The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503
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The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503

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Project Gutenberg's The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 Author: Various Editor: Julius E. Olson and Edward Gaylord Bourne Release Date: June 13, 2006 [EBook #18571] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE NORTHMEN *** Produced by Jason Isbell, Julia Miller, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net Transcriber’s Note A number of typographical errors have been maintained in the current version of this book. They are marked and the corrected text is shown in the popup. A list of these errors is found at the end of this book. [i] O R I G I N A L N A R R A T I V E S O F E A R L Y A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y REPRODUCED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION General Editor, J. FRANKLIN JAMESON, Ph.D., LL.D. DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL RESEARCH IN THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTION OF WASHINGTON THE NORTHMEN, COLUMBUS, AND CABOT 985-1503 [ii] [iii]O R I G I N A L N A R R A T I V E S O F E A R L Y A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y T H E N O R T H M E N C O L U M B U S A N D C A B O T 9 8 5 - 1 5 0 3 THE VOYAGES OF THE NORTHMEN EDITED BY JULIUS E.

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Project Gutenberg's The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503, by Various
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503
Author: Various
Editor: Julius E. Olson and Edward Gaylord Bourne
Release Date: June 13, 2006 [EBook #18571]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE NORTHMEN ***
Produced by Jason Isbell, Julia Miller, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Transcriber’s Note
A number of typographical errors have been maintained in the current
version of this book. They are marked and the corrected text is shown in
the popup. A list of these errors is found at the end of this book.
[i]
O R I G I N A L N A R R A T I V E S
O F E A R L Y A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y
REPRODUCED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE
AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
General Editor, J. FRANKLIN JAMESON, Ph.D., LL.D.
DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL RESEARCH IN THE
CARNEGIE INSTITUTION OF WASHINGTONTHE NORTHMEN, COLUMBUS, AND CABOT
985-1503
[ii]
[iii]O R I G I N A L N A R R A T I V E S
O F E A R L Y A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y
T H E N O R T H M E N
C O L U M B U S A N D C A B O T
9 8 5 - 1 5 0 3
THE VOYAGES OF THE NORTHMEN
EDITED BY
JULIUS E. OLSON
PROFESSOR OF THE SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
THE VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS
AND OF JOHN CABOT
EDITED BY
EDWARD GAYLORD BOURNE, Ph.D.
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN YALE UNIVERSITY
WITH MAPS AND A FACSIMILE
REPRODUCTION
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS
NEW YORK
[iv]Copyright, 1906, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved. No part of this book
may be reproduced in any form without
the permission of Charles Scribner’s Sons
[v]GENERAL PREFACE TO THE ORIGINAL
NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY
At its annual meeting in December, 1902, the American Historical
Association approved and adopted the plan of the present series, and the
undersigned was chosen as its general editor. The purpose of the series was to
provide individual readers of history, and the libraries of schools and colleges,
with a comprehensive and well-rounded collection of those classical narratives
on which the early history of the United States is founded, or of those narratives
which, if not precisely classical, hold the most important place as sources of
American history anterior to 1700. The reasons for undertaking such a project
are for the most part obvious. No modern history, however excellent, can give
the reader all that he can get from the ipsissima verba of the first narrators,
Argonauts or eyewitnesses, vivacious explorers or captains courageous. There
are many cases in which secondary narrators have quite hidden from view
these first authorities, whom it is therefore a duty to restore to their rightful
position. In a still greater number of instances, the primitive narrations have
become so scarce and expensive that no ordinary library can hope to possess
anything like a complete set of the classics of early American history.
The series is to consist of such volumes as will illustrate the early history of
all the chief parts of the country, with an additional volume of general index.
