Mostrando las entradas de febrero 8, 2009

1000, United States

There is no end to the accounts of alleged discoveries of America before Columbus . Most of these are fables. It is, indeed, nearly certain that hardy Basque, Breton, and Norman fishermen, adventuring first far north, then west, had sighted Greenland and Labrador and become well acquainted with the rich fishing-grounds about Newfoundland and the Saint Lawrence Gulf. Many early charts of these regions, without dates and hitherto referred to Portuguese navigators of a time so late as 1500, are now thought to be the work of these earlier voyagers. They found the New World, but considered it a part of the Old. Important, too, is the story of supposed Norse sea-rovers hither, derived from certain Icelandic manuscripts of the fourteenth century. It is a pleasing narrative, that of Lief Ericson's sail in 1000-1001 to Helluland, Markland, and at last to Vineland, and of the subsequent tours by Thorwald Ericson in 1002, Thorfinn Karlsefne, 1007-1009, and of Helge and Finnborge in 1011, to

The first voyage

The fleet sailed on August 3, 1492. By chance, Christopher Columbus found the best possible Atlantic route to the New World and the weather was good. Still, the voyage took weeks. Finally, on October 11, signs of land bécame apparent—branches with green leaves and flowers floating in the water. Very early on the morning of October 12, the lookout on the Pinta saw land. The grateful crew landed on a small island in the present-day Bahamas. Columbus named the island San Salvador (Holy Savior). Columbus stayed on the island for two days, meeting with its inhabitants, members of the peaceful Arawak-speaking Taino tribe. Not knowing where he was, and always assuming that he had reached the Indies, he called these people Indians. Columbus spent several days exploring the Bahamas, but the Taino told him about another much larger island named Colba (Cuba), and he set off for it, thinking it must be part of China or Japan. He landed on Cuba on October 28, 1492, and for the next month sailed