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Mostrando las entradas de febrero, 2009

Bolivar y Amestoz

Bolivar y Amestoz.

Entretanto la Providencia parecia proteger los dias del Libertador en Jamaica, alejando de su pecho el puñal traidor que habia de atentar contra ellos. Un español, pagado por Don Salvador Moxo, que había sustituido a Cevallos mientras un viaje de este a la Peninsula, logro seducir en Kingstown a uno de los sirvientes de Bolivar; y cierta noche, acercándose a la hamaca en que solia dormir, clavo su acero homicida en el corazon de la persona que alli estaba acostada. Al iay! lanzado por la victima Bolivar se levanto, hizo preso al criminal y lo entrego a la justicia, que oida la confesion del infiel servidor le condeno a sufrir la ultima pena.
Este incidente necesita una explicacion. El Libertador y un emigrado de Caracas amigo suyo, llamado Amestoz, acostumbraban dormir en la misma habitación. El primero se acostaba en una hamaca y el segundo en una cama. Pero aquel dia, en que el calor fue extraordinario, habiéndose retirado Amestoz mas temprano se acosto en la hama…

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS , THE SPANISH COURT

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS , THE SPANISH COURT. 1492.
While Ferdinand and Isabella were at Santa Fe, the capitulation was signed, that opened the way to an extent of empire, compared with which their recent conquests, and indeed all their present dominions, were insignificant. The extraordinary intellectual activity of the Europeans in the fifteenth century, after the torpor of ages, carried them forward to high advancement in almost every department of science, but especially nautical, whose surprising results have acquired for the age, the glory of being designated as peculiarly that of maritime discovery. This was eminently favored by the political condition of modern Europe. Under the Roman empire, the traffic with the east naturally centred in Rome, the commercial capital of the west. After the dismemberment of the empire, it continued to be conducted principally through the channel of the Italian ports, whence it was diffused over the remoter regions of Christendom. But these countrie…

1516

The subsequent year Cabot made a second voyage, inspecting the American coast northward till icebergs were met, southward to the vicinity of Albemarle Sound. Possibly in his first expedition, probably in the second, John Cabot was accompanied by his more famous son, Sebastian.
For many years after the Cabots, England made little effort to explore the New World. Henry VII. was a Catholic. He therefore submitted to the Pope's bull which gave America to Spain. Henry VIII. had married Catherine of Aragon. He allowed Ferdinand, her father, to employ the skill and daring of Sebastian Cabot in behalf of Spain. It was reserved for the splendid reign of Elizabeth to show what English courage and endurance could accomplish in extending England's power.
See also: 1506-1513

1604-1635

In 1604 De Monts arrived on the coast of Nova Scotia and erected a fort at the mouth of the St. Croix, New Brunswick. He also made a settlement on the shore of the present harbor of Annapolis, naming it Port Royal, and the country around it Acadia. De Monts is famous largely because under him the Sieur de Champlain, the real father of French colonization in America, began his illustrious career. He had entered the St. Lawrence in 1603. In 1608 he founded Quebec, the first permanent colony of New France. The next year he explored the lake which perpetuates his name. In 1615 he saw Lake Huron, Le Caron, the Franciscan, preceding him in this only by a few days. Fired with ardor for discovery, Champlain joined the Hurons in an attack upon the Iroquois. This led him into what is now New York State, but whether the Indian camp first attacked by him was on Onondaga or on Canandaigua Lake is still in debate. These were
but the beginning of Champlain's travels, by which many other Frenchme…

1497, 1515

Turn back now to Columbus's time. England, destined to dominate the continent of North America, was also practically the discoverer of the same. On St. John's day, June 24, 1497, thirteen months and a week before Columbus saw South America, John Cabot, a Venetian in the service of King Henry VII., from the deck of the good ship Matthew, of Bristol, descried land somewhere on the coast either of Labrador or of Nova Scotia. Cabot, of course, supposed this prima vista of his to belong to Asia, and expected to reach Cipango next voyage. So late as 1543 Jean Allefonsce, on reaching New England, took it for the border of Tartary.
Andre Thevet, in 1515, in a pretended voyage to Maine, places Cape Breton on the west coast of Asia. This confusion probably explains the tradition of Norumbega as a great city, and of other populous and wealthy cities in the newly found land. Men transferred ideas of Eastern Asia to this American shore.
See also: 1498, 1506-1513

