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another land journey, undertaken under the auspices of the Hon. Hudson's Bay Company. This gentleman had been sent to the north to complete the survey of the west coast of Boothia. When this gentleman reached Pelly Bay he encountered certain Esquimaux, who told him that a party of white men had perished towards the west, and near a river containing many falls and rapids. From this party abundant relics of the lost crews were purchased, bearing the names of Franklin, Crozier, Gore, &c. Here was the first certain and unquestionable evidence of the tragic termination of Sir John's expedition, but still unaccompanied by that documentary evidence which would explain the difficult and complete the defective in this melancholy history. King William's Land, Montreal Island, and the Great Fish River were thus clearly pointed out as the scene of the catastrophe that closes this great woe.
The report of Dr. Rae eventuated in the Hudson's Bay Company organising, at the suggestion of the British Government, the expedition of Messrs. Anderson and Steward down the Fish River, these gentlemen starting on June 22nd, 1855, from Fort Resolution, and sending home their first report under date of September 17th. Many further relies, including an ordinary letter-nip, were found in possession of Esquimaux parties ; several Esquimaux caches, on Montreal Island also, were filled with other reliquiæ of an English ship's crew, but not a scrap of paper was met with, nor skeletons, nor remains of the crews themselves. This report arrived in England in the early part of 1856, and while it extinguished hope of the saving of the men, it did, by still more closely confirming previous discoveries, and narrowing the locale of the final disaster, stimulate curiosity to ascertain more fully the particulars of the event. There was much anxiety and excitement of the public mind connected with the subject, notwithstanding the stir and overwhelming interest of the Crimean war, and discussion was lively ; but nothing was done during that year. Only in 1857 was that last expeditionary barque sent forth, which has given rise to this paper, and has filled all England with sorrow for her sacrificed victims-her unreturning dead.
So far back as the year 1854, nine years after the Franklin expedition started, the Government of England bade farewell to the hope of rescue, and removed the names of the leader and his followers from the Navy List. The Behring's Strait squadron, consisting of the Rattlesnake and Plover, were ordered home, and the Resolute, Intrepid, Assistance, and Pioneer, together with Sir Robert MClure's Investigator, were by the same instructions abandoned in the eastward Arctic seas. Henceforward reliance must be placed on private effort alone, stimulated by sympathy for the bereaved living-regret for the unrecovered dead. The American expedition under Kane produced nothing except evidence of chivalrous courage, great scientific qualification, and singular humanity on the part of the commander. Notwithstanding the eminent scientific and personal qualifications of Dr. Kane, we must always hold it a great mistake
to appoint a civilian to the command of an expedition like this. The Kennedy voyage was equally resultless. Her Majesty's ship Phoenix, Commander Inglefield, was no more successful, while her voyage has been rendered ever memorable by the loss of the adven. turous young French sailor, Lieutenant Bellot. This brings us down to the year 1857, for during 1855 and 1856, although much was talked about, nothing was done, when at last, by the munificent devotion of Lady Franklin, and the help of enthusiastic friends, a vessel was procured, and the exploring expedition organised. The plan for this was laid before the Lords of the Admiralty, by Dr. M.Cormick, R.N., entitled, Reasons for the Renewal of the Search for further traces of the Franklin Expedition, &c., and traces with singular sagacity the very route afterwards followed by Captain M'Clintock, which has been fruitful in such positive (we cannot call them satisfactory) results. On the 1st of July, 1857, Captain M'Clintock sailed from Aberdeen, in the small screw-steamer Fox, of 177 tons burden, well found in provisions and other gear, and with a ship's company of only twenty-three persons, of whom, however, he writes under date of August 6th, from the coast of Greenland :-“I am most fortunate in my officers and crew; all deserve my praise alike.” Frozen up in the ice, however, so early as a fortnight afterwards, the ship drifted south as far as 63} deg. down Davis Strait, and was only freed, after 242 days' durance, on the 25th of April, 1858. The release of a vessel under such circumstances is a far more critical operation than its freezing in, just as architects tell us they will build a tower as high as Babel without fear of accident, but they will not answer for taking down so much as a cottage chimney. Construction is easy, dissolution difficult without damage to materials or dissolver. Escaping this risk the stout little Fox steamed for Barrow's Strait and Beechey Island, which latter place it reached on the 11th of August, 1858. There Captain M'Clintock executed his painful commission of setting up a cenotaph to the memory of the missing expedition of the Erebus and Terror, entrusted to his care by Lady Franklin. Finding Peel Sound only accessible by ships for twentyfive miles down its course, he retraced his way to Prince Regent's Inlet, and thence crossed into what is now known as Franklin Channel, by the means of Bellot Strait. Eventually Captain M'Clintock was obliged to put back his vessel through the Strait, and prepare for wintering in Port Kennedy, Brentford Bay, east of that sea he was so anxious to explore. From the secure but exposed quarters here obtained, he made arrangements for those exploratory expeditions in the coming spring of 1859, which have yielded such information as has gone far to slake the thirst of anxious friends and an excited public.
