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Title: In the Arctic Seas - A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John - Franklin and his Companions
Author: McClintock, Francis Leopold
Language: English
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[Illustration: The 'Fox' steaming out of the Rolling Pack.]

                   IN THE
                ARCTIC SEAS.

                A NARRATIVE
                   OF THE



              PORTER & COATES,
            822 CHESTNUT STREET.






There is no one to whom I could with so much propriety or willingness
dedicate my Journal as to you. For you it was originally written, and to
please you it now appears in print.

To our mutual friend, SHERARD OSBORN, I am greatly obliged for his
kindness in seeing it through the press--a labor I could not have
settled down to so soon after my return; and also for pointing out some
omissions and technicalities which would have rendered parts of it
unintelligible to an ordinary reader. These kind hints have been but
partially attended to, and, as time presses, it appears with the mass of
its original imperfections, as when you read it in manuscript. Such as
it is, however, it affords me this valued opportunity of assuring you of
the real gratification I feel in having been instrumental in
accomplishing an object so dear to you. To your devotion and
self-sacrifice the world is indebted for the deeply interesting
revelation unfolded by the voyage of the 'Fox.'

                           Believe me to be,

              With sincere respect, most faithfully yours,

                                                     F. L. M'CLINTOCK.

_London, 24th Nov., 1859._


 F. L. M'CLINTOCK,      Captain R.N.
 W. R. HOBSON,          Lieutenant R.N.
 ALLEN W. YOUNG,        Captain, Mercantile Marine.
 DAVID WALKER, M.D.,    Surgeon and Naturalist.
 GEORGE BRANDS,         Engineer, died 6th Nov. 1858, (Apoplexy).
 CARL PETERSEN,         Interpreter.
 THOMAS BLACKWELL,      Ship's Steward, died 14th June, 1859, (Scurvy).
 WM. HARVEY,            Chief Quartermaster.
 HENRY TOMS,            Quartermaster.
 ALEX. THOMPSON,              "
 JOHN SIMMONDS,         Boatswain's Mate.
 GEORGE EDWARDS,        Carpenter's Mate.
 ROBERT SCOTT,          Leading Stoker, died 4th Dec. 1857, (in
                          consequence of a fall).
 THOMAS GRINSTEAD,      Sailmaker.
 GEORGE HOBDAY,         Captain of Hold.
 JOHN A. HASELTON,        "
 GEORGE CAREY,            "
 BEN. POUND,              "
 WM. WALTERS,           Carpenter's Crew.
 WM. JONES,             Dog-driver.
 JAMES PITCHER,       } Stokers.
 RICHARD SHINGLETON,    Officers' Steward.
 ANTON CHRISTIAN,     } Greenland Esquimaux, discharged in Greenland.


                                                    ADMIRALTY, LONDON,
                                                    _24th Oct. 1859._


I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint
you, that, in consideration of the important services performed by you
in bringing home the only authentic intelligence of the death of the
late Sir John Franklin, and of the fate of the crews of the 'Erebus' and
'Terror,' Her Majesty has been pleased, by her order in Council of the
22nd instant, to sanction the time during which you were absent on these
discoveries in the Arctic Regions, viz., from the 30th June, 1857, to
the 21st September, 1859, to reckon as time served by a captain in
command of one of Her Majesty's ships, and my Lords have given the
necessary directions accordingly.

              I am, Sir,
                   Your very humble servant,
                                    W. G. ROMAINE,
                                         _Secretary to the Admiralty_.
 Captain Francis L. M'Clintock, R.N.


The following narrative of the bold adventure which has successfully
revealed the last discoveries and the fate of Franklin, is published at
the request of the friends of that illustrious navigator. The gallant
M'Clintock, when he penned his journal amid the Arctic ices, had no idea
whatever of publishing it; and yet there can be no doubt that the reader
will peruse with the deepest interest the simple tale of how, in a
little vessel of 170 tons burthen, he and his well-chosen companions
have cleared up this great mystery.

To the honor of the British nation, and also let it be said to that of
the United States of America, many have been the efforts made to
discover the route followed by our missing explorers. The highly
deserving men who have so zealously searched the Arctic seas and lands
in this cause must now rejoice, that after all their anxious toils, the
merit of rescuing from the frozen North the record of the last days of
Franklin, has fallen to the share of his noble-minded widow.

Lady Franklin has, indeed, well shown what a devoted and true-hearted
English woman can accomplish. The moment that relics of the expedition
commanded by her husband were brought home (in 1854) by Rae, and that
she heard of the account given to him by the Esquimaux of a large party
of Englishmen having been seen struggling with difficulties on the ice
near the mouth of the Back or Great Fish River, she resolved to expend
all her available means (already much exhausted in four other
independent expeditions) in an exploration of the limited area to which
the search must thenceforward be necessarily restricted.

Whilst the supporters of Lady Franklin's efforts were of opinion, that
the Government ought to have undertaken a search, the extent of which
was, for the first time, definitely limited, it is but rendering justice
to the then Prime Minister[1] to state, that he had every desire to
carry out the wishes of the men of science[2] who appealed to him, and
that he was precluded from acceding to their petition, by nothing but
the strongly expressed opinion of official authorities, that after so
many failures the Government were no longer justified in sending out
more brave men to encounter fresh dangers in a cause which was viewed as
hopeless. Hence it devolved on Lady Franklin and her friends to be the
sole means of endeavoring to bring to light the true history of her
husband's voyage and fate.

Looking to the list of Naval worthies, who, during the preceding years,
had been exploring the Arctic Regions, Lady Franklin was highly
gratified when she obtained the willing services of Captain M'Clintock
to command the yacht 'Fox,' which she had purchased; for that officer
had signally distinguished himself in the voyages of Sir John Ross and
Captain (now Admiral) Austin, and especially in his extensive journeys
on the ice when associated with Captain Kellett. With such a leader she
could not but entertain sanguine hopes of success when the fast and
well-adapted little vessel sailed from Aberdeen on the 1st of July,
1857, upon this eventful enterprise.

Deep, indeed, was the mortification experienced by every one who shared
the feelings and anticipations of Lady Franklin when the untoward news
came, in the summer of 1858, that, the preceding winter having set in
earlier than usual, the 'Fox' had been beset in the ice off Melville
Bay, on the coast of Greenland, and after a dreary winter, various
narrow escapes, and eight months of imprisonment, had been carried back
by the floating ice nearly twelve hundred geographical miles--even to
63-1/2° N. lat. in the Atlantic! See the woodcut map, No. 1.

But although the good little yacht had been most roughly handled among
the ice-floes (see Frontispiece), we were cheered up by the information
from Disco, that, with the exception of the death of the engine-driver
in consequence of a fall into the hold, the crew were in stout health
and full of energy, and that provided with sufficient fuel and
provisions, a good supply of sledging dogs, two tried Esquimaux, and the
excellent interpreter Petersen the Dane,[3] ample grounds yet remained
to lead us to hope for a successful issue. Above all, we were encouraged
by the proofs of the self-possession and calm resolve of M'Clintock, who
held steadily to the accomplishment of his original project; the more so
as he had then tested and recognized the value of the services of
Lieutenant (now Commander) Hobson, his able second in command; of
Captain Allen Young, his generous volunteer associate;[4] and of Dr.
Walker, his accomplished Surgeon.

Despite, however, of these re-assuring data, many an advocate of this
search was anxiously alive to the chance of the failure of the venture
of one unassisted yacht, which after sundry mishaps was again starting
to cross Baffin's Bay, with the foreknowledge, that when she reached the
opposite coast, the real difficulties of the enterprise were to

Any such misgivings were happily illusory; and the reader who follows
M'Clintock across the "middle ice" of Baffin's Bay to Pond Inlet, thence
to Beechey Island, down a portion of Peel Strait, and then through the
hitherto unnavigated waters of Bellot Strait in one summer season, may
reasonably expect the success which followed.

Whilst the revelation obtained from the long-sought records, which were
discovered by Lieutenant Hobson, is most satisfactory to those who
speculated on the probability of Franklin having, in the first instance,
tried to force his way northwards through Wellington Channel (as we now
learn he did), those who held a different hypothesis, namely, that he
followed his instructions, which directed him to the S.W., may be amply
satisfied that in the following season the ships did pursue this
southerly course till they were finally beset in N. lat. 70° 05'.[5]

At the same time, the public should fully understand the motive which
prompted the supporters of Lady Franklin in advocating the last search.
Putting aside the hope which some of us entertained, that a few of the
younger men of the missing expedition might still be found to be living
among the Esquimaux, we had every reason to expect, that if the ships
were discovered, the scientific documents of the voyage, including
valuable magnetic observations, would be recovered.

In the absence of such good fortune we may, however, well be gladdened
by the discovery of that one precious document which gives us a true
outline of the voyage of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror.'

That the reader may comprehend the vast extent of sea traversed by
Franklin in the two summers before his ships were beset, a small map
(No. 2) is here introduced representing all the lands and seas of the
Arctic regions to the west of Lancaster Sound which were known and laid
down when he sailed. The dotted lines and arrows, which extend from the
then known seas and lands into the unknown waters or blank spaces on
this old map, indicate Franklin's route, the novelty, range, rapidity,
and boldness of which, as thus delineated, may well surprise the
geographer, and even the most enterprising Arctic sailor.[6] For, those
who have not closely attended to the results of other Arctic voyages
may be informed, that rarely has an expedition in the first year
accomplished more by its ships, than the establishing of good winter
quarters, from whence the real researches began by sledge-work in the
ensuing spring. Franklin, however, not only reached Beechey Island, but
ascended Wellington Channel, then an unknown sea, to 77° N. lat., a more
northern latitude in this meridian than that attained long afterwards in
ships by Sir Edward Belcher, and much to the north of the points reached
by Penny and De Haven. Next, though most scantily provided with
steam-power, Franklin navigated round Cornwallis' Land, which he thus
proved to be an island. The last discovery of a navigable channel
throughout, between Cornwallis and Bathurst Islands, though made in the
very summer he left England, has remained even to this day unknown to
other navigators!

Franklin then, in obedience to his orders, steered to the south-west.
Passing, as M'Clintock believes, down Peel's Strait in 1846, and
reaching as far as lat. 70° 05' N., and long. 98° 23' W., where the
ships were beset, it is clear that he, who, with others, had previously
ascertained the existence of a channel along the north coast of America,
with which the sea wherein he was interred had a direct communication,
was the _first real discoverer of the North-West Passage_. This great
fact must therefore be inscribed upon the monument of Franklin.

The adventurous M'Clure, who has been worthily honored for working out
another North-Western passage, which we now know to have been of
subsequent date,[7] as well as Collinson, who, taking the 'Enterprise'
along the north coast of America, and afterwards bringing her home,
reached with sledges the western edge of the area recently laid open by
M'Clintock, will I have no doubt unite with their Arctic associates,
Richardson, Sherard Osborn, and M'Clintock, in affirming, that "Franklin
and his followers secured the honor for which they died--that of being
the first discoverers of the North-West Passage."[8]

Again, when we turn from the discoveries of Franklin to those of
M'Clintock, as mapped in red colors on the general map, on which is
represented the amount of outline laid down by all other Arctic
explorers from the days when these modern researches originated with
Sir John Barrow, we perceive that, in addition to the discovery of the
course followed by the 'Erebus' and 'Terror,' some most important
geographical data have been accumulated by the last expedition of Lady

Thus, M'Clintock has proved, that the strait named by Kennedy in an
earlier private expedition of Lady Franklin after his companion the
brave Lieutenant Bellot, and which has hitherto been regarded only as an
impassable frozen channel, or ignored as a channel at all, is a
navigable strait, the south shore of which is thus seen to be the
northernmost land of the continent of America.

M'Clintock has also laid down the hitherto unknown coast-line of
Boothia, southwards from Bellot Strait to the Magnetic Pole, has
delineated the whole of King William's Island, and opened a new and
capacious, though ice-choked channel, suspected before, but not proved,
to exist, extending from Victoria Strait in a north-west direction to
Melville or Parry Sound. The latter discovery rewarded the individual
exertions of Captain Allen Young, but will very properly, at Lady
Franklin's request, bear the name of the leader of the 'Fox' expedition,
who had himself assigned to it the name of the widow of Franklin.[9]

Neither has the expedition been unproductive of scientific results. For,
whilst many persons will be interested in the popular descriptions of
the native Esquimaux, as well as of the lower animals, the man of
science will hereafter be further gratified by having presented to him,
in the form of an additional Appendix,[10] most valuable details
relating to the zoology, botany, meteorology, and especially to the
terrestrial magnetism, of the region examined.

Lastly, M'Clintock has convinced himself, that the best way of securing
the passage of a ship from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is by following,
as near as possible, the coast-line of North America: indeed, it is his
opinion, founded upon a large experience, that no passage by a ship can
ever be accomplished in a more northern direction. This it is well known
was the favorite theory of Franklin, who had himself, along with
Richardson, Back, Beechey, Dease, Simpson, and Rae, surveyed the whole
of that same North American coast from the Back or Great Fish River to
Behring Strait. Thus, when Franklin sailed in 1845, the discovery of a
North-West Passage was reduced to the finding a link between the latter
survey and the discoveries of Parry, who had already, to his great
renown, opened the first half of a more northern course from east to
west, when he was arrested by the impenetrable ice-barrier at Melville

And here it is to be remembered, that the tract in which the record and
the relics have been found, is just that to which Lady Franklin herself
specially directed Kennedy, the commander of the 'Prince Albert,' in her
second private expedition in 1852; and had that intrepid explorer not
been induced to search northwards of Bellot Strait, but had felt himself
able to follow the course indicated by his sagacious employer, there can
be no doubt, that much more satisfactory results would have been
obtained than those which, after a lapse of seven years, have now been
realized by the undaunted perseverance of Lady Franklin, and the skill
and courage of M'Clintock.

The natural modesty of this commander has, I am bound to say, prevented
his doing common justice, in the following journal, to his own
conduct--conduct which can be estimated by those only who have listened
to the testimony of the officers serving with and under the man, whose
great qualities in moments of extreme peril elicited their heartiest
admiration and ensured their perfect confidence.

In writing this Preface (which I do at the request of the promoters of
the last search), I may state that, having occupied the Chair of the
Royal Geographical Society in 1845, when my cherished friend, Sir John
Franklin, went forth for the third time to seek a North-West passage, it
became my bounden duty in subsequent years, when his absence created
much anxiety, and when I re-occupied the same position, ardently to
promote the employment of searching expeditions, and warmly to sustain
Lady Franklin's endeavors in this holy cause.

Imbued with such feelings, I must be permitted to say, that no event in
my life gave me purer delight, than when Captain Collinson, whose labors
to support and carry out this last search have been signally
serviceable, forwarded to me a telegram to be communicated to the
British Association at Aberdeen announcing the success of M'Clintock.
That document reached Balmoral on the 22nd of September last, when the
men of science were invited thither by their Sovereign. Great was the
satisfaction caused by the diffusion of these good tidings among my
associates (the distinguished Arctic explorers Admiral Sir James Ross
and General Sabine being present); and it was most cheering to us to
know, that the Queen and our Royal President[11] took the deepest
interest in this intelligence--such as, indeed, they have always
evinced whenever the search for the missing navigators has been brought
under their consideration. The immediate bestowal of the Arctic medal
upon all the officers and men of the 'Fox' is a pleasing proof that this
interest is well sustained.

But these few introductory sentences must not be extended; and I invite
the reader at once to peruse the Journal of M'Clintock, which will
gratify every lover of truthful and ardent research, though it will
leave him impressed with the sad belief, that the end of the companions
of Franklin has been truly recorded by the native Esquimaux, who saw
these noble fellows "fall down and die as they walked along the ice."

Looking to the fact, that little or no fresh food could have been
obtained by the crews of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' during their long
imprisonment of twenty months, in so frightfully sterile a region as
that in which the ships were abandoned,--so sterile that it is even
deserted by the Esquimaux,--and also to the want of sustenance in spring
at the mouth of the Back River, all the Arctic naval authorities with
whom I have conversed, coincide with M'Clintock and his associates in
the belief, that none of the missing navigators can be now living.

Painful as is the realisation of this tragic event, let us now dwell
only on the reflection that, while the North-West passage has been
solved by the heroic self-sacrifice of Franklin, Crozier, Fitzjames,
and their associates, the searches after them which are now terminated,
have, at a very small loss of life, not only added prodigiously to
geographical knowledge, but have, in times of peace, been the best
school for testing, by the severest trials, the skill and endurance of
many a brave seaman. In her hour of need--should need arise--England
knows that such men will nobly do their duty.

                                                RODERICK I. MURCHISON.


[1] Viscount Palmerston.

[2] See the Memorial (Appendix) addressed to the First Lord of the
Treasury, headed by Admiral Sir F. Beaufort, General Sabine, and many
other men of science, and which, as President of the Royal Geographical
Society, I presented to the Prime Minister; and also the speech of Lord
Wrottesley, the President of the Royal Society, who, in the absence of
the lamented Earl of Ellesmere, brought the subject earnestly under the
notice of the House of Lords on the 18th of July, 1856.

[3] Since his return to Copenhagen, Petersen has been worthily honored
by his Sovereign with the silver cross of Dannebrog.

[4] Captain Allen Young of the merchant marine not only threw his
services into this cause, and subscribed £500 in furtherance of the
expedition, but, abandoning lucrative appointments in command,
generously accepted a subordinate post.

[5] For a _résumé_ of all the plans of research and the speculations of
seamen and geographers, see the interesting and most useful volume of
Mr. John Brown, entitled, 'The North-West Passage and Search after Sir
John Franklin,' 1858. In an Appendix to this work we learn, that from
the earliest Polar researches by John Cabot, at the end of the 15th
century, to the voyage of M'Clintock, there have been about 130
expeditions, illustrated by 250 books and printed documents, of which
150 have been issued in England. Amidst the various recent publications,
it is but rendering justice to Dr. King, the former companion of Sir
George Back, to state that he suggested and always maintained the
necessity of a search for the missing navigators at or near the mouth of
the Back River.

[6] The letter A in Baffin Bay (fig. 1) indicates the spot where
Franklin was last seen. In fig. 2, B is the winter rendezvous at Beechey
Island; C the greatest northing of the expedition, viz. 77° N. lat.; Z
the final beset of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror;' the extreme north and
south points of their voyage being represented by two small ships.

[7] In 1850.

[8] See a most heart-stirring sketch of the last voyage of Sir John
Franklin, by Captain Sherard Osborn, in the periodical _Once a Week_, of
the 22d and 29th October and 5th November last. Possessing a thorough
acquaintance with the Arctic regions, the distinguished seaman has shown
more than his ordinary power of description, in placing before the
public his conception of what may have been the chief occurrences in the
voyage of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror,' and the last days of Franklin, as
founded upon an acquaintance with the character of the chief and his
associates, and the record and relics obtained by M'Clintock. This
sketch is prefaced by a spirited and graceful outline of all previous
geographical discoveries, from the day when they were originated by the
father of all modern Arctic enterprise, Sir John Barrow, to whom, and to
many other eminent persons, from Sir Edward Parry downwards, I have in
various Geographical Addresses offered the tribute of my admiration.

[9] In his volume before cited, p. xii., Mr. John Brown gave strong
reasons (which he had held for some time) for believing in the existence
of the very channel which now bears the name of M'Clintock. It is,
however, the opinion both of that officer and his associates, as also of
Captain Sherard Osborn, that Franklin could not have reached the spot
where his ships were beset by proceeding down that ice-choked channel,
but that he must have sailed down Peel Sound.

[10] Much of this Appendix will be prepared by Dr. David Walker.

[11] At the Aberdeen meeting the Prince Consort thus spoke:--"The
Aberdeen whaler braves the icy regions of the Polar sea to seek and to
battle with the great monster of the deep; he has materially assisted in
opening these ice-bound regions to the researches of science; he
fearlessly aided in the search after Sir John Franklin and his gallant
companions whom their country sent forth on this mission; but to whom
Providence, alas! has denied the reward of their labors, the return to
their homes, to the affectionate embrace of their families and friends,
and the acknowledgments of a grateful nation."



 Cause of delay in equipment--Fittings of the 'Fox'--Volunteers for
   Arctic service--Assistance from public departments--Reflections upon
   the undertaking--Instructions and departure--Orkneys and
   Greenland--Fine Arctic scenery--Danish establishments in
   Greenland--Frederickshaab, in Davis' Straits,                  Page 1


 Fiskernaes and Esquimaux--The 'Fox' reaches Disco--Disco Fiord--Summer
   scenery--Waigat Strait--Coaling from the mine--Purchasing Esquimaux
   dogs--Heavy gale off Upernivik--Melville Bay--The middle ice--The
   great glacier of Greenland--Reindeer cross the glacier,            19


 Melville Bay--Beset in Melville Bay--Signs of winter--The coming
   storm--Drifting in the pack--Canine appetite--Resigned to a winter
   in the pack--Dinner stolen by sharks--The Arctic shark--White whales
   and killers,                                                       35


 Snow crystals--Dog will not eat raven--An Arctic school--The dogs
   invade us--Bear-hunting by night--Ice-artillery--Arctic
   palates--Sudden rise of temperature--Harvey's idea of a sortie,    51


 Burial in the pack--Musk oxen in lat. 80° north--Thrift of the
   Arctic fox--The aurora affects the electrometer--An Arctic
   Christmas--Sufferings of an Arctic party--Ice acted on by wind
   only--How the sun ought to be welcomed--Constant action of the
   ice--Return of the seals--Revolving storm,                         67


 A bear-fight--An ice-nip--Strong gales, rapid drift--The 'Fox' breaks
   out of the pack--Hanging on to floe-edge--The Arctic bear--An ice
   tournament--The 'Fox' in peril--A storm in the pack--Escape from the
   pack,                                                              84


 A holiday in Greenland--A lady blue with cold--The loves of
   Greenlanders--Close shaving--Meet the whalers--Information of
   whalers--Disco--Danish hospitality--Sail from Disco--Kindness of
   the whalers--Danish establishments in Greenland,                  100


 'Fox' nearly wrecked--Afloat, and push ahead--Arctic hairbreadth
   escapes--Nearly caught in the pack--Shooting little auks--The
   Arctic Highlanders--Cape York--Crimson snow--Struggling to the
   westward--Reach the West-land--Off the entrance of Lancaster
   Sound,                                                            116


 Off Cape Warrender--Sight the whalers again--Enter Pond's
   Bay--Communicate with Esquimaux--Ascend Pond's Inlet--Esquimaux
   information--Arctic summer abode--An Arctic village--No intelligence
   of Franklin's ships--Arctic trading--Geographical information of
   natives--Information of Rae's visit--Improvidence of
   Esquimaux--Travels of Esquimaux,                                  132


 Leave Pond's Bay--A gale in Lancaster Sound--The Beechey Island
   Depôt--An Arctic monument--Reflections at Beechey Island--Proceed
   up Barrow's Strait--Peel Sound--Port Leopold--Prince Regent's
   Inlet--Bellot Strait--Flood-tide from the west--Unsuccessful
   efforts--Fox's Hole--No water to the west--Precautionary
   measures--Fourth attempt to pass through,                         153


 Proceed westward in a boat--Cheerless state of the western
   sea--Struggles in Bellot Strait--Falcons, good Arctic fare--The
   resources of Boothia Felix--Future sledge travelling--Heavy
   gales--Hobson's party start--Winter quarters--Bellot
   Strait--Advanced depôt established--Observatories--Intense
   cold--Autumn travellers--Narrow escape,                           174


 Death of our engineer--Scarcity of game--The cold unusually
   trying--Jolly, under adverse circumstances--Petersen's
   information--Return of the sun of 1859--Early spring
   sledge-parties--Unusual severity of the winter--Severe hardships
   of early sledging--The western shores of Boothia--Meet the
   Esquimaux--Intelligence of Franklin's ships--Return to the
   'Fox'--Allen Young returns,                                       192


 Dr. Walker's sledge journey--Snow-blindness attacks Young's
   party--Departure of all sledge-parties--Equipment of
   sledge-parties--Meet the same party of natives--Intelligence
   of the second ship--My depôt robbed--Part company from
   Hobson--Matty Island--Deserted snow-huts--Native sledges--Land
   on King William's Land,                                           217


 Meet Esquimaux--News of Franklin's people--Frighten a solitary
   party--Reach the Great Fish River--On Montreal Island--Total
   absence of all relics--Examine Ogle Peninsula--Discover
   a skeleton--Vagueness of Esquimaux information--Cape
   Herschel--Cairn,                                                  235


 The cairn found empty--Discover Hobson's letter--Discovery of
   Crozier's record--The deserted boat--Articles discovered about
   the boat--The skeletons and relics--The boat belonged to the
   'Erebus'--Conjectures,                                            253


 Errors in Franklin's records--Relics found at the cairn--Reflections
   on the retreat--Returning homeward--Geological remarks--Difficulties
   of summer sledging--Arrive on board the 'Fox'--Navigable N.W.
   passage--Death from scurvy--Anxiety for Captain Young--Young returns
   safely,                                                           272


 Signs of release--Dearth of animal life--Owl is good beef--Beat out of
   winter quarters--Our game-list--Reach Fury Beach--Escape from
   Regent's Inlet--In Baffin's Bay--Captain Allen Young's
   journey--Disco; sad disappointment--Part from our Esquimaux
   friends--Adieu to Greenland--Arrive home,                         292

CONCLUSION,                                                          315

       *       *       *       *       *


 No. I.--A Letter to Viscount Palmerston, K.G., &c., from Lady
   Franklin,                                                         319

 No. II.--Memorial to the Right Hon. Viscount Palmerston, M.P.,
   G.C.B.,                                                           329

 No. III.--List of Relics of the Franklin Expedition brought to
   England in the 'Fox' by Captain M'Clintock,                       334

 No. IV.--Geological Account of the Arctic Archipelago, by Professor
   Haughton,                                                         341

 No. V.--List of Subscribers to the 'Fox' Expedition,                373



 Cause of delay in equipment--Fittings of the 'Fox'--Volunteers for
   Arctic service--Assistance from public departments--Reflections upon
   the undertaking--Instructions and departure--Orkneys and
   Greenland--Fine Arctic scenery--Danish establishments in
   Greenland--Frederickshaab, in Davis' Straits.

It is now a matter of history how Government and private expeditions
prosecuted, with unprecedented zeal and perseverance, the search for Sir
John Franklin's ships, between the years 1847-55; and that the only ray
of information gleaned was that afforded by the inscriptions upon three
tombstones at Beechey Island, briefly recording the names and dates of
the deaths of those individuals of the lost expedition, who thus early
fell in the cause of science and of their country.

In this manner were we made aware of the locality where the Franklin
expedition passed its first Arctic winter. The traces assuring us of
that fact, were discovered in August, 1850, by Captain Ommanney, R.N.,
of H.M.S. 'Assistance,' and by Captain Penny, of the 'Lady Franklin.'


In October, 1854, Dr. Rae brought home the only additional information
respecting them which has ever reached us. From the Esquimaux of Boothia
Felix he learned that a party of about forty white men were met on the
west coast of King William's Island, and from thence travelled on to the
mouth of the Great Fish River, where they all perished of starvation,
and that this tragic event occurred apparently in the spring of 1850.

Some relics obtained from these natives, and brought home by Dr. Rae,
were proved to have belonged to Sir John Franklin and several of his

The Government caused an exploring party to descend the Fish River in
1855; but, although sufficient traces were found to prove that some
portion of the crews of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' had actually landed on
the banks of that river, and traces existed of them up to Franklin
Rapids, no additional information was obtained either from the discovery
of records, or through the Esquimaux. Mr. Anderson, the Hudson Bay
Company's officer in charge, and his small party, deserve credit for
their perseverance and skill; but they were not furnished with the
necessary means of accomplishing their mission. Mr. Anderson could not
obtain an interpreter, and the two frail bark canoes in which his whole
party embarked were almost worn out before they reached the locality to
be searched. It is not surprising that such an expedition caused very
considerable excitement at home.

{APR., 1857.}


Lady Franklin, and the advocates for further search, now pressed upon
government the necessity of following up, in a more effectual manner,
the traces accidentally found by Dr. Rae, and, in fact, of rendering the
search complete by one more effort, involving but little of hazard or
expense. It was not until April, 1857, that any decisive answer was
given to Lady Franklin's appeal. (See Appendix No. 1.)

Sir Charles Wood then stated "that the members of Her Majesty's
Government, having come, with great regret, to the conclusion that there
was no prospect of saving life, would not be justified, for any objects
which in their opinion could be obtained by an expedition to the Arctic
seas, in exposing the lives of officers and men to the risk inseparable
from such an enterprise."

Lady Franklin, upon this final disappointment of her hopes, had no
hesitation in immediately preparing to send out a searching expedition,
equipped and stored at her own cost. But she was not left alone. Many
friends of the cause--including some of the most distinguished
scientific men in England,[12] and especially Sir Roderick Murchison,
whose zeal was as practical as it was enlightened--hastened to tender
their aid, and soon a very considerable sum was raised in furtherance of
so truly noble an effort.


On the 18th of April, 1857, Lady Franklin did me the honor to offer me
the command of the proposed expedition; it was of course most cheerfully
accepted. As a post of honor and some difficulty, it possessed quite
sufficient charms for a naval officer who had already served in three
consecutive expeditions from 1848 to 1854. I was thoroughly conversant
with all the details of this peculiar service; and I confess, moreover,
that my whole heart was in the cause. How could I do otherwise than
devote myself to save at least the record of faithful service, even unto
death, of my brother officers and seamen? and, being one of those by
whose united efforts not only the Franklin search, but the geography of
Arctic America, has been brought so nearly to completion, I could not
willingly resign to posterity, the honor of filling up even the small
remaining blank upon our maps.

To leave these discoveries incomplete, more especially in a quarter
through which the tidal stream actually demonstrates the existence of a
channel--the only remaining hope of a practicable north-west
passage--would indeed be leaving strong inducement for future explorers
to reap the rich reward of our long-continued exertions.


I immediately applied to the Admiralty for leave of absence to complete
the Franklin search; and on the 23d received at Dublin the telegraphic
message from Lady Franklin: "Your leave is granted; the 'Fox' is mine;
the refit will commence immediately." She had already purchased the
screw-yacht 'Fox,' of 177 tons burthen, and now placed her, together
with the necessary funds, at my disposal.

Let me explain what is here implied by the simple word refit. The velvet
hangings and splendid furniture of the yacht, and also every thing not
constituting a part of the vessel's strengthening, were to be removed;
the large sky-lights and capacious ladderways had to be reduced to
limits more adapted to a polar clime; the whole vessel to be externally
sheathed with stout planking, and internally fortified by strong
cross-beams, longitudinal beams, iron stanchions, and diagonal
fastenings; the false keel taken off, the slender brass propeller
replaced by a massive iron one, the boiler taken out, altered, and
enlarged; the sharp stem to be cased in iron until it resembled a
ponderous chisel set up edgeways; even the yacht's rig had to be

She was placed in the hands of her builders, Messrs. Hall & Co., of
Aberdeen, who displayed even more than their usual activity in effecting
these necessary alterations, for it was determined that the 'Fox' should
sail by the 1st July.


Internally she was fitted up with the strictest economy in every sense,
and the officers were crammed into pigeon-holes, styled cabins, in order
to make room for provisions and stores; our mess-room, for five persons,
measured 8 feet square. The ordinary heating apparatus for winter use
was dispensed with, and its place supplied by a few very small stoves.
The 'Fox' had been the property of the late Sir Richard Sutton, Bart.,
who made but one trip to Norway in her, and she was purchased by Lady
Franklin from his executors for 2000_l._

Having thus far commenced the refit of the vessel, I turned my attention
to the selection of a crew and to the requisite clothing and provisions
for our voyage.

Many worthy old shipmates, my companions in the previous Arctic voyages,
most readily volunteered their services, and they were as cheerfully
accepted, for it was my anxious wish to gather round me well-tried men,
who were aware of the duties expected of them, and accustomed to naval
discipline. Hence, out of the twenty-five souls composing our small
company, seventeen had previously served in the Arctic search.

Expeditions of this kind are always popular with seamen, and innumerable
were the applications sent to me; but still more abundant were the
offers to "serve in any capacity" which poured in from all parts of the
country, from people of all classes, many of whom had never seen the
sea. It was, of course, impossible to accede to any of these latter
proposals, yet, for my own part, I could not but feel gratified at such
convincing proofs that the spirit of the country was favorable to us,
and that the ardent love of hardy enterprise still lives amongst
Englishmen, as of old, to be cherished, I trust, as the most valuable of
our national characteristics--as that which has so largely contributed
to make England what she is.


My second in command was Lieutenant W. R. Hobson, R.N., an officer
already distinguished in Arctic service. Captain Allen Young joined me
as sailing-master, contributing not only his valuable services but
largely of his private funds to the expedition. This gentleman had
previously commanded some of our very finest merchant ships, the latest
being the steam-transport 'Adelaide' of 2500 tons: he had but recently
returned, in ill health, from the Black Sea, where he was most actively
employed during the greater part of the Crimean campaign. Nothing that I
could say would add to the merit of such singularly generous and
disinterested conduct. David Walker, M.D., volunteered for the post of
surgeon and naturalist; he also undertook the photographic department;
and just before sailing, Carl Petersen, now so well known to Arctic
readers as the Esquimaux interpreter in the expeditions of Captain
Penny and Dr. Kane, came to join me from Copenhagen, although landed
there from Greenland only six days previously, after an absence of a
year from his family: we were indebted to Sir Roderick Murchison and the
electric telegraph for securing his valuable services.


Like the Paris omnibuses we were at length _tout complet_, and quite as
anxious to make a start.

Ample provisions for twenty-eight months were embarked, including
preserved vegetables, lemon-juice, and pickles, for daily consumption,
and preserved meats for every third day: also as much of Messrs.
Allsopp's stoutest ale as we could find room for. The Government,
although declining to send out an expedition, yet now contributed
liberally to our supplies. All our arms, powder, shot, powder for
ice-blasting, rockets, maroons, and signal mortar, were furnished by the
Board of Ordnance. The Admiralty caused 6682 lbs. of pemmican to be
prepared for our use. Not less than 85,000 lbs. of this invaluable food
have been prepared since 1845 at the Royal Clarence Victualing Yard,
Gosport, for the use of the Arctic Expeditions. It is composed of prime
beef cut into thin slices and dried over a wood fire; then pounded up
and mixed with about an equal weight of melted beef fat. The pemmican is
then pressed into cases capable of containing 42 lbs. each. The
Admiralty supplied us with all the requisite ice-gear, such as saws
from ten to eighteen feet in length, ice-anchors, and ice-claws: also
with our winter housing, medicines, pure lemon-juice, seamen's library,
hydrographical instruments, charts, chronometers, and an ample supply of
arctic clothing which had remained in store from former expeditions. The
Board of Trade contributed a variety of meteorological and nautical
instruments and journals; and I found that I had but to ask of these
departments for what was required, and if in store it was at once
granted. I asked, however, only for such things as were indispensably


The President and Council of the Royal Society voted the sum of 50_l._
from their donation fund for the purchase of magnetic and other
scientific instruments, in order that our anticipated approach to so
interesting a locality as the Magnetic Pole might not be altogether
barren of results.

Being desirous to retain for my vessel the privileges she formerly
enjoyed as a yacht, my wishes were very promptly gratified; in the first
instance by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, of which my officers and
myself were enrolled as members--the Commodore, A. Arcedeckne, Esq.,
presenting my vessel with the handsome ensign and burgee of the Club;
and shortly afterwards by my being elected a member of the Royal
Victoria Yacht Club for the period of my voyage. Lastly, upon the very
day of sailing, I was proposed for the Royal Yacht Squadron, to which
the yacht had previously belonged when the property of Sir Richard


Throughout the whole period required for our equipment, I constantly
experienced the heartiest co-operation and earnest good will from all
with whom my varied duties brought me in contact. Deep sympathy with
Lady Franklin in her distress, her self-devotion and sacrifice of
fortune, and an earnest desire to extend succor to any chance survivors
of the ill-fated expedition who might still exist, or at least, to
ascertain their fate, and rescue from oblivion their heroic deeds,
seemed the natural promptings of every honest English heart. It is
needless to add that this experience of public opinion confirmed my own
impression that the glorious mission intrusted to me was in reality a
_great national duty_. I could not but feel that, if the gigantic and
admirably equipped national expeditions sent out on precisely the same
duty, and reflecting so much credit upon the Board of Admiralty, were
ranked amongst the noblest efforts in the cause of humanity any nation
ever engaged in, and that, if high honor was awarded to all composing
those splendid expeditions, surely the effort became still more
remarkable and worthy of approbation when its means were limited to one
little vessel, containing but twenty-five souls, equipped and
provisioned (although efficiently, yet) in a manner more according with
the limited resources of a private individual than with those of the
public purse. The less the means, the more arduous I felt was the
achievement. The greater the risk--for the 'Fox' was to be launched
alone into those turbulent seas from which every other vessel had long
since been withdrawn--the more glorious would be the success, the more
honorable even the defeat, if again defeat awaits us.


Upon the last day of June, Lady Franklin, accompanied by her niece Miss
Sophia Cracroft, and Capt. Maguire, R.N., came on board to bid us
farewell, for we purposed sailing in the evening. Seeing how deeply
agitated she was on leaving the ship, I endeavored to repress the
enthusiasm of my crew, but without avail; it found vent in three
prolonged, hearty cheers. The strong feeling which prompted them was
truly sincere; and this unbidden exhibition of it can hardly have
gratified her for whom it was intended more than it did myself.

I must here insert the only written instructions I could prevail upon
Lady Franklin to give me; they were not read until the 'Fox' was fairly
in the Atlantic.


                                              ABERDEEN, _June 29, 1857_.


    You have kindly invited me to give you "Instructions," but I cannot
    bring myself to feel that it would be right in me in any way to
    influence your judgment in the conduct of your noble undertaking;
    and indeed I have no temptation to do so, since it appears to me
    that your views are almost identical with those which I had
    independently formed before I had the advantage of being thoroughly
    possessed of yours. But had this been otherwise, I trust you would
    have found me ready to prove the implicit confidence I place in you
    by yielding my own views to your more enlightened judgment; knowing
    too as I do that your whole heart also is in the cause, even as my
    own is. As to the objects of the expedition and their relative
    importance, I am sure you know that the rescue of any possible
    survivor of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' would be to me, as it would be
    to you, the noblest result of our efforts.

    To this object I wish every other to be subordinate; and next to it
    in importance is the recovery of the unspeakably precious documents
    of the expedition, public and private, and the personal relics of my
    dear husband and his companions.

    And lastly, I trust it may be in your power to confirm, directly or
    inferentially, the claims of my husband's expedition to the earliest
    discovery of the passage, which, if Dr. Rae's report be true (and
    the Government of our country has accepted and rewarded it as such),
    these martyrs in a noble cause achieved at their last extremity,
    after five long years of labor and suffering, if not at an earlier

    I am sure you will do all that man can do for the attainment of all
    these objects; my only fear is that you may spend yourselves too
    much in the effort; and you must therefore let me tell you how much
    dearer to me even than any of them is the preservation of the
    valuable lives of the little band of heroes who are your companions
    and followers.

    May God in his great mercy preserve you all from harm amidst the
    labors and perils which await you, and restore you to us in health
    and safety as well as honor! As to the honor I can have _no_
    misgiving. It will be yours as much if you fail (since you _may_
    fail in spite of every effort) as if you succeed; and be assured
    that, under _any and all circumstances whatever_, such is my
    unbounded confidence in you, you will ever possess and be entitled
    to the enduring gratitude of your sincere and attached friend,

                                                        JANE FRANKLIN.

{JULY, 1857.}


We were not destined to get to sea that evening. The 'Fox,' hitherto
during her brief career, accustomed only to the restraint imposed upon a
gilded pet in summer seas, seemed to have got an inkling that her duty
henceforth was to combat with difficulties, and, entering fully into the
spirit of the cruise, answered her helm so much more readily than the
pilot expected that she ran aground upon the bar. She was promptly
shored up, and remained in that position until next morning, when she
floated off unhurt at high water, and commenced her long and lonely

Scarcely had we left the busy world behind us when we were actively
engaged in making arrangements for present comfort and future exertion.
How busy, how happy, and how full of hope we all were then!

On the night of the 2d of July we passed through the Pentland Firth,
where the tide rushing impetuously against a strong wind raised up a
tremendous sea, amid which the little vessel struggled bravely under
steam and canvas. The bleak wild shores of Orkney, the still wilder
pilot's crew, and their hoarse screams and unintelligible dialect, the
shrill cry of innumerable sea-birds, the howling breeze and angry sea,
made us feel as if we had suddenly awoke in Greenland itself. The
southern extremity of that ice-locked continent became visible on the
12th. It is quaintly named Cape Farewell; but whether by some sanguine
outward-bound adventurer who fancied that in leaving Greenland behind
him he had already secured his passage to Cathay; or whether by the
wearied homesick mariner, feebly escaping from the grasp of winter in
his shattered bark, and firmly purposing to bid a long farewell to this
cheerless land, history altogether fails to enlighten us.


From January until July this coast is usually rendered unapproachable by
a broad margin of heavy ice, which drifts there from the vicinity of
Spitzbergen, and, lapping round the Cape, extends alongshore to the
northward about as far as Baal's River, a distance of 250 miles.
Although it effectually blockades the ports of South Greenland for the
greater part of the summer, and is justly dreaded by the captains of the
Greenland traders, it confers important benefits upon the Greenlander by
bearing to his shores immense numbers of seals and many bears. The same
current which conveys hither all this ice is also freighted with a
scarcely less valuable supply of driftwood from the Siberian rivers.

About this time, one of my crew showing symptoms of diseased lungs, I
determined to embrace the earliest opportunity of sending him home out
of a climate so fatal to those who are thus affected; and having learnt
from Mr. Petersen, who had quitted Greenland only in April last, that a
vessel would very soon leave Frederickshaab for Copenhagen, I resolved
to go to that place in order to catch this homeward-bound ship.


It was necessary to push through the Spitzbergen ice, and we fortunately
succeeded in doing so after eighteen hours of buffeting with this
formidable enemy; at first we found it tolerably loose, and the wind
being strong and favorable, we thumped along pleasantly enough; but as
we advanced, the ice became much more closely packed, a thick fog came
on, and many hard knocks were exchanged; at length our steam carried us
through into the broad belt of clear water between the ice and land,
which Petersen assures me always exists here at this season.

The dense fog now prevented further progress, and as evening closed in I
gave up all hope of improvement for the night, when suddenly the fog
rolled back upon the land, disclosing some islets close to us, then the
rugged points of mainland, and at length, lifting altogether, the
distant snowy mountain-peaks against a deep blue sky.

The evening became bright and delightful; the whole extent of coast was
fringed with innumerable islets, backed by lofty mountains, and, being
richly tinted by a glorious western sun, formed an unusually splendid
sight. Greenland unveiled to our anxious gaze that memorable evening,
all the magnificence of her natural beauty. Was it to welcome us that
she thus cast off her dingy outer mantle, and shone forth radiant with
smiles?--such winning smiles!


A faint streak of mist, which we could not account for, appeared to
float across a low, wide interval in the mountain range; the telescope
revealed its true character,--it was a portion of the distant glacier.
We found ourselves upon the Tallard Bank, 30 miles north of our port,
having been rapidly carried northwards by the Spitzbergen current.

_July 20th._--This morning the chief trader of the settlement, or, as he
is more usually styled by the English, the Governor, came off to us, and
his pilot soon conducted us into the safe little harbor of
Frederickshaab. I was much gratified to learn that we were just in time
to secure a passage home for our ailing shipmate.

For trading purposes Greenland is monopolized by the Danish government;
its Esquimaux and mixed population amount to about 7000 souls. About
1000 Danes reside constantly there for the purpose of conducting the
trade, which consists almost exclusively in the exchange of European
goods for oil and the skins of seals, reindeer, and a few other


The Esquimaux are not subject to Danish laws, but although proud of
their nominal independence they are sincerely attached to the Danes, and
with abundant reason; a Lutheran clergyman, a doctor, and a
schoolmaster, whose duty it is to give gratuitous instruction and
relief, are paid by the Government, and attached to each district; and
when these improvident people are in distress, which not unfrequently
happens during the long winters, provisions are issued to them free of
cost; spirits are strictly prohibited. All of them have become
Christians, and many can read and write.

Have we English done more, or as much, for the aborigines in any of our
numerous colonies, and especially for the Esquimaux within our own
territories of Labrador and Hudson's Bay?

Greenland is divided into two inspectorates, the northern and southern;
the inspector of the latter division, Dr. Rink, had arrived at
Frederickshaab upon his summer round of visits only the day previous to
ourselves. He came on board to call upon me, and after Divine service I
landed, and enjoyed a ramble with him over the moss-clad hills. Our
first meeting was in North Greenland, in 1848; we had not seen one
another since, so we had much to talk about. Dr. Rink is a gentleman of
acknowledged talent, a distinguished traveller, and is thoroughly
conversant with the sciences of geology and botany.


Unfortunately for me his excellent work on Greenland has not been
translated into English.

We were kindly permitted to purchase eight tons of coals, and such small
things as were required; the only fresh supplies to be obtained besides
codfish, which was abundant, consisted of a very few ptarmigan and
hares, and a couple of kids; these last are scarce. Some goats exist,
but for eight months out of the year they are shut up in a house, and
even now--in midsummer,--are only let out in the daytime. We also
purchased of the Esquimaux some specimens of Esquimaux workmanship, such
as models of the native dresses, kayaks, etc., also birds' skins and
eggs. I saw fine specimens of a white swan, and of a bird said to be
extremely rare in Greenland,--it was a species of grebe, _Podiceps
cristatus_, I imagine. Frederickshaab is just now well supplied with
wood: besides an unseaworthy brig, the wreck of a large timber-ship lay
on the beach, and an abandoned timber-vessel, which was met with between
Iceland and Greenland in July by Prince Napoleon, drifted upon the coast
30 miles to the northward in the following September.


[12] A list of them and their subscriptions to be given in Appendix.


 Fiskernaes and Esquimaux--The 'Fox' reaches Disco--Disco Fiord--Summer
   scenery--Waigat Strait--Coaling from the mine--Purchasing Esquimaux
   dogs--Heavy gale off Upernivik--Melville Bay--The middle ice--The
   great glacier of Greenland--Reindeer cross the glacier.


_23rd July._--Sailed the day before yesterday for Godhaab. The fog was
thick, and wind strong and contrary, but the current being favorable we
found ourselves off the small out-station of Fiskernaes, when early this
morning our fore topmast was carried away; this accident induced me to
run in and anchor for the purpose of repairing the damage.

After passing within the outer islets, the Moravian settlement of
Lichtenfels came in view upon the right hand; it consists of a large,
sombre-looking wooden house, over which is a belfry, a smaller wooden
house, and about a dozen native huts, roofed with sods, and scarcely
distinguishable from the ground they stand on, even at a very short
distance. The land immediately behind is a barren rocky steep, now just
sufficiently denuded of snow to look desolate in the extreme. A strong
tide was setting out of the fiord, as we approached, and anchored in
the rocky little cove of Fiskernaes; here we were not only sheltered
from the wind, but the steep dark rocks within a ship's length on each
side of us, reflected a strong heat, whilst large mosquitoes lost no
time in paying us their annoying visits. This remote spot has been
visited by the Arctic voyagers, Captain Inglefield, R.N., and Dr. Kane,
U.S.N., and still more recently by Prince Napoleon. Dr. Kane's account
of his visit is full and very interesting. Cod-fishing was now in full
activity, and the few men not so employed had gone up the fiord to hunt


The solitary dwelling-house belongs, of course, to the chief trader, and
is a model of cleanliness and order; built of wood, it exhibits all the
resources of the painter's art; the exterior is a dull red, the
window-frames are white, floors yellow, wooden partitions and low
ceilings pale blue. The lady of the house had resided here for about
eight years, and appeared to us to be, and acknowledged she was,
heartily tired of the solitude. She gave me coffee, and some seeds for
cultivation at our winter quarters; these were lettuce, spinach,
turnips, caraway and peas, the latter being the common kind used on
board ship; usually they have only produced leaves on this spot, but
once the young peas grew large enough for the table. I expressed a wish
to see the interior of an Esquimaux tent. Petersen pulled aside the thin
membrane of some animal, which hung across the doorway, and served to
exclude the wind, but admitted light, for, although past midnight, the
sun was up. Some seven or eight individuals lay within, closely packed
upon the ground; the heads of old and young, males and females, being
just visible above the common covering. Going to bed here, only means
lying down with your clothes on, upon a reindeer skin, wherever you can
find room, and pulling another fur-robe over you.

Fiskernaes appeared to be a sunny little nook, yet all the people we saw
there were suffering from colds and coughs, and many deaths had occurred
during the spring. The boys brought us handfuls of rough garnets, some
of them as large as walnuts, receiving with evident satisfaction
biscuits in exchange.

By next morning we were able to put to sea, and early on the day
following arrived off the large settlement of Godhaab; it is in the
"Gilbert Sound" of Davis, and appears in many old charts as Baal's
River. Almost adjoining Godhaab is the Moravian settlement of New
Herrnhut. Here it was that Hans Egede, the missionary father of
Greenland, established himself in 1721, and thus re-opened the
communication between Europe and Greenland, which had ceased upon the
extinction of its early Scandinavian settlers, in the 14th century.


A few years after Egede's successful beginning the Moravian mission
still existing under the name of New Herrnhut was established. At
present the Moravians support four missions in Greenland; they are not
subject to the Danish authorities, but are not permitted in any way to

As we were about to enter the harbor, the Danish vessel--the sole object
of our visit--came out, so not a moment was lost in sending on board our
invalid and our letter-bag, and in landing our coasting pilot. This man
had brought us up from Frederickshaab for the very moderate sum of three
pounds; he was an Esquimaux, and, as the brother of poor Hans, Dr.
Kane's unhappy dog-driver, was received with favor amongst us, and soon
won our esteem by his quiet, obliging disposition, as also by his
ability in the discharge of his duty; he was so keen-sighted, and so
vigilant, it was quite a comfort to have him on board during the foggy
weather, for he could recognize, on the instant, every rock or point,
even when dimly looming through the mist. We were not long in
discovering that his absence was a loss to us.

When passing out to the north of the Kookornen Islands, the wind
suddenly failed, and at the same time a swell from to seaward reached
us; we therefore had considerable difficulty in towing the ship clear of
the rocks; for nearly half an hour our position was most critical.


_July 31st._--Anchored at Godhaven (or Lievely), in Disco, for a few
hours. I presented a letter from the Directors of the Royal Greenland
Commerce to the Inspector of North Greenland, Mr. Olrik, authorising him
to furnish us with any needful supplies. Our only wants were sledge-dogs
and a native to manage them. We soon obtained ten of the former, but
were advised to go into Disco Fiord, where many of the Esquimaux were
busy in taking and drying salmon-trout, and where some would most
probably be obtained.

I was much pleased with Mr. Olrik's kind reception of me, and soon found
him to be not only agreeable but well informed; born in Greenland, of
Danish parents, he is thoroughly conversant with the language and habits
of the Esquimaux, and has devoted much of his leisure time in collecting
rare specimens of the animal, vegetable, and mineral productions of the
country. I came away enriched by some fossils from the fossil forest of
Atanekerdluk, also with specimens of native coal.

It was here I met with the late commanders of the whalers 'Gipsy' and
'Undaunted,' of Peterhead, which had been crushed by the ice in Melville
Bay, five or six weeks previously; all the other whalers had returned
from the north, along the pack edge, and passed south of Disco. They
said that the ice in Melville Bay was all broken up, and that they
thought we should find but little difficulty at this late period in
passing through it into the North Water.


Leaving Godhaven in the afternoon with a native pilot, we found
ourselves some 10 or 12 miles up Disco Fiord at an early hour next
morning. After despatching the pilot to announce our arrival to his
countrymen at their fishing station, 7 or 8 miles further up, the Doctor
and I landed upon the north side to explore.

The scenery is charming, lofty hills of trap rock, with unusually rich
slopes (for the 70th parallel) descending to the fiord, and strewed with
boulders of gneiss and granite. We found the blue campanula holding a
conspicuous place amongst the wild flowers. I do not know a more
enticing spot in Greenland for a week's shooting, fishing, and yachting
than Disco Fiord; hares and ptarmigan may be found along the bases of
the hills; ducks are most abundant upon the fiord, and delicious
salmon-trout very plentiful in the rivers. Formerly Disco was famed for
the large size and abundance of its reindeer; but for some unexplained
reason they now confine themselves to the mainland.

At this season the natives of Godhaab resort here and enjoy the trout
fishery,--it is truly their season of harvest: the weather is pleasant,
food delicious and abundant, and the labor an agreeable pastime.

{AUG., 1857.}


Some kayaks soon came off to the ship, bringing salmon-trout, both fresh
and smoked.

A young Esquimaux, named Christian, volunteered his services as our
dog-driver, and was accepted; he is about 23 years of age, unmarried,
and an orphan. The men soon thoroughly washed and cropped him: soap and
scissors being novelties to an Esquimaux: they then rigged him in
sailor's clothes; he was evidently not at home in them, but was not the
less proud of his improved appearance, as reflected in the admiring
glances of his countrymen.

We now hastened away to the Waigat Strait to complete our coals. When
passing Godhaven, the pilot was launched off our deck in his little
kayak without stopping the ship! As a kayak is usually about 18 feet
long, 8 inches deep, and only 16 or 17 inches wide, it requires great
expertness to perform such a feat without the addition of a capsize.

_4th August._--Entered the Waigat yesterday morning, slowly steaming
through a sea of glass. Its surface was only rippled by the myriads of
eider-ducks which extended over it for several miles: most of them were
immature in plumage, and were probably the birds of last year.

After running about 24 miles, towards evening we approached a low range
of sandstone cliffs on the Disco shore, in which horizontal seams of
coal were seen. Here we anchored, and immediately commenced coaling. It
was fortunate we did so, for soon it began to blow hard; and ere noon
to-day we were obliged, for the safety of the ship, to leave our exposed
anchorage, having however secured eight or nine tons of tolerable coal.
Formerly these coal-seams were worked for the supply of the neighboring
settlements, but for several years past it has been found more
profitable and convenient to send out coals from Denmark, and thus
permit the natives to devote their whole time to the seal-fishery.


The Waigat scenery is unusually grand; the strait varies from 3 to 5
leagues in width; on each side are mountains of 3000 feet in height. The
Disco side, upon which we landed, is composed of trap, sandstone
appearing only at the beach, and occasionally rising in cliffs to about
100 feet. Upon the moss-clad slopes many fragments of quartz and zeolite
were met with. The north end of Disco is almost a precipice to its
snow-capped summit, which is 4000 feet high.

_5th._--A pleasant fair wind carries us rapidly northward, passing many
icebergs. Our rigging is richly garnished with split codfish, which we
hoped would dry and keep; but a warm day in Disco Fiord, and much rain
with a southerly gale in the Waigat, have destroyed it for our own use.
It is however still valuable as food for our dogs. I am very anxious to
complete my stock of these our native auxiliaries, as without them we
cannot hope to explore all the lands which it is the object of our
voyage to search. We could only obtain ten at Godhaven, and require
twenty more.


_6th._--By Petersen's intimate knowledge of the coast we were enabled to
run close in to the little settlement of Proven during the night, and
obtain a few dogs and dogs' food. This morning we reached the extreme
station of Upernivik, the last trace of civilization we shall meet with
for some time. It is in lat. 72-3/4° N. Here Petersen resided for twelve
of the eighteen years he has spent in Greenland, and his unlooked-for
re-appearance astonished and delighted the small community, more
especially Governor Fliescher and his household, who received us with a
most hearty welcome.

_7th._--Yesterday, when we hove to off Upernivik, the weather was very
bad and rapidly growing worse, therefore our stay was limited to a
couple of hours. The last letters for home were landed, fourteen dogs
and a quantity of seal's flesh for them embarked, and the ship's head
was turned seaward.

