Important People in In the American Grain

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Eric the Red (950 – ca. 1003)

Norse founder of Greenland, Eric is banished from Norway and Iceland for murders committed in both places. His son Leif Ericson explores Vinland in about 999.

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)

Columbus, an Italian explorer who crosses the Atlantic Ocean four times, lands on the island of Hispaniola in on his first voyage in 1492. His voyage is not the first to discover the North American continent, but is the most popularly known.

Hernán Cortes (1485-1547)

Cortes, a Spanish explorer, is responsible for the destruction of the Aztec Empire and the city-state of Tenochtitlan in 1520.

Montezuma (1466-1520)

Montezuma. Aztec emperor, surrenders to Cortez in 1519 and witnesses the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

Ponce de León (1474-1521)

De León, the Spanish explorer who is the first governor of Cuba, leads the first invasion into Florida. He is associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth.

Hernando de Soto (1496-1542)

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