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critics to have reached America about the close of the fourteenth century,
and who left a chart, first published in 1558, show a country called
" Drogeo, " a vast region which stretched far to the south, whose inhabit-
ants were clothed in skins, and subsisted by hunting, being armed with
bows and arrows, and living in a state of war. The description would
apply to our part of the coast. At this period the Red Indians had
come from the west, and dispersed the original inhabitants, known to
the Northmen as Skraellings. The red man on this coast was an invader
and conqueror, not the original proprietor of the land. In a very brief
time, however, he forgot his own traditions and indulged in the belief,
that he was the first holder of this region, which was deeded to him by



Explorations of the North American Coast.


the Great Father in fee simple ; and it was in this belief that, in turn,
the simple savage conveyed vast tracts of territory to the white man, in
consideration of trinkets and fire-water.

So far as can be discovered, the Skraelling was the first proprietor,
and by the Skraelling is meant what is called the " Glacial Man," who
appeared on this coast when the great ice-sheet that once covered the
highlands of America was melting and sliding into the sea. Geologically
the island of New York is one of the souvenirs or wrecks of that ice-period
which shaped the character of the entire coast ; being, for a large part,
simply a mass of ice-ground rock covered with the gravelly deposits of
the glaciers. At the time when
Nature was engaged in putting the
finishing touches to this rude.
Titanic, and wonderful work, the
glacial man appeared. Then this
ancient island, afterwards known
as Manhattan, received its first
inhabitant. Whence did this mys-
terious man come ? No one can
say, though it seems to be satis-
factorily established that, at the
period referred to, there were two
peoples of similar character and
habits living on opposite sides of
the Atlantic, dwelling on the es-
tuaries, rivers, and fiords, and ob-
taining the means of subsistence
amid similar dangers and priva-
tions. The evidences of the so-
called glacial man are found at the
present time in the gravels of the
Trenton River, of New Jersey,
consisting of stone implements that

seem to have been lost while engaged in hunting and fishing. With
the disappearance of the ice and the moderation of the climate, these
men of the ice-period spread along the Atlantic coast from Labrador to
Florida, their descendants being the modern Eskimo and Greenlander,
whose ancestors were driven northward by the red man when he con-
quered the country. The immediate region of the Hudson has thus far
aftbrded none of the stone implements that abound at Trenton, yet it
may be regarded as beyond question that the first inhabitant of New
York was a glacial man, ruder than the rudest red savage, and in appear-
ance resembling the present Eskimo. In the time of Zeno, the glacial
man had been succeeded by the red man, who showed a superior condi-
tion under the influence of the improved climate, and " Drogeo " was
the name of the region which included the territory of New York.

We must turn, however, to note what, in this immediate connection,
may be styled the course of maritime enterprise, the first voyage of
interest in connection with our subject being the voyage said to have
been made by Sebastian Cabot along the coast from Newfoundland in
1 5 15. Upon this initial voyage many Englishmen based their claim,
* The vignette above is a faithful representation of the Florentine portrait.


OAUiJ \errd^cmjx^

1 58 Explorations of the North A??!cncan Coast. [Oct.,

but in the present state of knowledge the expedition itself is considered
debatable by some. That John and Sebastian Cabot saw the continent
in 1498, or one year before Columbus saw South America, can hardly be
doubted; but convincing testimony is required respecting the alleged
voyage down this part of the coast in 151 5. If we accept the voyage
as a fact, this expedition, whose objective point was Newfoundland,
may be regarded as the first known English expedition to these shores.

Before this time, however, the Portuguese were very active, and had
run the coast from Florida to Cape Breton, evidence of which they left in
the " Cantino " Map, and in the Ptolemy of 15 13. This was in continu-
ation of the enterprise of the Costas, or " Cortereals, " who made voyages
to the north in 1 500-1-2. The expedition made along our coast at this
period left no memorials now known, save the maps to which allusion
has been made. As early as 1520 the Spaniards began to navigate to the
north from the West Indies, and in that year Aylion reached the coast of
Carolina, on an expedition to capture slaves, though Martyr speaks of the
country he visited as "near the Baccaloos. " a term applied at that time
to the region far south of Newfoundland. Nevertheless, in the year 1524,
we reach a voyage of deep interest, for in this year the Bay of New York
comes distinctly into view, Europeans being known for the first time to
pass the Narrows. Reference is here made to the voyage of the celebrated
Italian, Giovanni da Verrazano, in the service of Francis I. of France.

