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c.1820s — Eastern Seaboard of the United States


Peopled by a race of Men altogether unlike the Inhabitants of the Eastern Continent and only known to them at a comparatively recent period. — America presents a spectacle altogether unrivaled in the general History of nations.

Within the short space of two Centuries, what changes have taken place!!! The gloomy forest has disappeared and we behold on every side Splendid Cities, [smiling?] villages and cultivated fields.

Academies and colleges have been On the same spot where perhaps the untutored Child of nature carelessly roamed in quest of game, are now to be seen colleges and academies.

We behold a proud navy, the bulwark of the nations, securely riding in harbours, where formerly the simple Indian sheltered his fragile bark.

One mighty republic has arisen, whose morning has been far more resplendent than the wildest dreamer could imagine. — Other republics have just arisen above the horizon, whose career promises to be equally glorious and honourable. —

It is said by some that Columbus was born at Cacoletto a small village at the head of the Gulf of Genoa about fifteen miles from Genoa, and on the road towards Lavona.

The house in which he was born is still known, it stands upon the sea shore, and is much decayed. The chamber in which he was born [can] only be seen.

The History of Columbus, the venerated discoverer of this western world, is in general well understood by Americans, and it would be impertinent [in us?] to give the details. — It may hover [however?] not be improper to remark that Robertson and others have informed us that there are few or no particulars respecting the family and private life of Columbus to be obtained. — This is an error. — many documents have, lately been brought forward, which will finally give us all the information respecting which we ardently covet, respecting this great man.

It is well known that Chris Colon of Columb. was born in the St. [Nephins?] parish at Genoa about the year 1447, — but it is not equally well understood that his Father was a wool-corder, and that during his childhood and growth he was engaged in this humble and laborious occupation. Yet it is supposed that he went to school and acquired the rudiments of reading and writing

At fourteen years of age he determined to become a sailor and he made his first voyages from Genoa. From his letters we hear that he visited all the ports in the Mediterranean, and became a thorough proficient in all the knowledge requisite for his profession.

About the year 1740, his Father Domenico removed his woolen manufactory to Lavona, where Columbus he was visited by his son, who soon after entered into the service of the King of Naples. — He rose rapidly from one post to another until he became Captain of a ship of war. He made some discoveries on the Coast of Africa, and extended his discoveries voyages farther north than any preceding navigator. It is said that he went even to Greenland.

At a later period Columbus entered into the service of the King of Portugal, and having married the daughter of a Sea Captain fixed his residence at Lisbon. The journal and sea charts of his father in law,

At this time the great question of a passage to India was much agitated, among navigators and the learned. Columbus long regarded it with the deepest interest. he studied attentively the journals and sea charts of his Father in law. Together with those of other distinguished navigators. (It is said, that the papers of Martin Behman[ contained many curious and interesting particulars upon this subject.) and he also made many curious observations during his own voyages. The spherical figure of the earth was well known to him, and he finally formed a just and rational opinion that a passage to India might be discovered by sailing due west.

The long and tedious supplications of Columbus to the different powers of Europe and his final success are well known to us all. — but we must here pause to remark that his success must be altogether attributed to the discernment and generosity of Isabella Queen of Castile. — This admirable woman the mother of many illustrious princes, the friend and the patroness of [merit?] deserves to be remembered with the deepest admiration by all true Americans. Columbus set sail from Spain on the 3rd of August 1492 with 3 vessels which at this period would be thought unfit to make a short [coasting?] voyage to one of our southern parts. — but perseverance was one of the most prominent traits in the character of this great man. We pass over

Columbus discovered San Salvador on the 11th of October 1492. — He also discovered Cuba and Hispaniola, and at the latter place he built a fort, with the timber of one of his vessels which was here shipwrecked. In his sea voyage he founded the City of Isabella, which is now but a heap of ruins. But the first attempt at a permanent settlement in these new regions was on the island of Hispanola. In his third voyage Columbus discovered the coast of America, near the great river Orinoco[?], and landed on the coast, and took formal possession of the whole country.

In his fourth voyage he explored all the northern coast of South America, together with a considerable extent of country. bordering upon the Gulf of Mexico and now considered as part of North America.

Notwithstanding the eminent services which he undertook for Spain. Yet Columbus during the last years of his life was treated with neglect by the King whom he had served so faithfully. — and he spent many years vainly soliciting from an ungrateful court the reward of his labours and suffering. He was suffered to languish in obscurity and comparative poverty, and he finally, died broken-hearted at Valladolid in 1500. —

The memory of Columbus is revered by the wise and the good among all nations, to Americans, But in America let [lisping?] childhood, vigorous youth, and hoary age repeat his name and recite his actions with love, gratitude and veneration.

Before we go on with our subject, we will enumerate those personas who distinguished themselves either by discoveries or conquests in the New World.

Next to Columbus Sebastian Cabot was the most eminent navigator of this age. He was long in the service of Henry 7th — and afterwards was employed by Charles 5th king of Spain. In the reign of henry 8th he returned to England, and we learn that in the reign of Edward 6th he was created Grand pilot of England, an office of great honour and importance in those days. — Some assert that Sebastian Cabot first observed the variation of the Compass. He published a large map of his discoveries and a history of his voyages, written in Italian (1583) [insert illegible].— Cabot discovered and explored the Coast of North America, Florida, in 1496. — In 1526 he discovered Paraguay being then in the service of Charles 5th king of Spain. Juan de Solis, a Spanish navigator also rendered some services to his sovereign. In 1515 he discovered and explored the coasts of Brazil and Buenos Aires. He sailed up the Rio de Plata, erected a fort and took possession of the country.

Nunes de Balboa, was our the most enterprizing Spaniards of this age. He first discovered the shores of the Pacific Ocean and in a canoe explored its shores with success.

Almagro In the year 1535 Almagro [Alvarado] set off to conquer Chili with a force of 570 Spaniards 15,000 Indians. They suffered miserable hardships and were unsuccessful. Afterward, Pedro de Valdivia conquered four [provinces?] of Mexico Chili and founded the city of Santiago.

We have observed that all the Northern part of South America was filled by discovered by Columbus. The different [missing word?] were conquered and settled by adventurers of whom we shall enumerate the principals.

