These explorers sought fame riches of gold and silver for themselves and for the kings and queens who paid for their expeditions. In traveling they found new lands rich in spices, gold and silver, along with many harbors for exporting and importing their new found riches. Other explorers wanted to teach about Jesus Christ and further Christianity as far as they could go. Many these explorers started many settlements and they also brutally took the life of the native people there in their conquest of these newly found frontiers. The natives of these lands many fought back just as brutal as these Conquistadors. These explorers range from the young age of 12 to adults traveling with family members seeking treasures. The explorers are from different backgrounds from young to old, from poor to those of noble birth with one same interest the fame of their discoveries.
LEIF ERIKSSON (975-1020) Leif Eriksson is the first in our list of Explorers of the Millennium. In fact, he was born in Iceland around 975, 25 years before the beginning of the millennium. He was a leader of Viking expeditions and may have been the first European to reach North America. He was the son of Eric the Red, who started the first European settlement of Greenland in 985. Leif went with his father to Greenland and lived there until 1000. In the year 1000, Leif sailed to Norway, which is where his family had originally come from. One story says that while he was in Norway, he may have become a Christian. King Olaf I of Norway wanted Leif to go back to Greenland and teach the Vikings there about Christianity. As Leif was sailing back to Greenland, he was blown off course and he ended up in North America instead of Greenland. Another version of Leif's story says that another Viking, Bjarni Herjolfsson, had already been to North America. Leif bought his boat and wanted to retrace Bjarni's route. So he sailed to North America, but not by mistake. He ended up in a place he called Vinland. This was probably the part of Canada now called Newfoundland. Leif went back to Greenland, and may very well have helped to convert the Greenlanders to Christianity. Lief Eriksson died around 1020.
Marco Polo Adventurer / Explorer Born: 1254 (?) Died: 1324 (?) (natural causes) Birthplace: Venice, Italy Best known as: The exotic traveler who &quot;discovered&quot; the Orient Marco Polo is famous for his travels through Asia. He was one of the first Europeans to travel into Mongolia and China. He became famous for his book that told the story of his travels along the Silk Road to China. Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy around 1254. In 1271, when he was 17 years old, he traveled to Asia with his father and uncle. On this journey, he became a favorite of Kublai Khan, the Mongol Emperor. He roamed through Mongolia and China for 17 years. He traveled farther into China than any European had gone before. Finally, he took a ride to Persia and then back home. In all, he was gone for 24 years! When he returned to Venice in 1295, he became a popular storyteller. People gathered at his home to hear his stories of his travels in the Far East. In 1298, there was a conflict between Venice and Genoa. Polo was captured by the Genoese and imprisoned by them. While in jail, Marco dictated the story of his travels to a writer who published the book, The Travels of Marco Polo . The book helped to make Europeans very interested in trading with China and the Far East, and that led to the explorations of Columbus and many others who were searching for a quicker way to sail to China and India. Polo eventually returned to Venice and collected the stories of his travels into a book, Il Milione (also known as The Travels of Marco Polo ), which was widely read and is the basis of his lasting fame. Polo is now remembered as the man who introduced Europeans to the Orient, and his name is synonymous with exotic travel. Some historians have claimed that Polo made parts of his story up, if not the whole thing, but this has never been proved. Extra: The old legend that Polo introduced pasta to Italy is almost certainly not true.
Prince Henry the Navigator Although he was called Prince Henry the Navigator by the English, Prince Henry never actually sailed on any of the voyages of discovery he sponsored. Instead, Prince Henry established a school for the study of the arts of navigation, mapmaking, and shipbuilding. This would allow sailors to better guide their ships and to come up with new ship designs. Designing New Ships His goal was to find a route to the rich spice trade of the Indies and to explore the west coast of Africa. The ships that sailed the Mediterranean were too slow and too heavy to make these voyages. Under his direction, a new and lighter ship was developed, the caravel, which would allow sea captains to sail further and faster. Exploring the West Coast of Africa Despite the creation of the caravel and the knowledge shared at his school for sailors, Prince Henry had a great deal of difficulty persuading his captains to sail beyond Cape Bojodor off the west coast of Africa. According to legend, beyond this point in an area known as the &quot;Green Sea of Darkness,&quot; the sun was so close to the Earth that a person’s skin would burn black, the sea boiled, ships caught on fire, and monsters hid waiting to smash the ships and eat the sailors. It took fourteen voyages over a period of 12 years until a ship finally reached the equator. During the two-year period from 1444 to 1446, Prince Henry intensified the exploration of Africa, sending between 30 and 40 of his ships on missions. The last voyage sponsored by Prince Henry sailed over 1,500 miles down the African coast. Although he never sailed on the expeditions, the voyages that he paid for in the mid-1400s helped launch Portugal into the front of the race to find a sea route to the Indies.
Bartolomeu Dias Navigator / Explorer Born: c. 1450 Died: May 1500 Best known as: Portuguese discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope Bartolomeu Dias was a Portugese navigator whose 1487-88 Atlantic voyage around the southern tip of Africa opened sea routes between Europe and Asia. In 1486 King João II (King John II) assigned Dias, a member of the royal court, to command a voyage with both spiritual and material aspirations: Dias was to search for the lands of Prester John -- a legendary Christian priest and African king -- and challenge the Muslim dominance of trade with Asia. By 1488 Dias had unknowingly rounded the African continent in a storm and made landfall at what is now Mossel Bay. On his return voyage he discovered what he called the Cape of Storms (Cabo Tormentoso), later re-named the Cape of Good Hope (Caboda Bõa Esperança) by João. Although Dias did not find any sign of an African Christian, his voyage established a sea route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and Asia. In 1497 Dias accompanied Vasco da Gama on a voyage as far as the Cape Verde Islands, and in 1500 he joined Pedro Alvares Cabral's westward expedition. Dias's ship went down in a storm and he perished at sea sometime in late May (Cabral went on to make landfall in Brazil). Extra: Dias's brother, Pero Dias, was also part of the 1487-88 voyage, commanding the supply ship... The Cape of Good Hope is sometimes thought to be the southernmost tip of the African continent, but that title belongs to Cape Agulhas... His name is sometimes spelled Bartholomew Diaz.
