The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503
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OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY
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
OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY
COLUMBUS AND CABOT
THE VOYAGES OF THE NORTHMEN
JULIUS E. OLSON
PROFESSOR OF THE SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
THE VOYAGES OF COLUMBUS
AND OF JOHN CABOT
EDWARD GAYLORD BOURNE, Ph.D.
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN YALE UNIVERSITY
WITH MAPS AND A FACSIMILE
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS
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
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 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.
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.
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 Gudrid 30 Karlsefni’s Voyage to Vinland 31 The First Winter in Vinland 34 Description of Vinland and the Natives 36 The 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 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