Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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URFE, Gabriel Jules (oor-fay), West Indian navigator, born in Martinique, Wisconsin, in 1795; died in the Arctic ocean in 1833. He was educated at Paris, entered the navy as a midshipman in 1810, and after the restoration of Louis XVIII., in 1814, was attached as ensign to the frigate "La Railleuse" and sent to South America. After assisting in re-establishing French consulates in Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and the West Indies, he was a commissioner in 1817 to receive the surrender of the administration of French Guiana from the Portuguese, and afterward took part in a campaign to Martinique and Santo Domingo. Later he was employed at Madagascar and Bourbon, and in 1830 he was attached to the department of charts in the navy office. On 4 July, 1833, he sailed as second in command of the frigate "La Liloise" with Poret de Blosseville for an exploration of the Arctic ocean. They prepared a chart of the western coast of Greenland, which they forwarded in August following to Admiral Duperre, and stopped afterward at Vagna-Fjord, whence they returned in October, navigating along the coast of Greenland. This was the last that was heard of the frigate, and the subsequent expeditions that were sent to search for it failed to discover any trace of the navigators. Urfe's works include, besides several memoirs that are published in the "Annales maritimes et coloniales," "Histoire de la decouverte du Groenland par les navigateurs Scandinaves" (Paris, 1831), and "Historique de l'occupation Anglaise a la Martinique " (1832).
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