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.

Cabeza de Vaca and his companions judged that the extent of country through which they had travelled, from Florida on the Atlantic to San Miguel on the South Sea, could not be less than two hundred leagues[144], as they declared upon oath before a notary at San Miguel on the 15th of May 1536, before whom likewise they subscribed a narrative of all the incidents of their weary pilgrimage.  After resting fifteen days in San Miguel, they proceeded to the city of Compostella[145], a distance of an hundred leagues, where Nunno de Guzman then was, by whom they were kindly received and furnished with clothes and all other necessaries.  From thence they went to Mexico, where they arrived on the 22d of July, and met with a courteous reception from the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza.  Leaving Castillo and Estevanillo at Mexico, Cabeza de Vaca and Orantes proceeded to Vera Cruz, whence they passed over into Spain in 1537.

[Footnote 144:  Two hundred Spanish leagues of 17-1/2 to the degree, or about 800 English miles.  It has been already stated in a former note that the direct distance they had travelled could not be less than 1200 miles, probably 1600 allowing for deflections.—­E.]

[Footnote 145:  San Miguel and Compostella are both omitted in the most recent map of New Spain by Humboldt, though both are inserted in Governor Pownalls map of North America; in which San Miguel is placed about 27 miles S.E. from Culiacan, and Compostella 230 miles S.S.E. from San Miguel; all three near the western coast of New Spain, the former in the province of Culiacan, the latter in that of Guadalaxara—­E.]

We learn from Herrera[146], that Alvar Nunnez Cabeza de Vaca was sent out in 1540 as governor of the incipient Spanish settlements on the Rio Plata, in which expedition he was accompanied by his former companion in distress Orantes.  In the year 1545, he was made prisoner by some mutinous officers of the colony and sent into Spain, where his conduct was cleared by the council of the Indies, yet he was not restored to his government.

[Footnote 146:  Herrera, V. 342, 390, 402.]


Narrative of a new attempt to Conquer Florida, by Ferdinand de Soto[147].

[Footnote 147:  Herrera, V. 223—­239.—­This narrative, as will be seen by the series of quotations from Herrera, is broken down by that writer into detached fragments, in consequence of rigid attention to chronological order.  In the present instance these are arranged into one unbroken journal, but with no other alteration in the text.  It is one of the most curious of our early expeditions of discovery, bearing strong internal evidence of having been taken by Herrera from an original journal, and so far as we know has never been adopted into any former Collection.—­E.]

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