Nearest the Pole: A Narrative of the Polar Expedition of the Peary Arctic Club in the S. S. Roosevelt, 1905-1906.

Peary’s 1905-06 attempt on the North Pole.

p. 9, describing the ship: In the port saloon, which was lighted by two twelve-inch ports on the side, and a window looking forward, a leather-cushioned locker extended around three sides of the room; and this, with an extension table screwed to the floor, a clock, a little library presented to the ship by the SEAMAN’S FRIEND SOCIETY, and a brief notice to the members of the Expedition, stating the object of the Expedition, what was expected of the members and what success would mean to them, completed the furniture. Here the ship’s officers, except the captain, messed. [The Seaman’s Friend Society mentioned above is now in the collections of the Mystic Seaport Museum.]

p. 11, describing his cabin: In the forward corner was a stationary washstand, and on the inboard wall a series of shelves containing a small Arctic library, a few books of reference, and a few standard works of fiction…. Arctic maps upon the walls completed the fittings.

opp. p. 12, picture of his cabin with a bookcase [about four shelves] and a writing table.

p. 168, returning from his attempt to reach the Pole: Since reaching the ship I have had an aversion to pencil and paper, and have only cared to lie and think and plan. To think after all the preparation, the experience, the effort, the strain, the chances taken, and the wearing of myself and party to the last inch, what a little journey it is on the map and how far short of my hopes it fell. To think that I have failed once more; and that I shall never have a chance to win again.

p. 390: I have often been asked: Of what use are Eskimos to the world? They are too far removed to be of value in commercial enterprises, and furthermore they lack ambition. They have no literature, nor, properly speaking, any art. They value life only as does a fox, or a bear, purely by instinct.

But, let us not forget that these people, trustworthy and hardy, will yet prove their value to mankind. With their help, the world shall discover the Pole. [What a sleaze! an impossible egotistical prig .]