MAY, 1829.

ART. I:-Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the years 1825, 1826, 1827, by JOHN FRANKLIN, Captain, R. N.-F. R. S. &c.; including an Account of the Progress of a Detachment to the Eastward. By JOHN RICHARDSON, M. D.-F. R. S. &c. Surgeon and Naturalist to the Expedition. Published by authority of the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs. London, 1828. Philadelphia, reprinted, 1828.

THE efforts which, during the last seventy years, have been made by the British nation to explore the most remote and desolate, the most hidden and dangerous shores and regions of the globe, have acquired, for the people who patronised, and for the individuals who conducted these adventurous enterprises, a lofty and well-merited renown. Whether arranged and organized by the government, or projected by societies or by individuals, whether designed to explore the coasts of unknown lands, or the habitations of barbarous tribes, to traverse the burning sands or pestilential forests of Africa, to climb the summits of the Himalayan mountains, or brave the icebergs of either polefor whatever purpose, and under whatever auspices these voyages and peregrinations of discovery have been prepared, they have enkindled a strong enthusiasm, and multitudes have been found willing to risk health and life, to abandon the abodes of man and the enjoyments of society; ready, nay, anxious to encounter the perils and privations to which they must be exposed while visiting and examining the wildest and most inhospitable portions of the earth.

VOL. III. NO. 6.


"Auri sacra fames quæ non mortalia cogis," was the exclamation of the ancient satirist. We know not if this worldly motive to action has lost, in modern times, any of its excitement, but we feel proud to believe that higher principles, that the impulses of religion and of humanity, the love of science and of fame, have, in these latter days, led to adventures as daring, to sufferings as great and as voluntary as have ever been produced by more ignoble causes.

In every quarter of the globe the traces of these researches may be discovered, and nations, we hope, have been benefited by the increased knowledge and enlarged intercourse which have resulted from these labours, but while Great-Britain was exploring, assiduously, many coasts and territories in which neither her citizens nor her government had any immediate interest, it was with many a matter of surprise that her extensive provinces in North America had been so entirely overlooked and neglected. The Hudson Bay Company had an exclusive commercial monopoly of the northern portion of this territory and the British nation seemed to look to the directors and agents of this company for whatever information was to be obtained of these extensive but desolate regions. When upon the maps of the globe, much of the northern division of this continent remained still a blank, that company was reproached for its supineness, and was accused of having, during a profitable monopoly of nearly two hundred years, attempted little to illustrate the natural, physical and moral features of the country they governed, and of its inhabitants, and performed less. The little that was accomplished, may be considered rather as the result of individual enterprise, than of corporate exertion. Hearne, though an officer of the company, made his journey to the Coppermine River, rather as a private adventurer in search of mineral treasures, than as a public agent-and M'Kenzie's celebrated expeditions to the Polar Sea and to the north-western coast of North-America, were altogether the enterprises of an intrepid and adventurous trader. In truth, the members of the Hudson Bay Company, satisfied with a substantial return on a moderate capital, appeared to be unwilling to increase their investments or enlarge the scale of their establishments, and slumbering over a regulated and monotonous traffic, were perhaps ignorant of the real resources of the country they governed, until the intrusion and active competition of a rival company, awakened in them a new spirit of inquiry, and the semblance of unwonted energy.

Still, the attempts at discovery did not originate with the company. Their agents even appeared indifferent or hostile to the

first movements of the government, although to the last expedition, they gave a cordial and efficacious support. But after a long pause, in the progress of maritime discovery, and particularly in the search of a north-west passage, the British government, actuated principally, we believe, by the suggestions of a single individual, resumed this suspended enterprise, and determined to resolve, if possible, the much contested question of the existence and practicability of a passage to the North of the American continent. In pursuance of this determination, the expedition of Captain Ross, the three voyages of Captain Parry, and that of Captain Beechy, and the two overland expeditions of Captain Franklin have been successively or simultaneously undertaken.

We have said that the love of science and of fame, and perhaps some innate fondness for hardy and daring enterprise, animated the leaders of these expeditions. Neither wealth nor honours seem to have awaited even the most successful. Cook, Vancouver, Flinders, all received a tardy and moderate promotion. Parry, whose hardihood, and whose success have been so much celebrated, is still a captain. The highest honours of the British navy are all reserved for naval exploits, and men, whose nautical skill, whose experience, whose courage, whose perseverance have proven equal to any undertaking, are retained in subordinate ranks, and must look to reputation as their reward—and with this they have been contented, and have been ready, and are still ready to encounter new trials and perils, and to press forward in any new career which may be opened to their talents and their ambition.

