The collection comprises of material relating to the United States Sealing Voyage, 1829-1831 (Senior commander Benjamin Pendleton) from New York and Stonington to the southern oceans. This voyage was sponsored by the United States Government to carry out exploration in Antarctic waters.
Alexander Palmer collection
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- ReferenceGB 15 Alexander Palmer
- Dates of Creation1832
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material. The entire collection is on microfilm.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Alexander Smith Palmer was born on January 26 1806 in Stonington, Connecticut, the son of a shipbuilder. He started his seagoing life in 1821 as a ship's boy in the brig Alabama Packet on the United States sealing voyage (from Stonington), 1821-1822 (leader Benjamin Pendleton), visiting Chile, Peru and the South Shetland Islands. He returned to the South Shetland Islands in the brig Penguin, in company with his brother Captain Nathaniel Brown Palmer in the brig Annawan, on the United States sealing voyage (from New York and Stonington), 1829-1831 (leaders Benjamin Pendleton and Nathaniel Brown Palmer). This was the first United States Government sponsored Antarctic exploration, accompanied by independent scientists who made biological and geological investigations and collections.
Returning south, he commanded the Charles Adams on the United States sealing voyage (from Stonington), 1831-1833, visiting the South Shetland Islands and returning with a cargo of 1,000 fur seal pelts and 2,100 barrels of elephant seal oil.
Thereafter, Palmer distinguished himself as a career captain sailing packet and clipper ships to Europe and the Orient. In 1840, Queen Victoria presented him with a gold medal for rescuing the crew of the shipwrecked Eugeni. After his retirement from the sea in 1848, he served as a representative and senator in the Connecticut Legislature. He died in 1894.
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.
Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.
The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.
Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to 'Stonington Antarctic explorers' by Edwin Swift Balch in Bulletin of the American Geographical Society (August 1909) volume 41 number 8 p473-492 SPRI Library Shelf Pam (722)91(091) and Stonington History and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events,(1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue. Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.
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Further accessions possible.