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Commander of the Lady Franklin Bay Arctic expedition in 1884, which 
reached latitude 83 degrees 24 minutes, 455 miles from the North 
Pole, breaking all previous records. 

Discoverer of the North Pole, as he appeared on arrival home. 

"Old Glory'' the First Flag at the North Pole 




Dr. FREDERICK A. COOK'S own story of how he reached 
the North Pole April 21st, 1908. 

and the Story of Commander ROBERT E. PEARY'S 

Discovery April 6th, 1909. 

Graphic and Thrilling Stories of the Greatest Achievenifent by Man Since Columbus Discov- 
ered America; Terrible Sufferings and Privations; The Awful Cold; Face to Face v?ith Death 
by Starvation; American Pluck, Courage and Endurance Reach the Top of the World 
through Terrific Gales Over a Continent of Ice. 

Special Introduction by 

General A. W. GREELY, U. S. A= 

Renowned Polar Explorer, Gold Medalist Royal Geographical Society 

and French Geographical Society 

Author of "Chronological List of Auroras," "Three Years of Arctic Service," "Proceedings 

of Lady Franklin Bay Expedition," "American Explorers," "Hand Book of 

Arctic Discoveries, etc., etc. 

Edited by Honorable J. MARTIN MILLER 

Well-known Author and Traveler 

Member of National Geographical Society, Washington, D. C. Author of "The Twentieth 

Century Atlas and History of the World," "History of the Russia-Japan War," 

"Complete Story of the Italian Earthquake Horror," etc., etc. 


A True and Authentic Account of Other Great Polar Expe- 

editions, Including Franklin, Greely, Abruzzi, Nares, 

Nordenskjold, Nansen, Sverdrup, Shackelton, etc. 



J. T. Moss, 



To those intrepid men who, at the risk of their 

lives, with pluck, courage and endurance, 

through toilsome and perilous journeys 

into the great silent and frozen 

zone, made possible the great 

discovery here chronicled, 




Among the many explorations of the unknown regions 
in recent centuries, none have been more fascinating and 
engrossing than those for discovery within the polar cir- 
cles. Despite man's utmost endeavors a veil of mystery 
has hitherto enveloped the immediate vicinity of both 
geographical poles. In consequence there have been of- 
fered to the world various hypotheses. Some declare that 
they are located on an ice-clad ocean, others that they are 
on glacier-covered plateaus. Again the polar regions are 
declared to be the abodes of great herds of polar and 
hibernating animals, while their opponents assert that 
even the white polar bear shuns the highest latitudes. 
While for the most part the polar countries are believed 
to be uninhabited, except in the lower parts of the Arctic 
circle, there are those who have thought it possible that 
there are habitable areas, where unknown tribes and 
strange peoples, live, far separated from the rest of the 

These and kindred polar topics have, for the past four 
centuries, engaged the attention of the learned and the 
adventurous, of the scientist and the man of imagination. 
From time to time there have appeared volumes describ- 
ing not only the actual inhabitants of the Arctic circle, 
but also fanciful or semi-serious accounts of imaginary 
tribes. Indeed there have been so-called scientific books 
by American authors that argued the non-existence of 


eitlier a North or South Pole, and asserted that within 
the polar circles the surface of the earth curves gradually 
inwards, and that on this interior surface dwell nations 
as on the outer surface. 

For these and other reasons the production from time 
to time of summaries of polar voyages and explorations 
are most valuable, as tending to keep alive in the rising 
generation that interest in the mysterious and wonderful 
in nature, as well as in adventurous action, which the 
Polar World peculiarly presents. 

The most distinctive feature of polar exploration is not 
generally recognized, that is its entire disinterestedness. 
From its earlier phases of voyages to foster commercial 
intercourse, to stimulate and make more profitable trade 
relations, by bringing China and the Orient in quick com- 
munication with the marts of Europe, polar explorations 
have passed to higher planes and are now confined to 
scientific and geographical researches, offering no im- 
mediate benefits and free from lure of gain or other 
aspects of materialism. While with increasing rarity 
polar work is attended by disastrous losses of life, it has 
that stimulus to adventurous action, to heroic endurance, 
and to a spirit of noble endeavor that makes it attractive 
to hearts and minds which yearn for something beyond 
the commonplace to stir their pulses. 

Nor have polar discoveries been devoid of practical 
benefits to the world. Bering's voyage led to the discov- 
ery of Alaska, which now produces annually more than 
thirty millions of weath for the United States. Hudson's 
early Spitzbergen voyages opened up whale fisheries 
through which the world has profited to the amount of 


about seven hundred millions of dollars. Barren of at- 
tractions as has been Spitzbergen to the tourist visitor, it 
is now of such commercial importance that its ownership 
is to be the subject of international conference. 

Polar work has had its tragedies and calamities as well 
as its triumphs and successes. Scores of books have been 
written on voyages relating to the Northwest Passage, in 
attempting which Sir John Franklin and one hundred and 
twenty-eight other souls perished. Their ships were last 
seen moored to an iceberg in Bafifin Bay, and thereafter 
there have been found no records later than those reciting 
the abandonment of their vessels, beset in ice northwest 
of King William Land, and their retreat southwards 
towards Great Fish river. This unparalled polar mystery 
engaged the attention of the world for nearly fifteen 
years, until the harrowing story of its fate found at least 
a partial solution through the great arctic traveler Mc- 

A similar disaster in the middle of the sixteenth cen- 
tury befell the first extended maritime venture of Eng- 
land to distant seas, in the attempted discovery of the 
Northeast Passage. Chancellor's two ships, with an 
equippage of sixty-two souls, wintered on the barren 
shores of Eussian Lapland, where the entire party per- 
ished on the dread arctic disease — scurvy. In striking 
contrast with Chancellor's experiences, illustrating the 
vast improvements in equipment and transportation, 
Nordenskiold made the Northeast Passage without cas- 
ualty or danger. 

Most fortunately England was not discouraged by this 
disaster, through which was opened up a lucrative Musco- 


yite trade, but entered on a career of explorations and 
enterprises which, incidentally led to polar expeditions 
on a scale never attempted by any other nation. 

What stories of real life can be more thrilling to Ameri- 
can minds than those set forth in polar annals? There are 
the adventures and wintering of Barents on Nova Zembla, 
the besetment of Weyprecht and the journey of Payer on 
the shores of Franz Josef Land, the three winterings of 
Parry in the North American archipelago, the sledge 
journeys of Wrangell across the Siberian Ocean, the five 
years of Sir John Eoss in Boothia Felix and the discov- 
ery of the North Magnetic Pole, the vicissitudes of Kane 
and the boat journey of Hayes in the Smith Sound region, 
Scott among the penguins and on the ice-barrier of vol- 
canic Antarctica, the great drift of De Long and the dis- 
aster of the Lena delta, McClure's discovery of one North- 
west Passage and the navigation of another by Amund- 
sen, the successes and sufferings of the men of the Lady 
Franklin Bay expedition, the death of Hall and the 
miraculous drift of the Polaris crew, and many other 
notable voyages culminating in the great northings of 
Markham, Lockwood, Nansen, Cagni and the attainment 
of the North Pole by Cook and by Peary. 

All these, and other varied experiences, bordering on 
the marvelous and exceeding many flights of fancy, ap- 
peal to the imagination, stimulate emulation, and culti- 
vate an ardent appreciation of manly and heroic qualities 
exhibited in action. 

While the wonderful journey of Shackleton to the vicin- 
ity of the South Pole has naturally excited wide-spread 
interest, most intense in Great Britain, the astonishing 


arctic episodes of 1909 have engrossed the attention of the 
United States, where feeling and interest have been 
aroused to an extent unequaled by any other news of the 

That two Americans should have reached the North 
Pole independently would be most gratifying to the na- 
tional pride at any time, but that such journeys should 
be made over separate routes and in successive years 
borders on the marvelous. Especial interest attaches, 
therefore, to their methods, routes and experiences. 

Dr. F. A. Cook established in 1907 his headquarters 
most primitively with the Etah Eskimo some two hun- 
dred and fifty miles from the Arctic sea. He took the 
field in native fashion, with Eskimo assistants, and select- 
ing a novel route traveled through regions well-known to 
abound in game. Attaining the North Pole with two 
Eskimos, April 21, 1908, he was subjected in his return 
to the vicissitudes and extreme dangers of a drifting 
polar-pack, and spent an awful winter in Jones' Sound 
region, whence his return in 1909 was hazardous and diffi- 

Commander Peary approached the task by again estab- 
lishing his ship's quarters in 1908 on the very shores of 
the Arctic Ocean, across whose drifting ice-pack he suc- 
cessfully made his journey, reaching the pole April 9, 
1909. Thus he accomplished by energy and resourceful- 
ness the great task to which he has applied himself for 
some twenty-three years. 

Late Commander Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. 

(From the Philadelphia Inquirer.) 


Two men have at last set foot at the apex of the world. Dr. 
Frederick A. Cook and Commander Robert E. Peary, U. S. N., an- 
nounced on September 1st and September 5th, 1909, respectively, that 
they reached the North Pole on April 21st, 1908, and April 6th, 1909, 

For centuries the bravest explorers and navigators of the greatest 
European countries have made attempts to capture this prize. It re- 
mained, however, for two American explorers to make the discovery. 
Dr. Cook and Commander Peary were at one time fellow explorers 
belonging to the same expedition. Afterwards they became the keenest 
of rivals. In commercial parlance it is said that ' * competition is the life 
of trade." It may now well be said that competition is the life of 

Dr. Cook's announcement thrilled the civilized world as no piece 
of news has in modern times. Commander Peary's announcement, 
almost a week later, in which he questioned Dr. Cook's claims, made the 
startling news extremely sensational. The controversy that arose be- 
tween the rival explorers filled the columns of every newspaper, weekly 
print and monthly magazine in every language and country throughout 
the world. There seems to have been a race, without parallel in the 
history of the world, between the two explorers, to satisfy the goal of 
their ambition. After each had reached the Pole there was another 
race through unexplored and uninhabited regions for weeks and months 
to reach the civilized world with the news of the discovery. The chap- 
ters of this book will relate how Dr. Cook spent the long sunless months 
of privation and intense suffering travelling over thousands of miles 
of ice. These pages will relate the same as regards the expedition of 
Commander Peary. 

The critics of Europe iand America were quick to point out that Dr. 
Cook took no white man from his expedition with him to the Pole, but 


was accompanied only by two Eskimo-Indians. It seemed to be assumed 
that Commander Peary was accompanied by white men. His fuller 
reports, after three or four days, however, furnished the information to 
the world that he also discovered the Pole entirely alone, except one 
Eskimo-Indian as his companion. It is not the purpose of this book to 
analyze or theorize concerning the claims of the two rival explorers. 
The pages of the work will treat with the impressions and decisions 
of scientific experts based upon the data supplied by the two explorers. 
The interesting and valuable fact is that the Pole has been discovered. 
There is glory enough in it for both the daring explorers. 

The writer became acquainted with Commander Peary at Washing- 
ton, D. C. He has given his entire life to adventure and exploration. 
His determination and heart 's desire were such that undoubtedly during 
the many years of effort accompanied by the most extreme hardships 
and privations, Commander Peary naturally had come to think that it 
was for him to discover the Pole and no one else. As human nature is 
constituted, we perhaps, should make allowances if Commander Peary 
has subjected himself, because of his criticisms of Dr. Cook, to being 
charged with being unethical and unprofessional. 

While Dr. Cook is an experienced and daring explorer, his service as 
one has covered a less number of years than Commander Peary has 
taken from his life for this purpose. Shortly after Dr. Cook's Antarctic 
Expedition, the writer had the honor of meeting him in Europe. We 
spent seven days together as ship mates crossing the Atlantic. Since 
that time it has been my pleasure to meet him on different occasions. 
Dr. Cook is a much less impulsive man than Commander Peary. When 
we consider this difference in temperament, we should have patience 
with the impatient and impulsive man if he has fallen a victim to the too 
common human frailties, and think only of the daring feat he has 
accomplished. Aside from the discovery of the North Pole both men 
have for years furnished most valuable geographical and scientific infor- 
mation for the benefit of the entire world. The discovery of the North 
Pole was simply the crowning feat of a series of discoveries and explora- 
tions covering several years. 

Scores and perhaps hundreds of these expeditions have resulted in 
failure. Hundreds of lives have been lost. The fate of many of these 


daring explorers is among the things unknown. Besides, millions in 
money have been expended. 

Many people will question the practical discovery of the North! 
Pole now that it is made. Many are already claiming that the discovery 
is of sentimental satisfaction only. Let us not be too hasty in drawing 
such a conclusion. 

A third of a century ago, we had many theorists who felt certain that 
the vast central western country between the Missouri Eiver and the 
Eocky Mountains was the " Great American Desert " and entirely 

Stanford, Huntington and Crocker, who conceived and made possible 
the construction of the first transcontinental railway to the Pacific Coast 
were ridiculed and denounced as being dreamers. Likewise, when the 
United States purchased Alaska the criticisms were intense. Those who 
favored making Alaska a part of this country by purchase from Eussia 
were denounced as delusionists. 

Many who, in a half-hearted manner, favored the purchase did so to 
'^ get Eussia out of America," and saw only a sentimental reason for 
'' throwing away " $7,200,000, by giving it to Eussia for a region of 
' * no practical use in the world. ' ' 

Who knows but that, as time goes on, it will be demonstrated that 
the discovery of the extreme Arctic Eegions may prove to be of more 
than sentimental and geographical value to all the world and par- 
ticularly to the United States, in that it will belong to the United States 
by right of discovery. 

But, let us consider the fact of the discovery a little further. Imagine 
the discoverer of the North Pole standing with one foot on the extreme 
end of the 180th meridian and the other on the meridian of zero, or 
Greenwich. The other end of each of these two imaginary lines comes 
together after entirely encircling the globe nearly 13,000 miles in either 
direction, at the South Pole. Here is the spot where no human foot has 
ever trod, but the thought of the scientific world has centered here for 
centuries. Is it possible to imagine the thrilling emotions that filled the 
breast of the daring explorer who at last stood at this spot? It is as 
impossible to appreciate such feelings as it is to realize the extreme 
sufferings and privations endured to reach the coveted spot. Then, the 


intrepid discoverer must encounter the same hardships, facing death 
every minute and every hour on the return to civilization and home. 

We will assume that Dr. Cook or Commander Peary — the reader may 
take his choice, in his imagination, as to which one of these daring ex- 
plorers is actually standing at the top of the world — stood astride the 
North Pole with his right foot on the meridian of Greenwich and his left 
on the 180th meridian. It is plain that so far as the terrestrial world 
is concerned, he is facing southward in any direction he may look. 
There is no east, west or north. Every direction is south. If he is 
looking straight ahead his eyes are scanning along the 90th meridian 
east of Greenwich and his back is toward the 90th meridian west of 
Greenwich. Thus, we have the world quartered, so to speak. 

If he turns his eyes one-quarter of the way around to the right and 
looks in the direction straight away from his right side, he is looking 
directly down'the meridian of Greenwich, or zero, which passes through 
the Arctic Ocean almost midway between Spitzbergen and Greenland. 
Farther south it extends through the North Sea until it crosses the ex- 
treme southeastern side of England at Greenwich. Onward this imag- 
inary line shaves off the extreme western side of France and the north- 
easternmost corner of Spain, crosses the Mediterranean through Al- 
geria, almost touching the southeastern corner of Morocco, and across 
the Sahara desert in Africa. In the Gulf of Guinea in the South At- 
lantic Ocean it crosses the equator. Here we are just one-half of the 
distance from the North Pole to the South Pole. In its onward reach 
to the South Pole, the meridian of Greenwich passes almost entirely 
over water, so far as known. 

Now, if the explorer will turn his face from right to left as he stands 
at the North Pole, his eyes will be looking in i\^ direction of the 180th 
meridian. This extends across the Arctic Ocean almost touching the 
eastern end of New Columbia, or Wrangel Island, and then cuts off the 
extreme end of Siberia, which projects into the Bering Strait. Now, it 
passes through the Gulf of Anadir through the Bering Sea, across a 
cluster of the Aleutian Islands, through the Pacific Ocean, where it 
crosses the equator and extends onward across the Tropic of Capricorn 
and beyond grazes the eastermost projection of New Zealand. This 
makes New Zealand the eastermost civilized country of the world. It 


will be seen that practically the only land the 180th meridian crosses is 
that fragment of farthest and desolate Siberia, mentioned above. In its 
onward course to the South Pole the 180th meridian, like the meridian 
of Greenwich, on the exact opposite side of the world, passes entirely 
over water, so far as known. 

In a chapter of this book reference is made to the beautiful little 
story of Edgar Allan Poe about the young sea captain who could not get 
the consent of the father of his sweetheart to marry her. The father 
meant to tell the young captain that it would be impossible for him to 
consent to let him have his daughter. To make it as strong as possible 
the father said to the young navigator, ''whenever you can prove to 
me that there are fifty-four Sundays in one year, you may have my 
daughter." Being an experienced navigator and knowing that a Sun- 
day or any day may be gained by crossing the 180th meridian in an 
easterly direction, the young skipper accepted the father's offer as a 
bargain. After a two years' cruise the young captain came back and 
demonstrated, after long and patient explanation to the girl's father 
that he had actually found fifty-four Sundays by turning his ship 
around and crossing the 180th meridian twice in an easterly direction. 
Much to his joy the young navigator found his lover's father a man of 
his word. In crossing the 180th meridian in a westerly direction a day 
may be lost. It is here, as time is measured, that every day begins 
and ends, being reckoned from the meridian of Greenwich. 

It matters not whether we can make up our minds as to the practical 
usefulness of the North Pole and the vast unexplored regions surround- 
ing it. The fact remains that it is, without doubt, the most important 
geographical discovery since Columbus discovered America. This dis- 
covery will undoubtedly give a great stimulus to explorers all over the 
world to make efforts to reach the South Pole. When this feat is accom- 
plished it would seem that there will be no more " worlds to conquer." 

(From the Philadelphia Inquirer.) 












The North Pole has been discovered. 

It has been left for the year 1909 to bring forth what men of ages past 
have striven for in vain. Two American explorers, men whom neither na- 
ture's terrors nor self-interest could sway, have gone into the far north and 
have returned with news that their feet have rested upon the apex of the globe. 
Both have their supporters. The friends of the one will not believe in the 
achievements of the other. Probably as long as human beings can think 
for themselves, or at least until more fortunate men can thoroughly traverse 
the ice-covered seas of the pole, there will be question of the deeds of either 
Cook or Peary. 

Such glory as has fallen to their lot is not easy to apportion. 

Dr. Cook ventured into the mysterious north and returned by way of 
Greenland to Denmark, where he arrived worn, weary and haggard to make 
the first claim of having discovered the pole. Commander Peary, of the United 
States navy, returned by a western path, skirted Canada, and from Labrador 
sent his message of victory — not a week behind his predecessor. Both were 
given a welcome befitting conquerors. Both were called upon for proofs, and 
gave them. They were rivals such as never contended before for the honor of 
their fellows. They brought news that stirred the imaginations of even the 
dullest. The fact of their almost simultaneous announcement of triumph forms 
one of the most startling coincidences in all history. 

The purpose of this volume is not to discuss the rival claims of these mod- 
ern vikings ; not to present anew the arguments strung out ad nauseam by war- 
ring bands of scientists ; not to detract in the least from the credit due to either 
man. This book aims simply to present, from the records available, and from 
the statements made by the explorers themselves, a complete and impartial ac- 
count of what they saw and did. 

Whatever Peary may say of Cook, or Cook of Peary, the fact remains that 
the pole was discovered. It is preposterous to think that two men could per- 

petrate such a gigantic falsehood upon their fellow-creatures. It is, indeed, 
preposterous to suggest that either of these brave souls would utter the greatest 
lie in history, — for such would this lie be. It is more in accord with the spirit 
of fair-minded Americanism to assume that both are telling the truth; that 
both found their way to the most lonely spot on the globe; that both are en- 
titled to a share of the honor. 

Peary and Cook! 

Let the two names be linked together in the crowning marvel of a mar- 
velous age. 

Let there be found room under the Stars and Stripes for both these stal- 
warts ; these noble Americans who took the flag of their country to the pole. 

In this book will be found a complete and authentic account of the journeys 
of Commander Robert E. Peary and Dr. Frederick A. Cook; of what they 
discovered; of how they were received on their return to civilization; and of 
what they had done before their careers reached the present glorious fruition. 
For the better understanding of their achievements there will be presented also 
an account of the work of previous Arctic explorers, — the men who blazed the 
way, and whose bones, in many cases, lie there in the far north, swallowed up 
by the forces against which they strove. 

The Author. 



"I have found the North Pole," the epoch-making message of Dr. Frederick A. Cook — 
Success where men had failed for centuries — The impossible accomplished — Civiliza- 
tion astounded, and the eyes of all mankind turned toward the north — Description by 
a great scientist of what it means to find the axis of the globe — Will United States 
claim the new territory ? 41 


Secret preparation for the dash to the pole — The long journey the sequel to a fishing trip 

— Cook's vessel only a fishing schooner — Start for the polar regions 51 


Standing on the top of the world — The great dash across the ice — Eskimos' patience ex- 
hausted — A vast excursion into the terrestrial unknown 59 



Explorers freezing in their idleness — What Cook saw when he reached the pole — A vast 
expanse of purple snows — No life, no land, nothing but ice — Privations of the return 
journey — Shooting walrus for food 71 

Arrival of Dr. Cook at Copenhagen — Greeted on shipboard by the crown prince of Den- 
mark — Escorted ashore, and followed through the streets by a dense, cheering crowd, 
which tore the clothing of the explorer and his escort — Guest of a scientific society — 
Honored at a banquet — Given private audience by the king of Denmark — The gaunt, 
bedraggled traveler back once more among friends 77 



A birthday passed in a lonely land— Dr. Cook always adventurous, and an explorer from 

youth — His first work with Peary — Goes to the antarctic as physician for a party of 

Belgian scientists — Climbs Mount McKinley, a feat never before performed — Tribute 

of a companion on that expedition 87 



The unbelievable message that came to a news agency in New York — "I have nailed the 
Stars and Stripes to the pole" — Credulity stretched to the breaking point — Peary con- 
vinces all — His dispatches to official sources and to his wife — Reception of the news 
by Mrs. Peary and by the daughter who was born in the arctic 93 



The steamer Roosevelt starts north, and is given God-speed by President Roosevelt — The 

voyage to Greenland — Peary describes preparations for the dash to the pole — (Jetting 

supplies, and shooting the formidable game of the region — ^High hopes for success 

after a life-time of effort 99 


Fired as boy and man with the love of adventure — Reads of prowess of polar travelers, 
and achieves ambition to follow in their steps — First work in the line of exploration 
— Various trips in quest of the pole touched on briefly — Peary's wife and family .... 108 


Leaving Greenland with dogs and sledges — Long days' journeys over the ice — Terrific toil 
of lifting the sledge over ice-hummocks, and breaking a path — ^Despair of Peary's 
followers, and his own fortitude — The long-sought goal in sight — The last lap and 
the final dash — ^Victory ! Ill 


Controversies likely to attend great success — Peary challenges Cook's work — Calm reply 
of the man being feted in Denmark — Countercharges are made, and friends of both 
men take sides 124 


"Getting his sea-legs" as a polar traveler — Goes north and studies Eskimos — Mrs. Peary 
as a companion of her husband in the frozen land — Life among the Eskimos — ^Accom- 
plishment of first expedition 133 


Pushing farther north each time — Journeys of 1896 and later — Achievement of the record 
of 87 degrees north latitude — Lands explored and geographic observations made — 
Hope always of at last achieving the pole 143 


Dangers the lure of the adventurous — Habits of Eskimo dogs — An exciting and humorous 
description of the crankiness of these arctic animals — Explorers assailed by hunger 
and weariness — Shooting game for food — Thrilling experiences of a party of starving 
hunters 148 



North Pole a lure of mankind for many centuries — Was it once peopled with a race hardier 
than oiu-s? — The ancient explorers and their crude theories — Commercial advance the 
first incentive of search — Sporting blood inspires the chase of the earth's axis 165 



The brave English ofi&cer who determined to find the pole — Sets out with two ships and 

a large party of men — Ostensible aim to find the north passage, but secret ambition 

to discover the pole — The long silence following entry of the ships into the ice-bound 

north — Searching parties find proof that Franklin and all his companions perished. . 177 

Expedition to the far north in 1853 — Battle with ice and storm in Melville Bay — ^Long 
hours without water or food — Frozen into sleeping-bags — Rescue and return to 
Greenland — Great value of discoveries 191 

Envoy of United States government to try for farthest north — Passes through the perils 
and sufferings that fell to the lot of all — Reaches far northern point, but is forced to 
turn back 300 


Valuable scientific discoveries of the Greely expedition — His name enrolled among those 

of the bravest and most reliable of polar travelers 206 

Nansen, the hardy Norseman, determines to find the pole — Fitting up of the Fram, one 
of the sturdiest ships that had battled with ice-bound seas — Start of a drifting voy- 
age through the polar ocean — Beset by huge bergs and hummocks — Party forced to 
subsist on poor food, and facing starvation — Turns back, after attaining "farthest 
north," before Peary 216 


Wellman conceives the idea of sailing to the pole in a dirigible balloon — ^His two attempts, 

ending in failure of the airship to proceed more than a few miles 221 

Little-known facts about a hardy people — ^Are they intelligent, or the reverse? — Their 
means of getting food — Their cunning devices against the rigors of frost — What it 
means to live in a below-zero climate the year round 224 



Pisadvantages of journeying south compared with the northern route — The great ant- 
arctic even less known than the arctic — Early journeys south^ — The record-breaking 
trip of Lieut. Shackleton 235 


Only glory now left to explorers — Plans of Peary, Cook, and others, to seek the south pole 
— Honor awaiting the discoverer — Will an American be first at the '^bottom of the 
world?" 240 


How the explorer sailed south with a party from Antwerp, Belgium — Cruises in the ice 
fastnesses of the extreme antarctic — The vessel caught in the ice — ^A 2,000-mile drift 
amid ice floes — The Belgica buffeted by the winds, and ground by huge masses of 
ice — Howling gales and creaking timbers, with every moment fateful with tragedy — 
Typical experiences of voyagers under such circumstances — The dreadful perils of 
the ship Investigator 243 


A well-known Scandinavian tells why he believes in Dr. Cook — Modesty and coolness of 

the Brooklyn man — Physician gives his views 251 


Explorer lands in New York, and is greeted by great crowd — Ships in the harbor filled 

with admirers — Affecting greeting from family — Hero is garlanded with roses 258 


Man who vies with Cook as discoverer arrives in Sydney, N. S., and is given honors of 
the city — Triumphal tour through Maine on railroad train — Crowds along route cheer 
him 278 


Historic struggle over alleged discovery of the source of the Nile — ^A nobleman involved — 
Sensation at a public meeting — ^Death of one of the contenders — Columbus and his 
great rival 285 

Sea animals of great size and of enormous wealth of fur— Great herds of Muskox and 

other land animals — Wonderful habits of the Arctic animals . 292 


North pole discovery only one of many wonderful discoveries and achievements — Ocean 
record broken by the Mauretania — ^Aerial navigation vastly improved — Records of 
Wright and Curtiss 299 

Norwegian sailor sets out in footsteps of the vikings and of Nansen — Sails along in 
region where Franklin perished and others failed — ^Navigates little ship through 
narrow and dangerous passages — Success at last 306 



North Pole attempt ranks him with many who ventured north in early days — Discoverer 

of Hudson Bay and Hudson River — Mysterious and romantic career of sea adventurer — 

Both his origin and his death veiled in mystery — New York honors his memory with 

pageantry and ceremony 313 


Uses of the sextant and artificial horizon scientifically described — The method of applying 
delicate instruments under adverse conditions — ^Discovery of the compass, the mariner's 
mainstay, and little known facts about the origin of this device 335 


Young New Haven sportsman becomes an important witness in the great polar controversy 
— Story of how he received Dr. Cook's records, tried to take them aboard Peary's 
ship, and was refused permission — ^Rival explorers emit broadsides of argument 333 


Further discoveries of Shackleton and companions — 5,000 feet of vertical ice — Story of how 
a monster volcano was explored — Types of animal life found at "the bottom of the 
world" 341 




Italian nobleman who achieved far northern record achieves greatest mountaineering feat 
of the year 1909 — Starts out with large expedition and conquers a mighty peak 24,500 
feet above the sea — Thrilling experiences in crossing wide valleys and ascending 
diflScult steeps • 351 


Norwegian explorer among most picturesque of writers — ^He describes with poetic enthusi- 
asm the varied glories of the north — Marvelous aurora borealis, painting the sky in 
thrilling colors — ^A great, white, lonely world 359 

Prowess of the explorer greater than that of his companions — Pursuit o. the elusive rein- 
deer described — Methods of bagging the clumsy walrus — ^Adventures of iiitrepid 
hunters in bringing down polar bears 370 


Surgeon of Kane expedition tells how his companions set out in small craft to get supplies — 
Buffeted by storms and adrift on ice — Drenched by freezing water and exhausted by 
battle with elements, they reach land 379 


Facing winter, the broken-down travelers build a hut — ^Drifting snow almost buries them 
from sight — One of party, making a relief trip, is nearly murdered by Eskimos — Latter 
at length prove to be friends in need, and Hayes and his men are able to rejoin 
Dr. Kane 391 


Extent of the polar regions, difficulties of exploring — South Pole regions unlike the northern 
regions — Number of lives lost on different polar expeditions from 1553 to 1910 401 


Youthful graduate of West Point finds overland route from the Pacific Ocean to gold 
country near Nome, Alaska — Meet great obstacles in an unknown country — ^Deserted 
by Indian guides, deprived of transportation, and hampered by scarcity of food before 
success is attained 407 



Vast army of officials and representatives of nations join in the celebration — Cook appears 

on the scene and the controversy with Peary waxes strong 412 



"I have found the North Pole." 

From the deck of a Danish steamer as it touched at the Shetland Isles, 
Dr. Frederick A. Cook sent this message over the world September i, 1909. 
It meant that an American explorer had reached at once the summit of his 
ambition and the summit of the world. It meant that a dozen other ex- 
plorers saw their hopes blasted. It meant that a goal striven for since the 
sixteenth century, a lure that had caused human bones and the wreckage of 
ships to be strewn amid the ice of the desolate arctic, had been gained. 

More than a year had passed since Dr. Cook sailed from a point of com- 
munication with the civilized world. Not a word had come from the lone 
explorer who had plunged across the snows to possible doom. Then, on that 
first day of Septernber, the captain of the steamer Hans Egede, a Danish 
craft, sent to the colonial office of his government this world-startling 
telegram : 

"We have on board the American traveler. Dr. Cook, who reached the 
North Pole April 21, 1908. Dr. Cook arrived at Upernivik (the northern- 
most Danish settlement in Greenland, on an island off the west coast) in May 
of 1909 from Cape York (in the northwest part of Greenland, on Baffin Bay). 

"The Eskimos of Cape York confirm Dr. Cook's story of his journey." 

That was all. Not a word to tell whether the explorer was well and sane, 
or whether, after his terrible journey northward and southward, he might not 
lie in his bunk, a raving maniac. But Dr. Cook's friends were speedily to 
be reassured. There was another message, this time to a friend in New 
York. It said: 

"Successful. Well. Address Copenhagen. 

(Signed) Fred." 

The friend, Mrs. Robert Pier Davidson, of 693 Bushwick avenue, Brook- 
lyn, was the intimate associate of Mrs. Cook, wife of the explorer. From 



Brooklyn the joyous news, not only of success, but of health, was forwarded 
with all speed to the explorer's wife, who was passing part of the summer 
in Maine. The two words, "successful" and "well," were all she needed to 
know. The one told her that her husband had achieved what no man had 
achieved before. The other contained the (for her) even more heartening 
news that he had returned from the awful solitudes of the pole with health 
and strength. 

Before the day was over still another message reached the world. It was 
clearer and more conclusive than the others. It was addressed to the director 
of the observatory at Brussels, Belgium, M. Lecointe, an old friend and 
fellow-worker of Cook. It said: 

"I reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908. I discovered land far north. 
I return to Copenhagen by steamer." 

And so it had been done. A man had stood on "the top of the world" and 
had gazed upon expanses never before glimpsed by human eyes; perhaps, 
indeed, never seen by the eye of any living creature. More than kings and 
princes of the mythical world, more than navigators of the new world in the 
fifteenth century, has this tall, well built man who used to live at 670 Bushwick 
avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y., found a new thing under the sun. 

On that hour in April, 1908, that this man stopped his dog sledges, pulled 
out his sextant, and with mittened fingers fixed the instrument on the north 
star, shining out of the arctic night, he found himself — if the world will credit 
his statement — at latitude 90 and longitude anything he pleased. 

He found that by shifting the position of his feet on the tip of the world 
he could throw himself across a span of longitudinal lines that swiftest train 
and steamer could not cover in forty days. 

Perhaps in a whimsical moment this Brooklyn explorer balanced himself 
on the toe of one bearskin boot and whirled from right to left. Presto ! he had 
added a day to his life. 

It took Dr. Cook months to work his way back from the region into which 
he had penetrated. It took only a few hours for his deed to become known in 
every city, every village, every spot on earth where civilized men hold com- 
munication with one another. And the world gasped and smiled, and cried 
out the questions: 

Who is Cook ? How did he do it ? What good is it ? What does it mean 
to the world of the future? 


Thousands of men seized thousands of maps and searched for the spot 
whose attainment had caused all this uproar. They found ragged lines show- 
ing where continents had been traced by voyagers of former years ; and then 
they found a blank — a blank indicating the spaces never penetrated. They 
found a circle, the imaginary line tracing the realm of the arctic, and other 
circles showing 80 degrees north latitude, and 85 degrees north latitude, and 
in the center of it all, that blank. Some now drew a dotted line from Green- 
land to the middle of this vacant spot, and they began to understand what Dr. 
Cook had done. 

What he did was to enter one of the few fastnesses of the earth, to explore 
one of the two spots thus far left unexplored, — one the North Pole, and the 
other the South Pole. He had been to the axis of the globe, the center around 
which it whirls. He had been to a place where, says Sir Robert Ball, the 
noted English astronomer, "the sun rises and sets only once a year — six 
months daylight, six months night, mitigated only by a little twilight at the 
beginning and end of a period of awful gloom, broken by occasional moon- 
light or aurora. 

"The pole is truly a unique spot on the globe. Cook, standing there, faced 
due south, whichever way he looked. He was more than twenty miles nearer 
the center of the earth than if he stood at the equator. His weight was 
greater than anywhere else on the surface of the globe. A plumbline in his 
hand pointed vertically upward to the pole of the heavens, around which all 
stars revolve. 

"Half of the stars he could never see ; the other half never went below his 
horizon and would have been visible throughout the six months of night. 
The famous constellation Orion ever circled around and around this horizon. 
The pole star stood directly over his head." 

In summing up the meaning of what Dr. Cook did, Herbert L. Bridgman, 
secretary of the Peary Arctic club of New York, used these telling words : 

"The question naturally arises, What is the value of this achievement? 
Viewing the matter from viewpoints of the general public — as a great triumph 
of man over nature, as the achievement of a daring physical feat of the first 
magnitude — the news from Copenhagen makes Dr. Cook deservedly one of 
the great figures of the decade. He is the Columbus of the Arctic. What 
he has done no one can ever excel. There is no point further north — nothing 
left for any rival explorer to accomplish which can outdo his performance." 



Scientists the world over joined in the bedlam of discussion over the 
significance of the discovery. Dr. George Titmann, superintendent of the 
coast and goedetic survey at Washington, declared that the chief immediate 

From the Washington Star. 

value would be the actual geographical information obtained by Dr. Cook of 
the route over which he passed. 

Dr. Titmann also believed that the discovery will have great effect in stim- 
ulating elaborately equipped scientific expeditions for the collection of more 
technical data that will be of great value. 


As to the lay of the land, the set of the currents, the rise and fall of tides, 
the location of other islands or the expanse of water and its depth, Dr. Tit- 
mann concluded Dr. Cook must have secured valuable information. That it 
will be much easier in future to reach the pole there can be no doubt, in Dr. 
Titmann's opinion. 

Dr. Titmann suggested that if Dr. Cook had the proper equipment he 
might have taken pendulum experiments that would develop interesting addi- 
•tional data as to the figure of the earth. 

In general Dr. Titmann, while greeting the alleged discovery with delight 
as opening up a valuable field for scientific investigation, concluded that the 
discoveries made by Dr. Cook, or hereafter to be made by scientists following 
his lead, would be for the most part of further details about subjects already 
known in part. 

Dr. Titmann doubted, however, that any of these discoveries could have 
any great immediate practical importance. Navigation as a science will gain 
nothing, nor will meteorology. But in the verifying of what heretofore neces- 
sarily has remained in the status of theories Dr. Titmann said much will be 
gained. In the matter of pendulum experiments regarding the mass and 
figure of the earth he said all civilized nations are now making experiments, 
and experiments taken at the pole would add to their fund of information. 

Prof. William H. Brewer, of Yale University, said: 

"There are really no scientific theories as to what is immediately around 
the pole. There are some theorists who think there is an open sea and some 
who believe that a fertile spot is there. Scientific men are inclined to think 
that there may be little difference in immediate conditions close to the pole 
from those in the Arctic regions miles from there. 

"The discovery of the North Pole ranks as a great achievement. Before 
men began to climb mountains we didn't know much about mountains, but 
men have climbed mountains till there are few left unclimbed. Now when 
a man climbs a mountain for the first time it's a great achievement, but we 
have learned so much about mountains that his act may not aid much to the 
scientific knowledge about mountains. Just so with the scientific value of 
the discovery of the North Pole. 

"All reports from the Arctic seas indicate that last year was unusually 
severe, making it possible for Dr. Cook to proceed rapidly over the ice. 
Climbing over the ice and icebergs toward the North Pole is like climbing 
through a city without streets. You have to climb over the houses. The 



From the Washinston Star. 



fact that the year was so cold kept the ice floes together more compactly and 
added an element of rare good luck to his splendid courage." 

The Matin, a great newspaper of Paris, had this to say : 

"The dawn of a new century has seen marvelous discoveries, not the least 
of which is that brought to us over the telegraph that the North Pole had been 
discovered and that an American explorer attained that point of the globe 
which is wrapped in mysterious legend and always has been deemed inac- 

' "For the last five centuries the efforts of explorers have tended toward 
the pole ; for five centuries explorers have rushed to the Arctic extremity of 
the world. All peoples had tried to pierce the mystery of the polar ice and 
reach the exact spot where is the pole, and it is America which emerges trium- 
phant in this heroic journey. 

"One thing is certain, a great feat has been accomplished and a marvelous 
victory has been won by the courage and tenacity of man over the savage 
brutality and relentless resistance of matter, and none will seek to stint • to 
young America the enthusiasm which the glorious conquest merits ; none will 
refuse her the tribute of admiration, well earned by one of her sons for the 
triumph which he has achieved for civilization." 

Discussion also arose over the value to the United States of the newly 
discovered lands. 

State department officials were of the opinion that it was of little conse- 
quence to the United States what lands Dr. Cook has discovered on his way to 
the North Pole so far as actual territorial possession is concerned. 

It was recalled by the department officials that ever since 1828 American 
explorers in both the Arctic and Antartic have discovered vast areas of land 
to which no claims ever were made. Admiral Wilkes found in the Antartic 
a territory of more than 100,000 square miles in area, and Dr. Kane made 
large discoveries in the Arctic, but no effort ever has been made by the United 
States to assert its right to them. Gen. Greely some years ago located lands 
which never before were known to exist. 

Many of the world's greatest navigators have from time to time made 
discoveries to which no claim ever was made. The principal reason for this, 
however, is said to be that these lands in every instance were almost inacces- 
sible and absolutely of no value. 

The islands of Spitzbergen, which were discovered many years ago, still 
are without a recognized owner. On the maps these islands are designated 


as belonging to Russia, but her claim, if ever asserted, has never been 

These islands are not only accessible, but have developed some thriving 
industries, and only within the last few years has any effort been made to 
exercise over them any jurisdiction or authority. 

Recently, however, a conference was suggested of representatives of 
countries having interests in them to provide some sort of an administration 
for their government. The United States probably will be represented by 
reason of the fact that the only important coal mines in the territory are 
operated by Americans. 

As to the particular territory which Dr. Cook discovered the statement 
was made that it was quite probable that these lands would be found to be 
an extension of the mainland of Greenland, and, if so, they belong to Denmark. 
At any rate, it was held to be extremely improbable that the United States 
would attempt to assert sovereignty over them. 

But this was something for the future. It was enough, for the time, to 
know that Cook was an American. The United States could claim sovereignty 
over him. 


The map shows positions reached by other Arctic Explorers. 

»,' .<*'" 


, ^5^=:„ 

-1^ - ^s;^:-!-*^ 

-.■^VPl Cyj C _,-j".?-l.&^:::SaJ^A^k.J^^--_^^ 

•f*i'^ »>.l 




Dr. Cook's dash for the pole, Hke most of the great actions of history, 
was as secretly conceived as it was heroically carried out. 

Few even of the explorer's most intimate friends suspected he was about 
to undertake the most difficult journey within the reach of man. The dis- 
covery of the North Pole was the termination of a voyage that started osten- 
sibly as a fishing-trip. 

On July 3, 1907, Dr. Cook was the guest of John R. Bradley on board his 
schooner yacht, the John R. Bradley, which left Gloucester, Mass., to go on 
a fishing trip up the Labrador coast. Mr. Bradley is a New York man of 
wealth, interested in sports, and has followed Dr. Cook's polar aspirations 

Mr. Bradley invited Dr. Cook to go on the fishing trip, never dreaming 
that it would end in the Brooklyn man's making a dash for the pole. Aboard 
the schooner were half a dozen Newfoundlanders who were thoroughly 
familiar with the coast of Labrador and who were to act as guides._ 

The fishing party ran into treacherous weather and heavy ice packs as it 
proceeded along the Labrador coast. Then the gasoline engines got out of 
order and the vessel was involved in difficulties. The ship was at length 
headed for Cape York harbor, but owing to the heavy ice it was unable to 
land there and a landing was made in North Star Bay. There some days 
were "spent in hunting and fishing. 

While the time was being spent in this way. Dr. Cook became fired with the 
ambition to reach the pole. He spoke to Mr. Bradley about it, and the latter 
declared that if any such trip was to be rnade, he would not join it. 

Dr. Cook was insistent. He wanted the entire party to go with him on the 
expedition. As Mr. Bradley would not be one of the party. Dr. Cook or- 
ganized a force of Eskimos, and, with Rudolph Fraucke, made preparations 
for the expedition. Mr. Bradley left in August, 1907, on his fishing schooner, 



to return to New York, leaving the determined Brooklyn man and his party 
to seek the pole. 

Dr. Cook had an entirely different idea of how the trip to the pole ought 
to be attempted from that followed by Peary and other explorers. He cal- 
culated upon going through Nansen Strait and doing his traveling in the 
winter months. His reasons for choosing the period of extreme cold was that 
the ice fields would be smoother and that there would be less danger of en- 
countering the jagged passages of ice, through which travel is extremely 

When Mr. Bradley returned to New York in October, 1907, he told of Dr. 
Cook's scheme and the preparations for the trip. 

"Dr. Cook told me before he left Gloucester that it would be a great thing 
if we tried to reach the pole before we returned," said Mr. Bradley. 

"I did not give him any encouragement then, but thinking that he might 
insist upon making the attempt when we reached the farthest point north on 
our trip, I ordered provisions put aboard that would furnish an arctic ex- 
pedition for three years. 

"When the vessel sailed, therefore, we had everything necessary for a 
polar expedition. On our trip we went as far north at Etah, Peary's former 
winter quarters. Here we enjoyed a fine view from the high hills of Smith 
Sound. There was no great amount of ice in the sound, so Dr. Cook, the 
first mate and myself, took a motor boat and went through Smith Sound to 
79 degrees north latitude. There the farthermost settlements of the Eskimos 
are, and we spent several days among them. 

"Dr. Cook knows the Eskimo language and had no difficulty in convers- 
ing with them. He had been up there on Peary's first expedition and some of 
the Eskimos remembered him. 

"When we returned to Etah we brought the greater part of the Eskimo 
settlement back with us. Once back at Etah conditions looked so favorable 
for a dash to the pole that Dr. Cook could not resist the impulse. We found 
we could get all the dogs we wanted and all the natives that Dr. Cook wished 
to have with him. The natives had already cached their winter supply of 
food. I helped them kill walrus, seals, white whales and narwhals to aug- 
ment the supply. The Eskimo women were kept busy catching arctic hares 
and birds to make their winter clothing. 

"Dr. Cook concluded to stay and make the dash for the pole as soon as 
feasible after the long, dark night should begin to break. Dr. Cook took 


about fifty Eskimos, men, women and children with him to a place farther 
north of Etah and established winter quarters." 

From another source come further details of the Bradley expedition which 
had so startling a result. The ship used was a Gloucester fishing schooner 
before Mr. Bradley bought it, fitted the 1 1 1 ton craft with a gasoline engine 
and rechristened it with his own name. He put the boat in charge of Capt. 
Moses Bartlett, who had been first officer of the Peary ship Roosevelt, and 
engaged a Newfoundland crew. 

It carried a twenty-seven foot whale boat with a ten horsepower gasoline 
engine. The Bradley was fitted with everything needed on a polar expedition. 

The route of the Bradley was from Gloucester to Battle Harbor, Labrador, 
thence across Davis Strait to the South Greenland coast. Ice first was en- 
countered at Sisco, and it damaged the machinery. After shooting bear in 
Melville Bay, the party reached Cape York and North Star Bay. Later it 
touched at McCormick, Bowdoin and Robinson Bays, and reached Etah, 
Greenland, Peary's old winter quarters. 

Taking the motor boat Bradley, Cook and some others went through 
Smith Sound to 79 north, and brought back some Eskimos to Etah. There 
Cook decided to stay, and with him and the natives there also remained Ru- 
dolph Francke, a member of the expedition. Cook's idea was to start about 
February i, 1908, across Smith Sound and strike out in a northwesterly direc- 
tion across Ellesmereland to find an open polar sea at about St, degrees north 
latitude. His reason for going in this direction was to avoid the easterly 
drift of polar sea ice. He had with him a canvas boat in which to cross the open 
polar sea. He expected to reach the pole and to get back to Kennedy Channel 
in about three months. Three families of natives were to be left at three 
separate stations, but he and two Eskimos were to make the dash, together 
with two sleds. 

On March 3, 1908, he left his base of supplies at Annatok on the north- 
western coast of Greenland, and with abundant supplies disappeared in a 
northwesterly direction over Ellesmereland into the little known regions 
toward the Arctic Ocean. 

Francke was left at Annatok, twenty miles north of Etah, which is the 
northernmost inhabited settlement on the west coast of Greenland, and on 
May 7, 1908, the last word from Dr. Cook came to Francke — a letter dated 
March 17, and therefore written just two weeks after the start northward — 
instructing Francke to go back to New York in case Dr. Cook did not return 


to Annatok by early June. On his nonappearance at that time Francke started 
southward, endured terrible privations in his struggles over the ice, was 
picked up at Etah on August 17 by Peary's auxiliary steamer Erik, and was 
brought to St. John's, Newfoundland, whence the news of the possible loss of 
Dr. Cook was sent out by telegraph. Francke returned to his home in 

Francke's story throws vivid light on hardships endured by Dr. Cook. 
-He started south, accompanied by two Eskimo youths with a sledge and 
canvas boat, and hoped to connect with the whalers at North Star Bay in 
Greenland, six hundred miles from where he was. On the way he met some 
Eskimos, to whom he turned over his clog team, as the ice was broken and 
loose and he had to travel by boat in the open water. Weather was most un- 
favorable, rain, fog, hail, and gales prevailing, and as the matches they carried 
became damp he and the Eskimo boys had to eat raw meat and sleep huddled 
together under the overturned boat at night, as they had no fire. Francke 
became afflicted with rheumatism and scurvy and could scarcely hobble over 
the floe. 

After reaching North Star Bay he rested and doctored himself, and then 
started back for Etah, making the journey in a little over a month. Both 
ways the party existed on the meat of seals, which the Eskimos killed, and 
one polar bear which met the same fate. While he was absent from Etah 
the Eskimos broke into his house and stole all his supplies. On getting back 
he was so ill that he could walk only with two sticks, and until he joined the 
Erik, had to exist on walrus meat, which the Eskimos gave to their dogs, 
as they refused him the better provender which they possessed. 

But Dr. Cook's message to Francke of March 17 stated that he had 
made good progress in crossing Ellesmereland and was then at Cape Hubbard, 
on the northwest side of Ellesmereland, sixty miles below Cape Columbia, 
Peary's point of departure from land on his journey toward the pole in 1906. 
He allowed three full months for his dash over the Polar sea and return, 
which is the maximum time usually taken for excursions by sledges. 

Three months ! Even Dr. Cook, experienced explorer that he was, hardly 
counted on the torturing delays, the terrible weariness, and other drawbacks 
of getting back to civilization once he had pushed beyond its borders. 

It was a year and four months, and more, before Dr. Cook reached a 
point where the electric spark of the telegraph placed him in touch with home 
and country. 



From the Cleveland Leader. 



In the meantime Bradley, the backer,, was waiting anxiously at home for 
news of the great dash. He had taken a long chance on Cook, as the popular 
phrase has it, and success or failure meant much to him. 

But Bradley was accustomed to taking long chances. All his life he had 
been a hunter of big game ; a tempter of fate. His career as a hunter probably 
has not been surpassed by an American. He has been called "the greatest 
amateur big game hunter in the world." To scour the African jungles it 
cost him the sum of $20,000. In his caravan were one hundred and thirty 

Photographs of this expedition show a caravan, each man carrying from 
eighty to 100 pounds on his head. The men were picked from various 
tribes and were under the guidance of native experts from the country of 
the Mad Mullah. By playing one faction against another, Bradley was able 
to preserve peace and order. 

Of this African hunt Bradley has written as follows : 

*T have been a sportsman all my life, not a hunter. A hunter is a pro- 
fessional who goes into the jungle for ivory and skins for the market. The 
sportsman hunts for the trophies only. I selected Africa, near the equator, 
to hunt and bury myself — becoming practically dead to the world. 

"When I left New York I took along a friend who had shot with me 
in the Rocky mountains, a man who was equal to any emergency. In making 
up a hunting expedition it is best to have men of several tribes. I had a 
hundred porters, ten policemen carrying Snider rifles, and eight gunbearers, 
with personal servants. 

"I had thirty tents, accommodating five men each. We carried 10,000 
rounds of ammunition with guns, revolvers, knives, and everything necessary 
for a complete African hunting expedition. 

"We hunted from 6 in the morning until 10 o'clock, the hour for luncheon 
and rest. From 10 to 4 we staid in camp, then shot again from 4 until 6. 
The days were intensely hot under the equator, but among the highlands 
the nights were cool. 

"It is curious that I never found a native who really knew how to hunt 
game. The Massi tribe knows nothing of stalking wild animals which roam 
in thousands around their villages. Many natives are killed by lions, leopards, 
and especially by the rhinoceros. I consider this animal the most dangerous 
of all. 

"There are about eighteen varieties of horned game in eastern Africa. 
You find bunches of from one thousand to two thousand or three thousand 


head of game, the giraffe, zebra, eland, gazelle, and hartebeest, herding to- 
gether. The leopard is probably more dangerous than the tiger or lion, next 
to the rhinoceros the most formidable of all animals." 

Bradley's expedition into Asia was even more thrilling. He was able to 
make the hunt through the courtesy of the Russian government, but he rnet 
with considerable trouble with the secret police. Finally, he was given what 
was said to have been the strongest credentials ever issued to a traveler in 
those parts. 

"I shot through the mountains in June, July, and August," he wrote in 
reference to this expedition. "It was the mildest part of the year, yet the 
storms were terrific and the cold almost unendurable. Even in those summer 
months the blizzards raged, and I had to sit in my tent, wrapped in furs all 
day long, with nothing to do but just smoke and recall the scenes of my recent 
trip under the burning skies of equatorial Africa. 

"The Atlai mountain sheep is the highest liver known. To get one of 
these animals requires a lot of dangerous climbing in a country so stupendous 
that you could drop Switzerland and a dozen Yosemite valleys into it and 
miss them. 

"Hardly a day passed that I did not see from sixty to lOO sheep, but 
I could not get near enough to fire a shot. There were plenty of ibex, Mon- 
golian gazelles, big gray wolves, bear, and deer, but it was the sheep that 
I was after. They are considered the hardest of game to stalk. 

"I found the ibex, like the Rocky mountain goat, to be a stupid animal, 
always looking down instead of up. So if the hunter gets above them he 
can lie in wait behind the rocks until the animals are feeding on the moss 
below and then bring down the game. 

In talking of Cook's trip Mr. Bradley took pains to explain that the 
Brooklyn explorer's success in reaching the North Pole was not so much the 
result of chance as the opinion of several polar experts would indicate. "This 
was no haphazard expedition," he said, "no intensified Arctic joy ride under- 
taken on nerve. We went about our preparations for this thing quietly and 
without brassband accompaniment, but every imaginable contingency had been 
provided for. 

"We studied out the mistakes and misfortunes of other men who had 
tried for the pole, hoping to benefit by their errors, and we certainly benefited 
by their examples. 

"I am not going to tell what the cost was, but I'll tell you this much : One 
single item of the equipment was 5,000 gallons of gasoline and another was 



two barrels of gum drops. An Eskimo will travel thirty miles for a gum drop. 
His sweet tooth is the sweetest in the world. 

"Now Cook has as much nerve as any man in the world, I guess, but he 
had something besides nerve to carry him through. I'm not trying to take 
any of the credit, but I want to say that he had the right kind of an outfit 
to take him through." 

That this last statement was true was the testimony of Dr. Cook when 
the thrilling story of his exploit came from his own lips. 

From the 

AVashington Star 




When Di*. Cook reached Copenhagen he gave a picturesque and detailed 
account of his travels. In fact, he gave it many times, such was the mad 
eagerness of learned men and laymen, of kings and men of humble position, 
to know all that he had seen and to drink in the wonders of the North. Cook 
was like one of the travelers of old who, returning from a far country to 
their homes, were beseiged by their friends and were wont to sit for hours 
in the great hall of a castle, telling and retelling the marvels that had befallen. 

Perhaps the best account Cook gave of his dash to the pole was given to 
W. T. Stead, the noted London editor and jJublishen Stead passed some 
hours with Cook and this was what he heard : 

"Warning my Eskimos that only unyielding determination and patience 
could take us through the fight against famine and frost and that my success 
depended as much upon their loyalty to me as upon myself. I started for the 
North Pole on the morning of February 19, with ten men and 103 dogs draw- 
ing eleven heavily loaded sledges. Overcoming the reluctance of my Eskimos 
to leave the mainland of Greenland by argument that I would discover new 
hunting for them across the sound I marched my party out onto the quivering 
ice of Smith Sound. We marched in the dark, the daylight of the Arctic 
winter's end being limited to but a few hours. Gloom unrelieved even by the 
Aurora surrounded us. Progress was of necessity slow, the piled up ice 
forming veritable mountains in our path, over which we had in many in- 
stances to drag dogs and sleighs. The thermometer as we crossed the sound 
dropped to 83 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. On the heights of Ellesmere 
Sound we suffered our first losses, several of our dogs being frozen. 

"Game trails helped us along through Nansen's Sound to the Land's End. 
Musk oxen, Arctic hare and polar bears, which were comparatively plentiful, 
supplied us with food. It was, of course, necessary to eat raw meat as our 
supply of alcohol, the only fuel we carried, v/as being kept for extreme emer- 



gency. From Land's End we pushed out into the polar sea on our battle 
against shifting ice to reach the southern point of Heilberg Island. 

"Here I established the base for my final effort, selecting the two best men 
in my party, Ahweish and Stuckshook, with twenty-six of my strongest dogs. 

"Before me lay 460 miles of frozen waste broken by ice mountains devoid 
as far as we knew of game or anything to sustain life. On our sleds were 
supplies sufficient to last us with rigid economy just the distance we had to 
traverse and return and no farther. Added to the gloom of the Arctic night 
was an overcast sky, making accurate observation for several days next to 
impossible. Onward we went, marching along the level ice, scrambling, push- 
ing, pulling, fighting over the ice hills. The motion of floating ice could be 
felt distinctly and served to frighten my two Eskimos who, however, after 
a few days' experience learned to disregard the possible danger of a breakup 
in open water. 

"Straight on we went, guided mainly by compass, pressure of time and 
fear of exhausting supplies, rendering anything like accurate study of sur- 
rounding conditions impossible. On March 30 the atmosphere cleared a 
trifle, enabling me to make my first accurate observation, which showed that 
we were at latitude 84 degrees o minutes 47 seconds and longtitude 86 de- 
grees o minutes 36 seconds. Here I found the last signs of solid earth. Be- 
fore us was a moving sea of ice, devoid of everything living, every trace of 
anything animal. Neither footprints of bears, blowholes of seals, nor even 
traces of the microscope creatures of the deep could be detected. 

"As we progressed the monotony of the ever moving sea of ice became 
almost unbearable. But cold, merciless, penetrating cold, more even than the 
object before us, drove us to almost frenzied effort to lay that sea behind us. 
Forward we went, lash of duty and merciless drive of extreme cold spurring 
us. So day by day we laid off the distance, dogs and men standing the strain 
with marvelous fortitude. 

"Our first real glimpse of the sun we obtained on the night of April 7, 
when it swung out over the northern ice. Added to our hardships was the 
glare of the snow which rendered us almost snowblind at times. Sunburn 
and frostbite attacked us on the same day; dogs were becoming emaciated 
from the long march and savage ; the patience of my Eskimos even was begin- 
ning to give way under the strain of that daily fight against the merciless, 
silent, grim ice. Weary legs scantily rested by the night's rest were yet 
eagerly spread over the distance to be marched for the day, the one impulse 


of my men apparently being to conquer and return. On April 8 my ob- 
servations showed us to be at latitude 86 degrees o minutes 36 seconds, 
longitude 94 degrees o minutes 2 seconds. Less than 100 miles in nine days. 

rrom the Washington Star. 

"Circuitous twists around ice hills too high to be conquered, troublesome 
pressure lines and old ice dangerous to our dogs and the men themselves 
forced us to lose much valuable time. 

"Hasty stock-taking convinced me that we must push forward and make 
our distance within fourteen days 9r return with our goal unconquered. East- 


ward the Ice drift began to take us rapidly and with force that caused me the 
greatest anxiety. Still 200 miles from the pole and fourteen days the absolute 
limit in which to conquer that distance. But from here on our troubles began 
to diminish. 

"The ice fields became more regular. Fewer crevices, with little crushed 
or old ice, made our progress astonishingly rapid. From the eighty-seventh to 
the eighty-eighth latitude, much to our surprise, we found signs of land. 
Positive evidence, however, was lacking. In fact, I knew not whether we 
were marching on land or sea. 

"On the 14th I took another observation. Our position was shown as 
latitude 88 degj;ees 21 minutes and longitude 95 degrees 52 minutes. Less 
than 100 miles from the goal. Again the over- weary dogs were lashed into 
action. Once more our weary legs took up the march. Less than 100 miles 
to go, and still a quick calculation showed me enough provisions if we did it 
in six days. 

"Our speed became a veritable race. The time was at hand for the last 
mustering of every energy. The goal was too near to be lost now. Snow 
shelters we gave up. We were too weary at the end of our marches to erect 
them. Huddled together, our dogs the same, we rested when weary and 
marched whenever possible. We tried our silk tent and found it served to 
shelter us perceptibly from the bitter cold. I imagined that I saw signs of 
land every day, but could not trust my senses under the strain. Onward we 
pushed, our horizon ever monotonous, uncrossed now by cloud or indeed any- 
thing. .Mirages when the sun shone turned the world topsy-turvy. Observa- 
tions were made at every step to guide us accurately. 

"Steadily the ice improved until we appeared to be moving almost on a 
level glacial sea. Slower, despite frantic effort and ever growing impatience, 
our pace again became. The terrific speed of the past hours I saw clearly 
could not be maintained, but to try to stop my men appeared to be useless. 
Rest had become a farce to us. Even the dogs appeared impatient at the 
enforced stops. April 21 I stopped the party and prepared to take an observa- 
tion. Rough calculation told me that I must be somewhere in the vicinity of 
the point I was seeking. I found that our latitude was 89 degrees 57 minutes 
46 seconds. The North Pole was within sight ! 

"Fourteen seconds more we advanced slowly, almost painfully. The 
anxiety was terrible. Again, to make sure, I took an observation by the sun. 
It was correct. Our latitude was exactly 89 degrees 58 minutes. Forward 


again we went, taking observations every few seconds. Finally we stopped. 
I believed I had reached the goal. Again, almost tremblingly, I took an ob- 
servation. There was no mistake. A series of circular observations around 
the place where we temporarily halted proved me to be at the point. 

"The North Pole was conquered ! 

"Conquered and in the nick of time, for our provisions even at the most 
economical calculation could not have lasted us had the northern march taken 
three days more. Forty-eight hours we remained in the vicinity of the lonely, 
cheerless spot, the goal of the explorers' am.bition for centuries. I rested the 
men and dogs as much as possible in the dreary, chilly waste. Rest for me 
was impossible. The knowledge of the final conquest kept me in almost con- 
stant activity. April 23 I ordered the return. 

"Our return journey, although marked by more hardship than our advance 
to the North, was nevertheless made lighter by the joy of duty accomplished. 
Although we were forced to kill several of our dogs for food and finally 
allowed those still living to run loose at the spot where we crossed the Firth 
of Devon into Jones Sound, we took our misfortunes more or less cheer- 
fully and at Cape Sparbo, which v/e reached in September, we built an under- 
ground den and remained there until the sunrise of 1909, living on game 
killed with crude instruments and waiting patiently until the new day could 
take us back to tell the world of our triumph. 

"February 18 the new start was made for Annootok. April 15 we reached 
the Greenland shores again. The rest the world knows." 

Mr. Stead adds by way of comment : 

"In surveying Dr. Cook's story it will be well to remember that all the 
hardships, the hair-breadth escapes, all the famine and the imminent prospects 
of death occurred not in the rush to the pole but on his return journey, especially 
in the last six months of his journeying. 

"Public attention has been riveted upon his dash to the pole across the 
frozen Polar Sea. But that was with him, as with Peary, a comparatively 
swift, uneventful advance, kept up day after day at the rate of fifteen miles 

"If the western drift of ice had not carried him out of reach of the game 
lands at Herbert Island he would in all probability have been back twelve 
months earlier. The real hardships of Dr. Cook began not in high, but com- 
paratively low latitudes. 

"He has a far vivider recollection of the stirring events occurring last 



winter than of the comparatively monotonous rush to the pole. He sees this 
polar journey at the end of a long vista of fifteen months, which were crowded 
with such stirring episodes, filled with such wearing exertion that — as he told 
me — it seemed as though all the cells of his body and brain were burned out 
and replaced in the fire of that strenuous life. 

^/<'|<' \B6Lff//ts Bugt 



"One thing stands out conspicuous — that this American citizen never dis- 
credited his country by any high falutin' vulgarity or ungenerous cavilHng 
against any brother explorer. 

He impressed every one, from the King of Denmark down, as a simple- 
minded, honest man, not a bit of a bounder. I believe him to be absolutely 
unprovided by nature with the necessary outfit of a fakir. 

"Cook himself is certain that he got to the pole. He has a certainty that 
is as calm, as immutable, as the great pyramids." 


Dr. Maurice Francis Egan, American Minister to Denmark, in a magazine 
article written shortly after Dr. Cook's return to the United States, tells in a 
straightforward way why he believes implicitly in Dr. Cook, and narrates 
interestingly some of his experiences with Dr. Cook in Copenhagen immediately 
following the explorer's return from the North Pole. 

Dr. Egan had been prepared for the complete acceptance of Dr. Cook's 
story, which he now expresses, by the attitude of the Danes themselves, who 
relied upon the testimony of those' who vouched for the intrepid traveler as 
much as upon his own, in view of their especial qualification for judging the 
veracity of anything that comes out of the frozen North. In the course of his 
introduction, leading up to the receipt in Copenhagen of the two cablegrams 
announcing Dr. Cook's discovery. Dr. Egan says: 

"The people of Scandinavia are natural explorers. One cannot teach an 
Arab anything about the desert, and it would be a very audacious man who from 
southern regions would attempt to give lessons to a Dane or a Norwegian on 
the lands that lie above him or seas that lie beyond him. These people know 
by the instinct of long heredity, by constant study of the maps of Greenland 
and of the unknown lands of the waters that are lost in mist, the ways of the 
frozen North. They know the ins and outs of Arctic warfare as we know the 
character of the various States in our Union. To a Dane, Greenland, Iceland 
and the land which Cook has seen are subjects of perpetual interest. They are 
always looking toward the North, and expecting news from the mysterious 
North, and the sojourner among these people so learns to think and talk of 
the North and to be intensely interested in it. * * * 

"Now the Danish officials in Greenland are cautious folk. They are not 
easily moved to praise or blame. And on matters concerning the north and 
the pole they are scrupulously conservative. No emotion, no sensation moves 


them. They do not see the pole through the mirage of the south. When I 
noticed the signature to their telegrams I felt that they meant much. 

"Here was a plain statement of a fact as stupendous as the first words 
Columbus uttered, to express the truth that he had added a new world to Leon 
and Castile. The news soon spread through Copenhagen, which had heard 
great news of Peary and Nansen before. The town was stirred as if Holger 
Dansker had risen from beneath the vaults of Kronborg Castle — the castle of 
Elsinore — and walked into the streets. Nobody questioned the truth of the 
story, for Knud Rasmussen's name is a talisman, and the officers in Greenland 
do not take travelers' tales seriously unless the travelers have serious claims. 

"Later came testimony from the great Norwegian explorer Amundsen and 
from Captain Otto Sverdrup ; and then the time of waiting. Even the boys in 
the street were waiting for Cook. A new Danish joke began to circulate. *Do 
you believe that the cuckoo can prophesy?' *Yes; once in the spring, I asked 
who should be first at the North Pole and it said, "Cook, Cook, Cook." ' 


"The other day Dr. Cook drove with me through the streets of Copen- 
hagen and along the Strandvej to Charlottenlund, one of the summer palaces 
of the King; even the little children waved their hands and took off their caps. 
If he had been an explorer crowned with the laurels won by the discovery of 
the South Pole, he would not have been so interesting to these little people, but 
he came from a country which they had heard about from the moment that they 
could hear at all — a country which is very near to them. * * * 

'^Coming, ardently expected, was a hero whom they could understand, and 
he needed no explanation. That he was approved of by Knud Rasmussen, 
half an Eskimo himself, who knows all the ways of the Eskimo, to whom the 
snow and ice are as the forest bark and leaves are to our Indians, was enough. 

"To me, knowing Dr. Cook through his articles in the Century and Har- 
per's, and through his entrancing 'First Antarctic Night,' it was a great pleasure 
to think of his coming, and to believe that he had added a new glory to Old 

"How Cook Came and Went" is the title of Dr. Egan's articles, and he 
deals with details much more fully than have the cables. Coming down to the 
morning of Dr. Cook's arrival in Copenhagen, he continues : 

"When I reached the environs of the harbor my coachmen would have 
found it impossible to get near the open space reserved for members of the 






Royal Geographical Society if it had not been for their red, white and blue 
cockades, for which a passage was instantly made. The Crown Prince was in 
position and tremendously interested. Near him was Commodore Hovgaard, 
commander of the King's yacht, to whom the success of the ceremonies attend- 
ing the reception of Dr. Cook is largely due. 

"It was a beautiful morning; the Sound never looked bluer or seemed to 
be more brilliantly flecked with silver spots. The crowd increased and I began 
to know what pain a President had to suffer under the process of congratula- 
tory hand-shaking. The Crown Prince had an engagement to preside at the 
laying of the cornerstone of a students' building at ten o'clock. He is most 
punctual. When he goes to a ceremonious convention himself he is always 
there at the exact time. When his father, the King, goes he is invariably there 
five minutes before the time. We still waited. The Crown Prince concluded 
that the students would not be impatient, because they had the habit of taking 
'the academical quarter of an hour.' At last the Hans Egede appeared. The 
expectancy of the great crowd grew intense and expressed itself in silence. 

"The Crown Prince and the representatives of the Royal Greographical 
Society and myself entered the launch. In a short time we were on the deck 
of the Hans Egede. 


"Doctor Cook, not by any means then the glittering butterfly of fashion 
into which a tailor later in the morning transformed him, stood at the head of 
the ladder. Prince Christian greeted him first ; then I came. He smiled : — 'You 
are the first American I have shaken hands with for over two years,' he said. 
Afterward he explained, with that careful regard for exact truth which is his 
characteristic, that he had in the meantime shaken hands with Mr. Whitney, 
but that he looked so much like an Eskimo that, for the moment, Doctor Cook 
had forgotten his nationality. 

"The explorer in his rough and weatherbeaten clothes, resembled somewhat 
the familiar figure of Robinson Crusoe. Prince Valdemar, the Premier Admiral 
of the Danish navy stood near him and most enthusiastically congratulated the 
American people, through me, on this new glory to the American flag. The 
thing after we landed was to know how to get to our carriages. 

"The Crown Prince, through the cleverness of his Chamberlain, got safely 
into his automobile, but Dr. Cook and Mr, W, T. Stead, whom I had invited 
to share my carriage, were with myself pinned tight in the enthusiastic, happy 
and energetic crowd. Dr. Cook had his sea legs on, which in a crowd are not 


nearly so good as land legs; he had been so used to the swaying deck that the 
solid soil was new to him. Mr. Stead took him in his arms, held him tight and 
began to interview him at once. 

"It took at least ten minutes to be propelled through a sea of applauding 
and hand shaking people. I owe it entirely to the honesty of a Copenhagen 
tailor that my coat tails were not torn off and that I was Hfted up the steps of 
the home of the Geographical Society with no loss except one button. I am 
afraid that if the aegis of the United States had not been upon me, which was 
both a halo and a nimbus on this day, at least one of my ribs would have been 
broken. The adventure recalled a Georgetown football game on Thanksgiving 

"Dr. Cook was forced to make a little speech, and then, led by a private way, 
he finally reached his hotel. There was to be no rest for him, however. Know- 
ing this, I arranged that he should come to the Legation to lunch in quietness. 


"When he left Copenhagen on the afternoon of the tenth, on his way to 
meet the Scandinavian- American liner Oscar II," Dr. Egan writes, "he was the 
center of admiring throngs. Among those last to say farewell was Count 
Christian Holstein-Ledreborg, the son of the Prime Minister, sent by his father 
to see him off. 

"Flowers were showered upon him. Old men and women asked to clasp 
his hand, and at that moment he was the hero of this nation of Vikings. His 
speeches on receiving the very high honor of the Royal Danish Geographical 
Society's medal and on being made an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in the 
University of Copenhagen were brief, direct and simple. This university knows 
perfectly well how to blend in its functions solemnity, simplicity and brevity. 
None of these functions ever occurs without music forming part of it, and a 
great part, and the cantata for an orchestra of stringed instruments which pre- 
ceded the short speeches was an admirable preparation for them. 

"On Friday, when he left, he was loaded with honors and followed by 
the acclamations of the people. He stood for a few moments on the upper deck 
of the Melchior. Admiral de Richelieu had toasted him, the center of a crowd 
in the cabin ; but now he stood alone, and the cheers that greeted him were as 
much a tribute to his personal character as to his epoch making exploit. Kindly, 
simple, firm and sincere, he had in a short time made the sons of the Vikings 
love him." 


"I planted the stars and stripes in the ice field, and my heart grew 
warm when I saw it wave in the wind." 

These were Dr. Cook's words when, on September 4, he arrived at Copen- 
hagen, Denmark, to receive the greeting of a vast crowd and to be congratu- 
lated by the king of that nation. \ 

"Let the skeptics who disbelieve my story go to the north pole. There 
they will find a small brass tube which I buried under the flag." 

This was what he said when he learned that the truth of his statements 
had been questioned. A storm of discussion, of sneers, and of disbelief was 
raging in every nation. Scientists were wagging their heads. People were 
divided into camps. And in the Danish capital the sun-browned hero of the 
north calmly received callers and told them further incidents of his trip. 

"On April 21," he said, "we looked for the sun. As soon as we got it 
I made several observations. Great joy came over us. We were only sixteen 
miles from the desired spot. I said to myself, 'Bully for Frederick.' Then we 
went on, 

"The last stretch was the easiest I ever made in my life, although I had 
still to make two observations and the ice was broken. But my spirits were 
high and I shouted like a boy. The Eskimos looked at one another surprised 
at my gaiety. They did not share my joy. 

"I felt that I ought to be there. I made my last observation and found 
that I was standing on the pole. 

"There is nothing to see there but ice; no water, only ice. There were 
more holes there than at the eighty-seventh degree, which shows there is more 
movement and drift there; but this and other observations I made afterwards, 
when I got more settled. I stopped two days at the pole, and I assure you, 
it wasn't easy to say good-by to the spot. 




"As I was sitting at the pole I could not help smiling at the people who 
on my return would call the whole expedition a humbug. I was sure the 
people would say that I had bought my two witnesses and that my notebook 
with my daily observations had been manufactured on board this ship. 

"The only thing lean put up against this is what the York Eskimos have 
told Knud Rasmussen, That tube which I buried. under the flag contains a 
short statement about my trip. I couldn't leave my visiting card, because 
I didn't happen to have one with me. 

"Perhaps I should have staid there longer had it not begun to freeze us 
in our idleness. The Eskimos were uneasy and the dogs howled fearfully. 
On April 23, therefore, I again turned my nose southward, which was much 
easier, as you cannot turn your nose in any other direction when you stand 
at the pole." 

Describing the return journey. Dr. Cook said : 

^'Fortune now smiled. We made twenty miles a day until we reached 
the ominous eighty-seventh degree. Then I felt the ice moving eastward, 
carrying us with it. A terrible fog swept around us and kept us there for 
three weeks. We got no farther than the eighty-fourth degree. Then began 
a heavy walk towards Heibergsland and another three weeks of fgg. When 
that cleared I saw we had drifted southwest of Ringnesland, where we found 
open water and tower high screw ice, which stopped our way eastward. 

"We now began to sufifer hunger. Our provisions were becoming ex- 
hausted and we were unable to find depots. We entered Ringnesland and on 
June 20 found the first animals on our return — bear and seal. We shot a bear. 

"And now our goal was the whalers at Lancaster Sound. We followed 
the drift ice to the south. Eighty miles a day, but were stopped by pack ice 
in Wellington Channel, which was impassable either by boat or sledge. Here 
was lots of game, but we did not dare shoot it. We had taken only a hundred 
bullets to the pole and now only fifteen were left. We went into Jones Sound 
after walrus and found open calm water. We met polar wolves, with which 
some of our dogs made friends and ran away. 

"Now we spent day and night in an open boat ten miles from shore. 
This lasted for two months, while storms often raged over our head. At 
last we got ashore again, but we had no fuel and were obliged to eat birds 
raw. One day we found fuel, and what a feast we had. But we suffered 


much hunger during this period. One night a bear came and stole our food. 
We had many fights with musk oxen, which attacked us. Oyr best weapon 
against them was the lasso. 

"Two or three days we had nothing to eat. Then, in a crevice of the 
ice, we caught sight of several walruses. I had only a few cartridges left. 
I crept along the ice on my stomach, approaching the animals slowly, so as 
not to scare them. I expended all my cartridges and as a result secured two 
of the walruses. Our lives were saved." 

It was after describing these hardships that the haggard traveler, his hair 
matted and long and his eyes hollow with suffering, cried, in a burst of joy 
at beholding the faces of white men once more : 

"I am the happiest man alive. Tell the whole world I thank God I am 

"Rumors about our insufificient equipment were all false," said he. "No 
expense had been spared to provide an expedition for every contingency. To 
show you we prepared for every emergency, let me explain but one phase of 
our equipment. When the yacht was loaded all were promised a delightful 
cruise, with stijdy and recreation. 

"When we arrived at Smith's Sound, the limits of navigation and the 
limits of man's habitation, it was found that many of the best famihes had 
gathered at Anvolok for the winter bear hunt. This summer chase had been 
very successful. Great catches of meat had been gathered; more than one 
hundred dogs voiced the Eskimo prosperity. With abundant supplies taken 
aboard there, we had the nucleus for a polar expedition. 

"Tins were secured and everything was prepared against humidity. Boxes, 
which later made excellent building material, were taken along. With these 
boxes we built a house and at the end of the first day we slept under our 
own roof comfortably, sheltered from the storm. 

"Now I cannot give you but a general outline of our journey. We had 
many days and weeks of suffering. The outcome of the venture seems to 
be sufficient reward for the expended energy. The art of Arctic sledging 
has been advanced; a new highway with an interesting strip of animated 
nature has been examined. Big game haunts have been located which will 
extend the Eskimo horizon and delight the sportsman. 

"The boreal center has been pierced, new land has been discovered, and 
if we allow a horizon about fifteen miles to each side of our course a triangle 
of about thirty thousand square miles has been cut out of the Arctic blank. 


In relating further incidents of his expedition, when there remained but 
two faithful Eskimos as an escort as he plunged over the vast extent of polar 
seas, Dr. Cook gave another version of the final dash. On approaching the 
pole, he said, the icy plain took on animated motion, as if rotating on an 
invisible pivot. 

"A great fissure then opened up behind," he added, "and it seemed as 
if we were isolated from the world. My two Eskimos threw themselves 
at my feet and, bursting into tears, refused to continue either one way or 
another, so paralyzed with fear were they. Nevertheless, I calmed them 
and we resumed our journey. 

"You ask my impression on reaching the pole. Let me confess I was dis- 
appointed. Man is a child, dreaming of prodigies. I had reached the pole 
and now at a moment when I should have been thrilled with pride and joy, 
I was invaded with a sudden fear of the dangers and sufferings of the return." 

The most northerly land he saw was between 84 and 86 degrees. There 
^were two bodies of land at this point east of his route. One was about 1,000 
feet high. He could not say whether they were islands or not, as he was not 
equipped to make a detour to explore them. , 

Dr. Cook said he was strongly of the opinion that no white man could 
reach the pole unless he was able to wear the same clothes, eat the same food 
and live in all ways just as do the Eskimos. He said he owed his success' 
largely to choice of a route where game was more plentiful on the routes 
formerly attempted, and to the fact that he traveled in winter. 

Although the lowest temperature experienced was 83 degrees below zero, 
the explorer said he did not feel the cold nearly so much then as in higher 
temperatures when the wind was blowing. 

For a long time the explorer lived on musk oxen ; he wore the fur of these 
animals, ate their meat and used their fat to burn in lamps. 

By way of contrast with Dr. Cook's description of polar scenes is given 
this word picture by one of his predecessors : 

"The air was warm, almost as a summer's night at home, and yet there 
were the icebergs and the bleak mountains, with which the fancy, in this 
land of green hills and waving forests, can associate nothing but cold re- 
pulsiveness. The sky was bright and soft, and strangely inspiring as the 
skies of Italy. The bergs had wholly lost their chilly aspect, and glittering 
in the blaze of the brilliant heavens, seemed in the distance like masses of 
burnished metal or solid flame. Nearer at hand, they were huge blocks of 


Parian marble, inlaid with mammoth gems of pearl and opal. One in par- 
ticular exhibited the perfection of the grand. Its form was not unlike that 
of the Colosseum, and it lay so far away that half its height was buried 
beneath the line of the blood-red waters. The sun, slowly rolling along the 
horizon, passed behind it, and it seemed as if the old Roman ruin had suddenly 
taken fire and were in flames. 

For further comparison, take this passage, from Capt. McClure's account 
of his discovery of the northwest passage in 1850: 

"I cannot describe my feelings. Can it be possible that this water com- 
municates with Barrow's Strait, and shah prove to be the long-sought north- 
west passage ? Can it be that so humble a creature as I am will be permitted 
to perform what has baffled the talented and wise for hundreds of years? 
But all praise be ascribed unto Him who hath conducted us so far in safety. 
His ways are not our ways: nor the means that He uses to accomplish His 
ends within our comprehension. The wisdom of the world is foolishness 
with Him." 





Such were Dr. Cook's first scattering accounts of his journey. Before 
he could calmly give forth his proofs and furnish the facts scientists were 
awaiting he was caught in the whirl of a reception such as rarely falls to a 
man's lot. 

The explorer arrived in Copenhagen on the Hans Egede at lo o'clock 
in the morning of September 4. As soon as the steamer entered the harbor 
it was boarded by Crown Prince Christian, heir to the throne of Denmark, 
by Maurice Francis Egan, the American minister to Denmark, by the Danish 
minister of commerce and by committees representing various public bodies. 
These extended to Dr. Cook a formal welcome in the name of the Danish 
nation and the city of Copenhagen. 

It was a weather beaten and shabby but elated hero who was welcomed, 
and with the same honors that are customarily used in the greeting of royal 

Dr. Cook stood on the bridge of the Hans Egede wearing a shabby brown 
suit that had been loaned to him by a seaman. On his head was a disreputable 
old cap, and his feet were clad in leather moccasins. His blond hair was 
long and shaggy and his mustache rough and straggling. His complexion 
was sallow, but his face was full. He was a strange figure for the center 
of such a brilliant scene as greeted his return to civilization. 

A bright sun lit up the blue waters of Copenhagen harbor. Ships and 
yachts on every side were gay with flags and the shore and piers were crowded 
with people. 

Two big American flags flanked the landing stage where Crown Prince 
Christian and other notable personages awaited for one hour the appearance 
of the Hans Egede. Hundreds of small boats containing sightseers swarmed 
over the waters of the harbor. Many of these boats were filled with American 
tourists waving the stars and stripes. 

When the Hans Egede was a mile away, slowly coming in with an en- 



thusiastic following of small craft in her wake, Crown Prince Christian and 
the members of his staff embarked on a launch which took them to the side of 
the steamer bearing the explorer. 

The moment the anchor was dropped the crown prince sprang up the 
gangway, Dr. Cook, at the same time, appeared at the head of the ladder 
and awaited the prince. >^ 

The people in the surrounding boats, who had expected from the news- 
paper pictures to see a bearded man, recognized the explorer for the first 
time and sent up a loud cheer. 

Prince Christian, who is a tall and handsome young man, was dressed in 
a silk hat and frock coat. He grasped the hand of Dr. Cook and congratu- 
lated him. 

The ceremonies on shipboard concluded, the entire party, including the 
explorer, entered the launch and started toward the city. 

When the launch approached the pier with Prince Christian and Dr. Cook 
side by side, a tremendous roar of cheers burst out from the people on shore 
and from the assemblage of small craft, including yachts, motor boats, land- 
ing boats from the Russian warship in the harbor and racing 'shells, clustered 
thick about the pier. 

Dr. Cook stepped ashore and in an instant the police were powerless as 
children to make a way for the party. Dr. Cook and those about him were 
engulfed and swept along by a clamorous crowd. Minister Egan and the 
Danish officials literally clung to Dr. Cook. Together the party fought its 
way desperately to a point near the Meteorological institute. Dr. Cook was 
bruised and capless and part of his sleeve was torn off. 

'T used to be a football player, but this is the worst I ever saw," he panted. 

Dr. Cook and Mr. Egan finally succeeded in reaching a balcony of the 
institute. The people crowding the streets and the adjoining park yelled fran- 
tically when they appeared. Mr. Egan waved his hand toward Dr. Cook as 
an introduction, whereupon the explorer made a brief address in English. 

"My friends," he said, 'T have had too hard a time getting here to make 
a speech. I can only say that I consider it an honor to be able to put my foot 
first on Danish soil." 

After more cheering Commodore Hovgaard took Dr. Cook in a carriage 
and drove with him through the crowded streets to the Phoenix hotel, where 
he became the guest of the Geographical Society. 

The hallways of the hotel were decorated with American flags and masses 


of flowers. Johan Hansen, the minister of commerce, and a committee of the 
Geographical Society gave a reception to Dr. Cook at the hotel. The minister 
made a speech of welcome, in which he said : 

"Before retiring to your much-needed rest, Dr. Cook, I hope you will give 
us an opportunity of bidding you welcome to Denmark. I thank you on 
behalf of my countrymen for the noble deeds which you so successfully have 

The minister then invited Dr. Cook, on behalf of the government, the 
municipality and the Geographical Society, "as our honored guest," to a 
banquet tonight at the town hall. 

Dr. Cook thanked the minister "for the very kind reception you already 
have granted in Denmark, and with which I feel most delighted." ' 

Minister Hansen, over a bottle of champagne, then led in "Three cheers 
and a long life for Dr. Cook." 

The members of the reception committee withdrew and were succeeded 
by a numerous delegation of tailors, bootmakers and barbers. The explorer 
placed himself in their hands, and several tradesmen were at work on him 
at the same time. 

At the end of an hour Dr. Cook emerged with his hair neatly trimmed, 
his mustache cropped close and in a new suit, hat and boots. He then went 
to the American legation and had luncheon with Minister Egan. 

In the evening a banquet was held in the magnificent municipal building. 
Four hundred persons, many of them women, attended, while thousands con- 
gregated in the streets in a drenching rainstorm to catch sight of the explorer 
when he entered. 

There was a preliminary reception in the lofty and spacious entrance hall. 
The spectacle with so many of the men wearing orders must have impressed 
the explorer by contrast with his recent experience. The company marched 
upstairs to the air of the "Star Spangled Banner." After all had been seated 
the minister of commerce, Johan Hansen, escorted Dr. Cook to the chair of 
honor amid a demonstration which caused fcim to color deeply. 

Minister Egan sat at Dr. Cook's right, with the Mayor of Copenhagen 
and Miss Egan beyond. Mrs. Gamel, a wealthy Copenhagen woman, who 
has contributed extensively to arctic exploration and has been closely identi- 
fied with it, was at the chairman's left. The menu presented a lithograph of 
the crown prince greeting Dr. Cook and a map of the arctic circle, giving Dr. 
Cook's route and a facsimile of his autograph, with the date. 


The speeches teemed with compliments to Dr. Cook. The Mayor of Co- 
penhagen first rendered tribute. Minister Egan briefly proposed a toast to 
the King of Denmark, and the corporation president, in proposing a toast 
to the President of the United States, spoke of the pride that must be felt 
by the nation which could boast that it was her son who first planted the flag 
where no human being had ever before set foot. 

The minister of commerce, in proposing the health of Dr. Cook, paid a 
warm tribute to "his noble deed." He thanked him for spending a little time 
in Denmark and said that the privations of the explorer were appreciated 
most by the men of Denmark whose names are written with honor on the 
ice rocks of Denmark's northern colony. 

When the nation was first thrilled by the news of Cook's exploit he said 
he must confess there was some skepticism, but afterward it was confirmed, 
and he hoped that Dr. Cook would try for the south pole with the s'ame 

When the minister raised his glass to "Our Noble Guest," there were 
nine hurrahs. 

Commodore Hovgaard spoke from the standpoint of an expert explorer 
and commended Cook's methods. , 

Dr. Cook rephed in a few words, modestly saying: 

"I thank you very much for the warm and eloquent words, but I am 
unable to express myself properly. It was a rather hard day for me, but I 
never enjoyed a. day better. The Danes have taken no active part in polar 
explorations, but they have been of much importance as silent partners in 
almost all arctic expeditions in recent years. The most important factor in 
my expedition was the Eskimo and dog world and I cannot be too thankful 
to the Danes for their care of the Eskimo, and now they also have instituted 
a mission at Cape York. Had I not met with the right Eskimos and the 
right dogs and the right provisions I could not have reached the pole. I owe 
much to the Danish nation for my success." 

A telegram was read conveying the congratulations of the King of Sweden 
for "a brilliant deed, of which the American people may rightly be proud." 

On the same day Dr. Cook was received in private audience by King 
Frederick of Denmark. The explorer was presented to the monarch by Min- 
ister Egan. The queen and her three daughters were present. 

It remained only for the hero to receive tribute from the chief magistrate 


of his own nation. This came the same evening when Dr. Cook sent the 
following cablegram to President Taft : 

"Copenhagen, Sept. 4. — President, the White House, Washington: I 
have the honor to report to the chief magistrate of the United States that I 
have returned, having reached the North Pole. 

"Frederick A. Cook." 

The president, who was at his summer home in Massachusetts, replied 
as follows : 

"Beverly, Mass., Sept. 4. — Frederick A. Cook, Copenhagen, Denmark: 
Your dispatch received. Your report that you have reached the North Pole 
calls for my heartiest congratulations, and stirs the pride of all Americans 
that this feat which has so long baffled the world has been accomplished by 
tlie intelligent energy and wonderful endurance of a fellow countryman. 

"William H. Taft." 

Further honors were in store for Dr. Cook in Denmark. On Sept. 9 the 
degree of doctor honoris causa ("doctor because of having achieved great 
honor"), was conferred on him by the University of Copenhagen in the 
presence of Crown Prince Christian of Denmark and a distinguished gathering. 


Professor Torp, rector of the university, in presenting the diploma to Dr. 
Cook, spoke of the admiration his achievement had aroused in the university. 
In expressing his thanks Dr. Cook said he accepted the honor as testimony 
of the genuineness of his journey. He promised to send the university his 
complete records, and he said it was his intention to dispatch a ship to Green- 
land at his own expense to bring down the two Eskimos who accompanied 
him on his expedition. This was later given up. In conclusion the doctor 
said : 

"I can say no more, I can do no more; I show you my hands." 
Dr. Cook's words in referring to the records he said he would send the 
university were : 

"I can produce all desirable evidence that I reached the North Pole." 
He added that his Eskimo companions would be taken to New York, 
where they could be examined by impartial men of science. 


The function of conferring the degree was impressive. The ceremony- 
took place in the great hall of the university in the presence of a company 
numbering 1,200 persons, including a number of scientists. 

In honor of Dr. Cook the entire body of professors and students entered 
the hall in procession. They were accompanied by the Danish ministers of 
education and commerce and Maurice F. Egan, the American minister to 
Denmark. An orchestra rendered one of Beethoven's symphonies. 

Professor Torp said that the honor conferred on Dr. Cook was the highest 
in the gift of the university. 

The professor complimented the explorer on the courage and self-sacrifice 
which enabled him to go where no human being has even set his foot before. 
He declared that Denmark and the United States would now be neighbors 
in the far North. 

Then, warming up to his subject. Professor Torp said with enthusiasm 
that the Danish people not only admired Dr. Cook for his deeds, but also 
because he was an American. 

When Professor Torp handed the parchment to Dr. Cook, the explorer 
arose to reply, but he was unable to speak for five minutes on account of the 
continued applause. 

A crowd of more than 1,000 persons that had congregated outside the 
hall cheered Dr. Cook as he left, and followed him to his motor car. 

On Sept. 10 Dr. Cook left Copenhagen by sea for Christiansand, Norway, 
where he boarded the steamer Oscar II, which sailed for New York the 
following day. A large crowd bade him farewell. 

When Dr. Cook boarded the special steamer that took him to Christiansand 
the water front was lined with spectators and the ships in the harbor were 
dressed with flags. 

Committees from the Geographical society and the faculty of the University 
of Copenhagen saw the explorer off. A director of the company owning the 
ship on which Dr. Cook traveled made an address in which he thanked the 
explorer for the honor of leaving on a Danish ship. He said that while 
envy and jealousy hvid been at work, Denmark believed in Dr. Cook absolutely. 

The ovation to the explorer was continued when he reached Norway. 
Special honors were shown him by orders from King Haakon. 

The greeting given Dr. Cook savored strongly of the triumphal return 
to his own country of a victorious warrior. 


It was 1 1 o'clock in the morning by the time the vessel from Copenhagen 
had cast her anchor a cable's length from the Oscar II. 

From daylight, however, Christiansand had been watching for the en- 
trance of the Melchior. Every vessel in the harbor was gayly decorated with 
flags, and all the available small craft had been chartered to bring out sightseers 
from the shore. 

A salute of seven guns was fired from the deck of the Melchior and an- 
swered by seven guns from the Christiansand fort. This honor was accorded 
Dr. Cook, a civilian, by direction of the king. 

-As soon as the smoke of the saluting guns had cleared away steam 
launches darted out from the shore bearing the civil and military authorities 
to the vessel with Dr. Cook on board. 

The explorer awaited the officials on the bridge of the Melchior. M. Cold, 
the manager of the Scandinavian Line, who had accompanied him from 
Copenhagen, stood by his side. The ship's band played "The Star-Spangled 
Banner" while the Norwegian deputations paid homage to the explorer. 

When the municipal authorities boarded the vessel the Burgomaster of 
Christiansand delivered a speech o.f welcome, in which he congratulated the 
explorer on his achievement. 

Dr. Cook, in his reply, eulogized the explorers of Norway. 


The Explorers arranged in the order of distance from the Pole prior to 1908. 

Glad in furs ready for his dash to the Pole. 



While Dr. Cook was being thus honored by rulers and mobbed by his 
admirers, people everywhere were passing through alternating feelings of 
trust and disbelief. 

History never furnished a keener topic of argument. Nothing in the 
realm of invention or of discovery could seem more impossible than that a 
comparatively little known traveler had actually done what men had failed 
in for so many centuries. As soon as the first news flashed over the wires 
two camps arose : Those who threw up their hats and hurrahed, and those 
who said, "I don't beHeve it. Who is this Cook?" Everybody who had a 
tongue to talk with joined in the clack of tongues. Scientists gave out weighty 
reasons for and against. A few preferred to withhold any comment until 
the explorer could furnish his proofs. Many others broke into the open with 
statements purporting to show how Cook could or could not have done it. 
It was even suggested that the doctor might be the victim of mania, and have 
imagined he reached the pole. Hints were thrown out that Cook had always 
been a "faker," and that he had carefully prepared for the claim of his dis- 
covery before he even left America. 

But had Cook always been a "faker?" 

A glance at his career seemed to prove the contrary. 

Frederick A. Cook was born June lo, 1865, and was therefore forty-two 
years and ten months old when he discovered the pole. He passed his forty- 
third birthday while struggling back across the ice fields to the nearest place 
of human habitation; his forty- fourth in a Greenland settlement, awaiting 
strength to move on again. 

He was of German-American parentage. The family name was origin- 
ally Koch. Frederick's birthplace was the little town of Callicoon, in Sullivan 
county. New York state, among the hills of the upper Delaware River. 

When still a youth he sought his fortune in New York City and after 
working his way through the College of Physicians and Surgeons there he 



succeeded in establishing for himself a practice of the profession in that 

As a surgeon of the Peary expedition, in 1891-92 at the age of 26, he 
first identified himself with the work of arctic exploration. On this expedition 
he was the first scientist who devoted special attention to the studies of the 
arctic highlanders. 

In 1894 he organized the famous Miranda expedition of sportsmen, 
scientists and explorers. Though the Miranda never returned from this 
trip. Dr. Cook won fame for himself through an incident of the expedition 
when their ship was disabled at Sukkertoppen, by leading the party safely 
through a perilous trip in an open boat to Holsteinberg, where they obtained 
relief. Later he shared with the late Captain Dixon of the Gloucester 
schooner Riegel, the arduous duty of the return voyage. 

In September, 1897, Dr. Cook was honored by the appointment to the 
post of surgeon of the Belgian antarctic expedition. Two years after he had 
joined the ship at Rio Janeiro to assume his new position he returned with the 
party all in good health and with the loss of only one man. He had performed 
the unique feat of leading the crew safely throught the first antarctic night. 
For this service he received gold medals from the Geographical Societies of 
Belgium and was given the rank of chevalier from King Leopold. Dr. Cook 
later published the narrative and a resume of the scientific work of this expe- 
dition in a volume entitled "Through the First Antarctic Night." 

As surgeon of the Peary "Erik" auxiliary expedition in 1901, Dr. Cook 
jrevisited the scenes of his northern work of ten years before. A year later 
he married Miss Mary Hunt in Brooklyn. 

\ On October 3, 1906, just three years after he led the first expedition to 
attempt the approach and ascent of the unknown Mt. McKinley in Alaska, 
he satisfied his ambition and reached the summit of the unexplored mountsrin, 
20,464 feet above the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Dr. Cook's was the first 
ascent of this mountain on record, and he achieved success only after repeated 
failures and many thrilling adventures, which he described in his book, "To 
the Top of the Continent." 

*i A member of the party that accompanied Cook to Mt. McKinley has 
described some of the incidents of the trip, as well as Cook's bearing on that 
occasion. Says this man: 

"He was a quiet man and did not talk much and was not given to boasting 
of his deeds. I have been with him for weeks at a time among the mountain 


ranges of Alaska and I never knew him to be untruthful or to misrepresent 
anything whatever. 

*'When he failed in 1903 to reach the top of Mt. McKinley he came back 
and frankly admitted his failure. There are those who doubt that he reached 
the top on his second attempt, but I went with him far enough to know that 
he did reach the top, and Jack Grill, an old Montana rancher., went to the top 
with him." 

Mount McKinley is the highest peak in America. Its altitude is more 
than 20,000 feet and its summit had never before been scaled by man. 

"I left Seattle on the steamship Santa Anna May i, 1906, bound for 
Nome, to do some prospecting," said the man quoted above. "On the ship I 
became acquainted with Dr. Cook through a Seattle newspaper photographer, 
who was a member of Cook's party. 

"We were together a great deal and when he learned how well I knew 
the country in Alaska he proposed that I should go with him and take him 
around the mountain to the most accessible point. I agreed and landed at 
Seldovia at the entrance of Cook's inlet with the party. ^ 

"The Eskimos at Susitna laughed at these people and called them 'cheek 
hawks,' or tenderfeet. 

"Finally, as the summer wore on, the 'cheek hawks' gave it up and went 
back. Dr. Cook, Brill, the Montana rancher, and I went to the mouth of 
the Chulitna River and there found the 'hog back' leading from the foothills 
up the side of the mountain. Cook and Brill went up this 'hog back' and 
reached the top September 15. Two days later they returned to the camp 
where I was waiting." 

Henry Collins Walsh, secretary of the Explorers' Club, New York, has 
told of one of Dr. Cook's Arctic expeditions as follows : 

"My first meeting with Dr. Frederick A. Cook was in the spring of 1904, 
when he had organized our expedition to make a summer trip into the Arctic 
regions and for which he had chartered the ill-fated steamer the Miranda. 
I became a member of this expedition and was its historian. 

"The Miranda, it will be recalled, had many mishaps, colliding with an 
iceberg off the coast of Labrador, which necessitated a return to St. John's, 
Newfoundland, where the ship was repaired, and later to run on some hidden 
reefs off the coast of Sukkertoppen, South Greenland. In this encounter the 
bottom was torn off the Miranda, but its balance tank saved it from sinking. 

"We arranged to steam back to Sukkertoppen, an Eskimo settlement with 


a Danish governor, and from there Dr. Cook with a small party set out to 
look for assistance. He finally got in touch with a Gloucester fishing schooner, 
the Rigel, commanded by Captain Dixon. The big-hearted captain gave up 
his fishing trip, the first that he had attempted off the coast of Greenland, 
and came to the rescue of the Miranda and her party of stranded explorers. 
The Miranda and the Rigel were connected by cable and, the steamer towing 
the schooner, started for home. 

"Dr. Cook and the rest of us took up our quarters on the Rigel, the officers 
and crew of the Miranda alone remaining on that ship. On the second night 
out, however, a stormy one, the ballast tank of the Miranda began to give 
way and a signal of distress went up from the Miranda, and dories manned 
by the Rigel's crew went over to the Miranda and brought over the officers 
and crew of that ship. The cable connecting the two vessels was cut and 
the Miranda was abandoned to her fate upon the high seas. 

"She contained all the worldly collections we had brought with us, our 
extra clothes, outfits, guns, ammunition, stores, etc., and all the collections 
that various members had made in Labrador and Greenland, probably rather 
undigestible food even for Arctic fishes. After dodging for a time among 
icebergs, the little Rigel finally landed seventeen days later at Sydney, Cape 
Breton Island, whence the wrecked party had no trouble in making its way 
back to New York." 

Mr. Walsh also tells some of Dr. Cook's personal traits : 

"Naturally, at the meetings of the Explorers' club and at the meetings of 
its officers and directors, I was thrown in much with Dr. Cook, and also had 
the pleasure at times of visiting him in his own home, and always found 
him a delightful and hospitable host, and it was pleasant to see the kindly 
domestic side of this man who spent so many years in wild and far-away 
places, where the gentler and domestic side of a man has little chance of de- 

"I was minded of Bayard Taylor's well-known couplet: 

"The bravest are the tenderest, 
The loving are the daring." 

"I have been asked to tell something about Dr. Cook's pastimes and 
favorite amusements, but as far as I know he seems to care but little for 
the ordinary pastimes and amusements. I have never seen him play any game 
of cards, but in one of the upper rooms of his Brooklyn home he had a pool 


table around which he occasionally took relaxation. We had some games of 
pool together, but as neither of us was at all expert at the game, nothing 
remarkable can be recorded except perhaps some remarkable scratches. 

"I remembered that on one occasion, after the doctor had made a remark- 
able shot, aided by Providence, I put up my cue and remarked that I could 
not play against the combination of the Almighty and a polar explorer. It 
was a case of cold feet. 

"I do not think that Dr. Cook was ever much given to outdoor sports, 
either; at least, I never heard him dilate upon any of his own experiences 
along these lines, though he was, however, very fond of automobiling. At 
his home he had many relics of his various exploring trips, and naturally our 
talks ran much in the channels of exploration, and it gave me great pleasure 
when I was able to draw him out in regard to some of his own remarkable 
experiences, for I doubt if any man living has had more." 




Froip the PMladelphia Record Herald 




At this point it becomes necessary to leave the narrative of Dr. Cook for a 
time and record the extraordinary fact that a second message came from the far 
north ; a second hero appeared to receive his share of glory. 

On September 6, 1909, a telegraph operator in the New York office of the 
Associated Press, the great news-gathering agency, heard the call of the wire. 
He answered. As he wrote down the words that tapped on the instrument at 
his side an incredulous smile spread over his face. 

Another man had discovered the North Pole! 

This was the message : 

"Indian Harbor, Labrador, via Cape Ray, Sept. 6. — To Associated Press, 
New York : Stars and Stripes nailed to North Pole. 


In a few minutes the dispatch was in the office of every newspaper in the 
world. There were more incredulous smiles. It was enough to have spent 
five days recording so astonishing a fact as the discovery of the North Pole ; 
and now came a second claim and in a short time the Peary telegram was thun- 
dering out from the big presses to startle the world. 

What doubt there was did not have to do with Commander Peary's veracity, 
but with the genuineness of the dispatch itself. That some joker was busy 
was the prevalent theory. This, however, was speedily disproved. Commander 
Peary, besides wiring and sending a duplicate message to Renter's Telegram 
Co., a similar news agency in London, had telegraphed to Herbert L. Bridg- 
man, secretary of the Arctic Club in New York. There could be no question 
this message was from Peary. Besides the earmarks of truth in the wording it- 
self, the dispatch was m cipher code known only to the New York official 
and to his friend in the north. 

Said this message: 



"Indian Harbor, via Cape Ray, N. F., Sept. 6. — Herbert L. Bridgman, 
BrooI<;lyn, N. Y. : Pole reached. Roosevelt safe. 


And then there was a third telegram, revealing a heart bounding with joy, 
and eager to express itself to a loved one. It read : 

"Indian jHarbor, via Cape Ray, Sept. 6, 1909. — Mrs. R. E. Peary, South 
Harpswell, Maine : Have made good at last. I have the old pole. Am well. 
Love. Will wire again from Chateau. 


These, with a few messages to other men, none of which added to the in- 
formation contained in the foregoing, was all that was heard of Peary for sev- 
eral days. He did not find the same faciHties for an immediate description of 
his trip that Cook did. He was sailing along the Labrador coast; intent on 
reaching a large seaport as soon as possible. And he was content for a time with 
sending the bare news of his victory. Only the date, of his discovery — April 
6, 1909 — and the fact he and his ship were safe ; that was all he vouchsafed. 

And with this silence the clamor of the debaters, and the fever of specula- 
tion, rose higher. Higher, indeed, than they had over the mere question of Dr. 
Cook's veracity. For now two men were involved in a gigantic problem that 
concerned whether one man's story discredited the other, and raised the ques- 
tion which was first at the pole. 

The Peary advocates, who had already, openly or by hints, sought to pour 
cold water on Cook's claims, at once declared Peary's news was true, and that 
he was the real discoverer. One of the most enthusiastic of these was Rear- Ad- 
miral Melville, of the United States navy, himself an old-time explorer, who 
said : 

"If Peary has telegraphed that he has found the pole, I believe it, and say 
l?ully for him. 

"I have known Peary personally for a long time and as he was well equip- 
ped for an expedition I think he had at least as much chance as Dr. Cook had 
for discovering the pole. Peary was within 200 miles of the pole in his last 
expedition and was prevented from going there by the opening of the ice packs. 
He has been gone long enough to have reached there. 

"It was the crazy dispatches purporting to have come from Dr. Cook about 
the condition he found there and other things that caused a doubt in my mind 


about Cook having found the pole. The dispatch from Peary makes the situa- 
tion most interesting." 

On the other side of the water, where the chief purveyors of opinion, the 
London newspapers, had been chary of accepting Cook's claims, the news from 
Peary was received with acclaim. 

The Daily Mail said editorially : 

"Just at the moment when men were saying that only the evidence of an 
independent witness who himself had visited the North Pole could establish be- 
yond question or cavil the claim of Cook, that very witness has appeared in 
Peary, an explorer whose statements are accepted by the whole scientific world 
without doubt or hesitation. 

"Baffled and beaten back time after time, he has known how to win a victory 
in the end. Indomitable has been his perseverence, iron his fortitude, heroic the 
spirit which has led him to laugh at every disappointment, and thus, by sheer 
strength of character, to reach his self-appointed goal. 

"As the glory of attaining the north pole has been denied to British effort, 
all in this country will rejoice it has fallen to one of our kinsmen over the sea 
and to such a kinsman. America well may be proud of sons like Commander 

"Greatly as Commander Peary's achievement would have moved the world 
at any time, coming at this moment it has a special and absorbing interest. 
Only a few days have passed since the claim of Cook to have reached the North 
Pole was made known to the pubhc. The long message in which he recounted 
his journey was by general consent pronounced unconvincing and the further 
particulars which he communicated since landing at Copenhagen have not re- 
moved all ground for doubt. Though Danish scientists of high reputation ac- 
cept his claim, a large section of the public still entertains doubts and asks why 
it is he has not brought with him his journal and detailed observations to estab- 
lish the truth of his statements. Now, on the very eve of the day on which 
Cook will receive a gold medal from the Danish Geographical society, a witness 
comes forth from the unknown who has looked upon the pole." 

One of the most conservative of London journals, The Standard, had this 
to say : 

"No discredit is cast on Dr. Cook's story by assuming that the success of a 
more experienced and better known voyager must be capable of verification. 
For the present, therefore, we must hail and congratulate Peary as the discov- 
erer of the pole, subject only to the reservation that a prior claim has been ad- 


vanced and remains to be verified. Happily both claimants are citizens of the 
United States and one possible reason for bitterness does not exist. In any 
case, the American stars and stripes float literally or metaphorically in the 
coveted breezes of the northernmost point of the globe." 

A Chicago scientist, Prof. T. C. Chamberlain, of the University of Chi- 
cago, said : 

"A message that had the real ring back of it, the ring of solid gold, was the 
one to Peary's wife in which he declared, according to one dispatch from her 
home, that he had found 'the darn old pole.' 

''One has to appreciate the hardships and trials which Peary has suffered in 
his former defeats to know just how much the success means to him. The mes- 
sage to his wife was the typical outburst of enthusiasm which I should expect 
after the success of his long-attempted discovery. 

'T have known Peary for a long time and I know him to be a man of his 
word. He is ambitious and it was always his great desire to be the first to plant 
the American flag on the most northern spot in the world." 

To show how those closest to Commander Peary received the news there 
must be told here the manner in which it came to Mrs. Peary. She was stay- 
ing in Eagle Island, Me., across a bay from South Harpswell, the village in 
which Mrs. Cook was passing the summer, — another of the singular coin- 
cidences of this remarkable history. 

A newspaper correspondent, just provided with the news from New York, 
had hurried to Eagle Island, and to the cottage of the Pearys. There he found 
Marie A. Peary, the sixteen-year-old. daughter of the explorer. The girl cried 
"Glory, mamma. Papa has been heard from." 

And then, seizing the message containing the news of Peary's discovery 
from the hands of the correspondent, Miss Peary rushed upstairs to bear the 
glad and wonderful tidings to her mother, who only a few minutes before had 
gone to her room with a headache. 

An hour and a half later, Arthur Palmer, the storekeeper at West Harps- 
well, arrived at Eagle Island with a personal telegram from the intrepid Arctic 
explorer to his wife and family. 

When Mrs. Peary arose that morning and looked out across the broad ex- 
panse of the Atlantic Ocean to be seen from the Peary summer home she was so 
impressed by the beauty of the day and the scene before her that she remarked 
to her daughter : 

"With such a beautiful day as today we surely ought to hear good news." 



All day Mrs. Peary watched across the bay separating Eagle Island and 
South Harpswell for approaching boats which might bear some message for 
her. Shortly before 4 o'clock the boat of Stephen Toothaker stopped off the 

From the Washington Star. 

island and Mr. Toothaker hurried ashore. Mrs. Peary was so sure he had some 
message from her husband that she rushed down to the beach to meet him, 
only to find that he had brought word that she was wanted at a telephone 
three miles away. 


Mrs. Peary had been so sure that it was a message of a different kind that 
she went back to the cottage and retired to her room. At 4:10 the corres- 
pondent arrived and delivered the dispatch announcing the safe arrival of 
Peary at Indian Plarbor. 

The surf was rolling high on the beach and it was impossible to land with- 
out wetting one's feet. When the Peary cottage was reached Miss Marie 
Peary was reclining on a couch in the pleasant sitting room and was the only 
member of the party to be seen. 

She came to the door and almost by intuition asked if there were good 
news for her. 

"Mrs. Peary was not slow in coming downstairs when she heard the 
news, and when asked for an interview, said : 

"What (lo you want me to say? God bless you, I'll say anything. I'm 
tickled to death." 

Then she added: 

"I can't find words to express my feelings. Mr. Peary's twenty-three years 
of work and hardship have been crowned with success. God bless him." 


The start of Commander Peary's victorious journey to the pole was far 
different from that of Dr. Cook. The latter kept his plans secret from all 
but a few intimates ; his ship went north in the guise of a hunting expedition. 
Peary, on the other hand, set sail with acclaim of crowds and the Godspeed of 
hosts of friends. Furthermore, he received the enthusiastic best wishes of 
Theodore Roosevelt, then president, after whom Peary's vessel was named. 

Peary and his party left New York July 6, 1908. Forty guests of the 
Peary Arctic Club, along with Commander and Mrs. Peary, accompanied the 
steamer to City Island and returned to the city later on the navy tug Narkeeta. 

Commander and Mrs. Peary and Herbert L. Bridgman, secretary and 
treasurer of the Arctic Club, left later for Oyster Bay to have luncheon with 
President and Mrs. Roosevelt. President and Mrs. Roosevelt inspected the 
vessel and Capt. Bartlett continued upon his long journey, heading for Sydney, 
Cape Breton. 

The crowd that lined the pier cheered Peary enthusiastically as the boat 
left New York. 

Peary took off his hat and waved a handkerchief in acknowledgment. 
Most of the guests had gotten there ahead of him. Gen. Thomas H. Hubbard, 
president of the Arctic Club, and Mr. Bridgman were in charge. Among 
those present were : John W. Flagler, Anton Raven, Henry Parish, Mr. and 
Mrs. Williami Guggenheim, Arva B. Johnson, president of the Philadelphia 
Arctic Club ; Dr. Theodore Le Boutillier, secretary of the Philadelphia Arctic 
Club; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Guggenheim, and C. K. G. Billing^. 

Just before sailing Peary went below to see that all the gifts he was taking 
to the Eskimos were safely aboard. Money does not look good to those in 
the far north and it takes looking glasses, silver thimbles, shot guns and things 
like that in the way of presents to coax them along. Likewise Peary dropped 
in to see if Dave Henson, the negro cook, was in his proper place. 



Dave has been with him on each trip. His work was to boss the Eskimo 
drivers and hunters, Dave speaks their native tongue with ease. 

The Roosevelt left its landing at the foot of East Twenty-fourth street on 
the minute. It was pushed into the river by the Narkeeta, and such a din as 
went up hasn't been heard in those parts for some time. A hearty-looking 
ferryboat started the fun by tooting a regular salute of three short blasts. 
This was taken up with a vim by a dozen yachts of the New York Yacht Club. 
Then came the din of the crowd on the recreation pier, yelling itself hoarse 
to the accompaniment of the whistles of numerous factories along the river 

Capt. Bartlett at first tried to acknowledge all the salutes, but they came so 
fast that before proceeding with his task he ordered a chair and made himself 
comfortable on deck with an improvised rope up to the whistle. He tooted 
until the steam gave out and it was up to the Narkeeta to answer for awhile, 
and the navy folks certainly did the thing up in style. No craft was too little 
or too big or too squeaky to get a speedy acknowledgment. 

Possibly the greatest reception the little ship got was from the Mayflower, 
the president's yacht, which was anchored off Whitestone, Long Island. The 
ship was manned in a hurry, and after a salute was tooted the jackies set up 
a cheer that brought Peary from the lower deck in a hurry. He doffed his hat 
and waved his handkerchief like a good fellow, and was tickled clear down to 
his shoes. To cap the climax, the Mayflower's occupants slowly dipped the 
American flag aft. Peary himself answered this by dropping his flag in the 
same fashion. The incident stirred his navy blood and the veteran skipper 
danced around like a boy. 

The Roosevelt left Sydney, N. S., July 26. It was next reported at Dom- 
ino, Labrador, July 29, from which point it crossed to Greenland. It passed 
Cape York August 7, 1905, and reached Etah August 16 of that year. The 
expedition's auxiliary steamer Erik, in the meantime, had visited various set- 
tlements in Greenland and secured natives and dogs for the explorer and 
turned them over to the Roosevelt. At Etah the Roosevelt overhauled its 
machinery, took on board the last supply of coal from the Erik and thence 
proceeded north with Eskimos to the number of twenty-three on board and 
about 200 dogs. 

Peary's start from Etah on the second stage of his journey into the far 
north in search of the pole was described in a letter received in New York 
October 8, 1908, from Capt. Samuel W. Bartlett. . ; 


The letter was written by Capt. Bartlett on his arrival at St. John's, N. F., 
after carrying supplies to the Peary expedition in the steamer Erik. Capt. 
Bartlett said the weather conditions at Etah were anything but pleasant. It 
had been an unusually wet and foggy summer and Peary's departure north 
in the Roosevelt was delayed twenty-four hours because of dense fog and 
high winds. 

It had been planned to start on August 17, but it was the i8th before the 
steamer got away. The fog was still dense, but Capt. Bartlett said he was 
sure the Roosevelt had a good trip up Smith Sound, as the prevailing winds 
were south, which would pack the ice over on the Greenland side. Nothing 
was seen of the Roosevelt after it left Etah harbor. 

Commander Peary's own story of his preparations for his dash toward 
the North Pole, dated Etah, Greenland, September 20, 1908, follows: 

"Here we are at Etah, the Roosevelt stripped and sponged for the second 
round. As when the Roosevelt headed away across the gulf of Maine from 
Pollock Reef lightship, so now, on heading due north from Sydney harbor, 
the weather was of the finest. 

"Here the little tug which had accompanied us thus far swung off and 
turned back, carrying Mrs. Peary and the ciiildren, and Borup's father with 
two or three friends. 

"Throughout the night we steamed steadily northward across Cabot Strait 
with Polaris shining directly over the fore topmast. This in striking contrast 
to three years ago, when we crossed the straits in dense fog to the accompani- 
ment of a long swell which kept the main deck constantly awash. In the 
forenoon we passed Cape Ray, and in the afternoon the magnificent headland 
Cape St. George. 

"Early the day following we entered the harbor of Cape St. Charles and 
dropped anchor in front of the whaling station just as the costal steamer Pros- 
pero passed out with numbers of tourists on board. 

"Two whales captured the day before offered opportunity for securing 
some whale meat without delay, and I immediately engaged one, which was at 
once hauled out on the slide, while Bartlett, with Marvin, McMillan, and 
Borup, took one of the whaleboats and pulled across to Battle harbor, some 
five miles distant, to learn what was the outlook for whale meat at Hawke's 
harbor by wireless. 

"About noon Bartlett and the boys returned with news of abundance of 
whale meat at Hawke's harbor, the supply engaged here amounting to about 


18,000 pounds. It came late in the afternoon and was hoisted on the quarter 
deck between the coal bags and the after end of the deck house. This done, 
we steamed out, and with the big lugsail set to a following breeze and the 
engines just barely turning over, we drifted down the coast toward 'Hawke's 
harbor, so as to arrive early in the morning. 

"We had expected to run direct for the Greenland coast from here, but 
a consignment of Labrador skin boots which were to have been at Hawke's 
harbor were not here, and I determined to follow the coast to Turnavik land, 
where they were. 

"In a continuance of fine weather we came in sight of Turnavik late in 
the afternoon of the following day. Before reaching the island, however, 
we encountered a furious thunder storm, and finally dropped anchor amid a 
half gale. At the island ice was reported a few miles outside, and this, with 
the darkness and the force of the wind, resulted in our lying at Turnavik 
until the next morning. 

"The weather now for the first time was distinctly dirty, wind, rain, fog 
and seething of a sea. All these, however, moderated in the afternoon. In the 
evening it came off entirely clear, and for some three hours we passed through 
a stream of scattered, waterworn and rotten ice. After this the weather con- 
tinned fine, with light, favoring westerly winds until Saturday evening, 

"Saturday night we ran into fog, and for the first time encountered an un- 
compromising head wind, which continued with distinct violence until late 
Monday and then with less force throughout Tuesday. 

"During a portion of this time there was a pronounced sea running, and 
for the first time the Roosevelt had the experience of driving dead on through 
a head sea. No ship could make rapid progress under these conditions (our 
log from noon Monday to noon Wednesday was eight-four miles), but in 
every other way the Roosevelt proved satisfactory in this test as in others 
which she has encountered. She rises easily, meets and parts the waves 
readily and recovers from a lunge buoyantly and without shock. Of course 
her length is an important factor in this. I could not help thinking how un- 
comfortable the poor little, stumpy Fram would be under similar circumstances. 

"Following is a complete roster of those who are with me on board the 
Roosevelt : 

"John W. Goodsell, surgeon of the expedition, was born of native Penn- 
sylvanians at Leechburg, Pa., January 19, 1873. He is 35 years of age, un- 
married, 5 feet 10 inches in height, and weighs 200 pounds. In addition to 



his work as a general practitioner, Dr. Goodsell built up a considerable prac- 
tice as a consulting- microscopist. Dr. Goodsell expects to make a special investi- 
gation of tubercular conditions among the natives and the curative effects of 
the Arctic atmosphere. 

"Prof. Ross G. Marvin of the college of civil engineering, Cornell Uni- 
versity, is on leave of absence from that institution in order to complete the 
work begun on the previous expedition of i9O5-'o0. Prof. Marvin is 28 years 
of age, 5 feet 11 inches in height, and weighs 160 pounds. He received the 
degree of A. B. from Cornell University in June, 1905, and immediately upon 
graduation was chosen as my secretary and assistant for the expedition 
of i905-'o6. 

"Donald B. McMillan, an assistant in the expedition party, was born in 
Provincetown, Mass., November 10, 1874. He is 33 years of age, unmarried, 
5 feet 9 inches in height, and weighs 165 pounds. He comes from a family 
of seafaring people. 

"George Borup, an assistant in the expedition party, was born at Sing 
Sing, N. Y., September 2, 1885, a son of Lieut. Col. Borup, U. S. A., retired. 
He is 23 years of age, 5 feet 83^ inches in height and' weighs 155 pounds. 

"Matthew Henson, Commander Peary's personal assistant, was born of 
negro parentage at Washington, D. C, August 8, 1867. He is 41 years of 
age, 5 feet 10 inches in height, and weighs 150 pounds. 

"Charles Percy, steward of the Roosevelt, is one of the men who have 
been with her since she was built. Born of native parentage at Brigus, N. F., 
September 15, 1850, he is now 58 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall. 

"Capt. Robert A. Bartlett, sailing master and ice navigator of the Roose- 
velt, was born at Brigus, Conception Bay, near St. John's, N. F., August 15, 
1875. Thirty-three years of age, 6 feet tall and weighing 170 pounds, he is 
the ideal type of the hardy Newfoundland sealer and fisherman. His great- 
uncle, Capt. Isaac, rescued the Tyson party from an ice floe after their perilous 
drift of many months. His uncles, Capt. Harry, Capt. John, and Capt. Sam, 
have all made trips into the Arctic at various times in command of ships. 

"His father, Capt. William Bartlett, is a successful sealer and fisherman 
with a thriving fishing station at Turnavik island, on the Labrador coast. 

"Bank Scott, second engineer of the Roosevelt, is the second new officer 
aboard the Roosevelt. He was born at St. John's, N. F., July 4, 1880, 28 
years of age, 5 feet 9 inches in height, and weighs 150 pounds. 

"Other members of the crew are Seamen John Barnes, John Cody, and 



Dennis Murphy; Oilers John Bentley and Patrick Joyce; Firemen Richard 
Butler, George Percy, Patrick Skeans, and John Wiseman, and William 
Pritchard, mess boy. 

"Thomas Gushue, mate of the Roosevelt, Is a new officer aboard the ship. 
Bom of native parents at Grigus, Conception bay, Newfoundland, November 
3, 1861, he is 47 years of age and 5 feet 10 inches in height. His sea service 

From tbe Washington Star. 



covers about thirty years. For the last fifteen years he has been master of 
various fishing schooners. 

"John Murphy, boatswain of the Roosevelt, was born of native parents at 
St. John's, N. F. He is 35 years of age, 6 feet tall, weighs 175 pounds and is 
married, having a wife at his home at St. John's. 

"George A. Wardell, chief engineer of the Roosevelt, was born of Yankee 
parents at Bucksport, Me., February 16, 1861. He is 47 years of age, 5 feet 
II inches tall, and weighs 240 pounds.. He is married and has a wife and 
one son at his home in Bucksport. He learned his trade as a marine engineer 
in the shipyards where the Roosevelt was later constructed." 

Then came the last message, received by Peary's New York friends Octo- 
ber 16, 1908. It said: 

"This is the last word I will be able to send forth for at least a year. 

"Before us lies the great ice pack stretching for a distance of 200 miles, 
and against its mighty force the sturdy little Roosevelt must set its prow. 

"By February i we expect to be in a position to make the dash for the 



The career of Commander Peary, like that of Dr. Cook, has been given 
over almost wholly to adventure and exploration. With Peary, however, it 
has been, almost from the first, a ceaseless quest for that farthest north both 
now have seen. 

Peary is a veteran of the Arctic. A chronology of his trips into polar 
seas is as follows : 
1886 — Reached 70 degress north latitude on Greenland's inland ice cape, east 

of Disco Bay. 
1891-92 — Discovered Melville Land and Heilprin Land and proved Greenland 
an island, working as chief of the expedition of the Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia. Reached latitude 81 degrees 37 minutes north. 
1893-95 — Failed to reach northern Greenland, but discovered Iron Mountain. 
1896-97 — Brought Cape York meteorites to the United States. 
1 898- 1 902 — Rounded most northerly cape in the world — Cape Morris, 83 
degrees, 39 minutes — and reached "farthest north," 84 degrees 17 min- 
utes. In command of expedition of the Peary Arctic Club. 
1906 — Attained nearest point to the pole at that time, 87 degrees 6 minutes. 
1909 — Reached the goal of his ambition at last. 

Before presenting a narrative of these voyages, some account must be 
given of the youth that went to mold Peary's illustrious maturity. 

Polar exploration was the great passion of Peary's life. That passion 
had its beginning when, as a boy, he read the story of Kane's exploits in the 
far north. Through all vicissitudes of fortune, changes of circumstances, 
alterations in environment, his mind seemed to turn steadily and constantly 
toward the North Pole. At an age when young men of his age were just enter- 
ing upon their Hfe careers, Peary set forth upon his first expedition into the 
land of eternal cold. 

Peary was born in Cressen, Pa., May 6, 1856. As a boy he was big and 
boisterous. After he had finished the work of the schools at Cressen his parents 



sent him to Bowdoiii. He was graduated there at the head of a class of fifty- 
one, being in addition the school's prize essayist. His mother, of notable 
character, exerted a great influence on the development of her son. She went 
to the college town with him and made him a home where his friends were 
always welcome. 

At the end of his college career Peary astonished his friends by going 
out to the little town of Fryeburg in the mountains of Maine, where he became 
a land surveyor. At 23 he got a place in the coast and geodetic survey at 
Washington. Thereafter he spent two years patiently making maps. Then 
suddenly he rented a room arid spent several weeks at mysterious studies. 
When finally he gave up the room he surprised his fellow employes by an- 
nouncing that he intended taking the examination held by the Navy Depart- 
ment for the admission of engineers. When the records of that test were 
compared it was found that out of the forty who took it, Peary was the 
youngest of the four who passed. 

In the very first year of his naval service he was ordered to make a report 
on plans for a new pier for Key West, Fla. Contractors had given up this 
pier as impossible of construction at the figure set by the government. Peary 
reported that the pier not only could be built, but that it could be built for at 
least $25,000 less than the government estimate. 

The Secretary of the Navy ordered Peary to build the pier himself. When 
the pier was finished it was found that he had saved the Navy Department 

In 1885 an incident occurred which started him on his first expedition 

"One evening," he writes, "in an old bookstore of Washington I came 
upon a fugitive paper on the inland ice of Iceland. A chord, which, as a boy, 
had vibrated intensely in me at the reading of Kane's wonderful book, was 
touched again. I read all I could on the subject and felt that 1 must see for 
myself what the truth was of this mysterious interior." 

No record of the life of Commander Robert E. Peary could be complete 
which did not include an account of the loyal part his wife played in it. 

Mrs. Peary is possessed to a marked degree of some of the characteristics 
of her husband. By virtue of native ability, persistence and remarkable cour- 
age she has carved for herself a place in the history of polar exploration un- 
equalled by any woman in the world. 

Mrs. Pea;ry, whose maiden name was Josephine Diebitsch, was born and 


educated in Washington, D, C. As a girl she was fond of outdoor exercise 
and upon reaching womanhood she was possessed' of an uncommonly rugged 
constitution. She was married to Commander, then Lieutenant Peary, in 
1888 and first accompanied him on an expedition into the north in 1891. This 
was when her husband headed the Arctic expedition of the Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia, the trip lasting until September, 1892. She also 
went with the explorer in 1893, when for two years he devoted himself to 
explorations in Greenland. On both occasions Mrs. Peary went with her 
husband as far as the winter quarters in Greenland. 

It was while they were on the last Arctic trip that a baby was born to 
them. This occurred September 12, 1893, on the northwest coast of Green- 
land at Bowdoin Bay, Inglefield Gulf, yy degrees 40 minutes of north latitude. 
The baby was christened Marie Ahnighito Peary, the second name meaning 
"snow baby." The Eskimos gathered from far and near to see the child and 
called it the "snow baby" because of the whiteness of its skin. In using the 
latter appellation they spoke of it as "Ah-Poo-Mik-A-Nin-Ny." 

In addition to Marie, the Pearys have a son, Robert E. Peary, Jr. Mrs. 
Peary is an honorary member of the Philadelphia Geographical Society and 
the American Alpine Club, and honorary vice president of the Alaska Geo- 
graphical Society. Among her writings is a volume entitled "My Arctic 
Journal," written in 1894, and "The Snow Baby," published in 1901. 



**It*s ju5t like every day." 

Capt. Bartlett, navigator of Peary's ship and his faithful companion 
through two Arctic journeys, said the above as he and his chief v^ere toiling 
within a few hundred miles of the pole. The remark gives the keynote to 
Peary's manner of describing a great feat. True to the traditions of the navy, 
as well as to those of the serious explorer, Peary adopted a calm, matter-of-fact 
tone in his narrative. His statements were brief, clear and cold. His various 
accounts of the trip have the lofty serenity, the contempt of sentiment, natural 
to one who has conquered himself as well as the pole. 

Like Cook, Peary stood practically alone amid the desolation of "farthest 
north." Cook had with him two Eskimos who, as described by him, were panio 
stricken and prayed to their deity for deliverance. They were in no sense 
sharers of the emotions of their white master. And so it was with Peary, with 
the difference that his colored personal attendant was there to witness the tri- 
umph. One Eskimo — who was there — Egingwah by name — no doubt looked 
on rather cynically at Peary's deeds. He was a mighty hunter and a great man 
in Greenland, was Egingwah, What cared he for a pole or two? 

Here was a situation never to be duplicated in any branch of human en- 
deavor. Let the reader's imagination picture Peary, wrapped in his seal-skins, 
and with hard determined face peering out from his hood, drawing rein there at 
the coveted finish of the race; stopping in the glittering, lonely plain of ice; 
searching the horizon in vain for some animate thing ; then taking his observa- 
tions and proving he stood under the north star, at latitude 90 ! He, too, like 
Cook, felt as if he were the happiest man alive. He did not know there was an- 
other "happiest man," whose joy was due to the same cause. He supposed his 
eyes to be the first ever to have gazed upon that scene ; yet, a year before a rival 
explorer had set up the glittering instruments that made the Eskimo's eyes grow 
big, and had looked up to the sky in thankfulness to providence. 

That Peary sent back all his white companions and pushed on atone to the 



pole caused a little surprise when first it became known. Yet is was recognized 
as just that the leader and inspirer of it all should have the glory. His were the 
risks ; then why not his the honor ? So, with bitter disappointment perhaps, yet 
with unquestioning obedience to orders, the faithful companions of Peary 
stopped, one by one, within a few days' march of the pole and let him go ahead 
with his one swarthy companion. 

The expedition started in sections, as was Peary's cautious habit. 

Capt. Robert A. Bartlett and George Borup started February 2y from 
Cape Columbia, with a number of Eskimos and dogs, on the march across the 
ice, heading north. On March i Commander Peary left Cape Columbia with 
his party, consisting of seven white men, seventeen Eskimos and 136 dogs. On 
March 4 Peary came up with Bartlett, who had pitched his camp at the side of 
a lead of water which it was impossible to cross. The combined parties had to 
wait until March 11, seven days, before further progress was possible. The 
sun was seen for the first time March 5, and an observation showed that the 
explorers were a short way from the eighty-fourth parallel. The supply of 
alcohol v/as running short, and Borup returned to Cape Columbia for a fresh 

On March 14 Borup overtook Peary again and brought a supply of oil and 
alcohol. The division under Prof. Ross G. Marvin joined Peary the same day. 
At this point Prof. Ronald B. McMillan was sent back, his feet having been 
badly frozen. 

Peary deeply regretted the necessity of sending McMillan back, as this mem- 
ber of the party was young and an athlete, — a valuable man on the trail. His 
departure left a party of sixteen men, with twelve sledges and one hundred 
dogs. These pushed on with all speed, dashing over the ice and making a hand- 
some spectacle as they sped over the white expanse. 

Thus far little really severe weather had been encountered, but there was 
constant peril from the "leads," which kept opening and showing startling 
depths of black water, almost under the runners of the sledges. Once one of 
the men — George Borup, a Yale University man — fell in, with his dog team, 
and emerged half-frozen. Another time a huge lead opened just after the 
whole caravan had p?ssed over. Had it broken under them, some or all of the 
travelers would probably have drowned in the terrible icy water. 

Indeed, tragedy was even then threatening the expedition. Prof. Ross 
Marvin, of Cornell University, was to be the sole victim of the great polar vic- 
tory. His last duty for Peary was performed when he broke the trail as far as 


latitude 86 :34. At that point he turned back, by the Commander's orders. As 
Marvin's sledge sped away, Peary shouted after him, perhaps with an intuition 
of what was to come, the warning, "Look out for the leads !" 

And then, while Peary was making his last successful march, Marvin dis- 
appeared in one of those treacherous patches of water, and was seen no more. 

To return to the dash for the pole : 

Borup had turned back at latitude 85 '.^4. With his departure and that of 
Marvin, together with their Eskimos, the party consisted of Peary, Bartlett, 
Matthew Henson, the colored man who has been Peary's personal assistant on 
so many of his expeditions ; the Eskimos, seven sledges and sixty dogs, and the 
journey northward was resumed. The ice was perfectly level as far as the eye 
could see. Bartlett took the observation on the 88th parallel, leaving Peary, 
[Henson and four Eskimos, with provisions for forty days, to make the final 
dash to the pole. 

And now was to come the final test of Peary's courage ; the supreme hours 
in his life. He had already passed beyond his own northern record, and had 
outstripped all others as well. He stood on the very threshold of success. The 
next few hours were to tell whether the summit of all polar ambition was to 
be his. One must fancy him, on that last pause before the ultimate effort, 
solemnly wondering what was to be the end. 

But the conditions to be faced were too severe to permit of doubt, or even 
of serious thought for the future. The weather had thickened ; heavy snows 
covered the path ahead ; the man and dogs were feeling the strain. Peary found 
himself constantly inspiring the others from his own limitless stores of courage. 

The reduced party started the morning of April 3. The men walked that 
day for ten hours and made twenty miles. They then slept near the 89th paral- 
lel. While crossing a stretch of young ice 300 yards wide the sledge broke 
through. It was saved, but two of the Eskimos had narrow escapes from 

The ice was still good and the dogs were in great shape. They made as 
high as twenty-five miles a day. 

The next observation was made at 89.25. The next two marches were made 
in a dense fog. The sun was sighted on the third march and an observation 
showed 89:57. 

The pole was reached April 6 and a series of observations were taken at 90. 
Peary deposited his records and hoisted the American flag and other banners. 
The temperature was 32 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). The pole appeared 


as a frozen sea. Peary tried to take a sounding, but got no bottom at 1,500 

Peary stayed at the pole for thirty-four hours and then started on his return 
journey the afternoon of April 7. 

The flags hoisted at the pole were : • 

Silk American flag presented to the Commander fifteen years ago, and a 
piece of which he left at his northernmost point on each of his expeditions. 

The naval ensign. 

Flag of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. 

A flag of peace. 
Peary's attendant, Henson, told a story that gives some graphic details of 
the supreme moment when the pole was reached. Said he : . 

"We arrived at the pole just before noon, April 6, the party consisting of 
the commander, myself, four Eskimos, and thirty-six dogs, divided into two 
detachments equal in number and headed respectively by Commander Peary 
and myself. We had left the last supporting party when we separated from 
Capt. Bartlett, who was photographed by the commander. Capt. Bartlett 
regretted that he did not have a British flag to erect on the ice at this spot, so 
that the photograph might show this as the farthest north to which the ban- 
ner of Britian had been advanced. 

"Our first task on reaching the pole was to build two igloos as the weather 
was hazy and prevented taking accurate observations to confirm the distance 
traveled from Cape Columbia. Having completed the snowhouses, we had 
dinner, which included tea made on our alcohol stove, and then retired to 
rest, thus sleeping one night at the North Pole. 

"The Arctic sun was shining when I awoke and found the commander 
already up. There was only wind enough to blow out the small flags. The 
ensigns were hoisted toward noon from tent poles and tied with fish line. 

"We had figured out the distance pretty closely and did not go beyond the 
pole. The flags were up about midday on April 7 and were not moved until 
late that evening. The haze had cleared away early, but we wanted some 
hours to make observations. We made three close together. 

"When we first raised the American flag its position was behind the igloos, 
which, according to our initial observations, was the position of the pole, but 
on taking subsequent observations the stars and stripes were moved and placed 
150 yards west of the first position, the difference in the observations being 
due perhaps to the moving ice. 


"When the flag was placed Commander Peary exclaimed m English: 
'We will plant the stars and stripes at the North Pole.' In the native lan- 
guage I proposed three cheers, which were given in the Eskimos' own tongue, 

"Commander Peary shook hands all around and we had a more liberal 
dinner than usual, each man eating as much as he pleased. The Eskimos 
danced about and showed great pleasure that the pole at last was reached. 
For years the Eskimos had been trying to reach that spot, but it was always 
with them 'Tiqueigh,' which, translated, means, 'get so far and no closer.' 
They exclaimed in a chorus, 'Ting neigh timah ketisher,' meaning, 'We have 
got there at last.' " 

Henson, who reached the farthest north with Peary three years ago, said 
that conditions were about the same at the pole as elsewhere in the Arctic 
circle. All was a solid sea of ice with a two foot lead of open water two 
miles from the pole. The Eskimos who went along on the final lap were 
Ootah, Egingwah, Ouzadeeah and Sigloo, the two first named being brothers. 
Commander Peary took photos of Henson and the Eskimos waving flags and 

"We could see no open land," continued Henson. "The ice near the 
igloos was at least ten feet high and the flags were placed on a hummock twenty 
feet in height. The ice at the pole is about the same as on the journey up, all 
rafted in between with small floes. Nearly all the winds we had were from 
the northeast. Commander Peary had three thermometers, and the coldest 
day was 57 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. I believe there is a little differ- 
ence in the temperature at the pole from that some distance south." 

Henson learned from the Eskimos that for three days in Whale Sound 
in August, 1909, they saw a cloud of smoke and there was an odor like 
brimstone. The natives were greatly frightened, and Henson thought a new 
volcano 'had erupted and so informed them. 

On the return the marches were continuous and Peary and the Eskimos 
suffered greatly from fatigue. They had their first sleep at the end of the 
eighth march from the pole in the igloos left by Bartlett. Here there was a 
violent snowstorm. 

It was April 23 before the exhausted and excitement-fevered travelers saw 
the land again. Then they came to Cape Columbia, The Eskimos were over- 
joyed to see land, for, though faithful to the last in Peary's service, and full of 
confidence in him, they had made up their minds to a terrible fate. When they 


saw land they offered up strange prayers of thankfulness to their gods, and 
then, with their chief, turned in for solid rest. 

All slept the sleep of the dead for the most of two days, occasionally waking 
and giving* the time to drying their clothing. After repairing their ice- 
damaged sledges and giving the long-suffering dogs a thorough rest they 
resumed their journey and reached the ship Roosevelt, April 27. 

How the crew of the Roosevelt cheered when they spied their gallant 
chief coming over the ice-fields with his caravan. One shout, "We got to the 
pole," and all knew that the hope of all was a reality. 

It was not until Peary reached his ship that he learned of Marvin's fate. 
The story of the professor's death was obtained from one of the Eskimos. 
April 10 Marvin was forty-five miles from Cape Columbia. He started out 
that morning walking ahead. The Eskimos were delayed in packing the 
sledges, a fact that permitted Marvin to get a good start on them. When 
the Eskimos arrived at an open lead they noticed that the young ice was 
broken about twenty-five yards out and they saw what looked like a man's 
body floating in the center of the lead. 

Owing to the treacherous condition of the ice the Eskimos could not 
venture out. They returned to the Roosevelt and reported. Captain Bart- 
lett then went back to the point they designated and recovered Prof. Marvin's 
spare boots, clothing and personal belongings, which were still on the ice 
where the Eskimos had left th^m. The superstitions of their race prevented 
the natives from bringing the dead man's effects with them. Prof. Marvin's 
records and observations were saved. 

One of Peary's first acts on reaching civilization vv^as to telegraph to L. C. 
Beamont, of Ithaca, N. Y., who was a member of the Peary relief expedition 
of 1 90 1, as follows: 

"Break news of Marvin's death to his mother immediately before- she sees 
it in the papers. Drowned April 10, forty-five miles north of Cape Columbia 
while returning from 86.39 north latitude. Great loss to me and to the expedi- 
tion. Every member sends deepest sympathy. PEARY." 

Through friends in Elmira, N. Y., where Marvin's aged mother lived the 
message was com^eyed to her. A movement had been started to give Mr. 
Marvin a great welcome on his return from the north and the members of 
the family were planning a celebration on his homecoming. 

Ross Marvin was born Jan. 28, 1880. He graduated from the high school 
in Elmira, won a scholarship to Cornell university and worked his way through 


college, standing high in all his studies in the science course. He applied 
to Peary for a position on the 1906 Peary expedition and proved of such 
great service that the commander sought him out and induced him to go with 
him on the trip that succeeded, 

. Marvin never knew of his success. 

In the course of a four-hour talk in the attic of a fish house, in September, 
before starting for Sydney, N. F., Commander Peary revealed more of the 
details of his dash to the pole, the danger of his task, his methods of avoiding 
disaster and death and his final triumph than he has yet made public. 

On the deck of the Roosevelt as it laid in the narrow head of this barren 
rock-bound harbor he was found by a searching party of newspaper men, to 
whom he gave this greeting : 

"Gentlemen, I have the North Pole aboard. You are welcome to it." 

It was shortly after sunrise. His visitors had just arrived aboard the 
Tyrian, a government cable ship, which had been sent by the Dominion of 
Canada to bring back the famous explorer as its guest. Captain Alexander 
A. Dickson of the Tyrian only a moment before had conveyed to the com- 
mander this felicitous message. 

Peary, gaunt from the rigors of the Arctic, his broad shoulders towering 
above all who surrounded him, was visibly impressed by the scene. Turning 
to Captain Dickson he grasped his hand hard and drawing the lips of his stern 
face still more tensely, he said : 

"You flatter me, indeed. I appreciate your invitation, but I must stick 
to my good ship. I must go back home on its deck. It has been a good friend, 
which I would not think it right to leave. Without it I should never have 
been able to have searched for the pole." 

The spectacle will become history. Here was a man who said he had re- 
turned from the frozen wilderness of the North as the only discoverer of the 
northern spindle of the earth. The struggles of twenty-three years in quest 
of this goal had plainly stamped their marks upon his features. They had 
obliterated, as far as the eye could see, all the softness and gentleness of human 
nature. Whenever a smile floated over his face it left it still more tense. At 
the end of almost every hour he would clinch his teeth and draw his lips taut. 

His costume well befitted the occasion. His legs were encased in a huge 
pair of rubber boots w'hich reached to his hips. His trousers were of the 
toughest weave of blue jeans. A loose-fitting blue flannel shirt did not hide 
his powerful chest, which had the width of a professional athlete. An old gray 


overcoat fluttered from his shoulders, and his matted sandy hair was sur- 
mounted by an ancient, battered black felt hat. 

With an energy most characteristic he shook hands with the whole group 
around him. 

"I'll get your name later," he said. Then some one asked : "Commander, 
we want to know all about that pole of yours." 

With a quick sweep of the eyes Peary pointed to the greasy deck. The 
blubber of seventy walruses, which had been slaughtered and brought aboard 
the Roosevelt, there to be sliced into halves and quarters for distribution among 
his faithful Eskimo followers, had left the ship slimy and noisome. 

Although the vessel had been lying in Battle Harbor for more than a 
week for the purpose of being cleaned and overhauled, little work seemed 
to have been done. On every side, and even hanging over him from the 
shrouds, were trophies of Arctic hunts, skins of bears, seals, foxes, wolves, 
antlers and horns of musk oxen, deer, walruses and other creatures most 
strange to a Southern eye, all drying in the sun. 

"This is no place for an interview, gentlemen," said the commander. "I 
think it would be much more convenient if we were to adjourn to the attic of 
that fish house yonder. It is a rough place and you will have to associate with 
nets, fish barrels and salt boxes ; but I think we will be comfortable. And in 
order that you shall not be disappointed when we get to the inquisition chamber 
over there, I will state now that I shall answer only those questions which at 
this time I regard appropriate." 

This precautionary remark was generally interpreted as meaning that Peary 
was not going to discuss Dr. Cook's prior claim of the discovery of the North 
Pole any more than he could help. 

With an abrupt bow, Peary suddenly retired to his little cabin, which 
opens upon the rear deck. It looked to be a very cozy place, where, despite 
the assault of Arctic climes, one might think he was in some genial Southern 
latitude. The walls were covered v/ith books, scientific and historical, with 
here and there such a book of fiction as the "Last Days of Pompeii." Here 
also were to be seen the choicest prizes of Arctic exploration — queer birds, 
fantastic teeth and bones and bits of strange-looking rock. 

When Peary had retired the chief object of attention was Henson, who 
helped him "nail the Stars and Stripes" to the pole. When first asked about 
his trip to the top of the earth Henson shrugged his soulders with the reply : 

"I just got there, that's all." 


Captain Robert A. Bartlett, who not only guided the Roosevelt into the 
farthermost waters of the North at Cape Sheridan, but also accompanied 
Peary farther than any other white man in his party, was likewise silent when 
first approached. 

"I'd rather go to the pole," said he, "than have to answer questions 
about it." 

Promptly at the appointed hour Commander Peary swung over the side of 
the low-decked Roosevelt into a fisherman's boat. It took only a few strokes 
to bring him to land. Thither Captain Dickson of the Tyrian and some 
of his fellow officers had already gone. 

With rapid strides the pole hunter climbed up the narrow stairway of 
the fish-house. Then followed a small army of newspaper men. 

With a single bound Peary leaped upon a heap of fish nets. There he took 
his seat and looked down almost defiantly upon his inquisitors. Everybody was 
so impressed by the occasion that no one broke the silence for several moments. 
Here in this obscure Labrador village a court was about to be held, at which 
all the world was listening. But almost at the very beginning the stern- faced 
witness rebelled. The questioning almost immediately began to irritate him. 

He was asked, not about himself, but about Dr. Frederick Cook, his rival, 
who says he reached the earth's topmost gable a year before Peary. 

At first, however, Peary tried to conceal his resentment. It was evident 
that he ached to overwhelm Cook's claim with a flood of argument but that 
he had firmly resolved to contain himself. 

However, Commander Peary was the first to break the silence. 

"Well, gentlemen, begin," he said. 

"Did you find any signs of Cook?" was the first question. 

"None whatever," answered Peary emphatically. "Yet it would be possible 
for an explorer to have gone to the pole by some other route a year previously 
and left a track which I would not have crossed. Such a thing is possible, 
but not probable." 

"Could a man stay on the mainland and fake observations of a polar trip 
that might fool some scientists?" asked a New York man dressed in a straw 
hat and Eskimo vest. 

"The thing could be done," replied the pole finder; "not only I, but also 
Sir George Nares and Admiral Melville believe it possible." 

"But do you think that Cook really got to the pole ?" insisted the strangely 
garbed questioner. 


"All I shall say concerning Mr, Cook," said Mr. Peary, with some show 
of irritation, "is contained in two telegrams." The telegrams were as follows : 

"Cook was not at the North Pole on April 21, 1908, or at any other time. 
This statement is made advisedly." 

Following an abrupt pause, a gentle youth on a box of salt at the further 
end of the loft put this question : 

"How cold was it at the pole?" 

Instantly the tense face of the explorer relaxed. 

"Not so cold as you sometimes get it in the Adirondacks," he answered. 
"The maximum temperature was 1 1 below and the minimum 32 degrees below, 
Fahrenheit. My last preliminary observations before reaching the pole were 
at 89.57 with a sextant and artificial horizon. Of my observations at the 
pole I shall say more later." 

When a remark was made concerning the rapidity of his return march 
he replied : 

"Our speed was not unusual when you consider the favorable weather with 
which we were blessed. We were not vexed with cross winds. Instead of 
blowing east or west and filling up the trail, so as to impede the retreat they 
came almost continually from the north. They packed the ice still harder 
against the land on the southern shores of the Polar Sea and held it firm. We 
were not carried away from our course by the eastward drift as on previous 

"Our new type of sledges also helped greatly. One which reached the pole 
was named the Morris K. Jesup. They cut down the strain on the dogs one- 
third and on the men nearly one-half. Without them I should never have 
reached the pole." 

"Do you ride on the sledges ?" asked somebody. 

"Ride?" inquired the bronze- faced Peary, astonished. "Sir, in Arctic 
expeditions a man is lucky if he is able to walk without pushing his sledge. 
Usually he may grip the rear and thrust it ahead. It is like guiding a breaking 
plow drawn by oxen. You must also expect at any moment that the sledge may 
strike some pressure ridge tliat will wrench you off your feet. 

"My return trip was twice as rapid as the advance, for the further reason 
that our equipment grew lighter and lighter. In going north we had used up 
two-thirds of the rations. The cracking of the ice and the formation of open 
leads or lanes of water were not as formidable as on previous expeditions. 
This good luck was also the result of favorable winds." 

Who nailed the stars and stripes to the North Pole April 6, 1909. 
On April 26, 1906, on his third Polar attempt, Peary reached 
latitude 87 degrees 6 minutes, or within 200 miles of the North 

Dr. Cook, who reported xrom i/erwicK, ou oeptemuer z, tntti ne had reached the North 
Pole (on April 21, 1908), reached Copenhagen in the Greenland Govern- 
ment Steamer Hans Egede, on Saturday morning, and was met 
by a vast erowd, headed by the Orown Prince of 
Denmark. This picture shows him bareheaded. 


Mention, was made of the fate of the Roosevelt and its commander said : 

"What will become of the Roosevelt, now that its original mission has been 
performed, will be decided by the Peary Arctic Club, to which it belongs. I can 
only make suggestions. The ship might be used as a government revenue cutter 
in Behring Sea or as a government ice breaker on the New England coast." 

"Might it not be used as a floating memorial?" asked some one. 

"Italy has thus memoralized the Stella Polar and Norway the Fram," was 
the non-committal reply. "Nansen first used the Fram, later Sverdrup and 
Amundsen now thinks of fitting her out for another expedition. Then again 
the Roosevelt might go in quest of the South Pole. No, I shall never try to 
find the South Pole, or take part personally in other expeditions although I will 
gladly help such work in other ways." 

Then the question was asked which one hears from the mouths of pessimists 
of the "What's the use" variety. 

"What real good will result from finding the pole ?" 

"The greatest benefit to science," replied the commander, "will come from 
my soundings of the Arctic Ocean, which now define the course of its bottom 
from Cape Columbia to the pole. They therefore supplement the findings of 
Nansen and Admiral Cagni on the other side. Then there are two big things 
effected by the attainment of the pole which do not lie in the scientific field. 
One is man's final conquest of the earth, for every inch of unattainable land is 
a reproach to civilization. 

"The other practical result from the discovery of the North Pole will be the 
opening up of that region to the people of lower latitudes. Within five or at 
least ten years summer travel to the habitat of the Eskimos will be as common 
as it now is to the Labrador shore." 



The battle of brawn was destined to be followed by a battle of brains. 

Such an achievement as the pole discovery is always likely to bring a host 
of unpleasant developments in its wake; and it is sometimes followed by a 
quarrel. Damage suits and fights with deadly weapons have attended the 
great discoveries of riches. The heroism of American sailors in the war 
with Spain had, unfortunately to be followed by the Sampson-Schley contro- 
versy. And in the case of the North Pole discovery a quarrel was even more 
inevitable than in similar circumstances in the past. It was not in human 
nature that two men should stand at once on the pinnacle of fame. 

This chapter does not aim to plead the cause of either Cook or Peary. It 
is included simply because the controversy, and the developments thereof, 
are vital parts of the history of the great polar discovery. 

The trouble started promptly on the arrival of Peary at Indian Harbor, 
Labrador, the first port he touched on his return journey. One may readily 
understand the bitter, the almost unbearable disappointment of Commander 
Peary when there was brought to him, as almost the first news from his native 
land, the announcement that Cook had outstripped him by a year. It meant 
that he had fulfilled an ambition that had inspired him from boyhood, only to 
find himself outdistanced in the final stretch. Under this torturing sensation 
Peary rushed two telegrams to America before he had seen or talked with a 
relative or an adviser. The first telegram was to his wife, the other to the 
Associated Press. Said the former message : 

"Delayed by gale. Don't worry about Cook. Eskimos say Cook never 
left sight of land. Tribe confirms. BERT." 

The dispatch to the Associated Press read : 

"Indian Harbor, Labrador (By Wireless Via Cape Ray, N. F.), Sept. 7. 
■ — To Associated Press, New York: I have nailed the stars and stripes to 
the North Pole. This is authoritative and correct. 

"Cook's story should not be taken too seriously. The two Eskimos who 



accompanied him say he went no distance north, and not out of sight of land. 
Other members of the tribe corroborate their story. ROBERT E. PEARY." 

Later he sent the following to New York : 

"Do not trouble about Cook's story or attempt to explain any discrepancies 
in his statements. The affair will settle itself. 

"He has not been at the pole on April 21, 1908, or at any other time. He 
has simply handed the public a gold brick. 

"These statements are made advisedly, and I have proof of them. When 
he makes a full statement of his journey over his signature to some geo- 
graphical society or other reputable body, if that statement contains the claim 
that he has reached the pole, I shall be in a position to furnish material that 
may prove distinctly interesting reading for the public. 


It was like a bombshell — this unequivocal charge that Cook had falsified. 
But the least excited man in the world was Dr. Cook, the physician, who at 
that moment was being cheered in Denmark as the conquerer of the Arctic. 

Dr. Cook was at a banquet In his honor in Copenhagen when Commander 
Peary's dispatch to The Associated Press was read to him. Dr. Cook lost 
little time in sending to New York a number of cablegrams, in all of which 
he expressed his gratification that Peary had also reached the pole and an- 
nounced his belief that Peary's observations would amply verify his own claim 
that he had been to the furthermost point of the compass. Dr. Cook was 
particularly joyous that, with Commander Peary's success, which he did not in 
the least doubt, all the honor for the achievement was surely American. In 
one cablegram to New York Dr. Cook declared that the science of explora- 
tion would benefit immeasurably through the fact that Peary reached the pole 
by a route different from his, thus covering another large unknown space and, 
with the Cook observations, clearing a mystery which had perplexed geo- 
graphers for many centuries. 

To a newspaper correspondent Dr. Cook said: "By going much farther 
to the east than I did Commander Peary has cut out of the unknown an enor- 
mous space which, of course, will be vastly useful and scientifically interesting." 

Then he added, with evident sincerity: "I am the first to shout 'Hurrah 
for Peary!' Since he has telegraphed an announcement that he has reached 
the pole then it is true, and I congratulate him." 

Asked whether Commander Peary was likely to have found traces of his 


progress over the polar seas, Dr. Cook replied : "No he scarcely would have 
come across my tracks." 

Dr. Cook then said: "I understand that a rumor is current about my 
having taken some of Peary's provisions at Etah ; this is founded on Eskimo 
gossip and misunderstanding. I desire no controversy. I simply say in reply 
to any such assertion, *No.' Commander Peary is a friend of mine." 

Cook's hearty congratulations did not check Peary's charges. On Sep- 
tember 14 he was interviewed under picturesque circumstances on the deck of 
the Roosevelt off Battle Harbor, Labrador. On this occasion he said : "I am 
the only white man who has ever reached the North Pole and I am prepared 
to prove it." 

The Associated Press tug Douglas Thomas, after a stormy passage up 
the west coast of Newfoundland and through the Strait of Belle Isle from 
Sydney, arrived at the lonely whaling and mission settlement at noon Septem- 
ber 14. A squall of rain was sweeping over the harbor as the Thomas steamed 
in, but with glasses it was possible to make out the mast and hull of the Arctic 
steamer Roosevelt moored in the inner bay. The Thomas broke out the 
"North Pole" flag, the s-ame emblem that was flying from the mizzenmast of 
the Rodsevelt, and signaled "The Associated Press congratulates you." 

The Roosevelt then signaled the thanks of Commander Peary for this 
message, whereupon the Thomas gave three loud blasts of her whistle. In 
response there came from the Roosevelt a chorus of barking and yelping from 
the Eskimo dogs on board, that echoed back from the surrounding hills. 

The Thomas drew near to the Roosevelt. The steamer looked little the 
worse for her second trip to the polar regions. Along the rail were gathered 
"the members of her famous crew, among them the redoubtable Capt. Robert 
Bartlett, who was at once recognized. 

Capt. Bartlett invited the Thomas to tie alongside and the correspondent 
to come on board without delay. The correspondent clambered over the 
weather-beaten bulwarks and proceeded direct to the cabin to meet the man 
who has stood upon the apex of the world. 

Peary said : "I have already stated publicly that Cook has not been to the 
pole. This I reaffirm, and I will stand by it, but I decline to discuss the details 
of the matter. These will come out later. 

"I have said that Dr. Cook's statement that he reached the pole should not 
be taken seriously, and that I 'have him nailed' by concrete proofs to support 
my statement." 


More and more bitterly raged the controversy, until the two explorers 
stood in the position of calling each other thieves as well as liars. Each 
charged the other with making use of supplies intended for the use of one 
man only. This arose from the fact that both made Etah, Greenland, a base 
of operations; and their tracks crossed a number of times. One assertion 
made by Cook's friends was that Peary opened Cook's letters; but this was 
indignantly denied by Peary and not proven by Cook. 

One interesting story grew out of the matter of supplies. In this connec- 
tion a Danish physician wrote a letter which made sensational reading for 
those watching the argument. This letter said : 

"Now that Dr. Cook has gone (from Greenland), I am no longer under 
any obligation to keep silent, and will exercise my right to publish the story 
about the house in Annatok, a story which Dr. Cook himself had too much 
delicacy to relate to the world. I write it according to my memory, in the 
same 'manner that Cook in Egedesminde told it to me, and I am fully con- 
vinced that in no details are my recollections wrong. 

"Dr. Cook had built his house for stores in Annatok, north of Etah, and it 
was this depot which he started to reach in February, 1909, crossing Smith 
Sound. It was a pretty large house, the walls being built of heavily filled 
provision boxes, so that Dr. Cook knew when this important point was reached 
everything was safe. He had, before the start, arranged with a wealthy 
young friend named Harry Whitney that he have the right to use the house 
while hunting musk oxen for sport in the winter of i9o8-'o9. 

"When Dr. Cook and his two Eskimos, exhausted and half Starved, came 
within a shot's distance of the house in Annatok young Whitney came out to 
bid him welcome, but inside the house was a stranger, a giant Newfoundland 
boatswain, on watch. This man had been placed in Dr. Cook's house by Peary 
when the latter passed Etah with his ship bound north. 

"Peary had given the boatswain a written order, which commenced with 
the following words: 'This house belongs to Dr. Frederick A. Cook, but 
Dr. Cook is long ago dead and there is no use to search after him. Therefore 
I, Commander Robert E. Peary, install my boatswain in this deserted house.' 

"This paper the boatswain, who could neither read nor write, exhibited to 
Dr. Cook and the latter took a copy of this wonderful document. 

"Dr. Cook gave me a lively account of how the young millionaire, Mr. 
Whitney, during the whole winter was treated like a dog by the giant boat- 


swain, and how he had calmly witnessed the sailor bartering Dr. Cook's pro- 
visions for fox and bear skins for himself. 

"Dr. Cook also had to put a good face on the unpleasant situation. He 
had to beg to get into his own house, and had to make a compromise with the 
boatswain with strong fists. 

"Dr. Cook made a present of the house with all its contents to his two 
faithful Eskimos, with the provision that Whitney was to have the use of the 
house as long as his hunting trip lasted, but he was compelled to Jet the New- 
foundland boatswain continue his watch. The boatswain, however, received 
strict orders not to exchange any more of the provisions or guns." 

The other side of this argument was presented by Herbert L. Bridgman, 
who said : 

"A false light has been put on the account of taking Dr. Cook's stores. I 
have received documents from Commander Peary which prove that his taking 
those abandoned stores was right. 

"Rudolph Francke of the Cook expedition came down, Peary took care of 
him. Peary found at various stations letters from Francke, the most imploring 
letters filled with wild appeals for aid. 

"Commander Peary took Francke with him to his doctor at Etah. The 
doctor himself has written me to that effect. He found Francke suffering from 
scurvy. He had him cared for. 

"Then Peary pushed along to the points where he found Cook's stores that 
he established the year before. He guarded these from bears and gave aid to 
members of the party. He even offered to send scouts to endeavor to locate 
Dr. Cook. Nothing more could have been done by mortal man than Peary did. 

"When he found abandoned stores he took them. As an officer of the 
United States navy he had a right to these. It is quite the common practice 
among explorers to take all abandoned stores. By his action Peary simply 
followed custom. All his letters, written long before this controversy arose, 
prove conclusively that Peary was guilty of no offense against Dr. Cook." 

Still another, from the Peary camp, was that the instruments Dr. Cook 
had with him were borrowed from Commander Peary for another purpose. 
This man, who has been among the leaders of those who have insisted that 
Dr. Cook must submit incontrovertible proof, declares the Brooklyn physician 
borrowed the astronomical instruments for the purpose of making observations 
"while on a fishing and hunting trip along the Labrador coast." 

Members of the Peary club also declared the Eskimos used by Dr. Cook 


belonged to Commander Peary and that he had no permission to seek their 

Cool<;'s statement on this point was this : 

"I will not enter into any controversy over the subject with Commander 
Peary further than to say that if he says I have taken his Eskimos my reply 
is that Eskimos are nomads. They are owned by nobody, and are not the 
private property of either Commander Peary or myself. The Eskimos engaged 
by me were paid ten times what they demanded to accompany me. 

"As to the story that Commander Peary says I took provisions stored by 
him, my reply is that Peary took my provisions, obtaining them from the 
custodian on the plea that I had been so long absent that he was to organize 
relief stations for me in case I should be alive. Of this I have documentary 

The above gives a fair idea of the counter-charges brought by the rival 
explorers and their friends. The more vital accusations, affecting the veracity 
of the two men, remained to be settled before a "jury of their peers," — the 
men of science, doubters by profession, who were to determine what the world 
gained in knowledge by the two dashes northward. Of this no account can 
be given here. The controversy was evidently one of those never to be settled 
by a verdict even of so formidable a jury as that described. The true verdict 
will be that of posterity. And it is not very venturesome to suggest that the 
plain citizen of years to come will accord equal honor to the men who risked 
all that they might stand on the earth's axis. 

Admiral Schley, made just by the fury of his experience in the Sampson 
matter, said when he heard of Peary's triumph : 

"I am as fully delighted with the news that Commander Peary has been 
successful as I was when word was received from Dr. Cook. He will share the 
great honors for although Dr. Cook was the first to be successful in the quest, 
Peary comes in for equal honors as his feat is no less wonderful than that of 
the doctor. 

"There is no question in my mind as to the veracity of Peary's state- 
ment as I know him to be a man of the highest integrity and he probably has 
ample records and proofs to back up his contentions that he has reached the 
point of highest latitude. The announcement that he has succeeded will do 
much to dispel the skepticism manifest in certain quarters as to the ability of 
any human being to penetrate to the pole. 

"This country has much to be proud of because of the fact that two of 


its representatives have brought such a great honor home. It is a wonderful 
triumph for American determination, grit, and physical endurance and skill. 

"It would be just as impossible for Peary to forge records and data as it 
would for Dr. Cook. There should be no skepticism because the men report 
their success with such a short interval between. Each was determined to do 
or die in the last expedition and Peary deserves as much credit for succeeding 
as does Cook. 

"All hail to the gallant commander, again I say. I rejoice over his success 
and that it is to the credit of this nation that two of our intrepid explorers 
have been the only ones to reach the long sought for goal." 


The question whether Cook or Peary discovered the North Pole may never 
be settled. It bids fair to become one of history's conundrums and to remain 
a matter of one man's word against another's. 

Peary has now told the detailed story of his dash to the pole. In read- 
ing it one can not escape the surprising fact that it tends to corroborate 
Cook's narrative in several particulars. 

The Arctic sharps and wiseacres doubted Cook when he said he covered 
fifteen miles a day. They doubted him when he spoke of "purple snows" 
and "milling ice." They doubted him because he took no soundings of the 
sub-polar sea. They doubted him because he said he had pressed toward 
the pole in winter. They doubted him because there was no white man with 
him — only two Eskimos who knew nothing of latitude and longtitude. They 
doubted him because he brought out only the records of his own observations 
and reckonings to prove his word. 

So much for Cook. Now what of Peary ? 

Peary was the only white man of his party to reach the pole. He was 
accompanied by four Eskimos and Matt Henson, his negro body servant. He 
alone made observations and reckonings at the pole. None of the men with 
him knew anything about determining latitude or longtitude. They could not 
have known they had reached the pole unless Peary had told them. Like 
Cook, Peary brought back practically his own word alone to support his 
claim that he had attained the earth's apex. 

When we come to rate travel, Cook's fifteen miles a day seems modest in 
comparison with the distance Peary covered. When near the eighty-eighth 
parallel Peary decided to attempt to reach the pole in five days' marches. 



From the Philadelphia Record 

According to his story, he made twenty-five miles on the first day, twenty on 
the second, twenty on the third, twenty-five on the fourth and forty — yes 
forty! — on the fifth. On these last five days he traveled at an average rate 
of twenty-six miles a day. 

And on the return trip from the pole to Cape Columbia he made even 
better time. He tried, he says, on his return trip to make double the distance 


he covered on his dash to the pole. "As a matter of fact," he declares, "we 
nearly did this, covering regularly on our return journey five outward marches 
in three return marches." 

It is easy to figure out the average rate of speed he made on his return 
trip. He started back from the pole, he says, on April 7 and reached Cape 
Columbia on April 23, covering the 450 miles in sixteen days. This is a 
daily rate of 28.12 miles a day. 

Will the Arctic experts who declared it impossible for Cook to make fifteen 
miles a day charge Peary with falsehood when he says he made forty ? 

In the matter of soundings what did Peary do ? Five miles from the pole, 
he says, he made a hole in some new ice and took soundings. All his wire, 
1,500 fathoms, he says, was sent down without finding bottom. In pulling 
it up the wire parted and lead and wire were lost. Peary threw the rest of 
his sounding apparatus away. 

We learn from Peary's story that he started for the pole earlier in the 
season than Cook. He started in February, Cook in March. He reached 
the pole fifteen days earlier in the season — Cook fixes the date as April 21 and 
Peary as April 6. This would seem to dispel all doubt about Cook's ability 
to travel in what is winter weather in the Arctic. 

Cook's references to "milling ice" and "purple snows" would seem unim- 
portant, except that the doubting Thomases have seized upon it. Peary says 
that as he approached the pole he found the ice in motion that was both visible 
and audible. And, though he says nothing of "purple snows," he describes 
the surface of the old floes as being "dotted with the sapphire ice of the previ- 
ous summer's lakes." 

So if we doubt Cook, why should we not doubt Peary? And if we 
believe Peary, why should we not believe Cook? Peary's is the unemotional, 
detailed, matter-of-fact story of a scientist. Cook's is the breathless and 
exultant tale of a triumphant adventurer. 

If both Peary and Cook reached the pole — and there is, on the face of 
things, no more reason to doubt one than to doubt the other — their expedi- 
tions must remain distinct in purpose and character. The one was a scientific 
achievement, the ether a heroic adventure. 


The determination to probe the mysteries of the far north which throbbed 
in Peary's blood found full vent when, in 1891, he set out on a journey which 
was to comprehend an overland journey to the north coast of Greenland. 
Owing to the disasters that had overtaken several government expeditions, 
Peary was unable to secure support for his scheme from the navy department. 
This support, however, he secured from the Philadelphia Academy of Nat- 
ural Sciences. He had already gained experience by a short journey in 1886. 

The trip of 1891 was momentous in several respects; and in one way it 
was unique : a woman was in the party. This was Mrs. Peary, the same 
woman who cried out her delight eighteen years later over her husband's at- 
tainment of his life ambition. 

The accounts of the journey which follow are taken from G. Firth Scott's 
book, "From Franklin to Nansen." Describing the start of the expedition, 
the writer says : 

"The party left New York on June 6, 1891, on board the steamer Kite, 
for Whale Sound, on the northwest coast of Greenland. The voyage was 
satisfactory in every way until June 24, when an unfortunate accident befell 
the leader. 

"The Kite had encountered some ice which was heavy enough to check 
her progress, and, to get through it, the captain had to ram his ship. This 
necessitated a constant change from going ahead to going astern, and, as there 
was a good deal of loose ice floating about, the rudder frequently came into 
collision with it when the vessel was backing. Lieutenant Peary, who was on 
deck during one of these maneuvers, went over to the wheelhouse to see 
how the rudder was bearing the strain. As he stood behind the wheelhouse, 
the rudder struck a heavy piece of ice and was forcibly jerked over, the tiller, 
as it swung, catching Lieutenant Peary by the leg and pinning him against the 
wall of the house. There was no escape from the position, and the pressure 
of the tiller gradually increased until the bone of the leg snapped. 



"The doctor, who formed one of the party, immediately set the Hmb; 
but the sufferer refused to return home, and when, a few days later, the 
Kite reached McCormick Bay (near latitude 78 degrees) he was carried 
ashore strapped to a plank. 

"The material for a comfortably-sized house was part of the outfit of 
the expedition, and this was in course of erection the day that Lieutenant 
Peary was landed. For the accommodation of himself and wife, a tent was 
put up behind the half-completed house, and, as a high wind arose, the re- 
mainder of the party returned on board the Kite. 

"As the hours passed away the wind became stronger. The tent swayed 
to and fro, and Mrs. Peary, as she sat beside her invalid and sleeping husband, 
realized what it was to be lonely and helpless. She and her husband were the 
only people on shore for miles ; her husband was unable to move, and she was 
without even a revolver with which to defend herself. What, she asked 
herself, would be the result if a bear came into the tent ? She cpuld not make 
the people on board the Kite hear, and she was without a weapon. Through- 
out the stay in the North, Mrs. Peary proved herself not only to be a woman 
of strong nerve and self-reliance, but also an excellent shot with either gun, 
rifle or revolver. It was, however, as much as she could stand when her 
anxious ears caught the sound of heavy breathing outside the tent. 

"For a time she sat still, fearing to disturb her husband, until the con- 
tinuance of the sound compelled her to look out. A school of white whales 
were playing close inshore, and it was the noise of their blowing, softened 
by the wind, which had so disturbed her. But so self-possessed was she over 
it that her husband did not know till long afterwards the anxiety she had 
experienced during the first night she spent on the Greenland shore. 

"The following day rapid progress was made with the house, and some 
of the party stayed on shore for the night, so that there was always someone 
within call of the invalid's tent until the house was completed and he was 
removed into it. By that time the Kite had started home again, and the 
little party of seven were left to make all their arrangements for the winter. 

"They had determined to rely entirely upon their own exertions for the 
supply of meat for the winter and also to obtain their fur clothing on the 
spot, killing the animals necessary for the material and engaging some of the 
local Eskimo to make up the suits. Deer would give both meat and fur, and 
as there was every prospect of the neighborhood affording them in plenty, as 


soon as the house was up and the stores packed, the majority started away 
in search of game. 

"The spot where they were landed, and where they had erected their camp, 
was on a verdure-covered slope lying between the sea and the high range of bluff 
hills which towered about i,ooo feet over them. In the spring the ground was 
covered with grass and flowers; the bay in front was full of seal, walrus, 
whales and other marine inhabitants, and along the hills behind experience 
showed that game was present in abundance. The Etah Eskimo, the most 
northerly people in existence, lived their quaint, out-of-the-world lives along 
the shore of the bay and neighboring inlets, and, as soon as the camp was 
settled, they were kept busily employed in the making of fur garments, proving 
themselves docile and peaceful. It was often difficult for the members of the 
expedition to realize that the site of their camp, with the abundance of food 
to be had, was only from fifty to eighty miles from the spots where the cast- 
aways of the Polaris suffered so acutely and the members of the Greely expe- 
dition slowly starved, many of them to death. For more than a year the little 
party of seven lived in good health, without a suggestion of scurvy making 
its appearance and with only one fatality, which, moreover, was accidental." 
The Pearys gave much time on this expedition to study of the life of the 
Eskimos, whose traits will be considered later on in this volume. Some of the 
interesting things they learned were as follows : 

"Mrs. Peary, as the first white woman the Eskimos had ever seen, was a 
particular object of attention. As their custom is for men and women to dress 
very much alike, they could not quite understand Mrs. Peary's costume, and 
when the first arrivals saw her and Lieutenant Peary together, they looked from 
one to the other, and ultimately had to ask which of the two was the white 

"The tribe did not number two hundred in all; they held no communica- 
tion with the Eskimo farther south, and, except for the occasional visit of a 
sealer or a whaler, knew nothing of the outer world. None had ever seen 
a tree growing, nor had they ever penetrated over the ridge of land which lay 
back from the coast, and over which glimpses were caught of the great ice-cap. 
The latter, they said, was where the Eskimo went when they died, and if 
any man attempted to go so far the spirits would get hold of him and keep 
him there. They consequently warned Lieutenant Peary against venturing. 
There was no seal up there; no bear; no deer; only ice and snow and spirits, 
so what reason had a man for going ? 


"Their belongings were extremely simple. A kayak, a sledge, one or two 
dogs, a tent made of walrus hide or sealskin, some weapons, and a stone lamp, 
comprised, with the clothes they wore, their property. Wood was the most 
valuable article they knew, because they could use it for so many purposes, and 
had so little of it. The possession of knives and needles was greatly desired, 
but scissors did not appeal to them, since what they could not cut with a knife 
they could bite with their close even teeth. Money had neither a suggestion 
nor a use with them ; trade, if carried out at all, being merely the bartering of 
one article for another. 

"The animals they liked best were dogs and seals; the former being their 
beast of burden and constant companion, the latter the provider of food, 
raiment, covering and light. Every seal killed belonged to the man who 
killed it, but the rules of the tribe required that all larger animals should be 
shared among the members in the neighborhood ; the skin of a bear, however, 
remaining in the possession of the man who secured it. But so unsophisticated 
and easy-going are the contented little people that individual property scarcely 
exists with them; every one is ready and willing to share what he has with 
another if need be. The articles borrowed, however, are always returned, or 
made good if broken or lost. No one can either read or write; the boys are 
taught how to hunt, how to manage the kayak and sledge, and how to make 
and use the weapons of the chase, while the girls are taught tiow to sew the 
fur garments, and keep the stone lamp burning with blubber and moss, so 
as to prepare the drinking water and the frizzled seal flesh they eat. For 
the rest, their chief desire is to live as happily as they can, and this, according 
to those who have been amongst them, they manage to do merrily and well. 

"During the visits paid to the different encampments by Lieutenant Peary 
and his wife, about a score of dogs were obtained, a number which would be 
sufficient to carry out the work of the ensuing spring. They were usually 
obtained in exchange for needles and knives, but the purpose for which they 
were needed always formed a subject of wonder to the unambitious 'huskies.' " 

The winter in Greenland passed without extraordinary incident. By the 
middle of April preparations were made for pushing on to a point where 
further knowledge could be gleaned. It was Lieutenant Peary's plan to 
journey with one sledge — which was followed by a supporting party — into 
the unknown interior of Greenland, and over a great ice-cap that makes the 
center of the country a huge mountain. The start was made April 30. Each 
sledge had a team of ten dogs and was laden with food and scientific instru- 


ments. Mrs. Peary, of course, remained in her temporary home. Says 
Mr. Scott in describing this trip : 

"The two parties kept together until the costal range was surmounted, and 
the beginning of the ice-cap was reached. Here fhe sledge which was to do 
the great journey was laden with a full load, and the two explorers started 
forward, Lieutenant Peary leading the way with a staff to which was at- 
tached a silk banner — tne Stars and Stripes — worked by Mrs. Peary, 

"The first of the ice-cap was a stretch of some fifteen miles of ice, formed 
into enormous dome-shaped masses. They toiled up one side but traveled 
easily down the other, and so on, up and down, until they had attained an 
altitude of nearly 9,000 feet above the sea level, when they found that they 
were on a vast expanse of snow. The white unbroken surface stretched away 
as far as the eye could reach, unbroken by a ridge or rise, everywhere flat, 
white and immense. This was the great ice-cap, the frozen covering of the 
interior of Greenland, the unknown region where no man had yet set foot. 

"But it was a mistake to term it an ice-cap. They found it to be rather 
a desert, a Sahara with dry drifting snow instead of the dry burning sand. 
And, like Sahara, it had its days of storm, when the snow whirled in clouds 
just as the sand rises before the scorching blast of the simoom. Very won- 
derful was the first experience of this Greenland dust-storm. The sky over- 
head was filled with dull grey clouds, heavy and opaque, and the gloom spread 
all around, so that whichever way one looked there was the same impenetrable 
veil of grey gloomy haze. The snow lost its dazzling whiteness and took in- 
stead the tint of the gloom of the surrounding atmosphere. Then the wind 
came, at first in fitful gusts but later growing into a steady blow, the opening 
squalls lifting the dry surface snow and whirling it up in the air. The steady 
breeze caught it and carried it along in a constantly moving stream some two 
feet deep, and it was then that the effect of the storm was most pronounced. 
The drifting particles of snow made a curious rustling noise as they moved 
and as they whirled around the travelers' legs the feet were hidden beneath 
the dense moving veil. As a result, it was as though one were walking on 
nothing and going nowhere, for the grey gloom all around made one un- 
conscious of either direction or space, and the moving snow prevented one 
seeing the feet or realizing that there was anything solid under them. 

"The steady hum of the drifting snow, together with its movement, made 
the brain dizzy, and the two explorers generally found it necessary to form a 
camp when such a storm came on, the snow soon piling up against their shelter 


tent and effectually protecting them from the wind. Then, when the breeze 
had died away and the snow ceased moving, they were able to dig out their 
sledge and proceed. 

"A distinct contrast to these stormy days was given by the period of clear 
sunshine. Then the sky, innocent of a cloud, was a wonderful blue vault over- 
head, while the snow-covered plateau stretched away on all sides until it was 
lost in the distance of the horizon. The wonderfully clear air enabled the ex- 
plorers to see a great distance ahead. At the end of the second day's march 
after reaching this great snow desert, they" found that the surface was gradu- 
ally sloping north and south. They were on the dividing ridge and, as they 
passed over onto the downward slope, their progress was naturally at a more 
rapid rate. A storm, such as has been described, accompanied by falling snow, 
overtook them, and for three days they had to stay in their shelter. When 
at length the weather moderated and they were able to get out again they 
discovered, before resuming the journey, that the dogs meanwhile had eaten 
six pounds of cranberry jam and the foot off one of the sleeping-bags — a 
fairly good example of a dog's appetite during a snow-storm. 

"On May 31 in magnificently clear weather they looked out upon a scene 
on which no white man had ever yet gazed. In his description of the journey 
the leader wrote : *We looked down into the basin of the Petermann Glacier, 
the greatest amphitheatre of snow and rugged ice that human e)'e has ever 
seen.' Away beyond it, a range of black mountains towered in dome-shaped 
hills, and they made their camp with the expectation of being able to see more 
of the distant range at the end of another march. But by the time they were 
able to resume their march a thick fog had come into the air, and for three 
days they could only see the snow at their feet. They directed their course 
entirely by compass, but as they were unable to see long distances ahead, they 
were unprepared for a chang^e in the surface. Before they could avoid it, they 
found themselves amongst rough ice and open crevices. They were getting 
onto the Sherard Osborne Glacier, and, in the misty weather they were ex- 
periencing, it was difficult to get back onto the smooth ice again. Over a 
fortnight was spent in getting beyond this rough ground, and at length, on 
the weather clearing, they found that straight ahead of them a range of hills 
showed along the horizon above the ice-cap. The appearance of the hills 
directly in their path decided them to turn their course from due east to south- 
east, and they were soon able to make out the line of a deep channel running 
from the northeast to the southwest. 


