\wˈɪlks], \wˈɪlks], \w_ˈɪ_l_k_s]\
Definitions of WILKES, CHARLES
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(1798-1877), an American naval officer, was lieutenant and commander of the squadron which in 1838-1842 sailed on an exploring expedition through the Pacific, along its American coats and in the Antarctic regions. He became Captain in 1855. While in command of "San Jacinto," November 8, 1861, he stopped the British ship "Trent," and took the Confederate commissioners, Mason and Slidell. This celebrated "Trent Affair," which nearly involved the United States in war with Great Britain, brought to Wilkes the thanks of the Navy Department, approval of Congress and popular praise, but was disavowed by the Government. He commanded the James River Squadron, was commodore in 1862, was retired in 1864, and made a rear-admiral on the retired list.
By John Franklin Jameson