“M'Clintock's Travelling Party Discovering the Remains of Cairn at Cape Herschel” [May]


Hobson was however upon the western coast, and I hoped to find a note left for me at Cape Herschel containing some piece of good news. After minutely examining the intervening coast-line, it was with strong and reasonable hope I ascended the slope which is crowned by Simpson's conspicuous cairn. This summit of Cape Herschel is perhaps 150 feet high . . . Close round this point, or by cutting across it as we did, the retreating parties [of Franklin's expedition] must have passed; and the opportunity afforded by the cairn of depositing in a known position—and that, too, where their own discoveries terminated, including the discovery of the North-West Passage—some record of their own proceedings, or, it might be, a portion of their scientific journals, would scarcely have been disregarded. . . . but what now remained of this once "ponderous cairn' was only four feet high; the south side had been pulled down and the central stones removed, as if by persons seeking for something deposited beneath. [M'Clintock, pp. 278, 279.]