Explorers Club Archives I

Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, EC2007-07

Saturday, July 31, a day out of St Johns: We pass the day in harmlessly amusing ourselves with cards, dominos, music and reading.

August 30—refers to Captain Palmer and first mate Bailey, not Doane as Holland lists it. Who was the Captain?

August 7 (?), has a diatribe against tobacco.

Box 1, File 6, Octave Pavy materials with typescripts and some translations. These notes at the outset appear to have been written while Pavy was preparing to depart from Washington, to take up a position as acting assistant surgeon of the Arctic expedition of Capt…. (blank) and at the temporary station to be established in the Arctic seas. Pavy lists certain books as follows but it isn’t clear whether he has them or they are desiderata:

Naphys: Cohen: Diseases of throat, larynx, etc.
French Dictionary

Another list, a few pages on:

Science Books
Findale…Excursion in Alpes
Agony Sketches, Vol. II.
Reclus: The Ocean
Reclus: The Land
Nicholson: Zoology
Figuier: Sea
Figuier: Vegetation
Rutby: Study of Rocks
Thompson: Depths of the Sea
Dana: Minerology
Nicholson Manuel of paleontology (‘geology’ crossed out)
Naphes..Surgical therapy
Naphes…Medical Therapy
Banding: Nervous diseases
Gross: Urinary Diseases
Seguin: Medical therm…
Albut: Use of Ophthamology scope
Cohen: Diseases of throat, larynx etc
Toynlice: Disease of the ear
Bernard: Surgical operations.

Box 1, File 26: Polar Depot 1876, Nares material found by Fort Conger sledgers, including material “Stored in the House, Aug. 21, 1876, including 3 books (Four Plays, Eulalie, and Albert Nyansa).

File 28 contains a nice copy of A Monthly Letter addressed to the Officers, Seamen and Marines of the Arctic Expedition. February Monthly Text, 1876…. Plymouth: Printed by John Smith, 102 Old-Town St. [1875]. This is a tract by and signed by Agnes Weston, one of those prepared in advance and distributed monthly aboard ship or on the base. This copy has inscription on verse of front cover: This book found in a “cache” at “Thank God Harbour” Greenland on Mch. 11 1882 by W. S. Jewell by whom it was presented to myself. H. D. Gardiner. Originally property of the English Polar Expedition of 1875-6 under command of Sir G. Nares. “Thank God Harbor,” “Hall’s Rest,” and 20 miles from Fort Conger.

Box 2, File 2: Daily Journal of Rice? [possibly 3:19; 3:26;3:27; 3:31; 3:34; 4:06]

Sunday Aug. 28 (p. 25): The day observed by Lieut Greely reading one of the psalms and all games suspended on the Sabbath day. [Not a valuable journal except for meteorological observations, if then.]

Box II, File 3, “Letters Sent” by Greely, copies of letters mostly to Signal Office recording his actions.

p. 25 July 28, Greely to Herr Dincker?, Governor at Christianbad: It would give me great pleasure if you would advise me through Herr Inspector Smith, as to the books on ornithology or other subjects of interest which I could have forwarded to 1883.

Box III, File 3 Feb 1 to 24 Nov 1881, journal of R. R. Schneider:

On Dec 15 ’81 the second copy of the Arctic Moon was issued and caused great merriment among us, and you [his parents] will no doubt enjoy to look at the paper on my return. [see Greely v. 1, p. 177.]

Schnieder also notes lectures by Greely and Pavy, that Christmas presents included books, playing cards, and candies, and that Christmas saw a theatrical performance.

Box III, File 5: Journal of Private C. B. Henry, in the form of a letter to the Gutter family: the food thief later executed appears from this to be a sincere and sensitive youth. Re a Greenland sledge party he says: I regretted very much not being one of the party as I desired greatly to visit Capt Hall’s grave.

The irish element being absent St Patricks day was not celebrated at the station but the Greenland party unable to sleep, formed a parade at 3 am and tramped around for an hour before breakfast.

Boxes IV to VI are primarily observations and data with some diaries (Elison). Not examined.

Box VII: File 11: ALS from B. M. Russell [Sgt. in Signal Corps) to Adolphus W. Greely: Boston, June 14, 1881

I received yesterday (13) a box containing back numbers of Harpers & Scribners magazines for your expedition, from Mrs. G. Swan, Lexington, Mass…. Packages 60 or 70 lbs.
Greely to Mrs. G. Swan July 17, 1882
My dear Madam:
From Lexington—dear with its [illegible words] to every American heart—came the first installment of magazines and books which did so much to make our night of 135 days bearable and endurable to my men. We all appreciate deeply your kind thoughtfulness and I send you the thanks of the Lady Franklin’s bay expedition therefore.
Very cordially
A W Greely

Box VII: File 12, with the boxes noted in Russell’s June 14, 1881 letter came something called “The Multiplication Game” given by Mrs. Edward Foote of Boston. The game was invented by Mrs. Foote and a 4-page brochure describing the game is included here.

