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“Looking about him with the eye of a woodsman, La Salle saw two eagles circling in the air nearly over him, as if attracted by carcasses of beasts or men. He fired his gun and his pistol, as a summons to any of his followers who might be within hearing. The shots reached the ears of the conspirators. Rightly conjecturing by whom they were fired, several of them, led by Duhaut, crossed the river at a little distance above, where trees or other intervening objects hid them from sight. Duhaut and the surgeon crouched like Indians in the long, dry, reed-like grass of the last summer's growth, while L'Archeveque stood in sight near the bank. La Salle, continuing to advance, soon saw him, and, calling to him, demanded where was Moranget. The man, without lifting his hat, or any show of respect, replied in an agitated and broken voice, but with a tone of studied insolence, that Moranget was strolling about somewhere. La Salle rebuked and menaced him. He rejoined with increased insolence, drawing back, as he spoke, towards the ambuscade, while the incensed commander advanced to chastise him. At that moment a shot was fired from the grass, instantly followed by another; and, pierced through the brain. La Salle dropped dead. 

The friar at his side stood terror-stricken, unable to advance or to fly; when Duhaut, rising from the 
ambuscade, called out to him to take courage, for he had nothing to fear. The murderers now came forward, and with wild looks gathered about their victim. "There thou liest, great Bashaw! There thou liest!" exclaimed the surgeon Liotot, in base exultation over the unconscious corpse. With mockery and insult, they stripped it naked, dragged it into the bushes, and left it there, a prey to the buzzards and the wolves.”

An account of the assassination of French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in Texas on March 19th, 1687.

From: La Salle and the discovery of the great West. France and England in North America. 
by Francis Parkman, published in 1897.
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Murder of René Robert Cavelier de La Salle via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Although younger by four years than Columbus, when the great Admiral had set sail upon his first voyage to the unknown West, Amerigo decided to rest upon laurels already won, and to never again tempt fame and fortune in an expedition to the shores of South America. He spent his declining years in writing a full and graphic account of his many expeditions to the New World, and, on February the twenty-second, 1512, the spirit of the 
astronomer and geographer passed to a better sphere. 

For many years after its discovery there seems to have been no effort to give a name to the New World; indeed, it was so long supposed to be a part of Asia that this was thought to be unnecessary. In a Latin book, printed at Strassburg, Germany, in 1509 the work of an Italian called Ilacomilo it was suggested that the country be called America, as it was discovered by Amerigo (Americus). 

Not in the lifetime of the great Vespucci was this name so used. As late as the year 1550, North America was called Terra Florida on the Spanish maps, while Brazil was the name given to the coast of South America, where much dye-wood was obtained; the title coming from the Portuguese word braza, meaning live coal, or glowing fire. Both the names of America and Brazil were applied to the shore of South America, until, after a while, the second of these names was confined to that part of the coast where the valuable dye-wood was obtained, while the other name was attached to the part north and south of it. From this it was but a short step to speaking of all of the great 
southern peninsula as America, and gradually this name was given to the entire western continent. 

Somewhere in Spain or Italy, Amerigo Vespucci sleeps in an unknown grave, but his epitaph is the name of a double continent: rich, populous, teeming with all things valuable. 

Of noble thought, splendid mind, and facile pen, the memory of the great Florentine geographer should be revered and respected for all time.”

From: Famous discoverers and explorers of America; their voyages, battles, and hardships in traversing and conquering the unknown territories of a new world by Charles Haven Ladd Johnston, published in 1917
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Americus Vesputius via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Accordingly, on the 9th of April, 1585, his fleet, 
consisting of seven sail and carrying 108 settlers, 
departed from Plymouth for Roanoke. Among the 
important men on board were Sir Richard Grenville, 
who commanded the fleet, Captain Ralph Lane, who had charge of the colony, Thomas Cavendish, who afterwards was the second Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, Thomas Hariot, the famous mathematician, and John White, the painter. About the middle of May they reached the island of Porto Rico, and after lingering in the West Indies about a month, sailed for Florida, and June 16 came to anchor at Wokokon. Three days later one of their ships struck on the bottom and was sunk. 

They remained at Wokokon over three weeks, during which time exploring parties were sent to the mainland and adjacent islands, including Croatoan, where resided some Indians who proved very friendly.”

From: Stepping-stones of American history, published in 1904
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Sir Richard Grenville c. 1571 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Helmet and part of breastplate worn by a pilgrim.

Photo taken sometime after 1860 and before 1920

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
“Now, in 1680, having had his early interest in America thus renewed and strengthened, Penn found that the king was in his debt to the amount of sixteen thousand pounds. Part of this money had been loaned to the king by William's father, the admiral; part of it was the admiral's unpaid salary. Mr. Pepys has recorded in his diary how scandalously Charles left his officers unpaid. The king, he says, could not walk in his own house without meeting at every hand men whom he was ruining, while at the same time he was spending money prodigally upon his pleasures. Pepys himself fell into poverty in his old age, accounting the king to be in debt to him in the sum of twenty-eight thousand pounds. Penn considered his account collectible. "I have been," he wrote, " these thirteen years the servant of Truth and Friends, and for my testimony's sake lost much, — not only the greatness and preferment of the world, but sixteen thousand pounds of my estate which, had I not been what I am, I had long ago obtained." It is doubtful, however, if the king would have ever paid a penny. It is certain that when William offered to exchange the money for a district in America, 
Charles agreed to the bargain with great joy. 

The territory thus bestowed was all that tract or part of land in America, bounded on the east by the Delaware River, from twelve miles northward of New Castle town unto the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude. The said land to extend westward five degrees in longitude, to be computed from the said eastern bounds, and the said lands to be bounded on the north by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude and on the south by a circle drawn at twelve miles distance from New Castle, 
northward and westward, unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned. This was a country almost as large as England. No such extensive domain had ever been given to a subject by an English sovereign: but none had ever been paid for by a sum of money so substantial. 

On the 4th of March, 1681, the charter received the signature of Charles the Second. 

On the 21st of August, 1682, the Duke of York signed a deed whereby he released the tract of land called Pennsylvania to William Penn and his heirs forever.”

From: William Penn by George Hodges published in 1901
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Portrait of young William Penn in armor, artist unknown.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Portraits of young William Penn in armor, artist unknown." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 4, 2019.
The founder of Georgia, James Oglethorpe was born on December 22nd, 1696 about 30 miles southwest of London, England. 

When he established Georgia he opposed the importation of rum, brandy and other liquors. He also tried to push for a law that would ban the slave trade in his colony. He said...

"My friends and I, settled the colony of Georgia, and by charter were established trustees. We determined not to suffer slavery there, but the slave merchants and their adherents not only occasioned us much trouble, but at last got the Government to sanction them."

Image via NYPL, no known restrictions
Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18th, 1774 in 
Ivy, Albemarle County, Colony of Virginia.

"Meriwether Lewis was just eight months old when the first guns of our Revolutionary War were fired at Lexington. He was born near Charlottesville, Virginia, not far from the home of Thomas Jefferson. 

The Lewis family was one of the most distinguished in Virginia, and Meriwether's father and uncles were noted for their courage and patriotism. 
All were wealthy and enterprising, and one of his 
granduncles had married a sister of George Washington. 

From his very cradle the lad was accustomed 
to hear much talk of brave deeds done for the 
love of country; and as soon as he was able to 
run about by himself he began to show a daring 
spirit that was very wonderful in a child of his age. 
It is said that when only eight years of age he would often go out at night, alone with his dogs, to hunt raccoons and opossums in the dark woods. 
What a fearless little fellow he must have been! 

In the pursuit of his game nothing could discourage him. Wading through deep snow and streams of icy water, and caring naught for storms or darkness, he would press onward when even stout men had given up the chase. And so it continued throughout his whole life: when he made up his mind to do a thing, he was quite sure to do it. 

When he was thirteen years old he was sent to 
a famous Latin school in Charlottesville, kept by 
two parsons of the village. We do not know that 
he distinguished himself as a Latin scholar, but 
we are told that he had a great love for nature, 
and that the objects which he delighted most to 
study were the plants and animals of Virginia. 

He left school when he was eighteen, and with 
a younger brother undertook the management of 
his mother's farm, for his father had died several 
years before. But farming was dull business for 
one of his adventurous nature, and before he was 
twenty-one he enlisted as a volunteer in the state 

Two years later he was chosen captain of his company, and soon afterward became the paymaster of the regiment. A young man who shows himself to be both able and enterprising is almost always sure of promotion. 

When Thomas Jefferson became President of 
the United States, he looked about him for a private secretary, and could find no one better suited 
for the place than Meriwether Lewis. It must be 
confessed, however, that, with all his good qualities, the young man was a very poor speller. 

It was in March, 1801, when Lewis entered the 
service of the President. He was then nearly twenty-seven years old. Two years later Mr. Jefferson appointed him leader of the exploring party which the government was about to send to the Far West. 

"I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him," said the President. Why? 
Because he was known to be a man of courage and 
firmness and perseverance; because he was a born 
leader of men; because he had studied the charac- 
ter of the Indians, and knew how to deal with 
them; because he was a skilled hunter and under- 
stood all the lore of the woods; and because he 
was honest, liberal, exact, and truthful. 

Seldom has any man been better fitted by nature and education for a great undertaking like this. He needed only to learn the scientific terms used in botany, and how to make such astronomical observations as might be necessary in describing his journey; and to acquire this knowledge he spent two busy months in Philadelphia, receiving instruction from the ablest professors in that city. 

Early in July he was ready to start on his famous journey. Astronomical instruments, presents for the Indians, tents, and various other supplies had been ordered, and these he was to find at Pittsburgh. The men who were to accompany him were to be selected at various settlements and posts along the Ohio. 

President Jefferson was too wise and cautious 
to intrust so great an undertaking to one man. 
He knew that if Captain Lewis lived, all would go 
well. But what if some accident should befall him, 
and the expedition have no leader? To provide 
against such an emergency he selected Captain 
William Clark, at that time living near Louisville, 
Kentucky, to be Lewis's companion and helper.”

From: The story of Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark: for young readers
by Nellie F. Kingsley, published in 1900
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Meriwether Lewis Esqr.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Meriwether Lewis Esqr." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 18, 2019.
Public Domain
"Being joined by captain Lewis, who had been detained by business at St. Louis, we again set sail on Monday, May 21st, in the afternoon, but were prevented by wind and rain from going more than about three miles, when we encamped on the upper point of an island, nearly opposite a creek which falls in on the south side. 

On the 22d we made about eighteen miles, passing several small farms on the bank of the river, a number of islands, and a large creek on the south side, called Bonhomme, or Goodman's river. A small number of emigrants from the United States have settled on the sides of this creek, which are very fertile. We also passed some high lands, and encamped, on the north side, near a small creek. Here we met with a camp of Kickapoo Indians who had left us at St. Charles, with a promise of procuring us some provisions by the time we overtook them. They now made us a present of four deer, and we gave them in return two quarts of whiskey. This tribe reside on the heads of the Kaskaskia and Illinois river, on the other side of the Mississippi, but occasionally hunt on the Missouri.”

From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark to the sources of the Missouri, across the Rocky Mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific in 1804-1806
Source says not in copyright 

Image: An etching of Captain Lewis & Clark holding a council with Native Americans via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On today's date October 9th, 1635 - The founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, was banished from Massachusetts. Roger opposed punitive measures placed on those who practiced their own beliefs. He was also against the confiscation of lands that belonged to Native Americans. The following year Williams founded Providence Plantation. He would define it as a "shelter for those distressed of conscience." 

Image: Roger Williams sheltered by the Narragansetts via New York Public Library Digital Collections, no known restrictions
🇺🇸Exceptional Veterans in American History🇺🇸

Daniel Boone 

"Few men of such humble pretensions occupy so large a space in history, as Daniel Boone. His heroism as an explorer, pioneer, settler, and patriotic defender of the soil he had won by his courage in the path of the discoverer, partakes so largely of the spirit of chivalry and true romance, that we incontinently look upon him with a sentiment of hero-worship. Daniel Boone was 
born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, (November 2nd) in 1734. His parents were from Bradninch, near Exeter, England; and while Daniel was a small boy, they left Pennsylvania, and settled near the banks of the Yadkin, in North Carolina. At that time the region beyond the Blue Ridge was an unknown wilderness to the white people, for none had ventured thither, as far as is known, until about the year 1750. It was almost twenty years later than this, when Boone was approaching the prime of life, that he first penetrated the great Valley of the Mississippi, in company with others. He had already, as a bold hunter, been within the eastern verge of the present Kentucky, but now he took a long "hunt," of about three years. He had made himself familiar with the wilderness; and, in 1773, in company with other families, he started with his own to make a settlement on the Kain-tuck-ee river. The hostile Indians compelled them to fall back, and Boone resided on the Clerich river until 1775, when he went forward and planted the settlement of Boonesborough, in the present Madison county, Kentucky. There he built a log fort, and in the course of three or four years, several other settlers joined him. His wife and daughters were the first white women ever seen upon the banks of the Kentucky river. He became a great 
annoyance to the Indians; and while at the Blue Licks, on the Licking river, in February, 1778, engaged with others in making salt, he was captured by some Shawnee warriors from the Ohio country, and taken to Chillicothe. The Indians 
became attached to him, and he was adopted into a family as a son. A ransom of five hundred dollars was offered for him, but the Indians refused it. He at length escaped (in July following his capture) when he ascertained that a large body of Indians were preparing to march against Boonesborough. They attacked that station three times before the middle of September, but were repulsed. 

During Boone's captivity, his wife and children had returned to the house of her father, on the Yadkln, where the pioneer visited them in 1779, and remained with them for many months. He returned to Kentucky, in 1780, with his family, and assisted Colonel Clarke in his operations against the Indians in the Illinois country. He was a very active partisan in that far-off region beyond the Alleghanies until the close of the war. From that time, until 1798, he resided alternately in Kentucky and in Western Virginia. He had seen that ''wilderness blossom as the rose;" and in less than twenty years from the time when he built his fort at Boonesborough, he saw Kentucky honored as a sovereign State of an independent union of republics. Yet he was doomed to lose all personal advantages in the growth of the new State. Neglecting to comply with new land laws, of whose details he was probably ignorant, he lost his title to lands which he had discovered and subdued; and the region which so recently seemed all his own, now filled with half a million of his fellow-citizens, afforded him no home in fee simple! Indignant at what he considered base ingratitude, he shouldered his rifle, left Kentucky forever, and, with some followers, plunged into the interminable forests of the present Missouri, beyond the Mississippi river. They settled upon the Little Osage, in 1799, and the following year, Boone and his companions explored the head waters of the Arkansas. A long time afterward, when he was almost eighty years of age, he trapped beavers on the Great Osage. Soon after his return from that "hunt," he sent a memorial to the legislature of Kentucky, setting forth that he owned not an acre of land on the face of the earth, had nowhere to lay his head, and asked a confirmation of title to lands given him in Louisiana, by the Spanish governor, before that territory was ceded to the United States. Congress secured two thousand acres to him, and so his old age was made comparatively happy by the prospect of a grave in the bosom of his own soil. The brave old hero died in Missouri, on the 26th of September, 1820, at the age of almost ninety years. His remains now lie beside those of his wife, in a cemetery at Frankfort, Kentucky.”

