Modern Canadian Arctic Expeditions 1860-1962

Date Leader Details
1860-62 Charles Francis Hall (with Captain S.O. Budington) He sailed in the whaler George Henry from New London CT landing Hall near Frobisher Bay. A storm wrecked his whale boat keeping him at Frobisher Bay. Although he was searching for signs of the Franklin expedition he instead discovered remains of the Frobisher expeditions of 1576-78 and learned of the Inuit oral tradition that captured the details of the Frobisher activities there.
1860-61 Isaac Israel Hayes He sailed in the schooner United States (133 tons) through Smith Sound. He was accompanied by A. Sonntag, the astronomer. His intent was to survey the north coasts of Greenland and Ellesmere Island and obtain any information possible useful for reaching the North Pole. He claimed to have seen open water of the Open Polar Sea to the north of his furthest north advance.
1864-69 Charles Francis Hall He was carried north in the whaler Monticello dropping him in Roe's Welcome Sound. In the spring of 1865 he traveled to Repulse Bay where he sledged more than 6,500km. He was taken south by the whaler Ansell Gibbs.
1871 Charles Francis Hall He sailed from New York in the steamer Polaris, financed by the U.S. Government to reach the North Pole. Hall died on the ship 08/11/1871 and the vessel was damaged by ice during the winter. Instead of sledging the crew attempted to travel north in small boats. The vessel was caught in drifting ice and part of the crew abandoned ship when suddenly the wind freed the ship sending her drifting away. The ice floe party drifted 3,000k south for 197 days being rescued off the Labrador coast by Isaac Bartlett on the steam sealer Tigress.
1875 Sir Allen Young This expedition was financed by money from the New York Herald (James Gordon Bennett Jr.). It's objective was to investigate the North Magnetic Pole and if possible enter the Northwest Passage. Traveling in the yacht Pandora Young entered Lancaster Sound where he collected stories from the Inuit that seemed to be connected to Franklin – and they also collected some Franklin relics.
1875-76 Captain George S. Nares R.N. He sailed with HMS Discovery (378 tons) and HMS Alert (1045 tons) as a British Arctic Expedition. He took the ships into the ice in the Kane Basin. He broke out of Robeson Channel into the Lincoln Sea. A.H. Markham made sledge voyages to 83 degrees 20' 26" North (a new record). Lieutenant Pelham Aldrich R.N. explored the north coast of Ellesmere Island as far as Alert Point.
1877-78 Capt. George E. Tyso He explored the Cumberland Peninsula of Ellesmere Island was made as part of a proposal by the United States that an Inuit colony be established at Lady Franklin Bay on Ellesmere Island.
1878 Lieutenant Frederick SchwatkaU.S.A. This expedition was organized by James Gordon Bennett Jr. They traveled in the whaler Eothen and were landed near Chesterfield Inlet. From there they sledged to King William Island searching Montreal Island and Cape Felix undertaking a systematic search for remains from the Franklin expedition. They wintered on the Hudson Bay coast in 1879-80. They buried human remains and carried those of Lieutenant John Irving back to England for burial.
1879 Lieutenant George Washington DeLong USN This U.S. Navy expedition was financed by money from the New York Herald (James Gordon Bennett Jr.). He sailed in the Jeanette (ex-Pandora) purchased from Sir Allen Young. He sailed through the Bering Strait and entered the ice north of Herald Island in September. She drifted north-westward with the ice but not toward the North Pole as DeLong had hoped. The Jeannette was crushed in the ice and sank on 13 June 1881. They crew escaped over the ice toward the Lena Delta. One of the small boats disappeared. DeLong and his party made landfall but slowly starved to death. George W. Melville made contact with Siberian natives and were saved. This expedition proved that the Open Polar Sea did not exist and that he Arctic Ocean was covered by thick pack ice and that the ice was rotating clockwise around the North Pole.
1881 Lieutenant Robert M. Barry USN A DeLong relief expedition in the USS Rodgers searched the Siberian ice and charted Wrangel Island. She was destroyed by fire in winter quarters at St. Lawrence Bay.
