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Author Topic: FIRST NATIONS  (Read 2251 times)
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« Reply #60 on: June 01, 2009, 04:36:42 pm »

Teutonic Knight
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Posts: 57

    Re: Early engraving of English meeting aboriginals traced to N.L.
Reply #2 on: November 20, 2008, 02:52:39 am Quote 

Gosnold's key role at the dawn of American history gained renewed attention recently ahead of Jamestown's 400th anniversary when archeologists discovered a colonial-era grave that they believe holds Gosnold's remains.

But Newfoundland history expert Bill Gilbert, who travelled to Virginia for the 2007 anniversary celebrations, noticed that several Jamestown history centres were using the 1628 engraving to illustrate Gosnold's exploration activities in the future United States.

Having seen the same image used in illustrations of early Newfoundland history, Gilbert began researching the provenance of the engraving, eventually discovering that the scene was created in 1628 by German engraver Matthaus Merian for a set of volumes recounting recent European voyages of discovery in North America.

Now Gilbert has published a study in the British journal Post-Medieval Archaeology detailing the numerous clues that definitively link the image to a notable moment from Canada's past: a Nov. 6, 1612 encounter at a site along Newfoundland's Trinity Bay between two sailors serving John Guy - the Bristol merchant who established this country's first English colony at Cupid's, Nfld., in 1610 - and the island's original Beothuk Indian inhabitants.

"It's so obvious," Gilbert told Canwest News Service on Tuesday, explaining how the image is clearly based on 17th-century accounts of the Guy-led colonization of Newfoundland. "I wanted to reclaim this image for Canadian history."

Having established the Cupids settlement on Conception Bay in 1610, Guy sailed north into Trinity Bay two years later on an exploration voyage. Guy's journals from the time describe how two of his men - a "Master Whittington" and Francis Tipton - were first to approach the natives, who greeted the Englishmen with gifts.

"The image incorporates so many details found in Guy's narrative" - but not in accounts of Gosnold's voyages - "that anyone familiar with both would have no problem telling the difference," writes Gilbert. "Guy tells us that the party they encountered consisted of two canoes with four Indians in each, just as depicted in the image. Guy also says that the Indians approached them waving a white wolf skin on a pole, 'which we tooke to be for a parley'; the engraving shows the Indians waving a white skin on a pole."

Gilbert also quotes accounts of how the native people presented the visitors with "a chaine of leather full of small perwincle shells, a splitting knife and a feather that stucke in his hair." All of these details are captured in the 1628 engraving.

"It's a wonderful image," said Gilbert, adding that establishing the illustration's Canadian origins is particularly important as Newfoundland prepares to mark the 400th anniversary of Guy's founding of the Cupids colony.

Canwest News Service 2008
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