Charles Francis Hall (1864 - 1869)

Despite the evidence discovered by Rae and McClintock, Lady Franklin was still not convinced that all questions about her husband’s disappearance had been answered. In the 1860s, as support in Britain for further exploration waned, she found new champions in the American journalist Charles Francis Hall and his patron Henry Grinnell, a wealthy New York businessman and philanthropist. Grinnell funded two expeditions by Hall in search of Franklin evidence, the first to Baffin Island in 1860, when Hall engaged the Inuit spouses Ipirvik and Taqulittuq to serve as his interpreters and guides. He staged his second, longer expedition in search of Franklin’s party between 1864 and 1869 when he based himself initially at Repulse Bay (now Naujaat) in the Kivalliq region on the northwestern side of Hudson Bay.

Hall’s second Arctic expedition was distinguished by his heavy reliance on Inuit assistance for all manner of expedition support and activities. Innookpoozhejook, who had been one of Rae’s informants in 1854, was a particularly important guide. He accompanied Hall to King William Island, provided considerable detailed oral history testimony, and drew for Hall a remarkable map of the area on which major sites of Franklin evidence were identified. Ultimately, although he was unable to investigate King William Island comprehensively (owing to its snow cover and the unwillingness of his Inuit guides to delay their return to their homelands), Hall added significantly to the growing body of evidence concerning the fate of the missing expedition.

Sunken ship