National Geographic : 1896 Oct
THE NANSEN POLAR EXPEDITION* SPECIAL REPORT OF THE HON. ERNEST A. MAN, United States Consul at Bergen On the 17th day of June, 1896, as some of the men of the English Jackson and Harmsworth expedition, in Franz Josef land, were looking out over the ice they discovered a weird figure advancing toward them, with long straggling hair and beard and garments covered with grease and blood stains, who proved to be none other than Dr Fridhjof Nansen, who fifteen months previous had left his ship, the Fram, at 830 59' north latitude and 1020 27' east longitude in order to push on with sleds, boats, and dogs towards the Pole. In a shelter some distance off was Dr Nansen's companion, Lieutenant Johansen. A few weeks later the Franarrived safely at Skjerv6, Norway, some days after Nansen's return home. While Nansen did not reach the hoped-for goal, the results of the expedition promise to be of value to the scientific world and of inestimable assist ance to future efforts in the same direction. The Fram, with a company of thirteen men, left Vard6, Nor way, the 21st of July, 1893, and proceeded eastward through the Kara sea, rounded cape Chelyuskin, and on the 15th of September was off the mouth of the Olenek river. There they expected to go in to obtain additional dogs, but, finding that owing to the shoals and rocks and lateness of the season they would probably get locked in the ice and thus be delayed a year, they at once took a northerly course into the open Arctic ocean until Sep tember 22, when at 780 50' north latitude and 1330 37' east longitude they made the vessel fast to an ice-field. From this point they began drifting with the ice in a northerly and north westerly direction, according to the plan laid out by Nansen, and by which he hoped to drift near or over the Pole, as was supposed to have been the process by which the effects of the Jeannette expedition reached the eastern coast of Greenland. As had been anticipated, the drift was most rapid in the winter and spring. During the summer months they were hindered *This report, transmitted from Bergen September 4, has been courteously placed at the disposal of the National Geographic Society by the Hon. W. W . Rockhill, Acting Secretary of State.