Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ferent periods, and always by tribes more or less numerous, and possessed of very different degrees of civilization.

Native Tribes. The principal nations and tribes, which occupied the immense territories of the western continent, beginning at the south, were the Araucanians, the Peruvians, the Caraibes, the Mexicans, the Arrowauks, the Sioux, the Moheakaneews, the Iroquois, the Knisteneaux, the Chipewyans, and the Esquimaux.

The Indians of Chili and Patagonia all spoke one language. We call them ARAUCANIANS, after the name of their most powerful tribe. They were more civilized than most of the Tartars. They are at this day, a powerful, compact, independent republic.*

The PERUVIANS were farther advanced in civilization, when America was discovered, than the European Russians in the time of Peter the Great.

The ARROWAUKS and the CARAIBES inhabited the West-Indian Islands, and the shores of Guiana and Caraccas.

The Mexicans constituted a powerful empire. They were still farther advanced in civilization than the Peruvians.

The country lying west of the Missisippi and north of Mexico, as far as the parallel of 52° N. was inhabited by many independent tribes, whom, for want of a better name, we call the Sioux, after the name of the tribe now the most numerous.

The MOHEAKANEEWst inhabited the greater part of the northern states, and probably New-Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Of many of their tribes we have authentic accounts.

The IROQUOIS, or, as they are commonly called, the Six Nations, inhabited the northern and western parts of the state of NewYork, and a part of Pennsylvania and Onio.

The KNISTENEAUX still occupy a vast extent of country, around the southern shore of Hudson bay. Their language is the same with that of the people, who inhabit the coast of British America, on the Atlantic, with the exception of the Esquimaux ; and continues along the coast of Labrador and gulf and banks of St. Lawrence, to Montreal.

The CHIPEWYANs are numerous. They consider the country between lat. 60° and 65° N. and between lon. 100° and 110° W. as their home. Their language is copious, and difficult to be attained; and is spoken in many dialects by the tribes, who wander over an immense tract of country. Between them and the Frozen ocean lie the Esquimaux, and on the North-West Coast, is a nation different from both.

The ESQUIMAUX possess the sea coast from the Atlantic through Hudson's straits and bay, as far as M.Kenzie's river, and probably farther. They never quit the coast; and agree in appearance, manners, language, and habits, with the inhabitants of Greenland. Their progress has been only westward.

There are many small tribes, unconnected with these, which cannot be enumerated. Discoveries. The following are the principal epochs of discovery

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Motina.

4 Dr. Dwight's Manuscript observations. M'Kenzie, II, 304.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

861. Iceland, which is really an Ainerican island, was discovered by Nardoddr a Norwegian.

982. Greenland was settled by Eric Rufus, a young Norwegian ; and, before the eleventh century, churches were built and a bishopric erected at Garde, the capital.

1002. Vineland, which is probably Labrador, possibly Newfoundland, was discovered by Bairn, an Icelander. A small colony of Norwegians was planted there. The fate of this colony has never been fully ascertained.

1492. Christopher Colon, or, as he is commonly called, Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, set sail from Palos in Spain, under the auspices of Ferdinand and Isabella, the sovereigns of Castile and Arragon. His armament consisted of three vessels ; the largest, the Santa Maria, a ship of no considerable burden, was commanded by Columbus as admiral. Martin Pinzon was captain of the second, called the Pinta. The third, the Nigna, was under the command of Vincent Yanez Pinzon. The squadron was victu. alled for 12 months, and had on board 90 men, mostly sailors, together with a few adventurers. The expence of fitting out the expedition was 4000 pounds sterling; and to raise this sum the queen generously offered to pledge her own jewels.

On the first of October, he was, by his own reckoning, 770 leagues west of the Canaries. His men began to mutiny, and he was forced to promise to return, if land did not appear in three days. Fortunate presages soon arose, such as land-birds, a cane newly cut, a carved piece of wood, and the branch of a tree, with fresh red berries. On the 11th of October, a little before midnight, Columbus, from the forecastle of the Santa Maria, discovered a light at a distance; and shortly after the cry of land ! land! resounded from the Pinta, the headmost ship. Rodrigo de Triana was the name of the mariner, who was so fortunate as to announce this intelligence to his countrymen. With the dawn of Friday, October 12th, a beautiful isle appeared, two leagues to the north. The crews of all the ships unitedly sang Te Deum, with shouts of joy and transports of congratulation. They then threw themselves at the feet of Columbus, and begged him to forgive their incredulity and disobedience.

