As an unpopular commander, Collinson’s more optimistic assessments of his officers and men can be questioned.
p. 15-23 has substantial list of books consulted, with commentary, some of which should be considered, e.g.: p. 20-21, Greely’s Scientific Expedition, 1885: The book is valuable from the interesting information contained in it; but readers of other countries must regret, when they take up the volumes, that the passion for hugeness in everything, which seems to be epidemical in the States, has now extended to their books.
p. 26, in a section of Admiralty orders to Captain Collinson is item 17: You will further be supplied with all the printed Voyages and Travels in those Northern Regions; and the Memorandum and Instructions drawn up by Sir John Richardson as to the manners and habits of the Esquimaux, and the best mode of dealing with that people (a copy of which is also sent), will afford a valuable addition to the information now supplied to you.
p. 55, May 20, 1850, letter from Captain Kellett to Collinson: If you should be obliged to pass through the Aleutian group, by all means prefer the Straits of Seguan (Amouchta); they are wide, safe and free from races, which none of the others are. I have passed through them; you will find a very good description of them in the book I have left for you, translated from the French by my purser.
p. 63, Aug 21, 1850: A careful perusal of the Arctic voyages along the north coast of America, as well as a personal communication with Sir George Back…had fully convinced me that I could look for no place of safety for a vessel of the Enterprise’s draft of water nearer than Cape Bathurst….
p. 90—useful charts & maps
p. 118, speaks of augmenting the library of his host, Chapin, at Bonin Islands. What could he have left for Chapin?
p. 173, Nov 1851: The sun disappeared on the 18th of November…. The school was established the last week in the month, one watch being permitted to attend in the forenoon, the other in the afternoon, while two petty officers were appointed to assist any who might choose to improve themselves as tailors and shoemakers.
p. 175, Jan. 1852: Our [Wallaston] theatre also having once been set going, and the bills printed by the press, supplied from the Hydrographic Office for our balloon papers, succeeded better and better each representation, and Thursday night began to be looked to with some expectation.
p. 309, Dec, 1853: The theatre opened on the lst of December, with ‘Hamlet’ and the ‘Irish Widow’; the stage being moved a little further forward gave the performers more room, and some attempt was made in introducing a little scenery; so the performance went off with great éclat.
p. 328, Aug. 1854: a new boat brings a welcome supply of pumpkins and potatoes, together with newspapers.
p. 329: On Sunday, the 13th of August , thanks were returned to Almighty God, during Divine Service, for having protected us through so many dangers….
p. 332, Sept 1854: Our theatrical performers being desirous to show their skill, a performance took place on Tuesday, the officers and ship’s company of the Plover attending: the “Birthday” and “Beggar’s Opera” were selected, and went off with great éclat.