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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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Tanaka Shosuke

bornactivedied
unknown1610-1614unknown
an important Japanese technician and trader in metals from Kyoto during the beginning of the 17th century, and the first recorded Japanese to have travelled to the Americas Returning to Japan in 1611, he again went to North America in 1613, with the embassy of Hasekura Tsunenaga. In total, he accomplished two roundtrips between Japan and North America and he...
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Abel Tasman

bornactivedied
16031633-16591659, Oct 10
a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.
Timeline (4)Links (14)


Antonio Raposo Tavares

aka: António
bornactivedied
15981618-16581658
Explored Paraguay River, part of the Andes mountain range, Grande River, Mamoré River, Madeira River, Amazon River (Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia) Union of La Plata Basin to the Amazon River - circumnavigation of Brazil.
Links (3)


Cross-listed in Writers

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier

bornactivedied
16051630-16681689
a 17th-century French gem merchant and traveler. Tavernier, a private individual and merchant traveling at his own expense, covered, by his own account, 60,000 leagues in making six voyages to Persia and India between the years 1630 and 1668. In 1675, Tavernier, at the behest of his patron more
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Pedro Teixeira

bornactivedied
unknown1637-16391641, Jul 4
a Portuguese explorer who became, in 1637, the first European to travel up the entire length of the Amazon River. Teixeira was born at Cantanhede; the date of his birth is unknown. His exploits are considered remarkable even by today's standards. Because of Teixeira and other Portuguese who pushed into the depths of the Amazon, Portugal was able to obtain fa...
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Tenjiku Tokubei

bornactivedied
16121626-1630s1692 ca
a Japanese adventurer and writer of the early 17th century. He traveled to Southeast and South Asia, hence his "Tenjiku" ( East Asian name of "India") nickname. He was born in Sendo-machi, Takasago-cho, in today's Hyogo Prefecture. In 1627, Tokubei visited China, Vietnam and Siam (modern Thailand) on board a Japanese Red Seal ship. He would stay for some tim...
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David Thompson

bornactivedied
1770, Apr 301784-18431857, Feb 10
a British-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, known to some native peoples as "Koo-Koo-Sint" or "the Stargazer." Over his career he mapped over 3.9 million square kilometres of North America and for this has been described as the "greatest land geographer who ever lived." Explored Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest
Links (1)


Yermak Timofeyevich

bornactivedied
1537 ca1582-15851585, Aug 5/6
a Cossack who started the Russian exploration and conquest of Siberia, in the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Yermak’s heroic endeavors in the Russian East laid the groundwork for future Russian expansion and settlement. Soon after Yermak and his initial band set out for Siberia, merchants and peasants followed in their wake, hoping to harness some of the...
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Luis Vaez de Torres

aka: Váez
bornactivedied
1565 ca1606-1607unknown
a 16th- and 17th-century maritime explorer of a Spanish expedition noted for the first recorded European navigation of the strait which separates the continent of Australia from the island of New Guinea, and which now bears his name (Torres Strait). Explored Australasia. There are a number of documents describing the Queirós – Torres voyages still in exi...
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