Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2008
This article compares the representations of aboriginal people, and especially the Yellowknife leader Akaitcho, in the journal written by John Franklin during his first expedition (1819–1822) and the narrative he published in 1823. In the introduction to his 1995 Champlain Society edition of Franklin's journal, Richard Davis claims that when revising the journal for publication, Franklin changed his original entries so as to present an unfavourable, stereotyped image of Akaitcho to the British reading public. However, comparison of the relevant passages shows that, while Franklin evidently viewed Akaitcho with distrust during much of the expedition, he later, and on reflection, changed his opinion so that it became much more favourable, and accordingly altered the journal entries in order to do Akaitcho justice. These facts cast doubt on the interpretation of the first Franklin expedition put forward by Davis and others.
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