Henry Grinnell Scrapbooks, 1849-1866


Henry Grinnell, who was born in Massachusetts in 1799, ran a mercantile company in New York City. After Grinnell retired in 1850, he financed several expeditions to the Arctic region. The first two were part of a search and rescue mission for Sir John Franklin and his crew, who went missing after they departed for the Arctic in 1845 with the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Franklin's goal was charting a Northwest Passage in the Arctic region of Canada. Grinnell financed the brigs Advance and Rescue for the rescue mission. Numerous attempts were made to find Franklin in the second half of the nineteenth century from both the U.S. and England. Grinnell's ships found evidence of Franklin's mission, but not the actual ships and were forced to return home. Grinnell later supported other scientific expeditions to the Arctic. Grinnell passed away in 1874.