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The Rhode Island Press

SATURDAY MORNING, JAN. 10, 1863

HOME DEPARTMENT

Lecture on "Life among the Esquimaux."

  The novelty of a lecture upon the Arctic regions rendered illustrious by the heroism and sufferings of Franklin and Kase, drew out an immense audience to listen to the interesting narrative of Mr. C. F. Hall, another adventurous and hopeful explorer, who having left the States on the 29th of May, 1860, with the intention of visiting King William's land, was compelled by the force of circumstances to spend upward of two years in that portion of the Esquimaux country lying in the vicinity of Frobish r's Bay. This protracted residence enabled him to become thoroughly acquainted with the habits and customs of the natives of the remote latitudes, their history and traditions, their mental characteristics and capacities of civilization, to collect many interesting specimens of their hunting and fishing implements, and to make extensive collections tending to illustrate the Geology, Botany, and Zoology of this portion of North America, as well as by actual surveys to correct the commonly received geography of the country in many important particulars.
  Numerous relics of the Frobisher expeditions of 1575-6 were discovered by Mr. Hall in his travels; such as large quantities of sea-coal, the ruins of a stone house, and other monuments of the early explorers, portions of which were exhibited in the lecture.
  The Esquimaux are remarkable for the extent and accuracy of their geogrgphical knowledge, many of them being able to chart out with ease and correctness the principal points, headlands, capes and islands of their native country, embracing more than two thousand miles of sea coast. Even the women are very proficient in this branch, being competent in many instances to pilot a vessel to any point on that extensive coast.
  Although the Esquimaux tribes are greatly conceived to possess but a low order of intelligence, the lecturer after a long residence among them had reached the conclusion that in aptness to acquire and retain many species of valuable knowledge, in the ingenuity with which they constructed their hunting and fishing implements, and the artful expedients to which they resorted in capturing game, they were far in advance of the white man.
  The lecturer had repeatedly known the man by his side to remain three successive days and nights at a seal-hole, the thermometer at 55[[degree symbol]]below zero, with out exercise or scarcely motion, siting watchfully upon his snow chair, patiently awaiting the coveted opportunity to pierce with his unerring spear the luckless seal the moment he came to the surface to blow. This man was also a famous bear hunter, having killed four during the last winter. He was twenty-five years of age. His grand-parents still live, being unusual instances of longevity.
  The dog which was exhibited was very foxy, both in appearance and character. His cunning nature as well as great courage in attacking the reindeer having been proven in many instances. In answer to questions by the audience Mr. Hall exhibited and described many implements of the Natives such as their bow and arrow, bird spears, walrus, and seal spears and fishing apparatus. They have no chiefs, no forms of government and no laws other than those which pertain to the family relation; yet they are a peaceful and contented people, dealing justly [[unable to read due to fold in page]] with each other, worshipping no idols, but bowing in simple faith to their great unknown. They believe in a future state of rewards and punishments, the good anticipating a heaven where reindeers are found in great abundance, and the bad dreading eternal starvation in regions of never-melting ice and snow.
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The Esquimaux possess many noble traits of character, and the fundamental ideas of humanity and justice are well understood and practised. The successful hunter always divides his spoil among his people, however pressing may be his own wants. They are naturally active and industrious, and with the advantages of education which might easily be introduced among them would undoubtedly attain a high degree of civilization. We wish that arrangements might have been made to have this lecture repeated to the school children, for they certainly would have derived a better idea of the country and the people from an hour's entertainment in this way than from weeks of weary thumbings of their geography and history.
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CAPT C.F. HALL'S ARCTIC EXPEDITION.- Previously to the interesting collection of the relics of what Capt. Hall claims to be those of the celebrated Capt. Frobisher, being forwarded to the British Government through the London Geographical Society, the representatives of the Press were courteously invited by Captain Hall to take, as it were, a farewell glance of those souvenirs of American as well as of British enterprise and endurance in the cause of science. We found those articles full of interest and meaning in connection with the history of the daring British hero. Capt. Hall's theory is that the articles which he has so carefully collected and systematically arranged, are the physical evidences of Frobisher's expedition to those little known regions. Pieces of brick, tiles, the remains of stone and mortar buildings, coal, wood, pottery,-articles so abundantly used in England-fully justify the Captain's idea. Hakluyt in his description of Frobisher's voyage, especially refers to those articles a[[page is torn]] forming a portion of what Frobisher carried with him in his expedition. They are to be seen at the mansion of Henry Grinnell, Esq., 17 Bond street. We need hardly add that Mr. Grinnell was one of the leading promoters of Captain Hall's expedition to the Arctic regions two years ago in search of traces that might exist in Davis' Straits of Sir John Franklin and his ill starred exploration.
^[[n.y. Express.
Dec. 23 - 1862.]]
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The Daily Couran
Hartford
Wednesday Morning, Jan 14, 1863.
"Life Among The Esquimaux." -Mr. C.F. Hall, the Arctic explorer, will deliver his interesting lecture at Tonro Hall this evening. In addition to the lecture, will be exhibited the Esquimaux family, dressed in their native costume, and important relics of the Frobisher Expedition of nearly three hundred years ago. We advise every one to be present, as they will be well rewarded for their attendance. All of the avails of Mr. Hall's lecture are devoted to the proposed new explorations he desires to undertake next summer.
We can say nothing better of Mr. Hall and his lecture than is given in the following testimonial from Prof. B. Silliman, Jr., of New Haven:
"Mr. Hall possesses much knowledge not found in books- the fruits of his own experience- and the discoveries he has made in the polar regions are regarded by geographers as of decided importance.- Indeed he did not himself realize their importance until since his return, after more than two years exile their. No civilized man has heretofore been enabled to identify himself so completely with the Esquimaux as Mr. Hall. Speaking their language and adopting their modes of life and voyaging, he is enabled to reach with safety, and even comfort, regions hitherto deemed inaccessible. Old Martin Frobisher has become [[italics]] redivivius [[/italics]] under the very unexpected revelation made by Mr. Hall. The native family who accompany Mr. Hall are alone worth the notice of all who feel an interest in the history and variety of the human family."
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ARCTIC EXPLORATIONS-NEW PROJECTS OF ENTERPRISE-Of all those who have contributed to the progress of civilization we know none who are more entitled to the respect and gratitude of mankind than that class of hardy explorers who have braved everything- even death itself- in the desire to enlarge the bounds of geographical knowledge. In the long list of illustrious men who have devoted themselves to the perilous enterprises of this kind our own countrymen occupy no undistinguished positions. The lamented Kane contributed largely to the stock of scientific facts which former Arctic explorers had placed as in possession of; and recently Mr. C.F. Hall, improving on the experience of his predecessors, has, with simpler means and less expenditure of money, cleared up mysteries that had baffled previous researches and speculations, and opened up a fresh field of research in a quarter that many had deemed closed to further explorations.
We can point to no brighter or prouder page of Arctic history than that which records these facts- that during two years and three months of Mr. Hall's absence in his late voyage, with the aid and companionship of Esquimaux alone, he explored more than one thousand miles of coast; determined the so-called Frobisher Strait to be a bay terminating in latitude sixty-three degrees forty-eight minutes, longitude seventy degrees west of Greenwich; rediscovered the "country of Warwick's Sound," of Martin Frobisher and the island bearing the name of the same personage, where he found and recovered relics (since transmitted to the Royal Geographical Society of London) of the colony which the Virgin Queen desired to plant there in 1578; learned the fate of the five men who were captured from Frobisher on his first voyage (1576), and discovered a great glacier and fossil mountain between Hudson's Strait and Frobisher Bay, from whence he brought home a number of fossils, four of which have been preserved by  [[unable to read due to fold in paper]]
Dr. Stevens to be entirely new, and of so valuable a character that their discovery would alone be a sufficient return for the whole expenses and hardships of his voyage.
After the achievement of such important results it was not to be expected that Mr. Hall would rest satisfied with the laurels that he had won. Accordingly we are not surprised to learn that he is making active preparations for the renewal of his explorations next spring. After clearing up the many mysteries still hanging over the expedition of Sir John Franklin, this daring navigator and explorer of the "thrice ribbed ice seas" of the North, purposes to make his third voyage an attempt to reach the North axis of our globe, which he feels confident he can do by using his Exquimaux friends and acquaintances of the west side of Davis' Straits as his auxiliaries. 
In the meantime, whilst attending to the preparation of the narrative of his Arctic voyage, which the Harpers have in progress, he spends all the spare hours that he can com-
