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On September 30 was held a great military parade, one of the largest ever seen in America. Twenty-five thousand men of arms marched past the massed representatives and special envoys of thirty-seven nations, while 2,000,000 citizens, seated in grand stands or standing along Fifth avenue, shouted themselves hoarse in cheers.

Although there were tremendous outbursts for each body of American troops, and unstinted applause in overwhelming volume for the British sailors, the most conspicuous reception of the day went to the sailors of the German fleet, a picked body of magnificent men, who, as they reached the reviewing stand, fell into the formal slap-slap of the parade goose step and burst into "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," with an overwhelming volume of brasses and a fervor which took away the breath of the listeners.

The occupants of the benches sat silent for a moment, and then, rising bareheaded to their feet, cheered, and cheered, and cheered again, until the voices gave way and they could only wave hats and handkerchiefs in a long echo of applause.


For the first time during the celebration all the small towns within striking distance of New York suspended business today to watch the parade of the sailors and mariners of seven visiting nations, the regular soldiers, the blue jackets, the national guard, and the naval militia of the United States, and the police of New York City.

So many men representing so many branches of the war department of the world have not been seen on American streets before; so many wearing American colors have not been seen since the days of the civil war. The total count of those in line today outnumbered the enlisted roll of the American regular army before the Spanish-American war. Forty-four hundred police kept the crowd in line and at the same time, by a special system of platoon reliefs, the regular and reserve force of every precinct in the city was maintained at its full working capacity.


The parade followed strictly the order of official precedence. First came Admiral Sir Edward Seymour's men, the blue-jackets and marines of the British fleet; then the Germans, and, following, the men of the Netherlands and the Italian midshipmen in company front, with their sailors bringing up the rear.

Then came the representatives of the United States, the coast artillery, carrying the new service Springfields for the first time; the United States Marine band of the Atlantic fleet in scarlet and gold, with a sprinkling of Filipino musicians blowing bravely; the marine corps; the sailors of the various ships of the fleet in division front; the naval militia; the national guard; and, lastly, the drab garbed regulars. The cadets of the Argentine training ship, trim and youthful, found a place between the American sailors and the naval militia.

As if to contrast the wonders of 1909 with those of 1809 no longer wonders now Wilbur Wright and Glenn H. Curtiss, on September 28, made sensational flights in their aeroplanes. The former flew around the Statue of Liberty.

Miss Liberty, on Bedlow's Island, has seen many ships from many lands in her time, and has welcomed all visitors with a dignified equanimity for many years. She never saw a ship of the air, though, until that morning. It was almost enough to knock her off her pedestal for Wilbur Wright to call on her in his flying machine.

It is positively known that he turned her head, because thousands of pairs of eyes saw him do so. And then he came back to Governor's Island again over the glittering waters of the bay. History was made while the spectators waited.

The first official visit to the famous Lady of Liberty and Light by the first aviator to show mankind how it might be liberated from the thraldom of earth had been seen by a multitude.

It was the second of beautiful exhibitions of the genius of Wilbur Wright, believed by many to be without a peer in his line in the world today. The first flight was around the island, over water at heights of 150 to 250 feet, arid was begun at 9:15 o'clock in the morning. The last was, perhaps, the most daring, the machine fluttering and diving in a strong easterly wind like a wounded seagull, while the setting sun was aglow with excitement, and was begun at 5:23 p. m.

On this trip Mr. Wright did not fly high nor attempt to leave the new part of the island used as the aeroplane starting field. But the bravery of the exploit, the flashes the spectators saw of the aviator's rigid face, the tooting of watercraft whose wheels were stopped in midstream, caused men, women and children visitors to the island to cheer ecstatically. Officers and soldiers waved their hats, shouted, and clapped one another on the back.


Mr. Wright blinked the cobwebs of the sky from out his eyes, brushed the cloud dust from his lapel and walked across the darkening sands to his shed. Serene, modestly confident, if he took note of the excitement that his feat had produced on land and water, he smothered any reflection of it within himself. He and Miss Liberty are both self-contained and immovable. It is believed that he is a man after her own heart.

