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TLbc Ibaklu^t Societ^^ 




No. LXXXVl. 

A gran admiracioii a jjraii espanto 
Pcnsando sus granduzas me provoco 
Y su mayor loor en (lualquicr canto 
No se podra decir escesco loco : 

Pues Castilla y Leon le debe tanto 
Que cuanto puedo yo decir es poco 
No procure deleiles ni gasajos 
Mas sufridor fue grande de trabajos. 

Juan uk Castem-anos, EUgialV. 

THE JOURNAL "•'^- ^ -'X'i J 


(During his First Voyagf., 1492-93), 







ffranslatr]}, toitft ^otre anH an Introliiirtion, 

j^ HY 







^0 ?4 




ri.KMKNTs K. Makkiiam, Ks(.). , C.H., I'.K.S., President. 

NlAJClR-dKNKRAI. SiR Ill.NKY KAWI.INSO.N. K.C.H., D.C.h., I.L.I)., I'.K.S. 

Assi>cii Jitpuwffer lie I.'/iislitut de Frame, I 'ice-President. 
LoRU Abkrdark, (i.C.H., F.R.S.. Inte Pre^. A'.^•..S. 
S. E. B. liouVKRlK-l'fSKY, Esq. 


koBKRT Brown, E.sq., M..\., rii.D. 

Miller Chris rv. Esy. 

Thk Right Hon. Sir Molntmtart E. CiRANT Dlkk, G.C.S.I., Pres. Ji.U.S. 

.Albert (jray, Esq. 

A. P. Mai'dslay, Esq. 

Admiral Sir !<:. Ommannky, C.B., K.R.S. 

E. A. Pethkrick, Esq. 

Ernest Satow, Esq., f'.M.G., Minister Resident in Uruguay. 

S. W. Silver, Esq. 

CouTTs Trotter, Esq. 

Prok. E. B. Tylor, D.C.L. 

Captain Sir j. Syonky Webb, K.C.M.G. 

Captain \V. J. I,. Wharton, R.N. 

E. Delmar Morgan, Honorary Secretary. 


Introduction : 

I. Journal of Columbus .... 
11. John Cabot ..... 

III. .Sebastian Cabot . . . . . , 

IV. Gaspar Corte Real • . . . . 

•Sailing Uirkctions of Colu.mbus. Lkttkrs of 


Journal of thl Voyage of Columuu.s 


Letters Patent granted to John Cabot and his sons 

Name of the ship .... 

Date of sailing • . . . 

Landfall. Legend on the map of Sebastian Cabot 

Reward for John Cabot 

Letter from Lorenzo Pasqualigo 

First Despatch from Raimondo di Soncino . 

Second Despatch from Raimondo di Soncino 

Second Letters Patent granted to John Cabot 

Despatch from Ambassador Puebla . 

Despatch from Ambassador Ayala . 

Documents relating to Sebastian Cabot : 
From the Decades of Peter Martyr . 
Ramusio. Recollection of a letter . 
Account by the Guest of Fracastor, in Ramusio 
From Gomara • . . , . 

From Galvano ..... 
Venetian Intrigues. Letter from the Council of Ten 












Reward to Cabot's agent 

Despatch from Ambassador Contarini 

Second Despatch from Contarini 

Letter from the Council of Ten to Contarini 

Letter from the Ragusan to Cabot 

Third Despatch from Contarini 

The Council of Ten to Soranzo 


Extract from Galvao . . • • 

Extract from Damian de Goes 
Letter from Cantino to the Duke of Ferrara . 
Letter from Pasqualigo to the Government of Venic 
Letter from Pasqualigo to his brothers 
Payment for the Cantino Map 
Legends on the Cantino Map 

Index to the Journal ok Columbus 

Index to the Documents ret-ating to the Voyages of 
John Cabot and Caspar Corte Real 











Sketch of the vessels in the first voyage of Columbus to face page iv 
Map of Juan de la Cosa . . • • • >» "'^ 

Map of Sebastian Cabot ...••.. '"''"' 
Restoration of the Toscanelli Map . • >» 3 

Map of Cantino . . • • • ,. 240 













f^^^iji: ZSZyC^l 

HE Council of tlie Ilakluyt So- 
ciety har> decided upon issuintr 
a translati(3n of the Journal of 
the First X^iyaire of Columbus on 
the four hundredth anniversary 
of that momentous expedition. It has also been 
arranofed that translations of the documents relatimjf 
to the voyages of John Cabot and Caspar Cortc 
Real shall be included in the same volume. Those 
voyai^cs were direct consequences of the i^reat dis- 
covery of Columbus. The Society has to thank Mr. 
Harrisse, whose exhaustive works on the Cabots 
and Corte Reals leave little but translation to be 
done, for his kindness in giving permission for the 
translation from his texts of some important docu- 
ments,^ the originals of which are difficult of access : 
and also for permission to reproduce portions of the 

Specified in their places. 


Cantino and La Cosa maps from his impressions. 
The thanks of the Society are also due to Mr. H. 
Welter, the publisher of Mr. Harrlsse's last work, 
for permission to make use of the plates of the 
maps of Juan de la Cosa and Cantino. 

Our late Secretary, Mr. R. H. Major, by his pro- 
duction of the Select Letters of Cohunbus ( 1 847 ; 2nd 
ed., 1870), brought within the reach of members of 
this Society all the letters written by the Admiral 
himself on the subject of his four voyages, as well 
as some other orlgineil documents. There remains 
for the Council to furnish the members with a trans- 
lation of the Journal of the first voyage, the only one 
that has been preserved, and this in a mutilated 
form. Our series will then contain all the contri- 
butions of the great discoverer himself, that have 
escaped destruction, to the history of his mighty 

It Is necessary, for the proper understanding of 
the Journal, that It should be preceded by the 
Toscanelli correspondence, because constant allusion 
is made to it by the Admiral ; the places mentioned 
by Toscanelli were anxiously sought for at every 
turn; and the letters of Toscanelli were practically 
the sailing directions of Columbus. The famous 
Florentine astronomer, Paolo Toscanelli, was looked 
upon as the highest authority on cosmography and 
navigation in that age. King Affonso V of Portu- 
gal, through the Canon Martins, made an 
application to Toscanelli for information respecting 
the voyage westward to India. The astronomer 


replied fully on June 25th, 1474, enclosing a map. 
Soon afterwards Columbus, who was then at Lisbon, 
and had long pondered over these questions, re- 
solved to make a similar application to the Florentine 
philosopher. He sent a letter, together with a small 
globe embodying his ideas, to Toscanelli, entrusting 
them to the care of an Italian named Lorenzo 
Birardi, who was going to Florence.^ The reply 
was satisfactory.^ Toscanelli sent his correspondent 
a copy of his letter to Martins, and a copy of the 
map, with some additional remarks. It was that 
letter and that map that were destined to play so 
important a part in the conduct of the first voyage. 
Columbus replied, and received a second briefer but 
equally cordial letter from Toscanelli. The Tos- 
canelli correspondence is given in Italian in the 
Viia dell Avnuiraglio^ and in Spanish in the Histoi'y 
of Las Casas.^ Both these translations are inaccu- 
rate, and several passages are inserted that are not 
in the original, w'hich was in Latin. This original 
Latin text was discovered in i860, in the Colum- 
bine Library at Seville, by the librarian, Don 
Jose Maria Fernandez de Velasco. \\(\ found it 
in the Admiral's own handwriting, on a fly-leaf of 
one of the books which belonged to Columbus." 

^ Las Casas, I, p. 92. 

2 The date of the letter to Columbus is discussed in a note at 
pages 3 and 4. ^ Cap. xiii. 

* Las Casas, i, 92-96. Las Casas, by mistake, calls Toscanelli 
Marco Paulo, instead of Paulo, in two places. 

^ The book is Llisioria rerum ubique ges/antm, by Eneas Silvio 
Piccolomini (Venice, 1477, small folio, 105 leaves). 



I have translated from the Lathi text, as given in 
his Hfe of Columbus by Don Jose Maria Asensio.* 
The Toscanelli map is lost. It was in possession of 
Las Casas when he wrote his history, and that is 
the last trace we have of it. But it is so minutely 
described in the letter that its restoration, with help 
from the globe of Martin Behaim, is not difficult. 
This has been well done in Das Ausland (1867, 
p. 5), and the restoration there given has been 
repeated to illustrate this volume.^ 

With the letter and map of Toscanelli as his 
sailing directions and chart, Columbus began to 
make entries in his Journal of Navigation, morning 
and evening, from the day he left Palos. He gives 
no special description of his three vessels, but it is 
believed that sketches of them, drawn by his own 
hand, have been preserved. In the Columbine 
Library at Seville, in the edition of the first decade 
of Peter Martyr, which belonged to the Admiral's 
son Fernando, there is a map of Espafiola drawn 
with a pen, and showing the earliest Spanish forts 
and settlements. In two places on the map there 
are outline sketches of the three caravels, and in the 
opinion of competent persons these sketches are by 
Columbus himself. If so, they are the only authentic 
representations of the first vessels that ever crossed 

1 Cristobal Colon, por D. Jose Maria Asensio (Barcelona, 1890), 
i, p. 250. 

- The Ausland restoration is given by Winsor in his Narrative 
and Critical History of America, ii, p. 103, and in his Columbus, 

p. 110. 


the Atlantic. One of them has been reproduced to 

illustrate this volume.^ 

The Admiral dilij^ently wrote his Journal until 
the day of his return to Palos. It was forwarded to 
Ferdinand and Isabella ; but it is now lost. Las 
Casas had access to it when he wrote his history, 
and gives a very full abstract,^ which was condensed 
by Herrera.^ It was also used by Fernando Columbus 
in the Vita dell Aininh'aglio} In one place, where 
the Admiral describes his proceedings in the storm, 
when he threw a brief account of the voyage over- 
board in a barrel, the version of Fernando is much 
more full than that of Las Casas, and appears to be 
copied word for word. I have noticed the differ- 
ences in their place. It is probable that Bernaldez 
also had access to the Journal, but made no great 
use of it,^ and Oviedo never appears to have seen it.^ 

In the archives of the Duke of Infantado there 
was, in the end of the last century, a small folio 
volume in a parchment cover, consisting of seventy- 
six leaves closely written. It is in the handwriting 
of Las Casas. There is another old volume, but 
somewhat later than that of Las Casas, also in folio, 
and with a similar cover, consisting of 140 leaves. 
These are duplicate copies of a full abstract of the 

^ Asensio, i, p. 276. 

- Lib. I, caps, xxxv to Ixxv. The History by Las Casas was 
printed for the first time in 1875. 
•■' Dec. I, Lib. i, caps, ix to xx, and Lib. n, caps, i to iii. 
* Cap. xxxvi. 

'' Historia de ios Reyes Catolkos, first printed in 1856. 
'' Historia General de las Ifidias. 


Journal of Columbus. They were carefully collated 
by Don Juan Bautista Muiloz, the learned cosmo- 
graphcr of the Indies, and by Don Martin Fernandez 
Navarrete at Madrid, in February 1791. The ab- 
stract of the Journal, in the handwriting of Las 
Casas, was printed by Navarrete in the first volume 
of his Coleccion de los viages y dcscubriviientos que 
hicieroii por mar lor Espanoles, and published in 
1825. The present translation is made from the 
text of Navarrete.^ 

The Prologue, which is in fact the covering letter 
to Ferdinand and Isabella, is given in full. The 
rest is an abstract of the entries of each day, but 
there are long and frequent quotations, word for 
word, which are shown by the phrases "the Admiral 
says", or "these are the Admiral's words". In 
more than one place Las Casas complains of the 
illegible character of the handwriting of the original 
document from which he is making his abstract, but 
the mistakes appear to be chiefly with regard to 
figures. The substitution of leagues for miles occurs 
several times ; and there are other blunders of the 
same kind, due to inaccurate transcription. 

The Journal, even in the mutilated condition in 
which it has come down to us, is a document of 

1 Sixty-six years ago a translation was made in America, at the 
suggestion of Mr. Ticknor: Personal Narrative of the First Voyage 
of Columbus, translated by Samuel Kettell (Boston, 1827). A 
portion was also translated by Admiral Becher (12th Oct. to 28th 
Oct.), for the purposes of his book, the Landfall of Columbus 
(Potter, 1856). 


immense value. Our sympathy and interest are ex- 
cited in every page. We observe the conscientious 
care with which the great discoverer recorded nis pro- 
ceedings, and with what intelHgence he noted the 
natural objects that surrounded him in the New 
World. All wen', new to him ; but he compared 
them with analogous products seen in other parts of 
the world, and drew useful inferences. The fulness 
of his entries was due to the rapid working of 
a vivid imagination, as one thought followed another 
in rapid succession through his well-stored brain. 
Even the frequent repetitions are not tedious, because 
they give such life and reality to the document, 
reminding us of the anxious and overwrought hero 
jotting down his thoughts whenever he could find 
a spare moment amidst the press of work. It has 
been said that his sole aim appeared to be the 
acquisition of gold. This unfair criticism is made 
in ignorance. It must be remembered that the 
letter of Toscanelli was his guide ; and that the 
gold, pearls, and spices were the marks by which he 
was to know the provinces of the great Kaan ; so 
that he was bound to make constant inquiries for 
these commodities. The eagerness with which he 
pushed his inquiries, and his repeated disappoint- 
ments, are touching. He seeks to find the places 
mentioned by his guide, by fancied resemblance of 
names, as when he would identify Cipangu with 
Cibao in Espafiola. This search, however, only 
occupied part of his thoughts. Nothing seems to 
escape his observation, and he frequently regrets 


his ignorance of botany, because it prevented him 
from being able to report more exactly on the new 
species of plants that surrounded him. Hut the 
feature in his remarks which comes out most promi- 
nently is his enthusiastic admiration of scenery, and 
of the natural beauties of the strange land. The 
Journal is a mirror of the man. It shows his 
failings and his virtues. It records his lofty aims, 
his unswerving loyalty, his deep religious feeling, 
his kindliness and gratitude. It impresses us with 
his knowledge and genius as a leader, with his 
watchful care of his people, and with the richness of 
his imagination. Few will read the Journal without 
a feeling of admiration for the maivellous ability 
and simple faith of the great genius whose mission 
it was to reveal the mighty secret of the ages. 

The Journal is the most important document in 
the whole range of the history of geographical dis- 
covery, because it is a record of the enterprise which 
changed the whole face, not only of that history, but 
of the history of mankind. Even during the four- 
teen remaining years of the Admiral's life its imme- 
diate result was the completed discovery of all the 
West Indian islands and of the coast of the New 
World from Cape San Agustin, S** S. of the line, to 
the Gulf of Honduras, either by the Admiral himself, 
or by his followers and pupils. 

The Admiral's achievement aroused a feeling of 
emulation in other countries. There is a direct 
connection between the ideas and labours of the 
illustrious Genoese and the voyages of his country- 


man John Cabot. From rather a different point of 
view the undertakings of Caspar Corte Re il had its 
origin in the discovery of Columbus. The work of 
these two worthies, Cabot and Corte Real, therefore, 
finds its proper place in the same volume with the 
Journal of the Admiral. 

The foot-notes in the Journal marked with N. arc 
by Navarrete. Interpolations by Las Casas are in 

II. — John Cauot. 

A remarkable fatality has deprived posterity of 
any authentic record of the first English voyages to 
America. Not a single scrap of writing by John 
Cabot has been preserved. The map and globe of 
John Cabot no longer exist, and although a single 
copy of a map by his son Sebastian has survived, it 
was not prepared to illustrate his father's discoveries, 
but is a compilation drawn for the Spanish Govern- 
ment nearly half a century afterwards. The second- 
hand information fails satisfLictorily to supplement 
the meagre official documents, which consist of two 
Letters Patent and a few entries in the Privy Purse 
Accounts of Henry VII and his son. There are two 
short letters from Spanish Ambassadors, three news- 
letters from Italians in London, the reports of what 
Sebastian is said to have dropped in conversation 
generally, written down years afterwards, the reports 
of his intrigues with the Venetian Government, and 


a few brief notices of doubtful authenticity in 
English chronicles and collections of voyages. Even 
the principal entry in the Chronicles, said to be 
copied from Tabyan's work, is not to be found in 
any known edition of Fabyan ; while the unfortunate 
habit of our greatest authority, Richard Hakluyt, of 
making verbal alterations in the documents of which 
he made use, further increases our difficulties. 

These are the sources of information, such as they 
are, from which we must derive our knowledge of 
the first English voyages to America. By a careful 
use of them, and an equally careful avoidance of 
conjecture and hypothesis, we can piece together all 
that can now be known of the earliest important 
maritime enterprises in which England was con- 
cerned, and of the great navigator who conceived 
and led them. 

Mr. Charles Deane contributed an admirable 
review of the materials forming our existing know- 
ledge of the Cabot voyeiges to Winsor's Narrative 
and Critical History of Avierica (vol. iii, pp. 1-58), 
in which he treats the various questions bearing on 
the subject with sound judgment and great learning. 

An exhaustive work on the Cabots, including the 
original documents in their respective languages, and 
valuable notes on the cartography, was published by 
Mr. Harrisse, at Paris, in 1882.^ 

Desimoni has published a work on the Cabots at 

* Jean et Scbastien Cabot, leur Origine et leur Voyages, par 
Henry Harrisse (Paris, 1882)* 


Genoa,^ and a considerable work, also includin^j all 
the original documents, by Tarducci, has recently 
appeared at Venice.- 

John Cabot was probably a Genoese^ who, after 
having resided in Venice for fifteen years, from 1461 
to 1476, was admitted to the rights of citizenship in the 
latter year.* He was married to a Venetian woman, 
and had three sons, named Luigi, Sebastian, and 
vSancio, all of whom must have been of age when the 
Letters Patent were granted to them in 1497 ; so 
that the youngest cannot have been born later than 
1475. As this was within the period during which 
John Cabot was qualifying for citizenship by resi- 
dence at Venice, his sons must have been born there. 

During the next twenty years the story of John 
Cabot is an almost entire blank. The Genoese was 
usually called a Venetian because he had acquired 
Venetian citizenship. He became an experienced 

^ C. Desimoni, Intorno a Giovanni Caboio ((Icnoa). 

- Di Giovanni e Sebastiano Caboio, Menwrie Raccoltc c Docu- 
mentate da F. Tarducci {Yqwq/aa, 1892). 

^ "Another Genoese like Columbus" (Puebla, Spanish Am- 
bassador, July 1498; also Ayala). "Sebastian Gaboto, a Genoa's 
son" (Stow from Fabyan ; also Languet, Grafton, Holinshed). 
These statements are, to a certain extent, confirmed by the fact 
that John Cabot required to be naturalised in Venice, which 
proves that he was not a Venetian born. On the other hand, 
Tarducci puts forward arguments to establish his Venetian birth 
{Di G. e S. Caboio, Menwrie, cap. i). 

■* '* 1470, March 28th. That the privilege of citizenship, within 
and without, be granted to John Caboto for having resided 15 
years according to custom." {Archivo di Siaio Venezia, Libro 
Frivilegi, t. ii, p. 53; Tarducci, p. 339.) 


navI<rator, and had commercial transactions along the 
Arabian coast, even visiting Mecca, or its port,^ 
where he witnessed the arrival of caravans with 
spices from the distant luist, and speculated on the 
distance they had come, and on the difficulties of the 

When the news of the great discovery of Colum- 
bus became known, John Cabot eagerly sought f(jr 
information, and was aroused to a spirit of emulation. 
He went to Seville and Lisbon to seek for help in 
the enterprise he contemplated"'; and adopted all the 
ideas of his great countryman respecting Antilla and 
the seven cities, the Isle of Cipango, and the king- 
dom of the great Kaan. He then came to settle in 
London as a merchant,' with his wife and three sons. 
Of good address and an expert navigator,^ John 
Cabot presented himself at the Court of Henry VH 

* Soncino (see p. 204). He could not have actually visited 
Mecca, as stated by Soncino, for Christians were not allowed to 
approach within several leagues of that city. He may have been 
at Jiddah. 

- Despatch of Raimondo di Soncino to the Duke of Milan, 
dated London, i8th Dec. 1497 {AntniaHo scientijico, Milan, 1866, 
p. 700 ; Archiv (TEtat Milan ; Harrisse^ p. 324). 

^ ** Pedro de Ayala to the Catholic Sovereigns, 25 July 1498."' 
In Calendar of State Papers (Spain), i, p. 176, No. 210. 

^ The Anonymous Guest in Raniusio, i, f. 414 (ed. Yen., 1550) ; 
" Nella citta di Londra." Sebastian told this witness that he was 
then very young, yet old enough to have already learnt the 
humanities and the sphere: "Che gli era assai giovane non gia 
peroche non avesse imparato et lettere d'humanita et la sphera." 
There is no evidence that the Cabots were at Bristol previous to 
the voyage in 1497. 

■' Soncino, i8th Dec. 1497 (see p. 203). 

f tt 


at the right moment. The j^reat discovery of 
Cokimbus was beiiijj;' much discussed, and tlie 
courtiers were declaring;' that it was a thing more 
divine than human to have found that way, never 
before known, of going to the east where the spices 
grow.^ In the midst of this excitement, John Cabot, 
a navigator, "who had made himself very expert 
and cunning in the knowledge of the circuit of the 
worlde and islands of the same", was presented to the 
King, and made his proposal to do for England what 
Columbus had done for Spain. He would show a 
new route to Cipango and the land of the great 
Kaan, and would bring back his ships laden with 
spices. He demonstrated his arguments by a chart, 
and eventually gained the ear of the wary usurper. 
Henry resolved to let the adventurer attempt the 
discovery of new isles, and granted him and his sons 
Letters Patent, as well as material assistance. 

The Letters Patent, dated March 5th, 1496,- grant 
to John Cabot, Citizen of Venice, and to his sons 
Lewis,"' Sebastian, and Sancio, the right to navigate 
in any direction they please, under the King's flag, 
and at their own costs and charges, to seek out and 
discover unknown lands and islands. They were 

1 Eden's Decades^ f. 255 ; Rainusio, i, f. 415 : " Dicendosi che 
era stata cosa piu tosta divina che humana" (see p. 213). 

- Old style. 

^ Mr. Ueane, quoting from the Armorial de la Noblesse de 
Laiiguedoc (Paris, i860, vol. ii, p. 163), mentions that Lewis Cabot 
is said to have settled at Saint-Paul-le-Coste, in the Cevennes, and 
that a family is traced from him to the present time. The arms 
are : Azure, 3 chabots (fish) or. 


authorised to become governors of the new terri- 
tories, a fifth of all profits and revenues being re- 
served for the King ; and merchandise coming from 
the new lands was exempted from customs duties. 
All British subjects were prohibited from visiting 
the new lands without a licence from the Cabots, on 
pain of forfeiture of ship and cargo ; and the King's 
lieges were enjoined to afford all necessary assistance 
to the adventurers. 

John Cabot selected the port of Bristol for the 
equipment of his expedition, and there he embarked 
in a ship believed to have been called the Mattheiv^ 
with a crew of eighteen men, nearly all Englishmen, 
and natives of Bristol.^ His yoimg son Sebastian, 
then aged twenty-two at least, probably accompanied 
him^ ; but the other two sons are nowhere men- 
tioned, except in the Letters Patent. The Matthciv 
is said to have been manned and victualled at the 
King's cost,* which is unlikely ; and she was accom- 

^ "In the year 1497, the 24th of June, on St. John's Day, was 
Newfoundland found by Bristol men in a ship called the Afatfhewy 
History and Anfiqtiities of Bristol, Wm. Barrett (Bristol, 1789, 
p. 172), quoting from an old document, which, however, has not 
since been seen. 

- Soncino : "Quasi tutti Inglesi et de Bristo." 

3 On legend No. 8 of the map of Sebastian Cabot is the state- 
ment : " This land, formerly unknown to us, was discovered by 
Joan Caboto, Veneciano, and Sebastian Caboto, his son." This 
is the only evidence that Sebastian accompanied his father on his 
first voyage. On the other hand, the Drapers' Company, in 1521, 
represented that it was then the belief that Sebastian never was 
there himself. 

* Stow, quoting from Fabyan, followed by Hakluyt. 


panlecl by three or four small vessels laden with 
merchandise,^ being the ventures of London mer- 
chants. But it does not appear whether more than 
one ship actually crossed the Atlantic. - 

The expedition sailed In the beginning of May^ 
1497, and, after a voyage of fifty days, It reached 
land at five o'clock In the morning of Saturday, the 
24th of June, being St. John's Day,* which was 
called " Prima terra vista". The name of St. John 
was given to another large Island that was sighted.^ 
We know, from the map of Sebastian Cabot, that 
the " Prima terra vista" Is the northern end of the 
Island of Cape Breton, and " St. John" Is In the 
position of the Magdalen Islands. This Is just the 
landfall that John Cabot would have naturally made. 
His course Is clearly pointed out by the object of 
his voyage, which was, like that of Columbus, to 
reach the territory of the Great Kaan. The course 
of Columbus was west, and that of John Cabot 
must also have been west.^ The distance Is 2,300 

^ Stow, quoting from Fabyan, followed by Hakluyt. 

- Pasqualigo only speaks of one ship ("ando con uno naviglio"), 
and Soncino speaks of one ship with eighteen men (''uno piccolo 
naviglio e xviii persona si pose ala fortuna"). The letters patent 
authorised five ships. 

■'' Hakluyt quoting Fabyan (see p. 200). 

* Legend No. 8 on the map of Sebastian Cabot. The Latin 
version gives the hour in the morning, the Spanish only says 
in the morning. ^ Ibid. 

" Soncino, in his despatch from London to the Duke of Milan, 
of December i8th, 1497, says: " Partitosi da Bristo, et passato 
Ibernia piu occidentale e poi alzatosi verso el septentrione, co- 
niencio ad navigare ale parte orientale, lassandosi (fra qualche 


miles^ in a voyage of fifty clays, or forty-six miles 
a day. Working her way slowly westward during 
many days, a vessel like the Matthew would have 
made a great deal of leeway, and during the latter 
part of the voyage the current would have set her 
two hundred or more miles to the south.^ The 
south coast of Newfoundland being obscured by 
mist, the north end of Cape Breton is exactly the 
landfall the Matthciv might be expected to make 
under the above circumstances. Cabot hoisted the 
English standard on the newly-discovered land, and 
side by side with it he planted the lion of St. IVIark. 
the flag of his adopted country. He did not see 
any inhabitants, but brought back some snares for 
game, and a needle for making nets. 

As he was back in the end of July, he had no 
time to spare, and must have started at once on his 
voyage home.^ Sailing from the north coast of 

giorni) la traniontana ad mano drita" — " He departed from 
Bristol, and having passed Ireland, which is further west, and 
then turned towards the north, he began to navigate towards the 
eastern part, leaving (for some days) the pole on the right hand." 
This is not very clear. If Cabot had his ship's head north, cr 
north of west, after passing Ireland, it would be owing to contraiy 
winds which prevented him from laying his course. Soncino has 
evidently written east for west, because he says that the Pole was 
on the right hand, which could only be when steering west. 

1 Pasqualigo gives 700 leagues, which is nearly right. Soncino 
very much under-estimates the distance at 400 leagues. 

^ The course actually made good would be half a point south 
of west. 

^ Pasqualigo says : " Andalo per la costa lige 300" — " He went 
along the coast 300 leagues." This is impossible. Such a cruise 


Cape Breton on June 26th, with a southerly set, on 
the next day, after proceeding about seventy miles, 
he appears to have sighted land, on his starboard 
hand, near Sydney^ ; but he was short of provisions, 
and could not afford to lose time by stopping. As 
might be expected in going eastward, Cabot made 
a better voyage than when he was outward bound. 
It only occupied him about thirty-five days, and he 
arrived at Bristol in the last days of July or the 
first week of August.^ 

John Cabot was received on his return with great 
honour. The King granted him money for his per- 
sonal expenses. Pasqualigo wrote to his brothers at 
Venice to report how the great discoverer was 
dressed in silk and styled the Grand Admiral, Vvas 
residing at Bristol with his family, and preparing for 

in the Mattheiv would have occupied three weeks at least from 
June 25th, or until the middle of July. As Cabot was back in 
Bristol in the end of July, it is clear that this additional cruise 
cannot have taken place. Pasqualigo was merely repeating 
second-hand gossip. 

^ "Al tornar aldreto a visto do ixole ma non ha voluto desender 
per non perder tempo che la vituaria li mancava" — " On the 
return he saw two islands on the starboard side, but he would not 
land because he could not waste time, as the provisions were 
running short" (Pasqualigo). See p. 201. 

'^ The date is fixed by Pasqualigo, who says that the expedition 
was absent three months; and also by a royal grant of j[^\o to 
Cabot on August loth. Allowing for two or three days at Bristol 
on arrival, the journey to London to report himself, the audiences, 
and the time for the consummation of the penurious Henry's 
bounty, the ship must have arrived at Bristol at least ten days 
previous to the loih of August. See extract from Privy Purse 
Accounts, Henry VH, BtdJk, p. 80, ;/. 



a second expedition on a larj^er scale. The Milanese 
envoy, Rainiondo di Soncino, being personally ac- 
quainted with Cabot, wrote a more authoritative 
despatch on the subject for his master, Ludovico il 
Moro. Soncino, as well as the Spanish Ambassador, 
had seen the chart of his discoveries prepared by 
John Cabot, and also a solid sphere constructed by 
the great navigator. The Milanese envoy had the 
advantage of conversing with Cabot himself, and 
heard from him of the enormous supplies of fish to 
be obtained on the Newfoundland banks, which 
were considered likely to supersede the trade in 
stock- fish with Iceland ; and of his design to reach 
the Spice 'slands by way of Cipango, in imitation of 
Columbus. Soncino also spoke to several of the 
crew, including a Burgundian, and a Genoese barber 
from Castione,^ both of whom anticipated great 
results from the second voyage. 

New Letters Patent were issued on February 3rd, 
1498, this time to John Cabot alone, without mention 
of his sons. The discoverer is authorised to equip 
six English ships in any port within the King's 
dominions, being of 200 tons burden or under, and 
to take them to the land and isles lately discovered 
by the said John. He is empowered to enter all 
men and boys who may volunteer for the service ; 
and all officers and others, the King's subjects, are 
commanded to afford needful assistance. 

The second expedition was also fitted out at 

^ Castiglione, near Chiavari, according to Desimoni. 


Bristol. Sebastian probably accompanied his father 
again,! and it would appear that Thomas Bradley 
and Lancelot Thirkill. of London, commanded two 
of the other ships, having received royal loans of 
/30 for their equipment.^ John Carter is also 
mentioned as receiving £2. The expedition con- 
sisted of five armed ships, victualled for a year, with 
300 men, according to Peter Martyr and Gomara. 
They sailed in the summer of 1498, at some time 
before the 25th of July.^ One was driven back by 
a storm. ^ 

The few details respecting this second voyage of 
John Cabot are derived from the reports of state- 
ments made long afterwards by his son Sebastian, 
which appear in the works of Peter Martyr, Ramusio,' 
Gomara, and Galvano. His actual discoveries were 
shown on his map, a copy of which was sent to 
Spain, and transferred to the famous map drawn by 
Juan de la Cosa in 1500. John Cabot first directed 
his course to the north, and went so far towards the 

^ The accounts given by Sebastian to Peter Martyr, and to the 
anonymous guest whose discourse is recorded by Ramusio evi- 
dently refer to the second voyage of John Cabot, although the son 
takes all the credit to himself, and does not mention his father. 
It was the general belief, in 1521, according to the Drapers' Com- 
pany, that Sebastian never went on these voyages. It may be 
assumed, however, that Sebastian was probably on board. His 
age would have been twenty-three, his father's over sixty. 

2 Excerpta Historica, Nicholas (1831), p. 1,6; also Biddle, 
p. 86. ' 

'' The date of the letters from the Spanish ambassadors, Puebla 
and Ayala, reporting their departure. 

* Ayala to the Sovereigns, 25th July 1498 {Harrisse, p. 329). 

C 2 


Pole as to meet with Icebergs, and to experience 
almost constant daylight in July.^ Seeing so much 
ice, he turned to the south, and came to the bank of 
Newfoundland, where he met with enormous quanti- 
ties of fish called Bacallaos? The people are 
described as being covered with the skins of beasts, 
and many bears were seen. Continuing on a 
southerly course along the North American coast, 
he reached the latitude of Cape Hatteras,'' whence 
he was obliged to return home owing to want of 
provisions. The Spanish Ambassador had reported, 
in July 1498, that Cabot was expected to return in 
the following September. We know nothing more 
of John Cabot. Neither the return of his expedition, 
nor the date or place of his death, is recorded. 

J uan de la Cosa was supplied, through the Spanish 
Ambassador in London, with a chart, showing the 
discoveries of John Cabot. On his mappe-monde of 
1500 he indicates the discoveries by English flags 

^ Peter Martyr does not mention any latitude for the farthest 
north of Cabot. The anonymous guest, whose discourse is re- 
corded by Ramusio, says 56° ; Gomara says 58° ; Galvano, 60°. 
Ramusio, writing from memory, says that Cabot had once written 
to him, years before, when he gave 67° 30' as the latitude. Sir 
Humphrey Gilbert also has 67° 30', copying Ramusio. 

2 Peter Martyr makes the erroneous statement that Cabot gave 
the country the name of Bacallaos. It is really the Basque name 
for cod. 

^ Peter Martyr says that the most southern point reached by 
Cabot was the latitude of the Straits of Gibraltar. The guest in 
Ramusio says that he reached Florida. Gomara gives his furthest 
south at 38° ; and Galvano has the same latitude ; adding that 
" some say he reached Florida''. 























alonj^r the coast of North America, with a number of 
names of capes and bays between them. This coast- 
line cannot be exactly identified, as there are no lines 
for latitude, and the West India Islands are placed 
north of the tropic ; but it appears to be intended to 
extend from 50" to 30° N. from about Cape Breton 
to a little south of Cape Hatteras.^ This would be 
in accordance with the statement of Peter Martyr. 

John Cabot was the pioneer of English discovery 
and English colonisation. A long life of mercantile 
adventure had prepared him for the great work ; 
and the experienced old navigator was at least sixty 
years of age when he offered his services to Henry 
VII. His great merit was that he at once appre- 
ciated the genius and prevision of Columbus, and 
understood the true significance of his magnificent 
achievement. He studied the theories and the 
methods of his illustrious countryman, and under- 
stood the great work that was left for others to 
achieve by following his lead. The results more 
than justified his representations. In his first voyage 
he showed the way across the Atlantic in high 
latitudes ; and in the second he discovered the coast 
of North America, between the Arctic Circle and 
the Tropic of Cancer. We learn no more of his 
career, and nothing of the close of his life ; but this 

^ The map drawn by Sebastian Cabot in 1542 affords little 
help with regard to his father's discoveries, except in the identifi- 
cation of the Prima Tierra Vista. It is a compilation including 
later work, but the coa )f North America is represented very 
much as it is on the map of Juan de la Cosa. 


is enough to secure a place for John Cabot among 
the greatest navigators of that age of discovery. 

The work of John Cabot bore fruit in subsequent 
years, and the way he had shown across the Atlantic 
was not forgotten. On March 19th, 1501, Letters 
Patent were granted to three merchants of Hristol, 
named Warde, Ashurst, and Thomas, associated 
with three natives of the Azores.' They made 
a voyage across the Atlantic, and the isle discovered 
by John Cabot was again visited.- In the three 
following years other voyages were undertaken 
across the Atlantic.^ 

III. — Sebastian Cahot. 

Since the results of recent researches have been 
known, the .son can no longer be associated with the 
discoveries of the father. With regard to the place 
of Sebastian's birth, he told Peter Martyr, in 15 19, 

1 Biddk, p. 312. 

- 27th January 1502. "To men of liristol that found the He, 
j(^5." (Privy Purse Expenses, Henry VII.) 

^ 1503. "To the merchants of Bristol that had been in New- 
foundland, ^^20" (//<?/7/o'/, 1,219). 1503, November 17th. "To 
one that brought hawkes from the Newfoundedland, ^i" {Exc. 
Hist.). 1504, April 8th. "'i'o a j/rieste that goeth to the new 
ilande, £2" {Exc. Hist., p. 131). 1505. "To Portyngales that 
brought popyngais and catts of the mountaigne with other stuf 
to the KirVs grace, ^1^5." "Wild catts and popyngays of the 
Newfound Island" {Exc. Hist.,\). 133). 

iNTKODriTiox. xxm 

tliJit he was a Venetian horn'; he told Contarini, in 
1522, that he was born in V^enice- ; and he told 
Richard lulen that he was born at Hristol.^ His 
own word can have no weij^ht, for he made state- 
ments respecting the place of his birth just as it 
happened to suit his convenience. Hut we know 
from the Letters Patent that his younger brother 
must have been of age when they were granted in 
1497. Sebastian must have been at least a year 
older. So he was born not later than 1474. His 
father had his domicile in Venice from 1461 to 1476. 
Sebastian was, therefore, born in Venice. 

It is uncertain whether Sebastian Cabot accom- 
panied his father on his voyages of discovery. He 
is reported to have said that he was himself the 
discoverer, ignoring his father ; and, on the other 
hand, the general belief in England was that he 
never visited the new land himself.* On the whole, 

* "Genere Venetus, scd a parentibus in Britanniam insulam 
tcndentibus .... traiisportatus pene infans." {Dec. I/I, Lib. vi.) 

* " Per dirve il tuto io nacpii a Venetia ma sum nutrito in 
Ingelterra." (Letter from Contarini to tiie Council of Ten.) 

" '* Sebastian Cabote tould me that he was Ixjrne in Br)sto\ve, 
and that at iiii yeare ould he was carried with his father to Venice, 
and so returned agnyne into England with his father after certayne 
years, whereby he was thouglit to have Ijeen borne in Venice" 
(margin of the translation of Peter Martyr, ed. 1555, fol. 255); 
larduai, p. 89, «. 'J'arducci argues that Cabot cannot have 
made this statement in the form given by Eden, and that Eden 
must have misunderstood him {Di G. e S. Caboto, Memorie^ 

PP- 92. 93)- 

* In March i52i,when the great Livery Companies of London 
were required to contribute towards the fitting out of the ships of 
discovery to be commanded by Sebastian Cabot, the Drapers' 


it seems most probable that John Cabot did take 
his young son with him, who was then about twenty- 
two years of age. There is also reason for thinking 
that he was employed by the Bristol merchants in 
their voyage in 1 502, for he is said to have brought 
three men, taken in Newfoundland, to the King in 
that year.^ During the next ten years we hear 
nothing of Sebastian. But he must have occupied 
them in business connected with navigation and 
cartography ; for, when there was an agreement 
between Henry VI 11 and Ferdinand V to under- 
take a combined expedition against the south of 
France, in 1 5 1 2, Sebastian Cabot was employed to 
make a map of Gascony and Guienne.^' Lord 
Willoughby de Broke had command of the troops 
which were landed at Pasages in June 151 2,' and 
Sebastian accompanied him.* By that time the 

Co/npany was their spokes-man, and in excusing themselves they 
i.. " :. : "Sebastian, as we hear say, never was in that land himself, 
but he makes reports of many things as he hath heard his father 
and other men speke in tymes past." {^Warden's Account of the 
Drapers' Company MSS., vol. vii, fo. 87, first made known by W. 
Herbert in his History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of 
London, 1837, i, p. 410.) See Harrisse, p. 29. 

^ Stoiii's Chronicle (1580), p. 875, said to be quoted from 
Fabyan. But no such passage occurs in any printed edition 
of Fabyan. See also Hakluyfs Divers Voyages (Hakluyt 
Society's ed., p. 23). 

2 Calendar of State Papers, H. VILI {Dovi. and For.), ii, 
Pt. II, p. 1456. 

^ Rymer, xii, 297 ; Herberfs Henry VLLL, p. 20. For Lord 
Willoughby, see Dugdale's Baronage, Pt. 11, p. 88. 

■• MSS. Munoz Coll., t. xc, fol. 109, verso, cjuoted by Harrisse, 


younger Cabot must have b(iCome a draughtsman 
of some note, for King Ferdinand applied to Lord 
Willoughby for his services, and, on September 
13th, 1 51 2, gave him the appointment of a captain, 
with a salary of 50,000 marks.^ In March 15 14 it 
had been arranged that he should undertake a voy- 
age of discovery in the Spanish service, and in 1 5 1 5 
he was appointed a pilot. He married a Spaniard 
named Catalina Medrano,^ and it was at this time 
that he became acquainted with Peter Martyr, who 
wrote : " Familiarem habeo domi Cabottum ipsurn, 
et contubernalem interdum" — "Cabot is my very 
frend whom I use familiarlye, and delyte to have 
hym sometymes keepe my company in my owne 

On the death of King Ferdinand in 15 16, Sebas- 
tian Cabot went to England with his wife and 
daughter Elizabeth, and he appears to have re- 
mained there during the rule of Cardinal Cisneros, 
although he was still in the Spanish service. He is 
said to have been concerned in the equipment of an 
expedition for Henry VIII in 1517, which is alleged 
to have " taken none effect" owing to the " faint 
heart" of one Sir Thomas Perte.* But as Cabot was 

1 Herrera, Dec. /, Lib, ix, cap. 13; Dec. II, Lib. i, cap 12. 

2 Letter cited by Navarrete, Bib. Mar., ii, 698. 

^ De Rebus Oceanicis et Orbe Novo, Dec. Ill, Lib. vi, p. 232 
(ed. Paris, 1587); JE^^^wV //-rt//^., Willes ed., f. 125. 

* This circumstance is mentioned by Eden. The voyage of 
15 1 7 is not mentioned by any other writer. Eden's work, pub- 
lished in 1553, is entitled, A treatyse of the Newe India after the 
dcstription of Sebastian Alunsicr in his book of Universal Cosmo- 


then in the Spanish service, and as he declined 
similar employment in 15 19 on that very ground,^ 
there must be some mistake. He may have given 
advice, but nothing more ; and at this very time he 
was engaged in an intrigue with a Venetian friar 
named Stragliano Collona, proposing to leave both 
Spain and England in the lurch, and to devise a 
plan by which Venice shojld secure all the benefits 
to be derived from the northern voyages. His own 
words are plain enough as regards England. He 
said: "As by serving the King of England I should 
not be able to serve my country, I wrote to the 
Cesarean Majesty that he should not, on any account, 
give me permission to serve the King of England, 
because there would be great injury to his service."^ 
In the face of all this it is not credible that Sebastian 
Cabot undertook a voyage for the King of England 
in 1 5 17. Indeed, the words of Eden, "the voyage 
took none effect", can only be explained by the 
assumption that the Atlantic was not crossed by 
Perte's ship. There was some intention of employ- 

graphia, translated out of Latin into English by Richard Eden. 
The passage is as follows : " At such time as our sovereigne Lord 
of noble memory, King Henry the Eight, furnished and set forth 
certen shippes under the governaunce of Sebastian Cabot, yet 
living, and one Sir Thomas Perte, whose faynte heart was the 
cause that the voyage took none effect" (in the Dedication to the 
Duke of Northtimberland ; also Hakluyt^ iii, 498). 

^ Contarini to the Senate of Venice, 31st December T522 : "I 
replied that, being in the service of His Majesty, I was not able 
to undertake it without permission." 

- Letter from Contarini, 31st December 1522. See p. 220. 


ing Sebastian on a voyage from England in 1521, 
but it came to nothing, and he was all the time 
playing a double game with Spain and Venice. 

Cabot returned to his employment at Seville in 
1 52 1, having previously received the appointment of 
Chief Pilot.^ Yet, while in the service of Spain, and 
in possession of all the intentions and secrets of the 
Spanish Government, he engaged in an intrigue 
with the Venetian Senate to transfer his services to 
the Republic. He employed a native of Ragusa, 
named Hieronv^o di Marin, to convey his pro- 
posals to the Council of Ten, under a vow of secrecy 
sworn on the sacrament. These proposals appear 
to have been no less than, by the use of knowledge 
acquired in the English and Spanish services, to 
transfer all the advantages and benefits of the con- 
templated northern voyage to Venice. The Council 
of Ten heard what the Ragusan had to say, rewarding 
him with a present of 20 ducats, and they considered 
the matter to be of such importance that the Vene- 
tian Ambassador in Spain, Gasparo Contarini, was 
instructed in a letter, dated September 27th, 1522, 
to have an interview with Sebastian Cabot and 
report the result. 

Contarini's account was that his first step in the 
negotiation was successful. He quietly ascertained 
whether Sebastian was at Court, then at Valladolid, 
and sent his secretary to tell him that there was 

1 Herrera, Dec. II, Lib. iii, ca'p. 7. He was appointed Piloto 
Mayor on 5th February 1518. 


a letter at the embassy which concerned his private 
affairs. This broucrht the Chief Pilot to the Vene- 
tian Ambassador's house, and Contarini dexterously 
succeeded in gaining his confidence. Cabot related 
the circumstances of his employment in England 
and Spain, but declared that his desire was to 
benefit his native country, by proceeding to Venice 
and laying the details of his proposal before the 
Council of Ten. He proposed to get permission to 
proceed to Venice, on the plea of recovering his 
mother's jointure, and other private affairs. 

The Venetian Ambassador felt very doubtful 
whether the scheme of Cabot was feasible. Any 
expedition fitted out at Venice could easily be stopped 
by the King of Spain in passing through the Straits 
of Gibraltar. The only other plan would be to 
equip vessels outside the Mediterranean, on the 
shores of the Atlantic, or in the Red Sea. But the 
difficulties surrounding any such projects would ren- 
der them impracticable. The cogency of the shrewd 
diplomatist's argument was admitted by Cabot ; but 
he maintained that his great knowledge and expe- 
rience had suggested to him other means by which 
the end could be attained, which he would only 
divulge in person to the Venetian Council. Conta- 
rini shrugged his shoulders, and the interview ended. 
But after an interval Cabot again came to the Vene- 
tian embassy at Valladol id, on the 27th of December 
• — St. John's Day. On this occasion he did all he 
could to impress Contarini with his great professional 
knowledge and skill, discussing many geographical 


points with him, and explaining a method he had 
invented of finding the longitude by means of the 
variation of the needle. Then, touching on the 
main business, he confidently asserted that the Coun- 
cil of Ten would be pleased with the plan he had 
devised, declaring that he was ready to go to Venice 
at his own expense. He entreated Contarini to 
keep the matter secret, as his life depended on it. 

Four days afterwards, on the 31st of December 
1522, the Venetian Ambassador, in a long and 
able despatch, reported the results of his interviews 
with Cabot; and on March 7th, 1523, he further 
reported that Cabot had delayed his visit to Venice 
because he was called to England on business, and 
would be absent for three months. This is ex- 
plained by an entry respecting the funeral of Sir 
Thomas Lovell, K.G.,^ from which it appears that 
Sebastian Cabot, Chief Pilot of Spain, came to 
London to attend at the obsequies of Sir Thomas in 

^ " Expense of the funeral of Sir Thomas Lovell, K.G., who 
died at his manor of Elsynge in Enfield, Middlesex, 25th May 
1524, and was buried at Haliwell. Item, paide the i8th day of 
February, to John Godryk of Tory, in the county of Cornwall, 
drap., in full satysfaccon and recompenses of his charge, costis, and 
labour conductyng Sebastian Cabott, master of the Pylotes in 
Spayne, to London, at the request of the testator by Indenture of 
Covenauntes, 43^. 4</." {^Calendar of State Papers, Dom. and For., 
Henry VIII, iv, Pt. i, p. 154, No. 366), quoted by Tarducci, 
p. 158, and Harrisse. Sir Thomas Lovell was made Chancellor 
of the Exchequer for life in 1485, Treasurer of the Household, 
1502, Constable of the Tower, one of the executors of the will 
of Henry VII, and Steward and Marshal of the House of Henry 
VIII. He was knighted at the battle of Stoke, 1487. 


1524, in compliance with a request in the will of the 
deceased. Cabot returned to Spain in the end of 

Contarini received great praise from his Govern- 
ment for the way in which he had conducted the 
negotiations; but they fell to the ground, appa- 
rently owing to the important employment on which 
Cabot was soon afterwards engaged under the 
Spanish Government. 

The Conference of Badajoz on the question of 
the right to Moluccas between Spain and Portugal 
was opened in 1524, and Sebastian Cabot was em- 
ployed as an assessor. The decision in favour of 
Spain led to the equipment of an expedition for the 
discovery of the isles of Tarshish, Ophir, and the 
eastern Catay, of which Sebastian Cabot received 
the command.^ It consisted of three vessels and 
150 men ; the two other ships being commanded by 
Francisco de Rojas and Martin Mendez, with whom 
the Captain-General disagreed. Miguel de Rodas 
embarked as a volunteer. The ships sailed in April 
1526, and, in consequence of the quarrels between 
the leader of the expedition and his captains, Cabot 
adopted a very high-handed measure. He beached 
the two captains, Rojas and Mendez, and the volun- 
teer Rodas, on the coast of Brazil. They were 
rescued by a Portuguese ship, and trouble was thus 
prepared for the Venetian on his return. Enterino- 

1 Cabot laid aside a portion of his pay for the maintenance of 
his wife, Catalina Medrano, during his absence. {Munoz MSS. 
Indios, 1524-26, 77, Est 23 gr., fol. 165, veno, quoted by Harrisse' 
P- 355-) 


the river Plate. Cabot explored the river Parana to 
its junction with the Paraguay, and established two 
forts. But he was eventually attacked by an over- 
whehnint>- force of natives, one of his forts was carried 
by assault, and he was obliged to abandon the 
enterprise.^ He returned to Spain in August 1530, 
and had to meet serious charges respecting his 
treatment of Mendez and Rojas. On February ist, 
1532, he was condemned to two years of exile at 
Oran tor excesses committed during the expedition^ ; 
but the Emperor pardoned him after a year, and he 
was again at Seville in June 1533.' 

Sebastian Cabot must have been a man of irreat 
ability and address, while his knowledge and experi- 
ence made his services very valuable. It is evident, 
from his restoration to favour, after returning from 
his disastrous e.xpedition, that the Government of 
Charles V entertained a high opinion of his useful- 
ness. He remained Chief Pilot of Spain from 1533 
to 1547, and it must have been at this time that the 
guest, to whose conversation Ramusio listened at 
the table of Hieronimus Fracastor, visited Cabot at 
Seville. Then the old navigator, who had reached 

^ Herrera, Dec. Ill, Lib. ix, cap. 3 ; Dec. IV, Lib. viii, cap. 
1 1 ; Gomara, ch. Ixxxix. 

- Xavarrete, Bib. Mar., ii, 699. 

2 In June 1533, in a letter to J Jan de Samano, the Emperor's 
secretary, Cabot excused himself for not having finished a map, 
owing to the death of his daughter and the illness of his wife 
{\fnnoz MSS, vol. Ixxix, fo. 287, quoted by Harrisse ; and Tar- 
ducci, p. 404). In the will of William Mychell, chaplain, in 15 16, 
there is a legacy of 3?. ^d. to Cabot's daughter Elizabeth. 

^^>^ii INTKUJ)l( TKJN. 

the age of seventy, professed to be anxious to rest 
from active service, " after having instructed so many 
practical and valiant young seamen, through whose 
forwardness I do rejoice in the fruit of my labours. 
So I rest with the charge of this office as you see." 
The guest added that, among other things, Cabot 
showed him a great mappe-monde, illustrating the 
special navigations as well of the Portuguese as of 
the Spaniards. If this was the mappe-monde that 
was discovered lately, it bore the following title : 
'• Sebastian Cabot, Captain and Pilot Major to his 
Cesarean and Catholic Majesty the Emperor Charles 
V of that name, the King our Lord, made this 
figure extended on a plane, in the year of the birth 
of our Saviour Jesus Christ 1544." It is a coloured 
map drawn on an ellipse, 4^ feet long by 3^ wide, 
having a series of descriptive legends, in Latin and 
Spanish, on the right and left. It is a compilation 
showing the then recent discovery of the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence by Jacques Cartier. Newfoundland 
is represented as a group of islands. The work 
done by John Cabot, in his first voyage, is indicated 
by the Prima Tierra Vista, at the north end of 
Cape Breton,^ and the /. de S. Juan in the place of 
the modern Magdalen Islands. Along the coast of 

^ On the map of Michael Lok, given in Hakluyfs Divers 
Voyages, with the relation of Verazzano, the words "J. Gabot, 
1497", are written over the land ending with the north point of 
Cape Breton. But the island " S. Johan" is placed to the south, 
and not in the position of the Magdalen Islands, as in the map of 
Sebastian Cabot. 

««C >.ii Hi ?»S 3C0 }t1 JIO )\! JS'! HS 130 

^t s:;t, ;< tJll p»r S Pilm»l(i.a'«pr«s UxejrfMi Lir.:q.:- :?r>jTve «-, 

N*. 17 SebanianCabotocapitan.ypiloto mayor delaS.c.c.m. ddlmpi 
efta figura txKnfa en plano.anno del nafcim* d« nro faluador lefu ( 



After Harrisse's " Jean et Sebastian Cabot," reduced b; 

J80 Mi an J3J no )^^ wo ni j 

^ 1 • 

ayor delaS.c.c.m. dclImpfrtdordonCarioJqu.ntodeflenombrcyRcynueftro fennorhi, 
nafcim'denroraluadorleluChrifto de M.B.Xliiii.annos. 


Cabot," reduced by one balf, and reprinted by the Collotype process. 


Labrador is written Costa d el hues noriieste. San 
Brandon Isle retains its place in the middle of the 
Atlantic. From Cape Breton a coast-line is made 
to run west and south, resembling that shown as 
discovered by the English, on the map of Juan de 
la Cosa in 1500. But the names along the coast of 
North America do not agree with those on the map 
of Juan de la Cosa. 

The great value of the 1 544 map of Sebastian Cabot 
is that it fixes the landfall of his father's first voyage. 
On this point he is the highest authority, and his 
evidence is quite conclusive if it was given in good 
faith. Mr. Harrisse argues that it was not given in 
good faith, but not, I think, on sufficient grounds. 
He first endeavours to show that while Cabot was at 
the head of the Hydrographic Department at Seville, 
and responsible for the accuracy of the charts, the 
landfall in 48° was never shown, and the three maps 
of that period, that survive, all place the English 
discoveries between 56° and 60°. Mr. Harrisse 
therefore infers that Cabot did not then claim dis- 
coveries further south. But the answer to this is 
that he did make such claim. He told the guest in 
Ramusio, Peter Martyr, and everyone he met, that 
he discovered all the coast as far south as Florida. 
It is true that, after the map of La Cosa in 1500, 
where the English southern discoveries are fully 
portrayed, they do not appear on Spanish maps ; 
but the statements of Sebastian Cabot prove that 
this cannot have been with his willing concurrence. 



The omission must have been due to some other 
cause. The coast shown in 60° N. on the Ribero 
and other maps of course refer to John Cabot's 
second, not to his first voyage, when he reached 
Cape Breton. 

Mr. Harrisse then justifies his hypothesis vhat 
Sebastian Cabot placed his landfall at Cape Breton, 
knowing well that it was really several hundred 
miles further north, by pointing out his constant 
mendacity and treason, and that such underhand 
deanngs were in keeping with his natural disposition. 
But this is not sufficient without a motive, and the 
motive suggested by Mr. Harrisse seems quite in- 
adequate. He says that the explorations of Jacques 
Cartier, from 1534 to 1543, had brought to light 
a valuable region round Cape Breton, suitable for 
colonies; and that Sebastian placed the landfall 
there in 1544 as a suggestion of British claims, 
a declaration that the region of the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence belonged to England, and a bid for favour. 
He went to England three years afterwards. But 
it would have been useless and unnecessary, as well 
as dangerous, to falsify an official Spanish map with 
this object ; for the English Government possessed 
his father's maps, and he had all along claimed the 
discovery, not only of this part, but of the whole 
coast as far as Florida. We may therefore con- 
clude that, as Sebastian Cabot had no motive 
for falsifying his map, he did not do so ; and 
that the "Prima Terra Vista", where he placed 


it, is the true landfall of John Cabot on his first 

On November 28th, 1545, Sebastian Cabot was 
charged, in conjunction with Pedro Mexia, Alonso 
Chaves, and Diego Gutierrez, to examine and report 
upon the new work on navigation by Pedro de 
Medina, entided Arte de Navegar} This is the 
last recorded duty performed by Cabot in Spain. 
Two years afterwards he left that country and arrived 
in England. The old man's action must have been 
secret, and in the nature of a flight, for he resigned 
neither his pension nor his appointment before his 
departure. It was a betrayal, for he took with him 
a knowledge of all the secret counsels and intentions 
of the Spanish Government, acquired during an 
official career extending over a period of more than 

^ The mappe nionde of Sebastian Cabot is mentioned by 
Sanuto, Ortelius, Hukluyt, Purchas, and Sir Humphrey Gilbert. 
Hakluyt, Purchas, and Gilbert mention " the great map in Her 
Majesty's privy gallery at Whitehall, cut by Clement Adams"; and 
Hakluyt gives the legend No. 8 from it, referring to the voyage of 
John Cabot. The map of Adams must, therefore, have been a 
copy of the 1544 map of Sebastian. Willes mentions another 
copy, "Cabot's table which the Earl of Bedford hath atCheynies" 
(Eden, x^lli ^- 232). These maps have disappeared. 

The only existing copy of the map by Sebastian Cabot was 
found in the house of a curate in Bavaria by Dr. Martius, Secre- 
tary of the Academy of Sciences at Munich. It was bought from 
M. de Heunin in 1844 for 400 francs, and is now in the Biblio- 
thfeque Nationale at Paris. Jomard has reproduced it, but with- 
out the legends. 

2 Lista de la Esposicion Americanista B. 52, referred to by 
Tarducci, p. 280, n. 



thirty years. The actual cause for this flight and 
betrayal is unknown. That the flight was arranged 
in concert with the English Privy Council is made 
clear by a warrant of ^loo paid to one Mr. Peck- 
ham, on October 9th, 1547, for transporting "one 
Cabot, a Pilot, to come out of Hispain, to serve and 
inhabit in England". 

When Sebastian Cabot came to England, in the 

beginning of the reign of Edward VI, he was at 

least seventy-three years of age. On January 6th, 

1548, he was granted a pension of £166 135-. /^d. 

(250 marks) a year,^ with the duties, though not the 

title, of Chief Pilot of England. The Emperor 

Charles V, through the English Ambassadors at 

Brussels, Sir Thomas Cheyne and Sir Philip Hoby, 

requested that Cabot might be sent back, "forasmuch 

as he cannot stand the King your Master in any 

great stead, seeing he hath small practice in these 

seas, and is a very necessary man for the Emperor, 

whose servant he is, and hath a pension of him." 

The despatch containing this request was dated at 

Brussels on November 25th, 1549.^ The reply, on 

April 2 1 St, 1550, was that Sebastian Cabot refused 

to return to Spain, and that, being King Edward's 

subject, he could not be compelled to go against his 

will.^ In the following year Cabot received ^200 

from Edward VI, by Council warrant, "by way of 

^ Hakluyt. 

2 Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, vol. ii, Pt. i, p. 296 (Oxford, 

3 Harkian MS. 525, f. 9; quoted by Harrisse. 


the King's Majesty's reward",^ and was evidently in 
high favour. Charles V made one more effort to 
recover his Chief Pilot, by writing to his cousin 
Queen Mary on the subject, from Mons, on the 9th 
of September 1553, but without effect.'* 

Meanwhile, Cabot had again opened communi- 
cations with the Venetian Government, through 
Giacomo Soranzo, their Ambassador in London. 
His proposal was to conduct a Venetian fleet to 
Cathay through the strait of which he pretended to 
have the secret'; and the same excuse for asking 
permission to go to Venice, on urgent private affairs, 
was to be adopted as had been proposed in the 
negotiation with Contarini in 1522. It completely 
deceived Dr. Peter Vannes, the English Ambassador 
at Venice, who, in a despatch dated September 12th, 
1 55 1, reported to the Council the steps that had 
been taken to further Cabot's business, and the 
goodwill of the Seigniory.* The contemporaries of 
the astute old pilot had no suspicion of the intrigues 
revealed to posterity by the publication of the Vene- 

1 Strype, Ecc. Mem., ii, Pt. 11, pp. 76 and 217. 

2 Calendar of State Papers (Foreign), 1553-58, t. i, No. 31, 
p. 10. Edward VI died on July 6th, 1553. 

'^ Calendar of State Papers, Rawdon Brown, t. v. No. 711, 
p. 264. The despatch of Soranzo does not exist, but we have the 
reply from the Council of Ten. 

4 Calendar of State Papers (Yoxc'xgn), 1861, p. 171, No. 444. 
Dr. Vannes says that Ramusio, the Hakluyt of Italy, and then one 
of the secretaries of the Seigniory, was acting as Cabot's agent at 
this time. 


tian State Papers ; but this second negotiation ended 
in nothing.^ 

Cabot was employed to draw up instructions for 
the voyage of Willoughby and Chancellor in May 
^553y^ and, when the Company of Merchant Adven- 
turers was incorporated on February 26th, 1555, he 
was named Governor for life.^ In this capacity he 
superintended the equipment of the Searchthrift, 
under the command of Stephen Burrough, coming 
down to Gravesend to take leave of that gallant 
explorer on April 27th, 1556, and taking part in the 
feasting and dancing on that occasion.* 

On the 27th of May 1557 Sebastian Cabot resigned 
his pension, and on the 29th one half of it was 
restored to him, and the other half was granted to 
one William Worthington, apparently as a colleague 
appointed in consequence of Cabot's great age.^ He 
was at least eighty-three. This is the last official 
mention of Sebastian Cabot, who probably died the 
same year. 

There is evidence that Sebastian Cabot gave 
close attention to questions relating to the variation 
of the compass. In the geography of Livio Sanuto, 

1 Tarducci offers some excuses for the conduct of Cabot, in 
having entered upon these intrigues with Venice, while he was a 
servant of the Spanish and Enghsh Governments {Tarducci^ p. 157 
and p, 291), but they are not satisfactory. 

2 Hakluyt, i, 226. 

3 Strype, Ecc, Mem., iii, Pt. i, p. 320 ; Hakluyt, i, p. 267. 
* Hakhiyt, i, p. 274. 

5 Rymer, xv, 466; Biddle, p. 217. Philip arrived in London 
on May 20th, 1557. 


that learned Italian says that, many years before the 
period at which he wrote, Guido Gianetti da Fano 
"informed him that Sebastian Cabot was the dis- 
coverer of that secret of the variation of the needle 
which he then explained to the most serene King of 
England (Edward VI), near to whom (but then en- 
gaged in other affairs) this Gianetti was most honour- 
ably employed ; and he also demonstrated how much 
this variation was, and that it was not the same in 
everyplace."^ In 1522, Cabot had told the Vene- 
tian Ambassador Contarini **of a method he had 
observed of finding the distance between two places 
east and west of each other by means of the needle, 
a beautiful discovery, never observed by any one 
else".^ This fallacy, that the longitude could be 
found bv observing the variation at two places, was 
subsequently adopted by Plancius, who even con- 
structed an instrument for observing it. The idea 
haunted the mind of Cabot to his dying day ; but it 
was not original, being the conception of Jacob 
Besson.^ Eden mentions that Cabot continued to 
talk of a divine revelation to him of a new and 
infallible method of finding the longitude, which he 
was not permitted to disclose to any mortal, even 
on his death-bed. He adds : " I thinke the goode 
old man, in that extreme age, somewhat doted, and 
had not yet, even in the article of death, utterly 

1 Geographia, LivioSanuto (Venezia, 1588), Lib. i, f. 2 ; Biddle, 
p. 177, quoted by Harnsse. 

2 Contarini, ubi sup. 

' Besson, La Cosmolade {Vax\^^ 4to), 1567, quoted by Harrisse. 



shaken off all worldlye vayne glorie."* Eden was 
present at Cabot's death, but does not mention 
when or where it took place, or where he was 

On the death of Sebastian Cabot, all his maps 
and papers came into the possession of his colleague, 
William Worthington. Hakluyt, writing in 1582,2 
said that "shordy, God willing, shall come out in 
print all his (Sebastian Cabot's) own mappes and 
discourses, drawne and written by himselfe, which 
are in the custodie of the worshipful Master William 
Worthington, one of Her Majesty's Pensioners, who 
(because so worthie monuments should not be buried 
in perpetual oblivion) is very willing to suffer them 
to be overseene, and published in as good order as 
may be, to the encouragement and benefite of our 
countrymen." But this was never done.^ 

1 « 

Epistle Dedicatory. A very necessarie and profitable book 
concerning navigation, compiled in Latin \i^ Joannes Taisnerus, a 
publik Professor in Rome, Ferraria, and other Universities in 
Italic, named a Treatise of continual motions. Translated into 
English hy Richard Eden" (London, Rd. Jugge). Biddk, p. 222. 
2 Divers Voyages, p. 26 (Hakluyt Society's ed.). Worth- 
mgton was one of the ordinary gentlemen and pensioners of 
Edward VI, and "bailiff and collector of the rents and revenues 
of all the manors, messuages, and hereditaments within the city of 
London and county of Middlesex which did belong to colleges, 
guilds, fraternities, or free chapels" (Strype, Ecc. Mem., vol. ii[ 
Pt. II, p. 234). A pardon was granted to him, being indebted to 
the King ^^392 los. ^d, his servant having run away with the 
money. He seems to have been employed in France and Scot- 

■' Biddle suggested that Worthington handed over the papers of 


The consideration of all the original documents 
relating to Sebastian Cabot do not leave a pleasant 
impression on the mind. His statements about his 
birth, made to suit his purpose at the moment, show 
that he was rather unscrupulous ; while his recorded 
assertions that all the credit of his father's dis- 
coveries was due to himself, if correctly repeated, 
display an amount of vanity and an absence of filial 
affection, combined with a disregard for truth, which 
are repelling. He is said to have told the guest, 
quoted by Ramusio, that his father had died at the 
time when the news of the discovery of Columbus 
arrived; and that it was he, Sebastian, who made 
the proposal to Henry VH, and fitted out the ships 
in 1497! In the conversations repeated by Peter 
Martyr, by Ramusio, by Gomara, and Galvano, 
the father is never mentioned, and the reader 
is made to suppose that Sebastian alone was the 
discoverer. The same impression was received by 
writers in England. Fabyan, repeated by Stow, 
gives Sebastian, and not John, as the name of the 
explorer, and Sir Humphrey Gilbert was even more 
completely deceived, after a perusal of Ramusio. 
In his Discourse of a New Passage to Cataia, he 
writes as if John Cabot had never existed, and as if 
Sebastian had commanded the expeditions. This 
false impression was often repeated, and when Mr. 

Cabot to Philip II, when he was in England in 1557. But this 
appears to be disproved by the fact that they were still in Worth- 
ingtons possession in 1582. 


