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Hall, Charles Francis 1821-

Explorer; born in Rochester, N. H., in 1821; in early life was first a blacksmith, and then a journalist in Cincinnati. In 1859 he appeared in New York, and at a meeting of the American Geographical Society he offered to go in search of the remains of Sir John Franklin. Funds for the purpose were raised, and in May, 1860, he sailed from New London, Conn., in a whaling vessel, commanded by Capt. Sidney O. Buddington. The vessel became locked in the ice. He made the acquaintance of the Eskimos, learned their language, acquired their friendship, and lived with them two years, making his way back to the United States in September, 1862, without having discovered any traces of Sir John Franklin and his party. He was accompanied by an Eskimo and his wife. His Arctic researches and life among the Eskimos was published in 1864. In July of that year he set out on another polar expedition, with Buddington, expecting to be absent two or three years, but did not return until late in 1869. Satisfied that none of Franklin's men were alive, Hall labored to induce Congress to fit out a ship to search for the supposed open polar sea, and it made an appropriation for the purpose. A ship called the Polaris was fitted out, and sent (from New York, June 29, 1871) under the general command of Hall, Buddington going as sailing-master, accompanied by scientific associates. In August they reached the northern settlement in Greenland. Pushing on northward, the vessel reached lat. 86° 16′, the most northerly point reached up to that time. They wintered in a cove (which they called Polaris), in lat. 81° 38′. In October Hall and three others started on a sledge expedition northward, and reached a point a few miles short of that touched by the Polaris. They soon returned, when Hall was taken sick and died Nov. 8, 1871. In August, 1872, Captain Buddington attempted to return with the Polaris, but for weeks was in the icepack. She was in great peril, and preparations were made to abandon her. The boats, provisions, and nineteen of the crew were put on the ice, but before the rest of them could get out the vessel brokeloose and drifted away. Those on the ice drifted southward for 195 days, floating helplessly about 2,000 miles. An Eskimo, the friend of Captain Hall, kept the company from starving by his skill in seal-fishing. The party was picked up in April, 1873, by a Nova Scotia whaling steamer, and the Polaris made a port on an island, where her crew wintered, made boats of her boards, and set sail southward. They were picked up, June 23, by a Scotch whaler and taken to Dundee. Captain Buddington was born in Groton, Conn., Sept. 16, 1823; and died there, June 13, 1888.

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Charles Francis Hall (6)
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