Still further north, off the coasts of Newfoundland, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English ships frequented the banks in large numbers for the sake of the fishery, and the French under Cartier had already led the way in discovery by the ascent of the St Lawrence beyond the present site of Quebec, soon to be the scene of colonising efforts on the part of their countrymen.
Whilst original sources of information have been consulted as far as possible, it is obvious, in view of the extent of the field, that this could not be done universally, in a text-book that does not, primarily at least, profess to present the results of original research. The information brought home with respect to those seen was very vague and fragmentary, and for the most part they can with difficulty be now identified.
From Shea's copy of the portrait by Hamel (after Montcornet) in the Parliament House at Ottawa. Under the latter the site of the city changed its locality, and the southern tributary of the Orinoco, the Caroni, became the imagined channel of access to its fabled lake; but little success attended his efforts to penetrate in this direction.
These included German adventurers like Georg von Speier, Nicholas Federmann, and Philip von Huten, as well as Spanish captains like Hernan Perez de Quesada and Antonio de Berrio.
Of earlier dates, works like Burney's classical collection of South Sea voyages, Southey's History of Brazil, Mller's and Coxe's accounts of Russian North-East voyages, and Barrow's History of Voyages into the Arctic Regions, have of course been consulted; while, of more recent times, Markham's Threshold of the Unknown Region, Ravenstein's Russians on the Amur, Parkman's and Winsor's historical works on North America, and Theal's on South Africa, Bryce's History of the Hudson Bay Company, Burpee's Search for the Western Sea, Conway's No Man's Land, Nordenskild's Voyage of the Vega, and many others, have furnished useful indications. In dealing with this part of the world it will be advisable to go back to about that date, so as to give a more connected account of the progress achieved; and it is unnecessary to enter into the subject here.
The publications of the Hakluyt Society, with the valuable introductions supplied by the several editors, have also been an important source of information. The state of knowledge respecting the world in general at the close of the sixteenth century is well shown by the map prepared under the superintendence of Edward Wright, the Cambridge mathematician, to whom the projection now known as Mercator's is held to be really due.