A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. III.
Robert Kerr

Part 6 out of 10

they found setting very rapidly to the northwards. On the 14th September,
being 50 leagues more to the west, the admiral, about night-fall,
perceived the needle to vary a point westwards, and somewhat more early
next morning. This variation had never been observed before, and therefore
astonished the admiral greatly; and still more so, three days after, when
he had advanced 100 leagues farther to the westwards, on finding the
needle to vary two points in the evening, and to point directly north next
morning. On the night of Saturday the 15th September, being then near 300
leagues west from Ferro, they saw a flame of fire drop into the sea, four
or five leagues S.W. from the ships, the weather being then calm, the sea
smooth, and the current setting to the N.E. The people in the Ninna said
they had seen some water-wagtails on the day before, at which they much
admired, considering that these birds never go above fifteen or twenty
leagues from land. On the next day, they were still more surprised at
seeing some spots of green and yellow weeds on the surface of the sea,
which seemed newly broken off from some island or rock. On Monday the 17th,
they saw much more, and many concluded they were near land, more
especially as a live grasshopper was seen on the weeds. Others of the
companies alleged these weeds might come from banks or rocks under water,
and the people, beginning to be afraid, muttered against the prosecution
of the voyage. They now perceived that the water was not more than half as
salt as usual, and that night they saw many tunny fishes, which followed
so near the ships that a man belonging to the Ninna killed one with a
harpoon. In the morning the air was temperate and delightful, like the
April weather of Andalusia. When about 360 leagues westwards of Ferro,
another water-wagtail was seen; and on Tuesday the 18th September, Martin
Alonso Pinzon, being before in the Pinta which was an excellent sailer,
lay to for the admiral, and reported that he had seen a numerous flock of
birds flying westwards, from which he had hopes of discovering land that
night, at about fifteen leagues to the northwards, and even fancied he had
seen it: But the admiral did not credit this, and would not lose time by
deviating from his course in search of the supposed land, though all the
people were much inclined to have made the attempt. That night the wind
freshened, when they had sailed eleven days always before the wind to the
west, without ever having to handle a sail. During the whole course, the
admiral constantly noted down every circumstance; as the winds, the fishes,
birds, and other tokens of land, and continually kept a good look out,
frequently trying for soundings.

[1] This is about L.260.--Churchill

Equal to about L.2600 of our present money in effective value: But is
difficult to conceive how the eighth part of this small armament
should require so large a sum, which would extend the total amount to
L.2080 of solid money, equal in efficacy to L.20,800 in our times: and,
besides the crown had advanced L.520, equally to L.5200, as its
contribution for seven eighths.--E


_Continuation of the Voyage; the signs of approaching land; the people
mutiny, and the Admiral endeavours to appease them._

Being altogether unacquainted with the voyage, and seeing nothing but sky
and water for so many days, the people began to mutter among themselves,
as thinking their situation desperate, and anxiously looked out for signs
of land, no one having ever been so far out at sea as they then were. On
Wednesday 19th September, a sea gull came on board the admiral, and others
appeared in the evening; which raised their hopes of land, believing these
birds did not fly far out to sea. Throwing the lead with a line of 200
fathoms, no ground was found, but the current was found setting to the S.W.
On Thursday the 20th two more gulls were seen; some time after they took a
black bird, having a white spot on its crown and feet like a duck; they
killed a small fish, and sailed over large quantities of weeds. From all
which tokens the people began to pluck up fresh courage. Next morning,
three small land birds settled on the rigging of the admiral, where they
continued singing till the sun rose, when they flew away. This
strengthened their hopes of land; as, though the other birds might venture
out to sea, those small birds could not as they thought, go far from land.
Some time after, a gull was seen flying from W.N.W. next afternoon a
water-wagtail and another gull, and more weeds to the northwards, which
encouraged them in the belief that they came from some land not far off.
Yet these very weeds troubled them, as they were sometimes in such thick
spots as to impede the way of the ships, and they therefore avoided them
as much as possible. Next day they saw a whale, and on the 22d September
some birds. During three days the winds were from the S.W. which, though
contrary, the admiral said were a good sign, because the ships having
hitherto sailed always before the wind, the men believed they would never
have a fair wind to return with. Notwithstanding every encouragement that
the admiral could devise, the men grew mutinous and slighted him, railing
against the king for sending them on such a voyage; while he sometimes
endeavoured to sooth them with hopes, and at other times threatened them
with the punishment they might look for from the king, for their cowardice
and disobedience. On the 23d, the wind sprung up at W. N.W. with a rough
sea, which pleased every one; at nine in the morning a turtle-dove flew
athwart the admiral; in the afternoon a gull and other white birds, and
grasshoppers were seen among the weeds. Next day another gull was seen,
and turtle-doves came from the westwards; some small fishes also were seen,
which were killed with harpoons, as they would not take bait.

All these tokens of land proving vain, the fears of the men increased, and
they now began to mutter openly that the admiral proposed to make himself
great at the expence of their lives; and, having now done their duty by
venturing farther than any men had ever done before, they ought not to
seek their own destruction by sailing onwards to no purpose; for, if they
should expend all their provisions, they would have none to serve them on
the homeward voyage; and the vessels, being already crazy, would never
hold out; so that no one would blame them for returning, and they would be
the more readily believed at home, as the admiral had met with much
opposition at court. Some even went the length of proposing to throw him
overboard, to end all controversy, and to give out that he had fallen
accidentally into the sea while observing the stars. Thus the men inclined
more and more to mutiny from day to day, which greatly perplexed Columbus;
who sometimes soothed them with fair words, and at other times curbed
their insolence with menaces; often enumerating the increasing signs of
land, and assuring them they would soon find a wonderfully rich country,
where all their toils would be amply rewarded. They thus continued so full
of care and trouble that every day seemed a year, till on Tuesday the 29th
September, Vincent Yannez Pinzon, while conversing with Columbus, called
out _Land! Land!_ "Sir, I demand my reward for this news." He then pointed
to the S.W. and shewed something that looked like an island, about 25
leagues from the ships. Though this was afterwards believed to have been a
concerted matter between the admiral and him, yet it was then so pleasing
to the men that they gave thanks to God; and the admiral pretended to
believe it till night, steering his course in that direction to please the

Next morning, what seemed land turned out only clouds or a fog bank, which
often looks like land; and with much discontent the course was again
altered due west, and so continued while the wind was favourable. This day,
Wednesday 26th, they saw a gull, a water-wagtail, and other birds. Next
morning another gull flew past from the west towards the east, and they
saw many fishes called _dorados_, or gilt-heads, some of which were struck
with harpoons. Another water-wagtail passed very near the ships; and the
currents were observed not to run in so strong a body as before, but to
change with the tides; and there were fewer weeds. Friday 28th September,
they saw many dorados, and on Saturday a water-wagtail, which is a species
of sea bird that never rests, but perpetually pursues the gulls till they
mute for fear, which the other catches in the air. Of these there are
great numbers about the Cape Verde islands. Soon after many gulls appeared,
and numbers of flying fishes. In the afternoon, many weeds were seen
stretching from north to south, also three gulls and a water-wagtail
pursuing them. The men constantly allowed that the weeds were a sign of
near land, but alleged that it was under water. On Sunday 30th September,
four water-wagtails came near the admiral at once, from which it was
concluded the land could not be far off. Many weeds appeared in a line
from W.N.W. to E.S.E; likewise many of those fishes which are called
emperors, having a hard skin, and not good eating. Though the admiral
carefully noted all these circumstances, he ceased not to observe the
heavens. He perceived that the needles varied two points at night-fall,
and returned due north in the morning, which much perplexed the pilots;
till he told them this proceeded from the north star moving round the pole,
with which gratuitous explanation they were partly satisfied, for this
hitherto unusual variation at such a distance from land, made them fearful
of some unknown danger.

On Monday the 1st October, at day-break a gull was seen, and some others
before noon resembling bitterns; and the weeds now set from east to west.
Many now feared they might come to some place where the land was so
closely beset with weeds that they might stick fast among them and perish.
This morning the pilot told Columbus that they were 588 leagues to the
west of Ferro; but the admiral answered that they were only 584, though
his reckoning was actually 707. On the Wednesday following, the pilot of
the Ninna reported his westing to be 650 leagues; and he of the Pinta 630;
in all of which they had reckoned short, having sailed right before the
wind, but Columbus refrained from setting them right, lest he might
increase the dismay of the people, by letting them know how far they were
from land. On the 2d October, they killed a tunny and saw many other sorts,
as also a white bird and many grey ones, and the weeds looked withered, as
if almost reduced to powder. No birds appearing next day, they feared
having passed some island unseen, supposing all the birds that appeared to
have been passing from one island to another, and the men were eager to
change their course to one hand or the other; but Columbus did not choose
to lose the advantage of the wind, which served for a due west course,
which he particularly wished, and he thought it would lessen his
reputation to sail up and down in search of land, which he always asserted
he was certain to find. On this the men again mutinied, which was not
wonderful, considering that so many were led by one of whom they had so
little knowledge, and that they had already sailed long on so vast an
ocean, seeing nothing but sky and water, without knowing what might be the
end of all their labours. But it pleased God to show fresh signs of land,
by which they were somewhat appeased; for, in the afternoon of the 4th
October, they saw above forty sparrows and two gulls, which came so close
to the ships that a sailor killed one with a stone; likewise many flying
fishes were seen, some of which fell upon the decks of the ships. Next day,
a gull, a water-wagtail, and many sparrows appeared to the westwards near
the ships. On Sunday the 7th October, some signs of land appeared to the
westwards, yet none durst say so, lest they might forfeit the annuity of
10,000 maravedies, which had been promised to him who first saw land; and
it was provided that whoever should pretend to see the land, if his
discovery were not verified in three days, should be ever after excluded
from the reward, even though he should actually make the discovery in the
sequel. Yet those in the Ninna, which was a-head of the rest, being the
best sailer, were so sure of seeing land that they fired a gun and shewed
their colours as a signal to that effect; but the more they advanced, the
appearances became the less, and at length vanished away. In this
disconsolate condition, it pleased God again to comfort them with the
flights of many birds, and among them some which were certainly land birds,
and which made for the south west. Upon this, concluding he could not now
be far from land, Columbus altered his course from west to south-west;
alleging the difference was not great, and that the Portuguese had
discovered most of their lands by following the flight of birds, and that
those he now followed took the very direction in which he had always
expected to find the land. He added that he had always told them he did
not expect to find the land till he had sailed 750 leagues westward of the
Canaries, where he expected to find the island of Cipango, and must
certainly have been upon it by this time; but knowing it to stretch north
and south, he had not turned southwards lest he might get foul of it; yet
he now believed it to lie among other islands towards the left, in the
direction these birds flew; and since they were so numerous, the land must
needs be near. On Monday the 8th October, about a dozen small birds of
several different colours came to the ship, and hovering a while about it,
afterwards flew away, and many others were seen flying to the south-west.
On the same evening, many large birds were seen, and flocks of small birds,
all coming from the northward, and many tunnies were seen. Next morning a
gull and some ducks, with many small birds were seen, all flying in the
same direction with the former; besides, the air became more fresh and
fragrant, as at Seville in April. But the men were now so anxious for land,
and so vexed at the frequent disappointment of their hopes, that they
regarded none of these tokens; though, on Wednesday the 10th, many birds
were seen both by day and night; yet neither the encouraging promises of
the admiral, nor his upbraiding their cowardice, could allay their fears,
or inspire them with any confidence of ultimate success.


_Admiral Columbus discovers the Island of San Salvador, the Conception,
Ferdinandina, Isabella, and others; with a Description of these islands,
and some account of the Natives_.

It pleased God, when Columbus was no longer able to withstand the
discontents and mutinous spirit of his men, that in the afternoon of
Thursday the 11th of October 1492, he was comforted by manifest tokens of
approaching land. A green rush was seen to float past his own ship, and a
green fish of that kind which is known to be usually near rocks. Those of
the Pinta saw a cane and a staff, and took up another curiously carved,
and a piece of board, and many weeds were seen, evidently fresh torn from
the shore. The people on board the Ninna saw similar tokens, and a branch
of thorn with its berries, that seemed to have been recently torn from the
bush. All these were strong indications of being near land; besides which
the lead now found a bottom and brought up sand; and the wind became
unsteady, which was thought to proceed from the nearness of the land. From
all these signs, Columbus concluded that he was now certainly near the
land he was in search of; and when night came, after evening prayer he
made a speech to his men, setting forth the infinite goodness of God, who
had conducted them in safety through so long a voyage. He then gave orders,
that they should lay to and watch all night; since they well knew that the
first article of their sailing instructions was, that, after sailing seven
hundred leagues without finding land, they should not make sail between
midnight and day-break; and he was almost confident they would make the
land that night. On purpose farther to rouse their vigilance, besides
putting them in mind of the promised annuity of 10,000 maravedies from the
king to him who might first see land, he engaged to give from himself a
velvet doublet to the discoverer.

_About ten o'clock at night of Thursday the 11th October_ 1492, as
Columbus was sitting on the poop of his vessel, he espied a light; on
which he privately called upon Peter Gutierrez, a groom of the kings privy
chamber, and desired him to look at the light, which he said he saw. He
then called Roderigo Sanchez de Segovia, inspector of the fleet, who could
not discern the light; but it was afterwards seen twice, and looked like a
candle which was lifted up and then held down; so that Columbus had no
doubt of it being a real light on land, and it afterwards turned out to
have been a light carried by some people who went from one house to

About two the next morning, the caravel Pinta, being always foremost, made
a signal of seeing land, which was first descried by a sailor named
Roderick de Triana, and was then about two leagues distant. But the
annuity of 10,000 maravedies, promised in reward to him who should first
discover land, was afterwards decreed by their majesties to belong to the
admiral, and was always paid him from the rents of the shambles of Seville;
because _he saw the light in the midst of darkness_; typical of the
spiritual light they were bringing among those barbarous people: For God
so ordered it, that, as soon as the wars with the Moors of Granada were
ended, after 720 years from their first coming into Spain, this great work
should begin; by which the crown of Castile and Leon might be continually
employed in the good work of bringing infidels to the knowledge of the
Catholic faith.

When day appeared, on Friday the 12th October, they perceived a flat
island, fifteen leagues in length, covered with wood, abundantly supplied
with good water, having a fresh lake in the middle, and full of people.
The natives stood on the shore in great admiration of the ships, which
they believed to be some monstrous unknown animals, and were as impatient
to be better informed respecting them, as the Spaniards were to go on
shore. The admiral went on shore in his boat well manned, and having the
royal standard displayed, accompanied by the two captains of the other
ships, Martin Alonzo Pinzon, and Vincent Yannez Pinzon, in their own boats
carrying the peculiar colours of the enterprize, being a green cross with
several crowns, and inscribed with the names of their Catholic majesties.
On landing they all fell upon their knees, kissing the ground, and
returned thanks to the Almighty for his merciful guidance and protection.
The admiral then stood up, and named the island _San Salvador_ or St
Saviour; but by the inhabitants it was called _Guanahani_. This first
discovered land in the new world, being one of the islands afterwards
called _Lucayos_ or _Bahamas_, is 950 leagues from the Canary islands[1],
and was discovered after 33 days sail[2]. Columbus took formal possession
of the country for the crown of Castile and Leon, in presence of the
notary Roderick de Escoveda, being surrounded by great numbers of the
natives. All the Spaniards now acknowledged him as admiral and viceroy,
taking an oath to obey him, as representing the sovereign in those parts;
and they did this with all that pleasure and alacrity which may easily be
imagined to have actuated them on this successful occasion, all begging
pardon for the trouble they had given him through their pusillanimous and
irresolute conduct during the voyage.

Perceiving that the natives, who were called Indians by the Spaniards,
were a simple and peaceable people, who stood gazing with admiration at
the Christians, wondering at their beards, complexion, and cloaths, the
admiral gave them some red caps, glass beads, and other baubles, which
they received eagerly and seemed to prize much; while the Spaniards were
no less surprised to behold the appearance and behaviour of this new
people. The admiral returned on board, followed by many Indians, some by
swimming, and others in boats called _canoes_, made out of one piece of
timber, like troughs or trays. The Indians brought along with them clews
of cotton-yarn, parrots, javelins pointed with fish bones, and some other
things, which they bartered for glass toys, hawks-bells and such trifles,
with which they were highly pleased, and even set a high value on broken
pieces of glazed earthern ware, plates, and poringers. All the natives,
both men and women, were entirely naked like man in the state of innocence,
the greater number being under thirty years of age, though some were old.
They wore their hair down to their ears, some few to their necks, tied
with a string in the nature of tresses. Their countenances and features
were good; yet having extraordinarily broad foreheads, gave some
appearance of deformity to their appearance. They were of a middle stature
and well shaped, having their skins of an olive colour, like the natives
of the Canaries; but some were painted white, some black, and others red;
most of them in different parts of their bodies, but some only on their
faces, round the eyes, or on their noses. They were quite ignorant of our
weapons; for on being shewn swords, they ignorantly laid hold of the edge.
They knew nothing of iron, but used sharp stones for working in wood.
Being asked by signs, how they came by some scars that were observed upon
some of them, they made the Spaniards understand that the people of some
other islands came occasionally to make them prisoners, and that they had
been wounded in defending themselves. They had very voluble tongues, and
appeared of quick apprehension, and easily repeated any words they heard
spoken. The only living creatures that were seen among them were parrots.

On the next day, being the 13th October, many Indians came off to the
ships in their canoes, most of which carried forty or even fifty men, and
some were so small as only to hold one. Their oars were formed like a
bakers peel, with which they rowed, or paddled rather, as if digging with
a spade. Though easily overset, the Indians were excellent swimmers, and
easily turned their canoes up, again, after which they laded the water out
with calabashes, which they carried with them for that purpose. They
brought much cotton on board to barter with the Spaniards, and some of
them gave as many clews as weighed a quarter of a hundred weight in
exchange for a small brass Portuguese coin called _centis_, worth less
than a farthing. These people were never satisfied with gazing on the
Spaniards, and used to kneel down and hold up their hands, as if praising
God for their arrival, and were continually inviting each other to go and
see the men who had come from heaven. They wore no jewels, nor had they
any other thing of value, except some little gold plates which hung at
their noses. Being asked whence they had this gold, they answered by signs
that they procured it from the southwards, where there was a king, who had
abundance of that metal. The ships were never clear of Indians, who, as
soon as they could procure a bit of any thing, were it only a fragment of
a broken earthen dish, went away well pleased and swam ashore with their
acquisition, offering whatsoever they possessed for the meanest trifle.
Thus the whole day was spent in trading, their generosity in giving being
occasioned by the value they set upon what they received in return, as
they looked upon the Spaniards as people come from heaven, and were
therefore desirous of something to keep in remembrance of them. At night
they all went on shore. On the morning of the 14th the admiral took a
survey of all the coast to the north-west in the boats, the natives
following along the shore, offering provisions, and calling to each other
to come and see these heavenly men; others followed in canoes, and some by
swimming, holding up their hands in admiration, asking by signs if the
Christians did not come from heaven, and inviting them to come on shore to
rest themselves. The admiral gave to all strings of glass beads, pins, or
other toys, being much pleased to see the simple innocence of the natives.
He continued the survey till he came to a ridge of rocks inclosing a
spacious harbour, where a strong fort might have been built, in a place
almost surrounded by water. Near that harbour there was a village of six
houses, surrounded by abundance of trees, which looked like gardens. As
the men were wearied with rowing, and the land did not appear sufficiently
inviting to make any stay, Columbus returned to the ships; and having
heard of other lands, he resolved to go in search of them.

Taking with him seven natives of Guanahani, that they might learn Spanish
and serve as interpreters, Columbus proceeded to discover the other
islands, of which there were above an hundred, all flat, green, and
inhabited, of which the Indians told him the names. On Monday the 15th of
October, he came to an island, seven leagues from St Salvador or Guanahani,
which he named _Santa Maria de la Conception_[3], which stretches near
fifty leagues in length between north and south; but the admiral ran along
that side of it which is east and west, where the extent is only ten
leagues. He anchored on the west side, and went on shore, when vast
numbers of the natives flocked about him, shewing the utmost wonder and
admiration. Finding this island similar to the former, he thought fit to
proceed farther on. A canoe being on board the caravel Ninna, one of the
seven Indians brought from St Salvador leaped over, and though pursued by
a boat got clear off; and another had made his escape the night before.
While here an Indian came off in a canoe to barter cotton, and the admiral
ordered a red cap to be put on his head, and to have hawks-bells fastened
to his legs and arms, on which he went away well pleased. Next day being
Tuesday 16th October, he proceeded westwards to another island, the coast
of which trended eighteen leagues N.W. and S.E.; but he did not reach it
till next day, on account of calms. On the way, an Indian was met in a
canoe, having a piece of their bread, some water in a calabash or gourd, a
little of the black earth with which they paint themselves, some dry
leaves of a wholesome sweet-scented herb which they prize highly; and, in
a little basket, a string of glass beads, and two vinteins[4], by which
it appeared he came from San Salvador, had passed the Conception, and was
going to this third island, which the admiral now named _Fernandina_, in
honour of the king of Spain. The way being long and the Indian tired with
rowing, he went on board, and the admiral ordered him to be regaled with
bread and honey and some wine; and when he arrived at the island, caused
him to be set on shore with some toys. The good report which this man gave,
brought the people of the island aboard the ships to barter, as in the
other islands. When the boats went ashore for water, the Indians readily
shewed where it was to be had, and even helped to fill the casks; yet they
seemed to have more understanding than the other islanders, as they
bargained harder in exchanging their commodities, and had cotton blankets
in their houses. Some of the women also wore short cotton wrappers, like
petticoats, from the waist half way down their thighs, while others had a
swathe or bandage of cotton cloth, and such as had nothing better, wore
leaves of trees; but the young girls were entirely naked. This island
appeared to have abundance of water, many meadows and groves, and some
pleasant little hills, which the others had not, and an infinite variety
of birds flew about in flocks, and sung sweetly; most of these being quite
different from the birds of Spain. There were many lakes, near one of
which our men saw a creature seven feet long, which he supposed to be an
alligator, and admired its size and strange shape. Having thrown stones at
this creature, it ran into the water, where they killed it with their
spears. Experience taught them afterwards that this animal is excellent
meat, and is much esteemed by the Indians of Hispaniola, who call them
_Yvanes_. In this island there were trees which seemed to have been
grafted, as they bore leaves of four or five kinds; yet they were quite
natural. They saw also fishes of fine colours, but no land animals except
large tame snakes, the before-mentioned alligators, and small rabbits,
almost like rats, called _Unias_; they had also some small dogs which did
not bark. Continuing the survey of this island to the north-west, they
anchored at the mouth of a spacious harbour, having a small island at its
mouth; but did not enter, as it was too shallow. In this place was a town
of some size, all the rest they had seen in these islands having not above
ten or twelve huts like tents, some of them round, and others with
penthouse roofs, sloping both ways, and an open porch in front in the
Flemish fashion. These were covered with leaves of trees, very neatly laid
on, to keep out wind and rain, with vents for the smoke, and the ridges
handsomely ornamented. Their only furniture were beds of net tied to two
posts, like hammocks. One Indian had a little piece of gold hanging from
his nose, with some marks on it resembling characters, which the admiral
was anxious to procure, supposing it to have been some species of coin;
but it afterwards appeared there was no such thing in all the West Indies.

Nothing being found in Fernandina beyond what had been already seen at St
Salvador and the Conception, the admiral proceeded to the next island,
which he named Isabella, in honour of the queen of Castile, and took
possession of it with the usual formalities. This island and its
inhabitants resembled the rest, having the beautiful appearance of the
south of Spain in the month of April. They here killed an alligator; and,
on going towards a town, the inhabitants fled, carrying sway all their
property; but no harm being done, the natives soon came to the ships to
barter like the others for toys; and being asked for water, they became so
familiar as to bring it on board in gourds. The admiral would not spend
time at Isabella, nor at any of the other small islands, which were very
numerous, but resolved to go in search of a very large island which the
Indians described as being in the south, by them called _Cuba_, of which
they seemed to give a magnificent account, and which he supposed might be
_Sucipango_. He steered his course W.S.W, and made little way on Wednesday
and Thursday, by reason of heavy rain, and changed his course at nine next
morning to S.E., and after running eight leagues, fell in with eight
islands in a north and south direction, which he called _Del Arena_, or
the Sand Isles, because surrounded by shoals. He was told that Cuba was
only a day and halfs sail from these islands, which he left on Saturday
the 27th October, and standing S.S.W., discovered Cuba before night; yet,
as it began to grow late and dark, he lay to all night.


_Discovery of Cuba and Hispaniola, and Desertion of Martin Alonzo Pinzon._

On Sunday the 28th of October, the admiral drew near the coast of Cuba,
which appeared much finer than any of the islands he had seen hitherto,
there being hills, mountains, plains, and waters, with various sorts of
trees; and he gave it the name of _Juanna_ or _Joanna_, in honour of the
princess of Spain. He anchored in a great river, to which he gave the name
of San Salvador, for a good omen. The wood appeared very thick, and
composed of tall trees, bearing blossoms and fruit quite different from
those of Spain, and frequented by numberless birds. Wanting some
information, the admiral sent to two houses in sight, but the inhabitants
fled away, taking their nets and fishing tackle, and accompanied by a dog
that did not bark. He would not allow any thing to be touched, but went on
to another great river, which he named _De la Luna_, or Moon river; and
thence to another which he called _Mares_, or Sea river, the banks of
which were thickly peopled, but the inhabitants all fled to the mountains,
which were thickly clothed with many kinds of tall trees. The Indians he
had brought with him from Guanahani, said that there were gold and pearls
to be found here; which last he thought likely, as muscles were seen.
These Indians added that the continent was only ten days sail from this
island; but, from a notion he had imbibed from the writings of Paul, a
physician of Florence, and though he was in the right, it was not the land
he imagined[5]. Believing that the Indians would be afraid if many men
were to land, he sent only two Spaniards on shore, along with one of the
Guanahani Indians, and one belonging to Cuba who had come on board in a
canoe. The Spaniards were Roderick de Xeres, a native of Ayamonte, and
Lewis de Torres, who had been a Jew, and spoke Hebrew and Chaldee, and
some Arabic. These people were furnished with toys to barter, and were
restricted to six days, having proper instructions of what they were to
say in the name of their Catholic majesties, and were directed to
penetrate into the country, informing themselves of every thing worth
notice, and not to do any injury to any of the natives. In the mean time,
the admiral refitted the ships, and found all the wood they used for fuel
produced a kind of gum like mastic, the leaf and fruit much resembling the
lentisc, but the tree was much larger. In this river of Mares, the ships
had room to swing, having seven or eight fathoms water at the mouth, and
five within. There were two small hills on the west side of the river, and
a pleasant flat cape running out to the W.N.W. This was afterwards the
port of Barocoa, which the adelantado Velasquez called Assumption.

