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Darwin Correspondence Project

Charles Wilkes


American naval officer and explorer. Commanded the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838–42, exploring the American north-west coast, the Antarctic coastline, and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Prepared the information collected by the expedition for publication, 1843–61. Took command of the San Jacinto in 1861 and sparked off the ‘Trent affair’ by forcibly removing two Confederate diplomatic commissioners from a British ship.




DAB: Dictionary of American biography. Under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies. 20 vols., index, and 10 supplements. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons; Simon & Schuster Macmillan. London: Oxford University Press; Humphrey Milford. 1928–95.