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related his adventures with all the decorations that hope and imagination could suggest. He was the first who propagated the fable of an El Dorado or country abounding so much in riches, that the roofs of the temples were covered with gold. He also told of certain nations of female warriors, inhabiting the banks of the river, to which, on that account, he gave the name of the river of Amazons. Some have called it the Orellana, in honour of the illustrious adventurer who first explored its whole extent; but the name of Maragnon or Maranham (perhaps a native one) is of older date, and was probably made known to Europe by Yanez Pinzon. Orellana obtained from the Spanish government a grant of extensive territories in the fertile regions which he had discovered, and returned in 1549 with a numerous train of followers to effect a settlement; but he fell a victim soon after to the diseases of a moist and sultry climate, and the infant colony immediately dispersed.
When Gonzalez Pizarro arrived at the confluence of the Napo and the Maragnon, and saw no sign of Orellana, whom he expected to meet there with a good supply of provisions, he was overwhelmed with dismay. He had never suspected the fidelity of that officer; and now, when he found himself deserted by him, his eyes suddenly opened to the horrors of his situation. He had advanced 400 leagues from Quito into wild and solitary forests, in which he could find neither shelter nor subsistence. The difficulties which his soldiers had to encounter in penetrating so far, were now doubled in the eyes of men dispirited and enfeebled by such a continuance of suffering and privation. No course, however, was left but to return. His followers were reduced to such extremities as to feed on their horses and dogs, their saddles, sword belts, the coarsest roots, and even whatever reptiles they could collect. After incredible sufferings he reached Peru, having been absent nearly two years, with about eighty Spaniards remaining of the 850 who had marched with him. Above 4000 Indians are said to have perished in this disastrous expedition.
In the absence of Gonzalez Pizarro, a most important revolution had taken place. Those who were dissatisfied with the arbitrary conduct of the governor, Francisco Pizarro, among whom were all the followers of Almagro, gathered round the son of that unfortunate general as round a common centre. Young Almagro united the advantages of a good education to the generous disposition and frankness of manner which had made his father so great a favourite with the soldiers. His faction rapidly augmented, while the governor, secure in the terror which his name inspired, took no precautions, though apprised of his danger. At length, on the 26th of June, 1541, a party of the conspirators, headed by Juan de Herrada, a distinguished officer, issued in complete armour from Almagro's house, and forced their way into the governor's palace ; Pizarro defended himself bravely against his numerous assailants, but was at length overpowered, and receiving a stab in the throat, immediately expired. He left behind him no legitimate children to inherit his title and estates; and, on the death of his brothers, which took place a few years later, his family became extinct.
CONQUESTS OF THE SPANIARDS.
BRAZIL NEGLECTED BY THE PORTUGUESE. DIOGO ALVAREZ
SHIPWRECKED ON THE SHORES OF THAT COUNTRY ; SPARED BY THE SAVAGES, AND BECOMES A CACIQUE. — VISITS EUROPE, AND RETURNS TO BRAZIL. COLONY OF JANEIRO FOUNDED. SEBASTIAN CABOT EXPLORES THE RIVER LA PLATA. ASCENDS THE PARANA. PEDRO DE MENDOZA FOUNDS THE CITY OF BUENOS AYRES. -AYOLAS ASCENDS THE RIVER PARAGUAY, AND CROSSES THE MOUNTAINS TO PERU.—YRALA COMPLETES HIS DISCOVERY.-NARVAEZ UNDERTAKES THE CONQUEST OF FLO+ RIDA. PENETRATES TO APALACHEN. HIS CALAMITOUS RETREAT. - ADVENTURES OF HIS TREASURER, ALVARO NUNEZ. — THE SAVAGES SHOCKED AT THE CANNIBALISM OF THE SPA
NIARDS. ALVARO TURNS MERCHANT AND PHYSICIAN TO THE INDIANS. -TRAVELS FROM FLORIDA TO MEXICO. — FLORIDA BESTOWED ON HERNANDO DE SOTO. - HIS UNHAPPY FATE, ALVARO NUNEZ MADE GOVERNOR OF LA PLATA. HIS JOURNEY FROM THE COAST TO THE PARANA. CALAMITOUS TERMINATION OF HIS COMMAND. -JOURNEY OF MARCOS DE NIZZA TO CIVOLA.--EXPEDITION OF ALARCHON AND CORONADO IN SEARCH OF THE SEVEN CITIES. – THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT. —SUPPOSED INVENTION OF A STEAM SHIP BY GARAY. -RAPID DECLINE OF ENERGY IN THE SPANISH COLONIES.
By the conquest of Mexico and Peru, the Spaniards became masters of extensive territories, in which there already existed some degree of social organisation, and in which an intercourse between the several provinces was more or less intimately maintained. The acquisition of dominions enjoying such advantages of internal communication increased the activity of the conquerors as much as their power. As distance from control, no less than the excitement that accompanies romantic enterprise, is apt to loosen the bonds of authority, the first adventurers in America, thinly scattered over immense regions, where the stupendous magnificence of nature. works so powerfully on the imagination, frequently threw off all obedience to government, and sallied forth on the wildest and most daring schemes of independent discovery. Nor was it merely in Peru and Mexico that this active spirit displayed itself: in every part of the New World it expanded with equal force; and had other empires of equal wealth and population been met with, there would not have been wanting heroes to subdue them. The energy with which a few thousand Europeans spread themselves as conquerors over the American continent within a few years after its discovery, is among the most extraordinary phenomena in the history of mankind. But to what purpose would it be to relate all the details of the various expeditions fitted out to colonise and survey that fertile quarter of the globe ? The reader would soon be fatigued with the frequent repetition of similar events ; of easy victories obtained over the Indians, and of wanton cruelties committed by
the Spaniards. It will be sufficient for the object of this work to give a brief account of those who were chiefly instrumental in making Europe acquainted with the full extent of the New World.
The Portuguese, though zealous in asserting their right to the sovereignty of Brazil, nevertheless neglected that country for many years after it was definitively ceded to them. Their eastern possessions held out much stronger inducements to national exertion and private enterprise. Ships of all nations resorted indiscriminately to the shores of Brazil to cut dye-woods; and notwithstanding an interesting accident which drew a momentary attention towards it, that country seemed destined to become a sort of common to European traders. A Portuguese adventurer named Diogo Alvarez, a native of Viana, while seeking a cargo of dye-woods on the coasts of Brazil, happened to be shipwrecked among the shoals north of the bar of Bahia : some of the crew were drowned, the rest were captured and devoured by the natives. Diogo, aware that he had no chance of escaping a similar fate but by convincing the savages of his utility, exerted himself to the utmost in saving whatever he could from the wreck ; and he gained their favour so completely that his life was spared. Among the articles which he had the good fortune to bring to shore, were some barrels of gunpowder and a musket. A few days afterwards he shot a bird in the presence of some of the natives, who called him, in consequence, Caramuru or the man of fire. His reputation was now established among the savages; and, as he promised to make war upon their enemies, they immediately marched forth with him against the nation of the Tapuyas. But the fame of Caramuru had gone before him ; the Tapuyas fied, and abandoned their country to the allies of the shipwrecked mariner. When once adopted by the Indian tribe, he soon obtained a rank proportioned to his abilities; and from a slave he became a sovereign. He married the daughters of several chieftains, who were proud of his alliance; and the principal families in
Bahia at present trace their descent from him. After the lapse of some years, he embarked on board a French vessel with his favourite Indian wife Paraguazu : his other wives were so disconsolate at the thoughts of losing him, that they attempted to swim after the vessel which carried him away from them; and one persisted in the mad effort until her strength was exhausted, and she sunk before his eyes. When Diogo arrived in France and related his singular adventures, he was received most favourably at court, but was not allowed to proceed to Portugal according to his intention. He found means, nevertheless, of conveying to his sovereign such information respecting the country which he had visited as might be serviceable in prompting or directing the establishment of a colony. The court of France, though desirous to have the exclusive benefit of his experience, did not oppose his returning to Brazil. He set sail for that country accordingly, taking with him, among other things, some artillery and a good stock of ammunition, so as to ensure his ascendancy among the native tribes.
In return for the cargoes of the two vessels that he took with him, he undertook to freight them with the productions of the country.
Notwithstanding the presage of success afforded by the adventures of Diogo, the Portuguese government paid no attention to their possessions in America till 1531, when the first Brazilian colony was founded by Martim Alfonso de Sousa. He met with no opposition from the natives, who were conciliated towards him by the friendly offices of a Portuguese sailor who had been shipwrecked on that coast. Sousa built the town of Janeiro, so called from his arriving at that spot on the first of January ; he likewise introduced the sugar-cane into his colony, the early success of which gave ample promise of its future importance.
The Spaniards, confined in their rage of adventure to the New World, manifested much greater zeal to colonise the territories of which they claimed the sovereignty. The cruel fate of Solis, indeed, appears to have dissipated