubloons and the title of Duque de 
Veraguas (with subordinate titles), and a gran- 
deeship of the first rank; 3 the latter, however, 
was not confirmed till 1712. 

His nephew Diego succeeded to the rights, 
silencing those of the daughter of Don Luis by 
marrying her. They had no issue ; and on his 
death, in 1578, various claimants brought suit 
for the succession (as shown in the table), which 
was finally given, in 1608, to the grandson of 
Isabella, the granddaughter of Columbus. This 
suit led to the accumulation of a large amount 
of documentary evidence, which was printed. 4 
The vexations did not end here, the Duke of 
Berwick still contesting; but a decision in 1790 
confirmed the title in the present line. The 
revolt of the Spanish colonies threatened to 
deprive the Duke of Veraguas of his income ; 
but the Spanish Government made it good by 
charging it upon the revenues of Cuba and 
Porto Rico, the source of the present Duke s 
support. 5 


A FTER the foregoing chapter had been com- Savone, de Seville, et de Madrid, etudes d histoire 

** pleted, there came to hand the first vol- critique par Henry Harrisse^ Paris, 1884. 

ume of Christophe Colomb, son origine, sa vie, ses The book is essentially a reversal of many 

voyages, sa famille, et ses descendants, d apres des long-established views regarding the career of 

documents inedits tires des Archives de Genes, de Columbus. The new biographer, as has been 

1 Such as New Andalusia, on the Isthmus of Darien, intrusted to Ojeda ; and Castilla del Oro, and the 
region about Veragua, committed to Nicuessa. There was a certain slight also in this last, inasmuch as Don 
Diego had been with the Admiral when he discovered it. 

2 The ruins of Diego Columbus house in Santo Domingo, as they appeared in 1801, are shown in Charton s 
Voyagenrs, iii. 186, and Samuel Hazard s Santo Domingo, p. 47 ; also pp. 213, 228. 

3 Papers relating to Luis Colon s renunciation of his rights as Duke of Veraguas, in 1556, are in Peralta s 
Costa Rica, Nicaragua y Panama, Madrid, 1883, p. 162. 

4 Harrisse, Notes on Cohimbus, p. 3. Leclerc (Bill. Amcr., no. 137) notes other original family documents 
priced at 1,000 francs. 

5 The arms granted by the Spanish sovereigns at Barcelona, May 20, 1493, seem to nave keen a ^ tere d at a 
later date. As depicted by Oviedo, they are given on an earlier page. Cf . Lopez de Haro, Nobiliario general 
(Madrid, 1632), pt. ii. p. 312 ; Munoz, Historia del nuevo mondo, p. 165 ; Notes and Queries (2d series), xii. 
530; (5th series) ii. 152; Mem. de la Real Academia de Madrid (1852), vol. viii. ; Roselly de Lorgues, 
Christophe Colomb (1856); Documcntos incditos (1861), xxxi. 295 ; Cod. diplom. Colombo- Americano, p. Ixx ; 
Harrisse, Notes on Cohimbus, p. 168 ; Charlevoix, Isle Espagnole, i. 61, 236, and the engraving given in 
Ramusio (1556), iii. 84. I am indebted to Mr. James Carson Brevoort for guidance upon this point. 


8 9 

shown, is not bound by any respect for the Life 
of the Admiral which for three hundred years 
has been associated with the name of Ferdinand 
Columbus. The grounds of his discredit of that 
book are again asserted ; and he considers the 
story as given in Las Casas as much more likely 
to represent the prototype both of the Historia 
general of this last writer and of the Historic 
of 1571, than the mongrel production which he 
imagines this Italian text of Ulloa to be, and 
which he accounts utterly unworthy of credit by 
reason of the sensational perversions and addi 
tions with which it is alloyed by some irrespon 
sible editor. This revolutionary spirit makes 
the critic acute, and sustains him in laborious 
search ; but it is one which seems sometimes to 
imperil his judgment. He does not at times 
hesitate to involve Las Casas himself in the 
same condemnation for the use which, if we 
understand him, Las Casas may be supposed, 
equally with the author or editor of the Historic, 
to have made of their common prototype. That 
any received incident in Columbus career is only 
traceable to the Historic is sufficient, with our 
critic, to assign it to the category of fiction. 

This new Life adds to our knowledge from 
many sources ; and such points as have been 
omitted or slightly developed in the preceding 
chapter, or are at variance with the accepted 
views upon which that chapter has been based, 
it may be well briefly to mention. 

The frontispiece is a blazon of the arms of 
Columbus, " du cartulaire original dresse sous 
ses yeux a Seville en 1502," following a manu 
script in the Archives of the Ministry of For 
eign Affairs at Paris. The field of the quarter 
with the castle is red ; that of the lion is sil 
ver ; that of the anchors is blue ; the main and 
islands are gold, the water blue. It may be 
remarked that the disposition of these islands 
seems to have no relation to the knowledge then 
existing of the Columbian Archipelago. Below 
is a blue bend on a gold field, with red above 
(see the cut, ante, p. 15). 

In writing in his Introduction of the sources 
of the history of Columbus, Harrisse says that 
we possess sixty-four memoirs, letters, or ex 
tracts written by Columbus, of which twenty- 
three are preserved in his own autograph. Of 
these sixty-four, only the Libra de las profecias 
has not been printed entire, if we except a Me 
morial que presento Cristobal Colon a los Reyes 
Catolicos sobre las cosas necesarias para abastecer 
las Indias which is to be printed for the first 
time by Harrisse, in the appendix of his second 
volume. Las Casas transcript of Columbus 
Journal is now, he tells us, in the collection of 
the Duque d Osuna at Madrid. The copy of 
Dr. Chanca s relation of the second voyage, used 
by Navarrete, and now in the Academy of His 
tory at Madrid, belonged to a collection formed 
VOL. IT. 12. 

by Antonio de Aspa. The personal papers of 
Columbus, confided by him to his friend Gaspar 
Gorricio, were preserved for over a century in 
an iron case in the custody of monks of Las 
Cuevas ; but they were, on the I5th of May, 1609, 
surrendered to Xuiio Gelvcs, of Portugal, who 
had been adjudged the lawful successor of the 
Admiral. Such as have escaped destruction 
now constitute the collection of the present 
Duque de Veraguas ; and of them Navarrete 
has printed seventy-eight documents. Of the 
papers concerning Columbus at Genoa, Har 
risse finds only one anterior to his famous voy 
age, and that is a paper of the Father Dominico 
Colombo, dated July 21, 1489, of whom such 
facts as are known are given, including refer 
ences to him in 1463 and 1468 in the records of 
the Bank of St. George in Genoa. Of the two 
letters of 1502 which Columbus addressed to 
the Bank, only one now exists, as far as Harrisse 
could learn, and that is in the Hotel de Ville. 
Particularly in regard to the family of Colum 
bus, he has made effective use of the notarial 
and similar records of places where Columbus 
and his family have lived. But use of deposi 
tions for establishing dates and relationship 
imposes great obligation of care in the identi 
fication of the persons named ; and this with a 
family as numerous as the Colombos seem to 
have been, and given so much to the repeating 
of Christian names, is more than usually diffi 
cult. In discussing the evidence of the place 
and date of Columbus birth (p. 137), as well as 
tracing his family line (pp. 160 and 166), the 
conclusion reached by Harrisse fixes the humble 
origin of the future discoverer ; since he finds Co 
lumbus kith and kin of the station of weavers, 
an occupation determining their social standing 
as well in Genoa as in other places at that time. 
The table which is given on a previous page (ante, 
p. 87) shows the lines of supposable connec 
tion, as illustrating the long contest for the pos 
session of the Admiral s honors. His father s 
father, it would seem, was a Giovanni Colombo 
(pp. 167-216), and he the son of a certain Luca 
Colombo. Giovanni lived in turn at Terrarossa 
and Quinto. Domenico, the Admiral s father, 
married Susanna Fontanarossa, and removed 
to Genoa between 1448 and 1551, living there 
afterward, except for the interval 1471-1484, 
when he is found at Savona. He died in 
Genoa not far from 1498. We are told (p. 29} 
how little the Archives of Savona yield respect 
ing the family. Using his new notarial evidence 
mainly, the critic fixes the birth of Columbus 
about 1445 (pp. 223-241); and enforces a view 
expressed by him before, that Genoa as the place 
of Columbus birth must be taken in the broader 
sense of including the dependencies of the city, in 
one of which he thinks Columbus was born 
(p. 221) in that humble station which Gallo, in his 


" De navigatione Columbi," now known to us as 
printed in Muratori (xxiii. 301), was the first to 
assert. Giustiniani, in his Psalter-note, and 
Senarega, in his " De rebus Genuensibus " (Mu 
ratori, xxiv. 354) seem mainly to have followed 
Gallo on this point. There is failure (p. Si) to 
find confirmation of some of the details of the 
family as given by Casoni in his Annali ddla 
republica di Geneva (1708, and again 1799). I n 
relation to the lines of his descendants, there 
are described (pp. 49-60) nineteen different me 
morials, bearing date between 1 590 and 1 792 
and there maybe others which grew out of 
the litigations in which the descent of the Ad 
miral s titles was involved. 

The usual story, told in the Historic, of Co 
lumbus sojourn at the University of Pavia is 
discredited, chiefly on the ground that Columbus 
himself says that from a tender age he followed 
the sea (but Columbus statements are often 
inexact), and from the fact that in cosmography 
Genoa had more to teach him than Pavia. Co 
lumbus is also kept longer in Italy than the 
received opinion has allowed, which has sent him 
to Portugal about 1470; while we are now told 
if his identity is unassailable that he was 
in Savona as late as 1473 (PP- 2 S3~ 2 54)- 

Documentary Portuguese evidence of Colum 
bus connection with Portugal is scant. The 
Archive da Torre do Tombo at Lisbon, which 
Santarem searched in vain for any reference 
to Ve.spucius, seem to be equally barren of in 
formation respecting Columbus, and they only 
afford a few items regarding the family of the 
Perestrellos (p. 44). 

The principal contemporary Portuguese 
chronicle making any reference to Columbus is 
Ruy de Pina s Chronica del Rei Dom Jodo //., 
which is contained in the Colleccao de livros ined- 
itos de historia Portugueza, published at Lisbon 
in 1792 (ii. 177), from which Garcia de Resende 
seems to have borrowed what appears in his 
Choronica, published at Lisbon in 1596; and 
this latter account is simply paraphrased in the 
Decada primeira do Asia (Lisbon, 1752) of 
Joao de Barros, who, born in 1496, was too late 
to have personal knowledge of earlier time of 
the discoveries. Vasconcellos Vida y acetones 
del Rey D. Juan al segundo (Madrid, 1639) adds 

The statement of the Historic again thrown 
out, doubt at least is raised respecting the mar 
riage of Columbus with Philippa, daughter of 
Bartholorneu Perestrello; and if the critic can 
not disprove such union, he seems to think that 
as good, if not better, evidence exists for declar 
ing the wife of Columbus to have been the 
daughter of Vasco Gil Moniz, of an old family, 
while it was Vasco Gill s sister Isabel who 
married the Perestrello in question. The mar 
riage of Columbus took place, it is claimed 

there is reason to believe, not in Madeira, as 
Gomara and others have maintained, but in 
Lisbon, and not before 1474. Further, discard 
ing the Historic, there is no evidence that Co 
lumbus ever lived at Porto Santo or Madeira, 
or that his wife was dead when he left Portugal 
for Spain in 1484. If this is established, we 
lose the story of the tie which bound him to 
Portugal being severed by the death of his 
companion ; and the tale of his poring over 
the charts of the dead father of his wife at 
Porto Santo is relegated to the region of fable. 

We have known that the correspondence of 
Toscanelli with the monk Martinez took place 
in 1474, and the further communication of the 
Italian savant with Columbus himself has al 
ways been supposed to have occurred soon 
after; but reasons are now given for pushing 
it forward to 1482. 

The evidences of the offers which Columbus 
made, or caused to be made, to England, France, 
and Portugal, to the latter certainly, and to the 
two others probably, before he betook himself 
to Spain, are also reviewed. As to the embassy 
to Genoa, there is no trace of it in the Genoese 
Archives and no earlier mention of it than 
Ramusio s ; and no Genoese authority repeats it 
earlier than Casoni in his Annali di Geneva, in 
1708. This is now discredited altogether. No 
earlier writer than Marin, in his Storia del com- 
mercio de Veneziani (vol. vii. published 1800), 
claims that Columbus gave Venice the oppor 
tunity of embarking its fortunes with his ; and 
the document which Pesaro claimed to have seen 
has never been found. 

There is difficulty in fixing with precision 
the time of Columbus leaving Portugal, if we re 
ject the statements of the Historie, which places 
it in the last months of 1484. Other evidence 
is here presented that in the summer of that 
year he was in Lisbon ; and no indisputable evi 
dence exists, in the critic s judgment, of his being 
in Spain till May, 1487, when a largess was 
granted to him. Columbus own words would 
imply in one place that he had taken service with 
the Spanish monarchs in 1485, or just before 
that date ; and in another place that he had 
been in Spain as early as January, 1484, or even 
before, a time when now it is claimed he is to 
be found in Lisbon. 

The pathetic story of the visit to Rabida 
places that event at a period shortly after his 
arriving in Spain ; and the Historie tells also of 
a second visit at a later day. It is now contended 
that the two visits were in reality one, which oc 
curred in 1491. The principal argument to up 
set the Historie is the fact that Juan Rodriguez 
Cabezudo, in the lawsuit of 1513, testified that 
it was " about twenty-two years " since he had 
lent a mule to the Franciscan who accompa 
nied Columbus awav from Rabida ! 


With the same incredulity the critic spirits 
away (p. 358) the junto of Salamanca. He can 
find no earlier mention of it than that of Antonio 
de Remesal in his Historia de la Provincia de S. 
Vincente de Chyapa, published in Madrid in 
1619; and accordingly asks why Las Casas, from 
whom Remesal borrows so much, did not know 
something of this junto? He counts for much 
that Oviedo does not mention it; and the Ar 
chives of the University at Salamanca throw no 
light. The common story he believes to have 
grown out of conferences which probably took 
place while the Court was at Salamanca in the 
winter of 1486-1487, and which were conducted 
by Talavera ; while a later one was held at Santa 
F late in 1491, at which Cardinal Mendoza was 

Since Alexander Geraldinus, writing in 1522, 
from his own acquaintance with Columbus, had 
made the friar Juan Perez, of Rabida, and An 
tonio de Marchena, who was Columbus stead 
fast friend, one and the same person, it has been 
the custom of historians to allow that Geraldi 
nus \vas right. It is now said he was in error ; 
but the critic confesses he cannot explain how 
Gomara, abridging from Oviedo, changes the 
name of Juan Perez used by the latter to Perez 
de Marchena, and this before Geraldinus was 
printed. Columbus speaks of a second monk 
who had befriended him ; and it has been the 
custom to identify this one with Diego de Deza, 
who, at the time when Columbus is supposed to 
have stood in need of his support, had already 
become a bishop, and was not likely, the critic 
thinks, to have been called a monk by Colum 
bus. The two friendly monks in this view were 
the two distinct persons Juan Perez and Anto 
nio de Marchena (p. 372). 

The interposition of Cardinal Mendoza, by 
which Columbus secured the royal ear, has 
usually been placed in 1486. Oviedo seems to 
have been the source of subsequent writers on 
the point ; but Oviedo does not fix the date, 
and the critic now undertakes to show (p. 380) 
that it was rather in the closing months of 

Las Casas charges Talavera with opposing 
the projects of Columbus : we have here (p. 383) 
the contrary assertion ; and the testimony of 
Peter Martyr seems to sustain this view. So 
again the new biographer measurably defends, 
on other contemporary evidence, Fonseca (p. 386) 
as not deserving the castigations of modern 
writers; and all this objurgation is considered 
to have been conveniently derived from the 
luckless Historic of 1571. 

The close student of Columbus is not un 
aware of the unsteady character of much of the 
discoverer s own testimony on various points. 
His imagination was his powerful faculty ; and it 
was as wild at times as it was powerful, and 

nothing could stand in the way of it. No one 
has emphasized the doleful story of his trials and 
repressions more than himself, making the whole 
world, except two monks, bent on producing his 
ignominy; and yet his biographer can pick 
(p. 388) from the Admiral s own admissions 
enough to show that during all this time he had 
much encouragement from high quarters. The 
critic is not slow to take advantage of this weak 
ness of Columbus character, and more than 
once makes him the strongest witness against 

It is now denied that the money advanced by 
Santangel was from the treasury of Aragon. On 
the contrary, the critic contends that the venture 
was from Santangel s private resources ; and he 
dismisses peremptorily the evidence of the docu 
ment which Argensola, in his Anales de Aragon 
(Saragossa, 1630), says was preserved in the 
archives of the treasury of Aragon. He says a 
friend who searched at Barcelona in 1871, among 
the " Archivo general de la Corona de Aragon," 
could not find it. 

Las Casas had first told guardedly, to be 
sure the story of the Pinzons contributing 
the money which enabled Columbus to assume 
an eighth part of the expense of the first voyage ; 
but it is now claimed that the assistance of that 
family was confined to exerting its influence to 
get Columbus a crew. It is judged that the 
evidence is conclusive that the Pinzons did not 
take pecuniary risk in the voyage of 1492, be 
cause only their advances of this sort for the 
voyage of 1499 are mentioned in the royal grant 
respecting their arms. But such evidence is 
certainly inconclusive ; and without the evidence 
of Las Casas it must remain uncertain whence 
Columbus got the five hundred thousand ma- 
ravedis which he contributed to the cost of that 
momentous voyage. 

The world has long glorified the story in the 
Historic of 1571 about the part which the crown 
jewels, and the like, played in the efforts of 
Isabella to assist in the furnishing of Columbus 
vessels. Peter Martyr, Bernaldez, and others 
who took frequent occasion to sound the praises 
of her majesty, say nothing of it ; and, as is now 
contended, for the good reason that there was 
no truth in the story, the jewels having long 
before been pledged in the prosecution of the 
war with the Moors. 

It is inferred (p. 417) from Las Casas that 
his abridgment of Columbus Journal was made 
from a copy, and not from the original (Xavar- 
rete, i. 134) ; and Harrisse says that from two 
copies of this abridgment, preserved in the col 
lection of the Duque d Osuna at Madrid, Varn- 
hagen printed his text of it which is contained 
in his Verdadera Guanahani. This last text 
varies in some places from that in Xavarrete, 
and Harrisse savs he has collated it with the 


Osuna copies without discovering any error, 
lie thinks, however, that the Historic of 1571, as 
well as Las Casas account, is based upon the 
complete text ; and his discrediting of the Historic 
docs not prevent him in this case saying that 
from it, as well as from Las Casas, a few touches 
of genuineness, not of importance to be sure, 
can be added to the narrative of the abridgment. 
He also points out that we should discriminate 
as to the reflections which Las Casas inter 
sperses ; but he seems to have no apprehension 
of such insertions in the Historic in this particu 
lar case. 

The Ambrosian text of the first letter is once 
more reprinted (p. 419), accompanied by a 
French translation. In some appended notes 
the critic collates it with the Cosco version in 
different shapes, and with that of Simancas. 
He also suggests that this text was printed at 
Barcelona toward the end of March, 1493, ant ^ 
infers that it may have been in this form that 
the Genoese ambassadors took the news to 
Italy when they left Spain about the middle of 
the following month. 

The closing chapter of this first volume is on 
the question of the landfall. The biographer 
discredits attempts to settle the question by 
nautical reasoning based on the log of Columbus, 
averring that the inevitable inaccuracies of such 
records in Columbus time is proved by the 
widely different conclusions of such experienced 
men as Navarrete, Becher, and Fox. He relies 
rather on Columbus description and on that in 
Las Casas. The name which the latter says was 
borne in his day by the island of the landfall 
was " Triango ; " but the critic fails to find this 

name on any earlier map than that first made 
known in the Cartas de Indias in 1877. To this 
map he finds it impossible to assign an earlier 
date than 1541, since it discloses some reminders 
of the expedition of Coronado. He instances 
other maps in which the name in some form ap 
pears attached to an island of the Bahamas, as 
in the Cabot mappemonde of 1544 (Triangula), 
the so-called Vallard map (Triango), that of 
Gutierrez in 1550 (Trriango), that of Alonso de 
Santa Cruz in his Islario of 1560 (Triangulo). 
Unfortunately on some of the maps Guanahani 
appears as well as the name which Las Casas 
gives. Harrisse s solution of this conjunction 
of names is suggested by the fact that in the 
Weimar map of 1527 (see sketch, ante, p. 43) an 
islet "Triango" lies just east of Guanahani, and 
corresponds in size and position to the " Trian 
gula " of Cabot and the " Triangulo " of Santa 
Cruz. Guanahani he finds to correspond to 
Acklin Island, the larger of the Crooked Island 
group (see map, ante, p. 55) ; while the Plana 
Cays, shown east of it, would stand for "Tri 
ango." Columbus, with that confusion which 
characterizes his writings, speaks in one place of 
his first land being an "isleta," and in another 
place he calls it an "isla grande." This gives 
the critic ground for supposing that Columbus 
saw first the islet, the " Triango " of Las Casas, 
or the modern " Plana"~Cays," and that then he 
disembarked on the "isla grande," which was 
Acklin Island. So it may be that Columbus* 
own confused statement has misled subsequent 
writers. If this theory is not accepted, Fox, in 
selecting Samana, has, in the critic s opinion, 
come nearer the truth than anv other. 




THE enumeration of the cartographical sources respecting the discoveries of the earlier 
voyagers began with the list, " Catalogus auctorum tabularum geographicarum, quot- 
quot ad nostram cognitionem hactenus pervenere ; quibus addidimus, ubi locorum, quando 
et a quibus excusi sunt," which Ortelius in 1570 added to his TJieatrum orbis terrarum, 
many of whose titles belong to works not now known. Of maps now existing the best- 
known enumerations are those in the Jean et Sebastien Cabot of Harrisse ; the Mapoteca 
Colombiana of Uricoechea ; the Cartografia Mexicana of Orozco y Berra, published by the 
Mexican Geographical Society ; and Gustavo Uzielli s Elenco descritto degli Atlanti, pla- 
nisferi e carte nautiche, originally published in 1875, but made the second volume, edited 
by Pietro Amat, of the new edition of the Studi biografici e bibliografici della Societa 
Geografica Italiana, Rome, 1882, under the specific title of Mappamondi, carte nautiche, 
portolani ed altri monumenti cartografici spedalmente Italiani dei secoli XIII-XVII. 1 

The Editor has printed in the Harvard University Bulletin a bibliography of Ptolemy s 
geography, and a calendar, with additions and annotations, of the Kohl Collection of early 
maps, belonging to the Department of State at Washington, both of which contributions 
called for enumerations of printed and manuscript maps of the early period, and included 
their reproductions of later years. 

The development of cartography is also necessarily made a part of histories of geog 
raphy like those of Santarem, Lelewel, St. -Martin, and Peschel ; but their use of maps 
hardly made chronological lists of them a necessary part of their works. Santarem has 
pointed out how scantily modern writers have treated of the cartography of the Middle 
Ages previous to the era of Spanish discovery ; and he enumerates such maps as had been 
described before the appearance of his work, as well as publications of the earlier ones 
after the Spanish discovery. 2 

1 Vol. i. of the Stndi is a chronological ac- Miiller s Die wissenschaftlichen l r ereine und 
count of Italian travellers and voyages, beginning Gesellschaften Deutschlands, Bibliographie Hirer 
with G.imaklo (1120-1122), and accompanied Veroffentlichungen, now announced in Berlin, is 
by mr t ps showing the routes of the principal made public. One of the most important sale- 
ones Cf. Theobald Fischer, " Ueber italien- catalogues of maps is that of the Prince Alex- 
iscre Seekarten und Kartographen des Mittelal- anclre Labanoff Collection, Paris, 1823, a list 
te 1 s," in Zeitschrift der GesellscJiaft fiir Erdkiuide now very rare. Xos. 1-112 were given to the 
z.i Berlin, xvii. 5. world, and 1480-1543 to America separately. 

As to the work which has been done in the - Santarem, Histoire de la cartographic, etc., 

geographical societies of Germany, we shall vol. i., preface, pp. xxxix, 1, and 194. After the 

1 ave readier knowledge when Dr. Johannes present volume was printed to this point, and 



To what extent Columbus had studied the older maps from the time when they began 
to receive a certain definiteness in the fourteenth century, is not wholly clear, nor how 
much he knew of the charts of Marino Sanuto, of Pizignani, and of the now famous Catalan 

map of that period ; but it is doubtless 
true that the maps of Bianco (1436) 
and Mauro (1460) were well known to 
him. 1 "Though these early maps and 
charts of the fifteenth century," says 
Hallam, 2 " are to us but a chaos of error 
and confusion, it was on them that the 
patient eye of Columbus had rested 
through long hours of meditation, while 
strenuous hope and unsubdued doubt 
were struggling in his soul." 

A principal factor in the develop 
ment of map-making, as of navigation, 
had been the magnet. It had been 
brought from China to the eastern 
coast of Africa as early as the fourth 
century, and through the Arabs 3 and 
Crusaders it had been introduced into 
the Mediterranean, and was used by 
the Catalans and Basques in the twelfth 
century, a hundred years or more before 
Marco Polo brought to Europe his 
wonderful stories. 4 In that century 
even it had become so familiar a sight 
that poets used it in their metaphors. 
The variation of its needle was not 
indeed unknown long before Colum- 

EARLY COMPASS. 5 bus, but its observation in mid-ocean 

in his day gave it a new signifi 
cance. The Chinese had studied the phenomenon, and their observations upon it had 
followed shortly upon the introduction of the compass itself to Western knowledge ; and 
as early as 1436 the variation of the needle was indicated on maps in connection with 
places of observation. 6 

after Vols. III. and IV. were in type, Mr. Arthur 
James Weise s Discoveries of America to the year 
1525 was published in New York. A new draft 
of the Maiollo map of 1527 is about its only 
important feature. 

1 See an enumeration of all these earlier 
maps and of their reproductions in part i. of 
The Kohl Collection of Early Maps, by the pres 
ent writer. Bianco s map was reproduced in 
1869 at Venice, with annotations by Oscar 
Peschel ; and Mauro s in 1866, also at Venice. 

i Literature of Europe, chap. iii. sect. 4. 

3 Cf., on the instruments and marine charts 
of the Arabs, Codine s La mer des Indes, p. 74; 
Delambre, Histoire de Vastronomie du moyen- 
age ; Sddillot s Les instruments astronomiques 
des Arabes, etc. 

4 Major, Prince Henry (1868 ed.), pp. 57, 60. 
There is some ground for believing that the 

Northmen were acquainted with the loadstone in 
the eleventh century. Prescott (Ferdinand and 
Isabella, 1873 e ^- " II: ) indicates the use of it 
by the Castilians in 1403. Cf. Santarem, His 
toire de la cartographie, p. 280 ; Journal of the 
Franklin Institute, xxii. 68 ; American Journal of 
Science, Ix. 242. Cf. the early knowledge regard 
ing the introduction of the compass in Eden s 
Peter Martyr (1555), folio 320; and D Avezac s 
Apercus historiques sur la boussole, Pa v is, 1860, 
16 pp.; also Humboldt s Co smos, Eng. tr. ii. 656. 

5 This follows the engraving in Piga f etta s 
Voyage and in the work of Jurien de la Gra\ iere. 
The main points were designated by the u.-ual 
names of the winds, Levante, east ; Sirocco, south 
east, etc. 

6 For instance, the map of Bianco. Tho 
variation in Europe was always easterly afte; 
observations were first made. 


The earliest placing of a magnetic pole seems due to the voyage of Nicholas of Lynn, 
whose narrative was presented to Edward III. of England. This account is no longer 
known, 1 though the title of it, Invcntio fortunata, is preserved, with its alleged date of 
1355. Cnoyen, whose treatise is not extant, is thought to have got his views about the 
regions of the north and about the magnetic pole from Nicholas of Lynn, 2 while he 
was in Norway in 1364; and it is from Cnoyen that Mercator says he got his notion of 
the four circumpolar islands which so long figured in maps of the Mercator and Finasus 
school. In the Ruysch map (1508) we have the same four polar islands, with the mag 
netic pole placed within an insular mountain north of Greenland. Ruysch also depended 
on the Inventio fortunata. Later, by Martin Cortes in 1545, and by Sanuto in 1588, the 
pole was placed farther south. 3 

Ptolemy, in the second century, accepting the generally received opinion that the 
world as known was much longer east and west than north and south, adopted with this 
theory the terms which naturally grew out of this belief, latitude and longitude, and first 
instituted them, it is thought, in systematic geography. 4 

Pierre d Aiily, in his map of I4io, 5 in marking his climatic lines, had indicated the begin 
nings, under a revival of geographical inquiry, of a systematic notation of latitude. Several 
of the early Ptolemies 6 had followed, by scaling in one way and another the distance from 
the equator ; while in the editions of 1508 and 1511 an example had been set of marking 
longitude. The old Arabian cartographers had used both latitude and longitude ; but 
though there were some earlier indications of the adoption of such lines among the Euro 
pean map-makers, it is generally accorded that the scales of such measurements, as we 
understand them, came in, for both latitude and longitude, with the map which Reisch in 
1503 annexed to his Margarita philosophical 

Ptolemy had fixed his first meridian at the Fortunate Islands (Canaries), and in 
the new era the Spaniards, with the sanction of the Pope, had adopted the same point ; 
though the Portuguese, as if in recognition of their own enterprise, had placed it 
at Madeira, as is shown in the globes of Behaim and Schoner, and in the map of 
Ruysch. The difference was not great ; the Ptolemean example prevailed, however, in 
the end. 8 

1 Hakluyt, i. 122. passing by land from Southern Africa to South- 

- Journal of the American Geographical Sod- ern Asia, along a parallel. Marinus had been 

etv, xii. 185. the first to place the Fortunate Islands farther 

3 It is supposed to-day to be in Prince Albert west than the limits of Spain in that direction, 
Land, and to make a revolution in about five though he put them only two and a half degrees 
hundred years. Acosta contended that there beyond, while the meridian of Ferro is nine 
were four lines of no variation, and Halley, in degrees from the most westerly part of the main. 
1683, contended for four magnetic poles. & Cf. Lelewel, pi. xxviii., and Santarem, His- 

4 Cf. notes on p. 661, et scq., in Bunbury s His- toire de la cartographic, iii. 301, and Atlas, pi. 15. 
tory of Ancient Geography, vol. i., on the ancients c Cf. editions of 1482, 1486, 1513, 1535. 
calculations of latitude and measurements for ? The earliest instance in a published Spanish 
longitude. Ptolemy carried the most northern map is thought to be the woodcut which in 
parts of the known world sixty-three degrees 1534 appeared at Venice in the combination of 
north, and the most southern parts sixteen de- Peter Martyr and Ovieclo which Ramusio is 
grees south, of the Equator, an extent north and thought to have edited. This map is represented 
south of seventy-nine degrees. Marinus of Tyre, on a later page. 

who preceded Ptolemy, stretched the known There was a tendency in the latter part of 

world, north and south, over eighty-seven degrees, the sixteenth century to remove the prime 

Marinus had also made the length of the known meridian to St. Michael s, in the Azores, for the 

world 225 degrees east and west, while Ptolemy reason that there was no variation in the needle 

reduced it to 177 degrees; but he did not, nor did there at that time, and in ignorance of the 

Marinus, bound it definitely in the east by an forces which today at St. Michael s make it 

ocean, but he left its limit in that direction uncle- point twenty-five degrees off the true north. As 

termined, as he did that of Africa in the south, late as 1634 a congress of European mathema- 

which resulted in making the Indian Ocean in his ticians confirmed it at the west edge of the Isle de 

conception an inland sea, with the possibility of Per (Ferro), the most westerly of the Canaries. 

9 6 


In respect to latitude there was not .in the rude instruments of the early navigators, and 
under favorable conditions, the means of closely approximate accuracy. In the study 
which the Rev. E. F. Slafter l has made on the average extent of the error which we find 
in the records of even a later century, it appears that while a range of sixty geographical 
miles will probably cover such errors in all cases, when observations were made with 
ordinary care the average deviation wiii probably be found to be at least fifteen miles. The 
fractions of degrees were scarcely ever of much value in the computation, and the minute 
gradation of the instruments in use were subject to great uncertainty of record in tremulous 

hands. It was not the cus 
tom, moreover, to make any 
allowance for the dip of the 
horizon, for refraction or for 
the parallax ; and when, ex 
cept at the time of the equi 
nox, dependence had to be 
placed upon tables of the 
sun s declination, the pub 
lished ephemerides, made for 
a series of years, were the sub 
jects of accumulated error. 2 
With these impediments 
to accurate results, it is not 
surprising that even errors of 
considerable extent crept into 
the records of latitude, and 
long remained unchallenged. 3 
Ptolemy, in A. D. 150, had 
placed Constantinople two 
degrees out of the way ; and 
it remained so on maps for 
fourteen hundred years. In 
Columbus time 
put seven or 

too far north ; and under this 
false impression the cartog 
raphy of the Antilles began. 

The historic instrument for the taking of latitude was the astrolabe, which is known 
to have been in use by the Majorcan and Catalanian sailors in the latter part of the thir 
teenth century ; and it is described by Raymond Lullius in his Artede navegar of that time. 5 
Behaim, the contemporary of Columbus, one of the explorers of the African coast, and a 

Cuba was 
eight degrees 


1 Edmund Fanvell Slafter; History and 
Onuses of the Incorrect Latitudes as recorded in 
the Journals of the Early Writers, Navigators, 
and Explorers relating to tJic Atlantic Coast of 
North America (1535-1740). Boston: Privately 
printed, 1882. 20 pages. Reprinted from the 
A r . E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg. for April, 1882. 

- Regiomontanus, as Johannes Miiller, of 
Konigsberg, in Franconia, was called, from his 
town, published at Nuremberg his Ephemerides 
for the interval 1475-1506; and these were what 
Columbus probably used. Cf. Alex. Ziegler s 
Regiomontanus, ein geistiger Vorlciufcr des Co 
lumbus, Dresden, 1874. Stadius, a professor 

of mathematics, published an almanac of this 
kind in 1545, and the English navigators used 
successive editions of this one. 

3 Cf. Kohl, Die beiden General-Karten t on 
Amerika, p. 17, and Varnhagen s Historia geral 
do Brazil, i. 432. 

4 This cut follows the engravings in Ruge s 
Geschichte des Zcitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 106, 
and in Ghillany s Ritter Behaim, p. 40. Cf, 
Von Murr, Memorabilia bibliothecarum A T onm- 
bergcnsium, i. 9. 

5 Humboldt, Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 630, 670; 
Reisch s Margarita philosophica (1535), p. 1416; 
D Avezac s Waltzemiiller, p. 64. 



pupil of Regiomontanus, had somewhat changed the old form of the astrolabe in adapting 
it for use on shipboard. This was in 1484 at Lisbon, and Behaim s improvement was 
doubtless what Columbus used. Of the form in use before Behaim we have that (said to 
have belonged to Regiomontanus) in the cut on page 96 ; and in the following cut the 
remodelled shape which it took after Behaim. 


1 This cut follows an engraving (Mag. of 
Amer. Hist., iii. 178) after a photograph of one 
used by Champlain, which bears the Paris 
maker s date of 1603. There is another cut of 
it in Weise s Discoveries of America, p. 68. Hav 
ing been lost by Champlain in Canada in 1613, it 
was ploughed up in 1867 (see Vol. IV. p. 124; 
also Canadian Monthly, xviii. 589). The small 
size of the circle used in the sea-instrument to 
make it conveniently serviceable, necessarily op- 
VOL. II. 13. 

crated to make the ninety degrees of its quartet 
circle too small for accuracy in fractions. On 
land much larger circles were sometimes used ; 
one was erected in London in 1 594 of six feet 
radius. The early books on navigation and voy 
ages frequently gave engravings of the astrolabe ; 
as, for instance, in Pigafetta s voyage (Magellan), 
and in the Lichte der Zee- Vacrt (Amsterdam, 
1623), translated as The Light of Navigation 
(Amsterdam, 1625). The treatise on navigation 

9 8 


An instrument which could more readily adapt itself to the swaying of the observer s 
body in a sea-way, soon displaced in good measure the astrolabe on shipboard. This 
was the cross-staff, or jackstaff, which in several modified forms for a long time served 
mariners as a convenient help in ascertaining the altitude of the celestial bodies. Pre 
cisely when it was first introduced is not certain ; but the earliest description of it which 
has been found is that of Werner in 1514. Davis, the Arctic navigator, made an improve 
ment on it ; and his invention was called a backstaff. 

While the observations of the early navigators in respect to latitude were usually 
accompanied by errors, which were of no considerable extent, their determinations of 
longitude, when attempted at all, were almost always wide of the truth, 1 so far, indeed, 
that their observations helped them but little then to steer their courses, and are of small 
assistance now to us in following their tracks. It happened that while Columbus was 
at Hispaniola on his second voyage, in September, 1494, there was an eclipse of the 

which became the most popular with the succes 
sors of Columbus was the work of Pedro de 
Medina (born about 1493), called the Arte de 
navegar, published in 1545 (reprinted in 1552 and 
1561), of which there were versions in French 
( 1 554, and Lyons, 1 569, with maps showing names 
on the coast of America for the first time), 
Italian (1555 with 1554, at end; Court Catalogiie, 
no. 235), German (1576), and English (1591). 
(Harrisse, Bill. Amer. Vet.,\\o. 266.) Its princi 
pal rival was that of Martin Cortes, Breve com 
pendia de la sphera y de la arte de navegar, pub 
lished in 1551. In Columbus time there was no 
book of the sort, unless that of Raymond Lullius 
(1294) be considered such; and not till Enciso s 
Suma de geografia was printed, in 1519, had the 
new spirit instigated the making of these helpful 
and explanatory books. The Suma de geografia 
is usually considered the first book printed in 
Spanish relating to America. Enciso, who had 
been practising law in Santo Domingo, was with 
Ojeda s expedition to the mainland in 1509, 
and seems to have derived much from his varied 
experience ; and he first noticed at a later clay 
the different levels of the tides on the two sides 
of the isthmus. The book is rare; Rich in 
1832 (no. 4) held it at .10 IQJ. (Cf. Harrisse, 
Notes on Columbus, 171; Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 
97, 153, 272, there were later editions in 1530 
and 1546, Sabin, vol. vi. no. 22,551, etc.; H. H. 
Bancroft, Central America, i. 329, 339; Carter- 
Brown, vol. i. no. 58, with a fac-simile of the 
title : Cat. Hist, do Brazil, Bibl. A r ac. do Rio 
de Janeiro, no. 2.) Antonio Pigafetta in 1530 
produced his Trattato di navigazione ; but Me 
dina and Cortes were the true beginners of the 
literature of seamanship. (Cf. Brevoort s Verra- 
zano, p. 116, and the list of such publications 
given in the Davis Voyages, p. 342, published by 
the Hakluyt Society, and the English list noted 
in Vol. III. p. 206, of the present History.) 
There is an examination of the state of naviga 
tion in Columbus time in Margry s Navigations 
Francaises, p. 402, and in M. F. Navarrete s 
Sobre la historia de la ndutica y de las cicncias 

matemdticas, Madrid, 1846, a work now become 

The rudder, in place of two paddles, one 
on each quarter, had come into use before this 
time ; but the reefing of sails seems not yet to 
have been practised. (Cf. Da Canto s Voyages, 
published by the Hakluyt Society, p. 242.) 
Columbus record of the speed of his ship 
seems to have been the result of observation by 
the unaided eye. The log was not yet known ; 
the Romans had fixed a wheel to the sides of 
their galleys, each revolution of which threw a 
pebble into a tally-pot. The earliest description 
which we have in the new era of any device of 
the kind is in connection with Magellan s voy 
age; for Pigafetta in his Journal (January, 1521), 
mentions the use of a chain at the hinder part 
of the ship to measure its speed. (Humboldt, 
Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 631 ; v. 56.) The log as 
we understand it is described in 1573 in Bourne s 
Regiment of the Sea, nothing indicating the use 
of it being found in the earlier manuals of 
Medina, Cortes, and Gemma Frisius. Hum- 
frey Cole is said to have invented it. Three 
years later than this earliest mention, Eden, in 
1576, in his translation of Taisnier s Navigatione, 
alludes to an artifice "not yet divulgate, which, 
placed in the pompe of a shyp, whyther the 
water hath recourse, and moved by the motion 
of the shypp, with wheels and weyghts, doth 
exactly shewe what space the shyp hath gone " 
(Carter-Brown Catalogue, i. no. 310), a remi 
niscence of the Roman side-wheels, and a re 
minder of the modern patent-log. Cf. article 
on " Navigation " in Encyclopedia Britannica, 
ninth eel. vol. xvii. 

1 Cf . Lelewel, Geographic du moy en-age, ii. 160. 
The rules of Gemma Frisius for discovering 
longitude were given in Eden s Peter Martyr 
(i 555). folio 360. An earlier book was Francisco 
Falero s Regimiento para observar la longitud en 
la mar, 1535. Cf. E. F. de Navarrete s "El 
problema de la longitud en la mar," in volume 
21 of the Doc. ineditos (Espana) ; and Vasco da 
Gama (Hakluyt Soc.), pp. 19, 25, 33, 43,63, 138. 



moon. 1 Columbus observed it ; and his calculations placed himself five hours and a half 
from Seville, an error of eighteen degrees, or an hour and a quarter too much. The 
error was due doubtless as much to the rudeness of his instruments as to the errors of 
the lunar tables then in use. 2 

The removal of the Line of y . 

Demarcation from the supposed 
meridian of non-variation of the 
needle did not prevent the phe 
nomena of terrestrial magnetism 
becoming of vast importance in 
the dispute between the Crowns 
of Spain and Portugal. It char 
acterizes the difference between 
the imaginative and somewhat 
fantastic quality of Columbus 
mind and the cooler, more prac 
tical, and better administrative 
apprehension of Sebastian Cabot, 
that while each observed the 
phenomenon of the variation of 
the needle, and each imagined it 
a clew to some system of deter 
mining longitude, to Columbus it 
was associated with wild notions 
of a too-ample revolution of the 

North Star about the true pole. 3 It was not disconnected in his mind from a fancy whlcn 
gave the earth the shape of a pear ; so that when he perceived on his voyage a clearing of 
the atmosphere, he imagined he was ascending the stem-end of the pear ; where he would 
find the terrestrial paradise. 4 To Cabot the phenomenon had only its practical signifi 
cance ; and he seems to have pondered on a solution of the problem during the rest of 


1 The Germanics ex variis scriptoribus perbrevis 

explicatio of Bilibalclus Pirckeymerus, published 
in 1530, has a reference to this eclipse. Carter- 
Brown, vol. i. no. 96 ; Murphy Catalogue, no. 1,992. 
The paragraph is as follows : " Proinde com- 
pertum est ex observatione eclypsis, quae fuit 
in mense Septembri anno salutis 1494. His- 
paniam insulam, quatuor ferme horarum inter- 
sticio ab Hyspali, qua? Sibilia estdistare, hoc est 
gradibus 60, qualium est circulus maximus 360, 
medium vero insulae continet graclus 20 circiter 
in altitucline polari. Navigatur autem spacium 
illucl communiter in diebus 35 altitudo vero con- 
tinentis oppositi, cui Hispani sanctas Marthas 
nomen indidere, circiter graduum est 12 Darieni 
vero terra et sinus de Uraca graclus quasi tenent 
7^ in altitudine polari, uncle longissimo tractu 
occidentem versus terra est, quae vocatur Mexico 
et Temistitan, a cjua etiam non longa remota est 
insula Jucatan cum aliis nupcr repertis." The 
method of determining longitude by means of 
lunar tables dates back to Hipparchus. 

- These were the calculations of Regiomon- 
tanus (Miiller), who calls himself " Montere- 
gius " in his Tabiths astronomies Alfonsi regis, 
published at Venice in the very year (1492) of 

Columbus first voyage. (Stevens, Bibl. Geog., 
no. 83.) At a later day the Portuguese accused 
the Spaniards of altering the tables then in use, 
so as to affect the position of the Papal line of 
Demarcation. Barras, quoted by Humboldt, 
Cosmos, Eng. tr. ii. 671. 

Johann Stoefifler was a leading authority on 
the methods of defining latitude and longitude 
in vogue in the beginning of the new era; cf. 
his Elucidatio fabrics ususque astrolabii, Oppen- 
heim, 1513 (colophon 1512), and his edition of 
/;/ Prodi Diadochi spheeram omnibus numeris 
longe absolutissimus commentaries, Tubingen, 
1534, where he names one hundred and seventy 
contemporary and earlier writers on the subject. 
(Stevens, Bibl. Geog., nos. 2,633-2,634.) 

3 The polar distance of the North Star in 
Columbus time was 3 28 ; and yet his calcu 
lations made it sometimes 5, and sometimes 10. 
It is to-day 1 20 distant from the true pole. 
United States Coast Survey Report, 1880, app. 

4 Santarem, Histoire de la cartographies Q\, ii. 
p. lix. Columbus would find here the centre of 
the earth, as D Ailly, Mauro, and Behaim found 
it at Jerusalem. 



his life, if, as Humboldt supposes, the intimations of his death-bed in respect to some 
as yet unregistered way of discovering longitude refer to his observations on the 

magnetic declination. 1 

The idea of a constantly increasing decli 
nation east and west from a point of non- 
variation, which both Columbus and Cabot had 
discovered, and which increase could be re 
duced to a formula, was indeed partly true; 
except, as is now well known, the line of 
non-variation, instead of being a meridian, 
and fixed, is a curve of constantly changing 
proportions. 2 

The earliest variation-chart was made in 
1530 by Alonzo de Santa Cruz ; 3 and schemes 
of ascertaining longitude were at once based 
on the observations of these curves, as they 
had before been made dependent upon the 
supposed gradation of the change from me 
ridian to meridian, irrespective of latitude. 4 
Fifty years later (1585), Juan Jayme made 
a voyage with Gali from the Philippine Islands 
to Acapulco to test a " declinatorum " of his 
own invention. 5 But this was a hundred years 
(1698-1702) before Halley s Expedition was 
sent, the first which any government fitted 

out to observe the forces of terrestrial magnetism ; G and though there had been suspi 
cions of it much earlier, it was not till 1722 that Graham got unmistakable data to prove 
the hourly variation of the needle. 7 


1 Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 658. Humboldt also 
points out how Columbus on his second voyage 
had attempted to fix his longitude by the decli 
nation of the needle (Ibid=, ii. 657; v. 54). Cf. 
a paper on Columbus and Cabot in the Nautical 
Magazine, July, 1876. 

It is a fact that good luck or skill of some un- 
cliscernible sort enabled Cabot to record some 
remarkable approximations of longitude in an 
age when the wildest chance governed like at 
tempts in others. Cabot indeed had the navi 
gator s instinct; and the modern log-book seems 
to have owed its origin to his practices and the 
urgency with which he impressed the impor 
tance of it upon the Muscovy Company. 

- Appendix xix. of the Report of the United 
States Coast Survey for 1880 (Washington, 1882) 
is a paper by Charles A. Schott of " Inquiry 
into the Variation of the Compass off the Ba 
hama Islands, at the time of the Landfall of 
Columbus in 1492," which is accompanied by a 
chart, showing by comparison the lines of no- 
variation respectively in 1492, 1600, 1700, 1800, 
and 1880, as far as they can be made out from 
available data. In this chart the line of 1492 
runs through the Azores, bending east as it 
proceeds northerly, and west in its southerly 
extension. The no-variation line in 1882 leaves 

the South American coast between the mouths 
of the Amazon and the Orinoco, and strikes the 
Carolina coast not far from Charleston. The 
Azores to-day are in the curve of 25 W. varia 
tion, which line leaves the west coast of Ire 
land, and after running through the Azores 
sweeps away to the St. Lawrence Gulf. 

3 Navarrete, Notiria del cosmografo Alonzo 
de Santa Cruz. 

4 Humboldt, Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 672; v. 59. 

5 Cosmos, v. 55. 

6 Cosmos, v. 59. 

? Charts of the magnetic curves now made 
by the Coast Survey at Washington are capable 
of supplying, if other means fail, and particu 
larly in connection with the dipping-needle, data 
of a ship s longitude with but inconsiderable 
error. The inclination or dip was not meas 
ured till 1576; and Humboldt shows how under 
some conditions it can be used also to determine 

In 1714 the English Government, following 
an example earlier set by other governments, 
offered a reward of .20,000 to any one who 
would determine longitude at sea within half a 
degree. It was ultimately given to Harrison, 
a watchmaker who made an improved marine 
chronometer. An additional 3,000 was given 



The earliest map which is distinctively associated with the views which were developing 
in Columbus mind was the one which Toscanelli sent to him in 1474. It is said to have 
been preserved in Madrid in 1527 ; J and fifty-three years after Columbus death, when Las 
Casas was writing his history, it was in his possession. 2 We know tiilrt . this Italian, 
geographer had reduced the circumference of the globe to nearly three quarters o f . its 
actual size, having placed China about six thousand five hundred milis v;est of -Lisbon, 
and eleven thousand five hundred miles east. Japan, lying off the China coast, was put 
somewhere from one hundred degrees to one hundred and ten degrees west of Lisbon ; 
and we have record that Martin Pinzon some years later (1491) saw a map in Rome 
which put Cipango (Japan) even nearer the European side. 3 A similar view is supposed 

at the same time to the widow of Tobias Meyer, 
who had improved the lunar tables. It also 
instigated two ingenious mechanicians, who hit 
upon the same principle independently, and 
worked out its practical application, the Phila- 
delphian, Thomas Godfrey, in his " mariner s 
bow" (Penn. Hist. Sac. Coll., i. 422); and the 
Englishman, Hadley, in his well-known quad 

It can hardly be claimed to-day, with all our 
modern appliances, that a ship s longitude can 
be ascertained with anything more than approxi 
mate precision. The results from dead-reckon 
ing are to be corrected in three ways. Obser 
vations on the moon will not avoid, except by 
accident, errors which may amount to seven or 
eight miles. The difficulties of making note of 
Jupiter s satellites in their eclipse, under the 
most favorable conditions, will be sure to entail 
an error of a half, or even a whole, minute. 
This method, first tried effectively about 1700, 
was the earliest substantial progress which had 
been made ; all the attempts of observation on 
the opposition of planets, the occupations of 
stars, the difference of altitude between the 
moon and Jupiter, and the changes in the moon s 
declination, having failed of satisfactory results 
Humboldt, Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 671). John 
Werner, of Nuremberg, as early as 1514, and 
Gemma Frisius, in 1545, had suggested the meas 
ure of the angle between the altitude of the 
moon and some other heavenly body ; but it was 
not till 161 5 that it received a trial at sea, through 
the assiduity of Baffin. The newer method of 
Jupiter s satellites proved of great value in the 
hands of Delisle, the real founder of modern 
geographical science. By it he cut off three 
hundred leagues from the length of the Mediter 
ranean Sea, and carried Paris two and a half 
degrees, and Constantinople ten degrees, farther 
west. Corrections for two centuries had been 
chiefly made in a similar removal of places. 
For instance, the longitude of Gibraltar had 
increased from 7 50 W., as Ptolemy handed it 
down, to 9 30 under Ruscelli, to 13 30 under 
Mercator, and to 14 30 under Ortelius. It is 
noticeable that Eratosthenes, who two hundred 
years and more before Christ was the librarian 
at Alexandria and chief of its geographical 

school, though he made the length of the Medi 
terranean six hundred geographical miles too 
long, did better than Ptolemy three centuries 
later, and better even than moderns had done 
up to 1668, when this sea was elongated by 
nearly a third beyond its proper length. Cf. 
Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, i. 635 ; 
Gosselin, Geog. des Grecs, p. 42. Sanson was 
the last, in 1668, to make this great error. 

The method for discovering longitude which 
modern experience has settled upon is the not 
ing at noon, when the weather permits a view 
of the sun, of the difference of a chronometer 
set to a known meridian. This instrument, with 
all its modern perfection, is liable to an error of 
ten or fifteen seconds in crossing the Atlantic, 
which may be largely corrected by a mean, 
derived from the use of more than one chro 
nometer. The first proposition to convey time 
as a means of deciding longitude dates back to 
Alonzo de Santa Cruz, who had no better time 
keepers than sand and water clocks (Humboldt, 
Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 672). 

On land, care and favorable circumstances 
may now place an object within six or eight 
yards of its absolute place in relation to the 
meridian. Since the laying of the Atlantic 
cable has made it possible to use for a test a 
current which circles the earth in three seconds, 
it is significant of minute accuracy, in fixing the 
difference of time between Washington and 
Greenwich, that in the three several attempts to 
apply the cable current, the difference between 
the results has been less than T 5 n of a second. 

But on shipboard the variation is still great, 
though the last fifty years has largely reduced 
the error. Professor Rogers, of the Harvard 
College Observatory, in examining one hundred 
log-books of Atlantic steamships, has found an 
average error of three miles ; and he reports as 
significant of the superior care of the Cunard 
commanders that the error in the logs of their 
ships was reduced to an average of a mile and 
a half. 

1 Lelewel, ii. 130. 

2 Humboldt, Examen critique, ii. 210. 

3 The breadth east and west of the Old 
World was marked variously, on the Laon 
globe, 250; Behaim s globe, 130; Schoner s 



N orktiSjHiftoricus. 

s } bljiori^ : fid owe 

). XX XL 


to have been presented in the map which Bartholomew Columbus took to England in 
1488 ; - but we have no trace of the chart itself. 3 It has always been supposed that in the 

globe, 228; Ruysch s map, 224; Sylvanus 
map, 220; and the Portuguese chart of 1503, 

1 Fac-simile of a cut in Reusner s Icones, 
Strasburg, 1590, p, 42. This well-known cos- 
mographical student was one of the collabora- 
ters of the series of the printed Ptolemies, 
beginning with that of 1525. There is a well- 
known print of Pirckeymerus by Albert Diirer, 
152,4, which is reproduced in the Gazette des 
Beaux-Arts, xix. 114. Cf. Friedrich Campe s 
Zum Andenken IVilibald Pirkheimers, Mitglieds 
des Raths zu A T urnbcrg (Niirnberg, 58 pp., 

with portrait), and Wilibald Pirkheimers Aufen- 
thalt zu Neunhof, von ihm selbst geschildert ; nebst 
Beitrdgen zu dem Leben und dem Nachlasse seiner 
Schivestern und Tochter, -von Moritz Maximilian 
Meyer (Niirnberg, 1828). 

2 This sea-chart was the first which had been 
seen in England, and almanacs at that time had 
only been known in London for fifteen years, 
with their tables for the sun s declination and 
the altitude of the pole-star. 

3 Cf. Atti della Societa Ligure, 1867, p. 174, 
Desimoni in Giornale Ligustico, ii. 52. Bar 
tholomew is also supposed to have been the 


1 This is a restoration of the map as given in original was doubtless Latin. Another restora- 
Das Ausland, 1867, p. 5. The language of the tion is given in St. Martin s Aflas, pi. ix. 



well-known globe of Martin Behaim we get in the main an expression of the views held 

by Toscanelli, Columbus, and other of Behaim s contemporaries, who espoused the notion 

of India lying over against Europe. 

Eratosthenes, accepting the spherical theory, had advanced the identical notion 

which nearly seventeen hundred years later impelled Columbus to his voyage. He held 

the known world to span 
one third of the circuit of 
the globe, as Strabo did at 
a later day, leaving an un 
known two thirds of sea ; 
and "if it were not that 
the vast extent of the Atlan 
tic Sea rendered it impos 
sible, one might even sail 
from the coast of Spain 
to that of India along the 
same parallel." 1 

Behaim had spent much 
of his life in Lisbon and the 
Azores, and was a friend of 
Columbus. He had visited 
Nuremberg, probably on 
some family matters aris 
ing out of the death of his 
mother in 1487. While 
in this his native town, he 
gratified some of his towns 
people by embodying in 
a globe the geographical 
views which prevailed in the 
maritime countries ; and the 

S lobe WaS finished bef r6 
Columbus had yet accom 

plished his voyage. The 

next year (1493) Behaim returned to Portugal ; and after having been sent to the Low 
Countries on a diplomatic mission, he was captured by English cruisers and carried to 
England. Escaping finally, and reaching the Continent, he passes from our view in 1494, 
and is scarcely heard of again. 

Of Columbus maps it is probable that nothing has come down to us from his own 
hand. 3 Humboldt would fain believe that the group of islands studding a gulf which 


maker of an anonymous planisphere of 1489 
(Peschel, Ueber eine alte Weltkarte, p. 213). 

1 Strabo, i. 65. Bunbury, Ancient Geography, 
\. 627, says the passage is unfortunately muti 
lated, but the words preserved can clearly have 
no other signification. What is left to us of 
Eratosthenes are fragments, which were edited 
by Seidel, at Gottingen, in 1789; again and 
better by Bernhardy (Berlin, 1822). Bunbury 
(vol. i. ch. xvi.) gives a sufficient survey of his 
work and opinions. The spherical shape of the 
earth was so generally accepted by the learned 
after the times of Aristotle and Euclid, that 
when Eratosthenes in the third century, B.C. 

went to some length to prove it, Strabo, who 
criticised him two centuries later, thought he 
had needlessly exerted himself to make plain 
what nobody disputed. Eratosthenes was so 
nearly accurate in his supposed size of the globe, 
that his excess over the actual size was less than 
one-seventh of its great circle. 

2 This cut follows the engravings in Ghil- 
lany s Behaim, and in Ruge s Geschichte des Zeit- 
alterS der Entdeckungen, p. 105. 

3 There is a manuscript map of Hispaniola 
attached to the copy of the 1511 edition of 
Peter Martyr in the Colombina Library which is 
sometimes ascribed to Columbus; but Harrisss. 



appears on a coat-of-arms granted Columbus in May, 1493, has some interest as the 
earliest of all cartographical records of the New World ; but the early drawings of the 

thinks it rather the work of his brother Bar 
tholomew (Bill. Atner. Vet., Add., xiii.) A map of 
this island, with the native divisions as Columbus 
found them, is given in Mtinoz. The earliest 
separate map is in the combined edition of 
Peter Martyr and Oviedo edited by Ramusio 
in Venice in 1534 (Stevens, Bibliothtca geo- 
graphica, no. 1,778). Le discours dc la navigation 
dejean ct Raonl Parmentier, de Dieppe, including 
a description of Santo Domingo, was edited by 
Ch. Schefer in Paris, 1883 ; a description of 
the " isle de Haity " from Le grand insulaire 
et pilotage d" 1 Andre Thevct is given in its ap 

1 This globe is made of papier-mache, cov 
ered with gypsum, and over this a parchment 
surface received the drawing; it is twenty 
inches in diameter. It having fallen into decay, 
the Behaim family in Nuremberg caused it to be 
repaired in 1825. In 1847 a copy was made of it 
VOL. II. 14. 

for the Depot Geographique (National Library) 
at Paris ; the original is now in the city hall at 
Nuremberg. The earliest known engraving of 
it is in J. G. Doppelmayr s Historische Nachricht 
von den nilrnbergischen Mathematikern und Kilnst- 
lern (1730), which preserved some names that 
have since become illegible (Stevens, Historical 
Collection, vol. i. no. 1,396). Other representa 
tions are given in Jomard s Monuments de la geog- 
raphie ; Ghillany s Martin Behaim (1853) and his 
Erdglobus des Behaim und der des Schb ner (1842) ; 
C. G. von Murr s Diplomatische Geschichte des 
Ritters Behaim (1/78, and later editions and 
translations); Cladera s Investigaciones (1794); 
Amoretti s translation of Pigafetta s Voyage de 
Magellan (Paris, 1801); Lelewel s Moyen-dge 
(pi. 40; also see vol. ii. p. 131, and Epilogue, 
p. 184); Saint-Martin s Atlas; Santarem s Atlas, 
pi. 61 ; the Journal of the Royal Geographical 
Society, vol. xviii. ; Kohl s Discovery of Maine ; 



arms are by no means constant in the kind of grouping which is given to these islands. 1 
Queen Isabella, writing to the Admiral, Sept. 5, 1493, asks to see the marine chart which 
he had made ; and Columbus sent such a map with a letter. 2 We have various other 

references to copies of this or similar 
charts of Columbus. Ojeda used such 
a one in following Columbus route, 3 as 
he testified in the famous suit against the 
heirs of Columbus. Bernardo de Ibarra 9 
in the same cause, said that he had seen 
the Admiral s chart, and that he had 
heard of copies of it being used by 
Ojeda, and by some others. 4 It is known 
that about 1498 Columbus gave one of his 
charts to the Pope, and one to Rene of 
Lorraine. Angelo Trivigiano, secretary 
of the Venetian Ambassador to Spain, 
in a letter dated Aug. 21, 1501, addressed 
to Dominico Malipiero, speaks of a map 
of the new discoveries which Columbus 
had. 5 

Three or four maps at least have 
come down to us which are supposed to 
represent in some way one or several of 
these drafts by Columbus. The first of 
these is the celebrated map of the pilot 
Juan de la Cosa, 6 dated in 1500, of which 
LA COSA, 1500. some account, with a heliotype fac-simile 

(tquft.tor 1 

Irving s Columbus (some editions) ; Gay s Popu 
lar History of the United States, i. 103; Barnes 
Popular History of the United States ; Harpers 
Monthly, vol. xlii. ; H. H. Bancroft s Central 
America, i. 93. Ruge, in his Geschichte des Zeit- 
alters der Entdeckungen , p. 230, reproduces the 
colored fac-simile in Ghillany, and shows ad 
ditionally upon it the outline of America in its 
proper place. The sketch in the text follows 
this representation. Cf. papers on Behaim 
and his globe (besides those accompanying 
the engravings above indicated) in the Jour 
nal of the American Geographical Society 
(1872), iv. 432, by the Rev. Mytton Maury ; in 
the publications of the Maryland Historical 
Society by Robert Dodge and John G. Morris ; 
in the Jahresbericht des Vereins fiir Erdkunde 
(Dresden, 1866), p. 59. Peschel, in his Zeitaller 
der Entdeckungen (1858), p. 90, and in the new 
edition edited by Ruge, has a lower opinion 
of Behaim than is usually taken. 

1 Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 647. One of these 
early engravings is given on page 15. 

- Navarrete, i. 253, 264. 

3 Navarrete, i. 5. 

4 Navarrete, iii. 587. 

5 Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 34; Mo- 
relli s Lettcra rarissima (Bassano, 1810), appen 
dix. A " carta nautica " of Columbus is named 

under 1501 in the Atti della Societa ligure, 1867, 
p. 174, and Giornale Ligustico, ii. 52. 

6 Of La Cosa, who is said to have been of 
Basque origin, we know but little. Peter Martyr 
tells us that his " cardes " were esteemed, and 
mentions finding a map of his in 1514 in Bishop 
Fonseca s study. We know he was with Colum 
bus in his expedition along the southern coast 
of Cuba, when the Admiral, in his folly, made 
his companions sign the declaration that they 
were on the coast of Asia. This was during 
Columbus second voyage, in 1494; and Stevens 
(Notes, etc.) claims that the way in which La 
Cosa cuts off Cuba to the west with a line of 
green paint the conventional color for "terra 
incognita " indicates this possibility of connec 
tion with the main, as Ruysch s scroll does in 
his map. The interpretation may be correct ; 
but it might still have been drawn an island 
from intimations of the natives, though Ocampo 
did not circumnavigate it till 1508. The natives 
of Guanahani distinctly told Columbus that Cuba 
was an island, as he relates in his Journal. Ste 
vens also remarks how La Cosa colors, with the 
same green, the extension of Cuba beyond the 
limits of Columbus exploration on the north 
coast in 1492. La Cosa, who had been with 
Ojeda in 1499, and with Rodrigo de Bastidas in 
1501, was killed on the coast in 1509. Cf. Eu- 


of the American part of the map, is given in another place. 1 After the death (April 27, 
1852) of Walckenaer (who had bought it at a moderate cost of an ignorant dealer in 
second-hand articles), it was sold at public auction in Paris in the spring of 1853, when 
Jomard failed to secure it for the Imperial Library in Paris, and it went to Spain, where, 
in the naval museum at Madrid, it now is. 

Of the next earliest of the American maps the story has recently been told with great 
fulness by Harrisse in his Les Cortereal, accompanied by a large colored fac-simile of the 
map itself, executed by Pilinski. The map was not unknown before,- and Harrisse had 
earlier described it in his Cabots? 

We know that Caspar Cortereal 4 had already before 1500 made some explorations, 
during which he had discovered a mainland and some islands, but at what precise date 
it is impossible to determine ; 5 nor can we decide upon the course he had taken, but it 
seems likely it was a westerly one. We know also that in this same year (1500) he 
made his historic voyage to the Newfoundland region, 6 coasting the neighboring shores, 
probably, in September and October. Then followed a second expedition from January 
to October of the next year (1501), the one of which we have the account in the Paesi 
novamente retrovati, as furnished by Pasqualigo. 7 There was at this time in Lisbon 
one Alberto Cantino, a correspondent with precisely what quality we know not of 
Hercule d Este, Duke of Ferrara; and to this noble personage Cantino, on the iQth of 
October, addressed a letter embodying what he had seen and learned of the newly 
returned companions of Caspar Cortereal. 8 

The Report of Cantino instigated the Duke to ask his correspondent to procure for him 
a map of these explorations. Cantino procured one to be made ; and inscribing it, " Carta 
da navigar per le Isole novam te tr. . . . in le parte de 1 India: dono Alberto Cantino Al 
S. Duca Hercole," he took it to Italy, and delivered it by another hand to the Duke at 
Ferrara. Here in the family archives it was preserved till 1592, when the reigning Duke 
retired to Modena, his library following him. In 1868, in accordance with an agreement 
between the Italian Government and the Archduke Francis of Austria, the cartographical 
monuments of the ducal collection were transferred to the Biblioteca Estense. where this 
precious map now is. The map was accompanied when it left Cantino s hands by a note 

rique de Leguina s Juan de la Cosa, estudio biog- 4 He was born about 1450; Les Cortereal^ p. 36. 

rdfico (Madrid, 1877); Humboldt s Examen cri- Cf. E. do Canto s Os Corte-Reaes (1883), p. 28. 
tique and his Cosmos, Eng. tr. ii., 639; De la 5 Les Cortereal, p. 45. 

Roquette, in the Bulletin de la Societe de Geogra- 6 See Vol. IV. chap. I. 

phie de Paris, Mai, 1862, p. 298 ; Harrisse s Cabots, 7 Harrisse, Les Cortereal, p. 50, translates this 

pp. 52, 103, 156, and his Les Cortereal, p. 94; and 8 Printed for the first time in Harrisse, Les 

the references in Vol. III. of the present His- Cortereal, app. xvii. From Pasqualigo and 

tory, p. 8. Cantino down to the time of Gomara we find no 

1 Vol. III. p. 8. The fac-simile there given mention of these events; and Gomara, writing 
follows Jomard s. Harrisse (Notes on Columbus, fifty years later, seems to confound the events 
p. 40), comparing Jomard s reproduction with of 1500 with those of 1501. Gomara also seems 
Humboldt s description, thinks there are omis- to have had some Portuguese charts, which we 
sions in it. Becher (Landfall of Columbus] do not now know, when he says that Cortereal 
speaks of the map as "the clumsy production gave his name to some islands in the entrance 
of an illiterate seaman." There is also a repro- of the gulf " Cuadrado " (St. Lawrence ? ), lying 
duction of the American parts of the map in under 50 north latitude. Further than this, 
Weise s Discoveries of America, 1884. Gomara, as well as Ramusio, seems to have 

2 Ongania, of Venice, announced some years depended mainly on the Pasqualigo letter ; and 
ago a fac-simile reproduction in his Raccolta di Herrera followed Gomara (Harrisse, Les Corte- 
mappamundi, edited by Professor Fischer, of real, p. 59). Harrisse can now collate, as he does 
Kiel. It was described in 1873 by Giuseppe (p. 65), the two narratives of Pasqualigo and 
Boni in Cenni storici delta Reale Biblioteca Estense Cantino for the first time, and finds Cortereal s 
in Modena, and by Gustavo Uzielli in his Studi explorations to have covered the Atlantic coast 
bibliografici e biografici, Rome, 1875. from Delaware Bay to Baffin s Bay, if not far- 

3 Pages 143, 158. ther to the north. 



&0RREY f^-fr- 

f DE Kf^ 






addressed to the Duke and dated at Rome, Nov. 19, 1502,2 which fortunately for us fixes 
very nearly the period of the construction of the map. A much reduced sketch is 

For the northern coast of South America La Cosa and Cantino s draughtsmen seem 
to have had different authorities. La Cosa attaches forty-five names to that coast: Can- 
tino only twenty-nine; and only three of them are common to the two. 3 Harrisse 
argues from the failure of the La Cosa map to give certain intelligence of the -Atlantic 

1 This is sketched from Harrisse s fac-simile, which has been calculated by Harrisse to be 

which is of the size of the original map. The at 62 30, west of Paris, 
dotted line is the Line of Demarcation, 2 Harrisse, Les Cortereal, p. 71. 

"Este he omarco dantre castella y Portuguall," 8 Ibid., p. 96. 


coast of the United States (here represented in the north and south trend of shore, north 
of Cuba), that there was existing in October, 1500, at least in Spanish circles, no knowledge 
of it, 1 but that explorations must have taken place before the summer of 1502 which afforded 
the knowledge embodied in this Cantino map. This coast was not visited, so far as is 
positively known, by any Spanish expedition previous to 1502. Besides the eight Spanish 
voyages of this period (not counting the problematical one of Vespucius) of which we have 
documentary proof, there were doubtless others of which we have intimations ; but we 
know nothing of their discoveries, except so far as those before 1500 may be embodied in 
La Cosa s chart. 2 The researches of Harrisse have failed to discover in Portugal any 
positive trace of voyages made from that kingdom in 1501, or thereabout, records of which 
have been left in the Cantino map. Humboldt had intimated that in Lisbon at that time 
there was a knowledge of the connection of the Antilles with the northern discoveries of 
Cortereal by an intervening coast ; but Harrisse doubts if Humboldt s authority which 
seems to have been a letter of Pasqualigo sent to Venice, dated Oct. 18, 1501, found in the 
Diarii of Marino Sanuto, a manuscript preserved in Vienna means anything more 
than a conjectural belief in such connection. Harrisse s conclusion is that between the 
close of 1500 and the summer of 1502, some navigators, of whose names and nation we 
are ignorant, but who were probably Spanish, explored the coast of the present United 
States from Pensacola to the Hudson. This Atlantic coast of Cantino terminates at 
about 59 north latitude, running nearly north and south from the Cape of Florida to that 
elevation. Away to the east in mid-ocean, and placed so far easterly as doubtless to appear 
on the Portuguese side of the Line of Demarcation, and covering from about fifty to fifty- 
nine degrees of latitude, is a large island which stands for the discoveries of Cortereal, 
" Terra del Rey du Portuguall ; " and northeast of this is the point of Greenland apparently, 
with Iceland very nearly in its proper place. 3 This Cantino map, now positively fixed in 
1502, establishes the earliest instance of a kind of delineation of North America which pre 
vailed for some time. Students of this early cartography have long supposed this geo 
graphical idea to date from about this time, and have traced back the origin of what is 
known as "The Admiral s Map" 4 to data accumulated in the earliest years of the six 
teenth century. Indeed Lelewel, 5 thirty years ago, made up what he called a Portuguese 
chart of 1501-1504, by combining in one draft the maps of the 1513 Ptolemy, with a hint 
or two from the Sylvanus map of 1511, acting on the belief that the Portuguese were the 
real first pursuers, or at least recorders, of explorations of the Floridian peninsula and of 
the coast northerly. 6 

The earliest Spanish map after that of La Cosa which has come down to us is the 
one which is commonly known as Peter Martyr s map. It is a woodcut measuring n X 
7> inches, and is usually thought to have first appeared in the Legatio Babylonica, or 

1 Some have considered that this Atlantic 5. Piro Alonzo Nino and Christoval Guerra, 

coast in Cantino may in reality have been Yuca- June, 1499 April, 1500, to Paria. 
tan. But this peninsula was not visited earlier 6. Vicente Yanez Pinzon, December, 1499 

than 1506, if we suppose Solis and Pinzon September, 1500, to the Amazon, 
reached it, and not earlier than 1517 if Cor- 7. Diego de Lepe, December, 1499 (?) 

dova s expedition was, as is usually supposed, June, 1500, to Cape St. Augustin. 
the first exploration. The names on this coast, 8. Rodrigo de Bastidas, October, 1500 

twenty-two in number, are all legible but six. September, 1502, to Panama. 
They resemble those on the Ptolemy maps of 3 The Greenland peninsula seems to have 

1508 and 1513, and on Schemer s globe of been seen by Cortereal in 1500 or 1501, and to 

1520, which points to an earlier map not now be here called " Ponta d Asia," in accordance 

known. with the prevalent view that any mainland here- 

- These earliest Spanish voyages are, about must be Asia. 

1. Columbus, Aug. 3, 1492 March 15, 1493. * See fac-simile on page 112, post. 

2. Columbus, Sept. 25, 1493 June II, 1496. 5 Plate 43 of his Geographic du Moyen-dge. 

3. Columbus, May 30, 1498 Nov. 25, 1500. c De Costa points out that La Cosa com- 

4. Alonzo de Ojeda, May 20, 1499 June, plains of the Portuguese being in this region 
1500, to the Orinoco. in 1503. 





1 The 1511 map, here given in fac-simile 
after another fac-simile in the Carter-Brown Cata- 
logtie, has been several times reproduced, in 
Stevens s Notes, pi. 4 ; J. H. Lefroy s Memorials 
of the Bermudas, London, 1877; H. A. Schu 
macher s Petrus Martyr, New York, 1879; and 
erroneously in H. H. Bancroft s Central America, 
\. 1 27. Cf. also Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 66 ; 
Additions^ p. viii and no. 41 ; Notes on Columbus, 

p. 9; and his Les Cortereal, p. 113. Copies of 
the book are in the Carter-Brown, Lenox, Daly, 
and Barlow libraries. A copy (no. 1605*) was 
sold in the Murphy sale. Quaritch has priced 
a perfect copy at ^100. The map gives the 
earliest knowledge which we have of the Ber 
mudas. Cf. the "Description de la isla Ber 
muda" (1538), in Buckingham Smith s Coleccion. 
p. 92. 


1 The European prolongation of Gronland Another reduced fac-simile is given in Ruge s 
r esembles that of a Portuguese map of 1400. Geschichte des Zeitalters der Eutd ckungoi (iSSr.) 


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Martyr s first decade, at Seville, 1511; but Harrisse is inclined to believe that the map did 
not originally belong to Martyr s book, because three copies of it in the original vellum 

These 1513 maps were reprinted in the Stras- 
burg, 1520, edition of Ptolemy (copies in the Car 
ter-Brown Library and in the Murphy Catalogue, 
no. 2,053), and were re-engraved on a reduced 
scale, but with more elaboration and with a few 
changes, for the Ptolemies of 1522 and 1525 ; and 
they were again the basis of those in Servetus 
Ptolemy of 1535. 

1 Koh! remarks that the names on the South 
American coast (north part) are carried no 

farther than Ojeda went in 1499, and no farther 
south than Vespucius went in 1503 ; while the 
connection made of the two Americas was prob 
ably conjectural. Other fac-similes of the map 
are given in Varnhagen s Premier voyage de T r es- 
pitcci, in Weise s Discoveries of America, p. 124; 
and in Stevens s Historical and Geographical 
A T otes, pi. 2. Cf. Santarem (Childe s tr.), 153. 
Wieser, in his Magalhaes-Strasse (Innsbruck, 
1881), p. 15, mentions a manuscript note-book 


which he has examined do not have the map. Ouaritch 1 says that copies vary, that the 
leaf containing the map is an insertion, and that it is sometimes on different folios. Thus 
of two issues, one is called a second, because two leaves seem to have been reprinted to 
correct errors, and two new leaves are inserted, and a new title is printed. It is held by 
some that the map properly belongs to this issue. Brevoort 2 thinks that the publication 
of the map was distasteful to the Spanish Government (since the King this same year 
forbade maps being given to foreigners); and he argues that the scarcity of the book may 
indicate that attempts were made to suppress it. 3 

The maker of the 1513 map as we have it was Waldseemiiller, or Hylacomylus, of St. 
Die. in the Vosges Mountains ; and Lelewel 4 gives reasons for believing that the plate had 
been engraved, and that copies were on sale as early as 1507. It had been engraved at the 
expense of Duke Rene II. of Lorraine, from information furnished by him to perfect some 
anterior chart ; but the plate does not seem to have been used in any book before it ap 
peared in this 1513 edition of Ptolemy. 5 It bears along the coast this legend: " Hec 
terra adjacentibus insulis inventa est per Columbia ianuensem ex mandate Regis Cas- 
telle : " and in the Address to the Reader in the Supplement appears the following sentence, 
in which the connection of Columbus with the map is thought to be indicated : " Charta 
ante marina quam Hydrographiam vocant per Admiralem [? Columbus] quondam serenissi. 
Portugalie [ ? Hispanic^ regis Ferdinandi ceteros denique lustratores verissimis pagra- 
tioibus lustrata, ministerio Renati, dum vixit, nunc pie mortui, Ducis illustris. Lotharingie 
liberalius prelographationi tradita est." c 

This " Admiral s map " seems to have been closely followed in the map which Gregor 
Reisch annexed to his popular encyclopaedia, 7 the Margarita philosophica, in 1515 ; though 
there is some difference in the coast-names, and the river mouths and deltas on the coast 
west of Cuba are left out. Stevens and others have contended that this represents 
Columbus Ganges ; but Varnhagen makes it stand for the Gulf of Mexico and the Missis 
sippi, a supposition more nearly like Reisch s interpretation, as will be seen by his 
distinct separation of the new lands from Asia. Reisch is, however, uncertain of their 

of Schoner, the globe-maker, preserved in the from Spanish sources, and Brevoort is inclined 

Hof-bibliothek at Vienna, which has a sketch to think that the single copy known is the 

resembling this 1513 map. Harrisse (Lcs Cor- remainder after a like suppression. The Medina 

tereal, pp. 122, 126) has pointed out the corre- sketch of 1545 is too minute to have conveyed 

spondence of its names to the Cantino map, much intelligence of the Spanish knowledge, 

though the Waldseemuller map has a few names and may have been permitted, 
which are not on the Cantino. Again, Harrisse 4 Vol. ii. p. 143. 

(Les Cortcreal, p. 128) argues from the fact 5 This edition will come under more partic- 
that the relations of Duke Rene with Portugal ular observation in connection with Vespucius. 
were cordial, while they were not so with Spain, There are copies in the Astor Library and in the 
and from the resemblance of Rene s map in the libraries of Congress, of the American Anti- 
Ptolemy of 1513 to that of Cantino, that the quarian Society, and of Trinity College, Hartford 
missing map upon which Waldseemiiller is said (Cooke sale, no. 1,950), and in the Carter-Brown, 
to have worked to produce, with Rene s help, Barlow, and Kalbfleisch collections. There 
the so-called "Admiral s map," was the origi- was a copy in the Murphy sale, no. 2,052. 
nal likewise of that of Cantino. 6 Cf. Santarem in Bulletin de la Societe de 
1 Catalogue of February, 1879, pricing a Geographic de Paris (1837), viii. 171, and in his AV- 
cooy of the book, with the map, at ^"100. This chcrches sur Vespncectses voyages, p. 165 ; Wieser s 
Quaritch copy is now owned by Mr. C. H. Magalh&es-Strasse, p. 10. It will be seen that in 
Kalbfleisch, of New Vork, and its title is differ- the Latin quoted in the text there is an incon- 
ent from the transcription given in Sabin, the gruity in making a " Ferdinand " king of Por- 
Carter-Brown and Barlow catalogues, which tugal at a time when no such king ruled that 
would seem to indicate that the title was set up kingdom, but a Ferdinand did govern in Spain, 
three times at least. The Admiral could hardly have been other 
- Verrazano, p. 102. than Columbus, but it is too much to say 
3 The editions of 1516 and 1530 have no that he made the map, or even had a chief 
map, and no official map was published in Spain hand in it. 
till 1790. The Cabot map of 1544 is clearly ~ Cf. Humboldt, Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 620, 621 

VOL. II. 1C. 




1 There is another fac-simile in Stevens s (Murphy, no. 3,089) ; but in 1504 there were 
Historical and Geographical Notes, pi. 4. An two editions, with a mappemonde which had no 
edition of Reisch appeared at Freiburg in 1503 other reference to America than in the legend: 


MUMDUS /vovus. 

RUYSCH, I508. 1 

western limits, which are cut off by the scale, as shown in the map ; while on the other 
side of the same scale Cipango is set down in close proximity to it. 

"Hie non terra sed mare est in quo mirae mag- 
nituclinis insulae sed Ptolemaeo fuerunt incog- 
nitae." Some copies are dated 1505. (Murphy, 
no. 3,090.) A copy dated 1 508, Basle, " cum acl- 
ditionibus novis " (Quaritch, no. 12,363; Baer s 
Incunabeln, 1884, no. 64, at 36 marks ; and Mur 
phy, no. 2,112*) had the same map. The 1515 
edition had the map above given. (Harrisse, 
Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 82 ; Additions, no. 45, 
noting a copy in the Imperial Library at Vienna. 
Kohl copies in his Washington Collection from 
one in the library at Munich.) The Basle edi 
tion of 1517 has a still different wood-cut map. 

(Beckford. Catalogue, vol. iii. no. 1,256; Murphy, 
no. 2,112**.) Not till 1535 did an edition have 
any reference to America in the text. (Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., no. 208.) The latest edition is that 
of 1583, Basle, with a mappemonde showing 
America. (Leclerc, no. 2,926.) Cf. further in 
D Avezac s Waltzemiiller, p. 94; Kunstmann s 
Entdeckung Amerikas, p. 130; Stevens s Notes^ 
p. 52 ; Kohl, Die beiden dltestcn General-Karten 
von America, p. 33. 

1 A heliotype fac-simile is given in Vol. III. 
p. 9, where are various references and a record 
of other fac-similes; to which may be added 




Varnhagen s A r ovos estudos (Vienna, 1874) ; 
Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitaltcrs der Entdeckun- 
gen ; Weise s Discoveries of America ; and on a 
small scale in H. H. Bancroft s Central America, 
vol. i. 

1 It is held that this map shows the earliest 
attempt to represent on a plane a sphere trun> 
cated at the poles. Wieser (Magalhaes-Strasse, 
p. n ) speaks of a manuscript copy of Stobnicza s 
western hemisphere, made by Glareanus, which 





It has been supposed that it was a map of this type which Bartholomew Columbus, 
when he visited Rome in 1505, gave to a canon of St. John Lateran, together with one 
of the printed accounts of his brother s voyage ; and this canon gave the map to Ales- 
sandro Strozzi, suo amico e compilatore della raccolta," as is stated in a marginal note in 
a copy of the Mundus novus in the Magliabecchian library. 2 

Columbus is said to have had a vision before his fourth voyage, during which he saw 
and depicted on a map a strait between the regions north and south of the Antillian Sea. 
De Lorgues, with a convenient alternative for his saintly hero, says that the mistake was 
only in making the strait of water, when it should have been of land ! 

is bound with a copy of Waldseemuller s Cos 
mographies introductio^ preserved in the Univer 
sity Library at Munich. Cf. Vol. I T 1. p. 14, with 
references there, and Winsor s Bibliography of 
Ptolemv sub anno 1512; Harrisse, Notes on 
Columbus, p. 178, and Bibl. Amer. l^et., nos. 69 
and 95, and Additions, no. 47. The only copies 
of the Stobnicza Introdnctio in this country lack 
the maps. One in the Carter-Brown Library has 
it in fac-simile, and the other was sold in the 
Murphy sale, no. 2,075. 

