Giovanni da Verrazzano – 1524 AD – First European to discovered North America’s Coastline and New York

Giovanni da Verrazzano was an Italian explorer who worked for the French king. He is known for discovering coastline of North America including the present day New York in 1524 AD.

Giovanni da Verrazzano – Early life

Giovanni da Verrazzano is believed to be born in Florence, Italy. Some other accounts suggest that he was born in Lyon, France. Very less information is available regarding his birth and early life. In 1506, he settled in Dieppe, France. In 1508, he joined the company of Thomas Aubert and explored the New World for the first time on ship La Pensee. Giovanni da Verrazzano explored various regions such as St. Lawrence River, Newfoundland etc in Canada.

Giovanni da Verrazano (1485-1528), Eaten Up by Cannibals in 1528

Giovanni da Verrazano (1485-1528), Eaten Up by Cannibals in 1528

Giovanni da Verrazzano – Discovery of Atlantic Coast of North America and New York Harbor

In 1522, Magellan’s crew returned back to Spain after covering the whole globe on his ship. Comptetion of France was increasing with Portugal and Spain. Traders in city of Lyon were interested to find new trade opportunities, they demanded the king to find more trade routes. King Francis I of France, in the year 1523, employed Giovanni da Verrazzano for the purpose of finding shortest route to Pacific Ocean.

Giovanni da Verrazzano started his voyage with four ships but due to violent strom only two ships survived. They stopped the two ships in Brittany for repair works. Later, only one ship headed for the New World. They departed on January 17 1524. On March 1st they reached modern day North Carolina. Giovanni was convinced that it was the beginning of Pacific Ocean and new sea trade route to China will be found soon. Later, they came in contact with Native Americans near the New York Harbor they belived that the Hudson River was a large lake. They also discovered the Newfoundland Region. On his second voyage to New World he discovered Brazil. Giovanni da Verrazzano took some Brazilian wood on his way back to Europe.

Giovanni da Verrazano Ship

Giovanni da Verrazano Ship

Though he was not able to discover a new passage to pacific ocean but Giovanni da Verrazzano was successful enough to search present day eastern coastal areas of north America.

Death of Giovanni da Verrazzano

On his third voyage to America, near the Bahamas region his ship was captured by the Natives. He was killed and eaten by the Carib Tribe in 1528.

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