From Robert Southey,
History of Brazil
(2nd ed., London, 1822), ch. 1, pp. 5-10.
The first person who discover the coast of Brazil was Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who had sailed with Columbus on his first voyage, as commander and master of the Nina. Seven years afterwards he and his nephew Arias obtained a commission to go in search of new countries, and trade in any which Columbus had not previously appropriated. The Pinzons were wealthy men, and the former voyage had added to their wealth; they fitted out four caravels at their own cost, and set sail from Palos in December,1499, made the Cape de Verds, then steered to the south-west, and were the first Spaniards who crost the line and lost sight of the north star. After suffering intolerable heat, and storms which drove them on their way, they saw land on January 26, 1500, in lat. 8 1/2 degrees S. to which Vicente gave the name of Cape Consolation, but which is now called Cape St. Augustines. . . .
Pinzon was convinced that the land which he had visited was not an island: he believed that it was India beyond the Ganges, and that he had sailed beyond the great city of Cathay. . . .
The coast which Pinzon had discovered lay within the Portuguese limits of demarcation, and before he reached Europe it had been taken possession of by the nation to whom it was allotted.
As soon as Vasco da Gama had returned from the discovery of India, King Emanuel fitted out a second and far more powerful expedition, to the command of which he appointed the fidalgo Pedro Alvarez Cabral. Sunday the 8th of March was fixed for the day of their departure. . . .
Vasco da Gama himself had not taken a more solemn departure; and it is extraordinary that this second expedition to India should accidentally have procured for Portugal a wider and more important empire than the first.
The fleet could not leave the Tagus that day because the wind was against them: on the following they sailed. They made for the Cape de Verd Islands, to water there, then stood to the westward to avoid those calms which Dias and Gama had met with, thinking thus to double the Cape of Good Hope more easily. They experienced however a continuance of bad weather which drove them still farther west. On the 24th of April, when by the computation of the pilots they were about six hundred and sixty leagues from the island of St. Nicolas, one of the Cape de Verds, they fell in with a field of the gulph weed; frigate-birds were seen on the following morning, and at the hour of vespers on the same day, Wednesday the 25th, they came in sight of land, a high round mountain with a lower range of mountains to the South, and a low shore covered with woods. As it happened to be Passion Week, Cabral named the high mountain Monte Pascoal, or Mount Paschal, and called the country Terra da Vera Cruz,... the Land of the True Cross. At sun set they anchored in nineteen fathoms, good anchorage, about six miles from shore. America was now no longer to be concealed from the European world.