The Search for the North Pole; Or, Life in the Great White World….

Baldwin’s papers are at the Library of Congress (q.v.); this book was written before some of his expeditionary work. Interestingly, he seems to have been an ardent Freemason and his chapter XLVI “Lovers of the Arts and Sciences: Free and Accepted Masonry in Arctic Exploration,” lists a number of explorers who shared that association: Kane, Hayes, Greely, Melville, Gilder, and Lt. Peary (with whom he later squabbled. See p. 507-12.)

p. 76-76, on the preparation of Bering’s second expedition “the greatest geographical enterprise ever undertaken” [the kind of hyperbole to which Baldwin was prone], including an impressive amount of staff and instruments.: This “Itinerant Academy” also carried a library of several hundred volumes, including scientific, historical and classical works, and others’ of light reading, such as “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Robinson Crusoe,” seventy reams of writing paper, an enormous supply of artists’ colors, draughting material and apparatus. These gentlemen had not less than thirty-six horses, and on large rivers could demand boats with cabins.

To move this ‘learned republic” from St. Petersburg to Kamchatka became one of the many duties assigned to Bering.

p. 286, Baldwin’s account of M’Clintock’s discovery of Franklin relics on King William Land: Here, too, were found five or six books, such as “Christian Melodies,” which bore upon the title-page an inscription from the donor to G. G. (most likely Lieutenant Graham Gore); the “Vicar of Wakefield;”


containing numerous marginal notes and having entire passages underlined; beside others of a devotional or scriptural character.

There were also found the covers of a prayer book and of a New Testament.

p. 301, on Charles Hall’s first expedition in 1860: Mr. Hall learned that there were but ten Europeans in Holsteinberg and about 250 in all Greenland. Among those at Holsteinberg were the pastor and two school teachers. He noted the advancement of morals and intelligence among the natives and that the boys and girls had been taught to read and write with remarkable proficiency.

p. 336: On the 2d of June the large Arctic library of Captain Hall was carefully packed in his trunk, and, together with instruments, two log books, and a statement of what had been done by the expedition and the prospects of the present party reaching either a Scotch whaler at cape York, or some of the Danish settlements, taken about a fo;urth of a mile in a direction E. S. E. of the house and there cached.

p. 346, on the Payer expedition in 1873-74: “Every Sunday,” says Payer, “at noon we celebrated divine service, under the shelter of the deck-tent, the Gospel was read to the little band of Christians gathered together by the sound of the ship’s bell, in all that grave simplicity which marked the worship of the early Christian Church.”

p. 420, on Greely winter of 1883: In order to relieve the mental strain, lectures and discussions on various topics were held. Lieutenant Greely talked on the geography of the United States; Lieutenant Lockwood read from the “History of Our Own Times”; Whisler dilated on te city of Independence, Kansas, as a splendid place for business….

p. 430, on Nansen’s 1888 Greenland expedition and its sledging journeys: During halts for rest the men sheltered themselves within a tent, where they read the few scientific books carried with them, told stories, and wrote in their diaries. The Lapps [?] gave assiduous attention to the New Testament and to their journals.

p. 439: The mental gifts of the Eskimos are surprisingly developed. The Christian converts among them learn to read, write, cipher, and draw with great ease and skill. As already observed they are natural topographers, and notwithstanding remarkable artistic ability and ingenuity, hieroglyphics have never been used by them.

p. 440: An eskimo newspaper, was established, in 1861, by Dr. Rink. It bears the imposing title of “A-tu-ag-agdliu-tit,” or translated, Things that-should-be-known. It is printed at Godthaab, by Lars Möller, a native Eskimo, but educated in Copenhagen. He not only draws, but also lithographs his own illustrations for it. It is published monthly and contains translations from the Danish, the usual “locals,” and news of the chase, etc.