- May 2017
The H.M.S. Erebus
On September 7th, 2014, the HMS Erebus was found near King William Island by Parks Canada, a Canadian government agency. There has been some skepticism about the motives for finding Franklin's ships. The area, as the article explains, is international waters according to the US. Canada hoped to secure the territory on which the wreck was found. As global warming changes the landscape of the Arctic, it is becoming more navigable and economically relevant. Regardless, the melting of the arctic ice is helping searchers unravel the mystery by finding evidence that was once hidden by ice.
Citation: “HMS Erebus Lost Ship Whose Crew Resorted to Cannibalism Found in Canadian Arctic” last modified October 3, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/10/03/hms-erebus-lost-ship-whose-crew-resorted-to-cannibalism-found-in-canadian-arctic/?utm_term=.607a26757bae
the H.M.S. Terror
On September 3rd, 2016, the HMS Terror was found by the Arctic Research Foundation off the coast of King William Island. It was found completely intact, with all windows and hatches closed. Inuit knowledge helped to discover the HMS Terror. Sammy Kogvik, a local to Gjoa Haven, had seen what he thought was a mask coming out of Terror Bay. With his knowledge and expertise on the area, he helped researchers discover the ship.
Citation: “Ship Found in Arctic 168 Years After Doomed Northwest Passage Attempt” last modified September 12, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/hms-terror-wreck-found-arctic-nearly-170-years-northwest-passage-attempt
stocked with generous amounts of food
“Despite general confidence that the Northwest Passage would be traversed in one season, the expedition was supplied with 45 tons of food to last three years on full rations, or five if rationed… Each man was given one ounce of lemon juice a day with other supposed antiscorbutics,” (Durey 2008, 15).
The expedition was known the be the most prepared and stocked ship at the time. Franklin's earlier Arctic expedition lead to starvation and cannibalism. Due to this, the H.M.S Terror and H.M.S Erebus were overly stocked in order to avoid making the same mistakes.
Citation: Michael Durey, "Exploration at the Edge: Reassessing the Fate of Sir John Franklin's Last Arctic Expedition," The Great Circle Vol. 30, No. 2 (2008), 3-40
There have many expeditions in search of a viable route through the Northwest Passage. At the time, finding and mapping a route would grant the successful country economic and political dominance, not to mention superiority and prestige. While Franklin was unsuccessful in completing this goal, since then a few explorers have been able to finish what he started. The passage was first completed during an expedition lead by Captain Robert McGlure between 1850 and 1854. He had to finish the route by foot after losing his ship, however. In 1903, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen lead the first expedition to complete the sail through the passage. He utilized Inuit technique for his voyage. Today, the passage is still an important part of global economics. As global warming melts arctic ice, easier routes through the passage are being utilized.
Citation: Philip Hatfield, "The Search for the Northwest Passage," History Today, February 2017, 11
Scurvy is a disease that occurs when people do not have sufficient vitamin C in their diets. Untreated sysmtpms result in gum disease, decreased red blood cells and bleeding from the skin. Without being proper treatment, there is a high probability of death. Beattie and Savelle explain evidence of scurvy on the bones of the crew members due to certain subperiosteal lesions on the femur and tibia shafts. Scurvy was especially present in arctic explorations due to lack of fruits and vegetables aboard the ships. The length of the three year expedition and lack of proper diet made scurvy a possible cause for the deaths on the Franklin Expedition.
Citation: Owen Beattie and James Savelle, “Discovery of Human Remains From Sir John Franklins Last Expedition,” Historical Archaeology Vol. 17, No. 5 (1983): 100-105
evidence of cannibalism
This study conducted on the skeletal remains reveals evidence of cannibalism that proves Inuit testimony correct. The first to experience eyewitness accounts of cannibalism was Hall, were an inuit told him he saw cooked and boiled human flesh in a pair of books on King William Island. Another body was reported found with the hands sawed off, according to Hall. Schwatka also experienced these claims from an Inuit who claimed to have seen arms and legs sawed off a body. In 1981, researching Owen Beattie noticed cut marks on multiple bones from the recovered skeletons, as well as a skull that seemed to be intentionally broken. There was no other explanation to this other than cannibalism among the explorers.
Citation: Anne Keenleyside, Margaret Bertulli and Henry Fricke, "The Final Days of the Franklin Expedition: New Skeletal Evidence," Arctic Vol. 50, No. 1 (1997): 36-46.
Dorothy Harley Eber is a Canadian author who was one of the first people to publish oral histories of Inuit people in Nunavut in both English and Inuktitut. This article was written in The Beaver, a Canadian magazine that was recently renamed Canada's History. In this article, she explains the importance of oral tradition to Inuit culture and how it has been a credit source in expedition since the 16th century. She also discusses how the native stories were often discounted as unreliable, especially in the case of Franklin's Expedition. There is a lot of oral tradition evidence that can be taken advantage of, but most researchers have yet to fully appreciate its validity and importance.
Citation: Dorothy Harley Eber, "Rumors of Franklin: The Strength of the Inuit Oral Tradition," Beaver Vol. 76, No. 3 (1996): 4-10
The last written record of the Franklin Expedition written by Captiain James Fitzgerald of the H.M.S. Erebus, revealing that Sir John Franklin, and several crew members, had died.
gathering of physical evidence
This is a personal account of John Rae with an inventory of the physical evidence he found of the expedition in 1954. With help from the local people, he was able to locate the location of the shipwreck and bring home evidence to Sir John Franklin's wife.
This is a map sketched out by an Inuit guide, Innookpoozhejook, of the area where the folklore had taken place.
"Iliuana told Schwatka in 1879 that ‘some of the white men were very thin, and their months were dry and hard and black (probably resulting from lead poisoning),” (Durey 2008, 28).
According to Inuit testimony, there were evidence of lead poisoning in the bodies that they found.
Recent studies have been done on the bodies found show high levels of lead in their bones, soft tissue, and hair. The fact the such high levels were found in the soft tissue indicates recent exposure, which point to the fact the the food on the ship was what contaminated them. Each of the three crew members studied in this recent study showed different levels of lead in their system, however. Because of the variability between the crew, it is difficult to say if lead poisoning was the other cause of death among the crew members of the expedition.
Citation: Millar, K., Bowman, A. W., & Battersby, W. (2015). A re-analysis of the supposed role of lead poisoning in sir john franklin's last expedition, 1845-1848. The Polar Record, 51(3), 224-238.
Michael Durey, "Exploration at the Edge: Reassessing the Fate of Sir John Franklin's Last Arctic Expedition," The Great Circle Vol. 30, No. 2 (2008), 3-40
first hand written note
Gore's message reveals that all is well on the expedition in May of 1847, just three months before the message confirming Franklin's death.
This article was taken from “The Conversation”, a website that is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community. The author, William Barr, is a research associate at Arctic Institute of North America. The idea of this article is that the history of the Lost Franklin Expedition was kept alive due to Inuit folklore of the shipwreck. It explains different accounts of the mystery from multiple Inuit sources. Through out the article, Barr gives the names of books and authors he uses to gather his evidence of Inuit folklore knowledge.
Citation: William Barr, “Inuit Folklore Kept Alive Story of Missing Franklin Expedition to North West Passage,” The Conversation, September `9, 2014.
British to express masculinity
Jen Hill is a scholar who focuses on British Arctic exploration. She is also the author of White Horizon: The Arctic in the Nineteenth Century British Imagination. This article focuses on two writing, Robert Southey's Life of Nelson and John Franklin's Narrative of a Journey to the Shore of the Polar Sea and how this two arctic explorations relate to British masculinity and nationalism. I used the article to further support my thesis that the overwhelming power of British masculinity may have been a primary cause of the mystery of Franklin's lost expedition.
Citation: Jen Hill, "Robert Southey's Life of Nelson and John Franklin's Narravtive of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea," Nineteeth-Century LIterature Vol. 61, No. 4 (2007): 417-488
Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Seas
This is a personal account of Sir John Franklin from his early expeditions between 1819-22. The premise of this paper is around Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition. There are no primary records of the 1845 voyage because all 129 crewmembers died and very little evidence of the wreck was recovered. This narrative explains his intentions for the expeditions and actual accounts from the trips. This is the first personal account I found from Sir John Franklin and although my topic is more focused on recent discoveries in the mystery, I feel this is an important source to include.
Citation: Sir John Franklin, Narrative of a Journey of the Shores of the Polar Sea, (London, 1819-1822)
- Mar 2017
the Beaufort Sea
The Beaufort Sea is a division of the Atlantic Ocean in northwest Canada and northwest Alaska. It is where the Mackenzie River empties into the Canadian side of the sea. This area of the Arctic is known to be a major source of oil and petroleum. It has been the target of pipeline and drilling projects both in the past and presently.
Not much has changed for the Beaufort Sea when it comes to oil extraction. Recently, new oil and gas drilling has been suspended for the next five years in the Beaufort Sea in order for the US and Canada to evaluate the environmental impacts drilling would have on the area. In the 1970’s when this article was written, the same caution was taken by both governments in order to understand the impacts that the pipeline would have on the area and it’s inhabitants. Currently, although the Beaufort Sea is a major reserve for gas and petroleum, it is still dangerous to drill. The landscape of the arctic is much different of that in the Gulf of Mexico, making it more difficult and more dangerous to drill. Even after three decades, this area is still facing the same challenges with its reserves.
