Part 1 out of 11
This Country of Ours
by H. E. Marshall (Henrietta Elizabeth)
Part I STORIES OF EXPLORERS AND PIONEERS
1. How the Vikings of Old Sought And Found New Lands
2. The Sea of Darkness And the Great Faith of Columbus
3. How Columbus Fared Forth Upon the Sea of Darkness And
Came To Pleasant Lands Beyond
4. How Columbus Returned in Triumph
5. How America Was Named
6. How the Flag of England Was Planted on the Shores of the New World
7. How the Flag of France Was Planted in Florida
8. How the French Founded a Colony in Florida
9. How the Spaniards Drove the French Out of Florida
10. How a Frenchman Avenged the Death of His Countrymen
11. The Adventures of Sir Humphrey Gilbert
12. About Sir Walter Raleigh's Adventures in the Golden West
Part II STORIES OF VIRGINIA
13. The Adventures of Captain John Smith
14. More Adventures of Captain John Smith
15. How the Colony Was Saved
16. How Pocahontas Took a Journey Over the Seas
17. How the Redmen Fought Against Their White Brothers
18. How Englishmen Fought a Duel With Tyranny
19. The Coming of the Cavaliers
20. Bacon's Rebellion
21. The Story of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe
Part III STORIES OF NEW ENGLAND
22. The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers
23. The Founding of Massachusetts
24. The Story of Harry Vane
25. The Story of Anne Hutchinson And the Founding of Rhode Island
26. The Founding of Harvard
27. How Quakers First Came To New England
28. How Maine And New Hampshire Were Founded
29. The Founding of Connecticut And War With the Indians
30. The Founding of New Haven
31. The Hunt For the Regicides
32. King Philip's War
33. How the Charter of Connecticut Was Saved
34. The Witches of Salem
Part IV STORIES OF THE MIDDLE AND SOUTHERN COLONIES
35. The Founding of Maryland
36. How New Amsterdam Be Came New York
37. How a German Ruled New York
39. The Founding of New Jersey
40. The Founding of Pennsylvania
41. How Benjamin Franklin Came To Philadelphia
42. The Founding of North And South Carolina
43. War with the Indians in North and South Carolina
44. The Founding of Georgia
Part V STORIES OF THE FRENCH IN AMERICA
45. How the Mississippi Was Discovered
46. King William's War And Queen Anne's War
47. The Mississippi Bubble
48. How a Terrible Disaster Befell the British Army
49. The End of French Rule in America
50. The Rebellion of Pontiac
Part VI STORIES OF THE STRUGGLE FOR LIBERTY
51. The Boston Tea-Party
52. Paul Revere's Ride - The Unsheathing of the Sword
53. The First Thrust - The Battle Or Bunker Hill
54. The War in Canada
55. The Birth of a Great Nation
56. The Darkest Hour - Trenton And Princeton
57. Burgoyne's Campaign - Bennington And Oriskany
58. Burgoyne's Campaign - Bemis Heights And Saratoga
59. Brandywine - Germantown - Valley Forge
60. War on the Sea
61. The Battle of Monmouth - The Story of Captain Molly
62. The Story of a Great Crime
63. A Turning Point in the World's History
Part VII STORIES OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
64. Washington First in War, First in Peace
65. Adams - How He Kept Peace With France
66. Jefferson - How the Territory of the United States Was Doubled
67. Jefferson - How the Door Into the Far West Was Opened
68. Jefferson - About an American Who Wanted To Be a King
69. Madison - The Shooting Star And the Prophet
70. Madison - War With Great Britain
71. Monroe - The First Whispers of a Storm - Monroe's Famous Doctrine
72. Adams - The Tariff of Abominations
73. Jackson - "Liberty And Union, Now And Forever" - Van Buren - Hard Times
74. Harrison - The Hero of Tippecanoe,
75. Tyler - Florida Becomes a State
76. Polk - How Much Land Was Added To the United States
77. Polk - The Finding of Gold
78. Taylor - Union Or Disunion
79. Fillmore - The Underground Railroad
80. Pierce - The Story of "Bleeding Kansas"
81. Buchanan - The Story of the Mormons
82. Buchanan - The First Shots
83. Lincoln - From Bull Run To Fort Donelson
84. Lincoln - The Story of the First Battle Between Ironclads
85. Lincoln - Thru Battle of Shiloh And the Taking of New Orleans
86. Lincoln - The Slaves Are Made Free
87. Lincoln - Chancellorsville - the Death of Stonewall Jackson
88. Lincoln - The Battle of Gettysburg
89. Lincoln - Grant's Campaign - Sheridan's Ride
90. Lincoln - Sherman's March To the Sea - Lincoln Re-elected President
91. Lincoln - the End of the War - The President's Death
92. Johnson - How the President Was Impeached
93. Grant - A Peaceful Victory
94. Hayes - Garfield - Arthur
95. Cleveland - Harrison - Cleveland
96. McKinley - War And Sudden Death
97. Roosevelt - Taft
98. Wilson - Troubles With Mexico
99. Wilson - The Great War
PART I STORIES OF EXPLORERS AND PIONEERS
Chapter 1 - How the Vikings of Old Sought and Found New Lands
In days long long ago there dwelt in Greenland a King named Eric the
Red. He was a man mighty in war, and men held him in high honour.
Now one day to the court of Eric there came Bjarni the son of
Heriulf. This Bjarni was a far traveler. He had sailed many times
upon the seas, and when he came home he had ever some fresh tale
of marvel and adventure to tell. But this time he had a tale to
tell more marvelous than any before. For he told how far away across
the sea of Greenland, where no man had sailed before, he had found
a new, strange land.
But when the people asked news of this unknown land Bjarni could
tell them little, for he had not set foot upon those far shores.
Therefore the people scorned him.
"Truly you have little hardihood," they said, "else you had gone
ashore, and seen for yourself, and had given us good account of
But although Bjarni could tell nought of the new strange land, save
that he had seen it, the people thought much about it, and there
was great talk about voyages and discoveries, and many longed to
sail forth and find again the land which Bjarni the Traveler had
seen. But more than any other in that kingdom, Leif the son of Eric
the Red, longed to find that land. So Leif went to Eric and said:
"Oh my father, I fain would seek the land which Bjarni the Traveler
has seen. Give me gold that I may buy his ship and sail away upon
the seas to find it."
Then Eric the Red gave his son gold in great plenty. "Go, my son,"
he said, "buy the ship of Bjarni the Traveler, and sail to the land
of which he tells."
Then Leif, quickly taking the gold, went to Bjarni and bought his
Leif was a tall man, of great strength and noble bearing. He was
also a man of wisdom, and just in all things, so that men loved
and were ready to obey him.
Now therefore many men came to him offering to be his companions
in adventure, until soon they were a company of thirty-five men.
They were all men tall and of great strength, with fair golden hair
and eyes blue as the sea upon which they loved to sail, save only
Tyrker the German.
Long time this German had lived with Eric the Red and was much
beloved by him. Tyrker also loved Leif dearly, for he had known
him since he was a child, and was indeed his foster father. So he
was eager to go with Leif upon this adventurous voyage. Tyrker was
very little and plain. His forehead was high and his eyes small and
restless. He wore shabby clothes, and to the blue-eyed, fair-haired
giants of the North he seemed indeed a sorry-looking little fellow.
But all that mattered little, for he was a clever craftsman, and
Leif and his companions were glad to have him go with them.
Then, all things being ready, Leif went to his father and, bending
his knee to him, prayed him to be their leader.
But Eric the Red shook his head. "Nay, my son," he said, " I am old
and stricken in years, and no more able to endure the hardships of
"Yet come, my father," pleaded Leif, "for of a certainty if you
do, good luck will go with us."
Then Eric looked longingly at the sea. His heart bade him go out
upon it once again ere he died. So he yielded to the prayers of
his son and, mounting upon his horse, he rode towards the ship.
When the sea-farers saw him come they set up a shout of welcome.
But when Eric was not far from the ship the horse upon which he
was riding stumbled, and he was thrown to the ground. He tried to
rise but could not, for his foot was sorely wounded.
Seeing that he cried out sadly, "It is not for me to discover new
lands; go ye without me."
So Eric the Red returned to his home, and Leif went on his way to
his ship with his companions.
Now they busied themselves and set their dragon-headed vessel
in order. And when all was ready they spread their gaily-coloured
sails, and sailed out into the unknown sea.
Westward and ever westward they sailed towards the setting of the
sun. For many days they sailed yet they saw no land: nought was
about them but the restless, tossing waves. But at length one day
to their watching eyes there appeared a faint grey line far on the
horizon. Then their hearts bounded for joy. They had not sailed in
vain, for land was near.
"Surely," said Leif, as they drew close to it, "this is the land
which Bjarni saw. Let it not be said of us that we passed it by as
So, casting anchor, Leif and his companions launched a boat and
went ashore. But it was no fair land to which they had come. Far
inland great snow-covered mountains rose, and between them and the
sea lay flat and barren rock, where no grass or green thing grew.
It seemed to Leif and his companions that there was no good thing
in this land.
"I will call it Helluland or Stone Land," said Leif.
Then he and his companions went back to the ship and put out to
sea once more. They came to land again after some time, and again
they cast anchor and launched a boat and went ashore. This land
was flat. Broad stretches of white sand sloped gently to the sea,
and behind the level plain was thickly wooded.
"This land," said Leif, "shall also have a name after its nature."
So he called it Markland or Woodland.
Then again Leif and his companions returned to the ship, and mounting
into it they sailed away upon the sea. And now fierce winds arose,
and the ship was driven before the blast so that for days these
seafarers thought no more of finding new lands, but only of the
safety of their ship.
But at length the wind fell, and the sun shone forth once more. Then
again they saw land, and launching their boat they rowed ashore.
