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W. A. GRAAH, ESQ., FIRST LIEUTENANT, ROYAL NAVY.
HIS MAJESTY THE KING having been graciously pleased, by Royal Mandate bearing date the 18th of last December, to nominate you to the command of an Expedition having for its object to explore the East coast of Greenland, from Cape Farewell to lat. 69° North, We, the undersigned Commissioners specially appointed to direct the preparations for, and subsequently to superintend, the same, communicate to you the following Instructions for your govern
The Expedition will consist, besides yourself, of Mr. Vahl, as Naturalist, and Mr. Matthiesen, Superintendent of the Colony of Frederick's-hope, in Greenland. Copies of the Instructions given to these gentlemen, are herewith furnished you, for your information. You are, further, authorized to take with you a Danish sailor, to serve as cook. The choice of the individual is left wholly to yourself: we would, however, recommend you to select for this office, some person already familiar with the navigation of the Greenland seas. The rest of the persons to be attached to the Expedition will be native Greenlanders, of whom you will engage a sufficient number, men and women, to man two women's-boats, and two kajaks, these being the sort of vessel in which we deem it most advisable for you to perform your voyage.
You will, in company with Mr. Vahl, and the sailor abovementioned, take a passage in the vessel destined to sail, about the middle of March, for the Colony of Juliana's-hope. Arrangements to that effect have been concluded with the Greenland Board of
Trade, and preparations will be made for reception in it of whatever articles it may be necessary for you to take with you for the purposes of the Expedition, and concerning which you will applywith regard to provisions, stores, and other like necessaries, to the undersigned the Councillor of Justice Gede;-and as far as regards the Instruments you may require, to the undersigned Captain Zahrtmann.
On your arrival at Juliana's-hope, you will communicate with Mr. Matthiesen, and we judge it most expedient for you thereupon to set about exploring the coasts in the immediate vicinity of the Colony, particularly in the direction of North, by which means you will the sooner meet with him. On his reaching Juliana'shope you will, in conjunction with him, determine on the measures to be taken with respect to the building of your women's-boats, the engaging of crews for them, and whatever else may be necessary towards the furtherance of your Expedition. You will perceive from the copy furnished you of the Instructions given Mr. Matthiesen, that we have thought it most conducive to the interests of the Expedition to intrust to him especially the charge of these preparatory measures, as being the individual most likely to be possessed of the requisite local knowledge. Though we, however, thus exempt you from this duty, we still leave it to your discretion, as commanding the Expedition, to determine whether, or not, it may be expedient for you to take steps towards these preparations previously to his arrival,
We presume that, on being joined by Mr. Matthiesen, you will be able to determine at what time your preparations at Juliana'shope will be completed, and this ascertained, you will decide upon the place which you may think best adapted for you to winter at. We are of opinion, that Nennortalik or Friederichsthal are best suited to this purpose, as you will there be able to take advantage of the first opportunity that may offer in the Spring of 1829, for setting out upon your Expedition. As, however, the preparations above referred to, and various other circumstances, may create obstacles that we are here unable to foresee, we leave all this to your discretion, advising only that you employ the year 1828 in such a
manner as to enable you to seize the very first occasion that may present itself in 1829 of setting out; with a view to which, you will, as soon as Mr. Matthiesen shall have joined you at Juliana's-hope, at all events transmit, by women's-boats, to Nennortalik or Friederichsthal, the various articles you may design to take with you upon your Expedition.
