Ghosts of Cape Sabine. The Harrowing True Story of the Greely Expedition

p. 41: He was just as meticulous about ordering ‘a hand atlas, well-bound with guards, so the maps while being of half size-when closed, will open smoothly and of full size.’ Harper and Brothers in New York would supply volumes on exploration, anthropology, medicine, and miscellaneous other subjects, besides a score of novels and some sixty magazines.

p. 44: With the advent of spring, Henrietta Greely regained strength. Still seeing little of her husband, she persuaded other Army wives to donate for the expedition, as did she, clothes, books, games, cigars, and plum puddings.

p. 45: At Greely’s request, the State Department had asked the British to provide copies of charts used by Nares in 1875, and a list of four depots he had left along the shores of Smith Sound and Kennedy Channel. The Admiralty in London generously complied.

p. 56, Lt. Kislingbury at Littleton Island: But among the many items strewn around and about, Kislingbury found pages from a prayer book. ‘My eyes rested on a ‘Prayer at the North Pole.’ I shall retain it and should it be my fortune to reach the Pole I will offer the prayer with fervent zeal.’ [He neither made it nor survived the trip.]

p. 61, notes that Greely’s quarters at Fort Conger “included a small desk and rocking chair. Shelves above the desk held ‘the excellent Arctic library we are furnished with.’” (Photo plate 5 bottom)

p.67: On August 28 [1881 at Fort Conger], a Sunday, he [Greely] assembled all hands and told them that although separated from the rest of the world, they would observe the Sabbath. Games were forbidden, and all but those genuinely nonreligious were to assemble to hear him read the Psalms. Greely’s choice on that first occasion was Psalm 133: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity.” True enough. But….”

p. 72, on the Fort Conger routine: There were novels to relax with, textbooks on Arctic exploration, chess, checkers, backgammon, playing cards, a sackful of amusement. And music—.

p. 75-6, Greely: initiated a school with regular classes in arithmetic, grammar, geography, and meteorology. Every other week he taught on the nature of storms, magnetism, and previous polar expeditions….

Lieutenant Lockwood edited and hectographed a fortnightly news sheet, “Arctic Moon,” which carried droll, sentimental, or sober features contributed by the literary minded, described in one of its issues as “the finest minds of the country.” Another carried an advertisement intentionally humorous but in retrospect sadly ironic: Information wanted of the Greely Arctic Expedition. It strayed away from home last July and was last heard from at Upernavik, Greenland. Address: Bereaved Parents.” The newssheet was later abandoned for lack of interest (p. 104).

p. 77: In mid-November, instead of giving a lecture, Greely read poems to his party….

p. 96, Henrietta Greely promised that her husband would receive “a cart load of reading matter” when the relief ship arrived.

P. 104, Pavy unhappy with medical supplies and the extent of his medical consulting library.

p. 153: Retreat: Most men turned in their private diaries, which, with forty eight photographic negatives, were carefully packed in a stout watertight box.” Volumes of records were stuffed into three tin boxes, including original and letterpress copies of magnetical and meteorological papers—fifty pounds.

p. 177, on the ice floes: Lockwood complained of the lack of reading matter. He had brought from Fort Conger pamphleteered bits of Shakespeare and old copies of the Nineteenth Century Magazine. ‘Also, we have Kane, Hayes, and Nares on the launch.’

p. 222, found copy of Louisville Courier-Journal in cache from the sunken Porteus which talked about their plight.

p. 225: He fell back on lecturing. In November his subjects ranged from the state of Maine, ‘touching on its important cities, its history and famous men,’ to notable battles of the Civil War. There were readings from Dickens, the Bible, even Army regulations. Often the reading was done by Private Henry, because, wrote Lockwood, ‘he has the loudest voice.’ By nightfall, rambling reminiscences would drift from sleeping bags, and mutterings of fancied menus and remembered women.

p. 235: The men kept mostly to their sleeping bags. Few read…. Lieutenant Lockwood improvised a lecture on the St. Louis riots…. Then he read from The Pickwick Papers.

p. 281—Schley had studied Proteus inquiry and innumerable Arctic books.

p. 282: Schley found this note on Brevoord Island where Greely had cached his records: This cairn contains the original records of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, the private journals of Lieutenant Lockwood, and a set of photographic negatives. The party are permanently camped at a point midway between Cape Sabine and Cocked Hat Island. All well.” (dated Oct. 1883)

p. 309: Howgate…calling himself Harvey W. Williams, opened a basement bookshop on 4 Avenue in New York City. Here he dwelled eight years, made regular appearances at book auctions, and even performed jury service.

p. 315: Greely resigned from the Army in 1908. He took a round-the-world trip with Henrietta, wrote A Handbook of Alaska, and produced the latest edition of his Handbook of Polar Discoveries. In 1912 came True Tales of Arctic Heroism in the New World…. Greely was himself an advocate of civic improvement and was particularly active in the founding of the first free library in the nation’s capital.

p. 319: MacMillan much later, in 1909 found in a hut at Conger a tattered schoolbook inscribed to Kislingbury from his son: “To My Dear Father, May God be with you and return you safely to me. Your affectionate son, Harry Kislingbury.” MacMillan eventually returned the book to the orphaned boy in Arizona.