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two great rivers to be correct. The stream which he had been descending was a tributary of the great river Maragnon, perhaps the Napo, which, at the point where he had arrived, joins the main stream, or Western Amazons, as it is now called. But during his voyage he met with no populous villages or cultivated fields; nothing was to be seen around but flooded plains, or thc gloomy solitude of impenetrable forests. Curiosity, and the ambition of discovery, now prompted Orellana to float down the majestic stream on which he was embarked, and to neglect the orders of Pizarro. Perhaps he was likewise urged to that conduct by some feeling of necessity. His exhausted crew were quite unable to row back against the current to rejoin their companions; and if they should succeed in the attempt, of what use would it be, since they had not procured any provisions? By his returning to the main body no distress could be alleviated, but all seemed threatened with a common destruction; if he continued to descend the river, on the other hand, his own party might be saved, and discoveries made that would compensate, in some measure, the disasters of the expedition. On the last day of the year 1540, the Spaniards under his command, having eaten their shoes and some saddles boiled with a few wild herbs, commenced their adventurous voyage, and abandoned themselves to the current of the river to convey them they knew not whither. The very imperfect accounts which remain to us of Orellana's voyage are filled with wild tales and fanciful exaggerations not ill suited to the spirit of the enterprise or the age in which it was undertaken. Many of his companions perished in conflicts with the warlike tribes of Indians whom they met with in their progress. After incredible sufferings borne with courageous resignation, and difficulties encountered with equal skill and perseverance, he reached the sea in August, 1541, after having navigated the river above a thousand leagues, and contrived to steer his frail bark to the colony at Cubagua. Here he bought a vessel, and returned to Spain, where he 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 350 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 ALWAREz sHIPw RECKED on THE SHOREs of THAT count RY ; 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 PARA.N.A. – PEDRO DE MENDOZA Foun DS 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 FLORip A. – PENETRATES To APALACHEN. - HIS C.A.L.AMITOU's RETREAT. —ADvKNTUREs of HIs TREASURER, ALVARO NUNEz.— THE SAVAGES SHOCKED AT THE CAN NIBALISM OF THE SPA" NIARDs. – ALvARo TURNs MERCHANT AND PHYSICIAN TO THE INDIANs. – TRAvels FROM FLORIDA TO MEXICO. — FLORIDA. x, Estow ED on HERNANDO DE soto. - HIS UNHAPPY FATE. – ALVARo NUNEz MADE Gover NOR OF LA PLATA. - HIS JOURNEY FRom THE coAst To THE PARANA. — CALAMITOUs TERMINATION OF HIS COMMAND. - JOURNEY OF MARCOS DE NIZZA TO CIVOL.A. – EXPEDITION OF ALARCHON AND CORON ADO IN SEARCH OF THE SEVEN CITIES. - THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT. – SUPPOSED INVENTION OF A STEAM SHIP BY GA RAY. - 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 P 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 towar” 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 fled, 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