DR. KANE’ S ARCTIC EXPLORATIONS.
 From Chambers’ Journal.
 DR. KANE’S ARCTIC EXPLORATIONS
      Two volumes—forming one of the most beautiful products of the American press have just been added to the already extensive series which comprises the annals of Arctic adventure.* These very remarkable hooks contain a narrative of the proceedings of the second Grinnell expedition in search of Sir
                           John Franklin, and they are the record of a
                          tale of endurance and noble effort, which has
                          had no parallel, at least since the days when
                           the lamented object of the search made good
                          his retreat from the otskirts of the remorse-
                          less frostland, which now holds him, it is to
                                be feared, forever in its depths.
                                The expedition, under the command of Dr.
                            Kane, sailed from New York on the 30th of
                           May, 1853. It consisted of eighteen chosen
                            men, besides~the commander, embarked in a
                            small brig of 144 tons burden, named the
                            Advance, which was furnished by Mr. Grin-
                          nell, other expenses being contributed by Mr.
                          Peabody and several generous individuals and
                           societies. Dr. Kane’s predetermined course
                         was to enter the strait discovered the previous
                            year by Captain Inglefield, at the top of
                            Baffin Bay, and to push as far northward
                            through it as practicable. He engaged the
                           services of a native Esquimaux, of the name
                          of Hans Christensen, at Fiskernacs, and then
                          crossed Melville Bay, in the wake of th~ vast
                          icebergs with which the sea is there strewn.
                            These huge frozen masses are often driven
                           one way by a deep current, while the floes
                          are drifted in another by winds and surface-
                           streams, disruptions being thus necessarily
                           caused in the vast ice-fields. The doctor’s
                           tactics were to dodge about in the rear of
                           these floating ice-mountains, holding upon
                            them whenever adverse winds were trouble-
                             some, and pressing forward whenever an
                             opportunity occurred. This plan was so
                         skilfully and pertinaciously followed, that by
   the 28th of August, the brig was lodged in a tached themselves to the explorers’ fortunes.
    small bay on the eastern coast of Smith’s Three charcoal fires were lit in the fore-peak,
    Strait, some forty or fifty miles beyond Cap- and the hatches and bulk-heads hermetically
   tam Inglefield’s furthest position. There the closed. The doctor soon after detected a sus-
   Advance became untrue to the prestige of her picious odor; and upon looking into the cause,
      name, for having been snugly placed in the found a square yard of the inner deck one
   midst of a cluster of islands, she turned into mass of glowing fire, which was extinguished
     a fixture, and obstinately refused to budge only after great exertion and risk from the
        ~ Arctic Exploralions. The Second Grinnell Ex— mephitic vapor. The result of the experi-
                   pedition in Search of Sir John Franlclin 1853 to at was the
           1855. By Elisha K eat Kane, M. ~., .    me      dead bodies of twenty-eight
                                            U. S. N.1
      Philadelphia: Childs and Peterson.      rats, which the experimentalist gloated over
                                DCLxI-. LIVING AGE. VOL. xvi. 31.
                             another inch. Where she was berthed in
                             the September of 1853, she now remains.
                                 On the 10th of September, the thermome-
                           ter was down to 14 degrees of Fahrenheit’s
                          scale, and all the fragmentary floes and ice-
                            masses were so cemented together by young
                          ice, that the men could walk and sledge any-
                             where round the ship. It had therefore
                           become obvious to all concerned, that there
                          remained nothing else to be done but to make
                         the best preparations for the winter that were
                           possible in the circumstances. The hold was
                           unstowed, a storehouse was prepared on one
                         of the islands close by, and a snug deck-house
                            was built over the cabin. A dog-house was
                            also constructed for the accommodation of
                           nine Newfoundland and thirty-five Esquimaux
                           dogs, which formed the quadrupedal element
                           of the expedition. Upon another island, an
                            observatory was erected, a very ingenious
                          plan being adopted for the preparation of an
                          extemporaneous adamant to serve as the piers
                           of the astronomical instruments. Gravel and
                            ice were well rammed down into empty pem-
                         mican casks, and there left to be consolidated
                          by the intensity of the cold. They were soon
                         transmuted into a material as free from tremor
                                      as the densest rock.
                                On the 20th of September, seven men were
                          sent out with a sledge, to deposit a store of
                          provisions in advance, in preparation for an
                         exploring-party that was in progress of organ-
                             ization. The party was out twenty-eight
                            days, and succeeded in placing 800 pounds
                         of provisions in caclu$ a hundred miles towards
                            the north, near the debouchure of a huge
                           glacier, which was discovered shooting out
                           from the Greenland coast over an extent of
                           thirty miles. This was within the eightieth
                                      parallel of latitude.
                                  While the advanced party were absent
                          upon this duty, the commander seized the op-
                           portunity to endeavor to rid the brig of a
                            troublesome colony of rats, which had at-
 
at the time. Before he escaped from his
                           arctic quarters, however, he had learned to
                           be less prodigal of rat-life. Once, upon a
                           more recent occasion, when starting upon a
                          sledge-journey with a companion, he recorded
                          that he had added to the stores, for his own
                            especial consumption, a luxury which con-
                           sisted of “a few rats chopped up and frozen
                                      into a tallow ball.”
                              Direct sunlight visited the deck of the brig
                         for the first time on the last day of February,
                           after an absence of 140 days. The earliest
                         trace of dawning twilight was seen as a fleet-
                          ing dash of orange tint on the southern hori-
                              zon on the 21st of January. Dr. Kane
                         climbed a lofty crag to catch sight of the re-
                            turning sun on the 21st of February, and
                         describes his nestling there for a few minutes
                          in the sunshine as like “bathing in perfumed
                               water.” The mean temperature of the
                           month of February in this high latitude of
                            78 degrees 37 minutes, the most northern
                           station in which any body of civilized men
                            have ever wintered, was 67 degrees below
                            zero. The thermometer occasionally stood
                            102 degrees below freezing. The mean tem
                           perature of the year was two degrees lower
                           than that of Sir Edward Parry’s winter-sta-
                             tion at Melville Island. The shores and
                           islands were hemmed in, in the spring, by a
                         continuous ice-belt 27 feet thick and 120 feet
                           wide. In sheltered positions, freezing was
                         never intermitted for a single instant through-
                            out the year, and snow was falling on the
                                          21st of June.
                              During the winter’s residence in this severe
                           climate, the interests of science were not
                          overlooked. Besides such observations of the
                            heavenly bodies as were essential for the
                           exact determination of the position of the
                           observatory, a continued series of magnetic
                            observations was made and registered. The
                         doctor gives a very graphic description of the
                            proceedings on what he calls the magnetic
                             “term-days.” A fur-muffled observer sat
                           upon a box on those momentous days, with a
                           chronometer in his bare hand, and with his
                           eye fixed to a small telescope, noting the
                          position of a fine needle upon a divided arc
                          every six minutes, and registering the obser-
                            vation in a note-book; the process being
                            carried on uninterruptedly by two sets of
                            eyes for twenty-four hours at a stretch.
                                  On the 19th of ~Iarch, continuous day
                         having set in, a travelling-party was sent off
                          to increase the deposits of provision at the
                            advanced cach6. On the 31st, three of the
                          party returned, swollen, haggard, and hardly
                             able to speak. The utmost they had been
                           able to accomplish was the deposit of their
                           burden some fifty miles away from the ship.
                            They had been enveloped in almost impene-
                           trable snow-drifts, and four of their com-
                           panions were now lying frozen and disabled
                            among the drifting hummocks somewhere to
                           the northeast, with one attendant in better
                            plight to look after them. Almost on the
                             instant, a sledge was prepared, and the
                           strongest of the three broken-down men who
                            had returned was wrapped in dog-skins and
                          furs, and strapped upon it, in the hope that
                          he might be able to render some service as a
                           guide. The gallant chief of the adventurous
                           band, with nine of his fresh men, then har-
                          nessed themselves to the sledge, and started
                         off to the rescue, with a tent and food for the
                          disabled sufferers, but carrying nothing else
                         with them saving the clothes upon their backs.
                           The thermometer indicated a temperature 78
                          degrees below frost. After sixteen hours’ in-
                           cessant travel, it became evident that the
                            rescue-party had lost their way among the
                             hummocks. The guide upon the sledge had
                          fallen asleep from exhaustion, and when they
                            attempted to wake him up, they found that
                          he was in a state of mental derangement, and
                           quite uncons6ious of what was said to him.
                          In this dilemma, the tent and provisions were
                           deposited upon the ice, and the party dis-
                          persed upon the wide floe with the hope that
                          they might providentially strike the trail of
                             the missing band. The poor fellows were
                         here soon seized with trembling fits and short
                            breathing, and almost inadvertently clung
                            to each other. Their brave leader fainted
                            twice upon the snow. They had been eight-
                            een hours out without food or drink, when
                             the Esquimaux, Hans, stumbled upon what
                          seemed, to his acute senses, a nearly effaced
                           sledge-track. The clue was followed up into
                             deep snow, in a wilderness of hummocks,
                            until at length a small American flag was
                          descried fluttering from a hummock, and near
                           to this, the top of a tent almost buried in
                           the snow-drift. This proved to be the camp
                            of the disabled men. It was reached after
                          an uninterrupted journey of twenty-one hours.
                           The four poor fel~lows stretched upon their
                           backs within the tent, repaid the brave man
                            who had come to their rescue by a hearty

                            by means of a whale-boat. Soan after his
                            return, it was obvious there would be no
                         possibility of getting the ship liberated from
                             the ice that season. The resolute com-
                             mander, however, was determined that he
                           would not leave her until he had tried the
                            chances of another year; he coi~sequently
                          gave permission for any of his comrades that
                           wished to make an attempt to escape. Eight
                            of the party decided to remain with their
                           commander, b~#t the rest started southward
                          •on the 28th of August, with a liberal share
                            of the general resources. On the 12th of
                             December, the seceders again presented
                           themselves at the brig with fallen crests,
                          having failed to force their way, and having
                             been reduced for two months to subsist
                            entirely on frozen seal and walrus meat,
                            chiefly procured from the Etah Esquimaux.
                                   To return, however, to the month of
                             August. When the diminished party were
                            abandoned by their comrades, they set to
                            work in good earnest to make preparations
                            for another long sunless winter. They had
                            only thirty buckets of coal on hand; Dr.
                             Kane therefore endeavored to follow the
                            example set by the natives of the region,
                             and convert the brig into an Esquimaux
                            iglo~. A small apartment was constructed
                              amid-ships below, which could only be
                             entered from the hold by a long narrow
                            tunnel, or tossut. The walls and ceiling
                            were thickly padded with frozen moss. In
                            this close apartment the entire party had
                          ultimately to endure all the wretchedness of
                          scurvy, burning the ropes, spars, and finally
                         the outer shell of the hrig, for fuel, and yet
                           having to limit themselves to a consumption
                            of eighty pounds per day. On the 14th of
                             January, Dr. Kane congratulated himself
                             that in five more days the mid-day sun
                             would be only “ eight degrees 6elow the
                              horizon.” On the 9th of February, he
                             wrote in his journal, “it is enough to
                            solemnize men of more joyous temperament
                             than ours has been for some months. We
                            are contending at odds with angry forces
                            close around us, without one agent or in-
                           fluence within 1800 miles whose sympathy is
                            on our side.” There were no star-observa-
                             tions this winter ; the observatory had
                             become the mausoleum of the two of the
                           party who had succumbed after the excursion
                             in the snow-drift. In the beginning of
                           March, every man on board was tainted with
                           scurvy, and often not more than three were
                          able to make exertion in behalf of the rest.
                            On the 4th of the month, the last remnant
                          of fresh meat was doled out, and the invalids
                          began to sink rapidly. Their lives were only
                           saved by the success of a forlorn-hope ex-
                             cursion of Hans to the remote Esquimaux
                            hunting-station Etah, seventy-five miles
                           away, whither he went in search of walrus.
                            With th~ return of the sun, the commander
                          began to busy himself, first with attempts to
                           recruit the store of fresh meat,—a task in
                             which he was mainly aided by a hunting
                             treaty he had concluded with the Esqui-
                              maux,—and then with preparations for

