Characteristics of Exploration Literature

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Characteristics of Exploration Literature:
• Explorers were first & foremost navigators, not writers. • Explorers had a specific audience in mind; they were reporting back to the main land • The American Dream is evident
• Indians are always considered inferior
• Reports were not always accurate

Verazzano: Verazzano’s Voyage
• North Carolina up to Canada
• Wrote to the King of France who funded the voyage; N.C. cedar trees • “The complexion of these people is black, not much different from that of the Ethiopians; their hair is black and thick, and not very long, it is worn tied back upon the head in the form of a little tail.” • “Our sailors in the boat seeing a great fire made up, and their companion placed very near it, full of fear, as is usual in all cases of novelty, imagined that the natives were about to roast him for food.” • “By searching around we discovered in the grass a very cold woman and a young girl of about eighteen or twenty, who had concealed themselves for the same reason; the old woman carried two infants on her shoulders, and behind her neck a little boy eight years of age; when we came up to them they began to shriek and make signs to the men who had fed to the woods.” • “We found them fairer than the others…”

• American Dream: Resources that the land has & space.

Champlain: Voyages of Samuel de Champlain : The Voyages of 1604-1607 • Est. Quebec; compares in his writing
• “We saw eighteen or twenty savages, who came to the shore and began to dance.” • “We did not wish them harm, although it was in our power to avenge ourselves.” • “As for weapons, they have only pikes, clubs, bows and arrows. It would seem from their appearance that they have a good disposition, better than those of the north, but they are all in face of no great worth. Even a slight intercourse with them gives you at once a knowledge of them. They are great thieves and, if they cannot lay hold of any thing with their hands, they try to do so with their feet, as we have oftentimes learned by experience. I am of opinion of that, if they had any thing to exchange with us, they would not give themselves to thieving.” • “It is necessary to be on one’s guard against this people, and live in a start of distrust of them, yet without letting them perceive it.” • Single-Minded, descriptive of the natives

John Smith: The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles • Started traveling at 16 yrs old; Captured in Turkey and sold as a slave; thinks much of himself, he spent most of the voyage in chains in the boat on the way to Jamestown. • 7 out of 105; He was a leader; 35 were gentlemen, Smith was a leader, 38 stayed alive. • Wrote in 3rd Person; adventure; New England (he named it) • “Smith little dreaming of that accident, being got to the marshes at the river’s head, twenty miles in the desert, had his two men slain (as is supposed) sleeping by the canoe, while himself by fowling sought them victual: who finding he was beset with 200 salvages, two of them he slew, still defending himself with the aid of a salvage his guide, whom he bound to his arm with his garters, and used him as a buckler. Yet he was shot in his thigh a little, and had many arrows that stuck in his clothes but no great hurt, till at last they took him prisoner.” • “From Penobscot to Sagadahoc. This coast is mountainous, and isles of huge rocks, but overgrown for the most part, with most sorts of excellent good woods, for building houses, boats, barks or ships, with an incredible abundance of most sorts of fish, much fowl, and sundry sorts of good fruits for man’s use.” • “And surely by reason of those sandy cliffs, and cliffs of rocks, both which we saw so planted with gardens and corn fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong, and well proportioned people, besides the greatness of the timber growing on them, the...
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