The Explorers, 1492-1774

CHRONOLOGY: 1492-1774

1492   Columbus discovers the New World and establishes colony at Hispaniola (Haiti).

1497   John Cabot discovers coast of North America, probably at Cape Breton Island, under patent from Henry VII of England.

1497   Amerigo Vespucci, Italian navigator living in Seville, explores the mouth of the Amazon and the northeast coast of South America.

1513   Ponce de Leon discovers Florida and lands near St. Augustine.

1513   Vasco Nunez de Balboa is the first to “gaze on the Pacific.”

1518   Juan de Grijalva explores the Mexican coast from Yucatan to near Veracruz and is the first to hear of Moctezuma and his empire.

1519   Cortes reaches Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) and interviews Moctezuma.

1520   Cortes returns to the coast and defeats Narvaez at Cempoala.

1521   The fall of Tenochtitlan.

1523-1524   Pedro de Alvarado conquers Guatemala and becomes its Captain General.

1532   Francisco Pizarro completes the conquest of Peru.

1533   Fortun Jimenez lands at La Paz, the first white man in Lower California.

1535   Cortes lands at La Paz and establishes temporary colony.

1539   De Soto lands near Tampa Bay and explores the Mississippi and west to Oklahoma.

1539   Fr. Marcos de Niza expedition goes north to New Mexico to find seven cities of Cibola.

1539   Francisco de Ulloa, sent by Cortes, explores up the Gulf of California, lands at La Paz, and sails up the west coast at least as far as Cedros Island.

1540   Hernando Alarcon ascends the Colorado River in small boats.

1540   Melchior Diaz reaches the Colorado River overland.

1540-1542 Coronado leads a land expedition to New Mexico and Arizona.

1542   Sent by the Viceroy Mendoza, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sets sail from Navidad and discovers California. (Sept. 28).

1565   Urdaneta sails from the Philippines to Acapulco on first eastern voyage of a galleon. Arellano sights Cape Mendocino.

1579   Drake sails up the California coast to 42o or 43o.

1586   Tomas Cavendish loots the Santa Ana off tip of Baja California.

1595   Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno, sailing from Philippines to Acapulco, explores the California coast from Eureka to San Martin Island looking for ports.

1596   Sebastian Vizcaino lands at La Paz, seeking pearls.

1602-1603   Vizcaino surveys the coast from Cape San Lucas to Cape Blanco and back.

1607   The establishment of the Jamestown Colony on Chesapeake Bay.

1620   The Pilgrims land at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1682   William Penn establishes Pennsylvania.

1697   Fr. Juan Maria Salvatierra establishes a colony and mission at Loreto, the first permanent settlement in the Californias.

1701-1702   Father Kino, at Yuma, proves that California is not an island.

1697-1767   The Jesuits found 23 missions in Lower California, of which about 15 are permanent.

1767   Capt. Gaspar de Portola becomes Governor of the Californias, with headquarters at the capital, Loreto.

1768   The Jesuits are banished from New Spain.

1768   The Franciscans, led by Fr. Junipero Serra, arrive at La Paz to take over the missions.

1769   The ships San Carlos and San Antonio arrive at San Diego. (April 11 and 29).

1769   Capt. Rivera y Moncada and his overland party arrive at San Diego, accompanied by Fr. Juan Crespi. (May 14).

1769   Capt. Portola and the main party arrive at San Diego. (June 29).

1769   Fr. Junipero Serra arrives at San Diego. (July 1).

1769   Founding of the Mission of San Diego. (July 16).

1774   Juan Bautista de Anza opens land route from Mexico to California.