« ZurückWeiter »
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 mp 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 invaded 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 de tails 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 pages 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 Dow be closed, it will constitute one of the most remark. able and entertairing departments of human heroism, enterprise, and endurance, which biography or history presents.
Franklin's opinions on a northwest passage-Abstract of Sir John Barrow's works on
Names of the officers and men-Ships visited by the natives of Greenland-Abun-
Names of officers and complement, &c.-Fanciful appearance of icebergs-Ships
end of August-Proceed by the rivers and lakes to Cumberland House - Arrive at Fort
prove to be fallacious-Parry discovers and enters Regent Inlet-Also chiscovers and
Hudson's Strait-Dangers o the ice- Fall in with Hudson'sBay Company's ships, and
Clavering's Voyage to Spitzbergen and Greenland in the Griper,
the channel known as Roe's Welcome-Encounters a terrific gale--Is in imminent dan.
the Hudson's Bay Company's territories-Winter at Fort Franklin on Great Bear
Captain Beechey's Voyago to Behring's Strait in the Blossom,
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
of stores there, and preserved meat in excellent condition-
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 Ross'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...
Attention called to the missing expedition by Dr. Richardson-Plans of relief sug.
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 tho
travelers and their encampment-Arrangements are completed, and the journey in
search of the Great Fish River commenced-Frightful nature of the precipices, rap-
ads, 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, is
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