Biddle^ wrote his Memoir on Sebastian Cabot, he 
reached the climax of unintentional injustice by 
writing of the father as merely an old merchant, 
who never even went to sea. The truth was re- 
vealed by the discovery of the letters of the Italian 
news-writers, and of the Spanish despatches. It is 
true that on Legend No. 8 of his map Sebastian 
mentions his father coupled with himself— "this 
land was discovered by Joan Caboto, Venetian, and 
Sebastian Caboto his son"— but this rather confirms 
the painful impression caused by the silence respect- 
ing his father elsewhere. For John Cabot was 
a great navigator of long experience, advanced in 
years, and in sole command of the expeditions ; 
while Sebastian, if he went with him at all, which is 
not certain, was then a lad of twenty-two. Fer- 
nando Columbus might as well have coupled his 
name with that of his illustrious father when he 
wrote the account of the fourth voyage. But that 
was the last thing Fernando would have done. 
The contrast is striking between the filial piety of 
the son of Columbus, and the absence of feeling for 
the memory and fame of his father on the part of 
the son of John Cabot. 

1 A Memoir of Sebastian Cabot, without author's name (Lon- 
don, 1831), p. 50. John Biddle was an eminent American jurist 
and statesman of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1 795, 
and died in 1847. He purchased the well-known portrait of 
Sebastian Cabot as an old man, which was burnt with his house at 
Pittsburg. But a good copy had been made, now belonging to 
the New York Historical Society. 


It is fair, however, to bear in mind that we have 
the statements of Sebastian at second-hand. It is 
possible that he was not silent respecting the ser- 
vices of his father, and that those who repeated the 
conversations omitted to mention one who would 
not have the same interest for them as the living 
explorer with whom they were talking. 

A still more unfavourable impression is caused by 
a perusal of the correspondence of Contarini and 
Soranzo. Sebastian Cabot, for his own ends, was 
ready to enter upon secret negotiations with another 
country at a time when he was in the pay and 
employment of Spain or England, and was trusted 
by his employers. There can be no doubt of his 
ability and knowledge. He would not have re- 
tained his employments so long, and his services 
would not have been so highly valued, both by 
Charles V and by the English Privy Council, if he 
had not possessed those qualities in an eminent 
degree. But the truth, as revealed by the docu- 
ments that have been preserved, obliges us to add 
that Sebastian Cabot appears to have been wanting 
in filial affection, that his veracity is more than 
doubtful, that he had no feeling of loyalty to his 
employers, and that he was ready, without scruple, 
to sacrifice them for his own ends. There may be 
some mitigation in the fact that all his intrigues 
appear to have been for the benefit of his native 
country. His cunning and shrewdness secured his 
safety, and his double dealing was unknown. He 
reached an honoured and respected old age, after 



a long and prosperous career; but he owed his 
success to his good fortune and to the secrecy in 
which his deah'ngs were shrouded, not to his probity 
and good faith. John Cabot was the great navigator, 
the explorer and pioneer who hghted English enter- 
prise across the Atlantic. His son Sebastian tried 
to get the credit of his father's work, and for a time 
succeeded ; but in the end the truth has prevailed. 
While the son of Columbus devoted his life to the 
pious work of preserving his father's fame, the son 
of Cabot so obscured the story of his father's 
discoveries that the merit of them was attributed 
to himself, and it has taken centuries of research to 
recover the truth, and to place John Cabot in his 
rightful position. He was second only to his illus^ 
trious countryman as a discoverer, and his place is 
in the forefront of the van of the long and glorious 
roll of leaders of English maritime enterprise. 

IV. — Caspar Corte-Real. 

The voyages of Caspar Corte-Real were the 
direct consequence of the first voyage of Columbus. 
But while John Cabot, fully imbued with the ideas 
of his great countryman, sailed in quest of the king- 
dom of the Grand Kaan and of Cipango, the Portu- 
guese had the more practical object of discovering 
what unknown lands to the westward were within 
their sphere of action. By the Treaty of Tordesillas 
between Spain and Portugal, signed on June 7th, 


1494, the Papal line of demarcation was extended to 
eleven hundred and thirteen miles (370 leagues) west 
of the Cape Verde Islands.^ There might well be 
valuable unknown lands within those limits. 

Caspar Corte-Real, the third and youngest son of 
a good family in Algarve, was born in about 1450. 
His father, Joao Vaz Corte-Real, became Captain 
Donative of the islands of Terceira and St. George, 
in the Azores, in 1474, and died at Angra, in Ter- 
ceira, in July. 1496. Next to nothing is known of 
the early life of Caspar, but he was Lieutenant for 
his family in Terceira in 1497 ; and in May 1500 
he received letters patent from Manoel, King of 
Portugal, to lead an expedition of discovery. 

He fitted out two ships at the joint expense of 
himself and his next brother, Miguel,^ and sailed in 
the spring of 1500, from Lisbon, according to 
Damian de Goes, or from Terceira, according to 

The authorities for the voyages of Corte-Real are 
a passage in the Chronicle of King Manoel, by 
Damian de Goes; another in the " Tratado" of 
Antonio Galvao ; three news letters from Italians 
who were at Lisbon when the ships returned, and 
an important map prepared to show the new dis- 
coveries. Two of the letters are from Pietro P^is- 
qualigo, the Ambassador from Venice, one to the 

1 The first line, by the Bull of May 4th, 1493, was drawn 100 
leagues west from the Cape Verde Islands. 

2 Galvao says that it was at his own sole expense, but other 
documents prove that his brother shared the cost. 



Seigneury, and the other to his brothers.^ The 
other is from an Italian named Alberto Cantino to 
Hercules d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.'' The Society 
is indebted to the kindness of Mr. Henry Harrisse 
for permission to have these letters translated from 
the texts in his important work, Les Corte-Real et 
leurs voyages au Nouvean Monde. Cantino was 
commissioned by the Duke of Ferrara to have a 
map of the world drawn at Lisbon, to show the dis- 
coveries of Corte-Real. It was executed during the 
year 1502, with the title, "Nautical Chart for the 
islands newly found in the region of India"; and was 
duly transmitted to Ferrara. Its subsequent history 
is curious. The Pope seized the duchy of Ferrara 
in 1 592, and the map was taken to Modena, where 
one of the degenerate descendants of Duke Hercules 
had it pasted on the folds of a common screen. 
When the mob broke into the palace at Modena in 
1859, this screen was stolen, and some years after- 
wards Signor Boni, the librarian of the D'Este 
Library, found it in a pork butcher's shop. He 
bought it, and the precious map is now preserved in 
that library at Modena. Mr. Harrisse, to whom 
geographical science is deeply indebted for so many 

^ The letter of Pasqualigo to his brothers has long been known, 
as it was published in the Paesi novamente retrovaii in 1507. 
The one to the Seigneury is from a manuscript in the Marcian 
Library at Venice, published in the Diarii di Marino Samito 
in 1880-81. 

2 From the State Archives at Modena ; and first published in 
the work of Mr. Harrisse on the Corte-Reales, p. 204. 


Other things, published a fine facsimile of the Cantino 
map in 1883. 

The Cantino map is drawn on vellum, richly- 
coloured and gilt, and measures 3 feet 2 inches long 
by 3 feet 5 inches. It is a plane chart, the lengths 
of degrees of latitude and longitude being equal 
throughout. The draughtsman employed by Cantino, 
in order to execute his commission, must have ap- 
plied to the pilots who returned in the ships of the 
Corte-Real expedition, and must have received their 
rough "cards" showing the coast-lines discovered, 
with some details. He alone would be responsible 
for the positions he selected for these new coast-lines 
on his map of the world. They are represented by 
the southern point of Greenland, a coast with a forest 
of trees just to the east of the Papal dividing line 
(which is traced across the map), and evidendy 
intended for the east coast of Newfoundland, and a 
coast-line drawn due north and south, from the 
latitude of Lisbon for about 700 miles north, and 
just to the west of the longitude of Cuba, which is 
shown to the south of it, but much too far north. 
This can be nothing else than the coast of North 
America. These three coast-lines are the new 
features of the map, and, therefore, represent the 
discoveries of Corte-Real. 

The Cantino map is the most important authority 
for these discoveries, supplemented by the letters of 
the Italians and the brief notices of the chronicles. 
There are also two legends on the map referring to 
Greenland and N^ '"lundland. 



Following these guides, we find that, after a long 
voyage northwards, Corte-Real sighted the lofty 
mountains of Greenland near Cape Farewell, but 
did not land. Greenland is called " Punta d'Asia", 
and we learn, from the legend on the map, that the 
cosmographers at Lisbon believed it to be a part of 
the Asiatic Continent.^ Proceeding northwards, they 
came among icebergs, and sent boats to fill up with 
fresh water from the rills flowing down their sides. 
Next day they reached the edge of the ice.^ This 
obliged them to alter course, and they eventually 
sighted land in 50° N.,^ being the eastern coast of 
Newfoundland. It was so covered with trees, 
suitable for masts and yards of ships, that Corte- 
Real gave it the name of "Terra Verde".* Thence 
he returned to Lisbon. 

The second expedition was fitted out by Caspar 
Corte-Real at Lisbon in the spring of 1501 ; and he 

1 See page 240. Legend on the map. This view was adopted 
by Ruysch, who was the first to separate Greenland from Europe, 
and connect it with Asia. 

2 Cantino's letter (see p. 233). Cantino mixed up the first 
and second voyages. The first part of his account, about icebergs 
and the frozen sea, refers to the first voyage. This is quite clear, 
for he says that it occupied four months to reach the icebergs 
{quatro mesi coniinui), and three more months to arrive at the land. 
Allowing another iiionth at least for the return voyage, that makes 
eight months. Now the second voyage occupied lesF than five 
months, consequently he cannot possibly be writing ot that. We 
do not know the duration of the first voyage, except roughly from 
these data of Cantino. The rest of the letter doubtless refers to 
the second voyage. 

3 Galvao. 4 Damian de Goes. 



sailed on the 15th of May/ to complete his dis- 
coveries of the previous year, shaping a course 
west and north. 

The key to an understanding of the course taken 
by Corte-Real on his second voyage is to be found 
in the letters of Pasqualigo. The ItaHan envoy 
says that at a distance of 1,800 miles (Cantino gives 
more correctly 2,800 miles) they came to land, that 
they coasted along it for 600 or 700 miles, but that 
they failed to reach the land discovered in the first 
voyage, by reason of the ice. Now they cannot 
possibly have coasted for 700 miles from north to 
south after leaving Lisbon, consequently they must 
have coasted from south to north, and this is twice 
distinctly stated by Pasqualigo. An explanation of 
the other new coast-line on the Cantino map, placed 
south to north, and beginm'ng in the latitude of 
Lisbon, is thus supplied. At the south end this 
land turns west,- and there are some islands. 

^ Cantino says the ships had been absent nine months in 
October, and consequently they must have sailed in January, ac- 
cording to him. He had mixed up the first voyage with the 
second. Damian de Goes gives the date of May 15th for their 
sailing : which is probably right. Mr. Harrisse has published 
documents showing that the supply of biscuit was received on board 
on April 21st. 

2 It has been conjectured that this turn of the coast is intended 
to represent Florida. But Florida was unknown until 15 13, and 
the turn of the coast is in the latitude of Lisbon. It may perhaps 
be argued that as Cuba and Espafiola are placed so far north of 
their real latitude on this map, so may the turn of the coast be. 
But there is no such analogy. Cantino's draughtsman was de- 
pendent on Spanish cartographers, such as Juan de la Cosa, for 



Corte-Real, steering west from Lisbon for 2,800 
(3,000) miles, always with fine weather, according to 
Cantino,! reached the entrance to Delaware Bay, 
or Chesapeake Bay, where the land is made to turn 
west, and this point is named the Cape of the 
end of April,- doubtless to commemorate some 
event which took place on that day, possibly a 
visit from the King, just before the expedition 
sailed. Altogether, there are twenty-two names 
written along the coast, all Portuguese, though the 
meaning of some is not quite clear, owing, perhaps, 
to damp or rubbing in the places where they were 
written on the original "card" of the pilot. 

After reaching this bay, Corte-Real shaped a 
course to the north, wishing to connect his dis- 
covery with the land he had reached on the previous 
voyage. At first he was in a temperate region 
yielding delicious fruits. Proceeding northwards, 
he came to very large rivers, indicating the exist- 
ence of a great continent. Next there was a reo-ion 

the latitude of Cuba and Espailola, who misled him. Those islands 
are equally out, as regards latitude, on the map of La Cosa. For 
his new coast-line he had the original observations of the pilots 

^ " Sempre con bon tempo." 

- C. dofiin do abrill. Mr. Stevens, who thought that the west 
coast-line on the Cantino map was a duplicate Cuba turned the 
wrong way, stated that Columbus himself named the east point of 
Cuba Cape Fiindabrill, because he started from there on the 
30th of April {Johann Sc/umer, a reproductioti of his Globe of 
1523, by Henry Stevens, edited by C. H. Coote, p. xviii). 
Columbus never gave it that name. He named the east point of 
Cuba Alpha et Omega, on December 5th, 1492. See note at p. 97. 


with large pine trees.^ Then they came to a sea 
abounding in fish.^ They had reached Nova Scotia 
or Cape Breton, having sailed along the coast for 
700 miles. At some place, where they landed, 
a broken sword and two silver rings were found, 
relics of the second voyage of John Cabot. '^ 

Still wishing to reach Newfoundland, the land 
discovered during the first voyage further north, 
Corte-Real left the coast, and pushed into the foggy, 
ice-encumbered sea. He and his vessel were never 
again heard of In Portugal his east coast of 
Newfoundland received the name of the Land of 
Corte-Real.* Hie other two vessels made the best 
of their way to Lisbon, with several natives on 
board, arriving on the 9th and nth of October, 
after a voyage of a month. The distance from 
Nova Scotia to Lisbon is 2,000 miles, so that the 
ships made good about seventy miles a day. 

In due time the rough "cards" of the pilots were 
furnished to Cantino's draughtsman ; and he had to 
deal with the materials supplied to him in construct- 

^ See the letter from Cantino at p. 233. 

2 See p. 238. 3 See p. 237. 

* In the map of the Ptolemy of 15 13, by Bernardus Sylvanus, 
the name Corte-Real is turned into Latin. There is an island 
named " Regalis Domus", and another to the east of it called 
"Terra Labora". But there is no reference to Labrador in any 
of the authorities for the voyages of Corte-Real. The King of 
Portugal is said to have hoped to derive good slave labour from 
the lands discovered by Corte-Real. That is all. The name 
" Labrador" is not Portuguese : and Corte-Real was never on thp 
Labrador coast 



ing his map of the world, drawn to shov the 
recently found lands. He placed Newfoundland to 
the east of the Papal line, just bringing it within 
the Portuguese dominion. This, of course, causes 
serious distortion, for the 3,000 miles sailed west on 
the second voyage obliged him to place the North 
American coast much further to the west, and thus, 
drawing on a plane chart, there appears to be an 
inordinate distance between the two lands. He 
also made the mistake of putting the western coast 
on a north and south line, instead of giving it the 
proper trend to the east. If this had been done, 
with more easterly longitude to commence with, and 
Cuba with the other islands had been placed south 
of the tropic, the map would not have been amiss. 
The same draughtsman must have supplied materials 
for other maps. The Portuguese map by Canerio, 
recently discovered at Paris, but undated, copies 
the outlines and names from that of Cantino. The 
same western coast-line appears on the important 
map of the world by Johann Ruysch, engraved in 
1508, with most of the names. But here the 
western coast of Cantino is turned into Cuba, while 
the real Cuba is omitted ; and Newfoundland is 
made a part of the continent of Asia. The map of 
the world by Waldseemiiller, for the Ptolemy of 
1 5 13, has an exact copy of the western coast-line 
on the Cantino map, but continues it, without any 
names, round to Venezuela. The blunder of placing 
Cuba and Espanola north of the tropic is here 


The Cantino coast appears again on the Schoner 
globes of 15 15 and 1520, where it is continued 
southwards to an extensive land called Parias, which 
is separated by a strait from South America. It is 
also traceable on the maps of Petrus Apianus (1520) 
and of Grynceus (Basle, 1532), which in this part 
are repetitions of the delineation on the Schoner 
globes. It will thus be seen that the work of the 
Canti. o draughtsman, based on surveys by the pilots 
of Corte-Real, exercised a very decided influence on 
cartography for many years, almost until the appear- 
ance of the gre^it map of Ortelius in 1570. Recent 
writers on the subject of the Cantino map have 
ignored the obvious fact that the western coast 
there delineated must be assumed to be a discovery 
by Corte-Real unless there is positive evidence to 
the contrary, because the map was drawn to show 
those discoveries. It was a Carta da nauigar per 
le isole nouani" tr{ovate). The consequence has 
been that several theories have been started to 
account for the appearance of such a coast-line.^ 

1 Mr. Harrisse came to the conclusion that the coast did not 
represent the work of Corte-Real, because it was placed at such an 
immense distance west of Newfoundland. He thought that an 
experienced navigator like Corte Real could not possibly have 
made such a blunder {Lcs Corte- Real, p. 149). P,ut Corte-Real 
had nothing whatever to do with it. He never returned, and was 
dead long before the map was drawn. The draughtsman was 
alone responsible for the positions of the coast-lines on his mappa- 
mumii, and in placing Newfoundland so far cast he was influenced 
by political motives, as has been explained. Mr. Harrisse sees 
that the west coast must be that of North America, but he sup- 


When Caspar Corte-Real did not return all through 
the winter, his brother Miguel fitted out two ships, 
and went in search of him in the spring of 1502. 
He, too, was never heard of more, although his 
consort returned safely. Then the eldest brother, 
Vasque Anes Corte-Real, the Captain-donative of 
Terceira and St. Ceorge, proposed to go in search 
of Caspar and Miguel. But King Manoel felt that 
there had already been too many valuable lives lost, 
and refused his consent. Vasque Anes lived to the 
patriarch^il age of ninety, and continued the line. 
His great-grandson, Manoel Corte-Real, fell fight- 
ing by the side of King Sebastian at the fatal battle 
of Kasr-el-Kebir, in 1578, when the male line of the 
Corte- Reals became extinct. 

poses that it was discovered and mapped by a series of unknown 
navigators previous to the year 1502. The rejection of the 
obvious solution, that the draughtsman employed to draw the 
discoveries of Corte-Real did draw them, has given rise to various 
other untenable theories about this coast-line. Mr. Stevens 
thought the Cantino coast-line was a duplicate Cuba (p. xx), a 
" bogus" Cuba, as his editor calls it (p. xxxiii), {/ohatin Sclmier, 
by Henry Stevens, edited by C. FI. Coote, 1888); while Varn- 
hagen conjectured that it was a discovery of Vespucci during his 
apocryphal first voyage ! Others think it is Yucatan, or work 
done by the English. Varnhagen did not know the Cantino map, 
but argued from the map in the Ptolemy of 1513, which is copied 
from the same materials. 











{EndosiniT a map and a coPy of his letter to Martins.) 

Prohs^ue to Columbus} 

AUL, the Physician, to Cristobal 
Colombo ^Treating. I perceive your 
magnificent and great desire to find 
a way to where the spices grow, and 
in reply to your letter I send you 
the copy of another letter which I 
wrote, some days ago,2 to a friend and favourite of the 
most serene King of Portugal before the wars of Castille,^ 

' The prologue, addressed to Columbus, is printed by Las Casas 
1, 92-96, and in cap. viii of the Vita del Ammirat^rho. The orieinil 
Latin is lost. ^ ' 

•- Las Casas has ^'Ha dias'\ In the Vita-^^Alquanti i^iormfa " 
Toscanelh means that his correspondent was a friend and favourite 
of the Kmg before the wars of Castille in the reign of Henry IV 
which began in 1465. He fixes the date of his letter to Columbus bv 
the words " some days ago", that is, he wrote the first letter, a copy 
of which he sends, some days before the letter to Columbus The date 
of the first letter is June 24th, 1474. 

But Mr. Harrisse takes the words, "before the wars of Castille" as 
reternng to the date of the first letter, and assumes that it is intended 

B 2 


in reply to another which, by direction of his Highness, 
he wrote to me on the said subject, and I send you another 
sea chart! like the one I sent him, by which you will be 
satisfied respecting your enquiries: which copy is as 
follows : 

A Copy of the letter to Martins? 

"Paul, the Physician, to Fernan Martins, Canon at Lisbon, 
greeting. It was pleasant to me to understand that your 
health was good, and that you are in the favour and intimacy 
with the most generous and most magnificent Prince, your 
King.3 I have already spoken with you respecting a 
shorter way to the places of spices than that which you 

to imply that the letter of Columbus was written after the wars of 
Castille, which he supposes to mean the war of succession with Por- 
tugal from i 47 5 to 1479. So he concludes that the letter to Columbus 
was not written before 1480. I5ut, granting that the words "before 
the w^s of Castille" refer to the date of the letter, it does not follow 
that the second letter was written after the war was over. The first 
letter may have been written in 1474 before the war began, and the 
second in 1475 after the war began. 

The words "some days ago" are, however, conclusive evidence 
that the words " before the wars of Castille" do not refer to the date 
of the letter. If they did, the words " some days ago ' would be un- 
meaning. The date of the letter to Martins being June 24th, 1474, 
that of the letter to Columbus was some days aftcrwaruS, in July 

1 This chart, after the dc \ of the Admiral and his son Fernando, 
became the property of Lab Jasas (i, p. 96), but it is now lost. 

2 A copy of the original Latin letter from Toscanelli to Martins 
in the handwriting of Columbus himself, was found in the Columbine 
Library at Seville in i860. It was in a fly-leaf of a book by Eneas 
Silvius, which formerly belonged to the Admiral. It is printed in 
Asensio's Life cf Coluvibus (i, p. 250), and the above is translated 
from the te.xt of Asensio. A Spanish version is given by Las Casas, 
i, p. 92, and an Italian version is in the Vita del Ammira<rlio, 
cap. xiii. 

^ Affonso V, who was a nephew of Prince Henry the Navigator. 
He succeeded his father. King Duarte, in 1438, and died in 14S1. 


take by Guinea, by means of maritime navigation. The 
most serene King now seeks from me some statement, or 
rather a demonstration to the eye, by which the slightly 
learned may take in and unde=. .id that way. I know 
this can be shown from the spiicical shape of the earth, 
yet, to make the comprehension of it easier, and to facili- 
tate the work, I have determined to show that way by 
means of a sailing chart. I, therefore, send to his Majesty 
a chart made by my own hands, on which are delineated 
your coasts and islands, whence you must begin to make 
your journey always westward, and the places at which 
you should arrive, and how far from the pole or the 
equinoctial line you ought to keep, and through how much 
space or over how many miles you should arrive at those 
most fertile places full of all sorts of spices and jewels. 
You must not be surprised if I call the parts where the 
spices arc west, when they usually call them east, because 
to those always sailing west, those parts are found by 
navigation on the under side^ of the earth. But if by land 
and by the upper side,^ they will always be found to the 
east. The straight lines shown lengthways on the map 
indicate the distance from east to west, and those that are 
drawn across show the spaces from south to north. I 
have also noted on the map several places at which you 
may arrive for ^he better information of navigators, if 
they should reach a place different from what was ex- 
pected, by reason of the wind or any other cause ; and 
also that they may show some acquaintance with the 
country to the natives, which ought to be sufficiently 
agreeable to them. It is asserted that none but mer- 
chants live on the islands. For there the number of 
navigators with merchandize is so great that in all the rest 

' " Per subterraneas naviijationes.' 
'^ " Per superiora itinera." 


of the world there are not so many as in one most noble 
port called Zaitun.i For they affirm that a hundred ships 
laden with pepper discharge their cargoes in that port in 
a single year, besides other ships bringing other spices. 
That country is very populous and very rich, with a multi- 
tude of provinces and kingdoms, and with cities without 
number, under one prince who is called Great Kan,- which 
name signifies Rex Reginn in Latin, whose seat and resi- 
dence is generally in the province Katay.=* His ancestors 
desired intercourse with Christians now 200 years ago. 
They sent to the Pope and asked for several persons 
learned in the faith, that they might be enlightened, but 
those who were sent, being impeded in their journey, went 

1 «< V 

'Zaitun (or Zayton) is believed to be Chwangchan-fu (often called 
in our charts Chinchew), a famous seaport of Fokien, in China, about 
100 miles S.W. by S. of Fuchau" (Sir H. Yule's note, Mnrco Polo, ii, 
219). Marco Polo calls it "the very great and noble city of Zayton".' 
He says that "for one shipload of pepper that goes to Alexandria, or 
elsewhere, destined for Christendom, there come a hundred such, aye 
and more, too, to this haven of Zayton, for it is one of the two greatest 
havens in the world for commerce". Ibn Uatuta pronounces it to be 
the greatest haven in the world. Marco Polo further says that " the 
haven of Zayton is frequented by all the ships of India, which bring 
thither spicery and all other kinds of costly wares, including precious 
stones and pearls". 

2 Sir H. Yule points out the distinction between Khan and Kaan 
(or Kan). The former may be rendered Lord, and was applied to 
chiefs, whether sovereigns or not. In Persia, Afghanistan, and 
Musulman India it has become a common affix to all names. But 
Kaan is a form of Khakan, the peculiar title of the supreme sovereign 
of the Mongols. Marco Polo always writes Kaan as applied to the 
(ireat Kaan. Toscanelli, followed by Columbus, writes Kan. In 
1259, Kublai became sovereign of the Mongols, and the Grand Kaan 
was the Emperor of China of his dynasty. 

•■'The name of Khitay, or Cathay, is derived from a people called 
Khitan, whose chief ruled over northern China for two hundred years, 
until 1 123. Southern China remained under the native Sung 
dynasty, and was called Machin, or Mangi, with their capital at 


back. Also in the time of Eugcnius one of them came to 
Eugenius/ who affirmed their great kindness towards 
Christians, and I had a long conversation with him on 
many subjects, about the magnitude of their rivers in 
length and breadth, and on the multitude of cities on the 
banks of the rivers. He said that on one river there were 
near 200 cities with marble bridges great in length and 
breadth, and everywhere adorned with columns. This 
country is worth seeking by the Latins, not only because 
great wealth may be obtained from it, gold and silver, all 
sorts of gems, and spices, which never reach us ; but also 
on account of its learned men, philosophers,and expert astro- 
logers, and by what skill and art so powerful and magni- 
ficent a province is governed, as well as how their wars 
arc conducted. This is for some satisfaction to his re- 
quest, so far as the shortness of time and my occupations 
admitted : being ready in future more fully to satisfy his 
royal Majesty as far as he may wish. 

" Given at Florence, June 24th, 1474." 

^ In 1260, Nicolo and Maflfeo Polo left Constantinople, and reached 
the court of the (Ircat Kaan Kublai. He determined to send them 
back as his Ambassadors to the Pope, accompanied by an ofificer of 
his own court. His letters to the Pope were mainly to desire the 
despatch of a large body of educated missionaries to convert his 
people. They returned in 1269, and found that no Pope existed, for 
Clement IV died in 1268, and no new election had taken place. 
There was a long interregnum ; and the Polos, tired of waiting, started 
for the East again in 1 271, taking their nephew Marco with them. On 
the coast of Syria they heard of the Pope's election as Gregory X, but 
the new Pope only supplied them with two Dominicans, who lost 
heart and drew back. The Venetians returned to the court of Kublai 
in 1275. 

The second mission of which Tosci nelli speaks was two hundred 
years later. Eugenius IV (the only Eugenius after 1153) was Pope 
from 1431 to 1447 ; and it is to a mission in his time that the Floren- 
tine astronomer refers. 


Letter to Colitmbiis Resumed} 

From the city of Lisbon due west there are 26 spaces 
marked on the map, each of which has 250 miles, as far as 
the most noble and very great city of Quinsay.'- For it is 
a hundred miles in circumference and has ten bridges, and 
its name signifies the city of Heaven ; many wonders 
being related concerning it, touching the multitude of its 
handicrafts and resources. This space is almost a third 
part of the whole sphere. That city is in the province of 
Mangi,'^ or near the province Katay, in which land is the 
royal residence. But from the island Antilia, known to you,* 

^ In the Vita del Ammiraglio this is printed as if it was a part of 
the letter to Martins. 

2 Quinsay, or Kinsay, represents the Chinese term Kingaze, which 
means capital. The name of this capital city was then Linggan, and 
is now Hang-chau-fu. Marco Polo gives an account of the great city 
of Kinsay in chapter Ixxvi of his second book. He calls it "the 
most noble city of Kinsay, a name which is as much as to say in our 
tongue the city of Heaven". He also says that it was a hundred miles in 
circumference, and that there were in it 12,000 bridges of stone, which 
Toscanelli reduces to ten. "The Ocean Sea comes within 25 miles 
of the city at a place called Ganfu, where there is a town and an 
excellent Haven, The city of Kinsay is the head of all Mangi." 
(Yule's Marco Polo, ii, 69. ) 

•'' Mangi, or Manzi, was the name applied to China south of the 
Hwang-ho, held by the native Sung dynasty until 11 76. Persian 
writers call it Machin. 

* This proves that Columbus had referred to Antilia in his lost 
letter to Toscanelli. The fabulous island of Antilia or Antilia first 
appeared on ^ portolano of 1425. It is placed on the chart of Andrea 
Bianco of Venice, bearing date 1436, in longitude 25° 35' W. Ruysch, 
in his map engraved after the death of Columbus, removed it to 
between 37° W. and 40° W., adding a legend to the effect that it was 
discovered long ago by Roderick, the last of the Gothic Kings of 
Spain, who took refuge there after his defeat by the Moors, but had 
since been searched for in vain. Another tale was that two arch- 
bishops and five bishops escaped to Antilia, after the death of Rode- 
rick, and that they built seven cities there. One of the beautiful 


to the most noble island of Cippangue^ there are ten 
spaces. For that island is most fertile in gold, pearls, and 
precious stones, and they cover the temples and palaces 
with solid gold. Thus the spaces of sea to be crossed in 
the unknown parts are not great. Many things might 
perhaps have been declared more exactly, but a diligent 
thinker will be able to clear up the rest for himself Fare- 
well, most excellent one. 

portolani of Benincasa shows it, on the western edge, as a very large 
oblong island, with the names of the seven cities all given. 

The name Antilles was first applied to the West Indian Islands on 
the Portuguese map drawn for Cantino in 1 500. 

1 Marco Polo says : " Chipangu is an island towards the east in 
the high seas, 1,500 miles distant from the continent, and a very great 
island it is. The Lord of that island hath a great palace which is 
entirely roofed with fine gold. Moreover, all the pavement of the 
palace, and the floors of its chambers, are entirely of gold, in plates 
like slabs of stone, a good two fingers thick ; and the windows are 
also of gold, so that altogether the richness of this palace is past all 
bounds and all belief. They have also pearls in abundance and 
quantities of other precious stones." (Yule's Marco Polo, ii, p. 237.) 

Sir H. Yule says that Chipangu represents the Chinese Zhi-pan- 
kwe, the kingdom of Japan. The name Zhi-pan being the IVIandarin 
form of which the term Niphon, used in Japan, is a variation, both 
meaning " the origin of the sun", or sun-rising. Our Japan was pro- 
bably taken from the Malay " Japang". Kicmpfer repeats the fable of 
the golden palace. 




Paul, the Physician, to Cristoval Colombo greeting. I 
received your letters with the things you sent me, and 
with them I received great satisfaction. I perceive your 
magnificent and grand desire to navigate from the parts 
of the east to the west, in the way that was set forth in 
the letter that I sent you, and which will be demonstrated 
better on a round sphere. It pleases me much that I 
should be well understood ; for the said voyage is not 
only possible, but it is true, and certain to be honorable 
and to yield incalculable profit, and very great fame 
among all Christians. But you cannot know this perfectly 
save through experience and practice, as I have had in the 
form of most copious and good and true information from 
distinguished men of great learning who have come from 
the said parts, here in the court of Rome, and from others 
being merchants who have had business for a long time 
in those parts, men of high authority. Thus when that 
voyage shall be made, it will be to powerful kingdoms and 
cities and most noble provinces, very rich in all manner of 
things in great abundance and very necessary to us, such 
as all sorts of spices in great quantity, and jewels in the 
greatest abundance. 

It will also go to the said Kings and Princes who are 
very desirous, more than ourselves, to have intercourse and 

* Given by Las Casas, i, p. 95. 


speech with Christians of these our parts, because a great 
part of them are Christians, as well as to have speech and 
intercourse with men of learning and ingenuity here, as 
well in religion as in all the other sciences, by reason of 
the great fame of the empires and governments in these 
parts that has reached them. On account of all these 
things, and of many others that might be mentioned, I do 
not wonder that you, who have great courage, and all the 
Portuguese people who have always been men eager for 
all gre..t undertakings, should be with a burning heart 
and feel a great desire to undertake the said voyage. 







This is the first voyag-e and the routes 

and direction taken by the Admiral Don Cristobal 
Colon when he discovered the Indies, sum- 
marized ; except the prologue made for the 
vSovereigns, which is given word for 
word and commences in this 

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

ECAUSE, O most Christian, and very 
high, very excellent, and puissant 
Princes, King and Queen of the 
Spains and of the islands of the 
Sea, our Lords, in this present year 
of 1492, after your Highnesses had 
given an end to the war with the 
Moors who reigned in Europe, and had finished it in the 
very great city of Granada, where in this present year, 
on the second day of the month of January, by force 
of arms, I saw jthe royal banners of your Highnesses 
placed on the towers of Alfambra, which is the fortress of 
that city, and I saw the Moorish King come forth from 
the gates of the city and kiss the royal hands of your 
Highnesses, and of the Prince my Lord, and presently in 


that same month, acting on the information that I had 
given to your Highnesses touching the lands of India, and 
respecting a Prince who is called Gran Can, which means 
in our language King of Kings, how he and his ancestors 
had sent to Rome many times to ask for learned men of 
our holy faith to teach him, and how the Holy Father had 
never complied, insomuch that many people believing in 
idolatries were lost by receiving doctrine of perdition : 
YOUR Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes who 
love the holy Christian faith, and the propagation of it, 
and who are enemies to the sect of Mahoma and to all 
idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Cristobal 
Colon, to the said parts of India to see the said princes, 
and the cities and lands, and their disposition, with a view 
that they might be converted to our holy faith ; and 
ordered that I should not go by land to the eastward, as 
had been customary, but that I should go by way of the 
west, whither up to this day, we do not know for certain 
that any one has gone. 

Thus, after having turned out all the Jews from all your 
kingdoms and lordships,^ in the same month of January, 

* The decree for the expulsion of the Jews was really dated March 
2oth, 1492. Dr. Don Fernando Helmonte, an officer employed in the 
archives of Seville, recently discovered a document which refers to the 
expulsion of the Jews from Palos while Columbus was equipping his 
expedition. It is a process taken before the Corregidor of Moguer in 
January 1552, and one Juan de Aragon, a native of Moguer, then 
aged 70, gave evidence. He said that 55 years before, more or less, he 
was a boy on board a vessel at Palos, and saw Cristobal de Colon 
ready to sail for the Indies with three ships. This was in August or 
September. He further deposed that, having returned from his 
voyage, after having left the Jews in the parts beyond, and in another 
year, coming by sea, he met the ship of Martin Alonso Tinzon return- 
ing from the discovery {Asensio, i, 264). This boy was, therefore, in 
the ship which conveyed some of the banished Jews from I'alos to 
Africa, at the very time that Columbus was fitting out his expedition. 
January, in the text, is a misprint. 


your Highnesses gave orders to me that with a sufficient fleet 
I should go to the said parts of India, and for this they 
made great concessions to me, and ennobled me, so that 
henceforward I should be called Don, and should be Chief 
Admiral of the Ocean Sea, perpetual Viceroy and Governor 
of all the islands and continents that I should discover and 
gain, and that I might hereafter discover and gain in the 
Ocean Sea, and that my eldest son should succeed, and so 
on from generation to generation for ever. 

I left the city of Granada on the 1 2th day of May, in the 
same year of 1492, being Saturday, and came to the town 
of Palos, which is a seaport ; where I equipped three 
vessels^ well suited for such service ; and departed from 
that port, well supplied with provisions and with many 
sailors, on the 3d day of August of the same year, being 
Friday, half an hour before sunrise, taking the route to the 
islands of Canaria, belonging to your Highnesses, which 
are in the said Ocean Sea, that I might thence take my 
departure for navigating until I should arrive at the Indies, 
and give the letters of your Highnesses to those princes, so 
as to comply vith ly orders. As part of my duty I 
thought it well to write an account of all the voyage very 
punctually, noting from day to day all that I should do and 
see, and that should happen, as will be seen further on. 
Also, Lords Princes, I resolved to describe each night what 
passed in the day, and to note each day how I navigated 

' Columbus never mentions the name of the ship in which he sailed. 
It was owned by Juan de la Cosa of Santona. Oviedo calls it the 
Gallcga; Herrcra, the Santa Maria. It was the largest, about 100 
tons. The others were two caravels of Palos, called the Ptnta and 
Nina. The Pinta was commanded by Martin Alonso Pinzon, and 
owned by two sailors who served on board. The A'iiia, named after its 
owners, the Niiio family, was commanded oy Vicente Yanez Pinzon, 
with three Ninos on boar;^!, one as pilot, another as master, and a 
third as one of the seamen. 



at night. I propose to construct a new chart for navigat- 
ing, on which I shall delineate all the sea and lands of the 
Ocean in their proper positions under their bearings ; and 
further, I propose to prepare a book, and to put down all as 
it were in a picture, by latitude from the equator, and 
western longitude. Above all, I shall have accomplished 
much, for I shall forget sleep, and shall work at the busi- 
ness of navigation, that so the service may be performed ; 
all which will entail great labour. 

Friday y "i^d of August. 

We departed on Friday, the 3d of August, in the year 
1492, from the bar of Saltes,^ at 8 o'clock, and proceeded 
with a strong sea breeze until sunset, towards the south, 
for 60 miles, equal to 15 leagues^; afterwards S.W. and 
W.S.W., which was the course for the Canaries. 

Saturday^ ^th of August. 
They steered S.W. \ S. 

^ Saltes is an island formed by two arms of the river Odiel, in front 
of the town of Huelva. It was inhabited certainly until the twelfth 
century, and as late as 1267 King Alonso the Wise fixed the boundary 
between the towns of Saltes and Huelva. It is unknown when it 
ceased to be inhabited, but even in the Suma de Geografia of Martin 
Fernandez de Enciso, printed in 15 19, mention is made of that town 
of Saltes, yet it is certain that, at that time, only the church remained, 
attached to those of Huelva, which shows that there were no longer 
any inhabited houses. No length of time can have passed before the 
church itself fell into ruins, for, in order to preserve some memory of it, 
a hermitage was founded in Huelva with the title of " Our Lady of 
Saltes", in which a cross was kept, being a relic of the old church. 
Some traces of the church remain, and the district is divided into 
arable lands, pastures, and woods preserved for the chase ; being the 
property of the Marquis of Ayamonte, with the title of Count of Saltes. 
{Huelva Ilustrada del Lie D. Juan de Mora. Sevilla, 1762.) — N. 

' Columbus used Italian miles, which are shorter than the Spanish ; 
four Italian being equivalent to three Spanish, or a league. — N. 


4:.. W-JL Ji— ^ A--^ > ■ ' 

Sunday, <ith of August, \ \\t\, , , 

They continued their course day and night more than 40 

Monday, 6th of August. 

The rudder of the caravel Pinta became unshipped, and 
Martin Aionso Pinzon, who was in command, believed or 
suspected that it was by contrivance of Gomes Rascon and 
Cristobal Quintero, to whom the caravel belonged, for they 
dreaded to go on that voyage. The Admiral says that, 
before they sailed, these men had been displaying a certain 
backwardness, so to speak. The Admiral was much dis- 
turbed at not being able to help the said caravel without 
danger, and he says that he was eased of some anxiety 
when he reflected that Martin Aionso Pinzon was a man of 
energy and ingenuity. They made, during the day and 
night, 29 leagues. 

Tuesday, Jth of August. 

The rudder of the Pinta was shipped and secured, and 
they proceeded on a course for the island of Lanzarote, one 
of the Canaries. They made, during the day and night, 25 

Wednesday, Wi of August. 

Opinions respecting their position varied among the 
pilots of the three caravels ; but that of the Admiral 
proved to be nearer the truth. He wished to go to Gran 
Canaria, to leave the caravel Pinta, because she was dis- 
abled by the faulty hanging of her rudder, and was making 
water. He intended to obtain another there if one could 
be found. They could not reach the place that day. 

Thursday, ^th of August. 

The Admiral was not able to reach Gomera until the 
night of Sunday, while Martin Aionso remained on that 

C 2 

20 • gomera. 

coast of Gran Canaria by order of the Admiral, because his 
vessel could not be navigated. Afterwards the Admiral 
took her to Canaria, and they repaired the Pinta very 
thoroughly through the pains and labour of the Admiral, of 
Martin Alonso, and of the rest.^ Finally they came to 
Gomera. They saw a great fire issue from the mountain 
of the island of Tenerife, which is of great height. They 
rigged the Pinta with square sails, for she was lateen 
rigged ; and the Admiral reached Gomera on Sunday, the 
2nd of September, with the Pinta repaired. 

The Admiral says that many honourable Spanish gentle- 
men who were at Gomera with Dofta Ines Peraza, mother 
of Guillen Peraza (who was after\vards the first Count of 
Gomera), and who were natives of the island of Hierro, de- 
clared that every year they saw land to the west of the 
Canaries ; and others, natives of Gomera, affirmed the same 
on oath. The Admiral here says that he remembers, when 
in Portugal in the year 1484, a man came to the King from 
the island of Madeira, to beg for a caravel to go to this land 
that was seen, who swore that it could be seen every year, 
and always in the same way. He also says that he re- 
collects the same thing being affirmed in the islands of the 
Azores ; and all these lands were described as in the same 
direction, and as being like each other, and of the same size.'^ 

1 Herrera says that the rig of the Nitia was altered from lateen to 
square sails, at this time ; and the Pinta was supplied with a new 
rudder, {Dec. /, Lib. i, cap. ix.) 

2 By the death of Fernan Peraza in 1452, the lordship of the 
Canaries remained with his daughter Dona Ines, married to Diego de 
Herrera, whose title was confirmed by the King, Don Enrique IV, on 
the 28th of September 1454. Then, as the Admiral says, the inhabi- 
tants of Gomera and of Hierro saw land to the westward every year, 
which they supposed to be the imaginary isle of San Borondon. After- 
wards the illusions and vulgar belief in its existence continued in spite 
of the ships sent to find it, which never were able to do so, although 
the ablest mariners were employed on the service. Viera, in his 


Having taken in water, wood, and meat, and all else that 
the men had who were left at Gomcra by the Admiral when 
he went to the island of Canaria to repair the caravel Pt'pita, 
he finally made sail from the said island of Gomcra, with 
his three caravels, on Thursday, the 6th day of September. 

Thursday, 6th of September. 

He departed on that day from the port of Gomera in the 
morning, and shaped a course to go on his voyage ; having 
received tidings from a caravel that came from the island 
of Hicrro that three Portuguese caravels were off that 

history of the Canaries, refers to all these attempts in detail, with 
sincerity and critical judgment, and Feijoo refutes the stories as 
superstitions of the common people. 

Pedro de Medina, in his Grandezas de Espafia, says that at no great 
distance from the island of Madeira there was another island called 
Antilia, which is not now seen, but which is found figured on a very 
ancient sea-chart ; and Viera affirms that some Portuguese and in- 
habitants of Madeira saw lands to the westward which they were never 
able to reach, although they tried. From this took its origin the 
representing on the charts, which were then drawn, of some new 
islands in those seas, especially Antilia and San Borondon. This is 
found on the globe which was drawn by Martin Behaim at Nurem- 
berg in 1492, to the S.W. of Hierro, though the Cape Verde Isles are 
interposed between them. 

From these groundless notions which prevailed for nearly four 
centuries, and particularly at the time of the discoveries at the end of 
the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries, and from the 
malignant envy that strove to detract from the merit of the great 
Columbus, may have arisen the rumour that the new continent and 
islands had previously been discovered either by Alonso Sanchez de 
Huelva, or by some other Portuguese or Biscayan navigator, as 
several Spaniards wrote ; or by Martin de Behaim, as even in modern 
times some foreigners have affirmed. But Oviedo, a contemporary 
author, said that in reality no one was able to declare this novelty 
which was current among the vulgar, and that he considered it to 
be false. Don Cristobal Cladera, in his Invcstigaciones Historicas, 
refuted these pretensions of natives and foreigners with very solid 
reasoning, defending the merit and glory of the first Admiral of the 
Indies. — N. 


island with the object of taking him. (This must have 
been the result of the King's annoyance that Colon should 
have gone to Castille.^) There was a calm all that day and 
night, and in the morning he found himself between 
Gomera and Tenerife. 

Friday y 7 th of September. 

The calm continued all Friday and Saturday, until the 
third hour of the night. 

Saturday, ^th of September. 

At the third hour of Saturday night it began to blow 
from the N.E., and the Admiral shaped a course to the 
west. He took in much sea over the bows, which retarded 
progress, and 9 leagues were made in that day and night. 

Sunday y gth of September. 

This day the Admiral made 19 leagues, and he arranged 

to reckon less than the number run, because if the voyage 

was of long duration, the people would not be so terrified 

and disheartened. In the night he made 120 miles, at the 

rate of 12 miles an hour, which are 30 leagues. The 

sailors steered badly, letting the ship fall off to N.E., and 

even more, respecting which the Admiral complained many 


Monday y \oth of September. 

In this day and night he made 60 leagues, at the rate of 
10 miles an hour, which are 2| leagues ; but he only 
counted 48 leagues, that the people might not be alarmed 
if the voyage should be long. 

Tuesday, wth of September. 

That day they sailed on their course, which was west, 
and made 20 leagues and more. They saw a large piece 

^ An interpolation by Las Casas. 


of the mast of a ship of 120 tons, but were unable to get 
it. In the night they made nearly 20 leagues, but only 
counted 16, for the reason already given. 

Wednesday, \2th of September. 

That day, steering their course, they made 33 leagues 
during the day and night, counting less. 

Thursday, izth of September. 
That day and night, steering their course, which was 
west, they made 33 leagues, counting 3 or 4 less. The 
currents were against them. On this day, at the com- 
mencement of the night, the needles turned a half point to 
north-west, and in the morning they turned somewhat 
more north-west.^ 

Friday, id^th of September. 
That day they navigated, on their westerly course, day 
and night, 20 leagues, counting a little less. Here those of 
the caravel Nina reported that they had seen a tern- and a 
boatswain bird,=* and these birds never go more than 25 
leagues from the land. 

Saturday, \^th of September. 
That day and night they made 27 leagues and rather 
more on their west course ; and in the early part of the 
night there fell from heaven into the sea a mar\'ellous 

^ " From this", says Herrera, " the Admiral knew that the needle 
did not point to the North Star but to another fixed point that is 
invisible. To turn north-west is the same as to say that ihcfeur-de- 
lys, which denotes the north point, does not point directly to the 
north, but that it turns to the left hand." He adds that this variation 
had never been observed by anyone up to that time, and that it 
caused much astonishment. {Dec. 1, Lib. r, cap. ix.) 

^ Garjao. 3 Rabo de junco. 


flame of fire,* at a distance of about 4 or 5 leagues from 

Suudny, 1 6fh of September. 

That day and night they steered their course west, mak- 
ing 39 leagues, but the Admiral only counted 36. There 
were some clouds and small rain. The Admiral says that 
on that day, and ever afterwards, they met with very tem- 
perate breezes, so that there was great pleasure in enjoy- 
ing the mornings, nothing being wanted but the song of 
nightingales. He says that the weather was like April in 
Andalusia. Here they began to see many tufts of grass 
which were very green, and appeared to have been quite 
recently torn from the land. From this they judged that 
they were near some island, but not the main land, accord- 
ing to the Admiral, " because", as he says, " I make the 
main land to be more distant". 

Monday, i yth of September. 

They proceeded on their west course, and made ov^er 
50 leagues in the day and night, but the Admiral only 
counted 47. They were aided by the current. They saw 
much very fine grass and herbs from rocks, which came 
from the west. They, therefore, considered that they 
were near land. The pilots observed the north point, and 
found that the needles turned a full point to the west of 
north. So the mariners were alarmed and dejected, and 
did not give their reason. But the Admiral knew, and 
ordered that the north should be again observed at dawn. 
They then found that the needles were true. The cause 
was that the star makes the movement, and not the needles.^ 

^ " Ramo" in the Journal. Herrera has '' Llama de fuego". 
2 The ingenious Columbus, who was the first observer of variation, 
succeeded in allaying the fears of his people, by explaining, in a 


At dawn, on that Monday, they saw much more weed 
appearing, like herbs from rivers, in which thc}'^ found a 
live crab, which the Admiral kept. He says that these 
crabs are certain signs of land. The sea-water was found 
to be less salt than it had been since leaving the Canaries. 
The breezes were always soft. Everyone was pleased, and 
the best sailers went ahead to sight the first land. They 
saw many tunny-fish, and the crew of the Ni'fla killed one. 
The Admiral here says that these signs of land came from 
the west, " in which direction I trust in that high God in 
whose hands are all victories that very soon we shall sight 
land". In that morning he says that a white bird was seen 
which has not the habit of sleeping on the sea, called rndo 
de juuco (boatswain-bird). 

Tuesday^ 1 8/// of September. 

This day and night they made over 55 leagues, the 
Admiral only counting 48. In all these days the sea was 
very smooth, like the river at Seville. This day Martin 
Alonso, with the Pinta, which was a fast sailer, did not 
wait, for he said to the Admiral, from his caravel, that he 
had seen a great multitude of birds flying westward, that 
he hoped to see land that night, and that he therefore 

specious manner, the cause of the phenomenon. The surprise and 
anxiety of the pilots and sailors are decisive proofs that no one had 
observed until then the variation of the needle. — N. 

Columbus had crossed the point of no variation, which was then 
near the meridian of Flores, in the Azores, and found the variation no 
longer easterly, but more than a point westerly. His explanation that 
the pole-star, by means of which the change was detected, was not 
itself stationary, is very plausible. For the pole-star really does 
describe a circle round the pole of the earth, equal in diameter to 
about six times that of the sun ; but this not equal to the change 
observed in the direction of the needle. 


pressed onward, A great cloud appeared in the north, 
which is a sign of the proximity of land,' 

Wednesday, \yth of September. 

The Admiral continued on his course, and during the 
day and night he made but 25 leagues because it was calm. 
He counted 22. This day, at 10 o'clock, a booby- came to 
the ship, and in the afternoon another arrived, these b /ds 
not generally going more than 20 leagues from the land. 
There was also some drizzling rain without wind, which is a 
sure sign of land. The Admiral did not wish to cause 
dehiy by beating to windward to ascertain whether land was 
near, but he considered it certain that there were islands 
both to the north and south of his position, (as indeed there 
were, and he was passing through the middle of them^). 
For his desire was to press onwards to the Indies, the 
weather being fine. For on his return, God willing, he 
could see all. These are his own words. Here the pilots 
found their positions. He of the Nina made the Canaries 
440 leagues distant, the Pinta 420. The pilot of the 
Admiral's ship made the distance exactly 400 leagues.* 

Thursday, 20th of September. 

This day the course was W. b. N., and as her head was 
all round the compass owing to the calm that prevailed, 
the ships made only 7 or 8 leagues. Two boobies came to 
the ship, and afterwards another, a sign of the proximity 
of land. They saw much weed, although none was seen 

* For eleven days they had not had to trim sails so much as a 
palmo, the wind always aft, the .Admiral constantly noting everything, 
and proceeding carefully with astrolabe and sounding-lead. (Herrera, 
Pec. /, Lib. I, cap. ix.) 

' Alcatraz. ' Interpolation by Las Casas. 

* The distance of the Admiral's pilot is exact. — N. 


on the previous day. They caupht a bird with the hand, 
which was like a tcrn.^ Hut it was a river-bird, not a sea- 
bird, the feet being like those of a gull. At dawn two 
or three land-birds came singing to the ship, and they 
disappeared before sunset. Afterwards a booby came 
from W.N.VV., and flew to the S.VV., which was a sign 
that it left land in the W.N.VV. ; for these birds sleep 
on shore, and go to sea in the mornings in search of food, 
not extending their flight more than 20 leagues from the 

Friday, 2\st of September. 

Most of the day it was calm, and later there was a little 
wind. During the day and night they did not make good 
more than 13 leagues. At dawn they saw so much weed 
that the sea appeared to be covered with it, and it came 
from the west. A booby was seen. The sea was very 
smooth, like a river, and the air the best in the world. 
They saw a whale, which is a sign that they were near 
land, because they always keep near the shore. 

Saturday, 22nd of September. 

They shaped a course W.N.W. more or less, her head 
turning from one to the other point, and made 30 leagues. 
Scarcely any weed was seen. They saw some sandpipers 
and another bird. Here the Admiral says : " This con- 
trary wind was very necessary for me, because my people 
were much excited at the thought that in these seas no 
wind ever blew in the direction of Spain." Part of the 
day there was no weed, and later it was very thick. 

Sunday, 22,rd of September. 
They shaped a course N.W., and at times more northerly; 
occasionally they were on their course, which was west, 

* Garjao. 


and they made about 22 leagues. They saw a dove 
and a booby, another river-bird, and some white birds. 
There was a great deal of weed, and they found crabs in 
it. The sea being smooth and calm, the crew began to 
murmur, saying that here there was no great sea, and that 
the wind would never blow so that they could return to 
Spain. Afterwards the sea rose very much, without wind, 
which astonished them. 1 he Admiral here says : " Thus 
the high sea was very necessary to me, such as had not 
appeared but in the time of the Jews when they went out 
of Egypt and murmured against Moses, who delivered 
them out of captivity." 

Monday, 24/// of September. 

The Admiral went on his west course all day and night, 
making 14 leagues. He counted 12. A booby came to 
the ship, and many sandpipers. 

Tuesday, 25/// of September. 

This day began with a calm, and afterwards there was 
wind. They were on their west course until night. The 
Admiral conversed with Martin Alonso Pinzon, captain of 
the other caravel Pinta, respecting a chart which he had 
sent to the caravel three days before, on which, as it would 
appear, the Admiral had certain islands depicted in that 
sea.^ Martin Alonso said that the ships were in the posi- 

1 This chart, drawn for the Admiral, must have been that which 
Paulo Toscanelli, the celebrated Florentine astronomer, sent to Lisbon 
in 1474. It included from the north of Ireland to the end of Guinea, 
with all the islands situated on that route ; and towards the west it 
showed the beginning of the Indies, and the islands and places whither 
they were proceeding. Colon saw this chart and read the accounts of 
travellers, especially Marco Polo, which confirmed him in the idea 
of finding India by the west, though it had hitherto always been 
approached by the east. The situations of coasts and islands fixed on 


tion on which the islands were placed, and the Admiral 
replied that so it appeared to him : but it might be that 
they had not fallen in with them, owing to the currents 
which had always set the ships to the N.E., and that they 
had not made so much as the pilots reported. The 
Admiral then asked for the chart to be returned, and it 
was sent back on a line. The Admiral then began to plot 
the position on it, with the pilot and mariners. At sun.set 
Martin Alonso went up on the poop of his ship, and with 
much joy called to the Admiral, claiming the reward as he 
had sighted land. When the Admiral heard this positively 
declared, he says that he gave thanks to the Lord on his 
knees, while Martin Alonso said the Gloria in excelsis w'xXh. 
his people. The Admiral's crew did the same. Those of 
the Nina all went up on the mast and into the rigging, and 
declared that it was land. It so seemed to the Admiral, 
and that it was distant 25 leagues. They all continued to 
declare it was land until night. The Admiral ordered the 
course to be altered from VV. to S.W., in which direction 
the land had appeared. That day they made 4 leagues 
on a west course, and 17 S.W. during the night, in all 21 ; 
but the people were told that 13 was the distance made 
good : for it was always feigned to them that the distances 
were less, so that the voyage might not appear so long. 
Thus two reckonings were kept on this voyage, the shorter 
being feigned, and the longer being the true one. The sea 
was very smooth, so that many sailors bathed alongside. 
They saw many dorados and other fish. 

such vague information must have been very inaccurate, as they were 
on the globe of Martin Behaim, constructed in 1492.— N. 

Mr. Harrisse has translated the words sci^un parcce tenia pintadas cl 
Almirantc cicrtas is/as, " in which the Admiral seemed to have painted 
certain islands," and assumes that the Admiral had painted the islands 
himself. But I think the correct rendering of the passage is that the 
Admiral had a chart with certain islands depicted on it. (See Dis- 
covery of North America^ p. 401.) 


Wednesday^ 26th of September. 

The Admiral continued on the west course until after 
noon. Then he altered course to S.W., until he made out 
that what had been said to be land was only clouds. Day 
and night they made 31 leagues, counting 24 for the people. 
The sea was like a river, the air pleasant and very mild. 

Thursday, 27/// of September. 

Tb" course west, and distance made good during day 
and night 24 leagues, 20 being counted for the people. 
Many dorados came. One was killed. A boatswain-bird 

Friday, 28/// of September. 

The course was west, and the distance, owing to calms, 
only 14 league^j in day and night, 13 leagues being counted. 
They met with little weed ; but caught two dorados, and 
more in the other ships. 

Saturday, 29/// of September. 

The course was west, and they made 24 leagues, count- 
ing 2 1 for the people. Owing to calms, the distance made 
good during day and night was not much. They saw a 
bird called rabiforcado (man-o'-war bird), which makes the 
boobies vomit what they have swallowed, and eats it, 
maintaining itself on nothing else. It is a sea-bird, but 
does not sleep on the sea, and does not go more than 
20 leagues from the land. There are many of them at the 
Cape Verde Islands. Afterwards they saw two boobies. 
The air was very mild and agreeable, and the Admiral 
says that nothing was wanting but to hear the nightingale. 
The sea smooth as a river. Later, three boobies and a 
man -o*- war bird were seen three times. There was much 


Sunday, 30/// of September. 

The western course was steered, and during the day and 
night, owing to calms, only 14 leagues were made, 1 1 being 
counted. Four boatswain -birds came to the ship, which is 
a great sign of land, for so many birds of this kind together 
is a sign that they are not straying or lost. They also 
twice saw four boobies. There was much weed. Note that 
the stars which arc called las guardias {the Pointers), when 
night comes on, are near the western point, and when 
dawn breaks they are near the N.E. point ; .so that, during 
the whole night, they do not appear to move more than 
three lines or 9 hours, and this on each night. The 
Admiral says this, and also that at nightfall the needles 
vary a point westerly, while at dawn they agree exactly 
with the star. From this it would appear that the north 
star has a movement like the other stars, while the needles 
always point correctly. 

Monday y \st of October. 

Course west, and 25 leagues made good, counted for the 
crew as 20 leagues. There was a heavy shower of rain. 
At dawn the Admiral's pilot made the distance from 
Hierro 578^ leagues to the west. The reduced reckoning 
which the Admiral showed to the crew made it 584 leagues ; 
but the truth which the Admiral observed and kept secret 
was 707. 

Tuesday y 2nd of October. 

Course west, and during the day and night 39 leagues 
were made good, counted for the crew as 30. The sea 
always smooth. Many thanks be given to God, says the 
Admiral, that the weed is coming from east to west, con- 

' Herrera says 588. 


trary to its usual course. Many fish were seen, and one 
was killed. A white bird was also seen that appeared to 
be a gull. 

Wednesday, "^rd of October. 

They navigated on the usual course, and made good 
47 leagues, counted as 40. Sandpipers appeared, and 
much weed, some of it very old and somti quite fresh and 
having fruit. They saw no birds. The Admiral, there- 
fore, thought that they had left the islands behind them 
which were depicted on the charts. The Admiral here 
says that he did not wish to keep the ships beating about 
during the last week, and in the last few days when there 
were so many signs of land, although he had information 
of certain islands in this region. For he wished to avoid 
delay, his object being to reach the Indies. He says that 
to delay would not be wise. 

Thursday, ^th of October. 

Course west, and 61 leagues made good during the day 
and night, counted as 46. More than forty sandpipers 
came to the ship in a flock, and two boobies, and a ship's 
boy hit one with a stone. There also came a man-o'-war 
bird and a white bird like a gull. 

Friday, ^th of October. 

The Admiral steered his course, going 1 1 miles an hour, 
and during the day and night they made good 57 leagues, 
as the wind increased somewhat during the night : 45 were 
counted. The sea was smooth and quiet. " To God", he 
says, " be many thanks given, the air being pleasant and 
temperate, with no weed, many sandpipers, and flying-fish 
coming on the deck in numbers." 

Sir.NS OF LAND. 33 

Sntiiffinw C)t/t of October. 

Tlic Admiral continued his west course, and durinf]j da\' 
and nij^ht they made good 40 leagues, 33 being counted. 
This night Martin Alonso said that it would be well to 
steer south of west, and it appeared to the Admiral that 
Martin Alonso did not say this with respect to the island 
of Cipango. He saw that if an error was made the land 
would not be reached so quickly, and that consequently 
it would be better to go at once to the continent and 
afterwards to the islands. 

Sunday, "jili of Octobet: 

The west course was continued ; for two hours they went 
at the rate of 12 miles an hour, and afterwards 8 miles an 
hour. They made good 23 leagues, counting 18 for the 
people. This day, at sunrise, the caravel NiHa, which 
went ahead, being the best sailer, and pushed forward as 
much as possible to sight the land first, so as to enjoy the 
reward which the Sovereigns had promised to whoever 
should see it first, hoisted a flag at the mast-head and fired 
a gun, as a signal that she had sighted land, for such was 
the Admiral's order. He had also ordered that, at sunrise 
and sunset, all the ships should join him ; because those 
two times are most proper for seeing the greatest distance, 
the haze clearing away. No land was seen during the 
afternoon, as reported by the caravel Ntiia, and they passed 
a great number of birds flying from N. to SAV. This gave 
rise to the belief that the birds were either going to sleep 
on land, or were flying from the winter which might be 
supposed to be near in the land whence they were coming 
The Admiral was aware that most of the islands held b)- 
the Portuguese were discovered by the flight of birds. 
Vox this reason he resolved to give up the west course, and 
to shape a course W.S.W. for the two following days. He 



began the new course one hour before sunset. They made 
good, during the night, about 5 leagues, and 23 in the day, 
altogether 28 leagues. 

Monday, ^th of October. 

The course was VV.S.W., and 11^ or 12 leagues were 
made good in the day and night ; and at times it appears 
that they went at the rate of 1 5 miles an hour during the 
night (if the handwriting is not deceptive).^ The sea was 
like the river at Seville. " Thanks be to God", says the 
Admiral, " the air is very soft like the April at Seville ; 
and it is a pleasure to be here, so balmy are the breezes." 
The weed seemed to be very fresh. There were many 
land-birds, and they took one that was flying to the S.W. 
Terns, ducks, and a booby were also seen. 

Ttu.'iday, gih of October. 

The course was S.W., and dicy made 5 leagues. The 
wind then changed, and the Admiral steered W. by N. 
4 leagues. Altogether, in day and night, they made 
1 1 leagues by day and 2o| leagues by night ; counted as 
17 leagues altogether. Throughout the nighi birds were 
heard passing. 

Wednesday, \otJi of October. 

The course was VV.S.W., and they went at the rate of 
10 miles an hour, occasionally 12 miles, and sometimes 7. 
During the day and ni^ht they made 59 leagues, counted 
as no more than 44. Here the people could endure no 
longer. They complained of the length of the voyage. 
But the Admiral cheered them up in the best way he could, 
giving them good hopes of the advantages they might 
gain from it. He added that, however much they might 

' The parenthesis is by Las Casas. These miles were four to a 
league (see note 2, p. 18); so that fifteen miles would not really be 
quite ten geographical miles an hour. 

LAND Sir.HTED. 35 

complain, he had to go to the Indies, and that he would 
go on until he found them, with the help of our Lord. 

Thursday, i \t/i of October. 

The course was W.S.VV., and there was more sea than 
there had been during the whole of the voyage. They saw 
sandpipers, and a green reed near the ship. Those of the 
caravel Piuta saw a cane and a pole, and they took up 
another small pole which appeared to have been worked 
with iron ; also another bit of cane, a land-plant, and a 
small board. The crew of the caravel Niua also saw signs 
of land, and a small branch covered with berries. Every- 
one breathed afresh and rejoiced at these signs. The run 
until sunset was 26 leagues. 

After sunset the Admiral returned to his original west 
course, and they went along at the rate of 12 miles an 
hour. Up to two hours after midnight they had gone 
90 miles, equal to 22 i leagues. As the caravel Pinta was 
a better sailer, and went ahead of the Admiral, she found 
the land, and made the signals ordered by the Admiral. 
The land was first seen by a sailor named Rodrigo de 
Triana.^ But the Admiral, at ten in the previous night, 
being on the castle of the poop, saw a light, though it was 
so uncertain that he could not affirm it was land. He 
called Pero Gutierrez, a gentleman of the Kings bed- 
chamber, and said that there seemed to be a light, and 
that he should look at it. He did so, and saw it.'- The 

^ It was full moon on October 5th. On the night of the nth the 
moon rose at 1 1 p.m., and at 2 a.m. on the morning of the 12th it was 
39° above the horizon. It would be shining brightly on the sandy 
shores of an island some miles ahead, being in its third quarter, and a 
little behind Rodrigo de Triana, when he sighted land at 2 a.m. 

^ Oviedo says that, after the Admiral and Gutierrez saw the light, a 
sailor from Lepe called out from the forecastle that there was a light. 
He was told by Salcedo, the Admiral's servant, that it had already 
been seen. Oviedo adds that this man from Lepe was so disgusted 

I) 2 


Admiral said the same to Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, 
whom the King and Queen had sent with the fleet as 
inspector, but he could see nothing, because he was not in a 
place whence anything could be seen. After the Admiral 
had spoken he saw the light once or twice, and it was like 
a wax candle rising and falling. It seemed to few to be 
an indication of land ; but the Admiral made certain that 
'ind was close. When they said the Salve, which all the 
sailors were accustomed to sing in their way, the Admiral 
asked and admonished the men to keep a good look-out on 
the forecastle, and to watch well for land ; and to him 
who should first cry out that he saw land, he would give a 
silk doublet, besides the other rewards promised by the 
Sovereigns, which were 10,000 maravedis to him who 
should first see it.* At two hours after midnight the land 
was sighted at a distance of two leagues. They shortened 
sail, and lay by under the mainsail without the bonnets. 
The vessels were hove to, waiting for daylight ; and on 
Friday they arrived at a small island of the Lucayos, called, 
in the language of the Indians, Giianahanir Presently 

at not getting the reward, that he went to Africa and became a 
renegade. {07'iedo^ Lib. II, cap. v.) 

Oviedo derived his information from the gossip of \'icente Vaiiez 
Pinzon and Hernan Perez Matheos. The latter is not in any of the 
lists of those who served in the expedition. Oviedo knew him as a 
pilot at St. Domingo, and he certainly alleged that he was with the 
Admiral in his first voyage. 

Fernando Columbus, in the Vita del Ainminii^lio, described the 
light as like a candle that went up and down, as if people on shore 
wtre passing with it from one house to another (cap. xxi\ See also 
Herrera {Dec. /, Lib. I, cap. xii). 

