Geography & History



1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendars
Travel Calendars

Star Trek - Ships of the Line Calendars
Star Trek - Ships of the Line Calendars

Dora the Explorer Calendar
Dora the Explorer Calendars


Around the World in a Hundred Years
Around the World
in a Hundred Years:
From Henry the Navigator
to Magellan

Nat'l Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers
Nat'l Geographic
World Atlas
for Young Explorers

Women of Discovery
Women of Discovery:
A Celebration of
Intrepid Women Who
Explored the World

As Told at the Explorers Club
As Told at
the Explorers Club:
More than Fifty Gripping Tales of Adventure

Explorers South America
Explorers of
South America

Nat'l Geographic's Beyond 2000
Nat'l Geographic's
Beyond 2000

Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Notable & Famous Explorers Posters and Prints, pg 5/8
for social studies teachers and home schoolers, theme decor in office.

history > Great Explorers List | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 < social studies

Explorers ~

Captain William Dampier
Bartholomew Diaz
Sir Francis Drake
Jules Dumont d'Urville

Amelia Earhart
Erik the Red
Leif Erikson
John Edward Eyre

Matthew Flinders
Sir John Franklin
John C. Fremont
Sir Martin Frobisher
Vasco de Gama
Jean François de Galaup,
comte de La Pérouse

Humphrey Gilbert
Christoper Gist

William Dampier, Giclee Print
Portrait of
William Dampier,
Giclee Print

William Dampier
b. 1651; England
d. March 1715; London

William Dampier was an English sea captain, privateer, observer of nature, and author. He was the first person to circumnavigate the world twice, and went on to circumnavigate a third time.

Dampier is an important name in Panama and Australian history. He crossed the isthmus at Darién in Panama to raid and capture Spanish shipping on the Pacific coast - it was his reports of the Darien region of Panama that prompted speculators in Scotland to invest 25% of Scottish wealth in colonizing the area and ending up bankrupting Scotland. Dampier also wrote the first known descriptions of the flora and fauna of Australia; his careful observations of currents, coastlines and nature influenced Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt.

Dampier marooned Alexander Selkirk who was the inspiration of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.

A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier

Bartholomew Diaz Portuguese Navigator Sails to the Cape, Giclee Print
Bartholomew Diaz Portuguese Navigator Sails to the Cape,
Giclee Print

Bartholomew Diaz
b. c. 1450; Lisbon, Portugal
d. c. 1500; off the Cape of Good Hope

In 1488 Portugese explorer Bartholomew Diaz became the first European known to have sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa, since ancient times; he also accompanied Pedro Álvares Cabral on the voyage that resulted in the discovery of Brazil in 1500.

India & Portugal: Cultural Interactions

Portrait of Sir Francis Drake, Giclee Print
Portrait of
Sir Francis Drake,
Giclee Print

Sir Francis Drake
b. c 1540; England
d. 1-28-1596; Puerto Rico, dysentery after unsuccessful attack on the Spanish.

Sir Francis Drake, English privateer, navigator, slave trader, and politician who, as he circumnavigated the globe (1577-1580) on his ship the “Golden Hind”, also looted and burned Spanish shipping along the west coast of the Americas, going as far north possibly as Oregon. He also sailed to the New World in 1585 sacking and looting Santo Domingo, Cartagena, and Saint Augustine in Spanish Florida.

Due to his exploits he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I and was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. Drake died of dysentery after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1596, and was buried in Panama.

Dumont d'Urville Discovers "Adelie Land" Which He Named after His Wife, Giclee Print
Dumont d'Urville,
Giclee Print

Jules Dumont d'Urville
b. 5-23-1790; France
d. 5-8-1842; France, train accident

French naval officer Jules Dumont d'Urville was an explorer of the south and western Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica where the current French research station is named Dumont d'Urville Station. He also was responsible for the French acquiring a newly unearthed “Venus de Milo” (displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris) on an early sailing venture in 1819.

