Newspaper Page Text
+ By Dr. FREDERICK A. COOK
Copyright. 1909. by the NowYrk
+Herald Company, Registered In
4L Canada In Accordance With Copy
0 'right Act. Copyright In Mex.
ico Under Laws of the Repuhlic
+ of Mexico. All Rights Reserved
S TORMS now came up with such
force and frequency that it was
not safe to vgnture out in kay
aks. A few walruses were cap
tured from boats: then sea hunting was
ronfined to the quest of seal throug-h
the young ice.
A similar qnest was being followed
at every village from Annootok to
Cape York. But ali sea activity would)
. ............ ...A
SCEN~E AT THE NORTH POLE,
now soon be limited to a few~ opea
s,paces near prominent headlands.
The scene of the real hunt changed:
from the sea to the land. We had as
yet no caribou meat. The little auks
gathered in nets during the summer
and eider duck bagged later disap
peared fast when used as steady diet.
We must procure hare, ptarmigan and!
reindeer, for we had not yet learned
to eat with ai relish the fishy. liver-like
subs'tance which is characteristic of
all marine mammals..
Guns and ammunition were distrib
uted, and when the winds were easy1
enough to allow one to venture out
every man sought the neighboring
hills. Francke also took his exercise
with a gun on his shoulder.
The combined results gave a long!
line of ptarmigan. two reindeer and
sixteen hares. As snow covered th
upper slopes the game was forced
dlown near the sea, where we. could
still hope to hunt in the -feeble light of
the early part of the night.
- No Anxiety For Winter.
With .a larder fAirly stocked .and
gobd prospects for other tasty meats
we were spared the usual anxidty of~
a winter without winter supplies, and
Francke was just the man to use this
game to good effect, for he- had a
way of preparing- our primitive pro
visions that - made our dinners seem
equal to a Holland House spread.
In the middle of October foxskinis
were prime, and then new steel traps
-were distributed and set near the
manpy caches. By this time the Eski
-mos had all abandoned their sealskini
tents and were snugly settled in their
winter .igloos. The ground was coy
'ered with snow, and the sea was near
ly frozen over everywhere.
Everybody was busy preparing for
the-coming cold and night. The temn
perature was about 20 degrees below
zero. Sev-ere storms were becoming
less frequent, and the air, though
colder, was less humid and less disa
greeable. An ice fort was formed. and
the winter sledging was begun by'
short excursions to bait the fox traps
and gather the foxes.
All these purstiits, with the work of
building and repairing sleds, making
dog harness and shaping new winter
clothing. kept up a lively interest
while the great crust which was to
hold down the unruly deep for so
many months thickened and closed.
Last Glimpse of the Dying Day.
During the last days of brief sun
shine the weather cleared, and at
uioor on Oct. 24 everybody sought the
freedom of the open for a last glimpse
of the dying day. There wa a charm
of color and glitter, but no one seem
ed quite happy as the sun sank under
the southern ice, for it ws.3 not to rise
again for 118 days.
The Eskimos took this as a signal to
enter a trance of sadness, in which
the bereavement of each family and
the discomforts of the year are enact
ed in dramatic chants or dances.
But to us the sunset of 1907 was in
spiration for the final work in direct
ing the shaping of the outfit with
which to begin the conquest of the
pole at sunrise of 1908. Most expedi
tions have had the advantage or the
liberal hand of a goernmnent or of :un
ample privaIte fund. We were denied
But we were not incumbered v-ith
a caro of misfits devised b.y bome
o. t!he_Pole I
Wading Sun Warns. Ex- I
+ plorer of Coming Long +
+ Arctic Winter-Prepar- 9
+ ing Sled and Boat >
dreamers, nor was the project bandi
capped by the usual army of novices,
for white men at best must be regard
ed as amateurs compared with the ex
pert efficiency of the Eskimo in his
own environment. Our food suoiy
contained only the prime factors ef
primitive nourishment. Special foods
and laboratory concoctions did not till
an important space in our larder.
? T RAP ED B . COK
* ...'... .. X N
X. . . . .
~~~ ...... N~L4 '? S R
?IIOTOGRAPIIED B~Y DR. COOK
Nor had we balloons, - automobiles.
motor sleds cr other freak devices. We
did, however, have an abundance of
'the best hickory, suitable metal and
all the raw material for the sled and
its accessories, which were henceforthi
to be linked with our destiny.
