Cabot explored most of the eastern coastline of Canada and northeastern parts of the United States.
John Cabot Disappointed by not finding the Northwest passage, Cabot decided to do a return voyage to keep looking. A Spanish envoy had reported seeing Cabot’s fleet caught in a storm. The fleet was never seen again and it is assumed that they were lost at sea or sunk during a storm.
Amerigo Vespucci Italian navigator, cartographer and explorer, Vespucci was commissioned by both Spain and Portugal to further explore and survey the “Indies”. His voyages took him to Hispanola and down the coast of South America into what is now Brazil.
Amerigo Vespucci During this time, it was believed that only 3 continents existed on the Earth; Europe, Africa and Asia. The explorers believed they had reached the very eastern islands of Asia. In a letter Vespucci wrote, he explained that the land masses he explored were much larger than anticipated and were much different than the ones described by Marco Polo. He therefore concluded that this land was not Asia and must be a “New World”, a previously unknown, 4 th continent. Following these claims, many people credited him by calling the “New World” America.
Juan Ponce de Leon Ponce de Leon was a Spanish soldier that looked for adventure abroad. He volunteered and sailed with Christopher Columbus on his 2 nd voyage. In the early 1500’s, Ponce de Leon was stationed on Hispanola where he crushed a rebellion and restored order to the colony. Impressed, the governor appointed Ponce de Leon as the new governor of a territory called Puerto Rico.
Juan Ponce de Leon Rumors of lands to the northwest of Hispanola had reached Spain. Wanting to further exploration and discovery of Christopher Columbus, King Ferdinand of Spain commissioned Ponce de Leon to venture forth. On Easter in 1513, Ponce de Leon sighted land, which he thought was another island. He named it La Florida (Land of Flowers, and for the Easter festival Pascua Florida.) He is the first explorer to actually set foot on the continent of North America.
Did You know? Ponce de Leon is synonymous with the Fountain of Youth. Legends of the vitality-restoring waters were told long before his time. As the story goes, it was said that Ponce de Leon was in search of the Fountain of Youth; however, this is unlikely because the search for gold and expansion of the Spanish Empire were far more important than a search for a legend. In fact, these stories of him searching for the fountain weren’t associated with Ponce de Leon till after his death in 1521.
Ferdinand Magellan Inspired by a friend who was both astrologer and cartographer, Magellan determined he could circumnavigate the globe.. Spurned by his native Portugal, he gained funding and patronage from Spain. He set out to accomplish Columbus’ goal, to reach the Indies and China by sailing West
Magellan’s Voyage Although the voyage is attributed to Magellan, he did not succeed in the circumnavigating globe. He was killed on the island of Mactan.
Finding many places along the coast that looked like sea passages that were just bays and inlets
Running out of food and supplies. He thought he had supplies for two years. His suppliers in Spain fraudulently gave him six months worth. (He and the crew ate fresh fish and game, rats and wormy biscuits, even, oxhide bindings, and drank water contaminated with rat urine.
Combating the mutiny of three out of his five ships. To quell it, he had to kill the captain of one of the ships, then block passage of the other two.
Meeting greedy natives who swarmed over his ships and took everything that wasn’t nailed down.
Navigating through one of the most treacherous passages of rock-lined water in the world: the strait named for him.
Magellan and his crew suffered all of the following as he searched for a western sea passage around South America :
Magellan’s Death On an island in the Philippines, a native chieftain pretended to be Christian to enlist Magellan’s aid to fight a neighboring chieftain. Once on the island, Magellan was attacked by the chief and his men. He was repeatedly wounded by natives armed with poisoned arrows, spears and scimitars. He could have retreated and saved himself, but covered his fleeing men, fighting while the rest rowed back to the ships.