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Autograph Letter Signed, to Arctic philanthropist Henry Grinnell, outlining a plan for an expedition to the North Pole
Washington, D.C, february 19, 1870. Folded 8vo sheet. 4pp. About fine . An important letter from the doomed Arctic explorer Hall (1821 - November 8, 1871), who was eventually murdered on the expedition which he outlines in this letter to Grinnell " - My general plan for my Polar voyage is briefly to have 2 small vessels one a steam propeller of 150 tons, but the same with complete sail rig, the other a top-sail schooner of 125 tons & both vessels with 24 hands all told. My route would be into Josef's Sound & thence as sea & land would permit up toward the Pole. After getting the vessels as far as practicable, I should then secure them in harbor making the rest of the distance by dogs & sledges. The object of this voyage is of 3 fold Character. 1st for geographical discoveries; 2nd for Science; & 3d for Commerce. The finding of new Whaling grounds which must likely lie in the route I propose would of course result beneficially to Commerce. My Sea Masters, of course, would be well experienced Arctic Whalers, the policy having been adhered to by Parry, Franklin, Ross & Kane & other Arctic Explorers . . . In three to five years, I doubt not, with the same aid & protection of High Heaven as on my 2 previous Arctic Voyages I would fully accomplish the determination of my burning soul, which determination my dear Mr. Grinnell, you know to be to put my foot on the North extremity of the axis of the globe -" Hall did in fact receive Congressional financing for his voyage, which was the first American attempt to reach the Pole; and in September 1871 he reached Greenland with his crew on board The Polaris. The expedition, however, was ill-fated from the beginning. Disagreements among the crew and a power struggle for command ensued, and Hall's authority was resented by many of the crew members. In November of 1871, Hall was poisoned to death by arsenic (according to modern scholarship). The expedition continued but proved unsuccessful, with the ship stuck in the pack and much of the crew stranded in drifting ice
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      Biblio    

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