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Full text of "John Cabot's landfall in 1497, and the site of Norumbega. A letter to Chief-Justice Daly, president of the American geographical society"

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IN 1497, 























IN 1497, 









SEnttorrcttp Jprreo. 





CAMBRIDGE, March i, 1885. 

President of the American Geographical Society. 

DEAR SIR, I desire to place in your hands a summary 
statement in regard to the results of some geographical 
studies in which I have been engaged. 

The time when my completed paper, with the accom 
panying sketches and maps, will be ready for publication 
depends upon two or three considerations which I cannot 
control. Meanwhile, it seems proper that I should deposit 
with you a brief record of the discoveries I have made. 

They are 

1. The site of the landfall of John Cabot in 1497. 

2. The site of the Fort Norumbcga of the French, on 
the banks of the river bearing the same name ; and of the 
Indian settlement near the fort, the Agoncy of Thevet; 
and near it the Norumbega of Allefonsce, visited in 1569 


by the sailor Ingram and his companions, of the unfortu 
nate expedition of Sir John Hawkins. 

I submit herewith a brief outline of the considerations 
on which my conclusions rest. 


On the map of Michael Lok (1582), of which the copy 
in Hakluyt (Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of 
America) prefacing the relation of John Verrazanus, p. 55, 
is here referred to, you may recall between latitudes 42 
and 51 N., and between the meridians of 300 and 320, 
a large island, and on it, in prominent letters, NOROMBEGA, 
and in lesser letters, John Gabot, 1497. The point of 
land against Claudia, a smaller island, is between 42 and 
43 N. 

This fragment of the map not including the inscrip 
tion "Jac Cartier 1535," and the coast lines of the region 
above, but taking in the outline of the neighboring shore 
southward to Carenas, the latitude, the names Carenas, 
Monies Johannis, Claudia, St. Johan, Cape Breton, and 
Norombega I have taken to be a sketch produced by 
John Cabot on his return from his voyage, early in 
August, I497, 1 of what he observed between the morn 
ing of the 24th of June and the date of his departure 
from our shores. 

The safety of this assumption will be seen as the con 
siderations on which it rests are unfolded. 

1 The elaborate paper on John Cabot, by Mr. Charles Deane, in Winsor s 
" America," leaves no question unsettled as to 1497 being the year of the first 
voyage of John Cabot to our shores. 



John Cabot believed his landfall, like that of Columbus 
five years before, to have been on an island. The site of 
the landfall has been lost. When it shall have been found 
we may know who first in the fifteenth century saw the 
continent of America; for Columbus came upon the main 
land (South America) in 1498, and Vespucius a year 

The map of Lok presents Carenas (enough recalling 
Kjalarness of the Norsemen to suggest heirship), the C. 
de Arenas in various forms of so many maps of the six 
teenth century, the Cape Cod of Gosnold, and, as seems 
to be determined by the flags on Cosa s map of 1500 
(Jomard s or Stevens s), the southern limit of Cabot s 
explorations in 1497. 

The outline of Cabot s chart, and especially that of 
Cosa s, suggests a general resemblance to the coast as far 
north as the mouth of the Merrimack, which is by Lok, 
I conceive, confounded with the St. Lawrence, discov 
ered, as recorded on the same map, in 1535 by Jacques 

I take the Norombega (or Norumbega) to be the name 
which (like Carenas) Cabot did not bestow, but found. 
He gathered naturally, in the absence of a knowledge of 
the language spoken by the natives, that it was the name 
of a locality, in the sense of a district, or settlement, or 
country. This notion, which students all alike have 
inherited, has obscured research in regard to the landfall 
from that day to this. It was a mistaken notion, as will 
become obvious farther on. 


Dr. Trumbull has pointed out that each Indian geo 
graphical name was descriptive of the place to which it 
was affixed. There were no meaningless proper names. 
A locality was recalled, to the Indian, by presenting a 
mental picture in a descriptive term. So there were repe 
titions of the same name where there were repetitions of 
the same topographical features. 

When Captain John Smith, in 1614, standing on the 
little peninsula between the modern Jones River (the Rio 
San Antonio of the preceding navigators) and the outer 
harbor or bay between Plymouth and Duxbury, asked the 
name of the site of the cluster of huts Champlain had 
figured, and which on Verrazano s map (so I conjecture) 
is represented as Lunga Villa, on the other side of the 
stream, the reply was Accomac, " the other side place? 
The same reply was elicited on inquiry, and the name 
has been preserved as to the peninsula east of the Chesa 
peake, Accomac, " the other side land" The same name, 
with dialectic variation, was applied to England, the home 
of Roger Williams, by the Indians of the Narragansett 
tribe, Accomac, " the other side country" 

As there were many beyond lands (accomacs), so there 
were many falls (pautuckets), many kills (wadchus), many 
ponds (baugs, paugs), etc. 

There were, of course, different names for the same 
place, determined from the point of view of the observer ; 
as, for Boston, Sha-um-ut, " near the neck," the settle 
ment between Haymarket Square the head of an 
ancient cove and Dock Square (Blackstone) ; also, 
Mushau-womuk, the " canoe landing place " (Indian books 


of 1699 and 1700); also, Accomonticus, the " beyond-the- 
hill-little-cove " (Ogilby s America, 1671); also, Mess-atsoo- 
sec, the "great-hill-mouth" (Rasles, and Wood s N. E. 
Prospect 1 ). All were Indian names of Boston. All 
were descriptive. 

The same name was applied to objects possessing some 
greatly unlike qualities, but having others in common ; 
as Mi-sha-um, the " great-parallel-sided," was the name of 
Charlestown Neck, great as compared with Copp s Hill, 
the north extension of the Sha-um, " the neck " of Boston. 
Mi-sha-um was also the name of Charles River (Wood s 
N. E. Prospect), the " great-parallel-sided." 

The name also applied to canoe, Mi-sha-on or Mi- 
sho-on, and to the long, straight trunk of the tree from 
which the canoe is made (Heckwelder). 

As there were no PROPER Indian geographical names, and 
as Norumbega was descriptive of topographical or hydro- 
graphical features, the first task was to find its meaning. 
This might help in finding the locality. To this end aid 
was lone soutrht in vain in vocabularies. It seemed an 

o o 

obvious Algonquin word. But in any form of ready 
recognition any form that familiar dialectic variation 
would include, at least within the range of my limited 
study it eluded my search. 

Feeling sure on the point that the name was descriptive 
of some locality on or near the seashore, and therefore 
embracing probably both land and water, I began by 

1 Wood gives the modified Massachusets, with one /. See paper on 
" Indian Names of Boston and their Meaning," in N. E. Hist. Gen. Soc. 
Proceedings, read Nov. 4, 1885. E. N. H. 


placing the Indian geographical names of the region of 
the Atlantic coast, from Davis s Straits to Long Island, 
N. Y., in columns against their respective latitudes along 
the outline as given in the chart of the United States 
Coast Survey. 

On glancing through the names so arranged I remarked 
a striking peculiarity. The names grew easier of utterance 
as one moved southward. Quebec on the St. Lawrence 
became Ahquebogue on Long Island, N. Y. 