Curtiss made a short flight of about four hundred yards at 7 a. m. He slept the night before on the island. The machine had never been tried, which was also true of Mr. Wright's aeroplane, and Mr. Curtiss did not make a further attempt yesterday. The first test indicated to him that he might do better with a four-bladed propeller instead of one of two blades. The former was put in position, but the machine was not again taken out of the shed.

Mr, Wright arrived at the island shortly before 9 o'clock. The machine was taken to the center of the sandplot and placed, facing due west, on the monorail. A small crowd had assembled. Mr. Wright and Mr. Taylor, his chief mechanician, turned the two propellers until the motor caught the spark. Soldiers stood at a respectful distance. The aeroplanist, wearing his familiar Scotch plaid cap, walked deliberately to the front of the machine, listened a moment to the rhythm of his motor, then took his seat. At 9:15 o'clock the machine was in motion, and in an instant more the aviator was soaring.

Two circles were cut over the starting grounds, and then he swung out over Buttermilk Channel to the end, turned west at the northern end of Governor's Island and came back to the starting point. He completely circled the island, having involuntarily dipped a little when saluted by the whistles of the tugs, steamboats and factories. A distance of about two miles was covered in this first flight. Mr. Wright was in the air seven minutes and ten seconds. The landing seemed a little rough, but no damage was done. In making his last turn the aviator rose about twenty-five feet above Castle Williams. From a little distance the passing appeared dangerous.


Word was sent out to the reporters that Mr. Wright would soon again mount his paradise bird of the air. Each boat from Manhattan brought excited visitors. Several hundred persons grew tense when, at 10.17 o'clock, the propellers were started, and only a few of the spectators knew that Mr. Wright meant to circle the Statue of Liberty. The weather conditions were ideal. A soft, steady breeze came from the west. Directly into this the aeroplane, which is silver in color, left the monorail, with the aviator in charge, at 10:18:04 o'clock.

Straight almost as an arrow the wings of Wilbur flew to the Statue of Liberty, a mile and a quarter away. The crowd was too engrossed to cheer, but stood tiptoe instead. Only then was the intention of the aviator pierced and understood by all present. A thousand whistles seemed to make announcement to the world that there was something new under the sun. At 10:19 o'clock the flying machine was over the sea wall, and the "total toot" of the startled smokestacks must have reached the ear of that immobile lady, the quest of a great man.

As the aeroplane flew across the Upper Bay a seagull, bewildered by the noise of the new intruder, fluttered back and forth amid the roar of the propellers, and at last settled down on the top of a wave.

Suddenly there appeared beyond the curve of Castle Williams, the bow of the Lusitania, bound for Liverpool. It was as if she had risen from the sea to give contrast to the scene. Her decks were fringed white with flying handkerchiefs; a cheer that sounded faint came floating across the water. But Wilbur kept steadily on his virgin way. As an Irishman who was present, said:

"Wright is now where the hand of man has never set a foot."


He would keep inviolate his appointment with Miss Liberty, and at 10:22 o'clock it was that the most unusual visitor she had ever received began to show her what a man from Ohio could do "when put to it."

It was then he waltzed around her, his wing tips palpitating exultantly as he safely made the turn. He went high enough in the air to touch, if he had had the time, the upraised hand of the goddess. He returned at once to the island, having been away less than five minutes.

Miss Liberty was reticent and Mr. Wright the same as to what, if any, pleasantries were exchanged, so the truth may never be known. But the crowd on the island was glad to see him back, and, after flying a half circle, Mr. Wright seemed to pick out a particular spot for landing, and ended a splendid, graduated descent by almost swimming into the sand. There was no jar; the machine lighted squarely, but when the soldiers were pulling the aeroplane back to the monorail one of the biplanes was broken.

Ferryboats, a Sandy Hook boat and various nervous tugs around the island stopped all progress during the flight.

Shortly before 1 o'clock Mr. Wright and William J. Hammer, secretary of the aeronautics committee of the Hudson-Fulton Commission, left the island for luncheon at the Singer Building. Mr. Wright, whom thousands at the Battery were waiting to see in the air, passed unnoticed under his tightly drawn black derby hat through the surging mob. In his wake, though unconsciously, were three well fed, curious farmers.


