Garlington just got the hell out of there. Officially dubbed the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, the 25 men comprising it departed St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the summer of 1881 under the command of Lt. Adolphus Greely… Promoted by Henry W. Howgate, its purpose was to establish one of a chain of meteorological-observation stations as part of the First International Polar Year. Brainard led the mission. Norbert Wu/Footage Search By now, Fredericks himself was half-frozen. Al Frisch/Hollywood Guns & Props Greely and his men completed that task, only to be abandoned in one of the harshest environments on Earth. In July 1881, Lt. A. W. Greely and his crew of 24 scientists and explorers were bound for the last region unmarked on global maps… Jim Lotz, Writer: Morale plummeted, just went straight through the floor. He gathered hundreds of pounds of tiny crustaceans that appeared at the water's edge in the spring. Narrator: Whatever their reasons for being there, some of Greely's men were already distinguishing themselves. The dark, Arctic winter was tough on many members of the team. Ásgrímur Guðbjartsson In July 1881, Lt. A.W. That holistic sense of science is really catching fire. 1896. Jim Lotz, Writer: There was fame to be gained. Commodore J. G. WALKER. At Godhavn, Greenland, they picked up two Inuitdogsled drivers, as well as physician Octave Pierre Pavy and Mr. Clay who had continued scientific studies instead of returning on Florence with the remainder of the 1880 Ho… Narrator: A coalition of scientists had enlisted the governments of 11 nations in an unprecedented quest to understand the earth's climate. The Greely Expedition, marketed to the public as the first attempt by the United States to begin a new era of scientific research in the Arctic, was instead largely another expedition in the tradition of romantic polar exploration and tragedy. Miraculously, Garlington's men all made their way to outposts on the Greenland coast over the next few weeks. The expedition's doctor and naturalist, Octav Pavey, did the same in July two years later, refusing to renew his contract with the Army. Narrator: Greely was stunned at the barrenness of their surroundings, but he took heart from the thought that they had made it to within reach of safety. And so in a sense people begin to envision the earth almost like an organism with a set of circulation systems. They looked forward to the relief ship; to new faces, letters from home, fresh supplies. Although his team had earned the extraordinary title of "Farthest North," and amassed a vast collection of valuable scientific observations, Greely became mired in scandal upon his return to the U.S. Einar Unnsteinsson & Vigdis Esradottir/Hótel Laugarhóll Greely Expedition ranks with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in importance. For the first time since the expedition had begun two years earlier, they saw in Greely their only chance of survival. Narrator: As winter tightened its grip, Greely and the senior men kept up a rigorous routine: 500 measurements a day of wind speed, barometric pressure, magnetism, and dozens of other phenomena. Narrator: As the sun disappeared for the last time in 110 days, the men crawled into the dark, freezing hut they named Camp Clay. Goði Már Guðbjörnsson Greely Expedition/Wentzel Collection/National Geographic Stock Narrator: "Rice," Brainard wrote, "was as brave and noble as any man the world has ever known.". But the scandal that haunted Greely had also tainted his scientific achievements. And Fredericks does all he can to sustain him. The prospect terrified the men, and Greely's repeated declarations that he intended to follow his orders to the letter further poisoned an already dangerous atmosphere. He has yellow eyes or reddish-brown in adventures; in his beta artwork, he had white eyes and a ruby in his left eye. Our personalities really define themselves in adversity, and people like Rice and Brainard were showing what they were made of. To do what one has set his ambition on causes a vast deal of pain, sorrow and privation.". Their impending death gives this greater meaning. Putnam, $27.95 . You've got essentially five months of pure light where the sun never sets, five months of dark, where the sun never rises. Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: The most striking thing about an arctic winter is that it's totally dark. Get the latest on new films and digital content, learn about events in your area, and get your weekly fix of American history. Rice claimed that he was just tired, and even joked feebly with Fredericks, but then his mind began to wander. Powell, Theodore: "The Long Rescue", W.H. He had escaped by volunteering for the Union, had survived the bloodiest fighting in the country's history, and led one of the first units of black troops. [citation needed] In 1911 he represented the United States Army at the coronation of King George V.