« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE ARCTIC EXPEDITION.
THE following "Observations on the missing ships of the Arctic Expedition, under Sir John Franklin, with some propositions and considerations for their relief and extrication from the ice, by an old officer of rank in the Royal Navy," have been published in London in a pamphlet form. We copy it, with the feeling that the remarks it contains will be interesting, and perhaps useful, in this country.-Boston Daily Advertiser.
tinctly, at which, according to the previously understood intentions of Sir John Franklin, a deposit of records of his past proceedings might have been expected, as well as information as to his condition at that moment, and his future plans! The heads of Wellington Channel were, one or all of them, or Cape Walker, sure points where to find the records of the missing ships. Had Cape Walker, then, been visited by the searching ships, or by a walking party from them, it is not too much to say it would have been easy to trace Sir John Franklin's course. If a record were found, you would require no more; if it were not, it would still guide the search, and you would know he had not been there, but had gone in some other direction. So important a point is Cape Walker, under all these considerations, that it is an indescribable misfortune that it was not exam
this misfortune appear, that my mind immediately and strongly reverts to the idea of a hidden Providence in it. Is it, then, that Sir John Franklin will make his way to one of the great rivers on the coast, and, ascending it, secure himself in the hunting ground, and at the fishing stations, until the season of 1850 shall allow him to reach a place of perfect safety and of European communication? It may be so; or it may be something better still. At all events, I would receive the untoward event as a blessing in disguise; and invite all to join in prayer to Him who ordereth all things aright, to direct and govern our future exertions-to crown them with success; or, to prepare us for, and to sustain us under, the pressure of an adverse decree. In this spirit, our duty is very evident; it is, to use all the means in our power, without stint, or grudge, or prejudice; and so to use these as that one precious hour may not be lost.
The season of this year is over and gone; the ships of search, have returned to our shores, but they bring not any tidings of Sir John Franklin or his gallant men! This is a disastrous eventdisappointing to all, but almost death to those whose affections are bound up in the fate of those devoted navigators. Five long years, at England's command, have these, her sons, braved unnatural ined; and so wonderful and incomprehensible does hardships, privations, and dangers, for England's fame, in a region where the deadly wind of a frozen zone is cutting them in twain-where eternal ice surrounds them-where the earth yields no sustenance for their famishing natures, and the darkness of a world, unvisited by the sun, combines to subdue their energies, and to fill their minds and hearts with despair! What is there that we would not be willing and anxious to do to save them? This is a great and grave question, involving a great moral obligation; nay more, a high religious duty. The nation is, indeed, willing to a man; and it has deposited its will, and its power, and its means, in appointing hands to perform its behests. It looks to those hands for a prompt, a judicious, and a successful employment of these. It will not esteem any outlay, or exertion, for this end, however great or extensive, a sacrifice or waste. It does not look upon it as a money question; it disregards petty considerations, and, under the dictates of common human- As to the plan of operation, if it may be called ity and natural feeling, cries aloud for search, so, there can be but one opinion—it must be extensive, effective, comprehensive search, till the thorough and extensive; for if one point be left lost ones are rescued, or till their fate is ascer- unguarded, it may be that very one which would tained. The cry is upon England; and England otherwise have insured success. It has been ardoes not stand alone in the world. The eyes of gued, indeed, that it is useless to try again from many nations are upon her; their sympathies are the eastward, and that "that coast is well proaroused-their nerves are braced for the race ;- visioned." And how much of it? But even had and, if she be remiss, they will win the prize, and the search in Barrows Straits been more extended, pluck the crown of glory from her brow! Where to stick down provisions here and there is not suf glory ends, shame begins. Let us look, then, ficient; there must be help also; there must be well to our managers, and ask, What have they ships and men to receive the wanderers, who are done-what are they doing-what will they yet very likely to be in the last stage of exhaustion. do? It is enough to assert that, hitherto, their Remember the "scrapings of the buffalo hides" arrangements have been most imperfect, and the at Fort Franklin, "which had previously been result a total failure, as is too well and most pub- scraped by the Esquimaux, and discarded by them licly known. At this moment we are in utter as unfit for food!" yet, like manna in the wilderignorance of Sir John Franklin's route after 12th ness did these prove to our famishing countrymen ; July, 1845, and are as utterly lost as to his probable and had there been but one living Englishman at position! We know not even where he passed the fort to receive that exhausted party, and to his first winter-a fact to have been ascertained minister to their wants, they would have worin a single season! and it is yet a more singular shipped him as a god in their distress, and might feature in the case, which should be well noted, have been excused for doing so. Surely this exthat up to this moment no one point or place has perience should teach us to guard the eastern yet been examined, visited, or even looked at dis- route; for if Sir John Franklin went northwards
whaling grounds, and thus secure their return to England. It is considered needless to provide for their conduct, should they have fallen in with the missing ships in their track from the rivers to Melville Island.
