Southern Cross Expedition


Southern Cross Expedition

The Southern Cross Expedition, officially known as the British Antarctic Expedition 1898–1900, was the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and was the forerunner of the much more celebrated expeditions of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton during the following decade. It was the brainchild of the Norwegian-born, half-British explorer and schoolmaster Carsten Borchgrevink. He envisaged a pioneering mission that would overwinter at Cape Adare on the Antarctic mainland before making the first investigations of the continent's interior, which was then wholly uncharted. The entire scheme was financed by the British magazine publisher Sir George Newnes.

In February 1899 the expedition's ship "Southern Cross" landed Borchgrevink and a shore party of ten at Cape Adare, the north-west extremity of the Ross Sea, where a camp was erected. During the following months the group experienced the full hostility of an Antarctic winter. While a programme of scientific work was carried out, opportunities for inland exploration were severely restricted by the mountainous and glaciated terrain surrounding the base. During this period the expedition's zoologist, Nicolai Hansen, fell ill with an intestinal disorder and died. In January 1900 "Southern Cross" took the party southward to explore the Ross Sea and, following the route taken by James Clark Ross in 1840, reached the Great Ice Barrier. On 16 February Borchgrevink and two companions ascended the Barrier, then sledged approximately convert|10|mi|km southward, to set a new Farthest South record latitude at 78°50'S.

On its return to England the expedition was coolly received by London's geographical establishment which was resentful of the pre-emption of a role they envisaged for their own National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition. There were also mutterings about the quality of Borchgrevink's leadership, and the limited amounts of scientific information obtained. However, the expedition had recorded several pioneering achievements, being the first to overwinter on the continent and establish man-made structures on the mainland. It also made the first use in the Antarctic of dogs and sledges, made the first ascent of the Great Ice Barrier, and set a new Farthest South record. Despite these successes Borchgrevink never achieved heroic status equal to that of Scott and Shackleton, and his expedition was soon forgotten in the excitement of later events. However, among those who recognised its contribution to Antarctic exploration was Roald Amundsen, conqueror of the South Pole in 1911. Amundsen used the location of Borchgrevink's Barrier landing as the base camp for his own attack on the Pole, and later wrote: "We must acknowledge that, by ascending the Barrier, Borchgrevink opened the way to the south, and threw aside the greatest obstacle to the expeditions that followed".Amundsen Vol I pp. 25–26]

Background

Born in Oslo in 1864, Carsten Borchgrevink emigrated to Australia in 1888, where he worked on survey teams in the interior before accepting a provincial schoolteaching appointment in New South Wales.cite web|title= Borchgrevink, Carsten Egeberg (1864–1934)|url= http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070353b.htm|publisher = Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August] In 1894–95 he joined a commercial expedition, led by Henryk Bull in the whaler "Antarctic", which penetrated Antarctic waters and reached Cape Adare, the western portal to the Ross Sea. A party including Bull and Borchgrevink briefly landed there, becoming the first men to set foot on the Antarctic continent, if the 1821 claim of American sealer John Davis is discounted.cite web|title= Norway's Forgotten Explorer|url= http://www.heritage-antarctica.org/english/forgotten-explorer/|publisher= Antarctic Heritage Trust|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August] [cite web|title= An Antarctic Timeline|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000052.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 29 August] They also visited Possession Island in the Ross Sea, leaving a message in a tin box as proof of their journey.cite web|title= Antarctic Explorers – Carsten Borchgrevink|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000087.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August p. 3] Borchgrevink was convinced that the Cape Adare location, with its huge penguin rookery providing a ready supply of fresh food and blubber, could serve as a base at which a future expedition could overwinter and subsequently explore the Antarctic interior.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August (Introduction)] Preston, pp. 14–16]

