Charles Wilkes

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Charles Wilkes
BirthplaceNew York City, New York
Known for United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. Trent Affair

Wilkes, Charles


Born Apr. 3, 1798, in New York; died Feb. 8,1877, in Washington, D.C. American explorer.

In 1838, Wilkes was put in command of a general expedition to explore Oceania and the area around Antarctica. The expedition began by surveying some 260 islands in Polynesia, including three previously unknown islands in the Phoenix and Tokelau groups. In 1840, while searching for the the south magnetic pole, Wilkes sighted land near the antarctic circle at 162° E long. He thereupon made his way westward along the edge of the ice pack for more than 2,700 km to 98° E long., later suggesting that he had traveled along the coast of the Antarctic mainland. This section of Antarctica is now called Wilkes Land. In 1841 the expedition explored part of the Columbia River basin in North America. It returned to the United States in 1842.


Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition, vols. 1–5. Philadelphia, 1845.


Treshnikov, A. F. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Antarktidy. Moscow, 1963.
Svet, Ia. M. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Avstralii i Okeanii. Moscow, 1966.
Tyler, D. B. The Wilkes Expedition. Philadelphia, 1968.
The Pacific Basin: A History of Its Geographical Exploration. New York, 1967.
References in periodicals archive ?
Charles Wilkes, later Rear Admiral Wilkes, is best remembered for his naval career at sea, including his work on the Expedition and during the Civil War.
Charles Wilkes was responsible for writing eight of the twenty-four volumes: the five Narrative volumes, Meteorology, Hydrography, and Physics.
Charles Wilkes contributed as much to our understanding of the planet as almost any other geographer, yet he's long been overlooked.
See Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition: during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, volume III, (Philadelphia: C.
Elliot August 19, 1838-May 18, 1842, from Records of the United States Exploring Expedition under the Command of Charles Wilkes, 1838-1842, File Microcopies of Records in the National Archives, (Washington: The National Archives, 1944), No.
1840 - American Charles Wilkes discovered the coast of Antarctica.
In addition to surveying 1,300 kilometres of coastline in the Pacific Northwest, the US Ex Ex was the first to chart a significant portion of the Antarctic coast, which was subsequently named Wilkes Land in honour of the expedition's commander, Charles Wilkes.
Port Ludlow, Washington The town was named in 1842 by explorer Charles Wilkes, in honour of Augustus C.
Larger coverage might also have been given to Dumont d'Urville and Charles Wilkes, whose expeditions, along with that of James Clark Ross, marked the end of a remarkable 80 years of naval scientific expeditions to the Pacific that began with Bougainville and Cook.
Its leader was the inexperienced, if politically savvy, Charles Wilkes.
Charles Wilkes and Terry Burton, both with 21-5 wins over Gary Carter and Joe Plunkett.
Mick Handcock hit back best, 21-8, over Charles Wilkes.