« PreviousContinue »
DISCOVERIES AND SETTLEMENTS
ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL
ORTH AMERICA was difcovered in the reign of Henry VII. a period when the Arts and Sciences had made very confiderable progrefs in Europe. Many of the first adventurers were men of genius and learning, and were careful to preserve authentic records of fuch of their proceedings as would be interefting to pofterity. Thefe records afford ample documents for American hiftorians. Perhaps no people on the globe can trace the hiftory of their origin and progrefs with fo much precifion as the inhabitants of North America; particularly that part of them who inhabit the territory of the United States.
The fame which Columbus had acquired by his firft difcoveries on
this western continent, fpread through Europe and infpired many 1496 with the fpirit of enterprize. As early as 1496, four years only after the first discovery of America, John Cabot, a Venetian, obtained a commiffion from Henry VII. to discover unknown lands and annex them to the crown.
In the fpring he failed from England with two fhips, carrying with him his three fons. In this voyage, which was intended for China, he fell in with the north fide of Terra Labrador, and coafted northerly as far as the 67th degree of latitude.
1497.-The next year he made a fecond voyage to America with his fon Sebaftian, who afterwards proceeded in the difcoveries which his father had begun. On the 24th of June he discovered Bonavista, on the north-eaft fide of Newfoundland. Before his return he traversed the coaft from Davis's Straits to Cape Florida.
1502.-Sebaftian Cabot was this year at Newfoundland; and on his return carried three of the natives of that ifland to Henry VII. 1513-In the fpring of 1513, John Ponce failed from Porto Rico
northerly and difcovered the continent in 30° 8' north latitude. He landed in April, a feafon when the country around was covered with verdure, and in full bloom. This circumftance induced him to call the country Florida, which, for many years, was the common name for North and South America.
1516.—In 1516, Sir Sebaftian Cabot and Sir Thomas Pert explored the coaft as far as Brazil in South America.
This vast extent of country, the coaft whereof was thus explored, remained unclaimed and unfettled by any European power, (except by the Spaniards in South America) for almost a century from the time of its discovery.
1524.-It was not till the year 1524 that France attempted difcoveries on the American coaft. Stimulated by his enterprizing neighhours, Francis I. who poffeffed a great and active mind, fent John Ver. razano, a Florentine, to America, for the purpose of making difcoveries. He traverfed the coaft from latitude 28° to 50° north. In a fecond voyage, fome time after he was lost.
1525.-The next year Stephen Gomez, the firft Spaniard who came upon the American coaft for discovery, failed from Groyn in Spain, to Cuba and Florida, thence northward to Cape Razo, in latitude 46° north, in fearch of a north-west passage to the East Indies.
1534.--In the fpring of 1534, by the direction of Francis I. a fleet was fitted out at St, Malo's in France, with defign to make discoveries in America. The command of this fleet was given to James Cartier, He arrived at Newfoundland in May of this year. Thence he failed northerly; and on the day of the feftival of St. Lawrence, he found himfelf in about latitude 48° 30' north, in the midst of a broad gulf, which he named St. Lawrence. He gave the fame name to the river which empties into it. In this voyage, he failed as far north as latitnde 51°, expecting in vain to find a paffage to China.
1535.-The next year he failed the river St. Lawrence 300 leagues to the great and fwift Fall. He called the country New France; built a fort in which he spent the winter, and returned in the following spring to France.
1542.-In 1542, Francis la Roche, Lord of Robewell, was fent to Canada, by the French king, with three fhips and 200 men, women and children. They wintered here in a fort which they had built, and returned in the fpring. About the year 1550, a large number of adventurers failed for Canada, but were never after heard of. In 1598, the king of France commiffioned the Marquis de la Roche to conquer Canada, and other countries not poffeffed by any Chriftian prince. We do
not learn however, that la Roche ever attempted to execute his commiffion, or that any further attempts were made to fettle Canada during this century.
1539.-On the 12th of May, 1539, Ferdinand de Soto, with 900 men, befides feamen, failed from Cuba, having for his object the conqueft of Florida. On the 30th of May he arrived at Spirito Santo, from whence he travelled northward 450 leagues from the fea. Here he difcovered a river a quarter of a mile wide and 19 fathoms deep, 1542 on the bank of which he died and was buried, May 1542, aged 42 1543 years. Alverdo his fucceffor built feven brigantines, and the year
following embarked upon the river. In 17 days he proceeded down the river 400 leagues, where he judged it to be 15 leagues wide. From the largenefs of the river at that place of his embarkation, he concluded its fource must have been at least 400 leagues above, so that the whole length of the river in his opinion must have been more than 800 leagues. As he paffed down the river, he found it opened by two mouths into the gulph of Mexico. Thefe circumftances led us to conclude, that this river, fo early discovered, was the one which we now call the Mililippi.
Jan. 6, 1549. This year king Henry VII. granted a penfion for life to Sebaftian Cabot, in confideration of the important fervices he had rendered to the kingdom by his difcoveries in America.