Cieda and Americus Vespucci explored and attempted to conquer and obscribed New Grenada. Ceida attempted to form settlements here, but he died, and this province was finally given to Pedro de Aviella.

But New Grenada was not finally conquered until about 1530 and or 1536. When Gonzalo Thimens de Quesada was sent to New Grenada with an army.

He marched along the shores of the river  Magdalena suffering the most incredible hardships, on account of the swamps, mountain streams and the almost impenetrable forests. But his perseverance finally overcame all obstacles, he conquered many tribes of Indians, particularly a valiant chief named Bogota, and founded the city of Santa Fe de Bogota now the capital.

The southern provinces of New Grenada were conquered by Sebastian de Benalcazar one of the officers of Pizarro.

(Peru was discovered and conquered by three adventurers.)—

In 1517 Cordova discovered the peninsula of Yucatan and in 1518 Juan de Grijalva landed on the island of Cozumel east of Yucatan, and obtained some knowledge of the nations in habiting the continent. In fact they sailed along the coast, and beheld with their own eyes, a country which had evident traces of civilization, for it was lined with villages and habitations., and sailors were never weary of gazing at so enchanting a scene. — Fernando Cortez conquered this country. In 1524 the coast on the western side of South American was discovered and explored by Pizarro and his associates.

The first attempt at permanent settlements on the continent was in 1514 or 5 at Veragua. This was abandoned.

In 1510 Balboa founded the city of Darien and in 1515 the city of Panama was founded. This was the central point from which issued the Conquerors of the adjacent provinces.

Charles the 5th granted the province of Caracas to the [Welsers?] a company of German merchants of Ausberg.

The histories of the adventurers of the Spaniards in the New World abound with scenes of the [headiest?] interest, and in some instances are as romantic and incredible as Robinson Crusoe or the Thousand and One Nights… Voluminous works by contemporary Spanish  authors are still extant, yet is there not work in English which has given a general  and complete view of the subject, and [confers?] very intently to do justice to the subject. — I have therefore sketched the adventurers of Cortez, and the Conquest of Mexico, the conquest of Pizarro, The treatment which the Indians received from the Spaniards and the insurrections of the unhappy people.

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in payment of an immense sums of money which they had loaned to him. The Indians were enslaved and oppressed by them.

There are the principal persons who discovered and conquered the [Spains?] provinces.

But in the conquest of some of these provinces the Spaniards met with a fierce and determined opposition and great numbers were sacrificed to the ambition and avarice of the invaders. — To obtain gold was alone the object of the Spaniards in all their expeditions into this country. — and so great was insatiable was their avarice that they suffered the most dreadful hardships and often fell victims to it perished. X The discoveries of Grijalva on the coast of Mexico on New Spain not only aroused the curiosity but also the avarice of the Spaniards, and an armament was speedily equipped Velasquez, Governor of Cuba, for the purpose of making further discoveries and perhaps conquering the country.

The command of this expedition was given to Fernando Cortez a native of Medellin in Estremadura who had come to emigrated to Cuba, had there obtained some lands and settled. Cortez married a relation of the Spanish Governor (Velasquez) but this connexion was most unfortunate and he was constantly engaged in quarrels with Velasquez, who at one time threw him into prison. — Cortez was impetuous and ambitious, and although he accepted the command of this expedition from Velasquez, yet he determined to throw off his authority [at] the first opportunity. After some unnecessary delays, Cortez left Cuba and arrived off the coat of Yucatan, 1519. He pursued an easterly westerly course, and entered the harbour of St. Juan de [Utia? Ulaba?] on the coast of Mexico, where he was met by two persons, who reported themselves to be the subjects of a great monarch, who [resided?] in the interior called Montezuma. The dress and manners of these strangers, altogether unlike those of any other Indians, whom they had hitherto seen, and the presents which they magnificent gifts which they had bestowed upon Cortez and his officers gave the Spaniards a high idea of the wealth and civilization of the people of these unknown regions. Cortez put upon aggrandizing himself, determined at once upon the conquest of this fine country, and although several messages from Montezuma arrived with strict instructions to leave the country, and on no account to attempt to visit the capital. Yet he was regardless of all that could be urged, and began his march for Mexico.

By means of his emissaries and the Indians of the provinces — Cortez learned that disaffection reigned among the subject, and of Montezuma, and many now eagerly pressed forward to claim his protection. Aided by the friendly Indians, Cortez pursued his march to Mexico, yet his soldiers suffered incredible hardships and were so much annoyed by flying parties of India the Mexican troops. At length the army of Cortez arrived at the summit of the heights, which enclose the valley of Mexico. There, they beheld a spectacle which filled them with Amazement — and the [earnest?] soldier paused to gaze [stand] — to admire.

At the bottom of the valley extended a lake whose from whose glassy bosom arose a most splendid city. — Temples, palaces, turrets, and magnificent private build dwellings were reflected in its clear waters. — numerous cultivated isles of the most picturesque beauty. The Lake was studded with numerous picturesque isles of cultivated isles of the most picturesque beauty, which the light barks of the Indians gliding to and fro gave life and animation to the scene. The more distant shores of the Lake were ornamented with the cottages of the natives, surrounded by cultivated fields, which the neighboring heights proudly sustained the costly dwellings of the nobles or the splendid magnificent palace of the monarch. The city was connected with to the main land by a cause way, which seemed the work of a people far advanced in civilization.

The Spaniards advanced cautiously towards the city. The Mexican monarch apprised of the approach of these daring strangers, advanced to meet them surrounded by his most distinguished nobles. The splendor of the monarch and his court, and the refinement of their manners astonished Cortez and his officers, and it was afterwards said that they might have vied with any of the European courts of that period.

The Mexican courteously conducted the strangers to building a suitable place of residence, and supplied them with whatever was necessary for their comfort or convenience. Several days were spent by Cortez and his officers in viewing the city in some instances with and the Inhabitants., and their admiration was in no wise lessened , when they perceived that these hitherto unknown people had nearly kept with the European nations, in various improvements in the arts, in some sciences, and in their manners and mode of life. —

They also perceived that by their own rashness and temerity they had placed themselves in the power of the Mexicans, and that their [retreat?] might be intercepted by the breaking down of the bridges by which its different parts the causeways were were connected with the main lands. The residence of Cortez was a mossy [massy?] stone building. this he fortified, and then with a boldness as unprecedented as  extraordinary, he determined to force siege upon the Mexican monarch, and compel him to convey him as prisoner to this it.

