He was a Lieutenant in the United States. Navy. Eld served as a geographer on the ship Peacock, on the ship Vincennes at Fiji, and joined Lieutenant George Emmons"s overland journey through Oregon and California (while in California he was involved in the Mexican War). He produced 43 maps and 42 pencil sketches of the land between the Columbia River and the Sacramento Valley.
Eld kept journals and sketch books of the Wilkes Expedition, accompanied by letters, reports and orders, documenting his personal and professional life.
Henry Eld died at sea on board United States ship of war Ohio on March 12, 1850, bound home from Rio de Janeiro after a three and a half years" cruise. Lieutenant Eld was one of the officers of the United States. exploring expedition under Captain
Charles Wilkes in 1838 and 1842 in search of the Antarctic continent, which Lieutenant Eld first descried and called out land from the crosstree of the sloop Peacock on January 16, 1839.
From this the United States dates the first discovery of the Antarctic continent, and Captain
Wilkes named the highest mountain peak "Elds Peak". They proved that the Antarctic was a continent (Lieutenant Eld was the first to see the Antarctic mountains at a crucial stage of their survey of the ice fields). Specimens where collected during the expedition - fifty thousand plants, and over 7 thousand mineral specimens, 3 thousand insects, innumerable shells, fish, reptiles, mammals, and hundreds of tribal artifactsall these became scientific treasure.
Also, Eld Inlet of Puget Sound in Washington state was named after Eld by Captain
Wilkes during the United States Exploring Expedition, to honor him. A Sailor"s Poem written in memory of Henry Eld"s passing in 1854:
"..thrice had weary sickness laid him lowUpon the troubled couch of feverish pain —And days and nights of anguish measured slowTheir length upon the prostrate sufferer"s chain;Yet oft bright visions to his heart would come..".