Magazine article Geographical

Why Is Starvation Cove in Canada So Named?

Magazine article Geographical

Why Is Starvation Cove in Canada So Named?

Article excerpt

Starvation Cove lies at the top of the Adelaide Peninsula in the Northwest Territories of Canada and is one of the most inhospitable parts of the country. It received its name after the discovery there of the remnants of an ill-fated 1847 expedition to find the route of the Northwest Passage.

Despite being one of the best equipped in the history of the Royal Navy, there were no survivors from the expedition led by John Franklin. The cove was named after the belief that the last members of the crew made it as far as the Adelaide Peninsula after leaving their ships behind in the pack ice to the north. Trying to make their way to a Hudson Bay Company post on the mainland, they had hoped to find a river inland and had towed a boat on a sled behind them.

Dr John Rae's mapping expedition came across the bodies in 1854, and learnt from the Inuit that some had been cannibalised. Rae's report whipped up a frenzy in the UK that even involved Charles Dickens: no-one believed that British explorers would resort to such desperate measures. …

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