Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven


  • Nordenskiöld, Adolf Erik, The Arctic Voyages of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld. London: Macmillan, 1879.

  • Pálsson, Gísli, Writing on Ice: The Ethnographic Notebooks of Vilhjalmur Stefansson. Boston: University Press of New England, 2001.

  • Rabelais, François, Gargantua & Pantagruel. New York: The Heritage Press, 1936.

  • Rothman, Sheila M., Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

  • Scott, Marian, Chautauqua Caravan. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc., 1939.

  • Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, Discovery: The Autobiography of Vilhjalmur Stefansson. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964.

  • Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, My Life with the Eskimo. New York: Collier Books, 1971.

  • Stephen, Leslie, An Agnostic’s Apology. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1893.

  • Swaney, Deanna, The Arctic. Oakland, California: Lonely Planet Publications, 1999.

  • Willis, Clint, Ice: Stories of Survival from Polar Exploration. New York: Thunders’ Mouth Press/Balliett & Fitzgerald Inc., 1999.

  • Wright, Helen S., The Great White North. New York: Macmillan, 1910.

  Endnotes

  ix “As she looked...” “The Lady in the Moon,” as told to Inglis Fletcher by Ada Blackjack, February 11, 1924, IFP

  PREFACE

  1 “Brave? I don’t...” The Sunday Denver Post, “Lone Survivor Ada Blackjack Recalls Arctic,” January 14, 1973

  2 “Real history is...” Mae Belle Anderson to Helen Crawford, January 5, 1924, NAC

  3 “I recall her...” John Tetpon to Jennifer Niven, January 27, 2003

  PART I

  5 “There, with only...” The World Magazine, “Ada Blackjack, Heroine of Arctic Expedition, Remains Unhonored While She Lives,” October 30, 1927

  ONE

  9 “habitually enigmatic...” Stefansson, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 341: “The Story of Ada Blackjack” by Inglis Fletcher

  9 “Ada, look at...” Inglis Fletcher to Stefansson, February 10, 1924, DART

  9 She also knew... www.polarbearsalive.org/facts5.htm

  10 “bone poor, almost...” Los Angeles Times,“Death Vigil in Arctic Snows,” February 28, 1924

  12 “Here was a...” Fred Maurer, “A Fight for Life in the Arctic,” Chautauqua lecture 1914, NAC

  TWO

  13 “the most American...” Joseph E. Gould, The Chautauqua Movement, p. 97

  14 “Seven days filled...” Herald-Zeitung, April 1,1921

  16 But the 1913... See Jennifer Niven’s The Ice Master for more detail on this expedition.

  17 “It seemed like...” Fred Maurer, “A Fight for Life in the Arctic,” p. 12, NAC

  17 “Can you give...” Fred Maurer telegram to Stefansson, 1921, DART

  17 “Sorry no chance...” Stefansson telegram to Fred Maurer, 1921, DART

  18 “Why should any...” Stefansson, The Friendly Arctic, p. 7

  18 “The land up...” The Friendly Arctic, p. 7

  19 “In order to...” The Friendly Arctic, p. 7

  19 “Given a healthy...” Morning Oregonian, undated newspaper article, LAW

  19 “I think that...” Hearings before the General Board of the Navy, 1923, Vol. 2, Navy Depart-ment, Washington, p. 5, DART

  19 “In one way...” William McKinlay, Stefansson bio, NLS

  19 “The Arctic as...” The Friendly Arctic, p. 8

  20 “Famous Stefansson...” Stefansson, “Chapter 78—The Chautauqua Years: 1921–1930,” pp. 2–3, DART

  20 “must have been...” Lorne Knight, Pechuck, p. 1

  21 “It’s just as...” Pechuck, p. 59

  22 “Would you do...” Pechuck, p. 289

  23 “The explorer...” The Friendly Arctic, p. 8

  23 “Purpose—plus punch...” Chautauqua Newsletter, March 18, 1921, LAW

  26 “When the world...” The Friendly Arctic, p. 6

  27 “During your stay...” Stefansson to Fred Maurer, February 23, 1921, DART

  27 “Did you see...” Stefansson to Fred Maurer, February 23, 1921, DART

  29 “Ottawa, Ontario...” Stefansson to Sir Robert Falconer, The Adventure of Wrangel Island

  THREE

  30 “I am planning...” Stefansson to Sir Robert Falconer, March 13, 1921, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, pp. 417–418