[citation needed]. And that's what happened to Ellison. Greely forbade his men from lying down during the day, so they would sit at benches arguing. Composed and Performed by David Prior First Lieutenant Adolphus Greely, commander of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, kept a journal from the beginning of the expedition in 1881 through his rescue in 1884. Adolphus W. Greely (Tim Hopper): "With all my yearnings for you I cannot bring myself to regret coming. George W. by Leonard F. Guttridge. To die is easy; very easy; it is only hard to strive, to endure, to live.". Directed by Rob Rapley. George Rice headed up the Ellesmere coast with one team, while David Brainard joined the other on the Greenland side. They were able to move up there rather quickly. At the beginning of November, he led a last effort before winter closed in. [15] USS General A. W. Greely (AP-141) and Fort Greely were named in his honor. "We are now using [Greely's] data to understand how global warming happens," says Robinson, "to understand how the climate has changed over the last hundred years. He found the scandal more painful than anything he had endured at Camp Clay. David Brainard (Rich Porfido): "The C.O. Clearly, Rice had earned more than respect, almost adulation for all his efforts. We started off under the brightest of skies, with the finest of weather.". Sign up for the American Experience newsletter! Michael Robinson, Historian: The hope was that this would offer the key to a new climatic understanding of the world. xx, 323, (1) pp. It's quite moving. William J. Rhees. [citation needed], In 1906, he served as military commander over the emergency situation created by the San Francisco earthquake. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789 to 1903. Drawing on the examples of Rice and Brainard, he cultivated an atmosphere of shared sacrifice, giving his rations to a sick companion, or taking on unpleasant chores himself. Greg Shea, Legal No one would take responsibility. By the time a final relief force arrived the following summer, in 1884, only seven emaciated, unrecognizable men remained inside a half-collapsed tent. George Rice, the official photographer on the Lady Franklin Bay scientific expedition to the Arctic in 1881, kept a journal until he froze to death in April 1884. Three years earlier, 25 men had set sail for the far North, where they planned to collect a wealth of scientific data about the Arctic — a vast area of the world's surface that had been described as a "sheer blank." He was mustered out of the Volunteer Army on 22 March 1867. The expedition's doctor would declare Greely insane, and another officer would lead the men back to Fort Conger. Lieutenant A.W. Very respectfully, W.S. Philip Cronenwett, Historian: It had to be done and it had to be done at regular hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Greely's nominal second-in-command, Second Lieutenant Frederick Kislingbury, 11th Infantry, had quit his post even before the Proteus sailed out of sight in September 1881. But for now all that would have to wait. [5], A rescue expedition, led by Capt. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery, next to Henrietta. David Shedd, Greely Descendant: It would almost be as if we sent people out into space, lost track of them, and then argued about whether we could afford to go look for them. But not even the most experienced sea captain could have penetrated the wall of ice at the bottleneck between Cape Sabine and Littleton Island. He led the effort to build a shelter in the gathering darkness, and dispatched missions to find caches of food. And Rice, who was in charge of the party, had to make the decision either we take the rations or we take Ellison. Lauren Noyes, An Apograph Productions Inc. film for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE "No game, no food, and apparently no hopes from Littleton Island," Greely wrote in his journal. Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: The whole chemistry of the expedition worsens when the ship doesn't arrive. Even if they couldn't reach her husband, at least they could leave a rescue party at Littleton Island. Left there with 350 tons of supplies, the team went to work building an outpost they christened Fort Conger, which would serve as their home for the coming two years. Narrator: George Rice, a 24-year-old photographer from Nova Scotia, lacked Brainard's military training, but he did share his sense of adventure. By June some of the men could speak of little else. Cassie Curnutt Cocked Hat Ventures, LLC Henrietta took her cause to the press. pg. The Greely Expedition Program Transcript Adolphus W. Greely (Tim Hopper): "We have been lured here to our destruction. Once again, a group of Army men sailed north on the Proteus, led by a man who had never been to sea: Lieutenant Ernest Garlington. If they didn't work together, if they didn't obey what Lieutenant Greely said that they needed to do they were all going to die. Narrator: The re-supply mission had been a lackluster affair, run by a lowly Army private. Wyatt Sprague. After four weeks of hardships and setbacks, Rice and his companions had to turn back, empty-handed. Narrator: The Greely expedition itself was adventure enough for most men, but Brainard and Rice were both drawn to a still greater challenge -- beating the record for Farthest North, a title that the British had held since 1607. Jay Fialkov Review a timeline of the Greely Expedition. Private Henry will be shot today. Philip Cronenwett, Historian: They all should have died. It did no good. It was there that Greely found his calling. Narrator: Through the long night, Greely pored over the contingency plans in his orders. 