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Abandoned Ship Becomes Furniture

While on an expedition to the Arctic searching for the lost Franklin Expedition, the British ship HMS Resolute itself got stuck in the ice. Her captain was finally ordered to abandon ship in 1854 and return to England.

Over a year later, an American whaling ship came across a ship in Davis Strait. It was the Resolute. It had freed itself and had travelled almost 1,200 miles / 2,000 km on its own.

The Americans rescued and repaired the ship, and returned it to England as a goodwill gift. When the Resolute was finally retired in 1880, Queen Victoria had a desk made from its timbers and presented it to the American President. The richly carved desk has been used by almost every president since then.

Resolute in the Canadian territory of Nunavut takes its name from that ship. It is the second most northern community in Canada (Grise Fiord being the most northern) and has been a scientific research station and a staging point for Arctic expeditions.

The name of the settlement in Inuktitut is Qausuittuq, which means "the place with no dawn", but people often use the following phrase to describe the location:

"Resolute is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

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