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Charles Wilkes

Charles Wilkes was born on April 3, 1798 and had a long career as an American naval officer and explorer. He led the United States Exploring Expedition, sometimes called the Wilkes Expedition that explored the west coast and the Pacific from 1838 to 1842. He also commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the Civil War. While admired for his achievements, his behavior led to two convictions at court-martial.