De Haven, United States Exploring Expedition

Scope and Content

  • MS 466/24;MJ Journal, 18 July 1841 to 12 June 1842 [On board Peacock and Oregon] microfilm

Administrative / Biographical History

The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 (Senior commander Charles Wilkes) undertook a major exploration of the southern oceans including the Polar Regions. The expedition consisted of six ships, Vincennes, Peacock, Porpoise, Sea Gull, Flying Fish and Relief. Upon reaching Tierra del Fuego the squadron divided. Porpoise and Sea Gull sailed to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsular. Peacock and Flying Fish sailed southwest towards the area explored by James Cook's British Naval Expedition, 1772-1775. Following work in the Pacific ocean the vassals returned to the Antarctic sailing along the west coast of Wilkes Land, visiting Macquarie Island and searched for the non existent 'Emerald Island'. Relief was sent home when it became clear she was unfit for the rough seas of the southern oceans. The brig Oregon was brought in as a replacement hip during the expedition. Sea Gull was lost with all hands off the Chilean coast in 1839 while Peacock sank off the Pacific coast of North America in 1841. The published charts of the expedition were the earliest to use the term Antarctic Continent.

Alternative Form Available

This is a copy

Related Material

See SPRI collection GB 015 United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 for a fuller list of archival collections held by the Institute containing material on this expedition.

Additional Information

The original journal is held in United States National Archive, Washington, U.S.A. (1982)