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Still it was better to die struggling than to sit down and fold
their hands.

Misfortunes crowded upon them. The current continued the wrong way and
the floe upon which they were drifting carried them toward Baffin Bay.
Sludge ice, the most troublesome of all, abounded, and their poor
rations grew scant. In the latter part of September enough of the floes
came in contact to permit the men to pass over them to solid land, some
twelve miles from Cape Sabine. A reconnoitering party in attempting to
reach that point was turned back by the open water. Another company,
however, got through and brought back important news. The _Proteus_ had
been wrecked and a couple of caches, left by English ships, together
with the stores brought from the wreck of the _Proteus_, were
discovered. As may be supposed, they formed a welcome addition to the
meagre stock of food.


THE LAST EXTREMITY.

It being inevitable that another winter must be passed in the land of
desolation, preparations were made for doing so. The spot selected was
between Cape Sabine and Cocked Hat Island. A hut was erected and the
supplies moved thither. Greely informed the men that he had decided to
reduce the rations so that they would last until the coming March. A
cairn was built at Cape Sabine in which was placed a record of what had
been done by the explorers.

All admitted the necessity of reducing the rations, but it was done to
that extent that the men suffered continually from hunger. They were
glad to eat mouldy potatoes, and, when, occasionally, a fox was shot,
nothing was left but the shining bones. If the preceding period was
horrible it was now more so, for all felt they had every reason for
depression, gloom, and despair. The meagre food made them more
susceptible to cold, and, although Greely strove to awaken an interest
in different educational subjects, the conditions were so woeful that he
accomplished little. It may seem strange, but it was natural that the
men's thoughts should dwell almost continually upon delicacies in the
way of eating. They talked about the choicest viands and smacked their
lips over tempting feasts which, alas! existed only in imagination.

Every man uttered a prayer of thanks when the 21st of December arrived,
for it meant that the appalling polar night was half over, but how
endless the other half seemed to them!

In the following month the feet of Corporal Ellison were so badly frozen
that they sloughed off, as did several of his fingers. Soon afterward
one of the men died. The brave Lockwood felt himself growing so weak
that he privately requested Greely to leave him behind, if he should be
alive, when the homeward start was made. Greely replied that under no
conceivable circumstances would he abandon any one if alive, provided he
himself survived the period of waiting.

An attempt was made in February to reach Littleton Island in the hope of
finding the relief ship or stores, but the open water compelled the men
to turn back. The same cause prevented their getting to the Greenland
shore, which could be seen when the weather was clear.

When the middle of March came all were placed on starvation rations.
None of the canned vegetables, coffee, or chocolate was left. The
straits remained open and shut them off from reaching Greenland, where
they might have found game. The bravest of the party lost heart and sank
into the apathy of despair. They felt themselves simply waiting for
death. Lockwood wrote in his diary: "I am glad that each day comes to an
end. It brings us nearer the end of this life, whatever that end may
be."

The fuel, which had been carefully husbanded, gave out in the latter
part of March. The famishing sufferers gathered their furs more tightly
around them and huddled together to secure the mutual warmth of their
emaciated bodies. The furs and shoes could be gnawed and eaten when the
last extremity arrived. Unexpectedly to all, Sergeant Lynn and one of
the Eskemos died at the beginning of April. When there was a chance to
shoot game the men were too weak to hunt for it.

Lieutenant Lockwood, the hero of the wonderful achievement narrated,
whose high spirits and exalted courage carried him through all manner of
perils, died early on the morning of April 9th, his death being due to
starvation. When the brave fellow had passed away there had not been a
mouthful of food within reach for several days.

Before this, it became evident that some one was stealing from the
scanty store. Investigation disclosed the wretched thief to be a man
named Henry. Greely warned him, for he was imperiling the lives of all.
He stole again, whereupon, by orders of Greely, he was shot. When the
final extremity came there is reason to believe that cannibalism was
indulged in, though not to much extent. There is no certainty, however,
on the matter, and the survivors denied having seen it.


THE RESCUE.

Though it may seem that the Greely party was forgotten at home, yet such
was not the fact. The loss of the _Proteus_ caused the gravest fears for
their safety, and, in the spring of 1884, the navy department fitted out
a new relief expedition, consisting of the _Thetis_, the _Bear_, and the
_Alert_, under Commander Winfield S. Schley, who made such a brilliant
record in our late war with Spain.

