• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Mundus Novus
 The conquest of Mexico
 Ancient Peru
 The conquest of Peru
 Las casas
 The work of two centuries
 Appendix A - Toscanelli's letter...
 Appendix B - The bull inter...
 Appendix C - List of officers and...
 Appendix D - List of survivors...
 Index
 A list of the works of John...
 Map














Group Title: The discovery of America : with some account of ancient America and the Spanish conquest
Title: The discovery of America
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075012/00001
 Material Information
Title: The discovery of America with some account of ancient America and the Spanish conquest
Physical Description: 2 v. : ill., facsims., maps, plans, port. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Fiske, John, 1842-1901
John Boyd Thacher Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin
Riverside Press
Place of Publication: Boston
Cambridge Mass
Publication Date: 1892
 Subjects
Subject: Discovery and exploration -- America   ( lcsh )
History -- Latin America   ( lcsh )
Historia -- Hispanoamâerica
Dâecouverte et exploration -- Amâerique   ( rvm )
Histoire -- Amâerique latine   ( rvm )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America -- Louisiana
United States of America -- Mississippi
United States of America -- Florida
Mexico
Peru
Paraguay
Guatemala
Canada -- Quebec
Brazil
Canada -- Newfoundland
Greenland
United States of America -- Alabama
United States of America -- Texas
Panama
Colombia
Venezuela
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Citation/Reference: Thacher,
Statement of Responsibility: by John Fiske.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075012
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 05013275
lccn - 08033630

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
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        Page xi
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        Page xix
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        Page xxii
    List of Illustrations
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
    Mundus Novus
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    The conquest of Mexico
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    Ancient Peru
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    The conquest of Peru
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    Las casas
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    The work of two centuries
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    Appendix A - Toscanelli's letter to Columbus, with the enclosed letter to Martinez
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    Appendix B - The bull inter cetera
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    Appendix C - List of officers and sailors in the first voyage of Columbus
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    Appendix D - List of survivors of the first voyage around the world
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    Index
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    A list of the works of John Fiske
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    Map
        Page 639
Full Text





THE


DISCOVERY OF AMERICA


WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF ANCIENT AMERICA
AND THE SPANISH CONQUEST


BY

JOHN FISKE


IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II.


Then I unbar the doors; my paths lead out
The exodus of nations; I disperse
Men to all shores that front the hoary main.
I too have arts and sorceries;
Illusion dwells forever with the wave.
I make some coast alluring, some lone isle
To distant men, who must go there or die.
EMERSON


BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
ble iettr m Br 1resd, Cambribge
1892































Copyright, 1892,
BY JOHN FISKE.


All rights reserved.













FIFTH THOUSAND.


The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.

















CONTENTS.

-4---

CHAPTER VII.

MUNDUS NOVUS.
PAGE
The few facts known about John Cabot 2
The merchants of Bristol, and the voyage of Thomas
Lloyd 3
Effect of the news that Co mbuhad found a western
route to the Indies 4
John Cabot finds land supposed to be Cathay, June 24,
1497 5
John Cabot and his son Sebastian go in search of
Cipango, April, 1498 6
Later career of Sebastian Cabot 7
Perplexities caused by the rapid accumulation of geo-
graphical facts in the sixteenth century 8
What part of North America did the Cabots visit ? 9
Map of 1544, attributed to Sebastian Cabot 10
Testimony of Robert Thorne 11
Cabot's course, as described by Raimondo de Soncino 12
Description of the map made in 1500 by La Cosa 13
The Cabot voyages probably ranged from Labrador,
through the gulf of St. Lawrence, and perhaps as
far as Cape Cod 14, 15
Why the Cabot voyages were not followed up 16
The voyage of John Rut, in 1527 16, 17
Change in the situation between the reign of Henry
VIII. and that of Elizabeth 17, 18
Portuguese voyages to Labrador; the brothers Corte-
real 18, 19
The map made in 1502 for Alberto Cantino 20, 21









CONTENTS. *


The Newfoundland fisheries; Baccalaos 22
As links in the chain of discovery, the northern voyages
were insignificant as compared with the southern 23, 24
Early life of Americus Vespucius 25, 26
^1":*i- He goes to Spain and becomes connected with the com-
., mercial house of Juanoto Berardi, at Seville 27, 28
\His letters to Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici
and to Piero Soderini 29, 30
The four voyages described in these letters 30-32
Vespucius appointed pilot major of Spain 33
His death at Seville, February 22, 1512 33
The letter from Vespucius to Soderini, in its details .34
He went on his earlier voyages in the capacity of as-
tronomer .35
Character of his descriptions 36
The Quattro Giornate, the lost book of Vespucius 37, 38
The Latin version (1507) of the letter to Soderini 39
Recent discovery of the primitive Italian text (1505-
06) of the letter 39, 40
The stupid or accidental change of the Indian name
Lariab into the Indian name Parias in the Latin
version of 1507 was the original source of all the
calumny that has been directed against Vespucius 42, 43
How the "little wooden Venice aided and abetted
S the error. 43,44
; -In this way was originated the charge that Vespucius
Sfeigned to have discovered the coast of Paria in
1497 44
rj' "--The date 1497 had nothing whatever to do with the
naming of America .45
---Absurdity inherent in this charge against Vespucius 46
Claims of Diego Columbus to all his father's dig-
nities and emoluments 47
His law-suit against the crown 48
The great judicial inquiry, the Probanzas 49
The testimony of the witnesses examined in the Pro-
banzas proves that Vespucius did not discover the
Pearl Coast in 1497 50
It proves, with equal force, that he never professed to
have done so 51









CONTENTS.


The landfall on the first voyage of Vespucius was near
SCape Honduras .. 52
His "little wooden Venice was probably on the shore
of Tabasco .53
The "province of Lariab" was near Tampico 54
Roasted iguanas and fish patties 55
Description of Lariab and its communal houses 56, 57
From Tampico Vespucius followed the coast to Florida
and around it 57, 58
And from some point on the coast of the United States
sailed for Spain, stopping at the Bermudas 59-61
Why critics have found no contemporary allusions to
this voyage : they have not looked in the right di-
rection 61
There are such contemporary allusions 64
Antonio de Herrera, and his account (1601) of the first
voyage of Vicente Yaiiez Pinzon and Juan Diaz de
Solis .64-66
Herrera got the date wrong, -1506 instead of 1497 67
Documents gathered by Navarrete prove that Pinzon
did not go on any voyage in 1506 67, 68
How easy it was for Herrera to make this particular
mistake 68,69
Testimony of Peter Martyr 69
Testimony of Gomara and Oviedo. 70
The first voyage of Vespucius was with Pinzon and
Solis in 1497-98 .. 71
It was probably from Vespucius that La Cosa got the
information that led him in his map, made be-
tween June and October, 1500, to depict Cuba as
an island 72, 73
The Cantino map proves that the coasts of Florida
were visited and mapped by Spanish mariners be-
fore November, 1502, and that the voyage in which
this was done was not followed up 74-76
Relations of the Cantino map to Waldseemiiller's
Tabula Terre Nove, made before 1508, and often in-
appropriately called "The Admiral's mp .77-81
How and why the old map-makers were puzzled by
the names on the Florida coasts 80, 81









VI CONTENTS.

The voyage of Vespucius in 1497-98 is the only voyage
on record that explains the Cantino map 82
How it came about that Pinzon, Solis, and Vespucius
made this voyage 83, 84
The three Berardi squadrons 85, 86
How far north did Vespucius follow the coast of the
United States? 87,88
Perhaps as far as the Chesapeake 89
'Why the voyage was not followed up 89, 90
It was not a commercial success 90, 91
All eyes were turned toward the Indian ocean after
Gama's voyage 91, 92
Probable influence of the first voyage of Vespucius
upon the fourth voyage of Columbus, which was
itself a direct response to the voyage of Gama 92, 93
The second voyage of Vespucius, with Ojeda and La
Cosa 93-95
Second voyage of Pinzon, and discovery of the Ama-
zon 95
Alvarez de Cabral crosses the Atlantic by accident,
and finds himself upon the coast of Brazil 96
The "Land of the Holy Cross" 97
Vespucius passes into the service of Portugal 98
If Columbus had never lived, Cabral would have dis-
covered America, April 22, 1500 98
The third voyage of Vespucius; he meets Cabral at
Cape Verde. 99, 100
He explores the coast of Brazil, and meets with can-
nibals 101,102
The Bay of All Saints 102
Change of direction near the mouth of La Plata. 103
Discovery of the island of South Georgia 104
Return to Lisbon, September 7, 1502 105
Great historical importance of this voyage 105,106
An antarctic world 106,107
Why Vespucius thought it was a "new world 107-110
His letter to Lorenzo de' Medici 108-110
- This letter was translated into Latin and published (at
Paris, 1503-04) by the famous architect Giocondo,
who entitled it Mundus Novus 111-113









CONTENTS. vii

Intense interest aroused by this little tract 113'
Matthias Ringmann and his verses 116
What did the phrase New World originally mean ? 117
Oceanic and continental theories 117-125
Johann Ruysch's map of the world, published in
1508 114,115,118, 119
The Lenox globe, made about 1510 120-122
The globe of Orontius Finaeus, made in 1531 122-126
The name "Cattigara" upon this globe shows that
"America" was supposed to be part of Ptolemy's
Terra Incognita in the southern hemisphere 125,126
Some account of Mela's antipodal world, or Opposite-
Earth, beyond the equator 126,127
It was sometimes called Quarta Pars" 128
Successive steps in the naming of America 129,130
Rend II., Duke of Lorraine 130
The town of Saint-Die, in the Vosges mountains 131
Walter Lud, and Martin Waldseemiiller 131,132
French version of the letter of Americus to Soderini 132
The proposed new edition of Ptolemy.. 133
The French version of the letter is turned into Latin
by Jean Basin de Sendacour 14 '
The "Cosmographie Introductio .135'- .')
Waldseemiiller's suggestion that Quarta Pars should
be called America 136
Note on the names Europe, Asia, Libya, Africa 136-138
Why the western hemisphere was not named after
Columbus. 138
It was not the western hemisphere that was first meant
by America 139
The inscription upon Waldseemiiller's map, the Tabula
Terre Nove, engraved before 1508 140
What Ringmann and Waldseemiiller really meant 141
Significant silence of Ferdinand Columbus .142-144
.The Ptolemy of 1522 .145
Different conceptions of Mundus Novus 145,146
The map (cir. 1514) attributed to Leonardo da Vinci 146,147
America on Schdner's first and second globes 148
The New World" was not the western but the south-
ern world 149









viii CONTENTS.

Extension of the name "America" from Brazil to
South America 149-151
The name "America" was first applied to the western
hemisphere in 1541 by Gerard Mercator 152
His map .. 153
Change of meaning in the names "New World" and
S"America" .. 154
\J How the memory of Vespucius at length came to be
attacked .154,155
Schbner's loose remarks 155
S-The situation as misunderstood, after 1550, by Las
Casas .. 156
Effect upon Las Casas of the blundering substitution
of Parias for Lariab 157,158
S The first published charge against Vespucius was made
in 1601 by Herrera 159, 160
Herrera's charge gave rise to the popular notion that
Americus contrived to supplant his friend Colum-
bus 160
Santarem's ridiculous, tirade 161
S, 'The charges against Vespucius were partly refuted
by Alexander von Humboldt, and have since been
Destroyed by Varnhagen 163
S But a comprehensive and systematic statement of the
case is now made for the first time 164
Causal sequence of voyages from the third of Colum-
bus to that of Magellan 165, 166
Voyages of Coelho and Jaques 166, 167
Fourth voyage of Vespucius, in 1503 with Coelho 168-170
Conclusion of the letter to Soderini 170,171
Americus returns to Spain, and visits Columbus 172
The Pinzon expedition to La Plata ; planned for 1506,
but not carried out 173
Fifth and sixth voyages of Vespucius, with La
Cosa 174,175
Voyage of Pinzon and Solis, 1508 176
Last voyage and death of Solis, 1516 176
Emergence of the idea of a western hemisphere ; Stob-
nicza's map, 1512 .. 177-180









CONTENTS. ix

First sight of the Pacific by Balboa, in 1513 180
Eastward progress of the Portuguese to China and the
Moluccas, 1504-17 181-183
Dim rudimentary conception of a separate ocean be-
tween Mundus Novus and Asia 183
Ferdinand Magellan .. 184
Sequeira's expedition and the Malay plot, 1509 185
Sequeira and Serrano saved by Magellan 186
Serrano's shipwreck, and his stay at the Moluccas 187
The antipodal line of demarcation between Spanish and
Portuguese waters 187,188
Magellan's return to Portugal; his scheme for sailing
westward to the Moluccas 188,189
Question as to the strait depicted upon Schiner's
globes 189
Magellan's proposals are rejected by the king of Por-
tugal; and accordingly he enters the service of
Spain ......... 190
His marriage to Beatriz de Barbosa 191
Ships and men of the great expedition ... 191,192
Traitors in the fleet 192,193
The Chevalier Pigafetta and his journal of the voyage 193
After a stormy voyage to the coast of Patagonia, the
ships go into winter quarters at Port St. Julian .194
Reasons for returning home; Magellan's refusal .195
The mutiny at Port St. Julian; desperate situation of
Magellan .196
His bold stroke, and suppression of the mutiny 197, 198
Discovery of the strait .199
Desertion of the pilot Gomez, with the San Antonio 199
Entering the Pacific ocean.. 200
Famine and scurvy 202
Vastness beyond conception 203
The Ladrone islands; and the Philippines 204
The medieval spirit; sudden conversion of the people
ofSebu .. ... 205
Death of Magellan .. 206
The massacre at Sebu ... 207
Arrival of the Trinidad and Victoria at the Moluccas 207
Fate of the Trinidad 208









X CONTENTS.

Return of the Victoria, by the Cape of Good Hope, to
Spain 208-210
An unparalleled voyage .. 210
Eleano's crest 210
How slowly the result was comprehended 211
To complete the discovery of North America was the
Work of Two Centuries 212
But before we go on to treat of this, something must
be said concerning the first contact between the me-
dieval civilization of Europe and the archaic semi-
civilizations of America 212


CHAPTER VIII.

THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO.

Effects of increased knowledge of geography upon the
romantic spirit. 213,214
Romantic dreams of the Spanish explorers .214, 215
Prehistoric Mexico 216
The Toltecs," and the wild notions about them. .217
The "Chichinmecs" 218
The Nahua tribes 219
Tollan and the Serpent Hill 220
The fabulous "Toltec empire" 221
The Aztecs, and the founding of, the city of Mex-
ico .221,222
The first four Aztec chiefs-of-men 223
Destruction of Azcaputzalco 224
The Mexican Confederacy 224-226
The hostile Tlascalans. 227
The second Montezuma 227
The tax-gatherer Pinotl hears an amazing story of a
winged tower floating upon the sea and filled with
bearded men in shining raiment 228
Pinotl visits the mysterious strangers, and carries news
of them to Montezuma 228,229
How this event was to be regarded ; Quetzalcoatl and
TIaloc 229-233









CONTENTS. xi

Specialization of Tlaloc as elemental deity 233
Generalization of Quetzalcoatl as culture-hero 233,234
The dark Tezcatlipoca, and the strife between light
and darkness. .235
Exile of Quetzalcoatl 236
Expectation of his return 237
Fulfilment of prophecy; extraordinary coincidences 238
By what stages the Spaniards arrived ; diffusion of
the work of discovery from Hispaniola 239
C6rdova's expedition to Yucatan, 1517 240
Hostile demeanour of the Mayas 241
Defeat of the Spaniards at Champoton 242
Grijalva's expedition, 1518 ; it was Grijalva's fleet that
was visited by the tax-gatherer Pinotl 243
Excitement of the Spaniards over Grijalva's reports 244
He was set aside, however, and Hernando Cortes was
appointed to command the next expedition 245
First proceedings of Cortes; his insubordination. 246
The scuttling of the ships 246, 247
The Spanish force upon the Mexican coast 248
Audacity of Cortes at Cempoala 249,250
The Spaniards received as gods at Xocotlan 252
Battle between Spaniards and Tlascalans 253
Scheme of the Tlascalan soothsayers 254
Complete triumph of Cortes; alliance between Tlas-
calans and Spaniards .255
Treachery at Cholula, discovered by Doia Ma-


rna .
Massacre of Cholulans by the Spaniards
First sight of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, a most
moment .
Description of the city; the causeways
The canals and bridges; the houses
Population of Tenochtitlan .
The flower-gardens
The four wards .
Dress of men and women
Interiors of the houses; dinner
Dishes
Cannibalism .


S256, 257
258, 259
romantic
259-261
.- 262
263
S264, 265
265
266
267
267
S268
268,269









xii CONTENTS.

Drinks. 270
The markets 270
The temple 271
Human sacrifices. 272
The tzompantli, or place of skulls 273
Entry of the Spaniards into Tenochtitlan 274
Extreme peril of the situation 275
Effect of seizing the head war-chief .. 276
Montezuma was a priest-commander 277, 278
The affair of Quauhpopoca. 279
Seizure of Montezuma by the Spaniards 280
Quauhpopoca burned at the stake 281
Cleansing of one of the pyramids 281
Arrival of Narvaez at San Juan de Ulloa 282
Cortes defeats and captures Narvaez 282
Alvarado, left in command at Tenochtitlan, meditates
a heavy blow .. 283
The festival of Tezeatlipoca 283
Massacre of Aztecs by Alvarado .284
Return of Cortes ; he lets Cuitlahuatzin out of the
house where he had him confined 285
The crisis precipitated; the tribal council deposes Mon-
tezuma and elects Cuitlahuatzin chief-of-men in his
place; and the Spaniards are at once attacked .285
Death of Montezuma 286
The Melancholy Night .286
Victory of Cortes at Otumba, and its effects 287
Gaining of Tezcuco 288
Siege of Mexico 289
Conclusion of the conquest; last years and death of
Cortes .290
How the Spanish conquest should be regarded 291
It was a good thing for Mexico 292,293


CHAPTER IX.

ANCIENT PERU.

General view of the South American peoples 294-297
Chiriqui 294









CONTENTS. xill

The Chibchas .295,296
The Caribs and Maypures .296,297
Various savage groups 297
The Araucanians 297
Quichua-Aymara tribes 298
Method of recording by quipus 298-300
Lists of Incas 301
Lake Titicaca and the cyclopean ruins at Tiahuanacu 302
The alleged Pirua dynasty 303
Ruins on the Sacsahuaman hill 304-310
The historian Cieza de Leon 304-306
The historian Garcilasso Inca de la Vega 307,308
Antiquity of Peruvian culture ; domesticated animals 311
The potato 312,313
The Peruvians were in many respects more advanced
than any other American aborigines, but were still
within the middle period of barbarism 314, 315
Influence of cattle upon the evolution of society 315, 316
Private property (peculium) ; development of the no-
tion. 317
There was no true pastoral life in ancient Peru 318
That country presents a unique instance of the attain-
ment of a rudimentary form of nationality without
the notion of private property 319
Growth of Peruvian nationality ; the four tribes 319,320
Names of the Incas 321
Conquest of the Aymaras, of the Chancas and Huancas,
the Chimus, the Quitus, and the tribes of northern
Chili 321-324
Dimensions of the empire 325
The Incas sought to assimilate conquered peoples 326
Cieza's description of the military roads 327
The relay houses and couriers 328
The limitations of the middle period of barbarism were
to be seen in the rope bridges 329,330
The system of military colonies and deportation 330,331
Symptoms of incipient nationality 332
Garcilasso's account of the Inca caste 333,334
The Inca sovereign and the council 335
The deposition of Urco Inca 336









xiv CONTENTS.

