For twenty summers the Morrissey, sailing out of New York City, carried expeditions to the frozen north, sometimes sailing past eighty degrees north latitude (within 600 miles of the north pole).

"Captain Bob" took both students and scientists with him on his trips under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the American Indian, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, Explorers Club of New York and others.

The Morrissey's adventures, including running aground and becoming icebound, are chronicled in several books including Bartlett's autobiographical Sails Over Ice (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934) and in the Pathe Newsreels that were seen in movie houses throughout North America. Films produced during "Captain Bob's" trips are available on video narrated by men who sailed with Bartlett in 1940 as teenagers, Mr. Fred Littleton and Mr. Austen Colgate.


Norcross-Bartlett Expedition to Northeast Greenland in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, Heye Foundation, American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Botanical Gardens.

The chief objects of the expedition were to gather flowering plants for Botanical Gardens; specimens of wild fowl for the Museum of Natural History and narwhal and seals for the Ocean Hall of Life. In addition to this they carried out oceanographic, hydrographic and meteorological work for the US Navy, Smithsonian Institution, and others.

The Morrissey was sheathed in Greenheart, while this was being done in McWilliams Dry Dock on Staten Island, NY, Southmayd Hatch and Thomas H. Soyster took off her lines and measured all her parts for a set of lines drawings.

The Morrissey in drydock at McWilliam's Shipyard in Staten Island

Assistant Engineer Jack Angel

The crew gathering at McWilliam's Shipyard just prior to departure.

Arthur D. Norcross paddling amongst the ice.

Bob Dove, medical student aboard preserving specimens.

Assistant Engineer Jack Angel cuts the surgeon's hair

Radioman Paul Oscanyon listens for communications.


Peary Memorial Expedition.

A monument to Commander Robert E. Peary was erected at Cape York, Greenland.  Peary’s grandson, Ed Stafford, participated at age 14 with his brother, Peary, age 12 and his mother in this expedition. The next time Edward came aboard the Morrissey was in July 1998 with his wife for a Bartlett Boy’s Reunion.

This expedition was co-chartered by Mrs. Marie Peary Stafford and Arthur D. Norcross in his second year aboard.

You can read Mrs. Stafford's Journal by clicking here....

Cmdr. Robert E. Peary photo commemorating the reach to the North Pole on April 6, 1909. National Geographic.

In this photo by Arthur D. Norcross taken in June 1932 in Staten Island, NY, members of the University of Michigan - Pan American Airways Greenland Expedition of 1932-1933 look over plans. Shown here are Herbert N. Gardner, Ralph Belknap, leader and engineer, and Evans S. Schmeling. Not shown is Paul Oscanyon who also was aboard as radioman.

The crew of the 1932 voyage.
Shown here (lft to rt from upper left) Ralph Belknap, Ruben Hiscock (stonecutter), Carswell (mason), Sandy Wells (mason), Paddy James (seaman), (front row) George Richards (bosun), George Bartlett (carpenter), Peary Stafford (Peary's grandson), Gilbert Hiscock (stonecutter), Innuit (unnamed in photo), and Harold Batten (seaman)


Bartlett Northwest Greenland Expedition through the Hudson Strait and Fury and Hecla Straits under the auspices of  the American Museum of Natural History, Museum of American Indian, American Geographical Society and the Navy Department.

The ship was impounded by the British and later redocumented at New York, NY issued in ownership of Robert A. Bartlett (c/o Explorers Club) to a Motor (oil) Screw.





Junius Bird was scientist on numerous voyages. He is shown here fabricating a net for collecting specimens.

This photo shows Jack Angel covered with mosquitoes in Foxe Basin during some archaeological work.


Expedition to Greenland and Ellesmere Land making scientific collections under the auspices of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.





Northwest Greenland Expedition under the auspices of the Field Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.

