** For this compilation reference has been largely
made to Dr. H. R. Mill's ``The Siege of the South Pole.''
Several doubtful voyages during the early part of the nineteenth
century have been omitted.
1775. James Cook circumnavigated
the Globe in high southern latitudes, discovering the sub-antarctic
island of South Georgia. He was the first to cross the Antarctic
1819. William Smith, the master of a merchant
vessel trading between Montevideo and Valparaiso, discovered the
South Shetland Islands.
1819. Fabian Gottlieb von
Bellingshausen, despatched in command of an Expedition by the Emperor,
Alexander I of Russia, with instructions to supplement the voyage
of Captain Cook, circumnavigated the Antarctic continent in high
southern latitudes. The first discovery of land south of the Antarctic
Circle was made, namely, Peter I Island and Alexander I Land (also
an island), in the American Quadrant of Antarctica.
Nathaniel Palmer, master of an American sealing-vessel, sighted
new land to the south of the South Shetland Islands. It seems clear
that he was the first to view what is now known as the Palmer Archipelago
1823. James Weddell, a British sealer,
sailing southward of the Atlantic Ocean, reached 74 degrees 15'
south latitude in the American Quadrant, establishing a ``farthest
1830. John Biscoe, a whaling
master of the British firm of Enderby Brothers, sailed on a voyage
circumnavigating the Antarctic Regions. Enderby Land was discovered
south of the West Indian Ocean in the African Quadrant of Antarctica.
This was apparently a part of the Antarctic continent. New land
was also met with to the south of America and charted as Graham's
Land, Biscoe Island and Adelaide Island.
Kemp, a sailing
master of Enderby Brothers, extended Biscoe's discoveries shortly
after by the report of land east of, and adjacent to, Enderby Land.
Neither of these discoveries has yet been proved, though Enderby
Land (Biscoe) undoubtedly exists.
1839. John Balleny,
another of Enderby's whaling captains, discovered the Balleny
Islands within the Antarctic Circle, in the Australian Quadrant
of Antarctica, and gave a vague description of an appearance of
land to the westward. This has been charted on maps, without adequate
evidence, as Sabrina Land.
Antarctic Land Discoveries Preceding 1838
Note. This and the two following maps of the series
illustrate land discoveries only. In cases where the existence of
land once reported has since been disproved no record at all is
1837. Jules Sebastian Cesar Dumont D'Urville,
was despatched by King Louis Philippe of France for the prosecution
of scientific researches on a voyage round the World. His cruise
in the Antarctic resulted in the charting of Joinville Island and
Louis Philippe Land to the south of America (American Quadrant)
and the discovery of a portion of the Antarctic continent, named
Adelie Land, southward of Australia (Australian Quadrant).
1838. Charles Wilkes, United States Navy, in accordance
with a bill passed by Congress, set out on an exploring expedition
to circumnavigate the World. His programme included the investigation
of the area of the Antarctic to the south of Australia--the Australian
Quadrant. The squadron composing this American expedition first
visited the Antarctic regions in the American Quadrant, and then
proceeded eastward round to the Australian Quadrant from which,
after a long cruise, they returned, reporting land at frequent intervals
in the vicinity of the Antarctic Circle between longitudes 157 degrees
46' E. and 106 degrees 19' E. He shares with D'Urville
the full honour of the discovery of Adelie Land. Some of the supposed
landfalls known to be non-existent.
1839. James Clark
Ross proceeded south in charge of a scientific expedition fitted
out by the Admiralty at the instance of the British Association
for the Advancement of Science and approved of by the Royal Society.
His aim was to circumnavigate the Antarctic regions and to investigate
the Weddell Sea. The geographical results were fruitful; the Ross
Sea, the Admiralty Range and the Great Ice Barrier were discovered
and some eight hundred miles of Antarctic coastline were broadly
1844. T. E. L. Moore was detailed by the
Admiralty to supplement the magnetic work of Ross and to explore
to the southward of Africa and of the Indian Ocean, but no additions
were made to geographical knowledge.
Dallmann, whilst engaged in whaling with a German steamer to the
southward of America, added some details to the map of the Palmer
Archipelago but did not go further south than 64 degrees 45'
1874. The `Challenger' scientific
expedition, under the command of George Strong Nares, in the course
of their voyage from the Cape to Australia during the circumnavigation
of the World penetrated within the Antarctic Circle in longitude
78 degrees 22' E.
1892. A fleet of four Scottish
whalers cruised through the north-western part of the Weddell Sea.
Scientific observations were made by W. S. Bruce and others, but
no geographical discoveries were recorded.
A. Larsen, master of a Hamburg whaler, added important details to
the geography of the American Quadrant of Antarctica on the western
side of the Weddell Sea.
1894. Evensen, master of
another Hamburg whaler, brought back further information of the
American Quadrant on the Pacific Ocean side.
