Narrative of Some Passages in the History of Van Diemen's Land
The famous explorer of the Arctic region, Sir John Franklin (1786-1847) was appointed Governor of the penal colony of Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land) in 1837. At first enthusiastically welcomed by the free colonists of the island, Franklin quickly became embroiled in political and administrative difficulties, and his compassion for convicts and aboriginals alike was incompatible with his duties. In 1843, colonial officials loyal to his predecessor succeeded in getting Franklin recalled by sending damaging accounts of his conduct to London. This pamphlet was Franklin's defence of his own character against these misrepresentations, but he was not to see his reputation recovered. He completed the book on 15 May 1845, just days before he departed on another Arctic expedition to search for the North-West Passage. Franklin and his entire crew died on the journey, and only many years later was the tragic fate of the expedition discovered.