To the eyes of these sea-faring men, who for many days had seen
only the wild waste of waters, the land seemed passing fair. For
the grass was green, and as the sun shone upon it seemed to sparkle
with a thousand diamonds. When the men put their hands upon the
grass, and touched their mouths with their hands, and drank the
dew, it seemed to them that never before had they tasted anything
so sweet. So pleasant the land seemed to Leif and his companions
that they determined to pass the winter there. They therefore drew
their ship up the river which flowed into the sea, and cast anchor.
Then they carried their hammocks ashore and set to work to build
When the house was finished Leif called his companions together
and spoke to them.
"I will now divide our company into two bands," he said, "so that
we may explore the country round about. One half shall stay at
home, and the other half shall explore the land. But they who go
to explore must not go so far away that they cannot return home at
night, nor must they separate from each other, lest they be lost."
And as Leif said so it was done. Each day a company set out
to explore, and sometimes Leif went with the exploring party, and
sometimes he stayed at home. But each day as evening came they all
returned to their house, and told what they had seen.
At length, however, one day, when those who had gone abroad returned,
one of their number was missing, and when the roll was called it
was found that it was Tyrker the German who had strayed. Thereat
Leif was sorely troubled, for he loved his foster-father dearly. So
he spoke sternly to his men, reproaching them for their carelessness
in letting Tyrker separate from them, and taking twelve of his men
with him he set out at once to search for his foster-father. But
they had not gone far when, to their great joy, they saw their lost
comrade coming towards them.
"Why art thou so late, oh my foster-father?" cried Leif, as he ran
to him. "Why hast thou gone astray from the others?"
But Tyrker paid little heed to Leif's questions. He was strangely
excited, and rolling his eyes wildly he laughed and spoke in German
which no one understood. At length, however, he grew calmer and
spoke to them in their own language. "I did not go much farther
than the others," he said. "But I have found something new. I have
found vines and grapes."
"Is that indeed true, my foster-father?" said Leif.
"Of a certainty it is true," replied Tyrker. "For I was born where
vines grow freely."
This was great news; and all the men were eager to go and see
for themselves the vines which Tyrker had discovered. But it was
already late, so they all returned to the house, and waited with
what patience they could until morning.
Then, as soon as it was day, Tyrker led his companions to the place
where he had found the grapes. And when Leif saw them he called
the land Vineland because of them. He also decided to load his
ship with grapes and wood, and depart homeward. So each day the
men gathered grapes and felled trees, until the ship was full. Then
they set sail for home.
The winds were fair, and with but few adventures they arrived safely
at home. There they were received with great rejoicing. Henceforth
Leif was called Leif the Lucky, and he lived ever after in great
honour and plenty, and the land which he had discovered men called
Vineland the Good.
In due time, however, Eric the Red died, and after that Leif the
Lucky sailed no more upon the seas, for his father's kingdom was now
his, and he must needs stay at home to rule his land. But Leif's
brother Thorvald greatly desired to go to Vineland so that he might
explore the country still further.
Then when Leif saw his brother's desire he said to him, "If it be
thy will, brother, thou mayest go to Vineland in my ship."
At that Thorvald rejoiced greatly, and gathering thirty men he
set sail, crossed the sea without adventure, and came to the place
where Leif had built his house.
There he and his company remained during the winter. Then in the
spring they set forth to explore the coast. After some time they
came upon a fair country where there were many trees.
When Thorvald saw it he said, "It is so fair a country that I should
like to make my home here."
Until this time the Norsemen had seen no inhabitants of the land.
But now as they returned to their ship they saw three mounds upon
the shore. When the Norsemen came near they saw that these three
mounds were three canoes, and under each were three men armed with
bows and arrows, who lay in wait to slay them. When the Norsemen
saw that, they divided their company and put themselves in battle
array. And after a fierce battle they slew the savages, save one
who fled to his canoe and so escaped.
When the fight was over the Norsemen climbed upon a, high headland
and looked round to see if there were signs of any more savages.
Below them they saw several mounds which they took to be the houses
of the savages, and knew that it behooved them therefore to be on
their guard. But they were too weary to go further, and casting
themselves down upon the ground where they were they fell into a
Suddenly they were awakened by a great shout, and they seemed to
hear a voice cry aloud, "Awake, Thorvald, thou and all thy company,
if ye would save your lives. Flee to thy ship with all thy men,
and sail with speed from this land."
So Thorvald and his companions fled speedily to their ship, and
set it in fighting array. Soon a crowd of dark-skinned savages,
uttering fearful yells, rushed upon them. They cast their arrows
at the Norsemen, and fought fiercely for some time. But seeing that
their arrows availed little against the strangers, and that on the
other hand many of their braves were slain, they at last fled.
Then, the enemy being fled, Thorvald, turning to his men, asked,
"Are any of you wounded?"
"Nay," they answered, "we are all whole."
"That is well, " said Thorvald. "As for me, I am wounded in the
armpit by an arrow. Here is the shaft. Of a surety it will cause
my death. And now I counsel you, turn homeward with all speed. But
carry me first to that headland which seemed to me to promise so
pleasant a dwelling-place, and lay me there. Thus it shall be seen
that I spoke truth when I wished to abide there. And ye shall place
a cross at my feet, and another at my head, and call it Cross Ness
So Thorvald died. Then his companions buried him as he had bidden
them in the land which had seemed to him so fair. And as he had
commanded they set a cross at his feet and another at his head, and
called the place Cross Ness. Thus the first white man was laid to
rest in Vineland the Good.
Then when spring came the Norsemen sailed home to Greenland. And
there they told Leif of all the things they had seen and done, and
how his brave brother had met his death.
Now when Leif's brother Thorstein heard how Thorvald had died he
longed to sail to Vineland to bring home his brother's body. So once
again Leif's ship was made ready, and with five and twenty tall,
strong men Thorstein set forth, taking with him his wife Gudrid.
But Thorstein never saw Vineland the Good. For storms beset his
ship, and after being driven hither and thither for many months,
he lost all reckoning, and at last came to land in Greenland once
more. And there Thorstein died, and Gudrid went home to Leif.
Now there came to Greenland that summer a man of great wealth named
Thorfinn. And when he saw Gudrid he loved her and sought her in
marriage, and Leif giving his consent to it, Thorfinn and Gudrid
At this time many people still talked of the voyages to Vineland,
and they urged Thorfinn to journey thither and seek to find out
more about these strange lands. And more than all the others Gudrid
urged him to go. So at length Thorfinn determined to undertake
the voyage. But it came to his mind that he would not merely go to
Vineland and return home again. He resolved rather to settle there
and make it his home.
Thorfinn therefore gathered about sixty men, and those who had
wives took also their wives with them, together with their cattle
and their household goods.
Then Thorfinn asked Leif to give him the house which he had built
in Vineland. And Leif replied, "I will lend the house to you, but
I will not give it."
So Thorfinn and Gudrid and all their company sailed out to sea,
and without adventures arrived safely at Leif's house in Vineland.
There they lived all that winter in great comfort. There was no lack
of food either for man or beast, and the cattle they had brought
with them roamed at will, and fed upon the wide prairie lands.
All winter and spring the Norsemen dwelt in Vineland, and they saw
no human beings save themselves. Then one day in early summer they
saw a great troop of natives come out of the wood. They were dark
and little, and it seemed to the Norsemen very ugly, with great
eyes and broad cheeks. The cattle were near, and as the savages
appeared the bull began to bellow. And when the savages heard that
sound they were afraid and fled. For three whole weeks nothing more
was seen of them, after that time however they took courage again
and returned. As they approached they made signs to show that they
came in peace, and with them they brought huge bales of furs which
they wished to barter.
The Norsemen, it is true, could not understand the language of
the natives, nor could the natives understand the Norsemen; but by
signs they made known that they wished to barter their furs for
weapons. This, however, Thorfinn forbade. Instead he gave them
strips of red cloth which they took very eagerly and bound about
their heads. Thorfinn also commanded his men to take milk to the
savages. And when they saw it they were eager to buy and drink it.
So that it was said many of them carried away their merchandise in
Thus the days and months passed. Then one summer day a little son
was born to Thorfinn and Gudrid. They called him Snorri, and he
was the first white child to be born on the Continent which later
men called the New World. Thus three years went past. But the days
were not all peaceful. For quarrels arose between the newcomers
and the natives, and the savages attacked the Norsemen and killed
many of them.
Then Thorfinn said he would no longer stay in Vineland, but would
return to Greenland. So he and all his company made ready their
ship, and sailed out upon the seas, and came at length safely to
Then after a time Thorfinn sailed to Iceland. There he made his home
for the rest of his life, the people holding him in high honour.
Snorri also, his son who had been born in Vineland, grew to be a
man of great renown.
Such are some of the old Norse stories of the first finding of
America. The country which Leif called Helluland was most likely
Labrador, Markland Newfoundland, and Vineland Nova Scotia.
Besides these there were many other tales of voyages to Vineland.
For after Leif and his brothers many other Vikings of the North
sailed, both from Greenland and from Norway, to the fair western
lands. Yet although they sailed there so often these old Norsemen
had no idea that they had discovered a vast continent. They thought
that Vineland was merely an island, and the discovery of it made
no stir in Europe. By degrees too the voyages thither ceased. In
days of wild warfare at home the Norsemen forgot the fair western
land which Leif had discovered. They heard of it only in minstrel
tales, and it came to be for them a sort of fairy-land which had
no existence save in a poet's dream.
But now wise men have read these tales with care, and many have
come to believe that they are not mere fairy stories. They have
come to believe that hundreds of years before Columbus lived the
Vikings of the North sailed the western seas and found the land
which lay beyond, the land which we now call America.
Chapter 2 - The Sea of Darkness and the Great Faith of Columbus
In those far-off times besides the Vikings of the North other
daring sailors sailed the seas. But all their sailings took them
eastward. For it was from the east that all the trade and the riches
came in those days. To India and to far Cathay sailed the merchant
through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, to return with a rich
and fragrant cargo of silks and spices, pearls and priceless gems.
None thought of sailing westward. For to men of those days the
Atlantic Ocean was known as the Outer Sea or the Sea of Darkness.
There was nothing to be gained by venturing upon it, much to be
dreaded. It was said that huge and horrible sea-dragons lived there,
ready to wreck and swallow down any vessel that might venture near.
An enormous bird also hovered in the skies waiting to pounce upon
vessels and bear them away to some unknown eyrie. Even if any
foolhardy adventurers should defy these dangers, and escape the
horror of the dragons and the bird, other perils threatened them.
For far in the west there lay a bottomless pit of seething fire.
That was easy of proof. Did not the face of the setting sun glow
with the reflected light as it sank in the west? There would be no
hope nor rescue for any ship that should be drawn into that awful
Again it was believed that the ocean flowed downhill, and that if a
ship sailed down too far it would never be able to get back again.
These and many other dangers, said the ignorant people of those
days, threatened the rash sailors who should attempt to sail upon
the Sea of Darkness. So it was not wonderful that for hundreds of
years men contented themselves with the well-known routes which
indeed offered adventure enough to satisfy the heart of the most
But as time passed these old trade-routes fell more and more into
the hands of Turks and Infidels. Port after port came under their
rule, and infidel pirates swarmed in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean
until no Christian vessel was safe. At every step Christian traders
found themselves hampered and hindered, and in danger of their
lives, and they began to long for another way to the lands of spice
Then it was that men turned their thoughts to the dread Sea of
Darkness. The less ignorant among them had begun to disbelieve the
tales of dragons and fiery pits. The world was round, said wise
men. Why then, if that were so, India could be reached by sailing
west as well as by sailing east.
Many men now came to this conclusion, among them an Italian sailor
named Christopher Columbus. The more Columbus thought about his
plan of sailing west to reach India, the more he believed in it,
and the more he longed to set out. But without a great deal of money
such an expedition was impossible, and Columbus was poor. His only
hope was to win the help and friendship of a king or some other
great and wealthy person.
The Portuguese were in those days a sea-faring people, and their
ships were to be found wherever ships dared go. Indeed Prince Henry
of Portugal did so much to encourage voyages of discovery that he
was called Henry the Navigator. And although he was by this time
dead, the people still took great interest in voyages of discovery.
So at length Columbus determined to go to King John of Portugal to
tell him of his plans, and ask for his aid.
King John listened kindly enough, it seemed, to what Columbus had
to say. But before giving him any answer he said that he must
consult his wise men. These wise men looked upon the whole idea
of sailing to the west to reach the east as absurd. So King John
refused to give Columbus any help.
Yet although most of King John's wise men thought little of the
plan, King John himself thought that there was something in it.
But instead of helping Columbus he meanly resolved to send out
an expedition of his own. This he did, and when Columbus heard of
it he was so angry that he left Portugal, which for more than ten
years he had made his home. He was poor and in debt, so he left
the country secretly, in fear of the King, and of those to whom he
When Columbus thus fled from Portugal, penniless and in debt, he
was a man over forty. He was a bitterly disappointed man, too, but
he still clung to his great idea. So he sent his brother Bartholomew
to England to beg King Henry VII to help him, while he himself
turned towards Spain. Bartholomew, however, reached England in an
evil hour for his quest. For Henry VII had but newly wrested the
crown from Richard III, and so had no thought to spare for unknown
lands. Christopher also arrived in Spain at an unfortunate time.
For the Spaniards were carrying on a fierce warfare against the
Moors, and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had little thought
or money to spare for any other undertaking. Therefore, although
Ferdinand listened to what Columbus had to say, for the time being
he could promise no help.
So years passed. Columbus remained in Spain. For in spite of all
his rebuffs and disappointments he did not despair. As the court
moved from place to place he followed it, hoping always that the
day would come when the King and Queen would listen to him, and
believe in his great enterprise.
Meanwhile he lived in want and misery, and just kept himself from
starvation by making and selling maps. To the common people he
seemed a madman, and as he passed through the streets in his worn
and threadbare garments children jeered and pointed fingers of
scorn at him.
Yet in spite of mockery and derision Columbus clung to his faith.
Indeed it burned in him so strongly that at length he made others
share it too, and men who were powerful at court became his friends.
At last the war with the Moors ended victoriously for Spain. Then
these friends persuaded Queen Isabella to listen again to what
Columbus had to say. To this the Queen consented, and when she
heard how poor Columbus was she sent him some money, so that he
might buy clothes fit to appear at court.
When Columbus heard the good news he was overjoyed. As quickly as
might be he bought new clothes, and mounting upon a mule he rode
towards Granada. But when Columbus arrived he found the court
still in the midst of rejoicings to celebrate victory. Among
the light-hearted, gaily dressed throng there was no one who had
a thought to spare for the melancholy, white-haired dreamer who
passed like a dark shadow amidst them. With his fate, as it were,
trembling in the balance, Columbus had no heart for rejoicing. So
he looked on "with indifference, almost with contempt."
But at length his day came. At length all the jubilation was over,
and Ferdinand and Isabella turned their thoughts to Columbus. He
came before them and talked so earnestly of his great project that
they could not but believe in it. The day was won. Both King and
Queen, but more especially the Queen, were willing to help the
great enterprise. Now however Columbus himself all but wrecked
his chances. He had dreamed so long about this splendid adventure,
he was so filled with belief in its grandeur, that he demanded
conditions such as would hardly have been granted to the greatest
prince in the land.
Columbus demanded that he should be made admiral and viceroy of all
the lands he might discover, and that after his death this honour
should descend to his son and to his son's son for ever and ever.
He also demanded a tenth part of all the pearls, precious stones,
gold, silver and spices, or whatever else he might gain by trade
At these demands the grandees of Spain stood aghast. What! This
shabby dreamer, this penniless beggar aspired to honour and dignities
fit for a prince! It was absurd, and not to be thought of. If this
beggarly sailor would have Spain assist him he must needs be more
humble in suit.
But not one jot would Columbus abate of his demands. So the Council
broke up, and Columbus, with anger and disappointment in his heart,
mounted his mule and turned his face towards the Court of France.
All the seven long years during which he had waited, and hoped,
and prayed, in Spain had been wasted. Now he would go to the King
of France, and make his last appeal there.
But Columbus had left friends behind him, friends who had begun
to picture to themselves almost as vividly as he the splendours of
the conquest he was to make. Now these friends sought out the Queen.
In glowing words they painted to her the glory and the honour which
would come to Spain if Columbus succeeded. And if he failed, why,
what were a few thousand crowns, they asked. And as the Queen
listened her heart beat fast; the magnificence of the enterprise
took hold upon her, and she resolved that, come what might, Columbus
should go forth on his adventure.
Ferdinand, however, still looked coldly on. The war against the
Moors had been long and bitter, his treasury was empty. Whence, he
asked himself, was money forthcoming for this mad scheme? Isabella,
however, had done with prudence and caution. "If there is not money
enough in Aragon," she cried, "I will undertake this adventure for
my own kingdom of Castile, and if need be I will pawn my jewels to
While these things were happening Columbus, sick at heart, was
slowly plodding on the road to France. But he only went a little
way on his long journey. For just as he was entering a narrow pass
not far from Granada, where the mountains towered above him, he
heard the thud of horses' hoofs.
It was a lonely and silent spot among the hills, where robbers
lurked, and where many a man had been slain for the money and jewels
he carried. Columbus, however, had nothing to dread: he carried
with him neither gold nor jewels. He went forth from Spain a beggar,
even as he had come. But if fear he had any, it was soon turned to
incredulous joy. For when the horsemen came up they told Columbus
that his friends had won the day for him, and that he must return.
At first Columbus hesitated. He found it hard to believe that truly
at last he had his heart's desire. When, however, the messenger
told him that the Queen herself bade him return, he hesitated no
longer. Joyfully turning his mule he hastened back to Granada.
At last Columbus had won his heart's desire, and he had only to gather
ships and men and set forth westward. But now a new difficulty
arose. For it was out upon the terrible Sea of Darkness that Columbus
wished to sail, and men feared to face its terrors.
Week after week went past and not a ship or a man could Columbus
get. He persuaded and implored in vain: no man was brave enough to
follow him to the unknown horrors of the Sea of Darkness. Therefore
as entreaty and persuasion proved of no avail, Columbus sought help
from the King, who gave him power to force men to go with him.
Even then all sorts of difficulties were thrown in the way.
Columbus, however, overcame them all, and at length his three ships
were ready. But it had taken many months. It was February when he
turned back so gladly to Granada; it was the third of August before
everything was in order.
Before dawn upon the day he sailed Columbus entered the church, in
the little sea-faring town of Palos where his ships lay at anchor.
There he humbly confessed his sins, received the Sacrament, and
committed himself to God's all-powerful guidance. The crew, wild,
rough fellows, many of them, followed his example. Then Columbus
stepped on board his ship, the Santa Maria, and turned his face
He was filled with exaltation. But all Palos was filled with gloom,
and upon the shore a great crowd gathered to bid a last farewell
to these daring adventurers. And as the ships spread their sails
and sped forth in the morning light the people wept and lamented
sorely, for they never thought again to see their loved ones, who
were about to adventure forth upon the terrible Sea of Darkness.
Chapter 3 - How Columbus Fared Forth Upon The Sea of Darkness and
Came to Pleasant Lands Beyond
At first the voyage upon which Columbus and his daring companions
now set forth lay through seas already known; but soon the last
land-mark was left behind, and the three little vessels, smaller
than river craft of today, were alone upon the trackless waste of
waters. And when the men saw the last trace of land vanish their
hearts sank, and they shed bitter tears, weeping for home and the
loved ones they thought never more to see.
On and on they sailed, and as day after day no land appeared the
men grew restless. Seeing them thus restless, and lest they should
be utterly terrified at being so far from home upon this seemingly
endless waste of waters, Columbus determined to keep them from
knowing how far they had really gone. So he kept two reckonings.
One, in which the real length of the ships' daily journey was given
he kept to himself: the other, in which the journey was given as
much shorter, he showed to the sailors.
A month went past, six weeks went past, and still there was no
trace of land. Then at length came signs. Snow birds which never
ventured far to sea flew round the ships. Now the waves bore to
them a rudely carved stick, now the ships ploughed a way through
masses of floating weeds. All these signs were at first greeted
with joy and hope, and the sailors took heart. But as still the
days went past and no land appeared, they lost heart again.
The fields of weeds which they had at first greeted with joy now
became an added terror. Would they not be caught in this tangle
of weeds, they asked, and never more win a way out of it? To their
fearful and superstitious minds the very breeze which had borne
them softly onward became a menace. For if the wind always blew
steadily from the east how was it possible ever to return to Spain? So
Columbus was almost glad when a contrary wind blew. For it proved
to his trembling sailors that one at least of their fears was
groundless. But it made little difference. The men were now utterly
given over to gloomy terrors.
Fear robbed them of all ambition. Ferdinand and Isabella had
promised a large sum of money to the man who should first discover
land. But none cared now to win it. All they desired was to turn
home once more.
Fear made them mutinous also. So they whispered together and planned
in secret to rid themselves of Columbus. It would be easy, they
thought, to throw him overboard some dark night, and then give out
that he had fallen into the sea by accident. No one would know. No
one in Spain would care, for Columbus was after all but a foreigner
and an upstart. The great ocean would keep the secret. They would
be free to turn homeward.
Columbus saw their dark looks, heard the murmurs of the crews, and
did his best to hearten them again. He spoke to them cheerfully,
persuading and encouraging, "laughing at them, while in his heart
Still the men went sullenly about their work. But at length one
morning a sudden cry from the Pinta shook them from out their sullen
It was the captain of the Pinta who shouted. "Land, land, my lord!"
he cried. "I claim the reward."
And when Columbus heard that shout his heart was filled with joy
and thankfulness, and baring his head he sank upon his knees, giving
praise to God. The crew followed his example. Then, their hearts
suddenly light and joyous, they swarmed up the masts and into the
rigging to feast their eyes upon the goodly sight.
All day they sailed onward toward the promised land. The sun sank
and still all night the ships sped on their joyous way. But when
morning dawned the land seemed no nearer than before. Hope died
away again, and sorrowfully as the day went on the woeful truth
that the fancied land had been but a bank of clouds was forced upon
Again for days the ships sailed on, and as still no land appeared
the men again began to murmur. Then one day when Columbus walked
on deck he was met, not merely with sullen looks, but with angry
words. The men clamoured to return. And if the Admiral refused,
why, so much the worse for him. They would endure no longer.
Bravely the Admiral faced the mutineers. He talked to them cheerfully.
He reminded them of what honour and gain would be theirs when they
returned home having found the new way to India, of what wealth
they might win by trading. Then he ended sternly:
"Complain how you may," he said, "I have to go to the Indies, and
I will go on till I find them, so help me God."
For the time being the Admiral's stern, brave words cowed
the mutineers. But not for much longer, Columbus knew right well,
would they obey him if land did not soon appear. And in his heart
he prayed God that it might not be long delayed.
The next night Columbus stood alone upon the poop of the Santa
Maria. Full of anxious thoughts he gazed out into the darkness.
Then suddenly it seemed to him that far in the distance he saw a
glimmering light appear and disappear once and again. It was as if
some one walking carried a light. But so fearful was Columbus lest
his fervent hopes had caused him to imagine this light that he would
not trust his own eyes alone. So he called to one of his officers
and asked him if he saw any light.
"Yes," replied the officer, "I see a light."
Then Columbus called a second man. He could not at first see the
light, and in any case neither of them thought much of it. Columbus,
however, made sure that land was close, and calling the men about
him he bade them keep a sharp look-out, promising a silken doublet
to the man who should first see land.
So till two o'clock in the morning the ships held on their way. Then
from the Pinta there came again a joyful shout of "Land! Land!"
This time it proved no vision, it was land indeed; and at last the
long-looked-for goal was reached. The land proved to be an island
covered with beautiful trees, and as they neared the shore the men
saw naked savages crowding to the beach.
In awed wonder these savages watched the huge white birds, as the
ships with their great sails seemed to them. Nearer and nearer
they came, and when they reached the shore and folded their wings
the natives fled in terror to the shelter of the forest. But
seeing that they were not pursued, their curiosity got the better
of their fear, and returning again they stood in silent astonishment
to watch the Spaniards land.
First of all came Columbus; over his glittering steel armour he
wore a rich cloak of scarlet, and in his hand he bore the Royal
Standard of Spain. Then, each at the head of his own ship's crew,
came the captains of the Pinta and the Nina, each carrying in his
hand a white banner with a green cross and the crowned initials
of the King and Queen, which was the special banner devised for
the great adventure. Every man was dressed in his best, and the
gay-coloured clothes, the shining armour, and fluttering banners
made a gorgeous pageant. Upon it the sun shone in splendour and the
blue sky was reflected in a bluer sea: while scarlet flamingoes,
startled at the approach of the white men, rose in brilliant flight.
As Columbus landed he fell upon his knees and kissed the ground,
and with tears of joy running down his cheeks he gave thanks to
God, the whole company following his example. Then rising again to
his feet, Columbus drew his sword, and solemnly took possession of
the island in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella.
When the ceremony was over the crew burst forth into shouts of
triumph and joy. They crowded round Columbus, kneeling before him
to kiss his hands and feet praying forgiveness for their insolence
and mutiny, and promising in the future to obey him without question.
For Columbus it was a moment of pure joy and triumph. All his long
years of struggle and waiting had come to a glorious end.
Yet he knew already that his search was not finished, his triumph
not yet complete. He had not reached the eastern shores of India,
the land of spice and pearls. He had not even reached Cipango, the
rich and golden isle. But he had at least, he thought, found some
outlying island off the coast of India, and that India itself could
not be far away. He never discovered his mistake, so the group of
islands nowhere near India, but lying between the two great Continents
of America, are known as the West Indies.
Columbus called the island upon which he first landed San Salvador,
and for a long time it was thought to be the island which is still
called San Salvador or Cat Island. But lately people have come to
believe that Columbus first landed upon an island a little further
south, now called, Watling Island.
From San Salvador Columbus sailed about and landed upon several
other islands, naming them and taking possession of them for Spain.
He saw many strange and beautiful fruits: "trees of a thousand
sorts, straight and tall enough to make masts for the largest ships
of Spain." He saw flocks of gaily coloured parrots and many other
birds that sang most sweetly. He saw fair harbours so safe and
spacious that he thought they might hold all the ships of the world.
But of such things Columbus was not in search. He was seeking for
gold and jewels, and at every place he touched he hoped to find
some great eastern potentate, robed in splendour and seated upon
a golden throne; instead everywhere he found only naked savages.
They were friendly and gentle, and what gold they had - but it was
little indeed - they willingly bartered for a few glass beads, or
little tinkling bells.
By signs, however, some of these savages made Columbus understand
that further south there was a great king who was so wealthy that
he ate off dishes of wrought gold. Others told him of a land where
the people gathered gold on the beach at night time by the light of
torches; others again told him of a land where gold was so common
that the people wore it on their arms and legs, and in their ears
and noses as ornaments. Others still told of islands where there
was more gold than earth. But Columbus sought these lands in vain.
In his cruisings Columbus found Cuba, and thought at first it must
be the island of Cipango, but finding himself mistaken he decided
at length that he had landed upon the most easterly point of India.
He could not be far, he thought, from the palace of the Grand Khan,
and choosing out two of his company he sent them as ambassadors
to him. But after six days the ambassadors returned, having found
no gold; and instead of the Grand Khan having seen only a savage
These ambassadors found no gold, but, had they only known it, they
found something quite as valuable. For they told how they had met
men and women with firebrands in their hands made of herbs, the end
of which they put in their mouths and sucked, blowing forth smoke.
And these fire-brands they called tabacos.
The Spaniards also discovered that the natives of these islands used
for food a root which they dug out of the earth. But they thought
nothing of these things. For what were roots and dried herbs to
those who came in search of gold, and gems, and precious spices?
So they brought home neither potatoes nor tobacco.
So far the three little vessels had kept together, but now the
captain of the Pinta parted company with the others, not because
of bad weather, says Columbus in his diary, but because he chose,
and out of greed, for he thought "that the Indians would show him
where there was much gold." This desertion grieved Columbus greatly,
for he feared that Pinzon might find gold, and sailing home before
him cheat him of all the honour and glory of the quest. But still
the Admiral did not give up, but steered his course "in the name
of God and in search of gold and spices, and to discover land."
So from island to island he went seeking gold, and finding everywhere
gentle, kindly savages, fair birds and flowers, and stately trees.
Chapter 4 - How Columbus Returned Home in Triumph
Christmas Eve came, and the Admiral, being very weary, went below
to sleep, leaving a sailor to steer the ship. But this sailor thought
he too would like to sleep, so he gave the tiller in charge of a
Now throughout the whole voyage the Admiral had forbidden this.
Whether it was stormy or calm he had commanded that the helm was
never to be entrusted to a boy. This boy knew very little of how
to steer a ship, and being caught in a current it was cast upon a
sand-bank and wrecked. By good luck every one was saved and landed
upon the island of Haiti. But Columbus had now only one little
vessel, and it was not large enough to carry all the company. Many
of them, however, were so delighted with the islands that they
wanted to stay there, and they had often asked the Admiral's leave
to do so.
