Frederick Cook As Author

Frederick A. Cook

Dr. Cook’s Many Gifts

As a result of being overshadowed by controversies, Cook’s genuine accomplishments as a pioneer polar explorer, insightful physician, outstanding photographer, and a writer of great descriptive power have not been given the credit due them.

– Robert M. Bryce

An excerpt from Cook’s North Pole Journal

“As a floor covering in the tent, we were using a folded canvas boat. This list of equipment was now our total wealth, and by judicious use of this material we must live or die.

There were no other human beings, not even savage Eskimos or Indians, in so far as we were able to judge, within 600 miles of us. We could, therefore, entertain no hope of early relief from others. The immediate outlook was blue, the ultimate future was blank.

We could, however, rest with half-open eyes-and that was much.

Arctic Snow Bunting

Arctic Snow Bunting
Photo: Ian Jarvie

How often the restful glory of the end and the darkness of death merge to give a satisfying emotion to those who must pass into the great divide of the Beyond! This thought lingered with some pleasure of relief as troubled eyes opened and closed to a life of semi-death.

In this spirit of mingled misery and hope, we turned from side to side in the tent. There was not a word of conversation, but anxious faces expressed much in that dead silence. The silk tent was a mere gauze. Through it we could see and feel the doom of a very cold and lifeless world.

Unexpectedly we heard a sound. Heads turned. Eyes rolled. Ears reached out. We had been half dozing but a gunshot could not have surprised us more. Not a word was said. Another sound came, followed by a series of soft, silvery notes – the song of a creature that might have come from heaven. I listened with rapture. I believed I was dreaming. The enchanting song continued-I lay entranced. I could not believe this divine thing was of our real world until the pole of our tent gently quivered. Then, above us, I heard the flutter of wings. It was a bird – a snow bunting trilling it’s ethereal song-the first sound of life heard for many months.

We were back to life! Tears of joy rolled down our emancipated faces”

Books by Dr. Cook

Through The First Antarctic Night


Through The First Antarctic Night

Narrative of the Belgian South Polar Expedition

To The Top Of The Continent


To The Top Of The Continent

Exploration in Sub-Arctic Alaska and elevations of Mt. McKinley, now known as Mt. Denali

My Attainment Of The Pole


Record of Cook’s North Pole Expedition

Return From
The Pole


Return From The Pole

Published by Frederick Cook’s daughter, Helene Cook Vetter, in 1951

1 Robert M. Bryce has been a scholar of the Cook-Peary dispute over the North Pole for more than thirty years. Eight years of concentrated research in the primary materials of the dispute culminated in the publication of his massive study in 1997 under the title Cook and Peary, the Polar Controversy, Resolved. To date, it is the only book based on both the personal papers of Frederick A. Cook and Robert E. Peary. As a result of Cook and Peary, Bryce’s original work in manuscript materials was recognized by Dr. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, by an invitation to write a summary of his work for its journal, Civilization, on the occasion of the Library’s bicentennial. The conclusions Mr. Bryce had drawn from his research were showcased in the public exhibit Treasures of the Library of Congress, which was put on display in the Library of Congress’s exhibit hall to mark that anniversary.

© The Frederick Cook Society | 2022
Sullivan County Museum
265 Main Street, Hurleyville, NY 12747
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 27. Hurleyville, NY 12747

Site design by Roger Dowd Design