Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SCHANK, John, British naval officer, born in Fife-shire, Scotland, in 1740; died in Dawlish, England, 6 March, 1823. He entered the royal navy when young, was a lieutenant in 1776, and was employed on the lakes during the Revolutionary war, constructing in less than six weeks the "Inflexible," which defeated General Benedict Arnold's fleet on Lake Champlain, and displaying ability as a seaman. His talents as an engineer were applied in General John Burgoyne's expedition to the building of floating bridges, and on his return to England he was made a post-captain for his services. He attained the rank of admiral of the blue in 1822. He devised a method of navigating vessels in shallow water by means of sliding keels, besides other ingenious inventions, and was the author of several works on naval architecture.
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