A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 05 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 739 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels.
by the admiral Don Christopher Columbus in the New World, and by him called San Salvador.  From thence De Leon steered to the north-west, and on Sunday the 27th of March, being Easter-day, called Pasqua de Flores by the Spaniards, he saw and passed by an island.  Continuing the same course till Wednesday 30th of March, when the wind became foul, he altered his course to W.N.W. and on the 2d of April came to nine fathoms water a league from the land, in lat. 30 deg. 8’ N. Running along the land in search of a harbour, he anchored at night in eight fathoms near the shore.  Believing the land to be an island, he gave it the name of Florida, because it appeared very delightful with many pleasant groves, and all level, as also because first seen during Easter, which the Spaniards call Pasqua de Flores, or Florida.  At this place Ponce went on shore to take formal possession.

[Footnote 124:  Id.  II. 33.  We now enter upon the discovery of Florida, which will be found regularly referred to the fragments of its History, as scattered through the work of Herrera, at each respective transition.—­E.]

On Friday the 8th of April he continued his course along the coast as before; and next day changed to the S. and by E. till the 20th, when he perceived some bohios, or Indian huts on the coast, off which he came to anchor.  Next day the ships continued their course along shore, but met with so strong a current as drove them back though with a fair wind.  The two ships nearest the shore dropt their anchors, but the force of the current was so great as to strain their cables.  The third was a brigantine, and farther out at sea; which either found no bottom for anchoring, or did not perceive the current, so that it was carried to sea and lost sight of by the rest, though the weather was fair.  Being invited on shore by the natives, Ponce landed, and the natives immediately endeavoured to seize the boat, oars, and arms of the Spaniards, who were forced to fight in their own defence, during which two of them were wounded with darts and arrows pointed with sharp bones.  Night parted the combatants, and Ponce collected his people with some difficulty, having done very little damage to the Indians, and returned to the ships.  He sailed next day along the coast to a river, which he named Rio de la Cruz, where he proposed to wood and water and to wait the return of the brigantine.  He was opposed at this place by sixty Indians, one of whom was made prisoner, that he might learn Spanish, and be able to give information respecting the country.  Leaving at this place a stone with an inscription, he doubled the Cape of Florida on Sunday the 8th of May, giving it the name of Cabo de las Corrientes, or Cape Currents, because they are there stronger than the wind; after which he came to anchor near an Indian town called Aboaia.  All this coast, from Cape Arracifes to Cape Corrientes lies north and south one point east, being clear and free from rocks and shoals, with six fathoms water near the shore.

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