Collated below are interesting excerpts from Franklin’s journals, and those of his companions who returned to North America in succeeding decades. Presented in no particular order, the quotes provide fascinating insight into the mindset of the officers and their interactions with and feelings for the people and land they encountered in their travels. Please note that the language of their time is retained.

A Grim Reunion

We came in sight of the Fort at dusk, and it is impossible to describe our sensations, when on attaining the eminence that overlooks it, …
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Akaitcho’s Disappointment

He spoke of this circumstance as a disappointment, indeed, sufficiently severe to himself, to whom his band looked up for the protection of their interests, …
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An Act of Pity

One day a gentleman, long resident in this country, espied five young beavers sporting in the water, leaping upon the trunk of a tree, pushing …
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Belief and Unbelief

Of their notions of a Deity, or future state, we never could obtain any satisfactory account; they were unwilling, perhaps, to expose their opinions to …
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Dread Winter

The unusual earliness of this winter became manifest to us from the state of things at this spot. Last year at the same season, and …
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Fate of Akaitcho’s Band

We rejoiced to find at this post our worthy old Copper-Indian friends, Keskarrah and Humpy, the brother of Akaitcho, who had been waiting two months …
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Fort Enterprise Days

As it may be interesting to the reader to know how we passed our time at this season of the year, I shall mention briefly, …
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Hideous Beards

The Indians set about everything with an activity that amazed us. Indeed contrasted with our emaciated figures and extreme debility their frames appeared to us …
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Indian Fairies

On the morning of the 6th we embarked, and descended a series of rapids, having twice unloaded the canoes where the water was shallow. After …
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Intelligence Gathering

Our first object was to obtain some certain information respecting our future route; and accordingly we received from one of the North-West Company’s interpreters, named …
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Leaving Fort Enterprise

Our feelings on quitting the Fort where we had formerly enjoyed much comfort if not happiness, and, latterly, experienced a degree of misery scarcely to …
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Sad End of Augustus

The remains of Augustus also had been discovered not far from the Rivière à Jean. It appeared that the gallant little fellow was retracing his …
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Salvation

We set out before day, though, in fact, we were all much fitter to remain, from the excessive pain which we suffered in our joints, …
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Shoddy Workmanship

This day one of the new trading guns, which we had recently received from Fort Chipewyan, burst in the hands of a young Indian; fortunately, …
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The Law Giver

The Strong-bows, and Rocky-Mountain Indians, have a tradition in common with the Dog-ribs, that they came originally from the westward, from a level country, where …
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Three Degrees Off

We subsequently learned from the Copper Indians, that the part at which we had crossed the river was the Congecatha-wha-chaga of Hearne, of which I …
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Unity of Inuit Language

On comparing the language of our two Esquimaux with a copy of St. John’s Gospel, printed for the use of the Moravian Missionary Settlements on …
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