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George Bancroft, History of the Colonization of the United States, Vol. 1, 17th edition. 5 1 Browse Search
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 3 1 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Arctic exploration. (search)
the magnificent countries in Eastern Asia and adjacent islands — Cathay and Zipangi, China and Japan--stimulated desires to accomplish such a passage. The Cabots [John Cabot; Sebastian Cabot (q. v.)] went in the direction of the pole, northwestward, at or near the close of the fifteenth century, and penetrated as far north as 67° 30′, or half-way up to (present) Davis Strait. The next explorers were the brothers Cortereal, who made three voyages in that direction, 1500-02. In 1553 Sir Hugh Willoughby set out to find a northwest passage to India, but was driven back from Nova Zembla, and perished on the shore of Lapland. In 1576-78 Martin Frobisher made three voyages to find a northwest passage into the Pacific Ocean, and discovered the entrance to Hudson Bay. Between 1585 and 1587 John Davis discovered the strait that bears his name. The Dutch made strenuous efforts to discover a northeast passage. Willem Barentz (q. v.) made three voyages in that direction in 1594-96, and per
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Smith, John 1579-1632 (search)
Smith, John 1579-1632 Settler; born in Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England, in January, 1579. From early youth he was a soldier, and for four years he was in wars in the Netherlands. Returning home, he soon went abroad again to fight the Turks, distinguishing himself in Hungary and Transylvania, for which service Sigismond Bathori ennobled him and gave him a pension. Serving under an Austrian general in besieging a Turkish fortress, he performed a wonderful exploit. One of the Turkish generals sent a message to the Austrian camp, saying, I challenge any captain of the besieging army to combat. Smith was chosen by lot to accept it. They fought in the presence of a multitude on the ramparts. Smith cut off his antagonist's head. A second appeared and suffered the same fate, and then a third, whose head soon rolled in the dust. The combat ended, and when Smith was ennobled he had upon his coat of arms, in two quarterings of his shield, three Turks' heads, with a chevron between
northeast, and was made president of the company of merchants who undertook the enterprise. In May, 1553, the fleet of three ships, under the command of Sir Hugh Willoughby, following the instructions of Cabot, now almost an octogenarian, dropped down the Thames with the intent to reach China by doubling the northern promontoryn by the cold in September to seek shelter in a Lapland harbor. When search was made for him in the following spring, his whole company had perished from cold; Willoughby himself, whose papers showed that he had survived till January, was found dead in his cabin. Richard Chancellor, in one of the other ships, reached the harbor land, without any communication with the civilized world; Hudson was turned adrift in a small boat by a crew Chap. III.} whom suffering had rendered mutinous; Willoughby perished with cold; Roberval, Parmenius, Gilbert,— and how many others?—went down at sea; and such was the state of the art of navigation, that intrepidity and