1 Fac-simile of a cut in Reusner s Icones 
(Strasburg, 1590), p. 127. Cf. on Schemer s 
geographical labors, Doppelmayr s Historische 
Nachricht ran den niirnbergischen Mathematikern 
nnd Kilnstlcrn (1730); Will und Nopitsch s 
A r urnbergisch( j s Gelehrten-Lexicon (17^7); Ghilla- 
ny s Erdglobus ties Behaim und der des Schoner ; 
and Varnhagen s Schoner e Apianus (Vienna, 

- This supposition is not sustained in Wie- 
ser s Kartc des /> . Colombo (1893). 



We have a suspicion of this strait in another map which has been held to have had 
some connection with the drafts of Columbus, and that is the Ruysch map, which appeared 

1 According to Wieser (Magalh&es-Strasse^ 
p. 19) this globe, which exists in copies at Wei 
mar (of which Wieser gives the above sketch 
from Jomard s fac-simile of the one at Frank 
fort, but with some particulars added from that 
at Weimar) and at Frankfort (which is figured 
in Joinard), was made to accompany Schoner s 
Lticulentissima quadatn terrcc totius descriptio, 
printed in 1 51 5. Cf. Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, 
p. 179, and Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 80, Si ; Mur 
phy, no. 2,233. Copies of Schoner s Luculentis- 

sima, etc., are in the Harvard College, Carter- 
Brown, and Lenox libraries. 

In 1523 Schoner printed another tract, D^ 
nuper sub Castilicc ac Portugalia regibus serenis- 
simis repertis insult s ac regionibus, descriptive of 
his globe, which is extremely rare. Wieser re 
ports copies in the great libraries of Vienna and 
London only. Varnhagen reprinted it from the 
Vienna copy, at St. Petersburg in 1872 (forty 
copies only), under the designation, Reimpression 
fidele d une Icttre de Jean Schoner^ a propos dc 



son globe, ecrite en 1523. The Latin is given 
in Wieser s Magalh&es-Strasse, p. 118. Johann 
Schoner or Schoner (for the spelling varies) was 
born in 1477, and died in 1547. The testimony 
of this globe to an early knowledge of the straits 
afterward made known by Magellan is exam 
ined on a later page. The notions which long 
prevailed respecting a large Antarctic continent 
are traced in Wieser s Rlagalhaes-Strasse, p. 59, 
and in Santarem, Histoire de la cartographic, 
,i. 277. 

Cf. on the copy at Frankfort, Vol. III. 
p. 215, of the present History ; Kohl s Gencral- 
Karten von Ainerika, p. 33, and his Discovery of 
Maine, p. 159; Encyclopaedia Britannica, x. 63 1 ; 

Von Richthofen s China, p. 641 ; Journal of the 
Royal Geographical Society, xviii. 45. On the 
copy at Weimar, see Humboldt, Examcn crit 
ique, and his Introduction to Ghillany s Ritter 
B eh aim. 

1 This globe, which has been distinctively 
known as Schoner s globe, is preserved at Nu 
remberg. There are representations of it in 
Santarem, Lelewel, Wieser, Ghillany s Bchahn, 
Kohl s GescJiicJite dcr Entdeckungsreisen zur l\Ia- 
gdlan s-Strasse (Berlin, 1877), p. S ; II. II. Ban 
croft s Central America, i. 137; and in Harper* <> 
Magazine, February, 1871, and December, 1882, 
p. 731. The earliest engraving appeared in the 
Jahresbericht dcr technischen Anstaltcn in ^ilnt 



I A L I f ]LtMEA 
V I M 12 

THE TROSS GORES, 151 4- 1519. * 

in the Roman Ptolemy of I5o8, 2 the earliest published map, unless the St. Die map takes 
precedence, to show any part of the new discoveries. It seems from its resemblance to 

berg fiir 1842, accompanied by a paper by Dr. 
Ghillany; and the same writer reproduced it in 
his Erdglobns dcs Bchaim nnd der dcs Schoner 
(1842). The globe is signed: " Perfecit eum 
Bambergse 1520, Joh. Schonerus." Cf. Von 
Murr, Memorabilia bibliothecaruni Noribergensium 
(1786), i. 5; Humboldt, Exameti critique, ii. 28; 
Winsor s Bibliography of Ptolemy sub anno 1522 ; 
and Vol. III. p. 214, of the present History. 

1 Twelve gores of a globe found in a copy of 
the Cosmographies introditctio, published at Lug- 
duni, 1514 (?), and engraved in a catalogue of 
Tross, the Paris bookseller, in 1881 (nos. xiv. 
4,924). The book is now owned bv Mr. C. H. 
Kalbfleisch, of New York. Harrissc (Cabots, 
p. 182) says the map was engraved in 1514, and 

ascribes it to Louis Boulenger. (Cf. Vol. III. 
p. 214, of the present History.} There are two 
copies of this edition of the Cosmographies intro- 
dnctio in the British Museum ; and D Avezac 
( IValtzemuller, p. 123) says the date of it cannot 
be earlier than 1517. Harrisse says he erred 
in dating it 1510 in the Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 63. 
Cf. Winsor s Bibliography of Ptolemy sub anno 

2 Pope Julius II. (July 28, 1506) gave to 
Tosinus, the publisher, the exclusive sale of this 
edition for six years. It was first issued in 
1507, and had six new maps, besides those of the 
editions of 1478 and 1490, but none of America. 
There are copies in the Carter-Brown Library; 
and noted in the Murphy Catalogue, no. 2,049; 



the La Cosa chart to have been kept much nearer the Columbian draft than the geog 
rapher of St. Die, with his Portuguese helps, was contented to leave it in his map. In La 
Cosa the vignette of St. 
Christopher had concealed 
the mystery of a westerly 
passage ; l Ruysch assumes 
it, or at least gives no inti 
mation of his belief in the 
inclosure of the Antillian 
Sea. Harrisse - has pointed 
out how an entirely differ 
ent coast-nomenclature in 
the two maps points to dif 
ferent originals of the two 
map-makers. The text of 
this 1508 edition upon 
: Terra Nova " and " Santa 
Cruz " is by Marcus Bene- 
ventanus. There are rea 
sons to believe that the map 
may have been issued sep 
arately, as well as in the 
book ; and the copies of the 
map in the Barlow Collec 
tion and in Harvard College 
Library are perhaps of this 
separate issue. 3 

The distinctive features 
both of the La Cosa and the 
Ruysch drafts, of the Can- 
tino map and of the Wald- 
seemiiller or St. Die map of 
1513, were preserved, with 
more or less modifications 
in many of the early maps. 
The Stobnicza map pub 
lished in an Introductio to 

Ptolemy at Cracow in 1512 MUNSTER, 1532.4 

is in effect the St. Die 

map, with a western ocean in place of the edge of the plate as given in the 1513 
Ptolemy, and is more like the draft of Reisch s map published three years later. 

and one was recently priced by Rosenthal, of 
Munich, at 500 marks. It was reissued in 1508, 
with a description of the New World by Bene- 
ventanus, accompanied by this map of Ruysch; 
and of this 1508 edition there are copies in 
the Astor Library, the Library of Congress, 
of the American Geographical Society, of Yale 
College (Cooke sale, vol. ii. no. 1,949), and in 
the Carter-Brown and Kalbfleisch collections. 
One is noted in the Murphy sale, no. 2,050, 
which is now at Cornell University. 

1 H. K. Bancroft (Central America, p. 116) 
curiously intimates that the dotted line which 
VOL. ii. 16. 

he gives in his engraving to mark the place of 
this vignette, stands for some sort of a terra 
incognita ! 

2 Les Cortereal, p. 1 18. 

3 Harrisse, Cabots, p. 164. In his A T otes on 
Columbus, p. 56, he conjectures that it sold for 
forty florins, if it be the same with the map of 
the New World which Johannes Trithemus com 
plained in 1507 of his inability to buy for that 
price {Epistolce faitiiliares, 1536). 

4 There are other drawings of this map in 
Stevens s Notes; in Nordenskiold s Brod:rna 
Zenos (Stockholm, 1883) ; etc 



The Schoner globe of 1515, 
1520 ; the so-called Tross gores 



SYLVANUS MAP, 151 1. 4 

1 Its date was altered to 1530 when it ap 
peared in the first complete edition of Peter 
Martyr s Decades. There are fac-similes in the 
Carter-Brown Catalogiie and in Santarem s At 
las. It will be considered further in conneo 

often cited as the Frankfort globe ; the Schbner globe of 
of 1514-1519 ; the map of Petrus Apianus : or Bienewitz, 
as he was called in his vernacular 
which appeared in the Polyhistoria 
of Solinus, edited by the Italian 
monk Camers, and also in 1522 in 
the DC orbis situ of Pomponius Mela, 
published by Vadianus, all pre 
serve the same characteristics with 
the St. Die map, excepting that they 
show the western passage referred 
to in Columbus dream, and so far 
unite some of the inferences from 
the map of Ruysch. There was a 
curious survival of this Cantino type, 
particularly as regards North Amer 
ica for many years yet to come, as 
seen in the map which Minister 
added to the Basle edition of the 
Novus orbis in 1532 and 1537, and 
in the drawing which Jomard gives 2 
as from " une cassette de la Collec 
tion Trivulci, dite Cassettina all 
Agemina." This last drawing is a 
cordiform mappemonde, very like 
another which accompanied Hon- 
ter s Rudimenta cosmographica in 
1542, and which \vas repeated in va 
rious editions to as late a period as 
1590. Thus it happened that for 
nearly a century geographical views 
which the earliest navigators evolved, 
continued in popular books to con 
vey the most inadequate notion of 
the contour of the new continent. 3 

tion with the naming of America. See 
post, p. 183. 

2 PI. xviii. 

3 The bibliography of Honter has 
been traced by G. D. Teutsch in the 
Archii> ties Vercins fiir Sicbcnbilrgische 
Landeskunde, neue Folge, xiii. 137 ; and 
an estimate of Honter by F. Teutsch 

is given in Ibid., xv. 586. The earliest form of 
Honter s book is the Rudimentorum cosmographies 
libri duo, dated 1531, and published at Cracow, 
in a tract of thirty-two pages. It is a description 
of the world in verse, and touches America in the 

4 The map is given in its original projection 
in Lelewel, pi. xlv., and on a greatly reduced scale 
in Daly s Early Cartography, p. 32. There are 
copies of this 1511 Ptolemy in the Lenox, Car 
ter-Brown, Astor, Brevoort, Barlow, and Kalb- 

fleisch collections. Cf. Murphy Catalogue, no. 
2,051, for a copy now in the American Geo 
graphical Society s Library, and references in 
Winsor s Bibliography of Ptolemy sub anno 


I2 3 

In the same year with the publication of the Peter Martyr map of 1511, an edition of 
Ptolemy, published at Venice and edited by Bernardus Sylvanus, contained a mappemonde 

on a cordiform projection, 
which is said to be the 

first instance of the use 

of this method in drafting 

maps. What is shown 

of the new discoveries is 

brought in a distorted 

shape on the extreme west 
ern verge of the map ; and 

to make the contour more 

intelligible, it is reduced in 

the sketch annexed to an 

ordinary plane projection. 

It is the earliest engraved 

map to give any trace of the 

Cortereal discoveries 1 and 

to indicate the Square, or 

St. Lawrence, Gulf. It 

gives a curious Latinized 

form to the name of the 

navigator himself in " Re- 

galis Domus" (Cortereal), 

and restores Greenland, or 

Engronelant, to a peninsu 
lar connection with north 
western Europe as it had 

appeared in the Ptolemy 

of 1482. 

It will be seen that, with the exception of the vague limits of the " Regalis Domus, * 

there was no sign of the continental line of North America in this map of Sylvanus. 


chapter, " Nomina insularum oceani et maris." 
It is extremely rare, and the only copy to be 
noted is one priced by Harrassowitz (Catalogue 
of 1876, no. 2), of Leipsic, for 225 marks, and 
subsequently sold to Tross, of Paris. Most bibli 
ographers give Cracow, with the date 1534 as 
the earliest (Sabin, no. 32,792; Muller, 1877, 
no. 1,456, 37-50 fl.) ; there was a Basle edi 
tion of the same year. (Cf. Harrisse, Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., no. 194; Wieser, Magalhaes-Strasse, 
p. 22.) Editions seem to have followed in 1540 
(queried by Sabin, no. 32,793); in 1542 (if Ste- 
vens s designation of his fac-simile ot the map is 
correct, Notes, pi. 3) ; in 1546, when the map is 
inscribed " Universalis cosmographia . . . Tiguri, 
J. II . V. E. [in monogram], 1546." (Harrisse, 
no. 271 ; Muller. 1877, no. 1,457; Carter-Brown, 
no. 143; Sabin, no. 32,794.) The same map, 
which is part of an appendix of thirteen maps, 
was repeated in the Tiguri edition of 1548, and 
there was another issue the same year at Basle. 
(Harrisse, no. 287; Sabin, no. 32,795; Weigel, 
1877, no. 1,268.) The maps were repeated in the 
1549 edition. (Sabin, no. 32.796 ; Carter-Brown, 
no. 153.) The edition at Antwerp in 1552 leaves 

off the date. (Harrisse, no. 287; Weigel, no. 
1,269; Murphy, no. 1,252.) It is now called, 
Rvdimentorvm cosmographicorum libri III. cum 
tabellis geographicis elegantissimis. DC uarianim 
renim nomenclatures per classes, liber I. There 
was a Basle edition the same year. The maps 
continued to be used in the Antwerp edition of 
1554, the Tiguri of 1558, and the Antwerp of 

In 1561 the edition published at Basle, De 
cosmographies rudimentis libri l r III., was rather 
tardily furnished with new maps better corre 
sponding to the developments of American geog 
raphy. (Muller, 1877, no. 1,459.) The Tiguri 
publishers still, however, adhered to the old 
plates in their editions of 1565 (Carter-Brown, 
no. 257; Sabin, no. 32,797) ; and the same plates 
again reappeared in an edition, without place, 
published in 1570 (Muller, 1877, no. 1,457), in 
another of Tiguri in 1583, and in still another 
without place in 1590 (Murphy, no. 1,253; ^ful 
ler, 1872, no. 763 ; Sabin, no. 32,799). 

1 Harrisse (Let Cortereal, p. 121) says there 
is no Spanish map showing these discoveries 
before 1534. 



w\ & ^^J^&*\\\ 
& x^xV* 4^^H\ 


DA VINCI, NORTHERN HEMISPHERE (original draft reduced). 

Much the same views were possessed by the maker of the undated Lenox globe, which 
probably is of nearly the same date, and of which a further account is given elsewhere. 1 

Another draft of a globe, likewise held to be of about the same date, shows a sim 
ilar configuration, except that a squarish island stands in it for Florida and adjacent parts 
of the main. This is a manuscript drawing on two sheets preserved among the Queen s 
collections at Windsor; and since Mr. R. H. Major made it known by a communication, 
with accompanying fac-similes, in the Archceologia* it has been held to be the work of 
Leonardo da Vinci, though this has been recently questioned. 3 If deprived of the associ 
ations of that august name, the map loses much of its attraction ; but it still remains an inter- 

1 Vol. III. p. 212, and the present volume, 
page 170. 

- Vol. xl. ; also Major s Prince Henry, p. 388. 

3 J. P. Richter, Literary Works of Da Vinci, 
London, 1883, quoting the critic, who questions 
its assignment to the great Italian. 


I2 5 

DA VIXCI, SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE (original draft reduced}! 

esting memorial of geographical conjecture. It is without date, and can only be fixed in 
the chain of cartographical ideas by its internal evidence. This has led Major to place it 
between 1512 and 1514. and Wieser to fix it at 1515-1516." A somewhat unsatisfactory 
map, since it shows nothing north of " Ysabella " and " Spagnollo," is that inscribed 
Orbis typtis univcrsalis juxta hydrographorum traditionem exactissime depicta, 1522, 
L. F., which is the work of Laurentius Frisius, and appeared in the Ptolemy of 1522.3 

1 Another sketch of this hemisphere is given 
in Harper s Monthly, December, 1882, p. 733. 

2 The Portuguese portolano of about this 
date given in Kunstmann, pi. 4, is examined 
on another page. 

8 This Strasburg edition is particularly de 
scribed in D Avezac s Waltzemtillcr, p. 159. 

(Cf. Harrisse s Notes on Columbus, 176; his BibL 
Amer. Vet., no. 117; and Winsor s Bibliography of 
Ptolemy s Geography&ub anno 1522.) The maps 
closely resemble those of Waldseemiiller in the 
edition of 1513; and indeed Frisius assigns them 
as re-engraved to Martin Ilacomylus, the Greek 
form of that geographer s name. There are 



DA VINCI (newly projected)! 

A new element appears in a map which is one of the charts belonging to the Yslegung 
dcr Mer-Carthcn oder Cartha Marina, said also to be the work of Frisius, which was 

copies of this 1522 Ptolemy in the Harvard Col 
lege, Carter-Brown, Cornell University, and Bar 
low libraries, and one is noted in the Ahirp/iy 
Catalogue, no. 2,054, which is now in the Lenox 
Library. The map of Frisius (Lorenz Friess, as 
he was called in unlatinized form) was repro 
duced in the next Strasburg edition of 1525, of 

which there are copies in the Library of Con 
gress, in the New York Historical Society, Bos 
ton Public, Baltimore Mercantile, Carter-Brown, 
Trinity College, and the American Antiquarian 
Society libraries, and in the collections of Wil 
liam C. Prime and Charles H. Kalbfleisch. 
There were two copies in the Murphy sale, 

1 This follows the projection as given by Wieser in his Magalhaes-Strasse, who dates it 






issued in 1525, in exposition of his theories of sea-charts. 1 The map is of interest as the 
sole instance in which North America is called a part of Africa, on the supposition that 

COPPO, 1528. 

nos. 2,055 an d 2 >56, one of which is now at 
Cornell University. Cf. references in Winsor s 
Bibliography of Ptolemy. 

This " L. F. 1522 "map (seep. 175), as well as 
the "Admiral s map," was reproduced in the edi 
tion of 1535, edited by Servetus, of which there 
are copies in the Astor, the Boston Public, and 
the College of New Jersey libraries, and in the 
Carter-Brown and Barlow collections. A copy 
is also noted in the ATurphy Catalogue, no. 2,057, 
which is now at Cornell University. 

The American maps of these editions were 
again reproduced in the Ptolemy, published at 
Vienna in 1541, of which there are copies in the 
Carter-Brown, Brevoort, and Kalbfleisch collec 
tions. Cf. Winsor s Bibliography of Ptolemy. 

1 Harrisse, Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 133. The 
edition of 1530 has no maps (ibid., no. 158). 

2 This is drawn from a sketch given by Kohl 
in his manuscript, "On the Connection of the 
New and Old World on the Pacific Side," pre 
served in the American Antiquarian Society s. 


a continental connection by the south enclosed the " sea toward the sunset." The 
insular Yucatan will be observed in the annexed sketch, and what seems to be a misshapen 
Cuba. The land at the east seems intended for Baccalaos, judging from the latitude and 
the indication of fir-trees upon it. This map is one of twelve engraved sheets constituting 
the above-named work, which was published by Johannes Grieninger in 1530. Friess, or 
Frisius, who was a German mathematician, and had, as we have seen, taken part in the 
1522 Ptolemy, says that he drew his information in these maps from original sources ; 
but he does not name these sources, and Dr. Kohl thinks the maps indicate the work of 

Among the last of the school of geographers who supposed North America to be an 
archipelago, was Pierro Coppo, who published at Venice in 1528 what has become a very 
rare Portolano delli lochi maritimi ed isole der ;nar. 1 

Library. There is another copy in his Washing- * There is a copy in the Grenville Collection 

ton Collection. in the British Museum. Cf. Harrisse, BibL Amcr. 

The map is explained by the following key: Vet., no. 144; Zurla, Fra Mauro, p. 9, and his 

I. Asia. 2. India. 3. Ganges. 4. Java major. Marco Polo, ii. 363. Harrisse, in his Notes on 

5. Cimpangi [Japan]. 6. Isola verde [Green- Columbus, p. 56, cites from Morelli s Operdt> 

land?]. 7. Cuba. 8. lamaiqua. 9. Spagnola. i. 309, a passage in which Coppo refers to 

lo. Monde nuova [South America]. Columbus. 




AMERIGO VESPUCCI, 1 the third son of Nastugio Vespucci, a notary 
of Florence, and his wife Lisabetta Mini, was born on the Qth of 
March, 145 I. The family had the respectability of wealth, acquired in trade, 
for one member of it in the preceding century was rich enough to endow 
a public hospital. Over the portal of the house, so dedicated to charity by 
this pious Vespucci nearly three quarters of a century before Amerigo was 
born, there was, says Humboldt, engraved in 1/19, more than three hun 
dred years after the founding of the hospital, an inscription declaring that 
here Amerigo had lived in his youth. As the monks, however, who wrote 
the inscription also asserted in it that he was the discoverer of America, 
it is quite possible that they may have been as credulous in the one case as 
in the other, and have accepted for fact that which was only tradition. But 
whether Amerigo s father, Nastugio, lived or did not live in the hospital 
which his father or grandfather founded, he evidently maintained the 
respectability of the family. Three of his sons he sent to be educated 
at the University of Pisa. Thenceforth they are no more heard of, except 
that one of them, Jerome, afterward went to Palestine, where he remained 
nine years, met with many losses, and endured much suffering, all of which 
he related in a letter to his younger brother Amerigo. But the memory 
even of this Jerome that he should have ever gone anywhere, or had any 
adventures worth the telling is only preserved from oblivion because he 
had this brother who became the famous navigator, and whose name by 
a chance was given to half the globe. 

Amerigo was not sent to the university. Such early education as he 
received came from a learned uncle, Giorgi Antonio Vespucci, a Dominican 
friar, who must have been a man of some influence in Florence, as it is 

1 Harrisse (Bibl. Amer. Vet.} gives the various Almerigo Florentine ( Vianello} ; De Espuche, 

ways of spelling the name by different authors Vespuche, Despuche, Vespuccio (Ramiisio}; 

as follows: " Albericus (Madrignano, Ruchamer, Vespuchy (Christ. Columbus}" Varnhagen uni- . 

fehan Lambert} ; Emeric (Du Redouer} ; Alberico formly calls him Amerigo Vespucci; and that 

or Americo (Gomara}\ Morigo (Hojeda} ; is the signature to the letter written from Spain 

Amerrigo (Minwz} ; Americus (Peter Martyr} ; in 1492 given in the Vita by Bandini. 
VOL. II. 17. 


fl i^ 



s s 

rt <u 


d 3 

- o 

g a 

_o ~ 
t; S 

CO o 

- - o 


.^ -^ 


tn U 


claimed for him that he* was the friend and colleague of the more famous 
monk Savonarola. The nephew acknowledged later in life that he was not 
among the most diligent of his uncle s pupils ; and the admission was as 
true as it was ingenuous, if one may judge by a letter in Latin written, when 
he was twenty-five years old, to his father. He excuses himself to that 
spcctabili ct cgrcgio viro as he addresses his father for recent negligence 
in writing, as he hesitates to commit himself in Latin without the revision 


of his uncle, and he happens to be absent. Probably it was poverty of 
expression in that tongue, and not want of thought, which makes the letter 
seem the work of a boy of fifteen rather than of a young man of five and 
twenty. A mercantile career in preference to that of a student was, at any 
rate, his own choice ; and in due time, though at what age precisely does 
not appear, a place was found for him in the great commercial house of the 
Princes Medici in Florence. 

In Florence he remained, apparently in the service of the Medici, till 
1490; for in that year he complains that his mother prevented him from 
going to Spain. But the delay was not long, as in January, 1492, he writes 
from Cadiz, \vhere he was then engaged in trade with an associate, one 
Donato Nicolini, perhaps as agents of the Medici, whose interests in Spain 
were large. Four years later, the name of Vespucci appears for the first 
time in the Spanish archives, when he was within two months of being forty- 
six years of age. Meanwhile he had engaged in the service of Juonato 
Berardi, a Florentine merchant established at Seville, who had fitted out 
the second expedition of Columbus in 1493. * 

It has been conjectured that Vespucci became known at that time to 
Columbus, which is not improbable if the former was so early as 1493 in 
the service of Berardi. But the suggestion that he went with Columbus either 
on his first or second expedition cannot be true, at any rate as to the 
second. 2 For in 1495 Berardi made a contract with the Spanish Government 

only autographs of Vespucius known." Since English translation is called. In relation to rep- 
then another fac-simile of a letter by Vespucius resentatives of the family in our day, see Lester s 
has been published in the Cartas de Indias, Vespitcius, p. 405. The newspapers within a year 
being a letter of Dec. 9, 1508, about goods which have said that two female descendants were 
ought to be carried to the Antilles. Cf. Mass, living in Rome, the last male representative 
Hist. Soc. Proc.,x\\. 318, and Magazine of Amer- dying seven years ago. 

lean History, iii. 193, where it is translated, and - Humboldt says that it cannot be true of 

accompanied by a fac-simile of a part of it. either voyage, and relies for proof upon the 

The signature is given on another page of the documentary evidence of Vespucci s presence 

present chapter. ED.] in Spain during the absence of Columbus upon 

1 The facts relative to the birth, parentage, those expeditions. But he makes a curious mis- 

and early life of Vespucci are given by the Abbe take in regard to the first, which, we think, has 

Bandini in his Vita e lettcre di Amerigo Vespucci, never been noticed. Columbus sailed on his 

1745, and are generally accepted by those whose first voyage in August, 1492, and returned in 

own researches have been most thorough, as March, 1493. Humboldt asserts that Vespucci 

Humboldt in his Examcn Critique ; Varnhagen could not have been with him, because the letter 

in his Amerigo Vespucci, son caractere, ses ecrifs, written from Cadiz and jointly signed by him 

sa vie, et ses navigations, and in his N oui elles and Donato Nicolini was dated Jan. 30, 1493. 

recherches, p. 41, where he reprints Bandini s But Humboldt has unaccountably mistaken the 

account; and Santarem in his Researches respect- date of that letter; it was not 1493, but T 49 2 > 

ing Aniericus Vespucius and his Voyages, as the seven months before Columbus sailed on his 


to furnish a fleet of ships for an expedition westward which he did not live 
to complete. Its fulfilment was intrusted to Vespucci ; and it appears in 
the public accounts that a sum of money was paid to him from the Treasury 
of the State in January, 1496. Columbus was then absent on his second 
voyage, begun in September, 1493, from which he did not return till June, 

In the interval between the spring of 1495 and the summer of 1497 an 7 
adventurer was permitted by Spain, regardless of the agreement made with 
Columbus, to go upon voyages of commerce or discovery to that New India 
to which his genius and courage had led the way. "Now," wrote Columbus, 
" there is not a man, down to the very tailors, who docs not beg to be allowed 
to become a discoverer." The greed of the King; the envy of the naviga 
tors who before 1492 had laughed at the theories of Columbus ; the hatred 
of powerful Churchmen, more bitter now than ever, because those theories 
which they had denounced as heresy had proved to be true, all these 
influences were against him, and had combined to rob the unhappy Admiral, 
even before he had returned from his second voyage, of the honor and the 
riches which he thought would rightfully become his own. Ships now 
could go and come in safety over that wide waste of waters which even 
children could remember had been looked upon as a " Sea of Darkness," 
rolling westward into never-ending space, whence there was no return to 
the voyager mad enough to trust to its treacherous currents. It was no 
longer guarded by perpetual Night, by monsters hideous and terrible, and 
by a constant wind that blew ever toward the west. But ships came safely 
back, bringing, not much, but enough of gold and pearls to seem an earnest 
of the promise of the marvellous wealth of India that must soon be so easily 
and so quickly reached ; with the curious trappings of a picturesque bar 
barism ; the soft skins and gorgeous feathers of unknown beasts and birds ; 
the w r oods of a new beauty in grain and vein and colors ; the aromatic herbs 
of subtle virtue that w r ould stir the blood beneath the ribs of Death ; and with 
all these precious things the captive men and women, of curious complexion 
and unknown speech, whose people were given as a prey to the stranger by 
God and the Pope. Every rough sailor of these returning ships w r as greeted 
as a hero when to the gaping, wide-eyed crowd he told of his adventures in 
that land of perpetual summer, where the untilled virgin soil brought forth 
its fruits, and the harvest never failed ; where life was without care or toil, 
sickness or poverty ; where he who would might gather wealth as he would 
idly pick up pebbles on a beach. These were the sober realities of the 
times ; and there were few so poor in spirit or so lacking in imagination 
as not to desire to share in the possession of these new Indies. It was not 
long, indeed, before a reaction came ; when disappointed adventurers 

first voyage. The alibi, therefore, is not proved, life to suggest that he was; and, moreover, the 

There is indeed no positive proof that Vespucci strong negative evidence is unusually strong 

was not on that voyage ; but, on the other hand, in his case that he never claimed to have 

there is nothing known of that period of his sailed with Columbus. 


returned in poverty, and sat in rags at the gates of the palace to beg 
relief of the King. And when the sons of Columbus, who were pages in 
the Court of the Queen, passed by, " they shouted to the very heavens, 
saying : Look at the sons of the Admiral of Mosquitoland ! of that 
man who has discovered the lands of deceit and disappointment, a place 
of sepulchre and wretchedness to Spanish hidalgos ! " l 

From his second voyage Columbus returned in the summer of 1496; and 
meeting his enemies with the courage and energy which never failed him, 
he induced the King and Queen to revoke, in June of the next year, the 
decree of two years before. Meanwhile he made preparations for his third 
voyage, on which he sailed from San Lucar on the 3Oth of May, 1498. Two 
months later he came in sight of the island he named Trinidad; and enter 
ing the Gulf of Paria, into which empties the Orinoco by several mouths, 
he sailed along the coast of the mainland. He had reached the continent, 
not of Asia, as he supposed, but of the western hemisphere. None of the 
four voyages of the great discoverer is so illustrative of his peculiar faith, 
his religious fervor, and the strength of his imagination as this third voyage ; 
and none, in that respect, is so interesting. The report of it which he sent 
home in a letter, with a map, to the King and Queen has a direct relation 
to the supposed first voyage of Amerigo Vespucci. 

As he approached the coast, Columbus wrote, 2 he heard " in the dead 
of night an awful roaring; " and he saw " the sea rolling from west to east 
like a mountain as high as the ship, and approaching little by little ; on the 
top of this rolling sea came a mighty wave roaring with a frightful noise." 
When he entered the Gulf, and saw how it was filled by the flow of the great 
river, he believed that he had witnessed far out at sea the mighty struggle 
at the meeting of the fresh with the saltwater. The river, he w r as persuaded, 
must be rushing down from the summit of the earth, where the Lord had 
planted the earthly Paradise, in the midst whereof was a fountain whence 
flowed the four great rivers of the world, the Ganges, the Tigris, the 
Euphrates, and the Nile. He did not quite agree with those earlier philo 
sophers who believed that the earth was a perfect sphere ; but rather that 
it was like " the form of a pear, which is very round except where the stalk 
grows, at which part it is most prominent; or like a round ball, upon one 
part of which is a prominence like a woman s nipple, this protrusion being 
the highest and nearest the sky, situated under the equinoctial line, and at 
the eastern extremity of this sea." " I call that the eastern extremity," he 
adds, "where the land and the islands end." 

Now had come to him at last in the observations and experience of this 
voyage the confirmation of his faith. That " eastern extremity of the sea 

1 The History of the Life and Actions of other Original Documents relating to Ins Four 
Admiral Christopher Colon. By his son, Don Voyages to the A T eiu World. Translated and 
Ferdinand Colon. [For the story of this book, edited by R. H. Major, Esq., of the British 
see the previous chapter. ED.] Museum, London. Printed for the TTakluyt 

2 Select Letters of Christopher Cohimbus, with Society, 1847. 


where the lands and the islands end " he had reached, he thought, at the 
islands of Trinidad, of Margarita, and of Cubagua, and at the coast of 
the Gulf of Paria, into which poured this great river rushing down from 
the pinnacle of the globe. For he had observed, as he sailed westward 
from a certain line in the ocean, that " the ships went on rising smoothly 
towards the sky." Some of the older astronomers, he said, believed that 
the Arctic pole was " the highest point of the world, and nearest to the 
heavens ; " and others that this was true of the Antarctic. Though all were 
wrong as to the exact locality of that elevation, it was plain that they held 
a common faith that somewhere there was a point of exaltation, if only it 
could be found, where the earth approached the sky more nearly than any 
where else. But it had not occurred to any of them that possibly the 
blessed spot which the first rays of the sun lit up in crimson and in gold 
on the morning of creation, because it was the topmost height of the globe, 
and because it was in the east, might be under the equinoctial line ; and 
it had not occurred to them, because this eastern extremity of the world, 
which it had pleased God he should now discover, had hitherto been 
unknown to civilized man. 

Every observation and incident of this voyage gave to Columbus 
proof of the correctness of his theory. The farther south he had gone 
along the African coast, the blacker and more barbarous he had found the 
people, the more intense the heat, and the more arid the soil. For many 
days they had sailed under an atmosphere so heated and oppressive that 
he doubted if his ships would not fall to pieces and their crews perish, 
if they did not speedily escape into some more temperate region. He had 
remarked in former voyages that at a hundred leagues west of the Azores 
there was a north-and-south line, to cross which was to find an immediate 
and grateful change in the skies above, in the waters beneath, and in the 
reviving temperature of the air. The course of the ships was altered 
directly westward, that this line might be reached, and the perils escaped 
which surrounded him and his people. It was when the line was crossed 
that he observed how his ships were gently ascending toward the skies. 
Not only were the expected changes experienced, but the North Star 
was seen at a new altitude ; the needle of the compass varied a point, 
and the farther they sailed the more it turned to the northwest. How 
ever the wind blew, the sea was always smooth ; and when the Island 
of Trinidad and the shores of the continent were reached, they entered 
a climate of exceeding mildness, where the fields and the foliage were 
" remarkably fresh and green, and as beautiful as the gardens of Valencia 
in April." The people who crowded to the shore " in countless num 
bers " to gaze at these strange visitors were " very graceful in form, 
tall, and elegant in their movements, wearing their hair very long and 
smooth." They were, moreover, of a whiter skin than any the Admiral 
had heretofore seen " in any of the Indies," and were " shrewd, intelligent, 
and courageous." 


The more he saw and the more he reflected, the more convinced he was 
that this country was " the most elevated in the world, and the nearest to 
the sky." Where else could this majestic river, that rushed eagerly to this 
mighty struggle with the sea, come from, but from that loftiest peak of the 
globe, in the midst whereof was the inexhaustible fountain of the four great 
rivers of the earth? The faith or the fanaticism whichever one may 
please to call it of the devout cosmographer was never for an instant 
shadowed by a doubt. The human learning of all time had taught him 
that the shorter way to India must be across that western ocean which, he 
was persuaded, covered only one third of the globe and separated the 
western coast of Europe from the eastern coast of Asia. When it was 
taken for granted that his first voyage had proved this geographical theory 
to be the true one, then he could only understand that as in each succes 
sive voyage he had gone farther, so he was only getting nearer and nearer 
to the heart of the empire of the Great Khan. 

But to the aid of human knowledge came a higher faith ; he was 
divinely led. In writing of this third voyage to Dona Juana de la Torres, 
a lady of the Court and a companion to the Queen, he said : " God made 
me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth of which he spoke 
in the Apocalypse by Saint John, after having spoken of it by the mouth 
of Isaiah; and he showed me the spot where to find it." 1 The end of the 
world he believed was at hand; by which he meant, perhaps, only the 
world of heathenism and unbelief. In his letter to the sovereigns he said 
that " it was clearly predicted concerning these lands by the mouth of the 
prophet Isaiah in many places in Scripture, that from Spain the holy name 
of God was to be spread abroad." Amazing and even fantastic as his con 
clusions were when they came from the religious side of his nature, they 
were to him irrefragable, because they were so severely logical. He was 
the chosen instrument of the divine purpose, because it was to him that 
the way had been made straight and plain to the glorious East, where God 
had planted in the beginning the earthly Paradise, in which he had placed 
man, where man had first sinned, and where ere long was to break the 
promised dawn of the new heaven and the new earth. 

The northern continent of the New World was discovered by the Cabots 
a year before the southern mainland was reached by Columbus. Possibly 
this northern voyage may have suggested to the geographers of England 

1 The very name he bore had a divine sig- name of Columbus, or Colomba, a dove, for 
nificance, according to the fanciful interpreta- him who showed " those people, who knew him 
tion of his son, Don Ferdinand Colon. For not, which was God s beloved Son, as the Holy 
as the name Christopher, or Christophorus, Ghost did in the figure of a dove at Saint John s 
the Christ-bearer, was bestowed upon the baptism; and because he also carried the olive- 
Saint who carried the Christ over deep waters at branch and oil of baptism over the waters of 
his own great peril, so had it fallen upon him, the ocean like Noah s dove, to denote the peace 
who was destined to discover a new world, and union of these people with the Church, 
" that those Indian nations might become citizens after they had been shut up in the ark of dark- 
and inhabitants of the Church triumphant in ness and confusion." Saint Christopher carrying 
heaven." Nor less appropriate was the family Christ, appears as a vignette on Cosa s chart. 



a new theory, as yet, so far as we know, not thought of in Spain and Por 
tugal, that a hemisphere was to be circumnavigated, and a passage found 
among thousands of leagues of islands, or else through some great conti 
nent hitherto unknown, except to a few forgotten Northmen of five 
hundred years earlier, before India could be reached by sailing westward. 
In speaking of this voyage long afterward, Sebastian Cabot said : " I began 
to saile toward the northwest, not thinking to find any other land than that 
of Cathay, and from thence turne toward India; but after certaine dayes 
I found that the land ranne towards the North, which was to nice a great 
displeasure." l This may have been the afterthought of his old age, when 
the belief that the new Indies were the outlying boundaries of the old was 
generally discarded. He had forgotten, as the same narrative shows, 
unless the year be a misprint, the exact date of that voyage, saying that 
it " was, as farre as I remember, in the yeare 1496, in the beginning of 
Summer." This was a year too soon. But if the statement be accepted as 
literally true that he was disappointed in finding, not Cathay and India, 
as he had hoped, but another land, then not only the honor of the dis 
covery of the western continent belongs to his father and to him, or 
rather to the father alone, for the son was still a boy, but the further 
distinction of knowing what they had discovered ; while Columbus never 
awoke from the delusion that he had touched the confines of India. 

A discussion of the several interesting questions relating to the voyages 
of the Cabots belongs to another chapter ; 2 but assuming here that the 
voyage of the "Mathew" from Bristol, England, in the summer of 1497, 
is beyond controversy, the precedence of the Cabots over Columbus in the 
discovery of the continent may be taken for granted. There is other 
ample evidence besides his curious letters to show that the latter was on 
the coast of South America in the summer of 1498, just thirteen months 
and one week after the Cabots made the terra primnm visa, whether on the 
coast of Nova Scotia, Labrador, or possibly Newfoundland. 3 Not that this 
detracts in any degree, however slight, from the great name of Columbus 
as the discoverer of the New World. Of him Sebastian Cabot was mindful 
to say, in conversation with the Pope s envoy in Spain, just quoted from 
in the preceding paragraph, that "when newes were brought that Don 
Christopher Colonus, Genoese, had discovered the coasts of India, whereof 
was great talke in all the Court of King Henry the 7, who then raigned, 
insomuch that all men with great admiration affirmed it to be a thing more 
divine than humane to saile by the West into the Easte, where spices 
growe, by a map that was never knowen before, by this fame and report 
there increased in my heart a great flame of desire to attempt some notable 

1 A Discourse of Sebastian Cabot touching his 2 [See Vol. III. chap. i. ED.] 

Discovery, etc. Translated from Ramusio (1550) 3 For the distinction which possibly Cabot 

bv Hakluyt for his Principal Navigations, Voy- meant to convey between terra and insida, see 

ages, and Discoveries of the English Nation, \ 589, Biddle s Memoir of Sebastian Cabot (London 

and in later editions. J 83i), p. 54- 


thing." However notable the thing might be, it could be only secondary 
to that achievement of Columbus which Cabot looked upon as " more divine 
than human;" but whether in the first sight of the mainland which all 
hoped to find beyond the islands already visited, Vespucci did not take 
precedence both of the Cabots and of Columbus, has been a disputed 
question for nearly four hundred years ; and it will probably never be 
considered as satisfactorily settled, should it continue in dispute for four 
hundred years longer. 

The question is, whether Vespucci made four voyages to that half of the 
world which was ever after to bear his name, 1 and whether those voyages 
were really made at the time it is said they were. The most essential point, 
however, is that of the date of the first voyage : for if that which is 
asserted to be the true date be correct, the first discoverer of the western 
continent was neither the Cabots nor Columbus, but Vespucci ; and his 
name was properly enough bestowed upon it. " In the year 1497," says an 
ancient and authentic Bristol manuscript, 2 " the 24th June, on St. John s 
day, was Newfoundland found by Bristol men [the Cabots 1 in a ship called 
the * Mathew. " On his third voyage, in 1498, Columbus says: " We saw 
land [Trinidad] at noon of Tuesday the 3ist of July." In a letter, written 
no doubt by Vespucci, he says : " We sailed from the port of Cadiz on 
the loth of May, 1497; " 3 and after leaving the Canaries, where the four 
ships of the expedition remained a few days to take in their final supplies 
of wood, water, and provisions, they came, he continues, " at the end of 
twenty-seven days, upon a coast which we thought to be that of a con 
tinent." Of these dates the first two mentioned are unquestionably 
authentic. If that last given were equally so, there would be an end of all 
controversy upon the subject; for it would prove that Vespucci s discov 
ery of the continent preceded that of the Cabots, though only by a week 
or two, while it must have been earlier than that of Columbus by about 
fourteen months. 

It should first of all be noted that the sole authority for a voyage made 
by Vespucci in 1497 is Vespucci himself. All contemporary history, other 
than his own letter, is absolutely silent in regard to such a voyage, whether 
it be history in printed books, or in the archives of those kingdoms of 
Europe where the precious documents touching the earlier expeditions 
to the New World were deposited. Santarem, in his Researches, goes even 
farther than this ; for he declares that even the name of Vespucci is not 
to be found in the Royal Archives of Portugal, covering the period from 
1495 to 1503, and including more than a hundred thousand documents 
relating to voyages of discovery ; that he is not mentioned in the Diplo- 

1 Humboldt (Examen critique, vol. iv.), sup- Amulrich, was spread through Europe by the 

ported by the authority of Professor Von der Goths and other Northern invaders. 
Hugen, of the University of Berlin, shows that 2 [See Vol. III. p. 53. ED.] 

the Italian name Amerigo is derived from the 3 On the 2oth of May, according to one edi- 

German Amalrich or Amelrich, which, under tion of the letter, that published by Hyla- 

the various forms of Amalric, Amalrih, Amilrich, comylus at St-Die. 
VOL. II. l8. 


matic Records of Portugal, which treat of the relations of that kingdom 
with Spain and Italy, when one of the duties of ambassadors was to keep 
their Governments advised of all new discoveries ; and that among the 
many valuable manuscripts belonging to the Royal Library at Paris, he, 
M. Santarem, sought in vain for any allusion to Vespucci. But these 
assertions have little influence over those who do not agree with Santarem 
that Vespucci was an impostor. The evidence is overwhelming that he 
belonged to some of the expeditions sent out at that period to the south 
west ; and if he was so obscure as not to be recognized in any contem 
porary notices of those voyages, then it could be maintained with some 
plausibility that he might have made an earlier voyage about which noth 
ing was known. And this would seem the more probable when it was 
remembered that the time (1497) f tms alleged expedition was within that 
interval when " the very tailors," as Columbus said, might go, without let 
or hindrance, in search of riches and renown in the new-found world. 
Many, no doubt, took advantage of this freedom of navigation whose 
names and exploits are quite unknown to history. 

Nevertheless, the fact of the obscurity of Vespucci at that period is not 
without great weight, though Santarem fails in his attempt to prove too 
much by it. Columbus believed when, on his second voyage, he coasted 
the southern shore of Cuba, that he had touched the continent of Asia. The 
extension of that continent he supposed, from indications given by the natives, 
and accepted by him as confirming a foregone conclusion, would be found 
farther south ; and for that reason he took that course on his third voyage. 
"The land where the spices grow" was now the aim of all Spanish energy 
and enterprise ; and it is not likely that this theory of the Admiral was not 


well understood among the merchants and navigators who took an intelli 
gent as well as an intense interest in all that he had done and in all that he 
said. Is it probable, then, that nobody should know of the sailing of four 
ships from Cadiz for farther and more important discoveries in the direc- 

1 [This is the conclusion of a letter of Vespucius, printed and given in fac-simile in the Cartas 
de Indias. ED.] 




tion pointed out by Columbus? Or, if their departure was secret, can 
there be a rational doubt that the return, with intelligence so important 

1 [After a picture in the Massachusetts His 
torical Society s Gallery (no. 253), which is a 
copy of the best-known portrait of Vespucius. 
It is claimed for it that it was painted from life 
by Bronzino, and that it had been preserved in 
the family of Vespucius till it was committed, in 
1845, to Charles Edwards Lester, United States 
consul at Genoa. It is engraved in Lester and 
Foster s Life and Voyages of Americus Vespucius 

(Xew York, 1846), and described on p. 414 of 
that book. Cf. also Sparks s statement in Mass. 
Hist. Soc. Proc., iv. 117. It has been also en 
graved in Canovai among the Italian authorities, 
and was first, I think, in this country, produced 
in Philadelphia, in 1815, in Delaplaine s Reposi 
tory of the Lives a)id Portraits of distinguished 
American characters, and later in various other 
places. The likeness of Vespucius in the Royal 



and generally interesting, would have been talked about in all the ports 
of Spain, and the man who brought it have become instantly famous? 

But as no account of the voyage appeared till years afterward, and then 
in a letter from Vespucci himself; and as, meanwhile, for most of those 
years the absence of his name from contemporary records shows that no 

celebrity whatever was attached 
to it, the logical conclusion 
is, not only that the voyage 
was unknown, but that it was 
unknown because it was never 
made. Moreover, if it was ever 
made it could not have been 
, unknown, if we may trust Ves 
pucci s own statement. For 
in his letter not written till 
1504, and not published in full 
till 1507 he said that this 
expedition was sent out by 
order of King Ferdinand ; that 
he, Vespucci, went upon it by 
royal command ; and that after 
his return he made a report of 
it to the King. The expedi 
tion, therefore, was clearly not 
one of those which, in the in 
terval between the summers of 
1495 anc l 1497, so often re 
ferred to, escaped all public 
record ; and as there cannot 
be found any recognition of 

such an enterprise at that date either in contemporaneous history or State 
documents, what other conclusion can be accepted as rational and without 
prejudice, than that no such voyage so commanded was made at that time? 

There seems to be no escape from this evidence, though it is so purely 
negative and circumstantial. But Humboldt, relying upon the researches 

Gallery at Naples, painted by Parmigianino, is 
supposed to be the one originally in the posses 
sion of the Cardinal Alexander Farnese (Bulletin 
dc hi Sod etc de Geographic dc Paris, iii. 370, by 
Jomard). That artist was but eleven years old 
at the death of Vespucius, and could not have 
painted Vespucius from life. A copy in 1853 
was placed in the gallery of the American An 
tiquarian Society (Proceedings, April, 1853, 
p. 15; Paine s Portraits and Busts, etc., no. 28). 
C. W. Peale s copy of the likeness in the gal 
lery of the Grand Duke of Tuscany is in the 
collection belonging to the Pennsylvania His 

torical Society (Catalogiie, 1872, no. 148). There 
is also a portrait in the gallery of the New York 
Historical Society (Catalogue, no. 131), but the 
origin of it is not named. De Bry gives vig 
nette portraits in parts iv., vi., and xii. of his 
Grands Voyages. See Bandini s Vita e lettere 
di Vespucci, chap. vii. for an account of the vari 
ous likenesses. ED.] 

1 [A sketch of an old engraving as given in 
the Allgem. geog. Ephemeriden (Weimar, 1807), 
vol. xxiii. There are other engravings of it in 
Jules Verne s Dccouverte dc la terre, and else 
where. ED. 




of the Spanish historian Munoz, and upon those gathered by Navarrete 
in his Coleccion de los mages y desaibriinientos, presents the proof of an alibi 

1 [A fac-simile of the engraving in Afonfatius, copied in Ogilbv, p- 60. ED.] 


for Vespucci. As has been already said on a previous page, the fact is 
unquestioned that Vespucci, who had been a resident of Spain for some 
time, became in 1495 a member of the commercial house of Juanoto 
Berardi, at Seville, and that in January of the next year, as the public 
accounts show, he was paid a sum of money relative to a contract with 
Government which Bcrardi did not live to complete. The presumption is 
that he would not soon absent himself from his post of duty, where new 
and onerous responsibilities had been imposed upon him by the recent 
death of the senior partner of the house with which he was connected. 
But at any rate he is found there in the spring of 1497, Munoz having 
ascertained that fact from the official records of expenses incurred in fitting 
out the ships for western expeditions, still preserved at Seville. Those 
records show that from the middle of April, 1497, to the end of May, 1498, 
Vespucci was busily engaged at Seville and San Lucar in the equipment of 
the fleet with which Columbus sailed on his third voyage. The alibi, there 
fore, is complete. Vespucci could not have been absent from Spain from 
May, 1497, to October, 1498, the period of his alleged first voyage. 

All this seems incontrovertible, and should* be accepted as conclusive till 
fresh researches among the archives of that age shall show, if that be pos 
sible, that those hitherto made have been either misunderstood or are 
incomplete. Assuming the negative to be proved, then, as to the alleged 
date of Vespucci s first voyage, the positive evidence, on the other hand, is 
ample and unquestioned, that Columbus sailed from San Lucar on his third 
voyage on the 3Oth of May, 1498, and two months later reached the western 
continent about the Gulf of Paria. 

Was Vespucci then a charlatan? Was he guilty of acts so base as a 
falsification of elates, and narratives of pretended voyages, that he might 
secure for himself the fame that belonged to another, that other, more 
over, being his friend? There are reasons for believing this to be quite true 
of him ; and other reasons for not believing it at all. There is not, to begin 
with, a scrap of original manuscript of his bearing on this point known to 
exist; it is. not even positively known in what tongue his letters were 
written ; and anything, therefore, like absolute proof as to what he said 
he did or did not do, is clearly impossible. The case has to be tried upon 
circumstantial evidence and as one of moral probabilities ; and the verdict 
must needs differ according to the varying intelligence and disposition of 
different juries. 

He made, or he claimed to have made, assuming the letters attributed 
to him to be his, four voyages, of each of which he wrote a narrative. 
According to the dates given in these letters, he twice sailed from Spain by 
order of Ferdinand, in May, 1497, an d in May, 1499 ; and twice from Por 
tugal, in the service of King Emanuel, in May, 1501, and in May, I53- 
He was absent, as we learn from the same letters, about seventeen months 
on the first voyage, about sixteen each on the second and third, and on the 
fourth eleven months. If he went to sea, then, for the first time in May, 


1497, and the last voyage ended, as the narrative says, in June, 1504, the 
whole period of his seafaring life was eighty-four months, of which sixty 
were passed at sea, and twenty-four, at reasonable intervals, on shore. As 
the dates of departure and of return are carefully given, obviously the 
period from May, 1497, to June, 1504, must be allowed for the four expe 
ditions. But here we come upon an insurmountable obstacle. If to the 
first voyage of 1497 the wrong date was given, if, that is, the actual first 
voyage was that of 1499, which Vespucci calls his second, then he could 
not have gone upon four expeditions. From May, 1499, to June, 1504, is 
a period of sixty months ; and as the aggregate length he gives to the 
assumed four voyages is sixty months, they could not have been made in 
that time, as that would have compelled him to be at sea the whole five 
years, with no interval of return to Spain or Portugal to refit, which is 
manifestly absurd. 

The solution of the difficulty relied upon by Humboldt and others 
seems, therefore, insufficient ; it is not explained by assuming that the elate 
1497 nl th.e- narrative of the first voyage was the careless blunder of the 
translator, copyist, or printer of Vespucci s original letter. It is not an 
error if there were four voyages ; for as the date of the last one is undis 
puted, the date of 1497 for the first one must remain to give time enough 
for the whole. But that there were four voyages does not depend solely 
upon the date given to the first one. That there were four " quatuo, 
navigationes " - is asserted repeatedly by Vespucci in the different letters, 
In the relation of the first one, wherein is given this troublesome date which 
has so vexed the souls of scholars, he says at some length that as he had 
seen on these " twice two " voyages so many strange things, differing so 
much from the manners and customs of his own country, he had written a 
little book, not yet published, to be called " Four Expeditions, or Four 
Voyages," ia- \vhich he had related, to the best of his ability, about all he 
had seen. 1 If, then, the date 1497 is to be explained away as the result 
of carelessness or accident, even admitting that such an explanation 
would explain, what is to be done with this passage? It cannot, like a 
single numeral a 7 Tor a 9 be Attributed to chance ; and it" 1 becomes 
necessary, therefore, to regard it as an interpolation contrived to sustain 
a clumsy falsification of date. 

It has also been conjectured that two of the letters have been misappre 
hended ; that Vespucci meant one as only a continuation of the other in 
a description of a single voyage, or if intended as two letters, they were 
meant to describe the same voyage. The early editors, it has been sug 
gested, supposing that each letter described a separate voyage, forged or 

1 " Et quoniam in meis hisce bis geminis navi- visarum partem distincte satis juxta ingenioi 

ationibus, tarn varia diversaque, ac tarn a nos- mei tenuitatem collegi : verumtamen non adhuc 

tris rebus, et modis differentia perspexi, idcirco publicavi." From the Cosmographies introductio 

libellum quempiam, quern Quatuor diaetas sive of Hylacomylus (Martin Waldseemuller). St.- 

quatuor navigationes appello, conscribere par- Die, 1507. Repeated in essentially the same 

avi, conscripsique ; in quo maiorem rerum a me words in other editions of the letter. 


changed the dates in accordance with that supposition. If there were no 
other objection to this theory, it is untenable if what has just been said be 
true. The duration of each voyage, the aggregate length of the whole, and 
the distinct and careful assertion that there were four of them, require that 
there should be one prior to that which Vespucci calls his second. 

All this lead.-., according to our present knowledge of the facts, inevi 
tably to this conclusion, whether Vespucci himself wrote, or others wrote 
for him, these letters, their very consistency of dates and of circumstantial 
assertion show them to have been deliberately composed to establish a 
falsehood. For the researches of Munoz and of Navarrete, as is said above, 
prove that Vespucci could not have sailed from Spain on his first voyage 
on the lotli or 2Oth of May, 1497; f r from the middle of April of that 
year to the end of May, 1498, he was busily employed at Seville and San 
Lucar in fitting out the fleet for the third expedition of Columbus. 

There is other evidence, negative indeed, but hardly less conclusive, that 
this assumed voyage of 1497 was never made. In 1512 Don Diego Colum 
bus brought an action against the Crown of Spain to recover, as the heir 
of his father, Christopher Columbus, the government and a portion of the 
revenues of certain provinces on the continent of America. The defence 
was that those countries were not discovered by Columbus, and the claim, 
therefore, was not valid. It is not to be supposed that the Crown was 
negligent in the search for testimony to sustain its own cause, for nearly a 
hundred witnesses were examined. But no evidence was offered to prove 
that Vespucci- whose nephew was present at the trial visited in 1497 
the Terra Firma which the plaintiff maintained his father discovered in 
1498. On the other hand, Alonzo de Ojeda, an eminent navigator, declared 
that he was sent on an expedition in 1499 to the coast of Paria next after 
it was discovered by the Admiral (Columbus) ; and that " in this voyage 
which this said witness made, he took with him Juan de la Cosa and Morigo 
Vespuche [Amerigo Vespucci] and other pilots." l When asked how he 
knew that Columbus had made the discovery at the time named, his reply 
was that he knew it because the Bishop Fonseca had supplied him with that 
map which the Admiral had sent home in his letter to the King and Queen. 
The act of the Bishop was a dishonorable one, and intended as an injury to 
Columbus ; and to this purpose Ojeda further lent himself by stopping at 
Hispaniola on the return from his voyage, and by exciting there a revolt 
against the authority of the Admiral in that island. Perhaps the bitter 
animosity of those years had been buried in the grave of the great navi- 
gator, together with the chains which had hung always in his chamber as 
a memento of the royal ingratitude ; but even in that case it is not likely 
that Ojeda would have lost such an opportunity to justify, in some degree, 

1 In the original : En este viage que este dicho records of this trial are preserved among the 

testigo hizo trujo consigo a Juan de la Cosa, piloto* archives at Seville, and were examined by Mufioz, 

c Morigo Vespuche, e otros pilotos. The testimony and also by Washington Irving in his studies for 

of other pilots confirmed that of Ojeda. The the Ltfe of Columbus. See also ante, p. 88. 


his own conduct by declaring, if he knew it to be so, that Columbus was 
not the first discoverer of the continent. It is of course possible, but it is 
certainly not probable, that he should not have heard from Vespucci that 
this was his second visit to the Gulf of Paria, if that were the fact, and that 
his first visit was a year before that of Columbus, whose chart Ojeda was 
using to direct his course through seas with which Vespucci was familiar. 
This reasonable reflection is dwelt upon by Humboldt, Irving, and others ; 
and it comes with peculiar force to the careful reader of the letters of 
Vespucci, for he was never in the least inclined to hide his light under a 

The originals of the letters, as has already been said, are not, so far as \ 
is known, in existence ; it is even uncertain whether they were written in 
Latin, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese. Nor has the book which Vespucci 
said he had prepared "The Four Voyages" ever been found; but 
Humboldt believed that the collected narrative first published at St.-Die in 
1507, in the CosinograpJiice introductio of Hylacomylus, was made up of ex 
tracts from that book. This St.-Die edition w r as in Latin, translated, the 
editor says, from the French. 1 There is in the British Museum a rare work 
of four pages, published also in 1507, the author of which was Walter Lud. 
This Lud was the secretary of the Duke of Lorraine, a canon of the St.- 
Die Cathedral, and the founder of the school or college, where he had set 
up a printing-press on which was printed the CosmograpJiice introductio, 
From this little book it is learned that the Vespucci letters were sent from 
Portugal to the Duke of Lorraine in French, and that they were translated 
into Latin by another canon of the St.-Die Cathedral, one Jean Basin de 
Sandacourt, at the request of Lud. 2 

Vespucci s last two voyages were made, so his letters assert, in the set- 
vice of the King of Portugal. The narrative of the first of these the 
third of the four voyages appeared at different times, at several places, 
and were addressed to more than one person, prior to the publication of 
the St.-Die edition of all the letters addressed to Rene II., the Duke of Lor 
raine. This fact has added to the confusion and doubt ; for each of these 
copies sent to different persons was a translation, presumably from some 
common original. One copy of them was addressed to Pietro Soderini, 
Gonfaloniere of Florence, whom Vespucci claimed as an old friend and 
school-fellow under the instruction of his uncle, Giorgi Antonio Vespucci ; 
another was sent to Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de Medici, Vespucci s early 
employer, both appearing prior to that addressed in the collected edition 
of St.-Die addressed to the Duke of Lorraine. Of the earlier editions 
there was one published, according to Humboldt, in Latin, in 1504, at Augs- 

1 The title of this work is Cosmographia in- published at Strasburg in 1509. [See post, 

troductio cum quibiisdam geometric ac astronomies p. 167. ED.] 

principiis ad earn rem necessariis. Insuper qua- 2 See Major s Henry the Navigator, p. 383. 

tuor Americi Vespiccii uavigationes. The name of The title of Lud s four-leaved book is Specnli 

the editor, Martin us Hylacomylus, is not given orbis succinctiss. sed neque pcenitenda neque incL - 

in the first edition, but appears in a later, gans dedaratio et canon. 
VOL. II. 19. 


burg and also at Paris; another in German, in 1505, at Strasburg, and 
in 1 506 at Leipsic ; and still another in Italian at Vicenza, in the collection 
called Pacsi novamente, simultaneously with the St. -Die edition of 1507. 
These in later years were followed by a number of other editions. While 
they agree as to general statement, they differ in many particulars, and 
especially in regard to dates. These, however, are often mere typographi 
cal blunders or errors of copyists, not unusual at that era, and always 
fruitful of controversy. But upon one point, it is to be observed, there is 
no difference among them; the voyage of 1501 the first from Portugal 
is always the third of the four voyages of Vespucci. This disposes, as 
Humboldt points out, of the charge that Vespucci waited till after the death 
of Columbus, in 1506, before he ventured to assert publicly that he had 
made two voyages by order of the King of Spain prior to entering the 
service of the King of Portugal. 

To induce him to leave Spain and come to Portugal, Vespucci says, in 
the letter addressed to Pietro Soderini, that the King sent to him one 
Giuliano Bartholomeo del Giocondo, then a resident of Lisbon. Jocundus 
(the latinized pseudonym of Giocondo) is named as the translator of the 
Augsburg edition of 1504, addressed to Lorenzo de Medici. This Jocundus, 
Humboldt thinks, was Giuliano Giocondo. But Major, in his Henry tlie 
Navigator , says that the translation was made, not by Giuliano Giocondo, 
but by his kinsman Giovanni Giocondo, of Verona. His authority for 
this statement is apparently Walter Lud s Speculum. Varnhagen thinks it 
possible that the work may have been done by one Mathias Ringman, 
of whom more presently. Varnhagen says also, in another place, that the 
translator of the Italian version published in the Paesi novamente at 
Vicenza in 1507 unwittingly betrayed that he lied (son mcnsonge) when 
he said that he followed a Spanish copy; for while he failed to compre 
hend the use of the word Jocundus, he showed that it was before him in the 
Latin copy, as he rendered Jocundus interpres Jocundus the translator 
as el iocondo interprete, the agreeable translator. This is only one example 
of the confusion in which the subject is involved. 

It was due, however, to the Cosmographies introductio of St.-Die, in which 
the letters appeared as a sort of appendix, that the name of America, 
from Amerigo, was given to the western hemisphere. But how it hap 
pened that the Quatuor navigationcs should have been first published in 
that little town in the Vosges mountains ; and what the relation was between 
Vespucci and Rene II., the Duke of Lorraine, are among the perplexing 
questions in regard to the letters that have been discussed at great length. 
Major finds in the fact, or assumed fact, that Fra Giovanno Giocondo was 
the translator of the narrative of the third voyage, the first published, in 
1504, an important link in the chain of evidence by which he explains the 
St.-Die puzzle. This Giocondo was about that time at Paris as the archi 
tect of the bridge of Notre Dame. A young student, Mathias Ringman, from 
Alsace, was also there at that period ; and Major supposes he may have 


become acquainted with Giocondo, who inspired him with great admiration 
for Vespucci. It is certain, at any rate, that Ringman, whose literary 
pseudonym was Philesius Vogesina, that is, Philesius of the Vosges, 
on his return to his native province edited the Strasburg edition (1505) of 
Giocondo s translation, appending to it some verses written by himself in 
praise of Vespucci and his achievements. 

In the rare book already referred to, the Speculum of Walter Lud, it 
is said of this Strasburg edition that " the booksellers carry about a cer 
tain epigram of our Philesius in a little book of Vespucci s translated from 
Italian into Latin by Giocondo, of Verona, the architect of Venice." Doubt 
less Ringman is here spoken of as " our Philesius," because he had become 
identified with Lud s college, where he was the professor of Latin. It seems 
almost certain, therefore, that the interest at St. -Die in Vespucci s voyages 
was inspired. by Ringman, whether his enthusiasm was first aroused by his 
friendship with Giocondo at Paris, or whether, as Varnhagen supposes, it 
was the result of a visit or two to Italy. The latter question is not of much 
moment, except as a speculation ; and certainly it is not a straining of prob 
abilities to doubt if Ringman would have taken for his Strasburg edition 
of 1505 tfee Giocondo translation, as Lud says he did, if he had himself 
translated, as Varnhagen supposes, the Augsburg edition of 1504. 

Lud also asserts in the Speculum that the French copy of the Quatuor 
navigationes which was used at St. -Die came from Portugal. Major sup 
poses that Ringman s enthusiasm may have led to correspondence with 
Vespucci, who was in Portugal till 1505, and that he caused his letters to be 
put into French and sent to Ringman at his request. The narrative of the 
third voyage in its several editions must have already given some renown to 
Vespucci. Here were other narratives of other voyages by the same nav 
igator. The clever and enterprising young professors, eager for the dis 
semination of knowledge, and not unmindful, possibly, of the credit of their 
college, brought out the letters as a part of the Cosmographies introductio 
by Hylacomylus Martin Walclzeemiiller the teacher of geography, and 
the proof-reader to their new press. Their prince, Rene II., was known as 
a patron of learning ; and it is more likely that they should have prefixed 
his name to the letters than that Vespucci should have done so. Their 
zeal undoubtedly was greater than their knowledge ; for had they known 
more of the discoveries of the previous fifteen years they would have hesi 
tated to give to the new continent the name of one who would be thereby 
raised thenceforth from comparative, though honorable, obscurity to dis 
honorable distinction. That Vespucci himself, however, was responsible 
for this there is no positive evidence ; and were it not for the difficulty of 
explaining his constant insistence of the completion of four voyages, it 
might be possible to find some plausible explanation of the confusion of 
the St.-Die book. 

In that book are these words : " And the fourth part of the world having 
been discovered by Americus, it maybe called Amerige ; that is, the land of 


Americas or America." 1 And again : "Now truly, as these regions are more 
widely explored, and another fourth part is discovered, by Americus Ves- 
putitis, as may be learned from the following letters, I see no reason why it 
should not be justly called Amcrigen, that is, the land of Americus, or 
America, from Americus, its discoverer, a man of acute intellect; inasmuch 
as both Europe and Asia have chosen their names from the feminine 
form. " 2 

It was discovered, less than half a century ago, through the diligent 
researches of Humboldt, that this professor of geography at St. -Die, Hyla- 
comylus, was thus the inventor, so to speak, of this word America. That it 
came at last to be received as the designation of the western continent was 
due, perhaps, very much to the absence of any suggestion of any other dis 
tinctive name that seemed appropriate and was generally acceptable. Rare 
as the little work, the Cosmographies introductio, now is, it was probably well 
known at the time of the publication of its several editions ; as the central 
position of St. -Die between France, Germany, and Italy gave to the 
book, as Humboldt thought, a wide circulation, impressing the word Amer 
ica upon the learned world. The name, however, came very slowly into 
use, appearing only occasionally in some book, till in 1522 it gained a more 
permanent place on a mappemonde in the Geographia of Ptolemy. From 
that time it appeared frequently upon other maps, and by the middle of the 
century became generally recognized outside of Spain, at least, as the 
established continental name. But the effect of its suggestion was more 
immediate upon the fame of Vespucci. While the learned understood that 
the great captain of that time was Christopher Columbus, the name of 
Amerigo was often united with his as deserving of at least the second 
place, and sometimes even of the first. The celebrity which Hylacomylus 
bestowed upon him was accepted for performance by those who were 
ignorant of the exact truth ; and those who knew better did not give 
themselves the trouble to correct the error. 

In each of Vespucci s voyages he probably held a subordinate posi 
tion. His place may sometimes have been that of a pilot, 3 or as the com 
mander of a single ship, or attached to the fleet, as Herrera 4 says he was in 
Ojeda s expedition (1499), " as merchant, being skilful in cosmography and 
navigation." Vespucci himself does not in so many words assert that he 

" Et quarta orbis pars quani quis Americus an important officer of all these early expeditions. 

invenit, Amerigen quasi Americi terrain, sive Isabella urged Columbus not to go without 

Americam nuncupare licet" one on his second voyage ; and in his narrative 

- " Nunc vcro et here paries stint latins lustratcc, of his fourth voyage, Columbus contends that 

at alia quarta Pars per Americum Vesputium, ut there is. but one infallible method of making a 

in sequentibus audietiir, invent a cst, quam non ship s reckoning, that employed by astronomers. 

I idco cur quis iure vetet ab America inventorc, Cf. Humboldt, Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 671. ED.] 
sagacis ingenii viro, Amerigen quasi Americi ter- 4 Herrera, of whom Robertson says that 

ram sive Americam dicendum, cum et Europa et "of all Spanish writers he furnishes the fullest 

Asia a mulieribus sua sortihe sint nominal Hyla- and most authentic information upon American 

comylus. discoveries" accuses Vespucci of " false- 

3 [Vespucci himself says that his mission was hoods " in pretending to have visited the Gulf 

"per ajutare a discoprire." An astronomer was of Paria before Columbus. 


was in command of the expeditions upon which he sailed, while he occa 
sionally alludes, though usually in terms of contempt, to those whose 
authority was above his own. Once he speaks of Columbus, and then 
almost parenthetically, as the discoverer merely of the Island of Hispaniola; 
jDut of other of his achievements, or of those of other eminent navigators, 
he has nothing to say. In reply to such criticisms of his letters it has been 
urged on his behalf that they were written for intimate friends, as familiar 
narratives of personal experiences, and not meant to be, in any broad 
sense, historical. But the deception was as absolute as if it had been 
deliberately contrived ; and, whether intentional or not, was never by act or 
word corrected, though Vespucci lived for five years after the appearance 
of the letters from the St.-Die press. 

But whatever can be or may be said in extenuation of Vespucci, or how 
ever strong the reasons for supposing that for whatever was reprehensible 
in the matter he was innocent and the St.-Die professors alone responsible, 
there nevertheless remains the one thing unexplained and inexplicable, 
his own repeated assertion that he made four voyages. Humboldt supposes 
that the narrative of the first, so called, of these four voyages, beginning in 
May, 1497, was made up of that on which Vespucci certainly sailed with 
Ojeda, starting in May, 1499. The points of resemblance are so many and 
so striking as to seem not only conclusive, but to preclude any other theory. 
If this be true, then it follows that the narrative of the voyage of 1497 was 
simply a forgery, whosoever was responsible for it ; and if a forgery, then 
Vespucci was not the discoverer of the western continent, and an historical 
renown was given to his name to which he was not entitled. 

The second of the assumed four voyages Humboldt supposes to be the 
first voyage of Vincente Yariez Pinzon, hesitating, however, between that 
and the voyage of Diego de Lepe : the former sailing with four ships in 
December, 1499, and returning in September, 1500; the latter with two ships, 
in January, 1500, and returning in June. Vespucci says that he had two 
ships; that he sailed in May, 1499, and returned in June or September of 
the next year. It is of the first voyage of 1497 that he says he had four 
ships. As on that assumed voyage there are many incidents identical with 
those related of Ojeda s voyage of 1499, so here there are strong points 
of resemblance between Vespucci s supposed second voyage and that of 
Pinzon. In both cases, however, there are irreconcilable differences, 
which Humboldt does not attempt to disguise; while at the same time 
they indicate either dishonesty on the part of Vespucci in his letters, or 
that those letters were tampered with by others, either ignorantly or with 
dishonest intent, to which Vespucci afterward tacitly assented. 

It would be hypercritical to insist upon a strict adherence to the dates of 
the several voyages, and then to decide that the voyages were impossible 
because the dates are irreconcilable. The figures are sometimes obviously 
mere blunders ; as, for example, the assertion in the St.-Die edition that the 
second voyage was begun in May, 1489, when it had been already said that 


the first voyage was made in 1497. But there are statements of facts, never 
theless, which it is necessary to reconcile with dates; and when this is im 
possible, a doubt of truthfulness is so far justifiable. Thus in the relation 
of the second voyage Vespucci asserts, or is made to assert, that on the 
23d of August, 1499, he saw while at sea a conjunction of Mars and the 
Moon. That phenomenon did occur at that time, as Humboldt learned 
from the Ephemeris ; and if it was observed by Vespucci at sea, that could 
not have been upon a voyage with Pinzon, who did not sail till (December, 
1499) four months after the conjunction of the planets. But here, moreover, 
arises another difficulty: Vespucci s second voyage, in which he observed 
this conjunction, could not have been made with Ojeda, and must have been 
made with Pinzon, if on other points the narrative be accepted ; for it was 
upon that voyage that Vespucci says he sailed several degrees south of the 
equinoctial line to the mouth of the Amazon, which Pinzon did do, and 
Ojeda did not. These and other similar discrepancies have led naturally to 
the suspicion that the incidents of more than one expedition were used, with 
more or less discrimination, but with little regard to chronology, for the 
composition of a plausible narrative of two voyages made in the service of 
Spain. One blunder, detected by Navarrete in this so-called second voyage, 
it is quite incredible that Vespucci could have committed; for according to 
the course pursued and the distance sailed, his ships would have been navi 
gated over nearly three hundred leagues of dry land into the interior of the 
continent. No critical temerity is required to see in such a blunder the 
carelessness of a copyist or a compositor, 

It was of the first voyage from Lisbon the third of the Qudtuor navi- 
gationes that, as has been already said, a narrative was first published in 
a letter addressed to Lorenzo de Medici. This was illustrated with diagrams 
of some of the constellations of the southern hemisphere ; and the repute it 
gave to the writer led the way to his subsequent fame. What Vespucci s 
position was in the expedition is not known ; but that it was still a subordi 
nate one is evident from his own words, as he speaks of a commander, 
though only to find fault with him, and without giving his name. The 
object of the expedition was to discover the western passage to the Spice 
Islands of the East (Melcha, Melacca, Malaccha, according to the varying 
texts of different editions of the letter) ; and though the passage was not 
found, the voyage was, like Cabot s, one of the boldest and most important 
of the age. But it is also, of all Vespucci s voyages, real or assumed, that 
which has been most disputed. Navarrete, however, after a careful exami 
nation of all the evidence that touches the question, comes to the conclusion 
that such an expedition, on which Vespucci may have gone in some subor 
dinate position, was really sent out in 1501 by the King of Portugal; and 
Humboldt concurs in this opinion. 

The Terra cle Vera Cruz, or Brazil, as it was afterward named, was visited 
successively for the first time, from January to April, 1500, by Pinzon, De 
Lepe, De Mendoza, and Cabral. But the expedition to which Vespucci was 


attached explored the coast from the fifth parallel of southern latitude, three 
degrees north of Cape St. Augustin, first discovered and so named by 
Pinzon, as far south, perhaps, as about the thirty-eighth parallel of lati 
tude. They had sailed along the coast for about seven hundred leagues ; 
and so beautiful was the country, so luxuriant its vegetation, so salubrious its 
climate, where men did not die till they were a hundred and fifty years old, 
that Vespucci was persuaded as Columbus, only three years before, had 
said of the region drained by the Orinoco that the earthly Paradise was 
not far off. Gold, the natives said, was abundant in the interior ; but as the 
visitors found none, it was determined at last to continue the voyage in 
another direction, leaving behind them this coast, of what seemed to Ves 
pucci a continent, along which they had sailed from the middle of August 
to the middle of February. Starting now on the I5th of February from the 
mainland, they steered southeast, till they reached, on the 3d of April, the 
fifty-second degree of latitude. They had sailed through stormy seas, driven 
by violent gales, running away from daylight into nights of fifteen hours in 
length, and encountering a severity of cold unknown in Southern Europe, 
and quite beyond their power of endurance. A new land at length was 
seen ; but it only needed a few hours of observation of its dangerous, rocky, 
and ice-bound coast to satisfy them that it was a barren, uninhabited, and 
uninhabitable region. This, Varnhagen suggests most reasonably, was the 
Island of Georgia, rediscovered by Captain Cook nearly three centuries 

The return to Lisbon was in September, 1502. By order of the King ? 
Vespucci sailed again in May, 1503, from Lisbon on a second voyage, the 
fourth of his Quatuor navigationes . The object, as before, was to find a 
western passage to the Moluccas ; for it was the trade of India, not new 
discoveries in the western continent, upon which the mind of the King was 
bent. There were six ships in this new expedition ; and it is generally agreed 
that as Gonzalo Coelho sailed from Lisbon in May, 1503, by order of Eman- 
uel, in command of six ships, Vespucci probably held a subordinate position 
in that fleet. He does not name Coelho, but he refers to a superior officer as 
an obstinate and presumptuous man, who by his bad management wrecked 
the flag-ship. Vespucci may have been put in command of two of the ships 
by the King; with two, at any rate, he became separated, in the course of 
the voyage, from his commodore, and with them returned to Lisbon in June 
of the next year. The rest of the fleet Vespucci reported as lost through 
the pride and folly of the commander; and it was thus, he said, that God 
punished arrogance. But Vespucci either misunderstood the divine will or 
misjudged his commander, for the other ships soon after returned in safety. 

The southernmost point reached by him on this voyage was the eigh 
teenth degree of southern latitude. At this point, somewhere about Cape 
Frio, he built a fort, and left in it the crew of one of the two vessels which 
had been shipwrecked. The precise spot of this settlement is uncertain ; but 
as it was planted by Vespucci, and as it was the first colony of Europeans 

I5 2 


in that part of the New World, there was an evident and just propriety 
in bestowing the derivative America of his name upon the country, 
which at first was known as " The Land of the True Cross," and afterward 
as " Brazil." The name of Brazil -was retained when the wider application 
America was given to the whole continent. 

Soon after his return from this, the last of the Navigationes of which he 
himself, so far as is known, gave any account, he went back, in 1505, to 
Spain. It is conjectured that he made other voyages ; but whether he did 
or did not, no absolute evidence has ever been found. 1 We know almost 
nothing of him up to that time except what is told by himself. When he 
ceased writing of his own exploits, then also the exploits ceased so far as 
can be learned from contemporary authors, who hitherto also had been 
silent about him. In 1508 (March 22) Ferdinand of Spain appointed him 
pilot-major of the kingdom, 2 an office of dignity and importance, which 
probably he retained till he died (Feb. 22, 1512). His fame was largely 
posthumous ; but a hemisphere is his monument. If not among the greatest 
of the world s great men, he is among the happiest of those on whom good 
fortune has bestowed renown. 

1 [Varnhagen thinks there is reason to believe, 
from the letter of Vianello, that Vespucius made 
a voyage in 1505 to the northern coast of South 
America, when he tracked the shore from the 
point of departure on his second voyage as far 
as Darien ; and he is further of the opinion, from 
passages in the letters of Francesco Corner, that 
Vespucius made still a final voyage with La Cosa 

to the coast of Darien (Postfacc in Nouvelles- 
recherches, p. 56). Harrisse (Bill. Amer. Vet., 
Additions, p. xxvii) gives reasons, from letters 
discovered by Rawdon Brown at Venice, for 
believing that Vespucius made a voyage in 
7508. ED.] 

2 Cf. Navarrete, iii. 297, for the instructions 
of the King. 

During recent years (1892-3) John Fiske, in his Discovery of America, vol. ii., has reinforced 
the argument of Varnhagen in favor of the disputed (1497) voyage of Vespucius ; Henry Harrisse, 
in his Discovery of North America, rejects his own earlier arguments in its favor; Clements R. 
Markham, in Christopher Columbus^ totally discredits the theory, and Justin Winsor, in his Chris 
topher Columbus, has considered the proposition not proven. 





WHILE Vespucius never once clearly af 
firms that he discovered the main, such 
an inference may be drawn from what he says. 
Peter Martyr gives no date at all for the voyage 
of Pinzon and Solis to the Honduras coast, 
which was later claimed by Oviedo and Gomara 
to have preceded that of Columbus to the main. 
Navarrete has pointed out the varied inconsist 
encies of the Vespucius narrative, 1 as well as 
the changes of the dates of the setting out and 
the return, as given in the various editions. 2 
All of them give a period of twenty-nine months 
for a voyage which Vespucius says only took 
eighteen, a difficulty Canovai and others have 
tried to get over by changing the date of return 
to 1498; and some such change was necessary 
to enable Vespucius to be in Spain to start 
again with Ojecla in May, 1499. Huniboldt 
further instances a great variety of obvious 
typographical errors in the publications of that 
day, as, for instance, where Oviedo says Co 
lumbus made his first voyage in I49i. 3 But, as 
shown in the preceding narrative, an allowance 
for errors of the press is not sufficient. In regard 
to the proof of an alibi which Humboldt brought 
forward from documents said to have been 
collected by Munoz from the archives of the 
Casa de la Contratacion, it is unfortunate that 
Munoz himself did not complete that part of 
his work which was to pertain to Vespucius, 

and that the documents as he collated them have 
not been published. In the absence of such 
textual demonstration, the inference which Hum 
boldt drew from Navarrete s representations of 
those documents has been denied by Varnhagen ; 
and H. H. Bancroft in his Central America (i. 99, 
102, 106) does not deem the proof complete. 4 

Vespucius own story for what he calls his 
second voyage (1499) is that he sailed from 
Cadiz shortly after the middle of May, 1499. 
The subsequent dates of his being on the coast 
are conflicting; but it would appear that he 
reached Spain on his return in June or September, 
1500. We have, of course, his narrative of this 
voyage in the collective letter to Soderini ; 5 but 
there is also an independent narrative, published 
by Bandini (p. 64) in 1745, said to have been 
written July 18, 1500, and printed from a manu 
script preserved in the Riccardiana at Florence. 
The testimony of Ojecla that Vespucius was 
his companion in the voyage of 1499-1500 
seems to need the qualification that he was 
with him for a part, and not for the whole, of 
the voyage ; and it has been advanced that Ves 
pucius left Ojeda at Hispaniola, and, returning 
to Spain, sailed again with Pinzon in Decem 
ber, 1499, thus attempting to account for "the 
combination of events which seem to conne tt 
Vespucius with the voyages of both these 

1 "Noticias exactas de Americo Vespucio," in his Coleccion, iii. 315. , The narrative in English will be 
found in Lester s Life of Vespucius, pp. 112-139. 

2 May 10, 20, 1497, and Oct. i, 15, 18, 1499. 

3 Cf. Examen critique, iv. 150, 151, 273-282; v. in, 112, 197-202; Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 678. 

4 Humboldt, Examen critique, iv. 50, 267, 268, 272 ; Harrisse, BibL Amer. Vet., no. 57 ; Navarrete,. 
iii. 317. 

5 This part is given in English in Lester, p. 175. 

6 It is translated in Lester, pp. 151-173; cf. Canovai, p. 50. 
VOL. II. 20. 



It is noteworthy that Oviedo, who sought 
to interpret Peter Martyr as showing that Solis 
and Pinzon had preceded Columbus to the main, 
makes no mention of Vespucius. There is no 
mention of him in what Beneventano furnished 
to the Ptolemy of 1508. Castanheda does not 
allude to him, nor does Barreiros in his De 
Op/iira regione (Coimbra, 1560), nor Galvano 
in his DescobrimientoS) nor Pedro Magalhaes de 
Gandavo in his account of Santa Cruz (I576). 1 

But it was not all forgetfulness as time went 
on. The currency to his fame which had been 
given by the De orbe antarctica, by the Paesi 
novamente, by the Cosmographies introductio, as 
well as by the Mundusnovus and the publications 
which reflected these, was helped on in 1510 
by the Roman archaeologist Francesco Alber- 
tini in his Opusciilum de mirabilibus Urbis Rotncs, 
who finds Florence, and not Genoa, to have sent 
forth the discoverer of the New World. 2 

Two years later (1512) an edition of Pom- 
ponius Mela which Cocleus edited, probably at 
Nuremberg, contained, in a marginal note to a 
passage on the " Zona incognita," the following 
words: " Verus Americus Vesputius iam nostro 
seculo | novu illiimundu invenissefert Portugalie 
Castilieq. regu navibus," etc. Pighius in 1520 
had spoken of the magnitude of the region dis 
covered by Vespucius, which had gained it the 
appellation of a new world. 3 The references 
in Glareanus, Apian, Phrysius, and Minister 
show familiarity with his fame by the leading 
cosmographical writers of the time. Natale 
Conti, in his Universes histories sui teinporis libri 
XXX (1545-1581), brought him within the 
range of his memory. 4 In 1590 Myritius, in his 
Opusculum geographiciim, the last dying flicker, as 
it was, of a belief in the Asian connection of the 
New World, 5 repeats the oft-told story, " De 
Brasilia, terra ignis, de meridional! parte Africae 
ab Alberico Vesputio inventa." 

