Relics of the Franklin Expedition: Discovering Artifacts from the Doomed Arctic Voyage of 1845.

p. 98-99, relics found at Terror Bay, in boxes found near the sunken ship, with Gilder’s account most focused on the books: Tuktoocheeah said a box containing the bones was outside [the boat] but that a tin box of full of books was in the boat (Stackpole 1965: 74, 75). Gilder recorded that Ogzeuckjeuwock “saw books in the boat place” and confirmed that they were “in the boat,” as was the box of bones (Gilder 2006: 72)…. All of the writers recorded that there were three separate boxes: the first, a metal (tin) box held a number of books; the second, of similar size, contained bones; and the third box, of tin with a red cover held tobacco (Stackpole 1965: 75; Barr 1987: 73; Gilder 2006:73). The box holding the books was variously measured as “about one and half feet wide, one foot deep and nearly two feet long,” (Stackpole 1965:75), “one foot wide and two foot long” (Barr 1987: 73) and “two feet long and a foot square” (Gilder 2006: 72), and was the same size as the box holding the bones, which Schwatka incidentally recorded as two feet long. The different lengths were derived by hand signs from the Inuit (Stackpole 1965: 75). [Has anyone noted that these sizes sound suspiciously similar to the size of ASFS loan libraries. The tin doesn’t sound right however, but these would have been British products.]

All of the various accounts, in one way or another, stated that the box containing the books was full of both printed and other written material (Stackpole 1965: 75; Barr 1987: 73; Gilder 2006:73). For Schwatka, this box and its contents therein was the reason they were there, and thus he needed to ascertain whether the box contained handwritten journals, logs, scientific calculations and/or observations made by the officer and/or crew as opposed to the men or ships carried in the library, and so he questioned Tuktoocheeah repeatedly about it.

We questioned her several times on the one fact which had claimed

all our attention. Was there a box containing books of white man’s writing? Her answers were always the same—without hesitation— “There was a tin box full of books in the boat.” Being shown writing and printed matter, they thought it more like the latter, but did not like to say positively as they did not examine them closely enough [Stackpole 1997: 75].

p. 99: “Some of the books were taken home for the children to play with, and finally torn and lost, and others lay around the rocks until carried by the wind and lost or buried beneath the sand” (Gilder 2006:73. One wonders if this was the ignominious fate of the logbooks of Erebus and Terror.

p. 159: Only a few other items, by virtue of their relationship to a specific owner, had similar significance to that person’s family and friends. There were a number of religious books found in the boat and while the New Testament (AAA2152) retained only a few pages, only the covers of the Book of Common Prayer (AAA2153) were found. Only two items can be identified: Christian Melodies, once owned by Graham Gore, was found with a portion of a “Scotch bible supposed to have been given by Captain Boyd R.N. to Captain James Fitzjames (RNM 1913:2).

p. 162 apropos the last item on p. 159, speaks of differences in various versions of the RNM Catalogue of relics: For example, the draft catalogue refers to the Bible “supposedly” given to Captain James Fitzjames by Captain Boyd as a “Scotch bible”; this is presumably the Bible listed as item No. 8, presented by Sophia Cracroft I 1892 (RNM 1913: 2). This Bible, underlined and annotated by Fitzjames, its pages stuck together, may one day, following conservation, benefit from examination. The relic presently online and open to the Book of Matthew poignantly has verse 20 marked: “For where two or three are gathered In my name there am I in the midst of them.

p. 170, listing relics from the Franklin Collection at NMM: Figure 48: “Found in the Boat” (books, #4) (Cheyne stereoview) (collection of Kenn Harper).

Relics shown in figure 48, “Found in the Boat”: A small prayer book [AAA2212]; cover of a small book of family prayer [AAA2153]; Christian Melodies [AAA2193], an inscription within the cover to “G.G.” (Graham Gore?); Vicar of Wakefield [AAA2154]; a small Bible, interlined in many places, and with numerous references within the margin [AAA2210]; a New Testament in French [AAA2211] (Cheyne 186?: 20).

There were eight books found in the boat in various states of preservation; the NMM lists two books with covers only, one book without a cover, and five entire books (i.e., containing both cover and contents). In the stereoscopic view, six books are listed by Cheyne but there appear to be seven labels. As some (six?) of the books may be opened out, it may give the impression that there are fifteen items. The book in the center appears to be (based on the NMM website photo) the French New Testament.

p. 181 gives a visitor’s reactions to the 1860 United Service Museum’s display of Franklin relics.

p. 195-206: Appendix B. Relics at the National Maritime Museum, accessible through by NMM online website, organized chronologically by search results.