' The pension of 10,000 maravedis was secured on the dues derived 
from the shambles at Seville. The Sovereigns awarded it to the 
Admiral, because the light seen first by him was believed to have been 
on land. {Herrera.) 

2 Watling Island, S.E. point in Lat. 23" 55' S., Long. 74° 28' W. It 
was named San Salvador by Columbus (See Letter to Santangel., 
Major's translation, p. 2.) 


they saw naked people. The Admiral went on shore in 
the armed boat, and Martin Alonso Pinzon, and Vicente 
Yaftez, his brother, who was captain of the Xiiia. The 
Admiral took the royal standard, and the captains went with 
two banners of the green cross, which the Admiral took in 
all the ships as a sign, with an F and a Y* and a crown over 
each letter, one on one side of the cross and the other on 
the other. Having landed, they saw trees very green, and 
much water, and fruits of diverse kinds. The Admiral 
called to the two captains, and to the others who leajx^d 
on shore, and to Rodrigo Kscovcdo, secretary of the whole 
fleet, and to Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia,- and said that 
they should bear faithful testimony that he, in presence of 
all, had taken, as he now took, possession of the said island 
for the King and for the Queen, his Lords making the 
declarations that are required, as is more largely set forth 
in the testimonies which were then made in writing. 

Presently many inhabitants of the island assembled. 
What follows is in the actual words of the Admiral in his 
book of the first navigation and discovery of the Indies. 
"I," he says, " that we might form great friendship, for I 
knew that they were a people who could be more easily 
freed and converted to our holy faith by love than by 
force, gave to some of them red caps, and glass beads to 
put round their necks, and many other things of little 
value, which gave them great pleasure, and made them so 
much our friends that it was a marvel to see. They after- 
wards came to the ship's boats where we were, swimming 
and bringing us parrots, cotton threads in skeins, darts, 
and many other things ; and wc exchanged them for 
other things that wc gave them, such as glass beads and 
small bells. In fine, they took all, and gave what they had 
with good will. It appeared to me to be a race of people 

' Fernando and Ysabel. - I'hc royal inioecior. 


very poor in everything. They ^o as naked as when their 
mothers bore them, and so do the women, althouj^h I did 
not see more than one young jjirl. All I saw were youths, 
none more than thirty years of age. They are very well 
m;ide, with very handsome bodies, and very good coun- 
tenances. Their hair is short and coarse, almost like the 
hairs of a horse's tail. 'I'hey wear the hairs brought down 
to the eyebrows, except a few locks behind, which they 
wear long and never cut. They paint themselves black, 
and they arc the colour of the Canarians, neither black 
nor white. Some paint themselves white, others red, and 
others of what colour they find. Some paint their face.s, 
others the whole body, some only round the eyes, others 
only on the nose. They neither carry nor know anything 
of arms, for I showetl them swords, and they took them by 
the blade and cut themselves through ignorance. They 
have no iron, their darts being wands without iron, some 
of them having a's tooth at the end, and others being 
pointed in various ways. They are all of fair stature and 
si/e, with good laces, and well made. I saw some with 
marks of wounds on their bodies, and I made signs to ask 
what it was, and they gave me to understand that people 
from other adjacent islands came with the intention of 
seizing them, and that they defended themselves. I be- 
lieved, and still believe, that they come here from the main- 
land to take them prisoners. They should be good ser- 
vants and intelligent, for I observed that they quickly took 
in what was said to them, and I believe that they would 
easily be made Christians, as it appeared to me that they 
had no religion. 1, our Lord being pleased, will take 
hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for your 
Highnesses, that they may learn to speak. I saw no beast 
of any kind except parrots, on this island." The above is 
in the words of the iXdmiral. 


Sntiitufay, l^t/i of October. 

" As soon as (hiwn broke many of these [)e()ple came to 
the beach, al! youths, as I ha/e said, and all of j^ood 
stature, a very handsome people. Their hair is not curly, 
but loose and coarse, like horse hair. In all the forehead 
is broad, more so than in any other peciple I have hitherto 
seen. Their eyes are very beautiful and not small, and 
themselves far from black, but the colour of the Canarians. 
Nor should anything; else be expected, as this island is in 
a line east and west from the island of Hierro in the 
Canaries. Their le^s arc very straij^ht, all in one line,' and 
no belly, but ver)' well formed. They came to the ship in 
small canoes, made out of the trunk of a tree like a lon^ 
boat, and all of one piece, and wonderfully worked, consider- 
ing the country. They are large, some of them holding 40 
to 45 men, others smaller, and some only large enough to 
hold one man. They are propelled with a paddle like a 
baker's shovel, and go at a marvellous rate. If the canoe 
capsizes they all promptly begin to swim, and to bale it 
out with calabashes that they take with them. They 
brought skeins of cotton thread, parrots, darts, and other 
small things which it would be tedious to recount, and they 
give all in exchange for anything that may be given to 
them. I was attentive, and took trouble to ascertain if 
there was gold. I saw that some of them had a small 
piece fastened in a hole they have in the nose, and by signs 
I was able to make out that to the .south, or going from 
the island to the south, there was a king who had great 
cups full, and who possessed a great quantity. I tried to 
get them to go there, but afterwards I saw that they had 
no inclination. I resolved to wait until to-morrow in the 
afternoon and then to depart, shaping a course to the S.VV., 

• " Todos a una inaiu). 


fiir, according,' to what many of them told inc, there was 
land t(» the S., to the S.W., and N.VV., and that the natives 
fruin the \,\\'. often came to attack them, and went on to 
the S.W. in search of ^'old and precious stones. 

" This ishmd is rather lar^^e and very flat, with bri^dit 
j^reen trees, much water, and a very larj^e lake in the 
centre, without any mountain, and the whole land so green 
that it is a pleasure to look on it. The people are very 
docile, and for the longing to possess our things, and not 
having anything to give in return, they take what they can 
get, and jiresently swim away. Still, they give away all 
they have got, for whatever may be given to thcin, down 
to broken bits of crockery and glass. I saw one give 1 6 
skeins of cotton for three ceotis^ of Portugal, equal to (Jiic 
hlanca of Spain, the skeins being as much as an arroha of 
cot' on thread. I .shall keep it, and shall allow no one to 
take it, preserving it all for your, for it may be 
obtained in abundance. It is grown in this island, though 
the short time did n(jt admit of my ascertaining this for 
a certainty. Here is found the gold they w ear fastened in 
their n»)se.s. Ikit, in order not to lose time, I intend to go 
and see if I can ^.\\i\ the island of Cipango.- Now, as it is 
night, all the natives have gone on shore with their canoes." 

Sunday, 1 4/// of October. 
" .At dawn I ordered the ship's boat and the boats of the 
caravels to be got ready, and I went along the coast of the 

• For centi, a coin current at Ccuta, then belonging to Portugal. 
— N. 

- Toscanelli said, in his letter, that Cipango was an island 225 
leagues from Antilla, and that it so abounded in gems and gold that 
the temples and palaces were covered with golden plates. Marco 
I'olo describes it HJook III, trap, ii), and also says that the quantity of 
goltl is endless, that the palace is roofed with gold, and that pearls are 
abundant. C/iipaiijiu is deri\ed from Zhi-pan, the Chinese form of 
Japan. ( l'«/t', ii, p. ^3i>.) 


island to the N.N.K., to sec the other side, which was on 
the other side to the east, and also to see the villages. 
Presently I saw two or three, and the people all came to 
the shore, calling out and ^''vin^ thanks to (iod. Some of 
them brouj^ht us water, others came with food, and when 
they saw that I did not want to land, they got into the 
sea, and came swimminj^ to us. We understood that they 
asked us if we had come from heaven. One old man 
came into the boat, and others cried out, in loud voices, to 
all the men and women, to come and see the men who 
had come from heaven, and to bring them to eat and 
drink. Many came, including women, each bringing some- 
thing, giving thanks to God, throwing themselves on the 
ground and shouting to us to come on shore. IJut I was 
afraid to land, .seeing an extensive reef of rocks which 
surrounded the island, with deep water between it and the 
.shore fonning a \n)it large enough for as many ships as 
there are in Christendom, but with a very narrow entrance. 
It is true that within this reef there are some sunken 
rocks, but the sea has no more motion than the water in 
a well. In order to .see all this I went this morning, that 
I might be able to give a full account to your, 
and where a fortress might be established. I .saw 
a piece of land which appeared like an island, although it 
is not one, and on it there were six houses. It might be 
converted into an island in two days, though I do not see 
that it would be neces.sary, for these people are very simple 
as regards the of arms, as your will .sec from 
the seven that I cau.sed to be taken, to bring home and 
learn our language and return; unless your 
should order them all to be brought to Castille, or to be 
kept as captives on the .same island ; for with fifty men 
they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required 
of them. Close to the above [)cninsula there are gardens 
of the most beautiful trees I ever saw, and with leaves as 


green as those of Castille in the month of April and May, 
and much water. I examined all that port, and after- 
wards I returned to the ship and made sail. I saw so 
many islands^ that I hardly knew how to determine to 
which I should go first. Those natives I had with me 
said, by signs, that there were so many that they could not 
be numbered, and they gave the names of more than 
a hundred. At last I looked out for the largest, and 
resolved to shape a course for it, and so I did. It will be 
distant five leagues from this of San Salvador, and the 
others some more, some less. All are very flat, and all are 
inhabited. The natives make war on each other, although 
these are very simple-minded and handsomely-formed 

Monday, I '^t/i of October. 

" I had laid by during the night, with the fear of reach- 
ing the land to anchor before daylight, not knowing whether 
the coast was clear of rocks, and at dawn I made sail. As 
the island was more than 5 leagues distant and nearer 7, 
and the tide checked my way, it was noon when we 
arrived at the said island. I found that side facing towards 
the island ot San Salvador trended north and south with 
a length of 5 leagues,- and the other which I followed ran 
east and west for more than 10 leagues.'- As from this 
island I saw another larger one to the west, I clued up the 
sails, after having run all that day until night, otherwise 
I could not have reached the western cape. I gave the 
name of Santa Maria dc la Concepcion^ to the island, and 
almost as the sun set I anchored near the said cape 
to ascertain if it contained gold. For the people I had 

' Deceptive appearance of clouds on the horizon. 
■^ A misprint for miles. This is a mistake which the transcriber has 
made in several other places. 

^ Island of Rum Cay. See Letter to Santanjiel, p. 2. 


taken from the island of San Salvador told me that 
here they wore very large rings of gold on their arms and 
legs. I really believed that all they said was nonsense, 
invented that they might escape. My desire was not to 
pass any island without taking possession, so that, one 
having been taken, the same may be said of all. I anchored, 
and remained until to-day, Tuesday, when I went to the 
shore with the boats armed, and landed. The people, who 
were numerous, went naked, and were like those of the 
other island of San Salvador. They let us go over the 
island, and gave us what we required. As the wind 
changed to the S.E., I did not like to stay, and returned to 
the ship. A large canoe was alongside the Nifla, and one 
of the men of the island of San Salvador, who was on 
board, jumped into the sea and got into the canoe. In 
the middle of the night before, another swam away behind 
the canoe, which fled,^ for there never was boat that could 
have overtaken her, seeing that in speed they have a great 
advantage. So they reached the land and left the canoe. 
Some of my people went on shore in chase of them, but 
they all fled like fowls, and the canoe they had left was 
brought alongside the caravel Nv7a, whither, from another 
direction, another small canoe came, with a man who 
wished to barter with skeins of cotton. Some sailors 
jumped into the sea, because he would not come on board 
the caravel, and seized him. I was on the poop of my 
ship, and saw everything. So I sent for the man, gave 
him a red cap, some small beads of green glass, which 
I put on his arms, and small bells, which I put in his ears, 
and ordered his canoe, which was also on board, to be 
returned to h; , I sent him on shore, and presently 
made sail to go to the other large island which was in 
sight to the westward. I also ordered the other large 

' This is a doubtful sentence, with a word omitted. 


canoe, which the caravel AV;?rt was towing astern, to be 
cast adrift ; and I soon saw that it reached the land at the 
same time as the man to whom I had given the above 
things. I had not wished to take the skein of cotton that 
he offered me. All the others came round him and seemed 
astonished, for it appeared clear to them that we were 
good people. The other man who had fled might do us 
.some harm, because we had carried him off, and for that 
rea.son I ordered this man to be set free and gave him the 
above things, that he might think well of us, otherwise, 
when your Highnesses again send an expedition, they 
might not be friendly. All the presents I gave were not 
worth four maravedis. At lo we departed with the wind 
S.W., and made for the south, to reach that other island, 
which is very large, and respecting which all the men that 
I bring from San Salvador make signs that there is much 
gold, and that they wear it as bracelets on the arms, on 
the legs, in the ears and nose, and round the neck. The 
distance of this island from that of Santa Maria is 9 leagues 
on a course east to west. All this part of the island trends 
N.W. and S.E., and it appeared that this coast must have 
a length of 28 leagues. It is very flat, without any moun- 
tain, like San Salvador and Santa Maria, all being beach 
without rocks, except that there are some sunken rocks 
near the land, whence it is necessary to keep a good look- 
out when it is desired to anchor, and not to come to very 
near the land ; but the water is always very clear, and the 
bottom is visible. At a distance of two shots of a lombard, 
there is, off all these islands, such a depth that the bottom 
cannot be reached. These islands arc vcrj' green and 
fertile, the climate very mild. They may contain many 
things of which I have no knowledge, for I do not wish to 
stop, in di.scovering and visiting many islands, to find gold. 
These people make signs that it is worn on the arms and 
legs ; and it must be gold, for they point to some pieces 


that I have. I cannot err, with the help of our Lord, in 
finding out where this gold has its origin. Being in the 
middle of the channel between these two island's, that is to 
sa>-. that of Sinta Maria and this large one, to which 
I give the name of Fernandiua} I came upon a man alone 
in a canoe going from Santa Maria to Fernandina. He 
had a little of their bread, about the size of a fist, a calabash 
of water, a piece of brown earth powdered and then kneaded, 
and some dried leaves, which must be a thing highly valued 
bv them, for the\' bartered with it at San Salvador. He 
also had with him a native basket with a string of glass 
beads, and two hlancas- by which I knew that he had come 
from the island of San Salvador, and had been to Santa 
Maria, a id thence to Fernandina. He came alongside the 
ship, and I made him come on board as he desired, also 
crettine the canoe inboard, and taking care of all his 
property. 1 ordered him to be given to eat bread and 
treacle, and also to drink : and so I shall take him on to 
Fernandina, where I shall return everything to him, in 
order that he may give a good account of us, that, our 
Lord pleasing, when your Highnesses shall send here, 
those who come may receive honor, and that the natives 
may give them all they require." 

Tuesday, \6th of October. 
" I sailed from the island of Santa Maria de la Conccp- 
cion at about noon, to go to Fernandina island, which ap- 
peared ver\' large to the westward, and I navigated all that 
dav with light winds. I could not arrive in time to be 
able to see the bottom, so as to drop the anchor on a clear 
place, for it is necessary to be very careful not to lose the 
anchors. So I stood off and on all that night until day. 

» Long Island. See Letter to Satttangel, p. 2. 
- A small piece of money. Set p. 40. 


when I came to an inhabited place where I anchored, and 
whence that man had come that I found yesterday in the 
canoe in mid channel. He had given such a good report 
of us that there was no want of canoes alongside the 
ship all that night, which brought us water and what they 
had to offer. I ordered each one to be given something, 
such as a few beads, ten or twelve of those made of glass 
on a thread, some timbrels made of brass such as are worth 
a maravedi in Spain, and some straps, all which they 
looked upon as most excellent. I also ordered them to 
be given treacle to eat when they came on board. At 
three o'clock I sent the ship's boat on shore for water, and 
the natives with good will showed my people where the 
water was, and they themselves brought the full casks 
down to the boat, and did all they could to please us. 

"This island is very large, and I have determined to 
.sail round it, because, so far as I can understand, there * a 
mine in or near it. The island is eight leagues from Santa 
Maria, nearly east and west ; and this point I had reached, 
as well as all the coast, trends N.N.W. and S.S.E. I saw 
at least 20 leagues of it, and then it had not ended. Now, 
as I am writing this, I made sail with the wind at the 
.south, to .sail round the island, and to navigate until I find 
Samaoty which is the island or city where there is gold, as 
all the natives say who are on board, and as those of San 
Salvador and Santa Maria told us. These people resemble 
those of the said islands, with the same language and 
customs, except that these appear to me a rather more 
domestic and tractable people, yet also more subtle. For 
I observed that those who brought cotton and other trifles 
to the ship, knew better than the others how to make a 
bargain.^ In this island I saw cotton cloths made like 

• " Refetar el pagamento." Las Casas has : ' Regatear sobre los 
prerios y paga (i, 307I 


mantles. The people were better disposed, and the women 
wore in front of their bodies a small piece of cotton which 
scarcely covered them. 

" It is a very green island, level and very fertile, and I 
have no doubt that they sow and gather corn all the year 
round, as well as other things. I saw many trees very 
unlike those of our country. Many of them have their 
branches growing in different ways and all from one trunk, 
and one twig is one form, and another in a different shape, 
and so unlike that it is the greatest wonder in the world 
to see the great diversity ; thus one branch has leaves like 
those of a cane, and others like those of a mastick tree : 
and on a single tree there are five or six different kinds. 
Nor are these grafted, for it may be said that grafting is 
unknown, the trees being wild, and untended by these 
people. They do not know any religion, and I believe 
they could easily be converted to Christianity, for they 
are very intelligent. Here the fish are so unlike ours that 
it is wonderful. Some are the shape of dories,^ and of the 
finest colours in the world, blue, yellow, red, and other 
tints, all painted in various ways, and the colours are so 
bright that there is not a man who would not be astonished, 
and would not take great delight in seeing them. There 
are also whales. 1 saw no beasts on the land of any kind, 
except parrots and lizards A boy told me that he saw a 
large serpent. I saw neither sheep, nor goats, nor any 
other quadruped. It is true I have been here a short 
time, since noon, yet I could not have failed to .see some 
if there had been any. I will write respecting the circuit 
of this island after I have been round it." 



WednesdaVy \yth of October. 

" At noon I departed from the village off which I was 
anchored, and where I took in water, to sail round this 
island of Fcrnandina. The wind was S.VV. and South. 
My wish was to follow the coast of this island to the S.E., 
from where I was, the whole coast trending N.N.W. and 
S.S.P^.; because all the Indians I bring with me, and 
others, made signs to this southern quarter, as the direction 
of the island they call Samoet, where the gold is. Martin 
Alonso Pinzon, captain of the caravel Pinta, on board of 
which I had three of the Indians, came to me and said that 
one of them had given him to understand very positively 
that the island might be sailed round much quicker by 
shaping a N.N.W. course. I saw that the wind would not 
help me to take the course I desired, and that it was fair 
for the other, so I made sail to the N.N.W. When I was 
two leagues from the cape of the island, I discovered a very 
wonderful harbour.^ It has one mouth, or, rather, it maj- 
be said to have two, for there is an islet in the middle. 
Both are very narrow, and within it is wide enough for a 
hundred ships, if there was depth and a clean bottom, and 
the entrance was deep enough. It seemed desirable to 
explore it and take soundings, so I anchored outside, and 
went in with all the ship's boats, when we saw there was 
insufficient depth. As I thought, when I first saw it, that 
it was the mouth of some river, I ordered the water-casks 
to be brought. On shore I found eight or ten men, who 
presently came to us and showed us the village, whither I 
sent the people for water, some with arms, and others with 
the casks : and, as it was some little distance, I waited two 
hours for them. 

' I'ort Cl.irence, in Long Ishincl. 


" During that time I walked amon<4" the trees, which was 
the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, beholding as 
much verdure as in the month of May in Andalusia. The 
trees arc as unlike ours as night from day, as are the fruits, 
the herbs, the stones, and everything. It is true that some 
of the trees bore some resemblance to those in Castille, 
but most of them are very different, and some were so 
unlike that no one could compare them to anything in 
Castille. The people were all like those already mentioned : 
like them naked, and the same size. They give what they 
possess in exchange for anything that may be given to 
them. I here sav/ some of the ship's boys bartering 
broken bits of glass and crockery for darts. The men 
who went for water told me that they had been in the 
houses of the natives, and that they were very plain and 
clean inside. Their beds and bags for holding things^ 
were like nets of cotton.- The houses are like booths, and 

^ " Paramentos de cosas." Las Casas has : " Paramentos de casa" 

(i, 310). 

- Hammocks. In Espaiiola they were called Haniacas. Las Casas 
describes them as " made in loops, not woven like nets, the threads 
crossed, but the threads loose in their lengths, so that the fingers and 
hands can be put between them, and ixom pa/ mo \.o palino (8.3 in.), a 
little more or less, then fastened to other twisted threads, like the very 
well-worked nets which are made at Seville of esparto grass, for har- 
ness. These haniacas are the length of a man, and at the ends the 
same threads are formed into numerous loops. Into each loop they 
pass very fine cords of another material, stronger than cotton, such as 
rushes, and these are each a brazo (6 ft.) long, and the ends are all 
united in a knot at each end ; the haniaca being hung by these knots 
to the posts of the houses. Thus \\\chainaca remains slung in the air. 
The best are 3 or 4 yards in width, and they open them when they get 
in, as we open a sling that is very large. They lie across it, and are 
thus on the hamaca, with which they cover themsehcs, and as it is 
never in the least cold, this suffices" (i, p. 310). Herrera says that 
their beds consisted of a net fastened from one post to another which 
they call Amacas. {Dec. /, Lib. I, cap. xiii.) 



very high, with good chimneys.^ But, among many vil- 
lages that I saw, there was none that consisted of more 
than from twelve to fifteen houses. Here they found that 
the married women wore clouts of cotton, but not the 
young girls, except a few who were over eighteen years of 
age. They had dogs,- mastiffs and hounds^; and here 
they found a man who had a piece of gold in his nose, the 
size of half a castellano, on which they saw letters. I 
quarrelled with these people because they would not 
exchange or give what was required ; as I wished to see 
what and whose this money was ; and they replied that 
they were not accustomed to barter. 

" After the water was taken I returned to the ship, made 
sail, and shaped a course N.W., until I had discovered all 
the part of the coast of the island which trends east to 
west. Then all the Indians turned round and said that 
this island was smaller than Samoet, and that it would be 
well to return back so as to reach it sooner. The wind 
presently went down, and then sprang up from W.N.W., 
which was contrary for us to continue on the previous 
course. So I turned back, and navigated all that night 
to E.S.E., sometimes to east and to S.E. This course was 
steered to keep me clear of the land, for there were very 
heavy clouds and thick weather, which did not admit of 
my approaching the land to anchor. On that night it 
rained very heavily from midnight until nearly dawn, and 
even afterwards the clouds threatened rain. We found 
ourselves at the S.W. end of the island, where I hoped to 

^ These were ornamental points with which the roofs terminated. 
{Las Casns.) 

2 Columbus did not see these dogs, but only heard of them from his 
men. Las Casas tells us that they were a kind of dog that never 
barks (i, p. 31 1). Herrera says : " Vieronse tambien algunos pernios 
mudos pequeiios." 

^ liraclietes, in English brack. {King Lear^ Act I, Sc. 4.) 


anchor until it cleared up, so as to see the other island 
whither I have to go. On all these days, since I arrived in 
these Indies, it has rained more or less. Your Highnesses 
may believe that this land is the best and most fertile, and 
with a good climate, level, and as good as there is in the 

Thursday, i Wi of October. 

" After it had cleared up I went before the wind, 
approaching the island as near as I could, and anchored 
when it was no longer light enough to keep under sail. 
But I did not go on shore, and made sail at dawn " 

Friday, igth of October. 

" I weighed the anchors at daylight, sending the caravel 
Pi'nta on an E.S.E. course, the caravel N't/la S.S.E., while I 
shaped a S.E. course, giving orders that these courses were 
to be steered until noon, and that then the two caravels 
should alter course so as to join company with me. Before 
we had sailed for three hours we saw an island to the east, 
for which we steered, and all three vessels arrived at the 
north point before noon. Here there is an islet,^ and a reef 
of rocks to seaward of it, besides one between the islet and 
the large island. The men of San Salvador, whom I bring 
with me, called it Saomete,a.nd I gave it the name oi Isabella? 
The wind was north, and the said islet bore from the island 
of Fernandina, whence I had taken my departure, east 
and west. Afterwards we ran along the coast of the island, 
westward from the islet, and found its length to be 
12 leagues as far as a cape, which I named Cabo Hervioso, 
at the western end. The island is beautiful, and the coast 
very deep, without sunken rocks off it. Outside the shore 

» Bird Rock. 

2 Crooked Island. See Letter to Santafti^^el, p. 2. 

E 2 


is rocky, but further in there is a sandy beach, and here I 
anchored on that Friday night until morning. This coast 
and the part of the island I saw is almost flat, and the 
island is very beautiful ; for if the other islands are lovely, 
this is more so. It has many very green trees, which are 
very large. The land is higher than in the other islands, 
and in it there are some hills, which cannot be called 
mountains ; and it appears that there is much water 
inland. From this point to the N.E. the coast makes a 
great angle, and there are many thick and extensive groves. 
I wanted to go and anchor there, so as to go on shore and 
see so much beauty ; but the water was shallow, and we 
could only anchor at a distance from the land. The wind 
also was fair for going to this cape, where I am now 
anchored, to which I gave the name of Cabo Hermoso, 
because it is so. Thus it was that I do not anchor in that 
angle, but as I saw this cape so green and so beautiful, 
like all the other lands of these islands, I scarcely knew 
which to visit first ; for I can never tire my eyes in looking 
at such lovely vegetation, so different from ours. I believe 
that there are many herbs and many trees that are worth 
much in Europe for dyes and for medicines ; but I do not 
know, and this causes me great sorrow. Arriving at this 
cape, I found the smell of the trees and flowers so delicious 
that it seemed the pleasantest thing in the world. 
To-morrow, before I leave this place, I shall go on shore 
to see what there is at this cape. There are no people, 
but there are villages in the interior, where, the Indians I 
bring with me say, there is a king who has much gold. 
To-morrow I intend to go so far inland as to find the 
village, and see and have some speech with this king, who, 
according to the signs they make, rules over all the neigh- 
bouring islands, goes about clothed, and wears much gold 
on his person. I do not give much faith to what they say, 
as well because I do not understand them as because they 


are so poor in gold that even a little that this king may 
have would appear much to them. This cape, to which I 
have given the name of Cabo Fermoso, is, I believe, on an 
island separated from Saomcto, and there is another small 
islet between them. I did not try to examine them in 
detail, because it could not be done in 50 years. For my 
desire is to see and discover as much as I can before 
returning to your Highnesses, our Lord willing, in April. 
It is true that in the event of finding places where there is 
gold or spices in quantity I should stop until I had collected 
as much as I could. I, therefore, proceed in the hope of 
coming across such places." 

Saturday, 20th of October. 

*' To-day, at sunrise, I weighed the anchors from where 
I was with the ship, and anchored off the S.W. point of 
the island of Saometo, to which I gave the name of Cabo 
de la Laguna, and to the island Isabella. My intention 
was to navigate to the north-east and east from the south- 
cast and south, where, I understood from the Indians I 
brought with me, was the village of the king. I found 
the sea so shallow that I could not enter nor navigate in 
it, and I saw that to follow a route by the south-cast would 
be a great round. So I determined to return by the 
route that I had taken from the N.N.E. to the western 
part, and to sail round this island to ^ 

" I had so little wind that I never could sail along the 
coast, except during the night. As it was dangerous to 
anchor off these islands except in the day, when one can 
see where to let go the anchor : for the bottom is all in 
patches, some clear and some rocky : I lay to all this 
Sunday night. The caravels anchored because they found 

' Word missing in the manuscript. Navarette suggests " recono- 
cerla".- N. 


themselves near the shore, and they thoufjht that, owiiij; to 
the si[;nals that they were in the habit of making, I would 
come to anchor, but I did not wish to do so." 

Sunday f 21 st of October. 

'• At ten o'clock I arrived here, off this islet,' and anchored, 
as well as the caravels. After breakfast I went on shore, 
and found only one house, in which there was no one, and 
I supposed they had fled from fear, because all their pro- 
perty was left in the house. I would not allow anything 
to be touched, but set out with the captains and people 
to explore the island. If the others already seen arc very 
beautiful, green, and fertile, this is much more so, with 
large trees and very green. Here there are large lagoons 
with wonderful vegetation on their banks. Throughout the 
island all is green, and the herbage like April in Andalusia. 
The songs of the birds were so pleasant that it seemed as 
if a man could never wish to leave the place. The flocks 
of parrots concealed the sun ; and the birds were so 
numerous, and of so many different kinds, that it was 
wonderful. There are trees of a thousand sorts, and all 
have their several fruits ; and I feel the most unhappy 
man in the world not to know them, for I am well assured 
that they are all valuable. I bring home specimens of 
them, and also of the land. Thus walking along round 
one of the lakes I saw a serpent,- which we killed, and I 
bring home the skin for your Highnesses. As soon as it 
saw us it went into tiie lagoon, and we followed, as the 
water was not very deep, until we killed it with lances. It 
is y palinos long, and I believe that there are many like it 
in these lagoons. Here I came upon some aloes, and I 
have determined to take ten quintals on board to-morrow, 

' IJird Rock, where he was on the 19th. ^ 1 'uana. 


for they tell me that they are worth a good deal. Also, 
while in search of good water, we came to a village about 
half a league from our anchorage. The people, as soon 
as they heard us, all fled and left their houses, hiding 
their property in the wood. I would not allow a thing to 
be touched, even the value of a pin. Presently some men 
among them came to us, and one came quite close. I gave 
him some bells and glass beads, which made him very 
content and happy. That our friendship might be further 
increased, I resolved to ask him for something ; I requested 
him to get some water. After I had gone on board, the 
natives came to the beach with calabashes full of water, 
and they delighted much in giving it to us. I ordered 
another string of glass beads to be presented to them, and 
they said they would come again to-morrow. I wished to 
fill up all the ships with water at this place, and, if there 
should be time, I intended to search the island until I had 
had speech with the king, and seen whether he had the 
gold of which I had heard. I shall then shape a course for 
another much larger island, which I believe to be Cipango, 
judging from the signs made by the Indians I bring with 
me. They call it Cuba, and they say that there are ships 
and many skilful sailors there. Beyond this island there 
is another called Bosio^ which they also say is very large, 
and others we shall see as we pass, lying between. Accord- 
ing as I obtain tidings of gold or spices I shall settle what 
should be done. I am still resolved to go to the main- 
land and the city of Guisay,- and to deliver the letters of 
your Highnesses to the Gran Can, requesting a reply and 
returning with it." 

1 Bohio.— N. 

"^ A flourishing port of China, mentioned in the letter of Toscanelli, 
and more fully described by Marco Polo, who calls it Kinsay (see 
p. 8). 


Monday, 22nd of October. 

" All last night and to-day I was here, waiting to see if 
the king or other person would bring gold or anything 
of value. Many of these people came, like those of the 
other islands, equally naked, and equally painted, some 
white, some red, some black, and others in many ways. 
They brought darts and skeins of cotton to barter, which 
they exchanged with the sailors for bits of glass, broken 
crockery, and pieces of earthenware. Some of them had 
pieces of gold fastened in their noses, which they willingly 
gave for a hawk's bell and glass beads. But there was so 
little that it counts for nothing. It is true that they looked 
upon any little thing that I gave them as a wonder, and 
they held our arrival to be a great marvel, believing that 
we came from heaven. We got water for the ships from a 
lagoon which is near the Calw del Isleo (Cape of the islet), 
as we named it. In the said lagoon Martin Alonso Pinzon, 
captain of the Pinta, killed another serpent 7 palinos long, 
like the one we got yesterday. I made them gather here 
as nmch of the aloe as they could find." 

Tuesday, 2'}^rd of October. 

" I desired to set out to-day for the island uf Cuba, which 
I think must be Cipango, according to the signs these 
people make, indicative of its size and riches, and I did 

not delay any more here nor ^ round this island to 

the residence of this King or Lord, and have speech with 
him, as I had intended. This would cause me much delay, 
and I sec that there is no gold mine here. To sail round 
would need several winds, for it docs not blow here as 
men may wish. It is better to go where there is great 
entertainment, so I say that it is not reasonable to wait, 

^ Gap in the MS. 


but rather to continue the voyage and inspect much land, 
until some very profitable country is reached, my belief 
being that it will be rich in spices. That I have no per- 
sonal knowledge of these products causes me the greatest 
sorrow in the world, for I see a thousand kinds of trees, 
each one with its own special fruit, all green now as in 
Spain during the months of May and June, as well as a 
thousand kinds of herbs with their flowers ; yet I know 
none of them except this aloe, of which I ordered a quan- 
tity to be brought on board to bring to your Highnesses. 
I have not made sail for Cuba because there is no wind, 
but a dead calm with much rain. It rained a great deal 
yesterday without causing any cold. On the contrary, the 
days are hot and the nights cool, like May in Andalusia." 

Wednesday, 2^tk of October. 

" At midnight I weighed the anchors and left the 
anchorage at Cabo del Isleo, in the island of Isabella. 
From the northern side, where I was, I intended to go to 
the island of Cuba, where I heard of the people who were 
very great, and had gold, spices, merchandise, and large 
ships. They showed me that the course thither would be 
VV.S.W., and so I hold. For I believe that it is so, as all 
the Indians of these islands, as well as those I brought 
with me in the ships, told me by signs. I cannot under- 
stand their language, but I believe that it is of the island 
of Cipango that they recount these wonders. On the 
spheres^ I saw, and on the delineations of the map of the 
world,- Cipango is in this region. So I shaped a course 
VV.S.W. until daylight, but at dawn it fell calm and began 
to rain, and went on nearly all night. I remained thus, 
with little wind, until the afternoon, when it began to blow 

' The globe of Martin Bchaim, made in 1492. 
* The map of Toscanelli. 


fresh. I set all the sails in the ship, the mainsail with 
two bonnets,^ the foresail, spritsail, mizen, main topsail, 
and the boat's sail on the poop. So I proceeded until 
nightfall, when the Cabo Verde of the island of Fernandina, 
which is at the S.W. end, bore N.VV. distant 7 leagues. 
As it was now blowing hard, and I did not know how far 
it was to this island of Cuba, I resolved not to go in search 
of it during the night ; all these islands being very steep- 
to, with no bottom round them for a distance of two 
shots of a lombard. The bottom is all in patches, one bit 
of sand and another of rock, and for this reason it is not 
safe to anchor without inspection with the eye. So I 
determined to take in all the sails except the foresail, and 
to go on under that reduced canvas. Soon the wind in- 
creased, while the route was doubtful, and there was very 
thick weather, with rain. I ordered the foresail to be furled, 
and we did not make two leagues during that night." 

Thursday^ 2^th of October. 

" I steered W.S.W, from after sunset until 9 o'clock, 
making 5 leagues. Afterwards I altered course to west, 
and went 8 miles an hour until one in the afternoon ; and 
from that time until three made good 44 miles. Then 
land was sighted, consisting of 7 or 8 islands, the group 
running north and south, distant from us 5 leagues." 

Friday^ 26th of October. 

" The ship was on the south side of the islands, which 
were all low, distant 5 or 6 leagues. I anchored there. 
The Indians on board said that thence to Cuba was a 
voyage in their canoes of a day and a half ; these being 
small dug-outs without a sail. Such are their canoes. I 
departed thence for Cuba, for by the signs the Indians 

* Pieces of canvas laced to the leeches of the mainsail on both sides. 


made of its greatness, nnd of its gold and pearls, I thought 
that it must be Cipango." 

Saturday, 27th of October. 

" I weighed from these islands at sunrise, and gave them 
the name of Las Islas de Arena^ owing to the little depth 
the sea had for a distance of 6 leagues to the southward of 
them. We went 8 miles an hour on a S.S.W. course until 
one o'clock, having made 40 miles. Until night we had 
run 28 miles on the same course, and before dark the land 
was sighted. At night there was much rain. The vessels, 
on Saturday until sunset, made 17 leagues on a S.S.W. 


Sunday, 2^tk of October. 

" I went thence in search of the island of Cuba on 
a S.S.W. coast, making for the nearest point of it, and 
entered a very beautiful river without danger of sunken 
rocks or other impediments. All the coast was clear of 
dangers up to the shore. The mouth of the river was 
1 2 brazos across, and it is wide enough for a vessel to beat 
in. I anchored about a lombard-shot inside." The Admiral 
says that " he never beheld such a beautiful place, with 
trees bordering the river, handsome, green, and different 
from ours, having fruits and flowers each one according to 
its nature. There are many birds, which sing very sweetly. 
There are a great number of palm trees of a different kind 
from those in Guinea and from ours, of a middling height, 
the trunks without that covering,'- and the leaves very 
large, with which they thatch their houses. The country 
is very level." The Admiral jumped into his boat and 
went on shore. He came to two houses, which he believed 

* The Ragged Isles, north of Cuba. 
- Camisa. 


to belong to fishermen who had fled from fear. In one of 
them he found a kind of dog that never barks, and in both 
there were nets of palm-fibre and cordage, as well as horn 
fish-hooks, bone harpoons, and other apparatus " for fish- 
ing, and several hearths. He believed that many people 
lived together in one house. He gave orders that nothing 
in the houses should be touched, and so it was done." The 
herbage was as thick as in Andalusia during April and 
May. He found much purslane and wild amaranth.^ He 
returned to the boat and went up the river for some 
distance, and he says it was great pleasure to see the 
bright verdure,, and the birds, which he could not leave 
to go back. He says that this island is the most 
beautiful that eyes have seen, full of good harbours and 
deep rivers, and the sea appeared as if it never rose ; 
for the herbage on the beach nearly reached the waves, 
which does not happen where the sea is rough. (Up 
to that time they had not experienced a rough sea 
among all those islands.) He says that the island is full 
of very beautiful mountains, although they are not very 
extensive as regards length, but high ; and all the country 
is high like Sicily. It is abundantly supplied with water, 
as they gathered from the Indians they had taken with 
them from the island of Guanahani. These said by signs 
that there are ten great rivers, and that they cannot go 
round the island in twenty days. When they came near 
land with the ships, two canoes came out ; and, when they 
saw the sailors get into a boat and row about to find the 
depth of the river where they could anchor, the canoes 
fled. The Indians say that in this island there are gold 
mines and pearls, and the Admiral saw a likely place for 
them and mussel-shells, which are signs of them. He 
understood that large ships of the Gran Can came here, 
and that from here to the mainland was a voyage of ten 

Verdolagas y bledas. 


days. The Admiral called this river and harbour San 

Monday, 2gth of October. 

The Admiral weighed anchor from this port and sailed 
to the westward, to go to the city, where, as it seemed, the 
Indians said that there was a king. They doubled a point 
six leagues to the N.W.,- and then another point,=' then 
east ten leagues. After another league he saw a river 
with no very large entrance, to which he gave the name of 
Rio de la Luna} He went on until the hour of Vespers. 
He saw another river much larger than the others,'' as the 
Indians told him by signs, and near he saw goodly villages 
of houses. He called the river Rio de Mares!^ He sent 
two boats on shore to a village to communicate, and one 
of the Indians he had brought with him, for now they 
understood a little, and show themselves content with 
Christians. All the men, women, and children fled, aban- 
doning their houses with all they contained. The Admiral 
gave orders that nothing should be touched. The houses 
were better than those he had seen before, and he believed 
that the houses would improve as he approached the main- 
land. They were made like booths, very large, and look- 
ing like tents in a camp without regular streets, but one 
here and another there. Within they were clean and well 
swept, with the furniture well made. All are of palm 
branches beautifully constructed. They found many images 

^ Puerto Naranjo. Nipe, according to Navarrete. 

- Punta de Mulas.— N. 

•' Punta de Cabanas.— N. 

• Puerto de Banes. — N. 

" Puerto de las Nuevitas del Principe. — N. 

" Afterwards Puerto dc Baracoa, called by the Adelantado of 
Cuba, Diego Velasquez, Asiimpcion. (Herrera, Dec. /, Lib. ii, 
cap. xiv.) 


in the shape of women, and many heads like masks.^ very 
well carved. It was not known whether these were used 
as ornaments, or to be worshipped. They had do^r.s which 
never bark, and wild birds tamed in their houses. There 
was a wonderful supply of nets and other fishing imple- 
ments, but nothing was touched. He believed that all the 
people on the coast were fishermen, who took the fish 
inland, for this island is very large, and so beautiful, that 
he is never tired of praising it. He says that he found 
trees and fruits of very marvellous taste ; and adds that 
they must have cows or other cattle, for he saw skulls 
which were like those of cows. The songs of the birds 
and the chirping of crickets throughout the night lulled 
everyone to rest, while the air was soft and healthy, and 
the nights neither hot nor cold. On the voyage through 
the other islands there was great heat, but here it is 
tempered like the month of May. He attributed the heat 
of the other islands to their flatness, and to the wind 
coming from the east, which is hot. The water of the 
rivers was salt at the mouth, and they did not know 
whence the natives got their drinking-water, though they 
have sweet water in their houses. Ships are able to turn 
in this river, both entering and coming out, and there are 
very good leading-marks. He says that all this sea 
appears to be constantly smooth, like the river at Seville, 
and the water suitable for the growth of pearls. He found 
large shells unlike those of Spain. Remarking on the 
position of the river and port, to which he gave the name 
of San Salvador,- he describes its mountains as lofty and 
beautiful, like the Pena dc las Enamoradasf and one of 

^ The word is Caratona. Navarrete suggests Caratida^ Careta., or 
MascariJla. — N . 

2 The description applies exactly to Puerto Naranjo. Casas 
suggests Puerto de Paracoa, while Navarrete is confident that it is 
Nt'pe. ^ Near Granada. 


them has another h'ttlc hill on its summit, like a frraceful 
mosque. The other river and port, in which he now was,i 
has two round mountains to the S.VV., and a fine low cape 
running out to the W.S.W. 

Tuesday y y:>tJi of October. 

He left the Rio de Mares and steered N.W., seeing a 
cape covered with palm trees, to which he gave the name 
of Cabo de Palmas^^ after having made good 1 5 leagues. 
The Indians on board the caravel Pinta said that beyond 
that cape there was a river,^ and that from the river to 
Cuba it was four days' journey. The captain of the Pinta 
reported that he understood from that, that this Cuba was 
a city, and that the land was a great continent trending far 
to the north. The king of that country, he gathered, was 
at war with the Gran Can, whom they called Caini, and his 
land or city Fava, with many other names. The Admiral 
resolved to proceed to that river, and to send a present, with 
the letter of the Sovereigns, to the king of that land. For 
this service there was a sailor who had been to Guinea, 
and some of the Indians of Guanahani wished to go with 
him, and afterwards to return to their homes. The Admiral 
calculated that he was forty-two'* degrees to the north of 
the equinoctial line (but the handwriting is here illegible). 
He says that he must attempt to reach the Gran Can, 
who he thought was here or at the city of Catha}^'^ which 
belongs to him, and is very grand, as he was informed 
before leaving Spain. All this land, he adds, is low and 
beautiful, and the sea deep. 

^ Nuevitas del Principe. — N. 
2 " Alto de Juan Danue."— N. 
^ Rio Maximo. — N. 

* Wrongly transcribed. It must have been 21 in the original MS. 
•'' In his letter, Toscanelli said that the usual residence of the Grand 
Khan was Cathay (see p. 6). 


Wednesday, T^ist of October, 

All Tuesday ni'frht he was beating to windward, and he 
saw a river, but could not enter it because the entrance 
was narrow. The Indians fancied that the ships could 
enter wherever their canoes could go. Navigating onwards, 
he came to a cape running out very far, and surrounded 
by sunken rocks,^ and he saw a bay where small vessels 
might take shelter. He could not proceed because the 
wind had come round to the north, and all the coast runs 
N.VV. and S.E. Another cape further on ran out .still 
more.- For these reasons, and because the sky showed 
signs of a gale, he had to return to the Rio de Mares. 

Thursda}', November the \st. 

At the Admiral sent the boats on shore to the that were there, and they found that all the people 
had fled. After some time a man made his appearance. 
The Admiral ordered that he should be left to himself, 
and the sailors returned to the boats. After dinner, one of 
the Indians on board was sent on shore. He called out 
from a distance that there was nothing to fear, because the 
strangers were good people and would do no harm to any- 
one, nor were they people of the Gran Can, but they had 
given away their things in many islands where they had 
been. The Indian then swam on shore, and two of the 
natives took him by the arms and brought him to a house, 
where they heard what he had to say. When they \\erc 
certain that no harm would be done to them they were 
reassured, and presently more than sixteen canoes came 
to the .ships with cotton-thread and other trifles. The 
Admiral ordered that nothing should be taken from them, 
that they might understand that he sought for nothing 

* Boca de Carabelas grandes. — N. ^ Punta del Maternillo. — N. 


but gold, which they call n?tcaj'. Thus they went to and 
fro between the ships and the shore all day, and they 
came to the Christians on shore with confidence. The 
Admiral saw no gold whatever among them, but he says 
that he saw one of them with a piece of worked silver 
fastened to his nose. They said, by signs, that within 
three days many merchants from inland would come to 
buy the things brought by the Christians, and would give 
information respecting the king of that land. So far as 
could be understood from their signs, he resided at a 
distance of four days' journey. They had sent many 
messengers in all directions, with news of the arrival of 
the Admiral. " These people", says the Admiral, " are of 
the same appearance and have the same customs as those 
of the other islands, without any religion so far as I know, 
for up to this day I have never seen the Indians on board 
say any prayer ; though they repeat the Sa/ve and Ave 
Maria with their hands raised to heaven, and they make 
the sign of the cross. The language is also the same, and 
they are all friends ; but I believe that all these islands are 
at war with the Gran Can, whom they called Cavila, and his 
province Bafan. They all go naked like the others." This 
is what the Admiral says. " The river", he adds, " is very 
deep, and the ships can enter the mouth, going close to the 
shore. The sweet water does not come within a league 
of the mouth. It is certain," says the Admiral, "that this 
is the mainland, and that I am in front of Zayto^ and 
Gtiinsay- a hundred leagues, a little more or less, distant 

' In Toscanelli's letter it is stated that in the port of Zaiton alone 
there were a hundred ships laden with pepper at one time, without 
counting those laden with other spices. Zaiton was a seaport of the 
province of Fokien in China, now called Chwangchan-fu, between 
Fuchau and Amoy. The statement about the pepper trade was 
taken by Toscanelli from Marco Polo (c. 82) (see p. 6). 

^ Quinsay of Toscanelli is the Kinsay of Marco Polo (c. 76, 77), who 



the one from the other. It is very clear that no one before 
ha.s been so far as this by sea. Yesterday, with wind from 
the N.W., I found it cold." 

Friday, 2ud of Noveiuher. 

The Admiral decided upon sending two Spaniards, one 
named Rodrigo de Jerez, who lived in Ayamonte, and the 
other Luis de Torres, who had .served in the household of 
the Adelantado of Murcia, and had been a Jew, knowing 
Hebrew, Chaldee, and even some Arabic. With these 
men he .sent two Indians, one from among those he 
brought from Guanahani, and another a native of the 
houses by the river-side. He gave them strings of beadr. 
with which to buy food if they should be in need, and 
ordered them to return in six days. He gave them 
specimens of spices, to see if any were to be found. Their 
instructions were to ask for the king of that land, and they 
were told what to say on the part of the Sovereigns of 
Castille, how they had sent the Admiral with letters and 
a present, to inquire after his health and establish friend- 
ship, favouring him in what he might desire from them. 
They were to collect information respecting certain pro- 
vinces, ports, and rivers of which the Admiral had notice, 
and to ascertain their distances from where he was. 

This night the Admiral took an altitude with a quad- 
rant, and found that the distance from the equinoctial line 
was 42 degrees.^ He says that, by his reckoning, he finds 
that he has gone over 1,142 leagues from the island of 
Hierro.- He still believes that he has reached the main- 

fully describes it ; now called Hangcliau, south of Shanghai. Marco 
Polo says it was in the province of Mangi, near Catay, and that the 
word means " city of heaven" (see p. 8). 

' An erroneous transcription. It should be 22. 

-' The true distance was 1,105 leagues.— N. 


Saturdiv, },rd of November. 
In the moniin^r the Admiral ^rot imo the boat, and, as 
the river is like a great lake at the mouth, forming a very 
excellent port, very deep, and clear of rocks, with a good 
beach for careening ships, and plenty of fuel, he explored 
it until he came to fresh water at a distance of two leagues 
from the mouth. He ascended a small mountain to obtain 
a view of the surrounding country, but could see nothing, 
owing to the dense foliage of the trees, which were very 
fresh and odoriferous, so that he felt no doubt that there 
were aromatic herbs among them. He said that all he 
saw was so beautiful that his eyes could never tire of gazing 
upon such loveliness, nor his ears of listening to the songs 
of birds. That day many canoes came to the ships, to 
barter with cotton threads and with the nets in which they 
sleep, called haviacas. 

Sunday, ^th of November. 

At sunrise the Admiral again went awaj- in the boat, 
and landed to hunt the birds he had seen the day before. 
After a time, Martin Alonso Pinzon came to him with two 
pieces of cinnamon, and said that a Portuguese, who was 
one of his crew, had seen an Indian carrying two very 
large bundles of it ; but he had not bartered for it, because 
of the penalty imposed by the Admiral on anyone who 
bartered. He further said that this Indian carried some 
brown things like nutmegs. The master of the Pinta said 
that he had found the cinnamon trees. The Admiral 
went to the place, and found that they were not cinnamon 
trees. The Admiral showed the Indians some specimens 
of cinnamon and pepper he had brought from Castillo, and 
they knew it, and said, by signs, that there was plenty in 
the vicinity, pointing to the S.E. He also showed them 
gold and pearls, on which certain old men said that there 

F 2 


was an infinite quantity in a place called Holito} and that 
the people wore it on their necks, ears, arms, and legs, as 
well as pearls. He further understood them to say that 
there were jjreat ships and much merchandise, all to the 
S.K. He also understood that, far away, there were men 
with one eye, and others with dogs' noses who were 
cannibals, and that when they captured an enemy they 
beheaded him and drank his blood. 

The Admiral then determined to return to the ship and 
wait for the return of the two men he had sent, intending 
to depart and seek for those lands, if his envoys brought 
some good news touching what he desired. The Admiral 
further says : " These people arc very gentle and timid ; 
they go naked, as I have said, without arms and without 
law. The country is very fertile. The people have plenty 
of roots called zanahorias (yams), with a smell like chesnuts ; 
and they have beans of kinds very different from ours. 
They also have much cotton, which they do not sow, as it 
is wild in the mountains, and I believe they collect it 
throughout the year, because I saw pods empty, others 
full, and flowers all on one tree. There arc a thousand 
other kinds of fruits which it is impossible for me to 
write about, and all must be profitable." All this the 
Admiral say.s. 

Monday, ^th of November. 

This morning the Admiral ordered the ship to be 
careened, afterwards the other vessels, but not all at the 
.same time. Two were always to be at the anchorage, as a 
precaution ; although he says that these people were verj- 
safe, and that without fear all the vessels might have been 
careened at the .same time. Things being in this state. 

* Bohio was their name for a house. The Admiral cannot have 
understood what they were saying. {^Las Casus.) 


the master of the Nina^ came to claim a reward from the 
Admiral because he had found mastick, but he did not 
brin^r the specimen, as he had tlropped it. The Admiral 
promised him a reward, and sent Rodri^ro Sanchez and 
master IYxq^o' to the trees. They collected some, which 
was kept to present to the Sovcreij,nis, as well as the tree. 
The Admiral says that he knew it was mastick, thou|,di it 
ou^rht to be ^rathered at the proper season. There is 
enoujrh in that district for a yield of \, 000 qnintais (iwcry 
year. The Admiral also found here a ^^reat deal of the 
plant called aloe. He further says that the Puerto de Mares 
is the best in the world, with the finest climate and the 
most gentle people. As it has a high, rocky cape, a 
fortress might be built, so that, in the event of the place 
becoming rich and important, the merchants would be safe 
from any other nations. He adds : " The Lord, in whose 
hands are all victories, will ordain all things for his service. 
An Indian said by signs that the mastick was good for 
pains in the stomach." 

Tuesday, 6th of November. 
"Yesterday, at night", says the Admiral, " the two men 
came back who had been sent to explore the interior. 
They said that after walking 12 leagues they came to a 
village of 50 houses, were there were a thousand inhabitants, 
for many live in one house. These houses are like very 
large booths. They said that they were received with 
great solemnity, according to custom, and all, both men 
and women, came out to see them. They were lodged in 
the best houses, and the people touched them, kissing their 

^ This was Juan Nino, Master, who, with his brother, Pero Alonso 
Nmo, the pilot, were the owners of the caravel Nina. 

Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia was the royal overseer in the 
Admiral's ship, and Master Diego was the boatswain. 


hands and feet, marvelling and believing that they came 
from heaven, and so they gave them to understand. They 
gave them to eat of what they had. When they arrived, 
the chief people conducted them by the arms to the prin- 
cipal house, gave them two chairs on which to sit, and all 
the natives sat round them on the ground. The Indian 
who came with them described the manner of living of the 
Christians, and said that they were good people. Presently 
the men went out, and the women came sitting round them 
in the same way, kissing their hands and feet, and looking 
to see if they were of flesh and bones like themselves. 
They begged the Spaniards to remain with them at least 
five days." The Spaniards showed the natives specimens 
of cinnamon, pepper, and other spices wh,^.. the Admiral 
had given them, and they said, by signs, that there was 
plenty at a short distance from thence to S.E., but that there 
they did not know whether there was any.^ Finding that 
they had no information respecting cities, the Spaniards 
returned ; and if they had desired to take those who wished 
to accompany them, more than 500 men and women would 
have come, because they thought the Spaniards were 
returning to heaven. There came, however, a principal 
man of the village and hi..- son, with a servant. The 
Admiral conversed with them, and showed them much 
honour. They made signs respecting many lands and 
islands in those parts. The Admiral thought of bringing 
them to the Sovereigns. He says that he knew not what 
fancy took them ; either from fear, or owing to the dark 
night, they wanted to land. The ship was at the time 
high and dry, but, not wishing to make them angry, he let 
them go on their saying that they would return at dawn, 

' This passage is obscure, no doubt owing to careless transcription. 
Las Casas lias: "and asked them if they had any there. They 
answered no, but made signs that there was plenty near, towards the 
.S.K." (i, p. 332). 


but they never came back. The two Christians met with 
many people on the road ijoing home, men and women 
with a half-burnt weed in their hands, being the herbs they 
are accustomed to smoke.^ They did not find villages on 
the road of more than five houses, all receiving them with 
the same reverence. They saw many kinds of trees, herbs, 
and sweet-smelling flowers ; and birds of many different 
kinds, unlike those of Spain, except the partridges, geese, 
of which there are riany, and singing nightingales. They 
saw no quadrupeds except the dogs that do not bark. The 
land is very fertile, and is cultivated with yams and several 
kinds of beans different from ours, as well as corn. There 
were great quantities of cotton gathered, spun, and worked 
up. In a single house they saw more than 500 arrobas, 
and as much as 4,000 quiiitais could be yielded every year. 
The Admiral said that " it did not appear to be cultivated, 
and that it bore all the year round. It is very fine, and 
has a large boll. All that was possessed by these people 
they gave at a very low price, and a great bundle of cotton 
was exchanged for the point of a needle or other trifle. 
They are a people", says the Admiral, " guileless and 
unwarlike. Men and women go as naked as when their 
mothers bore them. It is true that the women wear a very 
small rag of cotton-cloth, and they arc of very good appear- 
ance, not very dark, less so than the Canarians. I hold, 
most serene Princes, that if devout religious persons were 
here, knowing the language, they would all turn Christians. 

^ Tobacco. Las Casas says that they are dried leaves rolled up in 
the shape of the squibs made by the boys at Easter. Lighted at one 
end, the roll is chewed, and the smoke is inhaled at the other. It has 
the effect of making them sleepy and almost intoxicated, and in using 
it they do not feel tired. These rolls of dried leaves are called by 
them tabacos. Las Casas adds that he knew Spaniards in Espanola 
who were accustomed to smoke it, and when their habit was repre- 
hended as a vice, they said they could not leave off. Las Casas did 
not understand what pleasure or profit they found in it. 


I trust in our Lord that your Highnesses will resolve upon 
this with much diligence, to bring so many great nations 
within the Church, and to convert them ; as you have 
destroyed those who would not confess the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost. And after your days, all of us being 
mortal, may your kingdoms remain in peace, and free from 
heresy and evil, and may you be well received before the 
eternal Creator, to whom I pray that you may have long 
life and great increase of kingdoms and lordships, with the 
will and disposition to increase the holy Christian religion 
as you have done hitherto. Amen !" 

"To day I got the ship afloat, and prepared to depart on 
Thursday, in the name of God, and to steer S.E. in search 
of gold and spices, and to discover land." 

These arc the words of the Admiral, who intended to 
depart on Thursday, but, the wind being contrary, he could 
not go until the I2th of November. 

Monday, \2th of November. 

The Admiral left the port and river of Marcs before 
dawn to visit the island called Babeqtie} so much talked of 
by the Indians on board, where, according to their signs, 
the people gather the gold on the beach at night with 
candles, and afterwards beat it into bars with hammers. 
To go thither it was necessary to shape a course E. b. S. 
After having made 8 leagues along the coast, a river was 
sighted, and another 4 leagues brought them to another 
river, which appeared to be of great volume, and larger 
than any they had yet seen. The Admiral did not wish 
to stop nor to enter any of these rivers, for two reasons : 
the first and principal one being that wind and weather 

' The Indians called the '' Ticrra l-'imie", or coast of the mainland, 
Babeque or Caritaba. — N. 


were favourable for goinfr in search of the said island of 
Babeque ; the other, that, if there was a populous and 
famous city near the sea, it would be visible, while, to go 
up the rivers, small vessels are necessary, which those of 
the expedition were not. Mu:h time would thus be lost ; 
moreover, the exploration of such rivers is a separate enter- 
prise. All that coast was peopled near the river, to which 
the name of /^I'o del Sol was given. 

The Admiral says that, on the previous Sunday, the 
iith of November, it seemed good to take some persons 
from amongst those at Rio de Marcs, to bring to the 
Sovereigns, that they might learn our language, so as to 
be able to tell us what there is in their lands. Returning, 
they would be the mouthpieces of the Christians, and 
would adopt our customs and the things of the faith. " I 
.saw and knew" (says the Admiral) " that these people arc 
without any religion, not idolaters, but very gentle, not 
knowing what is evil, nor the sins of murder and theft, 
being without arms, and .so timid that a hundred would 
fly before one Spaniard, although they joke with them.^ 
They, however, believe and know that there is a God in 
heaven, and say that we have come from heaven. At any 
prayer that we say, they repeat, and make the sign of the 
cros.s. Thus your Highnesses should resolve to make 
them Christians, for I believe that, if the work was begun, 
in a little time a multitude of nations would be converted 
to our faith, with the acquisition of great lordships, peoples, 
and riches for Spain. Without doubt, there is in these 
lands a vast quantity of gold, and the Indians I have on 
board do not speak without reason when they say that in 
these islands there are places where they dig out gold, and 
wear it on their necks, ears, arms, and legs, the rings being 
very large. There are also precious stones, pearls, and an 

1 " . 

uunquc burlen con ellos." 


infinity of spices. In this river of Mares, whence we 
departed to-night, there is undoubtedly a great quantity of 
mastick, and much more could be raised, because the trees 
may be planted, and will yield abundantly. The leaf and 
fruit are like the mastick, but the tree and leaf are larger. 
As Pliny describes it, I have seen it on the island of Chios 
in the Archipelago. I ordered many of these trees to be 
tapped, to see if any of them would yield resin ; but, as it 
rained all the time I was in that river, I could not get any, 
except a very little, which I am bringing to your High- 
nesses. It may not be the right season for tapping, which 
is, I believe, when the trees come forth after winter and 
begin to flower. But when I was there the fruit was 
nearly ripe. Heie also there is a great quantity of cotton, 
and I believe it would have a good sale here without 
sending it to Spain, but to the great cities of the Gran Can, 
which will be discovered without doubt, and many others 
ruled over by other lords, who will be pleased to serve 
your Highnesses, and whither will be brought other com- 
modities of Spain and of the Eastern lands ; but these are 
to the west as regards us. There is also here a great 
yield of aloes, though this is not a commodity that will 
yield great profit. The mastick, however, is important, 
for it is only obtained from the said island of Chios, and 
I believe the harvest is worth 50,000 ducats, if I remember 
right.^ There is here, in the mouth of the river, the best 
port I have seen up to this time, wide, deep, and clear of 
rocks. It is an excellent site for a town and fort, for any 
ship could come close up to the walls ; the land is high, 
with a temperate climate, and very good water. 

" Yesterday a canoe came alongside the ship, with six 

^ The ducat being 9^-. 2d. In the seventeentli century the value of 
the mastick exported from Chios was 30,000 ducats. See also Letter 
to Santangel, p. 15. Chios belonged to Genoa from 1346 to 1566. 


youths in it. Five came on board, and I ordered them to 
be detained. They are now here. I afterwards sent to 
a house on the western side of the river, and seized seven 
women, old and young, and three children. I did this 
because the men would behave better in Spain if they had 
women of their own land, than without them. For on 
many occasions the men of Guinea have been brought to 
learn the language in Portugal, and afterwards, when they 
returned, and it was expected that they would be useful in 
their land, owing to the good company they had enjoyed 
and the gifts they had received, they never appeared after 
arriving. Others may not act thus. But, having women, 
they have the wish to perform what they are required to 
do ; besides, the women would teach our people their 
language, which is the same in all these islands, so that 
those who make voyages in their canoes are understood 
everywhere. On the other hand, there are a thousand 
different languages in Guinea, and one native does not 
understand another. 

" The same night the husband of one of the women fame 
alongside in a canoe, who was father of the three children 
— one boy and two girls. He asked me to let him come 
with them, and besought me much. They are now all 
consoled at being with one who is a relation of them all. 
Ha is a man of about 45 years of age."^ All these are the 
words of the Admiral. He also says that he had felt 

1 Las Casas denounces this proceeding as a breach of the law of 
nations, which is not excused by the Admiral's good intentions ; for 
it is never right to do evil that good may come of it. St. Paul, in his 
Epistle to the Romans, teaches : " non sunt facienda mala ut bona 
eveniant" (Romans, iii, 8). " Certainly the Admiral acted on this 
occasion inconsiderately, though in other things he was prudent." 
But, on account of this act alone. Las Casas considers that he well 
merited all the sorrows and misfortunes which he suffered during the 
rest of his life. (Las Casas, i, pp. 334-38.) 


some cold, and that it would not be wise to continue 
discoveries in a northerly direction in the winter. On this 
Monday, until sunset, he steered a course E. b. S., making 
1 8 leagues, and reaching a cape, to which he gave the 
name of Cabo de Cuba. 

Tuesday, i^th of November. 

This night the ships were on a bowline, as the sailors 

say, beating to windward without making any progress. At 

sunset they began to see an opening in the mountains, 

where two very high peaks^ were visible. It appeared that 

here was the division between the land of Cuba and that 

of Bohio, and this was affirmed by signs, by the Indians 

who were on board. As soon as the day had dawned, the 

Admiral made sail towards the land, passing a point which 

appeared at night to be distant two leagues. He then 

entered a large gulf, 5 leagues to the S.S.E., and there 

remained 5 more, to arrive at the point where, between two 

great mountains, there appeared to be an opening ; but it 

could not be made out whether it was an inlet of the sea. 

As he desired to go to the island called Babeque, where, 

according to the information he had received, there was 

much gold ; and as it bore east, and as no large town 

was in sight, the wind freshening more than ever, he 

resolved to put out to sea, and work to the east with a 

northerly wind. The ship made 8 miles an hour, and from 

ten in the forenoon, when that course was taken, until 

sunset, 56 miles, which is 14 leagues to the eastward from 

the Cabo de Cuba. The other land of Bohio was left to 

leeward. Commencing from the cape of the said gulf, he 

discovered, according to his reckoning, 80 miles, equal 

to 20 leagues, all that coast running E.S.E. and W.N.W. 

^ Las Sierras del Cristal and Las Sierras de Moa. — N. 



Wednesday, \^th of Noveuihcr. 

All last night the Admiral was boating to windward (he 
said that it would be unreasonable to navigate among 
those islands during the night, until they had been 
explored), for the Indians said yesterday that it would 
take three days to go from Rio de Mares to the island of 
Babeque, by which should be understood days' jjurneys in 
their canoes equal to about 7 leagues. The wind fell, and, 
the course being east, she could not lay her course nearer 
than S.E., and, owing to other mischances, he was detained 
until the morning. At sunrise he determined to go in 
search of a port, because the wind had shifted from north to 
N.E., and, if a port could not be found, it would be neces- 
sary to go back to the ports in the island of Cuba, whence 
they came. The Admiral approached the shore, having 
gone over 28 miles E.S.E. that night. He steered south 

rniles to the land, where he saw many islets and 

openings. As the wind was high and the sea rough, he did 
not dare to risk an attempt to enter, but ran along the coast 
W.N.W., looking out for a port, and saw many, but none 
very clear of rocks. After having proceeded for 64 miles, 
he found a very deep opening, a quarter of a mile wide, 
with a good port and river. He ran in with her head 
S.S.W., afterwards south to S.E. The port^ was spacious 
and very deep, and he saw so many islands that he could 
not count them all, with very high land covered with trees 
of many kinds, and an infinite number of palms. He was 
much astonished to see so many lofty islands ; and assured 
the Sovereigns that the mountains and isles he had seen 
since yesterday seemed to him to be second to none in the 
world ; so high and clear of clouds and snow, with the sea 
at their bases so deep. He believes that these islands arc 

' Puerto de Taxamo, in Cuba. 


those innumerable ones that are depicted on the maps of 
the world in the l^^ar Kast.^ He believed that they yielded 
very great riches in precious stones and spices, and that 
they extend much further to the south, wideninj:^ out in all 
directions. He g;a.\'e the name of La Mar de Nucstra 
Sffiora, and to the haven, which is near the mouth of the 
entrance to these islands, Puerto del Principe. He did not 
enter it, but examined it from outside, until another time, 
on Saturday of the next week, as will there appear. He 
speaks highly of the fertility, beauty, and height of the 
islands which he found in this gulf, and he tells the Sove- 
reigns not to wonder at his praise of them, for that he has 
not told them the hundredth part. Some of them seemed 
to reach to heaven, running up into peaks like diamonds. 
Others have a flat top like a table. At their bases the sea 
is of a great depth, with enough water for a very large 
carrack. All are covered with foliage and without rocks. 

Thursday, i^th of November. 

