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CHAP. commander of the knights of Malta, - burned with
a desire to avenge his own wrongs and the honor of 1567. his country. The sale of his property and the con
tributions of his friends, furnished the means of
equipping three ships, in which with one hundred Aug. and fifty men he embarked for Florida. His strength
was not sufficient to occupy the country permanent
ly; he desired only to destroy and revenge. 1568. able to surprise two forts near the mouth of the St.
Matheo; and, as terror magnified the number of his followers, the consternation of the Spaniards enabled him to gain possession of the larger fort near the spot, which the French colony had fortified. But
he was not strong enough to maintain his position ; May he, therefore, hastily retreated and sailed to Europe,
having first hanged his prisoners upon the trees, and placed over them the inscription: “I do not this as unto Spaniards or mariners, but as unto traitors, robbers and murderers." The natives, who had been ill-treated both by the Spaniards and the French, enjoyed the savage consolation of seeing their enemies butcher one another.
The attack of the fiery Gascon was but a passing storm. France disavowed the expedition and relinquished all pretension to Florida. Spain grasped at it, as a portion of her dominions, and, if discovery could confer a right, her claim was founded in justice. Cuba now formed the centre of her West Indian possessions, and every thing around it was
1 Hakluyt, v. iii
. p. 426–432; Lescarbot, 1. ii. c. xix. t. i. p. 129 De Bry, part ij.; De Thou, l. xliv.; -141; Charlevoix, t. i. p. 95, Ensayo Cronologico, p. 135—138; &c.
EXTENT OF SPANISH DOMINIONS IN NORTH AMERICA.
included within her empire. Sovereignty was as- CHAP. serted, not only over the archipelagos within the tropics, but over the whole continent round the inner 1568.
From the remotest southeastern cape of the Caribbean along the whole shore to the cape of Florida and beyond it, all was hers. The gulf of Mexico lay embosomed within her territories.
ENGLAND TAKES POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES.
The attempts of the French to colonize Florida, though unprotected and unsuccessful, were not without an important influence on succeeding events. About the time of the return of de Gourgues, Walter
Raleigh,' a young Englishman, had abruptly left the 1569, university of Oxford to take part in the civil contests
between the Huguenots and the Catholics in France, and, with the prince of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV., was learning the art of war under the veteran Coligny. The protestant party was, at that time, strongly excited with indignation at the massacre, which de Gourgues had avenged; and Raleigh could not but gather from his associates and his commander intelligence respecting Florida and the navigation to those regions. Some of the miserable men, who escaped from the first expedition, had been conducted to Elizabeth, and had kindled in the public mind in England a desire for the possession of the southern coast of our republic; the reports of Hawkins, who had been the benefactor of the French on the river May, increased the national excitement; and
1 Oldys' Raleigh, p. 16, 17; Tyt. ler's Raleigh, p. 19-23.
2 Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 384. 3 Ibid, v. iii. p. 612_617.
VOYAGES IN THE REIGN OF HENRY VII.
de Morgues,' the painter, who had sketched in Flori- CHAP. da the most remarkable appearances of nature, ultimately found the opportunity of finishing his designs, through the munificence of Raleigh.
The progress of English maritime enterprize had prepared the way for vigorous efforts at colonization. The second expedition of the Cabots was, as we 1498. have seen, connected with plans for settlements. Other commissions, for the same object, were issued by Henry VII. In the patent, which an American 1501. historian has recently published,” the design of establishing emigrants in the New World is distinctly proposed, and encouraged by the concession of a limited monopoly of the colonial trade and of commercial privileges. It is probable, that at least one voyage was made under the authority of this commission; for in the year after it was granted, natives 1502. of North America, in their wild attire, were exhibited to the public wonder of England and the English court.3
Yet if a voyage was actually made, its success was inconsiderable. A new patent, with larger conces- 1502. sions, was issued, in part to the same patentees; and there is reason to believe, that the king now favored by gratuities the expedition, which no longer appeared to promise any considerable returns. Where no profits followed adventure, navigation soon
1 Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 364. Com- try. His volume is a model of pare a marginal note to v. iii. p. fidelity in bistoric research. 425.
3 Stow's Annals, 1502, p. 483, 2 Memoir of S. Cabot, p. 306— 484. 314. The author, Richard Biddle 4 Rymer's Fædera, v. xiii. p. of Pittsburgh, has done honor to 37—42; Bacon's Henry VII. himself, his subject and his coun. 5 Mem. of S. Cab. p. 226. Note.
CHAP. languished. Yet the connexion between England
and the New Found Land was never abandoned. Documentary evidence exists of voyages' favored by the English, till the time, when the Normans, the Biscayans and the Bretons, began to frequent the fisheries on the American coast. Is it probable, that English mariners ever wholly resigned to a rival
nation the benefits arising from their own discoveries? 1509, Nor was the reign of Henry VIII. unfavorable to
the mercantile interests of his kingdom; and that monarch, while his life was still unstained by profligacy, and his passions not yet hardened into the stubborn selfishness of despotism, considered the discovery of the north as his “charge and duty,” and made such experiments, as the favorable situation of
England appeared to demand. An account has 1517. already been given of the last voyage of discovery,
in which Sebastian Cabot was personally engaged for his native land. Is it not probable, that other expeditions were made, with the favor of king Hen
ry and of Wolsey, although no distinct account of 1527. them has been preserved? Of one such voyage for
the discovery of a northwest passage, there exists a relation, written by Rut, the commander of one of the ships, and forwarded from the haven of St. John in Newfoundland. This implies a direct and established intercourse between England and the Ameri
Some part of the country was explored ;
i Note in Memoir of Sebastian 3 Purchas, v. iii. p. 809; HakCabot, p. 229, 230.
luyt, v. iii. p. 167, 168; Me2 Thorne's letter, in 1527, to moir of Sebastian Cabot, part ii. Henry VIII. in Hakluyt, v.i. p. 236. c. ix.