Whatever leisure time may be at your disposal between the date of your arrival in Greenland and your going into winter quarters, you will employ in drawing up a chart of as much as possible of the coasts of the district of Juliana's-hope, determining by astronomical observation the latitudes of the principal points, and their longitude, as well by means of the chronometers with which you will be provided, as by lunar observations whenever an opportunity for making such may offer. These observations you will enter regularly in a register to be kept for that purpose, and in which you will be careful to specify in every instance the data on which your calculations have been founded, as also, in a separate section, whatever magnetical observations you may make, as well of the dip and variation of the needle, as of the intensity of the magnetic force. At the place where you may winter, and whither, we take it for granted, you will have had your larger instruments conveyed, you are further directed, besides the above, to neglect no opportunity of accurately determining the longitude by observation of the occultation of fixed stars, and the eclipse of satellites, with a view to subsequent comparison with simultaneous observations made in Europe; and you will therefore combine with the meridian of said place the various points where, in the course of the year, you may have made observations of longitude. Among your other magnetical observations, you will, still further, be careful to note the diurnal changes of the magnetic needle, and specify the same in your register, which, on your departure for the East coast, you will leave, under a sealed cover, in safe keeping, together with such of your instruments as you cannot conveniently take with you. You will, moreover, annex a copy of the observations you may make next Winter, for determining the positive longitude, to the Report you are to address to us before setting out for the East
coast, which Report we expect to receive with the homeward-bound ship of 1829. As early as possible in 1829, you will set out on your Expedition, whose limit is to be the southernmost extremity of the land seen by Captain Scoresby in 1822, the same called by him Cape Barclay, and said to be in lat. 69° 13′ N., and long. 24° 25' W. of Greenwich, beyond which you will in no case proceed. We judge that you will be obliged to pass one Winter on the East coast, but not more than one; and we enjoin you, therefore, on no account to turn back without having reached the object in view, be the difficulties you may encounter what they may, until the year 1830 be so far advanced that it may be absolutely necessary for you to do so, in order to reach Friederichsthal before the setting in of Winter, and thus avoid the necessity of spending another Winter on that desert coast. The only event in which you are authorized to deviate from the rule here laid down, is the following. As the aim and end of the Expedition is to seek for traces of the old Icelandic colonists supposed to have inhabited these coasts, every effort should be made by you to sail along the whole extent of them as high as lat. 69°, and this, accordingly, we recommend you to do, without stopping to make any special researches on the way, the more so as you will doubtless be furnished with abundant time for so doing, by the stoppages which the nature of the navigation will, from time to time, compel you to make.
Now, as you will perceive from the Manuscript Chart accompanying these Instructions, this coast, according to the old traditions handed down to us, never was inhabited so high up; if, therefore, between the 62nd and 63rd degrees of latitude, you meet with any vestiges of ancient colonization; if you discover fiords, with regular vegetation on their banks, like those in the district of Juliana's-hope; if you observe any conformity between the face of the shore and the ancient charts; or fall in with a race of people different from the natives of West Greenland; and, if on proceeding further, you find no longer any actual, nor any vestiges of a former, population, you will, in such case, turn back without proceeding to the above-mentioned Cape Barclay, in order that you may devote the more time to a close and careful examination of
the traces thus discovered. You will learn from the Instructions drawn up for Mr. Vahl, what the points of Natural History and Philosophy are, to which his attention is to be especially directed, and with regard to which, you will afford him all the facilities and assistance in your power,—an injunction which it is the less necessary for us to urge, as we are well assured that you will feel disposed yourself to take part in such scientific pursuits, as well as encourage others to assist in them, whenever practicable. To your especial care we recommend the drawing up of a chart of the East coast, in so far as may be possible on a voyage like that on which you are about to enter, not doubting that you will make the best use of your small collection of instruments, which, for your Expedition to the East coast, should, in our opinion, comprise but a pocket chronometer, a small sextant, a small azimuth-compass, an artificial horizon, and a couple of good telescopes. Yourself, as well as Mr. Vahl and Mr. Matthiesen, will enter, in a day-book, full and copious notes of all the observations and remarks you may make in the course of your Expedition, with a view to their being reduced to order, and extracts made from them when a fitting opportunity may offer.
The above comprises all that we here, and at this moment, are capable of furnishing in the form of Instructions, for an enterprise of so peculiar a nature as that in which you are about to engage. The rest we leave to your skill and discretion, our unqualified confidence in which is best attested by our recommendation of you to this important trust. We take, however, occasion to remark, that there is no way in which you can more advantageously display these qualities, than by maintaining that perfect good understanding among the members of the Expedition, which we look upon as absolutely indispensable to its ultimate success.
We take this opportunity of informing you, that a yacht, belonging to Messrs. Svendsen and Thorlacius, of Enundafiord, in Iceland, is expected to make an attempt at reaching the coast of Greenland, in the Summer of 1829, or 1830. If, therefore, you should see a vessel of this description, you may conclude it to be the one here spoken of, and, if practicable, you will place yourself