Peary has congratulated Newfoundland on its share in the discovery of the Pole, as 

Captain Bartlett and the crew of the Roosevelt — nineteen in all — hail 

from Newfoundland. 

These are the hardy natives of Etah, to whose assistance the explorer attributes much 

of his success. 


The portraits show Dr. Cook as he appeared on the Hans Egede and after he had been 

in the hands of the barbers and tailors of Copenhagen. 

Commander Peary was fifty-three years old on May 6. He looks a giant when clad in 

his heavy Arctic furs. 


"On July I, after fifty-seven days of travel, they came to the limits of the 
ice-cap and stood, silent and amazed, looking down from the summit of the 
snow desert across a wide open plain covered with vegetation, with here and 
there a snowdrift showing white, and with herds of musk oxen contentedly 
grazing over it. Such a discovery was absolutely so unexpected that at first 
they could scarcely believe their eyes. There was no sign of any human habi- 
tation on the land, and, for all that could be learned to the contrary, they were 
the first human beings who had ever trod upon that plain, on which the yellow 
Arctic poppies were waving in bloom and over which the drone of the humble 
bee sounded, though for hundreds of miles around it the accumulated snow 
of centuries lay frozen into the great mysterious snow-cap and its glaciers. 

"Having proved that they really were not dreaming, they shot a musk ox, 
which they used for their own and their dogs' refreshment. Then they stacked 
their stores and set out with reduced loads across the plain. They walked 
for four days, exploring, surveying, and examining ; and on the fourth of July, 
the anniversary of the Declaration of Indepndence by the United States, they 
stood on a summit of a magnificent range of cliffs, 3,500 feet high, and over- 
looking a large bay, which in honour of the date, they named Independence 

"The latitude was nearly 82 degrees N., and Lieutenant Peary, writing of 
the discovery, says : Tt was almost impossible for us to believe that we were 
standing on the northern shore of Greenland as we gazed from the summit 
of this precipitous cliff with the most brilliant sunshine all about us, with yellow 
poppies growing between the rocks around our feet and a herd of musk oxen 
in the valley behind us. In that valley we had also found the dandelion in 
bloom and had heard the heavy drone and seen the bullet-like flight of the 
humble bee.' " 

For a week the party of investigators remained in this isolated region, 
6,000 miles from their friends, and then journeyed back. Over the glistening 
ice surface they made fast time, and often reached an average of thirty miles 
a day. Sometimes, when the vv^ind was good, sails were put up on the sledges, 
and they flew along, like boys with their sleds on a pond. On August 8 the 
party arrived back at the place where Mrs. Peary had been left, and a short 
time later the Kite sailed for America, reaching New York September 20, 

From a scientific standpoint the results of this expedition were : 


The discovery and naming of Independence Bay, at 6i degrees north 

Determination of the insularity of Greenland, for which Peary received 
medals from a number of geographical societies. 

Discovery of Melville Land and Heilprin Land. 



The appetite of the polar adventurer was now well whetted for the pursuit 
of a northern goal; his spirit and his physique had both become sturdy; and 
he was ready to accomplish greater work. 

Such a triumph as "farthest north," was, however, to be delayed for 
many years. Although Peary went north again in 1893, he did not attempt 
to reach the pole, yet his investigations were of moment to science. He had 
read of a great "iron mountain," which was first heard of through Ross, an 
English explorer, in 18 18. Now, more than seventy years later, the Ameri- 
can explorer determined to find that mountain and determine its nature. He 
did find it, and proved that it was a marvelous rock indeed, — a meteorite, the 
largest known, and weighing more than ninety tons. 

Experiences similar to those described in the last chapter characterized 
this trip, as Mrs. Peary was her husband's companion on this trip also; and 
the voyage was distinguished by another event, also. A daughter was born 
to the Pearys while they were in the Arctic region. Though sixteen years old, 
she is still known as "the snow baby." 

In 1896 and 1897 Peary made short trips to his adopted country, Green- 
land, and made discoveries of minor importance. In the latter year he brought 
home a number of wonderful meteorites. 

By this time the Peary Arctic Club, under whose auspices the pole-reaching 
exploit was carried out, had come into being, and under its auspices Peary 
made a long journey, lasting from 1898 to 1902. This was an important expe- 
dition, full of thrilling experiences and also of large scientific value. 

During these four years Peary spent away from his home and beyond 
the realm of white men he rounded the northern extremity of the Greenland 
archipelago, which is the most northerly land in the world. He named the 
cape he found there after Morris K. Jesup, the Philadelphia capitalist, who 
was enthusiastic in Peary's support, and who died without seeing his protege's 
final success. On this trip Peary attained a far northern record, reaching 



84 degrees north latitude. The expedition of 1905-6, however, was more 
important than any Peary had undertaken as a steppiiig-stone toward his attain- 
ment of the North pole. This time he dashed as far as latitude 87, the highest 
mark yet attained by any polar explorer. This expedition is worth consider- 
ing in some detail. Peary and his followers left New York July 16, 1905. 
The loyal old Kite had long since been out of service, and a staunch new boat, 
one of the best ever designed for polar service, was the vessel on which the 
explorer rode out of New York harbor. It had been christened by Mrs. 
Peary, who appropriately broke a piece of ice over its bows, and its name 
was the Roosevelt. As the reader will recognize, this was the same craft that 
took Peary to Greenland on the pole-finding trip of 1909. 

The Roosevelt sailed up Baffin Bay to Etah, Greenland, the favorite port 
for Arctic travelers, and there was put in final shape for a hard journey amid 
the ice. After taking on board a large party of Eskimos, to act as hunters 
and guides, the boat sailed from Etah Aug. 17 of the same year. Among the 
most important travelers were 200 Eskimo dogs. After cruising about for 
some time in an effort to find the best place from which to begin a swift journey 
toward the pole, Peary ran his craft into a nook under Cape Sheridan, one of 
the most northerly capes of Grant Land. Here some terrible experiences 
were met, which are vividly told in one of Peary's own accounts of the expe- 
dition : 

"Sept. 16," says Peary, "a large floe pivoted around Cape Sheridan, crush- 
ing everything before it, until at last it held the ship mercilessly between its 
blue side and the unyielding face of the ice-foot. Its slow, resistless motion 
was frightful, yet fascinating. * * * The pressure was terrific; the Roose- 
velt's ribs and interior bracing cracked like the discharge of musketry. The 
main deck amidships bulged up several inches, the main rigging hung slack, 
and the masts and rigging shook as in a violent gale; then, with a mighty 
tremor and a sound which reminded one of an athlete inhaling his breath for 
a supreme effort, the ship jumped upward. The big floe snapped against the 
edge of the ice-foot forward and aft under us, crumpling up its edge and 
driving it inshore some yards, and the commotion was transferred to the outer 
edge of the floe, which crumbled away with a dull roar as other floes smashed 
against it and tore off great pieces in the onward rush — leaving us stranded 
but safe. This incident, of course, put an end to all thoughts of further 

Further advance by ship, Peary meant. He had no thought of being dis- 


heartened by savage ice or bitter cold. The whole party prepared to quit 
the Roosevelt, and take to the sledges. Before this was possible, however, a 
long winter was to be faced, and food must be procured for scores of men. It 
was impossible to make the sledge-trip in the darkness of the winter, but it 
was still possible to hunt game, for those experienced enough to bring down 
their prey without the light of the sun to aid their eyesight. Peary and his 
Eskimo went forth and became huntsmen. They brought down 250 musk 
oxen, which form one of the staples of food in that region. Also they were 
fortunate enough to find many score of the rare and beautiful Arctic reindeer, 
which are snow-white and as graceful as their brethren of farther south. 

On October 12 they saw the sun go down, to be seen no more for months. 
Then the black winter, in which the Httle ship cast forth the only light for 
hundreds of miles around. The winter passed without serious mishap to any 
of the human members of the party ; but eighty of the dogs died of poisoning 
caused by the whale-meat which had been taken along for their sustenance. 
This caused the hunting to be redoubled, since the trip was all but hopeless 
should the remainder of the animals suffer the same fate. 

It was a hard winter in more ways than one. Sometimes the ice would 
break away from the shore, and the seas would dash against the Roosevelt, 
threatening to swamp her. 

"Simultaneously," says Peary, "a violent southerly gale blew up, threat- 
ening to tear the ship from her moorings. The port anchor and cable and 
every steel and manila cable on board were made fast to the ice-foot. * * * 
The next three weeks were a period of constant anxiety, the ice-pack surging 
back and forth along shore on each tide, and liable to crush in upon us at 
any time. Every one slept in his clothes, all lanterns and portable lights were 
kept below and trimmed, and provision was made for the instant extinguish- 
ment of all fires." 

Peary does not add that it became necessary to put out the fires, and the 
party must have been thankful that what little heat they had was spared. With 
February the sun reappeared, and those on board ship were split up into four 
parties, to take dogs and sledges and work northward. Peary headed the last 
sledge-party. The sun shone out on March 6. A few days later Peary en- 
countered several of the other parties and learned from them of the difficulties 
of advance. He then determined that supporting parties were useless, and 
that he himself must make a dash. 


"At Storm Camp," he writes, "we abandoned everything not absolutely 
necessary and I bent every energy to setting a record pace. 

"The first march of ten hours, myself in the lead with the compass, some- 
times on a dog trot, the sledges following in Indian file with drivers running 
beside or behind, placed us thirty miles to the good — my Eskimos said forty. 
Four hours out on the second march I overtook Henson (head of one of the 
supporting parties) in his third camp, beside a lead which was closed. When 
I arrived, he hitched up and followed behind my hurrying party. I had with 
me now seven men and six teams with less than half a load for each. 

"As we advanced, the character of the ice improved, the floes becoming 
much larger and pressure ridges infrequent, but the cracks and narrow leads 
increased, and were nearly all active. These cracks were uniformly at right 
angles to our course, and the ice on the northern side was moving more rapidly 
eastward than that on the southern. 

"As dogs gave out, unable to keep the pace, they were fed to the others. 
April 20 we came into a region of open leads, trending nearly north and south, 
and the ice motion became more pronounced. Hurrying on between these leads, 
a forced march was made. Then we slept a few hours, and starting again 
soon after midnight, pushed on till noon of the 21st. 

"My observation then gave 87° 6'. So far as history records this is the 
nearest approach to the north pole ever made by human beings. 

"I thanked God with as good a grace as possible for what I had been able 
to accomplish, though it was but an empty bauble compared with the splendid 
jewel for which I was straining my life out. But, looking at the skeleton 
forms of my remaining dogs and the nearly empty sledges, and bearing in 
mind the drifting ice and the unknown quantity of the big lead between us 
and the nearest land, I felt that I had cut the margin as narrow as could be» 
reasonably expected. 

"My flags were flung out from the summit of the highest pinnacle near us, 
and a hundred feet or so beyond this, I left a bottle containing a brief record 
and a piece of the silk flag which six years before I had carried around the 
northern end of Greenland." • 

The scientific results of this expedition were the following : 

Reached 87 degrees N. latitude April 21, 1906. 

Traversed and delineated an unknown portion of the north coast of Grant 

Discovered new land near Parallel 83 and Meridian 100. 


Made a new and accurate census of the Eskimo people. 

More important than the scientific results, however, were the moral results. 
Attainment of a point within three degrees of the pole showed Peary that by a 
little more effort, a little more suffering, and a little more luck, he could com- 
pass the few score miles and "nail the stars and stripes" to the pole. 

The great year of 1909 wa3 near. 



It is doubtful whether Dr. Cook will ever be able to paint in vivid enough 
colors the privations he endured in his rush toward the north. To him, prob- 
ably, much of what he endured will appear as a nightmare. He will start 
from his pillow, some nights, fancying himself still driving a dog sled through 
blinding snows. Even if his memory retains distinctly what he suffered, he 
will doubtless find it hard to pick out words to convey the idea to others. 

To understand it at all, one may go back to the records that are left of the 
deeds of Cook's predecessors in polar search. No more thrilling suggestion 
could be found of the experiences men are willing to suffer in the pursuit 
of knowledge for the sake of outstripping others. 

The early arctic explorers, of course, endured much that Cook was saved 
through his being able to profit by experience, and through his taking advan- 
tage of modern methods. Scurvy, for example, the disease that has brought a 
horrible end to so many who lived for months in bitter cold, did not threaten 
him. iHe knew how to guard against it, and he had foods that did not contain 
the seeds of that malady. But the death he faced was the same that carried 
away some eight hundred men who sought the pole at one time or another^ — 
the death, slow, torturing, and malignant, caused by intense cold. 

Farther on in this volume will be found an account of some of the early 
arctic voyages that ended in tragedy. Here, however, an effort will be made 
to give some idea of the sight and sounds peculiar to the polar region. 

At the north pole itself the sun rises and sets only once in twelve months. 
From March 21 to September 23 daylight continues; from September 23 to 
March 21 the sun is never visible. Dr. Cook af rived at the pole during the 
period of daylight; yet it must have been a cheerless daylight he saw. For 
what is daylight unless it reveals life and beauty? At the pole, so Dr. Cook 
himself says, there was no sign of animation at all — either of man or beast. 
It was, he says, "an endless field of purple snows. No life. No land. No 



sight to relieve the monotony of frost. We (he and his two Eskimo compan- 
ions) were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice." 

The heat at midsummer in the polar region is hardly ever above the 
freezing point; at midwinter, the cold is so intense that one's eyes would 
freeze in their sockets if exposed to it. And there are other strange and 
terrifying features. As summer gives place to the cold of autumn, and as 
winter gives way to the mild temperature of spring, there comes down upon 
the water a dense mass or fog, to which the name of "frost-smoke" is given. 
An ancient Greek mariner, Pytheas, who sailed far north, was led by this 
"frost smoke" to give a curious account of his trip. He was there during 
the six months' darkness, and he says he came to a great dark wall rising up 
out of the sea. He could not see beyond it. At the same time, according to 
his story, something seized his ship and held it motionless on the water, so 
the winds could not move it. He supposed he had come to a place where a 
parapet ran around the world to keep men from falling over (for in the time 
of this explorer, of course, men believed the world was flat). So this voyager 
hurried home and told his friends he had reached the limits of the earth. 

Later navigators saw sights some of which are to be experienced today. 
Many of these mariners got far enough north to see the great icebergs, floating 
majestically in the sea and towering like mountains. Some saw the animals 
that dwell in the far north — the polar bear with its coat of shaggy white fur ; 
the walrus, with its gleaming tusks hanging down from its upper jaws; the 
ungainly seals; the penguins, strange birds with short stumps of wings and 
uncouth cries; and whales, spouting and floundering in the sea. 

The sounds are sometimes as terrifying as the sights. The frosty air 
carries noises a long distance. When Commander Peary was on a far north- 
ern island he says he heard the voices of men talking a mile away. 

"In the depth of winter," says a writer, "when the cold has its icy grip on 
everything, the silence is unbroken along the shores of the Polar Sea; but 
when the frost sets in, and again when the winter gives way to spring, there is 
abundance of noise. As the frost comes down along the coast, rocks are split 
asunder with a noise of big guns, and the sound goes booming away across 
the frozen tracts, startling the slouching bear in his lonely haunts, and causing 
him to give vent to his hoarse, barking roar in answer. The ice, just forming 
into sheets, creaks and cracks as the rising or falling tide strains it along the 
shore ; fragments falling loose upon its skid across the surface with the ringing 
sound which travels so far. In the spring the melting ice-floes groan as they 


break asunder; with a mighty crash the unbalanced bergs fall over, churning 
the water into foam with their plunge, and bears ^nd foxes and all the other 
arctic animals call and bark to one another as they awaken from their winter 

A source of trouble to arctic travelers often are the characteristics of the 
Eskimo dogs. These animals are the only ones that can be depended on to 
draw the sledges, for no others could endure the cold and the lack of food 
that accompanies travel in regions of solid ice. But no traveler, unless he 
be as experienced as Dr. Cook, who used them exclusively after leaving his 
ship, can manage the queer creatures. Some of their traits are interestingly 
described by a writer on polar exploration, as follows: 

"When a dog team is harnessed up to a sledge, every dog does not pull 
his hardest, and a suggestion from the whip is advisable. The dog, however, 
is inclined to resent it, and at once bites his neighbor by way of protest. The 
neighbor in turn bites his neighbor, who does the same, until the whole team 
has received the sting arising from the first lash, and all the dogs are howling 
and snapping and jumping over one another. The application of the whip 
handle instead of the whip lash is then necessary, and when at length quiet is 
restored, the driver has to set to work to unplait the harness, which has been 
twisted and tied into a terrible tangle by the antics of the team. When, at 
the expense of a great deal of patience and time, everything is ready for a 
fresh start, the inexperienced driver is able to estimate the value of cracking 
the whip over, instead of on, the back of a lazy dog. 

"Even then, however, it is not all plain sailing. The dogs possess a wis- 
dom of their own, and they never act so well together as when they reach 
a piece of particularly rough ice over which the sledge does not move easily. 
Directly they find that they have to lean heavily against the collar to pull the 
load forward, they with one accord turn around, sit down, and look at the 
driver. If he is inexperienced, he lashes about him with his whip, and the 
dogs fight and tangle the harness ; if he knows his animals, he puts his shoulder 
to the sledge, pushes it forward on to the toes of the team, whereupon each 
one gets up, hurries out of the way of the threatening sledge runners, and 
together pull it easily over the rough place. 

"Another peculiarity of the dogs is their extraordinary appetite for leather. 
Shark skin the Eskimo consider to be bad for them because of its excessive 
roughness, but birds' skin, with the feathers on, are greatly relished by the 
insatiable feeders, and, as has been said, leather is an especial luxury. The 


dogs are incorrigible thieves, and frequently sneak into the tents or, if on 
board ship, into cabins, in search of plunder. They are generally greeted 
with a kick, but should it be sufficiently energetic to dislodge the kicker's shoe, 
the dog at once seizes the delicacy and makes for a quiet spot on the ice where 
he can devour it at his leisure." 

Desperate courage and the skill of a big-game hunter are required if one 
journeys in the arctic. When the rations run out, as they did in Dr. Cook's 
case before his return journey was over, the traveler has to depend on his 
ability to bring down the animals of the region. 

Some of the experiences of an exploring party under these conditions are 
thus described: 

"A small opening in the ice pack was discovered a mile or so from the 
camp, and on the ice around the water three seals were resting, having evi- 
dently been caught in the ice when it closed. With great care the hunters 
crept over the ice toward the animals, whose sacrifice meant so much to the 
castaways. Only two had rifles, the others carrying harpoons they had made 
from the tent poles, and which were anything but reliable weapons. Steady 
aim was taken by the two men who had the rifles at the two larger of the 
seals. Firing together one seal fell dead; the one which was not aimed at 
plunged into the water, and the other, badly wounded, hobbled to the edge 
of the ice. In another moment he would have been over and probably sunk to 
the bottom, had not one of the men flung away his harpoon and, springing 
forward, managed to seize the hind flippers of the wounded creature. His 
comrades rushed to his assistance and dragged both him and the seal back 
from the opening onto the ice, where the latter was quickly despatched. 

"They were harnessing themselves to their victims in order to drag them 
over to the camp, when a loud snort from the opening caused them to start 
around just in time to see the third seal disappearing under the water. At 
once they understood the situation. The opening was the only one for miles, 
and the seal was compelled to come to the surface there to breathe, as he could 
not reach the top anywhere else for the ice. It was at once decided to wait 
for him, but as, if he were shot while in the water, he would inevitably sink 
to the bottom and be lost to them, they determined to lay a trap for him. 

"The seals already killed were placed in natural attitudes near the water, 
and the men hastily retired to sheltering hammocks, to wait the return. The 
men with the rifles were both to fire upon him as soon as he emerged onto the 
ice, for he was too valuable to be lost. They had not waited very long before 


he reappeared and, raising his head high out of the water looked around. 
Seeing nothing but the two seals on the ice, he "swam leisurely round and 
round the opening before scrambling up onto the ice. As he reaf^hed it and 
moved towards his two companions, the men, who had been carefully aiming 
at him, fired and killed him. 

"With the three seals, the party returned to the camp in high spirits, their 
arrival being the signal for general rejoicing, for not only would the blubber 
of the seals keep the lamp supplied with oil, but their skins were very welcome 
additions to the stock of warm coverings and the meat was an invaluable 
addition to the larder. 

"Really it was more, but of that they were not aware until two days later, 
when one of the men was awakened by a short barking roar of a bear. He 
quickly roused his companions, and they made their way out of the hut with 
what weapons they possessed, 

"The flesh of the seals had been suspended on a line between two poles 
near the other provisions so as to protect it from any chance visit by wolves 
or bears. As the first man peered out from the hut opening, he saw in the 
dim twilight two bears standing underneath the line of meat, sniffing up at 
it and growling. They had, it was afterwards learned, picked up the trail 
where the dead seals had been dragged from the opening in the ice, and had 
followed it to the camp. 

"The man whispered back to his companions what he saw, and another 
man, armed with a rifle, crept to his side. Aiming together behind the shoul- 
der of the larger of the bears, they fired simultaneously and brought their quarry 
down. Immediately the other bear turned towards the opening and with 
snarling teeth advanced. A third rifle was fired point-blank at its head, 
but the bullet failed to penetrate the massive skull, though it made the beast 
change its direction. As it turned away the men realized what it meant if it 
escaped, and there was a rush after it, the men loading and firing as quickly 
as they cotild load, so as to secure it before it disappeared in the dim grey 
twilight. It fell wounded, and was despatched by means of the impromptu 

Major-General A. W. Greeley, himself a polar hero, has this to say, in 
his '^Handbook of Polar Discoveries," of the hardships encountered in the 
ice fastnesses : 

"If one would gain an adequate idea of the true aspects of such voyaging 
he must turn to the original journals, penned in the great White North by 


brave men whose 'purpose held to sail beyond the sunset.' In those volumes 
will be found tales of ships beset not only months, but years, of ice packs and 
ice fields of extent, thickness and mass so enormous that description conveys 
no idea; of boat journeys where constant watchfulness alone prevented instant 
death by drifting bergs or commingling ice floes; of land marshes when ex- 
hausted humanity staggered along, leaving traces of blood on snow or rock; 
of sledge journeys over chaotic masses of ice, when humble heroes straining 
at the drag ropes struggled on because the failure of one compromised the 
safety of all ; of solitude and monotony, terrible in the weeks of constant polar 
sunlight, but unsettling the reason in the months of continuous Arctic dark- 
ness ; of silence awful at all times, but made yet more startling by astounding 
phenomena that appeal noiselessly to the eye; of darkness so continuous and 
intense that the disturbed mind is driven to wonder whether the ordinary 
course of nature will bring back the sun or whether the world has been cast 
out of its orbit in the planetary universe into i;iew conditions ; of cold so in- 
tense that any exposure is followed by instant freezing; of monotonous sur- 
roundings that threaten with time to unbalance the reason; of deprivations 
wastmg the body and so impairing the mind ; of failure in all things, not only 
of food, fuel and clothing and shelter — for Arctic service foreshadows such 
contingencies — but the bitter failure of plans and aspirations, which brings 
almost inevitably despair in its train, 

"Failure of all things, did I say ? Nay, failure, be it admitted, of all the 
physical accessories of conceived and accomplished action, but not failure in 
the higher and more essential attributes — not of the mental and moral quali- 
ties that are the foundation of fortitude, fidelity and honor. Failure in this 
latter respect have been so rare in Arctic service as to justly make each of- 
fender a byword and scorn to his fellow laborers and successors. Patience, 
courage, fortitude, foresight, self-reliance, helpfulness — these grand charac- 
teristics of developed humanity everywhere, but which we are inclined to claim 
as especial endownments of the Teutonic races, find ample expression in the de- 
tailed history of Arctic exploration. If one seeks to learn to what extent 
man's determination and effort dominate even the most adverse environment, 
the simple narratives of Arctic exploration will not fail to furnish striking ex- 

Many interesting accounts are given of the terrible cold, which, after all, 
is the worst of the polar explorers' troubles. 


Capt. John Franklin — afterwards admiral — speaks of fish being frozen, 
saying : 

"It may be worthy of notice here, that the fish froze as they were taken 
out of the nets, and in a short time became a solid mass of ice, and by a blow 
or two of the hatchet were easily split open, when the intestines might be 
removed in one lump. If, in this completely frozen state, they were thawed 
before the fire, they recovered their animation. This was particularly the 
case with the carp; and we had occasion to observe it repeatedly, as Dr. 
Richardson (one of the party) occupied himself in examining the structure 
of the different species of fish, and was always, in the winter, under the 
necessity of thawing them before he could cut them. We have seen a carp 
recover so far as to leap about with much vigor after it had been frozen for 
thirty-six hours." 

If such is the effects on fish, what of men? This same Dr. Richardson 
nearly lost his life while the expedition of which he and Franklin were mem- 
bers in 1 82 1 was exploring the north coast of America. They traveled for 
a time in canoes, and their food gave out. Daily they became weaker, and 
less capable of exertion; one of the canoes was so much broken by a fall, 
that it was burned to cook a supper; the resource of fishing, too, was denied 
them, for some of the men, in the recklessness of misery, threw away the nets. . 
Rivers were to be crossed by wading, or in the canoe ; on one of these occasions 
Franklin took his seat with two of the voyageurs in their frail bark, when 
they were driven by the force of the stream and the wind to the verge of a 
frightful rapid, in which the canoe upset, and, but for a rock on which they 
found footing, they would there have perished. On June 19th, previous to 
setting out, the whole party ate the remains of their old shoes, and whatever 
scraps of leather they had, to strengthen their stomachs for the fatigue of 
the day's journey. "These," adds Franklin, "would have satisfied us in or- 
dinary times, but we .were now almost exhausted by slender fare and travel, 
and our appetites had become ravenous. We looked, however, with humble 
confidence to the great Author and Giver of all good for a continuance of the 
support which had hitherto been always supplied to us at our greatest need." 

Dr. Richardson finally undertook to swim the Copperwire river, carrying 
a line by which a raft might be hauled over. 

"He launched into the stream," says Franklin, "with the line round his 
middle, but when he had got to a short distance from the opposite bank, 
his arms became benumbed with cold, and he lost the power of moving them; 


still he persevered, and, turning on his back, had nearly gained the opposite 
shore, when his legs also became powerless, and, to our infinite alarm, we 
beheld him sink. We instantly hauled upon the line, and he came again on 
the surface, and was gradually drawn ashore in an almost lifeless state. Being 
rolled up in blankets, he was placed before a good fire of willows, and, for- 
tunately, was just able to speak sufficiently to give some slight directions 
respecting the manner of treating him. He recovered strength gradually, 
and, through the blessing of God, was enabled, in the course of a few hours, 
to converse, and by the evening was sufiiciently recovered to remove into 
the tent. We then regretted to learn that the skin of his whole left side was 
deprived of feeling, in consequence of exposure to too great heat. He did 
not perfectly recover the sensation of that side until the following summer. 
I cannot describe what every one felt at beholding the skeleton which the 
doctor's debilitated frame exhibited. When he stripped, the Canadians sim- 
ultaneously exclaimed, 'Ah! que nous sommes maigresl' " 

After reading that, could one imagine a mosquito in the Arctic ? Yet they 
are a terrible pest there. Captain Hall describes a walk in July, in the follow- 
ing language : 

"The sun was about five degrees high. Not a breath of air stirring, the 
sun shining hot, and the mosquitoes desperately intent on getting all the 
blood of the only white man of the country, I kept up a constant battling 
with my seal-skin mittens directly before my face, now and then letting them 
slap first on one and then on the other of my hands, which operations crushed 
many a foe. It seemed to me at times as if I never would get back. Minutes 
were like hours, and the distance of about two miles seemed more like half a 
score. At length I got back to my home, both temperature and temper high. 
I made quick work in throwing open the canvas roof of our stores, and, getting 
to our medicine-chest, snatched a half-pint bottle of mosquito-proof oil, and with 
a little of this besmeared every exposable part of my person. How glorious 
and sudden was the change ! A thousand devils, each armed with lancet and 
blood-pump, courageously battling my very face, departed at once in supreme 
disgust at the confounded stink the coal-oil had diffused about me." 

Of the dreadful thirst of the Arctic, which some seek to allay by eating 
snow, the diary of an explorer of the last century says : 

"The use of snow when persons are thirsty does not by any means allay 
the insatiable desire for water; on the contrary, it appears to be increased 
in proportion to the quantity used, and the frequency with which it is put into 


the mouth. For example: a person walking along feels intensely thirsty, 
and he looks to his feet with coveting eyes ; but his sense and firm resolutions 
are not to be overcome so easily, and he withdraws the open hand that was 
to grasp the delicious morsel and convey it into his parching mouth. He has 
several miles of a journey to accomplish, and his thirst is every moment 
increasing; he is perspiring profusely, and feels quite hot and oppressed. At 
length his good resolutions stagger, and he partakes of the smallest particle, 
which produces a most exhilarating effect; in less than ten minutes he tastes 
again and again, always increasing the quantity ; and in half an hour he has a 
gum-stick of condensed snow, which he masticates with avidity, and replaces 
with assiduity the moment that it has melted away. But his thirst is not 
allayed in the slightest degree; he is as hot as ever, and still perspires; his 
mouth is in flames, and he Is driven to the necessity of quenching them with 
snow, which adds fuel to the fire. The melting snow ceases to please the palate, 
and it feels like red-hot coals, which, like a fire-eater, he shifts about with 
his tongue, and swallows without the addition of saliva. He is in despair; 
but habit has taken the place of his reasoning faculties, and he moves on with 
languid steps, lamenting the severe fate which forces him to persist in a practice 
which In an unguarded moment he allowed to begin. ... I believe the 
true cause of such Intense thirst is the extreme dryness of the air when the 
temperature is low." 

The woes of the explorer cannot better be told than by extracts from the 
diary of John Herron, one of a party left adrift on an ice-raft during the 
expedition of the ship Polaris, under Charles F. Hall, in 1872. There were 
nineteen persons In his party, Including two women and four children. 

Describing the way the party was lost, Herron says : 

"October 15. — ^Gale from the southwest; ship made fast to floe; bergs 
pressed in and nipped the ship until we thought she was going down; threw 
provisions overboard, and nineteen souls got on the floe to receive them and 
haul them up on the Ice. A large berg came sailing down, struck the floe, 
shivered it to pieces, and freed the ship. She was out of sight in five minutes. 
We were afloat on different pieces of Ice. We had two boats. Our men were 
picked up, myself among them, and landed on the main floe, which we found 
to be cracked in many places. Saved very little provisions. 

"October 16. — We remained shivering all night. Morning fine; light 
breeze from the north; close to the east shore. The berg that did so much 
damage half a mile to the northeast of us. Captain Tyson reports a small 

Copyright 1909 by Underwood & Underwood. 






island a little to the north of the berg and close to the land. Plenty of 
open water. We lost no time in launching the boats, getting the provisions 
in and pulling around the berg, when we saw the Polaris. She had steam up, 
and succeeded in getting a harbor. She got under the lee of an island and 
came down with her sails set — jib, foresail, mainsail and staysail. She must 
have seen us, as the island was four or five miles off. We expected her to 
save us, as there was plenty of open water, beset with ice, which I think she 
could have gotten through. In the evening we started with the boats for 
shore. Had we reached it, we could have walked on board in one hour, 
but the ice set in so fast when near the shore that we could not pull through 
it. We had a narrow escape in jumping from piece to piece, with the painter 
in hand, until we reached the floe. We dragged the boat two or three hundred 
yards, to a high place, where we thought she would be secure until morning, 
and made for our provisions, which were on a distant part of the floe. We 
were too much worn out with hunger and fatigue to bring her along to-night, 
and it is nearly dark. We cannot see our other boat or our provisions ; the 
snow-drift has covered our late tracks." 

There was talk that Captain Buddington, of the Polaris, wilfully deserted 
the party ; but Harron says : 

"I don't think Captain Buddington meant to abandon us ; he either thought 
we could easily get ashore, or else he could not get through the ice ; I don't 
think he would do anything of the kind; standing on the ship, you would 
naturally think we could get ashore ; it may have looked to him that we were 
right under the lee of the shore; it is very likely that he thought we could 
get ashore, and that he didn't understand our signals." 

Further on Herron tells of numberless positions. His account reads : 

"Thursday, Nov. 28. — Thanksgiving to-day; we have had a feast — four 
pint cans of mock turtle soup, six pint cans of green corn, made into scouch. 
Afternoon, three ounces of bread and the last of our chocolate — our days' feast. 
All well." 

The next day, the 29th, they did not fare so well ; they had to be content 
with boiled seal-skin; but the thickness of the hair baffled the masticatory 
powers of some of them. 

Further extracts from the same source show the straits they were re- 
duced to : 

"December 2.— No open water has been seen for several days; cannot catch 
anything. Land has been seen for several days; cannot determine what shore 


it is, E. or W. It has been so cloudy that we cannot select a star to go by; 
some think it is the E. land; for my part, I think it is the W. Boiled some 
seal-skin to-day and ate it — blubber, hair and tough skin. The men ate 
it ; I could not. The hair is too thick, and we have no means of getting it off. 

"December 5. — Light wind; a little thick; 15° below zero. A fox came 
too near to-day ; Bill Lindemann shot him ; skinned and cut him up for cook- 
ing. Fox in this country is all hair and hair. 

"December 6. — Very light wind; cold and clear. The poor fox was de- 
voured to-day by seven of the men, who liked it; they had a mouthful each 
for their share ; I did not think it worth while, myself, to commence with so 
small an allowance, so I did not try Mr. Fox. Last night fine northern lights. 

"December 8. — All in good health. The only thing that troubles us is 
hunger — that is very severe; we feel sometimes as though we could eat each 
other. Very weak, but, please God, we will weather it all. 

"December 13. — Light wind; cloudy; 19° below zero. Hans caught a 
small white fox in a trap yesterday. The nights are brilliant, cold and clear. 
The scene is charming, if we were only in a position to appreciate it. 

"December 20. — Light wind; cloudy. Joe found a crack yesterday and 
three seals. Too dark to shoot. It is a good thing to have game underneath 
us. It would be much better to have them on the floe for starving men. 

"December 22. — Calm and clear as a bell; the best twilight we have seen 
for a month. It must have been cloudy or we are drifting south fast. Ouf 
spirits are up, but the body is weak; 15° below zero." 

They began now to count the days until they could expect the sun to 
shine forth, with how much joy we can partially imagine, when we recollect 
that for nearly three months he had hidden his glorious face, and they had 
been groping in the darkness of an Arctic winter. Herron tells of their 
Christmas : 

December 24. — Christmas Eve. We are longing for to-morrow, when we 
shall have quite a feast — half pound of raw ham, which we have been saving 
nearly a month for Christmas. A month ago our ham gave out, so we saved 
this for the feast. Yesterday, 9 degrees below zero ; to-day, 4 degrees above 

"December 25. — This is a day of jubilee at home, and certainly here for 
us; for besides the approaching daylight, which we feel thankful to God for 
sparing us to see, we have quite a feast to-day — one ounce of bread extra per 
man, which made our soup for breakfast a little thicker than for dinner. We 


had soup made from a pound of seal blood, which we had saved for a month ; 
a two-pound can of sausage meat, the last of the canned meat ; a few ounces of 
seal, which we saved with the blood, all cut up fine ; last of our can of apples, 
which we saved also for Christmas. The whole was boiled to a thick soup, 
which I think was the sweetest meal I ever ate. This, with half pound of ham 
and two ounces of bread, gave us our Christmas dinner.'^ 

As Spring came on the experiences became dreadful. Herron says : 

"April 5. — Blowing a gale from the N. E., and a fearful sea running. 
Two pieces broke from the floe. We are on one close to the ten. At 5 a. m. 
removed our things to the centre. Another piece broke off, carrying Joe's hut 
(just built) with it; luckily, it gave some warning, so that they had time 
to throw out some things before it parted. A dreadful day; cannot do any- 
thing to help ourselves. If the ice break up much more, we must break up 
with it; set a watch all night. 

"April 6. — Wind changed to N. W. ; blowing a very severe gale. Still 
on the same ice; cannot get off. At the mercy of the elements. Joe lost 
another hut to-day. The ice, with a roar, split across the floe, cutting Joe's 
hut right in two. We have but a small piece left. Cannot lie down to- 
night. Put a few things in the boat, and now standing by for a jump; such 
is the night. 

"April 7. — Wind W. N. W. ; still blowing a gale, with a fearful sea run- 
ning. The ice split right across our tent this morning at 6 a. m. While get- 
ting a few ounces of bread and pemmican we lost our breakfast in scrambling 
out of our tent, and nearly lost our boat, which would have been terrible. 
We could not catch any seal after the storm set in, so we are obliged to starve 
for a while, hoping in God it will not be for a long time. The worst of it 
is we have no blubber for the lamp, and cannot cook or melt any water. Every- 
thing looks very gloomy. Set a watch; half the men are lying down, the 
others walking outside the tent. 

"April 8. — Last night, at twelve o'clock, the ice broke again between the 
tent and the boat, which were close together — so close that a man could not 
walk between them. There the ice split, separating the boat and tent, carry- 
ing away boat, kayak and Mr. Meyer. There we stood, helpless, looking 
at each other. It was blowing and snowing, very cold, and a fearful sea 
running. The ice was breaking, lapping and crushing. The sight was grand, 
but dreadful to us in our position. Mr. Meyer cast the kayak adrift, but it 
went to leeward of us. He can do nothing with the boat alone, so they 


are lost to us unless God returns them. The natives went off on a piece of 
ice with their paddles and ice-spears. The work looks dangerous; we may 
never see them again. But we are lost without the boat, so that they are 
as well off. After an hour's struggle we can make out, with what littfe 
light there is, that they have reached the boat, about half amile off. 

"There they appear to be helpless, the ice closing in all around, and we can 
do nothing until daylight. Daylight at last— 73 a. m. There we see them 
with the boat ; they can do nothing with her. The kayak is the same distance 
in another direction. We must venture off; may as well be crushed by the 
ice and drowned as to remain here without the boat. Off we venture, all but 
two, who dare not make the attempt. We jump or step from one piece to 
another as the swell heaves it and the ice comes close together, one piece being 
high, the other low, so that you watch your chance to jump. All who ventured 
reached the boat in safety, thank God ! and after a long struggle we got her 
safe to camp again." 

"April 20. — The wind here from the northwest. Blowing a gale in the 
northeast. The swell comes from there, and is very heavy. The first warning 
we had — the man on watch sang out at the moment — a sea struck us, and 
washing over us, carried away everything that was loose. This happened at 
nine o'clock last night. We shipped sea after sea, five and ten minutes after 
each other, carrying away everything we had in our tent, skins and most of our 
bedclothing, leaving us destitute, with only the few things we could get into 
the boat. There we stood from nine in the evening until seven next morning, 
enduring, I should say, what man never stood before. The few things we 
saved and the children were placed in the boat. The sea broke over us during 
that night and morning. Every fifteen or twenty minutes a sea would come, 
lift the boat and us with it, carry us along the ice, and lose its strength near 
the edge and sometimes on it. Then it would take us the next fifteen minutes 
to get back to a safe place, ready for the next roller. So we stood that long 
hour, not a word spoken, but the commands to "Hold on, my hearties; bear 
down on her ; put on all your weight," and so we did, bearing down and hold- 
ing on like grim death. Cold, hungry, wet and little prospect ahead." 

The crisis seemed to be rapidly drawing near. Their little ice-cake, already 
too small for the erection of a hut on It, was wasting away hourly, and at 
last, on the 25th, the gale reached them, and they were compelled at great 
risk to embark again in their boat. They were forced back to the floe, however. 

At the end of April a steamer appeared. Herrons tells of it thus : 


"April 28. — Gale of wind sprung up from the west. Heavy sea running ; 
water washing over the floe. All ready and standing by our boat all night. 
Not quite so bad as the other night. Snow squalls all night and during 
forenoon. Launched the boat at daylight (3.30 a. m.), but could get nowhere 
for the ice. Heavy sea and head wind; blowing a gale right in our teeth. 
Hauled up on a piece of ice at 6 a. m. and had a few hours' sleep, but were 
threatened to be smashed to pieces by some bergs. They were fighting quite 
a battle in the water, and bearing right for us. We called the watch, launched 
the boat and got away, the wind blowing moderately and the sea going down. 
We left at i p. m. The ice is much slacker, and there is more water than 
I have seen yet. Joe shot three young bladder-nosed seals on the ice coming 
along, which we took in the boat. 4.30, steamer right ahead and a little to 
the north of us. We hoisted the colors, pulled until dark, trying to cut her 
off, but she does not see us. She is a sealer, bearing southwest. Once she 
appeared to be bearing right down upon us, but I suppose she was working 
through the ice. What joy she caused! We found a small piece of ice and 
boarded it for the night. Night calm and clear. The stars are out the first 
time for a week, and there is a new moon. The sea quiet, and splendid 
northern lights. Divided into two watches, four hours' sleep each; intend 
to start early. Had a good pull this afternoon ; made some westing. Cooked 
with blubber fire. Kept a good one all night, so that we could be seen." 

The morning of the 29th Herron says: — "Morning fine and calm; the 
water quiet. At daylight sighted the steamer five miles off. Called the watch, 
launched the boat and made for her. After an hour's pull gained on her a 
good deal." And they finally reached the steamer and were rescued, in latitude 
53 -SS- The vessel was the Tiqess, of St. John's, N. F. 

Sometimes polar explorers are able to save lives. The loss. of the transport 
Bredalbane, in Aug. 21, 1853, near Cape Riley, was such an instance, the 
steamer Phoenix being the agent of rescue. Mr. Fowekher, agent for the 
Bredalbane, tells the story thus : 

About ten minutes past four the ice passing the ship awoke me. I put on 
my clothes, and on getting up, found some hands on the ice endeavoring to 
save the boats, but these were instantly crushed to pieces. I went forward 
to hail the Phoenix, for men to save the boats ; and whilst doing so the ropes 
by which we were secured parted, and a heavy nip took the ship, making her 
tremble all over, and every timber in her creak. I looked in the main hold, 
and saw the beams giving way ; I hailed those on the ice, and told them of our 


critical situation. I then rushed to my cabin, and called to those in their beds 
to save their lives. On reaching the deck, those on the ice called out to me 
to jump over the side — that the ship was going over. I jumped on the loose 
ice, and, with difficulty, and the assistance of those on the ice, succeeded in 
getting on the unbroken part. After being on the ice about five minutes, the 
timbers in the ship cracking up as matches would in the hand, the nip eased 
for a short time, and I, with some others, returned to the ship, with the viev/ 
of saving some of our effects. Captain Inglefield now came running toward 
the ship. He ordered me to see if the ice was through the ship ; and, on look- 
ing down in the hold, I found all the beams, &c., falling about in a manner 
that would have been certain death to me had I ventured down there. It was 
too evident that the ship could not last many minutes. I then sounded the 
well, and found five feet in the hold; and whilst in the act of sounding, a 
heavier nip than before pressed out the starboard-bow, and the ice was forced 
right into the forecastle. Every one then abandoned the ship, with what few 
clothes he could save — some with only what they had on. The ship now began 
to sink fast, and from the time her bowsprit touched the ice until her mast- 
heads were out of sight it was not above one minute and a half. From the 
time the first nip took her until her disappearance, it was not more than 
fifteen minutes." 



Perhaps it is because o£ the obstacles and perils of polar investigation, 
rather than in spite of them, that the north has had a special fascination for 
men of daring. Certain it is that ever since modern history began, and even 
before that, explorers have been trying to push into the land of ice. 

Some historians believe that in the dim days before America or even 
Europe was populated, a strange race of men found the North Pole, and even 
dwelt there part of the year. They may have been some of the prehistoric 
peoples who penetrated many quarters of the globe, including America, and left 
traces of their life in buried cities and monuments. Perhaps in the years to 
come, when many men have been to the North Pole, some evidence of the ear- 
liest exploration in the region may come to light. But in our day nothing 
authentic is known of what was done in those times. 

It has been definitely enough established, however, that for more than 
four hundred years the pole has lured on men of all nations to suffering and 

The white races of Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were 
eager for a new and speedier route to India than the one then made use of. 
These same races believed a speedier route to China existed. Columbus was 
only a searcher for this route. There is no positive historical evidence that 
he sought more than this when he left Spain. And he was preceded by scores 
of searchers braver and worthier than he in this quest. 

Those who came after him for decades did not accept America as a con- 
tinent with an entity of its own. Jean Nicollet, coming in 1634 to what is 
now northern Wisconsin, dressed himself in the robes of a Chinese mandarin 
when he met the Menomini because he believed he was on the road to China 
and was about to confront one of the rulers of that country. 

In this chase for the royal road to the celestial empire it came about that 
the first lines of the tragedy of the North Pole were written — the last are yet 
to be inscribed. The white men from Europe were not alone content to 



search for this way through central North America; they pushed north and 
west of Labrador ; they penetrated Baffin bay ; they came to the open sea that 
surrounds the ice pack of the pole, and they sunk their ships there and died 
like men for the honor of their native lands and the spirit of discovery. 

The geographers and the mapmakers gave them the location of the North 
Pole; legend-makers threw their deceptive veils over its seas; governments 
offered rewards for its discovery, and so apace grew the tragedy until today 
the piles of its victims and sunken treasure mark innumerable spots in the 
northern wastes. 

Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian, reached 86 degrees 14 minutes April 7, 
1896. Of known explorers he was the first to draw that near to the pole. 
He endured a temperature of 90 degrees below zero. He lived upon food of 
the vilest kind. So far he advanced, and then was driven back for life. 

In 1266, a few years after the Magna Charta became part of history, a 
band of Norse sailors, men of Nansen's type and race, lost themselves in the 
wilds of Iceland. They reached as far north as 75 degrees 46 minutes. That 
is, it is supposed they did, for traces of their wreckage were found as far north 
as this latitude centuries afterward, but not beyond. 

If they made record of what they discovered the ice and the polar waters 
swallowed it up. They did not come within 900 miles of the pole, but even at 
that the baleful influences of the world of cold came upon them and they 
perished by King William's Land. 

Next came John Davis, whose name is now borne by the waters between 
Greenland and the Cumberland peninsula. He entered Baffin's bay and the 
Middle Ice, and in 1585 was just on the Arctic Circle at Cape Dyer. Two 
years later he had only reached latitude 72 degrees 12 minutes and there he 
quit, with many warnings as to the impossibility of conquering the ice. 

Baffin followed him in 161 6. He was an English navigator and explorer 
who aged before his time under the strain of Arctic travel. He was pilot of 
the Discovery, which in 161 5 was dispatched by the Muscovy company to 
North America in search of the baffling northwest passage. 

The search was given up at latitude yj. The ice between Grinnell Land 
and Greenland came down upon the Discovery with such force, provisions 
were so scarce, that it was a question of turning backward and fighting the 
way to the open sea for safety. Beyond the definite location of Baffin's bay 
the expedition amounted to but little. Scurvy attacked the sailors, scientific 
observations were few, the northwest passage a myth — so said the explorers. 


Their dismal tales filled England with horror. Corporations hesitated to 
send new searchers out. Baflin himself would not go again. He died in 1623 
in battle, fighting with the English against the Portuguese at Kishm island in 
the Persian gulf. 

The tragedy, once started, grew in proportions as men's daring waxed 
more fierce. Barents and Heemskerck had wintered in 1596-97 at Barents' 
bay, on the western tongue of Nova Zembla. Willoughby was there in 1553 
and Burrough in 1556. The latitude was>75, and the open waters at the 
point were given the name of Barents' sea. 

Barents advanced toward the pole as far as latitude 76 in 1594, but no 
farther. He met floating ice everywhere, ice that tossed his ship about as 
though it were an eggshell; cold that penetrated to the marrow of his men. 
He, too, surrendered. 

Afterward, all through the eighteenth century, hunters on ships, adven- 
turers behind masts, geographers and others skirted just the outer edge of the 
polar world in a vain essay to find an open passage that would carry them 
safely through to the other side of the world. 

No attempts during this century were made to break into the solid ice 
pack that girts the pole. It was not approached near enough to make it cer- 
tain of existence. The approaches were confined to the fields of floating ice 
outside of the pack, frozen mountains that bore down upon ships and buried 
them in the sea with but a moment's warning. 

So the seekers for the way kept to the Taimur peninsula, to the Finnish 
and Icelandic coast, to the western borders of Greenland or close to the Rus- 
sian coast. 

Sir William Edward Parry, though, brought to Arctic exploration the 
determination to enter the forbidden lands as far as his resources would 
permit. He made his first reputation as an officer in the English navy. He 
accompanied the Ross polar expedition, which accomplished nothing, and 
then in 18 19 led one of his own. 

He entered the Arctic regions from the south and east. He explored and 
named Barrow strait. Prince Regent's inlet and Wellington's sound. He 
reached Melville island in September, 18 19, and to the group to which it 
belongs gave the name of Parry islands. 

Sir William found that distress and sufifering produced cannibalism in 


the north islands ; that the aborigines he came in contact with knew nothing of 
the ice belt surrounding the pole, or, if they did, could not tell. 

Parry's explorations were between latitude 75 and 78, and by crossing 
longitude no west he won the $25,000 prize offered by parliament for the 
feat. Three times after 1819 by different approaches Parry sought to enter 
the polar ice, but failed. Some of his traveling companions went mad. Others 
prematurely aged or suddenly died. In 1827 he reached 82 degrees 45 

Parry describes the affliction of snow-blindness, something from which 
most Arctic explorers have suffered: 

"Some of our men," says Parry, "having, in the course of their shooting 
excursions, been exposed for several hours to the glare of the sun and snow, 
returned at night much affected with that painful inflammation in the eyes 
occasioned by the reflection of intense light from the snow, aided by the 
warmth of the sun, and called in America 'snow blindness.' This complaint, of 
which the sensation exactly resembles that produced by large particles of sand 
or dust in the eyes, is cured by some tribes of American Indians by holding 
them over the steam of warm water; but we found a cooling wash, made by 
a small quantity of acetate of lead mixed with cold water, more efficacious in 
relieving the irritation, which was always done in three or four days, even 
in the most severe cases, provided the eyes were carefully guarded from the 
light. As a preventive of this complaint, a piece of black crape was given to 
each man, to be worn as a kind of short veil attached to the hat, which we 
found to be very serviceable. A still more convenient mode, adopted by some 
of the officers, was found equally efficacious ; this consisted in taking the glasses 
out of a pair of spectacles, and substituting black or green crape, the glass 
having been found to heat the eyes and increase the irritation." 

Parry also describes some of the characteristics of summer in the Arctic, the 
observations being taken in June. 

"Having. observed," says Parry, "that the sorrel was now so far advanced 
in foliage as to be easily gathered in sufficient quantity for eating, I gave 
orders that two afternoons in each week should be occupied by all hands in 
collecting the leaves of this plant; each man being required to bring in, for the 
present, one ounce, to be served in lieu of lemon-juice, pickles, and dried herbs, 
which had been hitherto issued. The growth of the sorrel was from this time 
so quick, and the quantity of it so great on every part of the ground about 
the harbor, that we shortly after sent the men out every afternoon for an hour 


or two; in which time, besides the advantage of a healthy walk, they could, 
without difficulty, pick nearly a pound each of this valuable antiscorbutic, of 
which they were all extremely fond. 

"By the 20th of June, the land in the immediate neighborhood of the 
ships, and especially in low and sheltered situations, was much covered with 
the handsome purple flower of the saxifraga oppositifolia, which was at this 
time in great perfection, and gave something like cheerfulness and animation 
to a scene hitherto indescribably dreary in its appearance. 

"The suddenness with which the changes take place during the short season 
which may be called summer in this climate, must appear very striking when 
it is remembered that, for a part of the first week in June, we were under the 
necessity of thawing artificially the snow which we made use of for water 
during the early part of our journey to the northward; that, during the second 
week, the ground was in most parts so wet and swampy that we could with 
difficulty travel; and that, had we not returned before the end of the third 
week, we should probably have been prevented doing so for some time, by the 
impossibility of crossing the ravines without great danger of being carried 
away by the torrents, — an accident that happened to our hunting parties 
on one or two occasions in endeavoring to return with their game to the ships." 

Another bold explorer was Admiral Von Wrangell, who was sent out in 
1820 by Emporer Alexander, of Russia. The party attempted to discover a 
northern continent, and failed after many privations. Wrangell reached 
latitude 70:51, longitude 175:27 west. The ice they traversed was thin and 
weak. In the distance, at the end of their journey they saw signs of open 
water. Says the admiral : "Notwithstanding this sure sign of the impossibility 
of proceeding further, we continued to go due north for about nine versts, 
when we arrived at the edge of an immense break in the ice, extending east 
and west further than the eye could reach, and which at the narrowest part 
was more than a hundred and fifty fathoms across. . . . We climbed one 
of the loftiest icehills, where we obtained an extensive view toward the north 
and whence we beheld the wide, immeasurable ocean spread before our gaze. 
It was a fearful and magnificent, but to us a melancholy spectacle. Frag- 
ments of ice of enormous size floated on the surface of the agitated ocean, 
and were thrown by the waves with awful violence against the edge of the Ice- 
field on the further side of the channel before us. The collisions were so 
tremendous, that large masses were every Instant broken away; and It was 
evident that the portion of Ice which still divided the channel from the open 


ocean would soon be completely destroyed. Had we attempted to have ferried 
ourselves across upon one of the floating pieces Of ice, we should not have 
found finn footing upon our arrival. Even on our own side, fresh lanes of 
water were continually forming, and extending in every direction in the field 
of ice behind us. With a painful feeling of the impossibility of overcoming the 
obstacles which nature opposed to us, our last hope vanished of discovering the 
land, which we yet believed to exist." 

On returning from this extreme limit of their adventurous journey, the 
party were placed in a situation of extreme risk. 

"We had hardly proceeded one werst," writes M. von Wrangell, "when 
we found ourselves in a fresh labyrinth of lanes of water, which hemmed 
us in on every side. As all the floating pieces around us were smaller than 
the one on which we stood, which was seventy-five fathoms across, and as we 
saw many certain indications of an approaching storm, I thought it better to 
remain on the larger mass, which offered us somewhat more security ; and thus 
we waited quietly whatever Providence should decree. Dark clouds now rose 
from the west, and the whole atmosphere became filled with a damp vapor. 
A strong breeze suddenly sprang up from the west, and increased in less than 
half an hour to a storm. Every moment huge masses of ice around us were 
dashed against each other, and broken into a thousand fragments. Our little 
party remained fast on our ice-island, which was tossed to and fro by the 
waves. We gazed in most painful inactivity on the wild conflict of the elements, 
expecting every moment to be swallowed up. We had been three long hours 
in this position, and still the mass of ice beneath us held together, when sud- 
denly it was caught by the storm, and hurled against a large field of ice. The 
crash was terrific, and the mass beneath us was shattered into fragments. At 
that dreadful moment, when escape seemed impossible, the impulse of self- 
preservation implanted in every living being saved us. Instinctively we all 
sprang at once on the sledges, and urged the dogs to their full speed. They 
flew across the yielding fragments to the field on which we had been stranded, 
and safely reached a part of it of firmer character, on which were several 
hummocks, and where the dogs immediately ceased running, conscious, ap- 
parently, that the aanger was past. We were saved: we joyfully embraced 
•5ach other, and united in thanks to God for our preservation from such 
imminent peril." 

More than once during this trip the party heard from natives that land 
could be seen far away in the northern seas. The part of the coast alluded to 


was Cape Jakan, which the explorers afterwards visited; but, although "they 
gazed long and earnestly on the horizon, in hopes, as the atmosphere was 
clear, of discerning some appearance of the northern land," they "could see 
nothing of it." 

Captain Beechey, who sailed from England in the Dorothea and Trent 
expeditions in 1818, has left some interesting records. Speaking of the 
purpose of the voyage he said : 

"The peculiarity of the proposed route afforded opportunities of making 
some useful experiments on the elliptical figure of the earth; on magnetic 
phenomena ; on the refraction of the atmosphere in high latitudes in ordinary 
circumstances, and over extensive masses of ice; and on the temperature and 
specific gravity of the sea at the surface, and at various depths ; and on mete- 
orological and other interesting phenomena." The vessels sailed in April, 
1818; Magdalena Bay, in Spitzbergen, having been appointed as a place of 
rendezvous, in case of separation. 

On May 24 of that year they reached latitude 74, longitude 17:40 east. 
There they saw the midnight sun reflected from great ice-masses, described 
by Beechey thus: 

"Very few of us had ever seen the sun at midnight; and this night hap- 
pening to be particularly clear, his broad red disc, curiously distorted by re- 
fraction, and sweeping majestically along the northern horizon, was an object 
of imposing grandeur, which riveted to the deck some of our crew, who would 
perhaps have beheld with indifference the less imposing effect of the icebergs. 
The rays were too oblique to illuminate more than the inequalities of the floes, 
and, falling thus partially on the grotesque shapes, either really assumed 
by the ice or distorted by the unequal refraction of the atmosphere, so be- 
trayed the imagination that it required no great exertion of fancy to trace 
in various directions architectural edifices, grottos, and caves, here and there, 
glittering as if with precious metals." 

Interesting accounts of the habits of Arctic birds are given in Beechey's 

"From an early hour in the morning until the period of rest returned, the 
shores around us reverberated with the merry cry of the little auk, willocks, 
divers, cormorants, gulls, and other aquatic birds; and, wherever we went, 
groups of walruses, basking in the sun, mingled their playful roar with the 
husky bark of the seal." The little auks or rotges (the Alca die) were so 
numerous, that "we have frequently seen an uninterrupted line of them ex- 


tending full half-way over the bay, or to a distance of more than three miles, 
and so close together that thirty have fallen at one shot. This living column 
might be about six yards broad and as many deep; so that, allowing sixteen 
birds to a cubic yard, there would be four millions of these creatures on the 
wing at one time. 

"The reindeer," he says, "showed evident marks of affection for each 
other. They were at this time in pairs, and when one was shot the other would 
hang over it, and occasionally lick it, apparently bemoaning its fate ; and, if not 
immediately killed, would stand three or four shots rather than desert its 
fallen companion." 

Beechey also describes some ice-avalanches, a truly marvelous sight. 

"The first was occasioned by the discharge of a musket at about half a 
mile's distance from the glacier. Immediately after the report of the gun, 
a noise resembling thunder was heard in the direction of the iceberg (glacier), 
and in a few seconds more an immense piece broke away, and fell headlong 
into the sea. The crew of the launch, supposing themselves beyond the reach 
of its influence, quietly looked upon the scene, when presently a sea arose and 
rolled toward the shore with such rapidity, that the crew had not time to take 
any precautions, and the boat was in consequence washed upon the beach, and 
completely filled by the succeeding wave. As soon as their astonishment had 
subsided, they examined the boat, and found her so badly stove that it became 
necessary to repair her in order to return to the ship. They had also the 
curiosity to measure the distance the boat had been carried by the wave, and 
found it to be ninety-six feet." 

In viewing the same glacier from a boat at a distance, a second avalanche 
took place, which afforded them the gratification of witnessing the creation, 
as it were, of a sea iceberg ; an opportunity which has occurred to few, though 
it is generally understood that such monsters can only be generated on shore. 

"This occurred on a remarkably fine day, when the quietness of the bay 
was first interrupted by the noise of the falling body. Lieutenant Franklin and 
myself had approached one of these stupendous walls of ice, and were endeav- 
oring to search into the innermost recess of a deep cavern that was near the 
foot of the glacier, when we heard a report as if of a cannon, and, turning to 
the quarter whence it proceeded, we perceived an immense piece of the front 
of the berg sliding down from the height of two hundred feet at least into the 
sea, and dispersing the water in every direction, accompanied by a loud, grind- 
ing noise, and followed by a quantity of water, which, being previously lodged 


in the fissures, now made its escape in numberless small cataracts over the 
front of the glacier." 

The plunge of the enormous mass caused the Dorothea to careen, though 
at a distance of four miles. Continuing, Beechey says : 

"The piece that had been disengaged at first wholly disappeared under 
water, and nothing was seen but a violent boiling of the sea, and a shooting up 
of clouds of spray, like that which occurs at the foot of a great cataract. After 
a short time it reappeared, raising its head full a hundred feet above the surface, 
with water pouring down from all parts of it; and then, laboring as if doubtful 
which way it should fall, it rolled over, and after rocking about some minutes, 
at length became settled. We now approached it, and found it nearly a quarter 
of a mile in circumference, and sixty feet out of water. Knowing its specific 
gravity, and making a fair allowance for its inequalities, we computed its 
weight at 421,660 tons. A stream of salt water was still pouring down its sides, 
and there was a continual cracking noise, as loud as that of a cart-whip, occa- 
sioned, I suppose, by the escape of confined air." 

Another thrilling marine adventure is described by DeLong, whose ship 
Jeannette was lost in 1881. DeLong's journal of June 12 reads as follows : 

"At 7 130 a. m. the ice commenced to move toward the port side, but after 
advancing a foot or two came to rest. Employed one watch in hauling heavy 
floe into a small canal on the port bow, to close it up and receive the greater 
part of the thrust. 

"At 4 p. m. the ice came down in great force all along the port side, jam- 
ming the ship hard against the ice on the starboard side, causing her to heel 
16° to starboard. From the snapping and cracking of the bunker sides and 
starting in of the starboard ceiling, as well as the opening of the seams in the 
ceiling to the width of one and one-fourth inches, it was feared that the ship 
was about to be seriously endangered, and orders were accordingly given to 
lower the starboard boats and haul them away from the ship to a safe position 
on the ice-floe. This was done quietly and without confusion. The ice, in 
coming in on the port side, also had a movement toward the stern, and this 
last movement not only raised her port bow, but buried the starboard quarter, 
and jamming it and the stern against the heavy ice, effectually prevented the 
ship rising to pressure. Mr. Melville (chief engineer), while below in the 
engine-room, saw a break across the ship in the wake of the boilers and engines, 
showing that so solidly were the stern and starboard quarters held by the ice 
that the ship was breaking in two from the pressure upward exerted on the 


port bow of the ship. The starboard side of the ship was also evidently broken 
in, because water was rising rapidly in the starboard coal-bunkers. Orders were 
now given to land one-half of the pemmican in the deck-house, and all the 
bread which was on deck, and the sleds and dogs were likewise carried to a 
position of safety. The ship was heeled 22° to starboard, and was raised 
forward 4' 6", the entire port bow being visible also to a height of 4' 6" from 
the forefoot. * * * 

"At 5 p. m. the pressure was renewed, and continued with tremendous 
force, the ship cracking in every part. The spar-deck commenced to buckle 
up, and the starboard side seemed again on the point of coming in. Orders 
were now given to get out provisions, clothing, bedding, ship's books and 
papers, and to remove all sick to a place of safety. While engaged in this work 
another tremendous pressure was received, and at 6 p. m. it was found that the 
vessel was beginning to fill. From that time forward every effort was devoted 
to getting provisions, etc., on the ice, and it was not desisted from until the 
water had risen to the spar-deck, the ship being now heeled to starboard 30°. 
The starboard side was evidently broken in abreast of the mainmast, and the 
ship was settling fast. Our ensign had been hoisted at the mizzen, and every 
preparation made for abandoning the ship, and at 8 p. m. everybody was 
ordered to leave her. Assembling on the floe, we dragged all our boats and 
provisions clear of bad cracks, and prepared to camp down for the night." 





One of the most famous of the polar trips of the last hundred years was 
that of Sir John Franklin. It is famous for what he discovered and because 
of the terrible ending of a promising enterprise. Of all the stories of dreadful 
want and agony that have been preserved from the records of Arctic travelers, 
none surpasses that concerning these Englishmen whose fate remained a 
mystery for years. 

Franklin was a bold English searfarer, — one of those born adventurers 
to whom even war seems to be too commonplace. His eyes were ever toward 
the unknown parts of the globe. He was truly of the mold of those to 
whom privation and a struggle with the terrible and mysterious is more allur- 
ing than domestic comfort. 

He made several exploratory trips in his early years which were, in a 
way, a preparation for the climax of his career. He was about sixty years 
old when, in 1845, he started on his journey which was to be his last. 

"The Erebus and Terror, which formed the fleet, had already proved their 
capacity for withstanding the strain and pressure of the ice floes. They 
each carried a crew numbering 67 officers and men, and while Franklin took 
charge of the Erebus with Captain Fitz-James, the Terror was commanded 
by Captain Crozier. The ships were provisioned for three years, and the 
task set them was to discover and sail through the passage from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific Oceans. The intention of the Government was to ascertain 
whether or not this passage existed and Franklin was instructed to go by 
Lancaster Sound to Cape Walker (lat. 74 degrees N. ; long. 98 degrees W.) 
and thence south and west to push through Behring's Straits to the other 

"Franklin was full of enthusiasm as to the outcome of the expedition. 
That it would prove the existence of the passage he had no doubt, and subse- 
quent events justified him. But he had bigger notions then merely proving 



the passage. 'I believe it is possible to reach the pole over the ice by winter- 
ing at Spitzbergen and going in the spring before the ice breaks up,' he 
said before starting, and no one would have been surprised had he returned 
in the three years with a record of the journey. Public interest was thor- 
oughly aroused in the enterprise, and when the two vessels set sail from 
Greenhithe on May 19, 1845, they had a brilliant send-off. On June i they 
arrived at Stromness in the Orkney Islands, and on July 4 at Whale Fish 
Island, off the coast of Greenland, where the dispatch boat Barreto Junior 
parted company with them to bring home Franklin's dispatches to the Admir- 
alty, reporting 'All Well' Later on came the news that Captain Dannett, of 
the whaler Prince of Wales, had spoken them in Melville Bay." 

This was the last direct news from Franklin's ships for many years, — 
in fact, the last ever seen of the voyagers by any eye save that of Eskimos. 
From what was learned later, however, it appears that the ships managed 
to reach Beechy Island at the entrance of Wellington Channel, and then pro- 
ceeded to Barrows' Strait, nearly 100 miles west of the channel entrance. At 
this point the ships made anchorage, and the men faced the first winter with 
plenty of supplies, with the best of health, and without fear of the future. 

"The first Christmas festival of the voyage was kept up with high revel. 
If fresh beef was not available, venison was, and there was plenty of material 
for the manufacture of the time-honoured 'duff.' The officers and men, clad 
in their thick, heavy fur garments, clustered together as the simple religious 
service was read, and over the silent white covering of sea and land the 
sound of their voices rolled as they sang the hymns and carols which were 
being sung in their native land. Then came the merry-making and the feast- 
ing in cabins decked with bunting, for no green stuff was available for deco- 

"The first New Year's Day was saddened by the death of one of their 
comrades, and the silent ice fields witnessed another impressive sight when 
the crews of both vessels slowly marched ashore to the grave dug in the 
frozen soil of Beechy Island. The body, wrapped in a Union Jack, was borne 
by the deceased man's messmates, the members of his watch headed by their 
officers following, and after them the remainder of the officers and crew. The 
bells of each ship tolled as the cortege passed over the ice, the crunching of the 
crisp snow under foot being the only other sound till the grave was reached. 
There the solemn and impressive sen^ice of a sailor's funeral was said, the 
mingled voices as they repeated the responses passing as a great hum through 


the still cold air. A momentary silence followed as the flag-swathed figure 
was lovered into the grave, and then a quick rattle of fire-arms as the last 
salute was paid echoed far and wide among the ice-bergs. 

"Twice more was that scene repeated before the ships cleared from the 
ice, and one of the first signs discovered by the searchers after Franklin were 
the three headstones raised on that lonely isle to the memory of W. Braine, 
John Hartwell, and John Torrington, who died while the ships were winter- 
ing in the cold season of 1845-6. 

During this dark season some progress was made in the journey, for 
whenever the ice broke up for a spell, the ships were forced onward. By the 
end of the winter the expedition had reached within two hundred and fifty 
miles of the western end of the passage, and in July the voyage was resumed 
in earnest. Little by little they worked west, — how little is seen by the fact 
that they made but one hundred and fifty miles in two months. At the end 
of this period, in September, 1846, the ships became frozen in the ice for the 
last time. They were off the north end of King Williams' Land. 

And now the explorers, first began to realize that all might not be well 
with them. They had provisions for three years when they started; and 
when the winter they were facing was over, they would have been in the 
Arctic two years. There was no help at hand, however, ,and another winter 
passed without light breaking on their problem. 

Then, in the spring, it was seen something must be done. They could not 
go back; they must go forward. One hundred and thirty men looked to 
Franklin for their lives. ' He decided, in the emergency, to send a party ahead 
in the effort to discover the end of the passage and find open sea by which the 
ships could return home. Lieut. Gore was the man selected for this mission. 
He and his followers started overland, and after a terrific journey, at last 
reached an elevation from which they could discern the glorious open sea. 
The northeast passage had been found. 

"To commemorate the fact the little party built a cairn upon the summit 
of the point, which they named Point Victory, and enclosed in a tin canister 
they deposited, under the cairn, a record of their trip and its results. Twelve 
years later this record was found, and by it the honour due to Franklin for 
the discovery of the passage was confirmed. 

"Elated with the success of their efforts, Lieutenant Gore and his com- 
panions retraced their way back to the ships, for with the end of their journey 
near at hand, all fears of the provisions running short were at an end. As soon 


as the ice broke np they would be away into the sea they had seen from 
Point Victory, and sailing home with their mission accomplished, their task 
completed, and nothing but honour and glory waiting them at home. As 
soon as they came within sight of the two ships, perched up among the ice 
ridges, they shouted out to their comrades to let them know of the success 
achieved. Round about the ships they saw men standing in groups, but 
instead of answering cheers, the men only looked in their direction. Unable 
to understand why so much indifference was displayed, Lieutenant Gore and 
his companions hurried forward, and, as they came nearer, some of the men 
separated themselves from the groups and came to meet them with slow steps. 

"Soon the cause of their depression was made known to the returned 
explorers. The leader of the expedition lay dying in his cabin on board 
the Erebus." 

No more tragic picture lives in all history than that of the white-haired 
British naval officer, lying in torment in his dark cabin, while the haggard 
men he had sent to spy out the land told him brokenly of their success. He 
knew that he had done what no other man had done; but he also knew he 
must die without receiving the plaudits of the multitudes at home. And so 
he died, June ii, 1847, amid the sobs of his officers. 

When the leader of a desperate hope perishes, the fate of his followers 
hangs by a thread. So it was with the Franklin party. Capt. Crozier was 
named the leader, and he took up the burden as soon as Franklin was buried, 
there in the Arctic ice. Hopeless indeed seemed the situation. The ships could 
go neither forward nor backward ; the food supply was dwindling. The men 
were beginning to show the effect of the long imprisonment. Yet all the time 
they were moving nearer the goal, for the mass of ice which held the ships 
was carrying them on. 

Winter again. Now the scurvy invaded the crew. Men's minds began to 
fail. Some could not walk. Many lay helpless in their bunks. By April, 
1848, twenty were dead. 

It was agreed at last to take the desperate measure of abandoning the 
ships, and dashing for the spot Gore had discovered, — the brave Gore, who 
had by now succumbed with others. On April 22, a march was begun over 
the mainland, in an effort to reach the Great Fish river, where Eskimo camps 
might be found. But soon it was plain that not all of the men could reach 
the goal alive, 

*'A council was held, and it was decided that the strongest should take 


enough supplies to last them for a time and push forward as rapidly as possi- 
ble, while the remainder should follow at a slower rate and by shorter stages. 
The majority were in the latter division, and only a few days elapsed after 
the smaller band, numbering about thirty, had left, before the ravages of 
scurvy and semi-starvation made it possible for even less than five miles a day 
being covered. So debilitated were all the members that further advance 
was abandoned until they had, by another long rest, tried to recuperate 
their energies. But the terrible bleakness of the place where they were 
wrought havoc among them, and every day men fell down never to rise 
again, until the only hope for the survivors lay in returning to the ships, 
where, at least, they would have shelter, 

"Wearily they staggered over the rugged ice ridges, each man expending 
his remaining energies in striving to carry provisions, without which only 
death awaited them. Men fell as they walked, unnoticed by their com- 
panions, whose only aim was to get back to the ships, and whose faculties 
were too dimmed to understand anything else. Blindly, but doggedly, they 
stumbled onward, silent in their agony, brave to the last when wornout 
nature gave way and they sank down, one after the other, till none was left 
alive and only the still figures, lying face downwards on the frozen snow, bore 
mute witness of how they had neither faltered nor wavered in their duty, 
but had died, as Britons always should die, true to the end." 

Thirty of the men traveled less than five miles ; others pushed ahead, and 
at last reached the cairn established by Gore. They placed within it another 
record, this time a record of death and disaster, telling the story of Franklin's 
end, and giving the names of the few survivors. 

It was a case of men about to die performing a service for the dead. None 
of those who reached the cairn ever got more than a few miles from that 
point. For a little distance they proceeded, dragging on a sledge a heavy boat, 
their only hope if they should reach open water. Then came the crowning 
stroke when owing to a break-up of the ice, the boat floated away, and to 
save it they were forced to leave their food supplies behind. Then all was 
over. The few strongest who had gone on ahead turned back to the com- 
rades they had left behind. Together, then, they died, and the Arctic snows of 
many a winter drifted over their bones. 

During these years public sentiment had passed from pride in the daring of 
the expedition to anxiety over its fate, and finally into a great clamor that some- 
thing should be done in their relief. Many enterprises of succor were 


planned; many met with failure. It was years before any definite evidence 
of the fate of Franklin and his men was gleaned from the great frozen 

In 1849 as many as eight expeditions, some sent by England, some by the 
United States, went in search of Franklin. The first to find traces of the dead 
was that of Capt. Shepherd Osborne, sent by the Hudson Bay Company. On 
the 23rd of August, 1850, when exploring Beechy Island, he found relics 
scattered over an area of several miles. They consisted of empty tin cans, 
the embankment of a house, and, finally, the graves of three men who had 
been members of the crews of the Erebus and the Terror. 

Aroused by these discoveries five more parties went north in 1852, and as 
many more in 1853. The results of these were conclusive. In 1854 Dr. Rae 
met a band of Eskimos who had articles of silverware that had come from 
the missing ships. By trading with the Eskimos Dr. Rae got possession of 
a number of these relics. In the meantime a British expedition headed by Capt. 
McClure, in the Investigator, had been cruising in search during four years and 
when McClure was rescued from the plight in which his expedition had 
became caught, it was learned that he had found an Eskimo wearing in his ear 
a brass button cut from the clothing of one of Franklin's sailors. This led to 
the belief that the man had been murdered by the natives; but no proof 
of it was ever forthcoming. 

Very important were the discoveries made by Sir L. F. McClintock, who 
went north in 1857 ^^ the head of a party organized by the widow of Frank- 
lin. McClintock went direct to King Williams' Land, and found confirmatory 
evidence of the death of the Franklin party. 

''On May 25, 1859, McClintock, while walking along a sandy ridge from 
whence the snow had disappeared, he noticed something white shining through 
the sand. He stooped to examine it, thinking it to be a round white stone, but 
closer inspection showed it to be the back of a skull. Upon the sand being 
removed, the entire skeleton was found, lying face downwards, with frag- 
ments of blue cloth still adhering to its bleached bones. The man had evi- 
dently been young, lightly built, and of the average height. Near by were 
found a small pocket brush and comb, and a pocket-book containing two coins 
and some scraps of writing. He had evidently fallen forward as he was walk- 
ing, and never risen. As an old Eskimo woman told Dr. Rae, 'they fell down 
and died as they walked along,' overcome with cold, hunger and sickness. 

"The explorers were now in the region where all their finds were to be 


made. Five days later McClintock came upon a boat which he found, from a 
note attached to it, that Hobson had already examined. It had evidently 
escaped the notice of the Eskimo, and, until the white men found it, had 
probably not been touched by human hands from the moment its occupants 
had died. It was mounted on a sledge, as though it had been hauled over 
the ice; but from tht fact that its bows pointed towards the spot where the 
ships had been, it was surmised that the men were dragging it back to the 
vessels when they were overcome. 

"Inside were two bodies, one lying on its side under a pile of clothing 
towards the stern, and the other in the bows, in such a position as to suggest 
that the man had crawled forward, had laboriously pulled himself up to look 
over the gunwale, and had then slipped down and died where he fell. Beside 
him were two guns, loaded and ready cocked, as though the man had been 
apprehensive of attack. There was also as many as five watches, several 
books (mostly with the name of Graham Gore or initials G. G in them), abun- 
dance of clothes and other articles such as knives, pieces of sheet lead, files, 
sounding leads and lines, spoons and forks, oars, a sail, and two chronometers, 
but of food only some tea and chocolate. 

"The story mutely told by these relics was only too plain. Weary with 
hauHng it, the majority of the men had left the boat in order to get back to 
the ships and obtain a fresh supply of provisions, leaving two, who were too 
weak to struggle on, in the boat as comfortable as they could be made until 
some of the others could get back to help them. Then the days had passed 
until the store of provisions had been consumed and the two sufferers had 
grown weary with waiting, so weary that one had slept and died under his 
wraps, and the other, with his remaining vestige of strength, had crawled 
forward to peep out once more for the help that was so long in coming. But 
only ice had met his gaze, and, sinking down, he had also passed into that 
overwhelming sleep, and had lain undisturbed for twelve years under the 
covering of the Arctic snows." 

Others who helped prove Franklin's fate were Grinnell, an American; 
Peabody, an Englishman, ^nd Sir John Ross, also a Briton, and Capt. Charles 
Francis Hall, of New London, Conn. While prosecuting their search they 
explored much territory and made discoveries of great value to science. 

Most noted of all the explorers who thus turned the Franklin tragedy 
into great account for the advancement of learning was Elisha Kent Kane, an 
American physician. Dr. Kane's book, "Arctic Explorations," is one of the 


most interesting and authoritative of all written in that period. Moreover, it 
was this volume, full of the romance of the mysterious north, that first fired 
Peary, the pole discoverer, with zeal to visit the Arctic region. The following 
chapter is given to Dr. Kane's work. 

Thrilling in the extreme were the experiences of McClintock, McClure, 
Rae, and others. Not the least dramatic were the discovery of records of 
earlier expeditions. 

McClintock, in 1850, tells of finding the place where Parry camped thirty 
years before. This was in a cove on Melville Island. 

"On reaching the ravine leading into the cove," he says, "we spread across, 
and walked up, and easily found the encampment, although the pole had fallen 
down. The very accurate report published of his journey saved us much labor 
in finding the tin cylinder and ammunition. The crevices betv^een the stones 
piled over them were jfilled with ice and snow ; the powder completely destroyed, 
and cylinder eaten through with rust, and filled with ice. From the extreme 
difficulty of descending into such a ravine with any vehicle, I supposed that the 
most direct route, where all seemed equally bad, was selected ; therefore sent the 
men directly up the northern bank, in search of the wheels which were left 
where the cart broke down. They fortunately found them at once; erected a 
cairn about the remains of the wall built to shelter the tent; placed a record 
on it, in one tin case within another. We then collected a few relics of our 
predecessors, and returned with the remains of the cart to our encampment. 
An excellent fire had been made with willow stems; and upon this a kettle, 
containing Parry's cylinder, was placed. As soon as the ice was thawed out of 
it, the record it contained was carefully taken out. I could only just distin- 
guish the date. Had it been in a better state of preservation, I would have 
restored it to its lonely position." 

Capt. Inglefield, in the Isabel, a steamer fitted out by Lady Franklin in 
1852, tells of a gale during which he attempted to land on the coast of Smith's 
Sound in la,titude 78 '.28. After describing the impossibility of landing Ingle- 
field says : 

"The rest of the 27th and the following day were spent In reaching, under 
snug sail, on either tack, whilst the pitiless northerly gale drove the sleet and 
snow into our faces, and rendered it painful work to watch for the icebergs, 
that we were continually passing. On this account, I could not heave the ship 
to, as the difficulty of discerning objects rendered it imperative that she should 
be kept continually under full command of the helm. The temperature, 25°, 


and the continual freezing of the spray, as it broke over the vessel, combined 
with the slippery state of the decks from the sleet that fell and the ice which 
formed from the salt water, made all working of ropes and sails not only dis- 
agreeable, but almost impracticable; so that I was not sorry when the wind 

"By 4 a. m., of the 29th, it fell almost to a calm; but a heavy swell, the 
thick fog and mist remaining, precluded our seeing any distance before us ; and 
thus we imperceptibly drew too near the land-pack off the western shore, so 
that, a little after Mr. Abernethy had come on deck, in the morning watch, I 
was called up, as he said that the ship was drifting rapidly into the ice. Soon 
on deck, I found that there was no question on that score ; for even now the 
loose pieces were all round us, and the swell was rapidly lifting the ship further 
into the pack, whilst the roar of waters, surging on the vast floe-pieces, gave 
us no very pleasant idea of what would be our fate if we were fairly entrapped 
in this frightful chaos. The whale-boat was lowered, and a feeble effort made 
to get her head off shore ; but still in we went, plunging and surging amongst 
the crushing masses. 

"While I was anxiously watching the screw, upon which all our hopes were 
now centered, I ordered the boiler, which had been under repair, and was partly 
disconnected, to be rapidly secured, the fires to be lighted, and to get up the 
steam ; in the meantime the tackles were got up for hoisting out our long-boat, 
and every preparation was made for the worst. Each man on board knew he 
was working for his life, and each toiled with his utmost might; ice-anchors 
were laid out, and hawsers got upon either bow and quarter, to keep the ship 
from driving further in ; but two hours must elapse before we could expect t^e 
use of the engine. Eager were the inquiries when will the steam be up ? and 
wood and blubber were heaped in the furnace to get up the greatest heat we 
could command. 

"At last the engineer reported all was ready ; and then, warping the ship's 
head round to seaward, we screwed ahead with great caution ; and at last 
found ourselves, through God's providence and mercy, relieved from our diffi- 
culties. It was a time of the deepest suspense to me ; the lives of my men and 
the success of our expedition depended entirely on the safety of the screw ; and 
thus I watched, with intense anxiety, the pieces of ice, as we drifted slowly 
past them ; and, passing the word to the engineer, 'East her,' 'Stop her,' till the 
huge masses dropped into the wake, we succeeded, with much difficulty, in 
saving the screw from any serious damage, though the edges of the fan were 
burnished bright from abrasion against the ice." 


McClure describes some exj^riences of the breaking up of the ice July 24, 
1 85 1, off Point Armstrong. 

"The wind, veering to the westward during the night," says he, "set large 
bodies of ice into the water we occupied, which was rapidly filling. To prevent 
bemg forced on shore, we were obliged, at 8 a. m. of the 25th, to run into the 
pack, where we drifted, according to the tide, about a mile and a half from the 
beach ; but, during the twenty- four hours, made about two miles and a half to 
the northeast, from which, when taken with the quantity of drift-wood that 
is thickly strewed along the beach, I am of opinion that on this side of the 
strait there is a slight current to the northeast, while upon the opposite one it 
sets to the southward, upon which there is scarcely any wood, and our progress, 
while similarly situated, was in a southern direction. We continued drifting 
in the pack, without meeting any obstruction, until 10 a. m. of the ist of 
August, when a sudden and most unexpected motion of the ice swept us with 
much velocity to the northeast, toward a low point, off which were several 
shoals, having many heavy pieces of grounded ice upon them, toward which we 
were directly setting, decreasing the soundings from twenty-four to nine and 
a half fathoms. Destruction was apparently not far distant, when, most oppor- 
tunely, the ice eased a little, and, a fresh wind coming from the land, sail was 
immediately made, which, assisted by warps, enabled the ship to be forced 
ahead about two hundred yards, which shot us clear of the ice and the point 
into sixteen and a half fathoms, in which water we rounded the shoals; the 
ice then again closed, and the ship became fixed until the 14th of August, when 
the fog, which since the previous day had been very dense, cleared, and dis- 
closed open water about half a mile from the vessel, with the ice loose about 

The difificulty of clearing away large masses of ice was, to some extent, 
obviated by blasting. "Previously to quitting the floe," says McClure, "I was 
desirous of tiying what effect blasting would have upon such a mass. A jar 
containing thirty-six pounds of powder was let down twelve feet into the 
water near the center ; the average thickness was eleven feet, and its diameter 
four hundred yards. The result was most satisfactory, rending it in every direc- 
tion, so that with ease we could effect a passage through any part of it." 

McClure also tells of one of those dramatic meetings in the ice-fields that 
often occur. Says he : 

"While walking near the ship, in conversation with the first lieutenant upon 
the subject of digging a grave for a man who had just died, and discussing how 


we could cut a grave in the ground whilst it was so hardly frozen (a subject 
naturally sad and depressing), we perceived a figure walking rapidly towards 
us from the rough ice at the entrance of the bay. From his pace and gestures 
we both naturally supposed, at first, that he was some one of our party pursued 
by a bear ; but, as we approached him, doubts arose as to who it could be. He 
was certainly unlike any of our men ; but, recollecting that it was possible some 
one might be trying a new travelling-dress preparatory to the departure of our 
sledges, and certain that no one else was near, we continued to advance. 

"When within about two hundred yards of us, the strange figure threw 
up his arms, and made gesticulations resembling those used by Esquimaux, 
besides shouting at the top of his voice words which, from the wind and in- 
tense excitement of the moment, sounded like a wild screech : and this brought 
us both fairly to a standstill. The stranger came quietly on, and we saw that 
his face was as black as ebony (made black by the lamp smoke in his tent) ; 
and really, at the moment, we might be pardoned for wondering whether he 
was a denizen of this or the other world ; as it was, we gallantly stood our 
ground, and, had the skies fallen upon us, we could hardly have been more 
astonished than when the dark-faced stranger called out, 'I'm Lieutenant Pim, 
late of the Herald, and now in the Resolute. Captain Kellett is in her, at 
Dealy Island.' 

"To rush at and seize him by the hand was the first impulse, for the heart 
was too full for the tongue to speak. The announcement of relief being close 
at hand, when none was supposed to be even within the Arctic Circle, was too 
sudden, unexpected, and joyous, for our minds to comprehend it at once. The 
news flew with lightning rapidity; the ship was all in commotion; the sick, 
forgetful of their maladies, leaped from their hammocks ; the artificers dropped 
their tools, and the lower deck was cleared of men ; for they all rushed for the 
hatchway, to be assured that a stranger was actually among them, and that his 
tale was true. Despondency fled the ship, and Lieut. Pim received a welcome — < 
pure, hearty, and grateful — that he will surely remember and cherish to the 
end of his day." 

Dr. Rae's journal gives details of the finding of Franklin's relics, hereto- 
fore described. Under date of March 20, 1854, he wrote: 

"We were met by a very intelligent Esquimo, driving a dog-sledge laden 
with musk-ox beef. This man at once consented to accompany us two days' 
journey, and in a few minutes had deposited his load on the snow, and was 
ready to join us. Having explained to him my object, he said that the road 


by which he had come was the best for us; and, having hghtened the men's 
sledges, we travelled with more facility. We were now joined by another of 
the natives, who had been absent seal-hunting yesterday, but, being anxious 
to see us, had visited our snow-house early this morning, and then followed up 
our track. This man was very communicative, and, on putting to him the 
usual questions as to his having seen 'white man' before, or any ships or boats, 
he replied in the negative ; but said that a party of 'Kabloomans' had died of 
starvation a long distance to the west of where we then were, and beyond a 
large river. He stated that he did not know the exact place, that he never had 
been there, and that he could not accompany us so far. The substance of the 
information then and subsequently obtained from various sources was to the 
following effect: 

"In the spring, four winters past (1850), while some Esquimo families 
were killing seals near the north shore of a large island, named in Arrow- 
smith's charts King William's Land, about forty white men were seen trav- 
elling in company southward over the ice, and dragging a boat and sledges with 
them. They were passing along the west shore of the above-named island. 
None of the party could speak the Esquimo language so well as to be under- 
stood, but by signs the natives were led to believe that the ship or ships had 
been crushed by ice, and that they were now going to where they expected to 
find deer to shoot. From the appearance of the men — -all of whom, with the 
exception of an officer, were hauling on the drag-ropes of the sledge, and 
looked thin — they were then supposed to be getting short of provisions; and 
they purchased a small seal, or piece of seal, from the natives. The officer was 
described as being a tall, stout, middle-aged man. When their day's journey 
terminated, they pitched tents to rest in. 

"At a later date the same season, but previous to the disruption of the ice, 
the corpses of some thirty persons and some graves were discovered on the 

The following is a list of the articles obtained from the Esquimos by Dr. 

One silver table-fork — crest, an animal's head with wings extended above ; 
three silver table-forks — crest, a bird with wings extended; one silver table- 
spoon — crest, with initials "F. R. M. C." (Captain Crozier, Terror) ; one silver 
table-spoon and one fork — crest, bird with laurel-branch in mouth, motto, 
"Spcro melioraf one silver table-spoon, one tea-spoon, and one dessert-fork — 
crest, a fish's head looking upwards, with laurel-branches on each side; one 


silver table-fork — initials, "H. D. S. G." (Harry D. S. Goodsir, assistant- 
surgeon, Erebus) ; one silver table-fork — initials, "A. M'D." (Alexander 
M'Donald, assistant-surgeon. Terror) ; one silver table-fork — initials, "G. A. 
M." (Gillies A. Macbean, second master, Terror) ; one silver table-fork — 
initials, "J. T. ;" one silver dessert-spoon — initials, "J- S. P." (John S. Peddie, 
surgeon, Erebus) ; a round silver plate, engraved, "Sir John Franklin, 
K. C. B. ;" a star or order, with motto, "Nee aspera terrent, G. R. III. 

One of the most pathetic stories of the Arctic belongs to this period. It 
is the death of Lieut. Bellot, a young Frenchman attached to the Prince Albert, 
one of the Franklin relief ships, under Capt. Kennedy. He was attempting to 
lead a party to join Sir Edward Belcher's squadron, near Cape Beecher. 