Kennebec (of Maine, the Aghenibekki of Rasles) became 
Quinnebequi, and farther south Quinnebaug, Quillipiac, 
Quirripiohke, and lastly Quinnepyoohgq on Long Island 
Sound. Keag became Quag, Quaog, and Quau-ogue 

As one moved southward from a region where the con 
ditions of living were hard, to where they were less exact 
ing ; from the region where life was perpetual struggle, to a 
region where there was relative leisure, where there were 
more extended manufactures (wampum), more commerce 
(furs), more decoration the names became softer; as 
they become softer as one goes from Norway southward 
to Italy or Spain. 

Bee, as the terminal syllable of a name north of the 
Merrimack, was not found south of the Charles; but in its 
place, as already intimated, appeared baug. 

Between these rivers we might look for an intermediate 
form ; we should find the southern limit of bee, or as spelled 
by Rasles (as above) bek-ki, and by Father Vetromile be-glie, 
making two syllables ; and we should find the northern 
limit of baug. 


We do not know how John Cabot thought the Indians 
pronounced the last two syllables of Norumbega ; whether 
as if requiring two e s, thus deega, or but one, as in beg. 
The French of later date wrote it b egue. 

Of the Indian names preserved from the days of Captain 
John Smith (1614), along the coast between the Merrimack 
and Charles, there are but two, or at most three, that begin 
with N, Naumkeag, Nahant, and Nantasket; the latter 
the headland on the south side of the entrance to Boston 
harbor, the mouth of the Charles. 

Naumkeag, or Nahumbeak, is the ancient Indian name 
of Salem. The first occurrence of the name in print is 
in the record of the intrepid Captain Smith. It will be 
remembered that, landing on the island of Monahigan 
(or Manigan), off the coast of Maine, after instructing a 
portion of his ship s company to collect fish, he coursed 
with a boat s crew of eight beside himself from the mouth 
of the Penobscot to Cape Cod, looking into and sounding 
the harbors, and acquiring the Indian names of the places 
along the shore and some of those inland. Among these 
was Naembeck, sometimes written by him Naemkeck, 
apparently with indifference, or as if he thought the first 
letter of the terminal syllable might be either b or k. 

He placed these names upon his outline map of the 
coast, and on his return to England submitted it, with an 
account of his discoveries, together with a scheme for 
colonizing New England. While seeking in various ways 
to awaken interest in his project among the English people 
he found no little opposition, and fell at length upon an 
advertising idea, as we shall see, of far-reaching influence. 


He invited the eldest son of the King, Prince Charles, then 
a boy of fifteen or sixteen, the future Charles I., to attach 
such English names to the localities bearing the Indian 
names as might be acceptable to his Royal Highness, 
and so obliterate the barbarous names. The Prince ac 
quiesced. He gave names to sites of towns, bays, capes, 
mountains, etc., of which but three have been retained, 
Cape Ann (named after his royal mother), Plymouth 
(which came to be occupied by emigrants of the Mayflower 
fleet), Charles River, and possibly Cape Elizabeth. 

The Prince, like Smith, conceived the names to be 
proper names. Ogilby (1671) imbibed the same notion; 
he says, in his detailed account of the settlement of the 
earlier New England towns, the " Indian name of Salem 
was Nahumbeak." We have already seen John Cabot s 
inscription of Norumbega as a country. As intimated 
above, it will be seen that the name was a mere descrip 
tive appellation, permanent only to an observer from a 
given point, and changing from Nahum-beak to Nahum- 
keak with change in the point of observation. The name 
of to-day is Naumkeag. 1 

This name Nahumbeak is the only name preserved 
to us between the Merrimack and the Charles that at all 
suggests Norumbega. 

1 This point is discussed at length in my full paper. 



Let us now proceed with the study of the meaning of 
the word. 

The word is resolvable into two members, beak, of 
which we have already learned something; and a remain 
der, Na/ium, to be the subject of special study. 

Beak may be divided into two syllables, be and ak. 

The first syllable appears in the Delaware language, 
according to Zeisberger, n bi ; or in the Narragansett, n pi 
or n p. Rasles gives for the Abnaki dialect nearly the 
same, neb. In its combinations m and n arc dropped, 
and what remains means water in the abstract, or possibly, 
as there seems to be indication of it, water as a beverage. 

The second syllable is derived from ahke, land. This 
corresponds with, and is a dialectic variation of, auke 
(Roger Williams) and ohke (of regions farther south). 

The combination without abbreviation would give us 
be-ahke, which, with an acute accent, corresponds nearly 
with the word be-ghe, given by Father Vetromile as the 
pronunciation of the Penobscot Indians of to-day. 

This word, according to Vetromile, means " still water." 
According to the old Penobscot Indian hunter, John Pen- 
nowit, whose authority Mr. L. L. Hubbard relies upon, it 
means "dead water," that is, "water without current." 

Such water farther south might be called a pond, ending 
in baug or paug (for instance, Ouinnebaug, Ponkipaug) ; 
or as nearly enclosed " dead water " between rapids above 
and below, such as Father Vetromile encountered when 
inquiring for Norumbega (what the voyageurs called 


Nolum-beghe) ; or it would be a bay or harbor, such as 

Be-ak or beah-ke, or be-ghe or be-ga, would apply to 
the harbor of Salem, between Marblehead and the Beverly 
shore, inside of Baker s Island, or of the many "Breakers" 
of the Coast Survey map. 

These four forms differ but little from each -other, or 
they glide into each other, and are quite within the limits 
of dialectic variation ; indeed, within the limits of such 
possible deviation as might occur in the utterances of 
neighboring settlements, and altogether within the range 
of deviations in names such as the Indian name of dog, as 
will be seen further on. 

It may be accepted, then, that the two syllables in 
be-ak are the dialectic representatives of the two syllables 
in be-ga, and mean water without current, as the water of 
a bay. 1 

Let us now turn to the first two syllables of Nahum- 

1 I find in Conn. Hist. Soc., vol. ii. p. 15, in Dr. Trumbull s paper on 
Indian geographical names, under 4: "Paug, pog, bog (Abn. -bega, -begat; 
Del. pecat), an inseparable generic, denoting water at rest." 

I had sought for the word bega, as a "separable generic," in Rasles s Dic 
tionary, but without success. Dr. Trumbull had been more thorough. What 
I had deduced with some circumstance was thus confirmed in the most direct 
and satisfactory manner. It came to me only after my letter had been placed 
in the hands of Judge Daly for publication. 

It may be questioned whether Bega is an "inseparable generic." In 
Ingram s relation we have both Bega and Norumbega. 

Rasles lived and wrote at Norridgewock, on the Kennebec, not far from the 
southern limit of the Abnaki country, and also of the prevalence of their 


These occur in modification, in the various ways of 
writing the same name by Smith, Ogilby, Wood, Gookin, 
Lothrop, and others ; for example : 

N a hum (Ogilby gives the aspirate). 

N a urn. 

N a am. 

N a em. 

N a m. 


N e m. 

The first syllable is sometimes No, sometimes Na, 
sometimes Noa, and of still other forms, of which men 
tion is made by Trumbull. 

It means middle, between, dividing, separating, and the 

Rasles gives for midway, 


Wi means way. In this word the syllable wi is re 
peated ; that is, there arc two ways. Midway is where 
the two ways come together, or where the single way is 
divided into two ways. 

Na-sha-wi (Nashaway) is a word frequently used by 
Eliot in his translation of the Bible into the Massachu 
setts dialect. Sha, which means parallel-sided^- with the 
prefix na and the suffix wi, is used by him as the Indian 
equivalent of " between the walls " (of a street, for exam 
ple). Na-na-sha-wi, or we (na repeated for emphasis), he 
employs for in a strait betwixt tivo. 

1 The etymology is discussed at length in my full paper. 


Na by itself, in which form it does not occur, would be 
a preposition ; but combined with um (or mum, or un, or 
ont\ in the Massachusetts (Natick) dialect it is converted 
into a substantive. 

As sha (parallel-sided} with um becomes the noun Sha- 
um (neck), so na (between or separating) with um becomes 
the noun Na-um (divider). 

Na-sha-un is the parallel-sided island between Buzzard s 
Bay and the Vineyard Sound (Nau-shaun). 

Na-sha-onk ( onk means upright) is throat, Middle of 
the parallel-sided-upright. Mun-na-onk (Mun means ele 
vation), elevation in middle of upright, is also throat, or 
more especially the middle projection, the larynx. 

We have thus pointed out the meaning of Nahum. 

It is divider. 

In combination with beak, it is divider of the bay. 

That which divides a bay a tongue of land rising 
from the bottom of a bay, which makes two bays is a 

The meaning of 

Nahum-beak is Divider of the Bay. 

Nahum applies to Salem Neck, which divides the waters 
of Beverly shore, the North River, locally so called, 
from the South River, beyond which is Marblehead. 

We have seen how beak is the dialectic equivalent of 


How are we to see Nahum, the equivalent of Norum, 
or Norem, or Norim, etc., as the name appears in Norom- 
bega on different maps of the sixteenth century? 

We have, happily, an historic instance of parallelism of 
dialectic variation. 

Roger Williams, Eliot, Experience Mayhew, and Josiah 
Cotton, and several more modern writers, have remarked 
upon the dialectic variations in the pronunciation or 
spelling of the Indian name of dog. 

It is Ayem, Narragansett (Roger Williams). 
Alum, Narragansett and Nipmuk (Eliot). 
Anum, Massachusetts, Um produced (Eliot). 
Annum, Massachusetts (Wood s N. E. Prospect). 
Annum, Massachusetts (Cotton). 
Arum, Northern Abnaki. 
Attum, Etchemin. 

The primitive root here is the simple bark a, to which, 
with an intervening consonant, the syllable um is joined, 
which makes a substantive, as we have seen in the dialect 
spoken in this region. 

Eliot remarks, as mentioned above, that the sound of u 
is produced ; that is, it is like oo. This provides for one of 
the sounds of o in the second syllable of Norom; um may 
become oom, or perhaps dm. The first syllable was in 
Eliot s day sometimes spelled No as well as Na, as 
already remarked. 

Between these two syllables, a and urn, there might be 
interposed a variety of consonants. As there was no r in 
the Narragansett language, according to Roger Williams 
they substituted the letter /, or omitted the consonant 


altogether, as in Ayem. The interchangeability of /and r 
in the Algonquin has been remarked upon by Williams, 
Eliot, Cotton, and Mayhew, and by every modern writer 
upon Indian dialects. Williams s Key appeared in 1643. 

In some combinations in Indian (Algonquin) words the 
interchangeability or alternateness includes n with / and 
r (for example, Quille, quirri, quinni). 

We have thus pointed out the dialectic equivalency of 
the several elements of Norumbega with those of Nahum- 

We may have Na or No and / or r, with tim or om or 
em or im ; or neither / nor r, but simply um or Imm, and 
beak or begJie, or bega or begue. 

Where, instead of a bay divided by a tongue (Norum or 
Nahum) of land, there are head-lands divided by a tongue 
(Norum or Nahum or Naum) of water, as Marblehead and 
Marblehead Neck, there was Na-um-Keak (Keak = ahke- 
ahke). Naum&w^ may not be the equivalent of Naum- 
keak. The termination eag occurs in instances where 
there is shallow water, and in some cases where the bed 
is bare at low tide. It was applied by the Indians, in 
relatively recent times, to the North River at Salem. 
(History of Old Naumkeag.) The Naum or tongue may be 
merely the deeper bed of the river separating the shallower 
waters on either side. Both Naumkeag and Nahumbeak 
occur on sheets of water inland as well as along the 
seashore. 1 

1 It is not worth while to point out in this summary the wide range of dia 
lectic variations of these words which I have found. A few may be alluded 
to. There is Naam-keake on the Pond Annannieumsic, in Chelmsford, near 


Norumbega may, like Naumbeak, apply to any bay from 
the bottom of which rises a narrow tongue. 

It is obvious, therefore, that the determination of the 
meaning of Norumbega and its identity with that of 
Nahumbeak has made it, at the best, probable that the 
Nahumbeak of Salem harbor is the Norombega of Cabot. 
It has made it more, probable that the Norumbega of Cabot 
is to be found in the belt of latitude in which meet the 
terminal syllable bcc, which prevails north of the Merri- 
mac, and the terminal syllable, its dialectic equivalent, 
baug, which prevails south of the Charles. 


If we look carefully at the sketch of John Cabot on 
Lok s map of 1582, we may remark that the outline of the 
shore against the island Claudia rudely resembles the cap 
ital letter M, the V portion between the two columns cor 
responding with the tongue or Norum. 

If you take a tracing of the outline of this bay on Lok s 
map, and apply it to the map of Cosa (1500), you will find 
the Norumbega, or the letter M, within a large island, and 
not far from the Cabo de Yngla-terra (the Cape Breton of 
Cabot, the Cape Ann of to-day). 

Lowell. Another is concealed, near the Merrimack, in Amoskeag ; less per 
fectly in Naumkeag; more deeply in Nehim-kek, in Namskaket, in Namasket, 
and in half a dozen or more of others, all of which have been the subject of 
discovery in the detailed town maps of Massachusetts, and of investigation in 
early Massachusetts history. In this frequent recurrence of dialectic varia 
tions of the name may have originated the notion that Norumbega was the 
name of a country. 



I conjecture this portion of the coast was furnished by 
one of Cabot s crew. 1 

You find the M, this Norumbega, on the map of Thorn 
(1527), who claimed that his father was with John Cabot 
in 1497. 

You find the M on the map of Verrazano. If you will 
note in the letter of John Verrazano to the King, one of 
the two bays he visited, where he found the tide eight feet 
(which range is attained north of Cape Cod), you will find 
the letter M, the Norumbega, the divided bay, figured 
there. It was here that he remained fifteen days. 2 

1 What so natural as that the sailor who had been, as I conceive, with 
Cabot, and had perhaps shipped with Cosa (who was not personally on the 
shore of New England), should have given prominence to the feature which 
had challenged the attention of himself and shipmates ? A careful examina 
tion of Jomarcl s Cosa s map will show that twice the contributor reduced the 
length of the tongue rising from the bottom of the bay, as his judgment 
required, in the sketch which Cosa has preserved, and with it the sites of the 
English flag. Have we not, in Cosa s straits, the memory of the island of the 
landfall, and also of the two islands observed at his right hand by Cabot on 
his voyage homeward ? 

2 There is another key besides the tide to the localities on the map of 
Hieronymus Verrazano, in the isthmus which separates the Mare Verrazana 
of Lok s map from Massachusetts Bay; see also the maps of Agnese, 1536, 
Ptolemy, 1540, Ruscelli, 1544, and the globe of Ulpius. Tliis isthmus is the 
narrow part of the Cape Cod peninsula in tlie neighborhood of Barnstable, 
where it is even less in width than the six miles given by Hieronymus 
Verrazano : 

" Da questo mare orientale si vede il mare occidentale. Sono 6 miglia di 
terra infra 1 uno a 1 altro." " From this eastern sea one beholds the western 
sea. There are 6 miles of land between the one and the other." 

East of this isthmus lies the puzzling extension of the peninsula of Cape 
Cod, the Terra Florida of Verrazano, 1524, and of Thevet, 1556 ; the Cape 
Norumbegue of Allefonsce, 154045. It is shown on Maiollo s map. 
Dr. De Costa (Northmen in Maine, p. 93) pointed out Allefonsce s recogni- 




t O IAJ i 
H.*^ ,ii.. 




You will find Flora, Port du Refuge, Port Real, and Le 
Paradis, mentioned by Thevet, on Gastaldi s map, 1550, 
and the two former names, together with the letter M, on 
the map of Hieronymus Verrazano. The map of Gastaldi 
still retains the shadow of Cabot s sketch and of Cosa s 
Straits (the notion of the margin of an archipelago). 

You will observe Refugium, and Porto Rcale, and pos 
sibly the M, on the globe of Ulpius. Refugium, P. Rcale, 
and Flora are given on Maiollo s map. 

You will find the name Nurumbcrg and the letter M 
with I. [P.?] Refuge, P. Real, Le Paridis, and Cape Breton 
and Claudia replaced by Brisa I., on the map of Ruscelli, 

tion of Florida in the region of lat 42 N., and also his recognition of 
Massachusetts Bay, in this latitude. This name was one of several bestowed 
by the early French navigators, all of which read like exclamations of delight 
in view of the scenery of the coast : Terra Florida, Valle Ambrosa, Buena 
Flor, Larcadia, Flora, Paradiso, Refugium, etc. Norman Villa, which appears 
on the Verrazano maps and the globe of Ulpius, probably refers to a structure 
ascribed to the Northmen. 

A comparison of the outline of Maiollo s map of 1527 (Wcise s Discoveries 
of America to 1525), from Terra Florida southwestward to the strait that com 
municates with the western ocean, with the Coast Survey map from Cape Cod 
to the Chesapeake (or possibly the Delaware) Bay will suggest that the map 
ascribed to Verrazano rests upon a voyage past the narrow neck at Barnstable, 
the isthmus separating the Atlantic from the Mare Vcrrazana (Lok s map); 
past Buzzard s Bay, shown on the Map-a-mundi of the Propaganda collections 
(Judge Daly s Address, 1879) as a break in the continuity ; past Newport island 
and harbor (Rio de Espiritu Santo) ; thence to Montauk (Kesife) and along 
the south shore of Long Island (without a harbor) to the entrance to the 
Hudson; thence up the Hudson to Manhattan Island, with the recognition 
of the North and East rivers, so called ; thence past the strait below Staten 
Island ; and along the coast to the entrance to a large bay presenting a water 
horizon on the west. The voyage may, of course, have been in the opposite 

The embarrassment to cartographers growing out of the existence of two 
Floriclas is sufficiently obvious to the student of Maiollo s map and of the 
Map-a-mundi above referred to. 


1561. (Brisa is French for breakers; see breakers several 
times repeated on Coast Survey map.) 

Buno (Buno s Cluverius) mentions as belonging to No- 
rumbegua these several places ; namely, Porto del Refugio, 
Porto Reale, Paradiso, Flora, and Angolema. 1 

The M is not given on the map of Champlain, 1603, 
nor on that of Smith, 1614. 

The M appears at Salem in great distinctness on Win- 
throp s map (1634), together with Baker s Island, under 
which Winthrop anchored in 1630, as I conceive Cabot 
to have done June 24, 1497, one hundred and thirty-three 
years before. 

Finally the M appears at Salem on the Coast Survey 
map with Baker s Island (Brisa or Briso) and Breakers, 
designated as outer, inner, middle, dry, southeast, etc., 
studding the outer harbor. 2 

The identity of the outline M with the earlier Norum- 
bega and the later Nahumbeak and the present outline 
of Salem harbor will be obvious on a glance at the out 
lines, from Lok down to the Coast Survey, which I sub 
mit herewith. 

1 The various forms of this name as given on Ruscelli s map, Angou- 
lesmes ; on Gastaldi s, Angoulesme ; and the same in Thevet s account all 
follow the Anguileme of Maiollo s Verrazana, and apply, I conceive, to 
Charles River. This conception has support in that one of the names of 
the Charles, or of a section of it, was the descriptive Mi-sha-um, the 
great-parallel-sided, or W-river, of which Anguileme may be the French 

2 As lending support to the notion that the name " Baker s," which was 
attached to the island as early as 1630 (History of Naumkeag), may have been 
a corruption of Breakers, it may be mentioned that I have sought in vain for 
the name of Baker in all published lists of emigrants in the Plymouth and 
Massachusetts Bay colonies of dates earlier than 1630. 


The island off the letter M is seen on the map of Lok 
(John Cabot s sketch, Claudia) ; without name on Gastal- 
di s ; as Brisa I. on Ruscelli s ; as St. Nicolaus de la 
Trinidad on Cosa s ; Luisa (possibly Marblehead Neck, 
formerly an island) on Verrazano s (Maiollo s and Hie- 
ronymus Verrazano s); and islands without name off Re- 
fugium and Porto Reale on the globe of Ulpius. It is 
also given on Thevet s map, in about its proper position, 
as Claude^ 


I have further taken the names and distinctive features 
on Cabot s sketch in Lok s map, and have traced them 
through a long series of maps down to the time of Win- 
throp, with the successive accessions of new names, and 
from time to time the disappearance of others, either by 
dropping out or by replacement, showing, as it were, 
dovetailing, which binds the series of maps together. 

There came early the confusion growing out, possibly, 
of some cartographer s confounding the Gut of Canso 
with the narrow strait connecting Annisquam with 
Gloucester harbor, which makes Cape Ann an island, 
and so duplicating Cape Breton, St. Johan, Port Real, 
Isla Primera, and New-found-land at the mouth of the 
St. Lawrence. 

1 The claim for the identity of Claudia with the islands mentioned may 
seem to be impaired when it is seen that Mercator (1569) separates Claudia 
and Briso (Brisa) widely from each other, and when it is further seen that 
both Mercator and Wyfliet (Augmentum to Ptotemy, 1597) give Yla primera 
as distinct from Claudia, and both from Briso. But I refer for the detailed 
consideration of this apparent objection to my full paper. 


Early, also, came with Ribero, 1529, the name St. 
Christopher, which clings with great persistence on the 
maps of the sixteenth century, and in unvarying succession 
northward with the bay or river of San Antonio (Jones s 
River) and Montana Verde (Blue Hills of Milton). South 
or east of this group is C. de Arenas (or some modifica 
tion of the Latin for keel or sand, Cape Cod) ; north of 
it, more or less distant, the Bay of St. John the Baptist ; 
and farther on, Cape Breton (Cape Ann). If the circum 
stance that Plymouth inner harbor is bare, or nearly so, 
at low tide suggested to the early navigator the idea of 
wading, and so the use of the name of the Saint, we have 
a point to which the varying geographical names, within 
certain limits, may be referred for adjustment. But this 
I will not pursue further here. Dr. Kohl (p. 276) sug 
gests that Gomez was the probable author of this name 
and many others on Ribero s map. 


All the above suggestions as to the site of the Norum- 


bega of Cabot must eventually revolve about, and be in 
harmony with, the requirements of the latitude. 

On the map of Lok, 1582, the sketch of Cabot against 
Claudia lies, as nearly as may be, between 42 and 43 N. 
This latitude or belt includes the region between the 
northern portion of the peninsula of Cape Cod and, on 
the Coast Survey map, a point just north of the mouth 
of the Merrimack. 

On Wytfliet, 1597, it is in about 44. 


On the Spanish Map-a-mundi, 1527 (in J. C. Brevoort s 
Verrazano), the region would be between 40 and 47 N. 

On Maggiolo s Verrazano (Winsor s America) it would 
be south of 40, while on that of Hieronymus Verrazano 
it would be north of 45. 

On the Dauphin map, 1543, it would be between 41 
and 44 N. 

On Ulpius s Globe, between 40 and 45 N. 

On Ruscelli, 1561, it is between 40 and 50. But he 
includes, as I conceive, within the same latitudes as does 
Gastaldi, 1550, the principal islands off the coast of Maine 
from Mount Desert southward. 

On Ribero, 1529, it is between 41 and 44. 

On Vallard, 1543, it is between 42 and 45. 

On the (so-called) Sebastian Cabot map, 1544, it is 
between 41 and 44. 

Thevet, 1556, who claims to have personally visited the 
region, says distinctly it (Norumbegue) " lies in the forty- 
third degree ;" that is, between 42 and 43 N. 

Ogilby says (p. 138): ". . . Norumbegua, most of it, 
being under the forty-third degree of latitude." 

Allefonsce, the pilot of Robeval in 1540, who coasted 
the shores of New England, says (MSS. in Bibliotheque 
Nat.): " The cape of St. John called Cape Breton " [these 
are names on Cabot s chart, Lok s map, 1582] "and the 
Cape San Franciscane are northeast and southwest, and 
range a point from an east and west course, . . . and 
there are one hundred and forty leagues on the course, 
and which makes one cape, called the Cape of Norem- 
begue. The said cape is past forty-one degrees of the 


height of the Arctic pole. The said coast is all sandy, . . . 
flat, without any mountain, and along this coast there are 
many isles of sand, and the coast very dangerous on 
account of banks and rocks." This description agrees 
well with the region of Cape Cod from Nantucket to 
Nahant. The Cape San Franciscane may have been 
Montauk, which is tolerably near to a prolongation of 
the range from Cape Ann, as given by Allefonsce. 

This relation is of interest as determining the identity 
of the Cape Norombegue of Allefonsce with Cape Cod, 
which is, he says, " past " or " through [that is, next above] 
forty-one degrees of the height of the Arctic pole." Cape 
Malebar is between 41 and 42; and the forty-second 
crosses the peninsula just south of Provincetown, near 
the extreme point of the Cape. 

Allefonsce proceeds to say : 

" Beyond the Cape of Norombegue the River of the said 
Norombegue descends about twenty-five leagues from the 

I cite this testimony of Allefonsce in regard to the lati 
tude of the region of Norombegue, as his profession was 
that of pilot, and his testimony unimpeachable ; and he 
may be fairly presumed to be not more than one degree, 
at the utmost, out of the way in a matter of latitude. I 
cite him also because he endorses, in regard to latitude, 
the statement of Thevet, which statement by itself would 
perhaps be less entitled to confidence. 

Within this belt of latitude of 42 to 43, between Cape 
Cod and Cape Ann, the Carenas and Cape Breton of 
Cabot (the latter the Cape Breton of Allefonsce as well), 


within this belt there is but one outline, with an oppos 
ing island, to which the terms Norumbega and Nahumbeak 
apply ; and that is the outline of which the Norum, the 
Nahum, the Tongue, is SALEM NECK. 



The suggestion that Norumbega lay in higher latitude 
rests, or is supposed to rest, on the authority of Cham- 
plain. From him and his surveys Lescarbot and De 
Laet, Montanus and Ogilby, derive their authority. 
Champlain spent three summers in the examination of 
the New England coast, and yet did not penetrate the 
mouth of the Charles, and only glanced at the entrance 
to the Merrimack. Champlain was looking for a town 
of Norumbega. He distinctly says he found nothing cor 
responding with the descriptions he had read, although 
he writes Norembegue along the coast between the Kcn- 
nebec and Penobscot. 1 

1 Rev. Mr. Slafter, p. 107, in his carefully prepared paper on Champlain, 
Winsor s " America," referring to the stay and work of Champlain for three 
summers, says: "The first of these surveys was made during the month of 
September, 1604. This expedition was under the sole direction of Champlain, 
and was made in a barque of seventeen or eighteen tons, manned by twelve 
sailors and with two Indians as guides. He examined the coast from the 
mouth of the St. Croix to the Penobscot. . . . Sailing up the Penobscot, 
called by the Indians Pentagoet, and by Europeans who have passed along 
the coast the Norumbegue (as he supposed), he explored this river to the 
head of tide-water, at the present city of Bangor, where a fall in the river 
intercepted his course. In the interior along the shores of the river he saw 
scarcely any inhabitants ; but by a very careful examination he was satisfied 



In studying Champlain s original paper it is seen that 
he regarded the latitude of Norumbega as only very im 
perfectly settled ; and having learned from Allefonsce 
(and Thevet ?) of a -river Norumbegue, and having failed 
to recognize the Charles, and having only sailed by 
the mouth of the Merrimack, he assumed at first that the 
site must be on the Penobscot, as it was, he judged, the 
only river considerable enough to be so distinguished. 
Although in the end he discredits the whole theory and 
notion on which he at first acted, such was the currency 
gained through his great name, that, solely from his hav 
ing looked for the site of the town on the Penobscot, all 
writers upon Norumbega since his time have assumed 
that somewhere on this river the town once existed, 
and its remains might some day be found. 

Dr. Palfrey, in his History of New England (probably 
from having carefully examined Champlain s narration), 
ignored the whole story of Norumbega. The name kept 
its foothold in Gilbert, John Smith, De Laet, Montanus, 
Cluverius, Heylin, Lescarbot, Laudonniere, Ogilby, and 
others, and is found on a great series of maps, 1 and even 
has a place in " Paradise Lost" (liber x.). 

beyond a doubt that the story, which had gained currency from a period as far 
back as the time of Allefonsce, about a large native town in the vicinity, 
whose inhabitants had attained to some of the higher arts of civilization, was 
wholly without foundation." 

1 Allefonsce, 1540-45. Michael Lok, 1582. 

Thevet, 1556. Judaeis, 1593. 

Zaltieri, 1566. De Bry, 1596. 

Ortelius, 1570. Wytfliet, 1597. 

John Dee, 1580. Quadus, 1900. 

Winsor s America. 

^^-f-^^y s*~~^. 

fyrj+s /c~*^. 

***-* * ^V^.j ft. 




A glance at the Coast Survey map from the mouth of 
the Merrimack northward to the St. John s will be suf 
ficient to show that there is nothing there, even if the 
adverse latitudes were left out of account, to correspond 
with the outline on Cabot s map from Cape Breton (Cape 
Ann) to Carenas (Cape Cod). 

The accompanying sketch presents the coast of Maine 
from Portsmouth to Campobello, including the region 
specially examined for Norumbega by Champlain. 1 

1 From Dr. De Costa s paper on Norumbega in Winsor s " America." 




It will have been observed that the testimony of Alle- 
fonsce and Thevet in regard to Norumbega as a country 
had a more limited and specific application than that of 
most of their contemporaries of the sixteenth, and succes 
sors of the seventeenth century. 

Allefonsce says : " Beyond the Cape of Norumbegue 
the river of the said Norumbegue descends about twenty- 
five leagues from the Cape [Cape Cod]. The said river 
is ... full of isles which stretch out ten or twelve 
leagues in the sea [MafHt s Ledge, Roaring Bulls, Lizard, 
Graves, etc.], and it is very dangerous on account of rocks 
and swashings." 

" The said river is through \i. e. next above] forty-two 
degrees of the height of the Arctic pole" 

" Up the said river fifteen leagues there is a town 
which is called Norombegue, and there is in it a good 
people, and they have many peltries of many kinds of 

Allefonsce, whose relation is largely a sailor s disjointed 
aggregation of instructions for the guidance of mariners, 
says, for example : 

" In going from the said river [Norumbegue] one hun 
dred and fifty leagues, there is an island which is called 
Vermonde [Bermuda], which is in thirty-three degrees of 
north latitude." 

And in the next sentence he says, instructing how to 
find the " ville " settlement of Norumbegue : 


\ , 

" And on the side toward the west of the said ville 
there is a range of rocks which extends into the sea fifteen 
leagues distant [Marblehead], and on the side towards the 
north [of Marblehead] there is a bay, in which is an isle 
which is very subject to tempests and cannot be inhabited 
[Baker s Island]." 

Again he says : 

" The river of Norumbegue turns southwest around the 
coast away to the west at least two hundred leagues to a 
great bay [Vineyard Sound and Buzzard s Bay], which at 
its entrance is about twenty leagues wide, and at least 
twenty-nine leagues northward in this bay are foyr islands 
joined together" (Naushaun, Pasque, Nashawena, and 

Allefonsce had the idea that he had been sailing along 
the skirt of an archipelago. 

He says, referring to a bay about Charleston or Savan 
nah, that as he was unable to converse with the natives, he 
was not certain where the river Norumbegue communi 
cated with the ocean. He also thinks it may connect with 
the St. Lawrence. 1 

The latitude (next above the forty-second degree) can 
apply only to the mouth of the Charles River. Regarding 

1 Ramusio says (Kohl, Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., p. 380. Diego Homem): 
" From the Reports of Cartier, we are not clear as yet whether New France 
is continuous with the Terra Firma of the provinces of Florida and New Spain, 
or whether it is all cut up into islands, and whether through these parts one 
can go to the province of Cataio, as was written to me many years ago by 
Master Sebastian Cabot, our Venetian." 

Thus it appears that whether or not New England was an archipelago was 
not settled, at least to the satisfaction of Ramusio, as late as 1556. 


the mouth as at the entrance to the Back Bay (so called 
Cottage Farm Station on the Boston and Albany Rail 
road), the latitude is 42 21 30". Regarded as at the 
entrance to Cohasset rocks, it is 42 16 . 

The nearest river north is the Merrimack, in 42 49 , and 
there are no islands at the mouth of that river. 

There is no other stream of any considerable length 
between Boston Harbor and Cape Cod. 

Fifteen leagues up the Charles River there was then, 
according to Allefonsce, a trading resort or village (city 
of Ramusio) called Norumbegue. 

Now, we have already seen that this name, Norum 
begue, means the tongue or Norum of a bay, or it may 
mean a bay from the bottom of which rises a tongue, a 
divider, a Norum ; and this involves a sheet of water with 
a somewhat peculiarly scalloped shore. There is but 
one sheet of water on the Charles where these conditions 
occur, and that lies between Riverside, on the Boston 
and Albany Railroad, and Waltham, the city of watch 
manufacture, two miles to the north. Along the shores 
of this sheet of water, some mile and a half in length 
and of varying width, from a few rods to half a mile, there 
are several Norumbegas, not villages (or settlements of 
to-day\ but peculiar forms of the shore. The most strik 
ing are on the west side of the river, between the mouth 
of Stony Brook and Waltham. 

I introduce here a map of the river which, owing to a 
rare grouping of glacial moraines for some distance above 
and below the mouth of Stony Brook, presents a most 
unexampled outline of shore. 1 

1 Taken from map of Newton. 

/ \?> : .v.x 




W^ V 



The next author who, so far as the latitude is con 
cerned, is endorsed by Allefonsce, is Thevet. Beyond this, 
Thevet s support is in the portrait of the localities he has 
drawn. He says (Dr. Kohl, Maine Hist. Soc. Coll.):- 

" Some people would make me believe that this country 
[Norumbegue] is the proper country of Canada. But I 
told them that this was far from the truth, since the coun 
try lies in 43 N., and that of Canada in 50 or 52." 

That is, it lies within the forty-third degree, or between 
Cape Cod and a point a little north of the Merrimack, or, as 
Allefonsce read it, through, or in the next above 42 N. 

Thevet gives instructions to mariners. He says : 

" Having left La Florida [the name first appearing on 
Verrazano s map, 1527, east of the isthmus described by 
Hieronymus Verrazano as six miles wide, and which sepa 
rated the Mare Varrazano the Atlantic south of Barn- 
stable from Massachusetts Bay], on the left hand, with 
all its islands, gulfs, and capes, a river presents itself which 
is one of the finest rivers of the whole world, which we 
call Norumbegue, and the aborigines Agoncy, and which 
is marked on some charts as the Grand River. Several 
other beautiful rivers enter into it ; and upon its banks the 
French formerly erected a little fort some ten or twelve 
leagues from its moiith, which was surrounded by fresh 
water, which flows here into the river, and this place was 
named the Fort of Norumbegue. 

" Before you enter the said river appears an island sur 
rounded by eight very small islets, which are near the 
Green Moiintains [Blue Hills] and to the cape of the 
islets [Cohasset]." 


On Huth s map of Dr. Kohl (No. i of the page of out 
line charts, Maine Hist. Soc., p. 315) appears the circle of 
islets, eight in number, around another island, and the 
following names : the C. de muchas islas, the R. de 
gomez, de estevan gomez. There is just below or south 
of the Cohasset breakers an irregular circle of eight 
islands around a ninth near the shore, which is given in 
detail on the Coast Survey map, entitled Minofs Ledge, 
which locality I have visited for the purpose of verifying 
Thevet s account. 

" From there," continues Thevet, " you sail all along 
unto the mouth of the river, which is dangerous from the 
great number of thick and high rocks [Cohasset rocks, 
Minot s ledges, the Lizard, Graves, etc.], and its entrance 
is wonderfully large. About three leagues into the river 
[measuring from Cohasset] an island presents itself to 
you, and may have four leagues in circumference, inhabited 
only by some fishermen and birds of different sorts, which 
island they call Aiayascon [Nantasket], because it has the 
form of a mans arm which they call so." 

Aiayascon is the Iroquois for arm (De Laet, Montanus, 
Gallatin), and a glance at the Coast Survey map remem 
bering that the Indian name describes the locality to which 
it is affixed will leave no doubt that the point Thevet 
described was Nantasket. The longer north and south 
portion was the arm above the elbow ; the east and west 
portion, terminating at Hull, was the portion of the arm 
below the elbow. 

Possibly Nantasket, to the student of comparative Indian 
philology, may contain reminiscences of Aiayascon. 

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The Iroquois and Algonquins were at war, and at this 
period, as Thevet describes in his account, the Iroquois 
were temporarily in possession of a part of the territory. 

Aiayascon and Agoncy were Iroquois words. Norum- 
bega was an Algonquin word. The name Agoncy means 
the head, and Thevet seems to think it applied to a rock. 

The French had appropriated the name of Norumbega. 
It had already been extended from the coast outline at 
Salem over a country stretching, in the notion of some, 
through many degrees of latitude. 

Allefonsce applied it to a cape (Cape Cod); it had 
been applied to the principal river (the Charles); it was 
borne by an Indian town (Allefonsce and Ingram); and, 
lastly, it had been given to a fort on the banks of the 
Charles, at the junction of a branch of this river with the 
main stream. 

This location of Norumbega was recognized in various 
ways with greater or less distinctness on a multitude of 

On that of Homem it appears, as I conceive, as a flag 
near the head of a river, with a display of peaked rocks 
described by Allefonsce. 1 

It appears, as I conjecture, in the towers and gateway 
between, of a fort ; and near it the cluster of peaked rocks, 
referred to by Allefonsce, on the Dauphin map of 1543. 

At the junction of two rivers the fort itself, or a town, 
appears on the map of Wytfliet. It is also on the map of 
Thevet and on Mercator s. 

1 Have we in the large bay immediately above (Homem s Survey of 
Boston Harbor), with the rivers on the south and the many islands with 
which we are now familiar ? 


The name or junction is indicated on Freire, 1546; on 
Jomard, i55(?); Zaltieri, 1566; Ortilius, 1570; John Dee, 
1580; De Bry, 1596; Quadus, 1600; Botero, 1603; De 
Laet, 1633. 

The circlet of islands described by Thevet is perhaps 
indicated on Zaltieri, 1566, and Porcacchi, 1572, but most 
distinctly on the map of Huth, copied by Dr. Kohl. 

As a country, it was made by some (Laudonniere 
and others) to extend from beyond the St. Lawrence to 

Smith made the southern boundary contiguous with 
Virginia, which then included a part of the present New 

It certainly underlaid the New France of Verrazano ; 
the Francisco of the Ptolemy of 1530; Franciscane of Alle- 
fonsce ; La Nuova Francia, or La Nova Franza, etc., of Gas- 
talcli, 1550; of Zaltieri, 1566; of Orteleus, 1570; Judaeis, 
1595 ; De Bry, 1596; Quadus, 1600; and Hondius, 1607. 

They placed the fort at or near the junction of two 
streams, which united to form the Rio Gamas, or the 
Rio Grande, or Buena Madre, which uniformly terminated 
in an archipelago, sometimes called the Archipelago of 
Gomez, or B. St. Mary s, at the entrance to which was 
the Cabo de Muchas Islas, or Cape de lagus Islas, or Cape 
St. Mary s, etc. After Thevet, for a long time authors 
identified the river Norembegue or Norumbega, with Rio 
Las Gamas and Rio Grande. Herrara identifies Las 
Gamas with river of St. Mary s (see Kohl, p. 420). 
The Sebastian Cabot map (1544) identifies Bay Santa 
Maria with the archipelago near Montana Verde (next 


to Rio San Antonio), which on some maps is Buena 
Madre, on others Bonne Mere, and which, despite of 
much confusion, can, as I conceive, only refer to Boston 
Harbor. It was from Bay St. Mary s, within sight of a 
mountain some thirty leagues to the north called Ba- 
nachoonan (Agamenticus), that David Ingram, 1 within 
a day s journey of Bega and Norumbega, set sail for 
France in 1569. 

When I had read these records and studied these 
maps, and compared them with other ancient maps, and 
those of recent date of the counties and towns of Massa 
chusetts in my possession, and it had become clear to me 
that they described a locality at the junction of Stony 
Brook with the Charles River in the town of Weston, 
county of Middlesex, I drove with a friend from Cam 
bridge through a region I had neve before visited, of the 
topography of which I knew nothing, except as indicated 
on the maps, to the junction of Stony Brook and the 
Charles, where I found t!ie remains of tJie fort of which 
I enclose the accompanying survey, made by Mr. Uavis, 
the Engineer of the Cambridge City Water Works. 

1 See Dr. De Costa s Ingram s Relation, Mag. Am. Hist. vol. ix. 


The plan sustains the description of Thevet, in regard 
to the ditch and general features. 

The AGONCY of Thevet, the head, a high, isolated, 
rounded rock, and the traces of an ancient Indian village 
near, are on the line of the ditch which takes the water 
from Stony Brook. 

I found, on inquiry, that the ditch has been known to 
the proprietor from his boyhood. He supposed it had 
served for purposes of irrigation. But though the prop 
erty had been in his family for a century or more, he had 
never heard of its being used for any purpose whatever. 
The ditch is altogether about 2,300 feet long, of uniform 
level from the point on Stony Brook where the water was 
received, to near where it discharged beyond the Fort into 
the Charles. 1 

I forbear further details at present, both as to the 
results of excavations made and the attempt to deter 
mine the locations mentioned by Ingram, adding simply 
an outline map of the Coast Survey and the Cabot sketch, 
and a legend that explains itself. 

1 What evidences there are of the existence of one or more ancient Indian 
villages in this neighborhood will be presented in my full paper. 




Coast Survey Chart, with some ancient names and 
points indicated, and identified with modern names and 

1. Fort Norumbeguc, 

2. Norombcga of J. Cabot, 


3. Cape Breton, 

4. Claudia, Brisa, Briso, and 

Yla Primera, 

5. Catenas, 

6. Montes Johannis, 

7. Isthmus of Verrazano, 

8. River of Norombegue of 


9. Mouth of Merrimack ( ?) and 

10. Plymouth Beach (outside of 

11. Rio Sanantonio, 

12. B. Espiritu Santo, 

13. Aiayascon, 

14. Na-sha-un, 

15. Sha-um-ut, 

1 6. Norman Villa, (?) 

17. C. de Lisarte of Cosa, 

1 8. Nahum-kcake, 

19. Crossa-ness of the Norse 

men, (?) 

Mouth of Stony Brook, right 

Salem Neck and North and 

South Rivers. 
Cape Ann. 

Baker s Island and Breakers. 
C. de Arenas, Cape Cod. 
Blue Hills, Milton. 
Neck of Peninsula of Cape Cod, 
near Barnstable. 

Charles River. 

St. Lawrence. ( ?) 

Bay of St. Christopher?). 

Jones River, separating Acco- 

mac from the Peninsula. 
Bay and Island of Newport. 

Winthrop Point (?) Nahant. (?) 
Nahant. ( ?) 
Marblehead and Neck, and bay 


The Gurnet. 


20. Plymouth Beach. 

21, 22. East and West chop 

at entrance to Holmes 

Holl, Martha s Vineyard. 

23. St. Johan of J. Cabot and One of Turk s Heads of 

Allefonsce, Smith. ( ?) 

24. Aredonda of J. Cabot, Another of Turk s Heads of 

Smith. (?) 


It remains to take from Allefonsce s relation one pas 
sage more. 1 It touches the assumption with which this 
letter opened. 

I directed attention to Cabot s sketch in Lok s map of 
1582, in which is an island, the inscription "John Cabot, 
1497," the names Norombega, Cape Breton, and St. Johan, 
and the outline of shore against Claudia in latitude 
between 42 and 43 north. 

I have assumed the Cape Breton of Cabot to be the 
Cape Ann of to-day. The doubt is whether the language 
of Allefonsce applied to the Cape Breton at the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence, the latitude of which is in about 46 15 

Allefonsce says : " Le diet Cap Breton de la mer 
oceane est par quarante et deux degrez de la haulteur 
du polle Artique." 

1 " Je ditz que ce Cap de Ratz et le Cap de Breton et plus de ports en le 
mer oceane qui est une isle appellee aussi S. Jehan, sur lest Nord est et ouest 
sud ouest. II y a en la route quarte vingt lieues. Le diet Cap Breton de la 
mer oceane est par quarante et deux degrez haulteur du polle Artique." 


" The said Cape Breton of the ocean is through [that 
is, next to and above] forty-two degrees of north 
latitude" 1 

Now, the latitude of Cape Ann on the United States 
Coast Survey map is 42 38 N. 

Having placed the Cape Breton and the River Norum- 
begue and the bay and neck between of Norumbega 
within the limits of the forty-third degree, there is 
nothing further of assumption requiring authority for 

1 The transfer of Cape lireton from latitude 42 38 to latitude 46 15 was 
but three degrees and a half ; while the transfer in longitude was more than 
ten degrees. Longitude and distance were of course liable to be greatly at 
fault, while latitude was observed to within a degree. This transfer may have 
been in part due, as already intimated, to mistaking the Gut of Canso for the 
strait connecting Annisquam with Gloucester harbor, which separates Cape 
Ann (as an island) from the mainland ; and also from confounding the eastern 
coast of New-foundland (the name by which Norombega, the region dis 
covered by John Cabot, was known to Henry VII.), its many bays, indentations 
of the coast, and mountains, with the group of islands from Mount Desert 
southward. Cape Race is given on the map of Gastaldi almost in the lati 
tude of Cape Breton (Cape Ann), and Mercator (1569) divides Newfoundland 
into several islands. 




I submit 

i st. That the site of the Landfall of John Cabot in 
1497 has been determined to be Salem Neck, in 42 32 
north latitude, the Norum (the Neck, to one standing on 
it) of the Norumbega of Cabot, and the Nahum of the 
Nahumbeak of Ogilby and Smith. The first land seen 
may have been Cape Ann, or possibly the mountain, 

2d. That the town of Norumbegue, on the river of 
Norumbegue of Allefonsce, the Norumbega visited by 
Ingram, and the fort of Norumbegue and the village of 
Agoncy of Thevet, were on the Charles River between 
Riverside and Waltham, at the mouth of Stony Brook, 
in latitude 42 21 north. 1 

3d. That John Cabot preceded Columbus in the dis 
covery of America. 

I am, very truly, yours, 


It is proper here to express my great indebtedness to 
Mr. Winsor, who has kindly permitted me to see advance 
sheets of the elaborate papers by himself, by Mr. Charles 

1 Middlesex County, State of Massachusetts, U. S. A. 


Deane, Rev. Mr. Slafter, the late Mr. George Dexter, 
Rev. Dr. De Costa, and others, relating to the early dis 
covery of our shores, in his great work on America; and 
has further allowed me to trace for my own use in this 
study many maps to me otherwise quite inaccessible. 


P. S. I enclose a set of heliotype maps and sketches 
for your use in reference, all of which will appear in their 
proper places in my full paper. 

Map of Michael Lok, 1582, containing John Cabot s Chart of 


Map of Cosa, 1500. Stcvcns s copy. 
Map of Cosa, 1500. Kohl s copy. 
Map of Cosa, 1500. Tracing from Jomard. 
Map of Sebastian Cabot, 1544. 
Map of Hieronymus Vcrrazano, 1529. 
Map of Maiollo s Verrazano, 1527. 
Map of Ribero. 
Map of Vallard. 
Map of Ulpius s Globe. 
Map of Thome. 
Map of Homem. 
Map of Gastaldi. 
Map of Ruscclli. 

Map called " the Dauphin " map, made by order of Henry II. 
Map of Oviedo. 
Sketch by Allefonsce. 
Map of Thevct. 


Map of Mercator. 

Map of Champlain. 

Map of Lescarbot. 

Map of De Laet. 

John Smith s Map, 1614. 

Winthrop s Map of 1634. 

United States Coast Survey Maps and Tracings. 

Tracings of various outlines of Naames-Keaket. 

Charles River between Waltham and Riverside, part of official 

map of Newton and surrounding towns. (Bega of Ingram.) 
Survey of Fort of Norumbega. 
Numerous tracings of Maps of the sixteenth and seventeenth 


NOTE. Besides correcting the text of my letter to Judge Daly, as printed 
in the October Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, I have, in this 
edition, printed for private circulation, expanded several of the notes, and 
added some new ones, making suggestions which will, I trust, not detract 
from the force of the argument as first drawn out. E. N. H. 




This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 
on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 



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