Status: Incomplete


The relief expedition of 1923 found on the island a
few fragmentary papers left by the dead men, together with
two diaries, one kept by Lorne Knight, the other by Ada
. Knight’s stopped a few weeks prior to his death.
Ada's commenced about where his ceased. Between then, they
told the story of what happened on the island during those
two fateful years. Using Knight's record, Stefansson later
wrote "The Adventure of Wrangel Island", which was published
in 1926; in the appendices he included Ada's statement made
in Nome after her rescue, and a character sketch of the Eskimo
woman by Mrs. Inglis Fletcher, a friend.

But Ada's own day-by-day record has never seen the light
of publication. Said Stefansson, "The diary we do not publish,
for it is disjointed and in part illegible, because of the bad
pencil and paper rather than through Ada's difficult handwriting
and peculiar spelling." Yet in the stated opinion of those who
saw it then and later, "As a human document, her journal is
almost without parallel." From it emerges a remarkable portrait
of a simple human being maturing from the ordinary into the

The leader of the relief expedition of 1923, Harold
, made a copy of the Blackjack Diary and placed it in
the hands of his brothor-in-law, John Allison, for safekeeping.
More than forty years later, it is this copy which has come
to my attention and forms the basis for this manuscript.

Measured in words, it will make a small book. But
measured in unsung courage it should be very large indeed.
In an era when the simple human being is becoming each day
more a mere Statistic, it is a glowing reaffirmation of the

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