"I tell you the flag on the steeple is blowin', and that means they'll be flyin' to-day," said one.

"It's the Norwegian Consul's flag that I see over on that tower there," said No. 2, pointing to the identical spot, near by, where it was proper for that emblem to be exhibited.

"I can't be seeing that far," said the most elderly of the three, pipingly, "but where is the place for us to get tickets for the balloon ascensions?"

They were told that Mr. Wright expected to fly up the Hudson River shortly after 3 o'clock. Old as he was, the last speaker said he would wait for the show to begin, and, his knees trembling with excitement, he started off with his companions in search of a vantage point.

During luncheon Mr. Wright was asked how fast his machine was going on its way back from Bedlow's Island.

"I made no particular observations," he answered. "The wind was at my back, I was probably going at the rate of a little over fifty miles an hour."

"Do you expect to go some distance up the river this afternoon?" he was asked.

"Oh, I think I will make a flight up the river maybe about 4 o'clock," he said.

That was sufficient to arouse the visitors to the island to the highest state of expectation. Flags hung limp about the harbor. Persons who had never seen a flying machine before but had read in newspapers the disadvantages that lurk in winds grew eloquent in pointing out that at last ideal conditions were at hand.


"How long will it take Mr. Wright to reach Albany?" became an oft-repeated question by these enthusiasts, who were most seriously in earnest.

Meanwhile Mr. Wright sat calmly lingering over his favorite dessert pie and the momentous concern of the high-keyed spectators grew apace.

"When he says 4 he means 4," maintained the faithful.

He came on time, but there rose in a few minutes a gusty breeze of perhaps twelve miles velocity that made the flags stand out straight to the west and caused the flight to Albany to be omitted from casual talk. The wind did not die down, but became more rapid and more uncertain. When 4 130 o'clock came the aeroplane was seen to leave the shed. Old-timers at aeronautic carnivals here and abroad said: "He does not mean to risk himself in this wind."

Soldiers were busy clearing the one hundred acres of field of all except a dozen spectators. Reporters and photographers were driven back to the edge of the sand plot, while other soldiers pulled the aeroplane about a quarter of a mile to the monorail.

Nothing further was done until 5:19 o'clock, when, to the amazement of those who understood what the existing weather conditions meant to the aviator, and to the delight of those who didn't, the propellers were again started.

Wright was off in another moment or two, and, while not so spectacular as his former ones, the flight showed an ability to meet unwelcome conditions that those who know said marked the last flight as one of the great exhibitions thus far made in the science of aviation.

The Hudson celebration became more definitely linked with the north pole discovery when, on October 1, Commander Robert E. Peary, his wife, and every member of the crew that accompanied him on his quest of the north pole aboard, and the steamer Roosevelt, just back from the region of eternal ice, formed salient features of a naval parade up the lower Hudson to meet the Half Moon and the Clermont at Newburgh.

Mr. and Mrs. Peary arrived in New York early from Portland, Me. The Roosevelt was coming up the harbor amid the salutes of other shipping when the commander arrived. The Roosevelt's progress from quarantine to the dock at West Forty-second street was marked by a continuous blast of whistles. When it came off Riverside drive, where the crowd was gathered, and started on the way up the river, the salute was taken up by thousands of cheering voices.


The naval parade was the principal incident of the Hudson-Fulton celebration of the day in so far as Manhattan was concerned. In Brooklyn the historical pageant of the previous Tuesday was repeated, and there was everywhere the usual expectation of aeroplane flights, but the great majority of sightseers flocked to the banks of the Hudson. There they saw, in addition to Peary's vessel, a great fleet of excursion steamers, steam tugs, yachts, motorboats, and other craft which rendezvoused between Fort Lee and Spuyten Duyvil and about 10 o'clock fell into line for the fifty-mile journey to Newburgh.

The nucleus of the "lower Hudson" fleet that started to meet the Half Moon and Clermont and the other craft coming down the river was a squadron composed of one small United States cruiser, twelve torpedo boats and four submarines. The Castine, the parent boat of the submarine squadron, and four other submarines acted as escort to the Half Moon and Clermont, making twenty-two American warships in the demonstration. The other members of the American war fleet and the foreign men-o'-war remained at their anchorages in the Hudson.

