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eleven, returned to Cuba in September, 1543.*+
The place where Soto died is said to have been on the bank of the Red River, a western branch of the Mississippi, in lat. 31°. The place where the remnant of his army built their vessels and embarked for Cuba is called in the journal Minoya. They were seventeen days in sailing down the river, and they computed the distance to be two hundred and fifty leagues. I
From this account, faithfully abridged from Purchas, and compared with the best maps, I am fully persuaded that the whole country through which Soto travelled on the eastern side of the Mississippi is comprehended within Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and that he never went farther northward than the 35th degree of latitude, which is distant two degrees southward from any part of the Ohio. The conclusion then is, that he could
* Purchas, vol. v., p. 1532-1556.
+ [The Relation, &c., p. 211, says they sailed 52 days from the Mississippi along the coast of the gulf to the River Panico. in Mexico, where they arrived September 10, 1543, and that most of them, after remaining there a few weeks, visited the city of Mexico.-H.]
| Mr. Prince, in his Chronology, says 400 in figures; but Purchas, from whom he quotes, says "two hundred and fifty."
not have been the builder of those fortifica. tions still remaining in that part of the continent which lies N.W. of the Ohio. Nor, indeed, can any works which he erected for the security of his camp be subsisting at this time; for the best of them were made of wood, and were intended to cover his men and protect his horses and swine only during one winter.
The works which have so much excited curiosity and conjecture are far more numerous, extensive, and durable. They are found in various and distant places in the interior part of the continent, on both sides of the Mississippi, on the Ohio and its branches, on James and Potomac Rivers in Virginia, in the country of the Six Nations, and on the shores of Lake Erie, where they are exceedingly numerous.
The most obvious mode of solving the question respecting them is by inquiry of the present natives. But the structures are too ancient for their tradition; the oldest and wisest men know nothing of their original. The form and materials of these works indicate the existence of a race of men superior to the present race in improvement, in de
sign, and in that patience which must have accompanied the labour of erecting them.
Trees which have been found growing on them have been cut down, and, from indubitable marks, are known to have been upward of three hundred years old; nor were these the first growth upon them.
The mounds and ramparts are constructed of earth, and have acquired a firmness and solidity which render it probable that they are the work of some remote age and some other people, who had different ideas of convenience, and were better acquainted with the arts of defence, and, in fact, were much more numerous than the ancestry of those natives of whom we or our fathers have had any knowledge.
It is to be hoped that the persons who now occupy and are cultivating the lands where these singular buildings are found, will preserve, as far as they are able, some, at least, of these monuments of unknown ages, that, as they have long resisted the ravages of time, and may possibly baffle the researches of the present generation, they may subsist unimpaired as subjects of speculation to our posterity.
VII. HUMPHREY GILBERT.
AFTER the discovery of Newfoundland by the Cabots, the passion for adventure among the English met with many severe checks. But while one adventurer after another was returning home from an unsuccessful voyage, foreigners were reaping the benefit of their partial discoveries.
Within the first forty years we have no account of any attempt made by the English to prosecute the discovery of the new continènt, except that in 1536 two vessels, containing one hundred and twenty persons, of whom thirty were gentlemen of education and character, under the conduct of “ Master Hore, of London,'* made a voyage to Newfoundland ;t but they were so ill provided, and knew so little of the nature of the country, that they suffered the extremity of famine. For, notwithstanding the immense quantities of fish and fowl to be found on those coasts, they were redueed so low as to watch the nests of birds of prey, and rob them of the fish which they brought to feed their young. To collect this scanty supply, with a mixture of roots and herbs, the men dispersed them. selves in the woods until several of them were missing. It was at first thought that they were devoured by wild beasts; but it was found that they met with a more tragical fate, the stronger having killed the weaker, and feasted on their flesh. In the midst of this distress, a French ship arriving with a supply of provisions, they took her by force, and returned to England, leaving to the Frenchmen their own smaller vessels, and dividing the provision between them. Complaint of this act of piracy was made to King Henry VIII., who, knowing the miseries of the unfortunate crew, instead of punishing them, paid the damage out of his own coffers.
* [Master Hore is described as “a man of goodly stature and of great courage, and given to the study of cosmography." -Hakluyt, iii., 129.-H.]
† Hakluyt, vol. iii., p. 130.
Within the succeeding forty years the English had begun to make some advantage by the fishery, and in 1578 the state of it is thus described :* 66 There are about one hundred sail of Spaniards who come to take cod, who make it all wet, and dry it when they come
* Letter of Anthony Parkhurst to Richard Hakluyt, vol. iii., p. 132.