McGoogan claims to bring a new integrative emphasis to the indigenous elements involved in the search for the Northwest Passage adding to the British focus on the Royal Navy. The work is a broad overview of this history but not so innovative as it seems to claim. His final chapter 32 is called “Erebus and Terror Validate Inuit Testimony,” citing the discovery of the two ships (2014, 2016) as Inuit Vindication.
p. 28, re Jens Munk’s medical problems during his 1619 expedition wintering on Hudson Bay. During a particularly lethal period of scurvy he says of the surgeon’s medical supplies: I would also stake my life on the opinion that even the surgeon did not know how those medicines were to be used, for all the labels were written in Latin, and whenever he wished to read one, he had to call the priest to translate it for him.
p. 100, on British imperialism: The ethnocentric arrogance of imperial Britain, [Richard C.]Davis writes, “made it virtually impossible for Franklin to respect the traditionally evolved wisdom of Yellowknife Indians and Canadian voyageurs even though their assistance was crucial to the success of the expedition.” What today we regard as insensitive, arrogant and overbearing “was viewed as the epitome of civilized enlightenment by all those who basked in its nineteenth-century glow.
p. 107, with Franklin and Richardson reading Scripture, including Psalms 23 to starving voyageurs at Fort Enterprise in 1821, shortly after the murder of Robert Hood. Apparently Hood had been reading Bickersteth’s Scripture Help when he was shot.