National Geographic : 1904 Jun
260 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE country and reported their adventures. Other Eskimos have since then been carried away on the ice, and are sup posed to have reached the northern land, from whence they have not as yet returned. An obscure indication of land to the north was actually perceived from the masthead of the Plover when off Point Barrow." * On August 15, 1850, Captain Mc Clure, anchored off Yarborough Inlet, about half way from Point Barrow to Demarcation Point, writes: "The packed ice today, as far as the eye can reach, appears solid and heavy, without a drop of water discernible. The refraction has been considerable, giving to the edge of the pack the ap pearance of a continuous line of chalk cliffs, from 40 to 50 feet in height. From the light shady tint, which in dif ferent parts of the pack is distinctly visible, I should be inclined to think that there may be many of the same kind of islands as those we have met with, extending to the northward, and impeding the progress of the ice, thereby keeping this sea eternally frozen." t Captain Collinson, who wintered at Simpson Cove, 1853-1854, actually un dertook a sledge journey in the spring northward, one object of which was to see if land would not be reached. The roughness of the ice caused him soon to abandon the project. He writes : " I therefore returned, and with sor row gave up an attempt which . . . I had looked forward to with much in terest; thinking that, with anything like a favorable road, I should reach 730 N. latitude, and settle the ques tion with regard to the open sea, which certainly does not appear to exist here in the same manner as it does to the north of the Asiatic continent." + In 1873 Admiral Sherard Osborn read a paper before the Royal Geographic *The Polar Regions, p. 240. tMcClure : L. c., p. 81. $ Collinson : L. c., p. 312. Society in which he predicted the ex istence of an archipelago or land extend ing from near Prince Patrick Island up very near to the Pole and thence to Wrangell Island, thus forming the northern boundary of a nearly inclosed sea. * A probably less happy prediction was made by Petermann, who contemplated land extending northeasterly from Greenland, thence across the Pole to Wrangell Island. Sir Clements Markham is quoted as having said in November, 1896 : "Personally, as I do not believe in any land near the Pole, or on this side of it beyond Franz Josef Land, I trust an attempt will be made to explore an other portion of the Arctic regions. I believe there is land, probably in the form of large islands, between Prince Patrick Land and the New Siberia Islands." t Prentiss discredits there being much land north of Bering Strait, but his reasons for so doing can hardly be re garded as convincing. ADDENDUM Since reading the above paper, I ac cidentally came across a paper by Mar cus Baker, in Volume 5 of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, entitled "An Undiscovered Island off the Northern Coast of Alaska." He suggests that the supposed land be called Keenan Is land. The' following statements are there furnished by Captain Edward P. Herendeen, who for many years was engaged in whaling: " It is often told that natives winter ing between Harrison and Camden Bays have seen land to the north in the bright, clear days of spring. " In the winter of 1886-'87, Uzharlu, an enterprising Eskimo of Ootkeavie, * Clements R. Markham: The Threshold of the Unknown, pp. 216-224. t Prentiss : The Great Polar Current, p. 105 ; see also p. 19.