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AFTER the return of the few survivors of Magellan's expedition, with such sorry report of their sufferings, and death of their brave commander, for a long while little was done towards establishing direct trade with the East Indies except some feeble efforts put forth by the Portuguese in that direction, and for fifty years the route opened up by the daring Magellan was of small advantage to any nation. In the meantime New Spain, or South and Central America, monopolized the attention of the Spaniards who, after Balboa's discovery, and the passage of Magellan's Strait, established many settlements along the Pacific coast, chiefly in Chili. Gold and silver were found in great quantities, not in mines, but already in bars and ornaments wrought by the natives, and from their owners forcibly appropriated. The precious metals therefore became an object of prime contention in New Spain and lured thither bold adventurers who fell little short of being pirates and highwaymen, for what could not be found on the seas was sought for in the interior, and thus robbery went on until security there was none except for more powerful bodies.

Portugal and Spain, though ostensibly friendly governments, were nevertheless involved through rivalry, while England exhibited no small animosity over the apportionment made by the Pope of the new lands discovered, as already described, and her disregard of the papal bull and desire for acquisition of new territory at length led to open conflict with Spain, as will be presently described.

Queen Elizabeth had been for some time jealous of the power and riches acquired by Spain in the New World, but was anxious to avoid open conflict with her rival, and hoped to gain by adroitness what a more impulsive ruler would have attempted to obtain by open force. An opportunity presented itself when Sir Francis Drake made a tender of his services to the Queen, with a declaration of his purpose to make a voyage of discovery in the South Sea, even in violation of the assumed exclusive rights of Spain and Portugal under grants of donation by Pope Alexander VI.


Drake was, of all men of his time, best qualified for the enterprise which he had proposed, combining as he did the intrepidity of his prototype of later years, Paul Jones, and with no less courteous instincts and unconquerable determination. Drake's proposition to enter the South Sea could not be publicly countenanced by Elizabeth, as such a course would have precipitated a conflict with
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Spain, but as she foresaw the advantages which must arise from a successful expedition such as proposed, she gave a secret approval of the plans, and commended their expediency. It has been said, though without the best of proof, that the Queen gave Drake a royal commission, but she was certainly too subtle to place herself in such an equivocal position, and therefore her approbation was most likely the only sign of the royal favor. But even her approval of the enterprise was a long step towards war with Spain, because Drake could scarcely have avoided the charge of proposing a freebooting expedition. His appearance in the sea over which Spain and Portugal claimed exclusive jurisdiction must be the signal for attack, for that he would be opposed was certain, and in this assurance Drake prepared himself accordingly. More than this, knowing that the Spaniards were wresting booty from the natives of New Spain, he was resolved to profit by every advantage which offered, and to acquire treasure wherever he might find it, even to the taking of it from Spaniards themselves. The expedition was therefore either a piratical one, or else undertaken under the Queen's letters of Marque to make reprisals from any Spanish vessels found upon the high seas.


Drake wisely refrained from revealing his destination, for otherwise the Spanish government might enter protest, while the terrible sufferings of Haw-kin's crew, the death of Magellan, and more recent disasters, would make it difficult to secure seamen for such a voyage as he really intended. He accordingly publicly announced it as his purpose to make a voyage to Alexandria, and to give greater plausibility to his declaration, he fitted out a squadron of five vessels whose size was so small that they were hardly suitable for lake service. These, which were provided by Drake's friends, were as follows: The Pelican, of 100 tons, was the flag-ship of the squadron; The Elizabeth, a bark of 80 tons, Captain John Winter; The Swan, a bark of 50 tons, Captain John Chester; The Marigold, a bark of 30 tons, Captain John Thomas; and The Christopher, a pinnace of 15 tons, Captain Thomas Moone. On these vessels was a crew of 164 men.

Some surprise was expressed at the vast quantity of provisions and ammunition which was taken on board, and that the frame-work of four pinnaces, ready to be put together, should also be provided for such a short voyage. But against these suspicious precautions were the diminutive vessels, and a complement of men none too great to properly man them.


