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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5



THE story of the Voyages of Columbus quickly spread through Europe and stirred the maritime world as it had never been stirred. Spain and Portugal vied with each other in fitting out expeditions for discovery. The bold navigators of Italy turned their prows westward. John Cabot and his son, Sebastian, the former a native of Venice, represented England, and with the patronage of Henry VII, explored the coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The competitive zeal shown by Spain, Portugal and England in searching for a short route to India soon quickened the ambition of France to emulation of their example. In 1508 two ships were fitted out, one commanded by Thomas Aubert and the other by Jean Verassen (Verazzano, a Florentine) which sailed from Dieppe at the beginning of the year and in the same year discovered the St. Lawrence river to which they gave the name because they began to ascend it on that saint's day, August 10. They explored the river for more than eighty leagues (about 250 miles), finding the inhabitants friendly, with whom they made very profitable exchanges for peltries. * Even before this time the fishing vessels of France had frequented the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The seamen of other nations also had visited this part of the world, but none had yet made exploration of the coasts. Fortunately for France, Verazzano was sent a second time on a voyage of discovery toward the west, under the patronage and support of Francis I, king of France. Notwithstanding the secret machinations of the king of Portugal four vessels were finally fitted out and sailed late in the year 1523. All the ships were disabled by a storm and were obliged to put back for repairs. One of them was soon in condition and Veraz-zano sailed on La Dauphine to go to Cathay.

MICHIGAN


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