Back, George, 1796-1878

Sketch of North America shewing the proposed route of Capt. Back
Sketch of North America shewing the proposed route of Capt. Back
In 1833 Captain George Back of the Royal Navy, and surgeon-naturalist Richard King, sought a land route across the Arctic Barren Lands in an attempt to determine the fate of the missing 1829 John Ross expedition and to pursue the survey of the Arctic coast in the quest for a Northwest Passage. Back proposed to take fur trade routes to the Great Slave Lake and follow the Great Fish River northeast to Ross's probable location. No white man had ever seen this river but it was known from Indigenous reports (it was later named the Back River). In March 1834 he received a packet of letters saying that Ross was back in England. Back's exploration of 1833-4 not only produced new, geographical knowledge that made possible improvements to Arrowsmith's map of 1835, but also contributed scientifically valuable observations of wildlife, magnetic effects, and the aurora borealis. Printed map. "W. Day 17 Gate St., Printer." "C. Bradbury Lithg." Shows proposed route of Captain George Back. Originally published in The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. 3, 1833. Acquired as part of the Hodsoll Collection.