The boldness required to undertake a passage of Magellan's Strait, even after it had been once successfully traversed, was probably greater than that originally exhibited, because of the disasters that had attended later attempts. De Solis had been murdered by the natives at the mouth of the La Plata while en-route for the strait. Magellan fell a victim to extraordinary courage, while De Lope who, from the top-mast of a ship in Magellan's fleet, first discovered the strait, met with a yet more terrible fate, in the opinion of all good Catholics, for he renounced his religion and became a Mohammedan. In addition to these disasters, nearly all of the commanders and the greater part of the crews that had sailed on the South Sea had either met death at the hands of natives or perished from disaster, hardship and anxieties which attended them on their voyage. These real and imaginary dangers were greatly increased by superstitions which represented the strait as having been closed by God to prevent further adventuring into the South Sea, where every horrible thing in man's imagination was believed to exist to destroy those making bold to sail its dangerous waters. But Drake, in addition to being an uncommonly bold man, whose spirit was most active in desperate undertakings, was all the more anxious to enter upon the exploration of the South Sea because of the dangers which were said to confront those sailing upon it. In addition to providing himself with a cargo of provisions which would likely last his crews for at least two years, he appreciated the value of shows and pageants, by which he hoped not only to impress the crews that accompanied him, but also the natives whom he would come in contact with. The furniture and equipage of his ships were therefore splendid, while the cooking utensils which he carried were generally of silver, and the tableware of gold or curious workmanship. Besides these, he took with him a band of musicians, appreciating the effect which music would produce upon the natives, and its exhilarating influence upon men when depressed by any anxieties. Thus while his fleet consisted of very small crafts, their equipment in large measure compensated for the otherwise sorry condition which they would have presented.


Having completed his arrangements Drake set sail from Plymouth on the I5th of November, 1577, but almost immediately encountering a gale he was compelled to put back to Falmouth to make some repairs to the Pelican and Marigold, both of which had received considerable injuries by being driven on shore. It was not until the 13th of the following month that they were able to
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depart again, but meeting with no further mishap they reached the coast of Barbary on the 27th, where a halt was made to fit up one of the pinnaces for service. Here the fleet, encountering difficulty with the Barbary Moors, put to sea again on the 31st, and on the 17th of January, 1578, reached Cape B1anco, where Drake brought into port two Spanish caravels which he had captured on the way. Here a halt of five days was made in order to drill the crews in the manual of arms and to otherwise prepare them for battle both on sea and on land, as Drake manifested a determination to capture every Spanish merchantman that he might find upon the high seas, thus giving color of piracy to his expedition at the outset.

From Cape Blanco the squadron sailed to Mayo, where they fell in with a Portuguese ship bound to Brazil laden with wine, cloth and general merchandise. This vessel Drake also captured and gave the command to a Mr Thomas Doughty, another equally bold spirit, whose fate however was most deplorable as will be afterwards described. Only one other stop was made after the departure from Mayo until the fleet came in sight off a point of the Brazilian coast called Cape Joy. Here they put into harbor on the 5th of April, and on the morning following they discovered large fires on the shore around which were gathered a number of natives who were observed going through various incantations and the offering of sacrifices. These ceremonies, as was afterwards ascertained, were performed with the hope that their gods might avert the danger which the ships seemed to threaten. The natives had never before seen any ships and supposed them to be terrible monsters risen from the sea in the night for the purpose of devouring or otherwise destroying them. Before the day expired a violent storm, accompanied by vivid lightning and deafening thunder, on the other hand, led the superstitious sailors to believe that it was owing to the diabolical arts of the natives that the storm had been raised. On account of the fear thus entertained for each other the sailors had no intercourse with the natives, nor did the fleet remain long about Cape Joy though the climate was represented as mild and salubrious and the soil rich and fertile. Troops of wild deer of gigantic size were seen on this part of the
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coast and footprints of men of giant stature were traced on the ground. But on the following day, the 7th, the ships proceeded southward and on the 14th anchored within the entrance of the La Plata river. The fleet then sailed up the river a distance of probably a hundred miles, but finding it growing constantly fresher, they discovered the fact that they were in a river instead of a strait, and retracing their course continued their journey southward again. On the 27th the Swan was separated from the fleet and ten days later the Portuguese prize was also lost and not discovered again for more than a week afterwards.