1882-84 Lieutenant Adolphus Washington Greely U.S.A. As part of the International Polar Year expeditions he established a U.S. Army signal station at Fort Conger on the shore of Discovery Bay near the northern tip of Ellesmere Island (81 degrees North). He had a crew of 21 men of which only Greely and 5 others survived rescued by Commander Winfield S. Schley USN at Pim Island.
1882-83 P.H. Ray As part of the International Polar Year expeditions, with a crew of 9 men, he led a U.S. Army expedition to Barrow Alaska (71 degrees North).
1882-83 H.P. Dawson As part of the International Polar Year expeditions, with a crew of 3 men, he led an British Army expedition to Fort Rae on Great Slave Lake (62 degrees North).
1882-83 W. Giese As part of the International Polar Year expeditions, with a crew of 12, he led a German expedition to Shilmilik Bay on Baffin Island (61 degrees North). They established a meteorological observatory and made magnetic observations.
1882-83 A. Paulsen As part of the International Polar Year expeditions, with a crew of 5, he led a Danish expedition to Nuuk Greenland (64 degrees North).
1883-84 Franz Boas He led an anthropological expedition to Baffin Island. He traveled on the Germania to Kingua. He wintered there and then sledged to Home Bay, NettillingLake and studied Inuit life.
1884-85 Lieutenant Andrew Robertson Gordon R.N. This was a Canadian Government Expedition to determine the navigation conditions in Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay that included Dr. Robert Bell and J.W. Tyrrell. They sailed in C.G.S. Neptune. Meteorological observers were landed at Port Burwell and five other stations. The vessel continued on to Chesterfield Inlet and Port Nelson. In 1885 personnel were picked up by the C.G.S. Alert.
1886 Commander Albert Hastings Markham RN In 1886 he made an ice survey inHudsonStrait for which he was thanked by the Canadian Government.
1886 Lieutenant Andrew Robertson Gordon R.N. In 1886 the C.G.S. Alert made soundings at Churchill that confirmed it as the future site as a port and set the navigation season in Hudson Bay and Strait as July to October.
1893 Joseph Burr Tyrrell and James Williams Tyrrell They traveled by canoe and by foot on a Geological Survey of Canada expedition to explore unknown areas of Keewatin District.
1894 Joseph Burr Tyrrell He traveled by canoe and by foot on a Geological Survey of Canada expedition to explore unknown areas of Keewatin District including the Barren Lands.
1897 Commander William Wakeham R.N. This was a Canadian Government Expedition to determine the navigation conditions in the Arctic. He was accompanied by the Reverend Robert Bell and A.P. Low of the Geological Survey of Canada.
1898-02 Robert E. Peary Sailing in the Windward with the objective of exploring northern Greenland and reaching the North Pole.
1898-02 Captain Otto Sverdrup In 1899 he sailed from Norway but was stopped by ice in Smith Sound. He wintered at Cape Sabine not far from Peary. In Spring 1899 two sledge parties crossed Ellesmere. In 1899 he heavy sea ice persisted and the expedition plan was changed and the ship spent three more winters in Jones Sound. In 1900 Sverdrup reached 80 degrees 55' North latitude on the west coast of Axel Heiberg Island. In 1901 Isaacsen traveled around Ringnes Islands. In 1902 parties traveled west to Ellesmere Island, Beechey Island and the north coast of Devon Island. In August 1902 they sailed for home.
1898-02 Robert E. Peary Sailing in the Windward he had the objective of exploring northern Greenland and reaching the North Pole. He traveled along the coast of Ellesmere Island. Heavy ice forced him to winter at Cape D'Urville. He followed the Greenland coast to Peary Land and discovered Cape Morris Jessup. He reached 84 degrees 17' North latitude by sledge before being stopped by open water.
1898-02 Captain Otto Sverdrup Sailing from Norway he wintered at Cape Sabine. Two of his parties crossed Ellesmere Island. Heavy ice forced them to spend the next three winters in Smith Sound.
