Interpretive Essay History

Interpretive Essay History-40
We don’t know the reason but the wrecks might help find an answer.Another question is not new, but has been given renewed credibility by the discovery of these ships; that is, the often disputed claim of Lady Franklin and her allies that the Franklin expedition discovered the North West Passage several years before Robert Mc Clure traversed it in the early 1850s, and more than a half century before Roald Amundsen successfully navigated the Passage by ship in the early 1900s.

Lyle Dick at Fort Conger, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, July 2010 (Photo by Joobah Attagutsiak) Bio: Lyle Dick is a public historian specializing in Arctic and Canadian history.

Following a 35-year career with Parks Canada involving many history-related projects in Western and Northern Canada, including the search for the Franklin ships, he has been the Principal of Lyle Dick History and Heritage since 2012.

The first new question arising from these discoveries is: why were the Franklin wrecks found their current locations, that is, how did they get there?

These discoveries give credence to the interpretation that one or both ships were re-manned after the desertions of April 1848.

It has been appropriately recognized that the discovery of the wreck of HMS in Wilmot and Crampton Bay corroborates Inuit oral evidence collected by Charles Francis Hall in the 1860s and members of the Schwatka expedition in 1879-80 that placed a wreck in that area.

Emerging questions include whether this ship was navigated to near its present location, drifted to that place before sinking, or got there via a combination of these possibilities.

In particular, these cultural resources will enable the extensive documentation of the British Arctic expeditions through these important case studies.

Some of the artifacts were recently displayed in Britain and Canada, a fraction of the results of extensive underwater archaeology carried out on the wrecks over the past three years.

The location of the wreck of HMS is near the point marking the shortest land traverse of Graham Gore Peninsula between Victoria Strait to the north and Queen Maud Gulf to the south.

It suggests the possibility that Franklin expedition members chose it as an anchorage to facilitate traverses of men and equipment across the peninsula, perhaps in both directions.

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