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      Why Ross Survived When Franklin Died: Arctic Explorers and the Inuit, 1829–1848

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          Abstract

          The Franklin expedition disappeared in the High Arctic in the 1840s, looking for the North-West Passage. After a long search, contacts with local Inuit revealed they had all perished. Could the Inuit have saved Franklin’s crews? The experience of John and James Ross is instructive. A decade earlier they led a smaller party to an Arctic region near where Franklin’s crews landed. They made friends with an Inuit community and learnt useful skills in clothing, diet, shelter and transport. This enabled them to survive four Arctic winters and come home safely. But the Franklin expedition was poorly placed to benefit from Inuit contact. They were too numerous and had no interpreters. Trapped in the ice, they did not seek out Inuit villages. Leaving the ships, they turned towards a desert region and abandoned useful equipment. The wrecks of Erebus and Terror were only discovered in 2014 and 2016, again thanks to Inuit guidance. Britain has transferred the wrecks and their contents to Canada. They will be jointly held by the government and the Inuit ­people, whose ­contribution to the Franklin story is finally being recognized.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a North-West Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions during the Years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833 and Appendix

           John Ross (1835)
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            Louie Kamookak Obituary 28 May 2018

            (2021)
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              From Barrow to Boothia: The Arctic Journal of Chief Factor Peter William Dease, 1836–1839

              (2002)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                ljcs
                ljcs
                London Journal of Canadian Studies
                UCL Press
                2397-0928
                0267-2200
                30 November 2020
                : 35
                : 1
                : 67-95
                Affiliations
                1London School of Economic and Political Science, UK
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Email: nicholas.bayne@ 123456tiscali.co.uk
                Article
                10.14324/111.444.ljcs.2020v35.004
                Copyright © 2020, Nicholas Bayne

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                References: 29, Pages: 30
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                London Journal of Canadian Studies
                Volume 35, Issue 1

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                Most referenced authors 18