Mathieu Da Costa: The Black man (Ladino Moor) Who Discovered Canada

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Mathieu Dacosta


By Oguejiofo Annu

Mathieu DaCosta was an black ladino Moorish Jew of Iberian origins. He was a Portugese Moor, and his family had lived in Portugal for at least 600 years as the lords of the land before they were brutally conquered, and expelled from Portugal by the barbaric hordes of Reconquista Gothic crusaders, under the banner of the papacy of Vatican. The Moors of Portugal were expelled by 1497, with the Edicts of expulsion and the “Leis de Limpeza de Sangue”(The Laws of the Cleaness of Blood).

The “Laws of Cleaness of Blood” stated that: All Moors and Jews had to flee the Penisula. And that any gothic chretin crusader who aspired to have a middle to high ranking office in the Kingdoms had to prove that he had no Moorish or Jewish ancestry for at least five generations (until the fourth or fifth generation). The laws lasted until the end of the 18th century.

Da Costa’s family was a sea trading family, probably descended from the Muurish Phoenicians of the ancient times otherwise variously called the Cartheginians, or the Canaanites, or the Moors. His family name Dacosta means “of the sea”, that they were traditional sea farers. His name, Dacosta also indicated that he was a blood Jewish Ladino, a Muurish Canaanite Jew like Louis Torres another Muurish Jew, who performed the role of interpreter for Christopher Colombus on his first American voyage. As was his family tradition, Mathieu Dacosta grew up into an able sea man, a maritime trader, and a global adventurer.

Sea-farers played a crucial role in the relief of the imperiled Moors subjected to genocidal criminality by the gang of gothic reconquistadas. Upon their interdiction in Iberia by the “Bull of Toledo”, gangs of Muurish sea men organized to rescue hundreds of thousands of fleeing Moors. For instance, it is recalled that Moorish Portuguese sailor Sequeira had sailed to area now known as Lagos in 1472 with a ship load of Moorish refugees.

Others like the Moorish sea farering families like the Ninos and the Pinzos of Spain (e.g. Pierto Da Nino who brought Columbus to the Americas), Estevanico also known as “Stephen the Moor” the explorer of what is now the southwest of the United States of America, and Mathieu Dacosta, who brought Champlain to Canada, were at hand to ferry the Moorish refugees from southern Europe to the continents of Africa and the Americas, to more friendly shores wherein they could start anew.

Not much is written today about the life of this great black-a-moor ladino jew named Mathieu Da Costa, but the more we learn about him, the more we are convinced that the life-story of this incredible almost impossible black man, must be heard by the searchers of truth, so that much enlightenment, knowledge and beauty can be brought to culture the mental conception of modern humanity in an upful manner.

Da Costa is significant because he is the start of Black Canadian culture and heritage. He combined a Ladino Jewish heritage, with a then vanishing black European heritage.

He was one of the earliest, if not the earliest Canadian multi-lingualist on record. Canada has always been a multicultural country, it is thus expected that Canadians will cherish the history of this great moorish sailor, who typfied everything that Canada has become today… metropolitan, elan, panache, travel and muliticulturalism.


There is documented evidence that Mathieu Dacosta had been frequenting the shores of Canada on trade and exploratory vogages for many years before he met Champlain, the man who is mistakenly known as the first European in Canada. See Endnotes.

Mathieu Dacosta was so familiar with Canada, that he was said to be able to speak several first nations languages between the coast of Nova Scotia and the Saint Lawrence River valley. The harbours and coasts most commonly identified as places of contact between Europeans and Amerindians are the most likely spots where he would have travelled.

He might also have reached places like Canso, the Bay of Fundy, and up the St. Lawrence River. It is possible that he might have made it as far inland as the Huron country, even up to the present day Ottawa valley. By the early 1600s Mathieu Da Costa could have made trips to many different locations in the service of a variety of Moorish captains and merchant backers.

The Moors of Europea and West Africa were very familiar with the northeastern corner of North America, stretching from New York to Newfoundland and up the St. Lawrence River. The Moors of Iberia and Morocco had long established trading networks in those areas and were making innumerable trading and exploration voyages throughout the late 1500s and into the early 1600s.