This was effected at midday, and in the province of the Mexican court, the courtiers and nobles astonished displeased at the boldness of the Spaniards suffered their prince to become a voluntary prisoner to these strangers.

Although Cortez and his officers treated the captive monarch with the most studious respect, Yet he soon learned that his situation was humiliating, for upon the most frivolous  pretexts, Cortez caused him to be put in irons and he also extorted from him a reluctant acknowledgment of his submission to the King of Spain.

But new and unforseen events now called forth all the energies and activity of Cortez for But a dreadful tempest now hung over the heads of Cortez and his followers, which nothing but the address and activity could avert.

Velasquez Governor of Cuba had already learned that Cortez no longer acknowledged his authority, and a second armament, fitted out by him had now arrived off the coast of Mexico. The commanding officer Narvaez had orders to seize Cortez and send him in chains to Cuba.

Cortex was apprized in due time, of all these particulars. he left Mexico with a chosen body of troops and by forced marches arrived at [Cempoalla?], where Naraez has stationed himself ere he was aware that Cortez knew of his arrival.

A severe but decisive battle took place, in which Narvaez was defeated, and his troops united themselves with those of Cortez and cheerfully followed his fortunes.

Cortez again returned to Mexico, but considerable disturbances had arisen in consequence of the impudence of the Spaniards, and the Mexicans had already commenced hostilities. They saw beheld their monarch a captive and their country exposed to the rapacious exactions of a handful of strangers. Their anger was kindled and they determined on expelling these cruel invaders. Several skirmished took place, and the mexicans finally attacked the building in which their they resided. The contest was long and sanguinary, and the Spaniards at length fearing their entrenchments would be forced, they brought Montezuma forth upon the roof of the building, hoping that this prisoner would [repress?] the fury of the Invaders. — At the sight of their beloved monarch a deep silence for some moments prevailed, but when he attempted to address them, their anger was again [raised?] — and a shower of arrows and a stone from an unknown hand stretched him lifeless upon the ground. — The unhappy prince recovered but when the Spaniards attempted to dress his wounds he tore the bandages from them and expired.

The Mexicans now determined on entirely extirpating the Spaniards, and for this purpose broke down all the bridges of the causeways, hoping to intercept their retreat. The Spaniards attempted to leave the city at midnight in three divisions — but their motions were watched by the Mexicans who fell upon them with incredible fury, and great numbers fell into the Lake and perished; some fell by the weapons of the Mexicans: and many became prisoners of war.

Cortez with the remainder escaped to the opposite shore, and when the morning dawned and he surveyed the sad remnant of his brave and faithful followers he was filled with sorrow, and he contemplated the future with the most gloomy anticipations.

He now began his march towards the territory of the friendly Indians. harassed by flying parties of the Mexicans, until he arrived which hovered about them and with loud cried threatened their destruction. When they arrived at the summit of an eminence which bounds the spacious plain of Otumba, they beheld a spectacle which appalled the bravest soldier. The Mexicans had here collected an immense army of which they covered the whole plain, and extended as far as the eye could reach.

Cortez did not give his soldiers leisure to reflect, he pressed forward, attacked them with great fury, and the Spaniards superior in arms destroyed great numbers. The Mexicans, eager to defend their [liberties?], rushed forward to fill the places of the slain, and the Spanish soldiers were almost ready to expire with fatigue.

At length Cortez observed the Mexican standard, and he knew that the fortune of the day  depended upon it, he rushed forward, overturned all in his way, and killed the Mexican general, and seized the Standard. As this was the rallying point of the Mexicans, they beheld its loss with dismay, threw down their arms, and fled on every side. — They met with no further opposition and when Cortez arrived in the territory of the friendly Indians they were received with kindness and had sufficient soon recovered from their fatigues of their long and painful march.— Cortez now determined upon besieging Mexico in [foem?], and accordingly he made very considerable preparations. With the assistance of the Indians several small vessels were constructed of a size and suited to the navigation of the Lake. And he also reinforced his army by some adventurers from the islands.

When his vessels were launched and his army had arrived in the vicinity of Mexico, he ordered his soldiers to attack the city in three divisions. The Spaniards attacked advanced to the assault with great boldness, but the Mexicans had broken down the bridges and erected barricades upon the causeways, so that they repelled them [great fury?]. In some instances the Spaniards broke down the barriers and each day was signalized by bloody combats. Wearied, at length, with so fruitless a contest, Cortez determined upon a general assault. at first They attacked the city in three quarters and Cortez himself led a body discover along the grand causeway. Hurried on by their impetuosity the Spaniards advanced into the heart of the city. The Emperor of the Mexicans taking advantage of the ardor of the Spaniards, disposed his forces in so skillful a manner that they were almost surrounded and their retreat nearly cut off. — In this perilous situation their only chance of safety was by the causeway, and here terrible disasters befell them. Cortez had ordered an officer to fill these gaps, but it had been neglected, and when they arrived at the principal aperture terrible disasters befell them. A great number of the Spanish soldiers were precipitated into the lake and drowned, while others became prisoners to the Mexicans. Cortez and his officers made their way over the heaps of the slain and finally reached their encampment in safety.

They now determined on blockading the city. This was easily effected and the unhappy Mexicans suffered all the horrors of famine. They were however obstinate in their resistance, and this memorable siege was prolonged more than three months. At length the unfortunate Emperor Guatemorin attempted in attempting to escape across the lake fell into the hands of the Spaniards. — This put an end to the resistance of the Mexicans. The City surrendered, and the submission of the provinces soon followed. Cortex took possession of this once [illegible word] the splendid city. — now a heap of ruins. The submission of all the provinces soon followed and Cortez now beheld himself at the head of an extensive empire. (but many scenes of cruelty and bloodshed were exhibited. which were alike disgraceful to Cortez and his officers.)

The siege terminated. Cortez now began to rebuild the city. — It arose from its ruins with new splendor and the taste and munificence of Cortez is displayed in the . . .

Bernal Diaz — gives a most affecting picture of the Mexico, when Cortez took possession of it. The Streets, the squares and the courts were covered with dead bodies, says he we could not step without treading on them, and the lake and canals were filled with them. Some miserable wretches were crawling about in different stages of the most dreadful diseases, the consequence of famine and improper food. The ground was all broken up to get at the roots of such vegetables as it afforded and the very trees were stripped of their bark.

