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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 756 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03.
merits of those brave conquerors by whom this great and holy enterprise was achieved.  This is not a history of ancient nations, made up of vain reveries, and idle hearsays, but contains a true relation of events of which I was an actor and an eye-witness.  Gomara received and wrote such accounts of these events as tended to enhance the fame and merit of Cortes exclusively, neglecting to make mention of our valiant captains and brave soldiers; and the whole tenor of his work shews his partiality to that family, by which he is patronized.  By him also the doctor Illescas, and the bishop Paulus Jovius have been misled in the works which they have published.  But in the course of this history, as a vigilant pilot proceeds cautiously among shoals and quicksands by the help of the line, so I, in my progress to the haven of truth, shall expose the errors and misrepresentations of Gomara:  Yet if I were to point out every error he has committed, the chaff would much exceed the grain.

I have brought this history to a conclusion, in the loyal city of Guatimala, the residence of the royal audience, this 26th of February 1572.


Expedition of Hernandez de Cordova, in 1517.

I left Castille in the year 1514, along with Pedro Arias de Avila, then appointed to the government of Tierra Firma, and arrived with him at Nombre de Dios.  A pestilence raged in the colony at our arrival, of which many of the soldiers died, and most of the survivors were invalids.  De Avila gave his daughter in marriage to a gentleman named Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who had conquered that province; but becoming afterwards suspicious that Balboa intended to revolt, he caused him to be beheaded.  As troubles were likely to take place in this colony, several of us who were men of good families, asked permission from Avila to go over to Cuba, which had been lately settled under the government of Diego Velasquez.  He readily granted this request, as he had brought more soldiers from Spain than were needed in his province, which was already subdued.  We went accordingly to Cuba, where we were kindly received by Velasquez, who promised to give us the first lands that fell vacant; but, after waiting three years, reckoning from the time of leaving Spain, and no settlements offering, an hundred and ten of us chose Francisco Hernandez de Cordova for our captain, a wealthy gentleman of Cuba, and determined to go on a voyage of discovery under his command.  For this purpose, we bought two vessels of considerable burthen, and procured a bark on credit from Velasquez, who proposed as a condition, that we should make a descent on the islands called Los Guanages, between Cuba and Honduras, to seize a number of the inhabitants as slaves, in order by their sale to repay the expence of the bark:  But when this proposal was made known to the soldiers, we unanimously refused, as it was unjust, and neither permitted by God nor

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