Amelia Earhart at Hanworth after the First Woman's Atlantic Flight W-E, Giclee Print
Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart
b. 7-24-1898; Atchison, KS
missing since 7-2-1937, western Pacific Ocean

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, across the US nonstop, fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland, California.

• more Amelia Earhart posters

Eric the Red Sails to Greenland 983, Giclee Print
Eric the Red Sails
to Greenland 983,
Giclee Print

Erik the Red
b. c. 950; Norway
d. c. 1000

Erik the Red founded the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. The settlement of Brattahlid lasted till the 15th century when the Little Ice Age conditions made life too difficult.

The Discovery of America by Leif Eriksson, Giclee Print
The Discovery of America
by Leif Eriksson,
Giclee Print

Leif Eriksson
b. c. 970; Iceland
d. c. 1020

Leif Eriksson, the son of Erik the Red, was an Icelandic explorer who was the first European land in North America, a land he called Vinland. L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada has been excavated by archeologists.

Greenlander's Saga

Edward John Eyre, Australian Explorer and Governor of Jamaica, Giclee Print
Edward John Eyre,
Giclee Print

John Edward Eyre
b. 8-5-1815; England
d. 11-30-1901; England

John Edward Eyre, an English born explorer of Australia, was also controversial bureaucrat who served as Govenor of Jamaica among other British holdings. Numerous places in Australia carry Eyre's name such as Lake Eyre.

Matthew Flinders, Explorer and Navigator in the Pacific, Giclee Print
Matthew Flinders,
Explorer and Navigator
in the Pacific,
Giclee Print

Matthew Flinders
b. 3-16-1774; England
d. 7-19-1814; England

Captain Matthew Flinders, RN, was an accomplished navigator and cartographer whose naval career spanned just over twenty years. Flinders sailed with Captain William Bligh, circumnavigated Australia and encouraged the use of that name for the continent, survived shipwreck only to be imprisoned as a spy, identified and corrected the compass reading effected by the iron components and equipment on board wooden ships, and wrote the seminal work on Australian exploration A Voyage To Terra Australis.

Terra Australis: Matthew Flinders' great adventures in the circumnavigation of Australia

Lieutenant John Franklin on His First Expedition: The Trent Among Ice Floes, Giclee Print
Sir John Franklin
Giclee Print

Sir John Franklin
b. 4-15-1786; Lincolnshire, England
d. 6-11-1847; near King William Island, Canada

Sir John Franklin, British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer, mapped almost two thirds of the northern coastline of North America. He died while attempting to chart and navigate the Canadian Arctic for a Northwest Passage; his entire crew then perished of exposure and starvation when they abandoned the icebound ships in desperation. Franklin was the nephew of Matthew Flinders and the uncle of Emily Tennyson, wife of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition

John Charles Fremont American Explorer, Giclee Print
John Charles Fremont
American Explorer,
Giclee Print

John C. Fremont
b. 1-21-1813; Savannah, Georgia
d. 7-13-1890; NYC

John C. Fremont, known as “The Pathfinder”, was a military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of US President (and the first Presidential candidate of a major party to run on a platform in opposition to slavery). He was married to Jessie Benton, daughter of Missouri senator, Thomas Hart Benton. His chief guide was “Kit” Carson.

Pathfinder: John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire

Portrait of Sir Martin Frobisher, Giclee Print
Portrait of
Sir Martin Frobisher,
Giclee Print

Sir Martin Frobisher
b. c. 1535; Yorkshire, England
d. 11-15-1594; Plymouth, England, of a wound received in action.

Sir Martin Frobisher made his first voyage to Guinea, 1554; a voyage in search of a Northwest Passage, 1576; sailed to the same region in search of gold, of which he brought home 200 tons of iron pyrite, 1577; landed in Greenland, 1578; Vice-Admiral in Drake's expedition to the West Indies, 1585; commanded a ship against the Spanish Armada and was Knighted, 1588.

