Interpretive Essay History

Interpretive Essay History-8
Given the often congested and dangerous sea ice in the shear zone of Alexandra Strait to the west, traverses by land were probably the most viable route back and forth from Erebus Bay.Perhaps members of the expedition wanted to maintain a connection to the waters of Victoria Strait in hopes of encountering a relief vessel?

Given the often congested and dangerous sea ice in the shear zone of Alexandra Strait to the west, traverses by land were probably the most viable route back and forth from Erebus Bay.Perhaps members of the expedition wanted to maintain a connection to the waters of Victoria Strait in hopes of encountering a relief vessel?

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These include the questions of how the expeditions proceeded following the besetment of the ships in Victoria Strait, 1846-48; where the expedition’s men went after deserting the vessels in 1848; and their apparent continuing connections to both ships after the desertions.

The two ship discoveries completely overturn the basis for the modern-day archaeological search for a Franklin ship in the so-called Northern Search area, that is, the area of Victoria Strait and Alexandra Strait, where searchers previously believed a wreck would be found.

This longstanding expectation traced its origins to Dr.

John Rae’s 1854 reports of an encounter with a group of Inuit as he approached the Boothia Peninsula in that year.

The likelihood that some of Franklin’s men navigated the ships to Queen Maud Gulf will buttress the argument that his team succeeded in reaching waters that had been traversed and mapped as far as the western entrance to the Passage.

The discoveries of the wrecks present opportunities for us to learn a great deal about many different historical questions pertaining to the Franklin expedition.Answering why HMS ended up in Terror Bay is a more difficult question to answer.Given prevailing ice drift patterns, there is little likelihood that the ship could have drifted to its current location.The first new question arising from these discoveries is: why were the Franklin wrecks found their current locations, that is, how did they get there?These discoveries give credence to the interpretation that one or both ships were re-manned after the desertions of April 1848.The Inuit told Rae that several years before they had observed about 40 European men dragging their sleds on the ice along the western shore of King William Island, heading south.Later, they found corpses and graves at the mouth of the Back River on the mainland to the south, which they believed were evidence of the same men who had died in the interval.Lyle Dick at Fort Conger, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, July 2010 (Photo by Joobah Attagutsiak) Bio: Lyle Dick is a public historian specializing in Arctic and Canadian history.Following a 35-year career with Parks Canada involving many history-related projects in Western and Northern Canada, including the search for the Franklin ships, he has been the Principal of Lyle Dick History and Heritage since 2012.The location of the wreck of HMS is near the point marking the shortest land traverse of Graham Gore Peninsula between Victoria Strait to the north and Queen Maud Gulf to the south.It suggests the possibility that Franklin expedition members chose it as an anchorage to facilitate traverses of men and equipment across the peninsula, perhaps in both directions.

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