The aesthetics of the Sublime and the Picturesque comprised the perceptual baggage with which early nineteenth-century British explorers and travellers combed the globe. As important to their identification of space as measurements of longitude and latitude, these two schemata governed the ways in which the Canadian Arctic was described and depicted during the British search for a Northwest Passage from 1819 to 1859. During the last ten years of this period, when the majority of mariners travelled and resided in the arctic archipelago, more and more fanciful representations appeared on the aesthetic map that their writing and painting were charting. These more fanciful mappings opened a wider discrepancy between perception of landscape and environmental reality, which invited disastrous consequences for the searchers, but in the face of the growing realization that Franklin's crews had been consumed by the arctic nature, the need to mask the terror of the realm by invoking modes of describing and depicting European nature became paramount. The adaptation by means of the genial Sublime and the Picturesque of the land, rather than the traveller, if it did not provide what can be considered a realistic picture of the North today, nevertheless fortified British optimism and morale sufficiently to see the search for Franklin through to a successful conclusion.
The location, nature, and magnitude of some environmental changes associated with the introduction of a road across a muskeg in the discontinuous permafrost zone are identified from examination of near-infrared Landsat images. Impedance of natural surface drainage by the presence of a roadbed is hypothesized to transmit upstream hydro-thermal changes through the muskeg terrain, which in turn cause change in the muskeg vegetation community. Differences among the near-infrared spectral reflectances of fen, black spruce bog, and Sphagnum bog communities are found sufficiently large for use as indices of differences in the actual biophysical natures of the muskegs.
The Thick-billed Murre colony near Cape Parry, Northwest Territories, Canada, is the only murre colony in the western Canadian Arctic and is isolated to a greater extent than any other murre colony in the world. We conducted a brief but intensive survey of this colony on 1 and 2 August 1979 and recorded over 700 Thick-billed Murres, 16 Black Guillemots and 2 Common Murres. Some murre eggs were seen on the cliffs but a reliable measure of production was not determined. The number of Thick-billed Murres counted was much greater than reported several decades earlier and the sightings of the Common Murres were new for the Beaufort Sea.
In contrast to other organisms, people relate to environments through a changeable technology, have highly variable resource demands, and can conduct long-distance trade to supplement local resources. Nevertheless, total human demand may exceed, equal, or fall short of "carrying capacity" under particular cultural, economic, political, and environmental constraints. Many northern communities seem to have outgrown local renewable resource limits. They can sustain themselves only by reducing demand, drawing down banked reserves, channeling local natural productivity into items of greater direct utility, accepting subsidies and dole, or agreeing (or selling rights) to development of exhaustible resources mainly with nonlocal capital. Each choice carries costs and benefits. For many communities the loss of identity and self-determination may be the most pernicious problem with the choice to host major nonrenewable resource projects.
Descriptions of sea ice in Hudson's Bay Company ships' log-books and trading post journals are used to reconstruct sea ice conditions in Hudson Bay, James Bay, and Hudson Strait in the summer of 1816. The results demonstrate that exceptionally late sea ice dispersal occurred in James Bay, southeastern Hudson Bay, and at the western extremity of Hudson Strait. A relatively intense flow of ice in the Labrador current occurred at the eastern extremity of Hudson Strait. These patterns of ice behaviour are indicative of the prevalence of northwesterly atmospheric circulation over this region in the summer of 1816.
Recent biological studies have concluded that North American wolves are rarely dangerous to humans. To date the scientific literature contains only one well-documented account of a vicious wolf attack on a man, an incident that took place in northwestern Ontario in 1942. A much earlier attack, however, took place in February 1915 on the Coppermine River in Canada's Arctic. Though mentioned in two publications in the 1920s, this incident has escaped the scientists' notice and is reported again now with additional information. In this encounter a large white wolf (Canis lupus mackenzii Anderson) entered the campsite of members of the 1913-18 Canadian Arctic Expedition and on discovery attacked one of the scientists. The incident is unique for three reasons: (1) the existence and reliability of eyewitness accounts of the attack in the unpublished diaries of two of the scientific members, one of whom was the wolf's victim; (2) the chance coincidence that the man who shot the wolf was a mammalogist responsible for collecting arctic specimens for the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa; and (3) the existence today, 70 years later, of the wolf mount in the museum's research collection.