It was then blowing a southerly gale, with overcast murky sky, and a
heavy sea running. When four miles outside the outer island, breakers
were suddenly discovered ahead, only just in time to avoid the ledge of
sunken rocks upon which the sea was beating most violently. Many such
rocks lie at considerable distances beyond the islands which border this
coast, and greatly add to the dangers of its navigation. Being now
fairly at sea, and the ship under easy sail for the night, I went early
to bed in the hope of sleeping. I had been up all the previous night,
naturally anxious about the ship threading her way through so many
dangers, uncertain about being able to complete the number of our
sledge-dogs, and much occupied in closing my correspondence, to which
there would be an end for at least a year. All this over, the uncertain
future loomed ominously before me. The great responsibilities I had
undertaken seemed now and at once to fall with all their weight upon me.
A mental whirlpool was the consequence, which, backed by the material
storm, and the howling of the wretched dogs in concert on deck, together
with the tumbling about of every thing below, long kept sleep in


One thought and feeling predominated: it was gratitude, deep and humble,
for the success which had hitherto attended us, and for some narrow
escapes which I must ever regard as Providential.

Yesterday's gale has given place to calm foggy weather. An occasional
iceberg is seen. The officers amuse themselves in trying new guns, and
shooting sea-birds for our dogs.

Governor Fliescher told me yesterday that for the last four weeks
southerly winds prevailed, and that only a fortnight ago his boat was
unable to reach the Loom Cliffs at Cape Shackleton, 50 miles north of
Upernivik, in consequence of the ice being pressed in against the land.
I fear these same winds have closed together the ice which occupies the
middle of Davis' Strait (hence called the middle ice), so that we shall
not be able to penetrate it. However, we are standing out to make the


To the uninitiated it may be as well to observe that each winter the sea
called Baffin's Bay freezes over; in spring this vast body of ice breaks
up, and drifting southward in a mass--called the main-pack, or the
middle ice--obstructs the passage across from east to west.

The "North Passage" is made by sailing round the north end of this pack;
the "Middle Passage," by pushing through it; and the "Southern Passage,"
by passing round its southern extreme; but seasons do occur when none of
these routes are practicable.

It is very remarkable that southward of Disco northerly winds have
prevailed. They greatly impeded our progress up Davis' Strait, but we
cheered ourselves with the hope that they would effectually clear a path
for us across the northern part of Baffin's Bay.

_8th._--Last night we reached the edge of the middle ice, about 70 miles
to the west of Upernivik, and ran southward along its edge all night.
This morning, in thick fog, the ship was caught in its margin of loose
ice. The fog soon after cleared off, and we saw the clear sea about two
miles to the eastward, whilst all to the west was impenetrable
closely-packed floe-pieces. After steaming out of our predicament (a
matter which we could not accomplish under sail) we ran on to the
southward until evening, but found the pack edge still composed of light
ice very closely pressed together.


Having now closely examined it for an extent of 40 miles, I was
satisfied that we could not force a passage through it across Baffin's
Bay, as is frequently done in ordinary seasons; therefore, taking
advantage of a fair wind, we steered to the northward, in order to seek
an opening in that direction.

_12th._--We are in Melville Bay; made fast this afternoon to an iceberg,
which lies aground in 58 fathoms water, about 2 miles from Browne's
Islands, and between them and the great glacier which here takes the
place of the coast-line.


We have got thus far without any difficulty, sailing along the edge of
the middle ice; but here we find it pressing in against Browne's
Islands, and covering the whole bay to the northward, quite in the steep
face of the glacier. This is evidently the result of long-continued
southerly winds; but as the ice is very much broken up, we may expect
it to move off rapidly before the autumnal northerly winds now due, and
these winds invariably remove the previous season's ice. All that we
know of Melville Bay navigation in August, is derived from the
experience of Government and private searching expeditions during eight
or nine seasons. My own three previous transits across it were made in
this month. The whalers either get through in June or July, or give up
the attempt as being too late for their fishing. It frequently happens
that they get round the south end of the middle ice, between latitudes
66° and 69° N., and up the west coast of Baffin's Bay late in the
season; but we have no accounts of these voyages, nor should I be
justified, at this late period of the season, in abandoning the prospect
before me, in order to attempt a route which, even if successful, would
lengthen our voyage to Barrow Strait by 700 or 800 miles. We have
already passed what is usually the most difficult and dangerous part of
the Melville Bay transit.

There is much to excite intense admiration and wonder around us; one
cannot at once appreciate the grandeur of this mighty glacier, extending
unbroken for 40 or 50 miles. Its sea-cliffs, about 5 or 6 miles from us,
appear comparatively low, yet the icebergs detached from it are of the
loftiest description. Here, on the spot, it does not seem incorrect to
compare the icebergs to mere chippings off its edge, and the floe-ice
to the thinnest shavings.


The far-off outline of glacier, seen against the eastern sky, has a
faint tinge of yellow; it is almost horizontal, and of unknown distance
and elevation.

There is an unusual dearth of birds and seals; everything around us is
painfully still, excepting when an occasional iceberg splits off from
the parent glacier; then we hear a rumbling crash like distant thunder,
and the wave occasioned by the launch reaches us in six or seven
minutes, and makes the ship roll lazily for a similar period. I cannot
imagine that within the whole compass of nature's varied aspects, there
is presented to the human eye a scene so well adapted for promoting deep
and serious reflection, for lifting the thoughts from trivial things of
every day life to others of the highest import.

The glacier serves to remind one at once of Time and of Eternity--of
time, since we see portions of it break off to drift and melt away; and
of eternity, since its downward march is so extremely slow, and its
augmentations behind so regular, that no change in its appearance is
perceptible from age to age. If even the untaught savages of luxuriant
tropical regions regard the earth merely as a temporary abode, surely
all who gaze upon this ice-overwhelmed region, this wide expanse of
"terrestrial wreck," must be similarly assured that here "we have no
abiding place."


During daytime the strong glare is very distressing, hence the subdued
light of midnight, when the sun just skims along the northern horizon,
is much the most agreeable part of the twenty-four hours; the
temperature varies between 30° and 40° of Fahrenheit.

The drift-ice of various descriptions about us is constantly in motion
under the influence of mysterious surface and under currents (according
to their relative depths of floatation), which whirl them about in every
possible direction.

To the S.E. are two small islands, almost enveloped in the glacier, and
far within it an occasional mountain-peak protrudes from beneath.


From observing closely the variations in the glacier surface, I think we
may safely infer that where it lies unbroken and smooth, the supporting
land is level; and where much crevassed, the land beneath is uneven. The
crevassed parts are of course impassable, but, by following the windings
of the smooth surface, I think the interior could be reached. Some
attempts to cross the glacier in South Greenland have failed, yet, by
studying its character and attending to this remark, I think places
might be found where an attempt would succeed. Mr. Petersen tells me
that the Esquimaux of Upernivik are unable to account for occasional
disappearances and reappearances of immense herds of reindeer, except
by assuming that they migrate at intervals to feeding-grounds beyond the
glacier, the surface of which he also says is smooth enough in many
places even for dog-sledges to travel upon. As there is much uninhabited
land, both to the northward and southward of Upernivik, I do not see the
necessity for this supposition. The habits of the Esquimaux confine them
almost exclusively to the islands and sea-coasts.


 Melville Bay--Beset in Melville Bay--Signs of Winter--The coming
   storm--Drifting in the pack--Canine appetite--Resigned to a winter
   in the pack--Dinner stolen by sharks--The Arctic shark--White Whales
   and Killers.


_15th August._--Three days of the most perfect calm have sadly taxed our
patience. Lovely bright weather, but scarcely a living creature seen.
This afternoon the anxiously-looked-for north wind sprang up, and
immediately the light ice began to drift away before it, but it is not
strong enough to influence the icebergs, and they greatly retard the
clearing-out of the bay. We have noticed a constant wind off the
glacier, probably the result of its cooling effect upon the atmosphere;
this wind does not extend more than 3 or 4 miles out from it.

_16th._--One of the loveliest mornings imaginable: the icebergs sparkled
in the sun, and the breeze was just sufficiently strong to ripple the
patches of dark blue sea; beyond this, there was nothing to cheer one in
the prospect from the crow's-nest at four o'clock; but little change had
taken place in the ice; I therefore determined to run back along the
pack-edge to the south-westward, in the hope that some favorable change
might have taken place further off shore. The barometer was unusually
low, yet no indication of any change of weather. A seaman's chest was
picked up; it contained only a spoon, a fork, and some tin canisters,
and probably drifted here from the southward, where the two whale-ships
were crushed in June, affording another proof of the prevalence of
southerly winds. As we steamed on, the ice was found to have opened
considerably; it fell calm, and mist was observed rolling along the
glacier from the southward. By noon a S.E. wind reached us; all sail was
set, the leads or lanes of water became wider, and our hopes of speedily
crossing Melville Bay rose in proportion as our speed increased. We are
pursuing our course without let or hindrance.

_17th._--The fog overtook us yesterday evening, and at length, unable to
see our way, we made fast at eleven o'clock to the ice. The wind had
freshened, it was evidently blowing a gale outside the ice. During the
night we drifted rapidly together with the ice, and this morning, on the
clearing off of the fog, we steamed and sailed on again, threading our
way between the floes, which are larger and much covered with _dry_
snow. This evening we again made fast, the floes having closed together,
cutting off advance and retreat. A wintry night, much wind and snow.

_19th._--Continued strong S.E. winds, pressing the ice closely together,
dark sky and snow; everything wears a wintry and threatening aspect; we
are closely hemmed in, and have our rudder and screw unshipped. This
recommencement of S.E. winds and rapid ebbing of the small remaining
portion of summer makes me more anxious about the future than the
present. Yesterday the weather improved, and by working for thirteen
hours we got the ship out of her small ice-creek into a larger space of
water, and in so doing advanced a mile and a half. It is now calm, but
the ice still drifts, as we would wish it, to the N.W. Yesterday we were
within 12 miles of the position of the 'Enterprise' upon the same day in
1848, and under very similar conditions of weather and ice also.

_20th._--No favorable ice-drift: this detention has become most painful.
The 'Enterprise' reached the open water upon this day in 1848, within 50
miles of our present position; unfortunately, our prospects are not so
cheering. There is no relative motion in the floes of ice, except a
gradual closing together, the small spaces and streaks of water being
still further diminished. The temperature has fallen, and is usually
below the freezing-point. I feel most keenly the difficulty of my
position; we cannot afford to lose many more days. Of all the voyages to
Barrow Strait, there are but two which were delayed beyond this date,
viz., Parry's in 1824, and the 'Prince Albert's' in 1851. Should we not
be released, and therefore be compelled to winter in this pack,
notwithstanding all our efforts, I shall repeat the trial next year, and
in the end, with God's aid, perform my sacred duty.


The men enjoy a game of rounders on the ice each evening; Petersen and
Christian are constantly on the look-out for seals, as well as Hobson
and Young occasionally; if in good condition and killed instantaneously,
the seals float; several have already been shot; the liver fried with
bacon is excellent.

Birds have become scarce,--the few we see are returning southward. How
anxiously I watch the ice, weather, barometer, and thermometer! Wind
from any other quarter than S.E. would oblige the floe-pieces to
rearrange themselves, in doing which they would become loose, and then
would be our opportunity to proceed.

_24th._--Fine weather with very light northerly winds. We have drifted 7
miles to the west in the last two days. The ice is now a close pack, so
close that one may walk for many miles over it in any direction, by
merely turning a little to the right or left to avoid the small water
spaces. My frequent visits to the crow's-nest are not inspiriting: how
absolutely distressing this imprisonment is to me, no one without
similar experience can form any idea. As yet the crew have but little
suspicion how blighted our prospects are.

_27th._--We daily make attempts to push on, and sometimes get a ship's
length, but yesterday evening we made a mile and a half! the ice then
closed against the ship's sides and lifted her about a foot. We have had
a fresh east wind for two days, but no corresponding ice-drift to the
west; this is most discouraging, and can only be accounted for by
supposing the existence of much ice or grounded icebergs in that

The dreaded reality of wintering in the pack is gradually forcing itself
upon my mind,--but I must not write on this subject, it is bad enough to
brood over it unceasingly. We can see the land all round Melville Bay,
from Cape Walker nearly to Cape York. Petersen is indefatigable at
seal-shooting, he is so anxious to secure them for our dogs; he says
they must be hit in the head; "if you hit him in the beef that is not
good," meaning that a flesh-wound does not prevent their escaping under
the ice. Petersen and Christian practise an Esquimaux mode of attracting
the seals; they scrape the ice, thus making a noise like that produced
by a seal in making a hole with its flippers, and then place one end of
a pole in the water and put their mouths close to the other end, making
noises in imitation of the snorts and grunts of their intended victims;
whether the device is successful or not I do not know, but it looks
laughable enough.


Christian came back a few days ago, like a true seal-hunter, carrying
his kayak on his head, and dragging a seal behind him. Only two years
ago Petersen returned across this bay with Dr. Kane's retreating party;
he shot a seal which they devoured raw, and which under Providence,
saved their lives. Petersen is a good ice-pilot, knows all these coasts
as well as or better than any man living, and, from long experience and
habits of observation, is almost unerring in his prognostications of the
weather. Besides his great value to us as interpreter, few men are
better adapted for Arctic work,--an ardent sportsman, an agreeable
companion, never at a loss for occupation or amusement, and always
contented and sanguine. But we have happily many such dispositions in
the 'Fox.'

_30th._--The whole distance across Melville Bay is 170 miles: of this we
have performed about 120, 40 of which we have drifted in the last
fourteen days. The 'Isabel' sailed freely over this spot on 20th August,
1852; and the 'North Star' was beset on 30th July, 1849, to the
southward of Melville Bay, and carried in the ice across it and some 70
or 80 miles beyond, when she was set free on 26th September, and went
into winter quarters in Wolstenholme Sound. What a precedent for us!


Yesterday we set to work as usual to warp the ship along, and moved her
ten feet: an insignificant hummock then blocked up the narrow
passage; as we could not push it before us, a two-pound blasting charge
was exploded, and the surface ice was shattered, but such an immense
quantity of broken ice came up from beneath, that the difficulty was
greatly increased instead of being removed. This is one of the many
instances in which our small vessel labors under very great
disadvantages in ice-navigation--we have neither sufficient manual
power, steam power, nor impetus to force the floes asunder. I am
convinced that a steamer of moderate size and power, with a crew of
forty or fifty men, would have got through a hundred miles of such ice
in less time than we have been beset.

The temperature fell to 25° last night, and the pools are strongly
frozen over. I now look matters steadily and calmly in the face; whilst
reasonable ground for hope remained I was anxious in the extreme. The
dismal prospect of a "winter in the pack" has scarcely begun to dawn
upon the crew; however, I do not think they will be much upset by it.
They had some exciting foot-races on the ice yesterday evening.

{SEPT., 1857.}


_1st Sept._--The indication of an approaching S.E. gale are at all times
sufficiently apparent here, and fortunately so, as it is the dangerous
wind in the Melville Bay. It was on the morning of the 30th, before
church-time, that they attracted our attention: the wind was very light,
but barometer low and falling; very threatening appearances in the S.E.
quarter, dark-blue sky, and grey detached clouds slowly rising; when the
wind commenced the barometer began to rise. This gale lasted forty-eight
hours, and closed up every little space of water; at first all the ice
drifted before the wind, but latterly remained stationary. Twenty seals
have been shot up to this time.


On comparing Petersen's experience with my own and that of the 'North
Star' in 1849, it seems probable that the ice along the shores of
Melville Bay, at this season, will drift northward close along the land
as far as Cape Parry, where, meeting with a S.W. current out of Whale or
Smith's Sound, it will be carried away into the middle of Baffin's Bay,
and thence during the winter down Davis' Strait into the Atlantic. From
Cape Dudley Digges to Cape Parry, including Wolstenholme Sound, open
water remains until October. It is strange that we have ceased to drift
lately to the westward.

_6th._--During the last week we have only drifted 9 miles to the west.
Obtained soundings in 88 fathoms; this is a discovery, and not an
agreeable one. Of the six or seven icebergs in sight, the nearest are to
the west of us; they are very large, and appear to be aground; we
approach them slowly. Pleasant weather, but the winds are much too
gentle to be of service to us; although the nights are cold, yet during
the day our men occasionally do their sewing on deck. Our companions
the seals are larger and fatter than formerly, therefore they float when
shot; we are disposed to attribute their improved condition to the
better feeding upon this bank. The dredge brought up some few
shell-fish, star-fish, stones and much soft mud.

_9th._--On this day, in 1824, Sir Edward Parry got out of the middle
ice, and succeeded in reaching Port Bowen. To continue hoping for
release in time to reach Bellot Strait would be absurd; yet to employ
the men we continue our preparation of tents, sledges, and gear for
travelling. Two days ago the ice became more slack than usual, and a
long lane opened; its western termination could not be seen from aloft.
Every effort was made to get into this water, and by the aid of steam
and blasting-powder we advanced 100 yards out of the intervening 170
yards of ice, when the floes began to close together, a S.E. wind having
sprung up. Had we succeeded in reaching the water, I think we should
have extricated ourselves completely, and perhaps ere this have reached
Barrow Strait, but S.E. and S.W. gales succeeded, and it now blows a
S.S.E. gale, with sleet.

_10th._--Young went to the large icebergs to-day; the nearest of them is
250 feet high, and in 83 fathoms water; it is therefore probably
aground, except at spring tide; the floe-ice was drifting past it to
the westward, and was crushing up against its side to a height of 50


_13th._--Thermometer has fallen to 17° at noon. We have drifted 18 miles
to the W. in the last week; therefore our neighbors, the icebergs, are
not always aground, but even when afloat drift more slowly than the
light ice. There is a water-sky to the W. and N.W.; it is nearest to us
in the direction of Cape York; _could we only advance 12 or 15 miles in
that direction, I am convinced we should be free to steer for Barrow
Strait_. Forty-three seals have been secured for the dogs; one dog is
missing, the remaining twenty-nine devoured their two days' allowance of
seal's flesh (60 or 65 lbs.) in forty-two seconds! it contained no bone,
and had been cut up into small pieces, and spread out upon the snow,
before they were permitted to rush to dinner; in this way the weak enjoy
a fair chance, and there is no time for fighting. We do not allow them
on board.

_16th._--At length we have drifted past the large icebergs, obtaining
soundings in 69 fathoms within a mile of them; they must now be aground,
and have frequently been so during the last three weeks; and being
directly upon our line of drift, are probably the immediate cause of our
still remaining in Melville Bay. The ice is slack everywhere, but the
temperature having fallen to 3°, new ice rapidly forms, so that the
change comes too late. The western limit of the day--Cape York--is very
distinct, and not more than 25 miles from us.


_18th._--Lanes of water in all directions; but the nearest is half a
mile from us. They come too late, as do also the N.W. winds which have
now succeeded the fatal south-easters. The temperature fell to 2° below
zero last night. We are now at length in the "North Water;" the old ice
has spread out in all directions, so that it is only the young
ice--formed within the last fortnight--which detains us prisoners here.

The icebergs, the chief cause of our unfortunate detention, and which
for more than three weeks were in advance of us to the westward, are
now, in the short space of two days, nearly out of sight to the

The preparations for wintering and sledge-travelling go on with unabated
alacrity; the latter will be useful should it become necessary to
abandon the ship.

Notwithstanding such a withering blight to my dearest hopes, yet I
cannot overlook the many sources of gratification which do exist; we
have not only the necessaries, but also a fair portion of the luxuries,
of ordinary sea-life; our provisions and clothing are abundant and well
suited to the climate. Our whole equipment, though upon so small a
scale, is perfect in its way. We all enjoy perfect health, and the men
are most cheerful, willing, and quiet.


Our "native auxiliaries," consisting of Christian and his twenty-nine
dogs, are capable of performing immense service; whilst Mr. Petersen,
from his great Arctic experience, is of much use to me, besides being
all that I could wish as an interpreter. Humanly speaking, we are not
unreasonable in confidently looking forward to a successful issue of
this season's operations, and I greatly fear that poor Lady Franklin's
disappointment will consequently be the more severely felt.

We are doomed to pass a long winter of absolute inutility, if not of
idleness, in comparative peril and privation; nevertheless the men seem
very happy--thoughtless, of course, as true sailors always are.

We have drifted off the bank into much deeper water, and suppose this is
the reason that seals have become more scarce.

_22nd._--Constant N.W. winds continue to drift us slowly southward.
Strong indications of water in the N.W., W., and S.E.; its vicinity may
account for a rise in the temperature, without apparent cause, to 27° at
noon to-day.

The newly formed ice affords us delightful walking; the old ice on the
contrary is covered with a foot of soft snow. We have no shooting;
scarcely a living creature has been seen for a week.


_24th._--Yesterday I thought I saw two of our men walking at a distance,
and beyond some unsafe ice, but on enquiry found that all were on board:
Petersen and I set off to reconnoitre the strangers; they proved to be
bears, but much too wary to let us come within shot. It was dark when we
returned on board after a brisk walk over the new ice. The calm air felt
agreeably mild. We were without mittens; and but that the breath froze
upon moustachios and beard, one could have readily imagined the night
was comfortably warm. The thermometer stood at +5°.

To-day when walking in a fresh breeze the wind felt very cold, and kept
one on the look-out for frost-bites, although the thermometer was up to
10°. Games upon the ice and skating are our afternoon amusements, but we
also have some few lovers of music, who embrace the opportunity for
vigorous execution, without fear of being reminded that others may have
ears more sensitive and discriminating than their own.

_26th._--The mountain to the North of Melville Bay, known as the 'Snowy
Peak,' was visible yesterday, although 90 miles distant; I have
calculated its height to be 6000 feet. A raven was shot to-day.


_27th._--Our salt meat is usually soaked for some days before being
used; for this purpose it is put into a net, and lowered through a hole
in the ice; this morning the net had been torn, and only a fragment of
it remained. We suppose our twenty two pounds of salt meat had been
devoured by a shark; it would be curious to know how such fare agrees
with him, as a full meal of salted provision will kill an Esquimaux dog,
which thrives on almost anything. I used to remonstrate upon the skins
of sea-birds being given to our dogs, but was told the feathers were
good for them! Here all sea-birds are skinned before being cooked,
otherwise our ducks, divers, and looms would be uneatably fishy. A
well-baited shark-hook has been substituted for the net of salt meat; I
much wish to capture one of the monsters, as wonderful stories are told
us of their doings in Greenland: whether they are the white shark or the
basking shark of natural history I cannot find out. It is only of late
years that the shark fishery has been carried on to any extent in
Greenland; they are captured for the sake of their livers, which yield a
considerable quantity of oil. It has very recently been ascertained that
a valuable substance resembling spermaceti may be expressed from the
carcase, and for this purpose powerful screw presses are now employed.
In early winter the sharks are caught with hook and line through holes
in the ice.

The Esquimaux assert that they are insensible to pain; and Petersen
assures me he has plunged a long knife several times into the head of
one whilst it continued to feed upon a white whale entangled in his
net!! It is not sufficient to drive them away with sundry thrusts of
spears or knives, but they must be towed away to some distance from the
nets, otherwise they will return to feed. It must be remembered that the
brain of a shark is extremely small in proportion to the size of its
huge head. I have seen bullets fired through them with very little
apparent effect; but if these creatures _can_ feel, the devices
practised upon them by the Esquimaux must be cruel indeed.


It is only in certain localities that sharks are found, and in these
places they are often attracted to the nets by the animals entangled in
them. The dogs are not suffered to eat either the skin or the head, the
former in consequence of its extreme roughness, and the latter because
it causes giddiness and makes them sick.

The nets alluded to are set for the white whale or the seal; if for the
former, they are attached to the shore and extended off at right angles
so as to intercept them in their autumnal southern migration, when they
swim close along the rocks to avoid their direst foe, the grampus, or
killer, of sailors, the _Delphinus orca_ of naturalists. When the white
whale is stopped by the net it often appears at first to be unconscious
of the fact, and continues to swim against it, affording time for the
approach of the boat and deadly harpoon from behind. If entangled in the
net a very short time suffices to drown them, as, like all the whale
tribe, they are obliged to come to the surface to breathe.


The killer is also a cetacean of considerable size, 15 to 20 feet in
length, but of very different habits; it is very swift, is armed with
powerful teeth, and is gregarious. When in sufficient numbers they even
attack the whale, impeding his progress by fastening on his fins and
tail. In summer they appear in the Greenland seas, and the seals
instantly seek refuge from them in the various creeks and inner harbors;
and the Esquimaux hunter in his frail kayak, when he sees the huge
pointed dorsal fin swiftly cleaving the surface of the sea, is scarcely
less anxious to shun such dangerous company. With such stories as these
Petersen beguiles the time; I never tire of listening to them, and now
amuse myself in jotting scraps of them down.


 Snow crystals--Dog will not eat raven--An Arctic school--The dogs
   invade us--Bear-hunting by night--Ice-artillery--Arctic
   palates--Sudden rise of temperature--Harvey's idea of a sortie.

{OCT., 1857.}


_3d Oct._--September has passed away and left us as a legacy to the
pack; what a month have we had of anxious hopes and fears!

Up to the 17th S.E. winds prevailed, forcing the ice into a compact
body, and urging it north-westward; subsequently N.W. winds set in,
drifting it southward, and separating the floe-pieces; but the change of
wind being accompanied by a considerable fall of temperature, they were
either quickly cemented together again, or young ice formed over the
newly opened lanes of water, almost as rapidly as the surface of the sea
became exposed. During the month the thermometer ranged between +36° and
-2°. Two more bears and a raven have been seen. A wearied ptarmigan
alighted near the ship, but before it could take wing again the dogs
caught it, and scarcely a feather remained by the time I could rush on

Our beautiful little organ was taken out of its case to-day, and put up
on the lower deck; the men enjoy its pleasing tones, whilst Christian
unceasingly turns the handle in a state of intense delight; he regards
it with such awe and admiration, and is so entranced, that one cannot
help envying him; of course he never saw one before. The instrument was
presented by the Prince Consort to the searching vessel bearing his name
which was sent out by Lady Franklin in 1851; it is now about to pass its
third winter in the frozen regions.


Two dogs ran off yesterday, in the vain hope, I suppose, of bettering
their condition,--we only feed them three times a week at present; they
returned this morning.

Seals are daily seen upon the new ice, but in this doubtful sort of
light they are extremely timid, therefore our sportsmen cannot get
within shot. The bears scent or hear our dogs, and so keep aloof; even
the shark has deserted us, the bait remains intact. The snow crystals of
last night are extremely beautiful; the largest kind is an inch in
length; its form exactly resembles the end of a pointed feather. Stellar
crystals two-tenths of an inch in diameter have also fallen; these have
six points, and are the most exquisite things when seen under a
microscope. I remember noticing them at Melville Island in March, 1853,
when the temperature rose to +8°; as these were formed last night
between the temperatures of +6° and +12°, it would appear that the form
is due to a certain fixed temperature. In the sun, or even in moonlight,
all these crystals glisten most brilliantly; and as our masts and
rigging are abundantly covered with them, the 'Fox' never was so
gorgeously arrayed as she now appears.


_13th._--One day is very like another; we have to battle stoutly with
monotony; and but that each twenty-four hours brings with it necessary
though trivial duties, it would be difficult to remember the date. We
take our guns and walk long distances, but see nothing. Two of the dogs
go hunting on their own account, sometimes remaining absent all night.
What they find or do is a mystery. The weather is generally calm and
cold,--very favorable for freezing purposes at all events,--for the ice
of only three weeks' growth is two feet thick.

I hardly expect any considerable disruption of the ice before the
general break-up in the spring, yet we do not trust any of our
provisions upon it, nor is it sufficiently still to set up a magnetic
observatory, for which purpose the instruments have been supplied to us.

Petersen still hopes we may escape and get into Upernivik, as the sea is
not permanently frozen over there before December. I am surprised to
hear that eagles have been seen so far north as Upernivik, although it
is but twice in twenty-four years that specimens have been noticed
there. In Richardson's 'Fauna Boreali Americana' the extreme northern
limit of these birds is given as 66°; but Upernivik is in 72-3/4°.


A few bear and fox tracks have been seen, but no living creatures for
several days, except a flock of ducks hastening southward, and a
solitary raven.

It is said that Esquimaux dogs will eat everything except fox and raven.
There are exceptions, however; one of ours, old "Harness Jack," devoured
a raven with much gusto some days ago. All the other dogs allowed their
harness to be taken off when they were brought on board; but old Jack
will not permit himself to be unrobed; when attempted he very plainly
threatens to use his teeth. This canine oddity suddenly became immensely
popular, by constituting himself protecting head of the establishment
when one of his tribe littered; he took up a most uncomfortable position
on top of the family cask (our _impromptu_ kennel), and prevented the
approach of all the other dogs; but for his timely interference on
behalf of the poor little puppies, I verily believe they would all have
been stolen and devoured! Dogs may do even worse than eat raven.

I have attempted some experiments for the purpose of determining the
mean hourly change of oscillation of a pendulum due to the earth's
diurnal motion; but as mine was only 11-1/2 feet in length, I failed of
any approach to accuracy. The mean of several observations gave 17°
47', whereas the change due to our latitude is about 14° 30'. A single
experiment gave 14° 10', and this was the longest in point of time of
any of them, the pendulum having swung for thirty-six minutes.


_24th._--Furious N.W. and S.E. gales have alternated of late; the ship
is housed over, to keep out the driving snow; so high is the snow
carried in the air that a little box perforated with small holes and
triced up 50 feet high is soon filled up; this box is supplied morning
and evening with a piece of prepared paper to detect the presence and
amount of ozone in the atmosphere; it is a peculiar pet of the Doctor's.

At eight o'clock this evening I noticed the falling of a very brilliant
meteor; it passed through the constellation of Cassiopeia in a N.N.E.
direction before terminating its visible existence, which it did very
much like a huge rocket; the flash was so brilliant that a man whose
back was turned to it mistook the illumination for lightning.

_26th._--Our school opened this evening, under the auspices of Dr.
Walker. He reports eight or nine pupils, and is much gratified by their
zeal. At present their studies are limited to the three R's--reading,
'riting, and 'rithmetic. They have asked him to read and explain
something instructive, so he intends to make them acquainted with the
trade-winds and atmosphere. This subject affords an opportunity of
explaining the uses of our thermometer, barometer, ozonometer, and
electrometer, which they see us take much interest in. It is delightful
to find a spirit of inquiry amongst them. Apart from scholastic
occupation, I give them healthful exercise in spreading a thick layer of
snow over the deck, and encasing the ship all round with a bank of the
same material.


_28th._--Midnight. This evening, to our great astonishment, there
occurred a disruption and movement of the ice within 200 yards of the
ship. The night was calm; the reflection of a bright moon, aided by the
more than ordinary brilliancy of the stars upon the snowy expanse, made
it appear to us almost daylight. As I sit now in my cabin I can
distinctly hear the ice crushing; it resembles the continued roar of
distant surf, and there are many other occasional sounds; some of them
remind one of the low moaning of the wind, others are loud and harsh, as
if trains of heavy wagons with ungreased axles were slowly laboring
along. Upon a less-favored night these sounds might be appalling; even
as it is, they are sufficiently ominous to invite reflection. Cape York
has been in sight for some days past.

_29th._--Another heavenly night, and still greater ice disturbance; some
of the crushed-up pieces are nearly four feet thick. The currents,
icebergs, and changes of temperature, may contribute to this ice action;
but I think the tides are the chief cause, and for these reasons: that
it wants but two days to the full moon, and that the ice-movements are
almost confined to the night, and change their direction morning and
evening. Now we know that the night-tides in Greenland greatly exceed
the day-tides. One thing is evident--the weather continues calm,
therefore the winds are not concerned in the matter.

{NOV., 1857.}


_2nd Nov._--Having observed some days ago that a few of the dogs were
falling away--from some cause or other not having put on their winter
clothing before the recent cold weather set in--they were all allowed on
board, and given a good extra meal. Since then we can scarcely keep them
out. One calm night they made a charge, and boarded the ship so suddenly
that several of the men rushed up very scantily clothed, to see what was
the matter. Vigorous measures were adopted to expel the intruders, and
there was desperate chasing round the deck with broomsticks, &c. Many of
them retreated into holes and corners, and two hours elapsed before they
were all driven out; but though the chase was hot, it was cold enough
work for the half-clad men.

Sailors use quaint expressions. The nightly foraging expeditions are
called "sorties;" they point out to me the various corners between
decks where the "ice corrodes," _i.e._, the moisture condenses and forms
frost; a ramble over the ice is called "a bit of a peruse." I presume
this indignity is offered to the word perambulation.


There was a very sudden call "to arms" to-night. Whether sleeping,
prosing, or schooling, every one flew out upon the ice on the instant,
as if the magazine or the boiler was on the point of explosion. The
alarm of "A bear close-to, fighting with the dogs," was the cause. The
luckless beast had approached within 25 yards of the ship ere the
quartermaster's eye detected his indistinct outline against the snow; so
silently had he crept up that he was within 10 yards of some of the
dogs. A shout started them up, and they at once flew round the bear and
embarrassed his retreat. In crossing some very thin ice he broke
through, and there I found him surrounded by yelping dogs. Poor fellow!
Hobson, Young, and Petersen had each lodged a bullet in him; but these
only seemed to increase his rage. He succeeded in getting out of the
water, when, fearing harm to the numerous by-standers and dogs, or that
he might escape, I fired, and luckily the bullet passed through his
brain. He proved to be a full-grown male, 7 feet 3 inches in length. As
we all aided in the capture, it was decided that the skin should be
offered to Lady Franklin.

The carcase will feed our dogs for nearly a month; they were rewarded
on the spot with the offal. All of them, however, had not shown equal
pluck; some ran off in evident fright, but others showed no symptom of
fear, plunging or falling into the water with Bruin. Poor old Sophy was
amongst the latter, and received a deep cut in the shoulder from one of
his claws. The authorities have prescribed double allowance of food for
her, and say she will soon recover.


For the few moments of its duration the chase and death was exciting.
And how strange and novel the scene! A misty moon affording but scanty
light--dark figures gliding singly about, not daring to approach each
other, for the ice trembled under their feet--the enraged bear, the
wolfish howling dogs, and the bright flashes of the deadly rifles.

_3rd._--I remained up the greater part of last night taking
observations, for the evening mists had passed away, and a lovely moon
reigned over a calm enchanting night; through a powerful telescope she
resembled a huge frosted-silver melon, the large crater-like depression
answering to that part from which the footstalk had been detached. Not a
sound to break the stillness around, excepting when some hungry dog
would return to the battlefield to gnaw into the blood-stained ice.

On the 1st the sun paid us his last visit for the year, and now we take
all our meals by lamplight.


_5th._--In order to vary our monotonous routine, we determined to
celebrate the day; extra grog was issued to the crew, and also for the
first time a proportion of preserved plum-pudding. Lady Franklin most
thoughtfully and kindly sent it on board for occasional use. It is

This evening a well-got-up procession sallied forth, marched round the
ship with drum, gong, and discord, and then proceeded to burn the effigy
of Guy Fawkes. Their blackened faces, extravagant costumes, flaring
torches, and savage yells frightened away all the dogs; nor was it until
after the fireworks were set off and the traitor consumed that they
crept back again. It was school-night, but the men were up for fun, so
gave the Doctor a holiday.

_12th._--Yesterday I had the good fortune to shoot two seals; they were
very fat and their stomachs were filled with shrimps. To-day Young and
Petersen shot three more, and many others have been seen. This is
cheering, and entices people out for hours daily. There is just enough
movement in the ice to keep a few narrow lanes and small pools of water
open; the floes or fields of ice are more inclined to spread out from
each other than to close. We have latterly been drifting before
northerly winds.


_16th._--A renewal of ice-crushing within a few hundred yards of us. I
can hear it in my bed. The ordinary sound resembles the roar of distant
surf breaking heavily and continuously; but when heavy masses come in
collision with much impetus, it fully realizes the justness of Dr.
Kane's descriptive epithet, "ice artillery." Fortunately for us, our
poor little 'Fox' is well within the margin of a stout old floe: we are
therefore undisturbed spectators of ice-conflicts, which would be
irresistible to anything of human construction. Immediately about the
ship all is still, and, as far as appearances go she is precisely as she
would be in a secure harbor--housed all over, banked up with snow to her
gunwales. In fact, her winter plumage is so complete that the masts
alone are visible. The deck and the now useless sky-lights are covered
with hard snow. Below hatches we are warm and dry; all are in excellent
health and spirits, looking forward to an active campaign next winter.
God grant it may be realized!

Yesterday Young shot the fiftieth seal, an event duly celebrated by our
drinking _the_ bottle of champagne which had been set apart in more
hopeful times to be drunk on reaching the North Water--that unhappy
failure, the more keenly felt from being so very unexpected.


Petersen saw and fired a shot into a narwhal, which brought the blubber
out. When most Arctic creatures are wounded in the water, blubber more
frequently than blood appears, particularly if the wound is
superficial--it spreads over the surface of the water like oil. Bills
of fare vary much, even in Greenland. I have inquired of Petersen, and
he tells me that the Greenland Esquimaux (there are many Greenlanders of
Danish origin) are not agreed as to which of their animals affords the
most delicious food; some of them prefer reindeer venison, others think
more favorably of young dog, the flesh of which, he asserts, is "just
like the beef of sheep." He says a Danish captain, who had acquired the
taste, provided some for his guests, and they praised his _mutton_!
after dinner he sent for the skin of the animal, which was no other than
a large red dog! This occurred in Greenland, where his Danish guests had
resided for many years, far removed from European _mutton_. Baked puppy
is a real delicacy all over Polynesia: at the Sandwich Islands I was
once invited to a feast, and had to feign disappointment as well as I
could when told that puppy was so extremely scarce it could not be
procured in time, and therefore sucking-pig was substituted!

_19th._--A heavy southerly gale has increased the ice movements; happily
we are undisturbed. As Young was seated under the lee of a hummock,
watching for seals to pop up to breathe, the strong ice under him
suddenly cracked and separated! He escaped with a ducking, and was just
able to reach his gun from the bank ere it sank through the mixture of
snow and water.


Yesterday we were all out; I saw only one seal, but was refreshed by the
sight of a dozen narwhals. It is a positive treat to see a living
creature of any kind. The only birds which remain are dovekies, but they
are scarce, and, being white, are very rarely visible.

The dogs are fed every second day, when 2 lbs. of seal's
flesh--previously thawed when possible--is given to each; the weaker
ones get additional food, and they all pick up whatever scraps are
thrown out; this is enough to sustain, but not to satisfy them, so they
are continually on the look-out for anything eatable. Hobson made one
very happy without intending it; he meant only to give him a kick, but
his slipper, being down at heel, flew off, and away went the lucky dog
in triumph with the prize, which of course was no more seen.

Two large icebergs drift in company with us; our relative positions have
remained pretty nearly the same for the last month.

_23rd._--A heavy gale commenced at N.E. on the 21st, and continued for
thirty-six hours unabated in force, but changed in direction to S.S.W.
It appears to have been a revolving storm, moving to the N.W. Yesterday,
as the wind approached S.E., the temperature rose to +32°; the upper
deck sloppy; the lower deck temperature during Divine Service was 75°!!
As the wind veered round to S.S.W., the wind moderated, and temperature
fell: this evening it is -7°. How is it that the S.E. wind has brought
us such a very high temperature? Even if it traversed an unfrozen sea it
could not have derived from thence a higher temperature than 29°. Has it
swept across Greenland--that vast superficies partly enveloped in
glacier, partly in snow? No, it must have been borne in the higher
regions of the atmosphere from the far south, in order to mitigate the
severity of this northern climate.


Petersen tells me the same warm S.E. wind suddenly sweeps over Upernivik
in midwinter, bringing with it abundance of rain; and that it always
shifts to the S.W., and then the temperature rapidly falls: this is
precisely the change we have experienced in lat. 75°. I believe a
somewhat similar, but less remarkable, change of temperature was noticed
in Smith's Sound, lat. 78-3/4° N.

_25th._--Mild "Madeira weather," as Hobson calls it, temperature up to
+7°. By my desire Dr. Walker is occupied in making every possible
experiment upon the freezing of salt water; the first crop of ice is
salt, the second less so, the third produces drinkable water, and the
fourth is fresh. Frosty efflorescence appears upon ice formed at low
temperatures in calm weather--it is brine expressed by the act of
freezing. We need not wonder that dogs, when driven hard over this ice,
which soon cuts their feet, suffer intense pain, and often fall down in
fits; nor that snow, falling upon young (sea) ice, wholly or partially
thaws, even when the temperature is but little above zero; when near the
freezing-point the young ice thus coated over becomes sludgy and unsafe.


_29th._--Keen, biting, N.W. winds. No cracks in the ice, therefore no
seals. Grey dawn at ten o'clock, and dark at two. The moon is everywhere
the sailor's friend, she is a source of comfort to us here. Nothing to
excite conversation, except an occasional inroad of the dogs in search
of food; this generally occurs at night. Whenever the deck-light, which
burns under the housing happens to go out, they scale the steep snow
banking and rush round the deck like wolves. "Why, bless you, Sir, the
wery moment that there light goes out, and the quartermaster turns his
back, they makes a regular sort_ee_, and in they all comes." "But _where
do_ they come in, Harvey?" "Where, Sir? why everywheres; they makes no
more to do, but in they comes, clean over all." Not long ago old Harvey
was chief quartermaster in a line-of-battle ship, and a regular magnet
to all the younger midshipmen. He would spin them yarns by the hour
during the night-watches about the wonders of the sea, and of the Arctic
regions in particular--its bears, its icebergs, and still more terrific
"auroras, roaring and flashing about the ship enough to frighten a


_30th._--Severe cold has arrived with the full moon; eight days ago the
thermometer stood at the freezing-point, it is now 64° below it! So dark
is it now that I was able to observe an eclipse of Jupiter's first
satellite before three o'clock to-day. For the last two months we have
drifted freely backwards and forwards before N.W. and S.E. winds; each
time we have gained a more off-shore position, being gradually separated
further and further from the land by fresh growths of ice, which
invariably follow up every ice-movement. In this manner we have been
thrust out to the S.W. 80 miles from the nearest land, and into that
free space which in autumn was open water, and which we then vainly
struggled to reach.

That the ice has been most free to move in this direction is additional
evidence of the recent proximity of an open sea, and shows that in all
probability--I had almost said certainty--we should have sailed, or at
least drifted into it, had it not been for those enemies to all
progress, the grounded bergs.


 Burial in the pack--Musk oxen in lat. 80° north--Thrift of the Arctic
   fox--The aurora affects the electrometer--An Arctic
   Christmas--Sufferings of Dr. Kane's deserters--Ice acted on by wind
   only--How the sun ought to be welcomed--Constant action of the
   ice--Return of the seals--Revolving storm.

{DEC., 1857.}


_4th Dec._--I have just returned on board from the performance of the
most solemn duty a commander can be called upon to fulfil. A funeral at
sea is always peculiarly impressive; but this evening at seven o'clock,
as we gathered around the sad remains of poor Scott, reposing under an
Union Jack, and read the Burial Service by the light of lanterns, the
effect could not fail to awaken very serious emotions.

The greater part of the Church Service was read on board, under shelter
of the housing; the body was then placed upon a sledge, and drawn by the
messmates of the deceased to a short distance from the ship, where a
hole through the ice had been cut: it was then "committed to the deep,"
and the Service completed. What a scene it was! I shall never forget it.
The lonely 'Fox,' almost buried in snow, completely isolated from the
habitable world, her colors half-mast high, and bell mournfully
tolling; our little procession slowly marching over the rough surface of
the frozen sea, guided by lanterns and direction-posts, amid the dark
and dreary depth of Arctic winter; the deathlike stillness, the intense
cold, and threatening aspect of a murky, overcast sky; and all this
heightened by one of those strange lunar phenomena which are but seldom
seen even here, a complete halo encircling the moon, through which
passed a horizontal band of pale light that encompassed the heavens;
above the moon appeared the segments of two other halos, and there were
also mock moons or paraselenæ to the number of six. The misty atmosphere
lent a very ghastly hue to this singular display, which lasted for
rather more than an hour.

Poor Scott fell down a hatchway two days only before his death, which
was occasioned by the internal injuries then received; he was a steady,
serious man; a widow and family will mourn his loss. He was our
engine-driver; we cannot replace him, therefore the whole duty of
working the engines will devolve upon the engineer, Mr. Brand.

_11th._--Calm, clear weather, pleasant for exercise, but steadily cold;
thermometer varies between -20° and -30°. At noon the blush of dawn
tints the southern horizon, to the north the sky remains inky blue,
whilst overhead it is bright and clear, the stars shining, and the
pole-star near the zenith very distinct. Although there is a light
north wind, thin mackerel-clouds are passing from south to north, and
the temperature has risen 10°.

[Illustration: A Funeral on the Ice. The effect of Paraselenæ--Mock


I have been questioning Petersen about the bones of the musk oxen found
in Smith's Sound; he says the decayed skulls of about twenty were found,
all of them to the north of the 79th parallel. As they were all without
lower jaws, he says they were killed by Esquimaux, who leave upon the
spot the skulls of large animals, but the weight of the lower jaw being
so trifling it is allowed to remain attached to the flesh and tongue.
The skull of a musk ox with its massive horns cannot weigh less than 30

Although it has been abundantly proved by the existence of raised
beaches and fossils, that the shores of Smith's Sound have been elevated
within a comparatively recent geological period, yet Petersen tells me
that there exist numerous ruins of Esquimaux buildings, probably one or
two centuries old, all of which are situated upon very low points, only
just sufficiently raised above the reach of the sea; such sites, in
fact, as would at present be selected by the natives. These ruins show
that no perceptible change has taken place in the relative level of sea
and land since they were originally constructed. At Petersen's Greenland
home, Upernivik, the land has sunk, as is plainly shown by similar
ruins over which the tides now flow.


Anything which illustrates the habits of animals in such extremely high
latitudes I think is most interesting; their instincts must be quickened
in proportion as the difficulty of subsisting increases. Foxes, white
and blue, are very numerous; all the birds are merely summer visitors,
therefore the hare is the only creature remaining upon which foxes can
prey; but the hares are comparatively scarce: how then do the foxes live
for eight months of each year? Petersen thinks they store up provisions
during the summer in various holes and crevices, and thus manage to eke
out an existence during the dark winter season; he once saw a fox carry
off eggs in his mouth from an eider-duck's nest, one at a time, until
the whole were removed; and in winter he has observed a fox scratch a
hole down through very deep snow, to a câche of eggs beneath.

The men are exercised at building snow-huts; for winter or early spring
travelling, this knowledge is almost indispensable. Upon a calm day the
temperature of the external air being -33°, within a snow-hut the
thermometer stood 17° higher, this important difference being due to the
transmission of heat through the ice from the sea beneath.

Evaporation goes on through ice from the water underneath it. The
interior of each snow-hut is coated with crystals, and the ice upon
which the huts are built is four feet thick, but when no longer in
contact with water I cannot discover any evaporation from ice. For
instance, a canvas screen on deck which became wet by the sudden thaw
last month still remains frozen stiff.


_14th._--Of late there has been much damp upon the lower deck. This has
now been remedied by enclosing the hatchway within a commodious
snow-porch, which serves as a condenser for the steam and vapor from the
inhabited deck below.

_19th._--Light N.W. winds, with occasional mists; the temperature is
comparatively mild: -12° to -25°.

It is now the time of spring-tides; they cause numerous cracks in the
ice; but why so, at such a great distance from the land, I cannot
explain. The three nearest points of land are respectively 110, 140, and
180 miles distant from us.

Much aurora during the last two days. Yesterday morning it was visible
until eclipsed by the day-dawn at 10 o'clock. Although we could no
longer see it, I do not think it ceased: very thin clouds occupied its
place, through which, as through the aurora, stars appeared scarcely
dimmed in lustre. I do not imagine that aurora is ever visible in a
_perfectly_ clear atmosphere. I often observe it just silvering or
rendering luminous the upper edge of low fog or cloud banks, and with a
few vertical rays feebly vibrating.

Last evening Dr. Walker called me to witness his success with the
electrometer. The electric current was so very weak that the gold-leaves
diverged at regular intervals of four or five seconds. Some hours
afterwards it was strong enough to _keep_ them diverged.

_21st._--Midwinter day. Out of the Arctic regions it is better known as
the _shortest_ day. At noon we could just read type similar to the
leading article of the 'Times.' Few people could read more than two or
three lines without their eyes aching.


_27th._--Our Christmas was a very cheerful, merry one. The men were
supplied with several additional articles, such as hams, plum-puddings,
preserved gooseberries and apples, nuts, sweetmeats, and Burton ale.
After Divine Service they decorated the lower deck with flags, and made
an immense display of food. The officers came down with me to see their
preparations. We were really astonished! The mess-tables were laid out
like the counters in a confectioner's shop, with apple and gooseberry
tarts, plum and sponge-cakes in pyramids, besides various other unknown
puffs, cakes, and loaves of all sizes and shapes. We bake all our own
bread, and excellent it is. In the background were nicely-browned hams,
meat-pies, cheeses, and other substantial articles. Rum and water in
wine-glasses, and plum-cake, were handed to us: we wished them a happy
Christmas, and complimented them on their taste and spirit in getting up
such a display. Our silken sledge-banners had been borrowed for the
occasion, and were regarded with deference and peculiar pride.

In the evening the officers were enticed down amongst the men again, and
at a late hour I was requested, as a great favor, to come down and see
how much they were enjoying themselves. I found them in the highest good
humor with themselves and all the world. They were perfectly sober, and
singing songs, each in his turn. I expressed great satisfaction at
having seen them enjoying themselves so much and so rationally. I could
therefore the better describe it to Lady Franklin, who was so deeply
interested in everything relating to them. I drank their healths, and
hoped our position next year would be more suitable for our purpose. We
all joined in drinking the healths of Lady Franklin and Miss Cracroft,
and amid the acclamations which followed I returned to my cabin,
immensely gratified by such an exhibition of genuine good feeling, such
veneration for Lady Franklin, and such loyalty to the cause of the
expedition. It was very pleasant also that they had taken the most
cheering view of our future prospects. I verily believe I was the
happiest individual on board, that happy evening.

Our Christmas-box has come in the shape of northerly winds, which bid
fair to drift us southward towards those latitudes wherein we hope for
liberation next spring from this icy bondage.

_28th._--We have been in expectation of a gale all day. This evening
there is still a doubtful sort of truce amongst the elements. Barometer
down to 28·83; thermometer up to +5°, although the wind has been strong
and steady from the N. for twenty-four hours, low scud flying from the
E., snow constantly falling. An hour ago the wind suddenly changed to
S.S.E.; the snowing has ceased; thermometer falls and barometer rises.

{JAN., 1858.}


_2nd Jan., 1858._--New Year's day was a second edition of Christmas, and
quite as pleasantly spent. We dwelt much upon the anticipations of the
future, being a more agreeable theme than the failure of the past. I
confess to a hearty welcome for the new year--anxious, of course, that
we may escape uninjured, and sufficiently early to pursue the object of
our voyage.

Exactly at midnight on the 31st December the arrival of the new year was
announced to me by our band--two flutes and an accordion--striking up at
my door. There was also a procession, or perhaps I should say a
continuation of the band; these performers were grotesquely attired,
and armed with frying-pans, gridirons, kettles, pots, and pans, with
which to join in and add to the effect of the _other_ music!


We have a very level hard walk alongside the ship; it is narrowed to two
or three yards in width by a snow-bank four feet high. In the face of
this bank some twenty-five holes have been excavated for the dogs, and
in them they spend most of their time. It looks very formidable in the
moonlight, being a good imitation of a casemated battery.

After our rubber of whist on New Year's night Petersen related to us
some of his dreadful sufferings when with the party which had left Dr.
Kane. They spent the months of October and November in Booth Sound, lat.
77°; all that time upon the verge of starvation, unable to advance or
retreat. For these two months they had no other fuel than their small
cedar boat, the smoke of which was not endurable in their wretched hut,
and without light, for the sun left them in October, unless we except
one inch and a half of taper daily, which they made out of a lump of
bees'-wax that accidently found its way into their boat before leaving
the ship. In December they regained their vessel. I am surprised that no
account of the extreme hardships of this party--so far exceeding that of
their shipmates on board--has ever appeared; and I regret it, as I
believe they owed their lives to the experience and fidelity of their
interpreter Petersen. At first the Esquimaux assisted them; latterly
they were quite unable to do so, and became anxious to get rid of their
visitors. Observing how weakened they had become, the Esquimaux
endeavored to separate them from their guns and from each other, and
even used threatening language.


During December we drifted 67 miles, directly down Baffin's Bay towards
the Atlantic, and are now in lat. 74°. Although it is quite impossible
to discriminate between the several influences which probably govern our
movements, or to ascertain how much is due to each of them--such as the
relative positions of ice, land, and open water, winds, currents, and
earth's rotation--yet it appears in the present instance that the wind
is almost the sole agent in hastening this vast _continent_ of ice
towards the latitudes of its dissolution. We move before the wind in
proportion to its strength: we remain stationary in calm weather.
Neither surface nor submarine current has been detected; the large
icebergs obey the same influences as the surface ice. We have noticed a
slight set to the westward--it is not likely to be produced by current,
and may be the result of the earth's motion from west to east.

_6th._--Many lanes of water. A seal has been seen, the only one for six
weeks. Of the old ice which so closely hemmed us in up to the middle of
September, there is hardly any within several miles of us except the
large floe-piece we are frozen to. Every crack or lane which opens is
quickly covered with young ice, so that it cannot close again; and in
this manner the old ice has been spread out. I rejoice in its


To-day I put a tumblerful of our strong ale (Allsopp's) on deck to
freeze: this was soon effected, the temperature being -35°. After
bringing it below, and when its temperature had risen to 17°, it was
almost all thawed--at 22° it was completely so: it looked muddy, but
settled after standing for a couple of hours, when I drank it off, in
every way satisfied with my experiment and my beer: it seemed none the
worse for its freezing, but rather flat from its long exposure in a

_17th._--Northerly winds blow almost constantly. We have drifted 60
miles since the 1st, and are only 115 miles from Upernivik,--once more
upon confines of the habitable world! good light for three hours daily;
all this is cheering. We continue our snow-hut practice, and can build
one in three-quarters of an hour.

_28th._--The upper edge of the sun appeared above the horizon to-day,
after an absence of eighty-nine days; it was a gladdening sight. I sent
for the ship's steward and asked what was the custom on such occasions?
"To hoist the colors and serve out an extra half-gill, sir," was the
ready reply: accordingly, the Harwich lion soon fluttered in a breeze
cool enough to stiffen the limbs of ordinary lions, and in the evening
the grog was issued.


_30th._--Our messmate Pussy is unwell, and won't eat; in vain has Hobson
tempted her with raw seal's flesh, preserved salmon, preserved milk,
etc.; at length castor-oil was forcibly administered. Puss is a great
favorite. Our finest dog, Sultan, is also sick, and his coat is in bad
order; blubber has been prescribed for him;--and poor old Mary has fits,
not uncommon after the long winter. Petersen immediately ordered her to
be bled by slitting her ear; but Christian, in his fright and haste,
cropped the tip of it off These comprise our only medical cases. A
dovekie, in its white winter plumage, and two seals have been seen

{FEB., 1858.}

_15th Feb._--The returning daylight cheers us up wonderfully--not that
we were suffering, either mentally or bodily, but the change is most
agreeable; we can take much longer walks than were possible during the
dark period. The men have been supplied with muskets, and go out
sporting as ardently as schoolboys. I took a long walk towards one of
our iceberg companions, but could not quite reach it, as weak ice
intervened, each step producing an undulation. Finding the point of my
knife went through it with but very slight resistance, I gave up the
attempt and turned back. The ship's masts were scarcely visible in the
distance; almost the whole of the intervening ice was of this winter's
growth, and in many places much crushed up.


Daylight reveals to us evidences of vast ice movements having taken
place during the dark months when we fancied all was still and quiet;
and we now see how greatly we have been favored, what innumerable
chances of destruction we have unconsciously escaped! A few days ago the
ice suddenly cracked within ten yards of the ship, and gave her such a
smart shock that every one rushed on deck with astonishing alacrity. One
of these sudden disruptions occurred between me and the ship when I was
returning from the iceberg; the sun was just setting as I found myself
cut off. Had I been on the other side I would have loitered to enjoy a
refreshing gaze upon this dark streak of water; but after a smart run of
about a mile along its edge, and finding no place to cross, visions of a
patrol on the floe for the long night of fifteen hours began to obtrude
themselves! At length I reached a place where the jagged edges of the
floes met, so crossed and got safely on board. Nothing was seen during
this walk of nearly 25 miles except one seal. Recent gales have drifted
us rapidly southward; cracks and lanes are very numerous.


On the 1st a blue (or sooty) fox was shot. Although 130 geographical
miles from the nearest land he was very fat, hence we argue dovekies
were much more numerous during winter than we supposed. We have often
noticed the tracks of foxes following up those of the bears, probably
for discarded scraps of the seals upon which they prey. Hobson's
favorite dog "Chummie" has returned, after an absence of six days,
decidedly hungry, but he can hardly have been without food all that
time; some fox may have lured him off. He evinced great delight in
getting back, devoted his first attentions to a hearty meal, then rubbed
himself up against his own particular associates, after which he sought
out and attacked the weakest of his enemies, and, soothed by their
howlings, coiled himself up for a long sleep.

{MAR., 1858.}

_1st March._--February has been a remarkably mild, cloudy, windy month:
the winter temperature may be said to have passed away by the 10th, the
average temperature for the first ten days being -25°, whilst for the
remainder of the month it was -11°. Had one fallen asleep for a month at
least, he could not reasonably have expected to find a greater change on
awaking. Our drift has been also great,--166 miles. We are south of the
70th parallel, and may soon be expelled from our icy home.

On the 24th there was a fearful gale of wind. Had not our housing been
very well secured, it must have been blown away. We are preparing for
sea, removing the snow from off the deck and round the ship; our
sky-lights have been dug out (in winter they are always covered with a
thick layer of snow), and the flood of light which beams down through
them is quite charming. How intolerably sooty and smoke-dried everything


On the 27th the first seal of this year was shot; it came in good time,
for the fifty-one seals shot in autumn were finished only two days
before: our English supply of dogs' food therefore remains almost
untouched. Snow was observed to melt against the ship's side exposed to
the sun, the thermometer in the shade standing at -22°! A very fine dog
has died from eating a quantity of salt fish, which he managed to get at
although it was supposed to be quite out of his reach.

One of the two large icebergs which commenced this voyage with us last
October, in 75-1/2° N., has drifted out of sight to the S.E., the other
one is far off in the N.W. I attribute these increased distances solely
to the spreading abroad of the intervening ice.

When we were far north, and probably drifting more slowly than the ice
in the stream of Lancaster Sound to the westward of us, the ship's head
turned very gradually from right to left, from N.N.W. to W.; when about
the parallel of 72° N., we supposed ourselves to be drifting faster than
the western ice; in this, as in the previous case, comparing our drift
with that of Lieutenant De Haven, the ship's head slowly shifted back
to the right as far as W.N.W.; latterly it has not changed at all: we
are in a narrower part of Davis' Strait, where the winds probably blow
with equal force from shore to shore and drift the whole pack at a
uniform rate.

_5th._--On the 2nd four fat seals and some dovekies were shot; the
largest seal weighed 170 lbs., the smallest 150 lbs.; they were males of
the species _Phoca hespida_, or _Phoca fœtida_, the latter epithet
being by far the most appropriate at this season; the disagreeable odor
resembles garlic, and taints the whole animal so strongly that even
Esquimaux are nearly overpowered by it: this is almost the only
description of seal we have obtained, but the females are at all seasons
free from fetor. Several long lanes of water extend at right angles to
the straits.


The Doctor has taken a photograph of the ship by the albumen process on
glass; the temperature at the time was below zero. Upon the 3rd and 4th
a well-remarked revolving storm passed nearly over us to the W.N.W.; its
extreme diameter was 30 hours, that of the strength of the gale 18
hours; its centre probably passed about one-tenth of its diameter to the
S.W. The barometer was rather high, having risen just before the wind
commenced at N.E.; but it now fell half an inch in ten hours, and
continued to fall until the wind shifted--almost suddenly--through S.E.
to S.S.W.; immediately the barometer got up rapidly. As the barometer
fell, the temperature rose from zero to +18°, and fell again after the
change of wind. This violent storm brought with it a smart hail-shower.


The depression of the ice about the bows, in consequence of a vast
accumulation of snow-drift upon it, brought the ship down by the head
considerably; to-day this ice suddenly detached itself, and the fore
part of the vessel sprang up; she still remains frozen and held down
abaft. The snow-banking looks very woe-begone after this _ice-quake_; it
inclines out from the ship, and in many places has been prostrated by
the shock.

Early on the morning of the 7th the high land of Disco was seen; its
distance was upwards of 90 miles.


 A bear-fight--An ice-nip--Strong gales, rapid drift--The 'Fox' breaks
   out of the pack--Hanging on to floe-edge--The Arctic bear--An ice
   tournament--The 'Fox' in peril--A storm in the pack--Escape from the


_9th March._--A bear was seen this morning; but as he was going away
from us, the dogs were brought out in the hope that they might keep him
at bay until the sportsmen came up. It was very pretty to see them take
up the scent, the moment they caught sight of him they set off at full
speed. Bruin had seen them first, and increased his pace to a clumsy
gallop, yet the dogs were soon around him; he seemed to care but little
about them, steadily making off and following the trending of a recently
frozen crack in search of clear water, evidently aware that his
persecutors would not follow him there.

After five hours all returned on board again; out of the ten dogs four
were wounded by his claws,--skin deep only,--but one of the wounds was
seven inches in length, as if made with a sharp knife! this was sewed
up, the others were merely trimmed, and nature, I am informed, will do
all the rest. It is really wonderful what cures nature and instinct
effect: notwithstanding the extreme cold, no external dressings are
applied, because the animal must not be prevented from licking its
wound. Petersen says this bear must be very thin, else he could not run
so fast. I think it very probable that he has been hunted before, and
that fear lent him wings. A black whale has been seen.


_11th._--Two small seals free from taint were shot yesterday, so we had
fried liver and steaks for breakfast this morning; both were good, but
the steaks were preferred; they were very dark and very tender, had been
cut thin, deprived of all fat, and washed in two or three waters to get
rid of the blubber.

_16th._--Several long lanes of water have again opened, but now all of
them extend parallel to the direction of the straits; one lane passed
within 120 yards of the ship; its extremes are not visible even from
aloft; the ice upon its east side has a more rapid southerly motion than
that upon its west side.

_18th._--Last night the ice closed, shutting up our lane, but its
opposite sides continued for several hours to move past each other,
rubbing off all projections, crushing, and forcing out of water masses
four feet thick: although 120 yards distant, this pressure shook the
ship and cracked the intervening ice.


I went out with a lantern to see the nip,--it certainly was
awe-inspiring; no one in his senses could avoid reflecting upon the
inevitable fate of a ship if exposed to such fearful pressure. It is now
spring tides.

_19th._--All yesterday the lane remained open; in the evening it closed
with but slight pressure; yet as the opposing fields of ice continued to
move in opposite directions, all jagged points were brushed off, and the
débris thus formed between their edges presented a heaving surface of
ice-masses,--an ice river. On the separation of the floes, mass after
mass forced itself up to the surface, until at length all the submerged
ice had risen, except such as had been forced quite under their edges.
One seldom meets with a cleanly fractured floe-edge, they are usually
fringed with crushed-up ice or newly formed sludge.

_23rd._--Seals and dovekies are now common; the latter have already made
considerable advances towards their summer plumage.

Yesterday there was a very heavy S.E. gale; it blew so furiously, and
the snow-drift was so dense, that we could neither hear nor see what was
going on twenty yards off; at night the ship, becoming suddenly detached
from the ice, heeled over to the storm; until the cause was ascertained
we thought the ice had broken up and pressed against the ship. It was
not so; but when the weather moderated we found that there had been
heavy pressure upon the edge of the floes,--so much, indeed, that the
lane of water was now within 70 yards of the 'Fox;' and that ice 4-1/2
feet thick had been crushed during the storm for a distance of about 50


_25th._--Strong N.W. winds lately, the ship rocking to the breeze, and
rubbing her poor sides against the ice, producing a creaking sound which
is far from pleasant. More ice squeezing, and a further inroad upon our
barrier; it has yielded slightly, nipping the ship, inclining her to
port, and lifting her stern about a foot. Occasional groanings within,
and surgings of the ice without.

Our boats, provisions, sledges, knapsacks, and equipment are ready for a
hasty departure,--beyond this we can do nothing; as long as our friendly
barrier lasts we need not fear, but who can tell the moment it may be
demolished, and the ship exposed to destruction? I am scribbling within
a foot of the sternpost--in fact, there is a notch in my table to
receive it; and I sympathize with its constant groanings; the ice allows
it no rest.

_27th._--Strong N.W. gale with a return of cold weather. We have drifted
39 miles in the last forty-eight hours! The lane is open; the whole pack
appears to have plenty of room to drift, and, I am happy to add, is
taking advantage of it,--so much so that the smaller pieces floating
freely in the lane can hardly go at the same pace. Our remaining winter
companion, the iceberg, was in sight a few days ago, far away to the
N.W.; it may be still visible from aloft, but these March gales cut so
keenly, that the crow's-nest is but seldom visited.

_31st._--Another N.W. gale; it is also spring tides, and this
conjunction makes one fearful of ice movement and pressure; but it seems
as if the pack had more room to move in, as it does not close much.
Seals are often shot, bear tracks are common, and narwhals are
frequently seen migrating northward. The bears must prefer the
night-time for wandering about, else we could not help seeing them; we
often find their tracks within a few hundred yards of the ship.

Although the last, yet this is the coldest day of the month--the
thermometer down to -27°. The mean temperature for March has been
unusually high, -3°; whilst Lieutenant De Haven's was -17°.
Notwithstanding that heavy S.E. gales have three times driven us
backward, yet we have advanced 100 miles further down Davis' Straits.

{APR., 1858.}


_6th April._--To-day we enjoy fine weather, the more so since it comes
after a tremendous northerly gale of forty-eight hours' duration. Two
days ago the friendly old floe, so long our bulwark of defence, was
cracked; the lane of water thus formed soon widened to 60 yards, passed
within 30 yards of the 'Fox,' and cut off three of our boats. Yesterday
morning another crack detached the remaining 30 yards from us, and as it
widened the ship swung across the opening; as quickly as we could effect
it the ship was again placed alongside the ice and within a projecting
point; had it closed only a few feet whilst she lay across the lane, the
consequences must have been very serious. Even to effect this slight
change of position we were fully occupied for four hours; for the gale
blew furiously, and thermometer stood at 12° below zero, and the cold
was very much felt; our hawsers were frozen so stiff as to be quite
unmanageable, and we were obliged to use the chain cables to warp the
ship into safety.

Throughout yesterday the wind continued extremely strong and
keen,--fortunately the ice remained perfectly still: our funnels refused
to draw up the smoke; so that between the suffocation, the cold, and
anxiety lest the ice should move, our Easter Monday was sufficiently
miserable. The half of our poor dogs were cut off from the ship by the
lane, and continued to howl dismally until late, when the new ice over
the lane was strong enough to bear them, and they came across to us.

To-day we have recovered the boats, shot four seals, seen two whales,
and much water to the eastward; we are in latitude 67° 18' N., and
highly delighted with the rapidity of our southern drift.


_10th._--Yesterday evening the setting sun rendered visible the western
land, probably Cape Dyer. We have drifted 70 miles in the last week, and
are only 18 miles from De Haven's position of escape; but as we are two
months earlier, we must expect to be carried farther south.

_12th._--This morning we drifted ingloriously out of the Arctic regions,
and with what very different feelings from those with which we crossed
the Arctic circle eight months ago! However, we have not done with it
yet; directly the ice lets us go, we will (D. V.) re-enter the frigid
zone, and "try again," with, I trust, better success.

A gull and a few terns appeared to-day; these are the first of our
summer visitors. The temperature improves; yesterday at one o'clock it
was +19° in the shade, +15° in the crow's-nest 70 feet high, and +51°
against a black surface exposed to the sun.

_16th._--Last night a bear came to the ship, was wounded, but escaped;
to-day the tracks were followed up for three miles, the bear found, and
again wounded--finally the unlucky beast was shot in the water seven
miles from the ship; it was lost in consequence of the rapid drifting of
the ice, which ran over the floating carcase.

To-night a dense fog-bank rests upon the water to the southward; its
upper edge is illuminated by aurora, showing a faint tremulous light.

_17th._--Another northerly gale; holding fast to the ice with three
hawsers; snow-drift limits the view to a couple of miles, so all to the
eastward appears water, and to the westward ice.

Last night the ice opened considerably; to secure the ship occupied us
for six hours; several of the dogs were again cut off; as the ice they
were on was rapidly drifting away, I sent a boat to recover them; it was
a difficult and hazardous business, but at length the boat and dogs
returned in safety, to my great relief, for it was both dark and late.


_18th._--Yesterday morning when I wrote up my journal, I was hoping to
hold on quietly to the floe-edge until the wind moderated, when with
clear weather we could take advantage of the openings and make some
progress towards the clear sea. We were unable to hold on, for the
floe-edge broke away, setting us adrift; some time was occupied in
fetching off the boats and dogs,--five of the latter unfortunately would
not allow themselves to be caught. As speedily as possible the rudder
was shipped and sail set, and before three o'clock the ship was running
fast to the eastward! During the night the ice closed, and at daylight
scarcely any water was visible; with the exception of a couple of
icebergs, all the ice in sight was not more than two days old; it
mainly owes its origin and rapid growth to the immense quantities of
snow blown off the pack.

It still blows hard, and the thermometer stands at 11°. A sudden opening
of the ice this forenoon allowed us to run a few miles southward, and
then it closed again; we are now surrounded by young ice.

_20th._--We have been carried rapidly past the position where the Arctic
discovery ship 'Resolute' was picked up.


Yesterday three bears, a fulmar petrel, and a snow bunting were seen;
to-day a fine bear came within 150 yards, and was shot by our sportsmen;
as they were standing round it afterwards upon the ice, a small seal,
the only one seen for several days, popped up its head as if to exult
over its fallen enemy--it was of course instantly shot: we have learnt
to esteem seal's liver for breakfast very highly.

It seems hardly right to call polar bears _land_ animals; they abound
here,--110 geographical miles from the nearest land,--upon very loose
broken-up ice, which is steadily drifting into the Atlantic at the rate
of 12 or 14 miles daily; to remain upon it would insure their
destruction were they not nearly amphibious; they hunt by scent, and are
constantly running across and against the wind, which prevails from the
northward, so that the same instinct which directs their search for
prey, also serves the important purpose of guiding them in the direction
of the land and more solid ice.

I remarked that the upper part of both Bruin's fore-paws were rubbed
quite bare; Petersen explains that to surprise the seal a bear crouches
down with his fore-paws doubled underneath, and pushes himself
noiselessly forward with his hinder legs until within a few yards, when
he springs upon the unsuspecting victim, whether in the water or upon
the ice. The Greenlanders are fond of bear's flesh, but never eat either
the heart or liver, and say that these parts cause sickness. No instance
is known of Greenland bears attacking men, except when wounded or
provoked; they never disturb the Esquimaux graves, although they seldom
fail to rob a câche of seal's flesh, which is a similar construction of
loose stones above ground.

A native of Upernivik, one dark winter's day, was out visiting his
seal-nets. He found a seal entangled, and, whilst kneeling down over it
upon the ice to get it clear, he received a slap on the back--from his
companion as he supposed; but a second and heavier blow made him look
smartly round. He was horror-stricken to see a peculiarly grim old bear
instead of his comrade! without deigning further notice of the man,
Bruin tore the seal out of the net and commenced his supper. He was not
interrupted; nor did the man wait to see the meal finished.

I had long ago resolved, if we escaped before the 15th, or the 20th
April at the latest, to go to Newfoundland to refresh the crew and to
refit, even if no damage from the ice should be sustained. In order to
do so it would have been necessary for us to visit a Greenland port for
a supply of water. We could not have calculated upon much assistance
from our engines upon such a voyage, Mr. Brand alone being capable of
working the engines, so that ten or twelve hours daily is all the
steaming that could have been expected.

But we are still ice-locked, so I purpose going to Holsteinborg in
preference to a more southern port, as there we may expect to get
reindeer and a small supply of stores suitable to our wants. The whalers
sometimes reach Disco in March, Upernivik in May, and the North Water
early in June. Unless we should be at once set free, we would not have
time to spare for a Newfoundland voyage.



_24th._--Another anxious week has passed. Latterly we have experienced
south-westerly currents similar to those which Parry describes when
beset here in June, 1819. To-day we have had a strong S.E. breeze, with
snow and dark weather. The wind had greatly moderated when the swell
reached us about eight o'clock this evening. It is now ten o'clock; the
long ocean swell already lifts its crest five feet above the hollow of
the sea, causing its thick covering, of icy fragments to dash against
each other and against us with unpleasant violence. It is however very
beautiful to look upon, the dear old familiar ocean-swell! it has long
been a stranger to us, and is welcome in our solitude. If the 'Fox' was
as solid as her neighbors, I am quite sure she would enter into this
ice-tournament with all their apparent heartiness, instead of audibly
making known her sufferings to us. Every considerable surface of ice has
been broken into many smaller ones; with feelings of exultation I
watched the process from aloft. A floe-piece near us, of 100 yards in
diameter, was speedily cracked so as to resemble a sort of labyrinth,
or, still more, a field-spider's web. In the course of half an hour the
family resemblance was totally lost; they had so battered each other,
and struggled out of their original regularity. The rolling sea can no
longer be checked; "the pack has taken upon itself the functions of an
ocean," as Dr. Kane graphically expresses it.

_26th._--At sea! How am I to describe the events of the last two days?
It has pleased God to accord to us a deliverance in which His merciful
protection contrasts--how strongly!--with our own utter helplessness; as
if the successive mercies vouchsafed to us during our long, long winter
and mysterious ice-drift had been concentrated and repeated in a single
act. Thus forcibly does His great goodness come home to the mind!

I am in no humor for writing, being still tired, seedy, and perhaps a
little seasick; at least I have a headache, caused by the rolling of the
ship and rattling noise of everything.


On Saturday night, the 24th, I went on deck to spend the greater part of
it in watching, and to determine what to do. The swell greatly
increased; it had evidently been approaching for hours before it reached
us, since it rose in proportion as the ice was broken up into smaller
pieces. In a short time but few of them were equal in size to the ship's
deck; most of them not half so large. I knew that near the pack-edge the
sea would be very heavy and dangerous; but the wind was now fair, and
having auxiliary steam-power, I resolved to push out of the ice if

Shortly after midnight the ship was under sail, slowly boring her way to
the eastward; at two o'clock on Sunday morning commenced steaming, the
wind having failed. By eight o'clock we had advanced considerably to the
eastward, and the swell had become dangerously high, the waves rising
ten feet above the trough of the sea. The shocks of the ice against the
ship were alarmingly heavy; it became necessary to steer exactly
head-on to swell. We slowly passed a small iceberg 60 or 70 feet high;
the swell forced it crashing through the pack, leaving a small
water-space in its wake, but sufficient to allow the seas to break
against its cliffs, and throw the spray in heavy showers quite over its


The day wore on without change, except that the snow and mists cleared
off. Gradually the swell increased, and rolled along more swiftly,
becoming in fact a very heavy regular sea, rather than a swell. The ice
often lay so closely packed that we could hardly force ahead, although
the fair wind had again freshened up. Much heavy hummocky ice and large
berg-pieces lay dispersed through the pack; a single thump from any of
them would have been instant destruction. By five o'clock the ice became
more loose, and clear spaces of water could be seen ahead. We went
faster, received fewer though still more severe shocks, until at length
we had room to steer clear of the heaviest pieces; and at eight o'clock
we emerged from the villanous "pack," and were running fast through
straggling pieces into a clear sea. The engines were stopped, and Mr.
Brand permitted to rest after eighteen hours' duty, for we now have no
one else capable of driving the engines.

Throughout the day I trembled for the safety of the rudder, and screw;
deprived of the one or the other, even for half an hour, I think our
fate would have been sealed; to have steered in any other direction than
_against_ the swell would have exposed, and probably sacrificed both.


Our bow is very strongly fortified, well plated externally with iron,
and so very sharp that the ice-masses, repeatedly hurled against the
ship by the swell as she rose to meet it, were thus robbed of their
destructive force; they struck us obliquely, yet caused the vessel to
shake violently, the bells to ring, and almost knocked us off our legs.
On many occasions the engines were stopped dead by ice choking the
screw; once it was some minutes before it could be got to revolve again.
Anxious moments those!

After yesterday's experience I can understand how men's hair has turned
grey in a few hours. Had self-reliance been my only support and hope, it
is not impossible that I might have illustrated the fact. Under the
circumstances I did my best to insure our safety, looked as stoical as
possible, and inwardly trusted that God would favor our exertions. What
a release ours has been, not only from eight months' imprisonment, but
from the perils of that one day! Had our little vessel been destroyed
after the ice broke up, there remained no hope for us. But we have been
brought safely through, and are all truly grateful, I hope, and believe.

I grieve to think of poor Lady Franklin and our friends at home.
Severely as we have felt the failure of our first season's operations,
yet the ordeal is now over with us: not so with her and them,--they have
still to experience that bitter disappointment.

Our distance within the pack-edge, where we first made sail yesterday,
was 22 miles. Before we got clear of the ice the height of the waves was
13-1/2 feet; after passing through the last of it there was no increase,
but the sea was more confused; in fact, within the ice all minor
disturbances were quelled or merged into one regular fast-following
swell. The ship and her machinery behaved most admirably in the
struggle; should I ever have to pass through such an ice-covered,
heaving ocean again, let me secure a passage in the 'Fox.'

During our 242 days in the packed-ice of Baffin's Bay and Davis' Straits
we were drifted 1194 geographical or 1385 statute miles; it is the
longest drift I know of, and our winter, as a whole, may be considered
as having been mild, but very windy.


We are steering now for Holsteinborg, where I intend to refit and
refresh the crew; it is reputed to be the best place for reindeer upon
the coast.


 A holiday in Greenland--A lady blue with cold--The loves of
   Greenlanders--Close shaving--Meet the whalers--Information of
   whalers--Disco--Danish hospitality--Sail from Disco--Kindness of the
   whalers--Danish establishments in Greenland.


_Wednesday night, April 28th._--Safely anchored at Holsteinborg, and
moored to the rocks; a charming change, after our position only a few
days back. We have been visited by the Danish residents--the chief
trader or governor, the priest, and two others: their latest European
intelligence is not more recent than our own, but the Danish ship is
hourly expected; she usually leaves Copenhagen about the middle of

The winter here has been just the reverse of our own experience; it has
been severe in point of temperature, but with very little wind; the land
lies buried in snow, and as yet there is no thaw; it is too early for
the cod-fishery, and not a single reindeer has been killed throughout
the winter! Eider-ducks, looms, and dovekies are abundant, as well as
hares and ptarmigan.

_29th._--A bright and lovely day. Our poor, half-famished dogs have been
landed near the carcases of four whales, so they must be supremely
happy. I visited the Governor to-day, and found his little wooden house
as scrupulously clean and neat as the houses of the Danish residents in
Greenland invariably are. The only ornaments about the room were
portraits of his unfortunate wife and two children: they embarked at
Copenhagen last year to rejoin him, and the ill-fated vessel has never
since been heard of. Poor Governor Elberg is in ill health, and talks of
returning home--by _home_ he means Denmark, the land of his birth, and
where once he had a home.


_30th._--This is a grand Danish holiday; the inhabitants are all dressed
in their Sunday clothes--at least, all who have got a change of
garments--and there is both morning and evening service in the small
wooden church. As the Governor could not be persuaded to unlock the door
of the dance-house, our men returned on board early; yesterday evening
they were all on shore, and, with the Esquimaux, were squeezed into this
one large room: to be squeezed in a crowd of human beings is positive
enjoyment after a winter's isolation such as ours has been. Old Harvey
constituted himself master of the ceremonies, and with his flute led the
orchestra; it consisted of one other flute and a fiddle; he managed to
perch himself above all the rest, at one end of the room, and played
with such vigor that our bluejackets and the Esquimaux ladies danced
away most furiously for hours. These ladies can dance in the least
possible space, their costume being particularly well adapted for the
purpose, partaking as it does much more of the "Bloomer" than the

Christian looks immensely happy: his countrymen regard him as a man
whose fortune is made, and the women gaze with admiration upon his neat
sailor's dress, and his good-natured, full, round face, and huge, fat,
shining cheeks; Mr. Petersen is in great request to interpret between
the English, Danes, and Esquimaux.

{MAY, 1858.}

_7th May._--I intended sailing for Disco this morning, but wind and
weather were adverse. We have obtained but little here except water, a
tolerable supply of rock cod, some ptarmigan hares, wildfowl, and a few
items of stores. The Governor _now_ thinks the Danish ship must have
been directed to visit Godhaab before coming here. We have left letters
to go home in her, and they ought to be in England by the end of June.


I visited to-day a small lake at the foot of Mount Cunningham; it is
said to occupy the centre of an extinct volcano: but I saw nothing to
bear out the assertion. This is the only part of Greenland where
earthquakes are felt. The Governor told me of an unusually severe shock
which occurred a winter or two ago. He was sitting in his room reading
at the time, when he heard a loud noise like the discharge of a cannon;
immediately afterwards a tremulous motion was felt, some glasses upon
the table began to dance about, and papers lying upon the window-sill
fell down: after a few seconds it ceased. He thinks the motion
originated at the lake, as it was not felt by some people living beyond
it, and that it passed from N.E. to S.W.

This mountain scenery is really charming; but a little more animal
life--reindeer, for instance--would make it far more pleasing in our
eyes. The last twelvemonth's produce of this district amounts only to
500 reindeer skins instead of 3000, as in ordinary years. The clergyman
of Holsteinborg was born in this colony, and has succeeded his father in
the priestly office; his wife is the only European female in the colony.
Being told that fuel was extremely scarce in the Danish houses, and that
"the priest's wife was blue with the cold," I sent on shore a present of
some coals.

On Sunday afternoon, hearing the church bell ringing I went on shore. It
proved to be only a christening. The little dusky infant received a long
string of European names. There was a small description of barrel-organ,
to the sound of which the congregation joined in, keeping up a loud
monotonous chant. Most of the young people had hymn-books in their
hands, printed in the Esquimaux language.

Ravens seem very abundant, also large grey falcons: perhaps the dead
whales may have attracted an unusual number.


Poor Christian has not only fallen desperately in love, but has engaged
himself to the object of his affections, a pretty Esquimaux girl. He
asked me to-day to give her a passage up to Godhavn, as he wished to
leave her in charge of his mother until his return there with us next
year, when his engagement for the voyage would be fulfilled. Having
heard a rumor of a young woman awaiting his return at Godhavn, I taxed
him with it, but he replied with great simplicity that "he had never
promised her, and would not marry her, as his friends objected to the
match!" What are the good Greenlanders coming to? I recommended that he
should have his betrothed in her own home, with her mother and family.
His asking a passage for her, in order to leave her with his mother, is
strong proof of the sincerity of his engagement, not only to his lady
love, but to the 'Fox' also.

I have written to the admiralty to account for my prolonged absence from
England; and to Dr. Rink to acquaint him with the cause of my second
visit to his inspectorate.

Governor Elberg has promised to get me some fossil fish, to be found
only in North Strom Fiord: they are interesting, as being of unknown
geological date.

_10th._--On the morning of the 8th we left Holsteinborg with a pleasant
land wind and bright weather. When 15 miles off shore we were stopped by
ice formed during the last two nights, the thermometer having fallen to
12°; out in the offing the weather was gloomy and cold, and strong
northerly winds were blowing. On closing the land again, we regained the
off-shore wind, and bright weather.


Keeping close alongshore, and threading our way through a vast deal of
"pack" and numerous icebergs, we gained sight of Disco about noon
to-day, and by the evening were within an hour's sail of Godhavn, when
we were again stopped by a broad belt of ice stretching along the coast;
this was a bitter disappointment, more particularly as a gale of wind
with heavy sea was fast rising, and snow beginning to fall thickly;
there was nothing for it, however, but to stand off under easy sail for
the night.


_12th._--At anchor at the Whalefish Islands. On the evening of the 10th
we stood off from the inhospitable barrier of ice, prepared to meet the
storm; snow fell so thickly that we could hardly see the icebergs in
time to avoid them. We supposed ourselves to be well to leeward of the
Whalefish Islands, but were deceived by the tides; suddenly a small, low
islet was seen on the lee bow; not being able to pass to windward, we
were obliged to wear ship, and, in doing so, passed within the ship's
length of destruction--for we were certainly within that distance of
the rocks! The islet was covered with snow, and but for some very few
dark points showing through, it could not be distinguished from ice. On
the 11th the weather improved, and in the evening we came to our present
anchorage. From a hill we can watch an opportunity to enter Godhavn.
Notwithstanding the blowing weather, some natives came about five miles
off to us; the water washed over their little _kayaks_, and kept the
occupants' seal-skin dresses streaming with wet up to their shoulders;
this part of their dress seems rather part of the kayak, as it is
attached to it round the hole in which the _kayaker_ sits, so that no
water can enter. It is wonderful to see how closely a man can assimilate
his habits to those of a fish.

The Danish cooper in charge of this out-station tells us there are
thirteen English whalers already out, and some of them have been up to
the north end of Disco; two vessels are in sight. The world, it appears,
is at peace. Petersen was at one time in charge of this station; he is
now seeking out his old acquaintances.

_14th._--Summer has suddenly burst upon us--thermometer up to 40°;
moreover, we are enjoying English newspapers, and have dined off roast
beef and vegetables!


Two days ago I sent a note off to a whaler by a kayak, requesting her
captain to lend me some newspapers; the note reached Captain J. Walker,
of the 'Jane,' and yesterday his ship, accompanied by the 'Heroine,'
Captain J. Simpson, approached us, and they both came in to call upon
me, each of them bringing the very acceptable present of some
newspapers, besides a quarter of beef, with vegetables. Nothing could
exceed their sincere good feeling and kindness; they offered to supply
me with anything their ships could afford. The account they give of last
season is as follows: the whalers reached Devil's Point, near Melville
Bay, as early as the 21st of May; southerly winds then set in, and blew
incessantly for six weeks, during all which time they were closely
beset, and the ships 'Gipsy' and 'Undaunted' were crushed. When able to
move, the fleet returned southward along the "pack-edge," which was
everywhere found to be impenetrable; they sailed southward of Disco, and
about the middle of July the earliest ships rounded the southern
extremity of middle ice in lat. 68-1/2°, and found no difficulty in
their further passage to Pond's Bay. Captain Walker says ships could not
have reached Lancaster Sound, as there was much ice north of Pond's Bay
which he thought extended quite across to Melville Bay.


The position of the ice last season was considered to be most unusual;
the long prevalence of southerly winds appeared to have separated the
tail of the pack from the main body, the former lying against the west
land about Cape Searle, whilst the latter was forced northward and
pressed closely into Melville Bay; the ships sailed freely between these
two great divisions, and found the west water unusually extensive.

Had I been able to collect a sufficient number of sledge-dogs at Godhavn
last year, it was my intention to have sailed across to the west side if
possible, instead of pursuing the usual route through Melville Bay; but
the opinions of the captains of the lost whalers were in favor of a
"Melville Bay" passage, and the necessity for obtaining dogs left me no
choice as to whether I should proceed west, or north to Proven and
Upernivik; I have already recorded what were my opinions _at the time_,
so need only observe _now_, that, although I failed, I believe my
decision was justified by all former experience, even independently of
the circumstances which obliged me to adopt it. Nevertheless it is
mortifying to find that ships had reached as far as Pond's Bay, and with
but little difficulty. Sir Edward Parry, upon his third voyage, did not
reach the west water until very late in the season, although some of the
whalers met with better success by following up another route.


There is nothing more uncertain than ice-navigation, dependent as it is
upon winds, temperatures, and currents: one can only calculate upon "the
chances," and how nearly we succeeded we have already seen. In the
preceding year (1856) some of the whalers got through Melville Bay as
early as the 15th June, only a few days after the commencement of the
summer's thaw. Captain Walker tells me there are many years in which the
whalers can pass up the western shore late in the season, but not always
so far as Pond's Bay; of Melville Bay after the 10th or 15th July they
know nothing, but the voyages of discovery afford us ample details;
whilst of the southern route almost nothing has been made publicly

There are many intelligent whaling captains who possess much valuable
knowledge of these lands and seas, and even in the terra incognita of
Frobisher's Straits, whalers have wintered, whilst our charts scarcely
afford even a vague idea of the configuration of these extensive
islands. The so-called "Home Bay" has been penetrated for fifty miles,
and is supposed to be a strait leading to Fox's Furthest. Scott's Inlet
is also said to be a strait leading into a western arm of the same sea.
A surveying vessel would be usefully employed for a couple of summers in
tracing the general outline of these possessions of Her Majesty, more
particularly as they are rather thickly inhabited by Esquimaux most
eager to barter their produce for rifles, saws, files, knives, needles,
and such like articles. Good coal has been found upon Durbin Island
(near Cape Searle), in a convenient little cove upon its southern side;
and as the old sailing whalers are fast being replaced by steamers, this
place may become of great importance to them.

We are refitting, shooting, and devouring quantities of excellent
mussels; eider ducks are very abundant, but extremely shy. Poor puss has
been killed; tempted on deck by the unusually warm weather, she was
pounced upon by the dogs.


_17th._--Yesterday our attempt to enter the port of Godhavn failed, it
is still filled with ice. This evening Young and I examined a narrow
rocky cove--Upernivik Bay of the natives; finding it suitable for our
purpose, the ship was brought in and moored to the rocks. We were
received with much kindness by our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Olrik, and were
presented with a file of late English papers. A considerable supply of
beer was ordered to be brewed for us.

I found Mrs. Olrik without a fire in her sitting room; it was
unnecessary; the windows looked to the south, and the sun shone brightly
in upon a profusion of geraniums and European flowers, at once reminding
one of home, and refreshing the senses by their perfume and beauty; the
merry voices of the children were also a most pleasing novelty. Mr.
Olrik says the past winter has not been in any way remarkable, except
for the prevalence of strong winds; April and the early part of May have
been unusually cold.


_24th._--We did honor to Her Majesty's birthday by dressing the 'Fox' in
all her flags, and regaling her crew with plum-pudding and grog. The ice
having moved off, we have come into the harbor of Godhavn, as being more
convenient and safe. The day has been a busy one: we have completed our
small purchases and closed our letters; I have added another Esquimaux
lad to our crew, taking with him his rifle, kayak, and sledge. This
evening there has been a brisk interchange of presents between us and
our Danish friends. I have been given an eider-down coverlet by the
Governor, Mr. Andersen; and, by Mrs. Olrik, some delicious preserve of
Greenland cranberries, a tin of preserved ptarmigan, and a jar of
pickled whale-skin; my table is decked with European flowers, including
roses, mignonette, and violets.

With good reason shall we remember Godhavn; we have certainly been
treated as especial favorites.


_26th._--Left Godhavn early yesterday morning, and anchored this
afternoon in our old position off the Coal Cliffs in the Waigat; a party
of seal-hunters from Atanekerdluk came off to us, and their hunting
having terminated successfully, they will assist us in coaling. From
these men I obtained much information about this part of the coast;
within a range of 20 miles upon the Disco shore there are four distinct
coaling places; but at this early season two of them are deeply covered
with snow. There is also very good coal at the S.E. end of Hare Island,
where it can be easily obtained. The ice in this strait broke up as long
ago as the 3rd April; it has all drifted out to the northward, only a
few icebergs now remain.

_28th._--Again hastening northward; the business of coaling was very
speedily and satisfactorily completed, but the quality of the coals is
very inferior. Upon the green slopes our sportsmen found nothing but a
few ptarmigan and a hare.

Shortly after running close past the deserted settlement of Noursoak, we
arrived off a small bay, and were startled by finding the water had
suddenly changed from transparent blue to a thick muddy color, but there
was no change in its depth; we were crossing the stream of "Makkaks
Elvin," or Clay River, which empties itself into the bay after running
through a broad and extensive valley, said to abound with reindeer; this
river has its origin in lakes and glaciers in the interior, and the
discoloration of the water is probably the chief cause of success in
white-whale fishing, which is carried on here in the autumn, as those
timid animals will not permit boats to approach them in clear water.

This evening we are crossing Omenak's Fiord, and the land-wind, which
here and all along the coast northwards blows from the N.E., has come
off to us.


_31st._--Lying fast to an iceberg off Upernivik.

The whalers are all within a dozen miles of us, unable to penetrate
further north. The season appears forward, and the ice much decayed; but
southerly winds prevail, retarding its disruption and removal. Captain
Parker, of the 'Emma,' tells me he does not expect to make a north
passage this year, and as his experience extends over a period of at
least thirty years, I give his reason; it is simply this,--that as
during the months of February, March, and April northerly winds
prevailed to an unusual degree, therefore southerly winds may now be
expected to continue; if he prove a prophet, it will be to our serious
hinderance at this critical season. Governor Fliescher says the winter
has been mild; there has been but little wind, and that chiefly from the

{JUNE, 1858.}


_4th June._--We have received much kindness from our friends Captains
Parker and J. Simpson, as well as from others of the whaling fleet; the
former has generously supplied us with many things we were rather short
of, not only in ship's stores, but provisions and coals, and in return
I have of course furnished him with a receipt for his owners. Captain
Simpson has most handsomely presented the 'Fox' with a sail and yards,
which, after some slight alterations, will enable us to add a main
topsail to our spread of canvas. For the two days we lay at the iceberg,
alongside of the 'Emma,' I made furious attacks upon Captain Parker's
beefsteaks and porter; we amply availed ourselves of his hearty welcome.
By the arrival of the fine steam whaler 'Tay,' from Scotland, we have
received papers up to 17th April.

This morning we slowly steamed away from Upernivik, threading our way
betwixt islands, and ice, for about 30 miles, and now await further ice
movement before it will be possible to proceed.

These are called the Woman Islands, so named by the celebrated Arctic
explorer John Davis, who visited them in Queen Elizabeth's reign; he
found here only a few old women, their frightened lords and more active
juniors having effected their escape.

Upon one of these islands a stone was picked up some 30 years ago,
bearing a Runic inscription; it was sent home to Copenhagen as a most
interesting relic of the early Scandinavian voyagers; but nothing was on
it except the names of those men "who cleared this place" (or formed a
settlement), and the date, 1135. In all probability their sojourn was
extremely short, perhaps only for a single summer. The Esquimaux did
not make their appearance for nearly two centuries later.


After Egede's settlement at Godhaab in 1721, the Danish trading
establishments gradually extended along the coast, and Upernivik was one
of them; but it appears to have been soon abandoned. During Napoleon's
wars all the Danish posts were withdrawn, as the British fleet
effectually cut off communication with Europe; but after peace was
restored in 1815, the trading posts were again resorted to, and a new
settlement formed near the ruins of the old one at Upernivik; it enjoys
pre-eminence as the most northern abode of civilized man.


 'Fox' nearly wrecked--Afloat, and push ahead--Arctic hairbreadth
   escapes--Nearly caught in the pack--Shooting little auks--The Arctic
   Highlanders--Cape York--Crimson snow--Struggling to the
   westward--Reach the West-land--Off the entrance of Lancaster Sound.


_June 8th._--Yesterday morning we passed close outside Buchan Island; it
is small but lofty, its north side is almost precipitous, yet
notwithstanding this strong indication of deep water, a reef of rocks
lies about a mile off it. I happened to be aloft with the look-out-man
at half-past eight o'clock as we were steaming through a narrow lead in
the ice, when I saw a rock close ahead; it was capped with ice,
therefore was hardly distinguishable from the floating masses around;
the engines were stopped and reversed, but there was neither time nor
room to avoid the reef, which now extended on each side of us, and upon
which the ship's bow stuck fast whilst her stern remained in 36 feet
water; the tide had just commenced to fall, and all our efforts to haul
off from the rocks were ineffectual. The floes lay within 30 yards of us
upon each side. I feared their drifting down upon the ship and turning
her over; but fortunately it was perfectly calm, and as the tide
fell, points of the reef held them fast. The ship continued to fall over
to starboard; at dead low water her inclination was 35°; the water
covered the starboard gunwale from the mainmast aft, and reached almost
up to the after hatchway; at this time the slightest shake must have
caused her to fall over upon her side, when she would have instantly
filled and sunk. The dogs, after repeated ineffectual attempts to lie
upon the deck, quietly coiled themselves up upon such parts of the lee
gunwale as remained above water and went to sleep.

[Illustration: The 'Fox' on a Rock near Buchan Island.]

To me the moments seemed lengthened out beyond anything I could have
imagined; but at length the water began to rise, and the ship to resume
her upright position. Boats, anchors, hawsers, etc., were got on board
again with the utmost alacrity, and the ship floated off unhurt after
having been eleven hours upon the reef. We had grounded during the day
tide and were floated off by the night tide, which upon this coast
occasions a much greater rise and fall,--so far we were favored, but the
poor little 'Fox' had a very narrow escape; as for ourselves, there was
not the slightest cause for apprehension, three steam whalers being
within signal distance.


To-day we are steaming along after the three vessels which passed us
last evening and disappeared round Cape Shackleton during the night.
The contrast between our prospects yesterday and to-day fills one with
delight,--to be afloat and advancing unobstructedly once more is indeed

_11th._--On the afternoon of the 8th we joined the steamers 'Tay,'
Captain Deuchars; 'Chase,' Captain Gravill, sen.; and 'Diana,' Gravill,
jun. After repeated ice-detentions, we have reached Duck Island. Captain
Deuchars says there is every prospect of an early north passage; we have
had several conversations about the Pond's Bay natives, and their
reports of ships, wrecks, and Europeans. There appears to be not only
great difficulty, but also uncertainty, in arriving at their meaning; to
form an idea of the time elapsed since an event, or the distance to the
spot where it occurred, is a still harder task. I look forward to our
visit at Pond's Bay with greatly increased interest.


In August, 1855, when Captain Deuchars was crossing through the middle
ice, in latitude 70°, he found part of a steamer's topmast embedded in
heavy ice; he also saw the moulded form of a ship's side, and thinks the
latter must have sunk; the portion of the topmast visible was sawed off
and taken to England. It is most probable that the vessel was either
H.M.S. 'Intrepid' or 'Pioneer,' as two months later, and 250 miles
further south, the 'Resolute' was picked up. About two or three years
ago, Captain Deuchars lost his ship 'Princess Charlotte,' in Melville
Bay. It was a beautiful morning; they had almost reached the North
Water, and were anticipating a very successful voyage; the steward had
just reported breakfast ready, when Captain Deuchars, seeing the floes
closing together ahead of the ship, remained on deck to see her pass
safely between them, but they closed too quickly; the vessel was
_almost_ through, when the points of ice caught her sides abreast of the
mizenmast, and, passing through, held the wreck up for a few minutes,
barely long enough for the crew to escape and save their boats! Poor
Deuchars thus suddenly lost his breakfast and his ship; within _ten
minutes_ her royal yards disappeared beneath the surface. How closely
danger besets the Arctic cruiser, yet how insidiously; everything looks
so bright, so calm, so still, that it requires positive experience to
convince one that ice only a very few inches, perhaps only three or four
inches, _above water_, perfectly level, and moving extremely slow, could
possibly endanger a strong vessel! The 'Princess Charlotte' was a very
fine, strong ship, and her captain one of the most experienced Arctic
seamen. He now commands the finest whaler in the fleet.


_14th._--We have only advanced a few miles to the northward. The steamer
'Innuit' has joined our small steam squadron. Captain Sutter left
Scotland only a month ago: he has very kindly and promptly sent us a
present of newspapers and potatoes. Captain Deuchars has also been good
enough to supply us with some potatoes and porter, perhaps the most
serviceable present he could have made us after our long subsistence
upon salt and preserved meats.

_10th._--Once more alone in Melville Bay. The 'Innuit' and 'Chase'
steamed much too fast for us, and the last of the four vessels, the
'Tay,' parted from us in a thick fog yesterday. We have come close along
the edge of the fixed ice, passing about six miles outside of the Sabine
Islands, and are advancing as opportunities offer. This morning the man
who was stationed to watch a nip about a quarter of a mile ahead of the
ship, came running back, pursued by three bears--a mother with her
half-grown cubs. I suppose they followed him chiefly because he ran from
them; and at all events they were very close up before he reached the
ship. Another bear was seen about the same time, but none of them came
within shot. Rotchies (or little auks) are very abundant. Seals are
occasionally shot. I ate some boiled seal to-day, and found it good:
this is the first time I have eaten positive _blubber_; all scruples
respecting it henceforth vanish.


_25th._--The land-ice broke away inshore of the 'Fox' on the 19th or
20th, and we found ourselves drifting southward amongst extensive fields
of ice. Sad experience has already shown us how absolutely powerless
our small craft is under such circumstances. But after many attempts we
regained the edge of the fast ice this morning, and steamed merrily
along it towards Bushnan Island. When within a few miles a nip brought
us to a standstill: here five or six icebergs lie encompassed by
land-ice, and apparently aground; one of them juts out and has caught
the point of an immense field of ice. There is some slight movement in
the latter, but not enough to let us pass through.

Twelve or eighteen miles to the south there is a cluster of bergs, in
all probability aground upon our "70 fathom bank" of last September. The
ice-field appears to rest against them, as both to the east and west
there is much clear water. Exactly at this spot Captain Penny was
similarly detained by a nip in August, 1850. Although progress is denied
to us at present, yet it is an unspeakable relief to have got out of the
drifting ice.


I have passed very many anxious days in Melville Bay, but hardly any of
them weighed so heavily upon me as yesterday. There was the broad, clear
_land-water_ within a third of a mile of me, clear weather, and a fair
breeze blowing. The intervening nip worked sufficiently with wind and
tide to keep one in suspense; it _nearly_ opened at high water, but
closed again with the ebb tide. I thought of the week already spent in
struggling amongst drifting floes, and was haunted by visions of
everything horrible--gales, ice-crushing, etc. Nor was it consoling to
reflect that all the sailing ships as well as the steamers might have
actually slipped past us. In fact, I must acknowledge that anxiety and
weariness had worked me up into a state of burning impatience and of
bitter chagrin at being so repeatedly baffled in all my efforts by the
varying yet continual perplexities of our position. The only difference
in favor of our prospects over those of the past year consisted in our
having arrived here two months earlier; but the importance of this
difference is incalculable.

The opportunities afforded by the delays to which we have been subjected
were turned, however, to some account. Nearly one thousand rotchies were
shot; they are excellent eating; their average weight is four ounces and
a half, but when prepared for the table they probably do not yield more
than three ounces each. A young bear imprudently swam up to the ship,
and was shot,--his skin fell to the sportsman, and carcase to the dogs.
Several others have been seen: we watched one fellow surprise a seal
upon the ice, and carry it about in his mouth as a cat does a mouse.


_27th._--Lying fast to the ice off the Crimson Cliffs of Sir John Ross.
Yesterday we succeeded in passing through the nip, and by evening
reached Cape York. Seeing natives running out upon the land-ice, the
ship was made fast for an hour in order to communicate with them. A
party of eight men came on board: they immediately recognized Petersen,
for they lived at Etah in Smith's Sound when he was there in the
American expedition. They asked for Dr. Kane, and told us Hans was
married and living in Whale Sound. They all said he was most anxious to
return to Greenland, but had neither sledge-dogs nor kayak; hunger had
compelled him to eat the seal-skin which covered the framework of the
latter. Petersen gave them messages for Hans from his Greenland friends,
and advice that he should fix his residence here, where he might see the
whalers and perhaps be taken back to Greenland. The natives did not seem
to be badly off for anything except dogs, some distemper having carried
off most of these indispensable animals. I was therefore unable to
procure any from them. These people spent the winter here; they seemed
healthy, well-clad, and happy little fellows. One of them is
brother-in-law to Erasmus York, who voluntarily came to England in the
'Assistance' in 1851. This man is an _angekok_, or magician; he has a
still flatter face than the rest of his countrymen, but appears more
thoughtful and intelligent.

Petersen pointed out to me a stout old fellow, with a tolerable
sprinkling of beard and moustache. This worthy perpetrated the only
murder which has taken place for several years in the tribe: he disliked
his victim and stood in need of his dogs, therefore he killed the owner
and appropriated his property! Such motives and passions usually govern
the "unsophisticated children of nature;" yet, as savages, the Esquimaux
may be considered exceedingly harmless.

Of late years these Arctic Highlanders have become alarmed by the rapid
diminution of their numbers through famine and disease, and have been
less violent towards each other in their feuds and quarrels.

The appearance of these men, as they danced and rolled about in frantic
delight at our approach, was wild and strange, and their costume uniform
and picturesque. Their long, coarse, black hair hung loosely over the
seal-skin frock which in its turn overlapped their loose shaggy
bear-skin breeches, and these again came down over the tops of their
seal-skin boots. Most of them carried a spear formed out of the horn of
a narwhal.

Having distributed presents of knives and needles, and explained to them
that we did so because they had behaved well to the white people, (as we
learned from Dr. Kane's narrative of their treatment of him and his
crew), we pursued our voyage, not doubting but that we should soon reach
the _North Water_, an extensive sea through which we could sail
uninterruptedly to Pond's Bay.

During the night we advanced through loose ice; but fog and a rising
S.E. gale delayed us, and to-day the pack has pressed in against the
land, so that our wings are most unexpectedly clipped. A walrus was shot
through the head by a Minié bullet; none other will penetrate such a
massive skull: unfortunately for my collection of specimens, and for the
dogs, the animal sank.

{JULY, 1858.}


_2d July._--For five days we have been almost beset amongst loose ice
and grounded bergs; the winds were generally from the S.E. and
accompanied by fog. To avoid being squeezed we had constantly to shift
our position; once we were caught and rather severely nipped; the ship
was heeled over about ten degrees and lifted a couple of feet: the ice
was three feet thick, but broke readily under her weight. Unfortunately
there was not time to unship the rudder, so it suffered very severely.
Upon a previous occasion the screw-shaft was bent and a portion of the
screw broken off.


Landed to obtain a good view of the sea in the offing; from the hills we
could see nothing but pack to seaward. There was no land ice; we stepped
out of the boat upon a narrow icefoot which fringed the coast;
immediately above it we trod over a velvet sward of soft bright green
moss; the turf beneath was of considerable depth. Here and there under
this noble range of cliffs, which are composed of primary rock, there
exists much vegetation for so high a latitude. From the fact of thick
layers of turf descending quite down to the sea, it is evident that the
land has been gradually sinking. Steep slopes of rocky _débris_, which
screen the bases of the most precipitous cliffs, form secure nurseries
for the little auk; these localities were literally alive with them;
they popped in and out of every crevice, or sat in groups of dozens upon
every large rock. I have nowhere seen such countless myriads of birds.
The _rotchie_, or little auk, lays its single egg upon the bare rock,
far within a crevice beyond the reach of fox, owl, or burgomaster gull.
We shot a couple of hundred during our short stay on shore, and, by
removing the stones, gathered several dozen of their eggs.

The huge predatory gulls, long ago named "Burgomasters" by Dutch seamen
(because they lord it over their neighbors, and appropriate every thing
good to themselves), have established themselves in the cliffs, where
their nests are generally inaccessible: we were a month too late for
their eggs; the young birds were as large as spring chickens. Of course
we obtained specimens of the red snow, but had to seek rather diligently
for it; its color was a dirty red, very like the stain of port wine:
very few patches of it were found.

Last night a westerly wind blew freshly and dispersed the ice outside of
us, so much so that this evening we have got out into almost clear
water. Farewell Greenland!--hurrah for the west!


_5th._--After getting free from the ice off the Crimson Cliffs, we soon
lost sight of the last fragment, and steered for Pond's Bay. And now we
all set to work in zealous haste to write our last letters for England,
by the whalers, which we hoped soon to meet there.

After running 60 miles the ice re-appeared, and we sailed through a vast
deal of it, but it became more closely packed, and a thick fog detained
us for a day.

When the weather became clear, the main pack was seen to the W., S., and
S.E.; in the hope of rounding its northern extreme we ran along it to
the N.W. To-day it has led us to the N. and N.E., so that this evening
Wolstenholme Sound is in sight. To the N. the pack appears impenetrable,
and there is a strong ice-blink over it. All the ice we have lately
sailed through is loose, and much decayed; it seems but recently to have
broken away from the land, is not water-washed, neither has it been
exposed to a swell, the fractured edges remaining sharp.


_6th._--Midnight. Last evening I persevered to the N. until every hope
of progress in that direction vanished. To the W. the pack appeared
tolerably loose; the wind was fresh at E.S.E., so I determined once
more to push into it, and endeavor to battle our way through; I hoped it
would prove to be merely a belt of 30 or 40 miles in width. We found the
ice to lie for the most part in streams at right angles to the wind, and
therefore much more open than it had appeared: there was seldom any
difficulty in winding through it from one water space to another. The
wind greatly increased, bringing much rain, but fortunately no fog;--the
dread of this hung over me like a nightmare,--our progress depended upon
the vigilance of the look-out kept in the crow's-nest. By noon we had
made good 60 miles. Throughout the day the wind has gradually moderated:
the rain gave place to snow, which in its turn was succeeded by mist.
The evening was fine eventually and clear; but still we find the ice is
all around. Just before midnight the termination of our lead was
discovered, whilst the ice through which we had passed was closing
together, and a dense fog came rolling down. Under these circumstances
the ship was made fast as near to the nip as safety permitted, to await
some favorable change.

_10th._--All the 7th we remained in our small basin, there being no
outlet from it, and but little water anywhere visible. To pass away the
dull hours and get rid of unwelcome reflections upon the similarity of
our present position and that in August last, I commenced an attack
upon all the feathered denizens of the pack--they seemed so provokingly
contented with it--but they soon became wary, and deserted our vicinity,
so I shot only a dozen fulmar petrels, three ivory gulls, two looms,[13]
and a _Lestris parasiticus_; some of them were useful as specimens, and
such as were not destined for our table were given to the dogs. Although
Cobourg Island was 45 miles distant from us, its lofty rounded outlines
were very distinct, and much covered with snow. On the 8th we squeezed
through nips for 4 or 5 miles, and on the 9th, reaching a large space of
water, steamed towards Cobourg Island until again stopped by the pack at
an early hour this morning, when within 5 or 6 leagues of it.


This evening we are endeavoring to steam in towards the West-land, and
fancy we can trace with the crow's-nest telescope a practicable route
through the intervening ice-mazes to a faint streak of water along the
shore. This sort of navigation is not only anxious, but wearying. To me
it seems as if several months instead of only eight days had elapsed
since we left Cape York. We are constantly wondering what our whaling
friends are about, and where they are?

_14th._--The faint streak of water seen on the night of the 10th proved
to be an extensive sheet to leeward of Cobourg Island. We reached it
next morning. Jones' Sound appeared open, and a slight swell reached us
from it, but all along the shore there was close pack. Although but
little water was visible to the southward, we persevered in that
direction, and, as the ice was rapidly moving off-shore under the
combined influence of wind and tide, we were only occasionally detained.

Two hundred and forty-two years ago--to a day, I believe--William Baffin
sailed without hindrance along this coast and discovered Lancaster
Sound. What a very different season he must have experienced!


Passing near Cape Horsburgh we approached De Ros Islet at midnight. The
air being very calm, and still, the shouting of some natives was heard,
although we could scarcely distinguish them upon the land-ice. The ship
was made fast, and the shouting party, consisting of three men, three
women, and two children, eagerly came on board. Only four individuals
remained on shore.


The old chief Kal-lek is remarkable amongst Esquimaux for having a bald
head. He inquired by name for his friend Captain Inglefield. These three
families have spent the last two years upon this coast, between Cape
Horsburgh and Croker Bay. Their knowledge does not extend further in
either direction. They are natives of more southern lands, and crossed
the ice in Lancaster Sound with dog-sledges. Since the visit of the
'Phœnix' in '54 they have seen no ships, nor have any wrecks drifted
upon their shores. They seemed very fat and healthy, but complained that
all the reindeer had gone away, and asked if _we_ could tell where they
went to? Our presents of wood, knives, and needles were eagerly
received. They assured us that Lancaster Sound was still frozen over,
and that all the sea was covered with pack. After half an hour's delay
we steamed onward, and on reaching a larger space of water our hopes
(somewhat depressed by the native intelligence) began to revive. But we
soon found that our clear water terminated near Cape Warrender.
Lancaster Sound, although not frozen over, was crammed full of floes and
icebergs. The wind increased to a strong gale from the east, and pressed
in more ice. At length the ship was with difficulty made fast to a strip
of land-ice a few miles westward of Point Osborn. Gradually the gale
subsided, but not until the pack was close in against the land. The
tides kept sweeping it to and fro, to our great discomfort. The land is
composed of gneiss, and the gravelly shore is low. A few ducks only have
been shot, and traces of reindeer and hares seen. Our Melville Bay
friends, the rotchies, are very rare visitors upon this side of Baffin's

Part of a ship's timber has been found upon the beach; it measures 7
inches by 8 inches, is of American oak, and, although sound, has long
been exposed to the weather.


