Return of the Peary Expedition

All of the members of the Peary main and auxiliary expeditions, with the exception of Messrs. Peary, Lee and Henson, returned to St. John’s , N.F. , Sept. 15. Lieut. Peary and his two companions will remain at the headquarters, Falcon Harbor, to conduct their expeditions next year.

On October 31, 1893, an immense tidal wave swept away half of the oil which was used for heating and lighting and destroyed the launch and dories. The winter was spent in preparations for the inland ice journey to Independence Bay, which began on March 6, with a party of eight men, twelve sledges and ninety-two dogs. The burros and carrier pigeons were useless. The party arrived at Anniversary Lodge with twenty-four dogs and no sledges, having advanced only 134 miles in thirty-one days. The party was divided, and Peary, Baldwin, Entrikin and Clark pushed on. At last, when it became evident that Independence Bay could not be reached in the summer of 1894, the return trip was begun. In the equinoctial storm, which lasted for four days, the explorers suffered from intense cold, the temperature at times being as low as 60 degrees below zero, which for thirty-four consecutive hours the wind blew forty-eight miles an hour. It is believed that this weather is the worst to which any Arctic explorers have been subjected.

Though the expedition has ended in failure as regards the main object of the trip, still good work was done in surveying and mapping out quite an extent of hitherto unknown coast line. Messers. Peary and Lee are also the first white men to see measure and locate the iron meteorite near Cape York. It is expected that this meteorite will be brought home next year. The auxiliary expeditions made some valuable explorations in the Carey Islands, at Cape Faraday and at Clarence Head.

Source:  “Return of the Peary Expedition,” Scientific American. Vol. LXXI, No 13, September 29, 1894. New York: Munn & Co., 1894. 197

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