Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1882. Very Good. First Edition. 12mo [7.5x5in] x, , 102 pp., 2 plates of frontispiece portrait of Danenhower with tissue guard and illustration of Jeannette in the ice pack, foldout map of drift and crew retreat, several illustrations in text; Tan paper wrappers with black lettering with publisher design inside double line border on front, poem on back cover inside black line border, all edges trimmed, rounded corners; Shelf wear to covers, spine, corners and edges, covers darken with soiling and light stain spots, spine frayed and chipped, cover corners chipped and creased, a stain line on fore edge of plates, several pages with closed tears and soiling; Protected in stiff fabric covers with Steve Fossett Collection of Adventure & Exploration bookplate and custom slipcase. [Arctic Biblio 3643, Howgego III D4]. Item #13587
John Wilson Danenhower (1849-1887) was a naval officer and explorer selected by De Long for the U.S. Arctic Expedition on the Jeannette. He was an experienced navigator, but was incapacitated with the loss of sight in both eyes due to a syphilitic infection. However, he was able to assist in navigation of Melville's boat to the Lena Delta. After rescue and recovery, he was assigned to command a naval academy training ship, 'Constellation'. In 1887, the "Constellation' ran aground and Danenhower committed suicide soon after.
This book preceded Congressional hearings and inquiries and the publication of the De long journals, edited by Emma De Long in 1883. From the Arctic Bibliography, it is described as "The brief synopsis of the cruise of the Jeannette, 1879-1881, and (in more detail) the ship's party's retreat afoot and by boat from the wrecked ship 77 15'N. 155 E. in East Siberian Sea to the Lena delta; revised and corrected from the dictated narrative which appeared in the New York Herald, 1882." In his introduction, Danenhower's intent was to correct some of the early accounts, sensationalized by the press, and the intention was to follow up with a book.
Steve Fossett (1944-2007) was a successful commodities trader and an adventurer that set world records in balloons, sailboats, gliders and unique powered aircraft. In the 1980's Fossett began developing a library collection of over 2,000 books on adventure and exploration. His collection included significant and authoritative accounts of aeronautics, polar, Asia, Australasia, circumnavigation's, mountaineering and others. In 2007, Fossett disappeared on a solo flight in a light aircraft over the eastern Sierra Mountains along the California and Nevada border. After an extensive search, the wreckage was found by hikers a year later along the rugged Mt. Ritter range in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Madera County, about 10 miles east of Yosemite National Park.