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French Pioneers in America
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in its neighborhood, and
bore away for the unknown world. In forty-nine days they neared a low
shore, not far from the site of Wilmington in North Carolina, "a newe
land," exclaims the voyager, "never before seen of any man, either
auncient or moderne." Verrazzano steered southward in search of a
harbor, and, finding none, turned northward again. Presently he sent a
boat ashore. The inhabitants, who had fled at first, soon came down to
the strand in wonder and admiration, pointing out a landing-place, and
making gestures of friendship. "These people," says Verrazzano, "goe
altogether naked, except only certain skinnes of beastes like unto
marterns [martens], which they fasten onto a narrowe girdle made of
grasse. They are of colour russet, and not much unlike the Saracens,
their hayre blacke, thicke, and not very long, which they tye togeather
in a knot behinde, and weare it like a taile."

He describes the shore as consisting of small low hillocks of fine sand,
intersected by creeks and inlets, and beyond these a country "full of
Palme [pine?] trees, Bay trees, and high Cypresse trees, and many other
sortes of trees, vnknowne in Europe, which yeeld most sweete sanours,
farre from the shore." Still advancing northward, Verrazzano sent a boat
for a supply of water. The surf ran high, and the crew could not land;
but an adventurous young sailor jumped overboard and swam shoreward with
a gift of beads and trinkets for the Indians, who stood watching him.
His heart failed as he drew near; he flung his gift among them, turned,
and struck out for the boat. The surf dashed him back, flinging him with
violence on the beach among the recipients of his bounty,
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French Pioneers in America. Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software, 2004-2005. Pioneers Of France In The New World. Parkman, Francis.