History Gallery of Related Events
"I Never Expected A Court
Martial In Arctic Records"
Charges were brought against Captain Edward Belcher following his unsuccessful search for Captain John Franklin in 1851, with particular attention given to his abandonment of the HMS RESOLUTE after only a single winter in the ice. He left the ship in the ice near Victoria Island north of the Arctic Circle.
The RESOLUTE was salvaged by an American whaler a year later and sold to the United States government. It was then refitted and sent to Queen Victoria as a good will token. In 1878, the British broke up the ship and a desk, made from the timbers, was presented to President Millard Fillmore as a gift to the United States. It was used until 1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt introduced a new mahogany desk.
At the request of the President, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy searched for a desk with a naval association and found the "Resolute" desk in the White House broadcast room. It is currently in service, but changes are made at the preference of the President.
The crew of the Kane Search Expedition