Famous explorers.The anniversary of Lewis and Clark's trailblazing expedition is reason to delve into the history of North American exploration. There's the epic and controversial story of Christopher Columbus ,as well as lesser-known stories of ill repute, colonial cruelty and peace.
Hernando de Soto
De Soto was the first European known to cross this mighty river ,which has an ironic tie to his death. He was an ambitious man in search of a certain mineral and a far passage.
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Coronado was a Spaniard who was tricked by Native Americans in his quest for the Seven Cities of Gold. Coronado married a Mexican aristocrat for great gain, but he died in obscurity.
Giovanni da Verrazano
Verrazano ,whose origins are disputed, explored the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and appropriately named modern-day New York. Verrazano was overshadowed by another famous explorer.
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Native Americans killed many men of the Panfilo de Narváez expedition. The few who survived resourcefully reached the Island of Doom and became faith healers.
Sir Francis Drake
Drake was a jack-of-all-trades and a pirate. He was an English hero but a Spanish enemy, who claimed a North American mass for Great Britain.
Don Juan de Oñate
Oñate, one of the richest men in his country, explored what became New Mexico. He was reprimanded for cruel treatment and remembered as the last conquistador.
Jacques Marquette & Louis Jolliet
Frenchmen Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to explore up the Mississippi River. Marquette was a holy man.
Robert de La Salle
La Salle was a religious man who found himself adrift and destitute before following his brother to North America .He was given a seigneurie and helped colonize Louisiana, while befriending indigenous people.
Juan Bautista de Anza
De Anza had a major influence on the development of a large swath of the United States (which region?) He defeated one tribe and made an alliance with another
Vancouver trailblazed the Pacific Northwest for Britain. He nearly collided with another British explorer.
Lewis & Clark
A U.S. president hired Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to find a key trade route. Their remarkable journey serendipitously advanced science.