Arctic Frontiers: United States Explorations in the Far North.

p. 43, in 1859 Charles Francis Hall petitioned the British government to make the Resolute available to him for a further Franklin search. No success there.

p. 66: Just before leaving Polaris House, Hall’s Arctic library, the two logbooks of the Polaris, and some of the instruments were placed in a trunk and cached about one-fourth of a mile from the house. The Tigress rescue party failed to find these, but did find one mutilated logbook and other books in various stages of disrepair. The Polaris’ men reported that they had copied all records for easier transport. [Goes on to report the loss of Hall’s personal papers: “Captain Hall’s papers thrown overboard today.”]

p. 7, re the Jeannette: To the engineer, George W. Melville, DeLong assigned the duty of assembling all hydrographic information on polar currents available in the ship’s fine Arctic library. [Somehow all the scientific records of the expedition survived.]

p. 84, navigation books for Schwatka’s 1878 expedition in search of Franklin records were contributed by James Gordon Bennett.

p. 90, for the Howgate expedition of 1877, the navy supplied charts and sailing directions. At the time Howgate was disbursing officer of the Signal Corps. Although the Howgate expedition commanded by Tyson was a failure, and Howgate ended life in a corruption scandal, he did muster the support in Congress and elsewhere that led to the Greely expedition of 1881.

p. 100, re both American IPY expeditions, to Fort Conger and Pt Barrow: Each expedition carried fine technical libraries, lists of which are available in both Greely’s and Ray’s reports:

Greely, Adolphus Washington. Report on the proceedings of the United States Expedition to Lady Franklin Bay, Grinnell Land. 49 Congress. 1st sess., House Misc. Doc. 393 (Congressional Ser. 2427-28) Washington, 1888.

Ray, Patrick Henry. Report of the International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska. 48 Cong., 2 sess., House Exec. Doc. 44 (Cong. Ser. 2298). Washington, 1885. [Issued also by U.S. Signal Office, Arctic Series of Publications, No. 1.]

p. 104: When no ship came, and the expedition had to fight its way down the channel, all the collections [of specimens] were abandoned except for an incomplete set of botanical duplicates carried back by Greely and Brainard. Drawings of mollusks and jelly-fish and a photograph of a single fish were brought back.

p. 107, quoting from Three Years of Arctic Service (p. 539-40): …after fifty-one days and five hundred miles of travel, I landed near Cape Sabine not only my party, in health and with undiminished numbers, but its scientific and private records, its instruments and its baggage, with arms and ammunition sufficient, in a land fairly stocked with game, to have insured our lives and safety.

p. 113: Although only six of the party reached the United States alive, the written records were brought back intact. For almost a year Greely had been at work arranging and reducing his reports and observations against the possibility of just such a retreat. He had taken along his most valuable instruments, not even abandoning the heavy pendulum. In 1902, Peary removed all the records and collections from Fort Conger that were fit to be moved. Much of the material had been left in barrels outside the house and was in wretched condition.

op. p. 129 is aerial photo of Fort Conger site.

p.146, May 23, 1899 at Fort Conger: On May 4, the party began a vain search for a route across to northern Greenland. The ice in Robeson Channel was too broken to cross, so they returned to Conger and on May 23 started back to the ship with the scientific records and private papers abandoned by Greely sixteen years before.

p. 148, other equipment and government property from Fort Conger was brought to Payer Harbor in 1901-02.

p. 174, for Baldwin’s expedition of 1901-02 the Signal Corps lent a number of items—could they have lent books?

Caswell is strongly pro-Peary but otherwise gives a judicious overview of American 19-century Arctic endeavors.