The sled was evolved as the result
of careful study of local environmenti
and of the anticipated ice s1rfa:-e
northward. We did not copy the Mc-.
Cintock sled, with its wide runners.
which has been used by most expkr
ers for frfty ye:1rs. Nor did we aba:i
d'n the e!03 fnsbi: 'd ireon shoes for
Germ:in Si!ver' strips.
W>:-t P::r SI:d Should Ge.
Ti:.' cong.i ions which a polar S.led
!mUi T2'-t ;nre too complex to outline
Iea. !n a broead sense it .soemed that
he ! --t mii of the, best wood
Sea sied couki .be combined with
the k :at timless of the Eskimo craft.
wh; au: lti-kury liber and sealski
1 .::.: :.i i:mine el.s. j- joinlts. Withtj
pe: ;f e ativn iagenluity to foresee
POLAR BEAR AND ESKIMO0(O
snd provide for the strain of adaptabil
ty and endurance, the possibilities of
ur sled factory were very good.
For dog harness the Eskimo pattern
was adopted, but canine economy Is
mch that when rations are reduced to .
vorkabe limits the leather strips dis
ppear as food. To overcome this dis-!
tster the shoulder straps were made
f folds of strong canvas, while the
:races were cut from cotton log line.
A boat is an important adjunct to
very sledge expeditio . w bich hopes
:o venture far from its base of opler
ition. It is a matter of necessity eveni
ruen following the new coast hune, as
.s shown by the mishnp of Mylius
Erickson. for if he badl hadl a boat lhe
voul himself have r ('turne)4d to' te&H
several months for a chance use in thw
last stages of the return: but. since
food supplies dre necessarily limited.
delay is fatal. Therefore when open
water prevents progress a boat be
corws in the nature of a life pre
Foolish indeed Is the explorer who
Ignores this detail of the problem.
Transport of a boat, however. offers
many serious obiections. Narsen in
troduced the kayak, and most explor
ers since have adopted the same de
vice. The Eskimo canoe serves the
purpose very well, but to carry It for
three months without hopeless destruc
tion requires an amount of energy
which stamps the polar ventre with
Selecting a Boat.
Sectional boats, aluminium boats.
skin floats and other devices have been
tried, but to all there is the same fatal
objection of impossible transportation.
It seems rather odd that the ordinary
folding canvas boat has not been press
ed into this service.
We found It to fit the situation ex-.
actly, selecting a twelve foot Eureka
shaped boat with wooden frame. The
slats, spreaders and floor pieces were
utilized as parts of sleds. The can
vas cover served as a floor cloth for
our sleeping bags. Thus the boat did
useful service -or a hundred days and
was never in evidence as a cumber
When at last the craft was spread
and covered, in it we carried the sled.
in it we camped. in it we sought game.
the meat of which took the place of
exhausted supplies. Without it we.
too, would not have returned.
Preparation of the staple food sup
ply is of even.greater importance than
means -of locomotion. To the c'ceess
of a prolonged arctic enterprise in
transit successive experience is bound
to dictate a wise choice.of equipment.
but it does not often educate the
From the published accounts of are
tic travelers it is impossible to select
a satisfactory menu for future explor
ers, and I hasten to add that perhaps
our experience will be equally unsatis
factory to subsequent victims.
Nor is it safe to listen to scientific
advice, for the stomach is the one or
gan of the body which stands as the
autocrat over every other human sense
and passion and will not easily yield
to foreign dictates.
The problem differs with every man.
It differ.; with every expedition, and it
is radically different with every na
tion. Thus when De -Gerlache forced
Norwegian food into French stonmachs
he learned that there was a nationality
Depending on Eskimo Food.
In this respect, as in others, I was
helped very much by the people who
were to line up my, forces. The Eski
mo is ever hungry, but his taste is
normal. Things of. doubtful value ini
nutrition form no part in his dietary.
Animal food, meat and fat, is entirely
satisfactory as a steady diet without
other adjuncts. His food -requires nei
ther salt nor sugar, nor is ooiga
matter of necessity.
Quantity is important. but quality
applies only to the relative proportionI
of fat. With this key to the gastro-1
nomics of our lockers, pemmican was
selected as the staple food, which also
served equally well for the dogs.
