American Explorations in the Ice Zones


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In 1879, the steamer Jeannette went missing near Alaska. It had been sent by the American Navy in search of a missing Swedish expedition. Having become trapped in ice, the ship was not heard from for almost two years, when her remaining crew finally reached safety. By this time, any American expedition that focused its efforts further north than the sixtieth parallel was usually considered to be within the Arctic, and these invariably perilous expeditions were often launched in search of lost ships. In 1884, Joseph Everett Nourse (1819-89) published details of all the major American expeditions, including the efforts to rescue the Jeannette, Hayes's attempt to prove the existence of the Open Polar Sea, and Schwatka's 3,000-mile sledge journey across the tundra. Written to make the journals of explorers more accessible to young readers, Nourse's comprehensive text is still of relevance to students of American maritime history.

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