May 17, 2007

Friday, 17 May 1907


Under pressure from both Scott and Wilson, Shackleton agreed to change his plans. "I am leaving the McMurdo Sound base to you," he wrote to Scott, "and will land either at the place known as Barrier Inlet or at King Edward VII Land, whichever is the most suitable. If I land at either of these places I will not work to the westward of the 170 Meridian W. and shall not make any sledge journey going W. of that meridian unless prevented when going to the South from keeping to the East of that meridian by the physical features of the country.... I shall not touch the coast of Victoria Land at all.... If I find it impracticable to land at King Edward VII Land or at Barrier Inlet or further to the N.E., I may possibly steam north and then to westward and try to land to the West of Kaiser Wilhelm II Land, going down to the meridian that the 'Challenger' made her furthest South." He concluded, "I think this outlines my plan, which I shall rightly adhere to, and I hope that this letter meets you on the points that you desire."[1]

"By doing so," Shackleton wrote bitterly to Keltie, "I much diminish any chance of success in the way of a long journey." [2]

"My dear Shackleton," Scott replied, "I return you this copy of your letter which is a very clear statement of the arrangement to which we came. If as you say you will rigidly adhere to it, I don't think our plans will clash and I will feel on sure ground in developing my own." [3]


[1] Ernest Shackleton, letter to R.F. Scott, 17 May, 1907, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.304.
[2] Ernest Shackleton, letter to Scott Keltie, [date not given], quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.227.
[3] R.F. Scott, letter to Ernest Shackleton, 17 May, 1907, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.304-305.

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