Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Here are some facts from my reading

c. 985: Greenland settled by Erik the Red.
Evidence found of Leif Erikson's camp, north tip, NewFoundland.
1485: Greenland settlements decmiated by their broken ties with Norway, Scandinavia.The people were probably assimilated into the Innuit culture.Climate change was the chief engine of these events.
Marblehead, Massachusetts was the first major center of the American fishery in 17th century. Fishing was an extremely dangerous way of earning a living.Fishermen, whether they owned the boats or were only laborers, were frequently in debt to merchants and suppliers.
Often, when a fisherman died, his family was left with a miniscule estate that became smaller after the creditors got a hold of it.
Dried fish were more desirable than salted fish.
The best were exported to Europe, the lower quality catch was sent to the West Indies to feed slaves. West Indian planters concentrated so much of their effort on growing sugar, they frequently ran low on foodstuffs.Salem was an important colonial port, 17th century, but Boston was more so.
Charles Town, called Charleston S.C. later, was settled in the 17th century by planters from Barbados. Not long after its settlement, it became a center of the slave trade.
The 17th century literature, primarily promotional pamphlets, aimed at drawing more settlers to the Chesapeake and New England is very flowery in its language.
John Smith explored New England & named it, 1616.
The Mayflower was 90 feet long, it was average in length for a merchant ship of its day.
Puritan migrations, 1620-1640.
This was an immense movement of people across the Atlantic Ocean.
The old and infirm, those weak in body or spirit often did not survive the journey.
It was physically and emotionally stressful. By 1645, there were more than 25,000 people in Massachusetts.
Puritans saw the journey as a test of faith.
I've been reading RC54251, titled America and the Sea: A Maritime History.
It's published by the Frank C. Munson Institute (spelling unclear) of Mystic Seaport, CT.
A good number of the names I've read in this book are familiar, a few of the Spanish names are not.
I was also surprised to hear that in 1586, one year after the founding of the colony on Roanoke Island, Sir Francis Drake confronted and fought Spaniards at St. Augustine. The British government believed the settlement posed a military threat to the newer settlement on Roanoke Island.I am curious how private and how public British exploration was. I'm under the impression that the lines between naval and merchant shipping were blurred here & there.
I've got a problem. Actually, I think I've got the flu.

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