On the 12th of May Drake entered a safe harbor at forty-seven degrees south, and the next morning put off in a boat to explore the bay. Directly after his departure a thick fog settled down which completely hid him from the vessels and for a considerable time there appeared great danger of his destruction. But by good fortune he managed to reach the shore where he discovered Indians, headed
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by a chief who was dancing and shaking a rattle, with the evident intention of inviting the strangers to visit his village which lay a short distance off. Not being prepared, however, to encounter a hostile force, which Drake feared this party might prove, he lay by till morning, and the fog in the meantime drifting, he returned to the vessels, and procuring a white flag sent it to the Indians as a token of amity and a desire to have them approach. By gradual advances an intercourse was directly established which resulted in great benefit to Drake, for the Indians proved very hospitable and provided the strangers with great store of dried ostrich flesh, and in return were sent several presents such as were calculated to attract the curiosity of the natives. After the ships had remained in the harbor a few days the party of Indians first seen was augmented by the arrival of a very large number of others, all of whom, however, exhibited great hospitality and desire to show their friendship for their white visitors. These natives are represented by Drake as being very handsome, strong, agile and alert. Their only covering was the skin of an animal which was wrapped about the middle when walking, and thrown carelessly around the shoulders while they were squatting or lying on the ground. Their bodies too were painted in a variety of colors and after a grotesque fashion. But this decoration was not so much due to vanity as to the service which the paint rendered in protecting their bodies from the cold. In addition to such presents as bells, cutlery and similar bright and attractive wares which were given to the natives, Drake also sent the chief a bottle of wine which pleased him very much, though at the first smell of the contents it apparently intoxicated him. After that, as long as the fleet remained in the harbor, the natives were incessant in their importunities for more wine.


On the 3d of June the fleet sailed out of the harbor, which has been named Seal Bay, and on the 12th they put into another bay, where they remained for two days, taking their stores from the prizes which they had made, and then sent the Portuguese vessel adrift. This anchorage was in the vicinity of Cape Horn, where after remaining for nearly three days they proceeded on to Port St. Julian where several of the crew going on shore they found the gibbet still standing upon which Magellan had executed some of the rebellious and mutinous members of his crew fifty years before On the following day the ships having been safely moored, Drake and some of his officers went off in a boat to examine the coast and on landing were met by two men of immense stature who gave them, by signs, a friendly welcome. These two were of the Patagonian tribes described by Magellan, and having been presented by Drake with a few trifles they set off, but directly returned again with several others of their people. The most hospitable feeling was constantly exhibited by the Patagonians, and very soon the natives and the members of the crew were on the most amicable terms. The English were armed principally with bows, a weapon which the Patagonian was also familiar with, and a trial of skill was made at which the Englishmen so far excelled that one of the Patagonians became jealous and with menacing gestures told the crew to leave the island. A Mr. Winter (not the captain of the Elizabeth), who accompanied the expedition, showed displeasure at this interruption, and partly in jest, but also to exhibit earnestness, he drew his bow with the intention of discharging an arrow to show the power of his weapon; but the strain was so great that the bowstring broke, and while he was in the act of repairing it, the natives discharged a shower of arrows, two of which wounded him severely, one in the shoulder, the other in the side. At this Mr. Oliver, who carried a gun, aimed his weapon at the attacking party but it missed fire, and he in turn was pierced through with an arrow, and fell mortally wounded. At this critical moment Drake ordered his men to protect themselves by means of the shields which they carried and to advance upon the Indians, at the same time to break every arrow that was discharged at them lest they might be recovered and used a second time. As the English advanced Drake seized a gun, and taking aim at the man who had killed Oliver, used it with such precision that he shot the native in the stomach, giving him a very painful wound and causing him to cry out in such agony that the rest of the natives taking alarm fled precipitately. Mr. Winter was borne off at once to the ships, but the body of Oliver was left until the following day when a
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company was sent to recover it They found that the body had not been molested during their absence except that an arrow had been thrust into the left eye and the clothes had been partly stripped off, which had been placed under the head of the corpse. Mr. Winter seemed to recover the second day after his wounds, but again grew worse, and five days later died.


