The First Crossing of Spitsbergen

The First Crossing of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, is an account originally published in 1897 of an journey of exploration and survey to the Arctic. The author Sir William Martin Conway describes several mountain ascents, boat expeditions in the ice fjord, voyages to the North -East-Land, the Seven Islands, expeditions to Hinloopen Strait and Wiches Land, and into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and of an almost complete circumnavigation of the main Island. This journey led the men to areas not touches by man before.

Spitsbergen was discovered by the Dutchmen Barendszoon and Heemskerk on the 17th of June 1596. They were at the time sailing northwards to rind a way over the Pole from Holland to China. In 1607 the same coast was revisited and further explored by the English navigator Hudson, sailing with a purpose similar to that of Barendsz ; but Hudson observed the prevalence of whales, walruses, and other valuable animals, and fisheries were immediately established by Englishmen in consequence. During the first quarter of the seventeenth century the Spitsbergen waters became the scene of much international rivalry, the English attempting to annex the land and secure a monopoly of the fisheries, whilst foreign ” interlopers ” of various nationalities successfully resisted their pretensions.

Svalbard is today Norwegian territory and Spitsbergen is the only permanently inhabited island there. Download The First Crossing of Spitsbergen here as a free, Public Domain PDF e-book (371 pages/24 MB):

The First Crossing of Spitsbergen


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