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Free Early American History Books – Exploration of the Americas

Free Early American History Books - Exploration of the Americas

European explorers of the Americas. Exploration of North America in early American history. Free online books tor read.

Book Collection on Discovery and Exploration of North America

America Discovery and Exploration Books – Collection

Free pdf books on discovery and exploration America. Some books: Discovery of North America, The Viking Discovery of America, England and the Discovery of America 1481-1621, The Exploration of North America 1630-1776, Narratives of the Discovery of America, The Vinland Sagas: the Norse discovery of America, The Explorer’s Age: first-hand accounts of discovery and exploration, Christopher Columbus: the voyage of discovery 1492, Spanish Exploration in the Southwest 1542-1706, North American Discovery: circa 1000-1612, North America from Earliest Discovery to First Settlements, Braving the North Atlantic: the Vikings, the Cabots and Jacques Cartier Voyage to America, many more books.

More Collections of Free Books on Exploration of the Americas Topics

Suggested Books on European Explorers of the Americas

Shores of Knowledge : New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination

Appleby, Joyce
Norton 2013

Recounts the triumphs and mishaps of Columbus and other explorers, following the naturalists — both famous and obscure — whose investigations of the world’s fauna and flora fueled the rise of science and technology that propelled Western Europe towards modernity.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706

Bolton, Herbert Eugene
Scribner’s Sons 1916 Dewey Dec. 973.1

Spanish explorers in America. A volume in the series “Original Narratives of Early American History”.

Contents:Exploration and plans for the settlement of California: The Cabrillo-Ferrelo expedition; The Vizcaino expedition. — Exploration and settlement in New Mexico and in adjacent regions: The Rodriguez expedition: The Espejo expedition; The Oñate expeditions and the founding of the province of New Mexico. — Exploration and settlement in Texas: The Bosque-Larios expedition; The Mendoza-López expedition to the Jumanos; The De León-Massanet expeditions. — Arizona; the Jesuits in Pimería Alta.

The Explorers of North America, 1492-1806

Brebner, John Bartlet
Doubleday 1955

Brebner “not only traces [the explorers’] progress but reveals them as human beings against a huge panorama in which the Spaniards— Ponce de Leon, Cortés, Coronado, de Soto—push forward from the South; the French—Cartier, Champlain, Jolliet, Marquette—move down from the North; British and Americans set out westward from the Atlantic, and the Russians come down from Alaska. Brebner tells of the conditions of travel in the wilderness, of the aims of the early explorers, of the Indians in their primitive state, and of the way in which the North American continent was crossed and recrossed and finally unveiled within three hundred years by intrepid men.” -Book cover.

The Journal of his First Voyage to America

Columbus, Christopher
1924 Dewey Dec. 973.1

“It is the actual record of the journey which has inspired hundreds of novels, plays and poems, and the reader may be assured that this simple, bare and direct narrative of one of the world’s greatest adventures is much more interesting than most of these creative efforts.” NY Times. Voyage of Christopher Columbus.

Ferdinand Magellan and the Quest to Circle the Globe

Crompton, Samuel W.
Chelsea House 2006 Dewey Dec. 973.1

Magellan set out in 1519 with five ships to find a passage through the Americas. Such a passage, if it existed, would allow Spanish ships to follow a westward route to the East Indies. After months of fruitless searching, Magellan eventually found a narrow, dangerous sea passage at the bottom of South America now called the Strait of Magellan. In 1522, a lone ship sailed into the harbor at Seville, making its crew the first men to sail completely around the world.

Champlain’s Dream

Fischer, David Hackett
Simon & Schuster 2008

Traces the story of Quebec’s founder while explaining his influential perspectives about peaceful colonialism, in a profile that also evaluates his contributions as a soldier, mariner, and cultural diplomat.

Introduction: In search of Champlain — A leader in the making — Explorer of Acadia — Founder of Quebec — Builder of New France — Father of French Canada — Conclusion: a leader’s long reach — Memories of Champlain: images and interpretations, 1608-2008 — Appendixes.

Vikings: the North Atlantic Saga

Fitzhugh, William W. and Ward, Elizabeth I.
Smithsonian 2000 Dewey Dec. 973.1

Replete with color photographs, drawings, and maps of Viking sites, artifacts, and landscapes, this book celebrates and explores the Viking saga from the combined perspectives of history, archaeology, oral tradition, literature, and natural science. The book’s contributors chart the spread of marauders and traders in Europe as well as the expansion of farmers and explorers throughout the North Atlantic and into the New World. They show that Norse contacts with Native American groups were more extensive than has previously been believed, but that the outnumbered Europeans never established more than temporary settlements in North America.

