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riance, and were stored with spices, gold, and gems. But it was a field which demanded greater heroism, greater endurance, and was fraught with greater perils, than any other department of discovery. This region lay far up toward the Northern Pole. It was the vast frozen land of everlasting snow-fields, of stupendous ice-bergs, of hyperborean storms, of the long, cheerless nights of the Arctic Zone. To navigate and explore these dismal realms, men of extreme daring, of sublime fortitude, of unconquerable perseverance, were absolutely necessary. And such men possessed one great element of distinguishing greatness, of which the explorers of more genial and inviting climes were destitute. Their investigations were made entirely without the prospect of rich reward, and chiefly for the promotion of the magnificent ends of science. The discovery of a north-western passage was indeed not forgotten; but it must be conceded that other less mercenary and more philanthropic motives have given rise to the larger portion of the expeditions which, during the progress of the nineteenth century, have in. vaded the cheerless solitudes of that dangerous and repulsive portion of the globe.
The following pages contain a narrative of the chief adventures and discoveries of Arctic explorers during this century. No expedition of any importance has been omitted; and the work has been brought down in its details to the present time, so as to include a satisfactory account of the labors, sufferings, and triumphs of that prince of Arctic explorers and philanthropists, Dr. Kane; whose adventures, and whose able narrative of them, entitle him to fadeless celebrity, both as a hero in the field, and as a man of high genius and scholarship.
Every reader who carefully peruses the following pa ges must be convinced that the Arctic hemisphere has now been thoroughly explored. Every accessible spot has been visited and examined by some one or other of the various expeditions which have been sent out; and that vast extent of countries and of seas which intervene from Smith's Sound and Wolstenholme Sound in the extreme east, being the remotest northern limits of Greenland, to the westward as far as to Behring's Straits, which divide America from Asia, has been examined. These limits inclose an area of about four thousand miles, every attainable portion of which has been subjected to the scrutiny of recent Arctic explorers. It can scarcely be expected that any traces of the existence and fate of Sir John Franklin still remain on the globe, which further perseverance and research could possibly reveal. Even if the great chapter of Arctic discovery and adventure should now be closed, it will constitute one of the most remarkable and entertaining departments of human heroism, enterprise, and endurance, which biography or history presents.
S. M. S. PHILADELPHIA, December, 1856.
Introduction to the American Edition....
Little known of the Arctic Regiong-Notice of Capt. Phipps' Voyage-Parry's and
Franklin's opinions on a northwest passage-Abstract of Sir John Barrow's works on
Arctic Discovery-England's neglect of her nautical heroes.
Captain Sir John Ross's Voyage in the Isabella and Alexander to
Hudson's Bay in 1818.....
Names of the officers and men-Ships visited by the natives of Greenland-Abun-
dance of birds on this coast-Gale of wind-Red snow-Lancaster Sound-The fabu-
lous Croker mountains-Agnes monument-Large bear shot-Return home.
Voyage of Buchan and Franklin in the Dorothea and Trent, to
Spitzbergen, &c., 1818, .......................................45
Names of officers and complement, &c.-Fanciful appearance of icebergs-Ships
arrive at Spitzbergen-Anchor in Magdalen Bay-Hanging icebergs-Immense flocks
of birds-Dangerous ascent of Rotge Hill-Attack of walruses-Surprised by unlooked-
for visitors-Devout feeling of recluses-Expedition puts to sea again-Party lose
themselves on the ice-Ships damaged by the pressure of the floes-- Dangerous position
of the ships—They take refuge in the main pack of icebergs-Vessels put into Fair
Haven to stop leaks and refit-Return home.
Franklin's First Land Expedition, 1819-21....
Party leave England in the Prince of Wales-Reach Hudson's Bay factory by the
end of Angust-Proceed by the rivers and lakes to Cumberland House-Arrive at Fort
Chipewyan after a winter journey of 857 miles-Engage voyageurs and guides-Make
the acquaintance of Akaitcho, the Indian chief-Push on for Fort Enterprise, which
is made their winter residence after a voyage of 563 miles-Exploring excursions car.
ried on during the winter-“Green Stockings," the Indian beauty-Stores and Esqui-
maux interpreters arrive-Severity of the winter--Sufferings of the Indiang-Party
set out for the Polar Sea-Examine the coast westward of Point Turnagain-Dreadful
hardships and sufferings endured on their return journey, from famine and fatigue-
Death of several of the party-Mr. Hood is murdered by Michel the Iroquois, who,
for their mutual safety, is killed by Dr. Richardson-Hunger and famine endured by
the party—Their ultimate relief.
Parry's First Voyage in the Hecla and Griper, 1819-20,. . .. . 85
Names of officers serving, &c.--Enter Lancaster Sound-The Croker mountains
prove to be fallacious-Parry discovers and enters Regent Inlet-Also discovers and
names various islands, capes, and channels-Reaches Melville Island-Expedition cross
the meridian of 1100 W., and become entitled to the Parliamentary reward of £5000
-Drop anchor for the first time-Land on the island-Abundance of animals found
An exploring party lose themselves for three days, but are recovered and brought
back-Vessels get into winter-quarters—A MS. newspaper published-amateur plays
performed-Observatory destroyed by fire-Scurvy makes its appearance-Crews put
on short allowance-An excursion of a fortnight made to examine the island-Ships get
dear of the ice-But are unable to make further progress to the westward, and their
return to England is deter mined on.