The Inca was a "god-king" 337
Peruvian religion; Pachacamac, the Creator 338,339
Sun-worship 340
Human sacrifices had been abolished by the Incas be-
fore the arrival of the Spaniards 341
The priesthood .. 342,343
The vestal nuns 344
They were concubines for the Inca 345
The Inca's legitimate wife, or Coya .. 346
Society had undergone further development in Peru
than elsewhere in America 347
Breaking up of the clan system 348
The Chirihuanas, east of the Andes 349
Their communal houses 350
Monogamy in the Inca society 351
The industrial army .352,353
Allotment of lands and produce 354
There was little or no division of labour 355,356
Enormous cost of government 356,357
Cyclopean works 357
Communistic despotism 358
Agriculture .358,359
Government hunts 359
Arts........ 360
General summary 361
Humaneness 362
Intellectual culture 363,364


CHAPTER X.

THE CONQUEST OF PERU.

Relations of the Admiral Diego Columbus to the
crown .. 365
Provinces of Terra Firma granted to Ojeda and Ni-
cuesa 366
Starting of the expeditions 367
Death of La Cosa 368
Death of Ojeda .369
Expedition of Enciso, and first appearance of Balboa .370








CONTENTS.


Enciso deposed by his men 371
Awful sufferings of Nicuesa and his party 371,372
Cruel treatment of Nicuesa by the men of Darien .372
Balboa left in undisputed command. 373
Exploration of the isthmus ; speech of Comogre's son 374
Discovery of the Pacific ocean 375
Further news of the golden kingdom 376
Affairs in Spain 376
Pedrarias Davila. .377
Jealousy between Pedrarias and Balboa 378
An expedition prepared to go in search of the golden
kingdom 379
All in readiness, except for a little iron and pitch .380
A fatal conversation .. 381
Garavito's treachery 382
Balboa put to death by Pedrarias 383
An interval 384
Francisco Pizarro 385
Origin of the name Peru 386
Lope de Sosa appointed to supersede Pedrarias 386
Sudden death of Lope de Sosa 387
Espinosa's voyage in Balboa's ships 387,388
Gil Gonzalez Davila, his troubles and death 388-390
Pizarro and Almagro start in search of the golden
kingdom. 391
Death of Pedrarias 392
The scene at Gallo 393
Discovery of Peru 394
Pizarro's visit to Spain 395
The Pizarro brothers 395, 396
Civil war in Peru, and usurpation of Atahualpa 396
The Spaniards arrive upon the scene 398
And are supposed to be" sons of Viracocha 399
Caxamarca 400,401
Capture of Atahualpa 402
Ransom collected for him; Fernando Pizarro's ride to
the temple of Pachacamac 403
Murder of the captive Inca Huascar by Atahualpa 404
Atahualpa put to death by the Spaniards 405,406








xvi CONTENTS.

The true Inca, Manco, makes his submission, and is
duly inaugurated at Cuzco by Pizarro 407
Arrival and retirement of Pedro de Alvarado 408
Effect of the news in Spain 408
Almagro's disgust; he starts for Chili 409
Manco plans an insurrection .410
The Spaniards besieged in Cuzco 411
Return of Almagro, who defeats the Inca, and pres-
ently seizes Cuzco 412
Civil war; execution of Almagro, and final defeat of
the Inca 412
How Fernando Pizarro was received in Spain 413
Valdivia's conquest of Chili 414
Gonzalo Pizarro's expedition in search of El Dorado,
and Orellana's descent of the Amazon 414,415
Gonzalo's return to Quito 416
The Marquis Pizarro and the "men of Chili 416,417
Assassination of Pizarro 417
The bloody plains of Chupas" 418
The New Laws, and the rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro 418
Pedro de la Gasca 419
Defeat and execution of Gonzalo Pizarro 420
Arrival of Mendoza 421
Some reasons why the conquest of Peru was accom-
plished so easily 422,423
Fate of the Inca Manco 424,425
End of the Inca dynasty 425,426


CHAPTER XI

LAS CASAS.
The plague of slavery 427
Ancient slavery .. 427,428
Beginnings of modern slavery 429
Azurara's narrative .. 430,431
Beginnings of Indian slavery under Columbus 432, 433
Repartimientos and their origin 434
Nicolas de Ovando, and his treatment of white men 435
Ovando's treatment of red men in Xaragua 436











Birth and family of Las Casas 437,438
His character and his writings 439-441
The royal orders of 1503 441
Origin of encomiendas 442
Effects of the discovery of gold. 443
Hideous cruelties 444,445
The great sermons of Antonio Montesino 446,447
The king's position 448
Las Casas was at first a slave-owner 449
The conversion of Las Casas 450
His first proceedings .. 451
His reception by Bishop Fonseca; and by Cardinal
Ximenes 452
First attempts at reform 453
The popular notion about the relations of Las Casas to
negro slavery is grossly incorrect 454
What Las Casas really said 455
Medieval and modern conceptions of human rights 456
Gradual development of the modern conception in the
mind of Las Casas 456,457'
His momentary suggestion had no traceable effect upon
negro slavery 457
His life-work did much to diminish the volume of ne-
gro slavery and the spiritual corruption attendant
upon it 458
Las Casas and Charles V. ; scheme for founding a
colony upon the Pearl Coast 459
The slave-catcher, Ojeda; the mischief that one mis-
erable sinner can do .. 460
Destruction of the little colony by the Indians .461
Grief of Las Casas; he becomes a Dominican monk .462
Spanish conquests, and resulting movements of the
Dominicans. 463
The little monastery in Guatemala 464
The treatise of Las Casas on the only right way of
bringing men to Christ 465
How the colonists taunted him 465
Tuzulutlan, or the "Land of War" 465,466
The highest type of manhood 466
Diplomacy of Las Casas .467


CONTENTS.


xvii








CONTENTS.


His preparations for a peaceful invasion of the Land
of War .. 468
How an entrance was effected 468-470
The first positions carried 471
The victory won .. 472
The Land of War becomes the Land of True Peace
(Vera Paz) .. .473
Enslavement of Indians forbidden by the Pope .473
The New Laws of Charles V. 474
The final compromise, working gradual abolition .475
Immense results of the labours of Las Casas 476
Las Casas made Bishop of Chiapa 477
His final return to Spain 478
His controversy with Sepulveda .479
/ His relations with Philip II. 480
SHis History of the Indies" 481
His death 481,482


CHAPTER XII.

THE WORK OF TWO CENTURIES.

Hispaniola as the centre of Spanish colonization .483
The first voyage of Vespucius 484
Mandeville's Fountain of Youth 485
The Land of Easter .. 486
Pineda's discovery of the Mississippi, 1519 487
Effect of Magellan's voyage in turning the course of
exploration to the northward 487
Cape Horn .. 488
The Congress of Badajos 488, 489
The search for a Northwest Passage 490
Ayllon, and the Spanish colony on James river in
1526 491
The voyage of Gomez in 1525 492
France enters upon the scene; the voyage of Verra-
zano in 1524 493
Cartier and Roberval, 1534-43; and the voyage of
Allefonsce .494
The "Sea of Verrazano" 495


xvill









CONTENTS.


Theories of Agnese and Gastaldi 496,497
The case as represented by Sebastian Miinster 498,499
Inland expeditions; Panfilo de Narvaez 500,501
Surprising adventures of Cabeza de Vaca .501,502
Legend of the Seven Cities; Fray Marcos of Nizza 503
The Seven Cities of Cibola, or Zuii 504
Murder of Estevtnico and retreat of Fray Marcos 505
Zuiii recollection of this affair 507
Expedition of Coronado to Cibola and Quivira 508
Expedition of Soto to the Mississippi 509,510
The Dominicans in Florida 511
The Huguenots in Brazil 511
Ribaut and the Huguenots in Florida 512
Laudonniere and his colony at Fort Caroline 513
Menendez, the Last of the Crusaders 514
Beginnings of the town of St. Augustine 515
Slaughter of the people in Fort Caroline 516
The massacres of Huguenots at Matanzas Inlet .517, 518
Approval of the massacres by Philip II 519
The vengeance of Dominique de Gourgues 520,521
Historic importance of the affair .. 522
Knowledge of North American geography about 1580,
as shown in the maps of Michael Lok and John
Dee 523-527
Exploration of the St. Lawrence and Mississippi val-
leys by the French 528
Samuel de Champlain and the principal features of
French colonization 529
Causes which drew the French into the interior of the
continent 530, 531
Robert Cavelier de La Salle 532
Marquette and Joliet; La Salle's great undertaking 533
Fort Crbvecceur 534
A thousand miles in the wilderness 534,535
Defeat of the mutineers 535
Sack of the Illinois town 536
La Salle's descent of the Mississippi river 536
His last expedition, and death 5.37
Joliet's ideas of North American geography 538
Father Hennepin in the Minnesota country. 538,539










His false pretensions 540
The Hudson Bay Company and the furs of Rupert's
Land 540,541
La Vdrendrye, and the French discovery of the Rocky
mountains, 1743 542
Discovery of the Columbia river, 1792 543
Lewis and Clark; first crossing of the continent, 1806 544
Search for a Northwest Passage; Drake and Fro-
bisher 545
Davis and Barentz 546
Henry Hudson 546-548
William Baffin .. 548
Effect of arctic explorations upon the conception of
Vinland 549
Russian conquest of Siberia 549
Vitus Bering 550
Discovery of Bering strait, 1728 551
Bering's discovery of Alaska, 1741 51
The discovery of America was a gradual process 552-554
Cessation of Spanish exploring and colonizing activity
after about 1570 554,555
The long struggle between Spaniards and Moors 556
Its effect in throwing discredit upon labour 557
Its effect in strengthening religious bigotry 558
Spain's crusade in the Netherlands 559
Effect of oceanic discovery in developing Dutch trade 559
Conquest of the Portuguese Indies by the Dutch 560
Disastrous results of persecuting heretics 561
Expulsion of the Moriscoes from Spain, and its ter-
rible consequences 562,563
Dreadful work of the Inquisition 564
It was a device for insuring the survival of the un-
fittest 565
The Spanish policy of crushing out individualism re-
sulted in universal stagnation 566, 67
It has been the policy of England to give full scope to
individualism 567,568
That policy has been the chief cause of the success of
English people in founding new nations 569


CONTENTS.


XX -








CONTENTS. xxi

APPENDIX.

A. Toscanelli's letter to Columbus, with the enclosed
letter to Martinez 571
B. The bull "Inter Cetera," with Eden's translation 580
C. List of officers and sailors in the first voyage of
Columbus 5. . 94
D. List of survivors of the first voyage around the
world 598

















ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGE
Map of the New Discoveries, made in 1500 by the
pilot, Juan de La Cosa, redrawn after the sketch ac-
companying Humboldt's Examen critique, etc. Frontispiece
Sketch of part of the Cantino map, 1502, from Win-
sor's America 21
Facsimile of title-page of the original Italian edition
of the letter from Vespucius to Soderini, reduced
from the facsimile in Varnhagen's Amerigo Vespucci 41
First voyage of Vespucius (with Pinzon and Solis,
1497-98), sketched by the author, after Varnhagen 54
Table of principal Spanish and Portuguese voyages
south of the tropic of Cancer, from Columbus to
Magellan, compiled by the author 62,63
Sketch of the Florida coasts, from the Cantino map,
1502, sketched by the author 75
Waldseemiiller's map, called "Tabula Terre Nove,"
cir. 1507,from Winsor's America Facing 78
Second, third, and fourth voyages of Vespucius, sketched
by the author, after Varnhagen 99
Johann Ruysch's Map of the World, from the Ptolemy
of 1508, reduced from conical to Mlercator's projection
by the author 114,115
Western half of the Lenox globe, cir. 1510, from Win-
sor's America .120
Sketch of part of the globe of Orontius Finmus, 1531,
redrawn and abridged by the author from the reduction
to Mercator's projection in Stevens's Historical and
Geographical Notes .123
Facsimile of the passage in which Waldseemiiller sug-
gested that Quarta Pars should be called America,








ILLUSTRATIONS.


photographed, on slightly reduced scale, from a page in
the copy of the Cosmographie Introductio (edition of
August, 1507) in the library of Harvard University 136
Part of the map attributed to Leonardo da Vinci,
cir. 1514, earliest known map with the name
America,"from Winsor's America 147
Sketch of Gerard Mercator's map, 1541, from Winsor's
America .. 153
Ships of the time of Vespucius, facsimile of woodcut in
the original edition of the letter to Soderini, from Varn-
hagen's Amerigo Vespucci 168
Jan Stobnicza's map, 1512,from Winsor's America 178, 179
Magellan's route across the Pacific, sketched by the au-
thor. 201
Table of the succession (elective) and of the relation-
ships of the eleven Mexican tlacatecuhtli, or "chiefs-
of-men," compiled by the author 225
Bas-reliefs from Palenque, from Stephens's Central
America 230,231
The Mexican pueblos in 1519, sketched by the author 251
The Valley of Mexico in 1519, ditto 260
The Isthmus of Darien, ditto .369
Map illustrating the conquest of Peru, ditto 397
Map of Tuzulutlan and neighbourhood, ditto 466
Ancient Nahuatl Flute Melodies,from Brinton's Giie-
giience 469
Sketch of Agnese's map, 1536,from Winsor's America 496
Sketch of Gastaldi's Carta Marina, 1548, ditto 497
Sebastian Miinster's map, 1540, ditto 498,499
A street in Zuiii,from an article by F. H. Cushing in
Century Magazine, new series, vol. iii. 506
Michael Lok's map, 1582,from Winsor's America 524,525
Dr. John Dee's map, 1580, ditto 527
Louis Joliet's map, 1673, ditto 539
Specimen of the handwriting of Columbus, from Har-
risse's Notes on Columbus. 579


xxiv














THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.



CHAPTER VII.

MUNDUS NOVUS.

SOMETIMES in Wagner's musical dramas the
introduction of a few notes from some leading
melody foretells the inevitable catastrophe toward
which the action is moving; as when in Lohen-
grin's bridal chamber the well-known sound of the
distant Grail motive steals suddenly upon the ear,
and the heart of the rapt listener is smitten with
a sense of impending doom. So in the drama of
maritime discovery, as glimpses of new worlds were
beginning to reward the enterprising crowns of
Spain and Portugal, for a moment there came from
the north a few brief notes fraught with ominous
portent. *The power for whom destiny had reserved
the world empire of which these southern nations
- so noble in aim, so mistaken in policy were
dreaming stretched forth her hand, ini quiet disre-
gard of papal bulls, and laid it upon the western
shore of the ocean. It was only for a moment,
and long years were to pass before the conse-
quences were developed. But in truth the first
fateful note that heralded the coming English








2 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

supremacy was sounded when John Cabot's tiny
craft sailed out from the Bristol channel on a
bright May morning of 1497.
The story of the Cabots can be briefly told.
Less is known about them and their voyages than
one could wish.1 John Cabot, a native
Joh:. Cabot.
of Genoa, moved thence to Venice,
where, after a residence of fifteen years, he was
admitted to full rights of citizenship in 1476.
He married a Venetian lady and had three sons,
the second of whom, Sebastian, was born in Ven-
ice some time before March, 1474. Nothing is
known about the life of John Cabot at Venice,
except that he seems to have been a merchant and
mariner, and that once in Arabia, meeting a car-
avan laden with spices, he made particular in-
quiries regarding the remote countries where such
goods were obtained. It is not impossible that
he may have reasoned his way, independently of
Columbus, to the conclusion that those countries
might be reached by sailing westward;2 but there
is no evidence that such was the case. About
1490 Cabot moved to England with his family and
made his home in Bristol,8 and he may have been
1 The best critical discussion of the subject is that of 3M. Har-
risse, Jean et Sibastien Cabot, Paris, 1882. Most of the author's
conclusions seem to me very strongly supported.
2 This seems to be implied by the words of the late Dr. Charles
Deane: Accepting the new views as to 'the roundness of the
earth,' as Columbus had done, he was quite disposed to put them
to a practical test." Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., vol. iii. p. 1.
But is it not strange to find so learned a writer alluding to the
ancient doctrine of the earth's globular form as new in the time
of Columbus I
3 M. d'Avezac's suggestion (Bulletin de la SociWtd de GCogra.








MUNDUS NOVUS. 3

one of the persons who were convinced at that time
by the arguments of Bartholomew Columbus.
Bristol was then the principal seaport of Eng-
land, and the centre of trade for the Iceland fish-
eries.1 The merchants of that town were
The nmer-
fond of maritime enterprise, and their chants of
Bristol.
ships had already ventured some distance
out upon the Atlantic. William of Worcester in-
forms us that in the summer of 1480 the wealthy
merchant John Jay and another sent out a couple
of ships, one of them of eighty tons burthen, com-
manded by Thomas Lloyd, "the most scientific
mariner in all England," in order to find "the is-
land of Brazil to the west of Ireland," but after
sailing the sea for nine weeks without making any
discovery foul weather sent them back to Ireland.2
From a letter of Pedro de Ayala, one of the Span-
ish embassy in London in 1498, it would appear
phie, Paris, 1872, 6e s4rie, tom. iv. p. 44) that Columbus may have
consulted with Cabot at Bristol in 1477 seems, therefore, quite
improbable.
1 See Hunt's Bristol, pp. 44, 137; Magnusson, Om de Engelskes
Handelpaa Island, Copenhagen, 1833, p. 147.
2 "1480 die jullij navis et Joh[ann]is Jay junioris pon-
deris 80 doliorun inceperunt viagium apud portum Bristollie de
Kyngrode usque ad insulam de Brasylle in occidentali part Hiber-
nie, sulcando maria per et Thlyde [i. e. Th. Lyde =
Lloyd] est magister scientificus marinarius tocius Anglim, et noua
venerunt Bristollie die lune 18 die septembris, quod dicta navis
velaverunt maria per circa 9 menses nee invenerunt insulam sed
per tempestas maris reversi sunt usque portum in Hibernia
pro reposicione navis et mariniorum." Itinerarium Willelmi de
Wyrcestre, MS. in library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge,
No. 210, p. 195, apud Harrisse, op. cit. p. 44. See also Fox-Bourne,
English Merchants, vol. i. p. 105. Though the Latin says nine
months, it is evident that only nine weeks are meant to be included
between a day of July and the 18th day of September.







