Searching for Franklin / the Land Arctic Searching Expedition 1855 / James Anderson's and James Stewart's Expedition via the Black River: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Searching for Franklin / the Land Arctic Searching Expedition 1855 / James Anderson's and James Stewart's Expedition via the Black River

1st Edition

Edited by William Barr


308 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780904180619
pub: 1999-09-16
SAVE ~$25.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


In the Autumn of 1854 Dr John Rae of the Hudson’s Bay Company astonished the world with the first news of the fate of the Franklin expedition, missing in the Arctic since 1845, on the basis of stories, rather vague as to time and place, which he had heard from Inuit in the vicinity of Pelly Bay. The response of the Admiralty was to ask the Hudson’s Bay Company to mount an overland expedition to attempt to confirm the Inuit reports. For this task Sir George Simpson, the company’s Governor in North America, selected James Anderson and James Stewart, veteran employees of the company, and directed them to descend the Black River by canoe to the area which the Inuit reports seemed to identify as the site of the demise of the Franklin expedition. Having assembled the necessary men, supplies and equipment in an amazingly short time, Anderson and Stewart left their base at Fort Resolution on Great Slave Lake on 24 June 1855. They reached the sea at the mouth of the Black River on 30 July and here encountered a group of Inuit who possessed a variety of articles which could only have come from Franklin’s ships. Solid sea ice halted their search of the coast at Point Ogle and they were forced to start back south on 9 August. They were back at Fort Resolution by 16 September, having completed an impressive trip in a staggeringly short time. History has tended to judge Anderson and Stewart rather harshly, despite the speed and efficiency of their journey. In fact their real contribution was to pinpoint the site of the tragedy (on King William Island), which the Inuit stories had identified only very vaguely. Their efforts allowed Captain Leopold McClintock to proceed directly to the correct area in 1859 and solve most aspects of the puzzle of what happened to the Franklin expedition.


’…his handsome volume…is easily recommended for all administrative history, Artic and exploration libraries.’ International Journal of Maritime History (2002)

About the Series

Hakluyt Society, Third Series

Routledge is pleased to be the publisher for the Hakluyt Society.

The Hakluyt Society has for its object the advancement of knowledge and education, particularly in relation to the understanding of world history. The society publishes scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These address the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years. Such texts, many previously available only in manuscript or in unedited publications in languages other than English, are the essential records of the stages of inter-continental and inter-cultural encounter.

Established in 1846, the Society has to date published over 350 volumes. All editions are in English. Although a substantial number of the Society's past editions relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English, the majority concern non-British enterprises and are based on texts in languages other than English. Material originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch has regularly appeared, material in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic occasionally.

All editions contain an introduction and scholarly annotation, giving both the general reader and the student a degree of assistance in understanding the material and providing guidance on the relevance of the episodes described, within the context of global development and world history. Volumes are often generously furnished with maps and contemporary illustrations.

Information about the Society may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at the following address:

Hakluyt Society, c/o Map Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DG, UK

Email: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography