London: Royal Geographic Society, 1907. Near Fine. First Edition. 9.5x6in] 485-518 pp., 9 black and white images, tipped in fold out color map at rear [neatline 12x13.5in, sheet 15x17.75in]; Article bound in royal blue cloth covers with gilt Royal Geographic Society seal on front, cream end papers, all edges trimmed; Negligible shelf wear, age toning along edges of text, a few small chips and closed tears along fore edge, no defects to map. [Arctic Biblio 406, Howgego III A12 (The North-West Passage)]. Item #11332
Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (1872-1928) was a much experienced polar explorer in both the Arctic and Antarctic. He was an accomplished ship officer and mountain skier. In preparing for this expedition, Amundsen began studying arctic conditions, the Inuit people and practices, terrestrial magnetism, sailing in heavy ice conditions, meeting with other experienced arctic explorers such as Nansen, McClintock and Young. With a small crew of seven, the 47 ton Gjoa left Christiania in June 1903 for Greenland to pick Inuit dogs, sledges and kayaks. They wintered over on King William Land, met an Inuit family and learned Inuit ways to survive the winter. In the spring 1904, they conducted several sledging trips relocate the North Magnetic Pole from James Clark Ross discovery in 1831. They discovered that the pole had migrated north and inland about 60 kilometers from the west coast of Boothia Peninsula. The next winter was spent with the Inuits and preparing for a sledging trip to chart the unexplored east coast of Victoria Island in spring 1905. In August 1905, the Gjoa sailed through the barely charted channels, in ice choked conditions, and into Coronation Bay. On August 27th, an American Whaler, "Charles Hansson" from San Francisco, met Gjoa, as the first ship to transit the North-West Passage. Continuing west the Gjoa, along with other American Whalers, were trap in the off the Yukon coast for a third winter. In October 1906, the Gjoa and Amundsen reached San Francisco (six months after the devastating 1906 earthquake). Amundsen then arrived by mail boat and navy ship in Christiania in mid-November to a hero's welcome.
This article was from the presentation read by Amundsen at the Royal Geographical Society, February 11, 1907. The article includes introductory comments, comments by Nansen and Admirals Hamilton, Field, and Captain Creak and closing comments from Amundsen. The two volume book was issued in Norwegian in 1907 and by London in 1908, "The North-west Passage: being the record of a voyage of exploration of the ship "Gjoa" 1903-1907"