2½ pages, with original red wax seal." />
14 December 2000
ROSS, John. Autograph letter signed ("John Ross") to Captain George William Manby, [London], 14 December 1833. 2½ pages, with original red wax seal.
AN IMPORTANT LETTER ABOUT THE COLONIZATION OF GREENLAND. Ross had recently returned from his second voyage in search of a Northwest Passage. Much interest was being paid to the Danish-occupied country of Greenland. Since 1776, its shores were closed to foreign access, although the government was trying to gradually open the country in a way that would complement the culture of its natives. Manby had travelled to Greenland in 1821 and noted the failure of the whale fishery. Ross responds to a recent letter in which Manby made suggestions relative to the situation there: "I think the plan of sending criminals would do well were it not that they could by constructing boats easily escape to Iceland, and they could not exist of East Greenland without the aid of Esquimaux. -- I have lately a letter from a Danish gentleman Mr. Kale formerly Governor of Holbeinburg who was there when Graah went to East Greenland. He proposes to get out and colonize both the East & West side of Davis Strait and is encouraged by his government to do so. As his object is to improve the conditions of the natives, he intends going out in the Summer of 1835." He further discusses the difficulties inherent in explorations round Greenland due to the highly variable weather conditions.
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