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to its last fatal consequences, including the humiliation of a foreign intervention. They failed to take advantage of the division which obviously prevailed among the leaders of the insurrection, and sought rather to plunge them all in one common crime, for which many of the noblest and least guilty were made to suffer even to the death, whilst those of meaner minds or more crafty resources had contrived their own escape from the catastrophe which had become inevitable.
ART. IV.-1. Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea, in 1846 and 1847. By John Rae. 1850.
2. Arctic Searching Expedition: Journal of a Boat Voyage. By Sir John Richardson. 2 vols. 1851.
3. Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal. By Lieut. S. Osborn.
4. Journal of a Voyage in 1850-1, performed by the Lady Franklin and Sophia, under command of Mr. Wm. Penny. By P. C. Sutherland, M.D. 2 vols. 1852.
5. Papers and Despatches relating to the Arctic Searching Expeditions of 1850-1-2. Collected by James Mangles, R.N.
6. Second Voyage of the Prince Albert, in Search of Sir John Franklin. By Wm. Kennedy. 1853.
7. Parliamentary Papers. 1848-53.
8. Chart of Discoveries in the Arctic Sea. By John Arrowsmith.
HESE books and papers comprise most of the discoveries made in Arctic regions since we noticed Sir John Barrow's volume of Voyages in 1846. Franklin had sailed in the previous year, and in saying that we should wait his re-appearance with the anxiety of the princess for the diver, we much rather anticipated that we should soon have to welcome him with the goblet of gold, than that a seventh year should find us deploring his continued absence, with no better clue to his fate than dismal conjecture could supply. There was nothing in the nature of his enterprise to excite much fear for its result. The several Arctic expeditions sent out since 1818 had returned in safety. Their records are full of peril, but full also of the resources of skill and courage by which peril may be overcome. When this voyage was proposed by Barrow to the Royal Society, he urged that there could be no objection with regard to any apprehension of the loss of ships or men,' as it was remarkable that neither sickness nor death had occurred in most of the voyages
voyages made into the Arctic regions, north or south.' Franklin was well experienced in the navigation of frozen seas; his officers and crews were picked men; and the strength of his ships - the Erebus and Terror-had been thoroughly testedthe first in the Expedition of Sir James Ross to the South Pole -the second in the voyage of Back to Repulse Bay. He sailed, full of confidence in the success of his mission, on the 19th of May, 1845, and though nearly thirty vessels have since been despatched in search of him, besides parties who have explored the North American coast, all that we yet know of him is, that he passed his first winter in a secure harbour at the entrance of Wellington Channel. Whether, when released from the ice in 1846, he advanced or receded, is not certainly known. In the absence of decisive evidence, the best authorities are at fault. One witness stated before the last Arctic committee, it was 'all guess-work.' The travelling parties who from Beechey Island surveyed every coast for hundreds of miles, found not a cairn or post erected by the missing expedition. Since Franklin entered Lancaster Sound, not one of the cylinders which he was directed to throw overboard has been recovered, nor has a fragment of his equipment been found on any shore. It has hence been inferred that he must have left the harbour with the full intention of proceeding homewards. Captain Austin believes that the ships did not go beyond Beechey Island, but were lost in the ice, either by being beset when leaving winter quarters, or when attempting their return to England, Commander Phillips is of the same opinion.
But if Franklin did resolve to return thus early, what could have become of the ships and men? That both vessels should be totally lost is contrary to all experience and probability, and that not a man should survive, is more unlikely still. One of the most experienced Arctic seamen living, who wen six voyages in whalers before he sailed with Parry, and has since been in the expeditions of the two Rosses, states that though it is possible-and he admits the supposition as but a possibility-the ships may have been 'walked over by the ice in Baffin's Bay,' yet that 'the men on such occasions are always saved,' by jumping on the ice and making their way to the land or to the next ship.* The harbourage chosen for the ships was so secure, that it is unlikely they could have been carried out from the Straits at the mercy of the ice, as were the ships of
In a recent Dundee newspaper we observe an account of a whale-ship, employed in the Greenland fishery for the last sixty-nine years. She was lost at last, not by the ice of the northern sea, but by being stranded on a reef near her port, when returning with a full cargo.
VOL. XCII. NO. CLXXXIV.
Sir James Ross in 1849, and of the American expedition in 1850. Franklin did not take up his winter quarters in haste, or from necessity. He must have dropped anchor while the sea was comparatively open, and why winter there at all if he meant to return as soon as the open season again came round?
We know that he contemplated the probability of an absence prolonged even beyond two winters. His last letter to Sabine from Whale Fish Islands entreats him to relieve the anxiety of Lady Franklin and his daughter, should he not return at the time they expected, as
"You know well that, even after the second winter without success in our object, we should wish to try some other channel, if the state of our provisions and the health of the crews justify it.'
Is it likely that the man who wrote thus to his nearest friend would have returned after one winter, without effecting or attempting more than a passage to Barrow's Strait?
Lieutenant Griffith, announcing his departure from the ships with his transport, July, 1845, wrote—
All are in the highest possible spirits, and determined to succeed, if success be possible. A set of more undaunted fellows never were got together, or officers better selected. I am indeed certain that, if the icy barriers will be sufficiently penetrable to give them but half the length of their ships to force themselves through, they will do so at all risks and hazards.'