Christopher Columbus Explorer Born: 1451 Died: 20 May 1506 Birthplace: Genoa, Italy Best known as: The explorer who opened the door to the Americas Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, landing in the &quot;new world&quot; of the Americas and gaining lasting fame. Using ships and money provided by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille , Columbus sailed west in search of a sea passage to India. He had two goals: open trade routes for Spain and bring the word of Jesus Christ to the non-Christians he expected to meet. He sailed with three ships (the Niña , Pinta and Santa Maria ) and on his first trip made landfall somewhere in the Bahamas. He returned to Europe to spread the word, and was named &quot;Admiral of the Ocean Seas&quot; by Ferdinand and Isabella. He made three more voyages in the following years, always believing that he had reached Asia, and his success opened the door for Spain to conquer the Americas. Five centuries after his daring voyage, Columbus is still famous but is also the subject of heated discussions about whether he was a good-guy hero who discovered new worlds or a not-so-nice guy who helped grab the Americas from their native inhabitants. Still, he has long been known as the man who &quot;discovered&quot; America, and the second Monday in October is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States. Extra: Columbus is also known as Cristobal or Christobal Colon (in Spanish) and Cristoforo Colombo (in Italian)... America is named for Amerigo Vespucci , who explored what is now South America a few years after Columbus's initial voyage.
Amerigo Vespucci Explorer Born: 9 March 1454 Died: 22 February 1512 Birthplace: Florence, Italy Best known as: The explorer after whom the Americas are named Amerigo Vespucci was a Florentine merchant and navigator who made at least two transatlantic trips to the New World, voyages that inspired cartographer Martin Wardseemüller to label the new continent &quot;America&quot; in 1507. Vespucci was employed by the Florentine Medici family as a representative for their operations in Seville, Spain. He went from supplying ships to joining the expedition of Alonso Ojeda as a navigator. Although the record is unclear, it is generally accepted that Vespucci sailed with Ojeda to the northeastern coast of South America in 1499, under the flag of Spain. He made a second voyage in 1502. The story that he reached South America in 1497 is held to be apocryphal; the story that he made a fourth voyage in 1504 is also considered suspect. Somehow an account of a 1497 voyage was published, and Wardseemüller came to believe that Vespucci had commanded the expedition and had reached the New World before Christopher Columbus , who found the mainland in 1498. Wardseemüller named the continent America and the label stuck. Vespucci is said to have made a guess at the world's circumference that was accurate within 50 miles. His real achievement seems to be that he concluded America had to be a new continent and not the eastern part of Asia, as Columbus believed. An honored citizen in Spain, Vespucci spent the years after his voyages as a maritime official for King Ferdinand .
John Cabot Explorer Born: 1450 (?) Died: 1498 (disappeared) Birthplace: Genoa, Italy (?) Best known as: Italian / English explorer of Newfoundland Name at birth: Giovanni Caboto Few hard facts are known about John Cabot, but he is historically important because his explorations were the basis for England's early claims on North America. By all accounts, Cabot was not English; he was born Giovanni Caboto, probably in Genoa, Italy, around 1450. He later moved to Venice and became a naturalized citizen there about 1476, working as a sailor and trader in the eastern Mediterranean. Sometime in the 1490s he ended up in England, where he was given permission by King Henry VII to seek a northern route to Asia across the Atlantic. In 1497 Cabot sailed from Bristol, England in the ship Matthew to what is now eastern Canada. Precisely where he landed is not clear; the possibilities include Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island, Labrador and Nova Scotia. He returned successfully to England and received permission to make a second voyage in 1498. He and 300 crew members set out from Bristol in May of that year, but were never heard from again. Extra: Cabot's son, Sebastian, was a famous explorer and cartographer in his own right, and may have accompanied his father on the successful 1497 voyage... Cabot's 1497 voyage was just five years after the famous first voyage, in 1492, of Christopher Columbus .
Vasco da Gama Explorer Born: c. 1469 Died: 24 December 1524 Birthplace: Sines, Portugal Best known as: Portugese explorer who opened up sea route to India Naval commander Vasco de Gama's 1497 expedition from Lisbon opened a route to India and led to Portugese dominance of the Eastern spice trade. Little is known of his life before he was assigned command of the expedition that left Lisbon in July of 1497. He established a route around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, up the coast of East Africa and finally to Calicut in India. He returned to Portugal in 1499, having lost most of his men while establishing trade posts in East Africa and India. On his second voyage to India in 1502, the new &quot;Admiral of the Indian Ocean&quot; led 20 ships against rival Arab traders and secured military supremacy in Calicut and Goa; the treasures he brought home to Portugal earned him royal favor and even greater repute. Created a count in 1519, he was named Viceroy of India in 1524 and travelled to Goa. While in India he fell ill (probably malaria) and died.
Vasco da Gama Explorer Born: c. 1469 Died: 24 December 1524 Birthplace: Sines, Portugal Best known as: Portuguese explorer who opened up sea route to India Naval commander Vasco de Gama's 1497 expedition from Lisbon opened a route to India and led to Portugese dominance of the Eastern spice trade. Little is known of his life before he was assigned command of the expedition that left Lisbon in July of 1497. He established a route around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, up the coast of East Africa and finally to Calicut in India. He returned to Portugal in 1499, having lost most of his men while establishing trade posts in East Africa and India. On his second voyage to India in 1502, the new &quot;Admiral of the Indian Ocean&quot; led 20 ships against rival Arab traders and secured military supremacy in Calicut and Goa; the treasures he brought home to Portugal earned him royal favor and even greater repute. Created a count in 1519, he was named Viceroy of India in 1524 and travelled to Goa. While in India he fell ill (probably malaria) and died.
