Chesney, Francis Rawdon

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Francis Rawdon Chesney (chĕz´nē), 1789–1872, British soldier and explorer in Asia. His examination of a route for the Suez Canal (1829) demonstrated the feasibility of building a canal and led the vicomte de Lesseps to undertake the project. In 1835, Chesney commanded an expedition to survey N Syria. He proved the navigability of the Tigris and Euphrates and urged the adoption of a Euphrates route to India. In 1856 and 1862 he was associated with a Euphrates valley railroad project, but the scheme fell through. His works include The Expedition for the Survey of the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris (2 vol., 1850) and Narrative of the Euphrates Expedition (1868).

See biography by his wife and his daughter (ed. by S. Lane-Poole, 1885).