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ice that not a particle was seen floating, were circumstances so encouraging, and so different from any thing we had yet seen, that every heart panted to explore this passage, which was to conduct us all to glory and to fortune." The ships stood directly into this spacious inlet, but they had scarcely advanced ten leagues, when the Isabella (Captain Ross's vessel,) bore up, and stood out of the inlet under all sail, followed, of course, by the Alexander. The commander, it appeared, had distinctly seen "the land round the bottom, forming a connected chain of mountains with those which extended along the north and south sides." "It is impossible," says our writer before quoted, "to picture to you the gloom that was immediately spread over every countenance, all their sanguine hopes being thus unexpectedly dashed to the ground. At the very spot where the Isabella bore up, the depth of water was 650 fathoms; and the temperature continued the same as at the entrance: the Alexander was about four or five miles astern of her consort at that time, but not the least appearance of land was visible in the direction of the inlet from her crow'snest." The ridge which appeared to Captain Ross, as extending from north to south across the bottom of the sound, was named by him Croker's Mountains; and a promontory which projected from about their centre, was called Cape Rosamond. After landing near the southern point of ils entrance, the expedition quitted Lancaster Sound, the disappointment which thoy had experienced casting a damp on all their future proceedings.
The month of September having now set in, their course was shaped homewards, passing along the western shores of Baffin's Bay, sometimes in sight of the land, but seldom so near as to obtain much information respecting the nature of the coast. The land every where exhibited the same appearance of high mountains covered with snow; and the numerous bays and openings that were passed wore generally filled with large glaciers of ice, and quite impenetrable. On the first of October, they reached the mouth of Cumberland Strait; but, from the advanced period of the season, Captain Ross did not conceive himself authorized to proceed up to explore it. From hence they stood directly for Cape Farewell, which they passed on the 9th, in a tremendous storm; and on the 30th arrived at Shetland, after an absence of six months. During this passage across the Atlantic, the Aurora BorealiB was frequently seen, sometimes in grand and beautiful coruscations.
We have spoken of the confident anticipation of success that existed in the public mind, in regard to the issue of this, the most complete expedition that had ever been equipped for the purposes of northern discovery. In pro
portion to the eagerness of the hope, was the bitterness of the disappointment; and the expression of the general opinion was loud in disapprobation. The attempt, it w as said, had been abandoned at the very moment which presented the brightest prospect of success, and with a precipitation as unaccountable as it was ill-advised. The imperfect view of a distant ridge of hills was declared to be an insufficient ground for the hasty conclusion, that with them terminated the inlet from which they were seen; and Captain Ross's omission to avail himself of the opportunity of closely examining and surveying the western shores of Baffin's Bay, and thus greatly improving the very defective geography of our charts in that respect, was universally regarded as an act of unpardonable negligence. The opinion of the government seemed also to be, that not so much had been done as might have been done, and by no means sufficient to establish the non-existence of an opening into the Polar Sea from Baffin's Bay, and the consequent impracticability of a North-West Passage in that quarter.
CAPTAIN PARRY'S FIRST VOYAGE.
Accordingly a new expedition was fitted out, to proceed to Lancaster Sound, in order to ascertain whether it were an inlet terminated by land, or a strait opening to the westward; and, in the event of its proving to be the latter, to pass through it, and examine its direction and communications, with the view to reach Behring's Strait. Should it appear, however, that there was no passage through tins inlet, Alderman Jones's Sound, Sir Thomas Smith's Sound, and Cumberland Strait, were to be explored in succession; and in the case of no better success, any other opening that might lead to the seas adjoining the eastern or northern coast of America, was to be attempted. Two strong vessels, the Hecla, of 375 tons, and the Griper, of 180 tons, were selected for this purpose; and having been strengthened in a similar manner to the Isabella and Alexander, and furnished with piovisions and stores for two years, were placed,—the former, under the orders of Lieutenant (now Sir Edward) Parry, who had accompanied Captain Ross in the preceding voyage, and was appointed commander of the present expedition, the latter under those of Lieutenant Matthew Liddon. The ships were manned with a full complement of excellent seamen; nearly the whole of those who had served on the former occasion, having again volunteered their services.