1899 David T. Hanbury He traveled by dog sled and canoe into the interior Keewatin to search for copper deposits reported at Bathurst Inlet. Departing from Winnipeg he traveled to Baker lake and on to the Thelon River to Great Slave Lake.
1901-02 David T. Hanbury He traveled by sled and canoe to Chesterfield Inlet and wintered with First Nations people at Baker Lake. In March 1902 he traveled west to the Arctic coast. He reached Coppermine by canoe after sledge travel gave out. Then on to Fort Confidence and Edmonton AB in December 1902.
1902 C. Noble He traveled by whaleboat to study the Nettilling reached by Boas from his whaling station at Kekerton on Cumberland Gulf. He traveled with Inuit people all summer.
1903-04 Albert Peter Low Sailing in C.G.S. Neptune (465 tons) he established Canadian sovereignty, patrolled Hudson Bay, established government posts and collected whaling fees in the Arctic. He wintered at Cape Fullerton. He sailed up Smith Sound to Payer Harbour at Cape Sabine. At Cape Isabella he landed and took possession for the Government of Canada.
1903-06 Raold Amundsen Traveling in the Gjoa his objective was to transit the Northwest Passage and make magnetic observations.
1904-05 Captain J.E. Bernier In the C.G.S. Arctic he relieved the Neptune and wintered at Cape Fullerton. He carried Major Moodie of the RCMP as officer-in-charge.
1905-06 Robert E. Peary He established a base at Cape Sheridan on Ellesmere Island. He went north over the ice by sledge. He turned back after reaching 87 degrees 46' North latitude.
1906-07 Captain J.E. Bernier This was a Canadian Government voyage to establish sovereignty in the Arctic islands. During the voyage he left documents of formal possession in cairns on Arctic islands.
1907 Ernest Thomas Seton He explored the chain of lakes between Great Bear lake and Coronation Gulf.
1908-09 Robert E. Peary He established his base at Cape Columbia setting out northwards on the ice with three Inuit and Mathew Henson. They reached the North Pole on 06/04/1909.
1908-12 Vilhjalmur Stefansson This was an anthropological and biological study of the western Arctic with Rudolf M. Anderson. They worked on the coast from Point Barrow to Victoria Island. They studied the Coronation Gulf Inuit and returned toCanada via the Bering Strait in 1912.
1908-09 Captain J.E. Bernier This was a Canadian Government voyage to establish sovereignty in the Arctic islands. During the voyage he left documents of formal possession in cairns on Arctic islands.
1909-11 Bernard A. Hantzsch He was a German ornithologist. Most of the expedition supplies were lost in a shipwreck in Cumberland Gulf in September 1909. He explored the Foxe Peninsula and mapped the southwest of Baffin Island before his death from illness and starvation in June 1911.
1910-11 Captain J.E. Bernier This was a Canadian Government voyage to establish sovereignty in the Arctic islands in the C.G.S. Arctic. They attempted unsuccessfully to transit the north West Passage via M’Clure Strait.
1911-12 G.M. Douglas He explored the Coppermine Mountains, traveling from Edmonton to Fort Norman by boat to winter quarters at Fort Confidence. In 1912 he traversed the area south of Dismal Lakes. He returned via the Mackenzie River.
1912-13 Captain J.E. Bernier This was a personal voyage. He went north to prospect for the gold reported by R. Janes while sailing in the C.G.S. Arctic in 1910-11. Tremblay made a sledge journey overland to Igoolik.
1913-17 Donald B. MacMillan USN He traveled north to explore Crocker Land, reported by Peary. After a shipwreck he transferred to a new vessel at Belle Isle arriving at Etah Greenland for over-wintering.
1913-18 Vilhjalmur Stefansson & Rudolph M. Anderson With Anderson, Andreasson, Bartlett, Jenness, Wilkins, O'Neill, and Storkerson. They were on a voyage of scientific and geographical discovery for the Canadian Government.
