Illustrated Arctic News (Eng-AK, 1850-1851)

Entry Updated: December 21, 2016

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  On board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., in search of the expedition under Sir John Franklin looking for the “Northwest Passage”

Frequency:  Five issues; frequency unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  October 1850-March 1851

Size and Format:  44.5 x 27 cm.; printed facsimile is folio, 12 x 19 inches, 57 pp

Editor/Publisher: Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall?

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

Illustrated Arctic News (printed) (AK, 1850-1851)

Printed and published after the H.M.S. Resolute expedition returned home, from the five numbers originally issued in manuscript, October 1850-March 1851, on shipboard during the wintering of the H.M.S. Resolute in Barrow Strait.

The H.M.S. Terror, captained by Sir Franklin (and its companion ship, the H.M.S. Erebus), which the Resolute’s crew and other expeditions searched for over a period of 11 years, was finally found at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean above the Arctic Circle in September 2016, according the The Guardian (Sept. 12, 2016). The H.M.S. Terror was located 168 years after it went missing off King William Island in eastern Queen Maud Gulf in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, Canada (see map below). The H.M.S. Erebus had been found several years earlier just to the south of where the Terror was later located.

Map: The H.M.S. Resolute wintered on the Barrow Strait in search of the Sir Franklin expedition. The H.M.S. Terror and its companion ship the H.M.S. Erebus were found, more than 160 years after they went missing, off King William Island in Queen Maud Gulf.

The H.M.S. Resolute, on which these handwritten newspapers were produced, became famous in politics and popular culture long after its retirement. Wood from the ship was later made into two desks, one of which the English crown gave as a gift to the United States President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. That desk still sits today in the Oval Office of the White House. That desk was also featured (as was its origin from the H.M.S. Resolute) in the popular film, National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), starring Nicholas Cage.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall, eds., Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News, Published on Board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., In Search of the Expedition Under Sir John Franklin (London:  Ackerman, 1852)

Links: Captain Horatio T. Austin;  Sir John Franklin Northwest Passage Expedition; “Ship Found in Arctic 168 Years after Doomed Northwest Passage Attempt”; Franklin’s Last Voyage.

Locations: British Library (?);   Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England; Metropolitan Reference Library, Toronto, Ontario, Canada