The Cruise of the Florence; Or, Extracts from the Journal of the Preliminary Arctic Expedition of 1877-78.

This expedition had three stated objectives, preparation for a colony at Lady Franklin Bay, collection of scientific data, and commercial whaling (p. 8-9). Despite Howgate’s description of books aboard Florence (see below), there are no references to reading in Tyson’s abstracts, though he has an engaging and easy-going style.

p. 7: Kind friends from all parts of the country contributed from their stores, in addition to articles of food and clothing, a liberal supply of books and papers to while away the long, weary hours of the sunless Arctic winter. A spare berth in the forecastle was filled with story-books, histories, novels, and volumes of poetry; a large trunk was filled to overflowing with papers, and still another was loaded down with magazines; the whole making a library of considerable dimensions…. The Chief Signal Officer of the Army supplied a complete outfit of necessary instruments for making meteorological observations…. The Secretary of the Navy furnished a complete outfit of maps, charts, and sailing directions…. (Howgate introduction).

p. 60-61: Chapter on “Winter in Cumberland Gulf”: Often, when about to retire, I find the blankets frozen to the side of the berth, and the books, papers, and clothing in a like condition from freezing. Our kerosene oil is also frozen, and is consequently much injured.

p. 113: April 25, 1878: Last night at 12 o’clock it was light enough to see to read large print.