The Cruise of the Corwin


The Cruise of the Corwin


John Muir


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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

In the spring of 1881, Muir was invited by Captain L. Hooper, in command of the revenue steamer Thomas Corwin, to join an expedition to Alaska and the far north in search of clues for the steamer Jeannette and two whalers that had been missing since 1879. Since there was a great interest in the exploration of the polar regions, it was also to be a scientific expedition. Mr. E. W. Nelson of the Smithsonian Institution was to be the specialist in archeology and zoology, and Muir in geology and botany. During the cruise, Muir kept a daily journal and from this wrote twenty-one letters to the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin. This book is composed of those letters, supplemented with unpublished additions from his journal, and further expanded with the inclusion of two articles he had written for the expedition's official reports, published in 1883 and 1884 (nos. 160 and 162). The letters demonstrate Muir's talent as a newspaper columnist, not only in describing little-known places, people, and their customs, but also in reporting an adventure filled with suspense and the perils of a search that constantly endangered the Corwin and crew. The reports were eagerly read by a large audience of the Bulletin, who closely followed the course of the hazardous mission. The letters were published as they arrived, but due to the delay of some ships, the letters did not always arrive consecutively as written. However, Dr. William Frederic Bade, in preparing them for publication, arranged them chronologically.


Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company


[xxxii], [280] pp.


Illus., 23-75 cm. Large Paper Edition, limited to 550 numbered copies; green laid paper board covers, dark green buckram shelfback, black leather label with gilt-stamped lettering on spine; untrimmed edges. lllus.: hand-colored photogravure front. with printed tissue, map, and 25 plates from photographs and author's sketches tipped in. Price: $5.00


For other editions, see: no. 341, v. 7; no. 348; no. 483. Contents (see numbers that follow chapter titles for prior publication): Introduction; I. UnAlaska and the Aleuts, nos. Ill and 117; II. Among the Islands of Bering Sea, nos. 112 and 113; Ill. Siberian Adventures, no. 113; IV. In Peril from the Pack, no. 114; V. A Chukchi Orator, no. 115; VI. Eskimos and Walrus, no. 116; VII. At Plover Bay and St. Michael, no. 121; VIII. Return of the Search Party, nos. 118 and 122; IX. Village of the Dead, nos. 119 and 123; X. Glimpses of Alaskan Tundra, no. 120; XI. Caribou and a Native Fair (journal); XII. Zigzags among the Polar Pack (journal); Xlli. First Ascent of Herald Island, no. 125; XIV. Approaching a Mysterious Land, no. 126; XV. The Land of the White Bear, no. 128; XVI. Tragedies of the Whaling Fleet, no. 129; XVII. Meeting the Point Barrow Expedition, no. 130; XVIII. A Siberian Reindeer Herd, no.131; XIX. Turned Back by Storms and Ice, no.132; XX. Homeward-Bound, no. 133. Appendix: I. The Glaciation of the Arctic and Subarctic Regions Visited During the Cruise, no. 162; II. Botanical Notes, no. 160. Index.

The Cruise of the Corwin