Daniel Boone - The little fleet of three small vessels, with which Columbus left Palos in Spain, in search of a new world, had been sixty-seven days at sea. They had traversed nearly three thousand miles of ocean, and yet there was nothing but a wide expanse of waters spread out before them. The despairing crew were loud in their murmurs, demanding that the expedition should be abandoned and that the ships should return to Spain. The morning of the 11th of October, 1492, had come. During the day Columbus, whose heart had been very heavily oppressed with anxiety, had been cheered by some indications that they were approaching land. Fresh seaweed was occasionally seen and a branch of a shrub with leaves and berries upon it, and a piece of wood curiously carved had been picked up.
The devout commander was so animated by these indications, that he gathered his crew around him and returned heartfelt thanks to God, for this prospect that their voyage would prove successful. It was a beautiful night, the moon shone brilliantly and a delicious tropical breeze swept the ocean. At ten o'clock Columbus stood upon the bows of his ship earnestly gazing upon the western horizon, hoping that the long-looked-for land would rise before him. Suddenly he was startled by the distinct gleam of a torch far off in the distance. For a moment it beamed forth with a clear and indisputable flame and then disappeared. The agitation of Columbus no words can describe. Was it a meteor? Was it an optical illusion? Was it light from the land?
Suddenly the torch, like a star, again shone forth with distinct though faint gleam. Columbus called some of his companions to his side and they also saw the light clearly. But again it disappeared. At two o'clock in the morning a sailor at the look out on the mast head shouted, "Land! land! land!" In a few moments all beheld, but a few miles distant from them, the distinct outline of towering mountains piercing the skies. A new world was discovered. Cautiously the vessels hove to and waited for the light of the morning. The dawn of day presented to the eyes of Columbus and his companions a spectacle of beauty which the garden of Eden could hardly have rivalled. It was a morning of the tropics, calm, serene and lovely. But two miles before them there emerged from the sea an island of mountains and valleys, luxuriant with every variety of tropical vegetation. The voyagers, weary of gazing for many weeks on the wide waste of waters, were so enchanted with the fairy scene which then met the eye, that they seemed really to believe that they had reached the realms of the blest.