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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Isaac Israel Hayes

HAYES, Isaac Israel, arctic explorer, born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 5 March, 1832; died in New York city, 17 December, 1881. He was graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1853, and sailed as surgeon of the second Grinnell expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, better known, from its commander, as the Kane expedition. (See KANE, E.K.) Dr. Hayes proved an energetic and valuable coadjutor of Kane. In addition to his duties as surgeon and naturalist, he made a short trip on the glacier, inland from Van Rensselaer harbor, and assisted in laying out depots in the autumn of 1853. In May, 1854, he crossed Kane sea, and was the first civilized man to place foot on Grinnell Land, along the coast of which he travelled to Cape Frazer, about 79. 45' north latitude. The "Advance" was frozen in on 9 September, 1853, and remained so in the summer of 1854. Dr. Kane turned toward Beechy island by boat for assistance, but was obliged by the condition of the ice to return to his old winter-quarters. On 28 August, 1854, Dr. Hayes and eight others left the "Advance," in a hazardous attempt to reach Upernavik. An account of this trip is to be found in "An Arctic Boat-Journey" (Philadelphia, 1860), where Dr. Hayes justifies his leaving the ship. The journey was taken with Dr. Kane's permission, but this was given only after he had advised Hayes to forego the pro-jeer, and exacted a renunciation of all claims on those left behind. The boat party reached a point sixteen miles south of Cape Parry, where they were stopped by ice, and dragged out a miserable existence, aided by the charity of the Etah Esquimaux, until December, when they returned, nearly frozen and starving. In the summer of 1854 the entire party under Dr. Kane by sledge and boat reached Upernavik safely. On 7 July, 1860, Dr. Hayes sailed in command of the " United States," which had been fitted out by public subscription for exploration of the open polar sea. He wintered in Foulke Fiord, lat. 78º 18' N., near Littleton island. In May, 1861, he crossed Kane sea, again set foot on Grinnell Land, attaining on 18 May a point which he called Cape Lieber, and which his observations placed in lat. 81º 35' N., long. 70º 30' W. His various official observations and personal accounts are not entirely consistent in this respect. Competent explorers who have since visited Kennedy channel surmise that his latitudes were incorrect, and that his farthest point was Cape Joseph Good, about lat. 80º 15' N., long. 70º W. The "open polar sea" was doubtless the southern part of Kennedy channel, which opens early every year. Breaking out of his ship on 10 July, 1861, an unprecedentedly early date for an arctic vessel, he explored a considerable part of the eastern shore of Ellesmere Land, being the first known white man to land thereon. In 1869 Hayes again entered the arctic circle, visiting Greenland with the artist William Bradford in the "Panther." For his arctic work Dr. Hayes received the founder's medal of the Royal geographical society in 1867 and the gold medal of the Paris society in 1869, and was made an honorary member of many scientific societies in the United States and Europe. He returned from his second expedition to find the civil war begun, immediately sought service, was commissioned surgeon of volunteers, 4 April, 1862, and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, 13 March, 1865. He resigned, 3 July, 1865, and removed to New York city, where he was elected to the assembly, serving five years. He was possessed of great native vigor, and won reputation not only as an explorer, but as an author, lecturer, surgeon, and legislator. He published, besides the book alluded to above, "The Open Polar Sea," giving an account of his second expedition (Boston, 1867); " Cast Away in the Cold, a Story of Arctic Adventure for Boys" (1868); and "The Land of Desolation." describing his third voyage (1871).

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