Determined that he would lead such an expedition himself, Borchgrevink spent much of the next three years attempting to gain financial backing in Australia and England. Despite some encouragement from the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), whose International Congress he addressed in 1895, he was initially unsuccessful.cite web|title= Antarctic Explorers – Carsten Borchgrevink|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000087.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August p. 1] The RGS was in fact harbouring plans of its own for a large-scale National Antarctic Expedition [This would in due course become the Discovery Expedition, led by Captain Scott.] and was in search of funds; Borchgrevink was regarded by RGS president Sir Clements Markham as a foreign interloper and a rival for funding. However, Borchgrevink eventually managed to persuade publisher Sir George Newnes (whose business rival Alfred Harmsworth was backing Markham's venture) to meet the full cost of his expedition, some £40,000, [Jones, p. 59] equivalent to approximately £3 million (around US$4 million) in 2008. [cite web|title= Measuringworth|url= http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/|publisher= The Institute for the Measurement of Worth|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 19 August] This gift infuriated Markham and the RGS, since Newnes's donation, had it come their way, would have been enough "to get the National Expedition on its legs".cite web|title= Antarctic Explorers – Carsten Borchgrevink|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000087.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August p. 2]

Newnes made one stipulation: Borchgrevink's expedition must sail under the British flag, and be styled the British Antarctic Expedition. Borchgrevink readily agreed to this, even though only two of the entire expedition party were British.Jones, pp. 59–60. Another member of the shore party, Louis Bernacchi, was Australian; the remainder were all Scandinavian.] This increased the hostility and contempt of Markham,Crane, p. 74] who chastised RGS librarian Hugh Robert Mill for attending the Southern Cross Expedition launch.There, Mill had toasted the success of the expedition in stirring terms, calling it "a reproach to human enterprise" that there were parts of the earth that man had never attempted to reach. He hoped that this reproach would be lifted through "the munificence of Sir George Newnes and the courage of Mr Borchgrevink". [cite web|author= Borchgrevink, Carsten|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent"|url= http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aMRgMxzhEI8C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Southern+Cross+Expedition&source=web&ots=VRxj1EM4Dl&sig=OxChuy-HeNPhHXJA0kMm3n26jio&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPP1,M1|publisher= George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 August p. 25]

Organisation

Expedition objectives

When planning his expedition, Borchgrevink appears to have entertained a mixture of commercial, scientific and geographical objectives. He considered forming a company to exploit the extensive guano deposits that he had observed during his 1894–95 voyage, but this came to nothing. In numerous addresses to scientific societies, he stressed the extent of work that could be carried out by a resident expedition, including the possibility of establishing the location of the South Magnetic Pole. The team of scientists that Borchgrevink eventually appointed, although generally inexperienced, covered a range of disciplines including magnetism, meteorology, biology, zoology, taxidermy and cartography.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 AugustEquipment and Personnel] The hope also existed, at the planning stage, that the expedition's scientific achievements could be capped by spectacular geographical discoveries, even an attempt to reach the geographical South Pole itself. With no knowledge of the continent's geography, they could not be aware that the site of the base at Cape Adare would rule out any serious exploration of the Antarctic interior.cite web|title = The Forgotten Expedition|url= http://www.heritage-antarctica.org/english/forgotten-expedition/|publisher = Antarctic Heritage Trust|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August] [Crane, pp. 74–75]

hip

For his expedition's ship, Borchgrevink looked to his native Norway. Here he was able to find and purchase a steam whaler, "Pollux", that had been built in the yard of the Norwegian shipbuilder Colin Archer.cite web|author= Borchgrevink, Carsten|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent"|url= http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aMRgMxzhEI8C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Southern+Cross+Expedition&source=web&ots=VRxj1EM4Dl&sig=OxChuy-HeNPhHXJA0kMm3n26jio&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPP1,M1|publisher= George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 Augustpp. 10–11] Archer had designed and built Nansen's ship "Fram", which had recently returned unscathed from its long drift in the northern polar ocean during Nansen's "Farthest North" expedition, 1893–96. [Jones, p. 63] "Pollux", which Borchgrevink immediately renamed "Southern Cross", was barque-rigged, 520 tons gross, and convert|146|ft|m overall length. Engines were designed to Borchgrevink's specification, and fitted before the ship left Norway. Although Markham cast doubts on her seaworthiness, perhaps to thwart Borchgrevink's departure, [Preston, p. 16] the ship fulfilled all that was required of her in Antarctic waters. Like several of the historic polar ships, her post-expedition life was short. [cite web|title= Ships of the Polar Explorers|url= http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/History/antarctic_ships/fram.htm|publisher= Cool Antarctica|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 August Fate of "Nimrod" and "Aurora"] She was sold to the Newfoundland Sealing Company, and in April 1914 was lost with all hands in a storm off the Newfoundland coast. [Paine, p. 131]