Annotation taken from Amman, Jordan Canada cancel extension of the existing Arctic offshore oil exploration licenses. (Energy Monitor Worldwide, 2017)
Pacific Science Congress
The Pacific Science Congress is in core meeting for the Pacific Science Association. These meetings take place every four years in various locations throughout the Asia- Pacific Rim and Basin. Various scientists, at different levels of expertise, present at the congress. Presentations are based on the central theme and have anywhere between 1000 and 2000 people in attendance. Each meeting has a President and a Secretary-General who represent them. The first meeting took place between August 2 and 20, 1920 in Honolulu, HI. The meetings and the
Starting in 1969, there have been twelve Pacific Science Inter-Congresses. These meetings are smaller and focus on a more central theme. They, like the Pacific Science Congresses, take place every four years, staggered between them. They also are located in similar locations in the Pacific region.
The article quotes Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan, who was speaking on August 26, 1975, during the 13th Pacific Science Congress in Vancouver, Canada at the University of British Columbia. Dr. McTaggart Cowan was the President for this meeting. For that year, the Pacific Science Congress's theme was “Sublethal Effects of Pollution on Aquatic Organisms”. Since this meeting, there hasn’t been another meeting in Canada or one with focus on the issues Arctic Canada faces. The most recent congress took place summer of 2016 in Taipai, Taiwan, with the theme “Sceince, Technology, and Innovation: Building a Sustainable Future in Asia and the Pacific.” These meetings are so important because they bring together a group of scientists with similar studies and interests. By presenting and sharing their ideas, scientists can work together to have a conscious and sustainable Pacific.
Annotated from the Pacific Science Association's website www.pacificscience.org.
Andre Siefreid was a French geographer and political commentator born in Le Havre, France on April 21, 1875. He studied and wrote works about many countries around the world, most prominently in Canad, France, Britain, and the United States. His duel studies within the fields of geography and politics helped to form a new field called “electoral geography”. This is defined as the analysis of the methods, behavior and results of elections in the context of geographic space and using geographical techniques. His most prominent studies came from his travels to Canada and his understandings of the society. Siegfried made multiple trips to Canada, starting in 1898 and returning in 1904, 1914, 1919, 1935, and 1945. He complied his research on the country into two writings. The first work Le Canada, les Deux Races: Problemes Politiques Contemorains was written in 1906 and translated to The Race Question in Canada in 1907. In this book, he talks about the French-English rivalry between the Canadians he encountered when visiting the country. He also looks to the future of the country in a chapter of this book, considering different directions the country should take between British, American and independent control. In 1937, he produced his second book on Canada titled Le Canada: puissance internationale (translated to Canada), quoted here. In this work, he explains how Canada is progressively becoming an important player in world affairs. In 1947, post World War II, he revised this piece, renaming it Canada, An International Power. When he wasn’t traveling, Siegfried worked as a professor in France. He passed away March 28th in Paris.
Annotation drawn from Kennedy, Sean A Tocqueville For the North? André Siegfried and Canada (Journal of Canadian Historical Association, 2003) and the Candaian Encyclopedia Andre Siegfried (www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca)
Prime Minister Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau was the liberal Prime Minister of Canada from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984. He was very popular among both young and old Canadian voters due to his charm and intellect. On October 18th, 1919, he was born into a wealthy family from Quebec. He graduated in 1944 from the University of Montreal with an honors degree in law and later got his masters from Harvard University. Throughout the 1940s, Trudeau spent time abroad at different schools in Paris and London and later traveled to cities in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Throughout his travels, developed his liberal political stance, especially during Britain’s transition to a welfare state.
Trudeau’s national agenda had goals to make Canada a modern nation. Three days after being elected into office, he dissolved the Parliament and called for general election. During his time in office, he supervised the building of Canada’s 1982 constitution, separating from Britain. Also, being sensitive to the needs to French speaking Quebec, he helped make the entire country bilingual in 1984. In the 1970’s, Quebec attempted to a separatist movement but voters eventually sided with Trudeau, as he wanted to keep the country unified. During his time as the leader of Canada, one of Trudeau’s top priorities was to keep Canadian nationalism active. He did this keeping in mind both the history of the country’s development and looking to the future to give Canada a strong global standing. He passed away on September 28, 2000 His eldest son, Justin Pierre James Trudeau, is now the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.
Annotation drawn from Kaufman, Michael Pierre Trudeau is Dead at 80; Dashing Fighter for Canada (New York Times, 2000)