John Cabot

John Cabot was born in Italy in 1450, but moved to Bristol, England in 1483. When news returned to Europe that Christopher Columbus had found the “New World,” Cabot convinced King Henry VII (the king of England) that Spain would take all of this new land if they did not begin to explore it themselves. In 1497, Cabot took his first voyage, which was funded by the King, to the New World. He landed somewhere near present-day Maine and thought he had reached Asia. Cabot was the first European to set foot on North America. Cabot returned to England and was praised for finding “India” and the king sent him on another, larger voyage to find Japan. Some believe he returned to Europe and died, while others believe he never made it home.

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