Polar Poisons: Did Botulism Doom the Franklin Expedition?

  title={Polar Poisons: Did Botulism Doom the Franklin Expedition?},
  author={B. Zane Horowitz},
  journal={Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology},
  pages={841 - 847}
  • B. Horowitz
  • Published 1 January 2003
  • History
  • Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology
Abstract In 1845 the Franklin expedition left London with 2 ships and 134 men on board in an attempt to find the route through the Northwest Passage. The ships were built with state‐of‐the‐art technology for their day, but provisioned with supplies from the lowest bidder. After taking on fresh provisions in the Whalefish Islands, off the coast of Greenland, the entire crew was never heard from again. Graves found on remote Beechey Island indicate that three able‐bodied seamen died during the… 
Finding the dead: bodies, bones and burials from the 1845 Franklin northwest passage Expedition
Abstract On 22 April 1848, after three years in the Arctic, and 19 months spent ice-bound in northern Victoria Strait, the 105 surviving officers and crew of the Franklin Northwest Passage expedition
Death in the Arctic – the tragic fate of members of the Franklin expedition (1845)
  • R. Byard
  • History
    Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
  • 2020
In May 1845 HMS Terror and HMS Erebus left England to find the Northwest Passage linking the north Atlantic and Pacific Oceans but despite these modern additions neither the vessels nor any of the 129 crew members would ever return.
Scurvy as a factor in the loss of the 1845 Franklin expedition to the Arctic: a reconsideration
In 1845, an expedition, commanded by Sir John Franklin, set out to discover the Northwest Passage. The ships entered the Canadian Arctic, and from September 1846 were beset in ice off King William
Use your best endeavours to discover a sheltered and safe harbour
Abstract On 24 May 1847, Sir John Franklin’s third expedition reported “All well”, but less than a year later, on 22 April 1848, the 129 sailors who had set out from Britain on Erebus and Terror had
The health of nine Royal Naval Arctic crews, 1848 to 1854: implications for the lost Franklin Expedition
On the basis of the squadrons’ patterns of illness it was concluded that Franklin's crews would have suffered common respiratory and gastro-intestinal disorders, injuries and exposure and that deaths might have occurred from respiratory, cardiovascular and tubercular conditions.
Exploration at the Edge: Reassessing the Fate of Sir John Franklin's Last Arctic Expedition
Few historical figures can claim to have had so many of the Earth's topographical features named after them as Sir John Franklin. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin may dominate the place names
From precocious fame to mature obscurity: David Walker (1837–1917) MD, LRCSI, surgeon and naturalist to the Fox Arctic Expedition of 1857–59
His adventurous life, including the Fox Expedition, which from 1862 was spent abroad and included time in the Cariboo gold fields, service in the United States Army, practice in a notorious Californian frontier town and, in later life, the comparative quiet of general and occupational medical practice in Portland, Oregon.
A Critical Assessment of the Oral Condition of the Crew of the Franklin Expedition + Supplementary Appendix 1 (See Article Tools)
Little is known about the fate of the crew of the Franklin expedition after they sailed from England in 1845. Scant physical evidence and limited Inuit testimony have fueled speculation that the crew
A Case Study: Was Private William Braine of the 1845 Franklin Expedition a Victim of Tuberculosis? + Supplementary Appendix 1 (See Article Tools)
A bone sample from one of the Franklin expedition crewmen, Private William Braine, was analyzed for ancient DNA belonging to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and results show that it is unlikely that tuberculosis contributed directly to his death.
The tragedy at Kapp Thordsen, Spitsbergen, 1872–1873. Could lead poisoning have been the cause?
ABSTRACT A group of 17 Norwegian sealers died in Svenskhuset, the Swedish House at Kapp Thordsen, Spitsbergen during the winter and spring of 1872–1873. The Swedish House was built by a mining


The last Franklin expedition: report of a postmortem examination of a crew member.
T he examination of human remains from the last Franklin expedition, collected from various sites in the Canadian Arctic archipelago, has been an active research project at the University of Alberta,
Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Polar Expedition
Preface. The Epitaphs. Messages from the Dead. The Enigma: Sir John. The Passage. Two Ships. Specters. Ships' Commanders. Ships' Companies. Outward Bound. Beechey Island. The Last Summer. Beset.
The Final Days of the Franklin Expedition: New Skeletal Evidence
Mass spectroscopy and x-ray fluorescence revealed elevated lead levels consistent with previous measurements, further supporting the conclusion that lead poisoning contributed to the demise of the expedition.
Human botulism in Canada (1919-1973).
  • C. Dolman
  • Medicine, Environmental Science
    Canadian Medical Association journal
  • 1974
Since 1919, in Canada, 62 authenticated outbreaks of human botulism have affected 181 persons, with 83 deaths, a fatality rate of 46%, and outbreaks were bacteriologically determined as six type A, four type B, one both A and B, and 30 type E.
Food-borne botulism in Canada, 1971-84.
  • A. Hauschild, L. Gauvreau
  • Medicine
    CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne
  • 1985
Rened educational efforts combined with a comprehensive immunization program would significantly improve the control of botulism in high-risk populations.
Botulism in Alaska, 1947 through 1974. Early detection of cases and investigation of outbreaks as a means of reducing mortality.
Clinical signs and symptoms of nausea and vomiting, dysphagia, diplopia, dilated pupils, and dry throat occurred with great frequency, forming a diagnostic pentad, and it is recommended that treatment include close medical supervision, supportive care, and the use of antitoxin, cathartics, and possibly, penicillin.
Food-borne botulism in Alaska, 1947-1985: epidemiology and clinical findings.
Records of all food-borne outbreaks of botulism in Alaska from 1947 through 1985 are reviewed, finding that all outbreaks occurred in Alaska Natives and were associated with eating traditional Alaska Native foods.
Botulism among Alaska Natives. The role of changing food preparation and consumption practices.
Alaska Natives have one of the highest rates of food-borne botulism worldwide. All outbreaks have been associated with the consumption of native foods, but in recent years outbreaks have occurred in
Botulism among Alaska natives in the Bristol Bay area of southwest Alaska: a survey of knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to fermented foods known to cause botulism.
Despite high awareness of botulism in this population, one-third of fermented food preparers use plastic containers, a practice which may increase the risk ofBotulism.