The Admiral went to examine these islands in the ships' 
boats, and speaks marvels of them, how he found mastick, 
and aloes without end. Some of them were cultivated 
with the roots of which the Indians make bread ; and he 
found that fires had been lighted in several places. He saw 
no fresh water. There were some natives, but they fled. 
In all parts of the sea where the vessels were navigated he 
found a depth of 15 or 16 fathoms, and all basa, by which 
he means that the ground is sand, and not rocks ; a thing 
much desired by sailor.s, for the rocks cut their anchor 

^ A group of innumerable islands was usually placed in the ocean 
to the east of Asia : and no doubt they were shown on the map of 
Toscanelli which Columbus took with him, as they certainly are on 
the globe of Martin Bchaim, drawn in 1492. 


Friday, \6tli of Noveuiber. 

As in all parts, whether islands or mainlands, that he 
visited, the Admiral always left a cross ; so, on this occa- 
sion, he went in a boat to the entrance of these havens, 
and found two very large trees on a point of land, one 
longer than the other. One being placed over the other, 
made a cross, and he said that a carpenter could not have 
made it better. He ordered a very large and high cross to 
be made out of these timbers. He found canes on the 
beach, and did not know where tlicy had grown, but 
thought they must have been brought down by some 
river, and washed up on the beach (in which opinion he 
had reason). He went to a creek on the south-east side of 
the entrance to the port. Here, under a height of rock 
and stone like a cape, there was depth enough for the 
largest carrack in the world close in shore, and there was 
a corner where six ships might lie without anchors as in 
a room. It seemed to the Admiral that a fortress might 
be built here at small cost, if at any time any famous trade^ 
should arise in that sea of islands. 

Returning to the ship, he found that the Indians who 
were on board had fished up very large shells found in 
those seas. He made the people examine them, to see if 
there was mother-o'-pearl, which is in the shells where 
pearls grow. They found a great deal, but no pearls, and 
their absence was attributed to its not being the season, 
which is May and June. The sailors found an animal 
which seemed to be a taso, or taxor They also fished with 
nets, and, among many others, caught a fish which was 

1 Resgate. Rescaic (Las Casas). 

- Las Casas does not seem to know the meaning of this word, and 
complains that Coliimlius does not say whether it was a land or 
marine beast. 


exactly like a pig, not like a tunny, but all covered with 
a very hard shell, without a soft place except the eyes. 
It was ordered to be salted, to bring home for the Sovereigns 
to see. 

Saturday, \yth of November. 

The Admiral got into the boat, and went to visit the 
islands he had not yet seen to the S.W. He saw many 
more very fertile and pleasant islands, with a great depth 
between them. Some of them had springs of fresh water, 
and he believed that the water of those streams came from 
some sources at the summits of the mountains. He went 
on, and found a beach bordering on very sweet water, 
which was very cold. There was a beautiful meadow, 
and many very tall palms. They found a large nut of 
the kind belonging to India, great rats, and enormous 
crabs. He saw many birds, and there was a strong smell 
of musk, which made him think it must be there. This 
day the two eldest of the six youths brought from the Rio 
de Mares, who were on board the caravel A'l'/la, made their 

Sunday. i8t/i of Noveuiber. 

The Admiral again went away with the boats, accom- 
panied by many cf the sailors, to set up the cross which he 
had ordered to be made out of the two large trees at the 
entrance to the Puerto del Principe, on a fair site cleared of 
trees, whence there was an extensive and very beautiful 
view. He says that there is a greater rise and fall there 
than in any other port he has seen, and that this is no 
marvel, considering the numerous islands. The tide is the 
reverse of ours, because here, when the moon is S.S.VV., it 
is low water in the port. He did not get under weigh, 
because it was Sunday. 


Monday, \()th of November. 

The Admiral ^Qt under weigh before sunrise, in a calm. 
In the afternoon there was some wind from the east, and 
lie shaped a N.N.H. course. At sunset the Puerto del 
Principe bore S.S.W. 7 leagues. He saw the island of 
Jiabcque bearing due east about 60 miles. He steered 
N.E. all that night, making 60 miles, and up to ten o'clock 
of Tuesday another dozen ; altogether 18 leagues N.IC. b. VV. 

Tuesday, 20th of November. 

They left liabeque, or the islands of Babeque, to the 
E.S.E., the wind being contrary; and, seeing that no 
progress was being made, and the sea was getting rough, 
the Admiral determined to return to the Puerto del Prin- 
cipe, whence he had started, which was 25 leagues distant. 
He did not wish to go to the island he had called Isabella, 
which was twelve leagues off, and where he might have 
anchored that night, for two reasons : one was that he had 
seen two islands to the south which he wished to explore ; 
the other, because the Indians he brought with him, whom 
he had taken at the island of Guanahani, which he named 
San Salvador, eight leagues from Isabella, might get away, 
and he said that he wanted them to take to Spain. They 
thought that, when the Admiral had found gold, he would 
let them return to their homes. He came near the Puerto 
del Principe, but could not reach it, because it was night, 
and because the current drifted them to the N.W. He 
turned her head to N.E. with a light wind. At three 
o'clock in the morning the wind changed, and a course 
was shaped E.N.E., the wind being S.S.W., and changing 
at dawn to south and S.E. At sunset Puerto del Principe 
bore nearly S.W. by W. 48 miles, which are 12 leagues. 


IVrdfiesday, 2\st of November. 

At sunrise the Admiral steered cast, with a southerly 
wind, but made little progress, owing to a contrary sea. 
At vespers he had gone 24 miles. Afterwards the wind 
changed to east, and he steered S. b. E., at sunset having 
gone 12 miles. Here he found himself forty-two degrees^ 
north of the equinoctial line, as in the port o{ Mares, but 
he says that he kept the result from the quadrant in 
suspense until he reached the shore, that it might be 
adjusted (as it would seem that he thought this distance 
was too great, and he had reason, it not being possible, as 
these islands are only in '^ degrees^). 

This day Martin Alonso Pinzon parted company with 
the caravel Pinta, in disobedience to and against the wish 
of the Admiral, and out of avarice, thinking that an Indian 
who had been put on board his caravel could show him 
where there was much gold. So he parted company, not 
owing to bad weather, but because he chose. Here the 
Admiral says : " He had done and said many other things 
to me." 

T/mrsday, 22iid of November. 

On Wednesday night the Admiral steered S.S.E., with 
the wind east, but it was nearly calm. At 3 it began to 
blow from N.N.E. ; and he continued to steer south to see 
the land he had seen in that quarter. When the sun rose 
he was as far off as the day before, owing to adverse 
currents, the land being 40 miles off. This night Martin 
Alonso shaped a course to the east, to go to the island 

' An erroneous transcription. It should be 21°. 

- A gap in the manuscript. 

^ Las Casas here interpolates some further remarks about the 
latitude, which are of no interest, as the figures on which he bases 
them are a blunder of his own in transcribing. 


of Babequc, where the Indians say there is much gold. 
He did this in sight of the Admiral, from whom he 
was distant 16 miles. The Admiral stood towards the 
land all night. He shortened sail, and showed a lantern, 
becausr Pinzon would thus have an opportunity of joining 
him, the night being very clear, and the wind fair to come, 
if he had wished to do so. 

Friday, 2T^rd of November. 

The Admiral stood towards the land all day, always 
steering south with little wind, but the current would 
never let them reach it, being as far off at sunset as in the 
morning. The wind was E.N.E., and they could shape a 
southerly course, but there was little of it. Beyond this 
cape there stretched out another land or cape, also trending 
east, which the Indians on board called Bohio. They said 
that it was very large, and that there were people in it who 
had one eye in their foreheads, and others who were 
cannibals, and of whom they were much afraid. When 
they saw that this course was taken, they said that they 
could not talk to these people because they would be 
eaten, and that they were very well armed. The Admiral 
says that he well believes that there were such people, and 
that if they are armed they must have some ability. He 
thought that they may have captured some of the Indians, 
and because they did not return to their homes, the 
others believed that they had been eaten. They thought 
the same of the Christians and of the Admiral when 
some of them first saw the strangers. 

Saturday, 2^th of November. 

They navigated all night, and at 3 they reached the 
island at the very same point they had come to the week 
before, when they started for the island of Babeque. At 

G 2 


first the Admiral did not dare to approach the shore, 
because it seemed that there would be a great surf in that 
mountain-girded bay. Finally he reached the sea of 
Nuestra Seftora, where there are many islands, and entered 
a port near the mouth of the opening to the islands. He 
sayr that if he had known of this port before he need not 
have occupied himself in exploring the islands, and it 
would not have been necessary to go back. He, however, 
considered that the time was well spent in examining the 
islands. On nearing the land he sent in the boat to sound ; 
finding a good sandy bottom in 6 to 20 fathoms. He 
entered the haven, pointing the ship's head S.W. and then 
west, the flat island bearing north. This, with another 
island near it, forms a harbour which would hold all the 
ships of Spain safe from all winds. This entrance on the 
S.W. side is passed by steering S.S.W., the outlet being to 
the west very deep and wide. Thus a vessel can pass 
amidst these islands, and he who approaches from the 
north, with a knowledge of them, can pass along the coast. 
These islands are at the foot of a great mountain-chain 
running east and west, which is longer and higher than 
any others on this coast, where there are many. A reef of 
rocks outside runs parallel with the saici mountains, like a 
bench, extending to the entrance. On the side of tlie flat 
island, and also to the S.E., there is another small reef, but 
between them there is great width and depth. Within the 
port, near the S.E. side of the entrance, they saw a large 
and very fine river,^ with more volume than any they had 
yet met with, and fresh water could be taken from it as far 
as the sea. At the entrance there is a bar, but within it is 
very deep, 19 fathoms. The banks are lined with palms 
and many other trees. 

1 Rio de Moa. 


Sunday, 2$th of November. 

Before sunrise the Admiral got into the boat, and went 
to see a cape or point of land^ to the S.E. of the flat island, 
about a league and a half distant, because there appeared 
to be a good river there. Presently, near to S.E. side of 
the cape, at a distance of two cross-bow shots, he saw a 
large stream of beautiful water falling from the mountains- 
above, v.'ith a loud noise. He went to it, and sav; some 
stones shining in its bed like gold.'^ He remembered that 
in the river Tejo, near its junction with the sea, there was 
gold ; so it seemed to him that this should contain gold, 
and he ordered some of these stones to be collected, to be 
brought to the Sovereigns. Just then the sailor boys called 
out that they had found large pines. The Admiral looked 
up the hill, and saw that they were so wonderfully large 
that he could not exaggerate their height and straightness, 
like stout yet fine spindles. He perceived that here there 
was material for great store of planks and masts for the 
largest ships in Spain. He saw oaks and arbutus trees, 
with a good river, and the means of making water-power. 
The climate was temperate, owing to the height of the 
mountains. On the beach he saw many other stones of 
the colour of iron, and others that some said were like 
silver ore, all brought down by the river. Here he obtained 
a new mast and yard for the mizen of the caravel Nifia. 
He came to the mouth of the river, and entered a creek 
which was deep and wide, at the foot of that S.E. part of 
the cape, which would accommodate a hundred ships with- 
out any anchor or hawsers. Eyes never beheld a better 

^ Punta del Mangle or del Guarico. 
'^ .Sierras de Moa. 

3 Las Casas says these were probably stones called margasita, of 
which there are many in these streams. 


harbour. The mountains are very high, whence descend 
many limpid streams, and all the hills are covered with 
pines, and an infinity of diverse and beautiful trees. Two 
or three other rivers were not visited. 

The Admiral described all this, in much detail, to the 
Sovereigns, and declared that he had derived unspeakable 
joy and pleasure at seeing it, more especially the pines, 
because they enable as many ships as is desired to be built 
here, bringing out the rigging, but finding here abundant 
supplies of wood and provisions. He affirms that he has 
not enumerated a hundredth part of what there is here, 
and that it pleased our Lord always to show him one thing 
better than another, as well on the ground and among the 
trees, herbs, fruits, and flowers, as in the people, and always 
something different in each place. It had been the same 
as regards the havens and the waters. Finally, he says 
that if it caused him who saw it so much wonder, how much 
more will it affect those who hear about it ; yet no one can 
believe until he sees it. 

Monday, 26th of November. 

At sunrise the Admiral weighed the anchors in the 
haven of Santa Catalina, where he was behind the flat 
island, and steered along the coast in the direction of Cabo 
del Pico, which was S.E. He reached the cape late, 
because the wind failed, and then saw another cape, S.E. 
b. E. 60 miles, which, when 20 miles off, was named Cabo 
de Cauipana, but it could not be reached that day. They 
made good 32 miles during the day, which is 8 leagues. 
During this time the Admiral noted nine remarkable 
ports,^ which all the sailors thought wonderfully good, and 
five large rivers ; for they sailed close along the land, so as 

• Among these were the Bay of Yamanique, and the ports of Jaragua, 
Taco, Cayaganueque, Nava, and Maravi.- N. 


to see everything. All along the coast there are very high 
and beautiful mountains, not arid or rocky, but all access- 
ible, and very lovely. The valleys, like the mountains, 
were full of tall and fine trees, so that it was a glory to 
look upon them, and there seemed to be many pines. 
Also, beyond the said Cabo de Pico to the S.E. there are 
two islets, each about two leagues round, and inside them 
three excellent havens and two large rivers. Along the 
whole coast no inhabited places were visible from the sea. 
There may have been some, and there were indications of 
them, for, when the men landed, they found signs of 
people and numerous remains of fires. The Admiral con- 
jectured that the land he saw to-day S.E. of the Cabo de 
Cavipana was the island called by the Indians Bokio : it 
looked as if this cape was separated from the mainland. 
The Admiral says that all the people he has hitherto met 
with have very great fear of those of Caniba or Canima. 
They afiirm that they live in the island of Bohio, which 
must be very large, according to all accounts. The Admiral 
understood that those of Caniba come to take people from 
their homes, the}'^ being very cowardly, and without know- 
ledge of arms. For this cause it appears that these Indians 
do not settle on the sea-coast, owing to being near the 
land of Caniba. When the natives who were on board 
saw a course shaped for that land, they feared to speak, 
thinking they were going to be eaten ; nor could they rid 
themselves of their fear. They declared that the Canibas 
had only one eye and dogs' faces. The Admiral thought 
they lied, and was inclined to believe that it was people 
from the dominions of the Gran Can who took them into 

Tuesday, 2yth of Novevibcr. 

Yesterday, at sunset, they arrived near a cape named 
Campana by the Admiral ; and, as the sky was clear and 


the wind light, he did not wish to run in close to the land and 
anchor, although he had five or six singularly good havens 
under his lee. The Admiral was attracted on the one 
hand by the longing and delight he felt to gaze upon the 
beauty and freshness of those lands, and on the other by 
a desire to complete the work he had undertaken. For 
these reasons he remained close hauled, and stood off 
and on during the night. But, as the currents had set him 
more than 5 or 6 leagues to the S.E. beyond where he had 
been at nightfall, passing the land of Cainpana, he came 
in sight of a great opening beyond that cape, which seemed 
to divide one land from another, leaving an island between 
them. He decided to go back, with the wind S.E., steer- 
ing to the point where the opening had appeared, where 
he found that it was only a large bay^ ; and at the end of 
it, on the S.E. side, there was a point of land on which 
was a high and square-cut hill,- which had looked like an 
island. A breeze sprang up from the north, and the Admiral 
continued on a S.E. course, to explore the coast and dis- 
cover all that was there. Presently he saw, at the foot of 
the Cabo de Cainpana^ a wonderfully good port,^ and a large 
river, and, a quarter of a league on, another river, and 
a third, and a fourth to a seventh at similar distances, from 
the furthest one to Cabo de Cainpana being 20 miles S.E. 
Most of these rivers have wide and deep mouths, with 
excellent havens for large ships, without sandbanks or 
sunken rocks. Proceeding onwards from the last of these 
rivers, on a S.E, course, they came to the largest inhabited 
place they had yet seen, and a vast concourse of people 
came down to the beach with loud shouts, all naked, with 
their darts in their hands. The Admiral desired to have 
speech with them, so he furled sails and anchored. The 

1 The port of Baracoa. — N. "'' Monte del Yunque. — N. 

3 Port of Maravi.— N. 


boats of the ship and the caravel were sent on shore, with 
orders to do no harm whatever to the Indians, but to give 
them presents. The Indians made as if they would resist 
the landing, but, seeing that the boats of the Spaniards 
continued to advance without fear, they retired from the 
beach. Thinking that they would not be terrified if only 
two or three landed, three Christians were put on shore, 
who told them not to be afraid, in their own language, for 
they had been able to learn a little from the natives who 
were on board. But all ran away, neither great nor small 
remaining. The Christians went to the houses, which 
were of straw, and built like the others they had seen, but 
found no one in any of them. They returned to the ships, 
and made sail at noon in the direction of a fine cape^ to the 
eastward, about 8 leagues distant. Having gone about half 
a league, the Admiral saw, on the south side of the same 
bay, a very remarkable harbour,^ and to the S.E. some 
wonderfully beautiful country like a valley among the 
mountains, whence much smoke arose, indicating a large 
population, with signs of much cultivation. So he resolved 
to stop at this port, and see if he could have any speech 
or intercourse with the inhabitants. It was so that, if the 
Admiral had praised the other havens, he must praise this 
still more for its lands, climate, and people. He tells 
marvels of the beauty of the country and of the trees, 
there being palms and pine trees ; and also of the great 
valley, which is not flat, but diversified by hill and dale, 
the most lovely scene in the world. Many streams flow 
from it, which fall from the mountains. 

As soon as the ship was at anchor the Admiral jumped 
into the boat, to get soundings in the port, which is the 
shape of a hammer. When he was facing the entrance he 
found the mouth of a river on the south side of sufficient 

* Punta de Maici. — N. ^ Puerto de Baracoa. — N. 


width for a galley to enter it, but so concealed that it is 
not visible until close to. Entering it for the length of 
the boat, there was a depth of from 5 to 8 fathoms. In 
passing up it the freshness and beauty of the trees, the 
clearness of the water, and the birds, made it all so delightful 
that he wished never to leave them. He said to the men 
who were with him that to give a true relation to the 
Sovereigns of the things they had seen, a thousand tongues 
would not suffice, nor his hand to write it, for that it was 
like a scene of enchantment. He desired that many other 
prudent and credible witnesses might see it, and he was 
sure that they would be as unable to exaggerate the 
scene as he was. 

The Admiral also says : — " How great the benefit that 
is to be derived from this country would be, I cannot say. 
It is certain that where there are such lands there must 
be an infinite number of things that would be profitable. 
But I did not remain long in one port, because I wished 
to see as much of the country as possible, in order to make 
a report upon it to your Highnesses ; and besides, I do 
not know the language, and these people neither under- 
stand me nor any other in my company ; while the Indians 
I have on board often misunderstand. Moreover, I have 
not been .' " to see much of the natives, because they 
often take to flight. But now, if our Lord pleases, I will 
see as much as possible, and will proceed by little and 
little, learning and comprehending ; and I will make some 
of my followers learn the language. For I have perceived 
that there is only one language up to this point. After 
they understand the advantages, I shall labour to make 
all these people Christians. They will become so readily, 
because they have no religion nor idolatry, and your 
Highnesses will send orders to build a city and fortress, 
and to convert the people. I assure your Highnesses that 
it does not appear to me that there can be a more fertile 


country nor a better climate under the sun, with abundant 
supplies of water. This is not like the rivers of Guinea, 
which are all pestilential. I thank our Lord that, up to 
this time, there has not been a person of my company who 
has so much as had a headache, or been in bed from 
illness, except an old man who has suffered from the stone 
all his life, and he was well again in two days. I speak of 
all three vessels. If it will please God that your Highnesses 
should send learned men out here, they will see the truth 
of all I have said. I have related already how good a 
place Rio de Mares would be for a town and fortress, and 
this is perfectly true ; but it bears no comparison with this 
place, nor with the Mar de Nuestra Seflora. For here 
there must be a large population, and very valuable pro- 
ductions, which I hope to discover before I return to Cas- 
tillo. I say that if Christendom will find profit among these 
people, how much more will Spain, to whom the whole 
country should be subject. Your Highnesses ought not to 
consent that any stranger should trade here, or put his 
foot in the country, except Catholic Christians, for this 
was the beginning and end of the undertaking ; namely, 
the increase and glory of the Christian religion, and that 
no one should come to these parts who was not a good 

All the above are the Admiral's words. He ascended 
the river for some distance, examined some branches of it, 
and, returning to the mouth, he found some pleasant groves 
of trees, like a delightful orchard. Here he came upon a 
canoe, dug out of one tree, as big as a galley of twelve, 
benches, fastened under a boat-house made of wood, and 
thatched with palm-leaves, so that it could be neither 
injured by sun nor by the water. He says that here would 
be the proper site for a town and fort, by reason of the 
good port, good water, good land, and abundance of fuel. 


Wednesday, 2%tJi of November. 

The Admiral remained during this day, in consequence 
of the rain and thick weather, though he might have run 
along the coast, the wind being S.W., but he did not weigh, 
because he was unacquainted with the coast beyond, and 
did not know what danger there might be for the vessels. 
The sailors of the two vessels went on shore to wash their 
clothes, and some of them walked inland for a short 
distance. They found indications of a large population, 
but the houses were all empty, everyone having fled. 
They returned by the banks of another river, larger than 
that which they knew of, at the port. 

Thursday, 2'jtJi of November. 

The rain and thick weather continuing, the Admiral 
did not get under weigh. Some of the Christians went to 
another village to the N.W., but found no one, and nothing 
in the houses. On the road they met an old man who 
could not run away, and caught him. They told him they 
did not wish to do him any harm, gave him a few presents, 
and let him go. The Admiral would have liked to have 
had speech with him, for he was exceedingly satisfied with 
the delights of that land, and wished that a settlement 
might be formed there, judging that it must support a 
large population. In one house they found a cake of wax, 
which was taken to the Sovereigns, the Admiral saying 
that where there was wax there were also a thousand 
other good things. The sailors also found, in one house, 
the head of a man in a basket, covered with another basket, 
and fastened to a post of the house. They found the same 
things in another village. The Admiral believed that they 
must be the heads of some founder, or principal ancestor of 
a lineage, for the houses are built to contain a great number 


of people in each ; and these should be relations, and de- 
scendants of a common ancestor. 

Friday, 2,0th of November. 

They could not get under weigh to-day because the 
wind was cast, and dead against them. The Admiral sent 
8 men well armed, accompanied by two of the Indians he 
had on board, to examine the villages inland, and f^ct 
speech with the people. They came to many houses, but 
found no one and nothing, all having fled. They saw four 
youths who were digging in their fields, but, as soon as 
they saw the Christians, they ran away, and could not be 
overtaken. They marched a long distance, and saw many 
villages and a most fertile land, with much cultivation and 
many streams of water. Near one river they saw a canoe 
dug out of a single tree, 95 palmos long, and capable of 
carrying 1 50 persons. 

Saturday, \st of December. 

They did not depart, because there was still a foul wind, 
with much rain. The Admiral set up a cross at the 
entrance of this port, which he called Puerto Sauto^ on 
some bare rocks. The point is that which is on the S.E. 
side of the entrance ; but he who has to enter should 
make more over to the N.VV. ; for at the foot of both, near 
the rock, there are 12 fathoms and a very clean bottom. 
At the entrance of the port, towards the S.E. point, there 
is a reef of rocks above water,- sufficiently far from the 
shore to be able to pass between if it is necessary ; for both 
on the side of the rock and the shore there is a depth of 

* Puerto de Baracoa. — N. 

2 This reef actually exists on the S.E. side of the entrance to this 
port, which is described with great accuracy by Columbus.— N. 


12 to 15 fathoms: and, on entering, a ship's head should 
be turned S.W. 

Sunday, 2nd of December. 

The wind was still contrary, and they could not depart. 
Every night the wind blows on the land, but no vessel 
need be alarmed at all the gales in the world, for they can- 
not blow home by reason of a reef of rocks at the opening 
to the haven.^ A sailor-boy found, at the mouth of the 
river, some stones which looked as if they contained gold ; 
so they were taken to be shown to the Sovereigns. The 
Admiral says that there are great rivers at the distance of 
a lombard shot. 

Monday, ^^rd of December. 

By reason of the continuance of an easterly wind the 
Admiral did not leave this port. He arranged to visit a 
very beautiful headland a quarter of a league to the S.E. 
of the anchorage. He went with the boats and some 
armed men. At the foot of the cape there was the mouth 
of a fair river, and on entering it they found the width to 
be a hundred paces, with a depth of one fathom. Inside 
they found 12, 5, 4, and 2 fathoms, so that it would hold 
all the ships there are in Spain. Leaving the river, they 
came to a cove in which were five very large canoes, so 
well constructed that it was a pleasure to look at them. 
They were under spreading trees, and a path led from 
them to a very well-built boat-house, so thatched that 
neither sun nor rain could do any harm. Within it there 
was another canoe made out of a single tree like the others, 
like a galley with 17 benches. It was a pleasant sight to 
look upon such goodly work. The Admiral ascended a 

^ Here Las Casas puts "&c.", evidently omitting some valuable 
sailing directions. 


mountain, and afterwards found the country level, and 
cultivated with many things of that land, including such 
calabashes, as it was a glory to look upon them. In the 
middle there was a large village, and they came upon the 
people suddenly ; but, as soon as they were seen, men and 
women took to flight. The Indian from on board, who 
was with the Admiral, cried out to them that they need 
not be afraid, as the strangers were good people. The 
Admiral made him give them bells, copper ornaments, and 
glass beads, green and yellow, with which they were well 
content. He saw that they had no gold nor any other 
precious thing, and that it would suffice to leave them in 
peace. The whole district was well peopled, the rest 
having fled from fear. The Admiral assures the Sove- 
reigns that ten thousand of these men would run from ten, 
so cowardly and timid are they. No arms are carried by 
them, except wands, on the point of which a short piece of 
wood is fixed, hardened by fire, and these they are very 
ready to exchange. Returning to where he had left the 
boats, he sent back some men up the hill, because he 
fancied he had seen a large apiary. Before those he had 
sent could return, they were joined by many Indians, and 
they went to the boats, where the Admiral was waiting 
with all his people. One of the natives advanced into the 
river near the stern of the boat, and made a long speech, 
which the Admiral did not understand. At intervals the 
other Indians raised their hands to heaven, and shouted. 
The Admiral thought he was assuring him that he was 
pleased at his arrival ; but he saw the Indian who came 
from the ship change the colour of his face, and turn as 
yellow as wax, trembling much, and letting the Admiral 
know by signs that he should leave the river, as they were 
going to kill him. He pointed to a cross-bow which one 
of the Spaniards had, and showed it to the Indians, and 
the Admiral let it be understood that they would all be 


slain, bccau55c that cross-bow carried far and killed people. 
He also took a sword and drew it out of the sheath, show- 
in*^ it to them, and sayinj^ the same, which, when they had 
heard, they all took to flight ; while the Indian from the 
ship still trembled from cowardice, thouj^h he was a tall, 
strong man. The Admiral did not want to leave the river, 
but pulled towards the place where the natives had 
assembled in great numbers, all painted, and as naked 
as when their mothers bore them. Some had tufts of 
feathers on their heads, and all had their bundles of 

The Admiral says : " I came to them, and gave them 
some mouthfuls of bread, asking for the darts, for which 
1 gave in exchange copper ornaments, bells, and glass 
beads. This made them peaceable, so that they came to 
the boats again, and gave us what they had. The sailors 
had killed a turtle, and the shell was in the boat in pieces. 
The .sailor-boys gave them some in exchange for a bundle 
of darts. These aie like the other people we have seen, 
and with the same belief that we came from heaven. 
They are ready to give whatever thing they have in 
exchange for any trifle without saying it is little ; and I 
believe they would do the same with gold and spices if 
they had any. I saw a fine house, not very large, and 
with two doors, as all the rest have. On entering, I saw 
a marvellous work, there being rooms made in a peculiar 
way, that I scarcely know how to describe it. Shells and 
other things were fastened to the ceiling. I thought 
it was a temple, and I called them and asked, by signs, 
whether prayers were offered up there. They said that 
they were not, and one of them climbed up and offered 
me all the things that were there, of which I took 


Tuesday, dftli of December, 

The Admiral mndc sail with little wind, and left that 
port, which he called Puerto Sauto. After ^oitit^ two 
leagues, he saw the ^reat river* of which he si)oke yester- 
day. I'assinj^ alonj^ the land, and beatin^^ to windward on 
S.IC. and W.NAV. courses, they reached Cabo Liudol~ which 
is IvS.lC. 5 leagues from Cabo del Monte. A league and 
a half from Qdw del Monte there is an important but 
rather narrow river, which seemed to have a good entrance, 
and to be deep. Three-quarters of a league further on, 
the Admiral saw another very large river, and he thought 
it must have its source at a great distance. It had a hun- 
dred paces at its mouth, and no bar, with a depth of 
8 fathoms. The Admiral sent the boat in, to take sound- 
ings, and they found the water fresh until it enters the sea. 

This river had great volume, and must have a large 
population on its banks, lieyond Cabo Linda there is 
a great bay, which would be open for navigation to E.N.E. 
and S.E. and S.S.VV. 

Wednesday, ^th of December. 

All this night they were beating to windward off Ca/>e 
Undo, to reach the land to the east, and at sunrise the 
Admiral sighted another cape,'' two and a half leagues to 
the east. Having passed it, he saw that the land trended 
S. and S.W., and presently saw a fine high cape in that 
direction, 7 leagues distant.'* He would have wished to go 

^ Rio IJoma. — N. - Punta del Fraile. — N, 

•' Punta de los Azules. — N. 

* The eastern end of Cuba, called Punta del Maici. — N. Las 
Casas says that Punta del Maici was not the extreme point. It was 
the point named by the Admiral " Cabo de Cuba". He must be 
correct, for he had the chart drawn by the Admiral himself, in his 
possession (i, p. 340). The Admiral named the extreme east point of 
Cuba " Alpha et Omega" ; and Las Casas says that in his time it had 
the native name of " Punta dc Payatiquiri". {Las Casas, i, p. 360; 
ii, p. 51.) 


98 I)I.scovf:ry of ksi'anola. 

there, but his object was to reach the ishiiid of liabcquc, 
which, accordintj to the Indians, bore N.K. ; so he gave up 
the intention. Me could not go to Babeque either, because 
the wind was N.K.^ Looking to the S.E., he saw land, 
which was a very large island, according to the informa- 
tion of the Indians, well peopled, and called by them 
Bohio? The Admiral say that the inhabitants of Cuba, or 
Juana,-' and of all the other islands, are much afraid of the 
inhabitants of Bohio, because they say that they eat people. 
The Indians relate other things, by signs, which are very 
wonderful ; but the Admiral did not believe them. He 
only inferred that those of Bohio must have more clever- 
ness and cunning to be able to capture the others, who, 
however, are very poor-spirited. The wind veered from 
N.E. to North, so the Admiral determined to leave Cuba, 
or J nana, which, up to this time, he had supposed to be 
the mainland, on account of its size, having coasted along 
it for 120 leagues.^ He shaped a course S.E. b. E., the 
land he had sighted hearing S.E. ; taking this precaution 
because the wind always veered from N. to N.E. again, 
and thence to east and S.E. The wind increased, and he 
made all sail, the current helping them ; so that they 
were making 8 miles an hour from the morning until one 
in the afternoon (which is barely 6 hours, for they say that 
the nights were nearly 15 hours). Afterwards they went 
10 miles an hour, making good 88 miles by sunset, 
--qual to 22 leagues, all to the S.E. As night was coming 

^ Babeque is a name that does not occur aj^ain. Probably its use 
l)y the Admiral arose from some word that had been misunderstood. 

■"' Hayti,orKspanola. ThenameHohio is a mistake (Z.^^.4■v'"(^^vrtj•, 1,359). 

^ The Admiral gave the name of Juana to Cuba, in honour of 
Prince Juan, only son of Ferdinand a \d Isabella. 

* " I found it so large that I thought it must be the mainland— the 
pro\'inre of Cath;iy" {Letter to Santaniief, o. 2). Further on he says : 
" I learnt from Indians whom I seized, that their land was certainly 
an island" (i7n\f., y. 3). lUu he remained in doubt. 


on, the Admiral ordered the caravel Nifla, being a good 
sailer, to proceed ahead, so as to sight a harbour at day- 
light. Arriving at the entrance of a port which was like 
the Bay of Cadiz, while it was still dark, a boat was sent in 
to take soundings, which showed a light from a lantern. 
Ikforc the Admiral could beat up to where the caravel 
w as, hoping that the boat would show a leading-mark for 
entering the port, the candle in the lantern went out. 
The caravel, not seeing the light, showed a light to the 
Admiral, and, running down to him, related what had 
happened. The boat's crew then showed another light, 
and the caravel made for it ; but the Admiral could not 
do so, and was standing off and on all night. 

Thiirsaay, 6th of December. 

When daylight arrived the Admiral found him.sclf four 
leagues from the port, to which he gave the name of Puerto 
Maria^ and to a fine cape bearing S.S.W, he gave the 
name of Cabo del Estrellar It seemed to be the furthest 
point of the island towards the south, distant 28 miles. 
Another point of land, like an island, appeared about 40 
miles to the east. To another fine point, 54 miles to the 
east, ho gave the name of Cabo del Elefaiitc':^ and he called 
another, 28 miles to the S.E., Cabo de Cinqiiin. There was 
a great opf^ning or bay, which might be the mouth of a 
river,** distant 20 miles. It seemed that between Cabo del 
lilcfante and that of Cinqimi there was a great opening,'' 
and some of the sailors said that it formed an island, to 
which the name of Isla de la Tortuga was given. The 
island appeared to be very high land, not closed in with 
mountains, but with beautiful valleys, well cultivated, the 

' The port of St. Nicholas Mole, in Ilayti. 

'^ Cape of St. Nicholas. 

•' I'lintii I'aliiiista. • i'ucrto Escudo. 

•' The channel between Torvuga Island and the main. 

II 2 


crops appearing like the wheat on the plain of Cordova in 
May. That night they saw many fires, and much smoke, 
as if from workshops, in the day time ; it appeared to be a 
signal made by people who were at war. All the coast of 
this land trends to the cast. 

At the hour of vespers the Admiral reached this port, to 
which he fjavc the name of Puerto de San Nicolas, in honour 
of St. Nicholas, whose day it was^; and on entering it he 
was astonished at its beauty and excellence. Although he 
had given great praise to the ports of Cuba, he had no 
doubt that this one not only equalled, but excelled them, 
and none of them are like it. At the entrance it is a 
league and a half wide, and a vessel's head should be 
turned S.S.E., though, owing to the great width, she may 
be steered on any bearing that is convenient ; proceeding 
on this course for two leagues. On the south side of the 
entrance the coast forms a cape, and thence the course is 
almost the same as far as a point where there is a fine 
beach, and a plain covered with fruit-bearing trees of 
many kinds ; so that the Admiral thought there must be 
nutmegs and other spices among them, but he did not 
know them, and they were not ripe. There is a river 
falling into the harbour, near the middle of the beach. 
The depth of this port is surprising, for, until reaching the 

land, for a distance of '^ the lead did not reach the 

bottom at 40 fathoms ; and up to this length there are 
15 fathoms with a very clean bottom. Throughout the 
port there is a depth of 1 5 fathoms, with a clean bottom, 
at a short distance from the shore ; and all along 
the coast there are soundings with clean bottom, and 
not a single sunken rock. Inside, at the length of a 

* When he saw il at a distance he had given it the name of Puerto 
Maria, but, having entered it on St. Nicholas's Day, he changed the 
name, thinking the new one more appropriate. 

■^ A gap in the manuscript. — N. 


boat's oar from the land, there are 5 fathoms. Beyond 
the limit of the port to the S.S.E. a thousand carracks 
could beat up. One branch of the port to the N.E. runs 
into the land for a long half league, and always the same 
width, as if it had been measured with a cord. Being in this 
creek, which is 25 paces wide, the principal entrance to 
the harbour is not in sight, so that it appears land-locked.^ 
The depth of this creek is 1 1 fathoms throughout, all with 
clean bottom ; and close to the land, where one might 
put the gangboards on the grass, there are eight fathoms. 

The whole port is open to the air, and clear of trees. 
All the island appeared to be more rocky than any that 
had been discovered. The trees are smaller, and many of 
them of the same kinds as are found in Spain, such as the 
ilex, the arbutus, and others, and it is the same with the 
herbs. It is a very high country, all open and clear, with 
a very fine air, and no such cold has been met with else- 
where, though it cannot be called cold except by com- 
parison. Towards the front of the haven there is a 
beautiful valley, watered by a river ; and in that district 
there must be many inhabitants, judging from the number 
of large canoes, like galleys, with 15 benches. All the 
natives fled as soon as they saw the ships. The Indians 
who were on board had such a longing to return to their 
homes that the Admiral considered whether he should not 
take them back when he should depart from here. They 
were already suspicious, because he did not shape a course 
towards their country ; whence he neither believed what 
they said, nor could he understand them, nor they him, 
properly. The Indians on board had the greatest fear in 
the world of the people of this island. In order to get 
speech of the people it would be necessary to remain some 
days in harbour ; but the Admiral did not do so, because 
he had to continue his discoveries, and because he could 

^ This is the " Carenero", within the port of St. Nicholas. — N. 


not tell how long he might be detained. He trusted in 
our Lord that the Indians he brought with him would 
understand the language of the people of this island ; and 
afterwards he would communicate with them, trusting 
that it might please God's Majesty that he might find 
trade in gold before he returned. 

Friday^ yth of December. 

At daybreak the Admiral got under weigh, made sail, 
and left the port of St. Nicholas. He went on with the 
wind in the west for two leagues, until he reached the 
point which forms the Carcucro, when the angle in the 
coast bore S.E., and the Cabo dc la Estrella was 24 miles 
to the S.W. Thence he steered along the coast eastward 
to Cid)o Cinquin about 48 miles, 20 of them being on an 
E.N.E. coast. All the coast is very high, with a deep sea. 
Cl'"^.? in shore there are 20 to 30 fathoms, and at the 
G< "ce of a lombard-shot there is no bottom ; all which 
the Admiral discovered that day, as he sailed along the 
coast with the wind S.W., much to his satisfaction. The 
cape, which runs out in the port of St. Nicholas the length 
of a shot from a lombard, could be made an island by 
cutting across it, while to sail round it is a circuit of 3 or 
4 miles. All that land is very high, not clothed with very 
high trees, but with ilex, arbutus, and others proper to the 
land of Castille. l^efore reaching Cape Cinquin by two 
leagues, the Admiral discovered an opening in the moun- 
tains, through which he could see a very large valley, 
covered with crops like barley, and he therefore judged 
that it must sustain a large population. Behind there was 
a high range of mountains. On reaching Cabo Cinquin, 
the Cabo de la Tortnga bore N.E. 32 miles.^ Off Cabo 

' It slioulcl be north ii miles. — N. 


Ciiiquin, at the distance of a lombard-shot, there is a high 
rock, which is a good landmark. The Admiral being 
there, he took the bearing of Cabo del Elefante, which was 
E.S.E. about 70 miles,^ the intervening land being very 
high. At a distance of 6 leagues there was a conspicuous 
cape,2 and he saw many large valleys and plains, and high 
mountains inland, all reminding him of Spain. After 
8 leagues he came to a very deep but narrow river, though 
a carrack might easily enter it, and the mouth without bar 
or rocks. After 16 miles there was a wide and deep 
harbour,^ with no bottom at the entrance, nor, at 3 paces 
from the shore, less than 15 fathoms ; and it runs inland 
a quarter of a league. It being yet very early, only one 
o'clock in the afternoon, and the wind being aft and 
blowing fresh, yet, as the sky threatened much rain, and it 
was very thick, which is dangerous even on a known 
coast, how much more in an unknown country, the 
Admiral resolved to enter the port, which he called Puerto 
de la Concepcion. He landed near a small river at the 
point of the haven, flowing from valleys and plains, the 
beauty of which was a marvel to behold. He took fishing- 
nets with him ; and, before he landed, a skate, like those of 
Spain, jumped into the boat, this being the first time they 
had seen fish resembling the fish of Castille. The sailors 
caught and killed others. Walking a short distance in- 
land, the Admiral found much land under cultivation, and 
heard the singing of nightingales and other birds of Cas- 
tille. Five men were seen, but they would not stop, 
running away. The Admiral found myrtles and other 
Spanish plants, while land and mountains were like those 
of Castille. 

^ This is another error of the transcriber. It should be 11 miles, 
2 Puerto Escudo.— N. 3 jjahia Mosquito.— N, 


Saturday^ '6th of December. 

In this port there was heavy rain, with a fresh breeze 
from the north. The harbour is protected from all winds 
except the north ; but even this can do no harm whatever, 
because there is a great surf outside, which prevents such 
a sea within the river as would make a ship work on her 
cables. After midnlcfht the wind veered to N.E., and then 
to East, from which winds this port is well sheltered by 
the island of Tortuga, distant 36 miles.^ 

Sunday, gt/i of December. 

To-day it rained, and the weather was wintry, like 
October in Castille. No habitations had been seen except 
a very beautiful house in the Puerto de S. Nicolas, which 
was better built than any that had been in other parts. 
" The island is very large," says the Admiral : " it would 
not be much if it has a circumference of 200 leagues. All 
the parts he had seen were well cultivated. He believed 
that the villages must be at a distance from the sea, 
whither they went when the ships arrived ; for they all 
took to flight, taking everything with them, and they 
made smoke-signals, like a people at war." This port has 
a width of a thousand paces at its entrance, equal to 
a quarter of a league. There is neither bank nor reef 
within, and there are scarcely soundings close in shore. 
Its length, running inland, is 3,000 paces, all clean, and 
with a sandy bottom ; so that any ship may anchor in it 
without fear, and enter it without precaution. At the upper 
end there are the mouths of two rivers, with the most 
beautiful campaign country, almost like the lands of Spain : 

' A blunder of the transcriber. It should be 1 1 miles. 


these even have the advantage ; for which reasons the 
Admiral gave the name of the said island Isla Espaflola} 

Monday^ loth of December. 

It blew hard from the N.E., which made them drag their 
anchors half a cable's length. This surprised the Admiral, 
who had seen that the anchors had taken good hold of the 
ground. As he saw that the wind was foul for the direc- 
tion in which he wanted to steer, he sent six men on shore, 
well armed, to go two or three leagues inland, and 
endeavour to open communications with the natives. 
They came and returned without having seen either people 
or houses. But they found some hovels, wide roads, and 
some places where many fires had been made. They saw 
excellent lands, and many mastick trees, some specimens 
of which they took ; but this is not the time for collecting 
it, as it does not coagulate. 

Tuesday, nth of December. 

The Admiral did not depart, because the wind was still 
east and S.E. In front of this port, as has been said, is 
the island of La Tortuga. It appears to be a large island, 
with the coast almost like that of Espanola, and the 
distance between them is about ten leagues.- It is well 
to know that from the Cabo de Cinquui, opposite Tortuga, 
the coast trends to the south. The Admiral had a great 
desire to see that channel between these two islands, and 
to examine the island of Espanola, which is the most 
beautiful thing in the world. According to what the 
Indians said who were on board, he would have to go to 
the island of Babeque. They declared that it was very 
large, with great mountains, rivers, and valleys ; and that 

^ See Letter to Santangel, p. 3. 

^ One of the commonest blunders of the careless scribe who made 
the copy of the Journal of Columbus was to write leagues instead of 
miles. The distance is 1 1 miles. 


the island of Bohio was larger than Juana, which they call 
Cuba, and that it is not surrounded by water. They seem 
to imply that there is mainland behind Espanola, and 
they call it Caritaba, and say it is of vast extent. They 
have reason in saying that the inhabitants are a clever 
race, for all the people of these islands arc in great fear of 
those of Caniba. So the Admiral repeats, what he has said 
before, that Caniba is nothing else but the Gran Can, who 
ought now to be very near. He sends ships to capture the 
islanders ; and as they do not return, their countrymen 
believe that they have been eaten. Each day we under- 
stand better what the Indians say, and they us, so that 
very often we are intelligible to each other. The 
Admiral sent people on shore, who found a great deal of 
mastick, but did not gather it. He says that the rains 
make it, and that in Chios they collect it in March. In 
these lands, being warmer, they might take it in January. 
They caught many fish like those of Castille — dace,^ 
salmon, hake,'^ dory ,2 gilt heads,* skates,*'' corbinas^ shrimps,'^ 
and they saw sardines. They found many aloes. 

Wednesday, \2th of December. 

The Admiral did not leav^ the port to-day, for the same 
reason : a contrary wind. He set up a great cross on the 
west side of the entrance, on a very picturesque height, 
" in sign", he says, " that your Highnesses hold this land 
for your own, but chiefly as a sign of our Lord Jesus 
Christ." This being done, three sailors strolled into the 
woods to see the trees and bushes. Suddenly they came 
upon a crowd of people, all naked like the rest. They called 

' Albures, a river fish : roach or dace. 

2 Pijoia, a word in the Galician dialect for a cod or hake. 

3 Gallo. * Pampano. ^ Liza. 

" I have failed to find the EngHsh equivalent for the name of this 
fish. ^ Camarones. 


to them, and went towards them, but they ran away. At 
last they caught a woman ; for I had ordered that some 
should be caught, that they might be treated well, and 
made to lose their fear. This would be a useful event, for 
it c(juld scarcely be otherwise, considering the beauty of 
the country. So they took the woman, who was very 
young and beautiful, to the ship, where she talked to the 
Indians on board ; for they all speak the same language. 
The Admiral caused her to be dressed, and gave her glass 
beads, hawks' bells, and brass ornaments ; then he sent her 
back to the shore very courteously, according to his 
custom. He sent three of the crew with her, and three of 
the Indians he had on board, that they might open com- 
munications with her people. The sailors in the boat, who 
took her on shore, told the Admiral that she did not want 
to leave the ship, but would rather remain with the other 
women he had seized at the port of Mares, in the island of 
Juana or Cuba. The Indians who went to put the woman 
on shore said that the natives came in a canoe, which is 
their caravel, in which they navigate from one place to 
another ; but when they came to the entrance of the har- 
bour, and saw the ships, they turned back, left the canoe, 
and took the road to the village. The woman pointed out 
the position of the village. She had a piece of gold in her 
nose, which showed that there was gold in that island. 

Thursday, i2,th of December. 

The three men who had been sent by the Admiral with 
the woman returned at 3 o'clock in the morning, not 
having gone with her to the village, because the distance 
appeared to be long, or because th'^y were afraid. They 
said that next day many people would come to the ships, 
as they would have been reassured by the news brought 
them by the woman. The Admiral, with the desire of 
ascertaining whether there were any profitable commodities 


in that land, bcinj:^ so beautiful and fertile, and of having 
some speech with the people, and bein^ desirous of scrv- 
in^^ the Sovereigns, determined to send again to the village, 
trusting in the news brought by the woman that the 
Christians were good people. For this service he selected 
nine men well armed, and suited for such an enterprise, 
with whom an Indian went from those who were on 
board. They reached the village,^ which is 4^ leagues to 
the S.E., and found that it was situated in a very large 
and open valley. As soon as the inhabitants saw the 
Christians coming they all fled inland, leaving all their 
goods behind thcrn. The village consisted of a thousand 
houses, with over three thousand inhabitants. The Indian 
whom the Christians had brought with them ran after the 
fugitives, saying that they should have no fear, for the 
Christians did not come from Cariba, but were from 
heaven, and that they gave many beautiful things to all 
the people they met. They were so impressed with what 
he said, that upwards of two thousand came close up to 
the Christians, putting their hands on their heads, which 
was a sign of great reverence and friendship ; and they 
were all trembling until they were reassured. The Chris- 
tians related that, as soon as the natives had cast off their 
fear, they all went to the houses, and each one brought 
what he had to eat, consisting of yams,- which are roots 
like large radishes, which they sow and cultivate in all 
their lands, and is their staple food. They make bread of 
it, and roast it. The yam has the smell of a chesnut, and 
anyone would think he was eating chesnuts. 'They gave 
their guests bread and fish, and all they had. As the 
Indians who came in the ship had understood that the 

^ This village is now known by the name of Gros Morne. It is 
situated on the banks of the Rio de las Tres Reyes, which empties 
itself into the sea half-a-mile west oi Puerto de Pas. — N. 

^ " Pan de niames." 


Admiral wanted to have some parrots, one of those who 
accompanied the Spaniards mentioned this, and the natives 
brou^dit out parrots, and ^ave tliem as many as they 
wanted, without askint; anything; for them. The natives 
asked the Spaniards not to i^o that niL,dit, and that they 
woukl Ljive them many other thin_L,rs that tiie_\' liad in the 
mountains. While all these people were with the Spaniards, 
a <n*eat multitude was seen to come, with the husband of 
the woman whom the Admiral had honoured and sent 
away. They wore hair over their shoulders, and caine to 
"ivc thanks to the Christians for the honour the Admiral 
had done them, and for the gifts. The Christians reported 
to the Admiral that this was a handsomer and finer people 
than any that had hitherto been met with. Jkit the 
Admiral says that he does not see how they can be a finer 
people than the others, giving to understand that all those 
he had found in the other islands were very well con- 
ditioned. As regards beauty, the Christians said there 
was no comparison, both men and women, and that their 
skins are whiter than the other.s. They saw two girls 
whose skins were as white as any that could be seen in 
Spain. They also said, with regard to the beauty of the 
country they saw, that the best land in Castille could not 
be compared with it. The Admiral also, comparing the 
lands they had seen before with these, said that there was 
no comparison between them, nor did the plain of Cordova 
come near them, the difference being as great as between 
night and day. They said that all these lands were 
cultivated, and that a very wide and large river pas.sed 
through the centre of the valley, and could irrigate all the 
fields. All the trees were green and full of fruit, and the 
plants tall and covered with flowers. The roads were 
broad and good. The climate was like April in Castille ; 
the nightingale and other birds sang as they do in Spain 
during that month, and it was the most pleasant place 
in the world. Some birds sing sweetly at night. Tlie 


crickets and frogs arc heard a good deal. The fish are 
like those of Spain. They saw much aloe and mastick, 
and cotton-fields. Gold was not found, and it is not wonder- 
ful that it should not have been found in so short a time. 

Here the Admiral calculated the number of hours in the 
day and night, and from sunrise to sunset. He found that 
twenty half-hour glasses passed,^ though he says that here 
there may be a mistake, either because they were not 
turned with equal quickness, or because some sand may 
not have passed. He also oKserved with a quadrant, and 
found that he was 34 degrees from the equinoctial line.^ 

Friday, i^th of December. 

The Admiral left the Puerto de la Concepcion with 
the land-breeze, but soon afterwards it fell calm (and this 
is experienced every day by those who arc on this coast). 
Later an east wind sprang up, .so he steered N.N.E., and 
arrived at the island of Tortuga. He sighted a point 
which he named Punta Pierna, E.N.E. of the end of the 
island 12 miles ; and from thence another point wf's seen 
and named Punta Lanzada, in the same N.E. direction 16 
miles. Thus from the end of Tortuga to Punta Aguda 
thedi.stance is 44 miles, which is 1 1 leagues E.N.E. Along 
this route there are several long stretches of beach. The 
island of Tortuga is very high, but not mountainous, and 
is very beautiful and populous, like Espaftola, and the land 
is cultivated, so that it looked like the plain of Cordova. 
Seeing that the wind was foul, and that he could not steer 
for the island of Baneque^ he determined to return to the 
Puerto de la Concepcion whence he had come ; but he could 
not fetch a river which is two leagues to the east of that 

' Another blunder in transcribing. 

^ Another transcriber's blunder. It should be 20°. 

^ Elsewhere called Babeque. 


Saturday, i$th of December. 

Once more the Admiral left the Puerto de la Concepcion, 
but, on leaving the port, he was again met by a contrary 
east wind. He stood over to Tortuga, and then steered 
with the object of exploring the river he had been unable 
to reach yesterday ; nor was he able to fetch the river this 
time, but he anchored half a league to leeward of it, where 
there was clean and good anchoring ground. As soon 
as the vessels were secured, he went with the boats to the 
river, entering an arm of the sea, which proved not to 
be the river. Returning, he found the mouth, there being 
only one, and the current very strong. He went in with 
the boats to find the villagers that had been seen the day 
before. He ordered a tow-rope to be got out and manned 
by the sailors, who hauled the boats up for a distance 
of two lombard-shots. They could not get further owing 
to the strength of the current. He saw some houses, and 
the large valley where the villages were, and he said that 
a more beautiful valley he had never seen, this river 
flowing through the centre of it. He also saw people at 
the entrance, but they all took to flight. He further says 
that these people must be much hunted, for they live 
in such a state of fear. When the ships arrived at any 
port, they presently made smoke signals throughout the 
country ; and this is done more in this island of Espailola 
and in Tortuga, which is also a large island, than in the 
others that were visited before. He called this valley 
Valle del Paratso, and the river Guadalquivir ; because 
he says that it is the size of the Guadalquivir at Cordova. 
The banks consist of shingle, suitable for walking. 

Sunday y \6th of December. 

At midnight the Admiral made sail with the land-breeze 
to get clear of that gulf. Passing along the coast of 


Espaftola on a bowline, for the wind had veered to the 
cast, he met a canoe in the middle of the gulf, with a sinj^lc 
Indian in it. The Admiral was surprised how he could 
have kept afloat with such a gale blowing. Both the 
Indian and his canoe were taken on board, and he was 
given glass heads, bells, and brass trinkets, and taken in 
the ship, until she was off a village 17 miles from the 
former anchorage, where the Admiral came to again. The 
village appeared to have been lately built, for all the houses 
were new. The Indian then went on shore in his canoe, 
bringing the news that the Admiral and his companions 
were good people ; although the intelligence had already 
been conveyed to the village from the place where the 
natives had their interview with the six Spaniards. 
Presently more than five hundred natives with their king 
came to the shore opposite the ships, which were anchored 
very close to the land. Presently one by one, then many 
by many, came to the ship without bringing anything with 
them, except that some had a few grains of very fine gold 
in their ears and noses, which they readily gave away. 
The Admiral ordered them ail to be well treated ; and he 
says : " for they are the best people in the world, and the 
gentlest ; and above all I entertain the hope in our Lord 
that your Highnesses will make them all Christians, and 
that they will be all your subjects, for as yours I hold 
them." He also saw that they all treated the king with 
respect, who was on the sea-shore. The Admiral sent him 
a present, which he received in great state. He was a 
youth of about 21 years of age, and he had with him an 
aged tutor, and other councillors who advised and answered 
him, but he uttered very few words. One of the Indians 
who had come in the Admiral's ship spoke to him, telling 
him how the Christians had come from heaven, and how 
they came in .search of gold, and wished to find the island 
of Baueqtte. He said that it was well, and that there was 

YAMS. 113 

much gold in the said island. He explained to the alguazil 
of the Admiral that the way they were going was the right 
way, and that in two days they would be there ; adding, 
that if they wanted anything from the shore he would give 
it them with great pleasure. This king, and all the others, 
go naked as their mothers bore them, as do the women 
without any covering, and these were the most beautiful 
men and women that had yet been met with. They are 
fairly white, and if they were clothed and protected from 
the sun and air, they would be almost as fair as people in 
Spain. This land is cool, and the best that words can 
describe. It is very high, yet the top of the highest 
mountain could be ploughed with bullocks ; and all is 
diversified with plains and valleys. In all Castille there 
is no land that can be compared with this for beaut)' and 
fertility. All this island, as well as the island of Tortuga, 
is cultivated like the plain of Cordova. They raise on 
these lands crops of yams, which are small branches, at the 
foot of which grow roots^ like carrots, which serve as 
bread. They powder and knead them, and make them 
into bread ; then they plant the same branch in another 
part, which again sends out four or five of the same roots, 
which are very nutritious, with the taste of chesnuts. 
Here they have the largest the Admiral had seen in any 
part of the world, for he says that they have the same 
plant in Guinea. At this place they were as thick as a 
man's leg. All the people were stout and lusty, not thin, 
like the natives that had been seen before, and of a very 
pleasant manner, without religious belief The trees were 
so luxuriant that the leaves left off being green, and were 

' Diego de Arana of Cordova, a near relation of Beatriz Henriquez, 
the mother of the Admiral's son Fernando. 

^ Dioscorca alata. The stem has a woody tissue, with a large 
farinaceous tuber attached, which sometimes weighs 30 lbs. 



dark coloured with verdure. It was a wonderful thing to 
see those valleys, and rivers of sweet water, and the culti- 
vated fields, and land fit for cattle, though they have none, 
for orchards, and for anything in the world that a man 
could seek for. 

In the afternoon the king came on board the ship, 
where the Admiral received him in due form, and caused 
him to be told that the ships belonged to the Sovereigns 
of Castille, who were the greatest Princes in the world. 
But neither the Indians who were on board, who acted as 
interpreters, nor the king, believed a word of it. They 
maintained that the Spaniards came from heaven, and that 
the Sovereigns of Castille must be in heaven, and not in 
this world. They placed Spanish food before the king to 
eat, and he ate a mouthful, and gave the rest to his coun- 
cillors and tutor, and to the rest who came with him. 

" Your Highnesses may believe that these lands are 
so good and fertile, especially these of the island of 
Espafiola, that there is no one who would know how to 
describe them, and no one who could believe if he had 
not seen them. And your Highnesses may believe that 
this island, and all the others, are as much yours as 
Castille. Here there is only wanting a settlement and 
the order to the people to do what is required. For I, 
with the force I have under me, which is not large, could 
march over all these islands without opposition. I have 
seen only three sailors land, without wishing to do harm, 
and a multitude of Indians fled before them. They have 
no arms, and are without warlike instincts ; they all go 
naked, and are so timid that a thousand would not stand 
before three of our men. So that they are good to be 
ordered about, to work and sow, and do all that may be 
necessary, and to build towns, and they should be taught 
to go about clothed and to adopt our customs." 


Monday, lyth of December, 

It blew very hard during the night from E.N.E., but 
there was not much sea, as this part of the coast is 
enclosed and sheltered by the island of Tortuga. The 
sailors were sent away to fish with nets. They had much 
intercourse with the natives, who brought them certain 
arrows of the Caribas or Canibales. They are made of 
reeds, pointed with sharp bits of wood hardened by fire, 
and are very long. They pointed out two men who 
wanted certain pieces of flesh on their bodies, giving to 
understand that the Canibales had eaten them by mouth- 
fuls. The Admiral did not believe it. Some Christians 
were again sent to the village, and, in exchange for glass 
beads, obtained some pieces of gold beaten out into fine 
leaf They saw one man, whom the Admiral supposed to 
be Governor of that province, called by them Cacique, 
with a piece of gold leaf as large as a hand, and it appears 
that he wanted to barter with it. He went into his house, 
and the other remained in the open space outside. He 
cut the leaf into small pieces, and each time he came out 
he brought a piece and exchanged it. When he had 
no more left, he said by signs that he had sent for more, 
and that he would bring it another day. The Admiral 
says that all these things, and the manner of doing them, 
with their gentleness and the information they gave, showed 
these people to be more lively and intelligent than any 
that had hitherto been met with. In the afternoon a 
canoe arrived from the island of Tortuga with a crew 
of forty men ; and when they arrived on the beach, all 
the people of the village sat down in sign of peace, and 
nearly all the crew came on shore. The Cacique rose 
by himself, and, with words that appeared to be of a 
menacing character, made them go back to the canoe and 

I 3 


shove off. He took up stones from the beach and threw 
them into the water, all having obediently gone back into 
the canoe. He also took a stone and put it in tho hands 
of my Alguazil,' that he mi^ht throw it. He had been 
sent on shore with the Secretary- to sec if the canoe had 
brought anything of value. The Alguazil did not wish to 
throw the stone. That Cacique showed that he was well 
disposed to the Admiral. Presently the canoe departed, 
and afterwards they said to the Admiral that there was 
more gold in Tortuga than in Kspafiola, because it is 
nearer to Baneque. The Admiral did not think that there 
were gold mines cither in Kspafiola or Tortuga, but that 
the gold was brought from Baneque in small quantities, 
there being nothing to give in return. That land is so 
rich that there is no necessity to work much to sustain 
life, nor to clothe themselves, as they go naked. He 
believed that they were very near the source, and that 
our Lord would point out where the gold has its origin. 
He had information that from here to Baneque^ was four 
days' journey, about 34 leagues, which might be traversed 
with a fair wind in a single day. 

Tuesday, i %th of December. 

The Admiral remained at the same anchorage, because 
there was no wind, and also because the Cacique had said 
that he had sent for gold. The Admiral did not expect 
much from what might be brought, but he wanted to 
understand better whence it came. Presently he ordered 
the ship and caravel to be adorned with arms and dressed 
vvith flags, in honour of the feast of Santa Maria de la 

' Diego de Arana. 
2 Rodrigo de Escobedo. 

' Las Casas suggests that this name Baneque may possibly mean 
Jamaica or the mainland. 


O ,^ or commemoration of the Annunciation, which 

was on that day, and many rounds were fired from the 
lombards. The l<ing of that island of Espafiola had got 
up very early and left his house, which is about five 
leagues away, reaching the village at three in the morning. 
There were several men from the ship in the village, who 
had been sent by the Admiral to see if any gold had 
arrived. They said that the king came with two hundred 
men ; that he was carried in a litter by four men ; and 
that he was a youth, as has already been said. To-day, 
when the Admiral was dining under the poop, the king 
came on board with all his people. 

The Admiral says to the Sovereigns : " Without doubt, 
his state, and the reverence with which he is treated by all 
his people, would appear good to your Highnesses, though 
they all go naked. When he came on board, he found 
that I was dir ing at a table under the poop, and, at 
a quick walk, he came to sit down by me, and did not 
wish that I should give place by coming to receive him or 
rising from the table, but that I should go on with my 
dinner. I thought that he would like to cat of our viands, 
and ordered ihcm to be brought for him to eat. When he 
came under the poop, he made signs with his hand that all 
the rest should remain outside, and so they did, with the 
greatest possible promptitude and reverence. They all 
sat on the deck, except the men of mature age, whom 
I believe to be his councillors and tutor, who came and sat 
at his feet. Of the viands which I put before him, he took 
of each as much as would serve to taste it,- sending the 
rest to his people, who all partook of the dishes. The 
same thing in drinking : he just touched with his lips, 

* The Feast of the Annunciation. {Las Casas.) 
' " Hacer la salva", the quantity taken by the taster before it was 
eaten by guests. 


giving the rest to his followers. They were all of fine 
presence and very few words. What they did say, so far 
as I could make out, was very clear and intcllii^ent. The 
two at his feet watched his mouth, speaking to him and 
for him, and with much reverence. After dinner, an 
attendant brought a girdle, made like those of Castille, 
but of different material, which he took and gave to me, 
with pieces of worked gold, very thin. I believe they get 
very little here, but they say that they are very near the 
place where it is found, and where there is plenty. I saw 
that he was pleased with some drapery I had over my 
bed, so I gave it him, witli some very good amber beads 
I wore on my neck, some coloured shoes, and a bottle of 
orange-flower water. He was marvellously well content, 
and both he and his tutor and councillors were very sorry 
that they could not understand me, nor I them. How- 
ever, I knew that they said that, if I wanted anything, the 
whole island was at my disposal. I .sent for some beads 
of mine, with which, as a charm, I had a gold excelente^ 
on which your Highnesses were stamped. I showed it to 
him, and said, as I had done yesterday, that your High- 
nesses ruled the best part of the world, and that there 
were no Princes so great, I also showed him the royal 
standards, and the others with a cross, of which he thought 
much. He said to his councillors what great lords your 
Highnesses must be to have sent me from so far, even 
from heaven to this country, without fear. Many other 
things passed between them which I did not understand, 
except that it was easy to see that they held everything to 
be very wonderful." 

When it got late, and the king wanted to go, the 
Admiral sent him on shore in his boat very honourably, 

• A coin worth two castellanos. The castellano was worth 490 


and saluted him with many guns. Having landed, he got 
into his litter, and departed with his 200 men, his son 
being carried behind on the shoulders of an Indian, a 
man highly respected. All the sailors and people from 
the ships were given to eat, and treated with much honour 
wherever they liked to stop. One sailor said that he had 
stopped in the road and seen all the things given by the 
Admiral. A man carried each one before the king, and 
these men appeared to be among those who were most 
respected. His son came a good distance behind the 
king, with a similar number of attendants, and the same 
with a brother of the king, except that the brother went 
on foot, supported under the arms by two honoured attend- 
ants. This brother came to the ship after the king, and 
the Admiral presented him with some of the things used 
for barter. It was then that the Admiral learnt that 
a king was called Cacique in their language. This day 
little gold was got by barter, but the Admiral heard from 
an old man that there were many neighbouring islands, at 
a distance of a hundred leagues or more, as he under- 
stood, in which much gold is found ; and there is even one 
island that was all gold. In the others there was so much 
that it was said they gather it with sieves, and they fuse it 
and make bars, and work it in a thousand ways. They 
explained the work by signs. This old man pointed out 
to the Admiral the direction and position, and he deter- 
mined to go there, saying that if the old man had not 
been a principal councillor of the king he would detain 
him, and make him go, too ; or if he knew the language 
he would ask him, and he believed, as the old man was 
friendly with him and the other Christians, that he would 
go of his own accord. But as these people were now sub- 
jects of the King of Castille, and it would not be right to 
injure them, he decided upon leaving him. The Admiral 
set up a very large cross in the centre of the square 


of that village, the Indians giving much help ; they made 
prayers and worshipped it, and, from the feeling they 
show, the Admiral trusted in our Lord that all the people 
of those islands would become Christians. 

Wednesday^ \c)th of December. 

This night the Admiral got under weigh to leave the 
gulf formed between the islands of Tortuga and Espafiola, 
but at dawn of day a breeze sprang up from the cast, against 
which he was unable to get clear of the strait between the 
two islands during the whole day. At night he was unable 
to reach a port which was in sight' He made out four 
points of land, and a great bay with a river, and beyond 
he saw a large bay,'- where there was a village, with 
a valley behind it among high mountains covered with 
trees, which appeared to be pines. Over the Two Brothers^ 
there is a very high mountain-range running N.E. and 
S.W., and K.S.E. from the Caho de Torres is a small island 
to which the Admiral gave the name of Santo Tomas, 
because to-morrow was his vigil. The whole circuit of 
this island alternates with capes and excellent harbours, so 
far as could be judged from the .sea. Before coming to 
the island on the west side, there is a cape which runs far 
into the sea, in part high, the rest low ; and for this reason 
the Admiral named it Cabo alto y bajo.^ From the road'' 
of Torres to E.S.E. 60 miles, there is a mountain higher 
than any that reaches the sea,*' and from a distance it 
looks like an island, owing to a depression on the land 
side. It was named Monte Cartbata, because that province 

* El Puerto de la Granja. — N. 

' The bay of Puerto Margot. — N. 

' Las Casas says there was no such name used in his time. 

* Point and Island of Margot. — N. 

^ Camtiio for Cabo (?). " Mountain over Guarico, 


was called Caribata. it is vcrv beautiful, and covered with 
green trees, without snow or clouds. The weather was 
then, as regards the air and temperature, like March in 
Castillc, and as regards vegetation, like May. The nights 
lasted 14 hours. 

