"When Europeans first arrived in North America, they found an often harsh and unfamiliar land in the grip of the coldest age for millennia: the "Little Ice Age." Spanish, French, and English alike faced a century of disasters, setbacks, and failures on the way to their first enduring footholds on the continent. All the while, the vagaries and extremes of North America's Little Ice Age climate posed new threats and challenges, shaping the course of colonial history. A Cold Welcome tells the fascinating and often forgotten tale of Europe's first encounters with a new continent, and the first settlements of the US and Canada. Drawing on wide-ranging interdisciplinary research in many languages, Sam White brings together the parallel histories of the Spanish, French, and English in North America, and the Native Americans they encountered, from the earliest expeditions to the perilous first winters at Jamestown, Quebec, and Santa Fe. A Cold Welcome weaves together evidence from climatology, archaeology, and human history to tell a new story of America's colonial beginnings--one both novel and yet relevant and familiar for a world now facing an uncertain future of environmental and climatic change."-- Provided by publisher.