Dr John Rae.

p. 35: Rae happily spent the winter [1845] at York Factory. He built a ‘laboratory’ and occupied himself with meteorological observations and he taught some of his men to assist him. The company [HBC] maintained a small library at York and Rae used it to continue his study of natural history, botany, geology and other subjects.

p. 115: A notable person who entered the controversy [over cannibalism on the Franklin expedition] was the writer Charles Dickens. On 2 December 1854 in his magazine Household Words Dickens wrote an article on ‘The Lost Arctic Voyagers’ in which he commented on Rae’s discoveries and reports. Dickens considered that the Eskimos were not to be trusted on the subject of cannibalism. ‘The word of a savage is not to be taken for it; firstly because he is a liar; secondly because he is a boaster; thirdly because he talks figuratively; fourthly because he is given to a superstitious notion that when he tells you he has an enemy in his stomach you will logically credit him for having his enemy’s valour in his heart.’ Dickens was critical of Rae and thought his report to the Hudson’s Bay Company was ‘a very unsatisfactory document on which to found such strong conclusions as it takes for granted.’??? He did agree, however, that Rae was bound to report fully and accurately to the Admiralty and he criticized the latter for making public the report without considering the effects it would have on those who waited so long for news of their relatives and friends.” [Rae responded in two articles on 23 and 30 December, sticking to his guns about his Admiralty report.]