he thought it would be wrong were he, even at that late hour (twelve o'clock), to postpone the matter. The question he was desirous of putting to the First Lord of the Admiralty was, Whether he would inform the House what was the nature of the Instructions that might have been, or were about to be, sent to the commanders of Her Majesty's ships now engaged in- the Arctic regions ? The House was aware that several expeditions had been sent to the Arctic regions in search of Sir John Franklin, and it was also aware that though no one of them had been successful in the main object for which it was despatched, several had been eminently successful in exploring the coast of America, and in ascertaining that no traces of the Expedition had been found there. It was not asked that the Government should send any new expedition, or incur, generally speaking, any additional expense ; but that the Instructions issued to the commanders of Her Majesty's ships engaged in the Arctic regions should not convey such a peremptory order to them to return home as to prevent them from exercising some discretion as to the expediency of their continuing their efforts, in case they should think there was any hope of their being successful. Sir James Graham expressed his sympathy with the feelings which had prompted the observations of the honourable gentleman, and observed that he should neglect his duty if he did not impose some limit on the search after Sir John Franklin, which had now been protracted for many years, and was unhappily attended with great risk and possible loss of life. He had not thought it hitherto expedient to suspend the sending of additional ships, or to refuse incurring additional expense. A ship had been sent to Behring's Strait for the purpose of communicating, if possible, with those vessels that had passed three winters within the ice. The House was aware that two ships had entered Behring's Strait in search of Sir John Franklin. Captain M'Clure succeeded in effecting his passage to the eastward, and the gratifying intelligence had been received that he was safe ; but he regretted to add, with respect to Captain Collinson, no informamation had been received, and great anxiety and most serious apprehensions were entertained with respect to him. Instructions had
330 PLANS OF SEARCH FOR SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.
been sent, that if happily he was safe, he should at once leave the ice, and also all the ships ; but if any circumstance should occur which might excite a last lingering hope that assistance might yet be given to Sir John Franklin, and that his safety might still be secured, though there was hardly in his (Sir James Graham's) opinion any hope left with regard to the safety of that gallant officer and his companions, then orders would be given for the prolonged stay of the ships of search for the period of a year. Admiral Walcott con sidered that all that was consistent with the honour of the country had been done in seeking Sir John Franklin. He was of opinion that the vessels had foundered, and the crews had perished. His only regret was that the First Lord of the Admiralty should have determined to remove the names of the officers employed on that Expedition from the list until the return of Sir Edward Belcher, which he hoped would not be later than September or October next. He wished him to consider that point. Captain Scobell said that although it might be hopeless to save Captain Franklin, still Captain Collinson remained a survivor in the ice, and he might yet be rescued. He was one who thought Sir John Franklin was not now alive, and that, whether alive or dead, the spot where his ship was had never been reached. With respect to the possibility of his being alive, Captain M'Clure had given them some evidence on that point, for he had described an island which was full of the means of living. He thought it would be advisable to allow all the coming summer to be employed in continuing the search, not only for Sir John Franklin but for Captain Collinson. Sir James Graham said, Instructions were express, that if Captain Collinson were not heard of, the ships should remain the present summer. Lord Stanley agreed that there was no ground for sending out a new expedition in search of Sir John Franklin ; but he concurred in the propriety of allowing the ships now in the Arctic Seas to pursue the search. He hoped they would be allowed to do so according to their own judgment. Sir James Graham said a discretionary power was given them. The motion was agreed to.
Arctic explorers have great reason to be thankful to such men as the late Sir It. H. Inglis and Sir T. Acland, for they were ever their fast friends. But what were the real facts as to Instructions ? Any one reading the latest issued to the Behring's Strait squadron, dated llth January, 1854 (see ante), will see that the search for Sir John Franklin is already abandoned: his name is not even mentioned, either in those given to Commander Trollope or to Commander Ma CAPTAIN INGLEFIELD. 331
guire. That officer is expressly told " The Plover and Eattlesnake are now detained solely on account of, and to afford assistance to, Captain Collinson and the crew of the Enterprise" Commander Maguire is, in these Instructions, allowed the discretionary power of remaining another winter, 1854-5, to look for or hear tidings of Collinson; and Commander Trollope is positively ordered to do so ; but both these officers are told, " You are distinctly to understand that no ship will be sent from the Pacific station in 1855 to communicate with G-rantley Harbour." As to giving orders to the ships to remain another year, in case circumstances should arise "which might excite a lingering hope" that, by assistance, the safety of Sir John Franklin and his gallant followers might be secured, the very words go to show there was no such intention, or why not at once have expressed it in the Instructions to Commanders Trollope and Maguire, and given them the needful discretionary power ? No ; the man who, from his position, could sanction the presumption that Franklin and his associates were dead, while yet the searching expeditions were out seeking them, and before it was possible to receive information as to their success or not we say such a one shows pretty clearly what his feelings are, and the value of his sympathy. We perceive, too, that aid to Collinson was limited to the autumn of 1855. As to Instructions to the Barrow's Strait Expedition, the last despatches speak of Sir Edward Belcher being on his return, unsuccessful. There is little hope, therefore, that he will be ordered to remain. Where would he search ? The only place at all likely is Melville Sound, and that has been considered searched and done with, although in fact only partly so ; and yet its importance outweighs all others, as being the area to which Franklin was directed to go in the first instance.
