100 Years Ago: Insurrection, Death, North Pole

Robert Peary and Bob Bartlett

Robert Peary and Captain Bob Bartlett standing on a ship, Battle Harbor, Labrador, circa 1909

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of March 1911.

Insurrection In Mexico (Again)

The insurrection in Mexico, in the interest of Francisco de Madero, the defeated candidate for the presidency, which broke out on November 17 last, is still in progress in northern Mexico. Considerable trouble has been experienced by roving bands of robbers in Chihuahua, where they have attacked settlements which they considered were unable to defend themselves.

Several conflicts with government troops have taken place, and things are in an uncertain condition in that state. So far the settlements of the Latter-day Saints have not been disturbed, though much anxiety has been felt, and the situation is serious.

[Not much has changed in 100 years. Today’s Mexican Drug War, an armed conflict among rival drug cartels and between the drug cartels and the Mexican government, killed 12 mayors and a candidate for governor in 2010. Among the states that suffer most is Chihuahua, mentioned in the 1911 story.]

Falling Mule Death (Amended)

[This is a continuation of last month’s story]
Elder John Edward Kirkman, who came to his death in Hawaii, on January 10, it appears did not fall from a precipitous cliff into the sea. He came to his death in trying to cross a mountain stream which was unusually swollen. He got into the center of the stream, when his mule lost its footing, and he was washed with the animal over a high waterfall, some twenty feet below the crossing, which neither he nor his companion, who wisely did not venture to cross the stream, knew existed.

After strenous effort, the body was found in a cave below the fall; it was veiled by the falling waters and washed continually with the rainbow spray, so that his body was preserved as though in sleep. It is expected the body will be brought to Utah for burial.

North Pole (Almost)

Peary reached the north pole within a mile and three-fifths, according to the government report made by an expert who examined his observations. It thus appears that the exact spot was not reached, but it is evident that it was near enough for all practical purposes, and no one else is likely to attempt the feat in the near future.

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. March, 1911. No. 5.
Photograph: Library of Congress, Peary & Bartlett, Battle Harbor
Rickety signature.