To Great Slave and Great Bear : P.G. Downes's journal of travels north from Ile à la Crosse in 1938 [Part I]
Arctic, v. 38, no. 2, June 1985, p. 133-145, ill.
ASTIS record 16743
The narrative of P.G. Downes's trip by canoe, boat, and plane from Ile à la Crosse to Great Bear and Great Slave lakes in 1938, in which he presents a detailed account of his feelings, thoughts, and experiences, as well as his observations on individual men and women, northern lore, and geographic characteristics of the region. The journal will appear as five installations in Arctic.
... After the Napoleonic wars, he, like many others in the British army and the Royal Navy, found himself underemployed; he chose to pursue scientific studies, notably in ornithology, astronomy, and magnetism. In 1818 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and shortly thereafter found himself appointed astronomer to John Ross's expedition in search of the Northwest Passage. Ross sailed in May on the Isabella, accompanied by William Edward Parry on H.M.S. Alexander. Sabine was far more than the expedition astronomer. He carried out observations in natural history and anthropology, publishing his biological results and an account of the West Greenland Eskimos, including a tribe near Thule previously unknown to Europeans. On 25 July he discovered a new species of gull, the fork-tailed or Sabine's gull, at its breeding station off the west coast of Greenland. He carried out pendulum experiments, significant for acquiring a detailed understanding of the shape of the earth, and he also carried out magnetic observations. Once Ross tied the ships to icebergs while an observatory and tents were set up on shore for Sabine and his companions. On another occasion, the ships were lifted onto ice floes and driven into collision during a storm, which frustrated subsequent attempts to carve out safe docks in the ice field. Sabine and his companions meanwhile landed on Bushnan Island, where they found Eskimo remains. ... His principal scientific activity was in geomagnetism. In 1823 he had been the first to demonstrate the correlation of magnetic variations on a chart. In 1834 he began work on a magnetic survey of Great Britain; his old arctic companion James Clark Ross joined him in the enterprise. In 1835 he led the British Association for the Advancement of Science in urging the government to sponsor an antarctic expedition in search of the south magnetic pole, and further lobbying contributed to the appointment of J.C. Ross, discoverer of the north magnetic pole, as commander of the British antarctic expedition of 1839-1843. Sabine also became the key figure in the establishment of a chain of colonial magnetic observatories, including the Toronto observatory, from which John Henry Lefroy, on Sabine's orders, undertook his marathon magnetic survey of the Canadian Northwest.
... In 1852 Nares sailed for the Arctic in the Resolute, under Captain Henry Kellet. The Resolute and the Intrepid wintered off Melville Island, and Nares took part in sledge journeys searching unavailingly for traces of the missing ships. Instead they found a message that led to the rescue of McClure and the crew of the Investigator, frozen in off Banks Island after passing through the Bering Strait. ... The British Arctic Expedition of 1875-1876, in H.M. Ships Alert and Discovery, was inspired by the recurring myth of an open polar sea. They attempted to reach the North Pole by sailing into the Arctic Ocean via Smith Sound, separating Greenland from Ellesmere Island. This proved impossible, but the Alert succeeded in reaching Floeberg Beach, in 82 degrees North, on the northeast tip of Ellesmere Island. The following spring, sledging parties set out to explore the nearby lands and to attempt to reach the North Pole over the ice. Disaster struck when an outbreak of scurvy led to several deaths. ... In the enquiry that followed, Nares was blamed for the outbreak through not ensuring that lime juice was carried on the sledges. It had sometimes been omitted because of the difficulties in storing and administering it at sub-zero temperatures. ... In the 1850s he had foreseen how future expeditions could be made less arduous by using dogs to replace backpacking or man-hauled sledges, but the snow and ice conditions encountered by the 1875-1976 expedition were very different from those experienced farther south in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Their old-fashioned heavy equipment did not help, and dogs were of little use. However, their achievement and the seamanship on which it relied were recognised when Nares was given a knighthood on his return. ...
