National Geographic : 1906 Jan
VOL. XVII, No. I WASHINGTON JANUARY, 1906 G OTHAPII GEOGRAPHICAL EXPLORATION: ITS MORAL AND MATERIAL RESULTS* BY GENERAL A. W. GREELY, U. S. A. CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER THE spirit of human endeavor has found few fields more fruitful in sequential results than that of geographical exploration. As far as may be possible, in the brief period allotted for this address, an en deavor will be made to present the more important results, not only as re gards its material aspects, but also as connected with its moral tendencies. The branches of geography now treated are confined to economic, phys ical, and political phases to the exclu sion of bare outlines of land and water distribution and mathematical demon strations. It is not the mere explorer that engages our attention, but rather the pioneers and settlers, whose close, persistent, practical studies and labors along agricultural, biological, and min eralogical lines have made known the vast resources of the earth for useful exploitation by the masses. The growth, development, and ulti mate limitation of nations are largely influenced if not entirely due to geo- graphical environment. The location of great centers of agriculture and com merce, of special industries, mining and stockraising, is the outcome of careful explorations of the special economic resources on which their success de pends. It is of interest to note that the ne cessity and beneficence of explorations are set forth in the earliest recorded history. We read in the Old Testa ment: "Now the Lord had said to Abra ham: Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house into a land that I will show thee, and I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great." The prophecy to Abraham outlines the means whereby a great nation was created. Similar results have been not infrequent in the world's history of ex plorations, whether applied to the Ro mans, to the Spaniards, or to the Anglo-Saxons. Through such potent *An address delivered at the Tenth Celebration of Founders' Day at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, ta., November 2, 1905.