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[73] maintain his position, he, in May, 1568, hastily weighed
Chap. II.} 1568. May.
anchor for Europe, having first hanged his prisoners upon the trees, and placed over them the inscription: ‘I do not this as unto Spaniards or mariners, but as unto traitors, robbers and murderers.’ The natives, who had been ill treated both by the Spaniards and the French, enjoyed the consolation of seeing their enemies butcher one another.

The attack of the fiery Gascon was but a passing storm. France disavowed the expedition, and relinquished all pretension to Florida. Spain grasped at it as a portion of her dominions; and, if discovery could confer a right, her claim was founded in justice. In

Historia de la Florida, 147. Greenhow's Memoir.
1573, Pedro Melendez Marquez, nephew to the Adelantado, Melendez de Aviles, pursued the explorations begun by his relative. Having traced the coast line from the Southern Cape of Florida, he sailed into the bay of St. Mary, estimated the distance between its headlands, took soundings of the water in its channel, and observed its many harbors and deep rivers, navigable for ships. His voyage may have extended a few miles north of the bay. The territory which he saw was held by Spain to be a part of her dominions; but was left by her in abeyance. Cuba remained the centre of her West Indian possessions, and every thing around it was included within her empire. Her undisputed sovereignty was asserted not only over the archipelagos within the tropics, but over the continent round the inner seas. From the remotest south-eastern cape of the Caribbean, along the whole shore to the Cape of Florida, and beyond it, all was hers. The Gulf of Mexico lay embosomed within her territories.

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