The plan contemplates, not a body of extracts, but in general the publication or
republication of whole works or distinct parts of works. In the case of narratives
originally issued in some other language than English, the best available
translations will be used, or fresh versions made. In a few instances, important
[vi]narratives hitherto unprinted will be inserted. The English texts will be taken
from the earliest editions, or those having the highest historical value, and will
be reproduced with literal exactness. The maps will be such as will give real
help toward understanding the events narrated in the volume. The special
editors of the individual works will supply introductions, setting forth briefly the
author’s career and opportunities, when known, the status of the work in the
literature of American history, and its value as a source, and indicating previous
editions; and they will furnish such annotations, scholarly but simple, as will
enable the intelligent reader to understand and to estimate rightly the
statements of the text. The effort has been made to secure for each text the
most competent editor.
The results of all these endeavors will be laid before the public in the
confident hope that they will be widely useful in making more real and more
vivid the apprehension of early American history. The general editor would not
have undertaken the serious labors of preparation and supervision if he had not
felt sure that it was a genuine benefit to American historical knowledge and
American patriotism to make accessible, in one collection, so large a body of
pioneer narrative. No subsequent sources can have quite the intellectual
interest, none quite the sentimental value, which attaches to these early
narrations, springing direct from the brains and hearts of the nation’s founders.
Sacra recognosces annalibus eruta priscis.
J. FRANKLIN JAMESON.
Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C.[vii]
NOTE
Special acknowledgments and thanks are due to the representatives of the
late Arthur Middleton Reeves, who have kindly permitted the use of his
translations of the Vinland sagas, originally printed in his Finding of Wineland
the Good, published in London by the Clarendon Press in 1890; to the
President and Council of the Hakluyt Society, for permission to use Sir
Clements Markham’s translation of the Journal of Columbus’s first voyage,
printed in Vol. LXXXVI. of the publications of that Society (London, 1893), and
that of Dr. Chanca’s letter and of the letter of Columbus respecting his fourth
voyage, by the late Mr. R. H. Major, in their second and forty-third volumes,
Select Letters of Columbus (London, 1847, 1870); to the Honorable John Boyd
Thacher, of Albany, for permission to use his version of Las Casas’s narrative
of the third voyage, as printed by him in his Christopher Columbus (New York,
1904), published by Messrs. G. P. Putnam’s Sons; to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin
and Company for permission to use, out of the third volume of Winsor’s
Narrative and Critical History of America, the late Dr. Charles Deane’s
translation, revised by Professor Bennet H. Nash, of the second letter of
Raimondo de Soncino respecting John Cabot’s expedition; and to George
Philip and Son, Limited, of London, for permission to use the map in Markham’s
Life of Christopher Columbus as the basis for the map in the present volume,
showing the routes of Columbus’s four voyages.
[viii]
[ix]
CONTENTS
ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF THE VOYAGES OF THE NORTHMEN
Edited by Professor Julius E. Olson
PAGE
Introduction 3
The Saga of Eric the Red 14
The Ancestry of Gudrid 14
The Colonization of Greenland 15
Gudrid’s Father emigrates to Greenland 20
The Sibyl and the Famine in Greenland 21
Leif the Lucky and the Discovery of Vinland 23
Thorstein’s Attempt to find Vinland 26
The Marriage of Gudrid to Thorstein 27
The Ancestry of Thorfinn Karlsefni; his Marriage with
30Gudrid
Karlsefni’s Voyage to Vinland 31
The First Winter in Vinland 34
Description of Vinland and the Natives 36The Uniped; Snorri; the Captured Natives 40
Biarni Grimolfson’s Self-sacrifice 42
Karlsefni and Gudrid’s Issue 43
The Vinland History of the Flat Island Book 45
Eric the Red and the Colonization of Greenland 45
Leif Ericson’s Baptism in Norway 47
Biarni Herjulfson sights New Land 48
Biarni’s visit to Norway 50
Leif’s Voyage of Exploration 50
The Discovery of Grapes 52
Thorvald’s Expedition to Vinland 54
Thorfinn Karlsefni’s Expedition to Vinland 59
The Expedition of Freydis and her Companions 62
Karlsefni and Gudrid return to Iceland 65
From Adam of Bremen’s Descriptio Insularum Aquilonis 67
From the Icelandic Annals 69
Annales Regii 69
[x]From the Elder Skálholt Annals 69
Papal Letters Concerning the Bishopric of Gardar in
Greenland During the Fifteenth Century 70
Letter of Nicholas V. 70
Letter of Alexander VI. 73
ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF THE VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS
Edited by Professor Edward G. Bourne
Articles of Agreement Between the Lords, the Catholic
Sovereigns, and Christóbal Colon 77
Columbus appointed Admiral and Viceroy of such
Mainland and Islands as he should Discover 77
Title Granted by the Catholic Sovereigns to Christóbal
Colon of Admiral, Viceroy, and Governor of the Islands and
Mainland that may be Discovered 81
The Powers and Privileges of the Office of Admiral 82
Journal of the First Voyage of Columbus 85
Introduction 87
The Voyage to the Canaries; repairs on the Pinta 91
The Double Reckoning of the Distances 94
Traces of the Nearness of Land 96
The Fears of the Sailors 99
The Chart 100
The Declination of the Compass 103
The Course changed from West to West-southwest 107
The Light on Shore 109
The Island of Guanahani 110
The Natives 111
The Islands of Santa Maria and Fernandina 115
Description of the Natives of Fernandina 121
The Island of Isabella 123
Reports of the Island of Cuba; Columbus takes it to be
126
Cipango
Products of the Islands 127Arrival at Cuba 130
Columbus thinks it to be Cathay 134
He sends an Embassy to the Gran Can 137
Return of the Messengers; their Report 140
Products of Cuba 144
Planting the Cross 149
Martin Alonso Pinzón sails away with the Pinta 152
Columbus returns to Cuba 153
Signs of Gold 154
[xi]Rumors of a Monstrous People 156
The Eastern End of Cuba 158
Columbus outlines a Colonial Policy 159
The Natives. A Large Canoe 162
An Interview with the Natives 163
Discovery of Hayti 167
First View of Hayti 168
Further Description of the Island 171
Columbus names it Española 173
The Products of the Island 174
Visit to a Native Village 176
The Life of the People 177
Another Village Visited 180
Description of an Indian Cacique 183
The Cacique visits the Ship of Columbus 185
Columbus anchors in the Bay of Acul 188
Description of Native Life 190
Trading with the Natives 194
A Large Village 196
Character of the Natives 198
Wreck of the Santa Maria 199
Helpfulness of the Indians 201
The Cacique dines on Shipboard 202
Columbus plans to have a Garrison 204
Inquiries after the Source of the Gold 206
Preparations to return to Spain 208
Spices and Pepper 209
The Garrison left at Navidad 210
The Return Voyage Begun 211
Columbus concludes that Cipango is in Española 212
News of the Pinta 213
Return of Martin Pinzon with the Pinta 214
Comment on the Pinzons 216
The Harbor where Pinzon had Tarried 219
Samana Bay Discovered 221
The Caribs. Indians with Long Hair 223
Matinino, an Island inhabited by Women Only 226
Columbus takes the Direct Course for Spain 228
Varieties of Sea Life 230
Continued Fine Weather 234
Finding their Position 235
A Terrible Storm 238
Columbus’s Reflections 240
Prepares a Brief Report which is fastened in a Barrel 241
The Storm Abates 242
[xii]Arrival at Santa Maria in the Azores 244
Suspicions and Hostility of the Governor 245Columbus hampered by the Detention of Part of his Crew 247
The Sailors are Restored 249
Violent Gale off Portugal 251
Columbus at Lisbon 252
Interview with the King of Portugal 254
Columbus leaves Lisbon 257
Arrival at Palos 257
Letter From Columbus to Luis de Santangel 259
Introduction 261
The New Islands Discovered 263
Description of their People and Products 265
Description of Española 268
Value of the Discoveries to Spain 268
A Fort built and Garrisoned 269
The Customs of the Inhabitants 270
Letter From Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella
Concerning the Colonization and Commerce of Española 273
The Regulations proposed for Settlements 274
The Regulations for Mining 275
The Regulations for Commerce 276
Letter of Dr. Chanca on the Second Voyage of Columbus 279
Introduction 281
The Outward Voyage. Stopping at the Canary Islands 283
