“Arctic Explorers at Work and Play, 1824-1854: Six Rare broadsides recently acquired for the rare book Collection”

p. 3, Parry’s Hecla while wintering in the Arctic in December 1824: It was Parry who had recognized that the Arctic expeditions of his predecessors had often been jeopardized, not by the dangers of the journey itself, but by the long inactive winter layover, with its monotonous diet, unvaried company, restricted physical activity, lack of light and warmth, and simple boredom. In response, Parry instituted a highly successful wintering regime that included shipboard theatricals, concerts and masquerades among its many elements. Broadside advertisements were a natural adjunct to these activities.

p. 4: The expedition led by Sir Edward Belcher, who was sent to the Arctic after the Austin expedition had failed to find Franklin, was carefully equipped with another means of boosting the morale of the sledge parties. Before Belcher’s ships left England, the Admiralty printed dozens of copies of A Prayer to be Used on the Departure of the Sledges. As each party prepared to set off on its journey, Captain Belcher would recite the prayer before the assembled company:

The crews of the squadron having been collected under the Union [Jack] on the floe, were addressed to their several duties. The beautiful prayer composed by Rev. H. Lindsay, for the commencement of traveling, was read and a copy distributed to each person. After many (and some very warm) expressions, and pressures of the hand we parted…. [A copy was carried by each sledging party along with a small bible.]

p.5: Although over 200 copies of the Prayer were probably printed, many of these being cherished and preserved by their owners for years, it is extremely rare….