Columbus therefore now determined to allow some of his men to
remain to found a little colony, and trade with the Indians, "and
he trusted in God that when he came back from Spain - as he intended
to do - he would find a ton of gold collected by them, and that
they would have found a gold mine, and such quantities of spices
that the Sovereigns would in the space of three years be able to
undertake a Crusade and conquer the Holy Sepulchre."
So out of the wreck of the Santa Maria Columbus built a fort, and
from the many who begged to be left behind he chose forty-four,
appointing one of them, Diego de Arana, as Governor. He called the
fort La Navida or The Nativity in memory of the day upon which it
was founded. The island itself he called Española or Little Spain.
Then on Friday the 4th of January, 1493, the Nina spread her sails
and slowly glided away, leaving in that far island amid the unknown
seas the first colony of white men ever settled in the west.
Two days after Columbus set forth upon his homeward voyage, he
fell in again with the Pinta. The master had found no gold, so he
determined to join Columbus once more. He now came on board and
tried to make his peace with Columbus, but the Admiral received him
coldly, for he had little faith in his excuses. And now once more
together, the two little vessels sailed homeward. But soon storms
arose, the ships were battered by wind, tossed about hither and
thither by waves, and at length separated again. More than once
Columbus feared that his tiny vessel would be engulfed in the stormy
seas, and the results of his great enterprise never be known. But
at length the shores of Portugal were sighted, and on Friday, the
15th of March, 1493, he landed Again at Palos, in Spain, from whence
he had set forth more than seven months before.
The people of Palos had hardly hoped to see again those who had
sailed away on so desperate an adventure. Now, when they saw only
one of the three vessels return their joy was mingled with grief.
When, however, they learned that Columbus returned in triumph, and
that India had been reached, their joy knew no bounds. Shops were
closed, bells were rung, and all the people in holiday attire thronged
to the harbour, and with shouts and cheers they bore Columbus in
triumph to the church, there to give thanks to God for his safe and
glorious return. And ere the shouts had died away, a second vessel
was seen approaching. It was the Pinta which, though parted from the
Nina, had also weathered the storms and now came safely to port.
At once on landing Columbus had sent a letter to the King and
Queen telling them of his return. Now he received an answer; it
was addressed to Don Christopher Columbus, our Admiral of the Ocean
Sea, Viceroy and Governor of the Islands discovered in the Indies.
It bade him to come at once to court. It told him that a new expedition
would immediately be fitted out; so with a heart overflowing with
joy and pride, Columbus set forth to Barcelona where the King and
Queen then were.
The great news of his voyage and discovery had outsped him, and
the people of Barcelona received him with every mark of respect
and honour. As he passed through the streets, riding on a splendid
horse and surrounded by the greatest nobles of Spain, they cheered
him again and again. They gazed in wonder also at the dark-skinned
savages, the gaily coloured parrots, and other strange things he
had brought with him from out the Sea of Darkness.
Sitting on a throne of state beneath a canopy of cloth of gold,
with the young Prince of Spain beside them , the King and Queen
received Columbus. At his approach they rose, and standing they
welcomed back to their realm as a mighty prince he who had gone
forth a simple sailor. And as Columbus would have knelt to kiss
their hands they raised him, and bade him be seated beside them as
an equal. Seldom did the haughty rulers of Spain show such great
honour even to the proudest nobles in the land.
And so while King, and Queen, and courtiers listened breathlessly
Columbus told of all he had done, of all the marvels he had seen,
of the richness and fairness of the lands he had found and claimed
for Spain. And when he had finished the King and Queen fell upon
their knees, and clasping their hands they raised eyes filled with
tears of joy to heaven, giving thanks to God for His great mercies.
The courtiers too fell upon their knees and joined their prayers
to those of the King and Queen, while over all the triumphant notes
of the Te Deum rang out.
So ended the great voyage of Columbus. He had shown the way across
the Sea of Darkness; he had proved that all the stories of its
monsters and other dangers were false. But even he had no idea
of the greatness of his discovery. He never realised that he had
shown the way to a new world; he believed to the day of his death
that he had indeed found new islands, but that his greatest feat
was that of finding a new way to the Old World. Yet now being made
a noble, he took for his coat of arms a, group of golden islands
in an azure sea, and for motto the words, "To Castile and Leon,
Columbus gave a New World."
Now began a time of pomp and splendour for Columbus. He who had
gone forth a penniless sailor now rode abroad in gorgeous array;
often he might be seen with the Queen on one hand and John, the
young Prince of Spain, on the other. Sometimes even the King himself
would ride with him, and seeing him so high in royal favour all the
greatest and proudest nobles of the land were eager to make much
of him. So they feted him, flattered him, and spread banquets for
him. But some were jealous of the great fame of Columbus, and they
made light of his discoveries.
It is told how, one day at a banquet when every one talked of these
wonderful deeds, one of the guests spoke slightingly of them. "It
is all very well," he said to Columbus, "but in a great country like
Spain, where there are such numbers of daring sailors and learned
folk besides, many another man might have done the same as you. We
should have found the Indies even if you had not."
To this speech Columbus answered nothing, but he asked for an egg
to be brought to him. When it was brought he placed it on the table
saying, "Sirs, I will lay a wager with any of you that you cannot
make this egg stand up without anything at all to support it."
One after the other they tried, but no one could do it. At length
it came round to Columbus again. And he, taking it in his hand,
struck it sharply on the table so that one end was chipped a little,
and it stood upright.
"That, my lord, is my answer, " he said, looking at the courtier
who had scoffed. And all the company were silent. For they saw he
was well answered. Columbus had shown that after a deed is once done
it is simple, and every one knows how to do it. What he had done
in sailing across the Sea of Darkness was only wonderful because
no one ,else had thought of doing it.
Portugal was now very jealous of Spain's success, and King Ferdinand
of Spain was fearful lest King John of Portugal should seize the
new islands which Columbus had discovered. So he appealed to the
Pope to settle the matter. And the Pope decided that all new lands
discovered west of an imaginary line drawn through the Atlantic
Ocean west of the Azores and from pole to pole should belong to
Spain. All discoveries east of this line should belong to Portugal.
If you will look at a map of the world you will see that this gave
to Spain all the Americas with their islands (except a little bit
of Brazil) and to Portugal the whole of Africa.
But almost before this matter was settled Columbus had set forth
again on another voyage across the great ocean, now no longer the Sea
of Darkness: this time he had no difficulty in getting a company.
For every one was eager to go with him, even many of the sons of
great nobles. This time too the passage was made without any doubts
and fears, but with joyful expectations.
Columbus had hoped great things of the little colony that he had
left behind him. But when he cast anchor one night before the fort
his heart sank. All was dark and silent on shore. Yet still hoping,
he ordered two cannon to be fired as a signal to the colonists.
The cannon boomed through the still, warm darkness of the night,
and slowly the echoes died away. But there was no answer save the
sighing of the sea, and the scream of the startled birds. From
the fort there came no sound or any sign of life, and with sad
forebodings the Spaniards waited for the dawn.
Then it was seen that the fort was a ruin. It had been burned and
sacked. Torn clothing and broken vessels were strewn around, but
as the Spaniards wandered sadly among the ruins they found no trace
of their companions save eleven graves with the grass growing above
At first no natives would come near the white men, for they feared
their anger. But at length, tempted by the offer of gifts and
other friendly signs, they came. They told how the Spaniards had
quarreled amongst themselves, how the fort had been attacked by
unfriendly Indians from another island, and how all the white men
had been slain.
Thus ended the first white colony ever planted in Western lands.
All traces of it have vanished, and upon the spot where La Navida
stood there is now a little fishing village called Petit Anse.
Columbus founded other colonies, but they succeeded no better than
the first one. In all he made four voyages across the Atlantic,
and in the third he landed upon the coast of South America, near
the mouth of the Orinoco. But Columbus did not know that at last
he had discovered the great double Continent of America. He thought
that he had merely discovered another island, and he named it La
Isla Santa. Afterwards he was so delighted at the beauty of the
land that he thought he must have found the Garden of Eden, so he
became certain that he had landed on the eastern corner of Asia.
In 1506 Columbus died. And it is sad to think that he who, by his
great faith and great daring, led the way across the Sea of Darkness,
and gave a New World to the Old died in poverty and neglect. The
men who had wept for joy at the news of his discovery shed no tear
over his grave. He died "unwept, unhonoured and unsung." Years passed
before men recognised what a great man had dwelt among them: years
passed before any monument was raised to his memory. But indeed he
had scarce need of any, for as has been well said, "The New World
is his monument." And every child of the New World must surely
honour that monument and seek never to deface it.
Chapter 5 - How America Was Named
"The New World is his monument." And yet the New World does not
bear the name of Columbus. So in this chapter I am going to tell
you how America was named.
As soon as Columbus had shown the way across the Sea of Darkness
many were eager to follow in his footsteps. "There is not a man,"
he says himself, "down to the very tailors, who does not beg to be
allowed to become a discoverer." Among the many who longed to sail
the seas there was a man named Amerigo Vespucci.
Like Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian. He was born in
Florence and there for nearly forty years he lived quietly, earning
his living as a clerk in the great merchant house of Medici. But
although he was diligent at business his thoughts were not wholly
taken up with it, and in his leisure hours he loved to read books
of geography, and pore over maps and charts.
After a time business took Amerigo to Spain. He was there when
Columbus returned from his famous first voyage, and very likely saw
him pass through the streets of Barcelona on his day of triumph.
Just when Amerigo and Columbus met we do not know. But very soon we
find Amerigo in the service of the merchant who supplied Columbus
with food and other necessaries for his second voyage. It has been
thought by some that Vespucci went with Columbus on this voyage,
but that is not very likely. It was about this time, however, that
Vespucci went on his first voyage in which he explored the coast of
Venezuela or of Central America. It is very doubtful which. Before
going on this voyage he had been in Spain about four years, and
not having succeeded very well as a merchant he decided to give up
trading and take to a sea life.
