Francis Drake – Part 3 – The Journey Around the World Begins

Replica of Drake’s flagship, Pelican (later renamed Golden Hind).

In 1576, Francis Drake begins his circumnavigation of the globe. In this episode, we follow Drake as he gets backing for the venture, gathers his fleet, and then heads toward the Strait of Magellan. However, a rival, Thomas Doughty, will emerge from within the fleet, challenging him for command.

The episode will conclude with a deadly confrontation between Drake and Doughty.

Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe.

All photos courtesy of Wikipedia.

Francis Drake – Part 2 – Terror of the Spanish Main

Portrait of Drake, circa 1590.

In part 2 of our series on Francis Drake, we cover the three expeditions Drake led to the Caribbean.

The three voyages would make Drake one of the most hated men in the Spanish Empire – and a hero in England.

The final voyage will conclude with Drake’s daring attack on the Spanish Treasure Caravan as it crossed the isthmus of Panama.

Francis Drake – Part 1 – The Early Years

Francis Drake – Portrait from 1581

In our new series on the Explorers Podcast, we look at the life of English explorer, admiral and privateer Francis Drake. In our first episode, we look at Drake’s younger years, including the voyages he made to Africa and the Caribbean in the 1560s – culminating in the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa in 1568.

This map below shows the important locations discussed in Part 1 of our series on Francis Drake. Click on the map to see a larger version of it.

The image below depicts the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa in 1568.

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Diogo Cão and the Exploration of West Africa

In this episode of the Explorers Podcast, Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão travels down the coast of west Africa in the 1480s, becoming the first European to discover the Congo River, and setting the stage for others to round the tip of the continent.

The Map below shows the key locations we talk about in this episode.


Diogo CãoWikipedia – Not a lot is known about Cão, and the vast majority of sites with biographies pretty much say the same thing as Wikipedia.

Crossing the Ocean Seas by Mary Ames Mitchell is a nice online resource about Cão – and many other exploration-related items.

The Voyages of Diogo Cão and Bartholomeu Dias, 1482-88, by Ernst Georg Ravenstein, and an old (1900) book, but is one of the few that discusses the voyages of Cão.


Images courtesy of Wikipedia.


Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery – Part 8

Lewis and ClarkThis is the final episode in our epic series on Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. This episode deals with the people and events after the completion of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

First, take a look at the events in the immediate aftermath of the Corps return to St. Louis in 1806. We then touch base on the lives of some of the Corps members, followed by a summary of the careers of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. We finish things up with a look at the successes and failures of the Corps, as well as the legacy of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


There are a lot of books and resources available about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, so I’m just going to note a few of my favorites.

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by historian Stephan Ambrose is my favorite book about the expedition. It is heavy on Lewis – but still wonderful.

For hardcore fans, the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition are available to read online, courtesy of University of Nebraska Press. Please note that the site is much more than just the journals. There are several respected books and a bunch of articles available as well – all free. It is an amazing resource.

One online site that features a lot of information is Discovering Lewis and Clark. There are lots and lots of articles about the Corps – all for free.

Don’t miss the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail website as well – if you decide you might want to travel part – or all – of the journey on your own.

Finally, the Wikipedia pages for the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Corps of Discovery have nice overviews of enterprise.

Painting by Charles M. Russel of the Lewis and Clark Expedition meeting the Salish Indians.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery – Part 7

In part 7 of our series, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of the Discovery descend out of the Rocky Mountains and onto the Great Plains. The Captains divide up, with Clark exploring the Yellowstone River area, and Lewis following Marias River to the north. We finish with the Corps heading down the Missouri to St. Louis – concluding their epic journey.

Williams Clark’s Map (above).


All images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery – Part 6

Meriwether Lewis

In part 6 of our series, the Corps of Discovery head home. They must travel up the Columbia River, and then make their way back across the Rocky Mountains.

All the while, they must negotiate with the local American Indians for food and horses and guidance despite the fact they had a dwindling supply of trade goods.