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Important Land Discoveries Made In The Southern Ice Zone.

Dr. Cook Cables the Standard Union.

Most Successful Polar Expedition Ever Undertaken -- Open Water Found to the Far South, And Many Active Volcanoes -- Fifteen Months From Civilization.

Special to the Standard Union. -- Copyrighted.

Monte Video, S.A., April 4

The "Belgica" arrived here this morning. All well. Our Antarctic voyage has been a complete success. Much new land in Weddell Sea and open water to the far South discovered. Active volcanoes were also seen. I come home direct by early steamer. The "Belgica" will not return for another winter, as originally planned. We lost men by accident, but none by disease.


Drawing of Gerlache and the Belgica

The foregoing, received at The Standard Union office this morning, is the first news for fifteen months of the Belgian Antarctic steamer "Belgica," commanded by Lieut. A. de Gerlach (sic), and of the expedition of which Dr. Frederick A. Cook, of Bushwick avenue, was the surgeon. The last communication from the expedition was from Ushuaia, the southern port of Terra del Fuego, Dec. 30, 1897, stating that on the next day the steamer would sail for the unknown South. Originally, the purpose was to return last fall and refit in Melbourne, Australia; but the dispatch this morning makes it certain that the Belgian party was the first to winter south of the Antarctic Circle. Evidently, from Dr. Cook's telegram, the expedition has been fruitful beyond all expectations, and the details of its work will be awaited with the greatest interest.

Dr. Cook, in addition to his duties as surgeon, was also expected to act as ethnologist and general polar expert, his services as surgeon of the first Peary expedition, 1891-92, having given him peculiar qualifications for both branches of duty. The doctor left Brooklyn, Sept. 20, 1897, on the Lamport & Holt steamer Coleridge for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will doubtless return by the same line. He should be expected in Brooklyn within the next six or eight weeks. A pathetic incident in connection with Dr. Cook's absence is recalled to mind by the recurrence of Easter, that on that day, one year ago, occurred the funeral of his fiancee, Anna E. Forbes, for several years a teacher in the public schools of Brooklyn.

Dr. Cook, a native of Callicoon, in Sullivan County, N.Y., is a graduate of the University of the City of New York, and has had much experience in Arctic matters. In 1891 he accompanied Civil Engineer Peary as surgeon in his first expedition to Greenland, and before landing, successfully set the broken leg of his leader, effecting complete recovery. During the absence of Mr. Peary and Astrup on the ice-cap, in April, May and June, Dr. Cook was in charge of Redcliffe House headquarters, on McCormick Bay, where he carried on extensive ethnological researcha mong (sic) the natives. In the following summer Dr. Cook conducted a party of tourists on the schooner yacht Zeta to West Greenland and along the southern points of Melville Bay, and in 1894 was in charge of the Miranda, excursion steamer, which, returning disabled from Sukkertoppen, was abandoned in Davis' Straits, the ship's company and crew being brought to Labrador by the Gloucester fishing schooner Riegel, Capt. Dixon. Since his return in 1894, Dr. Cook had resumed, with much success, the practice of his profession, his last offices being at 687 Bushwick avenue. Dr. Cook's mother and brother, William L. Cook, are also residents of Brooklyn, and another brother resides at Callicoon.

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:
  Brooklyn Standard Union, Brooklyn, NY, April 4, 1899.  
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  Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.,
University of Kansas.
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