A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.
be acquired of the burning regions of Africa, about which such strange reports were then prevalent.  Antonio Gonzales was therefore dispatched on another voyage in 1442, accompanied by a German gentleman named Balthazar, who had distinguished himself in the late unfortunate attempt on Tangier, and who was anxious to carry home some account of the newly discovered countries.  After being forced to return to port, to repair the damages they had sustained in a dreadful tempest, they again sailed, and reached the coast where the Moors had been made prisoners.  The principal Moor was landed, and was received with great deference and respect by his countrymen; but he forgot all his promises on regaining his liberty, and never returned to pay the ransom he had bargained for.  It would appear, however, that he had informed the natives of the return of the other two chiefs; as at the end of nine days, above an hundred natives appeared on the coast, and entered into treaty for the ransom of their two countrymen who remained captives, and for whom ten negroes, natives of different parts of Africa, were given in exchange.  During these transactions, the sight of a considerable quantity of gold dust in the possession of the Moors, excited the most lively emotions in the Portuguese, as being the first intimation of that valuable commodity being procurable on the coast of their new discoveries.  From this circumstance, Gonzales gave the name of Rio del Ouro, or Gold River, to the deep arm of the sea in which he now lay, which penetrates about six leagues N. N. E. from the tropic of Cancer.


Continuation of Discovery to Cape de Verd.

On the return from this voyage, the sight of gold placed the fame and advantage of the enterprizes and discoveries of Don Henry beyond the reach of prejudice and detraction, and the former murmurings and discontents against his proceedings were changed into admiration and applause.  In 1443 Nuno Tristan was again sent out, with orders to prosecute, the discovery of a coast which now seemed so likely to prove advantageous to the commerce of Portugal.  He now doubled Cape Blanco, or Branco, which he had discovered in his former voyage, and, about ten leagues farther to the south-east, fell in with an island, or rather cluster of seven islands, called Adeget by the natives, but which have since, with the bay in which they lie, received the name of Arguim, or Arguin.  The small canoes which were used by the natives of this coast were at first mistaken for some strange kind of birds, as the people sit upon them astride, using their feet instead of paddles, to urge them along.  To one of the islands in this bay Tristan gave the name of De las Garcas, on account of the seasonable supply which he there received.  From this place Nuno Tristan returned into Portugal, with some of the natives of the country.

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