Excerpt from Sailors Narratives of Voyages Along the New England Coast, 1524-1624
Giovanni DA verrazano, a Florentine sailor in the service of France who had attracted the royal attention hy his successful attacks on Spanish commerce, was com missioned hy Francis I, in the sp... ring of 1523, to cross the Atlantic in search for a sea route to Cathay. In April, the agents of S pain in France notified their govern ment that V errazano was ready to start. Two months later, the Spanish authorities learned that he had re turned to La Rochelle, hringing the captured vessels in which Cortes had shipped the treasure gathered from the Aztec lords of Mexico. The proposed voyage of discovery was not, however, merely a hlind for this attack on the Spanish West Indian ¿eet. V errazano refitted his ships and made a second start, only to he driven hack hy a Bis cayan storm. With his single remaining seaworthy ves sel, he finally got away for the West. In March, 1524, land was sighted, prohahly near Cape Fear, on the Caro lina coast. After looking in vain for a harhour toward the south, he turned northward and followed the shore line as far as Maine or Nova Scotia.
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