May 6th, 1854, H.M.S. Phoenix, Capt. Inglefield, was again despatched to Beechey Island, with a transport containing provisions, &c., for Sir Edward Belcher's squadron. With her additional Instructions were sent by the Lords of the Admiralty to the latter officer, dated April 28th, 1854, the purport of which we give. He " is to direct his especial attention to the measures they now require to le adopted for at once withdrawing, if possible, the whole of the force now employed in the search of Sir John Franklin from the Polar seas" A limited discretionary power is given to Sir Edward Belcher, but their Lordships' views may be stated as follows : " First, If the crews of the Enterprise and Investigator are at Banks' Land, they must abandon their ships and endeavour to get to Beechey Island, that
332 PLANS Or SEARCH FOR SIE JOHN FRANKLIN.
they may return to England. If this has already been effected, and Capt. Kellett, with his ships, has returned from Melville Island, you are immediately to proceed to England, with the whole of the ships and their crews, abandoning all further search for the missing Expedition, unless any circumstances (on consultation) should induce you to believe that your remaining out another year would tend to clear up the fate of our missing countrymen. If Captain Kellett has been unable to move from his position at Melville Island, it may be necessary to give orders to him to abandon the Resolute and Intrepid, and secure his retreat to Beechey Island; but as this cannot be accomplished this year, you need not detain any officer or men who may have already reached Beechey Island, but send them to England forthwith. Second, Should no tidings have been heard of Capt. Collinson, it becomes absolutely necessary to provide for his safety. For this purpose the Melville Island depot must be replenished with provisions and stores, and it will be necessary for a ship and steam tender to remain there also the North Star or Talbot, with a tender at Beechey Island ; and at those stations everything that can add to the health and comfort of the crews should be deposited. k . Having done this it does not appear . . to be necessary that any of the other ships should remain another year in the Polar Sea.
" These are the views of their Lordships ; their great object being to recall, with the least possible delay, the whole of the ships or crews, if it can be done. If not possible to do so, they leave it to your judgment and discretion to send home such as may not be required, and to adopt those measures which you consider most necessary to ensure the safety of Capt. Collinson and his crew, and their speedy return to England. . . On the return of any of the ships to England from Beechey Island, it is desirable that the coast to the southward of Pond's Bay, viz., from the Eiver Clyde towards Cape "Walsingham, should be examined."
These Instructions are sufficiently clear and positive for withdrawing the whole of the searching vessels. The unhappy Pranklin and his companions having been, or were soon to be, prematurely numbered with the dead. The vessels, being no longer necessary, the sooner they were back the better, and their Lordships very properly set about their recall at once. Again, it was discreditable to prolong a search where all was failure and disappointment. The discovery of the North- West Passage, and the presumed death of all on board the JSrebus and Terror, gave them, an excellent opportunity to shake themselves clear of Arctic questions and Arctic men : still we think it
SIR EDWARD BELCHER'S DESPATCHES. 333
might have been done in a less offensive manner. The pay of the unfortunate Franklin and his gallant men might have been prolonged to their unhappy families until Belcher's squadron had returned; or, at least, until that officer had made his final report. Again, Collinson was out, and no one could say what success might reward his search. We are glad to see every regard given to the safety and comfort of that gallant officer and his crew, even to leaving vessels at Melville and Beechey Islands ; but there are no directions to attempt a communication with him, whether by Prince of Wales' Strait or Peel's Sound. The examination of the latter would have set the question at rest whether Franklin ever attempted to get down that Sound, about which so much speculation has been abroad since.
September 28th, 1854, H.M.S. Phoenix, Captain Inglefield, arrived at Cork.* After much difficulty in getting to the northward in Baffin's Bay, and in crossing the middle ice, she arrived at Beechey Island, 26th August, 1854. She here found the North Star " standing off and on," and was informed that the whole of the officers and crews of the Investigator, Resolute, Intrepid, Assistance, and Pioneer were on board that ship, the first three having been abandoned by Sir Edward Belcher's orders in May last, and Sir Edward himself, with his own party, having just deserted the Assistance and Pioneer, about fifty miles from Beechey Island.
We shall now give extracts from the proceedings of Sir Edward Belcher.f
It will be recollected that the despatches of last year left the Assistance and Pioneer ten miles east of Cape Becher on the 26th of July, 1853, on their return to Beechey Island. The search for the Franklin Expedition was therefore virtually terminated then in this direction. It is not necessary for our object to go into the fatigues, vexations, delays, and dangers of Arctic navigation. Every effort was made to get the ships down Wellington Channel. They were finally arrested ten miles north-north-east of Cape Osborn, where they wintered in 1853-4. Sir Edward, in his despatch dated Wellington Channel, from the 8th August to the 10th September, 1853, recapitulates in greater detail his previous discoveries. These we have already noticed ; but the following more extended description of the western entrance of the much talked-of Jones's Sound and its islands we think worthy extract. He says :
* See Blue Book, " Further Papers relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditious in Search of Sir John Franklin, &c., 1855," p. 11. f Ibid., p. 12.
334 PLANS OF SEARCH FOR SIE JOHN FRANKLIN.
"We reached on the 18th (May) the entrance of a splendid channel. Fog had for some time worried us with indistinct glimpses of the approaches, but as it now cleared off and the sun enlivened the scene, we were regaled with such a magnificent view of successive beetling headlands on either side of the channel, and extending for about twenty miles, that it really became a puzzling matter to find names for them. Of one thing I felt quite convinced, viz., that we were now really in Jones's (Sound) Channel, and by nothing but lad taste in nature could we be deceived. The latitude, the direction, the limit in longitude to which we could see, only required sixty miles to lead to the cairn erected by Captain Austen's party. Who could dream of failure on the 18th May ? The roughness of the frozen pack now compelled us to take to the land, and we advanced easily five or six miles, when a further stop was put to our progress" by " an abrupt glacier, half a gale of wind, and the mortifying discovery that its base was washed by the sea, and the off-lying pack rotten and tumbling asunder. . . It was determined to try an overland route, and avoid this unfortunate hole, as we then thought it." They started, " the hills increasing in height, until they reached 1,500 feet. We then descended, and took up another position at nearly the same height at the last Huff (Britannia Heights). All our hopes were crushed. Between us and the distant bluff the open sea prevailed on the 20tJi May; the horizon was streaked with open ' sailing ice,' and all communication cut off" for sledges. The bluff, distant sixteen miles, was clearly the turning point into Jones's Channel. No land was visible beyond it. . . To the north of us lay the new land of Kent, and far to the westward a new chain, hereafter to be examined. Fortunately our weather was beautifully clear, and we not only saw all the distant objects, but obtained the requisite observations for planting them in their proper places."
