January 15, 1903, Bryant to Commander Robert Peary, stating his skepticism toward the Smith Sound route to the North Pole: The chances of failure are too great to warrant further endeavor on the old lines. Suggests repeating the Fram experiment of forcing a ship north of Spitzbergen or better routes. Pledges $2000 to the Peary Arctic Club for this alternate proposal.
February 4, 1903, Peary’s reply to Bryant, defending the Smith Sound route, in response Bryant still sees insurmountable difficulties: … therefore I hesitate to pledge an amount that equals one fourth of my annual income. [Yet Bryant says he will try to find other contributors for Peary.]