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lake, and so into the sea. There were great bars at the mouth of the river, so that it could only be entered at the height of the flood tide. Karlsefni and his men sailed into the mouth of the river, and called it there Hop [a small landlocked bay). They found self-sown wheat fields on the land there, wherever there were hollows, and wherever there was hilly ground, there were vines. Every brook there was full of fish. They dug pits, on the shore where the tide rose highest, and when the tide fell, there were halibut in the pits. There were great numbers of wild animals of all kinds in the woods. They remained there half a month, and enjoyed themselves, and kept no watch. They had their live stock with them. Now one morning early, when they looked about them, they saw a great number of skin canoes, and staves were brandished from the boats, with a noise like flails, and they were revolved in the same direction in which the sun moves.

Then said Karlsefni: "What may this betoken?” Snorri, Thorbrand's son, answers him: "It may be, that this is a signal of peace, wherefore let us take a white shield and display it." And thus they did. Thereupon the strangers rowed toward them, and went upon the land, marvelling at those whom they saw before them. They were swarthy men, and ill looking, and the hair of their heads was ugly. They had great eyes, and were broad of cheek. ... It now seemed clear to Karlsefni and his people, that although the country thereabouts was attractive, their life would be one of constant dread and turmoil by reason of the [hostility of the] inhabitants of the country, so they forthwith prepared to leave, and determined to return to their own country. ...

They now arrived again at Streamfirth, where they found great abundance of all those things of which they stood in need. Some men say, that Biarni and Freydis remained behind here with a hundred men, and went no further; while Karlsefni and Snorri proceeded to the southward with forty men, tarrying at Hop barely two month, and returning again the same summer. Karlsefni then set out with one ship, in search of Thorhall the Huntsman, but the greater part of the company remained behind. They sailed to the northward around Keelness, and then bore to the westward, having land to the larboard. The country there was a wooded wilderness, as far as they could see, with scarcely an open space; and when they had journeyed a considerable distance, a river flowed down from the east toward the west. They sailed into the mouth of the river, and lay to by the southern bank.

J. Franklin Jameson (Ed.), The Northmen, Column bus, and Cabot (N. Y., 1906), 25-44 passim.

2. What Columbus Expected from

America (1493-1503)


Columbus supposed in 1492 that he had struck Japan, and slowly came to the conception that America was a vast continent.

AND in conclusion, to speak only of what has been done in this voyage, which has been so hastily performed, their Highnesses may see that I shall give them as much gold as they may need, with very little aid which their Highnesses will give me; spices and cotton at once, as much as their Highnesses will order to be shipped, and as much as they shall order to be shipped of mastic—which till now has never been found except in Greece, in the island of Xio, and the Seignory sells it for what it likes; and aloe wood as much as they shall order to be shipped; and slaves as many as they shall order to be shipped —and these shall be from idolators. And I believe that I have discovered rhubarb and cinnamon, and I shall find that the men whom I am leaving there will have discovered a thousand other things of value; as I made no delay at any point, so long as the wind gave me an opportunity of sailing, except only in the town of Navidad till I had left things safely arranged and well established. And in truth I should have done much more if the ships had served me as well as might reasonably have been expected. This is enough; and (thanks to] Eternal God our Lord' who gives to all those who walk His way, victory over things which seem impossible; and this was signally one such, for although men have talked or written of those lands, it was all by conjecture, without confirmation from eyesight, amounting only to this much that the hearers for the most part listened and judged that there was more fable in it than anything actual, however trifling. Since thus our Redeemer has given to our most illustrious King and Queen, and to their famous kingdoms, this victory in so high a matter, Christendom should have rejoicing therein and make great festivals, and give solemn thanks to the Holy Trinity for the great exaltation they shall have by the conversion of so many peoples to our holy faith; and next for the temporal benefit which will bring hither refreshment and profit, not only to Spain, but to all Christians. This briefly, in accordance with the facts. Dated, on the caravel, off the Canary Islands, the 15 February of the - year 1493.

The inhabitants go clothed; and in that province I saw some large sheets of cotton very elaborately and cleverly worked, and others very delicately painted in colors. They tell me that sides what the merchants and sailors brought, and that which was paid in Arabia. Of this gold he made two hundred lances and three hundred shields, and the flooring which was to be above them was also of gold, and ornamented with precious stones; many other things he made likewise of gold, and a great number of vessels of great size, which he enriched with precious stones.

J. Franklin Jameson (Ed.), The Northmen, Columbus, and Cabot (N. Y., 1906), 270-413 passim.

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First Use of the Name America

(Martin Waltzee-Müller)

This German geographer intended to fix the name America only on the southern continent, but it gradually spread to include North America.

AND the fourth part of the world having been discovered by Americus, it may be called Amerige; that is, the land of Americus or America.

Now truly, as these regions are more widely explored, and another fourth part is discovered, by Americus Vesputius, as may be

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