Bellot left Beechey Island Aug. 12, 1853, with a party. They encountered 
a belt of water before reaching the mainland, and Bellot sought to cross it 
alone in a boat. But the ice separated him from his companions and he per- 
ished. One of his comrades, named Johnson, tells of building an ice-house, 
and continues : 

"Mr. Bellot sat for half an hour in conversation with us, talking on the 
danger of our position. I told him I was not afraid, and that the American 
expedition was driven up and down this channel by the ice. He replied, *I know 
they were; and when the Lord protects us, not a hair of our heads shall be 

"I then asked Mr. Bellot what time it was. He said, 'About quarter past 
eight a. m.' (Thursday, the i8th), and then lashed up his books, and said he 
would go and see how the ice was driving. He had only been gone about four 
minutes, when I went round the same hummock under which we were sheltered 
to look at him, but could not see him ; and, on returning to our shelter, saw his 
stick on the opposite side of a crack, about five fathoms wide, and the ice all 
breaking up. I then called out 'Mr. Bellot!' but no answer — (at this time 
blowing very heavy). After this, I again searched round, but could see noth- 
ing of him. 

"I believe that when he got from the shelter the wind blew him into the 
crack, and, his south-wester being tied down, he could not rise. Finding there 
was no hope of again seeing Lieut. Bellot, I said to Hook, T'm not afraid : I 
know the Lord will always sustain us.' We commenced travelling, to try to 
get to Cape De Haven, or Port Phillips ; and, when we got within two miles of 
Cape De Haven, could not get on shore ; and returned for this side, endeavor- 


ing to get to the southward, as the ice was driving to the northward. We were 
that night and the following day in coming across/ and came into the land on 
the eastern shore a long way to the northward of the place where we were 
driven off. We got into the land at what Lieut. Bellot told us was Point 

"In drifting up the straits towards the Polar Sea, we saw an iceberg lying 
close to the shore, and found it on the ground. We succeeded in getting on it, 
and remained for six hours. I said to David Hook, 'Don't be afraid ; we must 
make a boat of a piece of ice.' Accordingly, we got on to a piece passing, and 
I had a paddle belonging to the India-rubber boat. By this piece of drift-ice 
we managed to reach the shore, and then proceeded to where the accident hap- 
pened. Reached it on Friday. Could not find our shipmates, or any provisions. 
Went on for Cape Bowden, and reached it on Friday night." 

When the Esquimos heard of Bellot's death, they shed tears, and cried 
"Poor Bellot ! poor Bellot !" Two years before, he had seen an Esquimo drag- 
ging himself over the ice, with a broken leg. He called the carpenter and gave 
him directions to make a wooden leg for the poor fellow, and to teach him to 
walk with it. 



"An Arctic day and an Arctic night," says Dr. Kane in one part of his 
book, "age a man more rapidly and harshly than a year anywhere else in all 
this weary world." Dr. Kane was not yet forty years of age when he went 
to the north. When he returned he was a physical wreck, with barely 
strength to pen the volume that still lives in the libraries of explorers. 

The expedition under the command of Dr. Kane sailed from New York 
on the 30th day of May, 1853. It consisted of eighteen chosen men, besides 
the commander, embarked in a small brig of one hundred and forty-four tons 
burden, named the Advance. Dr. Kane's predetermined course was to enter 
the strait discovered the previous year by Captain Inglefield, at the top of 
Baffin's Bay, and to push as far northward through it as practicable. }He 
was to cross Melville Bay in the wake of the vast icebergs with which the sea 
is there strewn. These huge frozen masses are often driven one way by a 
deep current, while the floes are drifted in another by winds and surface- 
streams, disruptions being thus necessarily caused in the vast ice-fields. The 
doctor's tactics were to dodge about in the rear of these floating ice-moun- 
tains, holding upon them whenever adverse winds were troublesome, and 
pressing forward whenever an opportunity occurred. 

Dr. Kane's plan was based upon the probably extension of the land- 
masses of Greenland to the far north — a fact at that time not verified by 
travel, but sustained by the analogies of physical geography. 

With this plan in mind. Dr. Kane pushed the ship Advance to Melville 
Bay, where the first great difficulties were encountered. By arduous work, 
however, they reached Littleton Island, and deposited some stores. A long 
battle with ice and storm followed, lasting through the month of August, 
and the ship finally reached Cape George Russell, where the ship was pre- 
pared for a long imprisonment. 

Many interesting things were met with during the winter that followed. 



Temperature readings were made hourly, and the lowest found was in Feb- 
ruary, when seventy degrees Fahrenheit was reached. At this temperature 
chloroform froze and even chloric ether, never before known to freeze, became 
congealed. The ship was then in latitude y8. 

By March, 1854, the party showed heavy signs of their privation. Scurvy 
spots mottled their faces, and many could do no hard work. Dr. Kane him- 
self, never a very strong man, was much exhausted. But he never relaxed 
in his determination to push north. He organized a party of men, placed 
himself at their head, and planned to force a way over bergs and mountains. 
First, however, he sent out an advance expedition with supplies — and this 
party came to grief, owing to a heavy gale, accompanied by a temperature of 
57 degrees below. Three members of the party managed to force their way 
back, and on hearing their story Dr. Kane sought to go to the rescue. He 
started out with nine men. 

His own story of the trip contains this : 

**We had been nearly eighteen hours out without water or food, when 
a new hope cheered us. I think it was Hans, our Esquimaux hunter, who 
thought he saw a broad sledge-track. The drift had nearly effaced it, and 
we were some of us doubtful at first whether it was not one those accidental 
rifts which the gales make in the surface-snow. But, as we traced it on to the 
deep snow among the hummocks, we were led to footsteps; and, following 
these with religious care, we at last came' in sight of a small American flag 
fluttering from a hummock, and lower down a little Masonic banner hang- 
ing from a tent-pole hardly above the drift. It was the camp of our dis- 
abled comrades; we reached it after an unbroken march of twenty-one hours. 

"The little tent was nearly covered. I was not among the first to come 
up; but when I reached the tent-curtain, the men were standing in silent file 
on each side of it. With more kindness and delicacy of feeling than is often 
supposed to belong to sailors, but which is almost characteristic, they inti- 
mated their wish that I should go in alone. As I crawled in, and, coming 
upon the darkness, heard before me the burst of welcome gladness that came 
from the four poor fellows stretched on their backs, and then for the first 
time the cheer out3ide, my weakness and my gratitude together almost over- 
came me. 'They had expected me ; they were sure I would come !' " 

This is Dr. Kane's account of the retreat of the party, now consisting of 
fifteen men : 

"It was fortunate indeed that we were not inexperienced in sledging over 

Copyright 1909 by Underwood & Underwood. 

■ ■'ftffcia'jwiijin: JWWWHiiwiii 


^~ :i.c-:^;^r.:iSi&^ , 





the ice. A great part of our track lay among a succession of hummocks; 
some of them extending in long lines fifteen and twenty feet high, and so 
uniformly steep that we had to turn them by a considerable deviation from 
our direct course; others that we forced our way through, far above our 
heads in height, lying in parallel ridges with the space between too narrow 
for the seldge to be lowered into it safely, and yet not wide enough for the 
runners to cross without the aid of ropes to stay them. These spaces, too, were 
generally choked with light snow, hiding the openings between the ice-frag- 
ments. They were fearful traps to disengage a limb from; for every man 
knew that a fracture, or a sprain even, would cost him his life. Besides all 
this, the sledge was top-heavy with its load; the maimed men could not bear 
to be lashed down tight enough to secure them against falling off. Notwith- 
standing our caution in rejecting every superfluous burden, the weight, includ- 
ing bags and tent, was eleven hundred pounds. 

"And yet our march for the first six hours was very cheering. We made, 
by vigorous pulls and lifts, nearly a mile an hour, and reached the new floes 
before we were absolutely weary. Our sledge sustained the trial admirably. 
Ohlsen, restored by hope, walked steadily at the leading-belt of the sledge- 
lines; and I began to feel certain of reaching our half-way station of the day, 
before, where we had left our tent. But we were still nine miles from it, 
when, almost without premonition, we all became aware of an alarming fail- 
ure of our energies. 

"I was of course familiar with the benumbed and almost lethargic sensa- 
tion of extreme cold; and once, when exposed for some hours in the mid- 
winter of Baffin's Bay, I had experienced symptoms which I compared to the 
diffused paralysis of the electro-galvanic shock. But I had treated the sleepy 
comfort of freezing as something like the embellishment of romance. I had 
evidence now to the contrary. 

"Bonsall and Morton, two of our stoutest men, came to me, begging per- 
mission to sleep; but Dr. Kane refused the permission, knowing that to sleep 
where they then were meant death. At last, however, they reached a point 
of temporary safety, and slept; and, says Dr. Kane, 'when I awoke, my long 
beard was a mass of ice, frozen fast to the buffalo-skin. Godfrey had to cut 
me out with his jack-knife.' " 

On proceeding, they came to a huge mass of ice-hummocks. Says the 
explorer : 

"It required desperate efforts to work our way over it — literally des- 


perate, for our strength failed us anew, and we began to lose our self-control. 
We could not abstain any longer from eating snow ; our mouths swelled, and 
some of us became speechless. Happily, the day was warmed by a clear 
sunshine, and the thermometer rose to — 4° in the shade ; otherwise we must 
have frozen. 

"Our halts multiplied, and we fell half-sleeping on the snow. I could 
not prevent it. Strange to say, it refreshed us. I ventured upon the experi- 
ment myself, making Riley wake me at the end of three minutes; and I felt 
so much benefited by it that I timed the men in the same way. They sat on 
the runners of the sledge, fell asleep instantly, and were forced to wakefulness 
when their three minutes were out. 

"By eight in the evening we emerged from the floes. The sight of the 
Pinnacly Berg revived us. Brandy, an invaluable resource in emergency, had 
already been served out in table-spoonful doses. We now took a longer 
rest, and a last but stouter dram, and reached the brig at one p. m,, we believe, 
without a halt. 

"I say we believe ; and here, perhaps, is the most decided proof of our 
sufferings ; we were quite delirious, and had ceased to entertain a sane appre- 
hension of the circumstances about us. We moved on like men in a dream. 
Our foot-marks, seen afterwards, showed that we had steered a bee-line for 
the brig. It must have been by a sort of instinct, for it left no impress on the 
memory. Bonsall was sent staggering ahead, and reached the brig, God 
knows how, for he had fallen repeatedly at the track-lines; but he delivered, 
with punctiHous accuracy, the messages I had sent by him to Dr. Hayes. I 
though myself the soundest of all; for I went through all the formula of 
sanity, and can recall the muttering delirium of my comrades when we got 
back into the cabin of our brig. Yet I have been told since of some speeches, 
and some orders, too, of mine, which I should have remembered for their 
absurdity, if my mind had retained its balance." 

Undaunted by such experiences as this Dr. Kane started in April on a 
sledge expedition to the north, seeking, he says, "for an outlet to the mys- 
terious channels biyond (Greenland)." He was so weak by that time that he 
was at one time delirious for a week, and nearly died. Yet he achieved 
several remarkable discoveries. One was "Tennyson's Monument," a soli- 
tary column, or "minaret tower" of greenstone, the length of whose shaft 
was four hundred and eighty feet. It rose on a pedestal, itself two hundred 
and eighty feet high, as sharply finished as if it had been cast for the Place 


Vendome. But by far the most remarkable feature in the Inland Greenland 
sea is the so-called "Great Glacier of Humboldt." Of this glacier Dr. Kane 
gives a description which constitutes one of the pieces of word-painting that 
fired Peary's imagination. "This line of cliff rose in solid glassy wall three 
hundred feet above the water level, with an unknown, unfathomable depth 
below it; and its curved face, sixty miles in length, from Cape Agassiz to 
Cape Forbes, vanished into unknown space at not more than a single day's 
railroad-travel from the pole. The interior with which it communicated, 
and from which it issued, was an unsurveyed mer de glace, an ice-ocean, to the 
eye of boundless dimensions. 

"It was in full sight — the mighty crystal bridge which connects the two 
continents of America and Greenland. I say continents, for Greenland, how- 
ever insulated it may ultimately prove to be, is in mass strictly continental. 
Its least possible axis, measured from Cape Farewell to the line of this glacier, 
in the neighborhood of the eightieth parallel, gives a length of more than 
twelve hundred miles, — not materially less than that of Australia from its 
northern to its southern cape. 

"Imagine now the center of such a continent, occupied through nearly its 
whole extent by a deep unbroken sea of ice, that gathers perennial increase 
from the water-shed of vast snow-covered mountains, and all the precipita- 
tions of the atmosphere upon its own surface. Imagine this moving onward 
like a great glacial river, seeking outlets at every fiord and valley, rolling 
icy cataracts into the Atlantic and Greenland seas ; and, having at last reached 
the northern limit of the land that has borne it up, pouring out a mighty 
frozen torrent into unknown Arctic space." 

In the summer of 1854 Dr. Kane began his return to civilization. It was 
a journey full of peril, but never of despair, though by the end of the trip 
the men were starving, human wrecks. As they crossed Melville Bay death 
stared them in the face. They were going largely on foot, and making a 
mile a day. 

Dr. Kane's description of his rescue is typical of the thrilling descriptive 
passages in his book. He and his men were on the coast, awaiting they knew 
not what. 

"Just then," says the book, "a familiar sound came to us over the water. 
We had often listened to the screeching of the gulls, or the bark of the fox, 
and mistaken it for the *Huk' of the Esquimaux; but this had about it an 
inflection not to be mistaken, for it died away in the familiar cadence 
of a 'haloo.' 


« n 

'Listen Petersen! Oars — men? What is it?' and he listened quietly 
at first, and then trcmbhng, said, in a half-whisper, 'Dannemarkers !' " 

It was a vessel from Uppernavik, one of the large Greenland ports, and 
in a few days the explorers reached this point from which their return to 
America was easy. 

A meeting with Dr. Kane after the latter's rescue, is described graphically 
by his brother. After telling of a terrible gale in Baffin's Bay, he said : 

"After this gale we had little or no more trouble with the ice ; one or two 
trifling detentions of a few days brought us to the open water. We had drifted 
so far to the south that Lievely was nearer than Upernavik, and Captain Hart- 
stein determined to put in there. We had a heavy gale the night after we 
left the ice ; but so glad were we all to get clear of it, that I heard no complaints 
about rough weather. It cleared away beautifully towards morning, and we 
were all on the deck, admiring the clear water, and the fantastic shapes of the 
w^ater- washed icebergs. All hands were in high spirits; the gale had blown in 
the right direction, and in a few hours w^e should be in Lievely. The rocks of 
its land-locked harbor were already in sight. We were discussing our news by 
anticipation, when the man in the crow's nest cried out, 'A brig in the harbor !' 
and the next minute, before we had time to congratulate each other on the 
chance of sending letters home, that she had hoisted American colors — a deli- 
cate compliment, we thought, on the part of our friends, the Danes. 

"I believe our captain was about to return it, when, to our surprise, she 
hoisted another flag, the veritable one which had gone out with the Advance, 
bearing the name of Mr. Henry Grinnell. At the same moment, two boats 
were seen rounding the point, and pulling towards us. Did they contain our 
lost friends ? Yes ; the sailors had settled that. 'Those are Yankees, sir ; no 
Danes ever feathered their oars that way,' said an old whaler to me. 

"For those who had friends among the missing party, the few minutes that 
followed w^ere of bitter anxiety; for the men in the boats were long-bearded 
and weather-beaten; they had strange, wild costumes; there was no possibility 
of recognition. Dr. Kane, standing upright in the stern of the first boat, with 
his spy-glass slung around his neck, w^as the first identified ; then the big form 
of Mr. Brooks ; in another moment all hands of them were on board of us. 

"It was curious to watch the effects of the excitement in different people, — 
the intense quietude of some, the boisterous delight of others ; how one man 
would become intensely loquacious, another would do nothing but laugh, and 
a third would creep away to some out-of-the-way corner, as if he were afraid 


of showing how he felt. How hungry they all were for news, and how eagerly 
they tore open the home letters ; most of them, poor fellows, had pleasant tid- 
ings, and all were prepared to make the best of bad ones. We were in the 
harbor, with a fleet of kayaks dancing in welcome around and behind us, before 
the greetings were half ended, for they repeated themselves over and over 

"Our old friend, Mr. Olrik, was with the new comers, and as happy as the 
rest. His hospitality, when we reached the shore, was absolutely boundless ; and 
his house and table were always at our service. Altogether, I never passed three 
more delightful days than those last days at Lievely. Balls every night ; feasts 
and junketings every day; and, pleasantest of all, those dear home-like tea- 
tables, with shining tea-urn and clear, white sugar, round which we sat, wait- 
ing for the water to boil, and talking of Russia and the Czar, and the world 
outside the Circle; while Mrs. Olrik would look up from her worsted-work, 
and the children pressed round me to see the horses and dogs I was drawing 
for them. It was enough to make one forget his red flannel shirt and rough 
Arctic rig^." 



One of the great tragedies of the Arctic grew out of the expedition of 
Adolphus W. Greely, then a heutenant of the United States army, and now a 
major-general, in 1881-4. All the horrors of which the frozen north is capa- 
ble befell this party. Misfortune was their lot, and death overtook a majority 
of the travelers. Yet there is no page in the history of Arctic exploits more 
thrilling, for it showed, just as war does, the stuff of which American soldiers 
are made. The fortitude of Greely and his followers and the pluck with 
which they pursued the search for knowledge in the face of starvation and 
sickness, has served as an example to every polar explorer in later years. 

Lieut. Greely, after gallant service in the civil war, had given his atten- 
tion to the work of the signal corps, of which he was an officer. He had 
become an ardent student of the Arctic, and was eager to venture into the 
north. In 1880 came the opportunity, when congress appropriated funds 
for the establishment of polar stations, — half-way spots by which it was 
hoped the pole could be reached by easy stages. Greely's enthusiasm pushed 
him to the front, at this time, and to his delight he was given the command 
of the expedition. On the steamer Proteus he and his party sailed from St. 
John's N. F., July 7, 1881, and made a quick trip up Baffin's Bay, and into 
the regions where previous explorers had "staked out their claims." The 
destination was almost reached when a solid ice-pack delayed the vessel in 
the southwest part of Lady Franklin Bay. This ice, however, moved to the 
eastward in time to send the ship on her way after a week, and Discovery 
Harbor was attained. At this point Lieut. Greely established his settle- 
ment, and named it Fort Conger, a name destined to be surrounded with 
suggestions of tragedy for all time. After the party had built a substantial 
house, and landed large stores of provisions and coal the Proteus returned to 
America, leaving the explorers to their investigations. 

From August i, 1882, for a year, the scientific work proceeded without 
misadventure. Enough was accomplished in this period to give the trip fame 



on this account alone. There was then no thought of the bitter future. 
Besides performing the studies in meteorology, astronomy, and magnetism, 
which was the prime object of the trip, there was time for trips of a purely 
exploratory nature, and these were notably successful. Greely had the satis- 
faction of having one of his men (one who never lived to see his native land 
again) achieve the farthest north record. Of this Greely 's official dispatches 
had this to say : 

"For the first time in three centuries England yields the honor of the 
furthest north. Lieutenant Lockwood and Sergeant Brainerd, May 13, 
reached Lockwood Island, latitude 83° 24' north, longitude 44° 5' west. 
They saw from 2,000 feet elevation no land north, or northwest, but to north- 
east Greenland, Cape Robert Lincoln, latitude 83° 35', longitude 38°. Lieu- 
tenant Lockwood was turned back in 1883 by open water on North Green- 
land shore, the party barely escaping drift into the Polar Ocean. Dr. Pavy, 
in 1882, who followed Markham's route, was adrift one day in the Polar 
Ocean north of Cape Joseph Henry, and escaped to land, abandoning nearly 

"In 1882 I made a spring and later summer trip into the interior of Grin- 
nell Land, discovering Lake Hazen, some sixty by ten miles in extent, which 
fed by ice-caps of North Grinnell Land, drains Ruggles River and Weyprecht 
Fiord into Conybeare Bay and Archer Fiord. From the summit of Mount 
Arthur, 5,000 feet, the contour of land west of the Conger Mountains con- 
vinced me that Grinnell Land travels directly south from Lieutenant Aldrich's 
furthest in 1876. 

"In 1883 Lieutenant Lockwood and Sergeant Brainerd succeeded in cross- 
ing Grinnell Land, and ninety miles from Beatrix Bay, the head of Archer 
Fiord, struck the head of a fiord from the western sea, temporarily named by 
Lockwood the Greely Fiord. From the center of the fiord, in latitude 80° 30', 
longitude 78° 30' Lieutenant Lockwood saw the northern shore termina- 
tion, some twenty miles west, the southern shore extending some fifty miles, 
with Cape Lockwood some seventy miles distant — apparently a separate land 
from Grinnell Land. Have named the new land Arthur Land. Lieutenant 
Lockwood followed, going and returning, on an ice cape averaging about one 
hundred and fifty feet perpendicular face. It follows that the Grinnell Land 
interior is ice-capped, with a belt of country some sixty miles wide between 
the northern and southern ice-capes. 

"In March, 1884, Sergeant Long, while hunting from the northwest side 


of Mount Carey to Hayes Sound, saw on the northern coast three capes west- 
ward of the furthest seen by Nares in 1876. The sound extends some twenty 
miles further west than is shown by the Eng-Hsh chart, but is possibly shut 
in by land which showed up across the western end. 

"The two years' station duties, observations, all explorations, and the 
retreat to Cape Sabine, were accomplished without loss of life, disease, seri- 
ous accident, or even severe frostbites." 

Although the attainment of the latitude Lockwood reached meant an 
advance of only four miles toward the pole, it lives in history with the records 
of Kane, who reached latitude 80 degrees, 30 minutes in 1854; of Hall, who 
attained 82 degrees, 16 minutes in 1871, and Nares, who five years later got 
as far as 83 degrees, 30 minutes. These, of course, do not take into the ac- 
count the later marks of Peary and of Nansen. 

The life of the explorers there in the cold and lonely land was not unpleas- 
ant at that time. They were under military discipline, and their habits were 
prescribed with an especial view to their health and comfort. There was 
plenty of good food then, and everything seemed to point to a triumphant 

Then came the chapters of misfortune. Greely had orders from the 
War Department based upon the theory that relief would be sent him, 
and he would be taken off from Fort Conger. These orders, however, did 
not cover the possibility of ships being unable to get through to the party. 
These were the orders : 

"In case no vessel reaches the permanent station in 1882, a vessel sent in 
1883 will remain in Smith's Sound until there is danger of closing by ice, 
and on leaving will land all her supplies and a party at Littleton Island, 
which party will be prepared for a winter's stay, and will be instructed to 
send sledge parties up the east side of Grinnell Land to meet this party. If 
not visited in 1882, Lieutenant Greely will abandon his station not later than 
September i, 1883, and will retreat southward by boat, following closely the 
east coast of Grinnell Land until the relieving vessel is met or Littleton Island 
is reached." 

It is the part of army men to obey orders; and on August 9, 1883, Greely 
and his men left Fort Conger, and journeyed to Cape Sabine by boats. This 
trip took two months, and was attended by great privation. At one time 
the party was adrift for thirty days on an ice-floe, but they were driven upon 
Cape Sabine, and made camp there. Now they learned of the destruction of 


the good old Proteus, which had been hastening- to their relief. They had 
no ship to take them home. They faced a long winter, with only the food 
— a comparatively scant supply — brought from Fort Conger. 

At this point the health of the men began to weaken. Rations were 
shortened up. Four ounces of meat was allowed each man a day. Game 
swam, or flew before them, but could not be secured, there by the open sea, 
without boats, — and the boats had been lost. Starvation stared the party 
in the face. 

Some of the feelings of the men in this situation are gleaned from the 
diary of Lieut. Lockwood, the officer who planted the flag farthest north. 

On September 26 of that year he wrote: "The northwest gale at this 
hour (about 4:30 p. m.) still continues. We are apparently immovable just 
now; are probably packed and jammed in ice somewhat. God knows what 
the end of all this will be. I see nothing but starvation and death. The 
spirits of the party, however, are remarkably good." 

Later entries in Lockwood's journal are these: 

"October 21. Tonight we have coffee. We are now in our hut; but it is 
not yet finished, and is cold and uncomfortable. Our constant talk is about 
something to eat, and the different dishes we have enjoyed. How often our 
thoughts turn toward home and the dear ones there. 

"We have found out some scraps of news from slips of papers wrapped 
around the lemons. 

"December 3. Breakfast this morning consisted of chocolate and a few 
scraps of butter — no bread, for I ate all my bread last night. Many of us eat 
all our bread at night, and many try to save and manipulate their dole of 
food in a dozen ways to make the mite of food seem more filling. I have 
saved from yesterday some scraps of sealskin * * * j 2X0. them hair and 

"December 24. Tonight is Christmas eve, and my thoughts are turned 
toward home. God preserve me to see this day next year, and enioy it at 
home with those I love." 

But God willed it otherwise. The man who so prayed to be once more 
with his loved ones succumbed April 9, of the following year. His mind had 
weakened, and his diary began to contain pitiful entries in which he described 
dainties of the table. 

"Memorandum : Roast turkey," he would write while he was^ dining off 
the frozen foot of a fox. With a constitution shattered by lack of food, and 
with his reason all but gone, he died. 


One of the most tragic incidents of this part of the terrible story was the 
attempt of Corporal Joseph Elison and three other men to reach a cache of 
meat that had been buried by Sir George Nares, an English explorer, in 1875. 
The goal was only thirty miles from the Greely camp, yet its attainment 
under the conditions and with the men half dead, proved disastrous. The 
meat was not found, and on the return journey Elison froze his hands, feet 
and face. His comrades stopped to do for him what they could and would 
have lost their own lives had not one of them, Sergeant Rice, walked the 
thirty miles back to the camp to take word of Elison's plight. He went the 
distance without food, and when he staggered into camp he was scarcely able 
to gasp out what had befallen. As soon as he made it known, however. Ser- 
geant Brainerd and a party were sent to rescue Elison. Sergeant Brainerd's 
diar}'-, preserved in Greely's report to the government, tells the story as fol- 
lows : 

"The darkness was intense when we started, and Christiansen (Brain- 
erd's sole companion) and myself floundered about among the hummocks 
and through the deep snow for some time without advancing very far. We 
stumbled frequently, and often fell on the rubble, receiving serious bruises. 
The monotony of the tramp was sometimes broken by my companion, who 
uttered half suppressed oaths whenever he fell over a projecting point of ice. 
About noon we reached the bay and found our three brave comrades huddled 
together in the one sleeping bag in a semi-frozen state. Elison was still alive 
and somewhat better than when Rice had left him. Elison repeatedly implored 
me to kill him that the others might be saved. I tried to cheer him with the 
assurance that we would all escape from these hospitable shores and return 
to our homes together, but, shaking his head sadly, he would repeat in a low, 
pleading tone, 'Please kill me, wont you.' " 

Brainerd did what he could to cheer the sufiferer, and camped near by to 
await the morning. He returned early to make a second attempt at rescue. 
He says : 

"The poor fellows had not slept in my absence and when I reached them 
they were shivering with the cold. It is almost surprising that they survived 
the cold of last night. They were in a half-starved, half-frozen condition, 
and the merciless storm had been incessantly beating down on their unpro- 
tected covering of buffalo-skin. 

"I stopped for a moment to contemplate the scene. Nothing could be 
more utterly desolate, dreary and forsaken than the spot on which these brave 


fellows were lying. Without shelter except such as was afforded by a small 
tent-fly, their bag was lying on a narrow terrace only a few feet above the 
ice-foot and the tide, where it was fully exposed to the fury of the winds." 

In spite of the exposure and hunger, Elison did not die — not then. Some 
months later, after a brave fight for life, he succumbed. 

As a sharp contrast with the courage shown by these men was the case 
of Private Charles Henry, who was proved to have stolen food from the 
general stores. When first caught, he promised to reform, and for a long time 
Greely restrained the talk of harsh measures. At last, when it was seen 
Henry could not withstand the temptation, and his stealings were endanger- 
ing the lives of the others, Greely ordered him shot, and this was done. 
The commander of the expedition made a formal report of the incident to 
the war department, and his action was fully upheld. 

It is almost impossible not to feel pity for Henry, in spite of the despicable 
nature of his act. He was starving. Yet in the far north, even more strik- 
ingly than elsewhere, the law of the survival of the fittest prevails, — and 
Henry was not one of the fit. 

Rather turn again to the diary of brave Brainerd, who was one of the few 
who got back to America. He tells with great pathos of the joy caused by 
the killing of a bear. Says he : 

"What words are adequate to express the rejoicing in our little party 
tonight ? There are none. * * * lAie had seemed something in the misty 
distance, which was beyond our power to retain or control. Life now seems 
ten times sweeter than at any former period of our existence." 

This same Brainerd wrote, on June 19 of that year : 

"The party is now yielding slowly but surely to the inevitable approach 
of death." 

But even then relief was at hand. Providence did not mean that brave 
Greely should perish. 



Two days after Brainerd sent up that desperate cry a party of American 
seamen, sent by the government, saved the perishing members of Greely's 
ill-fated expedition. 

The rescuers were headed by Winfield Scott Schley, then a captain in 
the navy ; years later a hero of the Spanish-American war. Schley had been 
chosen to find Greely and bring him home, if alive. The commander headed 
a squadron of three vessels, one of which, the Alert, was furnished by the 
British government. These three boats sailed north in April, 1884, and in 
June passed into the polar sea, anchoring finally at Cape Sabine, Parties 
were sent out from this point over the ice to seek traces of the lost. 

On June 21, after the searchers had been busy for three days, a seaman 
rushed up to the ship and delivered to Commander Schley a faded paper. It 
was one of several records left by Greely where it might be found by search- 
ers. Under date of October, 1883, it read: "My party is now permanently 
in camp on the west side of a small neck of land which connects the wrecked 
cache cove, and the one to its west, distant about equally from Cape Sabine 
and Cocked Hat Island, All well." The last words had a terrible irony 
in view of what Schley and his men found. They proceeded with all speed 
to the point described, and there found the Greely party in a terrible plight. 
It is vividly described in Schley's official report, from which the following 
is taken : 

"Lieutenant Greely was found in his sleeping bag, his body inclined for- 
ward and head resting upon his left hand. The Book of Common Prayer 
was open and held in his right hand. He appeared to be reading prayers to 
Private Connell, whose condition was most desperate and critical. He was 
cold to the waist; all sensation of hunger gone; was speechless and almost 
breathless; his eyes were fixed and glassy. Indeed, his weakness was such 
that it was with difficulty he swallowed the stimulants given him by Drs. 



Green and Ames; his jaws had dropped, his heart was barely pulsating, and 
his body temperature very low. 

"This tender scene of a helpless, almost famished, officer consoling a dying 
companion, was in itself one that brought tears to the eyes of the strongest 
and stoutest of those who stood about them on the merciful errand of relief. 

"Sergeants Brainerd and Fredericks and Hospital-Steward Bierderbick 
were extremely weak and hardly able to stand; they were no longer able to 
venture away from their camp to seek food, nor to prepare the simple diet of 
boiled seal-skin, nor to collect lichens, nor to catch shrimps, upon which they 
had to depend to a great extent to sustain life. Their faces, hands, and 
limbs were swollen to such an extent that they could not be recognized. .This 
indicated that the entire party had but a short lease of life — probably not 
more than forty-eight hours at most. This fact was recognized by them all, 
and had come to them from their experience during that long and desolate 
winter in watching their dying companions, as one after another passed 
away from among them forever. 

"Poor Sergeant Elison was found in his sleeping bag, where he had lain 
helpless and hopeless for months, with hands and feet frozen off. Strapped 
to one of the stumps was found a spoon, which some companion had secured 
there to enable him to feed himself. His physical condition otherwise appeared 
to be the best of any of the survivors, and this may be attributed to the fact 
that each of his companions had doled out to him from their small allowance 
of food something to help him, on account of his complete helplessness to 
add anything to his own by hunting about the rocks for lichens or shrimps. 
He suffered no waste of strength by exertion incident thereto. This care of 
Elison was such as only brave and generous men, suffering with each other 
under the most desperate circumstances, could think of. 

"Sergeant Long was very much reduced, though in somewhat better con- 
dition than some of the others. His office of hunter for the starving party 
had made it necessary to increase slightly his pittance of food to maintain his 
strength, that he might continue the battle for food and life to the helpless. 
In his case, however, the effect of this continued effort had told its story in 
his wasted form. Shorter and shorter journeys were made in good weather, 
while in the frequent bad weather of that region his strength was so much 
impaired that when the joyful signal whistle was heard he had only enough 
left to stagger out to the rocks overlooking the water to see if the signal had 
proceeded from ships in sight. His first visit was a bitter disappointment. 


as he saw nothing. A second visit, fifteen minutes later, brought him within 
fifty yards of the Bear's steam-cutter and in view of the rehef ships coming 
around Cape Sabine. When the steam-cutter ran into the beach where 
Long was seen he rolled down the ice-covered clifif and was taken into the 
cutter. He informed Lieutenant Colwell that the location of the camp was 
just over the cliff. 

"In the case of Sergeant Elison the medical officers were fearful from the 
first that his chances of life were very small. As soon as proper food was 
available and the digestive functions should be re-established fully, the health- 
ful round of blood circulation would begin its distribution of new life to the 
injured parts, and inflammation would naturally occur. If Elison's strength 
should increase more rapidly than the inflammation, amputation of the injured 
parts would perhaps save his life. Several days after his rescue, June 28, Dr. 
Green reported that Elison was threatened with congestion of the brain. The 
symptoms increased rapidly until the poor fellow lost his reason. At God- 
haven his condition was so critical that the surgeon of the expedition, after 
consultation, determined to amputate both feet above the ankle as the only 
chance of life left the sufferer. Disease, however, triumphed, and amid the 
bleak scenes that had surrounded him for three years in his heroic sacrifice, 
and within the desolate solitude of that region of everlasting ice and snow, 
surrounded by his sorrowing comrades, he passed away about 3 a. m. of July 
7, three days after the amputation. 

"Lieutenant Greely was physically the weakest, but mentally the most vig- 
orous of his party. He had lain in his sleeping bag for weeks on account of his 
gradually failing strength. He was unable to stand alone for any length of 
time, and was almost helpless except in a sitting posture ; all pangs of hunger 
had ceased ; his appearance was wild ; his hair was long and unkempt ; his face 
and hands were covered with sooty black dirt ; his body was scantily covered 
with worn-out clothes; his form was wasted, his joints were swollen, and his 
eyes were sunken. 

"His first inquiry was if they were not Englishmen, but when he was told 
that we were his own countrymen, he paused for a moment as if reflecting, 
then said, 'And I am glad to see yon.' 

"The condition of his camp was in keeping with the scene inside the tent, 
desperate and desolate ; the bleak barrenness of the spot, over which the wild 
Arctic bird would not fly, the row of graves on a little ridge, one hundred 
feet away, with the protruding heads and feet of those lately buried, a sad but 


silent witness to the daily increasing weakness of the little band of survivors ; 
the deserted winter quarters in the hollow below, with its broken wall invaded 
by the water from the melting snow and ice above it ; the dead bodies of two 
companions stretched on the ice- foot that remained ; the wretched apology for 
cooking utensils improvised by them in their sore distress, hardly decerving the 
name; the scattered and worn-out clothes and sleeping bags of the dead; the 
absence of all food save a few cupfuls of boiled seal-skin scraps; the wild and 
weird scene of snow, ice, and glaciers overlooking and overhanging this des- 
olate camp, cornpleted a picture as startling as it was impressive. I hope never 
again in my life to look upon such wretchedness and such destitution. The 
picture was more startling and more deeply pathetic than I had ever dreamed 
could be possible. In beholding it I stood for a moment almost unmanned, and 
then realized that if the expedition had demonstrated any one thing more than 
another it was that an hour had its value to at least one of that party. Stouter 
hearts than mine felt full of sorrow. Eyes that had not wept for years were 
moistened with tears in the solemnity of that precious hour in the lives of that 
heroic little band of sufferers, until this moment so hopeless and helpless. 

"In preparing the bodies of the dead for transportation in alcohol to St. 
John's, it was found that six of them — Lieutenant Kislingbury, vSergeants 
Jewell and Ralston, Privates Whistler, Henry, and Ellis — had been cut, and 
the fleshy parts removed to a greater or less extent. All other bodies were 
found intact. When the bodies of the dead were exposed in preparing them 
the identification was found complete. Some of them could be recognized by 
aid of a picture taken with us from home ; others, whose features had decayed, 
were identified by other characteristics. I am therefore satisfied that no mis- 
take was made in this important matter, which so impressed us from the 

The ships reached St. John's, N. P., July 17. From that point Schley 
telegraphed the Secretary of the Navy of his success, and told other details of 
the voyage as follows : 

"The channel between Cape Sabine and Littleton Island did not close, on 
account of violent gales, all winter, so that 240 rations at the latter point could 
not be reached. All of Greely's records and all the instruments brought by him 
from Fort Conger are recovered and are on board. Prom Hare Island to 
Smith's Sound I had a constant and furious struggle with ice in impassable 
floes. The solid barriers were overcome by watchfulness and patience. No 
opportunity to advance a mile escaped me, and for several hundred miles the 


ships were forced to ram their way from lead to lead, through ice varying in 
thickness from three to six feet, and when rafted hiuch greater. 

"The Thetis and the Bear reached Cape York, June i8, after a passage of 
twenty-one days in Melville Bay, and two advance ships of a Dundee whaling 
fleet, and continued to Cape Sabine. Returning seven days later, we fell in 
with seven others of this fleet off Wostenholme Island, and announced Greely's 
rescue to them, that they might not be delayed from their fishing grounds nor 
be tempted into the dangerous Smith's Sound in view of the reward of $25,000 
offered by Congress. Returning across Melville Bay we fall in with the Alert 
and Loch Garry off Devil's Thumb, struggling through the ice. Commander 
Coffin did admirably to get along so far with the transport so early in the 
season before the opening had occurred. Lieutenant Emory, with the Bear, 
has supported me throughout with great skillfulness and unflinching readiness 
in accomplishing the great duty of relieving Lieutenant Greely. The Greely 
party are very much improved since the rescue, but were critical in the ex- 
treme when found and for several days after. Forty-eight hours' delay in 
reaching them would have been fatal to all now living. The season north is 
late and the coolest for years. Smith's Sound was not open when I left Cape 
Sabine. The winter about Melville Bay was the most severe for twenty years. 
This great result is entirely due to the unwearied energy of yourself and the 
Secretary of War in fitting out this expedition for the work it has the honor 
of accomplishing. 

"W. S. Schley, Commander." 

The return voyage consumed, all told, almost six weeks. On August i the 
squadron arrived in Portsmouth harbor with six living and twelve dead mem- 
bers of the , Greely party on board. Warships were drawn up to give a 
welcome, and the yards were manned, and bands played. Then, in the cabin 
of Schley's ship, Lieut. Greely was reunited with his wife and his mother. On 
the following Monday there was a great demonstration on land. A parade of 
all the naval forces available was held in the streets of Portsmouth, and as the 
men in blue passed in all their strength, the shattered, haggard survivors 
looked on from the balcony of a hotel. 

One of the most interesting features of Peary's pole-finding expedition was 
the discovery of relics of the Greely party. The finder was Prof. Donald 

He told of wearing army coats and picking up scraps of letters and mes- 
sages of love that were lying around the ground in perfect condition after almost 


Copyright 1909 by Doubleday, Page Sc Co. 



thirty years; of finding letters — veritable messages of the dead — and leaves 
from books that had carried words of love and solicitation to the doomed ex- 
plorers from relatives far away. 

He also came upon remnants of Hall's camp and a cairn left by Lockwood 
and Brainerd. 

"While I was at Cape Sheridan," he said, "I wanted to make several trips 
out into the desolate country to see what I could learn about the geology of the 
territory and the habits, customs and religion of the people. On one of my 
first trips I took a sledge and Eskimos and started, skirting the east coast of 
Grant Land and Grinnell Land. I slowly made my way down to Fort Conger, 
about sixty-five miles from the Roosevelt, and ran upon the last camp of the 
Greely expedition of 1 881-1884. 

"Here I found relics, all of which were in the same condition as when they 
were discarded by the ill-fated members of that expedition. I found coffee, 
hominy, canned rhubarb, canned potatoes, breakfast food and all sorts of sup- 
plies. They were just as good as ever, and I practically subsisted on them all 
the time I was there. 

"General Greely's military overcoat, with the buttons on it, was about the 
first thing I discovered. I wore the coat, and while I stayed there I presume 
I must have had on at one time or another the clothing of all the men in the 
expedition. On the ground I also found the trunk that had been carried by 
Sergeant David L. Brainard. It was as good as new and I used it as a shelter 
from the winds. 

"Here were records that had been made of the caches of provisions which 
had been stored along the route and showed that vast quantities of wood had 
been left there when the men started south to Cape Sabine, where seventeen of 
the twenty-five members perished. 

"The men had been taken to Fort Conger by the Proteus and had been told 
to await her arrival the next year. During the interim the steamship tried to 
get through, but was crushed in the ice. 

"Orders had been issued to the party that if the relief ship did not arrive 
the party was to make its way to the south and reach Cape Sabine. When the 
Proteus failed to arrive the party started. 

"The men were told to discard all baggage except nine pounds, and in order 
to lighten their loads to that extent these goods, stores and personal belongings 
were left behind. It was these that I had found after a lapse of almost thirty 
years. Nothing had been destroyed. Everything was in an excellent state of 
preservation. Those members of the party who did not perish at Sabine were 


rescued by Commodore (afterward Rear Admiral) Winfield S. Schley on his 
relief expedition sent out for the purpose of rescue. 

"Fluttering about the camp was a slip of paper that had been taken from 
the flyleaf of a notebook. It was a voice from the dead. Written as the in- 
troduction to a speech at a banquet that the expedition had evidently arranged 
to kill the monotony of the long winter, the words were in the nature of a 
chaffing of the various members of the party. The author little knew at the 
time that he penciled his words that they would be found almost a generation 
afterward, the simple story of a tragedy of the Arctic. 

"Here I also found other papers and magazines. Carefully placed between 
the pages of a magazine were several photographic plates that had been taken 
by George W. Rjce, who was the official photographer of the expedition. The 
magazine was still readable, despite the fact that it had been the plaything of 
the elements there for twenty-eight years. The plates, however, were ruined, 
and I was unable to discover to just what extent the expedition had penetrated 
into the Arctic. 

"One of the treasures concealed by the leaves of the magazine was a photo- 
graph of General Greely. The features were still distinct. One of the relics 
was the fly leaf of a book. It had written upon it: 'Lieutenant Frederick 
Kisslingbury. To my dear father, from his affectionate son, Harry Kissling- 
bury. May God be with you and return you safely to us.' 

"The fly leaf had been torn from a textbook that had evidently been passed 
from one student to another. The names of several persons, evidently students, 
had been written, but a pencil mark had been drawn through them. The first 
name at the top of the page was Henry Satreau. Underneath was Victor 
Cloutier, Assumption College. These had been scratched out and under them 
written 'Harry Kisslingbury, Fort Custer, Mont., now at Assumption College, 
Sandwich, Ontario, Jan. 15, 1881.' 

"The fate of Kisslingbury is tragic. He had become estranged from General 
Greely at Fort Conger and resigned his position in the army. He ran for 
the shore to board the Proteus, intending to return to America, but just as he 
reached there he saw the smoke of the steamer in the distance. He had arrived 
too late. 

"Kisslingbury returned to camp, did not ask for reinstatement, and lived 
with the expedition as a private citizen. He was among those who perished 

"Another of KIsslIngbury's possessions which I found was a temperance 
hymn book on the fly leaf of which was written : *To Lieutenant Kisslingbury, 


U. S. A., from his old friend and well wisher, the author, George W. Clark, 
Detroit, Mich., 1861.' Lying in the stores was an ocarina, a musical instru- 
ment, which was still good. Carved on it rudely with a knife was the latitude 
at which Fort Conger had been established. 

"Stickpins and other articles of jewelry I found scattered around. It was 
surprising to find the stores in such excellent condition. It only goes to show 
the wonderful preservative qualities of the Arctic climate. Coffee I made 
often from the abandoned Greely stores. One of the most striking relics I 
found here, and one that showed the proclivities of the owner, was a record of 
all the horse trotting events of the time in America. It had been written in the 
owner's hand, and embodied a description and record of all the trotters and 
trotting marks in the history of the turf. 

"It seemed that I was to be fortunate in discovering the abandoned camps 
of previous expeditions. I went farther a little later and came across the camp 
that had been established by Commodore Hall in 1881. This party had been 
brought north by the United States steamship Polaris. Like the Greely steamer, 
the Polaris was also crushed in the ice at Littleton Island. 

"Here I found a wooden house, 16 feet by 35, which had been erected as 
a winter quarters. The house was still standing. 

"After the Polaris had been crushed, nineteen of the party took to the ice 
cakes and tried to drift to safety. They were picked up by the Tigress off 
Newfoundland after they had floated to the coast of Labrador, not a hundred 
miles from here. The other members were rescued by the Ravenscrag of 
Dundee, Scotland. I found all the ropes, sails and clothing that had been 
abandoned in most excellent shape. The sails were like new. 

"On another sledging trip I ran across the headquarters of Sir George 
Nares and Markham, who made' an expedition in 1875 and 1876. I found 
crockery, coal bags, wood and cartridges, some of which were loaded. 

"A peculiar thing about my discovery here was that I ran across a hand 
push cart that this expedition used to carry their supplies from the ship to 
the camp. The tracks of the cart still remained in the sand as sharply de- 
fined as when they were first made. I took photographs of these tracks and 
have the plates now. 

"The strangest part of all this Arctic work is the way the health of the men 
is benefited. Instead of going into a regular course of athletic training, there 
is a system of preparing a man for the dash by hunting in the moonlight and 
sledging. It is only a question of time when the men become so hardened and 
acclimated that they are in perfect physical condition for the work." 



Fridtjof Nansen, subject of the king of Norway, descendant of the vikings 
who braved the perils of ice and storm in early ages, surpassed Greely's 
"farthest north," and established a record which it remained for Peary to beat. 

There have been few polar explorers of greater courage and physical equip- 
ment for the hardships of the Arctic than Nansen. Of powerful frame and 
dauntless bravery, he is a mighty hunter, a man of tremendous determination, 
and shrewd in the ways of the wilderness. Had it not been given to Peary 
and Cook to find the pole in 1909, it may well be believed that Nansen would 
have reached it in a few years. 

The first great exploit for which Nansen is famous is the crossing of 
Greenland, which meant the traversing of the immense glacier which covers 
the whole central part of the island, the scaling of enormous ice-mountains, 
and the slaying of fierce wild beasts, lest he himself be slain. The feat was ac- 
complished in the summer of 1888, five men accompanying Nansen, and mak- 
ing part of the journey by sledges, which they hauled themselves, as they had 
no dogs. The route led over great snow-wastes, never before trod by human 
foot, and up mountains, some of which were 9,000 feet high. Part of the way 
led over water to cross which it was necessary for the party to drag a boat 
along. Frequently the thermometer fell 40 below zero; once to 49 below. 
This journey, a distance of about 800 miles, was accomplished in ninety days. 
On his return Nansen found himself a hero. He arrived in Copenhagen May 
21, 1889, was attended by a demonstration remarkably similar to that accorded 
Dr. Cook when the latter returned from the Arctic. Immense crowds met Nan- 
sen at the dock, and although royalty in person did not accord him the same 
honors that fell to Cook, he was lionized in every way scientific bodies could 
devise. During the summer he visited all the European capitals, and his per- 
sonality became as well known as that of any famous man on earth. 

The natural result of this was that when, a year or two later, Nansen con- 
ceived the ambition to reach the north pole, he received enthusiastic support. 



He had a startling theory he desired to prove. This was that in a ship built 
stanchly enough to endure any amount of ice-pressure, he could drift across 
the top of the earth, and thus claim the distinction of being first in that latitude. 
He based his idea on the experience of the steamer Jeannette, which was aban- 
doned north of the New Siberia Island in June, 1881, and pieces of which were 
recovered on the shore of West Greenland, 

Nansen said: "It struck me that if objects from a ship could drift this 
way, a ship, too, might go the same route, provided she was strong enough to 
withstand the pressure of the ice." 

The theory did not meet with unanimous support from other explorers, but 
Nansen was encouraged to keep on, and in November, 1890, the ship Fram 
was christened in Norway. The Fram, which is still in service, is perhaps the 
strongest boat ever built. Her dimensions are : Length of keel, 102, and 
water line, 113 feet. Breadth at water line, 34 feet; depth of hold, 17 feet. 
The total thickness of the ship's sides is 24 to 28 inches, braced by powerful 
beams of wood and iron, and all the material used in the construction is the 
toughest and most durable that could be procured from any part of the world. 

As showing the enthusiasm aroused by the project, the following list of 
contributions for it is given : 

Appropriation by the Government of Norway, about $75, 500 

The King's private purse and individuals . . : 28,500 

Collections by a committee 6,100 

Dr. Nansen's contribution • 5,000 

London Geographical Society 2,000 

A private gentleman of Riga (not named) i»750 

Interest account 2,700 

Total $121,550 

The Fram left Christiana Fjord, Norway, June 23, 1893, with a crew of 
fourteen men, and provisions for two years. It sailed to Siberia, where Nan- 
sen hoped to strike the current that apparently took the Jeannette west. In 
August the ship gained the open sea and drifted to latitude 79; but later the 
cantankerous current started the other way, and carried the Fram southeast 
to latitude yy. There she became frozen in, and subject to an enormous pres- 
sure of iqe. This, however, only served to bring out the strength of the vessel, 


which was specially constructed so the ice, instead of crushing her, would 
slide along her sides. 

In March of that year, after the party had endured the longest polar night 
ever seen by man — owing to their long stay above the 70th parallel, — Nansen 
decided on a sledge journey. He had concluded the drift project was too un- 
certain. The greatest risks attended this venture, and Nansen determined to 
make it himself, with only one companion, a man named Johansen. On March 
3 the sun appeared, and eleven days later the two started out. The trip was 
one of the most trying any explorer has suffered, but it was also one of 
the most triumphant, for it was by this means Nansen achieved his 
"farthest north" — 86 degrees, 14 minutes, north latitude. The best previous 
record was that of the Greely party. Nansen reached to within 225 geograph- 
ical miles of the north pole. 

Nansen writes: "In order to investigate the state of the ice, and the pos- 
sibility of advance, I went further north on ski (slender snow-shoes that re- 
semble sled runners) but could discern no likely way. From the highest hum- 
mock I could find, I saw only packed and piled up ice as far as the horizon. Here, 
as during our whole journey, we saw no sign of land in any direction. The ice 
appeared to drift before the wind without being stopped by mainland or islands. 
If it were like this in the direction of Franz Josef Land, we might have dif- 
ficulty enough getting there, and the ice grew so bad that I thought it unad- 
visable to continue our journey any further toward the north." 

The loneliness of the trip was somewhat relieved by the hunting of game, 
in which the two had many thrilling experiences. One of the most notable of 
these was an adventure which Nansen describes as follows : 

"We were just about to cross a channel on the ice in our kayaks. This 
was generally accomplished by tying the two kayaks together on the ice, then 
placing them on the water, and after creeping with the dogs out onto the decks, 
paddling across. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, and turning saw Johan- 
sen on his back with a bear over him, he holding the bear by the throat. I 
caught at my gun which lay on the fore-deck of my kayak; but at the same 
moment the boat slid into the water, and the gun with it. By exerting all my 
strength I hauled the heavy laden kayak up again, but while doing so I heard 
Johansen quietly remark, 'You must hurry up if you don't want to be too late.' 
At last I got the gun out of the case ; and as I turned round with it cocked, the 
bear was just in front of me. In the hurry of the moment I had cocked the 
right barrel, which was loaded with shot ; but the charge took effect behind the 


ear, and the bear fell down dead between us. The only wound that Johansen 
received was a slight scratch on the back of one hand, and we went on our way- 
well laden with fresh bear meat. 

"The bear must have followed our track like a cat, and, covered by the ice- 
blocks, have slunk up while we were clearing the ice from the lane and had our 
backs to him. We could see by the trail how it had crept over a small ridge 
just behind us under cover of a mound by Johansen's kayak. While the latter, 
without suspecting anything or looking round, went back and stooped down to 
pick up the hauling rope, he suddenly caught sight of an animal crouched up 
at the end of the kayak, but thought it was Suggen (the dog) ; and before he 
had time to realize that it was so big he received a cuff on the ear which made 
him see fireworks, and over he went on his back. * * * j^ ^^3 j^g^ ^g ^j^^ 
bear was about to bite Johansen in the head that he uttered the memorable 
words, 'Look sharp!' h^ * * Johansen let go his hold on the bear and 
wiggled out, while the bear gave Suggen a cuff which made him howl lustily. 
Then Kaifas (the other dog) got a slap on the nose. Meanwhile Johansen had 
struggled to his feet and when I fired had got his gun, which was sticking out 
of the kayak hole." 

After their long journey across the frozen seas, Nansen and Johansen 
reached land near the 8ist parallel, only to become imprisoned in the ice. This 
forced them to winter many miles from the Fram. So hardy were they, how- 
ever, that they passed the winter in perfect health. Immense quantities of 
game were near them, also, and they were able to get bear, walrus, at any time. 
There were also quantities of foxes, "which almost every night," Nansen de- 
clares, "constantly sat upon the roof of our hut, whence we could perpetually 
hear their gnawing of our frozen meat. These foxes were of both the white 
variety and the valuable dark-furred kind, and had we been so inclined we 
could easily have laid by a store of valuable furs. Our supply of ammunition, 
however, was not so large as to allow of our spending it upon them, for it 
seemed to me that bears were the smallest game that could give us any return 
for our cartridges. 

"At last came the spring, with sunshine and birds. How well I remember 
that first evening, a few days before the sun had appeared above the horizon, 
when we suddenly saw a flock of little auks sail past us along the mountains to 
the north. It was like the first greeting from life and spring. Many followed 
in their train, and soon the mountains around us swarmed with these little 


summer visitors of the north, which enhvened everything with their cheerful 

May 19 the travelers started south again, and coming to water, they tried 
voyaging in their kayaks, with an improvised mast and sail. This proved an 
adventurous trip. Says Nansen : 

"One day, when we had been sailing along the shore, we lay to in the 
evening to reconnoiter our farther way westward. In leaving the kayaks, we 
made them fast to the ice by a strong strap, which we thought was perfectly 
reliable. While we were a little way off on the top of a hummock, however, 
we discovered that our linked boats had broken from their moorings and were 
rapidly drifting away from the ice, carried along by the wind. All our pro- 
visions were on board, our whole outfit, our guns, and our ammunition. There 
we stood upon the ice, entirely without resource. Our only safely lay in reach- 
ing our kayaks, and I had no choice but to spring into the water and try to 
reach them by swimming. It was, however, a struggle for life, for the kayaks 
seemed to drift more rapidly before the wind than I could swim ; the icy water 
gradually robbed my whole body of feeling, and it became more and more dif- 
ficult to use my limbs. At length I reached the side of our craft; but it wa;i 
only by summoning up my last energies that I finally succeeded in getting on 
board, and we were saved." 

This remarkable journey was to have as its climax one of those meetings 
of men in a strange country which are dramatic incidents in the world's history. 
While cooking breakfast one day, and not in the least suspecting the presence 
of a white man within hundreds of miles, he heard a dog bark, looked up, and 
saw F. G. Jackson, an English explorer, who was studying Franz Joseph land. 
Nansen embarked on Jackson's Steamer and returned home in August, 1896, to 
find himself the chief hero of Norway, and a man of redoubled fame in the rest 
of the world. 



The North Pole madness has so invaded the blood of mankind that almost 
every mode of transportation, short of ox-teams and railroad trains, has been 
thought of for reaching the goal. Even automobiles have been suggested, 
though laughed to scorn by those who have experienced the woe of hauling a 
sledge over an ice-hummock. It was this very difficulty of progress over land 
and sea that led two men of daring to consider an aerial trip. This, they ar- 
gued, would necessarily avoid the delay and despair of combating ice-bergs 
and mountains and be a short, swift, easy route. 

To these men the fact that aerial travel itself possesses perils sufficient to 
daunt most human beings was as nothing. They were enthusiasts in balloon- 
ing ; and to the enthusiast in that sport it is said even racing through a thun- 
derstorm a mile in air is a joy. But bold as they were, neither came within 
miles of reaching the north pole. One was a Swede, S. A. Andree ; the other, 
Walter Wellman, an American. 

Andree was an engineer in the patent office at Stockohlm. He had become 
an experienced aeronaut, though he had never "set the world on fire," and 
when he proposed crossing the Atlantic Ocean, from Africa to South America, 
there were many who approved the scheme — so long as they did not have to 
join the party. One who approved was Nordenskjold, a well known Arctic 
traveler, and he it was who gave Andree the idea of trying for the north pole. 
Andree at once began making definite plans, and securing the necessary money. 
In 1895 he obtained it, through the aid of King Oscar of Sweden. The sum 
of $36,000 was subscribed, of which the king himself gave $8,000. Andree 
passed the following winter in France, where a balloon was specially con- 
structed for him. Following is a description of the craft, published just before 
the expedition got started : 

"It is a double balloon, or rather a balloon in a balloon. The first or inner 
balloon is made of a specially made silk cloth of three folds and covered with 
a two-proof varnish. Over this, covering two-thirds of the balloon, comes a 



cover of cloth highly saturated with oil. The object of the double balloon is 
that the air between the two balloons will guard against sudden changes of 
temperature, and also prevent snow and water from gathering on the varnished 
silk. From the oiled surface it will at once slide off, particularly when the bal- 
loon sways from side to side. Instead of the usual ventilator on the top of the 
balloon these are placed one on each side, as experience has shown that from 
this ventilator the greatest loss of gas is made. To support the net a heavy 
iron ring is placed under a wooden roof resembling what is known in polar 
language as 'Nunatak.* Below the balloon is placed an automatic ventilator 
opening at a pressure of lo mm. and permits the escape of superfluous gas. 

"A novelty is the broad girdle surrounding the balloon in its lower part. 
This is for the purpose of guarding against wind pressure. When the lower 
part of the balloon commences to be empty of gas, the wind makes a hollow in 
the balloon and the girdle will prevent this. 

"The balloon has a diameter of 20.5 meters (one meter is 39.37 inches) 
and has a volume of 4,500 cubic meters. The gondola is made of wicker, round 
in form, covered with a roof with two sleeping-places, as there will always be 
a man on watch. The mattresses will serve as life-preservers in case of ne- 
cessity, and the gondola has a slanting form to facilitate sliding along the ice 
if so near an approach to the earth is found necessary. The gondola is also 
provided with a trapdoor to empty the water if the balloon should take a 'dip.' 

"M. Andree has devised an ingenius contrivance for directing the balloon. 
The efficacy of this device has been tested by a trip. It is composed of a rudder 
sail secured to the apex of the balloon and to the car by a rope, so that it can 
move freely, and a guide rope which can be adjusted to different positions for 
180 degrees of the circumference of the ring which is secured to the car. 

"The guiding is assisted by means of this guide rope, which is allowed to 
drag on the ground or in the water. The eyelets are intended to receive the 
hook of this guide rope. When the hook is attached to the central eyelet the 
balloon will move in the line of the wind, but by adjusting the guide rope to the 
other eyelets motion in other directions is obtained. 

"The balloon carries 23,100 kegs of ballast, provisions for four and a half 
months, ammunition a boat, heavy clothing, and every necessity that expe- 
rience has shown is required." 

Andree went to Spitzbergen, arriving there June 19, 1896. The balloon 
was then inflated, but this took so long that Andree deemed it too late in the 
season to start, so the expedition was delayed for another year. This change 


of plan aroused the scoffers, and Andree's exploit became something of a by- 
word; but the explorer was tmdaunted, and in 1897 he again went to Spitz- 
bergen. The inflation of the balloon was completed this time on June 22, and 
a few days were spent in making the great craft "seaworthy" in every way. It 
was given a name — the "Ornen," which is Swedish for eagle. Finally, on July 
II everything was ready. Andree wrote two messages of thanks, one to 
a Stockholm newspaper and the other to the King, and he and his two com- 
panions climbed in. The names of these companions were Nils Strindberg and 
Ferdinand Frankel. 

Before the crowd of onlookers the balloonists shook hands with their 
friends and at 2 40 p. m. Andree gave the word, "Cast off." The monster 
balloon rose in the air, and sailed over the heads of the spectators, while the 
three men in the basket waved handkerchiefs and shouted last adieus. 

And they were last adieus indeed. Those fast-dwindling forms, swaying 
beneath the great dark gas-bag against the sky, were never seen again. Whether 
they came down, with gas exhausted, in open water and were drowned, 
whether they crashed against a berg and so died ; or whether they landed in 
some ice-wilderness and starved, — these are mysteries which iron-hearted na- 
ture has thus far refused to reveal. 

Wellman's plans were of a different kind. He did not propose to trust to 
air-currents to waft him across the polar sea, as did Andree, but designed an 
air craft of the nature of a dirigible balloon, which theoretically could be turned 
at will. 

The bold adventure was backed by a Chicago newspaper, and passed years 
in making his preparations. Interest of explorers and aeronauts everywhere 
was aroused, and doubt and confidence were divided. The doubters said that 
the fickle air would not do what it was claimed it would ; the supporters of 
Wellman urge that, if air ships could travel hours with ease, why not days ? 

In September, 1907, Wellman made his first start from Spitzbergen. He 
started boldly and with good hope; but it proved that the machinery of his 
craft was too delicate; and after the balloon had proceeded a short distance, 
something went wrong with the guide-rope, which, like Andree, Wellman had 
trailing after the airship. The balloon crashed against the side of an ice moun- 
tain, and was badly disabled. Fortunately none on board was injured, and all 
returned to Europe in safety. Of course, however, no further attempt was 
made that year. Again, in August, 1909, Wellman got his ship and his men 
together and prepared to start, but this, too, ended in failure. 



Out of all the disappointments, privations and successes of polar explora- 
tion has come one great result that, whatever may be said of the value to man- 
kind of scientific discovery, will always be of real human interest. This is the 
study of the Eskimos, the natives of the frozen zone. Had man never sought 
to reach the north pole these people, so primitive in many ways, might have 
remained in savagery. As it is, they have been largely Christianized ; and they 
have been partly civilized. The best tribute to the Eskimos as regards their 
mastery of the region in which they live is that no white man who has traveled 
there has succeeded in his activities, or even in clinging to life itself, without 
imitating the Eskimos. Both Peary and Cook say their discoveries were made 
by actually as those swarthy people do. It becomes, then, of the utmost interest, 
in this age of the world, to learn the mode of life of the straight haired men 
and women who so resemble our American Indians, and yet differ from them 
in so many traits. 

Nearly all the great explorers have given graphic accounts of Eskimo life. 
Dr. Kabe described his first meeting with the natives as follows : 

"As we gathered on the deck, they rose upon the more elevated fragments 
of the land-ice, standing singly and conspicuously, like the figures in a tableau 
of the opera, and distributing themselves around almost in a half-circle. They 
were vociferating as if to attract our attention, or, perhaps, only to give vent 
to their surprise ; but I could make nothing out of their cries, except *Hoah, ha, 
ha !' and 'Ka, kaah ! ka, kaah !' repeated over and over again, 

"There was light enough for me to see that they brandished no weapons, 
and were only tossing their heads and arms about in violent gesticulations. 
A more unexcited inspection showed us, too, that their numbers were not as 
great, nor their size as Patagonian, as some of us had been disposed to fancy 
at first. In a word, I was satisfied that they were natives of the country ; and, 
calling Petersen from his bunk to be my interpreter, I proceeded, unarmed, and 
waving my open hands, toward a stout figure, who made himself conspicuous. 


and seemed to have a greater number near him than the rest. He evidently 
understood the movement; for he at once, Hke a brave fellow, leaped down 
upon the floe, and advanced to meet me fully half-way. 

"He was nearly a head taller than^myself, extremely powerful and well- 
built, with swarthy complexion, and black eyes. His dress was a hooded capote 
or jumper, of mixed white and blue fox-pelts, arranged with something of 
fancy; and booted trousers of white bear-skin, which, at the end of the foot, 
were made to terminate with the claws of the animal. 

"I soon came to an understanding with this gallant diplomatist. Almost 
as soon as we commenced our parley, his companions, probably receiving sig- 
nals from him, flocked in and surrounded us ; but we had no difficulty in mak- 
ing them know, positively, that they must remain where they were, while Metek 
went with me on board the ship. This gave me the advantage of negotiating 
with an important hostage." 

The Eskimos were taken aboard ship. Says Dr. Kane : 

"They were lost in barbarous amaze at the new fuel, — too hard for blub- 
ber, too soft for fire-stone, — but they were content to believe it might cook as 
well as seal's fat. They borrowed from us an iron pot, and some melted water, 
and parboiled a couple of pieces of walrus-meat ; but, the real piece de resistance, 
some five pounds of head, they preferred to eat raw. Yet there was something 
of the gourmet in their mode of assorting their mouthfuls of beef and blubber. 
Slices of each, or rather strips, passed between the lips, either together or in 
strict alternation, and with a regularity of sequence that kept the molars well 
to their work. 

"They did not eat all at once, but each man when and as often as the im- 
pulse prompted. Each slept after eating, his raw chunk lying beside him on 
the buffalo-skin ; and, as he woke, the first act was to eat, and the next to sleep 
again. They did not lie down, but slumbered away in a sitting posture, with 
the head declined upon the breast, some of them snoring famously. 

"In the morning they were anxious to go ; but I had given orders to detain 
them for a parting interview with myself. It resulted in a treaty, brief in 
its terms, that it might be certainly remembered ; and mutually beneficial, that it 
might possibly be kept. I tried to make them understand what a powerful 
Prospero they had had for a host, and how beneficent he would prove himself so 
long as they did his bidding. And, as an earnest of my favor, I bought all the 
walrus-meat they had to spare, and four of their dogs; enriching them, in re- 
turn, with needles and beads, and a treasure of old cask-staves." 


A brother of Dr. Kane, who was one of a relief party sent out in 1855, has 
this to say of the Eskimos : 

"Improvidence is another trait of these 'fresh children of impulse.' We 
were at their village as late as the 19th of August. Yet, although the auks 
were flying round them in such quantities that one man could have been able 
to catch a thousand an hour, they had not enough prepared for winter to last 
two days. They were all disgustingly fat, and always eating, — perhaps an 
average ration of eighteen pounds per diem, — ^yet they had lost seven by star- 
vation during the last winter, though relieved, as far as we could make it out, 
by the Dokto Kayens. 

"They suffer dreadfully from cold, too; yet there is an abundance of ex- 
cellent peat, which they might dig during the summer. They know its value 
as fuel, and are simply too lazy to stack it. The little auk, which forms their 
principal food, may be said also to be their only fuel. Indeed, it quite fills the 
place which the seal holds among the more southern Esquimaux. Their clothes 
are lined with its skins, they burn the fat, and, setting aside the livers and 
hearts, to be dried, and consumed as bonbons during the winter, they eat the 
meat and intestines cooked and raw, both cold and at blood heat. 

"They are very hospitable ; the minute we arrived, all hands began to catch 
birds and prepare them for us. Tearing off the skins with their teeth, they 
stripped the breasts to be cooked, and presented us with the juicy entrails and 
remaining portions to eat raw, and stay our appetites. The viands did not look 
inviting to us, who had witnessed their preparation ; but the}'^ appeared so hurt 
at our refusing to eat, that we had to explain that it was not cooked but raw 
birds we wanted. This was satisfactory. They set out at once to catch some for 
us ; and in a few moments three of them were on their way down to our boat 
loaded with birds." 

Dr. Nansen, in recounting his crossing of Greenland, describes many do- 
mestic traits of the Eskimos with a touch of realism. He tells thus of entering 
the home of an Eskimo family : 

"We had been at once invited to sit down upon some chests which stood 
by the skin-curtain at the entrance. These are the seats which are always 
put at the disposal of visitors, while the occupants have their places upon the 
long bench or couch which fills the back part of the tent. This couch is made 
of planks, is deep enough to give room for a body reclining at full length, and 
is as broad as the full length of the tent. It is covered with several layers of 
sealskin, and upon it the occupants spend their whole indoor life, men and 


women alike, sitting often cross-legged as they work, and taking their meals, 
and rest and sleep. 

"The tent itself is of a very peculiar construction. The framework con- 
sists of a high trestle, upon which a number of poles are laid, forming a semi- 
circle below and converging more or less to a point at the top. Over these 
poles a double layer of skins is stretched, the inner coat with the hair turned 
inward, and the outer generally consisting of the old coverings of boats and 
kayaks. The entrance is under the above-mentioned trestle, which is covered 
by the thin curtain of which I have just spoken. This particular tent housed 
four or five different families, each having their own particular partition 
marked off upon the common couch. Before every family stall a train-oil lamp 
was burning with a broad flame. These lamps are flat, semi-circular vessels of 
pot-stone, about a foot in length. The wick is made of dried moss, which is 
placed against one side of the lamp and continually fed with pieces of fresh 
blubber, which soon melt into oil. The lamps are in charge of the women, 
who have special sticks to manipulate the wicks with, to keep them both from 
smoking and burning too low. Great pots of the same stone hang above, and 
in them the Esquimaux cook all their food, which they do not eat raw. Strange 
to say, they use neither peat nor wood for cooking purposes, though such fuel 
is not difficult to procure. The lamps are kept burning night and day; they 
serve for both heating and lighting purposes, for Esquimaux do not sleep in 
the dark, like other people ; and they also serve to maintain a permanent odor 
of train-oil which, as I have said, our European senses at first found not alto- 
gether attractive, but which we soon learned not only to tolerate, but to take 
pleasure in. * * * 

"The man embraced a fat woman, and thereupon the pair with extreme 
complacency pointed to some younger individuals, the whole pantomime giving 
us to understand that the party together formed a family of husband, wife, and 
children. The man then proceeded to stroke his wife down the back, and to 
pinch her here and there, to show us how charming and delightful she was, and 
how fond he was of her, the process giving her at the same time evident sat- 
isfaction. Curiously enough, none of the men in this tent seemed to have more 
than one wife, though it is a common thing among the east coast Esquimaux 
for a man to keep two if he can afford them, though never more. As a rule the 
men are good to their wives, and a couple may even be seen to kiss each other 
at times, though the process is not carried out on European lines, but by a mu- 
tual rubbing of noses. Domestic strife is, however, not unknown, and it some- 


times leads to violent scenes, the end of which generally is that the woman re- 
ceives either a vigorous castigation or the blade of a knife in her arm or leg, 
after which the relation between the two becomes as cordial as ever, especially 
if the woman has children. * * * 

"Their hands and feet are alike unusually small and well shaped. Their 
hair is absolutely black and quite straight, resembling horse hair. The men 
often tie it back from the forehead with a string of beads and leave it to fall 
down over the shoulders. Some who wear no such band have the hair cut 
above the forehead, or round the whole head, with the jawbone of a shark, as 
their superstitions will not allow them on any account to let iron come in con- 
tact with it. But, curiously enough a man who has begun to cut his hair in his 
youth must necessarily continue the practice all his life. The women gather 
their hair up from behind and tie it with a string of sealskin into a cone, which 
must stand as perpendicularly as possible. This convention is especially strin- 
gent in the case of young unmarried women, who, to obtain the desired result, 
tie their hair back from the forehead and temples so tightly that by degrees it 
gradually gives way, and they become bald at a very early age." * * * 

The hospitality of this desolate coast is quite unbounded. A man will re- 
ceive his worst enemy, and entertain him for months if circumstances throw 
him in his way. The nature of their surroundings and the wandering life 
which they lead have forced them to offer and accept universal hospitality, and 
the habit has gradually become a law among them. 

Eskimo society has one great principle underlying it : Community of in- 
terest. If a hunter finds game and buries it under a stone, another hunter may 
come that way and take the meat without any protest being made. Says As- 
trup, who accompanied Peary on his first great journey: "The tribe forms 
a single family, and each member, without exception, consecrates the work of 
his life to the common good. 

"It is extremely seldom that Esquimaux quarrel, and when a disagreement 
occurs it is a very tame affair. The parties do not talk loudly or call each 
other names, but simply separate. They are quiet and gentle people, and very 
much dislike anything in the way of disturbance or discord." 

Another thing that may not be generally credited to these swarthy folk is 
that they are intelligent, and almost invariably truthful. Simple-hearted they 
of course are, so that by promises of beads and other ornaments explorers have 
been able to convince them of things that were not true; but it is the unani- 
mous belief of most men who have lived among the north people that their 





morals and their domestic relations as regards -the division of labor between 
man and woman include much that might well be copied by other nations. 

The method of building an Eskimo snow-house is told by one of the ex- 
plorers who learned the trick from the natives. He says : 

"The process of constructing a snow-house goes on something in this way, 
varied, of course, by circumstances of time, place, and materials. First, a num- 
ber of square blocks are cut out of any hard-drifted bank of snow you can meet 
with, adapted for the purpose ; which, when cut, have precisely the appearance 
of blocks of salt sold in the donkey-carts in the streets of London. The dimen- 
sions we generally selected were two feet in length by fourteen inches in height, 
and nine inches in breadth. A layer of these blocks is laid on the ground nearly 
in the form of a square ; and then another layer on this, cut so as to incline 
slightly inwards, and the corner blocks laid diagonally over those underneath, 
so as to cut off the angles. Other layers follow in the same way, until you have 
gradually a dome-shaped structure rising before you, out of which you have 
only to cut a small hole for a door, to find yourself within a very light, com- 
fortable-looking bee-hive on a large scale, in which you can bid defiance to 
wind and weather. Any chinks between the blocks are filled up with loose 
snow with the hand from outside ; as these are best detected from within, a man 
is usually sent in to drive a thin rod through the spot where he discovers a 
chink, which is immediately plastered over by some one from without, till the 
whole house is as air-tight as an G-gg" 

The Eskimos are well cared for by the government of Denmark, and always 
have been as far back as 1851, Kennedy wrote. Speaking of Upernavik: 

"It is one of that interesting group of little colonies with which the enter- 
prise of the Danes has dotted the west coast of Greenland. Here, considerably 
within the Arctic Circle, we found a Christian community, not only living, but, 
after a fashion, thriving. We were informed by the governor that there were, 
even at this early period of the season, one thousand Danish tons of oil and 
blubber stored, from the produce of the summer fishery. There was likewise 
visible evidence in every direction of an abundance of venison, water-fowl, and 
eggs, as well as seals. The houses were built of wood, very small, and had a 
singularly amphibious look about them, from being covered with tar from top 
to bottom, — appearing, for all the world, like so many upturned herring-boats, 
ready, on any emergency, to take to the water. 

"A party of the Esquimos, attached to the settlement, had come in with the 
produce of some hunting excursion in which they had been engaged; and I 


was much struck with their intelHgence, and their well-clad, comfortable, and 
healthy appearance. This, I learned, was in a great measure due to the benevo- 
lent interest of the Danish government in their behalf. There is not a station, 
I was given to understand, along the whole coast of Greenland, which has not 
its missionary and its schoolmaster for the instruction of the natives; and, 
judging from what we saw and learned at Upernavik, the Danish exchequer 
is not without material and substantial proofs of the gratitude of the poor 
'Innuit.' Thus instructed, cared for, and their energies disciplined and 
directed, the Esquimos of Greenland give employment to six ships annually, in 
carrying the produce of their hunts and fisheries to Denmark." 

Eskimos are, of course, among the most skilful big-game hunters of the 

They are especially Vi^ary in stalking the walrus. An Eskimo hunter will 
approach as near as possible on a sledge and then leave vehicle and dogs 
behind and continue on foot. 

Describing what follows, Astrup (one of Peary's men) writes: "Soon there 
seems to be a singing and cracking in the ice ; then there is a break into many 
pieces, and up through the opening thus formed a bearded walrus quietly and 
majestically lifts its large head and grinning face. You hear its deep breath- 
ing, which in the twilight of the forenoon seems to resemble a slow snoring, 
and you see its breath like a cloud of vapor, which in the very low temperature 
that prevails looks as white and shining as the steam from an engine. A 
moment afterward the animal slowly disappears in the deep. It is usually 
while the walrus is engaged in breaking the thin ice in order to form a breath- 
ing-hole that the Esquimo rushes to the attack, though sometimes, in spite of 
the cold, one is found that has crept upon the ice where it is strong enough to 
bear the weight." 

Capt. Hall once harpooned a seal according to the Eskimo method. He was 
watched by a number of Innuits (natives) as he took his seat by a seal-hole, 
which is an excavation under the ice where the animal dwells below the frozen 
surface. Hall at length heard breathing and scratching at the spot. He jabbed 
his harpoon down and in a moment the line was jerked from his hand, but, 
"quick as a flash," he says, 'T seized it again, or I would have lost my prize, as 
well as the harpoon and line. The sealers far and near saw that I was fast 
to a seal, and although I called to Nii-ker-zhoo, Iziete! kietel' — come here! 
come here ! — there was no necessity for it, for before I uttered a word he and 
all the others were making their way to me. Had I caught a whale there could 


not have been more surprised and happy souls than were these Innuits on find- 
ing I was really fast to a seal. Laughter, hilarity, joyous ringing voices' 
abounded. Almost the last Innuit who arrived to congratulate me was my 
good friend Ou-e-la, accompanied by his dog, dragging a seal which he had just 
captured. Last of all came the young ladies, Tuk-too and Now-yer, with dogs 
and sledge, and a seal which Ar-mou had taken a little while before. All this 
time nobody had seen my seal, for it was flipping away down in salt water 
beneath the snow and ice, still fast to one end of my line while I held on to the 
other. Nu-ker-zhoo, with his pelong (long knife), then cut away the snow, 
two feet in depth, covering the seal-hole, and removing still more with my 
spear, he chiseled away the ice-lining just above the hole. Soon the seal came 
up to breathe, and then the death-blow was given to it by a thrust of the 
spindle of the spear directly into the thin skull. The prize was drawn forth — 
a larger seal than either Ou-e-la's or Ar-mou's. Again the air resounded with 
shouts and joyous laughter. It was the first case among them of a white man's 
success in harpooning." 

Despite their skill in the hunt, the Esquimos often suffer from hunger. 
Capt. Tyson, who was with Capt. Hall on the Polaris, told of a visit to the 
hut of an Esquimo known as Hans, to see a sick boy. He says : 

"The miserable group of children made me sad at heart. The mother was 
trying to pick a few scraps of 'tried-out' blubber out of their lamp, to give to the 
crying children. Augustina is almost as large as her mother, and is twelve 
or thirteen years old. She is naturally a fat, heavy-built girl, but she looks 
peaked enough now. Tobias is in her lap, or partly so, his head resting on her 
as she sits on the ground, with a skin drawn over her. She seemed to have a 
little scrap of something she was chewing on, though I could not see that she 
swallowed anything. The little girl, Succi, about four years old, was crying — 
a kind of chronic hunger whine — and I could just see the baby's head in the 
mother's hood, or capote. The babies have no clothing whatever, and are 
carried about in this hood, which hangs down the mother's back, like young 
kangaroos in the maternal pouch, only on the reversed side of the body. All 
I could do was to encourage them a little. I had nothing that I could give 
them to make them any more comfortable. I was glad, at least, to see that 
they had some oil left." 

This same Capt. Tyson Interestingly describes the capture of a whale : 

Captain Tyson, who was with Captain Hall in the Polaris expedition, thus 
describes the killing of a whale, in which he participated : 


"I once had, when I was boat-steerer, quite an adventure with a whale 
which was determined not to die. It was a large and valuable balleener. Soon 
after the boat was lowered we got alongside. As I rose to heave the harpoon 
it seemed, almost in an instant, that the whale had plunged down to the bottom 
of the bay; as the rope uncoiled and went over the gunwale it fairly smoked 
with the intense rapidity of the friction, and I had to order it 'doused' to pre- 
vent its taking fire. It came, too, within a hair-breadth of capsizing us. For- 
tunately, the line was over seventy fathoms long, and of the strongest kind. 
After she plunged we followed on, it taking all our strength to bring the boat 
near enough to keep the line slack. She stayed under water the first time so 
long that we thought she was dead and sunk. It was nearly an hour before 
she rose : and when she did, the jerk almost snapped our strong line, already 
weakened by the friction and unusual tension. 

"As soon as she appeared she began to beat the water with her flukes, and 
swirled around so that it appeared impossible to get a lance into her, and, while 
I was endeavoring to do this, our line parted, and away she went, carrying 
the harpoon with her. We followed wnth all the speed we could force, and at 
last, after several hours' hard pull, came up with her. She seemed to know we 
were following, and several times disappeared, and then would come up to 
blow, perhaps half a mile off; but we were bound to have her. On and on she 
went, on and on we followed. The moon was shining, and the Arctic summer 
night was almost as light as day, and deep into the night we followed her. 
Down she went, for the sixth or seventh time, but fatigue was getting the 
better of her. She was weakening, while with all the fatigue our spirits, and 
strength, too, were kept up by the excitement. At last, when we had been 
nearly twenty-four hours on the chase, I got another harpoon in her. This 
seemed to madden" her afresh. Another plunge, which had nearly carried us 
with her ; but this time she did not stay down more than ten or twelve minutes. 
Up she came once more, the water all around covered with blood, and we 
knew she was done for. Three or four lances were hurled into her ponderous 
bulk, and at last our exertions were rewarded by seeing her roll over on her 
side. She was dead. We bent on another strong line, and soon towed her to 
a floe. But we found ourselves with our prize, a good nine miles from the ship. 
We could not, therefore, save the blubber, but we made a good haul of balleen, 
with which we loaded our boat to its utmost capacity, and then dragged her, 
with her heavy cargo, the whole distance over the ice to the ship, which is what 
I call a fair day's vv^ork." 



And now the South Pole is all there is left to discover. It scarcely can 
be doubted that in a few years the flag of some nation will be planted at 
the Antarctic axis of the earth. Already one man — an Englishman — has 
come within lOO miles of the goal. A little more grit, a little more food, 
and a little more luck — it will be reached. 

Lieut. Ernest H. Shackleton is the man who holds the Antarctic record. 
He achieved it at the outset of the great year of 1909, and would have 
attained the pole itself had he not found it necessary to turn back to save his 
life and those of the men with him. 

Shackleton left England in the ship Nimrod in July, 1907. He had al- 
ready risked his life in the South Polar regions when a member of the party 
of Capt. Scott, and he had acquired a valuable amount of experience in fight- 
ing his way over the ice. On the trip of 1909 he was the leader, and he had 
the enthusiastic good wishes of all England, with the king and queen cheer- 
ing him on. When departing on his voyage Shackelton was given a Union 
Jack — the British naval banner — and this flag, that has kindled the hearts of 
Britons for hundreds of years, he was to plant at the pole, or the nearest point 
thereto attainable. On presenting the flag the king said : 

"May this Union Jack, which I entrust to your keeping, lead you safely 
to the South Pole." 

Though Shackelton did not reach the southern axis of the globe, he did 
these things : 

Reached latitude 88:23 south; longtitude 162. Traveled 1,708 statute 
miles within the Arctic circle. 

Went 340 miles farther south than his predecessor and preceptor, Capt. 

Found the South Magnetic Pole, declared to be of more value to science 
than the geographical pole. 

Discovered 100 new mountain peaks. 



Ascended Mount Erebus, the southernmost volcano of the world, 13,200 
feet high, this feat being in the face of a terrific blizzard. 

The expedition on leaving New Zealand sailed to a point from which 
sledge journeys would be favorable, and there split up into investigating 
parties, one of which, under Shackelton, went south; and the other, with 
Prof. Edworth Davis at its head, went northward. It was Shackelton's pur- 
pose to dash direct to the pole. For this attempt he had as an aid something 
new in the field of polar effort — automobile sledges. The good old dogs that 
had tried the souls — and saved the lives — of so many travelers in the ice 
realms, were discounted by gasoline. For what the sledges could not do, 
the explorers had ponies. These proved of chief value as food. 

Lieut. Shackleton says in his description of his final dash toward the 
South Pole : 

"The southern party, Adams, Marshall, Wild and I, with four ponies and 
a supporting party consisting of Sir Philip Brocklehurst and Messrs. Joyce, 
Marson, Armytage and Priestly, left Cape Royd on October 29, 1908. We 
left Hutpoint November 3 with ninety-one days' provisions. We were held 
up at White Island from November 5 for four days by a blizzard. The 
supporting party returned November 7. 

"Owing to the bad light among the ice crevasses, Adams' pony was nearly 
lost. We reached November 13 the depot laid out in September in latitude 
79:36, longitude 168 east. We took on the pony maize, and provisions pre- 
viously left there and commenced reducing our daily rations. We traveled 
south along meridian 168 over a varying surface of high ridges and mounds 
of snow alternating with soft snow. The ponies often sank to their bellies. 
In latitude 81 we shot the pony. Chinaman, and made a depot for oil, biscuit. 
and pony meat. The remainder of the pony meat we took on to eke out 
our dried rations. 

"On November 26 we reached the Discovery expedition's southernmost 
latitude. The surface now was extremely soft with large undulations. Tlie 
ponies were attacked with snow blindness. On November 28 the pony, Christ 
was shot. We made a depot in latitude 82:45, longitude 170. Pony Quan 
was shot on Novembe* 30. 

"Steering south southeast, we now were approaching a high range of new 
mountains trending to the southeast. We found on December 2 a barrier 
that, influenced by great pressure and ridges of snow and ice, had turned 
into land. We discovered a glacier 120 miles long and approximately forty 
miles wide, running in a south southwesterly direction. 


"We started on December 5 to ascend, the glacier at latitude of 83 :33, 
longitude 172. The glacier was badly crevassed as a result of the huge pres- 
sure. The surface on December 6 was so crevassed that it took a whole day 
to fight our way 600 yards. 

"On December 7 the pony, Socks, breaking through a snow Hd, disap- 
peared in a crevasse of unknown depth. The singletree snapping we saved 
Wild and the sledge, which was badly damaged. The party was now hauling 
a weight of 250 pounds per man. 

"The clouds disappearing on December 8 we discovered new mountain 
ranges trending south southwest. Moving up the glacier over the treacherous 
snow covering the crevasses, we frequently fell through but were saved by our 
harness and were pulled out with an Alpine rope. A second sledge was badly 
damaged by the knife-edge crevasses. 

"Similar conditions obtained on our way up the glacier from December 
j8, when we reached an altitude of 6,800 feet. In latitude 85:10 we made 
a depot and left everything there but our food, instruments, and camp equip- 
ment, and reduced our rations to twenty ounces per man daily. 

"We reached on December 26 a plateau after crossing ice falls at an altitude 
of 9,000 feet, thence rising gradually in long ridges to 10,500 feet. Finishing 
the relay work, we discarded our second sledge. There was a constant 
southerly blizzard, the wind drifting the snow, with a temperature ranging 
from 37 to 70 degrees of frost. We lost sight of the new mountains December 
27. Finding the party weakening from the effects of a shortage of food and 
the rarified air and cold, I decided to risk making a depot on a plateau. 

"We proceeded on January 4 with one tent, utilizing the poles of the 
second tent for guiding marks for our return. The surface became soft and 
the blizzard continued. For sixty hours during January 7, 8, and 9 a blizzard 
raged with 72 degrees of frost and the wind blowing seventy miles an hour. 
It was impossible to move. Members of the party were frequently frost- 
bitten in their sleeping bags." 

And then follows this laconic description of the discovery of "farthest 
south" : 

"We left camp on January 9 and reached latitude 88:23 longitude 16:32. 
This is the most southerly point ever reached. Here we hoisted the Union 
Jack presented to us by the queen. No mountains were visible. We saw a 
plain stretching to the south." 

Continuing the story Shackleton says : 


"We returned to pick up our depot on the plateau, guided by our outward 
tracks, for the flags attached to the tent poles had been blown away. The 
less violent blizzards blowing on our backs helped us to travel from twenty 
to twenty-nine miles daily. We reached the upper glacier depot January 19. 

"The snow had been blown from the glacier surface, leaving a slippery 
blue ice. The descent was slow work in the heavy gale. The sledge was 
lowered by stages by an Alpine rope. On the morning of January 26 our 
food was finished. It was slow going. Sixteen miles were covered in twenty- 
two hours' march. The snow was two feet deep, concealing the crevasses. 
We reached the lower glacier depot in latitude 83 145 on the afternoon of 
January 27, There we obtained food, and proceeding, reached the Grisi 
depot, named after a dead pony, on February 2. There was no food remaining. 

"The entire party were prostrated on February 4 and were unable to move. 
This lasted eight days, but helped by strong southerly blizzards we reached 
the Chinaman depot on February 13. The food had again run out." 

By this time the situation so calmly recounted by Shackleton was some- 
what alarming. Many men in a similar pinch would have considered it des- 
perate. But these Britons, true to the tradition of their predecessors in brav- 
ing polar hardships, pushed on. 

"The blizzards continued, with fifty degrees of frost. We discarded every- 
thing except our camp outfit and geological specimens, and on February 20 
reached the next depot, all our food being finished. Helped by a southerly 
blizzard which was accompanied by sixty-seven degrees of frost, we reached 
on February 23, the depot at Minna Bluff, which had been laid by the Joyce 
party in January. 

"Here we received news from our ship. Marshall had a relapse and re- 
turn of illness. We made a forced march of twenty-four miles February 26. 
Marshall was suffering greatly. On February 27 Marshall was unable to 
march. I left him in charge of Adams while Wild and I made a forced march 
to the ship for relief.. I returned March i with a relief party and reached the 
ship at Hut Point March 4 in a blizzard. 

