North America was a contested battleground, as explorers came to the New World. Here are the major North American explorers and their stories.

Louis Joliet

Joliet, Jolliet, Louis (1645-1700), a French-Canadian explorer. In 1673 Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette explored the Mississippi River, traveling 2,500 miles (4,000 km) by canoe.

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  • Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Lewis and Clark Expedition (May 14, 1804-September 23, 1806), an expedition sent by President Thomas Jefferson to examine the resources of the far Northwest. See more »

  • Alexander Henry

    Alexander Henry

    Henry, Alexander (1739-1824), a Canadian fur trader and explorer. He made many trips through the uncharted region that later became northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. See more »

  • Christopher Columbus

    Christopher Columbus

    Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506), an Italian navigator and explorer. (Christopher Columbus is the Latin form of his name. See more »

  • Francisco Vasquez De Coronado

    Francisco Vasquez De Coronado

    Coronado, Francisco Vasquez de (1510-1554), a Spanish explorer of the American Southwest. See more »

  • Henry Hudson

    Henry Hudson

    Hudson, Henry (?-1611), an English navigator and explorer. His exploration of the Hudson River, on a voyage sponsored by the Dutch, led to their colonization of what is now New York City. See more »

  • Robert Gray

    Robert Gray

    Gray, Robert (17551806), a United States sea captain and fur trader. In 1792. while sailing along the Pacific coast, he discovered the Columbia River and named it for his ship. See more »

  • Sir Walter Raleigh

    Sir Walter Raleigh

    Raleigh (or Ralegh), Sir Walter (1552-1618), an English soldier, seaman, politician, writer, and colonizer. See more »

  • Andrew Henry

    Andrew Henry

    Henry, Andrew (1775-1833), a United States fur trapper and explorer. Henry was born in York County, Pennsylvania, and moved to Missouri in 1800. See more »

  • Angelo Heilprin

    Angelo Heilprin

    Heilprin, Angelo (1853-1907), a United States geologist and explorer. Heilprin made field trips to the Florida Everglades, Mexico, North Africa, Alaska, and the Bermuda Islands. See more »

  • Claude J. Allouez

    Claude J. Allouez

    Allouez, Claude Jean (1622-1689), a French Jesuit missionary and an early explorer of the Lake Superior region. See more »

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