Here is Marissa Fessenden at Smithsonian.Com:
It was the 1820’s. John Cleves Symmes, Jr., an American army officer was traveling around the country on the lecture circuit, proclaiming his theory of a Hollow Earth, one that envisioned the planet as several solid concentric spheres, according to a circular he published, featured by Rebecca Onion at Slate’s history blog “The Vault.” Symmes was asking for “one hundred brave companions, well equipped, to start from Siberia in the fall season, with Reindeer and slays, on the ice of the frozen sea…” with plans to slip between those concentric spheres, which he believed were open at the poles “12 or 16 degrees.”
For io9.com, Inglis-Arkell writes that Symmes lobbied Congress for funding for the epic journey. They said no. However:
John Quincy Adams said yes. Adams was president as the result of a decision of the House of Representatives, after an election in 1824 that gave no single candidate a needed majority. Although Andrew Jackson had more votes, he was too devisive. The House went for Adams, but soon repented of it. The trip to the center of the Earth wasn’t the main factor in that – Adams was a proponent of a more powerful federal government and so clashed with the representatives of the states – but it certainly didn’t help. Even at the time, the theory was considered laughable by most. Adams still backed it, but his unpopularity led to a single term in office, and the conquering Jackson killed any momentum for the idea.
Read the rest here.