The Long Arctic Search: The Narrative of Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka, U.S. A. 1878-1880, Seeking the Records of the Lost Franklin Expedition: Schwatka, Frederick
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The Long Arctic Search: The Narrative of Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka, U.S. A. 1878-1880, Seeking the Records of the Lost Franklin Expedition

Author(s): Schwatka, Frederick

Copyright: 1965, Marine Historical Assoc, Mystic
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.117, color frontis, 19 illus, 2 maps, wraps
Condition: tight, vg+

In 1878–80, at the behest of the American Geographical Society, Schwatka led an expedition to the Canadian Arctic to look for written records thought to have been left on or near King William Island by members of Franklin’s lost expedition. Traveling to Hudson Bay on the schooner Eothen, Schwatka’s initial team included William Henry Gilder, his second in command; naturalist Heinrich Klutschak, Frank Melms, and Joe Ebierbing, an Inuit interpreter and guide who had assisted explorer Charles Francis Hall in his search for Franklin between 1860 and 1869.

The group, assisted by other Inuit, went north from Hudson Bay “with three sledges drawn by over forty dogs, relatively few provisions, but a large quantity of arms and ammunition.” They interviewed Inuit, visited known or likely sites of Franklin Expedition remains, and found a skeleton of one of the lost Franklin crewmen. Though the expedition failed to find the hoped-for papers, in a speech at a dinner given in Schwatka’s honor by the American Geographical Society in 1880, he noted that his expedition had made “the longest sledge journey ever made both in regard to time and distance” of eleven months and four days and 2,709 miles (4,360 km) and that it was the first Arctic expedition on which the whites relied entirely on the same diet as the Inuit. This was first published in 1882 as ‘The Search for Franklin’.














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