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United States Exploring Expedition Collection

Creator::
United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842)  Search this
Extent:
4.37 cu. ft. (6 document boxes) (1 half document box) (1 12x17 box) (1 16x20 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scientific illustrations
Manuscripts
Date:
1838-1885
Descriptive Entry:
Several reports covering the scientific work of the expedition were made, and most were published. One of the exceptions was the ichthyology report, which Charles Pickering was originally assigned to prepare. It was delayed, however; and by the middle of 1849, Jean Louis Agassiz had been placed in charge of the work. Due to the pressures of his many other commitments, and to the growing reluctance of Congress to appropriate additional funds after 1862, Agassiz never completed the project. In 1885, twelve years after Agassiz's death, the fish specimens, his manuscript, and its illustrations were sent to the United States National Museum.

The two illustrators, Joseph Drayton and Alfred T. Agate, produced numerous drawings of fishes during the expedition, many of which are in this collection. Drayton also helped supervise the illustrations and engraving work for a number of the scientific reports which were published.

A number of the items covering the ichthyology of the United States Exploring Expedition have been held, along with the specimens, by the Division of Fishes of the United States National Museum of Natural History. This record unit includes an unsigned manuscript on the fishes of the expedition, apparently the work of Jean Louis Agassiz which was sent to the United States National Museum in 1885; notes on the fishes and echinoderms collected by the expedition, either by Charles Pickering or based on his notes; a number of items concerning the drawings, specimens and the itinerary of the expedition; and drawings and illustrations of fishes done during the voyage or as illustrations for the ichthyology report. An unpublished manuscript on the fishes of the United States Exploring Expedition by Henry Ward Fowler has been placed in Record Unit 7180.

In addition to the ichthyological materials some items in this collection were held by the Smithsonian Library. These items consist of a letter from R. R. Waldron to Mrs. Sarah Jane Hale concerning her son Horatio Hale's travel plan, 1841; a manuscript on the expedition by Titian Ramsay Peale, which was published by the American Historical Records, 1874; notebooks on botany, mostly by William Dunlop Brackenridge; catalogues and annotated lists of ethnological, geological, mineralogical, and natural history specimens collected by the expedition; drawings of echinoderms by Drayton; original invoices and other official papers of the expedition, mostly shipping lists of specimens sent to the United States; and some loose sheets from the purser's account book, 1838-1842.
Historical Note:
The United States Exploring Expedition, also known as the Wilkes Expedition, was authorized by an act of Congress in 1836 as "a surveying and exploring expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas." It was prompted by a desire to obtain information concerning an area which was rapidly becoming of interest to American traders and whalers. A contingent of scientists accompanied the expedition, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of the United States Navy, including Charles Pickering, Titian Ramsay Peale, Joseph P. Couthouy, James Dwight Dana, William Rich, William Dunlop Brackenridge, and Horatio Hale. In addition to the scientists, two illustrators, Joseph Drayton and Alfred T. Agate, also accompanied the expedition.

The expedition, which consisted of five ships and crews provided by the United States Navy, sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, in August 1838. By the time it returned to New York in June 1842, it had visited and explored Madeira, both coasts of South America, Tierra del Fuego, the South Pacific islands, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, the Hawaiian Islands, Oregon, California, the Philippine Islands, Singapore, the Cape of Good Hope, and St. Helena. Wilkes' voyage along the Antarctic coast during the expedition established the existence of that continent.

During the voyage, the scientists gathered specimens and studied the flora and fauna of each place visited. At various points along the route specimens were packed and sent back to the United States. Eventually, the specimens were placed in the custody of the National Institute in Washington, D.C., and installed in the Great Hall of the Patent Office. They remained there until their removal to the Smithsonian Institution in 1858.
Topic:
Geology  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
Botany  Search this
Ichthyology  Search this
Invertebrate zoology  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Scientific expeditions  Search this
Invertebrates  Search this
Zoologists  Search this
Geologists  Search this
Anthropologists  Search this
Botanists  Search this
Ichthyologists  Search this
Naturalists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scientific illustrations
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7186, United States Exploring Expedition Collection
Identifier:
Record Unit 7186
See more items in:
United States Exploring Expedition Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7186

Round Wooden Shield

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Diameter - Object:
91 cm
Culture:
Filipino  Search this
Object Type:
Shield
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3898-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3ef0e4aef-bdca-4470-8528-df62a994ee41
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422051

Boat Model, "Flying Proa"

Collector:
Midshipman Wilkes Henry  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Culture:
(?)  Search this
Malay (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Boat Model
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3895-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3aa2a0227-33dc-4165-93aa-79747879b51e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422047

Spear

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Object:
231 cm
Culture:
Malay (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Spear
Place:
Sulu Islands (not certain), Philippines (not certain) / Indonesia (not certain)
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3899-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/381e40b2d-8986-4780-b729-0d09f044fbbe
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422054
Online Media:

Spear

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Object:
233 cm
Culture:
Malay (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Spear
Place:
Sulu Islands (not certain), Philippines (not certain) / Indonesia (not certain)
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3900-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/35aac1eb9-697a-4633-a4d2-5540a80ea891
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422057