On the 5th of November, when the ships were ready to sail, the two
Spaniards returned, accompanied by three natives of the island. They
reported that they had penetrated twenty-two leagues, and found a town of
50 houses, built like those which had been seen already, and containing
about 1000 inhabitants, as a whole race lived in one house. The prince and
chief men came out to meet them, and led them by the arms to lodge in one
of the houses, where they were seated on stools of an entire piece of wood,
shaped like a living creature with short legs, the tail standing upright,
and the head before, with gold eyes and ears. All the Indians sat about
them on the ground, and came in succession to kiss their hands, believing
they came from heaven, and gave them boiled roots to eat, which tasted
like chesnuts. They were entreated to remain, or at least to stay for some
days to rest themselves, as the Indians that went with them had said a
great deal in their praise. The men afterwards went away, and many women
came to see them, who were much amazed, kissed their hands and feet, and
touched them fearfully as if holy, offering them what they had to give. On
their return, many of the natives desired to accompany them; but they
would only permit the lord of the town, with his son and a servant, whom
the admiral treated with much respect. They added, that they met with
several towns, both in going and returning, where they were courteously
entertained; but none of them contained more than five or six houses. On
the way, they met many people carrying lighted fire-brands to make fire
with, to smoke themselves with certain herbs they carried along with them,
and to roast roots, which were their chief food. They could easily light a
fire, by rubbing pieces of a certain wood together, as if boring. They saw
several sorts of trees differing from those on the sea coast, and an
extraordinary variety of birds, quite different from those of Spain; but
among these there were partridges and nightingales; and they found no
quadrupeds, except the dogs formerly mentioned, that could not bark. The
Indians had much land in cultivation, part in those roots before mentioned,
and part sown with a grain named _Maize_, which was well tasted; either
boiled whole, or made into flour. They saw vast quantities of spun cotton,
made up into clews, and thought there was above 12,000 weight of it in one
house. This cotton grows wild in the fields, and opens of itself when ripe,
and there were some heads open and others shut on the same plants; and
this was held in so little estimation by the natives, that they would give
a basket full for a leather thong, a piece of glazed earthen ware, or a
bit of mirror. Being all naked, the only use to which this cotton was
applied, was for net hammocks, in which they slept, and for weaving into
small clouts to cover their nakedness. Being asked for gold and pearls,
they said there was plenty of them at _Bohio_, pointing to the east. The
Spaniards made much inquiry among the natives on board, for gold, and were
told it camp from _Cubanocan_; which some thought meant the country of the
Chan of Cathay, and that it was not far off, as their signs indicated four
days journey. Martin Alonzo Pinzon, thought Cubanocan must be some great
city, only distant four days journey; but it was afterwards found to be a
province in the middle of Cuba, _nocan_ signifying the middle, in which
there are gold mines.

The admiral was not inclined to lose time in this uncertain inquiry, but
ordered some Indians of several different parts to be seized, to carry
them into Spain, that they might each give an account of their country,
and serve as witnesses of his discovery. Twelve persons, men, women, and
children, were secured; and when about to sail, the husband of one of the
women, who had two children, came and solicited to go along with his wife
and children; and the admiral ordered him to be received and treated
kindly. The wind changing northerly, they were constrained to put into a
port called _Del Principe_, which he only viewed from without, in a
road-stead protected by a great number of islands, about a musket-shot
asunder, and he called this place _Mar de Nuestra Sennora_, or Our Lady's
Sea. The channels between the islands were deep, and the shores
beautifully adorned with trees and green herbage. Some of the trees
resembled mastic, and others lignum aloes, some like palms with smooth
green stems, and many other kinds. Landing on these islands, they found no
inhabitants, but there were the appearances of many fires having been made
in them, by fishers; as the inhabitants of Cuba go there for fish and fowl,
which are got in profusion. The Indians eat several filthy things; as
great spiders, worms bred in rotten wood, fish half raw, from which they
scoop out the eyes as soon as taken, and devour them; besides many other
things quite disgusting to the Spaniards. In this employment of fishing,
the Indians occupy themselves during several seasons of the year; going
sometimes to one island and sometimes to another, as people who tire of
one diet change to another. In one of these islands the Spaniards killed
an animal resembling a wild boar, and among many kinds of fish which they
drew up in their nets, one was like a swine, with a very hard skin, the
tail being the only soft part. They found likewise some mother-of-pearl.
The sea was observed to ebb and flow much more here than in any other part,
which the admiral attributed to the numbers of islands; and low water was
noticed to be when the moon was S.S.W, contrary to what it is in Spain.

On Sunday the 18th November, the admiral returned to _Puerto del Principe_,
and erected a large wooden cross at its mouth. On Monday the 19th, he
resumed his voyage for the island, afterwards named Hispaniola, which some
of the Indians called _Bohio_, and others _Babeque_; yet it afterwards
appeared that Babeque was not Hispaniola, but the continent, for they
called it Caribana[6]. The Indian word _Bohio_ signifies a house or
habitation; and as that term was applied to the island of Hispaniola, it
seemed to denote that it was full of _Bohios_ or houses. On account of
contrary winds, the admiral spent three or four days cruising about the
island of Isabella, but did not go very near, lest the Indians he had on
board might escape; at this place they found many of the weeds they had
before met with on the ocean, and perceived that they were drifted by the
currents. Martin Alonzo Pinzon, learning from the Indians that there was
much gold at Bohio, and eager to enrich himself, left the admiral on
Wednesday the 21st November, without any stress of weather or other
legitimate cause; his ship being always foremost, as the best sailer, he
slipped off at night unperceived. On the admiral perceiving his absence,
and that he did not return after many signals, he bore away for the island
of Cuba, as the wind was contrary, and put into a large and safe harbour,
to which he gave the name of _Puerto de Santa Catalina_, or St Catherines,
because discovered on the eve of that saint. While taking in wood and
water here, some stones were found which had veins resembling gold; and
there grew fine tall pines on the shore, fit for masts. The Indians still
directing him for Bohio or Hispaniola, as a country abounding in gold, he
sailed along the coast twelve leagues farther, where he found many
spacious harbours, and among these a river which might conveniently admit
a galley, yet the entrance could not be seen till close at hand. Invited
by the convenient appearance of the place, he went up the river in a boat,
finding eight fathom water at the entrance. He proceeded some way up the
river, the banks of which were pleasantly embellished with fine trees
swarming with a variety of birds. At length he came to some houses, where
a boat was found under an arbour, having twelve thwarts, or seats for
rowers, and in one of the houses they found a mass of wax, and a mans head
hanging in a basket. This wax was carried to their majesties, but as no
more was ever found in Cuba, it was afterwards supposed to have been
brought from Yucatan. They found no people in this place, as they had all
fled, but they saw another canoe ninety-five spans long, capable of
holding fifty persons, made all of one piece of wood like the rest, and
hollowed out with tools of flint.

After sailing 107 leagues eastwards along the coast of Cuba, the admiral
arrived at its eastern end, and departed thence on the 5th December for
Hispaniola, which is only 18 leagues distant; yet he could not reach it
till next day, on account of the currents. On the 6th he came to a harbour
which he called St Nicholas, at the western extremity of Hispaniola,
having discovered it on the day of that Saint. This port is safe, spacious,
and deep, surrounded by thick groves and a mountainous land; the trees,
however, were not large, and resembled those of Spain; among others, there
were found pine and myrtle. A pleasant river discharged itself into this
harbour, and on its banks were many canoes, as large as brigantines, of 25
benches. Finding no people, he went on to the north-east, to a harbour
which he named Conception, south from a small island called Tortuga, 10
leagues north of Hispaniola. Observing this island of Bohio to be very
large, that its land and trees resembled Spain, that his people caught,
among other fish, many skates, soles, and other fishes like those in Spain,
and that nightingales and other European birds were heard to sing in the
month of December, at which they much admired; the admiral named this land
_La Espannola_, which we now corruptly write _Hispaniola_. Some thought it
ought to have been named _Castellana_, as the crown of Castile alone was
concerned in this expedition of discovery. As he had received a favourable
account of this island from the Indians, he was desirous of learning
whether it were really so wealthy as they represented; and, as the natives
all fled, communicating the alarm from place to place by fires, he sent
six well armed Spaniards into the interior to explore the country. These
people returned, after having proceeded a considerable way without finding
any inhabitants; but they reported wonders of the deliciousness of the
country. One day three of the seamen having gone into a wood, saw many
naked people, who fled as soon as they saw our men into the thickest parts
of the wood; but the sailors pursued and took a woman, who had a small
plate of gold hanging at her nose. The admiral gave her some hawks-bells
and glass beads, and ordered her to have a shirt, and sent her away with
three Spaniards, and three of the Indian captives, to accompany her to her


_Farther Discovery of Hispaniola: Simplicity of the Natives: Kind
reception from the Cacique_ Guacanagari. _The Admiral loses his ship, and
resolves to settle a Colony in the Island._

Next day the admiral sent nine armed Spaniards, with an Indian of St
Salvador to serve as interpreter, to the womans habitation, which was four
leagues to the south-east of where the ships then lay. They here found a
town of 1000 scattered houses; but it was quite deserted, as all the
inhabitants had fled into the woods. The Indian interpreter was sent after
them, and at length persuaded them to return, by saying much in praise of
the Spaniards. They returned accordingly to the town, trembling with fear
and amazement, laying their hands on the heads of the Spaniards, out of
honour and respect, entreating of them to eat, and to remain with them for
the night. Abundance of people now collected; some of them carrying the
woman on their shoulders in triumph to whom the admiral had given a shirt,
and her husband came among them, on purpose to return thanks for the
honourable gift. The Spaniards now returned to the ships, reporting that
the country abounded in provisions, that the natives were whiter and
better-looking than those of the other islands; but that the gold country
lay still more to the eastwards. By their description the men were not of
large size, yet brawny and well set, without beards, having wide nostrils
and broad smooth ungraceful foreheads, which were so shaped at their birth
as a beauty, for which reason, and because they always went bareheaded,
their skulls were hard enough to break a Spanish sword. Here the admiral
observed the length of the day and night, and found that twenty half-hour
glasses run out between sun-rise and sun-set, making the day consequently
ten hours long; but he believed the seamen had been negligent and had made
a mistake, and that the day was somewhat more than eleven hours. Though
the wind was contrary, he resolved to leave this place, and continue his
course to the eastwards through the channel between Tortuga and Hispaniola,
where he found an Indian fishing in a canoe, and wondered his small vessel
was not swallowed up, as the waves rose very high; he accordingly took
both Indian and canoe into the ship, where he treated him well, and sent
him on shore afterwards with some toys. This man commended the Spaniards
so much that many of the natives resorted to the ships; but they had only
some small grains of gold hanging at their noses, which they freely parted
with. Being asked whence that gold came, they made signs that there was
plenty of it farther on. On the admiral inquiring for _Cipango_, which he
still expected to find in these seas, they thought he had meant _Cibao_,
and pointed to the eastwards, as the place in the island which produced
most gold.

The admiral was now informed that the _cacique_, or lord of that part of
the country was coming to visit him, attended by 200 men. Though young, he
was carried in a kind of chair on mens shoulders, attended by a governor
and counsellors; and it was observed that his subjects paid him wonderful
attention, and that his deportment was exceedingly grave. An Indian, from
the island of Isabella, went ashore and spoke to the chief, telling him
the Spaniards were men who had come from heaven, and saying much in their
praise. The cacique now went on board, and, when he came to the poop, he
made signs for his attendants to remain behind, except two men of riper
years, who seemed his counsellors, and sate down at his feet. Being
offered to eat by order of the admiral, he tasted a little of every thing
that was offered, then handed it to the other two, and from them it was
carried to the rest of his attendants. When offered drink, he only touched
it with his lips. They all observed much gravity, speaking little; but
when he spoke, his counsellors observed his lips with great attention, and
answered him with much respect. The admiral thought these people more
rational and farther advanced in civilization than any he had seen at the
other islands. When it grew late, the cacique and his attendants returned
to the shore. Next day, though the wind was contrary and blew hard, the
sea did not run high, as the anchoring ground was sheltered by the island
of Tortuga. Some of our people were engaged this day in fishing, and the
Indians were much gratified at seeing the Spanish mode, which differed
greatly from their own. Several of the Spaniards went on shore to the
Indian town, where they procured some small plates of gold in barter for
glass beads, which gave great satisfaction to the admiral, as he was now
enabled to convince their Catholic majesties that gold was to be had in
the country he had discovered, and consequently, that the promises he had
made were not vain. In the afternoon, the cacique came down again to the
shore, and about the same time, a canoe, with forty men, came over from
the island of Tortuga on purpose to visit the Spaniards, at which the
cacique appeared to take offence; but all the natives of Hispaniola sat
down on the ground, in token of peace. The people from Tortuga landed from
their canoe; but the cacique stood up and threatened them, on which they
reimbarked and pushed off from the shore. To shew his displeasure, the
cacique threw stones and water after them, and gave a stone to the
_alguazil_ belonging to the admiral, making signs for him to throw it at
the Tortugans, but he smiled and would not throw. Those in the canoe
returned very submissively to Tortuga. This day, in honour of the festival
of the Conception, the admiral ordered the ships to be dressed up with
colours and streamers, arming all the men, and firing the cannon. The
cacique came on board while the admiral was at dinner; and the respect
shewn by these naked people to their chief was very remarkable. On coming
into the cabin, the cacique sat down beside the admiral, without suffering
him to rise. Being invited to eat, he took the meat as he had done on a
former occasion, tasting a little of every thing, and giving the rest to
his more immediate attendants. After dinner, he presented to the admiral a
girdle of gold, somewhat like those used in Spain, but quite differently
wrought, and some small plates of gold, which the natives use as ornaments.
The admiral gave the cacique in return a piece of old tapestry hanging
which had attracted his fancy, some amber beads he happened to have about
his neck, a pair of red shoes, and a bottle of orange flower water, with
all of which he was much pleased. He and his attendants seemed much
concerned that they could not make themselves understood by the Spaniards,
and appeared to offer them whatever the country produced. The admiral
shewed him a piece of Spanish coin, bearing the heads of their Catholic
majesties, which he greatly admired, as also the colours with the crosses
and the royal arms. After having been treated with much respect and
attention by the admiral, the cacique went on shore, and was carried back
to his town on a chair or bier. He was accompanied by a son, and by a
great concourse of people; and all the things which had been given him by
the admiral were carried before him, held singly on high, that they might
be seen and admired by the people. A brother of the cacique came next on
board, whom the admiral treated with much respect; and next day, the
admiral caused a cross to be erected in an open spot of the town, near the
sea, as that where the cacique resided was four leagues off; to this cross
the Indians paid great respect, in imitation of the Spaniards.