Says Humboldt. —

The Duke of Monteverde a Neapolitan nobleman is now the head of the family of Cortez. — His estates yield a revenue of about $70,000 per annum, although they have derived no profits from the [ruins?] upon them.

. . .disposition of the streets, and the magnificence of the public buildings churches and squares. The aqueducts were repaired and in two months the City was habitable once more habitable.

But the gold that was found in Mexico full far by no means satisfied the expectations of Cortez or the rapacity of his followers, and the emperor and his Chiefs were put to the torture in order to extort from them a confession of the place where they had concealed their treasures.— Yet after all, the quantity that was thus obtained was very inconsiderable, and the Spanish soldier as the reward of so much toil and bloodshed scarcely obtained one hundred crowns.  — The authority that Cortez assumed together with his success aroused the envy and jealousy of the officers. When Charles 5th sent into American to observe the state of affairs they accused him of aspiring to the supreme authority, and the Emperor sent Ponce de Leon to Mexico with orders to arrest Cortez and send him prisoner to Spain. — but he died before he had time to execute these orders, and Cortez indignant at these proceedings determined to plead his cause in person before the Emperor. His sudden appearance at the Spanish Court frustrated his enemies and restored the confidence of the Emperor. He was received with kindness and loaded with honors. The title of Marquis de Valle and the order of St Sago were conferred upon him, and he formed an alliance with one of the noblest families in Spain. The wealth that he displayed and the rich presents that he bestowed on persons attached to the court gained him many friends. Yet his veteran soldiers, and others raised loud clamours against him. and Charles naturally suspicious listened to them and refused to confer on him the government of the country which he had conquered, and he was compelled to return to Mexico with a military appointment and the right of making further discoveries. Cortez returned to Mexico, and In an expedition fitted out by him, the peninsula of California was discovered, and in another, which he commanded himself, he was absent three years.

In a second visit to Spain he was coolly received by the Emperor with coldness treated with neglect by his ministers, and the remaining years of his life were passed in useless and unavailing solicitations. — He died 1547. . . His descendants are still living. — and possess immense estates in the province of Oaxaca. Mexico As long as Mexico continued a Spanish province she was governed by viceroys.

From among the great mass of events relating to South America we now select the conquest of Peru by Pizarro. —

This celebrated adventurer or robber was born in the greatest obscurity. — was employed in the most ignoble occupations and when he had attained to years of maturity was even ignorant of the rudiments of reading or writing. — We learn that subsequently he became a soldier and served long in the armies of Charles 5th in Italy. — and that he followed Cortez was one of the most faithful followers of Cortez in the conquest of Mexico. Yet it seems that he received no adequate compensation for his services or his loyalty, and in 1524 we find that he had settled at Panama, and with little or no wealth was planning the conquest of distant countries. Hernando Luque a Spanish ecclesiastic and Diego de Almagro a soldier had entered into the views of Pizarro and they associated themselves together for the purpose of making discoveries and conquests. Some indistinct rumours of the existence of wealthy and powerful kingdoms, had reached in South America had reached the ears of the three associates, and with great difficulty they contrived to fit out one small vessel of which the command for the purpose of making conquests and discoveries.

The command of this expedition was given to Pizarro who set sail from Panama at a most unfavourable season, for being unacquainted with the existence of the periodic winds which proved adverse to them they encountered almost every species of distress and calamity. They were finally compelled to take shelter on an uninhabited island near the equator, infamous, says Herrera, for the unhealthiness of its climate and here for five months they submitted to almost every species of privation.

They were finally joined by Almagro with another small vessel, which had been fitted out by the Governor of Panama, and with renewed courage they again commenced their voyage.

They coasted along the shores of Peru, and the winds being favourable they had sufficient leisure to mask observation.— Although they expected to  find a people superior to the such tribes on the northern coasts of South America, yet they were utterly unprepared  for the splendid spectacle which now burst upon them. They beheld cultivated fields, neat cottages and smiling and populous villages. and above all the temples of the Inca’s resplendent with golden ornaments. When they landed, the mild and peaceable demeanor of the Inhabitants inspired them with the most favourable impressions of their wealth civilization and refinement of.

These adventurers now returned to Panama, from whence they dispatched Pizarro to Spain to solicit aid from the Emperor. — Altho a rough and unpolished soldier yet Cortez Pizarro appeared before the Emperor and his ministers with boldness and his open and unembarrassed recital of the long and painful services gained their attention and their confidence. and he obtained all the civil and military immunities [amenities?] usually granted to Adventurers in the new World.

Cortez, then in Spain, gave his ancient Companion some assistance, yet when he returned to Panama so low were the credit and finances of the three associates that they could with difficulty obtain the sum necessary for fitting out three small vessels. An hundred and eight Adventurers embarked on board this small squadron, and they set sail from Panama, and anchored in the Bay of St. Matthews. From this place they advanced marched along the coast, in a long and tedious march upon the sea shore, they met with uncommon difficulties and famine and fatigue greatly reduced their numbers. — Yet when they arrived in the province of Coaque they attacked the principal settlement killed or dispersed the natives and obtained a considerable booty of gold and riches. As Pizarro disdained to employ address or negotiation to ensure the submissiveness of the Indians, his footsteps were marked by blood and devastation and what seems almost incredible met he met with little or no opposition from the Peruvians. But Pizarro had reached the Empire of the Incas at a most propitious season. — Fatal disputes occupied the attention of the people. . . for two brothers of the royal race of the Incas contended for the succession and to the throne and engaged in supporting their respective claims, they scarcely noticed the approach of the bold Invaders who had thus boldly entered their territory. As Pizarro advanced he received intelligence of the actual state of affairs, and received messages from each of the brothers entreating him to co-operate with and assist them.

While Pizarro deliberated, a sanguinary and decisive battle took place between the two brothers, which terminated in the total defeat of Huascar the [elected?] who became a prisoner to the opposite party. The victorious prince instantly dispatched a trusty messenger to Pizarro with a valuable present, who According to the usual custom of the Spaniards he pretended to be the Ambassador of a great monarch, and he now accepted the proffered friendship made professions of friendship to the Inca and agreed to assist him.

