Browse "Explorers"

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William Grant Stairs

William Grant Stairs, explorer, soldier (b at Halifax 28 Feb 1863; d at Chinde, Mozambique 9 June 1892). He was discoverer of one source of the Nile, the Semliki River, and the first non-African to climb Mount Ruwenzori.

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Tillson Lever Harrison

Tillson Lever Harrison, physician, surgeon, army officer, adventurer (b at Tillsonburg, Ont 7 January 1881; d near Kaifeng, China, 10 January 1947). Also known as a writer, raconteur and humanitarian, Tillson Harrison has been touted as Canada's second Norman BETHUNE and the model for Indiana Jones.

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Samuel Hearne

Samuel Hearne, explorer, fur trader, author, naturalist (born 1745 in London, England; died November 1792 in London, England).

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Louis Hennepin

Louis Hennepin, Récollet missionary, explorer (b at Ath, Belgium 12 May 1626; d c 1705). In 1675 Hennepin was sent to Canada with René-Robert Cavelier de LA SALLE, commandant of Fort Frontenac, where Hennepin was chaplain 1676-77.

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Henning Ingeman Sorensen

Henning Ingeman Sorensen, adventurer, translator (b at Copenhagen, Den 14 May 1901; d at Vancouver 3 Aug 1986). Sorensen abandoned a promising banking career in Copenhagen in 1922 to travel and work through Europe, Africa and N America, finally arriving at Montréal in 1929.

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Henry Hudson

Henry Hudson, mariner, explorer (born c. 1570 in England; disappeared 1611). Hudson was among a long list of explorers who searched in vain for a northern passage through Arctic waters from Europe to East Asia. He made four voyages historians are aware of, in 1607, 1608, 1609 and 1610–11. While he never found a route, in Canada, Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait are named for him, as well as the Hudson River in New York state. He disappeared, along with his son and seven companions, after being set adrift in a ship’s boat during a mutiny on James Bay in June 1611. (See also Northwest Passage; Arctic Exploration.)

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Henry Kelsey

Henry Kelsey, explorer, fur trader, sailor (born c. 1667 in East Greenwich near London, England; died 1724 in East Greenwich, England). Kelsey was an explorer and trader who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) for nearly 40 years. He helped establish the Company’s fur trade operations at York Fort on the west coast of Hudson Bay and at Fort Albany on James Bay. Kelsey is best known for his two-year journey from Hudson Bay to the western interior between 1690 and 1692, making him the first European to see the Prairies. His goal was to encourage Indigenous peoples living inland to travel to York Fort to trade their furs.

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Robert Hood

Robert Hood, arctic explorer, artist (b at Portarlington, Ire 1797; d near Starvation Lk, NWT 20 Oct 1821). Hood joined the Royal Navy at age 14. In 1819 his artistic abilities gained him an appointment with the arctic land

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Thomas James

Thomas James, explorer (b 1593; d 1635). He sailed from Bristol to Hudson Bay in 1631, 2 days before Luke FOX left on a rival voyage from London. The 2 met by chance at Cape Henrietta Maria (named after James's ship).

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Louis Jolliet

Louis Jolliet. Explorer, hydrographer, fur trader, organist, teacher, b in or near Quebec City, baptized Quebec 21 Sep 1645, d on a St Lawrence island, probably one of the Mingan Islands, between 4 May and 18 Oct 1700.

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Louis Jolliet

Louis Jolliet, explorer, cartographer, king’s hydrographer, fur trader, seigneur, organist, teacher (baptized 21 September 1645 in Québec City; died between 4 May and 18 Oct 1700 likely near Île d'Anticosti).

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Karlsefni

Thorfinn Karlsefni (Old Norse Þórfinnr Karlsefni), explorer and trader (born c. 980–95 CE in Iceland; year of death unknown). Born Thorfinn Thordarson, this Icelandic aristocrat and wealthy merchant ship owner led one of the Norse expeditions to Vinland, located in what is now Atlantic Canada. He is usually referred to by his nickname, Karlsefni, meaning “the makings of a man.” Karlsefni appears in several historical sources. A long passage in The Saga of the Greenlanders is devoted to him, and he is the chief subject of The Saga of Erik the Red. There are also short accounts in the Old Norse manuscripts known as the Arni Magnusson codex 770b and Vellum codex No. 192.

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William Kennedy

William Kennedy, explorer (b probably at Cumberland House, Rupert's Land 26 Apr 1814; d at St Andrews, Red River Settlement 25 Jan 1890).

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Manuel Quimper

Manuel Quimper, naval officer, explorer (fl 1790). At the outbreak of the Nootka Sound Controversy, Quimper and 6 other young naval lieutenants were transferred from Europe to bolster Spain's Pacific strength.

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Thomas Scott

Thomas Scott, insurgent, labourer (born c. 1842 in Clandeboye, County Down Ireland; died 4 March 1870, in Red River Colony). Scott was an Irish Protestant who moved to the Red River Colony in 1869 and joined the Canadian Party. His actions against the Provisional Government of Assiniboia twice led to his arrest and jailing. Scott was convicted of treason and executed by the provisional government, led by Louis Riel, on 4 March 1870. His execution led to the Red River Expedition, a military force sent to Manitoba by Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to confront the Métis at Red River. From that point on, Protestant Ontarians, especially members of the powerful Orange Order, wanted retribution from Riel for Scott’s death. Scott’s execution led to Riel’s exile and to Riel’s own execution for treason in 1885.

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Tookoolito

Tookoolito, also known as Hannah (born near Cumberland Sound, NWT in 1838; died at Groton, Conn in 1876), Inuk guide to explorer Charles Hall.