Greely Expedition
David Columbus Ralston Collection
DIary of Sgt. David Ralston
August 10, 1883 - January 27, 1884
Contributed by: Beverly S. Adam
Homeward Bound.

August 10, 1883-
 Abandoned station the 9th - under way at 2 P.M. - 2 boats towed by launch -Tried to leave by western entrance all afternoon and night getting through entrance nipped and the launch nearly lost, early this A. M.  ice set in so that the two boats unloaded and hauled on ice - all but the watch turned in the bags for a sleep - roused up at 8 A.M. as the ebb-tide had cleared the way giving us a clean run from Sun Bay to Cape Band where we arrived at 1:55 P.M.  A distribution of men and boats made on our arrival as follows - The English in boat found at Thank God Harbor, Connell, Capt., myself one of the crew; The English boat brought from Cape Hawkes, - Brainard, Capt; Our own whale boat, - Rice, Capt; A meal at 5 P. M. when we turned in for a sleep, Connell, Esk, Frederick and I in one bag -  a lead on this side from shore out about 2 miles wide - Left Baird colors flying 11:15 P.M. 10th.

August 11, 1883-
 Stopped by in a little south of Leiber at 2 A.M. - pushed boats through an opening in ice fort and behind a steep and under way at 8:30 A. M.   snowing early A. M.   soon stopping breakfast cold coffee and corned beef - took a box of corned beef from cache north of Cracroft at 10: A. M.  reached Cracroft 11 A. M. - Lunch ashore 4 P. M. N of Carl Ritter Bay - dense fog, plenty of water as far as we can see - 9 P. M. heavy fog yet - turned around once in it - Haven’t found Carl Ritter Bay yet - Forced in by ice about 4 miles N of Carl Ritter Bay at 11:30 P. M. boats safely sheltered - nothing but solid ice south - ice running north rapidly on rising tide -

August 12, 1883-
 9 A.M. under way - pulled in at 4:30 for coffee - fighting on all day no unloading - snowing all day -  All last winter’s ice we are meeting - channel full of ice from shore to shore with occasional leads constantly opening and closing - At 8 P. M. routed out by watch from bags - open water along shore - reached Carl Ritter Bay and took on cache left as we came up -  Under way again at 10 P. M. 48 m, running across bay from cache - slowed down but once -

August 13, 1883-
 1 A.M. snow ended - a clear run since leaving Carl Ritter Bay - I am at the helm - we have made about 10 miles south of bay in clear of shore as far ahead as we can see - a short time ago passed an indentation in coast that we named rum bay as there was an issue of rum while crossing it.  4 A.M. I and Ellison on watch over boats - our open water played out at 1:45 A.M. when we met a solid pack apparently no movement - everybody sleeping ashore - snowing again - 7 A. M. breakfast which I eat and immediately turned in again - soon routed out and under way - made about half mile and are now at 2 P.M. well up and are sheltering ourselves the best we know how among the rocks from a heavy snow storm - we are now between 12 and 15 miles below Carl Ritter Bay.  Pulled in shore after inching along for several hours in a heavy snow storm - at 7 P.M. an outlook from the hill reports all progress barred by solid ice - hauled up and unloaded everything to dry - snow storm ended about 6:30 P.M. - will lay here till pack opens.  A seal shot just before landing by Lt. K - had it for supper - splendid eating - on watch from 10 to 12 P. M.

August 14, 1883-
 Breakfast at 8 A.M. - clearing up slowly - 10 A.M. on watch till 12 - Myself, Jewell, Israel, Gardiner, Rice and Connell are Captains of the watch 2 hours at a time - A solid pack from shore to shore moving slowly S - I shot a knot this morning - Lt. K and Long hunting - no game or tracks seen - From an observation taken at noon our position is placed at 80 degrees 44 minutes N. just 1 degree we have made S - 10 P. M. on watch - ice still packed moving south - wind shifted from N to S.W. 9:30 P.M. - on watch again at 10 P.M. - ice moving slowly N.

August 15, 1883-
 Breakfast, 8 A.M. - wind during night shifted back to N.E. and minimum temperature 21.0 degrees - young ice formed along shore - on watch 10 A.M. - 10:30 A.M. all hands moving launch ahead with poles along shore - pack behind setting in on shore - ice solid to the S. give up the attempt of getting any farther with launch at 2:55 P.M. - Steaming all the time and moved here only about 400 yards after which we moved our boats out alongside of a grounded berg by unloading and hauling them apart of the way across the ice.

