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The Franklin Expedition

Source: The Illustrated London News, Nov.3 1855, p.525

A Correspondent, writing from Fort Resolution, Great Slave Lake, 1st July, describes the starting of the Arctic Expedition and forlorn hope in search of any survivors of Sir John Franklin's party, from the above place, late on the evening of the 22nd June, on their way to Great Fish River and the Arctic coast. The party consisted of three canoes, two officers (Messrs. Anderson and Stewart), and eighteen men, and the ladings of three months' provisions, besides presents for the Esquimaux and the men's clothing.

Fort Resolution, the rendezvous and starting-point of this expedition, is situated upon a bay of Great Slave Lake, about midway between the mouths of the Buffalo and Slave Rivers, partly sheltered to the seaward by groups of well-wooded islands. The fort consists of three dwelling-houses, a store, and trading-shop, surrounded by stockades and bastions, besides outhouses. A small farm, with eight or nine head of cattle, is attached to the establishment. The situation is rather a pretty one, as the point, clear of all large timber, stretches a considerable distance into the clear waters of the lake, upon the produce of whose fisheries depend in a great measure the lives of the inhabitants of this Arctic settlement.

The evening on which the expedition took its departure was fine and calm, and the three canoes, accompanied by another from the fort, swept swiftly and lightly over the unruffled surface of the lake, to the inspiring strains of numerous paddling songs—"La belle Rose," " La claire Fontaine," "Les trois Soldats," "La Bergere;" and numerous other choice specimens of the north-west muse awoke the wild echoes of the Moose­deer Island, and swept over the waters until the woods upon the main­land responded to the song. The officers and men were is high health and spirits, ready to risk their lives in this humane undertaking, with the fearlessness and contempt of hardship so characteristic of the Hudson's Bay Company's officers and men. God prosper them, and success attend their efforts!—and may He to whose decision all human things must submit bring them safely through their perilous trip once more to the bosoms of their anxious families! The accompanying Sketch shows the Expedition Canoes leaving Fort Resolution.

Franklin Expedition

The Arctic Expedition and Forlorn Hope leaving Fort Resolution, in search of Sir John Franklin's party.