Did English sailors visit Canada before ColumbusThe debate over how Europeans came to "discover" the Americas has gained fresh impetus among historians thanks to new research into the voyages of John Cabot, according to Postmedia News.Prof. Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli of the University of Florence found intriguing tidbits of evidence that suggest Italian-born John Cabot, thought to have been the first to reach what is now Canada (Newfoundland) in 1497, may have had prior knowledge before he set sail.
The clue turned up as Guidi-Bruscoli researched the financing of a series of voyages between 1496 and 1498, when he disappeared.
The historian, working with British researchers, found a brief reference in a 516-year-old accounting ledger that points to support from a bank in Florence for Cabot's expedition to find "the new land." The revelation suggests the voyage was not a strictly English enterprise, as has been generally accepted