The third part of the expedition would penetrate eastward and northward from Bhering's Straits; and this, too, would direct its course to Melville Island, guided by their judgment and their circumstances;-and if such a plan did not succeed in discovering the missing ships and party, hopeless indeed would be all further efforts to do
and did not succeed, he will return, if he lives, by the east; and if he penetrated west, and did not succeed, he will still return by the east. The true plan of search, then, is to make it from the east, from the west, and from the south. From the east three ships should penetrate towards Melville Island. One of these should be a store-ship only. She should carry out a full and large cargo of provisions and fuel, and materials for boatbuilding, together with a "Californian house." These should be landed on Melville Island, and then the store-ship might return. Melville Island would thus become a central and permanent depot so. That that party is safe whilst I pen these till the service was over. Such a refuge would inspire confidence and ensure safety; and even if the expeditionary ships did not afterwards require those stores on their return, the money loss would not be great.
As soon as the work at Melville Island was safely commenced, the two ships destined to remain out would proceed with the search. If they found a record there (as they certainly would, if they had not done so previously) of Sir John Franklin, they would follow its clue; but if they did not find this record, they would return eastward to Cape Walker. To this cape Sir John Franklin was particularly ordered to repair, and from it to make his way to the southward and westward. Here, therefore, if not at Melville Island, a record of him would be surely found, and the proceedings of the searching ships would be governed by it, leaving their despatches to be picked up by the store-ship as she returned homewards. The progress and course of the two ships would depend upon circumstances. We have supposed that they found a clue to Sir John Franklin's route and intentions on Cape Walker, and their orders would be to proceed as far west as they possibly could, and, if stopped on their way, to make southing and meet the parties from the main coast.
lines, I feel convinced; but whereabouts, is not easy to determine. They may be "fast" near the centre between Melville Island and the three great rivers of the continent; or they may have been forced northward, and, unable to get southward again to Bhering's Straits, have gone on to Russia in Asia. If the former, Sir John Frankin will, this winter, desert his ships, and walk over the ice to the continent; if the latter, he will be heard of through Russia ere the spring of 1850. It is admitted that this last supposition is an extreme one, but by no means is it an utterly improbable one. If we may reason upon the very little that is known upon the subject, the conclu sion we must come to is, that Sir John Franklin will attain Bhering's Straits, or the Russian settlement on the river Colville; for, if his ships had been fast in the ice anywhere near the longitude of Melville Island, in this his last year of subsistence, he would have used the last winter to walk to the continent, or to meet Sir James Ross; or this last summer, to have done so in his boats; but it has been ascertained that he has not done so, though every report of that sea was, that it was OPEN along the coast as far as the eye could reach."
The equipment of the ships and parties is the The next part of the plan relates to these par- next consideration. They would, of course, be ties, of which there should be one from each of liberally supplied with every necessary to sustain the three great rivers on the main coast. Their life, and to preserve health; and whatever could explorations should be made in boats, or on foot, be devised or suggested by the experience gained and each one of these should be ordered to make in those seas by former expeditions, should be as true a course as they possibly could for Melville granted and provided. It is needless to refer too Island. It is a less distance than Sir James Ross minutely to these points; common sense and comwalked; and, as there would be a depot there, mon feeling will ensure their being well attended and a secure refuge, no time or strength would be to; but it may be as well to suggest that the late lost in a back journey. It is impossible but that invention of cork bedding should be largely made one or all of these parties must strike upon the available. It is soft, dry, and wholesome; it track of Sir John Franklin; taking it for granted eradicates vermin, and is a refuge for all hands on that it was ascertained at Melville Island that he sudden emergencies of danger. It may be laid on had not gone northward; and at Cape Walker, the ground to sleep upon, its nature preventing the that he had gone southward and westward. And, damp or cold from affecting the person sleeping oh what would be the value of that word which upon it; it will serve as a float or raft to cross a should, for good or for evil, disperse the ever- river upon-a cork mattress of eight pounds will killing uncertainty which hangs over their myste- sustain a man safely, and even dry, in water; and rious fate? Let us suppose, then, that these par- eight such mattresses lashed together as a raft, ties have reached Melville Island. They would with oars or very small spars, will carry twenty have orders to remain there till a certain date, men; the ticking of these mattresses should be when they could retrace their steps, or, according made of gutta percha. Of this latter article, too, to circumstances, fit up boats which would take an abundant supply should be provided of all kinds them, at the season, out of the Sound to the and thicknesses. It would best serve for tents,
five more for returning, each man who so returned would have twenty-five days' provisions to leave with those who still went on. A similar arrangement might be repeated once or twice more, and
With respect to the ships, it appears that their size is sometimes an objection and a hindrance to the service on hand, when once they have fairly got to the ground. After reaching some convenient station, they should be considered as depots merely; to be moved forward, it is true, as opportunity permitted, yet not to be allowed to become obstacles to active search by boats, or on land, whether the ships could move or not. With this view, they should be furnished with such boats as have already been described, (or any that would be better for the service,) for the exploration of any water where the ships could not penetrate. One, perhaps, might be a "screw-boat," to take advantage of any opening which presented itself; but, as her fuel could last but a short time, it is most likely that light boats, which could be carried over the ice or land, would do more service in the end. The sure means of success lies in the perfection of the preparations, and in an advance so well considered, slow and sure, that a retrograde movement would never be necessary.
If dogs could be subsisted in these latitudes, they might be employed to assist the sledges of the walking parties; it is worth a consideration, at all events, whether offal, or fish, or blubber, could not
boats, boat-sails, shoes, clothes, and bags. would most effectually preserve all things from getting wet, and the people from the cold, and from the worst effects of those northern winds which "shave" you like a razor, but with thus extend the whole journey very greatlythe pain of red-hot iron in the flesh. The con- equal, indeed, to a forty days' journey from the vertibility of gutta percha, and the ease with ship or depot, which is the supposed number of which accidents may be repaired with it, and de- days' provision a man can carry. fects made good, recommend it as of first-rate importance. Boats made with it would stand the salt water, and would be light to carry. They ought to be made to use either as boats or as sledges. For this purpose they should be made in parts; and each part no heavier than two men could carry with ease. The centre should consist of two squares, say six feet each way; and the two ends should be shaped like the ends of a whale-boat, each six feet long. They should be made as flat as possible in the bottoms, yet sufficiently boat-shaped to give the necessary qualities. If necessary, each of these might be again divided fore and aft ways. Two smaller canoe-shaped boats, made on the same plan, should be fitted, one on each side, to the foregoing larger one. They should be made with a water-tight covering, and be appointed to carry the provisions, or be otherwise used occasionally; and