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 wounded, and, refusing all nourishment, soon after died. With re-enforcements, Cortez completed the conquest of the country, and Mexico became a province of Spain.
Vasquez de Ayllon, one of the auditors of the Island of Santo Domingo, sent two ships from that island to the Bahamas for Indians to be sold as slaves. Driven from their course by the wind, they at length reached the shore of South Carolina, at the mouth of the Wateree River, which they named the Jordan, calling the country Chicora. Though kindly treated by the natives, the ruthless adventurers carried away some seventy of these. One ship was lost, and most of the captives on the others died during the voyage. Vasquez was, by the Emperor Charles V., King of
Spain, made governor of this new province, and again set sail to take possession. But the natives, in revenge for the cruel treatment which they had previously received, made a furious attack upon the invaders.
The few survivors of the slaughter returned to Santo Domingo, and the expedition was abandoned. These voyages were in 1520 and 1526.

In connection with the subject of Spanish voyages, a passing notice should be given to one, who, though not of Spanish birth, yet did much to further the progress of discovery on the part of his adopted country.
Magellan was a Portuguese navigator who had been a child when Columbus came back in triumph from the West Indies. Refused consideration from King Emmanuel, of Portugal, for a wound received under his flag during the war against Morocco, he renounced his native land and offered his services to the sagacious Charles V., of Spain, who gladly accepted them, With a magnificent fleet, Magellan, in 1519, set sail from Seville, cherishing Columbus's bold purpose, which no one had yet realized, of reaching the East Indies by a westward voyage, After touching at the Canaries, he explored the coast of South America, passed through the strait now called by his name, discovered the Ladrone Islands, and christened the circumjacent ocean the Pacific.

The illustrious navigator now sailed for the Philippine Islands, so named from Philip, son of Charles V., who succeeded that monarch as Philip II. By the Tordesillas division above described, the islands were properly in the Portuguese hemisphere, but on the earliest maps, made by Spaniards, they were placed twenty-five degrees too far east, and this circumstance, whether accidental or designed, has preserved them to Spain even to the present time. At the Philippine Islands Magellan was killed in an affray with the natives. One of his ships, the Victoria, after sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, arrived in Spain, having been the first to circumnavigate the globe. The voyage had taken three years and twenty-eight days.

See also: 1506-1513

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