In the next century the story is still kept up 
by the Florentine, Francesco Bocchi, in his 
Libri duo elogiorum (1607), anc l by another 
Florentine, Raffael Gualterotti, in a poem, 
L America (i6n), 7 not to name many 
others. 8 

But all this fame was not unclouded, and it 
failed of reflection in some quarters at least. 
The contemporary Portuguese pilots and cosmog- 
raphers give no record of Vespucius eminence as 
a nautical geometrician. The Portuguese annal 
ist Damiao de Goes makes no mention of him. 
Neither Peter Martyr nor Benzoni allows him to 
have preceded Columbus. Sebastian Cabot, as 
early as 1515, questioned if any faith could be 
placed in the voyage of 1497 "which Americus 
says he made." It is well known that Las 
Casas more than intimated the chance of his 
being an impostor ; nor do we deduce from 
the way that his countrymen, Guicciardini 9 and 
Segni, speak of him, that their faith in the prior 
claim in his behalf was stable. 

An important contestant appeared in Her- 
rera in i6oi, 10 who openly charged Vespucius 
with falsifying his dates and changing the date of 
1499 to 1497 ; Herrera probably followed Las 
Casas manuscripts which he had. 11 The allega 
tion fell in with the prevalent indignation that 
somebody, rather than a blind fortune, had de 
prived Columbus of the naming of the New 
World ; ancl Herrera helped this belief by stat 
ing positively that the voyage of Pinzon and 
Solis, which had been depended upon to ante 
date Columbus, had taken place as late as 

In the last century Angelo Maria Bandini 
attempted to stay this tide of reproach in the 
Vita e lettere di Amerigo Vespucci, gentihiomo fior- 
entino, which was printed at Florence in I745- 12 
It was too manifestly an unbounded panegyric 
to enlist the sympathy of scholars. More atten- 

1 These instances are cited by Santarem. Cf. Ternaux s Collection, vol. ii. 

2 Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 64; Humboldt, Examen critique, v. 209. There were other editions of 
Albertini in 1519 and 1520, as well as his De Roma prisca of 1523, repeating the credit of the first discovery 
in language which Muller says that Harrisse does not give correctly. Cf. Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 96, 103, 106; 
Additions. 56, 74; Muller, Books on America (1872), no. 17. 

3 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 107. 

4 Editions at Venice in 1572 and 1589 (Sabin, vol. iv. no. 16,161). 

5 Cf. Vol. IV. p. 96. 

G Sabin, vol. ii. no. 6,102. 

~ Carter-Brown, ii. 114. It was reprinted at Florence in 1859, and at Milan in 1865. 

8 Santarem enumerates various others ; cf. Childe s translation, p. 34 etc. Bandini (Vita e lettere di Ves- 
fitcci, cap. vii.) also enumerates the early references. 

9 Though Guicciardini died in 1540, his Historia d j Italia (1494-1532) did not appear at Florence till 
1564, and again at Venice in 1580. Segni, who told the history of Florence from 1527 to 1555, and died in 
1559, was also late in appearing. 

10 Dec. i. lib. iv. cap. 2 ; lib. vii. c. 5. 

H Robertson based his disbelief largely upon Herrera (History of America, note xxii.). 

12 Carter-Brown, vol. iii. no. 79^ ; Murphy, no. 142 ; Leclcrc, no. 2,47^. There was a German translation 
in 1748 (Carter-Brown, iii. 866; Sabin, vol. i. no. 3,150), with annotations, which gave occasion to a paper 
by Caleb Gushing in the North American Review, xii. 318. 



tion was aroused l by an address, with equal 
adulation, which Stanislao Canovai delivered to 
the Academy at Cortona in 1788, and which was 
printed at once as Elogio di Amerigo Vespucci, 
and various times afterward, with more or less 
change, till it appeared to revive anew the 
antagonism of scholars, in iSi;. 2 Muiioz had 
promised to disclose the impostures of Ves- 
pucius, but his uncompleted task fell to San- 
tarem, who found a sympathizer in Navarrete ; 
and Santarem s labored depreciation of Ves- 
pucius first appeared in Navarrete s Coleccion^ 
where Canovai s arguments are examined at 
length, with studied refutations of some points 
hardly worth the labor. This paper was later 
expanded, as explained in another place. 

He claims that one hundred thousand docu 
ments in the Royal Archives of Portugal, and 
the register of maps which belonged to King 
Emmanuel, make no mention of Vespucius, 4 and 
that there is no register of the letters-patent which 
Vespucius claimed to have received. Nor is there 
any mention in several hundred other contem 
porary manuscripts preserved in the great library 
at Paris, and in other collections, which San- 
tarem says he has examined. 5 

An admirer of Vespucius, and the most 
prominent advocate of a belief in the dis 
puted voyage of 1497, is Francisco Adolpho 
de Varnhagen, the Baron de Porto Seguro. As 

early as 1839, in notes to his Diario of Lopez de 
Souza, he began a long scries of publications in 
order to counteract the depreciation of Vespu 
cius by Ayres de Cazal, Xavarrete, and Santa- 
rem. In 1854, in his Historia geral do Brazil, 
he had combated Humboldt s opinion that it 
was Pinzon with whom Vespucius had sailed 
on his second voyage, and had contended for 
Ojeda. Varnhagen not only accepts the state 
ments of the St. -Die publications regarding that 
voyage, but undertakes to track the explorer s 
course. In his Amerigo Vespucci, son carac- 
tere, etc., he gives a map marking the various 
voyages of the Florentine. For the voyage of 
1497 he makes him strike a little south of west 
from the Canaries ; but leaving his course a 
blank from the mid-Atlantic, he resumes it at 
Cape Gracias a Dios on the point of Honduras, 7 
and follows it by the coast thence to the Chesa 
peake, when he passes by Bermuda, 8 and reaches 
Seville. In this he departs from all previous 
theories of the landfall, which had placed the 
contact on the coast of Paria. He takes a view 
of the Ruysch map 9 of 1 508 different from that 
of any other commentator, in holding the smaller 
land terminated with a scroll to be not Cuba, 
but a part of the main westerly, visited by 
Vespucius in this 1497 voyage ; and recently 
Harrisse, in his Cortereal^ argues that the de 
scriptions of Vespucius in this disputed voyage 

1 Santarem reviews this literary warfare of 1788-1789 (Childe s translation, p. 140). 

2 Sabin (Dictionary, iii. 312) gives the following contributions of Canovai : (i) Difensa d Amerigo Ves- 
puccio, Florence, 1796 (15 pp). (2) Dissertazione sopra il primo viaggio d Amerigo Vespucci alle Indie 
occidental!, Florence, 1809. (3) Elogio d Amerigo Vespucci . . . conuna dissertazione giustificativa, Florence, 
1788; con illustrazioni ed aggiunte [Cortona], 1789; noplace, 1790, Florence, 1798. (4) Esame critico del 
primo viaggio d j Amerigo Vespucci al miffvo mondo, Florence, 1811. Cf. II Marquis Gino Capponi, 
Osservazioni siiW esame critico del primo viaggio d" 1 Amerigo Vespucci al nuoi o mondo, Florence, 1811. 
Leclerc, no. 400 ; copy in Harvard College Library. (5) Lettera allo Stampat. Sis;. P. Allegrini a nome delP 
autore deW elogio prem. di Am. Vespucci, Florence, 1789. (6) Momimcnti relativi al gindizio prommziato 
daW Accademia Etrusca di Cortona di nn Elogio d Amerigo Vespucci, Florence, 1787. (7) Viaggi d* 
Amerigo Vespucci con la vita, / elogio e la dissertazione giustijicativa, Florence, 1817; again, 1832. There 
was an English version of the Elogio printed at New Haven in 1852. Canovai rejects some documents which 
Bandini accepted; as, for instance, the letter in Da Gama, of which there is a version in Lester, p. 313. Cf. 
also Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci, pp. 67, 69, where it is reprinted. 

3 Irving got his cue from this, and calls the voyage of 1497 pure invention. The documents which 
Navarrete gives are epitomized in Lester, p. 395, and reprinted in Varnhagen s Nonvelles rechercJies, p. 26. 

4 Childe s translation, p. 24. 

5 Childe s translation, pp. 65, 66. 

6 There is another laying down of his course in a map published with a volume not seldom quoted in the 
present work, and which may be well described here : Studi biografici e bibliografici sitlla storia della geografia 
in Italia publicati in occasione del 7//o Congresso Geografico Internazionalc, Edizione scconda, Rome, 1882. 
Vol. i. contains Biogrqfia dei viaggiatori Italiani, colla bibliografia delle loro opcre per Pictro Amat di San 
Filippo. The special title of vol. ii. is Mappamondi, carte nautichc, portolani ed altri monumenti carto- 
grajici specialmente Italiani dei sccoli XIII-XVII, per Gustavo Uzielli e Pictro Amat di San Filippo. 

7 He gives his reasons for this landfall in his Le premier voyage, p. 5. 

8 We have no positive notice of Bermuda being seen earlier than the record of the Peter Martyr map 
of 1511. 

9 See Vol. III. p. 8, and the present volume, p. 115. 

10 Where (p. 106) he announced his intention to discuss at some future time the voyages of Vespucius, 
and to bring forward, " selon notre habitude," some new documentary evidence. He has since given the 
proposed title : Amcric Vespuce, sa Correspondance, 1483-1491 ; soixante-kuit lettres inedites tirees du porte- 
f entile dcs Medicis, with annotations. 



correspond more nearly with the Cantino map 1 
than with any other. Harrisse also asks if 
Waldseemuller did not have such a map as 
Cantino s before him ; and if the map of Ves- 
pucius, which Peter Martyr says Fonseca had, 
may not have been the same ? 

Varnhagen, as might be expected in such an 
advocate, turns every undated incident in Vespu- 
cius favor if he can. He believes that the white- 
bearded men who the natives said preceded 
the Spaniards were Vespucius and his compan 
ions. A letter of Vianello, dated Dec. 28, 1506, 
which Humboldt quotes as mentioning an early 
voyage in which La Cosa took part, but hesi 
tates to assign to any particular year, Varnhagen 
eagerly makes applicable to the voyage of I497- 2 
The records of the Casa de la Contratacion 
which seem to be an impediment to a belief in 
the voyage, he makes to have reference, not to 
the ships of Columbus, but to those of Vespucius 
own command. Varnhagen s efforts to elucidate 
the career of Vespucius have been eager, if not 
in all respects conclusive." 1 

We get upon much firmer ground when we 
come to the consideration of the voyage of 1501, 
the first for Portugal, and the third of Ves 

pucius so-called four voyages. It seems clear 
that this voyage was ordered by the Portu 
guese Government to follow up the chance 
discovery of the Brazil coast by Cabral in 
1500, of which that navigator had sent word 
back by a messenger vessel. When the new 
exploring fleet sailed is a matter of uncertaintv, 
for the accounts differ, the Dutch edition of 
the account putting it as early as May I, 1501, 
while one account places it as late as June io. 4 
When the fleet reached the Cape de Verde 
Islands, it found there Cabral s vessels on the 
return voyage ; and what Vespucius here learned 
from Cabral he embodied in a letter, dated 
June 4, 1501, which is printed by Baldelli in 
his // Alilione di Marco Polo, from a manuscript 
preserved in the Riccardiana Collection. 5 Some 
time ki August for the exact day is in dis 
pute he struck the coast of South America, 
and coursed southward, returning to Lisbon 
Sept. 7, I502. 

Vespucius now wrote an account of it, ad 
dressed to Lorenzo Piero Francesco de Medici, 7 
in which he proposed a designation of the new 
regions, " novum mundum appellare licet." Such 
is the Latin phraseology, for the original Italian 
text is lost. 8 Within the next two years numer- 

1 See p. 108. 

2 This Vianello document was printed by Ferraro in his Relaziotie in 1875. 

3 His publications on the subject of Vespucius are as follows: (i) Vespuceet son premier voyage, on notice 
dhinc dccouvcrte et exploration dii Golfc du Mexique et des cotes des litats-Unis en 1497 et 1498, avcc le tcxte 
de trois notes de la main de Colomb, Paris, 1858. This had originally appeared from the same type in Bulletin 
de la Socicte de Geographic de Paris, January and February, 1858 ; and a summary of it in English will be 
found in the Historical Magazine, iv. 98, together with a letter from Varnhagen to Buckingham Smith. 

(2) Examen de qitelques points de VHistoire geographique dn Brcsil, second voyage de Vespiice, Paris, 1858- 

(3) Amerigo Vespucci, son caractcrc, ses ecrits, sa vie, et ses navigations, Lima, 186^. (4) Le premier voyage 
de Amerigo Vespucci definitivement explique dans ses details, Vienna, 1869. (5) Nouvdles rechercJies sur les 
dernier s voyages du navigateur florentin, et le reste des documents et cclaircissements sur lui, Vienna, 1869. 
(6) Post face auxtrois livraisons sur Amerigo Vespucci Vienna, 1870. This is also given as pages 55-57 of 
the Nouvdles recherches, though it is not included in its contents table. (7) Ainda Amerigo Vespucci, novos 
estudos c achegas, espccialmente em favor da interpretac^ao dada a sua i n viagem, em 1497-1498, as Costas do 
Yucatan, Vienna, 1874, eight pages, with fac-similes of part of Ruysch s map. Cf. Cat. Hist. Brazil, Bibl. 
nac. do R. de Janeiro, no. 839. (8) Cartas de Amerigo Vespucci, in the Rev. do Inst. Hist.. i. 5. 

4 Cf. Harrisse, Bibl. Amcr. Vet., p. 61. 

5 It is reprinted in Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci, p. 78. The manuscript is not in Vespucius 
hand (Bulletin de la Socicte de Geographic de Paris, April, 1858). Varnhagen is not satisfied of its 

6 Cf. Humboldt. Examen critique, \. i, 34; Major, Prince Henry, p. 375 ; Navarrete, iii. 46, 262 ; Ramu- 
sio, i. 139 ; Gryneeus, p. 122 ; Galvano, p. 98. Santarem, in his iconoclastic spirit, will not allow that Vespu 
cius went on this voyage, or on that with Coelho in 1503, holding that the one with Ojeda and La Cosa 
is the only indisputable voyage which Vespucius made (Childe s translation, p. 145), though, as Navarrete also 
admits, he may have been on these or other voyages in a subordinate capacity. Santarem cites Lafitau, Bar- 
ros, and Osorius as ignoring any such voyage by Vespucius. Vespucius says he could still see the Great 
Bear constellation when at 32 south ; but Humboldt points out that it is not visible beyond 26 south 

" This was a cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent; he was born in 1463, and died in 1503. Cf. Ranke s 
letter in Humboldt s Examen critique, and translated in Lester s Life and Voyages of Vespucius, p. 401. 
Varnhagen has an "Etude bibliographique " on this 1503 letter in his Amerigo Vespucci, son caractere, 
etc., p. 9. 

8 Varnhagen is confident (Postface in Nouvelles recherches, p. 56) that Vespucius was aware that he had 
found a new continent, and thought it no longer Asia, and that the letter of Vespucius, on which Humboldt 
based the statement of Vespucius dying in the belief that only Asia had been found, is a forgery. 



aiberfc* t>efpuccf> laurctio 

pern fraftdfddc snedids Sdutem plurima did* 

ous issues of Giocondo s Latin text were printed, There is a copy in the Lenox Library, which 
only two of which are dated, one at Augsburg has another issue, Mundus mwus, also in black- 
in 1504, the other at Strasburg in 1 505; and, with letter, forty-two lines to the page; 4 still an- 
a few exceptions, they all, by their published title, other, Muudiis uorus, forty lines to the page; 5 
gave currency to the 
designation of Mundus 
norus. The earliest of 
these editions is usu 
ally thought to be one 
Albert^ vcspiicc? laure- 
//i petri francisci de 
incdicis Salutcin plu- 
rii/ia dicit, of which a 
fac-simile of the title 
is annexed, and which 
bears the imprint of 
Jehan Lambert. 1 It is 
a small plaquette of 
six leaves ; and there 
are copies in the Lenox 
and Carter-Brown col 
lections. D Avezac, 
and Harrisse, in his 
later opinion (Addi 
tions, p. 19), agree in 
supposing this the first 
edition. The dated 
(1504) Augsburg edi 
tion, Miuidus noz its, is 
called " extraordinarily 
rare " by Grenville, 
who had a copy, now 
in the British Museum. 
On the reverse of the 
fourth and last leaf we 
read : " Magister [o- 
hanes otmar : vindelice 
impressit Auguste An 
no millesimo quingen- 
tesimo quarto." There 
are copies in the Lenox 
and Carter-Brown li 
braries.- An edition, 
Mundus norus, whose 
four u n n u m b e r e d 
leaves, forty lines to the 

full page, correspond wholly with this last issue, and another, with the words Mundus noz its in 
except that for the dated colophon the words Roman, of eight leaves, thirty lines to the page. 6 
LAUS DEO are substituted, was put at first by At this point in his enumeration Harrisse placed 
Harrisse 3 at the head of the list, with this title, originally the Jehan Lambert issue (mentioned 

1 Bill. Amer. Vet., no. 26 : D Avezac. Waltzemiiller , p. 74 : Carter-IJrown, i. 26 ; Sunderland, vol. v. 
no. 12,919: Unmet, vol. v. col. 1.155: Bibliothcca Grenvilliana, p. 766. 

" Bibl. Ainer. Vet., no. 31 ; Carter-Brown, i. 21 : Ternaux, no. 6: Bibliothcca Grcm iUiatia. p. 766 : Unmet, 
vol v. col. 1.154 : Huth. p. 1525. A copy was sold in the Hamilton sale (1884) for ,47. and subsequently 
held by Ouaritch at .55. The Court Catalogue (no. 369) shows a duplicate from the Munich Library. 
Harrassowitz, Rarissinia Americana (91 in 1882). no. i, priced a copy at 1.250 marks. 

3 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 22. 

4 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 2^; Carter-Brown, i. 22; Bibliothcca Grem illiana, p. 766; Court, no. 368; 
Quaritch (no. 321. title 12.489) held a copy at jioo. 

5 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 24. 

G Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 25 : Bibliotheca Grenrilliana. ii. 766 ; Huth, v. 1525. 


above), and after it a JMundits novus printed in 
Paris by Denys Roce, of which only a fragment 

naturact mottbim 
quct nouomElDoopctauimpf fio fereniffimt 

jflttxricus vdputiwo 3Uurttio pctrttenK&tao Snlut^pIurimS ^kit 
Upcriot>^oicbuo fatlo ampk nbi fciipft CreMtu mco a(? no 

nib 9 fltnoutfTima rcc.tcnib<a: 
ro l>CCiirrltralinc 
fe^ mnrcffrt quo> 

lib 9 babitat5*^n>)llrnm europam feu Uffam vd Hfhca7in fu^ atTg 

tnfcrms intclligco, vbrtiiccittctetantft r^Xiiptta fcribcmuo.ctree $i& 
nicies annowttouc7 mcmojtaqu^a mewl piff vel aut>it ui bocnou^ 


trit^ nawib* &> inquircrt^d rtouao ratted W? awftrfi Ui 
ginnmmfib 9 ^tincntcriwuigawimtto ab tnrrt^^ Culuo nmjig4t5te 01 
aotaltocft tlaui^tionQftrafuttg mfutefo:tunamd,lk olimMctod 
nfJcnfttappclUturinruIenw0nccanaric,qucfimt in tcraccUtnnte.tin 


Mt^ qwamTott>C!mmtfii rc 

7 poputo biiDtsatiir 

3bircfumptiovirib^2nccclTar9a rtoftretmui^ticntcrmZniujo flncbo 
ras ?crpaut>imii0v>darmtie.tnoilriitterj5 raftifftmS ocamfitKrigt 
tco vdrfiuj antarttaim parnpa*2<?cciv>cnr^infk)rimuo p ^ntum.quu 
Uulmrmm Matt a bicqua Tmfiimiisat>tcro ptomonrojio ^ud ntcn-- 

(five leaves) exists, sold in the Libri sale in 
London, 1865, and now in the British Museum. 1 
Another Paris edi 
tion, Jlfnndns novus, 
printed by Gilles 
de Gourmont, eight 
leaves, thirty-one 
lines to the page, is, 
according to Ilar- 
risse,- known only 
in a copy in the 
Lenox Library ; but 
D Avezac refers to 
a copy in the Na 
tional Library in 
Paris. 3 

Another Mundus 
novus is supposed 
by Harrisse to have 
been printed some 
where in the lower 
Rhineland, and to 
bear the mark of 
\Vm. Vorsterman, 
of Antwerp, on the 
last leaf, merely to 
give it currency in 
the Netherlands. It 
has four leaves, and 
forty-four lines to 
the full page. There 
are copies in the 
Lenox and Harvard 
College libraries. 4 
The Scrapcum for 
January, 1861, de 
scribes a Mioidus 
novus as preserved 
in the Mercantile 
Library at Ham 
burg, a plaquette 
of four leaves, with 

3nea aritmancranitatcquib pafltfuerimiio ^ naufra^i p< rkuia^ 
cornielncomo^afuftinuerimwo^w^qj an^tatib 7 mnnlobo:aumutG 
mfhmntionieotfjrdmqno.qtii multarftrcrfictpcrtcnta opriincnorSt 

1 Bill. Amcr. Vet.. 
no. 27. 

2 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., 
no. 28. 

3 Cf. also Libri 
(Catalogue of 1859) ; 
Bnmct, vol. v. col. 
1,155; Harrisse, Notes 
on Columbus, p. 30. 
" La petite edition de 
la lettre de Vespuce a 
Medicis sur son troi- 
sieme voyage, impri- 
mee a Paris chez Gilles 

de Gourmont, venduc a Londres en 1859 an prix de .32 io.v.. ct placee dans la riche collection de M. James 
Lenox de New York, n cxistc plus dans le volume a la fin duqucl cllc etait reliee a la Bibliotheque Mazarine. 
D Avezac : Waltzemiiller, p. 5. 

4 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 29: Huth, v. 1525 ; Humboldt. Examcn critique, v. 7, describing a copy in the 
Gottingen Library ; Bibliophile Beige, v. ->o2. 

5 Harrisse, no. 29. Cf. Navarrete, Opuscnlos i. 99. 




forty-five lines to the page, which seems to ein welt genennt mag werden dnrch den cristen- 
differ from all others. 1 Later, in his Additions licJien Kiinigz on Portugall ivunnderbarlich erfun- 
(1872), Harrisse described other issues of the den The colophon shows that this German 
Noz us mundus which do not seem to be identical version was made from a copy of the Latin text 
with those mentioned in his 
Bibliotheca Americana Vetustis- 
siina. One of these Mud us 
noznis, printed in a very small 
gothic letter, four leaves he 
found in the Biblioteca Cosate- 
nense at Rome.- The other has 
for the leading title, Epistola 
Albericii : de novo mundo, a 
plaquette of four leaves, forty- 
eight lines to the page, with 
map and woodcut. 3 

This letter of Vespucius was 
again issued at Strasburg in 
1505, with the title Be \_De\ ora 
antarctica, as shown in the an 
nexed fac-simile ; and joined 
with this text, in the little six- 
leaved tract, was a letter of Phi 
lesius to Bruno, and some Latin 
verses by Philesius ; and in this 
form we have it probably for 
the last time in that language. 4 
This Philesius we shall en 
counter again later. 

It was this Latin rendering 
by Giocondo, the architect, as 
Harrisse thinks, 5 upon which 
the Italian text of the Paesi no- 
vamente was founded. Varnha- 
gen in his Amerigo Vespucci, son 
caractere (p. 13), prints side by 
side this Italian and the Latin 
text, marking different read 
ings in the latter. In this same 
year (1505) the first German 
edition was issued at Nurem 
berg, though it is undated : Von 
J<:r new gefunde Region die wol 

1 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 30 ; Carter-Brown, i. 23. A copy was (no. 233) in a sale at Sotheby s, London, 
Feb. 22, 1883. It seems probable that no. 14 of Harrisse s Additions, corresponding to copies in the Lenox, 
Trivulziana, and Marciana libraries, is identical with this. 

- Harrisse, Additions, p. 12, where its first page is said to have thirty-three lines : but the Court Catalogue 
(no. 367), describing what seems to be the same, says it has forty-two lines, and suggests that it was printed 
at Cologne about 1503. 

3 Additions, p. 13, describing a copy in the British Museum. Varnhagen (Amerigo Vespucci, Lima, 1865, 
p. 9) describes another copy which he had seen. 

4 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 39; Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 24; Brunet, vol. v. col. 1,155 : Court, no. 370; Huth, 
v. 1526; D Avezac, Waltzemi dlcr-. p. 91. Tross, of Paris, in 1872, issued a vellum fac-simile reprint in ten 
copies. Murphy, no. 2,615 ; Court, no. 371. 

5 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., Additions, p. 36. 

6 This title is followed on the same page by a large cut of the King of Portugal with sceptre and shield. 
The little plaquette has six folios, small quarto (Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 33). A fac-simile edition was made by 
Pilinski at Paris (twenty-five copies), in 1861. Cf. Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 25, with fac-simile of title; Mur 
phy, no. 2,616; Huth, v. 1525 ; O Callaghan, no. 2,328; Cooke, no. 2,519. There is a copy of this fac-simile, 
which brings about $5 or $6, in the Boston Public Library. Cf. also Panzer. Annalen, SuppL, no. 561 bis, 
and Weller, Repcrtorium, no. 335. 


0n pomgal/ttnm&ertolicf) r tfiiffta*. 


Drought from Paris in May, 1505 : ^4^ latcin ist 
dist missiue in Teiitsch gezoge ansz dem exemplar 
das von Parisz kam ym maien monct nach Christi 
gebtirf, Funfftzenhundert vnnd Fiinffjar. Gedruckt 
vn Niiremburg dnrch Wolff gang Huclcr. The 
full page of this edition has thirty-seven lines. 

Another edition, issued the same year (1505), 
shows a slight change in the title, Von der neii 

gef nnden Region so ivol cin ivelt genempt mag iver- 
den, durch den Christelichen kilnig, von Portigal 
wundcrbarlich erfiinden. This is followed by the 
same cut of the King, and has a similar colophon. 
Its full page contains thirty-three lines. 2 

Still another edition of the same year and 
publisher shows thirty-five lines to the page, and 
above the same cut the title reads : Von der neu 

1 This follows the fac-simile given in Ruge s Geschichte dcs Zcitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 333, of an 
edition in the Royal Library at Dresden. 

2 There is a copy in the Carter-Brown Collection (Catalogue, vol. i. no. 586). It seems to be Harrisse s 
no. 37, where a copy in the British Museum is described. 


e mebids d gru 

CI rergangen tagen I>a6 tdr> bfr ePen wey t ge|ct>:y{>en vott 
i meiiter wiberfmt son ben neuen lantfctjafften bie id) mit 

(Dafen verf^Pneter(3>yf^ voitge 

Pot bea burc^leiicl>tigif?en Buirogs t>0rt po:rigalburd)fuct)t ^a* 
Pen vnb junben/iDie man mag bie neuen welt nennen/ Qo Pey vrt 
fern vozfarn vettern bauon teyn nriflen gewefen/vnb alien ben bie 
folidjs t?$nallerfcng an note fey/Qfunber aud^> bae alle meinflg 
wfm- eltem ufer try fit (o boc^j ber mertey I bar (el^en (p:ict?t / bos 
r&er bie gleict?mfmrd>nge lynien gmant tSquinomalie / wb ge> 
gen mtttag teyn ?onung ber leutten/funbar aUe^n bae gro^ mer 
in^alten/Sas ft nennen ba6 atdanbifct? mer/ X>n oP yemanb ber 
felBen wommgen bajelga fein gerebt (o ^aSe (y boct> <n^ wl fcdpe 
fcas bo won^lafjtig lanb r n eraid> fey wtberrebt/2lPer ba6 folidt> 
ir mayniutg fal(ct> vnnb ber war^eit wtber (ey tn alle weg ^at bi|? 
mem leQte fctyffung 5ewa(f / Qo tct? in Oen felPen gegnuttge geg2 
tnittag men(c^licl>e in woming funben ^a0 mit vfl volcf 9 x?nb xnl 
ttjieren Peiert/ban rnfer tfiiiropa ober 2lftam ober 3fjricam/\ni 
fb vil mer gejimben temperierten luflt (cl^on tmb lauter mer vm^ 
L>fligerb4nineymc^eranbemlant(cl?affc bien?irwiflen/2tbbt? 
^ernac^ (e^en wnb verflan awff / (o ic^ Mrgbie oPern bing 5e^ 
fa>ty5cn vnb bie bing (o vermewf ene vnnb gebegmt^aller wu*i 
gefl wnb von mir gef^en obcr ge^^ jn bie(er naioi welt ftnlV 


gefunden Region die -wol ein welt genent mag wer- gion, etc. It is without date and place ; but 

den durch den Cristenlichen kiinig von portigal Harrisse sets it under 1505, as he does an- 

ivunderbarlich erfunden. This is the copy de- other issue, Von der Neiiwen gefunde Region, of 

scribed in the Carter-Brown Catalogue (vol. i. which he found a copy in the Royal Library at 

no. 26), and seems to correspond to the copy in Munich, 4 and still another, Von den Navuen Insu- 

the Dresden Library, of which fac-similes of the len unnd Landen, printed at Leipsic. 5 

title and its reverse are given herewith. 2 In 1506 there were two editions, one pub- 

Harrisse 3 cites a copy in the British Museum lished at Strasburg, 6 Von den Niiwe Inside und 

(Grenville), which has thirty-five lines to the landen (eight leaves) ; and the other at Leipsic, 

page, with the title : Vonderneuw gefunden Re- Von den newen Insulen und Landen (six leaves). 7 

1 This follows the fac-simile given in Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungcn, p. 334, of the 
reverse of title of a copy preserved in the Royal Library at Dresden. 

2 Harrisse (Bibl. Amer. Vet.) says he describes his no. 38 from the Carter-Brown and Lenox copies ; but 
the colophon as he gives it does not correspond with the Carter-Brown Catalogue, nor with the Dresden copy 
as described by Ruge. Cf. also Panzer, Annalen, vol. i. p. 271, no. 561 ; Humboldt, Examen critique, v. 6. 

8 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 34. 

4 Bibl. Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 21. 

5 Bibl. Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 20, following Weller s Repertorium, no. 320. 

6 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 40 ; there is a copy in the Lenox Library. 

7 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 41 ; Heber, vol. vi. no. 3,846; Rich, no. i ; Humboldt, Examen critique, iv. 160. 
VOL. II. 21. 



In 1508 there was, according to Brunet, 1 a 
Strasburg edition, Von den A r eilwen Insulen itnd 
Landen. There was also a Dutch edition, Va)i 
der nieuwcr ivcrelt, etc., printed at Antwerp by 
Jan van Doesborgh, which was first made known 
by Muller, of Amsterdam, through his Books on 
America (1872, no. 24). It is a little quarto 
tract of eight leaves, without date, printed in 
gothic type, thirty and thirty-one lines to the 
page, \vith various woodcuts. It came from an 
"insignificant library," that of the architect 
Bosschaert, 2 sold in 1871 in Antwerp, and was 
bound up with three other tracts of the first ten 
years of the sixteenth century. It cost Muller 
830 florins, and subsequently passed into the 
Carter-Brown Library, and still remains unique. 
Muller had placed it between 1506 and 1509; 
but Mr. Bartlett, in the Carter- Brcnvn Catalogue 
(vol. i. no. 38), assigns it to 1508. Muller had 
also given a fac-simile of the first page ; but only 
the cut on that page is reproduced in the Carter- 
Brown Catalogue (i. 46), as well as a cut show 
ing a group of four Indians, which is on the re 
verse of the last leaf. Mr. Carter-Brown printed 
a fac-simile edition (twenty-five copies) in 1874 
for private distribution. 3 

That portion of the Latin letter which Ves- 
pucius addressed to Soderini on his four voyages 
differs from the text connected with Giocondo s 
name, and will be found in the various versions 
of the Paesi novamente and in Grynasus, as well 
as in Ramusio (i. 128), Bandini (p. 100), and 
Canovai in Italian, and in English in Kerr s Voy 
ages (vol. iii., 1812, p. 342) and in Lester (p. 223). 
There are also German versions in Voss, Aller- 
dlteste Nachricht von den neuen Welt (Berlin, 
1722), and in Spanish in Navarrete s Coleccion 
(iii. 190). 

There is another text, the "Relazione," pub 
lished by Francesco Bartolozzi in I7S9, 4 after it 
had long remained in manuscript ; it also is 

addressed to the same Lorenzo. 5 If the original 
account as written by Vespucius himself was in 
Portuguese and addressed to King Manoel, it is 
lost. 6 

Of the Vespucius-Coelho voyage we have 
only the account which is given in connection 
with the other three, in which Vespucius gives 
May 10 as the date of sailing ; but Coelho is 
known to have started June 10, with six ships. 
Varnhagen has identified the harbor, where he 
left the shipwrecked crew, with Port Frio. 7 
Returning, they reached Lisbon June 18 (or 28), 
and on the 4th of the following September Ves 
pucius dated his account. 8 

If we draw a line from Nancy to Strasburg 
as the longer side of a triangle, its apex to the 
south will- fall among the Vosges, where in a 
secluded valley lies the town of St. -Die. What 
we see there to-day of man s work is scarcely a 
century and a half old; for the place was burned 
in 1756, and shortly after rebuilt. In the early 
part of the sixteenth century St.-Die was in the 
dominion of Duke Rene of Lorraine. It had its 
cathedral and a seminary of learning (under the 
patronage of the Duke), and a printing-press had 
been set up there. The reigning prince, as an 
enlightened friend of erudition, had drawn to his 
college a number of learned men; and Pico de 
Mirandola, in addressing a letter to the editor 
of the Ptolemy of 1513, expressed surprise that 
so scholarly a body of men existed in so obscure 
a place. Who were these scholars ? 

The chief agent of the Duke in the matter 
seems to have been his secretary, Walter Lud 
or Ludd, or Gualterus Ludovicus, as his name 
was latinized. The preceding narrative has indi 
cated his position in this learned community, 9 
and has cited the little tractate of four leaves by 
him, the importance of which was first discov 
ered, about twenty years ago, by Henry Stevens, 10 

1 Vol. v. col. 1156; BibL Amer. Vet., no. 50. 

2 Bulletin de la Societe de Geographic d Anvers, 1877, p. 349. 

3 There is a copy of this fac-simile in the Boston Public Library [G. 302, 22]. Cf. Historical Magazine, 
xxi. in. 

4 Ricerche istorico-critiche circa alle scoperte d Amerigo Vespucci con V aggiunta di 2ina relazione del 
medesimo fin or a inedita (Florence, 1789), p. 168. He followed, not an original, but a copy found in the Bib- 
lioteca Strozziana. This text is reprinted in Varnhagen s Amerigo Vespucci, p. 83. 

5 Cf. the Relazione dclle scoperte fattc da C. Colombo, da A. Vespucci, etc., following a manuscript in the 
Ferrara Library, edited by Professor Ferraro, and published at Bologna in 1875 as no. 144 of the series Scelta 
di curiosita letterarie inedite e rare dal secolo XIII al XVII. 

6 Lucas Rem s Tagcbitch aus den Jahrcn 1494-1542. Beitrag zur Handelsgeschtchte der Stadt Augs 
burg. Mitgethcilt mit Bcmerkungen und einem Anhange von noch ungedruckten Briefen ntid Berichten 
iiber die Entdeckung dcs iwvcn Scewegcs nach Amerika und Ost-Indicn, von B. Greiff. Augsburg, 1861. 
This privately printed book in a " kurtzer Bericht aus der neuen Welt, 1501," is said to contain an account of 
a voyage of Vespucius, probably this one (Muller, Books on America, 1877, no. 2,727). 

~ Hist, geraldo Brazil (1854), p. 427. Cf. Navarrete, iii. 281, 294; Bandini, p. 57; Peschel, Erdkunde. 
(1877), p. 275; Calender s Voyages to Terra Australis (1866), vol. i. ; Ramusio, i. 130; 141. 

8 That portion of it relating to this voyage is given in English in Lester, p. 238. 

9 N. F. Gravier in his Histoire de Saint-Die, published at Spinal in 1836, p. 202, depicts the character of 
Lud and the influence of his press. Lud died at St.-Die in 1527, at the age of seventy-nine. 

w Cf. his Notes, etc., p. 35. 


and of which the only copies at present known 
are in the British Museum and the Imperial 
Library at Vienna. 1 From this tiny Speculum, 
as we shall see, we learn some important par 
ticulars. Just over the line of Lorraine, and 
within the limits of Alsace, there was born and 
had lived a certain Mathias Ringmann or Ring- 
man. In these early years of the century (1504) 
he was a student in Paris among the pupils of a 
certain Dr. John Faber, to be in other ways, as 
we shall see, connected with the development of 
the little story now in progress. In Paris at the 
same time, and engaged in building the Notre 
Dame bridge, was the Veronese architect Fra 
Giovanni Giocondo. Major thinks there is 
great reason for believing that the young Alsa 
tian student formed the acquaintance of the 
Italian architect, and was thus brought to enter 
tain that enthusiasm for Vespucius which Gio 
condo, as a countryman of the navigator, seems 
to have imparted to his young friend. At least 
the little that is known positively seems to indi 
cate this transmission of admiration. 

We must next revert to what Vespucius 
himself was doing to afford material for this 
increase of his fame. On his return from his 
last voyage he had prepared an account at full 
length of his experiences in the New World, 
that coming generations might remember him." 
No such ample document, however, is now 
known. There was at this time (1504) living in 
Florence a man of fifty-four, Piero Soderini, 
who two years before, had been made perpetual 
Gonfaloniere of the city. He had been a school 
mate of Vespucius ; and to him, dating from Lis 
bon, Sept. 4, 1504, the navigator addressed an 
account of what he called his four voyages, ab 
stracted as is supposed from the larger narra 

tive. The original text of this abstract is also 
missing, unless we believe, with Varnhagen, that 
the text which he gives in his Amerigo Vespucci, 
son caractere, etc. (p. 34), printed at Lima in 
1865, is such, which he supposes to have been 
published at Florence in 1505-1506, since a 
printed copy of an Italian text, undated, had 
been bought by him in Havana (1863) in the 
same covers with another tract of I5o6. 2 Other 
commentators have not placed this Italian tract 
so early. It has not usually been placed before 
I5io. :j Dr. Court put it before 1512. Harrisse 
gave it the date of 1516 because he had found it 
bound with another tract of that date ; but in his 
Additions, p. xxv, he acknowledges the reasons 
inconclusive. Major contends that there is no 
reason to believe that any known Italian text 
antedates the Latin, yet to be mentioned. This 
Italian text is called Lettera di Amerigo Vespucci 
ddle isole nuovamente trovate in quattro suoi viaggi 
. . . Data in Lisbona a di 4 di Septembre, i 504. 
It is a small quarto of sixteen leaves. 4 

Varnhagen does not question that the early 
Italian print is the better text, differing as it 
does from Bassin s Latin ; and he follows it by 
preference in all his arguments. He complains 
that Bandini and Canovai reprinted it with many 

Ramusio in his first volume had reprinted 
that part of it which covers the third and fourth 
voyage ; and it had also been given in French in 
the collection of Jean Temporal at Lyons in 
1556, known otherwise as Jean Leon s (Leo Afri- 
canus) Historiale description de VAfrique, with a 
preface by Ramusio. 5 

It is Major s belief that the original text of 
the abstract intended for Soderini was written 
in a sort of composite Spanish-Italian dialect, 
such as an Italian long in the service of 

1 Varnhagen s Le premier voyage, p. i. 

- Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci, son caracttre, etc., p. 28; D Avezac s Waltzemiiiler,^. 46; Harrisse, 
Bibl. Amcr. Vet., Additions, p. xxiv. 

3 Xapione puts it in this year in his Del primo scopritore, Florence, 1809. 

4 Harrisse (Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 8") describes it from a copy in the British Museum which is noted in 
the Grenville Catalogue, p. 764, no. 6,535. D Avezac, in 1867, noted, besides the Grenville copy, one belonging 
to the Marquis Gino Capponi at Florence, and Varnhagen s ( \Valtzcmiiller, p, 45 ; Peignot, Repertoire, p. 139 ; 
Heber, vol. vi. no. 3,848; Napione, Del primo scopritore del nuovo mondo, 1809, p. 107; Ebert, Dictionary, 
no. 27,542; Ternaux, no. 5). Harrisse in 1872 (Bibl. Amcr. Vet., Additions, p. xxiv), added a fourth copy, 
belonging to the Palatina in Florence (Biblioteca Nazionale), and thinks there may have been formerly a 
duplicate in that collection, which Napione describes. The copy described by Peignot may have been the same 
with the Heber and Grenville copies ; and the Florence copy mentioned by Harrisse in his Ferdinand Colomb, 
p. n, may also be one of those already mentioned. The copy which Brunet later described in his Supplement 
passed into the Court Collection (no. 366) ; and when that splendid library was sold, in 1884, this copy was con 
sidered its gem, and was bought by Quaritch for 524, but is now owned by Mr. Chas. H. Kalbfleisch, of XewYork. 
The copies known to Varnhagen in 1865 were one which had belonged to Baccio Valori, used by Bandini ; one 
\\hich belonged to Gaetano Poggiale, described by Napione ; the Grenville copy ; and his own, which had 
formerly belonged to the Libreria de Nuestra Senora de las Cuevas de la Cartuja in Seville. The same text was 
printed in 1745 in Bandini s Vita e letter e di Amerigo Vespucci, and in 1817 in Canovai s Viaggi d> America 
Vespucci, where it is interjected among other matter, voyage by voyage. 

5 There was also a French edition at Antwerp the same year, and it was reprinted in Paris in 1830. 
There were editions in Latin at Antwerp in 1556, at Tiguri in 1559, and an Elzevir edition in 1632 (Carter- 
Brown, vol. i. no. 211). 

1 64 


the Iberian nations might acquire, 1 and that a 
copy of it coming into the possession of Ves- 
pucius countryman, Giocondo, in Paris, it was 
by that architect translated into French, and at 
Ringmann s suggestion addressed to Rene and 
intrusted to Ringmann to convey to the Duke, of 
whom the Alsatian felt proud, as an enlightened 
sovereign whose dominions were within easy 
reach of his own home. Major also suggests 
that the preliminary parts of the narrative, re 
ferring to the school-day acquaintance of Ves- 
pucius with the person whom he addressed, 
while it was true of Soderini,- was not so of 
Rene ; but, being retained, has given rise to con 
fusion. 8 Lud tells us only that the letters were 
sent from Portugal to Rene in French, and 
Waldseemuller says that they were translated 
from the Italian to the French, but without 
telling us whence they came. 

\Ve know, at all events, that Ringmann re 
turned to the Vosges country, and was invited 
to become professor of Latin in the new col 
lege, where he taught thereafter, and that he 
had become known, as was the fashion, under 
the Latin name of Philesius, whose verses have 
already been referred to. The narrative of 
Vespucius, whether Ringmann brought it from 
Paris, or however it came, was not turned from 
the French into Latin by him, 4 but, as Lud 
informs us, by another canon of the Cathedral, 
Jean Bassin de Sandacourt, or Johannes Basinus 
Sandacurius, as he appears in Lud s Latin. 

Just before this, in 1504, there had joined 
the college, as teacher of geography, another 
young man who had classicized his name, and 
was known as Hylacomylus. It was left, as 
has been mentioned, for Humboldt (Examen 
critique, iv. 99) to identify him as Martin Waltze- 
miiller, who however preferred to write it 

It was a project among this St.-Die coterie, 
to edit Ptolemy, 5 and illustrate his cosmo- 
graphical views, just as another coterie at 
Vienna were engaged then and later in study 
ing the complemental theories of Pomponius 
Mela. Waldseemuller, as the teacher of geog 
raphy, naturally assumed control of this under 
taking ; and the Duke himself so far encouraged 
the scheme as to order the engraving of a map 
to accompany the exposition of the new discov 
eries, the same which is now known as the 
Admiral s map. 6 

In pursuance of these studies Waldseemuller 
had prepared a little cosmographical treatise, 
and this it was now determined to print at the 
College Press at St.-Die. Nothing could better 
accompany it than the Latin translation of the 
Four Voyages of Vespucius and some verses by 
Philesius ; for Ringmann, as we have seen, was 
a verse-maker, and had a local fame as a Latin 
poet. Accordingly, unless Varnhagen s theory 
is true, which most critics are not inclined to 
accept, these letters of Vespucius first got into 
print, not in their original Italian, but in a little 
Latin quarto of Waldseemuller, printed in this 
obscure nook of the Vosges. Under the title of 
Cosmographies introductio, this appeared twice, 
if not oftener, in I5O7- 7 

To establish the sequence of the editions of 
the Cosmographies introductio in 1 507 8 is a biblio 
graphical task of some difficulty, and experts 
are at variance. D Avezac ( Waltzemiiller, p. 112) 
makes four editions in 1507, and establishes 
a test for distinguishing them by taking the 
first line of the title, together with the date of 
the colophon ; those of May corresponding to the 
25th of April, and those of September to the 
29th of August : 

1 . Cosmographies introdu vij kf Maij. 

2. Cosmographies introductio vij k? Maij. 

1 Cf . Varnhagen, Le premier voyage, p. i . 

2 Bandini, p. xxv ; Bartolozzi, Recherche, p. 67. 

3 Santarem dismisses the claim that Vespucius was the intimate of either the first or second Duke Rene. 
Cf. Childe s translation, p. 57, and H. Lepage s Le Due Rene II. ct Am cric Vespuce, Nancy, 1875. Irving 
(Columbus, app. ix.) doubts the view which Major has contended for. 

4 Varnhagen, ignorant of Lud, labors to make it clear that Ringmann must have been the translator 
(Amerigo Vespucci, p. 30) ; he learned his error later. 

5 See the chapters of Bunbury in his History of Ancient Geography, vol. ii.,and the articles by De Morgan 
in Smith s Dictionary of Ancient Biography, and by Malte-Brun in the Biographic iiniverselle. 

6 See Vol. IV. p. 35, and this volume, p. 112. 

7 Cf. D Avezac, Waltzemiiller, p. 8 ; Lelewel, Moy en-age, p. 142 ; N. F. Gravier, Histoire de la wile de 
Saint-Die, Epinal, 1836. The full title of D Avezac s work is Martin Hylacomylus lValtzcmiiller,ses outrages 
et scs collaborateurs. Voyage d* exploration et de decou-vertes h travers quelqucs epitres dedicatoires, prefaces, 
et opuscidcs du commencement dit XVI e siecle : notes, caiiseries, et digressions bibliographiques et autres par 
^^n Gcographc Bibliophile (Extrait des Annales des Voyages, 1866). Paris, 1867, pp. x. 176, 8vo. D Avezac, 
as a learned writer in historical geography, has put his successors under obligations. See an enumeration of his 
writings in Sabin, vol. i. nos. 2,492, etc., and in Leclerc, no. 164, etc., and the notice in the Proceedings of 
the American Antiquarian Society, April, 1876. He published in the Bulletin de la Societc de Geographic de 
Paris, 1858, and also separately, a valuable paper, Lcs voyages de Amcric Vespuce au compte de I Espagnc 
et les mcsiires itineraires employees par les marins Espagnols et Portugais des XV C et XVI* slides (iSS pp.). 

8 They bear the press-mark of the St.-Die Association, which is given in fac-simile in Brunet, vol. ii. 
no. 316. It is also in the Carter-Brown Catalogue, i. 33, and in the Murphy Catalogue, p. 94. 


I6 5 


1 66 


3. Cosmographies iiij k? Septembris. 

4. Cosmographies introdu iiij kl Septembris. 
The late Henry C. Murphy 1 maintained that 

nos. i and 4 in this enumeration are simplv 
made up from nos. 2 and 3 (the original May 
and September editions), to which a new title, 
the same in each case, with the substitution of 
other leaves for the originals of leaves i, 2, 5, 
and 6, also the same in each case, was given. 
Harrisse, however, dissents, and thinks D Ave- 
zac s no. i a genuine first edition. The only 
copy of it known - was picked up on a Paris quay 
for a franc by the geographer Eyries, which was 
sold at his death, in 1846, for 160 francs, and 
again at the Nicholas Yemeniz sale (Lyons, no. 
2,676), in 1867, for 2 > 000 francs. It is now in 
the Lenox Library. 3 

Of the second of D Avezac s types there 
are several copies known. Harrisse 4 names 
the copies in the Lenox, Murphy, 5 and Carter- 
Brown 6 collections. There is a record of other 
copies in the National Library at Rio Janeiro, 7 
in the Royal Library at Berlin, 8 in the Huth 
Collection 9 in London, and in the Mazarine 
Library in Paris, a copy which D Avezac 10 
calls " irreprochable." Tross held a copy in 
1872 for 1,500 francs. Waldseemiiller s name 
does not appear in these early May issues, 
which are little quartos of fifty-two leaves, 
twenty-seven lines to the full page, with an in 
scription of twelve lines, in Roman type, on the 
back of the folding sheet of a skeleton globe. 11 

On the 29th of August (iiij kl Septembris) 
it was reissued, still without Waldseemiiller s 
name, of the same size, and fifty-two leaves ; 
but the folding sheet bears on the reverse an 
inscription in fifteen lines. The ordinary title 
is D Avezac s no. 3. Harrisse 12 mentions the 
Lenox and Carter-Brown 13 copies ; but there are 
others in Harvard College Library (formerly the 
Cooke copy, no. 625, besides an imperfect copy 
which belonged to Charles Sumner), in Charles 
Deane s Collection, and in the Barlow Library. 
The Murphy Library had a copy (no. 6So) in 

its catalogue, and the house of John Wiley s 
Sons advertised a copy in New York in 1883 
for $350. 

There are records of copies in Europe, in 
the Imperial Library at Vienna, in the Nation 
al Library at Paris, and in the Huth Collec 
tion (Catalogue, i. 356) in London. D Avezac 
( Waltzemiillcr, pp. 54, 55) describes a copy 
which belonged to Yemeniz, of Lyons. Brock- 
haus advertised one in 1861 (Tromel, no. i). 
Another was sold in Paris for 2,000 francs in 
1867. There was another in the Sobolewski 
sale (no. 3,769), and one in the Court Cata 
logue (no. 92). Leclerc, 1878 (no. 599), has 
advertised one for 500 francs, Harrassowitz, 
1881, (no. 309) one for 1,000 marks, and Ro- 
senthal, of Munich, in 1884 (no. 30) held one 
at 3,000 marks. One is also shown in the Cat 
alogue of the Reserved and Most Valuable Portion 
of the Libri Collection (no. 15). 

The latter portion of the book, embracing 
the Quatluor Americi Vesputii navigationes, 
seems to have been issued also separately, and 
is still occasionally found. 14 

What seems to have been a composite edition, 
corresponding to D Avezac s fourth, made up, as 
Harrisse thinks (Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 47), of the 
introductory part of D Avezac s first and the 
voyages of his third edition, is also found, though 
very rarely. There is a copy in the Lenox 
Library of this description, and another, described 
by Harrisse, in the Mazarine Library in Paris. 15 

It was in this precious little quarto of 1507, 
whose complicated issues we have endeavored 
to trace, that, in the introductory portion, Wald- 
seemiiller, anonymously to the world, bu t doubt 
less with the privity of his fellow-collegians, 
proposed in two passages, already quoted, but 
here presented in fac-simile, to stand sponsor 
for the new-named western world ; and with what 
result we shall see. 

It was a strange sensation to name a new 
continent, or even a hitherto unknown part of 

1 Carter-Brown Catalogue, i. 35 ; Harrisse, Bibl. Amcr. Vet., Additions, no. 24. 

2 D Avezac, Waltzemiiller, p. 28. 

3 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 44; Additions, no. 24; D Avezac, Waltzcmiillcr, p. 31. It is said that an 
imperfect copy in the Mazarine Library corresponds as far as it goes. D Avezac says the Vatican copy, 
mentioned by Napione and Foscarini, cannot be found. 

4 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 45. 

5 Catalogue, no. 679, bought (1884) by President White of Cornell University. 

6 Catalogue, vol. i. no. 28. 

7 Cat. Hist. Brazil, Bibl. Nac. do Rio dc Janeiro, no. 825. 

8 Described by Humboldt. 

9 Catalogue, i. 356. 

10 Waltzcmiillcr, p. 52, etc. 

11 Cf. Brunet, ii. 317; Ternaux, no. 10. 

12 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 46 ; Additions, no. 24. 

13 Catalogue, i. 29. It was Ternaux s copy, no. 10. 

14 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., Additions, no. 25 ; Leclerc, no. 600 (100 francs); D Avezac, Waltzcmiiller, p. 58. 

15 Cf. D Avezac, Waltzcmiiller, p. in. and Orozco y Berra s Cartogrqfia Mexicana (Mexico, 1871), p, 19. 









Infijper quattuor Ametid 
\felpuci} nauigationeS* 

ia* ecp tio tarn 

tnfolido q$plano/eisetiarn infertis 
qiuePtholomjo ignota anu 
peris repcrta funt* 


Comdcus a(hategat/8^tcrt^cIimataCsefar 
Nee tellus/nec eis fydera maius habeas 


an old one. There was again the same uncer- insignificant a gain to Europe had men come to 

tainty of continental lines as when Europe had believe these new islands, compared with the 

been named 2 by the ancients, for there was now regions of wealth and spices with which Vasco 

only the vaguest notion of what there was to be da Gama and Cabral had opened trade by the 

named. -Columbus had already died in the be- African route, that the advocate and deluded 

lief that he had only touched the eastern limits finder of the western route had died obscurely, 

of Asia. There is no good reason to believe that with scarcely a record being made of his depar- 

Vespucius himself was of a different mind. 3 So ture. A few islands and their savage inhabi- 

1 This is the third edition of D Avezac s enumeration. 

2 How Europe, which on a modern map would seem to be but one continent with Asia, became one of 
three great continents known to the ancients, is manifest from the world as it was conceived by Eratosthenes 
in the third century. In his map the Caspian Sea was a gulf indented from the Northern Ocean, so that only 
a small land-connection existed between Asia and Europe, spanned by the Caucasus Mountains, with the 
Euxine on the west and the Caspian on the east : just as the isthmus at the head of the Arabian Gulf also 
joined Libya, or Africa, to Asia. Cf. Bunbury ? s History of Ancient Geography, i. 660. 

8 Humboldt, Examen critique, v. 182; but Varnhagen thinks Humboldt was mistaken so far as Vespu- 
cius was concerned. 



qug oppofitu vcl contra deno tat* Atcjj in &xf o cli 
mate Antar&icu. verfus/ & pars extrema Affiicse 
nuper ref>erta 8C Zamziber/laua minor/ 8c Seula 
infulg/SCquartaorbis parse quamqwa Americus 
f inucnit Amengeii/quafi Americi terra/flue Ame^ 
camnunaipareliceOfita^funt^Dequibus Auftrali ri 
bus climatibus h^cRomponij Mellg Geographi Popo; 
verba intelligcndalunt/ vbi air. Zone habitabilcs 
pariaaguntaanitcmpora/verumnon pariter An^ 
tichthones alteratn/nos alteramincolimusjllius C^ 
cus ob ardorcinrercedetis plagcincpgnitus/1i08^5 
diccndus eft* Vbi ammaduettendum e(I quod chV 
niatum quodcp alios ^ aliudplerumcp foetus pro> 

derum virtuteraodercntur* 


Nuncvcro &hegpartcs(untlariusluftratsc/S^ 
alia quarta pars.per Arneridi Ve(putiumc vt iafc^ 
fe quentibus audietur)inucntacft:qiianoii video cut 
quisiurcvetetab Americoinucntore fagacis inge 
>ico nfj viro Amerigcn quafi Amend ierram/fiue Ante 
licanvdicendamtcum &C Earopa & Afia amuh cnV 
bus fuaforritafint nomina*Eius fitu &T genti 
les ex bisbiiiis Americinauigationibus qu 

tants had scarcely answered the expectation of To Columbus himself the new-found regions 
those who had pictured from Marco Polo the were only "insulas Indias super Gangem," 
golden glories of Cathay. India east of the Ganges ; and the " Indies " 

1 That part of the page (sig. C) of the September edition (1507) which has the reference to America and 

2 That part of the page of the 1507 (September) edition in which the name of America is proposed for 
the New World. 



which he supposed he had found, and for whose 
native races the Asiatic name was borrowed 
and continues to abide, remained the Spanish 
designation of their possessions therein, though 
distinguished in time by the expletive West 
Indies. 1 It never occurred to the discoverers 
themselves to give a new name to regions which 
they sometimes designated generically as Mun- 
dus Novits or Alter Orbis ; but it is doubtful 
as Humboldt says, if they intended by such 
designation any further description than that 
the parts discovered were newly found, just as 
Strabo, Mela, Cadamosto and others had used 
similar designations. 2 It was at a much later day, 
and when the continental character of the New 
World was long established, that some Span 
iard suggested Colonia, or Cohimbiana ; and an 
other, anxious to commemorate the sovereigns 
of Castile and Leon, futilely coined the cum 
brous designation of Fer-Isabelica? When Co 
lumbus and others had followed a long stretch 
of the northern coast of South America without 
finding a break, and when the volume of water 
pouring through the mouths of the Orinoco 
betokened to his mind a vast interior, it began 
to be suspected that the main coast of Asia had 
been found ; and the designation of Tierra firme 
was naturally attached to the whole region, of 
which Paria and the Pearl coast were distin 
guishable parts. This designation of Firm Land 
was gradually localized as explorations ex 
tended, and covered what later was known as 
Castilla del Oro ; and began to comprehend in 
the time of Purchas, 4 for instance, all that ex 
tent of coast from Paria to Costa Rica. 5 

When Cabral in 1500 sighted the shores of 
Brazil, he gave the name of Terra Sanctce Crucis 
to the new-found region, the land of the Holy 
Cross ; and this name continued for some time 
to mark as much as was then known of what 
we now call South America, and we find it in 
such early delineations as the Lenox globe and 
the map of Sylvanus in 151 1. 6 It will be re 
membered that in 1502, after what is called his 
third voyage, Vespucius had simply named the 
same region Mundus Novus. 

Thus in 1507 there was no general concur 
rence in the designations which had been be 
stowed on these new islands and coasts ; and 
the only unbroken line which had then been 
discovered was that stretching from Honduras 
well down the eastern coast of South America, 
if Vespucius statement of having gone to the 
thirty-second degree of southern latitude was to 
be believed. After the exploration of this coast, 
thanks to the skill of Vespucius in sounding 
his own exploits and giving them an attractive 
setting out, 7 aided, probably, by that fortuitous 
dispensation of fortune which sometimes awards 
fame where it is hardly deserved, it had come 
to pass that the name of Vespucius had, in com 
mon report, become better associated than that 
of Columbus with the magnitude of the new 
discoveries. It was not so strange then as it 
appears now that the Florentine, rather than 
the Genoese, was selected for such continental 
commemoration. All this happened to some 
degree irrespective of the question of priority 
in touching Tierra Firme, as turning upon the 
truth or falsity of the date 1497 assigned to 
the first of the voyages of Vespucius. 

The proposing of a name was easy ; the ac 
ceptance of it was not so certain. The little tract 
had appeared without any responsible voucher. 
The press-mark of St. -Die was not a powerful 
stamp. The community was obscure, and it had 
been invested with what influence it possessed 
by the association of Duke Rene with it. 

This did not last long. The Duke died in 
1508, and his death put a stop to the projected 
edition of Ptolemy and broke up the little press: 
so that next year (1509), when Waldseemliller 
planned a new edition of the Cosmographia in- 
trodiictio, it was necessary to commit it to Griin- 
inger in Strasburg to print. In this edition 
Waldseemiiller first signed his own name to the 
preface. Copies of this issue are somewhat less 
rare than those of 1507. It is a little tract of 
thirty-two leaves, some copies having fourteen, 
others fifteen, lines on the back of the folding 
sheet. 8 The Lenox Library has examples of 
each. There are other copies in the Carter- 

1 As early as 1519, for instance, by Enciso in his Suma de gcograpliia. 

2 Examen critique, i. 181 ; v. 182, 

3 Suggested by Pizarro y Orellano in 1639 ; cf. Xavarrete, French tr., ii. 282. 

4 Pilgrimcs, iv. 1433. 

5 Bancroft, Central America, i. 291. 

6 See p. 122. 

" Humboldt (Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 420) particularly instances his descriptions of the coast of Brazil. For 
fifteen hundred years, as Humboldt points out (p. 660), naturalists had known no mention, except that of 
Adulis, of snow in the tropical regions, when Vespucius in 1500 saw the snowy mountains of Santa Marta. 
Humboldt (again in his Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 664, 667), according Vespucius higher literary acquirements than the 
other early navigators had possessed, speaks of his extolling not ungracefully the glowing richness of the light 
and picturesque grouping and strange aspect of the constellations that circle the Southern Pole, which is sur 
rounded by so few stars, and tells how effectively he quoted Dante at the sight of the four stars, which were 
not yet for several years to be called the Southern Cross. Irving speaks of Vespucius narrative as " spirited/ 
8 Harrisse, no. 60; Brunet, ii. 319. 
VOL. II. 22. 




Brown (Catalogue, vol. i. no. 40), Barlow, and is still preserved in Seville ; but its annota- 

Harvard College libraries. Another is in the tions do not signify that the statements in it 

Force Collection, Library of Congress, and one respecting Vespucius discoveries attracted his 

was sold in the Murphy sale (no. 681). The attention. 2 It was this edition which Navar- 

copy which belonged to Ferdinand Columbus rete used when he made a Spanish version for 

1 A section of the drawing given by Dr. De Costa in his monograph on the globe, showing the American 
parts reduced to a plane projection, and presenting the name of Terra Sancicz Crucis. There is another 
-sketch on p. 123. 

2 Harrisse, Fcrnand Colomb, p. 145. 



his Colcccion (iii. 183) D Avezac used a copy 
in the Mazarine Library ; and other copies 
are noted in the Huth (i. 356) and Sunderland 
(Catalogue, vol. v. no. 12,920) collections. The 
account of the voyages in this edition was also 
printed separately in German as Diss buchlin 
saget wie die z-we . . her re, etc. 1 

While the Strasburg press was 
emittingthis 1509 edition it was also 
printing the sheets of another little 
tract, the anonymous Globus mundi? 
of which a fac-simile of the title is 
annexed, in which it will be perceived 
the bit of the New World shown is 
called " Newe welt," and not America, 
though " America lately discovered " 
is the designation given in the text. 
The credit of the discovery is given 
unreservedly to Vespucius, and Co 
lumbus is not mentioned. 3 

The breaking up of the press was 
a serious blow to the little community 
at St. -Die. Ringmann, in the full 
faith of completing the edition of 
Ptolemy which they had in view, had 
brought from Italy a Greek manu 
script of the old geographer ; but the 
poet was soon to follow his patron, 
for, having retired to Schlestadt, his 
native town, he died there in 1511 at 
the early age of twenty-nine. The 
Ptolemy project, however, did not 
fail. Its production was transferred 
to Strasburg; and there, in 1513, it 
appeared, including the series of 
maps associated ever since with the name of 
Hylacomylus, and showing evidences in the text 

are given in fac-simile on pages in and 112. In 
one the large region which stands for South 
America has no designation ; in the other there 
is supposed to be some relation to Columbus 
own map, while it bears a legend which gives to 
Columbus unequivocally the credit of the dis 


covery of the New World. It has been con 
tended of late that the earliest cartographical 

of the use which had been made of Ringmann s application of the name is on two globes pre- 

Greek manuscript. 

We look to this book in vain for any attempt 
to follow up the conferring of the name of Ves 

served in the collection of the Freiherr von 
Hauslab, in Vienna, one of which (printed) Varn- 
hagen in his paper on Apianus and Schb ner puts 

pucius on the New World. The two maps under 1509, and the other (manuscript) under 
which it contains, showing the recent discoveries, 1513. Weiser in his Magalh&es-Strasse (p. 27) 

1 Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 62 ; Additions, no. 31; Huth, v. 1,526; Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci, p. 31. 
Cf. Navarrete, Opusculos, i. 94. 

2 Equally intended, as Varnhagen (Le premier voyage, p. 36), thinks to be accompanied by the Latin of the 
Qnattuor navigationes. 

3 This little black-letter quarto contains fourteen unnumbered leaves, and the woodcut on the title is re 
peated on Bii, verso, E, recto, and Eiiii, verso. There are five other woodcuts, one of which is repeated three 
times. Harrisse (Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 61 ; also p. 462) reports only the Harvard College copy, which was 
received from Obadiah Rich in 1830. There are other entries of this tract in Panzer, vi. 44, no. 149, under 
Argentorati (Strasburg), referring to the Crevenna Catalogue, ii. 117; Sabin, vii. 286; Grenville Catalogue, 
p. 480; Graesse, iii. 94; Henry Stevens s Historical Nuggets, no. 1,252, pricing a copy in 1862 at .10 10^. ; 
Harrassowitz (Si, no. 48), pricing one at 1,000 marks; Huth, ii. 602; Court, no. 145 ; Bibliotheca Thottiana, 
v. 219; and Humboldt refers to it in his Examen critiqiie,\\. 142, and in his introduction toGhillany s Bchaim, 
p. 8, note. Cf. also D Avezac s Waltzemiiller, p. 114; Major s Prince Henry the Navigator, p. 387, and his 
paper in the Archctologia, vol. xl. ; Harrisse, Notes on Columbus, p. 173. D Avezac used a copy in the 
Mazarine Library. A German translation, printed also by Griininger at Strasburg, appeared under the title, 
Dfr Welt Kugel, etc. (Bibl. Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 32.) Varnhagen (Lc premier voyage, p. 36) thinks 
this German text the original one. 




^ecferatioiiue fcefcrfpfio munfci 

tt t oriuQ o:bio tcrramm^lobulo rotundo compared tt f pcrafoU 
dau@ua*cuiuid e&5 mediocweraocro adocuUlriderc feeran/ 

qii3C o:bi8 parrc bpmmco r item agerc queunt ra tutarc f folc fin/ 
jgubtcrre toailluffranfcqugmmm terra in vamp aere penderc 
vfdctunfoto da nutu fu(lct3ra,alcifcB pcrmeiltio t?e quatta oA?id 
rcirarfl parte nuperab amcrico 


doubts these dates. 1 The application of the 
new name, America, we also find not far from 
this time, say between 1512 and 1515, in a 
manuscript mappemonde (see p. 125) which 
Major, when he described it in the Archaologia 
(xl. p. i), unhesitatingly ascribed to Leonardo 
da Vinci, thinking that he could trace certain 

relations between Da Vinci and Vespucius. 
This map bears distinctly the name America 
on the South American continent. Its connec 
tion with Da Vinci is now denied. 

Not far from the same time a certain undated 
edition of the Cosmographies introductio appeared 
at Lyons, though no place is given. Of this 

1 Cf. Harrisse, Cafots, 182 ; D Avezac, Allocution a la Socicie de Geographic de Paris, Oct. 20, 1871, 
p. 16; and his Waltzemiiller, p. 116. 



edition there are two copies in the British Mu 
seum, and others in the Lenox and Barlow col 
lections ; but they all lack a map, 1 which is found 
in a copy first brought to public attention by the 
bookseller Tross, of Paris, in iSSi,- and which 
is now owned by Mr. C. H. Kalbfleisch, of New 
York. Its date is uncertain. Harrisse (BibL 
Amer. Vet., no. 63) placed it first in 1510, but 
later (Cabots, p. 182) he dated it about 1514, as 
Tross had already done. D Avezac ( Waltze- 
miiUer, p. 123) thinks it could not have been 
earlier than 1517."* 

The chief interest of this map to us is the 
fact that it bears the words "America noviter 
reperta" on what stands for South America; 
and there is fair ground for supposing that it 
antedates all other printed maps yet known 
which bear this name. 

At not far from the same time, fixed in this 
instance certainly in 1515, we find America on 
the earliest known globe of Schoner. 4 Probably 
printed to accompany this globe, is a rare little 
tract, issued the same year (1515) at Nuremberg, 
under the title of Luculentissima quczdd terrce 
totius descriptio. In this Schoner speaks of a 
"fourth part of the globe, named after its dis 
coverer, Americus Vespucius, a man of sagacious 
mind, who found it in 1497, adopting the con 
troverted date. 5 

Meanwhile the fame of Vespucius was pros 
pering with the Vienna coterie. One of them, 
Georg Tanstetter, sometimes called Collimitius, 
was editing the De natura locorum librum of 
Albertus Magnus ; and apparently after the book 
was printed he made with type a marginal note, 
to cite the profession of Vespucius that he had 
reached to fifty degrees south, as showing that 

there was habitable land so far towards the 
Southern Pole. 6 

Joachim Watt, or Vadianus, as he was called 
in his editorial Latin, had in 1515 adopted the 
new name of America, and repeated it in 1518, 
when he reproduced his letter in his edition of 
Pomponius Mela, as explained on another page. 7 
Apian had been employed to make the mappe- 
monde for it, which was to show the new discov 
eries. The map seems not to have been finished 
in time ; but when it appeared, two years later 
(1520), in the new edition of Solinus, by Ga 
mers, though it bore the name of America on 
the southern main, it still preserved the legend in 
connection therewith which awarded the discov 
ery to Columbus.8 "\Vatt now quarrelled with 
Gamers, for they had worked jointly, and their 
two books are usually found in one cover, 
with Apian s map between them. Returning to 
St. Gall, Vadianus practised there as a physi 
cian, and re-issued his Mela at Basle in 1522, 
dedicating it to that Dr. Faber who had been 
the teacher of Ringmann in Paris eighteen years 
before. 9 

In 1522 Lorenz Friess, or Laurentius Phry- 
sius, another of Duke Rene s coterie, a corre 
spondent of Vespucius, published a new edition 
of Ptolemy at the Griininger press in Stras- 
burg, in which the fame of Columbus and Ves 
pucius is kept up in the usual equalizing way. 
The preface, by Thomas Ancuparius, sounds the 
praises of the Florentine, ascribing to him the 
discovery " of what we to-day call America ; " 
the Admiral s map, Tabula Terre A 7 oz>e which 
Waldseemliller had published in the 1513 edi 
tion, is once more reproduced, with other of the 
maps of that edition, re-engraved on a reduced 

1 See this Vol. p. 120. 

2 No. 4,924 of his Catalogue, no. xiv. of that year. 

3 This Latin text of Bassin was also printed at Venice in 1537 (BibL Amer. Vet,, Additions, no. 156; 
Leclerc, no. 2,517). Humboldt (Examen critiqite, iv. 102, 114) and others have been misled by a similarity of 
title in supposing that there were other editions of the Cosmographies introductio published at Ingoldstadt in 1529, 
1532, and at Venice in 1535, 1541, 1551, and 1554- This book, however, is only an abridgment of Apian s 
Cosmographia, which was originally printed at Landshut in 1524. Cf. Huth, i. 357 ; Leclerc, no. 156} D Avezac, 
Waltzemiiller, p. 124. The Bassin version of the voyages was later the basis of the accounts, either at length 
or abridged, or in versions in other languages, in the Paesi novamente and its translations ; in the Novus orbis 
of 1532 (it is here given as addressed to Rene, King of Sicily and Jerusalem), and later, in Ramusio s Viaggi, 
vol. i. (1550); in Eden s Treatyse of the Ncive India (1553); in the Historiale description de I Afrique of Leo 
Africanus (1556), cf. Carter-Brown Catalogue, i. 211, 229; in De Bry, first and second parts of the 
Grands voyages, and third and fourth of the Petits voyages, not to name other of the older collections ; and 
among later ones in Bandini, Vita e lettere di Vespucci (pp. i, 33, 46, 57), and in the Colleccao de noticias para 
a historia e geografia das nacres nltramarinas (1812), published by the Royal Academy of Lisbon. Varnhagen 
reprints the Latin text in his Amerigo Vespucci, p. 34. 

4 Depicted on p. nS. Cf. Wieser, Magalkacs-Strasse, pp. 26, 27. 

5 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., p. 142. 

6 The original edition appeared at Vienna in 1514; but it was reprinted at Strasburg in 1515. Cf. Sabin, 
vol. i. no. 671 ; BibL Amcr. Vet., nos. 76, 77, 78 ; Stevens, Bibliotheca gcographica, 70 ; Carter-Brown, vol. i. 
no. 48. 

" See the following section of the present chapter. 

8 See a fac-simile of this part of the map in the chapter on Magellan. 

9 Stevens, Bibliotheca Jiistorica (1870), no. 1,272 ; Bibliotheca geographica, no. 1,824. 
10 See p. 112. 



scale. The usual legend, crediting the discovery 
to Columbus, is shown in a section of the map, 
which is given in another place. 1 Phrysius ac 
knowledges that the maps are essentially Wald- 
seem tiller s, though they have some changes and 
additions ; but he adds a new mappemonde of 
his own, putting the name America on the great 
southern main, the first time of its appearing 
in any map of the Ptolemy series. A fac-simile 
is annexed. 

There is thus far absolutely no proof that 
any one disputed the essential facts of the dis 
covery by Columbus of the outlying islands of 
Asia, as the belief went, or denied him the credit 
of giving a new world to the crowns of Aragon 
and Castile, whether that were Asia or not. 
The maps which have come down to us, so far 
as they record anything, invariably give Colum 
bus the credit. The detractors and panegyrists 
of Vespucius have asserted in turn that he was 
privy to the doings at St.-Die and Strasburg, 
and that he was not ; but proof is lacking for 
either proposition. No one can dispute, how 
ever, that he was dead before his name was ap 
plied to the new discoveries on any published 

If indeed the date of 1497, as given by the 
St.-Die publication, was correct, there might have 
been ground for adjudging his explorations of 
the mainland to have antedated those of Colum 
bus ; but the conclusion is irresistible that either 
the Spanish authorities did not know that such 
a claim had been made, or they deemed the date 
an error of the press ; since to rely upon the 
claim would have helped them in their conflict 
with the heirs of Columbus, which began the 
year following the publication of that claim, or 
in 1508, and continued to vex all concerned till 
1527; and during all that time Vespucius, as 
has been mentioned, is not named in the 
records of the proceedings. It is equally hard 
to believe that Ferdinand Columbus would 
have passed by a claim derogating from the 
fame of his father, if it had come to him as a 
positive assertion. That he knew of the St.- 
Die tract we have direct evidence in his pos 
session of a copy of it. That it did not trouble 
him we know also with as much confidence as 
negative testimony can impart ; for we have no 
knowledge of his noticing it, but instead the 

positive assertion of a contemporary that he did 
not notice it. 

The claim for Vespucius, however, was soon 
to be set up. In 1527 Las Casas began, if we 
may believe Quintana, the writing of his His- 
toria? It is not easy, however, to fix precisely 
the year when he tells us that the belief had 
become current of Vespucius being really the 
first to set his foot on the main. " Amerigo," he 
tells us further, 3 " is said to have placed the name 
of America on maps, 4 thus sinfully failing toward 
the Admiral. If he purposely gave currency to 
this belief in his first setting foot on the main, it 
was a great wickedness ; and if it was not done 
intentionally, it looks like it." Las Casas still 
makes allowances, and fails of positive accusa 
tion, when again he speaks of "the injustice 
of Amerigo, or the injustice perhaps those who 
printed the Quattuor navigationes appear to have 
committed toward the Admiral ; " and once more 
when he says that " foreign writers call the 
country America: it ought to be called Co- 
lumba." But he grows more positive as he goes 
on, when he wonders how Ferdinand Columbus, 
who had, as he says, Vespucius account, could 
have found nothing in it of deceit and injustice 
to object to. 

Who were these "foreign writers?" Stob- 
nicza, of Cracow, in the Introductio in Claudii 
Ptholomei cosmographid, which he published in 
1512, said: "Ft ne soli Ptolomeo laborassem, 
curavi etiam notas facere quasdam partes terre 
ipsi ptolomeo alijsque vetustioribus ignotas que 
Amerii vespucij aliorumque lustratione ad nos- 
tram noticiam puenere." Upon the reverse of 
folio v., in the chapter " De meridianis," occurs r 
" Similiter in occasu ultra africam & europam 
magna pars terre quam ab Americo eius reptore 
American! vocant vulgo autem novus mundus 
dicitur." Upon the reverse of folio vii. in the 
chapter " De partibus terre " is this : " Non 
solu aut pdicte tres ptes nunc sunt lacius lustrate, 
verum & alia quata pars ab Americo vesputio 
sagacis ingenii viro inventa est, quam ab ipso 
Americo eius inventore Amerigem qsi a americi 
terram sive america appellari volunt cuius lati 
tude est sub tota torrida zona," etc. These 
expressions were repeated in the second edition 
in 1519. Apian in 1524 had accepted the name 
in his Cosmographicus liber, as he had in an 
uncertain way, in 1522, in two editions, one 

1 See chapter on Magellan. 

2 Helps, however, cannot trace him at work upon it before 1552, and he had not finished it in 1561 ; and 
for three centuries yet to come it was to remain in manuscript. 

3 Book i. cap. 140. 

4 Harrisse (Fernand Colomb. p. 30), says: "The absence of nautical charts and planispheres, not only 
in the Colombina, but in all the muniment offices of Spain, is a signal disappointment. There is one chart 
which above all we need, made by Vespucius, and which, in 1518, was in the collection of the Infanta 
Ferdinand, brother of Charles V." A copy of Valsequa s chart of 1439 which belonged to Vespucius, being 
marked " Questa ampla pelle di geographia fu pagata da Amerigo Vespucci cxxx ducati di oro di marco," was, 
according to Harrisse (Bibl. Amcr. Vet. Add., p. xxiii), in existence in Majorca as late as 1838. 





printed at Ratisbon, the other without place, 
of the tract, Declaratio ct iisus typi cosmographici, 
illustrative of his map. 1 

Glareanus in 1529 spoke of the land to the 
west " quam Americam vocant," though he 
couples the names of Columbus and Vespucius 
in speaking of its discovery. Apian and Gemma 
Phrysius in their Cosmographia of the same year 
recognize the new name; 2 and Phrysius again 
in his De principiis astronomic?, first published 
at Antwerp in 1530, gave a chapter (no. xxx.) 
to " America," and repeated it in later edi 
tions. 3 Minister in the Noinis orbis of 1532 
finds that the extended coast of South America 
" takes the name of America from Americus, 
who discovered it." 4 We find the name again 
in the Epitome trium terra partium of Vadianus, 
published at Tiguri in I534, 5 and in Honter s 
Rudimentorum cosmographies libri, published at 
Basle in the same year. When the Spanish 
sea-manual, Medina s Arte de navegar, was pub 
lished in Italian at Venice in 1544, it had a 
chart with America on it ; and the De sphara 
of Cornelius Valerius (Antwerp, 1561) says 
this fourth part of the world took its name 
from Americus. 

Thus it was manifest that popular belief, out 
side of Spain, at least, 6 was, as Las Casas affirms, 
working at last into false channels. Of course 
the time would come when Vespucius, wrong 
fully or rightfully, would be charged with pro 
moting this belief. He was already dead, and 
could not repel the insinuation. In 1533 this 
charge came for the first time in print, so far as 
we now know, and from one who had taken his 
part in spreading the error. It has already been 
mentioned how Schoner, in his globe of 1515, 
and in the little book which explained that 
globe, had accepted the name from the coterie 
of the Vosges. He still used the name in 1520 

in another globe. 7 Now in 1533, in his Opus- 
culum geog) aphictun ex diversorum libris ac cartis 
summa cur a o diligent ia collectum, accomodatum 
ad recenter elaboration ab eodem globiim decrip- 
tionis tcrrenoc. loachimi Camerarii, Ex urbe 
Norica, . . . Anno XXX 12 7, 8 he unreservedly 
charged Vespucius with fixing his own name 
upon that region of India Superior which he 
believed to be an island. 9 

In 1535, in a new edition of Ptolemy, Serve- 
tus repeated the map of the New World from 
the editions of 1522 and 1525 which helped to 
give further currency to the name of America; 
but he checks his readers in his text by saying 
that those are misled who call the continent 
America, since Vespucius never touched it till 
long after Columbus had. 10 This cautious state- 
ment did not save Servetus from the disdainful 
comment of Gomara (1551), who accuses that 
editor of Ptolemy of attempting to blacken the 
name of the Florentine. 

It was but an easy process for a euphonious 
name, once accepted for a large part of the new 
discoveries, gradually to be extended until it 
covered them all. The discovery of the South 
Sea by Balboa in 1513 rendered it certain that 
there was a country of unmistakably continental 
extent lying south of the field of Columbus 
observations, which, though it might prove to be 
connected with Asia by the Isthmus of Panama, 
was still worthy of an independent designation. 11 
We have seen how the Land of the Holy Cross, 
Paria, and all other names gave way in recog 
nition of the one man who had best satisfied 
Europe that this region had a continental extent. 
If it be admitted even that Vespucius was in 
any way privy to the bestowal of his name upon 
it, there was at first no purpose to enlarge the 
application of such name beyond this well-rec 
ognized coast. That the name went beyond 

1 The letters AM appear upon the representation of the New World contained in it. 

2 Cf. on Gemma Frisius additions to Apianus Cosmographia, published in Spanish from the Latin in 
1548, what Navarrete says in his Opi isculos, ii. 76. 

3 Antwerp, 1544, cap. xxx. "America ab inventore Amerio \sic\ Vesputio nomen habet ; " Antwerp, 1548, 
adds " alii Bresiliam vocat ; " Paris, 1548, cap. xxx., "de America," and cap. xxxi. " de insulis apud Ameri 
cam;" Paris, 1556, etc. Cf. Harrisse, Bill. Amer. Vet., nos. 156, 252, 279; Additions, nos. 92, 168. 

4 " Quam ab Americo primo inventore American! vocant." 

5 " Insularum America cognominata obtenditur." 

6 Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (which it will be remembered was an island on which Vespucius is repre 
sented as leaving one of his companions), as published in the 1551 edition at London, speaks of the general 
repute of Vespucius account, " Those iiii voyages that be nowe in printe and abrode in euery mannes handes." 
Cf. Carter-Brown Catalogue, vol. i. no. 162. William Cuningham, in his Cosmographical Glasse (London, 
1559), ignores Columbus, and gives Vespucius the credit of finding " America " in June, 1497 (Ibid., no. 228). 

7 See p. 119. 

8 Bibl. Amcr. Vet., no. 178; Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 106; Charles Deane s paper on Schoner in the 
Amcr. Antiq. Soc. Proc., October, 1883. 

9 Examcn critique, v. 174. Here is a contemporary s evidence that Vespucius supposed the new coasts 
to be Asia. 

" Tota itaque quod aiunt aberrant coelo qui hanc continentem America nuncupari contendunt, cum Amer 
icas multo post Coluinbu eande terrain adieret, nee cum Hispanis ille, sed cum Portugallensibus, ut suas merces 
commutaret, eo se contulito." It was repeated in the edition of 1541. 

11 Pedro de Ledesma, Columbus pilot in his third voyage, deposed in 1513 that he considered Paria a pare 
of Asia (Navarrete, iii. 539). 



