November 21, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

Nathaniel Philbrick

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 0142004839

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"A treasure of a book." -- David McCullough

A New York Times Notable Book

America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen--the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has--until now--been relegated to a footnote in the national memory.

Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize

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Twenty Years Before the Mast, p. 205. Reynolds recounts how the sailors conducted themselves while on leave in his journal. Erskine tells of writing his first letter to his mother in Twenty Years, p. 204. Reynolds recalls reading his mail in Honolulu in a September 21, 1840, letter to his family. I have also drawn upon letters he wrote on October 19, 1840, and November 16, 1840. Wilkes tells of the “30 or 40 letters waiting for me” in a letter to Jane dated October 2-11, 1840. In two undated

possibility of the commander of the Expedition having authority to hoist a broad pendant, but it does appear to me strange he should do so without by intimation (at least) of such authority, Subject himself to the Suspicion, which I believe to be general, of an usurpation of dignities which are not his of right.” Wilkes writes of meeting Captain Aulick with his commodore pennant flying in a letter to Jane written from March 14-April 4, 1841. Wilkes’s description of the Columbia River bar is in

was de Pointhieu, had aristocratic relatives in Paris with close ties to the French navy. But in 1815 not even this impressive pedigree could guarantee a midshipman’s appointment. With the end of the war, the navy found itself overloaded with officers. Prospects of peace meant that the number of naval vessels would only decrease. For decades to come the opportunities available to young naval officers would remain disappointingly meager. James Fenimore Cooper, the noted author and a former naval

tell much, when productive of defeat, & we were mortified to the very hearts core.” And yet, they had one thing to be thankful for. They were all still alive. If the Vincennes had run into similar trouble, Reynolds was sure that Wilkes would have been powerless to save the ship and her crew. “The hero of Pago Pago,” he wrote, “was not the man for such terrible occasions as that.” CHAPTER 8 A New Continent WHILE THE OFFICERS and men of the Peacock had been fighting their way out of the ice

icebergs was out of the question,” Wilkes wrote. There was too much sea ice to sail through. Wilkes felt they had no alternative but to heave to in the channel they had seen that morning. It was some consolation to know that the ship would drift faster than the bergs, but eventually, after about ten miles, they would run out of channel. The gale proved to be, in Wilkes’s words, “an old-fashioned snow storm,” except that these Antarctic flakes “seemed as if armed with sharp icicles or needles.”

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