[13] These birds are called willocks at home; they are the "Uria
brunnichii" of naturalists.


 Off Cape Warrender--Sight the whalers again--Enter Pond's
   Bay--Communicate with Esquimaux--Ascend Pond's Inlet--Esquimaux
   information--Arctic summer abode--An Arctic village--No intelligence
   of Franklin's ships--Arctic trading--Geographical information of
   natives--Information of Rae's visit--Improvidence of
   Esquimaux--Travels of Esquimaux.


_16th July._--To borrow a whaling phrase, we are "dodging about in a
hole of water" off Cape Warrender. I recognize the little bay just to
the west of the cape where Parry landed in September, 1824. The "immense
mass of snow and ice containing strata of muddy-looking soil" is there
still, and, I should think, had considerably increased. Here his party
shot three reindeer out of a small herd. We have narrowly scanned the
steep hill-sides with our glasses, but without discovering any such
inducement to land.

No cairns are visible upon Cape Warrender; the natives have probably
removed them. Dense pack prevents us from approaching Port Dundas or
crossing to the southern shore. We all find these vexatious delays are
by no means conducive to sleep. The mind is busy with a sort of
magic-lantern representation of the past, the present, and the future,
and resists for weary hours the necessary repose.

_17th._--Last night's calm has allowed the pack to expand so much, that
to-day we have steamed through it until within three miles of the noble
cliffs of Cape Hay; and now we are drifting eastward with the ice
precisely as did the 'Enterprise' and 'Investigator,' in September, '49.
Upon that occasion we were set free off Pond's Bay. There is a very
extensive _loomery_ at Cape Hay; we regret the circumstances which
prevent our levying a tax upon it. Here, if anywhere, I expected to find
a clear sea, but east winds have prevailed for twenty days out of the
last twenty-five, and this accounts for the present state of the sea;
the next succession of west winds will probably effect a prodigious
clearance of ice.


_21st._--The 'Tay' was seen to-day in loose ice, and much further off
the land. She gradually steamed through it to the southward, and by
night was almost out of sight. Her appearance surprised us, as we
supposed she must have reached Pond's Bay long ago. Ten hours'
struggling with steam and sails at the most favorable intervals has only
advanced us five miles. The weather is remarkably warm, bright, and
pleasant. A very large bear came within 150 yards, and was shot by
Petersen, the Minié bullet passing through his body. This beast measured
8 ft. 3 in. in length; his fat carcase was hoisted on board with great
satisfaction, as our dogs' food was nearly expended.

_24th._--Last night the ice became slack enough to afford some prospect
of release, so we charged the nips vigorously, and steamed away through
devious openings towards Cape Fanshawe. For several hours but little
progress was made, but this morning the ice became more open; clear
water was seen ahead, and reached by noon. Although it is calm I prefer
waiting for a breeze to expending more coals. We are only ten miles from
Possession Bay. The air is so very clear that the land appears quite
close to us. All that is not mountainous is well cleared of snow. There
is immense refraction. Only a single iceberg in sight. The sea-water is
light green, as remarked by Parry in 1819.


_26th._--A vessel was seen yesterday morning; the day continuing calm,
we steamed through some loose ice, and joined her off Cape Walter
Bathurst in the evening. It proved to be the 'Diana;' she parted from us
on the 16th of June in Melville Bay, has everywhere been obstructed by
the pack, as we have been, and only reached Cape Warrender three days
before us. From thence to Possession Bay she met with _no obstruction_.
The subsequent east winds brought in all the ice which has so much
retarded us.

The 'Diana' has already captured twelve whales. Taking the hint from
Capt. Gravill, we have made fast to a loose floe, and are drifting very
nearly a mile an hour to the southward along the edge of a very
formidable land-ice, which is seven or eight miles broad. All to seaward
of us is packed ice. The old whaling seamen of the 'Diana' are
astonished at the unusual and unaccountable abundance of ice which
everywhere fills up Baffin's Bay. All the 'Diana's' steaming coals, her
spare spars, wood and even a boat, have been burnt in the protracted
struggle through the middle ice.


_27th._--After putting our letter-bag on board the 'Diana' this morning
we steamed on for Pond's Bay, and at noon made fast near Button Point to
the land-ice, which still extends across it.


For four hours Petersen and I have been bargaining with an old woman and
a boy, not for the sake of their seal-skins, but in order to keep them
in good humor whilst we extracted information from them. They said they
knew nothing of ships or white people ever having been within this
inlet, nor of any wrecked ships. They knew of the depôt of provisions
left at Navy Board Inlet by the 'North Star,' but had none of them. The
woman has traced on paper the shores of the inlet as far as her
knowledge extends, and has given me the name of every point. She says
the ice will break up with the first fresh wind. These two individuals
are alone here. They remained on purpose to barter with the whalers,
and cannot now rejoin their friends, who are only 25 miles up the inlet,
because the ice is unsafe to travel over and the land precipitous and

This afternoon the 'Tay' stood in towards us, and Captain Deuchars
kindly sent his boat on board with an offer to take charge of our
letters. The 'Tay' reached this coast only a few days ago, having met
with the same difficulties which we experienced. The 'Innuit' was last
seen nearly a month ago beset off Jones' Sound. The remaining steamer,
the 'Chase,' has not been seen or heard of.

_29th._--The old woman's denial of all knowledge of the wrecks or
cast-away men was very unsatisfactory. I determined to visit her
countrymen at their summer village of Kaparōktolik, which she
described as being only a short day's journey up the inlet.


Petersen and one man accompanied me. We started yesterday morning with a
sledge and a Halkett boat. Although the ice over which we purposed
travelling broke away from the land soon after setting out, yet we
managed to get half way to the village before encamping. This morning we
learnt the truth of the old woman's account. A range of precipitous
cliffs rising from the sea cut us off by land from Kaparōktolik, so
we were obliged to return to the ship. Our walk afforded the
opportunity of examining some native encampments and câches. We found
innumerable scraps of seal-skins, bird-skins, walrus and other bones,
whalebone, blubber, and a small sledge. The latter was very old, and
composed of pieces of wood and of large bones ingeniously secured
together with strips of whalebone. Five preserved-meat tins were found;
some of them retaining their original coating of red paint. Doubtless
these were part of the spoils from Navy Board Inlet depôt. The total
absence of fresh wood or iron was strongly in favor of the old woman's
veracity. Since yesterday, ice, about 16 miles in extent, has broken up
in the inlet, and is drifting out into Baffin's Bay.

During my absence our shooting parties have twice visited a _loomery_
upon Cape Graham Moore, and each time have brought on board 300 looms.
Very few birds and no other animals were seen during our walk over the
rich mossy slopes to-day. I saw a pair of Canadian brown cranes, the
first of the species I have ever seen so far north, though Sir Robert
M'Clure found them, I know, on Banks Land.

The lands enjoying a southern aspect, even to the summits of hills 700
or 800 feet in height, were tinged with green; but these hills were
protected by a still loftier range to the north. Upon many
well-sheltered slopes we found much rich grass. All the little plants
were in full flower; some of them familiar to us at home, such as the
buttercup, sorrel, and dandelion. I have never found the latter to the
north of 69° before.

The old woman is much less excited to-day; she says there was a wreck
upon the coast when she was a little girl; it lies a day and a half's
journey, about 45 miles, to the north; and came there without masts and
very much crushed; the little which now remains is almost buried in the
sand. A piece of this wreck was found near her _abode_,--she has neither
hut nor tent, but a sort of lair constructed of a few stones and a
seal-skin spread over them, so that she can crawl underneath. This
fragment is part of a floor timber, English oak, 7-1/2 inches thick; it
has been brought on board.


_30th._--A gale of wind and deluge of rain has detained the ship until
this evening; we are now steaming up the inlet, having the old lady and
the boy on board as our pilots; they are delighted at the prospect of
rejoining their friends, from whom they were effectually cut off until
the return of winter should freeze a safe pathway for them; they had,
however, abundance of looms stored up _en câche_ for their subsistence.
She has drawn me another chart, much more neatly than the former, but so
like it as to prove that her geographical knowledge, and not her powers
of invention, have been taxed. She is a widow; her daughter is married,
and lives at a place called Igloolik, which is six or seven days'
journey from here,--three days up the inlet, then about three days
overland to the southward, and then a day over the ice.


Thinking it not quite impossible that this Igloolik might be the place
where Parry wintered in 1822-3, I told Petersen to ask whether ships had
ever been there? She answered, "Yes, a ship stopped there all one
winter; but it is a long time ago." All she could distinctly recollect
having been told about it was, that one of the crew died, and was buried
there, and his name was Al-lah or El-leh. On referring to Parry's
'Narrative,' I found that the ice-mate, Mr. Elder, died at Igloolik!
This is a very remarkable confirmation of the locality,--for there are
several places called Igloolik. She also told us it was an island, and
near a strait between two seas. The Esquimaux take considerable pains to
learn, and remember names; this woman knows the names of several of the
whaling captains, and the old chief at De Ros Islet remembered Captain
Inglefield's name, and tried hard to pronounce mine.

She now told us of another wreck upon the coast, but many days' journey
to the south of Pond's Bay; it came there before her first child was
born. Her age is not less than forty-five.

{AUG., 1858.}

_August 4th._--Our Esquimaux friends have departed from us with every
demonstration of friendship, to return to their village. We have had
free communication with them for four days--not only through Mr.
Petersen, but also through our two Greenlanders; the result is, that
they have no knowledge whatever of either of the missing or the
abandoned searching ships. Neither wrecked people nor wrecked ships have
reached their shores. They seemed to be much in want of wood; most of
what they have consists of staves of casks, probably from the Navy Board
Inlet depôt.


In their bartering with us, saws were most eagerly sought for in
exchange for narwhal's horns; they are used by them in cutting up the
long strips of the bones of whales with which they shoe the runners of
their sledges, also the ivory and bone used to protect the more exposed
parts of their kayaks and the edges of their paddles from the ice.

Files were also in great demand, and I found were required to convert
pieces of iron-hoop into arrow and spear heads. If any suspicion existed
of their having a secret supply of wood such as a wreck or even a boat
would afford, it was removed by their refusing to barter the most
trifling things for axes or hatchets.

But I must relate the events of the last few days as they occurred. When
17 miles within the inlet we reached the unbroken ice and made the ship
fast. Here the _strait_--originally named Pond's _Bay_, and more
recently Eclipse _Sound_--appears to be most contracted, its width not
exceeding 7 or 8 miles. Both its shores are very bold and lofty, often
forming noble precipices. The prevailing rock is grey gneiss, generally
dipping at an angle of 35° to the west.

Early on the 1st of August I set out for the native village with Hobson,
Petersen, two men, and the two natives from Button Point. Eight miles of
wet and weary ice-travelling, which occupied as many hours, terminated
our journey; the surface of the ice was everywhere deeply channelled and
abundantly flooded by the summer's thaw; we were almost constantly
launching our small boat over the slippery ridges which separated pools
or channellings through which it was generally necessary to wade.


After toiling round the base of a precipice, we came rather suddenly in
view of a small semicircular bay; the cliffs on either side were 800 or
900 feet high, remarkably forbidding and desolate; the mouth of a valley
or wide mountain gorge opens out into its head. Here, in the depth of
the bay, upon a low flat strip of land, stood seven tents,--the summer
village of Kaparōktolik. I never saw a locality more characteristic
of the Esquimaux than that which they have here selected for their
abode; it is widely picturesque in the true Arctic application of the


Although August had arrived, and the summer had been a warm one, the bay
was still frozen over; and if there was an ice-covered _sea_ in front,
there was also abundance of ice-covered _land_ in the rear--a glacier
occupied the whole valley behind and to within 300 yards of the chosen

The glacier's height appeared to be from 150 to 200 feet; its sea-face
extending across the valley,--a probable width of 300 or 400 yards,--was
quite perpendicular, and fully 100 feet high. All last winter's snow had
thawed away from off it and exposed a surface of mud and stones,
fissured by innumerable small rivulets, which threw themselves over the
glacier cliffs in pretty cascades, or shot far out in strong jets from
their deeply serried channels in its face; whilst other streamlets near
the base burst out through sub-glacial tunnels of their own forming.

What a strange people to confine themselves to such a mere strip of
beach! Upon each side they have towering rocky hills rising so abruptly
from the sea, that to pass along their bases or ascend over their
summits, is equally impossible; whilst a threatening glacier immediately
behind, bears onward a sufficient amount of rock and earth from the
mountains whence it issues, to convince even the unreflecting savage of
its progressive motion.

[Illustration: The Village and Glacier of Kaparōktolik, Greenland.]

The land is devoid of game, although lemmings and ermines are tolerably
numerous; it only supplies the moss which the natives burn with blubber
in their lamps, and the dry grass which they put in their boots; even
the soft stone, _lapis ollaris_, out of which their lamps and cooking
vessels are made and the iron pyrites with which they strike fire, are
obtained by barter from the people inhabiting the land to the west of
Navy Board Inlet. But the sea compensates for every deficiency. The
assembled population amounted to only 25 souls: 9 men, the rest women
and children.

All of them evinced extreme delight at seeing us; as we approached the
huts the women and children held up their arms in the air and shouted
"Pilletay" (give me), incessantly; the men were more quiet and
dignified, yet lost no opportunity, either when we declined to barter,
or when they had performed any little service, to repeat "Pilletay" in a
beseeching tone of voice.

We walked everywhere about the tents and entered some of them, carefully
examining every chip or piece of metal; our visit was quite unexpected.
They had only two sledges; both were made of 2-1/2 inch oak-planks,
devoid of bolt-holes or treenails, and having but very few nail-holes.
These sledges had evidently been constructed for several years, the
parts not exposed to friction were covered with green fungus: one of
them measured 14 feet long, the other about 9 feet; we were told the
wood came from a wreck to the southward of Pond's Bay. Most of the
sledge cross-bars were ordinary staves of casks. Amongst the poles and
large bones which supported the tents we noticed a painted fir oar.
Some pieces of iron-hoop and a few preserved-meat tins--one of which was
stamped "Goldner,"--completed their stock of European articles.


Petersen questioned all the men _separately_ as to their knowledge of
ships or wrecks; but their accounts only served to confirm the old
woman's story. None of them had ever heard of ships or wrecks anywhere
to the westward. Both individually and collectively we got them to draw
charts of the various coasts known to them, and to mark upon them the
positions of the wrecks. The two chiefs, Nōo-luk and A-wăh-lah, soon
made themselves known to me, and, when we desired to go to sleep, sent
away the people who were eagerly pressing round our tent. All these
natives were better-looking, cleaner, and more robust than I expected to
find them.

A-wăh-lah has been to Igloolik; one of his wives, for each chief has
_two_, has a brother living there. I spread a large roll of paper upon a
rock, and got him to draw the route overland, and also round by the
coast to it; this novel proceeding attracted the whole population about
us; A-wăh-lah constantly referred to others when his memory failed
him; at length it was completed to the satisfaction of all parties. When
I gave him the knife I had promised as his reward, and added another for
his wives, he sprang up on the rock, flourished the knives in his hands,
shouted, and danced with extravagant demonstrations of joy. He is a
very fine specimen of his race, powerful, impulsive, full of energy and
animal spirits, and moreover an admirable mimic. The men were all about
the same height, 5 feet 5 in.; they eagerly answered our questions, and
imparted to us all the geographical knowledge, although at first they
hesitated when we asked them about Navy Board Inlet, in consequence of
the depôt placed there having been plundered; but we soon found that
they were easily tired under cross-examination, and often said they knew
no more; it was necessary to humor them.

According to their account the depôt was discovered and robbed by people
living further west. This is probably true, as so few relics were to be
seen here, which would not be the case if such active fellows as
A-wăh-lah and Nōo-luk had received the first information of its
proximity. These people of Kaparōktolik are the only inhabitants of
the land lying eastward of Navy Board Inlet, and live entirely upon its
_southern_ shore. In a similar manner, it is only the _southern_ coast
of the land to the west of Navy Board Inlet that is inhabited. After
distributing presents to all the women and children, and making a few
trifling purchases from the men, we returned next day to the ship.


During my absence more ice had broken away, involving the ship and
almost forcing her on shore. It required every exertion to save her.
For two hours she continued in imminent danger, and was only saved by
the warping and ice-blasting, by which at last she got clear of the
drifting masses, _four minutes_ only before these were crushed up
against the rocks!


Four Esquimaux came off to the ship in their kayaks, bringing whalebone,
narwhals' horns, etc., to barter. Next to handsaws and files, they
attached the greatest value to knives and large needles. These men
remained on board for nearly two days, and drew several charts for us.
Nōo-luk explained that seven or eight days' journey to the southward
there are _two_ wrecks a short day's journey apart. The southern is in
an inlet or strait which contains several islands, but here his
knowledge of the coast terminates. The man A-ra-neet said he visited
these wrecks five winters ago. All of them agreed that it is a very long
time since the wrecks arrived upon the coast; and Nōo-luk, who appears
to be about forty-five years of age, showed us how tall he was at the

In the 'Narrative of Parry's Second Voyage,' at p. 437, mention is made
of the arrival at Igloolik of a sledge constructed of ship-timber and
staves of casks; also of two ships that had been driven on shore, and
the crews of which went away in boats. In August, 1821, nearly two years
previous to the arrival of this report through the Esquimaux to
Igloolik, the whalers 'Dexterity' and 'Aurora' were wrecked upon the
west coast of Davis' Strait, in lat. 72°, 70 or 80 miles southward of
Pond's Bay. The old man, Ow-wang-noot, drew the coast-line northwards
from Cape Graham Moore to Navy Board Inlet, and pointed out the position
of the northern wreck a few miles east of Cape Hay. Had it been
conspicuous, we must have seen it when we slowly drifted along that

These people usually winter in snow-huts at Green Point, a mile or two
within the northern entrance of Pond's Bay. They hunt the seal and
narwhal, but when the sea becomes too open they retire to
Kaparōktolik; and when the remaining ice breaks up--usually about the
middle of August--a further migration takes place across the inlet to
the S.W., where reindeer abound, and large salmon are numerous in the
rivers. Every winter they communicate with the Igloolik people. Two
winters ago (1856-7) some people who lived far beyond Igloolik, in a
country called A-ka-nee (probably the Ak-koo-lee of Parry), brought from
there the information of white people having come in two boats, and
passed a winter in snow-huts at a place called by the following
names:--A-mee-lee-oke, A-wee-lik, Net-tee-lik.


Our friends pointed to our whale-boat, and said the boats of the white
people were like it, but larger. These whites had tents inside their
snow-huts; they killed and ate reindeer and narwhal, and smoked pipes;
they bought dresses from the natives; none died; in summer they all went
away, taking with them two natives, a father and his son. We could not
ascertain the name of the white chief, nor the interval of time since
they wintered amongst the Esquimaux, as our friends could not recollect
these particulars.[14]

The name of the locality, A-wee-lik (spelt as written down at the
moment), may be considered identical with "Ay-wee-lik," the name of the
land about Repulse Bay in the chart of the Esquimaux woman, Iligliuk
(Parry's 'Second Voyage,' p. 197).

We were of course greatly surprised to find that Dr. Rae's visit to
Repulse Bay was known to this distant tribe; and also disappointed to
find they had heard nothing of Franklin's Back-River parties through the
same channel of communication. They were anxiously and repeatedly
questioned, but evidently had not heard of any other white people to the
westward, nor of their having perished there.

Ow-wang-noot lived at Igloolik in his early days, and made a chart of
the lands adjacent, but said he was so young at the time that "it seemed
like a dream to him." He was acquainted with Ee-noo-lōō-apik, the
Esquimaux who once accompanied Captain Penny to Aberdeen, and told us he
had died, lately I think, at a place to the southward called
Kri-merk-sū-malek, but that his sister still lives at Igloolik.


Although they told us the Igloolik people were worse off for wood than
they were themselves, yet it was evident that here also it is very
scarce. We could not spare them light poles or oars such as they were
most desirous to obtain for harpoon and lance staves and tent-poles; and
they would willingly have bartered their kayaks to us for rifles (having
already obtained some from the whaling-ships), but that they had no
other means of getting back to their homes, nor wood to make the light
framework of others.

They collect whalebone and narwhal's horns in sufficient quantity to
carry on a small barter with the whalers. A-wăh-lah showed us about
thirty horns in his tent, and said he had many more at other stations. A
few years ago, when first this bartering sprang up, an Esquimaux took
such a fancy to a fiddle that he offered a large quantity of whalebone
in exchange for it. The bargain was soon made, and subsequently this
whalebone was sold for upwards of a hundred pounds! Each successive
year, when the same ship returns to Pond's Bay, this native comes on
board to visit his friends, and goes on shore with many presents in
remembrance of the memorable transaction. It is much better for him thus
to receive annual gifts than to have received a large quantity at first,
as the improvidence of these men surpasses belief.


Of the "rod of iron about four feet long, supposed to have been at one
time galvanized," which was brought home in 1856 by Captain Patterson,
and forwarded to the Admiralty, I could obtain no information. The
natives were shown galvanized iron, and said they had never seen any
before; if their countrymen had any, it must have come from the whalers;
none like it was found in the wrecks. Rod-iron is very valuable to
Esquimaux for spears and lances, and narwhals' horns very tempting to
the seamen, not only as valuable curiosities, but the ivory is worth
half a crown a pound; and I have but little doubt that many of the
things said to have been stolen by the natives were fraudulently
bartered away by the sailors. That there was no galvanized iron on board
any of the Government searching-ships, nor in the missing expedition
which sailed from England as far back as 1845, I am almost certain. But
is it _certain_ that this rod was galvanized? The natives gave Captain
Patterson to understand that they got it from the wreck to the north.

In July, 1854, Captain Deuchars was at Pond's Bay, and many natives
visited his ship, coming over the ice on twelve or fourteen sledges
made of ship's planking. Now at this time Sir Edward Belcher's ships
were still frozen up in Barrow Strait. My own impression is that the
natives whom Captain Deuchars communicated with in 1854 were visitors at
Pond's Bay--certainly from the _southward_--and probably attracted by
the barter recently grown up at that whaling rendezvous. Having
discovered the use of the saws obtained by barter from our whalers, they
had successfully applied them to the stout planking of the old wrecks,
which they could not have stripped off with any tools previously in
their possession.


That the various tribes, or rather groups of families, occasionally
visit each other, sometimes for change of hunting-grounds, but more
frequently for barter, is well known. Captain Parker told me that a
native whom he had met one summer at Durbin Island, came on board his
ship at Pond's Bay the following year. The distance between the two
places, as travelled by this man in a single winter, is scarcely short
of 500 miles; and the information given us of Rae's wintering at Repulse
Bay, information which must have travelled here in two winters, shows
that these natives communicate at still greater distances.

Did other wrecks exist nearer at hand, our Pond's Bay friends would be
much better supplied with wood. If the Esquimaux knew of any within
300, 400, or even 500 miles, the Pond's Bay natives would at least have
heard of them, and could have had no reason for concealing it from us. I
only regret that we had not the good fortune to see more than a few
natives, and but two sledges of ship's planking; otherwise our own
information might have been more copious, and the origin of the fresh
supply of planking decisively ascertained.


[14] Dr. Rae wintered at Repulse Bay in _stone_ huts in 1846-7. Again
wintered there in _snow_ huts in 1853-4.


 Leave Pond's Bay--A gale in Lancaster Sound--The Beechey Island
   Depôt--An Arctic monument--Reflections at Beechey Island--Proceed up
   Barrow's Strait--Peel Sound--Port Leopold--Prince Regent's
   Inlet--Bellot Strait--Flood-tide from the west--Unsuccessful
   efforts--Fox's Hole--No water to the west--Precautionary
   measures--Fourth attempt to pass through.


_6th Aug._--Continued calms have delayed us. This evening we steamed
from Pond's Bay northward, although our coals have been sadly reduced by
the almost constant necessity for steam-power since leaving the Waigat.
The three steam-whalers have gone southward; none others have arrived.
They appear to us to be leaving the whales behind them; we saw many
whilst up the strait, and at the edge of the remaining ice. The natives
said they would remain as long as the ice remained, but when it all
broke up they would return into Baffin's Bay and go southward; and that
these animals arrive in early spring, and do not pass through the strait
into any other sea beyond.


_Monday evening, 9th._--On the night of the 6th a pleasant, fair breeze
sprang up, and enabled us to dispense with the engine. An immense bear
was shot; he measured 8 feet 7 inches in length, and is destined for
the museum of the Royal Dublin Society. On the 7th the wind gradually
freshened and frustrated my intention of examining the wreck spoken of
near Cape Hay; at night it increased to a very heavy gale. Although past
Navy Board Inlet, very little ice had yet been met with. The weather,
and fear of ice to leeward, obliged us to heave the vessel to, under
main trysail and fore staysail. The squalls were extremely violent and
seas unusually high.

All Sunday, the 8th, the gale continued, although not with such extreme
force; the deep rolling of the ship, and moaning of the half-drowned
dogs amidst the pelting sleet and rain, was anything but agreeable.
Notwithstanding that I had been up all the previous night, I felt too
anxious to sleep; the wind blew directly up Barrow Strait, drifting us
about two miles an hour. Occasionally she drifted to leeward of masses
of ice, reminding us that if any of the dense pack which covered this
sea only three weeks ago remained to leeward of us, we must be rapidly
setting down upon its weather edge. The only expedient in such a case is
to endeavor to run into it--once well within its outer margin a ship is
comparatively safe--the danger lies in the attempt to penetrate; to
escape out of the pack afterwards is also a doubtful matter.

In the evening we were glad to see the land, and find ourselves off the
north shore near Cape Bullen, for the violent motion of the ship and
very weak horizontal magnetic force had rendered our compasses useless.
This morning, the 9th, the gale broke, and the sea began to subside
rapidly; by noon it was almost calm, but a thick gloom prevailed,
ominous, it might be, of more mischief. All along the land there is ice,
but, broken up into harmless atoms. We have carried away a main gaff and
a jibstay, but have come remarkably well through such a gale with such
trifling damage.


_11th._--Before noon to-day we anchored inside Cape Riley, and
immediately commenced preparations for embarking coals. I visited
Beechey Island house, and found the door open; it must have been blown
in by an easterly gale long ago, for much ice had accumulated
immediately inside it. Most of the biscuit in bags was damaged, but
every thing else was in perfect order. Upon the north and west sides of
the house, where a wall had been constructed, there was a vast
accumulation of ice, in which the lower tier of casks between the two
were embedded, and its surface thawed into pools. Neither casks nor
walls should have been allowed to stand near the house. The southern and
eastern sides were clear and perfectly dry. The 'Mary' decked boat, and
two 30-feet lifeboats, were in excellent order, and their paint appeared
fresh, but oars and bare wood were bleached white.

The gutta-percha boat was useless when left here, and remains in the
same state. Two small sledge travelling boats were damaged; one of them
had been blown over and over along the beach until finally arrested by
the other. The bears and foxes do not appear to have touched any thing.
I have taken on board all letters left here for Franklin's or
Collinson's expeditions and also a 20-feet sledge-boat for our own
travelling purposes.

Last night we steamed very close round Cape Hurd in a dense fog, and
crept along the land as our only guide: we were thus led into Rigby Bay,
and discovered a shoal off its entrance by grounding upon it. After a
quarter of an hour we floated off unhurt.

In lowering a boat to pursue a bear, Robert Hampton fell overboard;
fortunately he could swim, and was very soon picked up, but the intense
cold of the water had almost paralyzed his limbs. The bear was shot and
taken on board.

_Sunday, 15th, 9 P.M._--Our coaling was completed yesterday, and the
ship brought over and anchored off the house in Erebus and Terror Bay. A
small proportion of provisions and winter clothing has been embarked to
complete our deficiencies; the ice has been scraped out of the house and
its roof thoroughly repaired, a record deposited, and door securely


I found lying at Godhavn a marble tablet which had been sent out by
Lady Franklin, in the American expedition of 1855 under Captain
Hartstein, for the purpose of being erected at Beechey Island.
Circumstances prevented the Americans executing this kindly service, and
it fell to my lot to convey it to the site originally intended. The
tablet was constructed in New York, under the direction of Mr. Grinnell,
at the request of Lady Franklin, in order that the only opportunity
which then offered of sending it to the Arctic regions might not be
lost. I placed the monument upon the raised flagged square in the centre
of which stands the cenotaph recording the names of those who perished
in the Government expedition under Sir Edward Belcher. Here also is
placed a small tablet to the memory of Lieutenant Bellot. I could not
have selected for Lady Franklin's memorial a more appropriate or
conspicuous site. The inscription runs as follows:--


                           TO THE MEMORY OF
                          CROZIER, FITZJAMES,
                             AND ALL THEIR
                      IN THE CAUSE OF SCIENCE AND
                     THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY.

                              THIS TABLET
                    IS ERECTED NEAR THE SPOT WHERE
                    WINTER, AND WHENCE THEY ISSUED
                                TO DIE.

                  OF HER WHO HAS LOST, IN THE HEROIC
                      DEVOTED AND AFFECTIONATE OF

                   "AND SO HE BRINGETH THEM UNTO THE
                      HAVEN WHERE THEY WOULD BE."


                   *       *       *       *       *

 This stone has been entrusted to be affixed in its place by the Officers
   and Crew on the American Expedition, commanded by Lt. H. J. Hartstein,
   in search of Dr. Kane and his Companions.

             This Tablet having been left at Disco by the
             American Expedition, which was unable to
             reach Beechey Island, in 1855, was put on
             board the Discovery Yacht Fox, and is now
             set up here by Captain M'Clintock, R.N.,
             commanding the final expedition of search
             for ascertaining the fate of Sir John Franklin
             and his companions, 1858.

We are now ready to proceed upon our voyage from Beechey Island, and
there is no ice in sight; but having worked almost unceasingly since our
arrival up to the present hour, the men require a night's rest. Nearly
forty tons of fuel have been embarked.


The total absence of ice in Barrow Strait is astonishing. No less so are
the changes and chances of this singular navigation. Twelve days later
than this in 1850, when I belonged to Her Majesty's ship 'Assistance,'
with considerable difficulty we came within sight of Beechey Island; a
cairn on its summit attracted notice; Captain Ommanney managed to land,
and discovered the _first traces_ of the missing expedition. Next day
the United States schooner 'Rescue' arrived; the day after, Captain
Penny joined us, and subsequently Captain Austin, Sir John Ross, and
Captain Forsyth,--in all, ten vessels were assembled here. _This day_
six years, when in command of the 'Intrepid,' we sailed from here for
Melville Island in company with the 'Resolute.' Again I was here at this
time in 1854,--still frozen up,--in the 'North Star,' and doubts were
entertained of the possibility of _escape_.

To come down to a later period, it was this day fortnight only that I
set out for the native village in Pond's Inlet, under the guidance of an
old woman; the trip was interesting, but we failed to obtain the
slightest clue to the "whereabouts" of the missing ships; moreover, our
own little vessel had a most providential escape from being crushed
against the cliffs; and this day week was spent in contending with a
furious gale, during which the ship had nearly been driven to leeward
and dashed to pieces by the sea-beaten pack. Yet these are only
preliminaries,--we are only _now_ about to commence the interesting part
of our voyage. It is to be hoped the poor 'Fox' has many more lives to


_Monday night, 16th Aug._--Sailed from Beechey Island this morning, and
in the evening landed at Cape Hotham. A small depôt of provisions and
three boats were left there by former expeditions. Of the depôt all has
been destroyed with the exception of two casks landed in 1850. The boats
were sound, but several of their oars, which had been secured upright,
were found broken down by bears--those inquisitive animals having a
decided antipathy to anything stuck up--stuck up things in general
being, in this country, unnatural. Fragments of the depôt and the broken
oars were tossed about in every direction. Numerous records were found;
to the most recent a few lines were added, stating that we had removed
the two whale-boats--one to be left at Port Leopold, the other to
replace our own crushed by the ice.


_17th._--Last night battling against a strong foul wind with _sea_, in
rain and fog. To-day much loose ice is seen southward of Griffith's
Island. The weather improved this afternoon, and we shot gallantly past
Limestone Island, and are now steering down Peel Strait; all of us in a
wild state of excitement--a mingling of anxious hopes and fears!

_18th._--For 25 miles last evening we ran unobstructedly down Peel
Strait, but then came in sight of unbroken ice extending across it from
shore to shore! It was much decayed, and of one year's growth only; yet
as the strait continues to contract for 60 miles further, and it
appeared to me to afford so little hope of becoming navigable in the
short remainder of the season, I immediately turned about for Bellot
Strait, as affording a better prospect of a passage into the western sea
discovered by Sir James Ross from Four River Point in 1849. Our
disappointment at the interruption of our progress was as sudden as it
was severe. We did not linger in hope of a change, but steered out again
into the broad waters of Barrow Strait. However, should Bellot Strait
prove hopeless, I intend to return hither to make one more effort before
the close of the season.

We are now approaching Port Leopold, where it is necessary to stop for a
few hours to examine the state of the steam launch, provisions and
stores, left there in 1849, as adverse circumstances may oblige me to
fall back upon it as a point of support.


_19th._--At anchor in Port Leopold; it is perfectly clear of ice; we
arrived here in the night. How astonishingly bare the land looks; it is
more barren than Beechey Island, whilst the rock contains far fewer
fossils! On this day nine years ago the harbor and sea continued covered
with ice, and the ships ('Enterprise' and 'Investigator') were unable to
escape. At some period since then the ice has been pressed in upon the
low shingle point; it has forced the launch up before it, and left her
broadside on to the beach, with both bows stove in, and in want of
considerable repairs, but the means are all at hand for executing them.
We tried to haul her further up, but she was firmly imbedded and frozen
into the ground. Many things appear to have been covered with the loose
shingle, bags of coal and coke just appearing through it scarcely above
high-water mark. Amongst the missing articles is the steam-engine.

Although the flag-staff upon the summit of North East Cape is still
standing, the one erected upon this point and almost the whole of the
framing of the house lies prostrate. The provisions appeared to be
sound, but were not generally examined. The whale-boat we removed from
Cape Hotham was landed here, and a record of our proceedings added to
the many which have accumulated here during the last ten years. Some
coke and a few things useful to us and merely decaying here were taken
on board, and by evening we were again speeding onward with augmented
resources, and the confidence inspired by a secure depôt in our rear;
buoyed up moreover by the joyful anticipation of soon reaching the goal
of our long-deferred hopes.


_20th._--Noon. Exactly off Fury Point. There is one large iceberg far
off in the S.E.; no other ice in sight! I would have landed at Fury
Beach to examine the remaining supplies there, but a snow shower
prevented our distinguishing anything, and a strong tide carried us past
before we were aware of it.

We _feel_ that the crisis of our voyage is near at hand. Does Bellot
Strait really exist? if so, is it free from ice?

A depôt of provisions is being got ready to be landed, should it be
practicable for us to push through and proceed to the southward.


_21st._--On approaching Brentford Bay last evening packed ice was seen
streaming out of it, also much ice in the S.E. The northern point of
entrance was landed upon by Sir John Ross in 1829, and named Possession
Point; we rounded it closely, and could distinguish a few stones piled
up upon a large rock near its highest part--this is his cairn. As we
passed westward between the point and Browne's Island, through a channel
a mile in width, a close pack was discovered a few miles ahead; and it
being past ten o'clock, and almost dark, the ship was anchored in a
convenient bay three or four miles within Possession Point. Here our
depôt is to be landed, therefore we shall name this for the present
_Depôt Bay_; a very narrow isthmus between its head and Hazard Inlet
unites the low limestone peninsula, of which Possession Point is the
extreme, to the mainland.

To-day an unsparing use of steam and canvas forced the ship eight miles
further west; we were then about half-way through Bellot Strait! Its
western capes are lofty bluffs, such as may be distinguished fifty miles
distant in clear weather; between them there was a clear broad channel,
but five or six miles of close heavy pack intervened--the sole obstacle
to our progress. Of course this pack will speedily disperse;--it is no
wonder that we should feel elated at such a glorious prospect, and
content to bide our time in the security of Depôt Bay. A feeling of
tranquillity--of earnest, hearty satisfaction--has come over us. There
is no appearance amongst us of anything boastful; we have all
experienced too keenly the vicissitudes of Arctic voyaging to admit of
such a feeling.

At the turn of tide we perceived that we were being carried, together
with the pack, back to the eastward; every moment our velocity was
increased, and presently we were dismayed at seeing grounded ice near
us, but were very quickly swept past it at the rate of nearly six miles
an hour, though within 200 yards of the rocks, and of instant
destruction! As soon as we possibly could we got clear of the packed
ice, and left it to be wildly hurled about by various whirlpools and
rushes of the tide, until finally carried out into Brentford Bay. The
ice-masses were large, and dashed violently against each other, and the
rocks lay at some distance off the southern shore; we had a fortunate
escape from such dangerous company. After anchoring again in Depôt Bay,
a large stock of provisions and a record of our proceedings were landed,
as there seems every probability of advancing into the western sea in a
very few days.


The appearance of Bellot Strait is precisely that of a Greenland fiord;
it is about 20 miles long and scarcely a mile wide in the narrowest
part, and there, within a quarter of a mile of the north shore the depth
was ascertained to be 400 feet. Its granitic shores are bold and lofty,
with a very respectable sprinkling of vegetation for lat. 72°. Some of
the hill-ranges rise to about 1500 or 1600 feet above the sea.

The low land eastward of Depôt Bay is composed of limestone, destitute
alike of fossils and vegetation. The granite commences upon the west
shore of Depôt Bay, and is at once bold and rugged. Many seals have been
seen; a young bear was shot, and Walker took a photograph of him as he
lay upon our deck, the dogs creeping near to lick up the blood.


The great rapidity of the tides in Bellot Strait fully accounts for the
spaces of open water seen by Mr. Kennedy[15] when he travelled through,
early in April. The strait runs very nearly east and west, but its
eastern entrance is well masked by Long Island; when half-way through
both seas are visible. As in Greenland, the night tides are much higher
than the day tides; last night it was high water at about half-past
eleven; as nearly as we can estimate, the tide runs through to the west,
from two hours before high water until four hours after it; that is, the
flood-tide comes from the west! Such is also the case in Hecla and Fury
Strait; in both places the tide from the west is much the strongest. I
am not sufficiently informed to discuss this subject, but infer the
existence of a channel between Victoria and Prince of Wales' Land. The
rise and fall is much less upon the western side of the Isthmus of
Boothia than upon the east, and it likewise decreases, we know, in
Barrow Strait, as we advance westward.

_23rd._--Yesterday Bellot Strait was again examined, but the five miles
of close pack occupied precisely the same position as if heaped together
by contending tides; considerable augmentations were moreover seen
drifting in from the western sea. Finding nothing could be effected in
Bellot Strait, we sought in vain for the more southern channel which
should exist to form Levesque Island: we did, however, find a beautiful
harbor, and are now securely anchored in its north-west arm; I have
named it after the gentleman whose former island I have thus reluctantly
converted into the northern extreme of the Boothian Peninsula, and
consequently of the American continent. The south-western angle of
Brentford Bay is still covered with unbroken ice.

This evening we all landed to explore our new ground. Young and Petersen
shot some brent geese; Walker saw two deer, but he was botanizing, and
had no gun; others were seen by some of the men, and followed, but
without success.


I enjoyed a delightfully refreshing ramble, a mile or two inland,
through a gently ascending valley, then two miles along the narrow
margin of a pretty little lake between mountains, beyond which lay a
much larger one, four or five miles in diameter; this farther lake was
only partially divested of its winter ice. Here the scenery was not only
grand, but beautiful; there was enough of vegetation to tint the craggy
hill-sides and to make the sheltered hollows absolutely green;
deer-tracks and the foot-prints of wildfowl were everywhere numerous
along the water-side. I saw two decayed skulls of musk oxen, and circles
of stones by the little lake, doubtless at some remote period the summer
residence of wandering Esquimaux; hence I infer that fish abound in the
lake, and that this valley is a favorite deer-pass.

But the contemplation of these objects, although agreeable, was not the
object of my solitary ramble; I came on shore to cogitate undisturbed in
a leisurely and philosophic manner. We hoped very soon to enter an
unknown sea; discoveries were to be made, contingencies provided for,
and plans prepared to meet them.

Yesterday Petersen shot an immense bearded seal; it sank, but floated up
an hour afterwards. This animal measured 8 feet long, and weighed about
500 lbs. We prefer its flesh to that of the small seals, and its blubber
will afford a valuable addition to our stock of lamp oil for the coming

_25th._--In Depôt Bay. We remained but twenty-four hours in Levesque
Harbor; a change of wind led us to hope for a removal of the ice in
Bellot Strait, therefore I determined to make another attempt.


When off the table-land, where the depth is not more than from 6 to 10
fathoms, and the tides run strongest, the ship hardly moved over the
ground, although going 6-1/2 knots through the water! Thus delayed,
darkness overtook us, and we anchored at midnight in a small indentation
of the north shore, christened by the men _Fox's Hole_, rather more than
half-way through.

For several hours we had been coquetting with huge rampant ice-masses
that wildly surged about in the tideway, or we dashed through boiling
eddies, and sometimes almost grazed the tall cliffs; we were therefore
naturally glad of a couple or three hours' rest, even in such a very
unsafe position. At early dawn we again proceeded west, but for three
miles only; the pack again stopped us, and we could perceive that the
western sea was covered with ice: the east wind, which could alone
remove it, now gave place to a hard-hearted westerly one.

All the strait to the eastward of us, and the eastern sea, as far as
could be seen from the hill-tops, is perfectly free from ice, whereas in
the direction we wish to proceed there is nothing but packed-ice, or
water which cannot be reached. Bitterly disappointed we are, of course;
yet there is reasonable ground for hope; grim winter will not ratify the
obstinate proceedings of the western ice for nearly four weeks.


Last evening's _amusement_ was most exciting, nor was it without its
peculiar perils. With cunning and activity worthy of her name, our
little craft warily avoided a tilting-match with the stout blue masses
which whirled about, as if with wilful impetuosity, through the narrow
channel; some of them were so large as to ground even in 6 or 7 fathoms
water. Many were drawn into the eddies, and, acquiring considerable
velocity in a contrary direction, suddenly broke bounds, charging out
into the stream and entering into mighty conflict with their fellows.
After such a frolic the masses would revolve peaceably or unite with the
pack, and await quietly their certain dissolution; may the day of that
wished-for dissolution be near at hand! Nothing but strong hope of
success induced me to encounter such dangerous opposition. I not only
hoped, but almost felt, that we deserved to succeed.


Two plans were now occupying my thoughts, both of them resulting from
the conviction that we should probably be compelled to winter to the
eastward of Bellot Strait: the most important of these plans is that of
finding some series of valleys, chain of lakes, or continuous low land,
practicable as an overland sledge-route to the western coast, along
which we may transport depôts of provisions this autumn; for it is
certain that the strong tides will prevent Bellot Strait being frozen
over till winter is far advanced, and its surface will afford us no
means of passing westward with our sledges.

The other plan, and that which we are now about to execute, is to land a
small depôt of provisions 60 or 70 miles to the southward, and down
Prince Regent's Inlet, in order to facilitate communication with the
Esquimaux either this autumn or in early spring.

This precautionary step became so necessary in the event of the west
coast presenting unusual difficulties, that I determined to carry it at
once into execution. Quitting the "Fox's Hole," and resting for one
night in Depôt Bay, we sailed thence on the 26th; a fine breeze carried
us rapidly southward along the coast of Regent Inlet; there was but
little obstruction; occasionally it was necessary to pass through a
stream of loose ice; but we saw little of any kind, compared to the
experiences of Sir John Ross in 1829.


About dusk (nine o'clock) much loose ice to the southward prevented our
making any attempt at further progress; we therefore anchored off the
coast--in Stillwell Bay, I think--about 45 miles from the Depôt Bay.
Here the depôt, consisting of 120 rations, was landed. I observe that it
has only been on penetrating into Brentford Bay that we have found the
primary rocks washed by the sea; the coast-line both north and south, as
far as, and beyond our present position, is a low shore of pale
limestone, destitute of fossils; we can, however, see granitic
hill-ranges far in the interior.

On the 27th we commenced beating back to the northward, tacking between
the land and the ice which lay about 15 miles off shore. Towards night
the wind greatly increased, and the ship, under reefed sail plunged
violently into the short, swift, high seas; we also felt quite as uneasy
and restless as the ship, in our great anxiety to get back and ascertain
what changes were likely to be effected by the gale.

_28th._--To-night the weather is more pleasant; the keen and contrary
wind has given place to a gentle, fair breeze, the swell has almost
subsided, no ice has been seen to-day, and the night is dark and
unusually mild. I can hardly fancy that the sea which gently rocks us is
not the ocean, and the soft air the breath of our own temperate region!
The delusion is charming.


_30th._--Yesterday after anchoring in Depôt Bay I walked over to
Possession Point, to visit Ross' cairn. I found a few stones piled up on
two large boulders, and under each a halfpenny, one of which I pocketed.
Upon the ground lay the fragments of a bottle which once contained the
record, and near it a staff about 4 feet long. Having calculated upon
finding the bottle sound, I was obliged to make an impromptu record-case
of its long neck, into which I thrust my brief document, and consigned
it to the safe custody of a small heap of stones, the staff being
erected over it.


It was dark before I got on board again. The strait had been
reconnoitred from the hills, and was reported to be perfectly clear of
ice! This morning we made a fourth attempt to pass through; but Bellot
Strait was by no means clear; the same obstruction existed which
defeated our last attempt, and in precisely the same place. Returning
eastward, we entered a narrow arm of the sea, nearly a couple of miles
to the west of Depôt Bay, and anchored in a small creek perfectly
sheltered and land-locked, at the foot of a sugarloaf hill.[16] The
temperature is falling; last night it stood at 24°.


[15] Mr. Kennedy discovered this important passage when in command of
the 'Prince Albert' in 1851.

[16] Subsequently named Mount Walker.


 Proceed westward in a boat--Cheerless state of the western
   sea--Struggles in Bellot Strait--Falcons, good Arctic fare--The
   resources of Boothia Felix--Future sledge travelling--Heavy
   gales--Hobson's party start--Winter quarters--Bellot
   Strait--Advanced depôt established--Observatories--Intense
   cold--Autumn travellers--Narrow escape.


Most anxious to know the real state of the ice in the western sea--upon
which our hopes so entirely depend--I intend starting this evening by
boat, as far through Bellot Strait as the ice will permit, then land and
ascend the western coast-hills.

{SEPT., 1858.}

_1st Sept._--My boat party consisted of four men and the doctor, who
came with me for the novelty of the cruise, bringing his camera to
fasten upon any thing picturesque. We landed near Half-way Island, and
pitched our tent for the night. Early next morning I commenced the
rather formidable undertaking of ascending the hills, for it is not
possible to pass under the cliffs, and at last I gained the summit of
the loftiest, overlooking Cape Bird at a distance of 3 or 4 miles, and
affording a splendid view to the westward, as well as glimpses between
the hills of the blue eastern sea. Long and anxiously did I survey
the western sea, ice, and lands, and could not but feel that in all
probability we should not be permitted to pass beyond our present

[Illustration: M'Clintock in his Boat sailing through Bellot Strait.]


To the northward Four River Point--Sir James Ross' farthest in 1849--was
at once recognized; rather more than nine years ago I stood upon it with
him, and gazed almost as anxiously in this direction! My present view
confirmed the impression then received, of a wide channel leading
southward. The outline of the western land is very distant; it is of
considerable but uniform elevation, and slopes gradually down to the
strait, which is between 30 and 40 miles wide. This western land appears
to be limestone, and without off-lying islands. Our side of the strait
or sea, on the contrary, is primary rock, and fringed with islets and
rocks; its southern extreme bears S.S.W., and is probably 30 miles

Now for the ice. Although broken up, it lies against this shore in
immense fields: there is but little water or room for ice-movement.
Along the west shore I can distinguish long faint streaks of water.
There is no appearance of disruption about Four River Point or in the
contracted part of Peel Strait--we have nothing to hope for in that
quarter; neither is there any evidence of current or pressure; the ice
appears much decayed, but, as I am surveying it from a height of about
1600 feet, I may be deceived.


The strong contrast between the eastern and western seas and lands is
very unfavorable to the latter.

Apart from the ice, I was fortunate, however, in discovering a long
narrow lake, occupying a valley which lies between a small inlet near
Cape Bird and Hazard Inlet--in fact, a sort of echo of Bellot
Strait--and I look upon it as our sledge route for the autumn, since it
appears probable we shall winter in our present position.

This is a _wonderous rough_ country to scramble over; one never ceases
to wonder how such huge blocks of rock can have got into such strange
positions. I noticed two masses in particular, each of them perched upon
three small stones. The rock is gneiss; there is also much granite. Even
upon the hill-tops pieces of limestone are occasionally met with.

My walk occupied eleven hours, and, although I everywhere saw traces of
animals, the only living thing seen was a grey falcon. During my absence
from the tent the men rambled all over the hills, but saw no game, our
encampment was therefore shifted to a better position near the eastern
termination of the table-land. This morning we explored the neighboring
valleys; saw three deer, and shot one, returning on board the 'Fox' in
time for dinner.

Many deer had been seen not far from the ship, and Hobson had shot a
bearded seal. I have organized another boat party; Young will start
with it to-morrow morning to seek a sledge route from the southern angle
of Brentford Bay to the western sea.

_5th._--Young returned this morning; he reports the south-west angle of
the bay not to run in so far as we expected, and to be environed by very
high land, impracticable for sledges.

Our Esquimaux, Samuel, shot a fawn to-day.

Strong northerly winds have latterly prevailed; Bellot Strait is quite
clear of ice; to-morrow morning, therefore, we shall make our _fifth_
attempt to get the 'Fox' through.


_6th._--Steamed through the clear waters of Bellot Strait this morning,
and made fast to the ice across its western outlet at a distance of two
miles from the shore, and close to a small islet which we have already
dubbed _Pemmican Rock_, having landed upon it a large supply of that
substantial traveller's fare, with other provisions for our future
sledging-parties. This ice is in large stout fields, of more than one
winter's growth, apparently immovable in consequence of the numerous
islets and rocks which rise through and hold it fast. If the weather
permits, we shall remain here for a few days and watch the effect of
winds and tides upon it; that the ship will get any further seems

_10th._--I have explored a small inlet near Cape Bird, which we have
named _False Strait_, from its striking resemblance to the true one,
and find it is only separated from the long lake by half a mile of low
land; the lake we have ascertained to be about 12 miles long, and from
it valleys extend eastward and southward, so that we are sure of a good
sledge-route,--an important matter, as the hills rise to 1600 feet above
the sea.


Cape Bird is 500 feet high; from its summit we carefully observe the
ice. This granite coast presents a jagged appearance; it is deeply
indented and studded with islets. The ice in the western sea (or Peel's
Strait) is much more broken up than it was upon the 31st ultimo; there
is no longer any fixed ice except within the grasp of the islets. Birds
and animals have become very scarce; three seals have been shot, and a
bear seen. To-morrow we shall return to our harbor, and endeavor to
procure a few more reindeer before they migrate southward.

_12th._--Yesterday we anchored within the entrance of our creek, being a
more convenient position than up at its head. We are already in our
wintering position, and, being without occupation, one day seems most
remarkably like another! Although the fondly cherished hope of pushing
farther in our ship can no longer be entertained, yet as long as the
season continues navigable it is our duty to be in readiness to avail
ourselves of any opportunity, however improbable, of being able to do


Once firmly frozen in, our autumn travelling will commence, and afford
welcome occupation. Almost all on board have guns; ammunition is
supplied, and a sailor with a musket is a very contented and zealous
sportsman, if not always a successful one; it is a powerful incentive to
exercise. To-day the ramblers saw only two hares, an ermine, and an owl.
Some peregrine falcons have lately been shot; Petersen declares they are
"_the best beef in the country, and the young birds tender and white as

A few days ago a large cask of biscuit was opened, and a living mouse
discovered therein! it was small, but mature in years. The cask, a
strong watertight one, was packed on shore at Aberdeen, in June, 1857,
and remained ever afterwards unopened; there was no hole by which the
mouse could have got in or out, besides it is the only one ever seen on
board. Ship's biscuit is certainly _dry feeding_, but who dares assert,
after the experience of our mouse, that it is not wonderfully

_15th._--Two nights ago a comet was observed just beneath the
constellation of the Great Bear; a series of measurements were commenced
for determining its path. Yesterday I walked through the most promising
valleys for eight hours, but did not see a living creature; yet there is
a very fair show of vegetation, much more than at Melville Island, where
the game is abundant. To the east there is not a speck of ice,
excepting only a huge iceberg, probably the same we saw off Fury Point,
a very unusual visitor from Baffin's Bay, whence it must have been
driven by those long-continued east winds (of painful memory) in June
and July.

Hobson and two men encamped out for three days in order to scour the
country; they have only seen one hare and one lemming! Walker
geologizes; amongst other things he finds much iron pyrites. The dredge
has been used, but with very little success. The thermometer ranges
between 20° and 30°. Fresh water pools are frozen over, sea-ice forms in
every sheltered angle of the creeks. There is no snow upon the land, and
this is one cause of the difficulty of finding game.


I have determined upon naming this beautiful little anchorage _Port
Kennedy_, after my predecessor, the discoverer of Bellot Strait, of
which it is decidedly _the_ port. This is not a compliment to him, but
an agreeable duty to me, and nowhere could Mr. Kennedy's name be more
appropriately affixed than in close proximity with his interesting
discovery. And now having made this acknowledgment, I may venture to
confer our little vessel's name upon the islets which protect its

The island upon which Mr. Kennedy and Lieutenant Bellot encamped was
Long Island, about three miles further to the south-east.


_17th._--Of late we have been preparing provisions and equipments for
our travelling parties. My scheme of sledge search comprehends three
separate routes and parties of four men; to each party a dog-sledge and
driver will be attached; Hobson, Young, and I will lead them.

My journey will be to the Great Fish River, examining the shores of King
William's Land in going and returning; Petersen will be with me.

Hobson will explore the western coast of Boothia as far as the magnetic
pole, this autumn, I hope, and from Gateshead Island westward next

Young will trace the shore of Prince of Wales' Land from Lieutenant
Browne's farthest, to the south-westward to Osborn's farthest, if
possible, and also examine between Four River Point and Cape Bird.

Our probable absence will be sixty or seventy days, commencing from
about the 20th March.

In this way I trust we shall complete the Franklin search and the
geographical discovery of Arctic America, both left unfinished by the
former expeditions; and in so doing we can hardly fail to obtain some
trace, some relic, or, it may be, important records of those whose
mysterious fate it is the great object of our labors to discover. But
previous to setting forth upon these important journeys, I must
communicate with the Boothians, if possible, either upon the west or
east coast, in November or February. Sir John Ross' 'Narrative' informs
us that they sometimes winter as far north upon the east coast as the
Agnew River; and we know that upon the west, at the magnetic pole, their
abandoned snow-huts were occupied in June by Sir James Ross.


_19th._--Yesterday we steamed once more through Bellot Strait, and took
up our former position at the ice-edge, off its western entrance; the
ice, hemmed in by islets has not moved.

From the summit of Cape Bird I had a very extensive view this morning:
there is now much water in the offing, only separated from us by the
belt of islet-girt ice _scarcely four miles in width_! My conviction is
that a strong east wind would remove this remaining barrier; it is not
yet too late. The water runs parallel to this coast, and is four or five
miles broad; beyond it there is ice, but it appears to be all broken up.

Yesterday Young went upon a dog-sledge to the nearest south-western
island, distant 7 or 8 miles. He reports the intervening ice cracked and
weak in some places, but practicable for loaded sledges; the far side of
the island is washed by a clear sea, and a bear which he shot plunged
into it, and, drifting away, was lost. Young is in favor of carrying out
the depôt provisions to or beyond this island by boat; but as the
temperature fell to 18° last night, and new ice forms wherever it is
calm, I prefer the safer, although more laborious mode of sledging;
accordingly to-day our dogs carried out two sledge-loads of the
provisions intended for the use of our parties hereafter.

_22nd._--All the provisions have now been carried out to the nearest
island, which I shall temporarily name _Separation_,[17] as there our
spring parties will divide; and a portion intended for Hobson's party
and my own has been carried on to the next island 7 or 8 miles further.
Our travelling boat and a small reserve depôt have been placed upon
Pemmican Rock, so already something has been done. Animal life is very
scarce; a few seals, an occasional gull, and three brown falcons, are
the only creatures we have seen for several days past. Last evening at
eight o'clock a very vivid flash of lightning was observed; its
appearance in these latitudes is very rare; once only have I seen it
before--in September, 1850.


