« PreviousContinue »
STATISTICAL VIEW OF THE
Wi^ferb'^K^ ^scovl^ oTO^A. 3 ^,
sfcwof U.S.A. .... . . . ,. .
.venturers could reach in the time employed in their voyages, which was comprehended in a very small space. There appears no reafon to doubt of the discovery; but as the land was never colonized, nor any advantages made of it, it may fairly be conjectured, that they reached no farther than the barren country of Labrador. In stort, it is from a much later period that we must date the real discovery of America *.
Towards the clofe of the 14th century, the navigation of Europe was scarcely extended beyond the limits of the Mediterranean. The mariner's compass had been invented and in common use'for more than a century; yet with the help of this sure guide, prompted by the most ardent spirit of discovery, and encouraged by the patronage of princes, the mariners of thofe days rarely ventured from the sight of land. They acquired great applause by failing along the coast of Africa and discovering fome of the neighbouring islands; and aster pushing their researches with the greatest industry and perseverance for more than half a century, the Portuguese,' ,whq were the most fortunate and enterprising, extended their discoveries''Southward no farther than the equator.
The rich commodities of the East, had for several ages been brought
Among the foreigners whom the fame of the discoveries made by the
• In the »d Vol. ol the Tranfactions os the Philofophical Society al Philadelphia,