Greely Expedition
Jacob Bender
(George Layerzapf)
 Diary
DIARY  OF JACOB BENDER


July 7th 1881

The U.S. Polar Expedition started in the S.S. Proteus from St. Johns, N.F. at 12.30.  Today the
weather is very good, and clear, the following is a list of Officers & men belonging to the Lady
Franklin Bay or Polar Expedition.

Lieut. W. A. Greely 1st Lt. 5th Cav. A. S. Officer and Comander of Expe.

Lt. Kisslingberry 2nd Lt. 11. Inf.  A.S. Offr.

Lt. Lockwood 2nd Lt. 23 Inf. A.S. Offr.

Cross   Genrl. Serv

Israel, Signal Serv

Ralston, Signal Serv

Jewell, Signal Serv

Gardiner, Signal Serv

Brainard, 2end Cav

Lynn, 2end Cav

Starr, 2end Cav

Saler, 2end Cav

Ellisen, 10 Inf.

Bender, 9 Inf

Long, 9th Inf

Whisler, 9th Inf

Biederbeck, 17th Inf

Ellis, 2end Cav

Fredrichs, 2end Cav.

Ryan, 2end Cav

Connell, 3rd Cav

Henry, 5th Cav

Schneider, 1st Art.

Bic, Signal serv.

Leyerzapf
 

joined at Bellenbank

Dr. Pavy, Surgeon

Glay, Signal serv
 
 

joined at Upernavik

Jans Edenrard (Escimo)

Fredrick Christiansen (Escimo)
 
 
 
 

July 8th 1881  wind south   a heavy sea runing all day
nothing of importance occurred during the day.
 

July 9th 1881.  wind south.  a heavy sea, and most of us are seasick.
i am amongst the sick
 

July 10th  1881. wind N.E. the sick list is still increasing
 

July 11th 1881.  wind N.E. weather fair, the sea is smooth as piece of glass and all are well agin,
except Ellis.
 

July 11th  Wind, N.W. nothing of importance occurred today.
 

July 12th Sgt. Jewell and Ralston were detailed to instruckt som of the men, in taking
observations.
 

July 13th 1882 (?)  We past Cap Farewell at 11.30 PM.
 

July 14.  Wind S. weather fair, all well today,  we seen som whal’s during the day.
 

July 15th 1881.  We past through the 1st field of Ice today, at about 3 P.M.  we seen a vessel
making her way to-wart Greenland.
 

July 16th 1882 (?)  Disco Island lt. bg N. had to lay to until 7 P.M. on account of a havy foag  we
entered the harbor of Lievly at 9 30 P.M.
 

July 17th 1881, Sunday  as we have to lay over here for a few day’s.  I will wait with my
description until we leafe.
 

July 19th 1881. 19th and 20th      we loated som stores left here by the U.S. Gullinare last year,
from what i  can see of ;this Greenlanders, gives me the empression that thy have rather a hard
liefe of it, for  Fish and Game are the only thing they have to leife on,  but ---------in all they are
all very easy going, and the best waltzers I have ever seen, espectialy the Escimo ladies who’s feet
are not covered with long hails like our ladies at home, but dressed a la Male in sealskin patolons
and knee boots.  We finished loading and intend on starding as soon as the foag raises.
 

July 21.  We staded for Rittenbenk at 12.30 a.m. where we arrived at 10.30 a.m.  lat 70.  Dr.
Pavy and Glay will join here, we came inet to load theyr propuerty and som dogs, we started for
Upienavik at 11.20 a.m. on 22end July 1881
 

July 23rd  weather cloudy wind N.W.  seen som Ice today.
 

July 24th  lat 72.48 N   Sunday  arrived Upernavik at 5.30 a.m.  a very poor harbor   at 2.30
P.M. one of the howsers broke and the Proteus swung on a rock, no damage was done to the
ship.
 

July 25th laid over at Upernavik       launched the Lady Greely.
 

July 26th Lt. Lockwood starded for Froven in the steam launch  Lt. Kisslingsberry in the
Whalboat went to the loomery for birds he returned at 4.30 P.M. bring 300 Ducks.
 

July 28th  Lt. Lockwood returned from Froven at 12.10 P.M. brining 2 natieves and som clothing
for the Expedition.
 

