Tag Archives: Exploration

Ballou, Maturin Murray (“Lieut. Murray,” “Frank Forester”)

[BALLOU, MATURIN MURRAY], “LIEUT. MURRAY,” “FRANK FORESTER” (1820-1895). An influential publisher of American periodicals, Maturin Murray Ballou was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He traveled extensively and entered the literary world by writing descriptive letters of his adventures for publication in Continue reading & text links

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Porter, David

PORTER, DAVID (1780-1843). The son of a veteran of the American Revolution, David Porter was born in Boston and grew up in Baltimore. He began his naval career as a midshipman in 1798 and became master commandant in 1806. In Continue reading & text links

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Yang, Jeffrey

by Jaehyun Jeong (2015) YANG, JEFFREY (1974-) Jeffrey Yang is an American poet, translator, and editor best known for his books of poetry An Aquarium (2008) and Vanishing-Line (2011). Born in Escondido, California, Yang attended the University of California San Diego. With an initial interest Continue reading & text links

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Wilkes, Charles

WILKES, CHARLES (1798-1877). Charles Wilkes was an American naval officer, hydrographer, and writer. He commanded the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838 to 1842, wrote its five-volume Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition (1844), edited the expedition’s eighteen scientific volumes, Continue reading & text links

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Symmes, John Cleves, “Captain Adam Seaborn”

[SYMMES, JOHN CLEVES], “CAPTAIN ADAM SEABORN” (1780-1829). Some scholars believe that “Captain Adam Seaborn,” the author of this fictional, first-person narrative, is the pseudonym of army officer and amateur geographer Captain John Cleves Symmes (1780-1829). Symmes claimed that the earth Continue reading & text links

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Smith, John

SMITH, JOHN (1580-1631). Although born in Lincolnshire, England, Captain John Smith initiated many traditions in American literature, among them geography, autobiography, and history. A True Relation (1608), his earliest account of his experiences in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland Continue reading & text links

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Reynolds, J. N.

REYNOLDS, J[EREMIAH]. N. (1799?-1858). Details of the life of J. N. Reynolds are sketchy, and his lingering reputation today is mainly the result of his influence upon major works of Edgar Allan Poe (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym [1838]) Continue reading & text links

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Norris, Frank

NORRIS, [BENJAMIN] FRANKLIN] (1870-1902). Although his short life was adventurous enough, including trips to Africa’s Transvaal and Cuba during the Spanish-American War, Frank Norris’ disposition to set two of his less successful novels partly at sea probably arose from his Continue reading & text links

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Morrell, Benjamin

MORRELL, BENJAMIN (1795-1839). Benjamin Morrell, sealing captain and explorer, was born in Rye, New York, the son of a shipbuilder. His early experiences included being twice captured by the British during the War of 1812 and spending over two and Continue reading & text links

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Morrell, Abby Jane

MORRELL, ABBY JANE [WOOD] (1809-l???). The cousin and second wife of Captain Benjamin Morrell, Abby Jane Wood married the captain when she was fifteen. She accompanied him on the last of his four voyages of commerce and exploration, in the Continue reading & text links

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Jennings Jr., John Edward (“Bates Baldwin”)

[JENNINGS, JOHN EDWARD, JR], “BATES BALDWIN” (1906-1973). John Edward Jennings Jr., historical novelist, was born in Brooklyn, New York. The son of a surgeon, he began his seafaring in 1925 as a foremast hand aboard a tramp steamer traveling in Continue reading & text links

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Howells, William Dean

HOWELLS, WILLIAM DEAN (1837-1920). A native of Ohio, William Dean Howells began to work in his father’s printing shop at age nine. A self-taught student of languages and literature, he early entered a career in journalism. After writing a campaign Continue reading & text links

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Hemingway, Ernest Miller

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST MILLER (1899-1961). Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (1952) and the Nobel Prize in literature (1954), grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Except when rough water forced them to go by train, he and his Continue reading & text links

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Henson, Matthew

by Emma Bonanomi (2021) Matthew Alexander Henson was a Black American explorer who came to fame after United States Navy Commander Robert E. Peary’s 1908-1909 expedition to the North Pole. He may have been one of the first men to Continue reading & text links

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Hayden, Sterling

HAYDEN, STERLING [RELYEA WALTER] (1916-1986). Born in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, Sterling Hayden quit school at sixteen to join the crew of a sailing ship. He served as seaman aboard fishing vessels and sailing ships out of New England ports Continue reading & text links

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Harlow, Frederick Pease

HARLOW, FREDERICK PEASE (1856-1952). Frederick Pease Harlow was born in Mount Morris, Illinois, on 12 December 1856. He was the youngest son of Frances Ann Winsor and William T. Harlow, an educator and Methodist minister originally from Duxbury, Massachusetts. Harlow’s Continue reading & text links

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Hains, Thornton Jenkins (“Captain Mayn Clew Garnett”)

[HAINS, THORNTON JENKINS], “CAPTAIN MAYN CLEW GARNETT” (1866-1953). Named for his maternal grandfather, Admiral Thornton Jenkins, U.S.N., Thornton Jenkins Hains had a career of indefinite length as a working seaman and was licensed in both England and the United States Continue reading & text links

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Fanning, Edmund

FANNING, EDMUND (1769-1841). Captain Edmund Fanning of Stonington, Connecticut, was the younger brother of naval officer Nathaniel Fanning. In a memorial to the U.S. Congress in 1833, Edmund Fanning urged the legislature to support funding for an exploring expedition to Continue reading & text links

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Delano, Amasa

DELANO, AMASA (1763-1823). Amasa Delano, whose Voyages and Travels (1817) was the source for Herman Melville’s “Benito Cereno” (1855), was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts. After serving briefly in the Continental army during the American Revolution, Delano began a lifelong career Continue reading & text links

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Carse, Robert

CARSE, ROBERT (1902-1971). A Great Lakes sailor at seventeen, Robert Carse later worked salt water, attaining the position of chief mate. He sailed most of the world and developed a reputation as an expert seaman and maritime historian. Carse claimed Continue reading & text links

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Bryant, William Cullen

BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN (1794-1878). William Cullen Bryant was born and raised in the back country of western Massachusetts, where an early talent for versifying displayed in religious, sentimental, and satiric poems culminated in the publication in the North American Review of his Continue reading & text links

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Brackenridge, Henry Marie

BRACKENRIDGE, HENRY MARIE (1786-1871). Henry Marie Brackenridge, writer, lawyer, legislator, and diplomat, was born in Pittsburgh, the son of well-known writer and jurist Hugh Henry Brackenridge. Most of Brackenridge’s career was devoted to legal work and wide-ranging writings on US. Continue reading & text links

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Bowditch, Nathaniel

BOWDITCH, NATHANIEL (1773-1838). Mathematician, navigator, and astronomer, Nathaniel Bowditch authored the book that since 1802 has been the standard reference for celestial navigators worldwide. Schooled only to age ten, Bowditch taught himself mathematics and several foreign languages in the course Continue reading & text links

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Bishop, Elizabeth

BISHOP, ELIZABETH (1911-1979). Elizabeth Bishop, American poet for whom the coastlines of North and South America served as powerful sources of inspiration, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father died when she was eight months old, and her mother, after Continue reading & text links

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Barker, Benjamin

BARKER, BENJAMIN (1817-18??). Beyond birth records in Salem, Massachusetts, the only documents that survive of Benjamin Barker are twenty short novels published under that name between 1845 and 1847 and one in 1855. Those with authors’ prefaces all indicate that Continue reading & text links

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Baldwin, Bates (John Edward Jennings, Jr.)

See Jennings Jr., John Edward Continue reading & text links

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