Thursday, 20th of December. 

At sunrise they entered a port between the island of 
Santo Tomas and the Cabo de Caribata} and anchored. 
This port is very beautiful, and would hold all the ships in 
Christendom. The entrance appears impossible from the 
sea to those who have never entered, owing to some reefs 
of rocks which run from the mountainous cape almost 
to the island. They are not placed in a row, but one here, 
another there, some towards the sea, others near the land. 
It is therefore necessary to keep a good look-out for the 
entrances, which are wide and with a depth of 7 fathoms, 
so that they can be used without fear. Inside the reefs 
there is a depth of 12 fathoms. A ship can lie with a 
cable made fast, against any wind that blows. At the 
entrance of this port there is a channel on the west side of 
a sandy islet with 7 fathoms, and many trees on its shore. 
But there are many sunken rocks in that direction, and a 
look-out should be kept up until the port is reached. 
Afterwards there is no need to fear the greatest storm 
in the world. From this port a very beautiful cultivated 
valley is in sight, descending from the S.E., surrounded by 
such lofty mountains that they appear to reach the sky, 
and covered with green trees. Without doubt there are 
mountains here which are higher than the island of 
Tenerife in the Canaries, which is held to be the highest 
yet known. On this side of the island of Santo Tomas, at 

• Bahia dc Aciil. 


a distance of a lea^juc, there is another islet, and beyond it 
another, forming wonderful harbours; though a good look- 
cut must be kept for sunken rocks. The Admiral also 
saw villages, and smoke made by them. 

Friday, 2\st of December. 

To-day the Admiral went with the ship's boats to 
examine this port, which he found to be such that it could 
not be equalled by any he had yet seen ; but, having 
praised the others so much, he knew not how to express 
himself, fearing that he will be looked upon as one who 
goes beyond the truth. He therefore contents himself 
with saying that he had old sailors with him who say the 
same. All the praises he has bestowed on the other ports 
are true, and that this is better than any of them is equally 
true. He further says : " I have traversed the sea for 
23 years,^ without leaving it for any time worth counting, 
and I saw all in the east and the west, going on the 
route of the north, which is England, and I have been to 
Guinea, but in all those parts there will not be found 

perfection of harbours - always found ^ 

better than another, that I, with good care, saw written ; 
and I again affirm it was well written, that this one is 
better than all others, and will hold all the ships of the 
world, secured with the oldest cables. From the entrance 
to the end is a distance of five leagues.* The Admiral saw 
some very well cultivated lands, although they are all so, 

^ This is one of the passa}i;es which fixes the date of the great dis- 
coverer's birth. He went to sea at 14, and had been at sea 23 
years when he first came to Spain in 1483, which makes his age 46. 
He was, therefore, born in the year 1447. 

' A gap of a line and a half in the manur ript. 

^ Another gap in the manuscript. 

* The distance is six miles. This is another instance of the tran- 
scriber substituting leagues for miles. 


and he sent two of the boat's cicvv to the top of a hill to 
sec if any villay^c was near, for none could be scxmi from the 
sea. At about ten o'clock that night, certain Indians 
came in a canoe to see the Admiral and the Christians, and 
they were given presents, with which they were much 
pleased. The two men returned, and reported that they 
had seen a very large village at a short distance from the 
sea.^ The Admiral ordered the boat to row towards the 
place where the village was until they came near the land, 
when he saw two Indians, who came to the shore apparently 
in a state of fear. So he ordered the boats to stop, and 
the Indians that were with the Admiral were told to assure 
the two natives that no harm whatever was intended to 
them. Then they came nearer the sea, and the Admiral 
nearer the land. As soon as the natives had got rid of 
their fear, so many came that they covered the ground, 
with women and children, giving a thousand thanks. 
They ran hither and thither to bring us bread made of 
yams, which they call ajcs, which is very white and good, 
and water in calabashes, and in earthen jars made like 
those of Spain, and everything else they had and that they 
thought the Admiral could want, and all so willingly and 
cheerfully that it was wonderful. " It cannot be said that, 
because what they gave was worth little, therefore they 
gave liberally, because those who had pieces of gold gave 
as freely as those who had a calabash of water ; and it is 
easy to know when a thing is given with a hearty desire 
to give." These are the Admiral's words. "These people 
have no spears nor any other arms, nor have any of the 
inhabitants of the whole island, which I believe to be very 
large. They go naked as when their mothers bore them, 
both men and women. In Cuba and the other islands the 
women wear a small clcut of cotton in front, as well as the 



men, as soon as they have passed the age of twelve years, 
but here neither old nor young do so. Also, the men in the 
other islands jealously hide their women from the Christians, 
but here they do not." The women have very beautiful 
bodies, and they were the first to come and give thanks to 
heaven, and to bring what they had, especially things to 
eat, such as bread of ajes (yams), nuts, and four or five 
kinds of fruits, some of which the Admiral ordered to be 
preserved, to be taken to the Sovereigns. He says that 
the women did not do less in other ports before they 
were hidden ; and he always gave orders that none of his 
people should annoy them ; that nothing should be taken 
against their wills, and that everything that was taken 
should be paid for. Finally, he says that no one could 
believe that there could be such good-hearted people, so 
free to give, anxious to let the Christians have all they 
wanted, and, when visitors arrived, running to bring every- 
thing to them. 

Afterwards the Admiral sent six Christians to the village 
to see what it was like, and the natives showed them all the 
honour they could devise, and gave them all they had ; for no 
doubt was any longer entertained that the Admiral and 
all his people had come from heaven ; and the same was 
believed by the Indians who were brought from the other 
islands, although they had now been told what they ought 
to think. When the six Christians had gone, some canoes 
came with people to ask the Admiral to come to their village 
when he left the place where he was. Canoa is a boat in 
which they navigate, some large and others small. Seeing 
that this village of the Chief was on the road, and that many 
people were waiting there for him, the Admiral went there ; 
but, before he could depart, an enormous crowd came to the 
shore, men, women, and children, crying out to him not to 
go, but to stay with them. The messengers from the other 
Chief, who had come to invite him, were waiting with their 


canoes, that he might not go away, but come to see their 
Chief, and so he did. On arriving where the Chief was 
waiting for him with many things to eat, he ordered that all 
the people should sit down, and that the food should be 
taken to the boats, where the Admiral was, on the sea-shore. 
When he saw that the Admiral had received what he sent, 
all or most of the Indians ran to the village, which was 
near, to bring more food, parrots, and other things they 
had, with such frankness of heart that it was marvellous. 
The Admiral gave them glass beads, brass trinkets, and 
bells : not because they asked for anything in return, but 
because it seemed right, and, above all, because he now 
looked upon them as future Christians, and subjects of the 
Sovereigns, as much as the people of Castille. He further 
says that they want nothing except to know the language 
and be under governance; for all they may be told to do will 
be done without any contradiction. The Admiral left this 
place to go to the ships, and the people, men, women, and 
children, cried out to him not to go, but remain with them. 
After the boats departed, several canoes full of people 
followed after them to the ship, who were received with 
much honour, and given to eat. There had also come before 
another Chief from the west, and many people even came 
swimming, the ship being over a good half-league from the 
shore. I sent certain persons to the Chief, who had gone 
back, to ask him about these islands. He received them 
very well, and took them to his village, to give them 
some large pieces of gold. They arrived at a large river, 
which the Indians cros.sed by swimming. The Christians 
were unable, .so they turned back. In all this district there 
are very high mountains which seem to reach the sky, so 
that the mountain in the island of Tenerife appears as 
nothing in height and beauty, and they are all green with 
trees. Between them there are very delicious valleys, and 
at the end of this port, to the south, there is a valley so 


large that the end of it is not visible, though no mountains 
intervene, so that it seems ' > be 15 or 20 leagues long. A 
river flows through it, and it is all inhabited and cultivated» 
and as green as Castillc in May or June ; but the night 
contains 14 hours, the land being so far north. This port is 
very good for all the winds that can blow, being enclosed 
and deep, and the shores peopled by a good and gentle 
race without arms or evil designs. Any ship may lie within 
it without fear that other ships will enter at night to 
attack her,, although the entrance is over two 
leagues wide, it is protected by reefs of rocks which are 
barely awash ; and there is only a very narrow channel 
through the reef, which looks as if it had been artificially 
made, leaving an open door by which ships may enter. In 
the entrance there are 7 fathoms of depth up to the shore 
of a small flat islan:., which has a beach fringed with trees. 
The entrance is on the west side, and a ship can come with- 
out fear until she is close to the rock. On the N.W. side 
there arc three islands, and a great river a league from the 
cape on one side of the port. It is the best harbour in the 
world, and the Admiral gave it the name of Puerto de la 
mar de Santo Tomas, because to-day it was that Saint's 
day. The Admiral called it a sea, owing to its size. 

Saturday, 22nd of December. 

At dawn the Admiral made sail to shape a course in 
search of the islands which the Indians had told him 
contained much gold, .some of them having more gold 
than earth. But the weather was not favourable, so he 
anchored again, and sent away the boat to fish with a net. 
The Lord of that land,^ who had a place near there, sent a 
large canoe full of people, including one of his principal 

^ This was Guacangari, Lord of Marien, afterwards the tried and 
Steadfast friend of the Admiral, 


attendants, to invite the Admiral to come with the ships to 
his land, where he would give him all he wanted. The 
Chief sent, by this servant, a girdle which, instead of a bag, 
had attached to it a mask with two large ears made of 
be iten gold, the tongue, and the nose. These people are 
very open-hearted, and whatever they are asked for they 
give most willingly ; while, when they themselves ask for 
anything, they do so as if receiving a great favour. So 
says the Admiral. They brought the canoe alongside the 
boat, and gave the girdle to a boy ; then they came on 
board with their mission. It took a good part of the day 
before they could be understood. Not even the Indians 
who were on board understood them well, because they 
have some differences of words for the names of things. At 
last their invitation was understood by signs. The Admiral 
determined to start to-morrow, although he did not usually 
sail on a Sunday, owing to a devout feeling, and not on 
account of any superstition whatever. But in the hope 
that these people would become Christians through the 
willingness they show, and that they will be subjects of the 
Sovereigns of Castille, and because he now holds them to 
be so, and that they may serve with love, he wished and 
endeavoured to please them. Before leaving, to-day, the 
Admiral sent six men to a large village three leagues to the 
westward, because the Chief had come the day before and 
said that he had some pieces of gold. When the Christians 
arrived, the Secretary of the Admiral, who was one of them, 
took the Chief by the hand. The Admiral had sent him, to 
prevent the others from imposing upon the Indians. As 
the Indians are so simple, and the Spaniards so avaricious 
and grasping, it does not suffice that the Indians should 
give them all they want in exchange for a bead or a bit of 
glass, but the Spaniards would take everything without any 
return at all. The Admiral always prohibits this, although, 
with the exception of gold, the things given by the Indians 


are of little value. But the Admiral, seeing the simplicity 
of the Indians, and that they will give a piece of gold in 
exchan>?e for six beads, gave the order that nothing should 
be received from them unless something had been given in 
exchange. Thus the Chief took the Secretary by the 
hand and led him to his house, followed by the whole 
village, which was very large. He made his guests eat, 
and the Indians brought them many cotton fabrics, and 
spun-cotton in skeins. In the afternoon the Chief gave 
them three very fat geese and some small pieces of gold. 
A great number of people went back with them, carrying 
all the things they had got by barter, and they also carried 
the Spaniards themselves across streams and muddy places. 
The Admiral ordered some things to be given to the Chief, 
and both he and his people were very well satisfied, truly 
believing that the Christians had come from heaven, so that 
they considered themselves fortunate in beholding them. 
On this day more than 120 canoes came to the ships, all 
full of people, and all bringing something, especially their 
bread and fish, and fresh water in earthen jars. They also 
brought seeds of good kinds, and there was a grain which 
they put into a porringer of water and drank it. The 
Iiidians who were on board said that this was very whole- 

Sunday, 2'^rd of December. 

The Admiral could not go with the ships to that land 
whither he had been invited by the Chief, because there 
was no wind. But he sent, with the three messengers who 
were waiting for the boats, some people, including the 
Secretary. While they were gone, he sent two of the 
Indians he had on board with him to the villages which 
were near the anchorage. They returned to the ship with 
a chief, who brought the news that there was a great 
quantity of gold in that island of Espafiola, and that 


people from other parts came to buy it. They said that 
here the Admiral would find as much as he wanted. 
Others came, who confirmed the statement that there was 
much gold in the island, and explained the way it was 
collected. The Admiral understood all this with much 
difficulty ; nevertheless, he concluded that there was a very 
great quantity in those parts, and that, if he could find the 
place whence it was go., there would be abundance ; and, if 
not, there would be nothing. He believed there must be 
a great deal, because, during the three days that he had 
been in that port, he had got several pieces of gold, and 
he could not believe that it was brought from another 
land. " Our Lord, who holds all things in his hands, look 
upon me, and grant what shall be for his service." These 
arc the Admiral's words. He says that, according to his 
reckoning, a thousand people had visited the ship, all of 
them bringing something. Before they come alongside, 
at a distance of a crossbow-shot, they stand up in the 
canoe with what they bring in their hands, crying out, 
" Take it ! take it !" He also reckoned that 500 came to 
the ship swimming, because they had no canoes, the ship 
being near a league from the shore. Among the visitors, 
five chiefs had come, sons of chiefs, with all their families 
of wives and children, to see the Christians. The Admiral 
ordered something to be given to all, because such gifts 
were all well employed. " May our Lord favour me by 
his clemency, that I may find this gold, I mean the mine 
of gold, which I hold to be here, many saying that they 
know it." These are his words. The boats arrived at 
night, and said that there was a grand road as far as 
they went, and they found many canoes, with people 
who went to see the Admiral and the Christians, at the 
mountain of Caribatan. They held it for certain that, 
if the Christmas festival was kept in that port,^ all the 

^ Port of Guarico.— N. 



people of the island would come, which they calcu- 
lated to be larger than England. All the people went 
with them to the village/ which they said was the 
largest, and the best 1 lid out with streets, of any they 
had seen. The Admiral says it is part of the Pimta Santai- 
almost three leagues S.E. The canoes go very fast with 
^jaddles ; so the}' went ahead to apprise the Cacique^ as 
they call the chief. They also have another greater name 
— Nitajno ; but it was not clear whether they used it for 
lord, or governor, or judge. At last the Cacique came to 
them, and joined them in the square, which was clean- 
swept, as was all the village. The population numbered 
over 2,000 men. This king did great honour to the people 
from the ship, and every inhabitant brought them some- 
thing to eat and drink. Afterwards the king gave each 
of them cotton cloths such as women wear, with parrots 
for the Admiral, and some pieces of gold. The people 
also gave cloths and other things from their houses to the 
sailors ; and as for the trifles they got in return, they 
seemed to look upon them as relics. When they wanted 
to return in the afternoon, he asked them to stay until the 
next day, and all the people did the same. When they 
saw that the Spaniards were determined to go, they accom- 
panied them most of the way, carrying the gifts of the 
Cacique on their backs as far as the boats, which had been 
left at the mouth of the river. 

Monday y 2\th of December, 

Before sunrise the Admiral got under weigh with the 
land-breeze. Among the numerous Indians who had 
come to the ship yesterday, and had made signs that there 

^ Guarico. 

' Columbus has not mentioned this point before. It is now called 
San Honorato. — N. 


was gold in the island, naming the places whence it was 
collected, the Admiral noticed one who seemed more fully 
informed, or who spoke with more willingness, so he asked 
him to come with the Christians and show them the position 
of the gold mines. This Indian has a companion or rela- 
tion with him, and among other places they mentioned 
where gold was found, they named Cipango, which they 
called Civao. Here they said that there was a great 
quantity of gold, and that the Cacique carried banners of 
beaten gold. But they added that it was very far off to 
the eastward. 

Here the Admiral addresses the following words to the 
Sovereigns: "Your Highnesses may believe that there is 
no better nor gentler people in the world. Your High- 
nesses ought to rejoice that they will soon become 
Christians, and that they will be taught the good customs 
of your kingdom, A better race there cannot be, and both 
the people and the lands are in such quantity that I know 
not how to write it. I have spoken in the superlative 
degree of the country and people of Juana, which they 
call Cuba, but there is as much difference between them 
and this island and people as between day and night. I 
believe that no one who should see them could say less 
than I have said, and I repeat that the things and the 
great villages of this island of Espanola, which they call 
BoJiio, are wonderful. All here have a loving manner and 
gentle speech, unlike the others, who seem to be menacing 
when they speak. Both men and women are of good 
stature, and not black. It is true that they all paint, some 
with black, others with other colours, but most with red. 
I know that they are tanned by the sun, but this does not 
affect them much. Their houses and villages are pretty, 
each with a chief, who acts as their judge, and who is 
obeyed by them. All these lords use few words, and have 
excellent manners. Most of their orders are given by a sign 

K 2 


with the hand, which is understood with surprising quick- 
ness." All these are the words of the Admiral. 

Me who would enter the sea of Santo Totiu^'^ ought to 
stand for a good league across the mouth to a flat island 
in the middle, which was named La Atntgair pointing her 
head towards it. When the ship is within a stone's-throw 
of it the course should be altered to make for the eastern 
shore, leaving the west side, and this shore, and not the 
other, should be kept on board, because a great reef runs 
out from the west, and even beyond that there are three 
sunken rocks. This reef comes within a lombard-shot of 
the Amiga island. Between them there are seven fathoms 
at least, with a gravelly bottom. Within, a harbour will be 
found large enough for all the ships in the world, which 
would be there without need of cables. There is another 
reef, with sunken rocks, on the east side of the island of 
Amiga, which are extensive and run out to sea, reaching 
within two leagues of the cape. But it appeared that 
between them there was an entrance, within two lombard- 
shots of Amiga, on the west side of Monte Caribatan, 
where there was a good and very large port.' 

Tuesday, 2^th of December. Christmas. 

Navigating yesterday, with little wind, from Santo Tomt^ 
to Piinta Santa, and being a league from it, at about eleven 
o'clock at night the Admiral went down to get some sleep, 
for he had not had any rest for two days and a night. As 
it was calm, the sailor who steered the ship thought he 
would go to sleep, leaving the tiller in charge of a boy. 
The Admiral had forbidden this throughout the voyage, 
whether it was blowing or whether it was calm. The boys 
were never to be entrusted with the helm. The Admiral 

• Entrance of the Bay of Aqul.— N. 2 jgja ^g Ratos.— N, 

^ Puerto Frances. — N, 


had no anxiety respecting sand-banks and rocks, because, 
when he sent the boats to that king on Sunday, they had 
passed to the east of Piinta Santa at least three leagues 
and a half, and the sailors had seen all the coast, and the 
rocks there arc from Punta Santa, for a distance of three 
leagues to the E.S.E. They saw the course that should be 
taken, which had not been the case before, during this 
voyage. It pleased our Lord that, at twelve o'clock at 
night, when the Admiral had retired to rest, and when all 
had fallen asleep, seeing that it was a dead calm and the 
sea like glass, the tiller being in the hands of a boy, the 
current carried the ship on one of the sand-banks. If 
it had not been night the bank could have been seen, and 
the surf on it could be heard for a good league. But the 
ship ran upon it so gently that it could scarcely be felt. 
The boy, who felt the helm and heard the rush of the sea, 
cried out. The Admiral at oncvi came up, and so quickly 
that no one had felt that the ship was aground. Presently 
the master of the ship,^ whose watch it was, came on deck. 
Tlie Admiral ordered him and others to launch the boat, 
which was on the poop, and lay out an anchor astern. The 
master, with several others, got into the boat, and the 
Admiral thought that they did so with the object of 
obeying his orders. But they did so in order to take 
refuge with the caravel, which was half a league to leeward. 
The caravel would not allow them to come on board, 
acting judiciously, and they therefore returned to the ship ; 
but the caravel's boat arrived first. When the Admiral 
saw that his own people fled in this way, the water rising 
and the ship being across the sea, seeing no other course, 
he ordered the masts to be cut away and the ship to be 

^ The master, who was also the owner, of the Admiral's ship was 
Juan de la Cosa of Santofia, afterwards well known as a draughtsman 
and pilot 


lightened as much as possible, to sec if she would come off. 
Hut, as the water coiitiiuicd to rise, nothing more could be 
done. Her side fell over across the sea, but it was nearly 
calm. Then the timbers' opened, and the ship was lost. 
The Admiral went to the caravel to arrange about the 
reception of the ship's crew, and as a light brce/.e was 
blowing from the land, and continued during the greater 
part of the night, while it was unknown how far the bank 
extended, he hove her to until daylight. lie then went 
bcick to the ship, inside the reef; first having sent a boat 
on shore with Diego de Arana of Cordova, Alguazil of the 
Fleet, and I'edro Gutierrez, Gentleman of the King's Bed- 
chamber, to inform the king, who had invited the ships to 
come on the previous Saturday. His town was about a 
league and a half from the sand-bank. They reported 
that he wept when he heard the news, and he sent all his 
people with large canoes to unload the ship. This was 
done, and they landed all there was between decks in a 
very short time. Such was the great promptitude and 
diligence shown by that king. He himself, with brothers 
and relations, were actively assisting as well in the ship as 
in the care of the property when it was landed, that all 
might be properly guarded. Now and then he sent one of 
his relations weeping to the Admiral, to console him, 
saying that he must not feel sorrow or annoyance, for he 
would supply all that was needed. The Admiral assured 
the Sovereigns that there could not have been such good 
watch kept in any part of Castille, for that there was not 
even a needle missing. He ordered that all the property 
should be placed by .some houses which the king placed at 
his disposal, until they were emptied, when everything 
would be stowed and guarded in them. Armed men were 

^ Convenios, a word meaning the spaces filled with timber, between 
the ribs. See Herrera, Dec. /, Lib. i, cap. i8. — N. 


placed round the stores to watch all night. " The king 
and all his people wept. They are a loving people, without 
covetousness, and fit for anything ; and I assure your 
Highnesses that there is no better land nor people. They 
love their neighbours as themselves, and their speech is 
the sweetest and gentlest in the world, and alw.iys with a 
smile. Men and women go as naked as when their mothers 
bore them. Your Highnesses should believe that they 
have very good customs among themselves. The king is 
a man of remarkable presence, and with a certain self- 
contained manner that is a pleasure to see. They have 
good memories, wish to see everj'thing, and ask the use 
of what they see." AH this is written by the Admiral.* 

Wednesday, 26/// 0/ December. 

To-day, at sunrise, the king of that land came to the 
caravel Niila, where the Admiral was, and said to him, 
almost weeping, that he need not be sorry, for that he 
would give him all he had ; that he had placed two large 
houses at the disposal of the Christians who were on shore, 
and that he would give more if they were required, and as 
many canoes as could load from the ^hip and discharge on 
shore, with as many people as were wanted. This had all 
been done yesterday, without so much as a needle being 
missed. " So honest arc they," says the Admiral, " without 
any covetousness for the goods of others, and so above all 
was that virtuous king." While the Admiral was talking to 
him, another canoe arrived from a different place, bringing 
some pieces of gold, which the people in the canoe wanted 
to exchange for a hawk's bell; for there was nothing they 

^ Fernando Columbus, in the Historic (cap. xxxii), copies this 
account of the shipwreck by his father, the Admiral. His version 
differs somewhat in the expressions, but is the same in substance as 
the text from the copy of Las Casas. — N. 


desired more than these bells. They had scarcely come 
alongfsidc when they called and held up the gold, saying 
CJuiq chuq for the bells, for they are quite mad about them. 
After the king had seen this, and when the canoes which 
came from other places had departed, he called the 
Admiral and asked him to give orders that one of the bells 
was to be kept for another day, when he would bring four 
pieces of gold the size of a man's hand. The Admiral 
rejoiced to hear this, and afterwards a sailor, who came 
from the shore, told him that it was wonderful what pieces 
of gold the men on shore were getting in exchange for ne.xt 
to nothing. For a needle they got a piece of gold worth 
two castcUauos^ and that this was nothing to what it would 
be within a month. The king rejoiced much when he saw 
that the Admiral was pleased. He understood that his 
friend wanted much gold, and he said, by signs, that he knew 
where there was, in the vicinit)', a very large quantity ; so 
that he must be in good heart, for he should have as much 
as he wanted. He gave some account of it, especially 
saying that in CipiXtigo, which they call Cibao, it is so abun- 
dant that it is of no value, and that they will bring it, 
although there is also much more in the island of Espanola^ 
which they call Bo/n'o, and in the province of Cirritahi. 
The king dined on board the caravel with the Admiral 
and afterwards went on shore, where he received the 
Admiral with much honour. He <iave him a collation 
consisting of three or four kinds of yams, with shellfish 
and game, and other viands they have, besides the 
bread they call ca:;avL He then took the Admiral to 
see some groves of trees near the houses, and tho^' were 
accompanied by at least a thousand people, all naked. The 
Lord had on a shirt ai:d a pair of gloves, given to him by 
the Admiral, and he was more delighted with the gloves 
than with anything else. In his manner of eating, both 
as regards the high-bred air and the peculiar cleanliness 


he clearly showed his nobility. After he had eaten, he 
remained some time at table, and they brouj^jht him certain 
herbs, with which he rubbed his hands. The Admiral 
thoujTht that this was done to make them soft, and they 
also gave him water for his hands. After the meal he took 
the Admiral to the beach. The Admiral then sent for a 
Turkish bow and a quiver of arrows, and took a shot at a 
man of his compan)-, who had been warned. The chief, 
who knew nothing about arms, as they neither have them 
nor use them, thought this a wonderful thing. He, how- 
ever, began to talk of those of Cauiba, whom they call 
Carihcs. The)' come to capture the natives, and have bows 
and arrows without iron, of which there is no memory in 
any of these lands, nor of steel, nor any other metal except 
gold and copper. Of copper the Admiral had only seen 
very little. The Admiral said, by signs, that the Sovereigns 
of Castille would order the Caribs to be destroyed, and 
that all should be taken with their heads tied together. 
He ordered a lombard and a hand-gun to be fired off, and 
seeing the effect caused b)' its force and what the shots pene- 
trated, the king was astonished. When his people heard 
the explosion they all fell on the ground. They brought 
the Admiral a large mask, which had pieces of gold for the 
eyes and ears and in other parts, and this they gave, with 
other trinkets of gold that the same king had put on the 
head and round the neck of the Admiral, and of other 
Christians,, to whom they also gave many pieces. The 
Admiral received much pleasure and consolation from 
these things, which tempered the anxiety and sorrow he 
felt at the loss of the ship. He knew our Lord had 
caused the ship to stop here, that a settlement might 
be formed. " From this", he says, " originated so many 
things that, in truth, the disaster was really a piece of 
good fortune. For it is certain that, if I had not lost the 
ship, I should have 'gowc on without anchoring in this 


place, which is within a great bay, having two or three 
reefs of rock. I should not have left people in the country 
during this voyage, nor even, if I had desired to leave them, 
should I have been able to obtain so much information, nor 
such supplies and provisions for a fortress. And true it is that 
many people had asked me to give them leave to remain. 
Now I have given orders for a tower and a fort, both well 
built, and a large cellar, not because I believe that such de- 
fences will be necessary. I believe that with the force I have 
with me I could subjugate the whole island, which I believe 
to be larger than Portugal, and the population double. But 
they are naked and without arms, and hopelessly timid. 
Still, it is advisable to build this tower, being so far from 
your Highnesses. The people may thus know the skill of 
the subjects of your Highnesses, and what they can do ; 
and will obey them with love and fear. So they make 
preparations to build the fortress, with provision of bread 
and wine for more than a year, with seeds for sowing, the 
ship's boat, a caulker and carpenter, a gunner and cooper. 
Many among these men have a great desire to serve your 
Highnesses and to please me, by finding out where the 
mine is whence the gold is brought. Thus everything is 
got in readiness to begin the work. Above all, it was so 
calm that there was scarcely wind nor wave when the ship 
ran aground." This is what the Admiral says ; and he 
adds more to show that it was great good luck, and the 
settled design of God, that the ship should be lost in order 
that people might be left behind. If it had not been for 
the treachery of the master and his boat's crew, who were 
all or mostly his countrymen,^ in neglecting to lay out the 
anchor so as to haul the ship off in obedience to the 

^ Juan de la Cosa, the master, was a native of Santona, on the north 
coast of Spain. There were two other Santona men on board, and 
several from the north coast. 


Admiral's orders, she would have been saved. In that 
case, the same knowledge of the land as has been gained 
in these days would not have been secured, for the 
Admiral always proceeded with the object of discovering, 
and never intei ded to stop more than a day at any 
one place, unless he was detained by the wind. Still, the 
ship was very heavy and unsuited for discovery. It was 
the people of Palos who obliged him to take such a ship, 
by not complying " with what they had promised to the 
King and Queen, namely, to supply suitable vessels for 
this expedition. This they did not do. Of all that there 
was on board the ship, not a needle, nor a board, nor 
a nail was lost, for she remained as whole as when she 
sailed, except that it was necessary to cut away and level 
down in order to get out the jars and merchandise, which 
were landed and carefully guarded." He trusted in God 
that, when he returned from Spain, according to his inten- 
tion, he would find a ton of gold collected by barter by 
those he was to leave behind, and that they would have 
found the mine, and spices in such quantities that the 
Sovereigns would, in three years, be able to undertake 
and fit out an expedition to go and conquer the Holy 
Sepulchre. " Thus", he says, " I protest to your High- 
nesses that all the profits of this my enterprise may be 
spent in the conquest of Jerusalem. Your Highnesses 
may laugh, and say that it is pleasing to you, and that, 
without this, you entertain that desire." These are the 
Admiral's words. 

Thursday, 27 ih of December. 

The king of that land came alongside the caravel at 
sunrise, and said that he had sent for gold, and that lie 
would collect all he could before the Admiral departed ; 
but he begged him not to go. The king and one of his 


brothers, with another very intimate relation, dined with 
the Admiral, and the two latter said they wished to go to 
Castille with him. At this time the news came that the 
caravel Pinta was in a river at the end of this island. 
Presently the Cacique sent a canoe there, and the Admiral 
sent a sailor in it. For it was wonderful how devoted the 
Cacique was to the Admiral. The necessity was now 
evident of hurrying on preparations for the return to 

Friday^ 2^th of December. 

The Admiral went on shore to give orders and hurry 
on the work of building the fort, and to settle what men 
should remain behind. The king, it would seem, had 
watched him getting into the boat, and quickly went into 
his house, dissimulating, sending one of his brothers to 
receive the Admiral, and conduct him to one of the houses 
that had been set aside for the Spaniards, which was the 
largest and best in the town. In it there was a couch 
made of palm matting, where they sat down. Afterwards 
the brother sent an attendant to say that the Admiral was 
there, as if the king did not know that he had come. The 
Admiral, however, believed that this was a feint in order 
to do him more honour. The attendant gave the message, 
and the Cacique came in great haste, and put a large soft 
piece of gold he had in his hand round the Admiral's neck. 
They remained '^^gethcr until the evening, arranging what 
had to be done. 

Saturday, 2gth of December. 

A very youthful nephew of the king came to the caravel 
at sunrise, who showed a good understanding and dis- 
position. As the Admiral was always working to find out 
the origin of the gold, he asked everyone, for he could 
now understand somewhat by signs. This youth told him 


that, at a distance of four days' journey, there was an 
island to the eastward called Guarionex, and others called 
Macorix, Mayonic, Ftuna, Cibao, and Coroay} in which 
there was plenty of gold. The Admiral wrote these names 
down, and now understood what had been said by a 
brother of the king, who was annoyed with him, as the 
Admiral understood. At other times the Admiral had 
suspected that the king had worked against his knowing 
where the gold had its origin and was collected, that he 
might not go away to barter in another part of the island. 
For there are such a number of places in this same island 
that it is wonderful. After nightfall the king sent a large 
mask of gold, and asked for a washhand basin and jug. 
The Admiral thought he wanted them for patterns to copy 
from, and therefore sent them. 

Sunday^ 2,0th of December. 

The Admiral went on shore to dinner, and came at a 
time when five kings had arrived, all with their crowns, 
who were subject to this king, named GuacaJiagari. They 
represented a very good state of affairs, and the Admiral 
says to the Sovereigns that it would have given them 
pleasure to see the manner of their arrival. On landing, 
the Admiral was received by the king, who led him by the 
arms to the same house where he was yesterday, where 
there were chairs, and a couch on which the Admiral sat. 
Presently the king took the crown off his head and put it 
on the Admiral's head, and the Admiral took from his 
neck a collar of beautiful beads of several different colours, 
which looked very well in all its parts, and put it on the 
king. He also took off a cloak of fine material, in which 
he had dressed himself that day, and dressed the king in 

^ These were not islands, but provinces of Espanola. Guarionex 
was the chief of the " Vega Real". 


it, and sent for some coloured boots, which he put on his 
feet, and he put a large silver ring on his finger, because 
he had heard that he had admired greatly a silver orna- 
ment worn by one of the sailors. The king was highly 
delighted and well satisfied, and two of those kings who 
were with him came with him to where the Admiral was, 
and each gave him a large piece of gold. At this time an 
Indian came and reported that it was two days since he 
left the caravel Pitita in a port to the eastward. The 
Admiral returned to the caravel, and Vicente Anes,^ the 
captain, said that he had seen the rhubarb plant, and that 
they had it on the island Ainiga^ which is at the entrance 
of the sea of Santo Tome, six leagues off, and that he had 
recognised the branches and roots. They say that rhubarb 
forms small branches above ground, and fruit like green 
mulberries, almost dry, and the stalk, near the root, is as 
yellow and delicate as the best colour for painting, and 
underground the root grows like a large pear.^ 

Monday, 31^/ of December, 

To-day the Admiral was occupied in seeing that water 
and fuel were taken on board for the voyage to Spain, 
to give early notice to the Sovereigns, that they might 
despatch ships to complete the discoveries. For now the 
business appeared to be so great and important that the 
Admiral was astonished. He did not wish to go until he had 
examined all the land to the eastward, and explored the 
coast, so as to know the route to Castillo, with a view to 
sending sheep and cattle. But as he had been left with 
only a single vessel, it did not appear prudent to encounter 
the dangers that are inevitable in making discoveries. He 

* For Yanez. Vicente Yanez Pinzon. 
' See Letter to Santangel, p. 15. 


complained that all this inconvenience had been caused by 
the caravel Pinta having parted company. 

Tuesday^ \st of January 1493. 

At midnight the Admiral sent a boat to the island 
Amiga to bring the rhubarb. It returned at vespers with 
a bundle of it. They did not bring more because they had 
no spade to dig it up with ; it was taken to be shown to 
the Sovereigns. The king of that land said that he had sent 
many canoes for gold. The canoe returned that had been 
sent for tidings of the Pifita, without having found her. 
The sailor who went in the canoe said that twenty leagues 
from there he had seen a king who wore two large plates 
of gold on his head, but when the Indians in the canoe 
spoke to him he took them off. He also saw much gold 
on other people. The Admiral considered that the King 
Guacanagari ought to have prohibited his people from 
selling gold to the Christians, in order that it might all pass 
through his hands. But the king knew the places, as 
before stated, where there was such a quantity that it was 
not valued. The spicery also is extensive, and is worth 
more than pepper or vianegneta} He left instructions to 
those who wished to remain that they were to collect as 
much as they could. 

Wednesday, 2nd of January. 

In the morning the Admiral went on shore to take leave of 
the King Guacanagari, and to depart from him in the name 
of the Lord. He gave him one of his shirts. In order to 
show him the force of the lombards, and what effect they 
had, he ordered one to be loaded and fired into the side of 
the ship that was on shore, for this was apposite to the con- 
versation respecting the Caribs, with whom Guacanagari 
was at war. The king saw whence the lombard-shot 

1 See note at page 154. 



came, and how it passed through the side of the ship 
and went far away over the sea. The Admiral also 
ordered a skirmish of the crews of the ships, fully armed, 
saying to the Cacique that he need have no fear of the 
Caribs even if they should come. All this was done that 
the king iriight look upon the men who were left behind as 
friends, and that he might also have a proper fear of them. 
The king took the Admiral to dinner at the house where he 
was established, and the others who came with him. The 
Admiral strongly recommended to his friendship Diego de 
Arana, Pedro Gutierrez, and Rodrigo Escovedo, whom he 
left jointly as his lieutenants over the people who remained 
behind, that all might be well regulated and governed for 
the service of their Highnesses. The Cacique showed much 
love for the Admiral, and great sorrow at his departure, 
especially when he saw him go on board. A relation of 
that king said to the Admiral that he had ordered a statue 
of pure gold to be made, as big as the Admiral, and that 
it would be brought within ten days. The Admiral 
embarked with the intention of sailing presently, but there 
was no wind. 

He left on that island of Espanola, which the Indians 
called Bohio, 39 mcn^ with the fortress,- and he says that 

^ The actual number was 44, according to the official list, namely : 

1. Diego de Arana of Cordova 

(Alguazil Mayor). 

2. Rodrigo de Escohedo {Secre- 


3. Pedro Gutierrez {Gentleman of 

the King's Bedchamber). 

4. Bachiller Bernardo de Tapia 

( Volunteer). 

5. Alonzo Velez of Seville. 

6. Alonzo Perez Osorio. 

7. Castillo of Seville {Assayer). 

8. Antonio of Jaen. 

9. Alvaro Perez Osorio. 

10. Cristoval de Alamo of Niebla. 

11. Diego Garcia of Xeres. 

12. Diego de Tordoya of Cabcza 

de Vaca. 

13. Diego de Capilla of Almeden. 

14. Diego of Mambles. 

15. Diego de Mendoza. 

2 To which he gave the name of "Villa de la Navidad", because 
the ship was lost on Christmas Day, 



they were great friends of Guacanagari. The lieutenants 
placed over them were Diego de Arana of Cordova, Pedro 
Gutierrez, Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber, and 
Rodrigo de Escovcdo, a native of Seogvia, nephew of 
Fray Rodrigo Perez, with all the powers he himself received 
from the Sovereigns. He left behind all the merchandise 
which had been provided for bartering, which was much, 
that they might trade for gold. He also left bread for a 
year's supply, wine, and much artillery. He also left the 
ship's boat, that they, most of them being sailors, might go, 
when the time seemed convenient, to discover the gold 
mine, in order that the Admiral, on his return, might find 
much gold. They were also to find a good site for a town, 
for this was not altogether a desirable port ; especially as 
the gold the natives brought came from the east ; also, the 
farther to the east the nearer to Spain. He also left seeds 
for sowing, and his officers, the Alguazil and Secretary, as 
well as a ship's carpenter, a caulker, a good gunner well 

i6. Diego de Montalvan of Jaen. 

17. Domingo de Bermeo. 

18. Francisco de Godoy of Seville. 

19. Francisco deVergara of Seville. 
P'rancisco of Aranda. 
Francisco Hcnao of Avila. 
Francisco Jimones of Seville. 
Gabriel Baraona of Belmonte. 
Gonzalo Fernandez of Sego- 

Gonzalo Fernandez of Leon. 
Guillelmo {Irish, native 

Jorge Gonzales of Trigueros 
Juan de Cueva. 
Juan Patino of La Sarena. 









30. Juan del Barco of Avila. 

31. Pedro Carbacho of Caceres. 

32. Pedro of Talavera. 

33. Sebastian of Majorca. 

34. Tallarte (Alard?) of Lajes 

(an Englishman). 

35. Diego de Tor pa. 

36. Francisco Fernandez. 

37. Hernando de Porcuna. 

38. Juan de Urminga. 

39. Juan de Morcillo. 

40. Juan de Villar. 

41. Juan de Mendoza. 

42. Martin de Logrosan. 

43. Pedro de Foronda. 

44. Tristan de San Jorge. 

The names are given in a document printed by Navarrete ; which 
is a notice to the ne.xt of kin to apply for wages due, dated Burgos, 
December 20th, 1507. Oviedo and Herrera say that a surgeon named 
Maestre Jnan was also left behind 


acquainted with artillery, a cooper, a physician, and a 
tailor, all being seamen as wcll.^ 

Thursday, ird of January. 

The Admiral did not go to-day, because three of the 
Indians whom he had brought from the islands, and who 
had staid behind, arrived, and said that the others with 
their women would be there at sunrise.^ The sea also was 
rather rough, so that they could not land from the boat. 
He determined to depart to-morrow, with the grace of God. 
The Admiral .said that if he had the caravel Pinta with 
him he could make sure of shipping a ton of gold, because 
he could then follow the coasts of these islands, which he 
would not do alone, for fear some accident might impede 
his return to Castille, and prevent him from reporting all 
he had discovered to the Sovereigns. If it was certain 
that the caravel Pinta would arrive safely in Spain with 
Martin Alonso Pinzon, he would not hesitate to act as he 
desired ; but as he had no certain tidings of him, and as 
he might return and tell lies to the Sovereigns, that he 
might not receive the punishment he deserved for having 
done so much harm in having parted company without 
permission, and impeded the good service that might have 
been done ; the Admiral could only trust in our Lord that 
he would grant favourable weather, and remedy all things. 

Friday, \t]i of January. 

At sunrise the Admiral weighed the anchor, with little 
wind, and turned her head N.W. to get clear of the reef, 
by another channel wider than the one by which he 

^ Herrera gives the farewell speech of the Admiral to those who 
were left behind at Navidad. {Dec. /, Lib. I, cap. xx.) 

2 Las Casas says that the Admiral brought ten or twelve Indians to 
Castille with him. {Ibid., i, p. 419.) 


entered, which, with others, is very good for coml.^g in 
front of the Villa de la Navidad, in all which the least 
depth is from 3 to 9 fathoms. These two channels run 
N.W. and S.E., and the reefs are long, extending from the 
Caho Santo to the Cabo de Sicrpe for more than six 
leagues, and then a good three leagues out to sea. At a 
league outside Cabo Santo there arc not more than 8 
fathoms of depth, and inside that cape, on the east side, 
there are many sunken rocks, and channels to enter between 
them. All this coast trends N.W. and S.E., and it is all 
beach, with the land very level for about a quarter of a 
league inland. After that distance there are very high 
mountains, and the whole is peopled with a very good 
race, as they showed themselves to the Christians. Thus 
the Admiral navigated to the east, shaping a course for a 
very high mountain, which looked like an island, but is 
not one, being joined to the mainland by a very low neck. 
The mountain has the shape of a very beautiful tent.^ He 
gave it the name of Monte Cristi. It is due east of Cabo 
Santo, at a distance of 18 leagues.- That day, owing to 
the light wind, they could not reach within six leagues of 
Monte Cristi. He discovered four very low and sandy 
islets,^ with a reef extending N.W. and S.E. Inside, there 
is a large gulf,^ which extends from this mountain to the 
S.E. at least twenty leagues,'"' which must all be shallow, 
with many sand-banks, and inside numerous rivers which 
are not navigable. At the same time the sailor who was 
sent in the canoe to get tidings of the Pinta reported that 

* Alfaneqiie ; which Las Casas explains as Tienda de Campo. 
Hazard {Santo Domingo, 1873, p. 352) says it is called the J/ofTo, 
and La Grattge (the barn), "name given by Columbus". Alfaneqite 
means a booth or tent, not a barn. 

'^ It is N. 80° E. 70 leagues.— N. 

' Los siete Hern 's. — N. ■• Bahia dc IManzanillo. — N. 

'' Should be S.W. uuee leagues. 

L 2 


he saw a river* into which ships might enter. The Admiral 
anchored at a distance of six leagues'^ from Monte Cristi, in 
19 fathoms, and so kept clear of many rocks and reefs. 
Here he remained for the night. The Admiral gives 
notice to those who would go to the Vi/la de la Navidad 
that, to make Monte Cristi, he should stand off the land 
two leagues, etc. (But as the coast is now known it is not 
given here.) The Admiral concluded that Cipango was 
in that island, and that it contained much gold, spices, 
mastick, and rhubarb. 

Saturday, $th of January. 

At sunrise the Admiral made sail with the land-breeze, 
and saw that to the S.S.E.^ of Monte Cristi, between it 
and an island, there seemed to be a good port to anchor 
in that night. He .shaped an E.S.E. course, afterwards 
S.S.E., for six leagues round the high land, and found 
a depth of 17 fathoms, with a very clean bottom, going on 
for three leagues with the same soundings. Afterwards it 
shallowed to 12 fathoms up to the morro of the mountain, 
and off the morro, at one league, the depth of 9 fathoms 
was found, the bottom clean, and all fine sand. The 
Admiral followed the same course until he came between 
the mountain and the island,'* where he found 3^ fathoms 
at low water, a very good port, and here he anchored.'"' 
He went in the boat to the islet, where he found remains of 
fire and footmarks, showing that fishermen had been there. 

1 Rio Tapion, in the Bahia de Manzanillo. — N. 

' A mistake for three leagues. 

3 Should be W.S.W. 

* Isla Cabra. 

^ Anchorage of Monte Cristi. It is now a depot for receiving 
mahogany and other woods from the neighbouring country, to be 
shipped in small schooners to Puerto Plata. At one time it was a 
much more important place. {Hazard, p. 353.) 


Here they saw many stones painted in colours, or a 
quarry of such stones, very beautifully worked by nature, 
suited for the building of a church or other public work, 
like those he found on the island of San Salvador. On this 
islet he also found many plants of mastick. He says that 
this Monte Cristi is very fine and high, but accessible, and 
of a very beautiful shape, all the land round it being low, 
a very fine plain, from which the height rises, looking at a 
distance like an island disunited from other land. ^ Beyond 
the mountain, to the east, he saw a cape at a distance of 
24 miles, which he named Cabo del Becerro^- whence to the 
mountain for two leagues there are reefs of rocks, though 
it appeared as if there were navigable channels between 
them. It would, however, be advisable to approach in 
daylight, and to send a boat ahead to sound. Vxo\x\ the 
mountain eastward to Cabo del Bcccrro, for four leagues, 
there is a beach, and the land is low, but the rest is very 
high, with beautiful mountains and some cultivation. In- 
land, a chain of mountains runs N.E. and S.VV., the most 
beautiful he had seen, appearing like the hills of Cordova. 
Some other very lofty mountains appear in the distance 
towards the south and S.E., and very extensive green 
valleys with large rivers : all this in such quantity that he 
did not believe he had exaggerated a thousandth part. 
Afterwards he saw, to the eastward of the mountain, 
a land which appeared like that of Monte Cristi in size 
and beauty. Further to the east and N.E. there is land 
which is not so high, extending for some hundred miles 
or near it. 

Sunday, 6th of January. 

That port is sheltered from all winds, except north and 
N.W., and these winds seldom blow in this region. Even 

^ Las Casas says that this is an accurate description. 
- Punta Rucia. 

150 THE " PINTA" rejoins. 

when the wind is from those quarters, shelter may be 
found near the islet in 3 or 4 fathoms. At sunset the 
Admiral made sail to proceed along the coast, the course 
being cast, except that it is necessary to look out for 
several reefs of stone and sand, within which there are 
good anchorages, with channels leading to them. After 
noon it blew fresh from the east. The Admiral ordered 
a sailor to go to the mast-head to look out for reefs, and 
he saw the caravel Pinia coming, with the wind aft, and 
she joined the Admiral. As there was no place to anchor, 
owing to the rocky bottom, the Admiral returned for ten 
leagues to Monte Cristi, with the Pinta in company. 
Martin Alonso Pinzon came on board the caravel Niila^ 
where the Admiral was, and excused himself by saying 
that he had parted company against his will, giving 
reasons for it. But the Admiral says that they were all 
false ; and that on the night when Pinzon parted company 
he was influenced by pride and covetousness. He could 
not understand whence had come the insolence and dis- 
loyalty with which Pinzon had treated him during the 
voyage. The Admiral had taken no notice, because he 
did not wish to give place to the evil works of Satan, who 
desired to impede the voyage. It appeared that one of 
I'.c Indians, who had been put on board the caravel by 
the Admiral with others, had said that there was much 
gold in an island called Baneque, and, as Pinzon's vessel 
was light and swift, he determined to go there, parting 
company with the Admiral, who wished to remain and 
explore the coasts of Juana and Espanola, with an easterly 
course. When Martin Alonso arrived at the island of 
Baneque he found no gold. He then went to the coast of 
Espanola, on information from the Indians that there was 
a great quantity of gold and many mines in that island of 
Espafiola, which the Indians call Bohio. He thus arrived 
near the Villa de Navidad^ about 15 leagues from it. 


having then been absent more than twenty days, so that 
the news brought by the Indians was correct, on account 
of which the King Guacanagari sent a canoe, and the 
Admiral put a sailor on board ; but the Pinta must have 
gone before the canoe arrived. The Admiral says that 
the Pinta obtained much gold by barter, receiving large 
pieces the size of two fingers in exchange for a needle. 
Martin Alonso took half, dividing the other half among 
the crew. The Admiral then says : " Thus I am con- 
vinced that our Lord miraculously caused that vessel to 
remain here, this being the best place in the whole island 
to form a settlement, and the nearest to the gold mines." 
He also says that he knew " of another great island,^ to 
the so'ith of the island of Juana, in which there is more 
gold than in this island, so that they collect it in bits the 
size of beans, while in Espanola they find the pieces the 
size of grains of corn.^ They call that island Yamaye. 
The Admiral also heard of an island further east, in which 
there were only women, having been told this by many 
people. He was also informed that Yamaye and the 
island of Espanola were ten days' journey in a canoe from 
the mainland, which would be about 70 or 80 leagues, and 
that there the people wore clothes. 

Monday^ yth of January. 

This day the Admiral took the opportunity of caulking 
the caravel, and the sailors were sent to cut wood. They 
found mastick and aloes in abundance. 

^ Jamaica. 

* Las Casas says that the pieces were even as large as a loaf of 
bread of Alcald, or as a quarter loaf of Valladolid, and that he had 
seen them of that size. He adds that many are found weighing a 
pound to eight pounds in Espanola 


Tuesday^ Zth of January, 

As the wind was blowing fresh from the east and S.E., 
the Admiral did not get under weigh this morning. He 
ordered the caravel to be filled up with wood and water 
and with all other necessaries for the voyage. He wished 
to explore all the coast of Espafiola in this direction. But 
those he appointed to the caravels as captains were 
brothers, namely, Martin Alonso Pinzon and Vicente 
Anes. They also had followers who were filled with pride 
and avarice, considering that all now belonged to them, 
and unmindful of the honour the Admiral had done them. 
They had not and did not obey his orders, but did and said 
many unworthy things against him ; while Martin Alonso 
had deserted him from the 21st of November until the 6th 
of January without cause or reason, but from disaffection. 
All these things had been endured in silence by the 
Admiral in order to secure a good end to the voyage. He 
determined to return as quickly as possible, to get rid of 
such an evil company, with whom he thought it necessary 
to dissimulate, although they were a mutinous set, and 
though he also had with him many good men ; for it was 
not a fitting time for dealing out punishment. 

The Admiral got into the boat and went up the river^ 
which is near, towards the S.S.W. of Monte Cristi, a good 
league. This is where the sailors went to get fresh water 
for the ships. He found that the sand at the mouth of the 
river, which is very large and deep, was full of very fine 
gold, and in astonishing quantity. The Admiral thought 
that it was pulverized in the drift down the river, but in a 

* This is the large river Yagui, which contains much gold in its 
sand. It was afterwards called the " Santiago". Las Casas thinks 
that Columbus may have found gold on this occasion, but that much 
of what he saw was margasita. {Las Casas, i, p. 428.) 


short time he found many grains as large as horse-beans, 
while there was a great deal of the fine powder. 

As the fresh water mixed with the salt when it entered 
the sea, he ordered the boat to go up for the distance of a 
stone's-throw. They filled the casks from the boat, and 
when they went back to the caravel they found small 
bits of gold sticking to the hoops of the casks and of the 
barrel. The Admiral gave the name of Rio del Oro to the 
river.i Inside the bar it is very deep, though the mouth is 
shallow and very wide. The distance to the Villa de la 
Navidad is 17 leagues,'^ and there are several large rivers 
on the intervening coast, especially three which probably 
contain much more gold than this one, because they are 
larger. Th' iver is nearly the size of the Guadalquivir at 
Cordova, and from it to the gold mines the distance is not 
more than 20 leagues.^ The Admiral further says that 
he did not care to take the sand containing gold, be- 
cause their Highnesses would have it all as their property 
at their town of Navidad ; and because his first object was 
now to bring the news and to get rid of the evil company 
that was with him, whom he had always said were a 
mutinous set. 

Wednesday^ gth of January. 

The Admiral made sail at midnight, with the wind S.E., 
and shaped an E.N.E. course, arriving at a point named 
Puftta Roja,^ which is 60 miles'' east of Monte Cristi, 
and anchored under its lee three hours before nightfall. 

^ Afterwards called the Rio de Santiago. 

2 This should be 8 leagues. 

3 Las Casas says the distance to the mines is not 4 leagues. 
* Punta Isabelica. 

' The distance is \o\ leagues, or 43 of the Italian miles used by 


He did not venture to go out at night, because there are 
many reefs, until they are known. Afterwards, if, as will 
probably be the case, channels are found between them, 
the anchorage, which is good and well sheltered, will be 
profitable. The country between Monte Cristi and this 
point where the Admiral anchored is very high land, with 
beautiful plains, the range running east and west, all green 
and cultivated, with numerous streams of water, so that it 
is wonderful to see such beauty. In all this country there 
are many turtles, and the sailors took several when they 
came on shore to lay their eggs at Monte Cristi^ as large 
as a great wooden buckler. 

On the previous day, when the Admiral went to the 
Rio del OrOy he saw three mermaids,^ which rose well out 
of the sea ; but they are not so beautiful as they are painted, 
though to some extent they have the form of a human 
face. The Admiral says that he had seen some, at other 
times, in Guinea, on the coast of the Manequeta." 

* The mermaids of Columbus are the mafiatis, or sea-cows of the 
Caribean Sea and great South American rivers. They are now 
scarcely ever seen out at sea. Their resemblance to human beings, 
when rising in the water, must have been very striking. They have 
small rounded heads, and cervical vertebra; which form a neck, 
enabling the animal to turn its head about. The fore-limbs also, 
instead of being pectoral fins, have the character of the arm and hand 
of the higher mammalia. These peculiarities, and their very human 
way of suckling their young, holding it by the forearm, which is 
movable at the elbow-joint, suggested the idea of mermaids. The 
congener of the Jiianaii, which had been seen by Columbus on the 
coast of Guinea, is the dugong. 

2 Las Casas has " en la costa de Guinea, donde se coja la mane- 
gucta" (i, 430). Amomum Melegiieta, an herbaceous, reed-like plant, 
three to five feet high, is found along the coast of Africa, from Sierra 
Leone to the Congo. Its seeds were called ""Grains of Paradise", or 
maniguetta, and the coast alluded to by Columbus, between Liberia 
and Cape Palmas, was hence called the Grain Coast. The grains 
were used as a condiment, like pepper, and in making the spiced 
wine called hippocras. At present, about 1,705 cwts. are exported, 


The Admiral says that this nij^ht, in the name of our 
Lord, he would set out on his homeward voyage without 
any further delay whatever, for he had found what he 
sought, and he did not wish to have further cause of offence 
with Martin Alonso until their Highnesses should know 
the news of the voyage and what had been done. After- 
wards he says, " I will not suffer the deeds of evil-disposed 
persons, with little worth, who, without respect for him to 
whom they owe their positions, presume to set up their 
own wills with little ceremony." 

Thursday, loth of January. 

He departed from the place where he had anchored, and 
at sunset he reached a river, to which he gave the name of 
Rio de Gracia, three leagues to the S.E. He came to at 
the mouth,^ where there is good anchorage on the east 
side. There is a bar with no more than two fathoms of 
water, and very narrow across the entrance. It is a good 
and well-sheltered port, except that there it is often misty, 
owing to which the caraval Pinta, under Martin Alonso, 
received a good deal of damage. He had been here 
bartering for i6 days, and got much gold, which was 
what Martin Alonso wanted. As soon as he heard from 
the Indians that the Admiral was on the coast of the same 
island of Espaiiola, and that he could not avoid him, 
Pinzon came to him. He wanted all the people of the 
ship to swear that he had not been there more than six 
days. But his treachery was so public that it could not be 
concealed. He had made a law that half of all the gold 
that was collected was his. When he left this port he 

chiefly from Cape Coast Castle and Accra ; used in cattle medicines 
and to give pungency to cordials. See Hanbury's Pharmacographia, 
p. 590. 

^ Rio Chuzona chica. — N. 


took four men and two girls by force. But the Admiral 
ordered that they should be clothed and put on shore to 
return to their homes. " This", the Admiral says, " is a 
service of your Highnesses. For all the men and women 
are subjects of your Highnesses, as well in this island as in 
the others. Here, where your Highnesses already have a 
settlement, the people ought to be treated with honour and 
favour, seeing that this island has so much gold and such 
good spice-yielding lands." 

Friday, nth of January. 

At midnight the Admiral left the Rio de Gracia with 
the land-breeze, and steered eastward until he came to a 
cape named Belprado, at a distance of four leagues. To 
the S.E. is the mountain to which he gave the name of 
Monte de Plata} eight leagues distant. Thence from the 
Z2:^Q Belprado to E.S.E. is the point named Angel, eighteen 
leagues distant ; and from this point to the Monte de 
Plata there is a gulf, with the most beautiful lands in the 
world, all high and fine lands which extend far inland. 
Beyond there is a range of high mountains running east and 
west, very grand and beautiful. At the foot of this mountain 
there is a very good port,^ with 14 fathoms in the entrance. 
The mountain is very high and beautiful, and all the country 
is well peopled. The Admiral believed there must be fine 
rivers and much gold. At a distance of 4 leagues E.S.E. 

^ So called because the summit is always covered with white or 
silver clouds. A monastery of Dominicans was afterwards built on 
Monte de Plata, in which Las Casas began to write his history of the 
Indies in the year 1527. {Las Casas, iv, p. 254.) 

^ Puerto de Plata, where a flourishing seaport town was afterw-ards 
established ; founded by Ovanda in 1502. It had fallen to decay in 
1606. In 1822 it was again a flourishing place, but was destroyed by 
the Spaniards in 1865. 


of Cabo del Angel there is a cape named Punta del Hierro^ 
and on the same course, 4 more leagues, a point is reached 
named Punta Seca} Thence, 6 leagues further on, is Cabo 
Redondo? and further on Cabo Frances, where a large bay* 
is formed, but there did not appear to be anchorage in it. 
A league further on is Cabo del Biten Tiempo, and thence, 
a good league S.S.E., is Cabo Tajado:' Thence, to the 
south, another cape was sighted at a distance of about 
15 leagues. To-day great progress was made, as wind and 
tide were favourable. The Admiral did not venture to 
anchor for fear of the rocks, so he was hove-to all night. 

Saturday, I2th of January. 

Towards dawn the Admiral filled and shaped a course 
to the east with a fresh wind, running 20 miles before day- 
light, and in two hours afterwards 24 miles. Thence he saw 
land to the south,^ and steered towards it, distant 48 miles. 
During the night he must have run 28 miles N.N.E., to 
keep the vessels out of danger. When he saw the land, he 
named one cape that he saw Cabo de Padre y Hijo, because 
at the east point there are two rocks, one larger than the 
other.7 Afterwards, at two leagues to the eastward, he saw 
a very fine bay between two grand mountains. He saw 
that it was a very large port with a very good approach ; but, 
as it was very early in the morning, and as the greater part 
of the time it was blowing from the east, and then they 
had a N.N.W. breeze, he did not wish to delay any more. 

' Punta Macuris. The distance is 3, not 4 leagues.— N. 
^ Punta Sesua. The distance is only one league. — N. 
' Cabo de la Roca. It should be 5, not 6 leagues.— N. 

* Bahia Escocesa. 

* Las Casas says that none of these names were retained, even in 
his time. 

" This was the Peninsula of Samana. '^ Isla Yazual— N. 


He continued his course to the east as far as a very high 
and beautiful cape, all of scarped rock, to which he gave 
the name of Cabo del Enamorado} which was 32 miles to 
the east of the port named Puerto Sacro? On rounding 
the cape, another finer and loftier point came in sight,* 
like Cape St. Vincent in Portugal, 12 miles east of Cabo 
del Enamorado. As soon as he was abreast of the Cabo 
del Enamorado, the Admiral saw that there was a great 
bay* between this and the next point, three leagues across, 
and in the middle of it a small island.^ The depth is 
great at the entrance close to the land. He anchored 
here in twelve fathoms, and sent the boat on shore for 
water, and to see if intercourse could be opened with the 
natives, but they all fled. He also anchored to ascertain 
whether this was all one land with the island of Espanola, 
and to make sure that this was a gulf, and not a channel, 
forming another island. He remained astonished at the 
great size of Espanola. 

Su7tdayy iith of January. 

The Admiral did not leave the port, because there was 
no land-breeze with which to go out. He wished to shift 
to another better port, because this was rather exposed. 
He also wanted to wait, in that haven, the conjunction of 
the sun and moon, which would take place on the 17th of 
this month, and their opposition with Jupiter and conjunc- 
tion with Mercury, the sun being in opposition to Jupiter,** 

^ Cabro Cabron, or Lover's Cape ; the extreme N.E. point of the 
sland, rising nearly 2,000 feet above the sea. 

2 Puerto Yaqueron. 

^ Cabo Samana ; called Cabo de San Theramo afterwards by 

* The Bay ot Samana. ^ Cayo de Levantados. 

" Las Casas thinks that the text is here corrupt, owing to the 
mistakes of the transcriber from the book of the navigation of the 


which is the cause of high winds. He sent the boat on 
shore to a beautiful beach to obtain yams for food. They 
found some men with bows and arrows, with whom they 
stopped to speal<, buying two bows and many arrows from 
them. They asked one of them to come on board the 
caravel and see the Admiral ; who says that he was very 
wanting in reverence, more so than any native he had yet 
seen. His face was all stained with charcoal, but in all 
parts there is the custom of painting the body different 
colours. He wore his hair very long, brought together and 
fastened behind, and put into a small net of parrots' 
feathers.! He was naked, like all the others. The Admiral 
supposed that he belonged to the Caribs,^ who eat men, 
and that the gulf he had seen yesterday formed this part 
of the land into an island by itself The Admiral asked 
about the Caribs, and he pointed to the east, near at hand, 
which means that he saw the Admiral yesterday before he 
entered the bay. The Indian said there was much gold to 
the east, pointing to the poop of the caravel, which was a 
good size, meaning that there were pieces as large. He 
called gold tuob, and did not understand caonaf' as they 
call it in the first part of the island that was visited, nor 
nozay, the name in San Salvador and the other islands. 
Copper is called tuob in Espanola. He also spoke of 

Admiral (i, p. 433). Doubtless, stormy weather was predicted under 
the above conditions in the Old World, in some almanack on board, 
and Columbus prudently considered whether he would wait a few 
days to see if similar causes produced like effects m the New World. 
He, however, did not wait until the 17th. 

^ Las Casas says that the Cigiiayos wore their hair in this 

"^ According to Las Casas, these were not Caribs, for no Caribs 
were ever settled in Espanola. 

2 Caona is the name for gold in the greater part of Espaiiola, but 
there were two or three dialects. 


the island of Goanin} where there was . much tuob. The 
Admiral says that he had received notices of these islands 
from many persons ; that in the other islands the natives 
were in great fear of the Canbs, called by some of them 
Caniba, but in Espaftola Carib. He thought they must be 
an audacious race, for they go to all these islands and eat 
the people they can capture. He understood a few words, 
and the Indians who were on board comprehended more, 
there being a difference in the languages owing to the 
great distance between the various islands. The Admiral 
ordered that the Indian should be fed, and given pieces of 
green and red cloth, and glass beads, which they like very 
much, and then sent on shore. He was told to bring gold 
if he had any, and it was believed that he had, from some 
small things he brought with him. When the boat reached 
the shore there were fifty-five men behind the trees, naked, 
and with very long hair,^ as the women wear it in Castille. 
Behind the head they wore plumes of feathers of parrots 
and other birds, and each man carried a bow. The Indian 
landed, and signed to the others to put down their bows 

and arrows, and a piece of a staff, which is like ,' 

very heavy, carried instead of a sword.* As soon as they 
came to the boat the crew landed, and began to buy the 
bows and arrows and other arms, in accordance with an 
order of the Admiral. Having sold two bows, they did 

^ Las Casas says that Goanin was not the name of an island, but 
the word for base gold {pro bajo ?). 

2 These were the Ciguayos, according to Las Casas, who inhabited 
.i mountains and coasts of the north of Espanola from nearly as far 
as Puerto de Plata to Higiiey. 

' A gap in the original manuscript. 

* This is the tiiacana, made of palm-wood, and very hard. Las 
Casas says that these wooden swords are very hard and heavy. They 
are not sharp, but two fingers thick on all sides, and with one blow 
they will cleave through a helmeted head to the brain (i p. 435). 


not want to give more, but began to attack the Spaniards, 
and to take hold of them. They were running back to 
pick up their bows and arrows where they had laid them 
aside, and took cords in their hands to bind the boat's 
crew. Seeing them rushing down, and being prepared — 
for the Admiral always warned them to be on their guard 
— the Spaniards attacked the Indians, and gave one a stab 
with a knife in the buttocks, wounding another in the 
breast with an arrow. Seeing that they could gain little, 
although the Christians were only seven and they num- 
bered over fifty, they fled, so that none were left, throwing 
bows and arrows away. The Christians would have killed 
many, if the pilot, who was in command, had not pre- 
vented them. The Spaniards presently returned to the 
caravel with the boat. The Admiral regretted the affair 
for one reason, and was pleased for another. They would 
have fear of the Christians, and they were no doubt 
an ill-conditioned people, probably Caribs, who eat men. 
But the Admiral felt alarm lest they should do some 
harm to the 39 men left in the fortress and town of 
Navidad, in the event of their coming here in their boat. 
Even if they are not Caribs, they are a neighbouring 
people, with similar habits, and fearless, unlike the other 
inhabitants of the island, who are timid, and without arms. 
The Admiral says all this, and adds that he would have 
liked to have captured some of them. He says that they 
lighted many smoke signals, as is the custom in this 
island of Espanola. 

Monday, i^th of January. 

