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no hope for us. But we have been ing nature, when the vessel perched brought safely through, and are truly herself upon a rock with a falling grateful, I hope and believe.”
tide, and nearly tumbled over, before All is not gloom and danger, how- the returning flood enabled them ever, in a winter's drift in a polar to extricate her, there was no very pack, for we find much to show how serious obstacle to their progress into these naval worthies found time and Lancaster Sound, which highway to opportunity to be merry under the the “North-West” they entered by the most apparently adverse circumstan- month of July. We need not stay ces: and there is a dry humour in to point out more than the fact that some of the tales, which shows that Captain M'Clintock, in that neigheven wit does not freeze up in an
bourhood, perfectly cleared up all Arctic winter. Let us take, for in the thousand and one stories emanstance, the diary of November 29, ating from whalers and Esquimaux, 1857 :
of some of the “white men” having
been seen there, and that he dis“ Keen biting winds from the north covered a new fishing - ground for west," says Captain M'Clintock. “No cracks in the ice, therefore no seals. Grey hereafter prove of no small , import
whales up Pond's Inlet, which may dawn at ten o'clock, and dark at two. The moon is everywhere the sailor's
ance to our enterprising merchants friend-she is a source of comfort to us
and whaling seamen of Aberdeen and here. Nothing to excite conversation, Hull. On the 15th August 1858, except an occasional inroad of the dogs
we find the
“Fox” at Beechey in search of food; this generally occurs Island, in that bay where, as we at night. Whenever the deck - light have long known, Franklin passed which burns under the housing happens his winter of 1845-46, and with which to go out, they scale the steep snow the writings of subsequent explorers banking, and rush round the deck like have made the public tolerably conwolves. Why, bless you, sir, the wery moment that there light goes out, and
versant. Here Captain M'Clintock the quartermaster turns his back, they from the immense depôt left at Nor.
completed his stock of provisions makes a regular sortee, and in they all comes,' * But where do they come in, thumberland House by Belcher and Harvey ?' •Where, sir ? why every- Inglefield, and under its gloomy wheres ; they makes no more to do, but cliffs he erected a monument with in they comes, clean over all.' Not long which he had been intrusted; the ago old Harvey was chief quartermaster epitaph by Lady Franklin runs as in a line-of-battle ship, and a regular follows :--"To the memory of Frankmagnet to all the younger midshipmen. • lin, Crozier, Fitzjames, and all their He would spin them yarns by the hour gallant brother officers and faithful during the night-watches about the wonders of the sea, and of the Arctic re
companions who have suffered and gions in particular-its bears, its ice perished in the cause of science and bergs, and still more terrific auroras, Tablet is erected near the spot where
the service of their country. The roaring and flashing about the ship enough to frighten a fellow !'"
they passed their first Arctic winter,
and whence they issued forth to conWe may not, however, delay longer quer difficulties or to die. It comover this portion of the narrative, memorates the grief of their admirbut proceed to the second summer ing countrymen and friends, and the operations of the “Fox”; for without anguish, subdued by faith, of her any flourish of trumpets, but calmly, who has lost in the leader of the as if no other measures were possible, expedition the most devoted and her gallant captain and crew turned affectionate of husbands.” A more their steps northward from Davis fitting record, or more heart-stirring Straits, whither they had been drift- words, could hardly be conceived ; and ed, and again, like good men and it will touch the best feelings of those true," proceeded to do what they had seamen who, in future generations, failed to accomplish in that first un- may, in enterprises equally bold, lucky season. The year 1858 was reach this lone spot, now so hallowed as propitious as that of 1857 had in the minds of all who hold our been otherwise, and with the excep- glory dear as the greatest of marition of one accident of a really alarm- time nations.
Sailing from Beechey Island, our this pack will speedily disperse : it is no modern paladins steered away with wonder that we should feel elated at flowing sheet, and but slightly checked such a glorious prospect, and content to by ice, to Capes Walker and Bunny bide our time in the security of Depôt in the south-west, those gloomy yet Bay. A feeling of tranquillity, of earnest, picturesque portals to the channel hearty satisfaction has come over us: known until now as that of Peel, anything boastful; we bave all experi
There is no appearance amongst us of but fated to bear hereafter the name
enced too keenly the vicissitudes of of Franklin, in commemoration of its
Arctic voyagivg to admit of such a feelhaving been the path to death and ing. fame of his noble expedition. Down At the turn of tide we perceived it for twenty-five miles M'Clintock that we were being carried, together advanced, until ice was seen stretch- with the pack, back to the eastward. ing across from shore to shore. On Every moment our velocity was increased; his left lay those precipices of North and presently we were dismayed at M'Clintock had travelled with Sir nearly six miles an hour, though within Somerset, along which, in 1848, Capt
. seeing grounded ice near us, but were
very quickly swept past it, at the rate of James Ross, as previously recount
two hundred yards of the rocks, and of ed; on the other, the equally barren instant destruction. As soon as we posbut far more navigable coasts of sibly could, we got clear of the packed Prince of Wales' Land. He could ice, and left it to be wildly hurled about not but feel certain that down this by various whirlpools and rushes of the strait Franklin had sailed in some tide, until finally carried out into Brentmore favourable season, or perhaps ford Bay.
