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every year to different countries for the sake of traffic. About the beginning of the eleventh century (1001) their ships were separated by a storm. When Biron arrived in Nor. way, he heard that his father was gone to Greenland, and he resolved to follow him ; but another storm drove him to the southwest, where he discovered a flat country, free from rocks, but covered with thick woods, and an island near the coast.
He made no longer stay at either of these places than till the storm abated, when by a northeast course he hasted to Greenland. The discovery was no sooner known there, than LEIF, the son of Eric, who, like his father, had a strong desire to acquire glory by adventures, equipped a vessel carrying twenty-five men, and, taking Biron for his pilot, sailed (1002) in search of the new country.
His course was southwest. On the first land which he saw he found nothing but flat rocks and ice, without any verdure. He therefore gave it the name of Helleland, which signifies rocky. Afterward he came to a lev. el shore, without any rocks, but overgrown with woods, and the sand was remarkably white. This he named Markland, or woody. Two days after he saw land again, and an
island lying before the northern coast of it. Here he first landed ; and thence sailing westward round a point of land, found a creek or river, into which the ship entered,
On the banks of this river were bushes bearing sweet berries; the air was mild, the soil fertile, and the river well stored with fish, among which were very fine salmon. At the head of this river was a lake, on the shore of which they resolved to pass the winter, and erected huts for their accommodation. One of their company, a German named Tyr. ker, having straggled into the woods, found grapes, from which he told them that in his country they made wine. From this circumstance Leif, the commander of the party, called the place Winland dat gode, the good wine country.
An intercourse being thus opened between Greenland and Winland, several voyages were made, and the new country was farther explored. Many islands were found near the coast, but not a human creature was seen till the third summer (1004), when three boats, constructed with ribs of bone, fastened with thongs or twigs, and covered with skins, each boat containing three men, made their appearance. From the diminutive size of these
people the Normans denominated them Skrælings,* and inhumanly killed them all but one, who escaped, and collected a larger number of his countrymen to make an attack on their invaders. The Normans defended their ships with so much spirit that the assailants were obliged to retire.
After this, a colony of Normans went and settled at Winland, carrying on a barter trade with the Skrælings for furs; but a controversy arose in the colony, which induced some to return to Greenland. The others dispersed and mixed with the Skrælings.
In the next century (1121) Eric, bishop of Greenland, went to Winland, with a benevolent design to recover and convert his countrymen, who had degenerated into savages. This prelate never returned to Greenland, nor was anything more heard of Winland for sev. eral centuries.
This account of the discovery of Winland is taken from Pontoppidan's history of Norway, Crantz's history of Greenland, and a late history of northern voyages by Dr. John Reinhold Forster. The facts are said to have been collected from "a great number of Icelandic manuscripts by Thormond Thor
* Cut sticks, chips—Dwarfs.
fæus, Adam von Bremen, Arngrim Jonas, and many other writers, so that it is hardly possible to entertain the least doubt concerning the authenticity of the relation."
Pontoppidan says that “they could see the sun full six hours in the shortest day ;' but Crantz tells us that “the sun rose on the shortest day at eight of the clock,” and Forster that “ the sun was eight hours above the horizon,” from which he concludes that Win. land must be found in the 49th degree of northern latitude; and, from its being in a southwesterly direction from Greenland, he supposes that it is either a part of Newfound. land, or some place on the northern coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence ; but whether grapes are found in either of those countries he cannot say. However, he seems so fully persuaded of the facts, that he gives it as his opinion that the Normans were, strictly speaking, the first discoverers of America, nearly five centuries before Columbus.
From a careful perusal of the first accounts of Newfoundland, preserved by those painful collectors Hakluyt and Purchas, and of other memoirs respecting that island and the coast of Labrador, and from inspecting the most approved maps of those regions, particularly
one in the American Atlas, delineated agree. ably to the actual surveys of the late celebra. ted navigator Captain James Cook, the following observations occur.
On the N.E. part of Newfoundland, which is most directly accessible from Greenland, there is a long range of coast, in which are two bays, the one called Gander Bay, and the other the Bay of Exploits. Before the mouth of the former, among many smaller, there lies one large island called Fogo; and before the mouth of the latter, another called The New World. Either of these will sufficiently answer to the situation described in the account of Biron's second voyage. Into each of these bays runs a river, which has its head in a lake, and both these lakes lie in the 49th degree of north latitude.
The earliest accounts of Newfoundland after its discovery and the establishment of a fishery on its coasts, have respect chiefly to the lands about Trinity and Conception Bays, between the parallels of 48° and 49'. These lands are represented as producing strawberries, whortleberries, raspberries, gooseberries, pears, wild cherries, and hazel-nuts, in very great plenty. The rivers are said to have been well stored with salmon and trout.