United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, the natural hazards that threaten it; the organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility; the USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS employs 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia; the USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, Menlo Park, California. The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world." The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service." Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas", namely Climate and Land Use Change, Core Science Systems, Ecosystems and Minerals and Environmental Health, Natural Hazards, Water.
In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into six Regional Units. Other specific programs include: Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide; the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System; the USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research, it conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U. S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time; the USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective. The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, identifies lands and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.
Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, a world-class analytical facility for U--Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials. USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program and National Water-Quality Assessment Program. USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System database; the USGS operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." It is the agency responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States.
The USGS runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps; the USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U. S. territories, areas of Alaska near Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles.
At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale requires a separate and specialized romer scale for pl
The Shackleton–Rowett Expedition was Sir Ernest Shackleton's last Antarctic project, the final episode in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. The venture, financed by John Quiller Rowett, is sometimes referred to as the Quest Expedition after its ship Quest, a converted Norwegian sealer. Shackleton had intended to go to the Arctic and explore the Beaufort Sea, but this plan was abandoned when the Canadian government withheld financial support. Quest, smaller than any recent Antarctic exploration vessel, soon proved inadequate for its task, progress south was delayed by its poor sailing performance and by frequent engine problems. Before the expedition's work could properly begin, Shackleton died on board the ship, just after its arrival at the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia; the major part of the subsequent attenuated expedition was a three-month cruise to the eastern Antarctic, under the leadership of the party's second-in-command, Frank Wild. The shortcomings of Quest were soon in evidence: slow speed, heavy fuel consumption, a tendency to roll in heavy seas, a steady leak.
The ship was unable to proceed further than longitude 20°E, well short of its easterly target, its engine's low power coupled with its unsuitable bows was insufficient for it to penetrate southward through the pack ice. Following several fruitless attempts, Wild returned the ship to South Georgia, on the way visiting Elephant Island where he and 21 others had been stranded after the sinking of the ship Endurance, during Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition six years earlier. Wild had thoughts of a second, more productive season in the ice, took the ship to Cape Town for a refit. Here, in June 1922, he received a message from Rowett ordering the ship home to England, so the expedition ended quietly; the Quest voyage is not regarded in the histories of polar exploration, due to the event that defines it in public memory, overshadowing its other activities: Shackleton's untimely death. Shackleton returned to Britain from the Endurance expedition in late May 1917, while World War I was under way.
Many of his men enlisted promptly upon their return. Too old to enlist, Shackleton sought an active role in the war effort, departed for Murmansk with the temporary army rank of major, as part of a military mission to North Russia. Shackleton expressed his dissatisfaction with this role in letters home: "I feel I am no use to anyone unless I am outfacing the storm in wild lands." He returned to England in February 1919 and began plans to set up a company that would, with the cooperation of the North Russian Government, develop the natural resources of the region. This scheme came to nothing, as the Red Army took control of that part of Russia during the Russian Civil War. During the winter of 1919–20 he lectured twice a day, six days a week, for five months. Despite the large debts still outstanding from the Endurance expedition, Shackleton's mind turned towards another exploration venture, he decided to turn away from the Antarctic, go northwards and, as he put it, "fill in this great blank now called the Beaufort Sea".
This area of the Arctic Ocean, to the north of Alaska and west of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, was unexplored. He hoped to reach the northern "pole of inaccessibility", the most remote point in the Arctic regions. In March 1920, his plans received the general approval of the Royal Geographical Society and were supported by the Canadian government. On this basis Shackleton set about acquiring the necessary funding, which he estimated at £50,000; that year, Shackleton met by chance an old school-friend, John Quiller Rowett, who agreed to put up a nucleus of cash to get Shackleton started. With this money, in January 1921 Shackleton purchased the wooden Norwegian whaler Foca I together with other equipment, began the process of hiring of a crew. In May 1921 the policy of the Canadian government towards Arctic expeditions changed with the advent of a new Prime Minister, Arthur Meighen, who withdrew support from Shackleton's proposal. Shackleton was required to rethink his plans, decided to sail for the Antarctic instead.
