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WE have received the following communication
from DR. RAE. It can have no
better commendation to the attention of our
readers than the mention of his name:—

Observing, in the numbers of this journal
dated the second and ninth of this month, a
very ably-written article on the lost Arctic
voyagers, in which an attempt is made to
prove that Sir John Franklin's ill-fated
party did not die of starvation, but were
murdered by the Esquimaux; and consequently
that they were not driven to the last
dread alternative as a means of protracting
life, permit me to make a few remarks in
support of my information on this painful subject
information received by me with the
utmost caution, and not one material point of
which was published to the world without
my having some good reason to support it.

First, as regards my interpreter. To compare
either Augustus or Ouligback (who
accompanied Sir John Franklin and Sir John
Richardson in their overland journeys) with
William Ouligback, my interpreter, would be
very unfair to the latter. Neither of the
first two could make themselves understood
in the English language, and did not very perfectly
comprehend the dialect of the natives of
the coast westward of the Coppermine River.

William Ouligback speaks English fluently;
and, perhaps, more correctly than one half of
the lower classes in England or Scotland.

As I could not, from my ignorance of
the Esquimaux tongue, test William Ouligback's
qualifications, I resorted to the only
means of doing so I possessed. There is
an old servant of the company at Churchill,
an honest, trustworthy man, who has acquired
a very fair knowledge of both the
Esquimaux character and the Esquimaux
language. This man informed me that young
Ouligback could be perfectly relied on; that
he would tell the Esquimaux exactly what
was said, and give the Esquimaux reply with
equal correctness; that when he had any
personal object to gain, he would not scruple
to tell a falsehood to attain it, but in such a
case the untruth was easily discovered by a
little cross-questioning. This description I
found perfectly true.

Again: the natives of Repulse Bay speak
precisely the same language as those of
Churchill, where young Ouligback was
brought up.

The objection offered that my information
was received second-hand, I consider much
in favour of its correctness. Had it been
obtained from the natives who had seen the
dead bodies of our countrymen, I should have
doubted all they told me, however plausible
their tale might have appeared; because had
they, as they usually do, deposited any property
under stones in the neighbourhood,
they would have had a very excellent cause
for attempting to mislead me.

That ninety-nine out of a hundred interpreters
are under a strong temptation
to exaggerate, may be true. If so, my
interpreter is the exception, as he did not
like to talk more than he could possibly
help. No doubt had I offered him a premium
for using his tongue freely he might
have done so; but not even the shadow of a
hope of a reward was held out.

It is said that part of the information
regarding cannibalism was conveyed to me
by gestures. This is another palpable mistake,
which is likely to mislead. I stated
in one of my letters to the Times that the
natives had preceded me to Repulse Bay;
and, by signs, had made my men left in
charge of the property there (none of whom
spoke a word of Esquimaux) comprehend
what I had already learnt through the interpreter.

I do not infer that the officer who lay upon
his double-barrelled gun defended his life to
the last against ravenous seamen; but that
he was a brave, cool man, in the full possession
of his mental faculties to the last; that
he lay down in this position as a precaution,
and, alas! was never able to rise again; and
that he was among the last, if not the very
last, of the survivors.

The question is asked, was there any fuel
in that desolate place for cooking the contents
of the kettles? I have already mentioned
in a letter to the Times how fuel
might have been obtained. I shall repeat
my opinion with additions:—When the
Esquimaux were talking with me on the
subject of the discovery of the men, boats,
tents, &c., several of them remarked that