From: Eminent Americans by Benson John Lossing, published in 1881
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Engraving of Daniel Boone via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 23rd, 1806 Lewis and Clark arrive at St. Louis after traveling nearly 8,000 miles during their famous expedition.

"The next day they came to the village of St. Charles; and on the 22d they stopped at a cantonment of United States soldiery, three miles above the mouth of the Missouri, where they passed the day. The concluding paragraphs of the journals must be quoted literally from Captain Clark : — 

"September 23rd. Took an early breakfast with Colo Hunt and set out, descended to the Mississippi and down that river to St. Louis at which place we arrived about 12 o'clock. We suffered the party to fire off their pieces as a Salute to the Town. We were met by all the village and received a hardy welcome from its inhabitants & here I found my old acquaintance Maj W. Christy who had settled in this town in a public line as a Tavern Keeper. He furnished us with storeroom for our baggage and we accepted of the invitation of Mr. Peter Choteau and took a room in his 
house. We payed a friendly visit to Mr. Auguste Choteau and some of our old friends this evening. As the post had de- parted from St. Louis Capt. Lewis wrote a note to Mr. Hay in Kahoka to detain the post at that place until 12 tomorrow which 
was rather later than his usual time of leaving it.”

From: Lewis and Clark by William R. Lighton, published in 1910
Source says not in copyright 

Images of Lewis and Clark via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Old church tower at Jamestown, Virginia. 

A remaining ruin from the first successful permanent English settlement in America.  It was constructed sometime in the 1600s and most of it still stands today. 

Image from 1900-1906 via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
John "Grizzly" Adams walking with a grizzly bear named Ben Franklin

Sketch c. 1860

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia

by Charles Russell via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Even should these people change their intentions towards us and become hostile, they do not know what arms are, but, as I have said, go naked, and are the most timid people in the world; so that the men I have left could, alone, destroy the whole country, and this island has no danger for them, if they only know how to conduct themselves. In all those islands it seems to me that the men are content with one wife except their chief or king, to whom they give twenty. The women seem to me to work more than the men, I have not been able to learn whether they have any property of their own. It seemed to me that what one possessed belonged to all, especially in the matter of eatables. I have not found in those islands any monsters, as many imagined; but, on the contrary, the whole race is very well-formed...”

Admiral Christopher Columbus describing his encounters with native tribes in the West Indies in a letter to King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella dated February 15th, 1493.

From: Select letters of Christopher Columbus, with other original documents, relating to his four voyages to the New World
Source says not in copyright 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Landing of The Pilgrim Fathers in America

On December 21st, 1620 pilgrims of the Mayflower land on Plymouth Rock. 

Image via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
On October 7th, 1691 the Massachusetts Charter was issued and authorized the Province of Massachusetts Bay as a British colony.

Image: Early Map of Massachusetts Bay via New York Public Library Digital Collections, no known restrictions
“On the 4th of May, 1626, Peter Minuit, the new 
Director, arrived at Manhattan in the ship Sea Mew commanded by Adriaen Joris. To his credit be it said, the first act of his administration was to secure possession of Manhattan by lawful purchase. Soon after his arrival he bought the whole island of the Indians for the Dutch West India Company for the sum of sixty guilders, or twenty-four dollars. The island was fifteen miles in length, and from about a quarter of a mile to two miles in breadth, and was estimated to contain twenty-two thousand acres.”

From: History of the City of New York by Mary Louise Booth, published in 1880
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Purchase of Manhattan Island by Peter Minuit, 1626
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Purchase of Manhattan Island by Peter Minuit, 1626" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 4, 2019.
On today's date September 28th, 1542: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and fellow explorers call the area that they discover "San Miguel" which is now known as the San Diego Bay in California.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 20th, 1519 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and crew departed the coast of southern Spain on a journey that was expected to take a few months. 
About a year and a half later they eventually reached Guam in the Pacific which is now a Territory of The United States. 
Magellan later died in a battle in the Philippines and never completed the first circumnavigation which ended nearly three years after he and his crew set sail. The first circumnavigation was completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano and a small number of surviving crew members out of the nearly three hundred who originally departed Spain three years earlier.

Image: Ferdinand Magellan via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Now available at the Heartfelt History Gift Shoppe: 

The Louisiana Purchase parchment replica (rolled) in a tube
"On June 1, 1660, at nine o'clock, Mary Dyer again set out from the jail for the gallows on Boston Common, surrounded by a strong military guard. 
As she stood upon the fatal ladder, she was told if she would return home, she might come down and save her life. "Nay," she replied, " I cannot ; for in obedience to the will of the Lord God I came, and in His will I abide faithful to the death." Captain John Webb, the commander of the military, said to her that she had been there before, and had the sentence of banishment on pain of death, and had broken the law in coming again now, as well as formerly, and therefore she was guilty of her own blood. " Nay," she replied, " I came to keep blood-guiltiness from you, desiring you to repeal the unrighteous and unjust law of banishment upon pain of death, made against the innocent servants of the Lord, therefore my blood will be required at your hands who willfully do it; but for those that do it in the simplicity of their hearts, I do desire the Lord to forgive them. I came to do the will of my Father, and in obedience to his will I stand even to the death." Then her old Puritan pastor, the Rev. Mr. Wilson, bade her repent, and be not so deluded and carried away by the deceit of the devil. To which she replied, "Nay, man, I am not now to repent." Being asked whether she would have the Elders pray for her, she replied, "I know never an Elder here." They asked whether she would have any of the people pray for her? She responded, " I desire the prayers of all the people of God." Some scoffingly said, "It may be she thinks there are none here." Looking about, she said, "I know but few here." Then they spoke to her again, that one of the Elders might pray for her. She replied, "Nay, first a child, then a young man, then a strong man, before an Elder of Christ Jesus." And more she spake of the eternal happiness into which she was about to enter; and then, without tremor or trepidation, she was swung off, and the crown of martyrdom descended upon her head. Thus died 
brave Mary Dyer. Her remains were buried on Boston Common, and there they now rest in an unknown grave.”

From: Mary Dyer of Rhode Island, the Quaker martyr that was hanged on Boston common, June 1, 1660 by Horatio Rogers. Published in 1896
Source says not in copyright 

Image "Mary Dyer led to execution on Boston Common, 1 June 1660" via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“...the same tone of finality is even louder in an article, again by Mr. W. H. Grattan Flood, which appeared in the magazine Ave Maria on July 6, 1912, pages 19-20, under the title of "The Irish origin of the tune of The Star-Spangled Banner." In this article, drawn to my attention by Rev. H. T. Henry, of Philadelphia, formerly editor of Church Music, Mr. W. H. Grattan Flood says: 

“It being, therefore, admitted as beyond any question that Francis Scott Key adapted his song to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven," the question remains as to the origin of the tune. Mr. Sonneck is wrong in following Chappell's view both as regards the composer of the melody and the date. He says that John Stafford Smith included the tune in his Fifth Book of Canzonets, published between 1780 and 1790, and that Smith "probably" composed it about the year 1771. 

Let me here definitely state that Smith himself never claimed the tune as his, although he lived after the tune had been sung for thirty years, and even after Key had adapted "The Star-Spangled Banner" to "Anacreon in Heaven." It is simply amazing how one writer blindly copies another without taking paina to verify facts. Mr. Sonneck complacently followed the statement made by Chappell as to the music of "Anacreon in Heaven." 