When Pizarro arrived at Caxamalia, near the camp of the Indian Prince, he took possession of one of the palaces, which was surrounded by a strong wall and here this the Spaniards fortified a well as circumstances would admit.

On learning the arrival of these new guests the Inca disper an officer Pizarro, now sent a confidential officer to the camp of the Inca to inform him of his arrival and to renew his offers of service. — The unsuspecting prince treated his new guest with distinguished respect and proposed to visit the Spanish the next day. — The wealth which they beheld in the camp of the Inca, inflamed the avarice of the Spanish soldiers to the highest pitch and they conjured Pizarro (to pursue the same course which Cortez had adopted in Mexico) — to seize the person of the Indian prince, and bring him prisoner to the Spanish quarters. —

Pizarro listened to them with complacency. in all probability he was secretly gratified, and promised to comply with their wishes. —

The next day he had taken morning the approach of Atahualpa to the camp of the Spaniards was announced by heralds. and soon after He was borne in a little magnificent litter. — and the Splendor and richness of the equipments dresses of his attendants surpassed even  all that the Spaniards had expected anticipated. — A great train amounting to thirty thousand, was on this occasion drawn out to do honour to their prince, and all the adjacent country was covered with them.

When the Inca entered the Spanish Camp, the Valverde a Spanish ecclesiastic, began a discourse in which he attempted to explain some of the leading doctrines of the Christian religion. The Inca listened with complacent attention to him  Yet as it was badly translated he scarcely comprehended it. Yet as the Interpreter was unskilled some time elapsed before he comprehended the nature of tenor of the harangue — which required which required him to embrace the Christian religion, to acknowledge the lawful supremacy of the Pope, and to consider himself a vassal of the crown of Castile. When the Inca fully understood the discourse of Valverde he manifested the utmost indignation and contempt and the Chaplain enraged to the last degree at his obstinacy cried out to the Spaniards that our Holy religion was profaned and intreating ed them to punish such impiety. The Spanish soldiers needed no excitement, they rushed at once upon the defenseless multitude and a scene of slaughter ensued, which can scarcely be imagined much less described. — Pizarro with a few chosen officers rushed at once upon the Inca, and notwithstanding the opposition of his faithful people. Yet he was dragged from his litter and carried in triumph to the Spanish quarters. — The Peruvians made no attempt to avenge these injuries they threw down their arms and fled to the mountains. The rage and despair of the Inca on finding himself a prisoner among the Spaniards knew no bounds— and for some time he refused all consolation, but at length he became composed and began to study with consider by what means he might regain his liberty. Atahualpa was a prince of no mean abilities and he was not slow in discovering what was the that avarice was the ruling passion of the Spaniards. He hoped to render this passion subservient to his interest and he offered treasures in exchange for his liberty, treasures of which tho accounts that are given almost had been rather exaggerated seem more like rather the exaggerated fictions of Eastern romance than a sober relation of facts. The Spaniards eagerly closed with a proposal & gratifying and the stipulated quantity was soon procured brought in by the subjects of Atahualpa.— Piles of the pure [word?] together with [utensils?] of every description were spread before the astonished Spaniards. and the soldiers believing they were about to receive the reward of all their toils, could scarcely be retrained from seizing upon it. —

After payment of the stipulated quantity of gold, Atahualpa desired to be set at liberty. — And the avarice of the Spaniards was only equaled by their duplicity. and Pizarro not only refused to [release?] him but guarded him with greater diligence than before.

Pizarro was also irritated at some contemptuous expressions that fell from the Inca chief and being instigated by Almagro and some others he determined to put him to death. — A formal but ridiculous trial took place and the unfortunate Inca prince was condemned to be burnt alive. Pity or compassion seem to have had no place in the breast of Pizarro and the tears and entreaties  of the Inca were heard by the ferocious soldier with [unconcern?]. By the entreaties of the Chaplain Atahualpa consented to receive the rite of baptism and was strangled at the stake.

This whole transaction reflects signal disgrace upon Pizarro and many of his officers  and soldiers expressed their disapprobation and abhorrence in the strongest terms. The death of the Inca broke the ties which united the Indians, and under different leaders they committed the most outrageous [extremes?] in every part of the Empire. Civil war raged with destructive fury and the Spaniards taking advantage of the disorder made themselves masters of the principal  cities and amassed immense treasures. Pizarro finally endeavoured to restore order and tranquility, took upon himself the administration of civil affairs, and his regulations furnish no contemptible specimen of the his energy and penetration.

He founded the city of Lima in the beautiful valley of Eimac about six miles from the shores of the Pacific and the plan of the new city arose as if created by the hand of Enchantment— magnificent edifices were erected by the officers and soldiers of Pizarro, which betokened its future splendors.— (At the confluence of a small stream with the ocean, about is situated Calla, the fort of this fine city.)

In the grant which was made by the King of Spain, of the lands in South America to these military adventurers Pizarro was permitted to retain all the country  now known  to us as Peru. — and Almagro the territory farther south known as Chili. — Chili was inhabited by a great number of fierce tribes of Indians, and Almagro had already marched  thither with a considerable body of troops. . .  but the exact limits between the two states had never been yet exactly defined and some disputes had arisen between Pizarro and Almagro on this [head? deal?]. In the meantime, the Indians having recovered from the first astonishment which the first invasion of the Spaniards had caused saw with dismay that they permanent settlements were making by them, and that slavery and oppression would be the fate of their nation. — Manco Caplae of descendant of the royal family of the Incas, aroused the slumbering courage of his countrymen, and put himself at their head. His proceedings were conducted with so much promptitude and secrecy that the whole Indian population was in arms before the Spaniards even suspected what was going forward. —  Several detachm So great was the confidence and security of the Spaniards, that many soldiers were dispersed among the Indians, or wandering in groups about the country.— These were all surprised and cut off and Lim and Cuzco were closely invested by the united Indian forces.

One hundred and seventy Spaniards defended Cuzco for nine months against the reiterated attacks on the intrepid Indians. The suffered all the complicated distresses of famine and fatigue. Yet they defended themselves with incredible resolution against the irregular attacks of their assailants, who compensated by numbers for the want of military skill. The Indians had obtained possession of one half the City. . . and the Spaniards almost exhausted desired nothing so much as to escape from a country where they had met with so many disasters.

