Narrative of a second expedition to the shores of the polar sea...
Click on the numbers above to view a selection of pages from the book.
John Franklin. Narrative of a second expedition to the shores of the polar sea in the years 1825, 1826 and 1827... London, 1828.
Franklin’s second overland expedition was part of a three-pronged attack on the Passage. Franklin was to descend the Mackenzie River to the Arctic coast, while Frederick Beechey was to sail east from Bering Strait, and William Parry to sail west through Lancaster Sound and Prince Regent Inlet. They did not meet, although Beechey’s and Franklin’s expeditions got to within 160 miles of each other. Franklin’s expedition explored the Arctic coast from the Mackenzie River east to the Coppermine River, and west to Icy Cape, where they turned back because of cold.
The picture displayed on the second page above, shows the icy conditions
on the Arctic coast, and a self-portrait
of the artist, George Back. Back later led an Arctic land expedition to
the mouth of the Great Fish (now Back) River, and published an account
that he illustrated himself. (Click here to see some of those
[Aug. 1, 1826] But there [near the mouth of the Mackenzie] finding heavy ice lying aground, and so closely packed as to preclude the possibility of putting the boats into the water, it was determined to examine the channel by walking along the shore of the reef.... On the dispersion of the fog in the afternoon, we perceived that some of the masses of ice were from twenty to thirty feet high; and we derived little comfort from beholding, from the top of one of them, an unbroken surface of ice to seaward.