H. J. Bull organized a whaling venture and with Leonard Kristensen,
master of the ship, revisited the Ross Sea area where a landing
was made at Cape Adare (Australian Quadrant). This was the first
occasion on which any human being had set foot on the Antarctic
Antarctic land Discoveries Preceding 1896
(A. J. Hodgeman)
1897. Adrien de Gerlache sailed from Belgium
on a scientific exploring expedition to the American Quadrant. Important
additions were made to the map, but the ship became frozen into
the pack-ice and drifted about for a whole year south of the Antarctic
Circle. The members of this expedition were the first to experience
an Antarctic winter. Antarctic exploration now entered upon a new
1898. Carstens Egeberg Borchgrevink led an expedition,
fitted out by Sir George Newnes; its objective being the Ross Sea
area. Further details were added to the map, but the most notable
fact was that the expedition wintered at Cape Adare, on the mainland
itself. The Great Ross Barrier was determined to be thirty miles
south of the position assigned by Ross in 1839.
Chun of Leipsig, in charge of the `Valdivia' Expedition, carried
out oceanographical researches far to the south, in the vicinity
of Enderby Land (African Quadrant), though he did not come within
sight of the continent.
1901. Robert Falcon Scott,
in command of the `Discovery' Expedition, organised by the Royal
Geographical Society and Royal Society with the co-operation of
the Admiralty, in accordance with a scheme of international endeavour,
passed two winters at the southern extremity of the Ross Sea and
carried out many successful sledging journeys. Their main geographical
achievements were: the discovery of King Edward VII Land; several
hundred miles of new land on a ``farthest south'' sledging
journey to latitude 82 degrees 17' S.; the discovery of the
Antarctic plateau; additional details and original contributions
to the geography of the lands and islands of the Ross Sea.
1901. A German national expedition, led by Erich von
Drygalski, set out for the region south of the Indian Ocean. After
a small party had been stationed on Kerguelen Island, the main party
proceeded south close to the tracks of the Challenger. They came
within sight of Antarctic shores but were frozen into the pack-ice
for a whole year. Kaiser Wilhelm II Land was discovered close to
the junction between the Australian and African Quadrants.
1901. A Swedish national expedition, planned and led
by Otto Nordenskjold, wintered for two years on Snow Hill Island
in the American Quadrant, and did much valuable scientific work.
1902. William Speirs Bruce organized and led a Scottish
expedition to the Weddell Sea, southward of the Atlantic Ocean.
The party effected notable oceanographic researches and wintered
at the South Orkney Islands, but were foiled in their attempt to
penetrate the pack-ice. During the second season, conditions were
more favourable and the ship reached Coats Land in 74 degrees 1'
1903. Jean Charcot organized and led
a French expedition to the American Quadrant and there added many
details to the existing chart.
1907. Ernest Henry
Shackleton organized and led a British expedition with the main
object of reaching the South Geographical Pole. His party wintered
at Cape Royds, McMurdo Sound, and two main sledging parties set
out in the early summer. E. H. Shackleton's party ascended the
Antarctic plateau and penetrated to within ninety-seven geographical
miles of the South Pole, discovering new land beyond Scott's
``farthest south.'' T. W. Edgeworth David's party reached
the South Magnetic Polar Area, filling in many details of the western
coast of McMurdo Sound.
1908. Jean Charcot organized
and led a second French expedition to extend the work accomplished
in 1903 in the American Quadrant. He was successful in discovering
new land still further to the south. Loubet, Fallieres and Charcot
Lands, towards and beyond Alexander I Land, were added to the map
1910. Roald Amundsen organized an expedition
for scientific research in the vicinity of the North Pole but changed
his plans, eventually heading for the South Pole. The expedition
wintered on the Ross Barrier near King Edward VII Land, from which
point he set out and attained the South Geographical Pole, mapping
in new land on the way. Another party visited King Edward VII Land.
1910. Robert Falcon Scott led a second Antarctic expedition,
the main object of which was to reach the South Geographical Pole.
The principal party wintered near his old winter quarters at Hut
Point, McMurdo Sound. A second party was landed at Cape Adare. Scott
reached the Pole soon after the Norwegian Amundsen, but he and his
party perished on the return journey. Other parties added details
to the map of Victoria Land. Oates Land was sighted from the ship
to the westward of Cape Adare in the Australian Quadrant.
1910. A Japanese expedition sailed to the Ross Sea, but
on account of the lateness of the season was forced to turn back
without landing. The winter was spent at Sydney, New South Wales.
Next year a summer visit was made to the South, but no additional
land discoveries were made.
1911. A German expedition,
led by Wilhelm Filchner, proceeded to the Weddell Sea; the South
Pole being its objective. The party succeeded in reaching further
south in that region than any previous navigators and discovered
new land, to be named Prince Luitpold Land. They were driven northwards
amongst the pack in a blizzard and spent the winter frozen in south
of Coats Land.
A Map of the Antarctic Regions as Known at
the Present Day 
IV - GLOSSARY