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Ordeal In The Arctic
As the debate about rescuing them droned on and on, Lieutenant Greely’s men were dying one by one
June 1960 | Volume 11, Issue 4
I must, however, state that never for a moment in our darkest or gloomiest hour did we doubt that the American people were planning for our rescue, through their representatives, all that lay in human power and skill. From day to day, as food failed and men died, that faith and that certainty gave strength to us that lived. I need not tell you what you well know, how the Secretary of the Navy set heart and soul on our relief, and, by imbuing his subordinates with his own indomitable energy, started the relief vessels in an unprecedentedly brief time …
Greely’s praise for Chandler, Schley, and the Navy was unstinted. But he never mentioned the name of the Secretary of War.
*Subordinate in the minds of the relief party and the public at large, but significant for the future, was the recovery of the scientific records that Greely and his men had worked so hard to compile and sacrificed so much to preserve. In addition to precise meteorological data, these included new information on terrestrial magnetism and new maps of Greenland's northern coast virtually proving it an island. Not the least of the expedition's feats was proving also that a party properly equipped and supplied could spend two years safely and comfortably in the Arctic without succumbing to scurvy—until then the scourge of every extended venture into the far north. Greely's voluminous report—and those of other International Polar Year stations—greatly aided Peary and others in later assaults onthe pole.