"The total distance of the journey, including relays, was 172 statute miles. 
The time occupied was 126 d^ys. The main result was a geological collection. 
We also made a complete meteorological record. We discovered eight moun- 
tain ranges and over 100 mountains. The geographical South Pole doutbless 
is situated on a plateau from 10,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level. Violent 
blizzards in latitude 88 show that if a 'polar calm' exists it must be in a small 
area or not coincident with the geographical pole." 


Prof. Davis, of the northern party, started from Cape Royd October 5, 
1908, and with two sledges discovered the South Magnetic Pole in latitude 
72:25. He and his companions had experiences akin to Shackleton, though 
without the severe hardships. 

Another feature of the expedition was a viewing of the south aurora 
borealis, or aurora australis, as it is sometimes called. This is described as 
brilliant throughout the winter, appearing most frequently in the eastern 
sky and seldom in the direction of the magnetic pole. The most striking form 
of the aurora was that of a parallel with draped curtains extending across 
the heavens, sometimes stationary and sometimes moving rapidly across the 
remarkable speed. 

Shackleton's exploits filled England with pride, and were heralded, until 
two Americans found the North Pole, as among the greatest achievements of 
polar travel. When Shackleton cabled to his ruler the results of his journey 
the king cabled back as follows : 

"I congratulate you and your comrades most warmly on the splendid result 
accomplished by your expedition, and in having hoisted the Union Jack pre- 
sented by the queen within ill miles of the South Pole, and the Union Jack 
on the South Magnetic Pole. 

"I gladly assent to the new range of mountains in the far south bearing 
the name of Queen Alexandra." 

Edward R. I. 



When Shackleton reached latitude 88 south, he had traveled far beyond 
the best record of Capt. Scott, his mentor, in 1892, and had gone 18 degrees 
farther than the best previous mark. This was made by C. E. Borchgrevink, 
a Dane, in March, 1900. Borchgrevink's exact record was latitude 70 de- 
grees 50 minutes. Before him came a German and a Scotch expedition — 
these in addition to the Belgian party with which Dr. Cook got his training. 
The German party under Capt. Ruser made a trip in 1901 which was without 
sensational incident. The Scotch expedition, headed by Capt. Bruce sailed in 
the ship Scotia in 1903. Neither of these parties established a notable record. 
Of the various trips, however, the combined results were such as to prove the 
utterly desolate character of the Antarctic, and threw much added light on 
the basic discoveries made by Capt. Cook, an i8th century hero and navigator 
whose book "Capt. Cook's Voyages," is one of the celebrated books of the 
world. Cook, in 1773-5, ^''st circumnavigated the southern continents and was 
really the discoverer of the Antarctic region, which even in modern times had 
been supposed by many excellent folk to be non-existent, except as an un- 
broken sea. 

It is now known that the Antarctic, though mainly composed of vast stretches 
of ocean, does include some comparatively small areas of land. These, how- 
ever, are so ice-covered and bleak as scarcely to be distinguished from the 
frozen seas. There is no vegetation, and for the most part, no animal life 
whatever. Explorers cannot, as Nansen, Cook and others did in the Arctic, 
shoot quantities of life-saving game when near the South Pole. 

There have been three recognized routes of exploration to the lands lying 
south of the Antarctic circle, — Patagonia, Kerguenlen Island, and Tasmania. 

The first American Antarctic traveler was a whaler named Nathaniel B. 
Palmer. He made his attempt in 1821 and discovered what is known as the 
Palmer Archipelago, lying north of what is supposed to be the Antarctic con- 



tinent. In the above three named routes the most important discoveries have 
been made by way of Tasmania. 

In recent years a new line of travel has been used. Lieut. Shackleton's 
was the most recent. He sailed from New Zealand for the southern regions. 

Prof. T. W. E. David who made a trip to the southern magnetic pole 
asserts that in company with two other explorers he found the Magnetic 
Pole after a journey of 1,260 miles which lasted four months. Prof. David 
describes the Magnetic Pole as a circular area about thirty miles in diameter, 
within which the pole is situated from time to time during dijfferent days and 
at different hours of the day the pole constantly moving around. 

Prof. David said that when his party got to the Antarctic Magnetic Pole 
the needle of the ordinary compass refused to work, but their position was 
more accurately told by an instrument which contained a number of magnetic 
needles, which tilted up vertically the nearer they got to the Magnetic Pole 
till at the Magnetic Pole itself they were upright. The compass would act 
in a similar manner in the Arctic magnetic circle. ^ 

That the South Pole will be discovered, and speedily, was asserted in 
an earlier chapter. Activity in this line was immensely stimulated by the 
discoveries of Cook and Peary. Explorers who had hoped to be the first to 
plant the flag of their nation at the northernmost point began to yearn for 
the glory of finding the southernmost. No sooner had the success of the 
North-pole-finders become known than preparations were begun by several 
travelers to go to the Antarctic. For a time it was believed both Cook and 
Peary would try for the South Pole, but later Peary announced he was 
through with polar travel. Cook did not give out his intentions immediately. 
In the meantime announcement was made that Capt. Scott, the Englishman, 
had received the backing of the Royal Geographical Society for a South Pole 
trip in which he expected to use motor sledges and all the other most modern 
means of polar travel. He expected to establish two bases, one in McMurdo 
Sound and the other in King Edward Land. 

The Antarctic has not furnished the same black record of death, starva- 
tion and misery that has attended the search for the farthest north. This, 
perhaps, is because there has not existed the same fever of desire to reach the 
South Pole. But the day of discovery is coming. They will push forward, 
these intrepid voyagers, into the great white waste of the Antarctic, until the 
last discoverable land is charted, the last mountains climbed, and all that is 
knowable about the South Pole, as well as the North, will be known. And 


they will find — a waste, and nothing more. The Antarctic cannot be populated, 
unless with increasing knowledge mankind can devise some now undreamed-of 
method of making life possible in the lands of perpetual ice. 

There is at the South Pole no race of Eskimos who have learned by years 
of slow and dearly-bought experiences how to exist in the face of nature's 
sternest obstacles. And yet it is conceivable that, in the far-distant future, as 
civilization expands, and the wildernesses are inhabited, bands of pioneers will 
penetrate the Antarctic and force their livelihood from its rocks and its frozen 
seas. By such time, it may be believed, the Arctic region will already have 
been seized upon by men of the skill and hardihood needful for those who blaze 
the way. 

Then will the names of Franklin, Greely and Nansen, of Peary and 
Cook, of Scott and Shackleton, have a luster far different from that which 
shines about the heads of men who achieve great but empty feats. To men 
like those will accrue the glory of heroes who extended the boundaries of the 
earth and discovered a foundation-place for the homes of the world's future 

Admiral Schley, the man who rescued Greely, has discussed most force- 
fully the question : "Does Arctic exploration pay ?" Says he : 

"There are two sides to this Arctic problem. There is a material side and 
there is a scientific side. ... It has been asked, What is the use of all 
this loss of life ? What is the use of all these expeditions ? It may be said 
from the material side that millions of square miles of discovered territory 
have been added to our geography; that the gospel of Christ has been sent 
into this north land ; that the domain of civilization has been extended ; that 
the empire of commerce has been made to penetrate into this polar ocean, 
which has resulted in adding millions of money to our material possession 
and circulation. That being the case, it does seem to me that there is some 
compensation, certainly, for the small loss of life which has attended these 



For what he had of the lore of travel on ice-bound oceans, Dr. Cook owed 
much to his journey to the antarctic region in 1897. 

On that expedition he figured, as the medical man of a party of Belgian 
scientists, who sought to traverse and chart some of the dim, unknown lands on 
the "bottom of the world." As every reader knows, a venture into the far 
south is as perilous as a journey in the arctic. Indeed, the dangers are in some 
respect greater. The paths where a few men have trod are not so well known 
down there, and the cold is equally severe. Then, too, the south polar seas 
are much farther from any of the great centers of civilization. Countries of 
South America, themselves homes of comparative savagery, lie nearest to the 
"frozen south," instead of great seaports, with endless quantities of supplies. 
Woe betide the explorer who, tempest-tossed and with his soul amost frozen 
within him, seeks shelter on the bleak coast of extreme South America. 

Into this vast and terrifying region, however, Dr. Cook was chosen to go. 
With a large party of scientists and adventurers he left Antwerp in August, 

1897. By January 23 of the following year the vessel had reached the Palmer 
archipelago, nearly at the limit of where men had penetrated. The party was 
seeking knowledge rather than attempting a pole-finding feat, and they gave 
much time to the exploration of five hundred miles of new land in the South 
Pacific. In the meantime winter came upon them, and though during many 
of the coldest months they succeeded in keeping clear of the drift, by March 
4, 1898, they were fast in the ice in latitude 71 degrees, 22 minutes, and long- 
itude 84 degrees, 55 minutes. This meant that they were to the southwest 
of South America, and about midway between that continent and the pole. 

Dr. Cook has thrillingly described their succeeding experiences. They 
drifted two thousand miles in a year. Says Dr. Cook : 

"Our acquaintance with the south polar pack ice dates from February 13, 

1898, and ends with our escape on March 14, 1899. We first encountered 
it off the eastern border of Graham Land, before crossing the polar circle. Here 



it was broken into small pieces, mixed with many glacial fragments and studded 
by innumerable icebergs. While trying to keep the coast in view, we steamed 
among a number of streams of small fragments of drift ice. An on-shore 
swell forced the ice together, and we were hopelessly held for the night of the 
13th. To the east of us were the high peaks and limitless glaciers of Graham 
Land. The country was visible for only short periods and in patches, for a 
high fog hung constantly over the land, leaving only an opening here and there. 

"To the west the sky was perfectly clear. A dark smoky zone near the 
horizon indicated the limits of the ice and an open sea beyond. Those wer.e 
of a size and type quite similar to those of the Arctic Sea. The entire mass — 
icebergs, sea-ice, and the ship — rose and fell with the gigantic heave of the South 
Pacific, and for a time it seemed as though we should be carried with the mov- 
ing drift against one of a number of small islands. But a change in the di-rec- 
tion of the wind on the following morning so separated the ice that we were 
able to force our way into the open sea westward. 

"After the first experience of the ensnaring powers of the drift ice, we 
did not easily put ourselves in a position to be again entangled. The season 
for a campaign to the far south was past, but M. de Gerlache, (one of the lead- 
ers of the expedition) thought it incumbent upon himself to make as strong an 
effort as possible to push into the main body of the pack and beat the "farthest 
south" of other explorers. The entire scientific staff were opposed to this effort, 
because it was thought to be too late in the season. No direct opposition, how- 
ever, was offered wdien the 'Belgica' was headed southward. She was forced 
into the pack and out again, time after time, making after each rebuff a new ef- 
fort farther westward. On February 28th, we were forced to take to the ice 
that the ship might better ride out a howling storm. 

"I can imagine nothing more desperate than a storm on the edge of the 
pack. At best it is a cold, dull and gloomy region, with a high humidity and 
constant drizzly fogs. Clear weather here is a rare exception. Storm with 
rain, sleet and snow is the normal weather condition throughout the entire 

"During the day of the 28th, we were unable to get a glimpse of the sun, 
and were in consequence in doubt as to our actual position. There was some- 
thing about the sea and sky which promised a night of unusual terrors. The 
wind came in a steady torrent from the east, and with it came alternate squalls 
of rain and sleet and snow. Hour after hour it blew harder, and before night 
it brought with it a heavy sea studded with moving mountains of blackness. 


The 'Belgica' ran westerly before it, almost under bare poles and edged 
closer and closer toward the fragments of ice to the south, where the sea was 

"The sky to the north and east was smoky and wavy, as if a number of huge 
fires were there sending out gusts of smoke. On the southern sky there was a 
bright pearly zone. This was an ice 'blink,' a reflection of the ice beyond our 
horizon upon the particles of watery vapor suspended in the air. As night 
came upon us it became necessary to choose between the forbidding blackness 
of the north and the more cheerful, but less hospitable whiteness of the south. 
With icebergs on every side, always in our course, coming as suddenly out of 
the thickening darkness as if dropped from the skies, it was not wise or prudent 
either to move out of it, or to rest in our position. To be more friendly with 
the ice, or to rid ourselves entirely of its companionship was plainly our duty. 

"We decided to seek the harboring influence of the pack, as an experiment ; 
to ride out the increasing fury of the tempest. The 'Belgica' was headed south- 
ward and quickly ploughed through the icy seas, but the noise and commotion 
which came to a climax every time she rose to a crest of a great swell were 
terrible. The wind beat through the rigging like the blasts out of a blow-pipe, 
the quivering mass swept the sky with the regularity of a pendulum; the 
entire ship was covered with a sheet of ice. As the eye dropped over the side of 
the ship, the sea glittered with the brightness of a winter's sky. The brightness 
of the sea, with the sooty blackness of the heavens over it, formed a weird con- 
trast never to be forgotten. Here and there were sparkling semi-luminous 
pieces of ice which sprang from the darkness with meteoric swiftness, and were 
again as quickly lost in the gathering blackness behind us. These fragments in- 
creased in number and size as we pressed poleward; but the 'Belgica' would 
strike and push them aside as a broom moves dust. 

"After a short but very exciting time, the pieces of ice became more numer- 
ous and of larger dimensions, and the birds were so closely grouped that fur- 
ther progress seemed impossible. The sea rolled more and more, in long, easy 
swells, as we passed through the ice. This eased the ship and made mat- 
ters more comforting to the sufferers from seasickness. 

"I must hasten to confess that about one half of us were thus afflicted at 
this time, still we tried to be cheerful. I cannot imagine any scene more de- 
spairing, though, than the 'Belgica,' as she pushed into the pack during this 
black night. The noise was maddening. Every swell that drove against the 
ship brought with it tons of ice which was thrown against the ribs with a thun- 


tiering crash. The wind howled as it rushed past us, and came with a force 
that made us grasp the rails to keep from being thrown into the churning seas. 
The good old ship kept up a constant scream of complaints as she struck piece 
after piece of the masses of ice. Occasionally we would try to talk, but the 
deafening noises of the storm, the squeaking strains of the ship and the thump- 
ing of the ice made every effort at speech inaudible. With our stomachs dis- 
satisfied, and our minds raised to a fever height of excitement, and with a 
prospect of striking an iceberg at any moment and going to the bottom of 
the sea, we were, to say the least, uncomfortable. When we had entered 
sufficiently into the body of the pack, and were snugly surrounded by closely 
packed ice floes, the sea subsided, and here the overworked ship rested for 

And this is what the Belgica and her crew endured for more than a year ! 

To further illustrate the woes of travel on shipboard in polar seas, there 
may be given here an experience of one of the parties in the last century. This 
was the crew of the Investigator, one of the ships that went north in an en- 
deavor to find traces of Sir John Franklin's expedition. 

Says the description of this mishap: 

"It was a very narrow escape from destruction. A light breeze springing 
up the day after open water appeared among the floes, the pack to which the 
Investigator was attached began to drift. It was carried towards a shoal upon 
which a huge mass of ice was grounded. A corner of the pack came in con- 
tact with the great stationary mass with a grinding shock that sent pieces of 
twelve and fourteen feet square flying completely out of the water, and as the 
immense weight of the moving pack pressed forward, there was a sound as of 
distant thunder as it crushed onwards. The weight at the back caused an 
enormous mass to upheave in the middle of the pack, as though under the in- 
fluence of a volcanic eruption. The great field was rent asunder, the block 
to which the Investigator was attached taking the ground and remaining fixed, 
while the lighter portion swung round and, with accelerated speed, came 
directly towards the vessel's stern. 

"To let go every cable and hawser which held her to the block was the 
work of a moment, for every one was on deck keenly on the lookout. The 
moving mass caught her stern and forced her ahead and from between the 
moving floe and the stationary mass. The two came into grinding collision, 
and the men on the deck of the vessel saw the great bulk to which they had been 
attached slowly rise. It went up and up until it had risen thirty feet above 



the surface and hung perpendicularly above the ship. It towered higher than 
the foreyard, presenting a spectacle that was at once grandly impressive but 
terribly dangerous, for if it fell over upon the Investigator she would be crushed 
to atoms. For a few moments the suspense was awful, till the weight of the 
floe broke away a mass from the great bulk, and it rolled back with a tre- 
mendous roar and rending and, with some fearful heaves, resumed its former 
position. But no longer could it withstand the pressure, and it was hurried 
forward with the rest of the floe, grinding along the bottom of the shoal. 

"The pack having set in towards the shore, the only hopes of safety lay 
in keeping with the ice, for if the Investigator was pushed ashore by it there 
would be little chance of her ever floating again. She was consequently made 
fast again and carried along, though with a tremendous strain on her stern and 
rudder. It was discovered that the latter was damaged, but there was no pos- 
sibility of unshipping it for repairs while the ice was moving. Towards the af- 
ternoon the wind having dropped, the drift became less, and for five hours the 
rudder received attention. 

"Scarcely had it been replaced when once more the ice began to move, and 
the crew saw that they were being forced directly upon a large piece of the 
broken floe which had grounded. Feeling certain that if the ship were caught 
between the grounded mass and the moving floe nothing could save her from 
being crushed to pieces, a desperate effort was made to remove the great mass. 
The chief gunner, provided wath a big canister of powder, went on to the 
ice and struggled over the rugged surface until he reached the stationary 
mass. He intended to lower the canister under the mass before exploding it, 
but the ice was too closely packed around it to permit of this being done. There 
was no time to consider any other plan, so he fixed the blast in a cavity and, 
firing the fuse, scrambled back to the ship. 

"The charge exploded just as the pressure of the floe was beginning to 
tell, and the result was apparently valueless. The Investigator by this time was 
within a few yards of the great mass, and there seemed to be no hope of escap- 
ing from the crush. Every one on deck was in a state of anxious suspense, 
waiting for what was evidently the crisis of their fate. 

"Most fortunately the ship went stem-on, as sailors term it, and the pres- 
sure was directed along her whole length instead of along her sides. Every 
plank seemed to feel the shock, and the beams groaned as the pressure in- 
creased. The masts trembled, and crackling sounds came from the bulwarks 
as she strained under the tension. Momentarily the men expected that she 



would collapse under them, when the result of the gunner's blast was made 
manifest. It had cracked the mass in three places, and the pressure of the 
ship's stem forced the cracks open. The liberation from the obstacle was at 
once evident as the mass slowly divided and, falling over, floated off the shoal. 
The cable holding the vessel to the floe parted as she surged forward and the 
ice-anchors drew out, while the blocks of ice, as they turned over, lifted her 
bows up out of the water and heeled her over ; but the cheer which broke from 
the assembled crew drowned all other noise, for it was as though they had 
been snatched from the very jaws of death." 




In an earlier chapter some of the first developments of the Cook-Peary con- 
troversy were described. On the return of the rivals to America the war broke 
out with renewed vigor. All the living explorers of note took sides, and lengthy 
pronouncements were made public. Most of these debaters were inclined to 
apportion the glory in equal parts. 

Of special weight was the declaration of Capt. Roald Amundsen, who a 
few years before had sailed through the northwest passage. Amundsen, after 
quoting Cook's first announcement of his discovery, said : 

"Thus read the first message about the achievement of this great object, told 
dryly and without much ado, without a flourish of trumpets. It was quite like 
the man who sent it. For centuries the battle had been going on. Wealth and 
intellect for many years had been struggling side by side, inch by inch; the 
mind and energy of man had forced themselves through terrible ice deserts, great 
and well equipped expeditions had taken up the struggle of solving the problem, 
immense sums of money had been expended and many lives sacrificed, and for 
a long time it seemed as if nature would win in the great battle. 

"The news from Lerwick, Shetlands, on September i, came, therefore, as a 
thunderbolt down on the civilized world. All that scores of men and well 
equipped expeditions had been unable to achieve was accomplished by a single 
man. The North Pole had been reached. 

"A shiver went through the whole world. Was it true ? Who was Cook ? 
You had never heard anything about him before, and I think it was right that 
only a very few believed the news. 

"On my part, on the other hand, who knew Cook very well, the news didn't 
come as any surprise. The man was entirely adequate to the task. Fred A. 
Cook was born on June lo, 1864, in Callicoon, Sullivan County, N. Y. His 
parents came from Hamburg, Germany, to America about 1850, where his 
father settled down as a surgeon. In 189 1 Cook became himself a surgeon. The 
same year he went on Peary's expedition to Greenland. As surgeon in this 
expedition he showed brilliant capacity as a polar explorer. 



"Later on I had opportunity to speak with the young Norwegian, Eivind 
Astrup, who was also with the Peary expedition on the sledge trip through the 
inland ice of Greenland. From him I got a most distinct impression that the 
expedition of Peary owed its good results to Cook in a very high degree. 

"This was Cook's matriculation in polar exploration. Later on he made 
other trips to polar regions, but it was not until six years later that I got to 
know him more closely and concluded a friendship which should last for life. 
This was in the Belgian expedition to the Antarctic on the Belgica, where he 
was surgeon, anthropologist and photographer, and I was first officer. This was 
from 1897 to 1899. 

"The Belgian Antarctic expedition had as its purpose to seek down toward 
South Victoria Land to ascertain more closely the conditions existing around 
the magnetic South Pole. The plan was that a party of four men should be 
left behind there while the ship returned to Melbourne. 

"Cook and I were well equipped to take part in this party, which was to 
spend the Winter there. When the expedition reached Punta Arenas, in 
Magellan Straits, where the steamer should coal, the original plan was aban- 
doned, and the intention of searching the regions around Graham's Land, just 
south from South America, was decided on. Before going there we made sev- 
eral researches in less known parts of Terra del Fuego, and much good work 
was done by Dr. Cook among the natives there. He took an endless number of 
photographs during the whole journey. 

"On the first of March, 1898, we made our w^ay southward on flowing ice 
and we were stuck so fast in the ice that we were prisoners for a whole year on 
the same spot. 

"Here it was that I learned to know Cook and learned to appreciate him as 
one of the ablest, most honest, most reliable men I have ever met. The Belgica 
wasn't prepared for Wintering either with equipment or provisions. 

"During the Winter scurvy broke out. At the same time several of the 
party showed signs of mental trouble. In such circumstances it was very im- 
portant to have a surgeon who was equal to the situation. That was just what 
we had in Dr. Cook. Quietly he went from one to another, cheering them and 
always trying to keep up their courage when it showed signs of failing them. 
There was only one who died and his death was owing to long standing weak- 
ness. All of Dr. Cook's patients recovered. 

"But it was not only as a physician and friend I learned to appreciate him ; 
it was also, and particularly, as a practical polar explorer. It was under very 


difficult circumstances tliat we had penetrated the ice, and still more difficult 
when we tried to get out again. It was different from the floating ice of the 
arctic regions, which seems to be kept always in movement by the current in 
the ocean. 

"This antarctic ice in which we were stuck seemed not to be influenced in 
the slightest by the movement in the ocean. The ice was immovable and seemed 
to have taken a grip on the vessel which it would not let go. 

"The situation seemed critical. Our food would not be sufficient for another 
Winter and it was feared our mental condition would suffer very much if we 
had to stand another Winter here. What were we going to do ? 

"Then it was that our doctor quietly stepped forward with his proposal to 
get out of captivity, and his proposal was sanctioned by the highest authority. 
We should try to saw ourselves out of the ice. It wasn't an easy task, badly 
equipped as we were with tools, but what we needed in the shape of tools Dr. 
Cook by his ingenuity and skill in one way or another devised and manufactured. 
He thus helped us over our difficulties. That the Belgian Antarctic expedition in 
this way got out of the ice is due first and foremost to the skill, energy and 
persistence of Dr. Cook. 

"His ascent of Mount McKinley gave us again a good opportunity to 
look a little further into his character. Quietly he came forward and told us 
that one of the greatest exploits which had ever been made in mountain climb- 
ing was now accomplished. It didn't occur to him to beat a drum and blow 
a trumpet to make this known to the world. If the world wouldn't acknowl- 
edge his exploit without this it was all the same to him. 

" 'Reached the North Pole on the 21st of April, 1908. Discovered land 
far northward.' 

"It would not, indeed, have been necessary for him to sign his name under 
this for my benefit. I should have understood all the time that it was from him. 
Nobody else could have taken it in such thoroughly fine and quietly noble 

"It was a pity that Peary should besmirch his beautiful work in throwing 
out outrageous accusations against a competitor who had won the battle in 
open field. Peary will prove his statement, they say, but in which way, I 
ask? Is it the evidence of Cook's two followers on which he rests his accusa- 
tions ? Then I must confess it has a very weak foundation. 

"When Peary accuses Cook of having taken his Eskimos, then this Is non- 
sense. The Eskimos, as we know, are free people like ourselves; nay, to a 


still greater extent, and they do what they like. When, therefore, the Eskimos 
took resolution to accompany Dr. Cook on his expedition toward the North 
Pole, neither they nor Dr. Cook felt bound to render Peary an account. 

"Another and quite as futile a detail in the accusation of Peary is when he 
says Cook went into his domain. Does Peary really mean that he can assert 
the right to this territory? I think Peary cannot be so childish. It is very 
likely a stroke in the air to gain the sympathy of unsuspecting people. The 
American people have a great stake in arctic exploration. They deserve the 
undivided admiration of the whole civihzed world for the splendid result 
which two of their brave sons have just brought home. 

"We shall always honor Cook as the first man on the geographical north 
pole of the earth. We shall always admire Peary as the man who didn't give 
up, but finally achieved his aim and desire after many years' hard work." 

Dr. Eugene Murray Aaron, F. G. S., who has acquaintance with both 
Commander Peary and Dr. Cook and who has a knowledge of the terrors of 
the long night, and the hardships and difficulties of travel on the arctic ice, 
who for some years has been a Chicagoan, engaged in geographic authorship 
and publication, also discussed the merits of the controversy. 

"No one who knows either Cook or Peary," said the doctor, "can for a 
moment doubt that each of them firmly believes that he has set his feet on that 
spot without longitude, where all lines converge — and hence without dimen- 
sions, that we call the north pole. The only doubt permissible to fair minded 
men who have the privilege of acquaintance with these great men is as to 
whether in the final dash they were able to take along those instruments neces- 
sary to scientific exactitude and whether, during their very brief stops on the 
top of the earth, they had sufficient time to verify their first conclusions. 

"It must be the opinion of all that the reputations of America and of 
American men of science have suffered from the unseemly, though perhaps 
rather natural, outburst of Peary and his warmer supporters, when the news 
from Cook reached them. Commander Peary has so manfully struggled 
northward for the past quarter of a century, always meeting rebuffs and defeat 
with a brave heart and each time returning to the battle to win a few more 
miles from the threatening ice floes and leads, that it is very understandable 
that he has almost come to regard the pole as his by eminent domain. It is 
not hard to realize the poignancy of his feelings when he learned that his rival 
had beaten him to the goal, all the more as the personal relations between the 
two had been strained for many years, owing to causes known to few, but 
quite sufficient to both of these positive, forceful men. 


"That Peary lost grip on his better judgment for the moment and sent 
forth statements regarding his rival's honesty that will always come up to 
plague him, seems to be beyond question, although much must be allowed for 
the misunderstanding of correspondents and perhaps even something for tele- 
graphic slips. That, however, he has done, with respect to Cook's supplies or 
records, anything dishonorable or underhanded, those who know him cannot 
believe. It would seem, at this moment, that each might well cry: 'Deliver 
me from my friends !' For it is the intemperate utterances of those that have 
done most to cloud the atmosphere and eclipse the proverbial American spirit 
of fair play. 

"Since Peary's first cablegrams, all that we have had from him bearing 
upon Cook's claims has been corroborative, rather than otherwise. Cook's 
experiences with unusually propitious conditions near the pole were duplicated 
by Peary. The former's remarkable speed on his dash northward has been 
exceeded by Peary on his return from his goal to Cape Columbia. The lack of 
adequate witnesses, so criticised by Peary's adherents when it became known 
that Cook had but two Eskimo 'boys' with him, has been effectually met by 
the fact that Peary had but one such with him under like circumstances. One 
with far northern experience can see many more unmistakable signs of agree- 
ment in the very inadequate present accounts of the two men. While Peary's 
account is thus far devoid of longitudinal data, it is already plain why he 
encountered no signs along Cook's route. At their points of departure from 
northern Grantland they were over 150 miles apart, and, as Cook's returning 
route was still further to the west, there were only a very few miles in the 
immediate neighborhood of the pole where by any possibility his tracks could 
have been detected by Peary. 

"Still further, it must be remembered that these men, in common with 
everyone who has established a far north record, approached their tasks in 
March and April, because of the upbreak of the ice in that great open polar 
sea during the long continuous day of the summer, and, also, that one of these 
long days had intervened between Cook's return and Peary's start, doubtless 
breaking up every vestige of Cook's feverishly hurried stops and dissipating 
any records in the Ice he may have sought to leave behind." 

"Then what proofs will the public ever have; how will these men prove 
beyond doubt that they have been there?" the doctor was asked. 

"Oi absolute proofs, such as would be undeniable In a court of justice, 
there can be none. We will always be compelled to accept their words. The 


talk of records of observations, that will support them beyond peradventure, is 
the sheerest nonsense. Any man competent to take such observations would 
be equally competent to coin them. There are no self-recording instruments 
to automatically, mechanically uphold him or give him the lie. The statement 
credited to astronomers that an eclipse, occurring at the time that Cook was 
beyond the 8oth degree of latitude, must have been observed by him and 
would be contributory evidence, likewise means nothing. Those acquainted 
with atmospheric and hydrographic conditions in the far north know that this 
is buncombe. Then, too, were Cook the sort of man to manufacture records, 
and we who know him believe him to be far above it, it would have been the 
easiest possible thing to acquaint himself with future astronomic conditions 
and be prepared to incorporate such observations among his other manufac- 
tured data. 

"No, not until some one has firmly established an aerial stage line to the 
north pole will we be in a position to contravert the claims of those hardy men 
who find a certain delight in the frozen solitudes of the Arctic sea. As a 
matter of fact, there is nothing inherently more difficult in reaching the upper 
stretches of the final dash than have to be coped with in the preparatory 
marches; perhaps nothing as terrible as Cook must have undergone in his 
winter quarters in Ellesmereland, on his homeward journey." 

"Can you state in a few words the practical value of the discovery or attain- 
ment of the pole?" the doctor was asked. 

"By 'practical value' I understand you to take the usual utilitarian Amer- 
ican view, and that you would shut out the gratification to American pride 
and the possibility that this achievement will lead to our letting the north pole 
rest in peace, which we will not. Then, with those rather doubtful advantages 
set aside, it is possible to answer your question in four letters — none. That 
certain observations could be taken at the pole, which, if repeated at the equator, 
would enable us to very nearly arrive at the weight of our earth and to settle 
some other certainties desired by physiographers, is well known. But these are 
not possible on any dash to that region, and it is very unlikely that conditions 
will ever allow eithe*- the transportation of cumbersome paraphernalia or the 
prolonged sojourn necessary." 

To the question as to whether some recent interviews were accurate in con- 
sidering Cook and Peary the greatest explorers of all times, the doctor quoted 
a long list from the roster of famed explorers, any one of which he regarded as 
of greater eminence. Among these the names of Magellan, Von Humboldt, 



Livingstone, Wallace, Merrian, Bates, Whymper, Conway and Hedin are re- 

"Conway, practically alone in the great Andes, Wallace living with the 
head-hunting Dyaks of Borneo, Bates for a decade on the upper Amazon, Sven 
Hedin courting instant death if detected on the march toward Lassa, these 
and many others like them, not only met and conquered as great dangers and 
for far greater lengths of time than did Cook or Peary," added the doctor; 
"but they contributed vastly to the sum of useful human knowledge. 

"Yet I would not take one iota of credit or glory from Cook or Peary, if 
I had that power. The qualities of indomitable courage and tireless persever- 
ance that have won them these great successes are becoming too rare among 
us, we who are so greatly given over to half-baked and transient effort, to 
hysteric admiration and interests, and to the softening and often ignoble chase 
after the elusive dollar." 

From the Detroit Free Press 



It was a great day in New York when Dr. Cook was welcomed back to his 
native land. He was hailed as a conqueror; and though the crowd did not 
crush him and tear his clothing, as a mad rush of the curious did in Copen- 
hagen, enthusiasm in New York was no less fervid. 

The steamer Oscar II, on which the explorer returned to America, had 
arrived in the outer waters of New York harbor the evening of September 20. 
It was not docked, however, until the following morning, since its arrival 
before Tuesday would have disarranged the carefully laid plans for a grand 

Dr. Cook's arrival at New York went through progressive stages of en- 
thusiasm as he moved from the lower bay to quarantine, thence to the tug on 
which his wife and children were waiting to give the first exchange of family 
endearments, then to the steamer Grand Republic, freighted with more than 
1,000 enthusiastic friends and champions of the explorer, and finally, as he 
set foot on his native soil of Brooklyn and passed through cheering throngs and 
flower-arched streets, to his home in Bushwick avenue. 

Everywhere he was met with the same clamorous shouts and demonstrative 
approval, which swept aside any dissenting note if it existed. 

Dr. Cook bore his honors calmly and with dignity, smiling upon the crowds, 
bowing acknowledgments to the oft-repeated cheers and grasping the out- 
stretched hands of friends and strangers. 

The steamer Oscar II, with Dr. Cook on board, reached quarantine at 6 
a. m., and anchored to await inspection by the health officer of the port. Mean- 
time several tugs loaded with passengers hung about the liner. 

At sunrise the steamer was dressed with flags and preparations were made 
to receive the explorer's wife and children, who were coming down in a tug, 
and to meet a reception committee of city officials and friends of Dr. Cook, who 
went down the harbor on the steamer Grand Republic. 

Dr. Cook was standing amid a group of passengers on the saloon deck w^hen 



the health officer boarded the ship. The explorer's face was tinged with a 
healthy bronze and his demeanor was modest and unassuming. He answered 
questions freely, but declined to discuss the attitude of Commander Peary. 

When asked about the controversy over the discovery of the pole, Dr. 
Cook said : 

"I have deplored the whole controversy and feel that nothing should be 
said. I shall leave the public to judge. I feel that the Danish people, who have 
accepted me without question and have treated me so liberally, should be the 
first to receive the evidences of my work. 

"I want to see my wife and family, who, I understand, will come to us first 
in a revenue tug; then I do not care what comes." 

Dr. Cook said that during the four months of his stay in Greenland he 
went over all his notes and data and completed his book describing his trip 
to the pole. 

When he was informed that they were close at hand on board the tugboat 
John Gilperson, his face beamed and he ran to the side of the deck and peered 
through the mist. 

Just then, the Gilperson loomed up through the light fog and the figures of 
his wife and children began to assume definite shapes. 

When Mrs. Cook and the children could be distinguished the explorer looked 
down at the little woman, who had smiled unbelievingly when she received 
reports that he was dead in the Arctic regions, who had wept for joy when the 
first dispatches of his discovery of the north pole reached her, and who had 
stood by him when Peary questioned his veracity. 

He gazed for several seconds without displaying any emotion, save a slight 
trembling of his hands. Then his eyes began to fill with tears. 

He pulled off his Derby hat and waved it at his wife. She waved her hand- 
kerchief — quickly, eagerly. At the same moment, the Gilperson blew three 
blasts of its whistle. It was the nautical language for "Glad to see you back." 
The deep, bass whistle of the Oscar H responded in kind. 

Dr. Cook then turned to Captain Hempel of the steamship. 

"I guess I'll go aboard the tugboat right away," he said. 

The captain grasped his hand. 

"All right, sir," he replied. 

Then the captain turned and ordered his men to lower the rope ladders. It 
had been understood that Dr. Cook was to board the Grand Republic, but it 
was not yet in sight. Even if It had been, Dr. Cook would not have boarded it. 
He had eyes only for his wife and little daughters, Helen and Ruth. 


"You are not timid about descending the rope ladder, are you?" the captain 
of the Oscar 11, laughing, asked Dr. Cook. 

He smiled, but did not reply. In descending, he unconsciously displayed his 
great strength. Sometimes he held himself up by his arms like an acrobat hang- 
ing from a trapeze. When he reached the bottom of the ladder he leaped lightly 
to the deck of the tugboat. 

He turned with his arms outstretched, and his wife threw herself into them. 

Never before had such a scene taken place on the grimy deck of the tugboat. 
Here was a man who had received the homage of a King without displaying the 
slightest trace of sentiment. But now, on seeing his wife, all of his reserve 
gave way. 

He was not Dr. Frederick A. Cook, discoverer of the North Pole. He was 
merely a man who had been separated from his wife and children for more 
than two years. 

When he clasped his wife in his arms neither of them uttered a word for 
some time. Then she murmured : 

"Oh, Fred," and that was all she could say. 

Dr. Cook patted her affectionately, but he couldn't say anything-. 

Their two little girls broke the spell that kept their mother and father silent. 
They rushed up and each seized one of Dr. Cook's hands. 

"Hello, papa," cried Ruth, the youngest. 

Helen, the older, then chimed in with a greeting, and Dr. Cook picked Ruth 
and then Helen up in his arms and kissed them. 

Meantime the tugboat Gilperson had turned her nose toward New York and 
started off at full speed. As she left, she gave the Oscar H a parting salute, 
to which the liner replied. 

At this time the steamship Monmouth was coming up the bay. She saluted 
the Gilperson and scores of passengers crowded out on the decks and waved a 
greeting to Dr. Cook. 

Every craft in the bay then began saluting the tugboat. When it reached 
Liberty statue it was met by the Grand Republic. 

As the tug came up the bay, one man had stood in the background. He was 
John R. Bradley, the man who financed Dr. Cook's expedition. When Dr. Cook 
had greeted everyone else Mr. Bradley stepped forward. 

The two men looked Into each other's eyes for a moment and then each took 
the other by the two hands. They stood that way for fully a minute. All the 
gratitude that Dr. Cook could express was In his eyes. The words that came 


to his lips were merely conventionalities. But the two men understood each 

Reporters crowded around Dr. Cook, but he begged to be left alone with his 
wife and children for a few minutes. With his brothers, William and Joseph, the 
party then went into the captain's cabin and remained there for fifteen minutes. 
By that time the Grand Republic, chartered by the Arctic Club of America, was 
ready to take the Cook party aboard. 

A companion ladder was lowered from the Grand Republic to the tug, and 
Dr. Cook climbed up. Mrs. Cook and her party remained on the tug, which 
followed the Grand Republic as it proceeded up the bay, around the Battery and 
up the East River amid such a din of whistles, sirens and cheers as seldom has 
been heard hereabouts. 

"Bravo, Cook!" "Welcome home!" "We're proud of you!" rang out across 
the water. Then the words "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" were sung in chorus 
by Dr. Cook's fellow passengers on the Oscar II as the tug left the ship's side. 

The Oscar II immediately weighed anchor and continued up the river to 
her dock, and Dr. Cook was transferred to the Grand Republic, which was lying 
a quarter of a mile away. Cinematographs and cameras were turned on him 
from every point of vantage as he went on board and passed through a guard of 
honor of the 47th regiment to receive the greeting of the reception committee. 

On board the Grand Republic Dr. Cook was greeted by the official reception 
committee and a wreath of roses was placed about the explorer's neck. 

Standing on the upper deck of the steamer Dr. Cook addressed the committee 
and his friends as follows : . 

"To a returning explorer there can be no greater pleasure than the apprecia- 
tion of his own people. Your numbers and cheers make a demonstration that 
makes me very happy and should fire the pride of all the world. I would have 
preferred to return first to American shores, but this pleasure was denied me. 
Instead I came to Denmark and the result has come to you by wire. 

"I was a stranger in a strange land, but the Danes, with one voice, rose up 
with enthusiasm and they have guaranteed to all other nations our conquest of 
the pole. 

"You have come forward in numbers with a voice appreciating still more 
forcibly. I can only say that I accept this honor with a due appreciation of its 
importance. I heartily thank you." 

The steamer Grand Republic, with Dr. Cook, his wife and children and 
%nembers of the Arctic Club on board, steamed up the North River from the bat- 
tery to the foot of West 130th street, where a brief stop was made. 


The trip up the river was a triumphal one. The Grand Republic was greeted 
with the siren shrieks of hundreds of craft, small and' large. Dr. Cook stood on 
the upper deck. 

The steamer after reaching the foot of West 130th street went up the North 
River as far as Spuyten Duyvil and then retraced its course to the Battery and 
proceeded up the East River to the foot of South 5th street, in Brooklyn, where 
Dr. Cook was landed. 

The ceremonies on the Grand Republic during the three hours that the 
explorer and the reception party were aboard were necessarily informal, owing 
to the crowd that pressed about Dr. Cook, all eager to shake his hand and 
exchange words of greeting. The first person to greet him was Ida A. Lehmann,, 
a daughter of one of his old Brooklyn friends, who had been delegated to decor- 
ate the explorer with a wreath of roses, in accordance with a custom followed 
at Copenhagen. As Miss Lehmann threw the garland about Dr. Cook's neck, 
she said : 

"You hero of the north, come to us, your friends, associates and business 
acquaintances of your own neighborhood, Bushwick. Your record with us 
was one of honor, character and conscience, and your word the synonym of 
truth. We believe you from the far north, and are here to proclaim you a 
'gentleman of Bushwick !' " 

Dr. Cook wore the garland during the rest of the reception ceremonies. 

Bird S. Coler, borough president, welcomed the explorer aboard the steamer 
on behalf of the borough of Brooklyn. "I regret," he said, "that we have not 
a mayor as big as our town to receive you. You are not only a great explorer, 
but a thorough American gentleman, and Mrs. Cook is a thorough American 

Speaking for the Arctic Club of America, Capt. Bradley S. Osbon, its 
secretary, read a letter from the president, Rear-Admiral Winfield Scott 
Schley, in which the admiral expressed regret that his health made it impossible 
to be present. "I hope you will carry to Dr. Cook," he said, "my congratula- 
tions and abiding faith in the great achievement he has accomplished." 

One of the first to greet Dr. Cook after the speechmaking was over was his 
sister, Mrs. Joseph Y. Murphy of Tom's River, N. J. The bronzed explorer 
took her in his arms and hugged and kissed her regardless of the cameras 
trained upon him. After that he kissed his niece, Miss Lilyn Murphy, arid 
shook hands with Joseph Murphy, his brother-in-law. 

It was a disheveled discoverer that finally retired to his cabin, where he 


remained during the rest of the voyage up and down the North River. Dr. 
Cook did not appear on deck again until the steamer approached the pier at the 
bottom of South 5th street, Brooklyn, where the local reception committee was 
gathered to receive him. 

It was still half an hour before the time fixed for his landing, however, so 
the Grand Republic kept on up the river, while the band on deck played "Auld 
Lang Syne" and "Home, Sweet Home," and Dr. Cook With his family and 
a few others stood in the pilot house, where they were in view of the thousands 
gathered on the Brooklyn shore. The steamer turned and came back to land 
the party at 11.35. 

About 100 automobiles and 5,000 persons were on the pier and along South 
5th street when Dr. Cook landed. There was a rush to see him and to form a 
parade. After much confusion the police made a passage for an automobile 
carrying the explorer, and the other vehicles, headed by a band, fell into a line 
a mile long. The parade passed through five miles of cheering, crowded 
streets. At Dr. Cook's former home in Bushwick avenue the procession passed 
under an arch bearing the inscription : 

"We believe in you." 

Thousands of school children lined Bushwick avenue and cried "Cook ! 
Cook!" as the explorer passed on his way to the Bushwick club, where a 
reception in his honor was held during the remainder of the day. 

Dr. Cook gave out the following signed statement : 

"On Board the Oscar 11. — After one of the most delightful trips of my 
life across the Atlantic, I am indeed glad once more to see the shores of my 
native land. I have come from the pole. I have brought my story and my 
data with me. The public has already a tangible and a specific record of that 
trip. In a short time, the narrative, with all the observations, will be published 
and placed before the world for examination. 

"It is as easy for you as for me to understand why I cannot, on the impulse 
of the moment, read off a manuscript which covers the work of two years. As 
said upon several occasions, all the charges, accusations and expressions of dis- 
belief are based upon entire ignorance of the supplementary data which I 

"No one who has spoken or written on the subject in opposition to my claim 
knows of the facts with which such work of exploration is measured. All of 
the criticisms have been based upon obvious errors in the reproductions of my 
first dispatch or upon the discussions of petty side issues presented by unfair 


"The expedition was private. It was started out without the usual pub- 
Hcity bombast. John R. Bradley furnished the money and I shaped the destiny 
of the venture. For the time being it concerned us only, but the results were so 
important that on returning I at once placed before the public a report contain- 
ing the main outline of the work. 

"I have not come home to enter into arguments with one man or with fifty 
men, but I am here to present a clear record of a piece of work over which I 
have a right to display a certain amount of pride. When scientists study the 
detailed observations and the narrative in its consecutive order I am certain 
that in the due course of events all will be compelled to admit the truth of my 

"I am perfectly willing to abide by the final verdict of this record by com- 
petent judges. That must be the last word in the discussion and that alone 
can satisfy me and the public. 

''Furthermore, not only will my report be before you in black and white, 
but I will also bring to America human witnesses to prove that I have been to 
the pole. FREDERICK A. COOK." 

'T shall await events," said Dr. Cook just before he left the deck of the 
Oscar II to be taken to the city by the welcoming committee. 

"When my material has been got together and put into shape it will be sub- 
mitted in the first instance to the University of Copenhagen. After that it will 
be laid before the geographical societies of the world. I will not consent to 
submit any fragmentary portions of my observations or my records to any one. 
The report and all the data connected with my trip must be examined in their 
entirety, together with my instruments, some of which I have in my possession 
now and others of which are on their way to America at the present moment. 
These will all be properly controlled and tested before submission to the scien- 
tific bodies." 

Asked for what reason he did not immediately give full details of his 
achievement, Dr. Cook said : 

"I have given to the public a concise account of my journey similar to that 
always given by explorers on their return from a journey of exploration. For 
the present no othei details are necessary and, as a matter of fact, no further 
specific evidences of my claim have been called for from any side. It has never 
been customary hitherto for explorers to make their full records public in such 
haste. As a rule, scientific societies are not remarkable for their rapidity m 
coming to conclusions, and they are usually content to wait until complete data 
are compiled." 

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In regard to the full recognition of his feat by Denmark, Dr. Cook re- 
marked : 

"Daagaard-Jense, inspector of Danish North Greenland, after hearing Ras- 
mussen and talking with Gov. Kraul of Upernavik, who has seen and read the 
entire record, telegraphed to the Danish government in Copenhagen his assur- 
ance of the truth of my declarations and guaranteeing them as authentic. The 
Danish authorities in Greenland, who are in reality the advisers of the Danish 
government, have been for nearly four months in possession of all details of 
my trip. The Danish government and the University of Copenhagen, as well 
as the Danish Geographical society, have, on their report, taken over the virtual 
guaranty for the sincerity and authenticity of my records. They have stood up 
for them, so to speak, before the world. They do not ask me to furnish any 
further proofs or evidence of any kind, but in justice to Denmark, it is my 
intention to place the first completed record of my polar journey at the disposal 
of the University of Copenhagen." 

On September 22 Dr. Cook cheerfully submitted to a gruelling cross exam- 
ination by forty inquisitors of the daily and periodical press, and before the 
interview came to a close he had converted even several arrant sceptics into 
enthusiastic partisans of his right to the title of discoverer of the North Pole. 

It was an occasion for which there had- been ample preparation, for the 
questioners had been informed the day before that he would receive them and 
they had meanwhile taxed their ingenuity with the devising of all manner of 
interrogatories and with the aid of geographied experts had prepared test 
questions. Every one present had framed inquiries which bore upon some 
point in the accounts of the discovery, which was not quite clear to them. 
For an hour and a half this business of quizzing proceeded and, in parting, the 
explorer was surrounded, not by analysis, but by eager converts, several, who 
were commissioned by their editors to doubt, were wringing Dr. Cook by the 
hand and expressing their unqualified personal belief in everything he had said. 

He referred quite casually to the writing of his experiences and at the 
request of one of the reporters brought out one-third of the manuscript which 
he had prepared prone upon the floor of a hut with a flat stone for his desk and 
a blubber lamp for his light. He had with him three small memorandum 
books, five by eight inches, containing two hundred leaves each. To these 
he had committed his diary in pencil, for ink will not withstand the Arctic chill. 
When his enforced sojourn in the frozen North gave him time for literary 
labors he had written 100,000 words in these memorandum books between the 


lines of what he had ah-eacly jotted down. The chirography was almost micro- 
scopic and often hundreds of words were crowded together like a multitude of 
pigmies taking their morning walk on paper. The scarcity of pages had com- 
pelled from the Arctic explorer an economy which caused him to rival the in- 
genuity of those patient men who write the Decalogue on the back of penny 
postage stamp. 

"That's enough for me," said one hard headed Thomas, who had leaved 
over the record. "No man alive would sit up nights doing this kind of thing 
for fun." 

Dr. Cook entered the room, where the interviewers were assembled, ac- 
companied by his secretary, Mr. Walter Lonsdale, of the American Legation in 
Copenhagen and by his daughter Ruth. The child remained with him a few 

The explorer said he would prefer to have one man ask the questions, but 
as all had something on their minds he addressed himself to each interrogator 
in turn, looking him squarely in the eye and speaking in incisive, clear cut 

"What was the reason," he was asked, "that you imposed secrecy upon 
Mr, Harry Whitney and young Pritchard on your return from the pole ?" 

"I do not think," he answered, "that I was bound to disclose to Mr. Peary 
the nature of my work, and he might have found out about it on his arrival 
at Etah. I told Mr. Whitney that he was at liberty to give to the world all 
that he knew after I had given the announcement first to the world. I knew 
Mr. Whitney would probably not be back to civilization before the middle of 
October. The Jeanie, on which he is aboard, is now following out the pro- 
gramme as I. understood it. He told me he was going to the American side 
and to Hudson Bay to hunt, and the understanding when I started for home 
was that he was not to write anything which would get to civilization or to 
Mr. Peary before I did." 

"Why did you not wish Mr. Peary to know?" was the question. 

"Why should I," was the answ^er, "give to Mr. Peary any information 
before I gave it to the world?" 

"Did you think that Mr. Peary would make any improper use of it?" was 

"I don't think so," was the reply. 

Dr. Cook was asked if he had any comment to make on the fact that Com- 
mander Peary had decided to accept no dinner invitations until the "contro- 


versy" concerning the discovery of the North Pole was settled. The Brooklyn 
explorer said that he had never heard of it and that he had no comments to 
make. He said there had never been any trouble between Mr. Peary and 

"Do you," one interrogator began, "consider Commander Peary your 
enemy or your friend?" 

"I don't know," he replied, "I always treated him as a friend and until I 
know more about the situation I shall continue to do the same." 


Here are some of the more important questions with the replies of Dr. 
Cook : 

Q. Did you ever say anything at Etah that indicated that you feared for 
your life if Commander Peary got there? 

A. No. 

Q. Would you be willing to meet Mr. Peary in a debate when he gets here ? 

A. As far as I am concerned the Peary incident is closed. Mr. Peary is 
not the dictator of my affairs, and I do not care to say anything further 
about him. 

O. Did you know Mr. Whitney when you had met him on your return 
to Etah ? 

A. No; he introduced himself, but I did not catch his name and did not 
know it until the following day. 

Q. Did you know that Mr. Peary was going to start up at that time ? 

A. No, I did not know. 

Q. What caused you to have such confidence in Mr. Whitney that you 
entrusted your instruments to him? 

A. I knew him by name, and circumstances that arose while I was with 
him justified my confidence. I gave him the instruments to bring back because 
I thought they would be less liable to injury on board his vessel than if I took 
them across glaciers and rough ice covered country. 

O. What is your opinion of the story told by the negro Henson of the 
information he obtained from your two Eskimos? 

A. Well, the Eskimos were bound down by me not to tell any one where 
they had been. I should like you to have Henson here and cross-question him 
yourself. Henson's testimony is entirely founded on hearsay. 

Q. Knowing that a ship was coming north this summer for Mr. Whitney, 


why did you not wait for that ship and come direct to New York instead of 
going to South Greenland and from there to Copenhagen ? 

A. I knew that the Danish government ship would get me home before 
Whitney's ship. 


O. What instruments did you have with you from Cape Thomas Hubbard 
and back? 

A. Sextant, artificial horizon, three compasses, three chronometer watches, 
thermometers, barometers and a pedometer. 

O. What kind of sextant did you have and how many? 

A. One sextant — a French apparatus. 

Q. What kind of artificial horizon did you have? 

A. Glass. 

Q. What kind of transit or theodolite did you have and how many? 

A. We didn't use any. 

O. What kind of compass did you have? 

A. We hard one liquid compass and one surveying compass. 

O. What kind of compass did you use to determine your compass 
variation ? 

A. Surveying compass ; it had an azimuth attachment. 

Q. What compass course did you take from Cape Thomas Hubbard north ? 

A. Well, that changes every day. If you follow the course on a map you 
have got the compass course. 

Q. Was your determination of the pole solely by an observation of the 
sun's altitude, or did you take observations of the pole star twelve hours apart, 
and by the determination of the celestial pole midway between the two positions 
prove the accuracy of your position on the terrestrial pole ? 

A. How are you going to take an observation by the polar star when you 
have a continuous sun ? There is no night ; you cannot have any stars ; there 
is no darkness. 

Q. What other kind of observations did you make at the pole and how 
many? And what was the altitude of the sun? 



A. We have told that the altitude of the sun gave us our positions ; that 
is all there is to say about that. We made regular astronomical observations, 
such as would be made by the compass and other instruments. We merely made 
the nautical observations that a captain would have made aboard a ship. 

Q. Will you describe in detail any single observation taken by you at the 
North Pole, with the exact figures of the results and the corrections applied ? 

A. Not at this present moment. We will describe every one of them in 
detail when they go to the University of Copenhagen. They will go there 
within two months. The entire records will be delivered to the university, and 
after that they will go to everybody that wants to examine them. 

Q. In your original narrative you said : — "The night of April 7 was made 
notable by the swinging of the sun at midnight over the northern ice. Our ob- 
servation on April 6 placed the camp in latitude 86.36, longitude 94.2." The 
astronomers say that in the latitude you mention the midnight sun would have 
been visible on April i and that if you really saw it for the first time on April 7 
you must have been 550 miles from the pole instead of 234, as you supposed. 
Therefore to have reached the pole on April 21 you would have had to travel 
thirty-nine miles daily. What is your explanation of the apparent discrepancy ? 

A. In the first place, that indicates the point I have taken; that nobody 
can pronounce judgment on a matter of this kind until they get the complete 
record. The northern horizon at midnight had been so obscure that we could 
not tell whether the sun was below the horizon or above it. We were not mak- 
ing observations at midnight. Therefore this statement is based on the fact 
that we have said that it was possible to see the sun on midnight of that day. 
I have not looked through the Herald's story, as it has been written out in full. 
My impression is that we were absolutely unable to see the sun the midnight 
before that. The horizon was obscured. 

Dr. Cook in reply to several questions said that he could not have gone 
back to civilization any sooner than he did. 

"Unless," he began, "I started through the ice for three hundred miles in an 
open boat and went to — Well, no, just take that out; I could not have got 
back any sooner." 

He described in detail his provisioning for the final journey. He had 
started from Greenland with eleven sledges, 103 dogs and eleven Eskimos, and 
had started on his last stage northward with two Eskimos and twenty-six dogs 
and two sledges, on which were laden rations for eighty days. He had made 


tHe calculation of the food supplies, too, on the basis that dog would eat dog-. 
Speaking of the land which he had discovered between latitude 84-85 and the 
io2d meridian, Dr. Cook said that it was mountainous on the eastern coast. 
He saw it at a distance of about forty miles. 

"Why didn't you explore it?" was one of the inquiries. 

"If I had," he answered, "I should have never found the pole." 

His attention was called to a quotation from one of his books on the 
Antarctic, in which he referred to his taking a few observations himself, as 
that work was distributed among the members of the party. 

Q. Do you think that on account of your lack of experience that your ob- 
servations might be erroneous? 

A. A full investigation of those observations which are to be presented first 
to the University of Copenhagen will show if that is the case. 

Dr. Cook recounted in graphic language his meeting with Mr. Whitney. 
An Eskimo had sighted the explorer at a distance of five miles on the ice, and 
Mr. Whitney had come two miles to meet him. Dr. Cook had then only half 
a sledge. 

Referring to a dispatch in the Herald in which it was said that doubt had 
been cast upon his trip to the North Pole on account of the condition of his 
equipment when he returned. Dr. Cook at once replied : 

"I do not see what they could expect. We came back to Etah with half a 
sledge. Our sleeping bags had been fed to the dogs. We were ourselves 
dragging what was left of the sledge and the instruments and records. We 
had come back to land from the pole with two sledges. 

Dr. Cook said he had with him a folding boat of canvas, by means of which 
he was able to cross leads, and this he had carried with him to the pole. 

Speaking of the conversations he had with Mr. Whitney relative to his 
discovery, he said that later he questioned Pritchard, one of the Peary sailors 
and learned that he was about to send a letter to his mother telling of the dis- 
covery of the pole. He had Pritchard leave out this paragraph for fear the 
letter might by some chance get to civilization sooner than he did. The Danes 
of Greenland, Dr. Cook explained, knew of the discovery four months ago, 
but he felt reasonably sure that he could get back to civilization with the news 
quicker than any rumor could reach. As to what Murphy, the boatswain of 
the Roosevelt, might be able to communicate, Dr. Cook had no fear, as that 
worthy could neither read nor write and he knew who pencilled his letters for 


"I think that on the whole," added Dr. Cook, "I have a right to announce 
my own news." 

Dr. Cook's attention was called by one of the reporters to an assertion in 
the first instalment of his narrative in the Herald, to which he had referred to 
the secrecy of his preparations at Gloucester, which had been made even then 
with the conquest of the pole in view, while in the second instalment he spoke 
of his purpose to reach the pole as an after thought, occurring to him on the 
shores of Greenland. 

"Well," replied the explorer; "we prepared in New York. We did not ask 
the government for funds ; we took no private subscriptions. We were, there- 
fore, not responsible to any one and did not have to tell of our movements. 
The business concerned us only. We prepared for every emergency when we 
left here ; we arranged for a supply of provisions and for material with which 
to make sleds and camp work. When you have done that you have done all 
that was necessary for polar expeditions. As to the other part of the question, 
we have told and told very completely why we started out for the pole at that 
time. It was simply because we found a condition which was unusually favor- 
able. The best natives and the best dogs were there within seven hundred 
miles of the pole. It was a condition which I have never seen before nor since. 
The Eskimos were very unsuccessful at that point two years before and two 
years since we have been there." 

Still further light was thrown upon his trip by Dr. Cook in a speech at a 
banquet tendered him September 23 by the Arctic Club of America. 

Upon his claim the organization, composed of men who have explored the 
frigid seas, placed the imprimatur of its approval as the one who "first" was on 
the "upper edge" of the earth. With them was a brilliant assemblage of the 
men and the women of this city, who joined with the veterans of polar en- 
deavor in giving enthusiastic welcome to the returned explorer. 

Twelve hundred persons, the second largest company ever assembled at a 
public dinner within those walls, pressed about the man who had found the 
hyperborean realm, after he had made his response to their greetings, and 
overwhelmed him with expressions of confidence and good will. Side by side 
with the men who guide the destinies of New York and with women of society 
stood survivors of the Greely expedition and of the quest which Mr, Peary led. 

With characteristic modesty Dr. Cook gave credit for his discovery to the 
polar explorers who had gone before and by whose hard-won knowledge and 
heart-breaking errors he had learned ; to his friend and backer, John R. Brad- 


ley ; to the Canadian government, to the wild men of the North and last of all, 
a casual mention of himself as the one who had at last achieved. He sought no 
license of his quest, as he plainly said, and he showed a calm indifference to 
captious criticism. 

Everywhere about him were the flags of his own land intertwined with the 
banner of Denmark — the country which had first received him and approved 
him as the finder of the axial terminus of the world. 

By his side sat Rear Admiral Schley, the rescuer of the Greely expedition ; 
before him were friends and comrades of the arctic circle and leaders of the 
scientific world and beyond, in a box at the center of the balcony, was the wife 
whose devotion had inspired his achievement. 

Few and eloquent were the words with which the rear admiral introduced 
Dr. Cook, the keynote of which was that he regretted that controversy should 
have arisen concerning so gallant a feat, and he repeated the words which came 
to him as from the past that there was "glory enough for both." 

Cheers rang through the hall ; men and women rose to their feet and joined 
in the refrain, "For He Is a Jolly Good Fellow," as the explorer rose to his 
feet. The applause lasted for several minutes, and then, when his auditors 
paused for breath, Dr. Cook read his speech in a slow, even voice. 

Dr. Cook's speech was interrupted in the middle by his reference to his 
backer, John R. Bradley, who had gone from his place at the principal table to a 
group of his friends on the floor. 

"Bradley! Bradley!" called many a voice. "Bradley, show yourself!" And 
finally he was obliged to stand upon a chair and bow his acknowledgments to 
the tumultuous cheers. 

All that Dr. Cook said carried with it conviction, and when he finished 
with his tribute to the brave men who had gone before and his disclaimer for 
more than his share of the glory the company hailed him with every expression 
of confidence. It was plain that they agreed with all that Rear Admiral Schley 
said in his speech of introduction. 

"I regret," the admiral said, "that there should have been any issue raised 
concerning an achievement so full of glory for both. As president of the Arctic 
Club of America, I believe that both Dr. Cook and Mr. Peary found the pole. 
They succeeded in reaching that point in the frozen seas which was so long the 
goal of the cherished ambitions of mankind. 

"Both endure inconceivable hardships under trying circumstances. These 
two men reached the pole — men willing to venture into fields of prolific danger ; 


men who were strong and able to penetrate the farthest north and to bring back 
to you the story of what they have seen ; all honor to them both. And, my dear 
friends, I now have the honor to introduce to you the man who first discovered 
the north pole." 

Dr. Cook in his address said: 

"This is one of the highest honors I ever hope to receive. You represent 
most of the frigid explorers of Europe and nearly all of the Arctic explorers in 
America. Your welcome is the explorer's guarantee to the world — coming as 
it does from fellow workers, from men who know and have gone through the 
same experience — it is an appreciation and a victory the highest which could 
fall to the lot of any returning traveler. 

"The key to frigid endeavor is subsistence. There is nothing in the entire 
realm of the Arctic which is impossible to man. If the animal fires are supplied 
with adequate fuel there is no cold too severe and no obstacle too great to sur- 
mount. No important expedition has ever returned because of unscalable 
barriers or impossible weather. The exhausted food supply resulting from a 
limited means of transportation has turned every aspirant from his goal. In 
the ages of the polar quest much has been tried and much has been learned. 
The most important lesson is that civilized man, if he will succeed, must bend 
to the savage simplicity necessary. 

"The problem belongs to modern man, but for its execution we must begin 
with the food and the means of transportation of the wild man. Even this must 
be reduced and simplified to fit the new environment. With due respect to the 
complimentary eloquence of the chairman and others, candor compels me to 
say that the effort of getting to the pole is not one of physical endurance, nor is 
it fair to call it bravery; but a proper understanding of the needs of the stomach 
and a knowledge of the limits of the brute force of the motive power, be that 
man or beast. 

"Our conquest was only possible with the accumulated lessons of early ages 
of experience. The failures of our less successful predecessors were stepping 
stones to ultimate success. The real pathfinders of the pole were the early 
Danish, the Dutch, the English and the Norse, Italian and American explorers. 
With these worthy forerunners we must therefore share the good fruits which 
your chairman has put into my basket. 

"A similar obligation is due to the wild man. The twin families of wild 
folk, the Eskimo and the Indian, were important factors to us. 

"The use of pemmican and the snowshoe, which makes the penetration of 


the Arctic mystery barely possible, has been borrowed from the American 
Indian. The method of travel, the motor force and the native ingenuity, with- 
out which the polar quest would be a hopeless task, have been taken from the 
Eskimo. To savage man, therefore, who has no flag, we are bound to give a 
part of this fruit. 

"To John R. Bradley — the man who paid the bills — belongs at least one- 
half of this fruit. 

"The Canadian government sent its expedition under Captain Bernier i,ooo 
miles out of its course to help us to it. I gladly pass the basket. In returning, 
shriveled skin and withered muscles were filled out at the expense of Danish 
hospitality. And last, but not least — the reception with open arms by fellow 
explorers — to you and to all, belongs this basket of good things which the 
chairman has placed on my shoulder. 


"Nothing would suit me better than to tell you to-night the complete story 
of our quest, but the very first telegram gives more specific data than I could 
hope to tell you in an after-dinner address. Therefore, I shall devote the 
allotted time to an elucidation of certain phases of our adventure. 

"One of the most remarkable charges brought out is that I did not seek 
a geographic hcense to start for the pole. Now, gentlemen, to the large public 
that may be a mystery, but you who know will appreciate that no explorer can 
start and say that he will reach the pole. Many good men have tried before ; 
all have failed. All who understand the problem know that success is but 
barely possible when every conceivable circumstance is favorable. It is only 
necessary to make announcement that an expedition embarks for the pole to 
start an undesirable bombast and flourish of trumpets. This I chose to escape. 

"Mr. John R. Bradley furnished the funds. I shaped the destiny of the 
expedition. For the time being the business concerned us only. I believed 
then, as I believe now, that if we succeeded there would be time enough to fly 
the banner of victory. You are here to-night, Mr. Bradley is here, and I am 
here. We have come together to celebrate that victory. 

"Now, gentlemen, I appeal to you as explorers and as men. Am I bound 
to appeal to anybody, to any man, to any body of men, for a license to look 
for the pole ? 

"Another criticism is the charge of our insufiicient equipment. We have 
met this. You know that we had every possible aid to success in sledge travel- 


ing. A big ship is no advantage. An army of white men, who at best are 
novices, is a distinct hindrance, while a cumbersome luxury of equipment is 
fatal to progress. We chose to live a life as simple as that of Adam, and we 
forced the strands of human endurance to scientific limits. If you will reach 
the pole there is no other way. For our simple needs Mr. Bradley furnished 
sufficient funds. We were not overburdened with the usual aids to pleasure 
and comfort, but I did not start for that purpose. 

"Now, as to the excitement of the press to force things of their own picking 
from important records into print. In reply to this I have taken the stand 
that I have already given a tangible account of our journey. It is as complete 
as the preliminary reports of any previous explorer. 


"The data, the observations, the record, are of exactly the same character. 
Heretofore such evidence has been taken with faith and the complete record 
was not expected to appear for years, whereas we agree to deliver all within a 
few months. 

"Now, gentlemen, about the pole. We arrived April 21, 1908. We discov- 
ered new land along the I02d meridian between the eighty-fourth and the 
eighty-fifth parallel. Beyond this there was absolutely no life and no land. 
The ice was in large, heavy fields with few pressure lines. The drift was 
south of east, the wind was south of west. Clear weather gave good regular 
observations nearly every day. These observations, combined with those at 
the pole on the 21st and 22d of April, are sufficient to guarantee our claim. 
When taken in connection with the general record, you do not require this. 

"I cannot sit down without acknowledging to you, and to the living Arctic 
explorers, my debt of gratitude for their valuable assistance. The report of 
this polar success has come with a sudden force, but in the present enthusiasm 
we must not forget the fathers of the art of polar travel. There is glory enough 
for all. There is enough to go to the graves of the dead and to the heads 
of the livinsr." 



While Dr. Cook was being greeted by his friends and admirers in New 
York, similar honors were being paid to Commander Peary in Sydney, N. F., 
the port he had left more than a year before on the quest that was to prove so 

Peary had been awaited for some days in Sydney. 

At an early hour on the morning of September 21, when the Roosevelt was 
still edging her way along the Cape Briton coast, the steam yacht Sheelah, 
owned by James Ross, president of the Dominion Coal company, put to sea 
crarying Mrs. Peary, her daughter. Miss Marie Peary, little Robert E. Peary, 
Jr., and a party of friends, all eager to meet the returning explorer. Among 
those on board were Col. Borup, father of George Borup, a member of the 
Peary expedition; George Kennan, the author, and John Kehl, the United 
States consul at Sydney. 

As the Sheelah drew alongside the Roosevelt outside a sailor on the yacht 
hailed the arctic ship. In reply Commander Peary came to the rail and was 
greatly surprised when he perceived his wife and children waving their greet- 
ings. In reply the explorer waved his slouch hat and called to them to come 
on board. 

A few words of welcome were exchanged while the boat was being lowered. 
Mrs. Peary, Miss Peary and the little boy, acocmpanied by Col. Borup, then 
went over the side of the Sheelah, took their places in a small boat and were 
rowed over to the Roosevelt. In the meantime Commander Peary had retired 
to the cabin. Mrs. Peary and the children were assisted up the side of the 
Roosevelt and made their way across the deck to greet the husband and father 
in private. The Sheelah then put on full steam and returned to Sydney, while 
the Roosevelt came along at slower speed. 

Commander Peary had decorated his ship for the occasion and in addition 
to the flags of the United States and the Dominion of Canada, the Roosevelt 
flew the burgee of the New York yacht club and the flag of the Peary Arctic 



The American flag waving at the peak of the spanker gaff of the Roose- 
velt attracted much attention. It bore a diagonal white band on which were 
the words, "North pole," in black letters. 

A newspaper correspondent boarded the Roosevelt at North Sydney and 
received from Commander Peary a new version of the dispute regarding Dr. 
Cook's supplies at Annotook. The explorer's attention was called to a state- 
ment received by wireless telegraphy from Dr. Frederick A. Cook, on board the 
steamer Oscar H, declaring that the Eskimos at Annotook had informed Peary 
that Cook was long since dead. Peary was asked if he entertained this opinion, 
and said no. On the contrary, he had left supplies at Etah in case, as might 
well happen, Dr. Cook should return there without food. 

Meanwhile the news that the Roosevelt was only twenty miles away spread 
quickly, and groups of people gathered at the water front to take part in the 
welcome. The day was perfect and the harbor presented a beautiful spectacle, 
as all manner of water craft, yachts, sailboats and motor boats, displaying their 
colors, made their way down the bay to escort the Roosevelt to her dock. 

The tug C. M. Winch conveyed the official welcoming piarty down the bay. 
This party included the mayor of Sydney, Wallace Richardson; the heads of 
the various city departments, and other prominent officials. 

As the morning advanced business in Sydney came to an end. Stores were 
closed, the hotels were emptied of their guests, and the crowd on the water 
front increased rapidly. 

Commander Peary's trip up Sydney harbor was one continual ovation. 
When the Roosevelt turned the point off the city the whistles of the steel works, 
all the steam vessels in port and the colliers united in one immense and. sus- 
tained volume of sound, and the crowds that filled the esplanade and wharves 
cheered continuously as the arctic steamer swept slowly along. A fleet of tugs 
accompanied the Roosevelt up the bay and scores of carriages that had gone 
down to the point were driven hastily back to town and discharged their occu- 
pants, who hurried to the water front. 

Consul Kehl boarded the Roosevelt down the bay and welcomed Com- 
mander Peary on behalf of the American government and the American resi- 
dents of Sydney. There were no important officials of the Dominion govern- 
ment present to greet the explorer. 

The Roosevelt proceeded direct to the ferry wharf, where 2,000 school 
children had been assembled. Each carried an American flag and the emblems 
were waved in unison the moment the explorer stepped ashore. A delegation 


of ten school girls dressed in white then went forward and while Commander 
Peary stood at attention before them Miss Naomi Kehl, daughter of the Amer- 
ican consul, recited a short address of welcome and presented the commander 
with a beautiful bouquet. 

The party then entered carriages and were driven to their hotel. The 
police had to clear a way for them through the crowd of 10,000 people that 
filled the square. At the hotel Commander Peary was welcomed by the city 

At the hotel Commander Peary was soon holding an impromptu reception. 
Standing on the steps of his carriage, he shook hands with scores of people w^ho 
struggled to reach him. Rising in his carriage, Mayor Richardson read an 
address of welcome from the citizens of Sydne}^ congratulating. Commander 
Peary on his success in reaching the pole and his safe return and wishing him 
and the members of his family good health and a long life. 

Commander Peary expressed his appreciation of the w^elcome extended 
him. Eleven times, he said, he had sailed from Sydney for the north ; once he 
had returned with "farthest north" and now he came back with the pole itself. 

At the conclusion of the handshaking and greetings Commander Peary 
retired to his room. 

The Roosevelt had passed the previous day at St. Paul's island and James 
Campbell, superintendent of the Canadian government station there, enter- 
tained Capt. Robert Bartlett and Prof. McMillan of the Peary expedition at 
his residence on shore. As soon as his guests were in his house Mr. Campbell 
turned to them and said : 

"Now, gentlemen, this island is yours; what is the first thing you want?" 
Without a moment's hesitation and in unison Capt. Bartlett and Prof, McMil- 
lan replied : 

"A glass of real milk." 

Commander Peary, after leaving Sydney, made a kind of triumphal tour 
through Maine on a railroad train. 

On his arrival in Portland the evening of September 23, Peary was given an 
enthusiastic welcome by a large portion of the population. He was met at the 
station by Mayor Leighton and the reception committee in carriages and es- 
corted to the Auditorium, where he held a public reception. 

Four companies of militia and a long procession of residents, all carrying 
red fire, marched behind the carriages. The streets from the station to the 
Auditorium were lined with people. Thousands cheered the explorer as he 


After the reception Commander Peary was banquetted by the cities of 
Portland and South Portland. At this function he was vociferously applauded 
by the diners and complimented by half a dozen speakers, including Gov. Fer- 
nald and President William Dewitt Hyde of Bowdoin college. 

It was midnight before the dinner was over and the speechmaking began. 
The last speaker was the explorer himself. When he arose he was generously 

"You know, as do I, today has been a white letter day for me," said Peary. 
"The splendid dem^onstration in this city, every foot of which I knew in my 
boyhood days ; this splendid gathering here, that striking loyalty from the gov- 
ernor straight from the shoulder, the fine tribute from Mayor Leighton to Mrs. 
Peary, who has endured as much as I in this effort, have touched m^y heart as 
they will touch hers. 

- "I have been asked, 'What is the scientific value of the discovery of the 
north pole ?' There are some things about it that are a great deal greater than 
the gathering of a few additional data about the earth. As long as there was 
a part of the earth undiscovered is was a reproach on humanity and a challenge 
to civilization. Another thing, it has accredited to the United States another 
milestone in history. 

"Another fact is the satisfaction that at last a man, in spite of every obstacle, 
has made good." 

During the journey through eastern Maine Commander and Mrs. Peary, • 
with their children and newspaper men, occupied the chair car of the St. John 
express and overflowed into other coaches. Along the 350 mile route Peary 
was cordial and appreciative, although he appeared tired. At every station 
there was a cheering crowd. 

At Old Town the first big demonstration on this side of the border was 
made. At Bangor the explorer was welcomed by thousands, and when he walked 
into the concourse from the train shed was given a succession of cheers. Mayor 
Woodman escorted him to a carriage, and, with Gen. Hubbard and members 
of the city council in other carriages, he was driven to a hotel, where he was 
entertained at luncheon. He was presented with a large silver loving cup. 

Commander Peary left Bangor at 3 140 p. m. on the Bar Harbor-New York 
express, after a stop of three hours. At Waterville he was officially welcomed. 
Members of the city government in carriages, over 1,000 school children on 
foot, headed by a band and escorted by a company of the national guard, 
marched to the station, where a stand had been erected. 


When the train arrived the commander was escorted to the stand by Mayor 
Redington. The school children, each carrying- an American flag, were banked 
about the stand, with the guardsmen around them. As Peary mounted the 
stand the children cheered and waved their flags. Several thousand persons 
joined in the cheering. 

Captain Robert Bartlett, who piloted the Roosevelt through the frozen 
North, told at Sydney how Commander Peary turned him back from the pole. 
He said : 

"I really didn't think I would have to go back until I had reached the eighty- 
eighth parallel. The commander then said I must go back — that he had decided 
to take Matt Henson. 

"I — well, it was a bitter disappointment. I got up early the next morning 
while the rest were asleep and started north alone. I don't know, perhaps I 
cried a little. I guess, perhaps, I was just a little crazy then. I thought that 
perhaps I could walk on the rest of the way alone. I seemed so near. 

"Here I had come thousands of miles, and it was only a little over a hun- 
dred more to the pole. 

"Commander Peary figured on five marches more, and it seemed as if I 
could make it alone, even if I didn't have any dogs or food or anything. 

"I felt so strong I went along for five miles or so, and then I came to my 
senses and knew I must go back. 

"They were up at the camp then and getting ready to start. Never mind 
whether there were any words or not. I told the commander if I was going to 
be any hindrance and perhaps make a failure out of it I would turn around 
and go back. He said I must go, so I had to do it. But my mind had been set 
on it for so long I had rather die than give it up then. 

"When I started on the back trail I couldn't believe it was really true at 
first, and I kind of went on in a daze. I can tell you every lead we crossed 
and just how far we went on every march and all about the ice on the trip up, 
but as I thought of it afterward I could not remember anything about coming 
back until I got to the ship. Then I heard of poor Marvin, and almost envied 
him. But that distracted my mind until the boss returned, and then I was busy 
getting the Roosevelt through the ice." 

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The Cook-Peary controversy, though it bids fair to be the most famous 
of the great contests of history, because of the startHng facts at issue, has 
aroused no greater bitterness than did several previous agitations of the kind. 
Fifty years ago something similar aroused all those interested in exploration. 
It lasted for years, with ever-increasing bitterness of feeling on both sides, and 
was not definitely settled until long after one of the principals had died. 

This was the famous dispute between Sir Richard Francis Burton and Capt. 
John Hanning Speke as to the source of the river Nile. Burton claimed that the 
great stream rose in Lake Tanganyika, of which he was the discoverer. Speke, 
on the other hand, declared that Lake Victoria Nyanza, which he had first 
seen, was the river's source. 

Speke was right. After most acrimonious disputing, the question, already 
half decided in his favor, was answered once for all by Henry M. Stanley, who, 
having thoroughly explored the shores of Tanganyika, showed that it was 
connected, not with the Nile, but with the Congo system. 

When Speke first came out in open contradiction to Burton, it seemed as 
if he had undertaken a hopeless job. He was merely a young officer, while 
Burton was already making himself known as one of the most daring, original, 
and versatile men that ever lived. Before his journey to Lake Tanganyika he 
had won world-wide fame by one of the most audacious exploits ever recorded. 
Profiting by his remarkable knowledge of Oriental languages, he had, some 
years before, disguised as an Afghan doctor, penetrated to the sacred Moham- 
medan cities of Mecca and Medina, where detection by the Mohammedan pil- 
grims would have meant instant assassination. 

This Mecca pilgrimage took place in 1855, when Burton was 34 years old. 
In October, 1856, having succeeded in interesting influential Englishmen in the 
exploration of unknown portions of Africa, Burton, then a captain in the 
British army, sailed from home for Zanzibar with Speke, whom he had first 
met as an officer of the Anglo-Indian troops garrisoning Aden, on the Red Sea. 



Speke was 30 years old, had seen service in India, as had Burton, and was a 
genuine dare-devil adventurer. 

The two, organizing an expedition at Zanzibar, proceeded, first of all, to the 
forbidden city of Fuga, in Somaliland. Already their heads were filled with 
native tales of the mysterious great lakes in the interior; already Burton and 
Speke seemed to have entertained their contradictory opinions as to which of 
these was the source of the Nile. When the expedition got to Fuga the auda- 
cious officers gained admittance within its sacred limits by informing the 
natives that they were wizards, skilled in the curing of disease. The local 
Sultan, who was very ill, at once asked Burton for a remedy, but it was beyond 
that resourceful man's powers. When the expedition left Fuga, Burton says 
that he was haunted by the look in the eyes of the Sultan, hopeless of being 
cured, as he said farewell to the "wizards." 

Returning to the coast, the expedition was attacked by hostile Somalis. A 
desperate fight ensued. Lieut Stroyan, one of the subordinate leaders, was 
killed. Both Burton and Speke fought like tigers. Eventually they reached 
the coast. 

Burton at once organized another expedition, purposing this time to ad- 
vance straight toward Lake Tanganyika. Speke was in rather an unfortunate 
position, having sunk much money in the disastrous Somaliland venture. 
Hence Burton's offer to him of the position of second in command on the 
Tanganyika trip was distinctly welcome. Already bad blood seems to have, 
sprung up between the two adventurers. Speke thought that, instead of ad- 
vancing through Somaliland, Burton should have taken another route toward 
the great African lakes. He attributed much of the ill success of the prelim- 
inary expedition to Burton's management, and seems even to have considered 
that the latter showed evidences of timidity. 

However, on June 26, 1857, they departed from Zanzibar for Tanganyika, 
in harmony. Burton, always eccentric, carried some horse chestnuts tied up in 
canvas bags to ward off the evil eye and sickness. The expedition, in addition 
to Burton and Speke, consisted of two boys from Goa, two negro gun carriers, 
a man called Sudy Bombay, who had accompanied Burton in previous explora- 
tions, and ten Zanzibar mercenaries. Burton's avowed object was to find Tan- 
ganyika and gain for himself thereby the title of discoverer of the sources of 
the Nile. 

At Dut'humi, in spite of his horse chestnuts, Burton got a bad attack of 
marsh fever. Here hardships began in earnest for the rest of the expedition's 


members, too, for all the riding asses died. But Burton, in spite of his own 
worries, found time to head a raid against some Arab slave traders, whom he 
defeated, thus freeing a number of captives who were being dragged away 
from their homes. 

After traversing a land where a great part of the natives were dying of, 
smallpox, the expedition reached a beautiful country, over which great herds of 
zebras and antelopes roamed. This, however, did not last long. Beyond it 
were dreary swamps. The Zanzibar mercenaries grew mutinous. Time and 
again, when all else failed, Burton used a star sapphire which he carried as 
an amulet, to enforce obedience from the superstitious negroes. In spite of 
the awe that he inspired in them, they plotted to kill him. While hunting one 
day, followed by two negroes, who were not aware that he spoke their dialect, 
he overheard them arranging to take his life. Without a word, without even 
turning, he thrust his dagger backward, stabbing one to death. The other, 
falling on his knees, begged for mercy. 

On another occasion some more plotters, having made their plans around 
a wood fire, went away to gether more wood. Burton, stealing up, put a 
canister of powder among the embers. When the assassins returned and kin- 
dled the fire anew "there weren't any assassins," as one of Burton's biographers 
succintly puts it. Both these stories, though not printed in any of Burton's 
works, were told by him to intimate friends on his return from Africa. 

After passing through a realm where no self-respecting man, from King 
down, was sober after midday, and where obesity and beauty were synonymous 
terms regarding women, the explorers on Feb. 13, 1858, saw "a long streak 
of light." 

"Look, master, look!" shouted the Arab guide, "behold the great water!" 
It was Lake Tanganyika. 

The two Englishmen set about the exploration of the great lake's shores, 
but were not very thorough. While in a boat they were caught in a terrible 
storm, during which they despaired of ever reaching land again. 

They set out from Tanganyika for the coast on May 26, 1858. Burton 
and Speke were both suffering severely from malaria and complications: in 
fact, part of the time the former was nearly paralzyed, the latter almost blind. 

When they reached Kazeh Speke announced to his chief that he desired 
to look for another lake, which he understood from the natives was somewhere 
in the neighborhood. Whether owing to illness or other reasons, Burton re- 
fused to accompany Speke on this side trip. Moreover, he seems to have made 


himself disagreeable regarding guides and supplies. But eventully Speke set 
out. He made Burton a promise that he would return to Kazeh within a 
certain time and resume the march to the coast. 

After a difficult advance Speke, like "stout Cortes" of Keats' sonnet, ascend- 
ed a hill, and beheld before him a great sheet of water. He described his first 
impressions in these words: 

"The vast expanse of the pale-blue waters of the Nyanza burst suddenly on 
my gaze. It was early morning. The distant sea line of the north horizon was 
defined in the calm atmosphere, between the north and west points of the 
compass, but even this did not afford me any idea of the breadth of the lake, 
as an archipelago of islands, each, consisting of a single hill, rising to a height 
of 200 or 300 feet above water, intersected the line of vision to the left, while 
on the right the west horn of the Ukerewe Island cut off any further view of 
the distant water to the eastward of north." 

Speke, in fact, seems never to have had an accurate idea of the vastness of 
the lake that he discovered. However, as he contemplated it he felt absolutely 
assured that, after centuries of conjecture, the source of the Nile was at last no 

He stayed about the lake, which he called Victoria Nyanza in honor of the 
Queen of England, for some time, gathering a great deal of lore about the 
natives, as was his wont, and much other valuable data. Then remembering 
his promise to Burton, he retraced his steps, arriving at Kazeh about six weeks 
after he had left it. 

He told Burton that he felt convinced that Lake Victoria Nyanza was the 
source of the Nile. Burton promptly ridiculed this idea. To Lake Tanganyika, 
he insisted, belonged the honor. The two explorers got into bitter dispute. All 
the way to the coast they were distant and unfriendly to each other ; the affec- 
tionate "Dick" and "Jack" of their previous intercourse were now replaced 
by the icy "Sir." 

When they reached the coast Burton lingered to wind up the expedition's 
affairs, but Speke — unfairly, as Burton and his friends maintained, hurried to 
England with the news of his discovery of Victoria Nyanza and his belief that 
it was the long-scught Nile source. He arrived in England May 9, 1859. 
Immediately his statements aroused immense enthusiasm. Sir Roderick Mur- 
chison. President of the Royal Geographical Society, accepted them without 
question, as did many other well-known men. Burton's discovery of Lake 
Tanganyika was entirely overshadowed. On all sides Speke was urged to 
return to Africa and make certain his theories about Victoria Nyanza, 


Burton came back to England on May 22, two weeks later than Speke. He 
found the "ground cut from under his feet," says his biographer. Already 
Speke was lecturing "vaingloriously" at Burlington House and writing articles 
for Blackwood's Magazine, Burton lost no time in getting into the fight. He 
vigorously championed his view that Tanganyika was the true Nile source. 
The controversy was fairly under way. 

In i860 Speke set forth anew from England to prove the worth of his 
contentions. With him this time went Capt. James Augustus Grant, "a man 
after Speke's own heart," described by another explorer, who knew him well, 
as "one of the most loyal and charming creatures in the world." 

The two reached Lake Victoria Nyanza and made careful explorations of its 
shores. In the course of these Grant broke down. Speke was compelled to 
continue his investigations alone. On July 17, 1862, having followed the Nile 
northward from Victoria Nyanza, he arrived at the first great cataract from 
its source, which he called the Ripon Falls, after Lord de Grey and Ripon. 
His theory was now practically proved to be correct. 

Picking up Grant again, Speke descended the Nile, but crossed it at Karuma 
Falls to avoid the territory of Kamurasi, a local King, who had shown signs of 
hostility. Though they did not know it, the two explorers were only fifty 
miles from the junction of the Victoria Nyanza with the undiscovered Lake 
Albert. If they had but kept to the river for only a few marches more they 
would have found the latter lake, the second great source of the Nile. 

As it was, they arrived, on Feb. 15, 1863, at Gondokoro, the highest point 
on the Nile to which explorers had arrived before them, and there found 
Samuel Baker. Speke handed over to the latter all the notes that he had taken, 
and by their aid Baker soon after discovered Lake Albert Nyanza. 

On his return from this momentous expedition the only reward received by 
Speke from the British government was the permission to add to the sup- 
porters of his coat-of-arms a hippopotamus and a crocodile. 

On his return to England Speke at once set about showing that he had 
definitely settled the great question regarding the headwaters of the Nile. 
Even those who admire him admit that his attitude toward Burton, though 
never unfair, was hard and pitiless. On the Somaliland and Tanganyika expe- 
ditions, he seems to have acquired a dislike for his famous companion from 
which he never freed himself. Fresh attacks by Burton on Speke began to 
thicken about four years after Speke's return from his second expedition. They 
were heated enough, but lacked the younger officer's incisivenesSo 


Burton's main object, of course, was to belittle Speke's discovery of Vic- 
toria Nyanza. He tried to show that that lake was of no special importance, 
merely a network of swamps and small lakes, and was overjoyed when Samuel 
Baker, on returning from his explorations subsequent to those of Speke and 
Grant, claimed that the Victoria Nyanza was the ultimate source of the White 
Nile, not of the main river. Burton maintained that the Rusizi River flowed 
out of the northern end of Lake Tanganyika, instead of into that lake, hoping 
thus to prove that connection existed between Tanganyika and Lake Albert. 
If successful, he realized that his would materially reduce the importance of the 
discovery of Victoria Nyanza. He even published a map to illustrate his 
theory, and worked hard to make geographers agree with him. 

The argument in print finally became so fierce that a joint debate between 
the two rivals was arranged, to take place at Bath, Sept. 15, 1864. Instead of 
the debate, Bath saw an astonishing and impressive scene of quite a different 

"The great day arrived," says Thomas Wright, Burton's biographer, "and 
no melodramatic author could have contrived a more startling, a more shocking 
denouement. Burton, notes in hand, stood on the platform, facing the great 
audience, his brain heavy with arguments, bursting with sesquipedalian and 
sledge-hammer words, to pulverize his exasperating opponent. 

"The Council and other speakers filed in. The audience waited expectant. 
To Burton's surprise, Speke was not there. 

"Silence having been obtained, the president advanced and made the thrill- 
ing announcement that Speke was dead. He had accidentally shot himself 
that very morning while out rabbiting. 

"Burton sank into his chair, the working of nis face revealing the terrible 
emotion he was controlling, and the shock he had received. When he got 
home he wept like a child." 

Burton's emotion was not deep or lasting enough, however, to prevent him 
from hinting that, Speke had committed suicide, fearing to face him and his 
arguments. He had absolutely no justification for such an assumption. His 
very biographer, avowedly his partisan, wherever possible remarks, that "it 
was eminently characteristic of Burton to make statements resting on insuffi- 
cient evidence." 

