250px-GiovanniVerrazano

In 1524, what later became known as Block Island was sighted by Giovanni da Verrazzano, who named it “Claudia”, in honor of Claude, Duchess of Brittany, queen consort of France and the wife of Francis I. However, several contemporaneous maps identified the same island as “Luisa,” after Louise of Savoy, the Queen Mother of France, and the mother of Francis I. Verrazano’s ship log stated that the island was “full of hilles, covered with trees, well-peopled for we saw fires all along the coast.”