Talk:Northwest Passage/Archive 1

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New Article Written from Scratch for CZ

Just wanted everyone to know that this is a new entry, written from scratch for CZ, and illustrated with materials from my own historical collections. I hope that it will receive attention and improvement from History, Geography, and other workgroups! Russell Potter 09:32, 6 May 2007 (CDT)

Moved film entry

I've moved the information about the film of this title to Northwest Passage (film). Russell Potter 07:56, 30 April 2007 (CDT)

Spanish equivalent

While I'm fascinated to know the Spanish equivalent of the phrase "Northwest Passage," I'm not sure we want it in the first paragraph. There were several early Spanish claims of a waterway across North America; when we talk about these, maybe that would be the place to give the translation? Russell Potter 10:27, 30 April 2007 (CDT)

Took my own advice and did that, while expanding the entry considerably. Russell Potter 11:33, 30 April 2007 (CDT)

Cartier & Hudson

Good well-written article however, I think it would benefit from some mention of Jacques Cartier and Henry Hudson's voyages. Cartier's voyages in the 1530s and early 1540s had the aim of discovering a passage to China. In the next century, Hudson went looking for a passage, first up the Hudson river and then on his ill-fated last voyage into Hudson Bay. Also, I understand there were explorations from the west coast in the 18th Century by the Russians (Vitus Bering), English (Cook and Vancouver), and Spaniards (Bodega Y Quadra, Galiano). I believe that Vancouver established that there was no direct southerly sea passage well before the Lewis & Clark expedition, as did Galiano but the spanish archieves remained secret. And Canadians under Alexander Mackenzie did reach the Pacific from Montreal in 1793. Hope this helps in improving the article. Luigi Zanasi 11:37, 6 May 2007 (CDT)

Yes, many thanks for the comment, Hudson and Cartier are (and were) in the works ... Vancouver found no mythical "strait of Juan de Fuca" (though he left behind a real strait of that name); more on this would also be good. Feel free to add or I'll do so next chance I get ... cheers, Russell Potter 11:48, 6 May 2007 (CDT)


Hey all, so far very interesting. Found you on the Feedback List and figured I could do some copy editing at least. At the beginning of The Barrow Era section there are some dates (I think they are supposed to be birth and death dates that might be mistyped). --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:51, 16 May 2007 (CDT)

Hey Matt, many thanks for the copyedit -- and for catching the mistyped date (he was born in 1764, not 1864)!! Russell Potter 12:59, 16 May 2007 (CDT)

Looks like a beautiful article! Fascinating. I think it'd be worth saying more about the int'l dispute and did Canada really changes the official name?! You've should put that in! Also, extend timeline to cover the 1940s actual passage, etc up to any recent official disputes. Great piece. David Hoffman 15:11, 16 May 2007 (CDT)

Awesome article. Agree totally with David. I had to come back to finish it tonight. You kept me wanting for more. Great job. All I can think is that it would be nice to have a map so we could see where some of these places were, but otherwise great job. This one is ready for the ToApprove tag. What do you need? --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:31, 16 May 2007 (CDT)

Jensen addition

I added a section on recent diplomacy (which I originally wrote for Wiki), Richard Jensen 11:57, 17 May 2007 (CDT)

Excellent addition -- this is much more detailed, and clearer, than the brief mention I had on these issues before. Many thanks! Russell Potter 16:22, 19 May 2007 (CDT)


What a lovely article! Well written, informative, and great ilustrations. I learned a lot - including a new understanding of A Connecticut Yankee. Nancy Sculerati 10:12, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

The Northwest Passage?

Looks like an excellent article--thanks, Russell. I do have one suggestion for improvement, though. Although I didn't study it carefully, the article didn't seem to have any explanation of what route through the northern Canadian islands is considered the Northwest Passage. I imagine that this is because the Passage isn't identified with any particular route, but any route that would do the job. Is that correct? If so, I think it might help to say so in the article. But if there is one main route usually taken, it would be good to indicate it on a clearer map. The "1904 map of northern Canada showing the area of the Passage" doesn't clearly indicate what the Passage is, if there is supposed to be just one. Also, if it's possible to get a higher resolution scan of Image:Northerncanmap.jpg, that would be great. The details look interesting, and without them the map merely shows a 1904 version of the shape of the northern Canadian islands, which is no doubt not entirely accurate. A modern map, if possible, would also be a nice addition.

Also, what was the "Open Polar Sea" supposed to be? It "eventually proved chimerical as well"--so the Arctic Ocean didn't qualify? --Larry Sanger 20:49, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

Hi Larry. Well, no, there is (and was) not just one Passage, though for the many years it was sought, the monomania of the seekers made it seem so. I will see if I can clarify this at a couple of points in the entry. There are a good many excellent maps which show the routes through the passage, but the best of them are not available as free or fair use images. I think of the 1904 map as a placeholder for present -- it shows the area where the Passage was sought -- I think our best bet would be a really good historical map now in public domain, as all the modern maps of any worth are protected by copyright.
As for the Open Polar Sea, well, I should make at least a stub for that entry, or simply trim the reference to it a this point. The belief was that there was warm, open ice-free water at the Pole, and that sailing through this would be a short-cut to Asia. Not true -- yet! I wrote the entry for Open Polar Sea for the Encyclopedia of the Arctic (Routlege, 2005) -- I could reference that, if it wouldn't violate self-promotion policy.
In any case, I hope we can get the last few tweaks done here -- it's a solid entry and since my own Arctic webpages have a high Google rating, I've linked them to this entry in hopes of making it one of the more visible CZ entries in Google searches ... best, Russell Potter 21:09, 20 May 2007 (CDT)
Russell, sounds good. Please don't link to your own work; simply provide a link on the talk page, and ask someone to review it and add it to the article page if it seems appropriate. No doubt it will of course. --Larry Sanger 21:20, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

Most recent edits are copyedits

Just a note: the most receent edits are only copyedits -- I hope they can be incorporated into the Approved version without any further editorial debate, as per policy. Russell Potter 18:50, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.0


"Sir John Barrow (1764-1848), longtime Second Secretary to the British Admiralty" be
"Sir John Barrow (1764-1848), long time Second Secretary to the British Admiralty" or
"Sir John Barrow (1764-1848), long-time Second Secretary to the British Admiralty"? Wahib Frank 11:42, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

longtime is the correct form of the adjective, according to Webster's Third International and the Oxford English Dictionary. Russell Potter 12:10, 26 May 2007 (CDT)


And see [1] for a possible image to use. --Larry Sanger 13:35, 27 May 2007 (CDT)


This article, good in many ways, is inaccurate and incomplete. The inaccurate bit is the statement that after the third of Frobisher's voyages in 1578, "Elizabethan explorers abandoned the plan". In fact, John Davis, who is not mentioned, made one of his voyages in this quest in 1587. It is incomplete, not only from the failure to mention John Davis and Sebastian Cabot (who may have reached Hudson's Bay before his crew forced him to turn back), but also because the two sentences on motivation fail to mention one of the principal motives: "to discover this voyage of Cathaia by this way, which for the bringing of the Spiceries from India into Europe were the most easie and shortest of all the other wayes hitherto found out." Being no expert on the subject, I find this out by merely looking into a selection from Hakluyt's Voyages. --Martin Wyatt 20:08, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

I have made some attempt to rectify the errors and omissions in the Citable Version. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 20:15, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Previous version merger

I have merged the old 'Citable Version' subpage with the main article and placed the old version here. John Stephenson (talk) 11:17, 14 February 2021 (UTC)