_25th._--Saturday night. Furious gales from N. and S.W., but our barrier
of coast-ice remains undiminished. This morning Hobson set off upon a
journey of fourteen or fifteen days' duration, with seven men and
fourteen dogs; he is to advance the depôts along shore to the south, and
if successful will reach latitude 71°.

The temperature is mild (+17), but it is snowy and disagreeable weather;
there is already enough snow upon the old ice to make walking laborious,
and the land has also assumed its wintry complexion.

_28th._--The ship was kept available for prosecuting her voyage up to
the _latest hour_; it was only yesterday that we left the western ice,
and in consequence of the vast accumulation of young ice in Bellot
Strait we had considerable difficulty in reaching the _entrance_ of Port
Kennedy: all within was so firmly frozen over that after three hours'
steaming and working we only penetrated 100 yards; however, we are in an
excellent position, although our wintering place will be farther out by
a quarter of a mile than I intended.


To-day we are unbending sails and laying up the engines--uncertainty no
longer exists--here we are compelled to remain; and if we have not been
as successful in our voyaging as a month ago we had good reason to
expect, we may still hope that Fortune will smile upon our more humble,
yet more arduous, pedestrian explorations--"Hope on, hope ever." In the
mean time the sudden transition, from mental and physical wear and tear,
to the security and quiet of winter quarters, is an immense relief.

{OCT., 1858.}


_2nd Oct._--M. Petersen has shot two very fine bucks; one is a
magnificent fellow, weighing 354 lbs. (minus the paunch). Several deer
have been seen; they come from the N. along the slopes of the eastern
hills. An ermine came on board a few nights ago and kept the dogs in a
violent state of excitement, being much too wary to come out from under
the boat to be caught by them; at length one of the men secured it. This
beautiful little animal does not appear to be full grown; its extreme
length is 13 inches. Two others came off to the ship, and to our great
amusement eluded the men who gave chase, by darting into the soft
snow--which is now a foot deep--and re-appearing several yards off.

The weather is too mild to satisfy us; we wish for severe frost to seal
us up securely, and make the ice strong enough to bear the sledge-loads
of provisions, etc., which are to be landed for the purpose of making
more room in the ship.


_6th._--A herd of a dozen reindeer crossed the harbor to-day. Last night
Hobson and his companions returned, all well. They were stopped by the
sea washing against the cliffs in latitude 71-1/2°, and to that point
they have advanced the depôts. Although the weather has been stormy
here, they have been able to travel every day. They found the coast
still fringed with islets, and deeply indented; upon every point,
moss-grown circles of stones indicated the abodes of Esquimaux in times
long since gone by.

One night they muzzled a dog, as she was in the habit of gnawing her
harness: in this defenceless state, unable even to bark and arouse the
men, her _amiable_ sisterhood attacked her so fiercely that she died
next day!

In honor of so important and successful a commencement of our
travelling, as that accomplished by Hobson, we had a feast of good
venison, plum pudding, and grog. It is quite evident that no more
travelling can be accomplished until the ice forms a pathway alongshore;
in this, as in some other respects, we anxiously await the advance of
the season. The weather is mild; Bellot Strait is almost covered with
ice, which drifts freely with every tide. Reindeer are seen almost
daily; they too are awaiting the freezing over of the sea to continue
their southern travels. Our harbor-ice is weak and covered a foot deep
with a sludgy compound of snow and water.

_8th._--Yesterday an ermine was caught in a trap; hitherto these most
active little skirmishers have successfully robbed our fox-traps of
their baits as fast as they could be renewed. To-day Petersen shot
another reindeer; it weighs 130 lbs.; many others were seen, also a
wolf. Sometimes a few ptarmigan are met with, but hares very rarely.

_12th._--Fine weather generally prevails. We have landed about 100
casks, all our boats, and much lumber, so we shall have abundance of
room on board. I enjoyed a long and exhilarating ramble upon snow-shoes
to-day; without them I could not have gone over half the distance--the
snow lies so deep and soft--but I only saw one reindeer.

_14th._--One of our magnetic observatories has been built; it stands
upon the ice, 210 yards S. (magnetic) from the ship, and is built of ice
sawed into blocks--there not being any suitable snow; it is just large
enough to hold the declinometer for hourly observations, to be noted
throughout the winter. The housings have been put over the ship already,
as Hobson will leave us again in a few days to advance his depôt and my
own to the vicinity of the magnetic pole if possible. I would also send
Young upon a similar duty, but the western sea cannot have frozen over


_19th._--All the 17th a N.W. gale blew with fearful violence; yesterday
it abated, but not sufficiently to allow our party to start. This
morning Hobson got away with his nine men and ten dogs; his absence may
be from eighteen to twenty days. Autumn travelling is most disagreeable;
there is so much wind and snow, the latter being soft, deep, and often
wet; the sun is almost always obscured by mist, and is powerless for
warmth or drying purposes, and the temperature is vary variable.
Moreover there are now only eight hours of misty daylight. To-day the
morning was fine, and temperature +8°. Having completed the preliminary
observations of the times of horizontal and vertical vibrations, also
of the magnetic intensity, I set up to-day the declinometer, and
commenced the hourly series of observations on the diurnal variation. I
trust it may continue unbroken until we all set out upon our spring
travels in March. A hare has been shot, but no other animals seen.


_29th._--It generally blows a gale of wind here; the only advantage in
return for so much discomfort is that the snow is the more quickly
packed hard. As we have only three working men and an Esquimaux left on
board for ship's duties, I was assisted a few days ago by the doctor,
the engineer, and the interpreter, in building another observatory,
intended for certain monthly magnetic observations. This edifice is
constructed of snow. Whenever we have a calm night we can hear the
crushing sound of the drift-ice in Bellot Strait, which continues open
to within 500 yards of the Fox Islands, and emits dark chilling clouds
of hateful, pestilent, abominable mist.

[Illustration: Interior of the Observatory.]

The last two days have been very fine and calm: the men visited their
fox and ermine traps, which are secreted amongst the rocks in a most
mysterious manner--one ermine only has been taken. Seven or eight
reindeer and some ptarmigan were seen; two of the latter and a hare were
shot. We have commenced brewing sugar beer.

{NOV., 1858.}

_2nd Nov._--Very dull times. No amount of ingenuity could make a diary
worth the paper it is written on. An occasional raven flies past, a
couple more ptarmigan have been shot: another N.W. gale is blowing, with
temperature down to -12°.

_6th.--Saturday Night._ The N.W. gale blew without intermission for
seventy hours, the temperature being about -15°: we hoped that our
absent shipmates might be housed safely in snow-huts. This afternoon all
doubts respecting them were dispelled by their arrival in good health,
but they evidently have suffered from cold and exposure during their
absence of nineteen days. For the first six days they journeyed outward
successfully; on that night they encamped upon the ice; it was at
spring-tide, a N.E. gale sprang up, and blowing off shore detached the
ice and drifted them off! The sea froze over on the cessation of the
gale, and two days afterwards they fortunately regained the land near
the position from which they were blown off; they have indeed
experienced much unusual danger and suffering from cold.


As soon as they discovered that the ice was drifting off shore with
them, they packed their sledges, harnessed their dogs, and passed the
night in anxious watching for some chance to escape. When the ice got a
little distance off shore, it broke up under the influence of the wind
and sea, until the piece they were upon was scarce 20 yards in diameter;
this drifted across the mouth of a wide inlet[18] until brought up
against the opposite shore. The gale was quickly followed by an intense
frost, which in a single night formed ice sufficiently strong to bear
them in safety to the land, although it bent fearfully beneath their


The depôts were eventually established in latitude 71°; beyond this
Lieutenant Hobson did not attempt to advance, not only because their
remaining provisions would not have warranted a longer absence, but
because the open sea was seen to beat against the next headland. They
have lived in tents only, and have not experienced the heavy gales so
frequent here, and which are probably due mainly to our position in
Bellot Strait, which performs the part of a funnel for both winds and
tides between the two seas.

That the western sea should still remain open argues a vast space
southward for the escape of the ice, and prevents our western party from
carrying across their depôt: the attempt to do so would be extremely
hazardous. We must only be stirring earlier in the spring. I am truly
thankful for the safe return of our travellers,--all this toil and
exposure of ten persons and ten dogs has only advanced the depôts 30
miles further--_i.e._, from 60 to 90 miles distant from the ship.


Hardly a particle of snow remains upon the harbor-ice, the recent gales
having swept it away; and the porch of my snow-hut has been fretted away
to a mere cobweb by the attrition of the snow-drift: the doctor and I
rebuilt it to-day. Three reindeer and a wolf have been seen.


[17] Subsequently named after my excellent friend A. Arcedeckne, Esq.,
Commodore of the Royal London Yacht Club.

[18] Named after Lord Wrottesley, in remembrance of the support given by
him to the expedition, his advocacy of it in the House of Lords, and of
the facilities granted me by the Royal Society--of which he was
President--for the pursuit of scientific observations.


 Death of our engineer--Scarcity of game--The cold unusually
   trying--Jolly, under adverse circumstances--Petersen's
   information--Return of the sun of 1859--Early spring
   sledge-parties--Unusual severity of the winter--Severe hardships of
   early sledging--The western shores of Boothia--Meet the
   Esquimaux--Intelligence of Franklin's ships--Return to the
   'Fox'--Allen Young returns.


_Nov. 7th._--_Sunday evening._--Brief as is the interval since my last
entry, yet how awful, and, to one of our small company, how fatal it has
been! Yesterday Mr. Brand was out shooting as usual, and in robust
health; in the evening Hobson sat with him for a little time. Mr. Brand
turned the conversation upon our position and employments last year; he
called to remembrance poor Robert Scott, then in sound health, and the
fact of his having carried our "Guy Fawkes" round the ship on the
preceding day twelvemonth, and added mournfully, "Poor fellow! no one
knows whose turn it may be to go next." He finished his evening pipe,
and shut his cabin door shortly after nine o'clock. This morning, at
seven o'clock, his servant found him lying upon the deck, a corpse,
having been several hours dead. Apoplexy appears to have been the cause.
He was a steady, serious man, under forty years of age, and leaves a
widow and three or four children; what their circumstances are I am not


_10th._--This morning the remains of Mr. Brand, inclosed in a neat
coffin, were buried in a grave on shore. A suitable headboard and
inscription will be placed over it. From all that I have gathered, it
appears that his mind had been somewhat gloomy for the last few days,
dwelling much upon poor Scott's sudden death. Whether he really saw
three reindeer on Saturday, watched their movements, and fired his Minié
rifle at them when 700 yards distant, or whether it was the creation of
a disordered brain, none can tell. On his first return on board he said
he had seen deer _tracks_ only.

We are now without either engineer or engine-driver: we have only two
stokers, and they know nothing about the machinery. Our numbers are
reduced to twenty-four, including our interpreter and two Greenland

_15th._--We have enjoyed ten days of moderate winds and calms, but the
temperature has fallen as low as -31°. This causes frost-cracks in the
ice _across_ the harbor; they will freeze over, and others will form,
and gape, and freeze at intervals, so that by next spring we shall
probably be moved several inches, perhaps feet, off shore.

Mists have obscured the sun of late, and now it does not rise at all. We
are indifferent; its departure has become to us a matter of course. The
usual winter covering of snow has been spread upon deck rather more than
a foot thick. Its utility in preventing the escape of heat became at
once strikingly apparent. Nothing has been seen but a few ptarmigan and
one reindeer, which trotted off towards the ship. Our bullets missed
him, and the dogs unfortunately caught sight and chased him away. I do
not think any dogs could overtake a reindeer in this rough country; the
rocks would speedily lame them, and the snow, in many places, is quite
deep enough to fatigue them greatly, whereas it offers but slight
impediment to the deer, furnished as he is with long legs and spreading


_29th._--Animals have become very scarce. A few ptarmigan and
willow-grouse have been seen, and three shot. Two days ago I saw two
reindeer. The eastern sea is frozen over, and our old acquaintance the
iceberg in Prince Regent's Inlet is still visible on a clear day. We
brew sugar-beer, and we set nets for seals, but catch none. The nets
have been made and set in favorable positions under the ice by the
Greenlanders, so we suppose the seals also have migrated elsewhere; if
so, the Esquimaux could not winter here. We have no regular school this
winter, but five of the men study navigation every evening under the
guidance of Young. Hobson and I are doing all we can to make the ship
dry, warm, and comfortable: our large snow porches over the hatchways
are a great improvement.

{DEC., 1858.}

_5th Dec._--Cold, windy weather, with chilling mists from the open water
in Bellot Strait. We can seldom leave the shelter of the ship for a walk
on shore, and, when we do, rarely see even a ptarmigan.


_12th._--Very cold weather: thermometer down to -41°, and the breeze
comes to us loaded with mist from the open water, causing the air to
feel colder than it otherwise would. Bellot Strait has become a
nuisance, not only from this cause, but from the strong winds--purely
local--which seldom cease to blow through it.

The seal nets have produced nothing; and as there are no seals, we no
longer wonder at not seeing bears. Three foxes have been trapped and a
hare seen. Our canine force numbers twenty-four serviceable dogs and six
puppies; but these, I fear, will not be strong enough for sledging by
March. The monotony of our lives is vastly increased by want of
occupation, and confinement, by severe gales, to the ship for five days
out of every seven. The general health is good, but there is a natural
craving for fresh meat and fresh vegetables--in great measure, perhaps,
because they cannot be obtained; but a well-filled letter-bag would be
more welcome than anything I know of.


_26th._--Upon four days only during the last fourteen has the weather
permitted us to walk. I allude to the wind as the obstacle to our
exercise; for temperature, when the air is still, is no bar to any
reasonable amount of it. Three or four coveys of ptarmigan have been
seen, and of these I shot one brace. The cold increases: thermometer has
fallen to -47-1/2°, although blowing a moderate gale at the time, and
the atmosphere dense with mist.

Our Christmas has been spent with a degree of loyalty to the good old
English custom at once spirited and refreshing. All the good things
which could possibly be collected together appeared upon the snow-white
deal tables of the men, as the officers and myself walked (by
invitation) round the lower deck. Venison, beer, and a fresh stock of
clay pipes, appeared to be the most prized luxuries; but the variety and
abundance of the eatables, tastefully laid out, was such as might well
support the delusion which all seemed desirous of imposing upon
themselves--that they were in a land of plenty--in fact, _all but_ at
home! We contributed a large cheese and some preserves, and candles
superseded the ordinary smoky lamps. With so many comforts, and the
existence of so much genuine good feeling, their evening was a joyous
one, enlivened also by songs and music.

Whilst all was order and merriment within the ship, the scene without
was widely different. A fierce north-wester howled loudly through the
rigging, the snow-drift rustled swiftly past, no star appeared through
the oppressive gloom, and the thermometer varied between 76° and 80°
_below the freezing point_. At one time it was impossible to visit the
magnetic observatory, although only 210 yards distant, and with a rope
stretched along, breast high, upon poles the whole way. The officers
discharged this duty for the quarter-masters of the watches during the
day and night.

{JAN., 1859.}


_1st Jan., 1859._--This being _Saturday night_ as well as _New Year's
Day_, "Sweethearts and Wives" were remembered with even more than the
ordinary feeling. New year's eve was celebrated with all the joyfulness
which ardent hope can inspire: and we _have_ reasonable ground for
_strong hope_. At midnight the expiration of the old year and
commencement of the new one was announced to me by _the band_--flutes,
accordion, and gong--striking up at my door. Some songs were sung, and
the performance concluded with "God save the Queen;" the few who could
find space in our mess-room sang the chorus; but this by no means
satisfied all the others who were without and unable to show themselves
to the officers, so they echoed the chorus, and the effect was very
pleasing. Our new year's day has been commemorated with all the
substantials of Christmas fare, but without so much display,--less
tailoring in pastry, not quite so much clipping of dough into roses,
and anchors, and nondescript animals, &c., &c. The past week has been
cold and stormy; it now blows strong, and the temperature is -44°.

On the 29th a few fresh tracks of animals and a ptarmigan were seen:
yesterday I saw three ptarmigan. December proved to be an unusually cold
month, its mean temperature being -33°; and it was rendered more than
ordinarily dark and gloomy by continual mists from Bellot Strait. This
open water adds seriously to the drawbacks of a spot already
sufficiently cheerless, gameless, and "wind-loved."


_9th._--Another week of uniform temperature of -40°, and confinement to
the ship by strong winds; the atmosphere is loaded with enveloping mists
which impart a raw and surprisingly keen edge to the chilling blasts,
blasts that no human nose can endure without blanching, be its
proportions what they may. It is wonderful how the dogs stand it, and
without apparent inconvenience, unless their fur happen to be thin. They
lie upon the snow under the lee of the ship, with no other protection
from the weather.

To-day, the winds being light and temperature _up to_-30°, we enjoyed
walks on shore, although the mist continued so dense as to limit our
view to a couple of hundred yards.


I learn from Petersen that the natives of Smith's Sound are well
acquainted with the continuation of its shores considerably beyond the
farthest point reached by Kane's exploring parties, but unfortunately no
one thought of getting them to delineate their local knowledge upon
paper. They spoke much of a large island near the west coast called
"Umingmak" (musk ox) Island, where there was much open water, abounding
with walrus, and where some of their people formerly lived.[19]

Esquimaux exist upon the east coast of Greenland as far north as lat.
76°; how much farther north is not known. They are separated from the
South Greenlanders by hundreds of miles of ice-bound coasts and
impassable glaciers.

Many centuries ago a milder climate _may_ and probably _did_ exist, and
a corresponding modification of glacier and a sea less ice-encumbered
might have rendered the migration of these poor people from the south to
their present isolated abodes practicable; but to me it appears much
more easy to suppose that they migrated eastward from the northern
outlet of Smith's Sound.

_21st._--More pleasant weather since my last entry; and although last
night the temperature fell to -47°, yet it has generally been mild; once
it rose to -14°, but amply made amends by falling to -38° within twelve
hours. We have enjoyed much of the moon's presence for the last ten
days, but now she is waning and hastening away to the south. Daylight
increases in strength and duration, consequently we walk more, and see
more, and the winter's gloom gives place to activity and cheerfulness.
Several ptarmigan, three or four hares, a snowy owl, and a bear-track,
have at various times been seen. Young has shot four ptarmigan, and I
have shot a couple more and a hare, and the men have trapped two foxes.

On board the ship the preparations for travelling take precedence of all
other occupations.


_26th._--Part of the sun's disc loomed above the horizon to-day,
somewhat swollen and disfigured by the misty atmosphere, but looking
benevolent withal. I happened to be diligently traversing the rocky
hill-sides in the hope of finding some solitary hare dozing in fancied
security, when the sun thus appeared in view, and halted to feast my
eyes upon the glorious sight, and scan the features of our returning
friend. Hope and promise mingled in his bright beams. Again I moved
upward, and with more elastic step; for now the sun of 1859 was shining
upon all nature around me.

{FEB., 1859.}

_2nd February._--A lovely, calm, bright day, and beautifully clear,
except over the water-space in Bellot Strait, where rests a densely
black mist, very strongly resembling the West Indian rain-squall as it
looms upon the distant horizon. The increasing sunlight is cheering,
but void of heat, and the mercury is often frozen. A few more ptarmigan
have been shot.


Our remaining serviceable dogs, twenty-two in number, have been divided
with great care into three teams of seven each; the odd dog is added to
my team, as my journey is expected to be the longest. The different
sledge-parties will now feed up their dogs without limit, so that the
utmost degree of work may be got out of them hereafter.

January has been slightly colder than December, mean temperature being
-33-1/2°, but there has been rather less wind.

_8th._--All will be ready for the departure of Young and myself upon our
respective journeys upon the morning of the 14th.

Mr. Petersen and Alexander Thompson accompany me, with two dog-sledges,
and fifteen dogs, dragging twenty-four days' provisions. My object is to
communicate with the Boothians in the vicinity of the magnetic pole.
Young takes his party of four men and his dog-sledge; he will carry
forward provisions for his spring exploration of the shores of Prince of
Wales' Land, between the extreme points reached by Lieutenants Osborn
and Brown in 1851.

On the 3d I walked for seven and a half hours, and saw two reindeer, but
could not approach within shot. Young examined the water-space in the
strait, and finds it washes both shores, but extends east and west only
about one mile. The Doctor has seen a seal and a dovekie sporting in it.

For the last four days strong winds and intense cold have prevented us
from rambling over the hills, besides which the minor preparations for
travelling have given us more occupation on board.


James Pitcher has got a slight touch of scurvy; his gums are inflamed;
and now it comes out that he dislikes preserved meats, and has not eaten
any since he has been in the ship! He has lived upon salt meat and
preserved vegetables, except for the very short periods in summer when
birds could be obtained. He is rather a "used-up" old fellow, too much
so for our severe sledge-work, therefore is one of the few who will
remain to take care of the ship. That he should have retained his health
for seventeen months, under the circumstances, speaks well for the
wholesomeness and quality of our provisions, and the ventilation and
cleanliness of the ship.

_10th._--Extremely cold, with dense mists from the open water. Yesterday
eight ptarmigan and a sooty fox were seen. We have consumed the last of
our venison; it supplied us for three days. We are drinking out a cask
of sugar-beer, which is a very mild but agreeable beverage; we make it
on board.

_Sunday night, 13th._--To-morrow morning, if fine, Young and I set off
upon our travels. He has advanced a portion of his sledge-load to the
west side of the water in Bellot Strait, having been obliged to carry it
overland for about a mile in order to get there. I have explored the
route to the long lake, and find we can reach it without crossing
elevated or uncovered land. I saw two reindeer, and Young saw about
twenty ptarmigan.


The mean temperature of February up to this date is -33·2°, being an
exact continuation of January. I confess to some anxiety upon this
point, as hitherto the winter has been unusually severe, and the
journeys to be performed will occupy more than twenty days. Besides, we
shall be earlier in motion than any of the previous travellers, unless
we are to make an exception in favor of Mr. Kennedy's trip of 30 miles
from Batty Bay to Fury Beach, between the 5th and 10th January, during
which time the lowest temperature registered was only -25°. Should
either Young or myself remain absent beyond the period for which we
carry provisions, Hobson is to send a party in search of us. A sooty fox
has been captured lately.

_15th._--A strong N.W. wind, with a temperature of -40°, confines us on
board. One cannot face these winds, therefore it is fortunate that we
did not start, the ship being much more comfortable than a snow-hut.

       *       *       *       *       *

{MAR., 1859.}


_20th March._--Already I have been a week on board, and so difficult is
it to settle down to anything like sedentary occupation, after a period
of continued vigorous action, that even now I can scarcely sit still to
scribble a brief outline of my trip to Cape Victoria.

On the morning of the 17th February the weather moderated sufficiently
for us to set out; the temperature throughout the day varied between
-31° and -42-1/2°. Leaving Young's party to pass on through the strait,
I proceeded by way of the Long Lake, which I found to be 10-1/2
geographical miles in length, with an average width of half a mile.

We built our snow-hut upon the west coast, near Pemmican Rock, after a
march of 19 or 20 geographical miles. We always speak of _geographical_
miles with reference to our marches; six geographical are equal to seven
English miles.

On the following day the old N.W. wind sprang up with renewed vigor, and
the thermometer fell to -48°; the cold was therefore intense.

On the third day our dogs went lame in consequence of sore feet; the
intense cold seems to be the principal, if not the only cause, having
hardened the surface-snow beyond what their feet can endure. I was
obliged to throw off a part of the provisions; still we could not make
more than 12 or 18 miles daily. We of course walked, so that the dogs
had only the remaining provisions and clothing to drag, yet several of
them repeatedly fell down in fits.


For several days this severe weather continued, the mercury of my
artificial horizon remaining frozen (its freezing-point is -39°); and
our rum, at first thick like treacle, required thawing latterly, when
the more fluid and stronger part had been used. We travelled each day
until dusk, and then were occupied for a couple of hours in building our
snow-hut. The four walls were run up until 5-1/2 feet high, inclining
inwards as much as possible; over these our tent was laid to form a
roof; we could not afford the time necessary to construct a dome of

Our equipment consisted of a very small brown-holland tent, macintosh
floor-cloth, and felt robes; besides this, each man had a bag of double
blanketing, and a pair of fur boots, to sleep in. We wore mocassins over
the pieces of blanket in which our feet were wrapped up, and, with the
exception of a change of this foot-gear, carried no spare clothes. The
daily routine was as follows:--I led the way; Petersen and Thompson
followed, conducting their sledges; and in this manner we trudged on for
eight or ten hours without halting, except when necessary to disentangle
the dog-harness. When we halted for the night, Thompson and I usually
sawed out the blocks of compact snow and carried them to Petersen, who
acted as the master-mason in building the snow-hut: the hour and a half
or two hours usually employed in erecting the edifice was the most
disagreeable of the day's labor, for, in addition to being already well
tired and desiring repose, we became thoroughly chilled whilst standing
about. When the hut was finished, the dogs were fed, and here the great
difficulty was to insure the weaker ones their full share in the
scramble for supper; then commenced the operation of unpacking the
sledge, and carrying into our hut everything necessary for ourselves,
such as provision and sleeping gear, as well as all boots, fur mittens,
and even the sledge dog-harness, to prevent the dogs from eating them
during our sleeping hours. The door was now blocked up with snow, the
cooking-lamp lighted, foot-gear changed, diary written up, watches
wound, sleeping bags wriggled into, pipes lighted, and the merits of the
various dogs discussed, until supper was ready; the supper swallowed,
the upper robe or coverlet was pulled over, and then to sleep.

Next morning came breakfast, a struggle to get into frozen mocassins,
after which the sledges were packed, and another day's march commenced.

In these little huts we usually slept warm enough, although latterly,
when our blankets and clothes became loaded with ice, we felt the cold
severely. When our low doorway was carefully blocked up with snow, and
the cooking-lamp alight the temperature quickly rose so that the walls
became glazed, and our bedding thawed; but the cooking over, or the
doorway partially opened, it as quickly fell again, so that it was
impossible to sleep, or even to hold one's pannikin of tea, without
putting our mitts on, so intense was the cold!

On the 21st I visited our main depôt laid out last October; it was safe,
but unfortunately had been carried far into Wrottesley Inlet, and only
40 miles south of Bellot Strait.

On the 22d an easterly gale prevented our marching, but we had the good
fortune to shoot a bear, so consoled ourselves with fresh steaks, and
the dogs with an ample feed of _unfrozen_ flesh--a treat they had not
enjoyed for many months.


We coasted along a granitic land, deeply indented and fringed with
islands, and found it to be the general characteristic of the Boothian
shore from Bellot Strait, until we had accomplished half the distance to
the magnetic pole; limestone then appeared, and the remainder of our
journey was performed along a low, straight shore, which afforded us
much greater facility for sledging.

Throughout the whole distance we found a mixture of heavy old ice and
light ice of last autumn, in many places squeezed up into pack; but as
we advanced southward aged floes were less frequently seen.

On the first of March we halted to encamp at about the position of the
magnetic pole--for no cairn remains to mark the spot. I had almost
concluded that my journey would prove to be a work of labor in vain,
because hitherto no traces of Esquimaux had been met with, and, in
consequence of the reduced state of our provisions and the wretched
condition of the poor dogs--six out of the fifteen being quite
useless--I could only advance one more march.


But we had done nothing more than look _ahead_; when we halted, and
turned round, great indeed was my surprise and joy to see four men
walking after us. Petersen and I immediately buckled on our revolvers
and advanced to meet them. The natives halted, made fast their dogs,
laid down their spears, and received us without any evidence of
surprise. They told us they had been out upon a seal hunt on the ice,
and were returning home: we proposed to join them, and all were soon in
motion again; but another hour brought sunset, and we learned that their
snow village of eight huts was still a long way off, so we hired them,
at the rate of a needle for each Esquimaux, to build us a hut, which
they completed in an hour; it was 8 feet in diameter, 5-1/2 feet high,
and in it we all passed the night. Perhaps the records of architecture
do not furnish another instance of a dwelling-house so cheaply


We gave them to understand that we were anxious to barter with them, and
very cautiously approached the real object of our visit. A naval button
upon one of their dresses afforded the opportunity; it came, they said,
from some white people who were starved upon an island where there are
salmon (that is, in a river); and that the iron of which their knives
were made came from the same place. One of these men said he had been to
the island to obtain wood and iron, but none of them had seen the white
men. Another man had been to "Ei-wil-lik" (Repulse Bay), and counted on
his fingers seven individuals of Rae's party whom he remembered having


These Esquimaux had nothing to eat, and no other clothing than their
ordinary double dresses of fur; they would not eat our biscuit or salt
pork, but took a small quantity of bear's blubber and some water. They
slept in a sitting posture, with their heads leaning forward on their
breasts. Next morning we travelled about 10 miles further, by which time
we were close to Cape Victoria; beyond this I would not go, much as they
wished to lead us on; we therefore landed, and they built us a
commodious snow-hut in half an hour; this done, we displayed to them our
articles for barter--knives, files, needles, scissors, beads,
etc.--expressed our desire to trade with them, and promised to purchase
everything which belonged to the starved white men, if they would come
to us on the morrow. Notwithstanding that the weather was now stormy and
bitterly cold, two of the natives stripped off their outer coats of
reindeer skin and bartered them for a knife each.

Despite the gale which howled outside, we spent a comfortable night in
our roomy hut.

Next morning the entire village population arrived, amounting to about
forty-five souls, from aged people to infants in arms, and bartering
commenced very briskly. First of all we purchased all the relics of the
lost expedition, consisting of six silver spoons and forks, a silver
medal, the property of Mr. A. M'Donald, assistant surgeon, part of a
gold chain, several buttons, and knives made of the iron and wood of the
wreck, also bows and arrows constructed of materials obtained from the
same source. Having secured these, we purchased a few frozen salmon,
some seals' blubber and venison, but could not prevail upon them to part
with more than one of their fine dogs. One of their sledges was made of
two stout pieces of wood, which might have been a boat's keel.


All the old people recollected the visit of the 'Victory.' An old man
told me his name was "Ooblooria:" I recollected that Sir James Ross had
employed a man of that name as a guide, and reminded him of it; he was,
in fact, the same individual, and he inquired after Sir James by his
Esquimaux name of "Agglugga."

I inquired after the man who was furnished with a wooden leg by the
carpenter of the 'Victory:' no direct answer was given, but his daughter
was pointed out to me. Petersen explained to me that they do not like
alluding in any way to the dead, and that, as my question was not
answered, it was certain the man was no longer amongst the living.

None of these people had seen the whites; one man said he had seen their
bones upon the island where they died, but some were buried. Petersen
also understood him to say that the boat was crushed by the ice. Almost
all of them had part of the plunder; they say they will be here when we
return, and will trade more with us; also that we shall find natives
upon Montreal Island at the time of our arriving there.

Next morning, 4th March, several natives came to us again. I bought a
spear 6-1/2 feet long from a man who told Petersen distinctly that a
ship having three masts had been crushed by the ice out in the sea to
the west of King William's Island, but that all the people landed
safely; he was not one of those who were eye-witnesses of it; the ship
sunk, so nothing was obtained by the natives from her; all that they
have got, he said, came from the island in the river. The spear staff
appears to have been part of the gunwale of a light boat. One old man,
"Oo-na-lee," made a rough sketch of the coast-line with his spear upon
the snow, and said it was eight journeys to where the ship sank,
pointing in the direction of Cape Felix. I can make nothing out of his
rude chart.


The information we obtained bears out the principal statements of Dr.
Rae, and also accounts for the disappearance of one of the ships; but it
gives no clue to the whereabouts of the other, nor the direction whence
the ships come. One thing is tolerably certain--the crews did not at any
time land upon the Boothian shore.

These Esquimaux were all well clothed in reindeer dresses, and looked
clean; they appeared to have abundance of provisions, but scarcely a
scrap of wood was seen amongst them which had not come from the lost
expedition. Their sledges, with the exception of the one already spoken
of, were wretched little affairs, consisting of two frozen rolls of
seal-skins coated with ice, and attached to each other by bones, which
served as the cross-bars. The men were stout, hearty fellows, and the
women arrant thieves, but all were good-humored and friendly. The women
were decidedly plain; in fact, this term would have been flattering to
most of them; yet there was a degree of vivacity and gentleness in the
manners of some that soon reconciled us to these Arctic specimens of the
fair sex. They had fine eyes and teeth, as well as very small hands, and
the young girls had a fresh rosy hue not often seen in combination with
olive complexions.

Esquimaux mothers carry their infants on their backs within their large
fur dresses, and where the babes can only be got at by pulling them out
over the shoulder. Whilst intent upon my bargaining for silver spoons
and forks belonging to Franklin's expedition, at the rate of a few
needles or a knife for each relic, one pertinacious old dame, after
having obtained all she was likely to get from me for herself, pulled
out her infant by the arm, and quietly held the poor little creature
(for it was perfectly naked) before me in the breeze, the temperature at
the time being 60° below freezing point! Petersen informed me that she
was begging for a needle for her child. I need not say I gave it one as
expeditiously as possible; yet sufficient time elapsed before the infant
was again put out of sight to alarm me considerably for its safety in
such a temperature. The natives, however, seemed to think nothing of
what looked to me like cruel exposure of a naked baby.


We now returned to the ship with all the speed we could command; but
stormy weather occasioned two days' delay, so that we did not arrive on
board until the 14th March. Though considerably reduced in flesh, I and
my companions were in excellent health, and blessed with insatiable
appetites. On washing our faces, which had become perfectly black from
the soot of our blubber lamp, sundry scars, relics of frost-bites,
appeared; and the tips of our fingers, from constant frost-bites, had
become as callous as if seared with hot iron.

In this journey of twenty-five days we travelled 360 geographical miles
(420 English), and completed the discovery of the coast-line of
continental America, thereby adding about 120 miles to our charts. The
mean temperature throughout the journey was 30° below zero of
Fahrenheit, or 62° below the freezing point of water.

On reaching the ship, I at once assembled my small crew, and told them
of the information we had obtained, pointing out that there still
remained one of the ships unaccounted for, and therefore it was
necessary to carry out all our projected lines of search.


During this journey I acquired the Arctic accomplishment of eating
frozen blubber, in delicate little slices, and vastly preferred it to
frozen pork. At the present moment I do not think I could even taste it,
but the same privation and hunger which induced me to eat of such food
would doubtless enable me again to partake of it _very kindly_.

I shot a couple of foxes which came playing about the dogs; conscious of
their superior speed, they were very impudent, snapping at the dogs'
tails, and passing almost under their noses. I shot these foxes,
intending to eat them; but the dogs anticipated me with respect to one;
the other we feasted off at our mess-table, and thought it by no means
bad; it was insipid, but decidedly better to our tastes than preserved


Captain Allen Young and his party had returned on board on the 3rd of
March, having placed their depôt upon the shore of Prince of Wales'
Land, about 70 miles S.W. of the ship. Young found the ice in Bellot
Strait so rough as to be impassable, and was obliged to adopt the lake
route. Prince of Wales' Land was found to be composed of limestone; the
shore was low, and fringed for a distance of ten miles to seaward with
an ancient land-floe. The remaining width of the strait between this
land (North Somerset) and Prince of Wales' Land was about 15 miles, and
this space was composed of ice formed since September last; this was the
water we looked at so anxiously last autumn from Cape Bird and Pemmican
Rock. His party lived in their tent, protected from the wind by snow
walls, and, like ourselves, escaped with a few trivial frost-bites. So
far all was very satisfactory, the general health good, and the
eagerness of my crew to commence travelling quite charming.


Young proposed carrying out another depôt to the north-west, in order to
explore well up Peel Strait, and would have started on the 17th, but
the weather was too severe. The day was spent in a fruitless search for
three casks of sugar--a serious and unaccountable deficiency--but, as it
was important to replace them with as little delay as possible, Young
set off on the 18th, although it blew a N.W. gale at the time, with two
men and eighteen dogs, for Fury Beach; failing to find the requisite
quantity there, he will go on to Port Leopold.


[19] Petersen conversed with two men who had themselves been up to
Umingmak Island.


 Dr. Walker's sledge journey--Snow-blindness attacks Young's
   party--Departure of all sledge-parties--Equipment of
   sledge-parties--Meet the same party of natives--Intelligence of the
   second ship--My depôt robbed--Part company from Hobson--Matty
   Island--Deserted snow-huts--Native sledges--Land on King William


Doctor Walker's zeal for travelling was not to be restrained; I
therefore gladly availed myself of his willingness to go with a party to
Cape Airey and bring back the depôt of provisions left there in August
last. These trips will delay our spring journeys for a few days.

During my absence from the 'Fox' the weather was often stormy, and
temperature unusually low; the mean for the month of February was -36°,
showing it to be one of the coldest on record. When possible the men
were allowed to go out shooting, and obtain fifty or sixty ptarmigan and
a hare; a few foxes were taken in traps, and two reindeer were seen.

Yesterday two bears came near the ship, but were frightened away by the
dogs. Hobson shot three ptarmigan. To-day I rambled over the hills, the
weather being fine, and saw a hare.

_29th._--Continued fine weather. A couple more foxes and a lemming in
its _brown_ coat have been captured, and a hare and four ptarmigan
shot. This fine bright weather seems to have awakened the lemmings and
ermines; their tracks, which were very rarely seen during winter, are
now tolerably numerous; foxes appear in greater numbers, probably
following up the ptarmigan from the south. The thermometer ranges
between zero and -20°; it has once been up to +13°. When exposed to a
noonday sun against the ship's side it rises 50° higher. The
earth-thermometer--placed 2 feet 2 inches beneath the surface--which
gradually fell until the 10th of this month, has now begun to ascend;
its minimum was +1/2°; much snow also lay over it, 6 feet deep at this


On the 25th Dr. Walker and his party returned, not having been able to
find the depôt. They found a barrel of flour upon the beach a few miles
south of Brentford Bay; it appeared to have lain there for years, just
inside a shingle projection, which kept off the ice pressure, so that it
had not been forced up high upon the beach; the ice which bore it
there--probably from Port Leopold--had disappeared, and the cask was
frozen into the shingle. The heading has been brought on board, but the
"scribing" upon it is very indistinct, and unintelligible to us. The
flour is of the ordinary description used in the navy, and known as
"seconds;" most of it was good, and a plain pudding made of it for our
mess could not be distinguished from fresh flour. A specimen has been
preserved with the view of identifying it with the Fury Beach or Port
Leopold stores of flour. With the exception of a solitary bear, the
party saw no living creatures. The shore along which they travelled was
a very low shingly limestone.



Last evening I was delighted to see Young and his two dog-sledges heave
in sight; he brought about 8 cwt. of sugar from Fury Beach, but not
without much difficulty, owing to the roughness of the pack in Creswell
Bay, and also to the breaking down of one of his sledges; to avoid this
pack he found it necessary to travel nearly all round Creswell Bay. Cape
Garry he describes as a gradually curved extent of flat land, and not
the decided cape it appears to be upon the chart; two reindeer were seen
near it, and during the journey four bears; no other animals were met
with. His labors had been very severe; one sledge broke down and all the
sugar had to be piled upon the other: the consequence was that the
sledge was so heavily loaded that it would only run freely after the
dogs on smooth ice; and directly any hummocks were encountered, the
dogs, with their usual instinct, not to drag a sledge unless it does run
freely, would lie down, and oblige Captain Young and his two men to
unload and carry the packages, over the obstacle, upon their own backs.
After this, snow-blindness came on; Young and one of his men became
blind as kittens; and the third man had to load, lead, and unload them,
when these portages occurred. Young's Esquimaux dog-driver, Samuel, was
quite blind when the party reached the ship. Two dogs, not choosing to
allow themselves to be caught and put in harness, had been still left
behind at the last encampment.

There still remains at Fury Beach an immense stack of preserved
vegetables and soups; the party supped off them and found them good.
Young brought me back two specimen tins of "carrots plain" and "carrots
and gravy." All small casks and packages were covered with snow; of the
large ones which appeared through it, he saw thirty-four casks of flour,
five of split peas, five of tobacco, and four of sugar. Only a very few
tons of coals remained. There were two boats, a short four-oared gig and
a large cutter; the former required nothing but caulking to make her
serviceable, but the latter had a large portion of one bow and side cut
out, as if for making, or repairing flat sledges. No record was found.

We have now enough sugar to last us for seven or eight months, but by
the survey of provisions which has just been completed, we find a
deficiency of many other articles, including three casks of salt beef.
Fortunately this is of no consequence as we have abundance of both salt
and preserved meat, but it shows the alarming extent to which a
negligent steward may mislead one. This unfortunate man has now got
scurvy; want of exercise and fresh air is the apparent cause, combined
with irregular living; the spirits have hitherto been in his charge.


The bustle of preparation for the extended searching journeys has been
exciting. Hobson's party and my own are now all prepared, and Young
having returned, we propose setting out on the 2d April--God willing.
Young's new sledge will be ready, and he will also start a few days
after us. All our winter defences of snow, our porches, our deck-layer,
and our external embankment, have been removed. Dr. Walker, of
necessity, remains in charge of the ship, with two stewards, a cook, a
carpenter, and a stoker. My party, as well as Hobson's, will be
provisioned, including the depôts, for an absence of about eighty-four
days; but not being able to afford auxiliary or supporting
sledge-parties, much time will be occupied in transporting our depôts
further out, in order that we may start with as much as we can possibly
carry, from the Magnetic Pole, besides leaving there a depôt for our

The declinometer was taken on board two days ago; hourly observations
have been made with it for more than five months: we can no longer spare
any one for this interesting duty.

       *       *       *       *       *

_24th June._--One thing is certain, the wild sort of tent-life we lead
in Arctic exploration quite unfits one for such tame work as writing up
a journal; my present attempt will illustrate the fact,--yet with such
ample materials what a deeply interesting volume might be written! Since
I last opened this familiar old diary--the repository alike of dry facts
and the most trivial notes--winter has passed away, summer is far
advanced, and the glorious sun is again returning southward. We too have
endeavored to move on with the times and seasons.

As for myself--I have visited Montreal Island, completed the exploration
and circuit of King William's Island, passing on foot through the only
feasible North-West Passage; but all this is as nothing to the interest
attached to the _Franklin records_ picked up by Hobson, and now safe in
my possession! We now know the fate of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror.' The
sole object of our voyage has at length been completed, and we anxiously
await the time when escape from these bleak regions will become

       *       *       *       *       *

{APR., 1859.}


The morning of April 2nd was inauspicious, but as the day advanced the
weather improved, so that Hobson and I were able to set out upon our
journeys; we each had a sledge drawn by four men, besides a dog-sledge,
and dog-driver. Mr. Petersen having volunteered his services to drive my
dogs,--an offer too valuable to be declined--managed my dog-sledge
throughout. Our five starveling puppies were harnessed, for the first
time in their lives, to a small sledge which I drove myself, intending
to sell them to the Esquimaux, if I could get them to drag their own
supply of provisions so far. The procession looked imposing--it
certainly was deeply interesting; there were five sledges, twelve men,
and seventeen dogs, the latter of all sizes and shapes. The ship hoisted
the Royal Harwich Yacht flag, and our sledges displayed their gay silk
banners; mine was a very beautiful one, given me by Lady Franklin; it
bears her name in white letters upon a red ground, and is margined with
white embroidery; it was worked by the sisters of Captain Collinson.


The equipment of my sledge-party and the weights were as follows: those
of Hobson and Young were almost precisely similar.

                                                           lbs. weight.

 Two sledges and fitting complete                              110

 Tent, waterproof blanket, floor-cloth, two sleeping-robes,
   and six blanket sleeping-bags                                90

 Cooking-utensils, shovel, saw, snow-knife, and sundry
   small articles                                               40

 Sledge-gun and ammunition                                      20

 Magnetic and astronomical instruments                          60

 Six knapsacks, containing spare clothing                       60

 Various tins and bags, in which provision and fuel were
   stored                                                       50

 Articles for barter                                            40

 Provisions                                                    930
                                               Total          1400

The load for each man to drag was fixed at 200 lbs., and for each dog
100 lbs. Our provisions consisted mainly of pemmican, biscuit, and tea,
with a small addition of boiled pork, rum, and some tobacco.


The men being untrained to the work, and sledges heavily laden, our
march was fatiguing and slow. We encamped that night upon the long lake.
On the second day we reached the western sea, and upon the third, aided
by our sledge sails, we advanced some miles beyond Arcedeckne Island.

The various depôts carried out with so much difficulty and danger in the
autumn, were now gathered up as we advanced, until at length we were so
loaded as to be compelled to proceed with one-half at a time, going
three times over the same ground. For six days this tedious mode of
progression was persevered in, by which time (15th April) we reached the
low limestone shore in latitude 71° 7' N., and which continues thence in
almost a straight line southward for 60 or 70 miles. We now commenced
laying down provisions for our consumption upon the return journey; and
the snow being unusually level, we were able to advance with the whole
of our remaining provisions, amounting to nearly sixty days' allowance.

Hitherto the temperature continued low, often nearly 30° below zero, and
at times with cutting north winds, bright sun, and intensely strong
snow glare. Although we wore colored spectacles, yet almost all suffered
great inconvenience and considerable pain from inflamed eyes. Our faces
were blistered, lips and hands cracked,--never were men more disfigured
by the combined effects of bright sun and bitterly cold winds;
fortunately no serious frost-bites occurred, but frost-bitten faces and
fingers were universal.


On the 20th April, in latitude 70-1/2° N., we met two families of
natives, comprising twelve individuals; their snow-huts were upon the
ice three-quarters of a mile off shore, and their occupation was
seal-hunting. They were the same people with whom I had communicated at
Cape Victoria in February.

Old Oo-na-lee laid his hands on Petersen's shoulders to measure their
width, and said, "He is fatter now:" true enough, the February
temperature and sharp marching had caused us both at that time to shrink



Their snow-huts were built in the above form, the common entrance and
both passages being just sufficiently high to get in without having to
crawl upon our hands and knees. A slab of ice in the roof admitted
sufficient light. A snow bank or bench two feet high, and occupying half
the area of each hut, was covered with reindeer skins, and formed the
family place of repose. An angular snow bench served as the kitchen
table, and immediately beside it sat the lady of the establishment
attending the stone lamp which stood thereon, and the stone-cooking
vessel suspended over it. The lamp was a shallow open vessel, the fuel
seal oil, and the wick dried moss. Her "tinder-box" was a little
seal-skin bag of soft dry moss, and with a lump of iron pyrites and a
broken file she struck fire upon it. I purchased the file because it was
marked with the Government broad arrow.

We saw two large snow shovels made of mahogany board, some long spear
handles, a bow of English wood, two preserved-meat tins, and a deal case
which might have once contained a large telescope or a barometer; it
measured 3 feet 1 inch in length by 9 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches deep;
there was no lid, but part of the brass hinges remained.

I also purchased a knife which had some indistinct markings upon it,
such as ship's cutlasses or swords usually have; the man told us it had
been picked up on the shore near where a ship lay stranded; that it was
then about the length of his arm, but his countryman who picked it up
broke it into lengths to make knives.


After much anxious inquiry we learned that two ships had been seen by
the natives of King William's Island; one of them was seen to sink in
deep water, and nothing was obtained from her, a circumstance at which
they expressed much regret; but the other was forced on shore by the
ice, where they suppose she still remains, but is much broken. From this
ship they have obtained most of their wood, &c.; and Oot-loo-lik is the
name of the place where she grounded.

Formerly many natives lived there, now very few remain. All the natives
have obtained plenty of the wood.

The most of this information was given us by the young man who sold the
knife. Old Oo-na-lee, who drew the rough chart for me in March, to show
where the ship sank, now answered our questions respecting the one
forced on shore; not a syllable about her did he mention on the former
occasion, although we asked whether they knew of only one ship? I think
he would willingly have kept us in ignorance of the wreck being upon
their coasts, and that the young man unwittingly made it known to us.

The latter also told us that the body of a man was found on board the
ship; that he must have been a very large man, and had long teeth; this
is all he recollected having been told, for he was quite a child at the

They both told us it was in the fall of the year--that is, August or
September--when the ships were destroyed; that all the white people went
away to the "large river," taking a boat or boats with them, and that in
the following winter their bones were found there.

These two Esquimaux families had been up as far north as the Tasmania
Group[20] in latitude 71-1/4° N., and were returning to Nĕitchīllĕe,
hunting seals by the way; those we met at Cape Victoria had already gone
there. The nearest natives to us at present, they said, were residing
at the island of Amitoke, ten days' journey distant from here. Can this
Amitoke be Matty Island?



We purchased some seal's blubber and flesh, as well as their two only
dogs; but next morning Oo-na-lee repented his bargain, or feigned to do
so, but as he came without the knife to exchange back we retained his
dog; he tried to steal a tin vessel off one of the sledges, and perhaps
it was for the purpose of regaining our favor that he made known to us,
just as we were starting, that his countrymen had followed my homeward
track in March, discovering my depôt of blubber, articles for barter,
and two revolvers, and carried them all off to Nĕitchīllĕe,--by no means
pleasant intelligence; their dogs must have enabled them to find the
blubber by scenting it, for it was buried under 4 feet of snow, and
strong winds obliterated all traces upon the surface.

I was now glad we had purchased both the dogs of the men, as it would
probably prevent their seeking for our depôts to the northward; the
knowledge of the insecurity of _all_ depôts amongst these people will
keep us on our guard for the future. I regretted the loss of the
pistols, as it left my party with no other arms than two guns.

Oo-na-lee told us when we first met him that one of his countrymen was
very sick; not seeing a sick man in their huts, we forgot all about it
until after starting, when Petersen interpreted to me Oo-na-lee's
parting information, and told me how he described that the breech of the
revolver turned round; it then occurred to me that one of the men might
have been wounded,--they had discovered how to cock the locks, and the
pistols were loaded and capped.

Oo-na-lee was well acquainted with the coast-line up to Bellot Strait,
and had names for the different headlands, although he had never been so
far north; he made many inquiries about the position of our ship, her
size, and the number of men. Had he been able to travel so far with his
wife and several young children, and without sledge or dogs, I think he
certainly would have gone up to Port Kennedy; we did not give him any
encouragement to do so. His wife was one of the most importunate of the
many women we saw at Cape Victoria in March. She was the woman who
plucked out an infant by its arm from inside her dress, and exposed it
regardless of -30° and a fresh wind, as I have previously told.

The information respecting _both_ the missing ships was most important,
and it remained for us to discover, if possible, the stranded ship.


Continuing our journey, we crossed a wide bay upon level ice, and the
most perfectly smooth hard snow I ever saw; there must have been much
open water here late last autumn. Seven or eight snow-huts, recently
abandoned, were found near the magnetic pole. During the 25th, 26th, and
27th, we were confined to our tents by a very heavy south-east gale,
with severe cold. Early on the 28th we reached Cape Victoria; here
Hobson and I separated. He marched direct for Cape Felix, King William's
Land, whilst I kept a more southerly course. Not daring to leave depôts
upon this coast, we carried on our whole supply, intending to deposit a
small portion upon the Clarence Islands.

Hobson was unwell when we parted, complaining of stiffness and pain in
his legs; neither of us then suspected the cause. I gave him directions
to search the west coast of King William's Island for the stranded ship
and for records, and to act upon such information as he might obtain in
this way, or from the natives; but should that shore prove destitute of
traces, to carry out if possible our original plan for the completion of
discovery and search upon Victoria Land, comprising the blank space
between the extremes visited by Captain Collinson and Mr. Wynniatt.


I soon found that my party had to labor across a rough pack; nor was it
until the third day that we completed the traverse of the strait, and
encamped near to the entrance of Port Parry, in King William's Island.
Although the weather was clear, and that by our reckoning we passed
directly over the assigned position of the two southern of the Clarence
Islands, yet we saw nothing of them.

A day was devoted to securing a depôt in a huge mass of grounded ice,
and in repairing and drying equipment, or, to speak more correctly, in
getting rid of the ice which encumbered our sleeping bags and gear; this
we effected by beating them well and exposing them to the direct rays of
the sun. Magnetic and other observations gave me ample employment, the
only _immediate_ result of which was my being almost snow-blind for the
two following days.

{MAY, 1859.}

On May 2nd we set off again briskly; our load being diminished to thirty
days' provisions, and the sledge sail set, we soon reached the land, and
travelled along it for Cape Sabine; it was very thick weather, and we
were unable to see any distance in consequence of the mist and
snow-drift. The following day was no better, and the shore, which we
dared not leave to cross the bays, was extremely low.


We soon discovered that we had strayed inland; but, guided by the wind,
continued our course. Upon May 4th we descended into Wellington Strait,
and the weather being tolerably clear, crossed over to the south-west
extreme of Matty Island, in the hope of meeting with natives, no traces
of them having been met with since leaving Cape Victoria. Off this
south-west point we found a deserted village of nearly twenty snow-huts,
besides several others, within a few miles upon either side of it; in
all of them I found shavings or chips of different kinds of wood from
the lost expedition; they appeared to have been abandoned only within a
fortnight or three weeks. Abundance of blubber was gathered up to
increase our stock of fuel, and had we encamped here, the dogs would
have feasted sumptuously off the scraps and bones of seals strewed


The runners (or sides) of some old sledges left here were very
ingeniously formed out of rolls of seal-skin, about 3-1/2 feet long, and
flattened so as to be 2 or 3 inches wide and 5 inches high; the
seal-skins appeared to have been well soaked and then rolled up,
flattened into the required form and allowed to freeze. The underneath
part was coated with a mixture of moss and ice laid smoothly on by hand
before being allowed to freeze, the moss, I suppose, answering the
purpose of hair in mortar, to make the compound adhere more firmly.


From this spot the shore-line of Matty Island turned sharply to the
N.N.E.; there were some considerable islands to the east, but thinking
the most southerly of this group, named "Owut-tā" by the Esquimaux,
the most likely place to find the natives, I pushed on in that direction
until we encamped. Thick fog enveloped us for the next two days; we
could not find the island, but found a very small islet near it, off
which was another snow-village very recently abandoned, the sledge
tracks plainly showing that the inhabitants had gone to the E.N.E.,
which is straight for Nĕitchīllĕe. It was now evident that these places
of winter resort were deserted, and that here at least we should not
find any natives; I was the more sorry at having missed them, as, from
the quantity of wood chips about the huts, they probably had visited the
stranded ship alluded to by the last Esquimaux we had met, and the route
to which lies up an inlet visible from here, and then overland three or
four days' journey to the westward, until the opposite coast of King
William's Land is reached.


The largest huts measured 12 feet in diameter, by 6 or 7 feet high; the
greater part were constructed in pairs, having a passage 20 or 25 feet
long, serving as the common entrance; where the passage divides into two
branches, there was a small hut, which served as a sort of ante-chamber
for the reception of such articles as were intended to remain frozen.


[20] These islands were so named by me, at the request of Lady Franklin,
in grateful acknowledgment of many proofs of affectionate sympathy
received from the colony over which her husband presided for several
years, and, in particular, of the large contributions raised there in
aid of her expeditions of search.


 Meet Esquimaux--News of Franklin's people--Frighten a solitary
   party--Reach the Great Fish River--On Montreal Island--Total absence
   of all relics--Examine Ogle Peninsula--Discover a
   skeleton--Vagueness of Esquimaux information--Cape Herschel--Cairn.


_7th May._--To avoid snow-blindness, we commenced night-marching.
Crossing over from Matty Island towards the King William Island shore,
we continued our march southward until midnight, when we had the good
fortune to arrive at an inhabited snow-village. We found here ten or
twelve huts and thirty or forty natives of King William's Island; I do
not think any of them had ever seen white people alive before, but they
evidently knew us to be friends. We halted at a little distance, and
pitched our tent, the better to secure small articles from being stolen
whilst we bartered with them.


I purchased from them six pieces of silver plate, bearing the crests or
initials of Franklin, Crozier, Fairholme, and McDonald; they also sold
us bows and arrows of English woods, uniform and other buttons, and
offered us a heavy sledge made of two short stout pieces of curved wood,
which no mere boat could have furnished them with, but this of course
we could not take away; the silver spoons and forks were readily sold
for four needles each.