North American Exploration

Gotay, Michael and Bowman, John S.
Castle 2006 Dewey Dec. 973.1

“Provides a unique one-stop resource for essential information on every major explorer, expedition, and event involved in the discovery and exploration of North America, as well as hundreds of lesser-known exploits, verified and unverified pre-Columbian landfalls, and Native peoples . Over 4,000 entries covering every major expedition, leader, geographical feature, and milestone” – Publisher.

Age of Exploration

Hale, J.R.
Time-Life 1996 Dewey Dec. 973.1

Numerous color illustrations and concise text survey the world as it was known from 1420 to 1620 and the major exploratory expeditions of that period. Popular history from the publisher Time-Life.

Content: Eve of adventure — Prince Henry’s captains — “Enterprise of the Indies” — Art of navigation — Cathay: Persistent vision — North to the Orient — “Terra Australis incognita” — World takes shape — Chronologies — Bibliography.

Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States, 1528-1543

Hodge, Frederick W. et al., eds.
Barnes & Noble 1907 Dewey Dec. 973.1

Spanish Explorers in America. In the series, “Original Narratives of Early American History”. Contains the following three documents, edited and translated:
“The Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca”
“The Narrative of the Expedition of Hernando de Soto by the Genetleman of Elvas”
“The Narrative of the Expedition of Coronado, by Pedro de Castaneda”.

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World

Horwitz, Tony
Henry Holt 2008

An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, A Voyage Long and Strange captures the wonder and drama of first contact. Vikings, conquistadors, French voyageurs—these and many others roamed an unknown continent in quest of grapes, gold, converts, even a cure for syphilis. Though most failed, their remarkable exploits left an enduring mark on the land and people encountered by late-arriving English settlers.
Tracing this legacy with his own epic trek—from Florida’s Fountain of Youth to Plymouth’s sacred Rock, from desert pueblos to subarctic sweat lodges—Tony Horwitz explores the revealing gap between what we enshrine and what we forget. Displaying his trademark talent for humor, narrative, and historical insight, A Voyage Long and Strange allows us to rediscover the New World for ourselves.

The Race to the New World : Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and a Lost History of Discovery

Hunter, Douglas
Palgrave Macmillan 2012

“Douglas Hunter tells for the first time the fascinating tale of how Christopher Columbus was embroiled in a high-stakes race with Venetian John Cabot to find a shortcut to the East — and how they found a New World that neither was looking for. Employing fresh research and new translations of critical documents, Hunter reveals the surprisingly intertwined lives of the fabled explorer and his forgotten rival, and provides a fresh perspective on the first years of the European discovery of the New World.” -Publisher.


Joyner, Tim
International Marine 1992 Dewey Dec. 973.1

“A solid account of the explorer’s life and achievements. Joyner reminds us how the voyage felt to the men who lived through it … Exceptionally well written.” – Library J.

Fatal Journey : The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson – A Tale of Mutiny and Murder in the Arctic

Mancall, Peter C.
Basic 2009

Examines the events of English explorer Henry Hudson’s final expedition in the winter of 1610 and the mutiny that followed, resulting in Hudson, his son, and other crew members being forced off the boat and set adrift in the frigid Hudson Bay.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus

Mann, Charles C.
Vintage 2006

“A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492. … Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions.” – Book cover.

H-Net Book Review

The Great Explorers: The European Discovery of America

Morison, Samuel Eliot
Oxford University 1978

“This abridgement of the late Samuel Eliot Morison’s magnum opus, The European Discovery of America, which the Journal of Southern History called “an epic work of true grandeur,” and the Virginia Quarterly Review considered “a great book by a great historian,” preserves the originality, scholarship, and vivid descriptions of the original volumes.”

Contents:1. English ships and seamen 1490-1600 — 2. John Cabot’s voyages 1497-1498 — 3. Voyages to the Labrador and Newfoundland 1500-1536 — 4. The French maritime background 1453-1590 — 5. The voyages of Verrazzano 1524-1528 — 6. Cartier’s first voyage 1534 — 7. Cartier’s second voyage 1535-1536 — 8. The search for Saguenay 1538-1543 — 9. Queen Elizabeth and her master mariners — 10. Frobisher’s second and third voyages 1577-1578 — 11. The northern voyages of John Davis 1585-1587 — 12. Christopher Columbus — 13. His “Enterprise of the Indies” — 14. Columbus’s first voyage of discovery, August-October 1492 — 15. The Greater Antilles, 12 October 1492-15 March 1493 — 16. Triumph and tragedy, March 1493-April 1494 — 17. Jamaica, Cuba, and rebellion, 1494-1496 — 18. Third voyage, mainland discovered, 1498-1500 — 19. The mariner’s day — 20. Columbus’s fourth voyage, 1502-1504 — 21. Ferdinand Magellan — 22. Armada de Molucca, 1517-1519 — 23. Magellan’s voyage to the Strait, 1519-1520 — 24. The strait that shall forever bear his name,” October-November 1520 — 25. Across the Pacific — 26. Philippines and Spice Islands — 27. Homeward bound, 1522 — 28. Drake’s voyage of circumnavigation, 1577-1579 — 29. Drake in California, 1579. Exploration of North America, Voyage of Christopher Columbus.

