TAMH: Source Material
Dundee: Whaling: People: Captain William Adams - 1| 2

Excerpt from obituary in Dundee Advertiser of 7th August, 1890


While fully alive to business interests he found time for the work of exploration, and he was instrumental in adding considerably to our geographical knowledge of the Arctic regions. Captain Adams came to be recognised as an authority upon Arctic exploration. He was invited to the dinner given some years ago by the Lord Mayor of London to the members of the Leigh Smith expedition, and was present at the great meeting in St James's Hall, at which the Prince of Wales presided, and where he was openly spoken of as the fittest man to lead the American exploration in search of the last Greeley explorers. In 1885 he went to Canada for the purpose of negotiating as to the opening of a new trade route between Western Canada and this country. The intention was to construct a railway from the city of Winnipeg to Port Nelson, Hudson Bay, where the grain would be put on board a line of steamers and conveyed to this country. This railway would be from 500 to 600 miles in length, and it was proposed to construct it in the first place from the North End of Lake Winnipeg to Port Nelson - a distance of about 280 miles - so that while the remainder of the line was being formed the grain might be carried by steamers from the South to the North end of the lake. The principal obstacle to be overcome in the new route was the ice belt, commonly known as the 'Polar Stream', at the mouth of the Hudson Strait, and the mission of Captain Adams was to report the best course to be followed and the class of vessels to be employed. It was believed that steamers semi-fortified would be the most suitable, and as the route was generally navigable for fully four months in the year it was expected that two voyages could be made each season. The discovery ship Alert was placed at the service of the expedition, which was fixed to sail from Halifax on the 19th inst., and proceed by way of Davis Strait, Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay to Port Nelson, but it fell through.