The Half Moon and the Clermont passed the night at Ossining, and had a comparatively short run to reach Newburgh.

Newburgh, a quaint little city that dates from early Dutch colonial times, had prepared for the celebration of its history. After the arrival of the fleet there was a street parade of 5,000 men, in which the sailors and marines from the warships joined. The paraders afterward were guests at a big "shore dinner."


Gov. Hughes, the Hudson-Fulton commissions from up and down the river, members of the legislature, foreign and other guests were welcomed by Mayor McClung as they went ashore at Newburgh. Members of the Waorneck tribe of redmen, gay with paint and feathers, arrived, sent out a welcoming detachment in canoes to greet the Half Moon, while guns boomed a welcome from Palmer's park.

During the formalities attending the transfer of the Half Moon and Clermont to the upper Hudson commission, the sailors and marines of the American and foreign warships were landing further down the river, to take part in the parade, one of the features of the day ashore.


When Commander Peary stepped off a train in the Grand Central station at 7:15 a. m. on his return to New York from his trip to the pole few persons were at the station. He and Mrs. Peary were warmly greeted by Herbert L. Bridgman, secretary of the Peary Arctic club.

With the laughing remark that he was too hungry to talk. Commander Peary hastened across the street for breakfast. After breakfast the commander and Mrs. Peary left in a taxicab for the pier to board the Roosevelt.

"I appreciate the honor of being in the naval parade," said the commander, "and it is an especial pleasure to be with my crew on the Roosevelt on such an occasion."

While on the pier Peary walked up and down several minutes without being recognized by 200 persons gathered there to see the Roosevelt.

"How does it feel to be back?" Peary was asked.

"It does not feel so worse in the words of Chimmie Fadden," replied Peary.

Then his eyes turned to the Roosevelt. "She does not look like a very imposing ship, does she?" he said. "But up in the ice she looks like something, and there were times when she looked mighty good to me. You notice the way she's built. The round of the bow prevents the ice from getting hold of her when she is squeezed, and she bobs up when the ice crushes together."

The north pole flag which the steamer bore was the usual American ensign with a stripe of white bearing the words "North Pole" in black letters running diagonally from the upper corner of the horizontal stripes to a corner under the stars. Commander Peary explained its origin as follows:

"I wanted a piece of the silk flag I flew at the pole to bury at that point with my records, so I cut a diagonal strip out of it. Then, to preserve the flag, I sewed a strip of white silk into the cut when I returned to the Roosevelt. The design seemed so appropriate that we lettered this strip and adopted it as the north pole ensign."

Mr. and Mrs. Peary had stepped on a tug and were on the way to the Roosevelt before the crowd realized who they were. Then there was a burst of cheering. Handkerchiefs and hats were waved, and the whistles renewed their blasts.

Capt. Bartlett and the crew of nineteen men were on the Roosevelt in the garments they "had chosen for their rough trip to the Arctic, flannel shirts, fur boots and picturesque sea togs.

The Roosevelt lay at anchor answering salutes of vessels while most of the ships intending to take part in the parade passed. It then dropped into the line and brought up the rear of the procession.

Later the following dispatch was sent to The Associated Press by Harry Whitney:

"Stephenville Crossing, N. F., Sept. 29.

"So many questions are being asked of me by different papers that I desire to make the following statement:

"My reasons for not going back to Etah after Dr. Cook's things were that the engine in the Jeanie, one of the smallest boats that ever went to the North Arctic, was not working satisfactorily, and we were depending partly on sails, which later we had to do entirely. There was no reason why the Jeanie could not have gone back, but, not knowing that Dr. Cook's things left with me were of such importance as they have since turned out to be, I did not return. In addition, I had promised the Eskimos who were with me after musk oxen in Ellesmere Land certain things which I expected on the ship coming for me, but they were not aboard the Jeanie, and I did not want to return and disappoint the men. Another reason was that I wanted to prolong my hunting trip, which I was able to do by not going back, but by cutting across Smith Sound from North Star Bay and following the edge of the ice south.

