The Search for Sir John Franklin. (From the Private Journal of an Officer of the "Fox").
[Allen W Young]
Introduction; Diary, Travelogue
Heroism, Ethnography, Natural History, Natural Imperialism, Steamships, Meteorology, Astronomy, Oceanography, Climatology, Navigation, Magnetism, Exploration, Discovery
Richard Collinson , Francis R M Crozier
Diary account of the 1857–59 expedition led by Francis L McClintock in search of the two ships which carried John Franklin's Arctic exploration in 1845–47, including many ethnographical, natural historical, and scientific observations. In a brief introduction to his private journal, Young valorises the heroism of Franklin and the 'gallant men' who 'had given up their lives' to 'give to the world the scientific results of the expedition' (97). He also refers to the eminent scientific men, such as Roderick I Murchison and Edward Sabine, who supported Jane Franklin's plan for an expedition in search of her husband's ships. The diary narrative of the expedition records the use of astronomy and meteorology to fix the position of hms Fox, and reflects upon the enormous advantages of steamships for Arctic exploration. It also details the frequent culling of seals, bears, and various species of birds, articulating the sailor's imperialist attitude towards the natural world of the Arctic. The narrative ends with the discovery of remnants of Franklin's lost expedition and the first account of their fate. Young gives their failure the heroic character of a hard won scientific discovery and reflects that 'in dying in the cause of their country, their dearest consolation must have been to feel that Englishmen would not rest until they had followed their footsteps, and had given to the world what they could not then give—the grand result of their dreadful voyage—their Discovery of the North-West Passage' (120).
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