There is now no doubt that William Gascoigne, a young gentleman of Yorkshire, was the first 1 Gran, History of Physical Astronomy, p. 449.
It excited the admiration of Gonzales Clavijo, the Spanish envoy, when he passed through it on his way to visit the court of Timur at Samarkand (Clavijo, Historia del gran Tamorlan, p. 84); and Cardinal Bessarion, who was a native of the place, in the latter part of his life, when the city had passed into the hands of the Mahommedans, and he was himself a dignitary of the Roman Church, so little forgot the impression it had made upon him that he wrote a work entitled "The Praise of Trebizond" ('E-yac c uLovTpaire oiivros), which exists in manuscript at Venice.
The northern part of the Gran Chaco is partly wooded and swampy, and as the slope eastward is very gentle and the rivers much obstructed by sand bars, floating trees and vegetation, large areas are regularly flooded during rainy seasons.
The territories of the Gran Chaco, however, are covered with a characteristic tropical vegetation, in which the palm predominates, but intermingled south of the Bermejo with heavy growths of algarrobo, quebracho-colorado, urunday (Astronium fraxinifolium), lapacho (Tecoma curialis) and palosanto (Guayacum officinalis), all esteemed for hardness and fineness of grain.
Proceeding thence southwards, we find in succession the Monte Vettore (8128 ft.), the Pizzo di Sevo (7945 ft.), and the two great mountain masses of the Monte Corno, commonly called the Gran Sasso d'Italia, the most lofty of all the Apennines, attaining to a height of 9560 ft., and the Monte della Maiella, its highest summit measuring 9170 ft.