The Arctic in Stereoview: Franklin Relics


Lieutenant Cheyne, himself an Arctic veteran, made this set of stereoviews of the Franklin relics brought back by M'Clintock in 1859, and received Lady Franklin's blessing. The descriptions of these slides are drawn from the Descriptive Catalogue of Fourteen Stereoscopic Slides of the Franklin Relics . . . . Photographed and published by Lieut. Cheyne, R.N., at the United Service, Whitehall, by permission of the Council of that Institution [1860].


In a letter prefaced to the volume Lady Franklin wrote: "Dear Mr. Cheyne: In reply to your note, I beg to assure you that I can have no objection to the publication of your descriptive Catalogue of the Relics brought home by Captain M'Clintock in the 'Fox,' nor to the publication of the beautiful Photographs you have made of them and of the Record. It gives me great satisfaction that this work should have been undertaken and worthily executed by an officer who himself served with great credit in three Arctic Expeditions. Sincerely yours, JANE FRANKLIN."



Franklin Relics, Slide 1

From the collection of Douglas W. Wamsley

"Found in the boat with the two Skeletons. Two double barrel guns, one barrel in each is loaded, they were found on the after part of the boat, standing muzzle upwards, and close against one of the skeletons." [NOTE: Not mentioned in this description are the medicine chest in the center of the image, as well as the magnetic dipping-circle at right].


Franklin Relics, Slide 4

From the collection of Douglas W. Wamsley

Found in the Boat. A small Prayer Book; cover of a small book of Family Prayers; Christian Melodies, an inscription within the cover to "G.G." (Graham Gore?); Vicar of Wakefield; a small Bible, interlined in many places, and with numerous references within in the margin; a New Testament in the French language.


Franklin Relics, Slide 5

From the collection of Douglas W. Wamsley

Found in the Boat. A small pair of scissors rolled up in blank paper, and to which adheres a printed government paper, such as an officer's warrant or appointment; a small bead purse; a piece of sealing wax; German silver-stopper of a pocket flask; a brass match box; a small tin cylinder, probably made to hold luicifer matches; a piece of canvas; cover of a Testament; part of a grass cigar case; a piece of scented soap; a pair of goggles, made of stout leather and wire gauze instead of glass; a seaman's clasp knife; two small glass stoppered bottles (full); a German-silver pencil case; a pair of silver forceps; two spectacle glasses; a snooding line rolled up in a piece of leather; an awl; spring hooks of sword belt; a gold-lace band; a brass charger for holding two charges of shot; a glass seal, with symbol of Freemasonry; a piece of thin gold twist or cord; a gimblet; part of a cherry-stick pipe stem; two table knives, with white handles, one is marked W.R.; a small brass pocket compass.