A most dramatic time was when the homeward bound Morrissey ran into an hurricane. Captain Bob was sailing home in time to get the teenage trainees  back for the start school. Many a hurricane is reported headed for the waters of Newfoundland but few actually make it. Captain Bartlett took the chance that this one would not as he passed St. Johns, the only sheltered harbor, to round Cape Spear and head for Cape Race. It was just after rounding Cape Spear that the Morrissey was hit by a full gale and lost her foresail. Now they were caught on a lee shore with no sails set. All aboard worked together for three hours to set a new reefed foresail in order to have enough canvas to climb off the coast. Toward morning breakers could be heard, and a great cliff loomed up ahead in the Morrissey’s path. Captain Bob did everything he knew to squeeze an extra point to windward from the old schooner. None of them knew what the water’s depth was at the foot of the cliff, but they found out when the Morrissey cleared it, Bartlett said, close enough “to throw a biscuit ashore.” The Morrissey passed safely in deep water and the young men aboard got the greatest story of their lives to tell when they arrived safely at school.

The Stoddard Brothers aft at the wheel and doing some ropework

Dr. Soutter at the wheel while Bob Bartlett pulls down a sun line

Aboard for the 1935 voyage was Dr. Lamar Soutter (1909-1996) who later went on to become founding dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He also pioneered revolutionary filtration and preservation techniques at the blood bank at Massachusetts General Hospital. Click here to download a pdf file of a New York Times article about the 1935 trip.

Dr. Lamar Soutter holding one of many scientific specimens (minerals)
collected during the expedition.

Bart Gushue (assistant engineer), student (name?), Jim Wallace, Dr. Soutter, Stoddard (one of the brothers) sit on the forward end of the aft cabin top.

Jim Wallace at the wheel

Dr. Soutter collecting plankton in NW Greenland

Students, crew & Innuit in whaleboat

An iceberg sighted to windward


Bartlett Northeast Greenland Expedition under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, American Geographical Society, Chicago Zoological Society and the Field Museum.

David Nutt participant in four Arctic voyages between 1936 and 1940. Four of his films are on file at Bowdoin College. In 1990 these films were transferred to stable safety film by the Library of Congress Motion Picture Preservation Laboratory. David Nutt came to the Bartlett Boy’s Reunion in 1998.

Tom Wells sailed on this trip and has gone on to produce many images that include the Morrissey. Please check back in for a link to a Tom Wells page from this site!

Here is a pastel by Tom Wells who has gone on to be a well know maritime artist with many other images of the Morrissey

David Nutt with a catch

Warner Kent forward on lookout while others joke around by the mainmast. Photo by Thomas Wells, August, 1936

Tom Wells (left) letters sea bags for Bartlett while Leo Hansen, ornithologist for the Field Museum looks on

Buck Morris trimming Jack Cunningham's hair


Bartlett Northwest Greenland Expedition under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Zoological Society.

Howard "Howdie" McCall aft with Ben Hazeltine at the wheel

Capt. Bartlett would often go aloft as the ship was maneuvering through the ice. Above him is the "ice bucket" where crew members would stand watch for more eyes aloft

Bosun George Richards ashore at Etah

Ben Hazeltine and one of Ootah's wives. Ootah was one of the men who regularly worked with Bartlett during his many years of Arctic exploration.

We heard from Dave Munsell, Jr. who said his father sailed on board during this trip at age 17. John S. Connolly was also aboard and has come back aboard in 2000.


Northwest Greenland Expedition under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the United States National Museum.

Laura van der Meulen recently sent some scanned images of her father, Donald E. Clark, aboard the Morrissey to Northwest Greenland in 1938 and 1939 for the New York Zoological Society and Smithsonian Institution. Apparently Donald, in his mid-eighties and living in California today, still talks about his adventures on the Morrissey with Capt. 'Bob.' Donald was the youngest member of the crew and served as Radio Telephone Operator. Click here to see a picture of Donald and get a look at a FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Radio Telegraph Operators License.


This is a classic Bartlett photo sent to Ernestina by John B. Morris of Julian Burnett Book Store in Atlanta, GA. The photo was by Ralph B. Morris off Newfoundland in 1938.



Northeast Greenland Expedition under the auspices of the New York Zoological Society and the Smithsonian Institution. On this trip was established the Morrissey’s  farthest north for the east coast of Greenland  of 77o 15’N.

Donald E. Clark was aboard the Morrissey to Northwest Greenland in 1938 and 1939 for the New York Zoological Society and Smithsonian Institution. Donald was the youngest member of the crew and served as Radio Telephone Operator. Click here to see a picture of Donald and get a look at a FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Radio Telegraph Operators License.

Garrison McClure sailed as a teenager on this voyage and later came back on a number of occasions including the "Bartlett Boy" reunion in 1998.



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