Biographies & Memoirs

Pioneers of the Pacific Coast (Esprios Classics)

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"All through the sixteenth century the South Seas were regarded as a mysterious wonderworld, whence Spain drew unlimited wealth of gold and silver bullion, of pearls and precious stones. Spain had declared the Pacific ‘a closed sea’ to the rest of the world. But in 1567 it happened that Sir...
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"All through the sixteenth century the South Seas were regarded as a mysterious wonderworld, whence Spain drew unlimited wealth of gold and silver bullion, of pearls and precious stones. Spain had declared the Pacific ‘a closed sea’ to the rest of the world. But in 1567 it happened that Sir John Hawkins, an English mariner, was cruising in the Gulf of Mexico, when a terrific squall, as he said, drove his ships landward to Vera Cruz, and he sent a messenger to the Spanish viceroy there asking permission to dock and repair his battered vessels. Now on one of the English ships was a young officer, not yet twenty-five years of age, named Francis Drake. Twelve Spanish merchantmen rigged as frigates lay in the harbour, and Drake observed that cargo of small bulk but ponderous weight, and evidently precious, was being stowed in their capacious holds. Was this the gold and silver  bullion that was enriching Spain beyond men’s dreams? Whence did it come? Could English privateers intercept it on the high seas? "

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