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Shall we suppose, then, that, on getting out of harbour, he advanced to the south-west, and, baffled in his efforts, returned to Wellington Channel? The absence of any signals on the shore either way must go far to negative the idea; and it is more than doubtful whether the two months of an Arctic summer would suffice for such an exploration. Wellington Channel is intricate, and, for ships of the size of the Erebus and Terror, would require great caution. Penny states that

⚫ the fearful rate the tide runs (not less than six knots) through the sounds that divide the Channel renders it dangerous even for a boat, much more so a ship, unless clear of ice, which, from the appearance of the ice here, will not be clear this season.'

The experienced Abernethy says:—

• Wellington Strait is a dangerous navigable passage, the ice flowing about with the tide. It would not be safe for a ship to go up there. Lieut. Aldrich conceived there must be vast difficulty in navigating the Strait;' and Captain Austin observes that the naviga. tion of the Channel must be very critical, as all narrow straits in icy seas are.' We do not quote these statements as evidence that the Strait cannot be navigated, for Sir E. Belcher has settled that question; but to prove how unlikely it is that the Channel could be passed through rapidly. On the supposition that Franklin went up it, how are we to account for the absence of cairns or flag-staffs, which would show he had visited, or taken possession of, the newly-found land?-for no shores have been so minutely explored as these.

In our total ignorance of the geography of that region which Franklin was directed to examine, it would be rash to speculate on the difficulties into which an opening to the south-west might lead. Before Lancaster Sound was explored, no one could have supposed that it would open out so many intricate channels, or display that intermingling of land and sea on either side north and south, which the skill of our best navigators for the last thirty years has failed to make more than imperfectly known. Franklin's ships may have been, as the Fury was, forced ashore in some narrow ice-choked channel far to the west, or they may have been caught in the bottom of some gulf from which they have been unable to escape. Between him and the American continent there may be mountainous land, and immense fields of that peculiar sharp-pointed ice which Kellett says it would be impossible to traverse by any exertion or contrivance. He describes it as

❝ very much broken, or rough, with pinnacles of considerable height. Travelling

Travelling over it for any distance is, I should say, impossible; many of the floes are nearly covered with water, the mirage from which distorted objects in the most extraordinary way.'

In the same way Pullen gives it as his opinion that there would be no possibility of reaching the North American coast across the heavy hummocky ice he saw to the north. We are constrained, indeed, to admit that the fact of no trace of Franklin having as yet been found furnishes a strong presumption that he is no longer in existence; but we say that that fact alone is not stronger against his having taken a south-west than a north-west course, as the one might have led him into as great peril as the other, and as completely have deprived him of the possibility of communicating with any point where he might hope for assistance.

We are not ignorant of what may be urged on the other side: that the most experienced Arctic navigators hug the northern shore; that-in spite of the evidence of Dr. Sutherland and others as to the usually later breaking up of the ice in Wellington Channel-Franklin might have met with an impenetrable barrier of ice to the west, while the entrance of that Channel was open ;* and that Parry in his first voyage in vain attempted to find an opening in the ice to the south. Our argument is not that Franklin must have taken any one particular course, but only that, so long as the space between 104° and 116° W. long. is unexplored, it cannot be said that Franklin has been fairly sought in the direction he was ordered to pursue.

The search was maintained by one vessel only in the following year. The Prince Albert, which returned home in 1850, after her unsuccessful cruise, was refitted, and sailed early in 1851, under command of Mr. William Kennedy, who has published a short and sensible narrative of his voyage. M. Bellot, a lieutenant in the French navy, joined as a volunteer, and his generous ardour and lively spirits seem to have contributed greatly to the efficiency of the expedition. Kennedy wintered at Batty Bay, on the west side of Regent's Inlet. In his spring journey of 1852 he showed what it was in the power of a really intrepid traveller to accomplish. Following the coast to the south, he found a channel in Brentford Bay leading westward. Traversing this channel he came again upon the sea, thus proving North Somerset to be a large island. On his right, to the north, the land appeared continuous. By Lieut. Browne's examination of Peel's Sound (or Ommaney Inlet) from Barrow's Strait, we were led to suppose that it was only a gulf, which

* Dr. Sutherland, when asked by Sir E. Parry whether it was his opinion that the ice broke up sooner in the direction of Cape Walker than at the entrance of Wellington Channel, replied, 'Yes; two months sooner.'

would

would so far correspond with Mr. Kennedy's observation. As an open sea appeared to the south, it is not unreasonably conjectured that it may be continued to the Victoria Strait of Rae ; in that case the narrow channel of Brentford Bay would prove that at least one south-west passage existed. Continuing his course nearly west, until he passed 100° west long., he turned to the north, struck the sea at that point reached by Capt. Ommaney in exploring the bay which bears his name, then turned to the east and to the north till he reached Cape Walker, returning to his ship by the north shore of North Somerset, having successfully performed a journey of eleven hundred miles and been absent from the ship for ninety-seven days! During the whole time they knew no other shelter than the snow-houses they threw up at each resting-place.

In his modest narrative Mr. Kennedy describes the general order of his arrangements. His party, including M. Bellot and himself, consisted of six persons. Their luggage and stores were borne on sleighs made after the Indian fashion, five Esquimaux dogs very materially assisting in their draught. Without the aid, indeed, of these much-enduring animals so long a journey could scarcely have been performed; and, as nothing came amiss to them in the way of food, it being found that they throve wonderfully on old leather shoes and fag-ends of buffalo-robes,' the sleighs were not much burdened by care for their provision. With a little practice all hands became expert in the erection of snow-houses, which presented

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'a dome-shaped structure, out of which you have only to cut a small hole for a door, to find yourself within a very light, comfortablelooking bee-hive on a large scale, in which you can bid defiance to wind and weather. Any chinks between the blocks are filled up with loose snow with the hand from the outside; as these are best detected from within, a man is usually sent in to drive a thin rod through the spot where he discovers a chink, which is immediately plastered over by some one from without, till the whole house is as air-tight as an egg.'-Narrative, 78, 79.

As respects their provision, they were materially indebted to the old treasures of the Fury, which they found not only in the best preservation, but much superior in quality, after thirty years of exposure to the weather, to some of our own stores and those supplied to the other Arctic expeditions.'* While travelling they had a cup of hot tea night and morning-'a luxury they

*On a strict and careful survey, made last July, of the preserved meats, 10,570 lbs., in tin canisters, supplied to the Plover, they were found in a pulpy, decayed, and putrid state, totally unfit for men's food.' The whole were thrown into the sea, as a nuisance. It is much to be feared that Franklin's preserved meats may have been of no better quality.

would

would not have exchanged for the mines of Ophir.' A gill and a half of spirits of wine boiled a pint of water. When detained by bad weather they had but one meal daily, and took ice with their biscuit and pemmican to save fuel. On the 15th of May they reached Whaler Point, and here stopped a week to recruit; all suffering much from scurvy. At this early period Regent's Inlet and Barrow's Strait were free from ice as far as the eye could reach. In a notice left at Whaler Point it was said 'Cape Walker was carefully examined, but bore no evidence whatever of its having been visited by Europeans.' Now, as the large cairns, formed by the parties of Ommaney and Osborn the previous spring, could thus be overlooked, might not signals erected by Franklin have been equally undistinguishable amid the deep snow which enveloped this bleak and rugged coast?

By the 30th of May the travellers were back at Batty Bay, where all had gone on well; but it was not until the 6th of August that the ship, by sawing and blasting, could be got clear of the ice. On the 19th of August Kennedy reached Beechey Island, where he had the satisfaction of finding the North Star engaged in sawing into winter quarters.-The expedition of Sir E. Belcherconsisting of the two brigs and their attendant steamers previously commanded by Austin, with the North Star as a depôt-ship -had left the Thames on the 21st of April, and arrived at Beechey Island on the 10th of August. The season was remarkably open; Wellington Channel and Barrow Strait were equally clear of ice on the 14th of August Sir E. Belcher (with a ship and a steamer) stood up the Channel, and the following day Captain Kellett (with the other brig and steamer) sailed in open water for Melville Island.-From the North Star Mr. Kennedy received despatches for England. He would gladly have remained out another season, but, as his men were bent on returning, he was compelled to relinquish his design, and bring his ship home.

A fortnight after his departure, Captain Inglefield, in the Isabel screw-steamer, communicated with the North Star. The Isabel had been purchased by Lady Franklin, with assistance from the Geographical Society and others. In her Captain Inglefield quitted England on the 6th of July last; coasted the northern shores of Baffin's Bay; advanced much further up Whale Sound than any previous navigator, finding as he proceeded an immense expanse of open water; ran a considerable distance up Smith's Sound and Jones's Sound without discovering any opposing land; and then made for Beechey Island, which he reached on the 7th of September. It is the opinion of this skilful observer that all the three great sounds at the head of Baffin's Bay are channels leading into the Polar Ocean. It is 2 F

VOL. XCII. NO. CLXXXIV.

to

to be regretted that, in so favourable a season, he had not the opportunity of determining this question, with regard to one of them at least. But, on the whole, considering the limited time at his disposal-his whole voyage lasting but four months-he must be allowed to have exerted himself very laudably.

The last parliamentary paper prints the intelligence received from Behring's Strait to the end of August, 1852. Commander Maguire, who was sent out to relieve Captain Moore in the Plover, arrived at Port Clarence on the 30th of June. The crew, with the exception of some frost-bites, were well, and had behaved admirably. Constant intercourse had been kept up with the natives, but no tidings had been heard as to any subject of anxiety. The Plover, under her new commander, put to sea on the 12th of July, and arrived at Icy Cape on the 19th, whence Maguire proceeded in a boat to Point Barrow to take soundings for anchorage. In his last despatch, 20th August, he intimates his expectation that he shall be able to place the Plover in winter quarters there about the beginning of September. He much advises that a steamer should be sent out to open a communication with him; and, considering how strongly a vessel of this kind has been recommended for the service by Admiral Beaufort and other high authorities, we are quite at a loss to understand why one was not sent out in place of the Rattlesnake recently despatched.

Mr. Kennedy is about to depart in the Isabel for Behring's Sea. Lady Franklin, aided by 10007. subscribed by some generous friends in Van Diemen's Land, who gratefully remember Sir John's rule, will again be at the charge of the expedition. The Isabel will be provisioned for four years. Mr. Kennedy hopes he shall be able to pass the strait this year, and take up a position for the winter somewhere near Point Barrow, whence in the winter and spring he might explore to the north and east, in the direction of Melville Island and Banks' Land. Captain Inglefield, in the Phoenix steam-sloop, will start this spring for Beechey Island, accompanied by a store-ship containing an ample supply of provisions. A new expedition is also, we observe, to be fitted out by the beneficent Mr. Grinnell, of New York.

The present state of the search then is this:-Sir E. Belcher is engaged in a survey of Wellington, while Captain Kellett is probably safely anchored in Winter Habour, the old quarters of Parry. Each has a well-stored ship, with an attendant steamer; while the North Star, within reach no doubt of parties from either vessel, remains in Franklin's harbourage at Beechey Island. On the Pacific side, the Plover, we may presume,

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