Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

This 1880 map delineates Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka's journey to uncover the remnants of Sir John Franklin's expedition on King William Land during 1879 and 1880. Based on H. W. Klutschak's original map and published by Justus Perthes in Gotha, Germany, it provides a crucial historical snapshot of Arctic exploration during this pivotal era.

In the late 19th century, Arctic exploration was a significant endeavor, driven by the quest to navigate and map the unknown polar regions and to solve mysteries like the fate of Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka's mission, captured in this map, was part of this broader narrative, as it sought to provide closure to one of the most enduring mysteries of Arctic exploration. The map's detailed depiction of the expedition's route from April 1, 1879, to March 4, 1880, offers a vivid account of the challenges faced by explorers in the treacherous Arctic environment.

The inclusion of key landmarks, such as Cairns (stone pyramids used as markers), and the detailed routes of both the northward journey and the return, render this map an invaluable resource for understanding the logistics and strategies employed during Schwatka's expedition. Its value is further enhanced by the contributions of renowned cartographers such as H. W. Klutschak, B. Hassenstein, and C. Peip, whose expertise in topographical representation is evident.

Published as part of Petermann's Geographische Mittheilungen in 1880 (Yearbook 1880, Plate 20), this map chronicles a significant episode in the annals of Arctic exploration. Its publication by Justus Perthes, a distinguished name in cartographic publishing, and the printing by C. Hellfarth in Gotha, further elevates its status as a remarkable piece of cartographic history from a period marked by human resilience and the quest for geographical knowledge.

Condition Description
Original hand-color.
Augustus Herman Petermann Biography

August Heinrich Petermann (1822-1878) is a renowned German cartographer of the nineteenth century. Petermann studied cartography at the Geographical Art-School in Potsdam before traveling to Edinburgh to work with Dr. A. Keith Johnston on an English edition of Berghaus’ Physical Atlas. Two years later he moved to London, where he made maps and advised exploratory expeditions as they set off to explore the interior of Africa and the Arctic.

In 1854, Petermann returned to Germany to be Director of the Geographical Institute of Justus Perthes in Gotha. There, he was the editor of the Geographische Mittheilungen and Stieler’s Handatlas. The Royal Geographical Society of London awarded him their Gold Medal in 1860. He continued his interest in exploration in Germany, fundraising for the German Exploring Expeditions of 1868 and 1869-70, which sought an open Arctic sea. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1878.