Grinnell, Henry

Grinnell, Henry

(1799–1874) merchant, philanthropist; born in New Bedford, Mass. He was a clerk in New York City (1818–25) and then joined two of his brothers in founding a shipping company (1825). He retired from business (1850) and pursued his interest in Arctic voyages. He entirely financed two expeditions (1850, 1853–55) which went in search of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin. He was one of the founders and then president (1862–63) of the American Geographical and Statistical Society. Grinnell Land, or Peninsula, in Canada's Northwest Territories, and a genus of red algae (Grinnellia) are named after him.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.