“View of the Arctic Sea, From the Mouth of the Copper Mine River, Midnight, July 20, 1821” [George Back]


It will be perceived, that the position of the mouth of the river, given by our observations, differs widely from that assigned to it by Mr. Hearne; but the accuracy of his description, conjoined with Indian information, assured us that we were at the very part he visited. I have, therefore, named the most conspicuous cape we then saw “Cape Hearne,” as a just tribute to the memory of that persevering traveller. I have distinguished another cape by the name of Mackenzie, in honour of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the only other European who had before reached the Northern Ocean. I have called the river which falls into the sea, to the westward of the Copper-Mine, Richardson, as a testimony of sincere regard for my friend and companion, Dr. Richardson; and have named the islands, which are in view from our encampment, “Couper's Isles,” in honour of a friend of his. The sun set this night at thirty minutes after eleven, apparent time; and the annexed view, taken from a drawing by Mr. Back, shews the appearance of the sky and the prospect at midnight. The travelling distance from Fort Enterprize to the north of the Copper-Mine River, is about three hundred and thirty-four miles. The canoes and baggage were dragged over snow and ice for one hundred and seventeen miles of this distance. [Franklin, p. 361.]