Status: Needs Review


officer on the U. S. Revenue Cutter Thetis sent to determine whether
the station of the American whaling fleet at Herschel Island was
in Alaska or Canada. Some of the time he had been aboard whaling
ships,5 but for the most part he had been engaged in whaling
from a shore station either at Point Hope or Point Barrow. I met
him in 1908, and from my first meeting my liking and admiration
for him increased continually. He was one of the most valuable
members of our expedition of 1913 to 1918. For fifteen months
in 1913-1914 he was with the Karluk section of that expedition.
I re-engaged him in 1915, making him second officer of the C. G. S.
Polar Bear, of which he later became captain.

In point of years Hadley’s Arctic experience has never been
equaled by any explorer, so far as I know. He had, for instance,
spent there more than twice as many winters as Peary, even before
he joined our expedition. These were not inactive years ashore, for
every spring he was out with companions both white and Eskimo
fighting the ice and weather in the strenuous sport of catching that
biggest of all game animals, the bowhead whale. Colonel Roosevelt
once planned to hunt bowhead whales on the northern coast of
Alaska. He might have found it braver sport than hunting lions
in Africa: he certainly would have found it more healthful than
the South American jungle. Hadley had found it healthful. His
eye was still keen, and so was his enjoyment of life; his judgment
was sound by nature. These considerations lend weight to his story
of what he called “Borden Land.”

It was from higher ground in the vicinity of Waring Point that
Hadley first noticed a new land beyond Herald Island. The northern
tip of this land was hidden by Herald Island, and it extended about
25° south. His first thought on seeing it was the strangeness of
not having seen it before, especially on the march ashore after the
wreck of the Karluk. When he made a statement to that effect
to the Eskimo Kurraluk, the Eskimo replied that he had seen the
land both from the ice after the Karluk was wrecked and while the
party were still encamped there and also while they were on their
way to Wrangel Island. Hadley inquired from the other men
whether they had seen the land, but none of them had noticed it.
He did not consider this strange, for he assumed that it would

5See “Whaling off the Alaskan Coast: From the Journal of Jack Hadley
of Point Barrow, Alaska,” Bull. Amer. Geogr. Soc., Vol. 47, 1915, pp. 905-921.

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page