In 1845, famed explorer Sir John Franklin set out in the Terror and Erebus to discover the Northwest Passage, thought to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by a water route above Canada. Last seen by a whaling ship in Baffin Bay, the Franklin expedition disappeared into the Arctic wilderness.
Years passed and, despite the ample stores the expedition had laid in, concern grew. The British Admiralty launched a rescue mission in 1852, led by Captain Belcher, aboard the Resolute, Pioneer, Assistance, North Star and Intrepid. Captain Belcher, a scientist, circumnavigator, war hero, venereal wife-suer, and controversially well-loved or hated explorer, bottled some beer for this cruise which resulted in the biggest and most expensive ebay mistake ever made.
You might wonder what any of this quote has to do with the Oval Office. For this to make sense, you'll have to read the whole story. And then follow the many links for more information. Link