An Arctic Voyage to Baffin’s Bay and Lancaster Sound, in Search of Friends with Sir John Franklin

Goodsir’s brother John had been lost with the Franklin expedition and he therefore joined one of the first of the Franklin Search expeditions in 1849.

p. 25-26: The Esquimaux of these islands [Greenland, Whale Fish Islands], and indeed, along the whole coast as far north as Upernavik, are very intelligent. Many of them can read, and some even write very well. They are all Christians, and have a high respect for the Danish Missionaries who reside amongst them. I noticed in all their canoes little slips of paper stuck into a thong, below the rounded opening where they seat themselves. Upon these there were passages from Scripture written in Danish. Many of them have Danish blood in them.

p. 29, on arrival near Disco Island: All the Danes here were naturally very anxious for European news, and almost all the natives whom we saw had letters or verbal messages for us, requesting intelligence whether their “beloved native country was still implicated in war.” We explained the state of matters in the best way we could, to the most intelligent of our visitors, and sent one or two of the newspapers we had on board, which contained the latest Danish intelligence to the nearest missionary, Mr. Norsted, at Banke Island.

p. 34: We were met by the Inspector and the Governor, a short distance from their houses, and were very kindly welcomed…. Of course we had plenty of news to tell them, in the stirring events of the previous autumn and winter, and the few newspapers we had to spare were more than acceptable….