John Franklin

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Franklin, John


Born Apr. 16, 1786, in Spilsby, Lincolnshire; died June 11, 1847, on King William Island. English arctic explorer; naval officer.

In 1818, Franklin commanded the Trent, one of two vessels in D. Buchan’s expedition, the purpose of which was to reach the Bering Strait by a northeasterly route across the North Pole. However, the ships turned back at 80° 34′ N lat., north of Spitsbergen, because of thick ice.

From 1819 to 1822, Franklin headed an expedition that crossed Canadian territory from York Factory on Hudson Bay to Coronation Gulf. The expedition explored the northern coast of the American continent near the mouth of the Coppermine River before making the difficult return passage to Hudson Bay.

From 1825 to 1827, Franklin headed another Canadian expedition. At the mouth of the Mackenzie River, the group divided. Franklin’s party proceeded west along the coast in two boats, while a party led by J. Richardson proceeded east in the two other boats belonging to the expedition. Richardson’s group then sailed up the Coppermine River and the Dease River to the Great Bear Lake, from which they turned south, sailing again along the Mackenzie River. Together, the two groups explored the northern coast of North America from 148° 52′ to 109° 25′ W long, and a large part of the territory around the Great Bear and Great Slave lakes.

In 1845, Franklin led an expedition on the ships Erebus and Terror in search of the Northwest Passage. All the participants in the expedition perished. The remnants of the expedition were discovered on the coast of King William Island by F. L. McClintock during his voyage of 1857–59.

A cape, a gulf, a strait, and a mountain range in Canada and Alaska are named in honor of Franklin.


Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the Years 1819–22 [vols. 1–2]. London, 1823.
Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the Years 1825–27. London, 1829.


Arkticheskiepokhody Dzhona Franklina. London, 1937.
Magidovich, I. P. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Severnoi Ameriki, p. 337. Moscow, 1962.
Davydov, Iu. V. Dzhon Franklin, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.


References in classic literature ?
They had sailed with Sir John Franklin to the North Pole, and ridden with Havelock to the Relief of Lucknow, and when they were not lighthouses firmly based on rock for the guidance of their generation, they were steady, serviceable candles, illuminating the ordinary chambers of daily life.
It had known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud, from Sir Francis Drake to Sir John Franklin, knights all, titled and un- titled--the great knights-errant of the sea.
On May 19, 1845, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror departed England, under the command of Sir John Franklin, on an ill-fated Arctic expedition in search of a Northwest Passage.
The English explorer Sir John Franklin led two overland expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage through the Arctic in 1819 and again in 1825, both of which brought him to The Pas (or Opasquia, as it was known then).
Sir John Franklin, a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer, led 129 men and the two ships that departed England in 1845 to search for the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean but disappeared a year later in 1846.
Sir John Franklin, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror have long been among the most sought-after prizes in marine archaeology and the subject of songs, poems and novels.
Explorer Sir John Franklin and the 128 sailors on HMS Erebus and HMS Terror set out to navigate the Northwest Passage in 1845 but both vessels vanished.
Sir John Franklin and 128 handpicked officers and men vanished on an expedition begun in 1845 to find the fabled Northwest Passage.
The crew of both ships, under the command of Sir John Franklin, all perished.
McClintock's literary performance" was not his narrative skill, but rather the nature of the story he told: that Sir John Franklin had died a hero (Athenaeum 24 December 1859, 845).
While the journey follows in the footsteps of courageous polar explorers such as Sir John Franklin and Roald Amundsen, the first to successfully traverse the Northwest Passage, the comfort factor has been greatly improved since their journeys.
When they pay a visit to the lonely graves of Sir John Franklin and his men, who famously perished in the mid-nineteenth century while trying to cross the passage, you realize that the world we're seeing through Theobald's camera--and that he and his family are experiencing firsthand--is pretty much unchanged from what those dying men also saw around them so many years ago.