Exploration in the Canadian Arctic [Inuktitut Version]
Fort Resolution. For sundries supplied [to] the Arctic Searching Expedition
1848, 19th century
Ink on paper
17 x 20 cm
Gift of David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Account book (2)
Keys to History
Fur traders, chief among them the Hudson's Bay Company, played a major role in the history of Canada. What is less well known is that these companies also provided considerable logistical assistance to crews making their way across the Arctic, and especially Arctic overland expeditions from bases in the Northwest Territories, where the fur companies had trading posts. In addition to providing men familiar with the territory, the companies transported or accumulated equipment and provisions for the explorers at various locations, like Fort Resolution, on Great Slave Lake, Fort Good Hope, near Great Bear Lake, Fort Chipewyan, near Lake Athabasca, or York Factory, on Hudson Bay. A wide variety of goods were supplied, ranging from dried food to clothing, tools and boats.
This statement of account confirms receipt of goods by expedition members. For instance, the quantities of snowshoes and fresh and salted food supplied -- including salted reindeer tongues! -- are itemized.
The goods listed on this statement of account were supplied to members of the expedition at Fort Resolution. This was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post on Great Slave Lake.
The goods were prepared in July 1848 for the Arctic overland expedition led by Sir John Richardson and Dr. John Rae. It was one of the many missions that set out in search of Sir John Franklin, who had disappeared in the Arctic in 1847.
Sir John Richardson was a surgeon, explorer, natural historian and ichthyologist (fish expert). He was born in Dumfries, Scotland, on November 5, 1787, and died in Grasmere, Westmorland, England, on June 5, 1865.