Arctic Searching Expedition
The surgeon, naturalist and Arctic explorer Sir John Richardson (1787–1865) was a lifelong friend to his former commander Sir John Franklin, with whom he had twice travelled to seek the North-West Passage. Following two years of silence from Franklin after he embarked on his 1845 expedition to the Arctic, Richardson set out on his own voyage in the hope of finding his comrade. Originally published in 1851, this two-volume work charts the journey which would inevitably fail in its ambition: Franklin, unknown to Richardson, had already died in June 1847. Volume 2 begins with detailed descriptions of the aboriginal Chipewyan and Cree peoples. A thorough appendix comprises observations on physical geography, climatology and the geographical distribution of plants, and includes vocabularies for the dialects encountered during the mission. The text ends, Richardson having returned, with the hope that future expeditions may yet trace 'so many gallant victims to science'.