Another installment in our Franklin series, this time we will return to Britain to look at the mounting concerns of the people and the early search missions.
- Many of these rescue missions took letters and tokens from relatives of the lost crew in the event they were found. Sophia Caracroft sent letters for Francis Crozier, a bittersweet relic of their fleeting romance. The patents of the Erebus’ cook, John Diggle, voicing their concern of him suffering from scurvy. (HMS Plover) it was returned to them months later. Lady Franklin also sent many letters to her husband, they detailed the events in England and her unshakable faith in his return.
- Lady Franklin was so enraged by John Rae’s report that she tried to refuse him the promised reward money for the evidence he found, however, it was eventually payed.
- The somewhat random items in the whaleships suggest that the men were becoming increasingly erratic. Some seem laughably useless such as curtain rods. However, the inclusion of books implies they still wished to have a form of distraction or relief. It comes across as almost painful to think that they were so aware of their mortality that they wanted as much comfort as possible.
- The inuit oral tradition means that the stories of encounters with Franklin’s men was passed down with generations. Interviews have been taken well into the 21st century.£20,000 was promised to other men who successfully gathered information on the lost crew. In todays money that stands at £1.8 million. The rescue missions themselves cost the government £30 million.