One often encounters in this area of history assertions that a certain “pidgin Basque” language had evolved between the “naigres” the blacks and the aboriginals of the Americas which had been used as the major international trading language throughout the pre-gothic conquest Atlantic world. According to Marc Lescabot, a French author, poet and lawyer, best known for his Histoire de la Nouvelle-France (1609), the aboriginal peoples of the Atlantic regions of the Americas used their own language when communicating with themselves but “for the sake of convenience spoke to us in a language which is more familiar to us with which much Basque is mingled”.

This pidgin Basque (really “Afro-Amerindian”) is indisputable evidence of deep and enduring cultural contact between two indigenous peoples facing each other across the atlantics. There is nothing more substantive than language, as proof of cultural contact between two people.

Centuries of sustained contact between the black Moorish Portuguese ladino Jew and Muslims of pre-gothic Portugal, and their brethrens living on the west coast of Africa in the mid-1400s had created a new language and culture, known as a pidgin which flourished all around the rim of the Atlantic, from Africa to Americas back to the coastal regions of southern Europe. It offered a blend of old latin, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese vocabulary interspersed with African and Amerindian terms.

It generally followed West African grammatical rules and syntax. In time, the pidgin evolved into a more formal language known as a creole. Creole English, i.e. Jamaican Patois, Haitian Patois, Nigerian Pigin English are derivatives of this former global language.

In this area of historiography, one often hears de-contextualized accounts from western writers about how Africans were preferred as interpreters of those languages by the visiting Europeans (presumable whites this time) in America, without an explantion of the context that saw the so-called negro becoming the arbiter of cultural contact between the visiting whites and the first nation indigenes of the Americas.


For before the gothic conquest of Iberia, long before the rise of Rome, the black-skined children of Punt, had spread from the coast of East Africa to Northeast and Northwest Africa, and there began the ancient Moorish civilizations which are separately known as Egypt, Kush, Libya, Mauritania, Numidia, Israel, and Syria. The bible calls them the children of Ham, sometimes as the Kanaanites.

The Bible, the Torah, the Koran and all other relevant books that COME out of the near east confirm that the Canaanites were an African dark skin people, the Muurs who originally rose from Africa and roamed all over the world.

According to William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography 1866, the Canaanites were:

“These Moors, who must not be considered as a different race from the Numidians, but as a tribe belonging to the same stock, were represented by Sallust (Sal. Jug. 21) as a remnant of the army of Hercules, and by Procopius (B. V. 2.10) as the posterity of the Cananaeans who fled from the robber Joshua; he quotes two columns with a Phoenician inscription. Procopius has been supposed to be the only, or at least the most ancient, author who mentions this inscription, and the invention of it has been attributed to himself; it occurs, however, in the history of Moses of Chorene (1.18), who wrote more than a century before Procopius. The same inscription is mentioned by Suidas (s. v.), who probably quotes from Procopius….”

Most of the Arabian writers, adopted a nearly similar tradition, to wit, that the indigenous inhabitants of N. Africa were the people of Palestine, Canaanites, expelled by David, who returned to Africa under the guidance of Goliah, whom they call Djalout. (St. Martin, Le Beau, Bas Empire, vol. xi. p. 328; comp. Gibbon, c. xli.).”

Those children of Africa had spread into southern Spain and Portugal, Iberia and then into the entire coast of southern Europe, before the first child of the Gothic tribe had been created in Turkmenistan, where originally comes the Germanic and the English and the French and the modern Spanish people. Those later Goths were known as the Vandals and they were the ancestors of the modern day christian Spaniards, and French and Italians. Those Goths first came to Spain in around 350 Anno Domini. Whereas the Black Europeans established the cities of Cardiz, Mareseilles, Barcelona, and hundreds of other such, had been established by Africans in Europe as early as 1000 B.C.

The Moors of Europe and Africa were the spirit and light of all the ancient empires that thrived in the mediterrenean coast. They were the capsians, the Iberians, the Ibero-maurisians, the Aegeans, the Mycenians, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Ethiopians and the Moroccans, their various names, applied to one section of them or the other by over-awed foreigners.

Those Moors not only had explored, mapped and measured the seas to the Indies and Sina (China), they had mapped and explored the Americas, north and south, Pacific and Atlantic, and had set up settlements on the mainlands and along the route on the Islands of the seas such as the Taino Indians, the Black Caribes, the Black Hawaiians, the Black Bajans, the Black Fijians, Tahitians, all pointing irrefutableable to an ancient presence of a sea faring black nation between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans from the most ancient of times.

Those Moors also had a highly developed trading network in the north Atlantic sea-board of the Americas. They traded with their settlements which traded with the red skin and the dark skin first nations. They grew stupendously rich from this trade. And so when the goths crashed in on Spain and Portugal in the 15th century, they walked into an Eldorado of gold. And this explains why they hurried across the Atlantic seeking the “Eldorado” Because the moors had taught them all of this.

It takes hundreds of years of patient expedition and interaction between two people before a trusting enduring network of trade and familial relationship will subsit. It takes just about the same time to develop a new culture, a new language, that supports that trade and interaction. The presence of black people all over the Atlantic and Pacific Island and mainland can no longer be denied. Technology has brought the knowledge of them to the whole world. The existence of such a language that developed between African Moors and indigenous first nation in north eastern sea board of the Americas is long established.

Thanks to the memory of black men like Mathieu Dacosta, who between 1604-06 brought the Champlain expedition to Port Royal, and served as the interpreter between the French and the Micmac Indians of the area; and to Luis Torres, a black Marano-Ladino Jew who served as translator for Christopher Colons (Columbus) on his first voyage to the Americas.

The preeminent mastery and dominance of this creole culture that supported a network of trade and cultural contact thousands of years old, by African so-called “interperters” demonstrates that again the deep involvment of pre-columbian Africans to the development of this trans-Atlantic language. Again it is stressed that numerous European scholars take pains to point out, eventhough biased in their narrative, that Europeans (so-called whites) explorers (first timers) sought out particularly the help of Africans and moors to facilitate interaction between them and the natives of the Americas. Thanks again to the memory of men like Mathieu Dacosta, this truth is demonstrable.

All this is to say, that the Moors and the Africans brought the gothic descendants of today’s Europe to the Americas. Not the other way round. But then, just as happened in Rome, in Spain, in Gaul, the children of the Vandals, ran riot, went viral, destroyed, violated and vandalized all relationship between nations and nations, nations and material, and nations and the spiritual. The children of the goths performed an act of perfidy on everyone, stole America, and set themselves up, puff up and big up like some poisonous adder; setting itself up for the grand humiliation from the true Judges which is just around the corner.

To reiterate once more, when the children of the gothic conquerors of civilization began their intrusion into Iberia as the chretin crusaders warring for the Pope of Vatican city, they were late comers in history. When the christians conquered Portugal and Spain, they simply inherited and debased the centuries old trade network established by the Phoenicians and Afro Carthegnians, maintained and further expanded by the Moors of Iberia. For instance , it has been observed that Christopher Colons (Colombus) never commanded anything more than a river canoe before he was taken to America by the Spaniard and Portugese black Ladino Muurish families of the Pinzos and the Ninos.

Those inland bound christians, who never before had any interaction with the sea, now sailed on Afro-Cartheginians designed ships, piloted by Moorish captains; those gothic christians were inducted by the Afro-Moorish muslims and ladinos into sea-faring and international trading, and literally led by the hand to those Moorish lands across the Atlantics in the so-called Americas, where ageless networks of lucrative trading had been dealing in prosperity from a time without beginning. Da Costa may have participated in several of those voyages.

As a sailor, ship pilot and international trader, Mathieu Dacosta brought Sur de Mons and Champlain from Paris to Canada at the start of the expedition that would give Canada its first permanent European settlement, between 1605 and 1608. There was another seaman of African descent on that voyage, who had died of stomach ailment and was buried in Canada.

As an multi-linguist and someone very familiar with the first nation Canadians, he was sought after by both the French and the Dutch to help in their trading with Aboriginal peoples. He was so sought after that the Dutch secret service plotted and kidnapped away from the French in Paris and literally carried him over the border to the Nedetherlands. This affair formed the subject of a famous case known as the Hauge trial in Europe around 1608.

In other to have been of use to all those various nations and peoples, Dacosta must in addition to several Canadian aboriginal languages he spoke,likely spoken French, Dutch, Portuguese, as well as the so-called “pidgin Basque.”

The last-named language as we saw earlier on, was a very common trade language used in dealing with some nations of the Aboriginal peoples and the Moors of Europe and Africa.