The admiral took every opportunity of discovering the situation of that
place where all the Indians said that much gold was to be procured, and
being desirous of continuing his discovery to the east, he hoisted sail on
Tuesday night, but could not, during the whole of Wednesday the 19th
December, get out of the channel between Hispaniola and Tortuga, nor was
he able to reach a port which was in sight. He saw abundance of woods and
mountains, and a small island, to which he gave the name of St Thomas; and
from all he had seen, he concluded that Hispaniola was a delightful
country, blessed with pleasant weather, and having many capes, and plenty
of safe harbours. On Thursday the 20th, he put into a port between the
little island of St Thomas and a cape. They here saw several towns, and
many fires in the country; for the season being very dry, and the grass
growing to a great height, the natives are accustomed to set it on fire,
both to facilitate their passage from place to place, and for the purpose
of catching the small animals resembling rabbits, formerly mentioned,
which are called _Utias_. The admiral went in the boats to take a view of
the harbour, which he found very good. The Indians were at first shy: but
on being encouraged by their countrymen in the ships, they flocked in such
multitudes about the Spaniards, that the whole shore was covered with men,
women, and children. They brought victuals of various kinds, among which
was good bread made of maize or Indian wheat, and gourds full of water;
nor did they hide their women, as in other places, but all stood in
admiration of the Spaniards, and seemed to praise God. These people were
whiter, better shaped, more good-natured and generous, than any they had
seen, and the admiral took much care that no offence should be given them.
He sent six men to view their town, where they were entertained as persons
who had come from heaven. At this time there came some canoes with Indians,
sent by a cacique to request the admiral would come to his town, where he
waited for him, with many of his people, at a point or cape, not far
distant. He went accordingly with the boats, though the people of the
place where he now was entreated him to stay. On landing, the cacique sent
provisions to the Spaniards; and, on finding these were received, he
dispatched some Indians to fetch more, and some parrots. The admiral gave
them hawks-bells, glass beads, and other toys, and returned to the ships,
the women and children crying out for him to remain. He ordered meat to be
given to some of the Indians that followed him in canoes, and others who
swam half a league to the caravels. Though the whole shore seemed covered
with people, great numbers were seen constantly going to and from the
interior country, across a great plain which was afterwards called _La
Vega Real_, or the Royal Plain. The admiral admired this harbour, to which
he gave the name of Port St Thomas, because discovered on the day of that

On Saturday the 22d, the admiral intended to have departed from this place
in search of those islands where the Indians said there was much gold, but
was hindered by the weather, and therefore sent the boat to catch fish.
Soon after there came a man from _Guacanagari_, desiring the admiral would
come to his country, and he would give him all he possessed. This person
was one of the five sovereigns, or superior caciques of the island, and
was lord of most of its northern side, on which the admiral then was.
Guacanagari sent to the admiral, by his messenger, a girdle which he wore
instead of a purse, and a vizor or mask, having the ears, tongue, and nose
all made of beaten gold. The girdle was four fingers broad, all covered
with small fish bones, curiously wrought, and resembled seed pearls. The
admiral was resolved to depart on the 23d; but in the first place, he sent
the notary and six other Spaniards on shore, to gratify the natives; who
treated them well, and bartered some cotton and grains of gold for toys.
About 120 canoes came off to the ships with provisions, and well made
earthen pitchers painted red, filled with good water. They likewise
brought some of their spice, which they called _Axi_; and to shew that it
was wholesome, they mixed some of it in a dish of water, and drank it off.
As the bad weather detained the ships, the admiral sent the notary,
accompanied by two Indians, to a town where Guacanagari resided, to see if
he could procure gold; for, having got some considerable quantity of late,
he believed it might be more plentiful in this part. It was computed that
not less than 1000 men came off to the ships this day, every one of whom
gave something; and those who could not get from their canoes into the
ships, because of the multitude, called out for those on board to take
from them what they had brought. From all that he had seen, the admiral
concluded that the island might be as large as England. The notary was
received by Guacanagari, who came out of his town to meet him, and he
thought that town more regularly built than any he had seen; and all the
natives gazed on the Spaniards with surprise and admiration. The cacique
gave them cotton-cloths, parrots, and some pieces of gold; and the people
parted with any thing they had for the merest trifles, which they kept as
relics. On Monday the 24th, the admiral went on shore to visit Guacanagari,
whose residence was four or five leagues from the port of St Thomas. After
his return to the ships, he went to bed, the weather being quite calm, as
he had not slept during two days and a night. The weather being so fine
the steersman left the helm in charge of a _grummet_, although the admiral
had expressly commanded, whatever should be the weather, that he who was
entrusted with the helm should never leave it to any other person. In
truth, no danger was apprehended from rocks or shoals; as on Sunday, when
the boats attended the notary to the residence of the cacique, they had
sounded all the coast for three leagues to the S.E. from the point, and
had made observation how the ships might pass in safety; and as it was now
a dead calm, all went to sleep; thinking themselves free from all kind of
danger. It so happened that the current carried on the ship
imperceptibly[7], till at last the lad at the helm perceiving the rudder
to strike; gave the alarm. The admiral was the first on deck, after whom
came the master, whose watch it was. He was ordered, as the boat was
afloat, to get an anchor into the boat, that it might be carried out
astern and dropped in deep water; in hopes, by means of the capstern, to
heave the ship from the rock on which it lay. But, instead of executing
these orders, the people in the boat immediately made off towards the
other caravel, which was half a league to windward. In this emergency,
perceiving that the water ebbed perceptibly, and that the vessel was in
danger of oversetting, the admiral ordered the mast to be cut by the board,
and many of the things to be thrown into the sea, to lighten the vessel
and get her off. But nothing would do, as the water ebbed apace, and the
ship every moment stuck the faster; and though the sea was calm, the ship
lay athwart the current, her seams opened, she heeled to one side, sprung
a leak below, and filled with water. Had the wind been boisterous, or the
sea rough, not a man would have escaped; whereas, if the master had
executed the orders of the admiral, the ship might have been saved. Those
in the other caravel, seeing the situation of the admiral, not only
refused to admit the people who had so shamefully deserted him, and
ordered them back, but sent their own boat to give all the help in their
power. But there was no remedy, and orders were given to use every
exertion to save the people. For this purpose, the admiral sent James de
Arena and Peter Gutierrez on shore to inform the cacique that he had lost
his ship a league and a half from his town, while on his way to make him a
visit. Guacanagari shed tears on learning the misfortune, and immediately
sent out his canoes to their assistance; which immediately carried off
every thing on deck to the shore. The cacique himself and his brothers
attended, and took all possible care that nothing should be touched. He
even staid himself by the goods, for their security, and had them all
carried into two houses appointed for the purpose. He sent a message to
the admiral, desiring him not to be concerned for his loss, for he would
give him all he had in the world. The Indians assisted with so much
diligence and good will, that nothing better could have been done on the
occasion, even if they had been on the coast of Spain: They were quite
peaceable and kind; their language was easy to pronounce and learn; though
naked, many of their customs were commendable; the cacique was steady in
all points, and was served in great state. The people were very curious in
asking questions, desiring to have reasons and explanations of everything
they saw; they knelt down at prayers, in imitation of the Spaniards; and
at that time it did not appear that they had any other religion except
worshipping the heavens and the sun and moon.

On Wednesday the 26th December, Guacanagari went on board the caravel
Ninna to visit the admiral, who was in great affliction for the loss of
his ship, and the cacique endeavoured to comfort him by the offer of every
thing he had to make up his loss. Two Indians from another town brought
some small gold plates to exchange for hawks-bells, which they most valued,
and the admiral was well provided with these toys, knowing from the
Portuguese how much these were prized in Guinea. The seamen said likewise
that others of the Indians brought gold, and gave it in exchange for
ribbons and other trifles. As Guacanagari perceived the admiral valued
gold so highly, he said he would have some brought to him from _Cibao_.
Then going on shore, he invited the admiral to come and eat _axi_ and
_cazabe_, which form the chief articles of their diet, and he gave him
some masks, having their ears, eyes, and noses, made of gold, besides,
other small ornaments which they wore about their necks. Guacanagari
complained much of the _Caribbees_, or inhabitants of the Caribbee islands,
whom we call canibals or man-eaters, because they carried off his subjects.
The admiral shewed him our weapons, and among others a Turkish bow, in the
use of which one of the Spaniards was very expert, and promised to defend
them; but he was most afraid of the cannon, as when they were fired all
the Indians used to fall down as if dead.

Finding the natives so tractable and well affectioned to the Spaniards,
the country so pleasant and fertile, and such promising indications of
gold; the admiral concluded that God had permitted the loss of the ship on
purpose that a settlement might be made in this place, where the preaching
of his holy word might begin. The Almighty often permits that this should
be done, not solely to his own glory, and advantage of our neighbours, but
likewise for the rewards that men may look for both in this world and the
next: For it is not to be believed that any nation would venture upon so
many hardships and dangers, as had been undergone by the admiral and his
Spaniards, in so doubtful and hazardous an enterprize, were it not in hope
of some reward to encourage them in the holy work.

The Indians continued to go backwards and forwards bartering gold for
hawks-bells, which was the article they most esteemed, and as soon as they
came near the caravel, they held up their pieces of gold, calling out
_Chuque_, _chuque_, as much as to say _Take and give_. One day, an Indian
on shore came with a piece of gold weighing about half a mark or four
ounces, which he held in his left hand, holding out his right hand to
receive the bell, which he no sooner got hold of than he dropt the gold
and ran away, as if thinking that he had cheated the Spaniard. The admiral,
for the reasons already assigned, resolved to leave some men in this
country to trade with the Indians, to make researches into the inland
parts of the island, and to learn the language; that, on his return from
Spain, he might have some persons able to direct him in planting colonies
and subduing the country; and, on intimating his design, many freely
offered to remain. He gave orders, therefore, for building a tower, or
fort, with the timbers of the ship that was cast away. In the meantime,
advice was brought by some of the natives, that the caravel _Pinta_ was
in a river, towards the east end of Hispaniola, and Guacanagari, at the
admirals request, sent to get certain information respecting this report.
The admiral took much pains to advance the construction of the fort. As
Guacanagari always expressed great dread of the Caribbees, to encourage
him, and at the same time to impress him with a strong idea of the
efficacy of the Spanish arms, the admiral caused one of the cannons to be
fired, in presence of the cacique, against the side of the wrecked ship,
when the ball pierced through and fell into the water beyond. Having thus
shewn him what execution our weapons could do, he told the cacique that
the persons he meant to leave in this place would defend him against his
enemies with these weapons during his absence; as he intended to return
into Spain, on purpose to bring back jewels, and other fine things to
present to him. Of all the toys which the Spaniards gave to the Indians,
they were fondest of hawks-bells; insomuch that some of these people,
fearing there might be none left, used to come to the caravel in the
evening, and request to have one kept for them till next morning.


_The Admiral builds a Fort in Hispaniola, and prepares for his return to

The admiral had sent a Spaniard in a canoe, to endeavour to find out the
caravel Pinta, and to carry a letter to Martin Alonzo Pinzon, whom he
kindly requested to rejoin him, without taking any notice of the fault he
had committed in parting without leave. But the Spaniard returned, saying
that he had gone above twenty leagues along the coast, without being able
to find or hear of the Pinta: but if he had only proceeded five or six
leagues farther he had not lost his labour. Some time afterwards, an
Indian reported that he had seen the missing caravel in a river only two
days before; yet he was not believed, since the others had not seen her.
But it afterwards appeared that this man spoke truth; as be might have
seen her from some high ground, and made haste to come with the news. The
sailor who had gone in the canoe in search of the Pinta reported, that he
had seen a cacique, about twenty leagues to the eastwards, who had two
large plates of gold on his head, as had several of his attendants; but
that, immediately on being spoken to by the Indians of the canoe, he took
them off and concealed them. From this circumstance, the admiral imagined
that Guacanagari had forbidden them to sell any gold to the Spaniards,
wishing to have the whole of that trade to pass through his own hands. The
building of the fort went on expeditiously, as the admiral went on shore
daily to superintend and hasten the works, but always slept on board the
caravel Ninna. As he went one day on shore in the boat, he thought he saw
Guacanagari slip into his house, as if to avoid being seen; but he had
done so apparently for the more state, having concerted to receive the
admiral ceremoniously; for he sent his brother, who received the admiral
with much civility, and led him by the hand into one of the houses
appointed for the accommodation of the Christians, which was the largest
and best in the town. They had here prepared a place for the admiral to
sit in, adorned with large slips of the thin inner bark of palm trees, as
large as a great calfs skin, and much of that shape and appearance;
forming a clean cool alcove, large enough to cover a man, and to defend
him from the rain. These broad slips of palm bark serve the Indians for
many purposes, and are called _Yaguas_ in their language. They here seated
the admiral in a chair, having a low back and very handsome, such as are
used by the Indians, and as black, smooth, and shining as if mode of
polished jet. As soon as he was seated the brother gave notice to the
cacique, who came presently, and hung a large plate of gold about the
admirals neck, apparently with much satisfaction, and stayed with him till
it grew late, when the admiral went on board the caravel as usual to sleep.

Among the many motives which induced the admiral to settle a colony in
this place, he considered that many might be inclined to go from Spain to
settle in the new discovered country, when it was known that some persons
were already there; he likewise considered that the caravel which remained
could not conveniently accommodate the crews of both vessels, and the
people he meant to leave were perfectly satisfied with their lot, being
much encouraged by the mildness and affability of the natives. Likewise,
though he had resolved to carry over some of the Indians, and such other
things worth notice, as had been found in the country, in testimony of his
discovery and its value; he thought it might add greatly to the reputation
of his discoveries, and be a convincing proof of the excellence of the
country, when it was known that several of his men had settled there with
their own free will.

The fort was surrounded by a ditch, and though built of wood, was quite
sufficient for the defence of its intended garrison against the natives.
It was finished in ten days, as a great number of men were employed in its
construction. The admiral gave it the name of _La Villa de Navidad_, or
the town of the _Nativity_, because he came to that port on Christmas day.
On the morning of the 29th December, a very young but ingenious lad, who
was nephew to the cacique, came on board the caravel; and as the admiral
was still eager to know whence the Indians had their gold, he used to ask
this question of every one by signs, and now began to understand some
words of the Indian language. He accordingly inquired of this youth about
the mines, and understood that he informed him, "That at the distance of
four days journey to the eastwards there were certain islands, called
Guarionex, Macorix, Mayous, Fumay, Cibao, and Coray, in which there was
abundance of gold." The admiral wrote down these words immediately; but it
was evident he as yet knew little of the language, for it was known
afterwards that these places, instead of separate islands, were provinces
or districts in Hispaniola, subject to so many different lords or caciques.
_Guarionex_ was chief of the vast royal plain, formerly mentioned under
the name of _Vega real_, one of the wonders of nature, and the youth meant
to say that _Cibao_, which abounded in gold, belonged to the dominion of
Guarionex. Macorix was another province, which afforded little gold. The
other names belonged to other provinces, in which the admiral omitted some
letters and added others, not knowing well how to spell them properly: and
it appeared to him, that the kings brother, who was present, reproved the
lad for telling these names. At night the cacique sent on board a large
gold mask to the admiral, desiring in return a basin and pitcher, which
were perhaps of brass or pewter, and were immediately sent to him, it
being believed they were wanted as models by which to make others of gold.

On Sunday the 30th December, the admiral went on shore to dinner, where he
found five other caciques, all subjects to Guacanagari, who all had gold
crowns on their heads, and appeared in much state. As soon as he landed,
Guacanagari came to receive him, and led him by the arm to the house in
which he had been before, where a place of state was prepared with several
chairs. He made the admiral sit down, with much courtesy and respect, and
taking the crown from his own head, put it on that of the admiral; who, in
return, took a string of curious glass beads of many colours, and very
showy, from his own neck, and put it round the neck of Guacanagari, and
also put on him a loose coat of fine cloth which he then happened to wear.
He also sent for a pair of coloured buskins, which he caused him to draw
on; and put on his finger a large silver ring, such as was worn by some of
the seamen; being informed that the cacique had seen one, and was anxious
to get it, as the Indians put a great value on any white metal, whether
silver or pewter. These gifts pleased Guacanagari highly, and made him
believe himself the richest potentate in the world. Two of the subordinate
caciques attended the admiral to the boat, and each of them gave him a
large plate of gold, which were not cast, but composed of many grains
battered out between two stones, as the Indians are ignorant of the art of
melting and founding. When the admiral went on board the caravel to sleep
as usual, Vincent Yanes Pinzon affirmed that he had seen rhubarb, and knew
its branches and roots. Some persons were accordingly sent on shore for
this supposed rhubarb, of which they brought a basket-full on board as a
sample; but on being brought to Spain, it turned out not to be rhubarb. In
the opinion of the admiral, the substance called _Axi_ by the inhabitants
of Hispaniola was a valuable spice, better even than the pepper or grains
of paradise which is brought from the east; and he concluded that other
kinds of spice would probably be found in the newly discovered islands.

[Illustration: Chart of South Western Africa]

Having finished the construction of the fort, and anxious to return into
Spain to give an account of his happy discovery of a well peopled country,
having strong indications of abounding in gold, the admiral prepared for
his departure by taking in a supply of wood and water, and all other
necessaries for the voyage which could be procured in that country.
Guacanagari ordered the Spaniards to be supplied with as much of the
country bread, called _cazaba_, or casada, as they needed, and also with
_axi_, salted fish, and every other production of his country. Although he
wished to have extended his examination of the new discovered coast, which
he believed to run far to the eastwards, the admiral did not think this
advisable in his present situation, having only one caravel, and
complained much of the desertion of Martin Alonzo Pinzon, by which he felt
himself constrained to return to Spain, without prosecuting his
discoveries. He chose thirty-nine men, of those most willing to remain in
the island, and who were strong and healthy, over whom he appointed James
de Arana, a native of Cordova, to be captain of the fort of the Nativity.
In case of his death, Peter Gutierrez, a groom of the privy chamber of
their Catholic majesties, was to succeed to the command, and after him
Roderick de Escovedo, a native of Segovia. He left likewise Master John as
surgeon to the garrison, with a ship carpenter, a cooper, an experienced
gunner, and a tailor; all the rest being able seamen. From the ships
stores, the fort was furnished with as much wine, biscuit, and other
provisions as could be spared, sufficient to last a year; together with
seeds for sowing, commodities for bartering with the natives, all the
cannon belonging to the wrecked ship, and her boat. Every thing being now
in readiness for his own departure, the admiral called together the whole
members of this new colony, to whom he made a speech to the following
effect. He desired them to praise GOD, who had brought them to this newly
discovered country, on purpose to propagate his holy religion, to live
like good Christians, and to pray for a safe voyage, that he might soon
return with a sufficient force. He exhorted them to obey the captain be
had set over them, as indispensably necessary to their own safety. He
charged them to respect the cacique Guacanagari, and to do no wrong to any
of the natives, that they might be confirmed in their idea of the
Spaniards having been sent from heaven. He desired them to survey the
coasts, by means of their boat and the canoes of the natives; to endeavour
to discover the gold mines, and to search for a good harbour, as he was by
no means satisfied with that of the Nativity; to endeavour to procure as
much gold as possible by fair barter; to acquire the language of the
country, and to cultivate a good understanding with the natives. And
finally assured them, that, as they were the first settlers in this new
found empire, he should recommend them to their Catholic majesties, who
would reward their services. At the conclusion of this address, they all
promised faithfully to observe the advices and orders which he had given.

On Wednesday the 2d of January 1493, the admiral went on shore to take
leave of Guacanagari, and dined with him and his dependant caciques. He
recommended them to be kind to the Christians, who were to remain in the
country to defend them against the Caribs, and promised soon to return
from Spain, whence he should bring them magnificent presents from their
Catholic majesties. Guacanagari made him a courteous answer, expressing
much sorrow for his approaching departure; and one of his attendants said
that several canoes had been sent along the coast to seek for gold. The
admiral was much inclined to have made a circuit of the whole island,
whence he was convinced he might have procured a ton of gold: but, besides
the risk of protracting his voyage with one ship only, he was apprehensive
lest the Pinta might get safe to Spain before him, and that Pinzon might
prejudice their Catholic majesties against him, in excuse for his own
desertion; for which reason he resolved to depart without farther delay.


_Account of the voyage home, from Hispaniola to Lisbon._

On Friday the 4th of January 1493, Columbus took his departure from the
harbour of the Nativity, steering to the eastwards, towards a very lofty
mountain like a pavilion or tent, bare of trees, which they named _Monte
Christo_, or Christ's Mount. This mountain is four leagues from the
Nativity, and eighteen leagues from _Cabo Santo_, or the Holy Cape. That
night he anchored six-leagues beyond Monte Christo. Next day he advanced
to a small island, near which there were good salt pits, which he examined.
He was much delighted with the beauty of the woods and plains in this part
of the island, insomuch that he was disposed to believe it must be
_Cipango_, or Japan; and had he known that he was then near the rich mines
of _Cibao_, he would have been still more confirmed in that opinion.
Leaving this place on Sunday the 6th of January, and continuing his voyage,
he soon descried the caravel _Pinta_ coming towards him in full sail. Both
vessels returned to the anchorage at Monte Christo, where Martin Alonzo
Pinzon endeavoured to excuse himself for having parted company. Though far
from being satisfied, the admiral pretended to be convinced by his excuses;
yet believed that Pinzon had procured a considerable quantity of gold
during his separation, keeping half to himself, and giving the other half
to his crew, to secure their silence. To a considerable river which falls
into the sea near Monte Christo, the admiral gave the name of _Rio de Oro_,
or Golden River, because the sand had the appearance of gold. Wednesday
the 9th, hoisting sail, the admiral came to _Punta Roxa_, or Red Cape,
thirty leagues east from Monte Christo, where they procured tortoises as
large as bucklers, which went there on shore to lay their eggs in the sand.
The admiral affirmed that he saw three mermaids at this place, and that he
had seen others on the coast of Guinea. He described them as having some
resemblance to the human face, but by no means so beautiful as they are
usually represented. From Punta Roxa, he proceeded to Rio de Garcia, or
the river of Grace, where Martin Alonzo Pinzon had been trading, and which
is likewise called by his name. At this place, he set four Indians on
shore who had been taken away by Pinzon.

On Friday 11th January, he came to a cape called _Belprado_, from the
beauty of the coast, whence they had a view of a mountain covered with
snow, which looked like silver, whence it was named _Monte de Plata_, or
Silver Mountain; and to a harbour in its neighbourhood, in the shape of a
horse shoe, the admiral gave the name of _Puerto de Plata_, or Silver Port.
Running ten leagues farther along the coast, assisted by the current, he
passed several capes or head-lands, which he named _Punta del Angel_, or
Angel Point, _Del Yerro_, or Mistake Point, _El Redondo_, or Round Point,
_El Frances_, or French Point, _Cabo de Buentiempo_, or Cape Fair-weather,
and _El Tajado_, or Upright Cape. Next Saturday he advanced thirty leagues
farther, admiring the beauty and extent of the island, and passing _Cabo
de Padre y Hijo_, or Cape Father and Son, _Puerto Sacro_, or Sacred Port,
and _Cabo de les Enamorados_, or Lovers Cape. Near this last cape an
extraordinarily large bay was discovered, three leagues wide, having a
small island in the middle. He remained for some time at this place, on
purpose to observe an eclipse which was expected to take place on the 17th,
the opposition of Jupiter and the moon, and the conjunction of the sun and
Mercury in opposition to Jupiter. At this place the admiral sent a boat on
shore for water, where some men were found armed with bows and arrows,
from one of whom they bought a bow and some arrows, and persuaded him to
go on board to visit the admiral. When asked for the habitation of the
Caribbees, this person pointed to the eastwards; and when asked where gold
was to be had, he pointed towards the island of _Porto Rico_, saying it
produced much _guania_, or pale gold, which is highly valued by the
Indians. The admiral gave this man two pieces of red and green cloth, and
some glass beads, and then set him on shore. Fifty-five naked Indians lay
in ambush in the wood, but the Indian who had been on board, made them lay
down their arms and come to the boat. These men wore their hair long, like
the Spanish women, having their heads ornamented with large plumes of
feathers. Besides bows and arrows, they were armed with swords made of
hard palm tree wood, and heavy wooden spears or javelins. Two of their
bows were purchased by order of the admiral; but, instead of selling any
more, they endeavoured to seize the Spaniards; for which reason they fell
upon them, giving one a great cut on the buttocks, and felled another by a
blow on the breast, on which they all ran away and were not pursued. This
was the first hostility committed on this island between the Spaniards and
Indians; for which, though the admiral was concerned, he comforted himself
that the Indians might know what the Spaniards could do to them when

On the morning of Monday, 14th, a number of people appeared on the shore,
and the admiral ordered the men in his boat to stand on their guard; but
the natives shewed no signs of hostility, and the cacique of this part of
the country came on board the admiral, attended by the Indian who had been
there before and three other men. The admiral ordered them biscuits and
honey to eat, and gave them red caps, bits of coloured cloth, and beads.
Next day, the cacique sent his gold crown to the admiral and a great
quantity of provisions, the men who brought these things being all armed
with bows and arrows. Among the Indians who came on board the caravel,
Columbus selected four youths who appeared to have good capacities, with
the view of carrying them into Spain. From these he learnt many
circumstances respecting the country. He departed from this bay, which he
named _De los Flechos_, or of Arrows, on Wednesday the 16th of January,
not thinking fit to remain any longer, as the caravels were leaky. Having
sailed sixteen leagues with the wind at N.N.W. the Indians on board
pointed out the island which is now called _San Juan de Puerto Rico_, in
which they said the Caribbees lived, who are cannibals or man-eaters.
Though desirous of exploring these islands, yet to satisfy the men, and
because the wind freshened, he gave orders to steer a course for Spain.

