Recalling History

As best I can tell, the following is the approximate order in which homo-sapiens came to the land now called America (or parts of Canada.) Some stayed and made themselves at home, some didn’t:

2. The population that came over the land bridge, the ancestry of the people we now call Native Americans.

3. The Vikings, about 1,000 years ago (they apparently didn’t stay.)

Next were a couple more European attempts:

[4.] In 1559, Tristan de Luna y Arellano led an attempt by Europeans to colonize Florida. He established a settlement at Pensacola Bay, but a series of misfortunes caused his efforts to be abandoned after two years. [Link below]

[5.] In 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived in 1565 at a place he called San Augustín (St. Augustine, Florida) and established the first permanent European settlement in what is now the United States. [Link below]

6. Then, in 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition foundered at Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina. The survivors were most likely absorbed into the indigenous population. Those who doubt this should read the remarkable book by author, anthropologist, and ethno-historian, Lee Miller.  In her research, Miller dealt first with English political history to determine why these people were abandoned, and then followed with the stunning evidence of what became of them. This book, for me, was quite a remarkable read.

7. In 1598, there was the The Second Thanksgiving:

On April 30th four centuries ago, our ancestors, led by Don Juan de Oñate, reached the banks of El Rio Bravo (Rio Grande). The first recorded act of thanksgiving by colonizing Europeans on this continent occurred on that April day in 1598 in Nuevo Mexico, about 25 miles south of what is now El Paso, Texas. After having begun their northward trek in March of that same year, the entire caravan was gathered at this point. The 400 person expedition included soldiers, families, servants, personal belongings, and livestock . . . virtually a living village. Two thirds of the colonizers were from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands). There was even one Greek and a man from Flanders! The rest were Mexican Indians and mestizos (mixed bloods).

The starting point for the colonists had been in Zacatecas, Nueva España (now Mexico) and by being part of the colonizing expedition they had been promised the title of Hidalgo, men with rights and privileges equal to Spain’s nobility. Juan de Oñate was a man of wealth and prominence, the son of Cristobal Oñate, silver mine owner whose family had come to the New World from the Basque region of Spain. Titles granted to him by Viceroy Luis de Velasco were Governor and Adelantado of New Mexico. The colonists suffered hardships and deprivations as they headed north, but they were also headed toward posterity: they would participate in the first recorded act of Thanksgiving by colonizing Europeans on this continent—22 years before the English colonists similarly gave thanks on the Atlantic coast. The expedition is well recorded by Gaspar Perez de Villagrá, the Spanish poet who traveled with the group. He wrote, “We were sadly lacking in all knowledge of the stars, the winds, and other knowledge by which to guide our steps.”

On April 30, 1598, the scouts made camp along the Rio Grande and prepared to drink and eat their fill, for there they found fishes and waterfowl. Villagrá wrote,

“We built a great bonfire and roasted meat and fish, and then sat down to a repast the like of which we had never enjoyed before.” Before this bountiful meal, Don Juan de Oñate personally nailed a cross to a living tree and prayed, “Open the door to these heathens, establish the church altars where the body and blood of the Son of God may be offered, open to us the way to security and peace for their preservation and ours, and give to our king and to me in his royal name, peaceful possession of these kingdoms and provinces for His blessed glory. Amen.”

Next came some Frenchies:

[8.] In 1604, Samuel de Champlain, along with Sieur de Mont, established what is now known as the first Acadian settlement on the North American continent on the Isle-of-St.-Croix, at St. Croix River near Calais, Maine. After experiencing a harsh winter and extreme cold on this small island, they moved their settlement into the rich agricultural area of the Bay of Fundy, which subsequently became known as Acadia. The permanent French colony of Port Royal was established in 1605. [Link above]

[9.] The islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon were colonized by France in 1604. The colony survived and still exists today on these tiny islands ten miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The islands still belong to France. Many people today are unaware that France still has territory in North America. [Link above]

Some more English:

[10.] In 1607, some 100 men and boys sailed from England and landed in present-day Virginia and founded Jamestown. They found a hostile environment that probably would have destroyed the colony but for the resourcefulness of Captain John Smith, who managed to organize and motivate the settlers and save them from starvation. [Link above]


[11.] In 1608 Samuel de Champlain established what is now known as Quebec City.

1. And finally you have “the first” to get here, the Mayflower pilgrims, who landed in Massachusetts in 1620 and later celebrated “the first” Thanksgiving.

The rest is history, as they say.

Happy Reconciliation Day!

[NOTE: I first posted this here.]

Posted by poputonian on 11/27/08 at 07:24 AM • Permalink

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First! In this thread.

