Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 382

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(1862 - 1933) Polar explorer who served as second-in-command on the Wellman Polar Expedition of 1898-99 reaching latitude 82° before turning back. Fine content A.L.S. 4pp. 4to. on Wellman Polar Expedition letterhead, Tromsöe, Norway, June 19, 1898 just prior to his departure for Franz Josef Land and discussing the possibility of locating the lost balloon expedition of S.A. Andrée. He writes, in part: "...All continues well and matters appear to be shaping themselves according to program. We sail Sat 25 for Archangel, where our eighty-three dogs are in waiting. We hope and expect to reach Franz Josef Land about July 22d. I am glad that I am with Wellman and know that you would like him too. I informed Capt. Ernst Andrée, Göteborg, Sweden...that you would come to see him and his brother upon the latter's return. I think you should do so as soon as the explorer is heard from....The Captain is 'certain' that his brother will return & has given me personally the letter from the Andrée family to deliver to his brother in Franz-Josef Land. Our vessel, the 'Frithyof,' Capt. Kjildsen will probably return in Sept., but may not get back before October, as the Capt. desires to return with a cargo of walrus blubber. Capt. Andrée informed me that his brother would return as soon as possible if he could hire the ship to bring him at once & Capt. Kjildsen remarked to Mr Welllman that he would return at once should Andrée be found. So be on the look-out, even in August or fore part of Sept...". The "Capt. Andrée" to which he refers was S. A. Andrée (1854 - 1897) the Swedish explorer who attempted to reach the North Pole in a balloon. The expedition ended in disaster in 1897 with Andree's death. The fate of the expedition was unknown for years until his remains were discovered in 1930. Needless to say, Baldwin was not able to deliver the letters. Usual folds, else fine condition.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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