After the ignominy of his first Arctic expedition, Ross never received another appointment from the Admiralty. In the years that followed, he developed a keen interest in steam navigation and convinced his old friend Felix Booth, the wealthy manufacturer of Booth's gin, to help finance another Arctic expedition. A paddle steamer, Victory, was purchased and retrofitted for Arctic service. Ross's experienced nephew, Sir James Clark Ross (1800-1862), a veteran of four previous polar expeditions, including an attempt on the North Pole, agreed to join as second-in-command.

Ross's expedition had several notable accomplishments:

They explored the western coastline of Prince Regent Inlet (though they missed Bellot Strait separating Somerset Island from Boothia Peninsula).

A sledge journey by Sir James Clark Ross located the North Magnetic Pole on Boothia Peninsula; he also crossed to King William's Land and rounded the northern cape, reaching Point Victory on the west. This area would figure prominently in the Franklin tragedy, in part because no one yet knew if the Land was an island or an extension of the Peninsula.

They survived four winters in the Arctic. Having abandoned Victory to the ice in Victoria Harbor (on Boothia Peninsula) in May 1832, they sailed (in small boats) and sledged up the Inlet to Fury Beach, where Sir William Edward Parry's ship Fury had been wrecked in 1825. Many of the stores from that wreckage were still salvageable. They wintered there in an ice house they had built, then gambled by sailing and rowing up Barrow Strait towards the entrance to Lancaster Sound, hoping to find a ship to pick them up and take them home.

Their wishes were granted. In one of the great ironic twists of Arctic history, they caught the attention of a whaler, the Isabella of Hull, which was the same ship Ross had commanded on his first Northwest Passage expedition! Ross was knighted on his return.

2 vols, 4to, 45 plates (20 in the Appendix vol), of which 21 are coloured, six lithographed others uncoloured steel engravings and three mezzotints, two plates expressly signed printed in colours, probably black and blue with red added by hand, five charts, folding map [together with] Appendix, 1835 in 2nd vol


Abbey Travel 636; Sabin 73381; Staton & Tremaine 1898; Burgh p. 95; Bobins 61.

Princeton University

Publisher: London : A.W. Webster




John Carter Brown Library

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-09

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