This Memorandum, Translated Into English,
Is As Follows.
Id. III. 27.]
Discovery of Newfoundland by John and Sebastian Cabot in 1497, in the
service of Henry VII. of England.
"In the year 1497, John Cabot a Venetian and his son Sebastian,
discovered on the 24th of June, about five in the morning, that land to
which no person had before ventured to sail, which they named Prima
Vista, or, first-seen, because as I believe it was the first part
seen by them from the sea. The island which is opposite he named St
Johns Island, because discovered on the day of St John the Baptist. The
inhabitants of this island use the skins and furs of wild beasts for
garments, which they hold in as high estimation as we do our finest
clothes. In war they use bows and arrows, spears, darts, clubs, and
slings. The soil is sterile and yields no useful production; but it
abounds in white bears and deer much larger than ours. Its coasts
produce vast quantities of large fish, among which are great seals,
salmons, soles above a yard in length, and prodigious quantities
especially of cod, which are commonly called bacallaos. The hawks,
partridges, and eagles of this island are all black."
[Footnote 3: Presuming that this discovery was Newfoundland, a name
nearly of the same import, perhaps the land first seen was what is now
called Cape Bonavista, in lat. 48 deg. 50' N. long.
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