Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FOSTER, Henry, English navigator, born in Woodplumpton, Lancashire, in 1797 : died in Panama, 5 February 1831. He entered the royal marines, but after the peace of 1.815 devoted his time chiefly to astronomical studies. The gold medal of the Royal society of Great Britain was presented to him for his services in the arctic expedition of Captain Ross, 1818'19. On 27 April 1828, he set sail in the " Chanticleer" as commander of an expedition for the purpose of ascertaining the formation and outline of coasts and the direction of the principal ocean currents in both hemispheres. He touched at the islands of Madeira, Teneriffe, St. Anthony, and San Fernando de Naronha, and remained a month at Rio de Janeiro, and thence went to Santa Catalina, Montevideo, and Staten Land. Having rounded Cape Horn, he bore to the south, and, after taking notes of the position of several islands, he touched at Trinity Island, which he christened and of which he took possession in the name of England.
He afterward visited St. Helena, Ascension island, and the West Indies, made several excursions on the Isthmus of Panama, and then sailed for Colon, which he reached on 5 February He was drowned while exploring Chagres river. He was buried on the shore, where the English government has erected in his honor a superb mausoleum. He was the first European that explored and obtained exact data on the formation of the islands south of Cape Horn. Surgeon Webster, authorized by the English government, published Foster's journal of the expedition, completed from his own notes after his death, " Relation of a Journey through the South Atlantic, made upon the Royal Corvette' Chanticleer ' during the Years 1828'31" (2 vols., 8vo, with maps and illustrations, London, 1834). This work was translated into French by A. de Lacaze (1849).
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