Elizabethan Hero: The Life of Sir Martin Frobisher

Islanders and Monuments of Easter Island, from the “Atlas de Voyage de la Perouse”, 1785-88, Giclee Print
Jean-Francois de Galaup
de la Perouse
Giclee Print

Jean-François de Galaup
b. 8-23-1741; France
d. c 1788; Oceania

Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, a French Navy officer, was asked by King Louis XVI to chart the globe in order to open new maritime routes. The expedition into the Pacific disappeared after La Perouse was able to send his charts and journals on to France saying that he expected to return in December of 1788. In May of 2005 a wreck off the Solomon Islands was confirmed as La Boussole, one of two expedition ships; fellow Frenchman Dumont d'Urville located the general area of the sinkings on one of his explorations.

La Perouse's voyage was notable for the number of scientists on board, that La Pérouse observed the only historical eruption of Mount Shasta on September 7, 1786, and that a sixteen year old Paris military academy student by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte did not make the final list for the crew.

Pacific Explorer: The Life of Jean-Francois de La Perouse

Great Explorers - Vasco da Gama Wall Poster
Great Explorers -
Vasco da Gama
Wall Poster

Vasco da Gama
b. c. 1469; Portugal
d. c. 1524: India

Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama led the expedition that opened the first European sea route to India. On his voyages, he explored the coasts of Africa and India. He helped Portugal extablish colonies in India and the Spice Islands, near present-day Indonesia. Da Gama paved the way, partly by force, for Portugal to become the leading trader in the products of the Orient and one of the greatest sea powers of the 16th century.

In the 15th century, Arab Muslims controlled all the known overland and sea routes to Asia, and these routes were closed to Europeans. The Portuguese king, Manuel I, was determined to find a water route that would give his country access to the spices of the East. King Manuel selected Vasco da Gama, a gentleman of the royal court, to command Portugal's first expedition to India. Da Gama sailed south and then east, rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. It took ten months for his fleet to sail from Lisbon, Portugal, to Calicut, India, and another year to sail home. The voyages were marked by long periods of calm followed by violent storms. Food ran low, and the men became ill. Several times when the ships stopped for food or water they were attacked by African natives or by Muslims. On this expedition, almost two-thirds of da Gama's 170 men died. Even after he finally reached Calicut, da Gama was unable to conclude a trade agreement because of the poor quality of the trade goods he carried. Da Gama did manage to take some spices and other goods back to Portugal. Although a later Portuguese expedition succeeded in getting a trade agreement with the Indians, the Portuguese still faced violent opposition from the Arab traders.

On his secong voyage to india, da Gama had order to punish the Africans and Indians who had been hostile to the Portuguese, destroy Arab shipping, and get control of the spice trade. He attacked along the coasts of eastern Africa and western India, forcing some of the settlements there to form alliances with Portugal. He returned to Lisbon with a rich cargo acquired through trade and by plundering Muslim ships. Da Gama helped the Portuguese take control of the spice trade. But within a few years, the Portuguese in India became corrupt and weak. Da Gama sailed to India again, this time to discipline the Portuguese. He served as a representative of the Portuguese king for only a short time before he fell ill and died.

Portrait of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Giclee Print
Portrait of
Sir Humphrey Gilbert,
Giclee Print

Sir Humphrey Gilbert
b. c. 1537; England
d. 9-9-1583; at sea

Sir Humphrey Gilbert, adventurer and explorer, was a half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. He is considered to have claimed the first English property in North America.

Christopher Gist Exploring the Wilderness of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, Giclee Print
Christopher Gist Exploring
the Wilderness of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Kentucky,
Giclee Print

Christopher Gist
b. 1706; Baltimore, MD
d. 1759; Virginia, South Carolina or Georgia (possibly smallpox)

Christopher Gist, one of the first white explorers of the Ohio Country, was credited with providing the first detailed description of the Ohio Country to Great Britain and her colonists. Gist also accompanied George Washington on missions in the Ohio Country.

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