Stokes, I. N. Phelps The iconography of Manhattan Island 1498-1909 (v. 4)

(New York :  Robert H. Dodd,  1915-1928.)



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C.1014 Book alone the story of Frcydis's second visit to the newly dis¬
covered country." Furthermore, "numerous statements of a
circumstantial nature are made in the Flatey Book version which
find no place in the rival account. The important 'eyktarstad'
observation is a good instance of this."

It is not feasible to enter here into a discussion ot the various
theories and arguments that have been advanced regarding the
relative authority and merits of the three principal sagas, and
the courses followed on the various voyages therein recorded.
These complex and highly contraversial questions have been dealt
with by such writers as Torfaeus, Rafn, Weise, Storm, Horsford,
Fiske, Reeves, Winsor, Fischer, Vigfusson, Fern aid, Gatliorne-
Hatdy, and at least a dozen others. We must content ourselves
here by drawing attention to the fact that the older school, who
accepted the superiority ot the Flatey Book version, and pro¬
claimed a location of Wineland in New England, south of Cape
Cod, have, during the past few years, suffered a merited rebuke
tor their over-zealous dogmatlcism, especially in matters ot detail.
The advocates of the newer school, seem, in their turn, to have
gone too far in maintaining the impossibility of locating Wineland
witliin the territory of the United States, in the latter case basing
their arguments largely on the conclusions ot the botanist. Pro¬
fessor Fernald, that the wild-grapes and self-sown wheat, which
play so important a part in the various narratives, were, in reality,
the partridge-berry and lyme-grass, which do not grow in any
quantity south of the St. Lawrence. But the pendulum has again
begun to swing in the opposite direction, and the latest writer on
the subject, G. M. Gathornc-Hardy, to whose work. The Norse
Discoverers of America (Oxford, 1921), the author is indebted tor
many of the facts and theories here considered, as well as for the
translations from the saga texts, goes far towards rehabilitating
the fundamental tenets ot the older school, by bis logical, fair-
minded, and, in most cases, convincing arguments. He stoutly
defends the superiority, in most respects, of tiieFlaiey Book version,
which he believes to be based principally on the sagas as preserved
In Greenland, which would account for differences, and an inde¬
pendence in form and treatment, which can hardly be satisfactorily
explained if we assume an Icelandic origin.

Very briefly summarijcd, Gathoine-Hardy's conclusions in
regard to the various voyages and locations are as follows;—

The lands discovered by Bjarni were Cape Cod, or the Barn¬
stable Peninsula, Nova Scoria, and Newfoundland.

Helluland is Newfoundland and Labrador, probably considered
as one country.

Markland is Nova Scotia.

Wineland is New England, possibly including New York.

It will be seen, on reference to the map, that Greenland and
these three continental land bodies, occupy relatively the positions,
and are separated approximately by the distances, suggested by
the sagas,

Keelness is the northern extremity of Cape Cod,

Straumsfjord is Long Tsland Sound, while the Straumsey base
is at its eastern extremity,

Furdustrands is the coast between Keelness and Straumsfjord,

The author's coiijectural identification of the various camp
sites in Wineland is naturally, and confessedly, less convincing,
although three separate sites are pretty clearly indicated, all south
of Keelness, and it seems more than likely, as he maintains, that
Leif's encampment was on the south shore of Cape Cod, or in its
immediate vicinity (it may possibly be Identical with Straumsey),
and that Thorvald and Freydis successively occupied the same site.

As to the location of Karlsetni's winter quarters, two arc clearly
indicated, one at Straumsey, where he spent bis first, and appar¬
ently his third, winter, and where Snorri was born, and one at H6p,
a considerable distance "south" of Straumsey.

The arguments suggesting a possible identification of the
former with a point near the eastern entrance to the Sound, west
ot Fisher's Island, are very plausible. The suggested identification
of H6p with the estuary of the Hudson, although possible, has one
very definite weakness—the Island, between which and the cape
facing north the river flowed through the lake to the sea, can hardly
have been Long Island, tor, as the author himself points out, the
insularity of Long Island probably was not determined until
Adriaen Block sailed through the Sound in 1614. Furthermore,
the "great shoals of gravel" there, in front of the estuary, which
made it impossible to "enter the river except at high tide," do not
suggest anything in the neighbourhood of the mouth of the Hudson.

