The Voyage of the Jeannette
George W. De Long (1844-81) was a US Navy officer who set out to find a new route to the North Pole via the Bering Strait. During his voyage, which left San Francisco in 1879, he claimed the De Long Islands for the USA. But when his vessel, the Jeannette, sank, he and his crew abandoned ship, and he eventually died of starvation in Siberia. His doomed expedition is documented in these two volumes, compiled by his wife Emma from his journals and the testimony of the mission's survivors. First published in 1883, Volume 1 begins by sketching De Long's early years and his preparations for the expedition. The remaining chapters record the crew's experiences in the treacherous Arctic, and their brave but vain attempts to save the Jeannette. Providing a vivid account of nineteenth-century Polar exploration, it remains of great interest to scholars of geography and maritime studies.