Charles Wilkes

Charles Wilkes Maximum Cards

Stock #: 235571
Type: Postcard
Era: Continental Chrome
Publisher: The Maximum Card Collection
Postmark: 1988 Sep-14
PM City: Washington
PM State: DC
Stamp: 25c
Size: 4" x 5.75" (10.25 x 15 cm)

Additional Details:
First day of issue: September 14, 1988 First issue location: Washington, D.C. In the 1830s the United States government sent an expedition to Antarctica. Commanded by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Navy, the South Sea Exploring Expedition was led by the flagship Vincennes. Wilkes took his fleet on a 1500-mile cruise along a vast and unfamiliar coast. The expedition was by no means a calm one as gale-force winds whipped the ships across icy seas. Each day winds and icebergs threatened to destroy the ships and send their crews to icy death. Wilkes described passage through the Antarctic sea as much like traveling through "an immense city of ruined alabaster palaces... with long lanes or streets wandering through them." The extent of this treacherous journey not only convinced Wilkes of the grave dangers of this snow-covered, desolate land, it also convinced him of the land's massive size, pointing to the existence of a continent. Wilkes' journey opened a new and uniquely hostile frontier - a frontier which presented a fabulous challenge to the adventurous spirit of man