United States Exploring Expedition

  • Officially: United States South Seas Exploring Expedition
  • Also Known AS: US Ex Ex

The US Exploring Expedition, led by Lt Charles Wilkes, was the first US exploring and surveying expedition to the South Seas. Six ships carried 346 naval personnel and scientists, who were charged with the task of providing detailed maps of the region for the American shipping industry. The expedition was at sea from 1838 to 1842 in the around-the-world voyage. - NPS



Y/M/D Description Place
1838/08/18 United States South Seas Exploring Expedition departs Hampton Roads. Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park, Hampton
1839/00/00 United States Exploring Expedition visits Mo'orea. Moorea, French Polynesia
1840/01/25 United States South Seas Exploring Expedition sights Antarctica. Antarctica,
1840/06/00 Dana writes from the Fiji Islands that the natives are cannibals who prefer roasted white men. Fiji,
1840/12/11 Lt Wilkes leads a contingent of scientists to the summit of Mauna Loa, December 1840 and 13 January 1841 Wilkes Campsite, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
1841/00/00 The Wilkes Expedition names the island after a United States Naval Officer, Captain John D Shaw, who had served prominently in the war against Algiers, 1815. Shaw Island, WA, Washington
1842/06/10 US Exploring Expedition arrives home in New York.

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