It is clear that when Mathieu Da Costa had first arrived in Canada that none of the persons such as de Mons or Champlain had even been aware of the existence of the country. As such, we know with certainty that Mathieu Da Costa holds the eminent position as the first recorded European, black European moor, in history to have visited and lived in the country Canada. It was not Champlain, the white Frenchman from Paris, who is wrongly attributed as the “discoverer of Canada” in official Canadian history.

Champlain was literally led by the nose into Canada, by Mathieu Da Costa, the Black Jewish Ladino Moor, from Portugal. Honour should always repose in its proper place, and water will always find its level.

Oguejiofo Annu

February 2011

(for my children Ani, Osita and Dovi, Muurish Ladino Canadians, so that they remember their origins)


Literary Evidence

“Documents generated in Europe between 1607 and 1619 provide the only “facts” there are that relate to Mathieu Da Costa. The first document dates from February 1607, when Da Costa was in Holland. At issue was the apparent enticement or kidnapping of Da Costa by the Dutch away from the French. Implied but not stated was that Da Costa had been working as an interpreter, or had contracted to do so, when Dutch interests had intervened. One might conclude that Da Costa had been involved in the Pierre Dugua de Mons’ trading activities along the St. Lawrence River, but that is not stated. The following year, 1608, Da Costa signed a contract in Amsterdam that committed him to sail with or on behalf of Dugua de Mons as an interpreter “pour les voyages de Canada, Cadie et ailleurs.”

“It is significant that the relevant documents specified voyages in the plural, and perhaps as well that Canada was mentioned before Acadia (“Cadie”). The expectation was undoubtedly to make use of Da Costa’s talents in trading voyages around the Atlantic region, certainly including up the St. Lawrence River (which is what was meant by the reference to Canada).

Da Costa’s contract with Dugua was to take effect in January 1609 and to last for three years. The annual salary was to be 60 crowns, about 195 livres, which was a significant amount. Unfortunately for Dugua de Mons, the monopoly that the French Protestant trader possessed was not renewed at the end of 1608. He never made it back to Port Royal. Nor was there any French presence at that post from late 1607 to 1610. Nevertheless, the Sieur de Mons “continued to participate actively in the Canadian trade and to encourage the exploration and settlement of the country until 1617.”

Perhaps Da Costa participated in some of those voyages? He well might have, yet not in the first few months of his contractual relationship. In the spring of 1609, Mathieu Da Costa was not on board a ship heading for North America; he was in Rouen. The next reference has him imprisoned in Le Havre in December 1609. What had occurred is not known but the mention of “insolences” suggests that Da Costa possessed an independent spirit and spoke his mind freely.”

See also:

A. J. B. Johnston Parks, “Dacosta” ,

Oguejiofo Annu, The Marranos: The Black Moorish Jews of Spain and Benin (Guinean) Coast (Part 1),

George R. Gibson, Mellungeons and myth,

Jack H. Goins, Mellungeons and other Pioneer families

Jide Uwechia, The Moorish Cities of Lagos in Nigeria and Portugal,

Moors – History, Origins, Etymology, Human population genetics, Historical images, Other Moors in history, Present-day Moors

Dacosta: 400 years of Black Canadiana,

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11 thoughts on “Mathieu Da Costa: The Black man (Ladino Moor) Who Discovered Canada”

  1. This is a complete myth … there is absolutely no proof of any of this and unfortunately this “fabrication” has found its way into our Canadian history with unbelievable results: Mathieu da Costa Street in Quebec City ! – the Matthew da Costa Challenge ! – Cofounder of Canada !
    REALLY ?? !!

  2. The portuguese reconquered land from the black moors that forced conversion to islam via economics and war. The portuguese actually founded portugal in 1179 by papal recognition. They were trying to reclaim their homeland as early as 850. I am portuguese and basque so don’t lie and mispresent the portuguese and the Iberians. The moors over welcomed their stay took credit for the inventions of locals due to 20th century myth propagation to combat the rise of anti jewish sentiment . Our records in old portuguese, basque, galician and spanish record the moors being intolerant after the 9th century of non-muslims. The 1066 massacre was a minor example. Read up on john of seville. We reclaimed our home lands,200+ battles reported

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