Personnel

The ship's company, under Captain Bernard Jensen, consisted of 19 Norwegian seamen and one Swedish steward. Jensen was an experienced ice navigator in Arctic and Antarctic waters, and had been with Borchgrevink on the "Antarctic" voyage with Bull in 1894–95.cite web|author= Borchgrevink, Carsten|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent"|url= http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aMRgMxzhEI8C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Southern+Cross+Expedition&source=web&ots=VRxj1EM4Dl&sig=OxChuy-HeNPhHXJA0kMm3n26jio&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPP1,M1|publisher= George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 Augustpp. 13–19] The shore party of ten, who were to winter at Cape Adare, consisted of Borchgrevink, five scientists, a medical officer, a cook who also served as a general assistant, and two dog drivers. Of this party, five were Norwegians, two were English, one was Australian and two, the dog experts, were Samis from Northern Norway, sometimes described in expedition accounts as Lapps or "Finns".cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 AugustEquipment and Personnel] Among the scientists was the Tasmanian Louis Bernacchi, who had studied magnetism and meteorology at the Melbourne Observatory. He had been appointed to the Belgian Antarctic Expedition, 1897–99, but had been unable to take up his post. [According to Borchgrevink, p. 15, the expedition's ship, "Belgica", had failed to call at Melbourne on its way south, leaving Bernacchi stranded.] Bernacchi then travelled to London, on the chance of a place on Borchgrevink's scientific staff. His chronicle of the Southern Cross Expedition, which was published in 1901, ["To the South Polar Regions", Hurst & Blackett, London 1901] was critical of aspects of Borchgrevink's leadership, but defensive of the expedition's scientific achievements. Just over a year after his return, Bernacchi went back to Antarctica as physicist on Captain Scott's Discovery Expedition. [Crane, p. 108] Another of Borchgrevink's men who was to see further service during the Discovery Expedition was Englishman William Colbeck, an experienced seaman who held a lieutenant's commission in the Royal Naval Reserve. As preparation for the Southern Cross Expedition he had taken a course in magnetism at Kew Observatory. From 1902–04 he had been in command of "Discovery"'s relief ship "Morning". [Crane, pp. 232–33]

Borchgrevink's assistant zoologist was Hugh Blackwell Evans, a vicar's son from Bristol, who had spent three years on a cattle ranch in Canada and had also been on a sealing voyage to the Kerguelen Islands. The chief zoologist was Nikolai Hansen, a graduate from the University of Christiana, who died during the expedition leaving a wife and also a baby daughter born after he left for the Antarctic. Also in the shore party was Herlof Klovstad, the expedition's medical officer, whose previous appointment had been to a lunatic asylum in Bergen. Klovstad died shortly after his return from the Antarctic. The others were Anton Fougner, scientific assistant and general handyman; Kolbein Ellifsen, cook and general assistant; and the two Sami dog-handlers, Per Savio and Ole Must. Savio and Must, at 21 and 20 years of age respectively, were the youngest of the party. Borchgrevink later described Savio as "well-known for his faithful character, hardihood and intelligence".

