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franklin - WARNING not music


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Sheye 15 Jul 98 - 12:22 AM
Bert 15 Jul 98 - 09:13 AM
Moira Cameron 15 Jul 98 - 08:22 PM
Jenny 15 Jul 98 - 11:05 PM
Art Thieme 15 Jul 98 - 11:50 PM
Bob Bolton 16 Jul 98 - 12:09 AM
Sheye 16 Jul 98 - 01:03 AM
Art Thieme 16 Jul 98 - 01:33 AM
Alan of Oz 16 Jul 98 - 07:48 AM
Art Thieme 16 Jul 98 - 07:17 PM
Barry Finn 16 Jul 98 - 07:38 PM
Art Thieme 19 Jul 98 - 01:08 PM
Sheye 19 Jul 98 - 09:53 PM
Moira Cameron 23 Jul 98 - 01:31 PM
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Subject: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Sheye
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 12:22 AM

Be forewarned: there is no tune in this rambling, tho' maybe there could be...

Ah, we do wander, don't we... This is a spin-off from Bob Dylan's Dream. I MUST comment!!

Art, If you are not the wise man on top of the mountain, please tell us now!! I for one, am continually amazed! If you are, please sir, what is the meaning of life?!! It's natural osmosis??

The mental deterioration of the Franklin crew which was caused by the lead, was the main factor in the men's demise. Scurvy, and in fact, poor nutrition (and starvation because of lack of knowledge) in general also played a role. Also listed as a major player is the cold, and the explorers' (many groups, not just Franklin's) lack of knowledge and respect for it.

What hit my trigger was the comment of starvation and the survival skills of the Eskimo: They were observed by Eskimos as they walked along dying one by one ("Only the Eskimo in his skin canoe"etc.) but the Eskimos had enough trouble themselves surviving the winter and did not have the resources to help a group of dying men."

There are many misconceptions of our planet's indigenous people. Many Canadian (north american) tribes are still misunderstood because we (the rest of us Canadians) don't take the time to ask questions and try to understand.

FIRST OFF: The Eskimo of the North, prior to white influence lived in an extremely-well structured community. Among the "rules" or unspoken laws, was the consensus that no one owned anything. If you wanted your neighbour's whatever, you took it and used it and 'put the damn thing away when you were done with it'. (Sounds like your wife nattering, huh!!)

This was also true with food sources. Ownership was communal, not individual. The Eskimo were nomadic and followed their food sources and there is no evidence of massive survival problems before the 1870's. A tip for folk wandering away from their homes: Pay attention to what the locals are doing. They've ironed the wrinkles out several hundred years before your lightbulb went off.

Massive starvation among local populations became commonplace AFTER the area was infiltrated by outsiders. This change occured with little, if any resistance, from the Eskimo; protecting property was not a familiar concept. The expeditions was in the 1840's. Destruction of both land and sea hunting grounds start to appear in the histories somewhere around the 1870's:


Starvation: "Genocide can be practiced in a wide variety of ways." -Mowat forward

"The old framework of their life, already cracked, began to crumble and they began to build a new structure, a slipshod, jerry-build affair whose foundation rested uneasily upon a wildly fluctuating factor--the value and abundance of the white fox. They began to spend much of their time in the hunt for foxes. The locations of good trapping areas and proximity to the nearest trading posts came more and more to determine the places where they chose to live. They obtained rifles and almost limitless supplies of ammunition in exchange for foxes, and for a time this mighty increase in their ability to kill the deer--even at poor hunting places--compensated for their abandonment of the old camp sites at the main deer crossings, and of their old ways which had been determined by the ways of the deer. But the very efficacy of the rifle was also its most evil attribute. To a people who had known no other restrictions on their hunting than those imposed by the nature of their crude weapons, the thought that it might be possible to kill too many deer did not occur.

