Re: Basques discover the Grand Banks 1372

On Apr 29, 3:49 pm, Dom <DR...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Apr 29, 6:34 am, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On Apr 29, 12:22 am, Dom <DR...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Apr 16, 6:10 am, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I see the statement that the Basques discovered the Grand Banks
fishing grounds off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in 1372. This is from
wikipedia but the same or nearly same phrase is used in any reference
to this event:

"Legend, rumor, hearsay, and some archaeological and documentary
evidence, however, suggest that Basques began dominating the history
of whaling when they discovered the Grand Banks by 1372. Basque
fishing, trading, or pirate ships rediscovered and perhaps even
pillaged the desperately isolated and likely abandoned Viking Eastern
Settlement on Greenland, probably before 1450. The details of what
exactly transpired there remain lost to the shroud of time; however,
the settlement probably disappeared during the 15th century."

Does anyone know what the 'archeological and documentary evidence'
for this is?

Quite frankly, I find it difficult to believe that any Europeans were
fishing in the Grand Banks before Columbus. Soon after Cabot's voyage
many groups went fishing for cod there, and the region became known as
Baccalar (Land of Cod). But these were not routine fishing trips. They
lasted for an entire season of about five months. They returned with
large quantities of dried and salted cod, called baccala` in Italian
and by similar names in Spanish and Portuguese.

The July 1985 issue of National Geographic contains a fascinating
article, "16th-Century Basque Whalers in America," about the extensive
operations in Red Bay, Labrador. On page 48, the article states that
researcher Selma Huxley Barkham "identified 12 previously unknown
Basque whaling ports along the Labrador coast. Through painstaking
search and translation of old Basque wills, lawsuits, mortgages, and
insurance policies in more than 20 archives, she drew a detailed
portrait of Basque operations in Terranova over the course of nearly a

If these fishing and whaling operations were occurring before the
voyage of Columbus, why is there no record in "wills, lawsuits,
mortgages, and insurance policies"?

By the way, this 1985 article was completely twisted by Emilia Doyaga,
a professor of humanities at SUNY-Old Westbury. On 23 July 1992, her
letter in The New York Times mentioned voyages to Terranova by "Basque
whalers from the 11th to the 15th centuries." Moreover, she implied
that excavations by Canadian scientists support these claims.

First, the Canadians have drawn a line at 1500, no Canadian article
will admit any Basque or other non-French in the Grand Banks before
1500. Second, how many "wills, lawsuits, mortgages, and insurance
policies" have you read in Basque?

I have not read any, and I do not understand your question. It was not
my intention to support the twisted claims of Emilia Doyaga and
others. The July 1985 National Geographic article that I mentioned is
"16th-Century Basque Whalers in America."

Basques, if you believe them, kept the secret of the Grand Banks for
at least 120 years. They did not announce that they had found the rich
supply of cod to the rest of the world. C. Columbus found some
scraggly little islands and came back announcing it to the world.

I don't know anything about Ms. Doyaga but you have to remember the
Basques built C. Columbus's ships and furnished much of the crews on
the various voyages including the navigator on the first voyage, Juan
de Lakotsa.