Don Pedro Christophersen and Balmy Buenos Aires

  • Mary R. Tahan


This chapter documents the Fram’s and its crew’s arrival in Buenos Aires in April 1911, under a shroud of intrigue, using personal correspondence written from the ship’s captain Thorvald Nilsen to Roald Amundsen’s brother Leon Amundsen. As word had spread regarding Roald Amundsen’s secretive actions, some key figures globally and in Norway had turned away from their hero. Captain Nilsen finds no supplies, no money for repairs, and no promissory notes from the Norwegian banks waiting for him as anticipated in Buenos Aires. Acting under Amundsen’s orders, Nilsen appeals to Don Pedro Christophersen, who had offered financial assistance earlier. The elder statesman and businessman provides the funds, provisions, equipment, and accommodations necessary for the crew and ship to complete their stay in Buenos Aires, conduct their assigned oceanographic cruise, and return to Antarctica to retrieve Amundsen and the winter party. Thus, Christophersen saves the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition – and, in the future, will be rewarded by Amundsen in a way that involves the sled dogs. The Fram leaves the waters of Buenos Aires in June.


  1. Amundsen, R. Antarctic expedition diary, “Den tredje Framferd, 7 de Juni 1910” [“The Third Fram Journey, 7 June 1910”], 7 June 1910–19 October 1911 & 26 January 1912–6 March 1912, NB Ms.4° 1549, Manuscripts Collection. Oslo: National Library of Norway.Google Scholar
  2. Amundsen Letters of Correspondence. Manuscripts collection. Oslo: National Library of Norway.Google Scholar
  3. Amundsen, R. (1912). The South Pole: An account of the Norwegian Antarctic expedition in the “Fram”, 1910–1912, 2 vols (translator A.G. Chater). London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  4. Tahan, M. R. (2017) 2018. The Life of José María Sobral: Scientist, Diarist, and Pioneer in Antarctica. Cham: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary R. Tahan
    • 1
  1. 1.VancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations