- John Lederer
John Lederer was a nurse and an explorer of the
Appalachian Mountains. Lederer was born in Hamburg, Germanyin 1644, and studied medicine at the Hamburg Academic Gymnasium. He later migrated to America.
Lederer arrived in
Virginiain 1669. Believing that the riches of Californialay just beyond the mountains west of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, colonial governor of Virginia, commissioned him to make three expeditions into the Appalachians between 1669and 1670.
In March of
1669Lederer left Chickahominy, an English port near the headwaters of the York River, traveling northwest to Eminent Hill. He and the members of his party became the first Europeans to see the Blue Ridge Mountains, perhaps traveling as far as present day Mineral County, West Virginia. Some sources say that Gabriel Arthur, sent by Abraham Wood, was the first European to see West Virginia in 1673 or 1674 Harv |Drake|2001| p=27.
In May of
1670he left Fort Charles (now Richmond) and followed the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains south into what is now North Carolina. Twenty-one members of the party turned back, but Lederer pushed on with an American Indian guide, exploring North Carolina to the Catawba River near what is now Charlotte. In mid-July he reached Fort Henry, a frontier post on the Appomattox River.
In late summer of that year he set out from Talifer's House, a settlement south of the
Rappahannock River, followed the Rappahannock River valley north, climbed the Blue Ridge, and sighted the Appalachian Mountains beyond the Shenandoah Valley.
John Lederer settled in
Marylandin 1671. In 1672his observations were translated from Latin and published along with a map of his expeditions by Sir William Talbot, the governor of Maryland.
last = Drake
first = Richard B.
title = A History of Appalachia
place= Lexington, Ky.
publisher = University Press of Kentucky
year = 2001
last = Lederer
first = John
title = The Discoveries of John Lederer, with Unpublished Letters by and About Lederer to Governor John Winthrop, Jr., and an Essay on the Indians of Lederer's Discoveries by Douglas L. Rights and William P. Cumming. Edited with Notes by William P. Cumming
place= Charlottesville, Va.
publisher = University of Virginia Press
year = 1958
last = Waldman
first = Carl
last2 = Wexler
first2 = Alan
title = Who Was Who in World Exploration
place= New York
publisher = Facts on File, Inc.
year = 1992
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