Our Lost Explorers

Our Lost Explorers

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Lieutenant George Washington De Long was an American explorer whose disastrous Arctic expedition gave evidence of a continuous ocean current across the Polar Regions. In July of 1879 he set sail from San Francisco taking the Jeannette through the Bering Strait and heading for Wrangel Island, off the northeast coast of Siberia. On September 5th, the ship became trapped in the pack ice near Herald Island (now Gerald Island), east of Wrangel. With crewman George Melvillea€™s engineering skill, the boat was kept afloat for almost two years until it was finally crushed on June 12, 1881. The crew, including De Long, escaped with most of their provisions and three small boats. Their destination, the Siberian coast, lay some 600 miles away. They endured extreme hardships for the next two months as they crossed the ice. After reaching open water, one of the boats and the men aboard were lost. The remaining two boats became separated. De Long's boat reached the eastern side of the Lena River delta, Melvillea€™s, reached the western side. Melville's party was rescued, but De Long and his men died of exposure and starvation. Melville later led an expedition that found the remains of De Long and his party the following Spring. De Long's journal, in which he made regular entries until shortly before his death, was found a year later and published as The Voyage of the Jeannette (1883). Three years after the Jeannette was sunk, wreckage from it was found on an ice floe on the southwest coast of Greenland, a discovery that gave new support to the theory of trans-Arctic drift.I then proceeded south, and on the east bank of the river found another hut in good repair. I searched ... It then came on to blow very badly, and the drivers told me it was necessary to seek the shelter of a MELVILLEa#39;S NOVEMBER SEARCH. 467.

Title:Our Lost Explorers
Author:George W. Delong, Raymond Lee Newcomb
Publisher:Digital Scanning Inc - 2001-05-21


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