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.

On the report of this discovery, so universal a desire of travelling arose among the Spaniards, that they were ready as it were to leap into the sea, that they might swim if possible to the newly discovered islands.  After receiving the authority of the Pope, King Ferdinando sent Columbus a second time to the newly-discovered country, of which he made him admiral, giving him many other honours, and a particular coat of arms, having this motto,

  For Castile and for Leon
  A new world discovered Colon[A].

[A] Gomara, I. 1. c. 15.

Columbus set out on his second voyage to the Antilles on the 25th October 1493, taking his course from Cadiz, with seventeen ships and fifteen hundred men, accompanied by his brothers Bartholomew and Diego Columbus, with many other knights, gentlemen of the law, and priests; having chalices, crosses, and other rich religious ornaments, and with great power and dignity from the Pope.  The tenth day after commencing their voyage, they reached the Canaries; and from thence, in twenty-five or thirty days, they sailed to the Antilles, the first island they saw being in 14 deg.  N. due west from Cape de Verd in Africa.  They called this island Deseada[5], or the desired island, which is said to be 800 leagues from the Canaries.  They afterwards discovered many more islands, which they called the Virgins, but which are named the Caribbee islands by the natives, from a nation of that name, who are bold warriors, and excellent marksmen with bows and arrows.  They poison their arrows with the juice of a certain herb, and whoever is wounded with these is sure to die, biting himself like a mad dog.  From thence they went to the principal island in these parts, named Boriquen by the natives, and St John by the Spaniards; and thence to Hispaniola, or Isabella, where they found all the men dead whom they had left on returning from the former voyage.  Columbus left most of his people here to establish a colony, under the command of his brothers; and went with two ships to continue his discovery of Cuba and Jamaica.  All these islands are between 16 and 20 degrees of northern latitude[6].  While the admiral was sailing in quest of discoveries, his brethren and those who were left in Hispaniola, were much incommoded by an insurrection among the savages; and Columbus went back to Spain, to give an account of his proceedings to the king and queen.

In January 1494, a congress of ambassadors from Spain and Portugal was held at Tordesillas, for the settlement of all disputes between the two countries respecting the new discoveries.  The plenipotentiaries from Spain were Don Henry Henriques, Don John de Cardenas, and the Doctor Maldonado; those from Portugal, Ruy de Sosa, his son Don John, and the doctor Ayres de Almada.  After some conference, these plenipotentiaries divided the world between the two crowns, by a meridian line drawn from north to south, 300 leagues to the west of the islands of Cape Verd, all to the east of this line being appropriated to Portugal, and all to the west to Spain; leaving, however, the liberty of navigation equally to both[7].  In 1495, John II.  King of Portugal, died, and was succeeded by his cousin Emanuel.

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