Born: c. 1460 San Servas, Spain Died: July 1521 Havana, Cuba Spanish explorer and conqueror Nationality - Spanish Lifespan - 1460 - 1521 Family - Juan Ponce de Leon was descended from the Spanish Royal family Education - Well educated befitting his noble birth Career - Courtier, Explorer and Soldier Famous as the first European to set foot in Florida. He also discovered the Gulf Stream and was famous for searching for the &quot;fountain of youth&quot;. He also established the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico The following are additional facts and a timeline about the life and history of Juan Ponce de Leon: Juan Ponce de Leon was born in Santervas, Spain Juan Ponce de Leon came from a noble Spanish family and was well educated as befitted his status and would have been taught several languages, physics, geometry, mathematics and astronomy Ponce de Leon served as page to Pedro Nunuz de Guzman at the Spanish court 1490's Ponce travelled the seas as a Privateer, attacking ships belonging to the Moors 1493, 25 September The Second voyage of Christopher Columbus with 16 ships from Cadiz, carrying about 1500 men - including Juan Ponce de Leon Columbus explores Hispaniola (Jamaica) and encounters the hostile Caribbean and Arawak native Indians Columbus establishes a Spanish settlement in Haiti and searches for gold and Juan Ponce de Leon has gained a wealth of experience from this voyage of discovery 1494 September 29 Christopher Columbus returns to Spain but Juan Ponce de Leon stays in Santo Domingo (now called the Dominican Republic) 1512 - 23 February Charles V grants Juan Ponce de Leon a patent authorizing him to discover and people the Island of Bimini (in the Bahamas) bestowing upon him the title of Adelantado and total jurisdiction 1508: Ponce de Leon founded the first settlement in Puerto Rico, Caparra (later relocated to San Juan)Ponce de Leon colonized Puerto Rico using just a few troops and one greyhound who scared the natives 3 March, 1513, Ponce sets out from San German ( Puerto Rico ) with three ships, fitted out at his own expense 14 March, 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon reaches Guanahani, San Salvador ,where Christopher Columbus first sighted land 27 March 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon comes within sight of the coast ( Florida) 2 April 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon took possession of the land which Ponce de Leon named &quot;Pascua de Florida&quot; ( Feast of Flowers) because they first spotted land on Palm Sunday 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon returned to Puerto Rico 27 September, 1514 Via his friend, Pedro Nunez de Guzman, he secured a second grant giving him power to settle the Island of Bimini and the Island of Florida, ( at this point in time Florida was thought to be just an island) 1521 he set out with two ships ready to colonise Florida. Whilst building houses Ponce de Leon and his party were attacked by a tribe of the Calusa (on Pine Island)Ponce de Leon was injured by a poisoned arrow Juan Ponce de Leon returned to Havana, Cuba, where he died of his wounds. His tomb is in the cathedral in Old San Juan
Ferdinand Magellan Explorer / Navigator Born: c. 1480 Died: 27 April 1521 (killed in battle) Birthplace: Villa Real, Portugal Best known as: The first guy to circumnavigate the Earth Portuguese name: Fernao de Magalhaes Magellan was born in Portugal, but it was under the Spanish flag that he sailed in 1519 with the intention of reaching the Spice Islands by sailing west around South America. After much hardship he succeeded in reaching and then sailing across the Pacific Ocean. Soon thereafter he was killed while trying to subdue the natives on what is now the island of Mactan in the Philippines. After still more hardships, one of his original five ships, Victoria , eventually made it back to Spain. Though Magellan didn't complete the entire circumnavigation, as the expedition's leader he is usually credited with being the first man to circle the globe.
Hernando Cortes ( aka Hernan Cortez) Spanish Conquistador and Explorer Nationality - Spanish Lifespan - 1485 - 1547 Family - Spanish nobility his parents were Martín Cortes de Monroy and Catalina Pizarro Altamarino Education - Well educated attended University of Salamanca Career - Spanish Conquistador and Explorer Famous as : the Spanish conqueror of Mexico and the Aztec Empire Mistaken for Quetzalcoatl the light skinned, bearded God-King of the Aztecs - the 'Winged God - Feather Serpent' Cortes conquers the Aztec nation of 5 million with less than 1000 soldiers The life and history of Hernando Cortes: 1485: Hernando Cortes was born in 1485 in Medellin, Extremadura, Spain His parents were Martin Cortes de Monroy and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano 1499: Hernando Cortes was attended the University of Salamanca 1501: Failed at Law and left University 1502: Cortes heard the stories about the New World and joined the expedition to the West Indies led by Nicolas de Ovando with Diego Velazquez Hernando Cortes was under the command of a man called Quintero 1502: The Ovando voyage consisted of 2500 settlers and 30 ships . The Ovando expedition reached Hispaniola and the young Hernando Cortez proved popular with his mentor Quintero and Nicholas de Ovando Cortes proved to be an excellent soldier under the command of Spanish soldier named Diego Velazquez (1460-1532) 1511: Diego Columbus, the new governor of Hispaniola, resolved to conquer the island of Cuba and selected Diego Velazquez as commander of the expedition 1511: The expedition to Cuba consisted of four vessels with 300 men. Hernando Cortes was chosen to accompany Velazquez on the expedition . Cuba was quickly subjugated by the Spanish expedition force 1513: The town of Bayamo on Cuba was established 1514: The towns of Trinidad, Santo Espiritu, Puerto Principe, and Santiago de Cuba were founded 1514: Hernando Cortes settles on the island of Cuba and becomes a rancher 1518 May 1: A fleet under Juan de Grijalva left Santiago de Cuba explores the coast of Mexico and sends back favorable reports to Velazquez 1518: Velazquez decides to explore further and chooses Hernando Cortes to captain an expedition to establish a colony in Mexico 1519: February 19, 1519, with a force of 600 men, and less than 20 horses Cortez sets sail for Mexico. 1519: Hernando Cortes and his soldiers sailed to the Yucatan Penisula and march inland to Tenochtitlan 1519 March: Cortes lands in Mexico, and suppresses the town of Tabasco. He meets a woman called Malinche who becames his mistress, guide and interpreter Cortes establishes the town of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz. To prevent any possibility of desertion and retreat he literally burns all of his boats Cortes learns about the fabulous riches of the Aztec Empire and marches his troops inland to discover the land of the Aztecs Cortes forces an alliance with the Aztec Indians of Tlaxcala and learns about their customs, culture and religion Cortes learns of Quetzalcoatl the 'Winged God - Feather Serpent'. This Aztec legend was about a light skinned, bearded God-King of Civilisation and learning who was revered by the Aztecs as Christians revered Jesus Christ The arrival of Cortes and his Spanish soldiers coincided perfectly with the predicted return of the God-King Quetzalcoatl Cortes heads further inland and reaches the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs believe that Cortes could be Quetzalcoatl their light skinned, bearded God-King November 1519: Montezuma II, the Aztec king does not stop Cortes and his force from entering Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital which houses thousands of Aztecs Cortes meets no resistance and establishes a headquarters inside Tenochtitlan To maintain his position he takes Montezuma as hostage and forces him to swear allegiance to King Charles V of Spain Meanwhile Velasquez had sent 1,400 soldiers to arrest Cortes. Hernando Cortes decides to march to the coast to do battle with the soldiers but instead he persuades them to join him 1520: Cortes is attacked by thousands of Aztec warriors on his return to Tenochtitlan. The Aztec attack was prompted by the slaughter of 600 Aztec nobles whilst Cortes was away Cortes tries to calm the Aztecs by releasing Montezuma but the Aztecs stone him to death 1520: Hernando Cortes and his soldiers are forced out of Tenochtitlan 1521: Hernando Cortes returns to Tenochtitlan with reinforcements 1521 August 13 Plague strikes the Aztec population and Tenochtitlan falls to Cortes Hernando Cortes conquered 5 Million Aztecs with less than 1000 soldiers 1528: Cortes returns to Spain and was given the title &quot;Marques del Valle de Oaxaca.&quot; 1530: Hernando Cortes returned to the New World and settles in Cuernavaca, Mexico 1533: Hernando Cortes makes his final expedition and discovers Baja in California 1534: Hernando Cortes explored California for a year before returning to Mexico 1540: Hernando Cortes returns home to Spain for the last time 1541: Spain fears the power that Hernando Cortes has in the New World - Cortes is denied any government post in Mexico and his reputation is smeared by rumours that he murdered his wife, Catalina Xuarez but he is given permission to fight against the Moors and the Pirates of Algiers 1547: Cortez died on December 2, 1547 near Seville
Italian navigator and explorer Giovanni da Verrazano (1485 - 1528) Giovanni da Verrazano (his last name is also spelled Verrazzano) was born in or around 1485, on his family's castle, Castello Verrazzano, near Val di Greve, 30 miles south of Florence. Upon reaching his majority (also around 1506-7) he moved to Dieppe, to pursue a maritime career. He made several voyages to the Eastern Mediterranean, and probably also visited Newfoundland. In 1524 or 1525, he was sent out by king Francis I of France to explore the region between Florida and Newfoundland for a route to the Pacific. He made landfall near Cape Fear on or around March 1, and after a short sojourn south explored the coast northward. Somewhat later, he believed that he saw the Pacific on the other side of a very narrow strip of land. What he saw in reality was Pamlico Sound, behind the Outer Banks of Carolina. This mistake led mapmakers, starting with Vesconte de Maggiolo in 1527 and Giovanni's brother Girolamo da Verrazano in 1529, to draw North America as being almost split in two, the two parts connected by a thin land bridge on the east coast. It would take a century for this error to be corrected. Further north, Verrazano discovered New York Harbour. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, spanning the Narrows, commemorates his visit. He followed the coast further east and north to Maine, then returned to France by way of Newfoundland. Later Verrazano made 2 more voyages to the Americas. On the first, he cut logwood in Brazil; on the second (in 1528) he was killed by the natives of one of the Antilles, probably Guadeloupe.