thus the centre boat would be kept free from luggage, and might be made warm and comfortable for the men. Such a boat would carry a great burthen, and could not be upset; and if it were necessary to carry her over the ice, or over land, she would take to pieces easily, and each part would form a convenient basket, or sledge, wherein to carry the luggage, &c., of two men, more easily than they could do in sep-be got to feed them. In the winter journeys, too, arate packs, and yet carry the boat at the same time. The mode of travelling by the walking parties should be by relays, as the palanquin bearers do in the East Indies. It is evident that most ground would be got over in a given time, and at the least expense of labor, by this means. If the whole proposed journey was a long one, it might be best to accomplish it by establishing a series of depots; Sir James Ross carried forty days' provisions, and walked five hundred miles in safety. This proves how much may be done in that way; if there were a depot at the end of such a journey, you would not require any arrangement for returning; but, if there were not, the provisions must be replenished by some previously contrived means. This would be by the succession of depots; and, however slow this method would prove, it would be safe and sure, and would enable you to accomplish any desired journey in those latitudes. If the journey to be made would occupy more time than a man could carry provisions for, then a greater number of men should set out, laden, than were intended to go the whole distance, and at certain intervals some of these should give up a part of their provisions to the advancing men, and themselves return; and under the supposition that they would return in half the time in which they walked out, and that each man had set out with forty days' provision; then, in a walk out of ten days and
perhaps the ice might be somewhat levelled for the passage of the sledges; it might cost less labor to do this than to drag them over the rough ice; and greater works than this are done in cutting channels for the ships through the "seventeen feet thick” ice.
In conclusion, as this is an expedition of search to save life, all scientific pursuits should be disregarded and interdicted, that the men might be relieved from carrying books and instruments. To ascertain the latitude and longitude is enough, and all that ought to be attempted.
Secondly. It appears to be self-evident that no search for Sir John Franklin (on the supposition that his ships are in existence, and are frozen up in the ice) can by any possibility be successful, which is not carried on by the sea, when that is open, and by walking parties when the navigation is closed; and this, too, from the east, the south, and the west, throughout every day of the year, when the rigor of the climate permits men to move. Difficulties numerous and great will arise-but nothing could present itself that would be insurmountable. Former travels and voyages in this part of the world prove that everything is possible; all that is now required to be done, all that is now proposed to be done, has already been done. No plan, therefore, carried on by the same means, can be called wild, or impracticable; nor is there
anything to encounter which can justify hesitation | most extraordinary sight was now presented to me. or delay in the undertaking. Expedition is, in- Neander was standing on his right leg, his left one deed, all in all at this crisis; for it is the last sea- twisted around it in a singular way, and leaning son, the last hope, and, it may be said, it is the last at an angle of about thirty degrees, with his left moment! It is not the affair of an office; it is arm on the corner of the desk. In his left hand not the affair of a profession; it is not the affair he held a quill, which he was twisting round and of one man; but it is the affair of the nation, and round with his right. His eyes were closely shut. the affair of every individual in it. Let every From that moment I was certain that he was blind, Englishman, then, interest himself in it, and let and was not undeceived until the next Sunday, one and all see that it be done. when I happened to be near him at the Dome Concluding Note.-Sir John Ross' sojourn in church; while I was looking on him with pity, my that country for four years; Sir James Ross' jour-thoughts reverting to Milton, Belisarius, and other ney of five hundred miles in it in one winter only; and Sir John Franklin's voyage from the M'Kensie in two frail canoes, one of which could be carried on the head of one man, may be truly said to have conquered the country, and, as a lawyer would say, have proved the case! This deprives us of all excuse and subterfuge for inaction or despon-versity celebrations, I have not seen again the radidency; whilst Sir John Franklin's boat voyage, and his reasoning on turning back to the M'Kensie, prove the necessity of a depot to make for. “Had I,” said he, "been sure of finding the ships in Kotzebue Sound, I should have gone on ;" and, had he gone on, the honor of discovering that whole coast would have been his reward. But "the ships" had two duties to do, so that which was most important was sacrificed!
From the Commercial Advertiser.