MERCATOR, 1 54 1. 1 

1 This is the configuration ot Mercator s gores (for a globe) reduced to Mercator s subsequently-derised 

VOL. II. 23. 


that coast came of one of those shaping tenden 
cies which are without control. " It was," as 
Humboldt says, 1 " accident, and not fraud and 
dissensions, which deprived the continent of 
America of the name of Columbus." It was 
in 1541, and by Mercator in his printed gores 
for a globe, that in a cartographical record 
we first find the name America extended to 
cover the entire continent; for he places the 
letters AME at Baccalaos, and completed the 
name with RICA at the La Plata. 2 Thus 
the injustice was made perpetual ; and there 
seems no greater instance of the instability 
of truth in the world s history. Such mon 
strous perversion could but incite an indigna 
tion which needed a victim, and it found him 
in Vespucius. The intimation of Schoner was 
magnified in time by everybody, and the unfor 
tunate date of 1497, as well as the altogether 
doubtful aspect of his Quattuor navigationes, 
helped on the accusation. Vespucius stood in 
every cyclopaedia and history as the personifi 
cation of baseness and arrogance ; 3 and his 
treacherous return for the kindness which Co 
lumbus did him in February, 1505, when he gave 
him a letter of recommendation to his son 
Diego, 4 at a time when the Florentine stood in 
need of such assistance, was often made to point 
a moral. The most emphatic of these accusers, 
working up his case with every subsidiary help, 
has been the Viscount Santarem. He will not 
admit the possibility of Vespucius ignorance 
of the movement at St.-Die. " We are led to 
the conclusion," he says, in summing up, " that 
the name given to the new continent after the 
death of Columbus was the result of a precon 
ceived plan against his memory, either design 
edly and with malice aforethought, or by the 
secret influence of an extensive patronage of 

foreign merchants residing at Seville and else, 
where, dependent on Vespucius as naval con 
tractor." 5 

It was not till Humboldt approached the 
subject in the fourth and fifth volumes of his 
Examen critique de Vhistoire et de la geographie du 
nonveau monde that the great injustice to Ves 
pucius on account of the greater injustice to 
Columbus began to be apparent. No one but 
Santarem, since Humboldt s time, has attempted 
to rehabilitate the old arguments. Those who 
are cautious had said before that he might 
pardonably have given his name to the long 
coast-line which he had tracked, but that he was 
not responsible for its ultimate expansion. 6 But 
Humboldt s opinion at once prevailed, and he re 
viewed and confirmed them in his Cosmos? Hum 
boldt s , views are convincingly and elaborately 
enforced ; but the busy reader may like to know 
they are well epitomized by Wiesener in a paper, 
" Americ Vespuce et Christophe Colomb : la ve 
ritable origine du nom d Amerique," which was 
published in the Revue des questions historiques 
(1866), i. 225-252, and translated into English 
in the Catholic World (1867), v. 6n. 

The best English authority on this question 
TS Mr. R. H. Major, who has examined it 
with both thoroughness and condensation of 
statement in his paper on the Da Vinci map in 
the Archceologid) vol. xl., in his Prince Henry 
the Navigator (pp. 367-380),$ and in his Dis 
coveries of Prince Henry, chap. xiv. Harrisse 
in his Bill. Amer. Vet., pp. 65, 94, enumerates 
the contestants on the question ; and Varnhagen, 
who is never unjust to Columbus, traces in a 
summary way the progress in the acceptance of 
the name of America in his Nouvelles recherches 
sur les derniers voyages du navigateur Florentin. 
In German, Oscar Peschel in his Geschichte des 

1 Cosmos, Eng. tr., ii. 676. 

2 Wieser, Der Portulan des Konigs Philipp, vol. ii. Vienna, 1876. 

3 See instances cited by Prof. J. D. Butler, Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, vol. ii. 
(1873, J 874)- There was an attempt made in 1845, by some within the New York Historical Society, to render 
"ardy justice to the memory of Columbus by taking his name, in the form of Columbia, as a national designation 
of the United States; but it necessarily failed (Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., ii. 315). " Allegania " was an alter 
native suggestion made at the same time. 

4 This letter is preserved in the Archives of the Duke of Veraguas. It has been often printed. Harrisse, 
Notes on Columbus, p. 149. 

5 Vizconde de Santarem (Manoel Francisco de Barros y Sousa), Researches respecting Americus Vespucius 
and his Voyages. Translated by E.V. Childe (Boston, 1850), 221 pp. i6mo. This is a translation of the Recherches 
historiques, critiques et bibliographiques sur Americ Vespuce et ses voyages, which was published in Paris in 
1842. Santarem had before this sought to discredit the voyages claimed for Vespucius in 1501 and 1503, and 
had communicated a memoir on the subject to Navarrete s Coleccion. He also published a paper in the Bulletin 
de la Societe de Geographic de Paris in October, 1833, and added to his statements in subsequent numbers 
(October, 1835; September, 1836; February and September, 1837). These various contributions were com 
bined and annotated in the Recherches, etc., already mentioned. Cf. his Memoria e investigaciones historicas 
sobre los I iajes de America Vespucio, in the Recueil complet de traitcs, vi. 304. There is a biography of Ves 
pucius, with an appendix of " Pruebas 6 ilustraciones " in the Coleccion de Opuscidos of Navarrete, published 
(1848) at Madrid, after his death. 

6 Such, for instance, was Caleb Cushing s opinion in his Reminiscences of Spain, ii. 234. 

7 Eng. tr., ii. 680. 

S These chapters are reprinted in Sabin s American Bibliopolist, 1870-1871. 



Zeitalters der Entdeckungen (book ii. chap. 13) has 
examined the matter with a scholar s instincts. 
The subject was followed by M. Schoetter in a 
paper read at the Congres cles Americanistes at 
Luxemburg in 1877 ; but it is not apparent from 
the abstract of the paper in the Proceedings of 
that session (p. 357) that any new light was 
thrown upon the matter. 

Professor Jules Marcou would drive the 
subject beyond the bounds of any personal 

associations by establishing the origin of the 
name in the native designation (Americ, Amer- 
rique, Amerique) of a range of mountains in 
Central America; 1 and Mr. T. H. Lambert, 
in the Bulletin- of the American Geographical 
Society (no. i of 1883), asks us to find the ori 
gin in the name given by the Peruvians to their 
country, neither of which theories has re 
ceived or is likely to receive any considerable 
acceptance. 2 

1 His theory was advanced in a paper on u The Origin of the Name America " in the Atlantic Monthly 
(March, 1875), xxxv - 2 9 J > an ^ in " Sur i origine du nom d Amerique," in the Bulletin dc la Socicte de Geog 
raphic de Paris, June, 1875. He a am advanced his theory in the New York Nation, April 10, 1884, to which 
the editors replied that it was fatally ingenious," a courteous rejoinder, quite in contrast with that of H. H. 
Bancroft in his Central America (i. 291), who charges the Professor with " seeking fame through foolishness " 
and his theory. Marcou s argument in part depends upon the fact, as he claims, that Vespucius name was 
properly Albericus or Alberico, and he disputes the genuineness of autographs which make it Amerigo ; but 
nothing was more common in those days than variety, for one cause or another, in the fashioning of names. 
We find the Florentine s name variously written, Amerigo, Merigo, Almerico, Alberico, Alberigo ; and 
Vespucci, Vespucy, Vespuchi, Vespuchy, Vesputio, Vespulsius, Despuchi, Espuchi ; or in Latin Vespucius, 
Vespuccius, and Vesputius. 

2 The Germans have written more or less to connect themselves with the name as with the naming, 
deducing Amerigo or Americus from the Old German Emmerich. Cf. Von der Hagen, Jahrbuch der Berliner 
Gesellschaft fiir Deutsche Sfrache, 1835; Notes and Queries, 1856; Historical Magazine, January, 1857, 
p. 24; Dr. Theodor Vetter in New York Nation, March 20, 1884; Humboldt, Exanien critique, iv. 52- 

APIANUS (from REUSNER S Icones, 1590, p. 175). 





OF Pomponius Mela we know little beyond the year 43 A. D. 1 The editio princeps of this 

the fact that he was born in Spain, not far treatise was printed in 1471 at Milan, it is sup- 

from Gibraltar, and that he wrote, as seems posed, by Antonius Zarotus, under the title 

probable, his popular geographical treatise in C&smographia. It was a small quarto of fifty- 



1 Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, ii. 352-368. 

2 Reduced after map in Bunbury s Ancient Geography (London, 1879), ii. 368. 



Galll c<onfuLinvr be foftas* 


nine leaves. Two copies have been sold lately. 
The Sunderland copy (no. 10,117) brought 
11 5-r., and has since been held by Quaritch 
at ^15 15-r. Another copy was no. 897 in 
part iii. of the Beckford Catalogue. In 1478 
there was an edition, De situ orbis, at Venice 
(Sunderland, no. 10,118) ; and in 1482 another 
edition, Co smographia geographica, was also pub 
lished at Venice (Leclerc, no. 456 ; Murphy, 
no. 2,003 > D Ave/ac, Geographes Grecs et Latins, 
p. 13). It was called Cosmographia in the edi 
tion of 1498 (Bibl. Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 8 ; 

Huth, iv. 1166) ; De orbis situ in that of Venice, 
1502; De totiiis orbis descriptione in the Paris 
edition of 1507, edited by Geofroy Tory (A. J. 
Bernard s Geofroy Tory, premier imprimeur 
royal, Paris, 1865, p. 81 ; Carter-Brown, i. 32 ; 
Muller, 1872, no. 2,318 ; 1877, no. 2,062). 

In 1512 the text of Mela came under new 
influences. Henry Stevens (Bibliotheca geo 
graphica, p. 210) and others have pointed out 
how a circle of geographical students at this 
time were making Vienna a centre of interest 
by their interpretation of the views of Mela and 

1 Fac-simile of a cut in Reusner s Icones (Strasburg, 1590), p. 



of Solinus, a writer of the third century, whose 
Polyhistor is a description of the world known 
to the ancients. Within this knot of cosmogra- 
phers, John Gamers undertook the editing of 
Mela ; and his edition, De situ orbis, was printed 
by Jean Singrein at Vienna in 1512, though it 
bears neither place nor date (Stevens, Biblio- 
theca geographica, no. 1,825; D Avezac, Geo- 
graphcs Grecs ct Latins, p. 14; Leclerc, no. 457 ; 
Sunderland, no. 10,119). Another Mela of the 
same year (1512) is known to have been printed 
by Weissenburger, presumably at Nuremberg, 
and edited by Johannes Cocleius as Cosmogra- 
phia Pomponii Mele : author is nitidissimi tribus 
libris digesta: . . . compendia Joliannis Coclei 
A^orici adaucta quo geographic principia gener 
al iter comprelieduntur (Weigel, 1877, no. 227; 
there is a copy in Charles Deane s library). In 
1517 Mela made a part of the collection of 
Antonie Francino at Florence, which was re 
issued in 1519 and 1526 (D Avezac, p. 16; Sun 
derland, nos. 10,121, 10,122). 

Meanwhile another student, Joachim Watt, 
a native of St. Gall, in Switzerland, now about 
thirty years old, who had been a student of 
Gamers, and who is better known by the latin 
ized form of his name, Vadianus, had, in No 
vember, 1514, addressed a letter to Rudolfus 
Agricola, in which he adopted the suggestion 
first made by Waldseemiiller that the fore-name 
of Vespucius should be applied to that part of 
the New World which we now call Brazil. This 
letter was printed at Vienna (1515) in a little 
tract, Habes, Lector, hoc libello, Rudolphi Agri- 
coltz Junioris Rheti ad Jochimum Vadianum epis- 
tolam, now become very rare. It contains also 
the letter of Agricola, Sept. i, 1514, which drew 
out the response of Vadianus dated October 16, 
Agricola on his part referring to the work on 
Mela which was then occupying Vadianus (a 
copy owned by Stevens, BibliotJieca geographica, 
no. 2,799, passed into the Huth Library, Cata 
logue, v. 1 506. Harrassowitz has since priced a 
copy, Catalogue, List 61, no. 57, at 280 marks). 

The De situ orbis of Mela, as edited by Vadi 
anus, came out finally in 1518, and contained 
one of the two letters, that of Vadianus him 
self ; and it is in this reproduction that writers 
have usually referred to its text (Harrisse, Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., no. 92 ; Murphy, no. 2,004 ; Leclerc, 
no. 458; Sunderland, no. 10,120; Graesse, v. 
401 ; Carter-Brown, i. 55). Gamers also issued 
at the same time an edition uniform with the 
Aldine imprint of Solinus ; and this and the 
Mela are often found bound together. Two 
years later (1520) copies of the two usually have 
bound up between them the famous cordiform 
map of Apian (Petrus Apianus, in the Latin 
form ; B^ienewitz, in his vernacular). This for a 
long time was considered the earliest engraved 
map to show the name of America, which ap 

peared, as the annexed fac-simile shows, on the 
representation of South America. There may 
be some question if the map equally belongs to 
the Mela and to the Solinus, for the two in this 
edition are usually bound together ; yet in a few 
copies of this double book, as in the Cranmer 
copy in the British Museum, and in the Huth 
copy (Catalogue, iv. 1372), there is a map for 
each book. There are copies of the Solinus 
in the Garter-Brown, Lenox, Harvard College, 
Boston Public, and American Antiquarian Soci 
ety libraries (cf. Harrisse, A T otcs on Columbus, 
p. 175; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 108 ; Murphy, no. 
2,338; Triibner, 1876, 15 15*.; Weigel, 1877, 
240 marks ; Calvary, 1883, 250 marks; Leclerc, 
iSSi, no. 2,686, 500 francs ; Ellis & White, 
1877, 2$). The inscription on the map reads: 
" Tipus orbis universalis juxta Ptolomei cos- 
mographi traditionem et Americi Vespucii ali- 
osque lustrationes a Petro Apiano Leysnico 
elucbrat. An. Do. M. D. XX." Harrisse (Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 68) cites from Varnha- 
gen s Postface aux trois livraisons sur Vespucci, a 
little tract of eight leaves, which is said to be 
an exposition of the map to accompany it, called 
Declaratio et usus typi cosmographici, Ratisbon, 
1522. The map was again used in the first com 
plete edition of Peter Martyr s Decades, when 
the date was changed to " M. D. XXX" (Carter- 
Brown, i. 94; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 154; Kunst- 
mann, Ent deckling Amerikas, p. 134; Kohi, 
Die beiden dltesten General-Karten von Amerika, 
p. 33 ; Uricoechea, Mapoteca Colombiana, no. 4). 
Vadianus meanwhile had quarrelled with Ca 
rriers, and had returned to St. Gall, and now 
re-edited his Mela, and published it at Basle 
in 1522 (Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 112; Murphy, 
no. 2,004**; Carter-Brown, i. 590; Leclerc, 
no. 459). 

In 1524 Apianus published the first edition 
of his cosmographical studies, a book that 
for near a century, under various revisions, main 
tained a high reputation. The Cosmographicus 
liber was published at Landshut in 1524, a 
thin quarto with two diagrams showing the 
New World, in one of which the designation is 
" Ameri " for an island ; in the other, "America." 
Bibliographers differ as to collation, some .giv 
ing fifty-two, and others sixty leaves ; and there 
are evidently different editions of the same year. 
The book is usually priced at ^"5 or 6. Cf. 
Harrisse, iVotes on Columbus, p. 174 ; Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., no. 127, and Additions, p. 87 ; Carter- 
Brown, i. 78; Huth, i. 39; Murphy, no. 93; 
Sabin, no. 1,738. There is an account of Api 
anus (born 1495; died 1 SS 1 or T 55 2 ) in Clem - 
ent s Bibliographic curicusc (Gottingen, 1750- 
1760). It is in chapter iv. of part ii. of the 
Cosmographicus liber that America is men 
tioned ; but there is no intimation of Columbus 
having discovered it. Where " Isabella aut 



Cuba" is spoken of, is an early instance of con- In 1529 a pupil of Apianus, Gemma Frisius, 

ferring the latter name on that island, after La annotated his master s work, when it was pub- 
Cosa s use of it. lished at Antwerp, while an abridgment, Cos- 

1 There are fac-similes of the entire map in the Carier-Brown Catalogue, i. 69, and in Santarem s Atlas ; 
and on a much reduced scale in Daly s Early Cartography. Cf. Varnhagen s Jo: Schoner e P. Apianus: 



mographia; introductio, was printed the same 
year (1529) at Ingoldstadt (Sabin, no. 1,739; 
Court, no. 21 ; Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 148, 149, 
and Additions, no. 88. There is a copy of the 
abridgment in Harvard College Library). 

The third edition of Mela, cum commentariis 
Vadiani appeared at Paris in 1530, but without 
maps (cf. Carter-Brown, i. 97 ; Muller, 1877, 
no. 2,063 > Bibl. Aier. Vet., no. 1 57 ) ; and again 
in 1532 (Sunderland, no. 10,124; Harrassowitz, 
list 61, no. 60). 

It is not necessary to follow, other than syn- 
optically, the various subsequent editions of 
these three representative books, with brief 
indications of the changes that they assumed 
to comport with the now rapidly advancing 
knowledge of the New World. 

1533. Apianus, full or abridged, in Latin, at 
Venice, at Freiburg, at Antwerp, at Ingoldstadt, 
at Paris (Carter-Brown, i. 591 ; Bibl. Amer. Vet., 
nos. 179, 202, and Additions, no. 100 ; Sabin, 
nos. 1,742, 1,757. Some copies have 1532 in 
the colophon). Apianus printed this year at 
Ingoldstadt various tracts in Latin and German 
on the instruments used in observations for lati 
tude and longitude (Stevens, Bibliotheca geo- 
graphica,\\Q. 173, etc). Vadianus, in his Epitome 
trium terra; partium, published at Tiguri, de 
scribed America as a part of Asia (Weigel, 
1877, no. 1,574). He dated his preface at St. 
Gall, " VII. Kallen. August, M. D. XXXIII." 

1534. Apianus in Latin at Venice (Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., Additions, no. 106). The Epitome 
of Vadianus in folio, published at Tiguri, with 
a map, " Typus cosmographicus universalis, Ti 
guri, anno M. D. XXXIIII," which resembles 
somewhat that of Finaeus, representing the New 
World as an island approaching the shape 
of South America. The Carter-Brown copy 
has no map (cf. Huth, v. 1508; Leclerc, no. 
586, 130 francs; Carter-Brown, i. 112; Weigel, 
1877, no - J j576; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 189). An 
edition in octavo, without date, is held to be of 
the same year. It is usually said to have no 
map; but Quaritch (no. 12,475) nas advertised 
a copy for ^4, " the only copy he had ever 
seen containing the map." The Huth Catalogue, 
v. 1508, shows a copy with twelve wood-cut 
maps of two leaves each, and four single leaves 
of maps and globes. The part pertaining to 
America in this edition is pages 544-564, 

" Insulae Oceani praecipuoe," which is con 
sidered to belong to the Asiatic continent (cf. 
Stevens, 1870, no. 2,179; Muller, 1872, no. 1,551 ; 
1877, no. 3,293; Weigel, 1877, no. 1,575). 

1535. Apianus, in Latin, at Venice (Sabin, 
no. 1,743; Bibl. Amer. Vet.,\\o.2Q2). Vadianus, 
in Latin, at Antwerp. (Bibl. Amer. Vet., 209; 
Huth, v. 1508; Court, no. 360). 

1536. An edition of Mela, De situ orbis, 
without place and date, was printed at Basle, in 
small octavo, with the corrections of Olive and 
Barbaro. Cf. D Avezac, Geographes Grecs et 
Latins, p. 20; Sunderland, no. 10,123; Weigel 
(1877), p. 99. 

1537. The first Dutch edition of Apianus, 
De cosmographie rci Pe Apianus, Antwerp, with 
woodcut of globe on the title. The first of two 
small maps shows America. It contains a de 
scription of Peru. Cf. Carter-Brown, i. 121 ; 
Muller (1875), no - 2 o I 4- 

1533. Mela and Solinus, printed by Henri 
Petri at Basle with large and small maps, one 
representing the New World to the east of Asia 
as "Terra incognita." Cf. Harrassowitz (1882), 
no. 91, p. 2, 60 marks; D Avezac, p. 21. 

1539. An edition of Mela, De orbis situ, at 
Paris (Sunderland, no. 10,124). Apianus s Cos- 
mographia per Gemmam Phrysium restituta, in 
small quarto, was published at Antwerp by A. 
Berckman. A globe on the titlepage shows the 
Old World. It has no other map (Carter- 
Brown, i. 124; Sabin, no. 1,744; Bibl. Amer. 
Vet., nos. 229, 230). 

1540. An edition of Mela, issued at Paris, 
has the Orontius Finaeus map of 1531, with the 
type of the Dedication changed. The Harvard 
College copy and one given in Harrassowitz 
Catalogue (Si), no. 55, show no map. Cf. 
Leclerc, no. 460, 200 francs ; Harrisse, Bibl. 
Amer. Vet., no. 230, Additions, nos. 126, 127, 
460; Court, no. 283; Rosenthal (1884), no. 51, 
at 1 50 marks. An edition of Apianus in Latin 
at Antwerp, without map ; but Lelewel (Moyen- 
age, pi. 46) gives a map purporting to follow 
one in this edition of Apianus. Cf. Carter- 
Brown, i. 125; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 230; Sabin, 
no. 1,745. 

1541. Editions of Apianus in Latin at Ven 
ice and at Nuremberg. Cf. Bibl. Amer. Vet., 
nos. 235, 236; Sabin, nos. 1,746, 1,747. 

1543. Mela and Solinus at Basle (D Avezac, 
p. 21). 

Influenda de urn e outro e de varies de sens contemporaneos na adopc^ao do name America ; primeiros globos 
e primeiros mappas-mundi com este nome ; globo de Waltzeemiiller, e plaquette acerca do de Schoner, Vienna, 
1872, privately printed, 61 pp., 100 copies (Murphy Catalogue, no. 2,231 ; Quaritch prices it at about i). 
A recent account of the history of the Vienna presses, Wiens Buchdrucker-geschichte (1883), by Anton Mayer, 
refers to the edition of Solinus of 1520 (vol. i. pp. 38, 41), and to the editions of Pomponius Mela, edited by 
Vadianus, giving a fac-simile of the title (p. 39) in one case. 

Santarem gives twenty-five editions of Ptolemy between 1511 and 1584 which do not bear the name of 
America, and three (1522, 1541, and 1552) which have it. Cf. Bulletin de la Socicte de Geographic de Paris 
(1837), vol. viii. 





1544. An edition of Apianus in French 1545. Apianus, in Latin, at Antwerp, with 

at Antwerp, with a map, which was used in the same map as in the 1544 French edition. 

various later editions. Cf. Sabin, no. 1,752; Cf. Carter-Brown, i. 135; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 

Carter-Brown, i. 592; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 262; Muller (1875), no - 2 3^5 (1877), no. 158; 

2; Sabin, no. 1,748. 

1 This follows a fac-simile of an old cut given in the Carter-Brown Catalogue, i. 294. 
VOL. II. 24. 



1548. Apianus in Spanish, Cosmographia 
angmcntada par Gemma Frisio, at Antwerp, with 
the same folding map. Cf. Bibl- Amer. Vet., 
no. 283; Sabin, no. 1,753; Carter-Brown, i. 147; 
Dufosse, no, 10,201, 45 francs; Quaritch (1878), 
no. 104, 6 6s. ; Cat. hist. Brazil, Bibl. Nac. do 
Rio dc Janeiro, no. 3. Apianus in Italian at 
Antwerp, Libra de la cosmograpJiia de Pedro 
Apiano, with the same map. The Epitome of 
Vadianus, published at Tiguri, with double 
maps engraved on wood, contains one, dated 
1546, showing America, which is reproduced in 
Santarem s Atlas. Cf. Carter-Brown, i. 151 ; 
Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 170, 464, Additions, no. 

1550. Apianus in Latin at Antwerp, with 
map at folio 30, with additions by Frisius ; and 
folios 30-48, on America (cf. Carter-Brown, 
i. 154; Bibl. Amer. Vet., no. 298; Murphy, no. 
94; Sabin, no. 1,749; Muller, 1875, no - 2 o66). 
Some bibliographers report Latin editions of 
this year at Amsterdam and Basle. 

1551. Editions of Apianus at Paris, in Latin 
and French, with a folding map and two smaller 
ones, a reprint of the Antwerp edition of 1550. 
The language of the maps is French in both 
editions (Court, no. 20). Clement (Bibliotheque 
curieuse, i. 404) gives 1553 as the date of the 
colophon. An edition of Mela and Solinus 
(D Avezac, p. 21). 

1553. Editions of Apianus in Latin at Ant 
werp and Paris, and in Dutch at Antwerp, with 
mappemonde and two small maps. Cf. Carter- 
Brown, i. 174, 594. Some copies have 1551 in 
the colophon, as does that belonging to Jules 
Marcou, of Cambridge. There is a copy of the 
Paris edition in the Boston Public Library, no. 
2,285, 5 8 - 

1554. An abridged edition of Apianus, 
Cosmographies introd^lctio, Venice. A copy in 
Harvard College Library. 

1556. An edition of Mela, at Paris (Sun- 
derland, no. 10,125). 

1557. An edition of Mela, as edited by Va 
dianus, at Basle (D Avezac, p. 21). 

1561. A Dutch edition of Apianus, at Ant 
werp, without map. Cf. Carter-Brown, i. 597 ; 
Sabin, no. 1,754. 

1564. An octavo edition of Vadianus Mela 
(D Avezac, p. 21). A Latin edition of Apianus 
at Antwerp, with mappemonde. 

1574. Latin editions of Apianus at Antwerp 
and Cologne, with a folding mappemonde 
(Carter-Brown, i. 296, 297 ; Sabin, no. 1,750). 

1575. Spanish and Italian texts of Apianus 
published at Antwerp, with mappemonde, and de 
scriptions of the New World taken from Gomara 
and Girava. Cf. Carter-Brown, i. 302 ; Sabin, 
no. 1,756; Clement, Bibliotheque curieuse, i. 405. 

1576. Mela, as edited by Vadianus (D Ave 
zac, p. 21). With the Polyhistor of Solinus, 
published at Basle. The Harvard College copy 
has no map of America. Cf. Graesse, v. 402. 

1577. Henri Estienne s collection in quarto, 
containing Mela (D Avezac, p. 24). 

1581. Apianus in French, at Antwerp, with 
a folding mappemonde (p. 72). The part on 
America is pp. 155-187 (Murphy, no. 95). 

1582. An edition of Mela edited by A. 
Schottus, published at Antwerp, with map by 
Ortelius (Sunderland, no. 10,126). 

158,4. The Cosmographia of Apianus and 
Frisius, called by Clement (Bibliotheque curieuse, 
i. 404) the best edition, published at Antwerp by 
Bellero, in two issues, a change in the title dis 
tinguishing them; It has the same map with the 
1564 and 1574 editions, and the section on 
" Insulas Americae " begins on p. 1 57. Cf . Carter- 
Brown, i. 354, no map mentioned ; Sabin, no. 

I.75 1 - 

1585. An edition of Mela in English, trans 
lated by Arthur Golding, published at London 
as The Worke of Pomponius Mela, the Cosmogra- 
pher, concerning the Sitiiation of the World. The 
preface is dated Feb. 6, 1584, in which Golding 
promises versions of Solinus and Thevet. There 
is a copy in the Library of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. 

1592. A Dutch edition of Apianus, pub 
lished at Antwerp (Sabin, no. 1,755). 

1595. An edition of Mela, as edited by 
Vadianus, published at Basle (D Avezac, p. 21). 

1598. A Dutch edition of Apianus, pub 
lished at Amsterdam, with folding map. Cf. 
Carter-Brown, i. 521 ; Muller (1877), no. 164. 

1605. Mathias Bonhomme published an 
edition of Mela and Solinus (D Avezac, p. 21). 

1609. A Dutch edition of Apianus, printed 
at Antwerp, with mappemonde (Carter-Brown, 
ii. 76; Sabin, no. 1,755)- Bonhomme s edition 
of Mela and Solinus, reissued (D Avezac, 
p. 21). 

1615, etc. Numerous editions of Mela ap 
peared subsequentty : 1615 (Vadianus), Basle f 
1619, 1625, 1626, 1635; at Madrid, 1642, 1644, 
in Spanish; Leyden, 1646, in Latin; and under 
different editors, 1658, 1685, and 1700, and 
ofren later 




Instructor in History in Harvard College. 

IN 1498 the news of the discovery of Paria and the pearl fisheries reached 
Spain ; and during the next year a number of expeditions was fitted 
out at private expense for trade and exploration. The first to set sail was 
commanded by Alonso de Ojeda, the quondam captor of Caonabo, who, 
with Juan de la Cosa a mariner scarcely inferior in his own estimation 
to the Admiral himself and with Morigo Vespuche, as Ojeda calls him, 
left the Bay of Cadiz toward the end of May, 1499. Ojeda, provided 
with a copy of the track-chart sent home by Columbus, easily found his 
way to the coast of South America, a few degrees north of the equator. 
Thence he coasted northward by the mouth of the Rio Dulce (Essequibo) 
into the Gulf of Paria, which he left by the Boca del Drago. He then 
passed to the Isla Margarita and the northern shores , of Tierra Firme, 
along which he sailed until he came to a deep gulf into which opened 
a large lagoon. The gulf he called the Golfo de Venecia (Venezuela), 
from the fancied resemblance of a village on its shores to the Queen of 
the Adriatic ; while to the lagoon, now known as the Lake of Maracaibo, 
he gave the name of S. Bartolomeo. From this gulf he sailed westward 
by the land of Coquibacoa to the Cabo de la Vela, whence he took his 
departure for home, where, after many adventures, he arrived in the 
summer of the following year. 

Close in his track sailed Cristobal Guerra and Pedro Alonso Nino, who 
arrived off the coast of Paria a few days after Ojeda had left it. Still 
following him, they traded along the coast as far west as Caucheto, and 
tarried at the neighboring islands, especially Margarita, until their little 
vessel of fifty tons was well loaded ; when they sailed for Spain, where they 
arrived in April, 1500, "so laden with pearls that they were in maner with 
every mariner as common as chaffe." 

About four months before Guerra s return, Vicente Yafiez Pinzon, the 
former captain of the " Nina," sailed from Palos with four vessels ; and, 
pursuing a southerly course, was the first of Europeans to cross the equator 

1 88 


on the American side of the Atlantic. He sighted the coast of the New 
World in eight degrees south latitude, near a cape to which he gave the 
name of Santa Maria de la Consolacion (S. Augustin). There he landed; 
but met with no vestiges of human beings, except some footprints of gigan 
tic size. After taking possession of the country with all proper forms, he 
rcimbarked ; and proceeding northward and westward, discovered and par 
tially explored the delta of an immense river, which he called the Paricura, 
and which, after being known as the Maranon or Orellana, now appears on 


O L A S P 



the maps as the Amazon. Thence, by the Gulf of Paria, Espanola (His- 
paniola), and the Bahamas, he returned to Spain, where he arrived in the 
latter part of September, I5OO. 2 

Diego de Lepe left Palos not long after Vicente Yanez, and reached the 
coast of the New World to the south of the Cabo de S. Augustin, to which 
he gave the name of Rostro hermoso ; and doubling it, he ran along the coast 

1 A reduced fac-simile of the map (1556) in 2 [Cf. the section on the " Historical chorog- 

Ramusio, iii. 44, following that which originally raphy of South America " in which the gradual 

appeared in the Venice edition of Peter Martyr development of the outline of that continent is 

and Oviedo, 1534. traced. ED.] 


to the Gulf of Paria, whence he returned to Palos. In October, 1500, Rod- 
rigo de Bastidas and Juan de la Cosa sailed from the bay of Cadiz for the 
Golfo de Venecia (Venezuela), which they entered and explored. Thence, 
stopping occasionally to trade with the natives, they coasted the shores of 
Tierra Firme, by the Cabo de la Vela, the province of Santa Marta, the 
mouths of the Rio Grande de la Magdalena, the port of Cartagena, the river 
of Cenu, and the Punta Caribana, to the Gulf of Uraba (Darien), which they 
explored with some care. They were unsuccessful in their search for a strait 
to the west ; and after sailing along the coast of Veragua to Nombre de Dios, 
they started on the return voyage. But the ravages of the broma (teredo) 
rendering their ships leaky, they were forced into a harbor of Espanola, 
where the vessels, after the most valuable portions of the cargo had been 
removed, went to the bottom. Bastidas was seized by order of Bobadilla, 
then governor of Espanola, for alleged illicit traffic with the natives, and sent 
to Spain for trial, where he arrived in September, 1502. He was soon after 
acquitted on the charges brought against him. 

Alonso de Ojeda had reported the presence of Englishmen on the coast 
of Tierra Firme ; and, partly to forestall any occupation of the country by 
them, he had been given permission to explore, settle, and govern, at his 
own expense, the province of Coquibacoa. He associated with him Juan 
de Vergara and Garcia de Ocampo, who provided the funds required, and 
went with the expedition which left Cadiz in January, 1502. They reached, 
without any serious mishap, the Gulf of Paria, where they beached and 
cleaned their vessels, and encountered the natives. Thence through the 
Boca del Drago they traded from port to port, until they came to an 
irrigated land, which the natives called Curiana, but to which Ojeda gave 
the name of Valfermoso. At this place they seized whatever they could 
which might be of service in the infant settlement, and then proceeded 
westward ; while Vergara went to Jamaica for provisions, with orders to 
rejoin the fleet at S. Bartolomeo (Maracaibo), or at the Cabo de la Vela. 
After visiting the Island of Curazao (Curasao) Ojeda arrived at Coquibacoa, 
and finally decided to settle at a place which he called Santa Cruz, prob 
ably the Bahia Honda of the present day. Vergara soon arrived ; but the 
supply of food was inadequate, and the hostility of the natives made for 
aging a matter of great difficulty and danger. To add to their discomfort, 
quarrels broke out between the leaders, and Ojeda was seized by his two 
partners and carried to Espanola, where he arrived in September, 1502. 
He was eventually set at liberty, while his goods were restored by the King s 
command. The expedition, however, was a complete failure. 

This second unprofitable voyage of Ojeda seems to have dampened the 
ardor of the navigators and their friends at home ; and although Navarrete 
regards it as certain that Juan de la Cosa sailed to Uraba as chief in com 
mand in 1504-1506, and that Ojeda made a voyage in the direction of 
Tierra Firme in the beginning of 1505, it was not until after the successful 
voyage of La Cosa in 1507-1508, that the work of colonization was again 









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taken up with vigor. 1 Two men offered themselves as leaders in this 
enterprise; and, as it was impossible to decide between them, they were 
both commissioned to settle and govern for four years the mainland from 
the Cabo de la Vela to the Cabo Gracias a Dios, while the Gulf of Uraba 
(Darien) was to be the boundary between their respective governments. 
To Alonso de Ojeda was given the eastern province, or Nueva Andalugia, 
while Diego de Nicuesa was the destined governor of the western prov 
ince, then for the first time named Castilla del Oro. The fertile Island of 
Jamaica was intended to serve as a granary to the two governors ; and to 
them were also granted many other privileges, as, for instance, freedom 
from taxation, and, more important still, the right for each to take from 
Espaiiola four hundred settlers and two hundred miners. 

Nicuesa and Ojeda met at Santo Domingo, whither they had gone to 
complete their preparations, and became involved in a boundary dispute. 
Each claimed the province of Darien 1 as within his jurisdiction. It was 
finally agreed, however, that the river of Darien should be the boundary 
line. With regard to Jamaica, the new admiral, Diego Columbus, prevented 
all disputes by sending Juan de Esquivel to hold it for him. Diego further 
contributed to the failure of the enterprise by preventing the governors 
from taking the colonists from Espanola, to which they were entitled by 
their licenses. At last, however, on Nov. 12, 1509, Ojeda, with Juan de la 
Cosa and three hundred men, left Santo Domingo ; and five days later 
entered the harbor of Cartagena, where he landed, and had a disastrous 
engagement with the natives. These used their poisoned arrows to such good 
purpose that sixty-nine Spaniards, Juan de la Cosa among them, were killed. 
Nicuesa arrived in the harbor soon after ; and the two commanders, joining 
forces, drove the natives back, and recovered the body of La Cosa, which 
they found swollen and disfigured by poison, and suspended from a tree. 
The two fleets then separated ; Nicuesa standing over to the shore of Castilla 
del Oro, while Ojeda coasted the western shore of the Gulf of Uraba, and 
settled at a place to which he gave the name of San Sebastian. Here they 
built a fort, and ravaged the surrounding country in search of gold, slaves, 
and food ; but here again the natives, who used poisoned arrows, kept the 
Spaniards within their fort, where starvation soon stared them in the face. 
Ojeda despatched a ship to Espanola for provisions and recruits ; and no 
help coming, went himself in a vessel which had been bfought to San 
Sebastian by a certain piratical Talavera. Ojeda was wrecked on Cuba; 
but after terrible suffering reached Santo Domingo, only to find that his 
lieutenant, Enciso, had sailed some time before with all that was neces 
sary for the relief of the colony. The future movements of Ojeda are 

1 It should be remembered that Columbus on fore that in 1508 the oast-line was well known 

his fourth voyage had sailed along the coast from from the Cabo d^e S. Augustin to Honduras. 
Cape Honduras to Nombre de Dios, and that 2 [This name in the early narratives and 

Vicente Yanez Pinzon and Juan Diaz de Solis, maps appears as Tarena, Tariene, or Darien, 

coasting the shores of the Gulf of Honduras, had with a great variety of the latter form. Cf. 

sailed within sight of Yucatan in 1 506 ; and there- Bancroft, Central America, i. 326. ED.] 




not known. He testified in the trial of Talavcra and his companions, 
who were hanged in 1511; and in 1513 and 1515 his depositions were 
taken in the suit brought by the King s attorney against the heirs of 
Columbus. Broken in spirit and ruined in fortune, he never returned to 
his colony. 

Martin Fernandez de Enciso, a wealthy lawyer (bachiller) of Santo 
Domingo, had been appointed by Ojeda alcalde mayor of Nueva Andalucia, 
and had been left behind to follow his chief with stores and recruits. On 
his way to San Sebastian he stopped at Cartagena; found no difficulty in 
making friends with the natives who had opposed Ojeda so stoutly; and 
while awaiting there the completion of some repairs on a boat, was surprised 
by the appearance of a brigantine containing the remnant of the San 
Sebastian colony. When Ojeda had sailed with Talavera he had left 
Pizarro, the future conqueror of Peru, in command, with orders to hold 
the place for fifty days, and then, if succor had not arrived, to make the 
best of his way to Santo Domingo. Pizarro had waited more than fifty- 
days, until the colonists had dwindled to a number not too large for the two 
little vessels at his disposal. In these they had then left the place. But 
soon after clearing the harbor one of his brigantines, struck by a fish, had 
gone down with all on board ; and it had been with much difficulty that the 
other had been navigated to Cartagena. Enciso, commander now that 
Ojeda and La Cosa were gone, determined to return to San Sebastian ; but, 
while rounding the Punta Caribana, the large vessel laden with the stores 
went on the rocks and became a total loss, the crew barely escaping with 
their lives. They were now in as bad a plight as before ; and decided, at 
the suggestion of Vasco Nunez de Balboa, to cross the Gulf of Uraba to a 
country where the natives did not use poisoned arrows, and where, therefore, 
foraging would not be so dangerous as at San Sebastian. 1 The removal 
to the other side of the gulf was safely carried out, and the natives driven 
from their village. The Spaniards settled themselves here, and called the 
place Santa Maria del Antigua del Darien. Provisions and gold were found 
in abundance ; but Enciso, declaring it unlawful for private persons to trade 
with the natives for gold, was deposed; for, as Vasco Nunez said, the new 
settlement was within the jurisdiction of Nicuesa, and therefore no obedi 
ence whatever was due to Enciso. A municipal form of government was 
then instituted, with Vasco Nunez and Zamudio as alcaldes, and Valdivia 
as rcgidor. But the Antigua settlers were no more disposed to obey their 
chosen magistrates than they had been to give obedience to him who had 
been appointed to rule over them, and they soon became divided into 
factions. At this juncture arrived Rodrigo Enriquez de Colmenares, whom 
Nicuesa had left at Espafiola to follow him with recruits and provisions. 
Colmenares easily persuaded the settlers at Antigua to put themselves under 

1 This Vasco Nunez was a bankrupt farmer carefully concealed aboard Enciso s ship that 

of Espanola who went with Bastidas on his the officers sent to apprehend absconding debtors 

voyage to the Gulf of Uraba, and had been so had fpiied to discover him. 
VOL. n. 25. 


the government of Nicuesa; and then, accompanied by two agents from 
Darien, sailed away in search of his chief. Nicuesa, after aiding Ojeda at 
Cartagena, had sailed for Castilla del Oro ; but while coasting its shores had 
become separated from the rest of his fleet, and had been wrecked off the 
mouth of a large river. He had rejoined the rest of his expedition after the 
most terrible suffering. Nicuesa had suspected Lope de Olano, his second 
in command, of lukewarmness in going to his relief, and had put him in 
chains. In this condition he was found by the agents from Antigua, to one 
of whom it appears that Olano was related. This, and the punishment 
with which Nicuesa threatened those at Antigua who had traded for gold, 
impelled the agents to return with all speed to oppose his reception ; and, 
therefore, when he arrived off Antigua he was told to go back. Attempt 
ing to sustain himself on land, he was seized, put on a worn-out vessel, and 
bid to make the best of his way to Espanola. He sailed from Antigua in 
March, 1511, and was never heard of again. 

After his departure the quarrels between the two factions broke out 
again, and were appeased only by the sending of Enciso and Zamudio to 
Spain to present their respective cases at Court. They sailed for Espa 
nola in a vessel commanded by the regidor Valdivia (a firm friend of Vasco 
Nunez), who went well provided with gold to secure the favor and protec 
tion of the new admiral, Diego Columbus, and of Pasamonte, the King s 
treasurer at Santo Domingo, for himself and Vasco Nunez. While Valdivia 
was absent on this mission, Vasco Nunez explored the surrounding country 
and won the good-will of the natives. It was on one of these expeditions 
that the son of a chief, seeing the greed of the Spaniards for gold, told them 
of the shores of a sea which lay to the southward of the mountains, where 
there were kings who possessed enormous quantities of the highly coveted 
metal. Valdivia, who brought a commission from the Admiral to Vasco 
Nunez (commonly called Balboa) as governor of Antigua, was immediately 
sent back with a large sum of money, carrying the news of a sea to be dis 
covered. Valdivia was wrecked on the southern coast of Yucatan, where, 
with all but two of his crew, he was sacrificed and eaten by the natives. 
After some time had elapsed with no news from Espanola, Vasco Nunez, 
fearing that Valdivia had proved a treacherous friend, despatched two 
emissaries Colmenares and Caicedo to Spain to lay the state of affairs 
at Darien before the King. 

Not long after their departure a vessel arrived from Espanola, commanded 
by Serrano, with food, recruits, and a commission from Pasamonte to Vasco 
Nunez as governor. But Serrano also brought a letter from Zamudio, giving 
an account of his experience in Spain, where he had found the King more 
disposed to consider favorably the complaints of Enciso than the justifica 
tions which he himself offered. Indeed, it seems that Zamudio, who barely 
escaped arrest, wrote that it was probable that Vasco Nunez would be 
summoned to Spain to give an account of himself. Upon the receipt of 
this unpleasant letter, Vasco Nunez determined to discover the new sea of 



Adclasntftdo BASCO MUNES dt 
c/rit dcf;cubi *6 . /# Triftr fel 


which there was report, and thus to atone for his shortcomings with respect 
to Enciso and Nicuesa. 

To this end he left Antigua on the 1st of September, 1513 ; and proceed 
ing by the way of the country of Careta, on the evening of September 24 
encamped on the side of a mountain from whose topmost peak his native 
guide declared the other sea could be discerned. Early in the morning 
of the next day, Sept. 25, 1513, the sixty-seven Spaniards ascended 
the mountain ; and Vasco Nunez de Balboa, going somewhat in advance, 
found himself first of civilized men gazing upon the new-found sea- 
which he called Mar del Snr (South Sea), in distinction to the Mar del 

1 [Fac-simile of an engraving in Herrera, edition of 1728. ED.] 


Norte, or the sea on the northern side of the isthmus, although it is known 
to us by the name of Pacific, which Magellan later gave to it. Of this ocean 
and all lands bordering upon it he took possession for his royal master and 
mistress, and then descended toward its shores. The sea itself was hard to 
reach, and it was not until three days later that a detachment under Alonso 
Martin discovered the beach; when Alonso Martin, jumping into a conven 
ient canoe, pushed forth, while he called upon his comrades to bear wit 
ness that he was the first European to sail upon the southern sea. On the 
2Qth of September Vasco Nunez reached the water ; and marching boldly 
into it, again claimed it for the King and Queen of Castile and Aragon. It 
was an arm of the ocean which he had found. According to the Spanish 
custom, he bestowed upon it the name of the patron saint of that particular 
day, and as the Gulf of San Miguel it is still known to us. After a short 
voyage in some canoes, in the course of which Vasco Nunez came near 
drowning, he collected an immense amount of tribute from the neighboring 
chiefs, and then took up his homeward march, arriving at Antigua without 
serious accident in the latter part of January, 1514. When we consider 
the small force at his command and the almost overpowering difficulties 
of the route, to say nothing of hostile natives, this march of Vasco 
Nunez de Balboa is among the most wonderful exploits of which we have 
trustworthy information. 

But this achievement did not bring him the indemnity and honors for 
which he hoped. A new governor, appointed July 27, 1513, notwith 
standing the news which Colmenares and Caicedo had carried with them 
of the existence of a sea, had sailed before Pedro de Arbolancha, bearing 
the news of the discovery, could arrive in Spain, inasmuch as he did not 
even leave Antigua until March, 1514. This new governor was Pedro 
Arias de Avila, better known as Pedrarias, though sometimes called by 
English writers Davila. Pedrarias, dubbed El Galan and Eljustador in his 
youth, and Furor Domini in his later years, has been given a hard character 
by all historians. This is perfectly natural, for, like all other Spanish gov 
ernors, he cruelly oppressed the natives, and thus won the dislike of Las 
Casas; while Oviedo, who usually differs as much as possible from Las 
Casas, hated Pedrarias for other reasons. Pedrarias treatment of Vasco 
Nunez, in whose career there was that dramatic element so captivating, was 
scant at least of favor. But, on the other hand, it must be remembered that 
Pedrarias occupied an office from which Nicuesa and Enciso had been 
driven, and he ruled a community which had required the utmost vigilance 
on the part of Vasco Nunez to hold in check. 

With Pedrarias went a goodly company, among whom may be mentioned 
Hernando de Soto, Diego de Almagro, and Benalcazar, who, with Pizarro, 
already in Antigua, were to push discovery and conquest along the shores 
of the Mar del Sur. There also went in the same company that Bernal Diaz 
del Castillo who was to be one of the future conquistadores of Mexico and 
the rude but charming relater of that conquest ; and Pascual de Andagoya, 


who, while inferior to Benalcazar as a ruler and to Bernal Diaz as a narrator, 
was yet a very important character. The lawyer Enciso returned among 
them to the scene of his former disappointment as alguazil mayor ; and, 
lastly, let us mention Gonzalo Fernandez de Ovieclo y Valdes, who accompa 
nied the expedition as escriban general and vcedor. Pedrarias sailed from 
San Lucar on the I2th of April, 1514, and arrived safely in the harbor of 
Antigua on the 2Qth of June. The survivors of the companies of Ojeda 
and Nicuesa, and of the reinforcements brought thither at different times, 
numbered in all but four hundred and fifty souls ; and they could have 
offered little opposition to the fifteen hundred accompanying Pedrarias, 
if they had so desired. But no attempt was made to prevent his landing; 
and as soon as Pedrarias felt himself fairly installed, an inquiry was instituted 
into the previous acts of Vasco Nunez. This trial, or residencia, was con 
ducted by Espinosa, the new alcalde mayor. There is no doubt but that 
Enciso tried hard to bring the murder of Nicuesa, for such it was, home to 
Vasco Nufiez. The efforts of Quivedo, the recently appointed bishop of 
Santa Maria de la Antigua e Castilla del Oro, and of Isabel del Bobadilla, 
the new governor s wife, who had been won over in some unknown way, 
secured the acquittal of Vasco Nufiez on all criminal charges. In the in 
numerable civil suits, however, which were brought against him by Enciso 
and by all others who felt grieved, he was mulcted in a large amount. 

This affair off his hands, Pedrarias set about executing his supplemen 
tary instructions, which were to connect the north and south seas by a chain 
of posts. He sent out three expeditions, which, besides exploration, were 
to forage for food, since the supply in Antigua was very small. The stores 
brought by the fleet had been in a great measure spoiled on the voyage, 
and the provisions at Antigua which Vasco Nunez foresight had provided, 
while ample for his little band, were entirely inadequate to the support of the 
augmented colony. The leaders of these expeditions with the exception 
of Enciso, who went to Cenu, whence he was speedily driven acted in a 
most inhuman fashion ; and the good feeling which had subsisted between 
Vasco Nunez and the natives was changed to the most bitter hatred. To 
use Vasco Nunez own words : " For where the Indians were like sheep, they 
have become like fierce lions, and have acquired so much daring, that 
formerly they were accustomed to come out to the paths with presents 
to the Christians, now they come out and they kill them ; and this has been 
on account of the bad things which the captains who went out on the 
incursions have done to them." He especially blamed Ayora and Morales, 
who commanded two of the earliest expeditions. Ayora escaped with his 
ill-gotten wealth to Spain, where he died before he could be brought to 

Morales, following the route of Vasco Nunez across the isthmus, arrived 
on the other side, and sailed to the Pearl Islands, which Vasco Nunez had 
seen in the distance. Here he obtained an immense booty; and thence, 
crossing to the southern side of the Gulf of San Miguel, he endeavored 


to return to Darien by the way of Biru and the River Atrato. But he was 
speedily driven back ; and was so hard pressed by the natives throughout 
his homeward march that he and his companions barely escaped with 
their treasure and their lives. It was about this time that Vasco Nunez 
went for a second time in search of the golden temple of Dabaibe and 
suffered defeat, with the loss of Luis Carillo, his second in command, and 
many of his men ; while another attempt on Cenu, this time by Becerra, 
ended in the death of that commander and of all but one of his companions. 
In 1515, however, a force commanded by Gonzalo de Badajos crossed 
the isthmus and discovered the rich country lying on the Gulf of Parita. 
Badajos accumulated an enormous amount of gold, which he was obliged 
to abandon when he sought safety in ignominious flight. 

These repeated disasters in the direction of Cenu nettled old Pedrarias, 
and he resolved to go himself in command of an expedition and chastise 
the natives. He was speedily defeated ; but, instead of returning immedi 
ately to Antigua, he sailed over to Veragua and founded the town of Acla 
(Bones of Men), as the northern termination of a road across the isthmus. 
He then sent Caspar Espinosa across the isthmus to found a town on the 
other side. Espinosa on his way met the fleeing Badajos ; but being better 
prepared, and a more able commander, he recovered the abandoned treas 
ure and founded the old town of Panama; while a detachment under 
Hurtado, which he sent along the coast toward the west, discovered the 
Gulf of San Lucar (Nicoya). 

As we have seen, Vasco Nunez* account of the discovery of the South 
Sea reached Spain too late to prevent the sailing of Pedrarias; but the 
King nevertheless placed reliance in him, and appointed him adelantado, 
or lieutenant, to prosecute discoveries along the shores of the southern sea, 
and also made him governor of the provinces of Panama and Coyba. This 
commission had reached Antigua before the departure of Espinosa; but 
Pedrarias withheld it for reasons of his own. And before he delivered it 
there arrived from Cuba a vessel commanded by a friend of Vasco Nunez, 
a certain Garabito, who by making known his arrival to Vasco Nunez and 
not to Pedrarias, aroused the latter s suspicions. Accordingly, Vasco Nunez 
was seized and placed in confinement. After a while, however, upon his 
promising to marry one of Pedrarias daughters, who at the time was in 
Spain, they became reconciled, and Vasco Nunez was given his commission, 
and immediately began preparation for a voyage on the South Sea. As it 
seemed impossible to obtain a sufficient amount of the proper kind of tim 
ber on the other side the isthmus, enough to build a few small vessels was 
carried over the mountains. When the men began to work it, they found it 
worm-eaten ; and a new supply was procured, which was almost immediately 
washed away by a sudden rise of the Rio Balsas, on whose banks they had 
established their ship-yard. At last, however, two little vessels were built 
and navigated to the Islas de las Perlas, whence Vasco Nunez made a short 
and unsuccessful cruise to the southward. But before he went a second time 


he sent Garabito and other emissaries to Acla to discover whether Pedrarias 
had been superseded. It seems to have been arranged that when these 
men arrived near Acla one of their number should go secretly to the house 
of Vasco Nunez there and obtain the required information. If a new 
governor had arrived they were to return to the southern side of the 
isthmus, and Vasco Nunez would put himself and his little fleet out of the 
new governor s reach, trusting in some grand discovery to atone for his 
disloyalty. Pedrarias was still governor ; but Garabito proved a false friend, 
and told Pedrarias that Vasco Nunez had no idea of marrying his daughter : 
on the contrary, he intended to sail away with his native mistress (with 
whom Garabito was in love) a-nd found for himself a government on the 
shores of the Mar del Sur. Pedrarias was furious, and enticed Vasco Nunez 
to Acla, where this new charge of treason, added to the former one of the 
murder of Nicuesa, secured his conviction by the alcalde mayor Espinosa, 
and on the very next day he and his four companions were executed. This 
was in 1517. 

In 1519 Pedrarias removed the seat of government from Antigua to 
Panama, which was made a city in 1521, while Antigua was not long after 
abandoned. In 1519 Espinosa coasted northward and westward, in Vasco 
Nunez* vessels, as far as the Gulf of Culebras; and in 1522 Pascual de An- 
dagoya penetrated the country of Bird for twenty leagues or more, when ill 
health compelled his return to Panama. He brought wonderful accounts 
of an Inca empire which was said to exist somewhere along the coast to 
the south. 1 

In 1519 a pilot, Andres Nino by name, who had been with Vasco Nunez 
on his last cruise, interested Gil Gonzalez de Avila, then contador of Es- 
panola, in the subject of exploration along the coast of the South Sea. 
Gonzalez agreed to go as commander-in-chief, accompanying Nino in the 
vessels which Vasco Nunez had built. The necessary orders from the King 
were easily obtained, and they sailed for Antigua, where they arrived safely ; 
but Pedrarias refused to deliver the vessels. Gil Gonzalez, nothing daunted, 
took in pieces the ships by which he had come from Spain, transported the 
most important parts of them across the isthmus, and built new vessels. 
These, however, were lost before reaching Panama ; but the crews arrived 
there in safety, and Pedrarias, when brought face to face with the com 
mander, could not refuse to obey the King s orders. Thus, after many 
delays, Gil Gonzalez and Andres Nino sailed from the Islas de las Perlas 
on the 2 ist of January, 1522. After they had gone a hundred leagues or 
more, it was found necessary to beach and repair the vessels. This was 
done by Nino, while Gil Gonzalez, with one hundred men and four horses, 
pushed along the shore, and, after many hairbreadth escapes, rejoined 
the fleet, which under Nino had been repaired and brought around by water. 
The meeting was at a gulf named by them Sanct Vicente ; but it proved 

1 [See the chapter on Peru. ED.] 


to be the San Lucar of Hurtado, and the Nicoya of the present day. 
After a short time passed in recuperation, the two detachments again 
separated. Nino with the vessels coasted the shore at least as far as the 
Bay of Fonseca, and thence returned to the Gulf of Nicoya. Here he was 
soon rejoined by the land party; which, after leaving the gulf, had pen 
etrated inland to the Lake of Nicaragua. They explored the surround 
ing country sufficiently to discover the outlet of the lake, which led to 
the north, and not to the south, as had been hoped. They had but 
one severe fight with the natives, accumulated vast sums of gold, and 
baptized many thousand converts. With their treasure they returned in 
safety to Panama on the 25th of June, 1523, after an absence of nearly a 
year and a half. 

At Panama Gil Gonzalez found an enemy worse than the natives of 
Nicaragua in the person of Pedrarias, whose cupidity was aroused by the 
sight of the gold. But crossing the isthmus, he escaped from Nombre de 
Dios just as Pedrarias was on the point of arresting him, and steered for 
Espanola, where his actions were approved by the Hieronimite Fathers, who 
authorized him to return and explore the country. This he endeavored 
to do by the way of the outlet of the Lake of Nicaragua, by which route he 
would avoid placing himself in the power of Pedrarias. He unfortunately 
reached the Honduras coast too far north, and marched inland only to be 
met by a rival party of Spaniards under Hernando de Soto. It seemed 
that as soon as possible after Gil Gonzalez departure from Nombre de 
Dios, Pedrarias had despatched a strong force under Francisco Hernandez 
de Cordoba to take possession of and hold the coveted territory for him. 
Cordoba, hearing from the natives of Spaniards advancing from the north, 
had sent De Soto to intercept them. Gil Gonzalez defeated this detach 
ment; but not being in sufficient force to meet Cordoba, he retreated to 
the northern shore, where he found Cristobal de Olid, who had been sent 
by Cortes to occupy Honduras in his interest. Olid proved a traitor to 
Cortes, and soon captured not only Gil Gonzalez, but Francisco de las 
Casas, who had been sent by Cortes to seize him. Las Casas, who was 
a man of daring, assassinated Olid, with the help of Gil Gonzalez. 
The latter was then sent to make what terms he could with Cortes as 
to a joint occupation of the country. 1 But Gil Gonzalez fell into the 
hands of the enemies of the Conqueror of Mexico, and was sent to Spain 
to answer, among other things, for the murder of Olid. He reached 
Seville in 1526; but, completely overwhelmed by his repeated disasters, 
died soon after. 

Cordoba, who had thrown off allegiance to Pedrarias, was executed. 
Pedrarias himself was turned out of his government of Darien by Pedro 
de los Rios, and took refuge in the governorship of Nicaragua, and died 
quietly at Leon in 1530, at the advanced age of nearly ninety years. 

1 [Cf. the chapter on Cortes. ED.] 


In 1492 Christopher Columbus had discovered Cuba, which he called 
Juana ; and two years later he had partially explored the Island of Jamaica, 
whither he had been driven on his fourth voyage, and compelled to stay 
from June, 1503, to June, 1504. In 1508 this lesser island had been granted 
to Ojeda and Nicuesa as a storehouse from which to draw supplies in case 
of need. But, as we have seen, the Admiral of the Indies at that time, 
Diego Columbus, son of the great Admiral, had sent Juan de Esquivel with 
sixty men to seize the island and hold it for him against all comers. 
Esquivel founded the town of Sevilla Nueva later Sevilla d Oro on the 
shores of the harbor where Columbus had stayed so long; and thus the 
island was settled. 

Although Cuba had been discovered in 1492, nothing had been done 
toward its exploration till 1508, when Ovando, at that time governor of 
Espanola, sent Sebastian de Ocampo to determine whether it was an island 
or not. Columbus, it will be remembered, did not, or would not, believe 
it insular, though the Indians whom he brought from Guanahani had told 
him it was ; and it had suited his purpose to make his companions swear 
that they believed it a peninsula of Asia. Ocampo settled the question 
by circumnavigating it from north to south ; and, after another delay, Diego 
Columbus in 15 1 1 sent Diego Velasquez, a wealthy planter of Espanola, 
to conquer and settle the island, which at that time was called Fernandina. 
Velasquez, assisted by thirty men under Pamphilo de Narvaez from Jamaica, 
had no difficulty in doing this ; and his task being accomplished, he threw 
off his allegiance to the Admiral. Settlers were attracted to Cuba from all 
sides. With the rest came one hundred, Bernal Diaz among them, from 
Antigua. But Velasquez had distributed the natives among his followers 
with such a lavish hand that these men were unable to get any slaves for 
themselves, and in this predicament agreed with Francisco Hernandez de 
Cordoba 1 to go on a slave-catching expedition to some neighboring islands. 
Velasquez probably contributed a small vessel to the two vessels which were 
fitted out by the others. With them went Anton Alaminos as pilot. Sailing 
from Havana in February, 1517, they doubled the Cabo de S. Anton, and 
steered toward the west and south. Storms and currents drove them from 
their course, and it was not until twenty-one days had passed after leaving 
S. Anton that they sighted some small islands. Running toward the 
coast, they espied inland a city, the size of which so impressed them that 
they called it El gran Cairo. Soon after some natives came on board, who, 
to their inquiries as to what land it was, answered " Conex Catoche ; " and 
accordingly they named it the Punta de Catoche. At this place, having 
landed, they were enticed into an ambush, and many Spaniards were killed. 
From this inhospitable shore they sailed to the west, along the northern 
coast of Yucatan, and in two weeks arrived at a village which they named 
S. Lazaro, but to which the native name of Campeche has clung. There 

1 Not the Cordoba of Nicaragua. 
VOL. II 26. 


the natives were hostile. So they sailed on for six days more, when they 
arrived off a village called Pontonchan, now known, however, as Champoton. 
As they were short of water they landed at this place, and in a fight which 
followed, fifty seven Spaniards were killed and five were drowned. Never 
theless the survivors continued their voyage for three days longer, when 
they came to a river with three mouths, one of which, the Estero de los 
Lagartos, they entered. There they burned one of their vessels ; and, hav 
ing obtained a supply of water, sailed for Cuba. The reports which they 
gave of the riches of the newly discovered country so excited the greed of 
Velasquez that he fitted out a fleet of four vessels, the command of which 
he gave to his nephew, Juan de Grijalva. Anton Alaminos again went as 
pilot, and Pedro de Alvarado was captain of one of the ships. They left 
the Cabo de S. Anton on the 1st of May, 1518, and three days later sighted 
the Island of Cozumel, which they called Santa Cruz. From this island they 
sailed along the southern coast of Yucatan, which they thought an island, 
and which they named Santa Maria de los Remedios. They came finally 
to a shallow bay, still known by the name which they gave it, Bahia de la 
Ascension. But the prospect not looking very promising in this direction, 
they doubled on their track, and in due season arrived at S. Lazaro (Cam- 
peche), or, more probably, perhaps, at Champoton, where they had their 
first hostile encounter with the natives. But, being better provided with 
artillery and cotton armor than was Francisco Hernandez, Grijalva and his 
men maintained their ground and secured a much-needed supply of water. 
Thence following the shore, they soon came to an anchorage, which they 
at first called Puerto Deseado. On further investigation the pilot Alaminos 
declared that it was not a harbor, but the mouth of a strait between the 
island of Santa Maria de los Remedios (Yucatan) and another island, which 
they called Nueva Espana, but which afterward proved to be the mainland 
of Mexico. They named this strait the Boca de Terminos. After recu 
perating there, they coasted toward the north by the mouths of many rivers, 
among others the Rio de Grijalva (Tabasco), until they came to an island 
on which they found a temple, where the native priests were wont to 
sacrifice human beings. To this island they gave the name of Isla de los 
Sacrificios ; while another, a little to the north, they called S. Juan de Ulua. 
The sheet of water between this island and the mainland afforded good* 
anchorage, and to-day is known as the harbor of Vera Cruz. There Grijalva 
stayed some time, trading with the inhabitants, not of the islands merely* 
but of the mainland. To this he was beckoned by the waving of white* 
flags, and he found himself much honored when he landed. After sending 
Pedro de Alvarado, with what gold had been obtained, to Cuba in a caravel^ 
which needed repairs, Grijalva proceeded on his voyage ; but when he had 
arrived at some point between the Bahia de Tanguijo and the Rio Panuco,| 
the pilot Ataminos declared it madness to go farther. So the fleet turned 
back, and, after more trading along the coast, they arrived safely at Matanzas 
in October of the same year. Velasquez, when he saw the spoil gathered 


on this expedition, was much vexed that Grijalva had not broken his in 
structions and founded a settlement A new expedition was immediately 
prepared, the command of which was given to Hernan Cortes. 1 As for 
Grijalva, he took service under Pedrarias, and perished with Hurtado in 


"~PHE best account of the voyages and expeditions of the companions of Columbus, 
with the exception of those relating immediately to the settlement of Darien and the 
exploration of the western coast of the isthmus, is Navarrete s Viages menores. 2 This his 
torian 3 had extraordinary opportunities in this field ; and a nautical education contributed 
to his power of weighing evidence with regard to maritime affairs. No part of Navarrete 
has been translated into English, unless the first portion of Washington Irving s Compan 
ions of Columbus may be so regarded. The best account of these voyages in English, 
however, is Sir Arthur Helps s Spanish Conquest in America,* which, although defective 
in form, is readable, and, so far as it goes, trustworthy. This work deals not merely 
with the Viages menores, but also with the settlement of Darien; as, too, does Irving s 

The first voyage of Ojeda rests mainly on the answers to the questions propounded by 
the fiscal real in the suit brought against Diego, the son of Columbus, in which the 
endeavor was made to show that Ojeda, and not Columbus, discovered the pearl coasts. 
But this claim on the part of the King s attorney was unsuccessful ; for Ojeda himself 
expressly stated in his deposition, taken in Santo Domingo in 1513, that he was the first 
man who went to Tierra-Firme after the Admiral, and that he knew that the Admiral had 
been there because he saw the chart 5 which the Admiral had sent home. This lawsuit is 
so important in relation to these minor voyages that Navarrete printed much of the testi 
mony then taken, with some notes of his own, at the end of his third volume. 6 Among 
the witnesses were Ojeda, Bastidas, Vicente Yanez Pinzon, Garcia Hernandez a "fisico" 
who had accompanied Vicente Yanez on his first voyage, the pilots Ledesma, Andres de 
Morales, Juan Rodriguez, and many other mariners who had sailed with the different 
commanders. Their testimony was taken with regard to the third voyage of Columbus 
(second question) ; the voyage of Guerra and Nino (third and fourth questions) ; Ojeda s 
first voyage (fifth question) ; Bastidas (sixth question) ; Vicente Yanez (seventh ques 
tion) ; Lepe (eighth question) ; etc. Taken altogether, this evidence is the best authority 
for what was done or was not done on these early voyages. 7 

1 [From this point the story is continued in 5 Navarrete, iii. 5, note i, and 539, 544; Hum- 

the chapter on Cortes. ED.] boldt, Examen critique, i. 88, note. 

- Coleccion de los riagcs y descubrimientos, 6 Coleccion, iii. 538-615. 

que hicieron por mar los Espanoles desde fines del 7 Besides this original material, something 

siglio XV., por Don Martin Fernandez de Navar- concerning this first voyage of Ojeda is contained 

rete. The third volume of this series consti- in Oviedo, i. 76, and ii. 132; Las Casas, ii. 389- 

tutes the Viages menores, y los de Vespiicio ; 434 (all references to Oviedo and Las Casas in 

Poblaciones en. el Darien, snplemento al tomo 17, this chapter are to the editions issued by the 

Madrid, 1829. [Cf. the Introduction to the pres- Real Academia) ; Herrera, dec. i. lib. 4, chaps, 

ent volume. ED.] i.-iv. ; Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 4-11, 167,543- 

3 Cf. Biblioteca maritima espanola, ii. 436-438; 545 ; Humboldt, Examen critique, i. 313, and iv. 
H. H. Bancroft, Central America, i. 198. [Cf. 195,220; Helps, Spanish Conquest, i. 263, 280, ii. 
Introduction to the present volume. ED.] 106; Irving, Companions, pp. 9-27; Bancroft, 

4 [Cf. the chapters on Columbus, Las Casas, Central America, i. 111,118,308; Ruge, Geschichte 
and Pizarro. ED.] des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, p. 322. There 


The only things worth noting in the voyage of Guerra and Nino are the smallness of 
the vessel (fifty tons), 1 and the enormous pecuniary return. One of the voyagers, 2 very 
possibly Nino himself, 3 wrote an account of the voyage, which was translated into Italian, 
and published as chapters ex. and cxi. of the Paesi iiovamcnte retrovati. It was then 
translated into Latin, and inserted by Grynaeus in the A"ovus orbis.*- 

A contemporary account of the voyage of Vicente Yanez Pinzon was printed in the 
Paesi novamente? by whom written is not known. Varnhagen has attempted to show 
that the cape near which Vicente Yanez landed was not the Cabo de S. Augustin, but 
some point much farther north. 6 For a time the point was raised that Vicente Yanez 
arrived on the coast after Cabral ; but that was plainly impossible, as he undoubtedly 
sighted the American coast before Cabral left Portugal. 7 As to the landfall itself, both 
Navarrete and Humboldt place it in about eight degrees south latitude ; and they base 
their argument on the answers to the seventh question of the fiscal real in the cele 
brated lawsuit, in which Vicente Yanez said that it was true that he discovered from " El 
cabo de Consolacion que es en la parte de Portugal e agora se llama cabo de S. Augus 
tin." 8 In this he was corroborated by the other witnesses. 9 The voyage was unsuccess 
ful in a pecuniary point of view. Two vessels were lost at the Bahamas, whither Vicente 
Yanez had gone in quest of slaves. After his return to Spain it was only through the 
interposition of the King that he was able to save a small portion of his property from the 
clutches of the merchants who had fitted out the fleet. 10 

The voyage of Diego de Lepe rests entirely on the evidence given in the Columbus 
lawsuit, 11 from which it also appears that he drew a map for Fonseca on which the coast 
of the New World was delineated trending toward the south and west from Rostro Her- 
moso (Cabo de S. Augustin). Little is known of the further movements of Diego de Lepe, 
who, according to Morales, died in Portugal before isiS- 12 Navarrete printed nothing 
relating to him of a later date than November, i5oo; 13 but in \hzDocumentosindditos 

is also a notice of Ojeda by Navarrete in his of South America/ in which the question is 
Opiiscnlos, i. 113. further examined. ED.] 

1 [On this see note on p. 7 of the present 8 Navarrete, iii. 547 etseg. 

volume. ED.] 9 See also Navarrete, Notice chronologique, 

2 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 12, note i. in Quatre voyages, i. 349, and Humboldt, Intro- 

3 Biblioteca maritima espanola, ii. 525. duction to Ghillany s Behaim, p. 2, where he 

4 Page 117, ed. 1532. For other references says, in the description of the La Cosa map, 
to this voyage, see Peter Martyr (dec. i. chap, that Cabo de S. Augustin, whose position is very 
viii.), whose account is based on the above; accurately laid down on that map, was first 
Herrera, dec. i. lib. 4, chap. v. ; Navarrete, Co- called Rostro Hermoso, Cabo Sta. Maria de la 
Jeccion, iii. 11-18, 540-542; Humboldt, Exa- Consolacion, and Cabo Sta. Cruz. In this he is 
men critique, iv. 220; Bancroft, Central America, probably correct; for if Vicente Yanez or Lepe 
i. ni; Irving, Companions, pp. 28-32. did not discover it, how did La Cosa know 

5 Chapters cxii. and cxiii. In Latin in Gry- where to place it ? unless he revised his map 
naeus, p. 119, edition of 1532. after 1500. This is not likely, as the map con- 

6 Varnhagen, Examen de quelqiies points de tains no hint of the discoveries made during his 
rhistoire geographiqne du Bresil, pp. 19-24 ; Varn- third voyage undertaken with Rodrigo de Bas- 
hagen, Historia geral do Brazil (2d ed.), i. 78-80. tidas in 1500-1502. Cf. Stevens, Notes, p. 33, 

7 Cf. Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 19, note. Hum- note. 

boldt (Examen critique, i. 313) says that Vicente 10 Cf. two Real provisions of date Dec. 5, 

Yanez saw the coast forty-eight days before 1500, in Navarrete, iii. 82, 83; and see also a 

Cabral left Lisbon. As to the exact date of Capitulacion and Asiento of date Sept. 5, 1501, 

Vicente Yanez landfall, the Paesi novamente in Docnmentos ineditos, xxx. 535. Other refer- 

(chap. cxii.) gives it as January 20, while Peter ences to this voyage are, Herrera, dec. i. lib. 4, 

Martyr (dec. i. chap, ix.), who usually follows chap. vi. ; Navarrete, iii. 18-23; Humboldt, Exa- 

the Paesi not amente, in his description of this men critique, iv. 221; Bancroft, Central America, 

and of the Guerra and Nino voyages gives it as i. 112 ; and Irving, Companions, pp. 33-41. 

" Septimo kalendas Februarii," or January 26. u Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 552-555. 

But the difference is unimportant. [Cf. further 12 Ibid., iii. 552. 

the section on the " Historical Chorography 13 Ibid., iii. 80; Si. 


are documents which would seem to show that he was preparing for a voyage in the begin 
ning Of I502. 1 

Juan de la Cosa returned with Ojeda in the middle of June, 1500, and he sailed with 
Bastidas in the following October. The intervening time he probably spent in work 
ing on the map which bears the legend "Juan de la Cosa la fizo en Puerto de Sta. 
Maria en ano de 1500." This is the earliest existing chart made by one of the navigators 
of the fifteenth century, the track-chart sent home by Columbus in 1498,2 and the Lepe map, 
being lost. Humboldt was especially qualified to appreciate the clearness and accuracy 
of this La Cosa map by the knowledge of the geography of Spanish America which he 
gained during a long sojourn in that part of the world; 3 and this same knowledge gives 
especial value to whatever he says in the Examen critique* concerning the voyages herein 
described. Of Juan de la Cosa s knowledge of the geography of the northern coast of 
South America there can be little doubt, especially when it is borne in mind that he made 
no less than six voyages to that part of the world, 5 only two of which, however, preceded 
the date which he gives to his map. A comparison of La Cosa s map with the chart of 
1527 usually, but probably erroneously, ascribed to Ferdinand Columbus, and with that of 
1529 by Ribero, gives a clearer idea than the chronicles themselves do, of the discoveries 
of the early navigators. 6 

Like all these early minor voyages, that of Rodrigo Bastidas rests mainly on the testi 
mony given in the lawsuit already referred to. 7 Navarrete in his Viages menores stated 
that Ojeda procured a license from Bishop Fonseca, who had been empowered to give 
such licenses. No document, however, of the kind has been produced with regard to 
Ojeda or any of these commanders before the time of Bastidas, whose Asiento que hizo 
con SS. MM. Catolicas of June 5, 1500, has been printed. 8 As already related, the ravages 
of the teredo drove Bastidas into a harbor of Espanola, where he was forced to abandon 
his vessels and march to Santo Domingo. He divided his men into three bands, who 
saved themselves from starvation by exchanging for food some of the ornaments which 
they had procured on the coast of Tierra-Firme. This innocent traffic was declared 
illegal by Bobadilla, who sent Bastidas to Spain for trial. But two years later, on Jan. 29, 
1504, their Majesties ordered his goods to be restored to him, and commanded that all 

1 Capitulation, etc., Sept. 14, 1501 (Docu- 1818-1829, of which a three-volume edition was 
mentos ineditos, xxxi. 5) ; Cedillas, November, brought out in 1852. 

1501 (Documentos ineditos, xxxi. 100, 102); 4 Examen critique de rhistoire de la geogra- 

another ccdula of January, 1502 (Documentos phic du nouveau co ntinent, etc., par A. de Hum- 

incditos, xxxi. 119). See also Herrera, dec. i. boldt, Paris, 1836-1839. This was first published 

lib. 4, chap. vii. ; Navarrete, iii. 23, 594; Hum- in Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland. Cf. Bibli- 

boldt, Examen critique, i. 314, iv. 221 ; Ban- ography of Humboldt, vol. iii. 

croft, Central America, i. 113; and Irving, 5 (i) With Columbus September, 1493 to 

Companions, p. 42. June, 1496. (2) With Ojeda May, 1499 to 

2 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 5, and note, and June, 1500. (3) With Bastidas October, 1500 
P- 539; Humboldt, Examen critique, i. 88, and to September, 1502. (4) In command 1504 
note. [Cf. the section in the present volume to 1506. (5) In command 1507101508. (6) 
on "The Early Maps of the Spanish and Por- With Ojeda 1509. Cf. Humboldt, Examen 
tuguese Discoveries," ante, p. 106. ED.] critique, \. 163; also Navarrete, Biblioteca mari- 

3 Cf. Voyage aux regions cquinoxialcs du tima espaTiola, ii. 208. 

nouveau continent fait en 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 6 [See further on the La Cosa map, Vol. III. 

1803. ct 1804, par Alcxandrc de Humboldt et A. of the present History, p. 8, and the present 

Bonpland, redige par Alexandrc de Humboldt, volume, p. 1 06, where fac-similes and sketches 

avt-c un atlas geograpJii que et physique (8 vols.), are given. ED.] 

Paris, 1816-1832. Translated into English by 7 Answers to the sixth question (Coleccion, 

Helen Maria Williams, and published as Per- iii. 545), reviewed by the editor on pp. 591 and 

sonal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial 592 of the same volume. 

Regions, etc. (7 vols.), London, 1818-1829. 8 Documentos ineditos, ii. 362. It was par- 
There is another translation, with the same dally translated in Bancroft, Central America, L 
title, by Thomassina Ross (7 vols.), London, 186, note. 


further proceedings should be abandoned. 1 They also granted him a pension of fifty 
thousand maravedis, to be paid from the revenues " de los Golfos cle Huraba e Baru ; " 2 
while Juan de la Cosa was not only pensioned in a similar fashion, but also made alguacil 
mayor of the Gulf of Uraba. 3 With the exception of a slave-catching voyage to Uraba 
in 1504, Bastidas lived quietly as a farmer in Espanola until 1520, when he led an expedi 
tion to settle the province of Santa Marta, and was there killed by his lieutenant. After 
his death his family, seeking to receive compensation for his services and losses, drew 
up an Information de los servicios del adelantado Rodrigo de Bastidas; 4 and eight years 
later presented another. 5 From this material it is possible to construct a clear and 
connected account of this voyage, especially when supplemented by Oviedo and Las 
Casas. 6 

This was the first voyage which really came within the scope of Hubert H. Bancroft s 
Central America; and therefore he has described it at some length. 7 This book is a vast 
and invaluable mine of information, to be extracted only after much labor and trouble, 
owing to a faulty table of contents, and the absence of side-notes or dates to the pages : 
and there is at present no index. The text is illustrated with a mass of descriptive and 
bibliographical notes which are really the feature of the work, and give it its encyclo 
pedic value. Considering its range and character, the book has surprisingly few errors 
of any kind ; and indeed the only thing which prevents our placing implicit reliance on it 
is Mr. Bancroft s assertion 8 that " very little of the manuscript as it comes to me, whether 
in the form of rough material or more finished chapters, is the work of one person alone; " 
while we are not given the means of attaching responsibility where it belongs, as regards 
both the character of the investigation and the literary form which is presented. As to 
the ultimate authorship of the text itself, we are only assured 9 that " at least one half of 
the manuscript has been written by my own hand." 10 

The second voyage of Alonso de Ojeda rests entirely on some documents which 
Navarrete printed in the third volume of his Coleccion, and upon which he founded his 
account of the voyage. 11 The first, in point of time, is a cedilla of June 8, 1501, continuing a 
license of July, 1500, to explore and govern the Isla de Coquivacoa. 12 Two days later, on 
June 10, 1501, a formal commission as governor was given to Ojeda, 13 and the articles 
of association were executed by him and his partners, Vergara and Ocampo, on the 5th 
of July. 14 An escribano, Juan de Guevara by name, was appointed in the beginning of 
September of the same year. The fleet was a long time in fitting out, and it was not till 
the next spring that Ojeda issued his orders and instructions to the commanders of the 
other vessels and to the pilots. 15 These are of great importance, as giving the names of 
the places which he had visited on his first voyage. The attempt at colonization ended 
disastrously, and Ojeda found himself at Santo Domingo as the defendant in a suit brought 
against him by his associates. Navarrete used the evidence given in this suit in his 
account ; but he printed only the ejecutoria, in which the King and Queen ordered that 
Ojeda should be set at liberty, and that his goods should be restored to him. 16 The 

1 Navarrete, Coleccion, ii. 416. " Vol. i. pp. 114, 183-194. 

2 Documentos ineditos, xxxi. 230. 8 Cf. Early American Chroniclers, p. 44. 

3 Titido (1502, April 3), Documentos ineditos, 9 Chroniclers,^.^. 

xxxi. 129. 10 [There is a further estimate in another part 

4 Documentos inedilos, ii. 366. of the present work. ED.] 

5 Ibid., xxxvii. 459. u Coleccion, pp. 28, 168, 591 ; see also Hum- 

6 Oviedo, i. 76, and ii. 334; Las Casas, iii. boldt, Examen critique, i. 360, and iv. 226; and 
10. Something may also be found in Herrera, Irving, Companions, pp. 46-53. 

dec. i. lib. 4, chap, xiv., and in Navarrete, 12 Coleccion, iii. 85. 

Coleccion, iii. 25; Quintana, Obras completas in 13 Ibid., iii. 89. 

Biblioteca de autores Espanolcs, xix. 281 ; Hum- 14 Ibid., iii. 91. 

boldt, Examen critique, i. 360, iv. 224 ; Helps, 15 Ibid., iii. 103, 105-107. 

i. 281 ; and Irving, Companions, p. 43-45. 16 Ibid., ii. 420-436. 


position of the irrigated land l which he called Valfermoso is difficult to determine ; but it 
certainly was not the Curiana of the present day, which is identical with the Curiana of 
Guerra and Nino.- 

Martin Fernandez de Enciso the bachillcr Endso -first came to the Indies with 
Bastidas," says Bancroft, 3 and practised law to such good purpose that he accumulated two 
thousand castellanos, equivalent to ten thousand in our day. 4 This he contributed 
toward the expenses of the Nueva Andalucia colony, of which he was made alcalde mayor. 
But he was unfortunate in that office, as we have seen, and was sent to Spain, whence he 
returned in 1513 with Pedrarias as alguacil mayor. In 1514116 led an expedition to Genii, 
to which Irving erroneously gives an earlier date. 5 From 1514 to 1519 nothing is known 
of Enciso s movements; but in the latter year he published the Suma de geografia qnc. 
trata de todas las partidas y provincias delmundo, en especial de las Indias, which contains 
much bearing on this period. What became of the author is not known. 

The trading voyages to Tierra-Firme between Ojeda s two attempts at colonization 
have no geographical importance ; and, indeed, their very existence depends on a few 
documents which were unearthed from the Archives of the Indies by the indefatigable 
labors of Muiioz, Navarrete, and the editors of the Colecdon de documentos ineditos rela 
tives al descubrimiento, conquista y organization de las antiguas posesiones Espanolas de 
America y Oceania.* Of these trading voyages first comes the cruise of Juan de la Cosa, or 
Juan Vizcaino, as he was sometimes called, whose intention to embark upon it is inferred 
from a letter from the Queen to the royal officers, 7 and an asiento bearing date Feb. 14, 
1504.8 Nothing is known of the voyage itself, except that Navarrete, on the authority 
of a cedula which he did not print, gives the amount of money received by the Crown as 
its share of the profits. 9 

The voyage which Ojeda is supposed to have made in 1505 rests on a still weaker 
foundation, as there is nothing with regard to it except a ccdula, bearing date Sept. 21, 
I 55? 10 concerning certain valuables which may have been procured on this voyage or on 
the first ill-fated attempt at colonization. That it was contemplated is ascertained from a 
Cedula para que Alfonso Doxeda sea Gobernador de la Costa de Ququebacoa e Huraba, n 
etc. The document, dated Sept. 21, 1504, is followed by two of the same date referring 
to Ojeda s financial troubles. Is it not possible that the above-mentioned document 
of Sept. 21, 1505, belongs with them? The agreement (asiento) of Sept. 30, 1504, con 
firmed in March of the next year, is in the same volume, while an order to the Governor 
of Espanola not to interfere with the luckless Ojeda was printed by Navarrete (iii. in), 
who has said all that can be said concerning the expedition in his Noticia biogrdfical" 

The voyage of Juan de la Cosa with Martin de los Reyes and Juan Correa rests 
entirely on the assertion of Navarrete that they returned in 1508, because it was stated 
(where, he does not say) that the proceeds of the voyage were so many hundred 

1 Tierra de riego, Navarrete, Colecdon, iii. 32. 397, note. It may also be found in Oviedo, iii. 28. 

2 Navarrete, iii. 32, note 3. In this note Bancroft in the above note also indicates the 
he mentions Enciso s Suma de geografia as an depositary of the reqitcrimiento drawn up for the 
authority. use of Ojeda and Nicuesa. With regard to 

3 Central America, i. 339, note. this Cenu expedition, see also Enciso, Suma de 

4 Navarrete, Bibliotcca marltima esparola, geografia, p. 56. 

ii. 432; but see also Bancroft, Central America, 6 Cited in this chapter as Docnmentos ineditos. 

i. 192, note. [See further on this collection in the Introduction 

5 Irving, Companions, pp. 126-129. See to the present volume. ED.] 

Memorial que did el bachiller Enciso de lo ejccutado ~ Navarrete, Colecdon, iii. 109; and see also 

por el en defensa de los Reales derechos en la materia Biblioteca maritima espaTiola, ii. 210, 211. 

dc los indios, in Documentos ineditos, i. 441. This 8 Dociimentos ineditos, xxxi. 220. 

document contains, pp. 442-444, the celebrated 9 Navarrete, Colecdon, iii. 161. 

requerimiento which Pedrarias was ordered to 10 Dociimentos ineditos, xxxi. 360. 

read to the natives before he seized their lands. J1 Ibid., xxxi. 250. 

