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Was American named after a rich dude?

by EdH / August 21, 2007 7:26 AM PDT
Richard Amerike

Richard Amerike's connection with the Americas' name surfaced in the 1890s, when the 1497 and 1498 customs rolls, archived in Westminster Abbey, were found to contain his name in connection with the payment of John Cabot's pension.

In 1908 local Bristol antiquarian and butterfly collector Alfred Hudd first proposed the theory that the word America had evolved from Amerike or ap Meryk. Alfred Hudd was a gentleman of some leisure, known as an antiquary who was a member of the Clifton Antiquarian Club of Bristol, founded in 1884 to arrange meetings and excursions for the study of objects of archaeological interest in the west of England and south Wales, and a butterfly-collector and local naturalist and member of the Bristol Naturalists' Society around Bristol.

Hudd proposed that the word "America" was originally applied to a destination across the western ocean, possibly an island or a fishing station in Newfoundland. This would have been before the existence of a continent on the other side of the Atlantic was known. However, no maps bearing this name or documents indicating a location of this supposed village are known.

According to Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage,[1] "While it has been difficult to pinpoint the exact time frame of these North Atlantic probes, evidence that they were indeed occurring by the 1490s is found in a report sent by Pedro de Ayala, a Spanish envoy located in London. The year after Cabot's successful transatlantic voyage he wrote Ferdinand and Isabella stating that for the previous seven years the Bristolians had been equipping caravels to look for the islands of Brasile and the Seven Cities. While it is not possible to ascertain whether or not these were large scale ventures and precisely what their motives might have been, Ayala's words seem to supply some proof of westward bound voyages."

There had long been a suspicion that fishing ships in search of cod were regularly crossing the Atlantic from Bristol to Newfoundland before Columbus' first voyage. Bristol merchants bought salt cod from Iceland until 1475, when the King of Denmark stopped the trade. In 1479 four Bristol merchants received a royal charter to find another source of fish. Records discovered in 1955 suggest that from 1480, twelve years before Columbus, English fishermen may have established a facility for processing fish on the Newfoundland coast. In 1960 trading records were discovered that indicated that Richard Amerike was involved in this business. A letter from around 1481 suggests that Amerike shipped salt (for salting fish) to these men at a place they had named Brassyle. The letter also states that they had many names for headlands and harbours. Rodney Broome and others suggest that one of these names may have been "America".

There's more... interesting idea....
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by welrdelr / August 22, 2007 8:52 AM PDT

It has to do with Amerigo Vespucci.

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Did you read the article?
by EdH / August 22, 2007 9:00 AM PDT
In reply to: No

Amerigo Vespucci is dealt with.

Cabot is known to have produced maps of the coast from Maine to Newfoundland, though none have survived. He named an island off Newfoundland St. John's. Copies of these maps were sent to Spain by John Day, where Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci would have seen them. The theory suggests that Cabot may have written the name America (or similar) on his maps, but no extant maps are available to prove this assertion.

Vespucci sailed to South America and the Caribbean with Alonso de Ojeda (Hojeda) in 1499 and Gon

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Ima read
by drpruner / August 22, 2007 4:34 PM PDT

him, but Ima no believe him. Eets a lie.

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Why do you think that?
by EdH / August 22, 2007 11:38 PM PDT
In reply to: Ima read

Is it just a feeling, or do you know something? Do you think there's an intention to decieve or a mistake or just a difference of opinion?

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I theenk you betta not
by drpruner / August 23, 2007 2:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Why do you think that?

try to watch the nex' Cristofor Colombo day parade.

Hey, I'm trying to make a Fanatical Italian joke here. Work with me, OK? Happy

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Ah, I see....
by EdH / August 23, 2007 7:36 AM PDT
In reply to: I theenk you betta not

thought you were doing Speedy Gonzales.

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Oh, no.
by drpruner / August 23, 2007 12:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Ah, I see....

That would be racist. Happy

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(NT) thanks for the Hudds up ;-)
by jonah jones / August 22, 2007 11:52 PM PDT
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