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John Richardson's ‘missing’ Arctic journal, 6–29 October 1821

  • Janice Cavell (a1)
Abstract

The 1819–1822 overland Arctic expedition led by John Franklin was one of the most disastrous in polar history. In 1821, 20 men travelled to the Arctic Ocean by way of the Coppermine River; only nine of them survived. John Richardson's expedition journal, as published by C. Stuart Houston in 1984, is incomplete. There are no entries between 7 and 29 October 1821, even though five of the 11 deaths (some or possibly all of them by murder) occurred during this critical period. The omission of these events from the journal on which Houston's edition was based has raised suspicions that the account published in Franklin's 1823 narrative may be inaccurate. This article prints the ‘missing’ journal entries, which were located in the files of the Colonial Office, and analyses the differences between these previously unknown entries and the 1823 account.

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References
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Franklin, J. (1823). Narrative of a journey to the shores of the polar sea in the years 1819, 20, 21 and 22. London: John Murray.
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Richardson, J. (1821, December). Journal for 6–29 October 1821 (CO 6/15, ff. 72–76). Enclosed in Franklin, J. (1821, 19 December). Report to Henry Goulburn (CO 6/15, ff. 66–71). London: The National Archives of the United Kingdom. Copy (on microfilm reel B-3004). Ottawa, ON: Library and Archives Canada.
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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
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