I’m afraid I’m not up for much tonight, but it is Week four, day one,
Chesed of Netzach.
IN the meantime, here is a review on Salon of what looks to be an interesting book: “A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World,” by journalist Tony Horwitz
Start with this. Ponce de Léon went to Florida to find not a fountain of youth but the same things that drew every Spanish invader: gold and slaves. (He found neither.) The first Protestant refuge in North America wasn’t Plymouth but La Caroline, a fort built on the Florida coast in 1564 by the above-mentioned Huguenots. A year later, their slaughterer Menéndez held what was possibly America’s first Thanksgiving dinner, well attended by local Indians.
On and on it goes: a hemorrhaging of certainty. The first European child born in North America? Not Virginia Dare but, more likely, a Viking boy named Snorri, born circa 1000 A.D. in what the Norse liked to call Vinland. The true founding father of New England? Not Bradford, not Standish, but John Smith, who gave the region its name and actively promoted its colonization.
And what about those flat-earthers who thought Columbus would tumble off the world’s edge? You can blame that little fiction on Washington Irving. The Greeks had long ago figured out the world was round, and for more than 700 years, even the Catholic Church had accepted it. The only thing Spaniards were still debating in 1492 was the distance to Asia. In this, as in so many other matters, Columbus was mistaken.