1394 The Arctic Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin


Print: Baxter - CL 342 The Arctic Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin. This print depicts an event that is as newsworthy today as it was 170 years ago. The ‘Terror’ having been discovered, after many attempts, in 2016.


Details taken from The Picture Printer by Courtney Lewis: Sir John Franklin, a Lincolnshire man and hero of six expeditions, sailed from Greenhithe on May 19th, 1845, with Captains Crozier and Fitzjames, next in command, to discover and survey the N.-W. passage to the Pacific. Their ships the Erebus and Terror were last seen by a whaler near the entrance to Lancaster Sound on July 26th, 1845. From 1848 onwards expedition after expedition was despatched in quest of the missing explorers.


The British Admiralty offered a reward of £10,000 for the discovery of the expedition, but in 1854, having decided that all hope was futile, withdrew even its financial support from the gallant men who wished to continue the search. Lady Franklin, whose efforts to find her husband were unwearied, exhausted all her private funds, and in 1857, by the aid of public subscriptions, fitted out the little yacht Fox to scour King William's Island for the last time. The command was accepted by Captain (afterwards Sir) Leopold M'Clintock, and in July he sailed from Aberdeen. From an Eskimo in Boothia many articles were obtained which belonged to the missing explorers, but similar articles had been discovered before this time, in 1852, by Dr. Jno. Rae. On the south and west coast of King William's Island, however, were discovered skeletons that told of a terrible disaster. Above all, in a cairn at Point Victory, a precious record was found that briefly told the history of the expedition. The facts were conveyed in terse and expressive words: "April 25, 1848. Erebus and Terror were deserted. Sir John Franklin died on June 11, 1847, and the total loss by deaths up to this date 9 officers and 15 men." The handwriting was that of Captain FitzJames, and a briefer document never told of so tragic a story. Sir John Richardson, in describing this unprecedented calamity, said: "These men forged the last link of the N.-W. passage with their lives."


Always a popular and hard to find subject that goes beyond an interest in George Baxter Prints


Date: 1850


Size (cm ht x w): 15 x 20.5


State: Unmounted


Condition: Very good

The Arctic Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin

SKU: 1394