Adolphus Washington Greely became a world celebrity almost overnight in 1884 when the six survivors of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition under his leadership were rescued from starvation in the Arctic. Yet he was far more than the central figure of one tragic expedition. Explorer, soldier, scientist, and author, Greely was respected as an international authority on polar science from the 1880s until his death 50 years later. ... By the time he retired as a major general in 1908, he had set a record as the first soldier to enter the U.S. Army as a private and achieve a general's rank. ... Greely's particular interest early on lay in telegraphic signaling, which had proved itself during the war, and the use of meteorological reports sent by telegraph to predict changes in weather. By 1869 he was detailed to Washington as a signal officer. Here he fell under the spell of Captain Henry W. Howgate, a Signal Service officer who was an enthusiast for arctic exploration and who opened his extensive library of arctic literature to the younger officer. It was through this chain of events that Greely was inspired to a deep interest in leading an arctic expedition. ... The plan was for Greely's party to spend two years at Lady Franklin Bay - from summer 1881 to summer 1883 - exploring the coasts, documenting the wildlife, and carrying out other observations going beyond the program of the Hamburg Conference. A supply ship was scheduled to bring mail and relief personnel in summer 1882 and to return in 1883 to bring the party home with its scientific finds. By August the expedition of 25 men was comfortably installed in a large wooden building assembled from lumber brought on shipboard. A plentiful supply of fresh musk-ox meat was on hand, thanks to the expedition hunters, and there was adequate coal hacked from an outcropping a few miles to the east that had been found by the Nares Expedition in 1875. During the following 24 months, the expedition carried out the prepared program of scientific observations and measurements in relative comfort. These included hourly recordings of temperature, tidal levels, barometric pressure, precipitation (there was little), wind velocity and direction, and other phenomena. ... In summer 1882 the supply ship was forced to turn back without reaching Lady Franklin Bay because of heavy ice. Again, in summer 1883, the supply ship Proteus ran into heavy ice in the Kane Basin, was crushed, and sank. Not aware of this, the Greely party, as previously arranged, moved south in August in three small boats (one of them steam-powered) through Kennedy Channel and Kane Basin toward an agreed-on rendezvous point at the entry of Smith Sound. After weeks of struggle they came ashore September 29 to find a meagre cache of supplies from the Proteus wreck, along with a message telling of the disaster to the ship and hope that the survivors could send help soon. At this point Greely knew they were doomed to spend a winter in the Arctic with no prepared shelter, inadequate food, and virtually no fuel. ... A U.S. Navy relief ship finally reached the Greely camp on 22 June 1884 to find that Greely and only six others were still alive. ... In 1935, on his 91st birthday, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the United States government for his lifetime of service to his country.
... August 1889 found Pike embarking by canoe from Fort Resolution on what he called "an ordinary shooting expedition" north of Great Slave Lake, where he hoped to "penetrate this unknown land, to see the musk-ox, and find out as much as I could about their habits, and the habits of the Indians who go in pursuit of them every year." Thus commenced the 14 months of hard travel, privation, and adventure described so vividly in Pike's classic book The Barren Ground of Northern Canada. For five months he explored and hunted with Beaulieu clan - "the biggest scoundrels I ever had to travel with" - and Yellowknives as far as the Coppermine country north of Lac de Gras. The trip was replete with austere satisfactions of the sort valued by this hardbitten Englishman: brutal weather, near starvation, and the company of half-breeds and Indians whose improvidence and untrustworthiness he despised but whose skills and powers of endurance moved him to admiration; he also relished competing with these men. On this, as on every trip he took, he travelled light and lived off the land, for he held well-provided expeditions in contempt. Pike wintered - not at all passively - at Resolution; then, on 7 May, bound for Back's Great Fish River, he started north again. Only Back himself (1833-1835) and Anderson and Stewart (1855) had been there before him. He was accompanied on this stiff canoe journey by James Mackinlay, the HBC factor at Fort Resolution, Murdo Mackay, a Company servant, and a mixed crew of natives. ... After reaching Aylmer Lake, they descended the Back River as far as Beechey Lake; finding no Eskimos there, and given Pike's plans to head "outside" to British Columbia, they turned south on 25 