Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/185

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167
Alaska

Tour in Alaska (1889); Reports by A. H. Brooks; Miss Scidmore's Alaska (1885), etc.

In 1899 a private expedition was organized which cruised in a chartered ship along the Alaskan coast and across Bering Sea to Siberia. A large party of scientific men were guests of the projector, Edward Henry Harriman, and there were also several artists. The results were published in a series of volumes now issued by the Smithsonian Institution. The first two are narrative, with chapters by John Burroughs, John Muir, G. K. Gilbert, and others, and reproductions of paintings by R. Swain Gifford, Louis A. Fuertes, and Frederick S. Dellenbaugh. Burroughs in addition wrote a volume entitled Far and Near (1904), and there were magazine articles and other books. The same year as the Harriman Expedition, Angelo Heilprin published Alaska and the Klondike, A Journey to the New Eldorado. Gold had been found not only in the Klondike but at Nome, in the sands of the beach, where a few square feet yielded a fortune, and in other parts.

On the bleaker eastern arctic shores of North America no gold had been found to lead armies of fortune-seekers through incredible hardships, but men will suffer as much, or more, for an idea, and there was the idea of Polar exploration with the ignis fatuus of the Pole ever beckoning. A library of many shelves would not hold all the books relating to this fateful quest. Americans joined the English early in this field, inspired by a desire to discover the actual fate of Franklin. In 1850 Elisha Kent Kane accompanied a party equipped by Grinnell with two ships under Lieutenant De Haven. They reached Smith Sound as described in The United States Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin (1854). Kane went north again in 1853 and reached 78° 41'. This expedition is recorded in his Arctic Explorations: The Second Grinnell Expedition (1856).

Dr. I. I. Hayes followed this up by taking advantage of experience acquired with Kane and in going to the ice regions in 1860. He wrote The Open Polar Sea (1867), An Arctic Boat Journey (1860), The Land of Desolation (1881); and the Smithsonian printed his " Physical Observations in the Arctic Seas" (Volume 15).

One of the most devoted and interesting of all Arctic explor-