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Columbus-Voyages of the Cabots—John and Sebastian Cabot

discover the Continent of North America—Voyage of Sebastian Cabot-His exploration of the coast-Newfoundland fisheries—Patent from James I. to the Virginia Companies -Settlement of Jamestown—Voyage of Verrazzani, under the auspices of James I.—Sails from Madeira—Reaches America—Lands in North Carolina-Friendliness of the savages

- Their humanity-A child kidnapped-Arrival of Verrazzani at Sandy Hook-His description-Conference with the natives—Bay of New York—Harbour of Newport-Description of the natives—Exploration inland-Departure for Europe-Claims of France--Cartier and Roberval-First permanent French settlement-Quebec founded by Champlain—The Five Nations-Policy of Champlain— Joins a war-party of Hurons and Algonquins-Discovery of Lake Champlain—Defeat of the Iroquois—The consequence.

FIVE years after the discovery of the Bahamas by Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, a native of Venice, and an expert navigator, then residing at Bristol, in England, was authorized, by letters patent from Henry the Seventh, to take five English ships, in any haven or havens of the realm, to explore the seas east, west, or north, in search of any countries hitherto unknown to Christians, and to plant the English banner on any part of the land thus newly found.


Under this license, John Cabot, accompanied by his son Sebastian, subsequently celebrated as a daring mariner, left Bristol in the early part of May, 1497, and on the 24th of June, first came in sight of the continent of North America.

On reaching the coast, which is supposed to have been that of Labrador, they found it rocky and sterile, abounding with the white polar bear, and with deer far larger than any they had ever seen before. After satisfying themselves that this cheerless region was inhabited only by savages clothed in the skins of beasts, and armed with the primitive weapons of bows and clubs, the Cabots returned to England with the tidings of their success.

The following year a second expedition was fitted out, the command of which was given to Sebastian Cabot. Being furnished with several small vessels, freighted with such articles of merchandise as were thought best suited for purposes of traffic with an uncivilized people, he again embarked for the newly-discovered land, and after a voyage of several weeks, approached the continent in the latitude of fifty-eight degrees.

Proceeding north, he penetrated that portion of the arctic region since known as Hudson's Bay; when, finding his further progress seriously obstructed by masses of floating ice, he yielded to the loudly-expressed fears of his men, and shaping his course southward, sailed along the shore until

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