SIR JOHN FRANKLIN British Royal navy Officer Arctic Explorer Mapped 2/3rds of the Northern coastline of North America
THE FRANKLIN EXPEDITION Set out to navigate a section of the North West Passage It was to take three years 1845, the ships HMS Terror and HMS Erebus set sail from Greenhithe, England 24 officers and 110 men After 18 months, they were never seen again There was a reward of 20,000 pounds offered for their rescue Over 760,000 pounds were spent on expeditions to find them
THEORIES 1845-6 trapped in ice off of King William Island in the Canadian Arctic Dr. John Rae, who worked for the Hudson Bay Company spoke to Inuit hunters who told him that the ships became icebound. The men tried to walk to safety but were overcome with exposure. They resorted to cannibalism.
THEORIES The crew perished from: Starvation or food poisoning (not enough fuel to cook all meals, thus ate raw food that may have contained harmful bacteria) Hypothermia (core temp. drops really low) Tuberculosis (lung disease) Lead poisoning (from tin cans or the distilled water system) Scurvy (disease caused from a lack of vitamin C) Exposure to the harsh climate
1992: KING WILLIAM ISLAND 200 Artifacts were recovered: iron and copper nails, glass, pipe, buttons, wood and maybe a life boat 400 human bone fragments which equaled a minimum of 11 men, including a boy Cut marks on the bones support the Inuit story of cannibalism People did not believe the cannibalism story and came up with their own theories: Cuts were from surgery to remove frost bitten limbs (but the cuts were in strange places and did not support this Cuts were from being attacked by local natives (but some Inuit hunters tried to help them and plus the crew has superior weapons) Less than 2/3rds of the crew have been located
LEGACY Franklin was a hero in the Victorian Era and statues were created that stated he was the Discoverer of the Northwest Passage, which is incorrect. Inspired many artworks, poems, songs, short stories, plays Stan Rogers famous song: Northwest Passage
IN THE NEWS TODAY A British adventurer claims that he discovered the remains of Arctic graves which could be from the expedition. Bear Grylls, star of the popular Man vs. Wild outdoor survival TV series, claims to have found bones, charred wood and other artifacts earlier this month during a charity-fundraising expedition to cross the Northwest Passage in a rigid inflatable boat. An Inuit family in Nunavut claims they have a box that may contain documents of the Expedition. Oral history contained stories of the box. It was buried, but recovered and is going to be examined.
Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea; Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage And make a Northwest Passage to the sea. Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie The sea route to the Orient for which so many died; Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain. And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me To race the roaring Fraser to the sea. How then am I so different from the first men through this way? Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away. To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men To find there but the road back home again. STAN ROGERS SONG: NORTHWEST PASSAGE HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=TH- WDF42RG0 HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=TH- WDF42RG0