Dr Kane’s Arctic Voyage: Explanatory of a Pictorial Illustration of the Second Grinnell Expedition.

This is a printed version of Morton’s oral narrative of a panorama of Grinnell’s second expedition, devised shortly after Kane’s death. The introduction is a glowing panegyric to Kane.

p. 2: There was but one member of the expedition whom he forgot. It was himself. But for his prudence, foresight, medical skill, and unwearied efforts, no soul of us would ever again have seen the light of home.

p. 3, Morton was aboard Advance on Kane’s first trip (commanded by DeHaven) along with first officer Brooks. That expedition helped find the Beechey Island graves of Franklin’s crew. Others on 2d Grinnell expedition were Hayes, Sonntag, James McGary, Hickey, etc., 10 from Navy, all volunteers.

p. 5, on equipping the voyage: Add to this a fine library and a valuable set of instruments, and you have pretty nearly the sum-total of our goods and chattels. Then Morton procedes with a description of each item in the panorama: Fiskenaes; Moored to an Iceberg; the Crimson Cliffs; Iceberg Region, Godsend Lodge; Search for a Harbor (by boat); Renssalaer Harbor (where Advance wintered and was crushed); Winter Stonehouse; Meeting of Kane and missing sledge party; Sylvia’s Headland (when settled for the season); Fern, or Observatory Island (where Baker and Shubert died); Esquimaux; Three Brothers and Tennyson’s Monument; Humboldt Glacier; Kennedy Channel Scene and Open Water; A Bear; Momentoes; of the Dead; Walrus Hunt; Boat Camp (does mention the desertion party); Broken Floes; Southern Open Water; The Storm off Weary Man’s Rest; HMS Resolute and Assistance: the Arctic and Relief. These scenes were most likely based on illustrations in Kane’s book.

p. 13: Sailors, you know, are proverbially light hearted. With a pack of cards, and occasionally moderate splicing of the main brace, and a few old-time yarns, we managed, until sickness fell upon us, to keep care at bay… and an Arctic newspaper, ‘The Ice-Blink,’ gave us the news of the day…. Above all we had the example of our ever-cheerful, indefatigable commander.

p. 18-19, Morton’s description of an Open Polar Sea: The unfrozen ocean that had been supposed to surround the pole, was, as I then believed and as I still believe, before me; its waves, surging from the farthest north, were breaking at my feet!…a western horizon of full forty miles, between which and the spot where I stood, not a speck of ice was to be seen.