4 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
that several expeditions, beginning perhaps as
early as 1491, may have sailed from Bristol, at the
instigation of John Cabot, in search of the imagi-
nary islands of Brazil and Antilia.1
We are told that the news of the first voyage of
Columbus was received by the Cabots and their
Effects of te English friends with much admiration.
news from To have reached the coast of China by
Columbus. sailing westward was declared a wonder-
ful achievement, and it was resolved to go and' do
likewise. On the 21st of January, 1496, the Span-
ish ambassador Puebla informed his sovereigns that
"a person had come, like Columbus, to propose to
the king of England an enterprise like that of the
Indies." On the 28th of March the sovereigns
instructed Puebla to warn Henry VII. that such
an enterprise could not be put into execution by
him without prejudice to Spain and Portugal.2
But before this remonstrance arrived, the king had
already issued letters patent, authorizing John
Cabot and his three sons "to sail to the east, west,
or north, with five ships carrying the English flag,
to seek and discover all the islands, countries, re-
gions, or provinces of pagans in whatever part of
the world."3 The expedition must return to the
port of Bristol, and the king was to have one fifth
of the profits. By implicitly excluding 'southerly
1 Ayala to Ferdinand and Isabella, July 25, 1498; Harrisse,
p. 329. The reader has doubtless already observed these fabulous
islands on the Toscanelli map; see above, vol. i. p. 357.
2 Ferdinand and Isabella to Puebla, March 28,1496; Harrisse,
p. 315.
8 "Pro Johanne Cabot et filiis suis super Terra Incognita inves-
tiganda," March 5, 1496; Harrisse, p. 313.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


courses it was probably intended, as far as possi-
ble, to avoid occasions for conflict with Spain or
Portugal.
The voyage seems to have been made with a
single ship, named the Matthew, or Matthews,
after the evangelist, or perhaps after
John Cabot
some English patron.1 The crew num- finds land
supposed to be
bered eighteen men. Sebastian Cabot athay, June
may quite probably have accompanied 4 .
his father. They sailed from Bristol early in
May, 1497,2 and discovered what was supposed to
be the Chinese coast, "in the territory of the Grand
Cham," on the 24th of June. By the end of July
they had returned to Bristol, and on the 10th of
August we find thrifty Henry VII. giving "to
hym that found the new isle" the munificent

1 Barrett, History and Antiquities of Bristol, 1789, p. 172. A
contemporary MS., preserved in the British Museum, says that
besides the flagship equipped by the king there were three or
four others, apparently equipped by-private enterprise: "In anno
13 Henr. VII. This yere the Kyng at the besy request and sup-
plicacion of a Straunger venisian, which [i. e. who] by a Coaart
[i. e. chart] made himself expert in knowing of the world caused
the Kynge to manne a ship wt vytaill and other necessairies for to
seche an Iland wherein the said Straunger surmysed to be grete
commodities: wt which ship by the Kynges grace so Rygged went
3 or 4 moo oute of Bristowe, the said Straunger beyng Conditor
of the said Flete, wheryn dyuers merchauntes as well of London
as Bristow aventured goodes and sleight merchaundises, which de-
parted from the West Cuntrey in the begynnyng of Somer, but to
this present month came nevir Knowlege of their exployt." See
Harrisse, p. 316. On page 50 M. Harrisse seems disposed to adopt
this statement, but its authority is fatally impaired by the last
sentence, which shows that already the writer had mixed up the
first voyage with the second, as was afterwards commonly done.
2 The date is often incorrectly given as 1494, owing to an old
misreading of M. cccC. xciu instead of M. cccc. xcvl.







6 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

largess of 10 with which to celebrate the achieve-
ment.1
The news in England seems to have taken the
form that Cabot had discovered the isles of Brazil
and the Seven Cities, and the kingdom of the
Great Khan. A Venetian gentleman, Lorenzo
Pasqualigo, writing from London August 23, 1497,
says that "honours are heaped upon Cabot, he is
called Grand Admiral, he is dressed in silk, and
the English run after him like madmen."2 It
seemed to Cabot that by returning to the point
John Cabot where he had found land, and then pro-
Se aialo ceeding somewhat to the southward, he
Cia of could find the wealthy island of Cipango,
April, 1498. and this time we do not hear that any
dread of collision with Spain prevailed upon the
king to discountenance such an undertaking. A
second expedition, consisting of five or six ships,
sailed from Bristol in April, 1498, and explored a
part of the coast of North America. In a despatch
dated July 25, Ayala told his sovereigns that its
return was expected in September. One of the
vessels, much damaged by stress of weather, took
refuge in an Irish port. When the others returned
we do not know, nor do we hear anything more
of John Cabot. It is probable that he sailed as
commander of the expedition, and it has been
1 Harrisse, pp. 51, 59. "Fazi bona ziera," says Pasqualigo;
"pour s'amuser," says Harrisse, or, as one might put it, "to go
on a spree." It must be remembered that 10 then was equiva-
lent to at least 100 of to-day. The king also granted to Cabot
a yearly pension of 20, to be paid out of the receipts of the Bris-
tol custom-house.
2 The letter is given in Harrisse, p. 322.







MUNDUS NOVUS. 7
supposed that he may have died upon the voyage,
leaving the command to his son Sebastian. It has
further been supposed, on extremely slight evi-
dence, that Sebastian may have conducted a third
voyage in 1501 or 1503.
Sebastian Cabot married a Spanish lady, and
seems to have gone to Spain soon after the death
of Henry VII.1 He entered the service.
of Ferdinand of Aragon October 20, ofSebastian
1512. In 1518 Charles V. appointed Cabot.
him Pilot Major of Spain; we shall presently find
him at the congress of Badajoz in 1524; from 1526
to 1530 he was engaged in a disastrous expedition
to the river La Plata, and on his return he was
thrown into prison because of complaints urged
against him by his mutinous crews. The Council
of the Indies condemned him to two years of exile
at Oran in Africa;2 but the emperor seems to have
remitted the sentence as unjust, and presently he
returned to the discharge of his duties as Pilot
Major. In 1548 he left the service of Spain and
went back to England, where he was appointed
governor of a company of merchants, organized
for the purpose of discovering a northeast passage
to China.3 This enterprise opened a trade between
England and Russia by way of the White Sea;
and in 1556 the Muscovy Company received its
charter, and Sebastian Cabot was appointed its
governor. IHe seems to have died in London in
1557, or soon afterwards.
1 Peter Martyr, dec. iii. lib. vi. fol. 55.
2 Navarrete, Biblioteca maritima, tom. ii. p. 699.
a Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., vol. iii. p. 6.








8 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

The life of the younger Cabot thus extended over
the whole of the period during which Europeans
Perplexities were gradually awakening to the as-
cauaby th founding fact that the western coasts
rapid accumu-
lation of geo- of the Atlantic were not the coasts of
graphical facts
einthe ix- Asia, but of a new continent, the exist-
tury. ence of which had never been suspected
by any human being, except in the unheeded guess
of Strabo cited in a previous chapter.' The sixty
years following 1497 saw new geographical facts
accumulate much faster than geographical theory
could interpret them, as the series of old maps
reproduced in the present volume will abundantly
show. By the end of that time the revolution in
knowledge had become so tremendous, and men
were carried so far away from the old point of
view, that their minds grew confused as to the
earlier stages by which the change had been
effected. Hence the views and purposes ascribed
to the Cabots by writers in the middle of the
sixteenth century have served only to perplex
the subject in the minds of later historians. In
Ramusio's collection of voyages an anonymous
writer puts into the mouth of Sebastian Cabot
more or less autobiographical narrative, in which
there are almost as many blunders as lines. In
this narrative the death of John Cabot is placed
before 1496, and Sebastian is said to have con-
ducted the first voyage in that year. It thus hap-
pened that until quite recently the discovery of

1 See above, vol. i. p. 370.
2 Ramusio, Raccolta di Navigationi e Viaggi, Venice, 1550,
tom. i.







MUNvDUS NOVUS. 9
the continent of North America was attributed to
the son, while the father was wellnigh forgotten.
It is to Ramusio's narrator, moreover, that we
owe the ridiculous statement repeated by almost
every historian from that day to this- that the
purpose of the voyage of 1498 was the discovery
of a "northwest passage" to the coast of Asia!
As I shall hereafter show, the idea of a northwest
passage through or around what we call America
to the coast of Asia did not spring up in men's
minds until after 1522, and it was one of the con-
sequences of the voyage of Magellan.1 There is
no reason for supposing that Sebastian Cabot in
1498 suspected that the coast before him was any-
thing but that of Asia, and it does not appear that
he contributed anything toward the discovery of
the fact that the newly found lands were part of a
new continent, though he lived long enough to be-
coie familiar with that fact, as gradually revealed
through the voyages of other navigators.
The slight contemporary mention, which is all
that we have of the voyages of the Cabots in 1497
and 1498, does not enable us to deter- What part of
mine with precision the parts of the sorth Aer-
ica did the
North American coast that were vis- Cabotsvisit?
ited. We know that a chart of the first voyage
was made, for both the Spanish envoys, Puebla
and Ayala, writing between August 24, 1497, and
July 25, 1498, mentioned having seen such a
chart, and from an inspection of it they concluded
that the distance run did not exceed 400 leagues.
The Venetian merchant, Pasqualigo, gave the dis-
1 See below, pp. 487-490.








10 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
tance more correctly as 700 leagues, and added
that Cabot followed the coast of the "territory of
the Grand Khan" for 300 leagues, and in return-
ing saw two islands to starboard. An early tra-
dition fixed upon the coast of Labrador as the
region first visited, and until lately this has been
the prevailing opinion.
The chart seen by the Spanish ministers in Lon-
don is unfortunately lost. But a map engraved in
Map of 1514, Germany or Flanders in 1544 or later,
ibute d to and said to be after a drawing by Sebas-
Cabot. tian Cabot,1 has at the north of what
we call the island of Cape Breton the legend
"prima tierra vista," i. e. "first land seen;" and
in this connection there is a marginal inscription,
Spanish and Latin, saying:-- "This country was
discovered by John Cabot, a Venetian, and Se-
bastian Cabot, his son, in the year of our Saviour
Jesus Christ M. cccc. xcnIn2 on the 24th of June
in the morning, which country they called prima
tierra vista, and a large island near by they named
St. John because they discovered it on the same
day." Starting from this information it has been
supposed that the navigators, passing this St.
John, which we call Prince Edward island, coasted
around the gulf of St. Lawrence and passed out
through the strait of Belle Isle. The two islands
1 It was discovered in 1843 in the house of a clergyman in Bava-
ria, and is now in the National Library at Paris. There is a beau-
tiful facsimile of it in colours in Harrisse's Jean et S4bastien Cabot,
and it is described by M. d'Avezac, Bulletin de la Socildt de Glo-
graphie, 1857, 4e sdrie, tom. xiv. pp. 268-270.
2 This date is wrong. The first two letters after xc should be
joined together at the bottom, making a v.







MUNDUS NOVUS.


seen on the starboard would then be points on the
northern coast of Newfoundland, and a consider-
able part of Pasqualigo's 300 leagues of coasting
would thus be accounted for. But inasmuch as the
Matthew had returned to Bristol by the first of
August, it may be doubted whether so long a route
could have been traversed within five weeks.
If we could be sure that the map of 1544 in its
present shape and with all its legends emanated
from Sebastian Cabot, and was drawn with the
aid of charts made at the time of discovery, its
authority would be very high indeed. But there
are some reasons for supposing it to have been
amended or "touched up" by the engraver, and it
is evidently compiled from charts made later than
1536, for it shows the results of Jacques Car-
tier's explorations in the gulf of St. Lawrence.
Its statement as to the first landfall is, moreover,
in conflict with the testimony of the
merchant Robert Thorne, of Bristol, in oTe obert
1527,1 and with that of two maps made ho.
at Seville in 1527 and 1529, according to which the
"prima tierra vista was somewhere on the coast of
Labrador. It must be remembered, too, that John
Cabot was instructed to take northerly and westerly
courses, not southerly, and an important despatch
from Raimondo de Soncino, in London, to the
Duke of Milan, dated December 18, 1497, de-
scribes his course in accordance with these instruc-
tions. It is perfectly definite and altogether prob-
able. According to this account Cabot sailed from
Bristol in a small ship, manned by eighteen per-
1Hakluyt, Principall Navigations, vol. i. p. 216.








12 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA,

sons, and having cleared the western shores of
Ireland, turned northward, after a few
Cabot'scourse,
as described days headed for Asia, and stood mainly
by Soncino.
west till he reached "Terra Firma,"
where he planted the royal standard, and forthwith
returned to England.1 In other words, he followed
the common custom in those days of first running to
a chosen parallel, and then following that parallel
to the point of destination. Such a course could
hardly have landed him anywhere save on the
coast of Labrador. Supposing his return voyage
simply to have reversed this course, running south-
easterly to the latitude of the English channel
and then sailing due east, he may easily have
coasted 300 leagues with' land to starboard before
finally bearing away from Cape Race. This view
is in harmony with the fact that on the desolate
coasts passed he saw no Indians or other human
beings. He noticed the abundance of codfish,
however, in the waters about Newfoundland, and
declared that the English would no longer need to
go to Iceland for their fish. Our informant adds

1 Cum uno piccolo naviglio e xviii person se pose ala fortune,
et partitosi da Bristo porto occidental de questo regno et passato
Ibernia pilt occidental, e poi alzatosi verso il septentrione, comen-
ci6 ad navigare ale parte orientale [i. e. toward eastern Asia],
lassandosi (fra qualche giorni) la tramontana ad mano drita, et
havendo assai errato, infine capitoe in terra ferma, dove posto la
bandera regia, et tolto la possession per questa Alteza, et preso
certi segnali, se ne retornato." See Harrisse, p. 324. The phrase
"havendo assai errato" is rendered by Dr. Deane "having wan-
dered about considerably" (Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., iii. 54),
but in this context it seems to me rather to mean "having wan-
dered sufficiently far [from Europe]," i. e. having gone far enough
he found Terra Firma.









MUNDUS NOVUS.


that Master John, being foreign-born and poor,
would have been set down as a liar had not his
crew, who were mostly Bristol men, confirmed
everything he said.
With regard to the coasts visited in the expedi-
tion of 1498 our sole contemporary authority is the
remarkable map made in 1500 by the La Cosa'
Biscayan pilot, Juan de La Cosa, who map, 1500.
had sailed with Columbus on his first and second
voyages. So far as is known, this is the earliest
map in existence made since 1492, and its impor-
tance is very great.1 Las Casas calls La Cosa the
1 A copy of the western sheet of this celebrated map, sketched
upon a reduced scale after the copy in Humboldt's Examen cri-
tique, forms the frontispiece to the present volume. The original
was found and identified by Humboldt in the library of Baron
Walckenaer in 1832, and after the death of the latter it was
bought April 21, 1853, at an auction sale in Paris, for the queen
of Spain against Henry Stevens, for 4,020 francs. It is now to be
seen at the Naval Museum in Madrid. It was made by La Cosa
at Puerto Santa Maria, near Cadiz, at some time between June
and October, in the year 1500 (see Leguina, Juan de la Cosa, Ma-
drid, 1877, p. 70). It is superbly illuminated with colours and
gold. Its scale of proportions, remarkably correct in some places,
is notably defective in others. The Newfoundland region is prop-
erly brought near to the papal meridian of demarcation, and what
we call Brazil is cut by it; which may possibly indicate that La
Cosa had heard the news of Cabral's discovery, presently to be
noticed, which reached Lisbon late in June. The Azores and
Cape Verde islands are much too far west. The voyages of which
the results are distinctly indicated upon the map are the first three
of Columbus, the two of the Cabots, that of Ojeda (1408-99), and
that of Pinzon (1499-1500), and, as we shall presently see, the
map gives very important and striking testimony regarding the
first voyage of Vespueius. The coast-lines and islands marked
by La Cosa with names and flags represent results of actual explo-
ration so far as known to La Cosa or exhibited to him by means
of charts or log-books. The coast-lines and islands without
names represent in general his unverified theory of the situation.









14 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

best pilot of his day. His reputation as a carto-
grapher was also high, and his maps were much
admired. The map before us was evi-
The Cabot
voyages prob- dently drawn with honesty and care. It
-ably ranged
fro Labra- represents the discoveries of the Cabots
dor, through
the gulfof St. as extending over 360 leagues of coast,
Lawrence, and
perhaps as far or about as far as from the strait of
as Cape Cod.
as Cae Cod. Belle Isle to Cape Cod, and the names
from "Cabo de Ynglaterra" to "Cabo Descubier-
to" are probably taken from English sources. But
whether the coast exhibited is that of the conti-
nent within the gulf of St. Lawrence, or the
southern coast of Newfoundland with that of Nova
Scotia, is by no means clear.' The names end

Of the northern island "Frislanda" he must probably have been
told by Columbus, for he could not have known anything of the
Zeno narrative, first made public in 1558. In the middle of the
west side of the map is a vignette representing Christopher (the
Christ-bearer) wading through the waters, carrying upon his
shoulders the infant Christ or Sun of Righteousness, to shine upon
the heathen. At the bottom of the vignette is the legend "Juan
de la cosa la fizo en el puerto desta mra en afio de 1500." The
original is five feet nine inches long by three feet two inches
wide, and is a map of the world. The full-sized facsimile pub-
lished by M. Jomard (in his Monuments de la gdographie, pl. xvi.)
is in three elephant folio sheets, of which the frontispiece to this
volume represents the third, or western. The hypothetical coast-
line of Brazil, at the bottom, is cut off square, so that the map
may be there attached to a roller; and beyond the cut-off this
same coast-line is continued on the first, or eastern sheet, as the
coast of Asia east of the Ganges. In the opinion of most geo-
graphers of that time, the situation of Quinsay (Hang-chow) in
China would come a little to the west of the westernmost English
flagstaff.
1 The former view, which is that of Humboldt, is perhaps the
more probable. See Ghillany, Geschichte des Seefahrers Ritter
Martin Behaim, Nuremberg, 1853, p. 2. The latter view is held
by Dr. Kohl (Documentary History of Mlaine, vol. i. p. 154), who








MUNDUS NOVUS.


near the mouth of a large river, which may very
probably be meant for the St. Lawrence, and be-
yond the names we see two more English flags with
the legend, "Sea discovered by Englishmen." In-
asmuch as it would be eminently possible to sail
through the gulf of St. Lawrence without becoming
aware of the existence of Newfoundland, except at
the strait of Belle Isle (which at its narrowest is
about ten miles wide), one is inclined to suspect
that the "Isla de la Trinidad" may represent all
that the voyagers saw of that large island. It is
worthy of note that on the so-called Sebastian
Cabot map of 1544 Newfoundland does not yet ap-
pear as a single mass of land, but as an archipel-
ago of not less than eleven large islands with more
than thirty small ones. By this time the reader
is doubtless beginning to have "a realizing sense"

identifies "Cabo de Ynglaterra" with Cape Race. To me it
seems more likely that Cabo de Ynglaterra is the promontory just
north of Invuktoke inlet on the coast of Labrador, and that the
island to the right of it (Ysla Verde) is meant for Greenland. If,
then, Isla de la Trinidad is the northern extremity of Newfound-
land and the river by Cabo Descubierto is the St. Lawrence, we
have a consistent and not improbable view. In spite of the two
additional flags, the coast to the left of the St. Lawrence is evi-
dently hypothetical; the next river is probably meant for the
Hoang-ho in China (called by Polo the Caramoran; see Yule's
Marco Polo, ii. 104-106), and the "sea discovered by the Eng-
lish" was probably supposed to be the Yellow Sea.
There is no good ground for the statement that Sebastian Cabot
sailed as far south as Florida. The remark of Peter Martyr, in
1515, about Cabot's reaching on the American coast the latitude
of Gibraltar, and finding himself then on a meridian of longitude
far enough west to leave Cuba on his left, is simply absurd, dilem-
matize it as you will. Such a voyage would have landed him near
Cincinnati." Stevens, Historical and Geographical Notes, p. 35.








