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[HALL, Charles Francis (1821–1871)]. Esquimaux kayak artifact [original label reads: “The bow of the Esquimaux kayak brought back from the Arctic Regions by the U.S. Ship Tigress after searching for the ship Polaris”].

Length 13”. Wood covered mostly in seal hide (assumed), original label in manuscript affixed to artifact; housed in a display box. Charles Francis Hall commanded three Arctic expeditions: the first two were searching for traces of the lost Franklin party and his final expedition seeking a path to the North Pole in the US Ship “Polaris”. Hall is best known for his collection of Inuit testimony regarding the 1845 Franklin Expedition and for the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death while leading the American–sponsored “Polaris” expedition in an attempt to be the first to reach the North Pole. That expedition was marred by insubordination, incompetence and poor leadership. The USS Tigress was sent orders to make her way to Polaris’ last reported position to search for the lost ship in July of 1873. On August 14, they discovered the camp of Littleton Island which the crew from Polaris had passed the previous winter. From the natives then in possession of the camp, the searchers learned that the Polaris crew had departed the previous June in boats constructed of materials salvaged from the ship and that Polaris herself sank soon thereafter (possible when this artifact was discovered). Tigress’ crew gathered what papers and instruments they found in the camp and reembarked, later learning that the remaining crew of the Polaris had been rescued and had arrived in Scotland.

 [HALL, Charles Francis (1821–1871)]. Esquimaux kayak artifa...
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