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The American Discovery of Europe

The American Discovery of Europe

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    The American Discovery of Europe
    Book Description:

    The American Discovery of Europe investigates the voyages of America's Native peoples to the European continent before Columbus's 1492 arrival in the "New World." The product of over twenty years of exhaustive research in libraries throughout Europe and the United States, the book paints a clear picture of the diverse and complex societies that constituted the Americas before 1492 and reveals the surprising Native American involvements in maritime trade and exploration. _x000B__x000B_Starting with an encounter by Columbus himself with mysterious people who had apparently been carried across the Atlantic on favorable currents, Jack D. Forbes proceeds to explore the seagoing expertise of early Americans, theories of ancient migrations, the evidence for human origins in the Americas, and other early visitors coming from Europe to America, including the Norse. The provocative, extensively documented, and heartfelt conclusions of The American Discovery of Europe present an open challenge to received historical wisdom.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09125-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Picture giant turtles from the Caribbean following the Gulf Stream to the coasts of Cornwall and other parts of Europe, diving occasionally to feed upon jellyfish as they make their epic journeys. Picture also Ancient American mariners, perhaps from the Caribbean or the east coast of North America, also following the Gulf Stream in dugout boats, large and small, reaching places as diverse as Ireland, Holland, and Iberia. Visualize the surprise of Christopher Columbus when he actually met two such Americans, a man and a woman, at Galway, Ireland, some fifteen years before making his famous voyage of 1492.


  5. 1. Americans across the Atlantic: Galway and the Certainty behind Columbus’s Voyage
    (pp. 5-21)

    Sometime during the 1470s a group of Native Americans followed the Gulf Stream from the Americas to Ireland. We don’t know if they were from the Caribbean region or from North America. We don’t know if their journey was intentional or if they were driven eastward by a storm. What we do know is that two or more Americans, at least a man and a woman, reached Galway Bay, Ireland, and were there seen by Christoforo Colomb (Columbus) long prior to his famous voyage of 1492.¹

    This momentous event, largely ignored by white historians, marks a beginning of the modern...

  6. 2. The Gulf Stream and Galway: Ocean Currents and American Visitors
    (pp. 22-40)

    It really isn’t very surprising that Colón met Americans at Galway circa 1477 for two reasons: first, because Galway is directly reached by the great North Atlantic Ocean currents and winds coming from the Americas; and second, because Galway has for ages been a natural bay and port, having direct communication with the Mediterranean world, Spain, and Portugal.

    Ocean currents, rivers in the sea, have played important roles in history, especially in terms of the migration of plants, animals, and humans. The currents are also vital parts of the knowledge of any seagoing people, since the currents and prevailing winds...

  7. 3. Seagoing Americans: Navigation in the Caribbean and Vicinity
    (pp. 41-79)

    Maritime navigation by First American peoples stands as a very neglected subject, especially since the topic extends to modern times, with Native People serving as sailors with the Portuguese, British, United States, and other navies and merchant marines. The subject is significant not only for the study of issues such as the diffusion of genetic characteristics but for establishing Native Americans as active participants in the process of travel and discovery and the resulting spread of cultural inventions to Europe, Africa, the Pacific, and Asia.

    Much information has now been lost and must be reconstructed from the often fragmentary records...

  8. 4. Ancient Travelers and Migrations
    (pp. 80-104)

    Most people have probably never heard of the idea that ancient Americans might have traveled to other parts of the globe, so strong is the fixation with the “newness” of America. “Mainstream” archaeology in the twentieth century exhibited hostility toward any ideas that suggest a remote antiquity for humans in the Americas, or to the idea that Americans might have “spilled over” into Siberia and other parts of Eurasia.¹

    During the nineteenth century, scholars were open to the possibility that humans might have appeared on earth in extremely ancient times and that they could, therefore, have established homes in most...

  9. 5. From Iberia to the Baltic: Americans in Roman and Pre-Modern Europe
    (pp. 105-132)

    Many american nations have traditions pointing towards animals as teachers of human beings; and it is certain that the Ancient Americans learned much from carefully and consistently observing the lessons offered by the natural world and its living children. Indigenous Americans often seem to have made it a major part of their lives to watch the animals, birds, and other living things in order to learn their secrets, in order to understand the patterns of their behavior.¹

    I believe that we can be absolutely sure that Americans of old, putting out in boats into the waters of the Caribbean, off...

  10. 6. The Inuit Route to Europe
    (pp. 133-167)

    The dutch community of Zierikzee has had a tradition that in 849 ce one Zierik arrived by sea to found the city. The local people also have believed for some time that he arrived in an Inuit kayak from Greenland, a kayak long on display in the Community Museum. This tradition was in existence as early as the seventeenth century, when an author stated that he no longer believed the story. By the eighteenth century Zierik’s alleged kayak was already hanging in place, although current opinion is that the kayak only dates from that same century. Nonetheless, it is a...

  11. 7. Native Americans Crossing the Atlantic after 1493
    (pp. 168-190)

    The story of americans reaching Europe greatly intensifies after 1492, when literally tens of thousands are kidnapped and carried across the Atlantic below the decks of Spanish, Portuguese, and other vessels. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of others traveled “above-deck” as diplomats, curiosities, allies, converts, and entertainers. Considerable attention has been given to the latter categories, while the victims of the captive trade have received far less examination in spite of their much greater numbers and probably significant demographic impacts upon Portugal and Spain in particular.

    Carolyn Thomas Foreman in her study ofIndians Abroaddevoted attention to the captive trade...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 191-212)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 213-236)
  14. Index
    (pp. 237-250)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 251-254)