  31 “If you are...” Allan Crawford to Stefansson, April 11, 1921, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 79

  32 “Although I have...” Allan Crawford to Stefansson, April 11, 1921, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 79

  33 “Your qualifications look...” Stefansson telegram to Allan Crawford, April 24, 1921, DART

  34 “Stefansson is a...” J.B. Harkin to W. W. Cory, March 2, 1921, NAC

  34 “Of course you...” Lorne Knight to Stefansson, May 8, 1921, DART

  34 “Would you go...” Stefansson telegram to Lorne Knight, June 6, 1921, DART

  35 “I am not...” Stefansson to Allan Crawford, June 11, 1921, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 82

  39 “Milton’s knowledge...” J. I. Knight to the Galles, April 25, 1925, LAW

  40 “I am simply...” Milton Galle to his parents, August 15, 1921, LAW

  41 “Stef has chosen...” Milton Galle to his parents, August 15, 1921, LAW

  41 “To my thinking...” Milton Galle to his mother, July 20, 1921, LAW

  42 “to some fur...” Stefansson to Orville Wright, August 24, 1922, DART

  46 “But after meeting...” Fred Maurer to his mother, September 5, 1921, DART

  46 “Without an actual...” Stefansson to Mrs. Crawford, August 29, 1921, DART

  47 “The polar regions...” Stefansson to Delphine Maurer, October 15, 1921, DART

  47 “Although we are...” Fred Maurer to his mother, September 5, 1921, DART

  48 “He has the...” J.I. Knight to Stefansson, October 28, 1921, DART

  49 “We are proud...” J.I. Knight to Harry Galle, August 20, 1921, LAW

  49 “not for me...” Milton Galle to his parents, August 15, 1921, LAW

  49 “We may have...” Alma Galle to Stefansson, August 24, 1921, LAW

  50 “Always remember...” Stefansson to Allan Crawford, August 15, 1921, DART

  51 “We will do...” Allan Crawford to Stefansson, August 18, 1921, DART

  51 “I guess this...” Allan Crawford to Helen Crawford, August 18, 1921, DART

  52 “The female shaman...” From Northern Tales by Howard Norman, copyright [H17015] 1990 by Howard Norman. Used by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc. (pp. 180–182)

  FOUR

  54 “Past Point...” Milton Galle to Stefansson, September 8, 1921, DART

  56 “Our future lies...” Miscellaneous photographs, LAW

  56 “Bud—How’s this...” Miscellaneous photographs, KL

  56 “There has been...” Miscellaneous photographs, LAW

  56 “We are having...” Lorne Knight to Stefansson, September 4, 1921, DART

  56 “A very simple...” Stefansson to J. I. Knight, September 20, 1921, DART

  60 Once Ada agreed... My research has uncovered numerous opinions from various sources about Ada’s possible activities as a prostitute. However, I have been unable to find any actual documentation or verification of this, and any official documents that might have shed light on the matter no longer exist.

  61 “All in all...” Milton Galle to Stefansson, September 8, 1921, DART

  62 “Some places get...” Lorne Knight, “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” September 16, 1921, to August 26, 1922, p. 1, NAC

  62 There were those... Mae Belle Anderson to Helen Crawford, August 31, 1924, NAC

  63 “I wish to...” Milton Galle to Stefansson, September 8, 1921, DART

  65 “the sickest mortals...” Knight, “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” September 16, 1921, to August 26, 1922, p. 1, NAC

  66 “Kee
p note of...” Allan Crawford to Helen Crawford, September 15, 1921, DART

  67 “in total disregard...” Fred Maurer, “Adventures on an Arctic Whaler,” TUSC/MR

  67 “The old island...” Fred Maurer to his mother, September 15, 1921, LAW

  PART II

  69 “A land more...” John Muir, The Cruise of the Corwin, p. 134

  70 “Associated Press...” Associated Press article, unnamed newspaper clipping, September 28, 1921, LAW

  FIVE

  71 “I, Allan Rudyard...” The Adventure of Wrangel Island, Wrangel Island Proclamation, illustration facing p. 119

  76 “Sick Headache...” Common Sense Medical Advisor, p. 329

  76 “I shall not...” New York World, “Parents Blame Stefansson for Crawford’s Death,” May 10, 1925

  77 They got their... The Cruise of the Corwin, p. 139

  78 “We will watch...” Lorne Knight’s diary, September 29, 1921, KL

  80 “Oh, Crawford...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” November 7, 1921, NAC

  80 “When the mail...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” November 7, 1921, NAC

  80 “Have tried coaxing...” Lorne Knight’s diary, October 1, 1921, KL

  80 And then something... Dr. Rudolph Martin Anderson later theorized that Crawford might have been poisoned by eating the liver of a polar bear, which had been known to cause similar sicknesses in others, including an Eskimo family he had heard of who had died from it.

