The Voyage of Verrazzano by Henry Cruse Murphy


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Page 1

Certain important documents in relation to Verrazzano, procured from
the archives of Spain and Portugal by the late Buckingham Smith, on
a visit to those countries a year or two before his death, are
appended. They were intended to accompany a second edition of his
Inquiry, a purpose which has been interrupted by his decease. They
were entrusted by him to the care of his friend, George H. Moore
Esq., of New York, who has placed them at our disposal on the
present occasion.

The fragmentary and distorted form in which the letter ascribed to
Verrazzano, appeared in the collection of Ramusio, and was thence
universally admitted into history, rendered it necessary that the
letter should be here given complete, according to its original
meaning. It is, therefore, annexed in the English translation of Dr.
Cogswell, which though not entirely unexceptionable is, for all
purposes, sufficiently accurate. The original Italian text can,
however, be consulted in the Collections of the New York Historical
Society, accompanying his translation, and also in the Archivio
Storico Italiano, in which it is represented by the editor to be
more correctly copied from the manuscript, and amended in its
language where it seemed corrupt; but such corrections are few and
unimportant. In all cases in which the letter is now made the
subject of critical examination, the passages referred to are given,
for obvious reasons, according to the reading of the Florentine

We are indebted to the American Geographical Society of New York for
the use of its photographs of the Verrazano map, and to Mr. Brevoort
for a copy of the cosmography of Alfonse, from which the chart of
Norumbega has been taken. And our thanks are due to Dr. J. Gilmary
Shea of New York, for valuable assistance; and to Dr. E. B.
Straznicky of the Astor Library, Mons. O. Maunoir of the Societe de
Geographie of Paris, Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull of Hartford, Hon. John
R. Bartlett of Providence, and James Lenox Esq. of New York, for
various favors kindly rendered during the progress of our



I. The Discovery Attributed to Verrazzano

II. The Verrazzano Letters not Genuine

III. The Letter untrue. I. No Voyage of Discovery made
for the King of France, as it states

IV. II. Misrepresentations in regard to the Geography
of the Coast. The Chesapeake. The Island of
Louise. Massachusetts Bay

V. III. Cape Breton and the Southerly Coast of Newfoundland,
here claimed to have been discovered,
were known previously. Perversion of the Text
of the Letter by Ramusio

VI. IV. The Description of the People and Productions
of the Land not made from the Personal Observations
of the Writer of the Letter. What distinctly
belonged to the Natives is unnoticed, and what is
originally mentioned of them is untrue. Further
important Alterations of the Text by Ramusio,

VII. The Extrinsic Evidence in Support of the Claim. I.
Discourse of the French Sea Captain of Dieppe,

VIII. II. The Verrazzano Map. It is not an Authoritative
Exposition of the Verrazzano Discovery. Its Origin
and Date in its present Form. The Letter of Annibal
Caro. The Map presented to Henry VIII.
Voyages of Verrazzano. The Globe of Euphrosynus

IX. The Letter to the King founded on the Discoveries of
Estevan Gomez. The History of Gomez and his
Voyage. The Publication of his Discoveries in
Spain and Italy before the Verrazzano claim. The
Voyage described in the Letter traced to Ribero's
Map of the Discoveries of Gomez

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