Repulse Harbor


Repulse Harbor, Captain Hall raised an American flag on this land—the most northern site on which any civilized flag has been planted.

In the summer of 1871 the ship Polaris under the command of Charles Francis Hall sailed from New London headed for the North Pole.  It got as far as the edge of the Arctic Ocean before ice halted its northward journey.  Hall then began looking for a safe harbor where he could spend the winter.  The first possibility he investigated was a small harbor which he named Repulse Harbor.  He went ashore here, raised the American flag and declared it to be the most northern site yet reached by anyone.  He decided, however, that Repulse Harbor would not be a safe and secure place to spend the winter and proceeded to sail farther south to Thank God Harbor.  Here he secured the ship for the winter.

Three months after his triumphant declaration at Repulse Harbor, Hall was dead.  The cause of death is not certain, and it remains one of the many mysteries of Arctic exploration.

My book Beyond the Edge puts Hall’s tragic story in the context of early attempts to reach the North Pole. Repulse Harbor like so many place names in the Arctic has its own story to tell.

Interested in learning more about Repulse Harbor and Charles Francis Hall?  Get your copy of Beyond the Edge today!