Berlin, Dec. 18, 1849. WHAT educated American has not heard of this celebrated divine and scholar? What lover of German literature has not passed many a pleasant hour over the pages made immortal by the impress of his genius? The bishop stands the acknowledged head of the evangelical party in the Lutheran church, the most distinguished professor of theology in the University of Berlin, and the greatest German autnority in church history. Every stranger visiting Berlin should see and hear him. If one can hear him without seeing him, so much the better. have been several times at his lectures-the first ime without knowing who the speaker was to be. Precisely at the hour, in stepped a small, meagre, and very dark man, dressed in a dark brown frock-coat reaching nearly to his heels, and his thick, coarse, black hair standing on end as if he had just been started out of bed. He stepped forward, without looking to the right or left, to the small platform surmounted by a desk which serves as the speaker's stand.
great men who had lived in darkness, a strange preacher mounted the pulpit. At the sound of his voice Neander opened a most brilliant pair of rattish little eyes, gazed on the preacher a moment, and closed them again. Though I have seen him twenty times since, at lectures, church, and at uni
ant lustre of those diminutive orbs. Indeed, a friend at my elbow tells me that his sight is very weak, and that there is danger of his becoming totally blind. At his lectures it is ever the same thing
the same reclining posture, the same twisting of the quill and rocking of the desk on two legs, the same tight shutting of the eyes, the same long coat, a world too wide for his meagre and sinewy form, and, let me add, the same clearness and depth of thought and elevation of sentiment.
Bishop Neander is of Jewish descent, which is testified by his black hair, dark complexion, and tough, compact build. He was converted at an early age. At the close of his theological course of studies he was admitted to preach his trial sermon, but broke down in the middle of it, and was obliged to give it up. Perhaps this want of suecess had something to do with his subsequent almost exclusive devotion to church literature and history. It appears that he has always been eccentric in all his ways. In the management of the ordinary affairs of life he is not of remarkable force, as they are without interest to him. To a beggar he gives all the money he has in his pocket, even if it be the monthly salary which has just been thrust into his hand by the treasurer of the university. He has been known to give away his coat to some coatless mendicant, while on his way to an evening party, and shortly after to make his appearance there in a brown study and quite unconscious of his dishabille. His sister, with whom he lives, for he has never thought of getting married, takes excellent care of him, and keeps him, as much as she can, from exhibiting his absence of mind to Here he elevated the movable upper part of the public. But, spite of her directions, he will, the desk until it was as high as his shoulders, and walk around by his old home when he goes to the putting his left arm upon the corner, commenced university, though it is a quarter of a mile out of speaking, his head disappearing entirely from view. the way. But he was so long accustomed to the From where I sat I could see nothing of him ex-old road that in his abstracted state he naturally cept the left elbow above the desk, and, at regular takes it. One morning he complained to his sister intervals, his coat skirts as he rocked the high of being very lame, and that he had limped all the desk back and forth. Being determined that this way from the university. Still, he said, he felt no oddity should not escape me by taking to cover in pain, and could not remember having hurt himself. such an original way, I left my seat and took one The doctor was called, and examined the limb, but at the right of the lecturer and very near him. found no sign of injury.
From Morris and Willis' Home Journal.
