Remarks on Polar Expedition. George W. Melville, Commodore.

The Arctic Drift

Remarks on Polar Expedition.

Philadelphia: [October 1897].

Separately-issued offprint from the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. XXXVI, No. 156. [454]-461 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. The Arctic Drift. Original printed wrappers, stapled. Covers browned and separate, edges chipping, else a very good copy WH/9/86/6. Item #20553

Melville's Remarks, given in response to Nansen's Fram Expedition, largely relates his own experience of having drifted in the “Jeannette” with comparisons to Nansen's intentional voyage among the Arctic drifts. In pursuit of evidence of an Arctic current and reaching the Pole, Nansen, in the “Fram,” the first custom-build “arctic ship”, set off in June of 1893. By approaching the floes off East Siberia and allowing the current to carry them the ship was frozen in for 2 1/2 years and travelled some 400 miles without the usual hardship associated with arctic exploration. Nansen, realizing that the current was not to carry them to the North Pole in January 1895 set off with a dog team and a single man, Hjalmar Johansen to attempt to reach the Pole. When it became evident that this would not be possible and after great difficulties they made their way to Franz Joseph Land where they met up with Frederick Jackson who had been seeking a land route to the Pole. They returned to Norway on his ship where they met the “Fram” in perfect condition. Nansen had proven that the North Pole was surrounded by ice and that the arctic drift.

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