Explorers of the New World


This Site:

Discovery of America

The Explorers

Post Columbian Exploration

Thirteen Original Colonies

Colonization of America

Colonial Life

Colonial Days and Ways

Independence Movement

The Patriots

Prelude to War

Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Battles

Overview of Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Timeline


Civil War

American Flag

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


World Map 1500's

Map of the World in the 1500's

The story of exploration of the New World is a story of courage, discovery, and often times disaster. The men who led the expeditions to the New World faced the unknown of uncharted waters, the threat of mutinous crews, and often peculiar natives who might offer friendship, or might roast and eat the uninvited visitor. These men were sometimes motivated by spreading the Gospel to new lands, and sometimes motivated by the hopes of riches, power or eternal youth. Motivated by greed, or the noblest of ambitions, the explorers more often than not met with disappointment and disaster.

Christopher Columbus was rejected by the ungrateful monarch, Ferdinand, and he died in poverty and obscurity in 1506. John Cabot, credited with discovering the North American continent, died on a voyage to the continent in 1498. Ponce de Leon, remembered as the discoverer of Florida, set out in search of the Fountain of Youth, but instead found an untimely death at the hands of the natives of Florida. On an expedition to conquer Florida, Fernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi river while searching for gold. He died of a fever on the shores of the river. Magellan, on the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe, was killed by natives on the Philippine Islands. Henry Hudson, after discovering Hudson Bay, was cut adrift in small raft in icy waters by a mutinous crew. He was never heard from again. La Salle, who discovered Texas, was murdered by mutinous colonists as he tried to establish a colony in Texas. Sir Walter Raleigh, famous for his efforts in colonizing Virginia, was beheaded by an ungrateful monarch in England. Few of the explorers found the riches they sought, but they did discover vast new lands, and planted the seeds of the colonies.

Exploration of the New World is a fascinating story that yields insight into both the best and worst of mankind. Exploration can best be understood by studying the stories of the individual explorers and navigators. Below we provide resources on the key men who founded and helped settle the New World.




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