Francisco Pizarro Explorer / Conquistador Born: c. 1471 Died: 26 June 1541 (assassination) Birthplace: Trujillo, Spain Best known as: The Spaniard who conquered the Incas Francisco Pizarro is the Spanish conquistador known for conquering Peru's Inca Empire and founding the city of Lima in 1535. Little is known about his early years, but it's thought he was an illiterate adventurer who went to the New World in 1502 and spent many years in what is now Central America, especially Panama. (He was with Vasco Nuñez de Balboa in 1513 when Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.) From Panama he attempted expeditions to Peru in 1524 and 1526, the latter with future rival Diego de Almagro. In 1531 he set out from Panama with a small force of under 200 men and crossed the mountains into Peru, where he defeated the Incas and in 1533 executed their emperor Atahualpa. He set up a puppet government and went about building a capital city at Lima. Pizarro and his brothers then fought Almagro and his supporters over territorial rights, and in 1538 Pizarro had Almagro executed after the Battle of Las Salinas. In 1541 Pizarro was assassinated by followers of Almagro.
Jacques Cartier Explorer Born: 1491 Died: September 1557 Birthplace: St. Malo, Brittany (now France) Best known as: French discoverer of Canada's St. Lawrence River Jacques Cartier was a navigator who made three voyages for France to the North American continent between 1534 and 1542. He explored the St. Lawrence River and gave Canada its name. Little is known of Cartier's early life, though it is believed he accompanied the Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 on a trans-Atlantic voyage initiated by the king of France. In 1534 he was appointed by Francis I to explore North America, in an attempt to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean. On his first voyage he reached Newfoundland in 20 days, sighted the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island (which he thought was the mainland) and found the St. Lawrence River. He made a second voyage in 1535 and explored the St. Lawrence up to what is now Montreal. On his third voyage (1541), Cartier was under the command of Jean-Francois de la Rocque de Roberval and part of an unsuccessful attempt to colonize the area. Upon Cartier's return to France in 1542, he settled in his hometown of St. Malo.
Hernando De Soto Explorer / Conquistador Born: c. 1500 Died: 21 May 1542 Birthplace: Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain Best known as: Spanish conquistador who explored North America, 1539-42 Hernando de Soto was a Spanish conquistador who landed in present-day Florida in 1539, then tore around the southeastern and midwestern parts of North America until he died in 1542. Little is known of his early life, other than he came from minor nobility in Spain and made it to Panama by the time he was about 14 years old. By 1519 or so he had a reputation as a fierce fighter and expert horseman, and he is known to have been in on Francisco Pizarro 's conquest of Peru in the 1530s. In 1537 he returned to Spain a rich man and took a wife, and in 1538 he was named governor of Cuba and given a commission to colonize North America. De Soto (or Soto) set out from Cuba and landed near Tampa Bay in 1539. During his search for riches he and his army spread war and disease through a large portion of what is now the United States, including Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas. In Arkansas (or possibly Louisiana) he died, either from a fever or from battle wounds, on 21 May 1542. The survivors of his expedition fled to Mexico.
Born 1510, Salamanca, Spain — Died Sept. 22, 1554 Mexico Spanish explorer of the North American Southwest whose expeditions resulted in the discovery of many physical landmarks, including the Grand Canyon, but failed to find the treasure-laden cities he sought. Appointed governor of Nueva Galicia in west-central Mexico, Coronado was sent north with a large force to locate and capture the legendary Seven Cities of Cíbola, reported to be fabulously wealthy. He was disillusioned to discover instead the Zuni pueblos of New Mexico and a seminomadic Indian tribe in Kansas. Though the treasure he sought eluded him, his explorers were the first Europeans to view the Grand Canyon, and he extended Spanish territory over huge areas of North America. His expedition's failure led to his indictment on his return to Mexico, but he was acquitted. An official inquiry, or residencia, normally called after an expedition, brought Coronado an indictment for his conduct; but the Mexican audiencia (a governing body in the Spanish colonies) found him innocent in February 1546. In his residencia following his governorship he was also indicted, and in this instance he was fined and lost a number of Indians from his landed estate. He retained his seat, however, on the Council of Mexico City until his death.
Sir Francis Drake Explorer Born: c. 1540 Died: 28 January 1596 Birthplace: Devonshire, England Best known as: The English mariner who circumnavigated the globe Francis Drake was chosen by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1577 to command a voyage around the world. Drake was already a successful privateer (or sea pirate), and his voyage was designed to disrupt the command of the Pacific Ocean and the Americas enjoyed by England's rival Spain. Drake's command ship the Golden Hind (at first named Pelican ) circumnavigated the globe, looting Spanish ships in the New World along the way. He made a landing in 1579 somewhere on the Pacific coast of North America, and returned to England in 1580 to be knighted by the Queen. (Drake was the second captain to circle the globe -- the trick had already been turned by the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan in 1519.) Drake's successful voyage and his subsequent naval career helped the English become major players in the race for colonization and trade in the New World. Drake made a specialty of harrassing Spanish shipping and ports, and he was vice admiral of the English fleet when it defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died during an expedition to the Caribbean in 1596, and was buried in a lead coffin somewhere near modern-day Panama. Extra: Another famous English scalawag of the same era was Sir Walter Raleigh .
Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635) &quot;Samuel Champlain was born at Brouage, a small seaport town in the old province of Saintonge, southeast of Rochefort and opposite the island of Oléron, about the year 1567.&quot; 1 Little is known of Champlain's family background; indeed, though he wrote much, little personal information of Champlain's life is known. It is known, however, that Champlain learned the ways of the sea from his uncle. Champlain's first substantial voyage, one to Spain, was with his uncle. This voyage led him to be on a chartered French vessel which went to the &quot;West Indians and New Spain with the annual fleet.&quot; On his return to France two years later, the 32 year old Champlain was to link up with Francis Gravé, Sieur du Pont ( Pontgravé ), a merchant, fur trader, and a citizen of St. Malo. The two of them, Pontgravé and Champlain, in 1603, voyaged together up the &quot;rivière de Canada.&quot; Champlain, it would appear had no official position in this trading voyage. Pontgravé's business was at the trading post which had been established at Tadoussac. Leaving Pontgravé to his business, Champlain explored. He went &quot;12 leagues&quot; up the Saguenay; and then further up the St. Lawrence as far as Hochelaga (Montreal) passing on his way a place which in time he was to spend most all of his life (Quebec). Before the summer was out, Champlain returned to Tadoussac and embarked with Pontgravé for the return trip to France. It was during this trip to Tadoussac and beyond that Champlain was to consider the advantages of Acadia. Not much was known of the American seaboard below the eastern shores of present day Nova Scotia. It was known to slope westward and I imagine that explorers like Champlain thought that following the American coast, southwest, might lead to the great western sea and the oriental riches beyond; at least it might lead to a shorter route to the lands and seas (Great Lakes) of which the Indians spoke and which they said was to the west of Hochelaga. (No one anticipated the eastern barrier as represented by the Alleghenies or more generally the great distances involved.) What Champlain likely concluded was that explorations in the southern parts of Acadia may lead to the discovery of a route to Asia, if not directly, then overland. Going up the St. Lawrence seem to lead to the thicker part of the continental barrier; and to Champlain's geographical eyes the continent seem to thin out as one went south. Besides: sought-after metals and mines were reported to exist in the southern parts of Acadia; and, the peltry trade could be carried on at the mouths of the endless number of rivers that flowed to the eastern seaboard of Acadia, a land, which, in 1600, included the shores of the present day State of Maine. (See map .) Champlain came over with the de Monts expedition in 1605. A narrative of Champlain's adventures in Acadia is contained in my history of Acadia, in one of its very first chapters, &quot; The Founding of Port Royal .&quot; Sufficient at this place to say that Champlain spent his first three winters in New France in Acadia. By September of 1607, Champlain and his fellow colonists in Acadia, due to lack of support from their French backers, returned to France. 2 In July, 1608, however, Champlain was to be back up the St. Lawrence, having seemingly lost his optimism in respect to the possibilities of Acadia, taking with him a number of French colonists. Thus, Champlain, in 1608, founds Quebec, a French colony which, while slow to develop, was to become the French capital in North America. 3 There is much more to Champlain then I have set forth, my interest being restricted to his involvement in the early days of Acadia. His fame lies principally due to his activities at Quebec where he laboured with the infant colony from 1608, until, on December 25th, 1635, this Father of Canada died.
Henry Hudson 1570 - 1611 Field of Renown: Explorer: Northwest Passage English navigator and explorer Henry Hudson got furs from the Indians. Little is know of Henry Hudson's life other than the four voyages for which he is famous. The first two were undertaken on behalf of the Muscovy company of England, and the object was to find a path from Europe to China by passing North of Russia during the summer months. It was thought that the ice melted for long enough during the summer that a ship might be able to pass along the northern shore of Russia, but Hudson failed in these endeavors, and became far more interested in search for a passage by way of North America. In 1609 Hudson undertook his most famous voyage on behalf the Dutch East India Company. During this trip he explored Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and followed the Hudson river as far as Albany. He met with Indians on this trip and returns with great quantities of furs and other valuables, and claimed the territory around the Hudson River for Holland. The following year, he determined to return to the Americas, this time under the flag of England. This time he sailed farther North and entered Hudson Bay. He was unable to complete his explorations before winter set in, so the crew wintered on the southern shore of Hudson Bay. When he tried to resume his explorations the following year however, most of his crew mutinied, and he was cast adrift with his son and several other loyal followers. The crew returned to England. Key events during the life of Henry Hudson Year Events: 1570 Birth of Henry Hudson 1607 Hired by Muscovy company to find passage to China by way of Northern Europe. 1608 Second attempt to find passage to China from Norwegian Sea fails. 1609 Explored Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and the Hudson River. 1610 Returned to America under the British Flag. Wintered in Canada. 1611 Perished during a mutiny in Hudson Bay. Extra: In 1626 Peter Minuit bought Manhattan island from the local Indians for a load of cloth, beads, hatchets, and other odds and ends then worth 60 Dutch guilders the equivalent of $ 24.00.