Voyage

Cape Adare

"Southern Cross" left London for Hobart, Tasmania, on 23 August 1898, after inspection by HRH the Duke of York (the future King George V), who presented a Union Flag. [cite web|author= Borchgrevink, Carsten|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent"|url= http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aMRgMxzhEI8C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Southern+Cross+Expedition&source=web&ots=VRxj1EM4Dl&sig=OxChuy-HeNPhHXJA0kMm3n26jio&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPP1,M1|publisher= George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 Augustp. 22] Along with the expedition's personnel, equipment and provisions she was carrying Siberian sledge dogs, the first to be used in an Antarctic expedition.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessyear= 10 August (Equipment and Personnel)] After final provisioning in Hobart, she sailed for the Antarctic on 19 December. The Antarctic Circle was crossed on 23 January 1899, after which the ship was caught in the ice, emerging three weeks later. Cape Adare was sighted on 16 February, and the following day "Southern Cross" was anchored off-shore.

Cape Adare had been discovered by Antarctic explorer James Clark Ross during his 1839–43 expedition. It lies at the end of a long promontory; below the Cape is a large triangular shingle foreshore, where Bull and Borchgrevink had made their brief landing in 1895. This foreshore is the site of one of the largest Adelie penguin rookeries on the entire continent and, as Borchgrevink had remarked in 1895, "On this particular spot, there is ample room for houses, tents and provisions". The abundance of penguins would provide both a winter larder and a fuel source. [Preston, p. 14] Unloading began on 17 February. First ashore were the 75 dogs,cite web|title= The Forgotten Expedition|url= http://www.heritage-antarctica.org/english/forgotten-expedition|publisher= Antarctic Heritage Trust|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 13 August] with their two Sami handlers, who remained with them and thus became the first men to spend a night on the Antarctic continent.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August (Arrival at Cape Adare)] During the next twelve days the rest of the equipment and supplies were landed, and two prefabricated huts were erected, one as living quarters and the other for storage.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August (First Buildings)] These were the first buildings erected on the continent. A third structure was contrived from spare materials, to serve as a magnetic observation hut. [Preston, p. 14] The "living hut" was small to serve as accommodation for ten men, and seemingly precarious—Bernacchi later described it as "fifteen feet square, lashed down by cables to the rocky shore".Crane, p. 153] The dogs were housed in kennels fashioned from packing cases. By 2 March the base, christened "Camp Ridley" after Borchgrevink's English mother's maiden name, was fully established, and the Duke of York's flag raised. That day, "Southern Cross" departed for Australia, to spend the winter there.

Inside the living hut were two small ante-rooms, one used as a photographic dark room, the other for taxidermy. Within the main accommodation area daylight was admitted via a double-glazed and shuttered window and through a small square pane high on the northern wall. Bunks were fitted around the outer walls, and a table and stove dominated the centre of the hut. During the few brief weeks before winter set in, members of the party made trial sledging journeys on the sea ice in nearby Robertson Bay, surveying the coast and collecting specimens of birds and fish. They also slaughtered seals and penguins for food and fuel. Outside activities were largely curtailed by the onset of severe winter weather, in mid-May.

Antarctic winter

As the winter season took hold, the party was increasingly confined to their cramped living quarters. This proved to be a difficult time; Bernacchi wrote of increasing boredom and irritation: "Officers and men, ten of us in all, found tempers wearing thin". [Crane, p. 153] During this period of tension and confinement, Borchgrevink's qualities as a commander were found wanting; he was, wrote Bernacchi, "in many respects...not a good leader". Polar historian Ranulph Fiennes writes that in conditions of "democratic anarchy", dirt, disorder and inactivity were the order of the day. [Fiennes, p. 43]