Box VII: File 13: ALS from Sgt. B. M. Russell to Greely (in Halifax);

Boston June 26, 1881

I have the honor to inform you that on Sat. morning (25) a large pkg of the “London Graphic” the “Living Age”, and a few Novels were received for your party, at my office. They were sent by a boy who was instructed to not give the donors name—His P.O. box is “2285” city…. I send a copy of Army and Navy Register with this. You will probably not see another soon.

Greely ALS to PO Box 2285 from Conger July 17, 1882


Box 2285. Boston, Mass.
My dear Sir:

The long dreary night (of 135 days length) of this expedition during the winter of 1881-2 was made tolerable and endurable in a large measure by magazines, novels, books, &c. contributed by friends personally unknown to us.

For my men I have to thank you for the “Graphic”, “Living Age” and various novels which you so kindly and thoughtfully contributed.
A W Greely

Box VII: File 16, hectograph Christmas dinner menu. Dec. 25, 1881.

Box VII: File 17, “Lime Juice Club at Dutch Island Opera House.” Hectograph programme, 26 Dec. 1881

Box VI I , File 18 [??] draft letter from Pavy to ?? in which Pavy offers his provisions, “scientific books, and all the books (except those which I have shown you as the property of the Signal Office),” his instruments etc to “remain with you as a guarantee for what you have advanced me.” Why was this collateral needed?

Box VII, File 2, Brainard letter to his mother, dated Aug 1 1882 and describing the first year of the Expedition, in a serial letter probably based on his diaries. File includes two other versions, one to a Mr. Wilkins, the other unaddressed and much shorter, but both covering the same material.

Box VII: File 19 and VII:22, material on theArctic Moon. See Polar Record (1991) 27, p. 43. File 22 is an illustration for the Arctic Moon masthead, and one page of the hectographed first issue.

Box VII: File 24, folio 4, p. 4, has passage on the winter lectures and school, designed for intellectual health.

folio 5, p. 1-2, Every effort was made to lead the minds of our party in pleasant channels, and with the limited means at our command think that we succeeded remarkably well. Through the kind thoughtfulness of friends to the expedition, a large collection of papers, magazines, and games of all kind were contributed for our use, as well as the complete works of several eminent authors, and all the standard Arctic works since the beginning of the present century. Theatricals were started but after one exhibition were abandoned for lack of interest as well as scarcity of talent.

folio 6, p. 1-2: A quantity of material having been furnished for the purpose, a newspaper was issued on Thanksgiving day. No type or printing press being available, a hectograph was substituted for the purpose of striking off copies. This enterprising little paper was called “The Arctic Moon” and was issued by Lieut. Lockwood with Rice and Henry as assistant editors; the latter also acted in the capacity of devil. It was a spicy sheet and contributed much to our enjoyment during the long winter months, diverting our minds, and raising them from the apathetic state in which they were prone to fall.

folio 12, p. 1: August 20 1882 Disappointed. The ship has not arrived and at this late season we have abandoned all hope of her reaching us this year.

Box VII, File 25: second account of Brainard’s journal address to “My dear Wilkins”.

folio 3, p. 1: Magazines, newspapers and books embracing the complete works of several celebrated authors was contributed by the many friends of the expedition, these in addition to a few dramatic entertainments…

Box VII, File 26: the third unaddressed account, dated Aug.9 as initial date, but unfinished and much briefer than other two:

folio 2, p. 1: Through the kind thoughtfulness of friends to the expedition a large collection of papers, magazines, games of every description and the complete works of several eminent authors in addition to other books of special interest to Arctic explorers were contributed and which the weary hours were beguiled Box VII, File 27: Lt. Lockwood’s serial letter to his father, commencing Jan. 9 1882:

p. 13 Jan. 12, 1882: Today the “Arctic Moon” should appear but I have decided to postpone it to the end of the month. I have occupied myself today in tracing a map of Lieut. Beaumont, of the north shore of Greenland and in reading McCauley’s History of England also in transcribing my shorthand journal. Beaumont commanded the Eastern sledge party of the last English Expedition in the Polar Regions (that of Nares). I will use the map as far as it goes but if I get no further than he did I shall not consider that I have done anything. I find McCauley very interesting so far. I have got to Charles II, rather an introduction you know to the real history.

p. 19, Jan 29: I will be frank and say that the winter is very trying. A daily routine of reading, eating and sleeping, hardly varied by anything except a daily walk on the “ice-foot.” This sort of thing combined week after week and month after month with no lamps [?] is monotonous in the extreme. We are all perceptibly [p. 20] affected by it as seen by our want of sociability and amiability.