The mystery was not explained until next day, | quainted with Neander's theological views will do when the doctor learned that his patient had limped well then to procure this work. because he had walked home with one foot in the street and the other on the curb-stone of the pavement. This anecdote is generally believed here, but may be of questionable authority-one of the THE announcement that Mr. Emerson was to many always told of absent-minded men. The lecture at the Mercantile Library, a few evenings following, however, is indisputably true. Nean- since, was a torpedo touch, even to that most exder's careful sister had taken away his old unmen-hausted and torpid thing on earth, editorial curitionables from his chair, one night, after he had osity-for, though the impregnator of a whole retired to bed, and placed a new pair on the table cycle of Boston mind, and the father of thousands close by. When he rose early in the morning to of lesser Emersons, he is the most unapproachably original and distinct monotype of our day; and, go to his seven o'clock lecture, he either did not see strange to say, we had never, to the best of our them or supposed them to belong to somebody else; knowledge, laid eyes upon him. For this unaccertain it is that he made his appearance at the countable want of recognition and singlification, lecture-room in his long frock-coat and high-topped living in the same town, as we were, when Emerboots, and otherwise perfectly dressed, if we except son first began to preach and write, and never the garment usually considered indispensable. The taking the trouble to go and behold him as a prophlecture went off very well until an anxious servant et, we must own to tardy perceptions—but it was doubtless due to his belonging to a sect which girl entered the room and, gliding up to Neander, we supposed had but one relish, and which led us plucked him by the coat. He did not notice her to dismiss what we heard of him, of course, with at first, but kept rocking away; another pull, and the idea that he was but a new addition to the prehis equilibrium was in danger. He turned round to vailing Boston beverage of Channing-and-water. her, and for once the students saw his beaming eyes The eye sometimes reverses, and always more wide open in the depths of the cavities where they or less qualifies, the judgment formed without its are hidden, and his heavy black eyebrows drawn aid; and we were very much disappointed, on up in astonishment. She whispered a few words arriving at the hall, to find the place crowded, and no chance of a near view of the speaker. The only into his ear. "Woman," he answered, with dig-foothold to be had was up against the farthest wall, nity, "this is not a place to talk of pantaloons, but and a row of unsheltered gas-lights blazed between of scientific theology;" and resuming his old posi- us and the pulpit, with one at either ear-tip of the tion, went on with his lecture as if nothing had occupant, drowning the expression of his face comhappened. All the students entered the scene on pletely in the intense light a little behind it. To their note-books at once, and the poor girl retired look at him at all was to do so with needles to the professor's waiting-room, where Neander this, by way of a general protest against the unthrough the eyes; and we take the trouble to define consented at the proper time to don the garment. shaded gas-burners of the Tabernacle, Stuyvesant His eccentricities, which proceed only from Institute, and other public rooms-where an ophhabitual absence of mind, do not prevent his being thalmia is very likely to be added to the bad air highly respected in Berlin. He is generally chosen and hard seats with which the "evening's enterby the court to officiate in important ceremonies. tainment" is presented. For instance, he makes the prayer when a royal statue is to be erected, or the chambers are to be opened, and performs the marriage ceremony for the members of the different branches of the royal family. During the March revolution he was the head of the last deputation sent by the people to the king before the combat.
Emerson, as the applause announced that he had The single look we were enabled to give Mr. come into the pulpit, revealed to us that it was a man we had seen a thousand times, and with whose face our memory was familiar; though, in the sidewalk portrait-taking by which we had treasured his physiognomy, there was so little resemblance to the portrait taken from reading him, that His church history is esteemed by many theolo- we should never have put the two together, probgians the best and most philosophical in the Ger- member him perfectly, as a boy whom we used to ably, except by personal identification. We reman language. One of his pupils and most ar- see playing about Chauncey Place and Summerdent admirers is Professor T. L. Jacoby, of this street-one of those pale little moral-sublimes, with city, who is also a lecturer of high repute on the- their shirt collars turned over, who are recognized ology. This last gentleman will publish, in a by Boston school-boys as having "fathers that are month or two, at the press of C. G. Loederitz, of Unitarians"-and though he came to his first Berlin, a manual of church history. A copy has short hair about the time that we came to our first tail-coat, six or eight years behind us, we have been placed in my hands, with a request to notice never lost sight of him. In the visits we have the work, and to say that it is now in course of made to Boston, of late years, we have seen him in translation into English, under the supervision of the street, and remembered having always seen him the author himself, and will be published as soon as a boy-very little suspecting that there walked, as possible at London and New York. An ele- in a form long familiar, the deity of an intellectual gantly written preface by Neander himself says altar, upon which, at that moment, burned a fire in that the manual is excellent, and has been prepared in compliance with his oft-repeated requests, and in exact harmony with his views of historical and Christian truth. Those who wish to become ac
Emerson's voice is up to his reputation. It has curious contradiction, which we tried in vain to analyze satisfactorily-an outwardly repellant and inwardly reverential mingling of qualities, which a