The land bridge theory has taken a few knocks of late. It is possible some people made it here before the Vikings. Then there’s Clovis man, and of course there are the people whom we now call Polynesians. See also the Olmec sculptures which look like certain African peoples and of I’d be surprised if the Phonecians (who would go anywhere to trade anything with anyone) never stopped by to see if anyone had discovered tin.

Christ, and now we make a big deal about a three hour plane trip and commutes that last more than an hour. Pfffft!

Still, I think it’s funny when people squawk about RealAmerica. Not exactly ha ha funny, more “Shut the Hell up we’re all immigrants,” funny.

Nice job, pop.  I actually remember that post from Hullabaloo.

I wish we had gone with #2. I look hot in a viking helmet.

Heh-heh ... would Chris corroborate that, Kev?

HTP, I actually thought about tweaking the post based on some of the original comments at Hullabaloo, but then thought, wtf, it’s a holiday (tongue-in-cheek.)

Seriously, there are several others that could be included, like Cortez and the conquerors of Mexico, though they’re somewhat included (as the ancestry) of Onate’s group.

Another interesting fact is the first known black  to come to what became the US. (Someone correct me if I have this wrong.)

Thanks for the refresher, Pop.  I like my history in short bursts like that.

And in the spirit of giving thanks and celebrating our country’s immigrant grounding:

mountainsong 11.27.08 at 1:56 am

  I can’t stand even talking about him anymore, Outta my head you Kenyan Oranatang!!!!

I give thanks that people like this LOST and their time in this country is officially over.

Ah ... I see the wiki link confirms Esteban was the first:

Estevanico traveled with Dorantes to Hispaniola and Cuba on Pánfilo de Narváez’s ill-fated expedition of 1527 to conquer Florida; in doing so Estevanico became the first person born in Africa known to have set foot in what is now the continental United States.

Thanks, Denise. Me too ... we talked about this once before on Rumproast; I can hardly read history in book form anymore. Attention span went to hell in a hand-basket.

I can hardly read history in book form anymore. Attention span went to hell in a hand-basket.

Yeah, Nixonland is taking me forever. I really have to unplug from the internet and conquer that beast.  Speaking of history books, pop, I added your current read to the right sidebar.

Thanks for that. And I am happy to report that one is so intriguing that I have difficulty putting it down, once I’ve picked it up. I will be posting about it soon.

Yeah, Nixonland is taking me forever

How is it so far?  I was eyeing it up, but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit.

My attention span is shot to shit, too.  I do blame it on these here intertubes and not my age.

How is it so far?  I was eyeing it up, but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit.

Really good so far, but still distracted and I’m an inordinately slow reader. pop, weren’t you trying to read it, too?  It seems like everyone loves that book but I don’t know anyone who’s finished it yet.  The last political history book I remember plowing through with ease was The Price of Loyalty.

I have Nixonland but it sits abandoned on the bookshelf.

One of these days ....


Happy Thursday, everyone!

I have Nixonland but it sits abandoned on the bookshelf.

It is a handsome book.

Happy Thursday, Rip!

p.s. Is it obvious yet how much I’m putting off cleaning the bathroom?

The story of Cabeza de Vaca is pretty astounding stuff (He was on the same expedition as Esteban).  There was an awesome movie made about his journey that is fairly accurate if not a little fantastical. I highly recommend it and just about any book written about his exploration/wanderings.

Comment by iceberg wedge on 11/27/08 at 12:23 PM

Kevin - for inbetween bathroom cleainings use Clorox Wipes - I just did!

for inbetween bathroom cleainings use Clorox Wipes

I find that they irritate my taint…but to each their own.

The story of Cabeza de Vaca is pretty astounding stuff

And then later, in the second expedition (1540) Coronado led a group who are said to have gotten as far as present day Kansas. See this map.

This is almost a hundred years before the pilgrims arrived.

You’re supposed to clean bathrooms?

Happy Thanksgiving Roasters!

jenniforhillary 11.27.08 at 10:19 am

  I’ve got a migraine, I’m pissed off, I’m a white woman, and what’s his name might be president…

  BUT, I didn’t vote for ‘em and I am part of PUMA….and today this is plenty enough to be thankful for!

  eat some tofurkey, save a turkey :) much love to all pumas

Yeah right! If she’s eating tofu, I’m George W, Bush!

I find that they irritate my taint...but to each their own.

I suppose I expected something along those lines :-)

I suppose I expected something along those lines :-)

you’re welcome.  Happy Thanksgiving Gimmeabreak.

Here is an interesting article in the NYTimes about early settlers to the Americas.  Sadly, it has nothing to do with taint cleansing.

Comment by iceberg wedge on 11/27/08 at 02:02 PM
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