August 16, 1883-
 Same position - ice solid moving S slowly to NE. gale prevailing -

August 17, 1883-
 On watch from 1 to 3 A.M. - Received from Lt. Lockwood this morning his promissory note for $ 64 25/100, his share of the reward for beating the English highest north - on watch from 1 to 3 A.M. - old ice from the opposite (illegible).  Went on hill this afternoon - the east side of channel is entirely clear of ice - A change of wind to the S. W. would help us out of our box - we are in behind grounded bergs and are liable to freeze in - we are inside the movement of the pack-

August 18, 1883-
 3 P.M. off watch - heavy snow storm and S. E. wind brisk - pack going N rapidly - 3 men just called from boats with axe and poles, I suppose to get steam launch in open water - boats fastened to 1 berg and launch to another about 75 yards apart. Open water as far as we can see in storm about ½ mile S along coast - protecting ourselves from snow by covering the boats with sails - The moving of the launch a failure -  An immense berg at the stern of our boats split causing great excitement and routing all hands out - no damage done - I heard it splitting this A.M. low tide and routed the men out on a false alarm - I thought she was going - 8:45 P.M. undertook the job of getting launch and boats out to open water - succeeded and under full steam with boats in tow headed south reaching without a stop within 10 miles of Cape Lawrence at 3:40 A.M. 19th when we met the solid pack again and camped for breakfast and sleep behind an opening in foot ice -  The Commanding Officer met with an accident on the run - fell overboard off the launch-

August 19, 1883-
 Breakfast 8 A.M. on English potatoes and polaris pemmican - under way again at 10 A.M. a S.N. wind opening ice along shore - a short run when we entered a blind lead necessitating forcing our way through the loose ice to shore - almost gave it up as a failure as the engine of launch partly broke down - finally reached shore at 12:45 P.M.  -  The ice is all slush - has been terribly ground up and now (2 P.M.) is running N at the rate of 4 miles an hour - fine weather - Brainard and the Doctor afoot to Cape Lawrence for a look at 7:30 P.M.

August 20, 1883-
 Pulled out at 5 A.M., picking Brainard and party up on the way - he says Rawlings Bay full of ice and brisk S.W. wind driving ice off shore - Rounded Cape Lawrence and landed inside Rawlings Bay at 11 A.M. - an open water run all morning - waiting now for a turn of the tide, hoping it will open a way for us across bay - The Valorous hauled on beach for repairs, leaking badly - Frederick “Esk” hunting - now for a sleep on shore - 8:30 P.M. under way headed across bay - passage looks favorable although full of loose ice - would have started sooner, but launch grounded - had to wait for rising tide - Crossed the bay 2 hours, 10 Min., skirting along the inner side of immense floe bergs - young ice so thick at times almost stopping the launch -

August 21, 1883-
 Landed N of Cape Wilkes 12:20 A.M. on account of thick fog and running ice - 8 A. M. breakfast over and waiting for an opening in a rising tide and ice running S. rapidly - at 9:40 A.M. pulled out - made about 500 yards when the pack set down on us making lively work - our boats were pressed against the foot ice and nearly crushed - threw our loads on shore and finally succeeded in making all safe - from the time of starting till the effort ended was only 50 minutes - it seemed an age as we expected every moment to see all the boats crushed, the launch included - We tried to make the point of Cape Wilkes when we started - before starting it was seen and remarked by all the men that the ice was setting hard on the point and jamming on shore - Loaded up again and run inside Richardson Bay - 1:30 P.M. and laid to for an opening across - Rice had the misfortune to get wet to his waist twice during our nip - we call him our water fowl as he gets in very often - a strong S. W. breeze blowing ice out of Bay.  Waiting but a short time gave us an opening -   I turned in for a sleep while crossing - camped for the night on S side Richardson Bay -

August 22, 1883-
 Lifted English of rations (240) this morning at Cape Collinson run about a mile and stopped for breakfast and to repair launch - run her against a berg full speed and blew out a steam-cock - we were on the N side of Joiner Bay when accident to launch happened - repaired by the time we finished breakfast and resumed our serpentine way reaching Cape McClintock at 8:55 A.M. - the weather so thick and ice jammed on point of cape we fastened to in port waiting for it to clear up.  Snowed all night long, ending and turning to a light rain at 8:30 A.M. - We are now south of 80 degrees and if it only clears up and will still hold southerly we will be able to get in a good run as the ice is being drawn off this shore.  2:35 under way again - soon rounded Cape McClintock - a view from the hill inside Cape shows a fine lead across Scoresby Bay - Pipe of pump broken - some time to fix it before getting under way - rain has stopped and Cape Norton Shaw can be seen - Crossed the bay without any trouble - now a short distance beyond Cape Shaw when the ice set in and ran into ice fort 6:20 P.M. - beginning at N side of Rawlings Bay we have been continually passing large icebergs - a large number in entrance of Rawlings Bay-

