Washington: Government Printing Office, 1884. Near Fine. First Edition. [9.25x6.5in]; viii, index to Miscellaneous Documents, 1046 pp., index to the Jeannette Inquiry document, facsimile of last page of De Long journal, witness statements, excerpts of De Long, Ambler and Collins journals, letters and extracts from letters, telegrams, and notes, and statements from counsel; Rebound dark brown cloth covers with original spine label of gilt lettering on red leather and additional gilt lettering on black label, all edges trimmed; Minimal shelf wear , top text block age darken, minor age toning to edges of text, book plate of Steve Fossett on front end paper. [Howgego III D4]. Item #13625
The Jeannette expedition (1879-81) was led by Lieutenant-Commander George Washington De Long (1844-81). The purpose was to find a route through the Bering Strait, that was warmed by the Pacific Kiro Shio current to an open polar sea. The 'Jeannette' became icebound, northwest 350 Km and 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 a 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 northern part of the Delta and, 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.
This book is the House of Representatives formal inquiry to the loss of the Jeannette and the actions of De Long and Melville that led to the loss of lives. A joint resolution of Congress called for a formal Naval Court of Inquiry on the Loss of the Jeannette which was conducted by the Navy in 1882-3. The Navy Court found no fault in the conduct of the officers or men and commended the actions of De Long and Melville. The separate House inquiry was called due to objections to the Court findings by survivors and survivor's families to members of Congress. The family of Jerome J. Collins, reporter for the New York Herald assigned to participate in the expedition and died with De Long's party, specifically objected to De Long treatment of Collins, Melville's failure to rescue the lost party and the "cover-up" of failures by the Naval Court of Inquiry. The Inquiry detailed with the testimony of 20 witnesses, 74 documents filed, excerpts of the journals of De Long, Ambler and Collins and much questioning by representatives of the Collins family and for Emma De Long and George Melville. There were no conclusions, findings or recommendations to the Navy from this inquiry.
Steve Fossett (1944-2007) was a successful commodities trader and an adventurer that set world records in balloons, sailboats, gliders and unique powered aircraft. His 2,000 + book 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. 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.