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David Brainard's Diary, March 1 - June 21, 1884
Brainard, David L.

DAVID BRAINARD’S DIARY
March 1 — June 21, 1884

written at Camp Clay
Cape Sabine
Ellesmere Island

" Words written in these journals are inadequate to express or describe the horrors of our situation, and I doubt if any intellect is equal to a full comprehension of our circumstances unless having passed through a similar experience. "

Sgt. David Brainard
Title page supplied by transcriber. All pages of the scanned journal are included, blank pages as well as those that were not transcribed. The transcription starts on page 73 of the journal.
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Note: the transcription starts on page 73 of the journal.

Saturday March 1st 1884

Clear but with fresh westerly wind which at times caused much drift. Temp at 7 am. -35 but it rose to -28 and barometer fell in a corresponding manner. Today I had the large sledge unlashed + ready for repairs on Monday. Yesterday I had Bender and Whisler repair the small one. The former lost an extra part of the shot gun but it will not prevent its use. I took an inventory of the meat yesterday + found that 319 pounds remained. Lt. G – last night said that if circumstances were favorable he would increase the provision on next Wednesday and pull out for Littleton Island on the following Monday. Rather prematurely I think. Lockwoods mind is weak — he is badly demoralized by his condition as the pitable exhibition about bread the other night will show.
Connell is the one man in our mess who has not lifted a finger to assist the cook or help himself during the entire winter. When asked to cut seal skin he said, "I cant handle a knife.!" He had to get Schneider to cut up the butter for him. He has never yet cut a stick of wood nor voluntarily done anything. He was one of the ring-leaders in the conspiracy against Fredericks and suspicion point to him as the one who broke into the barrel of hard bread + into the commissary store house.
I sent him out to dig snow but he slighted + neglected his work. Yesterday he growled + used insolent and abusive language when I ordered him to get up to hold a candle for those working on the sledge. For this breach of discipline which in our isolated condition amounts to mutiny I desire to have him tried by a court martial on our return to the U.S.
No one went out on the hill today owing to the storm.
On Henry’s birthday Long forgot to add tea to his pot + gave out the warm water which was not detected by anyone — we are evidently losing our palete or taste.
A few days ago Connell told Fred that he did not want him to do anything for him in the line of foot gear + that his (Fred) work had been left on his other pair. Today he requested Fred in the most humble manner to make a pair for him.
The Dr + Lt. K. who at one time had formed (apparently) a colation against the C.O. are growling and quarrelling almost daily. As they are now most likely separated the C.O. can conciliate each by himself.
Conversations on food are being renewed with greater vigor than before. Fred through with boots + today began on sleeping stockings. Schneider is now moulding a number of candles for use in journey. I prepared a large piece of tin to mark the grave of Cross. Cannot afford wood for that purpose. C.O. has named the small lake which supplied us with water so long Cross Lake.

Sunday March 2nd 1884

Clear but with brisk westerly wind and a tempt of -22°.5 at 7 am + -24 at 5 pm. Much drift all day. Fine stew of 4 ½ oz H.B. pemmican + 1 of l.g. + 3 of bread. Last of the lemons issued excepting two. Lockwood is improving in strength but his mind is as weak as ever + is generally much demoralized as the exhibition about the bread will show. He has repeatedly told falsehoods lately about chewing tobacco + also about taking his exercize. Elison is keeping up splendid spirits.

Monday March 3 1884

Clear + high westerly wind all day which at times amounted almost to a gale. Tempt at 7 am -27.5 + at 2 p.m. -25. C.O. said this morning that according to my list the rations should last until the first week in April + if no opportunity of crossing occurred before the 16th inst we would have to make up our minds to remain here + depend on game, but if none could be depended on, why we will then ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- On my recommendation C.O. appointed Frederick a sergeant in place of Cross, desceased, in return for his excellent work during the winter.
Biederbick troubled with cramps but recovered. I brought in one of the runners of large sledge for Whisler to repair. Bender made candle-sticks. Schneider is making candles of stearine. Frederick still working on sleeping stockings. Ralston’s hand improving. Drift to dense to admit of a satisfactory view of the water spaces. Tempt. inside this morning +21.°5.

Tuesday March 4, 1884

Cloudy with light snow + high westerly wind continues with drift. Tempt. at 7 am -21.5 + at 5 p.m. -23. No work on sledge owing to indespotion of Bender. Lt. G. made reduction in bread to 8 oz per day. A corresponding increase will take place in the meat when the [illegible] I issued the last of the blubber, H.B. + Am pemmican today.