August 23, 1883-
 We were barely allowed time to finish our breakfast when we pulled out and pulled about 500 yards when we were brought to a full stop again by packed ice - laid to and filled our kegs with fresh water - ice set in shore forcing us to seek shelter in openings of ice foot - sun shining brightly - all clothing and bags spread on beach to dry- 3 P.M. an opening showed up which we immediately took advantage of say but a short distance when we found ourselves beset - landed on a small floe, cooked our afternoon meal and turned into the bags, all but the watch - 11 P.M. am on watch - we are still beset, ice moving slowly S on the rising tide - we are about ¼ mile from shore and about 200 yards south of a large berg -

August 24, 1883-
 At 6 A.M. ice opened sufficiently to allow us to reach shore at 6:20 A.M. when we tied up for breakfast -our big berg grounded allowing the ice to loosen on our side - we must be on the meeting of the N and S tide - this morning the ice has a slow movement to the S on an ebb tide - Ice pressed the boats close to ice foot - Launch and ice-boat cut loose and drifted with the pack - ice drifting around point of Cape John Barrow - ran in between a split iceberg that is grounded on beach, launch laying alongside of berg just inside of line of drift - rising tide and ice running rapidly south - current very changeable at this point - we made our harbor at 10:30 A.M. - raining and snowing - the whale boat and Valorous are about 300 yards N of us all right - at 3:30 P.M. the boats all together and safely tied up behind an iceberg grounded on S side Cape Barrow.

August 25, 1883-
 Snowed heavily during last night, ending early this A.M. started at 4:40 A.M. steaming and pulling into Gould Bay at 7:10 A.M. when we couldn’t pull any further and pulled to shore for breakfast - weather thick, foggy, sun shining at times - 10 A.M. inching along a few hundred yards farther and now tied to a small flow berg - Beiderbeck quite sick - Jake unwell - Rice fell overboard opposite Cape Frazier -a change of clothing and he is all right again - Esk Fred shot a small seal - number of the men drank some of the blood - disagreed with some of them - Doctor tried to get me to drink some but I couldn’t go it-  An observation at noon places us 79 degrees 45 minutes N, 15 miles N of Cape Hawke’s latitude - Israel puts us N of Frazier yet, so we are not in Gould Bay - ½ past 3 P.M. our floe started N - cast loose and sheltered behind grounded bergs - closer to shore open water approaching us rapidly - expect to get under way inside 2 hours - Maury Bay is where we are now without doubt.  5:45 P.M. open water reached us at last, apparently lots of it-

August 26, 1883
 4:15 A.M. we arrived here, inside Cape Louis Napoleon - pretty good run, occasional stoppage on account of ice -weather very thick and foggy, snowing at times - we are now tied inside of Dobbin Bay waiting for clear weather to get a view across - bear tracks seen along foot ice and black and white fox run past us also a wolf.  Under way across Dobbin Bay at 9:50 A.M. through a dense fog and floating mass of ice - coal nearly all gone - but one sack left - if we set stuck in the ice we are out of luck - No view of the ice has been had across the bay before starting  Washington Irving Island has I think been seen but once and that just before arriving inside of the N side of bay.  1:50 P.M. have just reached Cape Hawkes - Rice gone to Troney Island to examine cairn and the men are hunting for English Cache - we ran a long way up the bay looking for a way, and had to retrace and head straight across from Cape to Cape.  Shorty says that he can run the launch 40 miles farther if they don’t buck ice with her - 4:20 P.M. everything ready for a start - The English cache taken up, 4 bags hard bread, 7 boxes sterine 75 lbs. Each, and 12 cans potatoes - Rice back from island cairn not disturbed - saw to Sabine apparently clear of ice along shore - no ship - something must be rotten - under way again 4:25 P.M.

August 27, 1883-
 2 P.M. - just off watch - I turned in for a sleep shortly after starting last night and was suddenly awakened by the sound of hauling boats up on a small floe after Hawkes course was taken direct for Sabine which run us a long ways off from shore - we stopped by the pack and hauled up at 10 P.M. last night - It is now thick and foggy - Israel makes us, at noon, 79 degrees - 22 minutes N and 73 degrees 05 minutes W - young ice forming rapidly - temperature fell to 18 degrees last night - it is now 29 degrees - I have caught up in sleep at last but will turn in again for another snooze - the Commanding Officer made a few remarks to the men this morning giving his reasons for running into the pack - our drift since tieing up has been N - a tripod erected to be used as a lookout -

August 28, 1883-
 Temperature last night down to 13 degrees - a clear day - ice increasing in thickness drifting in shore - song and dance on ice after super -

August 29, 1883-
 Cloudy - Gone S.W. a little today - a game of whist -

August 30, 1883-
 Position N and S unchanged - gone further out in the channel - temperature down to 11.8 this morning - took act. of rations on hand - have about 54 days rations - Began the burning of sterine for cooking this eve, the alcohol saving for colder weather and sledging -