See our articles on the history of Great Britain & Ireland 1500-1800

Discovering Christopher Columbus: How History is Invented

Pelta, Kathy
Lerner 1991 Dewey Dec. 973.1

“A fresh approach, profusely illustrated… A well-researched, well-written study of how the facts surrounding Columbus’s life are still being uncovered.” – School Lib. J.

Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise

Sale, Kirkpatrick
Tauris Parke 2006

.Christopher Columbus’ arrival on a small Bahamian island in 1492 is often judged to be a defining moment in the history of mankind, changing forever the map of the world. The author offers readers a unique take on Columbus and his legacy, separating the man from the legend. He also looks at the global consequences of the discovery, revealing the colossal impact this brief moment in history had not only on a continent but also on the world. Originally published 1991.

Brutal Journey : The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America

Schneider, Paul
Holt 2006

This book tells the story of an army of would-be conquerors who came to the New World on the heels of Cortés. Bound for glory, they landed in Florida in 1528. But only four of the four hundred would survive: eight years and a 5,000-mile journey later, three Spaniards and a black Moroccan wandered out of the wilderness to the north of the Rio Grande and into Mexico. – Publisher.

Christopher Columbus: Master of the Atlantic

Thomas, David A.
Deutsch 1991

“A lavishly illustrated, comprehensive and straightforward account of the great man and his achievements … Columbus’s life was as colorful and bizarre as his reputation is great. With its background details of fifteenth-century life at sea, in the royal courts and in the New World colonies, [the book] brings the man and his achievements to life.” – Publisher. Voyage of Christopher Columbus.

Sir Walter Raleigh: Being a True and Vivid Account of the Life and Times of the Explorer, Soldier, Scholar, Poet, and Courtier – The Controversial Hero of the Elizabethian Age

Trevelyan, Raleigh
Holt 2004

Tall, dark, handsome, and damnably proud, Sir Walter Raleigh was one of history’s most romantic characters. An explorer, soldier, courtier, pirate, and poet, Raleigh risked his life by trifling with the Virgin Queen’s affections. To his enemies—and there were many—he was an arrogant liar and traitor, deserving of every one of his thirteen years in the Tower of London.
Regardless of means, his accomplishments are legion: he founded the first American colony, gave the Irish the potato, and defeated Spain. He was also a brilliant operator in the shark pool of Elizabethan court politics, until he married a court beauty, without Elizabeth’s permission, and later challenged her capricious successor, James I.

Cartier to Frontenac; Geographical Discovery in the Interior of North America in its Historical Relations 1534-1700

Winsor, Justin

“Neither the cartographical nor the historical side of the study is slighted and, without parade of learning, the results of a profound though special erudition are given in each chapter. Equally interesting and thorough, it is a standard of what such writing should be. The illustrations are also a strong feature of the book. It abounds with excellent reproductions of plans, portraits and early maps.” – Lit. of American History

Contents: 1. From Columbus to Cartier. 1492-1534 2. Cartier, Roberval, and Allefonsce. 1534-1542 3. The Results of Cartier’s Explorations. 1542-503 4. Abortive Attempts at Colonization. 1600-1607 5. Colonization Established at Quebec. 1608-1613 6. War, Trade, and Missions. The Fall of Quebec. 1614-1629 7. Quebec Restored. Explorations of Nicolet. Death of Champlain. 1630-1635 8. From the Death of Champlain to the Reorganization of the Government. 1635-1663 9. Reorganized Canada. 1663-1672 10. The Mississippi Reached. 1673 11. Cataraqui and Creveceour. 1673-1680 12. Duluth and Hennepin on the Mississippi. 1678-1683 13. La Salle, Frontenac, and La Barre. 1681-1683 14. La Salle’s Texan Colony. 1684-1687 15. Denonville and Dongan. 1683-1687 16. Frontenac Recalled. 1687-1698.

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