The song was known in 1771, and at that date Smith had composed nothing. He was born in 1750, and studied under Dr. Boyce. His first efforts were a catch and a canon in 1773. The earliest appearance in print of the song was in 1771, and it was included in a song-book called "The Vocal Magazine; or, Compleat British Songster," in 1778. Two years later the music and words were printed by Anne Lee, of Dublin; and they were reprinted in the Vocal Enchantress in 1783. 

In order to bolster up Stafford Smith's claim as a composer of the tune, Chappell and his copyists give the date of his Fifth Book of Canzonets as "1780 or 1785." Fortunately for historical accuracy, a wealthy Irish-American, Mr. John Henry Blake, went to the Copyright Office, Stationers' Hall, London, and searched the record indexes of the copyright department from 1746 to 1799, inclusively, with the result that he discovered the actual date on which Smith entered the copyright, namely, May 14, 1799. This was not the only discovery made by Mr. Blake. He also found indisputable evidence that Smith merely arranged the tune in the form of a "glee," and that he did not claim any copyright for the tune. Nay, more: Smith lived till the year 1836, and he never asserted his claim as composer of his melody, although Key had written "The Star-Spangled Banner" to it in 1814. Surely it stands to reason that if Smith had composed the tune, and that the said tune (whether set to "Anacreon in Heaven" and “The Star-Spangled Banner") had been sung, printed, and circulated all over the British possessions and in America, he would, as a true Britisher, have asserted his claim to it.

An examination of Smith's Fifth Book of Canzonets reveals not only the interesting fact that this (...) musician merely arranged the long-existing melody of "Anacreon," but he also arranged, in a different volume, another Anacreontic song, and likewise "God save the King," and had the audacity to assert that “the whole was composed by John Stafford Smith about the year 1780." 

Smith's claim to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven" must therefore be rejected. But still the query remains. Who composed it? First, let me note that the words of the Anacreontic song, now replaced by the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner," are of Irish origin and evidently emanated from Ireland about the year 1765. They were slightly altered in 1770, and as such, were printed in 1778, while some further alterations were made in the version published in 1781. The ascription of the words of the song to "Ralph Tomlinson, Esq," is based solely on the fact that it was sung by that gentleman as president of the Anacreontic Club in London about the year 1771. And it will be of interest to American readers to learn that the song first appeared in an American song-book, The Vocal Companion, printed and published by an Irishman, Mathew Carey, at Philadelphia, in 1796. To the same tune was adapted "Adams and Liberty," by Thomas Payne, in June, 1798, and published in the American Musical Miscellany during the same year. 

Having thus eliminated the English claim to the tune, I have no hesitation in claiming the tune as of Irish origin. Furthermore, it has all the characteristics of a composition by the famous Turlough O'Carolan, as can easily be tested by a comparison of "Anacreon" with O'Carolan's "Bumpers, Squire Jones." As O'Carolan died on March 25, 1738, the tune may be dated from about the year 1730, if not earlier. His fine melody known as the "Arethusa" was appropriated by the English, and was included for over a century as a "fine old English melody," until I disproved the ascription and showed its rightful provenance. 

It is not a little remarkable that the tune "Yankee Doodle" is also of Irish origin — a fact which I first pointed out in the Dolphin in 1905. I now assert that 
the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is Irish, and is most probably the work of Turlough O'Carolan. 

I feel sure that Mr. Sonneck, if a future edition of his official report is called for, will reject the English claim to the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and will admit that of O'Carolan.”

From: “The star spangled banner" : (revised and enlarged from the "Report" on the above and other airs, issued in 1909)
by Oscar George Theodore Sonneck, published in 1914
Source says not in copyright 

Image: An engraving of Turlough O’Carolan: The Celebrated Irish Bard
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Carolan : the celebrated Irish bard." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 9, 2019.
April 17th, 1524...

“After proceeding one hundred leagues, we found a very pleasant situation among some steep hills, through which a very large river, deep at its mouth, forced its way to the sea; from the sea to the estuary of the river, any ship heavily laden might pass, with the help of the tide, which rises eight feet. But as we were riding at anchor in a good berth, we would not venture up in our vessel, without a knowledge of the mouth; therefore we took the boat, and entering the river, we found the country on its banks well peopled, the inhabitants not differing much from the others, being dressed out with the feathers of birds of various colours. They came towards us with evident delight, raising loud shouts of admiration, and showing us where we could most securely land with our boat. We passed up this river, about half a league, when we found it formed a most beautiful lake three leagues in circuit, upon which they were rowing thirty or more of their small boats, from one shore to the other, filled with multitudes who came to see us. All of a sudden, as is wont to happen to navigators, a violent contrary wind blew in from the sea, and forced us to return to our ship, greatly regretting to leave this region which seemed so commodious and delightful, and which we supposed must also contain great riches, as the hills showed many 
indications of minerals.”

From: Giovanni da Verrazano’s discovery of New York Harbour...Sailors narratives of voyages along the New England coast, 1524-1624 by George Parker Winship, published in 1905
Source says not in copyright
Explorer and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Peary was born on May 6th, 1856 in Cresson, Pennsylvania

Image of Peary by Nadar in 1900 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
United States Navy explorer George W. De Long was born on August 22nd, 1844 in New York City.
He led the doomed Jeannette Expedition in 1879 which attempted to find a passage to The North Pole...

“Months elapsed before a tolerably full, connected and intelligible account of the voyage of the Jeannette, and of the adventures and sufferings of the survivors of the expedition, was received at home. Meantime the Lena became a familiar word where it had never been spoken before, and its fatal delta the subject of deep interest and scrutiny. During this period of weary waiting the following verses were contributed to the Philadelphia Times:

By Baikal's lake, on wild Siberia's plain, 
Where howling blasts from Arctic's frozen main 
Sweep over the arid wastes ; 
Where zero marks the mild degrees of cold, 
And man to live must be of native mold, 

A shipwrecked boat's crew rests. 
By Lena's tide, whose waters never sleep, 
And hyperborean blasts perpetual revel keep, 
And cold and death combine ; 
Where nature spreads her icy mantle o'er 
The desert steppes and wilds forever more, 

DeLong and Melville pine. 
Two nations vie in competition brave 
The lost to trace, the rescued few to gave, 
Frost-bitten, maimed and blind ; 
Whilst far away, where western breezes blow, 
Where Minnesota's fertile prairies glow, 

A woman waits resigned. 
A world looks on with sad and anxious gaze, 
And Science gropes anew in troubled maze, 
And men begin to doubt ; 
Since Norsemen sailed, full twice five hundred years 
Have rolled away, and strewn the floes with tears, 

To trace the pole about. 
And still they die, and still the years roll on ; 
Bold Franklin erst, and now perchance DeLong — 
Two of a burdened roll. 
'Fair Science' mourns, but must not, cannot stay 
In such a strait, nor falter in the way, 
Till found the Northern pole.”

From: Our lost explorers: the narrative of the Jeannette Arctic expedition as related by the survivors, and in the records and last journals of Lieutenant De Long, published in 1882
Source says not in copyright 

De Long and other members of his crew perished from lack of food.  They were later found by searchers in Siberia.

Image: Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, US Navy via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 12th, 1609 Henry Hudson while aboard the Halve Maen (Half Moon) begins his exploration of the Hudson River...

"On the morning of the 12th, while he was still at his anchorage, twenty-eight canoes, filled with men, women, and children, came off to see him, bringing oysters and clams to trade for trifles. These Indians had "great tobacco pipes of yellow copper, and pots of earth to dress their meat in." Hudson's men seem, as usual, to have been suspicious of them, and though they traded with them, none of them were allowed to come on board. 

