The Franz Josef Land Archipelago

E.B. Baldwin’s Journal of the Wellman Polar Expedition, 1898–1899


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About the Book

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 This previously unpublished journal reveals much about one of the last great periods of exploration—including the violence, chicanery, and racism that characterized much of American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 communiqués 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.

About the Author(s)

P.J. Capelotti is assistant professor of archaeology and American studies at Penn State University’s Abington College in Abington, Pennsylvania. His research centers on the history of Arctic exploration and on the archaeology of human expansion into space.

Bibliographic Details

E.B. Baldwin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1776-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0662-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of illustrations and maps      ix

Introduction      1

1 Expedition journal of E.B. Baldwin      27

2 Expedition correspondence between Baldwin and Wellman      127

3 Other documents      165

Notes      177

Bibliography      181

Index      183