The Cruise of the Corwin
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121 pages
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“John Muir was certainly as concerned for the potential loss of marvelous arctic cultures as he was for our continent’s vanishing wilderness. In this sense, THE CRUISE OF THE CORWIN truly deserves our attention, especially in light of all that is happening in the Arctic today.” –Richard Fleck


John Muir agreed in 1881 to sail aboard the Corwin, whose fruitless mission it was to search for the missing scientific research vessel USS Jeannette, which itself became icebound while exploring the distant and mysterious Wrangell Land in the higher latitudes of the Arctic. This cruise would afford Muir the opportunity to examine evidence of glaciation along the arctic coastlines of Siberia and Alaska and the harmonious lifestyle of Inuits and Chukchis, which was in the midst of disruption from the intrusions of the South.


Here he describes a polar sunset at midnight: “At midnight the sun is still above the horizon two diameters; purple to west and east, gradually fading to dark slate color in the south with a few banks of cloud. A bar of gold in the path of the sun lay on the water and across the pack, the large blocks [of ice] in the line burning like huge coals of fire.”
I. Unalaska and the Aleuts
II. Among the Islands of Bering Sea
III. Siberian Adventures
IV. In Peril from the Pack
V. A Chukchi Orator
VI. Eskimos and Walrus
VII. At Plover Bay and St. Michael
VIII. Return of the Search Party
IX. Villages of the Dead
X. Glimpses of Alaskan Tundra
XI. Caribou and a Native Fair
XII. Zigzags among the Polar Pack
XIII. First Ascent of Herald Island
XIV. Approaching a Mysterious Land
XV. The Land of the White Bear
XVI Tragedies of the Whaling Fleet
XVII. Meeting the Point Barrow Expedition
XVIII. A siberian Reindeer Herd
XIX Turned Back by Storms and Ice
XX. Homeward-Bound
APPENDIX
I. The Glaciation of the Arctic and Subarctic Regions visited during the Cruise
II. Botannical Notes

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Publié par
Date de parution 15 septembre 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781941821367
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0850€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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THE Cruise of the Corwin



C APE S ERDZEKAMEN , S IBERIA
T HE L ITERARY N ATURALIST S ERIES
THE Cruise of the Corwin
Journal of the Arctic Expedition of 1881 in search of De Long and the Jeannette
J OHN M UIR
Foreword by
R ICHARD F. F LECK
O THER T ITLES IN THE S ERIES
The Maine Woods Alaska Days with John Muir
Foreword 2014 by Richard F. Fleck
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher.
The Cruise of the Corwin was first published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1917.
Front cover photos, top: From a photogravure of a painting by G. F. Denny, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin; bottom: John Burroughs and John Muir, probably in Alaska, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Muir, John, 1838-1914.
The cruise of the Corwin : journal of the Arctic expedition of 1881 in search of De Long and the Jeannette / John Muir ; foreword by Richard Francis Fleck.
pages cm
The Cruise of the Corwin was first published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1917 -Title page verso.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-1-941821-11-4 (pbk.)
ISBN 978-1-941821-48-0 (hardbound)
ISBN 978-1-941821-36-7 (e-book)
1. Arctic regions-Discovery and exploration. 2. Corwin (Ship) I. Title.
G625.M85 2014
979.8 03-dc23
2014017815
Designed by Vicki Knapton
WestWinds Press
An imprint of
P.O. Box 56118 Portland, OR 97238-6118 (503)254-5591 www.graphicartsbooks.com
C ONTENTS
F OREWORD BY R ICHARD F. F LECK
I NTRODUCTION

I.
U NALASKA AND THE A LEUTS
II.
A MONG THE I SLANDS OF B ERING S EA
III.
S IBERIAN A DVENTURES
IV.
I N P ERIL FROM THE P ACK
V.
A C HUKCHI O RATOR
VI.
E SKIMOS AND W ALRUS
VII.
A T P LOVER B AY AND S T . M ICHAEL
VIII.
R ETURN OF THE S EARCH P ARTY
IX.
V ILLAGES OF THE D EAD
X.
G LIMPSES OF A LASKAN T UNDRA
XI.
C ARIBOU AND A N ATIVE F AIR
XII.
Z IGZAGS AMONG THE P OLAR P ACK
XIII.
F IRST A SCENT OF H ERALD I SLAND
XIV.
A PPROACHING A M YSTERIOUS L AND
XV.
T HE L AND OF THE W HITE B EAR
XVI.
T RAGEDIES OF THE W HALING F LEET
XVII.
M EETING THE P OINT B ARROW E XPEDITION
XVIII.
A S IBERIAN R EINDEER H ERD
XIX.
T URNED B ACK BY S TORMS AND I CE
XX.
H OMEWARD -B OUND
APPENDIX
I.
T HE G LACIATION OF THE A RCTIC AND S UBARCTIC R EGIONS VISITED DURING THE C RUISE
II.
B OTANICAL N OTES
I LLUSTRATIONS
C APE S ERDZEKAMEN , S IBERIA
From a photograph
I LIULIUK , U NALASKA
From a photograph by E. S. Curtis
A LEUT B AR BARA AT I LIULIUK , U NALASKA
From a photograph by E. S. Curtis
C LIFFS AT S T . M ATTHEW I SLAND
From a photograph
C HUKCHI V ILLAGE AT P LOVER B AY , S IBERIA
From a photograph by E. S. Curtis
W EST D IOMEDE V ILLAGE
S IBERIAN V ILLAGE ON A S AND -S PIT
From a photograph
C HUKCHIS AND A S UMMER H OUSE AT P LOVER B AY
From a photograph by E. W. Nelson
C HUKCHIS A T I NDIAN P OINT , S IBERIA (C APE C HAPLIN )
From a photograph by E. W. Nelson
A RCTIC T UNDRA
From a photograph by E. S. Curtis
H ERALD I SLAND
F IRST L ANDING ON W RANGELL L AND
T HE A MERICAN F LAG ON W RANGELL L AND, NEAR E AST C APE
M AP OF W RANGELL L AND, AS SURVEYED BY THE O FFICERS OF THE U.S.S. R ODGERS , L IEUT . R. M. B ERRY C OMMANDING , S EPTEMBER , 1881 From the Report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1881
E SKIMO V ILLAGE OF K OKMULIT , P OINT B ARROW
A C HUKCHI S UMMER H OUSE AT P LOVER B AY
From a photograph by E. S. Curtis
O NE OF THE M OUTHS OF THE F AIRWEATHER I CE -S HEET IN G LACIER B AY
K ING I SLAND
G RANITE R OCKS ON THE S OUTH S IDE OF S T . L AWRENCE I SLAND, SHOWING E FFECTS OF O VERSWEEPING A CTION OF I CE -S HEET
V OLCANIC C ONES ON S AINT L AWRENCE I SLAND
B ED OF S MALL R ESIDUAL G LACIER ON S AINT L AWRENCE I SLAND
H ERALD I SLAND
W EST D IOMEDE I SLAND ( FROM THE N ORTH )
E AST C APE ( FROM THE S OUTH )
O VERSWEPT G LACIAL V ALLEYS AND R IDGES ON S AINT L AWRENCE I SLAND
B ED OF L OCAL G LACIER , S AINT L AWRENCE I SLAND
N EAR THE S OUTHWEST E XTREMITY OF S AINT L AWRENCE I SLAND I LLUSTRATING E FFECTS OF I CE -S HEET
O VERSWEPT M OUNTAINS, WITH P ARALLEL V ALLEYS AND R IDGES FROM T WENTY M ILES NORTHWEST OF E AST C APE
Except as otherwise indicated the illustrations are from sketches by Mr. Muir, the last twelve being reproduced from the cuts in Captain Hooper s official Report of the expedition.
The title-page cut is from Mr. Muir s drawing of Erigeron Muirii , a plant discovered by him near Cape Thompson in northwestern Alaska and named for him by the botanist Asa Gray. This cut appeared in Captain Hooper s Report.
F OREWORD
J OHN MUIR is not generally known for his writings on native cultures of the Arctic regions of Alaska and Siberia; yet his astute observations recorded in The Cruise of the Corwin (published posthumously in 1917) are assuredly worth examining in light of the relationship of these people to their rugged and sublimely awesome environment before and after contact with civilization. Of all Muir s biographers and literary critics, only has Herbert F. Smith made significant commentary on Muir s observations of Inuit (Yup ik) and Chukchi cultures. However, Smith, in his book John Muir (1965), asserts that Muir s commentary on Yup ik and Chukchi cultures is merely superficial:
A return to the old situation no longer being possible, Muir urges that the government complete the process of civilization for the Eskimos, taking them out of the balance of nature in their environment entirely. Nobody who has read any of Muir s other books could possibly believe that this solution seems ideal to him; but, the degradation of our Eskimos having become an accomplished fact, he can see no other course of action possible.
But, because Muir s commentary, like that of a more recent Scottish writer Duncan Pryde (in his book Nunaga , 1971), suggests that Arctic solutions to Arctic problems can and must be found, his views cannot be categorized as being merely superficial. As Smith deftly points out, Muir fully sympathized with the wilderness way of life, which was and is gravely threatened by forces of civilization. However, rather than completing the process of civilizing all Arctic cultures, Muir, I believe, strongly advocated a maintenance of Arctic cultures through northern and not southern resources.
John Muir agreed in 1881 to sail aboard the Corwin , whose fruitless mission it was to search for the missing scientific research vessel Jeanette, which itself became icebound while exploring the distant and mysterious Wrangell Land in the higher latitudes of the Arctic. As William Frederic Bade points out in his introduction, this cruise would afford Muir the opportunity to examine evidence of glaciation along the Arctic coastlines of Siberia and Alaska. While much attention is paid to such evidence (see Muir s detailed and artistic sketches that Bade incorporated throughout the book), an important element in the book concerns harmonious lifestyle of Inuits and Chukchis, which was in the midst of disruption from the intrusions of the civilized South. Unfortunately a great number of tribal peoples adopted the ways of the white man in mad pursuit of monetary profit by nearly killing off fur-bearing mammals of the North.
On the way north, Muir first encounters Aleut (Unanga x) people who are far more civilized and Christianized than any other tribe of Alaska Indians. While they are successful at hunting and fishing, They are fading away like other Indians. The deaths exceed the births in nearly every one of their villages, and it is only a question of time when they will vanish from the face of the earth. It must be pointed out that to note Unanga x are vanishing is not quite the same thing as to advocate the process. The main problem with the Unanga x from Muir s perspective was alcoholism:
As the Tlingit Indians of the Alexander Archipelago make their own whiskey, so these Unanga x make their own beer, an intoxicating drink, which, if possible, is more abominable and destructive than hootchenoo. It is called kvass, and was introduced by the Russians, though the Aleut kvass is only a course imitation of the Russian article, as the Indian hootchenoo is of whiskey.
One poor chap, mentions Muir, would gladly give up his hard-earned savings of $800 from fishing and hunting to by five bottles of whiskey. Hunters and traders desired to create in the natives a dependency on them rather than on nature.
As the Corwin sailed north, Muir met his first Yup ik natives at the northwest end of Saint Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. One of the most striking characteristics of these people was their innate happiness despite their harsh and stormy environment: It was blowing and snowing at the time, and the poor storm-beaten row of huts seemed inexpressedly dreary through the [snow] drifts. Never the less, out of them came a crowd of jolly, well-fed people, dragging their skin canoes over the rim of extended ice.
They paddled out to the Corwin to trade furs and skins

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