The Second Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin, 1853, ’54, ’55
By Kane, Elisha Kent, M.D., U.S.N.
Philadelphia: Childs and Peterson, 1856. First Edition in Two Volumes. 8vo — 23cm., 464pp., 467pp. With publisherâ€™s advertisements 2pp. bound in the front of Volume I, 2 steel engraved portrait frontispieces with original tissue guards, 3 engraved maps including one large fold-out map not showing the Kane Sea* (rare), 1 fold-out chart, 18 engraved plates with original tissue guards, and nearly 300 engravings in text from sketches by the author. Publisherâ€™s dark-brown decorative blind-stamped pebbled cloth with bright gilt de-bossed image of the â€śAdvanceâ€ť frozen in the ice; spine slightly lightened with bright gilt titles; original chocolate-brown clay end leaves, significant prior ownership name on second blank leaf**, tight hinges, all tissue guards in place — a handsome and well-preserved set of an important work. Near Fine and complete. Sabin 37001; National Maritime Museum Catalogue, Voyages & Travel, 924; Arctic Bibliography 8373.
Elisha Kane commanded the â€śAdvanceâ€ť on this expedition that financed by Henry Grinnell. Although Franklin and his men were not found, the searching explorers were able to gather much information about the people, geography, and the natural history of the region. The expedition passed Smith Sound at the head of Baffin Bay, and advanced into the enclosed sea which now bears the name of Kane Basin, thus establishing the Polar route of several future Arctic expeditions. The expedition passed two winters, and attained what was to remain for sixteen years the farthest northern latitude reached by explorers. The â€śAdvanceâ€ť ultimately became frozen in and was abandoned May 20, 1855. The expedition party reached Upernivik, in eighty-three days carry invalids and after suffering the loss of one member.
*The original large fold-out map placed in the 1856 first printing did not label the Kane Sea as such. According to William Elder’s biography on Kane on pages 229-30, and also repeated by George Corner in his Kane biography on page 271, this was all due to Peter Force, the 19th-century Arctic geographer. Peter Force wrote the rare pamphlet Grinnell Land 1857 where he discusses the first to discover that little piece of land at the western end of Devon Island now called Grinnell Peninsula. Kane and DeHaven saw it first when they were up Wellington Channel on the Franklin search expedition. However, the British laid claim to it and suppressed the Kane-DeHaven discovery. Force, a true American patriot, exposed the British in his pamphlet. He was an enthusiastic Arctic historian, and when he noticed that Kane’s name was nowhere to be found on the map in Arctic Explorations he ripped out the map, crossed out Smith Sound and wrote in Kane Sea. He then sent this map to Childs and Peterson Publishers who took the hint and printed the next batch of copies beginning in the autumn of 1856, and all other subsequent copies with Kane Sea instead of Smith Sound. It is not known how many copies were printed with Smith Sound or Smith Strait, but I have heard various estimates from 50 to several hundred. This is a rare copy that was distributed before the map change adding the Kane Sea.
**Provenance: The second blank fly-leaf bears the script signature of â€śRichard H. Goddard — Shattack Obâ€™y [Observatory] Dartmouth Collegeâ€ť. Richard Goddard is the namesake of NASAâ€™s Goddard Space Flight Center. â€śRobert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 — August 10, 1945) was an American engineer, professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited with creating and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket Goddard successfully launched his model on March 16, 1926 ushering in an era of space flight and innovationâ€ť. â€“Wikipedia