"I do not believe that either Dr. Cook or Commander Peary, if placed in my position, would have done any differently than I did, nor would they, having started south for civilization, have turned back. I had never seen Dr. Cook until I met him in the Arctic. He told me he had been to the North Pole, and I was pledged not to reveal this fact to Commander Peary, but I could say that he had gone further north than Peary in 1906.

"Commander Peary, to my knowledge, knew absolutely nothing about what had been left with me by Dr. Cook, except that I mentioned instruments, clothes and furs and also a narwhal horn. Dr. Cook's belongings left in my charge were placed in boxes, which were nailed up. Then I saw the Eskimos cover them with rocks.

"No one could have been kinder to me or shown me more consideration than Commander Peary did while I was on the Roosevelt, and he said he would be very glad to have me remain aboard and return with him, instead of joining the Jeanie. HARRY WHITNEY."

While this phase of the matter was being aired, the directors of the Explorers' Club of New York voted to order an investigation of Dr. Cook's assertion that he ascended Mount McKinley in 1906, the truthfulness of which had been repeatedly and publicly called into question. The decision was reached after a warm debate among the members of the board, the vote which finally passed the resolution standing 5 to 3. The temper of the dominant faction was suggested by the comment of Professor Marshall H. Saville, who, as acting president, in the absence of Commander Peary, was to appoint the investigating committee. When asked whether the polar controversy was also discussed. Professor Saville said:

"There is no polar controversy. It takes two to make a controversy. As matters stand to-day Commander Peary has made charges against Dr. Cook and Dr. Cook has not answered them. When Peary has taken final and formal action and Cook has made a reply, then there may be a polar controversy."

The directors had already made extensive inquiries relative to Dr. Cook's Mount McKinley trip by correspondence and personal interview, and it was said that they had obtained information concerning it which had not hitherto been made public. All the affairs of the club excepting the election of officers are managed by the directors, and the action of the board in any matter is final as an expression of the stand of the organization.

The resolution which was passed first rehearses the fact that questions of the genuineness of Dr. Cook's mountain ascent had arisen "in the public mind," and that these questions bore upon the standing of the club of which he is a member. It then directed the acting president to appoint a committee to investigate the charges and make a report to the club.

An interesting development of the discussion was that Professor Herschel C. Parker, of Columbia, who headed the expedition with which Dr. Cook approached Mount McKinley, and who twice issued voluntary statements to newspapers calling attention to the doubtfulness of Dr. Cook's claim to the ascent, was one of the three directors who voted against the resolution. The eight members of the board who were present at the meeting were Professor Marshall H. Saville, acting president; Henry C. Walsh, secretary; Professor Herschel C. Parker, Caspar Whitney, W. G. Clark, Herbert L, Bridgman, Frederick Ober and F. S. Dellenbaugh.


The stand of the club on the point raised by Commander Peary, as to whether an explorer commits an unethical act in using preparations made by another explorer, was first stated for publication by Professor Saville. Commander Peary requested the club to make a definite statement on this point after the departure of Dr. Cook for the north, and included in his communication a doctrine that, by prior exploration and by taking precautions looking to further work, an explorer "preempts" the field to the exclusion of other men. The Explorers' Club, Professor Saville said, officially recognized Commander Peary's position in the matter soon after he made his request, that is, while Dr. Cook was still absent on his attempt to reach the pole.

An interesting aspect of the question was touched on by the magazine, "The Bench and Bar," which published an editorial on the legal proof of the discovery of the North Pole. The editorial lamented the fact that neither Dr. Cook or Commander Peary was willing to share his discovery of the pole with white comrades, for in order to establish a claim at law corroborative evidence must be introduced in the shape of credible witnesses who will testify to the truth of a story or the telling of a story with such a degree of circumstantiality that scientists will be convinced of the truthfulness of it.

The two corroborating Eskimo witnesses of Cook and the negro witness of Peary could be disbelieved by a jury, said the editor, first because they are ignorant and would know whether they had been at the pole only as told so by an intelligent man, and secondly, they occupied the position of employees, and as such their testimony must be placed in the same category as the testimony of servants, which, when given on behalf of their masters, is deemed unreliable. The corroboration of the story by circumstantial evidence, such as neither explorer has yet produced, is the only course left open. 