While affairs were in this situation Almagro suddenly appeared in the neighborhood, and being attacked by the Indians, he completely routed and put them to flight.

But Almagro came not as the friend of Pizarro. the conflicting claims respecting the boundary line of their respective territories rendered them mortal enemies to each other. — Almagro surprised Curzo by night. — took it and the two brothers of Pizarro became his prisoners. — But he lost the opportunity which was now offered for aggrandizing himself. — One of the brothers of Pizarro escaped from him. — by the artifices of the elder Pizarro he was induced to [release?] the other. — A battle between the troops of Almagro and Pizarro soon followed, in which Almagro was utterly defeated, taken prisoner and soon after suffered ignominiously on the scaffold. Tranquility was finally restored and several expeditions into other provinces were undertaken, in one of them Gonzalo Pizarro penetrated into Brazil.

Francisco Pizarro resided at Lima and assumed the state and magnificence of a viceroy.— Yet he did not long enjoy the honours of fortune which he had acquired (at the expense of so much blood) and so iniquitously.—

The followers of Almagro were dispersed throughout the country, and several of them resided in great privacy at Lima.— Almagro had also left a son, who retained a lively sense of the injustices done to his father and burned to revenge them. He had been educated by Juan de Herrada, an officer of distinguished abilities and strongly attached to Almagro.

A conspiracy was formed with great secrecy, headed by Herrada.—and the time chosen for their enterprise was noon.— Eighteen persons clothed in complete armour issued from the residence of Almagro, and proceeded at


[89] once to the family palace of Almagro Pizarro.— He had already risen from dinner and had retired to an inner apartment in order to enjoy the society of a few friends without interruption.— the conspirators entered the palace and proceeded at once to the apartment of Pizarro and stabbing an officer to the heart whom they met, burst into the room in which was Pizarro. He retreated to another, with some of his friends, and they attempted to defend the entrance, but the assailants attacked them so furiously , that several of them were mortally wounded. Pizarro defended himself with great bravery but at last overcome with by numbers and wearied he received a mortal wound, fell and expired.— Such was the fatal termination of all the splendid dreams and projects of Pizarro. The assassins rushing into the streets,— proclaimed the young Almagro Governor and being joined by others, they compelled the magistrates to acknowledge his authority. The palace of Pizarro was plundered, and those of many of his officers shared the same fate.

From this time continual dissensions agitated Peru. The assassination of Pizarro was looked upon with horror, and many persons of note refused to become the partizans of Almagro.— The arrival of a royal governor invested with full powers to punish the authors of the conspiracy decided the fate of Almagro.— In a battle in which he


[91] displayed the utmost bravery, his army was defeated and he was taken prisoner. He suffered on the scaffold together with a great number of his adherents.

But the death of Almagro did not restore tranquility to Peru and many years elapsed before the country became peaceable. Gonzalo Pizarro, the only remaining brother was engaged in a conspiracy which cost him his life and great numbers of the veteran soldiers suffered by the hand of the executioner.

At length the council of the Incas with the consent of the King made choice of pedro de la Gasca, one of the fathers of the Inquisition and a man of distinguished abilities, to as viceroy of Peru. he had also full powers to distribute lands to the soldiers, and to punish the refractory. His prudent administration restored peace and tranquility to these suffering provinces, and he stifled the clamours of the soldiers, and in general all parties were satisfied with his decisions.—  indeed, perhaps, no man was ever so truly venerated as Pedro de la Gasca.

From this time the affairs of Peru in particular present no events worthy of record.— but the Conquest of Chili long occupied the attention of the Spanish Governors, and they met with a fierce resistance from some of the tribes.— in truth the some among them were never conquered. They are known under the appellation of the [Hucacanian?] Indians. — and their history presents the picture of a brave people struggling for their civil liberty . . .

Yet the details would occupy too much of our time and we must pass them over.

After the conquest of Spanish America, the provinces were governed by viceroys appointed by the king of Spain, under whom a multitude of inferior officers, who were only amenable only to him, mostly Spaniards intent on amassing fortunes.

In the first distribution of lands the Indians were transferred with the soil and claimed as slaves. About 1500 Charles 5th Ferdinand king of Spain gave permission to certain adventurers permission to trade upon the coast of Caraccas and enslave all the Indians who should resist them. — The Indians were also enslaved in the other settlements and the most dreadful scenes of cruelty and oppression were exhibited. The were compelled to til in the mines, and were treated with the greatest so much severity that great numbers fell victim perished. It has been said, that not less than 900,000 Indians died in the space of fifteen years, in the island of Hispanola alone.

Bartholo an active and benevolent friend to these unhappy persons, however suddenly arose in the person of Bartholomae de las Casas. Rector of one of the churches in the island of Cuba. as early as 1510 he attempted to ameliorate the condition of the Indians by his own personal representations, but failing in this he went to Spain in the year 1516 and pleaded their cause with great earnestness before Ferdinand and his council. Nothing effectual was however done until the accession of Charles 5th, when a judge was appointed with ample powers to examine and to redress the wrongs of the Indians. — But the opposition of the planters in the New World was exceedingly strenuous. Soon they feared nothing so much as the total emancipation of the Indians. and Las Casas wishing to stifle the clamours and also to carry reconcile them to his favourite plan, who proposed to the Spanish government to supply the planters with negroes from Africa. This scheme was adopted, Charles 5th granted a patent to one of his Flemish courtiers, in which he had the exclusive right of sending 4000 negroes to the planters of the West Indies.—(such was the origin of the slave trade) But although the planters were permitted to purchase negroes, yet through the machinations of some Spanish ecclesiastics, all the exertions of Las casa availed nothing. his schemes were frustrated, and in despair he retired to a convent in Hispaniola, where he devoted himself to the performance of religious duties. In his seclusion he composed a treatise, entitled “A Brief View of the Destruction of the Indians.” — This work was published and had a most extensive circulation. the public mind was much agitated by the expressions that were here made and the Court of Spain finally determined to ameliorate the condition of the Indians. In 1542 Charles 5th issued an edict, in which the Indians were declared free, and were admitted to the all the rights of subjects. Las Casas was made Bishop of Chiapas in America and he passed the remainder of his long and useful life actively employed in promoting the happiness of the Indians.

