Page images
[blocks in formation]

there, and returned in June, 1542. About the time of his return, Roberval, with a colony, arrived in Canada, or Norimbega, as it was then sometimes termed, reinained till the next year, and then abandoned his vice-royalty and returned home. He afterwards sailed again for Canada, but is supposed to have perished on the sea.

The civil wars of France prevented any further attempts at colonisation in America till 1598, when the Marquis de la Roche, a nobleman of Brittany, formed a temporary settlement on the isle of Sable. His colony had been peopled by sweeping the prisons of France; and it was of very short duration.

In 1603, an expedition was fitted out by a company of merchants of Rouen, and placed under the command of Samuel Champlain, an able and enterprising officer, who • became the father of the French settlements in Canada.'* On his first expedition, he made cosiderable geographical researches, observed carefully the nature of the climate and soil, and the character of the natives; and selected the position of the future capital of the province.

After he returned to France, a charter was granted to De Monts to settle Acadia, under which name was included all the country from the 40th to the 46th degree of north latitude. His expedition left France in 1604 in two ships; and, after their arrival in Nova Scotia, Poutrincourt, one of the leaders who accompanied De Monts, made choice of the spot where Annapolis now stands as the site of a settlement, to which he gave the name of Port Royal. De Monts settled on the island of St. Croix, at the mouth of the river of the same name, but afterwards abandoned this situation and removed to Port Royal, which was the first permanent French settlement made in North America. " (1605.), Three years afterwards (1608) Champlain, acting in the service of a private com pany of merchants, occupied the site of the city of Quebec by raising some cottages and clearing a few acres of land. He afterwards took a part in the Indian wars, sailed up the river Sorel, and explored the lake which now bears his name. To his enterprise and courage the Frenob were indebted for their colonies in this country.*

De la Roche 3.-What is said of Champlain ?-His first expedition ?De Monts ?--What was included in Acadia ?-Where was the first per manent French settlement in North America made ?-When ?-By whom ? When was Quebec settled ?

* Bancroft.





As the Spaniards had been the first nation to attempt the discovery of the New World, so they were the most enterprising and adventurous in their endeavours to conquer and colonize its extensive and fertile countries. The history of their warlike achievements in Mexico and Peru presents examples of the most heroic bravery and perseverance, darkened by many shadows of avarice and injustice. The whole nation seems to have been fired with the spirit of foreign adventure, and the New World was the grand theatre for its display.

Previous to the expeditions of Cortes and Pizarro, Flu, rida had been discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon. This adventurer had accompanied Columbus in his second voyage ; and afterwards had been successively appointed governor of the eastern province of Hispaniola, and of Porto Rico. When he had been displaced from the government of the latter island, in consequence of the paramount claims of Columbus's family, he fitted out an expedition with the romantic design of searching for a country in which, according to information received from the Caribs, there was a fountain whose waters imparted to those who bathed in them the gift of perpetual youth. Having sailed about among the Bahamas and touched at several of them, in pursuit of this fairy land, he at length, (March 27, 1512,) came in sight of the continent. As this discovery was made on Easter Sunday, which the Spaniards call Pascua Florida, the land was called Florida. Its verdant forests and magnificent flowering aloes inay have afforded another reason for assigning it this

It was not till the 8th of April that he was able to effect a landing in the latitude of thirty degrees and eight minutes, a little to the north of St. Augustine. He claimed the territory for Spain, remained some weeks exploring

Who were the earliest European settlers in the New World ?- Who leader ?-For what purpose did he fit out an expedition ?-What country did he discover ?-What was the origin of its name ?-When did ho land ?-For whom did he claim the country?


was Juan Ponce de Leon ?-- Where had he served ?-Under what



the coast, and then returned to Porto Rico, leaving a part of his company in the newly discovered country.

The King of Spain rewarded him with the government of Florida, on condition that he should conquer and colonise it. This he attempted in 1521, but was resisted with great fury by the Indians, who killed many of his followcrs, drove the survivers to their ships, and compelled him to relinquish the enterprise. Ponce de Leon hímself was vounded with an arrow, and died shortly after his retum . Cuba.

In 1510, the southern coast of the United States was partially explored by Grijalva; and in 1520, Lucas Vasques de Ayllon fitted out two slave ships, from St. Do mingo, visited the coast of South Carolina, then called Chicora, discovered the Combahee river, to which the name of the Jordan was given; and finally, having de coyed a large number of the Indians on board his ships, set sail with them for St. Domingo, leaving behind the most determined purpose of revenge among the injured natives.