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mand in complying with the requests that are constantly pouring in on him to communicate to the public in the form of lectures e experiences of his last voyage. He carried round with him on these occasions the Esquimaux family that accompanied him here, whose language he speaks perfectly, and whom he thus renders an interesting feature of his lectures. We see by the Providence (R.I.) papers that in response to an invitation from the inhabitants of that city, he is to speak before them to-morrow evening, and that on the afternoon of Wednesday he is to address the assembled children of the schools of the same place, a holiday being granted to them for this laudable purpose. The subject matter and manner of Mr. Hall's lectures will, no doubt, form a refreshing contrast to the dreary exhibitions which, under a similar title, draw so largely on the patience and good nature of our American audiences.
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The Esquimaux Arctic Regions.
Lecture on Life among the Esquimaux, during two years remarkable discoveries, by C.F. HALL, Esq., who has lately returned from his Explorations in the Icy North, bringing him specimens of the Native Tribes, and their Dogs. Also, valuable relics and important information concerning Frobisher's Expedition of nearly [[italics]] three hundred years ago. [[/italics]]
The Esquimaux Family consists of E-BIER-BING, (Man,) TUK-OO-LI-TOO, (Woman,) TUK-ER-LIK-E-TA, (Child) Will be present, dressed in full Native Costume, attended by their Faithful Dog, BAR-BE-KARK, and exhibiting some of their Hunting Implements. The Lecture will be illustrated by large Maps and Diagrams.
The above Lecture and Exhibition will take place MONDAY EVENING, January 5th, 1863, at 7 1/2 o'clock, (doors will be open at 6 1/4 o'clock,) at ROGER WILLIAMS HALL. Tickets 25 cents, to be had at the bookstores and at Clapp & Cory's.
A subsequent Lecture and Exhibition of the Esquimaux will be given at the same place, to the children of the respective schools, WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, January 7th, at two o'clock. Admittance 10 cents.
For further partiulars see small bills.
d29 MTSM4t
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MR. HALL'S LECTURE THURSDAY EVENING. -
A large crows turned out to hear Mr. Hall's lecture on the Arctic regions and Life among the Esquimaux, at Breed Hall, Thursday evening. It was with the greatest difficulty that the first part of his lecture could be distinctly heard, the speaker's voice being very feeble. He, however, corrected this, and the audience listened attentively to his most interesting narration. Mr. Hall commenced his lecture by a description of his voyage and the circumstances that compelled him to remain for so long a time in that dreary clime. He then passed to the subject of his discoveries, and exhibited some of the relics of the Frobisher Expeditions of 1575-6. He had a large piece of sea coal, and described the ruins of a stone house that was built nearly three centuries ago. He also related very minutely the evidence elicited from the Esquimaux, and commented upon its singular accuracy as compared with the records of the early explorers.
He said that the Esquimaux were remarkable for the extent and accuracy of their geopraphical knowledge, many of them being able to chart out with ease and correctness the principal points, headlands, capes and islands of their native country, embracing more than two thousand miles of sea coast. Even the women are very proficient in this branch, being competent in many instances to pilot a vessel to any point on that extensive coast.
Although the Esquimaux tribes are generally conceived to possess but a low order of intelligence, the lecturer, after a long residence among them, had reached the conclusion that in aptness to acquire and retain many species of valuable knowledge, in the ingenuity with which they constructed their hunting and fishing implements, and the artful expedients to which they resorted in capturing game, they were far in advance of the white man. The lecturer had repeatedly known the man by his side to remain three successive days and nights at a seal-hole, the thermometer at 55 degrees below zero, without exercise or scarcely motion, sitting watchfully upon his snow-chair, patiently awaiting the coveted opportunity to pierce with his unerring spear the luckless seal the moment he came to the surface to blow. This man was also a famous bearhunter, having killed four during the last winter. He was twenty-five years of age. His grandparents still live, being unusual instances of longevity.
The dog which was exhibited was very foxy, both in appearance and character. His cunning nature as well as great courage in attacking the reindeer have been proven in many instances. Mr. Hall exhibited and described many implements of the natives, such as their walrus and seal spears, and fishing apparatus. They have no chiefs, no forms of government and no laws other than those which pertain to the family relations; yet they are a peaceful and contented people, dealing kindly with each other, worshipping no idols, but bowing in simple faith to their great Unknown. They believe in a future state of rewards and punishments, the good anticipating a heaven where reindeer abound in great abundance, and the bad dreading eternal starvation of never-melting ice and snow.
The Esquimaux posses many noble traits of character, and the fundamental ideas of humanity and justice are well understood and practiced. The successful hunter always divides his spoil among his people, however pressing may be his own wants. They are naturally active and industrious, and, with the advantages of education, which might easily be introduced among them, would undoubtedly attain a high degree of civilization.

Morning Bulletin.

NORWICH. CONN.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 1863.
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