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Six years ago H. J. Bull persuaded Commander Svend Foyn, of Toensberg, Norway, to equip a steam sealer of 226 registered tons for a voyage in South Polar waters; and Mr. Bull later narrated to the world the adventures of this craft in his work on "The Cruise of the Antarctic." The vessel left the Norwegian port on September 20, 1893, and returned to Melbourne in March, 1895. At the eleventh hour a Mr. Borchgrevinck had been permitted to join the voyagers, and on the completion of the notable cruise he hurried back from Australia to the Geographical Congress in London, where -- arrogating, perhaps, too much credit to himself -- he inspired the assembled geographers of the world with a new zeal for future discovery in the Antarctic Ocean.

The Foyn-Bull-Borchgrevinck expedition had succeeded in reaching the mainland of the great Antarctic Continent, never before trodden by human foot. The landing at Cape Adare (sic) , together with the general cruise, was accepted as a proof that to set foot on Antarctica proper was not so difficult as had been thitherto (sic) considered, and that a wintering party would have every chance of spending a safe and even pleasant twelvemonth at Cape Adare, with a fair chance of penetrating to, or nearly to, the magnetic pole by aid of sledges and Norwegian ski-es (sic).

Several expeditions were promptly planned, but only one got under way. The Belgian steamship Belgica, under command of Lieutenant Gerlache, set sail from Antwerp on August 16, 1897, and has now returned to the port of Montevideo after a twenty months cruise. Dr. Frederick A. Cook, the well known American enthusiast on South Polar exploration, who had planned an expedition to Antarctic waters even previous to the Foyn-Bull venture, and who became a member of this Belgian expedition, now cables the news that "much land in Weddell Sea and open water to the far south had been discovered." This newly discovered land lies southeast of Cape Horn, at a distance of at least 1500 miles. The exact point may be south of that attained by Captain Weddell in 1826 (74 degrees 15 minutes south latitude); but it is doubtful, however, whether the Gerlache expedition has penetrated beyond the latitude reached by Sir James Ross, Captain Weddell and Commander Foyn. The highest latitude yet reached in the South Polar region is 818 statute miles from the South Pole. At almost exactly the same distance from the North Pole, on the west coast of Spitzbergen, a small hotel has been erected for the accommodation of summer guests. Undiscovered Antarctica fills a place on the face of the globe as big as a Continent twice the size of Europe.

Reproduced with permission: L.L. Dyche, Explorations (Newspaper Clippings Related to Polar Exploration), Vol. 1 & 2. University Archives, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS.


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Original Source:
  Philadelphia Record, N.Y,, April 6, 1899.  
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  Jennifer F. Holvoet, University of Kansas.  
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