Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DANENHOWER, John Wilson, arctic explorer, born in Chicago, Illinois, 30 September 1849. He received his early education in the common schools of Chicago and Washington, entered the U. S. naval academy in 1866, was graduated in 1870, commissioned as ensign, 12 July 1871, as master, 27 September 1873, and as lieutenant, 2 August 1879. He served on a surveying expedition in the North Pacific in the "Portsmouth" in 1873-'4, took part in suppressing an insurrection in] Honolulu, Lanai, in 1873, and served on board the "Vandalia" during General Grant's visit to Egypt and the Levant. In 1878 he joined the arctic steamer " Jeannette" at Havre, France, and made the voyage to San Francisco, and thence through Bering straits into the Arctic Ocean. The expedition left San Francisco, 8 July 1879, under command of Lieutenant George W. De Long. The vessel was beset in the ice pack for twenty-two months. Lieutenant Danenhower, who was second in command, suffered severely from ophthalmia, and was confined in a dark room most of the time. From the place where the steamer was crushed the party made a retreat for ninety-five days over the ice, dragging the ship's boats, and then sailed in the three boats, but were separated by a gale. The boat that Lieutenant Danenhower commanded reached the Lena delta, where Tunguses rescued the crew. After landing, 17 September 1881, while waiting for the return of native messengers sent to Bulun, Danenhower made an ineffectual search on the delta for the crews of the other boats. With his crew he made the journey of 6,000 miles to Orenburg, leaving Engineer Melville to continue the search for the captain and his party, and arrived in the United States in June 1882. He has published "The Narrative of the Jeannette " (Boston, 1882).
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