Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ERIC, bishop, born in Norway in the llth century. He was active in the conversion of the natives of Greenland, and was the first bishop that exercised jurisdiction in America. As soon as the Norwegians under Thorwald began to form settlements in Vinland, Eric followed his countrymen from Greenland to the newly discovered continent. Here he labored among the natives for several years, he returned to Norway in 1120, gave an account of the progress of religion in Vinland and Greenland, and advised the establishment of a bishopric in the new colonies.
The bishop of Scandinavia erected the new see of Garda in Greenland, and recommended Eric as bishop. He was consecrated at Lund, in Denmark, in 1121, by Archbishop Adzar, and sailed for Garda with a body of missionaries, but, after a short stay, visited the new colony in Vinland. Some in southeastern New England has fixed the situation of Vinland. Some have gone so far as to place it about Narragansett bay; but such conjectures are supported by inadequate evidence, and have little historical value.
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