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A few hundred years ago, the known physical world was a lot smaller. With the discovery of the 'new world' (and its gold deposits), many Europeans were emboldened to find out more about what was out there and wasted no time launching ships and staking claims. Here are many of the more successful.
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Gonzalo Lopez de Haro

aka: Gonzalo López
borndied
1785 ca1823
a Spanish explorer, notable for his expeditions in the Pacific Northwest in the late 18th century. In 1788 two ships were sent north to investigate Russian activity in Alaska. Haro, also a Pilot, was given command of the packet ship San Carlos. In 1790 and 1791 he was a primer piloto (first pilot) in the expedition commanded by Francisco de Eliza. Haro is re...
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John Harrison [2]

borndied
1693, Mar 241776, Mar 24
a self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker. He invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought after device for solving the problem of establishing the East-West position or longitude of a ship at sea, thus revolutionising and extending the possibility of safe long-distance sea travel in the Age of Sail. The problem was considered so important following...
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Dirk Hartog

aka: Dirck Hartog, Dierick Hartochsz
borndied
1580, Oct1621, Oct
a 17th-century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artifact to record his visit, theHartog plate. Born into a seafaring family, at the age of 30 he received his first ship's command, and spent several years engaged in successful trading ventures in the Baltic ...
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Hasekura Tsunenaga

borndied
15711622
a Japanese samurai and retainer of Date Masamune, the daimyo of Sendai. In the years 1613 through 1620, Hasekura headed a diplomatic mission to the Vatican in Rome, traveling through New Spain (arriving in Acapulco and departing from Veracruz) and visiting various ports-of-call in Europe. This historic mission is called the Keicho Embassy, and follows the Te...
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Bruno de Heceta

aka: Bruno de Heceta (Hezeta) y Dudagoitia
borndied
17431807
a Spanish Basque explorer of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Bilbao of an old Basque family, he was sent by the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, to explore the area north of Alta California in response to information that there were colonial Russian settlements there. Explored the Pacific Northwest.
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Cross-listed in Clergy

Louis Hennepin

borndied
1626, May 121705 ca
a Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollet order (French: Récollets) and an explorer of the interior of North America. In 1678, Hennepin was ordered by his provincial superior to accompany La Salle on an expedition to explore the western part of New France. Hennepin was 39 when he departed in 1679 with La Salle from Quebec City to con...
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Cross-listed in NavalWriters

William Lewis Herndon

borndied
1813, Oct 251857, Sep 12
one of the United States Navy's outstanding explorers and seamen. In 1851 he led a United States expedition to the Valley of the Amazon, and prepared a report published in 1854 and distributed widely as Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon.
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Cross-listed in Writers

Clement Hodgkinson

borndied
18181893, Sep 5
a notable English naturalist, explorer and surveyor of Australia. Hodgkinson left England in 1839 intending to become a pastoralist. After his arrival, he bought into a cattle station near Kempsey, north of Sydney. A year later, the New South Wales colonial government hired Hodgkinson to survey and explore the northeastern areas of New South Wales as far as ...
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Cornelis de Houtman

borndied
1565, Apr 21599, Sep 1
a Dutch explorer who discovered a new sea route from Europe to Indonesia and managed to begin the Dutch spice trade. At the time, the Portuguese Empire held a monopoly on the spice trade, and the voyage was a symbolic victory for the Dutch, even though the voyage itself was a disaster. Houtman was also a spy, having worked against the Portuguese by bringing ...
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Frederick de Houtman

borndied
15711627, Oct 21
a Dutch explorer who sailed along the Western coast of Australia en route to Batavia, nowadays known as Jakarta in Indonesia. He made pioneering observations of the southern stars that contributed to the creation of 12 new southern constellations.
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William Hovell

borndied
1786, Apr 261875, Nov 9
an English explorer of Australia. In 1824 Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane asked Hovell to join with Hamilton Hume to undertake the exploration of what is now southern New South Wales and Victoria in an attempt to obtain more information about any rivers that mig...
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Henry Hudson

bornactivedied
1567 ca1607-16111611
an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northwest Passage to Cathay (today's China) via a route above the Arctic Circle. Hudson explored the region around modern New York metropolitan area while looking for a western route to Asia while in the employment of...
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Timeline (6)Links (4)


Alexander von Humboldt

borndied
1769, Sep 141859, May 6
a Prussian geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of romantic philosophy. Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in Latin America, exploring and describing it for the first time from a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. B...
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Hamilton Hume

borndied
1797, Jun 191873, Apr 19
an early explorer of the present-day Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Along with William Hovell in 1824, Hume was part of an expedition that first took an overland route from Sydney to Port Phillip near the site of present-day Melbourne. Along ...
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W. Price Hunt

aka: William, Wilson
borndied
1783, Mar 201842, Apr 13
an early pioneer of the Oregon Country in the Pacific Northwest of North America. An American and an employee of John Jacob Astor, Hunt used information supplied by the Lewis and Clark Expedition to lead the portion of the Astor Expedition that traveled to O...
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