Samuel P. Griffin Logbooks, 1850-1851

Summary Information
Title: Samuel P. Griffin Logbooks
Inclusive Dates: 1850-1851

  • Griffin, Samuel P., 1826-1887
Call Number: AGSL Manuscript Collection 33

Quantity: 0.6 cubic ft. (1 box)
Archival Locations:
UW-Milwaukee Libraries, American Geographical Society Library (Map)

Two rough logbooks from the USS Rescue during its 1850-1851 search for the British explorer, Sir John Franklin.

Language: English

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Henry Grinnell, a retired merchant and philanthropist, was interested in the fate of British explorer Sir John Franklin, who had been lost in the Arctic since 1845 while searching for a Northwest Passage. To help with the search for Franklin, Grinnell purchased two brigs, the Rescue and Advance, had them modified for Arctic service, and loaned them to the U.S. Navy for a rescue attempt. In May of 1850, the expedition sailed from New York in what became known as the First Grinnell Expedition. The expedition was commanded by Lt. Edwin De Haven, who led the Advance and Acting Master Samuel Palmer Griffin, who was second in command of the expedition and led the Rescue. While the expedition did not locate Franklin, it did find evidence of his party. The expedition returned safely to New York in late 1851.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two "Rough Log" books from the brig, USS Rescue, commanded by Samuel Griffin. The dates of the logs span the duration of the expedition, from May 1850 to October 1851. The logs served as rough drafts while at sea, until the official versions could be transcribed at a later date. The logbooks detail daily information including weather data, such as temperature and barometric readings, latitude and longitude positions, and other general remarks of the day during the ship's mission to the Arctic.

Preferred Citation

Citation Guide for Primary Sources

Related Material in the UWM Libraries
Separated Material in the UWM Libraries

A mansucript written by Samuel Griffin was also donated at the same time. It can be found in Box 44 of this collection:

Administrative/Restriction Information
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials, and the collection is open to all members of the public in accordance with state law.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of this collection (Wisconsin Statutes 19.21-19.39).

Custodial History

Miss Cora Griffin and Mrs. Herbert Woods donated this collection to the American Geographical Society of New York in 1929.

Acquisition Information

The American Geographical Society of New York donated these log books to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries in 1978 as part of its entire map and library collections.

Processing Information

Bob Jaeger processed this collection in July 2015.

Contents List
Rough Logs
Box   1
volume 1, 23 May 1850 - 3 Aug 1851
Box   1
volume 2, 6 Aug 1851 - 6 Oct 1851