Stormy Voyager: The Story of Charles Wilkes

Stormy Voyager: The Story of Charles Wilkes

Stormy Voyager: The Story of Charles Wilkes

Stormy Voyager: The Story of Charles Wilkes

Excerpt

Six oddly assorted ships rode at anchor in the harbor of Hampton Roads, Virginia, awaiting orders to sail. It was the summer of 1838; after nearly fifteen years of hesitation, confusion, doubt, and bickering, the United States of America was about to launch a grand naval expedition on a voyage around the world.

Pacing the deck on the morning of August 18 was the commander of the expedition: Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of the U. S. Navy, a lean, thin-faced man of forty. Outwardly Wilkes appeared calm, even icy, as he supervised the final preparations for departure. But within him roared a storm as intense as any he was destined to encounter on this long and arduous voyage. He knew that every senior . . .

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