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BACK, Captain. Narrative Of The Arctic Land Expedition To The Mouth Of The Great Fish River, And Along The Shores Of The Arctic Ocean, In The Years 1833, 1934, And 1835. Illustrated by a Map And Plates.
London: John Murray..., 1836. First edition. Tall 8vo., rebound in plain black cloth, (xii), 663pp. With plates and a large folding map at the rear. Some foxing to a few plates, minor dampstain to frontis otherwise a near fine copy in a plain binding.
"Disquieted by stories of Ross's disappearance Back mounted an expedition. However, he learned that Dr Richardson had already submitted a plan for reaching Ross by way of the Thlew-ee-choh or Great Fish River (Back River), a river known only by Indian report, which was supposed to rise somewhere near Great Slave Lake and flow northwest into the Arctic Ocean But, Richardson had received insufficient support and stepped down. Back adopted the same plan and raised enough support from the government, the HBC, and public subscription to go ahead with the expedition under the direction of the Colonial Office. Taking with him Dr Richard King as naturalist, Back left Liverpool by packet for New York on 17 Feb. 1833. In June he was at Fort Alexander on Lake Winnipeg, where George Simpson, now governor of all the HBC’s activities overseas, greeted him cordially, apparently having forgotten their brush in 1821. From Fort Resolution Back set out to search for the Thlew-ee-choh and located it on 29 August. He then returned to the expedition’s wintering station, Fort Reliance, at the eastern end of Great Slave Lake. When news reached him in spring 1834 of Ross’s safe return to England, it only remained for him to explore the Thlew-ee-choh and the seacoast adjoining its mouth. On 7 June 1834 his party left the fort for their depot on Artillery Lake, and, travelling by Clinton-Colden Lake and Aylmer Lake, reached the Thlew-ee-choh on 28 June. The descent of this river took them one month, after which they spent three weeks exploring Chantrey Inlet. Poor weather prevented their making a more extensive survey of the sea-coast, and they were back in Fort Reliance on 27 September. On 21 March 1835 Back left for England, leaving King to follow with the men and equipment. Arriving in England on 8 Sept. 1835, Back received a hero’s welcome. He was promoted captain on 30 Sept. 1835 by order in council, an honour that had only one precedent and that was necessary in Back’s case because he had not served the prescribed year at sea since being made commander. Among other honours he received the royal medal of the Royal Geographical Society, and, on 8 Feb. 1836, was elected a fellow. The Thlew-ee-choh gradually became known as the Back River." (DCB)
TPL 1873, Hill 42, Sabin 2613, Lande 935.