In 1497, only five years after Christopher Columbus’s voyage to North America, John Cabot, an Italian-born explorer heading an English expedition, sailed to what is now Newfoundland in northeastern Canada.
During a second voyage, the next year, he probably came upon Indians of the Beothuk tribe.
Cabot was soon followed to the Northeast by a steady stream of European explorers, fishermen, and traders, who became the first whites encountered by the tribes living along the Atlantic Coast. Most of these visitors came from England, France, and the Netherlands (also called Holland).
Europeans did not try to settle in the Northeast until about 100 years later. The English were the first to attempt to build permanent colonies. They founded Roanoke (1585) in present-day North Carolina, Jamestown (1607) in what is now Virginia, and Plymouth (1620) in present-day Massachusetts.
While the colonists became accustomed to their new home, they relied on help from local Indians for their survival.