****** There is evidence that some of the crew survived and lived with the locals: is a neat site! IN 1848 WHERE DID THE SHIPS GO? EYES FROM URQSURTUQ SPEAK

Also worth checking out:

"The document was signed by Captains Crozier and Fitzjames, and the former, after his signature, appended a brief and tantalizing line: "and start tomorrow, 26th, for Backs Fish River." ... It was assumed that their goal was the Hudson's Bay Company outpost on the Great Slave Lake; the fact that this would require hundreds of miles of rowing, portaging, and hauling ungainly whaleboats upriver was simply taken as evidence that Crozier and Fitzjames were addled by scurvy or lead-poisoning and in their demented state imagined such a plan could meet with success.

Woodman has always been skeptical of this claim, and rightly so; he does not accept the premise that the officers were demented, or idiots, and he places great trust in the reliability of Inuit accounts which suggest a very different reading of the evidence. He believes that the goal of reaching the Fish River was more likely to hunt the game which was reported to be abundant in the area or to contact the Inuit who were known to congregate there. He argues that one or both of Franklin's ships were later re-manned; one almost certainly was, as it was discovered by a coastal band of Inuit anchored off an island far to the south in Queen Maud Gulf. Furthermore, while those who remained on King William Island eventually starved to death (not before resorting to cannibalism, an Inuit observation verified by recent forensic evidence), the crew of the surviving ship evidently remained through an additional winter (the Inuit reported that the ship was housed-in as for winter quarters, and its gang-plank was lowered), and some number of survivors left her and made one final attempt to reach a British outpost.

Thus far the argument is pursued in Unravelling. In Strangers Among Us, Woodman follows the trail of these last survivors through the detailed, though tantalizingly incomplete testimony of Inuit witnesses, most of them interviewed in the 1860's by Charles Francis Hall, the first and most persistent amateur to follow Franklin's trail. Hall spent six years in the Arctic interviewing everyone who had the least information to offer, and revisiting some of the sites himself. Some of Hall's testimony--in particular an account of an encounter between four Inuit hunters and a party of the land-based portion of the Expedition--has been incorporated into the standard histories. Others of his tales, such as the claim that three or four survivors were rescued and nursed back to health by a Netsilik hunter, or that some survivors were seen as far away as the Melville Peninsula, have been largely ignored.

Ok, done rambling... Sheye

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Bert
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 09:13 AM

Thanks Sheye, very interesting.

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 08:22 PM

Just another snippet of info to add to Sheye's above...

The Inuit (Eskimos) traditionally didn't eat much in the way of fruit and vegetables (for the simple reason the growing season is too short and the conditions are generally too harsh.) They received most of their necessary vitamins from eating raw meat. Cooking the meat destroys some of the vitamins in the meat. The idea of eating raw meat, like seal, for example, is not very inviting to most non-Inuit people.

Moira Cameron, Yellowknife, NT (Just below the Arctic Circle; and yes, I have eaten raw seal blubber, as well as other Northern delicacies.)

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Jenny
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 11:05 PM

Moira from Yellowknife ... I just moved to Tallahassee, Florida from Fairbanks, AK ... and visited Barrow, AK several times. Muktuk and Eskimo ice cream are not especially to my liking ... they are an acquired taste for sure ... nice to "chat" with someone from the far north ... Jenny Talton

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Jul 98 - 11:50 PM

Dear Sheye,

Say what? Think I'm missing something! What about "am I the wise man at the top of a mountain"??? What's that about? Why are you "continually amazed"---and what at? What are ya saying in "meaning o' life" query? And where does "osmosis" enter the picture & why & how?

Indeed, more questions in your note to me (within your good Franklin & crew piece) than words there! Am I being scolded or what?!?!

Thanks for your info though...


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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 12:09 AM

G'day Moira,

It's a long, long way from your NT down past ours to chase up dubious Conan Doyle 'bushrangers' from Ballarat (I take John Ruyg passed on the Aus-Worldfolk ponderings).

Maybe I'm just being taken in by cliche cartoon images, but I thought the Inuit would also get a lot of their diet from fish. In fact, I seem to remember a TV documentary on modern day life in the Arctic where an Inuit was shown catching so many salmon that he could not load them all into his sled and made up a makeshift sled load by freezing fish into solid sliding base and packing the rest on top!

I suppose salmon would be seasonal - especially when you are beyond anywhere to find wood to cook or smoke them.

