Who's Who

North America

  • A map of the world illutrating a 14th-century manuscript of al-Biruni's 'Elements of Astrology'
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By S. Frederick Starr

Abu Raihan al-Biruni, an Islamic scholar from Central Asia, may have discovered the New World centuries before Columbus – without leaving his study – as S. Frederick Starr explains.

John M. Coleman draws a distinction betweent the Thirteen Colonies and the rest of North America.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, writes Louis C. Kleber, the British came to America largely as settlers; the French as explorers and fortune-seekers.

Across the Pacific, writes C.M. Yonge, from northern Japan to the Californian coastline, the relentless hunt for the sea-otter’s precious fur had international consequences.

Louis C. Kleber describes how, for the American Indians, ‘medicine’ was a spiritual belief as well as a curative.

Stephen Clissold describes one of the strangest episodes in the Spanish conquest of the New World was the quest for the mythical Seven Cities, first believed to stand on a mysterious island far out in the Atlantic Ocean, afterwards magically transported to the depths of America.

George Woodcock describes the industry, expeditions, and characters that opened the American North West to European development.

The Spanish explorer landed in the New World on April 3rd, 1513.

Hugh Latimer unearths the role of the rubber plant in the story of empire and Malayan nation-building.

Motives of commerce and trade, Eric Robson suggests, carried just as much weight in the founding of the 13 American colonies as the desire of Puritan emigrants for liberty of conscience and a life of independence.

Accused of cowardice at the Battle of Minden, and often-cast for the role of villain when he was Colonial Secretary, Lord George Germain, writes Eric Robson, nevertheless had many of the qualities of a successful statesman.

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