Arctic explorations, the Second Grinnell Expedition...
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Elisha Kent Kane. Arctic explorations, the Second Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, 1853, ’54, ’55. Philadelphia, 1856.
Polar exploration had been chiefly in the hands of the British and Europeans, until American interest was sparked in the 1850s by the search for Sir John Franklin. Answering an appeal by Lady Franklin, shipping magnate Henry Grinnell financed two exploring expeditions. Kane served on the first (1850-51) and led the second. He was the first famous American Arctic explorer, sometimes referred to as the “Arctic Columbus”. His book, brilliantly written and copiously illustrated, sold 145,000 copies in the first three years.
Kane’s expedition explored the passage between Greenland and Ellesmere
Island. Reaching a “farthest north” of 81° 22', they
saw open sea to the north, strengthening the belief in an open polar sea.