summer of that year he was sent on a secret expedition to the West Indies
, the object of which was to select a harbor and procure a site suitable for a coaling-station.
It was a service of some danger, as it exposed him to the influences of a tropical climate in the hottest season of the year.
lie went out in a United States
vessel under the command of Lieutenant Renshaw
, a gallant and excellent officer, who was killed at Galveston
, January 1, 1863, by the blowing up of the Westfield
selected the bay and promontory of Samana
, on the northeast coast of the island of Hayti
, as the most desirable site for the object proposed.
It is a spot of much historical interest.
, returning to Spain
after his first discovery of the New World, anchored in this bay, having first sailed round the promontory and given names to two of its headlands.
Here some of his crew had an affray with the natives, in the course of which, much to the grief of the great navigator, two of the latter were wounded,--the first time that native blood was shed by white men in the New World.
At a later period, the peninsula,--which in the old maps is laid down as an island,--as well as the rocky islets in the harbor, of which there were several, became haunts of the buccaneers.
On one of these islets, or cays, Jack Banister
, a celebrated English pirate, at the close of the seventeenth century, defended himself successfully against two English frigates sent to capture him,--in consequence of which the name of Banister Cays was given to the group.
Upon the promontory are