National Geographic : 1907 Jul
No MAN'S LANI storm, they took to the boat and reached a haven. Another remarkable drift was the ex perience of part of the crew of the Polaris in 1870. The Polaris had been pushed into an impassable ice-pack, where she was anchored to a floe. "For two months the ship drifted slowly southward, when a violent gale disrupted the pack and nearly destroyed her. Part of the terror-stricken crew, escaping in the darkness to the ice-pack, experienced the horrors of a mid-winter ice-drift, whose appalling dangers and bitter privations can scarcely be appre ciated. Five months later, after a drift of 1,3oo miles, the despairing party were picked up by the Tigress, off Labrador, April 30, 1873, not only unreduced in numbers, but with a girl baby born to the Eskimo, Hannah." The drift of the Fram, 1893-1896, is so well remembered that it is not necessary to describe it again. It is also interesting to note the long distance Peary drifted on his last polar dash, while waiting for a lead to close and for a storm to abate. On his next campaign he will take advantage of this drift by starting westof Cape Columbia and by aiming for a point considerably away from the Pole. (See page 450.) )-SPITZBERGEN 455 The many expeditions setting forth from Greenland and Franz Josef Land have nearly completed the exploration of the eastern half of the polar area, but the map shows a vast untraversed region north of Alaska and Bering Strait. In the preparation of the map the Editor has received much assistance from the expert staff of the Mathews Northup Co., who also drafted, engraved, and printed it. The insert of the Smith Sound region is largely based on Peary's latest map, and that of Franz Josef Land on the surveys and revisions of the Ziegler Expedition. A limited number of polar maps have been printed on linen and may be ob tained from the National Geographic So ciety at 50 cents each. The reader who is interested in Arctic exploration and wishes a concise narra tive of the different expeditions, will find the "Hand Book of Arctic Discoveries," by Major General A. W. Greely, U. S. Army, an indispensable and welcome guide. A second edition of this volume has just been published by Messrs Little, Brown & Company, of Boston. General Greely gives a vivid summary of Arctic history, condensed from about 70,000 pages of original narrative. NO MAN'S LAND-SPITZBERGEN THE discovery of Spitzbergen ex cited little interest at the time, but it was prominently brought to the attention of the world by the first voyage of Henry Hudson, in 1607, to discover a passage by the North Pole to China and Japan. Hudson's voyage was of vast industrial and commercial importance, for his dis covery and reports of the vast number of walruses and whales that frequented the seas gave rise to the Spitzbergen whale fishery. Enterprising Holland sent its ships in 1613, bringing in its train later whalers from Bremen, France, and other maritime centers. The whale fishery, as the most impor tant of Arctic industries-from which Holland alone drew from the Spitzber gen seas in Ino years, 1679-1778, prod ucts valued at about ninety millions of dollars-merits brief attention. Grad writes: "The Dutch sailors saw in Spitzbergen waters great whales in immense numbers, whose catch would be a source of apparently inexhaustible riches. For two centuries fleets of whalers frequented the seas. The rush to the gold-bearing places of California and the mines of Australia afford in our day the only examples at all comparable to the host of men attracted by the north ern fishery."