But it was all useless. Speke was right and Burton wrong. In 1870, 
Stanley terminated successfully his world-famous search for Livingstone by 
finding the latter at Ujiji, in the Tanganyika region. Together the tw^o ex- 


plorers voyaged along the northern shore of the great lake which Burton had 
discovered, and proved conclusively that it had no outlet connecting with the 
Nile basin. 

In March, 1873, Lieut. Cameron, heading another Livingstone relief expe- 
dition, met followers of the latter bearing Livingstone's body to the coast. 
Cameron, however, continued on his way, explored the shores of Tanganyika, 
and not only corroborated Stanley and Livingstone regarding the non-exist- 
ence of an outlet toward the Nile, but advanced the opinion that the great lake 
was a part of the Congo system. This was made absolutely certain in 1874, 
when Stanley made his celebrated journey from Bagamoyo to Victoria Nyanza 
and Tanganyika, thence by Nyangwe, on the Lualaba, down the Congo to the 
sea, verifying all that Cameron had conjectured. 

Thereupon no more was heard from Burton as to the Lake Tanganyika's 
being the source of the Nile. 

Farther back in history are records of other explorers failing to convince 
the world of their deeds. 

It is the irony of fate that though Columbus discovered America this con- 
tinent should be called not after him but after Amerigo Vespucci. According 
to the latter's own story, which is the only authority the world has for the 
assertion, Vespucci was the first to discover the mainland of North America, 
having reached here In 1497, several months before either the Cabots or 
Columbus. Columbus's discovery was what started Amerigo Vespucci to voy- 
age westward. The firm in which he was a partner fitted out Columbus's later 
expeditions and it was with one of these that Vespucci sailed, just as it was 
with Peary that Cook first sailed to the Arctic. However, this continent is 
named America and not Columbus. 

Another notable instance of a real discoverer losing credit for his achieve- 
ment is that of Verrazzano. That he really discovered the Hudson River in 
1524 is a historical fact, proved by his log and by letters of his which are still 
extant. How far up the river he sailed is a matter of doubt, but it is certain 
that he sailed into New York Bay sufficiently far to see and describe Manhattan 
Island. Husdon explored the river that bears his name eighty-five years later, 
in 1609. The reason that Hudson received the credit for it is to found in the 
fact that the early settlers were Dutch and English. They knew all about 
Hudson; few if any of them had ever heard of Verrazzano. Eager to claim 
credit for a man of their own race, historians dismissed Verrazzano with a 
line, while they told the full story of Hudson's discovery. 



The North Pole discovery is bringing a new discription of the dog. In 
an earlier chapter were described some of the queer traits of Eskimo canines — 
the animals to which, more than to anything else, perhaps, Dr. Cook owes 
his success. Further details of the habits and uses of these animals may here 
be given. 

The dog has probably reached the highest point in his personal, economical 
and ethical value to man individually, humanity as a whole and the world's 
progress by the part he has played in polar expeditions. Whether to the South 
or the North Pole, no voyage has been planned without counting upon the dog as 
an important if not vital factor, and no explorer has ever returned from his 
trip into the regions of eternal ice without paying a tribute to the value and 
devotion of the dog. 

Dr. Fridtjof Nansen is especially enthusiastic in his references to the 
importance of the dogs in polar expeditions, and in his "Farthest North" is 
to be found this reference to them, showing not only his appreciation of them 
as helpers, but his fondness for them as companions : 

"I kept an anxious eye upon the dogs, for fear anything should happen 
to them, and also to see that they continue in good condition, for all my hopes 
centered in them. ... I wrote in my diary : Tn the afternoon one of the 
black and white puppies had an attack of madness. . . . This makes the 
fourth that has had a similar attack.' . . . Later I wrote: 'Another of 
the puppies died in the forenoon from one of these mysterious attacks, and 
I cannot conceal from myself that I take it greatly to heart, and feel low spirited 
about it, I have been so used to these small polar creatures living their sorrow- 
less life on deck, romping and playing around us from morning to evening, 
and a little of the night as well. I can watch them with pleasure by the 
hour together, or play with them as with little children, have a game at hide 
and seek with them around the skylight, the while they are beside themselves 
with glee. 



" 'It is the largest and strongest of the lot that has just died, a hand- 
some dog; I called him "Lova" (Lion). He was such a confiding, gentle 
animal, and so affectionate. Only yesterday he was jumping and playing 
about and rubbing himself against me, and to-day he is dead.' " 

Captain Otto Sverdrup, Dr. Nansen's companion and a leader of expedi- 
tions himself, thus writes of the dog in his "New Land" : 

"There are two indispensable adjuncts to the carrying out of polar re- 
search, and these are *ski' and dogs. . . . For my own part I am inclined 
to believe . . . the Eskimo dog is an ideal companion on a polar expedi- 
tion. I have had the opportunity of seeing the action of various breeds of dogs 
upon the polar ice, but none of them come up to the Eskimo dog. It has the 
persistence and tenacity of the wild animal, and at the same time the domestic 
dog's admirable devotion to its master. 

"It is, so to speak, the mildest breath of nature and the warmest breath of 

"As a draught animal it surpasses all other breeds. . . . If it may 
be said that polar research without 'ski' is extremely difficult, it may be safely 
said that without dogs it is impossible ; and, so far, they are right who say that 
the question of reaching the pole is simply and solely one of dogs." 

One of the great advantages of the Eskimo dog on a polar expedition 
is his ability to eat anything and everything or nothing. Captain Sverdrup 
writes : 

". . . In weather of this kind a ration of one pound is too little for 
such big and strong animals, and no matter how sustaining the food may 
be in itself the quantity is insufficient. . . . Gammelgulen had tried to 
rectify matters by getting his muzzle off and eating it ; he had then appro- 
priated those of his companions, first gnawing them off and then consuming 
them. The traces had gone the same way, including the iron swivels, and 
only a little was left of the harness." 

It is this matter of food that makes the dog the one and only animal the 
polar explorer is able to use to advantage. Had the horse been possible or 
the reindeer easily available the necessity of carrying food for them — corn, 
oats and fodder — would prove an insuperable difficulty, but the dog is car- 
nivorous. He feeds on blubber, walrus skin, fish, bear or musk ox — food that is 
to be found all along the journey to the pole, or he can feed on the carcass of 
his fellow. 

His tractable character and the combined strength of an obedient pack, to- 


gether with his auto-solution of the food problem, render him the obvious, 
simplest and practically only answer to the question of polar transportation. 

The Eskimos have used the dogs for transportation since the earliest days. 
Martin Frobisher reports their use by the Eskimos in the sixteenth century. 
The Russians made use of the dogs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 
in charting the coast of Siberia. Many dogs and few men has always been the 
policy of Arctic explorers. 

Dr. Nansen owed the success of his expedition to his dogs. The hardships 
of his memorable journey with Johansen would have been insurmountable 
without his canine companions. The journey was severe upon the dogs, and 
many of them had to be killed to provide food for their fellows. Dr. Nan- 
sen says : 

"On Wednesday evening Haren was killed. Poor beast, he was not good 
for much latterly. But he had been a first rate dog, and it was hard, I fancy, 
for Johansen to part with him. He looked so sorrowfully at the animal before 
it went to its happy hunting grounds or wherever it may be where good draught 
dogs go to, perhaps to places where there are plains of level ice and no ridges 
or lanes." 

Dr. Nansen's dogs were mostly of the white or white and black Samoyede 
breed. With its pointed muzzle and sharply erect ears, its strong bushy tail 
and short body, the dog is obviously of the Spitz type, but the wolf nature is 
always more or less apparent and the white Arctic wolf undoubtedly contributed 
largely to its origin. 

The Eskimo dog is larger and more nearly allied to the wolf. He is sturdy, 
well boned, has a long, snipy muzzle and erect triangular ears. The eyes are set 
obliquely like those of a wolf, and the jaw is formidable and full of strong, 
white, pointed teeth. He has a strong, arched neck, a broad chest and mus- 
cular quarters, and is apparently made for work, having an almost tireless 
endurance. His tail is long and bushy and his coat is dense, hard and deep, 
especially on the back, where it may be from two to four inches deep, with a 
woolly undercoat, which resists the penetrating snow and cold. In color it is 
the same as that of the wolf, black or rusty black, with lighter grayish mark- 
ings on the chest and ':ail. Often there is a pure white dog. In all there are 
the characteristic light spots over the eyes. 

The Eskimo dog does not habitually bark, but has a weird, wolfish howl, 
and is thievish and destructive. He leaves the bones of a fish as clean as if 
they had been scraped by a surgical instrument. Each team has its king, which 


is not always the strongest, but usually the most unscrupulous bully and tyrant. 
They are monogamous in their mating, and interference with their domestic 
relations on the part of an outside dog results immediately in a fight to the 

Six Eskimo dogs can pull a load of eight hundred pounds seven miles in 
an hour. Kane was carried for seven hundred miles at the rate of fifty-seven 
miles a day. The record speed of dogs pulling a load was attained in the case 
of the rescue of a sailor in Lieutenant Schwatka's expedition. 

"He was seen at a distance of ten miles across an ice covered bay, just at 
nightfall," relates "The New Book of the Dog." "To leave him there would 
involve his death from frost bite, and two Eskimo natives, with a double team 
of forty dogs, were sent to fetch him. The runners were 'iced' and the men 
armed with knives to cut adrift any dog that might lose his footing, for there 
was no stopping when once started. They did the ten miles in twenty-two and 
one-half minutes." 

The Eskimo dog is largely used in the Northwest, but a halfbreed is con- 
sidered better. Many are a cross between the Eskimo and the wolf, but the 
superlative dog for hauling is the offspring of the Eskimo and what is known 
in Canada as the staghound. For speed, strength and staying power these are 
second to none. Many breeds, however, are employed, including the pure New- 
foundland, which is too heavy and clumsy for winter traveling. The Hare 
Indian, or McKenzie River dog, was formerly used, and even the greytiound 
and spaniel. 

The "huskies," so frequently referred to in Jack London's "Call of the 
Wild," are of the Eskimo and wolf crx)ss, and the "geddies" are of like origin, 
bred specially by the Indians for hauling purposes. These last are willing 
workers, declares "The New Book of the Dog," but vicious brutes, who fight 
their way through summers of semi-starvation and winters of ill treatment, 
hunger and the lash. 

In the Hudson Bay territory four huskies are harnessed to the sled in 
tandem order, the harness consisting of saddles, collars and traces. The leader, 
or "foregoer," sets the pace, and changes his course at a word from the driver, 
who, whatever his nationality, speaks to his team in the patois of the North. 
"Hu!" and "choic!" anglicized to "you!" and "chaw!" are the words neces- 
sary to turn the foregoer to the right or left. The team is started by "mush !" 
a corruption of the French word "marche," meaning "march." The sled or 
steer dog is the heaviest and strongest of the team, trained to swing the ten 
foot long sled away from any obstacle. 


Some of the Indians and Eskimos have a separate irace for each dog, which 
enables the team to spread out fanwise when traveUing over the ice, but for 
land journeys the tandem team is considered better ahke for speed and safety. 

In the Northwest the harness is made of moose skin and is often decorated 
with ribbons and Httle bells. The dogs seem to enjoy the tinkling, and if the 
bells are taken away from them they sulk and do not go half so well. As a 
protection against frozen snow the feet of the dogs are protected with skin- 
shoes. In summer the dogs are turned loose and go off by themselves in packs, 
but before the winter comes on they return to their old masters, usually accom- 
panied by puppies. 

Next to the dog, probably, the most valuable animal to the Eskimo is the 
reindeer. In Uncle Sam's territory of Alaska this is recognized to the extent 
of placing the animals under government supervision. Tens of thousands of 
them are kept at Wainwright, Alaska. 

An encouraging feature of the work there, far from markets and utterly 
shut out from any considerable contact with white men, is the fact that the 
native is slowly but certainly coming to recognize the great possibilities of the 
reindeer industry. While every effort has been made to give as many natives 
as possible an interest in the herds by direct ownership of some of the deer, 
the owners of deer are still a very small minority. 

So valuable has a Government apprenticeship come to be considered that 
it has often been the deciding factor in determining the outcome of the dusky 
love affairs. 

"When you get some reindeer I will be your wife," says the Innuit maiden 
with the tattooed chin. These wise young ladies know that the ownership of 
deer carries with it as a usual thing three or four years of first class Govern- 
ment rations and piles of cloth and clothing which Uncle Sam throws about 
in the Arctic with a generous hand. So among the natives there is developing 
a sort of reindeer aristocracy quite at variance with the old democratic, com- 
munistic ideas of the others who hold no property worth while and who have 
not been favored by the Government. 

If the moss is poor the deer may feed for six hours at the end of which time 
they are driven back to the vicinity of the camp and allowed to remain there 
until the next feeding time, while the ease loving servants of the Government 
sleep or whittle fine old ivory into curios to be traded off on the ships for the 
tobacco which Uncle Sam overlooked in ordering the shiploads of supplies 
which annually find their way to the reindeer camps of Alaska. 


True there is other work to be done. Every spring along comes fawning 
season and the deer herders have to stand watch day and night by turns. Now 
and then the long, wild note of the Arctic wolf is heard through the midwinter 
gloom and a constant watch must be kept by well armed men. The repeating 
rifle made wolves so scarce, however, that dogs are by far the greatest source 
of danger. 

It seems utterly impossible to train the malamoot dog to herd deer. At 
sight of a deer the tamest malamoot becomes as uncontrollable as though he 
had never known human restraint and were once more a plain wolf. 

Besides guarding the herd occasionally from these dangers there are sled 
deer to be trained, and every June there is a kind of rOundup, when the young 
fawns are marked, along with all deer that have changed owners during the 
year. In the ear of each Government deer a little aluminum button is riveted 
securely, but all private owners and herders have a mark which must be reg- 
istered with the local superintendent and also at Washington. This mark is 
made by cutting the ear. 

So far the native in the Far North has made almost no use of the wonder- 
fully rich milk of the reindeer. This milk, which is as white as the Arctic 
snows, is at least 90 per cent cream. In fact it is practically all a rich, snow 
white, sugary cream. It is the most nourishing milk in the world, but the 
Government has so far supplied the camps with condensed milk, and the herders 
have preferred opening cans to milking deer. 

Unlike the Laplander, the Eskimo does not make a pet of his favorite deer. 
When he wants to milk her she is lassoed and thrown down. When her legs 
are carefully tied with walrus skin strings and her horns are safely held by 
some stout friend the process of milking begins. When the last drop is ex- 
tracted the highly indignant animal is unlashed and allowed to get up and 
go about her business. 

Sometimes a horn is knocked off or a leg broken before the struggling rein- 
deer understands that she is to be milked and not branded or butchered. Under 
the circumstances the dairying feature of Arctic life is not very prominent and 
the milkmaid's song is not welcomed by the wise little animals that have under- 
gone the torture of one milking. 

As only a limited number can be appointed apprentices every year and thus 
draw Government rations, many are now trying to get deer from other natives 
without waiting for Government favors. In this few have succeeded, for the 
owners, recognizing their great value, are running the price of female rein- 


deer skyward. With the destruction of the country's game and the rising 
standard of Hfe among the natives the population will come more and more 
to depend upon the reindeer industry, which will doubtless develop rapidly. 

Living in a savage state of society with no other domestic animal than the 
half tamed malamoot dog, the process of teaching the Eskimo here how to 
take care of deer has been slow. Severe measures have had to be resorted 
to in many cases to compel the natives to keep their dogs from the deer camp. 

Also it has been found difficult to prevent those who have no deer from 
shooting the unfortunate animals that stray away from the herd. These are 
considered legitimate prey and until recently were hunted the same as caribou. 
This year, however, a great many of these stray deer have been picked up and 
put back into the herds which they had deserted. 

It has thus been found necessary to put the native herder through a course 
of training. Those who get their deer directly from the Government serve 
an apprenticeship of four years. They are bound by a written contract the 
strict terms of which they cannot violate without peril of losing their annual 
allotment of reindeer and suffering discharge from the service. 

During the first three years of their apprenticeship they receive in addition 
to the reindeer a generous supply of food free of charge. Cloth, clothing, traps, 
guns and ammunition are also given to the fortunate apprentice, who soon be- 
comes a person of consequence in the community. For these Governmental 
favors the apprentice is supposed to take care of his own deer and to assist in 
caring for the Government deer. 

The work of the herder in a reindeer camp is not arduous and seems to be 
especially attractive to the carefree native. Ordinarily the deer have a way 
of taking care of themselves that suits the native. Every day an apprentice 
drives the herd to some feeding ground where they feed while the herder 
saunters about or hunts ptarmigan or other game near at hand. 



The year 1909 will stand out on the page of histories yet to be written as 
the "Year of Marvels." Some of its deeds glow with a luster that fairly dims 
the eye. Records have been broken in many fields of enterprise. Invention has 
reached its highest level. 

All aviation records were broken at Rheims in August, 1909, although they 
do not discount Louis Bleriot's achievement in flying across the British Channel 
and the records of the Wright Brothers in America. Henry Farman, the French 
aviator, flew the greatest distance ever covered during a continuous flight in 
an aeroplane. This memorable flight, v/hich is officially recorded as 118.06 
miles was made August 23 last, in the remarkable time of three hours, four 
minutes and 56 2-3 seconds. The actual distance of the flight, however, was 
140 miles. This world-beating record won for Farman the $10,000 prize of- 
fered by the Champagne district syndicate for the aviator who could cover the 
greatest distance in the air. 

Glenn H. Curtiss, the sole American contestant, holds the world's record 
for the fastest flight. He covered 18 3-5 miles in 23 minutes and 29 1-5 seconds, 
or at a speed of nearly fifty miles an hour. This record won for him the In- 
ternational Cup and $4,000. 

Louis Bleriot covered the course of 6 1-5 miles in 7 minutes and 47 4-5 
seconds and Hubert Latham reached the greatest height — 490 feet. 

These records beat the records of Orville and Wilbur Wright but slightly. 
Orville Wright remained aloft more than an hour on three different occasions 
at Fort Myer while Wilbur Wright made a hundred miles in two hours and 
eighteen minutes. Orville has met the United States Government's require- 
ments by flying five miles and back In his aeroplane, carrying a passenger, at 
an estimated speed of 42 miles an hour. For this achievement made on July 
30, he and his brother were paid about $30,000, the Government having of- 
fered $25,000 for an aeroplane that would carry a passenger at the rate of forty 
miles an hour and a bonus of 10 per cent for each mile in addition to the 



The greatest record for dirigible balloons was made by Count Zeppelin, 
who covered 450 miles in the Zeppelin III. 

Close on the heels of the splendid achievement of the discovery of the 
North Pole came an achievement in many respects as wonderful — a four day 
boat across the Atlantic. The giant Cunard steamship Lusitania, which arrived 
in New York Sept. 3, 1909, made the course from Daunts's Rock Lightship to 
the Ambrose Channel Lightship — over which all ocean records are computed — 
in four days, 11 hours and 42 minutes. This time clipped three hours and 
10 minutes from the previous best record which was made by the Mauretania, 
her sister ship. Throughout the entire trip the Lusitania averaged 25.85 knots 
— another record in itself. 

Less than a hundred years ago it took at least thirty days to cross the 
Atlantic. Frequently it required two months. It was not until 1885 that a 
ten day boat was a reality. From that time the steamship lines have reduced 
the passage hour by hour and day by day until 1907 when the first five day 
boat appeared. 

While records were being broken on land and sea and air, other records were 
being made below the surface of the water. 

The Octopus, a submarine built for the United States Navy, broke the 
world's record on May 22 last by reaching the remarkable speed of more than 
eleven knots an hour under water. According to the official report made to the 
Secretary of the Navy, the Octopus covered a mile at the rate of 11.6 knots, 
the best previous record being 8.5 knots, made by a British submarine last 
year. In the diving test she went down at an angle of eight degrees to a depth 
of twenty-six feet in a fraction less than forty seconds. The best previous 
record for such diving was forty-six seconds, made by the Fulton, of the 
Octopus type. In addition, the Octopus, while going at full speed on the sur- 
face dived to a depth of twenty feet in four minutes and twenty seconds, the 
best previous time being eleven minutes. 

A world's record for depth of submergence v,^ith a crew aboard was made 
by the Lake, also a United States submarine, on May 23, when she went down 
135 feet. The best record previous to this was 130 feet, made by a French 

Thus it will be seen that the United States Government has submarines 
that are superior to any others in the world and there are now 104 in actual 
commission in the several navies and one hundred more are authorized or 
building. It is predicted that within two years submarines with a submerged 


speed of fifteen knots will be built, but many experts believe the present records 
will stand for a longer period. 

One of the greatest submarine exploits of recent years was made by Lieut. 
Kenneth Whiting, an American naval officer, in the harbor at Manila last 
month. He demonstrated that it was possible to escape from a submerged 
submarine by being shot through the torpedo tube. 

Mountain climbing records were broken in 1909 in several parts of the 
world. The Duk^ of the Abruzzi in July reached the highest altitude ever 
before attained by any human climber. With his Italian party he climbed 
Mount Goodwin-Austen in the Himalayas to the height of 24,600 feet. The 
best previous record for altitude was made by W. W. Graham in 1883, when 
he climbed Mount Kabaru in the Himalayas to the height of 24,015 feet. Thus 
it will be seen that the famous Italian Duke exceeded this record by 585 feet. 

Mount Goodwin-Austen is the second highest peak in the world. Mount 
Everest is the highest — 29,002 feet — but as yet no one has succeeded in reach- 
ing its summit. The height of Mount Good win- Austen is 28,250 feet, so 
that the Duke of the Abruzzi had 3,650 feet to go to reach the top when he 
turned back. 

While the cousin of the King of Italy was climbing the Himalayas Walter 
S. Bond of New York City was breaking records in the Alps. He climbed 
Mount Blanc from Chamounix in nine hours. The best previous time was made 
by Morehead, an Englishman, in 1865, when he made the ascent in nine hours 
and a half. 

The record for circling the globe was broken in August, 1909 — also by 
Americans. Two New York school boys, Walter Drew and John Munnich, 
accompanied by the Rev. A. A, King and J. J. Conway, made the trip around 
the world in 41 days and 8 hours. This record was made in little more than half 
the time prophesied by Jules Verne in his famous book "Around the World in 
Eighty Days." Nellie Bly made the trip in 67 days in 1890 and for years this 
stood as a remarkable achievement. The best previous record until last month 
was 43 days. 

If it had not been for a bad wreck and other unavoidable delays, causing the 
party to miss steamboat connections, the trip around the world would have 
been made in 35 days. Indeed, if all the trains and steamships run on schedule 
time. It is practically possible to make the trip around the world In thirty days. 

Although Edward Payson Weston failed in his attempt to walk across the' 
continent from New York to San Francisco In 100 days, the fact that he accom- 
plished the 3,000 mile journey in 105 days broke all previous records. 


Great strides were made in wireless telegraphy during the year. Only 
eleven years have elapsed since the time of Marconi's wireless signal at Flat- 
holm and six years since the exchange of wireless messages across the Atlantic 
between Cape Breton and Cornwall. During the year the globe was virtually 
girdled with wireless stations — at Nome, in Hawaii, Hong-Kong, Burmah, 
Mozambique, Trinidad, Tripoli. Paris talks with Messina, press reports are 
flashed across the Atlantic, steamships at sea receive daily bulletins. In the 
winter of 1909 the lives of all the passengers of the steamship Republic were 
saved by wireless, and after that time the passengers of no less than a dozen 
other ships were saved in the same way. 

Wireless messages can now be sent regularly 3,000 miles over water and 
1,000 miles over land. On May 3, 1909, the first wireless messages were sent 
between New York and Chicago — the record distance by land up to the present 
time. Stray messages have been picked up at much greater distances, but of 
course they do not figure in records. They are considered flukes. Nova Scotia 
to Paris — 3,000 miles — is the record up to date. The crowning demonstration 
of the usefulness of wireless, however, is the summoning of aid to a ship in 
distress. Such projects as a wireless fire alarm system for the preservation of 
forests and wireless weather reports from coast stations are but new fields of 

Practicability of wireless telephony has been demonstrated and the war- 
ships of many navies are now equipped with wireless telephones. The United 
States Navy was the first to install them, and the best records have been made 
between our battleships. Until 1908, 200 miles was the farthest that messages 
could be transmitted, but in March 1909 wireless telephone messages were sent 
by Dr. Lee DeForrest from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Marseilles, a distance 
of 550 miles. This is the record up to date. Great progress is being made 
by Dr. Lee DeForrest and other inventors, and they predict that the time is not 
far distant when it will be possible to telephone across the Atlantic. 

The year was the greatest for speed records in the history of the world. 
It was demonstrated at Clayton, N. J., in December, 1908, that steam driven 
engines are still king, and that they can run as fast on a curved as on a straight 
track. One of the big locomotives on the Pennsylvania Railroad in a test 
held December 5 made a fraction more than ninety-nine miles an hour. This 
is the world's record for steam locomotives. 

The record speed for electric locomotives is ninety-two miles an hour. 
This record was made December 6 at Clayton, N. J., by Electric Engine No. 


028, belonging to the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and 
known as the Jamestown Exposition engine. 

It has been demonstrated that trains can be run with safety at a speed of 
ninety miles an hour, although it takes three or four times longer to stop a 
train going at that speed than one going sixty miles an hour. 

A new record was made in August, 1909, in pulling heavy loads by rail. 
An engine on the Virginia Railroad pulled ninety cars, each laden with fifty 
tons of coal, a distance of 243 miles, breaking all previous records for heavy 

World's records went to smash in August at the new motor speedway at 
Indianapolis. Lewis Strang won the fastest 100-mile race ever held, in i hour 
38 minutes 48 4-10 seconds. Strang made a new twenty-five-mile record, going 
that distance in 23 minutes 20 seconds. A new ten-mile record was made by 
Zengell in 8 minutes 56^ seconds. 

Ever since the opening of this century scientists have been indulging in most 
hopeful "peeps ahead" at probable future achievements. 

William Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, predicts that all rapid 
transit will be made by airships within the next fifty years, and that the storage 
battery will take the place of coal and fire and water. 

"Within the next fifty years," he declares, "coal will cease to be our only 
source of energy. It may be that helium, which Prof. Onnes has succeeded in 
liquefying at the incredible temperature of 455 degrees below zero, may lead 
the way to an unsuspected source of energy and heat. 

"Personally, I believe the harnessing of the sun's rays will be the next big 
scientific achievement. In every land men of science are patiently studying the 
problem of utilizing the energy of the sun — storing it, in fact — so that the 
generation of electric force may be cheapened by its use to a point where the 
storage battery on a large scale will be an economic as well as an academic 
possibility. The wasted energy in coal, as now used, may In the interval, be 
brought to do its work and so bring about the monster storage battery sooner 
than we now expect. But sooner or later we shall enslave the sun's rays to 
our uses." 

Thomas A. Edison shares Marconi's belief that scientists will some day con- 
trol the energy stored In coal without waste. 

"Ninety per cent of the energy stored In coal is now lost," he said recently. 
"It goes of¥ in heat from the chimneys, and is especially wasted In the process of 
converting water into steam. However, I predict that means will be devised 


by which this enormous waste will be saved. When it is done the production of 
power will be revolutionized. The result will have an incalculable influence upon 
the material progress of civilization. It will enable an ocean liner to cross the 
ocean in three days with an expenditure of about one-tenth the amount of fuel 
now required. 

"Within a few years electricity will run the world. It is bound to do so. 
The greatest enterprises to-day are those on an electrical basis. Electricity and 
nothing else will be the great force of the future." 

Bishop Samuel Fallows of the Reformed Episcopal Church predicts that we 
will soon be able to talk with spirits as we now talk with material persons. 

"Telepathy is an established fact," declares the Bishop, "and such strides 
have been made in the explanation of psychic phenomena in the past few years 
that within the next few years we will be able to converse with the spirits of 
departed friends and relatives. Their state will be made known to us through 
the science of 'immortalism/ which is spiritualism with the 'fakes' left out. 
Immortalism will be studied by the masses just as they now delve into Latin, 
arithmetic, geography or grammar. All the great discoveries of the future are 
going to be made along the lines of mental telepathy." 

Dr. James H. Hyslop, secretary of the American Society of Psychical Re- 
search, is only one of many distinguished scientists that have expressed a firm 
conviction that before the close of the present century the psychic riddle will 
have been solved and psychic knowledge and tests will have been reduced to an 
exact science. 

"It is going to keep us busy collecting facts for a long time," Dr. Hyslop 
declares. "Many more years may elapse before we succeed in proving our 
theories as to the nature and uses of the spirit forces surrounding us. 

"A world beyond the senses is already a settled fact, a fact certified to 
by scientific investigation and without appeal to exceptional phenomena. This 
conviction is reinforced by the phenomena of X-ray, wireless telegraphy and 
radio-active substances. 

"The field of psychopathology will soon be occupied for both philanthropic 
and scientific work. An institute for psychic research will provide for study 
and therapeutic treatment of certain types of functional mental diseases — 
insanity, hallucination, secondary personality and such troubles as may yet be 
made to yield to hypnotic suggestion." 

Telegrams, telephones and letters no longer necessary, better health and 
longer life, sex determined before birth, and the development of a race of 


geniuses — that these and many others will be the practical results of the 
psychological research now being conducted throughout the world is the asser- 
tion of Floyd Wilson, a psychologist and occultist of New York. Mr. Wil- 
son, who is the author of several important works on psychology and a 
member of both the New York and London Societies for Psychological Re- 
search, believes that the psychic age is at hand and that it is only a question of 
a few years until practical results will be demonstrated. 

"The time is not far distant," says Mr. Wilson, "when telegrams, tele- 
phones and letters will be a thing of the past. Mental telepathy will take 
their place. At the present time a comparatively few people are able to 
transmit their thoughts to each other in this manner, but it is within the 
possibilities of every one. When we know more about it, as we assuredly 
shall, it will not be necessary to transmit our thoughts by physical means. 
Mental telepathy will supplant all forms of present communication. 

"And when you stop to consider it, mental telepathy is no more wonderful 
than wireless telegraphy or wireless telephony. The principle is practically 
the same — space is annihilated and without physical connection. 

"That our health will be better and our lease on life longer in the years 
to come goes without saying. Poor health, to a great extent, is due to a con- 
dition of mind. By thinking health people will keep in good health, and by 
determining to remain young, or at least by determining to keep from getting 
old, old age may be staved off many years. Of course, people will get sick 
and die, just as they do to-day, but illness will be less prevalent and death 
will be postponed longer." 

Dr. Lee F. De Forrest, in the current number of The Scrap Book, writes : 
"It is now possible to say we will soon be able to talk across the ocean, and 
over still greater distances. In fact, I think I can predict, without too great a 
strain on the imagination, that in the future, and not so far off, we will be 
able to talk around the world — in relays, perhaps, but so arranged as to be 
almost instantaneous. It is as sure as arithmetic that within the next few 
years every vessel of a few hundred tons will carry the wireless telephone. 
From recent experiments, I feel certain that within a short time we shall be 
able to be in wireless communication between our station, atop the Metro- 
politan Tower in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris." 




A modest Norseman, Roald Amundsen by name, performed in 1905 one 
of the few remaining great feats of Arctic exploration by sailing a ship for the 
first time in history through the northwest passage and charting new land in 
the region where the gallant Franklin and his companions lost their lives. Others 
had crossed on sledges the archipelago that lies to the north of the American 
continent, and so bridged the gulf between the two oceans ; but Amundsen was 
the first to sail a boat from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

Amundsen was one of those Norwegians who, as soon as their boyhood 
mentality begins to dawn, feel their blood stirred by the call of the sea. He 
was a student of the Franklin tragedy, and his latter-day hero was Fridtjof 
Nan sen. He tells of his enthusiasm when he saw Nansen returning triumphant 
from his march across Greenland. And it was Nansen who was largely instru- 
mental in enabling Amundsen to venture on the trip that was to succeed where 
Franklin, Parry, Sir John Ross and others had failed. Amundsen also receiyed 
the material and moral aid of the king of Norway. By this powerful backing he 
was able to get a ship, and he gathered around him six sturdy Norwegians, like 
himself. The small but compact and sympathetic band of explorers started 
June 16, 1903, from Christiania in the motor-yacht Gjoa, a tiny vessel of 47 
tons. It seemed almost a toy ship, when it came to ocean travel and Arctic 
storms, but its very smallness no doubt had much to do with its success in riding 
over shoals and escaping ice complications. 

A quick trip was made from Norway around the lower coast of Greenland 
and through Davis Strait to Godhavn. This point was reached July 5, 1903, 
and stores of all kinds were taken in. Then the Gjoa pushed northward in 
Baffin Bay, making for Cape York, which was the northernmost point to be 
reached in that part of the expedition. Cape York was sighted August 14, but 
not till after dangerous ice had been encountered in Melville Bay, often a 
perilous spot for explorers. 

Telling of this ice, Amundsen says : 



"To the east the whole interior of Melville Bay lay before us. Right in- 
side, in the farthest background, we could see several mountain tops. An im- 
penetrable mass of ice filled the bay ; mighty icebergs rose here and there from 
out of the mass of ice. When we at last looked back, we saw the fog out of 
which we suddenly slipped, lying thick like a wall behind us. Such a sight is 
one of those wonders only to be seen in the never-to-be-forgotten seas of ice." 

Melville Bay was not to be a sticking-point for this lucky party, however, 
and Cape York was made with ease. There Amundsen met members of the 
so-called Danish Literary Expedition to Greenland, led by Mylius Ericksen, 
and including Knad Rasmussen, one of the strongest supporters of Dr. Fred- 
erick A. Cook. Felicitations and advice were exchanged, and the Amundsen 
party proceeded through Lancaster Sound to Beechey Island, which was the 
point where Sir John Franklin had his last comfortable winter quarters. 
Amundsen, always an admirer of Franklin, gives vent, in his account of the 
trip, to his feelings on their putting in at the spot where the sturdy Britisher 
quartered himself while still in health and hope. It was there that the scurvy, 
which was to scourge the crews of the Erebus and Terror most fearfully, first 
made its appearance. 

After a short stay the Gjoa was turned south In Franklin Strait and plunged 
into a region of mysteries and possible perils. As the point of the magnetic 
pole was approached, the compass began to show signs of being in a strange 
country. It vacillated furiously, and before the eyes of the anxious mariners 
veered gradually until it pointed southwest. The magnetic pole was at hand. 

What lay before the party, with the ice accumulations always a danger, and 
with a "nervous" compass, they could not foretell. But they sailed the Gjoa 
on along Somerset Island. Between that island and Prince of Wales Land 
Amundsen encountered what he feared was the long-dreaded ice-barrier. They 
saw what they took, he says, in the mirror-like glitter of the calm sea, to be a 
compact mass of ice extending from shore to shore. "It seemed evident to me 
that we had now reached the point whence our predecessors had been compelled 
to return — the border of solid unbroken ice. Happily we were mistaken, as, 
in fact, we were several times afterward under similar circumstances. With 
the sunlight on the glassy surface of the sea, with pieces of ice scattered over, 
these may easily present the appearance of one solid, continuous mass. This 
optical illusion is also enhanced by the 'ice blink' constantly occurring in the 
Arctic sea. This ice blink magnifies and exaggerates a small block of ice to 
such an extent that It looks like an Iceberg; especially when looking at it 






through a telescope at short range you may easily imagine you are facing a 
huge ice-pack. But on the Arctic sea you can never rely on what you fancy 
you ^see,' however distinct it may appear." 

And now the compass failed them altogether. Off Prescott Island in Frank- 
lin Strait, Amundsen says, "the needle of the compass, which had been gradu- 
ally losing its capacity for self-adjustment, now absolutely declined to act. We 
were thus reduced to steering by the stars, like our forefathers the vikings. This 
mode of navigation is of doubtful security even in ordinary waters, but it is 
worse here, where the sky, for two-thirds of the time, is veiled in impenetrable 
fog. However, we were lucky enough to start in clear weather." 

Next day all Amundsen's fears for the time being were dissipating in a 
manner he describes graphically as follows: 

"I was walking up and down the deck in the afternoon, enjoying the sun- 
shine whenever it broke through the fog. * * * As I walked I felt something 
like an irregular lurching motion, and I stopped in surprise. The sea all around 
was smooth and calm. * * * j continued my promenade, but had not gone 
many steps before the sensation came again, and this time so distinctly that I 
could not be mistaken ; there was a slight irregular motion in the ship. I would 
not have sold this slight motion for any amount of money. It was a swell 
under the boat, a swell — a message from the open sea. The water to the south 
was open ; the wall of ice was not there." 

Winter was now approaching, and the Gjoa was hard put to it. Once the 
little ship was nearly burned when a quantity of petroleum, used as fuel for the 
motor, took fire ; but the courage and coolness of Amundsen and his men averted 
a disaster. Another time the Gjoa ran aground, and was floated only by throw- 
ing overboard all. the stores that were piled on deck. But King William's Land 
was reached in safety, and on the southeastern part of the island the Gjoa 
made port in what one of the party described as "the finest little harbor in the 
world." This was ninety miles south of the magnetic pole as located by Ross. 

The whole party now entered upon a long period of investigation — the work 
for which they really had come, rather than to navigate unknown seas. Their 
duty was to observe the region of the magnetic pole, to observe its variations 
and make a study o2 the magnetism of the earth. 

The magnetic pole is very little understood. Many suppose the north pole 
to be the point toward which the compass points. Not so. 

As Amundsen describes it, "if we fit up a magnetic needle so that it can 
revolve on a horizontal axis passing through its center of gravity (exactly like 


a grind-stone) the needle will, of its own accord, assume a slanting position, if 
its plane of rotation coincides with the direction indicated by the compass. * * * 
At the magnetic north pole, the dipping needle will assume a vertical position,, 
with its north point directed downwards; at the magnetic south pole it will 
stand vertically with its south point downwards." 

The Gjoa as anchored in the "fine little harbor," which they named Gjoa- 
havn September 12, 1903, and remained there until August 13, 1905. A house 
was built, in which two of the party pursued scientific observations, acquaintance 
was made with the Eskimos of the region, and much exploratory work was done. 
A trip was made to Boothia, where the magnetic pole is situated, and two of 
Amundsen's men made a sledge journey along the eastern coast to Victoria 
Land, charting much new land, and traveling 800 miles. But these pursuits 
came to an end, and when the season for propitious travel was fairly on, the 
Gjoa was headed westward for the climax of the journey. She was man- 
euvered successfully through the narrowest portion of the passage, south of King 
William's Land, and pushed on into channels whose navigability was yet to 
be tested. On through Deas Strait and Coronation Gulf the little motor-vessel 
held her course, and scarcely a mishap marred the successful journey. 

Describing the most "ticklish" part of the trip, Amundsen says : 

"The channel now ceased and branched off in the shape of a narrow sound 
between some small rocks. The current had probably formed this channel. The 
passage was not very inviting, but it was our only one,, and forward we must go. 

"As we turned westward, the soundings became more alarming, the figures 
jumped from seventeen to five fathoms, and vice versa. From an even, sandy 
bottom we came to a raggedy stony one. We were in the midst of a most discon- 
certing chaos ; sharp stones faced us on every side, low-lying rocks of all shapes, 
and we bungled through zigzag, as if drunk. The lead flew up and down, down 
and up, and the man at the helm had to pay very close attention and keep his 
eye on the lookout man, who jumped about in the crow's nest like a maniac, 
throwing his arms about for starboard and port respectively, keeping on the 
move all the time to watch the track. Now I see a big shallow extending from 
one islet right over to the other. We must get up to it and see. The anchors 
were clear to drop, should the water be too shallow, and we proceeded at a 
very slow rate. I was at the helm, and kept shuffling my feet out of sheer 
nervousness. We barely managed to scrape over. In the afternoon things got 
worse than ever; there was such a lot of stones that it was just like sailing 
through an uncleared field. Though chary of doing so, I was now compelled to 


lower a boat and take soundings ahead of us. This required all hands on deck, 
and it was anything but pleasant to have to do without the five hours' sleep 
obtainable under normal conditions. But it could not be helped. We crawled 
along in this manner, and by 6 p. m., we had reached Victoria Strait, leaving 
the crowd of islands behind us." 

On August 17 they anchored off Cape Colborne, after having sailed the 
Gjoa "through the hitherto unsolved link in the northwest passage." 

On August 26 at 8 a. m., Capt. Amundsen was asleep below, when he heard 
a rushing to and fro on deck. A few minutes later came the cry "A sail !" It 
was a whaling vessel, and it meant that the Gjoa had reached navigable waters 
in the western side of the passage. 

Says Amundsen: "The northwest passage had been accomplished — my 
dream from childhood. I had a peculiar sensation in my throat ; I was some- 
what overworked and tired, and I suppose it was weakness on my part, but I 
could feel tears coming to my eyes. 'Vessel in sight !' The words were 
magical. My home and those dear to me there at once appeared to me as if 
stretching out l^eir hands. 'Vessel in sight !' " 

The Gjoa reached King Point August 29, 1905, after a journey of only 
sixteen days from King William's Land, and there made a second winter quar- 
ters. That winter was saddened by the death of one of the members of the 
party, the scientist Wiik. The rest pushed on to the end, and arrived in Nome, 
Alaska, September 3, 1906. 

Amundsen was established at once as one of the great explorers of the 
world, and none received with greater enthusiasm the news of the north pole 
discovery than did he. 



It was a coincidence almost rivalling that of the dual discovery of the pole, 
that while Dr. Cook and Commander Peary were being feted and were arguing 
their claims the memory of a pioneer American explorer and Artie adventurer 
was receiving honor. New York, only three weeks after the great pole sen- 
sation, was the scene of a mammoth celebration, with pageants galore and with 
warships from foreign waters present in force. 

The fete served to teach people many little-known facts about Hudson's 
career, which was one of the most romantic in history. 

Alfred Payson Terhune, in a recent biographical sketch of Hudson, has 
outlined the facts of the explorer's life in a graphic way. 

"He was born — no one knows where or when. He died — no one knows 
when or how. He comes into our knowledge on the quarterdeck of a ship 
bound for the North Pole. He goes out of our knowledge in a crazy boat man- 
ned by eight sick sailors." 

So writes one historian of Hendrik Hudson, man of mystery. The hero 
who blazed his name upon Americ^-'s history by discovering the mighty river 
and the bay that bear his name seems to have arisen from Nowhere to perform 
wondrous deeds and to have vanished into Nowhere when his grand work was 

Hendrik Hudson flashed into fame at a bound, was before the public for 
four brief years, and then disappeared. Even his portrait and autograph are 
not generally believed to be genuine. None knows his age at the time he made 
his discoveries. That he was of mature years is shown by his having an 18- 
year-old son. But whether he was a hale mariner of 40 or a grizzled veteran 
of 70 it is impossible to guess. 

He was born somewhere in England, some time in the sixteenth century. 
His name was Henry Hodgson, and his Dutch employers later twisted the 
English phraseology into "Hendrik Hudson." His father and grandfather 
are vaguely supposed to have been London merchants and interested in the 
Muscovy company. 



Hudson first appears in history on April 19, 1607, when, with his 16-year- 
old son, John, and ten mariners he sailed from England as captain of the Mus- 
covy company's little sixty-two ton ship, Hopewell. There is the modest object 
of his voyage as set forth in his own notes : 

"To discover the North Pole and to sail across it to China or India." 

The voyage was probably of Hudson's own choosing. For all his known 
life he was a slave of one idea — and that idea a wrong one. He believed that 
he could reach the orient through a sea passage somewhere in the frozen 
north. This would mean a short cut for Europe's trade with the east. To 
discover the. supposed north passage Hudson devoted all his powers and risked 
his life. The really great discoveries which he blundered upon while searching 
for this passage he did not seem to consider especially valuable. 

Sailing on the Hopewell In April, 1607, he scored a "farthest north" record, 
penetrating to within 10 degrees of the North Pole and discovering Spitzber- 
gen. But the icepack and cross currents at last drove him back. He returned 
to England without having found the long-sought passage across the pole to 
the orient. But in 1608 he was ready for another search. Again, in the Mus- 
covy company's service, he sought the mythical passage. This time he sailed 
eastward to Nova Zembla, and again was turned back. Here is a queer ex- 
tract from Hudson's notebook for this voyage : 

"On this day (June 15, 1608), one of our company, looking overboard, 
saw a mermaid. She was close to the ship's side, looking earnestly upward." 

Hudson's two unsuccessful voyages in quest of the passage across the pole 
disgusted the Muscovy company with that sort of exploration. They turned 
their attention to whaling. Hudson as an explorer was out of a job. Then, 
when luck seemed at Its worst, came the chance of his life — a chance that made 
him immortal. 

The Dutch East India company had been making so much money that a 75 
per cent, dividend had been declared. Some of the company's directors sug- 
gested that a small part of the surplus cash be used for fitting up an expedition 
to hunt for the "north passage." It was a gamble, and to the thrifty Dutch 
looked for big commercial results. They sent for Hudson and offered him 
command of the venture. 

He was ordered to set out in the eighty-ton Half Moon, with a crew of 
twenty men, and to "proceed in search of a northwest passage around the 
northern extremity of Nova Zembla to India." For his services, according 
to a contract's terms, Hudson was to receive $320, "as well for his outfit as 
for the support of his wife and children. " The contract adds : "In case he do 


not come back — which God prevent — the directors shall further pay to his wife 
200 florins ($80) in cash." 

Thus it was that in the early spring of 1609 Hudson put to sea for Nova 
Zembla. A second ship, the Good Hope, went along with the Half Moon as 
consort, but soon turned back. 

The icepack kept Hudson from reaching Nova Zembla. His crew, in coun- 
cil, advised him to try the impossible passage of Davis straits into India. Some 
historians say he refused; others that a great storm blew the Half Moon fat 
westward from her course. Whether from design or accident, Hudson found 
himself off the North Atlantic coast of America. Then he made known to his 
men a wonderful plan he had evolved, namely, to discover an inland strait or 
sea crossing the whole American continent from the Atlantic ocean to the 
Pacific. To this insane plan we owe the discovery of the Hudson river. 

Capt. John Smith — a most marvelous liar as well as a splendid soldier of 
fortune — had once told Hudson that a strait or inland sea cut the North Amer- 
ican continent in half, from east to west, and that its Atlantic inlet was just 
north of Virginia. Failing to find a passage across the North Pole to India, it 
occurred to Hudson that the discovery of this inland sea between Atlantic and 
Pacific might help atone for his other failure. For, by coming to America at 
all, he was disobeying his employers' orders. 

So down the Atlantic coast from the north sailed the little Half Moon 
She touched at Cape Cod (that had already been discovered by Goswold in 
1602), found no "Inland sea," then put further offshore and next sighted land 
at Chesapeake bay. Hudson cruised in the Chesapeake only long enough to 
find it was not the "strait" he sought. Then he ran north, along the coast, to 
Delaware bay, where he made another hopeless search for the "strait," and 
again skirted the coast to the northward. Every opening in the New Jersey 
shore line must be carefully explored, for each might prove to be the mouth of 
the "strait." 

Thus, on Sept. 3, 1609, Hendrik Hudson sailed inside Sandy Hook and 
cast anchor in lower New York bay. From the size of the bay it seemed to 
him that he had at last found the mythical "strait." There is no reason to 
think Hudson was the first man to enter New York bay. Mariners from sev- 
eral countries claimed to have been there before him. Andrea da Verazzano, 
a corsair in the French service, explored the North Atlantic coast from Flori- 
da to New York In 1524, and so on to Block Island and Newport. He was 
either killed by Spaniards or roasted at the stake by savages. 

For ten days the Half Moon rode at anchor In the lower bay, while Hud- 


son parleyed with the natives, whose canoes swarmed about his ship, and sent 
out Httle exploring" parties in boats. In one of these explorations the boat 
crew had a fight with Indians, and John Coleman, a seaman, was shot through 
the throat by an arrow. The first white man to die in New York was buried 
on a sandy strip of ground known thereafter as "Coleman's Point." On Sept. 
12 the Half Moon sailed up the bay to Manhattan island and anchored ofif what 
is now the battery. One historian writes that at this spot Hudson gave a great 
feast to the Indians and offered them the first liquor they had ever tasted. A 
drunken orgy followed, and the Delawares, in contempt, named the island 
"Man-hatta-nink" — meaning "place of general intoxication." Hudson was 
delighted with the beauty of Manhattan island and wrote in his report : 

"It is a very good land to fall in with and a pleasant land to see !" 

Thence up the broad river he sailed, certain that he had at last found the 
"strait." Friendly natives fed his crew on grain and game during this journey 
and received in return not only such trinkets as savages love, but liquor as 
well. Says the journal of Juet, Hudson's mate : "When they were drunk it 
was strange to them ; for they could not tell how to take it." At the present 
city of Hudson the captain and officers went ashore, and, according to the 
note, were there feasted by the local chiefs on "a goodly store of pigeons and a 
fat dog." Hudson plied the chiefs with drink "to learn if they had any 
treachery in their hearts toward us." When he discovered that the salt water 
of the lower bay was turning fresh he began to doubt if he were really in the 

Yet he kept on, until, on Sept. 22, at a point just above Albany, he found 
the river was no longer navigable. This was a terrific blow. Hudson had 
failed to reach the North Pole, he had disobeyed orders in coming to America, 
and now he knew at last that there was no inland sea leading from New York 
to the Pacific. 

His voyage had failed. He was heartbroken. The fact that he had dis- 
covered one of the greatest rivers on earth counted for nothing. That while 
searching for a "strait" which did not exist he had opened New York to civil- 
ization and had thrown wide the gates to a rich wonder-world — all this meant 
nothing to him. He had failed. His fellow-navigators would sneer at him. 
iHis employers would reprimand — perhaps discharge him. 

To soften the Dutch East India company's wrath he began to collect rare 
woods and furs to show how valuable a land this might be from a trade view- 
point. Indeed, it was the news of these products — especially the furs — that 
later led the Dutch to settle New York. Thus, even in his "failure," Hudson's 


pathetic efforts to pacify his employers were the indirect cause of New York's 
first growth. 

Coming down the river Hudson anchored under the Hoboken cHffs. The 
mate writes of the opposite shore as "that side of the river called Manna-hata." 
(There are nearly a dozen versions of the way Manhattan got its name.) 
There, on Oct. i, while the Indian canoes were clustering around the ship, one 
savage climbed the rudder chains, crept through a window into Hudson's cabin 
and stole a pillow, two shirts and two belts. The mate, according to his own 
account, "shot at him and struck him on the breast and killed him." The ship's 
cook seeing a second Indian who, in swimming, had seized the dead savage's 
canoe, "took a sword and cut off one of his hands and he was drowned." This 
brought on a general fight, in which several more natives were killed. 

On Oct. 4 the Half Moon set sail for Holland. It was the first vessel to 
leave the port of New York bound direct for Europe. Hudson knew that 
trouble awaited him at home, but had he guessed how great a misfortune it 
would prove he would probably have chosen some other destination. 

Great was the excitement at Dartmouth, England, when, on Nov. 7, 1609, 
the battered little Half Moon crept into port, bearing the returned discoverers. 
Hudson and his men were plied with questions as to the wonderful new land 
they had explored. They became nine-day wonders at the sleepy English 
town. But suddenly the sentiment toward them changed. 

Hudson had merely stopped at Dartmouth on his way to Holland. Before 
he could go on with his journey the British authorities seized the Half Moon 
and arrested Hudson and the crew. For months the returned mariners were 
held captive. At last Hudson succeeded in forwarding his reports to the Dutch 
East India company, and his men were allowed to take the ship to Amsterdam. 
Hudson did not go with them. It is supposed, too, that the Dutch East India 
company (angry at his disobedience to orders and disgusted at what they 
deemed his failure) discharged him. 

Thus the discoverer found himself stranded once more, without employ- 
ment or prospects. For months he lived In miserable Idleness, trying always 
to secure command of a new expedition for the discovery of the North Pole and 
of the supposed "passage" across it to India. 

(The Half Moon, after several later voyages under less famous captains, 
is said to have been wrecked off the island of Mauritius In 161 5.) 

By dint of much persuasion Hudson finally induced some rich London 
merchants to fit out a ship for him and let him make one more search for the 


northern "passage." This new vessel, the Discovery — seventy tons — was 
manned by Hudson, his 1 8-year-old son John and twenty-two other ad- 
venturers. She sailed from England on April 17, 1610. In July she entered 
what was afterward known as Hudson's straits, and on Aug. 2 entered Hud- 
son's bay. For three months Hudson explored that vast body of water. Then 
in November he and his men went into winter quarters on its south shore. 

Hudson was a great and fearless navigator. But he was not a born ruler 
of men. This had earlier been shown by the mutinous behavior of his crews. 
Now, camped on the frozen coast of a northern bay, short of food, fearful of 
dying in that bleak wilderness, his men again broke into furious mutiny. 

Hudson tried to pacify them by argument and entreaty, instead of enforc- 
ing his authority. He also divided among them the last fragments of the ship's 
provisions. He even wept loudly and publicly over their mutinous conduct. 
All this served to make the crew the more contemptuous of Hudson's authority. 

Illness, starvation and mutiny wore away the long northern winter. When 
spring at last arrived the men clamored to start for Europe. Hudson deemed 
the ship too badly provisioned and the ice floes too thick for a safe passage 
so early in the season. Whereat the mutineers seized Hudson on the morn- 
ing of June 21, 161 1, as he came on deck from his cabin, bound him and 
threw him into a small boat. They thrust his son John into the boat after 
him, and then proceeded to throw seven of the weakest,^ sickest sailors over 
the side of the ship into the cranky little craft to keep the fallen hero company. 

While almost the whole crew had mutinied, yet those who found them- 
selves condemned by their stronger brethren to share their commander's fate 
resisted fiercely. In the free fight that ensued up and down the deck four 
men were killed. 

At last the boat with its nine helpless occupants was cut loose from the 
ship. A kettle, a gun, some ammunition and a little food were tossed to the 
fugitives, and the Discovery sailed away for England, leaving Hudson and 
his sick fellow outcasts floating helpless upon the water in a frail boat. The 
mutineers fought among themselves on the way home. All ringleaders were 
killed or died of hunger and disease. Of the twenty-four who had left Eng- 
land, only eight reiurned alive. In the Discovery, in 161 6, Baffin's Bay was 

What became of Hudson and his eight men? A relief expedition found 
no trace of them. Did they perish, or — as old traditions say — were they 
adopted into some Indian tribe? Hudson's fate is as mysterious as his origin. 


■He sprang at a bound from utter obscurity, accomplished his life work and 
vanished into the Unknown. 

The most spectacular features of the New York celebration were a naval 
parade, a land pageant and a display of fireworks. 

The naval parade was held the morning of Sept. 25 amid a din of whis- 
tles like that heard when the old year passes oiit and the new comes in, 
made up of the combined clamor of all the harbor craft, the hoarse blast from 
the tugs, and deeper bass of the big Hners, the firing of guns, the cheering 
of the folks assembled on the shores of the three boroughs, and the neigh- 
boring state. 

From the lee of Jersey shore, where Kill von Kull cleaves the way between 
the sister state and Staten island, there emerged a strange vessel. Its high poop, 
its rigging, its entire makeup bespoke the day that has long since passed. Be- 
sides the Cunarder Caronia, which passed in strung with flags from stem 
to stern in its honor the foreign-looking boat appeared ridiculously small. In 
fact, it was completely blanketed. 

Yet, after a lapse of three centuries, its day had come again — a glorified 
day in which a great city paid its tribute in respect to the Half Moon and 
what it stood for. 

Likewise the Clermont, typifying the day when Manhattan stretched to 
Canal street and no farther, while Brooklyn was a village, when the science 
of navigation by steam was in its infancy, got such a reception as Fulton never 
had in the bygone days when his genius came to be recognized. 

There came near being an end to the most attractive feature of the entire 
celebration before matters were straightened out and a start was made. The 
Half Moon and the Clermont collided while rounding the turn off the ferry 
house close to St. George. The Half Moon had broken out sail at the time 
and was footing it in great shape under a cloud of canvas, but the twenty knot 
wind proved too much for it. In spite of the efforts of the Dutch crew to 
prevent it the vessel bore down on the long, low lying Clermont and rapped 
it smartly on the port side amidships. 

The Clermont, with Its outside paddle wheels churning the water of the 
bay into a yeastly smother, tried to get out of the way, but the Half Moon, 
which was like a chip on the ocean in comparison with the present day liners, 
proved fully as ambitious as the record breaking four day boats and bore 
down Into the wind with a speed which would have made Henry Hudson open 
his eyes wide in astonishment. 


Not far from the Stapleton shore the crash took place. The Dutch prod- 
uct of the sixteenth century had traveled a short distance from Constable 
Hook in tow, but the wind was so inviting it parted from its convoy and put 
out sail. When the sailors on the Half Moon saw that a collision was in- 
evitable they hastily lowered the canvas, which retarded the Half Moon's 
speed considerably. All the same, the sixteenth century and the nineteenth 
came in contact with force enough to set the pewter plates on the Dutch- 
man rattling. 

Neither vessel was much damaged. Part of the railing of the Clermont 
was splintered and the Half Moon had its nose bruised, figuratively speaking, 
for the bowsprit was bent a bit, but it was not necessary for the vessels to 
drop out of the line and they joined in the parade as briskly as if nothing at 
all had happened. 

The Clermont was under its own steam at the time, just as the Half Moon 
was under sail. The tug Frederick B. Dalzell had taken the Half Moon 200 
yards. A breeze was kicking the bay into whitecaps, but as the quaint vessel 
spread its white wings and the sails bellied out, it rounded Staten island 
like an American cup champion. It wasn't on the cards that it should go as 
fast, but the crowd on shore was delighted and let out a cry of approval. 

At the same time the cloud of steam issued from the tall stack of Clermont, 
but its gait was more methodical. When the crew saw the Half Moon up on 
it, however, the vessel got a move on in earnest and tried to get out of the 
way. It couldn't quite make clear water in time. 

In the wake of the Half Moon trailed the official boats, tugs, yachts, and 
other craft. Five submarines stole into the channel and went along, closely 
convoying the Half Moon. Then the big show might fairly be said to be on. 

The head line of the naval parade, with the Half Moon leading, was off 
South Brooklyn shortly before l o'clock. 

The excursion boats were all heavily crowded and the bay was full of 
decorated vessels of all sorts — tugs, steam lighters, and other craft darting 
hither and thither. The outward bound liners were all decorated as they 
passed the parade on their way down the bay. The boats moved up the Hud- 
son in a double line c. t a speed of about eight miles an hour, but such was the 
number of participants and the distance necessary to be maintained between 
them that the head of the procession had reached the turning point at Spuyten 
Duyvil and was part way back before the last upward bound vessel passed 
the Battery. Strung out thus, the column proved to be nearly fifteen miles 


When the Half Moon and the Clermont reached the United States ship 
Newport, which marked the southern end of the line of warships at Forty- 
fourth street, they moved up on the New York side of the river, while the other 
vessels kept on between the men o' war and the New Jersey shore. As the 
two little craft went by the warships started firing the royal salute, making 
one continual roll of powder fed thunder. 

The Half Moon and Clermont went only as far as One Hundred and 
Tenth street, where the land ceremonies of the day occurred at 4 o'clock, with 
speeches by Gov. Hughes and others. While these were in progress the other 
vessels rounded the head of the warship line at Two Hundred and Twenty- 
second street, and returned along the Manhattan shore, back to buoy to await 
the night, when, with scarcely time enough for the crews to get dinner, the 
participants of the day parade went over the same route, while the river 
was gorgeously illuminated. 

The weather was as perfect as the preparations. Four days of rain had 
washed all the gray out of the skies, and through the atmosphere, clear and 
sparkling, ran the first brisk breath of autumn, the first feel of Indian sum- 
mer. Under the flawless sunshine the water danced, all white and blue, the 
wheels and screws of the scurrying craft churning the top of the swells into a 
creamy smother. 

Where all the crowd came from and how it got settled into place is a 
marvel past telling. The sun, climbing into the sky, looked down upon a me- 
tropolis that rippled and eddied with red, white and blue, with orange, blue 
and white, and with every other color that can be woven into a flag or printed 
into bunting; it looked down also upon two rivers, a harbor, and bay fairly 
dancing with vessels of every sort, from ocean liners, excursion boats, trim 
private yachts, fat ferry boats, waddling like mallards, and tugs as brisk as the 
blue teal, down to motor boats and skiffs, playing over the surface like schools 
of sunfish in a pond. It also looked upon the picked war craft of our own 
nation and other nations ; all metal and menace and might. 

Besides the pleasure craft there was waiting the greatest gathering of war 
vessels ever seen. It was a fleet of seventy war vessels, fifty-three American, 
four English, four German, three French, two Italian, One Dutch, one 
Argentine, one Mexican, and one Cuban, with guns enough, if fired in one 
broadside, to wipe out a city or sink a nation's navy — enough potential de- 
struction in a row to stagger the imagination. There were 27,000 officers 
and men and nearly 500 big guns. 


In the evening came the fireworks. 

As early as 6:30 o'clock, when the city hall and all the borough halls of 
the great city, the big East river bridges, the skyscrapers, hotels, and every- 
thing else sent forth their first flash of lights, all the river also was lit up. In 
front of the big white pylons of the staff at the foot of One Hundred and 
Tenth street lay the liner Nieuw Amsterdam, with every line studded with 
lighted bulbs. From the water front a few yards in front of the crowd to the 
rim of the Palisades, up and down as far as one could see, there were lights 
and lights — and more lights. 

There was a pause for a while on every bridge of the miles of fighting 
ships while the quartermasters waited for the "cornet" signal that would 
cause them to give the order. "Turn on lights." The signal came promptly 
as signals on flagships have a habit of doing, and like a burning trail of powder 
ship after ship flashed out of the darkness, up and down the river as far as you 
could see. A good imitation of the crack of doom accompanied the lighting up 
of the fleet. Every siren for miles was tied down. The hoarse calls of battle- 
ships, liners, and other boats added to the din. 

Jets of light from the clustered searchlights far up the river, which had 
been radiating like sticks in a woman's fan in individual rays, now were 
brought closer together, still spreading out individual shafts of light, but mak- 
ing a lesser, therefore brighter, number of rays. 

And then up and down the river, the Jersey shore — the back drop of the 
stage — broke loose with fireworks. Fireworks spluttered and banged and sent 
training balloons of fire sailing southward over the warships in a strong breeze 
for more than an hour. It undoubtedly was the biggest pyrotechnic display, in 
quality and in quantity, that New York ever had seen. * 

Up on Washington heights twenty great beams of light in twelve colors 
made a playground of the darkness. The searchlights were there to light up 
the curtain of steam that sizzled a few hundred feet from them to one side. 
The steam would billow out in fat, fanlike puffs, and the searchlights would 
illuminate these in gaudy colors, like a peacock's tail, or it would come out in 
a solid sheet and the colors would play on the wall. Again it would issue 
forth in short snaky looking wreaths, a dozen writhing in mid air at the same 
time, and the colors would come and go in red and yellow and all the other 
tints the psychologists say represent anger and fear. 

The plant from which all the plays of light came was situated on Riverside 
drive, between One Hundred and Fifty-fifth and One Hundred and Fifty- 



seventh streets. There the twenty lights were lined up, occupying more than 
a block, facing the Hudson river. Each projector had an intensity of 50,- 
000,000 candle power. The light was so powerful that when the operator 
turned it on a tree during the preliminary practice every leaf was brought 
out in a hard brilliance of contour. 

From the PhiladelpMa Inquirer. 


The most interesting effect was that obtained by forcing steam under 
heavy pressure through hose pipes. The pipes slatted about furious in mid air 
and the steam was thrown about in every direction. This was called "the 
battle of the Serpents," or some such name, and as lighted up by the twenty 
projectors had a dazzling effect. Another effect was obtained by discharg- 
ing an aerial bomb high in the sky, then turning the searchlights up on it till 
the smoke cloud had disappeared. 


This was the end of the day's festivities — and it had been a crowded day. 

The historical pageant on Sept. 27, really represented the supreme effort 
of the commission. For several months 300 artists, carpenters and papier- 
mache manipulators had been at work preparing the wood and plaster figures 
which decorated the fifty-four floats in the procession. Nearly 20,000 men, 
women and children, representing every national and patriotic society in the 
city, posed as historic personages on these floats or marched beside them. 
The cost of the spectacle was $300,000. 

Guests of the commission and the city numbered several thousand. The 
f(^rmer occupied an immense stand in front of the new public library at 5th 
a""-enue, 40th and 42d streets. This was the reviewing stand. 

The story unfolded by the floats and their costumed characters dealt with 
the history of New York and the country surrounding it in four periods — 
the Indian, the Dutch, the colonial and the modern. The last named, how- 
ever, carried the tale no farther than the first Erie canal boat and the intro- 
duction of w^ater from the Croton reservoir. Leading the pageant were 
officers of the city and the commission. The Irish societies led the first division, 
having in line about 400 Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and 2,000 members 
of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, while after them marched 1,500 from 
the Italian organizations, 1,500 Bohemians, 250 Poles and 250 Hungarians, 
all in costume. The title car "New York," which led the floats, was followed 
by 250 Norwegians. A number of Iroquois Indians took part in the tableaux 
on the Indian floats that followed. 

After 1,000 additional members of the Italian societies and 1,000 from 
Ireland came floats picturing scenes in the early Dutch colonies, including 
representations of the Half Moon and the "Fate of Henry Hudson." One 
that attracted attention was the car "St. Nicholas," attended by 250 children. 
That the youngsters might not be wearied by the long march they served in 
relays along the route. 

Swedish and Irish societies, including 1,500 members of the Clan-na-Gael, 
preceded the floats of the colonial period and members of various patriotic 
societies escorted the cars of the modern or United States period,, which com- 
posed the last division. "The reception to LaFayette," however, was accom- 
panied by 200 members of the French societies, and the car "Garibaldi" was 
escorted by members of the Italian societies, including ten veterans who had 
served under the Italian liberator. 

And thus Henry Hudson was honored. It may be asked: How will 
the American nation do homage to Peary and Cook in 2009 ? 



All those who have been to sea have looked on, more or less mystified, 
while one of the ship's officers takes his observations to find out just where 
the ship is. If the average landlubber is asked to tell just what happens on 
such occasions he will confine his explanations, as a rule, to stating that the 
instrument involved is a sextant, arid that the sun plays an important part in 
the affair. After that — unless he is an exceptionally well-informed land- 
lubber — he will trail off into vague remarks about latitude and longitude, and 
then, ten to one, change the subject. 

But the sextant suddenly jumped into the limelight with the discovery of 
the pole; for, besides being indispensable to the seafarer, it is equally so to 
polar explorers. It is by its use alone that Peary and Cook were able to de- 
termine their whereabouts while on their weary marches through the frozen 
north. In fact, if they had not had the useful little instrument among their 
paraphernalia they would have been absolutely unable to tell whether they 
were at the coveted goal or hundreds of miles away from it. 

Hence, this query is now more pertinent than ever: What is a sextant 
and what does it do ? 

The sextant is an instrument for measuring angles between distant objects. 
It consists of a frame in the form of a sector, embracing somewhat more 
than one-sixth (usually about one-fourth) of the whole circle; two mirrors, 
one wholly silvered and one silvered over half its surface, a movable arm 
pivoted at the center of the sector and carrying the fully silvered mirror, and a 
vernier, or measuring scale; an arc along the circumference of the sector 
graduated into degrees, minutes and seconds and an eye-piece. Its name is 
derived from the Latin word sextans, signifying the sixth of a circle. 

People are often puzzled to know why the sextant should be so called, 
when it can measure angles up to 129 degrees, or the third of a circle. But, as 
Lecky points out in his well-known "Wrinkles in Practical Navigation," if the 
possessor of a sextant will look at the arc, he will find out that by his eye alone, 



as a matter of fact, it consists only of the sixth part of a circle. The optical 
principle upon which the instrument is founded (that of double reflection) 
permits of half a degree of the arc being numbered and considered as a whole 
degree. Thus, in the sextant what is really only an arc of 60 degrees is 
divided into 120 equal parts, each of which does duty as a degree. 

The optical principle upon which the sextant is founded is thus ex- 
pressed in scientific language: "If a ray of light suffers two successive re- 
flections in the same plane by two plane mirrors, the angle between the first 
and last direction of the ray is twice the angle of the mirror." 

What the sextant does, expressed differently, is to solve the astronomical 
triangle, one point of which is the pole, the second the observed heavenly body, 
which is the sun, and the third the zenith, which is the point directly over 
the head of the observer. What the observer seeks to find out from his read- 
ings of the sextant is the sun's altitude. Once he gets that he can get all the 
other necessary data from the so-called "Nautical Almanac," a government 
publication, revised for each year, which is among the most treasured posses- 
sions of every navigator and explorer. 

By latitude is meant the angular distance between the horizon and the 
level of the observer. In making observations at sea the actual horizon — 
that is, where the sky and the water meet — is used. On shore, however, ob- 
servers make use of an artificial horizon. Ordinarily this consists of a cast- 
iron trough, containing pure mercury, which is protected from disturbances 
from the wind by an angular glass roof. A form of artificial horizon more 
suitable for the needs of explorers is that known as Capt. George's, since it 
is more compact and more easily carried. In place of mercury, molasses, crude 
oil and other substances may be used in the artificial horizon. 

What is known as the "meridian altitude," or the sun's position at noon, 
is the best for getting the latitude, hence it is that observations are usually 
taken when the chronometer of the explorer or navigator tells him that it is 
noon. At that time the error which an observer is likely to make in deter- 
mining the longitude is a matter of small importance. 

The two things that an observer must know in order to get his latitude 
are the altitude of the sun, which he gets by means of his sextant, and the decli- 
nation of the sun, which he gets from his Nautical Almanac. By declination 
of the sun is meant its angular distance north or south of the celestial equator 
— i. e., a circle reaching to the heavens which is in the same plane as the 
equator of the earth. 


The declination of the sun is tabulated in the Nautical Almanac for noon 
at Greenwich, England, for each day. It varies from day to day, so that, in 
order to know accurately the declination of the sun at the time of taking his 
observations, it is necessary for the observer to know how many hours before 
or after noon at Greenwich the observation is taken. This is ordinarily ex- 
pressed in terms of longitude east or west of Greenwich. 

But at the pole there is no longitude. In spite of this the chronometer is 
equally necessary at the pole, in order to ascertain from the almanac the de- 
clination of the sun. 

The best observer with a sextant and an artificial horizon, under ordinary 
conditions, would hesitate to trust his observations, to determine the sun's 
altitude, closer than a quarter of a nautical mile, or 15 seconds of an arc, a 
nautical mile being equivalent to a minute of longitude or a minute of longitude 
at the equator, or 6,086 feet, instead of the 5,280 feet making a statute mile. 
This hesitation on the observer's part is due to the fact that in making obser- 
vations there are three errors likely to be made. The first is that due to lack 
of ability on the part of the observer himself. The second is the "instrumental 
error" which can practically be eliminated by using the very highest grade 
obtainable of instruments. 

But the most serious error of all is that due to refraction. 


To give an idea to the outsider of what refraction is, no better example can 
be adduced than the appearance of an oar in the water. Everybody will recall 
that it looks as if it were bent at the surface of the water. This is due to 
refraction. In technical language it is expressed thus : "A ray of light is bent 
from a straight line as it passes from one medium to another or in passing 
through a medium of varying density." 

Thus is explained what happens in observing the sun, for the air, from a 
maximum density at the surface of the earth, becomes thinner and thinner as 
it gets higher above that surface, so that a ray of light from the sun, when it 
strikes the earth's atmosphere, bends and keeps bending more and more as 
it travels toward the earth. Tables have been prepared which give the amount 
in degrees, minutes and seconds of this refraction. It changes as the barome- 
ter and thermometer change and the tabulated refraction is mean or average 
of a large number of observations to determine what the refraction Is. 


The pole, by the way, is the very best point at which to take observations, 
for the reason that there the error due to refraction is likely to be less than 
at any other point on earth. 


A writer named Walter Leon Sawyer has quite interesting facts about the 
cost of polar expeditions. He says : 

The "promoter," of the vulgar sort, he of the sordid imagination, who 
demands from every outlay a return of profit, has not had much to do with 
modern expeditions to the Arctic, though in earlier times his trail was over 
them all. Then, while the northwest passage to India, not the North Pole, 
was the goal of ambition, the discovery of such a route seeming to insure 
commercial supremacy, kings turned speculators and hard-headed merchants 
made ventures that must have figured oddly in matter-of-fact account books, 
Walter Leon Sawyer says in the Boston Transcript. 

Yet the first polar expedition, after the interregnum that followed Norse 
colonization of Iceland and discovery of Greenland, was discreetly accounted 
for by Henry VIII, who ordered it. "For discoverie even to the North Pole, 
two faire ships well manned and victualled, having in them divers cunning 
men to seek strange regions," set out in 1527; but one was lost north of New- 
foundland, and the other, having discovered nothing went home. 

Sebastian Cabot, a little later, revived interest in Arctic enterprise and 
prom.pted the sending of Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor "for 
the search and discovery of the northern parts of the world, to open a way 
and passage to our men, for travel to new and unknown kingdoms." Wil- 
loughby died, Chancellor found Archangel and opened a trade with Russia. 
And, following Chancellor's success Elizabeth instigated the Muscovy com- 
pany in 1575 to license vSir Martin Frobisher, who sought the northwest 
passage, found some mica schist which he took for gold, and wasted two sub- 
sequent voyages in gathering more. In 1580, the Company of Merchant 
Adventurers fitted out an expedition of two ships, one of which was lost ; in 
1594 and again in 1^96 Willem Barentz of Holland made two attempts at 
the northwest passage, the latter being financed by the city of Amsterdam ; and 
in the later years of the sixteenth century John Davys and Thomas James, 
Englishmen both, south the north, James being backed by the government. 
It was at one time "an association of English gentlemen" and at another time 
the Dutch East India Company that assisted Henry Hudson's ill-fated en- 


deavors. It was King Christian IV of Denmark who sent out Jens Munk and 
others, Danes and Englishmen, to rediscover the lost colonies of Greenland and 
restore Denmark's supremacy in the Arctic. 

But all these expeditions, whether financed by kings or commoners, were 
undertaken with commercial ends in view. Some glimmering of scientific 
purposes seems, however, to have lighted the voyage of the second Baron Mul- 
grave, who was ordered north by the British government in 1773; and thence- 
forward the spark of enthusiasm continued to brighten to a steady flame. 
Great Britain commanded or assisted or rewarded the efforts of Cook and 
Parry and Franklin and Ross, from 1776 to 1848. Then, as the mystery of 
Sir John Franklin's fate wrought on the minds of men lending a poignant in- 
terest to the problem of the Arctic, a new type of "promoter" appeared in the 
field — the rich man who had no selfish ends to serve. The last word of 
Franklin's expedition was received in 1.845. Between 1847 and 1857 thirty- 
nine expeditions of relief and discovery were sent out, at an aggregate cost 
approximating $2,000,000; and, though the British government was gener- 
ously active, while our own was by no means inert, a large part of the sum 
was provided by private individuals. 

In this connection Americans naturally think first of Henry Grinnell, a 
native of New Bedford. In 1850 he fitted out the DeHaven search for Frank- 
lin; in 1853, together with George Peabody, bore the cost of the expedition 
commanded by Kane, who had accompanied DeHaven; in i860, assisted the ex- 
pedition organized by Kane's surgeon. Dr. I. I. Hayes; and in i860, 1864 and 
1 87 1 helped to meet the expense of Hall's voyages. It is true that that was 
comparatively a day of small things; but the $100,000 that Mr. Grinnell de- 
voted to Arctic exploration represented then a large fortune; and it led Dr. 
Kane to write the book that inspired Peary, and enabled Hall to reach the 
highest north attained in his day — and all this signifies that "Grinnell Land" 
preserves a name which is rightfully honored. 

The northwestern passage, such as It Is, was discovered by Sir Robert Mc- 
Clure or by Sir John Franklin — the reader may take his choice of authorities — 
in the early '50s. The magnetic pole, though "rediscovered" by Amundsen in 
1905, had been located by Sir James Clark Ross in 1831. The fate of the 
Franklin expedition had been definitely determined by Capt. McClIntock and 
Capt. Hall. Lacking the Incentive that these problems had provided, there 
might have been some cessation of activity in the Arctic field, had not James 
Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald resolved in 1879 to conquer the 


pole as with the aid of Henry M. Stanley, he had just conquered Africa. Mr. 
Bennett was then under 40. Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, 
whom he chose, and whom the government commissioned, to command the 
Jeannette, was younger still; Commander DeLong had a sound theory, that 
of taking advantage of the polar drift, Mr. Bennett had money, both men had 
the enthusiasm of youth. Mr. Bennett devoted some $60,000 to the enter- 
prise. Could the Jeannette have survived the terrible ice pressure off the New 
Siberian islands — it will be remembered that she made her attack from the 
Pacific side — one sees no reason why it should not have succeeded. 

Previous to this modified co-operation with Mr. Bennett the United States 
government had shown no urgent interest in Arctic exploration, though, to 
be sure, it provided Capt. Hall with the Polaris for his third trip. But in 1881 
the project of establishing international observation stations appealed to "prac- 
tical" minds at Washington, and the attainment of the highest north by mem- 
bers of Commander Greely's party, in the following year, may have emplanted 
in the official bosom a feeling of willingness that this nation should continue 
to hold the record. Commander Peary has found no great difficulty in secur- 
ing leaves of absence. , For so much we have to be grateful. Meanwhile, in 
the last fifteen years, the Norwegian government has assisted with "real 
money" Nansen, gainer in his turn of the highest north, whose expedition in 
the Fram cost $120,000; the Italian government has speeded to a later highest 
north the D'Abruzzi expedition, which cost nearly $200,000; Canada, aided 
by England, has promoted Capt. Bernier's venture ; Sweden sent out Nathorst 
in 1899; Denmark gave official godspeed to Amdrup in the same year; and 
Russia authorized Admiral Makaroff to expend on his ice-crushing ship, the 
Ermack, all the money that he needed. 

William Ziegler of Brooklyn In 1901-2 financed the expedition led by 
Evelyn Briggs Baldwin and, when it failed, sent out in 1903 another expedi- 
tion led by Anthony Fiala. Mr. Ziegler was a hearty whole-souled, loud- 
voiced, sweet-tempered man who had made a fortune in baking powder. Like 
every other successful business men, he knew that it is needful to spend money 
in order to "get returns," and he appropriated $1,000,000 to take the pole 
by storm. To list the supplies that were carried on the three ships of the ex- 
pedition would remind the reader of a delicatessen store. 

But events move swiftly sometimes, and these expeditions seem already 
ancient. Let us come to the present. As to Dr. Cook's sponsor, John R. 
Bradley, a current story pictures "the best outfit ever carried by an expedition," 


while another shows the explorer starving when he stumbled upon a preceding 
explorer's cache. Friends of Bradley, however, estimate that his outlay on 
the Brooklyn man's account was in the neighborhood of $15,000. 

It is unfortunate for Dr. Cook that Commander Peary's adherents make 
so superior a showing. The chief contributor to the fund for his last voyage 
was Zenas Crane of Dalton. Toward the preceding voyage the late Morris K. 
Jesup of New York, president of the Museum of Natural History and in- 
heritor of many other honors as well deserved, gave $50,000. Moreover be- 
lieving in himself, Commander Peary "backed himself," and, on the authority 
of Maj. J. B. Pond, surpassed the record of any other American lecturer, speak- 
ing 168 times in ninety-six days, and thereby earning $13,000, which he de- 
voted to his own enterprise. 

Does the reader weary of large figures? It is granted that they have a 
repellant effect when they stand for sums that have to be given, and enthusi- 
asts who would like to pose or to think of themselves as angels of the Arctic 
may well regret that they did not live in earlier and simpler days. When Capt. 
Hall planned his first expedition, in i860, all the actual cash he received from 
admirers and well wishers — who were naturally shy until he proved himself — 
was $980. Henry Grinnell gave $343, Augustus H. Ward of New York gave 
$100 and there were^a few subscriptions of $50, among them one by Cyrus 
W. Field. Yet there were friendly souls besides who wished to aid. Capt. 
Hall gratefully printed a long list of such, which contributions "in kind" 
ranged from twenty-two pounds of hardware to a pound of tea. So, after all, 
it is easy to be an angel of the Arctic. One can conceive of circumstances in 
which the pound of tea would be worth more to a traveler in the polar region 
than twenty-two pounds of hardware — or money. 

Much interest must forever attach to the discovery of the compass, and 
especially now that the useless device has been instrumental in the discovery 
of the North Pole. For a period the honor of the invention was ascribed to 
Giola, a pilot, born at Pasitano, a small village situated near Amalfi, about the 
end of the thirteenth century. His claims, however, have been disputed. Much 
learning and labor have been bestowed upon the subject of the discovery. It 
has been maintained by one class that even the Phoenicians were the inventors ; 
by another that the Greeks and Romans had a knowledge of it. Such notions, 
however, have been completely refuted. One passage, nevertheless, of a 
remarkable character occurs in the works of Cardinal de Vitty, Bishop of 
Ptolemais, in Syria. He went to Palestine during the fourth crusade, about 


the year 1204; he returned afterward to Europe, and subsequently back to the 
holy land, where he wrote his work entitled "Historia Orientalis," as nearly 
as can be determined, between the years 12 15 and 1220. In chapter 91 of 
that work he has this singular passage : "The iron needle, after contact with 
the lodestone, constantly turns to the north star, which, as the axis of the firma- 
ment, remains immovable while the others revolve, and hence it is essentially 
necessary to those navigating on the ocean." 

These words are as explicit as they are extraordinary, they state a fact 
and announce a use. The thing, therefore, which essentially constitutes the 
compass must have been known long before the birth of Giola. In addition 
to this fact, there is another equally fatal to his claim as the original discov- 
erer. It is now settled beyond a doubt that the Chinese were acquainted with 
the compass long before the Europeans. It is certain that there are allusions to 
the magnetic needle in the traditionary period of Chinese history, about 2,600 
years before Christ, and a still more credible account of it is found in the reign 
of Chingwang of the Chow dynasty, before Christ, 11 14. All this 
however, may be granted without in the least impairing the just claims of Giola 
to the gratitude of mankind. The truth appears to be that the position of 
Giola in relation to the compass was precisely that of Watt in relation to the 
steam engine — the element existed; he augmented its utility. The compass 
used by marines in the Mediterranean during the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies was a very uncertain and unsatisfactory apparatus. It consisted only of 
a magnetic needle floating in a vase or basin by means of two straws on a bit 
of cork supporting it on the surface of the water. 

The compass used by the Arabians in the thirteenth century was an instru- 
ment of exactly the same description. Now the inconvenience and inefficiency 
of such an apparatus are obvious — the agitation of the ocean and the tossing 
of the vessel might render it useless in a moment. But Giola placed the mag- 
netized needle on a pivot, which permits it to turn to all sides with facility, 
afterward it was attached to a card, divided into 32 points, called rose de vents, 
and then the box containing it was suspended in such a manner that, how- 
ever the vessel might be tossed, it would always remain horizontal. 



As was to be expected, the Cook-Peary controversy entered into many 
phases. One of its most interesting angles was that concerning Harry Whit- 
ney, the young New Haven sportsman who met Cook after the latter's return. 

Dr. Cook early in the debate, named Whitney as having proof of the North 
Pole discovery in his possession. These proved later to consist of instruments 
— a sextant, compass, etc. — and articles of clothing. To the surprise of people 
everywhere, Whitney reported on reaching Labrador that Cook's property was 
not in his possession. 

'He sent this telegram home on his arrival at Labrador : 

"S. S. Strathcona, Indian Harbor, Labrador, via Marconi wireless. Cape 
Race, N. F., Sept. 25. — I know not the extent of the contents of the box left 
in my charge by Dr. Cook to be brought back. No vessel having arrived for 
me at Etah before the Roosevelt returned from the north, I started home on it. 
Commander Peary would not allow anything belonging to Dr. Cook to come 
aboard his ship. I was forced to leave the articles in a cache at Etah. 

"On Dr. Cook's arrival at Annotook in April, 1909, he told me he had dis- 
covered the North Pole, also showing me maps and requesting me to withhold 
information from Commander Peary, but permitting me to say that he had 
gone farther than Peary had gone on his last expedition. 


On arriving at St. Johns, N. F., Mr. Whitney made a more extended state- 
ment : He said Cook arrived at Annotook in April of this year and declared 
that he had reached the North Pole a year before. He pledged Whitney, how- 
ever, not to tell Commander Peary, who was to be informed only that Cook 
had gone farther north than Peary's previous record, 87 degrees 6 minutes. 
Continuing, Dr. Cook told Whitney that he had accomplished all he expected 
to, and more besides, and that he was through with the northern country. 
Whitney did not communicate the latter part of this statement to Commander 
Peary. Continuing, Mr. Whitney said that Dr. Cook had complained to 



him of Peary's taking over of his house and stores, but declared that he had 
suffered no unfairness. 

There were two houses on the Greenland shore, one at Annotook, holding 
Cook's stores, and another at Etah, holding Peary's stores. The three white 
men, Whitney, Murphy and Pritchard, Peary's steward, sometimes occupied 
one and sometimes the other of these houses. Murphy was in charge of both 
houses. He is not able to read or write. He had written instructions from 
Peary, which Whitney, at Peary's request read over to him from time to time. 
These instructions were stringent. They directed Murphy to use Cook's 
stores first and Peary's afterward. Murphy was told in them that he was 
to give Dr. Cook every help if he came along in a needy condition, and further- 
more the instructions implied that Murphy was to organize an expedition to 
search for Dr. Cook, but, according to Mir, Whitney, this part of the in- 
structions was worded very ambiguously, Mr. Whitney said that Cook had 
a copy of these instructions. Murphy treated Cook very civilly and Cook 
suffered no discourtesy. 

When Dr. Cook and his Eskimos arrived at the house they had no sledge ; 
being too tired to drag it over the rough ice, they left it twenty miles from 
Etah. The following day some other Eskimos went out, recovered the sledge 
and brought it in. On it were Dr, Cook's instruments, clothes and food. 

After passing two days at Annatook, where Cook first met Whitney, Cook 
started for Etah. Whitney accompanied him. Cook remained for three days 
at Etah, organizing for his trip south to Upernavik. The doctor had figured 
out rightly the date that he would likely get to Upernavik and when the Dundee 
whalers or the Danish store ships would reach there, and he argued that 
he had no time to lose. He planned originally to take two Eskimos and 
two sledges, but one Eskimo fell sick and this made it necessary for him to cut 
down the luggage he could take with him south. He consequently asked Whit- 
ney to take charge of the instruments with which he had made his observa- 
tions at the pole. 

There were three cases, one containing a sextant, another an artificial hori- 
zon, and the third an instrument which Mr. Whitney said he could not recall. 
It hight have been a chronometer. Cook left no written records with Whit- 
ney that Whitney was aware of. There may have been some records, how- 
ever, in the other boxes in which Cook packed his clothes and his personal 
effects, but Cook did not tell Whitney especially that he was leaving any 
written records with him. Mr. Whitney was very positive about this. 


After Cook departed for the south Whitney resumed his hunting. He took 
ovv^r Cook's two Eskimos to show him the country where Cook had shot 
musk oxen. This the two men did, and Whitney bagged all the oxen he 
could carry out in his sledges. He said he found these two Eskimos to be sat- 
isfactory in subordinate capacities, but he knows nothing of their value in a 
dash across the polar sea. 

Continuing Mr. Whitney said that in August when Peary on board the 
Roosevelt reached Etah from the north after his winter's work there, he 
(Whitney) informed him of Dr. Cook's arrival in April adding that Cook had 
told him (Whitney), to tell Peary that Cook had gone beyond Peary's farthest 
north. Peary made no comment on this, and Whitney said he was not asked 
any other questions by Peary. But the next day Cook's Eskimos came to 
Whitney and asked him what Peary's men were trying to get them to say. 
Peary's men had shown the Eskimos papers and maps, but the Eskimos de- 
clared that they did not understand these papers. So far as Mr. Whitney is 
aware, Cook's Eskimos never admitted that while with the doctor they had 
only progressed two "sleeps" from land. 

When Commander Peary heard of Whitney's statement he said: 

"At Etah, on August 17 or 18, after the arrival of the Roosevelt, and after 
I invited Whitney to come on board the Roosevelt with all his belongings and 
trophies, I having extended the invitation in view of the uncertainty of the 
movements of his own ship, which he had expected to arrive about the first 
of August and which had not yet appeared, Whitney told me he had some 
foxskins — six, I think — and some narwhal horns which Cook had sent back 
after leaving Etah for Danish Greenland, with the request that Whitney take 
them home with him on Whitney's ship. Whitney also told me that Cook had 
given him (Whitney) the sledge with which Cook had returned to Etah in 

"I then told Whitney that I did not care to have anything belonging to 
Cook on board the Roosevelt, and that all I wanted from Whitney was that 
he would give me his word that he would not bring on board the Roosevelt 
anything belonging to Cook, which promise he instantly gave me. Later while 
engaged in packing up and bringing to the ship his things Whitney came and 
told me he also had some clothes and instruments, belonging to Cook. 

"I told Whitney that these, as well as the foxskins and narwhal horns, he 
could put in a cache at Etah or leave in charge of Eskimos for Cook, which- 
ever he though best. Just before the Roosevelt left Etah he told me that 


he personally had seen that these things had been left in a cache and had told 
the Eskimos that they had been left there for Cook. 

"I also told the Eskimos that they were to leave the cache undisturbed 
and that they were not to break up Cook's sledge. Later I heard the report 
that the instruments were the ones that Cook had used during his sledge 
journey, but I gave the report no credence, as I could not conceive of a man 
leaving instruments of that kind out of his own sight or in the hands of 
a stranger. 

