National Geographic : 1898 Aug
WELLMAN POLAR EXPEDITION decided to cooperate, in some measure, with this expedition, and a committee, consisting of President Alexander Graham Bell, Gen. A. W. Greely, U. S. A., Prof. G. K. Gilbert, Dr C. Hart Mer riam, Commodore George W. Melville, U. S. N., and Prof. Simon Newcomb, was appointed to advise Mr Wellman concerning the scientific work to be undertaken. This committee drafted a statement indorsing the aims and purposes of the expedition, and suggested the addition to the exploring party of three scien tific observers, a suggestion that was promptly acted upon. The Board has also undertaken to make a financial contribu tion to the expedition, with the understanding that in the event of the amount so contributed being refunded it shall be applied to a permanent fund for research. Subscriptions to the amount of one thousand dollars have been received from members of the Board of Managers and of the Society in general, and have been applied to the purposes of the expedition. Further contribu tions, from one dollar upward, may be sent to the Treasurer, Mr Henry Gannett, U. S. Geological Survey. Mr Wellman and his party sailed from Tromso on Sunday, June 26, in the S. S. Frithyof. Four days later, when in the White Sea, Mr Wellman wrote President Bell a letter, of which the following is an abstract: "We expect to be at Archangel, where eighty dogs are waiting for us, on Saturday. The Frithyof is a good steamer, very strong and well equipped. In only one particular is she a disappointment-she does not steam as many knots an hour as had been represented to us. Still she is fast enough for the work. The reports from the ice are that it is a very unfavorable year, but my experience is that such reports do not count for much. A day or two of different wind may change conditions radically. In less than ten days we expect to be at the ice to see for ourselves. "The only financial affair now worrying me is that we have not the funds for a steamer to come after us next year. In all probability it will not be necessary to hire a steamer specially, as there will be other ships going to Franz Josef Land. This matter is left in the hands of Consul Andrew Aagaard, of Tromso, Norway, a most estimable gentleman. I have asked him to communicate with my friends in America in good season; and while I have not the slightest idea it will be necessary to hire a ship, if it should be I hope my friends will stand by us. Even if a ship is needed, it will not be very costly, as it may start later in the year than we are going. " Our party consists of nine-four Americans and five Norwegians. Prof. Gore does not go to Franz Josef Land with us. Instead he goes to Spitzbergen. He was afraid he might be too long delayed in getting back from the former region. I am pleased with all the men, and we shall do our best to give you good news from us next year."