Jeannette Expedition (1879-1881)

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The Jeannette Expedition of 1879–1881, officially the U.S. Arctic Expedition, was an attempt led by George W. De Long to reach the North Pole by pioneering a route from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait. The premise was that a temperate current, the Kuro Siwo, flowed northwards into the strait, providing a gateway to the Open Polar Sea and thus to the pole. This theory proved illusory; the expedition's ship, USS Jeannette and its crew of 33, was trapped by ice and drifted for nearly two years before she was crushed and sunk, north of the Siberian coast. De Long then led his 32 men on a perilous journey by sled, dragging the Jeannette's whaleboat and two cutters, eventually switching to these small boats to sail for the Lena Delta in Siberia. During this journey, and in the subsequent weeks of wandering in Siberia before rescue, 20 of the ship's complement died, including De Long.
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Ambler family. Papers : of the Ambler family, 1798-1931. Virginia Historical Society Library
referencedIn Jeannette Arctic expedition lantern slide collection [graphic]. Alaska State Library
referencedIn Crapo, William Wallace, 1830-1926. William Wallace Crapo correspondence, 1881 and 1918. Old Dartmouth Historical Society Library
referencedIn Harber, Giles B. (Giles Bates), 1849-1925. Admiral Giles B. Harber collection, ca. 1869-ca. 1918. Mahoning Valley Historical Society, Arms Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn USS Jeannette United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn USS Jeannette United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801-ca. 1940 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798-2008 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Francisco County CA US
Subject
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Establishment 1879-07-08

Disestablishment 1881

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