Conveys out Capt. Sabine to make observations--Reach Spitzbergen-Proceed thenco
to Pendulam Islands Northeastern coast of Greenland surveyed-Captain Clavering
and a party of nineteen men carry on an exploring expedition for a fortnight-Meet
with a tribe of Esquimaux-Ship puts to sea-Make for the coast of Norway-Anchor
in Drontheim Fiord-Observations being completed, ship returns to England.
Lyon's Voyage in the Griper,......
Is sent to survey and examine the straits and shores of Arctic America-Arrives in
the channel known as Roe's Welcome-Encounters a terrific gale-Is in imminent dan.
ger in the Bay of God's Mercy-Suffers from another fearful storm-The ship being
quite crippled, and liaving lost all her anchors, &c., is obliged to return home.
os ship embar month-Ant them
Parry's Fourth or Polar Voyage in the Hecla, 1827.
Plans and suggestions of Scoresby, Beaufoy and Franklin for traveling in sledges
over the ice-Names of the officers employed-Ship embarks reindeer on the Norway
coast Experiences a tremendous gale-Beset by ice for a month-Anchors at Spitz-
bergen-Sledge-boats prepared for the ice journey-Description of them-Night
turned into day-Slow progress-Occupations of the party-Lose ground by the
southward drift of the ice-Bear shot-Notices of animals seen-Reach northernmost
known land-The islet named after Ross-Return to the ship-Parry's subsequent
suggestions on this mode of traveling—Sir John Barrow's comments thereon-Opin-
ions of this perilous ice journey–Review of Parry's arctic services.
Captain John Ross's Second Voyage in the Victory, 1829-33.......155
Ross seeks official employment from the Admiralty on another arctic voyage-is re-
fused-Funds are furnished by Mr. Felix Booth-The Victory steamer purchased
Engages his nephew, Commander James Ross, as his second in command-List of
other officers-Ship encounters a gale, and is obliged to put into Holsteinberg to refit
--Proceed on their voyage-Enter Lancaster Sound and Regent Inlet--Reach Fury
Beach-Find abundance of stores there, and preserved meat in excellent condition
Replenish their stock-Proceed down the Inlet-Perils of the ice-Vessel secured in
Felix Harbor for the winter-Esquimaux visit the ship-Furnish very correct sketches
of the coast-nommander James Ross makes many excursions inland and along the
bays and inlets-Explores Ross's Strait, and pushes on to King William's Land-Difk-
culty of distinguishing land from sea-Reaches Point Victory and turns back-Ship
gets clear of the ice, after eleven months' imprisonment, but in a week is again frozen
m, and the party are detained during another severe winter-Further discoveries made,
and Commander Ross plants the British flag on the north magnetic pole-In August,
1831, the ship is warped out, and makes sail, but after beating about for a month, is
again frozen in; and rather than spend a fourth winter, there being no prospect of
releasing the ship, she is abandoned, and the crew make for Fury Beach-Provisions
and boats taken on with great labor-Party erect a canvas hut, which they name Som-
erset House-In a month, the boats being prepared for the voyage, the party embark,
and reach the mouth of the inlet-Barrow's Strait is found one compact mass of ice-
They are obliged to fall back on the stores at Fury Beach to spend their fourth winter-
Placed on short allowance-In the spring they again embark in their boats and succeed
in reaching Lancaster Sound-Fall in with whalers-Are received on board the Isabella,
Captain Rose's old ship-Arrive home-Public rejoicings for their safety-Rewards
granted—Resume of Captain John Ross's services.
Captain Back's Land Journey in search of Ross, 1833–34..........168
Attention called to the missing expedition by Dr. Richardson-Plans of relief suge
gested-Public meeting held to consider the best measures- Ample funds raised-Capt.
Back volunteers-Leaves England with Dr. King-Voyageurs and guides, &c., engaged
in Canada-Party push through the northwest country-Dreadful sufferings from
Insect pests-Reach Fort Resolution, on Great Slave Lake-Motley description of the
travelers and their encampment- Arrangements are completed, and the journey in
search of the Great Fish River commenced-Frightful nature of the precipices, rap-
ds, falls, ravines, &c.-Meet with old acquaintances-Obliged to return to their winter
quarters-Dreadful sufferings of the Indians-Famine and intense cold-Noble conduct
of Akaitcho, the Indian chief-News received of Captain Ross's safe return to England
-Franklin's faithful Esquimaux interpreter, Augustus, endeavoring to join Back, in
frozen to death-A fresh journey toward the sea is resolved on-Provisions for three
months taken-Indian encampment-Green Stockings, the beauty-Interview with the
chief, Akaitcho-Arduous and perilous progress toward the sea-Pilfering propensi-
ties of the Indians-Meet with a large friendly tribe of Esquimaux-Reach the sea,
and proceed along the coast to the eastward, unable to arrive at the Point Turnagain
of Franklin-Privations of the party on their return journey-Difficulties encountered
in re-ascending the river-Reach Fort Reliance after four months' absence--Pass the
winter there Captain Back arrives in England in September, after an absence of
two years and a half-Dr. King follows him in the Hudsons Bay spring ships.
Back's Voyage in the Terror up Hudson's Strait, 1836.............186
Ship arrives at Salisbury Island-Proceeds up Frozen Strait-Is blocked up by the
ice, and driven about powerless for more than six months-Cast on her beam ends
for three days-From the crippled state of the ship and the insurmountable difficulties
;f the navigation, the return to England is determined on-Summary of Captain
Back's arctic services.