The adventurous allure of distant rivers held a fascination for American explorers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Author and maritime historian Andy Jampoler recounts the true stories of three voyages of discovery.
In 1848 Navy Lieutenant William Lynch and his party of volunteer sailors undertook the first and only American expedition of exploration to the Dead Sea. Defying Bedouin threats and epidemic disease, the expedition was the first to determine precisely how far the Dead Sea was below sea level.
Under orders from the navy secretary, in 1885 Lieutenant Emory Taunt traveled alone on Africa’s disease-infested Congo River. He returned later, unsuccessfully seeking wealth and hoping to salvage a reputation marred by alcoholism. He died beside the river in 1891 while serving as the first resident American diplomat in the Congo Free State.
Former President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1913 expedition on the mysterious Amazon tributary, the “River of Doubt,” after his failed third term re-election, almost killed him. Follow Roosevelt’s journey through lethal Amazonia overland and downriver by dugout canoe.
Here is a list of books mentioned in Andy’s talk at the Smithsonian Associates program, Great River Expeditions, on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
The River Jordan and the Dead Sea: William Lynch, 1848
Collins, Steven & Scott, Latayne C., Discovering the City of Sodom
I am presenting a series of “conversations,” talks on events in maritime history, on board Seabourn‘s MV Quest as we sail “the Route of the Vikings” between Iceland and Greenland to Canada. Here is a list of the books mentioned in the talks.