Contact with Explorers

Explorers TrunkExplorers Introduction

The explorer's who entered the Arctic, for the most part, were naval officers whose view was that the navy knew best and who strove to live up to a set of standards and expectations for a naval officer of the crown.

They arrived with expectations of achieving great things and gaining notoriety and promotion on their return. Many succeeded, but many more did not.

Some officers, like John Ross, were able to take his men into the frozen seas, be stranded for five years and return home with the help of Inuit who showed the British how to travel, where to travel and how to survive. They hunted fresh food for them and when the Inuit did not camp with the crew, the group nearly starved.

Other officers disdained the knowledge of the Inuit and chose not to mingle with them or encourage their help. For the most part, these crews perished.

Vignettes

Explorer trunks were filled with scientific equipment, observation equipment and writing pads, drawing pads, charts and quills. This was the great era of discovery and everything the Arctic held was to be described for the wondering masses back home.

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