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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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Cristovao Jacques

aka: Cristóvão, Cristóvão Valjaques
bornactivedied
1480 ca1500s-1520s1530+
a Portuguese noble of Aragonese descent. In 1516, in command of two caravels, he was in charge of patrolling the coast of Brazil in order to discourage incursions by French pirates. In November of that year he landed in a large bay, which he named Baía de Todos os Santos (Bay of all Saints). In Río de la Plata he fought and imprisoned many French. He trave...
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Cross-listed in Governance

Willem Janszoon

aka: Jansz
bornactivedied
1570 ca1598-1620s1630
a Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Netherlands East Indies in the periods 1603–11 and 1612–16, including as governor of Fort Henricus on the island of Solor. He is the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia during his voyage of 1605–06. Explored Australia (Queensland)
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Cross-listed in Writers

Anthony Jenkinson

bornactivedied
15291550s-1570s1610/1611
one of the first Britons to explore Muscovy and present day Russia. Jenkinson was a traveller and explorer on behalf of the Muscovy Company and the English crown. He also met Ivan the Terrible several times during his trips to Moscow and Russia. He detailed the accounts of his travel through several written works over his life. Explored Russia and Persia.
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Cross-listed in Writers

John R. Jewitt

borndied
1783, May 211821, Jan 7
an armourer who entered the historical record with his memoirs about the 28 months he spent as a captive of Maquinna of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) people on the Pacific Northwest Coast of what is now Canada. In 1802, an American captain, John Salter, invited him to sign on as an armourer to a round-the-world trip on his ship the Boston, out of Boston, Mass...
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Louis Jolliet

bornactivedied
1645, Sep 211670s-1690s1700+
a French Canadian explorer known for his discoveries in North America. Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first non-Natives to explore and map the Mississippi River in 1673.
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