Box VII, File 28, Manuscript of Lt. Lockwood’s lecture on Arctic Sledge Journeys and Equipment. Lockwood says his lecture is based on the writings of explorers and he mentions the experience of many of them in the course of his text: Parry, McClintock, Kane, Payer, Rae, etc. etc. Deals with all aspects from sledges to dogs, rations, speeds, clothing, footwear, etc. Gives two principles of sledge journey planning: 1) bring only what is absolutely necessary; 2) use travel gear that is perfect and convenient (notes that Franklin departed from these principles with melancholy results). Works by most of the explorers Lockwood mentions were in the Fort Conger library (as recorded by Peary’s Arctic Library Catalogue), a splendid example of the usefulness of the Library.

Box VII, File 38, p. 1. Mrs Lilla Pavy to Octave Pavy. March 1 1881: Tonight, I sent to you some seaside library books which I hope you will enjoy. The Lucile I sent, intending to mark passages all through when I returned home this evening but the clerk kindly offered to prepare it for the mail and I consented.

Box VII, also folder 14 [??], another letter p. 5-6, Lilla to Octave in 1881: They talk so much about Howgate being & —But remember that I —I am now dependent upon him, and waiting for his help to get—Situations &c (?) I do not admit to anyone that there has been injustice. [Mrs Pavy: see I:19; I:20; 7:36-7:40]

p. 6: It is not best to get Capt Howgate’s , as I fear coming back , for he would not allow you to go again in . [Lilla goes on to encourage Pavy to sign on with Greely as surgeon, a fateful bit of advice.]

Box VI II , File 8 , George Rice’s translation from French of a German tale, Histoire de Prince Z et de la Princesse (by P.-J. Stahl [pseud. of Pierre Hetzel], Bruxxelles and Leipzig, Kiessling, 1855). The book from which the translation was made is in the Fort Monmouth Communications Museum, given by Greely to Rice at Christmas 1882 and found by Donald MacMillan later, probably in 1899. George Rice says he did the translation “to while away a few hours of Hyperborean ennui.”

Here the record numbering goes askew—what follows is what I started on July 26 and I assume some new file numbers for LFBE.

Box VIII, File 13: Garlington, Ernest A. Report on Lady Franklin Bay Expedition of 1883. Washington. Signal Office, 1883. Signal Services Notes, No. X. Photocopy of copy with Bessells signature on cover.

p. 25: Memorandum B: “Scientific Outfit for Relief Expedition” includes the following books:

97 1 Volume “Meteorological Record”

100 Treatise on Aneroid Barometer
101 Admiralty Manual of Scientific Inquiry
102 Arctic Manual
103 Vega’s Logarithms
104 2 copies Nautical Almanack 1883
105 2 copies Nautical Almanack 1884
106 Chauvenet’s Astronomy
107 Chauvenet’s Trigonometry
108 2 copies Loomis’ Meteorology
109 2 copies Guyot’s Tables
110 1 copy Everett’s Deschanel
111 1 copy Bowditch Useful Tables
112 2 copies Negur on Chronometers
135 Webster’s Dictionary

Box VIII, File 22: Charles H. Harslow, USN “Greely at Cape Sabine,” Century Magazine (1884) No. 5, p. 77-90

Box VIII, File 26 Ms. letter from Peary to PAC President Jesup on condition of Fort Conger when Peary came there in January 1898. Dated Etah Aug. 28 ’99. Following p. 3 is notice Peary prepared to leave at Conger: “it is hereby forbidden to remove or destroy anything in or about said station,” something which of course Peary later did.

p. 4, describes thawing of objects: In this way the records and most of the books and instruments were secured and taken into the house.

p. 5: Another effort will be made next season to remove these. I imagine that the contents of all will be more or less valueless.

p. 6: I imagine that a classification as to relative value of the government property abandoned at Conger would be as follows:

1 Original records of the expedition
2 Scientific collections
3 Scientific instruments
4 Provisions and equipment.

“The first I return to you.” He asks that he be given pro forma permission to use any of item 4.

Box VIII, File 27, another Peary letter to Jesup, dated Aug. 28 1899 suggesting that the scientific specimens should go to the American Museum and the War department should “make no serious objection.”

File 28, another Aug 28, 1899, letter from Peary to Jesup, on finding Fort Conger in 28 Aug. 1899. Includes inventory by the roster of men of items found, e.g. H. Gardiner’s list includes two diaries, probably those now at the Fort Monmouth Museum. Peary apparently made genuine attempts to return belongs to the appropriate next of kin of the dead men.

Box VIII, File 29, Peary letter Aug 28 ’99 to Jesup: It gives me great pleasure to send to you the Original Scientific Records of the U.S. International Polar Expedition to Lady Franklin Bay. 1881-83,… Peary is sending this material in a box aboard the Windward, and wants the Club to return them to the Government: While it is true that Lieut. (now General) Greely when he abandoned Fort Conger in ’83 took with him copies of nearly all records, it is nevertheless a simple statement of fact to say that copies are not originals, and that these originals represent a cost to the Government of $800,000 – $900,000 in money and eighteen (20 crossed out) lives.

Box VIII, Files 32-48, individual files listing belongings of the dead men. Several refer to books and diaries.

Box IX, copies of NY Herald for March-August 1884; very fragile might be worth looking at microfilm for period.