Testimony of Uchyuneiu [Regarding the Franklin Expedition] (1908)

It was only now that we were on such good terms with the Eskimo that they really trusted us and imparted their confidences to us. I had often asked them if they knew anything about Franklin’s Expedition, but I merely got an evasive answer. At length, however, Uchyuneiu, the Ogluli Eskimo, told me what he knew. He was a very brave and intelligent fellow, and his account agreed very well with that which Schwatka had obtained twenty-five years ago. One of the ships had driven down towards Ogluli and was found by the Eskimo one winter’s day when they were seal fishing on the south coast of Cape Crozier, the most westerly point of King William Land. They had then removed all the iron and wood work they could remove, and when spring came and the ice broke up the ship sank. At that time the Eskimo had eaten something from some tins which were like ours, and it had made them very ill : indeed some had actually died. They knew nothing of the other vessel ; in all probability it had been crushed by the ice on the north side of the Royal Geographical Society Islands. In accordance with this information we could almost safely say that the only unnavigated portion of the north-west passage, extended from the point where this vessel sank to Cambridge Bay on Victoria Land, where Collinson wintered in 1852.

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About this document ...

  • Written by: Roald Amundsen
  • Published in: The North West Passage, Vol. II
  • Published by: Archibald Constable and Company Ltd.
  • Place: London
  • Date: 1908
  • Page(s): 61
Sunken ship