Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Nindemann, William Friedrich Carl

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NINDEMANN, William Friedrich Carl, arctic explorer, b. in Gingst, island of Rügen, Germany, 22 April, 1850. He was graduated at the public school in Gingst in 1865, and in 1867 came to New York and served as quartermaster on a yacht. He went on the arctic expedition in the steamer “Polaris,” which sailed from New London on 3 July, 1871. On 15 Oct., 1872, the “Polaris” being fast in the ice and leaking badly, the crew was ordered to land provisions, and while thus engaged the floe broke, and Nindemann with eighteen others drifted southward for 196 days without seeing the ship again. This part of the crew were rescued by the steamship “Tigress” on 29 April, 1873. After returning to Washington, he volunteered on the “Tigress” in her search for the “Polaris,” and remained with this vessel until October, 1873, when he joined the crew of the steamer “Jeannette.” On 9 Oct., 1881, Capt. DeLong sent Louis P. Noros and Nindemann to find aid. Taking a southern course, they wandered until 21 Oct., when they were met by a native, who took them to Kumak Surka, where they sent a message through a Russian exile to George Melville, who afterward joined them at Bulun. Subsequently Melville, James H. Bartlett, and Nindemann explored the delta for traces of DeLong's party and on 15 March, 1882, they found the bodies of DeLong and his companions; a thorough but unsuccessful search was made for Lieut. Charles W. Chipp and his party. Nindemann has invented a tong for the gaff of fore-and-aft rigged vessels, which was patented in 1883, and is the author of a pamphlet entitled “Eines deutschen Matrosen Nordpolfahrten,” edited by Karl Knortz (Zürich, 1885).