Cruise and overland expeditions of the Victory under John Ross, including James Clark Ross’s location of the North Magnetic Pole. John Ross was knighted on his return to England in 1833.
p. ii, despite widespread knowledge of current developments in the Arctic: I have thought it best, therefore to refer to Purchas, Harris, Churchill, Barrington, to works in many hands, and always easy of access, but above all to Barrow’s Chronological History, published in 1818, for such fuller information as I might have extracted from those writers, had I thought it expedient…. I imagine that Barrow’s sketch will be sufficient to satisfy most readers.
p. 4: With instruments we were well furnished…besides which H. M. Government lent me several valuable instruments and books which had been used in the former expeditions.
p. 123-24, shipboard routine when iced in at Fury Beach, Oct. 1829: Their [the crew] tea was at five o’clock; and, after this, they attended an evening school, commencing at six, and lasting till nine; which being closed, and the hammocks slung, they retired to bed at ten.
On Sunday, no work was allowed. The men were mustered, and inspected in their best clothes, by ten o’clock, after which there were prayers and a sermon. To occupy the remainder of the day, there was a collection of tracts which had been presented to us by Mrs. Enderby, of Blackheath, proving a judicious as well as a useful gift. But, at six there was a Sunday school: the occupation on this evening being the reading of portions of scripture by the men, while the day was concluded by psalms and by the lessons appointed in the liturgy. Of the good effect of this system of religious duties and of instruction, I could entertain no doubt; for the men seemed truly to feel that they all belonged to one family: evincing mutual kindness, with a regularity and tranquility of behaviour which are not very general on board of a ship.
p. 222, Nov. 19: Our school was completely organized, for instruction in reading, writing, mathematic, and navigation; and the men being divided into classes, the necessary materials and books were distributed. Out of the eighteen, three had not learned to read and write; but the want of arithmetic was very general: the three mates were capable of commencing with astronomy and navigation. No compulsion was here necessary; all were volunteers; and the school hours always terminated by reading two chapters from the bible, together with the evening psalms.
p. 236: The school had continued to engage the men’s affections; and their continued improvement both in knowledge and in religious and moral feelings, was evident. It would have been valuable, even though it had found no more than an occupation: and, in some manner or other, we contrived to be always occupied.
p. 260: We showed our new [Inuit] friends the engravings of the natives who had been known and drawn in the preceding voyages, being those which had been displayed to our first visitors….
Opp. p. 260, shows engraving of two Inuit drawing maps in the Victory cabin, with a shelf of books in background.
p. 265, compares the local dialect, disappointingly, to “the Danish dictionary of the Esquimaux tongue which we possessed.”
p. 267: It occurred to me to-day, that we might, by taking a couple of boys into the ship, contrive to teach them English, and also, by aid of the books furnished by the minister at Holsteinborg, enable them to learn the art of reading and writing their own language. Thus, should we succeed, they might be rendered of essential use hereafter; and I therefore concluded on making the proposal at the first opportunity.
p. 635, April 1832: Men have smiled at the narratives of eating in “old Homer,” and critics have defended him. “Dormitavit” it may be, on many things, but on this subject at least, he never slept; yet the “good man” need not have been very anxious about the dinners and suppers of his heroes, since they were never in want of a cow or a goat, to carve with their swords, and broil on their embers as best they might. If some of us have been wearied of these suppers, and much more wearied when we were least hungry, there are not many, full or fasting, who have not been interested in the dinners of breakfasts in Gil Blas or Don Quixote, possibly too in the eatings of Scott, who, like his predecessors, knew full well how deeply this prime object of human nature interests all who belong to humanity, as to the whole animal race.
p. 690, Jan. 30 & 31: Nevertheless our habitation was very cold and miserable; while, in attempting to warm ourselves on one side, we were frozen on the opposite, and were otherwise more than enough wearied, from the want of books or other occupation, and the impossibility of taking exercise out of doors. The crew, with the exceptions formerly noticed, were not ailing: but, of the carpenter’s recovery, there was no hope.