The Voyage of Investigator, with Capt. McClure, which separated from its consorts early in the trip, and struck off independently “with a firm reliance on a merciful Providence, and full confidence in our resources” (p. 74). Armstrong was the surgeon and naturalist aboard the Investigator.
p. 122, of the Inuit: I regret to say, they are utterly ignorant of the existence of a Supreme Being.
p. 288: A school was, at the same time, established for the instruction of the men in reading, writing, and arithmetic, each evening on the lower deck, which was well attended, and proved an agreeable source of occupation to many.
p. 291: It was really astonishing to witness the number of tradesmen that were to be seen at night, on our lower deck, all actively engaged at their respective pursuits; tailors, bootmakers, and knitters; … Nor was reading, and improvement of the mind generally forgotten; for while thus engaged at work in groups, they generally had the best scholar (as he was termed,) engaged reading to them aloud.
p. 491-92: Reading constituted our principal amusement, and we began to fear that our assiduity would deprive us even of this enjoyment, if destined to spend another winter in the ice. Indeed, even then, books were re-perused, oft-told stories retold again and again, with a semblance of novelty which they could only possess from the utter dearth of anything new or strange. These were pleasantly enlarged, embellished, and varied by the tact and ingenuity of the narrator, and always proved acceptable to the attentive listeners. Some indulged in what would be considered drawing-room occupations, such as fine needlework, knitting, crochet, making little repairs to mits and caps, cutting out patterns to impart some new idea to the tailor, and many other occupations suggested by circumstances and our own ingenuity. The slightest incident or occurrence in or out of the ship was gladly seized on merely to excite a subject of comment or conversation, to promote the great object in view of “killing time;” and rejoiced did we feel when came the hour of retiring to rest, to think that another long and gloomy Arctic day had passed.
p. 552, although required to abandon ship after 3 years: We had, however, cause of gratitude to the Giver of All Good for His abundant mercies….