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.

After receiving a full account of our voyage, Velasquez sent over his chaplain, Benito Martinez, to make a report of these discoveries to the court of Spain, with letters for Fonseca bishop of Burgos his patron, and to the licentiate Juan Zapata, and the secretary Lope Conchillos, both of whom were employed in conducting the affairs of the West Indies.  Velasquez had secured a powerful interest with all these three, by assigning them rich districts in the island of Cuba, thus forwarding his own advantage at the expence of the crown.  Martinez was instructed to solicit a commission, authorizing Velasquez to procure gold from the new discovered country, or to make conquests and settlements, as he might see fit; and in this he so effectually succeeded, that he brought back a commission for Velasquez as adelantado of the island of Cuba, so well pleased was the court with his conduct in regard to the discoveries, and the proofs which he had transmitted of the wealth of those countries which he had discovered.

[1] This seems the place named Pontonchan in the former voyage.—­E.

[2] These were probably swivel guns mounted on the bows of their boats.—­E.

[3] According to Clavigero, I. 240, the proper name of this Mexican
    sovereign was Moteuczoma.—­E.

[4] Named Tezcatlipoca by Clavigero, and said to be the god of providence,
    the soul of the world, and the creator of all things.—­E.

[5] By Clavigero called Acolhua, the name given by all the distant
    inhabitants of the empire to the people of the Vale of Mexico, or


Commencement of the Expedition of Hernando Cortes for the Conquest of Mexico, in 1518.

Anxious to prosecute the advantages derivable from the discoveries made by Grijalva, Velasquez used the utmost efforts in providing a new and more powerful armament.  For this purpose, he collected ten ships at the port of St Jago, four of which had been on the former expedition, and supplied them with such provisions as could be procured in that place, intending to complete their equipment at the Havanna.  Velasquez was greatly at a loss in his choice of a commander for the new expedition, and several were recommended to him for this purpose.  Among these was Vasco Procalla, a gentleman of high rank, and related to the Conde de Feria; but the governor was afraid to trust a person of his bold character, lest he might revolt, as had been already done by several dependent leaders of expeditions.  In this state of uncertainty, several relations of the governor were talked of as candidates for the office, such as Augustin Vermudez, Antonio Velasquez Borrego, and Bernardino Velasquez, but of their chances, or the reasons of their rejection, we were not informed.  All the soldiers, however, were disposed to have Grijalva for their chief.  While matters were in this state of uncertainty, Andres

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