May 23, 1850: The United States Navy sends two ships, USS Advance and USS Rescue, to join eleven British ships in the Canadian Arctic. They were all searching for the lost group of 129 explorers - mostly sailors - who left Britain under the command of Sir John Franklin in 1845 to search for an Arctic Northwest Passage. Their ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were abandoned after spending two winters trapped in the ice off King William Island. Most of the men were never found, but by 1859 it was generally agreed that they had all succumbed to disease, lead poisoning and starvation.
The painting above entitled Man Proposes, God Disposes is by artist Sir Edwin Landseer. It caused an uproar at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1864 for its graphic imagery in reference to the doomed Franklin expedition.