August 31, 1883-
 A light snow storm with Northerly winds - the mid-day observation yesterday showed that we had went south 1.4 mile in 2 days - our sails spread over the boats to protect us from the snow - our longitude yesterday 73 degrees 40 minutes - snow ended during the afternoon -

Sept 1, 1883-
Walrus or norwhal heard blowing close to our piece of ice - sighting for change of position is getting tiresome, the movement is so small, apparently S.E.  Esk Fred shot a small seal - got a drink of rum for it - he says he is going on a drunk for he is after another one - The liver and heart was given to me as a days ration - symptoms of scurvy I am afraid as my mouth is and has been sore for some time - I was put on lime-juice lasr night - Latitude today, 79 degrees 19 minutes - Two large ice-bergs have been chasing us since being here getting closer every day - They made their influence felt upon our position at last, for at 2:30 P.M. the loose ice suddenly closed up in our rear lifting the launch almost out of the water - our small boats we pulled up on the floe every thing then 4 P.M. apparently sound - The ice going rapidly south - launch almost dry high up her (illegible) 6 P.M. ice loosened (illegible) launch to take her natural position - On watch from 4 to 6 A.M. and 8 to 10 P.M. - Jens killed a seal shortly after I came off last watch, making 4 seals so far, all small ones making only a full meal for us all, that is one -

Sept 3, 1883-
 Yesterday thick, very foggy - near midnight last night our small floe growing smaller and an opening presenting itself we moved a short distance west to another of larger size but the same kind of ice (illegible)  Latitude today at noon 79 degrees 15 minutes 6 seconds - Whistlers time out today - took on for 5 years more - A council held this P.M. - decided I believe to wait for a few days longer before making a thorough attempt to reach shore - in the mean time a sled or two will be made out of the lining of launch and tents out of the sails of the boat -

Sept. 4, 1883-
 4:40 P.M. Jens has just shot and secured another small seal.  The vampires are turning out for a drink of blood - a small sled made this morning, dog sled pattern - work begun on a tent for 16 men - covering to be made for the ice boat for the other 9 - snowing nearly all day - boat sails used for tent - 9 P.M. a lead opening around the floe southward we pulled the launch until she made steam when the lead played out and ice closing in we hauled the boats up on a piece of old ice, put on a watch and turned in - we made good towards home about one mile -

Sept. 5, 1883-
 An observation today at noon places us  79 degrees 08 minutes 6 seconds, a change of 7 miles to the S in 2 days - The launch nipped this morning alongside of our floe - raised herself nicely -

Sept. 6, 1883-
 Snowing at intervals - at noon, Latitude, 79 degrees 6.7 minutes - Another small seal killed by Long in the afternoon - brisk northerly winds driving us rapidly south - Connell, Esk, Fred and I occupy one bag - so rotten that we repaired it today by sowing on piece of sail top and bottom - An issue of rum after supper -

Sept. 7, 1883-
 A strong northerly wind sent us down south quite rapidly - at noon our latitude was 79 degrees 00.6 minutes - 8 P.M. Cook this evening - At this hour temperature 9.2, a fall of 10 degrees since 7 P.M. - Wind has abated and is now from the S - ice looks solid all around us - The whale boat and (illegible) boat under one covering -

Sept 8, 1883-
 Temperature down to zero at 1:30 A.M.  Working on sleds, talking about starting across for shore tomorrow - 7 shots put into a walrus without effect last night - no change in our position since the storm - ice packed solid and all pools frozen over - issue of rum, ½ gill -

Sept. 9, 1883-
 Snowing all day and sleds all loaded - Three English 12 man and 2 that we made here out of boards from launch - Another council called and decided to move tomorrow if weather clear enough - Steam launch made fast to the floe and blowed off this evening. One of the (illegible) by the Commanding Officer -

Sept. 10, 1883
 10 A.M. - Still snowing heavily - can’t see the shore - Ordered to stay in bags and will start as soon as it clears - The final start made at 2 P.M. - Steam launch and walrus abandoned - colors flying from both - moved a mile in three trips taking two boats, whale and ice boat and all our staff camping at 7:05 P.M.

