Captain John Franklin's Snow Shoes

Contributed by The Collection Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire

Pair of snow shoes worn by Captain John Franklin on his second expedition to the Arctic. © The Collection

Known as "the man who ate his boots" after being forced to eat the leather parts of clothes when near starvationA pair of snow shoes used by Captain John Franklin (1786-1847) on his expedition to the Arctic between 1819 - 22 to chart the north coast of Canada overland from Hudson Bay to the mouth of the Coppermine River. During the expedition he lost men to starvation, and the survivors were forced to eat lichen. They even attempted to eat their own leather boots, gaining Franklin the nickname of the man who ate his boots. The stories told by the survivors thrilled the public, and Franklin became a national hero. His next Arctic expedition down the Mackenzie River to explore the Beaufort seas was more successful. Franklin was born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire and joined the navy at an early age. He saw action during the Napoleonic Wars and is best known for his Arctic explorations, and died on an expedition in search of the North-West passage in 1845.

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