posted Jan 2007
Appletons' journal: a magazine of general literature. 6 (122): 137-138. 29 July 1871
New York: D. Appleton and Company Miscellany
It is well known that the Northmen, inhabiting Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, were at a very early period of the Christian era acquainted with the science and practice of navigation, far surpassing the people of the south of Europe in building vessels and managing them upon the sea. The adventures of this people, however, were of a mere predatory character, and possessed nothing of that thirst for the glory of discovery which so eminently distinguished those of the navigators of the southern countries. As early as the year 861, in one of their piratical excursions, Iceland was discovered; and, about the year 889, Greenland was peopled by the Danes under Friedlos, better known as Eireck Rauda, Eric Raude, and sometimes as Eric the Red, a noted chieftain.
Very early in the eleventh century, Biarne or Biorne, sometimes called Biron in historical writings, an Icelander, who had visited many different countries with his father Heriulf for trading purposes, being accidentally separated from his parent on one of these voyages, in directing his course to Greenland was driven by a storm southwesterly to an unknown country, level in its formation, destitute of rocks, and thickly wooded, having an island near its coast. After the abatement of the storm, performing his intended voyage to Greenland, he sailed, in the year 1002, on a voyage of discovery in company with Leif (son of Eric the Red), a person of adventurous disposition, whose desire he had awakened by a recital of his accidental discovery. In this expedition Biron officiated as guide. It is supposed that the countries which these men visited on this voyage, and which they called Helluland on account of the rocky soil, Markland (the woody), and Vinland dat gode (the good wine country), were in the neighborhood of the island of Newfoundland and the gulf of St. Lawrence; and that the inhabitants, who from their diminutive size they called Skraelings, were the aborigines of that region.
It has been stated that the Icelandic navigators not only visited the shores of Greenland and Labrador, but in often-repeated voyages they explored the sea-coast of America as far south as New Jersey, establishing colonies in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. They are supposed to have been in New England on some of their voyages, and it has been suggested by Wheaton in his history of the Northmen that they even anchored near the harbor of Boston; but of this the tradition is very vague and unsatisfactory.
Leif, the son of Eric, was succeeded in his explorations by his brother Thorwald, who, in the year 1003, attempted discoveries more to the southward than those previously made, and who is said to have fallen in with several islands, perhaps those lying south of the Massachusetts coast, destitute of inhabitants. In a subsequent year, 1004, pursuing a more easterly and then a northerly direction, he passed a cape to which he gave the name of Kiliarnese, by some supposed to be Cape Cod, and, following the coast in a circuitous course, discovered an abrupt promontory well covered with forest-trees, which he named Krossaness, and which archaeologists have been led to think was one of the headlands of Boston Harbor, called by the Plymouth forefathers, in honor of their early agent, Point Allerton, the northerly termination of Nantasket Beach. The voyage of this last individual ended as it commenced by wintering at Vinland previous to a return to Greenland, the place from which it was projected.
Another of the same class of adventurers, but a person of considerable distinction and wealth among his countrymen, Thorfin by name, made a similar attempt in the same direction in 1007. By this time the route to Wineland, the Vinland of Leif, had become well known to the Icelandic and Norwegian navigators; and Thlorfin, with more than usual encouragement, and an outfit ample for the days in which it was made, set sail in three vessels, with sevenscore men, with the intention of planting a colony in some of the regions that had been discovered by his predecessors, or upon some new and more suitable territory, which he perchance might fall in with on his voyage. Whether the island abounding with wild ducks, to which he gave the name of Straumey, was Martha's Vineyard, and his new haven of Straumfiords was Buzzard's Bay, cannot well be determined; but it is related that, in prosecuting his investigations farther in an inland direction by passing through a river giving prospect of the desired land, and arriving in an expanse of water bountifully supplied with grain and fruitful vines, he met with savages whose description is not much unlike that of the New-England Indians, and who forced him, much against his will, to give up his contemplated design and return home, not only frustrated but disheartened from making further attempts; and thus terminated, with the exception of a few smaller attempts, the voyages of the Icelandic navigators and adventurers upon the American Continent.
Vikings in America, a web site by D.L. Ashman, including
The Skeleton in Armor, a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Norsemen, a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier
debunking the Viking burial: Copper Implements. W. M. Beauchamp. Science 17 (414): 25-27. 9 Jan 1891
The Norse Discoverers of America, the Wineland Sagas.
review author: W. P. Ker. The English Historical Review, Vol. 37 (146): 267-269. April 1922
This is a review of: The Norse Discoverers of America, the Wineland Sagas. Translated and discussed by G. M. Gathorne-Hardy.
With a favorable mention of idea that 'Wonderstrand' was Cape Cod
Vikings not at Hampton Beach
Vikings on the Charles
Norumbega: Wiki, Straight Dope, Virtual Norumbega,