A peerless navigator, sailor, and explorer, Captain Cook's voyages opened up the world to colonization by Europeans, including the Pacific Northwest of the North American contient.
Sir Francis Drake had reached the
Oregon coast one hundred and ninety-nine years before, on June 17,
1579, but his successor, Captain Cook, would explore and map this
rugged and rich coastline all the way up the notoriously rugged
coastline to what is known today as Alaska.
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John Ledyard, an adventurous young
crewman on Cooks ships…will meet Jefferson in Paris two years later
and impress on him the need to explore the West.