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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LE NAIRE, James, Dutch navigator, born in Holland about 1565; died at sea, 31 December, 1616. With the object of eluding the letters patent that had been granted by the states-general to the Company of the East Indies, and which forbade Hollanders that did not belong to the company to pass south of the Cape of Good Hope or through the Straits of Magellan on the route to India, the chief inhabitants of the town of Hoorn formed a company for the discovery of other routes into the Pacific. The first idea of this enterprise was due to Isaac Le Maire, anti he communicated it to Cornelis Schouten, an experienced navigator who believed that the American continent terminated in an open sea south of Tierra del Fuego. The half of the expenses of the expedition was borne by Isaac Le Maire, and Schouten was charged with the equipment of the ship " Concord," of 360 tons, with 65 sailors and 29 cannon of small calibre. A smaller vessel was equipped in the same manner, but its name is not mentioned. Although Schouten was commander, James Le Maire, the son of Isaac, seems to have had entire control of the expedition under the title of director-general. The expedition sailed from the Texel, 14 June, 1615, and after many perils, in which the smaller of the two vessels was lost, the "Concord" passed the Straits of Magellan on 24 January, 1616, and found itself near the eastern extremity of Tierra del Fuego. When they reached this point Le Maire and Schouten discovered a high land to the east which they named Staten island. They saw also a fine channel opening to the south, beyond which the coast of Tierra del Fuego tended toward the west, and they expected every moment to reach the extremity of the continent. After discovering Barneveld islands, the "Concord" doubled the cape that extended farthest toward the south, and was the first vessel to enter the Pacific in this way. The Hollanders called the cape Cape Horn, and the strait through which they had passed before doubling it was called after Le Maire. The two navigators next directed their course toward Juan Fernandez; but they were driven back by winds and currents. They then sailed out into the Pacific, and after many discoveries and dangerous experiences reached the Dutch settlement in Batavia, sixteen months after leaving the Texel. Here they were arrested and sent home on board the "Amsterdam" to stand trial for infringing on the privileges of the Company of the East Indies, but Le Naire died before his arrival in Holland. The only original narrative of the voyage of Le Maire was written by Ars Classen, a clerk on board the smaller of the two vessels. It was translated into Latin, and a French version is found in the "Reeueil des voyages" of the Company of the East Indies.
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