"The Bench and Bar" said:

"Of course, Dr. Cook has as yet failed to sustain the burden of proof which inevitably and properly rests upon any one who claims to have performed so wonderful a feat. In order to establish his claim he must adduce something more persuasive, something more convincing than his bare assertion that he has reached the 90th degree of latitude. And the same is true of Commander Peary, however high his scientific standing. The question of whether the pole has been attained is one of importance too great to be settled by the mere assertion of any one person, no matter what his reputation for truth and veracity may be. Nor need we, under accepted rules of law, give conclusive weight to the unsupported testimony of either of the explorers, as each is an interested witness.

"Even if he were to produce these witnesses and they were able to corroborate his story fully, their testimony would still be liable to be weighed in the light of certain maxims of the law of evidence. In the first place they probably are devoid of the scientific knowledge that would enable them to give intelligent and valuable testimony on such a subject as that under investigation, and witnesses who are ignorant and occupy a low station in society are peculiarly liable to the influence of parties of superior intelligence and craft. If Dr. Cook wishes to corroborate his story by circumstantial evidence, the law and common sense both agree that the circumstances to which he testifies must not be inconsistent with known scientific facts. And this observation is, of course, equally applicable to any testimony which may be given by Commander Peary."

The following interesting comparison of the deeds of Cook and Peary was published while the controversy was at its height:

Dr. Cook.

Before leaving land party traveled over 400 miles of land and sounds. Fittest of men and dogs chosen.

Over circumpolar ice Cook traveled with light equipment. Had one supporting party, which returned three days out from land.

Cook's dash party consisted of Dr. Cook, two Eskimos, with two sleds, two teams of thirteen dogs at start.

Two men out of three marched with sledges.

Cook carried a canvas folding boat.

Cook started from land March 18, 1908, seventeen days later in season than Peary, but one year previous.

Cook left land 520 miles from pole, near the ninety-third meridian.

Cook took thirty-four days to cover these 520 miles.

Cook crossed big lead without delay on morning following night of arrival.

Cook's average per day from land to the pole was 15.3 miles.

Cook's average per day before supporting party turned back was 21 miles.

Cook's average per day to the pole after supporting party returned was 14.7 miles.

Cook arrived at the pole April 21, 1908, fifteen days later in the season than Peary, but one year previous.

Cook left pole April 23 and reached eighty-fourth parallel on May 24.

Between pole and 84 degrees Cook traveled 360 miles in thirty-one days, at an average of 11.6 miles a day.

Cook failed to make base and caches from which he started because of open water and impossible small ice.

Cook's failure to make base rendered necessary long course of travel, another winter in the Arctic and many risks and privations. Return to civilization impossible for a year.
Commander Peary.

Before starting from Roosevelt winter was spent in hunting trips and sledging supplies. Best men and dogs chosen.

Over circumpolar ice Peary traveled with a large expedition. Had four supporting parties, which returned after fourteen, nineteen, twenty-four and thirty-five days, respectively.

Peary's dash party consisted of Mr. Peary, Henson, four Eskimos, five sleds, five teams of eight dogs each.

Five men out of six marched with sledges.

Peary had no boat or kayak.

Peary started from land March 1, 1909.

Peary left land 413 miles from pole, near the seventy-first meridian.

Peary took thirty-six and a half days to cover these 413 miles. He was held up by leads six whole days and was actually traveling thirty and a half days.

Peary was held up at big lead for six whole days.

Peary's average per day from land to pole was 11.3 miles.

Peary's average per traveling day from land to the pole was 14.5 miles.

Peary's average per day before last supporting party turned back was 9.7 miles; average per traveling day, 11.7 miles.

Peary's average per day to pole after the last supporting party turned back was 29.3 miles, or 132 miles in four and a half days.

Peary arrived at pole April 6, 1909.

Peary left pole April 7 and reached Cape Columbia (83 degrees 7 minutes) April 23.

Between pole and Cape Columbia Peary traveled 413 miles in sixteen days, at average of 25.8 miles a day.

Peary kept trail made to pole, or Bartlett's trail made on return right to base.

Peary reached supplies at base and was able to return to civilization in same year in which he reached the pole.

