- John Franklin
Infobox Prime Minister
name =John Franklin
birth_date =birth date|1786|4|16|df=y
death_date =death date and age|1847|6|11|1786|4|16|df=y
King William Island, Canada
Eleanor Anne Porden& Lady Jane Franklin(nee Griffin)
order =5th Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land
January 5, 1837
August 21, 1843
Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, 1st Baronet
George Arthur|Sir John Franklin, FRGS ( April 16, 1786– June 11, 1847) was a British Royal Navyofficer and Arcticexplorer who mapped almost two thirds of the northern coastline of North America. Franklin also served as governor of Tasmaniafor several years. In his last expedition, he disappeared while attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passagein the Canadian Arctic. The entire crew perished from starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosisand exposurebefore and after Franklin died and the expedition's icebound ships were abandoned in desperation.
Franklin was born in
Spilsby, Lincolnshire, in 1786 and educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth. John Franklin was the ninth of 12 children. One of his sisters was the mother of Emily Tennyson. Franklin's father initially opposed his son's interest in a career at sea. However, Franklin was determined and his father reluctantly allowed him to go on a trial voyage with a merchant ship. This hardened young Franklin's resolve, so at the age of 14 his father secured him a Royal Navyappointment on HMS "Polyphemus". Franklin was later present at a number of historic voyages and naval battles. These included the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, an expedition to explore the coast of Australiaon HMS "Investigator" with his uncle, Captain Matthew Flinders, a return to the Napoleonic Wars, serving aboard HMS "Bellerophon" at the Battle of Trafalgarin 1805, and he was at the Battle of New Orleans.
1818: First Arctic expedition
John Franklin first travelled to the
Arcticin 1818 because of a command from David Buchanand became fascinated by it. He led a disastrous overland expedition into the Northwest Territoriesof Canadaalong the Coppermine Riverin 1819–22, losing 11 of the 20 men in his party. Most died of starvation, but there was also at least one murderand suggestions of cannibalism. The survivors were forced to eat lichenand even attempted to eat their own leather boots. This gained Franklin the nickname of "the man who ate his boots" in America.
1823: Marriage and second Arctic expedition
In 1823, after returning to England, Franklin married the
poet Eleanor Anne Porden. Their daughter, Eleanor Isabella, was born the following year. Eleanor (senior) died of tuberculosisin 1825, shortly after persuading her husband not to let her ill-health prevent him from setting off on another expedition to the Arctic. This expedition, a trip down the Mackenzie Riverto explore the shores of the Beaufort Sea, was better supplied and more successful than his last.
1836: Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)
Franklin was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land in 1836, but was removed from office in 1843. He did not endear himself with the local
civil servants, who particularly disliked his humaneideals and his attempts to reform the Tasmanian penal colony. His wife, Lady Jane, was quite liberated for a woman of her day, known for "roughing it" to the extent that an expedition had to be mounted after she and Franklin became lost in the wild. Such exploits further distanced the couple from "proper" society, and may have contributed to Franklin's recall. Nevertheless, he was popular among the people of Tasmania. He is remembered by a significant landmark in the centre of Hobart—a statue of him dominates the park known as Franklin Square, which was the site of the original Government House. His wife worked to set up a college, a museumand botanical gardens. The village of Franklin, on the Huon River, is named in his honour, as is the Franklin Riveron the West Coast of Tasmania, one of the better known Tasmanian rivers due to the Franklin Damcontroversy.cite web
title =Franklin, John (1786 – 1847)
Project Gutenberg Australia
Dictionary of Australian Biography
accessdate = 2008-05-01] Australian Dictionary of Biography
title= Franklin, Sir John (1786 - 1847)
1845 Northwest Passage expedition
thumb|right|Map of the probable routes taken by "Erebus" and "Terror" during Franklin's lost expedition.">legend|blue|Disko Bay (5) to Beechey Island, in 1845.legend|purple|Around Cornwallis Island (1), in 1845.legend|red|Beechey Island down Peel Sound between Prince of Wales Island (2) and Somerset Island (3) and the Boothia Peninsula (4) to near King William Island in 1846.Disko Bay (5) is about 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi) from the mouth of the Mackenzie River (6).
