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.

Soon after the return of Denis from the Cape de Verd, Gonzales Pachecos, a wealthy officer belonging to the household of Don Henry, fitted out a ship at his own expence, of which he gave the command to Dinisianez da Gram, one of the princes equerries, who was accompanied by Alvaro Gil, an essayer of the mint, and Mafaldo de Setubal.  After touching at Cape Branco, they steered along the coast for the isle of Arguin, making descents in several places, where they made a considerable number of captives from the Moors.  At the isle De las Garcas they found another caravel, commanded by Lourenco Dias, which formed part of a considerable squadron that had been lately fitted out from Lagos.  Two days afterwards, the admiral of that squadron, Lancarot, and nine other caravels arrived.  Gram informed Lancarot of his success in making fifty prisoners, whom he had dearly purchased by the loss of seven of his men, who had been murdered by the Moors.  Lancarot immediately sailed for Arguin, bent on revenge, and sacrificed the lives of eight, and the liberty of four of the natives, to the memory of Gonzales da Cintra and the mariners of Gram.  On this occasion two of the Portuguese officers were knighted on the newly discovered coast, which seems then to have been a fashionable ambition among them, no doubt arising from the prevailing zeal for maritime discovery.  From Arguin Lancarot passed over to the isle of Tider, whence the inhabitants made their escape to the adjacent continent; but the Portuguese soon followed, and the astonished Moors fled on all sides, after a sharp skirmish, in which a good many of them were slain, and sixty taken prisoners.

The fleet now separated, a part returning home by way of the Canaries, while Lancarot, with several other caravels, advanced along the coast of Africa southwards, till he got beyond what the Moors called the Cahara, or Sahara, of the Assenaji.  This Moorish nation is mentioned by Abulfeda as the ruling tribe in Audagost, or Agadez, and as inhabiting the southern part of Morocco.  They are therefore to be considered as the peculiar people of the great desert and its environs, at its western extremity on the Atlantic.  The latter part of their name, aji, or rather aspirated haji, signifies a pilgrim, and is now the appropriate title of one who has made the great pilgrimage of Mecca.  In the present case, the name of Assenaji probably signifies the Wanderers of the Desert.  The Sanhaga, or Assenaji tribe, is now placed at no great distance from the African coast, between the rivers Nun and Senegal; and this latter river has probably received its Portuguese name of Sanaga from that tribe.  Ptolemy likewise probably named Cape Verd Arsinarium, from the same people, from which it may be inferred that they anciently occupied both sides of the Senegal river, which is named Dardalus by that ancient geographer.

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