16 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
of the fact that the work of discovering America
was not such a simple and instantaneous affair as
is often tacitly assumed.

The second voyage of the Cabots was regarded
in England as a failure, for the same reason that
Why the Ca- the later voyages of Columbus were re-
.re otol- garded with diminishing interest in
lowedup. Spain, because there was much outlay
and little profit. Whatever there was to be found
on these tantalizing coasts, it surely was not
golden Cathay. The inhospitable shores of Lab-
rador offered much less that was enticing than the
balmy valleys of Hispaniola. Furs do not seem
as yet to have attracted attention, and although
the unrivalled fisheries were duly observed and re-
ported, it was some time before the Bristol mer-
chants availed themselves of this information, for
they considered the Iceland fisheries safer.1 There
was thus little to encourage the cautious Henry
VII. in further exploration. In 1505 he made a
contract with some sailors from the Azores for a
voyage to "the New-found-land," and one item of
the result may be read in an account-book of the
treasury:-- "To Portyngales that brought popyn-
gais and catts of the mountaigne with other Stuf
to the Kinges grace, 5 1."2 In the
Voyage of
John Rut, reign of Henry VIII., and in one and
the same year, 1527, we find mention of
two voyages from Portsmouth, the one conducted
by John Rut, in the Samson and the Mary of
1Hunt's Bristol, p. 137.
2 Harrisse, Jean et Stbastien Cabot, pp. 142, 272.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


Guilford, the other by a certain Master Grube, in
the Dominus Vobiscum, the latter being perhaps
the most obscure of all the voyages of that century.
I suspect that the two voyages were identical and
the reports multifarious.1 Rut's expedition was
undertaken, at the instance of Robert Thorne, of
Bristol, for the purpose of finding a route to Ca-
thay. It encountered vast icebergs; the Samson
was lost with all its crew, and the Mary "durst
not go no further to the northward for fear of
more ice;" so after reaching Cape Race and the
bay of St. John's she returned to England.2
We hear of no further enterprises of this sort
during the reign of Henry VIII. The lack of
interest in maritime discovery is shown Change in the
by the very small number of books on iuatin be-
such matters published in England,- treign nry
VIII. and that
only twelve before 1576.3 We may ofElizabeth.
suppose that public attention was for the time
monopolized by the struggles of the Reformation,
and, even had the incentives to western voyages
been much stronger than they seem to have been,
there was serious risk of their leading to diplo-
matic complications with Spain. The government
of Charles V. kept a lynx-eyed watch upon all
trespassers to the west of Borgia's meridian.4
It was not until the Protestant England of Eliza-
beth had come to a life and death grapple with
1 See Harrisse, op. cit. p. 294.
2 Hakluyt, Principall Navigations, vol. iii. p. 129; Purchas his
Pilgrimes, vol. iii. p. 809; Fox-Bourne, English Merchants, vol. i.
p. 159; De Costa, Northmen in Maine, pp. 43-02.
3 Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., vol. iii. pp. 199-208.
4 See Harrisse, op. cit. p. 146.








18 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
Spain, and not until the discovery of America had
advanced much nearer to completion, so that its
value began to be more correctly understood, that
political and commercial motives combined in de-
termining England to attack Spain through Amer-
ica, and to deprive her of supremacy in the colo-
nial and maritime world. Then the voyages of
the Cabots assumed an importance entirely new,
and could be quoted as the basis of a prior claim,
on the part of the English crown, to lands which
it had discovered. In view of all that has since
happened, as we see these navigators coming upon
the scene for a moment in the very lifetime of Co-
lumbus, and setting up the royal standard of Eng-
land upon a bit of the American coast, we may
well be reminded of the phrase of prophetic song
that heralds a distant but inevitable doom.

La Cosa's map shows that definite information
of the Cabot voyages and their results had been
Portuguese sent to Spain before the summer of
voyagto the 1500. Similar information was pos-
Labradothe
tere, oo- sessed in Portugal, and the enterpris-
1502. ing King Emanuel (who had suc-
ceeded John II. in 1495) was led to try what could
be accomplished by a voyage to the northwest.
Some of the land visited by the Cabots seemed to
lie very near Borgia's meridian; perhaps on closer
inspection it might be found to lie to the east of it.
There can be little doubt that this was one of the
leading motives which prompted the voyages of
the brothers Cortereal. Into the somewhat vexed
details of these expeditions it is not necessary for








MUNDUS NOVUS. 19

our purposes to enter. The brothers Gaspar and
Miguel Cortereal were gentlemen of high consid-
eration in Portugal. Two or three voyages were
made by Gaspar in the course of the years 1500
and 1501; and from the last voyage two of his
ships returned to Lisbon without him, and he was
never heard of again. On May 10, 1502, Miguel
sailed with three caravels in search of his brother;
and again it happened that two of the ships re-
turned in safety, but the commander and his flag-
ship never returned. The incidents of the various
voyages are sadly confused; but it seems clear
that the coasts visited by Gaspar Cortereal were
mainly within the region already explored by the
Cabots, from Labrador perhaps as far south as the
bay of Fundy. He probably followed the east-
ern shores of Newfoundland, and crossed over to
Greenland. He brought home wild men (Iomines
silvestres) and white bears, as well as a gilded
sword-hilt and some silver trinkets of Venetian
manufacture which the natives had evidently ob-
tained from the Cabots.1 The coast which he had
followed, or part of it, was declared to lie to the
east of the papal meridian and to belong to Portu-
gal. A despatch dated October 17, 1501, recount-
ing these facts, was sent to Ercole d' Este, Duke
of Ferrara, by his agent or envoy, Alberto Cantino,

1 These voyages are ably discussed by M. Harrisse, Les Corte-
Real et leurs voyages au Nouveau Monde, Paris, 1883; see also the
accounts in Peschel's Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, 2e
aufl., Stuttgart, 1877; Kunstmann, Die Entdeckung Amerikas,
Miinich, 1859; Lafitau, Histoire des dicouvertes des Portugais dans
le Nouveau Monde, Paris, 1733, 2 vols. 4to; Winsor, Narr. and
Grit. Hist., vol. iv. pp. 1-4, 12-10.









20 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

then resident in Lisbon. An elaborate map, con-
cerning which we shall presently have more to say,
,was made for Cantino at a cost of twelve golden
The Cantino ducats, and carried by him to Italy in
map, 1502. the autumn of 1502. This map is now

preserved in the Biblioteca Estense at Modena.'
On it we see the papal meridian cutting through
Brazil, and we see the outer coast of Newfound-
land laid down to the east of the meridian and

1 The rude sketch here presented gives no idea whatever of the
fulness of detail and the gorgeous beauty of this remarkable map.
A full-sized facsimile of the western portion, 3 feet 5' inches in
width by 3 feet 2 inches in height, in the original colours, is to
be found in the portfolio accompanying M. Harrisse's work on the
Cortereals. The continents are given in a soft green, the islands
in rich blues and reds. Flags in their proper colours mark the
different sovereignties, from that of the Turks at Constantinople
to that of the Spaniards near Maracaibo. The two tropics are in
red, the equator in gold, and the papal line of demarcation in a
brilliant blue. Africa is characterized by a hilly landscape in
pale blues and greens, a castellated Portuguese fortress, native
huts, negroes in jet black, birds of various hue, and a huge lion-
headed figure in brown and gold. A circular structure called
Tower of Babilonja" appears in Egypt, while Russia is marked
by a pile of characteristic architecture suggestive of Moscow.
Newfoundland, placed to the east of the papal meridian and
labelled Terra del Rey de Portugall," is decked out with treesin
green and gold. The Brazilian coast the southern part of which
is given from hearsay, chiefly from the third voyage of Vespu-
cius, who returned to Lisbon September 7, 1502 (as is proved,
among other things, by its giving the name of the Bay of All
Saints, discovered in that voyage) is adorned with tall trees in
green, gold, and brown, among which are interspersed smaller
trees and shrubs in various shades of blue, and three enormous
paroquets intensely red, with white beaks and claws, and divers
wing and tail feathers in blue, buff, and gold. The ocean is of
an ivory tint, and the lettering, sometimes gothic sometimes cur-
sive, is in black and red. Every detail speaks for the intense
and loving interest felt in this kind of work.







MUNDUS NOVUS.


labelled Land of the King of Portugal." The
southern extremity of Greenland is also depicted
with remarkable clearness. The islands after-
wards known as West Indies, heretofore known


*| V .0
A DLL REY -
OCEANU'S 0SCtENTALUS i PORTUIGUALL


^*r^ '^" -". -

HA ANTILHAS











Sketch of part bf the Cantino map, 1502.
simply as Indies, here appear for the first time as
Antilles (has Antilhas).
Portuguese sailors were prompt in availing them-
selves of the treasures of the Newfoundland fish-
eries. By 1525 a short-lived Portuguese colony
had been established on Cape Breton island.1 But,
1 Souza, Tratado das Ilhas Novas, p. 5; Harrisse, Jean et S&-
bastien Cabot, p. 76.








22 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

as the name of that island reminds us, the Portu-
guese had sturdy rivals in this work. As early as
1504 that spot was visited by Breton, Norman,
and Basque sailors, and from that time forth the
fisheries were frequented by all these people, as
well as the Portuguese.1 The name Baccalaos,"
The New- applied on most of the early maps to
sherie"- Newfoundland or the adjacent regions,
Baccalaos. is the Basque name for codfish.2 The
English came later upon the scene. Had Eng-
land been more prompt in following up the Cabot
voyages, there would probably have been a serious
dispute, for Portugal did not cease to claim the

1 When John Rut reached the bay of St. John, August 3,1527,
he found two Portuguese, one Breton, and eleven Norman ships
fishing there. Purchas his '.' vol. v. p. 822; Harrisse,
Jean et Sebastien Cabot, p. 75; Brown, History of the Island of
Cape Breton, p. 13.
2 See the book of the Jesuit father, Georges Fournier, Hydro-
graphie, 2' 4d., Paris, 1667. Peter Martyr is mistaken in saying
that the land was named Baccalaos (by Sebastian Cabot) because
it was the native name for codfish. Gomara's account, as rendered
by Richard Eden, in 1555, is entertaining: -" The newe lande of
Baccalaos is a could region, whose inhabytantes are Idolatours
and prayer to the sonne and moone and dyuers Idoles. They are
whyte people and very rustical, for they eate flesshe and fysshe
and all other things rawe. Sumtymes also they eate man's flesshe
priuily, so that their Cacique have noknowledge thereof [!]. The
apparel, both of men and women, is made of beares skynnes, al-
though they have sables and marternes, not greatly estemed be-
cause they are little. Sum of them go naked in summer and
were apparel only in wynter. The Brytons and Frenche men
are accustomed to take fysshe in the coastes of these lands, where
is found great plenty of Tunnies which the inhabytauntes caul
Bacealaos, whereof the land was so named. In all this newe
lande is neyther citie nor castell, but they lyue in companies lyke
heardes of beastes." The First Three English Books on America,
Birmingham, 1885, p. 345.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


sovereignty of Newfoundland, on the ground that
it lay to the east of the papal meridian, and in
those days it was not easy to disprove this assump-
tion.1 But the question was swallowed up in the
events of 1580, when Spain conquered and an-
nexed Portugal; and it was not long after that
time that the inability of the Spaniards to main-
tain their mastery of the sea left the wealth of
these fisheries to be shared between France and
England.

While these northern voyages are highly inter-
esting in their relations to the subsequent work of
English colonization, nevertheless in the history of
the discovery of the New World they occupy but
a subordinate place. John Cabot was probably
the first commander since the days of the Vikings
to set foot upon the continent of North As linksinthe
America, yet it would be ridiculous to fovryth
compare his achievement with that of nothwere
voyages were
Columbus. The latter, in spite of its tant tI
admixture of error with truth, was a the southern.
scientific triumph of the first order. It was Co-
lumbus who showed the way across the Sea of
Darkness, and when once he had stood that egg
upon its end it was easy enough for others to fol-
low.2 On the other hand, in so far as the dis-

1 The reader will observe the name of Cortereal upon New-
foundland as an island on Sebastian Miinster's map of 1540; as
an archipelago on Mercator's map of 1541; and as part of the
mainland on Lok's map of 1582. See below, pp. 499, 153,525.
2 The anecdote of Columbus and the egg is told by Benzoni,
Historia del Mondo Nuovo, Venice, 1572, p. 12. It belongs to the
class of migratory myths, having already been told of Brunel-








24 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

cover of America was completed when it was
made known. to Europeans that what Columbus
had found was not Asia, but a New World, the
northern voyages had absolutely nothing to do
with its completion. The causal sequence of events,
from Columbus to Magellan, which brought out
the fact that a New World had been discovered,
would not have been altered if the voyages of the
Cabots had never been made. It was only by
voyages to the south that the eyes of Europeans
could be opened to the real significance of what
was going on. Our attention is thus directed to
the famous navigator who, without himself under-
stan ing the true state of the case, nevertheless
went far toward revealing it. The later voyages
of V espucius began to give a new meaning to the
wor of Columbus, and prepared the way for the
gran consummation by Magellan.
SA erigo Vespucci 1 was born at Florence on

leschi, the great architect who built the dome of the cathedral at
Florence about 1420. As Voltaire says, in this connection, La
plupart des bons mots sont des redites." Essai sur les Mceurs,
tom. iii. p. 351.
1 Amerigo, Amerrigo, Merigo, Mforigo, Almerico, Alberico,
Alberigo; Vespucci, Vespucy, Vespuchy, Vespuche, Vesputio,
Vespulsius, Espuchi, Despuchi; latinized Americus Vespucius.
Amerigo is an italianized form of the old German Amalrich (not
Emmerich), which in medieval French became Amaury. It means
"the steadfast'" (" celui qui endure des labeurs"). See Hum-
boldt, Examen critique, tom. iv. pp. 52-57. This derivation would
naturally make the accent fall upon the penult, Amerigo, Ameri-
cus; and thus light seems to be thrown upon the scanning of
George Herbert's verses, written in 1631, during the Puritan
exodus- -
Religion stands on tip-toe in our land,
Readie to passe to the American strand."
The Church Miilitant, 235.








MUNDUS NOVUS. 25

the 18th of March, 1452 (N. S.). He was the
third son of Anastasio Vespucci and Lis-
Early life of
abetta Mini. The family was old and Americu Ves-
respectable, and had been wealthy. An- pci
astasio was a notary public. His brother Giorgio
Antonio was a Dominican monk, an accomplished
Hellenist in those days of the Renaissance, and a
friend of the martyr Savonarola. One of Ameri-
go's brothers, Antonio, studied at the university
of Pisa. The second, Jerome, engaged in some
business which took him to Palestine, where he
suffered many hardships. Amerigo was educated
by his uncle, the Dominican, who seems to have
had several youth under his care; among these
fellow-students was the famous Piero* Soderini,
afterward gonfaloniere of Florence from 1502 to
1512.1 Amerigo acquired some knowledge of
Latin and was sufficiently affected by the spirit of
the age to be fond of making classical quotations,
but his scholarship did not go very far. At some
time, however, if not in his early years, he acquired
an excellent practical knowledge of astronomy, and
in the art of calculating latitudes and longitudes he
became an expert unsurpassed by any of his con-
temporaries.2 After his school days were over, he
was taken into the great commercial house of the
1 See Guicciardini, Storia Fiorentina, cap. xxv.; Trollope's His-
tory of the Commonwealth of Florence, vol. iv. pp. 294, 337.
2 See the testimony of Sebastian Cabot and Peter Martyr, and
Humboldt's remarks in connection therewith, in Examen critique,
tom. iv. pp. 144, 183, 191; tom. v. p. 36. Considering his strong in-
clination for astronomical studies, one is inclined to wonder whether
Vespucius may not have profited by the instruction or conversa-
tion of his fellow-townsman Toscanelli. How could he fail to
have done so ?