They were most obliging and peaceably disposed, but could not resist the
temptation to steal, and were importunate to barter everything they
possessed; there was not a trace of fear, every countenance was lighted
up with joy; even the children were not shy, nor backward either, in
crowding about us, and poking in everywhere. One man got hold of our
saw, and tried to retain it, holding it behind his back, and presenting
his knife in exchange; we might have had some trouble in getting it from
him, had not one of my men mistaken his object in presenting the knife
towards me, and run out of the tent with a gun in his hand; the saw was
instantly returned, and these poor people seemed to think they never
could do enough to convince us of their friendliness; they repeatedly
tapped me gently on the breast, repeating the words "Kammik toomee" (We
are friends).

Having obtained all the relics they possessed, I purchased some seal's
flesh, blubber, frozen venison, dried and frozen salmon, and sold some
of my puppies. They told us it was five days' journey to the wreck,--one
day up the inlet still in sight, and four days overland; this would
carry them to the western coast of King William Land; they added that
but little now remained of the wreck which was accessible, their
countrymen having carried almost everything away. In answer to an
inquiry, they said she was without masts; the question gave rise to some
laughter amongst them, and they spoke to each other about _fire_, from
which Petersen thought they had burnt the masts through close to the
deck in order to get them down.

There had been _many books_ they said, but all have long ago been
destroyed by the weather; the ship was forced on shore in the fall of
the year by the ice. She had not been visited during this past winter,
and an old woman and a boy were shown to us who were the last to visit
the wreck; they said they had been at it during the winter of 1857-8.


Petersen questioned the woman closely, and she seemed anxious to give
all the information in her power. She said many of the white men dropped
by the way as they went to the Great River; that some were buried and
some were not; they did not themselves witness this, but discovered
their bodies during the winter following.

We could not arrive at any approximation to the numbers of the white men
nor of the years elapsed since they were lost.

This was all the information we could obtain, and it was with great
difficulty so much could be gleaned, the dialect being strange to
Petersen, and the natives far more inclined to ask questions than to
answer them. They assured us we should find natives upon the south shore
of King William's Island only three days' journey from here, and also at
Montreal Island; moreover they said we might find some at the wreck. For
these reasons I did not prolong my stay with them beyond a couple of
hours. They seemed to have but little intercourse with other
communities, not having heard of our visit to the Boothians two months
before; one man even asked Petersen if he had seen his brother, who
lived in Boothia, not having heard of him since last summer.


It was quite a relief to get away from these good-humored, noisy
thieves, and rather difficult too, as some of them accompanied us for
miles. They had abundance of food, were well clothed, and are a finer
race than those who inhabit North Greenland, or Pond's Inlet: the men
had their hair cropped short, with the exception of one long, straggling
lock hanging down on each side of the face; like the Boothians, the
women had lines tattooed upon their cheeks and chins.

We now proceeded round a bay which I named Latrobe in honor of the late
Governor of Victoria, and of his brother, the head of the Moravian
Church in London, both esteemed friends of Franklin.


Finding the "Mathison Island" of Rae to be a flat-topped hill, we
crossed over low land to the west of it, and upon the morning of the
10th May reached a single snow-hut off Point Booth. I was quite
astonished at the number of poles and various articles of wood lying
about it, also at the huge pile of walrus' and reindeer's flesh, seal's
blubber, and skins of various sorts. We had abundance of leisure to
examine these exterior articles before the inmates would venture out;
they were evidently much alarmed by our sudden appearance.

A remarkably fine old dog was tied at the entrance--the line being made
fast within the long passage--and although he wagged his tail, and
received us as old acquaintances, we did not like to attempt an
entrance. At length an old man and an old woman appeared; they trembled
with fear, and could not, or would not, say anything except "Kammik
toomee:" we tried every means of allaying their fears, but their wits
seemed paralyzed, and we could get no information. We asked where they
got the wood? They purchased it from their countrymen. Did they know the
Great River? Yes, but it was a long way off. Were there natives there
now? Yes. They even denied all knowledge of white people having died
upon their shores. A fine young man came out of the hut, but we could
learn nothing of him; they said they had nothing to barter, except what
we saw, although we tempted them by displaying our store of knives and

The wind was strong and fair, and the morning intensely cold, and as I
could not hope to overcome the fears of these poor people without
encamping, and staying perhaps a day with them, I determined to push on,
and presented the old lady with a needle as a parting gift.

The principal articles which caught my attention here were eight or ten
fir poles, varying in length from 5 to 10 feet, and up to 2-1/2 inches
in diameter (these were converted into spear handles and tent poles), a
kayak paddle constructed out of the blade of two ash oars, and two large
snow shovels 4 feet long, made of thin plank, painted white or pale
yellow; these might have been the bottom boards of a boat. There were
many smaller articles of wood.


Half a mile further on we found seven or eight deserted snow-huts. Bad
weather had now fairly set in, accompanied by a most unseasonable degree
of cold. On the morning of the 12th May we crossed Point Ogle, and
encamped upon the ice in the Great Fish River the same evening; the cold
and the darkness of our more southern latitude, having obliged us to
return to day-travelling. All the 13th we were imprisoned in our tent by
a most furious gale, nor was it until late on the morning of the 14th
that we could proceed; that evening we encamped 2 miles from some small
islands which lie off the north end of Montreal Island.


On the morning of the 15th we made only a short march of 6 miles, as one
of the men suffered severely from snow-blindness, and I was anxious to
recommence night-travelling; encamped in a little bay upon the N.E. side
of Montreal Island. The same evening we again set out, although it was
blowing very strongly, and "snowing for a wager," as the men expressed
it, but it was only necessary for us to keep close along the shore of
the island: we discovered, however, a narrow and crooked channel which
led us through to the west side of the island, and, one of the men
appearing seriously ill, we encamped about midnight.

Whilst encamped this day, explorations were made about the N.E. quarter
of the island; islets and rocks were seen to abound in all directions;
eventually it proved to be a separate island upon which we had encamped.
The only traces or relics of Europeans found were the following
articles, discovered by Petersen, beside a native mark (one large stone
set upright on the top of another), at the east side of the Main--or
Montreal--island:--A piece of preserved-meat tin, two pieces of iron
hoop, some scraps of copper, and an iron-hoop bolt. These probably are
part of the plunder obtained from the boat, and were left here until a
more favorable opportunity should offer, or perhaps necessity should
compel the depositor to return for them.

All the 16th we were unable to move, not only because Hampton was ill,
but the weather was extremely bad, and snow thickly falling with
temperature at zero; certainly strange weather for the middle of May! We
have not had a single clear day since the 1st of the month.


On the 17th the weather, though dull, was clear, so Mr. Petersen,
Thompson, and I, set off with the dog-sledge to complete the examination
of Montreal Island, leaving the other three men with the tent: we hoped
also to find natives, but had not seen any recent traces of them since
passing Point Booth. Petersen drove the dog-sledge close along shore
round the island to the south, and as far up the east side as to meet
our previously explored portion of it, whilst Thompson and I walked
along on the land, the one close down to the beach, and the other higher
up, examining the more conspicuous parts: in this order we traversed the
remaining portion of the island.

Although the snow served to conceal from us any traces which might exist
in hollows or sheltered situations, yet it rendered all objects intended
to serve as marks proportionably conspicuous; and we may remember that
it was in its winter garb that the retreating crews saw Montreal Island,
precisely as we ourselves saw it. The island was almost covered with
native marks, usually of one stone standing upright upon another,
sometimes consisting of three stones; but very rarely of a greater


No trace of a cairn could be found.

In examining, with pickaxe and shovel, a collection of stones which
appeared to be arranged artificially, we found a quantity of seal's
blubber buried beneath; this old Esquimaux câche was near the S.E. point
of the island. The interior of the island and the principal islets
adjacent were also examined without success, nor was there the slightest
evidence of natives having been here during the winter: it is not to be
wondered at that we returned in the evening to our tent somewhat
dispirited. The total absence of natives was a bitter disappointment;
circles of stones, indicating the sites of their tenting places in
summer, were common enough.

Montreal Island is of primary rock, chiefly grey gneiss, traversed with
whitish vertical bands in a N. and S. direction (by them I often
directed my route when crossing the island). It is of considerable
elevation, and extremely rugged. The low beaches and grassy hollows were
covered with a foot or two of hard snow, whilst all the level, the
elevated, or exposed parts were swept perfectly bare; had a cairn, or
even a grave existed (raised as it must be, the earth being frozen hard
as rock), we must at once have seen it. If any were constructed they
must have been levelled by the natives; every doubtful appearance was
examined with the pickaxe.

A remark made by my men struck me as being shrewd; they judged from the
washed appearance of the rock upon the east side of Montreal Island that
it must be often exposed to a considerable sea, such as would
effectually remove everything not placed far above its reach; when
looking over the smooth and frozen expanse one is apt to forget this.

Since our first landing upon King William's Island we have not met with
any heavy ice; all along its eastern and southern shore, together with
the estuary of this great river, is one vast unbroken sheet formed in
the early part of last winter where _no ice previously existed_; this I
fancy (from the accounts of Back and Anderson) is unusual, and may have
caused the Esquimaux to vary their seal-hunting localities. Mr. Petersen
suggested that they might have retired into the various inlets after the
seals; and therefore I determined to cross over into Barrow's Inlet as
soon as we had examined the Point Ogle Peninsula.


Upon Montreal Island I shot a hare and a brace of willow-grouse. Up to
this date we had shot during our journey only one bear and a couple of
ptarmigan. The first recent traces of reindeer were met with here.

On the 18th May crossed over to the mainland near Point Duncan, but
Hampton again complaining, I was obliged to encamp. When away from my
party, and exploring along the shore towards Elliot Bay, I saw a herd
of eight reindeer and succeeded in shooting one of them. In the evening
Petersen saw another. Some willow-grouse also were seen. Here we found
much more vegetation than upon King William's Island, or any other
Arctic land I have yet seen.



On the evening of the 19th we commenced our return journey, but for the
three following weeks our route led us over new ground. Hampton being
unable to drag, I made over my puppy-team to him, and was thus left free
to explore and fully examine every doubtful object along our route. I
shall not easily forget the trial my patience underwent during the six
weeks that I drove that dog-sledge. The leader of my team, named "Omar
Pasha," was very willing, but very lame; little "Rose" was coquettish,
and fonder of being caressed than whipped; from some cause or other she
ceased growing when only a few months old; she was therefore far too
small for heavy work; "Darky" and "Missy" were mere pups; and last of
all came the two wretched starvelings, reared in the winter, "Foxey" and
"Dolly." Each dog had its own harness, formed of strips of canvas, and
was attached to the sledge by a single trace 12 feet long. None of them
had ever been yoked before, and the amount of cunning and perversity
they displayed to avoid both the whip and the work, was quite
astonishing. They bit through their traces, and hid away under the
sledge, or leaped over one another's backs, so as to get into the middle
of the team out of the way of my whip, until the traces became plaited
up, and the dogs were almost knotted together; the consequence was I had
to halt every few minutes, pull off my mitts, and, at the risk of frozen
fingers, disentangle the lines. I persevered, however, and, without
breaking any of their bones, succeeded in getting a surprising amount of
work out of them. Hobson drove his own dog-sledge likewise, and as long
as we were together we helped each other out of difficulties, and they
were frequently occurring, for, apart from those I have above mentioned,
directly a dog-sledge is stopped by hummock, or sticks fast in deep
snow, the dogs, instead of exerting themselves, lie down, looking
perfectly delighted at the circumstance, and the driver has to extricate
the sledge with a hearty one, two, three haul! and apply a little gentle
persuasion to set his canine team in motion again.

Having searched the east shore of this land for 7 or 8 miles further
north, we crossed over into Barrow's Inlet, and spent a day in its
examination, but not a trace of natives was met with.


Regaining the shore of Dease and Simpson's Strait, some miles to the
west of Point Richardson, we crossed over to King William's Island upon
the morning of the 24th, striking in upon it a short distance west of
the Peffer River. The south coast was closely examined as we marched
along towards Cape Herschel. Upon a conspicuous point, to the westward
of Point Gladman, a cairn nearly five feet high was seen, which,
although it did not appear to be a recent construction, was taken down,
stone by stone, and carefully examined, the ground beneath being broken
up with the pickaxe, but nothing was covered.

The ground about it was much exposed to the winds, and consequently
devoid of snow, so that no trace could have escaped us. Simpson does not
mention having landed here, or anywhere upon the island except at Cape
Herschel, yet it seemed to me strange that natives should construct such
a mark here, since a huge boulder, which would equally serve their
purpose, stood upon the same elevation, and within a couple of hundred
yards. We had previously examined a similar but smaller cairn, a few
miles to the eastward.


We were now upon the shore along which the retreating crews must have
marched. My sledges of course travelled upon the sea-ice close along the
shore; and, although the depth of snow which covered the beach deprived
us of almost every hope, yet we kept a very sharp look-out for traces,
nor were we unsuccessful. Shortly after midnight of the 24th May, when
slowly walking along a gravel ridge near the beach, which the winds kept
partially bare of snow, I came upon a human skeleton, partly exposed,
with here and there a few fragments of clothing appearing through the
snow. The skeleton--now perfectly bleached--was lying upon its face, the
limbs and smaller bones either dissevered or gnawed away by small

A most careful examination of the spot was of course made, the snow
removed, and every scrap of clothing gathered up. A pocket-book afforded
strong grounds of hope that some information might be subsequently
obtained respecting the unfortunate owner and the calamitous march of
the lost crews, but at the time it was frozen hard. The substance of
that which we gleaned upon the spot may thus be summed up:--

This victim was a young man, slightly built, and perhaps above the
common height; the dress appeared to be that of a steward or officer's
servant, the loose bow-knot in which his neck-handkerchief was tied not
being used by seamen or officers. In every particular the dress
confirmed our conjectures as to his rank or office in the late
expedition,--the blue jacket with slashed sleeves and braided edging,
and the pilot-cloth great-coat with plain covered buttons. We found,
also, a clothes-brush near, and a horn pocket-comb. This poor man seems
to have selected the bare ridge top, as affording the least tiresome
walking, and to have fallen upon his face in the position in which we
found him.

It was a melancholy truth that the old woman spoke when she said, "they
fell down and died as they walked along."

I do not think the Esquimaux had discovered this skeleton, or they would
have carried off the brush and comb: superstition prevents them from
disturbing their own dead, but would not keep them from appropriating
the property of the white man if in any way useful to them. Dr. Rae
obtained a piece of flannel, marked "F. D. V., 1845," from the Esquimaux
of Boothia or Repulse Bay: it had doubtless been a part of poor Des
Vœux's garments.


At the time of our interview with the natives of King William's Island,
Petersen was inclined to think that the retreat of the crews took place
in the fall of the year, some of the men in boats, and others walking
along the shore; and as only five bodies are said to have been found
upon Montreal Island with the boat, this fact favored his opinion,
because so small a number could not have dragged her there over the ice,
although they could very easily have taken her there by water.
Subsequently this opinion proved erroneous. I mention it because it
shows how vague our information was--indeed all Esquimaux accounts are
naturally so--and how entirely we were dependent upon our own exertions
for bringing to light the mystery of their fate.

The information obtained by Dr. Rae was mainly derived second-hand from
the Fish River Esquimaux, and should not be confounded with that
received by us from the King William's Island Esquimaux. These people
told us they did not find the bodies of the white men (that is, they did
not know any had died upon the march) until the following winter. This
is probably true, as it is only in winter and early spring they can
travel overland to the west shore, or that they make a practice of
wandering along the shore in search of seals and bears.

The remains of those who died in the Fish River may very probably have
been discovered in the summer shortly after their decease.

Along the south coast of King William's Land, as upon the mainland, I
was sadly disappointed in my expectation of meeting natives. We found
only six or eight deserted snow-huts, showing that they had recently
been here, and consequently there was the less chance of meeting with
them on our further progress, as the season had now arrived when they
seek the rivers and the favorite haunts and passes of the reindeer in
their northern migration.


Hobson was however upon the western coast, and I hoped to find a note
left for me at Cape Herschel containing some piece of good news. After
minutely examining the intervening coast-line, it was with strong and
reasonable hope I ascended the slope which is crowned by Simpson's
conspicuous cairn. This summit of Cape Herschel is perhaps 150 feet
high, and about a quarter of a mile within the low stony point which
projects from it, and on which there was considerable ice pressure and a
few hummocks heaped up, the first we had seen for three weeks. Close
round this point, or by cutting across it as we did, the retreating
parties _must_ have passed; and the opportunity afforded by the cairn of
depositing in a known position--and that, too, where their own
discoveries terminated--some record of their own proceedings, or, it
might be, a portion of their scientific journals, would scarcely have
been disregarded.


Simpson makes no mention of having left a record in this cairn, nor
would Franklin's people have taken any trouble to find it if he had left
one; but what now remained of this once "ponderous cairn" was only four
feet high; the south side had been pulled down and the central stones
removed, as if by persons seeking for something deposited beneath. After
removing the snow with which it was filled, and a few loose stones, the
men laid bare a large slab of limestone; with difficulty this was
removed, then a second, and also a third slab, when they came to the
ground. For sometime we persevered with a pickaxe in breaking up the
frozen earth, but nothing whatever was found, nor any trace of European
visitors in its vicinity. There were many old câches and low stone
walls, such as natives would use to lurk behind for the purpose of
shooting reindeer; and we noticed some recent tracks of those animals
which had crossed direct hither from the mainland.


 The cairn found empty--Discover Hobson's letter--Discovery of
   Crozier's record--The deserted boat--Articles discovered about the
   boat--The skeletons and relics--The boat belonged to the


As the Esquimaux of this land, as well as those of Boothia and Pond's
Inlet, have long since given up the practice of building stone
dwellings--passing their winters in snow-huts, and summers in tents--no
other traces of them than those described remain; so that when or in
what numbers they may have been here one cannot form any opinion, the
same câches and hiding-places serving for generations.

I cannot divest myself of the belief that _some record was left here_ by
the retreating crews, and perhaps some most valuable documents which
their slow progress and fast failing strength would have assured them
could not be carried much further. If any such were left they have been
discovered by the natives, and carried off, or thrown away as worthless.
Doubtless the natives, when they ascertained that famine and fatigue had
caused many of the white men "to fall down and die" upon their fearful
march, and heard, as they might have done, of its fatal termination
upon the mainland, lost no time in following up their traces, examining
every spot where they halted, every mark they put up, or stone


It is easy to tell whether a cairn has been put up or touched within a
moderate period of years; if very old, the outer stones have a weathered
appearance, lichens will have grown upon the sheltered portions and moss
in the crevices; but if recently disturbed, even if a single stone is
turned upside down, these appearances are altered. If a cairn has been
recently built it will be evident, because the stones picked up from the
neighborhood would be bleached on top by the exposure of centuries,
whilst underneath they would be colored by the soil in which they were
imbedded. To the eye of the native hunter these marks of a recent cairn
are at once apparent: and unless Simpson's cairn (built in 1839) had
been disturbed by Crozier, I do not think the Esquimaux would have been
at the trouble of pulling it down to plunder the câche; but having
commenced to do so, would not have left any of it standing, _unless they
found what they sought_.

I noticed with great care the appearance of the stones, and came to the
conclusion that the cairn itself was of old date, and had been erected
many years ago, and that it was reduced to the state in which we found
it by people having broken down one side of it; the displaced stones,
from being turned over, looking far more fresh than those in that
portion of the cairn which had been left standing. It was with a feeling
of deep regret and much disappointment that I left this spot without
finding some certain record of those martyrs to their country's fame.
Perhaps in all the wide world there will be few spots more hallowed in
the recollection of English seamen than this cairn on Cape Herschel.

A few miles beyond Cape Herschel the land becomes very low; many islets
and shingle-ridges lie far off the coast; and as we advanced we met with
hummocks of unusually heavy ice, showing plainly that we were now
travelling upon a far more exposed part of the coast-line. We were
approaching a spot where a revelation of intense interest was awaiting


About 12 miles from Cape Herschel I found a small cairn built by
Hobson's party, and containing a note for me. He had reached this his
extreme point, six days previously, without having seen anything of the
wreck, or of natives, but he had found a record--the record so ardently
sought for, of the Franklin Expedition--at Point Victory, on the N.W.
coast of King William's Land.


That record is indeed a sad and touching relic of our lost friends, and,
to simplify its contents, I will point out separately the double story
it so briefly tells. In the first place, the record paper was one of the
printed forms usually supplied to discovery ships for the purpose of
being enclosed in bottles and thrown overboard at sea, in order to
ascertain the set of the currents, blanks being left for the date and
position; any person finding one of these records is requested to
forward it to the Secretary of the Admiralty, with a note of time and
place; and this request is printed upon it in six different languages.
Upon it was written, apparently by Lieutenant Gore, as follows:--

    "28 of May, { H.M. ships 'Erebus' and 'Terror' wintered in the
       1847.    {   ice in lat. 70° 05' N.; long. 98° 23' W.

    "Having wintered in 1846-7 at Beechey Island, in lat. 74° 43' 28"
    N., long. 91° 39' 15" W., after having ascended Wellington Channel
    to lat. 77°, and returned by the west side of Cornwallis Island.

    "Sir John Franklin commanding the expedition.

    "All well.

    "Party consisting of 2 officers and 6 men left the ships on Monday
    24th May, 1847.

                                           "GM. GORE, Lieut.

                                           "CHAS. F. DES VŒUX, Mate."


There is an error in the above document, namely, that the 'Erebus' and
'Terror' wintered at Beechey Island in 1846-7,--the correct dates should
have been 1845-6; a glance at the date at the top and bottom of the
record proves this, but in all other respects the tale is told in as few
words as possible of their wonderful success up to that date, May, 1847.

We find that, after the last intelligence of Sir John Franklin was
received by us (bearing date of July, 1845), from the whalers in
Melville Bay, that his Expedition passed on to Lancaster Sound, and
entered Wellington Channel, of which the southern entrance had been
discovered by Sir Edward Parry in 1819. The 'Erebus' and 'Terror' sailed
up that strait for one hundred and fifty miles, and reached in the
autumn of 1845 the same latitude as was attained eight years
subsequently by H.M.S. 'Assistance' and 'Pioneer.' Whether Franklin
intended to pursue this northern course, and was only stopped by ice in
that latitude of 77° north, or purposely relinquished a route which
seemed to lead away from the known seas off the coast of America, must
be a matter of opinion; but this the document assures us of, that Sir
John Franklin's Expedition, having accomplished this examination,
returned southward from latitude 77° north, which is at the head of
Wellington Channel, and re-entered Barrow's Strait by a new channel
between Bathurst and Cornwallis Islands.

Seldom has such an amount of success been accorded to an Arctic
navigator in a single season, and when the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' were
secured at Beechey Island for the coming winter of 1845-6, the results
of their first year's labor must have been most cheering. These results
were the exploration of Wellington and Queen's Channel, and the addition
to our charts of the extensive lands on either hand. In 1846 they
proceeded to the south-west, and eventually reached within twelve miles
of the north extreme of King William's Land, when their progress was
arrested by the approaching winter of 1846-7. That winter appears to
have passed without any serious loss of life; and when in the spring
Lieutenant Gore leaves with a party for some especial purpose, and very
probably to connect the unknown coast-line of King William's Land
between Point Victory and Cape Herschel, those on board the 'Erebus' and
'Terror' were "all well," and the gallant Franklin still commanded.


But, alas! round the margin of the paper upon which Lieutenant Gore in
1847 wrote those words of hope and promise, another hand had
subsequently written the following words:--

    "April 25, 1848.--H.M. ships 'Terror' and 'Erebus' were deserted on
    the 22nd April, 5 leagues N.N.W. of this, having been beset since
    12th September, 1846. The officers and crews, consisting of 105
    souls, under the command of Captain F. R. M. Crozier, landed here in
    lat. 69° 37' 42" N., long. 98° 41' W. Sir John Franklin died on the
    11th June, 1847; and the total loss by deaths in the expedition has
    been to this date 9 officers and 15 men.

    (Signed)                                (Signed)

      "F. R. M. CROZIER,                      "JAMES FITZJAMES,
    "Captain and Senior Officer.            "Captain H.M.S. Erebus.

    "and start (on) to-morrow, 26th,
        for Back's Fish River."


This marginal information was evidently written by Captain Fitzjames,
excepting only the note stating when and where they were going, which
was added by Captain Crozier.

There is some additional marginal information relative to the transfer
of the document to its present position (viz., the site of Sir James
Ross' pillar) from a spot four miles to the northward, near Point
Victory, where it had been originally deposited by the _late_ Commander
Gore. This little word _late_ shows us that he too, within the
twelvemonth had passed away.

In the short space of twelve months how mournful had become the history
of Franklin's expedition; how changed from the cheerful "All well" of
Graham Gore! The spring of 1847 found them within 90 miles of the known
sea off the coast of America; and to men who had already in two seasons
sailed over 500 miles of previously unexplored waters, how confident
must they have felt that that forthcoming navigable season of 1847 would
see their ships pass over so short an intervening space! It was ruled
otherwise. Within a month after Lieutenant Gore placed the record on
Point Victory, the much-loved leader of the expedition, Sir John
Franklin, was dead; and the following spring found Captain Crozier, upon
whom the command had devolved at King William's Land, endeavoring to
save his starving men, 105 souls in all, from a terrible death by
retreating to the Hudson Bay territories up the Back or Great Fish

A sad tale was never told in fewer words. There is something deeply
touching in their extreme simplicity, and they show in the strongest
manner that both the leaders of this retreating party were actuated by
the loftiest sense of duty, and met with calmness and decision the
fearful alternative of a last bold struggle for life, rather than perish
without effort on board their ships; for we well know that the 'Erebus'
and 'Terror' were only provisioned up to July, 1848.


Another discrepancy exists in the second part of the record written by
Fitzjames. The original number composing the expedition was 138
souls,[21] and the record states the total loss by deaths to have been 9
officers and 15 men, consequently that 114 officers and men remained;
but it also states that 105 only landed under Captain Crozier's command,
so that 9 individuals are unaccounted for.

Lieutenant Hobson's note told me that he found quantities of clothing
and articles of all kinds lying about the cairn, as if these men, aware
that they were retreating for their lives, had there abandoned
everything which they considered superfluous.

Hobson had experienced extremely bad weather--constant gales and
fogs--and thought he might have passed the wreck without seeing her; he
hoped to be more successful upon his return journey.

Encouraged by this important news, we exerted our utmost vigilance in
order that no trace should escape us.

Our provisions were running very short, therefore the three remaining
puppies were of necessity shot, and their sledge used for fuel. We were
also enabled to lengthen our journeys, as we had very smooth ice to
travel over, the off-lying islets keeping the rough pack from pressing
in upon the shore.


Upon the 29th of May we reached the western extreme of King William's
Island, in lat. 69° 08' N., and long. 100° 08' W. I named it after
Captain Crozier of the 'Terror,' the gallant leader of that "Forlorn
Hope" of which we now just obtained tidings. The coast we marched along
was extremely low--a mere series of ridges of limestone shingle, almost
destitute of fossils. The only tracks of animals seen were those of a
bear and a few foxes--the only living creatures a few willow-grouse.
Traces even of the wandering Esquimaux became much less frequent after
leaving Cape Herschel. Here were found only a few circles of stones, the
sites of tenting-places, but so moss-grown as to be of great age. The
prospect to seaward was not less forbidding--a rugged surface of
crushed-up pack, including much heavy ice. In these shallow ice-covered
seas, seals are but seldom found: and it is highly probable that all
animal life in them is as scarce as upon the land.


From Cape Crozier the coast-line was found to turn sharply away to the
eastward; and early in the morning of the 30th May we encamped alongside
a large boat--another melancholy relic which Hobson had found and
examined a few days before, as his note left here informed me; but he
had failed to discover record, journal, pocket-book, or memorandum of
any description.

A vast quantity of tattered clothing was lying in her, and this we first
examined. Not a single article bore the name of its former owner. The
boat was cleared out and carefully swept that nothing might escape us.
The snow was then removed from about her, but nothing whatever was


This boat measured 28 feet long, and 7 feet 3 inches wide; she was built
with a view to lightness and light draught of water, and evidently
equipped with the utmost care for the ascent of the Great Fish River;
she had neither oars nor rudder, paddles supplying their place, and as a
large remnant of light canvas, commonly known as No. 8, was found, and
also a small block for reeving a sheet through, I suppose she had been
provided with a sail. A sloping canvas roof or rain-awning had also
formed part of her equipment. She was fitted with a weather-cloth 9
inches high, battened down all round the gunwale, and supported by 24
iron stanchions, so placed as to serve likewise for rowing thowels.
There were 50 fathoms of deep-sea sounding-line near her, as well as an
ice grapnel. She appeared to have been originally "carvel" built; but
for the purpose of reducing weight, very thin fir planks had been
substituted for her seven upper strakes, and put on "clincher" fashion.


The weight of the boat alone was about 700 or 800 lbs. only, but she was
mounted upon a sledge of unusual weight and strength. It was constructed
of two oak planks 23 feet 4 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and
with an average thickness of 2-1/2 inches. These planks formed the sides
or runners of the sledge; they were connected by five cross-bars of oak,
each 4 feet long, and 4 inches by 3-1/2 inches thick, and bolted down to
the runners; the underneath parts of the latter were shod with iron.
Upon the cross-bars five saddles or supporting chocks for the boat were
lashed, and the drag-ropes by which the crew moved this massive sledge,
and the weights upon it, consisted of 2-3/4 inch whale-line.

I have calculated the weight of this sledge to be 650 lbs.; it could not
have been less, and may have been considerably more. The total weight of
boat and sledge may be taken at 1400 lbs., which amounts to a heavy
load for seven strong healthy men.


The only markings about the boat were those upon her stem, by which we
learned that she was built by contract, was received into Woolwich
Dockyard in April, 184 ,[22] and was numbered 61. There may have been a
fourth figure to the right hand, as the stem had been reduced in order
to lighten the boat. The ground the sledge rested upon was the usual
limestone shingle, perfectly flat, and probably overflowed at times
every summer, as the stones were embedded in ice.

The boat was partially out of her cradle upon the sledge, and lying in
such a position as to lead me to suppose it the effect of a violent
north-west gale. She was barely, if at all, above the reach of
occasional tides.

One hundred yards from her, upon the land side, lay the stump of a
fir-tree 12 feet long, and 16 inches in diameter at 3 feet above the
roots. Although the ice had used it roughly during its drift to this
shore, and rubbed off every vestige of bark, yet the wood was perfectly
sound. It may have been and probably has been lying there for twenty or
thirty years, and during such a period would suffer less decay in this
region of frost than in one-sixth of the time at home. Within two yards
of it I noticed a few scanty tufts of grass.



But all these were after observations; there was that in the boat which
transfixed us with awe. It was portions of two human skeletons. One was
that of a slight young person; the other of a large, strongly-made,
middle-aged man. The former was found in the bow of the boat, but in too
much disturbed a state to enable Hobson to judge whether the sufferer
had died there; large and powerful animals, probably wolves, had
destroyed much of this skeleton, which may have been that of an officer.
Near it we found the fragment of a pair of worked slippers, of which I
give the pattern, as they may possibly be identified. The lines were
white, with a black margin; the spaces white, red, and yellow. They had
originally been 11 inches long, lined with calf-skin with the hair left
on, and the edges bound with red silk ribbon. Besides these slippers
there were a pair of small strong shooting half-boots. The other
skeleton was in a somewhat more perfect state,[23] and was enveloped
with clothes and furs; it lay across the boat, under the after-thwart.
Close beside it were found five watches; and there were two
double-barrelled guns--one barrel in each loaded and cocked--standing
muzzle upwards against the boat's side. It may be imagined with what
deep interest these sad relics were scrutinised, and how anxiously every
fragment of clothing was turned over in search of pockets and
pocket-books, journals, or even names. Five or six small books were
found, all of them scriptural or devotional works, except the 'Vicar of
Wakefield.' One little book, 'Christian Melodies,' bore an inscription
upon the title page from the donor to G. G. (Graham Gore?) A small Bible
contained numerous marginal notes, and whole passages underlined.
Besides these books, the covers of a New Testament and Prayerbook were


Amongst an amazing quantity of clothing there were seven or eight
pairs of boots of various kinds--cloth winter boots, sea boots,
heavy ankle boots, and strong shoes. I noted that there were silk
handkerchiefs--black, white, and figured--towels, soap, sponge,
tooth-brush, and hair-combs; mackintosh gun-cover, marked outside with
paint A 12, and lined with black cloth. Besides these articles we found
twine, nails, saws, files, bristles, wax-ends, sailmakers' palms,
powder, bullets, shot, cartridges, wads, leather cartridge-case,
knives--clasp and dinner ones--needle and thread cases, slow-match,
several bayonet-scabbards cut down into knife-sheaths, two rolls of
sheet-lead, and, in short, a quantity of articles of one description and
another truly astonishing in variety, and such as, for the most part,
modern sledge-travellers in these regions would consider a mere
accumulation of dead weight, but slightly useful, and very likely to
break down the strength of the sledge-crews.

The only provisions we could find were tea and chocolate; of the former
very little remained, but there were nearly 40 pounds of the latter.
These articles alone could never support life in such a climate, and we
found neither biscuit nor meat of any kind. A portion of tobacco and an
empty pemmican-tin, capable of containing 22 pounds weight, were
discovered. The tin was marked with an E; it had probably belonged to
the 'Erebus.' None of the fuel originally brought from the ships
remained in or about the boat, but there was no lack of it, for a
drift-tree was lying on the beach close at hand, and had the party been
in need of fuel they would have used the paddles and bottom-boards of
the boat.

In the after part of the boat we discovered eleven large spoons, eleven
forks, and four teaspoons, all of silver; of these twenty-six pieces of
plate, eight bore Sir John Franklin's crest, the remainder had the
crests or initials of nine different officers, with the exception of a
single fork which was not marked; of these nine officers, five belonged
to the 'Erebus,'--Gore, Le Vesconte, Fairholme, Couch, and Goodsir.
Three others belonged to the 'Terror,'--Crozier, (a teaspoon only),
Hornby, and Thomas. I do not know to whom the three articles with an owl
engraved on them belonged, nor who was the owner of the unmarked fork,
but of the owners of those we can identify, the majority belonged to the
'Erebus.' One of the watches bore the crest of Mr. Couch, of the
'Erebus,' and as the pemmican tin also came from that ship, I am
inclined to think the boat did also; the authorities at Woolwich could
tell (by her number) to which ship she was supplied; and as one of the
pocket chronometers found in the boat was marked, "Parkinson and
Frodsham 980," and the other "Arnold 2020," it could also be ascertained
to which ship they had been issued.[24]


Sir John Franklin's plate perhaps was issued to the men for their use,
as the only means of saving it; and it seems probable that the officers
generally did the same, as not a single iron spoon, such as sailors
always use, has been found. Of the many men, probably twenty or thirty,
who were attached to this boat, it seemed most strange that the remains
of only two individuals were found, nor were there any graves upon the
neighboring flat land; indeed, bearing in mind the season at which these
poor fellows left their ships, it should be remembered that the soil was
then frozen hard, and the labor of _cutting_ a grave very great indeed.

I was astonished to find that the sledge was directed to the N.E.,
exactly for the next point of land for which we ourselves were

The position of this abandoned boat is about 50 miles--as a sledge would
travel--from Point Victory, and therefore 65 miles from the position of
the ships; also it is 70 miles from the skeleton of the steward, and 150
miles from Montreal Island; it is moreover in the depth of a wide bay,
where, by crossing over 10 or 12 miles of very low land, a great saving
of distance would be effected, the route by the coast-line being about
40 miles.

A little reflection led me to satisfy my own mind at least, that the
boat was returning to the ships: and in no other way can I account for
two men having been left in her, than by supposing the party were unable
to drag the boat further, and that these two men, not being able to keep
pace with their shipmates, were therefore left by them supplied with
such provisions as could be spared to last until the return of the
others from the ship with a fresh stock.

Whether it was the intention of the retroceding party to await the
result of another season in the ships, or to follow the track of the
main body to the Great Fish River, is now a matter of conjecture. It
seems highly probable that they had purposed revisiting the boat, not
only on account of the two men left in charge of it, but also to obtain
the chocolate, the five watches, and many other articles which would
otherwise scarcely have been left in her.

The same reasons which may be assigned for the return of this detachment
from the main body, will also serve to account for their not having come
back to their boat. In both instances they appear to have greatly
overrated their strength, and the distance they could travel in a given

Taking this view of the case, we can understand why their provisions
would not last them for anything like the distance they required to
travel; and why they would be obliged to send back to the ships for
more, first taking from the detached party all provisions they could
possibly spare. Whether all or any of the remainder of this detached
party ever reached their ships is uncertain; all we know is, that they
did not revisit the boat, and which accounts for the absence of more
skeletons in its neighborhood; and the Esquimaux report that there was
no one alive in the ship when she drifted on shore, and that but one
human body was found by them on board of her.


After leaving the boat we followed an irregular coast-line to the N. and
N.W., up to a very prominent cape, which is probably the extreme of land
seen from Point Victory by Sir James Ross, and named by him Point
Franklin, which name, as a cape, it still retains.

I need hardly say that throughout the whole of my journey along the
shores of King William's Land I caused a most vigilant look-out to be
kept to seaward for any appearance of the stranded ship spoken of by the
natives; our search was however fruitless in that respect.


[21] See Conclusion, p. 317.

[22] Only the first three figures of the date upon her stem remained,
thus--184 .

[23] No part of the skull of either skeleton was found, with the
exception only of the lower jaw of each.

[24] These chronometers, according to the receipts in office, were
supplied one to each ship in 1845; but it is impossible to tell to which
ship the boat belonged, as the number is imperfect.


 Errors in Franklin's records--Relics found at the cairn--Reflections
   on the retreat--Returning homeward--Geological remarks--Difficulties
   of summer sledging--Arrive on board the 'Fox'--Navigable N.W.
   passage--Death from scurvy--Anxiety for Captain Young--Young returns

{JUNE, 1859.}


On the morning of 2nd June we reached Point Victory. Here Hobson's note
left for me in the cairn informed me that he had not found the slightest
trace either of a wreck anywhere upon the coast, or of natives to the
north of Cape Crozier.

Although somewhat short of provisions, I determined to remain a day here
in order to examine an opening at the Bottom of Back Bay, called so
after Sir George Back, by his friend Sir James Ross, and which had not
been explored. This proved to be an inlet nearly 13 miles deep, with an
average width of 1-1/2 or 2 miles; I drove round it upon the dog sledge,
but found no trace of human beings; it was filled with heavy old ice,
and was therefore unfavorable for the resort of seals, and consequently
of natives also.

The direction of the inlet is to the E.S.E.; we found the land on either
side rose as we advanced up it, and attained a considerable elevation,
except immediately across its head, where alone it was very low; I have
conferred upon it the name of Collinson, after one who will ever be
distinguished in connection with the Franklin search, and who kindly
relieved Lady Franklin of much trouble by taking upon himself the
financial business of this expedition.

An extensive bay, westward of Cape Herschel, I have named after Captain
Washington, the hydrographer, a steadfast supporter of this final

All the intermediate coast-line along which the retreating crews
performed their fearful march is sacred to their names alone.

Hobson's note informed me of his having found a second record, deposited
also by Lieut. Gore in May, 1847, upon the south side of Back Bay, but
it afforded no additional information.


It is strange that both these papers state the ships to have wintered in
1846-7 at Beechey Island! So obvious a mistake would hardly have been
made had any importance been attached to these documents. They were
soldered up in thin tin cylinders, having been filled up on board prior
to the departure of the travellers; consequently the day upon which they
were _deposited_ was not filled in; but already the papers were much
damaged by rust,--a very few more years would have rendered them wholly
illegible. When the record left at Point Victory was opened to add
thereto the supplemental information which gives it its chief value,
Captain Fitzjames, as may be concluded by the color of the ink, filled
in the date--28th--in May, when the record was originally deposited. The
cylinder containing this record had not been soldered up again; I
suppose they had not the means of doing so; it was found on the ground
amongst a few loose stones which had evidently fallen along with it from
the top of the cairn. Hobson removed every stone of this cairn down to
the ground and rebuilt it.

Brief as these records are, we must needs be contented with them; they
are perfect models of official brevity. No log-book could be more
provokingly laconic. Yet, that _any record at all_ should be deposited
after the abandonment of the ships, does not seem to have been intended;
and we should feel the more thankful to Captains Crozier and Fitzjames,
to whom we are indebted for the invaluable supplement; and our gratitude
ought to be all the greater when we remember that the ink had to be
thawed, and that writing in a tent during an April day in the Arctic
regions is by no means an easy task.

Besides placing a copy of the record taken away by Hobson from the
cairn, we both put records of our own in it; and I also buried one under
a large stone ten feet true north from it, stating the explorations and
discoveries we had made.


A great quantity and variety of things lay strewed about the cairn, such
as even in their three days' march from the ships the retreating crews
found it impossible to carry further. Amongst these were four heavy sets
of boat's cooking stoves, pickaxes, shovels, iron hoops, old canvas, a
large single block, about four feet of a copper lightning conductor,
long pieces of hollow brass curtain rods, a small case of selected
medicines containing about twenty-four phials, the contents in a
wonderful state of preservation; a deep circle by Robinson, with two
needles, bar magnets, and light horizontal needle all complete, the
whole weighing only nine pounds; and even a small sextant engraved with
the name of "Frederick Hornby" lying beside the cairn without its case.
The colored eye-shades of the sextant had been taken out, otherwise it
was perfect; the movable screws and such parts as come in contact with
the observer's hand were neatly covered with thin leather to prevent
frost-bite in severe weather.

The clothing left by the retreating crews of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror'
formed a huge heap four feet high; every article was searched, but the
pockets were empty, and not one of all these articles were
marked,--indeed sailors' warm clothing seldom is. Two canteens, the
property of marines, were found, one marked "88 C^o. Wm. Hedges," and
the other "89 C^o. Wm. Hether." A small pannikin made out of a
two-pound preserved-meat tin had scratched on it "W. Mark."

When continuing my homeward march, and, as nearly as I could judge,
2-1/2 or 2-3/4 miles to the north of Point Victory, I saw a few stones
placed in line, as if across the head of a tenting place to afford some
shelter; here it was I think that Lieutenant Gore deposited the record
in May, 1847, which was found in 1848 by Lieutenant Irving, and finally
deposited at Point Victory. Some scraps of tin vessels were lying about,
but whether they had been left by Sir James Ross' party in May, 1830, or
by the Franklin Expedition in 1847 or 1848, is uncertain.[25]

Here ended my own search for traces of the lost ones. Hobson found two
other cairns, and many relics, between this position and Cape Felix.
From each place where any trace was discovered the most interesting of
the relics were taken away, so that the collection we have made is very


Of these northern cairns I will write a description when I have received
Hobson's account of his journey; but here it is as well to state his
opinion, as well as my own, that no part of the coast between Cape Felix
and Cape Crozier has been visited by Esquimaux since the fatal march of
the lost crews in April, 1848; none of the cairns or numerous articles
strewed about--which would be invaluable to the natives--or even the
driftwood we noticed, had been touched by them. From this very
significant fact it seems quite certain that they had not been
discovered by the Esquimaux, whose knowledge of the "white men falling
down and dying as they walked along" must be limited to the shore-line
southward and eastward of Cape Crozier, and where, of course, no traces
were permitted to remain for us to find. It is not probable that such
fearful mortality would have overtaken them so early in their march as
within 80 miles by sledge-route from the abandoned ships--such being
their distance from Cape Crozier; nor is it probable that we could have
passed the wreck had she existed there, as there are no off-lying
islands to prevent a ship drifting in upon the beach; whilst to the
southward they are very numerous; so much so that a drifting ship could
hardly run the gauntlet between them so as to reach the shore.

The coast from Point Victory northward is considerably higher than that
upon which we have been so many days; the sea also is not so shallow,
and the ice comes close in; to seaward all was heavy close pack,
consisting of all descriptions of ice, but for the most part old and


From Walls' Bay I crossed overland to the eastern shore, and reached my
depôt near the entrance of Port Parry on the 5th June, after an absence
of thirty-four days. Hence I purposed travelling alongshore to Cape
Sabine, in order to avoid the rough ice which we encountered when
crossing direct from Cape Victoria in April, and also hoping to obtain a
few more observations for the magnetic inclination.

The weather became foggy as we approached Prince George's Bay, therefore
we were obliged to go well into it before attempting to cross. We gained
the land--upon the opposite side, as I supposed--and which would lead us
direct to Cape Sabine; but when the weather cleared up we saw a long low
island to seaward of us, which puzzled me much. Eventually I found we
had discovered a strait leading from Prince George's Bay into Wellington
Strait, about 8 miles south of Cape Sabine.

This discovery cost us a day's delay, and was therefore unwelcome, as we
were then in daily expectation and dread of the thaw, which renders all
travelling so very difficult; and we were still 230 long miles from our
ship. In this strait we found a deserted snow village of seventeen huts;
one of them was unusually large, its internal diameter being 14 feet.
The men soon scraped together enough blubber to supply us with fuel for
our homeward march. Strewed about on the ice or in every snow-hut were
shavings and chips of fresh wood; in one of them I found a child's
toy--a miniature sledge--made of wood. No traces of natives were found
upon either shore at this place, nor had I met with any since leaving
the western coast of the island to the southward of Cape Crozier.

Having passed through nearly to the eastern end of the strait, we cut
off some distance by crossing overland, so as to reach the sea-coast 3
or 4 miles southward of Cape Sabine. A few willow-grouse, two foxes, and
a young reindeer were seen. There was some vegetation upon the land, and
animals appeared to resort to this locality in tolerable abundance; the
contrast between it and the low, barren shore we had so recently come
from was striking indeed!


Nothing can exceed the gloom and desolation of the western coast of King
William's Island: Hobson and myself had some considerable experience of
it; his sojourn there exceeded a month; its climate seems different from
that of the eastern coast; it is more exposed to north-west winds, and
the air was almost constantly loaded with chilling fogs. Everywhere upon
the shores of the island I noticed boulders of dark gneiss; upon the
west coast they were generally small, and of a dark gray color. About
the north part of the island Hobson found a good deal of sandstone, the
probable result of ice-drift from Melville Island or Banks Land.

This land gives one the idea of its having risen within a recent
geological period from the sea--not suddenly, but at regular intervals;
the numerous terraces or beach-marks form long horizontal lines, rising
very gradually, and in due proportion as their distance increases from
the sea; near the shore they are, of course, most distinct. Upon the
west coast some fossils were picked up, chiefly impressions of shells.

King William's Island is for the most part extremely barren, and its
surface clotted over with innumerable ponds and lakes. It is not by any
means the "land abounding with reindeer and musk oxen" which we expected
to find: the natives told us there were none of the latter and very few
of the former upon it.


On the 8th June the first ducks and brent geese were seen flying
northward. Passing over the extreme point of Cape Victoria, Boothia
Land, near which we saw the deserted snow-huts of our March
acquaintances, and shortly afterwards crossing the mouth of the deep bay
to the north of it, in which, sheltered by the island, a ship would find
security from ice pressure, and very tolerable winter quarters, we again
reached the straight low limestone coast of Boothia Felix.


I was unable to make any delay at the Magnetic Pole, nor could I find a
trace of Ross' cairn;[26] but at each of our encampments along the
coast the magnetic inclination was carefully observed. Throughout my
whole journey I availed myself of every opportunity of obtaining these
most interesting observations, often remaining up, after we had encamped
for rest, six or seven hours in order to do so; but the instruments
supplied for this purpose were not well adapted, and occasioned me a
vast deal of labor and loss of time, so as to diminish to almost
one-third the results I should otherwise have obtained. Much snow has
disappeared off the land; and the ridges or ancient beaches, being the
parts most free from snow, showed out strongly in long, dark, horizontal
lines, rising above each other until lost to view in the interior. Here
and there a few fossil shells and corals were picked up, and four or
five willow-grouse shot.

_13th June._--We passed from limestone to granite in lat. 71° 10' N.
Here the land attains to considerable elevation. In the hollows of the
dark granite rocks we found abundance of water, and also in a few places
upon the sea-ice; it was quite evident that in another day or two the
snow would altogether yield to the warmth of summer; birds were now
frequently seen.

We discovered a narrow channel to the eastward of the one between the
Tasmania Group, through which we had passed with so much difficulty in
April; our new channel was covered with smooth ice, and was also much


At one of our depôts lately visited, a note left by Hobson informed me
of his being six days in advance of me, and also of his own serious
illness; for many days past he had been unable to walk, and was
consequently conveyed upon the sledge; his men were hastening home with
all their strength and speed, in order to get him under the Doctor's
care. We also were doing our best to push on, lest the bursting out of
melting snow from the various ravines should render the ice impassable.

On the 15th the snow upon the ice everywhere yielded to the effects of
increased temperature; I was, indeed, most thankful at its having
remained firm so long. To make any progress at all after this date was
of course a very great labor, requiring the utmost efforts of both the
men and the dogs; nor was the freezing mixture through which we trudged
by any means agreeable; we were often more than knee-deep in it.

We succeeded in reaching False Strait on the morning of the 18th June,
and pitched our tent just as heavy rain began to descend; it lasted
throughout the greater part of the day. After travelling a few miles
upon the Long Lake, further progress was found to be quite impossible,
and we were obliged to haul our sledges up off the flooded ice, and
commence a march of 16 or 17 miles overland for the ship. The poor dogs
were so tired and sore-footed, that we could not induce them to follow
us; they remained about the sledges. After a very fatiguing scramble
across the hills and through the snow valleys we were refreshed with a
sight of our poor dear lonely little 'Fox,' and arrived on board in time
for a late breakfast on the 19th June.


With respect to a _navigable_ North-West Passage, and to the probability
of our having been able last season to make any considerable advance to
the southward, had the barrier of ice across the western outlet of
Bellot Strait permitted us to reach the open water beyond, I think,
judging from what I have since seen of the ice in the Franklin Strait,
that the chances were greatly in favor of our reaching Cape Herschel, on
the S. side of King William's Land, by passing (as I intended to do)
_eastward_ of that island.

From Bellot Strait to Cape Victoria we found a mixture of old and new
ice, showing the exact proportion of pack and of clear water at the
setting in of winter. Once to the southward of the Tasmania Group, I
think our chief difficulty would have been overcome; and south of Cape
Victoria I doubt whether any further obstruction would have been
experienced, as but little, if any, ice remained. The natives told us
the ice went away, and left a clear sea every year. As our discoveries
show the Victoria Strait to be but little more than 20 miles wide, the
ice pressed southward through so narrow a space could hardly have
prevented our crossing to Victoria Land, and Cambridge Bay, the
wintering place reached by Collinson, from the _west_.

No one who sees that portion of Victoria Strait which lies between King
William's Island and Victoria Land, as we saw it, could doubt of there
being but one way of getting a ship through it, that way being the
_extremely_ hazardous one of drift through in the pack.

The wide channel between Prince of Wales' Land and Victoria Land admits
a vast and continuous stream of very heavy ocean formed ice from the
N.W., which presses upon the western face of King William's Island, and
chokes up Victoria Strait in the manner I have just described. I do not
think the North-West Passage could ever be sailed through by passing
westward--that is, to windward--of King William's Island.

If the season was so favorable for navigation as to open the northern
part of this western sea[27] (as, for instance, in 1846, when Sir J.
Franklin sailed down it), I think but comparatively little difficulty
would be experienced in the more southern portion of it until Victoria
Strait was reached. Had Sir John Franklin known that a channel existed
eastward of King William's _Land_ (so named by Sir John Ross), I do not
think he would have risked the besetment of his ships in such very heavy
ice to the westward of it; but had he attempted the north-west passage
by the _eastern_ route, he would probably have carried his ships safely
through to Behring Strait. But Franklin was furnished with charts which
indicated no passage to the eastward of King William's Land, and made
that land (since discovered by Rae to be an island) a peninsula attached
to the continent of North America; and he consequently had but one
course open to him, and that the one he adopted.

My own preference for the route by the east side of the island is
founded upon the observations and experience of Rae and Collinson in
1851-2-4. I am of opinion that the barrier of ice off Bellot Strait,
some 3 or 4 miles wide, was the only obstacle to our carrying the 'Fox,'
according to my original intention, southward to the Great Fish River,
passing _east_ of King William's Island, and from thence to a wintering
position on Victoria Land. Perhaps some future voyager, profiting by the
experience so fearfully and fatally acquired by the Franklin expedition,
and the observations of Rae, Collinson, and myself, may succeed in
carrying his ship through from sea to sea: at least he will be enabled
to direct all his efforts in the true and only direction. In the mean
time to Franklin must be assigned the earliest discovery of the
North-West Passage, though not the actual accomplishment of it in his

{JULY, 1859.}

_Saturday, 2nd July._--Upon my arrival on board on the morning of the
19th June, my first inquiries were about Hobson; I found him in a worse
state than I expected. He reached the ship on the 14th, unable to walk,
or even stand without assistance; but already he was beginning to amend,
and was in excellent spirits. Christian had shot several ducks, which,
with preserved potato, milk, strong ale, and lemon-juice, completed a
very respectable dietary for a scurvy-stricken patient. All the rest
were tolerably well; slight traces only of scurvy in two or three of the
men. The ship was as clean and trim as I could expect, and all had well
and cheerfully performed their duties during my absence; hardly any game
had been shot, except one bear.


The Doctor now acquainted me with the death of Thomas Blackwell, ship's
steward, which occurred only five days previously, and was occasioned
by scurvy. This man had scurvy when I left the ship in April, and no
means were left untried by the Doctor to promote the recovery and rally
his desponding energies; but his mind, unsustained by hope, lost all
energy, and at last he had to be forcibly taken upon deck for fresh air.
For months past the ship's spirits had been of necessity removed from
under his control.

When too late his shipmates made it known that he had a dislike to
preserved meats, and had lived the whole winter upon salt pork! He also
disliked preserved potato, and would not eat it unless watched, nor
would he put on clean clothes which others in charity prepared for him.
Yet his death was somewhat unexpected; he went on deck as usual to walk
in the middle of the day, and, when found there, was quite dead. His
remains were buried beside those of our late shipmate Mr. Brand.


The news of our success to the southward in tracing the footsteps of the
lost expedition greatly revived the spirits of my small crew; we wished
only for the safe and speedy return of Young and his party.

Captain Young commenced his spring explorations on the 7th April, with a
sledge-party of four men, and a second sledge drawn by six dogs under
the management of our Greenlander, Samuel; finding in his progress that
a channel existed between Prince of Wales' Land and Victoria Land
whereby his discovery and search would be lengthened, he sent back one
sledge, the tent, and four men to the ship, in order to economise
provisions, and for forty days journeyed with one man (George Hobday)
and the dogs, encamping in such snow lodges as they were able to build.

This great exposure and fatigue, together with extremely bad weather,
and a most difficult coast-line to trace, greatly injured his health; he
was compelled to return to the ship on 7th June for medical aid, but
proposing at all hazards to renew his explorations almost immediately.
Dr. Walker met this determination by a strong protest in writing against
his leaving the ship again, his health being quite unequal to it; but
after three days Young felt himself somewhat better, and, with a zeal
which knew no bounds, set off to complete his branch of the search,
taking with him both his sledge-parties.

From the Doctor's account I felt most anxious for his return, lest his
health, or that of his companions, should receive permanent injury; in
fact this was now my only cause of anxiety. The season was rather
forward here, and advancing with unusual rapidity, rain and wind
dissolving the snow and ice; there was much water in Bellot Strait,
extending from Half-way Island eastward to the table-land, and thence in
a narrow lane to Long Island. After a day or two I could perceive a
vast improvement in Hobson; and my own four men, with the exception of
Hampton, who required rest, were in sound health; so also was my
companion Petersen. On 24th June Christian shot two small reindeer,
which gave us 170 lbs. of meat; a few days before that he shot a seal,
which afforded two sumptuous meals for all on board.


The time having elapsed during which Young expected to remain absent,
and the difficulties of the transit from the western sea having become
greatly increased, I set off early on the 25th June with my four men,
intending to visit Pemmican Rock; but failing to come across him there,
I resolved to carry on provisions as far as Four River Point, in the
hope of meeting with him, and of facilitating his return. To our
surprise the water had all drained off the frozen surface of the Long
Lake, and it therefore afforded excellent travelling. We found the poor
dogs lying quietly beside our sledges; they had attacked the pemmican,
and devoured a small quantity which was not secured in tin, also some
blubber, some leather straps, and a gull that I had shot for a specimen;
but they had not apparently relished the biscuit. Poor dogs! they have a
hard life of it in these regions. Even Petersen, who is generally kind
and humane, seems to fancy they must have little or no feeling: one of
his theories is, that you may knock an Esquimaux dog about the head
with any article, however heavy, with perfect impunity to the brutes.
One of us upbraided him the other day because he broke his whip-handle
over the head of a dog. "_That was nothing at all_," he assured us: some
friend of his in Greenland found he could beat his dogs over the head
with a heavy hammer,--it stunned them certainly,--but by laying them
with their mouths open to the wind, they soon revived, got up and ran
about "_all right_."