This evening the Admiral wished to find the houses of 
the Indians and to capture some of them, believing them 
to be Caribs. For, owing to the strong east and north-east 
winds and the heavy sea, he had remained during the day. 
Many Indians were seen on shore. The Admiral, there- 



fore, ordered the boat to be sent on shore, with the crew 
well armed. Presently the Indians came to the stern of 
the boat, including; the man who had been on board the 
day before, and had received presents from the Admiral. 
With him there camo a king, who had given to the said 
Indian some beads in token of safety and peace for the 
boat's crew. This king, with three of his followers, went 
on board the boat and came to the caravel. The Admiral 
ordered them to be given biscuit and treacle to eat, and 
gave the chief a red cap, some beads, and a piece of red 
cloth. The others were also given pieces of cloth. The 
chief said that next day he would bring a mask made of 
gold, affirming that there was much here, and in Cixrib^ 
and Matinino? They afterwards went on shore well 

The Admiral here says that the caravels were making 
much water, which entered by the keel ; and he complains 
of the caulkers at Palos, who caulked the vessels very 
badly, and ran away when they saw that the Admiral had 
detected the badness of their work, and intended to oblige 
them to repair the defect. But, notwithstanding that the 
caravels were making much water, he trusted in the favour 
and mercy of our Lord, for his high Majesty well knew 
how much controversy there was before the expedition 
could be despatched from Castille, that no one was in the 
Admiral's favour save Him alone who knew his heart, and 
after God came your Highnesses, while all others were 
against him without any reason. He further says : "And 
this has been the cause that the royal crown of your 
Highnesses has not a hundred cuentos of revenue more 
than after I entered your service, which is seven years ago 
in this very month, the 20th of January.^ The increase 

^ Puerto Rico. ^ Probably Martinique or Guadaloupc. 

3 By this calculation the Admiral entered the service of the Catholic 
Sovereigns on January 20th, i486. 


will take place from now onwards. For the almighty Gocl 
will remedy all things." These are his words. 

Tuesday, i^th of Jcxnitary. 

The Admiral now wished to depart, for there was nothing 
to be gained by further delay, after these occurrences and 
the tumult with the Indians. To-day he had heard that 
all the gold was in the district of the town of Navidad, 
belonging to their Highnesses ; and that in the island of 
Carib^ there was much copper, as well as in MatiniHo. 
The intercourse at Carib would, however, be difficult, 
because the natives are said to eat human flesh. Their 
island would be in sight from thence, and the Admiral 
determined to go there, as it was on the route, and thence 
to Matinino, which was said to be entirely peopled by 
women, without men. He would thus see both islands, and 
might take some of the natives. The Admiral sent the boat 
on shore, but the king of that district had not come, for his 
village was distant. He, however, sent his crown of gold, 
as he had promised ; and many other natives came with 
cotton, and bread made from yams, all with their bows and 
arrows. After the bartering was finished, four youths 
came to the caravel. They appeared to the Admiral to 
give such a clear account of the islands to the eastward, 
on the same route as the Admiral would have to take, that 
he determined to take them to Castille with him. He 
says that they had no iron nor other metals ; at least none 
was seen, but it was impossible to know much of the land 
in so short a time, owing to the difficulty with the language, 
which the Admiral could not understand except by 
guessing, nor could they know what was said to them, in 
such a few days. The bows of these people are as large 
as those of France or England. The arrows are similar to 

1 Puerto Rico. 

M 2 


the darts of the natives who have been met with previously, 
which are made of young ^.anes, which grow very straight, 
and a vara and a half or two varas in length. They point 
them with a piece of sharp wood, Sipalmo and a half long, 
and at the end some of them fix a fish's tooth, but most of 
them anoint it with an herb. They do not shoot as in 
other parts, but in a certain way which cannot do much 
harm. Here they have a great deal of fine and long 
cotton, and plenty of mastick. The bows appeared to be 
of yew, and there is gold and copper. There is also plenty 
of aji} which is their pepper, which is more valuable than 
pepper, and all the people cat nothing else, it being very 
wholesome. Fifty caravels might be annually loaded with 
it from Espanola. The Admiral says that he found a 
great deal of weed in this bay, the same as was met with 
at sea when he came on this discovery. He therefore 
supposed that there were islands to the eastward, in the 
direction of the position where he began to meet with it; 
for he considers it certain that this weed has its origin in 
shallow water near the land, and, if this is the case, these 
Indies must be very near the Canary Islands. For this 
reason he thought the distance must be less than 400 

Wednesday, i6th of January . 

They got under weigh three hours before daylight, and 
left the gulf, which was named Golfo de las Flechas^ with 
the land-breeze. Afterwards there was a west wind, which 
was fair to go to the island of Carib on an E.N.E. course. 
This was where the people live of whom all the natives of 
the other islands are so frightened, because they roam 
over the sea in canoes without number, and eat the men 

^ Capsicum. In Quichua it is called uchii. 

'^ (iulf of the Arrows. This was the Bay of Samana, into which the 
river Yuna flows. 


they can capture. The Admiral steered the course indi- 
cated by one of the four Indians he took yesterday in the 
Puerto de las Flechas. After having sailed about 64 miles, 
the Indians made signs that the island was to the S.E.^ 
The Admiral ordered the sails to be trimmed for that 
course, but, after having proceeded on it for two leagues, 
the wind freshened from a quarter which was very favour- 
able for the voyage to Spain. The Admiral had noticed 
that the crew were downhearted when he deviated from 
the direct route home, reflecting that both caravels were 
leaking badly, and that there was no help but in God. 
He therefore gave up the course leading to the islands, 
and shaped a direct course for Spain E.N.E. He sailed 
on this course, making 48 miles, which is 12 leagues, by 
sunset. The Indians said that by that route they would 
fall in with the island of MaiimnOy peopled entirely by 
women without men, and the Admiral wanted very much 
to take five or six of them to the Sovereigns. But he 
doubted whether the Indians understood the route well, 
and he could not afford to delay, by reason of the leaky 
condition of the caravels. He, however, believed the story, 
and that, at certain seasons, men came to them from the 
island of Carib, distant ten or twelve leagues. If males 
were born, they were sent to the island of the men ; and if 
females, they remained with their mothers. The Admiral 
says that these two islands cannot have been more than 
1 5 or 20 leagues to the S.E. from where he altered course, 
the Indians not understanding how to point out the direc- 
tion. After losing sight of the cape, which was named 
Saft Theramo;- which was left 16 leagues to the west, they 
went for 12 leagues E.N.E. The weather was very fine. 

* Puerto Rico. It would have been distant about 30 leagues. 
^ Now called Cabo del Engano, the extreme eastern point of 
Espaiiola. It had the same name when Las Casas wrote* 

l66 HOMEWARD liOUNl). 

Thursday, lyth of January. 

The wind went down at sunset yesterday, the caravels 
having sailed 14 glasses, each a little less than half-an- 
hour, at 4 miles an hour, making 28 miles. Afterwards 
the wind freshened, and they ran all that watch, which 
was 10 glasses. Then another six until sunrise at 8 miles 
an hour, thus making altogether 84 miles, equal to 21 
leagues, to the K.N.E., and until sunset 44 miles, or 1 1 
leagues, to the east. Here a booby came to the caravel, 
and afterwards another. The Admiral saw a great deal of 
gulf- weed. 

Friday, \^th of January. 

During the night they steered E.S.E., with little wind, 
for 40 miles, equal to 10 leagues, and then 30 miles, or 
7^- leagues, until sunrise. All day they proceeded with 
little wind to E.N.E. and N.E. by E., more or less, her 
head being sometimes north and at others N.N.E., and, 
counting one with the other, they made 60 miles, or 15 
leagues. There was little weed, but yesterday and to-day 
the sea appeared to be full of tunnies. The Admiral 
believed that they were on their way to the tunny-fisheries 
of the Duke, at Conil and Cadiz.'* He also thought they 
were near some islands, because a frigate-bird flew round 
the caravel, and afterwards went away to the S.S.E. He 
said that to the S.E. of the island of Espafiola were the 
islands of Carib, Ulatinitio, and many others. 

^ The Duke here alluded to was the redoubtable warrior, Don 
Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, conqueror of Zahara and Albania, and one 
of the chief leaders in the war with (iranada. Henry IV created him 
Marquis of Cadiz in 1470, and he was also made Duke of Cadiz. He 
died in the end of August 1492, soon after the departure of Columbus. 
The Crown then resumed the dukedom of Cadiz, and his grandson 
and successor was created Duke of Arcos instead. The almadravaSy 
or tunny fisheries of Rota, near Cadiz, were inherited by the Duke, 
as well as those of Conil, a little fishing town 6 leagues east of Cadiz. 


Saturday^ igtk of Jarmary. 

DuriiifT the night they made good 56 miles N.N.E., and 
64 N.l^^. by N. After sunrise they steered N.E. with the 
wind fresh from S.W., and afterwards W.S.W. 84 miles, 
equal to 21 leagues. The sea was again full of small 
tunnies. There were boobies, frigate-birds, and terns. 

Sunday, 20th of January. 

It was calm during the night, with occasional slants of 
wind, and they only made 20 miles to the N.E. After 
sunrise they went 1 1 miles S.E., and then 36 miles 
N.N.E., equal to 9 leagues. They saw an immense 
quantity of small tunnies, the air very soft and pleasant, 
like Seville in April or May, and the sea, for which God 
be given many thanks, always very smooth. Frigate- 
birds, sandpipers, and other birds were seen. 

Monday, 2\st of January. 

Yesterday, before sunset, they steered N.E. b, E., with 
the wind east, at the rate of 8 miles an hour until mid- 
night, equal to 56 miles. Afterwards they steered N.N.IL 
8 miles an hour, so that they made 104 miles, or 26 
leagues, during the night N.E. by N. After sunrise they 
steered N.N.E. with the same wind, which at times veered 
to N.E., and they made good 88 miles in the eleven hours 
of daylight, or 21 leagues: except one that was lost by 
delay caused by closing with the Pinta to communicate. 
The air was colder, and it seemed to get colder as they 
went further north, and also that the nights grew longer 
owing to the narrowing of the sphere. Many boatswain- 
birds and terns were seen, as well as other birds, but not 
so many fish, perhaps owing to the water being colder. 
Much weed was seen. 


Tuesday, 22nd of January. 

Yesterday, after sunset, they steered N.N.E. with an 
east wind. They made 8 miles an hour during five glasses, 
and three before the watch began, making eight glasses, 
equal to 72 miles, or 18 leagues. Afterwards they went 
N.E. by N. for six glasses, which would be another 18 
miles. Then, during four glasses of the second watch N.E. 
at six miles an hour, or three leagues. From thai time to 
sunset, for eleven glasses, E.N.E. at 6 leagues an hour,^ 
equal to seven leagues. Then E.N.E. until 1 1 o'clock, 32 
miles. Then the wind fell, and they made no more during 
that day. The Indians swam about. They saw boat- 
swain-birds and much weed. 

Wednesday, 2ird of January. 

To-night the wind was very changeable, but, making the 
allowances applied by good sailors, they made 84 miles, or 
21 leagues, N.E. by N. Many times the caravel Nilla had 
to wait for the Pinta, because she sailed badly when on a 
bowline, the mizen being of little use owing to the weak- 
ness of the mast. If her captain, Martin Alonso Pinzon, 
had taken the precaution to p':ovide her with a good mast 
in the Indies, where there are so many and such excellent 
spars, instead of deserting his commander from motives of 
avarice, he would have done better. They saw many 
boatswain-birds and much weed. The heavens have been 
clouded over during these last days, but there has been no 
rain. The sea has been as smooth as a river, for which 
many thanks be given to God. After sunrise they went 

^ An error of the transcriber for miles. Other figures have been 
wrongly copied. Each glass being half-an-hour, going six miles an 
hour, they would have made 33 miles in five hours and a half.— N. 


free, and made 30 miles, or yl leagues N.E. During the 
rest of the day E.N.E. another 30 miles. 

Thursday^ 24//; of January. 

They made 44 miles, or 1 1 leagues, during the night, 
allowing for many changes in the wind, which was 
generally N.E. After sunrise until sunset E.N.E. 14 

Friday, 2^tJi of January. 

They steered during part of the night E.N.E. for 13 
glasses, making <)\ leagues. Then N.N.E. 6 miles. The 
wind fell, and during the day they only made 28 miles 
E.N.E., or 7 leagues. The sailors killed a tunny and a 
very large shark, which was very welcome, as they now 
had nothing but bread and wine, and some yams from the 

Saturday, 26th of January. 

'ihis night they made 56 m.iles, or 14 leagues, E.S.E. 
After sunrise they steered E.S.E., and sometimes S.E., 
making 40 miles up to 1 1 o'clock. Afterwards they went 
on another tack, and then on a bowline, 24 miles, or 
6 leagues, to the north, until night. 

Sunday, 2yth of January. 

Yesterday, after sunset, they steered N.E. and N.E. 
by N. at the rate of five miles an hour, which in thirteen 
hours would be 65 miles, or i6\ leagues. After sunrise 
they steered N.E. 24 miles, or 6 leagues, until noon, and 
from that time until sunset 3 leagues E.N.E. 

Monday, 2%th of January. 

All night they steered E.N.E. 36 miles, or 9 leagues. 
After sunrise until sunset E.N.E. 20 miles, or 5 leagues. 


The weather was temperate and pleasant. They saw boat- 
swain-birds, sandpipers, and much weed. 

Tuesday^ 2gt/i of Janumy. 

They steered E.N.E. 39 miles, or 9! leagues, and during 
the whole day 8 leagues. The air was very pleasant, like 
April in Castille, the sea smooth, and fish they call 
dorados came on board. 

Wednesday^ "^oth of January. 

All this night they made 6 leagues E.N.E., and in the 
day S.E. by S. 13^ leagues. Boatswain-birds, much weed, 
and many tunnies. 

Thursday, 2,ist of January. 

This night they steered N.E. by N. 30 miles, and after- 
wards N.E. 35 miles, or 16 leagues. From sunrise to 
night E.N.E. 13^ leagues. They saw boatswain-birds and 

Friday y isi of February. 

They made 16^ leagues E.N.E. during the night, and 
went on the same course during the day 2g\ leagues. 
The sea very smooth, thanks be to God. 

Saturday, 2nd of February. 

They made 40 miles, or 10 leagues, E.N.E. this night. 
In the daytime, with the same wind aft, they went 7 miles 
an hour, so that in eleven hours they had gone yy miles, or 
9^ leagues. The sea was very smooth, thanks be to God, 
and the air very soft. They saw the sea so covered with 
weed that, if they had not known about it before, they 
would have been fearful of sunken rocks. They saw 


Sunday, ■^^rd of February. 

This night, the wind being aft and the sea very smooth, 
thanks be to God, they made 29 leagues. The North Star 
appeared very high, as it docs off Cape St. Vincent. The 
Admiral was unable to take the altitude, either with the 
astrolabe or with the quadrant, because the rolling caused 
by the waves prevented it. That day he steered his course 
E.N.E., going 10 miles an hour, so that in eleven hours he 
made 27 leagues. 

Monday, ^th of February. 

During the night the course was N.E. by E., going twelve 
miles an hour part of the time, and the rest ten miles. 
Thus they made 130 miles, or 32 leagues and a half The 
sky was very threatening and rainy, and it was rather cold, 
by which they knew that they had not yet reached the 
Azores. After sunrise the course was altered to east. 
During the whole day they made 77 miles, or 19^ leagues. 

Tuesday, %th of February. 

This night they steered east, and made 55 miles, or 13^ 
leagues. In the day they were going ten miles an hour, 
and in eleven hours made no miles, or 27^ leagues. They 
saw sandpipers, and some small sticks, a sign that they 
were near land. 

Wednesday, 6th of February. 

They steered east during the night, going at the rate of 
eleven miles an hour, so that in the thirteen hours of the 
night they made 143 miles, or 35 ^ leagues. They saw 
many birds. In the day they went 14 miles an hour, and 
made 154 miles, or 38^ leagues; so that, including night 
and day, they made 74 leagues, more or less. Vicente 


Ancs^ said that they had left the island of Flores to the 
north and Madeira to the cast. Roldan said that the 
island of Fayal, or San Gregorio, was to the N.N.E. and 
Puerto Santo to east. There was much weed. 

Thursday^ yth of February. 

This night they steered east, going ten miles an hour, 
so that in thirteen hours they made 130 miles, or 32^ 
leagues. In the daytime the rate was eight miles an 
hour, in eleven hours 88 miles, or 22 leagues. This 
morning the Admiral found himself 65 leagues south of 
the island of Flores, and the pilot Pedro Alonso, being 
further north, according to his reckoning, passed between 
Terceira and Santa Maria to the east, passing to windward 
of the island of Madeira, twelve leagues further north. 
The sailors saw a new kind of weed, of which there is 
plenty in the islands of the Azores. 

Friday^ %tli of February. 

They went three miles an hour to the eastward for some 
time during the night, and afterwards E.S.E., going twelve 
miles an hour. From sunrise to noon they made 27 miles, 
and the same distance from noon till sunset, equal to 
13 leagues S.S.E. 

Saturday, gth of February. 

For part of this night they went 3 leagues S.S.E., and 
afterwards S. by E., then N.E. 5 leagues until ten o'clock 
in the forenoon, then 9 leagues east until dark. 

Sunday, loth of February, 

From sunset they steered east all night, making 130 
miles, or 32^ leagues. During the day they went at 

^ 1 1 should be Yanez. 


the rate of nine miles an hour, making 99 miles, or 
24J leagues, in eleven hours. 

In the caravel of the Admiral, Vicente Yaflez and 
the two pilots, Sancho Ruiz and Pedro Alonso Nifio, 
and Roldan,^ made charts and plotted the route. They 
all made the position a good deal beyond the islands 
of the Azores to the east, and, navigating to the north, 
none of them touched Santa Maria, which is the last 
of all the Azores. They made the position five leagues 
beyond it, and were in the vicinity of the islands of 
Madeira and Puerto Santo. But the Admiral was very 
different from them in his reckoning, finding the position 
very much in rear of theirs. This night he found the 
island of Flores to the north, and to the east he made 
the direction to be towards Nafe in Africa, passing to 

leeward of the island of Madeira to the north 

leagues.2 go that the pilots were nearer to Castille than 
the Admiral by 1 50 leagues. The Admiral says that, with 
the grace of God, when they reach the land they will find 
out whose reckoning was most correct. He also says that 
he went 263 leagues from the island of Hierro to the 
place where he first saw the gulf-weed. 

Monday, nth of February. 

This night they went twelve miles an hour on their 
course, and during the day they ran 16I- leagues. They 
saw many birds, from which they judged that land was 

1 Las Casas says that the pilot Roldan afterwards lived for many 
years in the city of San Domingo, owning several houses in the prin- 
cipal streets. 

- A gap in the original manuscript. 

174 iiAI) WEATHER. 

Tuesday, \2th of February. 

They went six miles an hour on an east course during 
the night, altogether "Ji miles, or i8] leagues. At this 
time they began to encounter bad weather with a heavy 
sea ; and, if the caravel had not been very well managed, 
she must have been lost. During the day they made 1 1 or 

12 leagues with much difficulty and danger. 

Wednesday, \ith of February. 

From sunset until daylight there was great trouble with 
the wind, and the high and tempestuous sea. There was 
lightning three times to the N.N.E. — a sign of a great storm 
coming cither from that quarter or its opposite. They 
were lying-to most of the night, afterwards showing a little 
sail, and made 52 miles, which is 13 leagues. In the day 
the wind moderated a little, but it soon increased again. 
The sea was terrific, the waves crossing each other, and 
straining the vessels. They made 55 miles more, equal to 

13 J leagues. 

Thursday y \^t/i of February, 

This night the wind increased, and the waves were 
terrible, rising against each other, and so shaking and 
straining the vessel that she could make no headway, and 
was in danger of being stove in. They carried the main- 
sail very closely reefed, so as just to give her steerage- 
way, and proceeded thus for three hours, making 20 miles. 
Meanwhile, the wind and sea increased, and, seeing the 
great danger, the Admiral began to run before it, there 
being nothing else to be done. The caravel Pinta began 
to run before the wind at the same time, and Martin 
Alonso ran her out of sight,^ although the Admiral kept 

1 Martin Alonso Pinzon succeeded in bringing the caravel Pinia 

vows OF I'lLGKIMAdliS. 175 

showing lanterns all night, and the other answered. It 
would seem that she could do no more, owing to the force 
of the tempest, and she was taken far from the route of 
the Admiral. He steered that night E.N.E., and made 
54 miles, equal to 13 leagues. At sunrise the wind blew 
still harder, and the cross sea was terrific. They continued 
to show the closely-reefed mainsail, to enable her to rise 
from between the waves, or she would otherwise have been 
swamped. An E.N.E. course was steered, and afterwards 
N.E. by E. for six hours, making 7.V leagues. The Admiral 
ordered that a pilgrimage should be made to Our Lady of 
Guadaloupc, carrying a candle of 6 lbs. of weight in wax, 
and that all the crew should take an oath that the pilgrim- 
age should be made by the man on whom the lot fell. As 
many beans were got as there were persons on board, and 
on one a cross was cut with a knife. They were then put 
into a cap and shaken up. The first who put in his hand 
was the Admiral, and he drew out the bean with a cross, 
so the lot fell on him ; and he was bound to go on the 
pilgrimage and fulfil the vow. Another lot was drawn, to 
go on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Loreto, which is in the 
march of Ancona, in the Papal territory, a house where 
Our Lady works many and great miracles. The lot fell on 
a sailor of the port of Santa Maria, named Pedro dc Villa, 
and the Admiral promised to pay his travelling expenses. 
Another pilgrimage was «.greed upon, to watch for one 
night in Santa Clara^ at Moguer, and have a Mass said, 
for which they again used the beans, including the one 
with a cross. The lot again fell on the Admiral. After 

into port at Bayona in Galicia. He went thence to Palos, arriving in 
the evening- of the same day as the Alna with the Admiral. Pinzon 
died very soon afterwards. Oviedo says : " Fuesse a Palos a su casa, 
6 murio desde a pocas dias, porque yba muy doliente" (n, cap. vi). 

* Las Casas says that this was a church much frequented by sailors 
(i, p. 446). 


this the Admiral and all the crew made a vow that, on 
arrivin<Tf at the first land, they would all go in procession, 
in their shirts, to say their prayers in a church dedicated 
to Our Lady. 

Besides these general vows made in common, each 
sailor made a special vow; for no one expected to escape, 
holding themselves for lost, owing to the fearful weather 
from which they were suffering. The want of ballast 
increased the danger of the ship, which had become light, 
owing to the consumption of the provisions and water. 
On account of the favourable weather enjoyed among the 
islands, the Admiral had omitted to make provision for 
this need, thinking that ballast might be taken on board 
at the island inhabited by women, which he had intended 
to visit. The only thing to do was to fill the barrels that 
had contained wine or fresh water with water from the sea, 
and this supplied a remedy. 

Here the Admiral writes of the causes which made him 
fear that he would perish, and of others that gave him 
hope that God would work his salvation, in order that 
such news as he was bringing to the Sovereigns might not 
be lost. It scorned to him that the strong desire he felt 
to bring such great news, and to show that all he had said 
and offered to discover had turned out true, suggested the 
fear that he would not be able to do so, and that each 
stinging insect would be able to thwart and impede the 
work. He attributes this fear to his little faith, and to his 
want of confidence in Divine Providence. He was com- 
forted, on the other hand, by the mercies of God in having 
vouchsafed him such a victory, in the discoveries he had 
made, and in that God had complied with all his desires 
in Castille, after much adversity and many misfortunes. 
As he had before put all his trust in God, who had 
heard him and granted all he sought, he ought now to 
believe that God would permit the completion of what 


liad been begun, and ordain that he should be saved. 
I'^spccially as he had freed him on the voyage out, when 
he had still greater reason to fear, from the trouble 
caused by the sailors and people of his company, who 
all with one voice declared their intention to return, 
and protested that they would rise against him. lUit 
the eternal God gave him force and valour to with- 
stand them all, and in many other marvellous ways had 
God shown his will in this voj'age besides those known to 
their Highnesses. Thus he ought not to fear the present 
tempest, though his weakness and anxiety prevent him 
from giving tranquillity to his mind. He says further that 
it gave him great sorrow to think of the two sons he had 
left at their studies in Cordova, who would be left orphans, 
without father or mother, in a strange land ; while the 
Sovereigns would not know of the services he had per- 
formed in this voyage, nor would they receive the pros- 
perous news which would move them to help the orphans. 
To remedy this, and that their Highnesses might know 
how our Lord had granted a victory in all that could 
be desired respecting the Indies, and that they might 
understand that there were no storms in those parts, 
which may be known by the herbs and trees which 
grow even within the sea^ ; also that the Sovereigns 
might still have information, even if he perished in the 
storm, he took a parchment and wrote on it as good 
an account as he could of all he had discovered, entreat- 
ing anyone who might pick it up to deliver it to the 
Sovereigns. He rolled this parchment up in waxed cloth, 
fastened it very securely, ordered a large wooden barrel to 

* The Admiral thought that there could be no great storms in the 
countries he had discovered, because trees (mangroves) actually grew 
with their roots in the sea. The herbage on the beach nearly reached 
the waves, which s not happen when the sea is rough. Sec atife, 
p. 69. 



be brought, and put it inside, so that no one else knew 
what it was. They thought that it was some act of 
devotion, and so he ordered the barrel to be thrown 
into the sea.^ Afterwards, in the showers and squalls, 
the wind veered to the west, and they went before it, only 
with the foresail, in a very confused sea, for five hours. 
They made 2} leagues N.E. They had taken in the reefed 
mainsail, for fear some wave of the sea should cairy all 

Friday, i^tk of February. 

Last night, after sunset, the sky began to clear towards 
the west, showing that the wind was inclined to come from 
that quarter. The Admiral added the bonnet^ to the 
mainsail. The sea was still very high, although it had 
gone down slightly. They steered E.N.E., and went four 
miles an hour, which made 13 leagues during the eleven 
hours of the night. After sunrise they sighted land. It 
appeared from the bows to bear E.N.E. Some said it was 
the island of Madeira, others that it was the rock of Cintra, 
in Portugal, near Lisbon. Presently the wind headed to 
E.N.E. , and a heavy sea came from the west, the caravel 
being 5 leagues from the land. The Admiral found by his 
reckoning that he was close to the Azores, and believed 

^ It is stated, in the Vita licll Ammiraglio, by his son Fernando 
Columbus, that the Admiral wrote a duplicate of this letter, and placed 
it in a second barrel, which was kept on board until the ship should 
sink {Historic, cap. xxxvi). Lamartine {Christophc Cohmb., N. XLVii) 
has a curious but unauthenticated story, that several casks with docu- 
ments were thrown overboard, and that one was picked up three 
centuries afterwards. Lafuente {Histnria General de Espana, vol. ix, 
p. 463) even gives the name of the vessel that picked up one of the 
documents of Columbus, and the date, 27 Aug. 1852. But the story 
is unworthy of credit. 

2 The bonnet was a small sail, usually cut to a third the size of 
the mizen, or a fourth of the mainsail. It was secured through eyelet- 
holes to the leech of the mainsail, in the manner of a studding sail. 


that this was one of them. The pilots and sailors thought 
it was the land of Castillc.^ 

Saturday, i6th of February. 

All that night the Admiral was standing off and on to 
keep clear of the land, which they now knew to be an 
island, sometimes standing N.E., at others N.N.E., until 
sunrise, when they tacked to the south to reach the 
island, which was now concealed by a great mist. Another 
island was in sight from the poop, at a distance of eight 
leagues. Afterwards, from sunrise until dark, they were 
tacking to reach the land against a strong wind and head- 
sea. At the time of repeating the Salve, which is just 
before dark, some of the men saw a light to leeward, and 
it seemed that it must be on the island they first saw 
yesterday. All night they were beating to windward, and 
o-oing as near as they could, so as to see some way to the 
island at sunrise. That night the Admiral got a little rest, 
for he had not slept nor been able to sleep since Wednes- 
day, and his legs were very sore from long exposure to the 

1 On this day the Admiral dated the letter to Santangel,thc Escribano 
de Racion ; which was translated by Mr. Major for the Hakluyt Society 
{Sch'ct Letters of Columbus, 1870). A copy of this letter was made, a 
few days afterwards, to be sent to Gabriel Sanchez, the Treasurer of 
Aragon. These letters are very hx\e{ compendia of the Jo: .nal. The 
Santangel Letter was first printed at Barcelona in April 1493 (unicjue 
copy in possession of Mr. Quaritch, folio, two leavesV The next 
edition, also printed in April 1493, at Seville, is represented by a 
unique copy in the Ambrosian Library at Milan (quarto, four leaves). 
There is a manuscript copy at Simancas, which is a transcript made 
about 70 years ago, but it is not known from what original. A manu- 
script transcript of the Sa;ie/ies L^etter,wr\iten about 1600, was bought 
by V'arnhagen at Valencia, and printed there by him in 1858. A 
Latin translation of it, by Leander de Cosco, had been printed three 
times, in 1493, at Rome ; and a fourth edition exists, probably printed 
ut Naples. 

N 2 


wet and cold. At sunrise^ he steered S.S.W., and reached 
the island at night, but could not make out what island it 
was, owing to the thick weather. 

Monday, i^th of February. 
Yesterday, after sunset, the Admiral was sailing round 
the island, to see where he could anchor and open com- 
munications. He let go one anchor, which he presently 
lost, and then stood off and on all night. After sunrise 
he again reached the north side of the island, where he 
anchored, and sent the boat on shore. They had speech 
with the people, and found that it was the island of Santa 
Maria, one of the Azores. They pointed out the port- to 
which the caravel should go. They said that they had 
never seen such stormy weather as there had been for the 
last fifteen days, and they wondered how the caravel 
could have escaped. They gave many thanks to God, and 
showed great joy at the news that the Admiral had dis- 
covered the Indies. The Admiral says that his naviga- 
tion had been very certain, and that he had laid the 
discoveries down on the chart. Many thanks were due to 
our Lord, although there had been some delay. But he 
was sure that he was in the region of the Azores, and that 
this was one of them. He pretended to have gone over 
more ground, to mislead the pilots and \r -iners who 
pricked off the charts, in order that he might remain 
master of that route to the Indies, as, in fact, he did. For 
none of the others kept an accurate reckoning, so that no 
one but himself could be sure of the route to the Indies. 

Tuesday, igth of February. 
After sunset three natives of the island came to the 

1 This was on Sunday, 17th of February, 
- The port of ban Lorenzo. 


beach and hailed. The Admiral sent the boat, which 
returned with fowls and fresh bread. It was carnival 
time, and they brought other things which were sent 
by the captain of the island, named Juan de Castaneda, 
saying that he knew the Admiral very well, and that 
he did not come to see him because it was night, but 
that at dawn he would come with more refreshments, 
bringing with him three men of the boat's crew, whom 
he did not send back owing to the great pleasure he 
derived from hearing their account of the voyage. The 
Admiral ordered much respect to be shown to the mes- 
sengers, and that they should be given beds to sleep in 
that night, because it was late, and the town was far off. 
As on the previous Thursday, when they were in the midst 
of the storm, they had made a vow to go in procession to 
a church of Our Lady as soon as they came to land, the 
Admiral arranged that half the crew should go to comply 
with their obligation to a small chapel, like a hermitage, 
near the shore ; and that he would himself go afterwards 
with the rest. Believing that it was a peaceful land, and 
confiding in the offers of the captain of the island, and 
in the peace that existed between Spain and Portugal, 
he asked the three men to go to the town and arrange 
for a priest to come and say Mass. The half of the crew 
then went in their shirts, in compliance with their vow. 
While they were at their prayers, all the people of the 
town, horse and foot, with the captain at their head, came 
and took them all prisoners. The Admiral, suspecting 
nothing, was waiting for the boat to take him and the 
rest to accomplish the vow. At 1 1 o'clock, seeing that 
they did not come back, he feared that they had been 
detained, or that the boat had been swamped, all the island 
being surrounded by high rocks. He could not see what 
had taken place, because the hermitage was round a point. 
He got up the anchor, and made sail until he was in full 


view of the hermitage, and he saw many of the horsemen 
dismount and get into the boat with arms. They came to 
the caravel to seize the Admiral. The captain stood up in 
the boat, and asked for an assurance of safety from the 
Admiral, who replied that he granted it ; but, what out- 
rage was this, that he saw none of his people in the 
boat ? The Admiral added that they might come on 
board, and that he would do all that might be proper. 
The Admiral tried, with fair words, to get hold of this 
captain, that he might recover his own people, not 
considering that he broke faith by giving him security, 
because he had offered peace and security, and had then 
broken his word. The captain, as he came with an evil 
intention, would not come on board. Seeing that he did 
not come alongside, the Admiral asked that he might be 
told the reason for the detention of his men, an act which 
would displease the King of Portugal, because the Portu- 
guese received much honour in the territories of the King 
of Castille, and were as safe as if they were in Lisbon. 
He further said that the Sovereigns had given him letters 
of recommendation to all the Lords and Princes of the 
world, which he would show the captain if he would come 
on board ; that he was the Admiral of the Ocean Sea, and 
Viceroy of the Indies, which belonged to their Highnesses, 
and that he would show the commissions signed with their 
signatures, and attested by their seals, which he held up 
from a distance. He added that his Sovereigns were in 
friendship and amity with the King of Portugal, and had 
ordered that all honour should be shown to ships that 
came from Portugal. Further, that if the captain did not 
surrender his people, he would still go on to Castille, as he 
had quite sufficient to navigate as far as Seville, in which 
case the captain and his followers would be severely 
punished for their offence. Then the captain and those 
with him replied that they did not know the King and 


Queen of Castillc there, nor their letters, nor were they 
cTfraid of them, and they would give the Admiral to under- 
stand that this was Portugal, almost menacing him. On 
hearing this the Admiral was much moved, thinking that 
some cause of disagreement might have arisen between 
the two kingdoms during his absence, yet he could not 
endure that they should not be answered reasonably. 
Afterwards he turned to the captain, and said that he 
should go to the port with the caravel, and that all that 
;'ad been done would be reported to the King his Lord. 
The Admiral made those who were in the caravel bear 
witness to what he said, calling to the captain and all the 
others, and promising that he would not leave the caravel 
until a hundred Portuguese had been taken to Castillc, 
and all that island had been laid waste. He then returned 
to anchor in the port where he was first, the wind being 
very unfavourable for doing anything else. 

Wednesday, 20th of February. 

The Admiral ordered the ship to be repaired, and the 
casks to be filled alongside for ballast. This was a very 
bad port, and he feared he might have to cut the cables. 
This was so, and he made sail for the island of San Miguel ; 
but there is no good port in any of the Azores for the 
weather they then experienced, and there was no other 
remedy but to go to sea. 

Thursday, 2\st of February. 

Yesterday the Admiral left that island of Santa Maria 
for that of San Miguel, to see if a port could be found to 
shelter his vessel from the bad weather. There was much 
witid and a high sea, and he was sailing until night with- 
out being able to see either one land or the other, owing to 
the thick weather caused by wind and sea. The Admiral 


says he was in much anxiety, because he only had three 
sailors who knew their business, the rest knowing nothing 
of seamanship. He was lying-to all that night, in great 
danger and trouble. Our Lord showed him mercy in that 
the waves came in one direction, for if there had been a 
cross sea they would have suffered much more. After sun- 
rise the island of San Miguel was not in sight, so the 
Admiral determined to return to Santa Maria, to see if he 
could recover his people and boat, and the anchors and 
cables he had left there. 

The Admiral says that he was astonished at the bad 
weather he encountered in the region of these islands. In 
the Indies he had navigated throughout the winter without 
the necessity for anchoring, and always had fine weather, 
never having seen the sea for a single hour in such a state 
that it could not be navigated easily. But among these 
islands he had suffered from such terrible storms. The 
same had happened in going out as far as the Canary 
Islands, but as soon as they were passed there was always 
fine weather, both in sea and air. In concluding these 
remarks, he observes that the sacred theologians and wise 
men said well when they placed the terrestrial paradise in 
the Far East, because it is a most temperate region. Hence 
these lands that he had now discovered must, he says, be in 
the extreme East. 

Friday^ 22nd oj February. 

Yesterday the Admiral came-to off Santa Maria, in the 
place or port where he had first anchored. Presently a 
man came down to some rocks at the edge of the beach, 
hailing that they were not to remain there. Soon after- 
wards the boat came with five sailors, two priests, and a 
scrivener. They asked for safety, and when it was granted 
by the Admiral, they came on board, and, as it was night 

^ ^ 


they slept on board, the Admiral showing them all the 
civility he could. In the morning they asked to be shown 
the authority of the Sovereigns of Castille, by which the 
voyage had been made. The Admiral felt that they did 
this to give some colour of right to what they had done, 
and to shov/ that they had right on their side. As they 
were unable to secure the person of the Admiral, whom 
they intended to get into their power when they came with 
the boat armed, they now feared that their game might not 
turn out so well, thinking, with some fear, of what the 
Admiral had threatened, and which he proposed to put into 
execution. In order to get his people released, the Admiral 
displayed the general letter of the Sovereigns to all Princes 
and Lords, and other documents, and having given them of 
what he had, the Portuguese went on shore contented, and 
presently released all the crew and the boat. The Admiral 
heard from them that if he had been captured also, they 
never would have been released, for the captain said that 
those were the orders of the King his Lord. 

Saturday, 2ird of February. 

Yesterday the weather began to improve, and the 
Admiral got under weigh to seek a better anchorage, 
where he could take in wood and stones for ballast ; but 
he did not find one until late. 

Sunday, 2\tJi of February. 

He anchored yesterday in the afternoon, to take in wood 
and stones, but the sea was so rough that they could not 
land from the boat, and during the first watch it came on 
to blow from the west and S.W. He ordered sail to be 
made, owing to the great danger there is off these islands in 
being at anchor with a southerly gale, and as the wind 
was S.W. it would go round to south. As it was a good 



wind for Castillc, he gave up his intention of taking in 
wood and stones, and shaped an easterly course until sun- 
set, going seven miles an hour for six hours and a half, 
equal to 45 i miles. After sunset he made six miles an 
hour, or 66 miles in eleven hours, altogether 1 1 1 miles, 
equal to 28 leagues. 

Monday, 2$th of February. 

Yesterday, after sunset, the caravel went at the rate ot 
five miles an hour on an easterly course, and in the eleven 
hours of the night she made 65 miles, equal to 16J leagues. 
From sunrise to sunset they made another 16^ leagues 
with a smooth sea, thanks be to God. A very large bird, 
like an eagle, came to the caravel. 

Tuesday, 26th of February. 

Yesterday night the caravel steered her course in a 
smooth sea, thanks be to God. Most of the time she was 
going eight miles an hour, and made a hundred miles, equal 
to 25 leagues. After sunrise there was little wind and some 
rain-showers. They made about 8 leagues E.N.E. 

Wednesday, 2yth of February. 

During the night and day she was off her course, owing 
to contrary winds and a heavy sea. She was found to be 
125 leagues from Cape St. Vincent, and 80 from the island 
of Madeira, 106 from Santa Maria. It was very trouble- 
some to have such bad weather just \\'hen they were at the 
very door of their home. 

Thursday, 2^th of February. 

The same weather during the night, with the wind from 
south and S.E., sometimes shifting to N.E. and E.N.E., and 
it was the same all day. 

voYAGi: TO usnox. 187 

Friday, \st of March. 
To-night the course was E.N.E., and they made twelve 
leagues. During the day, 23. V leagues on the same 

Saturday, 2nd of March. 

The course was E.N.E., and distance made good 28 
leagues during the night, and 20 in the day. 

Sunday, yd of March. 

After sunset the course was east ; but a squall came 
. down, split all the sails, and the vessel was in great danger; 
but God was pleased to deliver them. They drew lots for 
sending a pilgrim in a shirt to Santa Maria dc la Cinta at 
Huelva, and the lot fell on the Admiral. The whole crew 
also made a vow to fast on bread and water during the 
first Saturday after their arrival in port. They had made 
60 miles before the sails were split. Afterwards they ran 
under bare poles, owing to the force of the gale and the 
heavy sea. They saw signs of the neighbourhood of 
land, finding themselves near Lisbon. 

Monday, <\tJL of March. 

During the night they were exposed to a terrible storm, 
expecting to be overwhelmed by the cross-seas, while the 
wind seemed to raise the caravel into the air, and there 
was rain and lightning in several directions. The Admiral 
prayed to our Lord to preserve them, and in the first 
watch it pleased our Lord to show land, which was re- 
ported by the sailors. As it was advisable not to reach it 
before it was known whether there was any port to which 
he could run for shelter, the Admiral set the mainsail, as 
there was no other course but to proceed, though in great 
danger. Thus God preserved them until daylight, though 
all the time they were in infinite fear and trouble. When 


it was light, the Admiral knew the land, which was the 
rock of Cintra, near the river of Lisbon, and he resolved 
to run in because there was nothing else to be done. So 
terrible was the storm, that in the village of Cascaes, at 
the mouth of the river, the people were praying for the 
little vessel all that morning. After they were inside, the 
people came off, looking upon their escape as a miracle. 
At the third hour they passed Rastelo, within the river of 
Lisbon, where they were told that such a winter, with so 
many storms, had never before been known, and that 
25 ships had been lost in Flanders, while others had been 
wind-bound in the river for four months. Presently the 
Admiral wrote to the King of Portugal, who was then at 
a distance of nine leagues, to state that the Sovereigns of 
Castille had ordered him to enter the ports of his High- 
ness, and ask for what he required for payment, and 
requesting that the King would give permission for the 
caravel to come to Lisbon, because some ruffians, hearing 
that he had much gold on board, might attempt a robbery 
in an unfrequented port, knowing that they did not come 
from Guinea, but from the Indies.^ 

Tuesday, $th of MarcJi. 
To-day the great ship of the King of Portugal was also 
at anchor off Rastelo, with the best provision of artillery 
and arms that the Admiral had ever seen. The master of her, 
named Bartolome Diaz, of Lisbon, came in an armed boat 
to the caravel, and ordered the Admiral to get into the 
boat, to go and give an account of himself to the agents of 
the king and to the captain of that ship. The Admiral 
replied that he was the Admiral of the Sovereigns of 
Castille, and that he would not give an account to any 
such persons, nor would he leave the ship except by force, 

^ On this day the Admiral dated the postscript to his letter to the 
Escribano de Racion, which was written at sea on February r 5th. 


as he had not the power to resist. The master replied 
that he must then send tlic master of the caravel. The 
Admiral answered that neither the master nor any other 
person should go except by force, for if he allowed anyone 
to go, it would be as if he went himself ; and that such 
was the custom of the Admirals of the Sovereigns of 
Castillc, rather to die than to submit, or to let any of 
their people submit. The master then moderated his 
tone, and told the Admiral that if that was his determina- 
tion he might do as he pleased. He, however, requested 
that he might be shown the letters of the Kings of Cas- 
tllle, if they were on board. The Admiral readily showed 
them, and the master returned to the ship and reported 
what had happened to the captain, named Alvaro Dama. 
That officer, making great festival with trumpets and drums, 
came to the caravel to visit the Admiral, and offered to 
do all that he might require. 

Wednesday, 6th of March. 

As soon as it was known that the Admiral came from 
the Indies, it was wonderful how many people came from 
Lisbon to see him and the Indians, giving thanks to 
our Lord, and saying that the heavenly Majesty had given 
all this to the Sovereigns of Castille as a reward for their 
faith and their great desire to serve God. 

Thursday, yth of March. 

To-day an immense number of people came to the 
caravel, including many knights, and amongst them the 
agents of the king, and all gave infinite thanks to our 
Lord for so wide an increase of Christianity granted 
by our Lord to the Sovereigns of Castille; and they 
said that they received it because their Highnesses had 
worked and laboured for the increase of the religion of 


Friday, Wi of March. 

To-day the Admiral received a letter from the King of 
Portugal/ brought by Don Martin de Norofta, asking him 
to visit him where he was, as the weather was not suitable 
for the departure of the caravel. He complied, to prevent 
suspicion, although he did not wish to go, and went to 
pass the night at Sacanben. The king had given orders 
to his officers that all that the Admiral, his crew, and the 
caravel were in need of should be given without payment, 
and that all the Admiral wanted should be complied with. 

Saturday, ()th of Marc Ji. 

To-day the Admiral left Sacanben, to go where the 
king was residing, which was at Valparaiso, nine leagues 
from Lisbon. Owing to the rain, he did not arrive until 
night. The king caused him to be received very honourabl}' 
b)' the principal officers of his household ; and the king 
himself received the Admiral with great favour, making 
him sit down, and talking very pleasantly.- He offered to 
give orders that everything should be done for the service 
of the Sovereigns of Castille, and said that the successful 
termination of the voyage had given him great pleasure. 
He said further that he understood that, in the capitulation 
between the Sovereigns and himself, that conquest belonged 
to him. The Admiral replied that he had not seen the 
capitulation, nor knew more than that the Sovereigns had 
ordered him not to go either to Lamina or to any other 

1 This was Joiio II, son of Affonso V, who had the correspondence 
with Toscanelh. Joao II succeeded in 1481, and died in 1495, when 
he was succeeded by his cousin Manocl, Duke of IJejar. 

- Las Casas, quoting^ from the Portuguese historian, Garcia de 
Resende, says that the courtiers proposed to pick a quarrel with 
Columbus, and to kill him ; but that the King Joao II would not 
allow it (i, p. 465). 


port of Guinea, and that this had been ordered to be 
proclaimed in all the ports of Andalusia bef(M'e he sailed. 
The kin^r graciously replied that he held it for certain that 
there would be no necessity for any arbitrators. The 
Admiral was assigned as a guest to the Prior of Crato, 
who was the principal person present, and from whom he 
received many favours and civilities. 

SuHdav, \otJi of Marc Jl 

To-day, after Mass, the king repeated that if the 
Admiral wanted anything he should have it. He con- 
versed much with the Admiral respecting his voyage, 
always ordering him to sit down, and treating him with 
great favour. 

Monday, wth of March. 

To-day the Admiral took leave of the king, who entrusted 
him with some messages to the Sovereigns, and alwaj's 
treating him with much friendliness. He departed after 
dinner, Don Martin de Noroi^a being sent with him, and 
all the knights set out with him, and went with him some 
distance, to do him honour. Afterwards he came to a 
monastery of San Antonio, near a place called Villafranca, 
where the Queen was residing.^ The Admiral went to do 
her reverence and to kiss her hand, because she had sent 
to say that he was not to go without seeing her. The 
Duke- and the Marquis were with her, and the Admiral 
was received with much honour. He departed at night, 
and went to sleep at Llandra. 

1 The Queen of Jofio II was his cousin Lconor, daughter of Don 
Fernando, Duke of Viseu, his uncle. The Queen's brother had been 
killed by her husband the Kmg with his own hand, as a traitor. Her 
other brother, Manocl, succeeded her husband as king in 1495. 

- This may have been her brother, the Duke of Bejar, afterwards 
King Manoel. 


Tuesday, \2tJi of March. 

To-day, as he was leaving Llandra to return to the 
caravel, an esquire of tlie king arrived, with an offer that if 
he desired to go to Castille by land, that he should be 
supplied with lodgings, and beasts, and all that was neces- 
sary. When the Admiral took leave of him, he ordered a 
mule to be supplied to him, and another for his pilot, who 
was with hi;n, and he says that the pilot received a present 
of twenty cspadincs. lie said this that the Sovereigns 
might know all that was done. He arrived on board the 
caravel that night. 

Wednesday, 13/// of March. 

To-day, at 8 o'clock, with the flood tide, and the wind 
N.N.W., the Admiral got under weigh and made sail for 

Thursday, 14th of March. 

Yesterday, after sunset, a southerly course was steered, 
and before sunrise they were off Cape St. Vincent, which 
is in Portugal. Afterwards he shaped a course to the east 
for Saltes, a^d w^nt on all day with little wind, "until now 
that the shi^ is off Furon". 

Friday, \i,th of March. 

Yesterday, after sunset, she went on lier course with 
little wind, and at sunrise she was off Saltes. At noon, 
with the tide rising, they crossed the bar of Saltes, and 
reached the port :\hich they had left f)n the 3rd of 
August of the year before.* The Admiral says that so 
ends this journal, unless it becomes necessary to go to 

} Havin„ been absent 225 days. 



Barcelona by sea, having received news that their Hiorh- 
nesses are in that city, to ^ > ^ n account of all his voyage 
which our Lord had permitteu him to make, and saw fit to 
set forth in him. For, assuredly, he held with a firm and 
strong knowledge tliat his high Majesty made all things 
good, and that all is good except sin. Nor can he value 
or think of anything being done without His consent. " I 
know respecting this voyage", says the Admiral, "that he 
has miraculously shown his will, as may be seen from this 
journal, setting forth the numerous miracles that have been 
displayed in the voyage, and in me who was so long at the 
court of your Highnesses, working in opposition to and 
against the opinions of so many chief persons of your 
household, who were all against me, looking upon this 
enterprise as folly. But I hope, in our Lord, that it will be 
a great benefit to Christianity, for so it has ever appeared." 
These arc the final words of the Admiral Don Cristoval 
Colon respecting his first voyage to the Indies and their 







O 2 




Letters Patent granted to John Cabot and 


For JoJin Cabot and his sons, touching discovery of 
unknown land. 

Henrie, by the grace of God, King of England and 
France, and Lord of Ireland, to all to whom these 
presents shall come greeting. 

ET it be known and made manifest mqs, 

5 March. 

that we have given and conceded, 
and by these presents do give and 
concede, for us and our heirs, to our 
well-beloved John Cabottus, citizen of 
Venice, and to Ludovicus, Sebas- 
tianus, and Sanctus, sons of the said ^ohn, and to the 
heirs and assigns of them and eaci / them and their 
deputies, full and free authority, faculty, and power of 
navigating to all parts, countries, and seas of the east, 
west, and north, under our banners, flags, and ensigns, with 
five ships or vessels of what burden or quality soever, and 

^ Rymer, xii, p. 595. 


with as many mariners or men as they will have with them 
in the said ships, upon their own proper costs and charges : 
to seek out, discover, and find whatsoever islands, countries, 
regions, or provinces of heathens or infidels, in whatever 
part of the world they be, which before this time were 
unknown to all Christians. 

We also concede to them and each of them, and to their 
heirs and assigns, and their deputies, and we give licence 
to fly the said our banners and ensigns on whatever towns, 
cities, camps, islands, or mainlands may be newly found 
by them. 

And the before-named John and his sons, their heirs and 
assigns, may occupy and possess whatever towns, camps, 
cities, or islands may be discovered by them, that they 
may be able to conquer, occupy, and possess, as our vassals 
and governors, lieutenants or deputies, acquiring for us 
the dominion, title, and jurisdiction over these towns, camps, 
cities, islands, and mainlands so discovered. Providing 
that the said John and his sons, their heirs and assigns, 
and their deputies, shall be bound and under obligation to 
us, from all the fruits, profits, emoluments, advantages, 
gains, and incomes accruing from this voyage, for every 
their voyage as often as they shall arrive at our port of 
Bristol (at the which port they shall be bound and holden 
only to arrive), to deduct a fifth part of the whole capital, 
whether in goods or in money, for our use. 

We give and concede to them, their heirs and assigns, 
and deputies, that they shall be free from all payments of 
customs on all and singular the goods and merchandize 
that they may bring from those newly-discovered places. 

And we further give and concede to them, their heirs 
and assigns, and their deputies, that all mainlands, islands, 
cities, towns, camps, and other places whatsoever by them 
discovered, shall not be frequented or visited by any 
others of our subjects without the licence of the said John 


and his sons, or of their heirs and assigns, on pain of 
forfeiting as well the ships or vessels, as all goods whatso- 

We further will, and strictly command all and singular 
our subjects, as well by land as by sea, that they shall 
render good assistance to the aforesaid John, his sons, 
their heirs and assigns ; and that they shall give them 
all favour and help, as well in arming their ships or 
vessels, as in supplying them with stores and victuals paid 
for by their money. 

Witnessed by the King at Westminster, on the 

5th day of March, in the eleventh year of his 


By the King himself 

Name of the Ship. 

History and Antiquities 0/ Bristo/ (Bnsto\, 1789, p. 172), dy 

IV. Barrett. 

" In the year 1497, the 24th of June, on St. John's Day, 
was Newfoundland found by Bristol men in a ship called 
the Mattheiu!' 

First Voyage of John Cabot. 

Date of Sailing. 

This yeere the King (by meanes of a Venetian which J^^Sf k 
made himselfe very expert and cunning in the Knowledge viTmq; 
of the circuit of the worlde, and ilandes of the same, as by 
a carde and other demonstrations reasonable hee shewed) 
caused to man and victuall a shippe at Bristow, to search 
for an ilande, which hee saide hee Knewe well was riche 
and replenished with richc commodities. Which Ship, 
thus manned and victualled at the Kinges cost, divers mar- 

200 thl: landfall. 

chants of London ventured in her small stockcs, bcinfj in 
her as chiefc Patronc, the saidc Venetian. And in the 
companie of the saide shippe sayled also out of l^ristowe 
three or fourc small ships frauL,rht with sleight and 
merchandizes, as course cloth, Caps, laces, points, and 
other trifles, and so departed from lh-isto\ve in the begin- 
ning of May : of whom, in this Maiors time, returned no 

The Landfall of John Cabot. 

Legend on the Map of Sebastian Cabot of i 544. 

No. 8. This land was discovered by Joan Caboto Vene- 
ciano, and Sebastian Caboto his son, in the year from the 
birth of our Saviour Jesu Christ MCCCCXCIIII,''^ on the 24th 
of June in the morning, to which they gave the name of 
^' Prima Tierra Vistd\ and to a large island which is near 
the said land they gave the name of St. John, because it 
was discovered the same day. The natives of it go about 
dressed in skins of animals ; in their wars they use bows 
and arrows, lances and darts, and clubs of wood, and slings. 
This land is very sterile. There are in it many white 

^ From Hakluyfs Divers Voyages: "taken out of Fabian's Chronicle^ 
which is in the custodie of John Stowe, Citizen, a diligent searcher 
and preserver of antiquities." Also printed m i\\t Principal Naviga- 
tions, where Ilakluyt inserted the name of "one John Cabot" before 
" a Venetian". 

Fabyan died in 151 1. His Chronicle was published down to 10 
Henry VH, in 1516, and a new edition, with the continuation, was 
published by Rastell in 1533. It does not contain the above entry, 
nor any allusion to Cabot. There is a similar passage in Stow, but 
without i:he date of sailing, and the explorer is not called John, but 
*' Sebastian Caboto, a Genoa's sonnc borne in Bristow". 

2 This is an obvious error. It should be 1497. Mr. Major has 
suggested that the first two lines were badly printed in the original, 
being slightly separated instead of being joined at the bottom, thus 
making "U" instead of "v". 


bears, and very large stags, like horses, and many other 
animals. And in like manner there are immense quantities 
of fish — soles, salmon, very large cods, and many other 
kinds of fish. They call the great multitude of them 
baccallaos ; and there arc also in this country dark-coloured 
falcons like crows, eagles, partridges, sandpipers, and many 
other birds of different kinds. 

Reward for John Cabot. 
loth Aug. 1497. To hym that founde the new i.sle, ;^io. 
{lixt) act from the Privy Purse Accounts, Henry Vfl.) 

Accounts of the First Voyage of John Cabot. 

Letter from Lorenzo Pcxsqualii^o to Jiis brothers Alvise and 


London, 23rd August 1497. 

Our Venetian, who went with a small ship from Bristol 
to find new islands, has come back, and says he has 
discovered, 700 leagues off, the mainland of tjic country 
of the Gran Cam, and that he coasted along it for 300 
leagues, and landed, but did not see any person. But 
he has brought here to the king certain snares spread 
to take game, and a needle for making nets, and he found 
some notched trees, from which he judged that there were 
inhabitants. Being in doubt, he came back to the ship. 
He has been away three months on the voyage, which is 
certain, and, in returning, he savv two islands to the right, 
but he did not wish to land, lest he should lose time, for 

' Calendar of state Papers (\'enicc), i, p. 262, No. 752. 


he was in want of provisions. This king has been much 
pleased. He says that the tides arc slack, and do not 
make currents as they do here. The king has promised 
for another time, ten armed ships as he desires, and has 
given him all the prisoners, except such as arc confined for 
high treason, to go with him, as he has requested ; and has 
granted him money to amuse himself till then. Mean- 
while, he is with his Venetian wife and his sons at Bristol. 
His name is Zuam Talbot,^ and he is called the Great 
Admiral, great honour being paid to him, and he goes 
dressed in silk. The English are ready to go with him, 
and so are many of our rascals. The discoverer of these 
things has planted a large cross in the ground with a 
banner of England, and one of St. Mark, as he is a 
Venetian ; so that our flag has been hoisted very far 

First Despatch of Raimondo di Soncino to the Duke of 
Milanr {Extract^ 

24th August 1497. 
Some months afterwards His Majesty sent a Venetian, 
who is a distinguished sailor, and who was much skilled in 
the discovery of new islands, and he has returned safe, 
and has discovered two very large and fertile islands, 
having, it would seem, discovered the seven cities 4CX) 
leagues from England to the westward. These successes 
led His Majesty at once to entertain the intention of 
sending him with fifteen or twenty vessels. 

1 A misprint: "T"for"C". 

2 Calendar of State Papers (Venice), iii, p. 260, No. 750. 


Second Despatch of Raimoitdo di Souciuo to t/ic Duke of 


1 8th December 1497. 
My most illustrious and most excellent Lord, 

Perhaps amidst so many occupations of your Excellency 
it will not be unwelcome to learn how this Majesty has 
acquired a part of Asia without drawing his sword. In 
this kingdom there is a certain Venetian named Zoanne 
Caboto, of gentle disposition, very expert in navigation, 
who, seeing that the most serene Kings of Portugal and 
Spain had occupied unknown islands, meditated the 
achievement of a similar acquisition for the said Majesty. 
Having obtained royal privileges securing to himself the 
use of the dominions he might discover, the sovereignty 
being reserved to the Crown, he entrusted his fortune to a 
small vessel with a crew of 18 persons, and set out from 
l^risto, a port in the western part of this kingdom. 
Having passed Ibcrnia, which is still further to the west, 
and then shaped a northerly course, he began to navigate 
to the eastern part, leaving (during several days) the North 
Star on the right hand ; and having wandered thus for a 
long time, at length he hit upon land,- where he hoisted 
the royal standard, and took possession for this Highness, 
and, having obtained various proofs of his discovery, he 
returned. The said Messer Zoanne, being a foreigner and 
poor, would not have been believed if the crew, who are 
nearly all English, and belonging to Bristo, had not 

' Annuario Scientijico, Milan, 1866, p. 700 ; Archiv (VEtat Milan, 
reprinted by Harrisse, p. 324, from the Iiiwnio of Desimoni, and 
translated from his text for the Hakluyt Society, with his permission. 
Also Tarducci, p. 35 1. ^ " Terra ferma." 


testified that what he said was the truth. This Messer 
Zoanne has the description of the world on a chart, 
and also on a solid sphere which he has constructed, and 
on which he shows where he has been ; and, proceeding 
towards the cast, he has passed as far as the country 
of the Tanais. And they say that there the land is 
excellent and (the climate ?) temperate, suggesting that 
brasil and silk grow there. They affirm that the sea 
is full of fish, which are not only taken with a net, but 
also with a basket, a stone being fastened to it in order to 
keep it in the water ; and this I have heard stated by the 
said Messer Zoanne. 

The said Englishmen, his companions, say that they 
took so many fish that this kingdom will no longer have 
need of Iceland, from which country there is an immense 
trade in the fish they call stock-fish. But Messer Zoanne 
has set his mind on higher things, for he thinks that, when 
that place has been occupied, he will keep on still further 
towards the east, where he will be opposite to an island 
called Cipango, situated in the equinoctial region, where 
he believes that all the spices of the world, as well as the 
jewels, are found. He further says that he was once at 
Mecca, whither the spices are brought by caravans from 
distant countries ; and having inquired from whence they 
were brought and where they grow, they answered that 
they did not know, but that such merchandize was brought 
from distant countries by other caravans to their home ; 
and they further say that they are also conveyed from 
other remote regions. And he adduced this argument, 
that if the eastern people tell those in the south that these 
things come from a far distance from them, presupposing 
the rotundity of the earth, it must be that the last turn 
would be by the north towards the west ; and it is said 
that in this way the route would not cost more than it 
costs now, and I also believe it. And what is more, this 


Majesty, who is wise and not prodigal, reposes such trust 
in him because of what he has already achieved, that he 
gives him a good maintenance, as Messcr Zoanne has himself 
told me. And it is said that before long his Majesty will 
arm some ships for him, and will give him all the malefac- 
tors to go to that country and form a colony, so that they 
hope to establish a greater depot of spices in London than 
there is in Alexandria. The principal people in the enter- 
prise belong to Bristo. They are great seamen, and, now 
that they know where to go, they say that the voyage 
thither will not occupy more than 1 5 days after leaving 
Ibernia. I have also spoken with a Burgundian, 
who was a companion of Messer Zoanne, who affirms 
all this, and who wishes to return because the Admiral 
(for so Messer Zoanne is entitled) has given him an 
island, and has given another to his barber of Castione,^ 
who is a Genoese, and both look upon themselves as 
Counts ; nor do they look upon my Lord the Admiral 
as less than a Prince. I also believe that some poor 
Italian friars are going on this voyage, who have all 
had bishopricks promised to them. And if I had made 
friends with the Admiral when he was about to sail, I 
should have got an archbishoprick at least ; but I have 
thought that the benefits reserved for me by your Excel- 
lency will be more secure. I would venture to pray that, 
in the event of a vacancy taking place in my absence, I 
may be put in possession, and that I may not be super- 
seded by those who, being present, can be more diligent 
than I, who am reduced in this country to eating at 
each meal ten or twelve kinds of victuals, and to being 
three hours at table every day, two for love of your 
Excellency, to whom I humbly recommend myself 

* Perhaps Castij,Mione, near Chiavari. 

2o6 sr.roND lkttkks i'atknt. 

London, i8 Dec. 1497, your Excellency's most humble 



Skcond Lktteus Patent granted to John Cabot.* 

H. R. 

To all men to whom thies presentis shall come send 
gretings ; knowe ye that we of our grace cspeciall and for 
dyvers causis us moving, we have given and graunten, and 
by thies presentis yeve and graunte to our well-beloved 
John Kabotto, Venician, sufficiente auctorite and power 
that he by hym, his deputie or deputies, sufficient may 
take at his pleasure vi Englisshe shippes in any poorte or 
portes or other place within our realme of Ingland or 
obeisaunce to that, and if the said shippes be of the bour- 
deyn of CC tonnes or under with their apparaill requisite 
and necessarie for the safe conduct of the scid shippes, and 
theym convey and Icde to the Londe and lies of late 
foundc by the seid John in oure name and by oure com- 
maundementc, payng for theym and every of theym as 
and if we should in or for our owen cause paye and 
noon otherwise. 

And that the seid John by hym, his deputie or deputies, 
sufficiente maye take and recey ve into the seid shippes and 
every of theym all suche maistcrs, maryners, pages, and 
our subjects as of theyr owen free wille woll goo and 
passe with hym in the same shippes to the seid Londe 
or lies, withoute any impedymentc, lett, or perturbance 
of any of our officeis or ministrcs or subjectes whatso- 

1 Public Record Office, 13 Hen. VII, No. 6. First discovered and 
published by Hiddlc, pp. ^(i-^^. Afterwards by Desimoni, p. 56; and 
Harrissc, p. 32!i 


evir they be by thcym to the seid subjcctcs or any of 
theym passing with the scid John in the seid shippes 
to the seid Londc or lies to be doon or suffer to be doon 
or attempted. Yeving in commaundcment to all and 
every our officers, ministres, and subjectes seying or 
hcrying thies our lettres patents, withoute anye ferther 
commaundement by us to thcym or any of theym to 
be geven, to perfourme and socour the seid John, his 
deputie and all our seid subjectes to passyngc with him 
according to the tenor of thies our lettres patcntis. Any 
statute, actc, or ordenaunce to the contraryc made, or to 
be made, in any wise notwithstanding. 

Spanish Ambassadors on the Second Voyage of 

John Cabot. 

l^espatch from Ruy Gonzalez dc Pucbla to the Catholic 


25th July (?) 1498. 

The King of England sent five armed ships with another 
Genoese like Columbus to search for the island of Brasil, 
and others near it.'- They were victualled for a year. 
They say that they will be back in September. By the 
direction they take, the land they seek must be the 
possession of your Highnesses. The king has sometimes 
spoken to me about it, and seems to take very great 
interest in it. I believe that the distance from here is not 
400 leagues. 

' Public Record Office. Printed in Harrisse's Cabof, p. 328. 
^ Dcsimoni suspects that the true rc;iding is not lid/iuiatlcs, but 
scptc citiuics. {Inlorno a Giovanni Ciiboio^ Prcf., p. 15.) 


Despatch from Pedro de Ay a/a to the Catholic Sovercij^ns} 
{Extract from a long Despatch on several subjects.) 

25th July 1498. 

I well believe that your Highnesses have heard how the 
King of England has equipped a fleet to discover certain 
islands and mainland that certain persons who set out 
last year for the same have testified that they have found. 
I have seen the chart which the discoverer has drawn, who 
is another Genoese like Columbus, and has been in Seville 
and in Lisbon, procuring to find those who would help him 
in this enterprise. It is seven years since those of Bristol 
used to send out, every year, a fleet of two, three, or four 
caravels to go and seek for the isle of Brasil and the seven 
cities, according to the fancy of this Genoese. The king 
determined to despatch an expedition, because he had the 
certainty that they had found land last year. The fleet 
consisted of 5 ships provisioned for one year. News has 
come that one, on board of which there was one friar Buil, 
has returned to Ireland in great distress, having been 
driven back by a great storm. 

The Genoese went on his course. I, having seen the 
course and distance he takes, think that the land they 
have found or seek is that which your Highnesses possess, 
for it is at the end of that which belongs to your High- 
nesses by the convention with Portugal. It is hoped that 
they will return by September. I send the knowledge of 
it to your Highnesses. The King of England has spoken 
to me about it several times, and he thinks that your 
Highnesses will take great interest in it. I believe the 

' Public Record Office, Calendar of State Papers (Spain), i, p. 176, 
No 210. The original despatch was in cipher. 


distance is not 400 leagues. And I told him that I 
thought they were the islands discovered by your High- 
nesses, and I even gave him a reason ; but he would not 
hear it. As I believe that >-our Highnesses now have 
intelligence of all, as well as the chart or mappe-mondc 
that this Genoese has made, I do not snul it now. thou'Mi 
I have it here; and to me it seems very fa'sc to gi\c 
out that they are not the said islands. 

Account of Slhastian Caijot. 

Prom the '' Decades" of Peter Martyr^ {published 1516). 

These north seas have been searched by one Sebastian Sej,as.ian 
Cabot, a Venetian borne, whom bc)ng )et but in maner "^ °'' 
an infant,- his parcntcs caryed with them into Englandc, 
havyng occasion to resort thither for trade of marchandizc, 
as is the maner of the Venetians, to leave no part of the 
worlde unsearched to obtaine rychesse. He therefore 
furnished two shyppcs in England at his own charges; 
and fyrst, with three hundrelh men, directed his course soThevoyacc 
farre towarde the north pole that, even in the moneth oftaSrom" 
July, he foundc monstrous heapes of Ise swvmmin"- on '^e dozen ° 

.1 , . -^ fc» sea. 

the sea, and, m maner, contmuall daylight : yet sawe he 
landc in that tract free from Ise (whiche had been moultcn 
by heat of the Sonne'*). Thus, scc}'ng suchc heapes of 
Ise before hym, he was enforced to turne his saylcs and 
folowe the west, so coastyngc styll by the shore, that he 
was thereby brought so farre into the south, by reason of 
the lande bending so muche southwarde, that it was there 

' From Eden's translation (Willcs' ed., 1577, f. 125). Dc Orbe 
Novo Decades, Dec. Ill, Lib. \i. 
- Pciic infans. 3 Intcrpolatioii. 



almost cquall in latitude with the sea called Fretuiu 
Herculcuvi, havyng the north pole elevate in maner the 
same degree. He sayled lykewyse in this tract so farre 
towarde the west, that he had the llande of Cuba on his 
left hande, in maner in the same degree of longitude. As 
he traveylcd by the coastes of this great lande (which he 
named Inxccallaos), he sayth he founde the lyke course of 
the waters toward the west, but the same to runne more 
softly and gcntelly, then the swifte waters which the 
Spanyardes found in their navigations southwarde. Where- 
fore, it is not onely more lyke to be true, but ought also of 
necessitie to be concluded, that bctwcne both the landes 
hitherto unknowen there shoulde be certayne great open 
places, wherby the waters should thus continually passe 
from the east into the west : whiche waters I suppose to 
be dryven about the globe of the earth by the uncessaunt 
movyng and impulsion of the heavens, and not to be 
swalowed up and cast out agayne by the breathyng of 
Demozor. Dcmogorgou, as some have imagined, bycause they see 
spirite of the thc scas by increase and decrease to flow and reflow. 

earth. ^ 

Sebastian Cabot hymselfe named those landes Baccallaos, 
bycause that in the scas therabout he founde so great 
multitudes of certayne bygge fyshes.much like unto Tunnies^ 
(which the inhabitants cal Baccallaos)^ that they somtymes 
stayed his shyppes. He founde also the people of those 
Towed with •'^S'O"^ covered with beastes skynnes, yet not without the 
Ikyunes. ^^^ °^ rcason. He also sayth there is great plentie of 
Beares in those regions, whiche use to eate fyshe ; for, 
plungeing themselves into the water where they perceive 
a multitude of these fyshes to lye, they fasten theyr 
clawes in theyr scales, and so drawe them to lande and 
eate them : so that (as he sayth) the Beares, beyng thus 
satisfied with fyshe, are not noysome to men. He declareth 

' Tyiinos, 


further that, in many i)laccs of these regions, he saw great 
plcntie of laton^ among the inhabitants. (Cabot is my 
very frond, whom I use famih'crlye, and dclyte to have 
hym somctymcs kcepe mc company in m>- owne house- :) 
so bcyng called out of Knglande by (commandemcnt oP) 
the catholyque kyng of Castile, after the death of Henry 
kyng of ICnglandc* (the seventh of that name"'), he was 
made one of our counsayle (and assistance as touching the 
affayrcs of the new Indies^*), lookyng dayly for shyppes to 
be furnished for h)m to discover this hyd secret of nature. 
This voyage is appoynted to be begunne in the Marche in 
the yeere next folowyng, bcyng the yeere of Christ 15 16. 
What shall succcede your holynesse shalbe advertysed by 
my letters, yf God graunt me lyfe.'' Some of the Spaniardcs 
denye that Cabot was the f\rst fynder of the lande of 
Bacallixos, and affirme that he went not so farre weste- 
warde : (Hut it shall suffice to have saydc thus muche of 
the gulfes and strayghtes, and of Sebastian Cabot";. 

Ramusio's Rkcollection of a Letter i-Ro.\t 
Sebastian Cahot. 

(Vol. iii, Preface, p. 4; ed. 1556.) 

It is not yet thoroughly known whether the lande set in 
fiftie degrees of latitude to the north be separated and 
divided by the sea as islands, and whether by that way one 
may goc by Sea unto the Country of Cathaio : as many 
yecrcs past it was written unto me by Sebastian Gabotto, 

' Orichakuin (copper ore). 

- "Familiarem habco donii Cabottiim ipsum et contubernaleni 
'"^crdum." 3 Interpolation. 

* " Majoris Britanniir." e " Modo vivere dctur." 

" " De fascibus et Cabotto jam satis." 

r 2 


our (countric man') V^cnctian, man of great experience, and 
very rare in the art of Navigation and the knowledge of 
Cosmograpiiie, who sayled along and beyond the lande of 
Newe Fraunce at the charges of King Ilenrie the '•eventh, 
King of England. And he told me that having sayled a 
long time West and by North- beyonde these Hands unto 
the latitude of Gj degrees and a halfe under the North 
Pole, and, at the ii day of June, finding still open Sea 
without any manner of impediment, hee thought verily by 
that way to have passed on still the way to Cathaio, 
which is in the Kast, and would have c'3ne it, if the 
mutinie'' of the shipmasters and marriners had not rebelled 
and made him to returne homewards from that placc.^ 

Account of Sfuastian Cabot \\\ tin: Anonymous 
Guest"* at the House of Hieronimus Fracastok. 

{Ramusio^ ed. Ven., 1550-53, i, f 414) 

During a short pause he turned towards us and said: 
"Do you not know, with reference to this business of going 
in search of India by the north, what was done" by your 
Venetian fellow-citizen, who was so learned and experienced 
in matters relating to navigation and cosmography that he 

' Interpolated by Hakluyt. 

- " Ponente c quarto di Maestro." ^ " .Malignita." 

^ This is the source from which Sir Humphrey (iilbert derived his 
very inaccurate information about Sebastian Cabot, in his Discourse 
of a Disco'ocric of a Nc'o Passai^c to CataUi. He also has the date 
June nth, found nowhere else, the latitude 67 30' and the open sea, 
with the mutiny. 

'" Ramusio withhokls the name of the guest, Mr. Harrisse has 
shown that it was not the k'gate Cialcatius l?utrigarius, as affirmed by 
Fox (p. 13) and others: copying Eden. For Galeas Butrigari had 
long been dead (p. 338). 

" Hakluyt has "as did of late", instead of "what was done by". 


has not now his equal in Spain. His attainments have 
caused him to be preferred to all the pilots who navigate 
to the western Indies, who are not able to exercise their 
employments without his licence, and for this reason his 
title is •' Chief Pilot." We answered that we did not know 
it, and he continued, saying that findinj^: himself in the city 
of Seville a few years ago,^ and desiring to know about 
those navigations of the Castillians, he was told that a 
distinguished Venetian was there who had knowledge of 
them, named Sebastian Caboto, who knew how to make 
marine charts with his own hands, and understood the art 
of navigation better than anyone else. He soon found 
himself in company with the Venetian, and said that 
he was a most gentle and courteous person who was very 
kind, showing him many things, and, among others, a 
great mappc-monde with the special navigations as well 
of the Portuguese as of the Castillians. Caboto said : 
" IMy father having left Venice many )'ears, and having 
come to live in England as a merchant in the city of 
London, I being then very young, yet had I already learnt 
the humanities and the sphere. My father died at the 
time when the news came that the Genoese Christopher 
Columbus had discovered the coast of the Indies, and 
it was much discussed by everyone at the court of King 
Henry VII, who then reigned, saying that it was a thing 
more divine than human- to have found that way never 
before known to go to the east where the spices grow. In 
this way a great and heartfelt desire arose in me to achieve 
some signal enterprise. Knowing by a study of the sphere 
that if I should navigate to the west I would find a shorter 
route to the Indies, I quickly made known my thought to 
his Majesty the King, who was well content, and fitted out 

' Hakluyt has : "being certain years in the city of .Seville". 
- " Dicenclosi rhe era stata msa piutosto divina die liumana." 


two caravels for mc with every thiiijj needful. This was* in 
1496, in the commencement of the summer. I bejjjan to 
navifjatc towards the west, expecting not to find land 
until I came to Catay, whence I could go on to the 
Indies. But, at the end of some days, I discovered that 
the land trended northwards, to my great disappoint- 
ment; so I sailed along the coast to see if I could find 
some gulf where the land turned, until I reached the 
height of 56 under our pole, but, finding that the land 
turned eastward, I despaired of finding an opening. I 
turned to the right to examine again to the southward, 
always with the object of finding a passage to the Indies, 
and I came to that part which is now called Morida. 
licing in want of victuals, I was obliged to return thence 
to England, where I found great popular tumults among 
the rebels, and a war with Scotland. So that there was 
no chance of further navigation to those parts being 
considered, and I therefore went to Spain to the Catholic 
King and Queen Isabella,- who, having heard what I had 
done, took me into their service, and provided for mc 
well, sending me on a voyage of discovery to the coast of 
Brazil. I found a very wide river, now called La Plata, 
which I navigated for 200 leagues, always finding it very 
beautiful and populous, the people coming to sec mc full 
of wonder. There were so man}' rivers that it could 
hardl)' be believed. I made many other voyages, which 
I do not mention, and at last, finding that I was growing 
old, I wished to rest, after having instructed so many 
practical and valiant }'oung seamen, b)' whose forwardness 
I do rejoice in the fruit of my labour, and rest with the 

' Hakluyt has interpolated : " so farre as I remember"'. 
- This cannot be true. Isabella died in 1504, and Sebastian Cabot 
came to Spain in 15 12. 


charge of this office as you see." This is what I learnt 
from Sebastian Caboto.^ 

Account or Skmastian Caisot rKr)M Gomaua.- 


He who obtained the most news of this land was Sebas- 
tian Gaboto, a Venetian. He armed two vessels in ICng- 
land (where he had been brought up from a child) at the 
cost of King Henry VII, who desired to trade with the 
spice country like the King of Portugal. Others say that 
it was at his own cost, and that he promised the King of 
England to go by the north to Catay, and to bring spices 
thence in a shorter time than the I'ortuguesc brought 
them from the south. He also went to ascertain what 
land of the Indies could be settled. He took 300 men, 
and went in the direction of Iceland to the cape of 
Labrador, reaching 58 ,•' although he saj's much more. 
He relates how that, in the month of July, it was so cold, 
and there were such great pieces of ice, that he could get 
no further, that the da)'s were very long and almost without 
night, and that the nights were very clear. It is certain 
that in 60 the dajs have 18 hours. Considering the cold 
and the forbidding nature of the country, he turned to the 
south, and, passing the Baccalaos, he proceeded as far as 
38, returning thence to England. 

' With reference to this conversation, Ramusio says he docs not 
pretend to be able to relate it exactly as he heard it, for that would 
require a better memory than his, but he will strive briefly to give 
what he is able to recollect. 

* Iliston'a General dc las Iiuiias, Parte I : Caf>. de los Pacallaos. 

^ " Hasta sc poner en 58V" 


Account of Sebastian Cabot from the Tratado 
OF Antonio Galvao. 1550.^ 

In the yccre 1496 there was 1 Venetian in England 
called John Cabota, who having knowledge of such a new 
discovcrie as this was, and perceiving by the globe that 
the islands before spoken of stood about in the same 
latitude with his countrey, and much necrer to England 
Ihan to Portugall or to the Castile, he acquainted King 
Henric the seventh, then King of England, with the same, 
wherewith the saide king was greatly pleased, and furnished 
him out with two ships and three hundred men : which 
departed and set saile in the spring of the yeare, and they 
sailed westward til they came in sightof land, in 45 degrees 
of latitude towards the north, and then went straight 
northwards till they came into sixty degrees of latitude, 
where the day is 18 howers long, and the night is very 
cleerc und bright. There they found the aire cold, and 
great islands of ice, but no ground in seventy, eighty, or 
hundred fathoms sounding, but found much ice, which 
alarmed them : and so from thence, putting about, finding 
the land to turne eastwards, they trended along by it, 
discovering all the bay and river named Dcscado,- to see 
if it passed on the other side ; then they sailed back again 
till they came to 38 degrees towards the equinoctial line, 
and from thence returned into England. There be others 
which say that he went as far as the Cape of Florida, 
\\hich standeth in 25 degrees. 

' From the translation published by the Ilakluyt Society with the 
Portuguese text, p. 88. 
- " Descobrindo toda a baya, rio, enseada." 

intrigues with venick. 21/ 

Sebastian Cabot's Intrigues with Venice. 
Despatch of the Council of Ten to Caspar Co?itarh(i} 

27th September 1522. 

To our Orator near the Ca^sarean and Catholic Majesty. 

Since the other day one Don Hierolamo di Marin de 
Bucignolo, a Ragusan, who came before the presence of 
the Chiefs of our Council of Ten, said that he was sent by 
one Sebastian Cabotto, who declares that he belongs to 
this our city, and now resides in Seville, where he has the 
appointment, from that Ca^sarean and Catholic Majesty, of 
his Chief Pilot for the discovery and navigation of new 
lands. And in his name he referred to an accompan)ing 
deposition as his credential, touching which, although we 
do not see that we can place much trust in it, yet, as there 
may be some importance in it, we have not thought fit 
to reject the offer of the same Sebastian to come to our 
presence, to say what he has in his mind respecting this 
matter. Hence we arc content that the said Hierolamo 
should write to him according to the tenor of what you 
will sec in the enclosed. We therefore desire, and we, the 
said Heads of our Council of Ten, instruct you that, with 
all diligence but with due caution, you shall take means to 
find out if the aforesaid Sebastian is in the court or about 
to come there shortly, in which case you are to procure 
that he shall come to you, and you are to deliver to him 
the said letter which we have arranged to send by another 
way to your very faithful servant, that it may reach you 
presentl)'. You should endeavour to find out something of 

^ This correspondence with the \'cnetian Ambassador in Spain is 
preserved at Venice. It was printed by Mr. Harrissc for his work on 
the Cabots, and it has been transLited from his text for the Hakluyt 
Society, with his permission. 


the matter in hand in the event of his being disposed to be 
open with you, in which case we are well content to leave 
it to you to ascertain his sentiments. When you sec him 
you should move him with sound reasoning, and encourage 
him to come here, for we are not only dcsiious but anxious 
that he should come to us securely. If he should not be 
at court, nor about to come, but returned to Seville, take 
care to send all letters by a safe channel, so that they may 
reach him. Let him know by whom they are sent, that 
they come from his own friends here, and under any 
circumstances report everything to the said Heads of our 
Council of Ten. Having just received letters from the 
Captain-General of Candia, with news touching the affairs 
of Rhodes, we send you a summary, that you may com- 
municate it to that Ca:sarean and Catholic Majesty, to the 
magnificent Grand Chancellor, to the reverend Bishop of 
Valencia, and to others in your discretion. 


Andrkus Mudesco, C. C. 


Recompense granted to the Ragusan. 

1522, September 27. In the college of the Lords the 
Heads of the most illustrious Council of Ten. 

That it may be ordered to the Chamberlain of our 
Council of Ten that from the moneys of their treasury 
there be disbursed a gift of 20 ducats to the Lord Hieronimo 
dc Marin, a Ragusan, for good cause. 

The order given. 


Despatch from Contariiii to the Senate of Venice. 

Valladolid, 31st December 1523. 
Most Serene Prince and most excellent Lords, — 

On the third vij^il of the Nativity, with due reverence, 
I received the letter from your Lordships dated the 37th 
of September ; by which is explained to me the proposal 
of Hicionimo, the Ragusan, in the name of Sebastian 
Caboto, and I am instructed, if he is at the Court, to give 
him that letter and to make certain proposals to him, 
opening the whole business, and exhorting him to come 
to the feet of your Serenity. In order to execute these 
instructions, I dexterously ascertained whether he was at 
the Court, and, this being so, I sent to say that my 
secretary had to deliver a letter sent by a friend of his, and 
that, if he wished to receive it, he should come to my 

He understood this from my servant who went to him, 
and came on Christmas Eve at the hour of dinner. I 
withdrew with him, and gave him the letter, which he 
read, and, in reading it, he lost all colour. Having read it, 
he put it in his pocket without speaking to me, and 
looking frightened and amazed, I then said to him that, 
when he should desire to answer that letter, he should tell 
me what he wished, and that I would write to those who 
had sent it, for that I should be prompt in making the 
business end well. Having been reassured, he spoke to 
mc : " I had already spoken to the Ambassador of the 
most illustrious Scigncury in England, owing to the affec- 
tion I have for the fatherland, when those newly-found 
lands could be made of such great utility to my country ; 
and now, as regards what has been written to me, }'ou 
ought to know all ; but I pray you that it may be kept 
secret, for it is a matter on which my life depends." I then 


told him that I knew all about it very well, and how the 
Ragusan was brought before the most excellent Chief 
Lords, and that I have received intelligence of all that was 
sent in that letter from the most secret magistrate. But, 
as some gentlemen were coming to dine with me, it was 
not convenient to discuss the business further at that time. 
It would be better if he \\ould return in the afternoon, 
when we might coi.fer more fully. He then went away 
and returned at night, when I received him alone in my 
room. He said to me : " Lord Ambassador, to tell you 
all, I was born in Venice, but was brought up in England, 
and afterwards entered the service of this Catholic King of 
Spain, and was made captain by King Ferdinand, with 
a salary of 50 m. maravedis. I was then made Chief 
Pilot by this King, with another 50 m. maravedis, and, to 
help my expenses, was given 25 m. maravedis, making in 
all 125 m. maravedis, which may be reckoned at nearly 
300 ducats. Having returned to England three years ago, 
that most reverend Cardinal wished that I would under- 
take the command of a fleet of his to discover countries, 
which fleet was nearl\- read)', he being prepared to expend 
upon it 30 m. ducats. I replied that, being in the service of 
this Majesty, I was not able to undertake it without his 
permission. At that time, conversing with a Venetian 
friar named Stragliano Collona, with whom I had a great 
friendship, he said to me : ' Messer Sebastian, you are 
very anxious to do great things for foreigners ; do you not 
remember your own country ? Is it not possible that }'ou 
might also be useful to it ?' I felt this in my heart at the 
time, and replied that I would think over it. Having 
returned to him on the following day, I said that I had 
a way by which that city might participate in these 
vo}'ages, and I showed him a way which would be of 
great utility. As by serving the King of England I should 
not be able to serve my country, I wrote to the Csesarean 


TMajcsty that he should not, on any account, give me 
permission to serve the King of England, because there 
would be great injury to his service, but that he should 
recall me. Having returned to Seville, I for. led a great 
friendship with this Ragusan who now writes to me, telling 
me that I ought to transfer my services to Venice. I have 
opened myself to him, and I charged him that the affair 
should not be made known to anyone but the Heads of the 
Ten, and he swore this to me on the sacrament." I answered 
him first by praising his affection for his native land, and 
then said that the Ragusan had been to the most excellent 
Chief Lords, had received letters on the subject, and that now 
they should be informed of the details of his plan, and that 
the time was come for him to present himself before 
your most excellent Lordships in person. But he replied 
that as he could not explain his thought to any others than 
the most excellent Chief Lords, and that he must there- 
fore proceed to Venice, it would first be necessary to 
obtain permission from the Emperor, on the plea that he 
wished to recover the dowry of his mother, on which affair 
he would speak to the magnificent Chancellor and the 
Bishop of Burgos, if I would write in his favour to )'our 
serenity. I answered that, as he wished to go to Venice, I 
commended the way in which he proposed to obtain leave. 
As I did not wish to expose his scheme, not wishing to do 
more than he desired, I thought it well to say this much, 
adding that in any deliberation he ought to consider two 
things: one was that the proposal should be useful, and the 
other that its utility could be secured. But with regard to 
the possibility of such an issue I am very doubtful. ¥ov I 
have some slight knowledge of geography, and, considering 
the position of Venice, I can see no way whatever by 
which she can undertake these vo}-ages. It would be 
necessary to sail in vessels built at Venice, or else they 
tnust be built outside the strait. If they are built at 


Venice they will have to pass the Straits of Gibraltar to 
reach the ocean, which would not be possible in face of 
the opposition of the King of Portugal and the King 
of Spain. If they are not built at Venice they can only 
be built on the shore of the western ocean ; for they 
cannot be constructed in the Red Sea without infinite 
trouble. First it would be necessary to make an agree- 
ment with the Turk ; and, secondly, the scarcity of timber 
would make it impossible to build ships. Even if they 
were built, the forts and armed vessels of the Portuguese 
would make it impossible to continue that navigation. 
Xor can I see any possibility of building ships on the 
western ocean, Germany being subject to the Emperor. 
So that I can perceive no way whatever by which mer- 
chandise could be brought to Venice from those ships, or 
from the ships to Venice ; but, being an inexpert person in 
such matters, I merely made these observations to him. 
He replied that there was much in what I said, and that 
truly nothing could be done witl< vessels built in Venice 
or in the Red Sea. But that there was another way, which 
was not only possible but easy, by which shi[)3 might be 
built, and merchandize be carried from the port to Venice, 
and from Venice to the port, as well as gold and other 
things. He added : " I know, because I have navigated to 
all those countries, and am familiar with all. I told you 
that I would not undertake the voyage for the King of 
England, because that enterprise would in no way benefit 
Venice." I shrugged my shoulders, and, although the 
thing appeared to me to be impossible, I would not dis- 
suade him further, so as not to discourage him from 
presenting himself to your Highnesses, and I considered 
that the possibilities are much more ample than is often 
believed. This man has great renown, and so for the 
present we parted. On the day of St. John he came to see 
me, to look at some words in the letter of the Ragusan, 


doubting whether they might arouse suspicion, and so the 
letter was rewritten and corrected. He then discussed 
many geographical points with me, and told me of a 
method he had observed of finding the distance between 
two places east and west of each other, by means of the 
needle. It is a beautiful discovery, never observed by any 
one else, as he will be able to explain when he comes 
before your serenity. And reasoning with him on the 
principal business, I dexterously repeated my objections ; 
but he repeated that the way was easy. " I will go to 
Venice, at my expense", he said ; " they will hear and be 
pleased with the plan I have devised ; I will return at my 
own expense," and he urged me to keep the matter secret. 
Such is the arrangement that I have made. Your serenity 
will hear, and your wisdom will decide on what shall 
appear best. 

Despatch of Coutarhii to the Senate of Venice, 

Valladolid, March 7th, 1523. 

Most serene Prince and most excellent Lords, — 

That Sebastian Cabot, with whom your Excellencies 
instructed me to speak on the subject of the spice-countries, 
and respecting whom I reported, has been to me several 
times, always giving me to understand that his wish is to 
come to Venice, and to work in the interests of your 
Highnesses in that matter of the spicerics. At length he 
sought me to say that he could not now seek permission 
to go, doubting whether it might not be suspected that he 
wished to go to England, and that he would be absent 
three months. After that he would come to the feet of your 
most illustrious Lordships, praying that meanwhile a letter 
might be written in the form of the other that was sent, 
asking him to come to Venice to expedite his private 
affairs, thus leave would be more easily obtained. I write 


to your Highnesses to report what this Sebastian has 
said, respecting which steps will be taken as seems desir- 

The Council of Ten to Coniarim. 

Lord Gasparo Contarini, our Orator near the Cesarean 


28th April 1523. 

We have received, a few days since, your despatches 
addressed to the Chiefs of our Council of Ten, dated the 
last of December, in which you report all the intercourse 
you have had with Sebastian Cabotto on the subject of 
the spices, and we cannot refrain from highly commending 
the prudence and judgment with which you have con- 
ducted the negotiation. We have also received j-our 
despatch of March 7th, from which we learn the resolu- 
tion of the said Sebastian not to come here for three 
months ; and that he requests a letter may be written on 
the subject of his own affairs, whereby leave may be more 
easily obtained. We have therefore caused another letter 
to be prepared in the name of that Hieronimo de Marino 
from Ragusa, who came here to make the proposal, and 
we have ordered that it be placed in the bundle of your 
circumspect Secretary like the last, to be delivered to the 
said Caboto, telling him that he should come here in 
accordance with his promise, as he will always be wel- 
comed by us. Let the said Caboto be informed of this, 
and, if he is not at Court, the letter should be forwarded to 
him. Take care that it reaches him. The said Hieronimo 
Marino is not now to be found here in Venice, nor do we 
know where he is ; but the letters of this Hieronimo arrive 
here. Receive what we say as your instructions. 

Andreas Foscarenus, C. C. 
Jacobus Michael, C. C. 
Andreas Fosculus, C. C. 


Letter from the Rngnsan to Cabot. 

Venice, April 28th, 1523. 
Respectable Master Sebastian, — 

It is some months since I came to Venice, and I 

wrote to you an account of what I had done to inquire 

where your goods are to be found, that I received good 

words on all hands, and was given good hope that I should 

recover the dower of >'our mother,^ so that I have no 

doubt, if you could come, you would obtain all your desires. 

For the love I bear you, and for your own welfare and 

benefit, I exhort you not to be false to yourself, but 

to come here to Venice, where, I doubt not, you will 

obtain everything; so do not delay in coming here, for 

your aifieda is very old, and failing her there will be very 

great trouble in recovering your property. Set out as 

soon as possible ; so no more at present. 

I am, always yours, 


Despatch of Contarini. 

Valladolid, July 26th, 1523. 

Most serene Prince and most excellent Lords, — 

By the post arrived from Italy, coming by way of Rome, 
I received with due reverence your letter of April 23rd, in 
which )Our serenity informed me of the receipt of my 
letters reporting the negotiation with Sebastian Cabot ; 
and adding that other letters have been sent to Sebastian 
in the name of that Hieronimo of Ragusa with reference 
to his request. By good luck Sebastian was in Seville 
when he received the letters, and he returned here on 
being exhorted to come. He told me that he had no 
other thought, and with that object he had come ; adding 

> " Et ameda" (?}. 


that he had sought permission from the Caisarean Council 
to confer with me, and they have also spoken to me in his 
commendation. I will advise your serenity of what may 
happen next. 

Despatch of the Council of Ten to Giaconio Sornnzo, 
Venetian Antbassador in Hnglami} 

1 2th September 1551. 
By your letters of the 17th of last month to the Heads 
of our Council of Ten, we have understood what you have 
deemed it necessary to report respecting our most faithful 
Sebastian Gaboto, which has been very agreeable to us, 
and we approve of your diligence in obtaining special 
information respecting his quality and condition. In 
reply, we say that you should inform him that this his 
offer is most gratifying, using the best words that your 
judgment suggests. As to the request that has been made 
to you by those Lords, touching the credit he claims and 
the recovery of goods, you can reply that we desire to do 
all we can to make things agreeable to that Majesty and 
to their Lordships ; but, as Gaboto is not known to anyone 
here, it will be necessary that he himself should come per- 
sonally to justify his claim, the matters of which he speaks 
being of very old date, and we have now replied to the 
magnificent Ambassador of that Majesty in conformity 
with your letter ; therefore explain all this to Gaboto. On 
this ground he might ask and obtain permission to come, 
and you should see that he has the means to come here as 
soon as possible. You should endeavour, using the same 
method, to gather further information from him respecting 
those important particulars that you have been able to 
report hitherto, as well as his designs touching this navi- 
gation, transmitting full details to the Heads. 

' Calendar of State Papers (V^eniceV v. No. 711, p. 264. 



T H K \' O Y A G E S 



() 2 




FroDi tJic ''Traiado' of Antonio Galvain. 1563. 


X this same year, 1500, it is reported 
that Gasi)ar Corte Real craved a gene- 
ral h'cencc of the King Dom Manoel 
to <fo and discover a new land. He 
departed from the island of Terceira 
with two ships, armed Jit his own 
cost, and went to that region which is under the 50th 
degree of north latitude, a land now called by his name. 
He returned safely to the city of Lisbon. Taking this 
route once more, the ship in which he went was lost, and 
the other returned to Portugal. I'or this cause his brother, 
Miguel Corte Real, went in search of him, with three ships, 
armed at his own cost. Arrived on that coast, as there 
were so many bays and estuaries, each ship entered into 
her own port, with this rule, that they should all meet again 
on the 20th of August. The two other ships did so; and 
seeing that the ship with Miguel Corte Real did not come 
at the appointed time, after some time they returned to 


this kingdom, and never more had tidings of him, nor did 
other memory of him abide. The country is called the 
land of the Corte Reals to this day. 

From the " Chronica do Felidssimo Rei dom EmanHcV\ 
compositiX per Daiuiaui de Goes (Lisboa, 1566, fol. 65). 

Caspar Corte Real, son of Joam Vaz Corte Real, was an 
enterprising man, valorous, and eager to gain honour. He 
proposed to undertake the discovery of lands towards the 
north, because man}' discoveries had been made to the 
south. Thus he obtained favour for his undertaking from 
the king, whose servant he was when Duke of Beja, and 
armed one ship, which was well supplied with men and all 
necessaries. He sailed from the port of Lisbon in the 
beginning of the summer of 1500. In this voyage he 
discovered, in that direction of the north, a land which was 
very cool and with great woods, as are all lands that lie in 
that direction. He gave it the name of Green Land.^ 
The people are very barbarous and wild, almost like those 
of the land of Sancta Cruz.- At first they are white, but 
they are so cut up by the cold that they lose their white- 
ness with age, and remain brown. They arc of medium 
height, very agile, and great archers, using sticks hardened 
by fire instead of darts, with which they make as good 
a cast as if it was tipped with fine steel. They dress in 
the skins of animals which abound in that land. They 
live in caverns of the rocks and in huts. They believe 
much in diviners ; they practise matrimony, and are very 
jealous of their women : in which things they resemble 
the Lapps, who also live in the north from 70 to 85 degrees, 
fugitives from the Kings of Norway and Sweden, to whom 

^ The east coast of Newfoundland. * Brazil. 


they pay tribute, always rcniaining in their heathen state 
from want of teaching. In the book that treats of the 
faith, customs, and rch'gion of the Ethiopians, Abexis in 
the Latin language, dedicated to Pope Paul III, towards 
the end there is a lamentation, in which it is explained in 
detail whence so great an evil proceeds. Returning to 
Caspar Corte Real, after he had discovered that land, and 
coasted along a great part of it, he returned to this king- 
dom. Presently, in the ycr.r 1501, being desirous of dis- 
covering more of this province, and of becoming better 
acquainted with its advantages, he departed from Lisbon 
on the 15th of May; but it is not known what happened 
to him in this voyage, for he never more appeared, nor 
were there any tidings of him. The delay and the sus- 
picion that began to arise of his fate caused Miguel Cortc 
Real, Chief Porter of the King, for the great love he bore 
his brother, to determine to go in search of him. He left 
Lisbon on the loth of May 1502 with two ships, but there 
were never any tidings of them. The king felt the loss of 
these two brothers very much, and, of his own royal and 
pious motion, in the year 1503, he ordered two armed 
ships to be fitted out at his own cost, to go in search of 
them. But it could never be ascertained how either the 
one or the other was lost. To that part of the province of 
Creen Land where it was believed that the brothers were 
lost the name was given of the Land of the Corte Reals. 
These two brothers, Caspar and Miguel Corte Real, had 
another brother, whose name was Vasque Anes Ccrte Real, 
who was Controller of the King's Household, of his Council, 
Captain- Governor of the Islands of St. George and Ter- 
ceira, and Alcalde Mayor of the city of Tavilla.^ He was 
a very good knight and Christian, a man of exemplary life, 
and one who dispensed many charities, both publicly and 

' Tavira in AlgnrvCi 


in secret. His son and heir is Emanuel Cortc Real, also of 
the King's Council and Captain of the same islands, who 
now lives. This Vasque Anes Cortc Real, unable to per- 
suade himself that his brothers were dead, determined to fit 
out ships at his own cost, and go in search of them, in the 
year 1503. But, on requesting the king to excuse his 
absence, his Majesty could not consent that he should 
proceed further in that business, holding that it was 
useless, and that all had been done that could be 

A Letter from Alberto Caiitino to Hercules dEste, 
Duke of Fcrrara. {E.x tract.) 

Most Illustrious and Most Excellent Prince, and my very 

singular good Lord. 

Lisbon, October 17th, 1501. 
It is now nine months since this most serene king sent 
to the northern part two well-armed ships, to ascertain 
if it would be possible to discover land or some islands in 
that direction. On the nth of the present month one of 
them returned, and has brought people and tidings, which 
it appeared to me ought not to pass without the know- 
ledge of your Excellence. Therefore all that was related 
by the captain to the king, I being present, is here clearly 
written down. First they stated that, after leaving Lisbon, 
they always went on that course and towards that pole 
for four months, nor during all that time did they sec 
anything. In the fifth month, still wishing to push on, 
they say that they came upon enormous masses of con- 
gealed snow floating upon the sea, and moving under the 
influence of the waves. Owing to the heat of the sun, 
sweet and clear water is melted on their summits, and, 


descending by small channels formed by the water itself, 
it cats away at the base where it falls. The ships now 
being in want of water, the boats were sent in, and in that 
way as much was taken as was needed. Fearing to 
remain in that place by reason of their danger, they 
intended to turn back ; but they consulted what was their 
best course, and, aided by hope, they resolved to go 
forward for some days. Proceeding on the voyage, they 
arrived at the frozen sea on the second da}', and were 
forced to abandon their intention. So they began to turn 
towards the north-west and west, and were three months 
continuing in that direction, always with fine weather. On 
the first day of the fourth month they came in sight, 
between t'lcse two courses, of a very great countr}', which 
they approached with the greatest joy. Many large rivers 
of fresh water flowed through this region into the sea, one 
of them sending its waters for perhaps a league from the 
land. When they landed ihcy found delicious fruits of 
various kinds,trees and pines of marvellous height and girth, 
suited for masts of the largest ships that float in the sea. 
Here there is no corn of any kind, but the men of that 
country say that they only live by fishing and hunting 
animals, in which the land abounds. There are very large 
stags with long hair, the skins of which they use for 
clothes, and make houses and boats of them. There are 
also wolves, foxes, tigers, and sables. They affirm that the 
peregrine falcons are so numerous that it appears to me to 
be a miracle, like those in our countrx-. I have seen them, 
and they are very fine. They kidnapped nearly 50 of the 
men and women of that land by force, and brought them 
to the king. I have seen them, touched and examined 
them. Beginning with their size, I say they arc bigger 
than our people, with well-formed limbs to correspond. 
The hair of the men is long, as we wear it, letting it hang 
in plaited rings. They have the face marked with great 


signs, like those of the Indians. Their eyes inch'ne to 
green, and when they look from them it gives a great 
fierceness to the whole countenance. Their speech cannot 
be understood, but, however, there is no sharpness in it, and 
it is altogether human. Their behaviour and gestures are 
very gentle ; they laugh a good deal, and show great 
delight. So much for the men. The woman has small 
breasts and a very beautiful body. She has a very 
gentle countenance, and its colour may be said to be more 
white than any other tint, but that of the men is much 
darker. In fine, except for the fierce look of the men, 
they are very like ourselves. They are naked except for 
a small covering made of deer-skin. They have no arms 
nor iron, but for working or fashioning anything, they use 
a very hard and sharp stone, with which there is nothing 
so hard as that they cannot cut it. This ship has come 
from thence to this place in a month, and they say that 
the distance is 2,800 miles. The other consort has decided 
to go so far along the coast, with the desire of ascertaining 
whether it is an island or mainland. The king awaits the 
arrival of the others with much anxiety, and as soon as 
they come, bringing news worthy of )our Excellency's 
attention, I will at once send the particulars.^ 


Alberto Canting. 

To the most illustrious Prince and most 
excellent Lord Hercules d'Estc, 
Dukv^ of Fcrrara, my most worthy 
and singular good Lord. 

1 First printed by Mr. Harrisse in his work on Corte Real, p. 204, 
from the MS. in the State Archives at Modena. The letter has been 
translated from Mr, Harrissc's text for the Hakluyt Society, with 
his permission! 


Letter from Pietro Pasqualigo to the Seignenry of Venice. 

Lisbon, October i8th, 1501. 
On the ninth of the present month there arrived here 
one of the two caravels which the Majesty of the said 
king sent to discover towards the north-western part in 
the past }car. It has brought seven natives, men, women, 
and cliildren, from that discovered land. The country is 
at a distance of 1,800 miles to north and west. These 
men, in their aspect, figure, and stature, are like gipsies. 
They are marked on the face In several places, some with 
more, others with fewer lines. They are dressed in skins 
of different animals, but chiefly of otters. Their speech is 
entirely different from any that has ever been heard in 
this kingdom, and no one understands it. Their limbs are 
exceedingly well made, and the}' have very gentle coun- 
tenances ; but their habits are filthy, like wild men. The 
people of the caravel belicv^e that the above land is the 
mainland, and that it joins to the other land that, in the 
previous year, was discovered to the north by anotlicr 
caravel of his Majesty. But they were not able to reach it, 
because the sea was frozen over with vast quantities of 
snow like mountains on the land. They also think that it 
is joined to the Andilie,' which were discovered by the 
Sovereigns of Spain, and with the land of Papaga, lately 
discovered by the ship of this king when on its way to 
Calicut.- This belief is caused, in the first place, because, 
having coasted along the said land for a distance of 600 
miles and more, they did not come to any termination ; 
also because they report the discovery of many very large 
rivers which fall into the sea. The other caravel {Cafitatin) 

^ Antilles. The Portuguese were the first to give this name to the 
West Indian Islands. 

2 Brazil visited in 1500 by Cabral, but not discovered. I'inzon 
had been there in the previous year. 


is expected from day to day, from which the quah'ty and 
condition of the said land will be clearly understood, as 
she has gone further along that coast, to discover as much 
as possible. This royal Majesty has derived great satis- 
faction from the news, because he considers that this land 
will be very useful to his affairs in many respects, but 
principally because, being very near to this kingdom, it 
will be easy, in a short time, to obtain abundant 
supplies of wood for making the masts and yards of ships, 
and slaves fit for any work ; for they say that the land is 
very populous, and also full of pines and other excellent 
timber. This news has given such pleasure to his Majesty 
that he has issued orders for ships to go there, and also for 
the increase of his Indian fleet, to conquer it as quickly as 
it was discovered ; for tk.erc it appears that God is with 
his Majesty and his works, and favours his designs.^ 

Litter from Pictro Pasqnaligo to his Brotlicrs. 

Lisbon, October 19th, 1501. 
On the 8th of the present month there arrived here one 
of the two caravels which this most serene king sent on a 
\o)age of discovery towards the north in the past }-ear, 
under Captain Caspar Cortcrat {sic). It reports having 
discovered land two thousand miles from here towards the 
north-west and west, which was before not known to any 
one. They discovered from Ceo to 700 miles of coast- 
line, without finding the end of it. They, therefore, believe 
that it is mainland, which is continuous with another land 

1 Printed by Mr. Hanissc in his work on Cortc Real, p. 209, from 
the Diarii di Marino Sanuto, ])ublishccl at \'enice, 1 880-1 881, in 
quarto, torn, iv, Fascicule 24, pp. 200-201. The letter has been trans- 
lated for the Hakluyt Society from Mr. Harrisse's text, with his 


discovered in the previous year to the north. The caravel 
could not reach the end of the land because the sea was 
frozen over with a vast quantity of snow. This is also 
believed because of the multitude of very large rivers they 
discovered there, for certainly there would not be so many 
nor such large ones on an island. They say that this land 
is very populous, and the houses of the inhabitants are of 
wood, very large, and covered outside with skins of fish. 
They have brought here seven of the natives, men, women, 
children, and fifty others will come in the other caravel, 
which is expected from hour to hour. These are like 
gipsies in figure, stature, and appearance, and are dressed 
in the skins of divers animals, but chiefly of otters. In 
summer they turn the skin inside, and in winter the other 
way. These skins are not sewn together in any way, nor 
tanned, but arc thrown over the shoulders and arms just 
as they are taken from the animals. The loins arc fastened 
with some cord made of the very strong sinews of a fish. 
Although they appear to be wild men, yet they are modest 
and gentle, and their arms, shoulders, and legs so well 
proportioned that I cannot describe them. Their faces 
arc marked in the fashion of the Indians, some with six, 
some with eight, some with no lines. They talk, but they 
are not understood by anyone. I believe they have been 
addressed in every possible language. They have no iron 
in their country, but make knives of some stones, and in 
like manner the points for their arrows. They have 
brought from thence a piece of a broken sword, gilded, 
which was certainly made in Italy. A native boy had two 
silver rings in his ears, which without doubt seem to have 
been manufactured at Venice.^ This made me believe 
that it was the mainland, because it is not possible that 

^ These must have been relics of the expedition of John Cabot in 


a ship could ever have reached that place without having 
been heard of. There is a very great abundance of salmon, 
herrings, cod, and similar fish. There is also plenty 
of wood, and, above all, fine trees for making masts and 
yards of ships. This most serene king hopes to derive 
very great profit from the new land, both from the wood 
for ships, of which they have need, and from the men, who 
will be excellent for labour, and the best slaves that have 
hitherto been obtained. It appears to me a matter worthy 
of being brought to your notice, and if I shall learn more 
on the arrival of the caravel {Capitana), I will let you 

Tavment for the Canting Map. 

To the most illustrious and most excellent 
Duke and Lord, the Lord Hercules 
d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, and my Lord 
and most respected benefactor. 

Rome, November 19th, 1502. 
Most illustrious and most excellent Duke and Lord, — 

I understood what your Excellency desired of me, by the 
letter sent to me in reply to one that I had previously 
addressed, especially as touching the nautical chart. 

By that humble reply I apprised >our Excellency that 
I had left the said chart at Genoa, in the hands of Master 
Francesco Catanio, who has paid to me 20 ducats {striti) 
that is to say, of three pounds each. 

In truth, that chart cost me in Portugal, by contract, 
12 golden ducats; but, constrained by need, and having 

» First published in Paesi Novamente Retrovati (V'icenza, 1507, 
cap. cxxvi), and reprinted by Mr Harrisse in his work on Corte Real, 
p. 211. It has been translated from Mr. Harrissc's text, with his 


no one to whom to apply, I was obliged to accept that 
sum, and to do what I have explained to your Excel- 

The chart is of such a sort that I trust it will be pleas- 
ing to your Excellency, and that your l^xcellency will not 
regret having disbursed that sum, and that )our Excel- 
lency will further pay the twelve ducats that the said chart 
cost me ; it will make mc your Excellency's debtor. 

Your Excellency will please to advise me what I ought 
to do in this matter; meanwhile, holding me to be of the 
number of the faithful servants 

of the most illustrious and most excellent 
Duke, the undersigned servant, 

Alhekto Cantixo,^ 

Li:c;exd.s ox the Caxtix(^ Mai*. 

Legend by the Coast of Xeiofoundlaud. 
Land of the King of Portugal. 

This land was discovered by order of the very high and 
most excellent Prince, the King Dom Manoel, King of 
Portugal. It was discovered by Caspar de Corte Real, 
Gentleman of the Household of the said king, who, when 
he had discovered it, sent thence a ship with certain men 
and women found in that country, and he remained with 
the other ship, and never more was seen. It is believed 
that he perished. Here there arc many masts.^ 

* Printed by Mr. Harrissc in his work on Corte Real, p. 216, from a 
manuscript in the Archives of the House of Este at Modena. It has 
been translated from Mr. Harrisse's text, with his permission. 

2 Trees for making masts (?). 


Lcgi'tid on tJie East Coast of Greenland between tivo 
Portugnesc Flags, 

A ponta c1. (assia). 

This land was discovered by order of the very excellent 
Prince Dom Manocl, Kin<^ of Portuj^al, which it is believed 
is a point of Asia. Those who discovered it did not land, 
but they saw very serrated mountains ; it is for this reason, 
according to the opinion of cosmographers, that it is 
believed that this is the extremity of Asia. 




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A^ul Bay, sailing directions fur, 


Admiral of the Ocean Sea (see 

Columbus), 17 
Aifonso V (see Portugal, King of) 
Aguda, Pt., no 
Aji, native pepper, 164 
Alamo, Cristoval de, of Niebla, left 

at Navidad, 144 «. 
Alard (see Tallarte) 
Alguazil (see Arana) 
Almanack, prediction mentionel, 

158, 159 «. 
Aloes growing on Isabella Island, 

54, 57 ; at Rio de Mares, 69, 74, 

78 ; in Espanola, 106, 1 10 
Altitude could not betaken owing to 

rough sea, 171 
Alto y Bajo, Cape, 120 
Amaranth in Cuba, 60 
Amiga Island, 132 ; rhubarb op, 

142, 143 
Anchorage ground, selection of, 

45, 58 

Andalusia, weather in Atlantic like, 
in April or May, 24, 34, 49, 57, 

Angel Point, 156, 157 

Annunciation, feast of, celebrated, 

Antilia Island, 8, 8». ; reports re- 
specting, 20, 21 «. 

Antonio of Jaen, left at Navidad, 
144 ft. 

Aragon, Juan de, of Moguer, his evi- 
dence respecting the expulsion of 
the Jews from Palos, when Colum- 
bus was fitting out, 16 «. 

Arana, Diego de (Alguazil Mayor), 
116 M. ; sent on shore for help 
when the Santa Maria grounded, 
134; left at Navidad, 144; in 
ji) lit command, 145 

Arena, Isleo de, 5r., 57 

Arrows of the natives, 115, 159 

Asensio, Life of Columbus, Latin 
text of Toscanelli letter, iv, 4 «. ; 
original sketch of the vessels of 
Columbus given by, iv 

Assayer (see Castillo) 

Astrolabe could not be used, owing 
to lough sea, 171 

Azores, land s.een to the west of, 20 
(see Flores) ; reckoning on rttuni 
voyage, 171, 172, 173, 178, iSo ; 
inhospitable conduct of Portuguese 
at, 181-183 

Babeque or Baneque, reported is'and 

yielding gold, 76, 77, 81, 83, 98, 

105, no, n2, 116, 150 
Bafan, suppo.-ed province of the 

Gran Can. 65 
Baraona, Gabriel de, of Belmonte, 

left at Navidad, J45 n. 
Barcelona, sovereigns reported to be 

at, 193 




Barco, Juan del, of Avila, left at 
Navidad, 145 «, 

Bartering at Guanahani, 37, 40; at 
Fernandina, 49 ; in Cuba, 71 ; 
forbidden, 67 (see Gold) 

Bathing alongside, sailors, dming 
voyage out, 9.g ; Indians, when 
homeward bound, 168 

Becerro, Cape, 149 

Behaim, Martin, g'obe, iv, 21 «., 
29«., 59 w. 

Belmonte, Don Fernando, his dis- 
covery of a document at Seville 
relating to the expulsion of the 
Jews, 16 «. 

Belprado, Cape, 156 

Bermeo, Domingo de, left at Navi- 
dad, 145 n. 

Bernaldez (historian), had access to 
the Journal of Columbus, v 

Birardi, Lorenzo, bearer of the letter 
of Coltmhus to Toscanelli, iii 

Bird Rock, 54 rt. 

Birds seen on the voyage out: Terns, 
167 ; Boatswain-birds, 23, 25, 
30, 31 ; on voyage home, 168; 
Duck, 39 ; Boobies 26, 27, 28, 30, 
34, 166, 167 ; a boy hit ore with a 
Mone, 32 ; Sandpipers, 27, 28, 
32-, 35 ; Man-o'-War birds, 30, 
32 ; Frigate-bird, 167 ; absence 
of Nightingales regretted, 24, 
30, 103 ; Parrots, 37, 38, 39, 47, 
54, 124; land discovered by flight 
o^ 33 ; variety of, at Isabella 
Island, 54 ; in Cuba, 59 ; song 
of, in Cuba, 62 

Boatswain-birds ( ee Birds) 

Bohio or Bosio, 55 ; gold reported 
at, 68, 76, 83, 98, 106, 131, 136, 
144, 150 

Bonnet sai', 58, 178 

Booby (see Birds) 

Buen Tiempo, Cape, 157 

Cacique, name first heard, 115, 118, 
130 ; entertained by the Admiral, 

118, 119; his procession, 119 (see 

Cadiz, Port S\ Nicholas compared 

to it, 98 n. ; tunny fishery of, 166 ; 

Duke of, 166 tt. 
Calabashes, great' size, 95 
Catni, supposed name of the Grand 

Kan in Cuba, 63 
Campana. Cap*», 86, 87, 88 
Can (see Kan) 

Canada, 17 ; Pittfa refitted at, 20 
Canaries, 28 ; y/w/a refitted at, 20 ; 

distance from, 25, 26 ; colour of 

natives, 39 
Caniba (see Cariba) 
Canoes of Guanahai i, 39 ; escape 

of, 43 ; rate of, 58 ; at Cuba, 91, 

93. 94; man picked up in, 112; 

fromTortuga, 115; described, 124; 

many round the ship, 128 
Caona, native name for gold, 159 
Cape Verdes, 30 
Capes : 

Alpha et Omega, 97 «. 

Altoy Bajo, 120 

Aguda, no 

Angel, W 157 

Becerro, 149 

Belprado, 156 

Buen Tiempo, 157 

Campana, 86, 87, 88 

Caribata, 121 

Cinquin, 99, 102, 105 

Cuba, 76 

Elefante, 99 103 

Enamorado, 158 

Estrella, 99 

Frances, 157 

Hermoso, 51, 52 

Hierro, 157 

Isleo, 56, 57 

Laguna, 53 

Lanzada, no 

Lindo, 97 

Del Monte, 97 

Padre y Hijo, 157 

Palmas, 63 



Capes : 

Del Pico, 86, 87 

Pierna, no 

Redonda, 157 

Roja, 153 

Santa, 130, 133. 147 

San Theramo, 166 

Seca, 157 

Sierpe, 147 

Tajado, 157 

De Torres, 120 

Verde, 58 
Capilla, Diego de, of Almeden, 

left at Navidad, 144 «, 
Caravels (see Niiia, Pinta) 
Carbacho, Pedro, of Caceres, left at 

Navidad, 145 n. 
Carenero at Port St. Nicholas, loi, 

Cariba believed to be nothing but 

the Grand Kan, 106 
Caribata, Mount, 120, 129, 132 
Carib Island, 162, 163, 166 
Caribs, reports abou% 87 ; arrows of, 

115; mentioned, 137, 143, 144, 

159. 160, 161 
Cascaes at mouth of the Tagus, 187 
Castaneda, Juan, Portuguese Gover- 
nor of Sta. Maria, his inhospitable 

conduct, 181, 182 
Castillo, an assayer of Seville, left 

at Navidad, 144 
Cathay, 6, 8, 63 
Caulkers at Palos, their negligence, 

Cavila, supposed name of the Grand 

Can, 65 
Chart sent by Toscanelli, 4 ; in the 
hands of Las Casas, 4 «. ; df- 
scription of Toscanelli chart, 5 
28«., 59 «. ; intention of Columbu.-. 
to draw one, 18 ; conversation be- 
tween Columbus and Pinzon re- 
specting, 28 ; plotting the position 
on, 29, 173 
Chief, 112, 116, 117, u8 (see 
Cacique, Guacanagari) 

Chios Island, mastick trade at, 74, 

Chipangu, account by Marco Polo, 
9 n. ; search for, 33, 40 ; Cuba 
thought to be, 55, 56, 57 ; con- 
fused with Cibao, vii, 131, 136 

Cibao, supposed to be Chipangu, 
vii, 131, 136, 141 

Cinnamon trees alleged to have 
been found by Pinzon, 67 

Cinquin, Cape, 99, 102, 105 

Cintra, 178; rock of, sighted, 187 

Cipango and Cippongue (see Chi- 

Clarence Port in Long Island, 48 n. 

Columbine Library (see Velasco) 

Columbus, Christopher : 
Journal, i, and v to ix 
Original sketch of his vessels, iv, v 
Correspondence with Toscanelli, ii, 

i'S 3. " 
Extent of the discoveries due to, 

Date of his letter to Toscanelli, 3 n. 

Address to the Sovereigns, 15 

His mission, 16 

Concessions to, 1 7 

Intention to write a journal and 

draw a chart, 18 
Heard of land seen west of Madeira 

and Azores, 20, 21 
riis double reckoning, 22, 29, 31 
Explanation of the cause of vaiia- 

tion, 24, 25 «., 31 
Murmurs of his crew, 24, 28 
Conversation with Pinzon respect- 
ing the chart, 28 
Speech to the sailors, 34 
Sees the lijiht, 35, 36 
Lauds at Guanahani, 37 
Describes the natives of Guina- 

hani, 37-40 
Explores ihe east coast of Guana- 
hani, 41 
Leaves Guanahani, 42 
Policy with the natives, 43, 44, 
45. 55 

R 2 



Columbus, Christopher : 

Intention to sail round Fernandina 

Remarks on the vegetation of Fer- 
nandina, 50 
Orders a rendezvous at Isabella 

Island, 51 
Remarks on beautiful scenery, viii, 

52, 54, 60, 67, 86, 87, 89, 90, 

Etpedition into the interior of 

Isabella Island, 54 
Seizure of natives by, 38, 43, 44, 

75, 163, 164 
Regrets his igaorance of botany, 57 
Lands in Cuba, 59 
Explores Rio de Mares, 67 
Careened ihe ships, 68 
Explo es Puerto del Principe, 78, 

His remarks on the conduct of 

Pinzon, 82, 142, 146, 150, 15 r, 

152, 155 
Reflection on the advantages of his 

discovery, 90 
Entertained a chief at dinner, 118, 

His statement, proving his age, 122 
Fear of being thought to exagge- 
rate, 122 
Orders that everything is to be paid 

for, 124 
His high opinion of the natives, 

123, 124, 131, 13s 
Resting below, when the ship 

grounded, 132 
His measures for saving the ship, 

Praise of the Chief Guacanagari, 

135' 137 
His orders to form a settlement 

called Navidad, 138, 140 
His reception by Guacanagari, 141 
Takes leave of Navidad, 144 
Restored the natives kidnapped by 

Pinzon, 156 
In the Bay of Samana, 158, 159 

Columbus, Christopher : 

Predict ons of his almanac, 158 

Reflections on the encounter wiih 
natives, 161 

Expectations of increased revenues 
for the Crown, 162 

Intentiors to visit island to east- 
ward, 163 

Resolves to shape a course for 
Spain, 165 

His reckoning on the homeward 
voyage, 173, 178 

Vows of pilgrimage in the storn , 

Reflections in the storm, 176, 177 
Anxiety about his son?, 177 
Throws a document overboard in a 

ca^k, 177, 178 
Needfiil rest after long watching, 

Remonstrance with the Governor 

of Sta. Maria, 182 
Leaves Santa Maria for Spain, 1S5 
Arrival in the Tagus, 187 
His letter to the King of Portugal, 

Refused to go on board a Portu- 
guese ship, 188 
Interviews with the King and 

Queen of Portugal, 190, 196 
Concluding remarks in his Journal, 

Columbus, Fernando, his account of 
the light seen by the Admiral, 
36 w. ; his fuller account of the pro- 
ctedings connected with prepara- 
tion of documents during the storm, 
v, 178 n. 
Compass, variation of, 23, 24, 31 
Conception, Port of, 103, no 
Copper, little seen, 137, 159 
Cordova, valleys in Espanola com- 
pared to vega of, 99, 113, 149; 
anxiety of Columbus about his so. s 
at, 177 
Coroay, in Espanola, 141 
Cosa, Juan de la, map o'', ii ; ship 



Safiia Maria owned by, 17 ; his 
misconduct at the shipwnck, I33«., 
138 n. 

Cotton at Guanahani, 40, 43 ; at 
Cuha, 68, 71; fields of, no; fab- 
rics, 128, 130 

Course across the Atlantic taken by 
Coiumhu--, 22, 23 ; altered, 29, 2,i 

Covil, tunny fishery at, 166 

Crabs on the gulf-weed, 25, 28 

Crato, Prior of, host of Columbus 
in Portugal, 191 

Crew (see Sailors) 

Crickets, chirping of, 62, 1 10 

Crosses set up, 79, 80, 106 

Cuba, Cape of, 76 

Cuba first heatd of, 55, 56, 57 ; 
ariival at, 59; reported to be a 
city, 63 ; believed to be mainland, 
65 ; envoys sent into the interior, 
66 ; on the coast of, 76 to 97 ; 
intercourse with natives, 88, 95, 96, 
131 ; name of cape at the easitni 
end, 97 ; name of Jtiaiia given 
to, 98, 131 ; departure from, 98 

Cueva, Juan de, left at Navida-*, 
145 ;/. 

Cultivation (see Cotton, Yams) 

Dama, Alvaro, Captain of a Portu- 
guese ship in the Tagus, visittd 
Columbus, 189 

Darts of the natives, 38, 49, 95 

Diaz, Bartolome, beaten in an at- 
tempt to humiliate Columbus, 188 

Diego, ho3X&\y?imoi\\\^ Santa Mat ia, 
sent to find the maslick trees, 69 

Diego de Mambles left at Navidad, 
144 n. 

Dogs at Fernandina, 50 ; at Cuba, 

Dorado (see Fish) 

Elefante, Cape, 99 

Enamorados Rock, 62 ; Cape, 158 

England, the Admiral had been to, 

122 ; size, compared with Esj an >Ia, 

Englishman with Columbus, 145 n. 

Envoys, two seamen sent as, into the 
interior of Cuba, 66 ; return of, 69 

Escovedo, Rodrigo, S^icretaiy, 
landed at Guanahani, 37 ; at 
Espahola, 116 «. ; left at Navidad, 
144 ; nephew of Fray Perez, 145 

Espaiiola, name given, 105 ; fir t 
intercourse with natives, 106, 107 ; 
scenery, 109 ; Spaniards left at, 
'44. 14s ; coasting along, 145 to 158 

Estrella, Cape, 99 

Eugenius, Pope, embassy from the 
Grand Kaan to, 7, 7 n. 

Fava, supposed city of Cuba, 63 
j Fayal in the Azores, 172 
I Ferdinand and Isabella, address of 
j Columbus to, 15 ; their concessions 
I to Columbus, 1 6 
j Fernandez, Gonzalo, of Segovia, left 
I at Navidad, 145 ;/. ; Gonzalo of 
! Leon, left at Navidad, 145 n. ; 
j Francisco, left at Navidad, 145 n. 
Fernandina Isle, description, 44, 46 
47 ; name given, 50 ; peculiar 
vegetation, 47, 49 ; harbour dis- 
covered, 48 ; natives, 49, 50, 58 
Fierro (see Hierro) 
Fish-hooks, 60, 61 
Fish of various colours off Fernan- 
dina, 47 
Camarones, ic6 
Corbinas, 106 
Dace, 106 
Dorado, 29, 30, 170 
Dory, 47, 106 
Flying Fish, 32 
Gilt-head, 106 
Hake, 106 
Salmon, 106 
Shrimps, 106 
Skate, 103, 106 
Tunny, 25, 166, 167 



Flechas, Golfo de las, 164, 165 

Flores in the Azores, 25, 172, 173 

Flying fish, 32 

Foronda, Pedro de, left at Navidad, 
145 «. 

Frances, Cape, 157 

Francisco, of Aranda, left at Navi- 
dad, 145 n. 

Frogs, no 

Fuma in Espahola, 141 

Furon, the Niha off, 192 

Gallega, name given by Oviedo, for 
thi ship of Columbus. 17 n. 

Garcia, Diego, of Xeres, left at 
Navidad, 144 ;;. 

Garjao, or Tern (see Birds) 

Glasses, 24 hour, no, 166, 168 

Globe (see Behaim) 

Gloria in excelsis, sung when land 
was thought to be in sight, 29 

Goanin, supposed name of an island, 

Godoy, Francisco de, of Seville, 
left at Navidad, 145 n. 

Gold, vii ; inquiries at Guanahani, 
39 ; reported at Samoet, 46, 48 ; 
ornament at Fernandina, 50 ; at 
Isabella, 56 ; sought for at Cuba, 
65 ; native names : Nucay, 65 ; 
Tuob, Caona, Nozay, 1 59 ; reported 
at Bohio, 68, 73 ; at Babeque, 76, 
77, 81 ; stones resembling, 85, 94 ; 
mines inquired after, 1 16, 119; 
barter for, 119, 128, 136; news of, 
129; mark of, 137; gold dust in 
the river Yaqui, 152, 153 

Gomera (Canaries), Columbus arrived 
at, 19, 20 ; report of land seen to 
the west, 20 ; Guillen Peraza, first 
Count of, 20 ; supplies at departure 
from, 21 ; becalmed near, 22 

Gonzalez, Jorge, of Trigueros, left 
at Navidad, 145 n. 

Gracia, Rio de, 155 

Gran Canada (see Canaria) 

Gran Kan (see Kan) 

Granada, 16, 17 

Guacanagari, chief of Marien, his 
iiivitati n to Columbus, 126 «., 127; 
help given by, at the shipwreck, 
134; his dignified manner, 135; 
feast given by, 136, 137 ; his sub- 
ject chiefs, 141 ; promises of gold, 
143 ; Spaniards at Navidad recom- 
mended to, 144; the Admiral 
takes leave of, 144, 145 

Guadalquivir, river so named in 
Espaiiola, III; River Yaqui com- 
pared to, 153 

Guanahani discovered, 36 ; land- 
ing of the Admiral, 37 ; natives, 
37-40 ; east coast explored, 41 ; 
natives who were kidnapped, 38, 
43, 44, 48, 50, 60, 63, 66, 81 

Guardias (!>ee Pointers) 

Guarionex, a chief in Espa&ola, 141 

Guillelmo, Irishman of Galway, left 
at Navidad, 145 «. 

Guinea, palms in Cuba compared 
with those of, 59 ; sailor who bad 
been to, 62 ; natives of, 75 ; pesti- 
lential rivers of, 91 ; yams in, 113 ; 
the Admiral bad been to, 122 ; 
Manequeta coast, 154 ». ; Spanish 
ships ordered not to go to, 191 

Guisay, Guinsay (see Kinsay) 

Gulf-weed, 24, 25, 26, 31, 164, 166, 

Gutierrez, Pedro, saw the light, 35 ; 
sent on shore for help when the 
ship grounded, 134; left at Navi- 
dad in joint command, 145 

Hammocks, or Hamacas, 49, 67 
Harrisse, H., on the date of Tos- 

canelli's letter, 3 n. ; on words of 

Columbus respecting the chart, 

29 n. 
Henao, Francisco, of Avila, left at 

Navidad, 145 «. 
Hermoso, Cape, 51, 52 
Herrera, his account of the first 

voyage of Columbus from Las 



Casas, V ; gives Santa Maria as 
the nameuf ihe &hip of Columbus, 
17 «. ; on the rig of the caravels, 
20 n. ; on the variation, 23 n. 

Hierro Inland, reports of land seen 
to the west, 21 ; news of P«rtu- 
guese caravel brought from, 21 ; 
distance from, 26, 31, 66, 173 

Hierro, Point, 157 

Holy Sepulchre, schtme for recovery 
of, 139 

Huelva, hermitage at, a relic of 
church at Saltes, 18 n. ; pilgrim- 
age vowed to Santa Maria de la 
Cinta at, 187 

Iguana, 47, 54, 56 

Indians (see Natives). 

Infantado, Duke of, Juurnal of 
C'llumbus in archives of, v 

Irishman with Columbus, 145, v. 

Isabella Island discovered, 51 ; de- 
scribed, 52, 55 ; natives, 55 ; de- 
parture from, 57 ; reasons for not 
returning, 81 

Isabella, Queen (>ee Ferdinand) 

Islands, fabulous (see Antilia, San 
Borondon), supposed, 24, 29, 32 

Jamaica (see Yamaye) 

Jerez, Kodrigo de, of Ayamonte, 
sent on a mission into the interior 
of Cuba, 66 

Jews, expulsion from Spain, 16 

Jimenes, Francisco, of Seville, left 
at Navidad, 145 «. 

Joao II, King of Portugal, received 
Columbus, Jigo «,, 191 

Journal of Columbus commenced, 17 

Juan, Mae&tre, surgeon, left at Navi- 
dad, 145 n, 

Juana, name given to Cuba, 98, 131 

Kan or Kaan, the Grand, mentioned 
by Toscanelli, 6 ; meaning of the 
word, 6 «. ; mentioned by Colum- 

bus, 16 ; supposed tidings of, 60, 

63, 64, 65, 74, 87, 106 
Katay, 6, 6 «., 8, 63 
Kinsay or Quinsay, mentioned by 

Toscanelli, 8 ; by Columbus, 65 ; 

account of, 8 «. (see Quinsay) 

Laguna, Cape, 53 

Lamina, in Guinea, Spanish ^hips 

not to visit, 190 
Lanzada, Point, no 
Lanzarote, one of the Canaries, 19 
Las Casas, Journal of Columbus in 

liaiidwriting of, v ; interpolations 

of, in brackets, ix ; full abstract of 

Journal of Columbus given by, v ; 

version of Toscanelli letter, iii, 3 «. ; 

map of Toscanelli belonged to, 4 w. ; 

denunciatioii of the kidnapping of 

natives, 75 n. 
Latitude, observations for, 63, 66, 

82, no 

Leagues, lergth of, 18 «. ; substi- 
tuted by the transcriber for miles, 
42, 122 

Lepe, bailor from, who saw the light, 

35 "• 
Light seen by the Admiral, 35, 36 ; 
shown by the Admiral to Pinzon, 

83. 17s ; shown by boat olNina, 99 
Lindo, Cape, 97 

Lisa, a fish (Skate), 106 n. 

Lisbon, river of, reached by Colum- 
bus, 187 

Lizards, 47 (see Iguana) 

Llandra, in Portugal, Columbus at, 
191, 192 

Logrosan, Martin de, left at Navi- 
dad, 145 n. 

Long Island, modern name of 
Ftrnandina, 45 n. 