First Impressions of the Lesser Antilles 285
Intercourse with the Inhabitants 285
Their Cabins; their Arts 286
The Caribbees 287
Indications of Cannibalism 288
Customs of the Caribbees. They Eat their Captives 289
Return of Diego Marquez who had been Lost 291
A Clash with the Caribbees 293
Discovery and Description of Porto Rico 294
Arrival at Española 295
Following the Coast 297
Suspicious Circumstances; Fears for the Spaniards left at
298
Navidad
Navidad in Ruins and the Garrison All Dead 300
Vestiges of the Settlement 301
Fixing upon the Site for a New Settlement 302
Columbus visits the Cacique Guacamari 304
Examining Guacamari’s Wound 305
Guacamari’s Amazement at seeing Horses 305
[xiii]The Site selected for the New Settlement named Isabella 307
The Food and Clothing of the Natives 308
The Products of the Country 310
Columbus sends out Exploring Parties to Cibao and Niti 312
Conclusion 313
Narrative of the Third Voyage of Columbus as Contained in
Las Casas’s History 315
Introduction 317
The Start. Arrival at Madeira 319
Three Ships despatched direct to Española 320
Columbus goes to the Canary Islands 323The Lepers’ Colony on the Island of Boavista, one of the
Cape Verde Islands 324
Columbus at the Island of Santiago 325
He sails Southwest from the Cape Verdes. Intense Heat 327
Signs of Land 327
The Course is changed to the West 328
Discovery of Trinidad 331
August 1, 1498, the Mainland of South America Sighted 332
The Dangers of the Serpent’s Mouth 334
Intercourse with Indians of the Mainland 335
Their Appearance and Arms 336
Fauna and Flora 338
Exploring the Gulf of Paria 340
Trading with the Indians 343
Columbus retains Six Indians as Captives 343
Nuggets and Ornaments of Gold 345
Indian Cabins 346
Exploring the Western End of the Gulf 347
Columbus’s Reflections upon his Discoveries 348
The Terrors and Perils of the Boca del Drago 354
The Northern Coast of Paria 355
Columbus suffers from Inflammation of the Eyes 357
Columbus begins to believe the Land is Mainland 358
His Reasons for not Exploring It 360
Observations of the Declination of the Needle 363
The Products of the Country 364
Arrival at Santo Domingo, August 31, 1498 366
Letter of Columbus to the Nurse of Prince John 367
Introduction 369
The Injustice of the Treatment accorded to Columbus 371
Conditions in Española upon his Arrival 373
The Rebellion of Adrian de Muxica 374
The Conduct of the Commander Bobadilla 375
[xiv]His Unwise Concessions to the Colonists 376
Bad Character of Some of the Colonists 378
Bobadilla’s Seizure of the Gold set apart by Columbus 380
The Proper Standards by which Columbus should be
381
Judged
Richness of the Mines in Española 382
Seizure of Columbus’s Papers 383
Letters of Columbus on the Fourth Voyage 385
Introduction 387
Voyage to Española 389
A Terrible Storm 390
Storms on the Coast of Central America 391
Anxieties and Misfortunes of Columbus 392
Arrival at Veragua 394
Evidence that Columbus had reached the Extremity of
395Asia
Marinus’s Views of the Extent of the Earth Confirmed 396
Exploring the Coast of Veragua 398
Recurrences of Storms 399
Excursion into the Interior of Veragua 401
Difficulties with the Natives 402
Columbus’s Vision 403Decides to return to Spain 405
Columbus arrives at Jamaica 406
No one else knows where to find Veragua 407
Some Features of the Country 408
The Arts of the Natives 409
The Gold brought to Solomon from the Far East 412
The Recovery of Jerusalem 413
Retrospect. Columbus’s Justification 415
His Distressing Plight in Jamaica 418
ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF THE VOYAGES OF JOHN CABOT
Edited by Professor Edward G. Bourne
Introduction 421
Letter of Lorenzo Pasqualigo to his Brothers Alvise and
Francesco, Merchants in Venice 423
The First Letter of Raimondo de Soncino, Agent of the Duke
of Milan, to the Duke 424
The Second Letter of Raimondo de Soncino to the Duke of
Milan 425
Despatch to Ferdinand and Isabella from Pedro de Ayala,
Junior Ambassador at the Court of England, July 25, 1498 429
[xv]
MAPS AND FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION
PAGE
1. Map showing the Routes, Outward and Return, of the
Four Voyages of Columbus 88
2. Facsimile of the First Page of the Folio (first) Edition of
the Spanish Text of Columbus’s Letter, dated February
15, 1493, to Santangel, describing his First Voyage.
