1524: King Francis I of France sends Giovanni da Verrazzano aboard “La Dauphine” up the East Coast of North America in search of a shortcut to India. Instead, Verrazzano discovers the future site of New York, which he calls “Angoulesme”, in honor of Francis I, count of Angoulesme. Verazzano sends his log book to Francis I and two other copies to the Lombard bankers who funded the expedition.
1525: Battle of Pavia. Francis I is taken prisoner by Charles V. The King of France never receives Verrazzano’s report of his voyage.
1904: John Pierpont Morgan, the New York financier, purchases old manuscripts in Venice, including Verrazzano’s log book. He restores the parchment and displays it in his private library.
1950: Jacques Habert, a history teacher at the Lycée Français in New York gets permission to translate Verrazzano’s report. Thus the story begins…
…What if New York were called Angoulême?
Did the French know Verrazzano discovered and described the site of present-day New York and called it Angoulême? It’s time to solve this historical enigma.