Relics of the Jeannette Expedition To The Arctic
These newspaper accounts deal with the Arctic expedition
of 1879 - 1881 led by George Washington De Long, in which his ship,
Jeannette, was trapped in the ice and the men had to abandon ship
and try to reach safety. De Long and most of his men died trying to
reach civilisation, though 11 men survived. A congressional hearing
was held because of the loss of life and the failure to achieve its
scientific objectives. Some relics said to be from the Jeannette were
later recovered, and the supposed drift of these relics helped Fridtjof
Nansen in the planning of his successful North Pole assault. Most of
these articles are related to these relics.
This article describes, and quotes from, a speech
made by Commodore Melville who was one of the survivors of the Jeannette
This describes the relics, their reovery and subsequent
loss. Much of the article centers on how Nansen used the drift of
the relics to plan his route and centers on whether Nansen could actually
have reached the Pole.
An article alleging that the "relics" were fraudulent
and were set out as a joke by some officers on an U.S. steamer.
Here the authenticity of the relics is debated between
Melville, a survivor of the expedition and Greely, who was very critical
Here the Smithsonian Arctic expert, Dr. Dall, chimes
in with the reasons he belives the relics to be fraudulent.
This article alleges that Nansen knew the relics were
fraudulent and the experts cited here erroneously believed that Nansen
would fail to reach the North Pole. This article describes in more
detail why the relics were believed to be fraudulent and outline several
scientific arguments that support their contention that Nansen could
not successfully drift to the Pole.
A number of experts give their opinion about the authenticity
of the relics.
Now the validity of Nansen's claim to have reached
to Pole is questioned based on the opinions of experts who believe
that the relics are not authentic.
This incomplete article outlines an experiment proposed
to try to determine the direction(s) of ice drift in the Arctic based
on Nansen's success. Note that Melville is a part of this experiment.
More About the Jeannette Expedition
Those interested in learning more about George Washington
de Long and the Jeannette expedition may find the following interesting.
These links will take you away from the PRISM site.