18th Century Explorers

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Explorers, including James Cook, Daniel Boone, Sacagawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Explorers

 1 James Cook

James Cook.
7
Famous As: Explorer & Navigator
Birthdate: October 27, 1728
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marton, England
Died: February 14, 1779

British explorer, navigator, and cartographer James Cook, who had also served the merchant navy and Royal Navy, was the first to complete an expedition around New Zealand. He explored areas in the South Pacific, such as eastern Australia and Hawaii. He was killed while trying to kidnap a Hawaiian king.

 2 Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone.
9
Famous As: Pioneer
Birthdate: October 22, 1734
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Daniel Boone Homestead
Died: September 26, 1820

Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, woodsman, explorer, and frontiersman. His exploits as an American frontier made him one of the earliest folk heroes of the US. Widely regarded as the founder of Kentucky, Daniel Boone is popular for his exploration and settlement of Kentucky. His life and work have inspired several movies, such as the 1936 movie Daniel Boone.

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 3 Sacagawea

Sacagawea.
9
Famous As: Interpreter
Birthdate: 1788 AD
Birthplace: Salmon
Died: 1812 AD
Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman, became a significant part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, helping its members connect with the Native Americans along the trail. The National American Woman Suffrage Association later honored her by erecting several statues in her memory. She finds mention in many books and films.

 4 Meriwether Lewis

Meriwether Lewis.
4
Famous As: Explorer, Politician
Birthdate: August 18, 1774
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivy, Colony of Virginia
Died: October 11, 1809

 5 John Franklin

John Franklin.
4
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: April 16, 1786
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Spilsby
Died: June 11, 1847

 6 William Clark

William Clark.
5
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: August 1, 1770
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Caroline County
Died: September 1, 1838

 7 Matthew Flinders

Matthew Flinders.
3
Famous As: Voyager
Birthdate: March 16, 1774
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Donington
Died: July 19, 1814
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 8 George Vancouver

George Vancouver
3
Famous As: Explorer, Officer
Birthdate: June 22, 1757
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: King's Lynn
Died: May 10, 1798

 9 Zebulon Pike

Zebulon Pike
3
Famous As: Explorer, Military personnel
Birthdate: January 5, 1779
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lamberton, New Jersey
Died: April 27, 1813

 10 Mungo Park

Mungo Park.
3
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: September 11, 1771
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Selkirkshire
Died: 1806 AD

 11 David Thompson

David Thompson
3
Famous As: Fur trader
Birthdate: April 30, 1770
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westminster, England
Died: February 10, 1857

 12 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac
3
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: March 5, 1658
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave, France
Died: October 16, 1730

 13 Giovanni Battista Belzoni

Giovanni Battista Belzoni
3
Famous As: Explorer, Antiquarian, Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Novelist, Travel writer
Birthdate: November 5, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Padua
Died: December 3, 1823

 14 Charles Sturt

Charles Sturt.
3
Famous As: British explorer
Birthdate: April 28, 1795
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bengal
Died: June 16, 1869

 15 Louis Antoine de Bougainville

Louis Antoine de Bougainville
3
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: November 12, 1729
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 31, 1811

 16 Andries Pretorius

Andries Pretorius
3
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: November 27, 1798
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Graaff-Reinet
Died: July 23, 1853

Boer leader Andries Pretorius was a chief force behind the creation of the South African Republic. He not only led the Great Trek from British-occupied Cape Colony but also defeated thousands of Zulus in the Battle of Blood. His negotiations with the British led to the Sand River Convention.

 17 Piet Retief

Piet Retief
3
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: November 12, 1780
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wellington
Died: February 6, 1838

 18 George Bass

George Bass
3
Famous As: Explorer, Surgeon
Birthdate: January 30, 1771
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aswarby
Died: April 22, 2017

British naval surgeon George Bass is best remembered for his exploratory voyage to Australia, aboard the Reliance. He explored areas such as the Sydney coastline, Tasmania, and New South Wales. However, he was declared lost at sea after disappearing on a commercial voyage to South America.

 19 Johann Ludwig Burckhardt

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
3
Famous As: Explorer, Writer, Art historian, Archaeologist
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lausanne
Died: October 15, 1817

 20 George Anson, Baron Anson

George Anson, Baron Anson
2
Famous As: First Lord of the Admiralty
Birthdate: April 23, 1697
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Died: June 6, 1762

 21 Pierre-Esprit Radisson

Pierre-Esprit Radisson
2
Famous As: Fur Trader
Birthdate: 1636 AD
Birthplace: Avignon, France
Died: 1710 AD

 22 Francis Light

Francis Light
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1740 AD
Birthplace: Dallinghoo, England
Died: October 25, 1794

 23 James Bruce

James Bruce
2
Famous As: Explorer, Archaeologist, Film editor, Botanist
Birthdate: December 14, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stirling
Died: April 27, 1794

 24 Georg Wilhelm Steller

Georg Wilhelm Steller
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: March 10, 1709
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim, Germany
Died: November 14, 1746

German-born zoologist and botanist Georg Wilhelm Steller traveled to Russia on a troop ship. He was later part of the Great Northern Expedition, aboard the St. Peter, aimed at locating a sea route from Russia to North America. The Steller’s sea cow, discovered by him, went extinct later.