July, returning by way of the Lockhart River and Pike's Portage. They took out at Resolution on 24 August. Two impatient days later, Pike departed for Quesnel, B.C., some 2700 km away. Mackay went with him. Having ascended the Peace and crossed the Rocky Mountain Portage to Twelve-Foot Davis's trading post, they were waylaid by snow and advised to wait for freeze-up before going farther. ... Fiercely driven by Pike, retreating desperately, frostbitten, starving, feeding on their moccasins, they struggled back down the Parsnip. On 27 December, near death, they "crawled up the steep bank" to Davis's cabin and salvation. The Barren Ground of Northern Canada, substantial, candid, compelling, was popular for many years among men who themselves lived and travelled north of 55. ... Pike's next major outing, which he recounted in Through the Subarctic Forest, began in July 1892. With a Canadian and an Englishman, in an 18' spruce canoe painted light blue, Pike farewelled Fort Wrangel, Alaska, pushed up the Stikine River to Dease Lake in the Cassiar Mountains, ran down the Dease River to the Liard, and spent the winter near Lower Post. ... In the spring of '93, having hauled his outfit some 320 km to Frances Lake, Y.T., he and the men he had now enticed into joining him, three HBC half-breeds from Manitoba, explored a new route across the height of land to a tributary of the Pelly. Paddling through unexplored country until they linked with G.M. Dawson's route of 1887, they then followed the Pelly to the Yukon and ran down it to Russian Mission. From there they portaged to the Kuskovim, which took them to the Bering Sea. "In rags and poverty," Pike and his crew then navigated 480 km of hazardous, weather-swept coastline to Nushugak, where they took out on 18 September. The canoe had been holed once on this journey of some 5600 km. ...
One of the first important projects embarked upon by the nascent Arctic Institute of North America in 1949 was a bibliography of literature concerning the arctic regions of the world. As project director and editor of the Arctic Bibliography Project the Institute chose Marie Tremaine, at that time and until her death last summer Canada's foremost bibliographer. Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1902 to Canadian-born parents, Marie Tremaine came to Canada in 1911. She was educated at the Humberside College Institute in Toronto and Victoria College of the University of Toronto, where she honoured in English and history, attaining her Bachelor of Arts in 1926. The following year Marie Tremaine joined the Reference Division of the Toronto Public Library. In 1929, having won the first Canadian fellowship for study abroad awarded by the Carnegie Corporation, Marie Tremaine attended the University of London School of Librarianship .... On her return to the Toronto Public Library, Marie Tremaine became involved in the library's contribution to the centennial of the city of Toronto: the listing of the library's significant collection of Canadiana. ... This important bibliography authority, containing 4646 titles (8286 if the supplement is included), is used extensively by librarians, booksellers and others interested in early works on Canada. In 1935 Marie Tremaine was awarded a second Carnegie fellowship. For two years she attended Yale University, carrying on research into early Canadian bibliography and beginning her comprehensive bibliography of works published in Canada before 1800 .... In 1941 Marie Tremaine was appointed associate head of the Reference Department of the Toronto Public Library. Then in 1947, the Arctic Bibliography Directing Committee ... approached Marie Tremaine to take on the new position of project director of the Bibliography Project, the object of which was to prepare an annotated bibliography of material published dealing with the arctic regions, covering all subject fields and languages. ... In all, Marie Tremaine supervised and edited the publication of the first 14 volumes of Arctic Bibliography, which included 92 300 titles. (The complete work is in 16 volumes, with 108 723 titles.) After retiring in 1969 as director and editor, she continued to be associated with the project as editor emeritus .... These three monumental bibliographies established Marie Tremaine as Canada's foremost bibliographer. ... In 1947 she was named honorary life member of the Canadian Library Association. A founding member of the Bibliographic Society of Canada/Société bibliographique du Canada, she was elected honorary president for life and in 1970 was presented with the society's first biennial Marie Tremaine Medal, named in her honour, and presented for "outstanding service to Canadian bibliography." In 1973 the Arctic Institute of North America made her an honorary member, and in 1976 Trent University awarded her the degree of Doctor of Letters. ... With Marie Tremaine's death on 4 August 1984, the world of librarianship and bibliography has lost a good friend and respected colleague, but her three monumental works will ensure that she is never forgotten.