Explorers Famous People

Identify famous explorers

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John Cabot
Italian explorer who led the English expedition in 1497 that discovered the mainland of North America and explored the coast from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland (1st of Britain's claims to Canada (1450-1498)
Sebastian Cabot
Italian, son of John Cabot, led an English expedition in search of the Northwest Passage and a Spanish expedition that explored the La Plata region of Brazil(1526-1530)
Juan Ponce de Leon
Spanish Explorer; in 1513 and in 1521, he explored Florida, thinking it was an island. Looking for gold and the "fountain of youth", he failed in his search for the fountain of youth but established Florida as territory for the Spanish, before being killed by a Native American arrow.
Christopher Columbus
An Italian navigator who was funded by the Spanish Government to find a passage to the Far East. He is given credit for discovering the "New World," even though at his death he believed he had made it to India. He made four voyages to the "New World." The first sighting of land was on October 12, 1492, and three other journies until the time of his death in 1503.
Henry Hudson
Discovered what today is known as the Hudson River. Sailed for the Dutch even though he was originally from England. He was looking for a northwest passage through North America.
Jaques Cartier
The French monarchy sent him to North America to find northwest passage before the English. He claimed the St Lawrence River and eastern Canada for France.
Amerigo Vespucci
The Italian sailor who corrected Columbus's mistake, acknowledging the coasts of America as a new world. America is named after him., the first man to realize that the Americas were a "New World"
Marco Polo
Venetian merchant and traveler. His accounts of his travels to China offered Europeans a firsthand view of Asian lands and stimulated interest in Asian trade
Hernando de Soto
Spanish Conquistador; explored in 1540's from Florida west to the Mississippi with six hundred men in search of gold; discovered the Mississippi, a vital North American river., .
Samuel de Champlain
French explorer who founded Quebec, the first permanent French settlement in North America, Cartographer, explorer, governor of New France. The major role Champlain played in the St Lawrence River area earned him the title of "Father of New France."
Jacques Marquette
French missionary who accompanied Louis Joliet in exploring the upper Mississippi River valley (1637-1675)
Robert La Salle
Frenchman who followed the Mississippi River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, claiming the region for France and naming it Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV
Louis Jolliet
1645-1700 French fur trader and explorer who accompanied Jacques Marquette on an exploration of the Mississippi River in 1673.,but did not find a Northwest Passage; sailed as far south as the Quapaw Village
Bartolomeu Dias
Portuguese explorer who in 1488 led the first expedition to sail around the southern tip of Africa from the Atlantic and sight the Indian Ocean.Wanted to Christianize the undiscovered world.
Vasco da Gama
Portuguese explorer. In 1497-1498 he led the first naval expedition from Europe to sail to India, opening an important commercial sea route.
Pedro Cabral
Portuguese leader of an expedition to India; blown off course in 1500 and landed in Brazil
Ferdinand Magellan
Portuguese navigator who led the Spanish expedition of 1519-1522 that was the first to sail around the world., 1519, Sailed W around South America to reach Asia - first to sail around the world -voyage took 3 years,1st expedition to circumnavigate the globe, Proved world was round and much bigger than previously thought
Hernando Cortes
Spanish conquistador (explorer) who the conquered Aztecs
Francisco Pizzaro
Spanish conquistador who conquered the Incas
Sir Francis Drake
English explorer and admiral who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and who helped to defeat the Spanish Armada (1540-1596), English explorer/pirate who circumnavigated the globe from 1577 to 1580 and was sent by Queen Elizabeth I to raid Spanish ships/settlements for gold
Vasco Nunez de Balboa
(1475-1519), Spanish explorer who became the first European to see the Pacific Ocean in 1510 while exploring Panama
Prince Henry the Navigator
Portuguese explorer and navigator who sent the first seaborne expedition to Asia and started a school in Europe. (1394-1460), (1394-1460) Prince of Portugal who established an observatory and school of navigation at Sagres and directed voyages that spurred the growth of Portugal's colonial empire.
Francisco Vasquez
A Spanish soldier and commander; in 1540, he led an expedition north from Mexico into Arizona; he was searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, but only found Adobe pueblos., conqured Pueblo people. Group split up; one of his 1rst European to see Grand Canyon. Traveled to present day Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas
`Giovanni de Verranzo
..., Explored the east coast of North America including New York Harbor, An Italian explorer dispatched by the French king in 1524 to probe the eastern seaboard of U.S.