26 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

Medici, and seems to have led an uneventful life
at Florence until he was nearly forty years of
age.1 He devoted his leisure hours to the study of
geography, and was an eager collector of maps,
charts, and globes. On one occasion he paid 130
golden ducats for a map made in 1439 by Gabriel
de Valsequa.2 He also became an expert map-
maker himself,3 and along with such tastes one
1 What little is known of the early life of Vespucius is summed
up in Bandini, Vita e letter di Amerigo Vespucci, Florence, 1745.
The only intelligent modern treatise on the life and voyages of this
navigator is Varnhagen's collection of monographs-Amerigo
Vespucci: son.caractbre, ses ecrits (meme les moins authentiques), sa
vie et ses navigations, Lima, 1865; Le premier voyage de Amerigo
Vespucci d&finitivement expliqud dans ses details, Vienna, 1869;
Nouvelles rechtrches sur les derniers voyages du navigateurflorentin,
et le reste des documents et dclaircissements sur lui, Vienna, 1869;
Postface aux trois livraisons sur Amerigo Vespucci, Vienna, 1870;
Ainda Amerigo Vespucci: novos estudos e achegas especialmente em
favor da interpretacio dada d sua la viagem em 1497-98, Vienna,
1874. These are usually bound together in one small folio vol-
ume. Sometimes the French monographs are found together
without the Portuguese monograph. Varnhagen's book has made
everything else antiquated, and no one who has not mastered it in
all its details is entitled to speak about Vespucius. In the Eng-
lish language there is no good book on the subject. The defence
by Lester and Foster (Life and Voyages of Americus Vespucius,
New York, 1846) had some good points for its time, but is now
utterly antiquated and worse than useless. The chapter by the
late Sydney Howard Gay, in Winsor's Narrative and Critical His-
tory, vol. ii. chap. ii., is quite unworthy of its place in that excel-
lent work; but its defects are to some extent atoned for by bhe
editor's critical notes.
2 In 1848 this map "was still in the library of Count de Mon-
tenegro at Palma, in the island of Majorca." Harrisse, Biblio-
theca Americana Vetustissima, Additions, p. xxiii. It is the only
relic of Vespucius to which we can point as existing in the present
century.
3 I repayred to the byshoppe of Burges [Fonseca] being the
chief refuge of this nauigation. As wee were therefore secretly








MUNDUS NOVUS. 27
can easily see how there was a latent love of ad-
venture which it only required circumstances to
bring out. He seems in these earlier years, as
throughout his life, to have won and retained the
respect of all who knew him, as a man of integrity
and modesty, quiet, but somewhat playful in man-
ner, mild and placable in temper, and endowed
with keen intelligence. He seems to have been of
middle height, and somewhat brawny, with aquiline
features and olive complexion, black eyes and hair,
and a mouth at once firm and refined.
The Medici had important business interests in
Spain, and at some time between the Vespucius
midsummer of 1489 and the end of goes to Spain.
1491 they sent Vespucius to Barcelona as their
confidential agent. He took with him several
young Florentines who had been placed under his
care, and among them his own nephew, Giovanni
(afterwards spanished into Juan) Vespucci, a very
capable youth who accompanied him in some if not
all his voyages, and lived to be regarded as one of
the most accomplished navigators and cosmogra-
phers of the age.' Early in 1493 Americus seems

together in one chamber, we had many instruments perteynynge
to these affayres, as globes and many of those mappes which are
commonly cauled the shipmans cardes, or cardes of the sea. Of
the which, one was drawen by the Portugales, whereunto Ameri-
cus Vesputius is sayde to have put his hande, being a man most
expert in this facultie and a Florentyne borne; who also vnder
the stipende of the Portugales hadde sayled toward the south
pole." Peter Martyr, Decades of the Newe Worlde, Eden's trans-
lation, 1555, dec. ii. lib. x.
1 The young Vesputius is one to whom Americus Vesputius
his vncle left the exact knowledge of the mariners facultie, as it
were by inheritance after his death, for he was a very expert mais-








28 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

to have formed some sort of connection with the
Florentine commercial house of Juanoto Berardi,
at Seville.1 This Berardi, who had been domiciled
in Spain for more than nine years and was a friend
of Columbus, was employed by the crown in fit-
ting out ships for the Atlantic voyages. On the
9th of April, 1495, we find him signing a contract
engaging to furnish twelve vessels with an aggre-
gate burthen of 900 tons, and to have four of them
ready that same month, four more in June, and
the rest in September.2 We shall presently find
this contract quite interesting and its date elo-
quent. In December of that same year Berardi
died, and we find Vespucius taking his place and
fulfilling what remained to be fulfilled of the con-
tract and sundry obligations growing out of it.
From the above facts the statement, often made,
that Vespucius took part in fitting out the second
voyage of Columbus is quite probable. He can

ter in the knowledge of his carde, his compasse, and the eleuation
of the pole starre with all that perteineth therto. Vespntius
is my very familiar frende, and a wyttie young man in whose
company I take great pleasure, and therefore vse hym often-
tymes for my geste." Id., dec. iii. lib. v.
1 Vostra Mag. sapra, come el motiuo della venuta mia in
questo regno di Spagna fu pc tractare mercatantie: & come se-
guissi in q'sto proposito circa di quattro anni : nequalli uiddi &
connobbi edisuariati mouime'ti della fortune; deliberai las-
ciarmi della mercantia & porre elmio fine in cosa pin laudabile &
ferma: che fu che midisposi dandare a uedere parte del mondo,
& le sue marauiglie." Lettera di Amerigo Vespucci delle isole
nuouamente trouate in quattro suoi viaggi,--written to Soderini
from Lisbon, September 4, 1504; primitive text reprinted in Varn-
hagen, Lima, 1865, p. 35.
2 See the document in Varnhagen, p. 93; Navarrete, tom. ii
pp. 159-162.








MUNDUS NOVUS. 29

hardly have failed to become acquainted with
Columbus in the summer of 1493, if he had not
Imown him before. The relations between the
two seem always to have been most cordial;1 and
after the Admiral's' death his sons seem to have
continued to hold the Florentine navigator in high
esteem.
Our information concerning Americus Vespu-
cius, from the early part of the year Hi letter to
1496 until after his return from the Medici and
Soderini.
Portuguese to the Spanish service in
the latter part of 1504, rests primarily upon his
two famous letters; the one addressed to his old
patron Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici (a
cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent) and written in
March or April, 1503, giving an account of his
third voyage: 2 the other addressed to his old
school-fellow Piero Soderini and dated from Lis-
bon, September 4, 1504, giving a brief account of
four voyages which he had made under various
commanders in the capacity of astronomer or pilot.3
1 See the Admiral's letter to his son Diego, dated February 5,
1505, in Navarrete, tom. i. p. 351.
2 The earliest Latin and Italian texts are given in Varnhagen,
pp. 0-20.
3 The primitive Italian text and the famous Latin version pres-
ently to be noticed are given in Varnhagen, pp. 33-04.
Varnhagen prints three other letters, attributed to Vespucius,
which have been often quoted. They are all addressed to Lorenzo
di Pier Francesco de' Medici: --1. relating to the second voyage,
and dated July 18, 1500, first published in 1745 by Bandini; it is
unquestionably a forgery, not older than the seventeenth century,
and has done much to bemuddle the story of Vespucius; 2. dated
from Cape Verde, June 4, 1501, while starting on the third voy-
age, first published in 1827 by Baldelli; the document itself is
not original, but I am inclined to think it may perhaps be made








THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


These letters, for reasons presently to be set forth,
became speedily popular, aid many editions were
published, more especially in France, Germany,
and Italy. It is extremely improbable that proof-
sheets of any of these editions could ever have
been read by the author, and it is perfectly clear
that if his eye ever rested at any time upon the
few strange errors of editing and proof-reading
which were destined to embroil and perplex his
story in the minds of future generations, he could
not possibly have foreseen or dimly surmised what
wretched complications were going to flow from
the slight admixtures of error in the printed text.
For Americus died, as Columbus had died, without
ever having suspected the real significance of the
discoveries in which he had been concerned.
The letter to Soderini gives an account of four
The four voyages in which the writer took part,
voyages de- the first two in the service of Spain, the
scribed in the
letters:- other two in the service of Portugal.
First voyage.
The first expedition sailed from Cadiz
May 10, 1497, and returned October 15, 1498, after
having explored a coast so long as to seem un-
questionably that of a continent. This voyage, as
we shall see, was concerned with parts of America

up from genuine notes or memoranda; 3. relating to the third
voyage, and dated 1502, first published in 1789 by Bartolozzi. I
do not regard it as genuine, but as it adds nothing to what is
contained in the genuine letters, the point is of no great impor-
tance.
A Spanish letter fromVespucius to Cardinal Ximenes is pub-
lished by Augusto Zeri, in his Tre Lettere di Colombo e Vespucci,
Rome, 1881; but it has no reference to the questions discussed in
the present chapter.


'30







MUNDUS NOVUS. 31
not visited again until 1513 and 1517. It dis-
covered nothing that was calculated to invest it
with much importance in Spain, though it by no
means passed without notice there, as has often
been wrongly asserted. Outside of Spain it came
to attract more attention, but in an unfortunate
way, for a slight but very serious error in proof-
reading or editing in the most important of the
Latin versions caused it after a while to be practi-
cally identified with the second voyage, made two
years later. This confusion eventually led to most
outrageous imputations upon the good name of
Americus, which it has been left for the present
century to remove.
The second voyage of Vespucius was that in
which he accompanied Alonso de Ojeda Second
and Juan de La Cosa, from May 20, voyage.
1499, to June, 1500. They explored the northern
coast of South America from some point on what
we would now call the north coast of Brazil, as
far as the Pearl Coast visited by Columbus in the
preceding year; and they went beyond, as far as
the gulf of Maracaibo. Here the squadron seems
to have become divided, Ojeda going over to His-
paniola in September, while Vespucius remained
cruising till February.
In the autumn of 1500, or early in 1501, at the
invitation of King Emanuel of Portugal, Vespu-
cius transferred his services to that
country. His third voyage was from Troyg
Lisbon, May 14, 1501, to September 7, 1502. iHe
pursued the Brazilian coast as far as latitude 340
S., and ran thence S. E., as far as the island of







32 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
South Georgia. I shall presently show why it
was that such a voyage, into this wholly new part
of the world, excited public curiosity even more
keenly than those of Columbus and Gama, and
how curiously but naturally it led to the placing
of the name America" upon the map.
In a fourth voyage, from June 10, 1503, to
Fourth June 18, 1504, Vespucius, with Gon-
voyage. zalo Coelho, undertook to follow the
Brazilian coast to its end or until they should
find some passage into the Indian ocean. This
expedition met with disasters, and after reaching
latitude 230 S., Vespucius returned to Lisbon with-
out accomplishing anything.
In the autumn of 1504 Americus returned to the
service of Spain with the rank of cap-
tain and a salary of 30,000 maravedis.
He went on two more voyages, in company with
La Cosa, in 1505 and 1507, for the exploration of
the gulf of UrabA and the coasts adjoining. It
seems to have been early in 1505 that he mar-
ried a Spanish lady, Maria Cerezo, and became le-
gally domiciled at Seville. On the 22d of March,
1508, because of the growing interest in voyages
to the Indies and the increasing number of squad-
rons equipped for such a purpose, the government
created the highly responsible office of Pilot Major
of Spain. It was to be the duty of this officer to
institute and superintend examinations for all can-
didates for the position of pilot, to judge of their
proficiency in practical astronomy and navigation,
and to issue certificates of competence to the suc-
cessful candidates. Such work involved the es-








MUNDUS NOVUS.


tablishment and supervision of regular methods of
training in nautical science. The pilot espucius ap-
major was also general inspector of pointed pilot
major of
maps, globes, and sailing charts, and he Spain.
was expected to provide for the compilation of a
" Carta Padron Real," or authoritative government
map, which was to be revised and amended with
reference to new information brought home by pi-
lots from the Indies year after year.1 On the 6th
of August, 1508, this important office was conferred
upon Vespucius, with a salary of 75,000 maravedis.
It was but a short time that Americus lived to dis-
charge the duties of pilot major. After
His death.
his death, which occurred at Seville,
February 22, 1512, he was succeeded in that office
by Juan Diaz de Solis, who in turn was succeeded
by Sebastian Cabot.

In view of the Egyptian darkness that has here-
tofore enveloped, and in the popular mind still
surrounds, the subject of Americus Vespucius and
his voyages, it has seemed advisable to complete
the mere outline of the events of his life before
entering into discussion, in the hope of showing
where the truth is to be found and how the mis-
takes have been made. The reader will find it
convenient to bear in mind this simple outline
sketch while I now return to the consideration of
the first and second voyages, and point out how
the mystery that has so long surrounded them has

1 The official document describing the duties and powers of the
pilot major is given in Navarrete, Coleccion de viages, tom. iii.
pp. 299-302.







34 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
been in great part cleared away and seems likely
erelong to be completely dispelled.
First we must note the character of our primary
The letter and only detailed authority for the
cis to Sode- events of all four voyages, the letter
ri". from Vespucius to Soderini, dated Lis-
bon, September 4, 1504. Observe that this is not
a formal or official document; it is not a report
from a naval commander or the conductor of a
scientific expedition to the head of his department.
It is the business of such official reports to give
names and incidents, dates and distances, and all
relevant statistical information, with the greatest
possible fulness and precision; and if there is
any noticeable deficiency in this regard, we are
entitled to blame the writer. With informal let-
ters written to one's friends the case is very differ-
ent. If Vespucius, in sending to his old school-
mate a cursory account of his adventures during
seven years past, failed to mention sundry details
which it annoys and puzzles us not to know, we
have no business to find fault with him. He had
a perfect right to tell his story in his own way.
He was writing to a friend, not posing for poster-
ity. Some querulous critics have blamed him for
not mentioning the names of his commanders, as
if he were intending to convey a false impression
of having commanded in these voyages himself.
No such impression is conveyed to the reader, how-
ever, but quite the contrary. On the first voyage
Americus describes himself as invited by King
Ferdinand to assist in the enterprise; as to
his position in the second voyage there is no im-








MUNDUS NOVUS. 3b

plication whatever; as to the third and fourth he
expressly mentions that he served under other
captains. His Whole letter shows plainly enough
that on his most important voyages he went in the
capacity of "astronomer." During the
He went on his
latter half of the fifteenth century, as earliervoyages
in the capaci-
voyages were extending farther and far- ty of astron-
0 orOer.
their into unknown stretches of sea, it
became customary to sail with such an officer on
board. Each ship had its captain, its mastert" (or
mate), and its pilot; and for the squadron, besides
its captain-general, and its chief pilot, expert in the
knack and mystery of navigation, there was apt to
be (whenever it was possible to find one) a person
well skilled in the astrolabe, fertile in expedients
for determining longitude, and familiar with the
history of voyages and with the maps and specu-
lations of learned geographers. Sometimes there
was a commander, like Columbus, who combined
all these accomplishments in himself; but in the
case of many captains, even of such superb navi-
gators as Pinzon and La Cosa, much more in the
case of land-lubbers like Bastidas and Ojeda, it
was felt desirable to have the assistance of a spe-
cialist in cosmography. Such was evidently the
position occupied by Vespucius; and occasions
might and did arise in which it gave him the con-
trol of the situation, and made the voyage, for all
historical purposes, his voyage.
It is certainly much to be regretted that in the
narrative of his first expedition Vespucius did not
happen to mention the name of the chief com-
mander. If he had realized what a world of trouble







36 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
one little name, such as Pinzon, would have saved
us he would doubtless have obliged us by doing so.
However, as already observed, he was writing not
for us, but for his friend, and he told Soderini
only what he thought would interest him. In his
preface Americus somewhat playfully apologizes
for presuming to intrude upon that magistrate's
arduous cares of state with so long a letter. He
accordingly refrains from giving professional de-
tails, except in stating latitudes and longitudes and
distances run, and even here he leaves gaps and
contents himself with general statements that to
us are sometimes far from satisfactory. He also
gives very few proper names of places, either those
supposed to be current among the natives, or those
applied by the discoverers. But of such facts
as would be likely to interest Soderini he gives
haracterof plenty. He describes, with the keen
his descrip- zest of a naturalist, the beasts, birds,
tons. and fishes, the trees, herbs, and fruits,
of the countries visited ; their climates, the stars
in their firmament, the personal appearance and
habits of the natives, their food and weapons, their
houses and canoes, their ceremonies and their
diversity of tongues. Such details as these proved
intensely interesting, not only to Soderini, but to
many another reader, as was shown by the wide
circulation obtained by the letter when once it had
found its way into print. In an age when Pope
Leo X. sat up all night reading the "Decades" of
Peter Martyr, curiosity and the vague sense of
wonder were aroused to the highest degree, and
the facts observed by Vespucius --although told







MUNDUS NOVUS.


in the hurried and rambling style of an offhand
epistle were well adapted to satisfy and further
to stimulate these cravings. But for the modern
investigator, engaged upon the problem of deter-
mining precise localities in tropical America, these
descriptions are too general. They may some-
times be made to apply to more than one region,
and we are again reminded of the difficulty which
one finds in describing a walk or drive over coun-
try roads and making it intelligible to others with-
out the aid of recognized proper names. The
reader will please note these italics, for it is an
error in proper names that has been chiefly respon-
sible for the complicated misunderstandings that
have done such injustice to Vespucius.
In the letter to Lorenzo de' Medici, written
about April, 1503, reference is made to The Quattro
a book, or group of three pamphlets, Glo"book o~
which Vespucius had already written, Vespucius.
giving a definite and detailed account of his voy-
ages. He tells Lorenzo that the pamphlet de-
scribing the third voyage is now in the hands of
the King of Portugal, and he hopes it will soon be
returned to him. He hopes at some future day,
when more at leisure, to utilize these materials in
writing a treatise on cosmography, in order that
posterity may remember him and that God's crea-
tive work in a region unknown to the ancients
may be made known. If God shall spare his life
until he can settle down quietly at Florence, he
hopes then, with the aid and counsel of learned
men, to be able to complete such a book.1 But
1 Vt si quando mihi ocium dabitur possim omnia hec singu-








38 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

just now he is about to start on a fourth voyage,
the results of which will probably need to be
added to the book. In the letter to Soderini, writ-
ten seventeen months later, after the return from
the fourth voyage, Americus refers more than once
to this book, under the title "Four Journeys"
(Quattro Giornate). It is not yet published, he
says, because he needs more time to revise it; in
this narrative everything will be minutely de-
scribed.1 It is thus quite clear why Vespucius
was not more explicit in his letters; and we can
also well understand how his arduous duties as
pilot major of Spain would delay the publication
of his book until discourteous death2 overtook
him. Unfortunately, while versions of the hastily
written letters, intended only for the moment,
have survived, the manuscript of the carefully
written book, so conscientiously withheld until it
could be perfected, has perished.3
laria atque mirabilia colligere, et vel geographic vel cosmographie
librum conscribere: ut mei recordatio apud posters vivat, & onm-
nipotentis dei cognoscatur tam immensum artificium in parte pris-
cis ignotum, nobis autem cognitum. Patriam & quietem re-
petere conabor, vbi & cum peritis conferre: & ab amicis id opus
proficiendum confortari et adjuvari valeam." Varnhagen, p. 25.
1 In quest gente, & in loro terra conobbi & uiddi tanti de loro
costumi & lor modi di uiuere, che no' curo di allargharmi in epsi:
perche sapra V. M come in ciascuno delli miei uiaggi ho notate le
cose pin marauigliose: & tutto ho rdocto in un volume in stilo di
geografia: & le intitulo LE QUATTRO GIORNATE: nella quale
opera sicontiene le cose p, minute & per anchora no' sene data
fuora copia, perche me necessario conferirla." Varnhagen, p. 45.
2 "Moorte villana; see Dante, Vita Nuova, viii., and Profes-
sor Norton's charming version.
s One hesitates to say too positively about any book that it has
perished. Things have such queer ways of turning up, as for in-
stance Aristotle's treatise on the government of Athens, after its








MUNDUS NOVUS.


As for the letters themselves, the manuscripts
are nowhere forthcoming, and until lately it has
been maintained that none of the printed texts
are originals, but that all are reprints TheLatinver-
from a primitive text that has been "eit(17)f
lost. Of the letter to Soderini the ver- Soderini.
sion which has played the most important part in
history is the Latin one first published at the press
of the little college at Saint-Did in Lorraine, April
25 (vij Kl' Maij), 1507. We shall presently have
more to say about the remarkable book in which
this version appears; suffice it here to observe that
it was translated, not from an original text, but
from an intermediate French version, which is
lost. Of late years, however, we have
Recent discov-
detected, in an excessively rare Italian ery of the
primitive
text, the original from which the fa- Itaiantext,
1505-06.
mous Lorraine version was ultimately
derived. Of this little book M. Harrisse was able
in 1872 to mention four copies as still existing, -
one in the Palatine library at Florence, one in the
library of the Marquis Gino Capponi in that city,
one in the British Museum, and one purchased at
Havana in 1863 by the eminent Brazilian histo-
rian, Francisco Adolpho de Varnhagen, Viscount
de Porto Seguro. This last-named copy had once
been in the Cartuja at Seville, and it was bound in
Rip Van Winkle slumber of two thousand years. Of a certain
copy of Oviedo's first folio (Toledo, 1526) M. Harrisse observes:
" The only other copy which we know of this extremely rare book
is in Havana, and was found in a Madrid butcher's stall, as the
illiterate dealer in meat was tearing it to wrap a sirloin of beef
which a pretty manola had just purchased." Notes on Columbus,
New York, 1860, p. 18.







