Author: Harold B. Gill


Robert Randolph Carter (1825–1888)

Robert Randolph Carter was a naval officer who is perhaps best known for his diary of an eighteen-month voyage to the Arctic seas in 1850–1851. The expedition’s goal was to rescue a missing Briton, Sir John Franklin, who had sailed in search of the Northwest Passage; Franklin was never found. After serving in the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Squadron during the Mexican War (1846–1848), Carter joined the Confederate States Navy at the start of the American Civil War (1861–1865). He spent the first part of the war on the James River and the latter part in England, aiding Confederate agent James D. Bulloch (an uncle to future U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt) in equipping ships. Following the war, he worked as a prosperous farmer, dying in 1888 from injuries sustained in an accident.