Collections of the Maine Historical Society

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General Books LLC, 2012 - 314 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1897. Excerpt: ... THE LANDFALL OF CABOT AND THE EXTENT OF HIS DISCOVERIES. BY PROF. WILLIAM MACDONALD, PH.D. Few questions in American history present greater difficulties or more uncertainty than the determination of the landfall of John Cabot and the extent of his discoveries. The records of Cabot's first voyage, if records there were, are lost, and in their place we have only second-and third-hand accounts of his achievements, and maps well adapted to mislead the very elect. It can hardly be necessary for me to disclaim any right to speak with authority on the topic which has been assigned to me; and even if I had the right, neither the time nor the occasion would allow a discussion of the many minute points which the inquiry would involve. I shall aim, instead, to give you a summary statement of the results arrived at by those scholars who have made most exhaustive examination of the whole subject, and whose labors have produced a considerable body of literature, now more or less available. We need not dwell upon the details of John Cabot's early life. The date of his birth is unknown, but he was probably born in or near Genoa, from whence he removed to Venice, where he became a naturalized citizen on the twenty-eighth of March, 1476, "after the usual residence of fifteen years." He removed to England with his family about the year 1490, and may have been, as Mr. John Fiske conjectures, "one of the persons who were convinced at that time by the arguments of Bartholomew Columbus." If, as seems likely, he took up his residence at London, he must have been brought into close contact with the busy maritime life of England, a life in which his early studies and travels had fitted him to participate. On the fifth of March, 1496, John Cabot and his three sons filed a petition...

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