, thus acquire a new interest by being linked with the pioneer boy born on New England shores so many centuries ago.]
The Northmen claim to have explored the coast as far south as Florida. How much credit is to be given to these traditions is uncertain. Many historians reject them, while others think there are traces of the Northmen yet remaining, such as the old tower at Newport, R.I., and the singular inscriptions on the rock at Dighton, Mass. Admitting, however, the claims of the Northmen, the fact is barren of all results. No permanent settlements were made, the route hither was lost, and even the existence of the continent was forgotten.
[Footnote: See "The Old Mill at Newport" in _Scribner's Magazine_, March, 1879, and the Magazine of American History, September, 1879.]
The true history of this country begins with its discovery by Columbus in 1492. It naturally divides itself into six great epochs.
EARLY DISCOVERIES AND SETTLEMENTS.
This epoch extends from the d