Wednesday March 5

[illegible] Fair. Wind is relentless — furious as yesterday. I went on hill, the water line appeared to be further removed than ever but the ominous clouds concealing coast beyond show that water still exists. Cape Hawks + Napoleon with the mountains beyond — (Hayes delectable mts.) were distinctly visible. Tempt. 7 a.m. -22 at 11 am, -23 + at 2 p.m. -19. I issued the last of the corn, soup, tomatoes + potatoes today. Bender not well.
Tempt. inside +19. Bacon stews have now been introduced + generally liked except the strong rancid flavor, which however I like as it is something distinct + pronounced from the ordinary stews. Bender has lost part of gun by his carelessness.

Thursday March 6th 1884

Clear. Wind subsided about noon but blew freshly from west in the evening. Tempt at 7 am. -20.8 + at 5 p.m. -24.°5. Inside it stood at +22. I issued the last can of lard today. Went on hill + saw water extending to the north as far as the eye could reach + resembling a sluice way on account of its direct course to the south. Worked on sledge + found 2 knees broken in left runner. Fred completed sleeping stockings today + tomorrow he will be ready for the sleeping bags. Last of the oxtail soup eaten this morning.

Friday March 7th 1884

Clear and calm nearly all day. Rice saw the sun for the first time this morning. Long went to the summit of Bebee Point + then N.W. to the open water which is but little more than a mile from there. Following down along the line of water to Brevoort Island he found it to run to within 200 yds. of the island. He ascended the island + saw open water extending North, South, + East as far as the eye could reach. A few pieces of ice was drifting in the water. He saw tracks of 2 different bears + 1 fresh of a fox. Lt. K. went out to the iceberg + broke through ice, narrowly escaped death by drowning. He saw tracks of bear and a fox neither of which was fresh. Much open water about the berg which will be a Paradise for seals in a few weeks.
Rice went on the hill + got a view of the open water which is quite extensive yet but an improvement over yesterday. He saw a brace of ptarmigan + sent for gun but they flew away + were not again found. Whisler worked on sledge again today. Fred got out the sleeping bag to be cut down for the men but finding it so badly frozen that work was out of the question.
The last of the chocolate + cloud-berries were issued today.
Much growling was again introduced by Bender this evening. In the discussion (about mess arrangements) he flatly contradicted the C.O. + used profane language in his replies. Henry + Lynn are also of very poor material + show up in the worst possible light.
Lockwood had a violent dispute with C.O. in which the excessive stupidity of the former was patent.
Tempt. inside this morning + 27 Outside at 7 am. -15.4 at 2 p.m. -18.

Saturday March 8th 1884

Gale set in from the South East at 2 a.m. + continued without intermission during the entire day. It is I think the worst storm that we have yet had. Tempt inside on rising this morning + 28 Outside -3 at 7 a.m. + at 1 p.m. -2.°4.
Last of Rice + Tomatoes used in soup this morning. Eng. bacon (4 oz) used this evening.
Whistler [illegible] completed repairs on the sledge runner this morning. Fredericks made a 3 man bag into one for 2 men today. Began on an new barrel for fuel — only 1 more remains 2 stoves cooks a meal for us now. Ralstons finger feels better. Hair cutting was extensively carried on for the first time this winter. Our hut assumed quite the appearance of the interior of a tonsorial establishment. Mine was about 5 to 6 inches long.

Sunday March 9th 1884

Full force of the gale was broken at 4:30 a.m. but it however continued to blow at intervals all the remainder of the day. Tempt. at 7 am -10 + at 3 P.M. -8.°4 Inside +26 Barometer which has been falling for two days rose rapidly all day
Drip inside during the evening meal. C.O. has decided to send Long + and native Fred with the small sledge + 6 days provisions to Alexandra Harbor for game, starting on Tuesday morning, the weather permitting. I very much desired to go with Long but the Lt. decided to send Fred instead. A fine stew this evening of Polaris H.B. + lime juice pemmican made us as nearly happy as it is possible. The morning "Son of a Gun" was a superior one but we missed the raisins sadly.

