Kane Elisha Kent 

American arctic traveler. 
Born in Philadelphia. During his short 37-year life, he spent at least 20 years traveling in various regions of the earth. After graduating from gymnasium courses at the universities of Virginia and Pennsylvania in 1843, he passed the exam for the doctor of medicine and received the post of surgeon at the American Embassy in China. With endurance and patience, he walked around and explored the Philippine Islands, traveling around Indonesia. His companion Prussian Baron Loe fell ill and died on Fr. Java, and Kane returned unscathed with a large number of scientific observations. He first reached the Tal volcano, climbed it and descended into the crater on a rope. He was dragged out of it in an insensate condition, but he brought with him everything that he had collected, and even a bottle with an air sample. This feat made him famous. 
Traveler led Kane to the fleet. In 1843–1846 as a ship's doctor, he made scientific trips to India, Egypt, to Ceylon, he walked around the west coast of Africa, where the fever almost sent him to the next world. 
Then Kane took part in the war with Mexico, where he was wounded. Neither hostilities nor wounding prevented him from exploring the country.Among his achievements, the first accurate measurement of the height of the Popocatepetl volcano. After making peace, he again worked in Mexico as a marine engineer. It was at this time that an event occurred that turned his face to the North and determined his entire subsequent life: he was offered as a ship doctor to participate in the expedition of Lieutenant E. De Haven, equipped with the money of the American millionaire G. Grinnell and aimed at finding the missing expedition J. Franklin. 
The expedition of De Haven on the brigs "Advance" and "Rescue" lasted for 1850-1852. Ships from the Baffin Sea passed into the Lancaster Strait, discovered the land, calling it the Grinnell Land (later it turned out to be part of Devon Island) , and passed into the Wellington Strait, where they were captured in ice.Together with E. Ommanney from the G. Austin expedition, the first traces of the Franklin expedition were found. After a ten-month ice drift went into the Davis Strait. 
Shortly after returning, in December 1852, Kane received a complimentary offer from the minister of the sea to head the next expedition to the Arctic for the same purpose.The company has met with warm sympathy among the general public. Grinnell again provided “Success”, allocated a significant amount to J. Peabody, and the Geographical Society in New York, the Smithsonian Institution and other scientific societies and individuals made serious donations. Means was enough for long searches. 
In the middle and second half of the XIX century, the view was dominated by the German geographer A. Peterman about the existence of an ice-free sea in the polar region.Kane also adhered to this opinion and believed that Franklin, whose task was to search for the Northwest Passage, headed north. This position of Kane seems strange, since by this time traces of Franklin had already been found near Beachy Island. He decided to climb aboard the Baffin Sea as far north as possible, and then on a sleigh or in boats to penetrate further to the pole, looking for traces of Franklin on the banks. 
The expedition consisted of 19 people, 10 of them were experienced sailors. The expedition was equipped with everything necessary, but without luxury. Kane put forward three strict requirements to the participants: to obey the boss or the one who will replace him; 
without special orders not to use strong drinks and, finally, refrain from idle talk.


Melville Bay.


They left New York on May 30, 1853, after 18 days arrived in Newfoundland, after 4 days moved to the shores of Greenland and reached the Baffin Sea without incident.Further, maneuvering against the strong wind, by July 27 we reached Melville Bay. 
By the end of August, overcoming the floating ice, under sail or with the help of twine, waiting for storms and headwinds in the bays, reached Rensselaer Bay at 78° 41′ N. No matter how hard these people were, the hard continuous work and the sudden onset of winter had a depressing effect on the officers and sailors. Kane convened a meeting in which all the crew members, with the exception of one, spoke out against continuing the voyage. They offered to go south and look for a place to winter there.The boss could not agree with that. He explained to everyone how important it is for future search expeditions to choose a place as far as possible to the north. On a boat and sleigh, Kane and a group of volunteers made a reconnaissance route to the north, as a result of which he was convinced that Rensselaer Bay would be the best place for wintering. 
At the end of September, they made a monthly trip to the north and laid down three food depots for spring search routes. Wintering was hard, however, polar explorers conducted a fairly wide range of scientific studies, which included magnetometric and astronomical observations, tracking tides and ebbs, measuring air and water temperatures, and studying the state of ice. Kane admits that "to produce them properly, there was no possibility during those terrible frosts that stood at that time. The observatory is a real ice house. The walls are not covered with snow ... because there was almost none of it this year. There was not enough fire, buff and canvas cloak to raise the temperature near the magnetometer to 0°, and on the surface where the observer was standing, it dropped to minus 50°. From frost, some tools became useless due to the uneven expansion of steel and copper”.  
Kane attached great importance to leisure activities, trying with all his might to diversify him: they released the newspaper “Ice Sparkles”, went on a hunt, and organized various games. "Among the darkness and forced inaction it was difficult to find any mental exercise that could maintain the fortitude necessary to prevent disease ... This long night, during which we were embraced by the darkness, in the full sense of the word impenetrable, had a disastrous effect on everything and all Even our dogs, the permanent inhabitants of these cold countries, did not escape its fatal influence; most of them were numb from a strange disease, the cause of which, apart from the extraordinary cold, was obviously a lack of light”. Almost all members of the expedition suffered from scurvy. "When I look at the pale, emaciated faces of the sick, I feel that this struggle costs us many years of life, and I am convinced by the terrible experience that a day in the polar countries make a person older than whole years in some other country of the world".


