Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McCLINTOCK, Sir Francis Leopold, British explorer, born in Dundalk, Ireland, in 1819. He entered the navy at the age of twelve, and for his conduct in recovering the "Gorgon," when it was stranded near Montevideo, was promoted to a lieutenancy in 1845. He accompanied Sir James Ross in one of the three arctic expeditions sent out in search of Sir John Franklin in the spring of 1848, and early in the following year joined another expedition under Captain Austin. It was his fortune, in August, 1850, to see at Cape Riley the first traces of the missing mariners. In April, 1851, while the ships were fast in the ice in Crozier channel, he began a sledge journey of eighty days along the north shore of Parry sound, travelling 760 miles, and reaching the most westerly point that had yet been attained from the east in the arctic regions. The comparative perfection to which sledge-travelling has since been carried is due in great part to the improvements which he effected. The squadron returned to England in the autumn of the same year, and Lieutenant McClintock was at once promoted to the rank of commander. The following spring saw him in charge of the " Intrepid," one of the five vessels sent out to the polar regions under Sir Edward Belcher. In accordance with instructions from the admiralty, he sailed, in company with Captain Keller, ***t, toward Melville island in search of McClure, whom he rescued from a three years' imprisonment in the ice; but he was subsequently compelled to abandon his own ship with three others of Belcher's fleet, the whole expedition reaching home in September, 1854. McClintock's services were recognized by his promotion to the rank of captain, but he did not obtain active employment until Lady Franklin offered him in 1857 the command of the expedition that was fitted out by her, which resulted in solving the mystery of Sir John Franklin's fate. On his return in 1859 from this important voyage, Captain McClintock was received with great enthusiasm. The British universities conferred on him their highest degrees, the corporation of London voted him the freedom of the city, the queen granted him the full pay of captain in the navy for the two years he was absent, and Lady Franklin presented to him the vessel in which he had made his voyage. He was knighted, 23 February, 1860, and in the spring of the same year appointed by the government to survey a deep-sea route for a proposed North Atlantic telegraph. He was made a rear-admiral in the fleet in October, 18'71, and vice-admiral in 1877. From 1879 till 1882 he served as commander-in-chief of tlte North American and West Indian station. In 1884 he became full admiral. He is the author of "The Voyage of the ' Fox' in the Arctic Seas" (London, 1860), which has passed through five editions.
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