But this boasted freedom of the Indians of Spanish America was shackled by regulations which were both degrading and oppressive. The Indians were compelled to pay a sort of tribute  to the owners of the lands, called encomendero.

The Governor of each district had the privilege of furnishing to the Indians in his department a great number of articles certain sorts of merchandise at fixed prices. This privilege was much abused. the poor Indians were compelled to purchase the articles furnished whether they needed them or not. and in a great number of instances there were such as were totally useless to them — Among these may be mentioned Spectacles, playing Cards, and cambrick-needles — of which immense quantities were sent into Indian villages by the Spaniards.

The mita or conscription of Indians to the mines was also exceedingly oppressive, they were compelled at certain times to labour in the mines, and obliged to travel a very considerable distance at their own expense. The slept in the open air, exposed to all the vicissitudes of the seasons, were employed in the most laborious business of the mines. They received but fifty cents a day for their labour, and in truth were the most miserable and pitiable objects.

The introductions of the Catholic religion into Spanish America did not tend to improve the condition of these unfortunate people. For every no means were left untried to extort money from them. On festival days, prayers for saints in purgatory, indulgences, saints days, the poor Indian was obliged to pay a certain sum, which may be considered as a tax to the rapacious priests, and as they were not only allowed to possess a certain amount of property, it was peculiarly oppressive.

I have seen, says Pazos, seen the poor Indian weep til his heart was well nigh ready to burst at the buying of these unjust contributions.

By these unjust measures Spain received yearly and immense revenue from her American possessions. Yet with a blind policy she laboured to conceal from Europe and the world all information concerning  this fine country. It might well be compared to a vast prison house, for all the transactions were veiled in impenetrable obscurity.

The Indians submitted with reluctance to the rigorous taxes and oppressions of the Spaniards — and several insurrections took place which were studiously concealed by the Spaniards. — from Europe and from the world. — Recent events and the publication of some interesting documents have brought some of these transactions before the public. From different sources we have obtained an imperfect account of them and shall give a very slight sketch of them.

The Indians of South America were rarely if ever satisfied with the government and the conduct of those who were placed over them and made About the year 1757 an revolution insurrection broke out in Paraguay which was fomented and headed by Don Jose Antiquera a native of Lima a person of the most transcendent talents. he was taken and imprisoned, together with several other persons. They were detained five years in prison, and finally Antegura was hot in the popular tumult by the connivance and probably by the orders of the viceroy of Lima. He is still mentioned with regret and with veneration in South America . The most formidable insurrection on South America however broke out in the year 1780, and was attended with a series of the most wonderful events. At that time the oppressions of some of the inferior officers had become so intolerable that remonstrances were made to the Spanish government, and the consequences that were likely to ensue from such a state of [wars?] fairly pointed out. Two noble Peruvians were chosen to travel to Spain , to lay the subject before the council of the Indies, but their mission was entirely defeated for the one perished by assassination and the other was drowned.

Several of the descendants of the Incas had long looked with indignation upon commiserization upon the sufferings of the Indians and Jose Gabriel Cangon Canqui tho true Inca, at length came forward and avowed himself their leader and their Champion. He assumed the name of Tupac Amaru, and the Indians flocked in great numbers to his standard.

Jose Gabriel possessed had all the requisites for becoming the leader of the Indians in this dangerous conjuncture. He possessed great courage and perseverance, a soul full of fire and impetuosity and a noble and commanding deportment.

He disseminated Edicts inviting all his countrymen to join him in the name of their ancient sovereigns and of liberty. His army increased with rapidity and he marched towards Cuzco where a small body of Spaniards hastily collected advanced to meet him. The Inca attacked the Spaniards, destroyed a great number of them, and the Spaniards took refuge in a church. Honourable conditions were offered to them, if they would surrender.— but with the characteristic obstinacy of their nation, they refused and attempted to cut their way through cut a passage through the army of the Indian army. But this desperate attempt proved fatal to them, for they were all destroyed by the Indians.

This success inspired the Indians with courage and hopes — and they marched immediately to Curzco — but they were not able to reduce it and they retired to Puno. Here they were defeated attacked by the Spanish forces, and suffered in a sanguinary battle were totally defeated. The Inca fled into the province of Chucuito.

But the Indians of several other provinces seemed to act in concert with the Inca, although they had no intelligence, at first, of the [news?] in the in the first instance they had no communication with him. A most horrible insurrection was fomented in the province of Chayanto by an Indian named Tomas Cotari, which threatened the most fearful consequences. The Corregidor of Chayanta, (Don Joaquin de Alos) was entirely destitute of humanity noted for his cruelty and inhumanity and the Indians within his district were oppressed and persecuted. Tomas Cotari made a formal complaint to the Viceroy of Buenos Ayres, but it availed nothing, and on the first pretext the Corregidor caused him to be thrown into prison. This caused the Indians, a terrible revolt took place they flew to arms, and released Tomas Coteri. Which the Corregidor fearing the consequences of such a revolt, collected a guard of two hundred men in the great and posting himself in the great square of the city awaited there the Indians. They attacked him with a fury, dispersed his troops and took the Corregidor prisoner.

Those tumults gave the viceroy great uneasiness, Tomas Coteri was persecuted with unrelenting severity, and suffered great vicissitudes. he was finally apprehended, and put to death.

On hearing the death of Coteri the fury of the Indians could no longer be repressed & they seized upon those who were accessory to it and sacrificed them to their resentment.

While this frenzy was at its height they received and manifestoes of Tupac Amari, proclaiming liberty and the restoration of the ancient government. These addresses were read with great applause and they determined to join the Inca. — But they were suddenly attacked by the Spaniards , Con Ignacio Flores, and utterly defeated. —

In the neighboring province of Oruro, the Indians fomented a most terrible rebellion, they stormed and took the rich and beautiful city of Oruro, plundered it and destroyed a great number of the inhabitants. (An account of this insurrection has been given by Dean Funes and he informs us that this city presented a most dismal spectacle — churches sacrilegiously profaned, houses demolished, the female population driven into convents; dead bodies scattered over the streets and public squares. Such was the picture of Ururo.— Similar scenes took place in the other provinces. The Indians were inflamed to the highest pitch of extravagance and sacrificed all the Spaniards within their reach.

