First Edition of John Muir's The Cruise of the Corwin
The Cruise of the Corwin: Journal of the Arctic Expedition of 1881 In Search of De Long and the Jeannette.
Item Number: 77988
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1917.
First edition. Octavo, original cream green cloth, color pictorial cover label, top edge gilt. Edited by William Frederic Badè. Illustrated with plates from photographs and from sketches by Muir. In near fine condition with a touch of shelf wear. Kimes 348; BAL 14775
On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeanette departed San Francisco for the Bering Strait with the intention of finding a route to the North Pole. With the ship crushed by the pressure of the ice, its captain, George W. De Long, and twenty of its crew never made it back to America. The federal government called upon her captain, Calvin L. Hooper, to venture northwards and find out what happened to the USS Jeanette and the missing men. Built out of the finest Oregon fir, fastened with copper, galvanized iron, and locust-tree nails, the Corwin was the perfect ship for Arctic exploration where her sturdy sailing qualities were to prove of the utmost importance. John Muir, Scottish naturalist and explorer, sensing the possibilities of science and adventure in the exploration of this unknown Arctic land, immediately made himself available for the Corwin’s expedition. During the cruise Muir kept a daily record of his experiences and observations, these along with the numerous letters he wrote form the basis of this fascinating account. As well as describing the day by day events of the Corwin in its search for any survivors of the Jeanette, Muir also recorded his encounters with Alaskan natives, describing how they survived this brutal environment. He drew upon his experience as a naturalist to beautifully capture the flora and fauna of this landscape.