Sir Edward then speaks of Arthur's Strait, which we noticed in last year's despatches. The following observation, as he is starting from Princess Eoyal Land, with the object of examining the Victoria Archipelago, June 6th, we must quote : * " It occurred to me that under any circumstances, either as regarded Sir John Franklin, Captain Collinson, or Commander M'Clure, that if either of them entered the Polar Sea here on the range of these islands, with comparatively open .water for perhaps 100 miles, they might drift to and fro for years, or
* See Blue Book, " Further Papers relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions, 1855," p. 15.
SIB EDWABD BELCHEtt'S DESPATCHES. 335
until they experienced one of those northern nips which would form a mount above them in a very few seconds. The more I have seen of the action of the ice, the partially open ivater, and the deceitful leads into ' the pools,' the more satisfied I am that the man who once ventures ' off the land ' is, in all probability, sacrificed. He may desert his vessel, and by hard travel succeed in gaining some place of rendezvous under the present dispositions effected by Captain Kellett as well as myself; but there is no calculating, as yet, that our exertions . . may not be directed to a similar object."
At Buckingham Island he remarks : " The heavy, even solid nature of the floe surrounding, or, where 'nipped,' the almost berg-like lumps that protruded, afforded a fair inference that the sea is seldom seriously disturbed in these latitudes : on the other hand, if we take into consideration the exuviae of whales and other animals, found at every elevation, even to the summits of hills above 800 feet; the extraordinary wear or abrasion of the outlines, which nothing we have experienced could effect, it almost leads one to imagine that nature at some moment, possibly past and for ever, fatally perhaps for those we seek, has piled up layer over layer to effect what otherwise nothing but a recent deluge could account for." These observations convey a fearful picture of the Arctic Sea to the northward of Grinnell Land for navigation ; but we think the conclusions are scarcely warranted by the limited experience gained in one season facts had not sufficiently accumulated. We cannot conceive the conditions of such a sea, where ships " might drift to and fro for years, . . with partially open water," and "leads into pools," without some lead, some open water by which, however deceptive, advantage might be taken to extricate the ships ; or, if nipped, afford facility for the escape of their crews that is to say, if within a few hundred miles of some known spot or depot. The results of the travelling parties have taught us this. The inference drawn at Buckingham Island, one of the Victoria Archipelago, with narrow passages between, offering resistance to the free drift of the floes, and no doubt ice-blocked " that the sea is seldom disturbed in these latitudes" is, we think, not tenable, especially in June, with open water east and west of them. The existence of the exuviae of whales at a height of 800 feet above the sea level, geologically, we might comprehend, but not that they came there by any action of nature in force in the present day, such as by piling up "layer over layer," or "a recent deluge." We cannot think, therefore, even supposing that Franklin did ascend the Wellington Channel, that any fatality oc 330 PLANS OF SEARCH FOR SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.
curred to him through this agency. But we leave this extraordinary fact to be accounted for by wiser heads than our own, premising it rests on the authority of Sir Edward Belcher, which is undoubted he saw these exuviae in situ. At last, on the 16th June, on Princess Eoyal Island, Sir Edward had proof that animals really did exist in the regions about him. He says : " Por the first time this day we noticed three musk oxen ; . . five deer were subsequently seen ; but no human being could subsist by the aid of his gun throughout our whole range, and as to a party of five or seven men, impossible. By extraordinary good fortune, bears might fall in the way of the traveller ; but having killed and eaten his proportion, I much doubt if his strength would enable him to drag the remains until another piece of similar good fortune befell him. The assertion, therefore, of any ' teeming or abundance of animal life ' in this north-eastern district is utterly untenable.'" Sir Edward seems determined not to countenance the opinion that animals are to be found in sufficient numbers in high latitudes to support life, and yet Esquimaux find subsistence and do live in higher latitudes than his farthest north ; but animals are not usually looked for on sterile limestone tracts, where no vegetation can exist. Near Baillie Hamilton Island, 17th August, it is remarked:* "But as far as geography or navigation are concerned, I am not inclined to suspect that any human beings will, from choice, attempt to revisit a portion of the earth's surface so utterly barren and void of interest in animal, vegetable, or mineral productions. The picture which Captain Kellett may draw of Melville Island would be a paradise to this." "We do not look for an oasis or paradise in these regions, but surely this is a very morbid view.
Still persisting in their efforts to force the vessels down Wellington Channel, amid heavy masses of grounded ice, on the 4th September, near Cape Osborn, some objects were observed on a floe, and a boat was sent to examine them. They proved to be the Halkefs boat, chart, and other vestiges of the chivalrous Bellot's party. The men everything was saved but him ! Even the brittle floe which had borne him to destruction was unbroken, and seemed to have been preserved that, these relics restored, the memory of this lamented, gallant young Frenchman might not pass away from the face of the earth. " How many fall as sudden, not as safe !" The ships were finally frozen in, as we have said, ten miles north * See Blue Book, " Further Papers relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions, 1855," p. 17.
SIR EDWARD BELC'lIEli's DESPATCHES. 337
north-east of Cape Osboru. The winter of 1853-4 was scarcely over, before preparations were made for communicating with the Resolute and Intrepid. In February and March travelling parties were despatched for this purpose, and for the examination of Capes Bunny and Rennell, and Leopold Harbour, in case Captain Collinson should attempt to make his way into Barrow's Strait by Peel's Sound : a circumstance not at all probable, as the reports of Lieutenant Broivne, of Mr. Kennedy and Lieutenant JSellot, lead to the conclusion that it is closed, or, if not closed, unnavigable. Parties from the eastern and western divisions having met, the position of the ships of the western division was ascertained. The Resolute and Intrepid had been blown out from Dealy Island the 17th August, drifting easterly and southerly. They were ultimately frozen in in the pack on the 12th November, twenty-eight miles south-west of Cape Cockburn, where they were subsequently abandoned.
The following we extract from Sir Edward Belcher's despatch, 15th August, 1854, as being his opinion of the movements and subsequent fate of Sir John Franklin :
" That our efforts have entirely failed in our first and most exciting search rests mainly, I believe, on the conviction that the Erebus and Terror did not advance westerly or northerly beyond Beechey Island, and it is a matter of no common importance to my mind, and adverse to any intention of a northern movement, that not one single reliable trace of detached sporting parties has been met with northerly. But, on the other hand, easterly, at points where we should naturally expect explorers would be averse to proceed, n 111110rous traces of temporary sojourn abound, fatal in my mind to any idea of further western discovery, and specially in the direction of Wellington Channel. I admit, now that we know that navigable channels exist on either sides of Baillie Hamilton and Dundas Islands, that it was not unnatural to suppose that ships might have escaped westerly by that route. But, speaking as a surveyor, as a simple navigator, had I travelled from hence to the heights of Cape Osborn, or further north to Cape Hogarth, and beheld from thence, as I have done, on the latter and near the former, the clear panoramic view of Wellington Channel, I would not have deemed the Queen's Channel of sufficient importance to risk my vessels for exploration, nor of equal value to the Byam Martin Strait, (which is ?) easier of approach, and for every object attainable more secure, than the course by Wellington Channel. . . I saw no features from the eastern shores to warrant any passage, nor is it fair to judge from the very extra or z
338 PLANS OF SEAECH FOB SIB JOHN FRANKLIN.
dinary season of 1852, that successive years would afford similar facility. . . I know that 1853 and 1854 offered no invitations to the judicious navigator to try his chance late in the season, merely perhaps to enter the great bay where the Assistance spent her dreary winter. My impression still clings to the escape out of Lancaster Sound, or a fatal issue off Cape Riley, and that traces, if ever discovered, must be sought from the Esquimaux of the southern land (Cockburn Island)."*
Again, in his letter to the Admiralty, reporting his arrival at, and dated Cork, September 28th, 1854, he saysrf "August 26th. I feel satisfied that no reasonable being of this expedition, with brains free from the delusions of interested motives, will venture to suggest that our unfortunate countrymen ever passed the meridian of Beechey Island after the spring or autumn of 1846. If any final proof were wanting to seal the impossibility of escape until too late to advance westward to positive destruction, let them look to the advance and immediate sealing of the Assistance in 1852, and the struggle of the North Star for release with three crews in 1854, from a position far outside that inferred to have been occupied by the Erebus and Terror."
From these observations it is very clear that Sir Edward Belcher, whatever his former views may have been, now concludes that Sir John Franklin never advanced westerly or northerly of Beechey Island, and consequently that he did not attempt the north by the "Wellington Channel. In this we cordially agree, but in regard to his not advancing to the westward of Beechey Island, we must differ. "We think, on the contrary, that he made large westing ; at any rate, there is no proof that he did not. Sir Edward does not consider the Queen's Channel to possess any features, from Capes Hogarth or Osborn, to induce the navigator to think that there existed a channel in that direction to tempt him to the ]N T ."W. ; from this we must infer, that had Sir Edward been sent up "Wellington Channel he would not have made, and consequently would have lost the honour of discovering, the navigable sea of Penny ; Penny, must, therefore, ever obtain the merit of that discovery. Sir Edward contrasts the Wellington with the Byam Martin Channel, and points out with truth the advantages of the latter over the former ; but, besides the greater facilities of approach, the latter offered a better position for solving
* Blue Books, "Further Papers relative to the Kecent Arctic Expeditions. 1855," p. 54.
t Ibid., p. 61.
the great question, if it were to be done by the north, than did the former. It was a more advanced position, but it was not named in Franklin's Instructions, and it involved making large westing. Now, all along it has been contended, that if Franklin could not reach Cape Walker, or make southing to the west of it, that he would not persist to the west, but return and make the attempt by Wellington Channel. It is this idea that has led to the searching ships being sent to the north by it we may add, in a wrong direction. We have always contended, and do contend, that Franklin would, if he could, persist to the west ; as by so doing he would better his position, and the Byam Martin Channel would become possessed of far greater interest to him for the ultimate accomplishment of the great object of the voyage, than any favourable prospect the Wellington Channel, as then known, could offer. It is monstrous to suppose, that because he could not make a direct south-west course from Cape Walker that he would not, if he could, make westing ; or, that if he could not reach Cape Walker, that he would not persist to the westward along the southern shores of the Parry Islands, rather than return to make the attempt by the Wellington Channel. Much more monstrous would it be to imagine that Franklin, having made large westing, but barred out to the south, would, with the passages between the Parry Islands in his route, all leading north in the same direction as the Wellington Channel, and nearer the object of his wishes, pass by all these to return to make a roundabout attempt by that channel. It is true they were unknown, but it should be remembered that all beyond the entrance of Wellington Channel was equally unknown and unexplored ; besides which, it led in a direction involving many points of difference between it and the course indicated by the original plan and the first point of Franklin's Instructions.