We had an ample supply of pem
mican, made by Armo"r, of pounded
dried beef, sprinkled with a few
raisins, some currants and a small
quantity of sugar. This mixture was
ON THE JOHN R. BRADLEY,
emented together with heated beef
allow and run into tin cans containing
six pounds each.
This combination was invented by
n American Indian. It has been used
:efore as part of the long list of food
stuffs in arctic products, but with us
t was the whole bill of fare when
away from game haunts.
Only a few palate surprises were
carried, and these will be indicated i
the narrative of camp life.' The entire
winter and night were spent with busy
hands, under direction of Eskimo and
Caucasian ingenuity. in working out
the clothing and camp comforts with
ut which we could not invade the for
bidden mystery of the polar basi.
Although we did not follow closely
either the routes or methods of our
>redecessors, we are nevertheless dou
:ly indebted to them, for their experi
nces. including their failures, were
01W stt~pfling stones to success.
+ By Dr. FREDERICK A. COOK
+ Copyright. 1909, by the New York
+ Hferald Company. Regi.-red In
0 Canada In Accordance With Copy.
0 right Act. Copyright In Mex.
ico Under Laws of the Republic
+. of Mexico. All Rights Reserved
ALLY in January of 190S the
campaign opened. A few sleds
were sent to the American
shores to explore a route and
to advance supplies.
Clouds and storms made the moon
light days dark. and therefore these
advance expeditious were only partly
On Feb. 19. 1908. the main expedi
tion started for the Oole. Eleven men.
driving 103 dogs and moving 11 hear
ily loaded sleds. left the Greenland
shore and pushed westward over the
troublesome ice of Smith sounv' to
The gle-m of the long winter night
was but little relieved by a few hours
of daylight. and the temperature was
Eighty-three Degrees Below.
Passing through a valley between
Ellesmere Land and Grinnell Land
from the head of Flagler bay. in cross
ing to the Pacific slopes. the tempera
ture fell to 83 degrees F. below zero.
In Baj fiord many musk oxei were
secured. and. though the winter frost
. .. ....
ESKINO BELLES 0.L 2
was at its lowest, there was little wind,
and with an abundance of fresh meat
and also fat for fuel the life in the
snow house proved fairly comfortable.
The ice in Eureka and Nansen
sounds proved fairly smooth. and long
marches were made. With an abun
dance of game-musk oxen, bears and
bares-we found it quite unnecessary
to use the supplies taken from Green
land. Caches of food and ammunition
were left along Heiberg island for the
Wilting Savage Hands.
Thus we managed to keep in game
trails and in excellent fighting trim to
the end of known lands. Camping in
the chill of the frowning cliffs of the
nort-ernmost coast (Svartevogi. we
looked out over the heavy ice of the
polar seas through eyes which had
been hardened to the worst of polar
There was at hand an abundance of
supplies, with willing- savage bands
and a superabundance of brute force
in overted pelts, b>ut for a greater cer
tainty of aetiVn over the unknown re
gions beyonid I resolved to reduce the
force to the smallest numbers con
sistent with the execution of the prob
lem in hanud.
We had traveled nearly 400) miles in
twenty-eight das There remained a
line of 320 miles of unknowable tron
ble to b)e overcome before our goal
could be reachedl. F-or this final task
we were provided wit Ii every conceiv
able device to ease t is hard lot; but.
in additioni to a rdu-ed party. I now
definitely rs'solved toi simplify the en
tire equipment. At svartevog a big
cache was made. In this caene fr-esh
meat. todnu, pemmic-an and much oth
er food. together- with all discarded
articles of equipment. were left.
In the northward adv-ance every:
factor of the dog train ,had been care
fully watched atid studied to provide
a perfect working force for the final
ralc-h ov-er the polar sea. Etukishnk
and Ahwebib. two young Eskimios,
each t wenty years old.-had been chosen
as best fitted to be' my sole c*omlpan
ions in the long run of destiny. Twen
ty-si.x dogs were pic-ked, and upon two
sleds were loaded all our needs for a
stay of eighty days.
All For Progress
To have increased this p.s.ty would
not have enabled us to carry suplies
for a greater imnber' of. hiys. T1he
sles imight have beeun !ond~e.! moore
heavily. but this wouhil! retluce the im
portant progress of thei tirst diay.