A varied programme of exploration, coastal mapping, mineral prospecting and oceanographic research in southern waters would replace the abandond Beaufort Sea venture. Before his problems with the Canadian government, Shackleton had been considering a southern expedition as a possible alternative to the Beaufort Sea. According to the RGS librarian Hugh Robert Mill, as early as March 1920 Shackleton had talked about two possible schemes—the Beaufort Sea exploration, "an oceanographical expedition with the object of visiting all the little-known islands of the South Atlantic and South Pacific". By June 1921, the latter plan had expanded to include a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and the mapping of around 2,000 miles of uncharted coastline, it would encompass a search for "lost" or wrongly charted sub-Antarctic islands, would investigate possible mineral resources to be exploited in these rediscovered lands. A scientific research program would include a visit to Gough Island, an investigation of a possible "underwater continental connection between Africa and America."
Shackleton's biographer Margery Fisher calls the plan "diffuse", "far too comprehensive for one small body of men to tackle within two years", wh
HMS Alert (1856)
HMS Alert was a 17-gun wooden screw sloop of the Cruizer class of the Royal Navy, launched in 1856 and broken up in 1894. It was the eleventh ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name, was noted for her Arctic exploration work. Alert served with the US Navy, ended her career with the Canadian Marine Service as a lighthouse tender and buoy ship; the wooden sloops of the Cruizer class were designed under the direction of Lord John Hay, after his "Committee of Reference" was disbanded, their construction was supervised by the new Surveyor of the Navy, Sir Baldwin Walker. Ordered together with her co-ship Falcon on 2 April 1853, Alert was laid down at the Royal Dockyard, Pembroke in January 1855, it was fitted at Chatham with a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine, supplied by Ravenhill & Salkeld at a cost of £6,052 and generated an indicated horsepower of 383 hp. The class was given a barque-rig sail plan. All the ships of the class were provided with one 32-pounder long gun on a pivot mount and sixteen 32-pounder carriage guns in a broadside arrangement.
When converted for Arctic exploration in 1874, her armament was reduced to a token outfit of four Armstrong breech-loaders. Alert spent the first 11 years of her life on the Pacific Station, based at Esquimalt at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. Alert Bay, British Columbia is named after the ship, nearby Pearse Island, at the north entrance to Johnstone Strait, is named after Commander William Alfred Rumbulow Pearse, her commanding officer. During this period it returned to May 1863 for a refit, her service on the Pacific station was the type of work for which her class had been designed—the policing of Britain's far-flung maritime empire. A photograph exists of Alert at Esquimalt, British Columbia from 1867, it is further attested to by the following extract from The Colonist newspaper: "The'Alert' Taken! – On Wednesday, H. M. S. Alert was taken without resistance on the part of her officers and crew, who are believed to have lent themselves to the plot; the ship was lying at anchor in Esquimalt harbour when the affair occurred, the time chosen by the enemy was noon-day.
The captor was Mr. Robinson the Photographer, the only weapons he used in effecting his object were a Camera, a bit of glass." Alert was placed in the Steam Reserve. In 1874, Alert was taken in hand for conversion to the role of Arctic exploration, her single-expansion engine was replaced with an R & W Hawthorn compound-expansion engine, it was reboilered to 60 pounds per square inch, her armament was reduced to four guns and her hull was strengthened with felt-covered iron. Above the waterline it was sheathed with teak, below it, Canadian elm and pitch-pine; the modifications caused her displacement to increase to 1,240 tons. The British Arctic Expedition was commanded by Captain George Strong Nares, comprised Alert and Discovery; the expedition aimed to reach the North Pole via Smith Sound, the sea passage between Greenland and Canada's northernmost island, Ellesmere Island. Contemporary geographers proposed that there could be an Open Polar Sea, that if the thick layer of ice surrounding it were overcome, access to the North Pole by sea might be possible.
Since Edward Augustus Inglefield had penetrated Smith Sound in 1852, it had been a route to the North. Despite finding heavier-than-expected ice, the expedition pressed on. Leaving Discovery to winter at Lady Franklin Bay, Alert pressed on a further 50 nautical miles through the Robeson Channel, establishing her winter quarters at Floeberg Beach. Spring 1876 saw considerable activity by sledge, charting the coasts of Ellesmere Island and Greenland, but scurvy had begun to take hold, with Alert suffering the greatest burden. On 3 April the second-in-command of Alert, Albert Hastings Markham, took a party north to attempt the Pole. By 11 May, having made slow progress, they reached their greatest latitude at 83° 20' 26"N. Suffering from snow blindness and exhaustion, they turned back; the expedition was rewarded on its return. The geography of northern Canada and Greenland is dotted with the names of those connected with the expedition: Nares Strait, Nares Lake, Markham Ice Shelf, Ayles Ice Shelf, Mount Ayles.