"Still later, after leaving Eskimo land entirely, and during the voyage 
home, I heard a report that Cook also had left with Whitney a flag he had 
carried with him on his sledge journey. No one seemed to know anything 
definite about this, and I paid no attention to the report for the same reason 
as before. After getting in contact with the world I learned that Cook was 
reported to have said that he left records of his sledge journey for Whitney to 
bring home. I never had heard anything of the kind and discredited this re- 
port as well. 

"While knowing nothing of the matter, I do not believe Cook left either 
his records or his instruments or flags with Whitney. I cannot conceive it 
possible for a man under those circumstances to have left such priceless things 
out of his sight for an instant. As he went across Melville bay to Danish 
Greenland with three or four sledges and teams of dogs, his instruments, his 
records, and his flags scarcely would have added a featherweight to his burden. 


Peary had more to say, too. He pointed out that Dr. Cook alleged he in 
one sledging season had covered twenty-five degrees, or 1,700 miles, of Arctic 
ice, when no previous explorer, notwithstanding vastly better equipment, ever 
had covered more than eleven degrees of that most difficult going on the 

"It is well known," said Peary, scoring what his bitte>rest enemy must 
regard as a staggering blow to Cook's case, "what my equipment was when I 
started north from Cape Columbia. The world has read of my equipment and 
the world knows what my experience was in the Arctic field. Yet I did not 
make quite fourteen degrees in my last and only successful dash to the pole." 

Peary pointed out with a smile that showed every one of his gleaming 
teeth and ruffled the bristles of his great sandy mustache that Dr. Cook had 
taken one sledge on his 1,700 mile journey over Arctic ice. This was the 
sledge that Cook left behind him at Etah. 


"I examined that sledge," said the commander. "Yes, I looked over it 
carefully. So did Hensen. So did McMillan. They know sledges, I guess, 
and so do I. Was it anything Hke my Morris K. Jessup sledge? (Peary's 
shoulders shook, though at the same time he gritted his teeth). I should say 
it was not anything like the Morris K. Jessup sledge. 

"That sledge of Cook's was built along lines of no sledge I ever saw 
before. Why, I don't believe that sledge would last one day over Arctic ice 
with a standard load of 500 or 600 pounds." 

Getting down to the Whitney phase in his controversy with Cook Peary 
asked a few questions. 

"I would like to know," he said, "why, if Harry Whitney knew the value 
of these instruments and proofs that Cook intrusted to his custody-— to the 
custody of a man practically a stranger — he did not sail back to Etah on the 
Jeanie for these things? Why did he come away from Smith's sound and 
leave those treasures to the mercy of another Arctic winter ? 

"Let me point out," ran on Peary, "where the Jeanie was when I last saw 
Mr. Whitney. I picked up Harry Whitney at Etah on Aug. 17 and we ran 
down the sound about 100 miles to Saunder's island. Clear water and fair 
winds ; fine going. 

"At Saunder's island the Jeanie came along. We went into North Star 
bay so that the Jeanie could transfer the coal it had for me to the Roosevelt. 
Then we ran out into open water again. Whitney was aboard the Jeanie. He 
was one day's sail from Etah. He had clear, free water along the eastern 
shore of the sound. 

"Did Whitney run back to Etah for those immensely valuable records and 
instruments of Dr. Cook ? He did not. He sailed directly west, where the ice 
was packed against the western shore. He wanted a bear. He cared more 
about a bear than he did about Cook's property. He would not do without 
two days of his hunting to go back for what he says now he knew was Cook's 
proof of the discovery of the pole." 

Then, to add a touch of the dramatic, Peary related that whereas Dr. Cook 
had left his polar flag, his instruments, and records to the mercy of a stranger 
at Etah, he (Peary, had sewn his flag into his undershirt, sewn his records into 
his clothing, and taken every precaution humanly possible to guard his instru- 
ments against destruction. 

"Why," cried Peary, with a savage sneer, "I would not have intrusted 
those things to my father, mother, or brother, to any human being. They 


were sewn to me ; fastened to me ; and would have gone to the bottom of the 
Arctic with me before I would have turned them over to a soul." 

Aside from his scanty equiptment, his lack of experience, the condition 
of his sledge when I saw it at Etah," continued Peary, "aside from the clumsy 
and poorly made snowshoes that afterwards were alleged to have traveled 
over 1,700 miles of Arctic ice; aside from the fact that no other explorer ever 
had negotiated more than eleven degrees, I have further information from 
all the Eskimos to back me up in my assumption that Cook has not gone over 
the sea ice to the pole." 

"What is your strongest line of proof that Dr. Cook was not at the North 

"One of my main points will be the strongest that has been advanced in 
Arctic exploration ever since the first great expedition was sent there — that 
is, the recognized custom of an explorer, when reaching a point attained by 
an explorer previously, to make a copy of the records in the cairn there, put it 
in place of the original, and bring the original back with him. Dr. Cook did 
not do this. 

"At Cape Thomas Hubbard I left a record in 1906. Dr. Cook declares 
after he left Annotok he went to Cape Thomas Hubbard with his large party 
of Eskimos. Although he had men enough to make a thorough search he did 
not do so. He passed the cape twice to the pole as he outlines it, but neither 
time did he say that he had looked for the cairn. My record is still there. If 
he can show that record I will accept it as positive proof that he was at Cape 
Thomas Hubbard. 

"It was at Indian Harbor that I .received a message saying that Cook 
was at Copenhagen, and that he was making the claim he had reached the pole. 

"It was then that I sent my message saying that I knew Cook had not gone 
far from land. The two Eskimos who had been his company had assured me 
of this, and their statements had been corroborated by other Eskimos. I had 
seen every one of every tribe all the way from Cape Columbia to Cape York. 
I had visited every settlement in Eskimo land, and had complete corrobora- 
tive evidence from all as to what the first two had said." 

Shortly after this talk, the Peary charges against Cook were lined up as a 
sort of formal indictment, the "counts" in which ran as follows : 

"i. Mr. Peary and Matt Henson, either individually or together, talked 
with every member of the Smith Sound tribe of Eskimos and obtained testi- 
mony that corroborates that of E-tuck-a-shoe and A-pel-lah, the Eskimos who 
accompanied Dr. Cook, that Dr. Cook had not been out of sight of land. 


"2. In violation of a custom of Arctic exploration Dr. Cook has not 
brought back records left in cairns at points he asserts he had reached, notably 
the one left at Cape Thomas Hubbard in 1906 by Mr. Peary. 

"3. Dr. Cook's story that he traveled from Annotook to the pole and then 
back to Jones' Sound, a distance of more than twenty-five and one-half degrees, 
or about 1,700 miles, in one sledging season is impossible. He points out that 
this is more than twice the best previous record of eleven degrees, and Mr. 
Peary's best record this year of fourteen degrees. 

"4. Cook's general equipment was such that it would be a physical impos- 
sibility to have accomplished the feat. 

"5. Dr. Cook maintains he carried a glass mercurial horizon on his trip 
of 1,700 miles, whereas Mr. Peary used a cast-iron horizon, so that it would 
not only be saved from being broken but could be heated if the mercury froze. 
This is necessary sometimes, Mr. Peary contends, as mercury freezes at minus 
35. Cook reports finding it as cold as minus y^i degrees. 

"6. Professor Marvin brought back from 86.38 duplicate records of Mr. 
Peary's march and of his own to prove absolutely that Mr. Peary reached 
that latitude. 

"7. Captain Bartlett brought back from 87.48 duplicate records of Mr. 
Peary's march and of his own to prove absolutely that Mr. Peary reached 
that latitude. 

"8. The sledge of Dr. Cook's was of such a type, not built on the lines of 
any Arctic explorer's sledge, that it could not possibly have lasted for a 
march of a day with a standard load of 500 or 600 pounds. 

"9. Dr. Cook's snowshoes were of an impracticable type for use in the 
Arctic and were not the kind that would 'conduce to speed. 

"10 Dr. Cook's leaving of his records at Etah was a scheme on his part 
by which he could claim they were lost or destroyed and so could escape being 
forced to produce them to substantiate his claims. 


"11. No man who had carried the American flag to the pole would leave 
such a slight and easily transported article in charge of a perfect stranger. 

"12. Dr. Cook did have fresh dog teams from Etah and could have car- 
ried his burdens to Upernavik. 

"13. When Harry Whitney went on board the Jeanie, he did not take 


time to go back to Etah and get the articles he must have known were valu- 
able to Dr. Cook. 

"14. If Dr. Cook did leave such priceless articles at the Eskimo village, 
Mr. Whitney would have been anxious to have rushed them to the United 

Dr. Cook, while this broadside was being issued, was delivering the first 
of his lectures. After it he replied to some of the Peary charges, saying: 

"The only sledge Commander Peary saw was half a one, which I had given 
to Mr. Whitney as a souvenir. The remainder of it had been used to make 
bows and arrows. 

"As to my reasons for leaving my instruments with Mr. Whitney, he had 
told me that the Eric was coming to Etah and would take him over to the 
American side to hunt big game and would come back later to Annotook. The 
distance from Annotook to Upernavik by the route which I was compelled to 
follow was nearly 700 miles. In that journey I had to travel over high land 
in two places, with glaciers and difficult places. The ice was extremely rough 
and there was a good deal of water to be expected that would have subjected 
the instruments to a risk which was entirely unnecessary, when Mr. Whitney 
awaited a ship to go to Etah for him upon which he expected to return direct 
to America. 

"By going to Upernavik I hoped to get back by the end of July or the 
middle of August, while Mr. Whitney did not expect to get back before 

"As to the charge that I had not found traces of Commander Peary's 
records at Cape Thomas Hubbard : The point which Commander Peary would 
call Cape Thomas Hubbard is a round promontory, and it would be difficult td 
find any distinct point which could be positively recognized as Cape Thomas 
Hubbard. From Commander Peary's map I am absolutely unable to locate 
Cape Thomas Hubbard. We did not search for any cairn where records might 
be deposited. In fact, I did not know that Commander Peary had left any 
record there. 



Many interesting facts were gleaned by the Shackleton expedition to the 
Antarctic. The South Pole is situated on an Antarctic continent, somewhat 
larger than Australia, with an area of 4,000,000 square miles. True, it is al- 
most entirely covered with ice, but the surface of the ice in most parts appears 
to be comparatively smooth, so that sledges can make good going over it. 

The Pole is on a tableland about 10,000 feet in height. The glaciers of the 
Antarctic regions are of stupendous size, many of them incomparably larger 
than the largest Arctic glaciers. 

The Great Ice Barrier is an Antarctic glacier 700 miles wide and hundreds 
of miles broad in places. At its northern edge it presents a continuous wall of 
ice, in some places 300 feet in height and seldom less than 100 feet. It ex- 
tends across Ross Sea from King Edward VII's Land to McMurdo Strait, 
and is at least the size of France in area. The breaking off of portions of the 
northern edge in summer produces the greatest crop of icebergs in the world. 

In no other part of the world do frost and fire hold such divided sway. 
On the mainland of Antarctica there are numerous volcanoes, at least one of 
which, Mount Erebus, is active. One of the strangest things about Antarctica 
is that many of its mountains are built partly of snow — that is to say, with 
layers of snow between strata of lava and ashes. The ashes thrown out by the 
volcanoes fall cold, and form a sort of cake which is an excellent non-conductor 
of heat. Then molten lava flows over the crust of ashes without melting the 
snow beneath, and in this way glaciers are actually sealed up under layers of 

Mount Erebus lies within sight of Cape Royds, now the favorite ship head- 
quarters of Antarctic explorers. It was discovered by Sir James Clark Ross, 
who led a famous expedition to the Antarctic regions in 1843. The ascent of 
Mount Erebus to its summit was regarded as almost impossible, but this was 
one of the first feats accomplished by Shackleton's expedition. 

Six men made the ascent. On the third day, at an altitude of 8,700 feet, 
they were caught in a blizzard so terrific that it blew the gloves off one of the 



party, Sir Philip Brocklehurst. The next day they camped on the rim of an 
old crater and explored its floor. Their attention was attracted to some curi- 
ous mounds dotted over the snow plain. They found that they were fuma- 
roles, or smoke holes, which in ordinary climates may be detected by the thin 
cloud of steam above them. The fumaroles of Erebus have their steam 
converted into ice as soon as it reaches the surface of the snow plain, and the 
result has been the creation of the remarkably shaped mounds. The ice was 
colored yellow on account of the sulphur. 

On the sixth day they reached the edge of the active crater and found 
themselves on the lip of a vast abyss filled with a rising cloud of steam. 

"After a continuous loud, hissing sound," writes Lieutenant Shackleton, 
"lasting for some minutes, there would come from below a big dull boom, 
and immediately great globular masses of steam would rush upward to swell 
the volume of the cloud which swayed over the crater. The air was filled with 
the fumes of burning sulphur. Presently a light breeze fanned away the steam 
cloud and at once the crater stood revealed in all its vast extent and depth. 
It was between 800 and 900 feet deep with a maximum width of half a mile, 
and at the bottom could be seen three well-like openings from which the steam 
proceeded. On the wall of the crater opposite to the party beds of dark pumice 
alternated with white patches of snow, and in one place the presence of scores 
of steam jets suggested that the snow was lying on hot rock." 

The descent was rapid, for the party dropped down 5,000 feet in four 
hours by sliding down the long ice slopes. 

The explorers ascertained the height of the mountain to be 13,350 feet. 

It is probable that the South Pole itself is buried beneath as much as 5,000 
vertical feet of everlasting ice. For this reason, on account of the altitude 
above the sea, its neighborhood may be expected to be colder than that of the 
North Pole. Then again, because there is no water to render the climate 
milder, it may be supposed that the temperature at the southern end of the 
earth's axis is lower than at the northern end. 

It is deemed not at all impossible that somewhere in the neighborhood of the 
South Pole there may be a comparatively warm patch — a sort of oasis In the 
midst of the icy desert, like Whale Sound in the far north. In such an oasis, 
if it exists, may be found strange forms of life, of which we know nothing. 
There might even be people there — human beings unlike any we are ac- 
quainted with, who, for uncounted centuries, have been shut away from com- 
munication with the rest of the world. 


Lieutenant Shackleton, Captain Scott and others were puzzled by the Occur- 
rence of a wind blowing from the South Pole considerably warmer than the 
previous temperature for this point. Captain Scott writes : 

"The warm snow, bearing southerly winds, which we experienced, have 
not yet been explained. Even in the depth of winter this wind had a tempera- 
ture of ten to fifteen degrees." 

This alone suggests that there may be Comparatively warm valleys or 
regions somewhere in the Antarctic continent. 

It is a most extraordinary fact that vast as is the accumulation of ice in the 
Antarctic continent, it is less than it used to be, and is gradually diminishing. 
Lieutenant Shackleton found traces of glaciers on Mount Erebus i,ooo feet 
above the sea level. As the adjacent sea is i,8oo feet deep, the ice sheet at one 
time must have been 2,800 feet thick. 

Most of the glaciers in Antarctica are dying, that is to say, decreasing in 
size and not flowing. Strange to say, meteorologists argue that the diminu- 
tion of ice indicates that the climate was formerly milder than now. Ice and 
snow only accumulate where there is occasional warmth with moisture and va- 
riations of temperature. A continuously dry cold does not favor the accumu- 
lation of ice and snow. 

Geological conditions indicate that Antarctica was once linked by land to 
South America and Australia and that it then possessed vegetation and abun- 
dant human and animal life. 

Little is known of the interior of Antarctica. Shackleton has made a dash 
into it so rapid that he had no time for careful research, while other explorers 
have merely scratched the edges of the land. No fossils have been brought 
back and very few geological specimens of any value. These are points to 
which the next explorers will devote their attention. 

Nunataks are a curious feature of the Antarctic landscape. They are sharp, 
black rocks which stick up out of the snow and are very prominent in Summer, 
Sastrugus is the name given to curious hillocks of snow that also form in Sum- 

It was at Cape Adare, where there is a break in the environing ice cliffs, 
that Ross, in 1842, with his two little sailing ships, the Erebus and the Terror, 
made his way as far to the south as latitude 78 degrees 10 minutes. 

This place is remarkable because the temperature at the base of the high 
cliffs is unusually warm — sometimes up to 50 degrees in summer — and much 
curious Antarctic vegetation is found there. 


Although a great continent exists at the South Pole, there are no land mam- 
mals, properly so-called. There are no South Polar bears, there are no Ant- 
arctic foxes, there are no large mammals of any kind save whales, which live 
entirely in the water, and seals, which spend more than half their time there. 

To make up for these deficiencies the seals are the largest found anywhere, 
and the birds are most extraordinary. All the animals — whales, seals, birds 
and fish — are very different from those found in the Arctic circle or other parts 
of the world. 

The Antarctic continent has a vegetation that consists almost entirely of 
moss and lichen and the land animal life, properly so-called, seems to be limited 
to a primitive form of wingless insect. The birds live to some extent on land, 
making their nests in the moraines and rocky cliffs of the shores, but they find 
their food entirely in the ocean. 

Seals and whales are extremely abundant in Antarctic waters. Seven dif- 
ferent species of whales and dolphins have been found in Ross Sea, a great 
body of water running into the Antarctic continent. In this sea five different 
kinds of seals were found and twelve different species of bird. 

The most remarkable whales of the Antarctic seas are the terrible killers or 
Orca whales, which scour the seas and the pack-ice in hundreds to the terror of 
seals and penguins. The killer whale is one of the most ferocious animals in 
existence and is far more savage and destructive than tiger or shark. Naturally 
the few men who reach the Antarctic circle rarely indulge in ocean bathing 
there, but if they did they would run a terrible danger from the killer whales. 

The killer is a powerful piebald whale some twenty feet in length. It hunts 
in large packs of a score or many score. No sooner does the ice break up than 
the killers appear in the newly formed leads of water, and the penguins show 
that they appreciate the fact by their unwillingness to leave the melting ice floes. 

From the middle of September to the end of March these whales swarm in 
McMurdo Strait, and the scars they leave on the seals, more particularly on 
the crab eating seal of the pack ice, afford abundant testimony to their vicious 
habits. Not one in five of the pack ice seals is free from the marks of the 
killer's teeth, and even the sea leopard, which is the most powerful seal of the 
Antarctic Ocean, has been found with fearful lacerations. Only the Weddell 
seal is more or less secure because it avoids the open sea. 

Beak whales are also seen in schools from time to time, and Lieutenant 
Shackleton saw a whole school of ten "breeching" in McMurdo's Strait. 
Every now and then one would leap clean out of the water and fall back with a 
resounding smash. 


The most remarkable animals of the Antarctic region are the seals. There 
are five Antarctic seals, the crabeating- or white seal, the Ross seal, the Wed- 
dell seal, the sea leopard and the sea elephant. Of these the first three are 
found only within the Antarctic Circle, while the others wander considerable 
distances away. Seals do not usually travel long distances by sea, but the sea 
elephant seems to be an exception, as it is found from the Antarctic Circle to 
the coast of South America. The sea elephant must be an enormous creature. 
Only one specimen has been found in recent polar expeditions, and he was a 
young male eleven feet in length, with a girth of no less than eight feet under 
the fore flippers. 

The sea leopard is smaller than the sea elephant, but much more ferocious. 
It runs to twelve feet in length and has a girth beneath the flippers of six feet. 
Its head is large in proportion to its body, and it has a terrible array of sharp 
teeth. It is very long and snake-like, and moves like lightning through the 
water, where its diet includes not only fish and emperor penguins, but some- 
times other seals. It has ten three-pronged canine teeth, made for tearing flesh 
to pieces. The sea leopard has only one enemy to fear in the Antarctic seas, 
and that is the killer whale. 

The crabeater seal lives entirely upon a shrimp-like crustacean, which it col- 
lects in large numbers in mud and gravel by groping along the bottom of shal- 
low seas. 

The Ross seal has the astonishing power of withdrawing its head within 
the blubber-laden skin of the neck till its face is almost lost. The teeth of these 
seals are extremely interesting to naturalists, for the after canine teeth are in 
the process of disappearing, showing that the conditions of life in the Antarctic 
regions have greatly changed since earlier ages. The front teeth also have 
been developed into curved hooks for dealing with such slippery prey as jelly 
fish and squids, which apparently form their food. 

Among the many Antarctic birds is the giant petrel, which lives on carrion 
refuse about the penguin rookeries. It is often to be seen squatted in the ice- 
floes, gorged by a full meal of blubber from a dead seal, and finding itself pur- 
sued it will deliberately disgorge before it attempts to fly, knowing from ex- 
perience that even a lengthy run will not enable it to rise unless it empties ita 
stomach first. 

The penguins, huge birds with tiny wings useless for flying purposes, are 
peculiar to the Antarctic regions. They always stand upright, and with great 
white bodies and black heads, they look like very fat colored men wearing white 


waistcoats. There are two species of them in the Antarctic circle — the Adelie 
penguins and the Emperor penguins. 

The penguins are declared to be the most amusing creatures in existence. 
When annoyed by an explorer the cock bird ranges up and down in front of his 
wife, his eyes flashing anger, and his feathers erect in a ruffle round his head. 
He stands there for a minute or two breathing out threats and then putting his 
head down dashes for the man and rains blows upon him with his flippers. 
When making love he waves his flippers to and fro and gazes heavenward, as 
if he were reciting the most exquisite poetry. 

The greatest rookeries of the Emperor penguins are on Ross Island. This 
bird stands four feet high and weighs from eighty to ninety pounds. It hatches 
its eggs in absolute darkness in August, during the coldest month of the Ant- 
arctic year, when the temperature often falls to 68 degrees below zero. The 
Emperor penguin carries its single egg, and later its chick in a place between 
its right foot and its abdomen. 

To return to the Arctic region, many remarkable facts have lately been 
learned, and it is said that the Eskimo, though gradually becoming civilized, 
does not welcome the white man's coming. Beside his igloo he sits and listens 
to the tribal rumors of the coming events. He hears the weird, garbled tale of 
how a "civilized man," a "kabhena," has reached the north pole. He hears that 
other white men will come after him. And he sits and grieves for his people; 
for the advance of the white man means to him only what it has meant to all 
the primitive people who thus have been "discovered" — extermination. 

"Civilization of your kind we do not want," says the Eskimo to the ex- 
plorer or missionary. "It is good, perhaps, for you and for your countries. It 
is not good here in the north. We cannot live under it. As we live now so 
must we live if we are to exist. It is our life ; and life is good here among these 
ice cliffs when it is lived in our own way. We are content. So have our fore- 
fathers lived from time immemorial. And so will we live as long as we remain 
on earth. Force us to live as you live, make us accept your civilization, and 
we perish. We have seen it. We know what it does to us. It kills the Es- 
kimo. Leave us to ojr ways, leave us to our country, or the Eskimo will be 
wiped off the face of the earth." 

Such is the Eskimo's reception of the great news. It Is something like a 
shock to our self-satisfaction and opinion that our civilization is best for all 
people, whether they like it or not. How can those poor people up there in the 
frozen north spurn the benefits that civilization holds forth to them ? How can 


they fail to realize that civilization will make their harsh life easier, more 
pleasant, more happy ? The questions come naturally at the idea. It seems 
preposterous. But when one comes to examine the mode of living of the winter 
bound Eskimo, along with the conditions under which he is forced to exist, it 
seems not so astonishing that the Eskimos should say: "We were a happy 
people until the explorers came. The explorers brought their civilization, and 
that is not well." 

Living in a land so barren and harsh that nowhere else on earth is its du- 
plicate to be found inhabited, the Eskimo through centuries of struggle has 
adopted the only mode of living that makes his existence possible. The land 
which other people despise, the conditions under which no other people could 
live, he has learned to love. They are his world, and without them he could 
not live. 

Resources such as the world looks upon as necessary to the maintenance of 
life the country has none. It is a barren of never changing ice and snow. 
Stones, pieces of driftwood, reindeer, birds, dogs, fishes, and, most of all, seals 
— these are the things that are given the Eskimo to live on. The stones, sticks, 
and bones furnish him with weapons. The weapons furnish him with meat. 
For his house there is the stone, the ice, and snow, nothing more. For six 
months of the year his world is in darkness. Yet he lives and is happy until the 
explorers come. 

As told to some extent earlier In this chapter, the winter house of the Es- 
kimo — the igloo — is perhaps the most striking illustration of how bitter is the 
fight to maintain life in the killing cold of the arctic circle. It is built of ice 
and snow mainly, though in some cases stones and blocks of frozen earth are 
used, and its floor is sunk far below the level of the earth or ice upon which it 
is erected. A narrow passage dug in the earth, lower than the floor, serves as 
the only means of entrance and exit, and the Eskimo goes into his house on his 
hands and knees. 

Along one wall is the "sleeping bench," about six feet wide, which serves 
for a bed for the entire family. In the center of the room is the lamp, which 
often serves as a stove as well. This is the sum total of the Eskimo's household 

In order to economize the life saving heat several families dwell together in 
one hut. In the winter house so excessive is the heat that the thick fur gar- 
ments of outdoor use are discarded upon entrance. Among some tribes men, 
women, and children dwell together in a complete state of nudity, in others a 



small loin cloth is used for indoor wear. Night and day the stone lamps jQUed 
with train oil burn in the huts. The Eskimo is superstitious of all things. The 
long arctic night has driven the fear of darkness into his soul, and he will not 
even sleep without a light burning before his eyes. 

The lamps are so constructed as to burn brightly all night. When they 
begin to grow dim the Eskimo woman knows that it is morning and time to get 
up. Cheerless as such a home may seem, it is declared to be quite the opposite. 
The woman who wakes first in the morning calls out to her neighbor a chal- 



lenge for a race in dressing and going out after the morning meal of fish, which 
is cached in the ice outside. The challenge is accepted. The women dress and 
rush out laughing, break off great armfuls of the frozen provender and come 
back laughing to their still sleeping companions. The fish are thrown on the 
floor until they have thawed from hard as stone to a mere frozen condition. 
Then the two women who are dressed pass the food around to the others, and 
soon the whole houseful are gnawing away at their fish breakfast. 

It doesn't sound appetizing, but even the explorers who have wintered on 
this food declare that there are worse things to eat in the morning than a frozen 
fish — after you get used to it. 

"The eating is not the trouble," says the returned adventurers, "it is the 
getting of it that gives the Eskimo a problem." 

"The getting of it," the procuring of food in the waste of snow and frozen 
waters, is more of a battle for the native than the problem of housing himself 
against the wintry blasts. Hunting is his one means of living, whether it be 
hunting reindeer, ptarmigan, seal, or fish. As a consequence the hunter is the 
"great man" in the economy of Eskimo life, and the importance of a man is 
reckoned by his ability to kill seals. The best hunter in a village is the king. 
He has his pick of the women, and he exercises it with a freedom rather start- 
ling to conventional ideas of matrimony. 

"Without hunters a tribe cannot exist," is the Eskimo's point of view, and 
the tribes that have perished are the ones in which there were no strong, able 
men to kill game for food. 

Armed with the most primitive of weapons, a piece of sharpened stone fitted 
in a stick of wood to make a lance, the Eskimo hunts and slays the animals ol 
his country, from the swift flying ptarmigan to the ferocious polar bear. The 
sea is where he must look for most of his subsistence, for the sea holds the seal, 
and without the seal the Eskimo could not live. The seal furnishes him food 
and clothing ; its fat provides the oil which lights his lamps and cooks his food, 
and its bones and skins make the boat in which the tireless native paddles over 
the stormy seas in search of his prey. 

The Eskimo boat, the "kaiak," is his greatest invention, and the only small 
paddle boat so constructed that it can live in the roughest sea. It is shaped 
like a canoe, pointed at both ends, its decks covered with the exception of the 
hole in which the hunter sits, which is large enough only to admit his body. 
With his paddle in his hands, his harpoon slung across his shoulders, and the 
prayers of his women following him, the hunter sets forth in the teeth of a 
gale to slay a seal that has been sighted a mile off shore. 


He rides up and down the sides of mountainous waves like a sled upon a 
hill. He laughs at the efforts of the storm to swamp him. He comes within 
sig-ht of his prey; the seal ducks; the Eskimo, knowing his custom, paddles 
swiftly in the direction of the dive. When the seal comes up for air he is within 
easy striking distance. The bone harpoon goes home with a thud; and the 
hunter turns his boat for shore. He has made his kill. 

In the summer time tents take the place of houses. As soon as the sun be- 
gins to appear, sometimes in April, the Eskimo comes out of his hibernation, 
gets ready his "woman boat," and his camping outfit, and goes roaming. The 
"woman boat" is a large rowboat, capable of carrying a score or more people, 
and has its name from the fact that it is rowed by the women. In such a boat 
the Eskimo sets forth and rows until a favored camping ground is found. Then 
the whole party disembarks, tents are set up, and the camp remains so long as 
the hunting is good. When that is gone, into the boats again and on to 
another hunting ground. 

Of the kindness and catholic hospitality of the Eskimo there is but one 
verdict — they are the kindest and most hospitable people in the world. Even 
wrecked explorers whose coming means only that they will consume a certain 
amount of the common store of food, are hailed with the greatest delight, the 
best is set forth before them, and they are invited to make themselves at home 
for as long as they please. In one instance an explorer relates that a murderer 
was taken in, fed, housed, and cared for through a hard winter by the family 
of his victim ! 

"Do some people in your land starve and shiver while others eat much and 
are warmly clad ?" was one of the questions that the shocked Eskimos put to 
an explorer when he expressed surprise at their charity. "Why, then, do you 
call yourself civilized ?" 

It was a puzzling question. The explorer was forced to admit that "some 

"Then why do you ask us to accept your civilization ?" demanded the Eski- 
mos. "Here that never happens." 

So the "poor, frozen native of the north" does not yearn for the civilization 
that threatens him. He is satisfied as he is. He eats his fish, kills the seal, 
sings his peculiar songs, and asks only one thing from the civilized world — that 
he be left alone. And that is the one thing which probably will not be granted 



Details of the Himalayan trip in 1909 of the Duke of Abruzzi, whose ro- 
mance with Katherine Elkins was much talked of in 1908, shows this journey- 
to have been the greatest mountaineering feat of the times. He reached a 
height of 24,500 feet above sea level, — this after a dangerous and thrilling 
journey at the head of a large party. 

The duke had already been distinguished for his mountaineering work, 
and his Arctic explorations as well. He belongs in the front rank of those who 
sought the north pole. In 1900 he led an expedition to latitude 86 degrees, 33 
minutes, breaking Nansen's record by about 23 miles. Abruzzi established his 
base of supplies on the north shore of Franz Joseph's Land, 480 miles from 
the Pole. He planned to make the polar dash in 45 days. The party started 
from the base on February 25, 1900. Violent winds and bitter cold proved a 
terrible handicap to the party's progress. On March 22, three men were sent 
back to establish communication with the base of supplies ; but these men were 
never again heard from. On reaching latitude 86 degrees, 33 minutes, a short- 
age of food and the condition of the men made it necessary to turn back. 
Abruzzi left a cylinder containing a record of the expedition at this point, the 
farthest north up to that time. 

Details of the duke's adventurous trip to the Himalaya Mountains, during 
which he reached the greatest height ever attained on this earth by man, were 
published in the Corriere della Sera of Milan. They were obtained by a rep- 
resentative of that paper, who boarded the steamer on which the duke was re- 
turning to Italy at Port Said, proceeding from there with the royal mountaineer 
and his companions to Marseilles. Abruzzi himself gave no description of the 
momentous trip. Though always courteous, according to the Italian newspa- 
per man, his silence is absolutely impenetrable. But from his comrades the lat- 
ter obtained an interesting narrative of the expedition, from its beginning last 
spring to the accomplishment of the record-breaking feat of its intrepid leader, 
on Bride Peak, in the Himalayas, on July 17, 1909. 




The expedition started from Marseilles on March 26 on the same Penin- 
sular and Oriental steamer that brought it back two weeks before to that port. 
In addition to the duke himself, it consisted of Marquis Negrotto-Cambiaso, 
Abruzzi's aide; Vittorio Sella, a well-known photographer; Doctor De Filippi, 
and several Swiss guides, who had already been the companions of the duke 
on former mountain-scaling exploits. Negrotto, never having had any expe- 
rience in mountain climbing, feared at first that he would be more of a hin- 
drance than a help, but Abruzzi, who knew him evidently better than he knew 
himself, insisted that he form part of the expedition. 

Sella, on the other hand, had been accustomed since early manhood to brav- 
ing all sorts of perils in quest of photographs of mountain scenes. He was 
already acquainted, not only with the Alps and the Caucasus, but with the Him- 
alayas themselves, the goal of Abruzzi's efforts. De Filippi, likewise, was al- 
ready an expert Alpine climber. 


Fully two months before starting for India the duke had busied himself 
making complete preparations. He had made two trips to England for the pur- 
pose of providing all the necessary equipment. As a result of this foresight the 
equipment was of the very best, including, among other things, three different 
kinds of tents — those used in tropical countries, large and comfortable, but 
rather difficult to transport; Whymper tents, holding three people, and Mum- 
mery tents, very small, holding one person. There were also 60 cases, each 
containing all the necessaries for one day for 12 persons — everything, from 
tobacco to marmalade, from preserved meat to a stock of oil for the special 
stoves provided by Abruzzi similar to those used on polar expeditions. The 
members of the expedition were also provided with sleeping bags, of three 
thicknesses each ; the first of goatskin, the second of feathers, the third, or out- 
side one, of camel's fur. 

On April 9 the expedition arrived at Bombay, proceeding on that same day 
by rail to Rawalpindi, which was reached on the 12th. 


There an entire day was spent in getting the impedimenta of the party in 
traveling order. The latter was sent on to Shrinagar in queer two-wheeled 


native vehicles drawn by ponies and called "ekkas." The duke and his com- 
panions preceded these in European landaus, the local authorities having ad- 
judged the native "dongas," commonly used for passenger transportation, un- 
suited to the august member of the house of Savoy. But it would have been 
almost as well for the duke to have gone to Shrinagar on foot, as the old ve- 
hicles made the journey very slowly and with such extreme difficulty that they 
pulled into Shrinagar in a pitiable condition, with some of their wheels held in 
place by ropes. 

At Shrinagar the Italians waited from April 17 until the 23d, the delay 
being caused by the ekkas containing the baggage, which took their time on 
the road from Rawalpindi. 

Finally they embarked in boats on one of the canals which have given Shrin- 
agar the name of the "Venice of India," and proceeded to a village at the head 
of navigation of the canal, being escorted to that point by Sir Francis Young- 
husband, British Resident of Cashmere, famous as the man who entered the 
sacred Tibetan city of Lhassa at the head of British troops some years ago. In 
addition to this he had traversed the Himalayas twice and made several jour- 
neys through lands unknown before to white men, hence his interest in Abruz- 
zi's contemplated feats was of the keenest. 

AN ARMY OF 250. 

After the farewells on April 24 to Sir Francis and to the wife of Dr. De 
Filippi, who turned back to await her husband's return at Shrinagar, the dif- 
ficulties of the expedition began. The Italians were now accompanied by long 
lines of native porters carrying the baggage. Some of this was loaded on 
ponies, too, but many of the latter had to be abandoned along the way. In 
their place additional porters, natives of Cashmere, were collected from the 
neighboring valleys, until finally their total number of natives was 250. At the 
head of this small army marched the duke and his companions. 

As they traversed the valley of the Sind they encountered deep snow every- 
where, which, being fresh, made the danger of avalanches imminent. The ex- 
pedition could advance with safety only early in the morning, or late at night, 
by the light of lanterns. After several days of this arduous marching the duke 
and his comrades reached the junction of the Dras and the Indus, proceeding 
from there to Skardo, the capital of Baltistan. 

They were already at an altitude of 6,500 feet. Leaving Skardo on May 
9 and following the valley of Braldon, partly on foot, partly on ponies, they 


arrived on the 14th at Askole, last inhabited village of the valley nearly 10,000 
feet above the sea. 

Hereabouts was the easiest part of the journey. The valley was free from 
snow, covered with flowering trees, filled with pretty fields. Nevertheless, it 
had some difficult paths, traversed by rivers and mountain torrents, over which 
the expedition had often to pass on primitive rope bridges, some extremely long. 
It frequently took two or three hours to get the entire expedition over one of 
the bridges, as the construction is so frail as to allow at most two or three men 
to cross at a time. 


The first experience on a bridge of this sort, Marquis Negrotto told the 
Italian reporter, is not pleasant. To begin with, it oscillates frightfully. The 
water beneath, he added, seems to be motionless, while the traveler, on the 
other hand, seems to be flying through the air, driven along by the wind in an 
impetuous and fantastic career. 

Of these wild scenes the intrepid Sella took many photographs, climbing 
frequently in order to take them to all sorts of perilous vantage points. 

At Askole about 100 additional porters joined the expedition for the pur- 
pose of carrying the provisions for the other porters and of driving to the ex- 
pedition's base at the head of the Baltoro glacier a small herd of cattle and 
sheep in order that fresh meat and milk might be available. 

On May 18 the base was established at Rdokass, on a grassy spur extend- 
ing over the glacier at a height of 13,000 feet. From that time on it served as 
a supply station for the duke in his advance over the glacier to the lofty peaks 
which he had resolved to scale. 


On the 2 1 St he set out from Rdokass, leaving behind the majority of the na- 
tives to act as guards over the greater part of the provisions and baggage, 
which were in charge of an Englishman. Abruzzi and his companions marched 
for four days through the imposing solitude of the glacier, crossing spur after 
spur, until, on the 25th, after having averaged nearly 10 miles a day, they 
found themselves at the foot of the immense peak known as K 2, where they 
encamped and rested all night. 

Here the work began in earnest. 

The 26th of May dawned, livid with dense fog, which floated over the grim 


rocks and over the fields of snow, on which no human being had ever set foot. 
The thermometer registered lo below zero. Now and then the shroud of mist 
would be blown aside, revealing immense piles of rock, buried in eternal ice, 
seemingly stretching upward into the infinite. Already the duke was at an al- 
titude of over 16,000 feet, much higher than the highest points of his own 
Italian Alps. He and his brave troop, standing in silence at the foot of the 
gigantic mountain, waited for the mists to clear and reveal to them the coveted 

At last, after several hours of waiting, the mist disappeared. K 2 appeared 
in all its majesty. Abruzzi decided to devote some time exploring the rocky 
base of the mountain. _ Its slopes, he surmised, were so steep as to render ava- 
lanches wellnigh inevitable. 

The expedition was split up into small parties, which began to explore the 
approaches to the peak in order to find some point from which it might be at- 
tacked. With two guides the duke left his companions and spent four days 
trying to discover a way up the huge mountain. In the course of his investi- 
gations he scaled two neighboring peaks, both about 20,000 feet high, and 
visited the western part of the great glacier, hitherto unexplored, and the 
eastern part visited previously by Guilermood. 

The result of his four days' work was to convince him absolutely that K 2 
was inaccessible to man, no matter what efforts he might put forth to attain its 
summit. Hence the duke retraced his steps to the base of supplies at the head 
of the glacier, where, throughout the month of June, the members of the ex- 
pedition devoted themselves to topographical and photographic work around 
the mountain and the adjacent country. 


At the end of June the little troop again took the road along the glacier, 
and climbed to the summit of the Windigab, 20,000 feet above the sea, in order 
^o learn from there whether it would be possible to work downward into Little 
Thibet, where there are regions little known or entirely unexplored. They 
found that such a descent would be possible only without baggage, hence it 
would be merely a hunting trip, which the duke resolved not to make. 

Instead he turned his attention to the Chogolisa or Bride Peak. Disap- 
pointed in his desire to ascend K 2, he made up his mind that he would not be 
foiled a second time. 

The weather was very variable; perfectly clear days alternating with the 


thickest mists. The marches became extremely arduous. Already the thin at- 
mosphere which the members of the expedition had been breathing for many 
days began to show its depressing effects. Work which under other conditions 
would have been quite normal was accomplished now with three times the 
amount of effort that would ordinarily have been expended on it. The duke's 
companions began to lose their appetites, to feel disgust at the unchanging diet 
of canned meat, to snatch only brief and troubled naps. Abruzzi himself, how- 
ever, seemed to keep all his powers intact. At meals his appetite was unim- 
paired ; his periods of sleep continued to be long and refreshing. 

The duke and his three companions, Marquis Negrotto, Sella and De Fi- 
lippi, reached the foot of Bride Peak together. Negrotto and De Filippi re- 
mained there in order to make botanical investigations in the neighborhood 
and do topographical work. Sella, after a little climbing, turned back toward 
Rokass in order to take a panoramic view of the Mustag chain of mountains. 


As for the duke himself, he began with his three guides the ascent of the 
mountain, choosing as his starting point a camp located at a height of about 
21,000 feet high. 

The weather, which was very cloudy, compelled him to stay there for 
several days; but just as soon as the mists began to clear he ascended in two 
successive days' marches to a point nearly 2,000 feet higher up. From there 
some of the guides who had followed him thus far and who had been able to 
carry with them tents and provisions sufficient only for four persons returned 
to the camp situated near the base of the mountain. 

The duke remained where he was one whole day. At dawn of the next, July 
17, he began his ascent once again toward the peak. 

He was making his supreme effort. 

At II in the morning he had managed to get somewhere more than 1,200 
feet higher. He now stood 24,000 feet above the sea. With him were three 
guides — Petigax and two named Brocherel. The mist had become so dense 
that further progress seemed out of the question. The four men, exposed at 
any instant to annihilation from falling masses of -snow, shut themselves up in 
their shelters, waiting patiently on the perilous slope. 

They waited until 3 in the afternoon. The mist became constantly thicker 
and thicker. The three mountaineers, without a word, turned their eyes on 
the duke. 


Once more he gazed upward at the peak, which seemed to be eluding him 
as it lay in his very grasp. Then he took counsel with the three guides. 

To climb any higher was impossible, they maintained. A few steps away 
not a thing was visible. The entire mountain seemed enveloped in gray, cold 
air. Man was obliged to yield before the invincible hostility, the insurmount- 
able veto of nature. * 

For the last time the duke looked toward the peak. 

"Let us descend," he then said, in a quiet voice. 

A single march brought the four men to the camp established over 3,000 
feet below. They were still four days' march distant from Footstool, at the 
base of Bride Peak, where the other Italians were encamped. 

There, ten days after he had departed, the latter saw the duke unexpectedly 
reappear with his three guides. 

"Well, your Highness?" they asked eagerly. 

"Three hundred and eight, by the barometer," he replied. 

That was equivalent, according to the calculations made with the instru- 
ments which he had taken with him, to 7,500 meters, or about 24,565 feet. 

Luigil Amedo of Savoy, Duke of the Abruzzi, had broken the world's 
record for mountain climbing. 


At once preparations were made for the return of the expedition. On 
August 12 it was already back at Shrinagar, having taken from Askoue a route 
different from that chosen before. It led the duke and his companions over the 
Skoro, where, after so many miles of grim snow-covered rocks, they saw again 
a beautiful flowery valley which seemed to them the abode of eternal spring. 

It was like a return to life. As they descended this valley, headed once 
more toward Skardo, not only De Filippi, the botanist of the party, but all of 
its other members were soon carrying, in their buttonholes and in their hands, 
great bouquets of myosotis, gentians, edelweiss, and other flowers. 

From Skardo, instead of again traversing the Zoji-la, by which he had 
traveled previously, the duke headed for the valley of the Geosai, through 
which the expedition made its way back to Shrinagar. There they were met by 
Sir Francis Younghusband once more, and De Filippi found his wife, who had 
awaited him through all the weeks that he had been lost in the snowy fastnesses 
of the Himalayas. For two days the British Resident entertained Abruzzi and 
his companions at his summer home of Gulmarg. Then, after short visits to 


Delhi and Agra, where he saw the old ruins of the time of the Moguls, they 
reached Bombay on August 25. On the 28th the P. & O. liner Oceana bore 
them out of Bombay harbor toward Europe. 

All this was told to the Italian newspaper man mainly by the Marquis Ne- 
grotto and Sella, the photographer. As for the taciturn duke, he spent most 
of the days of the sea journey writing in the music room of the steamer, or 
else stretched out on his deck chair. Even when he took a walk on deck with 
the Marquis or another of his friends, he scarcely spoke at all. His eyes, says 
the Italian, seemed fixed on something far away, as if planning new expeditions 
to remote parts of the world. 


According to Marquis Negrotto, the duke will be occupied for some time in 
getting into shape the great mass of scientific and other data collected during 
the course of their journey by himself and those who accompanied him. The 
most important part of these are the combined topographical and photographic 
records, in which both the duke and Negrotto were much interested before 
their departure. At that time they elaborated the combination of photographic 
and topographical work under the direction of Signor Paganini, of the Geo- 
graphical Military Institute of Florence, the inventor of the photographic the- 
odolite, who was the first, by means of this system, to obtain exact descriptions 
of Monte Rosa, Mont Cenis and other Alpine peaks. The system, however, 
had never been used before at such altitudes as those attained by the Abruzzi 
on his Himalayan journey. 



In an earlier chapter some account was given of Fridtjof Nansen's great 
drifting expedition in 1893. Since Dr. Nansen is one of the most poetic of 
writers no better description of the wonderful sights and scenes in the Arctic 
can be given than that furnished in his words. 

Writing at the time when his ship, the Fram, was fast in the ice and 
being carried slowly on by the ice-drift, Dr. Nansen says in his book, "Farthest 
North" : 

"Tuesday, September 26th. Beautiful weather. The sun stands much 
lower now ; it was 9 degrees above the horizon at midday. Winter is rapidly 
approaching; there are 14^ (fourteen and one-half) degrees of frost this 
evening, but we do not feel it cold. Today's observations unfortunately show 
no particular drift northward ; according to them we are still in 78° 50' north 
latitude. I wandered about over the floe towards evening. Nothing more 
wonderfully beautiful can exist than the Arctic night. It is dreamland, painted 
in the imagination's most delicate tints; it is color etherealized. One shade 
melts into the other, so that you cannot tell where one ends and the other 
begins, and yet they are all there. No forms — it is all faint, dreamy color 
music, a far-away, long-drawn-out melody on muted strings. Is not all life's 
beauty high, and delicate, and pure like this night? Give it brighter colors, 
and it is no longer so beautiful. The sky is Hke an enormous cupola, blue at 
the zenith, shading down into green, and then into lilac and violet at the 


"Over the ice-fields there are cold violet-blue shadows, with Hghter pink 
tints where a ridge here and there catches the last reflection of the vanished 
day. Up in the blue of the cupola shine the stars, speaking peace, as they 
always do, those unchanging friends. In the south stands a large red-yellow 
moon, encircled by a yellow ring and light golden clouds floating on the blue 
back-ground. Presently the aurora borealis shakes over the vault of heaven 



its veil of glittering silver — changing now to yellow, now to green, now to 
red. It spreads, it contracts again, in restless change; next it breaks into 
waving, many-folded bands of shining silver, over which shoot billows of 
glittering rays, and then the glory vanishes. Presently it shimmers in tongues 
of flame over the very zenith, and then again it shoots a bright ray right up 
from the horizon, until the whole melts away in the moonlight, and it is as 
though one heard the sigh of a departing spirit. Here and there are left a 
few weaving streamers of light, vague as a foreboding — they are the dust 
from the aurora's glittering cloak. But now it is growing again; now light- 
nings shoot, and the endless game begins afresh. And all the time this utter 
stillness, impressive as the symphony of infinitude. I have never been able to 
grasp the fact that this earth will some day be spent and desolate and empty. 
To what end, in that case, all this beauty, with not a creature to rejoice in it? 
Now I begin to divine it. This is the coming earth— here are beauty and 
death. But to what purpose? Ah, what is the purpose of all these spheres? 
Read the answer, if you can, in the starry blue firmament." 
At another point Nansen's journal says; 


"Thursday, November 2d. The temperature keeps at about 22 degrees 
below zero ( — 30 degrees C.) now; but it does not feel very cold, the air is 
so still. We can see the aurora borealis in the day-time too. I saw a very 
remarkable display of it about 3 this afternoon. On the southwestern horizon 
lay the glow of the sun ; in front of it light clouds were swept together — like 
a cloud of dust rising above a distant troop of riders. Then dark streamers 
of gauze seemed to stretch from the dust-cloud up over the sky, as if it came 
from the sun, or perhaps rather as if the sun were sucking it in to itself from 
the whole sky. It was only in the southwest that these streamers were dark ; 
a little higher up, farther from the sun-glow, they grew white and shining, 
like fine, glistening silver gauze. They spread over the vault of heaven above 
us, and right away towards the north. They certainly resembled aurora 
borealis ; but perhaps they might be only light vapors hovering high up in the 
sky and catching the sunlight ? I stood long looking at them. They were 
singularly still, but they were northern lights, changing gradually in the south- 
west into dark cloud-streamers, and ending in the dust-cloud over the sun. 
Hansen saw them too, later, when it was dark. There was no doubt of 


their nature. His impression was that the aurora borealis spread from the 
sun over the whole vault of heaven like the stripes on the inner skin of 
an orange. 


"Sunday, November 5th. A great race on the ice was advertised for 
today. The course was measured, marked off, and decorated with flags. 
The cook had prepared the prizes — cakes, numbered and properly graduated 
in size. The expectation was great; but it turned out that, from excessive 
training during the few last days, the whole crew were so stiff in the legs 
that they were not able to move. We got our prizes all the same. One man 
was blindfolded, and he decided who was to have each cake as it was pointed 
at. This just arrangement met with general approbation, and we all thought 
it a pleasanter way of getting the prizes than running half a mile, for them. 

"So it is Sunday once more. How the days drag past! I work, read, 
think, and dream; strum a little on the organ; go for a walk on the ice in 
the fdark. Low on the horizon in the southwest there is the flush of the 
sun — a dark fierce red, as if of blood aglow with all life's smouldering long- 
ings — low and far-off, like the dreamland of youth. Higher in the sky it 
melts into orange, and that into green and pale blue; and then comes deep 
blue, star-sown, and then infinite space, where no dawn will ever break. 
In the north are quivering arches of faint aurora, trembling now like awak- 
ening longings, but presently, as if at the touch of a magic wand, to storm 
as streams of light through the dark blue of heaven — never at peace, rest- 
less as the very soul of man. I can sit and gaze and gaze, my eyes entranced 
by the dream-glow yonder in the west, where the moon's thin, pale, silver 
sickle is dipping its point into the blood; and my soul is borne beyond the 
glow, to the sun, so far off now — and to the home-coming! Our task ac- 
complished, we are making our way up the fjord as fast as sail and steam 
can carry us. On both sides of us the homeland lies smiling in the sun; 
and then * * * the sufferings of a thousand days and hours melt into 
a moment's inexpressible joy. Ugh! that was a bitter gust — I jump up and 
walk on. What am I dreaming about? so far yet from the goal — hundreds 
and hundreds of miles between us, ice and land and ice again. And we are 
drifting round and round in a ring, bewildered, attaining nothing, only 
waiting, always waiting, for what? 


" 'I dreamt I lay on a grassy bank, 
And the sun shone warm and clear; 
I wakened on a desert isle, 
And the sky was black and drear.' 

"One more look at the star of home, the one that stood that evening 
over Cape Chelyuskin, and I^ creep on board, where the windmill is turning 
in the cold wind, and electric light is streaming out from the skylight upon 
the icy desolation of the Arctic night." 

Other poetic descriptive passages are these: 


"I went on deck this evening in rather a gloomy frame of mind, but was 
nailed to the spot the moment I got outside. There is the supernatural for 
you — the northern lights flashing in matchless power and beauty over the 
sky in all the colors of the rainbow ! Seldom or never have I seen the colors 
so brilliant. The prevailing one at first was yellow, but that gradually 
flickered over into green, and then a sparkling ruby-red began to show at 
the bottom of the rays on the under side of the arch, soon spreading over 
the whole arch. And now from the far-away western horizon a fiery serpent 
writhed itself up over the sky, shining brighter and brighter as it came. 
It split into three, all brilliantly glittering. Then the colors changed. The 
serpent to the south turned almost ruby-red, with spots of yellow; the one 
in the middle, yellow ; and the one to the north, greenish-white. Sheaves of 
rays swept along the side of the serpents driven through the ether-like waves 
before a storm-wind. They sway backward and forward, now strong, now 
fainter again. The serpents reached and passed the zenith. Though I was 
thinly dressed and shivering with cold, I could not tear myself away till the 
spectacle was over, and only a faintly glowing fiery serpent near the western 
horizon showed where it had begun. When I came on deck later the masses 
of light had passed northward and spread themselves in complete arches over 
the northern sky. If one wants to read mystic meanings into the phenomena 
of nature, here, surely, is the opportunity. 


"Later in the evening Hansen came down to give notice of what really 
was a remarkable appearance of aurora borealis. The deck was brightly 


illuminated by it, and reflections of its light played all over the ice. The 
whole sky was ablaze with it, but it was brightest in the south; high up in 
that direction glowed waving masses of fire. Later still Hansen came again 
to say that now it was quite extraordinary. No words can depict the glory 
that met our eyes. The glowing fire-masses had divided into glistening, 
many-colored bands, which were writhing and twisting across the sky both 
in the south and north. The rays sparkled with the purest, most crystalline 
rainbow colors, chiefly violet-red or carmine and the clearest green. Most 
frequently the rays of the arch were red at the ends, and changed higher 
up into sparkling green, which quite at the top turned darker and went over 
into blue or violet before disappearing in the blue of the sky ; or the rays 
in one and the same arch might change from clear red to clear green, coming 
and going as if driven by a storm. It was an endless phantasmagoria of 
sparkling color, surpassing anything that one can dream. 

"Sometimes the spectacle reached such a climax that one's breath was 
taken away; one felt that now something extraordinary must happen — at 
the very least the sky must fall. But as one stands in breathless expectation, 
down the whole thing trips, as if in a few quick, Hght scale-runs, into bare 
nothingness. There is somethingmost undramatic about such a denouement, 
but it is all done with such confident assurance that one cannot take it amiss; 
one feels one's self in the presence of a master who has the complete com- 
mand of his instrument. With a single stroke of the bow he descends lightly 
and elegantly from the height of passion into quiet, every-day strains, only 
with a few more strokes to work himself up into passion again. It seems as 
if he were trying to mock, to tease us. When we are on the point of going 
below, driven by 6i degrees of frost ( — 34.7 C), such magnificent tones 
again vibrate over the strings that we stay until noses and ears are frozen. 
For a finale, there is a wild dispjay of fireworks in every tint of flame — such 
a conflagration that one expects every minute to have it down on the ice, 
because there is not room for it in the sky. But I can hold out no longer. 
Thinly dressed, without a proper cap and without gloves, I have no feeling 
left in body or limbs, and I crawl away below." 


"Sunday, April 15th. So we are in the middle of April! What a ring 
of joy in that word, a well-spring of happiness! Visions of spring rise up 
in the soul at its very mention — a time when doors and windows are thrown 


wide open to the spring air and sun, and the dust of winter is blown away; 
a time when one can no longer sit still, but must perforce go out-of-doors to 
inhale the perfume of wood and field and fresh-dug earth, and behold the 
fjord, free from ice, sparkling in the sunlight. What an inexhaustible fund 
of the awakening joys of nature does that word April contain! But here — 
here that is not to be found. True, the sun shines long and bright, but its 
beams fall not on forest or mountain or meadow, but only on the dazzling 
whiteness of the fresh-fallen snow. Scarcely does it entice one out from 
one's winter retreat. This is not the time of revolutions here. If they come 
at all, they will come much later. The days roll on uniformly and monot- 
onously; here I sit, and feel no touch of the restless longings of the spring, 
and shut myself up in the snail-shell of my studies. 

"Day after day I dive down into the world of the microscope, forgetful 
of time and surroundings. Now and then, indeed, I may make a little excur- 
sion from darkness to light — the day beams around me, and my soul opens 
a tiny loophole for light and courage to enter in — and then down, down into 
the darkness, and to work once more. Before turning in for the night I 
must go on deck. A little while ago the daylight would by this time have 
vanished, a few solitary stars would have been faintly twinkling, while the 
pale moon shone over the ice. But now even this has come to an end. The 
sun no longer sinks beneath the icy horizon ; it is continual day. I gaze into 
the far distance, far over the barren plain of snow, a boundless, silent, and 
lifeless mass of ice in imperceptible motion. No sound can be heard save the 
faint murmur of the air through the rigging, or perhaps far away the low 
rumble of packing ice. In the midst of this empty waste of white there 
is but one little dark spot, and that is the Fram. 

"But beneath this crust, hundreds of fathoms down, there teems a world 
of checkered life in all its changing forms, a world of the same composition 
fts ours, with the same instincts, the same sorrows, and also, no doubt, the 
same joys; everywhere the same struggle for existence. So it ever is. If 
we penetrate within even the hardest shell we come upon the pulsations of 
life, however thick the crust may be. 


"I seem to be sitting here in solitude listening to the music of one of 
Nature's mighty harp-strings. Her grand symphonies peal forth through 
the endless ages of the universe, now in the tumultuous whirl of busy life, 


now in the stiffening coldness of dea4;h, as in Cliopin's Funeral March; and 
we — we are the minute, invisible vibrations of the strings in this mighty 
music of the universe, ever changing, yet ever the same. Its notes are' 
worlds ; one vibrates for a longer, another for a shorter period, and all in 
turn give way to new ones, ... 

"The world that shall be! . . . Again and again this thought comes 
back to my mind. I gaze far on through the ages. . . . 

"Slowly and imperceptibly the heat of the sun declines, and the temper- 
ature of the earth sinks by equally slow degrees. Thousands, hundreds of 
thousands, millions of years pass away, glacial epochs come and go, but the 
heat still grows ever less; little by little these drifting masses of ice extend 
far and wide, ever toward more southern shores, and no one notices it; but 
at last all the seas of the earth become one unbroken mass of ice. Life has 
vanished from its surface, and is to be found in the ocean depths alone. 

"But the temperature continues to fall, the ice grows thicker and ever 
thicker; life's domain vanishes. Millions of years roll on, and the ice reaches 
the bottom. The last trace of life has disappeared ; the earth is covered with 
snow. All that we lived for is no longer ; the fruit of all our toil and suffer- 
ings has been blotted out millions and millions of years ago, buried beneath 
a pall of snow. A stiffened, lifeless mass of ice, this earth rolls on in her 
path through eternity. Like a faintly growing disk the sun crosses the sky; 
the moon shines no more, and is scarcely visible. Yet, still, perhaps, the 
northern lights flicker over the desert, icy plain, and still the stars twinkle 
in silence, peacefully as of yore. Some have burnt out, but new ones usurp 
their place; and round them revolve new spheres, teeming with new life, 
new sufferings, without any aim. Such is the infinite cycle of eternity; such 
are nature's everlasting rhythms. 


"Monday, May 28th. Ugh ! I am tired of these endless, white plains — 
cannot even be bothered snow-shoeing over them, not to mention that the 
lanes stop one on every hand. Day and night I pace up and down the deck, 
along the ice by the ship's sides, revolving the most elaborate scientific prob- 
lems. For the past few days it is especially the shifting of the Pole that has 
fascinated me. I am beset by the idea that the tidal wave, along with the 
unequal distribution of land and sea, must have a disturbing effect on the 
situation of the earth's axis. When such an idea gets into one's head, it is 


no easy matter to get it out again. After pondering over it for several days, 
I have finally discovered that the intiuence of the moon on the sea must 
be sufficient to cause a shifting of the Pole to the extent of one minute in 
800,000 years. In order to account for the European Glacial Age, which 
was my main object, I must shift the Pole at least ten or twenty degrees. 
This leaves an uncomfortably wide interval of time since that period, and 
shows that the human race must have attained a respectable age. Of course, 
it is all nonsense. But while I am indefatigably tramping the deck in a 
brown study, imagining myself no end of a great thinker, I suddenly dis- 
cover that my thoughts are at home, where all is summer and loveliness, and 
those I have left are busy building castles in the air for the day when I shall 
return. Yes, yes. I spend rather too much time on this sort of thing; but 
the drift goes as slowly as ever, and the wind, the all-powerful wind, is still 
the same. The first thing my eyes look for when I set foot on deck in the 
morning is the weather-cock on the mizzen-top, to see how the wind lies; 
thither they are forever straying during the whole day, and there again they 
rest the last thing before I turn in. But it ever points in the same direction,' 
west and southwest, and we drift now quicker, now more slowly westward, 
and only a little to the north. I have no doubt now about the success of the 
expedition, and my miscalculation was not so great, after all; but I scarcely 
think we shall drift higher than 85 degrees, even if we do that. It will 
depend on how far Franz Josef Land extends to the north. In that case it 
will be hard to give up reaching the Pole; it is in reality a mere matter of 
vanity, merely child's play, in comparison with what we are doing and hoping 
to do; and yet I must confess that I am foolish enough to want to take in 
the Pole while I am about it, a:nd shall probably have a try at it if we get 
into its neighborhood within any reasonable time. 


"This is a mild May; the temperature has been about zero several times 
of late, and one can walk up and down and almost imagine one's self at home. 
There is seldom more than a few degrees of cold; but the summer fogs are 
beginning, with occasional hoar-frost. As a rule, however, the sky, with its 
light, fleeting clouds, is almost like a spring sky in the south. 

"We notice, too, that it has become milder on board; we no longer need 
to light a fire in the stove to make ourselves warm and cozy; though, indeed, 
we have never indulged in much luxury in this respect. In the store-room 


the rime frost and ice that had settled on the ceiling and walls are beginning 
to melt; and in the compartments astern of the saloon, and in the hold, we 
have been obliged to set about a grand cleaning-up, scraping off and sweep- 
ing away the ice and rime, to save our provisions from taking harm, through 
the damp penetrating the wrappings and rusting holes in the tin cases. We 
have, moreover, for a long time kept the hatchways in the hold open, so that 
there has been a thorough draught through it, and a good deal of the rime 
has evaporated. It is remarkable how little damp we have on board. No 
doubt this is due to the Fram's solid construction, and to the deck over the 
hold being paneled on the under side. I am getting fonder and fonder of 
this ship 


"Sunday, November nth. I am pursuing my studies as usual day after 
day; and they lure me, too, deeper and deeper into the insoluble mystery 
that lies behind all these inquiries. Nay! why keep revolving in this fruit- 
less circuit of thought? Better go out into the winter night. The moon is 
up, great and yellow and placid; the stars are twinkling overhead through 
the drifting snow-dust. . . . Why not rock yourself into a winter 
night's dream filled with memories of summer? 

"Ugh, no! The wind is howling too shrilly over the barren ice-plains; 
there are 33 degrees of cold, and summer, with its flowers, is far, far away. 
I would give a year of my life to hold them in my embrace; they loom so 
far off in the distance, as if I should never come back to them. 

"But the northern lights, with their eternally shifting loveliness, flame 
over the heavens each day and each night. Look at them ; drink oblivion and 
drink hope from them; they are even as the aspiring soul of man. Rest- 
less as it, they will wreathe the whole vault of heaven with their glittering, 
fleeting light, surpassing all else in their wild loveliness, fairer than even the 
blush of dawn; but, whirling idly through empty space, they bear no mes- 
sage of a coming day. The sailor steers his course by a star. Could you but 
concentrate yourselves, you too, O northern lights, might lend your aid to 
guide the wildered wanderer! But dance on, and let me enjoy you; stretch a 
bridge across the gulf between the present and the time to come, and let me 
dream far, far ahead into the future. 

"O thou mysterious radiance! what art thou, and whence comest thou? 
Yet why ask? Is it not enough to admire thy beauty and pause there? 


Can we at best get beyond the outward show of things? What would it 
profit even if we could say that it is an electric discharge or currents of 
electricity through the upper regions of the air, and were able to describe in 
•minutest detail how it all came to be? It would be mere words. We know 
no more what an electric current really is than what the aurora borealis is. 
Happy is the child. . . . We, with all our views and theories, are not in 
the last analysis a hair's-breadth nearer the truth than it. 


"Tuesday, November 13th. Thermometer — 38 degrees C. ( — 36.4 
degrees Fahr.). The ice is packing in several quarters during the day, and 
the roar is pretty loud, now that the ice has become colder. It can be heard 
from afar — a strange roar, which would sound uncanny to any one who did 
not know what it was. 

"A delightful snow-shoe run in the light of the full moon. Is life a 
vale of tears? Is it such a deplorable fate to dash off like the wind, with all 
the dogs skipping around one, over the boundless expanse of ice, through 
a night like this, in the fresh, crackling frost, while the snow-shoes glide 
over the smooth surface, so that 3)-ou scarcely know you are touching the 
earth, and the stars hang high in the blue vault above? This is more, in- 
deed, than one has any right to expect of life; it is a fairy tale from another 
world, from a life to come. 

"And then to return home to one's cozy study-cabin, kindle the stove, 
light the lamp, fill a pipe, stretch one's self on the sofa, and send dreams out 
into the world with the curling clouds of smoke — is that a dire infliction? 
Thus I catch myself sitting staring at the fire for hours together, dreaming 
myself away — a useful way of employing the time. But at least it makes it 
slip unnoticed by, until the dreams are swept away in an ice-blast of reality, 
and I sit here in the midst of desolation, and nervously set to work again. 

"Wednesday, November 14th. How marvelous are those snow-shoe 
runs through this silent nature ! The ice-fields stretch al> around, bathed in 
the silver moonlight; here and there dark cold shadows project from the 
hummocks, whose sides faintly reflect the twilight. Far, far out a dark line 
marks the horizon, formed by the packed-up ice, over it a shimmer of silvery 
vapor, and above all the boundless deep-blue, starry sky, where the full moon 
sails through the ether. But in the south is a faint glimmer of day low down 
of a dark, glowing red hue, and higher up a clear yellow and pale-green 



arch, that loses itself in the blue above. The whole melts into a pure har- 
mony, one and indescribable. At times one longs to be able to translate 
such scenes into music. What mighty chords one would require to interpret 


"Silent, oh, so silent! You can hear the vibrations of your own nerves. 
I seem as if I were gliding over and over these plains into infinite space. 
Is this not an image of what is to come? Eternity and peace are here. 
Nirvana must be cold and bright as such an eternal star-night. What are all 
our research and understanding in the midst of this infinity?" 



Some of the most graphic stories of hunting in the Arctic are from Dr. 
Nansen's pen. He himself was the best shot and the most tireless game- 
stalker of those on the Fram ; and he could write about it afterward with the 
touch of an artist. 

Describing the pursuit and bagging of some reindeer, he writes : 
"On Sunday, August 20th, we had, for us, uncommonly fine weather — 
blue sea, brilliant sunshine, and light wind, still from the northeast. In the 
afternoon we ran into the Kjellman Islands. These we could recognize from 
their position on Nordenskiold's map, but south of them we found many 
Islands, like rocks that have been ground smooth by the glaciers of the Ice 
unknown ones. They all had smoothly rounded forms, these Kjellman 
Age. The Fram anchored on the north side of the largest of them, and 
while the boiler was being refitted, some of us went ashore in the evening 
for some shooting. We had not left the ship when the mate, from the crow's 
nest, caught sight of reindeer. At once we were all agog; every one wanted 
to go ashore, and the mate was quite beside himself with the hunter's fever, 
his eyes as big as saucers, and his hands trembling as though he were drunk. 
Not until we were in the boat had we time to look seriously for the mate's 
reindeer. We looked in vain — not a living thing was to be seen in any 
direction. Yes — when we were close inshore we at last described a large 
flock of geese waddling upward from the beach. We were base enough to 
let a conjecture escape us that these were the mate's reindeer — a suspicion 
which he at first rejected with contempt. Gradually, however, his confidence 
oozed away. But it is possible to do an injustice even to a mate. The first 
thing I saw when I sprang ashore was old reindeer tracks. The mate had 
now the laugh on his side, ran from track to track, and swore that it was 
the reindeer he had seen. 


"When we got up on to the first height we saw several reindeer on flat 
ground to the south of us; but, the wind being from the north, we had to 



go back and make our way south along the shore till we got to leeward of 
them. The only one who did not approve of this plan was the mate, who was 
in a state of feverish eagerness to rush straight at some reindeer he thought 
he had seen to the east, which, of course, was an absolutely certain way to 
clear the field of every one of them. He asked and received permission to 
remain behind with Hansen, who was to take a magnetic observation; but 
had to promise not to move till he got the order. 

"On the way along the shore we passed one great flock of geese after 
another; they stretched their necks and waddled aside a little until we were 
quite near, and only then took flight; but we had no time to waste on such 
small game. A little farther on we caught sight of one or two reindeer we 
had not noticed before. We could easily have stalked them, but were afraid 
of getting to windward of the others, which were farther south. At last 
we got to leeward of these latter also, but they were grazing on flat ground, 
and it was anything but easy to stalk them — not a hillock, not a stone to hide 
behind. The only thing was to form a long line, advance as best we could, 
and, if possible, outflank them. In the meantime we had caught sight of 
another herd of reindeer farther to the north, but suddenly, to our astonish- 
ment, saw them tear off across the plain eastward, in all probability startled 
by the mate, who had not been able to keep quiet any longer. 


"A little to the north of the reindeer nearest us there was a hollow, 
opening from the shore, from it seemed that it might be possible to get a 
shot at them. I went back to try this, while the others kept their places in 
the line. As I went down again towards the shore I had the sea before me, 
quiet and beautiful. The sun had gone down behind it not long before, and 
the sky was glowing in the clear, light night. I had to stand still for a 
minute. In the midst of all this beauty, man was doing the work of a beast 
of prey ! At this moment I saw to the north a dark speck move down the 
height where the mate and Hansen ought to be. It divided into two, and 
the one moved east, just to the windward of the animals I was to stalk. 
They would get the scent immediately and be off. There was nothing for 
it but to hurry on, while I rained anything but good wishes on these fellows' 
heads. The gully was not so deep as I had expected. Its sides were just 
high enough to hide me when I crept on all fours. In the middle were 
large stones and clayey gravel, with a little runnel soaking through them. 


The reindeer were still grazing quietly, only now and then raising their 
heads to look around. My "cover" got lower and lower, and to the north 
I heard the mate. He would presently succeed in setting off my game. 
It was imperative to get on quickly, but there was no longer cover enough 
for me to advance on hands and knees. My only chance was to wriggle 
forward like a snake on my stomach. But in this soft clay — in the bed of 
the stream? Yes — meat is too precious on board, and the beast of prey 
is too strong in a man. My clothes must be sacrificed; on I crept on my 
stomach through the mud. But soon there was hardly cover enough even for 
this. I squeezed myself flat among the stones and ploughed forward like a 
drain-cutting machine. And I did" make way, if not quickly and comfortably, 
still surel)'-. 

"All this time the sky was turning darker and darker red behind me, and 
it was getting more and more difficult to use the sights of my gun, not to 
mention the trouble I had in keeping the clay from them and from the muzzle. 
The reindeer still grazed quietly on. When they raised their heads to look 
round I had to lie as quiet as a mouse, feeling the water trickling gently 
under my stomach; when they began to nibble the moss again, off I went 
through the mud. Presently I made the disagreeable discovery that they 
were moving away from me about as fast as I could move forward, and I 
had to redouble my exertions. But the darkness was getting worse and worse, 
and I had the mate to the north of me, and presently he would start them off. 
The outlook was anything but bright either morally or physically. The 
hollow was getting shallower and shallower, so that I was hardly covered at 
all. I squeezed myself still deeper into the mud. A turn in the ground 
helped me forward to the next little height ; and now they were right in 
front of me, within what I should have called easy range if it had been day- 
light. I tried to take aim, but could not see the bead on my gun. 


"Man's fate is sometimes hard to bear. My clothes were dripping with 
wet clay, and after what seemed to me most meritorious exertions, here I 
was at the goal, unable to take advantage of my position. But now the 
reindeer moved down into a small depression. I crept forward a little way 
farther as quickly as I could. I was in a splendid position, so far as I could 
tell in the dark, but I could not see the bead any better than before. It was 
impossible to get nearer, for there was only a smooth slope between us. 


There was no sense in thinking of waiting for Hght to shoot by. It was not 
midnight, and I had that terrible mate to the north of me; besides, the wind 
was not to be trusted, I held the rifle up against the sky to see the bead 
clearly, and then lowered it on the reindeer, I did this once, twice, thrice. 
The bead was still far from clear, but, all the same, I thought I might hit, 
and pulled the trigger. The two deer gave a sudden start, looked round in 
astonishment, and bolted off a little way south. There they stood still again, 
and at this moment were joined by a third deer, which had been standing 
rather farther north. I fired off all the cartridges in the magazine, and all to 
the same good purpose. The creatures started and moved off a little at each 
shot and then trotted farther south. Presently they made another halt, to 
take a long careful look at me ; and I dashed off westward as hard as I could 
run, to turn them. Now they were off straight in the direction where some 
of my comrades ought to be. I expected every moment to hear shots and see 
one or two of the animals fall; but away they ambled southward, quite un- 
checked. At last, far to the south, crack went a rifle. I could see by the 
smoke that it was at too low a range; so in high dudgeon I shouldered my 
rifle and lounged in the direction of the shot. It was pleasant to see such a 
good result for all one's trouble, 

"No one was to be seen anywhere. At length I met Sverdrup; it was 
he who had fired. Soon Blessing joined us, but all the others had long since 
left their posts. While Blessing went back to the boat and his botanizing 
box, Sverdrup and I went on to try our luck once more. A little farther 
south we came to a valley stretching right across the island. On the farther 
side of it we saw a man standing on a hillock, and not far from him a herd 
of five or six reindeer. As it never occurred to us to doubt that the man 
was in the act of stalking these, we avoided going in that direction, and soon 
he and his reindeer disappeared to the west. I heard afterwards that he 
had never seen the deer. As it was evident that when the reindeer to the 
south of us were startled they would have to come back across this valley, 
and as the island at this part was so narrow that we commanded the whole 
of it, we determined to take up our posts here and wait. We accordingly 
got in the lee of some great boulders, out of the wind. In front of Sverdrup 
was a large flock of geese, near the mouth of the stream, close down by the 
shore. They kept up an incessant gabble, and the temptation to have a shot 
at them was very great; but, considering the reindeer, we thought it best 
to leave them in peace. They gabbled and waddled away down through the 
mud and soon took wing. 


"The time seemed long. At first we listened with all our ears — the rein- 
deer must come very soon — and our eyes wandered incessantly backward and 
forward along the slope on the other side of the valley. But no reindeer 
came, and soon we were having a struggle to keep our eyes open and our 
heads up — we had not had much sleep the last few days. They must be com- 
ing! We shook ourselves awake, and gave another look along the bank, till 
again the eyes softly closed and the heads began to nod, while the chill wind 
blew through our wet clothes, and I shivered with cold. This sort of thing 
went on for an hour or two, until the sport began to pall on me, and I 
scrambled from my shelter along towards Sverdrup, who was enjoying it 
about as much as I was. We climbed the slope on the other side of the valley, 
and were hardly at the top before we saw the horns of six splendid reindeer 
on a height in front of us. They were restless, scenting westward, trotting 
round in a circle, and then sniffing again. They could not have noticed us 
as yet, as the wind was blowing at right angles to the line between them and 
us. We stood a long time watching their maneuvers, and waiting their 
choice of a direction, but they had apparently great difficulty in making it. 
At last off they swung south and east, and off we went southeast as hard as 
we could go, to get across their course before they got scent of us. Sverdrup 
had got well ahead, and I saw him rushing across a flat piece of ground ; 
presently he would be at the right place to meet them. I stopped, to be in 
readiness to cut them off on the other side if they should face about and make 
off northward again. There were six splendid animals, a big buck in front. 
They were heading straight for Sverdrup, who was now crouching down on 
the slope. I expected every moment to see the foremost fall. A shot rang 
out ! Round wheeled the whole flock like lightning, and back they came at 
a gallop. It was my turn now to run with all my might, and off I went over 
the stones, down towards the valley we had come from. I only stopped once 
or twice to take breath, and to make sure the animals were coming in the 
direction I had reckoned on — then off again. We were getting near each 
other now ; they were coming on just Avhere I had calculated ; the thing now 
was to be in time fcr them, I made my long legs go their fastest over the 
boulders, and took leaps from stone to stone that would have surprised my- 
self at a more sober moment. More than once my foot slipped, and I went 
down head first among the boulders, gun and all. But the wild beast in me 
had the upper hand now. The passion of the chase vibrated through every 
fibre of my body. 


"We reached the slant of the valley almost at the same time — a leap or 
two to get up on some big boulders, and the moment had come — I must 
shoot, though the shot was a long one. When the smoke cleared away I 
saw the big buck trailing a broken hind leg. When their leader stopped, the 
whole flock turned and ran in a ring round the poor animal. They could not 
understand what was happening, and strayed about wildly with the balls 
whistling round them. Then off they went down the side of the valley 
again, leaving another of their number behind with a broken leg, I tore 
after them, across the valley and up on the other side, in the hope of getting 
another shot, but gave that up and turned back to make sure of the two 
wounded ones. At the bottom of the valley stood one of the victims await- 
ing its fate. It looked imploringly at me, and then, just as I was going for- 
ward to shoot it, made off much quicker than I could have thought possible 
for an animal on three legs to go. Sure of my shot, of course I missed ; and 
now began a chase, which ended in the poor beast, blocked in every other 
direction, rushing down towards the sea and wading into a small lagoon on 
the shore, whence I feared it might get right out into the sea. At last it got 
its quietus there in the water. The other one was not far off, and a ball 
soon put an end to its sufferings also. As I was proceeding to rip it up, Hen- 
riksen and Johansen appeared; they had just shot a bear a little farther 

Hunting the mighty walrus is described by Dr. Nansen thus : 
"Thursday, September 12th. Henriksen awoke me this -morning at 6 
with the information that there were several walruses lying on a floe quite 
close to us. 'By Jove !' Up I jumped and had my clothes on in a trice. It 
was a lovely morning — fine, still weather; the walruses' guffaw sounded over 
to us along the clear ice surface. They were lying crowded together on a 
floe a little to landward from us, blue mountains glittering behind them in 
the sun. At last the harpoons were sharpened, guns and cartridges ready, 
and Henriksen, Juell, and I set off. There seemed to be a slight breeze from 
the south, so we rowed to the north side of the floe, to get to leeward of the 
animals. From time to time their sentry raised his head, but apparently did 
not see us. We advanced slowly, and soon we were so near that we had 
to row very cautiously. Juell kept us going, while Henriksen was ready in 
the bow with a harpoon, and I behind him with a gun. The moment the 
sentry raised his head the oars stopped, and we stood motionless; when he 
sunk it again, a few more strokes brought us nearer. 



"Body to body they lay close — packed on a small floe, old and young ones 
mixed. Enormous masses of flesh they were! Now and again one of the 
ladies fanned herself by moving one of her flappers backward and forward 
over her body ; then she lay quiet again on her back or side. 'Good gracious ! 
what a lot of meat !' said Juell, who was cook. More and more cautiously we 
drew near. While I sat ready with the gun, Henriksen took a good grip 
of the harpoon shaft, and as the boat touched the floe he rose, and off flew 
the harpoon. But it struck too high, glanced off the tough hide, and skipped 
over the backs of the animals. Now there was a pretty to do! Ten or 
twelve great weird faces glared upon us at once ; the colossal creatures twisted 
themselves round with incredible celerity, and came waddling with lifted 
heads and hollow bellowings to the edge of the ice where we lay. It was 
undeniably an imposing sight; but I laid my gun to my shoulder and fired 
at one of the biggest heads. The animal staggered, and then fell head fore- 
most into the water. Now a ball into another head; this creature fell too, 
but was able to fling itself into the sea. And now the whole herd dashed in, 
and we as well as they were hidden in spray. It had all happened in a few 
seconds. But up they came again immediately round the boat, the one head 
bigger and uglier than the other, their young ones close beside them. They 
stood up in the water, bellowed and roared till the air trembled, threw them- 
selves forward towards us, then rose up again, and new bellowings filled 
the air. Then they rolled over and disappeared with a splash, then bobbed 
up again. The water foamed and boiled for yards around — the ice- world 
that had been so still before seemed in a moment to have been transformed 
into a raging bedlam. Any moment we might expect to have a walrus tusk 
of two through the boat, or to be heaved up and capsized. Something of this 
kind was the very least that could happen after such a terrible commotion. 
But the hurly-burly went on and nothing came of it. I again picked out my 
victims. They went on bellowing and grunting like the others, but with 
blood streaming from their mouths and noses. Another ball, and one tumbled 
over and floated on the water; now a ball to the second, and it did the same, 
Henriksen was ready with the harpoons, and secured them both. One more 
was shot ; but we had no more harpoons, and had to strike a seal-hook into 
it to hold it up. The hook slipped, however, and the animal sank before we 
could save it. While we were towing our booty to an ice-floe we were still, 
for part of the time at least, surrounded by walruses ; but there was no use 


in shooting any more, for we had no means of carrying them off. The Fram 
presently came up and took our two on board, and we were soon going ahead 
along the coast. We saw many walruses in this part. We shot two others 
in the afternoon, and could have got many more if we had had time to spare. 
It was in this same neighborhood that Nordenskiold also saw one or two 
small herds." 


Bear were plentiful in most of the region through which the Fram passed. 
One experience with the great white species of Bruin is thus described in 
"Farthest North." 

"As Sverdrup, Juell, and I were sitting in the chart-room in the after- 
noon, splicing rope for the sounding-line, Peter rushed in shouting, 'A bear ! 
a bear !' I snatched up my rifle and tore out. 'Where is it ?' 'There, near 
the tent, on the starboard side; it came right up to it and had almost got 
hold of them!' 

"And there it was, big and yellow, snuffing away at the tent gear. Han- 
sen, Blessing, and Johansen were running at the top of their speed towards 
the ship. Onto the ice I jumped, and off I went, broke through, stumbled, 
fell and up again. ,The bear in the meantime had done sniffing, and had 
probably determined that an iron spade, an ice-staff, an axe, some tent-pegs, 
and a canvas tent were too indigestible food even for a bear's stomach. Any- 
how, it was following with mighty strides in the track of the fugitives. It 
caught sight of me and stopped, astonished, as if it were thinking, 'What 
sort of insect can that be?' I went on to within easy range; it stood still, 
looking hard at me. At last it turned its head a little, and I gave it a ball 
in the neck. Without moving a limb, it sank slowly to the ice. I now let 
loose some of the dogs to accustom them to this sort of sport, but they showed 
a lamentable want of interest in it ; and 'Kvik,' on whom all our hope in the 
matter of bear-hunting rested, bristled up and approached the dead animal 
very slowly and carefully, with her tail between her legs — a sorry spectacle. 

"I must now give the story of the others who made the bear's acquaint- 
ance first. Hansen had today begun to set up his observatory tent a little 
ahead of the ship, on the starboard bow. In the afternoon he got Blessing 
and Johansen to help him. While they were hard at work they caught sight 
of the bear not far from them, just off the bow of the Fram. 

" 'Hush ! keep quiet, in case we frighten him,' says Hansen. 

" 'Yes, yes !' And they crouch together and look at him. 


" *I think I'd better try to slip on board and announce him/ says Blessing. 

" *I think you should,' says Hansen. 

"And off steals Blessing on tiptoe, so as not to frighten the bear. By this 
time Bruin has seen and scented them, and comes jogging along, following 
his nose, towards them. 


"Hansen now began to get over his fear of startling him. The bear 
caught sight of Blessing slinking off to the ship and set after him. Blessing 
also was now much less concerned than he had been as to the bear's nerves. 
He stopped, uncertain what to do; but a moment's reflection brought him 
to the conclusion that it was pleasanter to be three than one just then, and 
he went back to the others faster than he had gone from them. The bear 
followed at a good rate. Hansen did not like the look of things, and thought 
the time had come to try a dodge he had seen recommended in a book. He 
raised himself to his full height, flung his arms about, and yelled with all the 
power of his lungs, ably assisted by the others. But the bear came on quite 
undisturbed. The situation was becoming critical. Each snatched up his 
weapon — Hansen an ice-staff, Johansen an axe, and Blessing nothing. They 
screamed with all their strength, 'Bear! bear!' and set off for the ship as 
hard as they could tear. But the bear held on his steady course to the tent, 
and examined everything there before (as we have seen) he went after 

"It was a lean he-bear. The only thing that was found in its stomach 
when it was opened was a piece of paper, with the names 'Lutkin and Mohn,' 
This was the wrapping paper of a 'ski' light, and had been left by one of us 
somewhere on the ice. After this day some of the members of the expedi- 
tion would hardly leave the ship without being armed to the teeth." 



After contemplating the comparative comfort and pleasure experienced 
by Nansen and his men, the reader is again directed to the grim horrors of 
Arctic travel, which after all are the characteristics features, modern methods 
notwithstanding. For peril and the exhibition of fortitude, no history sur- 
passes that of Dr. Kane, whose expedition was partly described in an earlier 
chapter One of the most striking features of that expedition was a boat 
trip undertaken by a party under Dr. Isaac Hayes, surgeon of the Advance, 
Kane's ship. The boat journey was for the purpose of getting aid for the 
men on board the Advance, which was fast in the ice in the region of lati- 
tude 78. 

The boat journey began in August, 1854, on a small craft called the 
Hope, on which a sail had been rigged. The little vessel made good progress 
after rounding Cape Hatherton, near Lyttleton Island, and the crew were 
in fine spirits, "when," says Dr. Hayes, "the look-out cried, *ice ahead!' 
There it was, sure enough, about a mile before us — a long, white line, against 
which the surf was breaking. 

"We ran down within a quarter of a mile of it, hoping all the time that 
we should find a lead; but no opening could anywhere be seen. The pack 
was jammed tight together, and against the southern shore of the bay; and 
stretching off to the southwest, it seemed to block up the channel between 
Lyttleton Island and the main land. 

"The course of the boat was changed to the west, and, although the wind 
was increasing, we determined to run outside the island and endeavor to 
reach the cove from the south ; but here, again, we were headed off ; a tongue 
of the pack stretched up to the north as far as we could see. To haul close 
on the wind and run up the edge of the ice was out of the question. With a 
less heavily laden boat this could easily have been accomplished ; but already 
we were shipping much water, with the wind on the quarter. Two points 
more around must swamp us. A sea breaking over the gunwale convinced 
us of the danger of the attempt, and again the boat was headed south. 



"It became now evident that we were in great jeopardy. We had run 
down into a bight, with a lee-shore to the east, and ice to the south and west. 
We were in the bend of a great horseshoe. 

"There was no time to get out the oars and pull up to windward; the 
boat could not have lived long enough to get her head around to the waves. 
The cargo was piled upon the thwarts, and a quarter of an hour would 
scarcely have sufficed to clear them. Something must be done and that 
quickly. The wind increased in violence, the waves rolled higher and higher. 
We could only run down upon the ice and trust to luck. Choosing a point 
to the southwest, where the pack looked weakest, we brailed up the mainsail, 
took a hasty reef in the foresail, hauled in the jib, and ran for it. John took 
the steering oar, Petersen conned the boat from the forecastle, Stephenson 
held the sheet, Bonsall stood by the brail of the foresail, and the rest of 
us took whatever of boat-hooks and poles we could lay hands on, to 'fend off.' 

The boat bounded away. 

"'See any opening, Petersen?' 'No, sir!' An anxious five minutes fol- 
lowed. 'I see what looks like a lead; we must try for it.' 'Give the word, 
Petersen.' On flew the boat. 'Let her fall off a little— off! — Ease off the 
sheet — so — steady! — A little more off — so! — Steady there — steady, as she 
goes!' Our skilful pilot was running us through a narrow lead which termi- 
nated in a little bight, where the water was, fortunately smooth. We were 
beginning to hope that it would carry us through the pack, when he cried 
out, 'It's a blind lead!' 'Tight everywhere?' 'I see no opening!' 'There's a 
crack to windward.' 'Can't make it — Let go the sheet — brail up — fend 
off!' Thump, crash, push. The stem struck fair, and the force of the blov/ 
was broken by the poles. In an instant all hands sprang out upon the floe. 
The boat did not appear to have been seriously damaged." 

The boat w-as hauled upon the floe and the party prepared for a terrible 
night. They determined, in the face of storm and cold, to go to Lyttleton 
Island, and they did reach it, only to suffer more tortures. The temperature 
was 22 below, 

"The water," says Dr. Hayes, "was freezing upon our clothes. We must 
either land on the island, or run before the wind down under Cape Ohlsen, 
live miles south. I'his last would carry us too far from our comrades of the 
Hope, and we determined to land on the island if possible. Our metallic boat 
would stand a good deal of thumping. There were no breakers; but the 
swell, which came in from the west, made the sea anything but smooth. With 
a wooden boat it would have been dangerous to approach the rocks. 


"The shore was steep, almost perpendicular; and it was some time before 
we found a place which offered the least chance for executing our intention. 
At length we discovered a little cove, or rather a cleft in the rock, about 
twenty feet in width and twice as deep. The rocks to the right and behind 
were vertical; but the cleft ran off to the left, and there the rock sloped 
gradually upward. If we could strike this inclined plane, by a fortunate turn 
of the boat after entering, we should be landed in safety. The boat was 
headed square for the opening, the men gave way on their oars, and we rode 
in on the top of a swell which, as it retreated, left us high and dry. Next 
moment all hands sprang out, and, seizing the boat by the gunwale, hauled 
her out of danger. 

"As we came across t^e ice, John had discovered a wounded duck sitting 
behind a hummock, and secured her with an oar. A fire was kindled in a 
crevice in the rock; the saucepan was half filled with sea-water, and the four 
quarters of the unfortunate eider were .soon boiling in it. The head was 
knocked out of the bread-barrel, and eight biscuits were added to the con- 
tents of the pot. 