40 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
vellum together with a tract of St. Basil, printed at
Florence by the printer Gian Stefano di Carlo di
Pavia, for the publisher Pietro Pacini, of Pescia, in
1506. From the manner in which the edges of the
leaves were gnawed it was evident that the two
tracts had been within the same cover for a great
length of time. Closer examination showed that
they were printed from the same font of type; and
a passage in Girolamo Priuli's diary, dated July 9,
1506, says that the voyages of Vespucius.have al-
ready been printed.' If we were absolutely sure
that this statement refers to this edition, it would
settle its date beyond all question; but as there is
no other edition ever heard of or known to have
existed to which it can possibly refer, the circum-
stantial evidence becomes exceedingly strong.
Moreover the language of this text is a corrupt
Italian, abounding in such Spanish and Portu-
guese words and turns of expression as Vespucius
would have been likely, during fourteen years of
residence in the Iberian peninsula and of associa-
tion with its sailors, to incorporate into his every-
day speech. This fact is very significant, for if a
book thus printed in Florence were a translation
from anything else, its language would be likely
to be the ordinary Italian of the time, not a jar-
gon salted with Atlantic brine. Altogether it
seems in the highest degree probable that we have
here the primitive text, long given up for lost, of
S" Questa navigazione, e la natural delle person, e li viaggi, e
Ii venti, e tutto sono in stampa notati con gran intelligenza."
Foscarini, Letteratura veneziana, Padua, 1752, p. 179.










zet'Cra di Awntrio ierptcc
deftl iole nunouamentC
trovaccin qua wro
wivi ogai*t


Facsimile of title-page of the original Italian edition of the letter
from Vespucius to Soderini, published at Florence, 1505-06.









42 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

the ever memorable letter from Vespucius to his
former schoolmate Soderini.1
If now we compare this primitive text with the
Latin of the Lorraine version of 1507, we observe
that in the latter one proper name the Indian
name of a place visited by Americus on his first
Change o t voyage has been altered. In the ori-
Indian name ginal it is Lariab; in the Latin it has
Lariab into
the Indian become Parias. This looks like an in-
name Parias
- in the Latin stance of injudicious editing on the part
version of
07; original of the Latin translator, although, of
source of all
the calumny course, it may be a case of careless
against Ameri-
cus. proof-reading. Lariab is a queer-look-
ing word. It is no wonder that a scholar in his

1 The title of this edition is Lettera di Amerigo Vespucci delle
isole nuouamente trouate in quattro suoi viaggi, sixteen unnumbered
leaves in quarto. It is No. 87 in Harrisse's Bibliotheca Americana
Vetustissima, New York, 1866, where the date 1516 is conjectu-
rally assigned it; but that date is clearly wrong, as M. Harrisse
has since recognized. In the Additions (Paris, 1872) to his great
work he is inclined to adopt Varnhagen's date, 1505-1506, and
considers it almost certain that this text was the original source
of the Lorraine Latin version published April 25, 1507. M. d'Ave-
zac is of the same opinion; see his Martin Waltzemiiller, p. 46.
For the whole argument, see Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci, pp.
27-31. This primitive text is reproduced, page for page and line
for line, with all its typographical peculiarities and its few quaint
wood cuts, by Varnhagen. Mr. Quaritch (Rough List, No. 111,
April 16, 1891, p. 52) says there are five copies extant. He
bought one for 524 at the sale of the late Dr. Court's library at
Paris in 1884 ; and it is now, I believe, in the library of Mr. C. H.
Kalbfleisch, of New York. From this original Mr. Quaritch pub-
lished in 1885 a facsimile reproduction, which may be bought for
five guineas, and an English translation, price two guineas and a
half; so that now for the first time since the discovery of Amer-
ica an English reader not thoroughly at home in Italian thickly
interlarded with Spanish and Portuguese can see for himself what
Vespucius really said.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


study among the mountains of Lorraine could
make nothing of it. If he had happened to be
acquainted with the language of the Huastecas,
who dwelt at that time about the river Panuco,
fierce and dreaded enemies of their southern
neighbours, the Aztecs,-he would have known
that names of places in that region were apt to
end in ab (Tanlajab, Tancuayalab, Tancuallalab),'
very much as English names of towns are apt to
end in ham and Persian names of countries in
stan. But as such facts were quite beyond our
worthy translator's ken, we cannot much blame
him if he felt that such a word as Lariab needed
doctoring. Parias (Paria) was known to be the
native name of a region on the western shores of
the Atlantic, and so Lariab became Parias. As
the distance from the one place to the other is
more than two thousand miles, this little emenda-
tion shifted the scene of the first voyage beyond
all recognition, and cast the whole subject into an
outer darkness where there has since been much
groaning and gnashing of teeth.
Another curious circumstance came in to con-
firm this error. On his first voyage, Howthe ,lit-
shortly before arriving at Lariab, Ves- tle wooden
Venice" aid-
pucius saw an Indian town built over edandabetted
the error.
the water, like Venice." He counted
forty-four large wooden houses, "like barracks,"
supported on huge tree-trunks and communicating
with each other by bridges that could be drawn
1 Orozeo y Berra, Geografia de lengoas y carta etnogrdfica de
* Mexico, p. 289; Varnhagen, Le premier voyage de Vespucci,
p. 20.








44 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


up in case of danger. This may well have been
a village of communal houses of the Chontals on
the coast of Tabasco; but such villages were after-
wards seen on the gulf of Maracaibo, and one of
them was called Venezuela,1 or "Little Venice,"
a name since spread over a territory nearly twice
as large as France. So the amphibious town de-
scribed by Vespucius was incontinently moved to
Maracaibo, as if there could be only one such
place, as if that style of defensive building had
not been common enough in many ages and in
many parts of the earth, from ancient Switzer-
land to modern Siam. Such "little Venices"
might once have been seen near the mouth of the
Amazon, and there is now, or has lately been, a
similar town named Bodegas, on the coast of Ec-
uador, near Guayaquil.2
Thus in spite of the latitudes and longitudes
The ge distinctly stated by Vespucius in his
The charge
that Vespu- letter, did Lariab and the little wooden
cius feigned to
have discov- Venice get shifted from the gulf of
ered the coast
of Paris in Mexico to the northern coast of South
1497.
America. Now there is no question
that Vespucius in his second voyage, with Ojeda
for captain, did sail along that coast, visiting the
gulfs of Paria and Maracaibo. This was in the

1 The name occurs in this place on La Cosa's map, which thus
confirms the common statement that Ojeda found such a village
on his first voyage (Vespucius's second) in 1499. Ojeda at first
called the gulf the lake of St. Bartholomew," because he dis-
covered it on the 24th of August; some years afterward he spoke
of it as "gulf of Venice" (golfo de Venecia). See Navarrete,
Coleccion, tom. iii. p. 8.
2 Varnhagen, Le premier voyage de Vespucci, p 13.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


summer of 1499, one year after a part of the
same coast had been visited by Columbus. Hence
in a later period, long after the actors in these
scenes had been gathered unto their fathers, and
when people had begun to wonder how the New
World could ever have come to be called America
instead of Columbia, it was suggested that the
first voyage described by Vespucius must be merely
a clumsy and fictitious duplicate of the second,
and that he invented it and thrust it back from
1499 to 1497, in order that he might be The date 1497
accredited with the "discovery of the a nothing
continent" one year in advance of his dowit the
naming of
friend Columbus. It was assumed that America.
he must have written his letter to Soderini with
the base intention of supplanting his friend, and
that the shabby device was successful. This ex-
planation seemed so simple and intelligible that it
became quite generally adopted, and it held its
ground until the subject began to be critically
studied and Alexander von Humboldt showed,
about sixty years ago, that the first naming of
America occurred in no such way as had been
supposed.
As soon as we refrain from projecting our mod-
ern knowledge of geography into the past, as soon
as we pause to consider how these great events
appeared to the actors themselves, the absurdity
of this accusation against Americus becomes evi-
dent. We are told that he falsely pretended to
have visited Paria and Maracaibo in 1497, in
order to claim priority over Columbus in the dis-
covery of "the continent." What continent?








THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


When Vespucius wrote that letter to Soderini,
in 1504, neither he nor anybody else
Absurdity in-
herent in the suspected that what we now call Amer-
charge. ica had been discovered. The only con-
tinent of which there could be any question, so
far as supplanting Columbus was concerned, was
Asia. But in 1504 Columbus was generally sup-
posed to have discovered the continent of Asia,
by his new route, in 1492. In that year and in
1494, taking the two voyages together, he had
sailed more than a thousand miles along the coast
of Cuba without detecting its insular character.
As the history of that time has always, until very
lately, been written, we have been told that the
insularity of Cuba was first revealed by Sebastian
de Ocampo, who circumnavigated it in 1508. If
this opinion were correct, Americus could not pos-
sibly have undertaken to antedate Columbus with
his figure 1497; it would have been necessary
for him to feign a voyage earlier than the autumn
of 1492. As I shall presently show, however,
Americus probably did know, in 1504, that Cuba
was an island, inasmuch as in 1497-98 he had
passed to the west of it himself, touching the
coasts of both Yucatan and Florida If this view
is correct, then he did visit what we now know to
have been the continent of America, but which
he supposed to be the continent of Asia, a year in
advance of Columbus, and of course the accusa-
tion against him falls to the ground. From this
dilemma there seems to be no escape.
The perplexity surrounding the account of the
first voyage of Vespucius is therefore chiefly due







MUNDUS NOVUS.


to the lack of intelligence with which it has been
read. There is no reason whatever for imagining
dishonesty in his narrative, and no reason for not
admitting it as evidence on the same terms as
those upon which we admit other contemporary
documents. The court presumes the witness to
be truthful until adequate reason has been alleged
for a contrary presumption. What, then, are we
to conclude in the case of this voyage of 1497 ?
The evidence that no such voyage was made in
that year along the Pearl Coast is as strong as it
is possible for negative evidence to be; indeed it
seems unanswerable. We have seen how Colum-
bus, owing to his troubles with rebellious Span-
iards and the machinations of his enemy Fonseca,
was deprived of his government of Hispaniola,
and how he ended his days in poverty and neglect,
vainly urging King Ferdinand (as acting regent
of Castile) to reinstate him in the dignities and
emoluments which had been secured to him by
solemn compact under the royal seal in April,
1492. The right to these dignities and emolu-
ments was inherited by his eldest son, claimsof Die-
Don Diego Columbus, and that young go Columbu.
man was earnest in pressing his claims. He urged
that Ovando should be recalled from Hispaniola
and himself duly installed as viceroy of the Indies,
with his percentage of the revenues accruing from
Hispaniola, the Pearl Coast, and such other re-
gions as his father had discovered. Whether'
these claims of Diego would ever have received
any recognition, except for one fortunate circum-
stance, may be doubted. Diego seems to have







48 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
inherited his father's good fortune in winning the
hearts of aristocratic ladies. He had lived in the
royal household since he was taken there as a page
in 1492, and in 1508 he married a princess, Maria
de Toledo, whose paternal grandmother was sister
to the mother of Ferdinand the Catholic.1 The
next year Ovando was recalled from Hispaniola,
and Diego, accompanied by his bride and many
people from the court, went out and assumed the
government of the Indies.2 The king, however,
was not prepared to admit the full claims of Diego
Columbus to a percentage on the revenues with-
out interposing every obstacle in his power. It
was understood that the matter must be adjusted
by litigation; and in 1508, the year of his mar-
islawsuit riage, Diego brought suit against the
against the crown of Castile, in the fiscal court of
that kingdom, for the full restitution of
rights and emoluments wrongfully withheld from
the heir of the Admiral Don Christopher Colum-
bus. This suit dawdled along for several years,
as such suits are apt to do. Various pleas in
abatement of Diego's demands weie presented by
the crown. At length in 1513 a plea was put in
which invested the case with fresh interest, inso-
much that Diego came home from Hispaniola to
give it his personal care. The king had taken it
into his head to subject the Admiral's claims as
discoverer to a critical examination, in the hope of
paring them down to as small a figure as possible.
1 See Harrisse, Christophe Colomb, tom. ii. p. 247.
2 Herrera, dec. i. cap. vii. p. 189; Oviedo; Historia general de
las Indias, tom. i. p. 97.







MUNDUS NOVUS. 49
An inquiry was accordingly instituted in 1513,
and renewed in 1515, in order to define The great ju-
by a judicial decision how much Colum- d' th'i- r
bus had discovered and how far the banzas.
work of other navigators might properly be held to
diminish his claims to originality. Observe that
the question at issue was not as to who discov-
ered America." It was a question of much nar-
rower and more definite import, and the interest
felt in it by both parties to the suit was mainly
a pecuniary interest. The question was: in
just what islands and stretches of "terra firma"
in the Indies was Diego Columbus entitled to
claim a share in the revenues on the strength of
his father's discoveries? What might have been
done by other Spanish navigators, outside of the
regions visited by Christopher Columbus, was
quite irrelevant; the Columbus family could have
no claim upon such regions. The investigation,
therefore, was directed chiefly upon three points:
- 1. great pains were taken to bring out all the
facts relating to the discovery of the rich Pearl
Coast; 2. much less attention was given to the Ad-
miral's last voyage along Honduras and Veragua;
and 3. some attempt was made to see if his merit
in first pointing out the way to the Indies could
be diminished by proof of indispensable aid ren-
dered by Martin Alonso Pinzon and others.
These interrogatories and answers, which were
published in the great work of Navarrete under
the general title of Probanzas,i are simply in-
valuable for the light which they throw upon the
1 Navarrete, Coleccion de viages, tom. iii. pp. 538-615.







50 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
biography of Columbus and some of the more
minute details in the history of the time. With
regard to the alleged voyage of Vespucius (as
along the Pearl Coast) in 1497 they are quite
conclusive. Nearly a hundred witnesses were ex-
amined under oath, including Alonso de Ojeda
himself, who made the voyage along that coast in
1499, when he had with him Juan de La Cosa,
Americus Vespucius, and other pilots.' Ojeda
was a friend of Fonseca and an enemy of Colum-
bus. In his voyage of 1499 he used a
espuiu did copy of a chart, furnished him by Fon-
not discover
the Pearl seca, which had been made by Column-
Coast in 1497.
bus the year before and sent by him
to the sovereigns. At the time of the Proban-
zas, Vespucius and La Cosa were both in their
graves and could not be summoned as witnesses,
but Ojeda's testimony was positive and explicit
that Columbus was the discoverer of the Pearl
Coast. Now if his own pilot, Vespucius, had vis-
ited that coast in 1497, Ojeda could not have
failed to know the fact, and he would have been
only too glad to proclaim it. If such a fact could
have been established, it would at once have set-
tled the question as to the Pearl Coast in favour
of the king, and there would have been no need
of the elaborate but weak and unsuccessful argu-
ments to-which the crown lawyers had recourse.
The result of the inquiry was overwhelmingly in
favour of Columbus; and from beginning to end
I En este viage que este dicho testigo trijo consigo a Juan de
la Cosa, piloto, e Morigo Vespuche, e otros pilotss" Navarrete,
tom. iii. p. 544.







MUNDUS NOVUS.


not an interrogatory nor an answer, either on the
part of Diego or on the part of the crown, betrayed
the faintest glimmering of a consciousness that
anybody had ever made, or that anybody had ever
professed to have made, a voyage along the Pearl
Coast before 1498.
This fact has been commonly and rightly re-
garded as decisive. It makes it morally certain
that Vespucius did not visit Paria or Maracaibo
or the coast between them in 1497. But it con-
tains another implication which seems to ,
have passed without notice. It makes it equal orce,
that he never
equally certain that Vespucius had never professed to
have done so.
professed to have made such a voyage.
At the beginning of the Probanzas, in 1513, the
Italian letter from Vespucius to Soderini had been
in print at least seven years; the Latin version,
which made it accessible to educated men all over
Europe, had been in print six years, and was so
popular that it had gone through at least six edi-
tions. We can hardly suppose the letter to have
been unknown in Spain; indeed we know that one
copy of the Italian original was in Spain in 1513
in the possession of Ferdinand Columbus, who
bought it in Rome in September, 1512, for five
cuattrini.1 From 1508 until his death in Febru-
ary, 1512, Americiis held one of the highest posi-
tions in the Spanish marine. Now if the Pilot
Major of Spain had ever made any public preten-
sions which in any way tended to invalidate the
claim of Diego Columbus, that his father had first
discovered the Pearl Coast, can we for a moment
1 Harrisse, Fernand Colomb, p. 11.







52 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


suppose that at just that time, with such a lawsuit
impending, the king would not have heard of
those pretensions and used them for all they were
worth? It is not supposable. The fact that
neither party to the suit knew of such claims on
the part of Americus proves not only that they
were unfounded, but that they had never been
made. It shows that contemporary Spaniards,
familiar with the facts and reading the narrative
of his voyages, did not understand the first one as
referring to the Pearl Coast, but to an entirely dif-
ferent region.
It was M. Varnhagen who first turned inquiry
The landfall on this subject in the right direction.
oytage o es Where does Vespucius say that he went
r Cape on his first voyage ? He says that he
Honduras. started May 10, 1497, from Cadiz and
ran to the Grand Canary, the distance of which
from Lisbon he calls 280 leagues. We thus find
the length of the league used by Vespucius and
get a scale wherewith to measure his distances.
That run is not likely to have been made in less
than seven days, and as he staid eight days more
at the Grand Canary, he must have started thence
about May 25. After a run of 37 (or 27) days 1
he made land in a direction about west-southwest
from the Canaries and distant 1,000 leagues, in
latitude 160 N. and longitude 750 W. from the
meridian of the Grand Canary. If we suppose
this land to have been Cape Honduras, the lati-
tude, about which Vespucius was least likely to be
mistaken, is exactly right; his distance by dead
1 See below, p. 87, note.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


reckoning is somewhat too small, probably because
he failed to allow for the acceleration due to the
westward current in the Caribbean sea; and his
longitude is scarcely 50 in excess, a very moderate
error for those days. The northern coast of Hon-
duras not only thus suits the conditions of the
case,1 but makes the subsequent details of the
voyage consistent and intelligible. Having taken
a correct start by simply following the words of
Vespucius himself, from a primitive text, without
reference to any preconceived theories or tradi-
tions, M. Varnhagen finds, from further analysis
of the narrative, that he sailed around Yucatan,
and found his aquatic village of communal houses,2
his little wooden Venice, on the shore of Tabasco.
Thence, after a fight with the natives in which a
few tawny prisoners3 were captured and carried
on board the caravels, Vespucius seems to have
taken a straight course to the Huasteca country by

1 The entrance to the gulf of Maracaibo is about 120 N. by 52'
*!V. from Canaries; Paria, at the other end of the Pearl Coast, is
about 110 N. by 440 W. from Canaries; so that no point on that
coast can by any possibility be intended by Vespucius.
2 In a single house Vespucius found 600 people, and in one
place he estimated the population of 18 houses as about 4,000, or
rather more than 300 to a house. These figures are eminently
probable.
3 They were of medium stature, and well proportioned, with
reddish skin like a lion's: Sono di median statura, molto ben
proportionati: le lor carni sono di color che pende in rosso come
pelle di linee" Lettera (ed. 1505-1506), fol. a. iii. recto. Varnha-
gen, p. 37. He notes their ornaments of gorgeous feathers, their
hammocks, and their "paternostrini che fanno dossi di peschi,"
i. e. paternosterss made of fish-bones" (fol. a. iv. verso), meaning
strings analogous to quipus and to wampum-belts. See below,
p. 299.