They left England on the 11th of May; on the 1st of August, they approached Lancaster Sound, and here the interesting portion of their voyage commenced. All sail was crowded; and a strong easterly breeze carried them rapidly to the westward. "It is more easy" continues Captain Parry "to imagine, than to describe the almost breathless anxiety which was now visible in every countenance, while, as the breeze increased to a gale, we ran quickly up the sound. The mast-heads were crowded by the officers and men during the whole afternoon ; and an unconcerned observer, if any could have been unconcerned on such an occasion, would have been amused by the eagerness with which the various reports from the crow's-nest were received, all, however, hitherto favourable to our most sanguine hopes." Thus continuing to advance to the westward, our navigators had before midnight passed the limits of the previous voyage, and yet had met with no obstacles to impede their further advance. On the contrary, every indication seemed favourable; the sea was deep, in colour and swell resembling the ocean: and the opposite shores of the inlet (which was named Barrow's Strait) still preserved a wide distance. On reaching longitude H'P 18', a small island was discovered a-head. from which a complete barrier of ice stretched across to the northern shore of the passage. This obstructed all progress to the westward; but the channel to the south, still presented a broad inlet, open and navigable. In descending this opening, (to which, the name of Prince Regent's Inlet was given,) the compass, which had for some time past been remarked to be sluggish in its movements, exhibited the curious phenomenon of actually losing all power of motion, "the directive power of the needle becoming so weak, as to be overcome by the attraction of the ship; so that the needle might now be properly said to point to the North Pole of the ship." For the purposes of navigation, therefore, the compasses were no longer consulted; and the pinnacles were removed as useless lumber from the deck: the true courses of the ship, and the direction of the wind, being noted by observations of the sun's azimuth, (when that luminary was visible,) and the apparent time. After proceeding about 120 miles, they were again stopped by the ice, and compelled to return to Barrow's Strait. Here, to their great surprise, they found that the icy barrier, which, but a few days before had impeded their progress to the westward, was now entirely removed. They continued, therefore, their course in that direction, and soon reached a wide opening to the north, ( Wellington Channel,) in which they could not discern either land or ice.
The appearances of an open westerly passage were now favourable in the extreme; and the ships, alter a quarter of an hour's "boring" through a narrow stream of ice, continued their course without obstruction. The land to the northward seemed to consist of a series of islands; but it had assumed a different structure, and instead of rising precipitously from the sea, offered a sloping sandy beach. Cornwallis Island, Hathurst Island, and Byam Martin Island, were reached in succession, and, on the eastern point of this latter, Captain Sabine and a party landed, to make observations, and to examine the natural productions of the shore. They found the remains of Esquimaux habitations, in four different places, and very recent traces of the rein-deer and musk-ox were visible. A comparison of the magnetic observations made here, with those made in Prince Regent's Inlet, led them to conclude that they had, in sailing over the intervening space, crossed immediately to the northward of the Magnetio Pole; but their peculiar situation prevented them from devoting their attention to this interesting subject in any great degree. From the prevalence of fogs and ice, the difficulty of steering a proper course became very great, and a tedious navigation could only be effected through the narrow channel of water, which stretched between the ice and the land on the north, sometimes extended to four or five miles in width, at others contracted to only a few hundred yards. Another large island, which they named Melville Island, was now reached; and, on the 4th of September, they succeeded in crossing the meridian of 110° west longitude, in the latitude of 74° 44' 20", by which they became entitled to the sum of 5000/., being the first reward in the scale, granted by the Act of Parliament for the discovery of the longitude. A firm barrier of ice now opposed their further progress, and compelled them to anchor, for the first time since they had left the coast of England; and the spot selected for this purpose, was named the Hay of the Hecla and Griper. After a further examination of Melville Island, they struggled hard to get to the westward, and, by the Inti, succeeded in reaching longitude 112° 51'; hero the obstacles to their further progress were insuperable, and they were compelled to return to the eastward ; and, as the season
was now far advanced, it became necessary for them to search for a secure harbour, in which to lie safely during the ensuing winter. Nor had they returned too early; for, on their arrival in the Bay of the Hecla and Griper, the head of which they had selected for this purpose, the whole of its surface was so completely covered with new ice, that they were obliged to open a canal with saws, to admit the passage of the ships; an operation which occupied the greatest part of three days, during which they cut through nearly two miles and a third of new ice, the average thickness of which was seven inches.
