Skip Navigation

Sign In or Register


SharePrint John Lederer


Explorer John Lederer, a German physician interested in trading with the Indians, was the first European to journey into the mountains of Virginia. Commissioned by Governor William Berkeley to find a way through the Appalachian barrier, Lederer made three expeditions in 1669-70. On the first and third expeditions, he reached the summit of the Blue Ridge and saw the Shenandoah Valley. However, discouraged by the sight of more mountain ranges to the west and his inability to locate a passage through, he turned back. His second journey proceeded southwesterly through Virginia and North Carolina, probably reaching the present South Carolina border, but also failed to locate a passage through the mountains.

Lederer’s discoveries helped open up trade with Indians. His map and journal, translated from Latin and published in London in 1672, have encouraged historians to provide varying interpretations of Lederer’s observations on the geography, fauna, and Indians of the region he explored.

This Article was written by Harold Malcolm Forbes

Last Revised on December 07, 2015

Related Articles


Lederer, John. The Discoveries of John Lederer. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1958.

Carrier, Lyman. The Veracity of John Lederer. William & Mary Quarterly, (Oct., 1939).

Cunz, Dieter. John Lederer, Significance and Evaluation. William & Mary Quarterly, (Apr. 1942).

Cite This Article

Forbes, Harold Malcolm "John Lederer." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 07 December 2015. Web. 24 July 2024.


There aren't any comments for this article yet.

West Virginia Humanities Council | 1310 Kanawha Blvd E | Charleston, WV 25301 Ph. 304-346-8500 | © 2024 All Rights Reserved

About e-WV | Our Sponsors | Help & Support | Contact Us The essential guide to the Mountain State can be yours today! Click here to order.