stefansson-wrangel-09-39-001

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ada Blackjack
Ada's statment to[ M.R. Andrew], about

Stefansson's Expedition

Fall of 1921

Sent exploring party to Wrangell Island. Arrived in
Nome, Alaska, , and were looking for a seamstress to take
along with them, whereby U. S. Marshall Jordon, introduced Ada Blackjack
to Mr. Crawford, who was head of the Expedition. During their short stay
in Nome they chartered the boat Silver Wave, the Commander's name was Jack
Hammer
, who had spent many years in the Arctic waters.

Before we left Nome I bought some sinew, needle, thimble
and some linen thread. We left Nome about , and arrived at
Wrangell Island . On our way to Wrangell Island we
stopped on Ace Cape to get some sinew and white seal skin, we also bought
a small Eskimo skin boat. After we left East Cape, about six hours out the
engine broke down and we had to lay over about a half day and night.

When we got to Wrangell Island the mainland looked very
large to me, but they said that it was only a small island. I thought at
first that I would turn back but I decided it wouldn't be fair to the boys
so I felt that I had to stay. Soon after we arrived I started to sew on
some snow shirts for the boys. We brought some reindeer skin parkes and all
I had to do was to fasten the hoods on to them, for it was very cold and the
boys needed them to go about in.

They used to haul lots of wood to get wood piles for
the winter, they made the frame for the snowhouse for winter and about the
last part of October they put the snow blocks in, we were living in a tent
at first and it was rather cold.

The first fall only one of the boys was trapping fox.
He was the only one that I know of that was trapping. After Christmas the
rest of the boys did some trapping but I don't think they got many fox
though. Just before Christmas two of the boys, Maurer and Crawford, went
to the East of our camp. I don't know how many fox they got; they didn't
get many though for they didn't have bait for fox.

When spring came in 1922 we saw some geese and ducks, then
we had some good meat. That spring the boys got over 30 seals and over 10
polar bears all together including the young ones and mothers. Not many
of the skins could be used for the weather was so damp and we had no way
to dry them, so only one or two were saved.

The summer 1922 Mr. Knight took a trip to the East of
our camp, about 60 miles. On that trip he said he crossed a river called
Skeleton River, which he had to swim across. He said it was quite a large
river. After he came back the other three boys left to take the same trip.
After his trip Mr. Knight was never well, complained of a sore back and said
he felt weak. When Knight took the trip he took a dog along to carry his

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