abandoning the ship. Two whale-boats
                           were fixed upon sledges, and on the 17th of
                              May the march was qommenced, the men
                           dragging each boat alternately, and making
                            a progress of a mile and a half per day.
                             The doctor himself carried forward the
                         necessaries for loading the boats, and brought
                            up the sick men of the party, by the help
                             of a small Esquimaux dog-team which he
                           had managed to preserve, besides keeping up
                           the supplies along the line of march. This
                           team of already well-worn dogs carried the
                           doctor and a heavily laden sledge backwards
                          and forwards 800 miles during the first fort-
                            night after the abandoning of the ship—a
                           mean distance of fifty-seven miles per day.
                                The retreating-party were greatly cheered
                          and aided in their labors by the countenance
                           of their Esquimaux friends, who now brought
                          them daily supplies of fresh birds, and occa-
                             sionally took a share in the work. One
                             man alone of the party was lost on the
                             route: he died in consequence of a hurt
                            experienced by accident. The whale-boats
                            were finally launched into the water, and
                           loaded, on the 18th of June, after an ice-
                          portage of eighty-one miles, accomplished in
                             thirty-one days. The boat-parties then
                          made their way, in the midst of great diffi-
                           culties, and often through imminent peril.
                          During thirteen days, they were beset in the
                           dense pack-ice interposed between the north
                           and south waters of Baffin Bay, and moving
                             alternately over ice and through water.
                            Twice they escaped destruction very nar-
                          rowly, by taking refuge from gales on cliffs
                          that were providentially covered with scurvy-
                          grass, and multitudes of the breeding eider-
                             duck. Upon one of these occasions, the
                             men gathered 1~O0 eggs per day. On the
                          6th of August, the party finally reached the
                             Danish settlement of Upernavik, after a
                            prolonged voyage of fifty-two days. Five
                            weeks subsequently, they were all safely
                           received on board the United States vessels
                            Release and Arctic, which had been prose-
                          cuting a search for the missing party, about
                           the head of Baffin Bay, since the beginning
                                            of July.
                                  Dr. Kane’s volumes are illustrated by
                             more than 300 engravings and wood-cuts,
                             made from his own sketches. Some of the
                           engravings express the peculiar character-
                          istics of high arctic latitudes very beauti-
                           fully. The book itself is above all common
                            praise, on account of the simple, manly,
                           unaffected style in which the narrative of
                            arduous enterprise and firm endurance is
                           told. It is obviously a faithful record of
                            occurrences, made by a man who was quite
                            aware that what he had to tell needed no
                            extraneous embellishment. There is, how-
                           ever, so much of artistic order in the mind
                          of the narrator, that the unvarnished record
                           has naturally shaped itself into a work of
                             distinguished excellence upon literary
                           grounds. The scenes which it describes are
                          so vividly and vigorously brought before the
                           reader, that there are few who sit down to
                          the perusal of the narrative but will fancy,
                          before they rise from the engrossing occupa-
                           tion, their own flesh paralyzed by the cold
                            100 degrees greater than frost, and their
                          blood scurvy-filled by the four months’ sun-
                         lessness. It is only just also to remark, that
                           there is unmistakable evidence in the pages
                          of this interesting book that the doctor was
                         no less eminently gifted for the duties of his
                              command than he has been happy in his
                           relation of its history. Every step in his
                           arduous path seems to have been taken only
                           after the exercise of deliberately matured
                            forethought. A few illustrations must be
                            gleaned from the many that are scattered
                           through the pages of his journal, to direct
                           attention to this honorable characteristic.
                           When the doctor had formed his own resolu-
                             tion to remain by the brig through the
                           second winter, he made the following entry,
                           under the date of August 22: “I shall call
                            the officers and crew together, and make
                            known to them very fully how things lo5k,
                           and what hazards must attend such an effort
                              as has been proposed among them. They
                          shall have my views unequivocally expressed.
                           I will then give them twenty-four hours to
                          deliberate; and at the end of that time, all
                          who determine to go shall say so in writing,
                           with a full exposition of the circumstances
                          of the case. They shall have the best outfit
                          I can give, an abundant share of our remnant
                            stores, and my good-by blessing.” On the
                             6th of April, the Esquimaux auxiliary,
                            Hans, was gone to Etah with a sledge, to
                            seek a supply of walrus-meat, when one of
                            the men deserted from the ship, and, the
                             commander suspected, with some sinister
                            design upon hans and the sledge. He then
                            wrote : “ Clearly, duty to this poor boy
                           calls me to seek him, and clearly, duty to
these dependent men calls me to stay. Long
                             and uncomfortably have I pondered over
                           these opposing calls, but at last have come
                            to a determination. hans was faithful to
                             me: the danger to him is imminent, the
                           danger to those left behind only contingent
                             upon my failure to return. With earnest
                           trust in that same Supervising Agency which
                         has so often before, in graver straits, inter-
                            fered to protect and carry me through, I
                              have resolved to go after Hans.” The
                            Esquimaux lad was proof both against the
                           violence and the seduction of the deserter~
                             The commander found him invalided, but
                              safe, at Etab. hans, however, did not
                            return to Fiskernacs with the expedition.
                             His fate is involved in romance. Venus
                           Vietrix has a representative even in frost-
                            laud. The reader must go to the pages of
                              Dr. Kane to know what become of Hans.
                           When the preparations for the final escape
                                DR. KANE’ S ARCTIC EXPLORATIONS.

