The collection comprises of material relating to the United States Exploring expedition, 1838-1842 (Senior commander Charles Wilkes) and correspondence in regard to the United States Relief Expedition, 1855 (led by Hartstene) sent to find the United States Franklin Search Expedition, 1853-1855 (Leader Elisha Kent Kane).
Henry Hartstene collection
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- ReferenceGB 15 Henry Hartstene
- Dates of Creation1838-1855
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material and correspondence
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Henry J Hartstene served on the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 (Senior commander Charles Wilkes), as lieutenant on board Porpoise from February 1839 to March 1839. With a fleet of six vessels, the expedition was commissioned on a world voyage of hydrography and exploration that included forays into the Southern Ocean. Arriving at Tierra del Fuego in February 1839, the squadron divided and Wilkes in Porpoise, accompanied by Sea Gull, went south and east to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. During April 1839, the six vessels left southern waters for Valparaiso, Chile, sailing to Callao shortly afterwards. Transferring to the store ship Relief on arrival at Callao, Hartstene left the expedition and sailed home to the United States, arriving in New York on 28 March 1840.
In 1855, Hartstene commanded Release on the United States Naval Relief Expedition, financed by the U.S. Congress to search for the missing United States Franklin Search Expedition, 1853-855 (leader Elisha Kent Kane). Having found the missing party at Godhavn in September 1855, Release and Arctic returned to New York with the rescued party.
In 1856, Hartstene commanded HMS Resolute on her return voyage from the United States to England. Resolute, under the command of Henry Kellett, had been sent to the Arctic by the Admiralty in 1852 to search for the missing Franklin expedition. After being abandoned in Melville Sound in 1854, she drifted south to Davis Strait, where the U.S. whaler George Henry discovered her. The ship was then taken to the United States, where she was repaired and refitted before being returned to England under Hartstene's command. The intention was that she be used to continue the search for Franklin. Hartstene died in 1868.
For the purpose of this guide the collection is split into two sub-fonds covering the exploring expedition and correspondence respectively.
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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 item is signed by the author.
Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Voyage to the Southern Ocean, letters of Lieutenant William Reynolds ed. A Hoffman Cleaner and E Jeffrey Stam, Tri-Service Press, Shrewsbury (1998) ISBN 0870213008 SPRI library (7) 91(08) [1838-1842] and Magnificent Voyagers H J Violan and C Margolis, Smithsonian Institute, Press, Washington (1985) SPRI library (7) 91 (08) and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7)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 and Arctic exploration and development c.500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing Inc. New York (1994) and The search for the North West Passage by Ann Margaret Savours, Chatham Publishing London (1999) SPRI Library Shelf (48)
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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