A. translation is in Bancroft, Central America, i. 12 Colecdon, iii. 169. 


thousand maravedis. 1 Concerning the discovery of Yucatan by Vicente Yanez Pinzon, there 
is no original material ; - but here again evidence of preparation for a voyage can be found 
in an asiento y capytulacion of April 24, 1505, in the Documentos ineditos (xxxi. 309). 

After this time the history of Tierra-Firme is much better known ; for it is with the 
colonies sent out under Ojeda and Nicuesa in 1509 that the Historia general of Oviedo 
-becomes a standard authority. Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes was born in 
Madrid in 1478, and in 1490 he entered the household of the Duke of Villahermoso. 
Later he served under Prince Juan and the King of Naples until 1507, when he entered 
the service of the King and Queen of Spain. In 1513 he was appointed escribano, and 
later (upon the death of Caicedo, who, it will be remembered, was one of the agents 
Vasco Nunez had sent to Spain to announce the existence of an unknown sea) veedor de 
las fundaciones d"* oro to the expedition which under Pedrarias was sent to Tierra-Firme 
in that year. Oviedo did not approve of the course pursued by that worthy, and returned 
to Spain in 1515 to inform the new King, Charles I. (Emperor Charles V.) of the true con 
dition of affairs in the Indies. He brought about many important reforms, secured for 
himself the office of perpetual regidor of Antigua, escribano general of the province, 
receiver of the fines of the cdmara? and cargoes and goods forfeited for smuggling 
were also bestowed upon him. His veediiria was extended so as to include all Tierra- 
Firme ; and when the news of the execution of Vasco Nunez arrived at Court, he 
was ordered to take charge of his goods and those of his associates. Oviedo, provided 
with so many offices and with an order commanding all governors to furnish him 
with a true account of their doings, returned to Antigua soon after the new governor, 
Lope de Sosa, who had been appointed, upon his representations, to succeed Pedrarias. 
But unfortunately for him Lope de Sosa died in the harbor of Antigua (1520), and 
Oviedo was left face to face with Pedrarias. It was not long before they quarrelled as to 
the policy of removing the seat of government of the province from Antigua to Panama, 
which Oviedo did not approve. Pedrarias craftily made him his lieutenant at Antigua, in 
which office Oviedo conducted himself so honestly that he incurred the hatred of all the 
evil-disposed colonists of that town, and was forced to resign. He also complained of 
Pedrarias before the new alcalde mayor, and was glad to go to Spain as the representative 
of Antigua. On his way he stopped at Cuba and Santo Domingo, where he saw Velasquez 
and Diego Columbus; with the latter he sailed for home. There he used his oppor 
tunities so well that he procured, in 1523, the appointment of Pedro de los Rios as 
Pedrarias successor, and for himself the governorship of Cartagena ; and after publishing 
his Sumario he returned to Castilla del Oro, where he remained until 1530, when he 
returned to Spain, resigned his veeduria, and some time after received the appointment of 
Cronista general de Indias. In 1532 he was again in Santo Domingo, and in 1533 he was 
appointed alcaid of the fortress there. But the remainder of his life was passed in 
literary pursuits, and he died in Valladolid in 1557 at the age of seventy-nine. From this 
account it can easily be seen that whatever he wrote with regard to the affairs of Tierra- 
Firme must be received with caution, as he was far from being an impartial observer. 4 

The first document with regard to the final and successful settlement of Tierra-Firme 
is the cedula of June 9, 1508, in which Diego de Nicuesa and Alonso de Ojeda were com 
missioned governors of Veragua and Uraba for four years. 5 Juan de la Cosa was 

1 Coleccion, iii. 162. chapter on Oviedo in his Christophe Colomb, 

- Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 46; Humboldt, Exa- p. 97, points out how rarely he refers to original 

men critique, iv. 228 ; Herrera, dec. i. lib. 6, chap, documents. ED.] 

xvii. But this discovery is denied by Harrisse. 5 Real cedula por la cual, con referenda d to 

3 " Collector of penalties." Cf. Bancroft, capitulado con Diego de Nicuesa y Alonso de Ho- 
Central America, i. 473. jeda, y al nombrarniento de dmbos por cttatro anos 

4 [The bibliographical history of Oviedo s para o bernadores de Veragua el primero y de 
writings is given in the note following the Urabd et segitndo, debiendo ser Teniente suyo Juan 
chapter on Las Casas. Harrisse, who gives a de la Cosa, se ratifica el nombramiento d Hojeda 

VOL. II. 27. 


confirmed in his office of alguacil mayor de Urabd on the seventeenth of the same month ; * 
and the Governor of Espanola was directed to give him a house for his wife and children, 
together with a sufficient number of Indians. 2 

As we have seen, the two governors were prevented by Diego Columbus from taking 
the well-to-do class of colonists from Espanola upon which they had counted. This 
statement is made on the authority of Nicuesa s lieutenant, Roclrigo de Colmenares, who 
afterward deserted Nicuesa at Antigua, and went to Spain in 1512 in company with 
Caicedo to report the existence of a new sea. While there, either on this or a later visit, 
he presented a memorial to the King sobre el de.^graciado suceso de Diego de Nicuesa.* 
The allegations of Colmenares are borne out by two cedulas of Feb. 28, 1510; 4 while a 
cedilla of June 15, 1510, declared that the Gulf of Uraba belonged to the province which 
had been assigned to Ojeda. 5 Nicuesa was informed of this decision in a cedula of the 
same date. 6 There are four more cedillas of July 25, 1511, in two oi which the Admiral 
Diego Columbus and the treasurer Pasamonte are ordered to assist the unhappy gover 
nors, while the other two were written to inform those governors that such orders had 
been sent. 7 The fate of neither of them, however, , is certain. The judges of appeal in 
Espanola were ordered to inquire into the crimes, delits, and excesses of Ojeda, Talavera, 
and companions. 8 Talavera and his associates were hanged in Jamaica in 1511, and 
Ojeda s deposition was taken in 1513, and again in 1515 in Santo Domingo, in the cele 
brated lawsuit ; but beyond this his further movements are not accurately known. 9 As 
for Nicuesa, he too underwent shipwreck and starvation ; and when at last fortune 
seemed about to smile upon him, he was cruelly cast out by the mutinous settlers at 
Darien; and although a story was current that he had been wrecked on Cuba and had 
there left inscribed on a tree, "Here died the unfortunate Nicuesa," yet the best opinion is 
that he and his seventeen faithful followers perished at sea. 10 

The only complete biography of Vasco Nunez de Balboa is that of Don Manuel Jose* 
Quintana, 11 who had access to the then unpublished portion of Oviedo, and to documents 
many of which are possibly not yet published. His Vida^ 2 - therefore, is very useful in 
filling gaps in the account of the expeditions from Antigua both before and after the 
coming of Pedrarias. There is no account by an eye-witness of the expeditions under 
taken by Vasco Nunez before 1514; and the only approach to such a document is the 

(June 9, 1508), Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 116; in Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 120, and of Oct. 6, 1511, 

the original spelling, and bearing date May 9, in Documentos ineditos, xxxii. 284. 

1508, in Documentos ineditos, xxxii. 25. The 9 Other references are Oviedo, 11.421; Las 

" capitidado " mentioned in the above title is in Casas, iii. 289-311 ; Peter Martyr, dec. ii. chap. 

Documentos ineditos, xxxii. 29-43, an< ^ ^ s followed i. ; Herrera, dec. i. lib. 7, chaps, vii., xi., xiv.-xvi., 

by the Real cedula para Xoan de la Cosset sea capi- and lib. 8, iii. v. ; Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 

tan e gobertiador por Alhonso Doxeda; e en las 170; Quintana, U. S., pp. 281, 301; Helps, i. 

partes donde esthobiere el dicho Doxeda su Ltigar 287-296; Bancroft, Central America, i. 289-301; 

Thiniente (June 9, 1508); and see also Capitu- Irving, Companions, pp. 54-102. 

lacion que se toma con Diego de Nicuesa y Alonso 10 See, however, on the career of Nicuesa af- 

de Ojeda (June 9, 1508), Doc^lmentos ineditos, ter leaving Cartagena the following authorities : 

xxii. 13. Oviedo, ii. 465-477; Las Casas, iii. 329-347; 

1 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 118; Documentos Peter Martyr, dec. ii. chaps, ii.-iii. ; Herrera, dec. 
ineditos, xxxii. 46 ; and see also Ibid., p. 52. i. lib. 7, chap, xvi., and lib. 8, chaps, i.-iii. and 

2 Cedula, Documentos ineditos, ~xxx.\\. 51. viii. ; Vidas de Espanoles celebres in vol. xix. of 

3 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 386 and note ; Biblioteca de autores Espanoles, obras completas del 
probably presented in 1516. Cf. Biblioteca Excimo Sr. D. Manuel Jose Quintana, p. 283; 
maritima espanola, ii. 666. Helps, i. 303-317; Bancroft, Central America, 

4 Documentos ineditos, xxxi. 529, 533. i. 289-308, and 336, note ; Irving, Companions, 

5 Ibid., xxxii. 101. pp. 103-117, 138-146. 

6 Ibid., xxxii. 103. n Cf. Navarrete, Biblioteca maritima espa- 

7 Ibid., xxxii. 231, 236, 240, 257. Tiola, ii. 409. 

8 See document of October 5, 1511, in 12 Quintana, U. S., pp, 281-300. 


letter which Vasco Nunez wrote to the King on Jan. 20, I5I3- 1 The writer of this letter 
came to the Indies with Bastidas in 1500 ; and after the unhappy ending of that voyage 
settled in Espanola. But he .was not suited to the placid life of a planter, and becoming 
involved in debt, was glad to escape from his creditors in Enciso s ship. It was by his 
advice that the San Sebastian colony was transferred to the other side of the Gulf of 
Uraba ; and when there his shrewdness had discovered a way of getting rid of Enciso. 
The exact part he played in the murder of Nicuesa is not clear ; but it is certain, as 
Bancroft points out, that his connection with that nefarious act was the lever by which 
his enemies finally accomplished his overthrow. It can be thus easily understood that the 
censures which he passes on Enciso and Nicuesa must be received with caution. Still, 
we should not forget that Vasco Nunez succeeded where they failed. He was a man of 
little or no education, and portions of this letter are almost untranslatable. Nevertheless, 
Clements R. Markham has given an English rendering in the Introduction to his trans 
lation of Andagoya s Relation. 2 Among the other accounts, 3 that of Herrera is very full, 
and, so far as it can be compared with accessible documents, sufficiently accurate. 

There is no real discrepancy in the various narratives, except with regard to the date 
of the discovery of the Pacific, which Peter Martyr says took place on the 26th of Sep 
tember, while all the other authorities have the 25th ; Oviedo going so far as to give the 
very hour when the new waters first dawned on Balboa s sight. 4 

There is no lack of original material concerning the government of Pedrarias. First 
come his commission 5 (July 27, 1513) and instructions 6 (Aug. 2, 1513), which Navarrete 
has printed, together with the letter written by the King on receipt of the reports of Vasco 
Nunez grand discovery. 7 The date of this paper is not given ; but there has recently 
been printed 8 a letter from the King to Vasco Nunez of Aug. 19, 1514. In this note the 
monarch states that he has heard of the discovery of the new sea through Pasamonte, 
although he had not then seen Arbolancha. Pasamonte had probably written in Vasco 
Nunez favor ; for the King adds that he has written to Pedrarias that he (Vasco Nunez) 
should be well treated. It is possible that this is the letter above mentioned, a portion 
only of which is printed in Navarrete. 

The date of the expedition to Dabaibe, in which so many men were lost, is not certain ; 
but Vasco Nunez saw the necessity of putting forward a defence, which he did in a letter 
to the King on the i6th of October, I5I5- 9 In this letter, besides describing the really 
insuperable obstacles in the way of a successful expedition in that direction, in which 
the lack of food, owing to the ravages of the locusts, bears a prominent part, he attacks 
Pedrdrias and his government very severely. 

The doings of Arbolancha in Spain are not known. There is a letter of the King to 
Pedrarias, dated Sept. 27, 1514, appointing Vasco Nunez adelantado of the coast region 

1 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 358-375. croft shows. [Humboldt is inclined to magnify 

2 Narrative . . . of Pascual de Andagoya, the significance of the information which Co- 
translated by C. R. Markham for the Hakluyt lumbus in his third voyage got, as looking to 
Society, 1865, Introduction, pp. iii, xix. a knowledge, by the Spaniards, of the south sea 

3 Oviedo, iii. 4-21; Las Casas, iii. 312-328, as early as 1503. Cf. his Relation historique du 
iv. 66-134 ; Peter Martyr, dec. ii. chaps, iii.-vi., voyage aux regions equinoxiales, iii. 703, 705, 
dec. iii. chap. i. ; Herrera, dec. i. lib. 9 and 10, 713 ; Cosmos, Eng. tr. (Bohn), ii. 642 ; Views of 
with the exception of chap. vii. of book 10, which Nature (Bohn), p. 432. ED.] 

relates to Pedrarias, and of a few other chapters 5 Coleccion, iii. 337-342. 

with regard to the affairs of Velasquez, etc. ; 6 Ibid., iii. 342-355. 

Galvano, Hakluyt Society ed., p. 124; Helps, 7 Ibid., iii. 355. 

i. 321-352, and chap. iv. of his Pizarro ; Ban- 8 Documentos inlditos, xxxvii. 282. 

croft, Central America, i. 129, 133, 330-385, 438; 9 Ibid., ii. 526; Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 375. 

and Mexico, iii. 558 ; Irving, Companions, pp. Cf. Navarrete s nota on the credibility of Vasco 

136-212 and 254-276; Ruge, Geschichte des Zeit- Nunez in Ibid., p. 385. Portions of this letter 

alters der Entdeckungcn, p. 347. have been translated by Markham in the notes 

4 Cf. Bancroft, Central America, \. 364, note, to pages I and 10 of Andagoya s Narrative^ 
Irving unluckily followed Peter Martyr, as Ban- published by the Hakluyt Society. 


which he had discovered. 1 We have several letters of the King to Pedrarias, to the new 
adelantado > and to other officers, on November 23 and 27. 2 

The next document of importance is the narrative of Espinosa s expedition, written 
by himself. It is printed in the Documentos ineditos (vol. ii. pp. 467-522), with some 
corrections by the editors ; but it may be found in the original spelling, and without such 
corrections, in another volume of that series, 3 where the date of 1514 is most erroneously 
assigned to it. 

The licentiate Caspar de Espinosa came to Tierra-Firme with Pedrarias as alcalde 
mayor. Soon after his arrival at Antigua he held the residencia of Vasco Nunez, and 
then is not heard of again until he is found in command of this expedition. He founded 
Panama (for the first time) and returned to Antigua, whence he followed Pedrarias to 
Acla to try Vasco Nunez for treason. He unwillingly convicted him, but recommended 
mercy. After the great explorer s death he cruised in his vessels to the coast of 
Nicaragua ; and later he played ^n important part in the conquest of Peru, and died at 
Cuzco while endeavoring to accommodate the differences between Pizarro and Almagro. 
The only other document of his which I have found is a Relation e proceso concerning the 
voyage of 15 19.* 

There are a few other documents bearing on the history of Tierra-Firme ; 5 but the 
best and most complete contemporary account of this period 6 was written by Pascual de 
Andagoya, who came to Antigua with Pedrarias. Andagoya was with Vasco Nunez on 
his last voyage, accompanied Espinosa on both his expeditions, and led a force into Biru 
in 1522. After his return from that expedition he lived in Panama until 1529, when 
Pedro de los Rios banished him from the isthmus. After a few years spent in Santo 
Domingo he returned to Panama as lieutenant to the new governor, Barrionuevo, and 
acted as agent to Pizarro and the other conquerors of Peru until 1536, when his resi- 
dencia was held with much rigor by the licentiate Pedro Vasquez, and he was sent to 
Spain. In 1539 he returned as adelantado and governor of Castilla Nueva, as the province 
bordering on the Mar del Sur from the Gulf of San Miguel to the San Juan River was 
then called. But the remainder of his life was one succession of disappointments, and he 
died some time after I545. 7 

From this brief biography it will be seen that Andagoya s earlier career was successful, 
and that he was on friendly terms with Pedrarias, Espinosa, and Vasco Nunez. He was 
therefore, so far as we are concerned, an impartial witness of the events which he describes ; 
and his testimony is therefore more to be relied on than that of Oviedo, who was absent 
from Tierra-Firme a great part of the time, and who was besides inimical to Pedrarias. 
Otherwise Oviedo s account is the better ; for the sequence of events is difficult, if not 
impossible, to unravel from Andagoya. 

1 Cf. Sabin, Dictionary, vol. xiii. no. 56,338; 6 Relation de los sucesos de Pedrarias Ddvila 

also vol. x. no. 41,604. en las provincias de Tierra firme 6 Castilla del 

- Letter from the King to Pedrarias, Sept. oro, y de lo occurido en el descubrimiento de la 

23, 1514 (Document os ineditos, xxxvii. 285); mar del Sur y costas del Peru y Nicaragua, escrita 

to Alonso de la Fuente, nuestro Thesore ro de por el Adelantado Pascual de Andagoya, in Navar- 

Castilla del Oro, same date (Doc. in., p. 287) ; to rete, Colecdon, iii. 393-456. The portion bearing 

other officials (Doc. in., p. 289) ; to Vasco Nunez on the events described in this chapter ends at 

(Doc. in., p. 290). Seealso some extracts printed page 419. This has been translated and edited 

in the same volume, pp. 193-197. with notes, a map, and introduction by Clem- 

3 Documentos ineditos, xxxvii. 5-75. ents R. Markham, in a volume published by the 

4 Ibid., xx. 5-119. Hakluyt Society, London, 1865. [Cf. chapter 

5 Carta de Alonso de la Puente \thesorero of on Peru, and the paper on Andagoya by Navar- 
Tierra-Firme] y Diego Marquez, 1516 (Doctt- rete in his Opusculos, i. 137. ED.] 

mentos ineditos, ii. 538); Carta al Mr. de Zevres " Cf. Navarrete, Noticia biogrdfica del Adel- 

el lycenciado Cuaco, 1518 (Documentos ineditos, antado Pascual de Andagoya, Colecdon, iii. 457; 

i. 304). Alonso de Cuaco, or Zuazo, was juez de also Biblioteca maritima espahola, ii. 519; and 

Residencia en Santo Domingo. Cf. Documentos Markham s translation of Andagoya s Relation, 

ineditos, i. 292, note. pp. xx.-xxx. 


Tne second chronicler of the Indies, Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, who published 
the first two volumes of his Historia general in I6OI, 1 drew upon himself the wrath of 
a descendant of Pedrarias, Don Francisco Arias Davila, Concle de Punonrostro, who 
petitioned for redress. Memorials, relaciones, and rcfutacioncs were given on both sides 
until September, 1603, when the matter was referred to "Xil Ramirez de Arellano, del 
Consexo de Su Maxestad e Su Fiscal/ This umpire decided in effect 2 that Herrera 
had gone too far, and that the acrimony of some of the passages objected to should be 
mitigated. The papers which passed in this discussion, after remaining for a long 
time buried in the Archives of the Indies, have been printed in the thirty-seventh volume 
of Documentos ineditos? and are without doubt one of the most valuable sets among the 
papers in that collection. Among them are many letters from the King to the royal 
officials which throw much light on the history of that time. There is nothing in them, 
however, to remove the unfavorable opinion of Pedrarias which the execution of Vasco 
Nunez aroused; for although there can be little doubt that Vasco Nunez meditated 
technical treason, yet conviction for treason by the alcalde mayor would not have justi 
fied execution without appeal, especially when the fair-minded judge, Caspar Espinosa, 
recommended mercy. This is perfectly clear ; but the mind of Pedrarias, who presented 
the facts from his point of view, in the Testimdnio de mandamiento de Pedrarias Davila 
mandando proscesar a Vasco Nunez de Balboa^ had been poisoned by the jealous 

The convicted traitors were executed without delay or appeal of any kind being given 
them. The general opinion is that this execution took place in 1517, and that date has 
been adopted in this chapter; but in the second volume of Documentos ineditos (p. 556), 
there is a Petition presentada por Hernando de Arguello, d nombre de Vasco Nunez de 
Balboa, sobre que se le prorrogue el termino que se le habia dado para la construction de 
unos navios, etc., which was granted, for eight months, on the I3th day of January, 1518 
(en treze de Enero de quinientos e diez e ocho aTios). This document is signed by Pedrarias 
Davila, Alonso de la Puente, and Diego Marquez; and it is properly attested by Martin 
Salte, escribdno. Arguello was the principal financial supporter of Vasco Nunez in the 
South Sea enterprise, and was executed in the evening of the same day on which his 
chief suffered. 5 

The first fifty-seven pages of the fourteenth volume of the Documentos ineditos are 
taken up with the affairs of Gil Gonzalez Davila. The first is an asiento with the 
pilot Nino, by which he was given permission to discover and explore for one thousand 
leagues to the westward from Panama. Gil Gonzalez was to go in command of the fleet, 6 
composed of the vessels built by Vasco Nunez, which Pedrarias was ordered to deliver to 
the new adventurers, but which he refused to do until Gil Gonzalez made the demand 
in person. 7 

A full statement of the equipments and cost of fitting out the fleet in Spain is given 
in Documentos ineditos (vol. xiv. pp. 8-20), and is exceedingly interesting as showing 
what the Spaniards thought essential to the outfit of an exploring expedition. What was 

1 [See the bibliography of Herrera on p. 67, lib. 2, chaps, xiii., xv., and xxi. ; Quintana, U. S., 

ante. ED.] pp. 298-299 ; Helps, i. 389-41 1 ; Bancroft, Central 

- Documentos intditos, xxxvii. 311. America, \. 432-459; Irving, Companions, pp. 

3 See also Oviedo, iii. 21-51, 83 et seq.; Las 259-276. Cf. Manuel M. De Peralta, Costa Rica, 
Casas, iv. 135-244; Peter Martyr, dec. ii. chap. Nicaragua y Panama en el siglo XVI. (Madrid, 
vii. dec. iii. chaps, i.-iii., v., vi., and x., and dec. v. 1883), pp. ix, 707, for documents relating to 
chap. ix. ; Herrera, dec. ii. lib. 1,2, 3, dec. iii. lib. Pedrarias in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and 
4,5,8,9, and 10 passim ; Quintana, U.S., p. 294 p. 83 for Diego Machuca de Zuazo s letter to 
Helps, i. 353-388; Bancroft, Central America, L the Emperor, written from Granada, May 30, 
386-431 ; Irving, Companions, pp. 212-276. I 53 I . referring to the death of Pedrarias. 

4 Documentos ineditos, xxxvii. 215-231. 6 Documentos ineditos, xiv. 5, partly translated 

5 Oviedo, iii. 56; Las Casas, iv. 230-244; in Bancroft, Central America, i. 480, note. 
Peter Martvr, dec. iv. chap, ix.; Herrera, dec. ii. 7 Bancroft, Centra! America, i. 481, note. 


actually accomplished in the way of sailing, marching, and baptizing is fully set forth in 
Relation de las leguas que el capitan Gil Gonzalez Ddvila anduvo d pie por tierra por 
la costa de la mar del Sur, y de los caciques y indios que descubrio y se babtizaron, y del 
oro que dieron para Sus Mages fades (I522). 1 

The latter part of the career of Gil Gonzalez is described in the Information sobre 
la llegada de Gil Gonzalez Ddvila y Cristobal de Olid d las Higueras (Oct. 8, 1524) 2 
and in the succeeding documents, especially a Traslado testimoniado de una cedilla del 
Emperador Carlos V. . . . entre los capitancs Gil Gonzalez Ddvila y Cristobal 
Dolid (Nov. 20, 1525). 3 The Relation of Andagoya 4 contains a narrative of the ex 
pedition from a different point of view. Besides these papers, Bancroft found a docu 
ment in the Squier Collection, 6 which he cites as Carta de Gil Gonzalez Ddvila el Rey 
(March, 1524). This letter contains a great deal of detailed information, of which 
Bancroft has made good use in his account of that adventurer. 6 

There is no documentary evidence with regard to the settlement of Jamaica by Juan 
de Esquivel, or of the circumnavigation of Cuba by Sebastian de Ocampo ; and there are 
but slight allusions to them in the " chroniclers." 7 There is not much to be found con 
cerning the settlement of Cuba, except the accounts given by the early chroniclers. 
I should place Oviedo (vol. i. p. 494) first, although he got his knowledge second hand 
from the account given by Las Casas ; while the story of this actual observer is necessarily 
tinged by the peculiar views peculiar for the nation and epoch which he held in later 
life with regard to the enslavement of the natives. 8 

With the voyage of Cdrdoba to Yucatan, Navarrete 9 again becomes useful, although 
he printed no new evidence. The voyage, therefore, rests upon the accounts given in the 
standard books, 10 upon the Historia verdadera of Bernal Diaz, the Vida de Cortes in 
Icazbalceta (i. 338), and a few documents recently dragged from the recesses of the Indian 

Bernal Diaz del Castillo came to Tierra-Firme with Pedrarias ; but, discouraged with 
the outlook there, he and about one hundred companions found their way to Cuba, 
attracted thither by the inducements held out by Velasquez. But there again he was 
doomed to disappointment, and served under Cordoba, Grijalva, and Corte s. After the 
conquest of Mexico he settled in Guatemala. Whatever may be the exaggerations in 
the latter part of his Historia verdadera^ there is no reason why Bernal Diaz should 

1 Documentos ineditos, xiv. 20. Las Casas, iii. 210; Herrera, dec. i, lib. 7, 

2 Ibid., xiv. 25. chap. i. ; Stevens s A T otes, p. 35; Helps, i. 415, 

3 Ibid., xiv. 47. and ii. 165. 

4 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 413-418; Mark- 8 See also Herrera, dec. i. lib. 9, chaps, iv., 
ham s translation, pp. 31-38; see also Oviedo, iii. vii., and xv. ; also lib. 10, chap, viii.; Helps, i. 
6$etseq. ; Las Casas, v. 200 et seq. ; Peter Martyr, 415-432, and Vida de Cortes in Icazbalceta, 
dec. vi. chaps, ii.-viii. ; Herrera, dec. ii. lib. 3, Coleccion . . . para la historia de Mexico, i. 319- 
chap. xv. and lib. 4 etc., dec. iii. lib. 4, chaps, v. 337. [There is a little contemporary account of 
and vi. ; Helps, iii. 69-76. the conquest of Cuba in the Lenox Library, 

6 Cf. Bancroft, Central America, i. 483, note, Provincicz . . . noviter reperta in ultima navigatione, 

[See the Introduction to the present volume. which seems to be a Latin version of a Spanish 

ED.] original now lost (Bibl. Amer. Vet. no. 101). 

6 Central America, i. 478-492, 512-521, and On the death of Velasquez, see Magazine oj 
527-538. This letter, which is dated at Santo American History, i. 622, 692. ED.] 
Domingo (March 6, 1524), has since been printed 9 Coleccion, iii. 53. 

in Peralta s Costa Rica, Nicaragiia y Panama en el 10 Oviedo, i. 497; Las Casas, iv. 348-363; 

Siglo XVI. (Madrid, 1883), p. 3, where is also Peter Martyr, dec. iv. chap. i. ; Herrera, dec. ii. 

(p. 27) his Itinerario, beginning "21 de Enero lib. 2, chap. xvii. ; Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 53 

de 1522." Cogolludo, Historia de Yucatan, 3; Prescott, 

7 For Esquivel and Jamaica, see Herrera, Mexico, i. 222; Helps, ii. 211-217; Bancroft, 
dec. i. lib. 8, chap, v.; Navarrete, Coleccion, Central America, i. 132, and Mexico, i. 5-11. 

For Ocampo s voyage, Oviedo, i. 495; n [Cf. the chapter on Cortes. ED.] 


not have wished to tell the truth as to the voyages of Cordoba and Grijalva, with one or two 
exceptions, to be hereafter noted. 

Prescott, in his Conquest of Mexico (vol. i. p. 222), says that Cordoba sailed for one 
of the neighboring Bahamas, but that storms drove him far out of his course, etc. 
Bancroft 1 has effectually disposed of this error. But is it not a curious fact that Bernal 
Diaz and Oviedo should give the length of the voyage from Cape St. Anton to the sighting 
of the islands off Yucatan as from six to twenty-one days ? Oviedo was probably nearer 
the mark, as it is very likely that the old soldier had forgotten the exact circumstances of 
the voyage ; for it must be borne in mind that he did not write his book until long after the 
events which it chronicles. As to the object of the expedition, it was undoubtedly under 
taken for the purpose of procuring slaves, and very possibly Velasquez contributed a small 
vessel to the two fitted out by the other adventurers ; ~ but the claim set forth by the de 
scendants of Velasquez, that he sent four fleets at his own cost La una con un F. H. de 
Cordoba* is preposterous. 

The voyage of Juan de Grijalva was much better chronicled ; for with regard to it 
there are in existence three accounts written by eye-witnesses. The first is that of Bernal 
Diaz, 4 which is minute, and generally accurate ; but it is not unlikely that in his envy at 
the praise accorded to Cortes, he may have exaggerated the virtues of Grijalva. The 
latter also wrote an account of the expedition, which is embodied in Oviedo. 5 together 
with corrections suggested by Velasquez, whom Oviedo saw in 1523. 

But before these I should place the Itinerario of Juan Diaz, a priest who accompanied 
the expedition. 6 The original is lost ; but an Italian version is known, which was printed 
with the Itinerario de Varthema at Venice, in I52O. 7 This edition was apparently 
unknown to Navarrete, who gives 1522 as the date of its appearance in Italian, in which 
he is followed by Ternaux-Compans and Prescott. 

Notwithstanding this mass of original material, it is not easy to construct a connected 
narrative of this voyage, for Oviedo sometimes contradicts himself; Bernal Diaz had 
undoubtedly forgotten the exact dates, which he nevertheless attempts to give in too many 
cases ; Juan Diaz, owing partly to the numerous translations and changes incidental 
thereto, is sometimes unintelligible ; and Las Casas, 8 who had good facilities for getting 
at the exact truth, is often very vague and difficult to follow. 

1 History of Mexico, i. 7, note 4. in the Carter-Brown Library (Catalogue, vol. i. 

- Bancroft, Mexico, i. 5, 6, notes. no. 65), and was sold the present year in the 
3 Memorial del negocio de D. Antonio Velas- Court sale (no. 362). It was reprinted in 1522, 

quez de Bazan, etc., Documentos Ineditos, x. 80- 1526 (Murphy, no, 2,580), and 1535, the last 
86; this extract is on p. 82. priced by Maisonneuve (no. 2,981) at 400 francs. 

* Historia verdadera, chaps, viii.-xiv. Cf. Harrisse, Bibl. Amer. Vet., nos. 98, 114, 137, 

5 Historia general, i. 502-537. 205, and Additions, no. 59. The Carter-Brown 

6 As to the identity of Juan Diaz, see note Catalogue (i. 119) puts a Venice edition, without 
to Bernal Diaz, Historia verdadera, ed. of 1632, date, under 1536. Ternaux gives a French trans- 
folio 6; Oviedo, i. 502; Herrera, dec. ii. lib. 31, lation in his Relations et memoires, vol. x. Icaz- 
chap. i. As to his future career, see Bancroft, balceta has given a Spanish version from the 
Mexico, ii. 158 and note 5. The full title of this Italian, together with the Italian text, in his Co- 
account of Juan Diaz is : Itinerario del armata del leccion de docnmentos para la historia de Mexico, 
Re catholico in India verso la isolade luchathan del i. 281; also see his introduction, p. xv. He 
anno M.D.XVIII. alia qnal fu presidente &> cap- points out the errors of Ternaux s version. Cf. 
itan generale loan de Grisalva: el qnal e facto Bandelier s "Bibliography of Yucatan" in 
per el capellano maggior de dicta armata a sna Amer. Antiq. Sec. Proc. (October, 1880), p. 82. 
altezza. Harrisse in his Bibl. Amer. Vet., Additions, 

1 [A copy of this, which belonged to Ferdi- no. 60, cites a Lettera mddata della insula de 

nand Columbus, is in the Cathedral Library at Cuba, 1520, which he says differs from the 

Seville. The book is so scarce that Mufioz used account of Juan Diaz. ED.] 
a manuscript copy; and from Munoz manuscript 8 Las Casas, ^.421-449. Other references 

the one used by Prescott was copied. Maison- to this voyage are, Peter Martyr, dec. iv. 

neuve (1882 Catalogue, no. 2,980) has recently chaps, iii. and iv. ; Herrera, dec. ii. lib. 3, 

priced a copy at 600 francs. There is a copy chaps, i., ii., ix., x., and xi. ; Navarrete, Coleccion, 




In addition to this material, the Decadas abreviadas de los descubrimientos, conqnistas, 
fundadones y otras cosas notables, acaeddas en las Indias ocddentales desde 1492 d 1640, 
has been of considerable service. This paper was found in manuscript form, without date 
or signature, in the Biblioteca Nacional by the editors of the Documentcs ineditos, and 
printed by them in their eighth volume (pp. 5-52). It is not accurate throughout : but 
it gives the dates and order of events in many cases so clearly, that it is a document of 
some importance. 

iii. 55; Cogolludo, Historia de Yucathan, p. 8; x Fac-simile of an engraving in Herrera, i. 

Brasseur de Bourhourg, iv. 50; Helps, ii. 217; 312. Cf. also the Mexican edition of Prescott, 

Bancroft, Central America, \. 132; and Mexico, and Carbajal Espinosa s Historia de Mexico 

pp. 15-35. i. 64. 




IN a previous section on the early maps of the Spanish and Portuguese discoveries 
the Editor has traced the development of the geography of the Gulf of Mexico 
with the group of the Antilles and the neighboring coasts, beginning with the delinea 
tion of La Cosa in 1500. He has indicated in the same section the influence of the 
explorations of Columbus and his companions in shaping the geographical ideas of 
the early years of the sixteenth century. Balbda s discovery in 1513 was followed by 
the failure to find any passage to the west in the latitude of the Antilles ; but the 



disappointment was not sufficient to remove the idea of such a passage from the minds 
of certain geographers for some years to come. The less visionary among them hesi 
tated to embrace the notion, however, and we observe a willingness to be confined by 
something like definite knowledge in the maker of a map of the Pacific which is pre 
served in the Military Library at Weimar. This map shows Cordova s discoveries 
about Yucatan (1517), but has no indication of the islands which Magellan discovered 
(1520) in the Pacific ; accordingly, Kohl places it in 1518. Balbda s discovery is noted 
in the sea which was seen by the Castilians. 1 

1 This map has seemingly some relation to a which mention is made by Thomassy, Les papes 
map, preserved in the Propaganda at Rome, of gtographes, p. 133. 
VOL. II. 28. 




A sketch of a map found by Navarrete in the Spanish archives, and given by 
him in his Coleccion, vol. iii., as "Las Costas de Tierra-Firme y las tierras nuevas," 
probably embodies the results of Pineda s expedition to the northern shores of the 

n <* 

v vr 



This map is also given in Weise s Discoveries of America, p. 278 


Gulf in 1519. This was the map sent to Spain by Garay, the governor of Jamaica. 
What seems to be the mouth of the Mississippi will be noted as the " Rio del 
Espiritu Santo." The surprisingly accurate draft of the shores of the Gulf which 



"-.. Dt SPANIA 



*> - 

b^ .i> 

V- L ^ 



3o - 

40 - 

MAIOLLO, 152 7. l 

1 Sketch of the map in the Ambrosiari Li 
brary, of which the part north of Florida is 
given on a larger scale, after Desimoni s sketch, 

with coast names, in the present History, Vol. 
IV. pp. 28, 39. The present sketch follows a fac 
simile given in Weise s Discoveries of America. 



Cortes sent to Europe was published in 1524, and is given to the reader on another 
page. 1 

There is a sketch of the northern shore of South America and the " Insule Caniba- 
lorum sive Antiglie " which was made by Lorenz Friess (Laurentius Frisius) in 1522. 
The outline, which is given herewith, represents one of the sheets of twelve woodcut 
maps which were not published till 1530 under the title Carta marina navigatoria 
Portugalensium. Friess does not mention whence he got his material, which seems 
to be of an earlier date than the time of using it ; and Kohl suspects it came from 
Waldseemuller. South America is marked " Das niiw Erfunde land." 

In the Maiollo map of 1527 we find two distinct features, the strait, connecting 
with the Pacific, which Cortes had been so anxious to find ; and the insular Yucatan 
pushed farther than usual into the Gulf. The notion that Yucatan was an island is said 
to have arisen from a misconception of the meaning of the designation which the Indians 
applied to the country. 2 The Portuguese Portulano of 1514-1518 3 had made Yucatan a 
peninsula ; but four years later Grijalva had been instructed to sail round it, and Corte s in 
his map of 1520 had left an intervening channel. 4 We see the uncertainty which prevailed 

among cartographers re 
garding this question in 
the peninsular character 
which Yucatan has in the 
map of 1520, 6 as resulting 
from Pineda s search ; in 
the seeming hesitancy of 
the Toreno map, 6 and in 
the unmistakable insular 
ity of the Friess, 7 Verra- 
zano, 8 and Ribero 9 charts. 
The decision of the latter 
royal hydrographer gov 
erned a school of map- 
makers for some years, 
and a similar strait of 
greater or less width sep 
arates it from the main in 

the Finaeus map of I53I, 10 the Lenox woodcut of I534, 11 the Ulpius globe of I542, 12 not to 

name others ; though the peninsular notion still prevailed with some of the cartographers. 13 

A map which shows the extent of the explorations on the Pacific from Balboa s time 

till Gonzales and others reached the country about the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, is that of 


1 See notes following chap. vi. 

2 Yucatan seems to have been first named, 
or its name at least was first recorded, as 
Yuncatan by Bartholomew Columbus (Bill. 
Amer. Vet., p. 471). There are various theories 
regarding the origin of the name. Cf. Bancroft, 
Mexico, i. II, 12; Prescott, Mexico, i. 223. A 
new Government map of Yucatan was published 
in 1878 {Magazine of American History, vol. iii. 
p. 295). 

3 As given by Kunstmann. See Vol. IV. p. 36 
of the present work. 

4 See notes following chap. vi. 

5 See ante, p. 218. 

6 See ante, p. 43. 

7 See ante, p. 127. 

8 See Vol. IV. p. 26. 

9 See^w/, p. 221. 
See Vol. III. p. ii. 

11 See/w/, p. 223. 

12 See Vol. IV. p. 42. 

13 Cf. Bancroft, Mexico, i. 21 ; Valentin! in 
Magazine of American History, iii. 295, who 
supposes that the land usually thought to be 
an incomplete Cuba in Ruysch s map of 1508 
(p. 115, ante] is really Yucatan, based on the re 
sults of the so-called first voyage of Vespucius, 
and that its seven Latin names correspond to a 
part of the nineteen Portuguese names which 
are given on the western shore of the so-called 
Admiral s map of the Ptolemy of 1513 (p. 112, 
ante}, Peschel (Geschichte der Erdkunde, 1865, 
p. 235) also suggests that this map is the work 
of Vespucius. 


1527, which was formerly ascribed to Ferdinand Columbus, but has been shown (?) by 
Harrisse to be more likely the work of Nuno Garcia de Toreno. The map, which is of 
the world, and of which but a small section is given herewith, is called Carta universal 
en gue se contiene todo lo qite del mundo se a descubierto Jiasta aoraj hizola un cosuiograpJio 
de su mages tad anno M. D. XXVII en Sevilla. Its outline of ihe two Americas is shown 
in a sketch given on an earlier page. 1 The original is preserved in the Grand-Ducal 
Library at Weimar. 

A map of similar character, dated two years later, is one which is the work of 
Diego Ribero, a Portuguese in the service of Spain, who had been the royal cosmogra- 


RIBERO, 1529. 

pher since 1523, an office which he was to hold till his death, ten years later, in 1533. 
There are two early copies of this map, of which a small section is herewith given ; both 
are on parchment, and are preserved respectively at Weimar and Rome, though Thorn- 
assy 2 says there is a third copy. The Roman copy is in the Archivio del Collegio di 
Propaganda, and is said to have belonged to Cardinal Borgia. The North American sec 
tions of the map have been several times reproduced in connection with discussions of the 
voyages of Gomez and Verrazano. 3 The entire American continent was first engraved by 
M. C. Sprengel in 1795, after a copy then in Biittner s library at Jena, when it was appended 
to a German translation of Munoz, with a memoir upon it which was also printed sepa 
rately as Ueber Ribero s alteste Welt-karte. The map is entitled Carta universal en que 

1 Page 43. The best reproduction of it is in 
Kohl s Die beiden dltesten General-Karten von 
Arnerika ; and there is another fac-simile in San- 
tarem s Atlas, no. xiv. Cf. Humboldt, Examen 
critique, ii. 184, and his preface to Ghillany s 
Behaim ; Harrisse, Cabot s, pp. 69, 172 ; Murr, 

Memorabilia bibliothecarum (Nuremberg, 1786), ii. 
97 ; Lindenau, Correspondance de Zach (October, 
1810) ; Lelewel, Geographic du moyen-dge, ii. no; 
HO; Ocean Highways (1872). 

Les papes geographes, p. nS. 

3 See Vol. IV. p. 38. 


se contiene todo lo que del mundo se ha descubierto fasta agora : Hizola Diego Ribero 
cosmographo de su magestad : ano de 1529. La Qual se divide en dos paries conforme d 
la capitulation que hisieron los catholicos Reyes de Espana, y el Key don Juan de portu- 
gal en la Villa [citta] de Tordesillas : Auo de 1494, thus recording the Spanish under 
standing, as the map of 1527 did, of the line of demarcation. The Propaganda copy has 
en Sevilla " after the date. The most serviceable of the modern reproductions of the 
American parts is that given by Kohl in his Die beiden dltesten Gencral-Kartcn von 
Anicrika, though other drafts of parts are open to the student in Santarem s Atlas 
(pi. xxv.), Lelewel s Moy en-age (pi. xli.), Ruge s Geschichte des Zeitalters der Ent- 
deckungen, and Bancroft s Central America (i. 146). * 

These two maps of 1527 and 1529 established a type of the American coasts which 
prevailed for some time. One such map is that of which a fac-simile is given in the 
Cartas de Indias, called " Carta de las Antillas, seno Alejicano y costas de tierra-firme, y 
de la America setentrional," which seems, however, to have been made later than 1541. 2 
Another is preserved in the Ducal Library at Wolfenbiittel, of which Harrisse makes 
mention in his Cabots, p. 185. A significant map .of this type, commonly cited as the 
Atlas de PJiilippe II., dcdic a Charles Quint, is more correctly defined in the title given 
to a photographic reproduction, 3 Portulano de Charles Quint donne a Philippe II. , 
accompagnd d*unc notice par MM. F. Spitzer et Ch. Wiener, Paris, 1875. The map 
is net dated ; but the development of the coasts of Florida, California, Peru, and of Magel 
lan s Straits, with the absence of the coast-line of Chili, which had been tracked in 1536, 
has led to the belief that it represents investigations of a period not long before 1540. 
The original draft first attracted attention when exhibited in 1875 at the Geographical 
Congress in Paris, and shortly after it was the subject of several printed papers. 4 Major 
is inclined to think it the work of Baptista Agnese, and Wieser is of the same opinion ; 
while for the American parts it is contended that the Italian geographer for the lan 
guage of the map is Italian followed the maps of 1527 and 1529. 

What would seem to be the earliest engraved map of this type exists, so far as is 
known, in but a single copy, now in the Lenox Library. It is a woodcut, measuring 
21X17 inches, and is entitled La carta uniuersale della terra Jirma &* Isole delle Indie 
occidetali, do e del mondo nuouo fatta per dichiaratione delli libri delle Indie, cauata da 
due carte da nauicare fatte in Sibilia da li piloti della Mates ta Cesar ea, the maps 
referred to being those of 1527 and 1529, as is supposed. Harrisse, however, claims that 
this Venice cut preceded the map of 1527, and was probably the work of the same chart- 
maker. Stevens holds that it followed both of these maps, and should be dated 1534 -, 
while Harrisse would place it before Peter Martyr s death in September, 1526. According 
to Brevoort and Harrisse, 5 the map was issued to accompany the conglomerate work of 
Martyr and Oviedo, Summario de la generate historia de I 1 Indie occidental:, which was 
printed in three parts at Venice in 1534. 6 Murphy, in his Verrazzano (p. 125), quotes the 
colophon of the Oviedo part of the book as evidence of the origin of the map, which 
translated stands thus: " Printed at Venice in the month of December, 1534. For the 
explanation of these books there has been made a universal map of the countries of 

1 Cf. Humboldt, Examcn critique, iii. 184 ; p. 485 ; A. Steinhauser in Ibid., p. 588 ; Peter- 
Gazetta letteraria universale (May, 1796), p. 468; mann s Mittheilungen (1876), p. 52; Malte-Brun 
Santarem in Bulletin da la Societe de Geographie in the Bulletin de la Societe de Geographie de 
(1847), v "- 3 IO > an l in his Recherches STIT la Paris (1876), p. 625 ; Dr. Franz Wieser s "Der 
decouverte des pays au-dda du Cap-Bojador, Portulan des Infanten uncl nachmaligen Konigs 
pp. xxiii and 125; Murr, Histoirc diplomatique Philipp II. von Spanien," printed in the Sitzungs- 
de Behaim, p. 26 ; Lelewel, Geographie du moyen- bcrichte der philosophisch-historischen Classe der 
dge, ii. 1 66. kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften m 

2 See ante, p. 92. Wien, Ixxxii. 541 (March, 1876), and also printed 

3 One hundred copies issued. separately. 

4 Dr. J. Chavanne in Mittheilungen der k. k. 5 Cabots, p. 168. 
geographischen Gesellschaft in Wien (1875), 6 See Vol. III. p. 19. 

M. D. **MM. Del 

Lacarta uniuerfcleddU terra Fcrmj&T 
IfoltdcUt [ndicocddcull,ciotdflnion 
do nuouo &ttaperd(chiaratjoncdd!(H 

| In dell* Indle.MUAtadaduc.camda ^na 
cicart &"< In SdwlU da U pdoti dtUa 

Con gratia & priufltgfo della 

Signortt dJ Vtnia (j inni. X X 




This is a fac-simile after the 
one given by Stevens in his 
Notes (pi. ii.) and in the illus 
trated edition of his Biblhtheca 
gcografhica, no. 2.055. It: 
lo\vs. I suppose, a fac-simile made 
by hand by Harris in 1850. Ste 
vens sold the map in 1853 to Mr. 
Lenox for -fiS iSs. The present 
fac-simile is considerably reduced. 



all the West Indies, together with a special map [Hispaniola] taken from two marine 
charts of the Spaniards, one of which belonged to Don Pietro Martire, councillor of the 
Royal Council of said Indies, and was made by the pilot and master of marine charts, 
Nino Garzia de Loreno [sic] in Seville ; the other was made also by a pilot of his Majesty, 
the Emperor, in Seville." Quaritch l says that an advertisement at the end of the secundo 
libra of Xeres, Conqiiista del Peril (Venice, 1534), shows that the map in the first edition 
of Peter Martyr s Decades was made by Nuiio Garcia de Toreno in Seville ; but the state 
ment is questionable. Harrisse refers to a map of Toreno preserved in the Royal Library 
at Turin, dated 1522, in which he is called " piloto y maestro de cartas de nauegar de su 
Magestacl " The American part of this last chart is unfortunately missing. 2 

Harrisse calls this Lenox woodcut the earliest known chart of Spanish origin which 
is crossed by lines of latitude and longitude, and thinks it marks a type adopted by the 
Spanish cosmographers a little after the return of Del Cano from his voyage of circum 
navigation and the coming of Andagoya from Panama in 1522, with additions based on 
the tidings which Gomez brought to Seville in December, 1525, from his voyage farther 

It is not worth while to reproduce here various maps of this time, all showing more or 
less resemblance to the common type of this central portion of the New World. Such 


1 Catalogrie, no. 349, p. 1277. Geschichte der Erdkunde in der letzten Halfte 

2 Cf. Vincenzo Promis, Memoriale di Diego des Mittelalters," in the Jahresbericht des Vereins 
Colombo con nota sulla bolla di Alessandro VI, fiir Erdkunde in Dresden (1870), vol. vi. and viL 
(Torino, 1869), p. n ; Heinrich Wuttke, "Zur p. 61, etc. ; Wieser, Der Portulan, etc., p. 15. 


are the maps of Verrazano 1 and of Thorne,- the draft of the Sloane manuscript. 3 the cordi- 
form map of Orontius Finaeus. 4 one given by Kunstmann, 5 and the whole series of the 
Agnesetype. 6 

There is a French map, which was found by Jomard in the possession of a noble 
family in France, which Kohl supposes to be drawn in part from Ribero. A sketch is 
annexed as of An Early French Map." The absence of the Gulf of California and of all 


traces of De Soto s expedition leads Kohl to date it before 1533. Jomard placed the 
date later ; but as the map has no record of the expeditions of Ribault and Laudonniere, 
it would appear to be earlier than I554- 7 

1 Vol. IV. p. 26. 
~ Vol. III. p. 17. 

3 See/, p. 432. 

4 Vol. III. p. n. 

5 Vol. IV. p. 46. 


fi Vol. IV. p. 40. 

7 Kohl, ignorant of the Peter Martyr map of 
1511 (see p. no), mistakes in considering that the 
map must be assigned to a date later than 1530, 
for the reason that the Bermudas are shown in it. 



There is a large manuscript map in the British Museum which seems to have been 
made by a Frenchman from Spanish sources, judging from the mixture and corruption of 
the languages used in it. In one inscription there is mention of " the disembarkation 
of the Governor; " and this, together with the details of the harbors on the west coast 
of Florida, where Narvaez went, leads Kohl to suppose the map to have been drawn from 
that commander s reports. The sketch, which is annexed and marked " Gulf of Mexico, 
1536," follows Kohl s delineation in his Washington collection. 1 

We can further trace the geographical history of the Antilles in the Miinster map of 
1540,2 in the Mercator gores of 1541,2 and in the Ulpius globe of 1542. 4 In this last year 
(1542) we find in the Rotz Idrography, preserved in the British Museum, a map which 




ROTZ, 1542. 

records the latitudes about three degrees too high for the larger islands, and about two 
degrees too. low for the more southern ones, making the distance between Florida and 
Trinidad too great by five degrees. The map is marked " The Indis of Occident quhas 
the Spaniards doeth occupy." The sketch here given follows Kohl s copy. 5 Rotz 
seems to have worked from antecedent Portuguese charts ; and in the well-known Cabot 
map of 1544, of which a section is annexed, as well as in the Medina map of I545, 6 we 
doubtless have the results reached by the Spanish hydrographers. The " Carta marina " 
of the Italian Ptolemy of I548, 7 as well as the manuscript atlas of Nicholas Vallard 
(1547), now in the Sir Thomas Phillipps Collection, may be traced ultimately to the same 

1 This may be the map referred to by R. H. 
Schomburgk in his Barbadoes (London, 1848), 
as being in the British Museum, to which it was 
restored in 1790, after having been in the posses 
sion of Edward Harley and Sir Joseph Banks. 

2 See Vol. IV. p. 41. 

3 See ante, p. 177. 

4 See Vol. IV. p. 42. 

5 Cf. Schomburgk s Barbadoes, p. 256- 

6 See " Hist. Chorography of S. America." 

7 See Vol. IV. p. 43, and fac-simile given i 
Hist. Chorography of South America." 


source ; and the story goes respecting the latter that a Spanish bishop, Don Miguel de 
Silva, brought out of Spain and into France the originals upon which it was founded. 
These originals, it would appear, also served Homem in 1558 in the elaborate manuscript 
map, now preserved in the British Museum, of which a sketch (in part) is annexed (p. 229). 
The maps of the middle of the century which did most to fix popularly the geography 
of the New World were probably the Bellero map of I554, 1 which was so current in 

.35*.^ CCLANUS 



15 . 



CABOT, 1544." 

Antwerp publications of about that time, and the hemisphere of Ramusio (1556) which 
accompanied the third volume of his Viaggi, and of which a fac-simile is annexed. There 
is a variety of delineations to be traced out for the Antilles through the sequence of the 
better-known maps of the next following years, which the curious student may find in the 
maps of the Riccardi Palace, 3 the Nancy globe, 4 the Martines map of I55-, 5 that of For- 
lani in I56o, 6 the map of Ruscelli in the Ptolemy of 1561, besides those by Zalterius (i566), 7 
Des Liens (I566), 8 Diegus (is68), 9 Mercator (I569), 10 Ortelius (i 570)," and Porcacchi 
(I572). 1 - Of the map of Martines, in 1578, which is in a manuscript atlas preserved in 

1 See " Hist Chorography of S. America." 

2 Sketch of a section of the so-called Sebas 
tian Cabot Mappemonde in the National Library 
at Paris, following a photographic reproduction 
belonging to Harvard College Library. There 
is a rude draft cf the Antilles by Allfonsce of 
this same year. 

3 Figured in the Jahrbuch des Vereins fur 
Erdkunde in Dresden, 1870. 

4 See post, p. 433. 

5 See post, p. 450. 

6 See/tfj/, p. 438. 

7 See Vol. IV. p. 93. 

8 See Vol. IV. p. 79. 

9 See post, p. 449. 

See Vol. IV. pp. 94, 373. 

11 See Vol. IV. p. 95. 

12 See Vol. IV. p. 96. 


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RAMUSIO, I556. 1 

l H. H. Bancroft, Northwest Coast, i. 49, sketches this map, but errs in saying the shape of the California peninsula was not 
copied in later maps. Cf. map in Best s Frobisher (1578). 



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HOMEM, 1558. 

the British Museum, Kohl says its parallels of latitude are more nearly correct than on 
any earlier map, while its meridians of longitude are expanded far too much. 1 


MARTINES, 1578. 
1 Cf. Vol. IV. p. 97. 


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THE credit of being the first to explore our Atlantic coast has not yet 
been positively awarded by critical historians. Ramusio preserves the 
report of a person whom he does not name, which asserts that Sebastian 
Cabot claimed for his father and himself, in the summer of 1497, to have 
run down the whole coast, from Cape Breton to the latitude of Cuba; 
but the most recent and experienced writer on Cabot treats the claim as 
unfounded. 1 

The somewhat sceptical scholars of our day have shown little inclination 
to adopt the theory of Francisco Adolpho de Varnhagen, that Americus 
Vespucius on his first voyage reached Honduras in 1497, and during the 
ensuing year ran along the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico, doubled 
the Florida cape, and then sailed northward along our Atlantic coast to the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence, where he built a vessel and sailed to Cadiz. 2 

Although Columbus made his first landfall on one of the Bahamas, and 
Cuba was soon after occupied, no definite knowledge seems to have been 
obtained of the great mainland so near them. There is nothing in narrative 
or map to betray any suspicion of its existence prior to the year 1502, when 
a map executed in Lisbon at the order of Cantino, an Italian merchant, for 
Hercules d Este, shows a mainland north of Cuba, terminating near that 
island in a peninsula resembling Florida. The tract of land thus shown 
has names of capes and rivers, but they can be referred to no known 
exploration. To some this has seemed to be but a confused idea of Cuba 
as mainland ; 3 by others it is regarded as a vague idea of Yucatan. But 
Harrisse in his Corte-Real, where he reproduces the map, maintains that 

1 Harrisse, Jean et Sebastien Cabot, leur origins 2 Historical Magazine, 1860, p. 98. Varn- 

et leurs voyages (Paris, 1882), pp. 97-104. The hagen ascribes the names of the Cantino and 

Cabot claim appears in Peter Martyr, Decades subsequent Ptolemy maps to Vespucius. The 

(Basle, 1533), dec. iii. lib. 6, folio 55; Ramusio, name Paria near Florida seems certainly to 

Viaggi (1550-1553), torn. i. folio 414; Jacob have come from this source. [The question of 

Ziegler, Opera varia (Argentorati, 1532), folio this disputed voyage is examined in chapter ii. 

xcii. [Cf. the present History Vol. III. chap, i., of the present volume. ED.] 
where it is shown that the person not named by 3 James Carson Bre^oort, Verrazano tlie 

Ramusio was Gian Giacomo Bardolo. ED.] Navigator, p. 72. 



"between the end of 1500 and the summer of 1502 navigators, whose name 
and nationality are unknown, but whom we presume to be Spaniards, dis 
covered, explored, and named the part of the shore of the United States 
which from the vicinity of Pensacola Bay runs along the Gulf of Mexico 
to the Cape of Florida, and, turning it, runs northward along the Atlantic 
coast to about the mouth of the Chesapeake or Hudson." 1 

But leaving these three claims in the realm of conjecture and doubt, we 
come to a period of more certain knowledge. 

The Lucayos of the Bahamas seem to have talked of a great land of 
Bimini not far from them. The Spaniards repeated the story; and in the 
edition of Peter Martyr s Decades published in 1511 is a map on which 
a large island appears, named " Ilia de Beimeni, parte." 2 

Discovery had taken a more southerly route ; no known Spanish vessel 
had passed through the Bahama channel or skirted the coast. But some 
ideas must have prevailed, picked up from natives of the islands, or adven 
turous pilots who had ventured farther than their instructions authorized. 
Stories of an island north of Hispaniola, with a fountain whose waters 
conferred perpetual youth, had reached Peter Martyr in Spain, for in the 
same edition of his Decades he alludes to the legends. 

John Ponce de Leon, who had accompanied Columbus on his second 
voyage, and had since played his part bravely amid the greatest vicissitudes, 
resolved to explore and conquer Bimini. He had friends at Court, and 
seems to have been a personal favorite of the King, who expressed a wish 
for his advancement. 3 The patent he solicited was based on that originally 
issued to Columbus ; but the King laughingly said, that it was one thing 
to grant boundless power when nothing was expected to come of it, and 
very different to do so when success was almost certain. Yet on the 23d 
of February, 1512, a royal grant empowered John Ponce de Leon "to pro 
ceed to discover and settle the Island of Bimini." 4 The patent was subject 
to the condition that the island had not been already discovered. He 
was required to make the exploration within three years, liberty being 
granted to him to touch at any island or mainland not subject to the King 
of Portugal. If he succeeded in his expedition he was to be governor 
of Bimini for life, with the title of adelantado^ 

The veteran immediately purchased a vessel, in order to go to Spain 
and make preparations for the conquest of Bimini. But the authorities in 
Porto Rico seized his vessel ; and the King, finding his services necessary 

1 Harrisse, Les Corte-Real et lenrs voyages an Florida ; the name was in print before it appears 
Nouveau Monde, pp. in, 151. [The Cantino in connection with him, and is in his first patent 
map is sketched on p. icS. En.] before he discovered or named Florida (Las 

2 P. Martyris Angli Alediolanensis opera. Casas, Historia de las Indtas, lib. ii. chap, xx., 
Hispali Commberger, 1511. [A fac-simile of this iii. p. 460. 

map in given on p. no. ED.] 5 Capitulacion que el Rey concedio d Joan Ponce 

3 King to Ceron and Diaz, Aug. 12, 1512. de Leon para qne vaya al descubrimiento de la ysla 

4 Las Casas was certainly mistaken in saying de Bernini. Fecha en Burgos a xxiij de hebnro 
that Ponce de Leon gave the name Bimini to de Dxij a. 


in controlling the Indians, sent orders to the Council of the Indies to defer 
the Bimini expedition, and gave Ponce cle Leon command of the fort in 
Porto Rico. 1 

Thus delayed in the royal service, Ponce de Leon was unable to obtain 
vessels or supplies till the following year. He at last set sail from the port 
of San German in Porto Rico in March, 15 I3, 2 with three caravels, taking 
as pilot Anton de Alaminos, a native of Palos who had as a boy accompa 
nied Columbus, and who was long to associate his own name with explo 
rations of the Gulf of Mexico. They first steered northeast by north, and 
soon made the Caicos, Yaguna, Amaguayo, and Manigua. After refitting 
at Guanahani, Ponce de Leon bore northwest ; and on Easter Sunday 
(March 27) discovered the mainland, along which he ran till the 2d of 
April, when he anchored in 30 8 and landed. On the 8th he took pos 
session in the name of the King of Spain, and named the country which 
the Lucayos called Cancio Florida, from Pascua Florida, the Spanish 
name for Easter Sunday. 

The vessels then turned southward, following the coast till the 2Oth, 
when Ponce landed near Abayoa, a cluster of Indian huts. On attempt 
ing to sail again, he met such violent currents that his vessels could make 
no headway, and were forced to anchor, except one of the caravels, which 
was driven out of sight. On landing at this point Ponce found the Indians 
so hostile that he was obliged to repel their attacks by force. He named 
a river Rio de la Cruz ; and, doubling Cape Corrientes on the 8th of May, 
sailed on till he reached a chain of islands, to which he gave the name of 
the Martyrs. On one of these he obtained wood and water, and careened 
a caravel. The Indians w r ere very thievish, endeavoring to steal the anchors 
or cut the cables, so as to seize the ships. He next discovered and named 
the Tortugas. After doubling the cape, he ran up the western shore of 
Florida to a bay, in 27 30 , which for centuries aftenvard bore the name 
of Juan Ponce. There are indications that before he turned back he may 
have followed the coast till it trended westward. After discovering Bahama 
he is said to have despatched one caravel from Guanima under John 
Perez de Ortubia, with Anton de Alaminos, to search for Bimini, while he 
himself returned to Porto Rico, which he reached September 21. He was 
soon followed by Ortubia, who, it is said, had been successful in his search 
for Bimini. 

Although Ponce de Leon had thus explored the Florida coast, and added 
greatly to the knowledge of the Bahama group, his discoveries are not noted 
in the editions of Ptolemy which appeared in the next decade, and which 
retained the names of the Cantino map. The Ribeiro map (1529) gives 
the Martyrs and Tortugas, and on the mainland Canico, apparently 

1 Letter of the King to Ceron and Diaz, Aug. 2 The King, writing to the authorities in 

12, 1512; the King to Ponce de Leon, and letter Espanola July 4, 1513, says : " Alegrome de la 

of the King, Dec. 10, 1512, to the officials in the ida de Juan Ponce a Biminy; tened cuidado de 

Indies. proveerle i avisadme de toclo." 
VOL. IT- 30. 


Cancio, the Lucayan name of Florida. In the so-called Leonardo da 
Vinci s Mappemonde, Florida appears as an island in a vast ocean that 
rolls on to Japan. 1 

Elated with his success, John Ponce de Leon soon after sailed to Spain ; 
and, obtaining an audience of the King, it is said through the influence 
of his old master, Pero Nunez de Guzman, Grand Comendador of Calatrava, 
gave the monarch a description of the attractive land which he had dis 
covered. He solicited a new patent for its conquest and settlement; and 
on the 2/th of September, 1514, the King empowered him to go and settle 
" the Island of Brimini and the Island Florida " which he had discovered 
under the royal orders. He was to effect this in three years from the 
delivery of the asicnto ; but as he had been employed in His Majesty s 
service, it was extended so that this term was to date from the day he set 
sail for his new province. After reducing the Caribs, he was empowered 
to take of the vessels and men employed in that service whatever he chose 
in order to conquer and settle Florida. The natives were to be summoned 
to submit to the Catholic Faith and the authority of Spain, and they were 
not to be attacked or captured if they submitted. Provision was made 
as to the revenues of the new province, and orders were sent to the viceroy, 
Don Diego Columbus, to carry out the royal wishes. 2 

The Carib war was not, however, terminated as promptly as the King 
and his officers desired. Time passed, and adventurers in unauthorized 
expeditions to Florida rendered the Indians hostile. 3 It was not till 1521 
that Ponce clc Leon was able to give serious thought to a new expedition. 
His early hopes seem to have faded, and with them the energy and im 
pulsiveness of his youth. He had settled his daughters in marriage, and, 
free from domestic cares, offered himself simply to continue to serve the 
King as he had done for years. Writing to Charles V. from Porto Rico 
on the loth of February, 1521, he says: 

" Among my services I discovered, at my own cost and charge, the Island Florida 
and others in its district, which are not mentioned as being small and useless ; and now 
I return to that island, if it please God s will, to settle it, being enabled to carry 
a number of people with which I shall be able to do so, that the name of Christ may 
be praised there, and Your Majesty served with the fruit that land produces. And I also 
intend to explore the coast of said island further, and see whether it is an island, or 

1 Memoir on a Mappcmonde by Leonardo da 2 Asicnfo y capitulation que se hizo demas con 

Vinci communicated to the Society of Antiqua- Joan Ponce de Leon sobre la ysla Binini y la ysla 

ries by R. H. Major, who makes its date between Florida, in the volume of A sicntos y capitulaciones. 

1513 and 1519, probably 1514. The Ptolemy (1508-1574), Royal Archives at Seville, in Colec- 

printed at Basle 1552 lays down Terra Florida cion de documentos ineditos, xxii. pp. 33-38. 

and Ins. Tortucarum, and the map in Girava s 3 Cedilla to the Jeronymite Fathers, July 

Cosmography shows Florida and Bacalaos; but 22, 1517 (Coleccion de documentos ineditos, xi. 

the B. de Joan Ponce appears in La geografia 295-296). One of these surreptitious voyages 

di Clavdio Ptolomeo Alessandrino, Venice, 1548. was made by Anton de Alaminos as pilot 

[A fac-simile of the sketch accredited to Da (Ibid., pp. 435-438). [See ante, p. 201, for the 

Vinci is given on p. 126. ED.] voyage of Alaminos. ED.] 



Ad&f&iztado lUAN POINTCJE, 

Oubridor de. la. Florida, * 


whether it connects with the land where Diego Velasquez is, or any other : and I shall 
endeavor to learn all I can. I shall set out to pursue my voyage hence in five or six 
days." 2 

As he wrote to the Cardinal of Tortosa, he had expended all his sub 
stance in the King s service; and if he asked favors now it was "not 
to treasure up or to pass this miserable life, but to serve His Majesty with 
them and his person and all he had, and settle the land that he had dis 
covered." 3 

1 Fac-simile of an engraving in Herrera, edi- 3 Extracted from a letter of Ponce de Leon 

tion of 1728. to the Cardinal of Tortosa (who was afterward 

- Ponce de Leon to Charles V., Porto Rico, Pope Adrian VI.), dated at Porto Rico, Fet> 

Feb. 10, 1521. ruary 10, 1521. 


He went prepared to settle, carrying clergymen for the colonists, friars 
to found Indian missions, and horses, cattle, sheep, and swine. Where 
precisely he made the Florida coast we do not know ; but it is stated that 
on attempting to erect dwellings for his colonists he was attacked by the 
natives, who showed great hostility. Ponce himself, while leading his 
men against his assailants, received so dangerous an arrow wound, that, 
after losing many of his settlers by sickness and at the hands of the 
Indians, he abandoned the attempt to plant a colony in Florida, which 
had so long been the object of his hopes; and taking all on board his 
vessels, he sailed to Cuba. There he lingered in pain, and died of his 

John Ponce de Leon closed his long and gallant career without solving 
the problem whether Florida was an island or part of the northern continent. 
Meanwhile others, following in the path he had opened, were contributing 
to a more definite knowledge. Thus Diego Miruelo, a pilot, sailed from 
Cuba in 1516 on a trading cruise; and running up the western shore of the 
Floridian peninsula, discovered a bay which long bore his name on Spanish 
maps, and was apparently Pensacola. Here he found the Indians friendly, 
and exchanged his store of glass and steel trinkets for silver and gold. 
Then, satisfied with his cruise, and without making any attempt to explore 
the coast, he returned to Cuba. 2 

The next year Francis Hernandez de Cordova 3 sent from Cuba on the 
8th of February two ships and a brigantine, carrying one hundred and ten 
men, with a less humane motive than Miruelo s; for Oviedo assures us 
that his object was to capture on the Lucayos, or Bahama Islands, a cargo 
of Indians to sell as slaves. His object was defeated by storms ; and 
the vessels, driven from their course, reached Yucatan, near Cape Catoche, 
which he named. The Indians here were as hostile as the elements ; 
and Hernandez, after several sharp engagements with the natives, in which 
almost every man was wounded, was sailing back, when storms again drove 
his vessels from their course. Unable to make the Island of Cuba, 
Alaminos, the pilot of the expedition, ran into a bay on the Florida coast, 
where he had been with Ponce de Leon on his first expedition. While a 
party which had landed were procuring water, they were attacked with 
the utmost fury by the Indians, who, swarming down in crowds, assailed 
those still in the boats. In this engagement twenty-two of the Indians were 
killed, six of the Spaniards in the landing party were wounded, includ 
ing Bernal Diaz, who records the event in his History, and four of those 
in the boats, among the number Anton de Alaminos, the pilot. The only 
man in the expedition who had come away from Yucatan unwounded, 
a soldier named Berrio, was acting as sentry on shore, and fell into the 

1 Herrera, dec. i, chap. xiv. ; Oviedo, ii. 143), gives in his Derrotero, "la bahia que 

lib. 36, chap. i. pp. 621-623; Barcia, Ensaio llaman de Miruelos " as west of Apalache Bay 

sro)iologico, pp. 5, 6. See Barcia s Ensaio cronologico, p. 2. 

~ Oviedo (edition of Amador de los Rios, 3 [The Cordoba of chap, in- ante, ED.] 


hands of the Indians. The commander himself, Hernandez de Cordova, 
reached Cuba only to die of his wounds. 

This ill-starred expedition led to two other projects of settlement and 
conquest. Diego Velasquez, governor of Cuba, the friend and host of 
Hernandez, obtained a grant, which was referred to by Ponce de Leon in 
his final letter to the King, and which resulted in the conquest of Mexico; 1 
and Francis de Garay, governor of Jamaica, persuaded by Alaminos to 
enter upon an exploration of the mainland, obtained permission in due- 
form from the priors of the Order of St. Jerome, then governors of the 
Indies, and in 1519 despatched four caravels, well equipped, with a good 
number of men, and directed by good pilots, to discover some strait in the 
mainland, then the great object of search. 

Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, the commander of the expedition, reached 
the coast within the limits of the grant of Ponce de Leon, and endeavored 
to sail eastward so as to pass beyond and continue the exploration. Un 
able, from headwinds, to turn the Cape of Florida, he sailed westward as far 
as the River Panuco, which owes its name to him. Here he encountered 
Cortes and his forces, who claimed the country by actual possession. 

The voyage lasted eight or nine months, and possession was duly taken 
for the King at various points on the coast. Sailing eastward again, Garay s 
lieutenant discovered a river of very great volume, evidently the Missis 
sippi. 2 Here he found a considerable Indian town, and remained forty 
days trading with the natives and careening his vessels. He ran up the 
river, and found it so thickly inhabited that in a space of six leagues 
he counted no fewer than forty Indian hamlets on the two banks. 

According to their report, the land abounded in gold, as the native s wore 
gold ornaments in their noses and ears and on other parts of the body. The 
adventurers told, too, of tribes of giants and of pigmies ; but declared the 
natives to have been friendly, and well disposed to receive the Christian Faith. 

Wild as these statements of Pineda s followers were, the voyage settled 
conclusively the geography of the northern shore of the Gulf, as it proved 
that there was no strait there by which ships could reach Asia. Florida 
was no longer to be regarded as an island, but part of a vast continent. 
The province discovered for Garay received the name of Amichel. 

Garay applied for a patent authorizing him to conquer and settle the 
new territory, and one was issued at Burgos in 1521. By its tenor Christo 
pher de Tapia, who had been appointed governor of the territory discovered 
by Velasquez, was commissioned to fix limits between Amichel and the 
discoveries of Velasquez on the west and those of Ponce de Leon on the 
east. On the map given in Navarrete, 3 Amichel extends apparently from 
Cape Roxo to Pensacola Bay. 

1 [See chap. vi. of the present volume. ED.] sippi is indicated on the map of his province 

2 The great river might be supposed to be with its name R. del Espiritu Santo, evidently 
the Rio Grande ; but its volume is scarcely sum"- given by Garay. 

cient to justify the supposition, while the Missis- 3 [See ante, p. 218. ED. | 


After sending his report and application to the King, and without await 
ing any further authority, Garay seems to have deemed it prudent to secure 
a footing in the territory; and in 1520 sent four caravels under Diego de 
Camargo to occupy some post near Panuco. The expedition was ill man 
aged. One of the vessels ran into a settlement established by Cortes and 
made a formal demand of Cortes himself for a line of demarcation, claim 
ing the country for Garay. Cortes seized some of the men who landed, 
and learned all Camargo s plans. That commander, with the rest of his 
force, attempted to begin a settlement at Panuco ; but the territory afforded 
no food, and the party were soon in such straits that, unable to wait for two 
vessels which Garay was sending to their aid, Camargo despatched a caravel 
to Vera Cruz to beg for supplies. 1 

In 1523 Garay equipped a powerful fleet and force to conquer and settle 
Amichel. He sailed from Jamaica at the end of June with the famous 
John de Grijalva, discoverer of Yucatan, as his lieutenant. His force com 
prised thirteen vessels, bearing one hundred and thirty-six cavalry and eight 
hundred and forty infantry, with a supply of field-pieces. He reached Rio 
de las Palmas on the 25th of July, and prepared to begin a settlement; but 
his troops, alarmed at the unpromising nature of the country, insisted on 
proceeding southward. Garay yielded, and sailed to Panuco, where he 
learned that Cortes had already founded the town of San Esteban del 
Puerto. Four of his vessels were lost on the coast, and one in the port. 
He himself, with the rest of his force, surrendered to Cortes. He died in 
Mexico, while still planning a settlement at Rio de las Palmas ; but with 
his death the province of Amichel passed out of existence. 

Thus the discoveries of Ponce de Leon and of Garay, with those of 
Miruelos, made known, by ten years effort, the coast-line from the Rio 
Grande to the St. John s in Florida. 

The next explorations were intended to ascertain the nature of our 
Atlantic coast north of the St. John s. 

In 1520 Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon, one of the auditors of the Island of 
St. Domingo, though possessed of wealth, honors, and domestic felicity, 
aspired to the glory of discovering some new land, and making it the 
seat of a prosperous colony. Having secured the necessary license, he 
despatched a caravel under the command of Francisco Gordillo, with 
directions to sail northward through the Bahamas, and thence strike the 
shore of the continent. Gordillo set out on his exploration, and near the 
Island of Lucayoneque, one of the Lucayuelos, descried another caravel. 
His pilot, Alonzo Fernandez Sotil, proceeded toward it in a boat, and soon 
recognized it as a caravel commanded by a kinsman of his, Pedro de 
Quexos, fitted out in part, though not avowedly, by Juan Ortiz de Matienzo, 
an auditor associated with Ayllon in the judiciary. This caravel was return 
ing from an unsuccessful cruise among the Bahamas for Caribs, the object 

1 [See chapter vi. of the present volume. ED.] 


of the expedition being to capture Indians in order to sell them as slaves. 
On ascertaining the object of Gordillo s voyage, Quexos proposed that they 
should continue the exploration together. After a sail of eight or nine 
days, in which they ran little more than a hundred leagues, they reached 
the coast of the continent at the mouth of a considerable river, to which 
they gave the name of St. John the Baptist, from the fact that they 
touched the coast on the day set apart to honor the Precursor of Christ. 
The year was 1521, and the point reached was, according to the estimate of 
the explorers, in latitude 33 3C/. 1 

Boats put off from the caravels and landed some twenty men on the 
shore ; and while the ships endeavored to enter the river, these men were 
surrounded by Indians, whose good-will they gained by presents. 2 

Some days later, Gordillo formally took possession of the country in 
the name of Ayllon, and of his associate Diego Caballero, and of the King, 
as Quexos did also in the name of his employers on Sunday, June 30, 1521. 
Crosses were cut on the trunks of trees to mark the Spanish occupancy. 3 

Although Ayllon had charged Gordillo to cultivate friendly relations 
with the Indians of any new land he might discover, 4 Gordillo joined 
with Quexos in seizing some seventy of the natives, with whom they sailed 
away, without any attempt to make an exploration of the coast. 

On the return of the vessel to Santo Domingo, Ayllon condemned his 
captain s act; and the matter was brought before a commission, presided 
over by Diego Columbus, for the consideration of some important affairs. 
The Indians were declared free, and it was ordered that they should be 
restored to their native land at the earliest possible moment. Meanwhile 
they were to remain in the hands of Ayllon and Matienzo. 

The latter made no attempt to pursue the discovery ; but Ayllon, adhering 
to his original purpose, proceeded to Spain with Francisco, one of the 
Indians, who told of a giant king and many provinces, 5 and on the I2th 
of June, 1523, obtained a royal cedilla?* Under this he was to send out 
vessels in 1524, to run eight hundred leagues along the coast, or till he 
reached lands already discovered ; and if he discovered any strait leading 
to the west, he was to explore it. No one was to settle within the limits 
explored by him the first year, or within two hundred leagues"beyond the 
extreme points reached by him north and south ; the occupancy of the 
territory was to be effected within four years ; and as the conversion of 
the natives was one of the main objects, their enslavement was forbidden, 
and Ayllon was required to take out religious men of some Order to 
instruct them in the doctrines of Christianity. He obtained a second 
cedula to demand from Matienzo the Indians in his hands in order to 
restore them to their native country. 7 

1 Testimony of Pedro de Quexos ; Act of 4 Answer of Ayllon to Matienzo. 
taking possession by Quexos. 5 Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 69. 

2 Testimony of Pedro de Quexos. 6 Ibid., p. 153. 

3 Act of possession; Testimony of Aldana. 7 Cedula, June 12, 1523. 


On his return to the West Indies, Ayllon was called on the King s service 
to Porto Rico ; and finding it impossible to pursue his discovery, the time 
for carrying out the asiento was, by a cedilla of March 23, 1524, extended 
to the year I525. 1 

To secure his rights under the asiento, he despatched two caravels un 
der Pedro de Ouexos to the newly discovered land early in 1525. They 
regained the good-will of the natives and explored the coast for two hundred 
and fifty leagues, setting up stone crosses with the name of Charles V. and 
the date of the act of taking possession. They returned to Santo Domingo 
in July, 1525, bringing one or two Indians from each province, who might 
be trained to act as interpreters. 2 

Meanwhile Matienzo began legal proceedings to vacate the asiento 
granted by the King to Ayllon, on the ground that it was obtained sur 
reptitiously, and in fraud of his own rights as joint discoverer. His wit 
nesses failed to show that his caravel had any license to make a voyage 
of exploration, or that he took any steps to follow up the discovery made; 
but the suit embarrassed Ayllon, who was fitting out four vessels to sail in 
1526, in order to colonize the territory granted to him. The armada from 
Spain was greatly delayed ; and as he expected by it a store of artillery 
and muskets, as well as other requisites, he was at great loss. At last, how 
ever, he sailed from Puerto de la Plata with three large vessels, a caravel, 
a breton, and a brigantine, early in June, I526. 3 As missionaries he took 
the famous Dominican, Antonio de Montesinos, the first to denounce Indian 
slavery, with Father Antonio de Cervantes and Brother Pedro de Estrada, 
of the same Order. The ships carried six hundred persons of both sexes, 
including clergymen and physicians, besides one hundred horses. 

They reached the coast, not at the San Juan Bautista, but at another 
river, at 33 40 , says Navarrete, to which they gave the name of Jordan. 4 
Their first misfortune was the loss of the brigantine; but Ayllon imme 
diately set to work to replace it, and built a small vessel such as was called 
a gavarra, the first instance of ship-building on our coast. Francisco, his 
Indian guide, deserted him ; and parties sent to explore the interior brought 
back such unfavorable accounts that Ayllon resolved to seek a more fertile 
district. That he sailed northward there can be little doubt ; his original 
asiento required him to run eight hundred leagues along the coast, and he, 
as well as Gomez, was to seek a strait or estuary leading to the Spice 
Islands. The Chesapeake was a body of water which it would be impera 
tive on him to explore, as possibly the passage sought, The soil of the 
country bordering on the bay, superior to that of the sandy region south 
of it, would seem better suited for purposes of a settlement. He at last 

1 Cedula given at Burgos. before June 9, as Ayllon testified on the forme: 

2 Interrogatories of Ayllon ; Testimony of day, and on the latter his procurator appeared 
Quexos. for him. Navarrete is wrong in making him sail 

3 Testimony of Alonzo Despinosa Cervantes about the middle of July (Coleccion, iii. 72). 
and of Father Antonio de Cervantes, O.S.D., in 4 If Ayllon really reached the Jordan, this 
1561. The date is clearly fixed after May 26, and was the Wateree. 


reached Guandape, and began the settlement of San Miguel, where the 
English in the next century founded Jamestown. 1 

Here he found only a few scattered Indian dwellings of the communal 
system, long buildings, formed of pine posts at the side, and covered with 
branches, capable of holding, in their length of more than a hundred feet, 
a vast number of families. Ayllon selected the most favorable spot on the 
bank, though most of the land was low and swampy. Then the Spaniards 
began to erect houses for their shelter, the negro slaves first introduced 
here doing the heaviest portion of the toil. Before the colonists were 
housed, winter came on. Men perished of cold on the caravel " Catalina," 
and on one of the other vessels a man s legs were frozen so that the flesh 
fell off. Sickness broke out among the colonists, and many died. Ayllon 
himself had sunk under the pestilential fevers, and expired on St. Luke s 
Day, Oct. 18, 1526. 

He made his nephew, John Ramirez, then in Porto Rico, his successor 
as head of the colony, committing the temporary administration to Francis 
Gomez. Troubles soon began. Gines Doncel and Pedro de Bazan, at the 
head of some malcontents, seized and confined Gomez and the alcaldes, and 
began a career of tyranny. The Indians were provoked to hostility, and 
killed several of the settlers ; the negroes, cruelly oppressed, fired the house 
of Doncel. Then two settlers, Oliveros and Monasterio, demanded the 
release of the lawful authorities. Swords were drawn ; Bazan was wounded 
and taken, Doncel fled, but was discovered near his blazing house. Gomez 
and his subordinates, restored to power, tried and convicted Bazan, who 
was put to death. 

Such were the stormy beginnings of Spanish rule in Virginia. It is not 
to be wondered at that with one consent the colonists soon resolved to 
abandon San Miguel de Guandape. The body of Ayllon was placed on 
board a tender, and they set sail ; but it was not destined to reach a port 
and receive the obsequies due his rank. The little craft foundered ; and 
of the five hundred who sailed from Santo Domingo only one hundred and 
fifty returned to that island. 

Contemporaneous with the explorations made by and under Ayllon was 
an expedition in a single vessel sent out by the Spanish Government in 
1524 under Stephen Gomez, a Portuguese navigator who had sailed under 
Magallanes, but had returned in a somewhat mutinous manner. He took 
part in a congress of Spanish and Portuguese pilots held at Badajoz to 
consider the probability of finding a strait or channel north of Florida by 
which vessels might reach the Moluccas. To test the question practically, 
Charles V. ordered Gomez to sail to the coast of Bacallaos, or Newfound 
land and Labrador, and examine the coast carefully, in order to ascertain 
whether any such channel existed. Gomez fitted out a caravel at Corunna, 
in northern Spain, apparently in the autumn of 1524, an d sailed across, 

1 [See Vol. III. p. 130. ED.] 
VOL. ii. 31. 


