He was educated at Harpeth academy, and in 1825 entered the navy as midshipman, circumnavigating the globe in the "Vincennes," during a cruise of four years (1826-1830).
Owing largely to the folly of his Greek servant, who, without his master's knowledge, threw overboard the drinking-water to lighten the boat, the explorer after circumnavigating the sea reached Jericho in an exhausted condition, and was there attacked by a severe fever.
The success with which Nearchus accomplished this arduous enterprise led to his selection by Alexander for the more difficult task of circumnavigating Arabia from the mouth of the Euphrates to the Isthmus of Suez.
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