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Cape Cod Who Was the First White Native Cape Codder?

For every fact about Cape Cod there seem to be a dozen fancies — stories and legends of happenings which may have occurred, or not, and which no one under the sun can possible prove or disprove. One of these fancies is built around the birth of a white child. This child is said to have been born on Cape Cod — only then the Cape was “Vinland” as long as six centuries before little Peregrine White first saw the light of day.

There does seem to be fair evidence that Leif Ericsson (also spelled Ericson) antedated Christopher Columbus in landing on our shores. Leif’s father, Eric the Red, was a Norwegian navigator, born about A.D. 950. Eric the Red reached Iceland, and later, Greenland, in 983. About twelve years later, that is, about 995, Leif is said to have discovered the continent of North America. The legend of Leif is that he came to the Cape and named it Vinland because of the grapes which were there in profusion.

There was a family of Ericsons, related closely to Leif, who are said to have spent three winters on the Cape. Thorwald Ericsson, Eric’s brother, is said to be buried “somewhere” in Yarmouth. (However there are many theories that have him buried at sites ranging from Nova Scotia to Rhode Island.)

The widow of another brother of Eric, Thorstein, who married an Iceland man, came with him to “Vinland,” and here is supposed to have been born a baby who was “the first white child in America,” and the first white native-born Cape Codder.

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Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/01/06
Categories: History
Keywords: history, legends, vikings


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