Sept. 11, 1883-
 Still snowing - under way at 8:40 A.M. - Yesterday on starting I was placed in command of one of the new sleds and picked my team, six including myself - After picking my crew the command taken away and given to Lt. Kisling - bury for which I was glad as it broke down soon after but was repaired in time for a second load - Jewell and three men with the other one his career short as it also broke down and was abandoned - We went into camp this eve at 3 P.M. - Brainard and the Doctor walked ahead about 2 miles to take a look from a large berg - on their return reported that they heard three barks of a dog towards Cape Camperdown and new ice -

Sept. 12, 1883-
 Party sent out to look our floe over - On their return a council held and a start made at once - The whale boat left and all staff  moved in two loads made about ½ mile-

Sept. 13, 1883-
 Moved our stuff in three trips today about 2 miles - heavy snow and rough rubble - broke through once - a watch put on for bears last night to be kept up all hands stand it - Latitude at noon, 78 degrees 56.9 minutes -

Sept. 14, 1883-
 Pulled out after breakfast with the intention of moving our stuff in two loads - it would have been done but they lkoaded the small sled too heavy on the last load partly breaking it down requiring us to make two trips - Lieut. Kislingbury sent Henry ahead after the large sled (illegible) - In the meantime a heavy S. W. gale sprang up - when we arrived at camp we were told that we were drifting N.E. rapidly which did not surprise us as wee could hear the ice outside us moving all day - Our course today was parallel with the shore instead of towards it as I think it should have been - made about 3 miles - Israel says our camp before drifting was either 78 degrees 54.8 minutes (illegible) - I have a pain in my side from today’s work -

 Sept. 15, 1883-
 The heavy S.W. gale still continuing (12 noon) - have went N rapidly - Israel from observation reports 79 degrees 18 minutes, five days work for nothing and short our two boats - we are also away out in the channel several miles -

Sept. 16, 1883-
 At noon our position is 79 degrees 00.7 minutes, directly N of Littleton Island - sun shining brightly, drying foot gear and bags - another council held - decided to wait a few days to see which way we are going to drift - an account of stock says 40 days full rations - everybody growling because we did not pull direct for shore -

Sept. 17. 1883-
 Whisler’s birthday, sugar in his coffee - after we all turned in last night the two (2) Esks. went out and shot a small seal each - we are talking of moving at noon - if we do we will have to pull over the same ground again as the pack, since we have laid here, has made a half mile and our old road leads directly to Sabine - it is about 10 miles to the nearest land N of Sabine a few points - An estimate of weights made this morning call for 2737 pounds outside our rations - Latitude at 8 A.M. 78 degrees 56.5 minutes - Pulled out at 1:10 P.M.,  in the meantime our floe spinning around opposite to the hands of a watch -

Sept. 18, 1883-
 Off again at 8 A.M. soon reaching open water - 12 noon Latitude 78 degrees 50.3 minutes - hard work - lots of small lanes of open water - The ice-boat in use to ferry us from floe to floe - do it in three (3) trips drifting further from the shore all the time - ice running north now - 1 P.M. are trying to make a large floe of ice, the first old ice we have had an opportunity to reach - 2 boat loads over now nearly - saw 3 walruses - ice now drifting in shore - At 4 P.M. a desperate attempt made to reach an old piece of ice.  The English sled loaded with sleeping gear and rations pulled out over grinding ice and ice of this year’s formation which was safely reached with only one mishap, Rice falling in to his neck - The rest of the stuff and boat brought across in 2 more trips - a supper then after which we pulled to the shore side of the floe distance about 3 miles from shore - ice fort plainly to be seen - camped at 9 P.M.

Sept. 19, 1883-
 A southerly gale has driven us away out in the channel.  At 5 P.M. (illegible) miles east of Sabine - gale subsiding about 6 P.M.- A council called after supper - all opposed to moving but the Commanding Officer who wishes to move tomorrow - open water all around the floe -

Sept. 20, 1883-
 A heavy fog shuts out our view - waiting for something to turn up - we are entirely out of salt and have been for some time - use salt water for cooking our stews - Jewell’s birthday - a hard seal shot this P.M., weight about 300 pounds - high N and N.W. wind (illegible) foggy - Cooking supper in the tepee with sterine  Choked Bender out - changed places with Connell in our bag.

Sept. 21, 1883-
 Snowed all last night and today - The whale boat crew built an ice house and moved into it this eve - The first fresh meat gave me the colic - A diet of canned beef ordered for supper and breakfast - Connell the same - Connell very bad - changed places with Salor in bag - Salor going in tepee - 3 small seal killed today - men working on foot gear, sowing canvass legging on the bottoms of their leather boots - I have nothing but a pair of leather tops which I will try and make soles of - I was placed in command of the ice-boat this P.M.

Sept. 22, 1883-
 All excitement at about 11 A.M., the whale boat seen drifting by and an effort made to recover it but was unable to reach the floe it was on on account of slush ice that would not bear a man or allow the ice-boat to be forced through - Salor, Snyder and myself on light diet: - diarrhoea - I am better and the others improving - getting colder, 8 degrees at 5:30 P.M.

Sept. 23, 1883-
 In the bags all day - strong N.E. wind with snow.

