Northward: Peary's 1908-09 Expedition

Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center

Northward: Peary's 1908-09 Expedition


On a scorching hot early July day in 1908 hundreds of people crowded the Recreational Pier in New York City. They had come to see SS Roosevelt and her crew depart for the Arctic in an effort to reach the North Pole. This historic blog lets you follow the expedition's journey from New York City to the North Pole and back, one hundred years later, in a way the 1908 crowds could never have imagined.

Most of the blog entries are taken directly from the personal journals of some of the men on the expedition. In a few instances quotes from the men's published works are included. Many crew members used cameras and some of their photographs appear as well.

Hillary Hooke (Bowdoin class of 2009) has selected the blog entries and photographs. Her participation in this project was made possible by a Gibbons Summer Internship. Robert Denton, Senior Media and Design Consultant, designed and built the blog page.

Robert E. Peary's 1908-09 journal is housed at the National Archives and Records Administration; Donald B. MacMillan's journal is in the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College; and Ross Marvin's journal is housed at the Chemung Valley History Museum. George Wardwell's journal remains with his family. I want to thank the repositories and the Wardwell family for granting access to and permission to quote from these journals. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are from the collection of The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, Bowdoin College.

The Northward blog is part of the Arctic Museum's celebration of the accomplishments of the many people who participated in and supported Robert E. Peary's 1908-09 North Pole expedition.

Susan A. Kaplan