JACQUES MARQUETTE (1637-1675) French Jesuit Missionay LOUIS JOLLIET(sometimes spelled Joliet) (1645-1700) French Canadian Explorer Jolliet and Marquette led the first French expedition down the Mississippi, in 1673. They reached the mouth of the Arkansas. Their expedition was was one of the first in the chain of events that would finally lead to French possession of Louisiana. Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet searched together and found the waters of the Mississippi River. They were the first Europeans to follow the course of the river. Jacques Marquette (also known as Father Marquette) was a Catholic missionary and explorer. He was born in Laon, France. In 1666 came to Québec, Canada and learned Indian languages. From 1669 to 1671 he worked in missions in Sault Sainte Marie (Michigan) and La Pointe (Wisconsin). Around this time, he first met Louis Jolliet, who was trading with Indians in the same area. Jolliet was a French-Canadian trader and explorer. Jolliet was born near Québec City and raised in a Jesuit seminary. In 1668 he decided that he didn't want to become a priest and he became a trader with the Indians instead. From 1669 to 1671 Jolliet explored a lot of the Great Lakes region. During that time he became a great map maker, also worked as a fur trader, and met Marquette. In 1672, Jolliet was named leader of an expedition that would explore the northern part of the Mississippi River the following year. Jolliet asked Father Marquette to be the chaplain of this group. Along with five others, Jolliet and Marquette crossed Lake Michigan, and explored the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, before reaching the Mississippi River. They followed the Mississippi southward past the mouth of the Arkansas River, then returned northward. After the expedition, Marquette stayed by Lake Michigan and Jolliet returned to Québec. Father Marquette preached among the Illinois Indians until his death in 1675. On his way back to Québec, when Jolliet was on Lake Michigan, his canoe turned over and all his precious maps and journals of his trips were lost, but he was able to replace most of the information from memory. Later, he explored other parts of Canada, such as Labrador and Hudson Bay. Louis Jolliet died in 1700 at the age of 55. EXTRA: Marquette and Joliet's expedition traveled down Lake Michigan and up Fox River. The Indians helped them carry the canoes over the dry land to the Wisconsin River on which they floated down to the Mississippi. They paddled down the great river past the mouths of the Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. Finally, Marquette and Joliet reached the place where the Arkansas entered the Mississippi. Marquette and Joliet learned that the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, and that the Spanish had established settlements farther south. They were discouraged to go farther because the Indians were hostile and had been given guns by the Spanish. Rather than taking the risk of falling into Spanish hands, Marquette and Joliet turned back. Although Marquette and Joliet didn't find the route to the west they hoped to find, they did chart the course of the Mississippi River. This river was to become important to the French fur trade. And it did. Marquette and Joliet returned to Canada by the way of Lake Michigan. Marquette returned to his missionary, but he became ill just shortly after his return. He never fully recovered. Marquette died in May 1675. Joliet became a trader in the Hudson Bay area and later explored the coast of Labrador. Joliet died in Canada in 1700.
RENE-ROBERT CAVALIER, SIEUR de LaSALLE (1643 - 1687) Rene-Robert de LaSalle was important because of his exploration of the Mississippi River in North America. He was the first European to sail down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. He claimed the Mississippi River Basin, which he called the Louisiana Territory, for France. He is sometimes called &quot;the Father of the Louisiana Territory.&quot; He was born in France on November 24, 1643. He went to Jesuit schools. When he was 23, he set sail for Canada, with plans to be a farmer. However, La Salle became interested in fur trading and set up a fur trading post instead. He became friendly with the Iroquois Indians, and learned from them of a great river which led to a sea. He became convinced that this was the great water route that would lead to Asia and make trading with the Far East easier. He decided he would try to find that trade route. In 1669 he sold his land and spent two years exploring. He went up the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario, and probably to the Ohio River region after that, though we're not really sure because the records of this part of his trip were lost. We do know that he didn't find what he was looking for and that he returned to Canada. In 1677 he had grown bored with fur trading and asked Louis XIV for authorization to explore the western parts of New France. France was very interested in taking over more of North America. In 1679-80, LaSalle led a group that explored the Great Lakes and helped to establish French forts in the area. In 1682, LaSalle traveled down the Illinois River to the Mississippi and continued all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico. On April 9, 1682 La Salle claimed all of the Mississippi River Basin for France. That was an enormous amount of land because it included all the rivers and streams that feed into the Mississippi, and all of the land between. It includes much of the western part of North America. He named this area Louisiana in honor of the king. Later, in 1803, France sold this land to the United States, and that led to the explorations of Lewis and Clark and then the westward expansion of America. From 1684 to 1687, LaSalle led an expedition to further explore the southern end of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. This expedition was full of problems. LaSalle didn't get along with other leaders. He became very sick. Many of his men were unhappy and deserted the expedition. On March 20, 1687 La Salle was assassinated in Texas by three of his own men. It was a sad end for an important explorer. EXTRA: The French government has formally moved to lay claim to one of Canadian history's most important shipwrecks — if, as a U.S. relic hunter believes, the 330-year-old Griffon has been discovered at the bottom of Lake Michigan. The Griffin, built in 1679 near today's Niagara Falls, Ont., by French explorer Rene-Robert de La Salle, became the first sailing ship on the Great Lakes but was lost in a storm that year on its maiden voyage. In 2004, U.S. wreck diver Steve Libert discovered remnants of what he suspects is a 17th-century shipwreck at the north end of Green Bay, near the boundary waters of Michigan and Wisconsin.
This timetable tells us of the explorers voyages in the age of discovery
The Norse mariner and adventurer Leif Ericson (971-ca. 1015) was the first Norseman to seek out the coast of North America. He introduced Christianity into Greenland.
Leif Ericson was born in Iceland, the son of Eric the Red. He moved with his parents to Greenland in 986.
Leif's voyage was planned and his discovery, then, was not an accident, as those who give too little credence to Viking navigational skills.
Leif in 997 sailed for Norway, hoping to curry favor with the king, Olaf Tryggvason.
The next year Leif returned home bringing priests and the new faith with him. His mother was an early convert, but Eric clung stubbornly to the old ways. When the aged chieftain along with another son, Thorstein, decided to make a trip to Newfoundland, Leif refused him the use of his ship. At this point in the sages Leif gives place to other members of his family.
Marco Polo and his two uncles visited Cathay, later called China. They lived at the court of the Emperor. When he went back to Italy, Polo wrote a book about this travels in the Far East. After the invention of Gutenburg's Printing Press in the year 1436 this book became one of the first to be published. Men became fascinated by Polo's descriptions of the Orient. Men began searching for sea routes to China, Japan, and the East Indies. Some of these men believed that the sea to the east of China and India was the same sea that was west of Europe. One map maker named Paolo Toscanelli even drew a map showing Europe with the Indies to the west rather than the east.
Prince Henry spent his entire fortune funding many voyages of exploration as well as projects in navigation, ship design, astronomy, and mapmaking. His expeditions included the islands of the Azores, Madeira, and the Cape Verde Islands, and the African coast as far as present-day Sierra Leone.
Prince Henry in 1418 founded his Institute at Sagres on the southwestern-most point of Portugal, Cape Saint Vincent - a place ancient geographers referred to as the western edge of the earth. The institute, best described as a fifteenth century research and development facility, included libraries, an astronomical observatory, ship-building facilities, a chapel, and housing for staff.
King John II , Prince Henry's nephew, continued funding expeditions down the coast of Africa. King John II chose Dias to led a group close to the southern tip . A storm blew him past the southernmost tip of land. After 13 days Dias was able to turn east, but found no land. He then turned north and sighted the Mossel Bay, around the cape. On his return trip Dias saw the Cape of Good Hope for the first time in May of 1488.
