Adolphus Washington Greely,

p. 96, at Fort Conger Greely organized a school: More informally, he delivered lectures on a variety of subjects. And every Sunday Greely conducted church services; a typical New Englander, tall, spare, and stern, he had a tender conscience and could preach a better sermon, it was said, than the average Army chaplain. For a certainty he was a great talker—at times, it would seem, unmercifully so. But he had worthwhile things to talk about, for Greely was also a great reader of books.

He had brought with him to Lady Franklin Bay a variety of volumes, including all the available records of men who had previously explored that part of the earth. To encourage his men to read, he had brought along books for them too—and that became, in a way, the subject matter of a Congressional investigation.

The investigation was actually centered upon money. Fiercely resented was an expenditure of $181.76 for books of fiction, sent to Point Barrow and Lady Franklin Bay. An angry Congressman cross-examined the comptroller of the War Department on that point:

Q. Do these books have any relation whatever to the science of meteorology?—A. Not that I am aware of…

Q. And you know of nothing in Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, or the Leather Stocking Tales that applies to any purpose of that expedition?—A. No, Sir….

Anyway, there was at Fort Conger—to enable the men to while away the weeks and months of enforced idleness—somewhat of a library; and more than half the men, those who knew how to read, made use of it when they were kept indoors by the cold.

p. 101, Marshall says that during the retreat Greely had Arctic books with him: Searching through his books and papers, poring over the records of early explorers, Greely found that many years earlier a party of Englishmen had cached meat at Cape Isabella, forty miles to the south of Camp Clay….

p. 105, to the survivors at Cape Sabine: it seemed important that they had brought back all their records. These were America’s chief contribution to the international effort to unlock what then appeared to be the basic mystery of the weather. And they were, in fact, among the best-kept scientific records history had ever known. They formed an unbroken series of hourly meteorological tidal, magnetic, and pendulum observations covering a period of two full years.