Browse "Explorers"

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Alejandro Malaspina

Alejandro Malaspina, explorer (b at Mulazzo, Italy 5 Nov 1754; d at Pontremoli, Italy 9 Apr 1810). Born to an illustrious but impoverished family, Malaspina entered the Spanish naval service. In 1784 he sailed around the world in the frigate Astrea.

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Anthony Henday

Henday, Anthony, explorer (probably b on the Isle of Wight, Eng; fl 1750-62). Henday travelled farther into western Canada than any white person had before him, and his journal contains important glimpses of how the indigenous population lived at that time.

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Arthur Jackman

Arthur Jackman, mariner, nicknamed "Viking Arthur" (b at Renews, Nfld 1843; d at St John's 31 Jan 1907). He commanded his first sealing steamer, Hawk, to the ice fields in 1872. His other vessels, in later years, included Aurora, Falcon, Terra Nova and Eagle.

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Bjarni Herjolfsson

Bjarni Herjolfsson, Norse explorer (dates of birth and death unknown; lived in the 10th century). Herjolfsson was likely the first European to sight the east coast of North America. While sailing from Iceland to Greenland in 986 CE, Herjolfsson sighted lands that were later determined to be Baffin Island, Labrador and Newfoundland. Although Herjolfsson never set foot in North America, Leif Ericsson later retraced his voyage, establishing a settlement at what he called Vinland.

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Christopher Middleton

Christopher Middleton, Hudson's Bay Co captain, naval officer, explorer (b at Newton Bewley, Eng late 17th century; d 12 Feb 1770). Middleton served on PRIVATEERING ships during Queen Anne's War 1701-13 and joined the HBC in 1721 as second mate on a voyage from England to York Factory.

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Daniel Greysolon Dulhut

Daniel Greysolon Dulhut, coureur de bois, fur trader, explorer (b at St-Germain-Laval, France c 1639; d at Montréal 25 Feb 1710). Dulhut helped extend the French trading empire around the Upper Great Lakes.

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David Thompson

David Thompson, explorer, cartographer (born 30 April 1770 in London, England; died 10 February 1857 in Longueuil, Canada East).

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Eenoolooapik

Eenoolooapik, also known as Bobbie, Inuk traveller, guide (born at Qimisuk, Cumberland Sound, NWT 1820?; died at Cumberland Sound 1847), brother of Tookoolito. He travelled to Britain in 1839 with whaling captain William Penny, who had hoped to establish a wintering base for whalers in Cumberland Sound.

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Elisha Kent Kane

Elisha Kent Kane, explorer, physician, naval officer (b at Philadelphia, Pa 3 Feb 1820; d at Havana, Cuba 16 Feb 1857). A graduate of University of Pennsylvania medical school, he travelled widely in the Far East.

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Erik the Red

Erik the Red (Eiríkr rauða in Old Norse and Eiríkur rauði in modern Icelandic, a.k.a. Erik Thorvaldsson), colonizer, explorer, chief (born in the Jæren district in Norway; died c. 1000 CE at Brattahlid, Greenland). An Icelandic settler of modest means who was exiled for his involvement in a violent dispute, Erik the Red rose in status as he explored Greenland and founded the first Norse settlement there. One of his sons, Leif Eriksson, led some of the first European explorations of the east coast of North America, including regions that are now part of Arctic and Atlantic Canada.

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Franklin Search

The disappearance in 1845 of Sir John Franklin and his crew in the Canadian Arctic set off the greatest rescue operation in the history of exploration.

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François Dollier de Casson

François Dollier de Casson, explorer, superior of the Sulpicians in New France (1670-74, 1678-1701), seigneur of Montréal, vicar general, historian (b in the château of Casson-sur-l'Erdre in Lower Brittany 1636; d at Montréal 27 Sept 1701).

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George Vancouver

George Vancouver, naval officer, explorer (b at King's Lynn, Eng 22 June 1757; d at Petersham, London, Eng 12 May 1798). Vancouver was with James COOK on his expeditions to the South Seas (1772-75) and the NORTHWEST COAST

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Giovanni da Verrazzano

Giovanni da Verrazzano, explorer (born in or near Florence circa 1485; died in the West Indies circa 1528). Verrazzano explored North America’s eastern coastline on behalf of France, while searching for a westward route to China. His explorations demonstrated to Europeans that the coast from Florida to Cape Breton was continuous. He also provided Europeans with the first ethnographic account of Indigenous people north of Mexico.