No voyages perhaps have been more written about and fought over than
those of Amerigo Vespucci. Some will have it that he went only two
voyages, and say he was a braggart and a vainglorious fool if he
said he went more. Others think that he went at least four voyages
and probably six. And most people are now agreed that these last are
right, and that he who gave his name to the great double Continent
of America was no swaggering pretender but an honest and upright
In the first two voyages that he made Vespucci sailed under the
flag of Spain. In the second two he sailed in the service of the
King of Portugal. But after his fourth voyage he returned again to
Spain. There he received a large salary and the rank of captain.
Later he was made Pilot Major of Spain, and was held in high honour
till his death.
Yet in all the voyages Vespucci went, whether under the flag of
Portugal or of Spain, he was never leader. He went as astronomer,
or as pilot, while other men captained the expeditions.
It is from Amerigo's letters alone that we gather the little we
know about his voyages. For although he says in one of his letters
that he has written a book called "The Four Voyages" it has never
been found, and perhaps was never published. One long letter,
however, which he wrote to an old schoolfellow was so interesting
that it was published and read by many people all over Europe. It
was, says an old English writer, "abrode in every mannes handes."
Amerigo's voyages led him chiefly to Central and South America and
he became convinced that South America was a continent. So soon,
what with the voyages of Vespucci and the voyages of other great
men, it became at last quite certain that there was a vast continent
beyond the Atlantic ocean. Map-makers, therefore, began to draw a
huge island, large enough to form in itself a continent, south of
the Equator. They called it the New World, or the land of the Holy
Cross, but the Northern Continent was still represented on the maps
by a few small islands, or as a part of Asia.
Thus years passed. Daring sailors still sailed the stormy seas
in search of new lands, and learned men read the tales of their
adventures and wrote new books of geography.
Then one day a professor who taught geography at the Monastery of
St. Dié in Alsace published a little book on geography. In it he
spoke of Europe, Asia and Africa, the three parts of the world as
known to the ancients. Then he spoke of the fourth part which had
been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci, by which he meant what we now
call South America. "And," continues this professor, "I do not see
what is rightly to hinder us calling this part Amerige or America,
that is, the land of Americus after its discoverer Americus."
This is the first time the word America was ever used, and little did
this old German professor, writing in his quiet Alsatian College,
think that he was christening the great double continent of the
New World. And as little did Amerigo think in writing his letter
to his old school fellow that he was to be looked upon as the
discoverer of the New World.
At first the new name came slowly into use and it appears for the
first time on a map made about 1514. In this map America is shown
as a great island continent lying chiefly south of the Equator.
All the voyages which Columbus had made had been north of the
Equator. No man yet connected the land south of the Equator with
him, and it was at first only to this south land that the name
America was given.
Thirty years and more went by. Many voyages were made, and it
became known for certain that Columbus had not reached the shores
of India by sailing west, and that a great continent barred the
way north as well as south of the Equator.
Then a famous map-maker gave the name of America to both continents.
But many Spaniards were jealous for the fame of Columbus, and they
thought that the Northern Continent should be called Colonia or
Columbiana. One, anxious that the part in the discovery taken by
Ferdinand and Isabella should not be forgotten, even tried to make
people call it Fer-Isabelica.
But all such efforts were in vain. America sounded well, people
liked it, and soon every one used it.
Amerigo Vespucci himself had nothing to do with the choice, and
yet because others gave his name to the New World many hard things
have been said of him. He has been called in scorn a "land lubber,
" a beef and biscuit contractor," and other contemptuous names.
Even one of the greatest American writers has poured scorn on him.
"Strange," he says, "that broad America must wear the name of a
thief. Amerigo Vespucci, the pickle dealer of Seville . . . whose
highest naval rank was a boatswain's mate in an expedition that
never sailed, managed in this lying world to supplant Columbus and
baptise half the earth with his own dishonest name."
But it was the people of his day, and not Vespucci, who brought
the new name into use. Vespucci himself had never any intention of
being a thief or of robbing Columbus of his glory. He and Columbus
had always been friends, and little more than a year before he died
Columbus wrote a letter to his son Diego which Vespucci delivered.
In this letter Columbus says, "Amerigo Vespucci, the bearer of this
letter . . . has always been wishful to please me. He is a very
honest man. . . . He is very anxious to do something for me, if it
is in his power."
It was only accident which gave the name of America to the New
World, and perhaps also the ingratitude of the great leader's own
Later generations, however, have not been so unmindful of Columbus
and his deeds; Americans have not allowed his great name to be
wholly forgotten. The district in which the capital of the United
States is situated is called Columbia. In Canada too there is the
great province of British Columbia, and in South America the 'United
States of Colombia, besides many towns all named in honour of the
Chapter 6 - How The Flag of England Was Planted on the Shores of
the New World
Christopher Columbus showed the way across the Sea of Darkness;
Amerigo Vespucci gave his name to the great double continent, but
it was another Italian, John Cabot, who first landed on the Continent
of North America.
Like Columbus, Cabot was born in Genoa. When, however, he left his
own land he did not go to Spain like Columbus, but to England.
He had been living in England for some years when the news of the
first great voyage of Columbus was brought there. Soon every one
was talking about the wonderful discovery from the King and his
Cabot was a trader and a daring sailor, well used to sailing on
the stormy seas. Yet even he was awed by what Columbus had done.
To find that way never known before, and by sailing west to reach
the east "where the spices grow" seemed to him " a thing more
divine than human. "And he too longed to follow Columbus, and maybe
discover new lands.
King Henry VII was eager to claim new lands as the Kings of
Spain and Portugal were doing. So he listened to the persuasions
of John Cabot. And in spite of the Pope - who had divided all the
undiscovered world between the Kings of Spain and Portugal - gave
him leave to sail forth to "the seas of the east and west and north"
and to plant the banner of England upon any islands, countries or
regions belonging to heathens or infidels which he might discover.
He bade his "well-beloved John Cabot" take five ships and set forth
on the adventure at his " own proper costs and charges." For Henry
was a King "wise but not lavish," and although he wanted England
to have the glory of new discoveries he was not eager to spend his
gold on them.
But where could a poor sailor find money enough for so great an
So a year went past, and although Cabot had the King's leave
to go he did not set out. But he did not let the King forget. And
at length close-fisted Henry listened to "the busy request and
supplication" of the eager sailor, and consented to fit out one
So at five o'clock one sweet May morning a frail little vessel
called the Matthew, with a crew of but eighteen men, sailed out
from Bristol harbour. Many people came to see the vessel sail. For
they were nearly all Bristol men who were thus venturing forth on
the unknown deep, and their friends crowded to the harbour to wish
It was a great occasion for Bristol, and indeed for all England,
for it was the first voyage of discovery with which the English
king and people had to do. So the tiny whitesailed ship put out to
sea, followed by the prayers and wishes of those left behind. With
tear-dimmed eyes they watched it till it faded from view. Then they
turned homewards to pray for the return of their loved ones.
Round the coast of Ireland the vessel sped. But at last its green
shores faded from sight and the little company of eighteen brave
men were alone upon the trackless waves.
Westward and ever westward they sailed,
"Over the hazy distance, Beyond the sunset's rim"
Week after week went by. Six weeks and then seven, and still no
land appeared. Those were days of anxiety and gloom. But still the
hope of the golden west lured Cabot on, and at length one day in
June he heard the glad cry of "Land! Land!"
So on St. John's Day, in 1497, John Cabot landed somewhere on the
coast of America. He called the land Prima Tierra Vista or First
Land Seen, and because of the day upon which it was found he called
an island near to it St. John's Isle.
We cannot tell exactly where Cabot east anchor: it may have been
at Cape Breton or somewhere on the coast of Labrador. But wherever
it was that he landed he there set up a great cross and unfurled
the flag of England, claiming the land for King Henry.
When Cabot set out he was full of the ideas of Columbus. He had hoped
to find himself on the coast of Asia and in the land of gold and
spices. Now he knew himself mistaken. He did not see any natives,
but he knew the land was inhabited, for he found notched trees,
snares for wild animals and other signs of habitation which he took
He had found no "golden cities," he had had speech with no stately
potentate. Yet he was not utterly disappointed. For the country he
had found seemed to him fair and fertile, and the quantities of
fish which swarmed in the seas amazed both himself and his men. They
had no need of lines or even of nets. They had but to let down a
basket weighted with a stone and draw it up again to have all the
fish they wanted.
Cabot stayed but a short time in the new-found land. He would fain
have stayed longer and explored further, but he feared lest his
provisions would give out, and so regretfully he turned homeward.
Great was the excitement in Bristol when the tiny ship came to anchor
there once more, little more than three months after it had sailed
away. And so strange were the tales Master Cabot had to tell that
the folk of Bristol would hardly have believed him (for he was a
poor man and a foreigner) had not his crew of honest Bristol men
vouched for the truth of all he said. Every one was delighted. Even
thrifty King Henry was so much pleased that he gave Cabot £10. It
seems a small enough sum for one who had found "a new isle." But
we must remember that it was worth more than £100 would be worth
Cabot at any rate found it enough with which to buy a suit of
silk. And dressed in this new splendour he walked about the streets
of Bristol followed by gaping crowds. He was now called the Great
Admiral, and much honour was paid to him. Every one was eager to
talk with him, eager to go with him on his next voyage: and that
even although they knew that many of the crew would be thieves and
evil-doers. For the King had promised to give Cabot for sailors
all prisoners except those who were confined for high treason.
We know little more of John Cabot. Later King Henry gave him a
pension of £20 a year. It seems likely that the following year he
set out again across the broad Atlantic, taking his sons with him.
"The rest is silence."