1562.-The admiral of France, Chatillon, early in this year, sent out a fleet under the command of John Ribalt. He arrived at Cape Francis on the coast of Florida, near which, on the first of May, he difcovered and entered a river which he called May river. It is more than probable that river is the fame which we now call St. Mary's, which forms a part of the fouthern boundary of the United States. As he coasted northward he discovered eight other rivers, one of which he called Port Royal, and failed up it feveral leagues. On one of the rivers he built a fort and called it Charles, in which he left a colony under the direction of Captain Albert. The feverity of Albert's meafures excited a mutiny, in which, to the ruin of the colony, he was flain. Two years after, Chatillon fent Rene Laudonier, with three fhips, to Florida. In June he arrived at the River May, on which he built a fort, and, in honour to his king, Charles IX. he called it Carolina.
In Auguft, this year, Capt. Ribalt arrived at Florida the fecond time, with a fleet of feven veffels to recruit the colony, which, two years be fore, he had left under the direction of the unfortunate Capt. Albert.
The September following, Pedro Melandes, with fix Spanish fhips,
purfued Ribalt up the river on which he had fettled, and overpowering him in numbers, cruelly maffacred him and his whole company. Melandes, having in this way taken poffeffion of the country, built three forts, and left them garrifoned with 1200 foldiers. Laudonier and his colony on May River, receiving information of the fate of Ribalt, took the alarm and efcaped to France.
1567.-A fleet of three fhips was this year fent from France to Florida, under the command of Dominique de Gourges. The object of this expedition was to difpoffefs the Spaniards of that part of Florida which they had cruelly and unjustifiably feized three years be1568 fore. He arrived on the coaft of Florida, April 1568, and foon after made a fuccefsful attack upon the forts. The recent cruelty of Melandes and his company excited revenge in the breaft of Gourges, and roufed the unjuftifiable principle of retaliation. He took the forts; put moft of the Spaniards to the fword; and having burned and demolished all their fortreffes, returned to France. During the fifty years next after this event, the French enterprized no fettlements in America.
1576.-Captain Frobisher was fent this year to find out a north-west paffage to the Eaft-Indies. The firft land which he made on the coaft was a Cape, which, in honour to the queen, he called Queen Elizabeth's Foreland. In coafting northerly he difcovered the ftraits which bear his name. He profecuted his fearch for a paffage into the western ocean till he was prevented by the ice, and then returned to England.
1579.-In 1579, Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained a patent from queen Elizabeth, for lands not yet poffeffed by any Chriftian prince, provided he would take poffeflion within fix years. With this encourage1583 ment he failed for America, and on the firft of Auguft, 1583, anchored in Conception Bay. Afterward he discovered and took poffeffion of St. John's Harbour, and the country fouth. In pur fuing his discoveries he lost one of his fhips on the fhoals of Sablon, and on his return home, a ftorm overtook him, in which he was unfortu nately loft, and the intended fettlement was prevented.
1584. This year two patents were granted by queen Elizabeth, one to Adrian Gilbert, (Feb. 6.) the other to Sir Walter Raleigh, for lands not poffeffed by any Chriftian prince. By the direction of Sir Walter, two ships were fitted and fent out, under the command of Philip Amidas, and Arthur Barlow. In July they arrived on the coaft, and anchored in a harbour feven leagues weft of the Roanoke. On the 13th of July, they, in a formal manner, took poffeffion of the country, and, in ho nour of their virgin queen Elizabeth, they called it Virginia. Till this
time the country was known by the general name of Florida. After this VIRGINIA became the common name for all North America.
1585. The next year, Sir Walter Raleigh fent Sir Richard Greenville to America, with feven fhips. He arrived at Wococon Harbour in June. Having ftationed a colony of more than a hundred ¡ople at Roanoke, under the direction of Capt. Ralph Lane, he coafted northeafterly as far as Chefapeek Bay, and returned to England.
The colony under Capt. Lane endured extreme hardships, and must have perished, had not Sir Francis Drake fortunately returned to Virginia, and carried them to England, after having made feveral conquests for the queen in the West Indies and other places.
A fortnight after, Sir Richard Greenville arrived with new recruits; and, although he did not find the colony which he had before left, and knew not but they had perished, he had the rashness to leave 50 men at the fame place.
1587.-The year following, Sir Walter fent another company to Virginia, under Governor White, with a charter and twelve affistants. In July he arrived at Roanoke. Not one of the fecond company remained. He determined, however, to rifquè a third colony. Accordingly he left 115 people at the old fettlement, and returned to England.
This year (Aug. 13) Manteo was baptized in Virginia. He was the firft native Indian who received that ordinance in that part of America. On the 18th of Auguft, Mrs. Dare was delivered of a daughter, whom The called VIRGINIA. She was the first English child that was born in North America.
1590.-In the year 1590, Governor White came over to Virginia with fupplies and recruits for his colony; but, to his great grief, not a man was to be found. They had all miferably famished with hunger, or were maffacred by the Indians.
1602.-In the spring of this year, Bartholomew Gofnold, with 32 perfons, made a voyage to North Virginia, and difcovered and gave names to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Elizabeth Islands, and to Dover Cliff. Elifabeth Island was the place which they fixed for their first fettlement. But the courage of those who were to have tarried, failing, they all went on board and returned to England. All the attempts to fettle this continent which were made by the Dutch, French, and English, from its difcovery to the present time, a period of 110 years, proved ineffectual. The Spaniards only, of all the European nations, had been fuccefsful. There is no account of there having been one European family, at this time, in all the vast extent of coaft from Florida to Greenland, No. III.