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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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Cross-listed in Physicians

Elisha Kent Kane

borndied
1820, Feb 31857, Feb 16
an American explorer, and a medical officer in the United States Navy during the first half of the 19th century. He was a member of two Arctic expeditions to rescue the explorer Sir John Franklin. He was present at the discovery of Franklin's first winter camp, but he did not find out what had happened to the fatal expedition. Born in Philadelphia, Kane was ...
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Cross-listed in MilitaryGovernance

Stephen W. Kearny

aka: Kearney
borndied
1794, Aug 301848, Oct 31
In 1812 Kearny was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the War of 1812 in the 13th Infantry Regiment. After the war, he chose to remain in the US Army. Kearny was promoted to captain on April 1, 1813; brevet major in 1823; major, 1829; and lieutenant colonel, 1833. He was assigned to the western frontier under command of Gen. Henry Atkinson, and in 1819 he...
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Johann Karl Ehrenfried Kegel

bornactivedied
1784, Oct 31840s1863, Jun 25
a German agronomist and explorer of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In 1841 he was sent by the Russian government to Kamchatka to investigate possibilities of agriculture and mining in that region. He traveled through Siberia, embarked in Okhotsk, only to arrive shipwrecked in Kamchatka.
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Edmund Kennedy

bornactivedied
1818, Sep 51845-18481848, Dec
an explorer in Australia in the mid nineteenth century. He was the Assistant-Surveyor of New South Wales, working with Sir Thomas Mitchell. Kennedy explored the interior of Queensland and northern New South Wales, including the Thomson River, the Barcoo River, Cooper Creek, and Cape York Peninsula.
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Cross-listed in PiratesNaval

Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Tremarec

aka: Kerguelen-Trémarec
borndied
1734, Feb 131797, Mar 3
a French explorer and naval officer. He was born in Landudal, Brittany. During the Seven Years' War, Kerguelen-Trémarec was a privateer, but without much success. In 1767 he sailed near Rockall, or Rokol. Although he may not have approached within sight of it, or even within 150 miles, he appears to have had good information regarding it. His charted positi...
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Cross-listed in ClergyCartographers

Ferdinand Konscak

aka: Konšcak
bornactivedied
1703, Dec 21746-17531759, Sep 10
a Jesuit missionary, explorer, and cartographer. In 1729, Konscak left for Cádiz in Spain, then went to North America, where he was active as a missionary on New Spain's Baja California Peninsula (today part of Mexico), from 1732 to the end of his life.
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Otto von Kotzebue

bornactivedied
1787, Dec 301815-18461846, Feb 15
a Baltic German navigator in Russian service. Kotzebue set out on July 30, 1815 to find a passage across the Arctic Ocean and explore the less-known parts of Oceania. Proceeding via Cape Horn, he discovered the Romanzov Islands, Rurik Islands and Krusenstern Islands (today Tikehau), then made for Kamchatka, and in the middle of July proceeded northward, coas...
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Stepan Krasheninnikov

borndied
1711, Oct 311755, Feb 25
a Russian explorer of Siberia, naturalist and geographer who gave the first full description of Kamchatka in the early 18th century. He was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1745. The Krasheninnikov Volcano on Kamchatka is named in his honour.
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Cross-listed in Naval

Adam Johann von Krusenstern

bornactivedied
1770, Nov 191793-18061846, Aug 24
a Baltic German admiral and explorer, who led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe. After publishing a paper pointing out the advantages of direct communication by sea between Russia and China by passing Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America and the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa, he was appointed by Czar Alexander I to make...
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