Explorers & Frontiersman List

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Jean Pierre Cabanne – A merchant and fur trader, Jean Cabanne was actively involved in trading with the Kanza Indians.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (?-1543) – A Spanish or Portuguese explorer, Cabrillo was the first European to explore the Californian coast

Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell (1804-1879) – Fur trader, frontiersman, merchant and Indian Commissioner, Campbell was born in Ireland on February 4, 1804.

Christopher “Kit” Carson (1809-1868) – Carson was a daring and brave explorer, mountain man, trapper, scout, soldier, and buffalo hunter.

Sebastiao Melendez Rodriguez Cermeno (1560?-1602) – A Spanish navigator and explorer, Cermeno was Portuguese by birth.

Touissant Charbonneau (1767-1843) – A French-Canadian explorer and trader, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, best known as the husband of Sacagawea.

Francois Auguste Chardon (1795-1848) – A fur trader, Chardon fought in the Battle of New Orleans, the final major battle of the War of 1812.

Pierre Chouteau, Jr. (1789-1865) – A merchant and trader who grew up to run a powerful trading company that monopolized the trade along the upper Missouri River.

The Chouteaus – Early French traders and trappers who operated west of St. Louis, Missouri in the latter part of the 1700s and early 1800s.

William Clark

William Clark

William Clark (1770-1838) – Explorer and geographical expert who co-lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

John Colter (1774?-1813) – Frontiersman, explorer, fur trapper, mountain man, and army scout credited with the being the discoverer of the Yellowstone area.

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) – Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer who discovered* the “New World” of the Americas on an expedition sponsored by King Ferdinand of Spain in 1492.

Columbia Fur Company (1821-1827) – Started by former members of the North West Company, the firm did well and was bought out by the American Fur Company in 1827.

Comancheros (1780s-1874) – An ethnically mixed group of New Mexican traders who made their living by trading with the Comanche, Kiowa, and other Plains tribes in the late 18th and 19th centuries mostly in northeastern New Mexico and West Texas.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (1510-1554) – Spanish ruler, explorer, and conquistador. He was the first European to explore North America’s Southwest.

Hernando Cortes (1485-1547) – He was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century.

William Craig (1807-1869) – A frontiersman and trapper, Craig grew up in West Virginia but headed west at the age of 18 and spent time in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest.

David Crockett

David Crockett

David “Davy” Crockett (1786-1836) – A frontiersman, explorer, pioneer, folk hero, soldier and politician, Davy is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet “King of the Wild Frontier”.

Alexander Culbertson (1809-1879) – Fur trader and diplomat, Alexander Culbertson was born at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on May 20, 1809.


John Day (1770?-1820) –  A fur trapper and frontiersman, he worked for both the American Fur Company and the North West Company. Born in Culpeper County, Virginia about 1770, he made his way to Missouri in 1798, settling in Franklin County.  He soon began hunting and trapping and in 1810 was hired by John Jacob Astor to join an American Fur Company expedition. He traveled with the trapping party to Fort Astoria, Oregon, arriving in May 1812. When Astor sold out, he then went to work for the North West Company. He then spent his time trapping around the Snake River, where he died on February 16, 1820. Though he is a little-known trapper, two rivers, a county, city, dam, and reservoir were named for him in Oregon.

Andres Dorantes de Carranza (1500?-1550s) – An early Spanish explorer, de Carranza was a native of the southwestern Castilian town of Gibraleon, Spain.

Edward De Morin (1818-1902) – Trapper and Trader who worked for the American Fur Company.  Born in Montreal Canada in 1818, De Morin grew up to be a trapper, particularly on the Illinois River. In 1836, he went to work for the American Fur Company and later traded for other firms in the Upper Missouri River country. By 1844, he had made his way to California but later returned to the Midwest, where he lived near Fort McPherson, Nebraska around 1863. He often worked as an interpreter in the vicinity of Fort Robinson, Nebraska. He died at North Platte, Nebraska on June 16, 1902.

Hernando de Soto

Hernando de Soto

Hernando De Soto (1496?-1542) – Hernando de Soto was about 36-years-old when he was appointed adelantado of Florida. He was “a gentleman by all four descents,” and had recently been created by the Emperor, a knight of the order of Santiago.

Joseph Dickson (1775-1844) – One of the first known mountain men, he, along with Forrest Hancock, followed Lewis and Clark up the Missouri River in 1804.

Joseph Bainbridge Doyle (1817-1864) – Doyle was a trapper, Indian trader, businessman, and Colorado pioneer and politician.


Estevanico (1500?-1539) – He was the first known person born in Africa to have arrived in the present-day continental United States.

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