The place names of Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa: The Wellman polar expedition, 1898-1899

P. J. Capelotti, M. Forsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1898-1899, the first American polar expedition to Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa [Franz Josef Land], under the leadership of journalist Walter Wellman, added at least forty place names to the islands, of which many survive on modern charts. These include the main discovery of the expedition, the large island named for Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell, then president of the National Geographic Society, along with numerous smaller islands, capes and waterways. The origins of several of these names are now confirmed using recently discovered notes in the papers of Wellman's brother and business manager, Arthur Wellman. They demonstrate the close relationship between Walter Wellman and the political, financial and scientific elites of turn-of-the-century Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and the state of Ohio, associations derived from Wellman's profession as a Washington correspondent for Chicago newspapers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-636
Number of pages13
JournalPolar Record
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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