1914-17 Donald B. MacMillan USN He sailed north to explore "Crocker Land" reported north of Axel Heiberg Island by Peary in 1905-06. Crossing the ice he concluded that the land had been a mirage. In 1916 he traveled west to King Christian Island. William Ekblaw was a geologist who journeyed to Greely Fiord and discovered Borup and Tanquary Fiords.
1915 The Reverend Archibald L. Fleming He traversed the southwest corner of Baffin Island during a missionary journey crossing the Foxe Peninsula
1921-24 5th Thule Expedition (Knud Rasmussen, leader) They established a base on Danis Island off Lyon Inlet and carried on scientific studies for three years. Peter Freuchen charted the northern coast of Fury and Hecla Strait and continued westward along the Baffin Island coast to Cape Godfred Hansen and Foss Fiord. Hans Mathiassen mapped the Gifford Fiord.
1922 Eastern Arctic Patrol Established to administer justice, enforce law and perform Canadian Government administration.
1924-25 Dr. J. Dewey Soper He was a Canadian botanist who explored the coast of southwest Baffin Island.
1927 George Palmer Putnam An American expedition on the coast of southwest Baffin Island along Foxe Channel and the northern coast of Foxe Peninsula eastward to Bowman Bay.
1928-29 Dr. J. Dewey Soper He explored the coast of Foxe Peninsula on southwest Baffin Island.
1928 Constable C.T. Makinson RCMP He traveled by sled south from theBachePeninsula to investigate reports of a large bay opening off Smith Sound that was named Makinson Inlet.
1928-29 C.D.H. MacAlpine He undertook the first aerial prospecting survey in the Eastern Arctic. His plane came down in the Barren Lands but successfully walked out to Coronation Gulf where they were flown out.
1929 Inspector A.H. Joy RCMP He set out on a sled journey from Dundas Harbour on Devon Island, traveling to Winter Harbour and returned via the Ringnes Islands to the post at Bache Peninsula.
1932? H.K.E. Kruger A German expedition that became lost.
1932 Corporal H.W. Stallworthy RCMP He set out on a sled journey to search for the lost explorer Kruger. He made a complete circuit of Axel Heiberg Island.
1934 Corporal H.W. Stallworthy RCMP On loan to the Oxford University Expedition under Noel Humphreys he explored Ellesmere Island, especially the area around Lake Haze.
1933-49 Thomas H. Manning He was the Head of the British-Canadian Expedition of 1936-40. In 1938-40, accompanied by his wife, Ella W. Manning, he made topographical and ornithological surveys mapping Foxe Channel and the west coast of Baffin Island. After the Second World War they surveyed on the Ungava Bay coast.
1934-35 Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition In 1934 Edward Shackleton explored the northern part of Ellesmere Island.
1934-37 J.M. Wordie Cambridge University Expedition) He explored the east coast of Baffin Island north of Cape Hewett noting the Barnes Ice Cap.
1937-38 David Haig-Thomas, John W. Wright & R.A. Hamilton Wright and Hamilton made a land survey along the southeast coast of Ellesmere Island that corrected errors from boat-borne survey teams. Haig-Thomas traveled west by sled mapping the coasts of Hendriksen Strait.
1940-42 Staff Sgt. Henry Larsen RCMP R.C.M.P. St. Roch transit of the North West Passage.
1944 Staff Sgt. Henry Larsen RCMP R.C.M.P. St. Roch transit of the North West Passage.
1945-53 RCAF Aerial Survey High altitude trimetrogon photographs and low altitude vertical and oblique aerial photography allowed production of large scale maps of the arctic and in 1948 they discovered large islands in Foxe Basin.
1950-52 P.D. Baird He was a member of the Cambridge University Expedition led an expedition to explore the Barnes Ice Cap, crossed Bylot Island and the Penny Ice Cap.
1962 nk. The Canadian Government icebreaker John A. Macdonald became the first vessel to penetrate Tanquary Fiord to its head, the most northerly point reached by a Canadian vessel. She also became the first vessel to circumnavigate Devon Island.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2012) Modern Canadian Arctic Expeditions 1860-1962. 2012.


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