Monday March 10th/84

The gale continued all night with relentless fury but about noon it abated to fresh wind from S.E. but no drift + the sky became nearly clear. Tempt. at 7 am. -9.°5 + at 2 P.M. -6.°5. I went on the hill + saw narrow line of water with ice beyond as far as eye can reach. G—coast clear + plain to be seen. Rice afterwards ascended higher + reports ice extending all way across to opposite shore but much broken. Now if tempt. would fall suddenly we might yet get across to Greenland this spring.Biederbick detailed for cook in place of Long. I issued 6 days meat + bread to Long at rate of 8 oz of former + 10 of latter + 8 days of alcohol + ten in addition to 1 pint of rum in case of sickness. He will probably leave in morning.
I went hunting this morning up coast but saw nothing — not even a trace. We are now burning stearine candles as our blubber has given out. More dissatisfaction occurred in mess this evening + the cook has received orders to make division of food + pass his plates alone.
Tempt. inside +30 Excessive drip today.

Tuesday March 11th/84

Clear + calm. In evening however a light westerly wind. A most beautiful day. Sun for the first time flooded our house with its beams. Tempt. 6 am -19.°1 + at 5 p.m. -21.°5 In the sun the tempt in a few minutes at 10 a.m. rose to 12.°0.
Rice + Ellis went out with Long’s sledge to west end of Cocked Hat Island + report the travelling good. Long started soon after them + overtook them near the island. They saw a raven but could not get a shot. They stood the trip well. [illegible] From the hill I saw that no apparent change had taken place in the ice since yesterday + Greenland shore still visible + very little vapor. I feel very much encouraged now + if a few nights of cold calm weather does not cement the ice then there is no hope for our crossing this Spring, but must wait here for the ship. Our rations will last until April 10th after that we have no hope without game — What we are asking ourselves will Long do for us at the [illegible] Glacier Valley in the way of game. I had Jens lash longer sledge today so everything is now in readiness.
I saw track of a solitary ptarmigan in the rocks above camp. Our evening stews have been cut down to 1 pot instead of 2 except on Friday + Sunday in order to save fuel. Our wood I think may run to the 18th or 20th if used as judiciously as formerly.
Our evening readings continue + the days are passed in talking about food + noisy discussions generally chiefly about Germany. Silence however reigns supreme here sometimes for an hour at a time when all subjects appear to have been talked out. Last of our grain corn used this morning.
[illegible]

Wednesday March 12th/84

Tempt at 6 a.m. -25.°1 at 1 P.M. -16 6 P.M. – 23.°5. Fair weather — with light westerly wind + a few flakes of snow falling occasionally. I went to Cape Sabine hunting + was driven back by a teriffic storm which came over the island. I had nearly reached the locality of the cache but owing to the severity of the wind I had to turn back. Saw nothing but track of a solitary fox. Last storm has broken into the floe for over a mile west of Sabine. No ice in the water but it was as clear as in August. I followed along the water + came home by the large berg where there is a few pools of open water. I do not think the water so extensive to the South as in Kane Sea owing to the absence to the dark water clouds. During the afternoon the sun came out and shone beautifully. Fred began work on the bag. Elison’s bread reduced from 16 to 12 oz but 3 oz beef is added to his ration.
Schneider has the same menu + the sulks. The C.O. tells me Pvt. Ellis has been pilfering tobacco from the chromometer box in which Israel kept his.

Thursday March 13th 1884

Clear + calm. Tempt at 6 a.m. -23 at 2 P.M. -21.1 + 6 P.M. -25.8. In the sun it was up to -7. at 10 am. Ptarmigan tracks seen by Rice this morning + later Lt. K. + myself went out to look for them but saw nothing. They had visited every point about us probably last evening. The channel looks more favorable today than ever before — dark clouds have nearly all disappeared and light fleecy vapor taken its place. I think that the narrow part of the strait will choke + cement if a few days of calm + cold will follow now. The barometer which has been vascillating lately is now quite steady.
Long + Frederick (E) are having good weather for their hunt. I have very little confidence in his securing large game but will depend more for seal in April + the arrival of a party from the other side if the ice closes in the strait.
Lt. K. is ill.