This unfortunate affray, which appears rather the consequence of misunderstanding than design, was soon afterwards followed by a second even more deplorable incident. While the fleet lay in the Port of St. Julian, charges were brought against Captain John Doughty, who had been placed in command of the Portuguese prize, and he was brought to answer, before a court-martial, on a charge of conspiracy and mutiny. Specifically, the charge was that of conspiring to massacre Drake and his principal officers, and after thus enfeebling the expedition, to take possession of the ships, and enter either upon a voyage of discovery or piracy. The details of the charge and inquiry are both scanty and entirely insufficient to base an opinion respecting the guilt or innocence of Mr. Doughty. Accounts have appeared both apologetic and condemnatory of Drake, while others have sought to show that Mr. Doughty was a gentleman incapable of harboring such designs as had been charged against him. But whatever may have been the merit of his fate, Mr. Doughty was adjudged guilty by a jury of his countrymen, and condemned to death, leaving the manner of his execution within the discretion of the commandant. Drake very magnanimously permitted the condemned man to select either of three judgments : to be abandoned 011 the coast, taken back to England to answer the lords of the Queen's council, or to be executed on the island. Mr. Doughty choose the latter, only asking that he might before his death receive the holy communion with the captain-general, and that he might die the death of a gentleman. In accordance with these desires, Drake received the sacrament with the condemned man, and afterwards dined with him, the dinner being characterized by great sobriety, and at its conclusion they took their leaves by drinking to each other as if some great jollity was about to be begun. Being now prepared for his fate, Doughty walked forth with brave step, and a countenance which bespoke submission to his fate, and only requesting the bystanders to pray for him he submitted his neck to the executioner's axe. The body of Mr. Doughty was buried with those of Mr. Winter and of Mr. Oliver upon the island in the harbor, above which was erected a stone on which the chaplain cut the names of the unfortunate Englishmen and the date of their burial.


By the breaking up of the Portuguese prize, and the loss in the storm of two of the pinnaces the fleet was now reduced to three, and being supplied with wood and water and other necessaries they sailed from Port St. Julian on the 17th of August, and on the 20th they entered the Strait of Magellan, thus having passed around the greater portion of Terra del Fuego before discovering the
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entrance. At the entrance on the east side the strait was found to be about three miles broad, and on either side the land lay bare and flat. No natives appeared on the south side, but several Indians were observed making great fires along the northern land, but they offered no opposition, nor did they give intimation of any desire to come into close relation with the voyagers. The fleet proceeded carefully through the strait, making occasional stops, at which times the crews would go on shore and kill penguins, the flesh of which is said to have been as savory as that of English goose. Three thousand of these birds were slaughtered in a few days, the bodies of which were dried, and these provided food for the expedition for several months. After passing some miles within the strait the land on both sides rose up in perpendicular walls to a vast height until their peaks were white with the snows that never melted. The weather, too, was very cold, from which the crews suffered considerably, but it did not interfere with their progress, and in two weeks' time the passage through the strait was accomplished. Near the western exit the fleet was brought to an anchorage near an island, while Drake went into a boat to explore the opening of the South Sea. Here Drake claims to have met with a pigmy race of Indians (now known to have been Terra del Fuegans, a race small of stature, though by no means pigmies, unless they be compared with the Patagonians), who were discovered in a canoe close at hand evidently fishing. After going on shore he came in contact with a considerable village of these people, whose huts, like their canoes, were constructed of the bark of trees, which they also ingeniously used in forming vessels for domestic use. The tools of these pigmies were made of mussel shells which were very plentiful in the waters along the straits. But what was most surprising the natives had means of tempering these shells and making them sufficiently hard to cut bone or any substance short of iron.

On the 6th of September Drake attained the long desired happiness of entering the South Sea, fortune having favored him incessantly from the time he left Falmouth and which had enabled him to make a passage of the strait in less than a fourth of the time required for Magellan to traverse it.