Sept 24, 1883-
 The nearest land is about 5 miles, distinct at 9 A.M.  We are on the meridian of Brevoort Island - Latitude, 78 degrees 50’-8- Ice boat used this morning for an observation - Towards shore a hasty retreat made on account of loose moving ice - Tea ration cut down to half teaspoonful per man - living on seal now - enough yet for 3 days - went to bed hungry tonight at 4:30 P.M.  Latitude 78 degrees 49, and closer to shore than we have been yet -

Sept. 25, 1883 -
 Temperature, 11.5 -  N.E. gale blowing hard all day driving us in towards shore and packing and piling the ice at a terrible rate between us and shore - at 12:15 P.M. the pressure split the floe we are on leaving us only a small piece about an acre and furthermost part of the floe - several men suffering with diarrhoea - Connell quite bad - I go on watch from 6 to 8 P.M.  We are new about 3 miles N.E. of Brevoort Island and moving off-shore slowly probably with the tide - The flood tide may set us back and closer to shore -

Sept. 26, 1883-
 At 4 A.M. an attack of the diarrhoea, lasted until 12:30 P.M., a hard time of it - blowing a NE gale - our floe began mashing up 1 P.M. when we made a rush for a larger one getting everything over safely-

Sept. 27, 1883-
 A NE gale, no body out -

Sept 28, 1883-
 A move made towards shore this A.M. - used the boat to cross a lead of open water - camped within a 1 ½ miles from shore - Gardiner suddenly sick- Gardiner suffering with a felon on his left hand - Plenty walrus seen -

Sept 29, 1883-
 Made 2 ferries and the party set ashore at 7 P.M. - I am cook - landed on a promontory supposed to be a few miles south of Leconte Island - The Esk hunting seal all day - no game.

Sept. 30, 1883-
 Scouting the country for game - no game or tracks.   To the rear, the country filled with glaciers and snow capped - Salor attempted to reach Cape South of Ross Bay - stopped by open water within half mile of Cape - his report stopped preparations of party for Sabine tomorrow - Rice volunteered to take Jens. 4 days rations out sleeping on their backs and try to reach Sabine along shore - Accepted by Commanding Officer -  parties looking for a building site -

Oct. 1, 1883-
 Rice and Jens off after breakfast - parties out gathering moss - a fox walked up to our cooking pots amongst us and began eating sterine - several shots fired at him but he got away wounded in a leg - 35 days ¾ rations all hands -

Oct. 2, 1883-
 Moved camp about 1 mile up coast where loose rock can be obtained for house -

Oct 3, 1883-
 35 years old today - no birthday dining, but a drink of rum - selected site and began building 3 stone huts, 8 feet by 16 feet in this position  1            3  - I am in charge

2, Brainard of 3 and, I suppose, Rice of 1 when he returns -

Oct. 4, 1883-
 Our first game since landing, 4 ptarmagen killed by Cross - a slight increase in the ration while building our houses -

Oct. 6, 1883-
 A seal killed today - dressed about 50 pounds - walls of houses up - before building we drew straws for the boat - Brainard drew it and uses it for roof - we all slept inside our walls last night -

Oct. 7, 1883-
 Shacks progressing slowly - Connell’s service no longer required as a non-com - a chronic growler - Rice anxiously looked for - a walrus killed on the ice but lost by rolling in the water -

Oct. 9, 1883-
 Glorious news - Rice in this evening from Sabine -  found that vessel had been up in 82 and that Proteus this year unfortunately sunk by ice in Buchanan Strait - about 1200 rations at Sabine which we think will carry us safely through the winter - Lt. Garlington in command of relief party when Proteus sunk made for Greenland - 2 vessels outside ice looking for us -

Oct. 10, 1883-
 Discussing our chances and the Commanding Officer decides to move for Sabine at once - Rice volunteered for a trip to Cape Isabel -

Oct. 11, 1883-
 Move our load to south side of Ross Bay - returned very tired and awful hungry - Rice and Esk Fred off for Isabel - Long shot and secured a seal - 3 days more grub - Gardiner improving slowly, not able to do anything yet though -

Oct. 12, 1883-
 Abandoned our stone huts and headed for Cape Sabine - Camped on S side of Ross Bay very tired - not much fuel, so had warm tea and cold stew -

Oct. 13, 1883-
 Made two loads of our stuff and camped on N side Ross Bay - distance across bay about 6 miles of fine smooth ice along the foot of a glacier - cold stew again for supper -

Oct. 14, 1883-
 Headed for Cocked Hat Island through a strait that we call Rice’s strait discovered by Rice when he came up to Sabine.  So Cape Sabine is an island about 2 miles in circumference - camped within a mile of Cocked Hat Island -

Oct. 15, 1883-
 Loaded too heavily this A.M., breaking our sled after passing Cocked Hat Island - 2 hours to repair sled - left part of the load on the ice and pulled ahead - Camping at wooden cache from Proteus where we have decided to build our winter quarters -