The isiand was one of the groupe, called the Bahamas. Columbus named it San Salvador, but it is now better known by the native name of Guanahani.*

He soon afterwards discovered Cuba and Hispaniola. After visiting the Azores, on his return, he arrived at Palos, on the 15th of March, 1493. In September of this year, Columbus sailed upon his second voyage to America ; discovered the islands, Dominica, Marigalante, Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Antigua, Porto Rico, and Jamaica ; founded a town in St. Domingo, being the first European settlement in the new world ; and returned to Spain in 1496.

1496. In the spring of this year, Giovani Gaboto,t a Venetian, under a commission from Henry VII. sailed from England, dis

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Cat island of the English mariners.

+ In English, John Cabot.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

covered the coast of Labrador, and coasted northerly, as far as the 67th degree of latitude.

1497. In company with his son, Sebastian Cabot, he discovered Bonavista, on the N. E, side of Newfoundland; and, before his rem turn, traversed the coast from Davis's straits to cape Florida.

1498. This year Columbus made his third voyage, and, Aug. 1, discovered the CONTINENT, at the mouth of the Oronoco, together with the island of Trinidad. He then returned to Hispaniola ; and in October, 1500, was sent back to Spain in chains!!!

1500. Pedro Alvarez Cabral, on a voyage to the East-Indies, dis. covered Brazil.

1502. Columbus made his fourth and last voyage. He discovered the bay of Honduras, and coasted thence easterly 200 leagues, as far as the gulf of Darien. During tbis voyage, he was shipwrecked on the island of Jamaica. He returned to Spain in 1504. On his arrival he received the fatal news of the death of his patroness, Queen Isabella.*

1513. Vasco Nugnez de Balboa, from the mountains of the isthmus, discovered the Pacific ocean. He afterwards waded into it, and took a formal possession of it, in the name of the king of Spain.

In the same year John Ponce, a Spanish captain, discovered East-Florida.

1520. Ferdinand Magalhaens, or Magellan, a Portuguese gentleman, in the employ of the court of Castile, discovered the straits of Magellan, and sailed through them into the Pacific ocean. No European before him had ever sailed on its waters. To him it owes its naine.

1534. James Cartier, in the employ of Francis I. of France, on the day of the festival of St. Lawrence, discovered the gulf and rive er, which bear that name.

1553. Sir Hugh Willoughby discovered the island of Spitzbergen.

1578. Sir Francis Drake coasted along the whole western shore of South-America. In 1579 he discovered California, and took possession of the country under the name of New-Albion. He passed thence to the Moluccas, or Spice islands, Sept. 29, 1579, and arrived in England, Nov. 3, 1580, after an absence of two years and ten months.

1585. John Davis, an experienced navigator, sailed to the western coast of Greenland, and explored Davis's straits. On another voyage he proceeded as far north, as the island of Disco, and disCovered Cumberland's straits.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

* This illustrious man was afterwards created duke of Veragua. He died of the gout at Valladolid, on the 20th of May, 1506, in the 59th year of his age ; and was buried at Seville with this most honorable inscription.

A Castilla y a Leon
Nuevo Mundo dio Colon.
To Castile and to Leon

Colon gave a new world.
The body of Columbus was carried to the West-Indies, and buried in thit
the Cathedral at St. Domingo, in Hispaniola,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

1607. Henry Hudson explored the eastern coast of Greenland, as far as 82° north.

1609. In a second voyage, he discovered Hudson's river and ago cended it, as far as Albany.

1610. This year Hudson made his third voyage, and discovered the straits of Hudson, and the large inland sea, known by the name of Hudson bay.

1616. Captain Robert Bylat, and William Baffin, went in search of a north-west passage to India. Baffin claims to have discovered that the body of water lying between Greenland and America is a bay, and not a strait ; and, of course, that Greenland is not an island, but a part of the continent. Little credit, however, is give cn to his representations, and it is not yet ascertained whether Greenland is a peninsula or an island.

