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Martin Frobisher (c.1535/1539-1594)
  • Frobisher, an English seaman, made three voyages looking for the Northwest Passage in the years 1576-78. (More)

    John Davis (1550-1605)
  • An English explorer, Davis, during the years 1585-7 charted long stretches of Greenland, Baffin, and Labrador coasts. Further his description of the Eskimos is one of the earliest. (More)

    Henry Hudson (b.c.1565-1611)
  • While more noted for his discovery of the Hudson River (New York), he is equally noted for the European discovery of a large, far northeastern bay of saltwater, with a surface area of 470,000 square miles. (More)

    William Baffin (1584-1622)
  • The discover of Baffin Island and Baffin Bay. (More)

    Thomas Button (?-1634)
  • Button's exploration, carried out during 1612-3, extended the knowledge of the western coasts of Hudson's Bay. (More)

    Robert Bylot
  • Bylot sailed with Henry Hudson, the first of four artic trips. On another, with Thomas Button. (More)

    Jens Munk (1579-1628)
  • The Norwegian, Jens Munk is known for his disastrous voyage into Hudson's Bay in 1619-20. (More)

    Thomas James (c.1593-c.1635)
  • James, an educated man, was versed in literature and in mathematical navigation. Employed by the Bristol merchants, he sailed, in 1631, down to the bottom of Hudson's nay, there entering a smaller bay, which was named after him. (More)

    Luke Foxe (1586-1635)
  • Foxe made his voyage in 1631. It resulted in one of the northernmost penetrations of Fox Channel and Fox Basin. (More)

    des Groseilliers, Medard Chouart (1618–1696)
  • Des Groseilliers was a French explorer and fur trader. During 1658-63, des Groseilliers and his brother-in-law, Pierre-Esprit Radisson, went to Lake Winnipeg and territory beyond, to the northwest. (More)

    Pierre-Esprit Radisson (1636-1710)
  • See des Groseilliers.

    Henry Kelsey (1667-1724)
  • Kelsey was an early member of the Hudson's Bay Company; joining young, he learned the fir trade, well; he spent nearly 40 years with the company arriving at its highest echelons. Historical, Kelsey is know as the first European to see and travel the Canadian Plains. (More)

    Pierre de la Vérendrye (1685-1749)
  • De La Vérendrye was a French Canadian explorer. In the 1730s he and his four sons opened up the area west of Lake Superior. He went as far as the upper Missouri River. "In the 1740s two of his sons crossed the prairie as far as Wyoming and were the first Europeans to see the Rocky Mountains north of New Mexico."

    Peter Pond (c.1740-1807)
  • Pond, an American, spent most of his years in the wilds of northwestern North America. Pond's explorations led him to the Athabasca Region. He was a founding member of the North West Company.

    Alexander Henry (1739-1824)
  • Born and bred in New Jersey, Henry "is known for his copious journal, begun in 1799, which is one of the best records from the early 19th century of the fur trade in the vast area from Lake Superior to the mouth of the Columbia River." (Barry M. Gough, DCB.)

    Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820)
  • In 1789, Mackenzie went down the Mackenzie River to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. In 1792, he became the first European to cross the North American continent to the Pacific. (More)

    Samuel Hearne (1745-92)
  • As a young man, Hearne joined the Hudson's Bay Company which brought him to the western shores of Hudson's Bay. In time, Hearne learned how to deal with the natives thereabouts. This gave him an understanding of their language; their way of living off the land; and, their techniques of travel, by which they were able go over great distances. Hearne is principally known as the first European to reach the shores of the Arctic Ocean by an overland route. (More)

    David Thompson (1770-1857)
  • Thompson, the "greatest land geographer who ever lived," mapped millions of square miles of North America. He worked, in turn, for both the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. (More)

    William Mcgillivray (1764-1825)
  • McGillivray was with the North West Company, the second of two companies (the other, of course, the Hudson's Bay Company) which ruled the fur laded forests of north-western Canada. McGillivray came from his native Scotland during 1784, at the age of 20, to work in his uncle's fur trading company in Canada. He rapidly rose through the ranks to become the Chief Director of a powerful and flourishing business, which, by the way, was the first joint-stock company in America. He died in London.

    William Edward Parry (1790-1855)
  • This is the last arctic explorer that we deal with in this list of Early Explorers. He did not participate in searches for Franklin, though he probably was consulted during the last ten years of his life, as he had established himself as an experienced explorer of the Arctic Archipelago. (More)

    Go to The Searchers For Franklin, A List

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    Peter Landry