It is  also difficult  to reconcile the statement  that   "Karlsefni  (,1014
coasted south" with the fact that Sandy Hook lies much more
nearly west than south from the eastern entrance to the Sound,

It is quite possible, as suggested by the author, that the combin¬
ation of cape. Island, shoal, river, and lake in the Flatey Book
description of Leifs camp was borrowed bodily from the earlier
description ot Karlsetni's H6p, as it is entirely improbable that
Leif ever reached so southeriy a point, "The writer of the Flatey
Book, imbued with the idea that Leif and Karlsefni occupied iden¬
tical camps, has evidently felt himself at liberty to draw his descrip¬
rion ot the scene ot Leifs landing from the fullest report available,
which, as he tells us, was Karlsetni's. Given the notion [which exists
in the Flatey Boak\ that all explorers made the same landfall, this
was natural and legitimate enough, but it adds an [other] element
ot confusion to our already difficult task."

While it Is clearly impossible, with the information at our dis¬
posal, to harmonise or explain the many contusing, and often
contradictory, statements contained in the sagas which have come
down to us, and while it is therefore impossible to definitely fix the
various localities therein referred to, nevertheless, the general con¬
clusions here stated seem to the author, on the whole, to constitute
the best working hypothesis, and to afford the most consistent and
likely solution of this much vexed problem. At all events, there
seems no sufficient reason to warrant the identification of Wineland
as Nova Scotia, which is the only other location that can be seriously
defended from a geographical point of view.

As to positive and demonstrable facts regarding the Norse
settlements In Wineland, Fischer is obviously right when he states,
in The Discoveries of the Norsemen in America, that, "It we sum up
in brief the result of previous researches, we arrive at certain
definite facts: the Norsemen for centuries possessed tolerably
thriving colonies in Greenland, For tfiis we have historical, geo¬
graphical and cartographical proof, supported by Papal Briefs,
and the accounts of the Papal Legates, and there are aiso the
numerous mins of churches, homesteads, and other buildings,
besides numbers of Norse relics. Wineland, Markland, and Hellu¬
land, in short, the continent of America, were only occasionally
visited but were not colonized as intended. Every theory in sup¬
port ot a lasting colonization ot Wineland has proved untenable,
and, most important of all, no amount ot research has brought to
light [there] any Norse remains or Norse ruins."

The author is quite aware that the above conclusions differ In
important particulars from those of the majority of recent writers
on the Norsemen, who exclude altogether southern New England,
Connecticut, and New York, when considering the location of

Mr, George Paricer Winship, who is entitled to speak with
high authority on all matters regarding the early voyages to our
coast, and who represents the point of view ot advanced modem
criticism, sums up briefly the facts, as he understands them, m a
recent letter to the author, from which the following extracts are
taken.   He writes:

"Before the end of the tenth century, Scandinavian voyagers had
found their way to the land south-west ot the colonies on the Green¬
land coast. This land seemed to them quite as good for purposes
of settlement as the seacoast villages in Iceland from which they
came. An attempt was therefore made to establish here a new
colony. By the year 1000 A.D. houses had been built, cattle pas¬
tured, and a child bom at this westernmost outpost of mediaeval
European wanderings. The Norse seamen, who bad flrst been
carried to this land by the ocean currents during a prolonged and
dense fog, were able afterward, on several successive voyages, to
lay their course to the place selected for a settlement there and
back again to the earlier outpost colonies in Greenland, apparendy
with comparative certainty. This much may be stated, with con¬
siderable confidence, as a summary of all that is known regarding
the earliest European visits to America."

After reviewing briefly the voyage of Bjami, Leif, Thorvald,
and Karlsefni, in substantial accordance with the narrative out¬
lined above, he continues:

"In the original Saga text there are only two statements which
lend themselves to serious scientific analysis as evidence regarding
the region visited by the Norse explorers. One is tliat, at the settle¬
ment, on the shortest day in winter, the sun was In ' Eykt' position,
and again in 'Dagmal' position. There can be no possible doubt
that the seafarers knew precisely what this meant, and that their
observation was trustworthy.   Unluckily, the mot
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