Being now fairly fixed in winter quarters, '* the station where, in all probability," Captain Parry says, " we were destined to remain for at least eight or nine months, during three of which we were not to see the face of the sun," it became requisite to take all possible precautions for the safety of the ships, and the preservation of their stores. The whole of the masts were dismantled, except the lower ones, and the Hecla's main-top mast. A frame-work was erected over each of the ships, which was planked, and afterwards roofed with a cloth of wadding-tilt, similar to the usual covering of waggons. All the heavy stores and timber were removed from the upper-deck, and taken oa shore, in order to give as much rami as possible for exercise. The snow was banked up round the ships as high as the main-chains, and warmth and dryness in the interior were provided for by stoves and ovens. Judicious regulations were established for the distribution of provisions, so as to meet at once the suggestions of economy, and a prudent regard for health. The personal cleanliness and good order of the men, were secured by a regular inspection both morning and evening, and the most prompt and effectual means adopted for detecting and checking the slightest appearance of scurvy. The men were allowed to take exercise on shore; or, if the weather were too inclement, to run round the deck to the tune of an organ, or to one of their own songs. Hunting-parties were frequently sent on shore, in search of rein-deer and grouse, until these animals migrated, when only foxes and wolves remained behind. In these excursions, the severe effects of the cold were sometimes attended by danger: several fivst-bites took place, and, in one or two cases, where the ordinary practice, of immersing the injured part in snow, failed, amputation was obliged to be resorted to.
In order to guard against the predisposition to attacks of scurvy, induced by mental depression, recourse was had to theatrical amusements. A weekly newspaper was also set on foot, called The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle; and by these means our hardy adventurers contrived, in some measure, to relieve the dull and tedious monotony of their gloomy existence. The scene, indeed, without, was cheerless in the extreme; to use the words of Captain Parry, "it was the death-like stillness of the most dreary desolation, and the total absence of animated existence." Its character is well expressed in the view, page 213.
Thus occupied, time passed more quickly than they could have expected, and the shortest day, or rather the middle of the long night, came upon them unawares. At a little before and after noon, there was so much light afforded, as to enable them to read small print, but only by turning it directly towards the south. The new year commenced with mild weather, but its severity soon increased, until it was with difficulty that they could pass and repass between the two ships. The Aurora Borealis now made its appearance; and, on the 15th of January, they were gratified by a sight of the only very brilliant and diversified display which occurred during the whole winter. On the third of February, the upper limb of the sun was seen from the Hecla's main-top, for the first time since the eleventh of November, a period of eighty-four days; and, on the seventh, his full orb was above the horizon. This month was the coldest they had yet experienced, but its severity was, in some degree, compensated by the sun's presence.
The mildness with which the month of March was ushered in, inspired our navigators with the hope, that the season had at length taken that favourable turn, for which they had so long been anxiously looking. On the thirtieth of April, the thermometer rose to the freezing (or fatter thawing) point, being the first time that such an event had-oecurred for no:'.rly eig'.it months. The first pfarmissu made its appearance on the twelfth of May, and the licit day were seen the tracks of rein-deer and ruusk-oxea. indicating their route to be directly to the northward. 1» the evening of the twenty-fourth, a smart shower of ni was hailed with surprise and delight; and, on the 1st of June, the weather was so favourable, that Captain Parry determined to proceed on a journey across Melville Island, to the northern shore. After an absence of fifteen days, he returned, having accomplished his object without perceiving any land to the northward or westward. In the mean while, the equipment of the ships had proceeded with diligence; and the gradual dissolution of the ice upon the sea, and of the snow upon the land, seemed to promise a speedy release. It was not, however, till the 1st of August, that the ships were enabled to leave Winter Harbour, and proceed to the westward; but their progress was soon stopped by the dangerous and impassable state of the ice. After struggling until the 16th, when they had reached the longitude of 1 13° 46' 43", in latitude 74° 27' 50", the attempt to proceed further was abandoned as impracticable, and the ships were secured until the opportunity should be favourable for returning. While thus engaged, a herd of musk-oxen were seen at a little distance, and a party despatched in pursuit; they succeeded in killing a fine bull, whose unwieldiuess had separated him from the rest, and in the evening another was obtained. The supply of fresh meat which they afforded wasAveleome; the first giving 309 and the other 352 pounds of beef, which was served out to the crews in lieu of salt meat, and much relished, notwithstanding the strong taste of musk which pervaded it. On the 26th the ships were again in motion, and all sail was made to the eastward. They quitted Lancaster Sound on the 31 st, and immediately commenced a survey of the western coast of Baffin's Bay, which they continued until stopped by the ice in the latitude of 63°. From hence they were obliged to run to the eastward, and, after repeated fruitless attempts to approach the land, being convinced of the impossibility of any further examination, determined to make the best of their way for England, which they reached early in November, to the great joy of all their countrymen, and to the infinite satisfaction of those at whose immediate suggestion the enterprise had been planned.