 25 Samuel Hearne

Samuel Hearne
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: January 31, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 31, 1792

 26 Antonio de Ulloa

Antonio de Ulloa
2
Famous As: Astronomer, Explorer, Meteorologist
Birthdate: January 12, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seville
Died: July 3, 1795

Spanish mariner Antonio de Ulloa was sent by the government to explore America and ended up being captured by the British while returning. His scientific zeal made him a Fellow of the Royal Society there. He is remembered for his metallurgical, astronomical, and geographical discoveries and treatises.

 27 Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: February 23, 1680
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: March 7, 1767

 28 John Bartram

John Bartram
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: March 23, 1699
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 22, 1777

 29 Henry Kelsey

Henry Kelsey
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1667 AD
Birthplace: Greenwich, England
Died: November 1, 1724

 30 Engelbert Kaempfer

Engelbert Kaempfer
2
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: September 16, 1651
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lemgo, Germany
Died: November 2, 1716

Seventeenth-century German physician and traveler Engelbert Kaempfer had been on trade missions across the world, including places such as Russia, Iran, Java, and Japan. His written experiences about his stay in Japan became a valuable source of information on the flora and fauna of the country.

 31 Charles Marie de La Condamine

Charles Marie de La Condamine
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: January 28, 1701
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 4, 1774

 32 Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut

Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut
2
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: 1639 AD
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-Laval, France
Died: February 25, 1710

 33 Christopher Gist

Christopher Gist
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: 1706 AD
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: 1759 AD

 34 William Scoresby

William Scoresby
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: October 5, 1789
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Whitby
Died: March 21, 1857

 35 John Ledyard

John Ledyard
1
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: October 31, 1751
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Groton, Connecticut, United States
Died: January 10, 1789

 36 Jonathan Carver

Jonathan Carver
1
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: April 13, 1710
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weymouth, Massachusetts
Died: January 31, 1780

 37 Theodore of Corsica

Theodore of Corsica
1
Famous As: King of Corsica
Birthdate: August 25, 1694
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: December 11, 1756

 38 Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix

Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix
3
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: October 24, 1682
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Quentin, France
Died: February 1, 1761

Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix was a French Jesuit priest and historian, often considered the first historian of New France. He was ordained as a priest in 1713. He was a wide traveler with an eager curiosity to learn about his surroundings. He traveled to Canada and explored the region for a few years before returning to France. 

 39 Aleksei Chirikov

Aleksei Chirikov
1
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: December 24, 1703
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Luzhnoye Village, Tula Oblast, Russia
Died: June 4, 1748

 40 Alexander Henry The Elder

Alexander Henry The Elder.
1
Famous As: Explorer, Pioneer of British-Canadian Fur Trade
Birthdate: July 31, 1739
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Brunswick
Died: April 4, 1824

 41 Nicolas Perrot

Nicolas Perrot
1
Famous As: Traveler
Birthdate: 1644 AD
Birthplace: France
Died: 1717 AD

 42 Louis Juchereau de Saint-Denis

Louis Juchereau de Saint-Denis
1
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: September 17, 1676
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beauport, Canada
Died: June 11, 1744

 43 Tobias Furneaux

Tobias Furneaux
1
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: August 21, 1735
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
Died: September 18, 1781

 44 Isabel Godin des Odonais

Isabel Godin des Odonais
1
Famous As: Journeyer
Birthdate: January 16, 1728
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riobamba, Ecuador
Died: September 28, 1792

 45 Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce de Lahontan, Baron de Lahontan

Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce de Lahontan, Baron de Lahontan
1
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: June 9, 1666
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: France
Died: April 21, 1716

 46 Silvestre Vélez de Escalante

Silvestre Vélez de Escalante
1
Famous As: Spanish explorer
Birthdate: 1750 AD
Birthplace: Spain
Died: 1780 AD

 47 Eggert Ólafsson

Eggert Ólafsson
0
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: December 1, 1726
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Snæfellsnes, Iceland
Died: May 30, 1768

 48 Joseph de Jussieu

Joseph de Jussieu
0
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: September 3, 1704
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: April 11, 1779