Imágenes de páginas

much obstructed with ice, then crossed the mouth of Hudson's Strait into Ungava Bay, and worked his way round the coast of the continent into James's Bay, where he wintered. On November 21 his crew mutinied, and he and a few others were turned adrift in a small boat. Nothing more was heard of them. In 1612, Sir Thomas Button, accompanied by Bylot and Prickett, explored portions of Southampton Island and Hudson's Bay, and wintered there without any material injury to the crew. In 1615, Bylot and Baffin passed Mill Island in Hudson's Strait, and traced the north-east coast of Southampton Island, from SeaHorse Point to Cape Comfort. Baffin suggested that the North-West Passage should be sought off Davis' Strait, not through Hudson's Strait. Accordingly, in his next voyage, in 1616, also in company with Bylot, he passed Hope Sanderson on May 30, and was stopped by the ice in Horn Sound, 74° N. When the ice permitted, he kept on north, passing by Cape Dudley Digges in 76° 35' N., Walstenholme Sound, Whale Sound in 77° 30' N., and Hakluyt's Island. He proceeded a little north of this, and saw a large sound stretching away north, which he named Smith's Sound. He then turned south, following the west side of Baffin's Bay. He saw Cary Islands, Jones's Sound, and Lancaster Sound, which was blocked up by ice (July 12).



Through stress of weather, together with the ill-health of his crew, he was unable to ascend these sounds, and was compelled to make for the coast of Greenland. His report of the great abundance of whale in Davis' Strait led to the whale fishery there. Meuck's voyage to Hudson's Bay in 1619 calls for no remark; and that of Captain Luke Fox, in 1631, was chiefly a · re-survey of what Button had seen. Fox, however, coasted along the east side of Cumberland Strait, as far as St. Peregrine, in 66° 47' N. In the same year Captain James wintered in James's Bay, and discovered Charlton Island. After this period most of the northwest expeditions were at the expense, not of the Muscovy Company, but of the Hudson's Bay Company; but none of these advanced beyond previous explorers until we come to Captain Middleton, who, in 1741, discovered Wager River, entered Repulse Bay, and saw the Frozen Strait off Southampton Island.

The voyage of Moor and Smith, in 1746, did not lead to the discovery of the North-West Passage, nor to any discoveries within the Arctic circle, but both their ships went up Chesterfield Inlet. Hearne's land journeys added much to our geographical knowledge of North America ; but in this place they are noticeable, because he advanced to the mouth of the Coppermine River, in 67° 48' N.; since this fact showed that the North-West Passage must be within the Arctic circle. This was also shown by Cook, in 1776, when he coasted along the west coast of America, through Behring's Strait, as far as Ice Cape, in 70° N. In 1789, Sir N. Mackenzie followed the Mackenzie River to its termination in the Arctic Sea. He determined the latitude of Whale Island, off the mouth of the river, to be 69° 15' N. In 1818, Captain John Ross and Lieutenant W. E. Parry went up Davis' Strait, but they did little more than confirm the observations of Baffin. Lancaster Sound was, however, now found to be free from ice, and Captain Ross sailed into it a short way. He was induced to return by the sight of the Croker Mountains, which subsequent research proved to be purely visionary. His own men doubted the accuracy of his sight, and accordingly Parry was sent in 1819 to explore Lancaster Sound. His ships, the Hecla and Griper, passed over the supposed site of the Croker Mountains, through Barrow's Strait and Parry's Sound, to the south side of Melville's Island, where he wintered in Winter Harbour. In the following year he attempted to advance through M'Clure's Sound, but did not succeed. His first voyage was undertaken in two small ships, the Gabriel and the Michael, and narratives of this and his subsequent voyages were written by Hall, Best, Settle, and Ellis. The first land sighted



was Cape Desolation, near the south end of Greenland. Here the Michael left Frobisher, who, notwithstanding his vessel had been much damaged by storms, determined to see whether he could not strike land by pursuing a north-west course. It should be remembered that at this time the discoveries of the Icelanders had been forgotten, and were hidden antiquarian lore not accessible. This was one of the most successful and ably-conducted Arctic voyages which had yet been made. He discovered the islands of North Devon, Cornwallis, Bathurst, Melville, North Somerset, Cape Walker, and Banks's Land, which forms part of Baring's Island. From 1819 to 1822 Sir John Franklin made extensive journeys in the Hudson's Bay territories. He went to the mouth of the Coppermine River, and from thence took a boat and surveyed the coast as far east as Point Turnagain, in 68° 19' N. In 1821 Sir W. E. Parry again went out, accompanied by Captain Lyon, and confirmed the discoveries of Middleton. He passed the first winter at Winter Island, and the second at Igloolik, and followed the Fury and Hecla Strait to its junction with Regent Inlet. In 1824 he again attempted to reach Regent Inlet, but without success. In 1825 a series of explorations were organised : Franklin, in this and following years, surveyed the coast from the Mackenzie River on the east to the Return Reef on the west, or tu within one hundred and sixty miles of Point Barrow. Captain Beechey sailed through Behring's Strait to Point Barrow, in 71° 38' N. Dr. Richardson and Lieutenant Kendall coasted in boats from the mouth of the Mackenzie River eastward, doubling Cape Bathurst, in 70° 31'N., and Cape Parry, in 70° 6' N. They passed through the Dolphin and Union Strait, and thus reached the mouth of the Coppermine River. These discoveries rendered a North-West Passage almost certain, for, with the exception of one hundred and sixty miles, the north coast of America had been traced from Behring's Strait to Point Turnagain, in 109° 25' W.; while Parry had advanced in a higher latitude to about 116° W. The discovery of a connecting north and south passage would complete the search. In 1829 Captain John Ross commanded an expedition sent out at the expense of Sir Felix Booth. He discovered Boothia Felix, explored portions of the Gulf of Boothia, and determined the site of the magnetic pole. His stay was an unusually prolonged one, his return to England not occurring till 1833. His brother, James Clark Ross, made extensive sledge journeys; in the course of which he traced portions of King William's Island, Boothia Felix, and North Somerset; but he crossed Brentford Bay without noticing Bellot's Strait,

« AnteriorContinuar »