|| pt. 1. The earliest ventures to North America to find a Northwest Passage, 1492-1543. The urge to discover new lands and make maps ; John Cabot makes a claim for England, 1497 ; Giovanni da Verrazzano maps an ocean of his imagination, 1524 ; Jacques Cartier gives France a prize, 1534, 1535, 1541 -- pt. 2. England reenters the game, 1576-1632. Ships, navigation, and mapping in the sixteenth century ; Martin Frobisher succumbs to gold fever, 1576, 1577, 1578 ; John Davis makes a near miss, 1585, 1586, 1587 ; Henry Hudson has a very bad day, 1607, 1608, 1609, 1610 -- pt. 3. West from the Pacific : overland to the Arctic Ocean, 1728-1789. Bering and Chirikov by sea, 1714; Hearne, 1770 and Mackenzie, 1789 by land ; James Cook maps a huge swath of the Northwest Coast, 1778 -- pt. 4. The British surge to find the Northwest Passage also makes maps, 1818-1845. John Ross sees a mirage, 1818; John Franklin makes his first expedition, 1819 ; William E. Parry has beginner's luck, 1819, 1821, 1824 ; John Franklin's second overland expedition makes a successful survey, 1825 ; John Ross's second voyage lasts four hard years, 1829-1833 ; Peter Dease and Thomas Simpson extend the North Coast map, 1837 ; John Franklin's last expedition becomes the failure of the century, 1845 -- pt. 5. The Franklin searchers almost finish the map, 1847-1858. The first searchers look in the wrong places, 1847 ; John Rae hears about Franklin from Eskimos, 1848 ; Robert McClure completes the pasage; Richard Collinson maps coastlines, 1850 ; Elisha K. Kane barely survives, but maps new land, 1853 ; Francis L. M'Clintock extends the map and learns what happened, 1857 -- Shifting the focus to the North Pole fills in vacant spots on the map, 1875-1920. George Nares maps the north coast of Ellemere Island and relearns lessons, 1875 ; Otto Sverdrup maps an immense area, 1898 ; Vilhjalmur Stefansson maps new islands, 1913 ; A few final thoughts -- Glossary -- Appendix A. A chronology of selected expeditions to North America.