  82 They found Ada’s... “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” November 7, 1921, NAC

  85 “This may all...” Lorne Knight’s diary, November 18– 20, 1921, KL

  86 “But if at...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” November 23, 1921, NAC

  88 “like an inverted...” Lorne Knight’s diary, November 27, 1921, KL

  88 “She will not...” Lorne Knight’s diary, November 24, 1921, KL

  88 “I’ll bet I...” Lorne Knight’s diary, November 23, 1921, KL

  88 “If there is...” Lorne Knight’s diary, November 25, 1921, KL

  89 There was a... Similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD)

  89 “utterances of erotic...” Stanislaus Novakovsky, Ecology, Vol. V, No. 2, p. 116

  90 “as only a...” Novakovsky, Ecology, Vol. V, No. 2, p. 124

  91 “Special cable to the...” New York Times, March 20,1992

  SIX

  92 “I shall not...” New York Times, September 28,1921

  93 “effected a renewal...” New York Times, September 28,1921

  93 “Of what use...” New York Times, March 22,1922

  93 “The Government...” Le Bourdais, Stefansson: Ambassador of the North, p. 166

  94 “Wrangel Island...” Washington Times, The National Daily, “Wrangel Isle Land of Russia, U.S. Concludes,” Tuesday, May 23, 1922

  94 “like plutocrats” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,”August 21, 1922, NAC

  96 “What should I...” Lorne Knight’s diary, December 17, 1921, KL

  99 “Now I will...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” August 21, 1922, NAC

  100 “I wonder what...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” August 21, 1922, NAC

  102 “I’ll put C. up...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” August 21, 1922, NAC

  104 “Our names should...” Lorne Knight’s diary, June 13, 1922, KL

  105 “Please urge upon...” The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 136

  108 “August 23, 1922...” Stefansson to John Maurer, August 23, 1922, DART

  SEVEN

  111 “jake” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” August 26, 1922, p. 11, NAC

  111 “We will be...” Ralph Lomen to Allan Crawford, August 19, 1922, DART

  112 “Of course, we...” J.I. Knight to Harry Galle, August 19, 1922, LAW

  113 “We would greatly...” J. I. Knight to Stefansson, August 31, 1922, DART

  113 They had read... Milton Galle was correct.

  115 “If you are...” Milton Galle diary, July 18, 1922, LAW

  116 “Can you imagine...” “Summary of Wrangel Island Expedition,” August 26, 1922, p. 11, NAC

  119 “Fear mishap has...” J. T. Crawford to Stefansson, September 11, 1922, LAW

  119 “Teddy Bear...” Stefansson MSS 98, 14:5, Chapter 9, p. 5, DART

  120 “deeply concerned” New York Times, September 25,1922

  120 “If a native...” Denver Post, December 24, 1923

  120 “We had no...” The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 142

  120 “Is there nothing...” J. T. Crawford to Stefansson, September 22, 1922, LAW

  120 “There is...” Stefansson to Helen Crawford, November 24, 1922, DART

  120 “As I see...” Stefansson to Delphine Maurer, October 3, 1922, DART

  121 “How welcome any...” Alma Galle to Stefansson, undated letter, LAW

  121 “This means merely...” Stefansson to Harry Galle, October 2, 1922, LAW

  122 “They are safe...” J.I. Knight to Harry Galle, September 21, 1922, LAW

  122 “I shoot, no...” Milton Galle’s diary, July 23, 1922, LAW

  123 “Coffee has taken...” Milton Galle’s diary, August 24, 1922, LAW

  123 “At a dinner...” Milton Galle’s diary, September 13, 1922, LAW

  124 “Let her blow...” Lorne Knight’s diary, September 12, 1922, KL

  125 “Get the hell...” Milton Galle’s diary, September 25, 1922, LAW

  126 “Coffee for you” Milton Galle’s diary, September 28, 1922, LAW

  126 “demonstrate the...” Lorne Knight’s diary, September 22, 1922, KL

  126 “mysterious dash” Milton Galle’s diary, September 25, 1922, LAW

  127 “K keeps conversation...” Milton Galle’s diary, September 28, 1922, LAW

  128 “I would have...” Lorne Knight, Pechuck, pp. 182–183

  130 “Now what can...” Milton Galle’s diary, September 18, 1922, LAW

  131 “Dear Sister...” Alma Galle to Maggie Galle, undated, LAW

  EIGHT

  133 “there hain’t none...” Lorne Knight’s diary, October 5,1922, KL

  135 “There are so...” Mae Belle Anderson to Helen Crawford, May 19, 1924, NAC

  136 “If one can...” Lorne Knight’s diary, November 1, 1922, KL

  137 “Game is scarce . . .” Allan Crawford to Stefansson, January 7, 1923, LAW

  137 “Of course I...” Lorne Knight to Stefansson, January 4, 1923, LAW

  137 “Crawford and I...” Lorne Knight to Georgia Knight, January 4, 1923, LAW

  138 “From my accrued...” Allan Crawford to his family, January 7, 1923, LAW

  139 “The going ahead...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 10,1923, KL

  140 “One time...” “Lady in the Moon,” as told to Inglis Fletcher by Ada Blackjack, February 11, 1924, IFP

  143 “poorest hands for...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 12,1923, KL

  143 “weak as a...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 8,1923, KL

  143 “I am nearly...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 12,1923, KL

  143 “It will be...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 12,1923, KL

  144 “We hoped to...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 15,1923, KL

  144 “nice and warm...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 18,1923, KL

  145 “Of all the...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 19,1923, KL

  146 “it is essential...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 21,1923, KL

  148 “Knight is troubled...” Allan Crawford to Stefansson, January 28, 1923, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, p. 260

  148 “The chief reason...” Fred Maurer to Delphine Maurer, January 29, 1923, DART

  148 “My dear Mother...” Fred Maurer to his mother, January 29, 1923, LAW

  149 “Why Galle leave?” Ada Blackjack notebook calendar, DART

  149 “I wonder what...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 29,1923, KL

  150 “for
as I...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 29,1923, KL

  150 “Come on bear” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 2,1923, KL

  151 “blowing and drifting...” Lorne Knight’s diary, January 31,1923, KL

  PART III

  153 “I must stay...” “The Story of Ada Blackjack,” p. 343, The Adventure of Wrangel Island

  154 “Sunday Times (London)...” Sunday Times (London), “Stefansson Quits; Gives Up Exploring; Will Devote His Future Telling About Possibilities in the ‘Friendly Arctic,’ ” January 1923

  NINE

  155 “I’m all right...” Los Angeles Times,“Death Vigil in Arctic Snows,” February 28, 1924

  156 “I guess we...” Los Angeles Times,“Death Vigil in Arctic Snows,” February 28, 1924

  157 “Next came bloating...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 8,1923, KL

  158 Bad as all... New York Globe, “How to Keep Well” by A. F. Currier, M.D., undated news clipping

  159 “But on the...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 6,1923, KL

  161 “When I say...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 11, 1923, KL

  161 “Thank fortune...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 12, 1923, KL

  162 “fresh raw meat . . .” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 13, 1923, KL

  162 “Oh Yes! My...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 25, 1923, KL

  162 “trip hammer” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 16, 1923, KL

  163 “full stomach of...” Lorne Knight’s diary, February 20, 1923, KL

  165 “Troubled some last...” Lorne Knight’s diary, March 3, 1923, KL

  165 “Cannot eat the...” Lorne Knight’s diary, March 11, 1923, KL

  166 “as thin as...” Lorne Knight’s diary, March 21, 1923, KL

  166 “Not that I...” Lorne Knight’s diary, March 23, 1923, KL

  166 “as a conversationalist...” Lorne Knight’s diary, March 3, 1923, KL

  168 “March 1923...” Alma Galle to J. I. Knight, March, 1923, LAW

  TEN

  171 “It has caught...” Ada Blackjack’s diary, March,28,1923, UAA/BBJ

  171 “But my eye is...” Ada Blackjack’s diary, April 2, 1923, UAA/BBJ

  171 “If anything happen...” Ada Blackjack’s diary, April 2, 1923, UAA/BBJ

  172 “We look at...” Ada Blackjack’s diary, March 26,1923, UAA/BBJ

  174 “to cruel” Ada Blackjack’s diary, April 21, 1923, UAA/BBJ

  174 “He never stop...” Ada Blackjack’s diary, April 21, 1923, UAA/BBJ

 
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