Editorial | Published:

The Future of Polar Research


    WE have had quite a flood of Arctic news during the last few weeks, and the question as to the direction to be taken by future Polar research is attracting attention in various quarters. Evidently those interested in this department of exploration are thinking that “something ought to be done”; but as to what that something should be, there is likely to be difference of opinion. It is unfortunate that the United States expedition sent out at the instigation of Capt. Howgate to found a Polar colony at Lady Franklin Sound, had to turn back through some defect in the engines of the Gulnare. Had this ship been successful in reaching the proposed ground of the expedition's work it would no doubt have given an impetus to the scheme of Polar research which has gained the approval of the Arctic authorities of nearly all nations except our own. On the other side of the American continent no news has been received from Mr. Gordon Bennett's expedition in the Jeannette of later date than August, 1879, when that vessel was off Cape Serdze Kamen, all well, and on her way to Wrangel Land, All the sea within Behring Strait, both on the American and Asiatic side, was searched this summer by the Corwyn, but no trace of the Jeannette was found. The conclusion from this that the expedition has come to grief, we have already pointed out is too hasty. Everything was in her favour when off the coasts of Kamtchatka last year, and if she had fair sea-way there can be no doubt that the expedition would take advantage of it, and push on as far northwards as was safe. We should not be surprised if a year hence the Jeannette might emerge by Behring Strait or by Novaya Zemlya with news of equal importance to that brought back by the Tegettkoff years ago.

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