While the claims of the rivals were being debated, by the average citizen, students of international law took up with vigor the question of ownership of the north pole.

A prominent official at Washington declared that the land belonged to Dr. Cook and to nobody else, and added that the government was unwilling and also unable to maintain its claim.

The voice of international law has to be heard on what may prove a vexed problem. Either Russia or Canada might claim the country (if country there be) lying on the confines of their respective dominions.

Denmark, as possessor of Greenland, might prefer claims that could not be entirely overlooked.

The ownership of the north pole, or for that matter the south pole, will depend upon dry land being found there. If the spots at 90 degrees latitude be covered with sea or with ice (as Dr. Cook's statements suggest they are) they will belong to no particular nation. They will be treated like any other part of the high seas and belong to all the world. Should there be dry land, the first discoverers may have the honor of taking formal possession in the name of the nationality represented, and for the time a staff with a hoisted flag might display the nationality of the discoverer.


The law of nations now steps in to say something on this matter of the rights of discoverers.

It is not always the simple thing of "first come, first served." Many parts of the world were discovered by British navigators and explorers that were never taken into possession. One authority tells us that "all mankind have an equal right to things that have not yet fallen into the possession of any one, and these things belong to the persons who first take possession of them."

This seems clear enough. The practical application comes next. "When, therefore, a nation finds a country uninhabited and without an owner it may lawfully take possession thereof, and after it has sufficiently made known its will in this respect it cannot be deprived of it by another nation."

What if there be, however, in the newly discovered land aboriginal dwellers whom the discoverer chooses to call barbarians or semibarbarians? Might there not be inhabitants in the country around the north pole? This question, should not be overlooked nor too hastily dismissed from consideration.

The portion of land that Dr. Cook would travel over must bear a very small proportion to the whole of that vast unexplored region. There are wilds within the Arctic region that have not been inhabited for centuries, yet they are covered with traces of wanderers or of sojourners of a bygone age.

"Here and there," says Sir Clements R. Markham, "in Greenland, in Boothia, on the shores of America, where existence is possible, the descendants of former wanderers are still to be found. The migrations of these people, the scanty notices of their origin and movements that are scattered through history and the requirements of their existence are all so many clews which, when carefully gathered together, throw light upon a most interesting subject."

The Eskimos of Upernavik knew nothing of natives north of Melville bay until the first voyage of Sir John Ross in 1818. It was found that a small tribe inhabited the rugged coast between 76 and 79 degrees north.


What has international law to say on the possession of land where aboriginal natives are found?

No strict rules seem to have been laid down for guidance. It has been said that a nation may lawfully possess some part of a large country in which there are none but earlier nations, whose scanty population is incapable of occupying the whole; unsettled habitation cannot be accounted a true and legal possession. History has shown us that discoverers have not been very particular about the rights of aborigines, especially when the country is rich in minerals or well placed for commerce.

The right of discovery is usually stretched as far as it will go. Yet many of the islands discovered by Capt. Cook in the South sea were never annexed. This intrepid explorer was not authorized by his sovereign to do so; moreover, it is not clear that the sovereign would have had the right of appropriation. The islands contained natives who were not very ready to admit the superior rights of strangers who came to them from Europe. Capt. Cook suffered a violent death at their hands, and in the case of New Zealand, England had endless fights with the aborigines. In Australia, however, the blacks were few in number and very unready to show themselves.


It is worthy of note that filibusters and adventurers cannot hold the ownerships and sovereignty of any new lands they may discover. They must work for some state or power recognized by other nations, else they may at any time be dislodged.

As has been laid down, "navigators going on a voyage of discovery, furnished with a commission from their sovereign and meeting with islands or lands in a desert state, may take possession of them in the name of their nation." And this title has been usually respected, provided it was soon after followed by a real possession.

Was Dr. Cook a commissioned explorer or was he, to use a common phrase, "out on his own." And what, after all, is meant by "real possession?" The country that desires to maintain a claim of ownership of the north pole and take a "real possession" is not likely to find another nation to quarrel with. These not very eligible properties the north and south poles will presumably He in the public market. Expeditions will continue to be sent out and the interest attached to them will be based upon far higher considerations than the ownership of a (possible) patch of sterile land.

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