By Jacob Abbott. Part two of an eight part series on the history of America from its earliest times through to the age of George Washington, told by master storyteller Jacob Abbott.
This volume starts with the epic voyages of the Vikings to the east coast of North America some 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The author reveals many little-known details of this adventure, and the many traces these intrepid explorers left behind.
The book then goes on to provide a full account of each of the most famous European explorers who opened up the New World: Christopher Columbus, Sebastian Cabot, Americus Vespucius, John Ponce de Leon, Narvaez, Fernando De Soto, James Cartier, and Henry Hudson.
Drawing upon original journals and accounts of eyewitnesses and sometimes sole survivors, this volume weaves a gripping story which includes accounts of the first meeting of the different races, the first use of tobacco, and much more. Read in detail of the astonishing adventures, the sometimes friendly and oftentimes bloody encounters with the Indians, and the ingenuity and daring of these early pioneers who laid the foundations for further European immigration which changed North America from untamed wilderness into what would become one of the mightiest nations in history.
Abbott deals objectively with the explorers’ treatment of the Indians, and also the behavior of the Indians toward the Europeans, revealing without prejudice the inequities perpetrated by both sides.
Running throughout this volume is the theme of the stunning European technological advantage over the Indians, and how this enabled a relatively tiny number of adventurers to overcome seemingly impossible odds to map out the territory of North America.
Jacob Abbott (1803–1879) was a native of the state of Maine who was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, a minister, and founder of two schools (the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston and the Mount Vernon School for Boys, in New York City).
He wrote more than 180 books and became famous for his easy-to-read style of historical storytelling, stripped of the dry dustiness which characterized other texts.
CHAPTER 1: GREENLAND
A Connecting Link between the Old World and the New.—The Medusae.—Neither Day nor Night.—Ice Produced upon the Land.—Formation of Icebergs.—Ice Formed upon the Sea.—Currents in the Northern Seas.—The First Recorded Migration to America.—Establishment of the Danish Colony.—Disasters.—Voyage of Lief and Biorn.—Different Opinions in Respect to These Discoveries.—The Runic Inscription
CHAPTER II: COLUMBUS
Adventurous Spirit of the Fifteenth Century.—Desire for a Passage to India by Sea.—Two Routes to Be Tried.—Prince Henry of Portugal.—Discovery of the Passage Round the Cape of Good Hope.—Ideas of Christopher Columbus.—Supposed Magnitude of the Earth.—Difficulties Encountered By Columbus.—Terms of the Covenant.—Preparations for the Voyage.—Instruments of Navigation.—Public Opinion in Respect to the Expedition.—The Day of Sailing
CHAPTER III: JOURNAL OF THE FIRST VOYAGE OF COLUMBUS
The Run to the Canary Islands.—A Month at the Canaries.—The Voyage Commenced in Earnest at Last.—Variation of the Needle.—Mid-Ocean.—False Cry of Land.—Prosperous Continuation of the Voyage.—The Mutiny.—Discovery of Land
CHAPTER IV: SEQUEL OF THE VOYAGE
Preparations for Landing.—The Ceremony of Taking Possession.—Forming Acquaintance with the Natives.—Columbus not Satisfied.—Astonishment of the Natives.—Cruise among the Islands.—Search for Spices.—Landing upon Cuba.—An Embassage Sent into the Exterior.—General Treatment of the Natives.—Kidnapping the Natives.—Visit from a Cazique.—Disasters.—Consequences of the Loss of the Sancta Maria.—Conclusion of the Voyage
CHAPTER V: DISCOVERY OF NORTH AMERICA
Sebastian Cabot.—The Cabot Family.—General Interest Awakened in Columbus’s Discoveries.—The Letters Patent.—The Old Map at Whitehall.—The Inscription on the Map.—Other Sources of Information.—The First Voyage.—The Second Voyage.—Observations on the Land.—Advance to the Northward.—Mutiny.—Return of the Expedition.—Subsequent History of Cabot.—The Voyage of the Serchthrift
CHAPTER VI: THE DISCOVERY OF FLORIDA
Universal Interest Awakened.—Americus Vespucius.—John Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth.—Commencement of Hostilities with the American Indians.—The First Act of Revenge.—Narvaez.—The Landing.—Plans for Advancing into the Country.—Progress of the March.—Crossing the Suwanee River.—The Bloodhounds.—Increasing Difficulties.—Arrival at Apalache.—Narvaez Turns His Course toward the Sea.—Narvaez Discouraged.—Boat Building on the Seashore.—End of the Expedition
CHAPTER VII: FERNANDO DE SOTO
Commencement of De Soto’s Career.—Outfit of De Soto’s Expedition.—Difficulties at the Outset.—Arrival on the Coast of Florida.—De Soto Obtains an Interpreter.—The Story of Ortiz.—Preparations for the Campaign.—The Adventure of Vasco Porcallo.—Disposition of the Fleet.—Commencement of the March into the Interior.—Hardships and Difficulties of the March.—Intense Hostility of the Indians.—Progress of the Expedition.—The Captive Princess.—Tuscaloosa.—Approach to Mauvila.—Terrible Reverse at Mauvila.—Horrible Condition of the Army after the Battle.—De Soto’s Determination.—The Greatest of the Losses from the Fire
CHAPTER VIII: DISCOVERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Determination of De Soto to Proceed.—Passage of the Tuscaloosa River.—John Ortiz as an Interpreter.—De Soto Unhorsed in Battle.—The Only Woman in the Army.—Single Combat.—Language of Signs.—Arrival on the Banks of the Mississippi.—Aspect of the River.—Search for a Crossing Place.—A Fleet of Canoes.—Crossing the Mississippi.—Grand Religious Ceremony.—Incidents of the March.—De Soto Begins to be Discouraged.—Determination to Turn toward the Sea.—Sickness and Death of De Soto.—The Burial of the Body.—Condition of the Army after the Death of De Soto.—Case of a Deserter.—End of the Expedition
CHAPTER IX: THE RIVER ST. LAWRENCE
The Three Chief Rivers of North America.—James Cartier.—Sailing of the Expedition.—The Voyage.—Search for a Passage through the Land.—Intercourse with the Natives.—The Expedition Ascends the River.—Donnacona.—Accounts of Hochelaga.—Attempt to Frighten Cartier by an Apparition.—Continued Ascent of the River.—Lake St. Peter.—Approach to Hochelaga.—Visit to the Town.—First Observation of Tobacco.—Return of the Expedition down the River.—The Pestilence.—Extreme Distress and Suffering.—Stratagems against the Indians.—Return of the Expedition.—The Kidnapping of Donnacona.—Donnacona’s Cunning.—The Seizure Effected.—Distress of the People.—Provisions for Donnacona’s Voyage.—Results of Cartier’s Discoveries
CHAPTER X: THE HUDSON RIVER
Henry Hudson.—First and Second Voyages of Hudson.—The Third Voyage.—Landing in Penobscot Bay.—The Ship Blown Ashore.—The Indians.—John Coleman.—Ascent of the River.—Intercourse with the Indians.—An Indian Put to the Test.—Modesty of the Women.—Approach to the Highlands in Descending the River.—An Indian Chief.—End of the Voyage in the River.—Subsequent History of Hudson.—Henry Greene.—The Gunner’s Gray Cloth Gown.—The Captain Quarrels with Greene.—The Mutiny.—The Last That was Ever Known of Captain Hudson.—Conclusion
The American History Series by Jacob Abbott:
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