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
Goren, Haim, Dead Sea Level
Lynch, William Francis, Narrative of the United States Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea
The Congo: Emory Taunt, 1885
Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness
Doyle, A. Conan, The Crime of the Congo
Hochschild, Adam, King Leopold’s Ghost
Jampoler, Andrew C.A., Congo: The Miserable Expeditions and Dreadful Death of Lt. Emory Taunt, USN
Stanley, Henry M, Through the Dark Continent
Twain, Mark, King Leopold’s Soliloquy
Van Reybrouck, David, Congo: The Epic History of a People
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt 1913—14
Creighton, Margaret, The Electrifying Force of Rainbow City
Herndon, Wm. Lewis & Gibbon, Lardner, Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon
Kinder, Gary, Ship of Gold and the Deep Blue Sea
Kinzer, Stephen, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of the American People
Millard, Candice, The River of Doubt
Morris, Edmund, Colonel Roosevelt
Morris, Edmund, Theodore Rex
Morris, Edmund, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt, Theodore, Through the Brazilian Wilderness
Books by Andy: