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Representing Akaitcho: European vision and revision in the writing of John Franklin's Narrative of a journey to the shores of the polar sea. . .

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2008

Janice Cavell
Affiliation:
Department of History, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada

Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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