Wilkes1 - Wilkes, Charles Wilkes, Charles, 17981877,...

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Wilkes, Charles Wilkes, Charles, 1798–1877, American naval officer and explorer, b. New York City, educated by his father. In 1815 he entered the merchant service and received (1818) an appointment as a midshipman. For his survey (1832–33) of Narragansett Bay he was designated (1833) head of the department of charts and instruments of the navy. Although an inexperienced leader, he was put in command of a government exploring expedition intended to provide accurate naval charts for the whaling industry. Wilkes, then a lieutenant, set sail (1838) from Norfolk, Va., in charge of a squadron of six ships and 346 seamen, and accompanied by a team of nine scientists and artists. They sailed around South America, did important research in the S Pacific, and explored the Antarctic. The portion of Antarctica that he explored was subsequently named Wilkes Land. Wilkes explored Fiji in 1840, visited the Hawaiian group, and in May, 1841, entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the Pacific coast of the United States, and explored the Pacific Northwest. After having completely encircled the globe (his was the last all-sail naval mission to do so),
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course AMH AMH2010 taught by Professor Pietrzak during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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