On the 28th of February, 1859, when near Cape Victoria and Boothia Felix, Captain M Clintock, in company with Captain Allen Young, a disinterested and generous volunteer, accompanied by only one seaman, on their exploratory march encountered à tribe of forty-five Esquimaux, in possession of many relics of the lost crews. These Boothian natives were well supplied with wood and iron, once the property of white men. Their story was, that several years ago a ship was crushed by the ice, and sunk off the north-western shore of King William's Island, but that all her people landed safely, and went away to a great river, where they died. One part of this story is inconsistent with truth, for we have the record of Captains Crozier and Fitzjames, that the vessels were left in an uncrushed state by the crews, amounting to 105 persons, on the 25th of April, 1848, who intended to start next day for the Great Fish River. Amid the tangle which the story takes from the report of other Esquimaux nearer the Fish River, and the presumptive evidence we possess that one party at least of the crew perished on their way back to the ships, it is hard to say whether there may not be truth in the story of the Esquimaux after all; and that what they report of the destruction of the vessel amongst the ice may not have taken place during a second occupation of it by its baffled crew. Certainly the boat found with the remains of its two hapless tenants, slightly north of Cape Crozier, was on its return, and not on its outward course; whence we are left to conclude that, from intense cold, want of provisions, or the hostility of the natives, the expedition towards the Great Fish River had not succeeded in their object. .
Twenty-five days of sharp marching, amid intensely severe weather, were consumed on this preliminary trip-the mercury being occasionally frozen for hours together. Meanwhile Lieutenant Hobson prosecuted the line of search laid out for him, by crossing the ice to Cape Felix, in King William's Land, and by following the trail of the expedition in that region, on which he almost instantaneously fell. At a short distance westward of the cape he alighted on a very large cairn, and close to it three small tents, with sundry other unimportant relics, but no record. Within a space of five miles two other cairns were found, but still without records, and almost deonded of relics likewise. On the 6th May, 1859, beside Point Victory, Lieutenant Hobson discovered a tin canister, containing the record which announced all that we know of the expedition's progress up to April 25th, 1848. The facts were few, and contain no explanatory matter with them; that after spending the first winter at Beechey Island, they were beset in the ice in September, 1846, in lat. 70 deg., long. 98 deg., and that Sir John Franklin had died in June, 1847. That the survivors, in 1848, to the number of 105, were to proceed on the day after date to the Great Fish River, under command of Captain Crozier ; and there the record ceases, but there our interest does not end, for just at this point painful conjecture and melancholy romance began.
A cairn was found a few miles southward of a year older date, containing a paper signed by Lieutenant Gore and Mr. Des Vaux, mate, stating that they had left the ships on the 24th of May, 1847, in command of six men. This may have been one of the ordinary exploring expeditions sent out in all directions from expeditionary ships in favourable weather, or it may have been expressly designed
to pioneer the way for those that should follow in due time toward the river by which they meant to escape. The débris of the final expedition southward are sufficient to attest their reaching the river—but what became of them there, or afterwards, no voice has hitherto been heard to tell. To ascend that river, whose navigation was beset with rocks, and shoals, and rapids, was perhaps an impossible task to enfeebled and starving men with heavy boats and frequent portages. They may have been wrecked, drowned, famished, or murdered by the natives. It seems all but certain to us that some endeavoured to regain the forsaken vessels, if it were only to perish under the shelter of a roof and in freedom from the exhausting labours of their land journey-an endeavour which did not meet with success, for they failed by the way. When the disastrous condition of the successful M°Clure crew is borne in mind after three winters' incarceration in the ice, as exhibited in both Dr. Domville's and Lieut. Pim's reports, official and non-official, of their encounter with that crew-a condition which called tears from the eyes of the hardy seaman when he first witnessed it-we shall not wonder if the disspirited Franklin-men were wasted by scurvy and privation into an unfitness for enterprise, and inaptitude for endurance after a like lengthened imprisonment. Government provisions are rarely good, and yet Government pays the highest price for provisions, and these are the main reliance of the Arctic voyager. The infamy of dishonesty, perilling human life, rests upon many a soul engaged in mercantile transactions with the Government of England. It cannot be too loudly trumpeted, too redly blazoned, that not the red-tapists of routine, but the high-minded merchants of Great Britain are the defaulters in cases like the present, and have been too often detected in trafficking with remorseless greed in the bodies and souls of men. When Captain M'Clure found 500 pounds' weight of preserved meats in his tin canisters to be putrid, and obliged to be thrown overboard the first winter of his expedition, it was unfortunately only a sample of, and not an exception to, the experience of our gallant sailors and investigators. M'Clintock's steward perished with scurvy rather than eat the loathsome preserved meats that might have saved his life. Such incidents as these are a sore blot on our commercial integrity, and must be denounced in the interests of loyalty and patriotism, as well as of justice and humanity. But in any case, the ships of Sir John Franklin, the Erebus and Terror, were only provisioned for two years, with the understanding that with economy these stores could be eked out for three years, if necessity required so long a dependence upon this artificial provision
If under favourable circumstances, as in Captain M.Clure's case, three years in the ice were productive of scurvy, weakness, and despondency, what may we not suppose was the result of hardships that issued in the death of nine officers and fifteen men in the case of the earlier enterprise? The desperate 105, who left the ships on the 26th of April, 1848, had no reasonable ground to expect * a happy • issue out of all their afflictions," and the derelicta detected in their
track by the searches of the Fox, seem to speak of a fatal event boding only “lamentation, and mourning, and woe.”
Mutilated spoils of various kinds obtained from wandering Esquimaux and their cairns, and initials full of significance to the eye of recognition, the heart of affection, tell but one tale, of which the dreary burden is “lost, lost, lost." Yet maps and journals alike proclaim of the region about Cape Herschel, that it is “ a limestone tract abounding with reindeer and oxen."
On a review of Captain M'Clintock's narrative and other recent stories of Arctic adventure, our conclusions may be summed up thus :
1. In the first place, they leave it well nigh past doubt that the party of Sir John Franklin have perished beyond the reach of recovery.
2. That if this fate has befallen them, it need not have been necessarily of starvation, for both in the brief summer and long winter of the Arctic circle there is more or less of animal life to be found in most regions, and in some quarters it abounds.
3. That much yet remains to be achieved in the exploration of all the space which is included within 65 and 125 deg. W. long., and 66 to 74 deg. N. lat., which has been most inadequately examined notwithstanding all that has been done.
4. That the use of dogs in the land and ice travelling has never been sufficiently tried hitherto in any of our expeditions, yet with their help Dr. Kane did wonders in his very short excursions from the ship; and without them, M'Clintock with his scanty crew could have accomplished next to nothing. The Esquimaux dogs are curious brutes, full of character, and worthy of study by an observant hand. M'Clintock's pack had two pounds each of seal given them every second day; the time consumed in devouring this frozen morsel was exactly forty-two seconds.—P. 48.
5. That single small vessels, and short select crews are better adapted for exploration than cumbrous ships and numerous crews, inasmuch as fresh provision is easily secured in adequate quantities for a small party, but a very limited supply, unless under unusually favourable auspices, for a large one.
6. That a stout built small screw-steamer, in consequence of the coasting nature of much of the sailing in those regions, in narrow lanes between the pack and the shore must be of special service, and that an expedition consisting solely of such a vessel, or vessels, is worthy of trial, at least once more in the neighbourhood of Victoria Strait, for the specific purpose of hunting up all that remains of Franklin's expedition, while we conceive it quite possible that such a vessel might accomplish the western passage, in Sir Robert M'Clure's track, in an open season.
7. That a trial of the passage round the north-west corner of Baring's Land a month earlier than Captain MClure tried it might issue in an entrance into Melville Sound by water. If, for instance,