Important acquisitions

The polar regions of the Western Continent explored.

Author Snelling, William Joseph.
Title The polar regions of the Western Continent explored.
Imprint Boston : Printed for W. W. Reed.
Date of Publication 1831
Language English
Notes William Joseph Snelling (1804-1848) was born in Boston and began his working life as an explorer, trapper and fur trader in what is now present day Minnesota. His five years out west enabled him to become well acquainted with native Indian life and he took an active part in mediating outbursts of tribal warfare between Chippewa, Dakota, and Winnebago Indians. Snelling returned to Boston in 1828 after the death of his first wife. He then led a varied career as a newspaper journalist, essayist, poet, short story writer and latterly, after developing an alcohol dependency, a poverty stricken hack writer. Snelling's interest in North American polar exploration was most probably influenced by his adventures and experiences on the western frontier as a young man. Although the British and the Russians dominated the early exploration of the Arctic, Snelling's Polar Regions was one of the earliest significant American publications on this topic to appear in the first half of the 19th century. Snelling's Polar Regions is not based upon his own personal experiences. As he makes very clear in his pithy one-page preface, he is not so much acting as an author but rather as a compiler whose objective is to condense the previously published writings of such polar explorers as Crantz, Parry, Franklin, Richardson, Kotzebue and others and present them in a one-volume work. The text is accompanied by 8 leaves of engravings depicting arctic animals and arctic scenes, and there is also an appendix which lists and describes arctic animal life.
Shelfmark GB/A.3767
Reference Sources The Cambridge History of American Literature. V.2: Prose writing 1820-1865. Benet's Readers Encyclopedia of American Literature. American National Biography. V. 20
Acquired on 07/04/03
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