Franklin, John

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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