Silas Enoch Burrows and the Search for Sir John Franklin

Douglas Wamsley

Abstract


Silas Enoch Burrows (1794-1830), a Stonington-born merchant, established a successful international shipping business operating from the cities of New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Montevideo among others. With his financial success, he became known for his generous charitable acts and, as a man of the sea, he took a particular interest in the aid of shipwrecked mariners. After Sir John Franklin’s expedition ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were lost in the Arctic, Burrows befriended Lady Jane Franklin, the missing navigator’s wife, who was determined to ascertain the fate of her missing husband and his crew. Through the public and private relationships established by Burrows over the years, Burrows managed to assist Lady Franklin in a meaningful way in obtaining assistance in the search for her husband. This article examines circumstances that led to the involvement of Silas Burrows in the search for Sir John Franklin and his efforts on behalf of Lady Franklin.

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