How John Cabot ended his life, where he lies taking his rest, we
do not know.
"He sleeps somewhere in sod unknown, Without a slab, without a
We remember him chiefly because he was the first to lead Englishmen
across the Atlantic, the first to plant the flag of England upon
the Continent of North America, which, in days to come, was to be
the home of two great English speaking peoples.
Chapter 7 - How The Flag of France Was Planted in Florida
As years went on many voyages of discovery and exploration were
made to the New World by both the Spaniards and the Portuguese,
but chiefly by the Spaniards. America was the land of golden hopes,
the land of splendid adventure, and the haughty knights of Spain,
thirsting for gold and for fame, were lured thither. They sought
the fabled seven cities of gold, they sought the fountain of eternal
youth. Through the dark pathless forests, across the wide prairies
they flashed in glittering array, awaking the vast silences with the
clash of arms. They came in all the pomp and splendour of warfare;
they brought also the Cross of Christ, threatening the heathen with
death if they did not bow to Him and be baptised. And it seemed for
a time as if they, and they only, would possess the vast continent.
But expedition after expedition ended in disaster. The Spaniards
found neither the far-famed seven cities nor the fountain of youth.
And the Redmen, instead of accepting their religion, hated them
and it with a deep hatred.
But the Spaniards were not long left in undisputed possession of
America. The French King too desired to have new lands across the
seas, and he saw no reason why Spain and Portugal should divide
the New World between them.
"I would fain see Father Adam's will," he said, "in which he made
you the sole heirs to so vast an inheritance. Until I do see that,
I shall seize as mine whatever my good ships may find upon the ocean. "
From France, therefore, daring men sailed forth to the New World.
And there they set up the arms of their country, claiming broad
lands for their King.
And now came the time when all Christian lands were torn asunder by
religious strife. The Reformation had begun, and everywhere there
was discord between the people who followed the old religion and
those who followed the new. In France those who followed the new
religion were called Huguenots. They were often hardly used, and
were denied freedom to worship God in their own way. Many of them
therefore longed to get away from France, and go to some new country
where they would have the freedom they desired.
So a few grave, stern men gathered together and determined to set
out for some place in the New World where they might make a home.
Then one February day in 1562 two little ships sailed away from
France. Westward they sailed until about two and a half months
later they landed in what is now Florida.
It was May Day, the sun shone and all the world seemed gay and
green, and these Protestant adventurers thought they had never
seen so fair a land. It was, they said, the fairest, fruitfullest
and pleasantest of all the world, "abounding in honey, venison
and wildfowl." The natives were friendly and told the newcomers by
signs that the seven golden cities were not far off. That rejoiced
their hearts, for even those stern old Huguenots were not above
following the quest for gold.
Here then in this far-off land the Huguenots set up a stone pillar
carved with the arms of the King of France. And kneeling round
it they gave thanks to God for having brought them to so fair a
country. Then returning to their ships they sailed northward along
the coast, For they had not come to settle, but merely to explore,
and find out a good spot on which to found a colony.
But the land seemed so fair, the air so balmy, that they were ready
to settle there at once, and never return to France.
At length after inspecting several places the adventurers reached
a spot not far from what is now Beaufort in South Carolina. Here
they landed, and knowing that many of the men were already eager
to remain in this beautiful country, Jean Ribaut, their leader,
resolved to found a colony. So he called them all together, and
speaking wise and brave words to them asked who among them would
"Declare your minds freely unto me," he said, "and remember that
if you decide to remain you will for ever be famous, and be known
as the first white men who inhabited this land."
Ribaut had scarcely finished speaking when nearly all the men
replied with a shout, "We ask nothing better than to remain in this
Indeed so many were anxious to remain that Ribaut had enough to
do to persuade a sufficient number to man the ships to return with
In the end thirty men were chosen to remain. At once they set about
building a fort which they called Charlesfort in honour of the boy
King, Charles IX, who was then upon the throne.
The men worked so well that in a very few days the fort was so
far finished that it was fit to live in. Food and ammunition were
brought from the ships, and a man named Albert de la Pierria was
chosen as Governor. Then for the last time Ribaut gathered all the
men together and took leave of those to be left behind.
"Captain Albert," he said, "I have to ask you in the presence of
all these men, to quit yourself so wisely in your charge, that I
shall be able to commend you to your King.
"And you," he said, turning to the soldiers, "I beg you to esteem
Captain Albert as if he were myself, and to yield to him that
obedience that a true soldier owes to his general and captain. I
pray you live as brethren together without discord. And in so doing
God will assist you, and bless your enterprises."
Then farewells were said, and Ribaut sailed away, leaving the thirty
white men alone in the wilderness.
From north to south, from east to west, in all the vast continent
there were no white men save themselves. The little company was
made up of young nobles, sailors, merchants and artisans. There
were no farmers or peasants among them, and when they had finished
their fort none of them thought of clearing the land and sowing
corn. There was no need: Ribaut would soon return, they thought,
bringing with him all they required. So they made friends with
the Indians, and roamed the forest wilds in search of gold and of
adventures, without care for the future.
But the days and weeks passed and Ribaut did not return. For when
he arrived home he found that France was torn with civil war, and
that it was impossible to get ships fitted out to sail to America.
Soon the little colony began to feel the pangs of hunger. Daily they
scanned the pitiless blue sea for a glimpse of Ribaut's returning
sail. No sail appeared, and daily their supplies dwindled away. Had
it not been for the friendly Redmen they might all have perished.
For the Indians were generous, and as long as they had food themselves
they shared it with their white friends. But at length they could
spare no more. Indeed they had already given the Pale-faces so much
food that they themselves, they said, would be forced to roam the
woods in search of roots and herbs to keep them from starving until
harvest was ripe. They told the Frenchmen, however, of two rich
and powerful chiefs who held sway over land which lay to the south,
where they might obtain endless supplies of corn and vegetables.
This was indeed good news to the Frenchmen. And guided by their
Indian friends they lost no time in setting out to beg food from
those dusky potentates.
When the Frenchmen reached the wigwams of one of these chiefs they
were received with great honour. They found that their Redskin
friends had spoken truly. Here there was food in abundance; and
after a great feast they returned joyfully to the fort, carrying
with them a great supply of corn and beans, and - what was still
better - a promise from the friendly chief that he would give them
more food whenever they had need of it.
Once more the colonists rejoiced in plenty. But not for long. For
the very night they arrived home their storehouse took fire, and
all the food which they had brought with such joy was destroyed.
Again famine stared them in the face. In their plight they once more
appealed to the savage chief who supplied their wants as generously
as before; promising them that as long as his meal should last they
should never want. So for the time being the colonists were saved
But another danger now threatened them, for quarrels arose among
the men. Albert de Pierria who had been set over them as captain
proved to be cruel and despotic. He oppressed the men in many ways,
hanging and imprisoning at will those who displeased him. Soon the
men began to murmur under his tyranny. Black looks greeted Albert
de Pierria: he answered them with blacker deeds. At length one
day for some misdeed he banished a soldier to a lonely island, and
left him there to die of hunger. This was more than the colonists
could well bear. Their smouldering anger burst forth, and seizing
the tyrant they put him to death. Then they chose one of their
number called Nicolas Barre to be their captain.
They were rid of their tyrant, and that brought peace for a time
to the little colony. But the men had grown to hate the place. The
land which had once seemed to them so fair now seemed no better
than a prison, and they longed to escape from it.
They had, however, no ship, and although all around them tall
trees grew no one of them knew anything of ship building. Still, so
strong was their desire to leave the hated spot that they resolved
to build one.
They set to work with. a will. Soon the sound of saw and hammer
awoke the silence of the forest. High and low, noble and peasant,
all worked together, the Indians, even, lending a hand.
At length their labours were over and the rough little ship was
afloat. It made but a sorry appearance. The planks were rough-hewn
by the hatchet, and caulked with the moss which grew in long
streamers on the trees. The cordage was Indian made, and the sails
were patched together from shirts and bedclothes. Never before had
men thought to dare the ocean waves in so crazy a craft. But the
colonists were in such eagerness to be gone that they chose rather
to risk almost certain death upon the ocean than remain longer in
their vast prison house.
So they loaded the ship with as much food as they could collect,
and saying farewell to their Indian friends, they spread their
patchwork sails, and glided out to sea drunken with joy at the
thought of returning to France.
At first the wind blew fair, and the little ship sped gaily
homeward. Then came a calm. The sun burned overhead, no faintest
breeze stirred the slack sails, and the ship lay as if at anchor
upon the glassy waters. And as the ship lay motionless the slender
stock of food grew less and less. Soon there was nothing left but
maize, and little of that. At first a tiny handful was each man's
daily portion; then it was counted by grains. But jealously hoarded
although it was the maize at length gave out, and there was nothing
left to eat but their leather shoes and jerkins.
Then to the pain of hunger was added the pain of thirst, for the
water barrels were emptied to the last drop. Unable to endure the
torture some drank the sea, water and so died in madness. Beneath
the burning sun every timber of the crazy little ship warped and
started, and on all sides the sea flowed in. Still through all
their agony the men clung to life. And sick with hunger, maddened
with thirst as they were they laboured unceasingly bailing out
the water. But they laboured now with despair in their hearts, and
they gave up hope of ever seeing their beloved France again. Then
at length the pitiless sun was overcast, a wild wind arose, and
the glassy sea, whipped to fury, became a waste of foam and angry
billows. The tiny vessel was tossed about helplessly and buffeted
this way and that.
"In the turning of a hand," says an old writer, "the waves filled
their vessel half full of water, and bruised it upon one side."
The wretched men now gave themselves up for lost. They cared no
longer to bail, but cast themselves down into the bottom of the
boat, and let it drift where it would. Only one man among them did
not utterly lose heart. He set himself now to encourage the others,
telling them that if only the wind held, in three days they would
see the shores of France.