1534,1540

How the French fought for foothold in Florida and were routed by the Spaniards has just been related. So early as 1504, and possibly much earlier, before Cabot or Columbus, French sailors were familiar with the fisheries of Newfoundland. To the Isle of Cape Breton they gave its name in remembrance of their own Brittany. The attention of the French Government was thus early directed toward America, and it at length determined to share in the new discoveries along with the Spanish and the English.
In 1524 Verrazano, a Florentine navigator, was sent by Francis I. on a voyage of discovery to the New World. Sighting the shores of America near the present Wilmington, North Carolina, he explored the coast of New Jersey, touched land near New York Bay, and anchored a few days in the harbor of Newport. In this vicinity he came upon an island, which was probably Block Island. Sailing from here along the coast as far north as Newfoundland, he named this vast territory New France.
1540.
In 1534 C…

1570

Moreover, the Spaniards found their first American conquests too easy, and the rewards of these too great. This prevented all thought of developing the country through industry, concentrating expectation solely upon waiting fortunes, to be had from the natives by the sword or through forced labor in mines, Their treatment of the aborigineswas nothing short of diabolical. Well has it been said: "The Spaniards had sown desolation, havoc, and misery in and around their track. They had depopulated some of the best peopled of the islands and renewed them with victims deported from others. They had inflicted upon hundreds of thousands of the natives all the forms and agonies of fiendish cruelty, driving them to self-starvation and suicide, as a way of mercy and release from an utterly wretched existence. They had come to be viewed by their victims as fiends of hate, malignity, and all dark and cruel desperation and mercilessness in passion. The hell which they denounced upon their vict…

1565

But Spain claimed this territory, and Pedro Melendez a Spanish soldier, was in 1565 sent by Philip II. to conquer it from the French, doubly detested as Protestants. He landed in the harbor and at the mouth of the river, to both of which he gave the name Saint Augustine. Melendez lost no time in attacking Fort Carolina, which he surprised, putting the garrison mercilessly to the sword. The destruction of the French colony was soon after avenged by Dominic de Gourgues, who sailed from France to punish the enemies of his country. Having accomplished his purpose by the slaughter of the Spanish garrison he returned home, but the French Protestants made no further effort to colonize Florida.
Spain claimed the land by right of discovery, but, although maintaining the feeble settlement at Saint Augustine, did next to nothing after this to explore or civilize this portion of America. The nation that had sent out Columbus was not destined to be permanently the great power of the New World. Th…

1562

Thus no settlement had as yet been made in Florida by the Spanish. The first occupation destined to be permanent was brought about through religious jealousy inspired by the establishment of a French Protestant (Huguenot) colony in the territory. Ribault, a French captain commissioned by Charles IX., was put in command of an expedition by that famous Huguenot, Admiral Coligny, and landed on the coast of Florida, at the mouth of the St. John's, which he called the River of May. This was in 1562. The name Carolina, which that section still bears, was given to a fort at Port Royal, or St. Helena. Ribault returned to France, where civil war was then raging between the Catholics and the Protestants or Huguenots. His colony, waiting for promised aid and foolishly making no attempt to cultivate the soil, soon languished. Dissensions arose, and an effort was made to return home. Famine having carried off the greater number, the colony came to an end. In 1564 Coligny sent out Laudonniere,…

1528-1540

The disastrous failure of the expedition of Vasquez de Ayllon to Florida did not discourage attempts on the part of others in the same direction. Velaspuez, governor of Cuba, jealous of the success of Cortez in Mexico, had sent Pamphilo de Narvaez to arrest him. In this attempt Narvaez had been defeated and taken prisoner. Undeterred by this failure he had solicited and received of Charles V. the position of governor over Florida, a territory at that time embracing the whole southern part of what is now the United States, and reaching from Cape Sable to the Panuco, or River of Palms, in Mexico. With three hundred men he, in 1528, landed near Appalachee Bay, and marched inland with the hope of opening a country rich and populous. Bitterly was he disappointed.
Swamps and forests, wretched wigwams with their squalid inmates everywhere met his view, but no gold was to be found. Discouraged, he and his followers returned to the coast, where almost superhuman toil and skill enabled them to …

Brasil 1510-1521

1510.
Dá á costa na Bahia de Todos os Santos hum navio Portuguez. A maior parte da tripulação e passageiros morreo ou no naufragio ou ás mãos dos Indigenas. Diogo Alvares Corrêa porém consegue a sua salvação e até fazer-se respeitado e amado desses póvos anthropophagos por ter podido salvar comsigo huma arma de fogo, com a qual ajudou-os a debellar e vencer os seus formidaveis inimigos. Denominarão-o por isso o Caramurú, que quer dizer o homem de fogo.
1515.
João Dias Solis ao serviço da Hespanha percorre a costa do Brasil desde o Cabo de Santo Agostinho até o Rio da Prata, ao qual deo o seu nome (e, posto que este rio tivesse perdido o nome de Solis para receber o de Prata, comtudo ainda hoje ha o rio de Solis que nelle desagua, e que conserva immortal o nome deste illustre navegante). N'esta viagem descobre elle a Bahia de Nictherohy, depois chamada do Rio de Janeiro. (É grave questão quem tenha sido o descobridor desta Bahia, si Americo Vespucio, si Gonçalo Coelho, si Solis, s…

Brasil 1500-1503

1500.

Reinando em Portugal El-Rei D. Manoel, parte de Lisboa huma esquadrilha sob o commando de Pedro Alvares Cabral com destino á India, cujo caminho pelo Cabo Tormentorio ou de Boa-Esperança havia sido descoberto por Bartholomeo Dias e Vasco da Gama; porém obrigado a descambar para O. afim de desviar-se das cóstas, é acossado pelos ventos e impellido cada vez mais para este rumo. Entregue assim á mercê da Providencia, avista elle terras da America Meridional em 22 de Abril. (Muito divergem os Historiadores sobre o dia do descobrimento do Brasil; porém a opinião mais geralmente seguida, ao menos até certa época, foi a de Ozorio, Barros, e outros que assignalão a este acontecimento o dia 24 de Abril, fundados talvez na relação de um piloto que vinha nesta expedição e por isso testemunha ocular. Nós porém assignalamos o dia 22, fundados na carta que a D. Manoel escreveo Pedro Vaz de Caminha, que vinha na expedição como Escrivão da armada, testemunha ocular, e digna de todo o conceito; …

PRIMITIVE ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY

If the ancient Chaldæans gave to the planetary conjunctions an influence over terrestrial events, let us remember that in our own time people have searched for connection between terrestrial conditions and periods of unusual prevalence of sun spots; while De la Rue, Loewy, and Balfour Stewart thought they found a connection between sun-spot displays and the planetary positions. Thus we find scientific men, even in our own time, responsible for the belief that storms in the Indian Ocean, the fertility of German vines, famines in India, and high or low Nile-floods in Egypt follow the planetary positions.

And, again, the desire to foretell the weather is so laudable that we cannot blame the ancient Greeks for announcing the influence of the moon with as much confidence as it is affirmed in Lord Wolseley’s Soldier’s Pocket Book.

Even if the scientific spirit of observation and deduction (astronomy) has sometimes led to erroneous systems for predicting terrestrial events (astrology), we owe …

1518-1520

Juan de Grijalva explored the south coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from Yucatan toward the Panuco. Interest attaches to this enterprise mainly because the treasure which Grijalva collected aroused the envy and greed of the future conqueror of Mexico, Hernan Cortez.

In 1518, Velasquez, governor of Cuba, sends Cortez westward, with eleven ships and over six hundred men, for the purpose of exploration. He landed at Tabasco, thence proceeded to the Island of San Juan de Ulua, nearly opposite Vera Cruz, where he received messengers and gifts from the Emperor Montezuma. Ordered to leave the country, he destroyed his ships and marched directly upon the capital. He seized Montezuma and held him as a hostage for the peaceable conduct of his subjects. The Mexicans took up arms, only to be defeated again and again by the
Spaniards. Montezuma became a vassal of the Spanish crown, and covenanted to pay annual tribute. Attempting to reconcile his people to this agreement he was himself assailed and w…

1506-1513

Before the death of Columbus, Spain had taken firm possession of Cuba, Porto Rico, and St. Domingo, and she stood ready to seize any of the adjoining islands or lands so soon as gold, pearls, or aught else of value should be found there. Cruises of discovery were made in every direction, first, indeed, in Central and South America. In 1506 de Solis sailed along the eastern coast of Yucatan. In 1513 the governor of a colony on the Isthmus of Darien, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, from the top of a lofty mountain on the isthmus, saw what is now called the Pacific Ocean. He designated it the South Sea, a name which it habitually bore till far into the eighteenth century. From this time the exploration and settlement of the western coast, both up and down, went on with Little interruption, but this history, somewhat foreign to our theme, we cannot detail.

The same year, 1513, Ponce de Leon, an old Spanish soldier in the wars with the Moors, a companion of Columbus in his second voyage, and till n…

1498

1498.
As we have seen, Spain by no means deserves the entire credit of bringing the western continent to men's knowledge. Columbus himself was an Italian. So was Marco Polo, his inspirer, and also Toscanelli, his instructor, by whose chart he sailed his ever-memorable voyage. To Portugal as well Columbus was much indebted, despite his rebuff there.
Portugal then led the world in the art of navigation and in enthusiasm for discovery. Nor, probably, would Columbus have asked her aid in vain, had she not previously committed herself to the enterprise of reaching India eastward, a purpose brilliantly fulfilled when, in 1498, Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and sailed to Calicut, on the coast of Malabar. Already before this Spain and Portugal were rivals in the search for new lands, and Pope Alexander VI. had had to be appealed to, to fix their fields. By his bull of May 3, 4, 1493, he ordained as the separating line the meridian passing through a point one hundred leagues …

1500-1507

As Columbus was ignorant of having found a new continent, so was he denied the honor of giving it a name, this falling by accident, design, or carelessness of truth, to Amerigo Vespucci, a native of Florence, whose active years were spent in Spain and Portugal. Vespucci made three voyages into the western seas. In the second, 1501, he visited the coast of Brazil, and pushed farther south than any navigator had yet done, probably so far as the island of South Georgia, in latitude 54 degrees.
His account of this voyage found its way into print in 1504, at Augsburg, Germany, the first published narrative of any discovery of the mainland. Although, as above noted, it was not the earliest discovery of the main, it was widely regarded such, and caused Vespucci to be named for many years as the peer, if not the superior of Columbus. The publication ran through many editions. That of Strassburg, 1505, mentioned Vespucci on its title-page as having discovered a new "Southern Land." Th…

ADEN-ABYAN ISLAMIC ARMY

The Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, most recognized for its involvement in the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, is allegedly affiliated with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network. The Yemen-based group has been implicated in several acts of terror since the late 1990s.
Aden-Abyan was formed sometime in either 1996 or 1997 as a loose guerrilla network of a few dozen men—a mix of veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war and Islamists from various countries. In May 1998, it issued the first of a series of political and religious statements on Yemeni and world affairs. In December 1998, Aden-Abyan kidnapped a party of 16 Western tourists in southern Yemen, 4 of whom later died during a botched rescue by Yemeni security forces. The leader of the group, Abu al-Hassan al-Mihdar, was executed for his role in the kidnappings.
Numerous connections have been drawn between Aden-Abyan and the Al Qaeda network. After the 1998 attack on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Aden-Abyan claimed it was a “heroic oper…

1493-1500

The admiral having failed to note its latitude and longitude, it is not known which of the Bahamas was the San Salvador of Columbus, whether Grand Turk Island, Cat (the present San Salvador), Watling, Mariguana, Acklin, or Samana, though the last named well corresponds with his description. Mr. Justin Winsor, however, and with him a majority of the latest critics, believes that Watling's Island was the place. Before returning to Spain, Columbus discovered Cuba, and also Hayti or Espagnola (Hispaniola), on the latter of which islands he built a fort.

In a second voyage, from Cadiz, 1493-1496, the great explorer discovered the Lesser Antilles and Jamaica. In a third, 1498-1500, he came upon Trinidad and the mainland of South America, at the mouth of the Orinoco.
This was later by thirteen months and a week than the Cabots' landfall at Labrador or Nova Scotia, though a year before Amerigo Vespucci saw the coast of Brazil. It was during this third absence that Columbus, hated as a…

1484-1492

The war for Granada ended, Santangel and others of his converts at court secured Columbus an interview with Isabella, but his demands seeming to her arrogant, he was dismissed. Nothing daunted, the hero had started for France, there to plead as he had pleaded in Portugal and Spain already, when to his joy a messenger overtook him with orders to come once more before the queen.

Fuller thought and argument had convinced this eminent woman that the experiment urged by Columbus ought to be tried and a contract was son concluded, by which, on condition that he should bear one-eighth the expense of the expedition, the public chest of Castile was to furnish the remainder. The story of the crown jewels having been pledged for this purpose is now discredited. If such pledging occurred, it was earlier, in prosecuting the war with the Moors. The whole sum needed for the voyage was about fifty thousand dollars. Columbus was made admiral, also viceroy of whatever lands should be discovered, and he…

1475-1484

Reflecting on these things, studying Perestrello's and Correo's charts and accounts of their voyages, corresponding with Toscanelli and other savans, himself an adept in drawing maps and sea-charts, for a time his occupation in Lisbon, cruising here and there, once far northward to Iceland, and talking with navigators from every Atlantic port, Columbus became acquainted with the best geographical science of his time.

This had convinced him that India could be reached by sailing westward.
The theoretical possibility of so doing was of course admitted by all who held the earth to be a sphere, but most regarded it practically impossible, in the then condition of navigation, to sail the necessary distance. Columbus considered the earth far smaller than was usually thought, a belief which we find hinted at so early as 1447, upon the famous mappe-Monde of the Pitti Palace in Florence, whereon Europe appears projected far round to the northwest. Columbus seems to have viewed this ext…

1470-1484

From 1470 to 1484 we find him in Portugal, the country most interested and engaged then in ocean-going and discovery. Here he must have known Martin Behem, author of the famous globe, finished in 1492, whereon Asia is exhibited as reaching far into the same hemisphere with Europe.
Prince Henry of Portugal earnestly patronized all schemes for exploration and discovery, and the daughter, Philippa, of one of his captains, Perestrello, Columbus married. With her he lived at Porto
Santo in the Madeiras, where he became familiar with Correo, her sister's husband, also a distinguished navigator. The islanders fully believed in the existence of lands in the western Atlantic. West winds had brought to them strange woods curiously carved, huge cane-brakes like those of India described by Ptolemy, peculiarly fashioned canoes, and corpses with skin of a hue unknown to Europe or Africa.
See also: Enterprise of the Indies

1000, United States

There is no end to the accounts of alleged discoveries of America before Columbus. Most of these are fables. It is, indeed, nearly certain that hardy Basque, Breton, and Norman fishermen, adventuring first far north, then west, had sighted Greenland and Labrador and become well acquainted with the rich fishing-grounds about Newfoundland and the Saint Lawrence Gulf. Many early charts of these regions, without dates and hitherto referred to Portuguese navigators of a time so late as 1500, are now thought to be the work of these earlier voyagers. They found the New World, but considered it a part of the Old.

Important, too, is the story of supposed Norse sea-rovers hither, derived from certain Icelandic manuscripts of the fourteenth century. It is a pleasing narrative, that of Lief Ericson's sail in 1000-1001 to Helluland, Markland, and at last to Vineland, and of the subsequent tours by Thorwald Ericson in 1002, Thorfinn Karlsefne, 1007-1009, and of Helge and Finnborge in 1011, to p…