"We were too cold and too nearly famished to wait with much patience, 
and the stew was speedily pronounced done. Plates and spoons we had none, 
so each one handled his share of the duck, and then we took turns with the 
lid for the soup, 

"This hot meal warmed us up a little, but with it vanished our stock of 
comforts. With a cup of coffee, or even tea, we should have made out 
very well. 

"There was a gloomy prospect for the night. Nowhere could we find 
protection against the wind, which not only swept in from the sea, but came 
furiously down upon us through the rocky gorges. We had not as much as 
a blanket to cover us, and the cold gusts blew most cruelly through our water- 
soaked cloth coats and canvas pantaloons. We clambered about in the dark- 
ness along the rocky ledge, under a great black wall, hunting in vain for a 
lea ; but no sooner had we found a place which seemed to offer us protection, 
than the wind shifted. Indeed, it seemed to blow, in one and the same min- 
ute, from every quarter of the heavens, north, south, east, and west; and 
when it could not get at us from either of these directions, it rolled down over 
the cliffs and fell upon us like an avalanche. We returned to the place where 
we had landed, and erected an extempore tent. One end of an oar was 
thrust jnto a crack in the rock, the other end was supported upon the barrel. 


Over this was spread the sail. After securing the corners with heavy stones 
we crawled in, but we thus obtained only a sorry protection. The wind 
came in on every side." 

Some of the men found sleep, but Dr. Hayes could not do so. He started 
to explore the island for a more protected spot, only to lose sight of the boat, 
as did a comrade who followed him. Then two others joined them. Says 
Dr. Hayes: 

"I communicated to them my fears respecting the party. I sent Godfrey 
to watch seaward. Bonsall went to the north cape, and I remained in my 
old position. The night wore on ; daylight came slowly back ; the wind died 
away to a fresh breeze; the sea was going down; the spray leapt less wildly; 
yet nothing could we see of the boat. 

"At length a change of tide brought a change of scene; the ice was set 
in motion; the pack, which had so closely hugged the land, was loosened; 
and it stretched its long arms out over the water to the westward. Broad 
leads ran through the body of it. Bonsall's quick eye first detected something 
dark moving upon the water. *I see the boat,' he shouted to me, — 'Where 
away?' — 'Coming down through the in-shore lead.' There she was, with all 
sail set, bearing directly for the island. By eight o'clock her party brought 
up on the south side of our encampment, I counted them as they floated by ; 
one, two, three, four, five — John was there. 

"The swell was still too high to permit them to touch the rocks with 
their frail boat; we therefore launched the metallic boat, and following them 
under oars, pulled around behind Cape Ohlsen. Here was found a snug little 
harbor with a shingly beach. The cargo was unshipped, and the boats were 
hauled up at half-past eleven o'clock. The sun's slanting rays shone directly 
in upon us from the south; the mercury went up to 28°. Not a breath of air 
rippled the water. No surf beat upon the shore. What a contrast to the 
tumultuous scenes of yesterday! From a little stream of melted snow which 
trickled down the mountain side, we filled our kettles; the lamp was fired; 
and in an hour and a half the cook had ready for us a good pot of coffee, 
and a stew of the young eiders which were left from the day before; to 
which were added some pieces of pork, and a young burgomaster gull, which 
had been shot on the way from Lyttleton Island. While this substantial 
breakfast was being eaten, we interchanged our stories of the night's ad- 

"Our friends had had a fearful night. Bad as had been our fortune 


theirs was incomparably worse. Soon after we left them, the protecting 
floes to the north shifted their position; and from that time until the storm 
subsided, they were frightfully exposed. The waves rolled in upon them, 
frequently breaking over the floe on which they were, while the spray flew 
over them continually. They wrapped the bread-bags in a piece of India- 
rubber cloth, and thus kept them tolerably dry; but everything else became 
thoroughly soaked, — clothes, buffaloes, and blankets, especially. They 
pitched their tent and tried to get some rest, but the water very soon drowned 
them out. They tried to cook some coffee, but the spray extinguished their 
lamp. They were thirty hours without water to drink, and during all that 
time they tasted nothing warm, their sole provision being cold pork and 
bread. Their suffering was great, and our tale sounded tamely enough after 

'T questioned John why he had so recklessly exposed his life; he 'wanted 
to see what had become of them.' He did not see them when he started; 
had no certain knowledge as to where they were; he only wanted to 'look 
them up.' " 

After this terrible experience the Hope once more put to sea, and the 
party was lucky enough to find another boat, called "Ironsides," deserted 
by Kane the year before. The party divided into two crews. 

"We pulled out from under the land," says the narrator, "to catch the 
wind which still blew lightly from the northeast; and spreading our canvas 
we gave three lusty cheers for Upernavik, and stood away for Cape Alex- 
ander, which was fourteen miles distant. A watch was set in each boat, 
Peterson took the steering oar of the Hope, John that of the Ironsides, and 
the rest of the crews crawled under their blankets and buffalo robes. 

"Soon after our starting, an ominous cloud was observed creeping up the 
northern sky. As it spread itself overhead, the wind freshened, and after 
fluttering through a squall, settled into a heavy blow. The white-caps multi- 
plied behind us, and everything looked suspicious ; but whatever might be our 
misgivings as to the fortune in store for us, out at sea in a storm, with our 
frail heavily laden boats, we could do nothing but hold our course, and take 
the risks. To run back under the land which we had just left, did not at all 
accord with our tastes, nor with the nature of our undertaking. Off the lar- 
board bow lay a long line of iron-bound coast which offered no sign of a 
harbor. Come what might, we must keep on, and sink or swim off Cape 


"To be at sea in a snug ship with a deck under your feet, the wind roar- 
ing and the waves breaking about you, is a pleasure, and as the vessel bounds^ 
forward one scarcely feels that he is not in the most secure place in the world; 
but it is quite a different affair in an open boat twenty feet long. 

"As we ran out from the land, we obtained a fine view of Hartstene Bay. 
The coast which bounds it to the north is high and precipitous, trending a 
little to the north of east, and terminating in a large glacier, about twelve 
miles east of Cape Ohlsen. The face of this glacier, dimly traceable in the 
distance, appeared to be about three miles in extent, sloping backward into an 
extensive mer de glace. To the south of the glacier the land trends nearly 
parallel with the north shore for three or four miles, when it falls off to the 
south, terminating in another glacier larger than the first, which, like it, 
sweeps back around the base of the mountains into the same glassy sea. From 
the southern extremity of this glacier the coast runs southwest, presenting 
an almost straight line of high vertical, jagged rocks, which end in the noble 
headland for which we were steering. 

"Although closely watching the sheet, while John steered and Bonsall 
and Godfrey slept, I was yet at leisure to enjoy the magnificent scene which 
spread itself before me as we approached the cape. A parhelion stood in the 
sky on my right hand, presenting a perfect image of the sun above, and a 
faint point of light on either side. On my left lay the beforementioned line 
of coast, its dark front contrasting grandly with the white sheet of ice a few 
miles further back, which seemed to be in the act of pouring down into the sea 
from some great inland reservoir. 

"In a little while, owing to an accident to the rudder, the boat, no longer 
under its control, broached to. The next wave broke amidships and filled us. 
The air-chambers, which had hitherto made the boat so crank, now saved us 
from sinking. The steersman was knocked down from his seat, and before 
he could regain his oar, and bring the boat into the wind, sea after sea had 
broken over us. 

"Finding that they were not absolutely drowned, and that nothing worse 
could happen than a good ducking, the men returned to their posts, and in 
a few minutes the sail was reefed and set, and the boat righted. The in- 
creased load which she now carried sank her lower in the water, and in spite 
of all our efforts, there remained an unwelcome cargo; for, as fast as we 
bailed out one portion, another poured in. Discouraged at length by our 
fruitless efforts to get her free, we gave up the attempt ; and being now sat- 


isfied that the life-boat would not go down, we held on to the mast and gun- 
wale to prevent the seas from washing us overboard, and in this manner 
drifted around the cape. Here we were met by our consort. Her crew, 
fearful that we had swamped, were gallantly beating up in smoother water 
to our assistance. 

"It was dead calm under the cape. After bailing out some of the water, 
we took in the sails, unshipped the mast, and pulled over to Sutherland Island 
in search of a harbor. This little rock lies about three miles to the southeast 
of Cape Alexander. It was found to be precipitous on its northern and 
eastern sides, and unprotected to the south and west from the winds and 
waveis which eddied around the cape. No harbor was found here, but a little 
farther on one was discovered. 

"We were soon ashore ; and as we looked out from the rocks on the foam- 
ing sea, and listened to the moaning wind as it fell over the cliffs above us, 
and to the breakers thundering against the coast, we had reason to be thankful 
that we were once again on terra Urnia. The Ironsides was hauled upon the 
beach and capsized, to free her of her load of water. Petersen anchored the 
Hope with a couple of heavy stones. Having no dry clothing to put on, we 
ran about until we were a little warmed and dried; and then, pitching the 
tent, we spread over us our water-soaked buffalo, and slept away fatigue and 

"Everything in the Ironsides was thoroughly wet. Among the articles of 
food were a two-barrel bag of bread and our large bag of coffee. The cargo 
of the Hope was as dry as when put on board at Cape Ohlsen. She had be- 
haved admirably, and had weathered the gale quite comfortably. She 
shipped more water through her leaky sides than over her gunwale. 

"The wind lulled a little in the night, but rose in the morning, and in- 
creased again to a gale. The storm was too heavy to allow us to put to sea. 
The wind had hauled around to the north, and the swell came into our harbor. 
The anchorage of the Hope being thus rendered insecure, she also was dragged 
upon the beach. Our wet cargo was spread out upon the stones to dry; and 
we awaited with much anxiety the breaking of the gale." 

On the 6th of September they broke camp, and finally reached Northum- 
berland Island, where from a high hill they viewed the country. Says 
Hayes : 

"Before us, to our right, and to our left was ice, ice, ice. We could see 
full forty miles ; and, although not able to determine positively the condition 


of the water for more than twenty, yet what we saw assured us that a prob- 
ably impenetrable pack lay in our way. To the southwest, towards the Carey 
Islands, whose tops were dimly visible, the sky indicated open water, which 
seemed to run in toward Saunders Island, whose long, flat, white roof, sup- 
ported by a dark vertical wall, appeared above the horizon to the south. 
Under Cape Parry was a large open area, from which diverged several nar- 
row leads, like the fingers of an outspread hand, toward Northumberland. 
One of these leads came up within four or five miles of our camp ; but inside 
of it all was tightly closed. Below Cape Parry several small leads appeared, 
and much open water seemed to lie along the land. 

"Although this pack was in fact the same that had baffled Dr. Kane in 
July and August, yet its existence here surprised me as it had him. It had 
never been noted before. Our track had been traversed by Baffin and Bylot 
in August, 1616; by Sir John Ross, between August 7th and 30th, 18 18; 
by Capt. Inglefield, August 28th, 1852; and by Dr. Kane, in the Advance, 
August 7th, 1853; and by none of them had any considerable quantity of ice 
been seen north of Melville Bay. I was not prepared for such a rebuff at this 
part of our voyage. 

"Could we pass it? would it open? was there any hope for us? I confess 
that, as these questions came in succession to my mind, I could only meet 
them by gloomy doubting. The ice was more firm and secure than we had 
anticipated finding, even in Melville Bay. All of our bright dreams of succor 
and safety seemed to be ending. 

"I was still not wholly without hope. There were yet twenty days of Sep- 
tember; and, although signs of winter had been about us ever since we left 
the brig, yet it was now much warmer here than at Rensselaer Harbor a 
month earlier. Altogether, September promised more of summer than of 

"It was with mingled feelings of hope and discouragement that I started 
to return." 

The party, however, when the issue was put to a vote, determined on an 
advance. One man made a speech. Says Dr. Hayes : 

"I give it as nearly as I can remember it: 'The ice can't remain long, — 
I'll bet it opens to-morrow. The winter is a long way off yet. If we have 
such luck as we have had since leaving Cape Alexander, we'll be in Uper- 
navik in a couple of weeks. You say it is not more than six hundred miles 
there in a straight line. We have food for that time, and fuel for a week. 


Before that's gone we'll shoot a seal.' It was a right gallant and hopeful 
little speech, and 'Long George' (as his messmates always called him) 
looked quite the hero. It reflected the spirit of the party ; and it is one of the 
pleasantest recollections of my life that, notwithstanding nineteen days of 
danger and suffering, during which they had been wet, cold, and often half 
famished, the men who were my companions did not quail at this crisis. 

"In order that the nature of our situation might be more fully under- 
stood, Mr. Sonntag brought out his charts; and after we had carefully dis- 
cussed together the difficulties and dangers on every hand ; the possible 
chances of our success, and the probable chances of our being caught in the 
ice ; and having all arrived at a full comprehension of the uncertainties which 
were before us, and our facilities for availing ourselves of the temporary 
security which was behind us, a formal vote was then taken upon the ques- 
tion, 'Whether we should go back, or wait and go on with the slightest open- 

"There was but one voice in the company — 'Upernavik or nothing, then 
it is !' *That's what I mean !' — 'and so do I !' were the prompt responses. — 
The thing was settled. 

Hayes' diary for a few days graphically describes the situation: 

"September ilth. The ice drifts rapidly out of the sound, opening wider 
the leads toward Cape Parry and the southwest ;' but it is closing up more 
tightly against the southeast corner of the island. The floes have left the 
shore opposite our camp, and we could put to sea and make some headway 
toward the Carey Islands; but this is not the course we have determined 
upon pursuing. We could not advance more than half a mile in the direc- 
tion of the main land. Godfrey has shot a fox, and he reports having seen 
several others among the mountains. Petersen brought down a young raven ; 
it is not good, but we must eat it and save our pork. The sky is overcast, 
and the temperature has gone down to 25°. The air remains calm. 

"September 13th. No change in the ice. This state of inactivity greatly 
affects our spirits. Every hour is precious, and it is hard to be kept thus 
closely imprisoned. 

"It is wonderful how the fine weather holds; nothing like it was ever 
experienced at Rensselaer Harbor, even in midsummer. The people amuse 
themselves in wandering about the green, in plucking and eating cochlearia, 
or in lounging about the camp, smoking their pipes ; sometimes relieving the 
monotony with a game of whist, or in sewing up the rents in their dilapidated 


clothing; casting now and then wistful glances on the sea,> and wondering 
impatiently 'when the ice will open?' Petersen shot a fox and a young bar- 
gomaster-gull ; the former was secured, but the latter fell into the sea and 
floated away with the tide. Although the men suffer morally, they improve 
physically. The cochlearia has driven from their systems every trace of 
scurvy; and the few good meals of fresh animal food which we have eaten 
have built up all of us and filled out our cadaverous cheeks. 

The ice opened at last, and the party put to sea, only to be caught in the 
ice, and to drift for hours on a floe. 

"That we should feel despondent under the circumstances was, perhaps, 
quite natural; but now, as on other occasions, there was exhibited in the 
party a courage which triumphed over the distressing fortunes of the day. 
Stories, such as sailors alone can tell, followed the coffee, and interrupted 
the monotonous chattering of teeth; and Godfrey, who had a penchant for 
negro melodies, broke out from time to time with scraps from 'Uncle Ned,' 
in all its variations, 'Susannah,' and T'm off to Charlestown, a little while 
to stay.' Petersen recited some chapters from his boy-life in Copenhagen 
and Iceland; John gave us some insight into a 'runner's' life in San Fran- 
cisco and Macao; Whipple told some horrors of the forecastle of a Liverpool 
packet; but Bonsall drew the chief applause, by 'Who wouldn't sell a farm 
and go to sea?' 

"A strange mixture of men crowded the tent on that little frozen raft, in 
that dark stormy night of the Arctic Sea ! There were a German astronomer, 
a Baltimore seaman, a Pennsylvania farmer, a Greenland cooper, a Hull 
sailor, an East River boatman, an Irish patriot, and a Philadelphia student 
of medicine; and it was a singular jumble of human experience and adven- 
ture which they related. 

"We were near being precipitated into the water during the night. An 
angle of the raft on which rested one of the tent poles, split off; two of the 
men who lay in that corner were carried down, and their weight was almost 
suflicient to drag the others overboard. Fortunately the bottom and sides 
of the tent were fast together, or two of us at least would have gone into 
the sea. 

"September 15th. The air cleared a little as the morning dawned; and, 
although it continued to snow violently, we were conscious of being near 
some large object, which loomed high through the thick atmosphere. Whether 
it was land or an iceberg we could not make out. We were soon in the boats. 


and pulling tovv^ards it through the thin ice and sludge. Before its character 
became clear, we were within a hundred yards of a low sandy beach, covered 
with boulders. Two burgomaster-gulls fiew overhead while we were break- 
ing through the young ice along the shore; and they were brought down by 
the unerring gun of Petersen. These supplied us with food, of which we stood 
greatly in need. 

"The boats were drawn up above the tide; and we piled the cargo to- 
gether on the rocks, and covered it with one of the sails. The tent was 
pitched near by; and with another sail an awning was spread in front, so 
shelter the cook and to protect the lamp. This precaution was well timed, for 
it soon began to blow hard from the southwest, the wind being accompanied 
with hail. We brought our clothes-bags under the awning, and changed our 
wet garments before retiring to the tent. 

"We had not tasted food for more than four and twenty hours. While 
we were engaged with our meal, our tent was almost blown over. Some 
time elapsed before everything could be made safe. An additional guy was 
placed on the windward side, and those at the ends were fastened to heavier 
stones. The awning was also tightened; and everything being thus ren- 
dered apparently secure, we once more drew our heads under cover. We 
could do nothing for our brave cook but give him some dry clothing, the best 
place in the tent, and our thanks. 

"It was still snowing hard; the wind had increased to a gale, and as it 
went moaning above the plain, it carried up into the air great white clouds, 
and pelted mercilessly the side of our tent with sleet and haiL I put my head 
out of the door; I could not see fifty yards. The boats were nearly covered 
by a great drift, and our cargo was almost buried out of sight. It was not 
due to ourselves that we were not at sea in that fearful storm. We knew 
not even where we were. We came by no will of our own. There was a 
Providence in it. 

"I was too much fatigued to make the circuit of the island; and I am, 
therefore, not able to add anything to the chart of Captain Inglefield, who, 
in the little steamer Isabella, ran up the channel in August, 1852. The cliffs 
above us were composed of sandstone and slate, resting on primitive rock, 
which was visible near our camp. About a quarter of a mile above us were 
discovered two well built Eskimo huts, which appeared to have been recently 

"Hoping that fortune would continue to favor our effort, we retired 


again to our tent, and awoke on the following morning to find that the wind 
had hauled around to the northeast, and that the clouds were breaking away. 
By one o'clock, p. m., it was quite clear. The thermometer went up to two 
degrees above the freezing point; the ice was giving way, and long leads 
were opening through it, in every direction. A narrow belt of heavy floes 
joined together by young ice, unfortunately lay close along the shore; other- 
wise we could have launched our boats at two o'clock. To break through this 
belt would have occupied us until night; and deeming it imprudent again to 
trust ourselves in the darkness to an uncertain channel we concluded to 
remain where we were, and to start fresh with the early morn. 

"The morn broke upon us bright, clear, calm, and summer-like. The 
young ice, neither strong enough to bear nor frail enough to yield easily, 
seemed for a time likely to baffle us; but by breaking it up with our boat- 
hooks and poles, we finally succeeded in effecting our escape; not, however, 
until an hour after the sun had passed the meridian. The way appeared to 
be free toward the mainland, for which we pulled. After we had been under 
oars a couple of hours, a light breeze sprang up from east-northeast; once 
more our canvas was spread, and our ears were again gladdened by the 
music of gurgling waters as the boats rushed onward through the rippled sea. 

"We struck the coast at about twenty miles above Cape Parry. Passing 
under the north cape of Burden Bay, we were surprised to hear human voices 
on the shore. That they were Eskimos we knew from the peculiar 'Huk! 
Huk! Huk' — their hailing cry." 



The adventures on the sea, in frail boats, were not the last of the troubles 
of Dr. Hayes and his men. Though near an Eskimo settlement, they found 
themselves almost without food. The Eskimos themselves were hungry. 
But a winter was at hand, and they must live. They started the building of 
a hut, to be their headquarters while they scoured the country for game. 

One of the party hunted every day, "yet he always came home empty- 
handed, except on one occasion, when he brought in five ptarmigans, all of 
which he shot within a hundred yards of the camp on his return. There 
were several cracks in the ice not far from the shore, which were kept open 
by the changing tide; and in these cracks were frequently seen walrus and 
seal, but they were too timid to be approached. Petersen fired at them several 
times, but they were always beyond his range. Along the shore, to the south 
of our position, he built several fox-traps, which he visited daily ; but hitherto 
no foxes had been caught. 

"All this was discouraging. It seemed ominous of starvation at a very 
early day. Our provisions were running very low ; we had only a few pounds 
of pork left, and of bread only a small quantity beside that in the barrel 
brought from the Life-boat depot, of which a small portion had been con- 
sumed. There remained a little of the meat-biscuit and a few pounds of rice 
and flour. Altogether we had not enough to furnish us with full rations 
during a single week, and we were trying to make our stock suffice for a 
longer period. Already we were upon the shortest daily allowance which 
our labors permitted. Men working during twelve or fourteen hours of the 
twenty-four, in a temperature not much above zero, require a large amount 
of food to sustain them. We were becoming thin and weak, and were con- 
stantly hungry. 

"To appease the gnawing pains of hunger by at least filling up the stomach, 
we resorted to an expedient which I remembered of Sir John Franklin's, in 
his memorable expedition to the Copper-mine, in 1819. This was, to eat 



the rock-lichen, {tripe de rochc), which our party called 'stone moss.' When 
at its maximum growth, it is about an inch in diameter, and of the thickness 
of a wafer. It is black externally, but when broken the interior appears 
white. When boiled it makes a glutinous fluid, which is slightly nutritious. 
Although in some places it grows very abundantly, yet in our locality it, 
like the game, was scarce. Most of the rocks had none upon them; and 
there were very few from which we could collect as much as a quart. The 
difficulty of gathering it was much augmented by its crispness, and the firm- 
ness of its attachment. 

"For this plant, poor though it was, we were compelled to dig. The 
rocks in every case were to be cleared from snow, and often our pains went 
unrewarded. The first time this food was tried it seemed to answer well; it 
at least filled the stomach, and thus kept off the horrid sensation of hungCi 
until we got to sleep. Beside the unpleasant effects, fragments of gravel, 
which were mixed with the moss, tried our teeth. We picked the plants from 
the rock with our knives, or a piece of hoop-iron; and we could not avoid 
breaking off some particles of the stone. 

"The hut proved somewhat of a failure when the heavy snow came in 
October. The morning of the 3rd there was a severe storm, and to our 
sorrow the hut was half filled with snow, feathery streams of which came 
pouring in through the cracks around the roof. These fine particles filled 
the air, and made everything so damp that it was with much difficulty that 
the fire was kindled. Leaving Godfrey engaged in this delicate operation, 
I took the kettle, determined to get if possible some water from the lake. 
The fuel which must otherwise be used for melting snow, might thus be 
saved for roasting coffee, the want of which was greatly felt by all of us. 

"Clambering up through the hole in the roof, I turned to the right 
around the base of a pile of rocks, and then beat up diagonally against the 
gale. The drift was almost blinding, and my face grew so cold that I was 
frequently forced to turn my back to the wind to recover breath and warmth. 
It was with great difficulty that I picked a passage among the boulders and 
drifts; but, growing warmer as the exercise heated my blood, I at length 
came directly upon tie lake. This was an unexpected piece of good fortune ; 
for, as I had guessed my way, I could not have even hoped to come exactly 
to the right spot. 

"Pieces of ice which lay scattered around the well, had formed a center 
for the accumulation of a large drift; and I was therefore compelled to dig 


another hole. Selecting a spot which the wind had swept clear, I set dili- 
gently to work at cutting the crystal sheet with the dull chisel. This, luckily, 
had been placed upright by the last visitor, or I should probably not have 
found it. The ice was perfectly transparent, and I could see every stone 
and pebble on the bottom, shining very brightly, and seeming to nestle there 
in warmth and quiet, — strikingly in contrast with the confusion and cold 
which reigned above. The operation of cutting this hole was a most tedious 
one, and it must have occupied me at least three-quarters of an hour ; but at 
length the iron bar plunged through; and upon withdrawing it a crystal 
fountain gurgled out into the frost. My kettle was soon filled, and I set out 
to return. 

"My tracks were covered over, and again I was obliged to steer by the 
wind. I was getting on very well, having now the storm partially on my 
back; but my good fortune forsook me when I had reached about half-way. 
In the act of climbing over a rock, in order to shorten the distance, I missed 
m.y footing, and fell upon my face. The kettle slipped from my grasp, and, 
spilling its precious contents, went flying across the plain. With a philosoph- 
ical resignation which I had the modesty afterwards to think quite commend- 
able, in the circumstances, I followed the retreating pot, and, overtaking 
it at length where it had brought up against an elevation, I returned to the 
lake and refilled. This time I was more careful, and I reached the camp 
without further accident, except that I came upon the sea some distance 
above the hut; thus considerably increasing the length of my walk; and that, 
too, in the very teeth of the storm. 

"A party of the Eskimos came upon the hut one day, together with a 
drove of hungry dogs. 

"The dogs were fastened by their long traces; each team being tied to a 
separate stake. They were howling piteously. Having been exposed to all 
the fury of the storm, with no ability to run about, they had grown cold ; and 
as their masters told us, having had nothing to eat during thirty-six hours, 
they must have been savagely hungry. One of them had already eaten his 
trace; but we came out, fortunately, at the proper moment to prevent an 
attack upon the sledges. 

"Leaving the hunters to look after their teams, I returned to the hut. 
The blinding snow which battered my face, made me insensible to everything 
except the idea of getting out of it ; and thinking of no danger, I was in the 
act of stooping to enter the doorway, when a sudden noise behind me caused 


me to look around, and there, close at my heels, was the whole pack of thir- 
teen hungry dogs, snarling, snapping, and showing their sharp teeth like a 
drove of ravenous wolves. It was fortunate that I had not got down upon 
my knees, or they would have been upon my back. In fact, so impetuous 
was their attack, that one of them had already sprung when I faced round. 
I caught him on my arm and kicked him down the hill. The others were 
for the moment intimidated by the suddenness of my movement, and at 
seeing the summary manner in which their leader had been dealt with; and 
they were in the act of sneaking away, when they perceived that I was power- 
less to do them any harm, having nothing in my hand. A.gain they assumed 
the offensive ; they were all around me ; an instant more and I should be torn 
to pieces. 

"I had faced death in several shapes before, but never had I felt as then ; 
my blood fairly curdled in my veins. Death down the red throats of a pack 
of wolfish dogs had something about it peculiarly unpleasant. Conscious of 
my weakness, they were preparing for a spring; I had not time even to halloo 
for help — to run would be the readiest means of bringing the wretches 
upon me. My eye swept round the group and caught something lying half 
buried in the snow, about ten feet distant. Quick as a flash I sprang, as I 
never sprang before or since, over the back of a huge fellow who stood 
before me; and the next instant I was whirling about me the lash of a long 
whip, cutting to right and left. The dogs retreated before my blows and 
the fury of my onset, and then sullenly skulked behind the rocks." 

In a desperate effort to get supplies one of the party, John Petersen, 
offered to journey with the Eskimos to a settlement called Netlih, and bring 
food. Two others, John, the cook, and a Mr. Sonntag, made a similar jour- 
ney in another direction. 

"On the evening of the sixth of November, Mr. Sonntag and John came 
back to us. Their arrival was most opportune, for we had eaten every ounce 
of meat which was on hand when they left us. They were brought by two 
Eskimos, whose sledges carried a supply of food sufficient to last us for sev- 
eral days. They had a part of two bear's legs, several other small pieces of 
meat, and a bear's liver. This last the Eskimos will not eat, but we were 
glad enough to get it. There were, besides, some pieces of blubber, about 
two dozens of lumme and burgomaster-gulls, and as many dried auks. All 
this provision had been purchased for fifty needles and a sheath-knife, — a 
small price where these implements are abundant, but an exorbitant one in 


the estimation of our Eskimos. These native friends were getting to be very 
Jews in their bargainings. Heaven knows we did not grudge the poor crea- 
tures the few pahry things of which they stand so much in need; but, with 
us, the case was one of hfe and death; and, by keeping up the price, we pre- 
vented the market from being overstocked. A needle was worth to them 
more than a hundred times its weight in gold. Ours had become quite 
notorious, and by this time every women in the tribe had at least one of 
them. Some of the women had nearly a dozen apiece. They were a won- 
derful improvement over the coarse bone instruments which they had hith- 
erto used. 

"Mr. Sonntag and John had a hard journey. The track was rough. High 
ridges of hummocked ice lay across the mouth of Wolstenholme Sound, and 
through these they were compelled to pick a tortuous passage. On their way 
down they were obliged to walk a large portion of the time, because partly 
of the roughness of the road, and partly of the fact that there four persons 
to one sledge. They were quartered in a double hut, one in each division of 
it, and were treated with great kindness and civility. They returned to us 
looking hale and hearty, and made our mouths fairly water with glowing de- 
scriptions of unstinted feasts. They had been living on the fat of the land, — 
upon bear, fox, and puppy, the best dishes in the Eskimo larder at this time 
of year. Yet food was scarce at Akbat, and hence they brought little." 

Later Petersen and his white companion, one Godfrey, returned unex- 
pectedly. Petersen crawled into the hut almost exhausted, and Godfrey after 

"Their first utterance was a cry for 'water! — water!' 

"I asked Petersen, 'Are you frozen?' — 'No!' — 'Godfrey are you?' — 
'No ! but dreadful cold, and almost dead.' Poor fellow ! he looked so. 

"They were in no condition to answer questions; but they rather needed 
our immediate good offices. Their clothing was stiff, and in front was 
coated with ice. From their beards hung great lumps of it; and their hair, 
eyebrows, and eyelashes were white with the condensed moisture of their 
breath. We aided them in stripping off their frozen garments; and then 
rolled them up in their blankets. 

"Long exposure to the intense cold, fatigue, and hunger, had benumbed 
their sensibilities; and with the reaction which followed came a correspond- 
ing excitement. We gave them to drink of our hot coffee, and this combined 
with the warmth of the hut soon revived them ; but the violence of the change 


produced a temporary bewilderment of mind, and the sleep which followed 
was troubled and restless. Their frequent starts, groans, cries, and mutter- 
ings, told of the fearful dreams of cold, starvation, thirst, and murder by 
which they were distressed. 

"It was not until the following morning that we obtained the full par- 
ticulars of their journey; but Petersen told us, while he drank his coffee, 
what it was necessary that we should know at once. They had walked all 
the way from Netlik, where an attempt had been made to murder them. The 
Eskimos were in pursuit, and if not watched would attack our hut. 

"The idea at once suggested itself, that, with a combination of forty or 
fifty persons, and an effort well directed, they might surprise us; and, dash- 
ing in a body from the rocks above upon the slender roof of our hut, they 
might bury us beneath the ruins, and harpoon us if we should attempt to 
escape. We did not fear a direct attack. 

"A watch was accordingly set and kept up during the night. The sen- 
tinel was armed with Bonsall's rifle, and was relieved every hour. The re- 
mainder of our fire-arms were hung upon their usual pegs, in the passage, 
having been previously discharged and carefully reloaded. The iron boat 
was drawn up in front of the hut. 

"The night wore away. Mr. Petersen and Godfrey awoke, ate again, 
and fell back into their sleep. The sentry marched to and fro along the level 
plain, a few rods to the eastward of the hut; and the creak, creak of his foot- 
steps was distinctly heard as he trod over the frozen snow. Inside the hut 
all was quiet, save now and then a low whisper, the heavy breathing and 
occasional delirious outcries of the returned travelers, and the noise made by 
the periodical changing of the watch. Scarcely an eye except those of Peter- 
sen and Godfrey was closed in sleep. We were all too busy with our 
thoughts, and too much agitated by our anxieties." 

The Eskimos did not attack, though it was plain they had intended to 
murder Petersen. In his sleep he had heard them plotting. He heard them 
say, says Hayes, that "the hut was to be surprised before Mr. Sonntag and 
"John could return from Akbat. In both cases Sip-su (one of Petersen's 
Eskimos) was to lead the assault, and Kalutunah was to act as his second 
in command. 

"Sip-su was just beginning to put into execution the first part of the 
plan of operations, by instituting a search for Petersen's pistol, when Godfrey 
came to the window and hallooed to his chief, to know if he was alive. He 


was satisfied, from what he had seen and heard in the other hut, that foul 
play was intended. 

"Petersen awoke from his sham sleep, and, having exchanged words 
with Godfrey, made some excuse and went out. He found a crowd of men, 
women, and boys around his rifle. It was fortunate that he had impressed 
upon them the idea that it was dangerous to touch it. Seeing them assembled 
about the gun, he called to them to know why they were not afraid to go so 
near; and they all withdrew. 

"Having secured his rifle, he told them that he intended to go in hunt 
of bears (Nannook) ; and drawing from his pocket a handful of balls, he 
remarked, as he dropped them one by one into his other haand, that each of 
them was sufficient to kill a bear, or a man, or any other animal. They would 
have persuaded him to stay; but he had already had enough of their treach- 
ery, and he resolved to walk to Booth Bay. This, although a dangerous ex- 
periment, was clearly more safe than to remain. 

"Conscious that their guilty intentions were rightly interpreted, the Es- 
kimos clustered around him, declaring, with suspicious eagerness, that they 
'would not hurt him,' that 'nobody meant him any harm.' 

"It was late when, with Godfrey, he started toward our party. The night 
was clear and calm, but the cold was terribly intense. At our hut the tem- 
perature was forty-two degrees below zero. The distance to be traveled by 
them would have been, by the most direct fine, forty miles; but more nearly 
fifty by the crooked path which they must follow. Even the three days of 
feasting at the Eskimo settlement had not restored the physical strength of 
which they had been deprived by their course of life at the hut; and, reduced 
as they were in flesh, it seemed to them scarcely probable that they could 
make the exertion necessary to enable them to rejoin us. 

"The Eskimos sullenly watched them from the shore as they moved off; 
and when they had gone about two miles, the former hitched their teams, 
and, leaving the settlement, were soon in full pursuit. The wild, savage cries 
of the men, and the sharp snarl of the dogs, sounded upon the ears of our 
poor comrades like a death-knell. In their previous anxieties, they had not 
looked forward to this new danger. The ice-plain was everywhere smooth; 
there was not in sight, for their encouragement, a single hummock behind 
which they might hope to shelter themselves. 

"On came the noisy pack, — half a hundred wolfish dogs. Against such 
an onset, what could be done by two weak men, armed with a single rifle? 


The dogs and the harpoons of their drivers must soon finish the murderous 
work. Petersen was, however, resolved that Sip-su or Kalutunah should 
pay the penalty of his treachery, if at any moment within range of the rifle." 

It proved, however, that the Eskimos were not brave enough to make the 
assault, so Petersen and Godfrey escaped. 

Later, Dr. Hayes writes: 

"November loth. Again the Eskimos appear to us more as our goo<l 
angels than as our enemies. Under extraordinary temptation, and, doubt- 
less, at the evil instigation of a bad leader, these poor savages had proposed 
the death of Petersen and his companion ; but this day two of them, Kalutunah 
and another hunter, came to us, and threw at our feet a large piece of walrus- 
beef and a piece of liver. The latter was not yet frozen ; and the animal from 
which it was taken had, therefore, been recently caught. 

"We were talking about them, in no spirit of love, when they arrived; 
and, as they came up the hill, various were the expressions of opinion as to 
what ought to be done with them. One said that we should detain them, 
and hold them as hostages until their people should have performed their 
promises ; and that their dogs should be seized, and used in the interval ; but, 
apart from any consideration of justice, such a proceeding would scarcely 
have been safe. Another hinted that fourteen dogs would save us from 
starvation; for, if we should not succeed with them in the hunt, we could 
kill and eat them. Again, apart from any question how far our necessities 
overruled the old law of meum and tuuni, it was certain that such a step, 
whatever its immediate advantages, would bring us ultimately into open, 
and probably, to our party, fatal hostility with the entire tribe. Perhaps, as 
the present of food seemed to indicate, we had not exhausted all of our means 
of negotiation; and, until driven to the last resort, we could not justifiably 
use the strong hand upon our neighbors' property. Great allowances were 
obviously to be made for the tribe, upon whom we had no claims except upon 
grounds of humanity too general for their uninstructed minds." 

It was through these savages that Dr. Hayes and his comrades v/ere able 
at last to return to the ship, for the food they furnished made new men of 
the party. They started back late in November. 

"Our movements," says Dr. Hayes, "were like those of men returning 
from a long journey rather than beginning one. The insuflficient food upon 
which we had been subsisting during the last few days, had so much reduced 
us that, at the end of the first hour, many of us were more fatigued than we 


had been, on former occasions of similar labor, at the end of a day. Our 
progress, slow at the beginning, became slower every moment. The exercise 
did not warm us as it had done when we were in more vigorous health ; and 
we grew chilly in spite of our exertions. Face, hands, and feet seemed to be 
pierced by a multitude of torturing needles. The frost penetrated our bodies 
as if they had been inanimate; and the blood which coursed through our 
veins felt almost as if it were half congealed. Against the intense cold our 
imperfect clothing offered a very inadequate shield. The thermometer, when 
we left the hut, indicated forty-four degrees below zero. The air was fortu- 
nately quite calm; and the moon, shining with an intensity which it can 
exhibit only in an Arctic atmosphere, gave us sufficient light. The snow- 
crowned mountains of Northumberland Island were dimly visible above the 
northern horizon. These were the distant, uninviting landmarks towards 
which our steps were directed." 

Before they had gone far, one of the party, named Stephenson, became 
ill. "In view of this fact it was decided, without much delay, that we should 
return in a body to the hut, and fall back upon our original plan of sending 
Petersen and Bonsall with the sledge. Several of us were already severely 
nipped by the frost; and all felt themselves to be losing rapidly what little 
strength they had. 

"The cargo was re-stowed; the invalid, wrapped in blankets, was placed 
upon it; and our melancholy faces were turned southward, toward our only 
shelter. Poor as this refuge had always been, it was now worse than ever. 
A pile of frozen sods and snow was heaped upon the floor, and the cold air 
was streaming in through the orifice from which these had been taken. 

"We reached it — how or when I doubt if any one of us distinctly remem- 
bers. I have often tried to bring to recollection some phenomenon which 
would indicate the period of the day. I cannot even remember the direction 
of the shadows which our bodies cast upon the moon-lit snow. I know that 
we did not all arrive together. As we moyed slowly forward, first one, and 
then another, and another of the party fell behind; and it was at least an 
hour after the sledge had reached the hut before the last one, no longer able 
to stand upright, came crawling over the plain, upon his hands and knees. 
More than one of us thus finished the journey; and it has always appeared to 
me as a remarkable exhibition of the instinct of life that we toiled on in our 
stupefied unconsciousness even of danger. Stephenson's fainting fit evi- 
dently saved us; for, had we gone two miles farther and then turned back. 


or had we still goxie forward, there was perhaps not one o£ us who would 
not, unconscious of the risk, have stopped by the way for a short nap, through 
which we would have passed into the sleep which knows no waking. 

"We had just sense enough left to enable us to appreciate each other's 
wants, and to give assistance, the stronger to the weaker; to close up tem- 
porarily the hole in the roof; to carry in our frosted blankets, and to spread 
them upon the breck underneath those which we had left behind. We knew 
when we awoke next day that these things had been done; but none of us 
retained more than the most vague impression as to the manner of their 
execution. The intense cold, operating upon our feeble and overtaxed bodies, 
had made wild work with our mental faculties. 

"We lay down in the darkness ; and, through hours uncounted, slept and 
shivered away the effects of our unfortunate journey." 

The next start was made with better sledges and dogs, and was suc- 
cessful. They reached the ship, badly frost-bitten and almost dead. 

"We were soon upon the land-ice under Cape Grinnell. The dogs, ex- 
cited by the unceasing cracking of the merciless whips, galloped at the top 
of their speed. It was a race of life and death. 

"The hull of the dismantled brig at length burst into view; and a few 
minutes afterward we were at its side. So much were my senses blunted by 
the cold that I remember scarcely any incident of our going on board, ex- 
cept that Dr. Kane met us at the gangway, and, grasping me warmly by the 
hand, led us into the fireless, frost-coated cabin. It was in the middle of the 
night, and all hands except the v/atch were sleeping. Ohlsen was the first 
to catch the sound of our coming; and springing from his cot as I entered 
the door, he folded me in his arms ; and, after kissing me with Scandinavian 
heartiness, he threw me into the warm bed which he had just vacated." 

And so ended one of the most desperate of the ventures made in the land 
conquered by Cook and Peary. 



The Polar Regions extend respectively from the Arctic and Antarctic 
circles, in 66° 32' N. and S., to the north and south poles, the circles being 
1,408 geographical miles from the poles. The intense cold and the difficul- 
ties of ice navigation have made the discovery and examination of these 
regions a slow and hazardous task. Millions of square miles are still entirely 
unknown. Notwithstanding, the discovery of the North Pole by Cook and 
Peary, this vast area must still remain unexplored. 

The Arctic circle is a ring running a little south of the northern shores 
of America, Asia and Europe, so that those shores form a fringe within the 
Polar Regions, and are its boundary to the south, except that three openings 
— those of the North Atlantic, of Davis Strait, and of Bering's Strait. 

The width of the approach to this region by the Atlantic Ocean in its 
narrowest part is 660 miles, from the Norwegian Islands of Lofoten to Cape 
Hodgson, on the east coast of Greenland. The width of the approach by 
Davis Strait in the narrowest part, which is nearly on the Arctic circle, is 
165 miles; and the width of Bering Strait is 45 miles. Thus out of the whole 
ring of 8,640 miles along which the Arctic circle passes about 900 miles is 
over water. 

The South Polar Region, unlike the northern region, is almost covered 
by 'Ocean, and the only extensive land being far to the south. It was of 
course entirely unknown to the ancients and to the early navigators of modern 
Europe, although a theory prevailed among geographers that a great conti- 
nent existed around the South Pole; the "Terra Australis Incognito." It is 
believed that the Antarctic Regions will be very much more difficult to explore 
than the Arctic Regions. 


The Hemisphere is one of the halves into which the earth may be sup- 
posed to be divided. It is common to speak of the Eastern Hemisphere and 



the Western Hemisphere, the former, also called the Old World, comprising 
Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, the latter, North and South America. 
The boundary between the two is quite arbitrary, and a more natural 
division of the earth is into the North and Southern Hemisphere, the divid- 
ing line being the equator. 


The Equator is the great circle of our globe every point of which is 90° 
from the poles. All places which are on it have invariably equal days and 
nights. From this circle is reckoned the latitude of places both north and 
south. There is also a corresponding celestial equator in the plane of the 
terrestrial, an imaginary great circle in the heavens the plane of which is 
perpendicular to the axis of the earth. It is everywhere 90° distant from 
the celestial poles, which coincide with the extremities of the earth's axis, 
supposed to be produced to meet the heavens. During the apparent yearly 
course the sun is twice in the celestial, and vertically over the terrestrial 
equator, at the beginning of spring and of autumn. Then the day and night 
are equal all over the earth, whence the name equinox. The magnetic equator 
is a line which pretty nearly coincides with the geographical equator, and at 
every point of which the vertical component of the earth's magnetic attraction 
is zero ; that is to say, a dipping needle carried along the magnetic equator 
remains horizontal. It is hence also called the aclinic line. 


Greenwich is within a few miles of London, England, and a great astro- 
nomical observatory is located there. Time in all parts of the world is meas- 
ured according to meridian east or west of Greenwich. There are in all 180 
meridians east and 180 meridians west of Greenwich, total 360. It is plain 
then that the meridians begin to number in both directions from Greenwich. 

The Meridian of Greenwich extends half way around the world from 
the North Pole to the South Pole. Beyond the poles, however, on the oppo- 
site side of the world from that covered by the Meridian of Greenwich, it is 
the i8oth meridian, alro extending from pole to pole; the Meridian of Green- 
wich and the i8oth meridian being the exact antipodes of each other. 

Since the earth's rotation around the sun makes the sun pass 15 meridians 
each hour, if you will divide the total number of meridians, 360, by 15, you 
have 24, the number of hours in a day. Roughly speaking, the 180th meridian 


is midway between San Francisco and Manila. Approximately there are i6o 
meridians between New York City and Manila via San Francisco, so there 
would be 200 meridians between the two places via Europe and Asia. Di- 
vide 200 by 1 5 as explained above and you have the difference in time between 
Manila and New York, which would be 13 hours, and 20 minutes. 


Latitude, in geography, the distance of any place on the globe north or 
south of the equator measured on its meridian. It is called north or south 
according as the place is on the north or south of the equator. The highest 
or greatest latitude is 90°, that is, at the poles ; the lowest or smallest o, at the 
equator, between which and the poles are the parallel circles, called parallels 
of latitude. One method of finding the latitude of a place is by measuring the 
altitude of the pole-star. When the latitude and longitude of a place are 
given its position on a map is easily found. 


One difficulty that may lie in a matter apparently so simple as the 
reckoning of the days of the week is well shown in one of Poe's stories. The 
obdurate father of the maiden — evidently with the Greek calends in mind — 
promises to give her to the objectionable swain when three Sundays occurred 
in one week. To his consternation, and the joy of the lovers, this seemingly 
impossible event indubitably happened when two sea-captains appeared to- 
gether upon the scene who had circumnavigated the globe in opposite direc- 
tions. As a matter of fact, this bit of fiction represents what is taking place 
every day in the year, and must continue to occur as long as our present 
method of reckoning time is retained. And the reason for this is simple and 
familiar. The civil day begins and ends at midnight, but for convenience 
of explanation let us assume (as in the practice of astronomers) that the day 
begins at noon and ends at the following noon. It is clear that the interval 
of time between two successive noons will be, for us, twenty-four hours (or 
a day as measured by one complete rotation of the earth) only when we 
remain on the same meridian. For if at noon on the beginning of Monday 
we move, say, over a space of fifteen degrees toward the east, it is obvious 
that when the sun again stands at noon, for us, only twenty-three hours will 
have lapsed, since we shall have accomplished one twenty-fourth of his 
journey for him; that is, Tuesday, will begin, for us, one hour too soon. 


Similarly, if we repeat this eastward movement, Wednesday will begin two 
hours too soon; and so on, until, when our starting point is reached, we shall, 
in count of days, be just twenty-four hours ahead in our reckoning. The 
result will be that, instead of ending the journey in twenty-four days (as we 
seem to do) and on a Wednesday, we shall actually complete it in twenty- 
three days, and on Tuesday. On the other hand, if we move westward in 
this way the reverse will happen; our da3^s, as measured from noon to noon, 
will be twenty-five hours long, and we shall actually complete the trip in 
twenty-five days and on Thursday. For the stay-at-home, and for travelers 
returning thus from the east and from the west, there will, accordingly, if 
no correction is made in the reckoning, be for each day three distinct dates, 
each perfectly correct by diary or log; and each day of the week, not Sun- 
day simply, will be repeated thrice. 



This shifting of dates is, of course, the same in the end whether the 
journey about the earth be made in a month or in a thousand years; and, in 
reality, it has become of practical interest principally in connection with move- 
ments of population which have extended through centuries. From Europe 
as a center the leaders of modern exploration advanced toward both the west 
and the east; and in their footsteps colonists have followed establishing new 
centers of civilization, whose commercial intercourse with Europe has in 
general been maintained along the routes of the earliest exodus. But the 
colonists carried their European dates with them; and it has thus happened 
that at all the points — chiefly in the islands of the Pacific Ocean — where the 
eastward has met the westward current of colonization and commerce, there 
has arisen a conflict of dates identical with that just explained. On the one 
hand lies regions where the time reckoning has lagged behind; on the other, 
regions where it has shot ahead. An imaginary line drawn upon the surface 
of the globe separating the regions where this difference in dates prevails is 
a date-line; and It is clear that the difference of reckoning marked by each 
line is, in general, one day, for when two circumnavigators, starting in oppo- 
site directions from one place, meet one another In the journey, one will have 
lost just that part of a day which the other has not yet gained. On the 
eastern side of the line, namely, the date will be one day earlier than on the 
western side ; that is, if it is Sunday on the former it will be Monday on the 


latter. It is characteristic, also, on such a line that if on crossing it from the 
west a day is added to the reckoning, or on crossing it from the east a day 
is omitted, the shifting of the dates will be corrected. This correction is a 
common item in the diaries of travelers and the log-books of mariners. 

Lives Lost in Polar Explorations. 

The followmg is a complete and accurate list of the deaths among members 
of the parties of polar travelers: 

Year. Explorer. Lost. Cause of Death. 

1553 — Sir Hugh Willoughby 62 cold and starvation 

1554 — Richard Cancellor 8 cold and starvation 

1578 — Sir Martin Frobisher 40 cold, starvation, drowning 

1585 — Capt. Davis 14 cold 

1594 — Barents 35 starvation, drowning, scurvy 

1606 — John Knight 3 cold 

1607 — Henry Hudson 10 cold, scurvy 

1612 — Sir Thomas Button 14 cold 

1619 — Jens Munk 62 . , . .cold, starvation, scurvy, drowning 

1631 — Thomas James 14 cold 

1633 — Isle of Jan Mayen settlers. 7 cold, starvation 

1634 — Isle of Jan Mayen settlers. 7 cold, starvation 

1648 — Deshneff 70 starvation, drqwning, cold 

1719 — James Knight 50 starvation, drowning, cold 

1728 — Bering 10 cold, drowning 

1735 — Pronchistcheff 2 cold 

1735 — Lassinius 53 scurvy, starvation, cold 

1739 — Charlton Laptier 12 cold, starvation 

1742 — Bering 31 starvation, cold, scurvy 

1773 — Lord Mulgrave 8 cold and starvation 

1776 — Capt. Cook 4 drowning 

1818 — Parry, first voyage i cold 

1819 — Franklin, first voyage 2 accident 

1821 — Parry, second voyage 7 cold 

1825 — Franklin, second voyage ... 4. cold 

1829 — John Ross 4 cold and starvation 

1838 — Pease and Simpson 5 cold 


Year. Explorer. Lost. Cause of Death. 

1845 — Franklin, third voyage. ...135 starvation, scurvy, exposure 

1848 — J. C. Ross, search expedition i unknown 

1849 — North Star expedition 5 cold, starvation 

1849 — Plover and Herald 3 cold, starvation 

1853 — Rae 6 cold, starvation 

1853 — Kane expedition 3 accident, cold 

i860 — Isaac Hayes i cold 

i860 — Hall, first voyage 2 cold 

1864 — Hall, second voyage 3 cold 

1870— Hall, last voyage 2 cold and starvation 

1872 — Pegetthoff 2 cold 

1872 — B. Leigh Smith 2 cold 

1875 — English expedition 4 cold 

1878 — Jeanette (De Long) 23 starvation, cold, scurvy 

1881 — Greely 20 starvation 

1896 — Andree (balloon) 3 unknown 

1900 — Abruzzi 2 cold 

1908 — Cook none 

1909 — Peary 1 drowning 

Total 756 




While all the world knows of the discovery of the north pole, not one 
person in 10,000, it is safe to say, knows that in 1899 a young American 
army ojEficer, acting under orders of the Secretary of War, proceeded to 
Alaska, where he made a tour of exploration that resulted in the discovery of 
a safe overland route from the Pacific Ocean to the golden-laden fields of 
the Nome country. 

Not only did this officer discover the wonderful natural roadway through 
the Alaskan Mountains known as Simpson Pass, but he also discovered the 
second highest peak in Alaska, and he brought back to Washington the best 
description of the Alaskan country and some of the finest maps ever made of 
that far northern country. 

The man who did all this and the record of whose achievements have been 
filed away in the archives of the War Department all these years is Captain 
Joseph H. Herron of the Second United States Cavalry, now adjutant of the 
United States Military Academy at West Point. 


Captain Herron, who was a young lieutenant not long out of West Point 
when he made his wonderful journey of exploration, never refers to his 
achievements in Alaska, and were it ftot for the fact that a few copies of the 
report were ordered printed for the use of the United States Senate, this 
story could not be told, for Herron would never tell it — at least for publica- 

The route to the Yukon and Nome countries explored and mapped out by 
Captain Herron is officially recorded in the War Department as the "All 
American Overland Route From Cook Inlet, Pacifix Ocean, to the Yukon." 

The route follows the Yentna and Keechatno rivers, and breaks through 
the To-Toy-Lon Mountains in the Fleischmann glacier region of the Tateno 



River country. This break is known as Simpson Pass, and is the gateway 
that leads to the gold fields beyond. 

"This report," Captain Herron said in his official report of his expedition, 
"represents the earnest efforts of a small party in unknown regions, against 
extraordinary obstacles, deserted by guides, caught by winter, deprived of 
transportation, and hampered by scarcity of food. 


"I take pleasure in commending to the adjutant general the men of my 
expedition. Acting Assistant Surgeon Henry R. Carter, U. S. A., a young 
physician of ability and attainments, who, in addition to conscientious pro- 
fessional work, did duty at all other tasks assigned to him with pluck, zeal 
and energy, and contributed much to the success of the expedition. Privates 
Sam L. Jones and Gilbert Dillinger, Fourteenth United States Infantry, 
proved themselves on every occasion magnificent soldiers in every respect. 
Packers E. M. Webster and George Brown contributed greatly to the success 
of the expedition by their ability as horsemen and packers, as well as by their 
faithful, energetic and intrepid services throughout." 

The explorations that were to result in the discovery of the overland 
route started at noon on June 30, 1899, at which time Captain Herron, in 
his report, says that "the steamboat left us, six white men and two red men, 
camped in a fringe of alder and spruce timber on the north bank of the 
Keechatno Piver. The fifteen pack horses were fed their last ration of oats, 
and over 3,000 pounds of our rations and impedimenta were piled up on the 



The country where the route begins Captain Herron describes as wild and 
overgrown; one that exacted from those in the expedition extraordinary 
labor at every step. 

During the summer months. Captain Herron briefly recites, the daily 
routine of his command was "a reconnoissance for the best route for the day's 
march; a search for fords, crossings, detours around or passages through 
ravines, swamps and other obstacles; the construction of a pack-train trail 
by chopping out timber and brush in dense forests, blazing in open forests and 
corduroying in soft mud and tundras; fording or swimming the pack train 
over the rivers; the building of spar bridges where mud-bottom creeks inter- 


posed which were too shallow to swim, too deep to corduroy, too soft-bot- 
tomed to ford and too wide to jump ; investigation for wood, water, grass, and, 
if possible, a breezy location for camp, wind, as an additional requisite, mini- 
mizing the mosquitoes, gnats, horseflies and mooseflies." 

"The first object," the Herron official report states, "was to get through 
the Alaskan Range, a mass of enormous peaks and glaciers about seventy 
miles wide, extending across Alaska and constituting the chief barrier to the 
interior, I consumed the month of July exploring through these mountains. 


"The first day's march — forty-three miles — was through dense timber 
and over soft ground. The packs were heavy, the lash ropes stiff, and the 
horses frolicsome. The transportation stampeded back on the trail at every 
opportunity, raced through the woods, knocked off packs, plunged into mud 
holes, bogged down, and it required eleven hours of patient toil to make that 
short march." 

After this day's march and until July lo, Captain Herron reported good 
luck. He was then nearing the To-Toy-Lon Mountains, and though he did 
not then know it, Simpson Pass, was not far away. The Indian guides, who 
were later to desert him, told him on that day that it would be impossible to 
get his horse over the mountains, that the pass was over vertical rock cliffs, 
and that when the Indians crossed they had to use their hands in climbing 
over. In the six days that followed Captain Herron discovered the entrance 
to the pass. 

"During the following six days," he writes, "the Indians informed me 
that they 'saveyed' (knew) the country no further. I proposed climbing to 
the top of the mountains for a reconnoissance, and devoted the afternoon of 
the 1 6th to doing so. The Indians still wanted to go back, repeatedly warned 
me 'one month snow,' and made efforts each day to persuade me to abandon 
the trip. 


"July 17 I went into camp after a short day's march to make a fire and 
warm up Carter, who, in fording the Keechatno River, was knocked down, 
carried off and pounded on the rocks by the swift current. The Indian 
Stepan rescued him from a disagreeable situation. We were nearing the 


head waters of the Keechatno when, on the 19th, the monotony was relieved 
by the discovery of the pass over the divide. 

"The formation, locaHty and game trails of antiquity all indicated that 
I had found the pass I sought. I asked my Indians for their opinion, but I 
received a reply of 'No savey.' I camped in the last clump of trees, our 
elevation now being at the timber line, and prepared to reconnoiter the pass. 

"Stepan shot, about a mile from this camp, a huge bull moose. The animal 
was not far from twenty hands high and very fat, the antlers in velvet state. 
The fresh meat was welcome after a diet of bacon. The Indians consider the 
soft outer edge of the horns a great delicacy, likewise the nose, the sole of 
the hoof, the intestines and the marrow of the bones. 

"Leaving three men and the horses at camp, I took the Indians and 
Dillinger and explored the pass for nearly ten miles, found it wide through- 
out, of slight grade, safe from snowslides, free from glaciers, the elevation on 
the crest taken with barometer and psychrometer 3,600 feet above sea level, 
and practicable for trails, roads or railroads. There was no need for the 
pick or shovels. 


"While in this pass I came upon two enormous brown bears, asleep 
(sometimes called the glacier bear, or the grizzly). Led by the Indian Slinkta, 
I crawled around to the leeward and then approached them, too near, I 
thought to myself, as I had a poor gun, only a few cartridges, and the nearest 
tree was five miles away. Slinkta whistled and awoke the bears, while I 
fired and shot the larger one in the head, but only staggered him. He arose 
and passed a swinging right hander at the other bear, but missed him. They 
got away. 

"The same day Jones and Webster were chased by a brown bear, near the 
glacier at the head of the Keechatno, Four or five shots in the bear turned 
him, but did not kill him. He took to the brush. 

"The 22d of July I crossed the crest of the divide and started down the 
other side of the watershed. East of the divide the drainage is into the 
Pacific Ocean ; west of it into the Bering Sea. Bering Sea is closed by ice in 
winter, while the Pacific Ocean is open. Hence routes into the interior must 
connect with the latter. 

"In the vicinity of camp, July 23, on the Tateno, were hundreds of moun- 
tain sheep, high up near the summits. Jones, Carter and Slinkta climbed the 



mountains and shot two. An enormous moose trotted by this camp, but we 
were ah-eady loaded down with meat and let him go. July 26 Carter and I 
met a black bear and cub; wounded the old one and caught the cub, but we 
turned the little fellow loose the next day." 


On July 28 Slinkta and Stepan, Herron's Indian guides, deserted him, 
and from that time on the exploration of the overland route was made with- 
out guides, the explorers traveling by compass and the sun. 

For the first two weeks in August the expedition had a hard time. Cap- 
tain Herron himself during that time was injured when a pack horse jumped 
and fell on him in a mudhole, but he kept on. On August 25 two of his 
horses v/ere accidentally killed, both by snagging, while on September 3 a 
severe earthquake further upset his plans. 

From the PhiladelDhia Inquirer 




On September 30 was held a great military parade, one of the largest ever 
seen in America. Twenty-five thousand men of arms marched past the 
massed representatives and special envoys of thirty-seven nations, while 
2,000,000 citizens, seated in grand stands or standing along Fifth avenue, 
shouted themselves hoarse in cheers. 

Although there were tremendous outbursts for each body of American 
troops, and unstinted applause in overwhelming volume for the British sailors, 
the most conspicuous reception of the day went to the sailors of the German 
fleet, a picked body of magnificent men, who, as they reached the reviewing 
stand, fell into the formal slapslap of the parade goose step and burst into 
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee," with an overwhelming volume of brasses and a 
fervor which took away the breath of the listeners. , 

The occupants of the benches sat silent for a moment, and then, rising 
bareheaded to their feet, cheered, and cheered, and cheered again, until the 
voices gave way and they could only wave hats and handkerchiefs in a long 
echo of applause. 


For the first time during the celebration all the small towns within strik- 
ing distance of New York suspended business today to watch the parade of 
the sailors and mariners of seven visiting nations, the regular soldiers, the 
blue jackets, the national guard, and the naval militia of the United States, 
and the police of New York City. 

So many men representing so many branches of the war department of 
the world have not boen seen on American streets before; so many wearing 
American colors have not been seen since the days of the civil war. The 
total count of those in line today outnumbered the enlisted roll of the Ameri- 
can regular army before the Spanish-American war. Forty-four hundred 



police kept the crowd in line and at the same time, by a special system of 
platoon reliefs, the regular and reserve force of every precinct in the city was 
maintained at its full working capacity. 


The parade followed strictly the order of official precedence. First came 
Admiral Sir Edward Seymour's men, the bluejackets and marines of the 
British fleet; then the Germans, and, following, the men of the Netherlands 
and the Italian midshipmen in company front, with their sailors bringing up 
the rear. 

Then came the representatives of the United States, the coast artillery, 
carrying the new service Springfields for the first time; the United States 
Marine band of the Atlantic fleet in scarlet and gold, with a sprinkling of 
Filipino musicians blowing bravely; the marine corps; the sailors of the 
various ships of the fleet in division front; the naval militia; the national 
guard; and, lastly, the drab garbed regulars. The cadets of the Argentine 
training ship, trim and youthful, found a place between the American sailors 
and the naval militia. 

As if to contrast the wonders of 1909 with those of 1809 — no longer 
wonders now — Wilbur Wright and Glenn H. Curtiss, on September 28, made 
sensational flights in their aeroplanes. The former flew around the Statue 
of Liberty. 

Miss Liberty, on Bedlow's Island, has seen maany ships from many lands 
in her time, and has welcomed all visitors with a dignified equanimity for 
many years. She never saw a ship of the air, though, until that morning. 
It was almost enough to knock her off her pedestal for Wilbur Wright to call 
on her in his flying machine. 

It is positively known that he turned her head, because thousands of pairs 
of eyes saw him do so. And then he came back to Governor's Island again 
over the glittering waters of the bay. History was made while the spec- 
tators waited. 

The first official visit to the famous Lady of Liberty and Light by the 
first aviator to show, mankind how it might be liberated from the thraldom 
of earth had been seen by a multitude. 

It was the second of beautiful exhibitions of the genius of Wilbur Wright, 
believed by many to be without a peer in his line in the world today. The 
first flight was around the island, over water at heights of 150 to 250 feet, 


and was begun at 9:15 o'clock in the morning. The last was, perhaps, the 
most daring, the machine fluttering and diving in a strong easterly wind like 
a wounded seagull, while the setting sun was aglow with excitement, and 
was begun at 5 123 p. m. 

On this trip Mr. Wright did not fly high nor attempt to leave the new 
part of the island used as the aeroplane starting field. But the bravery of the 
exploit, the flashes the spectators saw of the aviator's rigid face, the tooting 
of watercraft whose wheels were stopped in midstream, caused men, women 
and children visitors to the island to cheer ecstatically. Officers and soldiers 
waved their hats, shouted, and clapped one another on the back. 


Mr. Wright blinked the cobwebs of the sky from out his eyes, brushed 
the cloud dust from his lapel and walked across the darkening sands to his 
shed. Serene, modestly confident, if he took note of the excitement that his 
feat had produced on land and water, he smothered any reflection of it within 
himself. He and Miss Liberty are both self-contained and immovable. It is 
believed that he is a man after her own heart. 

Curtiss made a short flight of about four hundred yards at 7 a. m. He 
slept the night before on the island. The machine had never been tried, 
which was also true of Mr. Wright's aeroplane, and Mr. Curtiss did not 
make a further attempt yesterday. The first test indicated to him that he 
might do better with a four-bladed propeller instead of one of two blades. 
The former was put in position, but the machine was not again taken out of 
the shed. 

Mr. Wright arrived at the island shortly before 9 o'clock. The machine 
was taken to the center of the sandplot and placed, facing due west, on the 
monorail. A small crowd had assembled. Mr. Wright and Mr, Taylor, his 
chief mechanician, turned the two propellers until the motor caught the spark. 
Soldiers stood at a respectful distance. The aeroplanist, wearing his familiar 
Scotch plaid cap, walked deliberately to the front of the machine, listened a 
moment to the rhythm of his motor, then took his seat. At 9:15 o'clock !he 
machine was in motion, and in an instant more the aviator was soaring. 

Two circles were cut over the starting grounds, and then he swung out 
over Buttermilk Channel to the end, turned west at the northern end of Gov- 
ernor's Island and came back to the starting point. He completely circled 
the island, having involuntarily dipped a little when saluted by the whistles 


of the tugs, steamboats and factories. A distance of about two miles was 
covered in this first flight. Mr. Wright was in the air seven minutes and ten 
seconds. The landing seemed a little rough, but no damage was done. In 
making his last turn the aviator rose about twenty-five feet above Castle Wil- 
liams. From a little distance the passing appeared dangerous. 


Word was sent out to the reporters that Mr. Wright would soon again 
mount his paradise bird of the air. Each boat from Manhattan brought ex- 
cited visitors. Several hundred persons grew tense when, at 10.17 o'clock, 
the propellers were started, and only a few of the spectators knew that Mr. 
Wright meant to circle the Statue of Liberty. The weather conditions were 
ideal. A soft, steady breeze came from the west. Directly into this the 
aeroplane, which is silver in color, left the monorail, with the aviator in 
charge, at 10:18:04 o'clock. 

Straight almost as an arrow the wings of Wilbur flew to the Statue of 
Liberty, a mile and a quarter away. The crowd was too engrossed to cheer, 
but stood tiptoe instead. Only then was the intention of the aviator pierced 
and understood by all present. A thousand whistles seemed to make an- 
nouncement to the world that there was something new under the sun. At 
10:19 o'clock the flying machine was over the sea wall, and the "total toot" 
of the startled smokestacks must have reached the ear of that immobile lady, 
the quest of a great man. 

As the aeroplane flew across the Upper Bay a seagull, bewildered by the 
noise of the new intruder, fluttered back and forth amid the roar of the pro- 
pellers, and at last settled down on the top of a wave. 

Suddenly there appeared beyond the curve of Castle Williams, the bow 
of the Lusitania, bound for Liverpool. It was as if she had risen from the 
sea to give contrast to the scene. Her decks were fringed white with flying 
handkerchiefs; a cheer that sounded faint came floating across the water. 
But Wilbur kept steadily on his virgin way. As an Irishman who was pres- 
ent, said : 

"Wright is now where the hand of man has never set a foot." 



He would keep inviolate his appointment with Miss Liberty, and at lO :22 
o'clock it was that the most unusual visitor she had ever received began to 
show her what a man from Ohio could do "when put to it." 

It was then he waltzed around her, his wing tips palpitating exultantly 
as he safely made the turn. He went high enough in the air to touch, if he 
had had the time, the upraised hand of the goddess. He returned at once to 
the island, having been away less than five minutes. 

Miss Liberty was reticent and Mr. Wright the same as to what, if any, 
pleasantries were exchanged, so the truth may never be known. But the 
crowd on the island was glad to see him back, and, after flying a half circle, 
Mr. Wright seemed to pick out a particular spot for landing, and ended a 
splendid, graduated descent by almost swimming into the sand. There was 
no jar; the machine lighted squarely, but when the soldiers were pulling the 
aeroplane back to the monorail one of the biplanes was broken. 

Ferryboats, a Sandy Hook boat and various nervous tugs around the 
island stopped all progress during the flight. 

Shortly before i o'clock Mr. Wright and William J, Hammer, secretary 
of the aeronautics committee of the Hudson-Fulton Commission, left the 
island for luncheon at the Singer Building. Mr. Wright, whom thousands 
at the Battery were waiting to see in the air, passed unnoticed under his 
tightly drawn black derby hat through the surging mob. In his wake, though 
unconsciously, were three well fed, curious farmers. 


"I tell you the flag on the steeple is blowin', and that means they'll be 
flyin' to-day," said one. 

"It's the Norwegian Consul's flag that I see — over on that tower there," 
said No. 2, pointing to the identical spot, near by, where it was proper for 
that emblem to be exhibited. 

"I can't be seeing that far," said the most elderly of the three, pipingly, 
"but where is the place for us to get tickets for the balloon ascensions?" 

They were told that Mr. Wright expected to fly up the Hudson River short- 
ly after 3 o'clock. Old as he was, the last speaker said he would wait for the 
show to begin, and, his knees trembling with excitement, he started off with 
his companions in search of a vantage point. 


During luncheon Mr. Wright was asked how fast his machine was going 
on'its way back Jrom Bedlow's Island. 

"I made no particular observations," he answered. "The wind was at my 
back. I was probably going at the rate of a little over fifty miles an hour." 

"Do you expect to go some distance up the river this afternoon?" he 
was asked. 

"Oh, I think I will make a flight up the river — maybe about 4 o'clock," 
he said. 

That was sufficient to arouse the visitors to the island to the highest state 
of expectation. Flags hung limp about the harbor. Persons who had never 
seen a flying machine before but had read in newspapers the disadvantages 
that lurk in winds grew eloquent in pointing out that at last ideal conditions 
were at hand. 


"How long will it take Mr. Wright to reach Albany?" became an oft- 
repeated question by these enthusiasts, who were most seriously in earnest. 

Meanwhile Mr. Wright sat calmly lingering over his favorite dessert — 
pie — and the momentous concern of the high-keyed spectators grew apace. 

"When he says 4 he means 4," maintained the faithful. 

He came on time, but there rose in a few minutes a gusty breeze of per- 
haps twelve miles velocity that made the flags stand out straight to the west 
and caused the flight to Albany to be omitted from casual talk. The wind 
did not die down, but became more rapid and more uncertain. When 4:30 
o'clock came the aeroplane was seen to leave the shed. Oldtimers at aero- 
nautic carnivals here and abroad said: "He does not mean to risk himself 
in this wind." 

Soldiers were busy clearing the one hundred acres of field of all except 
a dozen spectators. Reporters and photographers were driven back to the 
edge of the sand plot, while other soldiers pulled the aeroplane about a quar- 
ter of a mile to the monorail. 

Nothing further was done until 5:19 o'clock, when, to the amazement of 
those who understood what the existing weather conditions meant to the 
aviator, and to the delight of those who didn't, the propellers were again 

Wright was off in another moment or two, and, while not so spectacular 
as his former ones, the flight showed an ability to meet unwelcome condition =; 


that those who know said marked the last flight as one of the great exhibi- 
tions thus far made in the science of aviation. 

The Hudson celebration became more definitely linked with the north 
pole discovery when, on October i, Commander Robert E. Peary, his wife, 
and every member of the crew that accompanied him on his quest of the north 
pole aboard, and the steamer Roosevelt, just back from the region of eternal 
ice, formed salient features of a naval parade up the lower Hudson to meet 
the Half Moon and the Clermont at Newburgh, 

Mr. and Mrs. Peary arrived in New York early from Portland, Me. The 
Roosevelt was coming up the harbor amid the salutes of other shipping when 
the commander arrived. The Roosevelt's progress from quarantine to the 
dock at West Forty-second street was marked by a continuous blast of 
whistles. When it came off Riverside drive, where the crowd was gathered, 
and started on the way up the river, the salute was taken up by thousands of 
cheering voices. 


The naval parade was the principal incident of the Hudson-Fulton cele- 
bration of the day in so far as Manhattan was concerned. In Brooklyn the 
historical pageant of the previous Tuesday was repeated, and there was 
everywhere the usual expectation of aeroplane flights, but the great majority 
of sightseers flocked to the banks of the Hudson. There they saw, in addi- 
tion to Peary's vessel, a great fleet of excursion steamers, steam tugs, yachts, 
motorboats, and other craft which rendezvoused between Fort Lee and Spuy- 
ten Duyvil and about lo o'clock fell into line for the fifty-mile journey to 

The nucleus of the "lower Hudson" fleet that started to meet the Half 
Moon and Clermont and the other craft coming down the river was a squad- 
ron composed of one small United States cruiser, twelve torpedo boats and 
four submarines. The Castine, the parent boat of the submarine squadron, 
and four other submarines acted as escort to the Half Moon and Clermont, 
making twenty-two American watships in the demonstration. The other 
members of the American war fleet and the foreign men-o'-war remained 
at their anchorages in the Hudson. 

The Half Moon and the Clermont passed the night at Ossining, and had 
a comparatively short run to reach Newburgh. 

Newburgh, a quaint little city that dates from early Dutch colonial times, 


had prepared for the celebration of its history. After the arrival of the fleet 
there was a street parade of 5,000 men, in which the sailors and marines from 
the warships joined. The paraders afterward were guests at a big "shore 


Gov. Hughes, the Hudson-Fulton commissions from up and down the 
river, members of the legislature, foreign and other guests were welcomed 
by Mayor McClung as they went ashore at Newburgh. Members of the 
Waorneck tribe of redmen, gay with paint and feathers, arrived, sent out a 
welcoming detachment in canoes to greet the Half Moon, while guns boomed 
a welcome from Palmer's park. 

During the formalities attending the transfer of the Half Moon and 
Clermont to the upper Hudson commission, the sailors and marines of the 
American and foreign warships were landing further down the river, to take 
part in the parade, one of the features of the day ashore. 


When Commander Peary stepped off a train in the Grand Central station 
at 7:15 a. m. on his return to New York from his trip to the pole few per- 
sons were at the station. He and Mrs. Peary were warmly greeted by Her- 
bert L. Bridgman, secretary of the Peary Arctic club. 

With the laughing remark that he was too hungry to talk, Commander 
Peary hastened across the street for breakfast. After breakfast the com- 
mander and Mrs. Peary left in a taxicab for the pier to board the Roosevelt. 

"I appreciate the honor of being in the naval parade," said the com- 
mander, "and it is an especial pleasure to be with my crew on the Roosevelt 
on such an occasion." 

While on the pier Peary walked up and down several minutes without 
being recognized by 200 persons gathered there to see the Roosevelt. 

"How does it feel to be back?" Peary was asked. 

"It does not feel so worse — in the words of Chimmie Fadden," replied 

Then his eyes turned to the Roosevelt. "She does not look like a. very 
imposing ship, does she?" he said. "But up in the ice she looks like some- 
thing, and there were times when she looked mighty good to me. You notice 
the way she's built. The round of the bow prevents the ice from getting hold 


of her when she is squeezed, and she bobs up when the ice crushes together." 

The north pole flag which the steamer bore was the usual American en- 
sign with a stripe of white bearing the words "North Pole" in black letters 
running diagonally from the upper corner of the horizontal stripes to a 
corner under the stars. Commander Peary explained its origin as follows: 

"I wanted a piece of the silk flag I flew at the pole to bury at that point 
with my records, so I cut a diagonal strip out of it. Then, to preserve the 
flag, I sewed a strip of white silk into the cut when I returned to the Roose- 
velt. The design seemed so appropriate that we lettered this strip and adopted 
it as the north pole ensign." 

Mr. and Mrs. Peary had stepped on a tug and were on the way to the 
Roosevelt before the crowd realized who they were. Then there was a burst 
of cheering. Handkerchiefs and hats were waved, and the whistles renewed 
their blasts. 

Capt. Bartlett and the crew of nineteen men were on the Roosevelt in 
the garments they had chosen for their rough trip to the Arctic, flannel 
shirts, fur boots and picturesque sea togs. 

The Roosevelt lay at anchor answering salutes of vessels while most of 
the ships intending to take part in the parade passed. It then dropped into 
the line and brought up the rear of the procession. 

I^ater the following dispatch was sent to The Associated Press by Harry 
Whitney : 

"Stephenville Crossing, N. F., Sept. 29. 

"So many questions are being asked of me by different papers that I de- 
sire to make the following statement : 

"My reasons for not going back to Etah after Dr. Cook's things were 
that the engine in the Jeanie, one of the smallest boats that ever went to the 
North Arctic, was not working satisfactorily, and we were depending partly 
on sails, which later we had to do entirely. There was no reason why the 
Jeanie could not have gone back, but, not knowing that Dr. Cook's things 
left with me were of such importance as they have since turned out to be, I 
did not return. In addition, I had promised the Eskimos who were with me 
after musk oxen in ELesmere Land certain things which I expected on the 
ship coming for^ me, but they were not aboard the Jeanie, and I did not want 
to return and disappoint the men. Another reason was that I wanted to 
prolong my hunting trip, which I was able to do by not going back, but by 
cutting across Smith Sound from North Star Bay and following the edge 
of the ice south. 


"I do not believe that either Dr. Cook or Commander Peary, if placed 
in my position, would have done any differently than I did, nor would they, 
having started south for civilization, have turned back. I had never seen 
Dr. Cook until I met him in the Arctic. He told me he had been to the 
North Pole, and I was pledged not to reveal this fact to Commander Peary, 
but I could say that he had gone further north than Peary in 1906. 

"Commander Peary, to my knowledge, knew absolutely nothing about 
what had been left with me by Dr. Cook, except that I mentioned instru- 
ments, clothes and furs and also a narwhal horn. Dr. Cook's belongings left 
in my charge were placed in boxes, which were nailed up. Then I saw the 
Eskimos cover them with rocks. 

"No one could have been kinder to me or shown me more consideration 
than Commander Peary did while I was on the Roosevelt, and he said he 
would be very glad to have me remain aboard and return with him, instead 
of joining the Jeanie. HARRY WHITNEY." 

While this phase of the matter was being aired, the directors of the Ex- 
plorers' Club of New York voted to order an investigation of Dr. Cook's 
assertion that he ascended Mount McKinley in 1906, the truthfulness of 
which had been repeatedly and publicly called into question. The decision 
was reached after a warm debate among the members of the board, the vote 
which finally passed the resolution standing 5 to 3. The temper of the 
dominant faction was suggested by the comment of Professor Marshall H. 
Saville, who, as acting president, in the absence of Commander Peary, was 
to appoint the investigating committee. When asked whether the polar con- 
troversy was also discussed. Professor Saville said: 

"There is no polar controversy. It takes two to make a controversy. As 
matters stand to-day Commander Peary has made charges against Dr. Cook 
and Dr. Cook has not answered them. When Peary has taken final and 
formal action and Cook has made a reply, then there may be a polar contro- 

The directors had already made extensive inquiries relative to Dr. Cook's 
Mount McKinley trip by correspondence and personal interview, and it was 
said that they had obtained information concerning it which had not hitherto 
been made public. All the affairs of the club excepting the election of officers 
are managed by the directors, and the action of the board in any matter is 
final as an expression of the stand of the organization. 

The resolution which was passed first rehearses the fact that questions 


of the genuineness of Dr. Cook's mountain ascent had arisen "in the public 
mind," and that these questions bore upon the standing of the club of which 
he is a member. It then directed the acting president to appoint a committee 
to investigate the charges and make a report to the club. 

An interesting development of the discussion w^as that Professor Herschel 
C. Parker, of Columbia, who headed the expedition with which Dr. Cook 
approached Mount McKinley, and who twice issued voluntary statements to 
newspapers calling attention to the doubtfulness of Dr. Cook's claim to the 
ascent, was one of the three directors who voted against the resolution. The 
eight members of the board who were present at the meeting were Professor 
Marshall H. Saville, acting president; Henry C. Walsh, secretary; Professor 
Herschel C. Parker, Caspar Whitney, W. G. Clark, Herbert L. Bridgman, 
Frederick Ober and F. S. Dellenbaugh, 


The stand of the club on the point raised by Commander Peary, as to 
whether an explorer commits an unethical act in using preparations made by 
another explorer, was first stated for publication by Professor Saville. Com- 
mander Peary requested the club to make a definite statement on this point 
after the departure of Dr. Cook for the north, and included in his communi- 
cation a doctrine that, by prior exploration and by taking precautions look- 
ing to further work, an explorer "preempts" the field to the exclusion of other 
men. The Explorers' Club, Professor Saville said, officially recognized Com- 
mander Peary's position in the matter soon after he made his request, that 
is, while Dr. Cook was still absent on his attempt to reach the pole. 

An interesting aspect of the question was touched on by the magazine, 
"The Bench and Bar," which published an editorial on the legal proof of the 
discovery of the North Pole. The editorial lamented the fact that neither 
Dr. Cook or Commander Peary was willing to share his discovery of the 
pole with white comrades, for in order to establish a claim at law corrobor- 
ative evidence must be introduced in the shape of credible witnesses who will 
testify to the truth of a story or the telling of a story with such a degree of 
circumstantiality that scientists will be convinced of the truthfulness of it. 

The two corroborating Eskimo witnesses of Cook and the negro witness 
of Peary could be disbelieved by a jury, said the editor, first because they are 
ignorant and would know whether they had been at the pole only as told so 
by an intelligent man, and secondly, they occupied the position of employes, 


diid as such their testimony must be placed in the same category as the testi- 
mony of servants, which, when given on behalf of their masters, is deemed 
unreliable. The corroboration of the story by circumstantial evidence, such 
as neither explorer has yet produced, is the only course left open. 


"The Bench and Bar" said : 

"Of course, Dr. Cook has as yet failed to sustain the burden of proof 
which inevitably and properly rests upon any one who claims to have per- 
formed so wonderful a feat. In order to establish his claim he must adduce 
something more persuasive, something more convincing than his bare asser- 
tion that he has reached the 90th degree of latitude. And the same is true of 
Commander Peary, however high his scientific standing. The question of 
whether the pole has been attained is one of importance too great to be set- 
tled by the mere assertion of any one person, no matter what his reputation 
for truth and veracity may be. Nor need we, under accepted rules of law, 
give conclusive weight to the unsupported testimony of either of the ex- 
plorers, as each is an interested witness. 

"Even if he were tb produce these witnesses and they were able to corrob- 
orate his story fully, their testimony would still be liable to be weighed in the 
light of certain maxims of the law of evidence. In the first place they probably 
are devoid of the scientific knowledge that would enable them to give intelli- 
gent and valuable testimony on such a subject as that under investigation, and 
witnesses who are ignorant and occupy a low station in society are peculiarly 
liable to the influence of parties of superior intelligence and craft. If Dr. 
Cook wishes to corroborate his story by circumstantial evidence, the law and 
common sense both agree that the circumstances to which he testifies must 
not be inconsistent with known scientific facts. And this observation is, of 
course, equally applicable to any testimony which may be given by Com- 
mander Peary." 

The following interesting comparison of the deeds of Cook and Peary 
was published while the controversy was at its height: 



Dr. Cook. 
Before leaving land party traveled 
over 400 miles of land and sounds. 
Fittest of men and dogs chosen. 

Commander Peary. 
Before starting from Roosevelt 
winter was spent in hunting trips and 
sledging supplies. Best men and dogs 

Over circumpolar ice Cook traveled 
with light equipment. Had one sup- 
porting party, which returned three 
days out from land. 

Over circumpolar ice Peary trav- 
eled with a large expedition. Had 
four supporting parties, which re- 
turned after fourteen, nineteen, twen- 
ty-four and thirty-five days, respec- 

Cook's dash party consisted of Dr. 
Cook, two Eskimos, with two sleds, 
two teams of thirteen dogs at start. 

Peary's dash party consisted of Mr. 
Peary, Henson, four Eskimos, five* 
sleds, five teams of eight dogs each. 

Two men out of three marched 
with sledsfes. 

Five men out of six marched with 

Cook carried a canvas folding boat. Peary had no boat or bayak. 

Cook started from land March 18, 
1908, seventeen days later in season 
than Peary, but one year previous. 

Peary started from land March i, 

Cook left land 520 miles from pole, 
near the ninety-third meridian. 

Peary left land 413 miles from pole, 
near the seventy-first meridian. 

Cook took thirty-four days to cover 
these 520 miles. 

Peary took thirty-six and a half 
days to cover these 413 miles. He 
was held up by leads six whole days 
and was actually traveling thirty and 
a half days. 

Cook crossed big lead without de- 
lay on morning following night of 

Peary was held up at big lead for 
six whole days. 



Dr. Cook. 
Cook's average per day from land 
to the pole was 15.3 miles. 

Commander Peary. 

Peary's average per day from land 
to pole was 11.3 miles. 

Peary's average per traveling day 
from land to the pole was 14.5 miles. 

Cook's average per day before sup- 
porting party turned back was 21 

Peary's average per day before last 
supporting party turned back was 9.7 
miles; average per traveling day, 11.7 

Cook's average per day to the pole 
after supporting party returned was 
14.7 miles. 

Peary's average per day to pole 
after the last supporting party turned 
back was 29.3 miles, or 132 miles in 
four and a half days. 

Cook arrived at the pole April 21, 
1908, fifteen days later in the season 
than Peary, but one year previous. 

Peary arrived at pole April 6, 1909. 

Cook left pole April 23 and reached 
eighty-fourth parallel on May 24. 

Peary left pole April 7 and reached 
Cape Columbia (83 degrees 7 min- 
utes) April 23. 

Between pole and 84 degrees Cook 
traveled 360 miles in thirty-one days, 
at an average of 11.6 miles a day. 

Between pole and Cape Columbia 
Peary traveled 413 miles in sixteen 
days, at average of 25.8 miles a day. 

Cook failed to make base and caches 
from which he started because of open 
water and impossible small ice. 

Peary kept trail made to pole, or 
Bartlett's trail made on return right 
to base. 

Cook's failure to make base ren- 
dered necessary long course of travel, 
another winter in the Arctic and 
many risks and privations. Return 
to civilization impossible for a year. 

Peary reached supplies at base and 
was able to return to civilization in 
same year in which he reached the 


While the claims of the rivals were being debated, by the average citizen, 
students of international law took up with vigor the question of ownership 
of the north pole. 

A prominent official at Washington declared that the land belonged to Dr. 
Cook and to nobody else, and added that the government was unwilling and 
also unable to maintain its claim. 

The voice of international law has to be heard on what may prove a vexed 
problem. Either Russia or Canada might claim the country (if country there 
be) lying on the confines of their respective dominions. 

Denmark, as possessor of Greenland, might prefer claims that could not 
be entirely overlooked. 

The ownership of the north pole, or for that matter the south pole, will 
depend upon dry land being found there. If the spots at 90 degrees latitude 
be covered with sea or with ice (as Dr. Cook's statements suggest they are) 
they will belong to no particular nation. They will be treated like any other 
part of the high seas and belong to all the world. Should there be dry land, 
the first discoverers may have the honor of taking formal possession in the 
name of the nationality represented, and for the time a staff with a hoisted 
flag might display the nationality of the discoverer. 


The law of nations now steps in to say something on this matter of the 
rights of discoverers. 

It is not always the simple thing of "first come, first served." Many parts 
of the world were discovered by British navigators and explorers that were 
never taken into possession. One authority tells us that "all mankind have 
an equal right to things that have not yet fallen into the possession of any one, 
and these things belong to the persons who first take possession of them." 

This seems clear enough. The practical application comes next. "When, 
therefore, a nation finds a country uninhabited and without an owner it may 
lawfully take possession thereof, and after it has sufficiently made known its 
will In this respect It cannot be deprived of it by another nation." 

What if there be, however, in the newly discovered land aboriginal dwell- 
ers whom the discoverer chooses to call barbarians or semlbarbarians ? Might 
there not be Inhabitants in the country around the north pole? This question 
should not be overlooked nor too hastily dismissed from consideration. 

The portion of land that Dr. Cook would travel over must bear a very small 


proportion to the whole of that vast unexplored region. There are wilds 
within the Arctic region that have not been inhabited for centuries, yet they are 
covered with traces of wanderers or of sojourners of a bygone age. 

"Here and there," says Sir Clements R. Markham, "in Greenland, in 
Boothia, on the shores of America, where existence is possible, the descend- 
ants of former wanderers are still to be found. The migrations of these peo- 
ple, the scanty notices of their origin and movements that are scattered through 
history and the requirements of their existence are all so many clews which, 
when carefully gathered together, throw light upon a most interesting sub- 

The Eskimos of Upernavik knew nothing of natives north of Melville bay 
until the first voyage of Sir John Ross in 1818. It was found that a small 
tribe inhabited the rugged coast between y6 and 79 degrees north. 


What has international Law to say on the possession of land where abor- 
iginal natives are found? 

No strict rules seem to have been laid down for guidance. It has been 
said that a nation may lawfully possess some part of a large country in which 
there are none but earlier nations, whose scanty population is incapable of 
occupying the whole; unsettled habitation cannot be accounted a true and 
legal possession. History has shown us that discoverers have not been very 
particular about the rights of aborigines, especially when the country is rich 
in minerals or well placed for commerce. 

The right of discovery is usually stretched as far as it will go. Yet many 
of the islands discovered by Capt. Cook in the South sea were never annexed. 
This intrepid explorer was not authorized by his sovereign to do so ; moreover, 
it is not clear that the sovereign would have had the right of appropriation. 
The islands contained natives who were not very ready to admit the superior 
rights of strangers who came to them from Europe. Capt. Cook suffered a 
violent death at their hands, and in the case of New Zealand, England had 
endless fights with the aborigines. In Australia, however, the blacks were few 
in number and very unready to show themselves. 



It is worthy of note that fiUbusters and adventurers cannot hold the owner- 
ships and sovereignty of any new lands they may discover. They must work 
for some state or power recognized by other nations, else they may at any 
time be dislodged. 

As has been laid down, "navigators going on a voyage of discovery, fur- 
nished with a commission from their sovereign and meeting with islands or 
lands in a desert state, may take possession of them in the name of their 
nation." And this title has been usually respected, provided it was soon after 
followed by a real possession. 

Was Dr. Cook a commissioned explorer or was he, to use a common phrase, 
"out on his own." And what, after all, is meant by "real possession?" The 
country that desires to maintain a claim of ownership of the north pole and 
take a "real possession" is not likely to find another nation to quarrel with. 
These not very eligible properties — the north and south poles — will presum- 
ably lie in the public market. Expeditions will continue to be sent out and 
the interest attached to them will be based upon far higher considerations than 
the ownership of a (possible) patch of sterile land, 


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