His sovereign rewarded this atrocious enterprise by ap. pointing Ayllon to the conquest of Chicora. In attempt ing this, he lost one of his ships and a great number of his men ; who were killed by the natives in revenge for former wrongs. He was finally compelled to relinquish his undertaking.

In 1526, Pamphilo de Narvaez, the same officer who had been sent by Velasquez to supersede Cortez in Mexico, attempted the conquest of Florida. This expedition was signally disastrous. The Spaniards landed near Appalachee bay, marched into the interior, and spent six months, in various hardships and conflicts with the Indians, and at last found their way back to the sea shore, somewhere near the bay of Pensacola. Here they fitted out boats, and embarking were shipwrecked near the mouth of the Mississippi. Only four or five out of three hundred reached Mexico to tell the story of their disasters. These men gave such flattering accounts of the riches of the country, that their sufferings by no means deterred others from attempting its subjugation.

The next Spanish adventurer on the shores of the On what condition was he made governor !–What prevented his recaining the country ?-What was his fate ?-What was done by Gri. julva ? -When ?-By Ayllon?-When?—How was he rewarded ?-What was his success ?- What was attempted by Narvaez ?- When ?--DA ecribe his expedition.-How many of his 300 inen survived ?



Ponce de Leon repulsed by the Indians United States was Ferdinand de Soto, a highly distinguished officer, who had shared the glory and wealth obtained by Pizarro in the conquest of Perú. Returning to Spain after the most brilliant success in that country, he demanded of Charles V to conquer Florida at his own cost; and received from that monarcn a commission for that purpose, together with the government of Cuba. (1537.).

Multitudes of adventurers flocked to his standard. Expectation had been raised to the greatest height by the exaggerated accounts of the wealth of Florida; and men of all classes sold their possessions in Spain to fit themselves out for a conquest which promised to outshine those of Mexico and Peru, in the brilliancy of its results.

Soto selected six hundred of the choicest men for his companions, and sailed to Cuba. (1538.) Here he was joined by other adventurers, and having completed his preparations, he embarked for Florida in May, 1539 Having arrived in the bay of Spiritu Santo, he sent back inost of his ships to Havanna, and commenced his march into the interior—a march which has no parallel in the history of adventure. Fired by the example of their countrymen in the more southern regions, the Spaniards advanced as if to certain conquest and wealth. They were abundantly supplied with provisions and munitions of war, horses for the cavalry, and blood hounds for hunt

Who was Ferdinand de Soto ?-Under whom had he served?-In what Duntry ? -What did he offer to Charles V ?-How many adventurers Accompanied him ?-When did he sail ?- Where did he land?- Describe

ris army:

[blocks in formation]

ing the natives; and their numbers exceeded those of the armies which had conquered Mexico and Peru. But they were destined for a far different fate.

Their grand error, he pursuit of gold, was the source of endless disasters ind sufferings.

Their wanderings and wars with the natives lasted four years, during which they lost their gallant commander, who found a grave in the Mississippi, of which great river ne was the discoverer. He had been the soul of the enterprise; and when he had perished, the remnant of his followers were only anxious for a safe passage to their countrymen. Under the conduct of Moscoso, their new leader, they attempted to reach Mexico, and marched 300 iniles westward from the Mississippi. But the Red river was swollen so as to present an impassable barrier to their further progress, and they were compelled to return and prepare boats for passing down the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico—an undertaking of great difficulty and danger, which was not accomplished until July 18th, 1543. Fifty days afterwards the remnant of Soto's splendid company of adventurers, now reduced to 311 in number, arrived at the province of Panuco in Mexico.

Thus, far the Spaniards, although they claimed the whole coast of the United States under the name of Florida, had not effected a single settlement on the soil. For some years after Soto's failure the design seems to have been abandoned; until an attempt of the French to establish a colony in Florida awakened the jealousy of the Spaniards, and brought them forward once

more, to revive and make good their claim to the land which had cost them so much blood and treasure.

Gaspar de Coligny, admiral of France, conceived the design of establishing a colony of French Protestants in America, which should afford a refuge to those who were persecuted for their religious opinions, during the civi? wars with which his country was disturbed in the reign of Charles IX. He obtained a commission for this pur. pose from the king; and intrusted the expedition to John Ribault, who sailed with a squadron in Febuary, 1562.

Having arrived on the coast of Florida in the latitude of St. Augustine, Ribault explored the coast, discovered the river St. Johns, which he called the river of May, and

What was his error ?-What course did his followers take ?-Under what commander ?-What caused their return ?--How did they reach Mexico ?-When ?-How many of the Spaniards durvived !--What na con next attempted the settlement of Florida ?

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »