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The American Discovery of Europe

Jack D. Forbes

Publication Year: 2007

This book investigates the voyages of America's Native peoples to the European continent before Columbus's 1492 arrival in the "New World," revealing surprising Native American involvements in maritime trade and exploration. Jack D. Forbes explores 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._x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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Title page

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p. ix

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pp. xi-xii

I began collecting material relating to this book almost two decades ago, especially in connection with my research on African-Native American historic relations. I am indebted to many great libraries, such as the Bodleian of Oxford, the British Library, the Royal Dutch Library, the University of Leiden Library, the...

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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...

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1. Americans across the Atlantic: Galway and the Certainty behind Columbus's Voyage

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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...

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2. The Gult Stream and Galway: Ocean Currents and American Visitors

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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...

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3. Seagoing Americans: Navigation in the Caribbean and Vicinity

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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...

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4. Ancient Travelers and Migrations

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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...

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5. From Iberia to the Baltic: Americans in Roman and Pre-Modern Europe

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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...

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6. The Inuit Route to Europe

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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...

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7. Native Americans Crossing the Atlantic after 1493

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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 “abovedeck” as diplomats, curiosities, allies...


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pp. 191-212


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pp. 213-236


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pp. 237-250

E-ISBN-13: 9780252091254
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252031526

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 867794189
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The American Discovery of Europe

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Subject Headings

  • Indians of North America -- Transatlantic influences.
  • Indians of North America -- First contact with Europeans.
  • Indians of North America -- Migrations.
  • Europe -- Discovery and exploration.
  • North America -- Discovery and exploration.
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