Jacob Roggeveen Biography
(Explorer who discovered Easter Island)
Birthday: February 1, 1659 (Aquarius)
Born In: Middelburg
One of the best known explorers of the early 18th century, Jacob Roggeveen was a Dutch explorer credited to have discovered the Easter Island while he was on an expedition to find Terra Australis. While on this exploration, he also encountered Bora Bora and Maupiti of the Society Islands, Samoa. The expedition which led to the discovery of the Easter Island and etched Roggeveen’s name in the annals of history as an important explorer was actually a dream of his father. Jacob’s father Arend Roggeveen was a mathematician who possessed much knowledge about astronomy, geography, and navigation as well. It was Arend’s fondest dream to embark on an exploration to the mythical Terra Australis, a dream that he was not be able to accomplish in spite of his best efforts. Almost half a century later his sons Jacob and Jan decided to attempt the same voyage their father had once dreamed about. Jan, a merchant, helped in the planning and preparation for the trip though he did not accompany his brother on the journey. Equipped with three ships, Jacob finally embarked on the expedition. Even though he could not reach the land of his father’s dreams, he was able to discover another place, hitherto unknown to mankind, and thereby create a milestone in the history of sea explorations.