The ice-masses were large, later
in the year ; and it was a ques- and dashed violently against each other, tion which had to be quickly decided, and the rocks lay at some distance off whether he, in the “Fox,” should re
the southern shore. We had a fortunate main where he was, and run the
escape from such dangerous company." chance of the strait opening in a fort- The little “Fox” stood but little night; or, instead of doing so, turn chance in a struggle against blocks of back to Regent's Inlet and proceed ice, each quite as heavy as she was, in down to Bellot Strait, where he would a six-knot tide; and when, after be sure of being within easy access a survey of the western ocean from a of King William's Land for sledges, lofty cape, the leader saw that it was even should that strait prove likewise still covered with ice, which would to be closed this season. M'Clintock only break up with the early winter decided at any rate to visit Bellot gales, he fain sought shelter and Strait, even if he afterwards returned winter-quarters in a small bay on the to Peel Sound; and in a few hours shores of North Somerset, and iminethe “Fox,” under sail and steam, was diately set to work to place depôts rattling back towards Regent's Inlet of provisions out upon the routes his By August 21st she had entered sledges would have to travel in the Bellot Strait, and was battling her spring of 1859. These autumn sledgeway to the westward. Three several parties were undertakings of no ortimes did Capt. M'Clintock strive to dinary danger and difficulty ; for the pass through this remarkable strait violence of the storms, fearful snowinto that arctic sea, which washes drifts, and unexpected disruption of the shores of North America. We ice, nigh caused the loss of Lieut. need only give one instance of how Hobson's party, and entailed much he was foiled in his endeavours :- suffering upon all. This arduous
duty executed, they prepared to pass “To-day an unsparing use of steam another and second winter of darkand canvass forced the ship eight miles
ness and monotony—but not before further west: we were then about balf
the sportsman and naturalist had way through Bellot Strait! Its western capes are lofty bluffs, such as may be rummaged every valley and sheltered distinguished éfty miles distant in clear slope, and satisfied themselves that weather: between them there was
they, at any rate, had not fallen upon clear broad channel, but five or six miles one of those pleasant places "aboundof close heavy pack intervened—the ing in game and salmon," of which sole obstacle to our progress. Of course they who have never visited those
lands are prone to write and talk. small brown-holland tent, macintosh Failing venison and salmon steaks, floor-cloth, and felt robes ; besides this, they, like wise men, made the best each man had a bag of double blanket of what Providence sent them, and ing, and a pair of fur boots to sleep in. they were by no means squeamish, blanket in which our feet were wrapped
We wore mocassins over the pieces of provided it was fresh meat. In these
up, and, with the exception of a change gastronomic feats, Petersen's experi- of this foot-gear, carried no spare clothes. ences in Greenland stood them in
The daily routine was as follows:--I led good stead. That worthy Dane
the way ; Petersen and Thompson fol. seemed to have a keen digestion, and lowed, conducting their sledges; and in not over-delicate taste. Dog-mutton, this manner we trudged on for eightorten however, he could not even lure our hours without halting, except when we gallant countrymen to undertake, cessary to disentangle the dog-harness. though they agreed with him that
When we halted for the night, Thomp“old owls and peregrine falcons were
son and I usually sawed out the blocks the best beef in the country, and the of compact snow and carried them to
Petersen, who acted as the master mason young birds tender and white as
in building the snow hut: the hour and chickens !” and, indeed, on one occa- a half or two hours usually employed sion, the worthy Captain quite warms
in erecting the edifice was the most disup in his reminiscences of such luxu- agreeable part of the day's labour, for, ries as thin frozen slices of seals in addition to being already well tired fat!"
