Smith correspondence

Scope and Content

  • MS 1176;D Letter to his family, 10 April 1841 [From HMS Erebusin Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) describing the previous five months in Antarctic waters] 3 leaves, types transcript
  • MS 673;D Letter to unknown correspondent, [1844] [Written on return of the British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 to the Antarctic, regarding Ross and other expedition members] 1 leaf, autograph

Administrative / Biographical History

The correspondence relates to the British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 (leader James Clark Ross) to Antarctic waters. This expedition carried out Hydrographic and magnetic surveys of the southern oceans. The expedition ships HMS Erebus (Captained by Ross) and HMS Terror (Captained by Francis Crozier) made three southern voyages. During the 1841 voyage the expedition charted part of the Victoria Land coast, discovering Ross Island and the great ice barrier (Ross Ice Shelf).

The second voyage south in 1842 called at the Falkland Islands, while on the final southern voyage in 1842 landings were made along the Antarctic Peninsular.

During the expeditions stay in Hobart, Tasmania a geophysical observatory was established with the Governor's (Sir John Franklin) co-operation.



Related Material

See SPRI collection GB 015 British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 for a fuller list of archival material held by the institute on this expedition.