This celebrated navigator is supposed to have been the son of Piero
Andrea di Bernardo de Verrazano and Fiametta Capella. He was born
at Val di Greve, a little village near Florence, in the year 1485. At one
time a portrait of Verrazano adorned the walls of a gallery in Florence.
This portrait was engraved for the well-known work entitled, "Uomini
Illustri Toscani." A medal was also struck in his honor, but no copy
of it can now be found. The family nevertheless appears to have main-
tained a definite place in local history, the last known Florentine repre-
sentative being the Cavaliere Andrea da Verrazano, who died in 1819.

Verrazano, the great explorer of the American coast, seems to have
had a large experience as a sailor upon the Mediterranean, eventually
entering the service of Francis I. of France, as a privateer or corsair, in
which calling Columbus and many of the old navigators shone conspicu-
ously, the profession at that time being quite creditable, even though
dangerous. In 1523 Verrazano was engaged in capturing Spanish ships
that brought the treasures of Montezuma from Mexico. In the following
year he made his voyage to America, and one statement makes it appear
that, subsequently, he was captured by the Spaniards and executed.
Ramusio tells us that on a second voyage he was made a prisoner by the
savages, and was roasted and eaten in the sight of his comrades. The
light which we have at the present time does not suffice for the settlement
of the question relating to the manner of his death, but we have over-
whelming evidence of the reality of his voyage in 1524, which is vouched
for by invaluable maps and relations contained in a lengthy Letter
addressed to his employer, Francis i_ * * * *

Next, however, the reader's attention must be directed to the voyage
of Estevan Gomez, who followed Verrazano in 1525. This adventurer
was a Portuguese in the service of Spain. While Verrazano was abroad
on his voyage, Gomez attended the nautical congress at Badajos, in Spain,
when, we are told, Sebastian Cabot was present. At this congress Portu-


Exploralions of the North American Coast.


gal opposed the plan presented for an expedition to the Indies, being very
jealous, as usual, of the power of Spain. The difterences of the two
powers were nevertheless reconciled, and the King of Spain, with the aid
of several merchants, fitted out a caravel and put Gomez in command.
Gomez, if he did not stand as high as some men of his time, was a navi-
o-ator of experience. In 15 19 he sailed as chief pilot with Magellan, but
incurred much odium by leaving him
in the Straits which now bear Magel-
lan's name, and returning to Spain.
Peter Martyr, who gives an account
of the congress at Badajos, says : " It
is decreed that one Stephanus Gomez,
himself a skilful navigator, shall go
another way, whereby, between Bac-
calaos and Florida, long since our
countries, he says he will find out a
way to Cataia. Only one ship, a
caravel, is furnished for him," and,
the chronicler continues, "he will
have no other thing in charge than to
search out whether any passage to the
great Chan from among the various
windings and vast compassing of this
our ocean is to be found." Of the
voyage out from Spain few particulars
are now available, though the account
of the return was penned by Martyr
subsequently to November 13, 1525,
and probably before the close of the
year. The voyage was, upon the
whole, a short one. Martyr, however, says that he returned at the end of
"ten months," while Navarrete states that he sailed in February. Gal-
vano tells us that, having failed to obtain the command of an expedition
to the Moluccas, he went on the coast of the New World in search of a
passage to India, observing that "the Earl Don Fernando de Andrada,
and the doctor Beltram, and the merchant Christopher de Serro, fur-
nished a galleon for him, and he went from Groine, in Gallicia, to the
Island of Cuba, and to the Cape of Florida, sailing by day because he
knew not the land." Galvano tells us, likewise, that he passed the Bay
of Angra and the river Enseada, and so "went over to the other side,
reaching Cape Razo in 46' N. " This means that he sailed up from
Florida past the coast of Maine. Martyr, writing after the return of
Gomez, indulges in a strain of ridicule, and says: "He, neither finding
the Straight, nor Cataia, which he promised, returned back in ten months
after his departure" ; and continues : " I always thought and supposed
this worthy man's fancies to be vain and frivolous. Yet he wanted not

* Sir Francis Drake, the cliief of tiie English navigators of the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, and the first captain who circumnavigated the globe in a single voyage,
was born in 1546, near Tavistock in Devons!iire, and died on board his own ship off
Puerto Hello, Venezuela, January 2S, 1596, and was buried at sea. The Admiral was
the boldest among the band of heroes who baftled and beat the so-called invincible
Spanish Armada. Editor.