2009. “Framing Freedom” and “Slavery: This Abomination” ", David Brainard (Rich Porfido): "Ellison's right foot dropped off this morning without his knowledge. Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: You're beginning to see the strong people become stronger, and the weak people become weaker. He spent some time in boats in Cape Breton. Greely’s expedition left the northernmost North American port—St. Officially, William Cross's death was chalked up to an obscure disease, but everyone knew the real cause: starvation. There is this real sense in isolation that you're in touch with something that's infinite, enormous, something that is beyond human ken, beyond human understanding. Narrator: Despite the bleak surroundings, Greely's men soon discovered a surprising source of comfort: their commanding officer. After the war he received a brevet promotion to major to rank from 13 March 1865 for "faithful and meritorious service during the war". Oliver Canales Brainard, Lockwood and Christiansen had traveled 60 days, covering almost a thousand miles in temperatures well below zero, through pain and snow blindness to within 455 miles of the North Pole. But scientists in the 19th century realize that they need to understand how the parts fit together. [10], In retirement General Greely resided at 1635 R Street N.W. I am determined to make our food last until April 1st.". Do not wear mourning for me. Marti Acker An exhibition on the "Greely expedition" was part of the Columbian Exposition in 1893 and was captured on stereoscopic images. Secondary Sources: Geoffrey E. Clark, Abandoned in the Arctic: Adolphus W. Greely and the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, 1881-1884 (Portsmouth, NH: Portsmouth Athenaeum, 2007). Jim Lotz, Writer: Rice had some experience of boats. At 12:15 pm, St. John's time, our voyage commenced. It is not the end that affrights anyone, but the road to be traveled to reach that goal. is seldom out of his bag. He was lost. "Lieutenant Greely has shown himself to be a man of more force of character and in every way greater than I had believed him to be," one of the men wrote. It was insane to do this. Learn how and when to remove this template message, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, List of Medal of Honor recipients during Peacetime, "Ghosts of Cape Sabine: the harrowing true story of the Greely expedition", Geographical Items on North Greenland Encyclopedia Arctica 14: Greenland, "American Experience: The Greely Expedition", "Adolphus W. Greely (1844–1935) Papers, 1844–1871; 1908–1909", "American Geographical Society Honorary Fellowships",, Fellows of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Non-combat recipients of the Medal of Honor, United States Army Medal of Honor recipients, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from October 2012, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2015, Articles with incomplete citations from August 2019, Articles with Biodiversity Heritage Library links, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Semantic Scholar author identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Enlisted, 19th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry - 26 July 1861, 2nd Lieutenant, 81st US Colored Infantry - 18 March 1863, 1st Lieutenant, 81st US Colored Infantry - 26 April 1864, Captain, 81st US Colored Infantry - 4 April 1865, Mustered out of Volunteers - 22 March 1867, 2nd Lieutenant, 36th Infantry - 7 March 1867, 2nd Lieutenant, 5th Cavalry - 14 July 1869, 1st Lieutenant, 5th Cavalry - 27 May 1873, Brigadier General, Chief Signal Officer - 3 March 1887, Major General, US Army - 10 February 1906. I decided to buy David Brainard's two books, the 1929 The Outpost of the Lost (Bobbs-Merrill Company), which includes the last part of Brainard's journals of the ill-fated expedition. Jim Lotz, Writer: There was an effort to cover up and to conceal the cannibalism but there's no way you can make any information system airtight. When in 1883 the relief ship failed once again to show up at Fort Conger, Greely ordered his men to abandon their post and sail three small boats over 250 miles of open ocean to the south where the Army had planned to leave a rescue party. The men, however, were hesitant to leave the relative safety of Fort Conger. Narrator: If Henrietta was ever going to see her husband again, she would have to turn the will of Congress, the Army, and the President. Canada's Forgotten Arctic Hero: George Rice and the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, 1881-1884. Register of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. They had been drawn from a small pool of Army volunteers; none of the soldiers had ever been north; few had even been to sea. With Tim Hopper, Justin Mader, Michael Murphy, Rich Porfido. Chief of Bureau of Navigation. There's not a lot to do. Maps and Additional Animation Aaron Nee Alisa Placas Frutman. "The Secretaries of Navy and War," it read, "concur that nothing can be done this season to reach Mr. Greely. Composed by David Prior with John Matthias Map Explore Location Map Cards Maps Peta Exploring 'Who are you?' Greely's plan was "insanity," he wrote, "and if my opinion is ever asked I shall tell what I think.". Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: It's a piece of rock spat out from hell and allowed to cool. By the time Bear and ships Thetis and Alert arrived on June 22, 1884, to rescue the expedition, nineteen of Greely's 25-man crew had perished from starvation, drowning, hypothermia, and, in the case of Private Henry, gunshot wounds from an execution ordered by Greely. So almost unique among polar expeditions, they didn't have a ship with them. [citation needed], In 1890, he became a founding member of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and was elected as the society's vice president. Archives and Special Collections, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada But he understood orders. John’s, Newfoundland—on July 7, 1881. we asked. More recently, however, Greely's Arctic data has been revisited and the numbers have contributed to scientists' understanding of this relatively unknown area of the world. But the crowding, the darkness, the cold and all of their other afflictions would soon be eclipsed by one cruel obsession: food. On August 1, 1884, a rescue vessel pulled into the harbor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire carrying First Lieutenant Adolphus Greely and the five other remaining survivors of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. George Rice (Justin Mader): "Ellis tells me of being intimidated by the other occupants of his sleeping bag and talks of cannibalism. Narrator: No sooner had they sailed into the ice-choked waters beyond Lady Franklin Bay, than Greely started to fall apart. He was up on the bow looking for the leads ahead. Just a few hours out, Rice and Fredericks were forced to hide in their sleeping bag as a gale battered them for 22 hours. General Greely died on October 20, 1935, in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. On the 1st of June, 1882, Brainard and his companions returned to a boisterous welcome from their colleagues, and from their grateful commander. .... We at last reached Camp Clay at 2:10 am. They reached Cape Sabine expecting to find food and equipment depots from the supply ships, but these had not been provided. And then Fredericks brought back all of Rice's unused food to the group. It was the expedition's first funeral. Reluctantly, the men dragged the supplies and their two fragile whaleboats onto an ice floe. They sailed on the ship Proteus and reached St. John's, Newfoundland, in early July 1881. It wasn't, at least not by Greely. Susan A. Kaplan, Anthropologist: At Fort Conger they had everything they needed. Kevin R. Wood/NOAA, St. John's Recreations Directed by He married Henrietta Nesmith in 1878; they had six children, among whom was the landscape architect Rose Greely. Ragnar Pétur Pétursson, Additional Archival Research Directly opposite, on his hands and knees, was a dark man in a tattered dressing-gown, with a long matted beard, and brilliant, staring eyes. He will be reached next year as early as possible.". Narrator: George Rice died in Fredericks' arms that evening. The Explorers Club 1876 USMA Class Album, Special Collections, USMA Library What we call the Greely Expedition (1881-1884) was properly known as the Lady Measures 4" x 2.5" and is in fine condition. The returning survivors were venerated as heroes, though the heroism was tainted by sensational accusations of cannibalism during the remaining days of low food.[8]. Ghosts of Cape Sabine: The Harrowing True Story of The Greely Expedition. And he hacked some ice to create a makeshift grave for Rice. All rights reserved, Adolphus W. Greely (Tim Hopper): "We have been lured here to our destruction. Denver Public Library, Western History Collection Whereas Lewis and Clark suffered one fatality, Greely lost nineteen out of twenty-five men. Ever since being rebuffed by the Secretaries of Navy and War, she had urged the mounting of another rescue mission. David Brainard wanted the world to know about the commander he had once despised. In the summer of 1881 the United States sent two parties, both led by Signal Corps officers, one to Point Barrow, Alaska, and the other to Lady Franklin Bay on Ellesmere Island in northern Canada, less than 500 miles from the North Pole. Even if the government did send another mission, it couldn't reach them before mid-summer. Adolphus Greely.". Narrator: The Army seemed to hold a grudge against the survivors for having tarnished its reputation. Pamela Gaudiano After a harrowing trip, Greely and his men arrived at Cape Sabine to find only a few weeks' worth of provisions. Darrel Tawney, Location Production Assistants Another goal of the expedition was to search for any clues of the USS Jeannette, lost in the Arctic two years earlier. The men don't lose sight of the gross ignorance and incapacity of the man who brought them to this present strait.". Patricia Yusah, Marketing and Communications The purpose of the expedition was to collect scientific data as part of the first International Polar Year, the effort to gather concurrent geophysical measurements at various sites around the Arctic region. Philip Cronenwett, Historian: They almost began to understand why it was necessary to have that military command that he had been talking about for the previous several years. We have reached a higher latitude than ever before reached by mortal man. The irony is that the data is of interest today but not because it offers the key to an understanding of nature, but because it offers a key to how human beings have changed nature. An epic story of adventure, abandonment and human tragedy, The Greely Expedition tells of an 1881 scientific mission to the Arctic that ended with death and rumors of cannibalism. Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: But Brainard was a very straight man, and although he had joined the Army very casually he took its precepts seriously. He was the son of John Balch Greeley and Frances Dunn Cobb Greeley. We must advance, although I am fearful it will result in disaster.". He began his long and distinguished military career shortly after the outbreak of the American Civil War. Five weeks after departing from St. John's, Newfoundland aboard the U.S.S. But Brainard was engaged in the adventure of a lifetime. He had complete faith in his orders, in the United States Army and, above all, in himself. Narrator: On arriving at St. John's, Greely wired Washington: "For the first time in three centuries," Greely proclaimed, "England yields the honor of the farthest north. Vanessa Ezersky On 18 March 1863, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 81st United States Colored Infantry. [13] Until after WWII the Navy Medal of Honor could be awarded for noncombat actions, reflecting different criteria within the United States armed forces. Narrator: The fact was, they were all dying. It's red granite, very little grows there. Janice Flood But hurrying, doing big miles with no sleep, probably no rest and no food or even water, it would've been very easy to get frostbite. Sigurður Freyr Björnsson, Locations David Brainard (Rich Porfido): "Ellison was a pitiable sight, with his face distorted and frozen, and his limbs ice-like and useless. Matt Snedecor Glenn Fukushima Nearby is the grave of David Brainard — the two men forever as close as they were during the long dark winter at Camp Clay. Gino Del Guercio, Archival Footage Courtesy of During his tenure as Chief Signal Officer of the Army, the following military telegraph lines were constructed, operated and maintained during the Spanish–American War: Puerto Rico, 800 miles (1,300 kilometers); Cuba, 3,000 mi (4,800 km); the Philippines, 10,200 mi (16,400 km). Narrator: "The facts hitherto concealed," the New York Times declared, "will make the record of the Greely colony the most dreadful and repulsive chapter in the long annals of Arctic exploration.". He and his men had few supporters back home. He even took his parka off and wrapped it around Rice. There was no rescue party waiting at Littleton Island -- there would be no deliverance on April 1st, or May 1st, or June 1st. Henry just stole food and to hell with it. [1], In 1881, First Lieutenant Greely was given command of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition on the ship Proteus. Greely's militaristic style kept order in place but left some questioning his leadership capabilities. Alisa Placas Frutman, Post Production Services Philip Cronenwett, Historian: The trip up was amazingly easy. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. Brainard saw Greely's hold over the men vanishing. David Brainard (Rich Porfido): "This afternoon I opened a barrel of dog biscuit and found a large percentage entirely ruined. Greely's officers seethed with anger, but they agreed with him on one point: the scientific records would not be left behind. He and his 24 men were about to leave the world behind and travel to the farthest reaches of the Arctic. The expedition also crossed Ellesmere Island from east to west and Lt. James B. Lockwood and Sgt. But that night a bitter storm collapsed the tent the seven survivors had occupied when the shelter flooded. In letters to his wife Henrietta -- letters that he could only store away until the relief ship arrived -- Greely gave voice to doubts and longings that he carefully concealed from the men. However, after the relief ship still had not arrived in 1883, First Lieutenant Adolphus Greely made the executive decision to abandon Fort Conger and relocate to Cape Sabine, as the Army had planned to drop supplies at three points further south in case they were unable to reach the men at Fort Conger. By then, the traumatized survivors could think of nothing but getting home. VIII. Image Bank Film/Getty Images [9] Henrietta was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and one of the founding vice presidents general of the Children of the American Revolution. The mission to bring the Greely Expedition home didn't leave St. John's until June 29th — late in the sailing season. This is really an attempt at a new science of the world," says historian Michael Frederick Robinson in the film. Narrator: On August 26th, 1881, the whaling ship Proteus sailed out of Lady Franklin Bay, leaving 25 men and 350 tons of supplies in one of the harshest environments on earth. In 1905, he accepted the honor of serving as the first president of The Explorers Club and in 1915, he invited the Italian polar geographer Arnaldo Faustini to the United States for a lecture tour. Framepool, Archival Photographs Courtesy of Michael Robinson, Historian: In the late 19th century it was very difficult to get funding for projects like Greely's project. Jan 10, 2015 - Explore Pinfectionist's board "Polar explorers - Adolphus Greely", followed by 8259 people on Pinterest. Care for its own expedition winter setting in Greely and his 24 men forced! 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