July 29th  after taking the launch aboard we starded for the north  the inspector of Greenland
accompanied the Expedition for some distance
 

July 30th  lat 73 weather fair but cold  made our way through som Ice  today a Polar Bear killed
by Lt. Lockwood and Kisslingberry.  The crowsnest was fastened on the topmast.
 

July 31st  Kilt a seal today.
 

August 1st 1881.  lat 76.55  Carey Island  we halted here to go ashore and see after som stores
left by the English Expedition    a party was sent ashore they found the stores in good condition.
 

August 2nd.   Lat 78.15 Lielelelton Island  went ashore made a cache of coal and hunted for som
mail belonging to Cpl Nares expedition, whil bringing the coal ashore som walruss was seen close
to the ship and 2 men started after them they fired som shots and the walruss sunk but raised agin
with reinforcement and charging the boat wich loated with coal made its way back to the ship.
The wheel of the Proteus was broken whil entering this place but was repaired agin.
 

August 3rd  Cp Hawkes  wind south west it rained som during the day a partie went ashore to
inspect som stor’s and brought a boat to be taking north.
 

August 4th  Lat 81.36 head of Lady Franklin bay met som very thick Ice, and had to fasten the
ship to it.
 

August 5th   Cp Liever  wind N. W. Lt Greely Lockwood Dr. Pavy and Whistler and myself
went ashore at 8.30 a. m. and returned to the ship at 4.50 P.M.
 

August 6th  We are floating with the Ice, no intication of the Ice breaking up
 
 

August 7.8.9.10.  We had a little snow during the night but cleared up agin we have open water
agin to north.
 

August 11th lat 81.44  we arrieved at discovery harbor at 3.30 P.M. seen one muskox which was
kilt, we have to break the Ice (about 6 foot thick) with ship by budding it,  11 more muskox were
kilt today
 

August 12 we starded to unload the ship 3.30 P.M.
 

August 12.14.15.16th unloading the vessel  Cpl Ellisen Whisler and myself went to work on the
house
 

August 17th  Starr is relieved and will go home, I wish i  could go to.
 

August 18th we pitched tents today and moved ashore.
 

August 19th  The Proteus left at 3.30 a.m.  she made only about one mile when she was stopped
agin by the Ice  we are all working on the house, i am building the chimmneys
 

August 20th  I finished the chimmneys and and started to make som stovepip out of old cans left
by the English
 

August 21st  Byars was relieved today and will go home  we lose a very good men by this
 

August 22nd. 23rd. 24th. 25th I workt on the shop making a lamp for Dr. Pavy.
 

August 26th  I workt in the shop today  Lt. Kisslingsberry requested to be relieved from the
Expedition reason he had some word with Lt. Greely about getting up.
 

August 27th  Kisslingsberry was relieved and intended to go to the ship but she starded out of the
harbor.  Dr. Pavy and Rice starded overland to Lincoln bay  Lynn and Ralston will stard with
them and place some provisions near St. Patricks Bay.
 

August 28th  I workt in the shop during this day’s doing the Blacksmith work.
 

August 29th  Lt. Lockwood Brainard and Cross started for St. Patrick’s bay and returned at
11.30 P.M. Lt. Lockwood had his toes frost bitten
 

August 30th  we pulled the whalboat over the Ice to dutch ---- and launched her, for to take
some provisions north
 

August 31st  Sgt Brainard Jewell Cross Saler and Connell starded for Cp Beachy or as fare north
as they can search in the Boat
 

Sept 1st to Sept 6th I workt in the shop
 

Sept 7th and 8th  Lt. Greely Lt. Kisslingberry Brainard and Ralston went to the Belloms they kilt
10 muskoxen, and 10 Ider ducks
 

Sept. 9th  Dr Pavy returned at 3.30 a.m. he left Rice sick at Lt. Patricks bay  Sgt Brainard
starded out with som medicen  Cross Connell Fredricks and myself starded with a sledge to bring
Rice in.  we had to carry him for about 3 miles when I was sent in for som more men.
 

Sept. 10th  I workt in the shop.  Rice is very sick
 

Sept 11. 12. 13th  I workt in the shop   Rice is about agin.
 

Sept 14th 15th  there is the usial work going on here.
 