For some time they sailed on prosperously, seeing many tunnies and gulls,
and fell in with abundance of sea weeds, with which they were now well
acquainted. They killed a tunny and a large shark, on which they made a
comfortable meal, having no other provisions now left except wine and
biscuit. The caravel Pinta could not sail well _upon a bouline_, as her
mizen mast was faulty, and could hardly admit of carrying any sail; on
which account little way was made, as the admiral had to wait for her. At
times, when the weather was calm, the Indians on board used to leap into
the sea and swim about with great dexterity. Having sailed several days on
several tacks, owing to changes in the wind, they compared their
reckonings. Pinzon, and the pilots Sancho Ruyz, Peralonso Ninno, and
Roldan, judged that they were to the eastwards of the Azores, having
allowed considerably more way than they had actually run; and proposed to
bear to the north, by which they would come to Madeira or Porto Santo. But
the admiral, being more skilful in computing the course, reckoned 150
leagues short of the others. On Tuesday the 12th February, a fierce storm
arose, so that the ships had for some time to drive under bare poles, and
the sea frequently broke over their decks. On Wednesday morning, the wind
slackened a little, and they were able to shew a small bit of canvas; but
towards night the storm again arose, and the waves ran so high that the
ships were hardly able to live. The admiral endeavoured to carry a
close-reefed mainsail, to bear his ship over the surges; but was at length
forced to lay to, and to suffer his ship to drive astern before the wind.
On Thursday the 14th February, the storm increased so that every one
expected to perish, and it was concluded the Pinta had foundered as she
was not to be seen. In this extremity, the admiral wrote an account of his
discovery on a skin of parchment, which he wrapped up in an oil skin, and
put into a close cask which he threw into the sea; in hope, if he should
be lost, that this might reach their Catholic majesties. The crew believed
that this was some act of devotion, and were the more confirmed in this
idea, as the wind soon afterwards slackened. On Friday the 15th of
February, land was seen a-head, to the E.N.E. which some alleged to be
Madeira, while others insisted it was the Rock of Lisbon; but the admiral
assured them it was one of the Azores. They plied backwards and forwards
for three days, endeavouring to get up to this land, during which time the
admiral suffered much with gout in his legs, having been long exposed to
the cold and wet on deck during the storm. At length, with much difficulty,
they came to anchor on Monday the 18th under the north side of the island,
which proved to be St Marys, one of the Azores.

The caravel was immediately hailed by three men from the shore, for whom
the admiral sent his boat, when they brought off some refreshments of
bread and fowls from Juan de Costenheada, the governor of the island. On
Tuesday the 19th, the admiral ordered half the crew to go on a procession
to a chapel on shore, in discharge of a vow which he had made during the
storm; proposing to do the same himself with the other half after their
return, and he requested the three Portuguese to send them a priest to say
mass. While these men were at prayer in their shirts, the governor come
upon them with all the people of the town, horse and foot, and made them
all prisoners. Owing to their long stay on shore, the admiral began to
suspect that his people were detained, or their boat had been staved on
the rocks. As he could not get sight of the place where they landed, as
the hermitage to which they had gone was covered by a point jutting out
into the sea, he removed the caravel right opposite the hermitage, where
he saw many people on the shore, some of whom went into his boat and put
off towards the caravel. Among these was the governor of the island, who,
when the boat was within speech of the caravel, stood up and demanded
security for coming on board; and though the admiral gave his word that he
should be safe, he would not venture to come on board. The admiral then
asked, why, since there was peace between the crowns of Spain and Portugal,
he had sent him fresh provisions, and a message inviting him on shore, and
yet had basely detained his men? adding, that he was ready to shew his
commission from the king and queen of Castile. The governor answered, that
he knew nothing of these sovereigns, of whom he did not stand in awe, and
whose commission he did not value, and that all he had done was by the
order of his own sovereign. After desiring his own men to bear witness of
these words, the admiral told him, if his boat and men were not
immediately restored, he would carry an hundred Portuguese prisoners into

After this, the admiral brought his ship again to anchor, and as the wind
blew fresh, he caused all the empty casks to be filled with sea water to
ballast the vessel. The wind continued to increase, and as there was no
safe anchorage, he thought it safer to be out at sea, and therefore made
sail for the island of St Michael. During the whole night it blew a heavy
gale; and not being able to make the island of St Michael, the admiral
returned to St Marys. Soon afterwards a boat came off with two priests, a
notary, and five sailors; and, having received assurance of safety, the
notary and priests came on board and examined the admirals commission.
They returned to the shore, and shortly after, the governor sent back the
boat and Spanish seamen; saying he would have given any thing to have
taken the admiral, whom he had been ordered to seize by the king of
Portugal. Having recovered his men, and the wind being now fair for Spain,
the admiral set sail on an easterly course. On Saturday the 2d of March a
new storm arose, so that the ship drove under bare poles till four o'clock
on Monday, without hope of escaping. At that time, it pleased GOD that our
mariners discovered the Cape of Cintra, usually called the Rock of Lisbon;
and to avoid the tempest, the admiral resolved to put into the harbour,
being unable to come to anchor at _Cascaes_. He gave GOD thanks for his
deliverance from danger, and all men wondered how he had escaped, having
never witnessed so violent a tempest.

[1] The actual difference of longitude, between Ferro in 17 deg. 45' 50", and
the eastern side of Guanahani in 75 deg. 40', both west, is 57 deg. 54' 11" or
almost 58 degrees; which at 17-1/2 Spanish leagues to the degree, the
computation previously established by our present author, would extend
to 1015 leagues.--E.

[2] Some error has crept into the text, easily corrected. Columbus took
his departure from Gomera on Thursday the 6th September, and landed on
Guanahani on Friday the 12th October, both 1492. The time, therefore,
which was employed in this first passage across the Atlantic, not
including the 12th, because the land was observed in the night before,
was exactly 36 days. Had Columbus held a direct course west from
Gomera, in latitude 27 deg. 47' N. he would have fallen in with one of the
desert sandy islands on the coast of Florida, near a place now called
Hummock, or might have been wrecked on the _Montanilla_ reef, at the
north end of the Bahama banks: his deflection therefore, to the S.W.
on the 7th October, was fortunate for the success of his great

[3] How infinitely better it had been for Columbus, and his precursors the
Portuguese, to have retained the native names, where these could be
learnt; or, otherwise, to have imposed single significant new names
like the Norwegian navigators of the ninth century, instead of these
clumsy long winded superstitious appellations. This island of St
Mary of the Conception seems to have been what is now called
Long-island, S.S.E. from St Salvador or Guanahani, now Cat-island.--E.

[4] A small Portuguese coin worth less than twopence.--Churchill.

[5] This sentence is quite inexplicable, and is assuredly erroneously
translated. It is possible the original meant, that Columbus was
misled by the opinion of Paul, to disregard the indications of the
Indians; and instead of sailing directly west, which would have led
him to the coast of Mexico, induced him to coast eastwards along Cuba,
which brought him to Hispaniola, always searching for Cipango or

[6] The author seems here not clear or well informed, as _Haiti_ was the
real Indian name of the island now called Hispaniola or St Domingo.--E.

[7] In the original, the current is said to have made "so loud a noise
that it might have been heard a league off." This circumstance is
quite inconsistent with the careless security of the whole crew; as it
must necessarily have indicated their approach to rocks or shoals; and
is therefore omitted in the text.--E.


_From the arrival of Columbus at Lisbon, till the commencement of his
second voyage to the New World_.

The king of Portugal happened then to be at _Valparayso_, to which place
the admiral sent a letter informing the king of his arrival, and that he
had orders from their Catholic majesties to put into any of the Portuguese
harbours in case of need, that he might procure what he was in want of,
and requested permission to wait upon the king, to satisfy him that he had
not come from Guinea, but from the Indies. At this time a galeon well
stored with cannon, lay guard in the Tagus, commanded by _Alvaro Daman_,
who sent his master _Bartholomew Diaz de Lisboa_ in an armed boat to the
admiral, desiring him to come on board the galeon and give an account of
himself to the kings officers. Columbus answered that he was admiral to
their Catholic majesties, and accountable to no man, and would not quit
his ship unless compelled by superior force. Diaz then desired him to send
his master; but this he likewise refused, saying that were as bad as going
himself, and that Spanish admirals were not wont to put themselves or
their men into the hands of others. On this Diaz requested to see his
commission, and having seen it he returned to give an account to his
captain of what had passed. Alvaro Daman, the Portuguese captain, went to
wait upon the admiral in his boat, accompanied by kettle drums, trumpets,
and hautbois, and courteously offered him every assistance in his power.
When it was known in Lisbon that the admiral had come from discovering the
_Indies_, great numbers flocked on board to see him, and the Indians he
had brought from the new discovered countries, and all were filled with

The king of Portugal sent a letter to the admiral, by Don Martin de
Noronha, requesting his presence at court; and, not to shew any distrust,
he immediately complied. On his arrival, he was met by all the gentlemen
of the royal household, who conducted him into the presence, where he was
honourably received by the king, who desired him to be seated and gave him
joy of his success. After inquiring some particulars of his voyage, the
king observed, that according to certain articles agreed upon with their
Catholic majesties, he conceived the discovery now made ought to belong to
Portugal, and not to Spain. The admiral replied, that he had not seen
these articles, and only knew that his sovereigns had directed him not to
go to Guinea or the Mina; which orders had been made public in all the sea
ports of Andalusia before he set out on his voyage. After some discourse,
the king committed him to the care of the prior of Crato, a knight of
Malta, the chief person then at court. Next day, the king told him he
should be supplied with every thing he stood in need of; and asked him
many questions concerning his voyage, the situation of his new discoveries,
the nature of the people, and other circumstances, shewing that he was
much concerned at having let slip the opportunity. Some persons proposed
to murder the admiral, that what he had done might not be known; but to
this infamous proposal the king would not give ear.

On Monday the 11th of March, the admiral took leave of the king, who
ordered Noronha to conduct him back to Lisbon, and gave orders that he
should be supplied gratis with all that he had need of, for himself or his
caravel. Columbus took the road by Villa Franca, where he waited on the
queen, then staying at the nunnery of St Anthony, and gave her a short
account of his voyage. On his way to Lisbon, he was overtaken by a
messenger from the king, offering horses and all other conveniencies, if
he chose to go by land to Spain. But he preferred going by sea, and sailed
from Lisbon for Seville on Wednesday the 13th of March. On Thursday before
sunrise he came off Cape St Vincent, and arrived on Friday the 15th of
March 1493 at _Saltes_, into which port he entered with the tide about
mid-day. He sailed from that place on Friday the 3d August of the
preceding year, having been six months and a half absent[1].

Being informed that their Catholic majesties were then at Barcelona, he
had some intention of proceeding thither in his caravel, but laying aside
that idea, he sent notice to the king and queen of his arrival, with a
brief account of his voyage and success, deferring a more ample recital
till he should have the honour of seeing them. He landed at Palos, where
he was received by a procession, and extraordinary rejoicings were made by
the inhabitants, all men admiring his wonderful exploit, which they never
expected to have ended so successfully. An answer came to Seville from
their majesties, expressing their joy for his return and the success of
his voyage, and promising to honour and reward him for his services. They
likewise commanded him to come without delay to Barcelona, that every
thing might be concerted for prosecuting the discovery so happily
commenced, and desiring him to leave such orders for that purpose as
occurred to him in the meantime, that no time might be lost. This letter
was addressed, _to Don Christopher Columbus, their Catholic Majesties
Admiral of the Ocean, Viceroy and Governor of the islands discovered in
the Indies_. It is impossible to express the high satisfaction entertained
by their majesties and all the court at the fortunate issue of this great
enterprize, which all had despaired of. In answer to their majesties, the
admiral sent a particular enumeration of the ships, men, stores,
ammunition, and provisions, which he considered to be requisite for his
return to the _Indies_; and they gave orders accordingly to _Rodriquez de
Fonseca_, to provide all things without delay for the voyage, pursuant to
his memorial.