Friday March 14th 1884

Clear + calm. Tempt. at 7 am. -27.2 + at 7 P.M. -30.5 During middle day it rose to -21.0. Bright sun. Long + Fred returned at 7 P.M. yesterday very much exhausted having been unable to get into the sleeping bag owing to its being frozen stiff + hard as a plank. They reached Cape Veilie the first evening + passing around Alexandra Haven + the deep fiord to Mount Carey they ascended the mt. + saw about 10 miles on North + 20 on south side of Hayes Sound more than the English. He saw 3 previously undiscovered capes on North side of Sound the most distant of which Lt. G. named Cape Long. The Sound appears to be the narrowest at Weyprect Island + widest 15 miles further on. They returned to sledge near Cape Veilie after an absence of 14 hours. Here Long was taken ill but speedily recovered under a dose of hot rum + aromatic spirits of amonia. In 14 hours more he reached home having traveled probably about 70 miles + [illegible] in consideration of his weak condition made one of the most remarkable journies on record. He saw no sign of game except a fox track. This is a bitter disappointment as we had good reason to expect much from Alexandra Haven owing to the reports of the English. C.O. is going to send him out again in a few days with myself. I having volunteered several weeks ago. We will probably be absent 8 days + may cross Buchanan Strait to Bache Island.
I shot 3 ptarmigan this morning + nothing was waisted — even the feet, heads, legs + intestines were used. Rice went across Garlington Isle to Rosse Bay to select a route to Eskimo Point to search for the meat abandoned last fall. He returned at 7 P.M. + reports the route practicable. He returned by way of Sabine + and says ice is nearly closed on this side but thinks that there is open water near the Greenland coast. See saw no trace of game. C.O. notified me that he has promoted Biederbick to first class Hospital Steward — subject of course to the approval of Surgeon General. He has already passed an examination for the position + owing to his duties on the Expedition is certainly entitled to it.
A fine stew of 5 oz Eng. pemmican + 2 ½ oz bread per man this evening.
Long complains that the native was not true + faithful as usual on this trip — adversity does not agree with him. Spring tide today. On recommendation of Dr. Pavy Elisons bread is increased to 1 lb. per day + [illegible] his meat to 6 oz. It may be necessary yet to go to Cape Hawks to secure the bread mouldy + rotten as it is in order to save our lives. I think we can live little more than a month longer on our present rations.
Tempt. inside +28.
Rice saw a raven near Sabine but could get no shot.

Saturday March 15th/84

Clear + calm. Tempt. inside +28.°6 Outside -30.°8 at 6 a.m. at 11 a.m. -21 + at 5 P..M. -31.°3. I went hunting toward Cocked Hat Island but saw nothing but a few old ptarmigan tracks which were evidently made by the birds I shot yesterday. They, by the way, weighed 3 lbs. + 10 oz including the heads, feet and intestines. Lt. K. went out to the N.E. beyond the berg to open water + saw track of bear 4 days old + also saw 5 dovekies. This is cheering news, + makes us feel more hopeful of the future. The bread ration has been reduced to 50 oz per week beginning on Monday morning.
The sound looks still more favorable today than yesterday — the pools near Sabine are evidently closed but a large polynya is observed to the north. I saw the loom of the Greenland coast through the vapor on that side which already indicates open water in that vicinity. The fact is I think that the S.E. wind of last week drove the pack to this side, leaving a large water space on that shore. A very enjoyable stew of tallow 1 oz + 2½ oz bread this morning.

Sunday March 16th 1884

Clear + calm. Tempt. at 6 am. -34.7 at 10 under influence of the sun it stood at -19 + at 5 P.M. -31.7. Inside + 27.°0. Strait looks still more favorable today. Long + Frederick (E) went out to the open water with Kyak + returned with 4 dovekies + reported having seen + fired at a small seal. the dovekies are small but plump, + have their winter colors which are white with black points. They saw several more, but were unable to secure them. Everything now looks more favorable for our safe return to our homes instead of leaving our bones to bleach in this desolate region + under these uncongenial skies. If the game fails us (which I think probable) we still have hope of assistance from the party under Lt. Garlington or if the sound closes of retreating to Littleton Island when we are on our last legs.
I think our rations will last until about the 15th of April + if the meat is found at Eskimo Point we may live until the 25th of next month.
A stew this evening of 1 oz lime juice 2 oz of Suet pemmican + the Ptarmigan (2½ oz) make a very good stew. The last hard bread pudding was had this morning.
Conversation on the subject of food is now the principal topic. Longs report with reference to the birds + seal has had a very fine effect on spirits of a certain few. Lt. G is going to send Jens + myself to Rice Str. to look for seal. I also volunteered to go down to the cache of [illegible] near Brevoort island in search of game + also to observe the chances for future operations. I today proposed to C.O. to try to catch shrimp + will prepare net for that purpose tomorrow.
While on the hill for the purpose of observing the condition of the Sound the sun shone so bright that I lingered for a long time on the rocks to enjoy it. I was forcibly reminded of the words of Kane when on observing the sun for the first time after [illegible] its winters absence remarks that it gave a sensation like bathing in perfumed water. As an inducement to the raven to visit us I exposed a tempting fox skin.