53








THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


Tampico, without touching at points in the region
subject or tributary to the Aztec confederacy.
This Tampico country was what Vespu-
The prov-
inceofLa- cius understood to be called Lariab.
riab."
He again gives the latitude definitely
and correctly as 23 N.,1 and he mentions a few in-
teresting circumstances. He saw the natives roast-
ing a dreadfully ugly animal, "like a serpent,
[dragon ?] only it had no wings." It was about the

90 75 60 45 30 15





sa o Aor










size of a kid, half as long again as a man's arm,
with a hard skin of various hues, a snout and face

like a serpent's, and a saw-like crest running from
the top of its head down the middle of its back
and on to the upper part of its tail. The sailors

1 It is just 2,400 miles distant, as the crow flies, from Paria, the
region with which it has so long been stupidly identified. This
has been pre eminently one of the cases mentioned by Bishop
Berkeley, in which commentators first kick up a dust and then
wonder why they cannot see through it!


54








MUNDUS NOVUS.


saw many of these creatures, and were afraid to
touch them lest they might have a ven-
Roasted
omous bite, but the natives esteemed iguanas and
them as delicacies. This is an excellent ash patties.
description of the iguana, the flesh of which is to
this day an important article of food in tropical
America.1 These Huastecas also made cakes or
1 Doue uede'mo the arrostinano un certo animal ch' pareua
un serpe'te, saluo ch' no' teneua alia, & nella apparenza ta'to
brutto, che molto cimarauiglia'mo della sua fiereza: Anda'mo
cosi p, le lor case, o uero tra bacche & haua'mo molti di questi
serpe'te uiui, & eron legati pe piedi : eron di tanto fiero
aspect6, che nessuno di noi no' ardiua di tome uno, pensando, ch'
eron uenenosi: sono di grandeza di uno cauretto & di lu'gheza
braccia uno & mezo: te' gono epiedi lunghi & gross & armati co'
grosse unghie: tengono la pelle dura, & sono di uarii color:
elmuso & faccia tengon di serpe'te: & dal naso simuoue loro una
cresta come una segha, che passa loro p, elmezo delle schiene
infino alla sommita della coda: in co'clusione gligiudica'mo serpi
& uenenosi, segli ma'giauano." Lettera, fol. a. v. recto. Varn-
hagen, p. 43. Compare the description in the Century Diction-
ary : -" It attains a length of five feet or more, and presents a
rather formidable appearance, but is inoffensive unless molested;
. its flesh is much used for food. The tail is very long, com-
pressed, and tapering; a row of scales along the back is devel-
oped into a serrate crest or dorsal ridge; the head is covered with
scaly plates; ... its coloration is variegated with brownish, green-
ish, and yellowish tints." Yet this well-known animal has sorely
puzzled the commentators. It is not easy to imagine, says Navar-
rete (tom. iii. p. 225), what kind of a serpent this could have been,
as big as a kid, and with wings and feet (y que tenian alas y pies),
and he is inclined to set it down as one of Vespucio's many ab-
surdities" (uno de los muchos absurdos de Vespucio en sus rela-
clones). Apparently Navarrete could not read his own text cor-
rectly when a chance was offered for a fling at poor old Vespucius,
for that text (on the very same page!!) reads only it did NOT
have wings" (solo que no tenia alas) 1 Why should Vespucius
have taken the pains to say that it had no wings ? It probably
indicates that he had only a literary acquaintance with serpents,
and dimly confused them with dragons.








56 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


patties out of small fish, which they kneaded up
with a sort of pastry and baked upon red-hot coals.
The Spaniards tasted them and found them good.1
The people were enemies of those whom the Span-
iards had found in the little Venice over on the
Tabasco shore, and when it was observed that
some of the latter were shackled prisoners on
board the caravels,2 the white men were forthwith
greeted as friends. The Indians received them
most hospitably, and under their escort twenty-
three of the mariners, among whom Vespucius was
one, made a journey some eighteen leagues inland,
to see what could be found in that country. They
visited several villages, composed of communal
houses. In one of these villages, described as well
Navarrete's remark is a fair specimen of the mingled dulness
and flippancy with which commentators have been wont to treat the
great Florentine sailor, finding it easier to charge him with ab-
surdities than patiently to ascertain his meaning. Even Mr. Les-
ter, in a different temper from Navarrete, thinks that "the navi-
gator has perhaps drawn somewhat upon his imagination in his
description of this animal" (Life of Americus Vespucius, p. 129).
Yet, as we have here seen, his description is strictly accurate, and
I cite it in illustration of the general faithfulness of his narrative.
-As for the flesh of the ugly reptile, I do not find any mention
of it among the 1,394 dishes described by Alessandro Filippini, of
Delmonico's, in his interesting book, THte Table, New York, 1889;
but one fancies that it might be so treated as to commend itself
to epicures, even as the peerless terrapin, of which one of our
British cousins is said to have declared, "Upon my word, it's not
so nasty as it looks! I have been told that the flavour of the
iguana reminds one of spring chicken.
1 Proua'molo, & troua'mo che era buono." Compare some of
the Mexican dishes mentioned below, p. 268.
2 They were expert swimmers and thought nothing of jumping
overboard and striking out for the shore, even when it was several
leagues distant and out of sight; so that all those whom the Span-
iards had not put in irons had escaped.








MUNDUS NOVUS. 57

peopled, the munber of such houses was but nine.
Lions and panthers (i. e. probably pumas and
ocelots) were seen, but neither horse, ass, nor cow,
nor any kind of domesticated animal.' It was a
populous country, with no end of rivers,2 and an
astonishing quantity of birds of most brilliant
pluniages. The people were struck dumb with
amazement at the sight of the white strangers, and
when they had so far recovered themselves as to
ask the latter whence they came, the Spaniards
gave them to understand that they came from be-
yond the sky.
After leaving this country of Lariab the ships
kept still to the northwest for a short
Coasting to
distance, and then followed the winding Florida and
around it.
of the coast for 870 leagues,8 frequently
landing and doing petty traffic with the natives.

1 No te'ghono caualli ne mull, ne co' reuerentiaasini, ne cani,
ne di sorte alcuna bestiame peculioso, ne uacino: ma sono ta'ti
li altri animal che te'ghono & tucti sono saluatichi, & di nessuno
siseruono per loro seruitio, che no' siposson contare." Lettera,
fol. b. i. recto. Varnhagen, p. 45.
2 Questa terra e populatissima, & di gente plena, & dinfiniti
flumi." Id. The whole description agrees with Tampico.
3 According to the most obvious reading of the text they sailed
N. W. for 870 leagues, but this would be impossible upon any
theory of the voyage: "Partimo di questo porto: la prouincia
sidice Lariab: & nauiga'mo allungo della costa sempre a uista
della terra, tanto che corre'mo dessa 870 leghe tutta uia uerso el
maestrale," etc. Lettera, fol. b. i. verso. Varnhagen, p. 46.
Does tuttavia here mean always," or still" ? For the equiva-
lent Spanish todavia the latter meaning is the more primary and
usual. M. Varnhagen supposes that the words tutta uia uerso
el maestrale" belong in the writer's mind with "partimo di
questo porto; so that the sense would be, "we sailed from this
port still to the N. W., and we followed the coast always in sight
of land until we had run 870 leagues" (Le premier voyage de








58 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


They bought a little gold, but not much. Here
the letter hurries over the scene somewhat
abruptly. It was not likely that Soderini would
be particularly interested in the shape of these
strange coasts, and as for red Indians, much had
already been said about them in the earlier part of
the letter. So we are brought quickly to the end
of the journey. After traversing the 870 leagues
of crooked coast the ships found themselves in "the
finest harbour in the world." It was in June,
1498, thirteen months since they had started from
Spain. The ships were leaky and otherwise dilap-
idated, no discoveries of abundant gold or spices
or jewels, calculated to awaken enthusiasm, had
been made, and the men were tired of the voyage.
It was therefore unanimously agreed 1 to beach and
repair the ships, and then return home. They
spent seven-and-thirty days in this unrivalled har-
bour, preparing for the home voyage, and found
the natives very hospitable. These red men
courted the aid of the white strangers. On some
islands a hundred leagues or more out at sea there
lived a fierce race of cannibals, who from time to

Vespucci, p. 22). If the style of Vespucius were that of a correct
and elegant writer, such a reading would be hardly admissible,
but as his style was anything but correct and elegant, perhaps it
may pass. Or perhaps N. W. may have been carelessly substi-
tuted for N. E., as would have been easy if signs were used in the
manuscript instead of words like maestrale and greco. Then it
would mean that the general direction after leaving Lariab was
N. E. Upon any possible supposition there is a blunder in the
statement as it appears in the printed text.
1 "Acchorda'mo di comune consiglio porre le nostre naul
amonte, & ricorrerle per stancharle, che faceuano molta acqua,"
etc. fol. b. i. verso.








MUNDUS NOVUS. 59

time in fleets of canoes invaded the coasts of the
mainland and carried off human victims by the
score. Here a source of profit for the Spaniards
was suggested; for Columbus, as we shall hereafter
see,1 had already set the example of kidnapping
cannibals, and it was coming to be a recognized
doctrine, on the part of the Spanish government,
that it was right for people "guilty of that unnat-
ural crime" to be sold into slavery. The expedi-
tion with which Vespucius was sailing The Bermu-
weighed anchor late in August, taking das.
seven of the friendly Indians for guides, on condi-
tion that they should return to the mainland in
their own canoes. The Indians were glad to go
on these terms and witness the discomfiture of
their enemies. After a week's voyage they fell in
with the islands, some peopled, others uninhabited,
evidently the Bermudas,2 600 miles from Cape
Hatteras as the crow flies. The Spaniards landed
on an island called Iti, and had a brisk fight with
a large body of the cannibals, who defended them-
selves manfully, but could not withstand firearms.
More than 200 prisoners were taken, seven of
whom were presented to the seven Indian guides.
Taking a large canoe from the island, these
friendly barbarians paddled away westward, "right
merry and marvelling at our power." "We also
1 See below, p. 433.
2 When these islands were rediscovered in 1522 they were en-
tirely depopulated, an instance, no doubt, of the frightful thor-
oughness with which the Spanish kidnappers from Hispaniola had
done their work during the interval.
3 "Sene tornarono allor terra molto allegri, marauiglia'dosi
delle nostre forze." If they ever succeeded in getting home, one
does not need to be told of the lurid fate of the captives.








THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


set sail for Spain, with 222 prisoners, slaves; and
arrived in the port of Cadiz on the 15th day of
October, 1498, where we were well received and
sold our slaves. This is what happened to me in
this my first voyage that may be most worth tell-
ing." 1
The words of Vespucius are too vague to enable
us, without help from other sources, to determine
the situation of that "finest harbour in the world,"
where the expedition made its last halt before
striking eastward into the Atlantic. So much de-
pends upon the quantity of allowance to be made
for tacking and for the sinuosities of the coast-line,
that it is impossible to say with any confidence to
what point a run of 870 leagues from Tampico
would have brought the ships. It is clear that
they must have sailed between Cuba and Florida,
and must have taken their final start from some
point on the Atlantic coast of what is now the
United States. The conditions of the case seemed
at first to M. Varnhagen to point to the waters of
the Chesapeake, but he was afterward inclined to

1 Noi alsi facemo uela p, Spagna con 222 prigioni schiaui: &
giugnemo nel porto di Calis adi 15 doctobre 1498 done fumo ben
riceuuti & uende'mo nostri schiaui. Questo e, quello che miac-
chadde in questo mio primo uiaggio di pin notablee" Fol. b. ii.
verso. It was a dreadful number of slaves to pack away in four
caravels, and 22 has been suggested as a more probable figure.
Perhaps so; mistakes in numerals are easy and frequent. The
annals of the slave trade, however, give grewsome instances of
what human greed can do. De nos jours encore," observes Varn-
hagen, que la traite des nugres est presque entierement suppri-
mde, nous avons vu border au Callao, venant de Chine, dans un
seul navire, quelques cents Coolies: plus de la dixieme parties de
ces Coolies avait peri h bord, pendant le traversee"


60








MUNDUS NOVUrS.


designate Cape Caniaveral on the Florida coast as
the final point of departure for the cannibal islands
which apparently must have been the Bermudas.1
But, as Mr. Hubert Bancroft suggests, it is hard
to imagine what port near Cape Cainaveral could
have been called the best harbour in the world, ex-
cept "by a navigator little familiar with good har-
bours." I shall presently point to some reasons for
believing that capes Charles and Canaveral were
probably the northern and southern limits between
which the final departure was taken. Meanwhile
another and more important question claims our
attention.
We have hitherto been considering only the
statements of Vespucius himself in an informal let-
ter. It has been urged, with reference to the cred-
ibility of these statements, that there is no contem-
porary allusion whatever to such a voyage, either
in books of history or in archives.2 There is
strong reason for believing that this sweeping as-
sertion is far from correct, and that con-
Why critics
temporary allusions have not been found have found no
contemporary
simply because scholars have sought alusionsto
this voyage.
them in the wrong quarter. With their
backs turned upon Lariab they have been staring
1 Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci, Lima, 1865, p. 99, and chart
at the end; Le premier voyage de Vespucci, Vienna, 1869, p. 30.
2 It should first of all be noted that the sole authority for a
voyage made by Vespucci in 1497 is Vespucci himself. All con-
temporary history, other than his own letters [it should be letter],
is absolutely silent in regard to such a voyage, whether it be his-
tory in printed books, or in the archives of those kingdoms of
Europe where the precious documents touching the earlier expe-
ditions to the New World were deposited." S. H. Gay, in Winsor,
Narr. and Crit. Hist., ii. 137.














PRINCIPAL SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE VOYAGES SOUTH OF TROPIC OF CANCER.
N. B. Portuguese in Italics.


NO. NAME. DATE. PLACE.

1 Columbus I. Aug. 3, 1492 March 15, 1493. Several Bahamas; Cuba and Hayti, north coasts.

2 Columbus II. Sept. 25, 1493 June 11, 1496. Several lesser Antilles; Jamaica; Cuba and Hayti, south coasts.

3 Pinon and Solis, May 10, 1497 -Oct. 15, 1498. North coast of Honduras, gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bermudas.
Vespucius I.

4 Gana. July 8, 1497 July 10, 1499. ,West coast of Hindustan via Cape of Good Hope.

5 Columbus III. May 30, 1498 Nov. 25, 1500. Trinidad, Paria, and Pearl Coast as far west as Cubagua.

6 Oeda, May 1, 1499-June, 100 From some point on north coast of Brazil to Paria and westward to
Veapucius I. M Maracaibo, and to Cape de la Vela.
Vespucius II.


Dec., 1499 --Sept., 1500.


Brazilian coast at about 80 S., and thence northwestward.


Jan. June, 1500. Brazilian coast to about 100 S.

March 9, 10 l, 15 Brazilian coast from about 120 to 16 30/ S., thence via Cape of Good
ae 9, 1500 July, 1501. ope to Hindustan.


Oct., 1500 -Sept., 1502.

May 14, 1501 -Sept. 7, 1502.

May 11, 1502-Nov. 7, 1504.


From Pearl Coast westward to Puerto Bello on isthmus of Darien.

Brazilian coast from 50 to 340 S., thence to South Georgia island, 540 S.

From Cape Honduras eastward and southward to gulf of Darien.


Pinzon.

Lepe.

Cabral.

Bastidas,
La Cosa.
zNuno MXanuel ?
Vespucius III.

Columbus IV.





Coelho,
13 Vespucius IV. June 10, 1503 June 18, 1504. Brazilian coast, Vespucius to about 230 S., Coelho to about 400 S.

14 Christovo Jaques. 1503. Brazilian and Patagonian coasts to about 520 S.

15 La Cosa,
Vespucius V. May -Dec., 1505. Search for a strait in gulf of Darien and Atrato river.
10 Almeida. .1506. Ceylon.

17 La Cosa,
Vespucins VI. Mfarch-Nov., 1507. Further explorations about Darien.
18 Pinzon and Solis. June 29, 1508- Oct., 1509. Brazilian coast, etc., to about 400 S.

19 Ocampo. 1508. From Hayti circumnavigated Cuba.

20 Sequeira. 1509. 2lalacca.

21 Abreu and
Serrano. 1512. The Spice Islands (3Moluccas) by eastward route.
22 Ponce de Leon. 1513. Florida.

23 Solis. .1516. Search for a strait at river La Plata.

24 Andrade. 1517. First voyage of European ships.to China.

25 C6rdova. 1517. Rediscovery and circumnavigation of Yucatan.

26 Grijalva. .1518. Exploration of gulf of Mexico.

27 Cortes. 1519. March into Mexico.

28 Magellan, 1522. The Spice Islands (Moluccas) by westward route, circumnavigating the
Elcano. Sept. 20, 1519--Sept. 8, 1522. globe.








64 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.


at Paria, and might have gone on staring to eter-
nity without seeing what was all the time behind
them. So, too, one might look long into narra-
tives and archives, and look in vain for a "voyage
of Vespucius," for it was customary to speak of a
voyage by the name of the commanding officer,
and the language of Vespucius distinctly implies
that in this voyage of 1497 he was not the com-
mander; he was chosen by King Ferdinand "to go
with the ships and assist in the work of discov-
ery." 1 Let us; then, turn our faces toward Lariab,
and see if contemporary documents
There are such
contemporary know anything about a voyage into the
allusions gulf of Mexico earlier than those of
Ocampo in 1508 and Ponce de Leon in 1513. We
find at once a remarkable and significant group of
allusions, both in narratives and in archives, to
such a voyage, undertaken by no less a person than
Vicente Yaiiez Pinzon, captain of the little ship
Nifia in the first voyage of Columbus. Associated
with Pinzon, and probably second in command,
was another consummate sailor, Juan Diaz de
Solis, who in 1512 succeeded Vespucius as pilot
major of Spain.
The date commonly assigned to this voyage of
Pinzon and Solis is 1506. The figure rests upon
the single unsupported statement of Antonio de
Herrera, whose great work was published in 1601.2
1 "Che fu, chel Re don Ferrando di Castiglia haue'do a man-
dare quattro naui a discoprire nuoue terre uerso loccidente fu-
electo per sua alteza che io fussi in essa flocta per adiutare a dis-
coprire." Lettera, fol. a. ii. recto. Varnhagen, p. 35.
2 Herrera, Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en
las islas i tierra firme del Mar Oceano, Madrid, 1601, 4 vols. in
quarto.







MUNDUS NOVUS.


