Beardmore: The Middle Claim

Excerpted from Beardmore: The Viking Hoax that Rewrote History, by Douglas Hunter, published Sept. 2018 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. On the hot summer night of 16 July 1934, a Canadian National Railways (CNR) train clattering through the boreal gloom of northern Ontario was brought to a sharp halt about four miles southwest of the whistle … Continue reading Beardmore: The Middle Claim

Was New France Born in New England?

One of the enduring curiosities of early Canadian history is what Samuel de Champlain, routinely celebrated as Canada’s founding father, was even doing in eastern North America when he first arrived in 1603. From his initial appearance on the St. Lawrence River in that year, until his departure from Acadia in 1607 as the Port … Continue reading Was New France Born in New England?

The Mystery of Champlain’s Astrolabe

  The four hundredth anniversaries of Samuel de Champlain’s many new-world adventures are upon us, and will roll over us like successive Fundy tides until 2035, when this nation’s founding father officially has been dead and gone for four centuries. It’s an opportune time to do some historic housecleaning on Champlain, as the last big … Continue reading The Mystery of Champlain’s Astrolabe

The Hudson mutiny

  Illustration by Douglas Hunter Habakkuk Prickett was lying in his cabin, his weakened legs aching from scurvy, when Henry Greene, accompanied by the boatswain, William Wilson, approached him on Saturday, June 21, [1611] with the plan to overthrow Henry Hudson. Excerpt from God's Mercies: Rivalry, Betrayal, and the Dream of Discovery, by Douglas Hunter. … Continue reading The Hudson mutiny

The Place of Stone: Introduction

  A Lost Portuguese Explorer’s American Boulder   “Every man will see something different from every other.” —Edward Augustus Kendall, “Account of the Writing-Rock in Taunton River,” in Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1809 “It is easy to imagine as present on the rock almost any desired letter of the alphabet, … Continue reading The Place of Stone: Introduction

The German Connection: Munzer, Behaim, and the Cabot and Columbus voyages

A key element of my book The Race to the New World is how it integrates two marginalized figures of the late 15th century, Jerome Munzer and Martin Behaim, into the narrative of the early-modern European arrival in the Americas. Neither man is unknown to history, but neither man has been properly placed in the story … Continue reading The German Connection: Munzer, Behaim, and the Cabot and Columbus voyages