Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PARENT, Pierre, French pilot, born in Saint Jean de Luz; lived about the beginning of the 15th century. He is claimed by some authors as the discoverer of Newfoundland and Canada. Says Amans Monteil in his "Traite des materiaux manuscrits" (Paris, 1836): "About the year 1400 he was blown within sight of an unknown land, where he descried the mouth of a great river (probably the St. Lawrence), and afterward landed upon a large island, where he found big fishes which he named baccalaos." This story, strange as it is, may not be quite void of foundation. It is said by many writers that about a century before the discovery of America by Columbus the Basques, the Normans, and the Bretons were extensively engaged in the Newfoundland fisheries. " Sebastian Cabot named Labrador and Newfoundland Baccalaos," says Peter Martyr, "because, in the seas thereabout, he found so great multitudes of certain big fishes, which the inhabitants call baccalaos, that they sometimes stayed his ships." "In the original Basque, baccalaos is a word for a codfish," says Francis Parkman in his " Pioneers of France in the New World," " and if Cabot found it in use among the inhabitants of Newfoundland, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Basques had been there before him." See also the "Relation" of Mare Lescarbot (1609) ; "Novus orbis " of John Laet (1828) ; the "Histoire des navigateurs Francais" of Leon Guerin (Paris, 1840)'" Histoire des navigateurs Normands" of Estancelin (Paris, 1832) ; "Ocean decades" of Peter Martyr (Alcala, 1580) ; "Navigation" of Jehan Parmentier (1681) ; and the "Historia general" of Herrera.
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