His Majesty's Government having, towards the close of the year 1823, determined upon another attempt to effect a northern passage by sea between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and Captain Parry, the highly distinguished Commander of the two preceding Expeditions, having been again entrusted with its execution, success, as far as ability, enterprise, and experience could ensure it, appeared likely to be the result. Yet, as the object was one for which Great Britain had thought proper to contend for upwards of three centuries, it seemed to me that it might be desirable to pursue it by more ways than one; I therefore ventured to lay before His Majesty's Government a plan for an Expedition overland to the mouth of the Mackenzie River, and thence, by sea, to the northwestern extremity of America, with the combined object, also, of surveying the coast between the Mackenzie and Coppermine Rivers.
nant-Colonel Pasley, of the Royal Engineers. Its length was nine feet, its breadth four feet four inches, and it was framed of well-seasoned ash, fastened with thongs, covered with Mr. Mackintosh's prepared canvas, and shaped like one valve of a walnut-shell, whence its appellation. It weighed only eighty-five pounds, could, when taken to pieces, be made up in five or six parcels, and was capable of being put together in less than twenty minutes. So secure was this little vessel, that several ladies, who had honoured the trial of the boats with their presence, fearlessly embarked in it, and were paddled across the Thames in a fresh breeze. It was intended to provide against a similar detention in crossing rivers to that which proved so fatal to our party on the former journey; and it was also thought, that this little bark would be found useful in procuring water-fowl on the small lakes, to which the boats could not be conveyed.
In the choice of astronomical instruments I was necessarily guided by thei
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