The Polar Regions from Aquila Books
The physician on Kane's exploration was Dr. Isaac Hayes, and he was so intrigued by the idea of a polar sea that he led his own expedition to the north in 1860-61. Like Kane before him, Hayes got stuck in the ice, but once again observed some open waters to the north. He returned even more convinced of his completely incorrect belief in the existence of an open polar sea. However, on finally reaching contact with civilization in Greenland after a year away, Hayes discovered that his homeland had broken out in civil war. He returned to the states to serve as a surgeon in an army hospital. In 1867 Hayes published the account of his journey, The Open Polar Sea: A Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery Towards the North Pole, in the Schooner "United States". Item 54. $175.
Here is a remarkable story, and a book whose lack of popularity confirmed how remarkable it was. It is Matthew Henson's biography from 1912, A Negro Explorer at the North Pole. Henson accompanied Robert Peary on what is generally believed to be the first successful expedition to the North Pole. Henson was probably the most able among the crew. When Peary made his final push to the Pole, he selected only Henson and a couple of Eskimos to make the last lap. Peary came back a hero, Henson ignored. His book sold poorly. The nation was not ready to acknowledge such feats from a black man. To his credit, Peary readily acknowledged Henson's exploits and wrote the forward to this book. Booker T. Washington provided the introduction. Item 56. $1,500.
Here is a seemingly harmless title with an ominous provenance. The book is The Antarctic Pilot. Comprising the Coasts of Antarctica... Published in 1939 by the British Hydrographer of the Navy, it charts the seas of the southern continent. However, the apparent provenance is not so harmless. It bears the orange label and swastikas of the German War Ministry. Evidently no place on earth was safe from the prying eyes of the Nazis. Item 47. $950.
Aquila Books may be found online at www.aquilabooks.com, contacted by phone at 403-282-5832, or reached by dogsled in Calgary.