- Education and Science
Giovanni De Verrazano exposed!
The truth behind his journey of exploration
Somewhere around 1484 Giovanni Da Verrazano was born in Val di Greve, Italy. In his twenties and thirties Giovanni served under a French flag as a navigator in the maritime service. When he was approximately 4o years old he was commissioned by the King of France to explore the coast of North America. Francis I was interested in the financial gains that could be had and profitable benfits that could be made in the New World. Giovanni was expected to embark on the long journey across the Atlantic and report back to the King. Like most European Monarchs of that time, King Francis required Verrazano bring back proof of his adventure and samples of flora and fauna.
In 1524 Verrazano ventured out on the cold high seas sailing west to North America. Most contracts required the explorers keep a journal and document their studies. They were all required to search for the notorious northwest passage through the continent.
In his letters and journals he discribes the beauty of the new continent and the marvels of the wild place many called America. He wrote about the prestine untamed land and the endless species of trees in the vast mighty forests. Verrazano sailed north along a magnificent coastline that possessed no developed port at that time. All that could be seen at night was the light from the campfires from the multitudes of people who lived in this untouched virgin land. He and his crew were proclaimed the first Christian white men from Europe to walk the forests of what is now Statten Island and Narragansett Bay.
A male child was taken from the natural galleries of the native American Forest and brought back to Europe as a human specimen; living proof that Verrazano made it to the New World. Under a canopy of the haunting oaks and evergreens, a pretty young girl was taken as well. They tried to capture this native American girl on account of her attractive physical appearance. The girl fought them off and screamed until they let her go. By todays standards, this act would be considered extreme criminal activity for a man to sail to another country and try to steal children. However, most Americans know little of this side of the story of Verrazano's exploration. A bridge in Statten Island is named in his honor, Verrazano Bridge. He was not a man that deserved this kind of recognition.
Anyone who has ever read copies of letters or tales written in the time of America's early European exploration can tell the sadness they feel after reading these early discriptions of our country. We have built great cities however, we have lost so much of the beauty that this land once possessed. We all need to remember the horrors that were inflicted on the Native American people and that (although we cannot turn back time) Europeans did not have a right to take that all from them. Their families lived here in this nation between 10,000 and 30,000 years. Those of European decent have only been in America 4-5 hundred years if that.
In memory of all the native people who suffered during the period of contact I would like to initiate a new political movement to change the name of Verrazano Bridge. If you would like to see a name change of the bridge write to Governor Andrew Cuomo and ask him to make a change for the best. For more information about Native People of New York State see hubpages 'Last of the Mahican Lands'.
By Joanne Kathleen Farrell
Author of Liberty for the Lion Shield
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