The Franklin Expedition
In 1844, the British Admiralty proposed another attempt at finding the elusive Northwest Passage, a way through the many islands north of Canada that were still uncharted at the time. To find said passage would open a quicker shipping route through the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean for lucrative trade between Asia.
There had already been multiple previous attempts at finding the Northwest Passage, including one by Sir John Franklin - the same man who commanded the fateful exploratory voyage of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in what turned out to be the largest disaster in British polar exploration.
All 129 men vanished, never to be heard from again.
Both ships could not be found.
Shrouded in mystery for over 170 years, the Franklin Expedition remains a historical event that continuously captivates authors and historians to this day.
Credit: Dennis Sisterson
Meet The Crew
Henry "Harry" Goodsir
Harry was the assistant surgeon and naturalist aboard the HMS Erebus during the Franklin Expedition. At just 21 years old, he succeeded his elder brother and became Conservator of the Surgeons' Hall Museum in Edinburgh, a post he held until 1845 when he joined the Erebus crew. He contributed to cellular theory research, and was also a pathologist, morphologist, and anatomist all before vanishing on the Franklin Expedition. Of the few remains found in the Arctic, Harry's was discovered in a carefully dug shallow grave.
Lt. Henry Le Vesconte
Lt. Le Vesconte played a big role in the Opium War in February 1841, first helping with the destruction of a battery, and later participating in the capture of Guangzhou. This led to a promotion to Lieutenant. Lt. Le Vesconte later joined the crew of the Franklin Expedition as second Lieutenant of the HMS Erebus under the command of Sir John Franklin. During a search for Franklin's men in 1869, remains were discovered that were initially thought to be Lt. Le Vesconte, but it wasn't until 2009 that they were later identified as Harry Goodsir's.