The Great United States Exploring Expedition: 1838-42

Course Dates: 
June 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Paula Withrow
Course Catalogs: 
2015 Summer

This six- week lecture format course will tell the story of one of the lesser known but important expeditions in American history. The expedition was authorized by Congress in 1836. Led by Commander Charles Wilkes, the voyage covered over 87,000 miles, involved six vessels and 346 men-- including botanists and other scientists, artists, taxidermists and an expert on written languages.  We will be using contemporary documents covering the results of the venture (positive and negative) and discovering why one reviewer said “There was never a dull moment” on the Wilkes expedition.

Paula Withrow ( has an MA in history from Colorado State University and an enthusiasm for researching little known historical facts as well as historical controversies.  She enjoys sharing that research by teaching history - any history.  Her previous courses have ranged from ancient history to the Wild West and from exploration to preservation.