September 16th 1881.  Lt. Greely Brainard Connell and myself starded for the U. L. mountains
by way of North Valley  Connell was detailed at first to go only a few mils but Lt. Greely after
going about 6 mils complained of having a sore knee and returned to the station.  Connell was
very badly fitted with clothing but had to go on.  We traveled about 15 mils over rocks and steep
mountains stopped to cook some tea at 7:30.  after tea we traveled about 4 mils were we
encamped for the night, but a horrors, the worst was to come jet, we had only a two man sleeping
bage and there were 3 of us, although we overcame this obstakle in the way of laying head and
tail, and even if we had mor room in this way we had the disadvantage of chewing each others
feet of wich your humble servant got the worst having two mens feet close to my head.
 

Sept 17th 1881  I being the cook mad breakfast, consisting of tea Femican limjuice and
hardbread at 7:30 a.m.   we starded 8.10 followed along the Conan for about 4 mils, left Conan
at 11.40 am ascending a mountain struck glacier at 12.10 P.M. followed along for about 5 mils,
when we had to stopp on account of a snow sturm setting in. went into camp at 3:40 P.M.
cooked tea and turned in, the temberture was very low registering

 -3.00  Connell having poor clothing complained during the night of som pain in his hips.
 

Sept 18. 1881.  mad breakfast at 5.00. a.m. and as it continued snowing and we were not able to
see, Sgt Brainard concluded for return to the station  we left cemp at 7. a,m, and arrieved home at
10 P.M. making about 28 or 29 mils  this night was the first that the lamps was lighted for the first
time.
 

September 19th 1881.  Brainard Connell and myself had a lay off today, I am feeling rather sore
today.
 

Sept 22end At 12, m today the Carpender shop burned down, I workt till 9 P.M. putting the Ice
tank in the kitchen used for to meld Ice.  The tank pipe I workt in the shop, the rest of the men
doing the usial work.
 

Sept 26st 1881  I am room orderly today Lt. Lockwood with 5 men starded for Cap Beachy
with som provisions to be left there till next spring.
 

Sept 27th 1881,  Rice and Jans (Escimo) with dogesledge starded for Cp Beachy with a load of
Femican, Brainard and Jewell went to Cp Liever they som difficulty in getting back on accoundt
of the breaking of the Ice, Lt. Kisslingsberry shot the first Arctic wolf seen by this Expedition the
Wolf is about the length and hight of a NewFandland dog.
 

Sept 28th  Sgt Rice returned about 1. P.M. from Cp. Beachy  Lt Lockwood and partie returned
from the sam place at 6.30 P.M.
 

Sept 29th 1881, Pvt Ellis and Biederbeck are walking very stiff today
 

Sept 30th 1881.  I workt in the shop today the rest of the men doing the usial work round the
house
 

October 1st  A snow storm set in during the day it is burning cold now.
 

October 2 end 1881.  Sunday all well at Ft Conger  Dr Pavy Whisler and Jans (Escimo) with
dogsledge starded north trying to reach Cp. Henry.
 

October 3rd 1881.  Lt. Lockwood, Sgt Lynn, Saler and Henry starded for St. Patricksbay with a
handsledge,  Lockwood (invention) and dasy it is if men don’t care what he says, a fishing partie
consisting of Brainard Rice Schneider and Biederbeck starded for Muskox. Bay they returned
with out fish
 

October 4th  I workt in the shop, Rice and Biederbeck brought in a poisoned wolf.
 

October 5th  Brainard Rice myself with hudsen bay sledge starded for the Bellows to bring the
mead kilt by Lt Greely’s partie to the Ice foot, we arrived at the Bellows 7.30 P.M. were we
campt that night in the tent.
 

October 6th  the temperture fell to -25 during the night cooked breakfeast a 7 a.m. wend to work
at 7.30 workt all day turned in 8 P.M.
 

October 7  got up at 6 a.m. had somthing to ead hold down the balance of the mead, Rice
ecposed his cameran to take a picture  starded for hom at 11. P.M. met Beiderbeck at Muskox
bay arrieved at the station in tim for diner.

Oct. 8th.  Brainard Rice and myself had a to day to our selfs.  The rest of the men are doing the usial work at the station.

October 9th  Sunday Lt. Greely read a sermon at 10 a.m.  Long our cook is unwell and your humble servand Jac. B. had to take his plase.  Dr Pavy and partie returned at 6:30 P.M. they reached lincoln Bay and returned on accound of open water they met there.

