1902 Encyclopedia > Geography > Arctic and Antarctic Work. Sir James Clark Ross.

(Part 48)

Arctic and Antarctic Work. Sir James Clark Ross.

But the great geographical work of the present century must be the extension of discovery in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Progress has been made in both directions, and in both much remains to be done. It is this polar work which calls forth the highest qualities of an explorer; it is here that the greatest difficulties must be overcome; and it is here that the most valuable scientific results are to be obtained.

Between the years 1830 and 1843 much was done in the Antarctic regions. In 1830-32 Mr John Biscoe, R.N., made a voyage in a brig belonging to Messrs Enderby, and discovered "Enderby Land" and "Graham Land" in 67º S.; and from 1837 to 1840 Dumont d’Urville discovered "La Terre Adèle" and "Coté Clarie," going as far south as 66º 30´ . Auckland Island was discovered by Bristow in 1806. In 1839 Balleny, in another vessel belonging to Messrs Enderby, discovered the Balleny Islands in 66º 44´ S., and Sabrina Island in 65º 10´ S.

The Antarctic expedition of Sir James Ross sailed from England in 1839. In 1840 Sir James explored Kerguelen Island, and wintered at Hobart Town. He then visited the Auckland Islands, and, crossing the Antarctic Circle, reached the great icy barrier, and discovered Victoria Land, with its lofty volcanoes, in January 1841. He gained the latitude of 78º 4´ S. in 187º E., and established the continuity of the southern continent from 70º to 79º S. In 1841 Ross again wintered at Van Diemen’s Land, and in January 1842 crossed the Antarctic circle in 156º 28´ W. He was once more stopped by the great icy barrier in 78º 10´ S., after having penetrated through ice floes or more than 1000 miles in width. Extraordinary dangers were encountered in the ice, many valuable observations were taken, and in 1842 the expedition wintered at the Falkland Islands. In the following season another exploring voyage was made beyond the Antarctic Circle, and in September 1843 this most important expedition returned to England.

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