Page images
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

hoped it may be found practicable, to hold sessions of the Congress also in other cities: In New York, in conjunction with the American Geographical Society of that city, a portrait of whose honored president, Dr. Seth Low, appears on another page; in Boston, with the Appalachian Mountain Club, and in Philadelphia, Chicago, and probably in San Francisco and Seattle, in conjunction with the noted geographic societies of these cities.

The National Geographic Society will hope to offer its guests an attractive series of excursions to points of geographic interest. In the letter of invitation the following possible excursions, each one of which would be a geographic lesson, are suggested :

[ocr errors]

While it might be premature to suggest special excursions to points and regions of geographic interest, your attention is asked to the fact that Washington is situated in the midst of natural and cultural features of such character as to appeal to geographic students. Niagara Falls is but a few hours in one direction, the Natural Bridge of Virginia is near at hand in another, and the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky but a short journey in a third direction. The metropoles of eastern United States - Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond-are so near that it would be possible to hold a session in one or more of these cities.

"Chicago is only 1,300 kilometers (23 hours) away, and a session might easily be held there. Denver, the gateway to the Rocky Mountain region, is within 3,000 kilometers (24 days), and the Grand Cañon of Colorado, Great Salt Lake, and Yellowstone National Park are only a little farther. Even the remotest parts of the country are now easily accessible. California is but 4.350 kilometers (313 days) from Washington at The Needles and 4,900 kilometers (334 days) at Los Angeles, while San Francisco, at the Golden Gate, is only a little over four days from the National Capital. From these points Mt. Shasta and Yosemite Valley are readily accessible, while the notable scenery of the Selkirks and other mountains in Canada, the peaks and glaciers of Alaska, and the picturesque plateaus and historic cities of Mexico are also within easy reach, the City of Mexico being only 4,600 kilometers (31⁄2 days) from Washington.

"The members of the National Geographic Society feel that these and other features of geographic interest worthy the attention of the distinguished savants accustomed to attend the sessions of the International Geographic Congress, and they would feel highly honored by the occasion of welcoming their colleagues from beyond the Atlantic to their own field of work and thought." G. H. G.



EARY has circumsledged Greenland, discovered most northern land in the world. Returns 1902 with Pole," says Mr. Bridgman, Secretary of the Peary Arctic Club, in a telegram to the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE from Sydney, C. B., September 13, 1901.

A detailed statement of Peary's very important work during the past two years follows:

On April 15, 1900, Peary left Fort Conger, 81° 44' north latitude, and, accompanied by his faithful Henson and five Eskimo, crossed Robeson Channel to the Greenland coast and followed it

on foot and over the sea ice to the northward. He had devised an ingenious scheme for making his little force as mobile as possible. Each sled was stocked with a complete outfit of provisions as though it were the only store from which the party had to draw. All hands used from it until it was emptied, when it was sent back in charge of its Eskimo driver and drawn by only two of the dogs. The other dogs were attached to the remaining sleds. In this way two of the Eskimo were sent back on April 26, and two others early in May.

Lockwood's farthest North Cairn of May 13, 1882, was opened May 8, and its records were taken; and at Cape Washington, the headland seen by him fifteen miles northeast, in 1882, another cairn was erected and a copy of the "Farthest" record and additional memoranda were deposited. Peary pushed on, and at 83° 39' north rounded the northern extremity of Greenland, finding the coast at this point to trend rapidly eastward. There, on the most northerly known land in the world, Peary built a cairn, in which he deposited records, etc.

Peary then struck over the sea ice for the Pole, but was able to advance only to 83° 50' north, when he was stopped by the broken pack and much open water. Retracing his steps, Peary pushed on along the Greenland coast, all the time eastward, about 160 miles beyond Lockwood's farthest, to latitude 83° north, longitude 25° west, or approximately but little more than a degree from Independence Bay, discovered and named by him July 4, 1892. The reconnaissance ended with a definite demonstration of the western and northern coasts of Greenland.

A pronounced change in the character of the coast was found beyond Cape Washington, the bold, precipitous headlands and deeply cut fjords being succeeded by a low rolling foreland,

suggesting possible glaciation at some earlier period; and all along the northern coast much open water was met. Bear, musk oxen, hare, and lemming were killed in the newly discovered country, affording an ample supply of fresh meat for men and dogs; and a stray wolf was seen. Having practically connected his work of eight years before with that of 1900, and completed the determination. of the northern boundary of Greenland, Peary, on May 22, turned back, following practically the line of his outward. march, and on June 10 arrived at Fort Conger, having been three months in the field without accident, illness, or serious mishap of any kind to himself or any of his party.

Peary's own estimate of his work in 1900 is given in a letter to Mr. H. L. Bridgman, from which the following extracts are taken :

"CONGER, April 4, 1901. "MY DEAR BRIDGMAN: It gives me great pleasure to present to the club the results of the work of 1900.

"First. The round of the northern limit of the Greenland archipelago, the most northerly known land in the world; probably the most northerly land.

Second. The highest latitude yet attained in the Western Hemisphere (83° 50' north).

Third. The determination of the origin of the so-called 'paleocrystic ice' (floe berg), etc.

[ocr errors]

Considering that I am an old man, have one broken leg and only three toes, and that my starting point was Etah, I feel that this was doing tolerably well. It is almost a thousand years since 'Eric the Red' first sighted the southern extremity of the archipelago, and from that time Norwegians, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Englishmen, Scotchmen, and Americans have crept gradually northward up its shores, until at last, through the instrumentality and liberality of the club, its northern cape

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »