Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McCLURE, Sir Robert John Le Mesurier, British arctic explorer, born in Wexford, Ireland, 28 , January, 1807" died in London, England, 14 October, 1873. He was the posthumous child of a British officer that was killed at the battle of Aboukir. He was adopted by General Le Mesurier, and through his influence educated at Eton and Sandhurst, but, being averse to a military career, obtained an appointment as midshipman in the navy. After serving for ten years on various stations, he accompanied Sir George Bach to the arctic regions as mate of the "Terror," and for his services was rewarded with a lieutenancy. In 1848 he joined the Franklin search expedition of Sir John Ross, and was promoted commander. In 1850 he began the voyage which secured him lasting fame as the discoverer of the Northwest passage. He left Plymouth in command of the " Investigator," which was provisioned for three years and had a crew of sixty-six men, under orders to pass through Bering straits, and thence, if practicable, to proceed to Melville island, an achievement which had not then been accomplished by any vessel. Captain 3lcClure entered a strait, which he named the Prince of Wales strait, and, after his ship was frozen fast, he continued the exploration by sledges until he reached Melville, or Barrow's, straits in the winter of 1850-'1. This was called the first discovery of the Northwest passage. The next season he discovered a second route on the north side of Baring island. In 1853 he was extricated from a perilous situation by Captain Kellett, who arrived at Melville island from the east. McChre remained in the are-tic regions until 1854, and his whole party reached England on 28 September of that year. McClure received the £5,000 that had been offered for the discovery of the Northwest passage, and a similar sum was distributed among his officers and crew. He was also knighted and subsequently made vice-admiral. From his journals Captain Sherard Osborne published " The Discovery of the Northwest Passage." (London, 1856).
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