Oct. 16, 1883-
 With Commanding Officer visited Beebe cache of 1882 - dug it out - (illegible)  returned and laid foundations of house - Lt. Lockwood and party bringing up load left on ice -

Oct. 17, 1883-
 Brought up whale boat and provisions from Beebe cache -

Oct. 18, 1883-
 Working on house -

Oct. 20, 1883-
 Moved into stone hut - one hour for the entry - (illegible)

Oct 21, 1883-
 Brought up load left at entrance of Rice Strait - Long and Esk on a four day hunt - several men sick - I am nearly played - horrible pain in my right side and back -

Oct 22, 1883-
 Working on house, putting in gravel - Rice and party to Sabine to examine road and brought up a load on their backs of clothing - Ellis’ 43rd birthday celebrated in rum and canned mulberries -

Oct 23, 1883-
 Staid in my bag all day, played out - party to Sabine after English cache -

Oct. 27, 1883-
 Supposed to be the last day of sunshine this year - Evening readings -

Oct. 28, 1883-
 To Sabine in a terrible storm - sled broke down - unloaded and come home -

Oct. 31, 1883-
 Bender killed a fox this A.M. with his fist - 1 seal and 1 fox game here - Long to Rice’s Strait for 5 days -  All stuff in today but 144 pounds meat at Isabella - Towner club organizes tomorrow A. M.

Nov. 1, 1883-
 Schneider, our cook, killed a fox - hard bread, butter and coffee for breakfast - for supper, roast beef, bread and tea - we will get now 4 ¼ ounces meat only a day -

Nov. 2, 1883-
 Rice (illegible) - Lt. K. sick (illegible) - This we 16 ounces in all is what we get to eat a day for 120 days (illegible) parties get game (illegible) will be added according to weight (illegible) only 4 ¼ ounces meat (illegible) 12 other include (illegible) about 4 - The foxes we get will not be included in the (illegible) but will be extra - The bread allowance 6 ½ ounces included in the 16 ounces also - short commons - (illegible) to be taken each day by all the men - Snowing this eve - The (illegible) get the heart and liver of their game - I (illegible) my (illegible) over the blubber (illegible) very good. (illegible) the blood about 2 ounces good (illegible)

Nov 3, 1883-
 Long in (illegible) after 5 days rations - Killed one seal, another ¼ of an ounce to our daily ration - Lt. K better

Nov 4, 1883-
 Eat a fox dinner, voted the best meal (illegible) reduction.  Long left for hunt this A.M. - working on a snow house for provisions - rum ½ gill with a lemon to a man-

Nov. 5, 1883-
 I set a fox trap today - men very hungry-

Nov. 6, 1883-
 Brainard visiting English rations - men licking papers the sugar and tea tied in - seal for dinner -

Nov. 7, 1883-
 Esk Fred in from tent - too stormy and cold to hunt -

Nov. 8, 1883-
 Party brought in tent from point and only 1 seal - Quite a row this eve about some one entering commissary shack - Beiderbick saw some one jump out in the dark from the shack - The roll called and Schneider found to be the only man out - So it must have been S. for no good purpose as no one is allowed in it.  Brainard has wondered that the bread Has been disturbed several times heretofore - Schneider appears also to have visited the rum can from his actions - S. denies being in but facts are against him - Lt. Kislingbury better - Schneider resigns as cook for our mess - Bender cook temporarily - Temperature - 31.5 ; inside our house this A.M. + 14.0 -

Nov. 10, 1883-
 Sad news - Rice in alone at 12 A.M. reporting his party about 18 miles from here with Elison dying, freezing to death - Brainard and Esk Fred started at 4:30 A.M. to their relief - Elison freezing ever since they left Isabella - Lieut. Lockwood and 5 men with sled started 2 hours later -

Nov. 12, 1883-
 Lieut Lockwood and party returned at 2 A.M. bringing in Elison alive but his chances of living are small - the rest of the party tired and hungry - 3 ounces of meat lost of the extra issue to Lt. Lockwoods party  Turned in by all but Lt. L. who asked it for himself and eat his share -

Nov. 14, 1883-
 Day before yesterday I moved into a bag with Lynn and Ellis - Tomorrow I change into Lieut Greely’s mess - another fox killed last night - Elison in great pain - feet, hands and face badly frozen -

Nov. 15, 1883-
 Cold and clear -33.5 - Lieut. Kislingbury better - Elison helpless.  Good food and dishes the principal subject of conversation - I sleep in the N.W. corner and sleep uncomfortable -

Nov. 16, 1883-
 Men complaining of cramps in stomach - Dr. says hunger - Tide came near flooding us today -

Nov. 17, 1883-
 Beiderbick complaining of a sore finger - very bad, something like Gardiner’s - fancy dishes all the talk -

Nov. 18, 1883-
 Fancy drinks all the talk this Brainard erected a flag on a high point near the wrecked cache as a mark for any one coming from the other side - A son of a gun for breakfast, roast beef for supper, rum and lemon between.

