Skip to main content Skip to search results Skip to Facets & Filters

Brainard, David Legge



  • Existence: 1856 - 1946


David Legge Brainard was born on December 21, 1856. He enlisted in the army in 1876. From 1877-1878 he served and was wounded in the Sioux, Bannick and Nez Perce Indian Campaign. In 1881, he volunteered and was accepted for duty with the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. As part of the expedition he was one of three men who established the "Farthest North" record in 1882. Because relief ships were unable to reach the expedition it ended in disaster, with Brainard being one of only seven men who were rescued by Commander Schley in 1884. After his rescue, he returned to the military, serving in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American War, and as a military attaché in Portugal. He retired from the Army with the rank of brigadier general in 1919. In 1926, he was awarded the Charles P. Daly gold medal by the American Geographical Society for Arctic Exploration, which complemented the Back Grant which he had received from the Royal Geographical Society in 1885. In 1929, he published "The Outpost of the Lost," and was awarded the Explorer's Medal by the Explorer's Club. He published an additional recollection of his arctic experience entitled "Six Came Back," in 1940. Brainard died on March 22, 1946 in Washington, DC and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

David Brainard papers

Identifier: Mss-189
Stefansson Mss-189
Date(s): 1880 to 1975

David Legge Brainard (1856-1946), military officer and seaman. Consist of a diary, correspondence, and other papers and published works relating to his service as officer in the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition (1881-1884). Photo prints of members of the Brainard family and other photographs, as well as a bound journal with clippings and the framed star of the flag from the expedition are also included.

Back to top