This man was so full of hope that at length he aroused the others
from their despair. Once more they began the weary work of bailing,
and in spite of all the fury of the wind and waves the little vessel
At last the storm passed. Once more the fainting wanderers righted
their vessel, and turned the prow towards the shores of France.
But three days passed, and no land was seen, and they became more
despairing than before.
For now the last grain of corn was eaten, the last drop of water
drunk. Mad with thirst, sick with hunger, the men strained their
weary eyes over the rolling waste of waters. No land was in sight.
Then a terrible thought crept into one mind after another. In a low
hoarse whisper one man and then another spoke out his thought-that
one man should die for his fellows.
So deep were they sunk in woe that all were of one mind. So lots
were cast, and the man upon whom the lot fell was killed.
These tortured wayfarers had become cannibals.
Kept alive in this terrible fashion the men sailed on, and
at length a faint grey streak appeared on the horizon. It was the
long-looked-for shore of France. But the joy was too great for
their over-strained minds. The sight of land seemed to rob them of
all power of thought or action. With salvation in sight they let
the little vessel drift aimlessly this way and that.
While they thus drifted aimlessly a white sail hove in sight, and
an English vessel bore down upon them. In the English vessel there
happened to be a Frenchman who had sailed with Ribaut on his first
voyage to Florida. He soon recognised his countrymen in spite of
their sorry plight, and they were brought aboard the English vessel.
And when they had been given food and drink, and were somewhat
revived, they told their tale of misery.
The Englishmen were in doubt for some time as to what it was best
to do. In the end they decided to set the most feeble on the shores
of France, and to carry the others prisoners to the Queen of England,
who at that time was about to send an expedition to Florida.
So ended the first attempt of the French to found a colony in North
Chapter 8 - How The French Founded a Colony in Florida
Two years after Ribaut's ill-fated expedition another company of
Frenchmen set sail for America. This time Reté de Laudonnière was
captain. He had been with Ribaut two years before, and now again
he landed on the same spot where Ribaut had first landed, and set
up the arms of France.
As they saw his ship come the Indians ran down to the beach welcoming
him with cries of excitement and joy, and taking him by the hand
the chief led him to the pillar which Jean Ribaut had set up. It was
wreathed in flowers, and baskets of corn stood before it. For the
Indians looked upon it as an idol, and made offerings to it. They
kissed it with a great show of reverence, and begged the Frenchmen
to do the same. "Which we would not deny them," says Laudonnière,
who himself tells the story, "to the end we might draw them to be
more in friendship with us."
Laudonnière was so delighted with the natives' friendly greeting
that he resolved to found his colony among these kindly Indians.
So a little way up the river which Ribaut had named the river of
May, but which is now the St. John's, he built a fort.
It was late one evening in June when the Frenchmen reached the
spot where they intended to build the fort; wearied with their long
march through the forest they lay down upon the ground and were
soon fast asleep.
But at day-break Laudonnière was astir. He commanded a trumpet to
be sounded, and when all the men were aroused and stood together
he bade them give thanks to God for their safe arrival. So standing
beneath the waving palms, with the deep blue sky arching overhead,
the men sang a psalm of thanksgiving and praise. Then kneeling they
prayed long and earnestly.
The prayer ended, the men arose, and full of happy courage turned
to their work. Every one took part with right good will. Some brought
earth, some cut logs; there was not a man who had not a shovel or
hatchet or some tool in his hand. The work went on merrily, and
soon above the banks of the river the fort rose, secure and strong,
fenced and entrenched on every side. In honour of their King Charles
these new colonists called their fort Caroline, just as Ribaut had
called his Charlesfort.
But as the native Chief Satouriona watched the fort grow he began
to be uneasy. He wondered what these pale-faced strangers were
about, and he feared lest they should mean evil towards him. So he
gathered his warriors together, and one day the Frenchmen looked
up from their labours to see the heights above them thick with
savages in their war paint.
At once the Frenchmen dropped their tools and prepared to defend
themselves. But Satouriona, making signs of peace, and leaving most
of his warriors behind him, came down into the camp followed by a
band of twenty musicians who blew ear-piercing blasts upon discordant
Having reached the camp Satouriona squatted on his haunches, showing
that he wanted to take counsel with the Frenchmen. Then with many
signs and gestures he told the Frenchmen that his great enemies the
Thimagoes were near, and that if the Frenchmen wished to continue
in friendship with him they must promise to help him against these
powerful and hated foes.
Laudonnière feared to lose Satouriona's friendship. And thereupon
with signs, helped out now and again with a word or two, a, treaty
was made between the Indians and the Frenchmen, Laudonnière promising
to help Satouriona against his enemies, the Thimagoes. With this
treaty Satouriona was delighted, and he commanded his warriors to
help the Frenchmen in building their fort, which they very readily
Then, mindful of his promise, as soon as the fort was finished,
Laudonnière sent off some of his followers under one of his officers
to find out who the Thimagoes really were of whom Satouriona spoke
with such hate. Guided by some Indians, this officer soon came upon
the Thimagoes. But instead of fighting with them he made friends
with them, which greatly disgusted his Indian guides.
Meanwhile Satouriona, delighted at the idea of being able to crush
his enemies with the Frenchmen's help, had gathered all his braves
together and made ready for war.
Ten chiefs and five hundred warriors, fearful in war paint and
feathers, gathered at the call. Then seeing that Laudonnière was
not making any preparations for war, he sent messengers to him.
"Our chief has sent us," they said, "and he would know whether you
will stand by your promise to show yourself a friend of his friends,
an enemy of his enemies and go with him to war."
"Tell your chief, replied Laudonnière, " that I am not willing to
purchase his friendship with the enmity of another. Notwithstanding
I will go with him. But first I must gather food for my garrison,
neither are my ships ready. An enterprise such as this needs time.
Let your chief abide two months, then if he hold himself ready I
will fulfil my promise to him."
The Indian carried this answer to the Chief who, when he heard it,
was filled with wrath. He was not, however, to be stayed from war,
and he determined to go alone.
With great ceremony he prepared to set out. In an open space near
the river a huge fire was lit. In a wide circle round this the
warriors gathered. Their faces were fearful with paint, and their
hair was decorated with feathers, or the heads of wolves and bears
and other fierce animals. Beside the fire was placed a large bowl
of water, and near it Satouriona stood erect, while his braves
squatted at his feet. Standing thus he turned his face, distorted
with wrath and hatred, towards the enemy's country. First he
muttered to himself, then he cried aloud to his god the Sun. And
when he had done this for half an hour he put his hand into the bowl
of water, and sprinkled the heads of his braves. Then suddenly, as
if in anger, he cast the rest of the water into the fire, putting
it out. As he did so he cried aloud:
"So may the blood of our enemies be poured out and their lives
In reply a hoarse yell went up from the savage host, and all the
woods resounded with the fiendish noise.
Thus Satouriona and his braves set forth for battle. In a few days
they returned singing praises to the Sun, and bringing with them
twenty-four prisoners and many scalps.
And now Laudonnière made Satouriona more angry than ever with him.
For he demanded two of these prisoners. Laudonnière wanted them
so that he might send them back to the chief of the Thimagoes as a
proof that he at least was still friendly, for he already regretted
his unwise treaty. But when Satouriona heard Laudonnière's request
he was very angry and treated it with scorn.
"Tell your chief," he said, "that he has broken his oath, and I
will not give him any of my prisoners."
When Laudonnière heard this answer he in his turn was very angry,
and he resolved to frighten Satouriona into obeying him. So taking
twenty soldiers with him he went to the chief's village. Leaving
some of the soldiers at the gate, and charging them to let no
Indians go in or out, he went into Satouriona's hut with the others.
In perfect silence he came in, in perfect silence he sat down and
remained so for a long time which, says Laudonnèire, put the chief
"deeply in the dumps."
At length when he thought that Satouriona was completely frightened,
"Where are your prisoners?" he said. "I command them to be brought
before me." Thereupon the chief, "angry at the heart and astonied
wonderfully," stood a long time without making any answer. But when
at last he spoke it was boldly and without fear.
"I cannot give you my prisoners," he said. "For seeing you coming
in such warlike guise they were afraid and fled to the woods. And
not knowing what way they went we could not by any means find them
Laudonnière, however, pretended that he did not understand what
the chief said, and again he asked for the prisoners.
The chief then commanded his son to go in search of them, and in
about an hour he returned bringing them with him. As soon as they
were brought before Laudonnière the prisoners greeted him humbly.
They lifted up their hands to heaven, and then threw themselves at
his feet. But Laudonnière raised them at once, and led them away
to the fort, leaving Satouriona very angry.
Laudonnière now sent the prisoners back to the Thimagoes' chief,
who was greatly delighted at the return of his braves. He was still
more delighted when the Frenchmen marched with him against another
tribe who were his enemies, and defeated them.
But while Laudonnière was thus making both friends and enemies
among the Indians all was not peace in the colony itself. Many of
the adventurers had grown tired of the loneliness and sameness of
the life. The food was bad, the work was hard, and there seemed
little hope that things would ever be better. And for all their
hardships it seemed to them the Governor was to blame. So they
began to murmur and be discontented, gathering together in groups,
whispering that it would be a good deed to put an end to Laudonnière
and choose another captain.
And now when the discontent was at its height Laudonnière fell
ill. Then one of the ringleaders of the discontent urged the doctor
to put poison in his medicine. But the doctor refused. Next they
formed a plot to hide a barrel of gunpowder under his bed and blow
him up. But Laudonnière discovered that plot, and the ringleader
fled to the forest.
About this time a ship arrived from France bringing food for the
colony, so that for a time things went a little better. And when
the ship sailed again for home Laudonnière sent the worst of the
mutineers back in it. In their place the captain left behind some
of his sailors. But this proved a bad exchange. For these sailors
were little better than pirates, and very soon they became the