Narrative of the North Polar Expedition
Charles Hall (1821-71) was neither seaman nor navigator, but by 1871 he had made two Arctic expeditions as a result of his fascination with the failed expedition of Franklin. With a grant from Congress, his Polaris voyage aimed to be the first U.S. expedition to the North Pole. Desertion, drunkenness, and disagreements beset the venture from the start, and by the time Hall reached the furthest northern point yet attained by an Arctic explorer, crew discipline had broken down completely. Using official papers and crew journals, this 1876 work by C. H. Davis for the U.S. Navy recounts Hall's sudden death (after accusing his crew of poisoning him), the failed attempt to reach the Pole, and the abandonment of half the crew left drifting for 2500 kilometres on an ice floe. With the mystery of Hall's death and the story of the crew's survival, this is an epic tale of human endurance.