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The Franz Josef Land Archipelago: E.B. Baldwin's Journal of the Wellman Polar Expedition, 1898-1899

ISBN: 9780786417766
Publisher: McFarland & Company
Edition: 0
Publication Date: 2004-03-19
Number of pages: 186
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  • Regular price $74.98

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Franz Josef Land is a forbidding place, isolated by geography and history. Lying above the Arctic Circle in the northernmost province of Russia, this remote series of islands was only discovered by Westerners in 1873, and remains little known today. A few intrepid explorers ventured there in the late 19th century as a stepping-stone in attempts to reach the North Pole. Chicago journalist Walter Wellman led the first American expedition to the archipelago as part of a polar expedition in 1898-1899. His second-in-command, Evelyn Briggs Baldwin, kept a journal documenting their trip. This previously unpublished journal reveals much about one of the last great periods of exploration--including the violence, chicanery, and racism that characterized much of American exploration and expansion. Baldwin's journal, reproduced here, paints a more realistic picture of the expedition than did Wellman's communiques sent home for mass consumption. Correspondence between Baldwin and Wellman is included, and expedition notes list the supplies carried, descriptions of geographic features observed in the course of the trip, and the doctor's notes on treatments, remedies and supplies. Editor P.J. Capelotti provides an extended introduction, and the text is illustrated with maps, depictions of dramatic events occurring on the trip, and several photographs.

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