and desiring repose, we became thoroughWinter passed as pleasantly as it ly chilled whilst standing about. When may in 74° north latitude ; the sun the hut was finished, the dogs were fed, returned ; there was light without and here the great difficulty was to inwarmth ; but with the experience of
sure the weaker ones their full share in the so many seasons of sledging, and the scramble for supper; then commenced perfect equipment of his men, Cap- and carrying into our hut everything ne
the operation of unpacking the sledge, tain M'Clintock at once put forth cessary for ourselves, such as provision his parties to carry forward the de- and sleeping gear, as well as all boots, pôts of provision, and to strive to fur mittens, and even the sledge dog. pick up some clue by which to ascer- harness, to prevent the dogs from eating tain whether Franklin's ships had them during our sleeping hours. The been beset or wrecked north or south door was now blocked up with snow, the of his present position. Captain cooking-lamp lighted, foot-gear changed, Allen Young started to the north- diary written up, watches wound, sleepwest for Prince of Wales' Land; Cap- ing bags wriggled ivto, pipes lighted, and tain M'Clintock towards the Mag- the merits of the various dogs discussed, netic Pole.
until supper was ready; the supper
swallowed, the upper robe or coverlet “For several days this severe weather
was pulled over, and then to sleep. continued, the mercury of my artificial
“ Next morning came breakfast, a horizon remaining frozen (its freezing- after which the sledges were packed, and
struggle to get into frozen mocassins, point is —39°); and our rum, at first thick like treacle, required thawing
another day's march commenced.
“ In these little huts we usually slept latterly, when the more fluid and stronger part had been used. We travelled each
warm enough, although latterly, when day until dusk, and then were occupied with ice, we felt the cold severely. When
our blankets and clothes became loaded for a couple of hours in building our snow-hut. The four walls were run up
ourlow doorway was carefully blocked up until 5. feet high, inclining inwards as
with snow, and the cooking-lamp alight, much as possible; over these our tent
the temperature quickly rose, so that the
walls became glazed, and our bedding was laid to form a roof; we could not
thawed; but the cooking over, or the afford the time necessary to construct a dome of snow."
doorway partially opened, it as quickly
fell again, so that it was impossible to One day's routine will suffice to sleep, or to hold a pannikin of hot tea depict what the work and suffering
without pulling on our mitts, so intense of these early spring journeys must
was the cold." have been :
Thus, with toil and suffering, have “Our equipment consisted of a very all our gallant explorers opened up that vast extent of country wbich lies ary of the Great Fish River as well between Greenland and Behring's as Montreal Island were equally Straits, and nothing will convey a bare of traces of the lost expedition. better idea of the extraordinary addi- The Esquimaux had swept away all tions which have been made in those relics of Franklin's people in these regions to our geographical know- quarters, though most of those relics ledge, than a careful comparison of of an imperishable character have the two excellent maps which Mr been subsequently recovered by Dr Murray has very wisely given us in Rae in Repulse Bay, and by Capt. this work-namely, the chart of the M'Clintock. There was, however, Arctic regions as they were known to a wonderful paucity of natives in us when Franklin sailed in 1845, all the extent of coast above alluded and that of the same quarter of the to; indeed, beyond the Esquimaux globe in 1859. Our Arctic navigators at the Magnetic Pole in Boothia, Capand explorers need no better monu- tain M'Clintock only encountered ment than this noble result of their one more village of ten or twelve exertions.
snow-huts with inhabitants on King On March 1, 1859, Capt. M'Clin- William's Land and near Cape Nortock met Esquimaux, and from them ton. Some additional information was learnt that one of the ships (the long- gleaned from them of a trivial nature; sought ships “Erebus” and “Ter- instead of one ship, they now spoke of ror,” for there could be no others), two; but described one as having “had been crushed by the ice out in sunk when the ice bruke up-the the sea to the west of King William's other had evidently been drifted safeLand, but that all the people landed ly into some position which was withsafely;” They told, likewise, of white in their haunts. The party at Cape men having died upon an island at Norton had visited this wreck, and the month of a river; and with this described their journey to her as meagre information M'Clintock was occupying five days. fain to be content; it pointed to King “One day up the inlet, still in sight, William's Land as the place where and one day overland ; this would carry one of the vessels would be found,
them to the western coast of King Wil.
Jiam's Land. and he hastened back to the “Fox'
They added that but
little now remained of the wreck which to equip and start his parties for their long summer journeys. The un
was accessible, their countrymen hav
ing carried almost everything away. In certainty as to the second ship com
answer to an inquiry, they said she was pelled him to again send Capt. Allen without masts. The question gave rise Young to Prince of Wales' Land, in to some laughter amongst them, and case one of Franklin's ships might they spoke to each other of fire, from have been wrecked there. Subse- which Petersen thought they had burnt quent information disproved this
the masts through close to the deck, in supposition, but Allen Young did
order to get them down. There had right good service; he added a great
been many books, they said, but all deal of new coast-line to our charts have long since been destroyed by
the weather. proved the insularity of Prince
The ship was forced on
shore in the fall of the year by the ice. of Wales' Land - discovered the
She had not been visited during the M'Clintock channel --corrected Capt. past winter; and an old woman and a Osborn's position of 1851, and fully boy were shown to us who were the last confirmed the opinions of that officer, to visit the wreck. They said they had as well as those of Captain Ommaney, been at it during the close of the winter as to the impenetrable nature of the of 1857-58. ice-stream which encumbers that “ Petersen questioned the Strait, and the north-east shores of closely, and she seemed anxious to give Victoria and Albert Land. Captain all the information in her power. She M'Clintock and Lieutenant Hobson, the way as they went to the Great
said the white men in the mean time, proceeded towards
River -- that some were buried, and King William's Land and the Great
She did not herself Fish River. Nothing was found on witness this, but the Esquimaux discothe western or southern coasts of vered their bodies during the winter King William's Land; and the estu. following.”
some were not.
The allusion to fire points to the they possessed connected King Wilpossibility of the second vessel hav- liam's Land with Boothia Felix, and ing been intentionally or accidentally gave no hope of reaching the Ameriburnt by the natives, as an easy and can continent by steering down to barbarous way of breaking her up the south-eastward; and, on the other for the nails and bolts, or pieces of hand, Cape Herschel was only ninety planking--all so precious to these miles off to the south-west, and from sayages. At any rate, she no longer it they knew there was water comexisted upon the south or western munication all the way to Behring's shores of King William's Land ; but Straits; nay, more, on reaching Cape upon that west coast, between a Herschel, the discovery of the northpoint ten miles south of Cape Her- west passage to the Indies would be schel, where the skeleton of a accomplished the prize they had European sailor was discovered, up-already risked so much to win. to Cape Victory, where the tale of How natural, then, that they should Franklin's success and death, to- have determined to fight their way gether with the subsequent attempt down that shoal and dangerous westof the crews to reach the Great Fish coast of King William's Land. River, was found, there was needed no We next hear of them in May 1847, Esquimaux to interpret the tale of the when Lieut ant Graham Gore and melancholy fate of those M'Clintock Mr Des Væux of the “Erebus” land sought. We will epitomise the in- with a party of six men for some formation he and Lieutenant Hobson purpose, possibly to connect the there collected. The “Erebus" and coast-line between the two known " Terror” wintered at Beechey Island points-Capes Herschel and Victory. 1845-46, after having in the same They tell us, in a few brief words, season that they sailed from Eng- that “all was well, and Sir John land made a very remarkable voyage Franklin commanding the expediup Wellington Channel, and down a tion.” A twelvemonth passes, and new strait (now justly named after the record is again opened, and in a the gallant Crozier) between_Bath- few words the firm hand of the galurst and Cornwallis Land. Frank- lant Captain Fitzjames reveals to us lin thus forestalled in that direction a thrilling tale of sorrow and suffering, all the discoveries of Penny, De heroically, calmly met. Their ga?? Haven, Belcher, and Austin. In lant, loved leader, Franklin, had died 1846 the “Erebus” and “Terror” on the 11th June 1847. The ships proceeded towards King William's in that summer only drifted, beset in Land ; and although the record does the ice, about fifteen miles. Nine not say by what route, still the con- officers and fifteen men had fallen; current opinion of every officer who amongst them Graham Gore, though has visited the channels which lie on not until after he had become a comeither side of Prince of Wales' Land, mander through the death of Frankgives it in favour of Franklin hav- lin. And lastly, the 22d April, ing taken the route between Capes one hundred and five souls, the surWalker and Bunny ; though, of vivors of the original expedition, had course, mere theorists, like Captains abandoned the ships under the orders Snow and Belcher, are at perfect lib- of Captains Crozier and Fitzjames, erty to suppose Franklin reached and were striving to escape death King William's Land by any route from scurvy and starvation, by rethey are pleased to fancy. On the treating to the Hudson Bay Com12th September 1846, the “Erebus” pany's territories, up the Great Fish and “Terror” were firmly beset in the River. ice when only twelve miles distant This information was written in from the low and dangerous northern a strong hand, which is recognised as extremity of King William's Land, that of Fitzjames; and in a corner, named Cape Felix. They were evi- under the very infirm-looking sigdently struggling to get down the nature of Captain Crozier, we find west coast to Cape Herschel, and a note in the same writing as the rest that, in all probability, for two rea- of the record, which shows that these
In the first place, the chart poor starving crews commenced their