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The Discovery of America by Chinese Buddhist Priests in the Fifth Century

by Charles G. Leland


One of the perennial pre-Columbian contact theories involves ancient visits by the Chinese to America. This is made plausible for several reasons. First of all, the voyage around the great circle route across the Pacific is facilitated by almost constant visibility of land and prevailing sea-currents. China had advanced maritime technology long before the European age of discovery, and historically were known to have taken long sea voyages to distant ports such as Africa, Arabia and India before Vasco de Gamma set sail. And lastly, there are suggestive Chinese accounts of lands far to the East in their chronicles. This book, written in the 19th century by Charles Leland, examines these records, and also reviews some of the evidence for such contacts.

This has remained a popular hypothesis to the current day. For instance, 1421 :The Year China Discovered America, by Gavin Menzies, and Voyages of the Pyramid Builders, by Jeremy P. Tarcher, are two recent books which propose pre-Columbian voyages from China to the New World. However, Leland's Fusang explored this concept over a century ago, and is required reading if you have any interest in this topic.

Title Page
Memoir of Professor Carl Friedrich Neumann
Chapter I. Knowledge of Foreign Countries Among the Chinese.
Chapter II. Identity of the Tartars and North American Indians; or, the Road to America, and the People in it
Chapter III. Tahan or Aliaska, and its Discovery
Chapter IV. Remarks on the Report of Hoei-Shin
Chapter V. Chinese and Japanese in Kamtschatka and the Hawaiian Group
Chapter VI. Fusang and Peru
Chapter VII. Navigation of the North Pacific
Chapter VIII. Remarks on Colonel Kennon's Letter
Chapter IX. Travels of Other Buddhist Priests (From the Fourth to the Eighth Century)
Chapter X. Affinities of American and Asiatic Languages
Chapter XI. The Mound-Builders and Mexicans
Chapter XII. Images of Buddha
Chapter XIII. Deguignes, Klaproth, And D’Eichthal
Chapter XIV. T. Simson and Dr E. Bretschneider; or Europeans Residing in China on Fusang