The Unsolved Problem of the Franklin Expedition Records Supposedly Buried on King William Island

By Richard Cyriax , published February 1969


In May1845 Captain Franklin set sail from the Thames leading an expedition aimed to discover a North-West passage. His ships were seen for the last time in Baffin Bay the following July. The fate of the expedition: unknown. Franklin and his men never came back, so several expeditions took place in the course of the years to determine what had became of them. In 1859 the first of them was led by Captain F. M’Clintock, who discovered that Franklin had died in June 1847 and his ships, beset in ice North of King William Island, had been abandoned. M’Clintock discovered a camp on the island but the records of the expedition were missing. Suspect rose that they had been buried. An expedition in 1869 and a following one in 1878 produced evidence that such records had been hidden in a vault inland or eastwards of Point Victory but were not able to recover them.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Shipwrecks | Arctic
Subjects include: Archaeology

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