About noon, with a heart full of hope, he weighed anchor, and moved into the river. The wind was not fair; so that he made only two leagues, and again anchored for the night. The place off which he lay is supposed to have been what is now Manhattanville. The next day, the wind being ahead, he managed, by the help of the flood tide, to pass up only eleven miles higher. This brought him to what is now known as Yonkers, and again he cast anchor. In the course of this day, he was again visited by Indians, bringing provisions, and they seemed very friendly; but his crew suspected these also, and none of them came on board the ship. 

The day following the weather was fair, and a fine breeze springing up from the south-east, he passed up through Tappan and Haverstraw bays, "the river" (as the journal says) " being a mile wide, and anchored at night about thirty-six miles higher, in a region where the land was very high and mountainous." He was now evidently in the neighborhood of " the Highlands," and his anchorage was probably near West Point. 

Hudson and his men seem to have been struck 
with the wild and beautiful appearance of the 
country: and strange must have been his feelings, when in his little " yacht," moored beneath the Highlands, the shadows of night fell over him. He had braved the tempests of the north, and seen the monsters of the ocean, but all now was a new world around him. A wild and beautiful wilderness hung over him. Perhaps in the distance he might see the camp fires of straggling Indians: then he might hear the screechings of the owls, and the scream of panthers in the wilderness above him, or perhaps be startled by the strange and tremendous roar of the "Naked Bear" of the Indians.”

Image: The adventures of Henry Hudson
by Uncle Philip, published in 1842
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Half Moon in the Hudson via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A photo of American explorer Nathaniel Palmer

Palmer and his crew are considered the first Americans to sight the continent of Antarctica in November 1820.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for which America was named, was born on March 9th, 1454 in Florence.

Image: An old engraving of Amerigo Vespucci discovering the southern cross with an astrolabium
Hernando de Soto’s discovery of The Mississippi River in 1541

This painting is located in the U.S. Capitol building 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Civil War Veteran Daniel Freeman Beatrice in the early 1900s.

Daniel is known to be the first person to complete and submit a homestead claim, thus making him the territory’s first documented homesteader under the Homestead Act. 

On today’s date March 1st, 1867 Nebraska became the 37th state. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The first attempt to pass around the southern extremity of the peninsula of California and follow the outer coast northward was made in 1539. At this time the twenty-eighth degree of north latitude was reached. Another navigator in 1542 went as far as the thirty-eighth degree; and Bartolome Ferrelo, in March, 1543, reached the farthest point to the northward, which is given by some authorities as latitude 44°, and by others as 43°. Other historians, including Bancroft, do not accord him even so high a latitude as 43°. However, this makes but little difference, as he progressed as far as Rogue River, and possibly to the Umpqua River, and can safely be credited with the discovery of Oregon, so far as sailing along its coast without making a landing or even drawing a chart of its outline may be deemed to constitute a discovery. Lack of provisions, and the ravages of the dreaded scurvy among his crew, compelled Ferrelo to abandon the effort to proceed farther.”

From: A short history of Oregon; early discoveries--The Lewis and Clark exploration--settlement--government--Indian wars--progress by Sidona Johnson, published in 1904
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Reconnaissance of the western coast of the United States, middle sheet, from San Francisco to Umpqua River via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
On September 8th, 1565 St. Augustine, Florida was founded by Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain.
English Puritans escaping to America c. 1620s

engraving from 1858

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "English Puritans escaping to America" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 12, 2020.
No known restrictions
“In sundrie of these stormes the windes were so fierce and the seas so high, as they could not beare a knote of saile, but were forced to hull,* for diverce days togither. And in one of them, as they thus lay at hull, in a mighty storme, a lustie yonge man (called John Rowland) coming upon some occasion above grattings, was, with a seelef of the shipe throwne into (the) sea ; but it pleased God that he caught hould of the top-saile halliards, which hunge over board, and rane out at length ; yet he held his hould (though he was sundrie fadomes under water) till he was hald up by the same rope to the brime of the water, and then with a boathooke and other means got into the shipe againe, and his life saved; and though he was something ill with it, yet he lived many years after, and became a profitable member both in church and commone wealthe. In all this viage ther died but one of the passengers, which was William Butten, a youth, servant to Samuell Fuller, when they drew near the coast. But to omite other things, (that I may be breefe,) after longe beating at sea they fell with that land which is called Cape Cod; the which being made and certainly knowne to be it, they were not a little joy full. After some deliberation had amongst them selves and with the m(aste)r of the ship, they tacked aboute and resolved to stande for the southward (the wind and weather being faire) to finde some place aboute Hudsons river for their habitation. But after they had sailed that course aboute halfe the day, they fell amongst deanerous shoulds and roring breakers, and they were so farr intangled ther with as they conceived them selves in great danger; and the wind shrinking upon them withall, they resolved to bear up againe for the Cape, and thought them selves hapy to gett out of those dangers before night overtooke them, as by Gods good providence they did. And the next day they gott into the Cape-harbor wher they ridd in saftie. A word or too by the way of this cape; it was thus first named by Capten Gosnole and his company. Anno: 1602, and after by Capten Smith was caled Cape James; but it retains the former name amongst sea-men. Also that pointe which first shewed those dangerous shoulds unto them, they called Pointe Care, and Tuckers Terrour; but the French and Dutch to this day call it Malabarr, by reason of those perilous shoulds, and the losses they have suffered their. Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the periles and miseries therof, againe to set their feete on the firme and stable earth, theyr proper elemenee.”

From: The Mayflower pilgrims by William Bradford
Source says not in copyright

Image: The Mayflower at Sea via New York Public Library Digital Collections, no known restrictions
The Pilgrim Maiden, Brewster Gardens, Plymouth, Mass.

Postcard c. 1920s-1930s

via NYPL, Digital Collections no known restrictions
Birthplace of Gov. William Bradford, Austerfield, England.

Mayflower voyager and Governor of Plymouth Colony in present day Massachusetts, William Bradford was born on March 19th, 1590 in Austerfield, England. 

Bradford Quote: "Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness.”

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Map of The World - 1641 

Now available at Heartfelt History Gift Shoppe - Premium
Captain John Smith’s Map of Virginia (replica)
First published at Oxford, England in 1612

Now available at Heartfelt History Gift Shoppe Premium
“...they came in sight of Point Comfort in Virginia. They were now approaching the end of their wanderings. Yet this joyful prospect was somewhat clouded by the fear of hostility on the part of the Virginians, who were resolutely opposed to Lord Baltimore's design. But the royal letters, which they bore with them, secured them a favorable reception from the governor, and, after spending eight or nine days in that colony, they again set sail on the 3d of March, steering for the mouth of the Potomac, to which they gave the name of St. Gregory. They had now arrived in the land of their adoption, and they were delighted with the wide expanse of the noble bay, and the majestic river, upon whose shores they were about to rear an empire. On the banks of the Potomac they found mighty forests stretching as far as the eye could reach; a soil rich and fertile. The air was sweet and balmy, although it was now in the month of March. They returned thanks to God for the beautiful land which he had given them. 

On the beach they beheld, during the day, groups of armed natives prepared to resist their landing, and at night they saw innumerable alarm fires kindled throughout the country as signals to the savage tribes, while messengers passed from one to the other far into the interior, carrying the strange tidings "that canoes, as big as an island, had brought as many men as there were trees in the forest." In spite of these demonstrations of apparent hostility, they succeeded in establishing confidence in the breasts of the natives; and having satisfied them that their intentions were peaceful, purchased from them the territory which they required. Maryland's settlement was not marked by the shedding of the blood of the natives. 

