Samuel P. Griffin Logbooks, 1850-1851


Henry Grinnell, a retired merchant and philanthropist, was interested in the fate of British explorer Sir John Franklin, who had been lost in the Arctic since 1845 while searching for a Northwest Passage. To help with the search for Franklin, Grinnell purchased two brigs, the Rescue and Advance, had them modified for Arctic service, and loaned them to the U.S. Navy for a rescue attempt. In May of 1850, the expedition sailed from New York in what became known as the First Grinnell Expedition. The expedition was commanded by Lt. Edwin De Haven, who led the Advance and Acting Master Samuel Palmer Griffin, who was second in command of the expedition and led the Rescue. While the expedition did not locate Franklin, it did find evidence of his party. The expedition returned safely to New York in late 1851.