Borchgrevink was not a trained scientist, and his incompetence with equipment and inability to make simple observations were reportedly of great concern to some of the party.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August (Departure of the Expedition)] However, a programme of scientific observations was maintained, exercise was taken outside the hut when the weather permitted, and as a further diversion Savio improvised a sauna in the snowdrifts alongside the hut. A concert was arranged, including lantern slides, songs and readings.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accesdaymonth= 10 August (Life at Camp Ridley)] During this time there were two near-fatal incidents; in the first, a candle left burning beside a bunk set fire to the hut and caused extensive damage. In the second, three of the party were nearly asphyxiated by coal fumes as they slept.cite web|title= Antarctic Explorers – Carsten Borchgrevink|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000087.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August p. 3] The party was well-supplied with a variety of basic foodstuffs—butter, tea and coffee, herrings, sardines, cheeses, soup, tinned tripe, plum pudding, dry potatoes and vegetables. However, there were soon complaints about the lack of luxuries, Colbeck noting that "all the tinned fruits supplied for the land party were either eaten on the passage or left on board for the crew". There was also a shortage of tobacco, in spite of an intended provision of half a ton (500 kg). Only a quantity of chewing tobacco was landed.

The zoologist, Nikolai Hansen, had fallen ill during the winter. On 14 October he died, apparently of an intestinal disorder, and became the first person to be buried on the Antarctic continent. The grave was dynamited from the frozen ground at the summit of the Cape.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August (First Burial)] Bernacchi wrote: "There amidst profound silence and peace, there is nothing to disturb that eternal sleep except the flight of seabirds".

As winter gave way to spring, the party prepared for more ambitious inland journeys using the dogs and sledges. Their chosen location was cut off from the continent's interior by high mountain ranges, and journeys along the coastline were frustrated by unsafe sea ice. These factors severely restricted the extent of their exploration, which was largely confined to the vicinity of Robertson Bay. Here, a small island was discovered, which was called Duke of York Island, after the expedition's patron.>cite web|author= Borchgrevink, Carsten|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent"|url= http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aMRgMxzhEI8C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Southern+Cross+Expedition&source=web&ots=VRxj1EM4Dl&sig=OxChuy-HeNPhHXJA0kMm3n26jio&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPP1,M1|publisher= George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 Augustp. 22] A few years later this find was derided by members of Scott's Discovery Expedition, who claimed that the island "did not exist", [Huxley, p. 60] but its position has since been confirmed at 71°38'S, 170°04'E. [cite web|title= USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)|url= http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:5:17644683241013707961::NO::P5_ANTAR_ID:4153|publisher= United States Geographic Survey|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 18 August]

Ross Sea exploration

"Southern Cross" returned to Cape Adare from Australia on 28 January 1900. Borchgrevink began the process of dismantling the camp and transferring its supplies to the ship, but apparently abandoned this idea after a few days, boarded the ship, and on 2 February sailed south into the Ross Sea. Evidence of a hasty and disorderly departure from Cape Adare was noted two years later, when the site was visited by members of the Discovery Expedition, after which Edward Wilson wrote; "...heaps of refuse all around, and a mountain of provision boxes, dead birds, seals, dogs, sledging gear [...] and heaven knows what else". [Wilson diary, 9 January 1902, pp. 93–95] The first port of call in the Ross Sea was Possession Island, where the tin box left by Borchgrevink and Bull in 1895 was recovered. They then proceeded southwards, following the Victoria Land coast and discovering further islands, one of which Borchgrevink named after Sir Clements Markham, whose hostility towards the expedition was evidently unchanged by this honour.Huxley, p. 25] "Southern Cross" then sailed on to Ross Island, observed the volcano Mount Erebus, and attempted a landing at Cape Crozier, at the foot of Mount Terror. Here, Borchgrevink and Captain Jensen were almost drowned by a tidal wave caused by a "calving" or breakaway of ice from the adjacent Great Ice Barrier. Following the path of James Clark Ross sixty years previously, they proceeded eastwards along the Barrier edge, to find the inlet where, in 1843, Ross had reached his farthest south. [Preston, p. 13] Observations indicated that the Barrier had moved some 30 miles south since Ross's time, which meant that they were already south of Ross's record. However, Borchgrevink wished to make a landing on the Barrier itself. In the vicinity of Ross's inlet he found a spot where the ice sloped sufficiently to suggest that a landing was possible. On 16 February he, Colbeck and Savio landed with dogs and a sledge, ascended to the Barrier surface, and then journeyed a few miles south to a point which they calculated as 78°50'S, a new Farthest South record. [Preston, p. 14] They were the first persons to travel on the Barrier surface, earning Amundsen's acknowledgement that they had opened the route to the south. Indeed, close to that very spot ten years later, Amundsen would establish his base camp "Framheim", prior to his successful South Pole journey. [Amundsen, pp. 167–68]

