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CHAP. England, as far, at least, as Cape Cod.1


numbers and hostility of the savages led him to delay 1605. a removal, since his colonists were so few. Yet the



purpose remained. Thrice in the spring of the fol1606. lowing year did Dupont, his lieutenant, attempt to complete the discovery. Twice he was driven back by adverse winds; and at the third attempt, his vessel was wrecked. Poutrincourt, who had visited Aug. France and was now returned with supplies, himself renewed the design;3 but meeting with disasters Nov. among the shoals of Cape Cod, he, too, returned to Port Royal. The soil of New-England was reserved for other emigrants; it was at Port Royal, that a 1605. French settlement, on the American continent, was first permanently made; two years before James river was discovered, and three years before a cabin had been raised in Canada.


For it was not till after the remonstrances of the French merchants had effected the revocation of the monopoly of De Monts, and even procured the cancelling of his commission, that a company of mer1608. chants of Dieppe and St. Malo, founded Quebec.* July The design was executed by Champlain, who acted not as a merchant, but as a citizen, aiming not at the profits of trade, but at the glory of founding a The city of Quebec was begun; that is to



1 Lescarbot, in Purchas, v. iv. p. 1625, 1626; Belknap's American Biog. v. i. p. 328, 329; Haliburton's Nova Scotia, v. i. p. 19, &c. &c.

2 Lescarbot, in Purchas, v. iv. p. 1627; Belknap's Am. Biog. v. 1. p. 331.


3 Lescarbot, in Purchas, v. iv. p. 1631-1635; Belknap's American Biog. v. i. p. 332.

4 Lescarbot, in Purchas, v. iv. p. 1641; Voltaire, Esprit des Mœurs, &c. &c. c. cli.

5 Charlevoix, Nouv. Fr. v. i. p. 121.




say, rude cottages were framed; a few fields were CHAP. cleared, and one or two gardens planted. The next year, that singularly bold adventurer, attended but 1609. by two Europeans, joined a party of savages in an expedition' against the Iroquois. He ascended the Sorel, and explored the lake which lies within our republic, and which, bearing his name, will perpetuate his memory. It was Champlain, who successfully established the authority of the French on the banks of the St. Lawrence, in the territory, then called New-France. Thus the humble industry of the fishermen of Normandy and Brittany promised their country the acquisition of an empire.

1 Additions to Nova Francia, in Purchas, v. iv. p. 1642, 1643,

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I HAVE traced the progress of events, which, for a season, gave to France the uncertain possession of Acadia and Canada. The same nation laid claim to large and undefined regions at the southern extremity of our republic. The expedition of Francis I. discovered the continent in a latitude, south of the coast which Cabot had explored; but Verrazzani had yet been anticipated. The claim to Florida, on the ground of discovery, belonged to the Spanish; and was successfully asserted.

Extraordinary success had kindled in the Spanish nation an equally extraordinary enthusiasm. No sooner had the New World revealed itself to their enterprize, than the valiant men, who had won laurels under Ferdinand among the mountains of Andalusia, sought a new career of glory in more remote adventures. The weapons that had been tried in the battles with the Moors, and the military skill that had been acquired in the romantic conquest of Grenada,' were now turned against the feeble occupants of America.

The passions of avarice and

1 In no work of Irving's is his peculiar genius more beautifully

displayed than in the Conquest of Grenada.




religious zeal were strangely blended; and the heroes CHAP. of Spain sailed to the west, as if they had been bound on a new crusade, where infinite wealth was to reward their piety. The Spanish nation had become infatuated with a fondness for novelties; the "chivalry of the ocean" despised the range of Eu rope, as too narrow and offering to their extravagant ambition nothing beyond mediocrity. America was the region of romance, where the heated imagination could indulge in the boldest delusions; where the simple natives ignorantly wore the most precious ornaments; and, by the side of the clear runs of water, the sands sparkled with gold. What way soever, says the historian of the ocean, the Spaniards are called, with a beck only, or a whispering voice, to any thing rising above water, they speedily prepare themselves to fly, and forsake certainties under the hope of more brilliant success. To carve out provinces with the sword, to divide the spoils of empires, to plunder the accumulated treasures of some ancient Indian dynasty, to return from a roving expedition with a crowd of enslaved captives and a profusion of spoils, soon became the ordinary dreams, in which the excited minds of the Spaniards delighted to indulge. Ease, fortune, life, all were squandered in the pursuit of a game, where, if the issue was uncertain, success was sometimes obtained, greater than the boldest imagination had dared to anticipate. Is it strange, that these adventurers were often superstitious? The New World and its wealth were in themselves so wonderful, that why should credit


CHAP. be withheld from the wildest fictions? Why should not the hope be indulged, that the laws of nature themselves would yield to the desires of men so fortunate and so brave?


Juan Ponce de Leon was the discoverer of Florida. His youth had been passed in military service in Spain; and, during the wars in Grenada, he had shared in the wild exploits of predatory valor. No sooner had the return of the first voyage across the Atlantic given an assurance of a New World, than he hastened to participate in the dangers and the spoils of adventure in America. He was a fellow 1493. voyager of Columbus in his second expedition. In the wars of Hispaniola he had been a gallant soldier; and Ovando had rewarded him with the government of the eastern province of that island. From the hills in his jurisdiction, he could behold, across the clear waters of a placid sea, the magnificent vegetation of Porto Rico, which distance rendered still more admirable, as it was seen through the transpa1508. rent atmosphere of the tropics. A visit to the island stimulated the cupidity of avarice; and Ponce as1509. pired to the government. He obtained the station; inured to sanguinary war, he was inexorably severe in his administration; he oppressed the natives; he amassed wealth. But his commission as governor of Porto Rico conflicted with the claims of the family of Columbus; and policy, as well as justice, required. his removal. Ponce was displaced.

Yet, in the midst of an archipelago and in the vicinity of a continent, what need was there for a

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