His supposed descent from one of Prince Henry the Navigator's that was never proven
Christopher Columbus dreamed of becoming a sailor. At age 14 he made his first voyage on an Italian ship. Columbus also read books about the world such as the one written by Marco Polo. Columbus wanted to reach the Indies by sailing west. He tried to raised the money for this expedition in Italy and Portugal, but no one would give him the ships he needed. Finally Columbus went to the king and queen of Spain. They gave him three ships; the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, as well as a crew and the money he needed to make the trip. On October 12, 1492 Columbus reached the land. He had not found the Indies. He was really in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands he discovered were off the coast of North America; San Salvador then Cuba which Columbus called Juana. Columbus went back to Spain and showed everyone the gold and other goods he had found. Columbus sailed back to the New World three more times.
Vespucci made voyages to the West Indies and South America for Spain and Portugal. He explored the shores of South America. Some of Vespucci reports and maps were found by a German schoolteacher who was writing a geography book. This teacher called the New World America after Vespucci and his voyages.
Vespucci claimed to have explored these continents in 1497, and it led the mapmaker, Martin Waldseemuller, to consider Vespucci, instead of Columbus, as the man who discovered North and South America. Which they suggested naming these continents after Amerigo Vespucci to honor my expeditions.
John Cabot, or Giovanni Caboto as he was really called, having been Italian by birth.
After King John II of Portugal and King Ferdinand of Spain refused to finance the voyage , King Henry VII agreed to assist him.In 1497, King Henry VII commissioned Cabot to sail west and claim new lands for England.
Cabot sailed for King Henry VII of England in 1497, 5 years after Columbus. And just where do you think he landed in his little ship, "The Matthew"? Grates Cove, Newfoundland of course! And like any good discoverer, he left his mark to prove it.
In 1497 John Cabot and his men explored the shores of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Labrador and gave fishing rights to the English. England claimed the whole east coast of North America because they claimed that Cabot was the first to reach the North American mainland.
King Manuel I of Portugal picked da Gamma to head a new expedition that would continue where Dias had stopped. On November 22, 1498 da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope. In May he landed at Calicut (now Kozhikode) on the southwest coast of India. da Gama brought back many trade goods from the Indies. Although Da Gama's route was much longer than the earlier trade routes which traveled overland, sea travel was cheaper. He also did not have to worry about bandits stealing the goods. This is why other Portuguese sailors followed Da Gama's route. Soon the Portuguese became masters of the Europe to Indies trade route.
Vasco Nùñez de Balboa Balboa led an expedition across Panama looking for gold, but discovered the Pacific Ocean instead. It took 24 days for his group of 190 Spaniards and 1000 natives to cross the 45 miles of jungle. On September 29, 1513 they reached the Pacific Ocean and claimed all the land that touched the Pacific Ocean for Spain.
In 1514, Balboa’s enemies in Spain, who were jealous of his successes, accused Balboa of treason. They turned the king against him. He was arrested, convicted of treason, and beheaded in January 1519.
Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and soldier who was the first European to set foot in Florida. He also established the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico and discovered the Gulf Stream (a current in the Atlantic Ocean). Ponce de Leon was searching for the legendary fountain of youth and other riches.
Second Search for the Fountain of Youth
Five years after returning to Spain, Ponce de Leon sailed back on another voyage to Bimini in February of 1521 with 2 ships and 200 men. They landed on the west coast of Florida. When they went ashore, they were met by a large group of Native Americans shooting arrows at them. An arrow hit Ponce De Leon. He was taken back to the ship and brought to Cuba. He died in July of 1521 from his wounds.
Magellan proved through his explorations that the Earth is round. He established the first route to the East that involved sailing to the west. This passage went around the tip of South America. Magellan sailed for the Spanish king Charles I.
Magellan also named the Pacific Ocean (the name means that it is a calm, peaceful ocean).
Magellan sailed from Seville, Spain, with five ships, the Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Victoria, and Santiago. Three years later, only one ship (the Victoria) made it back to Seville, carrying only 18 of the original 270 crew members. Magellan was killed towards the end of the voyage, in the Philippines, during a battle with the natives. The Basque navigator Juan Sebastián de Elcano (del Cano) completed the
Cortez was a young Spaniard who went to Cuba to find his fortune. He heard stories of gold in Mexico and South America. In 1519 Cortez left Cuba to find this gold. With 300 Aztecs to every one of Cortez's men the Spanish fought. After 3 battles the Indians gave up. They could not compete against the guns and horses. The Spaniards also wore metal armor. More than this the Indians were afraid of the "god-like" warriors. On November 8, 1519 Cortez reached Mexico City and was received by Montezuma, the Aztec emperor. Cortez captured Montezuma and began to rule the empire through him. The Spaniards made the Aztecs work in the mines looking for gold and silver. This gold and silver was shipped back to Spain.
Giovanni da Verranzano in 1524 Verranzano explored the New World for France. He searched for a route to the Indies through the continent. Verranzano sailed up and down the East Coast of America looking for a passage that would take him further west. He could not find one so he returned to France.
His journey is recorded in his personal journals. He initially sailed south along the coast of present-day South Carolina, then turned north again. Sailing along the Outer Banks North Carolina, he recorded what he observed to be a large inland sea, which he thought was the beginning of the Pacific Ocean, although it is actually the estuary of the Pamlico Sound. This mistake led mapmakers , starting with Visconte Maggiolo in 1527 and Giovanni's brother Girolamo da Verrazano in 1529, to draw North America as being almost split in two, the two parts connected by a thin land bridge on the East Coast. It would take a century for this error to be corrected of present day.
Verranzano was eaten by cannibals in the Caribbean
In 1523 Pizarro led an expedition to explore and conquer the land of a wealthy Indian empire. With a ship furnished by the governor of Panama Pizarro explored the coast of Peru. He then sailed to Spain to ask for permission to conquer Peru. The permission was granted. With 200 men and 40 horses Pizarro began to conquer coastal settlements. Pizarro later captured the Inca emperor and slaughter 2,000 Indians. Pizarro accepted a large ransom for returning the emperor. After releasing him he had him executed.
In 1534 Cartier tried to find a sea passage to the East Indies through North America. He could not find a river that would take ships west from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Instead he discovered the St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River ended much sooner than Cartier expected. It ended on a high hill which Cartier named Mont Real or King's Mountain in honor of the King of France. Mont Real later became Montreal. Cartier named the area New France and claimed it in the name of the King of France. This discovery opened Canada for Europeans wanting to settle in North America. Cartier took colonists to Cape Rouge near Quebec. The colony was a failure. After this France lost interest in Canada. It would be more than 70 years before another Frenchman came to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.