Columbus began his journey for Barcelona, accompanied by seven Indians,
all the rest having died during the voyage. He took with him also several
green and red parrots, and other rare things, such as had never been seen
before in Spain. His fame spread everywhere before him on his journey, and
multitudes flocked from all quarters to see him and the Indians, as he
proceeded on his journey. On his arrival at Barcelona, about the middle of
April, the admiral was received with much honour, the whole court and city
flocking out in such numbers to see and greet him, that the streets could
hardly contain the multitude, who greatly admired the Indians and other
rarities, which were all openly exhibited to their wonder. On purpose to
do him the more honour, their majesties, attended by Prince John, received
him on the throne, which was set out in a public place. When the admiral
came into the presence, their majesties stood up to receive him; and when
he had knelt down and kissed their hands, they commanded him to rise, and
to be seated in a chair which was placed expressly for his reception. He
then gravely, and with much discretion, gave a brief recital of the voyage,
which by the mercy of GOD, and under their royal auspices, he had happily
accomplished, and expressed his firm hope of yet discovering larger and
richer countries than any he had hitherto visited. He then shewed the
Indians in their native habits, and all the curious things which he had
brought from the new world. When he had concluded his speech, the king and
queen rose from the throne, knelt down with their hands held up to Heaven,
and with tears in their eyes gave thanks to GOD for the great discovery.
After which the music of the chapel sung _Te Deum_, with much solemn

As the terms which had been originally agreed upon with the admiral were
only reduced to the form of an ordinary contract, and he had now
successfully performed all that he promised, their majesties now ratified
all that they had promised him at _Santa Fe_, on the 17th of April in the
former year, which was expressed in ample letters patent, passed at
Barcelona on the 30th of April, and signed by their majesties on the 28th
of May 1493. They also gave him the right to add the arms of Castile and
Leon to his paternal coat, with other honourable additions, expressive of
his wonderful discovery; and they bestowed some favours on his brothers,
Don Bartholomew and Don James, though not then at court. The king took the
admiral by his side, when he appeared in public, and shewed him many other
marks of honourable attention: in consequence of which he was invited to
dine with all the grandees and other principal people of the court. Don
Pedro Gonzales de Mendoza, the cardinal of Spain, a virtuous and noble
minded prince, was the first of the grandees who took the admiral home
from court to dinner, in which he was imitated by all the rest.

Their Catholic majesties thought proper to acquaint the reigning Pope,
Alexander VI. with the new discovery, that he might give thanks to GOD for
the goodness shewn to the church in his day, by which so glorious an
opportunity was presented of propagating the gospel. Their ambassador was
likewise desired to inform his holiness, that the admiral had been
strictly enjoined not to approach within a hundred leagues of Guinea and
the Mina, or any other part belonging to the Portuguese crown, which he
had punctually adhered to, so that his great discovery made no
encroachment on the rights of the king of Portugal. He was farther
instructed to say that the admiral had taken formal possession of these
new discovered lands for the crown of Castile and Leon; and although many
eminent civilians had given their opinion that there was no need of a
papal grant or confirmation of that new world in strict justice, yet their
majesties entreated his holiness to make a deed of gift of the lands
already discovered, or that should be discovered hereafter, to the crown
of Castile and Leon. The pope rejoiced exceedingly at this news, and gave
glory to GOD for the prospect which this discovery opened of converting so
many people from infidelity to become partakers of the blessings of the
gospel, by means of their Catholic majesties, the genius of Columbus, and
the power of the Spanish nation. The pope accordingly granted to the crown
of Castile and Leon in perpetuity, the sovereign dominion and empire of
the _Indies_ and their seas, with supreme and royal jurisdiction, and
imperial authority over all that hemisphere. In confirmation of all which,
by the advice, consent, and approbation of the sacred college of cardinals,
a _bull_ was promulgated on the 2d of May 1493, granting to the crown of
Castile and Leon all the privileges, franchises, and prerogatives in the
_Indies_[2], which had been formerly granted to the crown of Portugal for
_India_[2], Guinea, and the other parts of Africa. By a second bull, dated
on the succeeding day, the pope granted to the crown of Castile and Leon
for ever, the entire property, dominion, navigation, and discovery of all
the _Indies_[2], whether islands or continents, already discovered, or
which should be discovered to the westwards of a line to be drawn from
pole to pole at the distance of one hundred leagues west from the Azores
islands, and those of Cabo Verde, excepting only such part or parts of the
same as should be in possession of any other Christian prince, on or
before Christmas day of that same year; and the entire navigation of this
vast grant was forbidden to all others under severe penalties and
ecclesiastical censures[3].

Soon after the arrival of the papal bulls, and a few days before the
departure of the admiral from Barcelona to prepare for his second voyage,
their majesties caused the Indians to be baptised, having previously been
instructed in the Catholic faith, and having themselves desired to be
admitted as members of the Christian church. On this occasion, willing to
offer up to GOD these first fruits of the Gentiles, the king and the
prince his son stood god-fathers. The prince retained one of these Indians
in his service, but he died soon after. For the better conversion of the
Indians, Friar _Boyle_, a monk of the Benedictine order and other friars,
were ordered to go on the voyage with the admiral, having strict charge to
use the Indians well, and to bring them into the pale of the church _by
fair means_[4]. Along with the missionaries, very rich church ornaments of
all kinds were sent for the due and splendid service of GOD. The admiral
was ordered to hasten his departure, to endeavour as soon as possible to
determine whether Cuba, which he had named Juana, was an island or
continent, and to conduct himself with discretion towards the Spaniards
under his authority, encouraging those who behaved well, yet with
authority to punish evil doers.

On his arrival at Seville, the admiral found that the archdeacon Don
Rodriquez de Fonseca had provided seventeen ships large and small, with
abundance of provisions, ammunition, cannon, and stores of all kinds;
likewise with wheat and other seeds for cultivation; mares, horses, and
cattle, to stock the new colony; tools of various sorts, for agriculture,
and for working the gold mutes; and great store of commodities for barter
or giving away, as the admiral might think proper. The fame of the new
discovery and the prospect of acquiring gold, had drawn together 1500 men
desirous of going on the expedition, among whom were many gentlemen. Of
this large company only twenty went at their own charges, who were all
_horsemen_[5], all the rest being in the royal pay. Many of these were
labourers for working the gold mines, and others were handicrafts of
various sorts. By a separate commission, the admiral was appointed
captain-general of the present expedition, during the voyage, and while it
should remain in the Indies; and _Anthony de Torres_, brother to prince
Johns nurse, a man of ability and prudence, was to have charge of the
fleet on its return. Francis de Pennalosa, and Alonzo de Vallejo, were
appointed to command the land force employed in the expedition. Bernard de
Pisa, an alguazil or sergeant-at-arms of the court, was made controller of
the Indies, and James Marque, inspector. The most noted persons who went
on this expedition were the commendary Gallegos, and Sebastian de Campo,
both of Galicia; the commendary Arroya, Roderick Abarca, Micer Girao, Juan
de Luxon, Peter Navarro, and Peter Hernandez Coronel, whom the admiral
appointed chief alguazil of Hispaniola; Mozen Peter Margarite, a gentleman
of Catalonia, Alonzo Sanchez de Carvajal, alderman of Baeza, Gorbolan,
Lewis de Arriaga, Alonzo Perez Martel, Francis de Zuniga, Alonso Ortiz,
Francis de Villalobos, Perefan de Ribera, Melchior Maldonado, and Alonso
Malaver. Along with these was Alonso de Ojedo, a servant of the duke of
Medina Celi. Ojeda was a little man, but handsome, well made, strong and
active. At one time, when accompanying Queen Isabella to the top of the
tower belonging to the cathedral at Seville, he got on a beam which
projected twenty feet beyond the tower, of which he measured the length
with his feet as nimbly as if walking along a room. When at the end of the
beam, he shook one leg in the air, turned round, and walked back to the
tower with the utmost composure, all who saw him expecting that he would
fall and be dashed to pieces. These, and all the rest who embarked in the
fleet, took a solemn oath of allegiance to their majesties, promising
obedience to the admiral and the justices, and fidelity to the royal

John king of Portugal was so much concerned for having allowed this new
empire to go from himself, that he ordered preparations to be made for
invading the new discoveries, pretending that they belonged of right to
him. At the same time he sent Ruy de Sande as his ambassador to their
Catholic majesties, who was desired to express his satisfaction at the
success of the voyage of discovery, and that the king his master made no
doubt, if Columbus had made the discovery of any countries and islands
which belonged to the crown of Portugal, their majesties would so act
towards him as he would to them on a like occasion: That, being informed
their majesties meant to prosecute discoveries due west from the Canary
islands, without turning to the southwards; the king of Portugal required
their majesties would direct their admiral not to pass these bounds to the
south, and he should enjoin his commanders not to go beyond the same
bounds to the north. Before the arrival of Ruy de Sande, a report had
reached court that the king of Portugal proposed to send a fleet the same
way with the Spaniards, on purpose to take possession of the new
discovered lands. To counteract this hostile indication, Fonseca was
instructed to provide the fleet of Columbus with ample means of offence or
defence, and to hasten its departure. Their majesties likewise sent Lope
de Herrera, a gentleman of their court, as envoy to Lisbon, with
instructions to return their thanks to the king of Portugal for his
courtesy to the admiral, when at Lisbon, and to require him to forbid his
subjects from going to any of the newly discovered islands and continents,
which were their undoubted property. Herrera was instructed to represent
the extraordinary care which their Catholic majesties had taken, in
charging the admiral not to touch at the gold mines of Guinea, or at any
other of the Portuguese discoveries. When Ruy de Sande had delivered his
embassy, as above, he desired leave to export certain articles, needed as
he said, for an expedition which the king of Portugal intended against the
Moors, which he gave out as a cover for the intended voyage of discovery
to the west. He likewise demanded that the Spaniards should be restrained
from fishing off Cape Bojador until it were settled amicably between the
two crowns whether that were lawful.

As Lope de Herrera had set out for Portugal before Ruy de Sande had
reached the Spanish court; King John, on learning the purport of his
embassy, sent Edward Galvan to give him notice of the commission entrusted
to Sande, respecting the discoveries of Columbus; and, without permitting
Herrera to use his credentials, gave assurance that the king of Portugal
would send no ships on discovery for sixty days[6], as he meant to send an
embassy to their Catholic majesties on that particular subject. While this
dispute was in agitation, the king of Portugal complained to the pope that
their Catholic majesties interfered with his discoveries and privileges,
protesting against the bulls, as trenching upon his limits, and requiring
a different line of demarcation to prevent the troubles which might ensue
between the subjects of the two crowns. The pope answered, that he had
ordered a meridianal line from pole to pole on purpose to mark out what
belonged to each of the sovereigns; and again issued another bull on the
26th of September of the same year, in which he granted to the kings of
Spain all that should be discovered and conquered in the islands to the
_east, west, and south_, not already possessed by any other Christian
prince. This gave much dissatisfaction to the court of Portugal, which
alleged that it was wronged by the pope, and the meridian of separation
ought to be drawn much farther westwards[7].

About this time, advice was brought of Martin Alonso Pinzon having arrived
with the caravel Pinta in one of the ports of Galicia, after escaping with
much difficulty from several dreadful storms. He died soon after; and some
say it was of grief, for a reprimand he received from court for his
disobedience to the admiral, and deserting him during the voyage; and
because their majesties refused to see him, unless introduced by Columbus.

After the sixty days assigned by the king of Portugal were elapsed[8],
their Catholic majesties sent Garcia de Herrera, one of the gentlemen of
their household, to require the court of Portugal to refrain from
encroaching on the limits granted by the Pope to the crown of Castile and
Leon. Their majesties afterwards sent Don Pedro de Ayala and Garcia Lopez
de Carvajal, to say that they were willing to admit all honourable means
of continuing in friendship with the king of Portugal, but they were
satisfied nothing belonged to his crown in the ocean, except Madeira, the
Azores, and the Cape Verde islands, as far as Guinea and the gold mines.
They even offered to submit the difference between the crowns on this
subject to the decision of persons nominated on both sides, with power to
the arbitrators to name an umpire, if they could not agree, or to have the
matter at issue debated at the court of Rome or any other neutral place,
as their majesties had no wish to invade the rights of others, or to
permit the infringement of their own. The Portuguese court proposed to
divide the ocean by a straight line, or parallel drawn west from the
Canaries, leaving all to the north of that line to the crown of Castile
and Leon, and all to the south to belong to Portugal. At length, after
tedious negotiations, a congress took place at Tordesillas, in which,
after long debates, it was agreed on the 7th June 1473[9], that the
meridianal line of division should be established 370 leagues farther west
than that mentioned in the Popes bull from the islands of _Cabo Verde_;
all to the west of which was to belong to Spain, and all eastwards to
Portugal; yet leaving it lawful to the subjects of Spain to sail through
the seas thus allotted to Portugal, following their direct course; but
neither party to trade or barter beyond their own limits.

