Franklin Search Classic

Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal; or, Eighteen Months in the Polar Regions, in Search of Sir John Franklin's Expedition, in The Years 1850-51.

London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1852.

Price: $950.00


About the item

First edition. Folding map printed in blue and four color lithographed plates. vii,[1],[2],320,32pp. 8vo. Franklin Search Classic. Later half calf and cloth boards. Bookplate. Inked numerical stamp on page 49. Arctic Bibliography 12899; Sabin 57760; TPL 3193; Abbey, Travel 640.

Item #354216

In 1850, Osborn was appointed commander of the Pioneer steam-tender in the Arctic expedition under Captain Austin aboard the Resolute, to search for Franklin. The expedition discovered traces of Franklin's having wintered at Beechey Island in 1845-46, thereby disproving the theory that his ships had been lost in Baffin's Bay. "Considered as a surveying expedition, [the voyage] was eminently successful ... Much of the success of the voyage was due to the steam-tenders, which, during the summers of 1850 and 1851, held out new prospects for arctic navigation. The way in which the Pioneer or Intrepid cut through rotten ice, or steamed through the loose pack in a calm, was an object-lesson to the whalers, and led directly to the employment of powerful screw-steamers in the whaling fleet" (DNB). Indeed, in the preface Osborn refers to the expedition as "this, the first and severe trial of steam in the Arctic regions." Upon his return to England in 1851, he urged the renewal of the search for Franklin, and the public's interest was stimulated by the publication of the present work in February of 1852. The searching expedition of Edward Belcher was undertaken early that year.