A voyage of discovery : made under the orders of the Admiralty, in His Majesty's ships Isabella and Alexander, for the purpose of exploring Baffin's Bay, and inquiring into the probability of a North-West Passage.
Sir John Ross was a famous British rear-admiral and Arctic explorer who was given the command of an Arctic expedition fitted out by the Admiralty, the first of a new series of attempts to solve the question of a North-West passage.
As his lieutenants, Ross had aboard William Parry, James Clark Ross, and Edward Sabine, all of future fame as explorers. Ross attempted to proceed westward through Lancaster Sound, but being deceived, presumably by a mirage, he described the passage as barred by a range of mountains, which he named the Croker Mountains, despite the disbelief of his colleagues.
On returning to England in November, the report was, at first, accepted as conclusive, and Ross was promoted to post rank in December, 1818. In the following year he published this volume. A controversy soon arose which called Ross' courage into question and opened a life-long quarrel between him and Sir John Barrow" (Hill I:261).
The voyage of John Ross into Baffin's Bay in 1818 was a pioneering effort in high Arctic exploration, and his narrative, published the following year, was the finest series of Arctic views then published.
One of the most striking plates was based not on the work of an English officer but of the expedition's Inuit interpreter, John Sackheouse, depicting the successful meeting between the expedition and Inuits at Prince Regent's Bay, certainly the earliest representational work by a native American artist to be so reproduced. (Beinecke Library).
Abbey Travel 634. Cooke & Holland, 139. Arctic Bibliography 14873. Hill 1488. Sabin 73376. Prideaux, 255, 350.
1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 23 pg. 740
John Carter Brown Library
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Publisher: London : John Murray, Albemarle-Street
Date Added: 2019-01-12