After examining the Labrador coast, he turned southward and leisurely 
explored the whole coast from Cape Race to Florida, from which he steered 
to Santiago de Cuba, and thence to Corunna, entering that port after ten 
months absence. He failed to discover the desired channel, and no 
account in detail of his voyage is known ; but the map of Ribeiro, 1 drawn 
up in 1529, records his discoveries, and on its coast-line gives names 
which were undoubtedly bestowed by him, confirming the statement that 
he sailed southerly. From this map and the descriptions of the coast 
in Spanish writers soon after, in which descriptions mention is made of his 
discoveries, we can see that he noted and named in his own fashion what 
we now know as Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod, Narragansett Bay, the 
Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware rivers. 

This voyage completed the exploration of our coast from the Rio 
Grande to the Bay of Fundy; yet Sebastian Cabot in 1536 declared that 
it was still uncertain whether a single continent stretched from the Missis 
sippi to Newfoundland. 2 

The success of Cortes filled the Spanish mind with visions of empires 
in the north rivalling that of Mexico, which but awaited the courage of 
valiant men to conquer. 

Panfilo de Narvaez, after being defeated by Cortes, whom he was sent 
to supersede, 3 solicited of Charles V. a patent under which he might con 
quer and colonize the country on the Gulf of Mexico, from Rio de Palmas 
to Florida. A grant was made, under which he was required to found two 
or more towns and erect two fortresses. He received the title of adelan- 
tado, and was empowered to enslave all Indians who, after being summoned 
in due form, would not submit to the Spanish King and the Christian Faith. 
In an official document he styles himself Governor of Florida, Rio de 
Palmas, and Espiritu Santo, the Mississippi. 4 

Narvaez collected an armament suited to the project, and sailed from 
San Lucar de Barrameda, June 17, 1527, in a fleet of five ships carrying 
six hundred persons, with mechanics and laborers, as well as secular priests, 
and five Franciscan friars, the superior being Father Juan Xuarez. On the 
coast of Cuba his fleet was caught by a hurricane, and one vessel perished. 
After refitting and acquiring other vessels, Narvaez sailed from Cuba in 
March with four vessels and a brigantine, taking four hundred men and 
eighty horses, his pilot being Diego Miruelo, of a family which had acquired 
experience on that coast. 

The destination was the Rio de Palmas; but his pilot proved incom 
petent, and his fleet moved slowly along the southern coast of Cuba, 
doubled Cape San Antonio, and was standing in for Havana when it was 

1 See ante, p. 221; and references to repro- p. 266, where Cabot s testimony in the Colon- 
ductions, on p. 222. Pinzon suit is given. 

2 Duro, Iiiforme relativo a los pormenores de 3 [See chapter vi. of this volume ED.] 
descubrimiento del Nitevo Mundo, Madrid, 1883. 4 Coleccion de documentos ineditos, xii. 86- 


driven by a storm on the Florida coast at a bay which he called Bahia de 
la Cruz, and which the map of Sebastian Cabot identifies with Apalache 
Bay. 1 Here Narvaez landed a part of his force (April 15), sending his 
brigantine to look for a port or the way to Panuco, much vaunted by the 
pilots, and if unsuccessful to return to Cuba for a vessel that had remained 
there. He was so misled by his pilots that though he was near or on the 
Florida peninsula, he supposed himself not far from the rivers Panuco and 
Palmas. Under this impression he landed most of his men, and directed 
his vessels, with about one hundred souls remaining on them, to follow the 
coast while he marched inland. No steps were taken to insure their meeting 
at the harbor proposed as a rendezvous, or to ertable the brigantine and the 
other ship to follow the party on land. On the iQth of April Narvaez struck 
inland in a northward or northeasterly direction ; and having learned a little 
of the country, moved on with three hundred men, forty of them mounted. 
On the 1 5th of the following month they reached a river with a strong cur 
rent, which they crossed some distance from the sea. Cabeza de Vaca, sent 
at his own urgent request to find a harbor, returned with no encouraging tid 
ings; and the expedition plodded on till, on the 25th of June, they reached 
Apalache, an Indian town of which they had heard magnificent accounts. 
It proved to be a mere hamlet of forty wretched cabins. 

The sufferings of Narvaez men were great ; the country was poverty- 
stricken ; there was no wealthy province to conquer, no fertile lands for 
settlement. Aute (a harbor) was said to be nine days march to the south 
ward ; and to this, after nearly a month spent at Apalache, the disheartened 
Spaniards turned their course, following the Magdalena River. On the 3ist 
of July they reached the coast at a bay which Narvaez styled Bahia de 
Cavallos ; and seeing no signs of his vessels, he set to work to build boats 
in which to escape from the country. The horses were killed for food ; and 
making forges, the Spaniards wrought their stirrups, spurs, and other iron 
articles into saws, axes, and nails. Ropes were made of the manes and tails 
of the horses and such fibres as they could find ; their shirts were used for 
sailcloth. By the 2Oth of September five boats, each twenty-two cubits long, 
were completed, and two days afterward the survivors embarked, forty-eight 
or nine being crowded into each frail structure. Not one of the whole 
number had any knowledge of navigation or of the coast. 

Running between Santa Rosa Island and the mainland, they coasted 
along for thirty days, landing where possible to obtain food or water, but 
generally finding the natives fierce and hostile. On the 3ist of October 
they came to a broad river pouring into the Gulf such a volume of 
water that it freshened the brine so that they \vere able to drink it; but 

1 " Aqui desembarco Panfilo de Narvaez." printed elsewhere, " in Brussels or Amsterdam, 

Mappemonde of Sebastian Cabot in Jomard. or some such place," as Gayangos thinks. It 

This map has always been supposed to be based is seemingly engraved on wood (Smith s Rela- 

on Spanish sources ; but owing to the strict pro- tion of Alz-ar Niinez Cabc$a de Vaca, p. 56) ; or 

hibition of publication in Spain, it was probably at least some have thought so. 


the current was too much for their clumsy craft. The boat commanded by 
Narvaez was lost, and never heard of; that containing Father Xuarez and 
the other friars was driven ashore bottom upward; the three remaining 
boats were thrown on the coast of western Louisiana or eastern Texas. 
The crews barely escaped with life, and found themselves at the mercy of 
cruel and treacherous savages, who lived on or near Malhado Island, and 
drew a precarious living from shellfish and minor animals, prickly-pears 
and the like. They were consequently not as far west as the bison range, 
which reached the coast certainly at Matagorda Bay. 1 Here several of the 
wretched Spaniards fell victims to the cruelty of the Indians or to disease 
and starvation, till Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, the treasurer of the expe 
dition, escaping from six years captivity among the Mariames, reached the 
Avavares, farther inland, with two companions, Castillo and Dorantes, and 
a negro slave. After spending eight months with them, he penetrated to 
the Arbadaos, where the mesquite is first found, near the Rio Grande ; 
and skirting the San Saba Mountains, came to the bison plains and the 
hunter nations ; then keeping westward through tribes that lived in houses 
of earth and knew the use of cotton and mined the turquoise, he finally 
came upon some Spanish explorers on the River Petatlan ; and thus on the 
1st of April, 1536, with hearts full of joy and gratitude, the four men 
entered the town of San Miguel in Sinaloa. 

The vessels of Narvaez, not finding the alleged port of the pilots, 
returned to the harbor where they had landed him, and were there joined 
by the two vessels from Cuba; but though they remained nearly a year, 
cruising along the coast of the Gulf, they never encountered the slightest 
trace of the unfortunate Narvaez or his wretched followers. They added 
nothing apparently to the knowledge of the coast already acquired ; for no 
report is extant, and no map alludes to any discovery by them. 

Thus ended an expedition undertaken with rashness and ignorance, and 
memorable only from the almost marvellous adventures of Cabeza de Vaca 
and his comrades, and the expeditions by land which were prompted by 
his narrative. 

The wealth of Mexico and Peru had inflamed the imagination of Span 
ish adventurers; and though no tidings had been received of Narvaez, 
others were ready to risk all they had, and life itself, in the hope of finding 
some wealthy province in the heart of the northern continent. The next 
to try his fortune was one who had played his part in the conquest of 

Hernando de Soto, the son of an esquire of Xerez de Badajoz, was 
eager to rival Cortes and Pizarro. In 1537 he solicited a grant of the 
province from Rio de las Palmas to Florida, as ceded to Narvaez, as well as 

1 Compare Cabeza de Vaca s account, Joutel and Anastase Douay in Le Clercq, Etab- 
Oviedo, lib. 35, chap, i.-vii., pp. 582-618; and the lissement de la Foi, for the animals and plants 
French accounts of La Salle s expedition, of the district. 


of the province discovered by Ayllon ; and the King at Valladolid, on the 
2Oth of April, issued a concession to him, appointing him to the government 
of the Island of Cuba, and requiring him in person to conquer and occupy 
Florida within a year, erect fortresses, and carry over at least five hundred 
men as settlers to hold the country. The division of the gold, pearls, and 
other valuables of the conquered caciques was regulated, and provision 
made for the maintenance of the Christian religion and of an hospital in 
the territory. 

The air of mystery assumed by Cabeza de Vaca as to the countries 
that he had seen, served to inflame the imagination of men in Spain ; 
and Soto found many ready to give their persons and their means to 
his expedition.- Nobles of Castile in rich slashed silk dresses mingled 
with old warriors in well-tried coats of mail. He sailed from San Lucar 
in April, 1538, amid the fanfaron of trumpets and the roar of cannon, 
with six hundred as high-born and well-trained men as ever went forth 
from Spain to win fame and fortune in the New World. They reached 
Cuba safely, and Soto was received with all honor. More prudent than 
Narvaez, Soto twice despatched Juan de Ailasco, in a caravel with two 
pinnaces, to seek a suitable harbor for the fleet, before trusting all the 
vessels on the coast. 1 

Encouraged by the reports of this reconnoitring, Soto, leaving his wife 
in Cuba, sailed from Havana in May, 1539, and made a bay on the Florida 
coast ten leagues west of the Bay of Juan Ponce. To this he gave the 
name of Espiritu Santo, because he reached it on the Feast of Pentecost, 
which fell that year on the 25th of May. 2 On the 3Oth he began to land 
his army near a town ruled by a chief named U^ita. Soto s w r hole force was 
composed of five hundred and seventy men, and two hundred and twenty- 
three horses, in five ships, two caravels, and two pinnaces. He took formal 
possession of the country in the name of the King of Spain on the 3d of 
June, and prepared to explore and subject the wealthy realms which he 
supposed to lie before him. Though the chief at his landing-place was 
friendly, he found that all the surrounding tribes were so hostile that they 
began to attack those who welcomed him. 

Ortiz, a Spaniard belonging to Narvaez expedition, who in his long years 
of captivity had become as naked and as savage as were the Indians, soon 
joined Soto. 3 He was joyfully received ; though his knowledge of the coun 
try was limited, his services were of vital necessity, for the Indians secured 
by Afiasco, and on whom Soto relied as guides and interpreters, deserted at 
the first opportunity. 

Soto had been trained in a bad school ; he had no respect for the lives 
or rights of the Indians. As Oviedo, a man of experience among the 

1 Relacam verdadeira (Evora, 1557), chaps. 2 Biedma s Relation in Smith s Coleccion, 

i.-vi., continued in Smith s translation, pp. 1-2 1 ; and his Soto, p. 231; Coleccion de documentos 

in Hakluyt s Supplementary Volume (London, ineditos, iii. 414-441. 

1812), pp. 695-712; and in Force s Tracts. 3 Cf. Buckingham Smith on " The Captivity of 

Rangel in Oviedo, book xvii. chap. xxii. p. 546. Ortis," in the appendix to his Letter on De Soto. 


conquistadores, says: u This governor was very fond of this sport of kill 
ing Indians." 1 


The plan of his march showed his disregard of the rights of the 
natives. At each place he demanded of the cacique, or head chief, corn 
for his men and horses, and Indians of both sexes to carry his baggage 
and do the menial work in his camp. After obtaining these supplies, he 
compelled the chief to accompany his army till he reached another tribe 
whose chief he could treat in the same way ; but though the first chief was 
then released, few of the people of the tribe which he ruled, and who had 
been carried off by Soto, were so fortunate as ever to be allowed to return 
to their homes. 

On the 1 5th of July Soto, sending back his largest ships to Cuba, moved 
to the northeast to make his toilsome way amid the lakes and streams and 
everglades of Florida. Before long his soldiers began to suffer from 
hunger, and were glad to eat water-cresses, shoots of Indian corn, and pal 
metto, in order to sustain life ; for native villages were few and scattered, and 
afforded little corn for the plunderers. The natives were met only as foe- 
men, harassing his march. At Caliquen the Indians, to rescue their chief, 
whom Soto was carrying to the next town, made a furious onslaught 
on the Spaniards ; but were driven to the swamps, and nearly all killed 
or taken. Their dauntless spirit was, however, unbroken. The survivors, 
though chained as slaves, rose on their masters ; and seizing any weapon 
within their reach, fought desperately, one of them endeavoring to throttle 
Soto himself. Two hundred survived this gallant attempt, only to be 
slaughtered by the Indian allies of the Spanish commander. Soto fought 
his way westward step by step so slowly that at the end of three months, 
Oct. 30, 1539, he had only reached Agile, a town in the province of 
Apalache. Anasco, sent out from this point to explore, discovered the 
port where Narvaez had embarked, the remains of his forges and the 
bones of his horses attesting the fact. Soto despatched him to Tampa Bay. 
Anasco with a party marched the distance in ten days ; and sending two 
caravels to Cuba, brought to Soto in the remaining vessels the detachment 
left at his landing-place. Before he reached his commander the Indians 
had burned the town of Anaica Apalache, of which Soto had taken 
possession. 2 

A good port, that of Pensacola, had been discovered to the westward ; 
but Soto, crediting an Indian tale of the rich realm of Yupaha in the north 
east, left his winter quarters March 3, 1540, and advanced in that direc 
tion through tribes showing greater civilization. A month later he reached 
the Altamaha, receiving from the more friendly natives corn and game. 
This was not sufficient to save the Spaniards from much suffering, and they 
treated the Indians with their wonted cruelty. 3 

1 Oviedo, i. 547. 

2 Relafam vcrdadeira, chap. xi. ; Smith s Soto, pp. 43-44 ; Biedma, Ibid., 234. 
8 Oviedo, i. 554-557. 


At last Soto, after a march of four hundred and thirty leagues, much of 
it through uninhabited land, reached the province ruled by the chieftainess 
of Cofitachiqui. On the ist of May she went forth to meet the Spanish 
explorer in a palanquin or litter; and crossing the river in a canopied 
canoe, she approached Soto, and after presenting him the gifts of shawls 
and skins brought by her retinue, she took off her necklace of pearls and 
placed it around the neck of Soto. Yet her courtesy and generosity 
did not save her from soon being led about on foot as a prisoner. The 
country around her chief town, which Jones identifies with Silver Bluff, 
on the Savannah, below Augusta, 1 tempted the followers of Soto, who 
wished to settle there, as from it Cuba could be readily reached. But the 
commander would attempt no settlement till he had discovered some rich 
kingdom that would rival Peru ; and chagrined at his failure, refused even 
to send tidings of his operations to Cuba. At Silver Bluff he came upon 
traces of an earlier Spanish march. A dirk and a rosary were brought to 
him, which were supposed, on good grounds, to have come from the 
expedition of Ayllon. 

Poring over the cosmography of Alonzo de Chaves, Soto and the officers 
of his expedition concluded that a river, crossed on the 26th of May, was 
the Espiritu Santo, or Mississippi. A seven days march, still in the chief- 
tainess s realm, brought them to Chelaque, the country of the Cherokees, 
poor in maize ; then, over mountain ridges, a northerly march brought them 
to Xualla, two hundred and fifty leagues from Silver Bluff. At the close of 
May they were in Guaxule, w^here the chieftainess regained her freedom. It 
was a town of three hundred houses, near the mountains, in a well-watered and 
pleasant land, probably at the site of Coosawattie Old Town. The cbief gave 
Soto maize, and also three hundred dogs for the maintenance of his men. 

Marching onward, Soto next came to Canasagua, in all probability on a 
river even now called the Connasauga, flowing through an attractive land of 
mulberries, persimmons, and walnuts. Here they found stores of bear oil 
and walnut oil and honey. Marching down this stream and the Oostanaula, 
into which it flows, to Chiaha, on an island opposite the mouth of the Etowa, 
in the district of the pearl-bearing mussel-streams, Soto was received in 
amity; and the cacique had some of the shellfish taken and pearls extracted 
in the presence of his guest. The Spaniards encamped under the trees near 
the town, leaving the inhabitants in quiet possession of their homes. Here, 
on the spot apparently now occupied by Rome, they rested for a month. 
A detachment sent to discover a reputed gold-producing province returned 
with no tidings to encourage the adventurers ; and on the 28th of June 
Soto, with his men and steeds refreshed, resumed his march, having obtained 
men to bear his baggage, though his demand of thirty women as slaves 
was refused. 2 

1 Relafam vcrdadeira, chap, xii.-xv. ; Biedma, Relacion ; Smith s Soto, pp. 49-68, 236-241: 
Rangel in Oviedo, Historia General, i. 562. 

2 Oviedo, i. 563. 


Chisca, to which he sent two men to explore for gold, proved to be in 
a rugged mountain land ; and the buffalo robe which they brought back 
was more curious than encouraging. Soto therefore left the territory of 
the Cherokees, and took the direction of Coca, probably on the Coosa 
river. The cacique of that place, warned doubtless by the rumors which 
must have spread through all the land of the danger of thwarting the fierce 
strangers, furnished supplies at several points on the route to his town, and 
as Soto approached it, came out on a litter attired in a fur robe and plumed 
headpiece to make a full surrender. The Spaniards occupied the town and 
took possession of all the Indian stores of corn and beans, the neighboring 
woods adding persimmons and grapes. This town was one hundred and 
ninety leagues west of Xualla, and lay on the east bank of the Coosa, be 
tween the mouths of the Talladega and Tallasehatchee, as Pickett, the his 
torian of Alabama, determines. Soto held the chief of Coca virtually as a 
prisoner; but when he demanded porters to bear the baggage of his men, 
most of the Indians fled. The Spanish commander then seized every 
Indian he could find, and put him in irons. 

After remaining at Coga for twenty-five days, Soto marched to Ulli- 
bahali, a strongly palisaded town, situated, as we may conjecture, on Hatchet 
Creek. This place submitted, giving men as porters and women as slaves. 
Leaving this town on the 2d of September, he marched to Tallise, in a 
land teeming with corn, whose people proved equally docile. 1 This sub 
mission was perhaps only to gain time, and draw the invaders into a dis 
advantageous position. 

Actahachi, the gigantic chief of Tastaluza, sixty leagues south of Coga, 
which was Soto s next station, received him with a pomp such as the Span 
iards had not yet witnessed. The cacique was seated on cushions on a 
raised platform, with his chiefs in a circle around him ; an umbrella of 
buckskin, stained red and white, was held over him. The curveting steeds 
and the armor of the Spaniards raised no look of curiosity on his stern 
countenance, and he calmly awaited Soto s approach. Not till he found 
himself detained as a prisoner would he promise to furnish the Spaniards 
with porters and supplies of provisions at Manila 2 to enable Soto to continue 
his march. Pie then sent orders to his vassal, the chief of Manila, to have 
them in readiness. 

As the Spaniards, accompanied by Actahachi, descended the Alabama, 
passing by the strong town of Piache, the cacique of Manila came to meet 
them with friendly greetings, attended by a number of his subjects playing 
upon their native musical instruments, and proffering fur robes and service ; 
but the demeanor of the people was so haughty that Luis de Moscoso urged 
Soto not to enter the town. The adclantado persisted ; and riding in with 
seven or eight of his guard and four horsemen, sat down with the cacique 

1 Rdacam rerdadcira, chap, xv.-xvi. ; Biedma. - It is variously written also Manila and 

Relation ; Smith s Soto, pp. 66-77, -40-242 ; Mavilla. 
Rangel in Oviedo, i. 565-566. 


and the chief of Tastaluza, whom, according to custom, he had brought to 
this place. The latter asked leave to return to his own town; when Soto 
refused, he rose, pretending a wish to confer with some chiefs, and entered 
a house where some armed Indians were concealed. He refused to come 
out when summoned ; and a chief who was ordered to carry a message to 
the cacique, but refused, was cut down by Gallego with a sword. Then the 
Indians, pouring out from the houses, sent volleys of arrows at Soto and his 
party. Soto ran toward his men, but fell two or three times ; and though 
he reached his main force, five of his men were killed, and he himself, as 
well as all the rest, was severely wounded. The chained Indian porters, 
who bore the baggage and treasures of Soto s force, had set down their 
loads just outside the palisade. When the party of Soto had been driven 
out, the men of Mauila sent all these into the town, took off their fetters, 
and gave them weapons. Some of the military equipments of the Spaniards 
fell into the hands of the Indians, and several of Soto s followers, who had 
like him entered the town, among them a friar and an ecclesiastic, remained 
as prisoners. 

The Indians, sending off their caciques, and apparently their women, 
prepared to defend the town ; but Soto, arranging his military array into 
four detachments, surrounded it, and made an assault on the gates, where the 
natives gathered to withstand them. By feigning flight Soto drew them out ; 
and by a sudden charge routed them, and gaining an entrance for his men, 
set fire to the houses. This was not effected without loss, as the Spaniards 
were several times repulsed by the Indians. When they at last fought their 
way into the town, the Indians endeavored to escape. Finding that impos 
sible, as the gates were held, the men of Mauila fought desperately, and died 
by the sword, or plunged into the blazing houses to perish there. 

The battle of Mauila was one of the bloodiest ever fought on our soil 
between white and red men in the earlier days. The Adelantado had 
twenty of his men killed, and one hundred and fifty wounded ; of his 
horses twelve were killed and seventy wounded. The Indian loss was 
estimated by the Portuguese chronicler of the expedition at twenty-five 
hundred, and by Rangel at three thousand. At nightfall Biedma tells Us 
that only three Indians remained alive, two of whom were killed fighting; 
the last hung himself from a tree in the palrsade with his bowstring. 1 The 
Gentleman of Elvas states Soto s whole loss up to his leaving Mauila to 
have been one hundred and two by disease, accident, and Indian fighting. 
Divine worship had been apparently offered in the camp regularly up to 
this time ; but in the flames of Mauila perished all the chalices and vest 
ments of the clergy, as well as the bread-irons and their store of wheat- 
flour and wine, so that Mass ceased from this time. 2 

1 Rdacam verdadcira, chs. xvii.-xix. ; Biedma, have been chanted over Soto s body are there- 
Relacion ; Smith s Soto, pp. 80-90, 242-245. fore imaginary. No Mass, whether of requiem 

2 See Smith s Soto, p. 90; Rangel in Oviedo, or other, could have been said or sung after the 
i. 569. The requiems said years afterward to battle of Mi uila. 

VOL. II. 32. 



Soto here ascertained that Francisco Maldonado was with vessels at the 
port of Ichusc (or Ochuse) only six days march from him, awaiting 
his orders. He was too proud to return to Cuba with his force reduced 
in numbers, without their baggage, or any trophy from the lands he had 
visited. He would not even send any tidings to Cuba, but concealed 
from his men the knowledge which had been brought to him by Ortiz 
the rescued follower of Narvaez. 

Stubborn in his pride, Soto, on the I4th of November, marched north - 
ward ; and traversing the land of Pafallaya (now Clarke, Marengo, and Greene 
counties), passed the town of Taliepatua and reached Cabusto, identified 
by Pickett with the site of the modern town of Erie, on the Black Warrior. 
Here a series of battles with the natives occurred ; but Soto fought his way 
through hostile tribes to the little town of, Chicaga, with its two hundred 
houses clustered on a hill, probably on the western bank of the Yazoo, which 
he reached in a snow-storm on the i/th of December. The cacique Micu- 
lasa received Soto graciously, and the Spanish commander won him by 
sending part of his force to attack Sacchuma, a hostile town. Having thus 
propitiated this powerful chief, Soto remained here till March ; when, being- 
ready to advance on his expedition in search of some wealthy province, he 
demanded porters of the cacique. The wily chief amused the invader with 
promises for several days, and then suddenly attacked the town from four 
sides, at a very early hour in the morning, dashing into the place and set 
ting fire to the houses. The Spaniards, taken by surprise, were assailed as 
they came out to put on their armor and mount their horses. Soto and one 
other alone succeeded in getting into the saddle ; but Soto himself, after 
killing one Indian with his spear, was thrown, his girths giving way. 

The Indians drew off with the loss of this one man, having killed eleven 
Spaniards, many of their horses, and having greatly reduced their herd of 
swine. In the conflagration of the town, Soto s force lost most of their 
remaining clothing, with many of their weapons and saddles. They at 
once set to work to supply the loss. The woods gave ash to make sad 
dles and lances; forges were set up to temper the swords and make such 
arms as they could ; while the tall grass was woven into mats to serve as 
blankets or cloaks. 

They needed their arms indeed; for on the I5th of March the enemy, 
in three divisions, advanced to attack the camp. Soto met them with as 
many squadrons, and routed them with loss. 

When Soto at last took up his march on the 25th of April, the sturdy 
Alibamo, or Alimamu, or Limamu, barred his way with a palisade manned 
by the painted warriors of the tribe. Soto carried it at the cost of the 
lives of seven or eight of his men, and twenty-five or six wounded ; only 
to find that the Indians had made the palisade not to protect any stores, 
but simply to cope with the invaders. 1 

1 Relacam -verdadeira, chap, xx.-xxi. ; Biedma, Rangel in Oviedo, Historia General, chap, xxviii. 
Relation ; Smith s Soto, pp. 91-100, 246-248; pp. 571-573. 


At Ouizquiz, or Ouizqui, near the banks of the Mississippi, Soto sur 
prised the place and captured all the women ; but released them to obtain 
canoes to cross the river. As the Indians failed to keep their promise, Soto 
encamped in a plain and spent nearly a month building four large boats, 
each capable of carrying sixty or seventy men and five or six horses. The 
-opposite shore was held by hostile Indians ; and bands of finely formed 
warriors constantly came down in canoes, as if ready to engage them, but 
always drawing off. 

The Spaniards finally crossed the river at the lowest Chickasaw Bluff, 
all wondering at the mighty turbid stream, with its fish, strange to 
their eyes, and the trees, uprooted on the banks far above, that came 
floating down. 1 Soto marched northward to Little Prairie in quest of 
Pacaha and Chisca, provinces reported to abound in gold. After plant 
ing a cross on St. John s Day 2 at Casqui, where the bisons heads above 
the entrances to the huts reminded them of Spain, he entered Pacaha 
June 29, as Oviedo says. These towns were the best they had seen 
since they left Cofitachiqui. Pacaha furnished them with a booty which 
they prized highly, a fine store of skins of animals, and native blankets 
woven probably of bark. These enabled the men to make clothing, 
of which many had long been in sore want. The people gradually 
returned, and the cacique received Soto in friendly guise, giving him 
his two sisters as wives. 

While the army rested here nearly a month, expeditions were sent in 
various directions. One, marching eight days to the northwest through a 
land of swamps and ponds, reached the prairies, the land of Caluga, where 
Indians lived in portable houses of mats, with frames so light that a man 
could easily carry them. 3 

Despairing of finding his long-sought El Dorado in that direction, Soto 
marched south and then southwest, in all a hundred and ten leagues, to 
Quiguate, a town on a branch of the Mississippi. It was the largest they 
had yet seen. The Indians abandoned it; but one half the houses were 
sufficient to shelter the whole of Soto s force. 

On the first of September the expedition reached Goligua, a populous 
town in a valley among the mountains, near which vast herds of bison roamed. 
Then crossing the river again, 4 Soto s jaded and decreasing force marched 
onward. Cayas, with its salt river and fertile maize-lands, was reached ; and 
then the Spaniards came to Tulla, where the Indians attacked them, fighting 
from their housetops to the last. The cacique at last yielded, and came weep 
ing with great sobs to make his submission. 

Marching southeast, Soto reached Quipana; and crossing the mountains 
eastward, wintered in the province of Viranque, or Autiamque, or Utianque, 

1 Rdacam verdadeim, chap. xxii. ; Biedina, Bieclma, Relation, in Smith s Soto, pp. 106- 

Relacion, in Smith, Soto, pp. 101-105, 249-250 ; 117, 250-252; Hakluyt ; Rangel in Oviedo. 

Hakluyt; Rangel in Oviedo. Compare Relation of Coronado s expedition in 

~ Oviedo. p. 573. Smith s Coleccion, p. 153. 

3 Relaxant verdadeira, chap, xxiii., xxiv. ; 4 Rangel in Oviedo, i. 576. 


/ Jldtlantado He^rncMido 

SOTO. ] 

on a branch of the Mississippi, apparently the Washita. 2 The sufferings 
of the Spaniards during a long and severe winter were terrible, and Ortiz, 
their interpreter, succumbed to his hardships and died. Even the proud 
spirit of Soto yielded to his disappointments and toil. Two hundred and 
fifty of his splendid force had left their bones to whiten along the path 
which he had followed. He determined at last to push to the shores of the 
Gulf and there build two brigantines, in order to send to Cuba and to New 

Spain for aid. 


1 Fac-simile of an engraving in Herrera abridgment of Rangel ends. The contents of 
(1728), iv. 21. two subsequent chapters are given, but not the 

2 Oviedo, p. 577. Here, unfortunately, his text. 


Passing through Ayays and the well-peopled land of Nilco, Soto went 
with the cacique of Guachoyanque to his well-palisaded town on the banks 
of the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Red River, arriving there on Sunday, 
April 17, 1542. Here he fell ill of the fever; difficulties beset him on every 
side, and he sank under the strain. Appointing Luis de Mosco^o as his suc 
cessor in command, he died on the 2ist of May. The Adelantado of Cuba 
and Florida, who had hoped to gather the wealth of nations, left as his 
property five Indian slaves, three horses, and a herd of swine. His 
body, kept for some days in a house, was interred in the town ; but as fears 
were entertained that the Indians might dig up the corpse, it was taken, 
wrapped in blankets loaded with sand, and sunk in the Mississippi. 1 


Musco^o s first plan was to march westward to Mexico. But after advan 
cing to the province of Xacatin, the survivors of the expedition lost all 
hope; and returning to the Mississippi, wintered on its banks. There 
building two large boats, they embarked in them and in canoes. Hostile 
Indians pursued them, and twelve men were drowned, their canoes being 
run down by the enemy s periaguas. The survivors reached the Gulf and 
coasted along to Panuco. 2 

The expedition of Soto added very little to the knowledge of the conti 
nent, as no steps were taken to note the topography of the country or the 
language of the various tribes. Diego Maldonado and Gomez Arias, seek 
ing Soto, explored the coast from the vicinity of the Mississippi nearly to 
Newfoundland ; but their reports are unknown. 

Notwithstanding the disastrous result of Soto s expedition, and the 
conclusive proof it afforded that the country bordering on the Gulf of 

1 Rela$am verdad., chaps, xxv.-xxx. ; Bied- 2 Rclacam verdad., chaps, xxxi.-xlii. ; Bied- 

ma, Relation^ in Smith s Soto, pp. 118-149, 252- ma, Relation, in Smith s Soto, pp. 150-196, 257 
257. 261. 



Mexico contained no rich kingdom and afforded little inducement foi 
settlements, other commanders were ready to undertake the conquest of 


Florida. Among these was Don Antonio 
de Mendoza, the viceroy of New Spain, 
who sought, by offers of rank and honors, 
to enlist some of the survivors of Soto s 
march in a new campaign. In a more 
mercantile spirit, Julian de Samano and 
Pedro de Ahumada applied to the Spanish 
ANTONIO DE MENDOZA, monarch for a patent, promising to make 

Viceroy of Neiv Spain. . r , . ., , ,, 

a good use of the privileges granted them, 

and to treat the Indians well. They hoped to buy furs and pearls, and 
carry on a trade in them till mines of gold and silver were found. The 
Court, however, refused to permit the grant. 1 

Yet as a matter of policy it became necessary for Spain to occupy 
Florida. This the Court felt; and when Cartier was preparing for his 
voyage to the northern part of the continent, 2 Spanish spies followed his 
movements and reported all to their Government. In Spain it was decided 
that Cartier s occupation of the frozen land, for which he was equipping his 
vessels, could not in any way militate against the interests of the Catholic 
monarch; bfit it was decided that" any settlement attempted^ in Florida 
must on some pfete^ft" be^crfished oift. 3 ^ Floric^ ffonrtK pt)sitio A afforded 
a basis for assailing the fleets which bore from Vera Cruz the treasures of 
the Indies ; and the hurricanes of the tropics had already strewn the Florida 
coast with the fragments of Spanish wrecks. In 1545 a vessel laden with 
silver and precious commodities perished on that coast, and two hundred 
persons reached land, only to fall by the hands of the Indians. 4 

The next Spanish attempt to occupy Florida was not unmixed with ro 
mance ; and its tragic close invests it with peculiar interest. The Domini 
cans, led by Father Antonio de Montesinos and Las Casas, who had by this 
time become Bishop of Chiapa, were active in condemning the cruelties 
of their countrymen to the natives of the New World ; and the atrocities 
perpetrated by Soto in his disastrous march gave new themes for their 
indignant denunciations. 5 

One Dominican went further. Father Luis Cancer de Barbastro, when 
the Indians of a province had so steadily defied the Spaniards and prevented 
their entrance that it was styled " Tierra de Guerra," succeeded by mild 
and gentle means in winning the whole Indian population, so that the 
province obtained the name of " Vera Paz," or True Peace. In 1546 this 

1 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, p. 24 ; Gomara, 5 Las Casas, Destruction de las Indicts. De 

Hist, gen., lib. i. c. 45. las prwincias dc la Tierra Firme por la parte qne 

- Cf. Vol. IV. chap. 2. se llama la Florida, a chapter written partly 

3 Documents printed in Smith s Coleccion, before and partly after Moscogo s arrival ii) 
pp. 103-118. Mexico. [See the chapter on Las Casas, follow 

4 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, p. 24. ing the present one. ED.] 


energetic man conceived the idea of attempting the peaceful conquest of 
Florida. Father Gregory de Beteta and other influential members of his 
Order seconded his views. The next year he Vent to Spain and laid his 
project before the Court, where it was favorably received. He returned 
to Mexico with a royal order that all Floridians held in slavery, carried 
thither by the survivors of Soto s expedition, should be confided to Father 
Cancer to be taken back to their own land. The order proved ineffectual. 
Father Cancer then sailed from Vera Cruz in 1549 in the " Santa Maria del 
Enzina," without arms or soldiers, taking Father Beteta, Father Diego de 
Tolosa, Father John Garcia, and others to conduct the mission. At Havana 
he obtained Magdalen, a woman who had been brought from Florida, and 
who had become a Christian. The vessel then steered for Florida, and 
reaching the coast, at about 28, on the eve of Ascension Day, ran north 
ward, but soon sailed back. The missionaries and their interpreter landed, 
and found some of the Indians fishing, who proved friendly. Father Diego, 
a mission coadjutor, and a sailor, resolved to remain with the natives, and 
went off to their cabins. Cancer and his companions awaited their return ; 
but they never appeared again. For some days the Spaniards on the ship 
endeavored to enter into friendly relations with the Indians, and on Corpus 
Christi Fathers Cancer and Garcia landed and said Mass on shore. At last 
a Spaniard named John Munoz, who had been a prisoner among the Indians, 
managed to reach the ship ; and from him they learned that the missionary 
and his companions had been killed by the treacherous natives almost im 
mediately after reaching their cabins. He had not witnessed their murder, 
but declared that he had seen the missionary s scalp. Magdalen, however, 
came to the shore and assured the missionaries that their comrade was alive 
and well. 

It had thus become a serious matter what course to pursue. The vessel 
was too heavy to enter the shallow bays, the provisions were nearly ex 
hausted, water could not be had, and the ship s people were clamoring to 
return to Mexico. The missionaries, all except Father Cancer, desired to 
abandon the projected settlement, but he still believed that by presents and 
kindness to the Indians he could safely remain. His companions in vain 
endeavored to dissuade him. On Tuesday, June 25, he was pulled in a boat 
near the shore. He leaped into the water and waded towards the land. 
Though urged to return, he persevered. Kneeling for a few minutes on the 
beach, he advanced till he met the Indians. The sailors in the boat saw 
one Indian pull off his hat, and another strike him down with a club. One 
cry escaped his lips. A crowd of Indians streamed down to the shore and 
with arrows drove off the boat. Lingering for awhile, the vessel sailed back 
to Vera Cruz, after five lives had thus rashly been sacrificed. 1 

1 The best account of this affair is a " Rela- first part is by Cancer himself, the conclusion 

cion de la Florida para el Ill mo Senor Visorrei by Beteta. There are also extant " Requiri- 

de la N a Espana la qual trajo Fray Greg de mentos y respuestas que pasaron en la Nao 

Beteta," in Smith s Coleccion, pp. 190-202. The S a Maria de la Encina," and the Minutes of dis/- 


On the arrival of the tidings of this tragic close of Cancer s mission a 
congress was convened by Maximilian, King of Bohemia, then regent in 
Spain ; and the advocates of the peace policy in regard to the Indians lost 
much of the influence which they had obtained in the royal councils. 1 

The wreck of the fleet, with rich cargoes of silver, gold, and other 
precious commodities, on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico in 1553, 
when several hundred persons perished, and the sufferings of the surviving 
passengers, among whom were several Dominicans, in their attempt to reach 
the settlements ; and the wreck of Farfan s fleet on the Atlantic coast near 
Santa Elena in December, 1554, showed the necessity of having posts on 
that dangerous coast of Florida, in order to save life and treasure. 2 

The Council of the Indies advised Philip II. to confide the conquest and 
settlement of Florida to Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy of New Spain, who 
was anxious to undertake the task. The Catholic monarch had previously 
rejected the projects of Zurita and Samano ; but the high character of 
Velasco induced him to confide the task to the viceroy of Mexico. The 
step was a gain for the humanitarian party ; and the King, on giving his 
approval, directed that Dominican friars should be selected to accompany 
the colonists, in order to minister to them and convert the Indians. Don 
Luis de Velasco had directed the government in Mexico since November, 
1550, with remarkable prudence and ability. The natives found in him 
such an earnest, capable, and unwavering protector that he is styled in 
history the Father of the Indians. 

The plans adopted by this excellent governor for the occupation of 
Florida were in full harmony with the Dominican views. In the treatment; 
of the Indians he anticipated the just and equitable methods which give; 
Calvert, Williams, and Penn so enviable a place in American annals. 3 

The occupation was not to be one of conquest, and all intercourse with 
the Indians was to be on the basis of natural equity. His first step was 
prompted by his characteristic prudence. 4 In September, 1558, he de 
spatched Guido de Labazares, with three vessels and a sufficient force, to 
explore the whole Florida coast, and select the best port he found for the 
projected settlement. Labazares, on his return after an investigation of 

cussions between the missionaries, and the Cap- vivors. Davila Padilla gives details in his 

tain s order to his pilot and sailors. There is sketches of Fathers Diego de la Cruz, Juan de 

a somewhat detailed sketch of Cancer s life in Mena, Juan Ferrer, and Marcos de Mena. 
Davila Padilla s Historia dc la fundacion de la 3 " The Viceroy has treated this matter in a 

Prauincia de Santiago de Mexico, 1596, chapters most Christian way, with much wisdom and 

liv.-lvii., and a brief notice in Touron, Histoire counsel, insisting strenuously on their under- 

de I Aweriyne, vi. Si. Cf. Herrera, dec. viii. standing that they do not go to conquer those 

lib. 5, p. 112; Gomara, c. xlv. ; Barcia, Ensaio nations, nor do what has been done in the 

cronologico, pp. 25-26. discovery of the Indies, but to settle, and by 

1 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, p. 26. good example, with good works and with pres- 

2 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, pp. 28-29. " Don ents, to bring them to a knowledge of our holy 
Luis Velasco a los officiales de Sevilla," Mexico, Faith and Catholic truth." FATHER PEDRO DE 
November, 1554. Farfan to same, Jan. 3, 1555. FERIA, Letter of March 3, 1559. 

The vessels were wrecked at Cape Santa Elena, 4 Alaman, Disertacioncs kistoricas^ vol. iii., 

9 N. Villafane was sent to rescue the sur- apendice, p. n. 


several months, reported in favor of Pensacola Bay, which he named Feli> 
pina ; and he describes its entrance between a long island and a point 
of land. The country was well wooded, game and fish abounded, and 
the Indian fields showed that Indian corn and vegetables could be raised 
successfully. 1 On the return of Labazares in December, preparations were 
made for the expedition, which was placed under the command of Don 
Tristan de Luna y Arellano. The force consisted of fifteen hundred soldiers 
and settlers, under six captains of cavalry and six of infantry, some of whom 
had been at Co^a, and were consequently well acquainted with the country 
where it was intended to form the settlement. The Dominicans selected 
were Fathers Pedro de Feria, as vicar-provincial of Florida, Dominic of 
the Annunciation, Dominic de Salazar, John Maguelas, Dominic of Saint 
Dominic, and a lay brother. The object being to settle, provisions for a 
whole year were prepared, and ammunition to meet all their wants. 

The colonists, thus well fitted for their undertaking, sailed from Vera 
Cruz on the nth of June, 1559; and by the first of the following month 
were off the bay in Florida to which Miruelo had given his name. Although 
Labazares had recommended Pensacola Bay, Tristan de Luna seems to have 
been induced by his pilots to give the preference to the Bay of Ichuse ; and 
he sailed west in search of it, but passed it, and entered Pensacola Bay. 
Finding ^that he had gone too far, Luna sailed back ten leagues east to 
Ichuse, which must have been Santa Rosa Bay. Here he anchored his 
fleet, and despatched the factor Luis Daza, with a galleon, to Vera Cruz to 
announce his safe arrival. He fitted two other vessels to proceed to Spain, 
awaiting the return of two exploring parties ; he then prepared to land his 
colonists and stores. 2 Meanwhile he sent a detachment of one hundred men 
under captains Alvaro Nyeto and Gonzalo Sanchez, accompanied by one of 
the missionaries, to explore the country and ascertain the disposition of the 
Indians. The exploring parties returned after three weeks, having found 
only one hamlet, in the midst of an uninhabited country. 3 Before Luna 
had unloaded his vessels, they were struck, during the night of September 
19,* by a terrible hurricane, which lasted twenty-four hours, destroying five 
ships, a galleon and a bark, and carrying one caravel and its cargo into a 
grove some distance on land. Many of the people perished, and most of 
the stores intended for the maintenance of the colony were ruined or lost. 

The river, entering the Bay of Ichuse, proved to be very difficult ol 
navigation, and it watered a sparsely-peopled country. Another detach- 

1 Declaration de Guido dc Baza res de la Jor- receiving, on the Qth, the letters sent by Tristan 
nada que hizo a descnbrir las puertos y vaias q e hai de Luna on the galleon. It is given in B. Smith s 
en la costa dc la Florida, Feb. I, 1559. A poor Coleccion, p. 10. See Davila Padilla, Historia de 
translation of this document is given in French la fundacion de la Pravincia de Santiago de Mexico 
in Ternaux Voyages, vol. x., and a still worse (Madrid, 1596), chaps. Iviii.-lix., pp. 231-234. 
one in English in French s Historical Collections Ichuse in some documents is written Ochuse. 
of Louisiana, etc., new series, ii. 236. 3 Testimony of Crist&val Velasquez. 

2 Relation de Dn Luis de Velasco a S. M. * Davila Padilla (p. 236) says August 23 r 
Mexico, Sept. 24, 1 559. This was written after but it was evidently September. 

VOL. ii. 33. 


mcnt, 1 sent apparently to the northwest, after a forty days march through 
uncultivated country, reached a large river, apparently the Escambia, and 
followed its banks to Nanipacna, a deserted town of eighty houses. Ex 
plorations in various directions found no other signs of Indian occupation. 
The natives at last returned and became friendly. 

Finding his original site unfavorable, Tristan de Luna, after exhausting 
the relief-supplies sent him, and being himself prostrated by a fever in which 
he became delirious, left Juan de Jaramillo at the port with fifty men and 
negro slaves, and proceeded 2 with the rest of his company, nearly a thou 
sand souls, to Nanipacna, some by land, and some ascending the river in 
their lighter craft. To this town he gave the name of Santa Cruz. The 
stores of Indian corn, beans, and other vegetables left by the Indians were 
soon consumed by the Spaniards, who were- forced to live on acorns or any 
herbs they could gather. 

The Viceroy, on hearing of their sufferings, sent two vessels to their relief 
in November, promising more ample aid in the spring. The provisions 
they obtained saved them from starvation during the winter, but in the 
spring their condition became as desperate as ever. No attempt seems 
to have been made to cultivate the Indian fields, or to raise anything for 
their own support. 3 

In hope of obtaining provisions from Coga, Jaramillo sent his sergeant- 
major with six captains and two hundred soldiers, accompanied by Father 
Dominic de Salazar and Dominic of the Annunciation, to that province. 
On the march the men were forced to eat straps, harnesses, and the leather 
coverings of their shields ; some died of starvation, while others were poi 
soned by herbs which they ate. A chestnut wood proved a godsend, and a 
fifty clays march brought them to Olibahali (Hatchet Creek), where the 
friendly natives ministered to their wants. 4 

About the beginning of July they reached Coga, on the Coosa River, then 
a town of thirty houses, near which were seven other towns of the same 
tribe. Entering into friendly intercourse with these Indians, the Spaniards 
obtained food for themselves and their jaded horses. After resting here 
for three months, the Spaniards, to gain the good-will of the Coosas, agreed 
to aid them in a campaign against the Napochies, a nation near the 
Ochechiton, 5 the Espiritu Santo, or Mississippi. These were in all proba 
bility the Natchez. The Coosas and their Spanish allies defeated this tribe, 
and compelled them to pay tribute, as of old, to the Coosas. Their town, 

1 Letter of Velasco, Oct. 25, 1559, citing a letter 2 Letter of Tristan de Luna to the King, Sept. 

of Tristan de Luna. Said by Montalvan and 24, 1559, in Coleccion de doaimentos ineditos, 

Velasquez to have been one hundred and fifty xii. 280-283. 

men, horse and foot, under Mateo de Sauce, 3 Letter of Velasco to Lima, Oct. 25, 1559; 

the sergeant-major, and Captain Christopher de Davila Padilla, book i. chap. Ixi. pp. 242-244. 
Arellano, accompanied by Fathers Annunciation 4 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, pp. 33-34 ; L>a- 

and Salazar ( Testimony of Miguel Sanchez Ser- vila Padilla, book i. chap. Ixii., pp. 245-246. 
rano}. He remained three months at Ichuse 5 Ochechiton, like Mississippi, means great 

before he heard from Ypacana; and though urged river, from okhina, river ; chito, great (Eying- 

to go there, lingered five or six months more. ton s Choctaio Defincr, pp. 79, 97)- 


saved with difficulty from the flames, gave the Spaniards a supply of corn. 
On their return to Coca, the sergeant-major sent to report to Tristan de 
Luna ; but his messengers found no Spaniard at Nanipacna, save one hang 
ing from a tree. Tristan de Luna, supposing his men lost, had gone down 
to Ochuse Bay, leaving directions on a tree, and a buried letter. 1 Father 
Feria and some others had sailed for Havana, and all were eager to leave 
the country. 2 Tristan de Luna was reluctant to abandon the projected set 
tlement, and wished to proceed to Coga with all the survivors of his force. 
His sickness had left him so capricious and severe, that he seemed actually 
insane. The supplies promised in the spring had not arrived in September, 
though four ships left Vera Cruz toward the end of June. Parties sent out 
by land and water found the fields on the Escambia and Mobile 3 forsaken 
by the Indians, who had laid waste their towns and removed their provisions. 
In this desperate state George Ceron, the maestro de campo, opposed the 
Governor s plan, 4 and a large part of the force rallied around him. When 
Tristan de Luna issued a proclamation ordering the march, there was an 
open mutiny, and the Governor condemned the whole of the insurgents to 
death. Of course he could not attempt to execute so many, but he did 
hang one who deserted. The mutineers secretly sent word to Coga, and 
in November the party from that province with the two missionaries arrived 
at Pensacola Bay. 5 Don Tristan s detachment was also recalled from the orig 
inal landing, and the whole force united. The dissensions continued till 
the missionaries, amid the solemnities of Holy Week, by appealing to the 
religious feelings of the commander and Ceron, effected a reconciliation. 6 

At this juncture Angel de Villafane s fleet entered the harbor of Ichuse. 
He announced to the people that he was on his way to Santa Elena, which 
Tristan de Luna had made an ineffectual effort to reach. All who chose 
were at liberty to accompany him. The desire to evacuate the country 
where they had suffered so severely was universal. None expressed a wish 
to remain ; and Tristan de Luna, seeing himself utterly abandoned, embarked 
for Havana with a few servants. Villafafie then took on board all except a 
detachment of fifty or sixty men who were left at Ichuse under Captain 
Biedma, with orders to remain five or six months ; at the expiration of 
which time they were to sail away also, in case no instructions came. 

Villafafie, with the " San Juan " and three other vessels and about two 
hundred men, put into Havana ; but there many of the men deserted, 
and several officers refused to proceed. 7 

1 Testimony of soldiers. treated briefly in the Rdacion de la fundacion 

2 Davila Padilla, book i. chap. Ixiii.-lxvi. pp. de la Provincia de Santiago, 1567. Cf . Coleccion de 

247-265. documentos ineditos, v. 447. 

3 These I take to be the Rio Manipacna and 6 Barcia, Ensaio crouologico, pp. 34-41 ; 
Rio Tome. Davila Padilla, pp. 271-277. 

4 Ceron, Respuesta, Sept. 16, 1560. Velasco, 7 Testimony of Velasquez and Miguel Sanchez 
Letter, Aug. 20- Sept. 3, 1560; Davila Padilla, Serrano. The expedition sent out by Tristan 
book i. p. 268. de Luna to occupy Santa Elena was composed 

5 Davila Padilla, p. 270. The labors of of three vessels, bearing one hundred men. 
Cancer and of Feria and his companions are The vessels were scattered in a storm, and ran 


With Gonzalo Gayon as pilot, Villafafie reached Santa Elena now Port 
Royal Sound May 27, 1561, and took possession in the name of the King 
of Spain. Finding no soil adapted for cultivation, and no port suitable for 
planting a settlement, he kept along the coast, doubled Cape Roman, and 
landing on the 2d of June, went inland till he reached the Santee, where he 
again took formal possession. On the 8th he was near the Jordan or Pedee; 
but a storm drove off one of his vessels. With the rest he continued his 
survey of the coast till he doubled Cape Hatteras. There, on the I4th of 
June, his caravel well-nigh foundered, and his two smaller vessels undoubt 
edly perished. He is said to have abandoned the exploration of the coast 
here, although apparently it was his vessel, with the Dominican Fathers, 
which about this time visited Axacan, on the Chesapeake, and took off a 
brother of the chief. 1 

Villafaiie then sailed to Santo Domingo, and Florida was abandoned. 
In fact, on the 23d of September the King declared that no further attempt 
was to be made to colonize that country, either in the Gulf or at Santa 
Elena, alleging that there was no ground to fear that the French would set 
foot in that land or take possession of it; and the royal order cites the 
opinion of Pedro Menendez against any attempt to form settlements on 
either coast. 2 

As if to show the fallacy of their judgment and their forecast, the French 
(and what was worse, from - the Spanish point of view, French Calvinists) 
in the next year, under Ribault, took possession of Port Royal, the very 
Santa Elena which Villafafie considered unfitted for colonization. Here 
they founded Charlesfort and a settlement, entering Port Royal less than 
three months after the Spanish officers convened in Mexico had united in 
condemning the country. 

Pedro Menendez de Aviles had, as we have seen, been general of the 
fleet to New Spain in 1560, and on his return received instructions to 
examine the Atlantic coast north of the very spot w r here the French thus 
soon after settled. In 1561 he again commanded the fleet; but on his 
homeward voyage a terrible storm scattered the vessels near the Bermudas, 
and one vessel, on which his only son and many of his kinsmen had 
embarked, disappeared. With the rest of his ships he reached Spain, 

to Mexico and Cuba. After that Pedro Menen- have been found among a still more southerly 

dez, who was in command of a fleet sailing from tribe. 

Vera Cruz, was ordered to run along the Atlantic 2 A council held in Mexico of persons who 

coast for a hundred leagues above Santa Elena, had been in Florida agreed that the royal order 

Letter of Velasco, Sept. 3, 1560; Testimony of was based on accurate information (Parecer qne 

Afontah an. da S. M. el conse/o de la A r iiez>a Espana, March 

1 Testimonio de Francisco de Agnilar, escri- 12,1562). Tristan de Luna sailed to Spain, and 

vano qne fue en la Jornada a la Florida con Angel in a brief, manly letter solicited of the King an 

de Villafane Relacion del rcconocimiento que investigation into his conduct, professing his 

hizo cl Capitan General Angel de ViUafane de la readiness to submit to any punishment if he was 

costa de la Florida, y posesio n qne torn 6 . . . dcsde deemed deserving of it (Memorial que dio al 

33 hasta 35. Testimony of Montalvan, Velas- Rey Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano dandoh 

quez, Serrano, etc. The Indian, however, may cuenta del suceso de la Jornada de la Florida). 


filled with anxiety, eager only to fit out vessels to seek his son, who, he be 
lieved, had been driven on the Florida coast, and was probably a prisoner 
in the hands of the Indians. At this critical moment, however, charges were 
brought against him; and he, with his brother, was arrested and detained in 
prison for two years, unable to bring the case to trial, or to obtain his release 
on bail. 

When Menendez at last succeeded in obtaining an audience of the King, 
he solicited, in 1564, permission to proceed with two vessels to Bermuda and 
Florida to seek his son, and then retire to his home, which he had not seen 
for eighteen years. Philip II. at last consented ; but required him to make 
a thorough coast-survey of Florida, so as to prepare charts that would pre 
vent the wrecks which had arisen from ignorance of the real character of 
the sea-line. Menendez replied that his Majesty could confer no higher 
boon upon him for his long and successful services on the seas than to 
authorize him to conquer and settle Florida. 

Nothing could be in greater accordance with the royal views than to 
commit to the energy of Menendez * the task which so many others had un 
dertaken in vain. A patent, or asiento, was issued March 20, 1565, by the 
provisions of which Menendez was required to sail in May with ten ves 
sels, carrying arms and supplies, and five hundred men, one hundred to be 
capable of cultivating the soil. He was to take provisions to maintain the 
whole force for a year, and was to conquer and settle Florida within three 
years ; explore and map the coast, transport settlers, a certain number of 
whom were to be married ; maintain twelve members of religious Orders as 
missionaries, besides four of the Society of Jesus ; and to introduce horses, 
black cattle, sheep, and swine for the two or three distinct settlements 
he was required to found at his own expense. 2 The King gave only the 
use of the galleon " San Pelayo," and bestowed upon Menendez the title 
of Adelantado of Florida, a personal grant of tw r enty-five leagues square, 
with the title of Marquis, and the office of Governor and Captain-General 
of Florida. 

While Menendez was gathering, among his kindred in Asturias and 
Biscay, men and means to fulfil his part of the undertaking, the Court of 
Spain became aware for the first time that the Protestants of France had 
quietly planted a colony on that very Florida coast. Menendez was imme 
diately summoned in haste to Court; and orders were issued to furnish him 
in America three vessels fully equipped, and an expeditionary force of two 
hundred cavalry and four hundred infantry. Menendez urged, on the con 
trary, that he should be sent on at once with some light vessels to attack 
the French ; or, if that was not feasible, to occupy a neighboring port and 

1 There is a copperplate engraving of " Pedro Camaron, engraved by Franco de Paula Marte, 

Menendez de Aviles, Natural de Aviles en 1791 (7^ x n^i inches). Mr. Parkman en- 

Asturias, Comendador de la orden de Santiago, graved the head for his France in the New 

Conquistador de la Florida, nombrado Gral de World, and Dr. Shea used the plate in his 

la Armada contra Jnglaterra. Murio en Santan- Charlevoix. 
tier A 1 574, a los 55, de edacl." Drawn by Josef - Coleccion de documcntos ineditos, xxii. 242. 


fortify it, while awaiting reinforcements. The Government, by successive 
orders, increased the Florida armament, so that Menendez finally sailed from 
Cadiz, June 29, with the galleon " San Pelayo " and other vessels to the 
number of nineteen, carrying more than fifteen hundred persons, including 
farmers and mechanics of all kinds. 

The light in which Spaniards, especially those connected with com 
merce and colonies, regarded the Protestants of France was simply that of 
pirates. French cruisers, often making their Protestantism a pretext for 
their actions, scoured the seas, capturing Spanish and Portuguese vessels, 
and committing the greatest atrocities. In 1555 Jacques Sorie surprised 
Havana, plundered it, and gave it to the flames, butchering the prisoners 
who fell into his hands. In 1559 Megander pillaged Porto Rico, and John 
de la Roche plundered the ships and settlements near Carthagena. 1 

It seems strange, however, that neither in Spain nor in America was it 
known that this dreaded and hated community, the Huguenots of France, 
had actually, in 1562, begun a settlement at the very harbor of Santa Elena 
where Villafafie had taken possession in the name of the Spanish monarch 
a year before. Some of the French settlers revolted, and very naturally 
went off to cruise against the Spaniards, and with success ; but the ill-man 
aged colony of Charlesfort on Port Royal Sound had terminated its brief 
existence without drawing down the vengeance of Spain. 

When the tidings of a French occupancy of Florida startled the Spanish 
Court, a second attempt of the Huguenots at settlement had been made, - 
this time at the mouth of St. John s River, where Fort Caroline was a direct 
menace to the rich Spanish fleets, offering a safe refuge to cruisers, which in 
the name of a pure gospel could sally out to plunder and to slay. Yet that 
settlement, thus provoking the fiercest hostility of Spain, was ill-managed. 
It was, in fact, sinking, like its predecessor, from the unfitness of its mem 
bers to make the teeming earth yield them its fruits for their maintenance. 
Rene Laudonniere, the commandant, after receiving some temporary relief 
from the English corsair Hawkins, 2 and learning that the Spaniards medi 
tated hostilities, was about to burn his fort and abandon the country, when 
John Ribault arrived as commandant, with supplies and colonists, as well as 
orders to maintain the post. His instructions from Coligny clearly intended 
that he should attack the Spaniards. 3 

1 " They burned it [Havana], with all the lished by the Hakluyt Society. A project of 
town and church, and put to death all the inhabi- the English for a settlement on the Florida 
tants they found, and the rest fled to the moun- coast (1563), under Stukely, came to nought, 
tains; so that nothing remained in the town that Cf. Doyle s English in America, p. 55. ED.] 
was not burned, and there was not an inhabitant 3 " En fermant ceste lettre i ay eu certain 
left alive or dwelling there " (Memorial de Pedro acluis, comme clom Petro Melandes se part 
Menendez de Aviles d S.M. sobre los agravios . . . d Espagne, pour aller a la coste de la Nouvelle 
qne rccivio de los oficialcs de la casa de contratacion, Frace ; vous regarderez n endurer qu il n entre- 
1564). Menendez was personally cognizant, as preine sur nous non plus qu il veut que nous 
he sent a vessel and men from his fleet to help n entreprenions sur eux." As Mr. Parkman 
restore the place. remarks, " Ribault interpreted this into a com- 

2 [Laudonniere s account of this relief is mand to attack the Spaniards." Pioneers oj 
translated in the Hawkins Voyages (p. 65), pub- France in the A T civ World. 


The two bitter antagonists, each stimulated by his superiors, were thus 
racing across the Atlantic, each endeavoring to outstrip the other, so as to 
be able first to assume the offensive. The struggle was to be a deadly 
one, for on neither side were there any of the ordinary restraints ; it was 
to be a warfare without mercy. 

After leaving the Canaries, Menendez fleet was scattered by storms. 
One vessel put back; the flagship and another were driven in one direction, 
five vessels in another. These, after encountering another storm, finally 
reached Porto Rico on the 9th of August, and found the flagship and its 
tender there. 1 

The other ships from Biscay and Asturias had not arrived ; but Menen 
dez, fearing that Ribault might outstrip him, resolved to proceed, though his 
vessels needed repairs from the injuries sustained in the storm. If he was 
to crush Fort Caroline, he felt that it must be done before the French post 
was reinforced ; if not, all the force at his disposal would be insufficient to 
assume the offensive. He made the coast of Florida near Cape Canaveral 
on the 25th of August; and soon after, by landing a party, ascertained 
from the natives that the French post was to the northward. Following 
the coast in that direction, he discovered, on the 28th, a harbor which 
seemed to possess advantages, and to which he gave the name of the 
great Bishop of Hippo, Augustine, who is honored on that day. Sailing 
on cautiously, he came in sight of the mouth of the St. John s River about 
two o clock in the afternoon of the 4th of September. The ten days he- 
had lost creeping along the coast were fatal to his project, for there lay 
the four vessels of Ribault, the flagship and its consort flinging to the 
breeze the colors of France. 

Menendez officers in council were in favor of running back to Santo 
Domingo till the whole force was united and ready to assume the offensive; 
but Menendez inspired them with his own intrepidity, and resolved to 
attack at once. A tremendous thunderstorm prevented operations till ten 
at night, when he bore down on the French, and ran his ship, the " Pelayo," 
between the two larger vessels of Ribault. To his hail who they were 
and what they were doing there, the reply was that John Ribault was their 
captain-general, and that they came to the country by order of the King of 
France ; and the French in return asked what ships they were, and who 
commanded them. To quote his own words, " I replied to them that I 
was Peter Menendez, that I came by command of the King of Spain to 
this coast and land to burn and hang the French Lutherans found in it, 
and that in the morning I would board his ships to know whether he 
belonged to that sect ; because if he did, I could not avoid executing on 
them the justice which his Majesty commanded. They replied that this 
was not right, and that I might go without awaiting the morning." 

1 Relation dc Mazauegos. Relation de lo sub- lo$ robos que corsarios franceses han hecJio 1559- 
cedido en la Habana ccrca de la entrada de los 1571. Relation de los navios que robaron franceses 
Franceses. Smith, Coleccion, p. 202. Relation de los anos de 1559 r 1560. 




As Menendez manoeuvred to get a favorable position, the French vessels 
cut their cables and stood out to sea. The Spaniards gave chase, rapidly 
firing five cannon at Ribault s flagship, which Menendez supposed that 
he injured badly, as boats put off to the other vessels. Finding that 
the French outsailed him, Menendez put back, intending to land soldiers 
on an island at the mouth of the river and fortify a position which would 
command the entrance ; but as he reached the St. John s he saw three 
French vessels coming out, ready for action. 

1 [This sketch-map of the scene of the of St. Ait^nsfhie. Other modern maps, giving 
operations of the Spanish and the French fol- the old localities, are found in Parkman, Gaf- 
lows one given by Fairbanks in his History farel, etc. ED.] 



His project was thus defeated; and too wily to be caught at a dis 
advantage by the returning French vessels, Menendez bore away to the 
harbor of St. Augustine, which he estimated at eight leagues from the 

French by sea, and six by land. Here he proceeded to found the old 
est city in the present territory of the United States. Two hundred 
mail-clad soldiers, commanded by Captain John de San Vicente and 
VOL. ii. 34. 


1 [This view of Pagus Hispanorum, as given period, if it is wholly truthful of any period 
in Montanus and Ogilby, represents the town The same view was better engraved at Leide 
founded by Menendez at a somewhat later by Vander Aa. ED.] 


26 7 

(From the PAGUS HISPANORUM in Montanus.} 

Captain Patino, landed on the 6th of September, 1565. The Indians were 
friendly, and readily gave the settlers the large house of one of the caciques 
which stood near the shore of the river. Around this an intrenchment 
was traced; and a ditch was soon dug, and earthworks thrown up, with 
such implements as they had at hand, for the vessel bearing their tools 
had not yet arrived. 

The next day three of the smaller vessels ran into the harbor, and. from 
them three hundred more of the soldiers disembarked, as well as those who 
had come to settle in the country, men, women, and children. Artillery 
and munitions for the fort were also landed. The eighth being a holiday 
in the Catholic Church, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, was cele 
brated with due solemnity. Mass was offered for the first time at a spot 
ever after held in veneration, and where in time arose the primitive shrine 
of Nuestra Senora de la Leche. Then the work of debarkation was 
resumed; one hundred more persons landed; and great guns, precious 



^x-^^g, VJfe v 

stores of provisions, and munitions were brought to the new fort. Amid 
all this bustle and activity the Spaniards were startled by the appearance 



MjjMtf f& l 

t^^V,V OIiIJLN3 T >J3 ^ 

1 I Two pictures of Fort Caroline accom- but to be taken as a correct outline," as Fair- 

panv the Brrsis narratio of Lemoyne, one the banks (p. 54) presumes. The engraving of the 

beginning of work upon it, and the other the completed fort is reproduced in Fairbanks s St. 

completed structure, "a more finished fortifica- Augustine, Stevens s Georgia, etc. Another and 

tion than could possibly have been constructed, better view of it, called " Arx Carolina Charles- 


of two large French vessels 1 in the offing, evidently ready for action. 
It was no part of Menendez plan to engage them, and he waited till, about 
three in the afternoon, they bore away for the St. John s. Then he pre 
pared to land in person. As his boat left the vessel with banners un 
furled, amid the thunder of cannon and the sounds of warlike music, 
Mendoza Grajales, the first priest of St. Augustine, bearing a cross, went 
down at the head of those on shore to meet the adelantado, all chanting 
the Te Deum. Menendez proceeded at once with his attendants to the 
cross, which he kissed on bended knee. 

Formal possession of the land was then taken in the name of Philip II., 
King of Spain. The captains of the troops and the officers of the new 
colony came forward to take the oath to Peter Menendez de Aviles as 
governor, captain-general, and adelantado ,of Florida and its coasts under 
the patents of the Spanish King. Crowds of friendly Indians, with their 
chieftains, gathered around. 

From them the Spanish commander learned that his position was admi 
rably taken, as he could, at a short distance, strike the river on which the 
French lay, and descend it to assail them. Here then he resolved to make 
his position as strong as possible, till the rest of his armament arrived. 
His galleon " San Pelayo," too large to enter the port, rode without, in 
danger from the sudden storms that visit the coast, and from the French. 
Putting on board some French prisoners whom he had captured in a boat, 
he despatched her and another vessel to Santo Domingo. He organized his 
force by appointing officers, a lieutenant and a sergeant-major, and ten 
captains. The necessity of horses to operate rapidly induced him to send 
two of his lighter vessels to Havana to seek them there; and by this 
conveyance he addressed to Philip II. his first letter from Florida. 2 

The masts of his vessels could scarcely have vanished from the eyes 
of the Spanish force, when the French vessels appeared once more, and 
nearly captured Menendez himself in the harbor, where he was carrying to 
the shore, in the smaller vessels that he had retained, some artillery and 
munitions from the galleons. He escaped, however, though the French 
were so near that they called on him to surrender. And he ascribed his 
deliverance rather to prayer than to human skill; for, fierce seaman as 
he was, he was a man of deep and practical religious feeling, which influ 
enced all his actions. 

Menendez position was now one of danger. The force at his command 
was not large, and the French evidently felt strong enough, and were deter 
mined to attack him. He had acknowledged his inability to cope with them 

fort sur Floride," was engraved at Leide by the St. Mary s River), at a place called Battle 

Vander Aa, but it is a question if it be truth- Bluff. Cf. Carroll s Hist. Coll., i. p. xxxvi. ED.] 
ful. No traces of the fort have ever been re- 1 One was commanded by Captain Cossette 

corded by subsequent observers, but Fairbanks (Basanier, p. 105). 

places it near a place called St. John s Bluff, 2 Letter of Menendez to the King, dated Prov- 

as shown in the accompanying map. Others ince of Florida, Sept. n, 1565. Mendoza Grajales, 

have placed it on the Bell River (an estuary of Relacion de la Jornada de P Menendez, 1565. 


on the ocean, and could not have felt very sanguine of being able to defend 
the slight breastworks that had been thrown up at St. Augustine. 

Fortune favored him. Ribault, after so earnestly determining to assume 
the offensive, fatally hesitated. Within two days a tremendous hurricane, 
which the practised eye of Menendez had anticipated, burst on the coast. 
The French were, he believed, still hovering near, on the look-out for his 
larger vessels, and he knew that with such a norther their peril was 
extreme. It \vas, moreover, certain that they could not, for a time at 
least, make the St. John s, even if they rode out the storm. 

This gave him a temporary superiority, and he resolved to seize his 
opportunity. Summoning his officers to a council of war, he laid before 
them his plan of marching at once to attack Fort Caroline, from which the 
French had evidently drawn a part of their force, and probably their most 
effective men. The officers generally, as well as the two clergymen in the 
settlement, opposed his project as rash ; but Menendez was determined. 
Five hundred men three hundred armed with arquebuses, the rest with 
pikes and targets were ordered to march, each one carrying rations of bis 
cuit and wine. Menendez, at their head, bore his load like the rest. They 
marched out of the fort on the i6th of September, guided by two caciques 
who had been hostile to the French, and by a Frenchman who had been two 
years in the fort. The route proved one of great difficulty ; the rain poured 
in torrents, swelling the streams and flooding the lowlands, so that the men 
were most of the time knee-deep in water. Many loitered, and, falling back, 
made their way to St. Augustine. Others showed a mutinous disposition, 
and loudly expressed their contempt for their sailor-general. 

On the 29th, at the close of the day, he was within a short distance of 
the French fort, and halted to rest so as to storm it in the morning. At 
daybreak the Spaniards knelt in prayer ; then, bearing twenty scaling-ladders, 
Menendez advanced, his sturdy Asturians and Biscayans in the van. Day 
broke as, in a heavy rain, they reached a height from which their French 
guide told them they could see the fort, washed by the river. Menendez 
advanced, and saw some houses and the St. John s; but from his position 
could not discover the fort. He would have gone farther; but the Maese 
de Campo and Captain Ochoa pushed on till they reached the houses, and 
reconnoitred the fort, where not a soul seemed astir. As they returned 
they were hailed by a - French sentinel, who took them for countrymen. 
Ochoa sprang upon him, striking him on the head with his sheathed sword, 
while the Maese de Campo stabbed him. He uttered a cry; but was 
threatened with death, bound, and taken back. The cry had excited 
Menendez, who, supposing that his officers had been killed, called out: 
" Santiago ! at them ! God helps us ! Victory ! The French are slaugh 
tered ! Don Pedro de Valdes, the Maese de Campo, is in the fort, and 
has taken it ! " 

The men, supposing that the officers were in advance with part of the 
force, rushed on till they came up with the returning officers, who, taking 


in the situation, despatched the sentry and led the men to the attack. Two 
Frenchmen, who rushed out in their shirts, were cut down. Others outside 
the fort seeing the danger, gave the alarm ; and a man at the principal 
gate threw it open to ascertain what the trouble was. Valdes, ready to 
scale the fort, saw the advantage, sprang on the man and cut him down, 
then rushed into the fort, followed by the fleetest of the Spanish detach 
ment. In a moment two captains had simultaneously planted their colors 
on the walls, and the trumpets sounded for victory. 

The French, taken utterly by surprise, made no defence ; about fifty, 
dashing over the walls of the fort, took to the woods, almost naked, and 
unarmed, or endeavored in boats and by swimming to reach the vessels 
in the stream. When Menendez came up with the main body, his 
men were slaughtering the French as they ran shrieking through the 
fort, or came forward declaring that they surrendered. The women, and 
children under the age of fifteen, were, by orders of the commander, 
spared. Laudonniere, the younger Ribault, Lemoyne, and the carpenter 
Le Challeux, whose accounts have reached us, were among those who 

Menendez had carried the fort without one of his men being killed or 
wounded. The number of the French thus unsparingly put to the sword 
is stated by Menendez himself as one hundred and thirty-two, with ten of 
the fugitives who were butchered the next day. Mendoza Grajales cor 
roborates this estimate. Fifty were spared, and about as many escaped to 
the vessels ; and some, doubtless, perished in the woods. 

The slaughter was too terrible to need depicting in darker colors ; but 
in time it was declared that Menendez hung many, with an insulting label : 
" I do not this to Frenchmen, but to Heretics." The Spanish accounts, 
written with too strong a conviction of the propriety of their course to seek 
any subterfuge, make no allusion to any such act; and the earliest French 
accounts are silent in regard to it. The charge first occurs in a statement 
written with an evident design to rouse public indignation in France, and 
not, therefore, to be deemed absolutely accurate. 

No quarter was given, for the French were regarded as pirates; and as 
the French cruisers gave none, these, who wer,e considered as of the same 
class, received none. 

The booty acquired was great. A brigantine and a galiot fell into the 
hands of the Spaniards, with a vessel that had grounded. Another vessel 
lay near the fort, and Spanish accounts claim to have sunk it with the 
cannon of the fort, while the French declare they scuttled it. Two other 
vessels lay at the mouth of the river, watching for the Spaniards, whose 
attack was expected from the sea, and not from the land side. Besides 
these vessels and their contents, the Spaniards gained in the fort artillery 
and small-arms, supplies of flour and bread, horses, asses, sheep, and hogs. 1 

1 Letter of Menendez to the King, Oct. 15, dc documentos ineditos (edited by Pacheco, etc.), 
1565; Mendoza Grajales, Relation in Coleccion 111.441-479. 


Such was the first struggle on our soil between civilized men ; it was brief, 
sanguinary, merciless. 

Menendez named the captured fort San Mateo, from its capture on the 
feast of St. Matthew (September 21). He set up the arms of Spain, and 
selected a site for a church, which he ordered to be built at once. Then, 
leaving Goncalo de Villaroel in command, with a garrison of three hundred 
men, he prepared to march back to St. Augustine with about one hundred, 
who composed the rest of the force which had remained with him till he 
reached Caroline. But of them all he found only thirty-five able or willing 
to undertake the march; and with these he set out, deeming his presence 
necessary at St. Augustine. Before long, one of the party pushed on to 
announce his coming. 

The Spaniards there had learned of the disaster which had befallen Ri- 
bault s fleet from a Frenchman who was the sole survivor of one small vessel 
that had been driven ashore, its crew escaping a watery death only to perish 
by the hands of the Indians. The vessel was secured and brought to St. 
Augustine. The same day, September 23, a man was seen running toward 
the fort, uttering loud shouts. The priest, Mendoza Grajales, ran out to 
learn the tidings he bore. The soldier threw his arms around him, crying: 
" Victory ! Victory ! the French fort is ours ! " He was soon recounting 
to his countrymen the story of the storming of Caroline. Toward night 
fall the adelantado himself, with his little party, was seen approaching. 
Mendoza in surplice, bearing a crucifix, went forth to meet him. Menen 
dez knelt to kiss the cross, and his men imitated his example ; then they 
entered the fort in procession, chanting the Te Deum. 1 

Menendez despatched some light boats with supplies to San Mateo ; but 
the fort there took fire a few days after its capture, and was almost entirely 
destroyed, with much of the booty. He sent other light craft to Santo 
Domingo with prisoners, and others still to patrol the coast and seek any 
signs of the galleon " San Pelayo," or of the French. Then he turned his 
whole attention to work on his fort and town, so as to be in readiness to 
withstand any attack from Ribault if the French commander should return 
and prove to be in a condition to assail him while his forces were divided. 
He also cultivated friendly intercourse with the neighboring chiefs whom 
he found hostile to the French and their allies. 

On the 28th, some of the Indians came to report by signs that the French 
were six leagues distant, that they had lost their ships, and that they had 
reached the shore by swimming. They had halted at a stream which they 
could not cross, evidently Matanzas inlet. Menendez sent out a boat, 
and followed in another with some of his officers and Mendoza, one of the 
clergymen. He overtook his party, and they encamped near the inlet, but 
out of sight. On the opposite side, the light of the camp-fires marked the 
spot occupied by the French. The next day, seeing Menendez, a sailor 
swam over, and stated that he had been sent to say that they were survivors 

1 Mendoza Grajales, Relation. 
VOL. n. 35. 

1 [This is the only cartographical result of in Gaffarel s Floride Francaise, and in Shipp s 
ihe French occupation. It is also reproduced De Soto and Florida. It was literally copied 


of some of Ribault s vessels which had been wrecked ; that many of their 
people had been drowned, others killed or captured by the Indians ; and 
that the rest, to the number of one hundred and forty, asked permission 
and aid to reach their fort, some distance up the coast. Menendez told 
him that he had captured the fort and put all to the sword. Then, after 
asking whether they were Catholics or Lutherans, and receiving the reply, 
the Spaniard sent the sailor to his companions, to say that if they did not 
give up their arms and surrender, he would put them all to the sword. On 
this an officer came over to endeavor to secure better terms, or to be allowed 
to remain till vessels could be obtained to take them to France ; but Menen 
dez was inexorable. The officer pleaded that the lives of the French should 
be spared ; but Menendez, according to Mendoza, replied, " that he would 
not give them such a pledge, but that they should bring their arms and 
their persons, and that he should do with them according to his will ; 
because if he spared their lives he wished them to be grateful to him for it, 
and if he put them to death they should not complain that he had broken 
his word." Solis de Meras, another clergyman, brother-in-law 7 of Menendez, 
and in St. Augustine at the time, in his account states that Menendez said, 
" That if they wished to lay down their colors and their arms, and throw 
themselves on his mercy, they could do so, that he might do with them what 
God should give him the grace to do ; or that they could do as they chose : 
for other truce or friendship could not be made with him ; " and that he 
rejected an offer of ransom which they made. 

Menendez himself more briefly writes : " I replied that they might 
surrender me their arms and put themselves under my pleasure, that I 
might do with them what our Lord might ordain ; and from this resolution 
I do not and will not depart, unless our Lord God inspired me otherwise." 
The words held out hopes that were delusive ; but the French, hemmed 
in by the sea and by savages, saw no alternative. They crossed, laid down 
their arms, and were bound, by order of Menendez, ostensibly to conduct 
them to the fort. Sixteen, chiefly Breton sailors, who professed to be 
Catholics, were spared ; the rest, one hundred and eleven in all, were put 
to death in cold blood, as ruthlessly as the French, ten years before, had 
despatched their prisoners amid the smoking ruins of Havana, and, like 
them, in the name of religion. 1 

by Hondius in 1607, and not so well in the it seems also to be the case in the earlier Mer- 

Mercator-Hondius Atlas of 1633. Lescarbot cator gores of 1541. The map accompanying 

followed it; but in his 1618 edition altered for Charlevoix narrative will be found in his 

the worse the course of the St. John s River ; Nottvelle France, i. 24, and in Shea s transla- 

and so did De Laet. Cf. Kohl, Maps in tion of it, i. 133. ED.] 

Hakluyt, p. 48, and Brinton, Floridian Peninsula, i Jacques de Sorie, in 1555, at Havana, 

p. So, who says (p. 86) that De Laet was the after pledging his word to spaie the lives of the 

first to confine the name Florida to the penin- Spaniards who surrendered, put them and his 

sula ; but Thevet seems nearly to do so in the Portuguese prisoners to death ; negroes he hung 

map in his Cosmographia, which he based on up and shot while still alive (Relation de Diego 

Ortelius, a part of which is given in fac-simile de Mazauegos, MS. ; Letter of Bishop Sarmiento 

in Weise s Discoveries of America, p. 304 ; and in Coleccion de documentos ineditos, v. 555). 


Ribault himself, who was advancing by the same fatal route, was ignorant 
alike of the fall of Caroline and of the slaughter of the survivors of the 
advanced party ; he too hoped to reach Laudonniere. Some days after the 
cruel treatment of the first band he reached the inlet, whose name to this 
day is a monument of the bloody work, Matanzas. 

The news of the appearance of this second French party reached 
Menendez on the loth of October, at the same time almost as that of the 
destruction of Fort San Mateo and its contents by fire, and while writing a 
despatch to the King, unfolding his plan for colonizing and holding Florida, 
by means of a series of forts at the Chesapeake, Port Royal, the Martyrs, 
and the Bay of Juan Ponce de Leon. He marched to the inlet with one 
hundred and fifty men. The French were on the opposite side, some 
making a rude raft. Both parties sounded drum and trumpet, and flung 
their standards to the breeze, drawing up in line of battle. Menendez then 
ordered his men to sit down and breakfast. Upon this, Ribault raised a 
white flag, and one of his men was soon swimming across. He returned 
with an Indian canoe that lay at the shore, and took over La Caille, an 
officer. Approaching Menendez, the French officer announced that the 
force was that of John Ribault, viceroy for the French king, three hundred 
and fifty men in all, who had been wrecked on the coast, and was now 
endeavoring to reach Fort Caroline. He soon learned how vain was the 
attempt. The fate of the fort and of its garrison, and the stark bodies of the 
preceding party, convinced him that those whom he represented must prepare 
to meet a similar fate. He requested Menendez to send an officer to Ribault 
to arrange terms of surrender ; but the reply was that the French comman 
der was free to cross with a few of his men, if he wished a conference. 

When this was reported to him, the unfortunate Ribault made an effort 
in person to save his men. He was courteously received by Menendez, 
but, like his lieutenant, saw that the case was hopeless. According to Solis 
de Meras, Ribault offered a ransom of one hundred and fifty thousand 
ducats for himself and one part of his men ; another part, embracing many 
wealthy nobles, preferring to treat separately. Menendez declined the offer, 
expressing his regret at being compelled to forego the money, which he 
needed. His terms were as enigmatical as before. He declared, so he 
himself tells us, " that they must lay down their arms and colors and put 
themselves under my pleasure; that I should do with their persons as I 
chose, and that there was nothing else to be done, or concluded with me." 

Priests, especially those of religious Orders, then gave quarter to Spaniards, except in hope 

met no mercy at the hands of the French of large ransom. Two of the vessels found at 

cruisers at this period, the most atrocious Caroline were Spanish, loaded with sugar and 

case being that of the Portuguese Jesuit hides, captured near Yaguana by the French, 

Father Ignatius Azevedo, captured by the who threw all the crew overboard; and Gourgues, 

French on his way to Brazil with thirty-nine on reaching Florida, had two barks, evidently 

missionary companions, all of whom were put captured from the Spaniards, as to the fate of 

to death, in 1570. In all my reading, I find whose occupants his eulogists observe a dis- 

no case where the French in Spanish waters creet silence. 


Ribault returned to his camp and held a council with his officers. Some 
were inclined to throw themselves on the mercy of Menendez ; but the 
majority refused to surrender. The next morning Ribault came over with 
seventy officers and men, who decided to surrender and trust to the mercy 
of the merciless. The rest had turned southward, preferring to face new 
perils rather than be butchered. 

The French commander gave up the banner of France and that of 
Coligny, with the colors of his force, his own fine set of armor, and his seal 
of office. As he and his comrades were bound, he intoned one of the 
Psalms; and after its concluding words added: "We are of earth, and to 
earth we must return ; twenty years more or less is all but as a tale that is 
told." Then he bade Menendez do his will. Two young nobles, and a 
few men whom Menendez could make useful, he spared ; the rest were at 
once despatched. 1 

The French who declined to surrender retreated unpursued to Can 
averal, where they threw up a log fort and began to build a vessel in 
order to escape from Florida. Menendez, recalling some of the men 
who remained at San Mateo, set out against them with one hundred 
and fifty men, three vessels following the shore with one hundred men 
to support his force. On the 8th of November apparently, he reached 
the fort. The French abandoned it and fled ; but on promise that 
their lives should be spared, one hundred and fifty surrendered. Menen 
dez kept his word. He destroyed their fort and vessel; and leaving 
a detachment of tw r o hundred under Captain Juan Velez de Medrano 
to build Fort Santa Lucia de Canaveral in a more favorable spot, he 
sailed to Havana. Finding some of his vessels there, he cruised in 
search of corsairs chiefly French and English who were said to be 
in great force off the coast of Santo Domingo, and who had actually 
captured one of his caravels ; he was afraid that young Ribault might 
have joined them, and that he would attack the Spanish posts in Flor 
ida. 2 But encountering a vessel, Menendez learned that the King had 
sent him reinforcements, which he resolved to await, obtaining supplies 
from Campechy for his forts, as the Governor of Havana refused to 
furnish any. 

