May 24, 2005 Andrew Jampoler To Discuss "Sailors in the Holy Land" on June 2

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Virginia S. Wood (202) 707-1409

Author Andrew Jampoler will give an illustrated talk on “Sailors in the Holy Land: The 1848 American Expedition to the Dead Sea and the Search for Sodom and Gomorrah” at the Library of Congress at noon on Thursday, June 2, in Dining Room A on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

A book signing will follow the lecture, which is sponsored by the Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“Sailors in the Holy Land” is the account of Lt. William F. Lynch’s U.S. naval expedition as it descended the Jordan River and crisscrossed the Dead Sea in two small boats during 1848. The mission’s scientific purpose was to fix the exact elevation of the Dead Sea and to collect plant, animal and mineral specimens ashore. Lynch’s burning desire, however, was to find proof of the biblical story in Genesis about Sodom and Gomorrah, the two "cities of the plain."

“Sailors” also reveals aspects of mid-19th century life in America, as well as life in the Ottoman Middle East, during a turbulent year marked by revolution in Europe and a lethal cholera epidemic that swept the world.

A retired captain, Jampoler had a 24-year career as a U.S. Navy aviator, during which he commanded a land-based maritime patrol squadron and a naval air station. His first book, “Adak: The Rescue of Alfa Foxtrot 586,” was described in the Wall Street Journal as "an adventure story to rival the best you’ve ever read."

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division regularly sponsors lectures concerning the arts, humanities and social sciences. The division provides reference service and collection development in the Main, Local History and Genealogy, and Microform reading rooms at the Library of Congress.


PR 05-122
ISSN 0731-3527