New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922. Very Good. Later Edition. Signed and inscribed [9x6.25in]; ix, 538 pp., frontispiece and 59 plates of black/white images; Dark blue cloth covers with gilt lettering on front and spine, blind embossed border and dog sled on front, blue toned image of Inuit weapons on end papers; Shelf wear and rubbing to edges, corners bumped, front hinge loose, inscribed by author to noted American astronomer A. E. Douglass, ”For A. E. Douglass, with the highest regard for his scientific work, from Vilhjalmur Stefansson, May 12, 1922”. [Arctic Bibliography 16832 (1913 ed), Howgego III S46]. Item #11688
Vilhjalmur Stefansson [1879-1962] was a Canadian Arctic explorer and ethnologist. In 1906, he was part of the Leffingwell-Mikkelsen expedition to the Mackenzie River Delta on the Beaufort Sea in the Northwest Territory. He did not start with the expedition at Victoria, BC, and traveled overland to the Delta. He doubted that the schooner, Duchess of Bedford, would reach the delta by sea with the ice conditions. The ship did become ice bound and did not complete the mission. Stefansson traveled overland to the Mackenzie River delta and spent the next 2 years continuing his study of the Inuit people.
After returning to New York, he secured a grant from the American Museum of Natural History to further the study of the Inuits. With the help of the Canadian government and Zoologist Rudolph Martin Anderson, in 1908 they set out on a four year expedition to the arctic at various locations - Mackenzie River delta, Herschel Is., Point Barrow, Victoria Is, Coronation Gulf and may others. He returned to New York in 1912 and wrote this book, his first, in 1913. He noted that “...I wanted, if I lived with the Eskimo at all, to live exactly as one of them...” He continued a long and successful career in Arctic studies and advisor to the United States and Canadian governments.
A. E. Douglass [1867-1962] in 1894 discovered the correlation between tree rings and the sunspot cycle and founded the discipline of dendrochronology, the study of growth ring patterns. His field work with the American Museum of Natural History and National Geographical Society more accurately dated native settlements in the Southwest.