Gaspar Corte-Real

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Gaspar Corte-Real
Statue of Gaspar Corte-Real in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Born Gaspar
c. 1450
Kingdom of Portugal
Died 1501?
Nationality Portuguese
Citizenship Kingdom of Portugal
Occupation Navigator and explorer
Known for Exploring the North American coast.

Gaspar Corte-Real (c. 1450 – c. 1501?) was a Portuguese explorer.

Early life

He was the youngest of three sons of João Vaz Corte-Real, also a Portuguese explorer, and had accompanied his father on his expeditions to North America[citation needed]. His brothers were also explorers.


In 1500, King Manuel I of Portugal sent Gaspar to discover lands and search for a Northwest Passage to Asia.

He reached Greenland, believing it to be east Asia, but chose not to land. He set out on a second voyage to Greenland in 1501, with his brother Miguel Corte-Real[citation needed] and three caravels. Encountering frozen sea, they changed course to the south and reached land, believed to be Labrador and Newfoundland. There they captured 57 native men, who would later be sold as slaves. Gaspar then sent his brother and two ships back to Portugal before continuing southwards.


Nothing more was ever heard of Gaspar Corte-Real after 1501. His brother Miguel attempted to find him in 1502, but he too never returned.


The statue of Gaspar Corte-Real (pictured) is located in front of the Confederation Building in St. John's, Newfoundland. It was donated by the Portuguese Fisheries Organisation in 1965 in recognition of the hospitality of Newfoundlanders towards Portuguese Grand Banks fishermen.


External links