Cost: $50.00 (covers all-day museum admission, morning coffee and lunch)
A special event has been arranged by Sheila McCurdy, a Seaport trustee, for CCA members to travel to Mystic Seaport Museum and visit the short-run exhibition “Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition” which brings insight into the doomed, nineteenth-century voyage to the Northwest Passage. Anyone with an interest in polar exploration or human endeavor will be enthralled. The exhibition, beautifully set in the new Thompson Building, tells the story with more than 200 artifacts—many from the National Maritime Museum on London, UK, and the Canadian Museum of History. The displays bring to life the characters and circumstances that played pivotal roles in the ambitious expedition and the intriguing investigations that followed.
Those who have registered will meet at 10:00 for coffee at Latitude 41, the restaurant adjacent the Museum and North Parking Lot. We will be given an introduction by a museum staff person. Members will have ample time to view the exhibition before a lunch served at Latitude 41 and are welcome to tour the museum and its exhibits for the rest of the afternoon.
“Death in the Ice” presents the 170-year epic that started as a noble venture and became a tragic enigma. John Franklin and 128 men set out from England in 1845 to expand global reach and maritime control for the British Empire by charting the Northwest Passage. They vanished. By 1880, 30 expeditions had been mounted to find what had become of the two ships and crews. Tantalizing clues and artifacts were found. Theories abounded but no definitive answers emerged until 2014 when Parks Canada in partnership with Inuit historians identified one sunken ship near the Adelaide Peninsula and then the other in 2016 on the bottom of Terror Bay. The Inuit also shared stories passed down through generations that bore witness to the struggle in final months of the men trapped in unrelenting ice. It is a very human story.