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Section 3: European Explorers
Come and Go
• Who were the first explorers of North
Carolina and how did they interact with
the Native Americans?
Giovanni da Verrazano
• Can you guess what
country sponsored his
Giovanni da Verrazano and the
French (1524)
• The king of France ordered Verrazano to
find a shorter water route to China.
• Areas Explored: Coast of NC, modern
day New York and Rhode Island
• Discoveries/Results: He had contact with
Native Americans; did not find route to
China (NW Passage)
Hernando de Soto
• Can you guess what
country sponsored his
Hernando de Soto
(Spain, 1539 – 1540)
• In 1540, de Soto and his 600 soldiers entered the
Carolinas, looking for gold.
• Areas Explored: Southeastern US and NC
• De Soto encountered various groups along the
Catawba River and in the mountains. De Soto
died and was buried along the Mississippi River.
• Discoveries/Results: Poor relations with
Natives, did not find gold
Juan Pardo and the Spanish
• Pardo’s expedition included Catholic priests
who tried to convert the Native Americans.
Small groups of soldiers were left to begin
camps in various areas. Pardo planned to return
to the camps once he located gold.
• Areas Explored: NC mountains
• One hundred soldiers may have been in the
foothills by the time the quest for gold was
• Discoveries/Results: Did not find gold
Walter Raleigh and Humphrey
• Can you guess what
country these two
half-brothers were
Walter Raleigh and the English
• Half-brothers, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter
Raleigh, studied Verrazano’s work and thought they
could find the route to China. The first expedition, in
1578, was turned back because of weather conditions
and attacks by Spaniards. Gilbert went on a second
expedition and was lost at sea in 1583. The queen did not
let Raleigh go because she dreamt he would die.
• Areas Explored: East Coast, and areas around VA, NC,
and SC.
• Discoveries/Results: Had contact with Native
Americans; grew crops; did not create a permanent