CAPTAIN PARRY'S SECOND VOYAGE.
The results of this voyage of Captain Parry, though not
favourable to the practicability of a North-West Passage in
that particular direction in which he had sought it, were,
certainly, highly encouraging as to its existence, and very
important in a geographical point of view. The peculiar
position and arrangement of the numerous islands, through
which he succeeded in working his way to the westward,
appeared to cause an accumulation of ice, so firmly jammed
between their opposite shores, as to present an effectua'l
barrier to his proceeding further in that same latitude.
These obstacles, it was thought, would be diminished, if
an opening could be found, seven or eight degrees lower
than that of Sir James Lancaster's Sound, and in the
same parallel as that in which the northern coast of
America was supposed to lie. It was necessary, therefore,
that the eastern coast of that continent should be minutely
examined to the northward, from the highest point to
which it had been clearly ascertained to reach, in order that
its north-east extremity might be accurately determined.
For this purpose Captain Parry was ordered to proceed on
a second expedition with his old ship, the Hecla, attended by
the Fury, a ship similarly prepared, for her consort. Their
internal fittings were somewhat altered, so as to render
them more commodious; the seamen's berths were removed
from the sides, which are the coldest parts, and slung in
the central part of the deck; charred cork was placed
between the sides and the internal lining of plank, as an
additional security against the cold; and a simple and very
effectual apparatus for distributing heated air, was also
fitted in each ship.
The two vessels left the Nore on the 8th of May, 1821, and, crossing the Atlantic, proceeded through Hudson's Strait with as much speed as the difficulties of the navigation would permit. It was not till the 2nd of August that they preached the eastern extremity of the channel, formed between Southampton Island and the coast to the north, and which Captain Parry believed to be the same that Middleton, in 17)2, termed the Frozen Strait. The ice was here abundant, but consisted of broken detached masses. After the most anxious consideration, he came to the resolution of attempting to force a passage through it, by which he would be saved the necessity of proceeding round Southampton Island, a distance of from 170 to 200 leagues. With much inter- I
I ruption he succeeded, and emerged into a magnificent harbour, which was named the Duke of York's Bay.
On the 21st of August, our navigators found themselves in Repulse Bay, in which not a piece of ice was to be seen that could obstruct them in its thorough examination. The main object of the voyage may be said to have now commenced. From the 22nd of August to the end of September, they were engaged in the difficult and wearisome labour of exploring every inlet and opening that might by possibility afford a passage to the west; a task which was executed with indefatigable and zealous perseverance, and a minute precision, never surpassed. The difficulties were indeed appalling; nevertheless, the unremitting exertions of our skilful seamen succeeded in examining an extent of coast exceeding 200 leagues, and in surveying the large inlets which appear on our charts, under the names of Lyon's Inlet, Hoppner's Inlet, Gore Bay, Ross Bay, together with a number of smaller coves and creeks. Scarcely, however, had they completed their toilsome occupation, when unequivocal symptoms of the setting in of winter were apparent, and warned them that it was time to look for some spot where they might securely brave the inclemency of the approaching season.
