Connecticut-born John Ledyard became the first American to see Alaska and Hawaii. Years before Lewis and Clark, he planned to cross the North American continent—from west to east
If a judicious fate had deliberately selected one American as the first of his countrymen to see Alaska and Hawaii, our future forty-ninth and fiftieth states—to represent America to them, and them to America—it could hardly have chosen better than in John Ledyard of Connecticut. He was a man who seemed to have bred into his very bones an intuitive grasp of those American ideals which his friend Thomas Jefferson so enduringly expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
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