National Geographic : 1910 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE edited or prepared. I had the oppor tunity to meet with the committee and see the original data, and am satisfied that there was not an "i" dotted or a "t" crossed from the time the record was made, far away there in the cold fast nesses of the north. And so the decision was rendered in accordance with your claims. And now, in presenting you with the medal of the National Geographic Soci ety-which is voted to you by the repre sentatives of more than fifty thousand people, thinking, active working people in the world, through its Board of Man agers of twenty-four, representing nearly every type of scientific knowledge-I wish to say, sir, that in honoring you as the man we honor not only our Society, but-I speak for our guests-honor our selves. RESPONSE BY COMMANDER PEARY President Moore, ladies and gentlemen of the National Geographic Society: I cannot tell you how deeply I appreciate the words of your President, how deeply I have appreciated the chivalrous, mag nanimous speeches of those distinguished representatives of two great nations whose own men have done magnificent work in the Arctic regions, and who have kindly spoken here tonight; how much I have appreciated those clear, concise remarks of our greatest philanthropist; how much I have appreciated the friendly words of Admiral Chester. Far deeper than words is my apprecia tion of this magnificent trophy, conveying the faith and approval of this great Geographical Society, and awarded in connection with the most extraordinary state of affairs that has ever happened in the entire history of exploration and discovery. It is particularly appropriate that the greatest Geographical Society in the Western Hemisphere should be the first to officially recognize the winning of the last great geographical prize which the world had to offer, an accomplishment characterized by your distinguished com- mittee as "the greatest which the Society can ever have opportunity to honor." But mine is only a portion of the credit for which this trophy stands. Had it not been for the unswerving faith and back ing (both moral and financial) of Morris K. Jesup, organizer and first President of the Peary Arctic Club; had it not been for the equally unswerving faith and backing of General Thomas H. Hubbard, the present President of the Club, and the members and friends of the Club who have furnished all the funds for the work; had it not been for the splendid loyalty, enthusiasm, energy, and endur ance of the members of my party, from Captain Bartlett down, we should not have the North Pole here with us tonight. As copartner with and representative and proxy for those whom I have men tioned, I accept your magnificent medal with feelings of the liveliest pride and gratification. Permit me to convey to the Board of Managers of the Society, and through them to the Society itself, my own and my friends' acknowledgments for its in stant perception and acceptance of the duties of its position, and its definite and courageous stand at a time when a stand for the truth meant becoming a target for the most virulent attacks from the ignorant, the vicious, and the deluded. I wish also to convey the thanks of my friends and myself to that brother officer of superb personal and professional repu tation, whose clear insight, constitutional hatred of a lie, and unanswerable argu ments have done so much toward clearing the atmosphere, Admiral Chester. Thinking men and officers accustomed to questions of personal and public duty and responsibility have understood mat ters from the first, and the public now appears to be grasping the fact that a navy officer does not often shirk a duty, and, when an officer of the United States Navy makes a deliberate statement con cerning matters of which he has cogni zance, that statement is, at all times and under all circumstances, to be taken abso lutely at par.