New York Sun
Item:
The Lady Franklin Bay Expedition


At last the Proteus has left St. Johns on her Arctic mission. The voyage of this vessel is often spoken of as one in search of the Jeanette, but this is a mistake. The expedition was organized for purposes entirely different, namely, the establishment of a polar colony for general scientific observation, substantially after the plan of the one which Captain Howgate undertook last year, and failed to accomplish.

It is true that Lieutenant Greely, of the Fifth Calvary, who is in command of the expedition, suggested that a sledge party, moving to an elevated position not far from his permanent station, might get sight of the Jeanette, supposing her to have attempted a return through Baffin's Bay; and accordingly he was authorized to send out such a party. But his instructions show that this is to be a minor incident of an expedition intended for other purposes. A permanent station is to be established at the most suitable point north of the eight-first parallel, near the coal seam discovered on Lady Franklin Bay by the English expedition of 1875. The only stops authorized before reaching this point, except those which the ice enforces, are to be the calls at Disco or Uppernavik to secure Esquimaux hunters, dogs and clothing, and those on the east coast of Grinnell Land, to see that the stores cached by the expedition of 1875 are in good condition for the use of any party retreating southward in distress.

After the Proteus has landed its party and their stores, and has returned, a dwelling house and observatories are to be built; and only then is a sledge party to be sent out, "according to the proposal made to the Navy Department, to the high land near Cape Joseph Henry." It is evident from this slight allusion, that little stress is laid on the possibility of seeing the Jeanette, and that no prolonged effort is authorized for this purpose. Indeed it is specially added that "the sledging parties will generally work in the interest of exploration and discovery," rather than for the chances of aiding the missing vessel. The same permanent service is indicated in the elaborate special instructions for making meteorological, magnetic, tidal, pendulum and other observations, as recommended by the Hamburg International Polar Conference, with which this Franklin Bay expedition is strictly connected.

It is proposed, also that whatever becomes of the Jeanette, this "permanent station," as it is officially called shall be visited in 1882 and 1883 by a vessel with supplies and reinforcements, so as to continue the occupation. The arrangements in case of failure to relieve are as follows:

"In case no vessel reaches the permanent station in 1882, the vessel sent in 1883 will remain in Smith's Sound until there is danger of its closing by ice, and, on leaving will land all her supplies and a party at Littleton Island, which party will be prepared for a winter's stay, and will be instructed to send sledge parties up the east side of Grinnell Land to meet this party. If not visited in 1882, Lieut. Greely will abandon his station not later than Sept. 1, 1883, and will retreat southward by boat, following closely the east coast of Grinnell Land until the relieving vessel is met or Littleton Island is reached."

Still, though this Franklin Bay expedition is shown to have no connection with the hunt for the Jeanette, it is not at all impossible that it may succeed where the direct searches of the Rodgers and Alliance may fail.
Should the Jeanette, after moving north from Wrangell's Land, be caught in south-easterly polar current, she would be carried down past the Parry Islands to an exit not far from the station to be established by the Proteus. The probabilities are, too, that unless he returned by Behring's Straits De Long would try this exit by way of Baffin's Bay.--New York Sun



This Article was contributed By: James Urness
Contributor's note: Lt. Greely has been criticized for the action he took in leaving camp and heading south, however, according to this article, he did just as had been planned before the expedition.
 
source: Lafayette, Indiana newspaper, July or early August 1881

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