p. 18: Many friends of the expedition who could not send cash sent useful articles of equipment, for the comfort or amusement of the men. Among such articles were a billiard table, various games, and innumerable books. A member of the expedition having said to a newspaper man, a short time before the Roosevelt sailed, that we had not much reading matter, the ship was deluged with books, magazines, and newspapers, which came literally in wagon loads. They were strewn in every cabin, in every locker, on the mess tables, on the deck,—everywhere. But the generosity of the public was very gratifying, and there was much good reading among the books and magazines.
p. 31: There was also in my cabin a fairly complete, arctic library — absolutely complete in regard to all the later voyages. These books, with a large assortment of novels and magazines, could be depended upon to relieve the tedium of the long arctic night, and very useful they were found for that purpose. Sitting up late at night means something when the night is some months long.
p. 160, Peary writing on February 25, between the ship and Cape Columbia: “I am writing under difficulties, Innighito (an Eskimo) holding the candle. My hands are so cold that I can scarcely guide my pencil, as I recline on the bed platform of the igloo.”
p. 179-81, repeating some of the passage on p. 31: I had in my cabin a good arctic library — absolutely complete as regards the work of later years. This included Abruzzi’s “On the Polar Star in the Arctic Sea,” Nansen’s “Farthest North,” Nares’ “Voyage to the Polar Sea,” Markham’s two volumes on arctic explorations, the narratives of Greely, Hall, Hayes, Kane, Inglefield—in fact, all the stories of the Smith Sound region, as well as those who have attempted the Pole from other directions, such as the Austrian expedition under Payer and Weyprecht, Koldewey’s East Greenland expedition, and so forth.
Then, in Antarctic literature I had Captain Scott’s two magnificent volumes, “The Voyage of the Discovery,” Borchgrevink’s “The Southern Cross Expedition to the Antarctic,” Nordenskjöld’s “Antarctica,” the “Antarctica” of Balch, and Carl Fricker’s “The Antarctic Regions,” as well as Hugh Robert Mills’ “Siege of the South Pole.”
The members of the expedition used to borrow these books, one at a time, and I think that before the winter was over they all knew pretty well what had been done by other men in this field.
Every week or ten days throughout the winter we had to remove from our cabins the ice caused by the condensation of the moist air where it came in contact with the cold outer walls. Behind every article of furniture near the outer wall the ice would form, and we used to chop it out from under our bunks by the pailful.
The books were always placed far forward on the shelves, because if a book were pushed back it would freeze solid to the wall. Then, if a warmer day came, or a fire was built in the cabin, the ice would melt, the water would run down and the leaves of the book would mold.
The sailors amused themselves after the manner of sailors everywhere, playing dominoes, cards and checkers, boxing and telling stories. They used to play at feats of strength, such as finger-pulling, with the Eskimos. One of the men had an accordion, another a banjo, and as I sat working in my cabin I used often to hear them singing “Annie Rooney,” “McGinty,” “The Spanish Cavalier,” and sometimes “Home Sweet Home.” Nobody seemed to be bored. Percy, who had special charge of the phonograph, often treated the men to a concert, and all through the winter I heard nobody complain of monotony or homesickness.
p. 165: On Sunday mornings I breakfasted in my cabin, thus leaving the men to themselves. On these occasions conversation was less technical and ranged from books to table manners, and sometimes Bartlett seized the opportunity to give his companions half-serious, half-humorous advice on the matter of table conduct, telling them that the time would come when they must return to civilization, and that they must not allow themselves to get into careless habits..
p. 239, MacMillan at Fort Conger in 1909: One of the finds was a text book which had belonged to Lieutenant Kislingbury, who lost his life with the Greely party. Upon its flyleaf it bore the inscription: “To my dear father, from his affectionate son, Harry Kislingbury. May God be with you & return you safely to us.”