Biography of Adolphus W. Greeley
Famous American Biographies





ADOLPHUS W. GREELEY, a famous American arctic explorer, was born at Newburyport, Massachusetts, March 27, 1844. He graduated from Brown High School at the age of sixteen, and a year later enlisted in Company B, Nineteenth Massachusetts Infantry, and was made first sergeant. In 1863 he was promoted to second lieutenant. After the war he was assigned to the Fifth United States Cavalry, and became first lieutenant in 1873. He was assigned to duty in the United States signal service shortly after the close of the war. An expedition was fitted out by the United States government in 1881, under auspices of the weather bureau, and Lieutenant Greeley placed in command. They set sail from St. Johns the first week. in July, and after nine days landed in Greenland, where they secured the services of twonatives, together with sledges, dogs, furs and equipment. They encountered an ice pack early in August, and on the 28th of that month freezing weather set in. Two of his party, Lieutenant Lockwood and Sergeant Brainard, added to the known maps. about forty miles of coast survey, and reached the highest point yet attained by man, eighty three degrees and twenty four minutes north, longitude, forty four degrees and five minutes west. On their return to Fort Conger, Lieutenant Greeley set out for the south on August 9, 1883. He reached Baird Inlet twenty days later with his entire party. Here they were compelled. to abandon their boats, and drifted on an ice floe for one month. They then went into camp at Cape Sabine, where they suffered untold hardships, and eighteen of the party succumbed to cold and hunger, and had relief been delayed two days longer none would have been found alive. They were picked up by the relief expedition, under Captain Schley, June 22, 1884. The dead were taken to New York for burial. Many sensational stories were published. concerning the expedition, and Lieutenant. Greeley prepared an exhaustive account of his explorations and experiences.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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