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Howgate, Henry W, 1834-1901



  • Existence: 1834 - 1901

Henry W. Howgate was born in 1834 in England. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 21 and worked as a reporter. In 1862, Howgate became a Second Lieutenant with the 22nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and, in 1863, he became a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Signal Corps. He left the corps in 1866, but rejoined a year later, serving as property and disbursing officer before becoming responsible for planning all polar expeditions. The 1880 Howgate Arctic Expedition was tasked with scientific and geographical exploration of Greenland in preparation for an 1881 International Polar Year expeditionary force and Arctic colonization. The expedition was a failure. However, Howgate was able to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars to plan a new expedition to coincide with the First International Polar Year. Named the "Lady Franklin Bay Expedition," its purpose was to establish and sustain, with adequate supplies, an Arctic colony near the northeastern tip of Ellesmere Island. Again, Howgate was not successful. After legal troubles involving the embezzlement of government fund, Howgate fled from authorities but was captured in 1894, in New York City. Found guilty of numerous crimes, Howgate served time in the Albany Penitentiary. Upon release in December 1900, Howgate moved to his daughter Ida's home in Washington, D.C. where he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1901.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Henry W. Howgate typescript

Stefansson Mss-83
Identifier: Mss-83
Overview Henry W. Howgate (1834-1901), officer in the US Signal Corps and Arctic explorer. Consist of typescript of Howgate's report, in which he describes his activities related to the planning of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition of 1881-1884. Includes an addendum by his daughter, Ida Howgate