                                 were under consideration, the following
                            record was made in the doctor’s journal:
                              “Whatever of executive ability I have
                           picked up during this brain-and-body weary-
                           ing cruise, warns me against immature pre-
                            paration or vacillating purposes. I must
                         have an exact discipline, a rigid routine, and
                            a perfectly thought-out organization. For
                           the past six weeks I have, in the intervals
                           between my duties to the sick and the ship,
                           arranged the schedule of our future course;
                               much of it is already under way. My
                            journal shows what I have done, but what
                           there is to do is appalling.” Appalling as
                           it was, the heroic man who had to look the
                          necessity in the face was equal to the posi-
                             tion. There can he no doubt that it was
                         “ the exact discipline, the rigid routine, and
                            the perfectly thought-out organization,”
                           which restored the sixteen survivors of the
                           expedition to civilization and their homes.
 
 

                               LIFE OF AN ENoINEEu.—The life of a railroad
                        engineer is graphically depicted in the following
                               extract from the Schenectady Star:

                               “But the engineer, he who guides the train
                         by guiding the iron horse and almost holds the
                        lives of passengers in his hands—his is a life of
                          mingled danger and pleasure. In a little sev-
                           en-by-nine apartment, with square holes on
                          each side for windows, open behind, and with
                         machinery to look through ahead, you find him.
                         He is the ‘Pathfinder;’ he leads the way in all
                        times of danger, checks the iron horse, or causes
                        it to speed ahead with the velocity of the wind,
                         at will. Have you ever stood by the track, of a
                          dark ni,,ht, and watched the coming and pass-
                          ing of a train? Away off’ in the darkness you
                         discover a light, and you hear a noise, and the
                           earth trembles beneath your feet. The light
                           comes nearer; you can compare it to nothing
                        but the devil himself, with its terrible whistle;
                          the sparks you imagine come from Beelzebub’s
                        nostrils, the fire underneath, that shines close
                         to the ground, causing you to believe the devil
                         walks on live coals. It comes close to you; you
                           back away and shudder; you look up, and al-
                          most on the devil’s back rides the engineer;
                          perhaps the ‘machines shrieks, and you imag-
                        inc the engineer is applying spur to the devil’s
                                             sides.
                                “A daring fellow, that engineer—you can’t
                         help saying so, and you wonder wherein lies the
                         pleasure of being an engineer. But so he goes,
                           d y after day, night after night. Moonlight
                          evenings he sweeps over the country, through
                          cities and villages, through fairy scenes and
                          forest clearings. He looks through the square
                         holes at his side and enjoys the moonlight, but
                            he cannot stop to enjoy the beauty of the
                          scenery. Cold, rainy, muddy, dark nights, it
                           is the same. Perhaps the tracks are under-
                           mined or overflown with water; perhaps some
                         scoundrels have placed obstructions in the way
                         or trees been overturned across the track, and
                        in either case it is almost instant death to him
                           at least; but he stops not. Right on is the
                          word with him, and on he goes, regardless of
                         danger, weather, and every thing save the well-
                          doing of his duty. Think of him, ye who shud-
                         der through fear in the cushioned seats of the
                        cars, and get warm from the fire that is kindled
                                       for your benefit.”
 

                                 AUTIFIcIAL SroNE.—A new material, com-
                         posed of sand, plaster-of-p~ris, and blood, re-
                         duced with water to such a consistency as will
                           permit pouring into moulds of any required
                          form, has been patented. The composition hard
                         ens in a very short time, and, it is said, in-
                        creases in firmness and compact texture until it
                        finally turns into solid stone. Another descrip-
                        tion of artificial stone is that manufactured of
                        fine sand, united together with a fluid—silicate
                         of soda. In consequence of the peculiarly sim-
                          ple composition of this material, it has been
                         found easy to manufacture of it porous as well
                           as compact stone, and also such articles as
                            grindstones and scythestones. The porous
                        stones are peculiarly useful, as they make adini-
                         rable filters, and by placing a coating of fine
                           pure white sand upon them they can never be

                                             choked
.Title:

              The Living age ... / Volume 52, Issue 665
     Publisher:
              The Living age co. inc. etc.
                                                  Publication Date:
                                                                 February 21, 1857
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