The Spaniards in the three Florida posts were ill-prepared for even a 
Florida winter, and one hundred died for want of proper clothing and food. 
Captain San Vicente and other malcontents excited disaffection, so that 

1 This is the Spanish account of Solis de their lives if they surrendered. This seems 

Meras. Lemoyne, who escaped from Caro- utterly improbable ; for Menendez from first to 

line, gives an account based on the statement of last held to his original declaration, " d quc 

a Dieppe sailor who made his way to the Indians, fuere herege morira" Lemoyne is so incorrect 

and though taken by the Spaniards, fell at last as to make this last slaughter take place at 

into French hands. Challeux, the carpenter Caroline. 

of Caroline, and another account derived from 2 Menendez to the King, writing from 

Christophe le Breton, one of those spared by Matanzas, Dec. 5, 1565; and again from Ha- 

Menendez, maintain that Menendez promised vana, Dec. 12, 1565. Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, 

La Caille, under oath and in writing to spare p. 91. 


mutinies broke out, and the insurgents seized vessels and deserted. Fort 
San Mateo was left with only twenty-one persons in it. 

In February, 1566, Menendez explored the Tortugas and the adjacent 
coast, seeking some trace of the vessel in which his son had been lost. His 
search was fruitless ; but he established friendly relations with the cacique 
Carlos, and rescued several Spanish prisoners from that cruel chief, who 
annually sacrificed one of them. 

Meanwhile the French fugitives excited the Indians who were friendly to 
them to attack the Spanish posts ; and it was no longer safe for the settlers 
to stir beyond the works at San Mateo and St. Augustine. Captain Martin 
de Ochoa, one of the bravest and most faithful officers, was slain at San 
Mateo ; and Captain Diego de Hevia and several others were cut off at St. 
Augustine. Emboldened by success, the Indians invested the latter fort, 
and not only sent showers of arrows into it, but by means of blazing arrows 
set fire to the palmetto thatching of the storehouses. The Spaniards in 
vain endeavored to extinguish the flames ; the building was consumed, with 
all their munitions, cloth, linen, and even the colors of the adelantado and 
the troops. This encouraged the Indians, who despatched every Spaniard 
they could reach. 

Menendez reached St. Augustine, March 20, to find it on the brink 
of ruin. Even his presence and the force at his command could not bring 
the mutineers to obedience. He was obliged to allow Captain San Vicente 
and many others to embark in a vessel. Of the men whom at great labor 
and expense he had brought to Florida, full five hundred deserted. After 
their departure he restored order ; and, proceeding to San Mateo, relieved 
that place. His next step was to enter into friendly relations with the chief 
of Guale, and to begin a fort of stockades, earth, and fascines at Port Royal 
which he called San Felipe. Here he left one hundred and ten men under 
Stephen de las Alas. From this point the adventurous Captain Pardo, in 
1566 and the following year, explored the country, penetrating to the silver 
region of the Cherokees, and visiting towns reached by De Soto from 
Cofitachiqui to Tascaluza. 1 

Returning to St. Augustine, Menendez transferred the fort to its present 
position, to be nearer the ship landing and less exposed to the Indians. All 
the posts suffered from want of food ; and even for the soldiers in the King s 
pay the adelantado could obtain no rations from Havana, although he went 
there in person. He obtained means to purchase the necessary provisions 
only by pledging his own personal effects. 

Before his return there came a fleet of seventeen vessels, bearing fifteen 
hundred men, with arms, munitions, and supplies, under Sancho de Arciniega. 
Relief was immediately sent to San Mateo and to Santa Elena, where most 

1 Juan de la Vandera, Memoir, in English and in Buckingham Smith s -Coleccion. There 

in Historical Magazine, 1860, pp. 230232, with is also a version in B. F. French s Historical 

notes by J. G. Shea, from the original in Collections of Louisiana and Florida (1875), 

Coleccion de docnmentos ineditos, iv. 560-566, p. 289. 



of the soldiers had mutinied, and had put Stephen de las Alas in irons, and 
sailed away. Menendez divided part of his reinforcements among his three 
posts, and then with light vessels ascended the St. John s. He endeavored 
to enter into negotiations with the caciques Otina and Macoya ; but those 
chiefs, fearing that he had come to demand reparation for the attacks on the 
Spaniards, fled at his approach. He ascended the river till he found the 
stream narrow, and hostile Indians lining the banks. On his downward 
voyage Otina, after making conditions, received the adelantado , who came 
ashore with only a few attendants. The chief was surrounded by three 
hundred warriors ; but showed no hostility, and agreed to become friendly 
to the Spaniards. 

On his return Menendez despatched a captain with thirty soldiers and 
two Dominican friars to establish a post on Chesapeake Bay; they were 
accompanied by Don Luis Velasco, brother of the chief of Axacan, who 
had been taken from that country apparently by Villafane, and who had 
been baptized in Mexico. Instead, however, of carrying out his plans, the 
party persuaded the captain of the vessel to sail to Spain. 

Two Jesuit Fathers also came to found missions among the Indians ; but 
one of them, Father Martinez, landing on the coast, was killed by the 
Indians ; and the survivor, Father Rogel, with a lay brother, by the direc 
tion of Menendez began to study the language of the chief Carlos, in order 
to found a mission in his tribe. To facilitate this, Menendez sent Captain 
Reynoso to establish a post in that part of Florida. 1 

News having arrived that the French were preparing to attack Florida, 
and their depredations in the Antilles having increased, Menendez sailed 
to Porto Rico, and cruised about for a time, endeavoring to meet some of 
the corsairs. But he was unable to come up with any ; and after visiting 
Carlos and Tequeste, where missions were now established, he returned 
to St. Augustine. His efforts, individually and through his lieutenants, to 
gain the native chiefs had been to some extent successful ; Saturiba was 
the only cacique who held aloof. He finally agreed to meet Menendez at 
the mouth of the St. John s ; but, as the Spanish commander soon learned, 
the cacique had a large force in ambush, with the object of cutting him and 
his men off when they landed. Finding war necessary, Menendez then sent 
four detachments, each of seventy men, against Saturiba; but he fled, and 
the Spaniards returned after skirmishes with small bands, in which they 
killed thirty Indians. 

Leaving his posts well defended and supplied, Menendez sailed to 
Spain ; and landing near Coruna, visited his home at Aviles to see his wife 
and family, from whom he had been separated twenty years. He then 
proceeded to Valladolid, where, on the 2Oth of July, he was received with 
honor by the King. 

1 Letter of Menendez, October 15, 1566, in vol. ii. dec. iii. afio vi. cap. iii., translated by 
Alcazar, Chrono. historia de la Compania de Dr. D. G. Brinton in the Historical 
faus en la provincia de Toledo (Madrid, 1710), 1861, p. 292. 


During his absence a French attack, such as he had expected, was made 
on Florida. Fearing this, he had endeavored to obtain forces and supplies 
for his colony; but was detained, fretting and chafing at the delays and 
formalities of the Casa de Contratacion in Seville. 1 

An expedition, comprising one small and two large vessels, was fitted out 
at Bordeaux by Dominic de Gourgues, with a commission to capture slaves 
at Benin. De Gourgues sailed Aug. 22, 1567, and at Cape Blanco had a 
skirmish with some negro chiefs, secured the harbor, and sailed off with a 
cargo of slaves. With these he ran to the Spanish West Indies, and disposed 
of them at Dominica, Porto Rico, and Santo Domingo, finding Spaniards 
ready to treat with him. At Puerto de la Plata, in the last island, he met a 
ready confederate in Zaballos, who was accustomed to trade with the French 
pirates. Zaballos bought slaves and goods from him, and furnished him a 
pilot for the Florida coast. Puerto de la Plata had been a refuge for some 
of the deserters from Florida, and could afford definite information. Here 
probably the idea of Gourgues Florida expedition originated; though, 
according to the bombastic French account, it was only off the Island of 
Cuba that De Gourgues revealed his design. He reached the mouth of the 
St. John s, where the French narratives place two forts that are utterly 
unknown in Spanish documents, and which were probably only batteries 
to cover the entrance. Saluted here as Spanish, the French vessels passed 
on, and anchored off the mouth of the St. Mary s, the Tacatacuru of the 
Indians. By means of a Frenchman, a refugee among the Indians, Gour 
gues easily induced Saturiba, smarting under the recent Spanish attack, to 
join him in a campaign against San Mateo. The first redoubt was quickly 
taken; and the French, crossing in boats, their allies swimming, captured 
the second, and then moved on Fort San Mateo itself. The French account 
makes sixty men issue from each of what it calls forts, each party to be 
cut off by the French, and then makes all of each party of sixty to fall by 
the hands of the French and Indians, except fifteen or thereabout kept 
for an ignominious death. 

Gourgues carried off the artillery of the fort and redoubts ; but 
before he could transport the rest of his booty to the vessels, a train 
left by the Spaniards in the fort was accidentally fired by an Indian who 
was cooking fish ; the magazine blew up, with all in it. Gourgues 
hanged the prisoners who fell into his hands at San Mateo, and descend 
ing the river, hanged thirty more at the mouth, setting up an inscrip 
tion : "Not as to Spaniards, but as to Traitors, Robbers, and Murderers." 
Returning to his vessels, he hoisted sail on the 3d of May, and early 
in June entered the harbor of La Rochelle. His loss, which is not ex 
plained, is said to have been his smallest vessel, five gentlemen and some 
soldiers killed. 2 

1 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, p. 133. and carried off the artillery of San Mateo, and 

2 La Reprise de la Floride, etc. Garibay says then menaced Havana (Sucesos de la Ida dt 
briefly that they went to Florida and destroyed Santo Domingo}. 



When Gourgues made his descent, Menendez was already at sea, having 
sailed from San Lucar on the I3th of March, with abundant supplies and 

1 [Cf. the " Florida et Apalche " in Acosta, 1592; and later the maps of the French cartog- 

German edition, Cologne, 1598 (also in 1605); rapher Sanson, showing the coast from Texas 

that of Hieronymus Chaves, given in Ortelius, to Carolina. ED.! 
VOL. II. 36. 


reinforcements, as well as additional missionaries for the Indians, under 
Father John Baptist Segura as vice-provincial. After relieving his posts in 
Florida and placing a hundred and fifty men at San Mateo, he proceeded 
to Cuba, of which he had been appointed governor. To strengthen his 
colony, he solicited permission to colonize the Rio Panuco ; but the au 
thorities in Mexico opposed his project, and it failed. The Mississippi, 
then known as the Espiritu Santo, was supposed to flow from the neighbor 
hood of Santa Elena, and was depended on as a means of communication. 1 
The next year the adelantado sent a hundred and ninety-three persons to 
San Felipe, and eighty to St. Augustine. Father Rogel then began missions 
among the Indians around Port Royal ; Father Sedefio and Brother Baez be 
gan similar labors on Guale (now Amelia) Island, the latter soon compiling a 
grammar and catechism in the language of the Indians. Others attempted 
to bring the intractable chief Carlos and his tribe within the Christian fold. 
Rogel drew Indians to his mission at Orista ; he put up houses and a church, 
and endeavored to induce them to cultivate the ground. But their natural 
fickleness would not submit to control ; they soon abandoned the place, and 
the missionary returned to Fort San Felipe. A school for Indian boys was 
opened in Havana, and youths from the tribes of the coast were sent there 
in the hope of making them the nucleus of an Indian civilization. In 1570 
Menendez, carrying out his project of occupying Chesapeake Bay, sent 
Father Segura with several other Jesuits to establish a mission at Axacan, 
the country of the Indian known as Don Luis Velasco, who accompanied 
missionaries, promising to do all in his power to secure for them a welcome 
from his tribe. The vessel evidently ascended the Potomac and landed the 
mission party, who then crossed to the shores of the Rappahannock. 
They were received with seeming friendship, and erected a rude chapel ; 
but the Indians soon showed a hostile spirit, and ultimately massacred all 
the party except an Indian boy. When Menendez returned to Florida from 
Spain in 1572, he sailed to the Chesapeake, and endeavored to secure Don 
Luis and his brother; but they fled. He captured eight Indians known 
to have taken part in the murder of the missionaries, and hanged them at 
the yard-arm of his vessel. 2 

1 Parecer qua da a S. M. la Audiencia de Brinton in the Historical Magazine, 1861, p. 327, 

Nueva Espana, Jan. 19, 1569. The fort at San and chap. v. of his Floridian Peninsula ; Letter of 

Mateo was not immediately restored; a new Rogel, Dec. 2, 1569, MS.; one of Dec. n, 1569, 

fort, San Pedro, was established at Tacatacuru in Coleccion de dociimentos ineditos, xii. 301 ; one 

(Coleccion de documentos ineditos, xii. 307-308). of Quiros and Segura from Axacan, Sept. 12, 

Stephen de las Alas in 1570 withdrew the garri- 1570; Sacchini, Historia Societatis Jesu, part iii., 

sons, except fifty men in each fort, a step which pp. 86, etc. 

led to official investigation (Ibid., xii. 309, etc.). [Dr. Shea, in 1846, published a paper in the 

2 Barcia, Ensaio cronologico, pp. 137-146. United States Catholic Magazine, v. 604 (trans 

For the Jesuit mission in Florida, see Alegambe, lated into German in Die Katolische Kirche in 

Mortes ilhistres, pp. 44, etc. ; Tanner, Socictas den V. S. von Nordamerika, Regensburg, 1864, 

militant, pp. 447-451 ; Letter of Rogel, Dec. 9, pp. 202-209), on the Segura mission; and another 

1570, in the Chrono. historia de la Campania de in 1859 in the Historical Magazine, iii. 268, on 

fesus en la Prcruincia de Toledo, by Alcazar the Spanish in the Chesapeake from 1566 to 

(Madrid, 1710), ii. 145, translated by Dr. D. G. 1573; and his account of a temporary Spanish 


From this time Mcnendcz gave little personal attention to the affairs of 
Florida, being elsewhere engaged by the King; and he died at Santander, 
in Spain, Sept. 17, 1574, when about to take command of an immense fleet 
which Philip II. was preparing. With his death Florida, where his nephew 
Pedro Menendez Marquez 1 had acted as governor, languished. Indian hos 
tilities increased, San Felipe was invested, abandoned, and burned, and 
soon after the Governor himself was slain. 2 St. Augustine was finally 
burned by Drake. 


OUR account of the voyages of Ponce de Leon is mainly from the cedillas to him and 
official correspondence, correcting Herrera, 3 who is supposed by some to have had 
the explorer s diary, now lost. Oviedo 4 mentions Bimini 5 as forty leagues from 
Guanahani. The modern edition 6 of Oviedo is vague and incorrect ; and gives Ponce de 
Leon two caravels, but has no details. Gomara 7 is no less vague. Girava records the 
discovery, but dates it in 1512. 8 As early as 1519 the statement is found that the Bay 
of Juan Ponce had been visited by Alaminos, while accompanying Ponce de Leon, 9 
which must refer to this expedition of 1513. The " Traza de las costas " given by 
Navarrete (and reproduced by Buckingham Smith), 10 with the Garay patent of 1521, 
would seem to make Apalache Bay the%western limit of the discoveries of Ponce de 
Leon, of whose expedition and of Alaminos s no report is known. Peter Martyr n alludes 
to it, but only incidentally, when treating of Diego Velasquez. Barcia, in his Ensayo 
cronologico^ writing specially on Florida, seems to have had neither of the patents of 

settlement on the Rappahannock in 1570 is given for which was a part of the motive of many of 

\n.~&2iC\i s Indian Miscellany, or the "Log Chapel these early expeditions, was often supposed to 

on the Rappahannock " in the Catholic World, exist in Bimini ; but official documents make 

March, 1875. Cf. present History, Vol. III. no allusion to the idle story. Dr. D. G. Brinton 

p. 167, and a paper on the "Early Indian History (Floridian Peninsula, p. 99) has collected the 

of the Susquehanna," by A. L. Guss, in the His- varying statements as to the position of this 

torical Register ; A r otes and Queries relating to the fountain. ED.] 

Interior of Pennsylvania, 1883, p. 115 et seq. 6 Oviedo, Madrid (1850), lib. xvi. cap. n, 

De Witt Clinton, in a Memoir on the Antiquities vol. i. p. 482. 

of the Western Parts of New York, published 7 Primer a y segunda parte de la historia 

at Albany in 1820, expressed an opinion that general de las Indias (1553), cap. 45, folio xxiii. 

traces of Spanish penetration as far as Onon- 8 j) os nb ros de cosmografia (Milan, 1556), 

daga County, N. Y., were discoverable ; but he p. 192. 

omitted this statement in his second edition. 9 Bernal Diaz, Historia verdadera (1632). 

Cf. Sabin, vol. iv. no. 13,718. ED.] Cabeca de Vaca, Washington, 1851. [It is 

1 This officer, Fairbanks, in his misunder- also sketched ante, p. 218. ED.] 

standing of Spanish and Spanish authorities, n De insults nuper inventis (Cologne, 1574), 

transforms into Marquis of Menendez ! p. 349. 

2 Barcia, Ensayo cronologico, pp. 146-151. J - Ensayo cronoldgico para la historia general 

3 Historia general de las Indias (ed. 1601), de la Florida, por Don Gabriel de Cardenas y Cano. 
dec. i. lib. ix. cap. 10-12, p. 303 (313). [anagram for Don Andres Gonzales Barcia], 

4 Historia general (1535), part i. lib. xix. cap. Madrid, 1723. [He includes under the word 
15, p. clxii. "Florida" the adjacent islands as well as the 

5 [The Peter-Martyr map (1511) represents main. Joseph de Salazars Crisis del ensayo 
aland called Bimini ("ilia de Beimeni " see cronologico (1725) is merely a literary review of 
ante p. no) in the relative position of Florida. Barcia s rhetorical defects. Cf- Brinton s Fieri- 
The fountain of perpetual youth, the searcn dian Peninsula, p. 51. ED.] 



Ponce cle Leon, and no reports; and he places the discovery in 1512 instead of 1513. 1 
Navarrete - simply follows Herrera. 

In the unfortunate expedition of Cordova Bernal Diaz was an actor, and gives 
us a witness s testimony ; 3 and it is made the subject of evidence in the suit in 
1536 between the Pinzon and Colon families. 4 The general historians treat it in 
course. 5 

The main authority for the first voyage of Garay is the royal letters patent, 6 the 
documents which are given by Navarrete 7 and in the Documentos ineditos* as well as 
the accounts given in Peter Martyr, 9 Gomara,* and Herrera. 11 

Of the pioneer expedition which Camargo conducted for Garay to make settlement 
of Amichel, and of its encounter with Cortes, we have the effect which the first tidings of 
it produced on the mind of the Conqueror of Mexico in his second letter of Oct. 30, 1520 ; 
while in his third letter he made representations of the wrongs done to the Indians by 
Garay s people, and of his own determination to protect the chiefs who had submitted 
to him. 1 2 For the untoward ending of Garay s main expedition, Cortes is still a principal 
dependence in his fourth letter ; 13 and the official records of his proceedings against Garay 
in October, 1523, with a letter of Garay dated November 8, and evidently addressed to 
Cortes, are to be found in the Documentos ineditos^ while Peter Martyr, 15 Oviedo, 16 and 
Herrera 17 are the chief general authorities. Garay s renewed effort under his personal 
leadership is marked out in three several petitions which he made for authority to colonize 
the new country. 18 

1 Barcia, in the Introduction a el Ensayo 
cronologico, pp. 26, 27, discusses the date of 
Ponce cle Leon s discovery. He refutes Reme- 
sal, Ayeta, and Moreri, who gave 1510, and 
adopts the date 1512 as given by the " safest 
historians," declaring that Ponce de Leon went 
to Spain in 1513. The date 1512 was adopted 
by Hakluyt, George Bancroft, and Irving ; but 
after Peschel in his Geschichte des Zeitalters der 
Entdeckungen called attention to the fact that 
Easter Sunday in 1512 did not fall on March 27, 
the date given by Herrera, without mentioning 
the year, but that it did fall on that clay in 1513, 
Kohl (Discovery of Maine, p. 240), George 
Bancroft, in later editions, and others adopted 
1513, without any positive evidence. But 1512 
is nevertheless clung to by Gravier in his " Route 
du Mississippi " (Congres des Americanistes, 1878, 
i. 238), bv Shipp in his De Soto and Florida, and 
by H. H. Bancroft in his Central America (vol. 
i. p. 128). Mr. Deane, in a note to Hakluyt s 
use of 1512 in the Wester ne Planting (p. 230), 
says the mistake probably occurred " by not 
noting the variation which prevailed in the 
mode of reckoning time." The documents cited 
in chapter iv. settle the point. The Capitulation 
under which Ponce de Leon sailed, was issued 
at Burgos, Feb. 23, 1512. He could not possibly 
by March 27 have returned to Porto Rico, 
equipped a vessel, and reached Florida. The 
letters of the King to Ceron and Diaz, in August 
and December 1512, show that Ponce de Leon, 
after returning to Porto Rico, was prevented 
from sailing, and was otherwise employed. The 
letter written by the King to the authorities in 
Espanola, July 4, 1513, shows that he had 

received from them information that Ponce de 
Leon had sailed in that year. 

2 Coleccion ( Viages minor es}, iii. 50-53. 

3 Historia verdadera (1632), cap. vi. p. 4, 

4 Duro, Colon y Pinzon, p. 268. 

5 Oviedo (ed. Amador de los Rios), lib. xxi. 
cap. 7, vol. ii. p. 139; Herrera, Historia general, 
dec. ii. p. 63 ; Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 53 ; Bar 
cia, Ensayo cronologico, p. 3 ; Peter Martyr, dec. 
iv. cap. i ; Torquemada, i. 350; Gomara, folio 9; 
Icazbalceta, Coleccion, i. 338. 

6 Real cedilla dando facultdd a Francisco de 
Garay para poblar la provincia de Amichel en la 
costafirme, Burgos, 1521. 

7 Coleccion, \\\. 147-153. 

8 Coleccion de documentos ineditos, ii. 558-567. 

9 Decades, dec. v. cap. I. 

10 In his Historia. 

11 Historia, dec. ii. lib. x, cap. 1 8. 

12 [Cf. the bibliography of these letters in 
chap. vi. The notes in Brinton s Floridian 
Peninsula are a good guide to the study of the 
various Indian tribes of the peninsula at this 
time. ED.] 

13 [Cf. chap. vi. of the present volume. ED.] 
i* Vol. xxvi. pp. 77~ I 35- 

15 Epis. June 20, 1524, in Opus epistolarum, 
pp. 471-476. 

16 Historia, lib. xxxiii. cap. 2, p. 263. 

" Historia, dec. iii. lib. v. cap. 5. Cf. also 
Barcia, Ensayo cronologico, p. 8, and Galvano 
(Hakluyt Society s ed.), pp. 133, 153. 

18 Coleccion de documentos ineditos, x. 40-47 j 
and the "testimonio de la capitulacion " in voL 
xiv. pp. 503-516. 



Of the preliminary expedition on the Atlantic coast of Gordillo and the subsequent 
attempt of his chief, Ayllon, to settle in Virginia, there is a fund of testimony in the 
papers of the suit which Matienzo instituted against Ayllon, and of which the greater part 
is still unprinted ; but a few papers, like the complaint of Matienzo and some testimony 
taken by Ayllon when about to sail himself, can be found in the Documentos incditos. 1 
As regards the joint explorations of the vessels of Gordillo and Ouexos, the testimony 
of the latter helps 
us, as well as his 
act of taking posses 
sion, which puts the 
proceeding in 1521; 
though some of Ayl- 
lon s witnesses give 
1520 as the date. 
Both parties unite 
in calling the river 
which they reached 
the San Juan Bau- 
tista, and the cedula 
to Ayllon places it 
in thirty-five de 
grees. Navarrete in 
saying they touched 
at Chicoraand Gual- 
dape confounds the 

first and third voyages; and was clearly ignorant of the three distinct expeditions; 3 and 
Herrera is wrong in calling the river the Jordan, 4 named, as he says, after the cap 
tain or pilot of one of the vessels. since no such person was on either vessel, and 
no such name appears in the testimony : the true Jordan was the Wateree (Guatari). 5 
That it was the intention of Ayllon to make the expedition one of slave-catching, would 
seem to be abundantly disproved by his condemnation of the commander s act. 6 

Ayllon, according to Spanish writers, after reaching the coast in his own voy 
age, in 1526, took a northerly course. Herrera 7 says he attempted to colonize north 
of Cape Trafalgar (Hatteras); and the piloto mayor of Florida, Ecija, who at a 
later day, in 1609, was sent to find out what the English were doing, says posi 
tively that Ayllon had fixed his settlement at Guandape. Since by his office Ecija 
must have had in his possession the early charts of his people, and must have made 
the locality a matter of special study, his assertion has far greater weight than that 




1 Vol. xxxiv. pp. 563-567 ; xxxv. 547-562. 

2 [This sketch follows Dr. Kohl s copy of a 
map in a manuscript atlas in the British Museum 
(no. 9,814), without date ; but it seems to be a 
record of the explorations (1520) of Ayllon, 
whose name is corrupted on the map. The 
map bears near the main inscription the figure 
of a Chinaman and an elephant, tokens of 
the current belief in the Asiatic connections 
of North America. Cf. Brinton s Floridian 
Peninsula, p. 82, 99, on the " Traza de costas 
de Tierra Ferine y de las Tierras Xuevas," ac 
companying the royal grant to Garay in 1521, 
being the chart of Cristobal de Tobia, given 
in the third volume of Navarrete s Coleccion, 
and sketched on another page of the present 

volume (an/t, p. 218) in a section on " The Early 
Cartography of the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent 
Parts," where some light is thrown on contem 
porary knowledge of the Florida coast. ED.] 

3 Vol. iii. p. 69. His conjectures and those 
of modern writers (Stevens, A T otes, p. 48), ac 
cordingly require no examination. As the docu 
ments of the first voyage name both 33 30 and 
35 as the landfall, conjecture is idle. 

4 Dec. ii. lib. xi. cap. 6. This statement is 
adopted by many writers since. 

5 Pedro M. Marquez to the King, Dec. I2 S 

6 Gomara, Historia, cap. xlii. ; Herrera, His 
toria, dec. iii. lib. v. cap. 5. 

7 Vol. ii. lib. xxi. cap. 8 and 9. 



of any historian writing in Spain merely from documents. 1 It is also the opinion of 
Navarrete 2 that Ayllon s course must have been north. 

Oviedo 3 does not define the region of this settlement more closely than to sav that it 
was under thirty-three degrees, adding that it is not laid down on any map. The Oydores 
of Santo Domingo, in a letter to the King in I528, 4 only briefly report the expedition, and 
refer for particulars to Father Antonio Montesinos. 5 

The authorities for the voyage of Gomez are set forth in another volume. 6 

Upon the expedition of Narvaez, and particularly upon the part taken in it by Cabeza 
de Vaca, the principal authority is the narrative of the latter published at Zamora in 1542 

as La relation que dio A luar Nu 
nez Cabeza de Vaca de lo acaescido 
en las Indias en la armada donde 
yua por gouernador Pdphilo de 
narbaez? It was reprinted at 
Valladolid in 1555, in an edition 
usually quoted as La relation 
y comentarios^ del governador 
A luar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca 
de lo acaescido en las dos jor- 
nadas que hizo d los Indios? 
This edition was reprinted under 
the title of Navfragios de A luar 
Nutiez Cabeza de Vaca, by Bar- 
cia (1749) m h ]S Historiadores 
primitives, accompanied by an 
"examen apologetico de la his- 
toria" by Antonio Ardoino, 
which is a defence of Cabeza 
de Vaca against the aspersions of Honorius Philoponus, 11 who charges Cabeza de Vaca 
with claiming to have performed miracles. 

The Relation, translated into Italian from the first edition, was included by Ramusio 

(From Buckingham Smith). 

1 Ecija, Relation del viage (June-September, 

2 Vol. iii. pp. 72-73. Recent American 
writers have taken another view. Cf. Brevoort, 
Vcrrazano, p. 70; Murphy, Verrazzano, p. 123. 

3 Historia, lib. xxxvii. cap. 1-4, in vol. iii. 
pp. 624-633. 

4 Documentos inlditos, iii. 347. 

5 Galvano (Hakluyt Society s ed., p. 144) 
gives the current account of his day. 

6 Cf . Vol. IV. p. 28. The capitulacion is given 
in the Documentos ineditos, xxii. 74. 

1 [Harrisse, BibL Amer. Vet.,\\Q. 239; Sabin, 
vol. iii. no. 9,767. There is a copy in the Lenox 
Library. Cf. the Relation as given in the Docn- 
mentos ineditos, vol. xiv. pp. 265-279, and the 
"Capitulacion que se tomo con Panfilo de Nar 
vaez " in vol. xxii. p. 224. There is some diversity 
of opinion as to the trustworthiness of this narra 
tive ; cf. Helps, Spanish Conquest, iv. 397, and 
Brinton s Florid! an Peninsula, p. 17. "Cabe9a 
has left an artless account of his recollections 
of the journey; but his memory sometimes 

called up incidents out of their place, so that 
his narrative is confused." BANCROFT: His 
tory of the United States, revised edition, vol. i. 
p. 31. -ED.] 

8 The Comentarios added to this edition were 
by Pero Hernandez, and relate to Cabeza de 
Vaca s career in South America. 

9 [There are copies of this edition in the 
Carter-Brown (Catalogue, vol. i. no. 197) and 
Harvard College libraries; cf. Sabin, vol. iii. 
no. 9,768. Copies were sold in the Murphy 
(no. 441), Brinley (no. 4,360 at $34), and Beck- 
ford (Catalogue, vol. iii. no. 183) sales. Rich 
(no. 28) priced a copy in 1832 at ^ 4s. Le- 
clerc (no. 2,487) in 1878 prices a copy at 1,500 
francs ; and sales have been reported at 21. 
^25, 39 ioj., and 42. ED.] 

10 [Vol. i. no. 6. Cf. Carter-Brown, iii. 893; 
Field, Indian Bibliography, no. 79. ED.] 

11 {Nova typis transacta navigatio Novi Orbis, 
1621. Arcloino s Exdmen apologetico was first 
published separately in 1736 (Carter-Brown, iii. 
545). ED.] 



in his Collection 1 in 1556. A French version was given by Ternaux in 1837. 2 The ear 
liest English rendering, or rather paraphrase, is that in Purchas; 3 but a more important 
version was made 
by the late Buck 
ingham Smith, and 
printed (100 cop 
ies) at the expense 
of Mr. George W. 
Riggs, of Washing 
ton, in 1851, for pri 
vate circulation. 4 A 
second edition was 
undertaken by Mr. 
Smith, embodying 
the results of inves 
tigations in Spain, 
with a revision of 
the translation and 
considerable addi 
tional annotation ; but the completion of the work of carrying it through the press, owing 
to Mr. Smith s death, 5 devolved upon others, who found his mass of undigested notes 
not very intelligible. It appeared in an edition of one hundred copies in 1871. 6 In 
these successive editions Mr. Smith gave different theories regarding the route pursued 
by Cabeza de Vaca in his nine years journey. 7 

The documents 8 which Mr. Smith adds to this new edition convey but little informa 
tion beyond what can be gathered from Cabeza de Vaca himself. He adds, however, 
engravings of Father Juan Xuarez and Brother Juan Palos, after portraits preserved 
in Mexico of the twelve Franciscans who were first sent to that country. 9 

(From Buckingham Smith}. 

1 Vol. iii. pp. 310-330. 

2 Following the 1555 edition, and published 
in his Voyages, at Paris. 

3 Vol. iv. pp. 1499-1556. 

4 [Mcnzies Catalogue, no. 315; Field, Indian 
Bibliography, nos. 227-229. ED.] 

5 [Cf. Field, Indian Bibliog., no. 364., ED.] 

6 Printed by Munsell at Albany, at the charge 
of the late Henry C. Murphy. [Dr. Shea added 
to it a memoir of Mr. Smith, and Mr. T. W. 
Field a memoir of Cabeza de Vaca. ED.] 

7 [The writing of his narrative, not during 
but after the completion of his journey, does not 
conduce to making the statements of the wan 
derer very explicit, and different interpretations 
of his itinerary can easily be made. In 1851 
Mr. Smith made him cross the Mississippi within 
the southern boundary of Tennessee, and so to 
pass along the Arkansas and Canadian rivers 
to New Mexico, crossing the Rio Grande in 
the neighborhood of thirty-two degrees. In his 
second edition he tracks the traveller nearer the 
Gulf of Mexico, and makes him cross the Rio 
Grande near the mouth of the Conchos River in 
Texas, which he follows to the great mountain 
chain, and then crosses it. Mr. Bartlett, the 
editor of the Carter- Brawn Catalogue (see vol. i. 
p. 188), who has himself tracked both routes, is 

not able to decide between them. Davis, in his 
Conquest of New Mexico, also follows Cabeza de 
Vaca s route. H. H. Bancroft (North Mexican 
States, i. 63) finds no ground for the northern 
route, and gives (p. 67) a map of what he sup 
poses to be the route. There is also a map 
in Paul Chaix Bassin du Mississipi au seizieme 
siecle. Cf. also L. Bradford Prince s New 
Mexico (1883), p. 89. ED.] The buffalo and 
mesquite afford a tangible means of fixing the 
limits of his route. 

8 Including the petition of Narvaez to the 
King and the royal memoranda from the origi 
nals at Seville (p. 207), the instructions to 
the factor (p. 211), the instructions to Cabeza 
de Vaca (p. 218), and the summons to be made 
by Narvaez (p. 215). Cf. French s Historical 
Collections of Louisiana, second series, ii. 1 53 ; 
Historical Magazine, April, 1862, and January 
and August, 1867. 

9 Smith s Cabeca de Vaca, p. 100; Tor- 
quemada {Monarquia Indiana, 1723, iii. 437-447) 
gives Lives of these friars. Barcia says Xuarez 
was made a bishop; but Cabeza de Vaca never 
calls him bishop, but simply commissary, and 
the portrait at Vera Cruz has no episcopal em 
blems. Torquemada in his sketch of Xuarez 
makes no allusion to his being made a bishop. 



Some additional facts respecting this expedition are derived at second hand from a 
letter which Cabeza de Vaca and Dorantes wrote after their arrival in Mexico to the 
Audiencia of Hispaniola, which is not now known, but of which the substance is 
professedly given by Oviedo. 1 

The Bahia de la Cruz of Narvaez landing, made identical with Apalache Bay by 
Cabot, is likely to have been by him correctly identified, as the point could be fixed by 
the pilots who returned with the ships to Cuba, and would naturally be recorded on the 
charts. 2 Smith 3 believed it to be Tampa Bay. The Relation describes the bay as one 
whose head could be seen from the mouth ; though its author seems in another place to 
make it seven or eight leagues deep. 4 Narvaez and his party evidently thought they were 
nearer Panuco, and had no idea they were so near Havana. Had they been at Tampa Bay, 
or on a coast running north and south, they can scarcely be supposed to have been so 
egregiously mistaken. 5 If Tampa was his landing place, it is necessary to consider the bay 
where he subsequently built his boats as Apalache Bay. 6 Charlevoix 7 identifies it with 
Apalache Bay, and Siguenza y Gongora finds it in Pensacola. 8 

Of the expedition of Soto we have good and on the whole satisfactory records. The 
Concession made by the Spanish King of the government of Cuba and of the conquest 
of Florida is preserved to us. 9 There are three contemporary narratives of the progress 
of the march. The first and best was printed in 1557 at Evora as the Relaqam verdadeira 
dos trabalhos q ho gouernador do Fernado de Souto e certos fidalgos Portugueses passa- 
rom no descobrimeto da provincia da Frolida. Agora nouaviente feita per hu fidalgo 
DeluasP* It is usually cited in English as the " Narrative of the Gentleman of Elvas," 

and the name is not found in any list of 
bishops. We owe to Mr. ( Smith another con 
tribution to the history of this region and this 
time, in a Coleccion de varios documentos para la 
historia de la Florida y tierras adyacentes, only 
vol. i. of the contemplated work appearing at 
Madrid in 1857. It contained thirty-three im 
portant papers from 1516 to 1569, and five from 
1618 to 1794; they are for the most part from the 
Simancas Archives. This volume has a portrait 
of Ferdinand V., which is reproduced ante, p. 85. 
Various manuscripts of Mr. Smith are now in the 
cabinet of the New York Historical Society. 

1 Oviedo s account is translated in the His 
torical Magazine, xii. 141, 204, 267, 347. [H. H. 
Bancroft ( No. Mexican States, i. 62) says that the 
collation of this account in Oviedo (vol. iii. pp. 
582-618) with the other is very imperfectly done 
by Smith. He refers also to careful notes on it 
given by Davis in his Spanish Conquest of New 
Mexico, pp. 20-108. Bancroft (pp. 62, 63) gives 
various other references to accounts, at second 
hand, of this expedition. Cf. also L. P. Fisher s 
paper in the Overland Monthly, x. 514. Gal- 
vano s summarized account will be found in the 
Hakluyt Society s edition, p. 170. ED.] 

2 Bancroft, United States, i. 27. 

3 Cabeca de Vaca, p. 58; cf. Fairbanks s 
Florida, chap. ii. 

4 Cabeca de Vaca, pp. 20, 204. 

5 [Tampa is the point selected by H. H. 
Bancroft (No. Mexican States, i. 60) ; cf. Brin- 
ton s note OH the varying names of Tampa 
(floridian Peninsula, p. 113). ED.] 

B. Smith s De Soto, pp. 47, 234. 

7 Nonvelle France, iii. 473. 

8 Barcia, p. 308. The Magdalena may be 
the Apalachicola, on which in the last century 
Spanish maps laid down Echete; cf. Leroz, 
Geographia de la America (1758). 

9 The manuscript is in the Hydrographic 
Bureau at Madrid. The Lisbon Academy printed 
it in their (1844) edition of the Elvas narrative. 
Cf. Smith s Soto, pp. 266-272; Historical Maga 
zine, v. 42 ; Docnmentos ineditos, xxii. 534. [It is 
dated April 20, 1537. In the following August 
Cabeza de Vaca reached Spain, to find that Soto 
had already secured the government of Florida; 
and was thence turned to seek the government 
of La Plata. It was probably before the tidings 
of Narvaez expedition reached Spain that Soto 
wrote the letter regarding a grant he wished in 
Peru, which country he had left on the outbreak 
of the civil broils. This letter was communi 
cated to the Historical Magazine (July, 1858, vol. 
ii. pp. 193-223) by Buckingham Smith, with a fac 
simile of the signature, given on an earlier page 
(ante, p. 253). ED.] 

10 [Rich in 1832 (no. 34) cited a copy at 
^31 ioj., which at that time he believed to be 
unique, and the identical one referred to by Pi- 
nelo as being in the library of the Duque de 
Sessa. There is a copy in the Grenville Collec 
tion, British Museum, and another is in the 
Lenox Library (B. Smith s Letter of De Soto, p. 66). 
It was reprinted at Lisbon in 1844 by the Royal 
Academy at Lisbon (Murphy, no. 1,004; Carter- 
Brown, vol. i. no. 596). Sparks says of it: 
" There is much show of exactness in regard to 
dates ; but the account was evidently drawn up 



since Hakluyt first translated it, and reprinted it in 1609 at London as Virginia richly 
valued by the Description of the Mainland of Florida, her next Neighbor.^ It appeared 
again in 1611 as The 
ivorthye and famous 
Historic of the Tra- 
vailles, Discovery, and 
Conquest of Terra Flor 
ida, and was included 
in the supplement to the 
1809 edition of the Col 
lection of Hakluyt. It 
was also reprinted from 
the 1611 edition in 1851 
by the Hakluyt Society 
as Discovery and Con 
quest of Florida? ed 
ited by William B. Rye, 
and is included in 
Force s Tracts (vol. 
iv.) and in French s 
Historical Collections 
of Louisiana (vol. ii. 
pp. 111-220). It is 
abridged by Purchas 
in his Pilgrimes? 

Another and briefer 
original Spanish ac 
count is the Re I acton 
del suceso de la Jornada 

que hizo Hernando de Soto of Luys Hernandez de Biedma, which long remained in manu 
script in the Archive General de Indias at Seville, 5 and was first published in a French 


for the most part from memory, being vague in 
its descriptions and indefinite as to localities,, 
distances, and other points." Field says it ranks 
second only to the Relation of Cabeza de Vaca as 
an early authority on the Indians of this region. 
There was a French edition by Citri de la Guette 
in 1685, which is supposed to have afforded a 
text for the English translation of 1686 entitled 
A Relation of the Conquest of Florida by the Span 
iards (see Field s Indian Bibliography, nos. 325, 
340). These editions are in Harvard College 
Library. Cf. Sabin, Dictionary, vi. 488, 491, 492 ; 
Stevens, Historical Collections, i. 844 ; Field, Ind 
ian Bibliography, no. 1,274; Carter-Brown, vol. 
iii. nos. 1,324, 1,329; Arana, Bibliografia de obras 
anonimas (Santiago de Chile, 1882), no. 200. 
The Gentleman of Elvas is supposed by some 
to be Alvaro Fernandez ; but it is a matter of 
much doubt (cf. Brinton s Floridian Peninsula, 
p. 20). There is a Dutch version in Gottfried 
and Vander Aa s Zee- nnd Landreizen (1727), vol. 
vii. (Carter-Brown, iii. 117). ED.] 

1 [Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 86 ; Murphy, 
no. 1,118. Rich (no. no) priced it in 1832 at 
2 2s. ED.] 

VOL. II. 37. 

2 Field, Indian Bibliography, no. 1,338. 

3 [It is also in Vander Aa s Versameling 
(Leyden, 1706). The Relaxant of the Gentle 
man of Elvas has, with the text of Garcilasso 
de la Vega and other of the accredited narra 
tives of that day, contributed to the fiction 
which, being published under the sober title 
of Histoire naturelle et morale des lies Antilles 
(Rotterdam, 1658), passed for a long time as un- 
impeached history. The names of Cesar de 
Rochefort and Louis de Poincy are connected 
with it as successive signers of the introductory 
matter. There were other editions of it in 1665, 
1667, and 1 68 1, with a title-edition in 1716. An 
English version, entitled History of the Caribby 
Islands, was printed in London in 1666. Cf. 
Duyckinck, Cyclopedia of American Literature, 
supplement, p. 12; Leclerc, nos. 1,332-1,335, 
2,134-2,137. ED.] 

4 [The sign-manual of Charles V. to the 
Asiento y Capitulation granted to De Soto, 
1537, as given by B. Smith in his Coleccion, 
p. 146. ED.] 

5 [A copy of the original Spanish manuscript 
is in the Lenox Library. - - ED.] 



version by Ternaux in I84I; 1 and from this William B. Rye translated it for the Hakluyt 
Society. 2 Finally, the original Spanish text, " Relacidn de la Isla de la Florida," was 
published by Buckingham Smith in 1857 in his Coleccion de varies documentos para la 

historia de la Florida? 

In 1866 Mr. Smith pub 
lished translations of the 
narratives of the Gentleman 
of Elvas and of Biedma, in 
the fifth volume (125 copies) 
of the Bradford Club Se 
ries under the title of Nar 
ratives of the Career of 
Hernando de Soto in the 
Conquest of Florida, as 
told by a Knight of Elvas, 
and in a Relation [pre 
sented 1544] by Luys Her 
nandez de Biedma. 

The third of the original 
accounts is the Florida del 

Ynca of Garcilasso de la Vega, published at Lisbon in i6o5, 5 which he wrote forty years 
after Soto s death, professedly to do his memory justice. 6 The spirit of exaggeration which 
prevails throughout the volume has deprived it of esteem as an historical authority, though 
Theodore Irving 7 and others have accepted it. It is based upon conversations with a 
noble Spaniard who had accompanied Soto as a volunteer, and upon the written but illiter 
ate reports of two common soldiers, Alonzo de Carmona, of Priego, and Juan Coles, of 
Zabra. 8 Herrera largely embodied it in his Historia general. 


1 Reciieil des pieces stir la Floride. 

2 In the volume already cited, including 
Hakluyt s version of the Elvas narrative. It is 
abridged in French s Historical Collections of 
Louisiana, apparently from the same source. 

3 Pages 47-64. Irving describes it as " the 
confused statement of an illiterate soldier." Cf . 
Documentos ineditos, iii. 414. 

4 From the Coleccion, p. 64, of Buckingham 

5 [Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 42 ; Sunderland, 
vol. v. no. 12,815; Leclerc, no. 881, at 350 
francs; Field, Indian Bibliography no. 587; 
Brinley, no. 4,353. Ricn ( no - Io2 ) priced it 
in 1832 at 2 2s. ED.] 

6 [Brinton (Floridian Peninsula, p. 23) thinks 
Garcilasso had never seen the Elvas narrative ; 
but Sparks (Afarquette, in American Biography, 
vol. x.) intimates that it was Garcilasso s only- 
written source. ED.] 

7 [Theodore Irving, The Conquest of Florida 
by Hernando de Soto, New York, 1851. The first 
edition appeared in 1835, and there were editions 
printed in London in 1835 and 1850. The book 
is a clever popularizing of the original sources, 
with main dependence on Garcilasso (cf. Field, 
Indian Bibliography, no. 765), whom its author 
believes he can better trust, especially as regards 
the purposes of De Soto, wherein he differs most 

from the Gentleman of Elvas. Irving s cham 
pionship of the Inca has not been unchallenged; 
cf. Rye s Introduction to the Hakluyt Society s 
volume. The Inca s account is more than twice 
as long as that of the Gentleman of Elvas, while 
Biedma s is very brief, a dozen pages or so. 
Davis (Conquest of New Mexico, p. 25) is in error 
in saying that Garcilasso accompanied De 
Soto. ED.] 

8 [There was an amended edition published 
by Barcia at Madrid in 1723 (Carter-Brown, iii. 
328 ; Leclerc, no. 882, at 25 francs) ; again in 
1803 ; and a French version by Pierre Richelet, 
Histoire de la conquete de la Floride, was pub 
lished in 1670, 1709, 1711, 1731, 1735, an d 1737 
(Carter-Brown, vol. ii. no. 1,050; vol. iii. nos. 
132, 470; O Callaghan Catalogue, no. 965). A 
German translation by H. L. Meier, Geschichte 
der Eroberung von Florida, was printed at Zelle 
in 1753 (Carter-Brown, vol. iii. no. 997) with 
many notes, and again at Nordhausen in 1785. 
The only English version is that embodied in 
Bernard Shipp s History of Hernando de Soto and 
Florida (p. 229, etc.), a stout octavo, published 
in Philadelphia in iSSi. Shipp uses, not the 
original, but Richelet s version, the Lisle edition 
of 1711, and prints it with very few notes. His 
book covers the expeditions to North America 
between 1512 and 1568, taking Florida in its con- 



Still another account of the expedition is the official Report which Rodrigo Ranjel, the 
secretary of Soto, based upon his Diary kept on the march. It was written after reaching 
Mexico, whence he transmitted it to the Spanish Government. It remained unpublished 
in that part of Oviedo s History which was preserved in manuscript till Amador de los Rios 
issued his edition of Oviedo in 1851. Oviedo seems to have begun to give the text of 
Ranjel as he found it ; but later in the progress of the story he abridges it greatly, and two 
chapters at least are missing, which must have given the wanderings of Soto from 
A-utiamque, with his death, and the adventures of the survivors under Mosgoso. The 
original text of Ranjel is not known. 

These independent narratives of the Gentlemen of Elvas, Biedma, and Ranjel, as well 
as those used by Garcilasso de la Vega, agree remarkably, not only in the main narrative as 
to course and events, but also as to the names of the places. 

There is also a letter of Soto, dated July 9, 1539, describing his voyage and landing, 
which was published by Buckingham Smith in 1854 at Washington, 1 following a transcript 
(in the Lenox Library) of a document in the Archives at Simancas, and attested by Munoz. 
It is addressed to the municipality of Santiago de Cuba, and was first made known in 
Ternaux s Recueil des pieces sur la Floride. B. F. French gave the first English version 
of it in his Historical Collections of Louisiana, part ii. pp. 89-93 (i85o). 2 

The route of De Soto is, of course, a question for a variety of views. 3 We have in the 
preceding narrative followed for the track through Georgia a paper read by Colonel Charles 
C. Jones, Jr., before the Georgia Historical Society, and printed in Savannah in i88o, 4 and 
for that through Alabama the data given by Pickett in his History of Alabama? whose 
local knowledge adds weight to his opinion. 6 As to the point of De Soto s crossing the 

tinental sense ; but as De Soto is his main hero, 
he follows him through his Peruvian career. 
Shipp s method is to give large extracts from the 
most accessible early writers, with linking ab 
stracts, making his book one mainly of compila 
tion. ED.] 

1 Letter of Hernando de Soto, and Memoir of 
Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda. [The tran 
script of the Fontaneda Memoir is marked by 
Munoz " as a very good account, although it is by 
a man who did not understand the art of writing, 
and therefore many sentences are incomplete. 
On the margin of the original [at Simancas] are 
points made by the hand of Herrera, who doubt 
less drew on this for that part [of his Historia 
general] about the River Jordan which he says 
was sought by Ponce de Leon." This memoir 
on Florida and its natives was written in Spain 
about 1575. It is also given in English in 
French s Historical Collection of Louisiana (1875), 
p. 235, from the French of Ternaux ; cf. Brinton s 
Floridian Peninsula, p. 26. The Editor appends 
various notes and a comparative statement of 
the authorities relative to the landing of De Soto 
and his subsequent movements, and adds a list 
of the original authorities on De Soto s expedi 
tion and a map of a part of the Floridian penin 
sula. The authorities are also reviewed by Rye 
in the Introduction to the Hakluyt Society s vol 
ume. Smith also printed the will of De Soto in 
the Hist. Mag. (May, 1861), v. 134. ED.] 

2 [A memorial of Alonzo Vasquez (1560), 
asking for privileges in Florida, and giving evi 
dences of his services under De Soto, is trans 

lated in the Historical Magazine (September, 
1860), iv. 257. ED.] 

3 [Buckingham Smith has considered the 
question of De Soto s landing in a paper, " Es- 
piritu Santo," appended to his Letter of De Soto 
(Washington, 1854), p. 51. ED.] 

4 [Colonel Jones epitomizes the march 
through Georgia in chap. ii. of his History of 
Georgia (Boston, 1883). In the Annual Report 
of the Smithsonian Institution, 1881, p. 619, he 
figures and describes two silver crosses which 
were taken in 1832 from an Indian mound in 
Murray County, Georgia, at a spot where he be 
lieved De Soto to have encamped (June, 1540), 
and which he inclines to associate with that 
explorer. Stevens (History of Georgia, i. 26) 
thinks but little positive knowledge can be made 
out regarding De Soto s route. ED.] 

5 [Pages 25-41. Pickett in 1849 printed the 
first chapter of his proposed work in a tract^ 
called. Invasion of the Territory of Alabamb bjf 
One Thousand Spaniards under Ferdinatfd de 
Soto in 1540 (Montgomery, 1849). Pickett says 
he got confirmatory information respecting 
the route from Indian traditions among the 
Creeks. ED.] 

6 " We are satisfied that the Mauvila, the 
scene of Soto s bloody fight, was upon the north 
bank of the Alabama, at a place now called Choc- 
taw Bluff, in the County of Clarke, about twenty- 
five miles above the confluence of the Alabama 
and Tombigbee" (Pickett, i. 27). The name of 
this town is written "Manilla" by the Gentleman 
of Elvas, " Mavilla" bv Biedma, but " Mabile" 



Mississippi, there is a very general agreement on the lowest Chickasaw Bluff. 1 We are 
without the means, in any of the original sources, to determine beyond dispute the most 

northerly point reached 
by Soto. He had evi 
dently approached, but 
had learned nothing of, 
the Missouri River. 
Almost at the same 
time that Soto, with the 
naked, starving rem 
nant of his army, was 
at Pacaha, another 
Spanish force under 
Vasquez de Coronado, 
well handled and per 
fectly equipped, must 
in July and August, 
1541, have been en 
camped so near that an 
Indian runner in a few 
days might have carried 
tidings between them. 
Coronado actually 
heard of his country 
man, and sent him a letter ; but his messenger failed to find Soto s party. 3 But, strangely 
enough, the cruel, useless expedition of Soto finds ample space in history, while the well- 
managed march of Coronado s careful exploration finds scant mention. 4 No greater 
contrast exists in our history than that between these two campaigns. 

A sufficient indication has been given, in the notes of the preceding narrative, of the 
sources of information concerning the futile attempts of the Spaniards at colonization on 
the Atlantic coast up to the time of the occupation of Port Royal by Ribault in 1562. Of 
the consequent bloody struggle between the Spanish Catholics and the French Huguenots 
there are orio-inal sources on both sides. 


by Ranjel. The n and v were interchangeable 
letters in Spanish printing, and readily changed 
to b. (Irving, second edition, p. 261). 

1 Bancroft, United States, i. 51 ; Bickett, Ala 
bama, vol. i. ; Martin s Louisiana, i. 12; Nut- 
tail s Travels into Arkansas (1819), p. 248 ; Fair- 
banks s History of Florida, chap. v. ; Ellicott s 
Journal, p. 125; Belknap, American Biography, 
i. 192. [Whether this passage of the Mississippi 
makes De Soto its discoverer, or whether Cabeza 
de Vaca s account of his wandering is to be inter 
preted as bringing him, first of Europeans, to its 
banks, when on the 3oth of October, 1528, he 
crossed one of its mouths, is a question in dispute, 
even if we do not accept the view that Alonzo 
de Pineda found its mouth in 1519 and called it 
Rio del Espiritu Santo (Navarrete, iii. 64). The 
arguments pro and con are examined by Rye in 
the Hakluyt Society s volume. Cf., besides the 
authorities above named, French s Historical 
Collections of Louisiana; Sparks s Marqnette ; 

Gay arr 6 s Louisiana; Theodore Irving s Conqiiest 
of Florida ; Gravier s La Salle, chap, i., and his 
" Route du Mississipi " in Congres des Ameri- 
canistes (1877), vol. i. ; De Bow s Commercial 
Review, 1849 an< ^ ^So; Southern Literary Mes 
senger, December, 1848 ; North American Review, 
July, 1847. ED.] 

2 [This sketch is from a copy in the Kohl 
Washington Collection, after a manuscript atlas 
in the Bodleian. It is without date, but seem 
ingly of about the middle of the sixteenth 
century. The " B. de Miruello " seems to com 
memorate a pilot of Ponce de Leon s day. The 
sketch of the Atlantic coast made by Chaves 
in 1536 is preserved to us only in the descrip 
tion given by Oviedo, of which an English ver 
sion will be found in the Historical Magazine, 
x. 371. ED.] 

3 Jaramillo, in Smith s Coleccion, p. 160. 

4 [See chap. vii. on " Early Explorations of 
New Mexico." ED.! 


On the Spanish part we have the Cartas escritas al rev of Pedro Menendez (Sept. 
u, Oct. 15, and Dec. 5, 1565), which are preserved in the Archives at Seville, and have 
been used by Parkman, 1 and the Memoria del bucn suceso i buen viage of the chaplain 
of the expedition, Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales. 2 Barcia s Ensayo cronologico 
is the most comprehensive of the Spanish accounts, and he gives a large part of the 
Memorial de las jornadas of Solis de Meras, a brother-in-law of Menendez. It has 
never been printed separately ; but Charlevoix used Barcia s extract, and it is translated 
from Barcia in French s Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida (vol. ii. p. 216). 
Barcia seems also to have had access to the papers of Menendez, 3 and to have 
received this Journal of Solis directly from his family. 

On the French side, for the first expedition of Ribault in 1562 we have the very scarce 
text of the Histoire de r expedition Francaise en Floride, published in London in 1563, 
which Hakluyt refers to as being in print " in French and English " when he wrote his 
Westerne Planting* Sparks 5 could not find that it was ever published in French; nor 
was Winter Jones aware of the existence of this 1563 edition when he prepared for the 
Hakluyt Society an issue of Hakluyt s Divers Voyages (1582), in which that collector 
had included an English version of it as The True and Last Discoverie of Florida, 
translated itito Englishe by one Thomas Hackit, being the same text which appeared 
separately in 1563 as the Whole and True Discovery of 7 erra Florida* 

At Paris in 1586 appeared a volume, dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh, entitled, 
Uhistoire notable de la Floride, . . . contenant les trois voyages faits en icelle par 
certains capitaines et pilotes Francois descrits par le Capitaine Laudonniere, . . . a 
laquelle a este adjouste un quatriesnie voyage fait par le Capitaine Gourgues, Mise en 
lumiere par M. Basanier. This was a comprehensive account, or rather compilation, 
of the four several French expeditions, 1562, 1564,1565, 1567, covering the letters 
of Laudonniere for the first three, and an anonymous account, perhaps by the editor 
Basanier, of the fourth. Hakluyt, who had induced the French publication, gave the 
whole an English dress in his Notable History, translated by R. H., printed in London 
in 1587, and again in his Principall Navigations, vol. iii., the text of which is also to 
be found in the later edition and in French s Historical Collections of Louisiana and 
Florida (1869), i. 165.8 

1 Pioneers of France in the New World; cf. cross the ocean in a direct westerly course, he 
Gaffarel, La Floride Francaise, p. 341. was the first to make such an attempt, not 

2 There is a French version in Ternaux knowing that Verrazano had already done so. 
Recneil de la Floride, and an English one in Cf. Brevoort, Verrazano, p. no; Hakluyt, 
French s Historical Collections of Louisiana and Divers Voyages, edition by J. W. Jones, p. 95. 
Florida (1875), " T 9- The original is some- See also Vol. III. p. 172. ED.] 

what diffuse, but is minute upon interesting " [This is the rarest of Hakluyt s publica- 

points. tions, the only copy known in America being 

3 Cf. Sparks, Ribault, p. 155; Field, Indian in the Lenox Library (Sabin, vol. x. no. 39,236) 
Bibliography, p. 20. Fairbanks in his History ED.] 

of St. Augustine tells the story, mainly from the 8 [Brinton, Floridian Peninsula, p. 39. The 

Spanish side. original French text was reprinted in Paris 

4 Edited by Charles Deane for the Maine in 1853 m tne Bibliotheque Elzevirienne ; and 
Historical Society, pp. 20, 195,213. this edition is worth about 30 francs (Field, 

5 Life of Ribault,?. 147. Indian Bibliography, no. 97; Sabin, vol. x. no. 

6 [This original English edition (a tract of (39,235). The edition of 1586 was priced by Rich 
42 pages) is extremely scarce. There is a copy in 1832 at 5 5^., and has been sold of late years 
in the British Museum, from which Rich had for $250, 63, and 1,500 francs. Cf. Leclerc, no. 
transcripts made, one of which is now in 2,662 ; Sabin, vol. x. no. 39,234 ; Carter-Brown, i. 
Harvard College Library, and another is in the 366; Court, nos. 27, 28; Murphy, no. 1,442; 
Carter-Brown Collection (cf. Rich, 1832, no. Brinley, vol. iii. no. 4,357 ; Field, Indian Bibliog- 
40; Carter-Brown, i. 244). The text, as in the raphy,^. 24. Gaffarel in his La Floride Fran- 
Dh ers Voyages, is reprinted in French s Histori- caise (p. 347) gives the first letter entire, and 
cal Collections of Louisiana and Florida (1875), parts of the second and third, following the 
p. 159. Ribault supposed that in determining to 1586 edition. ED.] 

"D U 


1 [This map of Delisle, issued originally at la conqu&te de la Floride, vol. ii ; cf. Voyages an 
Paris, is given in the Amsterdam (1707) edition nord, vol. v., and Delisle s Atlas iwuveati. The 
of Garcilasso de la Vega s Histoire des Incas et de map is also reproduced in French s Historical 


Collections of Louisiana, and Gravier s La Salle in Smith s Narratives of Hernando de Sofa, and in 
(1870). Other maps of the route are given by Paul Chaix v5W/// dii Mississipi an seizieme siede. 
Rye, McCulloch, and Irving; by J. C. Brevoort Besides the references already noted, the ques- 



Jacques Lemoyne de Morgues, an artist accompanying Laudonniere, wrote some years 
later an account, and made maps and drawings, with notes describing them. De Bry 
made a visit to London in 1587 to see Lemoyne, who was then in Raleigh s service; 
but Lemoyne resisted all persuasions to part with his papers. 1 After Lemoyne s death 
De Bry bought them of his widow (1588), and published them in 1591, in the second, 
part of his Grands voyages, as Brevis nar ratio? 

One Nicolas le Challeux, or Challus, a carpenter, a man of sixty, who was an eye 
witness of the events at Fort Caroline, and who for the experiences of Ribault s party- 
took the statements of Dieppe sailors and of Christopher le Breton, published a simple 
narrative at Dieppe in 1566 under the title of Discours de Vhistoire de la Floride, which 
was issued twice, once with fifty-four, and a second time with sixty-two, pages, 3 and the 
same year reprinted, with some variations, at Lyons as Histoire memorable du dernier 
voyage fait par le Capitaine lean Ribaut en Van MDLXV (pp. 56). 4 

tion of his route has been discussed, to a greater 
or less extent, in Charlevoix Nouvelle France; 
in Warden s Chronologic historique de VAmerique, 
where the views of the geographer Homann are 
cited ; in Albert Gallatin s " Synopsis of the 
Indian Tribes " in the Archatologia Americana, 
vol. ii. ; in Nuttall s Travels in Arkansas (1819 
and 1821); in Williams s Florida (New York, 
T 837); in McCulloch s Antiquarian Researches 
in America (Baltimore, 1829) ; in Schoolcraft s 
Indian Tribes, vol. iii. ; in Paul Chaix Bassiji 
du Mississipi aii seizieme siecle ; in J. W. Monette s 
Valley of the Mississippi (1846) ; in Pickett s 
Alabama; in Gayarre s Louisiana; in Martin s 
Louisiana ; in Historical Magazine, v. 8 ; in Knick- 
frbocker Magazine, Ixiii. 457; in Sharpens Maga 
zine, xlii. 265 ; and in Lambert A. Wilmer s Life 
of De Soto (1858)= Although Dr. Belknap in his 
American Biography (1794, vol. i. p. 189), had 
sought to establish a few points of De Soto s 
march, the earliest attempt to track his steps 
closely was made by Alexander Meek, in a paper 
published at Tuscaloosa in 1839 in The Southron, 
and reprinted as " The Pilgrimage of De Soto," 
in his Romantic Passages in Southwestern History 
(Mobile, 1857), p. 213. Irving, in the revised 
edition of his Conquest of Florida, depended 
largely upon the assistance of Fairbanks and 
Smith, and agrees mainly with Meek and Pickett. 
In his appendix he epitomizes the indications of 
the route according to Garcilasso and the Portu 
guese gentleman. Rye collates the statements 
of McCulloch and Monette regarding the route 
beyond the Mississippi, and infers that the iden 
tifying of the localities is almost impossible. 
Chaix (Bassin du Mississipi) also traces this 
part. ED.] 

1 Cf. Stevens Bibliotheca historica (1870,) p. 
224 ; Brintoiij Floridian Peninsula, p. 32. 

2 Brevis narratio eorum qua- in Florida 
America; provicia Gallis acciderunt, secunda in 
illam Navigatione , duce Renato de Laudoniere 
classis Prccfecto : anno MDLXIIII. Qucc est 
secunda pars America;. Additce figures et Inco- 
larum eicones ibidem ad -vivil expresses, brevis 

etiam declaratio religionis, rituum, vivendique 
ratione ipsorum. Auctore lacobo Le Moyne, 
cut cognomen de Morgues, Laudonierum in ea 
Navigatione Sequnto. [There was a second 
edition of the Latin (1609) and two editions in 
German (1591 and 1603), with the same plates. 
Cf. Carter-Brown, vol. i. nos. 399, 414 ; Court, no. 
243 ; Brinley, vol. iiic no. 4,359. The original 
Latin of 1591 is also found separately, with its 
own pagination, and is usually in this condition 
priced at about 100 francs. It is supposed to 
have preceded the issue as a part of De Bry 
(Dufosse, 1878, nos. 3,691, 3,692). 

The engravings were reproduced in helio- 
types ; and with the text translated by Frederick 
B. Perkins, it was published in Boston in 1875 
as the Narrative of Le Moyne, an Artist who 
accompanied the French Expedition to Florida 
under Laudonniere, 1564. These engravings 
have been in part reproduced several times 
since their issue, as in" the Magazin pittoresque, 
in L univers pittoresque, in Pickett s Alabama, 
etc. ED.] 

3 Sabin, vol. x. no. 39,631-32 ; Carter-Brown, 
i. 262. 

4 [Sabin, vol. x. no. 39,634 ; Carter-Brown, 
vol. i. no. 263. An English translation, follow 
ing the Lyons text, was issued in London in 
1 566 as A True and Perfect Description of the 
Last Voyage of Ribaut, of which only two copies 
are reported by Sabin, one in the Carter- 
Brown Library (vol. i. no. 264), and the other in 
the British Museum. This same Lyons text 
was included in Ternaux Re$ueil de pieces sur la 
Floride and in Gaffarel s La Floride Franfaise, 
p. 457 (cf. also pp. 337-339), and it is in part 
given in Cimber and Danjon s Archives curieuses 
de Vhistoire de France (Paris, 1835), vi. 200. The 
original Dieppe text was reprinted at Rouen in 
1872 for the Societe Rouennaise de Biblio 
philes, and edited by Gravier under the title : 
Deuxieme vovage du Dieppois fean Ribaut a la 
Floride en 1 565, precede d une notice historique et 
bibliographique, Cf. Brinton, Floridian Pcnin- 
su/a, p. 30. ED.] 



It is thought that Thevet in his Cosmographie universelle (15/5) rnay have had access 
to Laudonniere s papers ; and some details from Thevet are embodied in what is mainly 
a translation of Le Challeux, the De Gallorum expeditione in Floridam anno MDLXV 
brevis historia, which was added (p. 427) by Urbain Chauveton, or Calveton, to the Latin 
edition of Benzoni, Novce novi orbis historian tres libri, printed at Geneva in 1578 and 
1581, 1 and reproduced under different titles in the French versions, published likewise 
at Geneva In 1579, 1588, and isSg. 2 There is a separate issue of it from the 1579 
edition. 3 

It was not long before exaggerated statements were circulated, based upon the 
representations made in Une requete ait rot (Charles IX.) of the widows and orphans 
of the victims of Menendez, in which the number of the slain is reported at the impossible 
figure of nine hundred. 4 

Respecting the expedition of De Gourgues there are no Spanish accounts what 
ever, Barcia 5 merely taking in the main the French narrative, in which, says Park- 
man, " it must be admitted there is a savor of romance. " 6 That Gourgues was merely 
a slaver is evident from this full French account. Garibay notes his attempt to cap 
ture at least one Spanish vessel ; and he certainly had on reaching Florida two barks, 
which he must have captured on his way. Basanier and many who follow him sup 
press entirely the slaver episode in this voyage. All the De Gourgues narratives ignore 
entirely the existence of St. Augustine, and make the three pretended forts on the St. 
John to have been of stone ; and Prevost, to heighten the picture, invents the story of 
the flaying of Ribault, of which there is no trace in the earlier French accounts. 

There are two French narratives. One of them, La reprinse de la Floride, exists, 
according to Gaffarel, 7 in five different manuscript texts. 8 The other French narrative 

1 [O Callaghan, no. 463; Rich (1832), no. 60. 
There was an edition at Cologne in 1612 
(Stevens, Nuggets, no. 2,300; Carter-Brown, ii. 
123). Sparks (Life of Ribault, p. 152) reports a 
De navigatione Gallorum in terram Floridam in 
connection with an Antwerp (1568) edition of 
Levinus Apollonius. It also appears in the 
same connection in the joint German edition 
of Benzoni, Peter Martyr, and Levinus printed 
at Basle in 1582 (Carter-Brown, vol. i. no. 344). 
It may have been merely a translation of Chal 
leux or Ribault (Brinton, Floridian Peninsula, 
p. 36) ED.]. 

2 Murphy, nos. 564, 2,853. 

3 Sabin, vo). x. no. 39,630; Carter-Brown, 
vol. i. no. 330; Dufosse, no. 4,211. 

* This petition is known as the Epistola 
supplicatoria, and is embodied in the original 
text in Chauveton s French edition of Benzoni. 
It is also given in Cimber and Danjon s Archives 
curienses, vi. 232, and in Gaffarel s Floride 
Francaise, p. 477 ; and in Latin in De Bry, 
parts ii. and vi. (cf. Sparks s Ribault, appendix). 
[There are other contemporary accounts or 
illustrations in the " Lettres et papiers d etat 
du Sieur de Forquevaulx," for the most part 
unprinted, and preserved in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale in Paris, which were used by Du Prat 
in his Histoire d Elisabeth de Valois (1859), and 
some of which are printed in Gaffarel, p. 409. 
The nearly contemporary accounts of Popel- 
liniere in his Trois mondes (1582) and in the 
VOL. II. 38. 

Histoire ttniverselle of De Thou, represent the 
French current belief. The volume of Ternaux 
Voyages known as Recueil de pieces sur la Floride 
inedites, contains, among eleven documents, one 
called Coppie d line lettre venant de la Floride, . . . 
ensemble le plan et portraict du fort que les 
Francois y ont faict (1564), which is reprinted 
in Gaffarel and in French s Historical Collections 
of Louisiana and Florida, vol. iii. This tract, 
with a plan of the fort on the sixth leaf, recto, 
was originally printed at Paris in 1565 (Carter- 
Brown, i. 256). None of the reprints give the 
engravings. It was seemingly written in the 
summer of 1564, and is the earliest account 
which was printed. ED.] 

5 Ensayo cronologico. 

6 [Parkman, however, inclines to believe 
that Barcia s acceptance is a kind of admission 
of its " broad basis of truth." ED.] 

7 Page 340. Cf . Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque 
du Roi, iv. 72. 

8 [They are : a. Preserved in the Chateau 
de Vayres, belonging to M. de Bony, which is 
presumably that given as belonging to the 
Gourgues family, of which a copy, owned by 
Bancroft, was used by Parkman. It was printed 
at Mont-de-Marsan, 1851, 63 pages. 

b. In the Bibliotheque Nationale, no. 1,886. 
Printed by Ternaux-Compans in his Recueil, etc., 
p. 301, and by Gaffarel, p. 483, collated with the 
other manuscripts and translated into English 
in French s Historical Collections of Louisiana and 



is the last paper in the compilation of Basanier, already mentioned. Brinton l is inclined 
to believe that it is not an epitome of the Reprinse, but that it was written by Basanier 
himself from the floating accounts of his day, or from some unknown relater. Charlevoix 
mentions a manuscript in the possession of the De Gourgues family ; but it is not clear 
which of these papers it was. 

The story of the Huguenot colony passed naturally into the historical records of the 
seventeenth century ; 2 but it got more special treatment in the next century, when 
Charlevoix issued his Nouvelle France? The most considerable treatments of the 
present century have been by Jared Sparks in his Life of Ribault, 4 by Francis Parkman 
in his Pioneers of France in the New World? and by Paul Gaffarel in his Histoire de la 
Floride Franqaise? The story has also necessarily passed into local and general histories 
of this period in America, and into the accounts of the Huguenots as a sect. 7 

Florida, ii. 267. This copy bears the name 
of Robert Prevost ; but whether as author or 
copyist is not clear, says Parkman (p. 142). 

c. In the Bibliotheque Nationale, no. 2,145. 
Printed at Bordeaux in 1867 by Ph. Tamizey 
de Larroque, with preface and notes, and giving 
also the text marked e below. 

d. In the Bibliotheque Nationale, no. 3,384. 
Printed by Taschereau in the Revue retrospective 
(1835), 11.321. 

e. In the Bibliotheque Nationale, no. 6,124. 
See c above. 

The account in the Histoire notable is called 
an abridgment by Sparks, and of this abridg 
ment there is a Latin version in De Bry, part 
ii., De quarto. Gallorum in Floridam naviga- 
tione sub Gourguesio. See other abridgments 
in Popelliniere, Histoire des trois mondes (1582), 
Lescarbot, and Charlevoix. 

1 Floridian Peninsula, p. 35. 

- Such as Wytfliet s Histoire des Indes ; 
D Aubigne s Histoire imiverselle (1626); De 
Laet s Novus orbis, book iv. ; Lescarbot s A T ouvelle 
France; Champlain s Voyages; Brantome s 
Grands capitaines Francois (also in his CEuvres). 
Faillon (Colonie Franfaise, i. 543) bases his 
account on Lescarbot. 

3 Cf. Shea s edition with notes, where (vol. i. 

p. 71) Charlevoix characterizes the contemporary 
sources ; and he points out how the Abbe du 
Fresnoy, in his Methode pour etudier la geographie , 
falls into some errors. 

4 American Biography, vol. vii. (new series). 

5 Boston, 1865. Mr. Parkman had already 
printed parts of this in the Atlantic Monthly, 
xii. 225, 536, and xiv. 530. 

6 Paris, 1875. He gives (p. 517) a succinct 
chronology of events. 

7 Cf., for instance, Bancroft s United States, 
chap. ii. ; Gay s Popular History of the United 
States, chap. viii. ; Warburton s Conquest of Can 
ada, app. xvi. ; Conway Robinson s Discoveries in 
the West, ii. chap. xvii. et seq ; Kohl s Discovery 
of Maine ; Fairbanks s Florida; Brinton s Flori 
dian Peninsula, among American writers; and 
among the French, Guerin, Les navigateurs 
Fran^ais (&&)} ; Ferland, Canada; Martin, His 
toire de France ; Haag, La France protestante ; 
Poussielgue, " Quatre mois en Floride," in Le 
tour dti monde, 1869-1870; and the Lives of 
Coligny by Tessier, Besant, and Laborde. 
There are other references in Gaffarel, p. 344. 

There is a curious article, " Dominique de 
Gourgues, the Avenger of the Huguenots in 
Florida, a Catholic," in the Catholic World, xxi 





Vice-President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

WHEN the great apostle of the new faith, on his voyage from Asia 
to Europe, was shipwrecked on a Mediterranean island, " the bar 
barous people " showed him and his company " no little .kindness." On 
first acquaintance with their chief visitor they hastily judged him to be a 
murderer, whom, though he had escaped the sea, yet vengeance would not 
suffer to live. But afterward " they changed their minds, and said that 
he was a god." ] The same extreme revulsion of feeling and judgment 
was wrought in the minds of the natives of this New World when the 
ocean-tossed voyagers from the old continent first landed on these shores, 
bringing the parted representatives of humanity on this globe into mutual 
acquaintance and intercourse. Only in this latter case the change of 
feeling and judgment was inverted. The simple natives of the fair west 
ern island regarded their mysterious visitors as superhuman beings; fur 
ther knowledge of them proved them to be " murderers," rapacious, cruel, 
and inhuman, fit subjects for a dire vengeance. 

In these softer times of ours the subject of the present chapter might 
well be passed silently, denied a revival, and left in the pitiful oblivion 
which covers so many of the distressing horrors of " man s inhumanity to 
man." But, happily for the writer and for the reader, the title of the chap 
ter is a double one, and embraces two themes. The painful narrative to 
be rehearsed is to be relieved by a tribute of admiring and reverential 
homage to a saintly man of signal virtues and heroic services, one of the 
grandest and most august characters in the world s history. Many of the ob 
scure and a few of the dismal elements and incidents of long-passed times, 
in the rehearsal of them on fresh pages, are to a degree relieved by new 
light thrown upon them, by the detection and exposure of errors, and by 

1 The Acts of the Apostles, xxviii. 2-6. 


readjustments of truth. Gladly would a writer on the subject before us 
avail himself of any such means to reduce or to qualify its repulsiveness. 
But advancing time, with the assertion of the higher instincts of humanity 
which have sharpened regrets and reproaches for all the enormities of the 
past, has not furnished any abatements for the faithful dealing with this 
subject other than that just presented. 

It is a fact worthy of a pause for thought, that in no single instance since 
the discovery of our islands and continent by -Europeans to say nothing 
about the times before it has any new race of men come to the knowl 
edge of travellers, explorers, and visitors from the realms of so-called 
civilization, when the conditions were so fair and favorable in the first 
introduction and acquaintance between the parties as in that between 
Columbus and the natives of the sea-girt .isle of Hispaniola. Not even in 
the sweetest idealizings of romance is there a more fascinating picture than 
that which he draws of those unsophisticated children of Nature, their gen 
tleness, docility, and friendliness. They were not hideous or repulsive, as 
barbarians ; they did not revolt the sight, like many of the African tribes, 
like Bushmen, Feejeans, or Hottentots ; they presented no caricaturings of 
humanity, as giants or dwarfs, as Amazons or Esquimaux; their naked 
bodies were not mutilated, gashed, or painted ; they uttered no yells or 
shrieks, with mad and threatening gestures. They were attractive in per 
son, well formed, winning and gentle, and trustful ; they were lithe and soft 
of skin, and their hospitality was spontaneous, generous, and genial. Tribes 
of more warlike and less gracious nature proved to exist on some of the 
islands, about the isthmus and the continental regions of the early invasion ; 
but the first introduction and intercourse of the representatives of the 
parted continents set before the Europeans a race of their fellow-creatures 
with whom they might have lived and dealt in peace and love. 

And what shall we say of the new-comers, the Spaniards, the subjects 
of the proudest of monarchies, the representatives of the age of chivalry ; 
gentlemen, nobles, disciples of the one Holy Catholic Church, and soldiers 
of the Cross of Christ ? What sort of men were they, what was their 
errand, and what impress did they leave upon the scenes so fair before 
their coming, and upon those children of Nature whom they found so 
innocent and loving, and by whom they were at first gazed upon with awe 
and reverence as gods? 

In only one score of the threescore years embraced in our present sub 
ject the Spaniards had sown desolation, havoc, and misery in and around 
their track. They had depopulated some of the best-peopled of the islands, 
^and renewed them with victims deported from others. They had inflicted 
upon hundreds of thousands of the natives all the forms and agonies of fiend 
ish cruelty, driving them to self-starvation and suicide as a way of mercy 
and release from an utterly wretched existence. They had come to be 
/Viewed by their victims as fiends of hate, malignity, and a] 1 uark and cruel 
desperation and mercilessness in passion. The hell wliK *i they denounced 


upon their victims was shorn of its worst terror by the assurance that these 
tormentors were not to be there. 

Only what is needful for the truth of history is to be told here, while 
shocking details are to be passed by. And as the rehearsal is made to set 
forth in relief the nobleness, grandeur of soul, and heroism of a man whose 
nearly a century of years was spent in holy rebuke, protest, exposure, and 
attempted redress of this work of iniquity, a reader may avert his gaze from 
the narration of the iniquity and fix it upon the character and career of the 
" Apostle to the Indians." 

There was something phenomenal and monstrous, something so aimless, 
reckless, wanton, unprovoked, utterly ruinous even for themselves, in that 
^course of riot and atrocity pursued by the Spaniards, which leads us while 
palliation and excuse are out of the question to seek some physical or 
moral explanation of it. This has generally been found in referring to the 
training of Spanish nature in inhumanity, cruelty, contempt of human life, 
and obduracy of feeling, through many centuries of ruthless warfare. It 
was in the very year of the discovery of America that the Spaniards, in the 
conquest of Granada, had finished their eight centuries of continuous war 
for wresting their proud country from the invading Moors. This war had 
made every Spaniard a fighter, and every infidel an enemy exempted from 
all tolerance and mercy. Treachery, defiance of pledges and treaties, bru 
talities, and all wild and reckless stratagems, had educated the champions 
of the Cross and faith in what were to them but the accomplishments of the 
soldier and the fidelity of the believer. Even in the immunities covenanted 
to the subject-Moors, of tolerance in their old home and creed, the inge 
nuities of their implacable foes found the means of new devices for oppres 
sion and outrage. The Holy Office of the Inquisition, with all its cavernous 
secrets and fiendish processes, dates also from the same period, and gave its 
fearful consecration to all the most direful passions. 

With that training in inhumanity and cruelty which the Spanish adven- 
} turers brought to these shores, we must take into view that towering, over 
mastering rapacity and greed which were to glut themselves upon the spoils 
of mines, precious stones, and pearls. The rich soil, with the lightest till 
age, would have yielded its splendid crops for man and beast. Flocks 
would have multiplied and found their own sustenance for the whole year 
without any storage in garner, barn, or granary. A rewarding commerce 
would have enriched merchants on either side of well-traversed ocean path 
ways. But not the slightest thought or recognition was given during the 
first half-century of the invasion to any such enterprise as is suggested by 
the terms colonization, the occupancy of soil for husbandry and domesti 
cation. Spanish pride, indolence, thriftlessness regarded every form of 
manual labor as a demeaning humiliation. There was no peasantry among 
the new-comers. The humblest of them in birth, rank, and means was a 
gentleman ; his hands could not hold a spade or a rake, or guide the 
plough. The horse and the hound were the only beasts on his inven- 



tory of values. Sudden and vast enrichment by the treasures of gold 
wrung from the natives, first in their fragmentary ornaments, and then by 
compulsory toil from the mines which would yield it in heaps, were the 
lure and passion of the invaders. The natives, before they could reach any 
conception of the Divine Being of the Catholic creed, soon came to the 
understanding of the real object of their worship : as a cacique plainly 
set forth to a group of his trembling subjects, when, holding up a piece of 
jgold, he said, " This is the Spaniards god." A sordid passion, with its 
overmastery of all the sentiments of humanity, would inflame the nerves 
and intensify all the brutal propensities which are but masked in men of 
a low range of development even under the restraints of social and civil 
life. We must allow for the utter recklessness and frenzy of their full in 
dulgence under the fervors of hot climes, in the loosening of all domestic 
and neighborly obligations, in the homelessness of exile and the mad free 
dom of adventure. Under the fretting discomforts and restraints of the 
ocean-passage hither, the imagination of these rapacious treasure-seekers 
fed itself on visions of wild license of arbitrary power over simple victims, 
and of heaps of treasure to be soon carried back to Spain to make a long 
revel in self-indulgence for the rest of life. 

" Cruelties " was the comprehensive term under which Las Casas gathered 
all the enormities and barbarities, of which he was a witness for half a cen 
tury, as perpetrated on the successive scenes invaded by his countrymen 
on the islands and the main of the New World. He had seen thousands 
of the natives crowded together, naked and helpless, for slaughter, like 
sheep in a park or meadow. He had seen them wasted at the extremities 
by torturing fires, till, after hours of agony, they turned their dying gaze, 
rather in amazed dread than in rage, upon their tormentors. Mutilations 
of hands, feet, ears, and noses surrounded him with ghastly spectacles of 
all the processes of death without disease. One may well leave all details 
to the imagination; and may do this all the more willingly that even the 
imagination will fail to fill and fashion the reality of the horror. 

Previous to the successful ventures on the western ocean, the Portuguese 
had been resolutely pursuing the work of discovery by pushing their dar 
ing enterprise farther and farther down the coast of Africa, till they at last 
turned the Cape. 1 The deportation of the natives and their sale as slaves 
at once became first an incidental reward, and then the leading aim of 
craving adventurers. It was but natural that the Spaniards should turn 
their success in other regions to the same account. Heathen lands and 
heathen people belonged by Papal donation to the soldiers of the Cross ; 
they were the heritage of the Church. The plea of conversion answered 
equally for conquest and subjugation of the natives on their own soil, 
and for transporting them to the scenes and sharers of a pure and saving 

1 [See Chapter I. ED.] 


A brief summary of the acts and incidents in the first enslavement of 
the natives may here be set down. Columbus took with him to Spain, 
K)ii his first return, nine natives. While on his second voyage he sent to 
Spain, in January, 1494, by a return vessel, a considerable number, de 
scribed as Caribs, " from the Cannibal Islands," for " slaves." They were 
to be taught Castilian, to serve as interpreters for the work of " conversion" 
when restored to their native shores. Columbus pleads that it will benefit 
them by the saving of their souls, while the capture and enslaving of them 
will give the Spaniards consequence as evidence of power. Was this even 
a plausible excuse, and were the victims really cannibals? The sovereigns 
seemed to approve the act, but intimated that the " cannibals " might be 
converted at home, without the trouble of transportation. But Columbus 
enlarged and generalized sweepingly upon his scheme, afterward adding to 
it a secular advantage, suggesting that as many as possible of these canni 
bals should be caught for the sake of their souls, and then sold in Spain in 
payment for cargoes of live stock, provisions, and goods, which were much 
needed in the islands. The monarchs for a while suspended their decision 
of this matter. But the abominable traffic was steadily catching new agents 
and victims, and the slave-trade became a leading motive for advancing the 
rage for further discoveries. The Portuguese were driving the work east 
ward, while the Spaniards were keenly following it westward. In February, 
1495, Columbus sent back four ships, whose chief lading was slaves. From 
that time began the horrors attending the crowding of human cargoes with 
scant food and water, with filth and disease, and the daily throwing over 
into the sea those who were privileged to die. Yet more victims were taken 
by Columbus when he was again in Spain in June, 1496, to circumvent his 
enemies. Being here again in 1498, he had no positive prohibition against 
continuing the traffic. A distinction was soon recognized, and allowed even 
by the humane and pious Isabella. I Captives taken in war against the Span 
iards might be brought to Spain and kept in slavery ; but natives who had 
Vbeen seized for the purpose of enslaving them, she indignantly ordered 
should be restored to freedom, f This wrong, as well as that of the reparti- 
miento system, in the distribution of natives to Spanish masters as laborers, 
was slightly held in check by this lovable lady during her life. She died 
while Columbus was in Spain, Nov. 26, 1504. Columbus died at Valladolid, 
May 20, 1506. The ill that he had done lived after him, to qualify the 
splendor of his nobleness, grandeur, and constancy. 

And here we may bring upon the scene that one, the only Spaniard 
who stands out luminously, in the heroism and glory of true sanctity, amid 
these gory scenes, himself a true soldier of Christ. 

Bartholomew Las Casas was born at Seville in 1474. Llorente a faith 
ful biographer, and abk editor and expositor of his writings, of whom 
farther on we are to say much more asserts that the family was French 
in its origin, the true name being Casuas ; which appears, indeed, as an 


alias on the titlepage of some of his writings published by the apostle in 
his lifetime. 1 

Antoine Las Casas, the father of Bartholomew, was a soldier in the 
marine service of Spain. We find no reference to him as being either in 
sympathy or otherwise with the absorbing aim which ennobled the career 
of his son. He accompanied Columbus on his first western voyage in 
1492, and returned with him to Spain in 1493. 

During the absence of the father on this voyage the son, at the age of 
eighteen, was completing his studies at Salamanca. In May, I498,^at_th e 
age of about twenty-four, he went to the Indies with his father, in employ 
ment under Columbus, and returned to Cadiz, Nov. 25, 1500. In an ad 
dress to the Emperor in 1542, Bartholomew reminded him that Columbus 
had given liberty to each of several of his fellow-voyagers to take to Spain 
a single native of the islands for personal service, and that a youth among 
those so transported had been intrusted to him. Perhaps under these 
favoring circumstances this was the occasion of first engaging the sym 
pathies of Las Casas for the race to whose redemption he was to conse 
crate his life. Isabella, however, was highly indignant at this outrage upon 
the natives, and under pain of death to the culprits ordered the victims to 
be restored to their country. It would seem that they were all carried 
back in 1500 under the Commander Bobadilla, and among them the young 
Indian who had been in the service of Bartholomew. One loves to imagine 
that in some of the wide wanderings of the latter, amid the scenes of the 
New World, he may again have met with this first specimen of a heathen 
race who had been under intimate relations with himself, and who had 
undoubtedly been baptized. 

We shall find farther on that the grievous charge was brought against 
Las Casas, when he had drawn upon himself bitter animosities, that he 
was the first to propose the transportation of negro slaves to the islands, in 
1517. It is enough to say here, in anticipation, that Governor Ovando, in 
1500, received permission to carry tL ther negro slaves "who had been 
born under Christian Powers." The first so carried were born in Seville 

1 Llorente adds that he had a personal ac- ville in 1498, having become rich (Columbus 

quaintance with a branch of the family at Gala- iii. 415). He also says that Llorente is in- 

horra, his own birthplace, and that the first of correct in asserting that Bartholomew in his 

the family went to Spain, under Ferdinand III., twenty-fourth year accompanied Columbus in 

to fight against the Moors of Andalusia. He his third voyage, in 1498, returning with him 

also traces a connection between this soldier in 1500, as tie young man was then at his 

and Las Cases, the chamberlain of Napoleon, studies at Salamanca. Irving says Bartholo- 

one of his councillors and companions at St. mew first wen- to Hispaniola with Ovando in 

Helena, through a Charles Las Casas, one 1502, at the age of about twenty-eight. I have 

of the Spanish seigneurs who accompanied allowed the to stand in the text as given 

Blanche of Castile when she went to France, by Llorente, assigning the earlier year for the 

in 1 200, to espouse Louis VIII. first voyage of Las Casas to the New WorM 

2 There is a variance in the dates assigned as best according with the references in writ- 

by historians for the visits of both Las Casas ings by his c wn pen to the period of his 

and his father to the Indians. Irving, follow- acquaintance \vith the scenes which he de- 

ing Navarrete, says that Antoine returned to Se- scribes. 


of parents brought from Africa, and obtained through the Portuguese 

On May 9, 1502, Las Casas embarked for the second time with Columbus, 
reaching San Domingo on June 29. In 1510 he was ordained priest by the 
first Bishop of Hispaniola, and was the first ecclesiastic ordained in the 
so-called Indies to say there his virgin Mass. This was regarded as a 
great occasion, and was attended by crowds ; though a story is told, hardly 
credible, that there was then not a drop of wine to be obtained in the 
colony. The first Dominican monks, under their Bishop, Cordova, reached 
the islands in 1510. As we shall find, the Dominicans were from the first, 
and always, firm friends, approvers, and helpers of Las Casas in his hard 
conflict for asserting the rights of humanity for the outraged natives. The 
fact presents^uTwTth""one of the strange anomalies in history, that the 
founders and prime agents of the Inquisition in Europe should be the 
champions of the heathen in the New World. 

The monks in sympathy with the ardent zeal of Las Casas began to ^ 
preach vehemently against the atrocious wrongs which were inflicted upon 
the wretched natives, and he was sent as curate to a village in Cuba. The 
Franciscans, who had preceded the Dominicans, had since 1502 effected 
nothing in opposition to these wrongs. Utterly futile were the orders 
which came continually from the monarchs against overworking and op 
pressing the natives, as their delicate constitutions, unused to bodily toil, 
easily sank_under its exactions. The injunctions against enslaving them 
were positive. Exception was made only in the case of the Caribs, as 
reputed cannibals, and the then increasing number of imported negro 
slaves, who were supposed to be better capable of hard endurance. Lrs 
Casis was a witness and a most keen and sensitive observer of the inflictions 
- lashings and other torturing atrocities by which his fellow-countrymen, 
as if goaded by a demoniac spirit, treated these simple and quailing chil 
dren of Nature, as if they were organized without sensitiveness of nerve, 
fibre, or understanding, requiring of them tasks utterly beyond their 
strength, bending them to the earth with crushing burdens, harnessing them 
to loads which they could not drag, and with fiendish sport and malice 
hacking off their hands and feet, and mutilating their bodies in ways which 
will not bear a description. It was when he accompanied the expedition 
under Velasquez for the occupation of Cuba, that he first drew the most 
jealous and antagonistic opposition and animosity upon himself, as stand 
ing between the natives and his own countrymen, who in their sordidness, 
rapacity, and cruelty seemed to have extinguished in themselves every 
instinct of humanity and every sentiment of religion. Here too was first 
brought into marked observation his wonderful power over the natives 
in winning ^ their confidence and attachment, as they were ever after docile 
imder his advice, and learned to look to him as their true friend. We 
pause to contemplate this wonderful and most engaging character, as, after 
filling his, eye and thought with the shocking scenes in which his country- 

VOL. II. 39. 



men in name the disciples of Jesus and loyal members of his Church 
perpetrated such enormities against beings in their own likeness, he began 
his incessant tracking of the ocean pathways in his voyages to lay his 
remonstrances and appeals before successive monarchs. Beginning this 
service in his earliest manhood, he was to labor in it with unabated zeal 
till his death, with unimpaired faculties, at the age of ninety-two. He calls 
himself " the Clerigp." He was soon to win and worthily to bear the title 

*of u Universal Protector of the Indians." Truly was he a remarkable and 
conspicuous personage, unique, as rather the anomaly than the product 
of his age and land, his race and fellowship. His character impresses us 
alike by its loveliness <md its ruggedness, its tenderness and its vigor, its 
melting sympathy and its robust energies. His mental and moral endow 
ments were of the strongest and the richest, and his spiritual insight and 
fervor well-nigh etherealized him. His gifts and abilities gave him a rich 
versatility in capacity and resource. He was immensely in advance of his 
age, so as to be actually in antagonism with it. He was free alike from its 
prejudices, its limitations, and many f its superstitions, as well as from its 
barbarities. He was single-hearted, courageous, fervent, and persistent, 
bold and daring as a venturesome voyager over new seas and mysterious 
depths of virgin wildernesses, missionary, scholar, theologian, acute logician, 
historian, curious observer of Nature, the peer of Saint Paul in wisdom and 
zeal. Charles V. coming to the throne at the age of sixteen, when Las Casas 
was about forty, was at once won to him by profound respect and strong 
attachment, as had been the case with Charles s grandfather Ferdinand, 
whom Las Casas survived fifty years, while he outlived Columbus sixty 

*"" The Clerigo found his remonstrances and appeals to his own nominally 
Christian fellow-countrymen wholly ineffectual in restraining or even miti 
gating the oppressions and cruelties inflicted upon the wretched natives. 
There was something phenomenal, as has been said, in the license yielded 
to the ingenuity of Spanish barbarity. It combined all the devices of in 
quisitorial torturing with the indulgence of the bestial ferocities of the bull 
fight. At times it seemed as if the heartless oppressors were seeking only 
for a brutal mirth in inventing games in which their victims should writhe 
and yell as for their amusement. Then, as opportunity suggested or served, 
a scheme of the most cunning treachery and malice would turn an occasion 
of revelry or feasting, to which the natives had been invited or been be- 
.guiled by their tormentors, into a riot of fury and massacre. The utter 

laimlessness and recklessness of most of these horrid enormities impress 
the reader in these days as simply the indulgence of a wanton spirit 
in giving free license in human passions to those mocking employments 
of grinning devils in the old church paintings as they inflict retributions 
on the damned spirits in hell. The forked weapons, the raging flame^ 
and the hideous demoniac delights exhibited in paintings, with vhich the 
eyes of the Spaniards were so familiar, found their all-too-faithful counter- 


parts in the tropical zones and valleys of our virgin islands. The only 
pretences offered, not for justifying but for inflicting such wanton barbar 
ities on the natives, were such as these, that they refused to make known 
or to guide their oppressors to rich mines, or to work beyond their powers 
of endurance, or to bear intolerable burdens, or to furnish food which they 
had not to give. Touching and harrowing it is to read of many instances 
in which the simple diplomacy ot the natives prompted them to neglect the 
little labor of husbandry required to supply their own wants, in order that 
the invaders might with themselves be brought to starvation. v Whenever 
the^Clerigo accompanied a body of Spaniards on the way to an Indian \/ 
village, he always made an, effort to keep the two people apart by night 
and by day, and he employed himself busily in baptizing infants and little 
children. He could never be too quick in this service, as these subjects of 
his zeal were the victims of the indiscriminate slaughter. The only con 
solation which this tender-hearted yet heroic missionary could find, as his 
share in the enterprise of his people, was in keeping the reckoning on his 
tablets of the number of those born under the common heathen doom 
whom he had snatched, by a holy drop, from the jaws of hell. 

BaffleoMn all _his^ nearly solitary endeavors to check the_ direful havoc fc - 
andjyreck of poor humanity on the scenes which were made so gory and 
hateful, Las^3asas .returned again to Spain in 1515, buoyed by resolve and 
hope that his dark revelations and bold remonstrances would draw forth 
something more effective from the sovereign. He was privileged by free 
and sympathizing interviews with Ferdinand at Placentia. But any hope 
of success here was soon crushed by the monarch s death. Las Casas was 
intending to go at once to Flanders to plead with the new King, Charles I., 
afterward Emperor, but was delayed by sympathetic friends found in Car 
dinal Ximenes and Adrian, the Regents. 

It may seem strange and unaccountable that Las Casas should have 
encountered near the Court of a benignant sovereign a most malignant 
opposition to all his endeavors from first to last in securing the simply humane 
objects of his mission. But in fact he was withstood as resolutely at home 
as abroad, and often by a more wily and calculating policy. He found 
enemies and effective thwarters of his influence and advice in the order of 
l!i Jeroji^mites. Of the grounds and methods of their harmful activity, 
as well as of some of the more ostensible and plausible of the motives and 
alleged reasons which made him personal enemies both in Spain and in the 
Indies, we must speak with some detail farther on. It may be well here 
to follow him summarily in his frequent alternation between his missionary 
fields and his homeward voyages, to ply his invigorated zeal with new and 
intenser earnestness from his fuller experiences of the woes and outrages 
which he sought to redress. With some, though insufficient, assurances 
of regal authority in support of his cause, he re-embarked for the Indies, 
Nov. 11, 1516, and reached Hispaniola in December, fortified withjtke per- 
?onal_titl_Qf the " Universal Protector of the Indians." He sailed again 



for Spain, May 7, 1517. His plainness of speech had in the interval in 
creased the animosity and the efforts to thwart him of the local authorities 
^en the islands, and had even induced coldness and lack of aid among his 
Dominican friends. He had .many public and private hearings in Spain, 
stirring up against himself various plottings and new enemies. In each of 
these homeward visits Las Casas of course brought with him revelations 
and specific details of new accumulations of iniquity against the natives; 
and with a better understanding of himself, and also of all the intrigues and 
interests warring against him, his honest soul assured him that he must at 
last win some triumph in his most righteous cause. So he heaped the 
(charges and multiplied the disclosures which gave such vehemence and 
v^laquence to his pleadings. Having during each of his home visits met 
some form of misrepresentation or falsehood, he would re-embark, furnished 
as he hoped with some new agency and authonty_agg.inst th^_e_viLdoers. 
But his enemies were as ingenious and as active as himself. Perhaps the 
same vessel or fleet which carried him to the islands, with orders intended 
to advance his influence, would bear fellow-passengers with documents or 
means to thwart all his reinforced mission. He left Spain again in 1520, 
only to cast himself on a new sea of troubles soon inducing him to return. 
His sixth voyage carried him this time to the mainland in Mexico, in 1537. 
He was in Spain once more in 1539. While waiting here for the return of 
the Emperor, he composed six of his many essays upon his one unchan 
ging theme, all glowing with his righteous indignation, and proffering wise 
and plain advice to the monarch. Yet again he crossed the now familiar 
ocean to America, in 1544, it being his seventh western voyage, and returned 
for the seventh and last time to Spain in 1547. Here were fourteen sea- 
voyages, with their perils, privations, and lack of the common appliances and 
comforts shared in these days by the rudest mariners. These voyages 
were interspersed by countless trips and ventures amid the western islands 
and the main, involving twofold, and a larger variety of harassments and 
risks, with quakings, hurricanes, and reefs, exposures in open skiffs, and the 
privilege of making one s own charts. But one year short of fifty in the 
count out of his lengthened life were spent by this man of noble ardor, of 
dauntless soul, and of loving heart in a cause which never brought to him 
the joy of an accomplished aim. 

Las Casas shared, with a few other men of the most fervent and self- 
sacrificing religious zeal, an experience of the deepest inward conviction, 
following upon, not originally prompting to, the full consecration of his 
life to his devoutest aim. Though he had been ordained to the priesthood 
in 1510, he \vas afterward made to realize that he had not then been the 
subject of that profound experience known in the formulas of piety as true 
conversion. He dates this personal experience, carrying him to a deeper 
devotional consciousness than he had previously realized, to the influence 
over him of a faithful lay friend, Pedro de la Renteria, with whom he be 
came intimate in 1514. To the devout conversation, advice, and example 


of this intimate companion he ascribed his better-informed apprehension 
of the radical influences which wrought out the whole system of wrong 
inflicted upon the natives. Las Casas himself, like all the other Spaniards, 
had a company of Indian servants, who were in effect slaves ; and he put 
them to work, the benefit of which accrued to himself. A fojrn of servitude 
which exceeded all the conditipns^of plantation slavery had been instituted 
by Columbus mider^ the system of so-called repartimientos. It was founded 
on the assumption that the Spanish monarch had an absolute proprietary 
right over the natives, and could make disposals and allotments of their ser 
vices to his Christian subjects, the numbers being proportioned to the rank, 
standing, and means of individuals, the meanest Spaniard being entitled 
to share in the distribution of these servitors. This allowance made over 
to men of the lowest grade of intelligence, character, and humanity, the 
absolute and irresponsible power over the life and death of the natives 
intrusted to the disposal of masters. Under, Jt were perpetrated cruelties 
against which there were no availing remonstrances, and for which there 
was no_redress. The domestic cattle of civilized men are to be envied 
above the human beings who were held under the system of reparti 
mientos, tasked, scourged, tormented, and hunted with bloodhounds, if 
they sank under toils and inflictions beyond their delicate constitutions, 
or sought refuge in flight. 

The slavery which afterward existed in the British Colonies and in these 
United Sj&tes had scarce a feature in common with that which originated 
with th(p Spanish invaders. Las Casas thinks that Ferdinand lived and 
died without having had anything like a full apprehension of the enormities 

the system. This, however, was not because efforts were lacking to 
inform him of these enormities, or to engage his sovereign intervention to 
modify and restrain, if not positively to prohibit, them. As we shall see, the 
system was so rooted in the greed and rapacity of the first adventurers here, 
who were goaded by passion for power and wealth, that foreign authority 
was thwarted in every attempt to overrule it. The most favored advisers of 
Ferdinand endeavored at first to keep him in ignorance of the system, and 
then*_as he obtained partial information about it, to lead him to believe that 
it was .vitally indispensable to conversion, to colonization, and to remunera 
tive trade. The Dominican missionaries had, as early as 1501, informed 
the monarch of the savage cruelties which the system imposed. All that 
they effected was to induce Ferdinand to refer the matter to a council of 
jurists and theologians. Some of these were even alleged to have personal 
interests in the system of repartimientos ; but at any rate they were under 
the influence and sway of its most selfish supporters. As the result of their 
conference, they persuaded the monarch that the system was absolutely 
necessary, as, first, the Spaniards themselves were incapable of bodily labor 
under a debilitating climate ; and second, that the close and dependent 
relation under which the natives were thus brought to their masters could 
alone insure the possibility of their conversion to the true faith. Ferdinand 


was so far won over to the allowance of the wrong as to issue an ordinance 
in its favor; while he sought to limit, restrain, and qualify it by injunctions 
which, of course, were futile in their dictation, for operating at a distance, 
in islands where sordid personal interests were all on the side of a defiance 
of them. 

The Clerigo affirms that his own conscience was more startlingly aroused 
to a full sense of the wrongs and iniquities of the system of the repartimi- 
cntos by his religious friend Renteria. He had previously, of course, so 
far as he was himself made the master or guardian in this relation of any 
number of the natives, brought his humanity and his ardor for justice into 
full exercise. But he was quickened by his friend to the duty of private 
and also of bold public protest against the system, and most plainly to 
offenders in proportion to the number of the victims which they enthralled 
and to the cruelty inflicted upon them. It was not his wont to allow any 
timidity or personal regards or temporizing calculations to compel his 
silence or to moderate his rebukes. His infirmity rather led him to ex 
cess in impatience and passion in his remonstrances. His bold and de 
nunciatory preaching though it appears that in this, and, as we shall 
note, on other occasions of speech and writing, he restrained himself from 
using the name of conspicuous offenders caused an intense consterna 
tion and excitement. His clerical character barely saved him from per 
sonal violence. He found his hearers obdurate, and utterly beyond the 
sway of his protests and appeals. Again, therefore, he turned his face 
toward Spain, sustained by the fond assurance that he could so engage 
the King s intervention by his disclosures and rehearsals, that the royal 
authority should at this time be effectually exerted against a giant iniquity. 
This was his homeward errand in 1515. That even his presence and speech 
had had some restraining influence in Cuba, is signified by the fact that 
after his withdrawal and during his absence all the wrongs and miseries of 
which the natives, wholly impotent to resist, were the victims, ran into 
wilder license. The Spaniards kept bloodhounds in training and in hun 
ger, to scour the woods and thickets and wilderness depths for the despair 
ing fugitives. Whole families of the natives took refuge in voluntary and 
preferred self-destruction. 

Two Dominicans of like mind with Las Casas accompanied him on his 
errand. Pedro de Cordova, prelate of the Dominicans, was his stanch 
friend. The Clerigo reached Seville in the autumn of 1515, and at once 
addressed himself to Ferdinand. He found the monarch old and ailing. 
The most able and malignant opponent with whose support, enlisted 
upon the side of the wrong and of the wrongdoers, Las Casas had to con 
tend, was the Bishop of Burgos, Fonseca, whose influence had sway in the 
Council for the Indies. 1 After the King s death, Jan. 23, 1516, Las Casas 

1 The administration of affairs in the Western and jurists, called "The Council for the In- 
colonies of Spain was committed by Ferdinand, dies." Its powers originally conferred by Ferdi- 
in 1511, to a body composed chiefly of clergy nand were afterward greatly enlarged by Charles 


enjoyed the countenance, and had hope of the effectual aid, of the two Re 
gents, previously mentioned, during the minority of Charles, the heir to 
the throne. The earnestness and persistency of the Clerigo so far availed 
as to obtain for him instructions to be carried to those in authority in the 
islands for qualifying the repartimiento system, and with penalties for the 
oppressions under it. Some Jeronymites were selected to accompany him 
on his return, as if to reinforce the objects of his mission, and to insure the 
efficacy of the title conferred upon him as the " Protector of the Indians." 
The Jeronymites, however, had been corrupted by the cunning and in 
trigues of the wily and exasperated enemies of Las Casas, who effected 
in secrecy what they could not or dared not attempt publicly against the 
courageous Clerigo and his purposes backed by authority. Already alien 
ated during the voyage, they reached San Domingo in December, 1516. 
Perhaps candor may induce the suggestion that while the Jeronymites, from 
motives of prudence, temporized and qualified their activity in their errand, 
Las Casas was heady and unforbearing in his uncompromising demand for 
instant redress of wrong. At any rate he was wholly foiled in the exercise 
of his delegated authority ; and so, with a fire in his blood which allowed 
no peace to his spirit, he was again in Spain in July, 1517. Here he found 
Cardinal Ximenes, his friendly patron, near to death. He was, however, 
encouraged with the hope and promise of patronage from high quarters. 
For a season his cause presented a favorable aspect. He had become 
sadly assured that upon the Spaniards in the islands, whose hearts and 
consciences were smothered by their greed and inhumanity, no influence, 
not even that of ghostly terrorism, which was tried in the refusal of the 
sacraments, would be of the least avail. His only resource was to engage 
what force there might be in the piety and humanity of the Church at 

V. These powers were full and supreme, and any tuted " Patriarch of the Indies." He had full 
information, petition, appeal, or matter of busi- control of colonial affairs for thirty years, till 
ness concerning the Indies, though it had been near his death in 1547. He bore the repute 
first brought before the monarch, was referred among his associates of extreme worldliness and 
by him for adjudication to the Council. This ambition, with none of the graces and virtues 
body had an almost absolute sway alike in mat- becoming the priestly office, the duties of which 
ters civil and ecclesiastical, with supreme author- engaged but little of his time or regard. It is 
ity over all appointments and all concerns of evident also that he was of an unscrupulous 
government and trade. It was therefore in the and malignant disposition. He was inimical to 
power of the Council to overrule or qualify in Columbus and Cortes from the start. He tried 
many ways the will or purpose or measures of to hinder, and succeeded in delaying and embar- 
the sovereigns, which were really in favor of rassing, the second westward voyage of the great 
right or justice or humane proceedings in the admiral. (Irving s Columbus, iii. ; Appendix 
affairs of the colonies. For it naturally came XXXIV.) He was a bitter opponent of Las 
about that some of its members were personally Casas, even resorting to taunting insults of the 
and selfishly interested in the abuses and iniqui- apostle, and either openly or crookedly thwart- 
ties which it was their rightful function and their ing him in every stage and effort of his patient 
duty to withstand. At the head of the Council importunities to secure the intervention of the 
was a dignitary whose well-known character sovereigns in the protection of the natives. 
and qualities were utterly unfavorable for the The explanation of this enmity is found in the 
rightful discharge of his high trust. This was fact that Fonseca himself was the owner of a 
Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, successively Bishop repartimiento in Hispaniola, with a large num- 
of Badajoz, Valencia, and Burgos, and consti- ber of nativa slaves. 



home, in the sense of justice among high civil dignitaries, and in such 
sympathetic aid as he might draw from his countrymen who had no in 
terest in the mining or the commerce sustained by the impositions upon 
the natives. The young King had wise councillors, and they made with 
him some good plans for means of relieving the natives from severities 
in their tasks of labor, from cruel inflictions in working the mines, and from 
exorbitant taxes exacting of them produce and commodities enormously 
exceeding their possible resources, however willing they might be in yield 
ing. It was at this time and under its emergency, that Las Casas unfor 
tunately gave something more than his assent, even his countenance and 
advice, to a proposition the effect of which was to root in pure and free 
soil an enormity whose harvesting and increase were a sum of woes. He 
certainly did advise that each Spaniard, resident in Hispaniola, should 
be allowed to import a dozen negro slaves. He did this, as he afterward 
affirmed and confessed, under the lure of a deep mist and delusion. 
So painful was the remorse which he then experienced for his folly and 
error, that he avows that he would part with all he had in the world to 
redress it. He says that when he gave this advice he had not at all been 
aware of the outrages perpetrated by the Portuguese dealers in entrapping 
these wretched Africans. Besides this, he had been promised by the col 
onists that if they might be allowed to have negroes, whose constitutions 
were stronger for endurance, they would give up the feeble natives. We 
may therefore acquit Las Casas in his confessed sin of ignorance and will 
ing compromise in an alternative of wrongs. But he is wholly guiltless of 
a charge which has been brought against him, founded upon this admitted 
error, of having been the first to propose and to secure the introduction of 
African slavery into the New World. As has already been said, the wrong 
had been perpetrated many years before Las Casas had any agency in it 
by deed or word. While the young King was still in Flanders negro slaves 
had been sent by his permission to Hispaniola. The number was limited 
to a thousand for each of the four principal islands. As there was a mo 
nopoly set up in the sale of these doleful victims, the price of them was 
speedily and greatly enhanced. 1 

Las Casas devised and initiated a scheme for the emigration of laboring 
men from Spain. Thwarted in this purpose, he formed a plan for a colony 
where restrictions were to be enforced to guard against the worst abuses. 
Fifty Spaniards, intended to be carefully selected with regard to character 
and habits, and distinguished by a semi-clerical garb and mode of life, 
were his next device foi introducing some more tolerable conditions of 

1 There is an extended Note on Las Casas wrong previous to any word on the subject 

in Appendix XXVIII. of Irving s Columbus, from Las Casas. The devoted missionary had 

That author most effectively vindicates Las been brought to acquiesce in the measure on 

Casas from having first advised and been in- the plausible plea stated in the text, acting from 

strumental in the introduction of African slav- the purest spirit of benevolence, though under 

ery in the New World, giving the dates and an erroneous judgment. Cardinal Ximenes had 

the advisers and agents connected with that from the first opposed the project. 


work and thrift in the islands. Ridicule was brought to bear, with all sorts 
of intrigues and tricks, to baffle this scheme. But the Clerigo persevered 
in meeting all the obstructions thrown in his way, and sailed for San Do 
mingo in July, 1520. He established his little Utopian colony at Cumana; 
but misadventures befel it, and it came to a melancholy end. It seemed 
for a season as if the tried and patient Clerigo was at last driven to com 
plete disheartenment. Wearied and exhausted, he took refuge in a Domi 
nican convent in San Domingo, receiving the tonsure in 1522. Here he 
was in retirement for eight years, occupying himself in studying and writ 
ing, of which we have many results. During this interval the work of de 
population and devastation was ruinously advancing under Cortes, Alvarado, 
and Pizarro, in Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru. There is some uncertainty 
about an alleged presence of Las Casas at the Court in Spain in 1530. 
But he was in Mexico in 1531, in Nicaragua in 1534, and in Spain again 
in 1539, in behalf of a promising work undertaken in Tuzulutlan, from 
which all lay Spaniards were to be excluded. Having accomplished, as 
he hoped, the object of his visit, he would have returned at once to the 
American main ; but was detained by the Council of the Indies as the per 
son best able and most trustworthy to give them certain information which 
they desired. It was at this period that he wrote his remarkable work, 
The Destruction of the Indies. This bold and daring product of his pen 
and of the righteous indignation which had heretofore found expression 
from his eloquent and fervid speech, will soon be examined in detail. It 
may be said now that this work, afterward so widely circulated and trans 
lated into all the languages of Europe, perhaps with some reductions 
from the original, was not at first allowed to be published, but was sub 
mitted to the Emperor and his ministers. As the shocking revelations 
made in this book state in round numbers the victims of the Spaniards in 
different places, it is at once observable that there are over-statements and 
exaggerations. This, however, applies only to the numbers, not at all to the 
acts of barbarity and iniquity. l The book was published twelve years after 
it was written, and was dedicated to Philip, the heir to the throne. 

1 As will appear farther on in these pages, In the second of his admirable works he 

Las Casas stands justly chargeable with enor- refers as follows to this stricture upon him: 

mous exaggerations of the number or estimate of "To American and English readers, acknowl- 

the victims of Spanish cruelty. But I have not edging so different a moral standard from that 

met with a single case in any contemporary of the sixteenth century, I may possibly be 

writer, nor in the challengers and opponents thought too indulgent to the errors of the Con- 

of his pleadings at the Court of Spain, in which querors ;" and he urges that while he has " not 

his hideous portrayal of the forms and methods hesitated to expose in their strongest colors 

of that cruelty, its dreadful and revolting tor- the excesses of the Conquerors, I have given 

tures and mutilations, have been brought under them the benefit of such mitigating reflections 

question. Mr. Prescott s fascinating volumes as might be suggested by the circumstances 

have been often and sometimes very sharply and the period in which they lived " (Preface 

censured, because in the glow of romance, chi- to the Conquest of Mexico). 

valric daring, and heroic adventure in which It is true that scattered over all the ably- 

he sets the achievements of the Spanish " Con- wrought pages of Mr. Prescott s volumes are 

querors " of the New World he would seem expressions of the sternest judgment and the 

to be somewhat lenient to their barbarities, most indignant condemnation passed upon the 
VOL, II. 40. 


It may be as well here to complete the summary of the career of Las 
Casas. While detained by the Council he was engaged in the advice and 
oversight of a new code of laws for the government of the colonies and 
the colonists. Up to this time he had crossed the ocean to the islands 
or the main twelve times, and had journeyed to Germany four times to 
confer with the Emperor. He was offered the bishopric of Cusco, in To 
ledo, but was not thus to be withdrawn from his foreign mission. In order, 
however, to secure authority to enforce the new laws, he accepted the for 
eign bishopric of Chiapa, was consecrated at Seville in 1544, embarked 
on July 4, with forty-four monks, and arrived at Hispaniola. He bore the 
aversion and hate which his presence everywhere provoked, was faithful to 
the monastic habits, and though so abstemious as to deny himself meat, he 
kept the vigor of his body. He resolutely forbade absolution to be given 
to Spaniards holding slaves contrary to the provisions of the new laws. 
Resigning his bishopric, he returned to Spain for the last time in 1547, 
engaging in his bold controversy with Sepulveda, to be soon rehearsed. 
He resided chiefly in the Dominican College at Valladolid. In 1564, in 
his ninetieth year, he wrote a work on Peru. On a visit to Madrid in the 
service of the Indians, after a short illness, he died in July, 1566, at the age 
of ninety-two, and was buried in the convent of " Our Lady of Atocha." A 
The most resolute and effective opponents which Las Casas found at the 
Spanish Court were Oviedo and Sepulveda, representatives of two different 
classes of those who from different motives and by different methods stood 
between him and the King. Oviedo had held high offices under Govern 
ment both in Spain and in various places in the New World. He wrote 
a history of the Indies, which Las Casas said was as full of lies almost as 
of pages. He also had large interests in the mines and in the enslaving 
of the natives. Sepulveda 1 was distinguished as a scholar and an author. 

most signal enormities of these incarnate spoilers, Peru. What a fine accomplishment there is 

who made a sport of their barbarity. But those about it ! And yet there is something wanting to 

who have most severely censured the author me in the moral nerve. History should teach 

upon the matter now in view have done so under men how to estimate characters ; it should be 

the conviction that cruelty unprovoked and un- a teacher of morals ; and I think it should 

relieved was so awfully dark and prevailing a make us shudder at the names of Cortez and 

feature in every stage and incident of the Span- Pizarro. But Prescott does not ; he seems to 

ish advance in America, that no glamour of have a kind of sympathy with these inhuman 

adventure or chivalric deeds can in the least and perfidious adventurers, as if they were his 

lighten or redeem it. The underlying ground heroes. It is too bad to talk of them as the 

of variance is in the objection to the use of the soldiers of Christ; if it were said of the Devil, 

terms " Conquest " and "Conquerors," as bur- they would have better fitted the character" 

dened with the relation of such a pitiful strug- (Autobiography and Letters of Omille Dewey, D.D. 

gle between the overmastering power of the p. 190). 

invaders and the abject helplessness of their J Juan Ginez de Sepulveda, distinguished 

victims. both as a theologian and an historian, was born 

As I am writing this note, my eye falls upon near Cordova in 1490, and died in 1573. He 

the following extract from a private letter writ- was of a noble but impoverished family. He 

ten in 1847 by that eminent and highly revered availed himself of his opportunities for obtain- 

divine, Dr. Orville Dewey, and just now put ing the best education of his time in the uni- 

into print : " I have been reading Prescott s versities of Spain and Italy, and acquired an 


Las Casas charges that his pen and influence were engaged in the interest 
of parties who had committed some of the greatest ravages, and who had 
personal advantages at stake. Sepulveda in his opposition to the Clerigo 
makes two points or "Conclusions,"-- I. That the Spaniards had a right 
to subjugate and require the submission of the Indians, because of their 
superior wisdom and prudence; and that, therefore, the Indians were bound 
to submit and acquiesce. 2. That in case of their refusal to do so they 
might justly be constrained by force of arms. It was the proceeding on 
these assumptions that, as Las Casas pleaded, had led to the entire de 
population of vast territories. With high professions of loyalty Sepul 
veda urged that his motive in writing was simply to justify the absolute 
title of the King of Spain to the Indies. In offering his book to the Royal 
Council he importunately solicited its publication ; and as this was repeat 
edly refused, he engaged the urgency of his friends to bring it about. Las 
Casas, well knowing what mischief it would work, strongly opposed the 
publication. The Council, regarding the matter as purely theological, 
referred Sepulveda s treatise for a thorough examination to the universi 
ties of Salamanca and Alcala. They pronounced it unsound in doctrine 
and unfit to be printed. Sepulveda then secretly sent it to Rome, and 
through his friend, the Bishop of Segovia, procured it to be printed. The 
Emperor prohibited its circulation in Spain, and caused the copies of it 
to be seized. 

Las Casas resolved to refute this dangerous treatise, and Sepulveda 
was personally cited to a dispute, which was continued through five days. 
As a result, the King s confessor, Dominic de Soto, an eminent divine, 

eminent reputation as a scholar and a disputant, him the Spanish Livy. The disputation between 

not, however, for any elevation of principles or him and Las Casas took place before Charles in 

nobleness of thought. In 1536 he was appointed 1550. The monarch was very much under his 

by Charles V. his historiographer, and put in influence, and seems to some extent to have 

charge of his son Philip. Living at Court, he sided with him in some of his views and prin- 

had the repute of being crooked and unscrupu- ciples. Sepulveda was one of the very few per- 

lous, his influence not being given on the side sons whom the monarch admitted to interviews 

of rectitude and progressive views. His writ- and intimacy in his retirement to the Monastery 

ings concerning men and public affairs give evi- at Yuste. 

dence of the faults imputed to him. He was It was this formidable opponent a personal 

fehement, intolerant, and dogmatic He justi- enemy also in jealousy and malignity whom 

fied the most extreme absolutism in the exer- Las Casas confronted with such boldness and 

cise of the royal prerogative, and the lawfulness earnestness of protest before the Court and 

and even the expediency of aggressive wars Council. It was evidently the aim of Sepulveda 

simply for the glory of the State. Melchior to involve the advocate of the Indians in some 

Cano and Antonio Ramirez, as well as Las Ca- disloyal or heretical questioning of the prerog- 

sas, entered into antagonism and controversy atives of monarch or pope. It seemed at one 

with his avowed principles. One of his works, time as if the noble pleader for equity and hu- 

entitled Democrats Secundus, sen de jnstis belli manity would come under the clutch of the 

cansis, may be pronounced almost brutal in the Holy Office, then exercising its new-born vigor 

license which it allowed in the stratagems and upon all who could be brought under inquisi- 

vengefulness of warfare. It was condemned by tion for constructive or latent heretical proclivi- 

the universities of Alcala and Salamanca. He ties. For Las Casas, though true to his priestly 

was a voluminous author of works of history, vows, made frequent and bold utterances of 

philosophy, and theology, and was admitted to what certainly, in his time, were advanced views 

be a fine and able writer. Erasmus pronounced and principles. 


was asked to give a summary of the case. This he did in substance as 

follows : 

" The prime point is whether the Emperor may justly make war on the Indians 
before the Faith has been preached to them, and whether after being subdued by 
arms they will be in any condition to receive the light of the Gospel, more tractable, 
more docile to good impressions, and ready to give up their errors. The issue between 
the disputants was, that Sepulveda maintained that war was not only lawful and allow 
able, but necessary ; while Las Casas insisted upon the direct contrary, that war was 
wholly unjust., and offered invincible obstacles to conversion. Sepulveda presented 
four arguments on his side : i. The enormous wickedness and criminality of the 
Indians, their idolatry, and their sins against nature. 2. Their ignorance and barbarity 
needed the mastery of the intelligent and polite Spaniards. 3. The work of conver 
sion would be facilitated after subjugation. 4. That the Indians treat each other with 
great cruelty, and offer human sacrifices to false gods. Sepulveda fortifies these argu 
ments by examples and authorities from Scripture, and by the views of doctors and 
canonists, all proceeding upon the assumed exceeding wickedness of the Indians. 
In citing Deuteronomy xx. 10-16, he interprets far-off cities as those of a differ 
ent religion. Las Casas replies that it was not simply as idolaters that the seven 
nations in Canaan were to be destroyed, as the same fate, on that score, might have 
been visited upon all the inhabitants of the earth, except Israel, but as intruders upon 
the Promised Land. The early Christian emperors, beginning with Constantine, did not 
make their wars as against idolaters, but for political reasons. He cites the Fathers as 
giving testimony to the effect of a good example and against violent measures. The 
Indians under the light of Nature are sincere, but are blinded in offering sacrifices. 
They are not like the worst kind of barbarians, to be hunted as beasts ; they have 
princes, cities, laws, and arts. It is wholly unjust, impolitic, and futile to wage war 
against them as simply barbarians. The Moors of Africa had been Christians in the 
time of Augustine, and had been perverted, and so might rightfully be reclaimed." 

The Royal Council, after listening to the dispute and the summary of its 
points, asked Las Casas to draw up a paper on the question whether they 
might lawfully enslave the Indians, or were bound to set free all who were 
reduced to bondage. He replied that the law of God does not justify war 
against any people for trie sake of making them Christians ; so the whole 
course of treatment of the Indians had been wrong from the start. The 
Indians were harmless ; they had never had the knowledge or the proffer 
of Christianity: so they had never fallen away, like the Moors of Africa, 
Constantinople, and Jerusalem. No sovereign prince had authorized the 
Spaniards to make war. The Spaniards cannot pretend that their reason 
for making war was because of the cruelty of the Indians to each other. 
The slaughter of them was indiscriminate and universal. They were en 
slaved and branded with the King s arms. The monarch never authorized 
these execrable artifices and shocking atrocities, a long catalogue of which 
is specified. 

The Clerigo then warms into an earnest dissertation on natural and Chris 
tian equity. He quotes some beautiful sentences from the will of Isabella, 


enjoining her own humanity on her husband and daughter. He makes a 
strong point of the fact that Isabella first, and then a council of divines and 
lawyers at Burgos, and Charles himself in 1523, had declared that all the in 
habitants of the New World had been born free. Only Las Casas earnest 
ness, his pure and persistent purpose, relieve of weariness his reiteration of 
the same truths and appeals to the King. He insists over and over again 
that the delegating of any portion of the King s own personal authority to any 
Spaniard resident in the New World, or even to the Council of the Indies, 
opens the door to every form and degree of abuse, and that he must strictly 
reserve all jurisdiction and control to himself. 

In a second treatise, which Las Casas addressed to Charles V., he states 
at length the practical measures needful for arresting the wrongs and disas 
ters consequent upon the enslaving of the Indians. Of the twenty methods 
specified, the most important is that the King should not part with the least 
portion of his sovereign prerogative. He meets the objection artfully raised 
by Sepulveda, that if the King thus retains all authority to himself he may 
lose the vast domain to his crown, and that the Spaniards will be forced to 
return to Europe and give up the work of Gospel conversion. 

Las Casas wrote six memorials or argumentative treatises addressed to 
the sovereigns on the one same theme. The sameness of the information and 
appeals in them is varied only by the increasing boldness of the writer in 
exposing iniquities, and by the warmer earnestness of his demand for the 
royal interposition. His sixth treatise is a most bold and searching expo 
sition of the limits of the royal power over newly discovered territory, and 
within the kingdoms and over the natural rights of the natives. A copy 
of this paper was obtained by a German ambassador in Spain, and published 
at Spire, in Latin, in 1571. It is evident that for a considerable period after 
the composition and, so to speak, the publication of these successive pro 
tests and appeals of the Clerigo, only a very limited circulation was gained 
by them. Artful efforts were made, first to suppress them, and then to 
confine the knowledge of the facts contained in them to as narrow a range 
as possible. His enemies availed themselves of their utmost ingenuity and 
cunning to nullify his influence. Sometimes he was ridiculed as a crazy 
enthusiast, a visionary monomaniac upon an exaggerated delusion of 
his o\vn fancy. Again, he would be gravely and threateningly denounced 
as an enemy to Church and State, because he imperilled tlfe vast interests 
of Spain in her colonies. 

YThe principal and most important work from the pen of Las Casas, on 
wnich his many subsequent writings are based and substantially developed, 
bears (in English) the following title: A Relation of the First Voyages and 
Discoveries made by the Spaniards in America. With an Account of their 
Unparalleled Cruelties on the Indians, in the Destruction of above Forty Mill 
ions of People ; together with the Propositions offered to tJie King of Spain 
to prevent the further Ruin of the West Indies. By Don Bartholomew de 
las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa, who was an Eye-witness of their Cruelties. It 


was composed in Spanish, and finished at Valencia, Dec. 8, 1542, near 
the beginning of the reign of Philip II., to whom it is dedicated. This was 
about fifty years after the discovery of America; and during the greater 
part of the period Las Casas had lived as an observer of the scenes and 
events which he describes. He makes Hispaniola his starting-point, as 
the navigators usually first touched there. The reader will at once be 
struck by the exaggeration, the effect of a high-wrought and inflamed im 
agination, so evident in the words of the title, which set the number of the 
victims of Spanish cruelty at forty millions. Of this weakness of Las Casas 
in over-estimate and exaggeration of numbers, we shall have to take special 
notice by and by. It is enough to say here that his license in this direc 
tion is confined to this one point, and is by no means to be viewed as dis 
crediting his integrity, fidelity, and accuracy in other parts of his testimony. 
He certainly had been deeply impressed with the density of the population 
in some of the islands, for he says : " It seems as if Providence had amassed 
together the greatest part of mankind in this region of the earth." He tells 
us that his motives for writing and publishing his exposure of iniquities 
were, the call made upon him by pious and Christian people thus to enlist 
the sympathies and efforts of the good to redress the wrong ; and his sin 
cere attachment to his King and Master, lest God should avenge the wrong 
on his kingdom. For this purpose he has followed the Court with his 
pleadings, and will not cease his remonstrances and appeals. At the time 
of completing his work savage cruelties were prevailing over all the parts of 
America which had been opened, slightly restrained for the time in Mexico, 
through the stern intervention of the King. An addition to his work in 
1546 recognized many new ordinances and decrees made by his Majesty 
at Barcelona since 1542, and signed at Madrid in 1543. But nevertheless 
a new field for oppression and wickedness had been opened in Peru, with 
exasperations from civil war and rebellion among the natives; while the 
Spaniards on most frivolous pretexts defied the orders of the King, pre 
tending to wait for his answers to their pleas in self-justification. The 
period was one in which the rapacity of the invaders was both inflamed 
and gratified by abundance of spoil, which sharpened the avarice of the 
earlier claimants, and drew to them fresh adventurers. 

Las Casas gives a very winning description of the natives under his 
observation and in his ever-kindly and sympathetic relations with them. 
He says they are simple, humble, patient, guileless, submissive, weak, and 
effeminate ; incapable of toil or labor, short-lived, succumbing to slight 
illnesses; as frugal and abstemious as hermits; inquisitive about the Cath 
olic religion, and docile disciples. They were lambs who had encountered 
tigers, wolves, and lions. During the lifetime of Las Casas Cuba had been 
rendered desolate and a desert; then St. John and Jamaica; and in all thirty 
islands had come to the same fate. A system of deportation from one 
island to another had been devised to obtain new supplies of slaves. The 
Clerigo deliberately charges that in forty years the number of victims counted 


to fifty millions. Enslaving was but a protracted method of killing, all in 
the greed for gold and pearls. The sight of a fragment of the precious metal 
in the hands of a native was the occasion for demanding more of him, as if 
he had hidden treasure, or for his guiding the Spaniards to some real or 
imagined mines. Las Casas follows his details and examples of iniquity 
through the islands in succession, then through the provinces of Nicaragua, 
New Spain, Guatemala, Pannco, Jalisco, Yucatan, St. Martha, Carthagena 5 
the Pearl Coast, Trinidad, the River Yuya-pari, Venezuela, Florida, La Plata ; 
and Peru, being in all seventeen localities, repeating the similar facts, 
hardly with variations. Against the Spaniards with their horses, lances, 
swords, and bloodhounds, the natives could oppose only their light spears and 
poisoned arrows. The victims would seek refuge in caves and mountain fast 
nesses, and if approached would kill themselves, as the easiest escape from 
wanton tortures. Las Casas says : u I one day saw four or five persons, of the 
highest rank, in Hispaniola, burned by a slow fire." Occasionally, he tells us, 
a maddened Indian would kill a Spaniard, and then his death would be 
avenged by the massacre of a score or a hundred natives. Immediately 
upon the knowledge of the death of Isabella, in 1504, as if her humanity 
had been some restraint, the barbarous proceedings were greatly intensified. 
The Spaniards made the most reckless w r aste of the food of the natives. 
Las Casas says : " One Spaniard will consume in a day the food of three 
Indian families of ten persons each for a month." He avows that when he 
wrote there were scarce two hundred natives left in St. John and Jamaica, 
where there had once been six hundred thousand. For reasons of caution 
or prudence we can hardly say from fear, for never was there a more 
courageous champion Las Casas suppresses the names of the greatest 
offenders. The following are specimens of his method : " Three merciless 
tyrants have invaded Florida, one after another, since 1510." "A Spanish 
commander with a great number of soldiers entered Peru," etc. " In the 
year 1514 a merciless governor, destitute of the least sentiment of pity or 
humanity, a cruel instrument of the wrath of God, pierced into the continent." 
" The fore-mentioned governor," etc. " The captain whose lot it was to 
travel into Guatemala did a world of mischief there." " The first bishop 
that was sent into America imitated the conduct of the covetous governors 
in enslaving and spoiling." " They call the countries they have got by their 
unjust and cruel wars their conquests." " No tongue is capable of describ 
ing to the life all the horrid villanies perpetrated by these bloody-minded 
men. They seemed to be the declared enemies of mankind." The more 
generous the presents in treasures which were made by some timid cacique 
to his spoilers, the more brutally was he dealt with, in the hope of extorting 
what he was suspected of having concealed. Las Casas stakes his veracity 
on the assertion : " I saw with my own eyes above six thousand children die 
iPithree or four months." 

To reinforce his own statements the Clerigo quotes letters from high 
ithorities. One is a protest which the Bishop of St. Martha wrote in 1541 



to the King of Spain, saying that " the Spaniards live there like devils, 
rather than Christians, violating all the laws of God and man." Another is 
from Mark de Xlicia, a Franciscan friar, to the King, the General of his 
Order, who came with the first Spaniards into Peru, testifying from his eye 
sight to all enormities, in mutilations, cutting off the noses, ears, and hands 
of the natives, burning and tortures, and keeping famished dogs to chase 

Las Casas follows up his direful catalogue of horrors into the "New 
Kingdom of Grenada," in 1536, which he says received its name from the 
native place of " the captain that first set his foot in it." Those whom he 
took with him into Peru were " very profligate and extremely cruel men, 
without scruple or remorse, long accustomed to all sorts of wickedness." 
The second " governor," enraged that his predecessor had got the first share 
of the plunder, though enough was left for spoil, turned informer, and made 
an exposure of his atrocities in complaints to the Council of the Indies, in 
documents which " are yet to be seen." The spoils were prodigious quanti 
ties of gold and precious stones, especially emeralds. The "governor" 
seized and imprisoned the cacique, or inca, Bogata, requiring him to send 
for and gather up all the gold within his reach ; and after heaps of it had 
been brought, put him to horrid torture in order to extort more. 

There were published at Madeira certain " Laws and Constitutions ". 
made by the King at Barcelona, in 1542, under the influence of Las Casas, 
as the result of a council at Valladolid. Strict orders to put .a stop to the 
iniquitous proceedings were circumvented by agents sent in the interest of 
the authors of the outrages. The Clerigo petitioned the King to constitute 
all the natives his free subjects, with no delegated lordship over them, and 
enjoined upon him " to take an oath on the Holy Gospels, for himself and 
Ilis successors, to this effect, and to put it in his will, solemnly witnessed." 
He insists that this is the only course to prevent the absolute extermina 
tion of the natives. He adds that the Spaniards in their covetousness com 
bine to keep out priests and monks, not the slightest attempt being made 
to convert the natives, though the work would be^easy, and they themselves 
crave it. " The Spaniards have no more regard to their salvation than if 
their souls and bodies died together, and were incapable of eternal rewards 
or punishments." Yet he admits that it would hardly be reasonable to 
expect these efforts for conversion of the heathen from men who are them 
selves heathen, and so ignorant and brutish that they " do not know even 
the number of the commandments." u As for your Majesty," the Clerigo 
says, with a keen thrust, " the Indians think you are the most cruel and 
impious prince in the world, while they see the cruelty and impiety your 
subjects so insolently commit, and they verily believe your Majesty lives 
upon nothing but human flesh and blood." He positively denies the impu 
tations alleged to justify cruelty, that the Indians indulged in abominabi 
lusts against nature, and were cannibals. As for their idolatry, that is a si 
against God, for Him, not for man, to punish. The monarchs, he insists 


had been most artfully imposed upon in allowing the deportation of natives 
from the Lucay Islands to supply the havoc made in Hispaniola. The 
Clerigo goes into the most minute details, with specifications and reitera 
tions of horrors, ascribing them to the delegated authority exercised by 
petty officers, under the higher ones successively intrusted with power. 
There is a holy fervor of eloquence in his remonstrances and appeals to his 
Majesty to keep the sole power in his own hands, as he reminds him that 
fearful retributive judgments from God may be visited upon his own king 
dom. The Council of the Indies, he says, had desired him to write to the 
monarch about the exact nature of the right of the kings of Spain to the 
Indies; and he intimates that the zeal which he had shown in exposing 
iniquities under those whom the King had put in authority in the New 
World had been maliciously turned into a charge that he had questioned 
the royal title to those regions. As will appear, Las Casas, under the lead 
ings of that intelligent search for the fundamentals of truth and righteous 
ness which a quickened conscience had prompted, found his way to the 
principles of equity on this subject. 

He had, therefore, previously sent to the King thirty well-defined and 
carefully stated " Propositions," which he regards as so self-evident that he 
makes no attempt to argue or prove them. His enemies have in view to 
cover up their iniquities by misleading the King. Therefore, for conscience 
sake, and under a sense of obligation to God, he sets himself to a sacred 
task. Little foreseeing that his life and labor were to be protracted till he 
had nearly doubled his years, he says that, finding himself " growing old, 
being advanced to the fiftieth year of his age," and " from a full acquain 
tance with America," his testimony shall be true and clear. 

His subtle enemies plead against him that the King has a right to 
establish himself in America by force of arms, however ruthless the pro 
cess, quoting the examples of Nimrod, Alexander, the old Romans, and 
the Turks. They allege also that the Spaniards have more prudence and 
wisdom than other peoples, and that their country is nearest to the 
Indies. He therefore announces his purpose to put himself directly before 
the King, and stand for his " Propositions," which he sends in advance 
in writing, suggesting that if it be his Majesty s pleasure, they be translated 
into Latin and published in that language, as well as in Spanish. 

The " Propositions " may be stated in substance as follows ; they were 
keenly studied and searched by those who were anxious to detect flaws or 
heresies in them : 

i. The Pope derives from Christ authority and power extending over all men, 
believers or infidels, in matters pertaining to salvation and eternal life. But these 
p^puld be exercised differently over infidels and those who have had a chance to be 

n 2. This prerogative of the Pope puts him under a solemn obligation to propagate 
Cie Gospel, and to offer it to all infidels who will not oppose it. 
e 3. The Pope is obliged to send capable ministers for this work. 
VOL. n. 4.T, 


4. Christian princes are his most proper and able helpers in it. 

5. The Pope may exhort and even oblige Christian princes to this work, by 
authority and money, to remove obstructions and to send true workers. 

6. The Pope and princes should act in accord and harmony. 

7. The Pope may distribute infidel provinces among Christian princes for this 

8. In this distribution should be had in view the instruction, conversion, and 
interests of the infidels themselves, not the increase of honors, titles, riches, and 
territories of the princes. 

9. Any incidental advantage which princes may thus gain is allowable ; but tem 
poral ends should be wholly subordinate, the paramount objects being the extending 
of the Church, the propagation of the Faith, and the service of God. 

10. The lawful native kings and rulers of infidel countries have a right to the 
obedience of their subjects, to make laws, etc., and ought not to be deprived, 
expelled, or violently dealt with. 

1 1 . To transgress this rule involves injustice and every form of wrong. 

12. Neither these native rulers nor their subjects should be deprived of their lands 
for their idolatry, or any other sin. 

13. No tribunal or judge in the world has a right to molest these infidels for 
idolatry or any other sins, however enormous, while still infidels, and before they 
have voluntarily received baptism, unless they directly oppose, refuse, and resist the 
publication of the Gospel. 

14. Pope Alexander VI. , under whom the discovery was made, was indispensably 
obliged to choose a Christian prince to whom to commit these solemn obligations 
of the Gospel. 

15. Ferdinand and Isabella had especial claims and advantages for this intrust- 
ment by the Pope above all other Catholic princes, because they had with noble 
efforts driven out the infidels and Mohammedans from the land of their ancestors, 
and because they sent at their own charge Columbus, the great discoverer, whom 
they named the chief admiral. 

1 6. As the Pope did right in this assignment, so he has power to revoke it, to 
transfer the country to some other prince, and to forbid, on pain of excommunication, 
any rival prince to send missionaries. 

17. The kings of Castile and Leon have thus corne lawfully to jurisdiction over 
the Indies. 

1 8. This obliges the native kings of the Indies to submit to the jurisdiction of the 
kings of Spain. 

19. Those native kings, having freely and voluntarily received the Faith and 
baptism, are bound (as they were not before) to acknowledge this sovereignty of the 
kings of Spain. 

20. The kings of Spain are bound by the law of God to choose and send fit 
missionaries to exhort, convert, and do everything for this cause. 

21. They have the same power and jurisdiction over these infidels before their 
conversion as the Pope has. and share his obligations to convert them. r t 

<|J> The means for establishing the Faith in the Indies should be the same as tho u _ 
by which Christ introduced his religion into the world, mild, peaceable, and cha^ 
itable ; humility ; good examples of a holy and regular way of living, especially ovt 
such docile and easy subjects ; and presents bestowed to win them. 


23. Attempts by force of arms are impious, like those of Mahometans, Romans, 
Turks, and Moors : they are tyrannical, and unworthy of Christians, calling out blas 
phemies ; and they have already made the Indians believe that our God is the most 
unmerciful and cruel of all Gods. 

24. The Indians will naturally oppose the invasion of their country by a title of 
conquest, and so will resist the work of conversion. 

25. The kings of Spain have from the first given and reiterated their orders against 
war and the ill-treatment of the Indians. If any officers have shown commissions and 
warrants for such practices, they have been forged or deceptive. 

26. So all wars and conquests which have been made have been unjust and tyran 
nical, and in effect null ; as is proved by proceedings on record in the Council against 
such tyrants and other culprits, who are amenable to judgment. 

27. The kings of Spain are bound to reinforce and establish those Indian laws 
and customs which are good and such are most of them and to abolish the bad ; 
thus upholding good manners and civil policy. The Gospel is the method for effecting 

28. The Devil could not have done more mischief than the Spaniards have done in 
distributing and spoiling the countries, in their rapacity and tyranny ; subjecting the 
natives to cruel tasks, treating them like beasts, and persecuting those especially who 
apply to the monks for instruction. 

29. The distribution of the Indians among the Spaniards as slaves is wholly con 
trary to all the royal orders given by Isabella successively to Columbus, Bobadilla, and 
De Lares. Columbus gave three hundred Indians to Spaniards who had done the 
most service to the Crown, and took but one for his own use. The Queen ordered all 
except that one to be sent back. Whiat would she have said to the present iniquities ? 
The King is reminded that his frequent journeys and absences have prevented his 
fully informing himself of these facts. 

30. From all these considerations it follows that all conquests, acquisitions, usur 
pations, and appropriations by officers and private persons have no legality, as con 
trary to the orders of the Spanish monarch s. 

Here certainly is an admirable and cogent statement of the principles of 
equity and righteousness, as based upon natural laws and certified and forti 
fied by the great verities and sanctions supposed to be held in reverence by 
professed Christians. Las Casas, in taking for his starting-point the Pope s 
supreme and inclusive right over half the globe, just brought to the knowl 
edge of civilized men, seems to make a monstrous assumption, only greater 
than that of the Spanish kings holding under and deriving dominion from 
him. But we may well pardon this assumption to so loyal a disciple of the 
Church, when we consider how nobly he held this Papal right as condi 
tioned and limited, involving lofty duties, and balanced by an obligation 
to confer inestimable blessings. He had ever before him the contrast 
between fair scenes of luxurious Nature, ministering to the easy happiness 
of a gentle race of delicate and short-lived beings akin to himself, and the 
ruthless passions, lusts, and savagery of his own countrymen and fellow- 
Christians. We can well account for the opposition and thwarting of his 
efforts amid these scenes, but may need a further explanation of the re- 



sistance and ill-success which he encountered when pleading his cause 
before monarchs and great councillors at home, whose sympathies seem 
to have been generally on his side. He often stood wholly alone in scenes 
where these ravaging cruelties had full sweep, alone in the humane sen 
sitiveness with which he regarded them; alone in freedom from the mas 
tering passions of greed and rapacity which excited them ; and alone in 
realizing the appalling contrast between the spirit of blood and rapine which 
prompted them, and the spirit of that Gospel, the assumed championship of 
which at these ends of the earth was the blasphemous pretence of these 
murderers. Those ruthless tyrants, who here treated hundreds and thou 
sands of the natives subject to them worse than even brutes from which 
useful service is expected, would not, of course, have the front to offer on 
the spot the pretence set up for them by their abetters at the Spanish 
Court, that they were thus drawing the natives to them for their conver 
sion ; they laughed at the Clerigo when they did not openly thwart him. 

Las Casas had many powerful and embittered opponents, and by the 
use of various means and artifices they were able to put impediments in 
his way, to qualify and avert what would seem to be the natural effects of 
his ardent appeals and shocking disclosures, and to keep him through his 
protracted life in what looked like a hopeless struggle against giant ini 
quities. Nor is it necessary that we go deeper than the obvious surface of 
the story to find the reasons for the opposition and discomfiture which he 
encountered. It may be that all those who opposed him or who would not 
co-operate with him were not personally interested in the iniquities which 
he exposed and sought to redress. Something may need to be said by 
and by concerning alleged faults of temper, over-ardor of zeal and over 
statement, and wild exaggeration attributed to this bold apostle of right 
eousness. But that the substance of all his charges, and the specifications 
of inhumanity, cruelty, and atrocity which he set forth in detail, and with 
hardly enough diversity to vary his narrative, is faithful to the soberest truth, 
cannot be questioned. He spoke and wrote of what he had seen and 
known. He had looked upon sights of shocking and enormous iniquity 
and barbarity, over every scene which he had visited in his unresting 
travel. His sleep by night had been broken by the piteous shrieks of 
the wretched victims of slow tortures. 

Much help may be derived by a reader towards a fuller appreciation of 
the character and life-work of Las Casas from the biography of him and 
the translation and editing of his principal writings by his ardent admirer, 
Llorente. 1 This writer refers to a previous abridged translation of the works 

1 Juan Antonio Llorente, eminent as a writer range to his mind, and turning his wide study 
and historian, both in Spanish and French, was and deep investigations to the account of his 
born near Calahorra, Aragon, in 1756, and died enlargement and emancipation from the limita- 
at Madrid in 1823. He received the tonsure tions of his age and associates. He tells us that 
when fourteen years of age, and was ordained in 1784 he had abandoned all ultramontane doc- 
priest at Saragossa in 1779. He was of a vigo- trines, and all the ingenuities and perplexities of 
rous, inquisitive, and liberal spirit, giving free scholasticism. His liberalism ran into rational- 


of Las Casas, published in Paris in 1642. His own edition in French, in 
1822, is more full, though somewhat condensed and reconstructed. He 
remarks justly upon the prolixity of Las Casas, his long periods, his repe 
titions, his pedantic quotations from Scripture and the Latin authors, as the 
results of his peripatetic training. His translator and editor credits to the 
magnanimity and nobleness of nature of Las Casas the omission of the 
names of great offenders in connection with the terrible wrongs done by 
them. This reserve of Las Casas has been already referred to. But Llor- 
ente, in seventeen critical notes, answering to the same number of divisions 
in the Relation of Las Casas, supplies the names of the leading criminals ; 
and he also gives in a necrology the shocking or tragic elements and the 
dates of the death of these "men of blood." He adds to the " Remedies" 
which Las Casas had suggested to Charles V. the whole additional series of 
measures proposed up to 1572. Llorente says that, admitting that the start 
ing-point in the Thirty Propositions of Las Casas, namely, the assumption 
of the Papal prerogative as to new-discovered territory, was in his day 
" incontestable," it is now 7 recognized as a falsity. He furnishes an essay of 
his own upon the right and wrong of the claim ; and he adds to that of 
Las Casas a treatise on the limits of the sovereign power of the King. Paw 
first, and then Raynal and Robertson, had brought the charge against Las 
Casas of having first introduced African slavery into the New World. As 
we have seen, the charge was false. Gregoire, bishop of Blois, read an 
Apologie before the Institute of France in iSoi, in vindication of the Clerigo. 
This Apologie is given at length by Llorente. He adds, from manuscripts 
in the Royal Library of Paris, two inedited treatises of Las Casas, written 
in 1555-1564, one against a project for perpetuating the commanderies 
in the New World ; the other on the necessity of restoring the crown of 
Peru to the Inca Titus. 1 

ism. His secret or more or less avowed aliena- is indebted for a History of the Inquisition, the 

tion from the prejudices and obligations of the fidelity and sufficiency of which satisfy all candid 

priestly order, while it by no means made his judgments. lie was restive in spirit, provoked 

position a singular or even an embarrassing strong opposition, and was thus finally deprived 

one under the influences and surroundings of of his office. After performing a variety of 

his time, does at least leave us perplexed to services not clerical, and moving from place to 

account for the confidence with which functions place, he went to Paris, where, in 1817-1818, he 

and high ecclesiastical trusts were committed to courageously published the above-mentioned 

and exercised by him. He was even made Sec- History. He was interdicted the exercise of 

retary-General of the Inquisition, and was thus clerical functions. In 1822, the same year in 

put in charge of the enormous mass of records, which he published his Biography and French 

with all their dark secrets, belonging to its translation of the principal works of Las Casas, 

whole history and processes. This charge he he published also his Political Portraits of the 

retained for a time after the Inquisition was Popes. For this he was ordered to quit Paris, 

abolished in 1809. It was thus by a singular a deep disappointment to him, causing cha- 

felicity of opportunity that those terrible grin and heavy depression. He found refuge 

archives should have been in the care, and in Madrid, where he died in the following 

subject to the free and intelligent use, of a man year. 

best qualified of all others to tell the world ] Mr. Ticknor, however, says that these two 

their contents, and afterward prompted and at treatises " are not absolutely proved " to be by 

liberty to do so from subsequent changes in his Las Casas. Historv of Spanish Literature^ 

own opinions and relations. To this the world i. 566. 


Llorente says it is not strange that the apostle Las Casas, like other 
great and noble men, met with enemies and detractors. Some assailed him 
through prejudice, others merely from levity, and without reflection. Four 
principal reproaches have been brought against him : 

1. He is charged with gross exaggeration in his writings, as by the 
Spanish writers Camporicanes, Nuix, and Mufioz, and of course by those 
interested in excusing the work of conquest and devastation, who cannot 
justify themselves without impeaching Las Casas as an impostor. His 
sufficient vindication from this charge may be found in a mass of legal docu 
ments in the Archives, in the Records of the Council for the Indies, and in 
Government processes against wrong-doers. Herrera, who had seen these 
documents, says : " Las Casas was worthy of all confidence, and in no par 
ticular has failed to present the truth." Torquemada, having personally 
sought for evidence in America, says the same. Las Casas, when challenged 
on this point, boldly affirmed : " There were once more natives in Hispaniola 
than in all Spain," and that Cuba, Jamaica, and forty other islands, with 
parts of Terra Firma, had all been wrecked and made desolate. He insists 
over and over again that his estimates are within the truth. 

2. Another charge was of imprudence in his ill-considered proceedings 
with the Indians. Allowance is to be made on the score of his zeal, his 
extreme ardor and vehemence, an offset to the apathy and hard-hearted- 
ness of those around him. He was in a position in which he could do 
nothing for the Indians if he kept silence. He witnessed the reckless and 
defiant disobedience of the positive instructions of the King by his own 
high officers. 

3. The third charge was of inconsistency in condemning the enslaving 
of Indians, and favoring that of negroes. This has already been dis 
posed of. 

4. The final charge was that he was consumed by ambition. Only a 
single writer had the effrontery to ascribe to Las Casas the desperate pur 
pose of seizing upon the sovereignty of a thousand leagues of territory. 
The whole foundation of the charge was his attempt to plant. a particular 
colony in the province of Cumana, near St. Martha, on Terra Firma. So 
far from claiming sovereignty for himself, he even denied the right of the 
King to bestow such sovereignty. 

He was, says Llorente, blameless ; there is no stain upon his great 
virtues. Indeed, not only Spain, but all nations, owe him a debt for his 
opposition to despotism, and for his setting limits to royal power in the age 
of Charles V. and the Inquisition. 

Then follows Llorente s translation into French of Las Casas Memoir on 
the Cruelties practised on the Indians, with the Dedicatory Letter addressed 
to Philip II., 1552. The Spaniards at Hispaniola and elsewhere forgot thaf 
they were men, and treated the innocent creatures around them for forty- 
two years as if they were famished wolves, tigers, and lions. So that in 
Hispaniola, where once were three millions, there remained not more than 


two hundred. Cuba, Porto Rico, and Jamaica had been wholly depopulated. 
On more than sixty Lucayan islands, on the smallest of which were once 
five hundred thousand natives, Las Casas says, " my own eyes " have seen 
but eleven. 

These appalling enumerations of the victims of Spanish cruelty during 
half a century from the first coming of the invaders to the islands and main 
of America, are set before the reader in the figures and estimates of Las 
Casas. Of course the instant judgment of the reader will be that there is 
obvious and gross exaggeration in them. It remains to this day a debated 
and wholly undecided question among archaeologists, historians, and ex 
plorers best able to deal with it, as to the number of natives on island and 
continent when America was opened to knowledge. There are no facts 
within our use for any other mode of dealing with the question than 
by estimates, conjectures, and inferences. A reasonable view is that the 
southern islands were far more thickly peopled than the main, vast regions 
of which, when first penetrated by the whites, were found to be perfect 
solitudes. The general tendency now with those who have pursued any 
thorough investigations relating to the above question, is greatly to reduce 
the number of the aborigines below the guesses and the once-accepted 
estimates. Nor does it concern us much to attempt any argument as to the 
obvious over-estimates made by Las Casas, or to decide whether they came 
from his imagination or fervor of spirit, or whether, as showing himself 
incredible in these rash and wild enumerations, he brings his veracity and 
trustworthiness under grave doubts in other matters. 

Las Casas says that near the Island of San Juan are thirty others without 
a single Indian. More than two thousand leagues of territory are wholly 
deserted. On the continent ten kingdoms, " each larger than Spain," with 
Aragon and Portugal, are an immense solitude, human life being annihilated 
there. He estimates the number of men, women, and children who have been 
slaughtered at more than fifteen millions. Generally they were tormented, 
no effort having been made to convert them, In vain did the natives, helpless 
with their feeble weapons, hide their women and children in the mountains. 
When, maddened by desperation, they killed a single Spaniard, vengeance 
was taken by the score. The Clerigo, as if following the strictest process 
of arithmetic, gives the number of victims in each of many places, only 
with variations and aggravations. He asserts that in Cuba, in three or four 
months, he had seen more than seven thousand children perish of famine, 
their parents having been driven off to the mines. He acids that the worst 
of the cruelties in Hispaniola did not take place till after the death of 
Isabella, and that efforts were made to conceal from her such as did occur, 
as she continued to demand right and mercy. She had done her utmost 
to suppress the system of repartimientos > by which the natives were 
distributed as slaves to masters. 

An inference helpful to an approximate estimate of the numbers and 
extent of the depopulation of the first series of islands seized on by the 


Spaniards, might be drawn from the vast numbers of natives deported from 
other groups of islands to replace the waste and to restore laborers. 
Geographers have somewhat arbitrarily distinguished the West Indies into 
three main groupings of islands, the Lucayan, or Bahamas, of fourteen 
large and a vast number of small islands, extending, from opposite the coast 
of Florida, some seven hundred and fifty miles oceanward ; the Greater 
Antilles, embracing Cuba, San Domingo, Porto Rico, Jamaica, etc., running, 
from opposite the Gulf of Mexico, from farther westward than the other 
groups ; and the Lesser Antilles, or Carribean, or Windward Islands. The 
last-named, from their repute of cannibalism, were from the first coming 
of the Spaniards regarded as fair subjects for spoil, violence, and devasta 
tion. After ruin had done its work in the Greater Antilles, recourse was 
had to the Lucayan Islands. By the and meanest stratagems for 
enticing away the natives of these fair scenes, they were deported in vast 
numbers to Cuba and elsewhere as slaves. It was estimated that in five 
years Ovando had beguiled and carried off forty thousand natives of the 
Lucayan Islands to Hispaniola. 

The amiable and highly honored historian, Mr. Prescott, says in general, 
of the numerical estimates of Las Casas, that " the good Bishop s arithme 
tic came more from his heart than his head." ] 

From the fullest examination which I have been able to make, by the 
comparison of authorities and incidental facts, while I should most frankly 
admit that Las Casas gave even a wild indulgence to his dismay and his 
indignation in his figures, I should conclude that he had positive knowledge, 
from actual eyesight and observation, of every form and shape, as well as 
instance and aggregation, of the cruelties and enormities which aroused his 
lifelong efforts. Besides the means and methods used to discredit the state 
ments and to thwart the appeals of Las Casas at the Court, a very insidious 
attempt for vindicating, palliating, and even justifying the acts of violence 
and cruelty which he alleged against the Spaniards in the islands and on the 
main, was in the charge that their victims were horribly addicted to canni 
balism and the offering of human sacrifices. The number estimated of the 
latter as slaughtered, especially on great royal occasions, is appalling, and 
the rites described are hideous. It seems impossible for us now, from so 
many dubious and conflicting authorities, to reach any trustworthy knowl 
edge on this subject. For instance, in Anahuac, Mexico, the annual num 
ber of human sacrifices, as stated by different writers, varies from twenty 
to fifty thousand. Sepulveda in his contest with Las Casas was bound to 

1 Conquest of Mexico, \. So, n. Of his Short ical estimates is of itself sufficient to shake 

Account of the Destruction of the Indies, this his- confidence in the accuracy of his statements 

torian says : " However good the motives of its generally. Yet the naked truth was too startling 

author, we may regret that the book was ever in itself to demand the aid of exaggeration." 

written. . . . The author lent a willing ear to The historian truly says of himself, in his Pre- 

every tale of violence and rapine, and magnified face to the work quoted : " I have not hesitated 

the amount to a degree which borders on the to expose in their strongest colors the excesses 

ridiculous. The wild extravagance of his numer- of the conquerors." 


make the most of this dismal story, and said that no one of the authorities 
estimated the number of the victims at less than twenty thousand. Las 
Casas replied that this was the estimate of brigands, who wished -thus to win 
tolerance for their own slaughterings, and that the actual number of annual 
victims did not exceed twenty. 1 It was a hard recourse for Christians to 
seek palliation for their cruelties in noting or exaggerating the superstitious 
and hideous rites of heathens ! 

It is certain, however, that this plea of cannibalism was most effectively 
used, from the first vague reports which Columbus took back to Spain of 
its prevalence, at least in the Carribean Islands, to overcome the earliest 
humane protests against the slaughter of the natives and their deportation 
for slaves. In the ail-too hideous engravings presented in the volumes in 
all the tongues of Europe exposing the cruelties of the Spanish invaders, 
are found revolting delineations of the Indian shambles, where portions of 
human bodies, subjected to a fiendish butchery, are exposed for sale. 
Las Casas nowhere denies positively the existence of this shocking bar 
barism. One might well infer, however, from his pages that he was at least 
incredulous as to its prevalence ; and to him it would only have height 
ened his constraining sense of the solemn duty of professed Christians to 
bring the power of the missionary, rather than the maddened violence of 
destruction, to bear upon the poor victims of so awful a sin. Nor does the 
evidence within our reach suffice to prove the prevalence, to the astound 
ing extent alleged by the opponents of Las Casas, of monstrous and bes 
tial crimes against nature practised among the natives. Perhaps a parallel 
between the general morality respectively existing in the license and vices 
of the invaders and the children of Nature as presented to us by Columbus, 
as well as by Las Casas, would not leave matter for boasting to the Euro 
peans. Mr. Prescott enters into an elaborate examination of a subject of 
frequent discussion by American historians and archaeologists, who have 
adopted different conclusions upon it, as to whether venereal diseases had 
prevalence among the peoples of the New World before it w r as opened to 
the intercourse of foreigners. I have not noticed in anything written by 
Las Casas that he brings any charge on this score against his countrymen. 
Quite recent exhumations made by our archaeologists have seemingly set 
the question at rest, by revealing in the bones of our prehistoric races the 
evidences of the prevalence of such diseases. 

Sufficient means, in hints and incidental statements, have been furnished 
in the preceding pages from which the reader may draw his own estimate, 
as appreciative and judicious as he may be able to make it, of the character 
of Las Casas as a man and as a missionary of Christ. A labored analysis 
or an indiscriminating eulogium of that character is wholly uncalled for, 
and would be a work of supererogation. His heart and mind, his soul and 
body, his life, with all of opportunity which it offered, were consecrated; 

VOL. IT. 42. 

1 Llorente, I. 365, 386. 


his foibles and faults were of the most trivial sort, never leading to injury 
for others, and scarcely working any harm for himself. 

It is a well-proved and a gladdening truth, that one who stands for the 
championship of any single principle involving the rights of humanity will 
be led by a kindled vision or a gleam of advanced wisdom to commit 
himself to the assumption of some great, comprehensive, illuminating verity 
covering a far wider field than that which he personally occupies. Thus 
Las Casas assertion of the common rights of humanity for the heathen 
natives expanded into a bold denial of the fundamental claims of ecclesi- 
asticism. It was the hope and aim of his opponents and enemies to drive 
him to a committal of himself to some position which might be charged 
with at least constructive heresy, through some implication or inference 
from the basis of his pleadings that he brought under question the author 
ity of the Papacy. Fonseca and Sepulveda were both bent upon forcing 
him into that perilous attitude towards the supreme ecclesiastical power. 
To appreciate fully how nearly Las Casas was thought to trespass on the 
verge of a heresy which might even have cost him his life, but would 
certainly have nullified his personal influence, we must recognize the full 
force of the one overmastering assumption, under which the Pope and the 
Spanish sovereigns claimed for themselves supreme dominion over territory 
and people in the New World. As a new world, or a disclosure on the 
earth s surface of vast realms before unknown to dwellers on the old conti 
nents, its discovery would carry with it the right of absolute ownership and 
of rule over all its inhabitants. It was, of course, to be " conquered " and 
held in subjection. The earth, created by God, had been made the king 
dom of Jesus Christ, who assigned it to the charge and administration of 
his vicegerent, the Pope. All the continents and islands of the earth which 
were not Christendom were heathendom. It mattered not what state of 
civilization or barbarism, or what form or substance of religion, might be 
found in any new-discovered country. The Papal claim was to be asserted 
there, if with any need of explanation, for courtesy s sake, certainly without 
any apology or vindication. Could Las Casas be inveigled into any denial 
or hesitating allowance of this assumption? He was on his guard, but he 
stood manfully for the condition, the supreme obligation, which alone 
could give warrant to it. The papal and the royal claims were sound 
and good ; they were indeed absolute. But the tenure of possession and 
authority in heathendom, if it were to be claimed through the Gospel and 
the Church, looked quite beyond the control of territory and the lordship 
over heathen natives, princes, and people, it was simply to prompt the 
work and to facilitate, while it positively enjoined the duty of, conversion, 
the bringing of heathen natives through baptism and instruction into the 
fold of Christ. Fonseca and Sepulveda were baffled by the Clerigo as he 
calmly and firmly told the monarchs that their prerogative, though lawful 
in itself, was fettered by this obligation. In asserting this just condition 
Las Casas effectually disabled his opponents. 


The following are the closing sentences of the Reply of Las Casas to 
Sepulveda : 

" The damages and the loss which have befallen the Crown of Castile and Leon 
will be visited also upon the whole of Spain, because the tyranny wrought by these 
desolations, murders, and slaughters is so monstrous that the blind may see it, the deaf 
may hear it, the dumb may rehearse it, and the wise judge and condemn it after our 
very short life. I invoke all the hierarchies and choirs of angels, all the saints of the 
Celestial Court, all the inhabitants of the globe, and chiefly all those who may live after 
me, for witnesses that I free my conscience of all that has transpired ; and that I have 
fully exposed to his Majesty all these woes ; and that if he leaves to Spaniards the 
tyranny and government of the Indies, all of them will be destroyed and without 
inhabitants, as we see that Hispaniola now is, and the other islands and parts of the 
continent for more than three thousand leagues, without occupants. For these reasons 
God will punish Spain and all her people with an inevitable severity. So may it be ! " 

It is grateful to be assured of the fact that during the years of his last 
retirement in Spain, till the close of his life at so venerable an age, Las Casas 
enjoyed a pension sufficient for his comfortable subsistence. Allowing only 
a pittance of it for his own frugal support, he devoted it mostly to works of 
charity. His pen and voice and time were still given to asserting and 
defending the rights of the natives, not only as human beings, but as free of 
all mastery by others. Though his noble zeal had made him enemies, and 
he had appeared to have failed in his heroic protests and appeals, he had 
the gratification of knowing before his death that restraining measures, 
sterner edicts, more faithful and humane officials, and in general a more 
wise and righteous policy, had abated the rage of cruelty in the New World. 
But still the sad reflection came to qualify even this satisfaction, that the 
Spaniards were brought to realize the rights of humanity by learning that 
their cruelty had wrought to their own serious loss in depopulating the 
most fertile regions and fastening upon them the hate of the remnants of 
the people. The reader of the most recent histories, even of the years of 
the first quarter of this century, relating to the Spanish missions in the 
pueblos of Mexico and California, will note how some of the features of 
the old repartimicnto system, first introduced among the Greater Antilles, 
survived in the farm-lands and among the peons and converts of the 


HPHE subject of this chapter is so nearly exclusively concerned with the personal his- 
J- tory, the agency, and the missionary work of Las Casas, both in the New World and 
at the Court of Spain, that we are rather to welcome than to regret the fact that he is 
almost our sole authority for the statements and incidents with which we have had to deal. 
Giving due allowance to what has already been sufficiently recognized as his intensity of 



spirit, his wildness of imagination, and his enormous overstatement in his enumeration 
of the victims of Spanish cruelty, he must be regarded as the best authority we could have 
for the use which he serves to us. 1 Free as he was from all selfish and sinister motives, 
even the daring assurance with which he speaks out before the monarch and his council 
lors, and prints on his titlepages the round numbers of these victims, prompts us to give 
full credit to his testimony on other matters, even if we substitute thousands in place of 
millions. As to the forms and aggravations of the cruel methods in which the Spaniards 


1 [Helps (Spanish Conquest} says : " Las 
Casas may be thoroughly trusted whenever he 
is speaking of things of which he had compe 
tent knowledge." Ticknor (Spanish Literature, 
ii. 2 ) calls him "a prejudiced witness, but on 
a point of fact within his own knowledge one 
to be believed." II. H. Bancroft (Early Amer 

ican. Chroniclers, p. 20; also Central America, i. 
274, 309; ii. 337) speaks of the exaggeration 
which the zeal of Las Casas leads him into ; 
but with due abatement therefor, he considers 
him " a keen and valuable observer, guided by 
practical sagacity, and endowed with a certain 
genius." ED.] 


dealt with the natives, the recklessness and ingenuity of the work of depopulation, 
which was as naturally the consequence of the enslaving of the Indians as of their indis 
criminate slaughter, Las Casas revelations seem to have passed unchallenged by even 
his most virulent enemies. 

Sepulveda may be received by us as the representative alike in spirit and in argument 
of the opposition to Las Casas. He was an acute and able disputant, and would readily 
have availed himself of any weak points in the positions of the apostle. It is observable 
that, instead of assailing even the vehement and exaggerated charges alleged by Las 
Casas against the Spanish marauders for their cruelty, he rather spends his force upon the 
maintenance of the abstract rights of Christian champions over the heathen and their 
territory. The Papal and the Royal prerogatives were, in his view, of such supreme and 
sweeping account in the controversy, as to cover all the incidental consequences of 
establishing them. He seemed to argue that heathens and heathenism invited and 
justified conquest by any method, however ruthless ; that the rights of the Papacy 
and of Christian monarchs would be perilled by allowing any regards of sentiment 
or humanity to stand in the way of their assertion ; and that even the sacred duty of 
conversion was to be deferred till war and tyranny had obtained the absolute mastery 
over the natives. 

1^0^ \rHJ 

The eight vears spent by Las Casas in retirement in the Dominican convent at San 
Domingo were used by him in study and meditation. His writings prove, in their referen