September midnight


Since January, with the advent of light, they began to prepare for spring trips. The first trial, consisting of 8 people, was carried out in the second half of March and almost ended in tragedy. 5 people were completely exhausted and were left in a tent. Fortunately, the rescue party with great difficulty managed to find them. After that, the whole squad got sick. Both the rescuers and the rescued lay sick and exhausted by the cold. One of them, Backer, passed away. 
In late April, two groups of 5 people made a first toboggan trip along the coast to the Humboldt glacier, which they visited last fall. The trip was very hard. All suffered from snow blindness, scurvy, overstrain. Returned on May 14th. Kane on the way completely exhausted, fainted, got frostbite on his legs, signs of numbness appeared. For a week after his return, he was between life and death. Another participant died - Kok Schubert.


Kane Observatory


In the midst of the polar night and frost, Kane began to lean toward the idea that Franklin and his companions were dead. However, when the sun grew warm and the sun appeared, he again believed in the possibility of their salvation. “I hardly believe that out of 138 people elected by the Franklin crew, between whom there were whalers and young people, hardened under such an active bosses, no one would live. At least one detachment may have found a place for himself or with the help of the Eskimos .... to hold out for three or four years”. 
During the summer, made two more hike. Only by the seashore the search teams traveled 960 English miles, not finding the slightest trace of the Franklin expedition and receiving no news of their fate. The whole way they made, on foot or by dog, was more than 2,000 English miles. The coast of Greenland was surveyed to latitude 82° 27′N. Polar explorers found that the Smith Strait widens in the north, forming a vast basin, under 80 ° 10 ′ N. discovered in it a channel extending to the northeast. 
Autumn was approaching, and the ice around the ship was not about to break. The prospect of a new wintering became real. Kane tried to get to Beachy Island, where the English expedition of E. Belcher was based, but he had to return, having encountered impassable ice. 
Fermentation began among the expedition members, many considered it necessary to leave the ship, but Kane objected. "... It was possible to leave the ship, but I considered it to be dishonorable ...". At the same time, he understood that only a strong spirit, a welded team could withstand the second wintering. "Disobedience, gloom and cowardice would be disastrous." He gathered all the participants, told them the state of affairs and the reasons for which he considered it necessary to stay. He did not interfere with the desire to go south, and each made his choice. Of the 17 people, 8 agreed to stay. The rest were given all the food they owed, and they left on 28 August. One came back two days later. 
The departure of comrades, of course, reflected in the morale of those who remained. If during the first wintering the main topic of conversation was the fate of the expedition of Franklin, now everyone was more concerned about their own fate. Having discussed the situation, they decided that the order adopted earlier should not change. The distribution of official duties, religious ceremonies, the regime of the day, watch, scientific observations were to enter the same rut. Engaged in the procurement of fuel and food, the device warm housing like an Eskimo. The Eskimos, with whom good relations were established, rendered significant assistance, as in the past year. 
The worst period came in November. The firewood was decreasing quickly, there was no place to get them. Four people fell ill with scurvy, all were emaciated, weakened in spirit. In early December, the Eskimos brought two people from the departed party. It turned out that the others were 200 miles from the ship, quarreled, lost heart, had no means of livelihood. Kane began to organize a rescue squad, but after a few days they came themselves and were gladly received by their comrades. 
For heating and cooking had to cut down the ship's superstructure. By the end of winter, after the fire, it became clear that the ship could not be saved. 
In the winter, Kane made a last attempt at finding Franklin. In May, preparations began for a campaign to the south. Sleighs and three bots were repaired and reinforced. 
