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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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John Rae

bornactivedied
1813, Sep 301833-18641893, Jul 22
a Scottish doctor who explored parts of Northern Canada, found the final portion of the Northwest Passage (Rae Strait, named after him) and reported the fate of the Franklin Expedition. In 1846–47 he explored the Gulf of Boothia northwest of Hudson Bay. In 1848-51 he explored the Arctic coast near Victoria Island. In 1854 he went from Boothia to the Arctic...
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Cross-listed in PiratesWriters

Sir Walter Raleigh

bornactivedied
1554 ca1569-16181618, Oct 29
an English landed gentleman, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England. In 1594, Raleigh heard of a "City of Gold" in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of "El Dorado". In 1616, he le...
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Timeline (5)Links (2)


Cross-listed in NavalGovernance

Jean Ribault

aka: Ribaut
borndied
15201565, Oct 12
a French naval officer, navigator, and a colonizer of what would become the southeastern United States. He was a major figure in the French attempts to colonize Florida. A Huguenot and officer under Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, Ribault led an expedition to the New World in 1562 that founded the outpost of Charlesfort on Parris Island in present-day South Caro...
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Matteo Ricci

bornactivedied
1552, Oct 61577-16101610, May 11
an Italian Jesuit priest and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions. His 1602 map of the world in Chinese characters introduced the findings of European exploration to East Asia. Within Roman Catholicism, he is considered a Servant of God. Explored China.
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Cross-listed in Military

James Robertson

borndied
1742, Jun 281814, Sep 1
an American explorer, soldier and Indian agent, and one of the founding fathers of the State of Tennessee. An early companion of explorer Daniel Boone, Robertson helped establish the Watauga Association in the early 1770s, and helped defend Fort Watauga from an ...
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Diogo Rodrigues

bornactivedied
1495 ca1507-15771577, Apr 21
a Portuguese explorer of the Indian Ocean who sailed as an ordinary helmsman under the command of D. Pedro Mascarenhas around Goa. They sailed from the Cape of Good Hope eastward into little-known waters of the newly discovered route to Gôa. It was after him that the island of Rodrigues wasis named between 4 and 9 February 1528 after discovering it during h...
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Cross-listed in MilitaryGovernanceWriters

Robert Rogers

bornactivedied
1731, Nov 71746-17791795, May 18
an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. During the French and Indian War, Rogers raised and commanded the famous Rogers' Rangers, trained for raiding and close combat behind enemy lines. His journals and A Concise Account of North America were published. Immediate...
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Jacob Roggeveen

bornactivedied
1659, Feb 11721-17231729, Jan 31
a Dutch explorer who was sent to find Terra Australis, but he instead came across Easter Island. Jacob Roggeveen also encountered Bora Bora and Maupiti of the Society Islands, Samoa. He planned the expedition along with his brother Jan Roggeveen, who stayed in the Netherlands. Explored the South Pacific (in particular, Easter Island).
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Writers

James Rosier

borndied
15731609
an English explorer who is notable for his account of a 1605 expedition to America in which describes native peoples and fauna of northern New England. He describes a journey along a "great river", but the identity of the river is not known for certain. Rosier was among those who sailed to present-day Maine with Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. there were three ...
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Cross-listed in Naval

James Clark Ross

bornactivedied
1800, Apr 151818-18491862, Apr 3
a British naval officer and explorer remembered today for his exploration of the Arctic (in the HMS Cove) with his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir William Parry and, in particular, his own expedition to Antarctica. From 1835–39, except for his voyage with the Cove, he conducted a magnetic survey of Great Britain with Edward Sabine.
Timeline (3)Links (1)

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