possesses at least one original work, the account of the voyages of Hans Hendrik, companion of Kane, Hall, Hayes, and Nares.
Formerly, the right of property was restricted to objects of personal use, such as clothes and weapons; the hunting-grounds belonged to the whole community, and the produce of the chase or fisheries was equally distributed among all. The rights of communal property were also regulated and safeguarded by general assemblies followed by public banquets. But the Europeans have changed all that by introducing the principle of sale and purchase, by enlarging to their own profit the rights of personal ownership, and proclaiming the new gospel of "every man for himself." The result is a general impoverishment and moral degradation of the people. They are no longer like the Eskimo visited by Graah on the east coast—"the gentlest, the most upright and virtuous of men." Nevertheless, the language possesses not a single abusive term, and it is impossible to swear in Eskimo.
The part of Greenland where Eric the Red built his stronghold, and where the banished Norsemen flocked around him, is still one of the least deserted regions, as it also is the most fertile and temperate. Julianahaab, capital of this district, contains one fourth of the entire population of the country grouped on the banks of a small stream in a grassy valley near a deep fiord, which is unfortunately not easily accessible to shipping.
Upernivik (Upernavik) and Tasiusak, lying still farther north in 73° 24' north latitude, are the last European settlements in Greenland, gloomy abodes lost amid the snows at the foot of yellowish or brick-red rocks. In winter the sun sets for eighty days, yet by a sort of mockery this glacial district bears an Eskimo name meaning "spring." The horrors of war were extended to this extremity of the habitable world at the beginning of the present century, when Upernavik was burned by the English whalers, and all communication between Greenland and Denmark interrupted for the seven years from 1807 to 1814.