A Brief History of The United States...

Populated by migrating peoples via the a land bridge from Siberia to Alaska as far back as 10,000 years ago, "discovered" by the Vikings around 1000 A.D., "discovered" by Columbus in 1492, North America has been lived in for a long time.

Following the earlier adventurers in quest of a shorter passage to the riches of the Far East, and following the fortune seekers who came to the New World and settled in small trading and agricultural communities to trade in fish, furs, other natural resources and grow agricultural crops like tobacco and maize, a larger third wave of immigrants seeking religious freedom began arriving in the Colonies around 1620.

Notable in this timeline would be Walter Raleigh's efforts to establish a colony in 1585 at Roanoke Island (then Virginia, after the virgin queen Elizabeth, now North Carolina) with 108 settlers, of whom no trace was found on a return visit in 1591. Some had quit the place and gone back to England on the ships of Francis Drake, others had died of hardship, disease or Indian attack, and the remaining had probably intermarried with the nearby Hatteras Indians.

In 1604, Jamestown was founded (after the reigning King James I, who is known for having asked for a new translation of the Holy Bible at that time, it being published in 1611). Led by Captain John Smith, this colony established relations with the Indians and soon learned to grow tobacco and maize, tobacco being a significant cash crop for export. By 1610, the 490 colonists had been reduced to 60 though, and they were leaving when Lord Delaware convinced them to stay. In two more years, Jamestown was a somewhat of a going concern.

(Of interest, it was in 1604 that Acadia was being settled by the French, Port-Royal was growing. Theresa Burke's earliest ancestor in the New World, Antoine Bourg, arrived there in the early 1630's.)

On September 6 in the year 1620, 600 miles to the north of Jamestown, a small band of religious disenters known as the Pilgrims had landed at New Plymouth, named after the English town of Plymouth whence they had sailed. Whereas others who had come to the New World were still really part of the old, the Pilgrims had no intentions of returning there. A mere 35 out of the 102 passengers aboard the Mayflower, the so-called Puritans assumed governance of this new colony. 23 of the 35 survived their first winter there.

The exodus from the Old World to the colonies steadily increased and, by 1680, it is estimated that the population of European decent had grown to some 152,000 (barely half of the population of Brampton, Ontario in 2002), spread out all up and down the coast of North America.

Map from 1566...

While the coastline had become reasonably settled and travelled, this map of North America shows how little was really known geographically of the continent.

PAOLO FORLANI... IL Disegno del discoperto della noua Franza ... Venice: Zaltieri, 1566

"Forlani offered (this) interpretation of North America's geography. In particular, he literally mapped out his understanding of Cartier's idea of 'New France.' Geographical ideas took precedence over actual geographical features. Forlani pushed apart Terra de Norumbega and Terra de Baccalos, both regions supposed to have been defined by the Natives. Between them he inserted La Nova Franza/New France, comprising Canada, and Larcadia/Acadia. From Cartier's writings, Forlani knew that the core of New France was the St. Lawrence River.

Rather than shift the region to encompass the actual river--whose actual geographical features were properly shown, but unnamed, to the north--he therefore invented a new river, which he labeled the river S. Lorêzo/St. Lawrence, within his idea of a region of 'New France'."

Map dated 1686...

This map shows the proximity of Acadia to the colonies on the American Eastern seaboard. Passengers and crew sailing across the Atlantic would interact and trade with the people living in Acadia (later Nova Scotia). Port-Royal is indicated on this map in a relatively accurate manner, as P.Royall.

This file last modified 3/17/2016...

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