Jeannette (1879-1881)
Previously the Steam Yacht Jeannette and
HMS Pandora (British Gunvessel, 1861)



Jeannette, a bark-rigged wooden steamship, was built in 1861 at Pembroke Dockyard, England, as the British gunvessel Pandora. The Royal Navy sold her in 1875 for use in Sir Allen Young's voyages to the Arctic. She was purchased by New York newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett in 1878 and renamed Jeannette. Lieutenant George W. DeLong, USN, who had collaborated with Bennett on a project to use the ship for an attempt to reach the North Pole, sailed her from Europe to San Francisco, California. Under the terms of a law authorizing the Navy to provide officers and crew for the proposed expedition, if Bennett paid for all other expenses, she was refitted at the Mare Island Navy Yard, in northern San Francisco Bay. In addition to receiving new boilers and other equipment, Jeannette's hull was massively reinforced to allow her to navigate in the Arctic icepack.

On 8 July 1879 the Jeannette, privately owned but Navy operated, left San Francisco under DeLong's command. His crew included four other Navy officers, twenty-three enlisted men and three civilians. Visiting Alaska, she stopped at Unalaska and Saint Michael, where two Inuit dog drivers joined her, with their dogs and sleds. Jeannette then called on an eastern Siberian port to top up her coal bunkers, passed through the Bering Strait and headed for Wrangell Island. Near there, on 6 September 1879, she entered the Arctic ice, where she was soon frozen in. During the next twenty-two months the drifting ice carried the ship several hundred miles to the northwestward, until on 12 June 1881 her hull was broken open when ice flows rapidly converged after opening a few days previously. Jeannette sank the following morning, after her crew had removed boats, equipment and provisions in preparation for a months-long journey on foot across the desolate ice to reach open water north of Siberia. In the end, of the thirty-three who set off after the ship went down, only thirteen of Jeannette's men survived their adventures and returned to civilization.

This page features, and provides links to, all the views we have related to the Arctic exploration steamer Jeannette.

Additional images related to this ship Jeannette Arctic Expedition, 1879-1881.



Click photograph for a larger image

Photo #: NH 52199

Steam Yacht Jeannette
(later USS Jeannette)

At Le Havre, France, in 1878, prior to her departure for San Francisco, California. She is flying the U.S. Yacht Ensign.

Photograph presented to Rear Admiral Yancy S. Williams on 20 January 1936 by Frank Breen Haggerty, who served at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, from September 1874 to 30 September 1909.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 1157KB; 740 x 535 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92123

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Engraving of the ship under sail and steam, with title page text, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 118KB; 690 x 610 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52004

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Engraving of the ship underway in San Francisco Bay, California, circa 8 July 1879.
Note that she is depicted flying the U.S. Yacht Ensign.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 127KB; 740 x 505 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52003

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Engraving after a sketch by H.A. Ogden, depicting Jeannette leaving San Francisco, California, on 8 July 1879 to begin her Arctic expedition.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 221KB; 740 x 540 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52007

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Composite photograph of the ship, and the officers of her Arctic expedition. Those shown are (clockwise from top center):
Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, USN, Commanding Officer;
Passed Assistant Surgeon James M. Ambler, USN;
Chief Engineer George W. Melville, USN;
Raymond Lee Newcomb, Naturalist and Astronomer;
William Dunbar, Pilot;
Jerome J. Collins, Correspondent for the "New York Herald";
Lieutenant John W. Danenhower, USN, Second Officer; and
Lieutenant Charles W. Chipp, USN, Executive Officer.

Donation of Captain T.S. Wilkinson, USN, 1934.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 131KB; 550 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92125

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Sail plan of the ship as fitted for her Arctic exploring expedition.
Copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 510, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 435 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92126

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Spar deck, berth deck and hold plans of the ship, as fitted for her Arctic exploring expedition.
Copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 511, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 170KB; 1200 x 635 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92106

USS Jeannette
(1879-1881)

Hull cross section, through coal bunkers and fire room, showing the heavy bracing added to suit the ship for navigation in the Arctic ice.
Engraving copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume I, page 59, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 124KB; 740 x 630 pixels

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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