International Yukon Polar Institute.

International Yukon Polar Institute, Dawson, Yukon Territory. Founded August 5, 1905 online

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Online LibraryInternational Yukon Polar InstituteInternational Yukon Polar Institute, Dawson, Yukon Territory. Founded August 5, 1905 → online text (page 1 of 1)
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Uniycrsity Lihrary
Uniwrsity of California • Berkeley


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The International Yukon Polar Insti-
tute was formed at Dawson, Yukon
Territory, and had a membership at the
time its constitution was signed, of over
five hundred, including the highest fed-
eral and territorial oflicials, leading bus-
iness men, and all the foreign consuls
of this territory. Among its honorary
members are the noted Arctic and Ant-
arctic explorers, and it is already in
correspondence with geographical bodies
and scientists who are interested in
j^olar expeditions.

The Institute has for its object the
exploration and development of the Pol-
ar R(3gions on scientific, commercial and
industrial lines, appreciating the fact
that great wealth has lain dormant in
the frigid zone for centuries, and that
but a very small portion of this wealth
has yet been retrieved.

Believing that the ends of exploration
and development will be best attained
by a systematic pursuit of the work by
people vitally interested in the frozen
regions, the Yukoncrs deem themselves
peculiarly fitted and situated to initi-
ate and carry forward such work, and
to this end have formally organized an

Institute which will seek the assist-
ance of the scientists oi" all nations
willing to co-operate in this large un-

The immediate purpose of the organi-
zation is to send to the North Pole
during the year 1906 an expedition of
experienced and trained Yukoners and
Alaskans, who, by virtue of their fam-
iliarity with Arctic conditions, are un-
doubtedly the most likely candidates in
the race for the goal of centuries.

But this expedition is far from being
all that is contemplated in the purposes
of the Institute. Other expeditions will
be necessary to learn all there is to be
learned regarding the physical condi-
tions and commercial and industrial ad-
vantages in the Arctic. The Antarctic
also, being a country of similar frost-
locked conditions, is looked upon as an-
other legitimate field of exploitation for
people of the same spirit and experi-
ence in frigid lands

It is the hope of the Institute to
bring to the attention of men in re-
sponsible positions in the governments
of the world, and to the great scientific
societies, the benefits that should be de-
rived from a thorough knowledge of
these regions, and through access to
them, and thereby secure their endorse-
U'cnt, sympathy, support and co-opera-
tion in the work. Such societies will be
asked to appoint special committees to
correspond with the Yukon Institute and
to exchange data and contemplated

plans of oiieration in Polar regions on
the lines mentioned. The knowledge
thus far gained by the intrepid explor-
ers, whalers and others who have sailed
the Arctic seas, has been gathered at
great expense and on no general world-
wide plan of co-operation, and has been
compiled in detached and often unsatis-
factory form instead of being readily
exchangeable for the benefit of explorers
to come. It is the hope of the Insti-
tute to create a channel for the ready
transmission of such information to the
hands oi those who are determined to
make early efforts to open the Arctic
regions on more practical lines than
ever heretofore attempted.

With the discovery of gold in the sub-
Arctic Klondike, the first serious atten-
tion was directed to gold mining in
such regions. Since then the world has
been enriched by gold from these frigid
belts to the value of two hundred mil-
lions. It is believed that gold and min-
erals exist even on the islands of the
Polar seas, and that the opening of
those lands to the prospector may be of
infinite value to the world in time to

The Yukoner has demonstrated the
practicability of life and work in the
Arctic regions, and now a new empire
is ready to be opened up. On commer-
cial lines the Institute deems whaling,
walrus hunting and the capturing of the
fur-bearing animals of the land among
eriticing objects of ])ursuit for profit.

Already millions have been realized
from the Arctic on each of these lines,
and the field is probably without limi-
tation. Incidental to all these is the
sale of merchandise to the natives of
these regions and the whites who may
be induced to enter this field of activity.

On scientific lines the Institute sees a
vast field for research in the study of
oceanic currents, the movement of ice
floes, the depth of the ice in the Polar
seas, full topographical conditions of
the whole frigid zones ; and the pur-
suit of science in geology, zoology,
botany, astronomy and other important
divisions on which very little reliable
data has yet been obtained.

