Ada Blackjack: alone with white bears

Is it possible to consider a person who saves not someone, and his own life, hero? Billy Johnson, the younger son of Adda Blackjack, the only woman, alone surviving in the Arctic, believed that it was possible, and knocked out on her gravestone: "The heroine of Wrangel Island".

50 dollars – crazy money!

Hell Delituk was born in the Inito settlement Spruce Creek in 1898. After the death of his father, the girl was sent to the city of Mr., who acquired in the height of the gold fever, by mail, telephone and unheard of population – 20,000 people. In the missionary school of hell learned to read and write, cook "White food", iron, sew. The latter was especially important for life in the north. Missionaries also taught hell to sing hymns, wash, comb hair, brushing teeth, count money and honor the American flag.

One of the friends described the girl like this: "Her voice was low and soft. She had a habit of sit still, as a statue, listening to something heard to her one. She got used to long silence and was incredulous to strangers. But sometimes there was a cheerful and even frivolous – it was seen a few ".

Neither missionary education, no incredulusity prevented the hell at the age of 16 to marry, give birth to three children, bury two of them and eventually one, without help, with a sick tuberculosis son in her arms. Although 23-year-old hell and settled to work in the seamstress, Bennett she was not formed. I had to give a boy in the shelter, promising that she would definitely return.

Hell and her son Bennett

. She went from work when the head of the city police, Jordan, the gesture called her. ADA was alerted: what other troubles? But he unexpectedly began to tell her about the Arctic expedition, for which she was looking for seamstress, speaking in English. He offered her to leave the house, the city, son and float with strangers somewhere on white bears. No, no and NO! True, on the ship there will be other Eskimo families – to hunt and sew clothes from the skins, Jordan said. And pay will be $ 50 a month – crazy money! Saving, she could collected enough in two years to pick up Bennett from the shelter. Ada agreed.


Eskimos for sailing did not appear

Willialmur Stefansson – Canadian Polar Researcher, Ethnographer and Writer

The expedition, organized in 1921 by the Canadian polar explorer, Willialmur Stefansson, was the goal of colonization of the Island of Wrangel, officially belonged to Russia. Stefansson seemed that the countries were overwhelmed in the civil war in the civil war soon, Japan claims, and he wanted to be the first. On the island it would be possible to place a weather station, hunting on a walrus, get fur and breed deer – a very profitable enterprise opened.

For travel Stefansson chose four: already had the polar experience of 28-year-old Lorna Knight and Freda Maurera, 20-year-old Allan Crawford, representing Canada, and 19-year-old Milton Galle. With them and was to swim in the island of white bears, as the name of this deserted Earth Eskimos.

From left to right: ALANA KPOFOPD (20 years old) – Commander of the Expedition, Lopen Hight (28 years old) – Second Commander, FPEP MAUPEP (28 years old) – Third Commander, Milt Gale (19 years old) – Assistant, ADA Blackjek (23 years old) – seamstress and Cat Victoria PEPEF ACCEPT

Hunting equipment in Nome purchased enough. The supplies took only half a year. It was assumed that members of the expedition would hunt themselves and extract their meals. It was an important point: to prove the theory of Stefansson that a person can set up in the Arctic and live on self-sufficiency.

To the sailing, except for Ads, none of the hired Eskimos appeared. The girl wanted to escape, but a young man with green eyes, Allan Crawford, spoke to her so softly and respect that she had only to believe: in the port, where they still have to buy something, they will certainly help someone from local to go with Nimi.


White bears met at every step

Allan Crawford and the killed polar bear (left). Camp in the summer (right). Colored slides from the archive in.Stefansson

In East Cape, they bought a leather boat, but none of the locals wanted to swim to the island of Wrangel to extract these crazy skin and sew clothes.

On the way I survived a storm, sea disease, managed to get used to each other. It turned out that Allan loves to joke, Knight – compose stupid poems, and Galle – write everything into a diary. He had three of them three. September 14, 1921, at noon, Crawford first saw the island with a flat coast and leaving in the distance in gray mountains, in some places where the seminal snow – they arrived.

Ada Blackjack alone with white bears

When everything was unloaded, the travelers last went on the ship, to send the emails with him. Crawford wrote Mother: "I do not know if I will come to contact next year, maybe not. Do not miss. I love you all, goodbye, Allan.

The weekdays stretched. The islanders wandered around the district, studied fauna and flora. Built house. Maurer Mastered the door, and Crawford, postponing his meteorological devices, engaged in furniture. Knight made a sleigh for the transport of wood. He was the biggest and noisy and reminded the hell of bears whom she was so afraid. But he knew how to control dogs, lay the path through the ice ridges and – the only one of all – shoot. But good shooter and he was not.

In one of the first days, they took guns and went to get a walrus. The walrus continued to dare, not paying attention to the random shots. Only hell refused to try your hand in hunting. Weapon scarecrow it. But after a week, the team mined her first polar bear. To the horror of hell, these animals met every step. (Why white bears do not live in Antarctica, but penguins – in the Arctic).

Arctic hysteria and green eyes of Allan Crawford

Hell Blackjack and Allan Crawford

She was afraid of bears, terribly for the house, sometimes cried. Men tried to be attentive to her. "We will take care of her," wrote Knight in his diary. But hell behaved more and more strange. Sometimes she worked diligently, sometimes I sat in silence with hours and motionless. In addition, she fell in love with Allan. At first, everyone laughed at her delighted glances and sighs: "What are your beautiful green eyes, Crawford!"She blushed, flutter and was going to marry him. Allan did not know where to go.

Without hell, they were not survived, but the sense of it was becoming less. They have already completed that they will have to take care of clothes for the winter themselves, and they themselves cleaned and stretched the bear skins. And hell at the form of knives thought she would like to kill, – need to escape! And instead of doing the device of life, men had to chase her over her island and listening to all these Bedni. "All this may seem funny," wrote Knight in his diary, "but we are no longer funny. God knows what she can do with him or with one of us. She paid $ 50 a month for the fact that it does not work, eats our food and does the other way around. ".

Sunset on O. Wrangel. Summer 1922. Color slide from the archive in.Stefansson

And adoy owned longing, loneliness and fear. She did not know how it was called, and men did not know. And the name was: Arctic hysteria – the special state of the psyche. The appearance of it is promoted by the cold, darkness, lack of a familiar situation. The victim of the disease is easy to scare, runs away in search of the exit, can commit suicide. Polar night began on November 21. Stayed sixty one day darkness.

But once in the morning of hell I woke up before everyone, the fire was spread, began to cook breakfast. Men who have chopped firewood all day, drove the logs and hunted, still slept. They are tired, they needed to care for them. And hell began to work. She sewed, cooking, soap dishes, cleaned clothes, baked bread. She was cheerful and friendly. It was hard to believe that it could be different.

Merry Christmas is lucky – fell into trapped sands. On the festive table even attended the cake. And after dinner they played poker. The Arctic was again friendly, as Stefansson predicted.

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