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Rauner Special Collections Library6065 Webster Hall, Hanover, NH 03755-3519 USATelephone: 603-646-0538, Fax: 603-646-0447Rauner.Reference@dartmouth.edu

The Papers of David L. Brainard in the Dartmouth College Library

WMST Mss-189

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Brainard, David L.
Title Remainder: Papers. 1870-1961
Dates: 1870-1961
Identification: Mss-189





CHRONOLOGY

1856 Born in Herkimer, New York, on December 21, son of Alanson and Maria C. (Legge) Brainard.
1876 Enlisted in the United States Army.
1877-1878 Served and was wounded in the Sioux, Bannock, and Nez Perce Indian Campaign.
1880 Volunteered and was detailed for duty with the Howgate Arctic Exploring Expedition, which was cancelled.
1881 Volunteered and was accepted for duty with the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition.
1882 Established record for “Farthest North” with Lt. James B. Lockwood and Frederik T. Christiansen.
1884 Rescued with the six other survivors of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition by Commander Winfield S. Schley.
1885 Awarded Back Grant of the Royal Geographical Society.
1886 Commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Second Cavalry.
1888 Married Anna Chase.
1898 Served in the Philippine Islands as Chief Commissary of the Military Forces during the Spanish-American War.
1912 Promoted to Colonel, Assistant Commissary General.
1917 Married Sara Hall Guthrie.
1918-1919 Served as Military Attache, American Legation, Portugal.
1919 Retired from United States Army as brigadier general.
1926 Awarded Charles P. Daly gold medal by the American Geographical Society for Arctic exploration.
1929 The Outpost of the Lost published. Awarded the Explorer's Medal by the Explorers Club.
1936 Elected an honorary member of the American Polar Society.
1940 Six Came Back published.
1946 Died on March 22 in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Arlington National Cemetary.

Adjunct Descriptive Data

The papers of David Legge Brainard in the Dartmouth College Library are concerned primarily with his participation in the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, 1881-1884. This expedition, commanded by Lieutenant Adolphus W. Greely and commonly known as the Greely (Arctic) Expedition, was dispatched by the United States Army to establish one of the circumpolar weather stations planned by the International Polar Conferences of 1879 and 1880. Greely's station was located at Fort Conger in Grinnell Land, a northern section of Ellsmere Island. Brainard served as first sergeant and supply chief and proved to be one of Greely's most trusted and dependable men. The expedition was successful in the gathering of meteorological and other scientific data and in the exploration and mapping of a large unknown area. Brainard, along with Lieutenant James B. Lockwood and Frederik T. Christiansen, reached latitude 83° 24' North, breaking the record for “Farthest North,” which had been held by a succession of British explorers for nearly three hundred years. The expedition ended in disaster, however, because relief ships were unable to reach the party during the summers of 1882 and 1883. Greely led his men south in the fall of 1883 to Cape Sabine, where they established camp to await a ship in 1884, but before relief came, eighteen were dead, most from starvation. That any survived was largely due to the fortitude and industry of Brainard, Francis Long, and George W. Rice. Brainard was one of the seven men rescued by Commander W. S. Schley in June, 1884, and he was later commissioned second lieutenant for his “gallant and meritorious services” in the expedition.

The story of the terrible last months of the expedition is told in Brainard's manuscript diary for March 1 - June 21, 1884, the most important part of this collection. The diary is written in pencil in a small notebook along with his record of stores issued during the last winter of the expedition. Brainard kept his diary faithfully throughout the years of the expedition and much later published two books from it: The Outpost of the Lost (1929), which covers the last ten months of the expedition; and Six Came Back (1940), covering the period July 7, 1881 - June 21, 1884. In both these books, however, the portion of the diary included in this collection has been expurgated by omitting details and changing Brainard's language. The supply record has never been published.

Except for the photographs, most of the other papers in this collection are concerned in one way or another with Brainard's three years of service in the Arctic. There is little about the rest of his long military career or his family life. He fought in the Indian Wars before he went to the Arctic and served in the U.S. Army for thirty-five years after his return, retiring as a brigadier general. Brainard married twice, and the correspondence indicates a separation from his first wife but nothing about how the marriage ended. He had no children but left a stepdaughter from his second marriage, Elinor Guthrie (Mrs. Donald L. McVickar). Correspondence of hers included here deals with Brainard's works and possessions and with A. L. Todd's research for Abandoned, a good account of the Greely Expedition

Of the more than 270 photographs in this collection, dating from 1870 to 1945, about half are mounted in an album for the years 1918-1919, when Brainard served as U.S. Military Attache in Portugal. Many of the others are portraits of Brainard and his acquaintances, including one of George W. Rice taken not long before he joined the Greely Expedition as photographer. This picture, as well as some others in the collection, was taken in the Rice studio in Washington, D.C., where George worked with his brother, Moses P. Rice.

The Brainard papers were purchased in 1984 by the Stefansson Fund. The collection is contained in three small boxes, and there are no restrictions on its use.






BOX I.

Papers from the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition



FOLDER : 1.

Fragment of a holograph log recording positions of the Proteus at four-hour intervals, August 1-5, 1881.



FOLDER : 2.

Promissory note for twenty-five dollars owed by Lieutenant James B. Lockwood to Frederik T. Christiansen for performance with sledge during the “Farthest North” trip in 1882. Holograph, signed, January 23, 1884.



FOLDER : 3.

Wrappings (uncompleted voucher forms) of the diaries of George W. Rice. Noted and signed by David L. Brainard, April 18, 1884.



FOLDER : 4.

Dr. Octave Pavy's instructions for disposal of his papers. Copied and signed as witness by Sergeant David C. Ralston. Signed by Pavy. Holograph, May 7, 1884.



FOLDER : 5.

Note, “1/2 gill rum,” initialed “A W G” [A. W. Greely], probably an authorization for an issue of rum. Undated.



FOLDER : 6.

Diary of David L. Brainard for March 1-June 21, 1884, and “Record of Commissary Stores issued at Camp Clay Ellsmere Land during the winter of 1883-4 by D. L. Brainard.” Holograph in notebook.



FOLDER : 7.

Receipt for payment of thirty dollars owed to Sergeant William H. Cross “for washing done on the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition.” Holograph, written by Brainard and signed by Cross's widow, Mary A. Cross, January 14, 1885.



FOLDER : 8.

List of dates during 1883 and 1884 on which Lieutenant A. W. Greely made no entries in his journal. Holograph by Brainard, unsigned, undated.



FOLDER : 9.

List of dates of death of the other five survivors of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. Holograph by Brainard sometime after the death of A. W. Greely (October 20, 1935), unsigned, undated.



Works of David L. Brainard



FOLDER : 10.

“The Attainment of the Highest North,” from Scribner's Magazine, September, 1892. Two copies in two similar bound collections of magazine articles, titled Arctic Experiences. Also included are “Greely at Cape Sabine” by Charles H. Harlow, “The Measure of Human Grit” and “David L. Brainard” by Frank B. Copley, and “One of Our Distinguished Soldiers [Brainard].” 1885-1912. See also: Box III.



FOLDER : 11.

Reviews of The Outpost of the Lost and Six Came Back, clippings from newspapers, 1929 and 1940



FOLDER : 12.

Reviews of The Outpost of the Lost and Six Came Back, newspaper clippings from the files of the Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1929 and 1940.



FOLDER : 13.

Excerpts from The Outpost of the Lost in The Book Digest of Best Sellers, ca. 1938. Includes an “Afterward,” dated January 10, 1938, by Commander Donald B. MacMillan.



FOLDER : 14.

Interviews: clippings from The Washington Post, July 17, 1934; Washington Sunday Star, February 23, 1936; The Washington Daily News, August 19, 1940; and The Sunday Oregonian, January 19, 1941.



FOLDER : 15.

Transcripts of two radio broadcasts, 1937 and 1940. Includes voucher for payment to Brainard and newspaper clipping, 1940.



FOLDER : 16.

Correspondence about Brainard's writings, 1937-1940. Includes Brainard's draft of a letter to the editors of Liberty, 1937, and a letter from Bessie R. James, editor of Six Came Back, 1939.



Correspondence concerning Arctic exploration



FOLDER : 17.

Letter from Robert E. Peary, 1907.



FOLDER : 18.

Letter from A. W. Greely, used as a “Salutation” in The Outpost of the Lost. Typescript copy, unsigned, 1928.



FOLDER : 19.

Letter from Kent Colwell, 1936.



FOLDER : 20.

Letter from Gunnar Isachsen, 1936.



FOLDER : 21.

Letter from Joseph Robinson, 1936.



FOLDER : 22.

Letter from Frank M. Paape, 1937.



FOLDER : 23.

Letters from William H. Hobbs, 1937-1940. Includes draft of a letter from Brainard to Hobbs, 1938.



FOLDER : 24.

Letter from Vilhjalmur Stefansson, 1939.



FOLDER : 25.

Letters from C. G. Abbot, 1943.



Other correspondence



FOLDER : 26.

Correspondence from and about Anna Chase Brainard, David L. Brainard's first wife, 1888-1905. Includes invitation to their wedding, 1888.



FOLDER : 27.

Letter from George H. Chambers, 1907.



FOLDER : 28.

Letters from Casper Whitney, 1907.



FOLDER : 29.

Postcard from David L. Brainard to Mrs. Sara Hall Guthrie, his future wife, 1916. Front of card is a photograph of a group including Brainard and the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina.



FOLDER : 30.

Letter from N.F. Collette, 1933. Reminiscences of army life on the Dakota frontier, ca. 1879.



FOLDER : 30A.

Letters from David L. Brainard to George Bird Grinnell, 1912 and 1915, and to C. J. Bliven, 1888.



Biographical information



FOLDER : 31.

Travel diary: Mediterranean cruise and tour of Europe, January 30-May 5, 1905; cruise to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was to serve as military attache to the U.S. Embassy, July 21-August 18, 1914.



FOLDER : 32.

Congressional bills and reports (printed copies): “For the relief of David L. Brainard and others,” 1884-1886; “For promotion and retirement of David L. Brainard, U.S.A.,” 1914-1917.



FOLDER : 33.

Financial papers: letters, note, notice of non-payment, will of Robert C. Morris, and list of stock certificates in the estate of David L. Brainard, 1898-1917 and undated.



FOLDER : 34.

Newspaper clippings on occasions of birthdays, awards, etc., 1925-1944.



FOLDER : 35.

Announcement of Brainard's election to honorary membership in The American Polar Society and a newspaper clipping reporting the election, 1936.



FOLDER : 36.

The Polar Times, June, 1945. Includes an article on A. W. Greely and the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, cover portraits of Greely and Brainard, and scenes from the expedition.



BOX II.

FOLDER : 1.

Diplomatic passport, David L. and Sara Brainard, 1918, with many visas, 1918-1919.



FOLDER : 2.

Passport, David L. and Sara Brainard, 1927, with French and Italian visas, 1927-1928.



FOLDER : 3.

Certificate of the Ordem de Cristo awarded to Brainard by the President of Portugal, 1920



FOLDER : 4.

Memorial booklet supplied by undertakers, 1946. Signed by members of the honor guard and others attending Brainard's funeral.



FOLDER : 5.

Obituaries: newspaper clippings and issues of The Polar Times and The Explorers Journal, 1946.



FOLDER : 6.

Letters to Mrs. David L. (Sara Hall) Brainard, 1946, 1949, and 1952.



FOLDER : 7.

Obituaries of Mrs. David L. Brainard, newspaper clippings, 1953. Includes telegram to Mrs. Donald L. McVickar, 1953.



FOLDER : 8.

Miscellanea.



Mrs. Donald L. McVickar and Abandoned



FOLDER : 9.

Correspondence between Mrs. Donald L. McVickar and Department of the Army concerning possessions of David L. Brainard, 1954-1956. Includes lists of Brainard's papers and other possessions added to the collections of the Smithsonian Institution.



FOLDER : 10.

Correspondence between Mrs. Donald L. McVickar and Alden L. Todd, author of Abandoned: The Story of the Greely Arctic Expedition, 1881-1884, concerning research material for the book, 1959-1961.



FOLDER : 11.

Other correspondence of Mrs. Donald L. McVickar concerning Brainard and his works, 1946-1961.



FOLDER : 12.

Random notes of Mrs. Donald L. McVickar concerning Brainard's papers, 1949-1975.



FOLDER : 13.

Abridged version of Abandoned in True, March, 1961.



FOLDER : 14.

Miscellaneous newspaper clippings: reviews of Abandoned; the barkentine Bear; Donald B. MacMillan's departure for the Arctic; A. W. Greely; and Roald Amundsen, 1920-1963.



Photographs



FOLDER : 15.

Family portraits (7), ca. 1870-1896.



FOLDER : 16.

David L. Brainard, portraits taken in Rice studio (2), ca. 1887 and 1895.



FOLDER : 17.

David L. Brainard, portraits (12), ca. 1898-1945.



FOLDER : 18.

David L. and Sara Brainard and places they visited (67), including one picture of Elinor Guthrie (Mrs. Donald McVickar), ca. 1917-1940.



FOLDER : 19.

David L. Brainard's eightieth birthday celebration (4), 1936.



FOLDER : 20.

Album of mostly identified photographs of David L. Brainard, Sara Brainard, members of the American diplomatic corps in Portugal, and Portuguese officials during Brainard's tour of duty as military attache at the American Legation in Lisbon, 1918-1919. 1918-1920.



FOLDER : 21.

George W. Rice, portrait taken in Rice studio, where he worked with his brother, Moses P. Rice, before joining the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, ca. 1880.



FOLDER : 22.

Anice (?) and Ruby Rice (nieces of George W. Rice?) and two unidentified young ladies, portraits taken in Rice studio (3), ca. 1880-1885.



FOLDER : 23.

Unidentified portraits (16), ca. 1880-1895.



FOLDER : 24.

Signed portraits of friends and military acquaintances (10), ca. 1884-1894.



FOLDER : 25.

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, in group portrait, Lisbon, Portugal, ca. October, 1921. The photograph is dated November, 1921, but Shackleton was in Lisbon October 5-11, 1921, having stopped for repairs to the Quest. He died on board the Quest on January 5, 1922.



FOLDER : 26.

Hilary Pollard Jones, Jr., Admiral, U.S. Navy, portrait, signed, ca. 1925.



BOX III.

FOLDER : 1.

Arctic Exploration, bound collection of articles from popular magazines and other journals, 1886-1901, with sources and dates added by Brainard. Most are about Arctic exploration, but the collection includes articles on the Klondike, the Antarctic, and other subjects of interest to Brainard. Peary, Nansen, Muir, Wellman, and Greely are included among the authors. Of particular interest is “Dr. Pavy and the Polar Expedition,” a two-part article from North American Review, March and April, 1886, which was written in defence of Dr. Pavy by Lilla May Pavy, his American wife, and which includes excerpts from his journal.





Other Descriptive Data

Washington, D.C., Dec. 23, 1893.

Dear Mr. Stein:

I feel deeply touched by your generosity in offering to relinquish the command of your expedition into my hands. This I regard as a supreme mark of confidence. Arctic exploration having always been my foremost ambition, and your plan being in my opinion one of the most practical ever presented, I recognize in your offer the finest opportunity of my life. It is with the utmost regret therefore that I have to confess myself compelled by domestic affairs to decline your offer.

From our conversations I have no doubt that you will be signally successful. The most important idea in your plan, it seems to me, and one which will mark a new epoch in Arctic exploration, is the idea of a permanent camp at the entrance of Jones Sound, where it can be in constant communication with the outer world through the whalers. This will render disaster practically impossible within a radius of 200 to 300 miles around that point. It seems to me that your plan ought to meet with hearty support on the part of the whaling interests, since they will thereby gain a refuge station, such as the American whalers have at Point Barrow.

Sincerely yours,

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Original and three other letters written by Brainard to Stein can be found in The Papers of Robert Stein, Stef. Mss. 163.