by traversing the imaginary ocean which, as they supposed, occupied the site of Siberia and of the north of Russia. This explanation cannot now be admitted ; but the fact still remains, that Indians, or dark complexioned people of some nation or other, actually reached the coast of Germany or Gaul, some time before the year of Rome, 694, the commencement of Cæsar's conquests. In all probability, they were Esquimaux, either from Labrador or Greenland. The same circumstance again occurred

in 1680 and 1684. In Wallace's Account of Orki ney, it is mentioned that some Greenlanders arrived

there in the kind of boats peculiar to them, which were preserved in the Church of Barra, and in the College Museum of Edinburgh.


On the discovery of America by Columbus, several prior claims were attempted to be put in by different nations, founded on tradition ; and stories were revived which had been well nigh consigned to oblivion. The claim advanced by the Welch merits relation, as having been made by a people of kindred stock with ourselves. Their tradition respecting the discovery of America is, that about the year 1170, one of their Princes, Madoc, son of Owen Guyneth, Prince of North Wales, sailed to the New World, and there established a colony of his countrymen. The cause of his emigration is stated to be this - the sons of Owen disputed the division of their father's dominions, and Madoc fearing the consequences of the disunion, like another Teucer, chose to seek a new habitation in a foreign land, rather than to hazard the dangers of civil convulsion.

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He is said to have steered due west, leaving Ireland on the north ; and thus to have arrived at an unknown country, the continent of America, on which he landed. He afterwards returned to Wales, and took thence a second supply of people, but was no more heard of. The objections to this story are its improbability, and want of supporting evidence. The Welsh were at no period a naval people ; and in the age of Madoc, must have been ignorant of all navigation, but that of rivers and coasts. It should, however, be mentioned in justice to the claims of our Welsh fellow countrymen, that this tale was by no means invented after the real discovery of America, in order to establish a fabricated title. Meredith Ap Rees, who died in 1477, a famous Welsh poet, composed an ode in honor of this Madoc, wherein was handed down the tradition, with an account of his discoveries, several years anterior to the time of Columbus. Of the tradition itself there can be no doubt. Indeed, in an American publication a few years ago, we have seen it stated, in reference to this supposed voyage of Madoc, that a people quite distinct from the Aborigines, both as to language and physiognomy, had been lately discovered in Mexico, and were supposed to be descendants from the colony of Madoc. Their language was said to be somewhat similar to the ancient British, or Celtic; and several Celtic words have also been traced in the Mexican tongue. The Celtic is undoubtedly one of the most ancient languages, and its roots may still be found in most of those of the civilised world, from the Persian to the Scottish, Irish and Welsh. A few words may have been adopted into the Mexican : it is indeed mentioned, by Vater, that he had found eighteen Celtic words in ten American lan

guages. The traditions of the Celtic nations, and those derived from them, have always been of the most marvellous quality_witness the fanciful Trojan origin of the first settler in Britain, Brutus, who kindly bestowed his name on the sea-girt Island ; and the derivation of the Irish Celts from positive and direct emigration of Egyptian, Phænician, Greek and Milesian origin, under various imaginary leaders, all and several of whom, as well as an interminable list of kings, are gravely set down in the veracious Chronicles of Eri.


America must have been known to the barbarous tribes of Asia for thousands of years ; but it is singular that it should have been visited by one of the most enterprising nations of Europe, nearly five centuries before the time of Columbus, without awakening the attention of either statesmen or philosophers. The Norwegians, with far higher pretensions than the Welsh, founded their claim to the early discovery of America on their well known voyages to Iceland and Greenland in the tenth and eleventh centuries ; and having undoubtedly penetrated within so short a distance from the New World, they may fairly be supposed to have touched on some part of that continent in their annual voyages for nearly three centuries, distinguished as the old Northmen were by their enterprise, hardihood and love of adventure. In the year 1001, Biorn is said, in Icelandic manuscripts of good reputation, to have landed on the coast of Labrador, where he met with the Esquimaux, whom he called Skraelingues, from their very diminutive stature. In the following year it has


been maintained, on reasonable evidence, that they had a settlement in Newfoundland, which they called Vinland, from the vines growing there. We shall find that the same fondness for the vine, and a similar abundance of that tree, induced Jacques Cartier to give the name of “ Isle of Bacchus," to what is now termed the Isle of Orleans. They passed the winter there, and found that on the shortest day the sun rose at eight o'clock, which fixes the place of their visit to the 49th degree, the latitude of Newfoundland, or of the River St. Lawrence. The following story is amusing :-One day a German sailor of the name of Tuckil was missing, but soon returned shouting and leaping for joy; having, as he said, discovered the intoxicating grape of his own country, the expressed juice of which, according to the story, had had its usual effect upon his brain. To prove the truth of his assertion, he led some of his comrades to the fortunate spot, and they gathered several bunches of grapes, which they presented in triumph to their commander, who called the country, in consequence, Vinland. This ancient settlement, however, after some years, seems to have been relinquished, although it is believed that some traces of it have lately been discovered:

We find it mentioned in Haliburton's History of Nova-Scotia, that the wild vine is well known there; and all New England abounds with the wild purple grape, some vines of which are very prolific. There is the best evidence that it may be turned to account in the manufacture of wine. An American writer observes, that there is not the slightest doubt that this vine may be cultivated so as to yield a thousand fold more than now, of large and finer fruit ; and the product will be abundant of almost

any flavored wine the manufacturer may choose. The pure juice, lightly expressed, and somewhat sweetened with sugar, will furnish a wine of most delicate flavor, similar in color and taste to a Frontignac and Muscat; and the quality may be changed by a stronger expression of the astringent qualities of the skins, until the wine will, in that respect, run through all the varieties of claret and port, still retaining, however, much of the original Muscat flavor.

A Danish gentleman, of the name of Rafn, who has been engaged in researches respecting these early voyages, has ascertained from original documents, various facts previously unknown; among others, that America, first discovered in 985, was repeatedly visited by the Norwegians in the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries--that the embouchure of the St. Lawrence, and in particular the Bay of Gaspé, was their principal station—that they had penetrated along the coast, as far south as Carolina, and that they introduced a knowledge of christianity among the natives. We understand that he is preparing a work on this subject. And the accounts of the voyages of the old Scandinavians to America, have lately gained a new confirmation, by the discovery of a Runic stone : which, in the year 1824, was found under 73° N. latitude, on the coast of Greenland. The inscription translated is as follows :" Erling Sigvalson, and Biorn Hor“ deson, and Endride Addson, Saturday before “ Gagnday (Rogation Day) the 25th April, erected " these heaps of stone, and cleared the place in the

year 1135."

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