On its return northward, "Southern Cross" halted at Franklin Island, off the Victoria Land coast, and made a series of magnetic calculations. These indicated that the location of the South Magnetic Pole was, as expected, within Victoria Land, but further north and further west than had previously been assumed. They then sailed for home, crossing the Antarctic Circle on 28 February. On 1 April, news of their safe return was sent by telegram from Bluff, New Zealand.

Aftermath

"Southern Cross" returned to England in June 1900, [Stonehouse, p. 40] to a cool welcome. In geographical circles there was still resentment at Borchgrevink's coup in obtaining the backing of Newnes, but public attention was, in any event, distracted by the preparations for Captain Scott's upcoming Discovery Expedition, due to sail the following year. Borchgrevink meanwhile pronounced his voyage a great success, stating: "The Antarctic regions might be another Klondyke"—in terms of the prospects for fishing, sealing, and mineral extraction.cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August (Results)] He had proved that it was possible for a resident expedition to survive an Antarctic winter, and had made a series of geographical discoveries. These included the new islands in Robertson's Bay and the Ross Sea, and the first landings on Franklin Island, Coulman Island, Ross Island and the Great Ice Barrier. The survey of the Victoria Land coast had revealed the "important geographical discovery [...] of the Southern Cross Fjord, as well as the excellent camping place at the foot of Mount Melbourne". The most significant exploration achievement, he claimed, was the scaling of the Great Ice Barrier and the journey to "the furthest south ever reached by man".

Borchgrevink's account of the expedition, "First on the Antarctic Continent", was published the following year; the English edition, much of which may have been embroidered by Newnes's journalists, was criticised for its "journalistic" style and for its bragging tone. The author, "not known for either his modesty or his tact", [Preston, p. 16] embarked on a lecture tour of England and Scotland, but the reception was generally poor.

Hugh Robert Mill stated that while the scientific results of the expedition were not so great as expected, many of Hanson's notes having mysteriously disappeared, the expedition was "interesting as a dashing piece of scientific work". The meteorological and magnetic conditions of Victoria Land had been recorded for a full year; the location of the South Magnetic Pole had been calculated (though not visited); samples of the continent's natural fauna and flora, and of its geology, had been collected. Borchgrevink also claimed the discovery of new insect and shallow-water fauna species, proving "bi-polarity" (existence of species in proximity to the North and South poles).

The geographical establishments in Britain and abroad were slow to give formal recognition to the expedition. The Royal Geographical Society gave Borchgrevink a fellowship, and other medals and honours eventually followed from Norway, Denmark and the United States, but the expedition's achievements were not widely recognised. Markham persisted in his attacks on Borchgrevink, describing him as cunning and unprincipled; [Riffenburgh, p. 56] Amundsen's warm tribute was a lone approving voice. Scott's biographer David Crane surmises that if Borchgrevink had been a British naval officer, his expedition would have been treated differently in Britain, but "a Norwegian seaman/schoolmaster was never going to be taken seriously". [Crane, p. 74] A belated recognition came in 1930, long after Markham's death, when the Royal Geographical Society presented Borchgrevink with its Patron's Medal. It admitted that "justice had not been done at the time to the pioneer work of the "Southern Cross" expedition", and that the magnitude of the difficulties it had overcome had previously been underestimated.

