National Geographic : 1910 Jan
THE DISCOVERY OF THE NORTH POLET matter the soul within, and these are the men who are entitled to the credit. And so it is with all the money I give. When I gave Doctor Billings one morning seventy-eight libraries for New York-that was the biggest wholesale order I have ever filled-I was met with congratulations the next morning when walking down the street. "What do you congratulate me for?" I asked. "Why, for giving New York seventy-eight libra ries," was the answer. "Cannot receive your congratulations, gentlemen," was my reply, "but if you will congratulate me upon the bargain I made with New York, by which she agreed to maintain seventy-eight branch libraries free to all the people, shake." I thank you for inviting me here. I thank you gentlemen for your applause and ladies for your smiles. I am the happiest man in the world, because I know that it is not what I have done that I pride myself upon. It is rather upon what I have induced others to do. Ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you I make splendid bargains with all the money that I apparently give away for nothing. THE TOASTMASTER Mr Carnegie gives all the credit to those who are doing the work under his beneficence, but I would say to him that that good old Scotch brain of his never gave a dollar that he did not in his won derful divination see far at the end some beneficent purpose, and I would say to him that a stream never rises higher, sir, than its source. We have on our Board of Manage ment, I am proud to say, a very wide diversity of talent, and I shall introduce now Admiral Chester, of the United States Navy, formerly Director of the Naval Observatory, who had charge of the party that went to Africa several years ago to view and to observe the eclipse, and who has done a great deal of highly creditable scientific work. We shall ask him to say a few words with regard to the work of Commander Peary in the polar regions during the past 20 years. TWENTY YEARS' SERVICE IN THE ARCTIC- REAR ADMIRAL COLBY M. CHESTER, U. S. NAVY My distinguished colleague has given an account of the objects of the National Geographic Society, and it is my privi lege to present a brief statement of the work done by our doubly honored and highly esteemed member, Commander Peary, work that has resulted in such signal success as to probably make him the honorary member of nearly all geo graphic societies of the world. Beginning back in 1886, Mr R. E. Peary, then a young civil engineer of the U. S. Navy, originated and put into oper ation an entirely new project for Arctic exploration, and with a Dane, Maigaard, reached a point near Disco, Greenland,. some 50 miles from the sea. With the experience and whetted appetite for Arc tic exploration gained on this trip, he soon organized a second voyage to the Polar Seas and landed at McCormick Bay, in August, 1891, and although his leg was broken in crossing Melville Bay, and he had nothing more than an Arctic winter and its attendant discomforts be fore him, he persisted in his determina tion to go north, and but few people can realize what he courageously must have passed through during that long Arctic night. His primary object was to study the Esquimos with a view to utilizing them. as a force with which to eventually reach the North Pole, and he took upon himself their habits and customs to better enable him to gain their confidence and com mand them when ready for the campaign quite on the same principle as our army has organized Porto Rican and Philip pine Scouts to deal with military subjects which the natives of the country can best: negotiate. Early the following spring Peary, now able to travel, made a brilliant sledge journey of 1,300 miles, crossing the di vide of 5,000 feet elevation between Whale Sound and Kane Sea, in Green land, reaching the northern edge of the inland ice, near 82° north latitude, and discovering Independence Bay.