The northernmost permanently inhabited place on earth, the settlement of Alert at the northern point of Ellesmere Island, was named for the ship. Alert recommissioned at Chatham on 20 August 1878 under the command of Captain Sir George Strong Nares for a survey of the Strait of Magellan. On 12 March 1879 Captain John Fiot Lee Pearse Maclear took command, under him she went to Australia Station and the Pacific, she was employed in surveying, but the presence of Doctor Richard Coppinger, her surgeon, ensured that she made a huge contribution to the field of zoology. Coppinger, who had served in the Arctic expedition, was an accomplished naturalist and his collections from the period 1878–1882, which included indigenous cultural artifacts purloined, as he admitted, from Mutumui sites on Clack Island, added 1,300 species to the National Collection. Alert paid off at Sheerness on 20 September 1882. Adolphus Greely led the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition to the Arctic in 1881. Two supply ships failed to reach his party, a relief expedition in 1883 failed to extract the team.
The US Navy put together a further relief expedition in 1884 under Captain W. S. Schley, Alert was offered, she was loaned to the US Navy und
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a British polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland and his Anglo-Irish family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten, his first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition 1901–1904, from which he was sent home early on health grounds, after he and his companions Scott and Edward Adrian Wilson set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S. During the second expedition 1907–1909 he and three companions established a new record Farthest South latitude at 88°S, only 97 geographical miles from the South Pole, the largest advance to the pole in exploration history. Members of his team climbed Mount Erebus, the most active Antarctic volcano. For these achievements, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home.
After the race to the South Pole ended in December 1911 with Roald Amundsen's conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to the crossing of Antarctica from sea to sea, via the pole. To this end, he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, became trapped in pack ice and was crushed before the shore parties could be landed; the crew escaped by camping on the sea ice until it disintegrated by launching the lifeboats to reach Elephant Island and the inhabited island of South Georgia, a stormy ocean voyage of 720 nautical miles and Shackleton's most famous exploit. In 1921, he returned to the Antarctic with the Shackleton–Rowett Expedition, but died of a heart attack while his ship was moored in South Georgia. At his wife's request, he was buried there. Away from his expeditions, Shackleton's life was restless and unfulfilled. In his search for rapid pathways to wealth and security, he launched business ventures which failed to prosper, he died in debt.
Upon his death, he was lauded in the press but was thereafter forgotten, while the heroic reputation of his rival Scott was sustained for many decades. In the 20th century, Shackleton was "rediscovered", became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described by cultural historian Stephanie Barczewski as "incredible". In his 1956 address to the British Association, Sir Raymond Priestley, one of his contemporaries, said "Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton", paraphrasing what Apsley Cherry-Garrard had written in a preface to The Worst Journey in the World. In 2002, Shackleton was voted eleventh in a BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Shackleton was born on 15 February 1874 in Kilkea, County Kildare, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, his father, Henry Shackleton, tried to enter the army, but his poor health prevented him from doing so.
He became a farmer instead. The Shackleton family are of English origin from Yorkshire. Abraham Shackleton, an English Quaker, moved to Ireland in 1726 and started a school at Ballitore, County Kildare. Shackleton's mother, Henrietta Letitia Sophia Gavan, was descended from the Fitzmaurices, an Anglo-Irish family which had arrived in Ireland during the Anglo-Norman Invasion. Ernest was the first of two sons. In 1880, when Ernest was six, Henry Shackleton gave up his life as a landowner to study medicine at Trinity College, moving his family to the city. Four years the family moved again, from Ireland to Sydenham in suburban London; this was in search of better professional prospects for the newly qualified doctor, but another factor may have been unease about their Anglo-Irish ancestry, following the assassination by Irish nationalists of Lord Frederick Cavendish, the British Secretary for Ireland, in 1882. From early childhood, Shackleton was a voracious reader, a pursuit which sparked a passion for adventure.
