Arrowsmith's maps were regularly updated with the latest discoveries.
The above map from 1850 now has Boothia correctly attached to the mainland, thanks to John Rae's 1847 survey of the western shore of Boothia Gulf, and it includes Peel Sound, discovered by James Ross in the spring of 1849. Bellot Strait had not yet been found so North Somerset is shown contiguous with Boothia. The West coast of Boothia, denoted by a dotted line, is a guess which would later prove to be remarkably accurate.
Both the main map and the lower strip now uses Dease and Simpson's longitude values for the coastline South of King William Island.
In the lower strip, King William Island is still connected to Boothia by a spindly isthmus - a guess which would later prove to be remarkably inaccurate. The imaginary Poctes Bay has now morphed into Poets Bay, which John Ross had surely intended, to balance Artists bay opposite.
In the main map the geography to the West of KWI is somewhat ambiguous with the supposed isthmus lacking a southern coastline so that the blue wash representing the sea is divided only by a single dashed line. This could be considered the first depiction of the track which would be sailed by Roald Amundsen in his epic transit of the Passage more than fifty years later.
Cornwallis and Bathurst Islands are shown joined, a detail which wouldn't be corrected until the Victory Point record revealed that Erebus and Terror had passed between them en-route to Beechey Island.
Rae's 1854 survey of the West coast of Boothia has proven that King William Island is just that and Bellot Strait also confers island status on North Somerset.
The colouring, Red for the Hudson's Bay Company's discoveries and Blue for the Royal Navy's, is slightly inaccurate as the coast South of Cape Colville (charted by Rae) is wrongly coloured blue and the unsurveyed West side of King William Island should not be coloured at all.
Ironically if this had been the best map which Amundsen had had before he set off he may well have shared the fate of Franklin.
Arrowsmith's 1855 map gives no hint as to the existence of McClintock Channel. That strait between Prince of Wales Island and Victoria Island enables masses of heavy ice to drift South into Victoria Strait where it is trapped against the barrier formed by Royal Geographical Society Islands and the Crozier Peninsula on the West side of King William Island.
Without this information, and the knowledge, which McClintock learned from the inuit, that the was open water in Rae Strait during the short Arctic summer, Amundsen may reasonably have chosen the obvious path to the West of King William Island resulting in the Gjoa becoming beset in the same place Erebus and Terror.
This blog is intended as a very occasional series of rambling notes documenting my thoughts and original research relating to the 1845 Franklin Expedition.
Friday, 28 August 2015
Arrowsmith's Extraordinary Maps
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Stephan Goldner and the Billion Dollar Corporation
I was amazed to discover recently that it is now ten years ago, in November 2012, that I had the privilege to travel to Nelson Mandela Rd,...
Images from the wonderful AMC's The Terror I shamelessly appropriate the language of Émile Zola's celebrated exposé of th...
Time we put the tinned food back in the cupboard: Busting the Franklin Expedition myth of 'lead poisoning from tinned food'.The idea that Franklin's men were poisoned by lead from tinned food has reached almost the status of dogma. For many members of the pub...
Part 1 . When I delivered my part of the Newcomen Society talk which I shared with William Battersby at Manchester Museum of Science and I...
Great post! Gotta love Arrowsmith: http://kenmcgoogan.blogspot.ca/2014/09/john-rae-enters-westminster-abbey.htmlReplyDelete
Great post, I concur completely and appreciate the time you took to write it. Cheers! Rotavator Gear BoxReplyDelete