Charles Erskine was at the time of publication in 1896 the only survivor of the famous United States Exploring Expedition Around the Globe, under the command of the late Admiral Charles Wilkes, during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. An Invaluable Contribution to the Literature of Antarctic Discovery.The United States Exploring Expedition was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pac...
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Publication Date: December 11, 2015
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An other excellent book written from a working-class perspective.My only complaint is that the author was quite old when he wrote it and the story tends to be a bit underwhelming. It lacks the fire and urgency of youth.This is an amazing edition, as ...
and surrounding lands conducted by the United States from 1838 to 1842. During the event, armed conflict between Pacific islanders and the expedition was common and dozens of natives were killed in action, as well as a few Americans.This story of thrilling scenes and incidents experienced while circumnavigating the globe under the command of Admiral Charles Wilkes, will interest not only every youth into whose hands it may chance to fall, but those of older years who have not lost their taste for adventure, their love of tales of travel.The production of this book is something of a phenomenon. The author, Charles Erskine, declares that he did not know how to write, and yet his name as author is on the title page of a book describing many years' life at sea, the composition of which would do credit to a person of considerable literary experience and practice. Without the charms Of Mr. Dana’s Two Year: Before the Mast, this book has a charm of its own for any one fond of sea life and adventures incident to a long voyage all over the world, more than fifty years ago.Mr. Erskine was a Boston boy, born in old Roxbury, “christened ” in the old wooden meeting house opposite the Norfolk House, who got his education, such as it was, on the wharves, and early went to sea. He next entered the navy and sailed with the Wilkes Expedition. Commodore Wilkes he describes as a tyrant, but a true American, and loyal to the flag. His connection with this expedition gave him opportunity to see the world, and his narrative of what he saw and underwent is replete with incident.There is an artless simplicity about it which wins the reader’s sympathy at once, and for a man of his advantages in life, the author is a remarkable storyteller. The book is illustrated with numerous wood-cuts, not of the best artistic quality, but helpful to the reader; and the portraits of the author as he was in 1842 and as he is at the present time afford an interesting study. The latter looks like Ben Butler. Such sailor's yarns as these are not to be met with every day now. The conditions under which they can alone be produced have passed away and will not be repeated.The author writes:“For twenty years I sailed the ocean under our country's flag, whose broad stripes and bright stars have floated to the breeze in every clime; and on every shore I visited I found something grand or wonderful, beautiful or sublime, that photographed itself upon my memory.”This book originally published in 1896 has been reformatted for the Kindle and may contain an occasional imperfection from the original publication or from the reformatting.