Commander Fitzjames, who sailed in the Erebus with Franklin, speaks repeatedly, in the lively letters and journal he forwarded to his friends at home, of the determination which prevailed in both ships to go a-head,' and jestingly begs that, if nothing is heard of him by next June, letters may be forwarded to him via Kamschatka. We can carry much sail and do,' he notes in his journal; 'I can scarcely manage to get Sir John to shorten sail at all.' So well was it understood that the ships would push forward through any open channel which might present itself, that the ice-master of the Terror, writing to his wife from Disco Island, July 12, 1845, warned her of the probability that they might be out much longer than was anticipated:
We are all in good health and spirits, one and all appearing to be of the same determination, that is, to persevere in making a passage to the north-west. Should we not be at home in the fall of 1848, or early in the spring of 1849 [this allowed for a four years' absence] you may anticipate that we have made the passage, or are likely to do so; and if so, it may be from five to six years-it might be into the seventh -ere we return; and should it be so, do not allow any person to dishearten you on the length of our absence, but look forward with hope, that Providence will at length of time restore us safely to you.'
An anecdote is related of Franklin in Barrow's volume, which shows how superior he held the claims of duty to those of personal feeling or convenience. When about to leave England in 1825, on his second expedition to explore the North American coast, his first wife was sinking under a fatal malady. She urged his departure on the day appointed, and he denied himself the sad satisfaction of waiting to close her eyes. She had employed some of the tedious hours of sickness in making for him a union flag, only to be unfurled when he reached the Polar Sea. This flag was hoisted when from the summit of Garry Island the sea, stretching free and unincumbered to the north, appeared in all its majesty. His companions hailed the outspread banner with joyful excitement, and Franklin, who had learned that his wife died the day after his departure, repressed all sign of painful emotion that he might not cloud their triumph at having planted the British colours on this island of the Polar Sea. Was this the man to turn back after one winter spent at the entrance of the strait where his enterprise did but commence?
It has indeed been much the fashion of late to complain of the employment of naval commanders in a too advanced stage of life, and remarks of this nature have been made on the ultimate commission of Franklin. We saw him often, however, on the eve of his start, and assuredly, though well up in years, there was no sign whatever of any falling off either in muscular fibre or animal spirits. We may add that his government at Van Diemen's Land had not ended under altogether flattering circumstances, and, according to our information, few of his friends doubted that in embracing this new task he was not uninfluenced by a yearning to recover whatever of prestige he might have supposed himself to have lost as a civil administrator, by another and a crowning display of tact and energy in the department of his original distinction.
It is by no means certain that because no record of him has been discovered beyond Beechey Island, none was left. Kennedy, when he explored Cape Walker last spring-ignorant that he had been preceded by Captain Austin's parties-mistook the large cairn they had erected for a part of the cliff, and actually walked over a smaller one deeply covered with snow, without for a moment suspecting that the spot had been previously visited. This fact has come out on Capt. Ommaney and Mr. Kennedy's comparing notes of their respective journeys. Sir Edward Belcher, in his recent despatches, states that the cairns erected by the well-organized expedition of his predecessors have in some cases been destroyed, and in others can
with difficulty be recognized. August 14:
For example, he says on
'We have not been able, even with this very open season, to trace the large supplies left at Navy Board Inlet by the North Star, and no beacon marks their whereabout.'
At Cape Warrender he found the cairn and post erected by Captain Austin's expedition, but no document:
'The tally having written' on it Pull out Record was found beside the cairn, deeply impressed with the teeth of some small animal.' In the opinion of this experienced officer, there could have been no hurry in removing from Beechey Island, as everything bore the stamp of order and regularity. This is utterly opposed to the notion that Franklin had been forced away by the ice.
In the distressful uncertainty which clouds his fate it is our only consolation to reflect that Government has shown all along the heartiest concern for its gallant servants. With other dispositions, indeed, better results might have been looked for. It is the misfortune of the Admiralty Instructions, we think, that they have said too much to leave the commanders of the expeditions entirely to their own discretion, and not enough to ensure a regular and systematic series of operations. Discovery, however, has not languished since Franklin's departure, and a sketch of what has been effected within the polar circle for the last six years will conveniently exhibit the efforts made for his relief, and show the lines of coast which have already been fruitlessly searched.
When he sailed it was a disputed question whether an opening into that sea which washes the shores of North America might not exist in some part of Boothia Gulf. Mr. Rae has set that question at rest. His expedition is a fine example of how much may be accomplished with very limited means. He started from Fort Churchill, on the west side of Hudson's Bay, with twelve men and two boats, on the 5th of July, 1846. On arriving at the head of Repulse Bay he crossed the isthmus which separated him from Boothia Gulf, a distance of 40 miles, and in six days reached the sea. But it was now the first week in August, heavy rains set in, and, finding progress impossible, he recrossed the isthmus, joined the party he had left at Repulse Bay, and determined to leave any further survey until the spring, employing the remainder of the open season in making the best provision he could for the winter.
His stores had been calculated for four months' consumption only; he was entirely destitute of fuel; he could obtain no