Explorers

Maps                     Spanish Explorers             English Explorers             French Explorers

Date Explorer Nationality Achievement
Around 1000 Leif Ericson Norse First European to reach North American Mainland
1271-1295 Marco Polo Italian Traveled to the Far East, to what was known then as Cathay or China-Made men want to travel there through his book
1394-1460 Prince Henry Portuguese Created navigation school in Sagres, Portugal Explored the western African coastline
1487-1488 Bartholomeu Dias Portuguese First European to round the Cape of Good Hope
1492-1504 Christopher Columbus Italian Made 4 voyages to West Indies and Caribbean Islands
1497-1503 Amerigo Vespucci Italian Sailed to West Indies and South America
1497-1498 John Cabot Italian Explored the shores of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Labrador
1498 Vasco Da Gama Portuguese First to travel to West Indies around Africa
1513 Vasco de Balboa Spanish Led expedition across Panama and found the Pacific Ocean
1513 Juan Ponce de Leon Spanish Explored Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth
1520-1521 Ferdinand Magellan Portuguese Commanded first globe circling voyage
1519-1521 Hernando Cortez Spanish Conquered Aztecs in Mexico
1523 Giovanni da Verranzano Italian Searched for a Northwest Passage
1523-1535 Francisco Pizarro Spanish Conquered Peru
1534-1542 Jacques Cartier French Traveled St. Lawrence River
1539-1541 Hernando De Soto Spanish Explored American Southeast-Discovered the Mississippi River
1540-1542 Francisco Vazquez de Coronado Spanish Explored American Southwest
1577-1580 Sir Frances Drake English First English to sail around the world-Defeated the Spanish Armada- Claimed California for England
1603-1616 Samuel de Champlain French Explored eastern coast of North America and the coast of the St. Lawrence River to Lake Huron-Reached Lake Champlain
1609-1611 Henry Hudson English Explored Hudson Bay, Hudson River, and Hudson Strait
1672 Father Marquette and Louis Joliet French Explored Northern  Mississippi River
1682 Robert LaSalle French Traveled to the mouth of the Mississippi River and claimed it for France