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of May, 1512. Peter Martyr speaks with high commendation of this young man. “Young Vesputius is one to whom Americus Vesputius, his uncle, left the exact knowledge of the mariner's faculties, as it were, by inheritance, after his death; for he was a very expert master in the knowledge of his carde, his compasse, and the elevation of the pole starre by the quadrant. Vesputius is my very familiar friend, and a wittie young man, in whose company I take great pleasure, and therefore use him oftentymes for my guest. He hath also made many voyages into these coasts, and diligently noted such things as he hath seen.”* Vespucci, the nephew, continued in this situation during the lifetime of Fonseca, who had been the patron of his uncle and his family. He was divested of his pay and his employ by a letter of the Council, dated the 18th of March, 1525, shortly after the death of the Bishop. No further notice of Vespucci is to be found in the archives of the Indies. Such is a brief view of the career of Amerigo Vespucci; it remains to notice the points of controversy. Shortly after his return from this last expedition to the Brazils, he wrote a letter dated Lisbon, 4th September, 1504, containing a summary account of all His voyages. This letter is of special importance to the matter under investigation, as it is the only one * Peter Martyr, decad. iii., lib. v. Eden's English translation. known that relates to the disputed voyage, which would establish him as the discoverer of Terra Firma. It is presumed to have been written in Latin, and was addressed to René, Duke of Lorraine, who assumed the title of King of Sicily and Jerusalem. The earliest known edition of this letter was published in Latin in 1507, at St. Diez in Lorraine. A copy of it has been found in the library of the Vatican (No. 96SS by the Abbe Cancellieri. In preparing the present illustration a reprint of this letter in Latin has been consulted, inserted in the -\'oz'us On 5 is of rinaeus, published at Bath in 1532. The letter contains a spirited narrative of four voyages which he asserts to have made to the New World. In the prologue he excuses the liberty of addressing King René by calling to his recollection the ancient intimacy of their youth when studying the rudiments of science together under the paternal uncle of the voyager; and adds that if the present narrative should not altogether please his majesty, he must plead to him as 'liny said to Maecenas, that he used formerly to be amused with his triflings. In the prologue to this letter he informs King René that affairs of commerce had brought him to Spain, where he had experienced the various changes of fortune attendant on such transactions, and was induced to abandon that pursuit and direct his labors to objects of a more elevated and stable nature. He therefore purposed to contemplate various parts of the world and to behold the marvels which it contains. To this object both time and place were favorable; for King Ferdinand was then preparing four vessels for the discovery of new lands in the West and appointed him among the number of those who went in the expedition. “We departed,” he adds, “from the port of Cadiz, May 20, 1497, taking our course on the great gulf of ocean; in which voyage we employed eighteen months, discovering many lands and innumerable islands, chiefly inhabited, of which our ancestors make no mention.” A duplicate of this letter appears to have been sent at the same time (written, it is said, in Italian)to Piere Soderini, afterwards Gonfalonier of Florence, which was some years subsequently published in Italy, not earlier than 1510, and entitled, Lettera de Amerigo Pespucci delle Isole nuvoamente trovate in quatro suoi viaggi. We have consulted the edition of this letter in Italian, inserted in the publication of Padre Stanislaus Canovai, already referred to. It has been suggested by an Italian writer that this letter was written by Vespucci to Soderini only, and the address altered to King René through the flattery or mistake of the Lorraine editor, without perceiving how unsuitable the reference to former intimacy intended for Soderini was when applied to a sovereign. The person making this remark can hardly have read the prologue to the Latin edition, in which the title of “your majesty'' is frequently repeated and the term “illustrious king" employed. It was first published also in Lorraine, the domains of René, and the publisher would not probably have presumed to take such a liberty with his sovereign's name. It becomes a question whether Vespucci addressed the same letter to King René and to Piere Soderini, both of them having been educated with him, or whether he sent a copy of this letter to Soderini, which subsequently found its way into print. The address to Soderini may have been substituted through mistake by the Italian publisher. Neither of the publications could have been made under the supervision of Vespucci. The voyage specified in this letter as having taken place in 1497, is the great point in controversy. It is strenuously asserted that no such voyage took place; and that the first expedition of Vespucci to the coast of Paria was in the enterprise commanded by Ojeda, in 1499. The books of the armadas existing in the archives of the Indies at Seville, have been diligently examined, but no record of such voyage has been found, nor any official documents relating to it. Those most experienced in Spanish colonial regulations insist that no command like that pretended by Vespucci could have been given to a stranger, till he had first received letters of naturalization from the sovereigns for the

kingdom of Castile, and he did not obtain such till 1505, when they were granted to him as preparatory to giving him the command in conjunction with Pinzon. His account of a voyage made by him in 1497, therefore, is alleged to be a fabrication for the purpose of claiming the discovery of Paria; or rather it is affirmed that he has divided the voyage which he actually made with Ojeda, in 1499, into two; taking a number of incidents from his real voyage, altering them a little, and enlarging them with descriptions of the countries and people so as to make a plausible narrative which he gives as a distinct voyage; and antedating his departure to 1497, so as to make himself appear the first discoverer of Paria. In support of this charge various coincidences have been pointed out between his voyage said to have taken place in 1497, and that described in his first letter to Lorenzo de Medici in 1499. These coincidences are with respect to places visited, transactions and battles with the natives, and the number of Indians carried to Spain and sold as slaves. But the credibility of this voyage has been put to a stronger test. About 1503, a suit was instituted against the Crown of Spain by Don Diego, son and heir of Columbus, for the government of certain parts of Terra Firma, and for a share in the revenue arising from them, conformably to the capitulations made between the sovereigns and his father. It was the object of the Crown to disprove the discovery of the

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