The Amazing Life and Times of John Ledyard

An epic tale greatly annotated in which we go ’round the world with Dartmouth’s class of 1776 poster boy for adventure.

Bill Gifford wrote Ledyard: In Search of the First American Explorer in 2007. He traveled across Siberia in pursuit of his subject and was not deported. Much of what we know of Ledyard’s life is in letters to his cousin and confidant, Isaac, many of which reside in Rauner Library. Ledyard did much of his writing at night with a pipe and a glass of burgundy—and sans pants. This “unconstrained situation,” he informed his relative, “is certainly a proof that I write without disguise.”

Illustrations by Peter and Maria Hoey

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India Wood ’88 walks a 732-mile transect.
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