Loreto, vow of pilgrimage to, 1 75 

Lucayos Islands, 36 

Lima, Rio de la, in Cuba, 61 

Macana, orwoodtn sword, described, 



Macorin, in Espauola, 141 
Madeira, land seen to the west of, 

20, 21 It. ; reckoning for, 172, 173, 

178, 186 
Major, R. II., reference to his Select 

Letters 0/ Columbus, 22 
Manequeta, 143 ; coast of, 154 «. 
Man^i, Province of, 8 
Manoel, King of Portugal, 191 n. 
Man-o'-War birds (see Birds) 
Map of Toscanelli (see Charts) 
" Mar de Nuestra Senora", 78 
** Mar de Santo Tomas", port of, 

Mares Rio de, in Cuba, 61 ; return 

to, 64; port described, 69, 91 ; 

departure from, 72, 82 
Maria, Pueito, first name given to 

8r. Nicholas, 99 
Martius, Fernando, Canon at Lisbon, 
■ copy of letter from Toscanelli to, ii, 

4, 7 
Mastick, reward claimed by the 

master of the Nina for finding, 69 ; 

supply, 74, 78, 105, 106, no 
Matheos, Ileman Perez, gossips 

with Oviedo, 36 «. 
Matinino Island, 162 ; said to be 

peopled by women, 163, 165, 166 
Mayonix, in Espaiiola, 141 
Medina, Pedro de, reports respect- 
ing Antilia, 21 
Mendoza, Diego de, left at Navidad, 

Mendoza, Juan de, left at Navidad, 

144 ;/. 
Mermaids seen, 154 
Moguer, evidence given at, respect- 
ing the expn'sion of the Jews, 16 ; 
; ,vow of pilgrimage to Santa Clara 

at, 175 
Montalvan, Diego, of Jaen, left at 

Navidad, 145 «. 
Monte Cristi, 147 ; sailing direc- 
tions for, 148, 149 ; return to, with 

ihe Ptnia, 150 
Monte de Plata, 156 

Moors, defeat by Ferdinand and 

Isaliella, 15, 16 
Moreillo, Juan de, left at Navidad, 

145 «• 
Muiioz, Juan Bautista, vi 
Musk, smell of, 80 
Mussel shells, a sign of pearls, 60 

Nafa, in Africa, 173 
Narango, Port, in Cuba, 62 
Natives of Guanahani, 37-40 ; their 
canoes, 39 ; their c«lour, 38 ; of 
Fernandina, 46, 49, 50; of Isabella, 
54, 56 ; of Cuba, 88, 95, 96 ; of 
Espaiiola, 106, 107, 108, 112, 129; 
praiie of, 115, 123, 124, 131, 135 ; 
hospitality, 130; honesty, 135, 
139 ; conversion suj geste«', 71, 72; 
their nakedness, 38, 43, 49, 68, 
71, 113, 125, 129; cubiom ol 
painting, 38, 131, 159; their 
timidity, 61, 64, 95, 96, iii, 114 ; 
absence of arms, 38, 68, 123 ; 
darts, 38, 49, 95 ; arrows, 164 ; 
wooden swoid, 164; cuiioes, 39, 

43. 4S> 58, 9'> 93. 94 5 «« religiun, 
65 ; policy of Columbus regardin^^, 
43, 44, 45 ; believed the Spaniards 
came from heaven, 41, 114 ; human 
heads found in houses, in Cuba, 
92 ; encounter with, at San.and, 
160, 161 ; kidnapping o», ai 
Guanohaiii, 38, 44, 48, 50, 60, 63, 
66, 81 ; at Rio de Mares, 73, 75, 
80 ; at Samana, 163, 164 ; by 
Pinzon, 15s 

Navarrete, Journal of Columbus 
published by, vi 

Navidad settlement, 1 38, 140, 144 w.; 
list of Spaniards left at, 144 «., 
145 n.; stores and supplies, 145 ; 
sailing directions for, 147 ; alarm 
lest encounter at Samana should be 
prejudicial to settlers, 161 

Needle (see Compass Variation) 

Nightingales, 24, 30, 103 

A^ini, caravel owned by the Nino 



fam ly, 17 «. ; her rig', 20 ;/.; re- 
ported seeing brds, 23 ; pobiliun 
according to pilot of, 26 ; false 
alarm of land, 29, 23 '< '''gns of 
land seen from, 35 ; canoe along- 
side, 43 ; course to Isabella Isle, 
51 ; escape of kidnapped boys 
from, 80 ; new mast and yard for 
mizen, 85 ; sent ahead to Espan >la, 
98, 99 ; in company when San/a 
Maria was wrecke J, 133 ; leaky 
coiidiiion, 162, 165 ; had to wait 
for the /'////«, 168; in the storm, 
175180; in the Tagus, 1S9 ; 
crosses Saltes Bar, homeward 
bound, 192 

Nino family, I7». ; Pilot, 172, 173 

Nitayno, name for a chief in 
Espanola, 130 

Noro£ia, Don Martin de, brouj^ht a 
mes-sage from ihe King of Portug 1 
to Columbus, 190; goes back to 
the Tagus with Columbus, 191 

North Star, altitude equal to that 
which it has at Cape St. Vincent, 

Nucay (^ee Gold) 

Nuestra Seiiora, sea of, 78, 84, 91 

Oro, Rio del, 153 

OsoriOj^Alorzo Perez, left at Navi- 

dad, 144 n. 
Osorio, Alvaro Perez, _left at Navi- 

dad, 144 It. 
Oviedo, historian, never saw journal 

of Columbus, V ; gave Gallcga as 

name of ship of Columbus, 17 «.; 

story about the sailor who saw the 

light, 35 «.; gossip with Vicente 

Pinzon and Matheos, 36 

Palmas, Cape of, (>2> 

Palm trees, 59, 77, 89 

Palos, iv ; expuli-ion of Jews from, 

16 w. ; Columbus fitting out at, 17 ; 

Nina and Finta, caravels of, 17 «. ; 

bad condition of vessels supplied 

at, 139; misconduct of caulkers at, 

Parrots, 37, 38, 39, 47, 54. 124 

Patino, Juan, of La Sirena, left at 
Navidad, I45 ;/. 

Pearls, sea su table for, 60, 62 ; 
reported, 68 

Pedro, of Talavera, left at Navidad, 
145 "• 

Pension, for first sighting land, 36 

Pepper (native), 143, 164 

Perez, Fray Rodrigo, uncle of Esco- 
vedo, 145 

Pico, Cape of, 86 

Pierna, Cape, no 

Pilgrimages, vows during the storm, 
175, 176, 187 

Pilots, opinions as to position, 19, 
26,29; when homeward bound, 
172, 173 ; the true positions kept 
from them by the Admiral, iSo 

Pine trees, 85, 89 

Pinia caravel, 17 «• ; accident to 
her rudder, 19; owners, 19; 
refitted at Giau Canaria, 20 ; 
position accordirg to pilot of, 26, 
28 J signs of land seen from, 35 ; 
sij^hted land, 35, 36 ; her course 
for I.^abella Island, 51 ; informa- 
tion from natives on board, 63 ; 
parts company, 82 ; news of, 140, 
H2, I43» '46 ; rejoins, 150 ; 
Itaky coiidition, 162, 165 ; delay 
caused by communicating with, 
167 ; bad sailing owing to weak 
mizen-mast, 168; finally parted 
company, 174, 175 «. 

Pinzon, Martin Alonzo, 16 «. ; com- 
manded Fiuta, 1 7 M. ; the Admi- 
ral's first opinion of, 19 ; refitting 
?.t Gran Canaria, 20, 21 ; expect- 
ing land, 25, 28, 29 ; advice as to 
the couise, 33 ; landed at Guana- 
hani, 37 ; as to sailing round 
Fernandina, 48 ; killed an iguana 
at Isabella Island, 56; reported 
the statements of natives, 63 ; 



thought he had found a cinnaimn- 
iree, 67 ; deserted the Admiral, 82, 
143 ; evil consequences of his 
conduct, 146 ; rejoined the Ad- 
miral, 150 ; his excuses for desert- 
ing, 150, 151 ; insubordination, 
152, 155 ; kidnapped natives at 
Rio de Gracia, 155 ; neglect in 
not gettirg a new mizen-mas', 
168 ; finally parted company, 174 ; 
death, 175 n. 

Pinzon, Vicente YaRez, captain of 
the Nina, 17 «. ; gossip with 
Oviedo, 36 ;;. ; landed at Guana- 
hini, 37 ; reported that rhubarb 
grew on Amiga Island, 142 ; in- 
subordination, 152; his reckoning 
on the homeward voyage, 172, 173 

Plants (see Aloe, Amaranth, Ar- 
butus, Cotton, Mastick, Palms, 
Pine, Purslane, Rhubarb, Trees) 

Pointers or Guardias, stars in the 
Great Bear, bearing, 31 

Pole Star, variation accc unted for 
by motion of, 23 «., 24, 25 u. 

Polo, Nicolo and Maffeo, journeys, 

Polo, Marco, referred to, 6 «., 7 «. , 
28 ;/. 

Porcuna, Hernando de, left at Navi- 
dad, 145 n. 

Portugal, King of, Affonso V, seeks 
information from Toscanelli, ii, 
4 M. ; reception of Columbus by 
the King, 190, 191 ; caravels 
of, lying in wait for Columbus, 21 

Portuguese, discoveries by, through 
observing flights of birds, 33 ; 
their inhospitable conduct at Santa 
Maiia, 181, 182; treatment of 
Columbus by, in the Tagus, 188, 

Principe, Puerto del, in Cuba, 78, 

Puerto Santo, in Cuba, 93, 97 ; 
inland near Madeira, 172 

Purslane, in Cuba, 60 

Quadrant, observations with, 66, 82, 
no, 171 

Quinsay, city of, described in Tos- 
canelli letter, 8, 8 ;/. ; mentioned 
by Columbus, 65 (see Kinsay) 

Quintero, Cristoval, part owner of 
ihc Fiiila, 19 

Rabiforcado, or man-o'-war bird, 30 
Rabo de junco, or boatswain-bird 

(see Birds), 23 
Ragged Isles, 59 n. 
Rascon, Gomes, part owner of the 

J'inta, 19 
Reckonings, two kept by Co!umbus 

on voyage out, 22, 29, 31 ; on 

homeward voyage, 171, 172, 173, 

Redondo, Cape, 157 
Rhubarb on Amiga Island, 142, 143 
Roja, Point, 153 

Roldan, the pilot, his reckoning, 172 
Rudder of the Pin:a, accident to, 

19 ; boy in charge, 132 
Ruiz, Sancho, pilot in the Niila, 

reckoning, 173 
Rum Cay, modern name of Santa 

Maria de la Concepcion Island, 

42 n. 

Sacanben, in Portugal, Columbus 
at, 190 

Sacro, Port, 15S 

Sails of Santa Maria enumerated, 
38 ('>ee Bonnet) 

Sailing Directions, 121, 126 

Sailors with Columbus, 17; false 
reckoning kept for, 22, 29, 30, 31, 
34 ; bad steering, 22 ; catch fish, 
25 ; alarmed at the variation, 24 ; 
alarmed at cons*""* ^ast wind, 27, 
28 ; look out foi land, and sing 
Gloria in excehis, 29 ; bathing 
alor gside, 29 ; murmurs at the 
length of the voyage, 34 ; speech 
of the Admiral to, 34, 36 ; jump 
overboard to seize a native, '43 ; 



taking soundings, 60, 84, 97, 99 ; 
excellent health of, 91 ; on shore 
to wasih clothes, 92 ; boys never to 
take the helm, 132 ; left at Navi- 
dad, 144, 145; cutting wood, 151, 
152; catch a turtle, 154; encoun* 
ter with natives at Saoiana, 161 ; 
kill a shark, 169 ; vows of pilgrim- 
age during the storm, 175, 176, 
187 ; seized by Portuguese, 181 ; 
released, 185 (see Jerez, Triana, 
Torres, Villa) 

Salcedo, Admiral's servant, 35 ;;. 

Saltes, Bar of, expedition crosses, 
18 ; account uf former town aiid 
church on Isle of, 18 «. ; course 
shaped for, 192 ; NiM crosses 
homeward bound, 192 

Satnana, 158 ; encounter with natives, 
160, 161 

Samaot, Samoet, or Samoate Isle, 
gold reported at, 46, 48, 50, 51 

San Antonio monastery (see Villa- 

San Borondon, fabulous isle, 20 n. 

San Gregorio, or Fayal, 172 

San Jorge, Tristan de, led at Navi- 
dud, 145 ;;. 

San Miguel, 183 

San Nicolas, Port, 100, loi, 102 

San Salvador, name of Guanaliani, 
42, 43, 81 ; river in Cuba, 61, 62 

San Theramo, Cape, 166 

Santo Tomas Isle, 120, 121 ; Sea, 

Santa Catalina harbour, 86 

Santa Clara (see Mogfuer) 

Santa Maria, ship of Columbus, 

owned by Juan de la Cosa, 17 «. ; 

name given in Herrera, 17 «.; sails 

enumerated, 58 ; shipwreck, 132, 

»33. 134 
Santa Maria, Poit, 175 

Santa Maria de la Concepcion 
Island, 42 ; Fernandina in sight 
from, 42 

Santa Maria, in the Azores, 172, 

173. 186 ; reached by Columbus, 

180 ; inhospitable conduct of Por- 

tujjuese at, 180, 184, 185 
Santa Maria de la Cinta, pilgrim- 
age vowed to, 187 
Santo, Cape, 130, 133, 147 
St. Vincent, Cape, 171, 186, 192 
Sanchez, Kodrigo, of Segovia, could 

not see the light, 36 ; sent to see 

the mastick trees, 69 
Santoila, native place of Juan de la 

Cosa, 17 «.; men of, 138 tt. 
Sebastian, of Majorca, left at Navi- 

dud, 143 n. 
Seca, Puiiit, 157 
Serpents, Iguanas mistaken for, 47, 

54, 56 
Seville, sea as smooth as the river 

"t. 25, 34, 62 
Shark killed, 169 
Sicily, mountains in Cuba compared 

to, 60 
Sierpe, Cape, 147 
Silver ornament, 65 
Smoke signals, 100, iii, 161 
Sol, Rio del, in Cuba, 73 
Soundings taken, 60, 84, 97, 99 
Spices, country of, in Toscanelli 

letter, 4, 5 ; specimens given to 

envoys into the interior of Cuba, 66 ; 

inquiries after, 70, 143 (see Mane- 

Storm «.n homeward voyage, 174 to 

Sword, wooden (see Macana) 

Tagus reached by Columbus, 187, 

Tajado, Cape, 157 

Tallarte (or Alard), of Lajes, Eng- 
li>hman, left at ^avidad, 145 «. 

Tapia, Bachiller Eeinardo dr, left at 
l^avidad, 144 w. 

Tejo river, gold in, 85 

Tenerife, irruption seen, 20 ; be- 
calmed near, 22 

Terceira, in the Azores 172 



Terns (>ef Birds) 

Tiller.'lioy in charge of, when Sauta 
Miu'-a grounded, 132 

Tobacco first seen, 71 

Tordoya, Dietjo, of Cabezt de Vaca, 
left at Navidad, 144 n, 

Torpa. I)if(^() de, left at Navidad, 
145 )t. 

Torres, Capp, 120 

Torres, Luis de, converted Jew in- 
terpreter, sent on a mission into 
Cuba. 66 

Tortuga Island, 99, 104, 105, no; 
canoe from, 1 15 

Toscanelli, Paolo, letters to Colum- 
bus, ii, vii, 3, 10 ; date of 1 tiers. 
3 «., 4 «. ; where published, iii ; 
discovery of Latin text of letter, 
iii ; reproduction of map, iv (see 

Trees (see Vegetation) : Palms, 

59. 77i S9 ; Pines, CS5, 89 ; Oaks 
ai d Arbutus, 85 ; growing dise 
to ihe sea, a sign of fine weather, 

60. 77 

Triana, Rodrigo de, sighted land, 35 

Tunny fish, 25, 166, 167 

Tunny fishery at Cadiz and Conil, 

Tuob, name for gold, 159 
Turtle, 96, 154 

Urminga, Juan de, left at Navidad, 
145 «. 

Valle del Paraiso, 1 1 1 

Valparaiso, visit of Columbus to 
Kii'g of Portugal at, 190 

Variation (see Compass) 

Vegetation, variety and beauty of, 
47. 49i 54 (see Aloes, Mastick, 
Trees, Purslane, Rhubarb) 

Velasco, Hon Jose Maria Fcrnancbz, 

lilirarian of the Columbian Library, 

dis;()>ered the Latin texi of the 

Toscantlli letter, iii, 4 «. 
Velez, Alonzo, of Seville, left at 

N ividad, 144 «. 
Vergara, Francisco de, of Seville, 

left at Navidad, 145 n. 
Villa, Pedro de, sailor in the Nii'ui, 

drew the lot to go on pilgrimage to 

Lorelo, 175 
Villafranca, interview of Columbus 

with the Queen of Portugal at the 

monastery of San Antonio at, 191 
Villar, Juan de, left at Navidad 

145 n. 

Watering ship, 46 

Watling Island, modern name of 
(juaiiahaiii, 36 ;/. (see Gu£inahani) 

Wax found in the houses at Cuba, 92 

Weed (see Gulf Weed) 

Whale sten, 27, 47 

Women, only one seen at Guana- 
tiani, 38 ; kidnapped at Rio de 
Mares, 75 ; woman caught in 
hspa&ola and kindly treated, 107 ; 
gills kidnapped by Pinzon, 156 ; 
laJand peopled by, 163 

Yamaye, probably Jamaica, 151 
Yams, 68, 108, 113, 123, 124 
Yaqui river, 152 n. 
Yule, Sir Iltiiry, his Mateo Polo 
rcicirtd to, 6 ;/., 8 »., 9 n. 

Zaitun, city in China, mentioned by 
Toscanelli, 6 ; account of 6 n. ; 
mentioned by Columbus, 65 

Zanahorias (see Yams) 




()!• TIIK 

Documents relatino to the of John 
Cahot and Gasi'ar Corte Real. 

Adams, Clement, his engraveJ copy 
of I lie map of Sebastian Cabot at 
VVhiteliaH, xxxv 

Admiral, tiile ^iven to John Cabot, 
xvii, 202, 205 

Algarve, country of the Corte Reals, 

American coasts (seeNorthAmerica) 

Andilia, 235 (see Antilla) 

Angra, capital of Terceira, xlv 

Animals in lands discovered by 
Cabu, 201 ; by Corte Real, 233 

Antilla, i'^ea of Cabot respectiiig, 
xii ; name given by the Portiit;ue-e 
to the West Indian Islands, 235 

Apianus, rt-lrus map of, liii 

Ashurst (see Bristol) 

Asia, Greenland believed to be a 
point of, xlviii, 240 

Ayala, Pedro de, Spanish Ambas- 
sador in England, his despatth 
respecting John Cabot, 208 

Azores, two natives of, granttd 
letttrs patent, xxii 

Bacallaos, name of fish, xx, loi, 
210 ; nnme said to have been given 
to Nt wfourdland by Cabot, 210 

Badajoz conference, Sebastian Cabut 
at, xxx 

Barber (see Castione) 

Barrett, History of Bristol, name of 
the ^hip of Cabot given in, 199 

Bears seen by Cabot, 210 

Bedford, Earl of, in possession c f a 

copy of the map of Sebastian 
Cabot at Cheynie^, xxxv n. 

Besson, Jacob, his Cosmol ibc, xxxix 

Biddle, John, memoir of Sebastian 
Cahi»t, xlii u. 

Boni, Signor, of Mndena.his recovery 
of tlie Cantino map, xlvi 

Bradley, Thomas, with Cabot in the 
second voyage, xix 

Brazil, Bristol men search for isle of, 
207, 208; Sebastian Cnbot beached 
his cnptains on coast o/, xxx 

Bristol, expedition of Cabot f.tted 
out af, xiv, 199,203 ; Cabot living 
at, 202 ; name of Cabot's ship 
given in the History of 199 ; dat.: 
of Cabot's sailing from, 200; nenil/ 
all Bristol men in Caboi's sh p, 
xiv, 230 ; searches of citizens fi.r 
Brazil Lsl-, 207, 208 ; cit zens in- 
terested in Cabot's voyage, 205 ; 
second expedition of Cabot sailed 
from, xix ; letters patent to 
merchants of, Ashurst, Warde, and 
Thomas, xxii ; Sebastian Cabot 
told Eden he was born at, xxiii 

Bucignolo (see Ragusan) 

Buil, Friar, who saded with Cabot. 
la> ded in Irelani', 20S 

Burgundian with Cabot in the f r,t 
voyage, xviii, 205 
i Burrough, Stejhen, voyage in the 
S archthrift, the fittii g-ciu super- 
intended by Sebastian Cabot, 



Cabot, Elizabeth, daug^iter of 
Stba&tian, xxv ; death, xxxi ;;. 

Cabot, John, first letters patent 
granted to, xiii, 197 ; fitting out, 
xiv, 199, 203 ; name of his ship, 
xiv, 199 ; second l-^tters patent, 
xviii, 206, 207 ; called a Venetian, 
xi, 197, 199, 200, 201, 206 ; a 
Genoese, 207, 208, 209 ; date of 
sailing from Bristol, xv, 200 ; his 
landfall, xv, xvi, 200 ; course across 
the Atlantic, xv, xvi ; reception on 
return, xvii ; grant to, 201 ; dis- 
covery described by Pa^quaUgo, 
xvi, 201, 202; by Soncino, 203; 
wife a Venetian, 202 ; dressed in 
silk, 202 ; called Admiral, 202, 
205 ; an exoert navigator, 203 ; 
living at Bristol, 202 ; his chart 
ard solid sphere, xviii, 204, 208, 
209 ; remarks on caravans Feen at 
Mecci, 204 ; second voyage, xix, 
207, 208 ; account by Peter Martyr, 
209, 210; by the Guest of Fracastor, 
212, 217; by Gomara, 216; by 
Galvano. 217; false statements of 
his son respecting, 213 ; vestiges of, 
found by Corte Real, li, 237 ; his 
meri's, xxi, xliv 
Cabot, Lewis, xi, xiii «., 197, 198 
Cabot. Sancio, xi, xiii «., 197, 198 
Cabot, Sebastian, xi, 197, 198 ; born 
in Venice, xxiii, 209, 220 ; said 
he was born at Bristol, xxiii ; map 
of, showing his father's landf'a'l, 
200 ; acrount of, by Peter Martyr, 
209, 211 ; probably accompanied 
his father, xiv, xix, xxiii ; on a voy- 
age in 1502, xxiv ; fal-;e statements 
of, 214, 215 ; statements about his 
voyages, 214, 220 ; intrigues with 
Venice, xxvii, xxviii, 217 to 224; 
chief pilot in Spain, xxvii, 220 ; 
urged by his agent to come to 
Venice, 225 ; intrigue with Vene- 
tian Ambassador in England, 226 ; 

refused to undertake a voyage for 
the King of England, 222 ; em- 
ployed to make a map of Gascony, 
xxiv ; in Spanish service, marriage, 
xxv ; at the funeral of Sir T. Lovell, 
xxix ; at the conference of Badajoz, 
XXX ; alleged expeditions from Eng- 
land, xxv, xxvi ; expedition to the 
River Plate, xxx, xxxi ; condemned 
to exile at Oran, xxxi ; method of 
finding longitude by variation, xxix, 
xxxix, 223 ; his map, description, 
xxxii, xxxiii ; opinion of Mr. Har- 
risse as to map, xxx'ii, xxxiv ; dis- 
covery of the map, xxxv ;;. ; last 
employment in Spain, xxxv ; return 
to Ei'gland, v ; pension from 
Edward VI, demand from Charles 
V, xxxvi ; Governor of Merchant 
Adventurers, xxxviii ; death, loss 
of papers, xl ; character, xlitoxliv ; 
wife (see Medrano, Catalina) 

Calicut, 235 

Canerio, map of, Hi 

Cantino, letter to the Duke of Fer- 
rara on the voyages of Corte Real, 
xlvi, 232 ; map ordered by, for the 
Duke of Ferrara, xlvi, 238 ; Map, 
legends on, 239, 240 ; history and 
description, xlvi, xlvii ; construc- 
tion, lii ; coast of North America 
on, xlix ; confused first and second 
voyages of Corte Real, xlviii n. ; 
account of second voyage of Corte 
Real, xlix ; account of natives 
brought home in ships of Corte 
Real, 233, 234 

Cape Breton, landfall of Cabot, xv, 
xvi, xxxiii, xxxii- ; Corte Real at, 

Cape Verde Isles, distance of 
Papal line from, xiv 

Carter, John, in second voyage of 
Cabot, xix 

Cartier, Jacques, discoveries shown 
on the map of Sebastian Cabot, 
xxxii, xxxiv 



Castione, barber of, to go with 
Cabot, xviii, 205 

Catanio, Francisco, Cantino map in 
• he hands of, 238 

Catay, 214 

Chancellor (see Willoughby) 

Charles V valued services of Sebas- 
tian Cabot, xxxi, xliii; demand for 
the return of Cabot, xxxvi 

Chart of John Cabor, 202, 208, 209 

Chaves, Alonzo, xxxv 

Chesapeake Bay reached by Cert- 
Real in h's second voyage, 1 

Cheyne, Sir Thomas, xxxvi 

Cheynies (see Bedford, Earl of) 

Chipango, xii, xviii, 204 

Cisneros, Cardinal, Sebastian Cabot 
in England during the rule of, 

Collona, Stragliano, conversation of 
Sebastian Cabot with, xxvi, 220 

Columbus, Christopher, C»bot com- 
pared to, xliv, 207, 208 ; great- 
ness of his discovery, 213 

Columbus, Fernando, loyalty to his 
father, xlii 

Compass (see Needle) 

Contarini, Caspar, Venetian Ambas- 
sador in Spain (see Venice), xxvii, 
xlii ; told by Sebastian Cabot that 
he was born at Venice, xxiii ; con- 
versation with Sebastian Cabot 
about finding longitude by varia- 
tion, xxxix, 223 

Coote, C. H., editor of Stevens' 
work on the Schoner globe^, 1 «., \ 
liv n. I 

Copper ore (see Laton) 

Corte Real, land of, 230 

Corte Real, Caspar, his first voyage, 
>lviii, 229 ; servant of the Duke of 
Beja, 230 ; reached the coast of 
Greenland, xlviii ; visit to New- 
foundland, xlviii, 230 ; second 
voyage, xlix ; fate ur, known, 231 ; 
waters his ship from an iceberg, 
233 ; discoveries, 23-j, 236 ; ves- 

tiges of voyage of Cabot found by, 
237; course taken on the second 
voyag", xlix, 1, li ; search for, liv 

Corte Real, Joao Vaz, father of 
Gaspa*-, Ixv 

Corte Real, Manoel, last of the 
familv, liv 

Corte Real, Miguel, went in search 
of his brother, liv, 229, 231 

Corte Real, Vasque Anes, prevented 
from going in search of his brother, 
liv, 231 

Cosa, Juan de la, map, xix ; dis- 
coveries of Cabot shown on map 
of, XX, xxxiii ; placed West India 
Islands too far north, xxi, I «., 

Council of Ten (see Venice) 

Damiande Goes, Chronicle, account 

of Corte Real voyages, xlv, 230 ; 

date of departure of Corte Real on 

second voyage, xlix «.. 231 
Deane, Mr. Charles, account of the 

Cabot voyages, x 
Delaware Bay, reached by Corte 

Real, on his second voyage, I 
Desimoni, work on John Cabot, x 
Drapers* Company, their doubt 

whether Sebastian Cabot ever went 

with his father, xxiii w. 

Eden, Richard, told by Sebrstian 
Cabot that he was born at Bristol, 
xxiii ; his statement respecting a 
proposed expedition under Sir 
Thomas Perte, xxv, xxvi ; arcount 
of Cabot's ideas respecting vaiia- 
tion. xxxix ; on death of Cabot, xl 

Edward VI, pension and gratuity to 
Sebastian Cabot, xxxvi ; Cabot 
explained variation of the compass 
to, xxxix 

Elizabeth, daughter of Sebastian 
Cabot, xxv, xxxi «. 

England, Sebastian Cabot declined 
to serve, 220, 222; intrigue of 



Cabot with Vtnttian ambassador 
in, 226; return of Cabot to, xxv 

Fabyan, referred to, x, 200 n. 
Falcons in the land discovered by 

Corte Real, 233 
Farewell, Cnpe. xlviii 
Ferdinand V, expedition against the 

south of France in concert with 

Henry VI 1, xxiv ; obtained the 

services of Sebastian Cabot, xxv 
Ferrara, Duke of (see Cantino) 
Fish, many taken in voyage of 

Cabot, 204 ; trade in stock fish 

with Iceland, 204 ; a^ undance 

found by Corte Real, 238 (see 

Florida, xxxiii, 217 ; theory that the 

coast-line on tile Cantino map via?, 

xlix ;?. 
Fracastor, Ilieronimo, guest of, in 

Ramusio, his account of Sebastian 

Cabot, xxxi, 112 
Fruits on the land disc ivered by 

Corte Real, 233 

Galvao, xix ; on the second voyage 
of Cabot, x!v, 216 ; account of the 
voyage of Corte Real, 229 ; latitude 
reached by Cabot, xx, 216 

Genoese, Cabot said to be, xi ;/., 
207, 208 

Gianetti da Fane, Guido, account 
of studies of Sebastian Cabot con- 
nected with the variation of th'j 
compass, xxxix 

Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, latitudt- ! 
reached by Cabot, xx ; had seen 
the map of Sebastian Cabot, xxxv, I 
;/. ; misled, respecting Sebastian 
Cabot, by Ramusio, xli 

Globe made by John Cabot, xviii, 

Goes (see Damian de Goes) 

Gomara, xix ; ( n second voyage of 
Cabof, 215 ; latitude reached by 
Cabot, XX 

Greenland, legend respecting, on the 
Cantino map, xlvii, 240 ; joined to 
Asia by Ruysch, xlviii «. 

Grynceus, map, liii 

Gutierrez, Diego, xxxv 

Hakluyt, Divers Voyages, Caboi's 
first voyage, x, 200 «.; had seen 
the map of Sebastian Cabot, xxxv ; 
as to the papers of Cabot, xl 

Harrisse, Mr., works on the voyages 
of Cabot, X ; permission to trans- 
late documents from his texts, i, 
xlvi, 203 «., 217 «., 234 «., 236 
«., 239 «. ; opinion on the map of 
Sebastian Cabot. ..xxiii, xxxiv ; 
date of departure of Corte Real on 
second voyage, xlix u, ; opinion 
respecting new coast-line on the 
Cantino map, liii ;;. 

Hatteras, Cape, reathed by Cabot 
in second voyage, xx 

Henry VII, Privy Purse Accounts, 
ix ; Cabot at the Court of, xiii, 
xxi ; grant of letters patent to 
Cabof, 197, 206 ; grant of money 
to Cabot, 201, 202; conversations 
about Cabot with the Spanish 
ambassadors, 207, 208, 211 ; state- 
ment of Sebastian Cabot respecting 
his relations with, 213 

Henry VIII, expedition sent to 
south of France, xxiv ; expeditions 
in time of, xxv 

Hercules d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, 
(see Cantino) 

Hoby, Sir Philip, xxxvi 

Ibernia passed by Cabot, 203, 205 ; 

one of Cabot's .-hi^s returned to, 

Ice ec'gc of, reached by Corte Real, 

Icebergs seen by Cabot, xx ; Corte 

Real watered his ships from, xlv-ii, 



Ice'and, trade in stock-fish, xvii', 

Indians of Newfoundland, account 
^^1 230 ; brought home in ships of 
'^orte Real, 233, 234, 237 

Ireland (see Ibernia) 

Isabella, Queen, 214 

Kaan, the Gicat, ideas of Cabot 

'esfectinjT, xii, xv, xliv 
Kasr el Kebir, Manoel Corte Real 

slain at, with King Sebastian, liv 

Labrador on map of Sebastian 

Cabot, xxxiii ; name, 1 n. 
La Cosa (see Cosa) 
Landfall of Cabot, 200, xvi, xxxiii 
Latitude reached by Cabot, xx «., 

Laton, or copper ore, 211 
Letters patent granted to John 

Cabot, xi, 197-199, 206-207; to 

merchants of Bristol, xxii 
Lisbon, John Cabot went to, xii, 

208 ; return of Corte Real to, 229 ; 

of ship, 1 ; Corte Real sailed from, 

xlv, xlix, 230, 231 ; Italian news- 
letters sent from, xlv 
Longitude by variation of the com 

pass, xxxix, 223 
Lovell, Sir T., Sebastian Cabot at 

luneral of, xxix 

Magdalen Isles, the Saint John 
Isle of Cabot, xv, xxxii 

Major, Mr. R. H., suggested expla- 
nation of the erroneous date on 
the Cabot map, 200 n. 

Manoel, King of Portugal, chronicle 
of, xlv ; Corte Real a servant of, 
230 J licence to Corte Real to 
discover new lands, 229 ; satisfac- 
tion at the discoveries, 236 

Map (see Cabot, Cantino, Cosa) 

Martyr, Peter, xix ; account of Se- 
bastian Cabo^, XXV, xxxiii, 209 

Mary, Queen, application of Charles 
V to, for the return of Sebastian 
Cabot, xxxvii 

Masts, fine timber for, in lands dis- 
covered by Corte Real, 233, 239 

Matthew, name of Cabot's ship, xii, 
xvi, 199 

Mecca, John Cabot at, caravans seen 
there, xii, 204 

Medina, Pedro de. Arte de Navegar 
reported upon by Cabot, xxxv 

Medrano, Catalina, wife of Sebas- 
tian Cabot, XXV, XXX «. ; illness of, 

Mendez, Martin, captain in the ex- 
pedition of Cabot to the river 
Plate, XXX 

Merchant Adventurers, Company 

of, xxxviii 
Mexia, Pedro, xxxy 
Milan, Duke of, letters of Soncino to, 

xviii, 202, 206 
Modena, Cantino map at, xlvi 

Natives, account of, by Sebastian 
Cabot, 200 ; brought to Lisbon in 
ships of Corte Real, 235, 236, 237 
(see Indians) 

Needle, Cabot alleged that he knew 
a way of finding the longitude by, 
xxix, xxxix, 223 

Newfoundland, 233 ; called Green 
Land by Corte Real, li, 230; 
Indians of, 230, 231, 238 ; fi..h on 
the banks of, xviii, xx ; visits to, 
after Cabot, xxii «.; shown as a 
group of islands on the map of 
Sebastian Cabot, xxxii «.; made 
part of Asia by Ruysch, lii ; placed 
too far east on Cantino map, xlvii, 
liii n. 

North American Coast on map of 
Juan de la Cosa, xxi ; on map of 
Sebastian Cabot, xxiii ; on Can- 
tino map, xlvii, xlix, liii «. 

North Pole, voyage of Cabot to- 




wards, 209 ; highest latitude, 

Ramusio, 212, 214 
North Star kept on the right hand 

by Cabot, 203 
Nova Scotia, li 

Oran, Sebastian Cabot condemned 
to exile at, xxxi 

Ortelius had seen the map of Sebas- 
tian Cabot, XXXV ; influence of the 
Cantino map felt nearly to the time 
of, liii 

Otter skins, 235 

Papaga, land of, 235 

Parana and Paraguay, river Plate 

explored by Sebastian Cabot, to 

junction of, xxxi 
Parias on Schoner globes, liii 

Pasqualigo, Lorenzo, letter to his 
brother on the voyage of John 
Cabot, 201 ; fixed the dale of 
Cabot's return, xvii 

Pasqualigo, Pietro, Venetian Am- 
bassador at Lisbon, account of the 
voyages of Corte Real, 235 ; course 
taken by Corte Real in second 
voyage, xlix ; account of natives, 

23S> 237 

Peckham, payment to, for bringing 
Cabot to England, xxxvi 

Perte, Sir Thomas, failure of his ex- 
pedition, XXV, xxvi 

Pines on land discovered by Corte 
Real, li, 233 

Plate, river, expedition of Sebastian 
Cabot to, XXX 

Prima Tierra Vista, xxxii, xxxiii, 
xxxiv, 201 (see Landfall of 

Ptolemy of 1513, liv«. (see Wald- 

Puebla, Dr. Ruy Gorzalez, Spanish 
Ambassador in England, letter re- 
specting Cabot, 207 

Purchas had seen the map of Sebas- 
tian Cabot, xxxv «. 

Ragusan, Hierolamo di Marin di 
Bucignolo, agent of Sebastian 
Cabot, xxvii, 21 7 ; his proposals, 
219. 221, 224 ; letter to Cabot, 225 

Ramusio, xix ; his recollections of 
the contents of a letter from Sebas- 
tian Cabot, 211 ; his account of 
what a guest at the villa of Fra- 
castor said about Cabot, xxxi, 2 1 2, 
213; latitude reached by Cabot, 
XX «., xxxiii; agent of Sebastian 
Cabot at Venice, xxxvii >i. 

Rivers, mouths of, discovered by 
Corte-Real, 1, 233 

Rodas, Miguel de, volunteer in the 
expedition of Sebastian Cabot, xxx 

Rojas, Francisco de, captain of ai-hip 
in the expedition of Sebastian 
Cabot, xxx, xxxi 

Ruysch, Johann, his map, lii, 
xlviii «. 

Samano, Juan de, letter of Sebastian 
Cabot to, xxxi 

San Brandon Island, on map of 
Sebastian Cabot, xxxiii 

Sancta Cruz, or Brazil, people com- 
pared to those of Newfoundland, 

S. George, in the Azores, xlv 

St. John I!^land, named by Cabot, 
XV, xxxii, 200 

St. John's Day, landfall of Cabot on, 
XV, 200 

St. Lawrence, Gulf of, discovered 
by Cartier, xxxii, xxxiv 

St. Mark, flag of, hoisted by Cabot, 

Sanuto, Livio, had seen the map 
of Sebastian Cabot, xxxv ; his 
account of Cabot's study of the 
variation of the compass, xxxviii 

Schoner globes, liii (see Coote, 



Searchthrift (see Burrough) 

Sebastian, King of Portugal, liv 

Seville, John Cabot at, xii, 20S ; 
Guest of Fracastor at, 213 ; Se- 
bastian Cabot at, xxvii ; hydro- 
graphic department at, xxxiii 

Soncino, letters to the Duke of 
Milan on the voyage of Cabot, 
xviii, 202 206 

Soranzo, Giacomo, Venetian Am- 
bassador in England, his intrigue 
with Cabot, xxxvii, xliii, 226 

Sphere, solid (see Globe) 

Stevens', Mr, theory respecting the 
coast-line on the Cantino map, 1 ;/,, 
liv n. 

Stock-fish, trade with Iceland, 

Stow, Chronicle, date of Cabot's fir^t 
voyage, 200 n. 

Sydney, land nenr, sighted by John 
Cabot, xvii 

Tanais shown on globe of Ctbot, 

Tarducci, work on the Cabots, xi 

Tavilla (Tavira), in Algarve, Vasq'ie 
Anes de Corte Real the Alcalde 
Mayor of, 23 1 

Terceira, Caspar Corte Real sailed 
from, xlv, 229, 231 ; granted to the 
Corte Reals, xlv 

Terra Verde, name given to New- 
foundland by Corte Real, xlviii 

Thirkhill, Lancelot, in second voy- 
age of Cabot, xix 

Thomas, xxii (see Bristol) 

Tides, remark of Cabot on, 202 

Timber (see Trees) 

Tordesillas, treaty of, dividing lines 

between dominions of Spain and 
Portugal, xliv 
Trees on lands discovered by Corte 
Real, xlviii, 233, 234 

Vannes, Dr. Peter, English Ambas- 
sador at \'enice, xxxvii 

Variation of the compass (see 
Needle) ; explained by Cabot to 
Edward VI, xxxix 

Varnhagen, theory respecting the 
new coast-line on the Cantino map, 
liv ;;. 

Venice, intrigues of Sebastian Cabot 
with, xxvii, 217 to 224; instruc- 
tions of the Council of Ten to Con- 
tarini, 217 ; Cabot urged by his 
agent to come to, 225; Soranzo"s 
intrigue with Cabot, xxxvii, 226 ; 
John Cabot called a Venetian, xi, 

197, 199; Sebastian Cabot born at, 
xxiii, 209, 220 

WaldseemuUer, map ii. Ptolemy of, 
1513, lii 

Ward (see Bristol) 

Whitehall, map of Clement Adams 
in the privy gallery at, xxxv 

Willoughby de Broke, Lord, led an 
expedition to the south of France, 
xxiv; Ferdinand applied to, for 
the services of Sebastian Cabot, 

Willoughby and Chancellor, in- 
structions for the voyage prepared 
by Sebastian Cibot, xxxviii 

Worthington, Mr., associated with 
Cabot, xxxviii; in possession of 
papers of Cabot, xl ; account of, 
xl n. 


laklMjt €iritin0. 


In 1882 the late Gen. Sir John Henry Lefroy edited for 
the Hakluyt Society a volume entitled "'The Historye of the 
Bermudas or Summer hlandsl^ from MS. 750 of the Sloane 
Collection at the British Museum. In his introductory 
remarks our lamented colleague discussed the authorship 
of this MS., and from internal evidence attributed it to 
Capt. John Smith, the historian of Virginia. 

Ten years have elapsed since the publication of Lefroy 's 
work, and his conclusions have not, as far as I am aware, 
been questioned. It was only quite recently that Mr. 
Edward Scott, Keeper of MSS. in the Museum, while 
cataloguing the Sloane Collection, came upon a MS. in the 
same handwriting as 750, signed by Nathaniel Butler. 
This MS., numbered 758, is described by Sir F. Madden in 
his Catalogue, as follows: " i. Mem''^ for 12 heads of 
Letters written by Capt. Nath. Butler while Governor of 
the Bermudas [autogr.]. 2. A dialogicall discourse of 
Marine affairs between the High Admirall and a Captaine 
att sea, written in six dialogues by Capt. N. Butler in 1634, 
with a table of contents prefixed. 3. A diary of my per- 
sonall employments from 10 Feb. 1639 to 2 May 1640, by 
the same Capt. N. Butler [autogr.]." 

A comparison of the two MSS. establishes the fact of 
the identity of the handwriting, though one is a fair copy, 
the other a rough draft. Both, however, are written by the 

same educated hand, and the signature at the end of 758, 
'• Nath. Butler", is genuine. 

Had General Lefroy seen the Madden Catalogue he 
could not have fallen into the error of attributing the 
History of the Bermudas to Capt. John Smith, for Madden 
expressly states that its author was Butler. But at the 
time Gen. Lefroy edited his book, the Madden Catalogue, 
which only went as far as 1 100 of the Sloane MSS., had 
been suppressed. The Ayscough Catalogue, then and still 
in use, is arranged according to subjects, and our two 
MSS. fall under separate headings — " Bermuda" and 
" Butler" occurring in different vols. General Lefroy, basing 
his arguments on 750, the only MS. known to him, found 
several passages in his History of the Bermudas identical 
with Smith's Hist, of Virginia, Bk. 5, and came to the 
conclusion that Smith was the author of both books. But 
Capt. Smith was never at Bermuda, and there is reasonable 
ground for believing that many of the materials for the 
Bermuda portion of his work were supplied by Butler. At 
all events he is mentioned in the list of authorities quoted 
by that author under his initials N. B., and as he is known 
to have visited Virginia in 1623, soon after his governor- 
ship of the Bermudas was at an end, he would most 
probably have met with Smith, who had returned to New 
England the previous year to lend his assistance in re- 
storing the fortunes of that young colony, then at a low 
ebb. But even more conclusive proof is afforded by the 
date, for according to Gen. Lefroy, Capt. John Smith died 
in 163 1, while the writer of MS. 758, and consequently of 
750, was living in 1640. 

It may be worth mentioning that this Captain Nathaniel 
Butler, who did good service as Governor of Bermuda from 
1619 to 1622, and was afterwards (1638-41) Governor of 
(Old) Providence Island, is one of England's forgotten 
worthies, being passed over even by the Dictionary of 

National Biography. He appears, too, to be the individual 
committed to Newgate in June 1649 by the Council of 
State for dispersing treasonable and scandalous books 
{Cal. of State Papers, Domestic), by no means a singular 
instance of the way justice was administered in those 

E. Delmar Morgan, 

Hon. Sec. Hakluyt Socitty. 

P.S. — Since the above was written and published in the 
AthetKEunty Academy, and Nation of New York, my atten- 
tion has been called to the fact that Butler does appear 
in the Diet, of Nat. Biogr. under " Boteler". The article is 
by Prof J. K. Laughton, who writes me that he hopes 
for the opportunity of improving it in the Addenda et 






Major-Gknerai. sir HENRY RAWLINSON, Bart, K.C.B , D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S. 



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Trandated from the original and uiipubliflied Manufcnpt, with a Biographical 

Notice and Notes by Alice VVilmere. (1859.) 

I If lied for 1859. 
24-Expeditions into the Valley of the Amazons 
During the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries : containing the Journey of 
Gonzalo Pizarro, from the Royal Commentaries of Garcilaflb Inca de la Vega ; 
the Voyage of Francifco de Orellana, from the General Hiftory of Herrera ; 
and the Voyage of Cndoval de Acuna, from an exceedingly fcarce narrative 
written by himfelf in 1641. Edited and Tranllated by Clements R, 

Markham, Esq. (1859.) f/fiied for i%6o. 

26 -Early Indications of Australia. 
A Colleclion of Documents fliewing tiie Early Difcoveries of Auftralia to the 
time of Captain Cook. Edited by R. H. Major, Esq., of the Britifli 

Mufeum, F.S.A. (1859) Iffiwd for i^o. 

26-The Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timour, 1403-6. 

Tranllated, for the firfl time, with Notes, a Preface, and an Introdudlory Life 

of Timour Beg. By Clements R. Markham, Esq. (1859,) 

„, „ Iff lied for 1 86 1. 

27— Henry Hudson the Navigator. 

The Original Documents in which his career is recorded. Colledled, partly 
Trandated, and Annotated, with an Introdudion by George Asher, LL.D. 

(«86o.) /Ifiied for i86\. 

28 -The Expedition of Ursua and Aguirre, 

In search of El Dorado and Omagua, a.d. 1560-61. Tranllated from the 

"Sexta Noticia lliflorinle" of Fray Pedro Simon, l)y W. Bollaert, Esq. ; 

with an Introduclion by Clkments R. Markham, Esq. (1861.) 

//filed for 1^62. 
29 -The Life and Acts of Don Alonzo Enriquez de Guzman. 
Trandated from a Manufcript in the National Library at Madrid, and edited 
with Notes and an Introdudion, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. (1862.) 

/(filed for 1862. 
30-Discoveries of the World by Galvano, 
From their firfl original unto the year of our Lord 1555. Reprinted, with the 
original Portuguefe text, and edited by Vice- Admiral Hethi;ne, C.B. 

(1862.) I/fiiedfor 1863. ' 

31— Marvels described by Friar Jordanus, 

OftheOrder of Preachers, native of Severac, and Bidiop of Columbum • from 

a parch- lent manufcript of the Fourteenth Century, in Latin, the text of'which 

has recently been Tranllated and Edited by Colmnel H. Yule, C.H , 

F. R.G.S., late of H. M. Bengal Engineers. (1863.) 

Iflued for 1863. 

32-The Travels of Ludovico di Varthema 

In Syria, Arabia, Perfia, India, etc., during the Sixteenth Century. Trandated 

by J. Winter JoNKS, Esq., F.S.A., and edited, with Notes and an Intro- 

dudtion, by \.\w Kkv. Gkokgk Percy Badger. (1863.) 

I&uedfo) 1864. 

33 -The Travels of Cieza de Leon in 1532-50 

From the Gulf of Darien to the City of La Plata, contained in the firft part of 

his Chronicle of Peru (Antwerp 1554)- Tranflated and edited, with Notes 

and an Introduaion, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. (1864 ) 

Iffned/or 1864. 

34 -The Narrative of Pascual de Andagoya. 

Containing the earlieft notice of Peru. Tranllated and edited, with Notrs and 
an lutroduclion, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. (1865.) 

ig'uedpf 1865. 

85— The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar 

In the beginning of tlie Sixteenth Century, by Duarte Barbofa. Tranflated 
from an early Spanifli manufcript by the Hon. Henry Stanley. (1866. ) 

■^ ^ Iljuedfor 1S65. 

b6-Cathay and the Way Tuither. 
A Colledion of all minor notices of China, preyious to the Sixteenth 
Century. Tranflated and edited by Colonel II. Vule, C.13. Vol. i. 

(1866.) Iffiicdfor libd. 

37— Cathay and the Way Thither. Vol. 2. (1866.) 

IJJucdfor 1866. 

38--The Three Voyages of Sir Martin Frobisher. 

With a Sele(5lion from Letters now in the State Paper Office. Edited by 
Rear-Admiral Collinsun, C. B. (1867.) 

Iffiicd Jor i^d-, . 
39— The Philippine Islands. 
Moluccas, Siam, Cambodia, Japan, and China, at the close of the i6lh Century. 
By Antonia de Moiga. Translated from the Spanish, with Notes, by 
Lord Stanley of Aldeiley. (1868) fjfitcdjor i2>b^. 

40- The Fifth Letter of Hernan Cortes 
To the Emperor Charles V, containing an Account of his Expedition to 
HondurasinK2';-26. Tianslatedfrom the Spanish by Don Pascual deGayangos. 

(1868.) Iffuedfot 1868. 

41 The Royal Commentaries of the Yncas. 

By the Ynca Garcilasso de la Vega. Translated and Edited, Nvith Notes and 
an Introduction, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. Vol. i. (1869.) 

I/jTuedfor 1869. 

42— The Three Voyages of Vasco da Gama, 
And his Viceroyalty, from the Lendas da India of Caspar Correa; accompanied 
by original documents. Translated and Edited by the Lord Stanley 
^ of Alderley. (1869 ) I(fuedfor 1869. 

43— Select Letters of Christopher Columbus, 
With other Original Documents, relating to his Four Voyages to the New 
World Tranflated and Edited by R. H. Major, F.S.A., etc. 2nd Edit. 

(1870.) IJfitcd for v'ilO. 

44— History of the Imams and Seyyids of 'Oman, 
By Salil-lbn-Razik, from A.D. 661-1856. Tranflated from the original 
Arabic, and edited, with Notes, Appendices, and an Introduction, continuing 
the Hiftorydownto 1870, by Georcje Percy BaUgek, F.R.G.S. (1871.) 

/(filed for 1870. 

45— The Boyal Commentaries of the Yncas. Vol. 2. (1871,) Iffiiedfor 1871. 

46-The Canarian, 

Or Book of the Conqueft and Converfion of the Canarians in the year 1402, 

by Meffire Jean de Bethencourt, Kt. Compofed by Pierre Bontier and Jean 

1.- Verrier Tranflated and Edited, with Notes and an Introducnon, by 

R. H. Major, F.S.A, (1872.) J/)uedjor 1871. 

47— Reports on the Discovery of Peru. 

Vranflated and Edited, with Notes and an Introduction, by Clements R. 

MarkHAM, C.B. (1872) lOuedforX^-JZ. 

48— Narratives of the Rites and Laws of the Yncas; 

Tianflated from the original Spanifli Manufcripts, and Edited, with Notes and 

an Imroduclion, by Clements R. Makkham, C.B., F.R.S. (1873) 

I IJ lied for 1872. 

49-Travel8 to Tana and Persia, 

By Jofafa IJarbaro and Amlnogio Contarini ; Edited by LoKD Stanley of 
Alderley ; and Nairatives of other Italian Travels in Ferfia. Trandated and 
Edited by Charles Grey, Esq. 1 1873 ) /(J'uedfor 1873. 

50-Voyages of the Zeni 

To the Northern Seas in the Fourteenth Century. Tranllated and Edited 
by K. H. Majok, F.S.A. U873. ) /ffiied for I'in. 

51 -The Captivity of Hans Stade of Hesse in 1547-55. 

Amont? the Wild Tribes of Eafiern Brazil ; tranllated by Albert Tootal, 
Esq., and annotated by RiCHARU F. BurtuN. i 1874 ) 

/ Oiled for 1874. 

52 -The First Voyage Round the World by Magellan. 

Tranflated from the Accounts of I'igafetta and other contemporary writers. 
With Notes and an Introdudlion by Lord Stan le if of Alderley. (1874.) 

JJjmd for 1874. 

53-The Commentaries of the Groat Afonso Dalboquerque, 

Second Viceroy of India. Tranllated from the Portuguese Edition of 1774 ; 
with Notes and Introduction by Walter de Gray Birch, Esq., F.R S.L. 

Vol. I. (1875.) I/Jiudfor 1875. 

64— Three Voyages to the North-East. 
Second Edition of Gerrit de Veer's Three Voyages to the North-East by 
Barents. Edited, with an Introduction, by Lieut. Koole.mans Beynen, 
of the Royal Dutch Navy. (1876.) Iff'iwd for 1876. 

65— The Commentaries of the Great Afonso Dalboquerque. Vol. 2. (1877.) 

I If lied for 1875. 

56— The Voyages of Sir James Lancaster. 
With Abstracts of Journal of Voyages preserved in the India Office, and the 
Voyage of Captain John Knight to seek the N.W. Passaije. Edited by 
Clements R. Markham, C.B., F.R.S. (1877.) Jfjuedfor 1877. 
57_Second Edition of the Ohservations of Sir Richard Hawkins, Kt., 
In his Voyage into the South Sea in 1593, with the Voyages of hts grand- 
father WilUatr :is father Sir John, and his cousm William Hawkins. 
Edited'by Clements R. Markham, C.B., F.R.S. (1878.) 

Iffiu'd for 1877. 

58— The Bondage and Travels of Johann Schiltberger, 
From his capture at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396 to his escape and return 
to Europe in 1427 : translated, from the Heidelberg MS. edited in 1859 by 
Professor Karl Freidrich Neumann, by Commander J. BucilAN Teliei;, 
R.N.; with Notes by Professor B. Bruun, and a Preface, introduction, and 

Notes by the Translator and Editor. (1879.) /f'/ued for I'^li. 

69— The Voyages and Works of John Davis the Navigator. 
Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Captain Albert H. Markham, 

R.N., F.R.G.S. (1880.) Iffuedfor 1878. 

The Map of the World, AD. 1600, 
Called by Shakspere " The New Map, with the Augmentation of the Indies." 
ToIUustrate the Voyages of John Davis. (18S0.) hsmd for \Y,l^. 

60— The Natural and Moral Histoiy of the Indies. 

P.y Father Joseph de Acosta. Reprinted from the English Translated Edition 

of Edward Grimsfon, 1604; and Edited, with Notes and an Introduction, by 

Clements R, Markham, C.B., F.R.S. Vol. I, The Natural History. 

(1880.) IjOuedfor 1879. 

61— The Natural and Moral History of the Indie". 

Vol. II, The Moral History. (1880.) Iffued for 1879. 

Map of Peru. 

To Illustrate Nos. 33, 41, 45, 60, and 61. (1880.) 

Iffued for 1879. 
62- The Commentaries of the Great Afonso Dalboquerque. Vol. 3. (i88o.) 

Ifjued /or 1880. 
63- The Voyages of William Baffin, 1612-1622. 
Edited, with Notes and an Introduction, by Clem knts R. Markham, C.B., 

F.R.S. (1881 ) Iff'uedfor \mo. 

64— Narrative of the Portuguese Embassy to Abyssinia. 
During the years 1520 1527. By Father Francisco Alvarez. Translated from 
the Portuguese, and Edited, with Notes and an Introduction, by LORD 
Stanley of Alderley. (1881.) I'ffiiedfor \%%i. 
66— The History of the Bermudas or Somer Islands. 
Attributed to Captain John Smith. Edited from a MS. in the Sloane 
Collection, British Museum, by General Sir J. Henry Lekroy, R A 
K.C.M.G.,C.B., F.R.S., etc. (1882.) Iffued for \%'ii.'' 

66— Diary of Richard Cocks. 

Cape Merchant in the English Factoiy in Japan, 1615-1622, with Corre- 
spondence. Edited by Edward Maunde Thompson, Esq. Vol. i. {1883 ) 

Issued for 1882. 
67— Diary of Richard Cocks. Vol. 2. (1883.) 

Issued for 1882. 
68-The Second Part of the Chronicle of Peru. 
By Pedro de Cieza de Leon. Translated and Edited, with Notes and an 
Introduction, by CLEMENT.S R. Markham, C.B., F.R.S. (1883.) 

Issued for 1883. 
69-The Commentaries of the Great Afonso Dalboquerque. Vol. 4, (1884.) 

Issued for 1883. 

70-71-The Voyage of John Huyghen van Liuschoten to the East Indies. 

From the Old English Translation of 1598. The First Book, containing his 

Description of the East. Edited, the First Volume by the late Arthur 

Coke Burneli, Ph.D., CLE, of the Madras Civil Service; the Second 

Volume by Mr. P. A. Tiele, of Utrecht. (1885.) 

Issued for 1884. 

72-73 -Early Voyages and Travels to Russia and Persia. 

By Anthony Jenkinson and othtr Englishmen, with some Account of the first 

Intercourse of the English with Russia and Central Asia by way of the 

Caspian Sea. Edited by E. Delmar Morgan, Esq., and C. H. Coote, Esq. 

(1886) Issued for ik%i^. 

74 -The Diary of William Hedges, Esq., 
Afterwards Sir William Hedges, during his Agency in Bengal : as well as on 
his Voyage out and Return Overland (1681-1687). Transcribed for the Press 
with Introductory Notes, etc., by R. Barlow, Esq.. and lilustrntedby copion« 
Extracts from Unpublished Records, etc., by Col. Sir H Vm h KC ^I 
R.E., C.B.,LL.D. Vol. I, Tne Diary. (1887.) Issued}or'ii'&b.'' 

75-The Diary of William Hedges, Esq. Vol. 2. 

Sir li. Yule's Extracts from Unpublished Records, etc. (l888.) 

Issued for 1886. 

76— The Voyage of Francois Fyrard to the East Indies, 

The Maldives, the Moluccas and Brazil. Translated into English from the 
Third French Edition of 1619, and Edited, wiih Notes, hy Ai.nKRT Gray, 
Esq., formerly of the Ceylon Civil Service, assisted by H. C. P. Bell, Esq., of 
the Ceylon Civil Service. Vol. i. (1887.) Issued for \%'i'j. 

7— The Voyage of Francois Pyrard to the East Indies, etc. 

Vol. 2, Part I. (1888.) /fj;m/ for 1887. 

78-The Diary of William Hedges, Esq. Vol. 3. 

Sir H. Yule's Extracts from Unpublished Records, etc. (1889.) 

Issw'dfor 1888. 

79— Tractatns de Crlobis, et eornm nsn. 

A Treatise descriptive of the Globes constructed by Emery Molyneux, and 
Published in 1592. By Robert Hues. Edited, with Annotated Indices 
and an Introduction, by Clements R. Markham, C.B., F.R S. To which 

is appended, 

Sailing Directions for the Circnmnavigation of England, 

And for a Voyage to the Straits of Gibraltar. From a Fifteenth Century 
MS. Edited by James Gairdnek, Esq, ; with a Glossary hy K. Delmar 

Morgan, Esq. (1889.) Issued for \%%'6. 

80— The Voyage of Francois Pyrard to the East Indies, etc. 

Vol. 2, Part II. (1890.) Issued for \%'i^. 

Bl.-The Conquest of L* Plata, 1535-1555. 
I.— Voyage of Ulrich Schmidt to ibe Rivers La Plata and Paraguai, II — 
The Commentaries of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. With Notes and Inir..- 
ductionby DoN Luis L. Dominguez. (1891.) 

Issued for 1889. 
82-83 —The Voyage of Francois Leguat 
To Rodriguez, Mauritius Java, and the Cape of Good Hope. Transcribed 
from the hrat English Edition. Edited and Annotated by Captain Pasiield 
Oliver, late Royal Artillery. (1891.) Issued for 1890. 

84-85. -The Travels of Pietro della Valle to India. 
From the Old English Translation of 1664, by G. Havers. Edited, with a 
Life of the Author, an Introduction and Notes, by Edward Grev, late 
Bengal Civil Service. (1892.) Issued for 1891. 

86 -The Journal of Christopher Columbis 

Durirg his Fust Voja^e (1492 93), and Documents rtlitint; to the Voynges 
of John Cabot and Gas^jar Corte Keal. Translated, with Notes and an Intro 
ducuon, by Cl.EMENis K. Makkkam, C.H., F. K.S. (1893. ) Issued for 1892. 



The Voyages of Foxe and James to Hudson's Bay. Edited by Miller 

Christy, Esq. 
The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, by Bernal Diaz. Translated 

from the Spanish and edited by Vice-Admiral Lindesay Brine. 
The Voyages of the Earl ot Cumberland, from the Records (irepared by 

order of the Countefs of Pembroke. Edited by W. de Gray Birch, 

Esq., F.S.A. 
Rofmitai's Embaffy to England, Spain, etc., in 1466. Edited by R. C. 

Graves, Esq. 
A Reprint of 17th Century Books on Seamanship and Sea Matters in General, 

including Captain John Smith's " Seaman's Grammar", from the 

edition of 1692, and Sir H. Manwayring's "Seaman's Dictionary", 

1644, with extracts from unpublished MSS. Edited, with Notes and 

an Introduction, by H, Halliday Sparling, Esq. 
The Travels of Leo Africanus the Moor, from the English translation of 

John Pory (1600). Edited by Robert Brown, Esq., M.A., Ph.D., 

F.L.S., etc. 
Histoire de la Grande Isle Mad.^giscar, composee par le Sieur De Flacourt, 

1661. TransUted ani edued, with Notes and an Introduction, by S. 

Pasfield Oliver, Captain Ule Royal Artillery, etc. 
The Travels of Ibn Jobair. Edited by Professor W. Robertson Smith, 

Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. 
Raleigh's Empire of Guiana. Second Edition (see No. 3). Edited, with 

Notes, etc., by Everard F. im Thurn, Esq. 
The Voyages of Keymis and Beirie to Guiana. Edited by Tames Rodway, E>q. 
The Voyages of Cadamoito, the Venetian, along the West Coast of Africa, in 

the years 1455 and 1456: trans'ated from the eiiliest Italian text of 

1507, and edited by H. Yule Oldham, Esq., M.A., F.R.G.S. 


Inedited Le.t*. ■ etc., of Sir Thomas Roe during his Embaffy to India. 

The Topographia Chrifliana of Cofmas Indicopleufles. 

Bernhard de Breydenbach, 1483-84, a.d. Travels in the Holy Land. 

Felix Fabri, 1483. Wanderings in the Holy Land, Egypt, etc. 

Voyage made by Captain Jaques Cartier in 1535 and 1536 to the Ifles of 

Canada, Hochlega, and Saguenay. 
J. dos Santos. The Hiftory of Eaftern Ethiopia. 1607. 
Icelandic Sagas narrating the l^ifcovery of America. 
La Argentina. An account of the Difcovery of the Provinces of Rio de la 

Plata from 1512 to the time of Domingo Martinez de Irala; by Ruiz 

Diaz dc Guzman. 
The Histoiy of Ethiopia, by Manoel de Almeida 
Journal of the Jesuit Desideri in Tibet. 
Travels of Friar Rubruquis. 
Voyages of Willoughby and Chancellor. 
Letters of Ortelius and M creator. 
Tasman's Voyages. 

The Travels of Teixeiro (from the Portuguese). 
Voyage of Sarmiento. 
Travels of the brothers Sherley in Persia. 
The Vo}age of Ralph Fitch. 



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Abercroniby, Hon. John, 62, Pulmerstoii-place, Edinburgh. 

Aberdaie, Right Hon. Lord, F.R.S., 1, Qiieen's-gate, S.W. ; and Duttryn, 

Mountain Ash. Glamorganshire. 
Admiralty, The (2 co/iiis). 
Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. 

Allahabad Public Library, India (Homershani Cox, Esq., Secretary). 
All Souls College, Oxford. 

American Geographical Society, 11, West 29th Street, New York City, U.S.A. 
Amherst, Lord, of Hackney, Didlington Hall, Brandon, Norfolk. ' 
Antiquaries, the Society of, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W. 
Army and Navy Club, ;it5. Pall-mall. 
Astor Library, New York. 
Athemeum Club, Pall Mall. 

Baer, Joseph & Co., Messrs., Uossmarkt, 18, Frankfort-on- Maine. 

Bain, James, Esq., 1, Haymarket. 

Ball, Valentine, Esq.. C.B., LL.D., F.R.S., Direct(jr of the Science and Art 

Museum, Dublin. 
15ank of England Library and Literary Association. 
Barlow. R. Fred., Esq., 15, Ambrose-place, Worthing, Sussex. 
Barrow, J., Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A., 17, Hanover-terrace, Regent's Park. 
Basano, Marquis de 

Bell and Bradfute, Messrs., 12, Bank-street, Edinburgh. 
Bellamy, C. H., Esq., 97, Bishop-street, Moss-side, Manchester. 
Berlin Geograpliioal Society. 
Berlin, the Royal Library of. 
Berlin University, Geographical Institute of (Baron von Richthofen), 6. 

Schinkelplatz, Berlin, W. 
Bethell,, Esq., Rise, Hull. 
Birch, W. de G., Esq., British Museum. 
Birmingham Library (The). 
Birmingham Central Free Library. 
Bodleian Library, Oxford (copies presented J. 
Bombay Asiatic Society. 
Boston Athenicum Library, U.S.A. 
Boston Public Library. 

Bouverie-Pusey, S. E. B., Esq., 21, Grosvenor-street, W. 
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, U.S.A. 
Bremen Museum. 

Brine, Vice-Admiral Lindesay, 13, Pembroke-gardens, Kensington. 
British Guiana Roj^al Agricultural and Commercial Societj' Georgetown, 

Briti.-*h Museum (copies presented). 
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Brown, J. Allen, Esq., 7, Kent-gardens, Ealing. 
Jirown, J. Nicholas, Esq., Providence, R.I., U.S.A. 
Brown, H. T., Esq., Roodeye House, Chester. 
Brown, Robert, Esq., M.A., Ph.D., etc., Fersley, Rydal-road, Streatham, S.W. 


Brown, Geueral J. Marshall, 218, Middle-street, Portland, Maine, U.S.A. 
Bunbury, Sir E. H., Bart., 35, St. Jame8'.s-.street, S.W. 
Burne-.Iones, E., Esq., The Grange, Kensington, W. 
Burns, J. W., Esq., Kilmahew, Dumbartonshire. 

Cambridge University Library. 

Canada, The Parliament Library. 

Carlton Club, Pall-mall. 

Carlisle, The Earl of, Naworth Castle, Bamjiton, Cumberland. 

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Chetham's Library, Hunt's Bank, Manchester. 

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Christiania University Library. 

Christy, Miller, Esq., Pryors, Broomfield, near Chelmsford. 

Cincinnati Public Library. 

Clark, J. W., Esq., Scroope House, Cambridge. 

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Cohen, Herr Friedrich, Kaiserplatz, No. 18, Bonn, Germany. 

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Congress, Library of, Washington, United States. 

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Corning, H. K., Esq., Villa Monnet, Morillon, Geneva. 

Cotton, R. W., Esq., The Red House, Newton Al)bot. 

Crowle, Percival H. S., Esq., 36, Phillimore-gardens, Kensington, W. 

Dalton. Rev. Canon J. N., per Messrs. Williams & Norgate, Henrietta-street. 

Danish Royal Naval Library. 

Davis, N. Darnell, Esq., Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana. 

Derby, The Earl of, 25, St. James's-square, S.W. (Deceased.) 

Detroit Public Library, per Mr. B. F. Stevens, 4, Trafalgar-square, W.C. 

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Dresden Geographical Society. 

Drummond, E. A., Esq. 

Ducie, The Earl, F.R.S., Tortworth Court, Falfield. 

Dundas, Captain Colin M.,R.N., Ochtertyre, Stirlinp. 

Dunn, John, Esq., 78, Michigan-avenue, Chicago, U.S.A. 

Fames, Wilberforce, Esq., Lenox Library, 890, Fifth avenue. New York, U.S.A 

Edinbukgh, Rear-Admiral H.R.H. the Duke of, R.N., K.G. 

Edinburgh Public Library. 

Edwardes, T. Dyer, Esq., 5, Hyde Park-t'ate, Kensington Gore, S.W. 

Edwards, Mr. Francis, 83, High-street, Maryleboiie, W. 

Evans, Messrs. M., and Co., 61, Charing Cross-road, W.C. 

Faber, Reginald S., Esq., 10, Hill-road, N.W. 

Fellows Athenaeum, per Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner, & Co. 

Foljambe, Cecil G. S., Esq., 2, Carlton House Terrace, S.W. 

Foreign Office (The). 

Foreign Office of Germany, Berlin. 

Franks, Augustus W., Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A., British Museum, W.C. 

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