Between 986 and 1425, the generally accepted longevity of the medieval Norse settlements on the island of Greenland, a gradual assimilation process began with the native peoples of the Arctic and present-day North America that culminated in the disappearance from history of all 4000 of the Norse settlers. What happened to them has been a source of contention ever since-nobody knows to this day. We know three aspects of their disappearance with fair certainty: they did not die out, they did not voyage back to Europe, and they did not simply disappear. A process of gradual assimilation had existed with the Thule people of Baffin and Ellesmere Islands, in the Canadian Arctic, since the early years of the Greenland settlements. It only made sense to join with the people who already knew how to survive in this harsh new land. This assimilation process no doubt continued with other native populations further south throughout the following centuries. Those who remained on Greenland to the end finally had no choice but to migrate or face slow starvation as the Mini-Ice Age descended on the North Country. Common sense would indicate they went to North America as it is the nearest land mass from the two Norse settlements on southwestern Greenland and they already had a familiarity developed through long association.
European explorers from the 16th through 19th centuries reported seeing blue-eyed blond and redheaded people living with the natives of the Canadian Arctic early in the period. Later in the period, four different expeditions found the same situation along the river systems of the central United States, stating in their journals that certain tribes appeared to be of mixed white and native origin. These explorers also reported practices among those tribes of mixed blood completely out of keeping with what they had noted among other tribes that did not appear to be of mixed blood. We have known of these mysteries for two to four centuries, but no investigation has undertaken to provide positive proof of where the white blood originated.
I am writing a five volume series that specifically speaks, in a character-driven, historical fiction sense, to some of the mysteries and legends surrounding the Indian people of southeastern Canada and the north central United States and the possibility of a deep-seated association with the Greenland Vikings. The first book of the series, Axe of Iron: The Settlers was published in August 2008. The next book, Axe of Iron: Confrontation is in the publication process at this writing. Both of these books take place in the Canadian province of Quebec more than 1000-years ago. My series present a plausible answer to many native customs and beliefs that could only have developed through a close association with the Norse Greenland settlers. Space herein precludes my going into the details of my contention in this regard, but my continuing series covers most, if not all, of what a lifetime of research on the subject has revealed to me. Contentions are opinions and mine are no different. I cannot prove any of it, but nobody can disprove it either and therein lie the bones of a good story.
I believe that you will find that I have offered plausible explanations to many of the questions left unanswered by conventional archaeology. My series is not a dry history of these events; rather it is an intensely engaging story of what may have happened on the North American continent during pre-historical time between the indigenous natives and a large, mixed group of Greenland Norse people whose goal was to survive during a most difficult time in history. The characters carry the story and you will see it through their eyes.
The Historical Perspective in the first book of the series, Axe of Iron – The Settlers provides historical data to support the basis of my contentions about what may have happened in southern Quebec and areas of the north central United States 1000-years ago. The last two paragraphs of the Historical Perspective probably sum it up best: more than 40 – generations have elapsed since they came to this continent. Now their very existence, everything they accomplished, has faded from the collective memory of all the peoples they contacted and lived among. I prefer to believe the 4000 live on however, their genetic makeup diluted by the intervening centuries of time. They are still here, smiling back at us from the faces of the Inuit Greenlanders, Cree, Ojibwa, and Iroquois with whom they joined so long ago.
J. A. Hunsinger, Vinland Publishing, http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/ ©2009 Jerry A. Hunsinger, All Rights Reserved