Discovering a New World
The earliest explorers came to the New World in the late 1400s searching for gold and new land for their countries. Spanish, English, Dutch and French explorers all visited the land that would come to be known as North Carolina. Their expeditions eventually led to the establishment of colonies along the Carolina coast.




John Lawson - Explorer and Writer
In the spring of 1700, John Lawson gave up his comfortable life for adventure in the New World. He sailed to North Carolina and for eight years he traveled through the Backcountry and Coastal Plain. He wrote about his adventures for people back in England.

John Lawson's expedition party included a small group of colonists and Native Americans. He wrote daily in his journal about all the fascinating things he saw. His journal was published in 1709 as a book called A New Voyage to Carolina. This book was a best-seller and excited people all over Europe about the New World. This book encouraged many people to leave Europe and settle in America. Even today, Lawson's book is considered to be one of the most important accounts ever written about colonial America

Mark Catesby - Explorer, scientist and artist
Some explorers came to the new world on a scientific quest to learn about new species of animals, insects, and plants. Mark Catesby was an artist and naturalist explorer who traveled through the colonies drawing the native plants and wildlife. Many of these plants were not found in England. He dug up North Carolina plants and shipped them to England where they were planted in English gardens. Queen Charlotte planted dogwoods and magnolias in the royal gardens. Some of those plants are still alive today.