Nov. 19, 1883-
 Cold - awful hungry - 2 spoonfuls of bread and cup of chocolate for breakfast - 2 foxes killed.

Nov. 21, 1883-
 Seal-skin stew for breakfast and coffee.

Nov. 22, 1883-
 Another fox killed this A.M.

Nov. 24, 1883-
 2 foxes killed yesterday - turned in bags - can’t afford exercise on our food -

Nov. 28, 1883-
 Active preparations for Thanksgiving dinner - about a double feed - storming from the W.

Nov 29, 1883-
 Thanksgiving in the morning - a psalm and few songs, after which a bill of fare imagined by each man for his birthday on his return home proposed to be eaten by each member of the party - breakfast, lunch and dinner fox stew, and rice stirred with raisins and blubber, after which a rum punch made the evening pass finely - all in good spirits - appearance of open water -

Nov. 30, 1883-
 Temperature +30 - snowing - The channel is evidently open - not feeling well this A.M.

Dec. 2, 1883-
 Heavy E gale last night - filled up passage way with snow - blew wood away - Then 590 blown away -

Dec. 5, 1883-
 Another gale last night

Dec. 6, 1883-
 14th fox killed this A.M. - Out of tobacco -

Dec. 8, 1883-
 Open water - roaring of ice constantly heard in channel - Good dishes all the talk

Dec. 9, 1883-
 4 foxes killed last night and this A.M. - 4 months today since leaving Conger - All well, but Elison, and in good health - apparently of good spirits -

Dec. 10, 1883-
 Storming from the west - one cup of chocolate for my breakfast only -

Dec. 17, 1883-
 Warm and cloudy - all apparently well - Elison slowly improving - may lose a foot though and hand -

Dec. 18, 1883-
 Room (illegible) and empty the urinal tub on carrying the tub (illegible)  This A.M. found myself so weak that I could hardly (illegible) stand up, everything swimming around me - We are still fortunate in getting water from a small lake close to our (illegible)  A great saving in fuel    We obtain our salt by cooking our seal and foxes and stews in salt water - The English beef is quite fresh but we use gunpowder on it.

Dec. 20, 1883-
 Our darkest day, tomorrow the sun starts back - a cheering thought for us - I suffer a great deal with a  (illegible)  on my feet - Our 20th fox killed today -

Dec. 25, 1883-
 An extra feed - 1 gill rum, seal stew, rice pudding - songs and recitations - Records read - Bender punch and (illegible) songs in all languages.

Jan 1, 1884-
 All in good spirits but weak - water still holds out - Think our fuel will last till 1st  March - (illegible)  Elison, Cross and Henry frost bites - Gardiner (illegible) Biederbick, sore fingers.  Elison will lose both feet and hands - not suffering much pain - A fine fox stew for  dinner - Gardiner treated all hands to a smoke -

Jan. 4, 1884-
 An attempt to enter commissary by cutting canvass of roof.

Jan. 13, 1884-
 Depression of spirits considerable - Lieut. L. quite unwell (illegible)  at a discount this A. M. - apparently a bad effect - The use of tea leaves ordered discontinued (illegible)  this speech -

Jan. 15, 1884-
 Fresh water gave out today - quantity of tea reduced one half -  ½ pint night and morning.

Jan. 16, 1884-
 Some of the men very weak, hard work to keep them off their backs -

Jan. 17, 1884-
 Cross and Lieut. Lockwood quite weak.

Jan. 18, 1884-
 Cross died at 1:30 P.M. of dropsical affection - to be buried tomorrow - he was discovered unconscious at 2 A.M. and remained so until the end-

Jan. 19, 1884-
 Cross buried at noon today on brow of hill, east of our house about ¼ mile -

Jan 20, 1884-
 Our Lake named Cross Lake after our deceased member -

Jan. 21, 1884-
 The loss of 12 milk cans discovered this A.M. Taken by some member of the party - An increase to be made in hard bread and butter on the 25th - Am suffering with cold feet in the bag -

Jan. 24, 1884-
 9 ½ ounces bread and 4 ounces new bacon with 3 ounces butter for supper tonight and breakfast tomorrow - The increase beginning this evening - quite an improvement in the spirits of the men - up out of their bags more than usual - Lieut, Lockwood improving -

Jan. 25, 1884-
 Beiderbick’s birthday - Clear and windy -

Jan. 26, 1884-
 Rice and Jens began feeding up for trip to Littleton Island - The reading of Coningsby finished by Lieut, Kislingbury -

Jan. 27, 1884-
 Our morning son of a gun not so pleasant to the taste, owing to the absence of milk, but richer by the addition of blubber -

                                               End of Diary

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