October 10.  Lt. Lockwood and Sgt Jewell starded for Cp Liever a snow storm set in before they returned and we were uneasey about them.  A partie starded out from here with signal lanterns, they returned at 10.30 p.m. having met Lt. Lockwood and Jewell not far from the station.

October 11.  Sgt. Lynn with two Dog Teams and Fredrick and Jans (Escimo) starded for the Bellows to bring in the muskox meat.

Oct 12.  Lt Lockwood Ellis and myself, with a hudsonbay sledge and about 350 lbs of raitions starded for Cp Liever, after passing Dutch island lt. Lockwood returned to the station for a nother men and a sledge.  Ellis and myself starded ahead after leafing about 100 lbs at Dutch island. Lt. Lockwood caught up with us about 3.30 p.m. The road so far has bin very bad, the Ice broken up into hunocks wich made it rather disagreeable traveling the sled upsetting every few jards, we wend into Camp on a level flow at 4:30 p.m. I helped to pitch the tend after wirk.  I cooked our sober, consisting of Canned Beans, Corn beef Chocolate and hard Bread, Lt. Lockwood had his feet frost bitten, and thawed them up over the cooking lamp.

October 13  I cooked breakfast at 7.30 am, we reached Cp Bairel at 11.30 a.m. where we made the cache and retured, The tempeture was very low and we had our noses frozen several tims.  we past our old camp about 5.30 P.M., and arieved at the staition at 11. PM tired and hungry.

October 14  Lt. Lockwood and partie had a lay off today.  I am all busted up in biusiniss.  Lt. Lockwood is not around today he had his feet and nose badly frozen The temperture being 28 whil we were out.

October 15  I work in the shop today making more stove pipe.  Long is sick jet, at 11. a.m. we saw the last of the sun for this jear and the long and drary winter night is approaching fast.

October 16th  Sunday  lt. Greely read a sermon at 10.30 a.m.   Rum at 8.30 P.M.

October 17  I worked in the shop.  The rest of the men are doing the usial work at the station, the temperature is falling still.

October 18th  Sgt Lynn, Biederbeck and Henry starded to the Coalmin about 7 mils from here by the ice.  They mined about 5 tons of coal and returned at 4. P.M.  The temperture fell during the Night to - 30 8/10 degrees

October 19th 1881  Rice and Jans Escimo with dogesledge starded for Cp Murchesson via the Coalmin to bring a load form there to Cp Murchesson, they returned about 8.15 P.M.

Oct 20.  Connell and Fredricks (Escimow) starded for Cp Murchesson with a load of Coal they returned about 9 P.M.

October 21 to 23rd  nothing accured worth mentioning, the usial work done.

October 23RD  Sunday lt. Greely read a sermon for thos that are traveling  lt. Lockwood Brainard and Fredricks (Ecimo) starded for Cp. Beachy with on doge sledge to build a snowe house  temperature 15.3 during the day  rum at 8.30 P.M.

October 24th  Whisler and Jans (Escimo) with doge sledge starded for Cp. Murchesson with a load of Coal, they retured at 9.30 p.m.  I am going in the kitche today as 2end cook.

October 26th  lt. Lockwood and partie returned today, they build a snow house and cashed the provisions in it.

 Oct. 27  I am sick today Dr Pavy ordered me to bed about 11 a.m.  the rest of the men are building an icewall round the House.

October 28th, 29th, 30th sick, prayers at 10 am, rum at 8.30 p.m.

October 31st  I was relieved from the Kitchen today and wend to work in the shop, I am still sick.

November 1st 1881  lt. Lockwood Sgt Brainard Lynn Saler Biederbeck Ellis Fredricks and Connell preparing to stard for Cp Beachy  they pulled theye load to distand Cape and returned.

November 2nd  Lt. Lockwood and partie made theyr final stard for Cp Beachy, lt. Lockwood is trying to cross the Chanel and make som caches along the Greenland shore.

Nov. 3.  The usial work is going on at Ft Conger.

November 4th 1881.  Dr Pavy Lt Kisslingberry Rice with dog team starded for Wrangle bay to bring som rations there.

