Home Search Sitemap About Us
Monday, September 25, 2023
Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci will long be remembered as the man America was named after. Vespucci was born in 1454 to a prominent family in Florence, Italy. As a young man he read widely, collected books and maps, and even studied under Michaelangelo. He began working for local bankers and was sent to Spain in 1492 to look after his employer's business interests.

While in Spain, be began working on ships and ultimately went on his first expedition as a navigator in 1499. This

expedition reached the mouth of the Amazon River and explored the coast of South America. Vespucci was able to calculate how far west he had traveled by observing the conjunction of Mars and the Moon. On his second voyage in 1501, Vespucci sailed under the Portuguese flag. His ships followed the South American coast to within 400 miles of the southern tip, Tierra del Fuego. He described his travels and was the first to identify the New World of North and South America as separate from Asia. (Until he died, Columbus thought he had reached Asia.) Vespucci also described the culture of the indigenous people. The letters were published in many languages and were distributed across Europe (they were a much better seller than Columbus' own diaries). Vespucci was named Pilot Major of Spain in 1508. (Source: geography.about.com)
Back to previous page

The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


Copyright © 2005 Windsor Mosaic Website. All rights reserved.