Nautical Miscellany: Notes of the Editor (2)


We are glad to find that strenuous exertions are making to equip an Expedition, with the object of ascertaining the situation of Captain Ross, who left this country in the Victory steamboat in the summer of 1829, to effect the long-sought north-west passage into the Pacific Ocean. A meeting has been recently held in London by the friends of Captain Ross, at which it was agreed that he and his companions might be still alive, and may be extricated from their perilous situation by efforts to be made for their relief. This conclusion is founded on the extent of his preparations, which were calculated to meet the wants of his party for three years—on the quantity of stores which it is presumed he would find untouched in the wreck of the Fury in Prince Regent’s Inlet—and on the fact, that the crews of two Hudson’s Bay vessels who were cast away on Marble Island in 1769, subsisted nearly three years afterwards on what they could find, as related by Hearne, and quoted by Mr. Barrow in his Chronological History of Arctic Voyages. His Majesty’s Government has consented, on certain conditions, to furnish £2000 towards forwarding the expedition, and the Hudson’s Bay Company have given directions to provide boats and pemmican for the party free of expense. Captain Back, who is well known as the companion of Sir John Franklin in both his expeditions, has volunteered to conduct the undertaking, and proposes to leave London early in February for New York, to proceed from thence, by way of Montreal, to Great Slave Lake, and to descend the Fish River early in August. From this point, Captain Back will be guided in his movements by circumstances, and may probably winter in that part of the world. In order to assist in equipping this expedition, which is denominated the “Arctic Land Expedition,” subscriptions are collecting in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, which will be placed at the disposal of a Committee of Noblemen and Gentlemen, of whom a list is already in circulation. We heartily wish their efforts may be crowned with success in their principal object, as they cannot fail to be productive of the point of geographical discovery.