There was a narrow isthmus, formed by the sea of Verrazano, like that of Tehuantepec or Panama.
King Francis encouraged the ill-recorded and disputed voyages of the Florentine Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, and the undoubted explorations of Jacques Cartier.
The claims of France to the possession of a great part of the northern half of America were based on the voyages of Verrazano and Cartier.
New York Bay and the Hudson river were discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, and were probably seen by Estevan Gomez in 1525; for many years following French vessels occasionally ascended the Hudson to trade with the Indians.
In addition to numerous monographs and valuable contributions to Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, he published The Pre-Columbian Discovery of America by the Northmen (1868); The Northmen in Maine (1870); The Moabite Stone (1871); The Rector of Roxburgh (1871), a novel under the nom de plume of "William Hickling"; and Verrazano the Explorer; being a Vindication of his Letter and Voyage (1880).
Title to the territory was claimed by the English on the basis of its alleged exploration by the Cabots in 1498, and by the French on the basis of its exploration by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524.
The first authenticated visit of a European to what is now New Jersey was made under French authority by Giovanni da Verrazano, a Florentine navigator, who in the spring of 1524 sailed within Sandy Hook and dropped anchor in the waters of upper New York Bay.
During the 16th century and the early part of the 17th, the coast of Maine attracted various explorers, among them Giovanni da Verrazano (1524), Esteban Gomez (1525), Bartholomew Gosnold (1602), Martin Pring (1603), Pierre du Guast, Sieur De Monts (1604), George Weymouth (1605), and John Smith (1614), who explored and mapped the coast and gave to the country the name New England; but no permanent English settlement was established within what are now the borders of the state until some time between 1623 and 1629.