Hall, Charles Francis

Charles Francis Hall, Arctic explorer (b in Vermont 1821; d in Greenland 8 Nov 1871). An engraver by trade, Hall was fascinated by accounts of the search for Sir John FRANKLIN and in 1860, as a private citizen, he went by whaling ship to Baffin I. For 2 years he learned Inuit travel techniques and collected oral traditions, and he found material evidence of Sir Martin FROBISHER's excavations. He then published Life with the Esquimaux and secured Henry Grinnell's financing for a new expedition. In 1864 Hall and his Inuit friends, Joe and Hannah, were transported by a whaler to northwestern Hudson Bay. After frustrating years near Repulse Bay and Igloolik, they reached King William I in 1869, where Hall interviewed witnesses of the Franklin disaster and collected a skeleton. Later that year the US government appointed him to command a scientific polar expedition in the Polaris; on this expedition, by ship and sled, he achieved a new record of 82°N. He died, perhaps from poison, while overwintering in the ship. See also ARCTIC EXPLORATION.