By Ronald Lloyd Ryan , PhD
Demasduit (Mary March), a Beothuk woman. ( Library and Archives Canada )
The Voyage from China and Links to Zheng He
…The Voyage from China and Links to Zheng He
The available information supports the following scenario: after leaving port in southern China the fleet would split into several flotillas, each expediting their individual appointed tasks, more or less, and reassembling later. One voyage took place during 1417 – 1419. The flotilla that had been assigned the task of mapping the western North Atlantic area – whatever the Chinese called it – was under the command of Admiral Zheng He .
It crossed the North Atlantic, discovered Newfoundland Island (1417), and, maybe the next year (1418), returning from mapping Hudson’s Bay, chanced upon the Norse of Greenland, in a state of destitution and at the cusp of starvation. The Chinese “rescued” these desperate people and transported them to Newfoundland island, the mythical Vinland of the Norse people. Zheng He returned to China, but came back to Newfoundland in 1435.
The Matteo Ricci (1552 – 1610) map of 1605 has the lands of the north west Atlantic identifiably drawn. Someone spent time charting the north west Atlantic area, did the cartography, and returned to China, writing four Chinese characters on the land that would be identified as Newfoundland Island: “Island like a Chinese garden.” According to Lee, the Ricci map is a copy of a Chinese map and that the Chinese had a complete map of the world by 1430, a map that included the northwest Atlantic area. …an excerpt from the article.