Boat Model, Model Of A Proa

Collector:
Midshipman Wilkes Henry  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Culture:
(?)  Search this
Malay (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Boat Model
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3892-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3b73c5fdb-9f12-443a-98c5-e995a673aa7c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422044

Boat Model, Model Of A Proa

Collector:
Midshipman Wilkes Henry  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Culture:
(?)  Search this
Malay (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Boat Model
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3893-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3fc7b2c49-24ae-491f-92bd-6accca1826ad
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422045

Boat Model, Model Of A Proa

Collector:
Midshipman Wilkes Henry  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Culture:
(?)  Search this
Malay (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Boat Model
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3894-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/38f4673be-1718-42a5-8195-995a14b5efa1
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422046

Fly-Brush

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Object:
70 cm
Diameter - Handle End:
5.5 cm
Object Type:
Fly-Brush
Place:
Negros Island (not certain), Singapore (not certain) / Philippines (not certain), Asia (not certain)
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E14259-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3237325db-8a0e-4844-b44a-ada9dacf90e8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8339296

Head Axe

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Object:
58 cm
Width - Blade At Top:
26 cm
Culture:
Igorot  Search this
Object Type:
Axe
Place:
Luzon (Interior), Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E5653-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3e4b6112a-2d8a-421e-b8c1-e961ae23bca2
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8469566
Online Media:

Head Axe

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Object:
59.3 cm
Width - Blade:
30.8 cm
Culture:
Igorot  Search this
Object Type:
Axe
Place:
Luzon (Interior), Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E5654-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/30415ab51-d291-40ab-b59b-0223a59168d3
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8469578

Kris Or E. Indian Dagger

Collector:
Midshipman Samuel B. Elliott  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Kris:
68 cm
Width - Kris:
11.5 cm
Length - Sheath:
62 cm
Width - Sheath:
16 cm
Culture:
Not Given (?)  Search this
Moro (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Kris / Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands (not certain), Philippines (not certain) / Indonesia (not certain)
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3901-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/307aeff23-4c05-45f5-a3a7-101671e10f9e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422059

Kris Or E. Indian Dagger

Collector:
P. Dowden  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Kris:
68 cm
Width - Kris:
11 cm
Length - Sheath:
58 cm
Width - Sheath:
11 cm
Culture:
Not Given (?)  Search this
Moro (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Kris / Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands (not certain), Philippines (not certain) / Indonesia (not certain)
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3902-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3f5ab6721-5101-47e7-8b2a-00938c3ef20d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422061

Sheath for Kris Or E. Indian Dagger

Collector:
Lt. Richard R. Waldron  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Sheath:
56 cm
Culture:
Not Given  Search this
Object Type:
Kris Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands (not certain), Philippines (not certain) / Indonesia (not certain)
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3904-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/31df50a74-50fb-48c3-86dc-109ba3e5d811
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422063

Kris, Or Indian Dagger

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Kris:
61.5 cm
Width - Kris:
10.5 cm
Length - Sheath:
57.5 cm
Width - Sheath:
14 cm
Culture:
Moro  Search this
Object Type:
Kris / Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3907-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3158603a2-f502-418b-8192-f520ada60dac
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422066

Sheath for Kris, Or Indian Dagger

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Sheath:
55 cm
Width - Sheath:
14 cm
Culture:
Moro  Search this
Object Type:
Kris Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3908-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/38873c8d1-dd30-4284-a7ce-72c1ba5cb785
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422067

Kris Or Indian Dagger

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Kris:
58.5 cm
Width - Kris:
10 cm
Length - Sheath:
58 cm
Width - Sheath:
15 cm
Culture:
Filipino  Search this
Object Type:
Kris / Sheath
Place:
Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3909-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3b1ec3f7a-5c6b-4509-81e1-c1b51bba0cff
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422068

Sheath for Kris, Or Indian Dagger

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Sheath:
55 cm
Width - Sheath:
16.9 cm
Culture:
Moro  Search this
Object Type:
Kris Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3910-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/36c5f25ec-a69f-4cf4-9898-f69829a2de8f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422072

Kris, Or Indian Dagger

Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Kris:
65 cm
Width - Kris:
11 cm
Length - Sheath:
59 cm
Width - Sheath:
13.5 cm
Culture:
Moro (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Kris / Sheath
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E3911-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/36fd3797f-7758-47e1-87a9-711ed5d8bef2
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8422073

"Culang" Wooden Jewsharp

Collector:
Lt. Augustus L. Case  Search this
Donor Name:
United States Exploring Expedition  Search this
Length - Object:
31.3 cm
Width - Object:
1.8 cm
Culture:
Moro  Search this
Object Type:
Mouth Harp
Place:
Sulu Islands, Philippines
Accession Date:
1858
Collection Date:
1838 to 1842
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
66A00050
USNM Number:
E5692-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/31f534abb-be82-43d6-a9fb-e70edfa2ee9f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8469879

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