Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/199

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147
VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

their colonization did not extend to the southern limits of the arctic circle; they soon became a thriving colony, and bestowed on their new habitation the name of Groenland, or Greenland. This colony was converted to Christianity by a missionary from Norway, sent thither by the celebrated Olaf, the first Norwegian monarch who embraced the Christian religion. The Greenland settlement continued to increase and thrive under his protection; and, in a little time, the country was provided with many towns, churches, convents, bishops, &c., under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Drontheim. A considerable commerce was carried on between Greenland and Norway; and a regular intercourse maintained between the two countries till the year 1406, when the last bishop was sent over. About this time, by the gradual increase of the arctic ice, the colony appears to have been completely imprisoned in the frozen ocean; while on the west a range of impassable mountains and plains, covered with perpetual ice and snow, precluded all access. The ancient settlement may be traced in the map of Torfaeus in his Groenlandia Antiqua; from which it would seem that the colony extended over about two hundred miles in the south-east extremity of Greenland. On the west, some ruins of churches have also been discovered. About a hundred years after all intercourse between Norway and Greenland had ceased, several ships were sent successively by the kings of Denmark, in order to discover the eastern district, but all of them mis-