1 70 Exploratiims of the North American Coast. [Oct.,

for suflfrages and voices in his favor and defense." Still, Martyr admits
that " he found pleasant and profitable countries agreeable with our par-
allels and degrees of the pole." * * * *

As the reverential old navigators were often in the habit of marking
their progress in connection with prominent days in the Calendar, it is
reasonable to suppose that the Hudson was discovered by Gomez on the
festival of St. Anthony, which falls on January 17. Navarrete indeed
says that he left Spain in February, but the accounts are more or less con-
fusing. If Martyr, who is more particular, is correct, and Gomez was
absent "ten months."' he must have sailed early in December, which
would have brought him to our coast on the Festival of the celebrated
Theban Father. At this time the navigator would have seen the country
at its worst. Evidently he made no extended exploration of the river, as
in January it is often loaded with ice and snow.

Gomez was laughed at by the courtiers, and had no disposition to
return to the American coast. The legend on the Map of Ribeiro
proclaiming his discovery, that is, exploration of the 'coast, declared
that here were to be found '' many trees and fruits similar to those in
Spain," but Martyr contemptuously exclaims, " What need have we of
these things that are common to all the people of Europe ? To the
South ! to the South ! " he ejaculates, " for the great and exceeding
riches of the Equinoxial," adding, " They that seek riches must not go
to the cold and frozen North." Gems, spices, and gold were the things
coveted by Spain, and our temperate region, with its blustering winters,
did not attract natures accustomed to soft Andalusian air.

After the voyage of Gomez, which, failing to find a route to the
Indies, excited ridicule, there is nothing of special interest to empha-
size in this connection until 1537. In the meanwhile the English were
active, and in 1527 two ships, commanded by Captain John Rut, were
in American waters. It has been claimed that he sailed the entire
coast, often sending men on land " to search the state of these unknown
regions," and it has been aftirmed that this is '' the first occasion of
which we are distinctly informed that Englishmen landed on the coast."
Also that, " after Cabot, this was the second English expedftion which
sailed along the entire east coast of the United States, as far as South
Carolina." Granting, however, that the expedition of Rut actually
extended down the American coast, there is no proof that he gave any
attention to the locality of the Hudson. * * * *

The next navigator whose work touched our part of the coast was
Jehan or Jean Allefonsce, who, in 1542, came to Canada as pilot of
Roberval, and gained considerable knowledge of the North Atlantic
shores. This hardy sailor was a native of Saintonge, a village of
Cognac, France. After following the sea for a period of more than forty
years and escaping many dangers, he finally received a mortal wound
while engaged in a naval battle in the harbor of Rochelle. Melin Saint-
Gelais wrote a sonnet in his honor during the year 1559. It can
hardly be doubted that Allefonsce himself ran down the coast in one
of the ships of Roberval, probably when returning to France.

With the aid of Paulin Secalart he wrote a cosmographical descrip-
tion, which included Canada and the West Indies with the American
coast. Very recognizable descriptions are given as far down as Cape
Cod and the islands to the southward. The manuscript also possesses


Explorations of the North American Coast.


interest in connection with the region of the Hudson, though farther
south the description becomes still more available. * * * *

Reaching 1552, we have the testimony of the Spanish historian,
Lopez de Gomara, who describes the coast, beginning at Newfound-
land, and proceeding southward, making the distance eight hundred
and seventy leagues to the Cape of Florida. He says, from " Rio

Fondo " to
Games," the
are seventy
"thence to '
Maria," fifty

■■ Kio de los
Stag River,

leagues, and
Cabo Santa

leagues, with

forty more to "Cabo Bajo "
: Baxos), or Cape Cod ; and
" thence to Rio San Anton
[Antonio] they reckon more
than a hundred leagues,"
while " from the Rio San
Anton are eighty leagues
along the shore of a gulf to
Cabo de Arenas [Sandy
Hook], which is in nearly
39° N-'"

It is also worthy of notice
in this connection that prior
to 1563 the French had
visited this region ; as Ri-
bault writes in that year that
they undertook to go north-
ward from Florida "and
view the coast vntil xl
degrees of the eleuation,"
where " our pilots and some
others " had been before.

