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ARCTIC EXPEDITIONS. REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE - Franklin Expedition Search]: [Stef - 1852. [1214330]
London. 1852. - [4],lix,[2],199pp. plus two folding maps; iii,368pp. plus fifteen maps bound in (six folding) and numerous maps and illustrations in the text; 216pp. plus three maps bound in (one folding) and a small map in the text. Folio. 20th-century green buckram, gilt leather label. Minor shelf wear. Dartmouth College bookplate on front pastedown (deaccessioned). Very good. Noted Canadian Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson's annotated collection of three important Franklin Blue Books. Sir John Franklin's doomed 1845 expedition, his fourth to the Arctic and third as commander, set out in 1845 to search for the fabled Northwest Passage. In September 1846 the expedition's ships became trapped in the ice off of King William Island, which would be their final resting place. The crew spent the next year and a half trapped there before attempting to walk south, dying along the way, hundreds of miles from the nearest European settlements. After three years without word, the British Admiralty launched a massive search for the missing ships. Spurred by a large reward, many expeditions from Britain and the United States set out on the hunt, beginning in 1848 and continuing through the next decade. The British Parliament printed occasional reports of the various expeditions, and related Arctic subjects, during that time. These reports became known as the Arctic "blue books," named after the distinctive blue wrappers in which they were originally issued. This volume contains three 1852 Parliamentary blue books relating to the lost Franklin Expedition and the subsequent search parties. Each work includes Stefansson's coding system, in pencil, on the front endpapers, identifying these three works as "1852a," "1852b," and "1852c." Essentially, it is Stefansson's working copy, with extensive marginal notes in his hand and numerous typed and longhand notes inserted throughout, mostly on yellow paper. The notes relate to many points about survival techniques and nourishment that became important to Stefansson's work in such books as THE FRIENDLY ARCTIC. The first work contains results of an inquiry regarding the thoroughness of the Austin and Penny search for Franklin in Wellington Channel in 1850-51, focusing on the ice and current conditions in Wellington and Queens channels, and the discovery of Franklin expedition relics in the vicinity of Beechey Island. In addition to the evidence given, the committee reviewed the status of the search program, and recommended an additional expedition to the Barrow Strait region, based at Beechey Island, for 1852-53. The second work relates reports from sledgers of Austin's expedition of 1850-51 while wintering at Griffiths Island. The accounts cover journeys along the coasts of northern Prince of Wales, southern Cornwallis, Bathurst, Byam Martin, and Melville Islands. Also contains sledger reports from Penny's expedition wintering in Assistance Bay, together with translations of reports made by native peoples regarding the Franklin expedition. The third and final work included here is of major importance. This report covers a wide-ranging number of expeditions from 1850-52, including the Collinson expedition in the Bering Strait, expeditions in the eastern part of the Canadian Arctic by De Haven, John Ross, Austin, and Penny, and reports by John Rae of his expedition to southwestern Victoria Island. Includes numerous letters speculating on the activities of the Franklin Expedition, various proposals for future searches, and more. The Dartmouth College Library bookplate indicates that the book was at one point part of a proposed gift to the college, as Dartmouth did acquire Stefansson's library after his passing in 1962. However, a provenance letter included with the book asserts that this copy was retained by Stefansson's widow as a duplicate copy at the time the gift was made. An important set of blue books regarding the Franklin expedition, and unique copies, having been annotated by one of the leading Arctic fi
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2016-09-30           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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