Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BUCtlAN, David, British explorer, born in 1780; lost at sea in 1837. He became a lieutenant in the British navy in 1806, and commanded a schooner on the Newfoundland station in 1810, when he was dispatched by Admiral Sir John Duckworth to explore the River Exploit and open communications with the natives. He penetrated 160 miles into the interior early in 1811. sustaining many hardships. In 1816 he was promoted commander, and in 1818 sent out on an expedition to the north pole, at the same time that Ross and Parry were dispatched in search of the northwest passage. The "Dorothea" and Trent," commanded by Capt. Buchan and Lieutenant Franklin, sailed in April, 1818, and reached Magdalena bay, Spitzbergen, about 1 June. They attempted to penetrate the ice-field on 7 June, and were shut up in the floes for thirteen days. On 6 July they made another attempt to find a passage through the ice-barrier, and sailed northward until the ice closed in on them in lat. 80° 34' N. After vainly attempting to drag the vessels northward by means of ropes and ice-anchors, they sailed for the coast of Greenland. The "Dorothea." was disabled by the floating ice, and the expedition consequently returned to Dept-ford on 18 October Buchan was made a captain in 1823, and for some time was commodore on the Newfoundland station. In 1825 he became high sheriff in Newfoundland. A few years later he set out on a new arctic expedition, and was never heard from afterward. His vessel is supposed to have been burned at sea. He made important observations on the variations of the needle, on undercurrents, on the temperature of the ocean's depths, and on the compression of the earth at the pole.
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