Commander Schley sailed from Brooklyn in May, and lost not an hour. He
left St. John's on the 12th, meeting a great deal of ice in Baffin Bay
and Smith Sound, but he fought his way through, and sent a strong party
ashore June 22d to hunt for signs of the missing explorers. The steam
launch of the _Bear_ took the party to Brevoort Island, where Lieutenant
Lockwood's letter was found, giving their location and stating that they
were nearly out of provisions. Since the letter was dated eight months
before, the dismayed commander and his officers believed it hardly
possible that any of the men would be found alive.

The _Bear_ was pushed on, and the launch started out again early the
next morning. Before sunset Greely's camp was discovered. Making all
haste forward, the relief party lifted the flap and breathlessly peered
in.

They saw Greely on his knees, muttering the prayers for the dying over
one of his comrades. He looked up, dazed, bewildered, and unable to read
the full meaning of what met his eyes. Around him, in different
postures, were stretched his comrades, some dead and the others close to
death. Those still living were Greely, Brainard, Biederbeck, Fredericks,
Long, Connell, and Ellison. A few days' later arrival on the part of the
_Bear_, and not one would have been breathing. As it was their lives
were still in great danger, and it was necessary to nurse them with the
utmost care. The remains of all who had died, with the exception of the
Eskemo, were brought back to the United States. During the halt in the
harbor of Disco, to leave the body of the Eskemo, Corporal Ellison, who
had been so badly frozen, died. The relief expedition reached St. John's
on July 17th and New York on the 8th of August.

In 1886 the prize of the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain and
the back premium were awarded to Captain Adolphus W. Greely and Sergeant
David L. Brainard, for having attained the greatest results for the year
in adding to geographical knowledge by examinations or explorations. No
one can deny that this recognition and honor were well won.

The Greely expedition possesses so much interest that we have given
considerable space to the narration. Among the many explorations of the
far North, few or none equal this, not only in heroic daring but in
results accomplished. It may be said that the fate of the Sir John
Franklin party was made clear in 1880, by Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka,
of the United States army, who discovered the skeletons of several of
the unfortunate explorers, together with various relics of the
expedition.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1884.

In the presidential election of 1884 the Democratic candidates were
Grover Cleveland, of New York, and Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indiana. The
Republican were James G. Blaine, of Maine, and General John A. Logan, of
Illinois. The chief issue with the Republicans was the tariff, while the
Democrats put forward that of civil service reform. There was much
bitter discussion, some of the leading Republican papers refusing to
support Blaine because of charges affecting his personal integrity. On
the other hand, Cleveland was attacked with scarcely less bitterness.
The quarrel between the leading parties caused some of the weaker ones
to put forward candidates, with a result as follows: Grover Cleveland
and T.A. Hendricks, 219; James G. Blaine and John A. Logan, 182; John P.
St. John and William Daniel, Prohibition, received 151,809 popular
votes; and Benjamin F. Butler and A.M. West, People's party, 133,825.




CHAPTER XXI.

ADMINISTRATION OF CLEVELAND (FIRST) AND OF HARRISON, 1885-1893.

Grover Cleveland--Completion of the Washington Monument--The Bartholdi
Statue--Death of General Grant--Death of Vice-President Hendricks--The
First Vice-President to Die in Office--George Clinton--Elbridge
Gerry--William R. King--Henry Wilson--Death of General McClellan--Of
General Hancock--His Career--The Dispute Between Capital and
Labor--Arbitration--The Anarchistic Outbreak in Chicago--The Charleston
Earthquake--Conquest of the Apaches--Presidential Election of
1888--Benjamin Harrison--The Johnstown Disaster--Threatened War with
Chili--The Indian Uprising of 1890-91--Admission of New
States--Presidential Election of 1892.


THE TWENTY-SECOND PRESIDENT.

[Illustration: GROVER CLEVELAND.

(1837-.) Two terms, 1885-1889--1893-1897.]

The city of Buffalo, N.Y., has the distinction of being the only one in
the United States which has furnished two presidents of the country.
Millard Fillmore hailed from Buffalo and Grover Cleveland went from that
city to occupy the highest office in the gift of the American people.
His native place, however, was Caldwell, New Jersey, where he was born,
March 18, 1837. He was the son of a clergyman and received a fair
education in the public schools, and became an instructor for a time in
an institution for the blind at Clinton, N.Y.



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