National Geographic : 1908 Sep
666 THE NATIONAL GE( Plans were made for a ship which should combine the necessary qualities of power, the smallest consumption, and the largest capacity for coal, of a model which should withstand shock and press ure, which should surmount and crush floes, which should respond on call with full power of engines-in short, a ship which should be the product of actual experience. The keel of the new steamer was laid late in the fall by Capt. Charles B. Dix, in a Bucksport, Maine, yard, and on March 17 the Roosevelt, christened by Mrs Peary, was launched. Engines and boilers were installed at Portland in June, and on July 4, 1905, amid cheers and whistles and the waving of flags and signals, the Roosevelt, first American Arctic vessel for more than a generation, steamed out of New York harbor for the North. Sixteen months later a wireless mes sage informed the world that the Roose velt, having wintered farther north than any ship in the Western Hemisphere, was at Hopedale, Labrador, crippled and short of coal, Commander Peary having attained 87.6°, a new "nearest the Pole," and all on board well. A month later, and after a slow, difficult, and laborious voyage, the Roosevelt, entering New York Harbor by its East River gate, was towed to her old anchorage at the foot of West Forty-second Street, and the expedition of 1905-1906 was ended. Coincident with the construction of the Roosevelt and profiting by experience, the Peary Arctic Club was incorporated April 25, 1904, under the laws of the State of New York, with larger powers, greater efficiency, and other advan tages. The definite business of the new organization, of which Morris K. Jesup, John H. Flagler, Anton A. Raven, Henry Parish, Herbert L. Bridgman, and Rob ert E. Peary were incorporators, was stated in the charter to be "To aid and assist in forming and maintaining certain expeditions to be placed under Com mander Robert E. Peary, U. S. N., with the object of continuing his explorations of the polar regions and his completing the geographical data of the same; re- )GRAPHIC MAGAZINE ceiving and collecting such objects of scientific interest as may be obtainable through such expeditions; collecting, re ceiving, and preserving narratives and manuscripts relating to Arctic explora tion in general; soliciting and adminis tering funds for the maintenance of such expeditions, and in general providing funds for Commander Peary's efforts to reach the farthest northern point on the Western Hemisphere, and to co operate with any other assistant for the same purpose." It is not the purpose of this paper to. speak in detail of the field work of the Peary Arctic Club; that belongs of right tothemanwhodidit;butitmaybe proper to present here a brief resume, or a statement of net results on the sea, ice, and land. Fourteen times the ships of the Club have traversed boisterous Davis Straits, conquered Melville Bay, and established Sydney-Etah service with almost the regularity of transatlantic liners. The total mileage of these voyages, not in cluding the fifteenth, upon which the Roosevelt is now engaged, would be probably not far from 50,000 miles, or sufficient twice to circumnavigate the globe; of the eight ships, one-half have met their fate (after passing out of the Club's service), but among officers and crews, more than one hundred in all, except the ill-fated Falcon and her com pany (also after her Arctic voyage was finished), no loss of life or serious acci dent has occurred. A summary of the cruises of the Club's steamers is as follows: 1898. Windward, London to New York, to Allman Bay; Hope, Saint Johns to Sydney, to Etah, to Saint Johns. 1899. Diana, Saint Johns to Sydney, to Etah, cruise in Inglefield Gulf, to Sydney, to Saint Johns; Windward, Allman Bay to Brigus, N. F . 1900. Windward, Brigus, via Saint Johns, to Sydney, to Payer Harbor, Ellesmere land. 1901. Windward, Payer Harbpr to Saint Johns; Erik, Halifax to Sydney, to Etah and return. 1902. Windward, Saint Johns to Newburgh, N. Y., to Cape Sabine, to Sydney, to Brigus.