He was schooled by a governess until the age of eleven, when he began at Fir Lodge Preparatory School in West Hill, Dulwich, in southeast London. At the age of thirteen, he entered Dulwich College; the young Shackleton did not distinguish himself as a scholar, was said to be "bored" by his studies. He was quoted as saying: "I never learned much geography at school... Literature, consisted in the dissection, the parsing, the analysing of certain passages from our great poets and prose-writers... teachers should be careful not to spoil taste for poetry for all time by making it a task and an imposition." In his final term at the school he was still able to achieve fifth place in his class of thirty-one. Shackleton's restlessness at school was such that he was allowed to go to sea; the options available were a Royal Naval cadetship at HMS Britannia, which Dr Shackleton could not afford. The third option was chosen, his father was able to secure him a berth with the North Western Shipping Company, aboard the square-rigged sailing ship Hoghton Tower.
During the following four years at sea, Shackleton learned his trade, visiting the far corners of the earth and forming acquaintances with a variety of people from m
Henry Frederick Stephenson
Admiral Sir Henry Frederick Stephenson was a Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer. Stephenson was the son of Henry Frederick Stephenson MP, Lady Mary Keppel, his eldest brother, Sir Augustus Keppel Stephenson, was a Treasury Solicitor, the second person to hold the office of Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales. On 18 December 1855 Stephenson joined the Royal Navy, becoming a Naval Cadet in HMS St Jean d'Acre, commanded by his uncle Henry Keppel, serving in the Black Sea during the Crimean War. From September 1856 to April 1857 Stephenson served under Keppel as a cadet in HMS Raleigh, serving in the East Indies and China during the Second Anglo-Chinese War, until his ship wrecked near Macau when it struck an uncharted rock. All the crew were saved. In June 1857 he served as a Midshipman in HMS Pearl, serving with Pearl's Naval Brigade during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, during which he was Mentioned in Despatches three times. In June 1861 he was promoted lieutenant in HMS Emerald.
On 30 March 1866 Stephenson was the lieutenant-in-command of HMS Heron, serving in North America and the West Indies, becoming the commanding officer of a gun-boat on the Canadian lakes during the Fenian raids of 1866. From 18 January 1867 to 26 April 1868 he served as a lieutenant in HMS Rodney, commanded by Algernon C. F. Heneage, the flagship of Vice-Admiral Henry Keppel, serving in China. Following the death of Commander John T. Swann, Keppel promoted Stephenson to commander on 26 April 1868. From September 1868 to August 1871 he served in HMS Rattler and HMS Iron Duke, serving in the Far East, in HMS Caledonia in the Mediterranean During this period he served in the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert. Promoted to captain on 6 January 1875, from 15 April 1875 he commanded HMS Discovery for the British Arctic Expedition of 1875–6, led by George Strong Nares in HMS Alert, as a result he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 9 December 1876, he was appointed Equerry-in-waiting to the Prince of Wales on 5 July 1878 he held this post from time to time until 4 April 1893, when he was appointed an Extra Equerry.
On 15 September 1880 he became captain of HMS Carysfort. He participated in the recapture of Ismaïlia, was awarded the 3rd Class Order of Osmanieh by the Khedive of Egypt in 1883, he was appointed Aide-de-camp to the Queen on 1 January 1888. He was additionally appointed CB in the military division on 23 May 1889. On 4 August 1890 Stephenson was promoted rear admiral, serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Station from 4 May 1893 to 19 June 1896, he was promoted vice admiral on 10 October 1896, serving from 7 June 1897 to 20 December 1898 as Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Squadron. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 22 June 1897 during the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, he flew his flag from HMS Majestic during the Spithead Naval Review marking the Jubilee on 26 June 1897. On the accession of Edward the VII, he became an Extra Naval Equerry, he was promoted admiral on 7 December 1901, from 28 March 1902 to 1904 he was the First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII.
He retired on 16 September 1904 with the rank of admiral. Stephenson was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order on 9 November 1902. On 24 July 1904 Stephenson was appointed Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. In this capacity he served at a number of important state occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament, the Coronation of George V, the investiture of the Prince of Wales as a Knight of the Garter in 1911, he was appointed an Extra Equerry to George V of the United Kingdom on 10 June 1910. He married the Hon. Charlotte Elizabeth Eleanor Fraser on 5 December 1903, she died in 1923 and Stephenson died at home in London on 16 December 1919 aged 77. John Stephenson, A Royal Correspondence: Letters of King Edward VII and King George V to Admiral Sir Henry F. Stephenson Stephenson on the Peerage.com "Archival material relating to Henry Frederick Stephenson". UK National Archives
Lady Franklin Bay Expedition
The 1881–1884 Lady Franklin Bay Expedition into the Canadian Arctic was led by Lt. Adolphus Greely and was promoted by the United States Army Signal Corps, its purpose was to establish a meteorological-observation station as part of the First International Polar Year, to collect astronomical and magnetic data. During the expedition, two members of the crew reached a new "Farthest North" record, but of the original twenty-five men only seven survived to return to the United States; the expedition was under the auspices of the Signal Corps at a time when the Corps' Chief Disbursements Officer, Henry W. Howgate, was arrested for embezzlement. However, that did not deter the execution of the voyage; the expedition was led by Lt. Adolphus Greely of the Fifth United States Cavalry, with astronomer Edward Israel and photographer George W. Rice among the crew of 21 officers and men, they sailed on the ship Proteus and reached St. John's, Newfoundland, in early July 1881. At Godhavn, they picked up two Inuit dogsled drivers, as well as physician Dr. Octave Pavy and Mr. Clay who had continued scientific studies instead of returning on Florence with the remainder of the 1880 Howgate Expedition.
Proteus arrived without problems at Lady Franklin Bay by August 11, dropped off men and provisions, left. In the following months, Lt. James Booth Lockwood and Sgt. David Legge Brainard achieved a new "farthest north" record at 83°24′N 40°46′W, off the north coast of Greenland. Unbeknownst to Greely, the summer had been extraordinarily warm, which led to an underestimation of the difficulties which their relief expeditions would face in reaching Lady Franklin Bay in subsequent years. By summer of 1882, the men were expecting a supply ship from the south. Neptune, laden with relief supplies, set out in July 1882 but, cut off by ice and weather, Capt. Beebe was forced to turn around prematurely. All he could do was leave some supplies at Smith Sound in August, the remaining provisions in Newfoundland, with plans for their delivery the following year. On July 20, Dr. Pavy's contract ended, Pavy announced that he would not renew it, but would continue to attend to the expedition's medical needs. Greely was incensed, ordered the doctor to turn over all his records and journals.
Pavy refused, Greely placed him under arrest. Pavy was not confined, however Greely claimed he intended to court-martial him when they returned to the United States. In 1883, new rescue attempts of Proteus, commanded by Lt. Ernest Garlington, Yantic, commanded by Cdr. Frank Wildes, USN, with Proteus being crushed by the ice. In summer 1883, in accordance with his instructions for the case of two consecutive relief expeditions not reaching Fort Conger, Greely decided to head South with his crew, it had been planned that the relief ships should depot supplies along the Nares Strait, around Cape Sabine and at Littleton Island, if they were unable to reach Fort Conger, which should have made for a comfortable wintering of Greely's men. But with Neptune not getting that far and Proteus sunk, in reality only a small emergency cache with 40 days worth of supplies had been laid at Cape Sabine by Proteus; when arriving there in October 1883, the season was too advanced for Greely to either try to brave the Baffin Bay to reach Greenland with his small boats, or to retire to Fort Conger, so he had to winter on the spot.
In 1884, Secretary of the Navy, William E. Chandler, was credited with planning the ensuing rescue effort, commanded by Cdr. Winfield Schley. While four vessels made it to Greely's camp on June 22, only seven men had survived the winter; the rest had succumbed to starvation and drowning, one man, Private Henry, had been shot on Greely's order for repeated theft of food rations. The surviving members of the expedition were received as heroes. A parade attended by thousands was held in New Hampshire, it was decided that each of the survivors was to be awarded a promotion in rank by the Army, although Greely refused. Rumors of cannibalism arose following the return of the bodies of those. On August 14, 1884, a few days after his funeral, the body of Lieutenant Frederick Kislingbury, second in command of the expedition, was exhumed and an autopsy was performed; the finding that flesh had been cut from the bones appeared to confirm the accusation. Lieutenant Greely denied any knowledge of cannibalism.