A small island was fixed upon, and named Winterlsland; and here they established themselves in a manner similar to that adopted on the preceding occasion, but with all the improvements which their previous experience had suggested. The same precautions for the safety of the ships and stores were taken; and the same sources of occupation and amusement, that had formerly proved so beneficial, were again resorted to. In addition to the theatrical entertainments, they had occasional performances of music; and the establishment of a school in each ship, served at once to divert and to improve the men's minds. The advantages of this last institution were great and manifest; it is sufficient to mark as one of the results, that on the return of the ships to England, " Every man on board could read his Bible.'' But, perhaps, of all the circumstances which more immediately contributed to their interest and amusement, the most effectual was the unexpected appearance, on the 1 st of February, of a number of strange people coming towards the ships over the ice. They were discovered to be a party of Esquimaux; and a friendly intercourse was immediately formed with them. Captains Parry and Lyon accompanied them to their huts on shore, and were agreeably diverted by the uncommon spectacle of a snow village.—See engraving, page 209.
"When it is remembered," says Captain Parry, " that these habitations were fully within sight of the ships, and how many eyes were continually on the look-out among us for any thing that could afford variety or interest in our present situation, our surprise may, in some degree, be imagined, at finding an establishment of huts, with canoes, sledges, dogs, and above sixty men, women, and children, as regularly, and to all appearance as permanently fixed, as if they had occupied the same spot for the whole winter." In the construction of these extraordinary houses, not a single material was used but snow and ice. They were formed of oblong blocks of the former substance, six or seven inches thick, and about two feet long, disposed in successive layers in a circular form, each layer resting on its edge, and inclining inward until the sides of the building approached so near as to leave only a small aperture at the top, into which the key stone [block] was fitted with much nicety. The interior was no less remarkable; after creeping through two continuous passages, each about ten feet long and from four to five feet in height, and each possessing an arched doorway, our voyagers came to a small circular apartment, which opened by three doorways into as many inhabited apartments, one on each side of, and the other opposite to, the entrance. "The interior of these huts presented a scene no less novel than interesting. The women were seated on the beds at the sides of the huts, each having her little fire-place or lamp, with all her domestic utensils about her; the children crept behind their mothers, and the dogs, except the female ones, which were indulged with a part of the beds, slunk out past us in dismay."
The stature of the Esquimaux is described as somewhat lower than that of Europeans in general. One man, unusually tall, measured five feet ten inches. Their faces are round and full, their eyes small, black and narrow, their nose is also small, and sunk in between the cheek bones, but not much flattened. Their hands and feet aie remarkably little, and their legs straight, with large knees; their skin is smooth, and of a light brown complexion; their clothing is warm and comfortable, and consists both of deer-skin and seal-skin. It comprises, usually, a jacket and trousers; and in the winter they wear a double suit. Their legs and feet are so well clothed, that no degree of cold can well affect them. Their general aupearance is well delineated in the engraving below.
It was not till the 2nd of July, that the ships finally effected their escape, and commenced their course to the northward up Fox's Channel, with the view of rounding the peninsula, (named Melville), which the statements of the Esquimaux led them to believe, formed the northeastern point of America. Through an intricate and dangerous navigation, they reached a channel turning to the westward, to which was given the name of the Strait of the Fury and Hecla. Scarcely had they formed the hope of being now in the direct route to the Polar Sea, when they were stopped by an unbroken sheet of ice, which bore evident marks of having been long fixed there. All their attempts to force a passage were unsuccessful, and at length they returned to the mouth of the strait, and were again compelled to winter at an island, called Igloolik. Here they were visited by another and a more numerous party of Esquimaux. The houses of these were constructed of snow, similarly to those in Winter Island; some, however, were lined with skins; the entrance-passages to others were formed of large flat slabs of ice, cemented by snow and water; and there were some entirely constructed of this material, of a circular or octangular form.
The ships were extricated, by means of sawing, from their winter quarters by the middle of August, and returned to Shetland on the 10th of October, 1823.
CAPTAIN PARRY'S THIRD VOYAGE, AND JOURNEY ON THE ICE.
