Frederick A. Cook (1865-1940)


  • Russell W. Gibbons



Biographies, Cook, Frederick Albert, 1865-1940, Expeditions, Explorers, History, Canadian Arctic Islands, Canadian Arctic Islands waters, North Pole


... Cook caught th polar wanderlust only a year after his graduation from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at New York University in 1890, .... First going north with the young naval civil engineer Robert E. Peary on his North Greenland Expedition in 1891, Cook earned Peary's praise for "unruffled patience and coolness in an emergency". ... None of Cook's first seven expeditions ventured into the Queen Elizabeth Islands. But his eighth - his longest, most celebrated, and most controversial - took him into that region for two years. ... Leaving his base camp at Annoatuk in February 1908 with Rudolph Francke, his German assistant, 10 Eskimos, 11 sledges, and 105 dogs, he followed Sverdrup's game lands through Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands, reached Cape Stallworthy, and went over the sea due north. His last supporting party turned back after three days' march, and with two Eskimo companions, Cook fought pressure ridges and ice floes to reach what he determined to the geographical North Pole on 21 April 1908 .... The return journey was an epic in sledge travel - in terms of pure survival, a classic experience. After living in an ancient Eskimo cave on Devon Island through the polar night of 1908-1909, Cook and his party returned to Greenland, whence he sailed to the adulation of the world, first in Copenhagen, later in New York. Cook's wire that he had reached the Pole was sent on 1 September 1909; Peary's announcement followed five days later. The great controversy that began then is still simmering today. ...






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