We set off on May 17, 1855. Check out solemnly furnished. The whole crew gathered in a cleared cabin, read a prayer and a chapter from the Bible. Kane pulled a Franklin portrait out of the frame and wrapped it in a waterproof bag. He turned to his comrades, spoke about the upcoming difficulties and expressed confidence that everything would be overcome with the necessary energy and unquestioning obedience to the boss. And he added: "... honor and religion require the duty of all to forget themselves and use all their strength to help the sick and wounded". All signed a document, which noted the complete fairness of the requirements and intentions of the chief. On the ship, Kane left a document outlining the reasons for leaving the ship: “... I consider leaving the ship inevitable. We only have food left for 36 days, and I was convinced through experience that we could no longer use the wood of a ship for fuel ... Under the most favorable circumstances, our continued stay would be disastrous for us ... I can say to myself and my companions that we did everything in human power. The attempt to go to the sleigh through ice to the south seems to me as a duty and the only means to save life and some scientific information gathered by our expedition with great difficulty ... ”. 
It was a journey of 1300 miles in ice and water to the nearest points visited by Europeans. During the month, drags were mounted on sleds along the ice. They lost one of their comrades, the mighty Olsen, who, thanks to his strength, saved the heavily laden sledge, which began to fall through the ice. He burst out and died three days later in torment. Fortunately, the Eskimos often helped them move and provide food. "We never had such faithful people like them." 
On June 19, they reached the edge of the ice and, with three bots, “Nadezhda”, “Red Erik” and “Vera” set sail. “The move was very bad, the waves strongly hit our ships, and after a while the Red Erik was flooded with a wave. The three people who were on it were saved by other bots, but it was impossible to unload the luggage, and we could hardly prevent the ship from sinking and took it in tow. ” Often went out on the ice and pulled the bots. They moved, overcoming the ice, risking their lives during the hardest storms, sometimes waiting for several days on the shore. July 21 reached Cape York. In Melville Bay, we fell into heavy ice, moving on a sleigh again. Often the situation became critical due to the lack of food and fuel. In early August, they reached the clean water, in mid-August, they met a Danish whaling ship under the command of Karley Mossin. "Here, for the first time, we received the concept, however, very vague about what was divided in the world of God during our absence." “Mossin seemed to us to be an oracle, and we caught his words with intense attention: Sevastopol has not yet been taken. - What do we have to do with Sevastopol! Well, Sir John Franklin? This is much closer to us ...". And they learned that the traces of the dead people of Franklin were found 1000 miles south of them than they were looking for them. 
Further, the oars went to Upernivik, and from there on September 6 on the ship “Marianna” in Godhavn. Bot "Faith", the only thing that survived from "Advance", as "something sacred" was floating with them. On September 11, they arrived at Godhavn, where they waited for the ships of Captain Garsten, by a decision of Congress sent in search of them. The rescuers, who included Kane's brother, reached the Bay of Melville, where they learned from the Eskimos that those whom they were looking for had already gone home. 
In October, the long-suffering Kane expedition arrived in New York. 
Further plans for Kane were not implemented due to premature death. The once powerful organism was broken by severe arctic tests. Hoping to improve his health, he moved to Cuba, but his days were numbered. Kane lived as long as it took to complete the processing of materials and a description of his last journey.


By Laurel Hill Cemetery


He died in Havana. He was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. 
An island in the north of the archipelago Franz Josef Land. Opened and named by Y. Paier in 1874.


Strait of Sternek. In the center Brosh Island, right  Greeley Island, left far away  Kane Island. Shooting from  Kuna Island

(photo by S. Tikhonov)

Cape on the northwest coast of Greenland. 
Basin (extended part of the straits system between Greenland and Ellesmere). Discovered and explored by Kane in 1854.


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