Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RYAN, George Parker, naval officer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 8 May, 1842; died at sea, 24 November, 1877. He was appointed a midshipman, 30 September, 1857, and graduated at the naval academy second in his class in 1860. He was commissioned lieutenant, 16 July, 1862, and was navigator of the steamer "Saeramellto" on special service in chase of the "Alabama" and "Florida" in 1862-'4. He was promoted to lieutenant-commander, 16 July, 1866, and attached to the United States naval academy as assistant professor of astronomy and navigation in 1866-'9. He was again on duty at the naval academy in 1871-'4, and was promoted to commander, 3 October, 1874. He organized parties for the observation of the transit of Venus of 1874, and was selected to take charge of the expedition to Kergue-len islands. He was ordered to take command of the iron steamer "Huron" in 1876, and on 23 November, 1877, he sailed for Havana. The vessel was wrecked on Body island, North Carolina, and Ryan, with most of his officers and crew, was drowned. At the time of his death he was one of the most scientific navigators of the service.
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