King William Island

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King William Island

King William Island, part of the Arctic Archipelago, in the Arctic Ocean, Nunavut Territory, Canada, between Boothia Peninsula and Victoria Island. The northern coast of the island was explored (1831) by Sir James C. Ross. In 1837, Thomas Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company traced the southern coast. The ships of the expedition of Sir John Franklin were wrecked off the west coast, and the island was further explored by searchers for Franklin, notably John Rae and Sir Francis L. McClintock. Roald Amundsen wintered there in 1903–4 while on his way through the Northwest Passage.


See P. F. Cooper, Island of the Lost (1961).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Following their disappearance, a vessel chartered by Franklin's widow Lady Jane in 1859 came across a grim message on King William Island: Franklin and 23 crew members had died on June 11, 1847 in unspecified circumstances.
In 1846 he arrived off the north coast of King William Island by an unknown route.
Historians believe the ships were lost in 1848 after they became locked in the ice near King William Island and the crews abandoned them in a hopeless bid to reach safety.
Dorothy Eber aims to understand the Franklin tragedy on and near King William Island from the point of view of Inuit oral history.
His two ships, HMS Erebus and Terror, were trapped in the ice off King William Island in September 1846 and abandoned the following April as the crews tried to walk to safety.
After two more years of searching, McClintock's crew made a vital discovery on King William Island. They found a document left inside a cairn.
For three weeks he and seven companions trekked the icy wastes of King William Island, in the Arctic, on a mission of discovery and endurance.
The team went from Sir John's initial landing - after his two ships were abandoned at Victory Point on King William Island - to Starvation Cove, where the last traces of some of his men were found.
Expedition leader Mark Davey, along with seven other British explorers, sets off yesterday from Victory Point, King William Island, to follow in the footsteps of Sir John Franklin who set off in 1845 to discover the elusive North West Passage
In 1959 the mystery of what happened to Franklin and his men was finally solved when Captain Francis Leopold McClintock, from Co Louth, went down the passage and landed in King William island where Eskimos pointed him to the explorers' graves.
The next winter they were locked in ice west of King William Island when their food ran out.