BLTC Press Titles

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

The Bhagavad Gita


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A First Book in American History

by Charles Austin Beard


Explorers wondered how they could reach China or India by overland journeys. Navigators naturally thought of. some waterway through or around the newly discovered lands to the rich countries of the Far East. When warriors heard rumors of cities and gold not far away, they dreamed of conquest.

The Men Who Were to Solve the Problem. After Columbus had broken the path, others found it easy to follow. Men of nearly every nation joined in the work. They were so numerous that it is impossible to

Wiun. En,. Co., N. Y.

The New World In The Period Of Exploration

mention a few without doing injustice to those left unnamed.

Four, however, are of special interest to students of American history — John Cabot, whose explorations gave England her claims in North America; Magellan, who first sailed around the world and thus showed that America was far from Asia; Verrazano, who made western voyages for the King of France; and Cartier, who opened the St. Lawrence Valley to the French.

I. The English King Takes Part In Exploration

John Cabot. About the time that Columbus left Italy there lived in Venice an Italian merchant and mariner by the name of John Cabot. He too was probably born in Genoa, the home of Columbus. Like Columbus, also, he knew about the trade with India and China. Once upon a time he had visited Arabia and he had made inquiries there about the far Eastern lands.

For some unknown reason John Cabot went to England to seek his fortune. He took with him his son, Sebastian, then about sixteen years old, and settled in Bristol on the west coast. Bristol was then the chief seaport of England, the home of fishermen and sailors. Naturally the people of that town, Cabot among them, early heard of the voyages made by Columbus.

Henry VII Helps Cabot. Cabot, a man of action, visited King Henry VII and got from him permission to sail "east, west or north, with five ships carrying the English flag." He was told to " seek and discover all the islands, countries, regions, or provinces of pagans in whatever part of the world."

Instead of the five ships, however, Cabot got only one, and a crew of but eighteen men. Taking his son with him, he sailed west from Bristol in May, 1497, and discovered what he believed to be the coast of China.

When Cabot returned to England, he was received with great honor. We are told that he dressed in silk and that Englishmen ran after him like madmen. King Henry was pleased and gave him a purse worth about #500 in our money. Once more Cabot sailed to North America. What became of him no one knows to this day. TowER erected at bristoli

Nor is it known just what England, In Memory Of John r .k.t 1 A • /~i i AND Sebastian Cabot

part 01 JNorth America Cabot

discovered. It seems certain that he touched the coast of Labrador and sailed southward as far as Cape Cod. At all events the voyages of Cabot gave England a claim to a large part of the New World, for it is agreed among the nations that a country that

The Ship In Which John And Sebastian Cabot Sailed Along Part Of The Coast Of North America

The picture is taken from a modern engraving.

first discovers a new land has a right to own it. Later this claim became important; but it brought neither gold nor trade to satisfy the King, who was in no mood to waste money on mere sea voyages. Almost a hundred years were to pass before the English followed up the work of John Cabot.

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