A Diary and Journal from the Second Grinnell Expedition

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In 1853 Elisha Kent Kane set off on the Second Grinnell Expedition, ostensibly to search for survivors of Sir John Franklin's lost expedition launched in 1845, but also to discover the Northwest Passage. Kane, an ambitious scientist, was also on a quest to become famous for arctic exploration, and devoted the majority of the voyage to collecting geological samples as well as sketching images for his future publication. It is perhaps this desire to gather data that condemned him and his crew to endure another Arctic winter, unfortunately without supplies to survive. Fortunately Kane, unlike Franklin, developed a symbiotic relationship with the Inuit tribes who, without a doubt, provided food and supplies to enable their survival. All, except for three, eventually survived.

This diary, ranging from 1854-1855, details their harrowing second winter, which included half the crew deciding to make an escape to the south but having to return later, one of the crew leaving to marry an Inuit woman, and an actual desertion. However, it was quite common to "revise" history, as it appears Kane did with the publication of his book, "Arctic Explorations: The Second Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin 1853, 54, 55" which was published in 1856. In the original diary, there are numerous paragraphs marked with "omit" indicating that he did not publish all of his diary, as well many other corrections to the text. Through the transcription of this diary, we will have the opportunity to read the original entries and compare to the published version. This transcription project will provide insight into this revered Arctic explorer, and perhaps reveal a different aspect to this historical figure.

[Please note that some of the scans are over-exposed and may be difficult to transcribe. We will re-scan all the pages that are over-exposed when we return to our offices. In the mean-time, simply notate that the page is unreadable and move to another page that is easier to read. We apologize for this difficulty.]

Project image: Elisha Kent Kane. Engraving by D. G. Thompson, 1858, after J. B. Wandesforde (https://wellcomecollection.org/works/fz5qk4jw)
Elisha Kent Kane Diary

Elisha Kent Kane Diary

Kane traveled abroad extensively, explored the Arctic, and was a member of the Second Grinnell Expedition to the Arctic, 1854-1855. Metadata: Available Online: https://purl.stanford.edu/kh792pv6917 Title: Elisha Kent Kane Diary Contributor: Kane, Elisha Kent, 1820-1857 (autauthor) Contributor:...

382 pages: 0% indexed, 3% transcribed, 8% needs review
Elisha Kent Kane Private Journal

Elisha Kent Kane Private Journal

Kane traveled abroad extensively, explored the Arctic, and was a member of the Second Grinnell Expedition to the Arctic, 1854-1855. Metadata: Available Online: https://purl.stanford.edu/qz577qb4798 Title: Elisha Kent Kane Private Journal Contributor: Kane, Elisha Kent, 1820-1857...

25 pages: 0% indexed, 4% transcribed, 60% needs review
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