WVith the chiaracter oIf ice which we~
ad before us advan rce stationts were
imp iossible. A Ia r.e expIed it ion and a
beavy equlItCi ien tIen i:.prudtenit.
We mut wi 'or !Pse in a pr'olotiged
aer a high nesure. nn therefore
of the Pole
I Eighty-Three Degrees Be
+ low-Willing Savage Hands.
+ Marching Over the Polar *
+ Seas > . > +
[ IFIFTH ARTICLE] +
absolute control and ease of adapta
bility to a changing environment must
It is impossible to adequately con
trol the complex human temperament
of unknown men in the polar wilder
ness. but the two Eskimo boys could
be trusted. to follow to the limit of my
own endeavors, and our sleds were
burdened only with absolute necessi
Cutting Down Weight.
Because of the importance of a light
and efficient equipment much care was
taken to eliminate every ounce of
weight. The sleds were made of hick
ory. the lightest wood consistent with
great endurance. but every needless
fiber was gouged out. The iron shoes
were ground thin, and in every way the
weight of nearly everything was re
duced even after leaving headquar
The little train. therefore, which fol
lowed me into the farther mystery
was composed of two sleds, each
carrying 600 pounds. drawn by 13
dogs, under the lash of an expert
PE JOV , JRADLEY.
driver. The -combined freight was as
follows: Pemmican. 805 pounds; musk
ox tenderloin, 50 pounds; todnu. 25
pounds; tea. 2 pounds; coffee, 1 pound:
sugar, 25 pounds; condensed milk. 4)
pounds; milk biscuits. 60 pounds; pea
soup. powdered and compressed. 10
pounds; surprises. 5 pounds; pet ro
leum. 40 pounds; wood alcohol. 2
pounds; candles. 3 pounds; matches, 1
The 'Camp Equipment.
The camp equipment included the
following articles: One blow tire lamp
(Jeuelh, 3 aluminium pails. 3 alumini
um cups. 3 aluminium teaspoons, 1 ta
blespoon. 3 tin plates, 6 pocketknives,
2' butcher knives (10) inches), 1 saw
knife (13 inches., ~I long knife (15 inch
es), I rifle (Sharpe>. 1 ritle (Winchester,
22). 110 cartridges. I hatchet, 1 Alpine
ax. extra line and lashings. 3 personal
The sled equipment was 2 sleds
weighing 52 pounds each. 12 foot fold
ing canvas boat, 34 pounds; 1 silk tent.
2 canvas sled covers. 2 sleeping bags
(reindeer skinm, floor furs, extrav wood
for sled repairs, screws, nails and rir
The instruments were as follows:
Three compasses, I sextant. 1 artificial
horizon (glass,, I pedometer, 3 pocket
chronometers. I watch, charts, map
making material and instruments. 3
thermometers. I aneroid barometer. 1
eamera and films. notebooks and pen
The personal bags contained four ex
tra pairs of kamiiks, with fur stockings.
a woolen shirt, three pairs of sealskin
mittens. two pairs 9f fur mittens. a
piece of blanket, a dealskin coat (net
shai. a repair kit for mending clothing
and dog har'mess, tra fox tails.
On. the march we w.ore snow goggles,
blue fox coats (kapitahs), bird.skin
shirts, woolen dra wers. bearskin pants.
kamiks and bareskin stockings. We'
fastened a baind of fox tails under the
kr.ee and about the waist.
Helping the Advance.
On the morning of March 18 prepara
tions were made to divide the party.
The advance must be helped over the
rough ice of the pack- edge, and for
this purpose Koolootingwah and Inu
gito were selected. The other six Es
kimos prepared to return. One sled
was left with the cnche to insure a
good vehicle for our return in case the
two sleds were badly broken en route.
A half gale was blowing into Nan
sen sound from the northwest, but this
did not interfere with the starting of
those homne going Eskimos. With
abuldant game for the return they re
quired little bitt ammunition to sup
ply tbeir wants.
WVhen the word was given to start.
the dogs were gnthered and the sleds
were spanned with a jump. Soon they
disappeared in the rush of driving
snow. The crack of the whips and
the rebound of cheering voices were
the last which we heard of the faithful
savage supporters. They had followed
not for pay, but for a real desire to
be helpful, from the dark days of the
ending of night to the bright nights
of the coming double days, and their
parting enforced a pang of loneliness.
Another Sleep Before the Start.
With a snow charged blast in our
faces it was quite Impossible for us
to start. so we withdrew to the snow
Igloo. entered our bags and slept a few
hours longer. At noon the horizon
cleared. The wind veered to the south
west and came with an endurable
force. The dogs had been doubly fed
the night before. They were not to
be fed again for two days. The 1,200
pounds of freight were packed on our
sleds, and quickly we slipped around
deep grooves in the great poliocrystic
The snow had been swept from the
ice by the force of the, preceding
storms, and the speed attained by the
dogs through even rough ice was such
that it was difficult to keep far enough
ahead to get a good course.
The evasses and pressure lines gave
little trouble at first. but the hard ir
regularity of the bared ice offered a
dangerous surface for the life of our
sleds. passing through blue gorges
among miniature mountains of sea
ice. On a course slightly west of
north we soon sank the bold headlznd
which raises the northern point of
Camp Is Pitched.
After'a run of twenty-six miles we
pitched camp on a floe berg of unusual
height. There were many big hum
mocks about, to the lee of which were
great banks of hardened snow. Away
from land it is always more difficult
to find snow suitable for cutting build
ing blocks, but here was an abundance
conveniently placed. In the course of
an hour a comfortable palace of crys
tal was erected, and into it we crept
out of the Diercing wind. The first
day's march over the circumpolar sea
was closed with a good record..
The dogs curled up aad went to sleep
without a call, as if tbey knew there
would be no food until the morrow.
My wild' companions covered their
faces with their convenient long hair
and sank. quietly into a comfortable
slumber. but for me sleep was qiite
impossible. Letters must .be written.
The whole problem of our campaign
must be again carefully studied and
final plans must be made not only- to
reach our ultimate destination, but for
the returning parties and for the secu
rity of the things at Annootok.
Impossible to Foretell Return. *
It was diffcult at this time to even
guess at the probable line of our re
turn to land. Much depended upon
conditions encountered in the nor
ward route. Thpugh we had- left
aches of supplied. with the object of
returning along Nansen sound into
Cannon fiord and over. Arthur Land.
I entertained grave doubts of our abil
ity to return this way. If the ice
drifted strongly to the east we might
not be given the choice of working out
our own return. In that event we
would be carried perhaps helplessly to
Greenland and must seek a return ,
either along the east coast or the west
This drift did not offer a dangerous
hardship. for the musk dxen wrould
keep us alive to the 'west. nd to the
east it seemed .possible to reach Shan
non island, where the Baldwin-Ziegler
expedition had abandoned a large
ache of supplies. It appeared not im
probable also that a large land exten
sion might offer a safe return much:
Because of this uncertainty Francke
was instructed to wait until June 5.
1908, and If we' did not return he was
told to place Koolootingwah in charge'
and go home either by the whalers or
by the Danish ships to the south.
No relief which he could offer would
help us, and to wait for an indefinite
time alone would have inflicted a need
less hardship. ThIs and many other
instructions were prepared for Koo
lootingwah and Inugito to rake back.
In the morning the frost in crystals
ad been swept fro.m the air. but there
remained a humid ebill which pierced
to the bones. .Thie temperature was
minus 56 F. A light air came from
the west, and the sun burned in a.
After a few hours' march the ice
hanged in chlarae'ter. The extensive9
thick fields gave place to moderate
ized floes. The floes were separated
by zones of trouh!esome crushed ice
hrown into high pres.sure lines. -which
o&ered serious barriers. but with the
Ice ax.and Eskimo ingenuity we man
ged to make fair progress.,
The second run on the polar sea was
with twenty-one miles to our credit.
[ had expected to send .the supporting
arty back from here. but progress*
had not been as good as expected. We '
ould hardly spare the food to feed
their dogs. so they volunteered to push
along another day without dog food.
Return of the Help rs.
On the next day, with Increasing dif
ficulties in some troublesome ice, we
amped after makIng . only sixteen :
miles. Here a small snow house was
built, and from here, after disposing of
t pot of steaming musk of loins and
broth. followed by a double: brew of
tea, our last helpers returned.
With empty sleds and hungry dogs
hey hoped to reach land in one long
day's tr-avel. But this would make the
fourth day without food for their dogs.
and in case of storm or moving ice
other days of famine might easily fall
o their lot. They had, however, an
bundance of dogs and might sacrifice
few for the benefit of the others, e's
we must often do.