All these interests, scientific and com-
mercial, will be served by expeditions
into these countries under the leader-
ship of trained men and trained dog
teams ; men accustomed to journeys of
from five hundred to two thousand
miles in the depths of Arctic winters,
carrying all their necessities with them,;
men who have made such travel their
trade and who have proved by years of
experience what is the best food, the
best clothing and the best equipment.
Thes9 men, whom wo have in Yukon
and Alaska, have dispelled the terrors
of life in the Arctic ; have proven that
travel can be done in .this whole noi*th
land in winter better than in summer ;
have proven that frozen ground is eas-
ier to mine than unfrozen, and have re-
deemed already a large part of these

frozen solitudes anrl made them produc-
tive and habitable.

In the first expedition now being
I^lanned by the International Yukon
Polar Institute, it is the intention to
fit out and equip an expedition that is
bound to reach the goal, and the Insti-
tute has full confidence of this result
chiefly because :

First — In charge of men familiar with
Arctic travel, men who have made much
longer trips over fully as rough country
and with a much lov^er temperature to
contend with ;

Second — Being equipped with known
and tried apparatus which has served
Yukoners in the niost trying of their
tiips and is a known quantity.

Third — Because of knowing, by virtue
of Arctic life and training, the weak
points which have caused much of the
failure of former expeditions and how
to avoid them.

As all the world is so deeply interest-
ed in Polar research, and as no project
has ever been put forward with
such demonstrations of what may rea-
sonably assure ultimate success, the In-
stitute has every confidence in calling
upon governments, scientific associft-
tions and scientists all over the world
to give to it a hearty moral and
financial support.

For the present it is proposed that an
expedition leave early in June, 1906,
and proceed to Grant Land. There the
}»arty will be left by the steamer and

when the Polar plateau is frozen the
dash to the Pole and to Franz Joseph
Land, will be made. An auxiliary party
will proceed wMth the Polar party one
hundred miles or so across the pla-
teau, to assist in transi)ortation, and
then return to the observatory on Grant
Land and explore that territory and
jcd.iacent islands.

They will delve into the frozen earth
(and they are the only men who ujider-
stand the working of frozen ground),
unearthing its treasures in minerals, and
in fossils showing the vegetation of
prehistoric times. The next summer a
steamer will return them to their homes.

For the future there are many points
in the growth of such an Institute.
Wireless ,'telegi-a])hy may be employed
from Dawson to Herschel Island, thence
to other islands and to the observatory
on Gra^nt Land, keeping tlie whole
world in touch with the operations of
the Institute. Special ships may be
built on lines dictated by actual ex-
perience, to follow in the ice flow from
the Pacific side to the Atlantic, and, in
fact, there are no limitations to the in-
creased usefulness of such an institution
year by year in regard to the explora-
tion and exploitation of the present
unknown lands of the two Poles.

Thk YiTKON \VoRr^D Prkss.

r>AW80N, lOOR.


Honorary President — Hon. W. W. B. Mc-
Innes, Governor of Yukon Territory.

Honorary Vice-Presidents — G. Bie Ravn-
dal, Esq., Coiisul of the United
States ; R. Auzias-Turenne, Esq.,
Vice-Consul of France ; Walter Wen-
sky, Esq., Consul of Germany ; T.
Dufferin Fattullo, Esq., Consul of
Norway and Sweden ; Pierre Ledieu,
Esq., Consul of Italy.

President — l)r. Alfred Thoni])son, Esq.,
Member of parliament for Yukon.

Vice-Presidents — Col. Donald McGregor;
N. F, Plagel, Esq., King's Counsel.

Treasurer — Donald A. Cameron, P^scj.,
Manager of the Canadian Bank of

Secretary — J, Almon Vali-
Es(i..- Supreme Court He-



Corresi)onding Secretary — Weston Coy-
ney, Esq., of the Yukon Daily World.

Board of Directors — Dr. A. Varicle, Man-
aging Director ; Charles Macdonald,
Esq., Clerk of the "I'erritorial Court;
E. W. Griffm, Esq., Manager of the
North American Transi)ortation and
Trading Company ; Henry C. Macau-
lay, Es({., Meinber of the Yukon Ter-
ritorial Council ; J. T. Lithgow,
Esq., Comi)troller of the Yukon Ter-
ritory ; Charles 11. Settlemeier,
Esq., of the Dawson Daily News ; .1 .
Langlois Bell, Esq., Barrister.

Patrons — Mr. Justice Dugas, Mr. .Justice
Craig, Mr Justice Macau! ay and
Major Zachary Taylor Wood, Assist-
ant. Couimissloner Royal Nortliwest
Mounted I'olice.


Online LibraryInternational Yukon Polar InstituteInternational Yukon Polar Institute, Dawson, Yukon Territory. Founded August 5, 1905 → online text (page 1 of 1)