Retreat from Boothia: The Original Diary of James Clark Ross, May to October 1832


  • James Ross
  • James M. Savelle



Ethnography, Expeditions, Exploration, History, Netsilik Eskimos, North Magnetic Pole, Ross, James Clark, 1800-1862, Survival, Victory (Ship), Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut, King William Island, Somerset Island


Following the abandonment of John Ross's expedition ship Victory in Lord Mayor Bay in 1832, Ross's nephew and second-in-command, James Clark Ross, led a separate forward sledging group for much of the retreat to Somerset Island. While John Ross described the events of his own sledging group in his published narrative, he provided essentially no information on James Clark Ross's group. Recently, the journal kept by James Clark Ross during the retreat was located, and it forms the subject of this article. The journal covers the period from 4 May to 14 October 1832, during which the Victory was abandoned, an attempt (eventually aborted) made to escape using sledges and boats via Port Leopold, and preparations made to spend the winter of 1832-33 at Fury Beach.

Key words: James Clark Ross, Boothia Peninsula and Somerset Island, 1832, unpublished diary, arctic exploration