A former narrative of Captain Franklin gave the history of his first expedition to the Polar Sea, including an account of the almost unparalleled sufferings from hunger and cold which his companions and himself were compelled to undergo. These trials, however, were not lost. The experience of that journey taught him how to guard, in future, against similar contingencies and public opinion, and perhaps the interference of the government seemed to have had some influence on the arrangements of the Hudson Bay Company and their agents; for, on this expedition, every assistance was afforded to his company, and every means furnished to facilitate his progress and promote his views. This, certainly, was not the case on his former journey.

The Journal of Captain Franklin, which we propose at present to review, contains the narrative of the latest of those expeditions which the British government has sent out to explore the northern districts of North America and the shores of the frozen ocean. If something remains yet to be accomplished,

much has been performed, and the several voyages of Ross, Parry and Beechy, and the two expeditions of Captain Franklin have each added something to our stock of geographical, meteorological and natural science. Indeed, the continent of North America has now been nearly all explored. We know, it is true, but little of California and the country between that peninsula and the Columbia river, but the Rocky mountains, the Northern Andes as they should be termed, are now traversed in every direction by the lonely trapper and the wandering trader, and along and beyond those mountains the products and manufactures of civilized nations are beginning to be distributed in every direction. From Behring's Straits, the Russians are extending their posts along the Polar Seas to the very borders of the British possessions, and southwardly to the neighbourhood of Nootka Sound, while in the centre of the continent, the English traders supply numerous tribes of the native inhabitants, and from M'Kenzie's river and the Rocky mountains to Hudson's Bay; and from the great chain of Lakes bordering on the United States to the neighbourhood of the Polar Sea, they have posts and trading houses in every direction, and carry on along the numerous navigable streams on which they are situated, an exceedingly profitable business. Some of the most respectable members of the Hudson Bay Company adventure out to the most distant posts with their agents and "engagees," spend their winters many thousand miles from the settled parts of Canada, and depend on supplies of fish and game for their subsistence through the long and dreary winter.

When we read the accounts of the establishments of the Hudson Bay Company, or the journals of travellers who have visited those regions, it is immediately evident that the Indians are better managed, and rendered much more serviceable by the English than by the people of the United States. Indeed, the French laid the foundation of this system, and left to their successors a most worthy example. Even to this day there are several tribes of Indians in the neighbourhood of Montreal and Quebec, whose property is protected, whose villages are thriving and bear the semblance of civilization, and whose members appear comfortable and contented. The Jesuits placed them upon a footing of security and comfort, which they are still suffered to retain. In the whole territory of the United States, if we may except the Cherokee nation, no similar cases occur.The ancient inhabitants have either been driven away, or from some cause or other have grossly degenerated. Can it be that our Southern tribes are more fierce and savage than those of that Northern and icy region? Or has it been that the rapid

increase of the population of the United States has rendered the people unwilling to share with the Indians this fertile and cultivable region. At all the posts and trading houses on Hudson's Bay, and on the inland lakes and water-courses between that Bay and the Rocky mountains, the British employ the neighbouring tribes, by regular contract, to supply them with game and fish, with which that country greatly abounds. Its icy lakes are filled with fish, which, if we may believe the reports of hungry travellers, are of the finest description-and this is probable, for a law of nature has determined that animals, of all descriptions, should become more fat, if not more delicate in cold than in warm climates, and well adapted to the activity of the digestive organs in high latitudes. At these posts, the Indians are treated with great kindness, and behave submissively and with good faith. Many of the whites have married among them, and their children constitute, perhaps, the most useful portion of the population of the country.

When it was determined to send Captain Franklin on this expedition, every arrangement was made to render his journey not only safe but expeditious. The provisions for his party were prepared, and distributed with great judgment. Every thing was well adapted to the nature of the journey, which, although across a continent, and along the shores of an ocean, was to be made almost entirely in boats. Besides, stores of Pemmican, (a preparation of meat finely chopped and dried, and closely pressed and packed up in convenient parcels) which had been prepared a year beforehand for the party, and deposited at various posts, by which they were to pass, an ample provision of articles, useful and necessary, were also sent forward to advanced points of their route.

"The stores consisted of bedding and clothing, including two suits of water-proof dresses for each person, prepared by Mr. Mackintosh, of Glasgow; our guns had the same bore with the fowling pieces, supplied by the Hudson Bay Company to the Indian hunters, that is, twentyeight balls to the pound; their locks were tempered to withstand the cold of the winter; and a broad Indian dagger, which could also be used as a knife, was fitted to them, like a bayonet. Ammunition of the best quality was provided by the Ordinance, the powder being secured in small field or boat magazines. A quantity of wheaten flour, arrowroot, macaroni, portable soap, chocolate, essence of coffee, sugar and tea, calculated to last two years, was also supplied, made up into packages of eighty-five pounds, and covered with three layers of prepared water-proof canvass, of which material, coverings for the cargo of each boat were also made.

“There was likewise an ample stock of tobacco, a small quantity of wine and spirits, marquees and tents for the men and officers, some

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