For events that happened in the time of Ferdinand
and Isabella, this book cannot be cited as of ori-
ginal authority. It is a compilation of priceless
value, but not without grave defects. Mr. Hubert
Bancroft is quite right in saying that we find in it
evidencess everywhere of inexperience and incom-
petent assistance. Now that we have before us
many of the sources of Herrera's mate- Antonio de
rial, we can see that his notes were badly Hterera.
extracted and compiled in a bungling manner; so
much so that in addition to the ordinary errors,
from which to some extent the most carefully ex-
ecuted work cannot be expected to be wholly free,
there are many and serious discrepancies and con-
tradictions for which there is no excuse, the cause
being simply carelessness." 1
Now Herrera tells us that when it had been
made known in Castile what the Admiral had dis-
covered afresh, Pinzon and Solis made up their
minds to go and further pursue the ms account of
route which he had taken; and from the the firrt
voyage of Pin-
Guanajos islands on the northern coast zon and Solis.
of Honduras they sailed westward and passed the
Golfo Dulce 2 without seeing it, but they gave the
name of Navidad to what is now known as the bay
of Honduras. Thence they discovered the moun-
tains (or lands) of Caria and a considerable part of
Yucatan. But as there was nobody who followed
up that discovery, nothing more was known about

I History of Central America, San Francisco, 1882, vol. i. p. 317.
2 For the position of the Golfo Dulce, see the map of the region
around Tuzulutlan, below, p. 466. It is simply the deep inlet at
the head of the bay of Honduras.








66 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

those coasts until the whole of New Spain was dis-
covered [in 1517-19] from Cuba. The principal
object of these navigators, Pinzon and Solis, adds
Herrera, was, through a spirit of rivalry with the
Admiral, to discover land and to pass beyond what
he had discovered.'

1 The passage in Herrera is somewhat confused and involved,
from the wrong connection in which he conceived it; but when
once we have fathomed the confusion under which he laboured, it
is remarkable how nearly right he was in the principal items of
his statement: Sabido en Castilla lo que havia descubierto de
nuevo el Almirante, Juan Diaz de Solis i Vincente Yafiez Pinzon
determinaron de ir a proseguir el camino que dejaba hecho, i fue-
ron a tomar el hilo desde las islas de los Guanajos i volver de ellas
& levante; pero navegaron desde las dichas islas hicia el poniente
hasta el parage de el Golfo Dulce, aunque no lo vieron, porque
estd escondido; reconocieron la entrada que hace la mar entire la
tierra que contiene el Golfo, i la de Yucatan que es como una
grande ensenada, 6 baia, que asi llaman los mariners. Y
como vieron aquel rincon grande que hace la Mar entire dos Tier-
ras, la una que estai la mano esquierda teniendo las espaldas al
Oriented, que es la costa que contiene el Puerto de Caballos, i ade-
klante de l1 el Golfo Dulce: i la otra de iano derecha, la costa
del reino de lucatan, pareeidles gran baia, i por esto la llamaron
la gran Baia de Navidad, desde donde descubrieron las sierras
[tierras ?] de Caria; bolvieron al Norte, i descubrieron much
part de el reino de Yucatan, pero como despues no huvo nadie,
que prosiguiese aquel Descubrimiento, no se supo mas, hasta que
se descobrid todo lo de Nueva Espafla desde la isla de Cuba, i estos
Descubridores principalmente pretendian descubrir tierra por emu-
lacion del Almirante, i pasar adelante de lo que 41 habia descu-
bierto" (dec. i. lib. vi. cap. 17). Pretendian here does not mean
"pretended," but undertook" or attempted." The allusion to
sierras de Caria has always been felt to be puzzling, as no moun-
tain-chains are known which it seems to fit. The expression is
evidently taken by Herrera from Pinzon's testimony in the Pro-
banzas, in which occur several other names now unintelligible,
such as the countries of Camarona, Chabaca, and Pintigron, which
Pinzon says he visited after turning northward from Honduras,
but to which we have no further clue. The lapse into oblivion of







MUNDUS NOVUS.


In this statement Herrera understands the voy-
age of Pinzon and Solis to have been consequent
upon the news of what Columbus had
Herrera got
discovered in his fourth voyage (1502- the date
wrong--1506
1504); and this opinion is evidently instead of
based upon his interpretation of the tes-
timony of Pinzon himself and other sailors in the
Probanzas. It is a very natural way in which to
read that testimony if we have nothing but the
text itself to guide us; and if Herrera made a mis-
chievous mistake we cannot blame him. There
are the strongest reasons for believing that he did
make such a mistake, and that this voyage of Pin-
zon and Solis was made, not in consequence of the
fourth voyage of Columbus, but in consequence of
the news of what he had discovered in 1494 in the
course of his second voyage.
In the first place the evidence collected by Na-
varrete seems to prove conclusively that Pinzon did
not go upon any voyage of discovery between the
end of the year 1504 and June 29, 1508. Pinzondid not
A voyage for him was indeed contem- go on any
plated as early as February or April, 1506.
1505, but it was not a voyage in the direction of
Honduras, nor had it any reference to the fourth
voyage of Columbus. On the contrary, as we
shall hereafter see, it was a direct consequence of
the fourth voyage of Vespucius. Its object was

so many names known to the first navigators is just what we might
expect in the ease of a voyage which was not followed up for
twenty years (cf. Nos. 3,25, 26 in my table of voyages). We shall
presently have a similar illustration in the names upon a part of
the Cantino map.







68 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

the further exploration of the Brazilian coast south
of the tropic of Capricorn, and while it was planned
early in 1505, the fear of complications with Por-
tugal prevented such an expedition from sailing
until the summer of 1508. During that interval
we keep coming upon documents that prove the
presence of Pinzon in Spain; and it is not for a
moment to be supposed that while thus concerned
in this enterprise he could have been at the same
time engaged in a long voyage into the gulf of
Mexico.1 We have no alternative but to suppose
that Herrera's date of 1506 for Pinzon's Honduras
voyage is a mistake, and that he ought to have
made it consequent, not upon the fourth, but upon
the second, voyage of Columbus.
It was all the more easy to make such a mistake
since the farthest point reached by Columbus upon
the southern coast of Cuba in June, 1494, was not
far from the point whence he crossed from Cuba
to Honduras in July, 1503. If he had kept

1 We find Pinzon in Spain receiving a payment of 10,000 mara-
vedis, February 28, 1505 (Navarrete, Coleccion, iii. 112); he is ap-
pointed to command a fortress in San Juan de Porto Rico, March
14, 1505 (iii. 112); the king wishes to consult with Pinzon and
Vespucius about a projected voyage, May 17, 1505 (iii. 302); Pin-
zon wants a lawsuit settled, as it is hindering his departure on
a voyage, September 28, 1505 (iii. 113); he is in Spain, busy on
work on which he has evidently been engaged for a good while,
August 23, 1506 (iii. 294); on September 15, 1506, the officers of
the Casa de la Contratacion inform the king that the expedition
will not be able to sail before February, 1507 (iii. 321); by that
time the growl from Portugal has become so audible that the
expedition is for the time abandoned and the ships used for
other purposes (id.). These documents evidently relate to one
and the same voyage, and they leave no place for a voyage to
Honduras and the gulf of Mexico.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


straight ahead in the former voyage and left the
coast of Cuba, he would have crossed to Honduras
very much as in the latter voyage. It is not
strange, then, that in the mind of Herrera, as per-
haps even in the report of the Probanzas upon
which Herrera seems to have relied, the two voy-
ages should have got more or less mixed together.
Assuming, then, that Pinzon's first voyage was
consequent upon news received from Columbus in
1494, and that it was the voyage upon which
Vespucius describes himself as having sailed in
May, 1497, we can understand sundry statements
in early historians of the Discovery, that have
heretofore been unintelligible. Peter Testimony of
Martyr, in a passage written before eter Martyr.
1508, says:-- "For there are many which affirme
that they haue sayled rownd abowt Cuba. But
whether it bee so or not, or whether enuyinge the
good fortune of this man [Columbus] they seeke
occasions of querelinge ageynste hym, I cannot
judge. But tyme shall speaker, which in tyme ap-
poynted, reuealeth both truth and falsehod."1 In
another place Martyr says that Vicente Yaiez
sailed about Cuba, which had hitherto, because of
its great size, been regarded as continent; and
having found that this is an island, he went on and
struck upon other lands to the west of it.2 Again
1 Neque enim desunt qui se circuisse Cubam audeant dicere.
An hme ita sint, an invidia tanti inventi occasions querant in
hune virum, non dijudico: tempus loquetur, in quo verns judex
invigilat." Martyr, dec. i. lib. vi. As Humboldt says, this last
clause shows conclusively that the passage was written before
Ocampo's voyage in 1508.
2 "Vicentius Annez Cubam, a multis ad ea usque tem-








70 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

Gomara says that three years before Columbus
visited the.coast of Honduras that coast
Testimony of
oomara ad had been discovered by Pinzon and So-
viedo. lis.1 Gomara's three years should be

five, but the main fact is the fact of priority, which
is again expressly affirmed by Oviedo (in 1526-
35): "Some persons have attributed the discov-
ery of the bay of Honduras to Don Christopher
Columbus, the first Admiral, saying that he dis-
covered it. But that is not true; for it was discov-
ered by the pilots Vicente Yaniez Pinzon, Juan
Diaz de Solis, and Pedro de Ledesma, with three
caravels, and that was before Vicente Yaiez had
discovered the river Amazon,"2 in other words,
before January, 1500. This explicit and definite
testimony from a contemporary first-hand author-
ity is not lightly to be set aside.
There can be little doubt that Oviedo, Gomara,
Martyr, Herrera, and the witnesses in the tenth
section of the Probanzas, in their various refer-

pora ob suam magnitudinem continentem putatam, circuivit. .
Vicentins Annez cognito jam experiment patent Cubam esse in-
sulam, processit ulterius et terras alias ad occidentem Cubs offen-
dit." Id., dec. ii. lib. vii.
1 "Descubri6 Christoual Colon trezietas y set5ta leguas de
costa, que ponen de rio grande de Higueras al NMbre de Dios, el
afo de mil y quinientos y dos; dizen empero algunos q tres aSos
ante lo aulan andado Vicente Yanez Pinzon y Juan Diaz de Solis,
q fueron grandissimos descubridores." Gomara, Historia general
de las Indias, Antwerp, 1554, cap. Iv. fol. 63 recto.
2 "Algunos atribuyen al Almirante primero, Don Christoval
Colon, dieiendo que 41 lo descubrid. Y no es asf; porque el golfo
de Higueras lo descubrieron los pilots Vicente Yanez Pinzon 4
Johan Diaz de Solis 6 Pedro de Ledesma, con tres caravelas, antes
que el Vicente Yaflez deseubriese el rio Maranon." Oviedo, His-
toria general de las Indias, Madrid, 1851, tom. ii. p..140.








MUNDUS NOVUS. 71.

ences to the voyage of Pinzon and Solis; are all
referring to the first voyage described by Vespu-
cius in his letter to Soderini, a voyage which
achieved the first discovery of Honduras, with
parts of the coasts of Mexico and Florida, and
which first revealed to some persons the insularity
of Cuba. Here the map made in 1500 by La Cosa
becomes quite interesting. It will be remem-
bered that this able navigator was with Columbus
on that memorable occasion in June, 1494, when
all hands solemnly subscribed to the belief that
Cuba was part of the Asiatic continent.1 On that
I This affair, so grotesque according to modern notions, is usu-
ally misrepresented; e. g. Columbus voyaged for India, thought
his first landing was there, and forced his crew to swear they
thought so too by threatening to cut out their tongues." (Prof.
J. D. Butler, in a very meritorious paper on "The Naming of
America," in Transactions of Wisconsin Academy of Sciences,
1874, vol. ii. pp. 203-219.) The passage in Henry Stevens's Hist.
and Geog. Notes, p. 12, to which the writer refers, does not justify
such a statement. Stevens simply says caused his captains, his
pilots, his master of charts [La Cosa], and all his sailors to sign a
declaration under oath, that they believed Cuba to be part of the
continent of Asia near Mangi." The notary's original document,
preserved in the Archives of the Indies at Seville (printed in Na-
varrete, tom. ii. pp. 143-149), does not indicate that in this "caus-
ing" there was either any force or any threat used. The officers
and men were asked to state their dissenting views if they had
any. Nobody seems to have had any, and there is no reason for
supposing that anybody signed the declaration reluctantly. The
formal provision, that if any one should afterward deny that on
this occasion he had expressed the opinion written down in the
document he should have the tip of his tongue slit (as was often
done to liars), was simply a bit of genuine medioevalism, about
equivalent to the solemn imprecations of modern children: Huck
Finn and Tom Sawyer wishes they may drop down dead in their
tracks if they ever tell of this and rot," as Mark Twaip so
faithfully puts it. For the owlish gravity with which some mod-
ern writers use this incident in evidence of the Admiral's alleged








72 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

occasion,La Cosa declared that he had never heard
of an island with 335 leagues length of coast from
east to west, and that from the contour
Cuba repre-
sented oas a of this coast, as well as its apparently
island on La
Cosa's map, interminable length, he had no sort of
doubt that it was the mainland. We
have no reason for supposing that La Cosa did not
mean precisely what he said. Yet upon his famous
map, of which a sketch is prefixed to the present
volume, Cuba is distinctly represented as an is-
land. On the north of it the left-hand flagstaff
marks the westernmost point reached by Columbus
and La Cosa in 1492; on the south we read C.
Bien Espera, the "Cape of Good Hope" where
in 1494 La Cosa and his comrades all testified that
to the best of their knowledge and belief they were
on the coast of Asia; and just to the south of this
cape we see a few small islands whereunto the
map-maker's fancy has added a goodly archipelago
of bigger ones. The shore on the west of these
islands Columbus called Evangelista, deeming it
"fraught with good tidings" for him when he
should come that way again. On the map we see
"Abangelista," albeit written too far to the west.
Then Cuba is terminated by a western coast-line
all the way around from the archipelago to the flag-
staff, a coast-line which, as even an unpractised
eye may see, is drawn not from exploration, but
from theory or from hearsay. On the original map

" deceitfulness" and weakness of character, the proper answer is
a peal of Homeric laughter. I have described the affair above,
vol. i. pp. 476, 477, with as much seriousness as I think it de.
serves.








MUNDUS NOVUS.


this western coast-line is abruptly cut off with a
dash of green paint.' This means to my mind
that when La Cosa drew the map, between June
and October, 1500, he had been informed of, or
brought to believe in, the insularity of Cuba, but
had not seen a chart of its western extremity.
Where did he get his information? The answer
is obvious. He had just returned from that voy-
age on the Pearl Coast with Ojeda (the second voy-
age of Vespucius) in which he and Vespucius were
associated as pilots. Evidently the latter had told
him of the discovery of a passage between Cuba
and the mainland two years before, but had not
shown him his charts, which very likely were then
in the hands of Bishop Fonseca. Hence it ap-
pears that the continental coast-line opposite Cuba
was drawn not wholly from theory, but partly from
hearsay. The protruding land at the words "Mar
Oceanuz" and below may indicate that La Cosa
1 Hence the late Henry Stevens suggested that La Cosa did not
intend to be understood as representing Cuba as an island, but
only meant to show that his own definite knowledge did not go
beyond the archipelago on the south and the flagstaff on the
north. (Historical and Geographical Notes, London, 1869, p. 13.)
But if that was all that he meant to show, why did he separate
Cuba from the mainland at all ? The mere fact of the separa-
tion indicates a knowledge of something to the west of Abange-
lista," though confessedly a dim knowledge. At least it indicates
a decided change of opinion since 1494; otherwise La Cosa would
not only have made the western end of Cuba flare like the outline
of a trumpet, but beyond the flagstaff it would have trended
strongly to the northward and become continuous with the main-
land. At the archipelago it would have been prolonged indefi-
nitely to the southwest, and there would have been nothing of
that vague but unmistakable suggestion of the gulf of Mexico
which La Cosa cannot have got from any other source than the
first voyage of Vespucius.








74 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

had heard something about Florida, but having no
drawings to guide him, had pictured it to himself
as a big promontory rather than a peninsula.
The striking suggestion thus afforded by the map
of La Cosa is confirmed with overwhelming force
by that of Alberto Cantino already mentioned in
The antino connection with the voyages of the
map, 1502. brothers Cortereal. This map was made
in Portugal by some cartographer unknown, at the
order of Alberto Cantino, who carried it to Italy
in the autumn of 1502, and sent it to Ercole
d' Este, Duke of Ferrara. It had reached the
duke, or was on its way to him, November 19,
1502, as we know from Cantino's letter of that
date written at Rome. It has been carefully pre-
served, and since 1868 has been accessible in the
Biblioteca Estense at Modena; but it is only
within the past ten years that scholars have be-
gun to wake up to its importance.
The Cantino map,1 which gives both Hayti pnd
Cuba, not only represents the latter as an island,
what it terminated on the west by a hypothetical
proves con-
gerning coast, but goes on to depict a consider-
Florida. able portion of the coast-line of the
United States, including both sides of the peninsula
1 A sketch showing the relative positions was given above on
page 21. This sketch of the Florida coasts I have copied from
the full-sized facsimile published in 1883 by M. Harrisse, and have
taken pains to reproduce with accuracy the details of the coast-
line. Off the southwestern coast the original has a group of islands
which I have omitted in order to get room for the names. One
cannot do all that one would like on so small a page. These
islands may be seen on the other sketch just mentioned. On the
original map the coasts end abruptly just where they touch my
border, at Rio de las'Palmas" and Costa del Mar Vpano,"













EL NMAR VIAN
0os^ D SKETCH OF THE

FLORIDA COASTS

FROM THE

CANTINO MAP

o0. c 1502






CABo DE BOA VENTURA
CosTA ALTA

LAGO LUNCO





LAS CABRAS


-z
to or Los LAnRGAo GABo 5ATO





C 0



0 0
0





0 J

a U .. o

0 co


o o








76 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

of Florida, and all this is depicted as a visited coast,
with sundry details of bay and headland, upon
which are placed twenty-two local names. A few
of these names have been distorted beyond recog-
nition by the Portuguese draughtsman, but their
original form is unquestionably Spanish and not
Portuguese. The names furnish absolute proof
that this part of the map was copied from a Span-
ish map 1 by a person not familiar with Spanish,
and furthermore that this copyist was a Portuguese.
These names, like fossils from an age extinct, are
eloquent in their silence. As I shall presently
show, they had ceased to be understood before the
rediscovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon in 1513;
the continuity of tradition was broken off short.
All this means that THIS PORTION OF THE UNITED
STATES COAST WAS VISITED AND MAPPED BY SPAN-
ISH MARINERS BEFORE NOVEMBER, 1502, AND THAT
THE VOYAGE IN WHICH THIS WAS DONE WAS NOT
FOLLOWED UP.
It is not only clear that the Cantino map was
copied or compiled from an older Spanish map or
maps; it is also clear that it was not based upon
the map of La Cosa, but upon some entirely dif-
ferent authority. For upon the northern coast of
-South America, where La Cosa has forty-five
names2 and Cantino twenty-nine, only three of
1 The mistakes are mistakes of the eye, not of the ear; they
stand for misread letters, not for misheard sounds. M. Harrisse,
in his work on the Cortereals, demonstrates that no Portuguese
voyages, nor any recorded voyage whatever, except that of Vespu-
cius in 1497-98, will account for this delineation of Florida upon
the Cantino map.
2 They are not all given in my reduced sketch.




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