1728. Captain Vitus Behring sailed from Kamtschatka, N. E. as far as lat. 67o.

1745. In this year, the Aleutian or Fox islands, stretching west from the promontory of Alashka, were discovered by some Kamtschadale voyagers, who were driven by stress of weather near to the American coast.

1772. Mr. Hearne, while exploring the interior of North-Amer. ica, discovered the Frozen sea, in alout 1:10° west long. and in lat. 70° north. Mr. M.Kenzie, in 1789, discovered it in the same latitude, and in about 135° wes:.

Religions. The religions which exist in America are the Jewish, the Christian, and the Pagan.

A few Jews are scattered over the large towns of the United States, Mexico, the West-Indies, und South-America. This is almost the only country in which this scattered and devoted people have not been persecuted.

Of Christians, Roman Catholics are most numerous in America: They compose the chief European population of Canada, and the whole of that of Brazil and Spanish Ainerica. They are found, also, in considerable numbers in Maryland, in several of the capital towns in other parts of the United States, and in the West Indies.

Almost all the inhabitants of the United States are Protestants, as are those of Nova Scotia, New-Brunswick, New-Britain, Greenland, and the islands in the West-Indies, which were settled by the English.

The native tribes of North-America, a few converts to Christianity excepted, are Pagans ; as are the nations in Amazonia and Patagonia, as well as most of the tribes in the conquered provinces of South-America.

Governments. The United States constitute a FEDERAL REPUBLIC; Greenland and British America are provinces ; Brazil is now an independent kingdom; Spanish America is struggling to be free ; Araucania, in Chili, is a republic; the island of St. Domingo calls itself an empire ; and the Aborigincs, where they are unsubdued, with the exception of the Araucanians of Chili, constitute numerous independent petty kingdoms.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Population. On this subject we have scarcely any thing to guide us but conjecture. That of the United States is known. That of British America can be nearly ascertained. That of Spanish America and Greenland can be guessed at; while at that of aboriginal America one would hardly venture to guess. From the best information which we have been able to obtain, we are howeyer led to conclude, that it does not exceed 35,000,000. Nor do we believe that it falls greatly short of that number.

Climate and Seasons America extends through the torrid and porthern temperate zones ; through a great part of the southern temperate, and a considerable proportion of the northern frigid zones. The winters of North-America are colder, and the summers hotter, than those of Europe in the same latitudes. They bear a much nearer affinity to those of eastern Asia. The weather also is extremely variable. The equatorial regions of America are never subjected 10 the intense heat, which prevails in the same regions in Africa. The complexion of the aborigines of Peru and Brazil is rcd, and is but a few shades darker, than that of the indians of New-England. This milder temperature is owing to the vicinity of the Andes. The temperate regions of South-America are colder than the corresponding latitudes of North-America. It is also said, tliat the North-West Coast of America is much warm“, er than the N. E. in the same parallels.

Face of the Country. America contains no immense deserts similar to the Zaara of Africa, or the cxtensive sandy plains of central Asia.

Seas. Hudson SEA (commonly called Hudson Bay) is considered as commencing at cape Chidley and cape Waising nam, that is, in long. 65o W. It reaches 30° of longitude; which, in lat. 60°, will be about 1050 miles. It lies between 51° and 69° N. lat. Its length of course is 1250 miles. Labrador bounds it on the E. and New North and New South Wales on the W. Its shores, from Moose river, or the bottom of the bay, to cape Churchill, are generally low and shallow, with a muddy or sandy boltora; and the lands are wooded with pines, birch, larch, and willows. From cape Churchill to cape Walsingham, the coasts are all high and rocky to the very sea, and woodless, except the mouths of Pockerekesko and Seal rivers. Nor are there any trees for a great disa tance inland. The whole western shore is faced with islands, at some distance from the land.

Caribbean Sea. The great mass of waters reaching from the peninsula of Yucatan, on the west, to the Windward Islands on the east, and having Porto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba, on the north, is usually called the Caribbean sea. It extends from 61° to 90° W. Jong. and from 8° to 22° N. lat. The bay of Honduras is near its western extremity. East of this bay lies the gulf of Darien.

Bays. The great bays or gulss of the American continent are Baffin's bay; Hudson bay; the Caribbean sea ; and the gulfs of St. Lawrence, Mexico, and California.

Baffin's Bay lics between Greenland on the east, and Labrador and the countries north of Hudson bay, on the west. According

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »