Johnson, United States Exploring Expedition

Scope and Content

  • MS 466/15;MJ Journals, August 1838 to March 1841 [On board Vincennes, Peacock, Sea Gull and Porpoise, 18 August 1838 to 23 November 1839 and on board Porpoise, 1 December 1840 to 25 March 1841] microfilm
  • MS 466/26;MJ Records of court martial held in the cases of Lieutenants, J.B. Dale, Robert E. Johnson, Robert F. Pinckney and others, 1839-1842 [In relation to the expedition] 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. 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.



Alternative Form Available

These are copies.

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 regarding this expedition.

Additional Information

The originals are held by the United States National Archive, Washington, U.S.A. (1982)