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.
Pressing onwards with too much eagerness, he neglected to attend to the tide, which happened then to be on the ebb.  His boat stuck fast, and when the morning broke, he was surrounded by two hundred Moors.  Unable to extricate himself, or to contend against such mighty odds, Gonzales and seven of his men were slain; the other five made their escape by swimming to the ship, which immediately set sail for Lagos.  The clumsy denomination of Angra de Gonzales da Cintra, to this bay, still commemorates the death of this commander.

In the subsequent year, 1446, Don Henry sent out a small squadron of three caravels, under the command of Antonio Gonzales, assisted by Diego Alfonso, and by Gomez Perez, the kings pilot.  They were directed to proceed for the Rio del Ouro, and were strictly enjoined to cultivate the friendship of the natives by every possible means, to establish peace with them and to use their utmost endeavours to convert them to the Christian religion; among other instructions, they were urged to pass unnoticed the insults or neglect of honour which they might experience from the negroes.  The Portuguese endeavoured, but ineffectually, to conciliate the natives, and to remove the angry prejudices which they entertained.  They returned to Lagos with no other fruit from their voyage except one negro whom they had received in ransom, and an aged Moor who requested permission to accompany them to Portugal.  One of their own companions, Juan Fernandez, from an ardent desire to procure information for the prince, got leave to remain among the Assanhaji Arabs.

Next year, 1447, Antonio Mendez was ordered to return in search of Juan Fernandez, from whose inquisitive disposition much information was expected.  In this expedition he was accompanied by two other caravels, commanded by Garcia Mendez and Diego Alfonso, but they were separated by a storm in the early part of the voyage.  Alfonso was the first who reached the coast at Cape Branco, where he landed, and set up a wooden cross as a signal to his consorts, and then proceeded to the islands of Arguin, which afforded shelter from the tremenduous surf which breaks continually on the coast of Africa.  While waiting at Arguin for the other ships, Alfonso paid many visits to the continent, where he made prisoners of twenty-five of the natives.  When the other two ships of the squadron had joined, they went to the Rio del Ouro in search of their countryman, Juan Fernandez, who had been several days anxiously looking out for a vessel to carry him off.

After experiencing many hardships, Fernandez had succeeded in gaining the friendship of a considerable person among the Moors, and was accompanied to the shore by that mans slaves in a body.  The natives exerted themselves to procure the release of some of their countrymen who were prisoners with the Portuguese, to whom they gave nine negroes and a quantity of gold dust by way of ransom.  To the place where this transaction took place, the navigators gave the name of Cabo do Resgati, or Cape Ransom; where likewise Fernam Tavares, an aged nobleman, received the honour of knighthood, a distinction he had long been entitled to, but which he would only receive upon the newly discovered coast.  During the homeward voyage, Gonzales touched at a village near Cape Branco, where he increased his captives to ninety.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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