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Brierton, John (1572–1619), explorer and historian, whose name was sometimes spelled Brereton, was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England, the son of Cuthbert Brierton, a dealer in textile fabrics, and Joan Howse. He was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, from which he earned a B.A. in 1592–1593 and an M.A. in 1596. In 1598 he became an Anglican deacon and entered the priesthood later the same year. His first curacy was in Lawshall, Suffolk. While there he met a family named Bacon, members of which were cousins of ...

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Dupratz, Antoine Simon Le Page (1695–1758), pioneer and historian, was probably born in the Netherlands, according to some nineteenth-century historians. He considered himself French, however, once calling France “ma patrie.” He was a member of a regiment of dragoons fighting under Louis XIV of France in the German campaigns during the War of the Spanish Succession, which ended in 1713. By 1718 he had studied architecture, hydraulic engineering, and mathematics and was eager to seek adventure in the New World. He joined the Compagnie de la Louisiane ou d’Occident (also called the Company of the West and the Mississippi Company), which had been founded in 1717 by John Law—a Scottish economist and financier under Louis XV of France—for the purpose of extending the French empire into Louisiana....

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Ii, John Papa (03 August 1800–02 May 1870), native Hawaiian jurist and historian, was born at Waipio, Ewa, Oahu Island, Kingdom of Hawaii, the son of Malamaekeeke and Wanaoa, descendants of the chiefs of Hawaii Island. Ii’s family were intimates and junior relatives of the ruling royal family, the Kamehameha dynasty. He was named Papa Ii (pronounced ēē) after an uncle who held a particularly high station in the Kamehameha court. He took the name John (Ioane) upon his conversion to Christianity. John Papa Ii was born into the aristocracy of ancient Hawaii and was a child of privilege. The family had been granted the rich lands at Waipio following the conquest of Oahu by King ...

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Kinzie, Juliette Augusta Magill (11 September 1806–15 September 1870), historian, writer, and early Illinois settler, was born in Middletown, Connecticut, the daughter of Arthur William Magill, a banker, and Frances Wolcott. She received a richer and more complete education than that usually available to young women. She attended a boarding school in New Haven, Connecticut; was tutored by her uncle, Alexander Wolcott, in Latin and other languages while he was a student at Yale; and spent time at ...

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Malo, Davida (18 February 1795–21 October 1853), native Hawaiian scholar and counselor of the high chiefs, also known as David, was born in Keauhou, North Kona, Hawaii, the son of Aoao, a warrior in the court of high chief Kamehameha the Great, and his wife, Heone. During Malo’s youth, which was the early postcontact period, after 1778, he was trained as a traditional court genealogist under the island’s foremost genealogist, Auwae Kaaloa. Malo became intimate with much of the traditional culture of Hawaiian chiefly society, particularly its worldview, religion, and politics during a period of transition due to the immense influence of Western (Euro-American) explorers and adventurers and the internal struggles for the unification of the island under one sovereign....

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Ross, Alexander (02 November 1782–23 October 1856), fur trader, explorer, and historian, was born in the Highlands parish of Dyke, county of Nairnshire, Scotland. Neither Ross’s own writings nor those of his biographers relate any details about his parents other than the fact they were farmers; even their names are unmentioned. Little is known about Ross’s early years. He grew up in the Presbyterian faith and had acquired sufficient education to become a rural schoolteacher by the time he was twenty. In 1804 a family quarrel caused Ross to leave his parents’ home; he emigrated to North America later that year....

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Warren, William Whipple (27 May 1825–01 June 1853), Ojibwa historian and legislator, was born in La Pointe, on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, in Lake Superior, the son of Lyman Marcus Warren, a fur trader, and Mary Cadotte, of French and Ojibwa descent. The oldest of eight children, William was raised in a home with an extensive library. According to the first missionary at nearby Leech Lake, Rev. William T. Boutwell, the children were given “the benefits of a Christian education.” At age seven William attended the mission school at La Pointe and, the following year, the mission school at Mackinaw. When he was eleven his grandfather took him to New York, where he studied from 1838 to 1841 at the Oneida Institute in Whitesborough, near Utica, a school run by Rev. ...