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Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal; or, Eighteen Months in the Polar Regions, in Search of Sir John Franklin's Expedition, in the Years 1850-51   By: (1822-1875)

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Transcriber's Note: In the line

"We sailed by Fairl[=e]e, by Beach[=e]y, and Dung[)e]ness,"

[=e] represents the letter "e" with a macron above it and [)e] represents an "e" with a breve above it.

The symbol "^" in y^e indicates that the "e" is printed as a superscript.

STRAY LEAVES

FROM

AN ARCTIC JOURNAL;

OR,

Eighteen Months in the Polar Regions,

IN SEARCH OF

SIR JOHN FRANKLIN'S EXPEDITION,

IN THE YEARS 1850 51.

BY LIEUT. SHERARD OSBORN,

COMMANDING H.M.S. VESSEL, "PIONEER."

DEDICATED TO LADY FRANKLIN.

New York:

GEORGE P. PUTNAM, 10 PARK PLACE

M. DCCC. LII.

DEDICATION.

Accept, my dear Lady Franklin, these few pages, as the warm and honest tribute of deserved admiration for yourself and estimable niece, Miss Sophia Cracroft admiration, which I delight in, in common with thousands, that such as you are Englishwomen; and pride, that a sailor's wife should so nobly have fulfilled her duty; for, if, on the one hand, the name of Sir John Franklin, that chief " sans peur et sans reproche ," is dearly associated with our recollections of the honours won in the ice bound regions of the Pole, your names are not the less so, with the noble efforts made to rescue, or solve the fate of our missing countrymen.

That those sacrifices, those untiring exertions, that zeal which has never wavered, that hope so steadfast, since it is that of an Englishwoman for her husband, that patience under misconstruction, that forgiveness for the sneer of jealousy, and that pity for the malicious, which you have so pre eminently displayed, may yet, by God's help, one day reap its reward in the accomplishment of your wishes, is the fervent prayer of

SHERARD OSBORN.

PREFACE.

I fear with the many of my cloth, my crime in writing a book will be an unpardonable one; the more so, that I cannot conscientiously declare, that it has been at the urgent desire of my friends, &c., that I have thus made my d├ębut.

My motive is twofold: to tell of the doings of a screw steam vessel, the first ever tried in the Polar regions, and by a light, readable description of incidents in the late search for Sir John Franklin, to interest the general reader and the community at large upon that subject. Without fear, favour, or affection, I have told facts as they have occurred; and I trust have, in doing so, injured no man. A journal must necessarily be, for the most, a dry narration of facts; I have, therefore, thrown in here and there general observations and remarks founded upon such facts, rather than a dry repetition of them.

To the officers and men serving under my command, I can offer no higher compliment than in having thus placed their severe and zealous labours before the public; and no professional reader who reads these "Stray Leaves," can fail, I am certain, to perceive how heavily must have fallen the labours here recounted upon the men and officers of the steam tenders, and how deep an obligation I their commander must be under to them for their untiring exertions, by which this, the first and severe trial of steam in the Arctic regions, was brought to a successful issue.

The "Resolutes," no doubt, will object to the round terms in which I have growled at the bluff bowed vessel it was my fate and now my pride to have towed so many miles in the Frozen Zone; but on second thoughts, I doubt not they will acquit me, for they will remember the joke was once on their side; and if I do not love their ship , at any rate I liked them .

To Lieutenant W. May and Mr. M'Dougal, I am much indebted for their faithful sketches. I fear my letter press is unworthy of the companionship.

To those who may accuse me of egotism in confining my remarks so much to the achievements of my own vessel, I have merely to say, that in doing so, I was best able to be truthful; but that I am fully aware that to the other screw steamer, the "Intrepid," and my gallant friend and colleague, Commander J... Continue reading book >>




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