"H.M.S. Erebus, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. October 17. 1841." To "J. G. Children, Esqr."
Vault MSS 355 folder 93
A very long and important letter of some 5,000 words. Hooker was naturalist on Sir John Clark Ross' Antarctic voyage, perhaps the most important voyage of discovery of the 19th century. His letter gives a fascinating and detailed account of the voyage via Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, Trinidad Island, St. Helena, the Crozets, Tasmania, the Auckland Islands, down to the Antarctic. "6th January (1841) We entered the (pack) ice with a fine breeze." This was the first time in history that a ship had done so. "At 2.30 p.m. on the 11th. . . Land was discovered far ahead like a long range of peaked Mts. rising above the horizon. . . A landing was however with considerable difficulty effected on some small islands which from lying out to sea were partly denuded of snow. . . This was the first sighting of and landing on any part of the antarctic continent. While possibly Admiral Ross' dispatch