Narrator: June 20th was the sixth anniversary of Greely's wedding. Courtesy of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. “For Henrietta” “Framing Freedom” and “Slavery: This Abomination” We have reached a higher latitude than ever before reached by mortal man. From Thomas Jefferson and the Boisterous Sea of Liberty Rice.". Henrietta took her cause to the press. 1 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1888). 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). 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. As a child he had seen his father crippled and his mother's life drained away in a Massachusetts mill town, and he wanted none of it. For three centuries England had held the honors, but no more. 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. This is really an attempt at a new science of the world," says historian Michael Frederick Robinson in the film. Oliver Canales Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: The most striking thing about an arctic winter is that it's totally dark. Philip Cronenwett, Historian: I don't think Greely knew what to do, literally did not know what to do at that point. Greely.". George W. .... We at last reached Camp Clay at 2:10 am. Adolphus Greely joined the United States Army in 1861. Narrator: Despite Rice's leadership they were barely moving, and they were running out of coal. All rights reserved, Adolphus W. Greely (Tim Hopper): "We have been lured here to our destruction. The two years' station duties, observations, explorations, and the retreat to Cape Sabine were accomplished without loss of life, disease, serious accident or even frostbite." Five weeks after departing from St. John's, Newfoundland aboard the U.S.S. At 12:15 pm, St. John's time, our voyage commenced. by Leonard F. Guttridge. 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 married Henrietta Nesmith in 1878; they had six children, among whom was the landscape architect Rose Greely. Narrator: As the sun disappeared for the last time in 110 days, the men crawled into the dark, freezing hut they named Camp Clay. in Washington, D.C. They wanted something snazzy. All these fears that weren't present in the first year began to weigh very, very heavily upon the soldiers. On the 1st of June, 1882, Brainard and his companions returned to a boisterous welcome from their colleagues, and from their grateful commander. Greely and his men completed that task, only to be abandoned in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Philip Cronenwett, Historian: The trip up was amazingly easy. Narrator: If they got rid of Greely, what then? Michael Robinson, Historian: In the late 19th century it was very difficult to get funding for projects like Greely's project. Upon the death of Admiral David D. Porter in February 1891, Greely became president of the District of Columbia Society of the SAR and served until the end of 1892. Image Gallery The Greely Expedition on site in the Arctic. I, however, am fully aware of the very dangerous situation we are yet in. This order is imperative and absolutely necessary for any chance of life. The expedition also crossed Ellesmere Island from east to west and Lt. James B. Lockwood and Sgt. He became a navigator. Commanding Greely Relief Expedition. Sigurður Freyr Björnsson, Locations David Legge Brainard achieved a new "farthest north" record of 83°23'8" on Lockwood Island. Once again, it was clear that the Army had other priorities. ", Written, Produced and Directed by 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. The ruff on the back of his neck/head is very ragged and darker than the rest of his fur. After four weeks of hardships and setbacks, Rice and his companions had to turn back, empty-handed. Brainard was the key to the plan -- the men would follow their first sergeant. It is not the end that affrights anyone, but the road to be traveled to reach that goal. 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. Private Henry will be shot today. "Close to the opening lay what was apparently a dead man," one recalled. Greely attended the First Presbyterian Church of Newburyport. The Explorers Club 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: The Army seemed to hold a grudge against the survivors for having tarnished its reputation. Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: Henry was a big guy, he'd begged to get on Greely's expedition... but he had a very checkered history. It is not the end that affrights anyone, but the road to be traveled to reach that goal. "Mr. Greely," she reminded them, "expressed to me complete faith in the government's care for its own expedition. Review a timeline of the Greely Expedition. It was everything Greely could have asked for. The dark, Arctic winter was tough on many members of the team. Jerry Kobalenko, Writer: Garlington was supposed to over-winter on Littleton Island so Greely would at least have people nearby that could sled over to meet him. When he gave the order to shoot Henry it caused barely a murmur of protest. Darrel Tawney, Location Production Assistants Brainard saw Greely's hold over the men vanishing. They were on their own, with no connection to the outside world. This was really an attempt at a new science of the world. Narrator: For the enlisted men, winter enforced an idleness that was no less challenging. He found the scandal more painful than anything he had endured at Camp Clay. [13] Until after WWII the Navy Medal of Honor could be awarded for noncombat actions, reflecting different criteria within the United States armed forces. After the Civil War, Greely became a companion of the District of Columbia Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States – a military society composed of Union officers and their descendants. 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. But the crowding, the darkness, the cold and all of their other afflictions would soon be eclipsed by one cruel obsession: food. After another failed attempt in 1883, Lieutenant Greely moved the expedition’s base to Cape Sabine, which had been identified as a rendezvous point for the ships and the expedition party. We are 24 starved men; we have done all we can to help ourselves, and shall ever struggle on, but it drives me almost insane to face the future. Timothy Messler He marked the occasion by putting his wedding ring back on, telling one of the men, "I have a feeling it may bring us good fortune." In July 1881, 25 men sailed out on an American expedition to create an Arctic scientific base in the Lady Franklin Bay region. 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