We lost no time in giving them a good feed, the first for seven days,
yet they did not seem unusually hungry, and soon coiled themselves up to
sleep again. Whilst the men and dogs were employed next day in conveying
a sledge to the east end of the lake, I walked to Cape Bird to look out
for the absent party, but they had not yet returned to Pemmican Rock.

When vainly endeavoring, with felonious intentions, to climb up a steep
cliff to the breeding-places of some silvery gulls, I saw and shot a
brent goose, seated upon an accessible ledge, and made a prize of four
eggs; it seems strange that this bird should have selected so unusual a
breeding-place. Many seals were basking on the ice, and the watercourse
by which our sledges ascended a week before to the Long Lake was now a
strong and rapid stream. A few reindeer were seen.


On the 27th I sent three of the men back to the ship, and with Thompson
and the dogs went on to Pemmican Rock, where, to our great joy, we
happily met Young and his party, who had but just returned there, after
a long and successful journey the particulars of which I will give

Young was greatly reduced in flesh and strength, so much weakened indeed
that for the last few days he had travelled on the dog sledge;
Harvey--also far from well--could just manage to keep pace with the
sledge; his malady was scurvy. Their journeys had been very depressing;
most dismal weather, low, dreary limestone shores devoid of game, and no
traces of the lost expedition. The news of our success in the southern
journeys greatly cheered them. On the following day we were all once
more on board, and indulging in such rapid consumption of eatables as
only those can do who have been much reduced by long-continued fatigue
and exposure to cold. Venison, ducks, beer and lemon-juice, daily;
preserved apples and cranberries three times a week; and pickled
whale-skin--a famous antiscorbutic--_ad libitum_ for all who liked it.
The weather, which for the last week had been wet, windy, and miserable,
now set in fair. The carpenter's hammer, and the men's voices at their
work, were new and animating sounds.


[25] It is a remarkable circumstance that when, in 1830, Sir James Ross
discovered Point Victory, he named two points of land, then in sight,
Cape Franklin and Cape Jane Franklin respectively. Eighteen years
afterwards Franklin's ships perished within sight of those headlands.

[26] This cairn, as well as the one built on Point Victory in 1830, was
removed by the natives; fortunately they had not visited Point Victory
whilst the Franklin cairn and record remained there, otherwise neither
cairn nor record would have remained for us to discover.

[27] This channel is now named after the illustrious navigator, Admiral
Sir John Franklin.

[28] This will be understood when it is recollected that W. of Simpson's
Straits or Victoria Land, a navigable passage to Behring Strait is known
to exist along the coast of North America. Franklin himself, with his
companion Richardson, surveyed by far the greater portion of that
distance. Franklin's and Parry's discoveries overlap each other in
longitude, and for the last thirty years or more the discovery of the
North-West Passage has been reduced to the discovery of a link uniting
the two.


 Signs of release--Dearth of animal life--Owl is good beef--Beat out of
   winter quarters--Our game-list--Reach Fury Beach--Escape from
   Regent's Inlet--In Baffin's Bay--Captain Allen Young's
   journey--Disco; sad disappointment--Part from our Esquimaux
   friends--Adieu to Greenland--Arrive home.


To-day (_2nd July_) I took a long and delightful walk, but shot only two
ducks; Petersen went in another direction, and got nothing; Christian,
after toiling all day in his kayak, returned with only two divers and a
duck. Lately he has obtained for us several king and long-tailed ducks
(no eider ducks have been seen), two red-throated divers, and two brent
geese, and caught an ermine in its summer coat. Yesterday one of the men
brought on board a trout weighing 2 lbs.; he saw a glaucous gull and a
fox disputing for it; the former seems to have killed and brought it to

The water now washes the south side of the Fox Islands, and extends to
the south point of Long Island. The month of June has been somewhat
warmer than usual, its mean temperature being +35-1/2°.

_9th._--The ship has been thoroughly cleaned and restowed, remaining
provisions examined, tanks filled with fresh water, 12 tons of stone
ballast taken in, and everything brought on board that was landed last
autumn. Hobson is the only one upon the sick list; but he is able to
walk about and does duty. Very few birds, and only one small seal, have
been obtained during the week; an occasional great northern diver is
seen, and a rare land bird has been shot. We cannot discover the nests
of either ducks or geese, and the breeding cliffs of the gulls being
inaccessible, we have not got any eggs. I am a close prisoner at the
corner of my table, poring over my observation and angle book, and have
at length laid down upon paper the west coast of King William's Land to
my satisfaction. Tidal observations are commenced; and the aneroid and
mercurial barometers are again being compared in order to verify the


_16th. Saturday night._--We are now almost ready for sea. There is a
much larger space of water in Bellot Strait, reaching within 300 or 400
yards of us. Long cracks or lanes of water have been seen in Prince
Regent's Inlet. The decay of the ice continues, though not with equal
rapidity, yet with very satisfactory despatch. Westerly winds and clear
weather prevail. Christian has seen two reindeer this week, and has shot
a very few birds, and seven seals. As these creatures lie basking upon
the ice, he crawls up to them behind a small calico screen, fitted upon
a miniature sledge about a foot long, on which there is a rest for the
muzzle of his rifle, and a slit in the calico through which he fires it.
The seals afford an average weight of thirty pounds of excellent fresh
meat, which we relish greatly, and consider much better suited to our
present condition than such poor venison as reindeer would furnish at
this season. A single hare has been shot; the white fur has nearly all
disappeared, and left exposed the summer coat of dull lead color.
Several small birds not common to the northward are found here. Insects
abound; the Doctor is perpetually in chase, unless busily occupied in
grubbing up plants. Young is surveying the harbor. Hobson fully occupied
in preparing the ship for sea. I have been giving some attention to the
engines and boiler, and hope, with the help of the two stokers, to be
able to make use of our steam power.

The men have received my hearty thanks for their great exertions during
the travelling period. I told them I considered every part of our search
to have been fully and efficiently performed. Our labors have determined
the exact position of the extreme northern promontory of the continent
of America; I have affixed to it the name of Murchison, after the
distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society--the strenuous
advocate for this "further search"--and the able champion of Lady
Franklin when she needed all the support which private friendship and
public spirit could bestow.

[Illustration: Walruses--A Family Party.]


_23rd._--The ice in Prince Regent's Inlet is broken up into pack, but
the prevalence of easterly winds keeps it in close upon the shore. The
ice about us is very much decayed, holes through it in many places. No
reindeer seen this week, and only two seals procured; one of them shot
by Christian, the other was killed by a bear, which ran off before
Samuel could come within shot of him. A fox, a gull, a couple of ducks,
and one or two lemmings; complete our game list for the week, yet our
two Esquimaux are indefatigable in the pursuit. We eat all the birds and
seals we can shoot, as well as mustard and cress as fast as we can grow
it, but the quantity is very small. We sometimes refresh ourselves with
a salad of sorrel-leaves, or roots of the little plant with lilac flower
of snapdragon shape, named _Pedicularis hirsuta_.

The seine has been hauled in the narrow lake at the head of the harbor,
but, as it was not well managed, only a dozen small trout were taken,
though several were seen. We have tried for rock cod, but without
success. The relics of the lost expedition have been aired, exhibited to
the crew, labelled, and packed away. The Doctor has been dredging
lately. A record detailing our proceedings has been placed in a cairn
upon the west point of Depôt Bay.

{AUG., 1859.}

_1st August._--A long continuance of unusually calm, bright, and warm
weather has been favorable to our painting and cleaning the ship,
scraping masts, and so forth. The result is that she looks unusually
smart and gay, and our impatience to exhibit her, and _ourselves_ at
home is much increased. With the exception of a few gulls, and a duck,
our hunters have shot nothing lately, although constantly out, either
darting about in their kayaks or ranging over the hills; in fact there
is nothing which they _can_ shoot; the ducks are tolerably numerous, but
extremely wild; the valleys are respectably clothed with vegetation, yet
only one animal--a hare--has been seen. I was so fortunate as to shoot a
snowy owl, the flesh of which was white and tender, but, to my palate,
tasteless, although Petersen considers that "owl is the best beef in the


On Thursday night we found the harbor-ice to be quietly drifting out, of
course taking us with it. The night was calm, the current in Bellot
Strait very strong; we were almost helpless under the circumstances, and
therefore felt the danger of our position. To warp the ship along the
ice-edge, out of the way of the shore and rocks as it turned round and
drifted along the cliffs to the westward, gave us some hours'
occupation. At length it stuck fast between Fox Island and the main.

At turn of tide on Friday morning it began to drift eastward, and by
this time being much broken up, and a breeze coming to our aid, we
managed to extricate ourselves and reach a secure anchorage in Point

On Saturday night some ice that was left came drifting out of the inner
harbor, and obliged us to slip our cable; but after a few hours we
regained our berth in safety, and have since been undisturbed. There is
no immediate prospect of escape, but we expect a prodigious smashing up
of the ice whenever a strong wind springs up to set it in motion. To-day
the steam was got up, and with the help of our two stokers I worked the
engines for a short time. It is very cheering to know that we still have
steam power at our command, although, by the deaths of poor Mr. Brand
and Robert Scott, we were deprived of our engineer and engine-driver.

The mean temperature for July has been 40·14°, which is above the
average for this region; the July temperatures have usually varied from
36° to 42°.

All are now in good health, but Hobson still a little lame. The issue of
lemon-juice has been reduced to the ordinary allowance of half an ounce
daily (as we have but little that is really good), lest another winter
should become inevitable, which, I can devoutly say, may God forbid!


_Monday night, 8th._--Very anxiously awaiting an opportunity to escape.
We have constantly watched the ice from the neighboring hills, including
the lofty summit of Mount Walker--named after the Doctor, who was the
first to ascend it (1123 feet)--from which Fury Point can be
distinguished, but nothing very cheering has been seen. We had a N.E.
gale, accompanied by rain and a considerable fall of the barometer, a
few days ago; and as it blew freshly from the westward this morning, I
went to a hill-top and saw that much ice had been broken up in Brentford
Bay, and that there were streaks of water along the land between
Possession Point and Hazard Inlet; this water, however, was not
accessible to us.

The ice about Pemmican Rock was much in the same position as we found it
last year, but Bellot Strait was perfectly clear. All the ice in this
harbor, in Depôt Bay, and Hazard Inlet, is gone, by far the greater part
having decayed, not drifted away.

Later in the day and from loftier hill-tops, a good deal of water was
seen off Cape Garry, and a water-sky beyond. It now blows very strongly
from the S.W., the most desirable quarter; and as the anxious desire to
escape has become oppressive, it is not to be wondered at that now our
hopes have become extravagant. We may even make a start to-morrow! On
the other hand, a careful examination of our provision store shows that,
should we be obliged to spend another winter here, we must curtail our
allowance of meat--fresh and salt--to three-quarters of a pound, and
have to use but very indifferent lemon-juice. The spirits, I rejoice to
say, will very shortly be entirely expended.


On the morning of the 3rd instant, when the rain ceased and N.E. gale
sprang up, two claps of thunder were distinctly heard; this occurs but
very rarely in these latitudes. There is ample occupation for the men
but not much for the officers; as for myself, I write a great deal, and
work occasionally at our chart of discoveries; the only refreshment I
indulge in is an occasional dive into packets of old letters. All
yesterday the harbor was full of ice set in by southerly and westerly
winds, and so closely packed that one might have walked over it to the
shore; to-day it has nearly all drifted out again. The subjoined list
will show what game we have been able to obtain by constant and arduous
labor from the resources of these regions during nearly two years'


    |    8 Months in the Pack, 1857-8.     |
    | Bears. | Seals. | Dovekies. | Foxes. |
    |        |        |           |        |
    |   2    |   73   |    38     |   1    |

    |             11 Months in Port Kennedy, 1858-9.                 |
    | Bears. | Deer. | Hares. | Foxes. | Ptarmigan. | Wild  | Seals. |
    |        |       |        |        |            | Fowl. |        |
    |        |       |        |        |            |       |        |
    |   2    |   8   |   9    |   19   |     82     |  98   |   18   |

    At Port Kennedy several ermines and lemmings were also caught.

    The ptarmigan all disappeared after 1st April.

    Only 2 dovekies were seen, 1 in winter, and 1 in summer plumage.

    A few seals were seen as early as the month of February.

    Ducks, geese, and gulls were the usual kind of wild fowl killed.

    During the 4 months occupied in sailing from Davis Strait to Bellot
    Strait, many looms and rotchies, and 5 or 6 bears were shot.

_Wednesday, 10th._--The S.W. wind proved a good friend to us; by the
morning of the 9th it had moved the ice off shore, and cleared away a
passage for us out of Brentford Bay. We started under steam at eleven
o'clock yesterday morning, and, passing round Long Island, made sail
along the land towards Cape Garry, there being a channel about 2 or 3
miles wide between the pack and the shore.


The wind now failed us, and I experienced some little difficulty in the
management of the engines and boiler; the latter primed so violently as
to send the water over our top gallant yard, and the tail valve of the
condenser by some means had got out of its seat, and admitted air to the
condenser; but eventually we got the engines to work well, and steamed
across Creswell Bay during the night. The pack rested against Fury
Point, and an east wind springing up, we made fast to a large grounded
mass of ice in Adelaide Bay, about 1/4 mile off shore, and in 3 fathoms
water, at eleven o'clock this morning. Having managed the engines for
twenty-four consecutive hours, I was not sorry to get into bed. We were
hardly out of Brentford Bay when fulmar petrels and white whales were
seen; the first we have noticed for eleven and a half months. Dovekies
are likewise abundant, and a seal has already been shot. Creswell Bay is
perfectly clear of ice, but this pale limestone land is the perfection
of sterility, even with the rugged hills of Brentford Bay in lively

Upon the east side of Port Kennedy the bones of whales were found in two
places a mile apart from each other; the lowest of them was 180 feet
above the sea, the second was more than 300 feet high. The latter I
examined, and found a jaw-bone, two ribs, a joint of the vertebræ, and
fragments of other bones, all more or less buried in the soil, and much
heavier than the bones of a recent animal; they lay within 40 or 60
yards of each other, and upon a little flat patch of rather rich earth,
a rocky hill above, and steep slope below;--they are also nearly a mile


Of the traces which we have left behind us, the most considerable are
the graves of our two shipmates within the western point of our little
harbor; they were tastefully sodded round, and planted over with the
usual Arctic flowers. There is our record in a conspicuous cairn at the
west point of Depôt or Transition Bay: we left also three cases of
pemmican near the east end of the Long Lake, and our travelling boat
near its west end, at the head of False Strait.


_Monday, 15th._--Strong east winds, with much rain, have imprisoned us
here for the last four days, and driven the whole pack close in,
completely filling up Creswell Bay. We remain fast to the grounded ice,
which shields us from pressure, otherwise we should have been driven
irretrievably on shore. A couple more seals and a white whale have been
shot; the latter measured 13-1/2 feet long, and proved to be a female of
ordinary dimensions, and of an uniform cream color; the eyes are
extremely small, and orifices of the ears scarcely large enough to admit
a crow-quill. We dined off steaks of the flesh, and prefer it to seal,
which it very much resembles, but it is not quite so tender; the skin is
greatly prized by the Greenlanders as an antiscorbutic; it is a sort of
gristly gelatinous substance, nearly half an inch thick, and possessing
very little taste; fried and eaten with fish-sauce, it reminded me of
cod sound, though not so good.

The blubber fills two twenty-gallon casks; it produces oil of a quality
superior to seal oil; not an ounce of the flesh or skin of this huge
animal has been thrown away, the men having a wholesome dread of scurvy,
and unbounded confidence in "blood-meat," such as this! The Doctor has
picked up a few fossils very similar to those formerly brought home from
Port Leopold.


To our great joy the east wind died away this morning, and immediately a
west wind sprang up, which very quickly freshened to a smart gale. At
four o'clock this afternoon we were able to make sail, the ice having
moved about 3 miles off shore. Passed within a mile of Fury Beach two
hours afterwards, and saw the framing of the house, the boats and casks
very distinctly.

_17th._--After passing Fury Beach it fell calm, so we steamed up as far
as Batty Bay. On Tuesday afternoon we were off Port Leopold, running
fast, when thick fog came on, and we got involved in loose ice, and
seriously damaged our rudder. The boats and stores at Port Leopold
appeared to remain as we left them last year. The flag-staff on the
summit of North-east Cape (over Whale Point) is still standing, but not

Fog and ice obstructed our progress during the night; but this morning
when I came on deck at eight o'clock, the day was bright, clear, and
charming; no ice visible, except about Leopold Island, which was now
some miles behind us. Towards evening the wind became contrary.

_Sunday evening, 21st._--At sea--out of sight of land!

On the 19th we were somewhat delayed by loose ice off Cape Hay, but by
noon yesterday were close off Cape Burney, and whilst almost becalmed
there, a mother bear swam off to us with two interesting cubs about the
size of very large dogs. Foolish creatures! a volley of rifles decided
their fate in a very few seconds. Not finding any whaling vessels off
Pond's Inlet, the land-ice which shelters the whales having all
disappeared, we therefore concluded that the whalers had left in
consequence, so, without seeking for them further south, at once changed
our course for Disco.

To-day only a few icebergs have been seen. There is a good deal of
swell, so we tumble about. Roast _veal_ has appeared amongst the
delicacies of our table since the battue of yesterday, and Christian has
asked for a portion of the old bear to carry home to his mother. Bear's
flesh is really considered a delicacy in Greenland.

_25th._--Becalmed off Hare Island, and getting the steam ready. We are
only 108 miles from Godhavn, and the anxiety to clutch our letters has
become intolerable. No pack-ice has been met with in our passage across
Baffin's Bay, but many icebergs. This morning the lofty snow-clad land
of Noursoak and Disco was beautifully distinct; and at the same time the
wind died away, leaving us, at least, the opportunity to contemplate at
our _leisure_ their gloomy grandeur.


_26th._--Steamed for ten hours last night. Fair winds and calms have
alternated since then, but this evening we are within 20 miles, and hope
soon to get into port. I have been reading over Young's report of his
spring journey. It comprises seventy-eight days of sledge-travelling,
and certainly under most discouraging circumstances. Leaving the ship on
7th April, he crossed the western strait to Prince of Wales' Land, and
thence traced its shore to the south and west. On reaching its southern
termination--Cape Swinburne, so named in honor of Rear-Admiral
Swinburne, a much-esteemed friend of Sir J. Franklin, and one of the
earliest supporters of this final expedition--he describes the land as
extremely low and deeply covered with snow, the heavy grounded hummocks
which fringed its monotonous coast alone indicating the line of
demarcation betwixt land and sea. To the north-east of this terminal
cape the sea was covered with level floe formed in the fall of last
year, whilst all to the north-westward of the same cape was pack
consisting of heavy ice-masses, formed perhaps years ago in far distant
and wider seas.

Young attempted to cross the channel which he discovered between Prince
of Wales' Island and Victoria Land; but from the rugged nature of the
ice, found it quite impracticable with the means and time remaining at
his disposal. Young expresses his firm conviction that this channel is
so constantly choked up with unusually heavy ice as to be quite
unnavigable; it is, in fact, a _continuous ice-stream_ from the N.W. His
opinion coincides with my own, and with those of Captains Ommanney and
Osborn, when those officers explored the north-western shores of Prince
of Wales' Land in 1851.

Fearing that his provisions might run short he sent back one sledge with
four men, and continued his march with only one man and the dogs for
forty days! They were obliged to build a snow-hut each night to sleep
in, as the tent was sent back with the men; but latterly, when the
weather became more mild, they preferred sleeping on the sledge, as the
constructing of a snow-hut usually occupied them for two hours. Young
completed the exploration of this coast beyond the point marked upon the
charts as Osborn's farthest, up nearly to lat. 73° N., but no cairn was
found. Young, however, recognized the remarkably shaped conical hills
spoken of by Osborn, when he at his farthest, in 1851, struck off to the

The coast-line throughout was extremely low; and in the thick
disagreeable weather which he almost constantly experienced, it was
often a matter of great difficulty to prevent straying off the
coast-line inland. He commenced his return on the 11th May, and reached
the ship on 7th June, in wretched health and depressed in spirits.

Directly his health was partially re-established, he, in spite of the
Doctor's remonstrances, as I have before said, again set out on the 10th
with his party of men and the dogs, to complete the exploration of both
shores of the continuation of Peel Sound, between the position of the
'Fox' and the points reached by Sir James Ross in 1849, and Lieutenant
Browne in 1851. This he accomplished without finding any trace of the
lost expedition, and the parties were again on board by 28th June. The
ice travelled over in this last journey was almost all formed last

The extent of coast-line explored by Captain Young amounts to 380 miles,
whilst that discovered by Hobson and myself amounts to nearly 420 miles,
making a total of 800 geographical miles of new coast-line which we have
laid down.


Hobson's report is a minute record of all that occurred during his
journey of seventy-four days, and includes a list of all the relics
brought on board, or seen by him. He suffered very severely in health:
when only ten days out from the ship, traces of scurvy appeared; when a
month absent he walked lame; towards the latter end of the journey he
was compelled to allow himself to be dragged upon the sledge, not being
able to walk more than a few yards at a time; and on arriving at the
ship on the 14th June, poor Hobson was unable to stand. How strongly
this bears upon the last sad march of the lost crews! And yet Hobson's
food throughout the whole journey was pemmican of the very best quality,
the most nutritious description of food that we know of, and varied
occasionally by such game as they were able to shoot. In spite of this
fresh-meat diet, scurvy advanced with rapid strides.

After leaving me at Cape Victoria, he says--"No difficulty was
experienced in crossing James Ross Strait. The ice appeared to be of but
one year's growth; and although it was in many places much crushed up,
we easily found smooth leads through the lines of hummocks; many very
heavy masses of ice, evidently of foreign formation, have been here
arrested in their drift: so large are they that, in the gloomy weather
we experienced, they were often taken for islands."

Again, at Cape Felix, he observes,--"The pressure of the ice is severe,
but the ice itself is not remarkably heavy in character; the shoalness
of the coast keeps the line of pressure at considerable distance from
the beach; to the northward of the island the ice, as far as I could
see, was very rough, and crushed up into large masses." Here we notice
the gradual change in the character of the ice as Hobson left the
Boothian shore and advanced towards Victoria Strait. The "very heavy
masses of ice, evidently of foreign formation," had drifted in from the
N.W. through M'Clure Strait; Victoria Strait was full of it; and
Hobson's description of the ice he passed over clearly illustrates how
Franklin, leaving clear water behind him, pressed his ships into the
pack when he attempted to force through Victoria Strait. How very
different the result _might_ and probably _would_ have been had he known
of the existence of a ship-channel, sheltered by King William Island
from this tremendous "polar pack"!

Hobson left King William Island on the last day of May, having spent
thirty-one days on its desolate shores. During that period one bear and
five willow-grouse were shot; one wolf and a few foxes were seen. One
poor fox was either so desperately hungry, or so charmed with the rare
sight of animated beings, that he played about the party until the dogs
snapped him up, although in harness and dragging the sledge at the time.
A few gulls were seen, but not until after the first week in June.

I have already explained how Hobson found the records and the boat: he
exercised his discretionary power with sound judgment, and completed his
search so well, that, in coming over the same ground after him, I could
not discover any trace that had escaped him.

I quite agree with him that there may be many small articles beneath the
snow; but that cairns, graves, or any conspicuous objects could exist
upon so low and uniform a shore, without our having seen them, is
_almost_ impossible.


_Sunday evening, 29th._--Calm, warm, lovely, weather; and we are
thoroughly enjoying it in the quiet security of Lievely harbor, or
Godhavn. Although Friday night was dark, we managed to find out the
harbor's mouth, and slowly steamed into it. The inhabitants were awoke
by Petersen demanding our letters, but great indeed was our
disappointment at finding only a very few letters and two or three
papers, and these for the officers only! It appears that on the arrival
of the whalers in early spring, the ice prevented their usual
communication with the settlement, therefore the letters on board of
them were unavoidably carried northward. Some few, however, which came
out in the 'Truelove,' were landed at the neighboring settlement of
Noursoak, and from thence were sent back to Godhavn.

It is rather a nervous thing opening the first letters after a lapse of
more than two years. We received them in our beds at three o'clock in
the morning; and when we met at breakfast were able, thank God! to
congratulate each other upon the receipt of cheering home news. Lady
Franklin and Miss Cracroft wrote to me from Bournemouth in March last.
They have travelled more than we have, I think, having visited almost
all the countries bordering the Mediterranean and Black Seas, posted
through the Crimea, and steamed up the Danube! I am much gratified to
learn that I have been elected a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron
during my absence.


Yesterday morning I called upon the inspector, Mr. Olrik, who has been
home to Denmark since I saw him last spring. In the autumn he took Mrs.
Olrik and his family to Copenhagen, and has but just returned alone. He
received me with his usual kindness, and promised me such supplies as we
require. It so happens that none of my expected business letters have
arrived, so that I am not accredited in the slightest degree, nor is
there any hint thrown out as to where I am to take the 'Fox.' Mr. Olrik
gave me a large bundle of 'Illustrated London News,' which was
exceedingly acceptable, and told us that Austria was at war with France
and Sardinia. By the latest news a battle had been fought and won by the
latter Powers. Most fortunately a 'Navy List' had come out to Hobson,
otherwise I think we should have been utterly brokenhearted. We study
its pages daily, and delight in noticing the advancement of our many

{SEPT., 1859.}

_1st Sept., Thursday night._--At sea, on _the passage_, and already
enjoying, by anticipation, the pleasures of home! Five busy days were
spent in Godhavn, supplying our little wants, in as far as they could be
supplied, including 100 gallons of light beer. The natives were very
useful, the men bringing off water, stone ballast, and sand, and a troop
of Esquimaux girls scrubbing the paintwork and the decks.

Each evening the men went on shore, taking with them a very limited
quantity of rum-punch for the ladies, and danced for several hours in a
large store; whilst the officers and myself spent the time with Mr.
Olrik or the other Danish gentlemen--Messrs. Andersen, Bulbrue, and
Tyner. Nothing could exceed their kindness to us, whilst their good
humor and their anecdotes, sometimes expressed in quaint English,
greatly amused us. We shall always retain very agreeable recollections
of Godhavn; twice has it been to us an Arctic home.


Mr. Petersen's nieces, the belles of the place, came on board (Miss
Sophia with scented cambric handkerchief and gloves--in other respects
she adheres to the Esquimaux costume); they were pleased with the organ,
although it is out of repair, and they sang together very sweetly for
us. Our Esquimaux shipmates, Christian and Samuel, were discharged, and,
by their own request their wages given in charge to Mr. Olrik and Mr.
Bulbrue; they seemed to understand the importance of husbanding their
wealth. Christian said he thought it would not be all spent under three
years. First of all he intended buying a rifle for his brother, and then
some wood to build a house for himself.

I was gratified very much when I heard them say that the men had treated
them very well--"all the same as brothers;" and they really seemed sorry
to leave the ship; they would come on board and look gravely about at
everything as if regretting the coming separation. Even our poor dogs
seemed to think the ship their natural abode; although landed at the
settlement, they soon ran round the harbor to the point nearest the
ship, and there, upon the rocks, spent the whole period of our stay.

On Tuesday night we set off some fireworks on shore to amuse the
natives, for I intended sailing next day, but the wind prevented my
doing so. The last day was spent in the interchange of presents between
our Danish friends and ourselves; indeed, the sincere hearty good
feeling which existed between every individual in the 'Fox' and the
inhabitants of the settlement was as gratifying as apparent. Almost the
only fresh supplies obtained here were rock cod and salmon-trout from
Disco fiord. During our stay the weather was delightful; indeed it was
the first really fine weather they had experienced at Godhavn during the
present season, the summer having been cold and wet.


_10th Sept., Saturday night._--To-day we passed to the eastward of Cape
Farewell, but about 100 miles to the south of it. The last iceberg was
seen to-day; and now we are running along swiftly before a pleasant N.W.
breeze. Hitherto we have had every variety of wind and weather, from a
calm to a gale, but generally the wind has been favorable. The change of
temperature is already perceptible.


_Saturday night, 17th Sept._--A week of favorable gales has brought us
from Cape Farewell to within 400 miles of Land's End, or about 1100
miles of distance. But such rough weather is not pleasant in so small a
vessel, however much "like a duck" she may be; and our two years'
sojourn in the still waters of the frozen North has made us very
susceptible of the change.


We sailed all the way home from Greenland, yet the 'Fox' made the
passage in only nineteen days, arriving in the English Channel on the
20th September; on the evening of the 21st I reached London (having
landed at Portsmouth), and made known to the Admiralty the result of my

On the 23rd September the 'Fox' was taken into dock at Blackwall; and,
through the kindness and promptitude of the Lords of the Admiralty, I
was enabled on the 27th, when the crew were assembled for the last time,
to present the Arctic medal to such of my companions as had not already
received it for previous Arctic service, and also to inform Lieutenant
Hobson that his promotion to the rank of Commander would speedily take

I will not intrude upon the reader, who has followed me through the
pages of this simple narrative, any description of my feelings on
finding the enthusiasm with which we were all received on landing upon
our native shores. The blessing of Providence had attended our efforts,
and more than a full measure of approval from our friends and countrymen
has been our reward. For myself the testimonial given me by the officers
and crew of the 'Fox' has touched me perhaps more than all. The purchase
of a gold chronometer, for presentation to me, was the first use the men
made of their earnings; and as long as I live it will remind me of that
perfect harmony, that mutual esteem and goodwill, which made our ship's
company a happy little community, and contributed materially to the
success of the expedition.

The names I have given to my discoveries are, with the exception of
those by which I have endeavored to honor the members of the lost
expedition, the names of active supporters of the recent search, and
friends of Franklin and his companions, though such names are far from
exhausting the number of those who have the highest claims to
distinction on both grounds.

It will be observed that I have refrained from repeating names which
have already been commemorated by preceding commanders, and which
therefore are already in our charts. Besides the individuals already
mentioned in the narrative, Sir Thomas D. Acland, one of the most
zealous promoters of the search, both in and out of the House of
Commons; Monsieur De la Roquette, Vice-President of the Geographical
Society of Paris, and author of an interesting biography of Franklin;
Rear-Admiral Fitzroy; and Major-General Pasley, R.E., stand high amongst
those whom it has been my privilege to honor.

Although much talent has been brought to bear upon the deciphering of
the letters found in a pocket-book near Cape Herschel (page 248 _ante_),
yet, from their being so very much defaced by time, only a few detached
sentences have been made out, and these do not in the slightest degree
refer to the proceedings of the lost expedition.

It will be seen that I have noticed (page 260) the discrepancy between
the number of souls accounted for by the Point Victory Record, and the
generally received opinion that 138 individuals sailed in the 'Erebus'
and 'Terror.'

I am now enabled to state, on the authority of the Admiralty, that only
one hundred and thirty-four individuals left the United Kingdom, and of
these five men subsequently returned: one by H.M.S. 'Rattler,' and four
by the transport 'Barretto Junior;' so that only one hundred and
twenty-nine--the exact number mentioned in the record--actually entered
the ice. The five invalids were--

    From H.M.S. 'Terror,' John Brown, Able seaman.
          "               Robert Carr, Armorer.
          "               James Elliot, Sailmaker.
          "               William Aitken, Marine.
    From H.M.S. 'Erebus,' Thomas Birt, Armorer.

The relics we have brought home have been deposited by the Admiralty in
the United Service Institution, and now form a national memento--the
most simple and most touching--of those heroic men who perished in the
path of duty, but not until they had achieved the grand object of their
voyage,--the _Discovery of the North-West Passage_.

_London, 24th Nov., 1859._


No. I.


                                      60, Pall Mall, December 2, 1856.


I trust I may be permitted, as the widow of Sir John Franklin, to draw
the attention of Her Majesty's Government to the unsettled state of a
question which a few months ago was under their consideration, and to
express a well-grounded hope that a final effort may be made to
ascertain the fate and recover the remains of my husband's expedition.

Your Lordship will allow me to remind you that a Memorial[29] with this
object in view (of which I enclose a printed copy) was early in June
last presented to, and kindly received by you. It had been signed within
forty-eight hours by all the leading men of science then in London who
had an opportunity of seeing it, and might have received an indefinite
augmentation of worthy names had not the urgency of the question
forbidden delay. To the above names were appended those of the Arctic
officers who had been personally engaged in the search, and who, though
absent, were known to be favorable to another effort for its completion.
And though that united application obtained no immediate result, it was
felt, and by no one more strongly than myself, that it never could be
utterly wasted.

I venture also to allude to a letter of my own addressed to the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty in April last, and a copy of which
accompanied, I believe, the Memorial to your Lordship, wherein I
earnestly deprecated any premature adjudication of the reward claimed by
Dr. Rae, on the ground that the fate of my husband's expedition was not
yet ascertained, and that it was due both to the living and the dead to
complete a search which had been hitherto pursued under the greatest
disadvantage, for want of the clue which was now for the first time in
our hands.

The Memorial above alluded to, and my own letter of earlier date, had
not yet received any reply, when, in the month of July, the Lords of the
Admiralty caused prompt inquiries to be made as to the possibility of
equipping a ship at that advanced season, in time for effective
operations in the field of search. The result was that it was pronounced
to be too late, and the subject was dismissed for that season.

Upon this I addressed a letter to the Board (of which I take the liberty
to enclose a copy), respectfully showing that by this unfortunate delay
the opportunity had also been taken from me of sending out a vessel at
my own cost, a measure which I had previously felt myself obliged to
state to their Lordships would be the alternative of any adverse
decision on their part. I pleaded therefore, as the only remedy for the
loss of an entire summer season, that the route by Behring Strait was by
some of the most competent Arctic officers considered preferable to the
eastern route, and that the equipment of a vessel for this direction
need not take place before the close of the year.

In reply, their Lordships caused me to be informed that "they had come
to the decision not to send any expedition to the Arctic regions in the
present year."

This communication, however, was in answer merely to my own letter. The
Memorialists had as yet received no reply, and accordingly the President
of the Royal Society put a question respecting the Memorial in the House
of Lords at the close of the session, which drew from one of Her
Majesty's Ministers (Lord Stanley), after some preliminary observations,
the assurance that Her Majesty's Government would give the subject their
serious consideration during the recess. I may be permitted to add,
that, in the conversation which followed, Lord Stanley expressed himself
as very favorably disposed towards a proposition made to him by Lord
Wrottesley, that, in the event of there being no Government expedition,
I should be assisted in fitting out my own expedition; an assurance
which Lord Wrottesley had the kindness to communicate to me by letter.

But, my Lord, as nothing has occurred within the last few months to
weaken the reasons which induced the Admiralty, early in July last, to
contemplate another final effort, and as they put it aside at that time
on the sole ground that it was too late to equip a vessel for that
season, I trust it will be felt that I am not endeavoring to re-open a
closed question, but merely to obtain the settlement of one which has
not ceased to be, and is even now, under favorable consideration. The
time has arrived, however, when I trust I may be pardoned for pressing
your Lordship, with whom I believe the question rests, for a decision,
since by further delay even my own efforts may be paralyzed.

I have cherished the hope, in common with others, that we are not
waiting in vain. Should, however, that decision unfortunately throw upon
me the responsibility and the cost of sending out a vessel myself, I beg
to assure your Lordship that I shall not shrink, either from that
weighty responsibility, or from the sacrifice of my entire available
fortune for the purpose, supported as I am in my convictions by such
high authorities as those whose opinions are on record in your
Lordship's hands, and by the hearty sympathy of many more.

But before I take upon myself so heavy an obligation, it is my bounden
duty to entreat Her Majesty's Government not to disregard the arguments
which have led so many competent and honorable men to feel that our
country's honor is not satisfied, whilst a mystery which has excited the
sympathy of the civilized world, remains uncleared. Nor less would I
entreat you to consider what must be the unsatisfactory consequences, if
any endeavors should be made to quench all further efforts for this

It cannot be that this long-vexed question would thereby be set at rest,
for it would still be true that in a certain circumscribed area within
the Arctic circle, approachable alike from the east, and from the west,
and sure to be attained by a combination of both movements, lies the
solution of our unhappy countrymen's fate. While such is the case, the
question will never die. I believe that again and again would efforts be
made to reach that spot, and that the Government could not look on as
unconcerned spectators, nor be relieved in public opinion of the
responsibility they had prematurely cast off.

But I refrain from pursuing this argument, though, if any illustration
were wanting of its truth, I think it might be found in the events that
are passing before our eyes.

It is now about two years ago that one of Her Majesty's Arctic ships was
abandoned in the ice. In due time this ship floated away, was picked up
by an American whaler, carried into an American port, and (all property
in her having been relinquished by the Admiralty) was purchased of her
rescuers by the American Government, by whom she has been lavishly
re-equipped, and is now on her passage to England, a free gift to the
Queen. The 'Resolute' is about to be delivered up in Portsmouth harbor,
not merely in evidence of the cordial relation existing between the two
countries, but as a lively token of the deep interest and sympathy of
the Americans in that great cause of humanity in which they have so
nobly borne their part. The resolution of Congress expressly states this
motive, and indeed there could be no other, as it is well known that for
any purpose but the Arctic service those expensive equipments would be
perfectly useless and require removal.

My Lord, you will not let this rescued and restored ship, emblematic of
so many enlightened and generous sentiments, fail, even partially, in
her significant mission. I venture to hope that she will be accepted in
the spirit in which she is sent. I humbly trust that the American
people, and especially that philanthropic citizen who has spent so
largely of his private fortune in the search for the lost ships, and to
whom was committed by his Government the entire charge of the equipment
of the 'Resolute,' will be rewarded for this signal act of sympathy, by
seeing her restored to her original vocation, so that she may bring back
from the Arctic seas, if not some living remnant of our long-lost
countrymen, yet at least the _proofs_ that they have nobly perished.

I need not add that we have as yet no proofs, whatever may be our
melancholy forebodings. That such is the fact, in a legal point of view,
is shown by a case now or lately pending in the Scotch Courts, in which
the right of succession to a considerable property is not admitted, on
account of the absence of all but conjectural testimony. In this aspect
of the question I have no personal interest, but it is one that may not
be deemed unworthy of your Lordship's attention, combined as it must be
with the fact that our most experienced Arctic officers are willing to
stake their reputation upon the feasibility of reaching the spot where
so many secrets lie buried, if only they are supplied with the adequate

It would be a waste of words to attempt to refute again the main
objections that have been urged against a renewed search, as involving
extraordinary danger and risking life. The safe return of our officers
and men cannot be denied, neither will it be disputed that each
succeeding year diminishes the risk of casualty; and indeed, I feel it
would be especially superfluous and unseasonable to argue against this
particular objection, or against the financial one which generally
accompanies it, at a moment when new expeditions for the glorious
interests of science, and which every true lover of science and of his
country must rejoice in, are contemplated for the interior of Africa and
other parts which are far less favorable to human life than the icy
regions of the north.

But with respect to expenditure, I may perhaps be allowed, as I have
alluded to that topic, again to call to your Lordship's attention that
the 'Resolute' is ready equipped for Arctic service by the munificence
of another nation, and to add that other Arctic ships, equally well
fitted for the purpose, are lying useless in Her Majesty's dockyards,
along with accumulated Arctic stores brought back by the late
expeditions, and therefore long since included in the navy estimates,
and which, besides, are available only for Arctic service, and, if sold,
would be bought at only nominal prices. In addition to the above sources
of supply are those already existing on the Arctic shores, which are now
studded with depôts of provisions and fuel, left from the last and
former expeditions, and fit as ever for use, because of the conservative
properties of the climate.

But even were the expenditure greater than can thus reasonably be
expected, I submit to your Lordship that this is a case of no ordinary
exigency. These 135 men of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' (or perhaps I
should rather say the greater part of them, since we do not yet know
that there are no survivors) have laid down their lives, after
sufferings doubtless of unexampled severity, in the service of their
country, as truly as if they had perished by the rifle, the cannon-ball,
or the bayonet. Nay more,--by attaining the northern and
already-surveyed coast of America, it is clear that they solved the
problem which was the object of their labors, or, in the beautiful words
of Sir John Richardson, that "they forged the last link of the
North-West passage with their lives."

Surely, then, I may plead for such men, that a careful search be made
for any possible survivor, that the bones of the dead be sought for and
gathered together, that their buried records be unearthed, or recovered
from the hands of the Esquimaux, and above all, that their last written
words, so precious to their bereaved families and friends, be saved from
destruction. A mission so sacred is worthy of a government which has
grudged and spared nothing for its heroic soldiers and sailors in other
fields of warfare, and will surely be approved by our gracious Queen,
who overlooks none of Her loyal subjects suffering and dying for their
country's honor.

This final and exhausting search is all I seek in behalf of the first
and only martyrs to Arctic discovery in modern times, and it is all I
ever intend to ask.

But if, notwithstanding all I have presumed to urge, Her Majesty's
Government decline to complete the work they have carried on up to this
critical moment, but leave it to private hands to finish, I must then
respectfully request that measure of assistance in behalf of my own
expedition which I have been led to expect on the authority of Lord
Stanley, as communicated to me by Lord Wrottesley, and on that of the
First Lord of the Admiralty, as communicated to Colonel Phipps in a
letter in my possession.

It is with no desire to avert from myself the sacrifice of my own funds,
which I devote without reserve to the object in view, that I plead for a
liberal interpretation of those communications, but I owe it to the
conscientious and high-minded Arctic officers who have generously
offered me their services, that my expedition should be made as
efficient as possible, however restricted it may be in extent. The
Admiralty, I feel sure, will not deny me what may be necessary for this
purpose, since, if I do all I can with my own means, any deficiencies
and shortcomings of a private expedition cannot I think be justly laid
to my charge.

In conclusion, I would earnestly entreat of Her Majesty's Government,
while this subject is still under deliberation, that they would be
pleased to obtain the opinions of those persons who, in consequence of
their practical knowledge and vast experience, may be considered best
qualified to express them in the present emergency. And as it must be in
the ranks of those officers who would naturally be selected for command
of any final expedition that these qualifications will most assuredly be
found, I trust I may be pardoned for directing your Lordship's attention
to the names (which I put down in the order of their seniority) of
Captains Collinson, Richards, McClintock, Maguire, and Osborn. All these
officers have passed winter after winter in Arctic service, have carried
out those skilful sledge operations which have added so much to our
knowledge of Arctic Geography, and have ever, in the exercise of
combined courage and discretion, avoided disaster, and brought home
their crews in health and safety.

I commit the prayer of this letter, for the length of which I beg much
to apologize, to your Lordship's patient and kind consideration, feeling
assured that, however the burden of it may pall upon the ear of some,
who apparently judge of it neither by the heart nor by the head, you
will not on that, or on any light ground, hastily dismiss it. Rather may
you be impelled to feel that the shortest and surest way to set the
importunate question at rest, is to submit it to that final
investigation which will satisfy the yearnings of surviving relatives
and friends, and, what is justly of higher import to your Lordship, the
credit and honor of the country.

                   I have the honor to be, etc.,
                                                        JANE FRANKLIN.

The Right Hon. Viscount Palmerston, K.G.


[29] See Appendix II.

No. II.


                                                 London, June 5th, 1856.

Impressed with the belief that Her Majesty's missing ships, the 'Erebus'
and 'Terror,' or their remains, are still frozen up at no great distance
from the spot whence certain relics of Sir John Franklin and his crews
were obtained by Dr. Rae,--we whose names are undersigned, whether men
of science and others who have taken a deep interest in Arctic
discovery, or explorers who have been employed in the search for our
lost countrymen, beg earnestly to impress upon your Lordship the
desirableness of sending out an Expedition to satisfy the honor of our
country, and clear up a mystery which has excited the sympathy of the
civilized world.

This request is supported by many persons well versed in Arctic surveys,
who, seeing that the proposed Expedition is to be directed _to one
limited area only_, are of opinion that the object is attainable, and
with little risk.

We can scarcely believe that the British Government, which to its great
credit has made so many efforts in various directions to discover even
the route pursued by Franklin, should cease to prosecute research, now
that the locality has been clearly indicated where the vessels or their
remains must lie,--including, as we hope, records which will throw fresh
light on Arctic geography, and dispel the obscurity in which the voyage
and fate of our countrymen are still involved.

Although most persons have arrived at the conclusion that there can now
be no survivors of Franklin's Expedition, yet there are eminent men in
our own country and in America who hold a contrary opinion. Dr. Kane, of
the United States, for example, who has distinguished himself by pushing
farther to the north in search of Franklin than any other individual,
and to whom the Royal Geographical Society has recently awarded its
Founders' Gold Medal, thus speaks (in a letter to the benevolent Mr.
Grinnell):--"I am really in doubt as to the preservation of human life.
I well know how glad I would have been, had my duty to others permitted
me, to have taken refuge among the Esquimaux of Smith Strait and Etah
Bay. Strange as it may seem to you, we regarded the coarse life of these
people with eyes of envy, and did not doubt but that we could have lived
in comfort upon their resources. It required all my powers, moral and
physical, to prevent my men from deserting to the Walrus Settlements,
and it was my final intention to have taken to Esquimaux life had
Providence not carried us through in our hazardous escape."

But passing from speculation, and confining ourselves alone to the
question of finding the missing ships or their records, we would observe
that no land Expedition down the Back River, like that which, with great
difficulty, recently reached Montreal Island, can satisfactorily
accomplish the end we have in view. The frail birch-bark canoes in which
Mr. Anderson conducted his search with so much ability, the dangers of
the river, the sterile nature of the tract near its embouchure, and the
necessary failure of provisions, prevented the commencement, even, of
such a search as can alone be satisfactorily and thoroughly
accomplished by the crew of a man-of-war,--to say nothing of the moral
influence of a strong armed party remaining in the vicinity of the spot
until the confidence of the natives be obtained.

Many Arctic explorers, independent of those whose names are appended,
and who are absent on service, have expressed their belief that there
are several routes by which a _screw_-vessel could so closely approach
the area in question as to clear up all doubt.

In respect to one of these courses, or that by Behring Strait, along the
coast of North America, we know that a single sailing vessel passed to
Cambridge Bay, within 150 miles of the mouth of the Back River, and
returned home unscathed,--its commander having expressed his conviction
that the passage in question is so constantly open that ships can
navigate it without difficulty in one season. Other routes, whether by
Regent Inlet, Peel Sound, or across from Repulse Bay, are preferred by
officers whose experience in Arctic matters entitles them to every
consideration; whilst in reference to two of these routes it is right to
state that vast quantities of provisions have been left in their

Without venturing to suggest which of these plans should be adopted, we
earnestly beg your Lordship to sanction without delay such an expedition
as, in the judgment of a Committee of Arctic Voyagers and Geographers,
may be considered best adapted to secure the object.

We would ask your Lordship to reflect upon the great difference between
a clearly-defined voyage to a narrow and circumscribed area, within
which the missing vessels or their remains must lie, and those formerly
necessarily tentative explorations in various directions, the frequent
allusions to the difficulty of which, in regions far to the north of the
voyage now contemplated, have led persons unacquainted with geography to
suppose that such a modified and limited attempt as that which we
propose involves farther risk and may call for future researches. The
very nature of the former expeditions exposed them, it is true, to risk,
since regions had to be traversed which were totally unknown; while the
search we ask for is to be directed to a circumscribed area, the
confines of which have already been reached without difficulty by one of
Her Majesty's vessels.

Now, inasmuch as France, after repeated fruitless efforts to ascertain
the fate of La Perouse, no sooner heard of the discovery of some relics
of that eminent navigator, than she sent out a Searching Expedition to
collect every fragment pertaining to his vessels, so we trust that those
Arctic researches which have reflected much honor upon our country may
not be abandoned at the very moment when an explanation of the
wanderings and fate of our lost navigators seems to be within our grasp.

In conclusion, we further earnestly pray that it may not be left to the
efforts of individuals of another and kindred nation, already so
distinguished in this cause, nor yet to the noble-minded widow of our
lamented friend, to make an endeavor which can be so much more
effectively carried out by the British Government.

We have the honor to be, &c.,

 G. B. AIRY,

The following officers of the Royal Navy, who have been employed in the
search after Franklin, and who are now absent from London, have
previously expressed themselves to be favorable to the final expedition
above recommended:--

 Captains Sir JAMES C.
   ROSS, and Sir EDWARD

 Commodore KELLETT;

 Captains AUSTIN,
   M'CLINTOCK, and

 Commanders ALDRICH,
   TROLLOPE, and

 Lieutenants HAMILTON and

No. III.


Brought to England in the 'Fox,' by Captain M'Clintock.

Relics brought from the boat found in lat. 69° 08' 43" N., long. 99° 24'
42" W., upon the West Coast of King William Island, May 30, 1859:--

    Two double-barrelled guns, one barrel in each is loaded. Found
    standing up against the side in the after part of the boat.

    A small Prayer Book; cover of a small book of 'Family Prayers;'
    'Christian Melodies,' an inscription within the cover to "G. G."
    (Graham Gore?); 'Vicar of Wakefield;' a small Bible, interlined in
    many places, and with numerous references written in the margin; a
    New Testament in the French language.

    Two table knives with white handles--one is marked "W. R.;" a
    gimlet; an awl; two iron stanchions, 9 inches long, for supporting a
    weather cloth, which was round the boat.

    26 pieces of silver plate--11 spoons, 11 forks, and 4 teaspoons; 3
    pieces of thin elmboard (tingles) for repairing the boat, and
    measuring 11 inches by 6 inches, and 3-10ths inch thick.

    Piece of canvas:--Bristles for shoemaker's use, bullets, short clay
    pipe, roll of waxed twine, a wooden button, small piece of a
    port-fire, two charges of shot tied up in the finger of a kid glove,
    fragment of a seaman's blue serge frock. Covers of a small Testament
    and Prayer Book, part of a grass cigar-case, fragment of a silk
    handkerchief, thread-case, piece of scented soap, three shot charges
    in kid glove fingers, a belted bullet, a piece of silk pocket
    handkerchief. Two pairs of goggles, made of stout leather and wire
    gauze, instead of glass; a sailmaker's palm, two small brass pocket
    compasses, a snooding line rolled up on a piece of leather, a needle
    and thread case, a bayonet scabbard altered into a sheath for a
    knife, tin water bottle for the pocket, two shot pouches (full of

    Three spring hooks of sword belts, a gold lace band, a piece of thin
    gold twist or cord, a pair of leather goggles with crape instead of
    glass; a small green crape veil.

    Two small packets of blank cartridge in green paper, part of a
    cherry-stick pipe stem, piece of a port-fire, a few copper nails, a
    leather bootlace, a seaman's clasp-knife, two small glass stoppered
    bottles (full), three glasses of spectacles, part of a broken pair
    of silver spectacles, German silver pencil-case, a pair of silver
    (?) forceps, such as a naturalist might use for holding or seizing
    small insects, etc.; a small pair of scissors rolled up in blank
    paper, and to which adheres a printed government paper, such as an
    officer's warrant or appointment; a spring hook of a sword belt, a
    brass charger for holding two charges of shot.

    A small bead purse, piece of red sealing-wax, stopper of a pocket
    flask, German silver top and ring, brass matchbox, one of the
    glasses of a telescope, a small tin cylinder, probably made to hold
    lucifer matches; a linen bag of percussion caps of three sizes, a
    very large and old-fashioned kind, stamped "Smith's patent;" a cap
    with a flange similar to the present musket caps used by Government,
    but smaller; and ordinary sporting caps of the smallest size.

    Five watches.

    A pair of blue glass spectacles, or goggles, with steel frame, and
    wire gauze encircling the glasses, in a tin case.

    A pemmican tin, painted lead color, and marked "E." (Erebus) in
    black. From its size it must have contained 20 lb. or 22 lb.

    Two yellow glass beads, a glass seal with symbol of Freemasonry.

    A 4-inch block, strapped, with copper hook and thimble, probably for
    the boat's sheet.

Relics seen in lat. 69° 09' N., long. 99° 24' W., not brought away, 30th
of May, 1859:--

    A large boat, measuring 28 ft. in extreme length, 7 ft. 3 in. in
    breadth, 2 ft. 4 in. in depth. The markings on her stem were--"XXI.
    W. Con. N61., APr. 184." It appears that the fore part of the stem
    has been cut away, probably to reduce weight, and part of the
    letters and figures removed. An oak sledge under the boat, 23 ft. 4
    in. long, and 2 ft. wide; 6 paddles, about 60 fathoms of deep-sea
    lead line, ammunition, 4 cakes of navy chocolate, shoemaker's box
    with implements complete, small quantities of tobacco, a small pair
    of very stout shooting boots, a pair of very heavy iron-shod knee
    boots, carpet boots, sea boots and shoes--in all seven or eight
    pairs: two rolls of sheet lead, elm tingles for repairing the boat,
    nails of various sizes for boat, and sledge irons, three small axes,
    a broken saw, leather cover of a sextant case, a chain-cable punch,
    silk handkerchiefs (black, white, and colored), towels, sponge,
    tooth-brush, hair comb, a mackintosh, gun cover (marked in paint "A.
    12"), twine, files, knives; a small worsted-work slipper, lined with
    calf-skin, bound with red riband; a great quantity of clothing, and
    a wolf-skin robe; part of a boat's sail of No. 8 canvas, whale-line
    rope with yellow mark, and white line with red mark; 24 iron
    stanchions, 9-1/2 inches high, for supporting a weather cloth round
    the boat; a stanchion for supporting a ridge pole at a height of 3
    ft. 9 in. above the gunwale.

Relics found about Ross Cairn, on Point Victory, May and June, 1859,
brought away:--

    A 6-inch dip circle by Robinson, marked I 22. A case of medicines,
    consisting of 25 small bottles, canister of pills, ointment,
    plaster, oiled silk, etc. A 2-foot rule, two joints of the cleaning
    rod of a gun, and two small copper spindles, probably for dog-vanes
    of boats. The circular brass plate broken out of a wooden gun-case,
    and engraved "C. H. Osmer, R.N." The field glass and German silver
    top of a 2-foot telescope, a coffee canister, a piece of a brass
    curtain rod. The record tin and the record, dated 25th of April,
    1848. A 6-inch double frame sextant, on which the owner's name is
    engraved, "Frederick Hornby, R.N."

Found in a small cairn on the south side of Back Bay:--

    A tin record case and record.

Seen about Ross Cairn, Point Victory, not brought away:--

    Four sets of boat's cooking apparatus complete, iron hoops, 4 feet
    of a copper lightning conductor, hollow brass curtain-rod three
    quarters of an inch in diameter, 3 pickaxes, 1 shovel, old canvas, a
    pile of warm clothing and blankets 4 feet high, 2 tin canteens
    stamped "89 Co., Wm. Hedges," "88 Co., Wm. Heather," and a third one
    not marked. A small pannikin, made on board out of a 2 lb.
    preserved-meat tin, and marked "W. Mark;" a small deal box for gun
    wadding, the heavy iron work of a large boat, part of a canvas tent,
    part of an oar sawed longitudinally and a blanket nailed to its flat
    side, three boat-hook staves, strips of copper, a 9-inch single
    block strapped, a piece of rope and spun yarn. Among the clothing
    was found a stocking marked "W," green, and a fragment of one marked
    "W. S."

Relics obtained at the Northern Cairn, near Cape Felix, May, 1859:--

    Fragments of a boat's ensign, metal lid of a powder-case, two eye
    pieces of sextant tubes, brass button; worsted glove, colors red,
    white and blue; bung-stave of a marine's water keg or bottle, brass
    ornaments to a marine's shako; brass screw for screwing down lid,
    also a copper hinge of the lid of powder-case; a few patent wire
    cartridges containing large shot; part of a pair of steel
    spectacles, glass being replaced by wood, having a narrow slit in
    it; two small rib bones, probably out of salt pork; six or eight
    packets of needles; small flannel cartridge containing an ounce of
    damaged powder; a small, roughly made copper apparatus for cooking;
    some brimstone matches. Piece of white paper folded up found in the
    North Cairn, two pike-heads, narrow strip of white paper, found
    under one of the tent places; their tent places were within a few
    yards of the cairn.

    Beside a small cairn, about three miles north of Point Victory, was
    a pickaxe, with broken handle; brought away an empty tea or coffee

Articles noticed about the North Cairn, not brought away:--

    Fragments of two broken bottles, several pieces of broken basins or
    cups, blue and white delftware, hoops of marine's water keg, small
    iron hoops, fragments of white line, spun yarn, canvas, and twine;
    three small canvas tents, under which lay a bear-skin and fragments
    of blankets; two blanket frocks, several old mitts, stockings,
    gloves, pilot cloth and box cloth jackets and trousers, large shot,
    piece of tobacco and broken pipe, metal part of powder-case, top of
    tin canister, marked "cheese," preserved-potato tin, feathers of
    ptarmigan, and salt-meat bones.

Seen near Cape Maria Louisa:--

    Part of a drift tree, white spruce fir, 18 feet long, 10 inches in
    diameter; it appeared to have but recently (_i.e._, since thrown on
    the coast) been sawed longitudinally down the centre, and one-half
    of it removed.

Relics obtained from the Boothian Esquimaux, near the Magnetic Pole, in
March and April, 1859:--

    Seven knives made by the natives out of materials obtained from the
    last expedition, one knife without a handle, one spear-head and
    staff (the latter has broken off), two files; a large spoon or
    scoop, the handle of pine or bone, the bowl of musk-ox horn; six
    silver spoons and forks, the property of Sir John Franklin,
    Lieutenants H. D. Vesconte and Fairholme, A. M'Donald,
    Assistant-Surgeon, and Lieutenant E. Couch (supposed from the
    initial letter T and crest a lion's head); a small portion of a gold
    watch-chain, a broken piece of ornamental work apparently silver
    gilt, a few small naval and other metal buttons, a silver medal
    obtained by Mr. M'Donald as a prize for superior attainments at a
    medical examination in Edinburgh April, 1838: some bows and arrows,
    in which wood, iron, or copper has been used in the construction--of
    no other interest.

    _Remarks upon these Articles._

    The spear-staff measures 6 feet 3 inches in length, and appears to
    have been part of a light boat's gunwale: it measured (before being
    partially rounded to adapt it to its present use) about 1-1/2 by
    1-3/8 inches, is made of English oak, and upon the side has been
    painted white over green. The spear-head is of steel, riveted to two
    pieces of hoop, with bone between, and lashed on to the staff. The
    rivets are of copper nails. The native who sold it said he himself
    got it from the boat in the Fish River. Another spear of the same
    kind was seen. The knives are made either of iron or steel, riveted
    to two strips of hoop, between which the handle of wood is inserted,
    and rivets passed through, securing them together.

    The rivets are almost all made out of copper nails, such as would be
    found in a copper-fastened boat, but those which have been examined
    do not bear the Government mark. It is probable that most of the
    boats of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' were built by contract, and
    therefore would not have the broad arrow stamped upon their iron and
    copper work. One small knife appears to have been a surgical
    instrument. A large knife obtained in April bears some marking, such
    as a sword or a cutlass might have. The man who sold it said he
    bought it from another, who picked it up on the land where the ship
    was driven ashore by the ice, and where the white people had thrown
    it away; it was then about as long as his arm. This was the first
    information he received of one of the ships having drifted on shore.
    One knife and one file are stamped with the broad arrow. The handles
    are variously composed of oak, ash, pine, mahogany, elm, and bone.
    The spoons and forks were readily sold for a few needles each, also
    the buttons, which they wore as ornaments on their dresses. Bows and
    arrows were readily exchanged for knives. Previously to the
    stranding on the neighboring shore of the last expedition these
    people must have been almost destitute of wood or iron. Some of them
    had even got only bone knives and spear-points. Some of their
    sledges were seen, consisting of two rolls of seal-skin, flattened
    and frozen, to serve as runners, and connected together by cross
    bars of bones. Many more knives, bows and buttons, similar to those
    brought away, might have been obtained, but no personal or important

Seen in a Snow-Hut in lat. 70-1/2° deg. N., 20th of April, 1859, not
brought away:--

    Two wooden shovels, one of them made of mahogany board, some
    spear-handles and a bow of English wood, a deal case which might
    have served for a telescope or barometer. Its external dimensions
    were:--length, 3 ft. 1 in.; depth, 3-1/2 in.; width, 9 in.; two
    brass hinges remained attached to it.

Relics obtained from the Esquimaux near Cape Norton, upon the East Coast
of King William Island, in May, 1859:--

    Two tablespoons; upon one is scratched "W. W.," on the other "W.
    G.;" these bear the Franklin crest; two table forks, one bearing the
    Franklin crest; the other is also crested, probably Captain
    Crozier's; silversmith's name is "I. West;" two teaspoons, one
    engraved "A. M. D." (A. M'Donald), the other bears the Fairholme
    crest and motto; handle of a dessert knife, into which had been
    inserted a razor (since broken off) by Milliken, Strand; buttons,
    wood and iron, were here in abundance, but as enough of these had
    already been obtained no more were purchased.

    Taken out of some deserted snow-huts near here, some scraps of
    different kinds of wood, such as could not be obtained from a
    boat--teak or African oak.

    Found lying about the skeleton, 9 miles eastward of Cape Herschel,
    May, 1859:--The tie of black silk neckerchief; fragments of a
    double-breasted blue cloth waistcoat, with covered silk buttons, and
    edged with braid; a scrap of a colored cotton shirt, silk covered
    buttons of blue cloth great-coat, a small clothes-brush, a horn
    pocket-comb, a leathern pocket-book, which fell to pieces when
    thawed and dried; it contained 9 or 10 letters, a few leaves
    apparently blank; a sixpence, date 1831; and a half-sovereign, dated

    Articles seen among the natives at Cape Norton, not purchased,--Bows
    made of wood, knives, uniform and plain buttons, a sledge made of
    two long pieces of hard wood.

    From beside an Esquimaux stone-mark, on the east side of Montreal
    Island:--Part of a preserved-meat tin, painted red; part of the rim
    of some strong copper case or vessel; pieces of iron hoop, two
    pieces of flat iron, an iron hook bolt, a piece of sheet copper.

    Articles seen about a snow-hut near Point Booth, not
    purchased:--Eight or 10 fir poles, varying from 5 feet to 10 feet in
    length, the stoutest being 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Two wooden snow
    shovels about 3-1/2 feet long, and made of pieces of plank painted
    white or pale yellow; it occurred to me that the pieces of plank
    might have been the bottom boards of a boat. There was abundance of
    wood fashioned into smaller articles.

Contents of Boat's Medicine Chest:--

    One bottle labelled as zinzib. R. pulv., full; ditto, spirit. rect.,
    empty; ditto, mur. hydrarg. seven-eighths full; ditto, ol.
    caryphyll., one-fifth full; ditto, ipec. P. co., full; ditto, ol.
    menth. pip., empty; ditto, liq. ammon. fort., three-quarters full;
    ditto, ol. olivac., full; ditto, tinct. opii. camph., three-quarters
    full; ditto, vin. sem. colch., full; ditto, quarter full; ditto,
    calomel, full (broken); ditto, hydrarg. hit. oxyd., full; ditto,
    pulv. gregor, full (broken); ditto, magnes. carb., full; ditto,
    camphor, full; two bottles tinc. tolut., each quarter full; one
    bottle ipec. R. pulv., full; ditto, jalap R. pulv., full; ditto,
    scammon. pulv., full; ditto, quinac bisulph., empty; ditto (not
    labelled), tinct. opii., three-quarters full; one box (apparently)
    purgative pills, full; ditto, ointment, shrunk; ditto, emp.
    adhesiv., full; one probang, one pen wrapped up in lint, one lead
    pencil, one pewter syringe, two small tubes (test) wrapped up in
    lint, one farthing, bandages, oil silk, lint, thread.

No. IV.




From 1849 to 1859.


Fellow of Trinity College, Professor of Geology in the University of
Dublin, and President of the Geological Society of Dublin.

The map which accompanies this geological description is arranged from
the specimens brought home by Captain F. L. M'Clintock, R.N., from the
four Arctic Expeditions in which he served from 1848 to 1859. These
specimens are all deposited in the Museum of the Royal Dublin Society,
and form a more extensive and better collection of Arctic rocks and
fossils than is to be found in any other museum in Europe.

It will be most convenient to describe the geology of the Arctic Islands
by the formations which are to be found there, which are the

    1. The Granitic and Granitoid Rocks.
    2. The Upper Silurian Rocks.
    3. The Carboniferous Rocks.
    4. The Lias Rocks.
    5. The Superficial Deposits.

I shall describe these successive formations briefly, and add a few
remarks of a theoretical character, to indicate the important inferences
which may be drawn from the facts respecting them made known to us by
M'Clintock's discoveries.

I.--_The Granitic and Granitoid Rocks._

These rocks form a considerable part of North Greenland, on the east
side of Baffin's Bay, and constitute the rock of the country at the east
side of the island of North Devon, which forms a portion of the
coast-line of the west of Baffin's Bay, and the north side of the
entrance into Lancaster Sound.

1. _Whale Fish Islands_, lat. 69° N., are composed of a very
fine-grained, flaggy, black mica schist, composed of black mica in very
small plates, occasionally putting on a hornblendic lustre, and minute
grains of quartz interstratified with the mica. The softer varieties are
cut by the natives into grissets and cooking utensils of various shapes,
some of which resemble the cambstones found in Ireland, which are made
from a kind of potstone, abundant in parts of the County Donegal.

2. _Upernivik_, lat. 72° N., Greenland.--This district is famous for the
occurrence of large quantities of plumbago, which is found in a
metamorphic rock of the following character. Fine-grained, amorphous,
granitoid rock, composed of minute particles of grey quartz; a
honey-colored felspar of waxy lustre, of unknown composition; minute
particles of red semitransparent garnet, of conchoidal fracture; and
small particles, with occasional large nests, of plumbago. The plumbago
occurs both amorphous, and in long acicular crystals. Sometimes the rock
becomes of coarser texture and more crystalline, and the yellow color of
the felspar gives place to a greenish tinge; and it sometimes also
becomes a felspar of perfect cleavage, semitransparent, and white. The
dodecahedral crystals of garnet reach the diameter of one inch.

The general character of the rocks near Upernivik is different from
that of the rock in which the plumbago is found; they consist of a
fine-grained black mica schist, with very little felspar or quartz, and
intersected by thin veins of elvan composed of quartz and white felspar.
The cooking utensils of the natives are made from this fine schist, in
preference to any other description of rock.

3. _Woman's Islands._--These islands, off the west coast of Greenland,
are composed of a garnetiferous mica slate, formed of black mica in
layers, with alternating plates, composed of white felspar and quartz,
and filled with fine garnets, rose-colored, vitreous in fracture, and

4. _Cape York_, lat. 76° N., Greenland.--This cape is composed of a
fine-grained granite, consisting of quartz, white felspar, with minute
specks of a black mineral, of pitchy lustre, composition not yet

5. _Wolstenholme and Whale Sounds_, lat. 77° N., Greenland.--At
Wolstenholme Sound the granitoid rocks of Greenland become converted
into mica slate and actinolite slate of a remarkable character. The mica
slate is composed of large plates of an intimate mixture of black and
white mica, the chemical examination of which will doubtless prove of
interest. These plates of mica are separated by bands of pure white
felspar. The actinolite slate is dark green, and formed by an almost
insensible gradation from the mica slate. In the low ground between
Wolstenholme and Whale Sounds, the granitic rocks cease, and are covered
by deposits of fine red gritty sandstone, of a banded structure, and a
remarkable coarse white conglomerate. The boundary between these
formations is also marked by the development of masses of dolerite and
clayey basalt.

6. _Carey's Islands_, 76° 40' N., Greenland, lie to the westward of
Wolstenholme Sound, and are composed of a remarkable gneissose mica
schist, formed of successive thin layers of quartz granules, containing
scarcely any felspar, and layers of jet black mica, with occasional
facets of white mica. This mica schist passes into a white gneiss,
composed of quartz, white felspar, and black mica, penetrated by veins,
coarsely crystallised, of the same minerals. Yellow and white sandstones
are also found in small quantity on the islands, reposing upon the
granitoid rocks.

7. _Capes Osborn and Warrender_, lat. 74° 30' N., North Devon.--The
granitoid rocks between these two capes are composed of graphic granite,
consisting of quartz (grey) and white felspar; this graphic granite
passes into a laminated gneiss, consisting of layers of black mica and
white translucent felspar, sparingly mixed with quartz: with the gneiss
are interstratified beds of garnetiferous mica slate, consisting of
quartz, pale greenish white felspar, black and white mica in minute
spangles, and crystals of garnet, rose-colored, disseminated regularly
through the mass. Quartziferous bands of epidotic hornstone occur with
the foregoing beds; and the whole series is overlaid by red sandstones,
of banded structure, which bear a striking resemblance to those that
overlie the granitoid beds of Wolstenholme Sound.

8. _North Somerset._--The granitoid rocks are found again on the west
side of the island of North Somerset, where they form the eastern
boundary of Peel Sound. Boulders of granite are found at a considerable
distance (100 miles) to the north-eastward of the rock _in situ_, as at
Port Leopold, Cape Rennell, etc. The general character of the granitic
rocks in the north and west of North Somerset are thus described by
Captain M'Clintock:--

"Near Cape Rennell we passed a very remarkable rounded boulder of gneiss
or granite; it was 6 yards in circumference, and stood near the beach,
and some 15 or 20 yards above it; one or two masses of rounded gneiss,
although very much smaller, had arrested our attention at Port Leopold,
as then we knew of no such formation nearer than Cape Warrender, 130
miles to the north-east; subsequently we found it to commence _in situ_
at Cape Granite, nearly 100 miles to the south-west of Port Leopold.

"The granite of Cape Warrender differs considerably from that of North
Somerset; the former being a graphic granite, composed of grey quartz
and white felspar, the quartz predominating; while the latter, or North
Somerset granite, is composed of grey quartz, red felspar, and green
chloritic mica, the latter in large flakes; both the granite and gneiss
of North Somerset are remarkable for their soapy feel."[30]

[Illustration: Cape Bunny, Peel Sound.]

To the east of Cape Bunny, where the Silurian limestone ceases, and
south of which the granite commences, is a remarkable valley called
Transition Valley, from the junction of sandstone and limestone that
takes place there. The sandstone is red, and of the same general
character as that which rests upon the granitoid rocks at Cape Warrender
and at Wolstenholme Sound. Owing to the mode of travelling, by sledge on
the ice, round the coast, no information was obtained of the geology of
the interior of the country, but it appears highly probable that the
granite of North Somerset, as well as that of the other localities
mentioned, is overlaid by a group of sandstones and conglomerates, on
which the Upper Silurian limestones repose directly. A low, sandy beach
marks the termination of the valley northwards, and on this beach were
found numerous pebbles, washed from the hills of the interior, composed
of quartzose sandstone, carnelian, and Silurian limestone. The
accompanying sketch was made by Captain M'Clintock, on the spot, in
1849, and afterwards finished by Lieutenant Browne. It represents the
island called Cape Bunny, which forms the eastern headland of the
entrance of the now famous Peel Sound, down which the 'Erebus' and
'Terror' sailed, three years before it was visited by Sir James C. Ross
and Lieutenant M'Clintock, in their first sledge journey on the ice.
Cape Granite is the northern boundary of the granite, which retains the
same character as far as Howe Harbor. It is composed of quartz, red
felspar, and dark green chlorite; and is accompanied with gneiss of the
same composition. I have in my possession a specimen of this granite,
found as a pebble at Graham Moore Bay, Bathurst Island, S.W., a locality
135 knots distant from Cape Granite, to the N.W.

9. _Bellot Strait_, lat. 72° N., separate North Somerset from Boothia
Felix. The 'Fox' Expedition wintered here in 1858, and had abundant
means of ascertaining the geological structure of the neighborhood. The
junction of the granitoid and Silurian rocks occurs in these straits,
the low ground to the east being horizontal beds of Silurian limestone,
while on the west the granite hills of West Somerset rise to a height of
1600 feet above the narrow straits. The granite here is of three

α. Blackish grey, fine grained, gneissose granite, composed of quartz,
white felspar, and large quantities of fine grains and flakes of
hornblende, passing into black mica. The gneissose beds of this granite
dip 13° S.E.

β. A red granite, graphic texture, composed of quartz and red felspar,
coarse grained.

γ. Syenite, composed of honey-yellow felspar and hornblende, in very
large crystals, the felspar passing into red and pink, and the whole
rock mass penetrated by veins of the same material, but fine grained.
This variety of igneous rock was met with principally at Pemmican Rock,
western inlet of Bellot Strait. Large quantities of hornblende are also
met with at Levesque Harbor, Bellot Strait, composed of facetted
crystals agglutinated together into large masses, forming a crystalline
hornblendic gneiss.

10. _Pond's Bay_, _Baffin's Bay_, lat. 72° 40' N.--In this locality a
quartziferous black mica schist underlies the Silurian limestone, and is
interstratified with gneiss and garnetiferous quartz rock, all in beds,
inclined 38° W.S.W. (true).

11. _Montreal Island_, mouth of the Fish River, lat. 67° 45' N.--The
granitoid rocks, which everywhere, in the Arctic Archipelago, underlie
the Silurian limestone, appear at Montreal Island as a gneiss, composed
of bands of felspar (pink) and quartz (1/4 inch thick), separated by
thin plates composed altogether of black mica; the whole rock exhibiting
the phenomena of foliation in a marked degree.

The east side of King William's Island, though composed of Silurian
limestone like the rest of the island, is strewed with boulders of black
and red micaceous gneiss, like that of Montreal Island, and black
metamorphic clay slate, in which the crystals of mica (qu. Ottrelite)
are just commencing to be developed. It is probable that the granitoid
rocks appear at the surface somewhat to the eastward of this locality.

12. _Prince of Wales' Island_, west of Peel Sound.--The granitoid rocks
extend across Peel Sound into Prince of Wales' Island, in the form of a
dark syenite composed of quartz, greenish white felspar passing into
yellow, and hornblende. This rock is massive and eruptive at Cape
M'Clure, lat. 72° 52' N., and occasionally gneissose, as at lat. 72° 13'
N. Between these two points, at lat. 72° 37' N., a limestone bluff
occurs containing the characteristic Silurian fossils, and is succeeded
at 72° 40' by a ferruginous limestone, bright red, and a few beds of
fine red sandstone, like those observed by M'Clintock at Transition
Valley, North Somerset. The entire western portion of Prince of Wales'
Land is composed of Silurian limestone, which in the extreme west, at
Cape Acworth, becomes chalky in character and non-fossiliferous,
resembling the peculiar Silurian limestone found on the west side of
Boothia Felix.

II.--_The Silurian Rocks._

The Silurian rocks of the Arctic Archipelago rest everywhere directly on
the granitoid rocks, with a remarkable red sandstone, passing into
coarse grit, for their base. This sandstone is succeeded by ferruginous
limestone, containing rounded particles of quartz, which rapidly pass
into a fine greyish green earthy limestone, abounding in fossils, and
occasionally into a chalky limestone, of a cream color, for the most
part devoid of fossils. The average dip of the Silurian limestone varies
from 0° to 5° N.N.W., and it forms occasionally high cliffs, and
occasionally low flat plains, terraced by the action of the ice as the
ground rose from beneath the sea. The general appearance of the rocks is
similar to the Dudley limestone, and would strike even an observer who
was not a geologist. This resemblance to the Upper Silurian beds extends
to the structure of the rocks on the large scale. Alternations of hard
limestone and soft shale, so characteristic of the Upper Silurian beds
of England and America, arranged in horizontal layers, give to the
cliffs around Port Leopold the peculiar appearance which has been
described by different Polar navigators as "buttress-like,"
"castellated;" this appearance is produced by the unequal weathering of
the cliff, which causes the hard limestone to stand out in bands.
Excellent sketches of this remarkable appearance, drawn by Lieutenant
Beechey, are figured at page 35 of Parry's First Voyage, 'Hecla' and
'Griper,' 1819-20. The Western side of King William's Island (now,
alas! invested with so sad an interest) is a good example of the low
terraced form which the limestone rocks assume at times.

The following lists contain the names of the principal fossils brought
home by Captain M'Clintock:--

No. I. GARNIER BAY (Lat. 74° N.; Long. 92° W.)

    1. _Cyathophyllum helianthoides_, several specimens.
    2. _Heliolites porosa_. Garnier Bay. Another specimen from near
          Cape Bunny.
    3. Specimens of carnelian, gneiss, chalcedony, etc., etc., from the
          shingle near Cape Bunny.
    4. _Cromus Arcticus_, several specimens.
    5. _Atrypa phoca_ (Salter).
    6. _Atrypa reticularis._
    7. Brachiopoda on slab (various).
    8. Cyathophyllum.
    9. _Columnaria Sutherlandi_ (Salter). Several specimens.

No. II. PORT LEOPOLD (Lat. 73° 50' N.; Long. 90° 15' W.).

    1. Limestone containing numerous fossils of the Upper Silurian type:
          _Calamopora Gothlandica_, Goldf. _Rhynchonella cuneata_? Dalm.
          _Cyathophyllum_, sp.
    2. Dark earthy limestone, containing multitudes of the _Loxonema
          M'Clintocki_, as casts--1100 feet above sea-level on North-east
    3. Fine specimens of selenite from shaly beds in cliff.
    4. Fibrous gypsum from same.

No. III. GRIFFITH'S ISLAND (Lat. 74° 35' N.; Long. 95° 30' W.).

    1. Beautiful specimens of the _Cromus Arcticus_. Pl. VI. Fig. 5,
          Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I.
    2. _Orthoceras Griffithi._ Pl. V. Fig. 1, Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I.
    3. An Orthoceras with lateral siphuncle, and simple circular outline
          of septa.
    4. _Loxonema Rossi._ Pl. V. Figs. 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, Journ. R. D. S.,
          Vol. I.
    5. Numerous specimens of crinoidal limestone.
    6. _Strophomena Donnetti_ (Salter). Sutherland's Voyage; Pl. V.
          Figs. 11, 12.
    7. _Atrypa phoca_ (Salter). Pl. V. Figs. 3, 4, 7, Journ. R. D. S.,
          Vol. I.; and a ribbed Atrypa, not identified with European
          species, and undescribed.
    8. An undescribed bryozoan Zoophyte. Pl. VII. Fig. 6, Journ.
          R. D. S.,Vol. I.
    9. _Calophyllum Phragmoceras_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. VI. Fig. 4.
    10. _Syringopora geniculata._
    11. An undescribed species of _Macrocheilus_.

No. IV. BEECHEY ISLAND. (Lat. 74° 40' N.; Long. 92° W.).

    1. Orthoceras (species).
    2. Great multitudes of _Atrypa phoca_, forming, in fact, a
          dark-colored earthly Atrypa limestone.
    3. With these were associated many species of Loxonema, sometimes so
          abundant as to form a pale pink and whitish Loxonema limestone.
    4. A species of ribbed Atrypa.
    5. Crinoidal limestone in abundance.
    6. _Syringopora reticulata._
    7. _Calophyllum phragmoceras_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. VI. Fig. 4.
    8. _Cyathophyllum cæspitosum._
    9. _Cyathophyllum articulatum_ (Edwardes and Haime).
    10. _Calamopora Gothlandica._
    11. _Calamopora alveolaris._
    12. _Favistella Franklini_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. VI. Fig. 3.
    13. _Clisiophyllum Salteri._ Sutherland; Pl. VI. Fig. 7.
    14. _Cyathophyllum_ (species).
    15. _Loxonema Salteri_, described by Mr. Slater in Sutherland's
          'Voyage to Wellington Channel;' Pl. V. Fig. 19.

    This is a fine slab of limestone, almost together composed of the
    remains of _Loxonema Salteri_ and _Atrypa phoca_. It appears to have
    been quietly deposited at the bottom of a deep submarine depression,
    swarming with Pyramidellidæ and deep-water Brachiopoda. The physical
    conditions indicated by the fossils are also rendered probable by
    the rock itself, which consists of fine grey limestone,
    subcrystalline, and intimately blended with the finest and most
    delicate description of mud, such as could only be found where the
    water was deep, and all currents far removed.

No. V. CORNWALLIS ISLAND, Assistance Bay (Lat 74° 40' N.; Long. 94° W.).

    1. _Orthoceras Ommaneyi_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. V. Figs. 16, 17.
    2. _Pentamerus conchidium_ (Dalman). Sutherland; Pl. V. Figs. 9, 10.
    3. Pentamerus limestone.
    4. _Cromus Arcticus._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. VI.
    5. _Cardiola Salteri._ Pl. VII. Fig. 5. Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I.
    6. _Syringopora geniculata._

No. VI. CAPE YORK, Lancaster Sound (Lat. 73° 50' N.; Long. 87° W.).

    A specimen of the same fossil coral which I have named, doubtfully,
    from Beechey Island, as Favosites or _Calamopora Gothlandica_; it is
    not impossible, however, that it is not a Calamopora at all, but a
    species of Chætetes.

No. VII. POSSESSION BAY, South entrance into Lancaster Sound (Lat. 73°
30' N.; Long. 77° 20' W.).

    Specimens of brown earthy limestone, with a fetid smell when struck
    with a hammer; resembles closely the limestone of Cape York,
    Lancaster Sound.

No. VIII. DEPÔT BAY, Bellot Strait (Lat. 72° N.; Long. 94° W.).

    1. _Maclurea_ sp.
    2. _Cyathophyllum helianthoides_ (Goldfuss).

    The limestone at this locality is white and saccharoid, with large
    rhombohedral crystals of calcspar.

[31]No. IX. CAPE FARRAND, East side of Boothia (Lat. 71° 38'; Long. 93°
35' W.).

    1. _Atrypa phoca_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. V. Fig. 3.
    2. _Loxonema Rossi._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. V.
    3. _Atrypa_ (ribbed sp.)
    4. _Calamopora Gothlandica_ (Goldfuss).
    5. _Cyrtoceras_ sp.

    The rock at this locality is a grey mud limestone.

No. X. WEST SHORE OF BOOTHIA (Lat. 70° to 71° N.), containing the
Magnetic Pole.

    1. _Atrypa phoca_ (Salter).
    2. _Loxonema Rossi._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. V.
    3. _Favistella Franklini_ (Salter). Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. XI.
    4. _Loxonema Salteri._ Sutherland; Pl. V. Fig. 18.

    The cream-colored chalky limestone found on the west side of Prince
    of Wales' Island here occurs, and is generally destitute of fossils,
    like that of Prince of Wales' Land.

[32]No. XI. FURY POINT (Lat. 72° 50' N.; Long. 92° W.).

    1. _Cromus Arcticus._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. VI.
    2. _Maclurea_ sp.
    3. _Mya rotundata_ (?).
    4. _Stromatopora concentrica._
    5. _Cyathophyllum helianthoides_ (Goldfuss).
    6. _Petraia bina._
    7. _Calamopora Gothlandica_ (Goldfuss).
    8. _Favosites megastoma (?)._
    9. _Cyathophyllum cæspitosum._
    10. _Favistella Franklini_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. VI. Fig. 3.
    11. _Strephodes Austini_ (Salter). Sutherland; Pl. VI. Fig. 6.
    12. _Atrypa phoca_ (Salter).

    The limestone here is of the same grey earthy aspect as at Beechey
    Island and Port Leopold.

[33]No. XII. PRINCE OF WALES' LAND (Lat. 72° 38' N.; Long. 97° 15' W.).

    1. _Cyathophyllum_ sp.
    2. _Calamopora Gothlandica_ (Goldfuss).
    3. _Stromatopora concentrica._

    These fossils occur in grey earthy limestone, near its junction with
    the red arenaceous limestone already described.


    1. _Loxonema Rossi._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol I. Pl. V.
    2. _Catenipora escharoides._
    3. _Orthoceras_ sp.
    4. _Maclurea_ sp.
    5. _Atrypa_ sp.
    6. _Syringopora geniculata._
    7. _Clisiophyllum_ sp.
    8. _Orthis elegantula._

III.--_The Carboniferous Rocks._

The Upper Silurian limestones already described are succeeded by a most
remarkable series of close-grained white sandstones, containing numerous
beds of highly bituminous coal, and but few marine fossils. In fact, the
only fossil shell found in these beds, so far as I know, in any part of
the Arctic Archipelago, is a species of ribbed _Atrypa_, which I believe
to be identical with the _Atrypa fallax_ of the carboniferous slate of
Ireland. These sandstone beds are succeeded by a series of blue
limestone beds, containing an abundance of the marine shells commonly
found in all parts of the world where the carboniferous deposits are at
all developed. The line of junction of these deposits with the Silurians
on which they rest is N.E. to E.N.E. (true). Like the former they occur
in low flat beds, sometimes rising into cliffs, but never reaching the
elevation attained by the Silurian rocks in Lancaster Sound.

The following lists contain the principal fossils and specimens
presented to the Royal Dublin Society by Captain M'Clintock and by
Captain Sir Robert M'Clure.

    Coal, sandstone, clay ironstone, and brown hematite, were found
    along a line stretching E.N.E. from Baring Island, through the south
    of Melville Island, Byam Martin's Island, and the whole of Bathurst
    Island. Carboniferous limestone, with characteristic fossils, was
    found along the north coast of Bathurst Island, and at Hillock
    Point, Melville Island.

I have marked on the map the coal-beds of the Parry Islands, which
appear to be prolonged into Baring Island, as observed by Captain
M'Clure. The discovery of coal in these islands is due to Parry, but the
evidence of the extent and quantity in which it may be found was
obtained during the expeditions of Austin and Belcher. In addition to
the localities surveyed by himself, Captain M'Clintock has given me
specimens of the coal found at other places by other explorers; and it
is from a comparison of all these specimens that I have ventured to lay
down the outcrop of the coal-beds, which agrees remarkably well with the
boundary of the formations laid down from totally different data.

No. I. HILLOCK POINT, Melville Island (Lat 76° N.; Long. 111° 45' W.).

    _Productus sulcatus._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. VII. Figs. 1, 2,
          3, 4, 7.
    _Spirifer Arcticus._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. IX.

No. II. BATHURST ISLAND, North Coast, Cape Lady Franklin (?) (Lat. 76°
40' N.; Long. 98° 45' W.).

    _Spirifer Arcticus._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. IX. Fig. 1.
    _Lithostrotion basaltiforme._

[34]No. III. BALLAST BEACH, Baring Island (Lat. 74° 30' N.; Long. 121°

    1. Wood fossilized by brown hematite; structure quite distinct.
    2. Cone of the spruce fir, fossilized by brown hematite.

No. IV. PRINCESS ROYAL ISLANDS, Prince of Wales' Strait, Baring Island
(Lat. 72° 45' N.; Long. 117° 30' W.).

    1. Nodules of clay ironstone, converted partially into brown hematite.
    2. Native copper in large masses, procured from the Esquimaux in
          Prince of Wales' Strait.
    3. Brown hematite, pisolitic.
    4. Greyish yellow sandstone, same as Cape Hamilton and Byam Martin's
    5. _Terebratula aspera_ (Schlotheim). Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl.
          IX. Fig. 4.

This interesting brachiopod was found in the limestone by Captain
M'Clure, at the Princess Royal Islands, in the Prince of Wales' Strait,
between Baring Island and Prince Albert Land. I have no hesitation in
pronouncing it to be identical with Schlotheim's fossil, which is found
in the greatest abundance at Gerolstein, in the Eifel. Banks Land, or
Baring Island, is composed of sandstone, similar to that at Byam
Martin's Island, and at the Bay of Mercy. This sandstone contains beds
of coal, apparently the continuation of the well-known coal-beds of
Melville Island. It is a remarkable fact, that these carboniferous
sandstones _underlie_ beds of undoubtedly the carboniferous limestone
type, and that at Byam Martin's Island, where fossils are found in this
sandstone, they are allied to _Atrypa fallax_ and other forms
characteristic of the lower sandstones of the carboniferous epoch. It
is, therefore, highly probable that the coal-beds of Melville Island are
very low down in the series, and do not correspond in geological
position with the coal-beds of Europe, which rest on the summit of the
carboniferous beds. It is interesting to find at Princess Royal Island,
where, from the general strike of the beds, we should expect to find the
Silurian limestone underlying the coal-bearing sandstones, that this
limestone does occur, and contains a fossil, _T. aspera_, eminently
characteristic of the Eifelian beds of Germany, which form, in that
country, the Upper Silurian Strata.

No. V. CAPE HAMILTON, Baring Island (Lat. 74° 15' N.; Long. 117° 30'

    1. Greyish-yellow sandstone, like that found _in situ_ in Byam
          Martin's Island.
    2. _Coal._--The coal found in the Arctic regions, excepting that
          brought from Disco Island, West Greenland, which is of tertiary
          origin, presents everywhere the same characters, which are
          somewhat remarkable. It is of a brownish color and ligneous
          texture, in fine layers of brown coal and jet-black glossy coal
          interstratified in delicate bands not thicker than paper. It
          has a woody ring under the hammer, recalling the peculiar clink
          of some of the valuable gas coals of Scotland. It burns with a
          dense smoke and brilliant flame, and would make an excellent
          gas coal; and, in fact, it resembles in many respects some
          varieties of the coal which has acquired such celebrity in the
          Scotch and Prussian law-courts, under the title of the Torbane
          Hill mineral.

No. VI. CAPE DUNDAS, Melville Island (Lat. 74° 30' N.; Long. 113° 45'

    Fine specimens of coal.

No. VII. CAPE SIR JAMES ROSS, Melville Island (Lat. 74° 45' N.; Long.
114° 30' W.).

    Sandstone passing into blue quartzite.

No. VIII. CAPE PROVIDENCE, Melville Island (Lat. 74° 20' N.; Long. 112°
30' W.).

    A specimen of crinoidal limestone, apparently similar to that
          occurring in Griffith's Island, from which, however, it could
          not have been brought by the present drift of the floating ice,
          as the set of the currents is constant from the west. If
          brought to its present position by ice, it must have been under
          circumstances differing considerably from those now prevailing
          in Barrow's Strait.
    Yellowish-grey sandstone.
    Clay ironstone passing into pisolitic hematite.

No. IX. WINTER HARBOR, Melville Island (Lat. 74° 35' N.; Long. 110° 45'

    Fine yellow and grey sandstone.

No. X. BRIDPORT INLET, Melville Island (Lat. 75° N.;, Long. 109° W.).

    Coal, with impressions of Sphenopteris.
    Ferruginous spotted white sandstone.
    Clay ironstone, passing into brown hematite.

No. XI. SKENE BAY, Melville Island (Lat. 75° N.; Long. 108° W.).

    Bituminous coal, with finely divided laminæ, associated with brown
    crystalline limestone, with cherty beds, and grey-yellowish
    sandstone, passing into brownish-red sandstone.

No. XII. HOOPER ISLAND, Liddon's Gulf, Melville Island (Lat. 75° 5' N.;
Long. 112° W.).

    Nodules of clay ironstone, very pure and heavy, associated with
    ferruginous fine sandstone and coal of the usual description.

The hill-tops and sides along the south shore of Liddon's Gulf, and as
far as Cape Dundas, are generally bare, composed of frozen mud, arising
from the disintegration of shale, the annual dissolving snows washing
them down and giving them a rounded form. The southern slopes generally
support vegetation. Fragments of coal are very frequently met with, and
at the mouth of a ravine on the south shore of Liddon's Gulf there is
abundance, of very good quality; it contains a considerable quantity of
pyrites or bisulphuret of iron.

No. XIII. BYAM MARTIN'S ISLAND (Lat. 75° 10' N.; Long. 104° 15' W.).

    Yellowish-grey sandstone, _in situ_, containing a ribbed _Atrypa_,
          allied to the _A. primipilaris_ of V. Buch, and the _A. fallax_
          of the carboniferous rocks of Ireland.
    Reddish limestone, with broken fragments of shells, of the same
          description of brachiopod as the last.
    Coal of the usual description.
    Fine-grained red sandstone, passing into red slate.
    Scoriaceous hornblendic trap (boulders).

The sandstone of Byam Martin's Island is of two kinds--one red, finely
stratified, passing into purple slate, and very like the red sandstone
of Cape Bunny, North Somerset, and some varieties of the red sandstone
and slate found between Wolstenholme Sound and Whale Sound, West
Greenland, lat. 77° N. The other sandstone of Byam Martin's Island is
fine, pale-greenish, or rather greyish-yellow, and not distinguishable
in hand specimens from the sandstone of Cape Hamilton, Baring Island. It
contains numerous shells and casts of a terebratuliform brachiopod,
closely allied to the _Terebratula primipilaris_ of Von Buch, found
abundantly at Gerolstein in the Eifel. On the whole, I incline to the
opinion that the sandstones, limestone, and coal of Byam Martin's
Island, are the corresponding rocks of Melville Island, Baring Island,
and Bathurst Island, are low down in the Carboniferous System, and that
there is in these northern coal-fields no subdivision into red
sandstone, limestone, and coal-measures, such as prevails in the west of
Europe. If the different points where coal was found be laid down on a
map, we have in order, proceeding from the south-west--Cape Hamilton,
Baring Island; Cape Dundas, Melville Island, south; Bridport Inlet and
Skene Bay, Melville Island; Schomberg Point, Graham Moore Bay, Bathurst
Island; a line joining all these points is the outcrop of the coal-beds
of the south of Melville Island, and runs E.N.E. At all the localities
above mentioned, and, indeed, in every place where coal was found, it
was accompanied by the greyish-yellow and yellow sandstone already
described, and by nodules of clay ironstone, passing into brown
hematite, sometimes nodular and sometimes pisolitic in structure.

No. XIV. GRAHAM MOORE'S BAY, Bathurst Island (Lat. 75° 30' N.; Long.
102° W.).

    Coal of the usual quality.

At Cape Lady Franklin, and at many other localities along the north
shore of Bathurst Island, carboniferous fossils in limestone, clay
ironstone balls passing into brown hematite, cherty limestone, and
earthy fossiliferous limestone, with the same species of _Atrypa_ as at
Byam Martin's Island, were found in abundance by Sherard Osborn, Esq.,
Commander of H.M.S. 'Pioneer,' in whose journal the following note
respecting them may be found:--

"The above collection was delivered over to Captain Sir Edward Belcher,
C.B., by Commander Richards, at 2 P.M., on 7th Nov. 1853."[35]

It is to be hoped that they may soon be made available for the
elucidation of the geology of this most interesting portion of the
Arctic discoveries.

No. XV. BATHURST ISLAND, Bedford Bay (Lat. 75° N.; Long. 95° 50' W.).

    In this locality abundance of vesicular scoriaceous trap rocks were
    found by Captain M'Clintock; they appear to me to be the
    representatives of the volcanic rocks found everywhere at the
    commencement of the carboniferous period.


    1. _Syringopora geniculata._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. XI. Fig. 2.
    2. _Cardiola Salteri._ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. VII. Fig. 5.

The Syringopore found at Cornwallis Island appears to be identical with
the variety of the Irish carboniferous _S. geniculata_, in which the
corallites are at a distance from each other somewhat exceeding their
diameters, and in which the connecting tubes are about two diameters

A question of very considerable geological interest is raised by the
occurrence together of corals, in the same locality, of silurian and
carboniferous forms.

I entertain no doubt of their being _in situ_, and occurring in the same
beds, for the following reasons:--

1st. The Syringopores of Griffith's Island were found at an elevation of
400 feet above the sea, and, therefore, could not be brought by drifting

2nd. The specimens were apparently of the same texture and composition
as the native rock, whenever the latter was visible from under the snow.

3rd. I do not believe in the lapse of a long interval of time between
the silurian and carboniferous deposits,--in fact, in a Devonian period.

4th. The same blending of corals has been found in Ireland, the Bas
Boulonnais, and in Devonshire, where silurian and carboniferous forms
are of common occurrence in the same localities.

5th. In the carboniferous beds proper of Melville Island and Bathurst
Island, there were not found, so far as I am aware, any corals of the
same character as those at Griffith's Island, Cornwallis Island, and
Beechey Island, which could give a supply to be drifted to the latter
localities in a Pleistocene sea. It is plain, from the height at which
the corals were found that, if they were brought to their present
localities by ice, it must have been during the period known as
Post-tertiary, as the present conditions of drift-ice in Barrow's
Straits do not permit us to suppose them to have been placed where we
now find them by existing causes.

The occurrence of coal-beds in such high latitudes has been speculated
on by many geologists--in my opinion, not very satisfactorily; as it is
very difficult to conceive how, even if the question of temperature was
settled, plants even of the fern and lycopodium type could exist during
the darkness of the long winter's night at Melville Island. This
difficulty is increased by the facts made known to us by the discovery
of ammonites and lias fossils in Prince Patrick's Island by Captain

IV.--_The Lias Rocks._

Many years ago it was asserted by Lieutenant Anjou, of the Russian navy,
that ammonites had been found by him in the cliffs on the south shore of
the island of New Siberia, off the north coast of Asia, in lat. 74° N.
This statement, which was published in Admiral Von Wrangel's journal,
attracted but little attention, until it was confirmed, as far as
probability of such fossils occurring at so high a latitude is
concerned, by the remarkable discovery of similar fossils by Captain
M'Clintock, in lat. 76° 20' N., at Point Wilkie, in Prince Patrick's

In a paper, published by the Royal Dublin Society, in the first volume
of their journal, p. 223, Captain M'Clintock thus describes the finding
of these fossils:--

"After returning to Cape de Bray, we took up the provisions that the
officer after whom it is called had left for us, and crossed the strait
to Point Wilkie; reached it on the 14th May. This traverse was the more
difficult from the great load upon our sledge, and the unfavorable state
of the ice and snow. The freshly fallen snow was soft and deep, and
beneath it the older snow lay in furrows across our route, hardened and
polished by the winter gales and drifts, so that it resembled marble.

"On landing I found the beach low, composed of mud, with the foot-prints
of animals frozen in it. A few hundred yards from the beach there are
steep hills, about 150 feet in height, and upon the sides of these, in
reddish-colored limestone, casts of fossil shells abound. Inland of
these, the ordinary pale carboniferous sandstone and cherty limestone
re-appeared. The fossils are all small, and of only a few varieties,
some being ammonites, but the greater part bivalves. They differed from
any I had met with before, and the rock was almost brick-red; I picked
up what appeared to be fossil bone (_Ichthyosaurus?_), only part of it
appearing out of the fragment of the rock.

"Point Wilkie appears to be an isolated patch of liassic age, resting
upon carboniferous sandstones and limestones, with bands of chert, of
the same age as the limestones and sandstones of Melville Island. The
eastern shores of Intrepid Inlet is composed of this formation; while
the western, rising into hills and terraces, is of the underlying
carboniferous epoch. At the western side of Intrepid Inlet I found upon
the ice a considerable quantity of white asbestos, but did not ascertain
from whence it had been brought."

The fossils thus found _in situ_, I have no doubt, belong to the liassic
period; and as their geological interest is indubitable, I offer no
apology for inserting here the following description, written by me on
Captain M'Clintock's return to Dublin from his third Arctic expedition.

No. I. WILKIE POINT, Prince Patrick's Land (Lat. 76° 20' N.; Long. 117°
20' W.).


    (a) _Ammonites M'Clintocki_ Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. IX. Figs.
          2, 3, 4.
    _Monotis septentrionalis_, Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. IX. Figs. 6, 7.
    _Pleurotomaria_, sp. Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. IX. Fig. 8.
    Cast of some Univalve. Journ. R. D. S., Vol. I. Pl. IX. Fig. 7.
    _Nucula_, sp.

    (a) Ammonites M'Clintocki (Haughton).--_Testâ compressâ, carinatâ,
    anfractibus latis, lateribus, complanatis, transversim
    undato-costatis; costis simplicibus, juxtâ marginem interiorem
    levigatis; dorso carinato acuto; aperturâ sagittatâ, compressâ,
    antice carinatâ; septis lateribus 4-lobatis._

This fine ammonite resembles several species common in the upper lias of
the Plateau de Larzac, Sevennes, in France. It approaches _A. concavus_
of the lower Oolite, but is distinguished by having only four lobes on
the lateral margins of the septa, and by its showing no tendency to a
tricarinated keel. The following measurements give an exact idea of its
form, as compared with that of the species mentioned:--

                   |Diameter,| Width of  |Thickness|Overlapping| Width
                   |Inches.  |last Spire.| of last |  of last  |  of
                   |         | Diam.=100 |  Spire  |   Spire   |Umbilic.
 _A. M'Clintocki_, |  1·83   | 51/100    | 24/100  | 20/100    | 20/100
 _A. concavus_,    |  2·95   | 50/100    | 24/100  | 19/100    | 16/100

The principal difference here observable is in the somewhat greater size
of _A. concavus_, and the larger umbilic of _A. M'Clintocki_. It
certainly resembles this well-known ammonite very closely; and it
appears to me difficult to imagine the possibility of such a fossil
living in a frozen, or even a temperate sea.

The discovery of such fossils _in situ_, in 76° north latitude, is
calculated to throw considerable doubt upon the theories of climate
which would account for all past changes of temperature by changes in
the relative position of land and water on the earth's surface. No
attempt, that I am aware of, has ever been made to calculate the number
of degrees of change possible in consequence of changes of position of
land and water; and from some incomplete calculations I have myself made
on the subject, I think it highly improbable that such causes could have
ever produced a temperature in the sea at 76° north latitude which would
allow of the existence of ammonites, especially ammonites so like those
that lived at the same time in the tropical warm seas of the south of
England and France, at the close of the Liassic, and commencement of the
lower Oolitic period.

During the course of the same Arctic expedition in which these organic
remains were found, Captain Sir Edward Belcher discovered in some loose
rubble, of which a cairn was built on Exmouth Island (lat. 77° 12' N.,
long. 96° W.), vertebral bones of, apparently, same liassic
enaliosaurian. All doubt as to the reality of this discovery, and all
idea of accounting for the occurrence of such remains by drift, must be
abandoned, as the fossils found by M'Clintock were unquestionably _in
situ_, and it is impossible to evade the consequences that follow to
geological theory from their discovery.

Captain Sherard Osborn, also, found broken vertebræ of an ichthyosaurus,
150 feet up Rendezvous Hill, the north-west extreme of Bathurst Island:
of these specimens, one lay among a mass of stone that had slipped from
the N.W. face of the hill; the other was by the side of a ravine or deep
watercourse on the southern face of the same elevation. I have no doubt
but that they were _in situ_.

I am well aware that the question of light in the Arctic seas will be
disposed of by some geologists, who will remind us that the saurians,
and probably the ammonites, were endowed with a complicated optical
apparatus, rendering them capable of using their eyes, not only for the
distinct vision of objects differing greatly in distance, but also of
using them, under widely differing conditions of light and darkness; and
I readily admit the force of such observations.

But what are we to say as to the question of temperature? It was
certainly necessary for an ammonite to have a sea free from ice, on
which to float and bask in the pale rays of the Arctic sun; and
therefore I claim a temperature for those seas, at least similar to that
which now prevails in the British Islands: and I may add that the
ammonite, from its habits, was essentially dependent on the temperature
of the air, as well as on that of the water.

There is at present a difference of 49·5° F. between the mean annual
temperature of Point Wilkie and Dublin; and if this change of
temperature be supposed to be caused by a change of the relative
positions of land and water, the temperature of Dublin, or of some place
on the same parallel of latitude, must be supposed to be raised to 99·5°
F.; while the temperature of the thermal equator will exceed 124°--a
temperature only a few degrees below that requisite to boil an egg! I
reject, without scruple, a theory that requires such a result, which
must be considered as a minimum; as it is probable that the ammonite
required a finer climate than that of Britain for the full enjoyment of
his existence.

The theory of central heat, also, appears to me to be open to the same
objection, as a mode of explaining this remarkable geological fact; for
it will simply add a constant to our present climates, leaving the
differences to remain, as at present, to be accounted for by latitude
and distribution of land and water. The astronomical theory of Herschel,
also, which would account for former changes of climate by changes in
the radiating power of the sun, would only increase the temperature at
each latitude, leaving the differences as at present.

The only speculation with which I am acquainted, which is capable of
solving this _opprobrium geologicorum_, is the hypothesis of a change in
the axis of rotation of the earth, the admission of which, as a
geological possibility, is mathematically demonstrable, and which has
recently had some singular evidence in its favor advanced by geologists.
In 1851, I brought forward, at the Geological Society of Dublin, a case
of angular fragments of granite occurring in the carboniferous limestone
of the County Dublin; and explained the phenomena by the supposition of
the transporting power of ice. In 1855, Professor Ramsay laid before the
Geological Society of London a full and detailed theory of glaciers and
ice as agents concerned in the formation of a remarkable breccia, of
Permian age, occurring in the central counties of England; and still
more recently the same agent has been employed by the geological
surveyors of India to account for the transport of materials at
geological periods long antecedent to those in which ice transport is
commonly supposed to have commenced. The motion of the earth's axis
would reconcile all the facts known, and it must be regarded as a
geological desideratum to determine its amount and direction, and to
assign the cause of such a movement. The solution of this problem I
regard as quite possible.

It is well worthy of remark, that the arguments from the occurrence of
coal-plants and ammonites strengthen each other; the coal-plants
rendering the question of _light_, and the ammonites that of _heat_,
insuperable objections to the admission of any received geological
hypothesis to account for the finding of such remains, _in situ_, in
latitudes so high as those of Melville Island, Prince Patrick's Island,
and Exmouth Island.

V.--_The Superficial Deposits._

The surface of the ground, where exposed, throughout the Arctic
Archipelago, does not appear to be covered with thick deposits of clay
or gravel, such as are found generally in the north of Europe, and
referred by geologists to what they call "the Glacial Epoch." There are
not, however, wanting abundant evidences of the transport of drift
materials, and there is some good evidence, collected by Captain
M'Clintock, of the direction in which the drift was moved.

Specimens of granite, which I have no hesitation in referring to the
characteristic granite of the west side of North Somerset, were found at
Leopold Harbor (North Somerset) and at Graham Moore Bay (Bathurst
Island); one of these localities is N.E. and the other N.W. of the
granite of North Somerset, from which I infer that there was no constant
prevailing direction for the drift ice that carried these boulders, but
that they were transported to the northward in various directions,
according to the varying motion of the currents that moved the ice. The
boulder of granite at Port Leopold is 100 miles N.E. of the granite
which gave origin to it; and the specimens from Graham Moore Bay are 190
miles to the N.W. of their source.

At Cape Rennell (North Somerset), in a direction intermediate between
the two former directions, a remarkable boulder of the same granite was
found, confirming the general direction of the transporting force from
south to north. Its position and size are thus recorded by Captain
M'Clintock:--"Near Cape Rennell we passed a very remarkable rounded
boulder of gneiss or granite; it was 6 yards in circumference, and stood
near the beach, and some 15 or 20 yards above it; one or two masses of
rounded gneiss, although very much smaller, had arrested our attention
at Port Leopold."

It is well known that Captain Sir Robert M'Clure brought home specimens
of pine-trees found in the greatest abundance in the ravines on the west
coast of Baring Island; one of his specimens preserved in the museum of
the Royal Dublin Society measures 15 inches by 12 inches, and contains
three knots that prove it formed a portion of the stem high above its
root. The bark is not found on this specimen, which does not represent
the full thickness of the tree; I have estimated that this fragment
contains 70 rings of annual growth.

Similar remains were found by Captain M'Clintock and Lieutenant Mecham
in Prince Patrick's Island, and in Wellington Channel by Sir Edward
Belcher. On the coast of New Siberia, Lieutenant Anjou found a clay
cliff containing stems of trees still capable of being used as fuel. The
original observers all agree in thinking that these trees grew where
they are now found; and Captain Osborne, in mentioning Sir Roderick I.
Murchison's opinion that they are drift timber, justly adds the remark,
that a sea sufficiently free from ice to allow of their being drifted
from the south would indicate also a climate sufficiently mild to allow
of their having grown upon the land where they now occur. Mr. Hopkins,
in his anniversary address as President of the Geological Society of
London, has published a remarkable geological speculation, which would
account for the facts above mentioned.[36] So far as the evidence of
drift boulders is concerned, I have shown that the direction of the
currents was from the south; a fact which falls in with the drift
theory, so far as it goes.

We cannot, however, dissociate these trees from the facts connected with
the distribution of the remains of the Siberian Mammoth in Asia and
America. It is now known that this elephant was provided with a warm
fur, and that his food was of a kind which grows even now in Northern
Siberia; so that the drift theory, which was formerly supposed necessary
to account for the occurrence of these remains, has now been quietly
dropped, _sub silentio_, by the geologists. Many other drift theories
have, in like manner, lived their short day, and gone the way of all
false hypotheses; among others, the drift theory of the origin of coal.
Further investigation may show that the glacial epoch of Europe was one
of a very different character in Asia and America, and that, while
glaciers clothed the sides of Snowdon and Lugnaquillia, pine forests
flourished in the Parry Islands, and the Siberian elephants wandered on
the shores of a sea washed by the waves of an ocean that carried no
drifting ice.

There is abundant evidence, however, that the Arctic Archipelago was
submerged in very recent geological periods; for we know that subfossil
shells, of species that now inhabit the waters of the neighboring seas,
are found at considerable heights throughout the whole group of islands.
M'Clure found shells of the _Cyprina Islandica_, at the summit of the
Coxcomb range, in Baring Island, at an elevation of 500 feet above the
sea-level; Captain Parry, also, has recorded the occurrence of _Venus_
(probably _Cyprina Islandica_) on Byam Martin's Island; and in the
recent voyage of the 'Fox,' Dr. Walker, the Surgeon of the expedition,
found the following subfossil shells at Port Kennedy, at elevations of
from 100 to 500 feet:--

    1. _Saxicava rugosa._
    2. _Tellina proxima._
    3. _Astarte Arctica_ (Borealis.)
    4. _Mya Uddevallensis._
    5. _Mya truncata._
    6. _Cardium_ sp.
    7. _Buccinum undatum._
    8. _Acmea testudinalis._
    9. _Balanus Uddevallensis._

At the same place a portion of the palate-bone of a whale (Right Whale)
was found at an elevation of 150 feet.

All these facts indicate the former submergence of the Arctic
Archipelago, but this submergence must have been anterior to the period
when pine forests clothed the low sandy shores of the slowly emerging
islands, the remains of which forests now occupy a position at least 100
feet above high-water mark.

The geological map which I am enabled to publish from the data collected
by Captains M'Clintock, M'Clure, Osborn, &c., is an enlargement of that
which was published in 1857 by the Royal Society of Dublin, to
illustrate the fine collection of Arctic fossils and minerals deposited
in the museum of that body by Captains M'Clintock and M'Clure. In
perfecting it for its present purpose I have availed myself of all the
other sources of information within my reach, among which I am bound to
mention in particular the excellent Appendix to Dr. Sutherland's 'Voyage
of the Lady Franklin and Sophia,' written by Mr. Salter, Palæontologist
of the Geological Survey of Great Britain.

Many of the mineral specimens from Greenland, and the fossils from Cape
Riley, Cape Farrand, Point Fury and Brentford Bay, were collected by Dr.
David Walker, surgeon and naturalist to the 'Fox' Expedition.


[30] Journal of the Royal Dublin Society, 1857.

[31] Collected by Dr. Walker, surgeon to the 'Fox' Expedition.

[32] Collected by Dr. Walker, surgeon to the 'Fox' Expedition.

[33] Collected by Captain Allen Young.

[34] These specimens are "_Drift_" but are mentioned here as they were
found on the carboniferous sandstone area.

[35] _Vide_ Arctic Expeditions, 1854-55, p. 254.

[36] Journ. Geol. Soc. Lond., vol. VIII. p. lxiv.

No. V.


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 Young, Miss                                    5  0  0
 Young, A. Verity, Esq.                         2  2  0
 Yule, Mrs. H.                                  5  0  0

 The brother and sisters of the late
   John and Thomas Hartnell, of H.M.S.
   'Erebus,' buried at Beechey Island           5  0  0
 A Commander, R.N.                              0  5  0
 A Commander in the Merchant Service          500  0  0
 A Friend. C. H.                                0  5  0
 A Friend                                       1  0  0
 The daughters of a retired Commander           2  0  0
 A Sympathiser                                  1  0  0
                                            £2981  8  9

A life-boat, presented by Messrs. White of Cowes.

A large quantity of preserved potatoes, by Messrs. King, late Edwards.

Apparatus for lowering a boat at sea, presented by Mr. Clifford, the

Three travelling-tents, by Messrs. Winsor and Newton.

A stove, by Mr. Rettie.

20 dozen "Isle of Wight sauce," by Mr. Tucker of Newport.

Apparatus for reefing topsails, from Mr. Cunningham, the inventor.

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