A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.

After spending eight days among these islands, where he took a few Indians for slaves, Nicuessa made sail for Darien.  On coming to the landing-place, he found many of the Spaniards on the shore waiting his arrival; when, to his great surprise, one of them required him in the name of all the rest, to return to his own government of Nombre de Dios.  Nicuessa landed next day, when the people of Darien endeavoured to seize him, but he was extraordinarily swift of foot, and none of them could overtake him.  Balboa prevented the colonists from proceeding to any farther extremities, fearing they might have put Nicuessa to death, and even persuaded them to listen to Nicuessa, who entreated them, since they would not receive him as their governor, that they would admit him among them as a companion; which they peremptorily refusing, he even requested them to keep him as a prisoner, for he would rather die than go back to starve at Nombre de Dios.  In spite of every thing he could urge, they forced him to embark in an old rotten bark, with about seventeen of his men, ordering them to return to Nombre de Dios, on pain of being sunk if they remained at Darien.  Nicuessa and his people accordingly set sail, but were never seen more, and no one knew what became of them.  There was a story current in the West Indies, that when the Spaniards came afterwards to settle the island of Cuba, they found inscribed on the bark of a large tree, “Here the unfortunate Nicuessa finished his life and miseries.”

[1] We learn from the history of the conquest of Mexico, by Bernal Diaz
    del Castillo, one of the conquerors, that the government of the
    province of Tierra Firma, in which Darien and Nombre de Dios were
    situated, was afterwards granted by the court of Spain to Pedro Arias
    de Avila, in 1514, who gave his daughter in marriage to Vasco Nugnez
    de Balboa; yet caused him afterwards to be beheaded; on suspicion that
    he intended to revolt.—­E.

SECTION VIII.

The Conquest and Settlement of the Island of Cuba by Diego Velasquez.

The admiral Don James Columbus was much blamed for not endeavouring to give succour to these adventurers, although the grants which they had received of separate governments were in direct contradiction to his just rights.  His enemies made use of this to his prejudice at the court of Spain, which was always jealous of him, and listened therefore with much complacency to every complaint that was proffered against him.  He on the other hand, was very sensible of the disposition of the court, and used every means he could think of to secure his rights in these countries, pursuant to the agreement which had been made with his father.  In this view, having learnt that the court was desirous of discovering and colonizing the great island of Cuba, although there were no accounts of any rich mines in that country, he resolved to be beforehand

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