The Inca (Tupac Amaru) with his Indian army advanced to Cuzco, and attempted to lay seige to it, but he met with a brave resistance, and was obliged to retreat. (towards Tungasuca). The Spaniards collected their forces and the Inca hazarded a battle in the open country which that was fatal to him and his brave companions. Tupac Amaru was taken by the Spaniards together with his wife and two sons.— He was interrogated and tortured by the judges. Yet he refused to implicate any of the Indians, and bore all the cruelties and insults of the Spaniards with the most noble firmness. He was compelled to behold the execution of his wife and children and was then put to death in a manner shocking to relate.

Thus perished Tupac Amaru, who may well be called a patriot and a Hero, and whose only crime was love of his country and a determination to deliver his countrymen from the most hateful oppression.

While this transaction occupied engaged the attention of the Spaniards, a new formidable Champion had arisen, Although the death of the Inca was deeply lamented by his faithful subjects, yet they were not disheartened. Neither were they without a Chief. his brother Diego was declared their leader and assumed the title and insignias of his family. His nephew Diego also assumed the name of Andres Tupac Amaru, and boldly collected a numerous band of Indians and placed himself at their head. The abilities of Diego were of the very first order, and he panted to revenge the injuries which his family and countrymen had received from the Spaniards.

While these events engaged the attention of the government, a new and formidable Champion had arisen, who from among the populace. he was originally a bake, yet he acquired a most extraordinary ascendancy among the Indians, and became the a leader of an impressive army. and a Chief. Yet he acknowledged the supremacy of the Inca, and collecting an immense army, opposed himself to the Spaniards, whom he defeated in several desperate engagements. The country in the immediate vicinity of the important and beautiful city of La Pazwas the theatre of this new Insurrection, and the Indians after performing astonishing the Spaniards by their bravery and perseverance determined on besieging La Paz. The City was closely invested on every side, and the its destruction seemed inevitable. The Spanish governor (Segurda) made the most judicious preparations for the defense of this important post and determined to hold out to the last extremity. This siege continued one hundred and nine days, and during that time scarcely a day passing without a furious assault by the Indians or a desperate sally by the Spaniards. The city was almost reduced to a heap of ruins, and the inhabitants were on the point of surrendering, when they were relieved by the fortunate arrival of the Spanish commander (Flores) from the province of Tucuman with a body of forces. The whole Indian population of these provinces was now in arms, and in his march to La Paz he had been constantly interrupt annoyed  by their flying parties of the [envoy?] Flores attacked the Indians, compelled them to raise their siege, and retire to a neighboring eminence where they entrenched themselves. Here they were attacked by the united forces from La Paz and Tucuman, they resisted the repelled the attack with uncommon bravery, then falling upon the Spaniards routed them on every side. The Spaniards fled and the Indians again invested the city.

In the meantime, the Inca Andres Tupac Amaru, had drawn together a body of Indians, and had laid siege to the city of Sorata in the province of Sacaija and situated at the base of one of the loftiest heights of the Andes. With a perseverance and ingenuity that has no parallel, Andres caused an immense basin to be constructed, into which he conducted all the mountain streams. When it was filled he broke down the barriers. Sorata was overwhelmed by a frightful inundation, the entrenchments and houses were destroyed, and the Indian army entered the city. The scene that ensued defies all description, for the Indians animated by the keenest remembrance of the cruelty and oppression of the Spaniards, here took the most ample revenge, and six days were spent in destroying the inhabitants and plundering the houses.

Andres now proceeded to unite his forces with the Indian army before La Paz and he determined to reduce this city by the same method that he had employed before Sorata. The Chiquiaco one of the branches of the Amazon runs through the middle of the city. With the most incredible ability, the Indians constructed an embankment which prevented the waters from flowing into their proper channel, An immense Lake was formed, and the suffering inhabitants of La Paz were threatened with a most destructive inundation. but the embankment gave way before the Indians had completed their works, and the waters rose above the bridges of the city. The people almost exhausted with famine and fatigue were on the point of surrendering when they were happily relieved by the timely arrival of a body of Spanish forces. Reseguin the Spanish commander offered battle to the Indians, a most obstinate engagement ensued in which the Indians suffered a most disastrous defeat.

From this moment the affairs of the Indians declined in every quarter and they lost enthusiasm which had hitherto supported them. Wearied and dispirited they were scattered abroad or driven into the mountains, and in the few subsequent skirmishes the troops of Reseguin had always the advantage.

The government offered a free pardon to those, who would voluntarily surrender, yet for a long time, few availed themselves of these offers,,, always distrusting those who had been so perfidious and cruel. Tupac Cotari fell into the hands of the Spaniards, and suffered a most ignominious death.

The Indians finally became weary of a resistance so utterly unavailing hopeless, availed themselves of the indulgence that was offered them and retired to their native villages, still subjected to the same oppressive taxes, and requisitions. No changes were made except that the taxes were heavier and more rigorously executed. and the Corregedores were more brutal and tyrannical because they feared no opposition

The family of the Incas laid down their arms, and retired quietly to their quebrados, persuaded that the cause of the Peruvians was hopeless.

Such was the issue of an insurrection which was concealed with such studious [missing word] by the Spanish government that it was not known in Europe or the United States until very recently.

The insurrections like the coruscations of a meteor threw a few bright flashes upon the thick  and gloomy darkness which had so long overshadowed this oppressed and benighted land and then died away.

But although the fire had disappeared, yet it was only smothered not extinguished, and the concealed embers gathering strength from opposition being so long pent up at last burst into a flame which blazed with tenfold violence.

The fire of Liberty has penetrated into every part of this immense region. — The cry of freedom this ominous watch-word, which rouses the gallant sons of Liberty… has been heard, from the smiling valleys and towering summits of the Andes to the borders of the Pacific and the Atlantic. — The gloomiest forests and the deepest caverns of the mountains have re-echoed the sound. The cry has gone up to heaven sanctified by the prayers and sealed with the blood of thousands of devoted freemen.

A new and fairer day is dawning upon the southern portion of our favoured land. The sun of liberty is rising in full splendor and shines his beams of glory upon this extensive region. —Far in the distance the black and scowling clouds of slavery and oppression are fast fading away — and we may hope that they will finally enjoy a never ending day of civil and religious liberty.



Source: Anne Laura Clarke Collection, Folder 10, Historic Northampton, Northampton, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Granville Ganter.