After entering the ocean he directed his fleet in a north-west course, where, having proceeded 70 leagues, he was overtaken by a violent and steady gale, which drove his vessels over 200 leagues to the west of the Strait. On the 24th the weather moderated, and the wind shifting they were enabled to partly retrace their course, and after seven days standing to the north-east, they discovered
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land, but were not able to come to an anchorage. While beating about, endeavoring to find a harborage, the wind rose violently again from the same quarter, and drove them out to sea again, where the fleet became separated; the Elizabeth and the Pelican (the name of which latter was changed to Golden Hind after the ship had passed the strait, in honor of Sir Christopher Hatton, who was one of Drake's patrons) were united a day later, but the Marigold was blown out to sea, and was never again heard of. On the 7th of October, the Golden Hind and the Elizabeth entered a bay near the western entrance of Magellan's Strait, which Drake named The Bay of Parting Friends; and here it was the intention to lie by until the weather improved. But on the same night the violence of the wind was so great that the cable of the Hind parted, and she was for a third time driven to sea, while it was impossible for the Elizabeth to give her any assistance. Captain Winter was so disheartened by these misfortunes that he sailed back, with the intention of entering the straits, and thence secretly returning home. But many of the crew, objecting to such heartless abandonment of Drake, the captain was finally induced to put into Port Health, so called by reason of the rapid recovery of the crew which had been enfeebled by its hardships and the disease which in consequence had spread among them.


Drake in the meantime was carried back to 55 degrees south, and expediency admonished him to run in among the islands along the coast of Terra del Fuego, where he remained during the severe season and replenished his provisions by the capture of a large number of seals. Here a pinnace was set up and made ready for sea; but another violent gale coming on, she was driven into the
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open ocean with eight men that composed her crew. This little vessel, fortunately, weathered the gale, but being unable to return to the coast of Terra del Fuego, proceeded northward to the region of the La Plata, and there, the crew being nearly famished, they made for the shore, and six of the number were sent in quest of food. Upon landing they were, however, almost instantly attacked by a party of Indians, and all were wounded with arrows. Four of them were made prisoners by the natives, but two escaped and contrived to join their two comrades who had been left in charge of the pinnace. These the Indians pursued, but they were beaten back, and the vessel was able to put to sea again, leaving their four wounded companions in the hands of the Indians, who probably directly massacred them. The Englishmen now made for a small island about nine miles from the mainland, where the two who had contrived to escape from the native assailants died of their wounds, there being now left only two, destitute of food, in a wild land, and with a boat which they were incapable of managing on the sea. While they had been exposed to great calamities from the time of their separation from the Elizabeth, the hardships which they were now to endure very greatly exceeded those which they had previously suffered. A storm came up and dashed to pieces the little pinnace which they had anchored on the shore, thus leaving them on a desolate island, destitute of nearly everything calculated to render life supportable. They obtained food from eels and small crabs which they were occasionally able to capture, and they found a considerable quantity of a fruit resembling an orange; but they were unable to find fresh water, and their sufferings from thirst were so dreadful that they were reduced to an extremity too painful and revolting to be here described. After a two months' existence on this island, the two men discovered a plank ten feet long which had drifted from the Rio de la Plata, which served as the nucleus for a raft upon which they embarked, and after three days of incessant paddling, they contrived at last to reach the mainland. Peter Carder, one of these survivors, thus relates his experience upon reaching the shore: "At our first coming on land we found a little river of sweet and pleasant water, where William Pitcher, my only comfort and companion, although I dissuaded him to the contrary, over-drank himself, being perished before with extreme thirst; and, to my unspeakable grief and discomfort, died half an hour after in my presence, whom I buried as well as I could in the sand." The sole survivor roamed about in the woods for a few days until taken by savages whose life he adopted, and lived with them in comfort until he was captured by the Portuguese. His sojourn in South America was for a period of nine years, after which he was permitted to return to England, where he had the honor of relating his adventures before Queen Elizabeth, who suitably rewarded him for the hardships which he had experienced.

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