Wednesday, February 5, 2014

from "Among the Deep Sea Fishers" | January 1910

Battle Harbour Jottings

From the St. John Sun, 25th October 1909-- 

. . .Speaking yesterday of the aspect which the Pole-discovery assumed at Battle Harbour, Miss Hegan said that the news of the crowning exploits of Cook and Peary reached the hospital by wireless upon the same day. When Peary arrived, the people at the station were able to furnish him with the New York Times’ account of Cook’s claims. Peary did not say much as to Cook, but the report evidently disturbed him greatly.

The explorer’s arrival at the first real outpost of civilization was a quiet affair as compared with his later receptions, although the hospital people, who realized the importance of his feat, were thrown into a state of intense excitement. To the people who live on Battle Island, however, the coming of the “Roosevelt” was hardly a matter of comment. If they looked out of their windows to see the vessel dock, it was because the cannon fired from the top of the hill by the Marconi operator attracted their attention as something unusual. All of these people have come to know Peary well during his 23 years of exploration, in the course of which he has put into the harbour many times. They do not consider him a celebrity in any way.

As the "Roosevelt: steamed in the nurses and doctors, and those of the patients in whom interest could be awakened, were assembled on the verandah of the hospital but no person greeted the exploring party from the wharf. Peary called upon the nurses later, but spend most of his time while in the harbour in writing his story and furbishing up the “Roosevelt” to make her presentable for the trip to New York. . . .

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