The ships now approached the Heron Islands, on one of which, St. Clements — thought to be Blackstone's Island — the colonists determined to land, and, although the island was too small for a settlement, to build a strong fort for their protection in case of any outbreak. On the feast of “the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin," being the 25th of March, in the year 1634, they took solemn possession of the soil of Maryland and offered up the holy sacrifice for the first time within its borders. Mass was celebrated and the pilgrims formed in procession, led by Governor Leonard Calvert, the secretary, and the other officers, carrying on their shoulders a huge cross, hewn from a tree, which they erected with religious exercises. Under such auspices was begun the founding of Maryland.”

From: History of Maryland by James McSherry
Published in 1904
Source says not in copyright 

Image: “Landing of the Maryland colonists”
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Landing of the Maryland colonists" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 25, 2019.
No known restrictions
"Two small, quaint vessels, not larger than the fishing-craft of Gloucester and Marblehead, — one was of twelve, the other of fifteen tons, — held their way across the Atlantic, passed the tempestuous headlands of Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence, and, with adventurous knight-errantry, glided deep into the heart of the Canadian wilderness. On board of one of them was the Breton merchant, Pontgrave, and with him a man of spirit widely different, a Catholic of good family, — Samuel de Champlain, born in 1567 at the small seaport of Brouage on the Bay of Biscay. His father was a captain in the royal navy, where he himself seems also to have served, though during the war he had fought for the King in Brittany, under the banners of D'Aumont, St. Luc, and Brissac. His purse was small, his merit great; and Henry the Fourth out of his own slender revenues had given him a pension to maintain him near his person. But rest was penance to him. The war in Brittany was over. The rebellious Duc de Mercceur was reduced to obedience, and the royal army disbanded. Champlain, his occupation gone, conceived a design consonant with his adventurous nature. He would visit the West Indies, and bring back to the King a report of those regions of mystery whence Spanish jealousy excluded foreigners, and 
where every intruding Frenchman was threatened 
with death. Here much knowledge was to be won 
and much peril to be met.”

From: Pioneers of France in the New world;: Huguenots in Florida, Samuel de Champlain by Francis Parkman, published in 1907
Source says not in copyright 

Image of Samuel de Champlain via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
“We landed at every thing like a town, and bought milk, and eggs, and butter. Some times the Seneca Indians were passed, coming up stream in their immensely long pine canoes. There was perpetual novelty and freshness in this mode of wayfaring. The scenery was most enchanting. The river ran high, with a strong spring current, and the hills frequently rose in most picturesque cliffs. 

1818. I do not recollect the time consumed in this descent. We had gone about three hundred miles, when we reached Pittsburgh. It was the 28th of March when we landed at this place, which I remember because it was my birthday. And I here bid adieu to the kind and excellent proprietor of the ark, L. Pettiborne, Esq., who refused to receive any compensation for my passage, saying, prettily, that he did not know how they could have got along without me. 

I stopped at one of the best hotels, kept by a Mrs. McCullough, and, after visiting the manufactories and coal mines, hired a horse, and went up the Monongahela Valley, to explore its geology as high as Williamsport. The rich coal and iron beds of this part of the country interested me greatly; I was impressed with their extent, and value, and the importance which they must eventually give to Pittsburgh. After returning from this trip, completed my visits to the various workshops and foundries, and to the large glass works of Bakewell and of O’Hara. 

I was now at the head of the Ohio River, which is formed by the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela. My next step was to descend this stream; and, while in search of an ark on the borders of the Monongahela, I fell in with a Mr. Brigham, a worthy person from Massachusetts, who had sallied out with the same view. We took passage together on one of these floating houses, with the arrangements of which I had now become familiar. I was charmed with the Ohio; with its scenery, which was every moment shifting to the eye; and with the incidents of such a novel voyage. Off Wheeling we made fast to another ark, from the Monongahela, in charge of Capt. Hutchinson, an intelligent man. There were a number of passengers, who, together with this commander, added to our social circle, and made it more agreeable: among these, the chief person was Dr. Selman, of Cincinnati, who had been a surgeon in Wayne’s army, and who had a fund of information of this era. My acquaintance with subjects of chemistry and mineralogy enabled me to make my conversation agreeable, which was afterwards of some advantage to me.”

From: Personal memoirs of a residence of thirty years with the Indian tribes on the American frontiers: with brief notices of passing events, facts, and opinions, A. D. 1812 to A. D. 1842
by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, published in 1851
Source says not in copyright

Image: Henry Rowe Schoolcraft via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On April 1st, 1775 Boonesborough was established...

"Not far from them both were grouped some of the grandest trees that ever delighted the human eye. Four of them were especially noticeable. Of these, three were immense sycamores, whose white trunks had been polished by the incessant touch of the salt-hunting elk and buffalo and deer, and one was an elm so magnificent in size and so exceptional in its proportions and in the spread of its far-reaching branches that one who saw it in all its glory, and had a soul to appreciate it, called it "divine."' Near by the ancient river ran solemn and beautiful, deep down between the rugged steepness of its southern side and the wooded heights and everlasting hills that shut in the other shore. The natural charms of the distant treaty ground of Sycamore Shoals were strangely duplicated in the camping-ground of "Sycamore Hollow." And here, on the 1st of April, 1775. about a mile and a quarter below the mouth of Otter Creek, Boone and his harassed and tired woodsmen unloaded their horses, cooked a simple meal, and, 
after a good long rest, began the erection of several log huts for temporary shelter and defense. They were located "about sixty yards from the river, something over two hundred yards southwest of the lick, and constituted what was immediately named "Fort Boone."

From: Boonesborough; its founding, pioneer struggles, Indian experiences, Transylvania days, and revolutionary annals 
By George Washington Ranck, published in 1901
Source says not in copyright 

Image: A drawing of Fort Boonesborough via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Four centuries ago, on April 5th, 1621 (Old Style Date) the Mayflower departs Plymouth to return to England. 

Image: Return of The Mayflower via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
On April 7th, 1788 Rufus Putnam and other pioneers established a settlement along the Muskingum River in the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio. It was named "Marietta” in honor of the French Queen, Marie Antoinette.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A scene showing Peter Stuyvesant with his wooden leg and others in New Amsterdam (Manhattan, New York) in 1660

Long before it was called New Amsterdam, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano gave the area the name "New Angoulême”

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
La Salle taking possession of Louisiana in the name of King Louis XIV, April 9th, 1682

Conjectural painting from the early 1900s

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"From Greenland's icy mountains; from Iceland's rocky shore, 
We sailed the ship which forged ahead and ruddy 
oarsmen bore; 

We found the wild grape growing; we scoured the 
river's bed, 
And chased the moose whose horns were broad, whose blood was rich and red. 

Our axes felled the wild-wood, our spears the Skraelings slew, 
We sank their round skin-barges as the cutting North Winds blew, 

Over the wild waves rolling, back to the fiords of home, 
We safely came to anchor, but we'll never cease to 

Saga of the Vikings, 1000 A. D. 

From: Famous discoverers and explorers of America; their voyages, battles, and hardships in traversing and conquering the unknown territories of a new world by Charles Haven Ladd Johnston, published in 1917
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Landing of The Vikings in North America via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Map of the Atlantic coast of North America that was created not long after Verrazano’s voyage to the New World in the early 1500s.

On April 17th, 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano arrived at New York Bay.

Image via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, no known restrictions
On May 4th, 1626 Peter Minuit arrived at New Netherland to serve as the Dutch colony’s director. 

Peter Minuit portrait via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Settlement of Jamestown in Virginia 

"The first permanent English settlement in North America, commenced by 105 persons, 13th of May, 1607”

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Juan Ponce De León carried to his boat after being wounded during a fight with Native Americans in Florida.  He and a group of Spaniards were trying to establish a colony during his second visit to the area. He later succumbed to his wounds in Cuba in 1521.

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
On May 25th, 1539 Hernando de Soto and troops landed in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Image "The Landing at Tampa Bay” via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Kit Carson and John C. Frémont

c. mid 1800s

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
La Salle’s landing in Texas c. 1685

About halfway between Houston & Corpus Christi near the place where they established the settlement, Fort St. Louis

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
On June 7th, 1769 Daniel Boone spots land now known as present day Kentucky after traversing the Cumberland Gap

Image of Daniel Boone by Thomas Sully via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A Viking map of Vinland...

Believed to have been redrafted from an original from the 13th Century.
Possibly the earliest map of the North American Atlantic coastline.
You can see Vinland on the left beyond Greenland.
Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet on the Mississippi c. 1673

The French explorers began their journey in the Great Lakes and traveled southward. They didn’t reach the Gulf of Mexico as they made a turn back to the north at the point where the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers meet. 

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Columbus Before The Queen 

German-American artist Emanuel Leutze provides a painted scene showing Christopher Columbus requesting funding from Queen Isabella for his expedition to the West. 

He was rejected twice before the monarchs finally decided to fund his voyage.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Henry Hudson with his son and crew set adrift in the Hudson Bay following a mutiny on June 23rd, 1611. Their fate remains a mystery.

Image via Wikipedia Commons, public domain
It is believed that Ponce de Leon sailed with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1493. 

If so, then Ponce de Leon discovered Florida just 20 years after traveling with Columbus.
Harvard professor of chemistry and developer of an improved baking powder formula Eben Norton Horsford (shown) believed that Leif Erikson and fellow Vikings traveled south of Vinland to areas in Massachusetts. 

He even had a statue of Leif Erikson erected on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston which still stands today.
On July 14th, 1771 Mission San Antonio de Padua was founded in California

Photo of Mission San Antonio de Padua more than 100 years later c. 1880

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On July 15th, 1806 Zebulon Pike begins his expedition to the West to explore lands near the Louisiana Purchase.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Jake Hunt, a Native American survivor who, as a lad, saw the Lewis and Clark Expedition as it glided down the Columbia River in 1805-6.

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
A map of North America (with Latin text) from the mid 1700s showing British control over present day Eastern U.S. with the exception of the Florida peninsula 

Image via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, no known restrictions
“In the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of the Pilgrims,
To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling,
Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan leather,
Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan Captain.
Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind him, and pausing
Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of warfare,
Hanging in shining array along the walls of the chamber,--
Cutlass and corselet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus,
Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical Arabic sentence,
While underneath, in a corner, were fowling-piece, musket, and matchlock.
Short of stature he was, but strongly built and athletic,
Broad in the shoulders, deep-chested, with muscles and sinews of iron”

From: The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sir Walter Raleigh - the English politician, soldier, spy, explorer and writer was accused of treason for his role in the Main Plot against James I. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a period of 13 years. In American history he is known as the figure who funded and authorized the expedition and settlement of "The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island."
Christopher Columbus had three brothers and a sister

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Fort Ross c. 1865

The earliest known photograph of the Russian settlement in Northern California 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
William Clark of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, was born on August 1st, 1770 in Caroline County, Virginia. 

Following the expedition he wed and named his first son after Meriwether Lewis. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
An early painting of what appears to be a Scottish settler greeted by a Guale Native American, possibly in South Carolina in the late 1600s

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mother Ann Lee and fellow believers arrived in New York City on August 6th, 1774 following a long journey from England. 

Their religious community became known as the Shakers.

Image: Early drawing of who is believed to be Shaker leader Ann Lee via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"But the Puritans were not alone in their belief in witchcraft, or readiness to punish witches. Even under the mild and liberal government of Penn, two Swedish women were indicted for witchcraft, under instructions from the governor himself; and they escaped by reason of some defect in the indictment, rather than from any unwillingness to punish the offence. It is said that Penn, on one occasion, in the early days of Philadelphia, when a woman was charged with being a witch and 
riding a broomstick through the air, declared there was no law against that method of locomotion, and she might so ride as often as she pleased; but if this be true, he had probably modified his opinions if he prompted the indictment of the Swedish women.”

From: Pioneers in the settlement of America: from Florida in 1510 to California in 1849 by William A.
Crafts, published in 1876
Source says not in copyright 

Penn’s Colonists along The Delaware 
Engraving via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"An interesting photograph made in the courtyard of the former home of Christopher Columbus, on the occasion when a group of American doughboys took a trip to this historical spot of interest”

c. 1920 in Genoa, Italy 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Spanish gun brought to San Juan, Porto Rico, by Ponce de Leon

Image c. 1900

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Plymouth, Massachusetts - William Harlow House, built of wood from Pilgrim Fort, 1667

Image c. 1895-1905

via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, no known restrictions
Settlers under attack in the 1600s

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"There is a Welsh triad entitled "The Three 
Losses by Disappearance." The first loss was that of Gavran, the son of Aeddan Vradog, a chieftain of distinguished celebrity of the latter part of the fifth century. He went on an expedition to discover some islands which are known by the name of Gwerddonan Llion, or the Green Islands of the Ocean. He was never heard of afterwards, and the situation of these islands became lost to the Welsh. The second loss was that of Merddin, who was the Bard of Emrys Wledig, or the Ambrosius of Saxon history, by whose command Stonehenge was erected. 

Merddin is held as one of the three Christian 
Bards of Wales, — Merddin Wyllt and Taliesin 
being the other two. 

This Merddin, with twelve Bards, went to sea, 
and they were heard of no more. 

The third loss of this remarkable triad was 
Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd, who, with three hundred men, went to sea in ten ships, and it is not known whither they went. 

About 1440 A.D., Meredydd ab Rhys, having obtained the loan of a fishing-net by a poem, sent 
a second poem with it when he returned it, and 
wrote thus : 

"Let Ivan, of a generous stock, 
Hunt, like his father, on the land; 
In good time, on the waters, I, 
By liberal aid, will hunter be. 
Madoc the brave, of aspect fair, 
Owain of Gwynedd's offspring true, 
Would have no land, — man of my soul ! — 
Nor any wealth, except the seas. 
Madoc am I, who, through my life. 
By sea will seek my wonted prey." 

Madoc was a navigator, and made the sea his 
home. No doubt can be entertained on that point. 
In the above quotation the poet likens himself to 
Madoc as the true type of a sailor. 

It has been said that the Welsh Bards were historians. They were retained in families of importance to record the actions of their ancestors and those of the Bards themselves in odes and songs. While they may have employed a poetic license in their construction, the facts themselves were not lost out of sight. So far as can be known, it appears that these odes were written prior to any definite notion of a Western world, known subsequently as the American Continent. Madoc's voyages might not have been very familiar to many except the Welsh, and they were ignorant whither he went. One thing, however, is absolutely certain, that this tradition having existed for centuries could not have been invented, as some have suspected, 
to support the English against the Spanish claims 
of prior discovery. A period of three hundred 
and twenty-two years intervened between that of 
Madoc and that of Columbus. 

From: America discovered by the Welsh in 1170 A.D.
by Benjamin F. Bowden, published in 1876
Source says not in copyright 

Image: An illustration and writings from the 15th Century from Historia Regum Britanniae believed to be Madog (or Madoc)
via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The settlers at Jamestown in the 1600s

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
In 1788 Revolutionary War Veteran John C. Symmes purchased over 300,000 acres in present day Ohio. 
One of the settlements that was founded was known as Losantiville, a name that is derived from four different languages: English, Greek, Latin and French meaning “village opposite the mouth of the (Licking) river.”

