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CHAP. privileges which it conferred; and his son Sebastian,

me a native of Bristol, a youthful adventurer of great 1498. benevolence and courtesy, daring in conception and

patient in execution, a man whose active mind for more than half a century was employed in guiding the commercial enterprize, which the nations of the west were developing, and whose extraordinary merits have been recently vindicated with ingenious and

successful diligence, pursued the paths of discovery, 1498. which he, with his father, had opened. A voyage was

again undertaken; purposes of traffic were connected with it; and the frugal king was himself a partneri in the expenditure. The object of this new expedition was, in part, to explore “what manner of landes” those Indies were to inhabit ;” and perhaps, also, a hope was entertained of reaching the rich empire of Cathay. Embarking in May, Sebastian Cabot, with a company of three hundred men, sailed for Labrador, by way of Iceland; and reached the continent in the latitude of fifty-eight degrees. The severity of the cold, the strangeness of the unknown land, and his declared purpose of exploring the country, induced him to turn to the south ; and, having proceeded along the shores of the United States to the southern boundary of Maryland, or perhaps to the latitude of

1 Memoir of Seb. Cabot, p. 85. Compare also the conversation

2 Peter Martyr, of Anghiera, in Ramusio, where we must supd. iii. l. vi. Also in Eden, fol. 124, pose, that the narrator confounds 125, and in Hakluyt, v. v. p. 283, this with the preceding voyage. and Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 29, 30. Ramusio, v. i. fol. 403, or Eden and

Gomara, Historia de las Indias, Willes, fol. 267. I am indebted for c. xxxix. The passage is quoted the use of Ramusio and of many in Eden and Willes, fol. 228, and other valuable works, to Mr. E. less perfect in Hakluyt, v. ii. p.30. Everett, of Charlestown. Herrera, d. i. 1. vi. c. xvi, is con- 3 Gomara. Hasta treinta i ocho fused.







Albemarle Sound,' want of provisions induced him CHAP. to return to England.

Curiosity desires to trace the further career of the 1498. great seaman, who, with his father, gave a continent to England. The maps which he sketched of his discoveries, and the accounts which he wrote of his adventures, have perished, and the history of the next years of his life is involved in obscurity. Yet it does not admit of a reasonable doubt, that, perhaps in 1517, after he had been in the employment of Ferdinand of Spain, and before he received the appointment of Pilot-Major from Charles V., he sailed from England to discover the North Western passage. The testimony respecting this expedition is confused and difficult of explanation; the circumstances which attended it, are variously related ; and are assigned to other and earlier voyages. A connected and probable account can be given only by comparing the evidence, and extracting the several incidents from different and contradictory narratives. Yet the main fact is indisputable; Sebastian Cabot passed through the straits and entered the bay, which, after the lapse of nearly a century, took their name from Hudson. He himself wrote a “discourse of naviga


1 Peter Martyr. Ut Herculei freti regard. Expectat indies, ut navilatitudinis fere gradus equarit. &c. gia sibi parentur, quibus arcanum

2 See Eden, in Mem. of Cabot, hoc naturæ latens jam tandem dep. 102, and Thorne's letter, ib. p. tegatur. Martis mense anni futuri 103. Compare chaps. xiii. xiv. and MDXVI. puto ad explorandum xv. of the Memoir.

discessurum. Failing to sail from The account in Hakluyt, v. iii. Spain, he went to England. p. 591, 592, may ve the date of 3 Anderson was the first of the the voyage correctly; but then later writers to mention the fact. there must be a gross mistake as Anderson's History of Commerce, to its destination.

v. i. p. 321, under the year 1496. Peter Martyr, d. jii. c. v. merits Ed. 1764.


CHAP. tion," in which the entrance of the strait was laid

- down with great precision “ on a card, drawn by his 1517. own hand.” He boldly prosecuted his design, making

his way through regions, into which it was, long

afterwards, esteemed an act of the most intrepid marJune itime adventure to penetrate, till on June the eleventh,

as we are informed from a letter written by the navigator himself, he had attained the altitude of sixtyseven and a half degrees,' ever in the hope of finding a passage into the Indian Ocean. The sea was still open; but the cowardice of a naval officer, and the mutiny of the mariners, compelled him to return, though his own confidence in the possibility of effecting the passage remained unimpaired.

The career of Sebastian Cabot was in the issue as honorable, as it had in the opening been glorious. He conciliated universal regard by the placid mildness of his character. Unlike the stern enthusiasm of Columbus, he was distinguished by serenity and contentment. For sixty years, during a period when maritime adventure engaged the most intense public curiosity, he was reverenced for his achievements and his skill.

He had attended the congress, which assembled at Badajoz to divide the islands of the Moluccas

between Portugal and Spain ; he subsequently sailed 1526.

to South America, under the auspices of Charles V., though not with entire success. On his return to his

1 Ortelius, Map of America in terzo volume, &c. Come mi fu Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Eden scritto, gia molti anni sono, dal and Willes, fol. 223. Sir II. Gil Signor Sabastian Gabotto. bert, iu Hakluyt, v. jii. p. 49, 50. 3 Eden's Travayles, fol. 449.

2 Discorso del Ramusio sopra il 4 Eden's Travayles, fol. 226. Herrera, d. iii. 1. ix. c. iii. Com- 5 Memoir of Cabot, p. 220. pare Herrera, d. jii. l. x.c.i.near the 6 See the leading document on close of the chapter. The Span- the voyage of Cortereal, in a letter iard praises but sparingly the from Pietro Pasqualigo, Venctian great navigator, who had render- Ambassador in Portugal, written ed more important services to to his brother, October 19, 1501, England than to Spain.





native land, he advanced the commerce of England CHAP. by opposing a mercantile monopoly, and was pensioned and rewarded for his merits as the Great Seaman. 1549. It was he who framed the instructions for the expedition, which discovered the passage to Archangel. 1553. He lived to an extreme old age, and loved his profession to the last; in the hour of death his wandering thoughts were upon the ocean. The discoverer of the territory of our country, was one of the most extraordinary men of his age; there is deep cause for regret, that time has spared so few memorials of his career. Himself incapable of jealousy, he did not escape detraction. He gave England a continent, and no one knows his burial-place."

It was after long solicitations, that Columbus had obtained the opportunity of discovery. Upon the certainty of success, a throng of adventurers eagerly engaged in voyages, to explore the New World, or to plunder its inhabitants. The king of PortuGAL, grieved at having neglected Columbus, readily favored an expedition for northern discovery. Gaspar Cortereale was appointed commander of the enter- 1500. prize. He reached the shores of North America,


in Paesi novamente ritrovati et i Hazard's Collection, v. i. p. 23. Novo Mondo da Alberico VespuMemoir of Cabot, p. 185.

tio Florentino intitulato. L. vi.c. 2 Flakluyt, v. j. p. 251–255. CXXV. The original, in the edition Purchas' Pilgrims, v. i. p. 915. of Milan, 1508, and the French

3 Memoir of Cabot, p. 219. translation, are both in the library

4 Peter Martyr, d. iii. I. vi.; in of Harvard College. Eden, fol. 125.


CHAP. ranged the coast for a distance of six or seven hun

dred miles, and carefully observed the country and 1501. its inhabitants. The most northern point which he

attained, was probably about the fiftieth degree. Of
the country along which he sailed, he had occasion
to admire the brilliant freshness of the verdure, and
the density of the stately forests. The pines, well
adapted for masts and yards, promised to become an
object of gainful commerce. But men were already
with the Portuguese an established article of traffic;
the inhabitants of the American coast seemed well

fitted for labor; and Cortereal freighted his ships 1501. with more than fifty Indians, whom, on his return, Aug.

he sold as slaves. It was soon resolved to renew the
expedition ; but the adventurer never returned. His
death was ascribed to a combat with the natives,
whom he desired to kidnap; the name of Labrador,
transferred to a more northern coast, is, probably, a
memorial of his crime;' and is, perhaps, the only per-
manent trace of Portuguese adventure within the
limits of North America.

The French entered without delay into the com

petition for the commerce and the soil of America. 1504. Within seven years of the discovery of the continent,

the fisheries of Newfoundland were known to the har-
dy mariners of Brittany and Normandy. The island


1 TIerrera, d. i. 1. vi. c. xvi. Go- Compare Navarette, Viages Me-
mara, c. xxxvii. Also in Eden, nores, v. iii. p. 43, 44.
fol. 227. Galvano, in Hakluyt, v. 3 Charlevoix Hist. Gen. de la
iv. p. 419. Purchas, v.i.p. 915,916. Nouv. Fr.v. i.p.3, ed. of 1744, 4to;
Memoir of Seb. Cabot, b. ii. c. iii. Champlain's Voyages, v. i. p. 9;
and iv.

Navarette Colleccion, &c. v. iii.
2 Memoir of Seb. Cabot, p. 242. p. 176–180, argues against the


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