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United States Exploring Expedition


Detail of drawing by A.J. Agate
Protea cynoroides

The United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842) was the first government authorized naval expedition "fitted out by national munificence for scientific objects. * Six ships sailed from Virginia under the command U.S. Navy Lt. Charles Wilkes (17981877) to explore and survey the southern seas including the Polar Regions. On board were 424 officers and crewmen and nine scientists who were commissioned to explore and survey the islands of those regions, investigate their commercial potential, and assert American power.

The expedition is also referred to as the U.S. Ex. Ex. or the Wilkes Expedition. It was of major importance to the growth of science in the United States.

Collection Note, Provenence, and Scope & Content Notes.

Container List

Other United States Exploring Expedition materials in our collections

United States Exploring Expedition Web Resources


* From the Introduction to the Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 . by Charles Wilkes (1798-1877). Published : New York : G. P. Putnam, 1856, c1844.

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Last updated June 2009
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