There are no particulars, however, to be obtained in connection with
these visits of the French.

It has been already stated (page 170) that it would be impossible
to say when the first Englishman visited this region ; yet in the year
1567-8, evidence goes to prove that one David Ingram, an English-
man, set ashore with a number of companions in the Gulf of Mexico,
journeyed on foot across the country to the River St. John, New
Brunswick, and sailed thence for France. Possibly he Was half crazed
by his sufferings, yet there can be little doubt that he crossed the con-
tinent and passed through the State of New York, traveling on the
Indian paths and crossing many broad rivers. If the story is true,
Ingram is the first Englishman known to have visited these parts.

In April, 1583, Captain Carlile wrote out propositions for a voyage
" to the latitude of fortie degrees or thereabouts, of that hithermost
part of America," and in 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert had this region
under consideration, Hakluyt observing on the margin of his " Divers
Voyages" that this was "the Countrey of Sir H. G. Uoyage." Hays
says in his account of the region that " God hath reserved the same to
be reduced unto Christian civility by the English nation " : and also

J 72 Explora/ions of the North American Coast. [Oct.,

that "God will raise him up an instrument to effect the same." All
this is very interesting in connection with English claims and enter-
prise. In the same year the French were active on the coast, and one
Stephen Bellinger, of Rouen, sailed to Cape Breton, and thence coasted
southwesterly six hundred miles, " and had trafique with the people in
tenne or twelve places." Thus the French were moving from both the
north and the south towards this central region ; but we cannot say how
far south Bellinger actually came, as there is nothing to indicate his
mode of computation. It is not improbable that he knew and profited
by the rich fur trade of the Hudson.

In Kunstman's " Atlas " there is a map bearing date of 1592, in
which Sandy Hook is represented as " C. de las Arenas." It was the
work of an Englishman, as the inscription reads, "' Thomas Hood
made this platte, 1592." This may be the result of some visit made to
the Hudson at this period by the English colonists of Virginia.

In 1598 and thereabout we find it asserted that the Dutch were upon
the ground, for in the year 1644 the Committee of the Dutch West
India Company, known as the General Board of Accounts, to whom
numerous documents and papers had been entrusted, made a lengthy
report, which they begin as follows : " New Netherland, situated in
America, between English Virginia and New England, extending from
the South [Delaware] river, lying 34/4° to Cape Malabar, in the
latitude of 41^2"^, was first frequented by the inhabitants of this country
in the year 1598, and especially by those of the Greenland Companv,
but without making any fixed settlements, only as a shelter in winter.
For which they built on the North [Hudson] and the South [Dela-
ware] rivers there two little forts against the attacks of the Indians."
Mr. Brodhead says that the statement " needs confirmation." Still it is
somewhat easy to understand why a statement of this kind coming from
such a body should require confirmation ; but the Committee had no
reason for misstating the facts, and ought to have been accurately in-
formed. Yet if confirmation is insisted upon, we are prepared to give
it, such as it is, from an English, and in fact an unexpected, source.
Our authority is no less a personage than Governor Bradford, of Ply-
mouth Colony, whose office and inclinations led him to challenge all un-
founded claims that might be put forth by the Dutch. Nevertheless,
writing to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the father of New England coloniza-
tion, who likewise was hostile to the pretensions of the Dutch. Bradford
says, under date of June 15, 1627, that the Dutch on the Hudson
" have used trading there this six or seven-and-twenty years, but have
begun to plant of later time, and now have reduced their trade to some
order." Bradford lived in Holland in 1608, and had abundant oppor-
tunities for knowing everything relating to Dutch enterprise. It is per-
fectl3Mvell known that the Plymouth Colonists of 1620 intended to settle
at the Hudson, though circumstances directed them to the spot pointed
out by Dremer in 16 19, when in the service of Gorges. Thus, about
seventeen years before the Committee of 1 644 reported. Governor
Bradford, an unwilling, but every way competent and candid, witness,
carried back the Dutch occupancy under the Greenland Company to
the year 1600. Besides, on the English map of the voyage of Lin-
schoten, 1598, there is a dotted trail from the latitude of the Hudson,
40" north to the St. Lawrence, showing that the route was one known


