Northward: Peary’s 1908-09 Expedition

Flag at half mast today


Six below this morning went to seven above at Eleven oclock, and nine below again at four P.M. Two Eskimos came in last night from the Com. Marvin was coming with them and when four days from land he started ahead. While the Eskimos were packing the sledges after breakfast and when they got to the big lead they found he had started to cross and had broken through the young ice a hundred feet or more from the old and was dead. When they got to there they couldn't get out there to get his body they saw the back of his Coolatah above water and made camp there but next morning he had disappeared. I think they expected his clothes would freeze to the ice so they could get his body they staid there two days before they dared to cross. It was a long ways across and the ice was only from 1 ½ to 2 miles think all the ways. They left his things there as is customary with the Eskimos. Brought in letters and note books.
    As near as we can find out from the Eskimos Marvin was drowned the 10th of Apr. he left the Com. Mar. the 25th and they were then in Lat. 86.38. We have the Flag at half mast today. I have been on the water twenty nine years and that is the first man that was ever lost from a crew of any vessel I was a member of. It gave us all a great shock. All that have come in say that the Eskimos have warned them not to go on the young ice alone without trying it and these say they warned Marvin, but I suppose he did try it close to the heavy ice where it would be sure to be thick, and then went along thinking of something else, probably planning the other work that he had to start on as soon as he reached the ship. There is a light So. East wind tonight and the Bar. is 30.03.         

Pictured above:
Marvin and his dog team, ca. 1908-09, Glass Lantern Slide, ID: 3000.32.1108

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