On May 30, 1539 De Soto and his men went into Florida. They marched northward toward Georgia then turned west. His goal was to find gold. In his journey De Soto forced the Indians to give his men supplies. This led to many battles. One of the worst was near Mobile Bay. De Soto discovered the Mississippi River near present day Memphis, Tennessee in the spring of 1541.
De Soto landed on the western coast of Florida in May of 1539. Their party crossed many places including the Appalachian Mountains. He reached the Mississippi River in early May. They had heard the stories of the Ozark Mountains, so they headed in that direction with hopes of finding gold and silver. By March of 1542, he decided to turn back and sail down the Mississippi to the sea.
De Soto died near his discovery without finding the gold he sought.
Francisco Coronado Coronado commanded an expedition which left from western Mexico in 1540. He was searching for the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. Coronado rode through northern Mexico and into what is now Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Coronado did not find any golden cities, but discovered the Pueblo Indians. Coronado was upset at not finding the cities of gold. He sent his men off in different directions with orders to find them. His men found the Grand Canyon instead. Coronado would not give up. He marched his army east. There he found the buffalo and grassy plains, but no cities of gold. Coronado claimed all the land over which he and his men had traveled in the name of Spain.
Sir Frances Drake was a British sea captain who traded with the Spanish. In 1582 his ship was sunk in a port in Spanish America. Most of Drake's crew was killed. Drake got away and returned to England. He gathered a new crew and a powerful ship. He returned to America. Drake sailed along the coast taking what he could from Spanish treasure ships. He also attacked Spanish settlements up and down the coast. Soon the Spanish were losing more than they were taking back to Spain. The Spanish called the British sailors pirates and Sea Dogs. The British allowed this to take place because they wanted the Spanish to be less powerful in the New World. This lead to the Spanish gathering a large fleet of ships to attack England called the Spanish Armada. In 1588 the Spanish Armada sailed for England. The British fleet was able to stop them because a storm destroyed many of the Spanish ships and pushed many others off course. This event made the New World a safe place for English colonists with the Spanish no longer a strong sea power. Sir Frances Drake is also known because he became the second captain and the first for England to sail around the world.
Samuel de Champlain In 1608 Champlain brought a group of settlers to the area around Montreal. They built a fort and a settlement. Champlain sent out traders to buy furs from the Indians. Champlain made friends with the Hurons. He brought missionaries to live with the Indians. These missionaries built churches. Champlain explored the Great Lakes and discovered Lake Champlain. Champlain was the first to systematically investigate the eastern shores of Canada and the New England coast.
Henry Hudson wanted to find a passage across the continent of North America. He was unable to find the Northeast or the Northwest Passage he sought. He did however add to Europe's knowledge of the Arctic and North America. He discovered the Hudson Bay in 1610.
Finding no outlet to the Pacific and in the close confinement of an Arctic winter, Hudson's crew fell to quarreling, and on the homeward voyage they mutinied and set Hudson adrift in a small boat, never to be found. His discoveries formed the basis for Dutch colonization of the Hudson River and for English claims to much of Canada.
He died after June 22, 1611, in or near Hudson Bay
Father Marquette and Louis Joliet In 1672 Father Marquette , a missionary living with the Huron Indians, contacted Louis Joliet. He wanted them to find a river to the Pacific Ocean. They discovered the Mississippi River. The two traveled as far as the Arkansas River then returned north.
On June 25, 1673, they noticed a beaten trail on the river’s edge. The trail led them to Illinois Indians -- a Peoria village about two leagues (nearly six miles) from the river and two more villages a half league farther. This describes the location of this site - now Iliniwek Village State Historic Site.
Robert LaSalle Robert LaSalle finished the trip that Father Marquette and Louis Joliet had started earlier. LaSalle sailed all the way to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Along the way he built a chain of trading posts. LaSalle claimed the entire Mississippi River in the name of France. LaSalle received money from the King of France. His plan was to build a trading post at the mouth of the Mississippi River at the location which is now New Orleans. He got lost and build the post on a small branch of the Mississippi River farther west. Through this the French had a valuable hold on the New World. They made money from the fur trade. The French did little to settle in the New World however. They were more interested in building an empire in Europe. One reason the French were not interested in settling in the New World was because most of the French outposts were in the cold north woods. Many colonists did not want to live under these cold conditions.
Age of Exploration - Timeline The Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery, was a time for growth and was a time for people to seek answers to questions about the new work. It was a time when famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Ponce de Leon and Jacques Cartier began their search for answers to these questions. For a three hundred year time period, beginning in the 1400’s, explorers took to the sea and began looking for new lands, new passageways to previously discovered lands, and for inventions that made oceanic travel easier. Here is a listing of some of the more important dates: 1430 - Infante Dom Henrique (also known as Prince Henry the Navigator) sailed to the Madeiras and Azores, and along the coast of Africa. 1469 - 1474 - Fernão Gomes - sailed along the Africa Guinea coast. 1484 - Diogo Cão - discovered the mouth of the Congo River. 1492 - 1493 Christopher Columbus ( First Voyage ) - sighted land in the Bahamas, discovered Cuba, Española, and other islands in the West Indies. 1493 - 1496 Christopher Columbus ( Second Voyage ) - sighted the island of Dominica, in the West Indies. He sailed throughout the Caribbean and uncovered many other islands. 1497 - 1497 John Cabot ( First Voyage ) - landed on Belle Island on the northern coast of Newfoundland. 1497 - 1499 Vasco de Gama - sailed by the Cape of Good Hope, and reached India. 1498 - 1500 Christopher Columbus ( Third Voyage ) - sighted Trinidad and reached the coast of South America. 1498 John Cabot ( Second Voyage ) - set sail and his four ships, and crew were lost at sea, and never heard from again. 1499 - 1500 Amerigo Vespucci - reached the coast of Brazil and explored the coast of South America. 1501 - Amerigo Vespucci - sighted and explored the coast of Brazil. 1502 - 1504 Christopher Columbus ( Fourth Voyage ) - landed and explored Martinique, Cuba, and other neighboring islands. 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon –sighted a large island, which he gave the name of Pascua Florida. 1519 - 1522 Ferdinand Magellan - discovered the Straits of Magellan and reached the Pacific Ocean. 1521 Juan Ponce de Leon - went to colonize Florida, and had seeds, and priests to convert the Indians. 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano - landed at Cape Fear, southernmost of North Carolina's three capes. 1534 Jacques Cartier (First Voyage) - set sail and made landfall at Newfoundland 1535 - 1536 Jacques Cartier (Second Voyage) – explored the area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the islands in the gulf and Canada. 1536 - Hernando de Soto - he landed near Fort Myers, Florida 1541 - 1542 Jacques Cartier (Third Voyage) - set sail with the purpose of going to colonize Canada.