Sir Edward Belcher's impression as to the fate of Franklin and his crews can be regarded only as an impression. He does not, because he cannot, oifer any proof. The traces of sojourners to the eastward of Point Riley is not conclusive. How is it that, if there, we have no notice to mark their presence ? or how that no trace is found of them at Capes Bunny or Eennell, or Port Leopold ; or, above all, at Fury Beach ? We think he was lost to the westward, in Melville Sound ; for reasons which we shall show hereafter. We are not interested in stating our convictions, brainless though they may appear, but certainly not more so than those of others who have so pertinaciously advanced the opinion that Franklin went to the north by the Wellington Channel, Jones' and Smith's Sounds, in opposition to Cape
340 PLANS OF SEARCH FOE SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.
Walker and the south-west, where he was so especially directed to proceed.
August 26th, 1854. There being no hope of extricating the ships, Sir Edward Belcher now resolved to abandon them. On that day, " the jack, ensign, and pendant, never to be hauled down, were properly secured, the decks cleaned, and the cabins put in due order ;" and at six a.m., the Assistance and Pioneer were abandoned, left to themselves, solitary and inanimate, as the Resolute, Intrepid, and Investigator had already been, more to the westward. " Our hearts were too full," says Sir Edward; "no cheers escaped, but, turning our backs on the ships, we pursued our cheerless route over the floe, leaving behind our home."* There is a something, a pang, touchingly painful, in forsaking one's old ship ; long association has endeared her to you ; in calm and in storm, in the time of trial, she has been faithful and true ; you hence have learned to estimate and rely on her qualities. Again, she is your home ; not fixed to one spot, immobile and inert, but at your call she unfolds her wings and bears you to new climates and scenes, for she is a thing of life ! Eire and ice are to her most implacable enemies. All arrived on board the North Star the following day.
We shall now give extracts from the despatches of Capt. Henry Kellett, C.B., in command of the western division, the Resolute and Intrepid, at Dealy Island. It will be seen (ante), that when the last despatches left that officer, he had arranged for a survey being held on the Captain, officers, and crew of the Investigator at Mercy Bay, in order to ascertain if there remained on board that ship a sufficient number (twenty) of effective men (volunteers) to remain out another winter, with the hope of bringing her through the " passage " (between Baring and Melville Islands) to England, and thus realize the accomplishment of the North- West Passage. It will also be seen, the travelling parties of this division being still out, no report of their proceedings could be given at that time. Our extracts must, of necessity, be brief; still we are desirous to record the leading events of this admirably-arranged and well-conducted western division, they reflect great credit on Captain Kellett, and his able, active second, Commander M'Clintock, and, indeed, on all the officers and crews of the Resolute and Intrepid.
Commander M'Clure and Dr. Domville started for Mercy Bay on May 5th, 1853 ; arrived on board the Investigator on May 21st, and
* Blue Books, "Further Papers relating to Recent Arctic Expeditions, 1855," p. 61.
CAPT. KELLETT'S DESPATCHES. 341
the survey was held on her officers and crew on the 23rd. The summary of the united report of Dr. Domville and her surgeon, Dr. Armstrong,* was " Their present state of health is such as renders them utterly unfit to undergo the rigour of another winter in this climate, without entertaining the most serious apprehension for the consequence," &c. Volunteers having been called for by Capt. M'Clure, besides the officers only four of the crew offered themselves ; indeed, it will be seen by the report that they were not a fit state to remain out another winter. Dr. Armstrong thus records his opinion in another place :f " I cannot conclude . . without noticing the noble spirit and patriotic feeling that had animated the ship's company in the almost superhuman exertions hitherto made under the most severe and trying circumstances, such as it has fallen to the lot of but few to encounter. I knew what they had been exposed to, and what they had endured ; I had witnessed their courage and daring in many eventful scenes ; had seen their manly forms gradually shrink under hunger and cold ; and had marked their patience and fortitude when suffering from disease ; and certain do I feel that the records of their deeds ought to form one of the brightest pages in the history of our country." This tribute, from one who had shared in their privations and felt for their sufferings, one so able, so capable of judging of their merits, cannot but be highly gratifying to every gallant " Investigator," palmam qui meruitferat. Thus placed, without sufficient hands to work the ship, Commander M'Clure resolved reluctantly to abandon her, which he did on June 3rd, 1853. In perfect order, and full of honour, the Investigator was left alone with her glory; those who had given her "life to live" now departed. We cannot close this always melancholy scene, without again borrowing from Dr. Armstrong's work : he says ;J " The white ensign of St. Greorge was hoisted at the peak, and the pendant at the main, which flaunted gaily in the breeze as we stepped over the side of the ship that had so long been our home, never to visit her again. . . As we stood on the ice, and took a last view of our fine old ship, we could not but do so with a grateful recollection, considering how far she had borne us. But while we entertained those feelings which sailors are prone to indulge in for their vessels, we felt that the time
* See Blue Eook, " Further Papers relative to the Eecent Arctic Expedition, 1855," p. 70.
t " Personal Narrative of the Discovery of the North- "West Passage," by Alexander Armstrong, M.D., R.N., F.R.G.S., &e., p. 574.
J Ibid., p. 576.
342 PLANS OE SEARCH FOE SIB JOHN FRANKLIN.
had arrived when it became imperative to abandon her." Dr. Domville arrived on board the Resolute on June 10th, and Capt. M'Clure, and his officers and crews, on the 17th, where they were received with a thorough joyous welcome by the sympathizing, warm-hearted Kellett, and the officers and crews of the Resolute and Intrepid, on board which they wintered, 1853-4. We shall now turn to Capt. Kellett's travelling parties. Our opinions are already given, recorded in 1850, as to the course Sir John Franklin would adopt (see p. 164 et segr.) ; from them may be inferred, taking into consideration, too, the results of the search made in this direction by Austin's parties, what probability of success remained for Capt. Kellett's. There was just a chance, but barely a hope. Still, governed by its unsteady influence, we must follow these noble fellows, and endeavour to record, briefly though it be, their high motives and their gallant deeds ; but it is no simple matter to cull from 600 to 800 pages of "Blue Book," &c., where each and every line tells of some act of toil, of devotion, and of heroism, without the apprehension of omission or of failure to do full justice. We trust to truth to guide us, deeply regretting that such chivalrous daring, such unwearied zeal and exertion, borne, too, with such unrepining fortitude, should have only resulted in total want of success as regards tracing our hapless long-lost ones.
It will be remembered, that the whole of Capt. Kellett's parties left Dealy Island on April 4th, 1853. Commander M'Clintock, with M. de Bray, Enseigne de Vaisseau of the French Imperial Navy, and eighteen men, to pursue the search to the north-west. Lieutenant Mecham, with Mr. Wares, and fourteen men, to cross the Winter Harbour of Parry, and to follow the coast westerly. Lieutenant V. Hamilton and Mr. M'Dougall, and fourteen men, to cross Hecla and Griper Bay, to search north-easterly along Sabine Island.
Capt. Kellett, in his despatch, Dealy Island, June 8th, 1853, says :* " M. de Bray, auxiliary to Commander M'Clintock, arrived on board the Resolute on May 18th, having left with him seventy days' provisions on May 2nd, lat. 76 8' N., long. 116 45' W. To the northward of him, from Cape Fisher, westerly, he could see land forty miles off"." Commander M'Clintock speaks in the highest terms of M. de Bray : he says ; " He could not have had a better second." Mr. Wares, auxiliary to Lieut. Mecham, arrived on June 1st, having left him, on May 3rd, in lat. 75 35' K, long. 118 W.,
* See Blue Book, " Further Papers relative to the Recent Arctic Expedition, 1855," pp. 73, 74, and 624-646.
CAPTAIN KELLETT'S DESPATCHES. 343
having crossed from Melville Island to Prince Patrick's Group or Land. " This name I have given it, says Capt. Kellett, as it was landed and taken possession of on His Royal Highness's birthday. Lieutenant Mecham had on that date forty-five days' provisions. . . He will pass to the southward of this new land, and as far west as he can reach." We ought to remark here, that Capt. Kellett so identifies himself with his officers and crews, that his despatches are merely a simple record of events as they occur; he leaves to his officers to express in their journals, in their own words, their acts and doings ; he arrogates no merit to himself, although to his excellent orders and arrangement are due the preservation of his men, and the extraordinary results of this well-conducted, well-carried out western division. He seems to have known, and rightly to have esteemed, the "stuff" his officers and men were made of, and had confidence in them. Beloved by them, this confidence, it will be seen, was appreciated, and repaid by exertions in Arctic travel, unprecedented : there was a reciprocity of feeling, and both centred in the humane object on which they were sent. We shall, therefore, in giving extracts from his despatches, combine with them the results of the journals of the various officers.
Capt. Kellett's despatch of February 10th, 1854, says :* " Lieutenant Hamilton returned on June 20th, after an absence of fiftyfour days." Having passed over the land to Hecla and Griper Bay, where he parted from Mr. M'Dougall, he pursued a north-east direction along the western side of Sabine Island, now found to be a peninsula, and forming a part of Melville Island. He rounded its northern extreme : soon after doing so, he met with Commander Eichards, from Sir Edward Belcher's division; he then proceeded down the eastern side of Sabine Peninsula, crossed Byam Martin Channel to the north of Cornwallis Island, and to the rendezvous > lat. 76 33' K, long. 104 50' W. Eeturning, he pursued the same route; but, having discovered two islands to the north, off Cape Eichards, named Hamilton and Markham Islands, he examined the former. "Near Point Eoche," he "saw a piece of drift-wood, standing upright, about fifty or sixty feet above the sea level. Thinking it must have been placed there for a mark, the ground was searched in every direction for documents, " but no traces were found, either here or during the journey, that could induce" him "to think any travelling parties or ships had passed along this coast."
* See Blue Book, " Further Papers relative to the Kecent Arctic Expedition, 1855," pp. 73, 74, and 624645.
344 PLANS OF SEARCH FOB, SIR JOHN FRANKLIN'.
" Lieutenant Mecham* arrived on the 6th July, having been absent ninety-four days." Leaving Dealy Island, he made for Winter Harbour, and crossed over to Liddon G-ulf (Parry's); from thence he proceeded westward along the land seen by Lieutenant, now Capt., M'Clintock in 1851 (when detached from Austin's Expedition), but now visited for the first time ; passed Murray Inlet and Hardy Bay to Cape Smyth ; then Warrington Bay and Cape Cyclops to Cape Russel. The south-western extremity of Melville Island was reached, which he places in lat. 75 14' N., long. 117 12' W. ; here the coast turned to the north-north-east. He now entered on new ground, as all beyond this cape was undoubtedly new discovery. Land was seen to the north-westward, since found to form a part of Eglington Island. He crossed the intervening strait named after his distinguished and respected chief, Kellett's Strait to it, and Janded on Point Pitoural, May 2nd, lat. 75 29' N., long. 118 35' "W. Here he parted with his excellent auxiliary, Mr. Nares (May 3rd). Travelling westward, along the southern extremity of Eglington Island, the beach (his path) contracted, and was frequently hidden by the immense hummocks pressed upon it. He reached, with much labour, its " south-western extreme, a remarkably black and prominent headland. . . The pack here forced considerably up the face of the cliffs. From its summit he" discovered extensive new land from north-east to west-north-west now Prince Patrick's Land. He then pursued the course of a channel, Crozier Channel, running to the northward, but was driven back by a gale. Returning to- a course westerly, he landed on Prince Patrick's Land, at Butter Bay ; passing Cape Cam, and proceeding on, he discovered "Walker Inlet, Cape Mecham, "Wolley Bay, and Cape Manning. The land now trended to the north-west: he followed its course, and passed Bloxsome Bay and the Land's End. From hence the land again changed its direction to the northward and eastward, and they passed along the western face of Prince Patrick's Land, "West Bay, and Points "Weatherall, Tullett, and Discovery, lat. 77 6' K, long. 120 30' W. Lieutenant Mecham remarks: "The coast line of this land may be considered more correctly as the line of pack, as in fact the coast for several miles inland consists of a series of low patches, upon the outer edges of which the pack rests. . . Not the slightest appearance of land could be seen to the westward from here or any other
* See Blue Book, " Further Papers relative to the Eeccnt Arctic Expedition, 1855," pp. 74, and 498540.
CAPTAIN KELLETT'S DESPATCHES. 345
position since rounding Land's End. Tremendous pack occupies the whole space in that direction." He now returned across the land to Walker Inlet, which he examined ; and, pushing a north-easterly course, passed Cape Hay, the Points Dames and Manson, and the intervening Bays Carter and Mould, called by the men, Happy Land, in contrary distinction to the miserable country to the westward, named by them Zero's Land. In lat. 76 12' 1ST., a deep bight or channel was seen to the north-westward. Soon after, they discovered a cairn of Commander M'Clintock's, stating he had examined in that direction, and had gone to the north-west side of Eglington Island. He now started for the northern part of Melville Island, passing round the north end of Eglington Island, and finding that that officer had also been down the west shores of Melville Island, Lieutenant Mecham traced the east side of Eglington Island down to lat. 75 48' N., and crossed to Melville Island; reached Cape Humphries, on the south side of Ibbott Bay. He followed the land to the southward, passed Purchase or llesolute Bay, and, in lat. 75 25' N., he found M'Clintock's southern cairn. "Much disappointed," Lieutenant Mecham says, " I turned my back to the northern land, . . there being no room for further exploration within my reach." He now started for the south-west point of Melville Island, passing Purchase Inlet, Comfort Cove, to Cape Hussel; from this cape he returned on his outward track, examining Hardy Bay, Murray Inlet, and Barry Bay, M'Clintock's cairn, and the remnants left by Parry in 1820, crossed from Lyddon Gulf to Winter Harbour, and thence on to the ship at Dealy Island, performing a journey of 1,006 geographical or 1,173 English miles, which at the time was without precedent; and it is the more worthy praise, inasmuch as it was done under the greatest difficulties, ff om the tremendous nature of the ice, being set on the western and north-western sides in huge blocks of sixty feet thick, and forced up against the cliffs. In the drift of these masses from the westward may be traced the source from whence the channels eastward, extending into Baffin's Bay, get iceblocked. Musk oxen, deer, &c., were seen in abundance so much so as not to be estimated, in consequence of their being so numerous. Grame was also seen in great quantities. Some coal was found, and wood unaltered except by decay in such a position as to lead to the conclusion that it had grown on the spot where seen ; petrified wood was also picked up. Lieutenant Mecham says, in his report to Captain Kellett, " In conclusion, . . besides the absence of traces being a negative proof that the missing crews have not visited any
346 PLANS OF SEAKCII FOR SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.
part of the land traversed on this journey, I have further to add, that, from the character and appearance of the pack, driven against the land, and in every direction to seaward, . . thoroughly convinces me of the impossibility of penetrating with ships to the southward and westward against such tremendous impediments."
Commander M'Clintock* returned on the 18th July, after an absence of 105 days. The ground being clear of snow, and very heavy, the ravines running with impassable torrents, obliged him to abandon all his equipments on the north side of Melville Island. . . He walked in with his crew, carrying their knapsacks and a few provisions, all safe and well. . . How ably and zealously," remarks Captain Kellett, " they must have done their duty to cover so much ground 1,618 miles discovered and walked over!" Commander M'Clintock started on his extended journey 4th April.f Crossing Melville Island to Hecla and Griper Bay, he advanced to the north-west in the direction of Cape Fisher, passed Grassy Cape to Point Cleverly: rounding the north-west extreme of Melville Island he followed the coast line, passing Cape Scott and Sandy Point. He now pursued a course to the south and west. On the 2nd May he arrived at Cape de Bray, named after his excellent auxiliary of the French Imperial Navy, with whom he parted here, lat. 76 10' N., long. 116 44' W. Still continuing in a south and west direction, he traced the coast down to Blackley Haven, Ibbott Bay, and Terrace Cape, crossed Purchase or Resolute Bay, and at a point five or six miles beyond the latter erected a cairn, and deposited a note for Lieutenant Mecham. He now retraced his steps by Purchase and Ibbott Bays to Cape de Bray, and crossed Fitzwilliam Strait to Point Wilkie, on the eastern face of Prince Patrick's Land, lat. 76 17' K, long. 117 9* W. ; rounding the southern extreme of a peninsula issuing from that land, he crossed Intrepid Inlet to Point Salmon. Intrepid Inlet was then examined, and Green's Bay to Snow-Patch Point ; from thence he proceeded southerly past Point Disappointment, crossed another considerable un-named bay to about lat. 76 20' N., long. 119 W. : here he erected a cairn and left a record on the 24th May. He then crossed Crozier Channel to
* See Blue Books, "Further Papers relative to Eecent Arctic Expeditions, 1855," pp. 74, and 540596.
t In order to facilitate the reader, and to show what Captain M'Clintock has really done, we have adopted, besides the names on his Chart, others which have been added since. See Admiralty Chart, " Discoveries in the Arctic Kegions up to 1854."
