The Return Of The Resolute

A rudderless derelict, she had drifted 1,100 miles through polar ice. Her return to England was a tribute to Anglo-American amity

Many have been the occasions when the two English-speaking peoples on opposite sides of the Atlantic have expressed their mutual friendship through some dramatic gesture. But one of the most unusual took place a little over one hundred years ago, when the United States presented to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in perfect condition, a fully rigged British man-of war. This ship was the H.M.S. Resolute, and the story of how she came into American hands—and why it was decided to return her to England—is a curious one.