The result of this laborious undertaking, sufficiently proved the futility of attempting a North-West Passage, by the way of Hudson's Bay. The most likely route of succeeding appeared to Captain Parry to be, now, through Prince Regent's Inlet, which, running to the south-west, is obliquely opened by the current round the north of America. Accordingly, a third expedition was fitted out, consisting of the same ships, and nearly the same officers and men. This was intrusted to Captain Parry, who departed on the 19th of May, 1824. This certainly was the least successful of this navigator's efforts. Owing to the state of the ice, he had not reached Prince Regent's Inlet before the season was too far advanced for commencing operations. Winter
quarters were therefore established or. the eastern snore, at Port Bowen, in which the ships remained until the end of July in the following year. In attempting then to proceed along the western shore of the inlet, the Fury was much damaged by the ice ; and a gale of wind, which afterwards followed, drove her on shore, by which she was so much injured that it was deemed necessary to abandon her. This event put an end to all further oratress, and the Hecla returned home.
In order to co-operate with this expedition, Captain Lyon was despatched from England with the Griper in 1824, to winter in Repulse Bay, and thence to proceed to the northern shores of America, round its north-eastern point. The whole of this voyage was a continued struggle against bad weather, and before he could reach Repulse Bay, Captain Lyon's ship was so disabled that he was compelled to return.
Notwithstanding the failure of these attempts, the ardour of Captain Parry was in no wise damped. He offered himself to the Admiralty, to engage in the project of proceeding from Spitzbergen to the North Pole, across the barrier of ice which had impeded Captain Bucban's advance in 1818. The offer, backed by the recommendation of the Royal Society was accepted, and the Hecla was again fitted out. Two boats were constructed, as light as they could be made, consistent with strength; they were covered xilh waterproof canvass and lined with felt. K; ners were fixed on each side of the keel; in order to meet the uncertainty of the space to be passed, being water or ice. On the 4th of April, 1827, Caption Parry departed, and on the 21st of June had entered on the arduous part of his undertaking. It is scarcely necessary to say that it vu unsuccessful. The ice, which had been represented as consisting of one uniform level sheet, was found to present every diversity of surface, and soon after the party had re-ached the latitude of 82° 36', they had the mortification to be carried backwards by the drifting of the snow-fields, on which they were travelling. The expedition therefore returned to England.
We have already exceeded our limits, hut the subject is far from exhausted. We shall, therefore, return to it in our next Supplement, where we purpose giving an account of the land journeys of Captain Franklin with Dr. Richardson, and of the co-operative voyage of Captain Beechey: concluding with some particulars of the late remarkable residence of Captain Ross, for four years, in the Arctic Regions, and the progress of Captain Back, who has been despatched in search of him.
JOHN W. PARKER Wmt STRAN-n.-Publkhed in Weeklv Number,, pnee One Penvy, and in Moynrtr P»«n. price Sixpence, and sold by all Bookseller, and Newsvenders in die Kin^-doir..
It is found, during the months of August and September, in great shoals, or schools, as they are called by the fishermen, on the south-west coast of England, and affords employment, for a time, to a great number of boats and men, belonging to the fishingtowns of Cornwall. This fish is also met with off the French coast, and other parts of Europe; but its chief place of resort appears to be the coasts of Cornwall and Devon. The Pilchard is rarely met with in the London markets, but there is a fish, found sparingly among the sprats, which has obtained its name, which in reality, is merely a small, and we Vol. III.
believe, undescribed species of herring. The value of this fishery was well known as long back as the reign of Elizabeth, when an Act of Parliament containing the following clause, was passed:
Statute of 35th Elisabeth.—" No stranger should transport beyond seas, any Pilcherd or other fish in cask, vnlesse hcc did bring into the realme for every sixe tunnes, two hundred of clap boord fit to make cask, and so rateably, vpon payne of forfeiting the sayd Pilcherd or fish."
The reason the stranger was obliged to bring in a certain quantity of wood, appears to have arisen from the circumstance of Cornwall being nearly without timber of any kind.
There are several signs by which the presence of a shoal of Pilchards may be known; the luminous appearance of the sea at night, the number of birds of prey which accompany it, and, when seen from a moderate distance, the appearance of the water, which seems for miles around, to be, as it were, boiling or bubbling.
When the annual visit of the Pilchards is expected, to prevent their passing unnoticed, men are continually on the alert, watching from all the elevated spots on the coast, from which stations they are also able by signs to direct the operations of their friends at sea, so that they may be enabled to