It reads 'Founder of the New World', "Leif Ericson" redirects here. He assumed leadership of the settlements after his father’s death until his own passing. Leif divided his crew: half would stay with houses and do work; the other half would further explore the land. [42], Another instance of exchange between the continents occurred in 1420, when Inuit captives were taken to Scandinavia. These sagas began as oral stories that were told through the generations, and then eventually written down. Eriksson is believed to be the first European to have landed on and established a settlement in North America around 1000 CE. 419–420. Horton & Co., 1891. [37][41] Nothing further is known about his family beyond the succession of Thorkell as chieftain. [17] Additional statues of him were erected at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul in 1949, near Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1956, and in downtown Seattle.[17]. . Find out more about how the BBC is covering the. "The Norse and Native Norse Americans". [20][21] The only two known strictly historical mentions of Vinland are found in the work of Adam of Bremen c. 1075 and in the Book of Icelanders compiled c. 1122 by Ari the Wise. He is also credited for bringing Christianity to Greenland. In 1924, a party of four consisting of a Swede, an Englishman, and two Americans attempted to emulate Erikson's voyage in an eponymous 40-foot vessel but were lost after reaching the west coast of Greenland. [note 2] It has been suggested that the knowledge of Vinland might have been maintained in European seaports in the 15th century, and that Christopher Columbus, who claimed in a letter to have visited Iceland in 1477, could have heard stories of it. As winter approached, he decided to encamp there and sent out parties to explore the country. [18], The Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders, both thought to have been written around 1200,[19] contain different accounts of the voyages to Vinland. [16] Thorgils was later sent to Leif in Greenland, but he did not become popular. Leif Erickson (born William Wycliffe Anderson; October 27, 1911 – January 29, 1986) was an American stage, film, and television actor. [17] The first statue of Leif (by Anne Whitney)[45] was erected in Boston in 1887 at the instigation of Eben Norton Horsford, who was among those who believed that Vinland could have been located on the Charles River or Cape Cod;[17] not long after, another casting of Whitney's statue was erected in Milwaukee. "[24] According to these sagas, the encounters with the indigenous people were initially friendly with a strong trade relationship. [37][40] Nothing is mentioned about his death in the sagas—he probably died in Greenland some time between these dates. ", "Why Do We Celebrate Columbus Day and Not Leif Erikson Day? 352–354. [52], A 'Leif Ericson' proof dollar from the United States, minted in 2000. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. They collected several vines and grapes to be taken back home with them.6 The next spring, they set sail for Greenland. Bjarni reportedly never made landfall there, however. Much of what they first explored is believed to be part of present day northern Canada, although it is not known for sure. Legacy Most of what we know of Leif’s life comes from stories known as sagas. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. He was the first known European to have set foot on continental North America (excluding Greenland), before Christopher Columbus. The Saga of Erik the Red mentions two other settlements in Vinland: a settlement called Straumfjǫrðr, which lay beyond Kjalarnes promontory and the Wonderstrands, and one called Hóp, which was located even farther south. After having wintered over in Vinland, Leif returned to Greenland in the spring with a cargo of grapes and timber. His place of birth is not known,[9] but he is assumed to have been born in Iceland, which had recently been colonized by Norsemen mainly from Norway. [37] During his stay in the Hebrides, he fell in love with a noblewoman, Thorgunna, who gave birth to their son Thorgils. Voices in Stone. He then earned the nickname “Leif the Lucky.”. edited by Michael Anderson. “The Saga of the Greenlanders (Grœnlendinga saga),” accessed June 13, 2017, The men eventually found homes and settled there. [42] In the end there were no permanent Norse settlements in Vinland, although sporadic voyages at least to Markland for forages, timber and trade possibly lasted for centuries. Biographies of the New World: Leif Eriksson, Henry Hudson, Charles Darwin, and More. Leif then approached Bjarni, purchased his ship, gathered a crew of thirty-five men, and mounted an expedition towards the land Bjarni had described. Young, Don and Marjorie Young. Here, Leif converted to the Christian religion. Leif Erikson was the middle son of Erik the Red, the founder of the Norse settlement in Greenland and his wife Thjodhild. So Leif was mostly taught and raised by one of Erik’s followers, a man named Tyrker.2 In 1000 CE, Leif traveled to Norway where he spent the winter in the house of King Olaf Tryggvason, who was a Christian. At one point, however, during the return trip home, Leif came upon a shipwreck and stranded crewman. When Erik was banished from Iceland, he travelled further west to an area he named Greenland, where he established the first permanent settlement in 986. He would eventually earn the nickname “Leif the Lucky.” He was the son of Erik Thorvaldson, better known as “Erik the Red,” and Thorhild. He then earned the nickname “Leif the Lucky.”, Later Years and DeathLeif Eriksson never returned to the lands of North America but his brother Thorvald did. In Viking tradition, children are named after their father.

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