Notes and references

ources

*cite book|authorlink= Roald Amundsen|last= Amundsen|first= Roald|title= "The South Pole: Vol. I"|publisher= C. Hurst & Co|year= 1976|location= London|isbn= 0-903983-47-8
*cite web|author = Borchgrevink, Carstens|title= "First on the Antarctic Continent|url= http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aMRgMxzhEI8C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Southern+Cross+Expedition&source=web&ots=VRxj1EM4Dl&sig=OxChuy-HeNPhHXJA0kMm3n26jio&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPP1,M1|publisher = George Newnes Ltd|year= 1901|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 August
*cite book|last= Crane|first= David|title= "Scott of the Antarctic"|publisher= HarperCollins|year= 2005|location= London|isbn= 0-00-715068-7
*cite book|authorlink= Ranulph Fiennes|last= Fiennes|first= Ranulph|title = "Captain Scott"|publisher= Hodder & Stoughton|year= 2003|location= London|isbn= 0-340-82697-5
*cite web|title = The Southern Cross Expedition|author= Harrowfield, David|url= http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/sth_cross/intro.html|publisher= www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August
*cite book|authorlink= Elspeth Huxley|last= Huxley|first= Elspeth|title= "Scott of the Antarctic"|publisher= Weidenfeld and Nicolson|year= 1977|location= London|isbn= 0-297-77433-6
*cite book|last= Jones|first= Max|title= "The Last Great Quest"|publisher= Oxford University Press|year= 2003|location= Oxford|isbn= 0-19-280483-9
*cite book|last= Paine|first= Lincoln P.|title= "Ships of Discovery and Exploration"|publisher= Mariner Books|location= Boston|year= 2000|isbn= 0-39-598415-7
*cite book|last= Preston|first= Diana|title= "A First Rate Tragedy"|publisher= Constable & Co.|location= London|year= 1997|isbn= 0-09-479530-4
*cite book|authorlink= Beau Riffenburgh|last= Riffenburgh|first= Beau|title= "Nimrod"|publisher= Bloomsbury Publications|year= 2004|location= London|isbn= 0-7475-7253-4
*cite book|last= Stonehouse|first= B. (ed)|title= "Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans"|publisher= John Wiley|year= 2002|location= New York|isbn= 0-471-986-658
*cite book|authorlink= Edward Adrian Wilson|last= Wilson|first= Edward A.|title= "Diary of the Discovery Expedition"|publisher= Blandford Press|year= 1973|location= London|isbn= 0-7137-0431-4
*cite web|title= Borchgrevink, Carsten Egeberg (1864–1934)|url= http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070353b.htm|publisher = Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August
*cite web|title= Norway's Forgotten Explorer|url= http://www.heritage-antarctica.org/english/forgotten-explorer/|publisher= Antarctic Heritage Trust|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August
*cite web|title= An Antarctic Timeline|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000052.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 29 August
*cite web|title= Antarctic Explorers – Carsten Borchgrevink|url= http://www.south-pole.com/p0000087.htm|publisher= www.south-pole.com|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 10 August
*cite web|title= The Forgotten Expedition|url= http://www.heritage-antarctica.org/english/forgotten-expedition|publisher= Antarctic Heritage Trust|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 13 August
*cite web|title= Ships of the Polar Explorers|url= http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/History/antarctic_ships/fram.htm|publisher= Cool Antarctica|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 11 August
*cite web|title= USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)|url= http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:5:17644683241013707961::NO::P5_ANTAR_ID:4153|publisher= United States Geographic Survey|accessyear= 2008|accessdaymonth= 18 August

External links

*cite web|title= Carsten Egeborg Borchgrevink (1864-1934) – Polar Explorer|author= Borchgrevink, Christopher Hawkins|url= http://borchgrevink.info/family/pdfs/articles_polar_explorer_005.pdf?PHPSESSID=05d3aee146d3749e2cafafb1dece1f56|publisher= Borchgrevink Family Book|year= 2004|accessdate= 2008-08-10


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