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Francis Crozier

March 7, 2011

The characters in my play Francis and Sophy were based on real people, two who had a long-distancce ill-starred romance. Though its true ending came with his demise in the frozen wastes of the Arctic Seas, had he survived it must have ended on a sadder, less tragic note. A marriage was never meant to be. He was made for another sort of life.

The play imagined a framework wherein the ideal of domestic bliss strengthened him against the coming disaster, and when the ideal collapsed, so did his faith, and his hope of survival.
The play was a fiction. The truth of Francis Crozier’s final days is something much stronger.

Though nothing further was heard of the ships and crews of the Francklin expedition after their final records of 1847, there is ample Inuit testimony to the fact that Crozier led the remaining men of the doomed expedition on an epic journey of survival. “Aglooka” they called him, “he who takes long strides,”–the Inuit name given him during his first journey to the Arctic regions with Parry in 1823. He returned again in 1846 as “”Esh-e-mut-ta”, a captain with a ship of his own.

That ship. held up by the ice, was abandoned not in panic, but in an orderly procession landing tons of vital stores. They travelled hundreds of miles to the south, and did not give up the fight until the last of them perished in his tracks. They made it as far as the mouth of the Great Fish River, be succumbing finally to exposure and want.

It took a strong man to lead them so far, against all odds. That man was Captain Francis Crozier. To learn about his life the way his countrymen see him, read the biography “Captain Francis Crozier: Last Man Standing?” To see him as the native people knew him, try the marvelous research of “Unravelling the Franklin Mystery: Inuit Testimony:” by David C. Woodman.

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