This area is now part of present day Cincinnati, Ohio. 

John C. Symmes’ nephew was also named John C. Symmes (after his uncle) and the nephew believed that the Earth was hollow.

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
On August 18th, 1838 Charles Wilkes commanding the USS Vincennes along with other ships and over 300 crewmen departed Virginia and began their journey to explore the Pacific. The expedition took nearly 4 years to complete. 

Image: Portrait of Rear Admiral Charles Wilkes, officer of the Federal Navy about 20 years after his expedition to the Pacific at the time of the American Civil War via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
John C. Fremont hoisting Old Glory in the Rocky Mountains in 1842

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Landing of Leonard Calvert and crew at St. Mary’s in Maryland in 1634

Leonard was the 1st Proprietary-Governor of Maryland and he would only live another 13 years after his arrival.  He died in his early 40s.

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Nearly 10 years after making his famous expedition, William Clark (with other representatives of the United States), sign the Treaty of Saint Louis with Native American tribes on August 24th, 1816.

Image of William Clark via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On August 25th, 1928 a ship called "The City of New York” departed Hoboken, New Jersey bound for the Antarctic.
It arrived at the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in December of that year.

Image: American Commander Richard E. Byrd with mustache and on skis during his First Antarctic Expedition via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 1st, 1821, War of 1812 Veteran William Becknell and fellow trailblazers departed Missouri and began their journey along the route that would become known as the Santa Fe Trail. 

Image: Illustration of early travelers along the Santa Fe Trail in the early 1800s via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
French Explorer's Council with the Indians

by Frederic Remington 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Half-Moon (Halve Maen) with Henry Hudson and crew on board departing Amsterdam in the spring of 1609

In early September 1609 the Half-Moon arrived in present day New York Harbor.

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Gastaldi’s Map of New Spain from 1548

If you look closely at the Gulf Coast area to the right you’ll see that one of the rivers is labeled by the Venetian mapmaker as "Rio De Spiritu Santo.” The Spanish called this river “Rio Del Espiritu Santo” meaning "River of The Holy Spirit” which was the name that they gave the Mississippi River.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"When Bacon got control of Jamestown, then a mere village of some sixteen to eighteen houses, he burned it to prevent its falling into Berkeley's hands. The people's leader had been successful, and had risked his life and his fortune for the common rights. But the strain of the past four or five months in the malarial swamps broke down his health, and after a short illness, he died of fever at the home of a friend, in October, 1676. It is not known where he was buried. His friends were obliged to hide his body, because they feared that, according to the custom of the times, Berkeley might seize it and have it hanged. 

With Bacon's death the rebellion lost its heart and 
soul. Berkeley brutally punished Bacon's friends, 
some twenty of whom he put to death. This dis- 
pleased the English king, who summoned the governor to return to England, where he soon afterward died a broken-hearted man. 

Bacon's Rebellion, as this uprising of Virginians 
in 1676 has been rightly called, although it seemed to fail, was not without large influence for good. For it strengthened the liberty-loving spirit of the people, and prepared them for that greater movement in behalf of their rights that took place one hundred years later.”

From: American leaders and heroes; a preliminary text-book in United States history by Wilbur Fisk Gordy, published in 1905
Source says no known restrictions
“In 1636, he was re-instated as one of the 
Assistants. In this year he was also appointed to command an expedition that was sent out against the Block Island and Pequot Indians. The latter were the most warlike tribe in New England. A Mr. John Oldham from Watertown, had recently been murdered by the Block Island Indians, while on a trading voyage, and the government deeming that justice ought to be summarily visited upon them for this outrage, determined to send out forthwith a detachment of ninety men, under four Captains, and place the whole force under the command of Endecott as the General. This expedition sailed on the 24th day of August, and arrived at Block Island before the end of the month. 
Here they found some difficulty in landing on account of the surf, and were met by about forty Indians, who shot off their arrows at them, and then fled ; but the men being all armed with corsletts, only one was slightly wounded in the neck…”

The beginning of the Pequot War

From: Memoir of John Endecott, first governor of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, by Charles Endicott, published in 1847
Source says not in copyright 

Image: John Endecott's landing on Block Island in 1636 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
An English card from the 1920s

On the back it says:

"Sir Humphrey Gllbert, 1539-1583.

Sir Humphrey Gilbert, A Devonshire man, we owe
the acquisition of Newfoundland in 1583.
He never returned, however, to his native land, for after several disasters to fleet, the "Squirrel " was
wrecked on the voyage. He had previously been on a voyage of điscovery, but was frustrated by the Spaniards in his attempt to form a colony.”

Sir Humphrey Gilbert was a half-brother to Sir Walter Raleigh. 

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
On September 16th, 1620 the Mayflower departed Plymouth, England carrying about 130 souls. 

It took 66 days to cross the Atlantic and sight Cape Cod.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, no known restrictions
“La Ceiba de Colon” The famous Columbus tree at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

It’s believed that Christopher Columbus moored his caravel to this tree when he landed in the New World.

- Image early 1900s

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
On September 25th, 1513 Vasco Núñez de Balboa sights the Pacific Ocean from Panama. 

Image of Vasco Núñez de Balboa via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Christopher Columbus in chains returning back to Spain after being removed as Colonial Governor in the year 1500 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 30th, 1541 de Soto and his men entered the territory of the Tula tribe in present day western Arkansas. Intense fighting between the two groups occured as the skilled Tula fighters used their long spears to defend themselves. There were a number of casualties on both sides. 

Image of de Soto via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
“The first settlers of Germantown came from the country of the lower Rhine, not far from the borders of Holland. The purchase of land was made through the Frankfort Company, of which Francis Daniel Pastorius was the agent in America for a number of years. 

In 1683 thirteen families set out from Crefeld, their native town, for London, where passage had been engaged for them to Pennsylvania in the ship Concord, by James Claypole, a Quaker merchant of that city, who was to be their fellow passenger. On the 24th of July they sailed from London, and arrived in Philadelphia the 6th of October. They were met on landing by Pastorius who had preceded them a few weeks. On the 24th of October Thomas Fairman, the surveyor of the Province, laid out their land in the township, afterwards called Germantown, and on the next day the immigrants met in the cave of Pastorius on the bank of the Delaware and made selections of the plots of land by lot. Having done this, they proceeded at once to clear their land and erect dwellings before the winter should overtake them. 

The following are the names of the thirteen settlers : 

Abraham Op den Graeff
Thones Kunders, 
Herman Op den Graeff
Reynier Tyson, 
Lenart Arets, 
Jan Lucken, 
Jan Seimens, 
Johannes Bleikers, 
Willem Streypers, 
Peter Keurlis, 
Jan Lensen, 
Abraham Tunes,
Dirck Op den Graeff

They were all Friends or Mennonites. Before their departure from Germany there had been a Friends' Monthly Meeting held at Crefeld, which was discontinued immediately after their departure, indicating that all or nearly all the full body of members had gone. By 1690 when the village of Germantown had grown to forty-four families, twenty-eight of them were Friends and the other sixteen of other religious faiths.”

From: The guide book to historic Germantown by Charles Francis Jenkins, published in 1902
Source says no known restrictions 

Image of the Concord on a 20 cent US stamp from 1983; 300 years after the ship’s arrival in Philadelphia via Shutterstock
Landing of Columbus at Guanahani (Bahama Islands) Oct. 12, 1492

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions