SIGNED BY SCOTT: FOUR-PAGE AUTOGRAPH ACCOUNT OF HIS FIRST ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION, WRITTEN UPON HIS RETURN IN 1904
SCOTT, Robert F. Autograph manuscript draft for a telegram signed (“Rob. F. Scott”) to an unknown recipient. Auckland Island, [circa March 20, 1904]. Four folio pages. $16,500.
Fine four-page autograph account intended for telegram of Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic written upon his return in 1904.
Scott launched his journey of exploration in 1901 and remained within the frigid reaches of the southern hemisphere for the next three years. Here, Scott recounts the last year of the expedition: “After departure of ‘Morning’ 1903… temperatures fell rapidly men employed laying in stock of seal meat for winter. Winter passed most pleasantly and in all respects with greater comfort than that of 1902… the routine of scientific observations and work was continued… Spring found all in excellent health and spirits… Wilson & party visited Emperor penguin roosting at Cape Crozier with success… temperatures encountered… constantly below -50° Fahr.” Scott takes note of several expeditions that met with varying degrees of success, including one which explored a strait containing a “large glacier of inland ice” and another which discovered “a vast plain… [which was determined] to be afloat.” He happily notes that “these journeys performed under very unfavorable conditions of weather & surface have added much to our information.” Scott’s telegram contains descriptions of the geography: “Interior Victoria Land continues at height of 9000 feet–Evidently vast continental plateau… Glacier Valley affords magnificent scenery and natural geological section of mountains… Explored valley in detail discovering sand stone and plant remains.” The official account of the expedition was not published in book form until 1905 (The Voyage of the ‘Discovery). Scientifically speaking, this first expedition was the more important of Scott’s two expeditions, although historically it is overshadowed by his tragic second journey, during which he perished.
Perforation in upper left corner of each leaf, small loss to corner and edge of page 3, not affecting text; evidence of prior mounts on verso of each leaf. An exceptional document in excellent condition.