Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company | The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1884. Very Good. First Edition, 2nd Printing. 8vo [9.5x6.25in]; Vol. I - xii, 440 pp., frontispiece portrait of De Long, 7 illustrations on plates, 26 illustrations in text, 8 maps with one double page and one folding in rear pocket [12.375x18.5in]; Vol. II - xii, 441-911 pp., frontispiece illustration of Carin Tomb in Lena Delta, 7 illustrations on plates,15 illustrations in text, 16 maps, charts and diagrams with one double page and one folding, index; Dark Brown pebbled cloth covers with black stamped lettering with gilt accents and illustration on front and spine, gilt lettering on spine,same blind stamped on rear, all edges trimmed; Shelf wear to edges, corners and covers with rubbing on corners and joints, small tears to top and bottom of spine, all maps are fragile with repaired closed tears and splits, 'The Lena Delta' map in Vol. II replaced with facsimile, bookplate of Steve Fossett on front end paper. [Arctic Biblio 3839, Howgego III D4, Sanderson 965]. Item #13624
George W. De Long (1844-1881) was a U.S. Naval officer and Arctic Explorer. In 1873, De Long gained Arctic experience assigned to the 'Junita' to search for the survivors of the Charles Francis Hall 'Polaris' expedition to North Pole through the Smith Sound. Later De Long requested help and financial support from James Gordon Bennett, newspaper publisher of the New York Herald and noted promoter of sensational stories, for a North Pole expedition through the Bering Strait. The theory of an Open Polar Sea predicted the warm Pacific Kiro Shio current would enter the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait and create an ice free sea. The 'Jeannette' entered the Arctic Ocean through the Strait in late August 1879. De Long intended to winter on Herald Is., but the ship became icebound, drifted northwest 350 Km and was sunk in May 1881 some 400 Km from the Siberian coast. The 33 men provisioned three life boats to drag over the ice to open water for the nearest settlements in Lena Delta. On the water, they became separated in a gale and one boat vanished. George Melville's boat, with 11 men, landed in an eastern bay of the Delta and were able to reach a village to find help. De Long's boat, with 14 men, landed 100 km away on the northwestern part of the Delta. With winter coming, they were not able to find shelter or game and all perished by the end of October 1881. They were found by Melville's rescue party in March 1882, and the bodies, journals and artifacts returned to the United States. The story of the tragedy and survival in De Long's journals were edited in this book by Emma De Long. George Melville's book 'In the Lena Delta", provided detail on the Lena Delta survival and rescue.
Steve Fossett (1944-2007) was a successful commodities trader and an adventurer that set world records in balloons, sailboats, gliders and unique powered aircraft. He developed a library collection of 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.