Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Adventurers from the Past

Amelia Earhart, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Robert F. Scott, and David Livingstone

by Sean Traynor, Editor-in-Chief

Looking through history, there have been many great adventurers.  These adventurers went bravely into the unknown, sacrificing their lives and reputations on the gamble that they would experience something never before known before.  Their courage and determination shine for us like a beacon toward the advancements of the future.  Here are just a few of these adventurers from the past and their achievements:

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was a woman pilot that made a name for herself by breaking not only women’s flying records, but men’s records as well. She believed that women could do anything a man could do and set out to prove this in the sky. A year and a half after beginning flying lessons, in 1922, Amelia broke the women’s altitude record at the age of 25.  Six years later, she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. She continued to break numerous speed, altitude and flight records. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and nonstop coast-to-coast.  She began her flight around the world in June, 1937, being the first person to fly from the Red Sea to India. Unfortunately, she flew into bad weather and disappeared, just 7000 miles before her final destination.  The United States government spent $4 million looking for Earhart, which made it the most costly and intensive air and sea search in history at the time. In her letter to her husband given to him before her flight she said, “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”  Use these words from Amelia Earhart when you are faced with a challenging adventure.  Her bravery is a good example for us all.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, spy and explorer.  In 1584, Raleigh planned to colonize Virginia (modern-day North Carolina and Virginia) in North America. He funded these voyages himself, but did not maintain a steady stream of supplies to Roanoke Island, and eventually the colony mysteriously disappeared. In 1587, he attempted a second expedition, again establishing a settlement on Roanoke Island. Instead of providing needed supplies, his return fleet took a detour to capture Spanish merchant ships and three years later when he returned, the colony was once again gone. In 1594 he heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it.  His exaggerated accounts of his trip began the legend of “El Dorado”.  He was imprisoned several times for suspicion of being involved in plots against the royalty in power. Sir Walter Raleigh is an example of an adventurer that was also known for writing, poetry and dealing with royalty. He chose to explore when it was not necessary due to his position in life. He demonstrates the well-rounded, curious adventurer.

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, and politician in the 1500’s.  He began his sea career at the age of 13 when he became an apprentice member of the crew of a trading vessel between the Thames and the cross-Channel ports. He became owner-master of the ship at age 20 after the death of its previous captain, who bequeathed it to him. At age 23, he made his first trip to the New World. His most notable achievement was leading the first English circumnavigation of the world from 1577 to 1580.  This trip included six ships, but he returned with only one. He returned with great treasures for Queen Elizabeth of England, worth more than one year’s of the crown income.  Because of these gifts, he was knighted by the Queen. As vice admiral in command of the English fleet when it defeated the Spanish Armada that was attempting to invade England, Drake proved his leadership skills. Sir Francis Drake is an example of an adventurer who started as a commoner and became a national hero for England. He used the maps and charts of the ships that he conquered to increase the accuracy of his voyages.  He was resourceful and persistent.

Robert Falcon Scott

Robert Falcon Scott was most noted for polar exploration.  In 1881, he first went to sea at the age of 13 and progressed through the ranks of the Royal Navy. After 18 years, he grew restless and decided to expand his experiences by leading the joint Royal Society and Royal Geographical Society Antarctic expedition. This was to become known as “The Discovery Expedition” of 1901-1904. After 93 days and 960 statute miles, Scott and his party had reached 82°17’S, 300 miles farther than anyone before them and only 480 statute miles from the Pole. They also conducted many projects, both scientific and exploratory, which continued until their exit in 1904. He made a second journey in 1912 during which he reached the South Pole, unfortunately five weeks after a different explorer had first reached the land mass.  During his return to his base camp, a raging storm occurred, causing them to be trapped.  Robert Falcon Scott and his fellow explorers died during this storm.  Scott is known for setting his goals and not stopping until he achieved them.  The poem Ulysses is inscribed on a large wooden cross made by the ship’s carpenters on a hill in his memory that says, “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”  In his own last notes he wrote, “We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last…”  These are great words of advice for an adventurer.

David Livingstone

David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and a great explorer in Africa. At age 10 he began working in the local cotton mill while taking school lessons in the evening. He studied medicine and theology and decided to become a missionary doctor. In 1841, at the age of 34, he was posted to the edge of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. His mission was to reach new peoples in the interior of Africa, introduce them to Christianity and free them from slavery. His explorations drove him to be the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. His return to Africa for another five years allowed him to carry out official explorations of eastern and central Africa for the British government. His third trip to Africa was to search for the Nile’s source and report further on slavery. This expedition lasted from 1866 until his death in 1873 from dysentery.  Dr. Livingstone continued with his mission, through self-sacrifice and great personal suffering and discovered numerous geographical features. Even with his drive to continue his explorations, he was able to work with the native people with kindness and peace. He was an adventurer who taught us to learn through explorations and try to give back to the native people of the land.

Many more great adventurers have roamed the lands throughout history.

Research their stories and learn their lessons.

Their experiences will pave our way to future adventures.