Explorations of the North American Coast.


and traveled at that time. It is evident, from a variety of consid-
erations, that both the Dutch and Frencli resorted to the Hudson at
this ]jeriod to engage in the trade. Linschoten was one of the best
informed of Dutch writers, and probably understood the significance of
the representation upon his map. The probability is that this route
was known a long time before, and that it may be indicated by Cartier,
who, when in Canada, 1534, was told of a route by the way of the river
Richelieu to a country a month's distance southward, supposed to pro-
duce cinnamon and cloves, which Cartier thought the route to Florida.
Champlain, writing in Canada, says that in the year previous certain
French who lived on the Hudson were taken prisoners when out on an
expedition against the northern Indians, and were liberated on the
ground that they were friends of the French in Canada. This agrees
with the report of the Labadists,
who taught that a French child,
Jean Vigne, was born here in
16 14. Evidently the French had
been on the ground in force for
some years, and were able to make
expeditions against the savages.
Very likely the French were there
(juite as early as the Hollanders.

There seems to be, however,
another curious piece of confirma-
tion, which comes from the writ-
ings of the celebrated Father Isaac
Jogues, who was in New Amster-
dam during the year 1646. In a
letter written on August 3d of
that year, he says that the Dutch
were here " about fifty years '"
before, while they began to settle
permanently only about " twenty
years " since. The latter state-
ment is sufficiently correct, as 1623
was the year when a permanent
colony was established by the
Dutch. The former statement
carries us back to the date of the " Greenland Company."

It is also interesting to note that the " Remonstrance," describing
the occupation of the country by the Dutch, says : " East^of the North
River, beginning at Cape Cod, named in 1600 by our own people New
Holland (whereof also possession was taken, if we are correctly informed,
by the erection of their High Mightinesses' arms), down to within six
leagues of the North River." This again recognizes the Dutch as
here in the year given by Bradford.

* Sir Martin Fiobisher, the famous Englisla navigator, was born in Doncaster,
Yorkshire, about 1536, and died in Plymouth, November 7. 1594- After exploring
different parts of the American coast, and entering the strait that bears his name,
he accompanied his friend Sir Francis Drake to the West Indies, taking part on board
the Triumph in the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 153S, for which he was
knighted by Queen Elizabeth. Editor.


1 74 Stephen Thorjie, the Loyalist, and his Desccnda7ils. [Oct.,

The period under consideration was a period of reconnoissance, one
that offered some romantic incident, but more of disappointment and
mortification. Here was a site for one of the noblest cities in the
world, but the^voyager was blind. The river offered no route to the
gorgeous Indies, and Verrazano had little inclination to test its swift
tide. Gomez, in the short January days of 1525, had no desire to
ascend, for when his ship met the drift ice tossing on the cold, swirling
stream, he thought of Anthony in his desolate retreat on the Red Sea,
put the river under his charge, and sailed away in search of happier
shores. Sailors of other nationalities, doubtless, ascended the river ;
but finding it simply a river, they took what peltries they could get,
and, like Gomez, turned the whole region over to the care of the soli-
tary Saint, who for nearly a century stood connected with its neglect.
Much remained to be done before steps could be taken with regard to
colonization. The initial work, however, was inaugurated by the sturdy
Englishman, Henry Hudson, and in a succeeding chapter the proud
Spanish caravel disappears, while the curtain rises upon the memorable
voyage of the quaint Dutch fly-boat, the Half- Moon.


By the Rev. Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton.

So far as I know no Loyalist family has ever before been completely
traced in the pages of the Record, or indeed has ever had its full genealogy
published. I have the more satisfaction, therefore, in giving here an
extended record of the descendants of the Loyalist, Stephen Thorne.

Joseph Thorne^, b. 22, 7, 1682 (Joseph^ and Mary Bowne, William'),
moved from Flushing, L. 1., to Cow Neck, afterwards Manhasset, in the
town of Hempstead. He m. Catherine Smith, a widow, and made his
will August I, 1 75 1. The will was recorded in 1752, and he is called

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