"My decision to leave here was made last year with advice
of Knight and on consideration of orders received from you and the
desirability of giving you news. In fact, as early as last spring
I considered it and when I saw how sparse seal and bear vere I
decided it would be unwise to stay here with the dogs all winter.
Especially so since trapping is/not worthy staying for............
"We intend to go due south to Siberian coast and thence
along the coast to Cape Serdze, Whaling,. Diomedes, Nome."
We have no reason to doubt that these were the main
motives for the journey towards Siberia and Alaska. But from my
own experience in the Arctic both with myself and with many men
under my command I would judge there were several subsidiary reasons.
The party had felt confined on the island and wanted to be doing
something. Some of them were homesick. Crawford was anxious to
get south to continue his university studies. They were all hungry
for news of the outside world which they had left a year and a half
before. They wanted to give me the benefit of their experience in
case I were outfitting in 1923 the expedition which they and I had
hoped I might have organized in 1922.
Such were doubtless the original reasons for the planning
of the journey months before it was made. They were going to make
it so soon as the weather became cold enough and the ice in their
opinion safe enough - that is, in January. But when January came
a further reason for going had developed. The quantity of supplies on hand
was such that if five people and five dogs remained on the island,
they would have to go on short rations until sufficient game was
secured. That might be only a few days if a bear or two came to
camp; but it might be until April when the spring sealing began if
neither bear hunting nor floe sealing prospered sooner. But if two
men and fivedogs were removed from the commissariat, the remaining
three people would have food enough till summer. This was the new
reason which presented itself for carrying out the old plans.
Notes and Questions
Nobody has written a note for this page yet
Please sign in to write a note for this page