Exploration of the Arctic coastal mainland after Franklin's second Arctic expedition had left less than convert|500|km|mi|0 of unexplored Arctic coastline. The British decided to send a well-equipped Arctic expedition to complete the charting of the Northwest Passage. After
Sir James Rossdeclined an offer to command the expedition, an invitation was extended to Franklin, who accepted despite his age, 59. A younger man, Captain James Fitzjames, was given command of HMS "Erebus" and Franklin was named the expedition commander. Captain Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier, who had commanded HMS "Terror" during the Ross 1841–44 Antarctic expedition, was appointed executive officer and commander of HMS "Terror". Franklin was given command on February 7, 1845, and received official instructions on May 5, 1845. [cite journal | last = Gibson, F.R.G.S.| first = William
title = Sir John Franklin's Last Voyage: A brief history of the Franklin expedition and the outline of the researches which established the facts of its tragic outcome | journal = The Beaver | pages = 48 | date =
HMS "Erebus" at convert|370|LT|MT|lk=on and HMS "Terror" at convert|340|LT|MT were sturdily built and were outfitted with recent inventions. These included
steam engines from the London and Greenwich Railwaythat enabled the ships to make convert|4|kn|km/h|lk=on on their own power, a unique combined steam-based heating and distillation system for the comfort of the crew and to provide large quantities of fresh water for the engine's boilers, a mechanism that enabled the iron rudderand propellerto be drawn into iron wells to protect them from damage, ships' libraries of more than 1,000 books, and three years' worth of conventionally preserved or tinned preserved food supplies. Unfortunately, the latter was supplied from a cut-rate provisioner who was awarded the contract only a few months before the ships were to sail. Though his "patent process" was sound, the haste with which he had prepared thousands of cans of food led to sloppily-applied beads of solder on the cans' interior edges and allowed lead to leach into the food. Chosen by the Admiralty, most of the crew were Englishmen, many from the North of Englandwith a small number of Irishmen and Scotsmen.
The Franklin Expedition set sail from
Greenhithe, England, on the morning of May 19, 1845, with a crew of 24 officers and 110 men. The ships traveled north to Aberdeenfor supplies. From Scotland, the ships sailed to Greenlandwith HMS "Rattler" and a transport ship, "Barretto Junior". After misjudging the location of Whitefish Bay, Disko Island, Greenland, the expedition backtracked and finally harboured in that far north outpost to prepare for the rest of their voyage. Five crew members were discharged and sent home on the "Rattler" and "Barretto Junior", reducing the ships' final crew size to 129. The expedition was last seen by Europeans on July 26, 1845, when Captain Dannett of the whaler"Prince of Wales" encountered "Terror" and "Erebus" moored to an icebergin Lancaster Sound.
After two years and no word from the expedition, Franklin's wife urged the Admiralty to send a search party. Because the crew carried supplies for three years, the Admiralty waited another year before launching a search and offering a £20,000 reward for finding the expedition. The money and Franklin's fame led to many searches. At one point, ten British and two American ships, USS "Advance" and USS "Rescue", headed for the Arctic. Eventually, more ships and men were lost looking for Franklin than in the expedition itself. Ballads such as "
Lady Franklin's Lament", commemorating Lady Franklin's search for her lost husband, became popular. [cite book | last = M'Clintock | first = Francis L. | title = The Voyage of the 'Fox' in the Arctic Seas. A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin and His Companions | publisher = Boston: Ticknor and Fields | date = 1860 | pages = 336] In the summer of 1850, expeditions including three from England as well as one from the United Statesjoined in the search. They converged off the east coast of Beechey Island, where the first relics of the Franklin expedition were found, including the gravesites of three Franklin Expedition crewmen.
In 1854, explorer John Rae, while surveying the
Boothia Peninsulafor the Hudson's Bay Company, discovered more evidence of the Franklin party's fate, and over the next four decades, about 25 other searches added information. A century later, Owen Beattie, a University of Albertaprofessor of anthropology, began a 10-year series of scientific studies known as the "1845–48 Franklin Expedition Forensic Anthropology Project", showing that the Beechey Island crew had most likely died of pneumonia[cite journal | last = Amy | first = Roger | coauthors = Bhatnagar, Rakesh, Damkjar, Eric, Beattie, Owen | title = The last Franklin Expedition: report of a postmortem examination of a crew member | journal = Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ)| volume = 135 | pages = 115–117 | date = 1986-07-15] and perhaps tuberculosis. [cite journal | last = Notman | first = Derek N.H. | coauthors = Anderson, Lawrence, Beattie, Owen B., Amy, Roger | title = Arctic Paleoradiology: Portable Radiographic Examination of Two Frozen Sailors from the Franklin Expedition (1845-48)| journal = American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)| volume = 149 | pages = 347–350 | date = 1987 | publisher = American Roentgen Ray Society | url=http://www.ajronline.org/search.dtl |format= Toxicologicalreports indicated that lead poisoningwas also a possible factor. [cite journal | last = Kowall | first = Walter | coauthors = Beattie, Owen B., Baadsgaard, Halfdan | title = Did solder kill Franklin's men? | journal = Nature | volume = 343 | issue = 6256 | pages = 319–320 | date = 1990-01-25| doi = 10.1038/343319b0] [cite journal | last = Kowall | first = W.A. | coauthors = Krahn, P.M., Beattie, O. B. | title = Lead Levels in Human Tissues from the Franklin Forensic Project | journal = International Journal Environmental Analytical Chemistry | volume = 35 | pages = 119–126 | date = Received: 1988-06-29| publisher = Gordon and Breach Science Publishers | doi = 10.1080/03067318908028385] In addition, blade cut marks on the bones of some of the crew found on King William Islandsuggested that conditions had become so dire that some crew members resorted to cannibalism. [cite journal | last = Keenleyside | first = Anne | coauthors = Bertulli, Margaret, Fricke, Henry C. | title = The Final Days of the Franklin Expedition: New Skeletal Evidence | journal = Arctic | volume = 50 | issue = 1 | pages = 36–46 | date = 1997 | publisher = The Arctic Institute of North America | url = http://www.aina.ucalgary.ca/scripts/minisa.dll/144/proe/proarc/se+arctic,+v.+50,+no.++1,+Mar.+1997,*?COMMANDSEARCH | format = scurvy, poisoned food, botulismand starvationhad killed everyone in the Franklin party.
