"One hundred years ago one of the worst injustices in Arctic exploration began unfolding on the northwest coast of Greenland...(Cook) had made an incredible journey across Elsemere to Axel Heiberg Island and then through Jones Sound...(it) has no parallel in polar annals...a masterpiece of Arctic survival."
Pierre Berton Award recipient and medalist of the University of British Columbia for history. Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and author of the
"Arctic Discovery Quartet."
Cook remains as one of the most
perceptive as well as the most
vilified of polar explorers...Cook had
made a discovery that no amount of
humiliation could take from him and
one that only the most fortunate and
observant of arctic explorers ever
"The Last Imaginary Place:
A Human History of the Arctic
Oxford University Press, 2005
McGhee is curator of Arctic Archeology
at the Canadian Museum of Civilization
and Massey Medalist of the Royal
Canadian Geographical Society
some insist that history must be served, let
them remember that the more we come to
understand the physical geography of the
Arctic Ocean, the more we recognize the
phenomena described by Cook but unknown at the
time of his journey."
Walter A. Wood, President of the American
Geographical Society (1963)
is no ground to question the validity of Dr.
Cook's assertion that he reached the North
Polar historian of the Russian Academy of
Was Frederick A. Cook?
American Polar explorer, Dr. Cook spent two
decades in expeditions to both Polar regions and
subarctic Alaska between 1891 and 1909. Many
authorities acknowledge him as the discoverer of the
geographical North Pole in 1908. He was the
first American to spend forced winters in both the
Antarctic and the Arctic and is credited with saving
the "Belgica" expedition to the South Polar
regions in 1897-99.
his first reported ascent of Alaska's Mt. McKinley
(which he was the first to circumnavigate in 1903) was
accepted until a bitter controversy arose in late 1908
about Cook's claim to having reached the North Pole on
April 21, 1908. Cook was knighted by the King of the
Belgians, honored by geographical societies and
authored five books about his experiences.
a Presidential pardon for a federal conviction in 1923
involving Texas oil properties, which resulted in
immense wealth for those who purchased them as
sheriff's sale while Cook was in prison. Cook was born
in Hortonville, NY in 1865 and died in New Rochelle,
NY in 1940. State historical markers are at his
birthplace and near his remains in Forest Lawn,