Talk:Robert Bartlett (explorer)

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Phrases like "the greatest ice navigator and Arctic explorer of the past two centuries" should not be uttered in Wikipedia. I see someone has already changed it, yet user JCMurphy changed it back. I hope we don't have an edit war on our hands

Also, the phrase "yet he was excluded from the final exploring party because Peary wanted to be the only white man to reach the pole" is a blatant disregard for Wikipedia policy. Where are the sources for this statement? Crabbyass 14:38, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree with your changes. The 2 edits you mention are a long way from neutral. Joyous | Talk 20:44, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I have read the article and find no apparent bias. I have removed the NPOV sticker as a result. Verne Equinox 00:21, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Bartlett's exclusion from Peary's exploration[edit]

User included a reference that does not explain the cited comment. From the link:

"It was popular in 1909 and still popular with some polar "experts" (e. g., Curator Robert Headland of the Scott Polar Institute) that Peary's decision to take Henson rather than Bartlett on the final dash reflected a desire not to have a "credible" (i. e., white) witness present."

In the context of the rest of the reference, this quote infers that Peary did not want any white witnesses on the final exploring party because he never had the intention of actually reaching the pole, which is the subject for another article. In the context of the Bartlett article, the previous version, stating "yet he was excluded from the final exploring party because Peary wanted to be the only white man to reach the pole" is misleading, as it implies his motives were of ego or jealousy. --Crabbyass 22:51, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

From my recollection of Bartlett's own book (Log of Capt. Bob Bartlett) and Horwood's (Bartlett-The Great Canadian Explorer) the expedition strategy was clear. With the last three camps a party would return to the Roosevelt - first Marvin, then Bartlett and finally (from the Pole) Peary. Henson was not a party leader. The last three latitude estimates were by Marvin, Bartlett and Peary respectively - facsimiles of the actual calculations are in Bartlett's book.

Henson was Pearys assistant when he surveyed in Central America for a Canal Route. Peary had lost his toes from frostbite and could not lead a party alone. Henson was perhaps more credible as a surveyor, Bartlett the better navigator.

If there was any basis for the alleged rivalry between Bartlett and Peary it was perhaps that Bartlett was a subject of the British Empire. This was an American expedition and needed American funding. Bartlett knew this. Both he and Horwood claimed that he may have had some Spanish ancestors - maybe focusing on the "Spirit of Columbus" as opposed to "Rule Britannia".

If there was a frustrating matter for Bartlett was that his calculated his last latitude at less than 89 degrees North. There was apparently, a reward offered since William IV(?) of 5,000 pounds sterling to the first British subject to cross the 89th parallel.

Although entirely my speculation, I would consider that Bartlett wanted to go that extra few minutes of latitude. This however would mean that the media coverage of the victory would have to be shared Anglo/American. Difficult enough these days, much more so in the last days of the Imperialism.

One thing they did agree on was to pass though Canadian Customs in Halifax, where the clerk dryly recorded their destination as "North Pole". {extract in Bartlett's Book).

(1) [Bartlett, the great Canadian explorer / Harold Horwood ; photos. by Bartlett. by Horwood, Harold Andrew, 1923- Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1977. ]

(2)[The log of Bob Bartlett : the true story of forty years of seafaring and exploration / by Captain Robert A. Bartlett. by Bartlett, Bob, 1875-1946. New York : Blue ribbon books, 1928. ]

Pete318 (talk) 22:33, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

"....a measure for promoting polar discovery became law in 1818 (58 Geo . III. c . 20), by which a reward of £20,000 was offered for making the north-west passage, and of £5000 for reaching 89° N.,....." [1] Pete318 (talk) 22:06, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


I found the reference to Bartlett being the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt confusing. There have been half a dozen vessels named USS Theodore Roosevelt. The earliest one is the USS Theodore Roosevelt (1906).

So, when was the expedition? If its Peary's 1905-1906 voyage it couldn't be on a vessel that wasn't finished until 1906.

Wouldn't any captain of a USS vessel be a USN officer?

This 1906 vessel was a civilian vessel, bought into the USN during WW1. It may have had a completely different name in it civilian life.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 21:51, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I changed the link per your comment: I can't find the prefis "USS" in other articles, and one states that Peary had the ship built himself (whis would most likely mean it wasn't a USS). --SigPig |SEND - OVER 05:01, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone know how many expeditions Bartlett participated in? --HJKeats (talk) 00:53, 24 October 2010 (UTC)