November 5th 1881    (not legible)

Nov 9th  Lt Lockwoods partie had a hard tim of it getting wet  Brickbeck had his foot badly frozen, and som more ( ??)  frosted.  Lt Kisslingsberry  Dr Pavy  Rice and Jans (Escimo) returned at 3.30 P.M. from Wrangle Bay  The sick are in the care of Dr Pavy

Nov 10th  about 10 a m Saler whil filling a gasoline lamp set it on fire but we managed to extinguish it before any damage was done.  About 4 P.M. Ellisen whil filling a gasoline lamp in the carpender shop the lamp exploted and set the shop and Ellisen both on fire  The fire in the shop was after considerable work pestored, but poor Ellisen is badly burned round the head and hands.

Nov 19th  Genral scrapping of Quarters accompanied by the usial amound of Crowling. X  X  X  X  X  X

Nov 20th  Sunday  lt Greely read a sermon at 10 a.m.   rum at 8.30 p.m.

Nov 21st  working in the shop making lanterns for the Observers.

Nov. 22nd  making the lanterns,  and I had to use a saw file to cutt the glas for the lanterns.

Nov. 23rd  The arctic moon our newspaper made his first appearance today.

Nov 24th  Thanksgiefings day lt Greely read a sermon at 10 a.m. followed after wich we had some sport and an excellend diner

Nov 30th   Gardiner whil going to the tide gauge fell and broke his legge.

Dec 1st   5 men are on the sick list today, this is rather a poor businiss for us as we resided here.

Dec. 5th  We had an Eclippse of the moon at 11.30 am

Dec 15th  Jans Escimo intended to comit suciede ala Escimo by wandering of .  a pardy starded out after him  They found him about 8 miles from here, Rice fell and had his shoulder broken and Whisler returning with Rice coming nearly freezing to death, by not having enough clothing on . De Fang brought Whisler in on the doge sledge.

Dec 24th  We have bin working all day on the quarters fixing them up for Christmas

Dec 25th  lt Greely read a sermon at 10 a.m. after wich we had some sport an excellent diner at 4 P.M.  I received a very nice presend send by Lissie A Garther of New York, The usual rum at 8.30 p.m.

Dec. 26th 28th to 31st  The usial work done by the men of the Expedition

Jan 1st 1882  lt. Greely read a sermon at 10 a.m. in the evening we had lots of sport  The usual amound of rum at 8.30 p.m.

January 2nd to the 9th  The usial work done at Ft. Conger

January the 9th  I am assined in to cook of wich work I know very litle.

January 16th 1882 up to this day nothing accured worth mentioning about 11 a.m. a great wind storm set in blowing at the time over 65 mils at wich point the Anamometer was blowin away and we had to put up a new one, the observations had to be dispensed with for one hour during wich tim snow accompanied the wind.

January 17th to 31st  I was in the Kitchen the rest of the men doing the usial work.

February the 1st 1882  I was relieved out of the Kitchen today to work in the shop making cooking lamps for our spring work  The temperature fell to -81 degrees at 10 a.m.
 
Feb 2end  I work in the shop today  The usial work done during the day the temperture fell to - 58 at 9 p.m.

Feb 3rd  The same work going on  Fredricks making canfass shoes   The carpenders making hudsonbay sletges all for our spring work.

Feb.4th to the 14th  nothing accured worth mentioning at the station the usial work done

Feb 15th 16th 1882  Jans (Escimo) wend out hunting and brought in a hare the first kilt by the Expedition, Fredricks Ecimo brought in another hare.

Feb 17th 1882  The backing lamp made and designed by me, were tried today they melted 5 lbs of ice and boiled the water obtained all in 25 minutes consuming four ounces of alcohol.

Feb 18th 1882  One of our (Escimos) brought in a hare today.

Feb 19th 1882  lt. Lockwood, Brainard, and Fredricks (Escimo) with dogesletge  and team started for Cp Beachy at 9.30 a.m.  lt Greely read a sermon at 10 a.m. , praying for those are travling.

Feb 20th  I workt in the shop today at 12.30 a.m. I workt in the observatory building a stove out of stone.  Rice and Whisler wend to Watercoursebay hunding.  They returned at 3.30 p.m. with out any game.

Feb. 22nd The day opened bright temperture  -45 at 10.45 a.m.  Today being a National we had a holyday and no work was done, on place of wich we had lots of sport  lt. Lockwood and Brainard and Fredricks returned from Cp Beachy
Feb 23rd  Lynn Connell and Biederbeck wend to the Coalmine to get out som coal.  I was to go at first but Dr Pavy would not let me go.

Feb 24th

  (To be continued)

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