COMMANDER M'CLINTOCK. 347
Eglington Island, and, in lat. 75 59' N., long. 118 27' W., erected another cairn and deposited a record. Eeturning along its northwest side, round by the north, he passed Gardner Point, and at a point on its north-east face he deposited another record. He now crossed again to the north to Point Wilkie, and continuing a northerly course passed Jameson Bay, Brown Bluff, Point Giddie (?), and several other bays not named, to Cape Hemphill (Giddie ?). He now examined a small bay, and crossed the wide Moore Bay to Cape Ludlow Rich. The land now trended to the north-west, and some new land was discovered to the northward. Commander M'Clintock proceeded on, and landed on its eastern side ; it proved to be the southernmost of a cluster of islands. Still advancing in a northerly direction, he reached the second, and on its eastern side built a cairn and deposited records of his visit. Bounding its northern extreme, he discovered several other islets lying off between north and east, with very heavy Polar ice pressed in against their western shores. These groups were named the Polynia Islands, about lat. 77 45' N., and 116 W. To one in the extreme north he gave the name of Ireland's Eye. He now returned to Prince Patrick's Land, and found he had reached its northern extreme that its shores now trended west and south. Following them, he passed Cape Krabbe, now Cape M'Clintock ; threading his way between several un-named islands to Satellite Bay, he ultimately reached his farthest Point M'Clintock on the 17th June. " Here," he says, " we saw several islands, forming a chain a few miles off shore ; these keep off the Polar pack. . . It is almost impossible to form a correct idea of the shape of this coast line, it is so extremely low and so deeply covered with snow ; far out we see sand-heaps, and far inland we find masses of ice ; the land and ice seem confusedly heaped together all about us, but two miles outside us the edge of the tremendous pack seems to rest on the ground. . . . Fragments of drift-wood were found along these shores and islands." A heavy gale now came on. After waiting in vain (the 17th and 18th) for fine weather, they were compelled to return. The position attained was about lat. 77 23' N., long. 118 20' W., distant about sixty miles from Lieutenant Mecham's farthest northern point reached. Commander M'Clintock started on the 19th June ; he followed the coast to the northward to Cape M'Clintock, and then to the south-east by Cape Krabbe to Cape Ludlow Rich, crossed Moore Bay to Cape Hemphill (Giddie), and left a record and chart. From here they crossed over to the north-west side of Emerald Isle, built a cairn and deposited a record, and, taking the western and southern
348 PLANS OF SEARCH FOR Sill JOHN FRANKLIN.
sides, advanced to the south-eastern extreme ; having left a record, they now crossed the strait for the nearest point of Melville Island. Arrived at Cleverly Point, they proceeded by Grassy Cape, and encamped at M'Cormick's Inlet, examined its centre island, and saw two others inside it. Crossed to Cape Fisher, where a large cairn was built, and a record left. Point JSfias was next visited, and Parry's monument and his record, left in 1820, copied. Other records were added, and the whole secured. The party landed at the bottom of Hecla and Griper Bay on the 14th July, where another cairn was built, and a record left. They then began their march across the island, but the thaw was so rapid the who!6 country was flooded, and they were unable to get on. It was now resolved to leave the cart and equipments behind, and they proceeded on foot to the ship, where they arrived on the 18th July, accomplishing 1,148 miles geographical, or 1,325 statute miles. This journey is another proof of what can be accomplished where cheerfulness and determination in a good cause rule. We are at a loss which to admire most, the talented, enterprising spirit of the leader, or the energetic, willing perseverance of the men. Commander M'Clintock certainly has all the distinguishing qualities of a good leader, and his men all those so necessary in faithful followers. The latter seem to have fully understood and estimated their commander, and he to have as fully appreciated the value of his men, and he is not chary in acknowledging their merit. The result was yet another unprecedented journey, adding to the honour and fame of our Arctic explorers. This journey is yet more highly to be distinguished, because the greater part of it was over entirely new ground ; no less than 768 geographical = 886 statute miles of new coast line were discovered and explored. Still, unhappily, no traces of the ill-starred Franklin and his crews rewarded their efforts. Commander M'Clintock thus concludes his journal : " In proportion to our efforts have we shared in the disappointment common to all who have sought after Sir John Franklin : with the solitary exception of the record and traces of Sir Edward Parry at Point Nias, nothing has been found that could lead one to suppose that the shores we have searched had ever been visited by human beings."
"We have now given the general results of the extended travelling parties detached from the Resolute ; but we feel there are other names that have a claim on our notice. Their repeated short journeys, made in establishing depots for the more extended parties to fall back upon, involved not only much labour, but great attention and perseverance.
We should regret to omit the names of Messrs. Nares and Eoche, mates; Mr. Purchase, senior engineer; Mr. E. C. Scott, assistantsurgeon, &c. We would record every name, but our pages do not permit it. Each did his duty.
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