From the original (unique) in the New York Public
Library (Lenox Building) 262
3. The New World in the Cantino Chart of 1502, showing
the State of Geographical Knowledge at the Time of
the Death of Columbus 418
[xvi]
[1]
ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF THE VOYAGES OF
THE NORTHMEN[2]
[3]
INTRODUCTION
The important documents from Norse sources that may be classed as
“Original Narratives of Early American History” are the Icelandic sagas (prose
narratives) that tell of the voyages of Northmen to Vinland. There are two sagas
that deal mainly with these voyages, while in other Icelandic sagas and annals
there are a number of references to Vinland and adjacent regions. These two
sagas are the “Saga of Eric the Red” and another, which, for the lack of a better
name, we may call the “Vinland History of the Flat Island Book,” but which
might well bear the same name as the other. This last history is composed of
two disjointed accounts found in a fine vellum manuscript known as the Flat
Island Book (Flateyjar-bok), so-called because it was long owned by a family
that lived on Flat Island in Broad Firth, on the northwestern coast of Iceland.
Bishop Brynjolf, an enthusiastic collector, got possession of this vellum, “the
most extensive and most perfect of Icelandic manuscripts,” and sent it, in 1662,
with other vellums, as a gift to King Frederick III. of Denmark, where it still is
one of the great treasures of the Royal Library.
On account of the beauty of the Flat Island vellum, and the number of
sagas that it contained (when printed it made 1700 octavo pages), it early
attracted the attention of Old Norse collectors and scholars, and hence the
narrative relating to Vinland that it contained came to be better known than the
vellum called Hauk’s Book, containing the “Saga of Eric the Red,” and was the
only account of Vinland that received any particular attention from the scholars
[4]of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries The Flat Island Book narrative was
also given first place in Rafn’s Antiquitates Americanæ (Copenhagen, 1837).
This ponderous volume contained all the original sources, but it has given rise
to much needless controversy on the Norse voyages, for many of the author’s
conclusions were soon found to be untenable. He failed to winnow the sound
historical material from that which was unsubstantiated or improbable. And so
far as the original sources are concerned, it was particularly unfortunate that he
followed in the footsteps of seventeenth and eighteenth century scholars and
gave precedence to the Flat Island Book narrative. In various important
respects this saga does not agree with the account given in the “Saga of Eric
the Red,” which modern scholarship has pronounced the better and more
reliable version, for reasons that we shall consider later.
The Flat Island Book consists of transcripts of various sagas made by the
Icelandic priests Jon Thordsson and Magnus Thorhallsson. Very little of their
lives is known, but there is evidence to show that the most important portion of
the copying was completed about 1380. There is, however, no information
concerning the original from which the transcripts were made. From internal
evidence, however, Dr. Storm of the University of Christiania thinks that this
4-1original account was a late production, possibly of the fourteenth century. It
is, moreover, evident that this original account was quite different from the one
from which the existing “Saga of Eric the Red” was made, so that we have two