For years after the loss of the Franklin party, the
Victorian eramedia portrayed Franklin as a herowho led his men in the quest for the Northwest Passage. A statue of Franklin in his home town bears the inscription "Sir John Franklin — Discoverer of the North West Passage". Statues of Franklin outside the Athenaeum in Londonand in Tasmaniabear similar inscriptions. Although the expedition's fate, including the possibility of cannibalism, was widely reported and debated, Franklin's standing with the public was not diminished. The mystery surrounding Franklin's last expedition was the subject of a 2006 episode of the " Nova" television series " Arctic Passage" and a 2007 documentary on Discovery HD Theater. The expedition has inspired many artistic works including a famous ballad, Lady Franklin's Lament, a verse play by Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen, a children's book, a short story and essays by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, and several novels, and is referenced in Canadian musician Stan Rogers' ballad "Northwest Passage". There is also a direct reference to John Franklin's ill-fated expedition in the Irish-American group Nightnoise's album Something of Time, specifically in a track titled "The Erebus and the Terror". Additionally in 2007, a fictional account of the expedition was authored by Dan Simmons titled "The Terror", ISBN 978-0-316-01744-2.
* "Franklin Saga Deaths: A Mystery Solved?" National Geographic Magazine, Vol 178, No 3, Sep 1990.
* Beardsley, Martyn. "Deadly Winter".
* Beattie, Owen, and Geiger, John (1989). "Frozen in Time: Unlocking the Secrets of the Franklin Expedition". Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books. ISBN 0-88833-303-X.
*Beattie, Owen and Geiger, John (2004). "Frozen In Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition" (Revised edition)
* Berton, Pierre "The Arctic Grail".
* Coleman, E. C. (2006). "The Royal Navy in Polar Exploration, Franklin to Scott".
* Coleman, E. C. (2006). "The Royal Navy in Polar Exploration, Frobisher to Ross". ISBN 0-7524-3660-0.
* McGoogan, Ken "Fatal Passage".
* McGoogan, Ken "Lady Franklin's Revenge".
* Mirsky, Jeannette (1970). "To the Arctic!: The Story of Northern Exploration from Earliest Times". ISBN 0-226-53179-1.
* Murray, David. (2004). "The Arctic Fox - Francis Leopold McClintock, Discoverer of the fate of Franklin". Cork: The Collins Press, ISBN 1-55002-523-6.
* NOVA -
Arctic PassagePart 1 - Prisoners Of The Ice (TV documentary). See also program [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3307_arctic.html transcript] .
* Poulsom, Neville W. & Myres, J. A. L. (2000). "British polar exploration and research : a historical and medallic record with biographies, 1818-1999 ". London: Savannah.
* Stefánsson, Vilhjálmur (1938). "Unsolved Mysteries of the Arctic".
* Woodman, David C. "Unraveling the Franklin Mystery: Inuit Testimony".
The Discovery of Slowness", Sten Nadolny, Novel, 1983.
The Rifles (novel)", William T. Vollmann, Novel, 1994.
The Terror (novel)", Dan Simmons, Horror novel, 2007.
*"The Broken Lands",
Robert Edric, Novel, 1992
*"The Ice Child",
Elizabeth McGregor, Dutton, May 3, 2001
The Adventures of Captain Hatteras", Jules Verne, 1864, a novel in which Captain Hatteras shows many similarities with John Franklin.
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/arctic/ NOVA's companion website for
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=3394 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
* [http://www.ric.edu/rpotter/SJFranklin.html The Fate of Franklin (Russell Potter)]
* [http://ink.news.com.au/mercury/franklin/history.htm The Life and Times of Sir John Franklin]
* [http://www.nmm.ac.uk/server/show/conWebDoc.600/viewPage/1 List] of artifacts recovered from the Franklin Expedition
* [http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic50-1-36.pdf Paper] from the Universary of Calgary about the discovery of skeletal remains in 1992
* [http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/478150 Ottawa plans search for Franklin ships] , "
Toronto Star", 14 August 2008.
*Alexander, Alison (editor) (2005)"The
Companion to Tasmanian History"Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart. ISBN 186295223X.
*Robson, L.L. (1983) "A history of Tasmania. Volume 1. Van Diemen's Land from the earliest times to 1855"Melbourne, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195543645
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