Hubank, Roger: North Sentinel Rock Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1940777443. A fictional account of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. Report By United States Board of Officers for relief of Lieut Greely and others 1883-1884 Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Navy Volume 1 The Greely Arctic Expedition as Narrated by Lieut. Greely 1884 The Rescue of Greely by Winfield Scott Schley 1885 Collection of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition 1881-1884 held by The Explorer's Club
The Polaris expedition of 1871–1873 was an American expedition, one of the first serious attempts to reach the North Pole, after that of British naval officer Sir William Edward Parry, who reached 82° 45′N in 1827. The expedition's notable achievement was reaching 82 ° 29 ′ N by a record at the time; the expedition was commanded by the experienced and self-taught Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall, who had lived among the Inuit in the Arctic region while on his obesessive quest to determine the fate of Franklin's lost expedition of 1845. Hall possessed the necessary survival skills, but lacked an academic background, had no experience leading men and commanding a ship, he had managed to secure the position of expedition commander based on his authority on the subject of the Arctic. Polaris departed from New York in June 1871. Underway, the expedition found itself hampered by poor leadership. Insubordination loomed at the instigation of chief scientist Emil Bessels and meteorologist Frederick Meyer—both German—who looked down on what they perceived to be their unqualified commander.
Bessels and Meyer were supported by the German half of the crew, further increasing tensions among a crew, divided by nationality. By October, the men were wintering in Thank God Harbor, on the shore of northern Greenland, making preparations for the trip to the Pole. Hall returned to the ship from an exploratory sledging journey to a fjord he named Newman Bay, promptly fell ill. Before he died, he accused members of the crew of orchestrating his murder, an accusation directed at Bessels. On the way southward, 19 members of the expedition became separated from the ship and drifted on an ice floe for six months and 1,800 miles, before being rescued; the damaged Polaris was run aground and wrecked near Etah in October 1872. The remaining men were rescued the following summer. A naval board of inquiry investigated Hall's death, but no charges were laid. However, an exhumation of his body in 1968 revealed he had ingested a large quantity of arsenic in the last two weeks of his life. Coupled with recently-discovered affectionate letters written by both Hall and Bessels to Vinnie Ream, a young sculptor they met in New York while waiting for Polaris to be outfitted, suggests Bessels had a motive, besides the means, to kill Hall.
In 1827, Sir William Edward Parry led a British Royal Navy expedition with the aim to be the first men to reach the North Pole. In the next five decades following Parry's attempt, the Americans would mount three such expeditions: Elisha Kent Kane in 1853–1855, Isaac Israel Hayes in 1860–1861, Charles Francis Hall with the Polaris in 1871–1873. Hall was a Cincinnati businessman with no notable academic sailing experience, he worked as a blacksmith and for a couple of years he published his own newspaper – the Cincinnati Occasional. Energetic and enterprising, he enthusiastically wrote about the latest technological innovations, he was a voracious reader captivated by the Arctic. His focus was directed towards the region around 1857, after it had dawned on society that Franklin's Arctic expedition of 1845, in all likelihood, would never be coming home, he spent the next few years studying the reports of previous explorers and trying to raise money for an expedition. As a result of his charisma and personality, he was able to launch two solo expeditions in search of Franklin and his crew.
These experiences established him as a seasoned Arctic explorer, gave him valuable contacts among the Inuit people. The renown he gained allowed him to convince the U. S. Government to finance a third expedition. In 1870, the U. S. Senate introduced a bill in Congress to fund an expedition to the North Pole. Hall, aided by Navy Secretary George M. Robeson lobbied for, received, a $50,000 grant to command the expedition, he began recruiting personnel in late 1870. He secured a 387-ton screw-propelled steamer. At the Washington Navy Yard, the ship was fitted as a fore-topsail schooner, renamed Polaris, she was prepared for Arctic service by the addition of solid oak timber all over her hull, the bow was sheathed in iron. A new engine was added, one of the boilers was retrofitted to burn seal or whale oil; the ship was outfitted with four whaleboats, 20-foot-long and four-foot-wide, a flat-bottomed scow. During his previous Arctic expeditions, Hall came to admire the Inuit umiak—a type of open boat made of driftwood and walrus- or seal skins—and brought a constructed collapsible boat which could hold 20 people.
Food packed on board consisted of tinned ham, salted beef and sailor's biscuit. They intended to prevent scurvy by supplementing their diet with fresh muskox and polar bear meat. In July 1870, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant designated Hall as the expedition's overall commander, he was to be referred to as captain. Although Hall had abundant Arctic experience, he had no sailing experience, the title was purely honorary. In selecting officers and seamen, Hall relied on whalers with experience in the Arctic waters; this was markedly different from the polar expeditions of the British Admiralty, who tended to use naval officers and disciplined crews. For his selection of sailing master, Hall first turned to Sidney O. Budington to George E. Tyson. Both declined due to prior whaling commitments; when those commitments fell through, Hall named Budington as sai