I ate some North Atlantic salmon caught by friends in Tasmania (escaped from the new hatchery?) and they were just split and cooked in an old wood stove ... I see why some hold the wild salmon the finest fish in the world!

While in Tasmania, earlier this year, I looked upon some of Tasmania's relics of the Franklins - mostly of Lady Franklin who was far keener on arts, science and learning for women than her colonial contemporaries. There still stands a small sandstone 'museum' (meant in the older Greek senses of the word) just up the road from a friend's house in Lenah Valley.

BTW: Lenah Valley is an interesting piece of antipodean prudery. Lenah is a local Aboriginal for kangaroo and Valley the modern English to replace the original name of the area ... Kangaroo Bottom!


Bob Bolton

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Sheye
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 01:03 AM


No scolding intended whatsoever!!

I appreciate your comments; they're varied and you are extremely topical. You pull tidbits from history, out of hats, from (behind the sofa??) and add little bits of light to so many different veins.

I also love your humour and tongue-in-cheek puns, although my friends might warn you that I am skewed so that might not necessarily be a complement.

The internet does have its' faults and among them is that you can't see the speakers face. Mine is smiling!! Apologies for any bad feelings, didn't re-read for alternative meanings...

warm regards, Sheye

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 01:33 AM


You'd be amazed what's behind my sofa! (So-fa, so good!) And everyone should get skewed once in a while. :-)

Thanks for the kind words! I'm slow sometimes.

Art P.S.---Just got sentenced to 30 days in jail for viagrancy!

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Alan of Oz
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 07:48 AM

Has "viagrancy" got anything to do with "no visible means of support"? Cheers,

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 07:17 PM


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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 07:38 PM

Art, hope you don't do the 30 days on your head, they usually give out another 10 to get you back on your feet. Coming back home from the 'summer of love', in Cal, I think in 68, I was a viagrant in Kingman, Arizona & spent a paid for weekend vacation there & then was told to be out of town by high noon (2 hrs). They followed me into the desert, they had a very dry sense of humor. Barry

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jul 98 - 01:08 PM


Ah, the "mystery of life"---you asked for it! Was it John Lennon or Gamble Rogers who said, "Life is what happens to ya when you were making other plans!"

The only mountain-like thing in Peru, Illinois {actually 5 miles away} is the huge heap of tailings from the Cherry, Illinois coal mine where over 300 miners died in a fire right before electricity was brought into the mine---torches set it off. That's still the worst mine disaster ever---anywhere. The Cherry Mine was sealed then and many were never brought up! Rather than stare at that "mountain" where very little vegetation grows to this day, one can walk about the Miners Cemetary Monument to feel the tragedy of the place. (see the volume __BLACK DAMP__ by Steve Stout)


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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Sheye
Date: 19 Jul 98 - 09:53 PM

Hi Art!!

Lennon also wrote:

"Puffing and globbering they drugged theyselves rampling or dancing with wild abdomen, stubbing in wild postumes amongst themselves..."

I'm wondering if this would have been the 'life' or the 'plan'....mmmm...

Ain't that a picture of complete freedom. Oh, if only I were self-assured enough to dare to dance with wild abdomen!! and on top of a mountain yet!!!

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Subject: RE: franklin - WARNING not music
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 23 Jul 98 - 01:31 PM

Hello Jenny--yes it is indeed nice to chat with a fellow northerner (always a pleasure meeting people who don't have to be told where Yellowknife or the Northwest Territories are.) I haven't had enough Muktuk to be able to decide whether I like it or not. It is certainly different. What I like the best is Inuit style fried bannock. Mmmmm.

Bob--you're right; the Inuit do eat a lot of fish. By the way, the Northern Salmon is actually called 'Arctic Char' up here. It is my favourite northern fish, I must admit. Nevertheless, the Inuit used to eat a good deal of whale, seal, walrus, and caribou, amongst other things.

Now, of course, they get a lot of 'western' food as well. I am sorry to say MacDonalds and Kentuck Fried Chicken are favourite eateries amongst northerners. Although those chains are only available in our capital city of Yellowknife, many people from the Arctic communities place bulk orders of their hamburgers and fried chicken to be flown up on a regular basis.


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