Sir John Franklin's Last Arctic Expedition

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This is a true story of tragedy. Of horror. Of peril. Sir John Franklin was born on April 16, 1786 in Spilsby, England. He joined England’s Royal Navy in 1800. After rising through the ranks of the navy to become an admiral, Franklin had a passion to explore, and made many successful voyages. For his final exploration (1845-1847), Franklin searched for the Northwest Passage, a route through the Americas to the Pacific. Heartbreakingly, the ship became trapped in ice in the Arctic Archipelago, and all the crewmembers perished, including Franklin. This essay will examine the objectives of the exploration, discuss the significant factors that led to the exploration, as well as the conditions that caused Franklin’s failure. Moreover, it will point…show more content…
However, despite the tragedy, everything would not go to waste. Franklin’s death had an effect on Britain’s society. Between 1847 and 1859, about 30 expeditions searched for the lost ships, sponsored and spearheaded by the Admiralty and Franklin’s wife. A meaningful and significant outcome of the Franklin expedition was the mapping of several thousand miles of unsurveyed coastline by expeditions searching for Franklin's lost ships and crew. Richard Cyriax, author of Sir John Franklin’s Last Arctic Expedition, noted, “The loss of the expedition probably added much more geographical knowledge than its successful return would have done.” (Richard Cyriax, 2013) Much of Franklin’s failure and the deaths of his crewmates can be attributed to starvation, cold and scurvy. The Arctic is located at the top of the Northern Hemisphere. This part of the Earth is slightly pointed away from the sun, leading to the cold temperature. Additionally, the warm Norwegian Ocean Current decreases in temperature as it nears the North Pole. This cools the Arctic water even more. The average yearly temperature is about -16 degrees Celsius. The freezing temperatures killed many of the
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