Before leaving Barcelona, the admiral placed his sons Don James and Don
Ferdinand as pages in the service of prince John; and having received his
commission of admiral and viceroy, extending as large as the papal grant,
he repaired to Seville to expedite his second voyage to the new world. He
here applied himself to procure able pilots, and to review the men who
were to embark in the expedition, in the presence of the controller
_Soria_. All persons were prohibited from carrying out any goods for
barter, and it was ordered that every thing belonging to their majesties
or to private persons should be entered at the custom-house, both in Spain
and the Indies, under the penalty of confiscation. The admiral had
instructions to muster his men as soon as he arrived at Hispaniola, and to
do the same as often as he thought proper, with power to regulate their
pay. He was likewise authorized to nominate _alcaldes_ and _alguazils_, or
magistrates, in the islands and other parts, with power to try causes both
civil and criminal, from whom appeals might be made to himself. In the
first instance he was allowed the direct nomination of all the aldermen,
common council-men, and other officers, in any town; but in future he was
to nominate three persons to every vacancy, out of whom their majesties
were to appoint one to the office. All proclamations, patents, injunctions,
orders, or other public writings, were to be made in the name of their
majesties, signed by the admiral, and countersigned by the secretary or
clerk by whom they were written, and sealed on the back with the royal
seal. As soon as he landed, a custom-house was to be built, in which all
their majesties stores were to be secured under their officers, over whom
the admiral was to have supreme command; and all trade was to be conducted
by him, or by such persons as he might appoint, with the assistance of the
royal inspector and controller. The admiral was to have the eighth part of
all profit, paying the eighth of all goods carried over for barter; first
deducting the tenth which he was entitled to of all things according to
his contract. And finally, he was authorized to send ships to any other
part, according as he saw proper or convenient.

While the admiral remained at Seville attending to the equipment of the
expedition, he received a letter from their majesties, directing him to
cause a sea chart to be drawn with all the rhumbs and other particulars
necessary for pointing out the voyage to the _West Indies_. Their
majesties pressed him to hasten his departure, making him great promises
of favour and reward, as the importance of his discovery seemed every day
the greater. This letter was dated from Barcelona on the 5th September, up
to which day nothing had been definitively settled with the king of
Portugal, respecting the proposed limits between the two nations in the
ocean. The admiral continued his exertions to get every thing ready, and
caused many kinds of useful plants to be shipped; likewise wheat, barley,
oats, rye, and all kinds of grain and seeds; cows, bricks, lime, and other
materials for building; and an infinite number of useful articles.

[1] Almost seven months and a half; or more precisely thirty-two weeks,
being seven kalendar months and twelve days.--E.

[2] In this bull, following the vague language of Columbus, the great
discoverer, the New World is called the _Indies_, slightly
distinguished, in grammatical number only, from _India_ in
south-eastern Asia.--E.

[3] In the bull, as reported by Herrera, all that should be discovered to
the west and _south_ of the meridianal line from pole to pole is
granted to the crown of Castile and Leon. It is hard to say what
portion of the globe was conceived to be _to the south_ of such a
demarcation. But it is obvious that in granting _all to the west_ of
this line to Spain, and _all to the east_ of it to Portugal, the pope
and cardinals granted the _whole circumference_ of the globe
reciprocally to both crowns. The sacred college had not hitherto
adopted the geographical heresy of Galileo, and still entertained
vague notions of the true figure of the earth.--E.

[4] This probably alludes to the _foul means_ then employed in Spain for
converting the Moors and Jews, by means of the _holy office_ of the

[5] Perhaps this expression mean knights, or _fidalgos_; men of family and
substance: yet it probably means nothing more than that twenty
volunteer cavalry formed part of the military force of the

[6] I am apt to suspect the real sense of this passage ought to be,
"requiring the court of Spain not to send off Columbus for sixty

[7] One hundred leagues, at 17-1/2 to the degree, west from the Azores,
would fix the boundary about Long. 42 deg. W. and would include within the
Portuguese boundary a small portion of Brazil. By compact between the
two crowns, this line was afterwards extended to 370 leagues west from
the islands of Cabo Verde, giving considerably more of Brazil, then
unknown, to Portugal: But the boundaries of that colony have been
several times changed and regulated by treaties between the two crowns,
without any rigid adherence to the papal grant.--E.

[8] This negociation, which is confusedly interspersed in the original
among the transactions of Columbus, is here thrown together: But, as
very indefinitely narrated, and exceedingly uninteresting, is somewhat
compressed in this place.--E.

[9] This date is assuredly erroneous, as we afterwards learn that nothing
had been finally settled with Portugal on the fifth of September.--E.


_Second Voyage of Columbus to the West Indies, and establishment of
Isabella, the first European colony in the New World._

Every thing being in readiness, the stores all shipped, and the men
embarked, the fleet set sail from the bay of Cadiz on Wednesday the 25th
of September 1493 before sunrise. The admiral directed his course to the
south-west for the Canary islands. On Wednesday the 2d October the fleet
came off the island of Gran Canaria, and on Friday the 5th came to anchor
at Gomera, where the admiral remained two days taking in wood and water,
and procuring cattle, sheep, goats, and swine, for the intended colony in
Hispaniola. Among these he purchased eight sows for 70 maravedies each,
from which all those which have since stocked the _Indies_ have multiplied.
He likewise took on board poultry, and other creatures, and garden seeds.
At this place the admiral delivered sealed instructions to all the pilots
of the fleet, directing them how to shape their course for the territory
of Guacanagari in the island of Hispaniola; but these were on no account
to be opened, unless in case of separation from him, as he wished as much
as possible to prevent the course of the voyage from becoming known to the
king of Portugal.

Columbus departed with his fleet from Gomera on Monday the 7th of October,
and passing _Hierro_, the farthest of the Canaries, steered more to the
southward than he had done in his first voyage. On the 24th of the same
month, having sailed about 450 leagues in his estimation, a swallow was
seen among the ships, and they soon afterwards had heavy showers of rain,
which the admiral supposed were occasioned by some near land, for which
reason he slackened sail at night, and ordered every one to keep a sharp
look-out. On Sunday the 3d November, all the fleet saw land to the great
joy of all on board. This proved to be an island, which Columbus named
_Dominica_, because discovered on Sunday. Presently two other islands were
seen on the starboard, and then many others; and they began to smell the
herbs and flowers, and to see flocks of parrots, which always make a great
noise during their flight. As there seemed no convenient anchorage on the
east coast of Dominica, the admiral continued his course to the second
island, which he named _Marigalante_, that being the name of his own ship.
He landed here with some men, and took formal possession in presence of a
notary and witnesses. Leaving this island, he discovered another next day,
to which he gave the name of _Guadaloupe_, to which he sent some boats on
shore to a small town, which was found deserted by the inhabitants, who
had all fled to the mountains. In searching their houses, a piece of ship
timber which the sailors call a _stern-post_ was found, to the great
surprise of every one, not knowing how it should have come hither, unless
either drifted from the Canaries, or perhaps it might have belonged to the
admirals ship, lost in the first voyage, and might have floated with the
currents from Hispaniola. In this island the Spaniards took the first of
those parrots which are called _Guacamayas_, which are as large as
dunghill cocks. Some men went on shore again on Tuesday the 5th of
November, who took two youths, who made them understand that they belonged
to the island of _Borriquen_, since named _St Juan de Porto Rico_, and
that the inhabitants of Guadaloupe were _Caribbees_, and kept them to eat,
being canibals. The boats returned for some Spaniards who had remained on
shore, and found with them six women who had fled from the Caribbees; but
the admiral gave them some hawks-bells and set them on shore. The
Caribbees took all from them; and when the boats went again on shore,
these women, with a youth and two boys, solicited to be taken on board the
ships. From these people it was learnt that there was a continent not far
distant, and many islands to which they gave names. On being asked for the
island of _Ayti_, which is the Indian name of Hispaniola, they pointed in
the direction where it lay.

The admiral proposed to continue the voyage, but was told that the
inspector James Marque had gone on shore with eight soldiers, at which
conduct he was much offended. Parties of men were sent out in different
directions, but could not find him, on account of the thickness of the
woods. Other parties were again sent on shore, who fired muskets and
sounded trumpets, yet all to no purpose, and Columbus was inclined to
leave Marque to his fate, being much concerned at the delay. Yet lest
these men might perish, he ordered the ships to take in wood and water,
and sent Alonso de Ojeda, who commanded one of the caravels, with forty
men, to view the country, and to search for Marque and his party. Ojeda
returned without any tidings of the stragglers, and reported that in
travelling six leagues he had waded through twenty-six rivers, many of
which took his men to the middle. In this excursion much cotton was seen,
and a vast variety of birds in the woods. At length, on Friday the 8th
November, the inspector and his men returned, excusing himself that he had
lost his way in the prodigiously thick woods, and was unable to get back
sooner: But the admiral ordered him to be put under arrest for going on
shore without leave. In some of the houses at this island, cotton was
found both raw and spun, and likewise a strange sort of looms in which it
was wove by the natives. The houses were well constructed, and better
stored with provisions than those in the islands which were discovered in
the first voyage: But they found abundance of human heads, hung up in the
houses, and many baskets full of human bones, from which it was concluded
that the natives were canibals, or fed on human flesh.

On the 10th November he coasted along the island of Guadaloupe, towards
the north-west, steering for Hispaniola, and discovered a very high island,
which he called _Montserrate_, because it resembled the rocks of that
place. He next found a very round island, everywhere perpendicular, so
that it seemed impossible to get upon it without the assistance of ladders,
and which he named _Santa Maria la Redonda_, or the round island of St
Mary. To another island he gave the name of _Santa Maria et Antigua_ or
ancient St Mary, the coast of which extended fifteen or twenty leagues.
Many other islands were seen to the northward, which were very high, and
covered with woods. He anchored at one of these which he named St Martin;
and at another on the 14th November, which he named _Santa Cruz_, or the
Holy Cross. They took four women and two children at this island; and as
the boat was returning from the shore, a canoe was met in which there were
four men and a woman, who stood on their guard. The woman shot arrows as
well as the men, and one of her arrows pierced through a buckler. In
boarding, the canoe was overset, and one of the Indians discharged his bow
very vigorously while swimming. Holding on their course, so many islands
were seen close together that they could not be numbered, or separately
named. The admiral called the largest of these the island of _St Ursula_,
and the rest the _Eleven thousand Virgins_. He came afterwards to another
large island, called _Borriquen_ by the natives, but which he named the
island of _St John the Baptist_. It is now called _San Juan de Puerto
Rico_. In a bay on the west coast of this island, the seamen took several
kinds of fish in great plenty, such as skate, olaves, pilchards, and some
others. On this island many good houses were seen, all of timber and
thatched, each having a square inclosure and a clean well beaten path to
the shore. The walls of these houses were made of canes woven or wattled
together, and they were curiously ornamented with creeping plants or
greens, as is usual at Valencia in Spain. Near the sea there was a sort of
balcony or open gallery of the same kind of structure, capable to hold
twelve persons: But no person was to be seen about the place, all the
inhabitants having fled into the interior. On Friday the 22d of November,
the first land of Hispaniola was seen on the north side, to which they
went straight over from the extreme point of Porto Rico, the two islands
being fifteen leagues distant. At this place, which was in the province or
district of _Samona_, the admiral put one of the Indians on shore who had
been in Spain, desiring him to tell the natives all the wonderful things
he had seen, to induce them to enter into friendship with the Christians.
He readily undertook this commission, but was never more heard of, so that
he was believed to have died.

The admiral continued to sail along the northern coast of Hispaniola,
where at point _Angel_, some Indians came aboard in canoes with provisions
and other things to barter with the Spaniards. Anchoring afterwards off
_Monte Christo_, one of the boats entered a river, were they found two
dead men, one young and the other old. The latter had a rope about his
neck made of Spanish _esparto_, his arms stretched out and his hands tied
to a stick. It could not be ascertained whether these men were Christians
or Indians, on which account the admiral was much troubled, lest some
calamity had befallen the people he had left on the island. Next day,
being Tuesday the 26th November, the admiral sent several men in different
directions, to endeavour to learn if any news could be got of those whom
he had left at the Nativity. Many of the Indians came up to the Spaniards,
without fear, touching their dress, and saying _tubon camisa_ that is
doublet and shirt, to shew that they knew the Spanish names of these
articles. These circumstances gave great comfort to the admiral, as he
supposed the Indians would have been afraid, if those he had left in the
new town were dead. On Wednesday the 27th, he came to anchor off the
harbour of the Nativity, and about midnight a canoe came to the admirals
ship, calling _almirante_, or admiral. The Indians were desired to come on
board, but they refused till they saw and knew Columbus. They then gave
him two well wrought vizor masks and some gold, which, they had brought as
a present from Guacanagari, the cacique. Being asked concerning the
Christians, they said some had died of sickness, and that others had gone
up the country, along with their wives. The admiral much feared that they
were all dead, yet thought it prudent to conceal his fears, and sent back
the Indians with some brass baubles, on which they place great value, and
with other toys as a present for the cacique.

Next day the whole fleet entered the port of the Nativity, where they
found the fort burnt, on which it was concluded that all the Christians
were dead, and the more especially as none of the Indians appeared. Some
things which had belonged to the Spaniards were found scattered about the
place, which gave a melancholy indication of what had actually happened.
Columbus caused a well which had been dug in the fort to be cleared out,
but nothing was found there. All the Indians had fled from their houses,
in which some of the clothes were found which had belonged to the
Spaniards. They discovered seven or eight men buried near the fort, whom
they knew to have been Christians by their clothes. While employed in this
distressing search, a brother of Guacanagari and some other Indians made
their appearance, who spoke a little Spanish, and who were able to name
all the men who were left in the fort: From these men, by the help of one
of the Indians who had been in Spain, called James Columbus, they received
an account of the disaster which had befallen the Christians of the
Nativity. They declared, "That, as soon as the admiral departed, the
Spaniards disagreed among themselves, refusing obedience to their
commander, and went about the country in a disorderly manner, seizing
women and gold from the natives. That Peter Gutierrez, and Roderick de
Escovedo, killed one of the Spaniards, named Jacome; after which they went


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