CANADIAN 1913 ARCTIC EXPEDITION

The Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913–1916 was a scientific expedition in the Arctic Circle organized and led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. The expedition was originally to be sponsored by the (US) National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History. Canada took over the sponsorship because of the potential for discovery of new land and Stefansson, who though born in Canada was now an American, re-established his Canadian citizenship.

The expedition was divided into a Northern Party led by Stefansson, and a Southern Party led by R M. Anderson.

1913 was a particularly bad year for Arctic navigation. All of the expedition ships were frozen in before they could reach their initial destination of Herschel Island.

 

The principal ship of the expedition, the Karluk, was carried off and eventually crushed by the ice, leading to the loss of eleven lives before a famous rescue.

 

Most of the Southern Party had travelled in other ships of the expedition, and Stefansson left the Karluk with a party of five before the ship was carried off. Stefansson promptly purchased a small schooner, the North Star, reconstituted the Northern Party with local hires and resumed exploring. Only one of the fourteen Karluk survivors rejoined the expedition.

The expedition purchased another ship, the Polar Bear, in 1915. The Southern Party remained in the North through the summer of 1916, exploring and mapping as far east as Bathurst Inlet. Some members of the Northern Party continued exploring through 1918.

The expedition discovered land previously unknown even to the Inuit (including Brock, Mackenzie King, Borden, Meighen, and Lougheed Islands), produced valuable data, and launched the careers of several explorers and scientists.

The controversies it engendered persisted for decades.

VASSdesign related Art

"CANADIAN 1913 ARCTIC EXPEDITION"

  by VASSdesign

This design is a reproduction concept of the Canadian 1913 Arctic Expedition to which the principal ship of the expedition, the Karluk, was carried off and eventually crushed by the ice, leading to the loss of eleven lives before a famous rescue.

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