Sullivan, British Naval Expedition

Scope and Content

  • MS 367/22;D Partial account of the British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 [Written by Sullivan for James Savage, sailor on Erebus in Rio de Janeiro, including poems] 20 leaves, holograph

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 (Captains James Clark Ross and Francis Rawdon Moria Crozier) carried out Hydrographic and magnetic surveys of the southern oceans. The expedition ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror made three southern voyages during the expedition. During the 1841 voyage the expedition charted part of the Victoria Land coast, discovering Ross Island and the Ross Ice Shelf. The second voyage south in 1842 called at the Falkland Islands. On the final southern voyage, 1842 landings were made along the Antarctic Peninsular. During the expeditions stay in Hobart a geophysical observatory was established with the Governor's (Sir John Franklin) co-operation.

The account includes a description of the discovery of Victoria Land, January 1841 and an account of the second voyage into the Ross Sea. It then proceeds as a narrative written by Sullivan, dictated by fellow seaman James Savage.

Alternative Form Available

The account was quoted by Hugh Robert Mill in Siege of the South Pole (London 1905), by Leonard Huxley in Life and letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (London 1918) and published almost in full in The Polar Record (1961) volume 10 number 69 p587-604

Related Material

See SPRI collection GB 15 British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 for a fuller list of archival collections held by the Institute containing material regarding this expedition.