Monday March 17th

Cloudy in morning but soon clearing remainder of day was fine. Tempt. at 6 am -25 + at 5 P.M. -23.5. It rose at 11 am. in the sun to 11.9.
[illegible] Inside +26.8.
Storm in strait which broke much of the newly formed ice + probably our last chance for crossing is now lost. Barometer falling slowly. We have now had a week of good weather. Jens shot a ptarmigan this morning near hut which weighed 20 oz. The dovekies (4) weighed 1 lb. each. Lt. K + Jens went out to open water but killed nothing. They however saw a seal but got no shot. I made apparatus for the purpose of catching shrimps. Rice will take to to Beebe Point to test it tomorrow. I worked on the large sledge + began making new [illegible].
I found 10 oz English chocolate which had fallen behind a barrel + overlooked. Our ration is now 11 to 12 oz per day, no more. The chocolate is to be kept for Elison. His ration is now 16 oz bread + 6 oz meat daily — he keeps in wonderful spirits. A large pool of water has opened up about the large berg near the shore. We may expect to find many seal there in a short time. High wind with drift at 7 P.M.

Tuesday March 18th 1884

Cloudy + stormy, snow drifting + high N.E. winds all day. Our camp somewhat protected from the force of the wind by the high point of rocks on the shore.
Tempt. 6 a.m. -16 at 11 a.m. -7 + at 2 P.M. -15. Tempt. inside this morning before lighting the fire +25.°8. Barometer has been nearly stationary today. I prepared the [illegible] + put the finishing touches on the large sledge so that it is now ready for any emergency.
I went on the hill this morning + saw that a terrific storm was in progress in the sound + the newly formed ice suffering greatly in consequence. Long did not go out during the storm. The raven visited the fox skin which I exposed on a rock in front of the house a few days ago + being very wary escaped the shot gun which was speedily brought.

Wednesday March 19th/84

Cloudy blustering + stormy disagreeable day with fresh westerly wind which at times came in violent gusts hurling the snow in all directions.
Tempt. at 6 a.m. -16.3 at 11 a.m. -9.8 + at 5 P.M. -12. Inside +24.8. Lockwood is improving in health + strength. Barometer has been rising slowly all day, which fact gives us hope of a better day tomorrow. The storm has broken a large pool about Expectation Berg, from which we may expect to get seals.
The reduction in rations has again revived our old conversations on the subject of food + our time is passed quite pleasantly in telling to one another the bills of fare that we would order if we were in the States today. It is very pitiful to hear these things but when the relentless wolf Hunger is gnawing in this terrible manner what is one to do — It cannot be helped.
The storm is damaging the sound greatly — the ice has broken again + a great sea is now rolling where a few days ago was new ice. I find that the tallow in Eng. bacon cans is excess — or in addition to the 40 lbs as marked.

Thursday March 20th 1884

Clear with fresh westerly winds which caused drift at intervals. Tempt. at 6 a.m. -20.°2 at 5 P.M. -19 at noon it raised to -14. Inside +27°.0. Barometer stationary. Long went out to the open water notwithstanding the wind + saw 2 dovekies. Rice went down to Beebe Point to test my shrimp net — he found that with a slight modification of net the fishing could be made successful. He brought in about 2 ounces.
Rice saw the raven again + Henry saw an owl taking flight to the north.
Fred (E) is slightly ill.
The storm did not break the ice as much as I had expected. Lieut. Kislingbury is a great sufferer with a swollen finger caused by being pierced by a needle. Lynn is evidently losing his mind — the trip last fall probably the cause. The Dr. has remarked the change in him.
At my suggestion the C.O. has directed that the men of the party take turns in conveying out to the open water the kyak to lighten the labors of the hunters. Last of potatoes + extract of beef used today.

Friday March 21st/84

Cloudy with fresh westerly wind + Tempt -19.8 at 6 a.m. + -13 at noon + -22.2 at 5 P.M. Considerable drift during the day. At 1 P.M. the barometer began falling rapidly again. I made a light dip net for the shrimp fishing + also a long hook for fish. Gardiner has invented a hook to drag up sea weed which can be eaten.
Lt. K fainted away while the Dr. was lancing his finger. Schneider has been moulding candles. The stew of new pemmican was particularly fine. Both the natives are very much swoolen about the face + limbs. The Dr. says it is a dropsical effusion — the same as troubled me a few days ago. Tempt. inside +25.
For continuation of March 22 see page 119

Saturday March 22nd/84

Cloudy with light westerly winds in morning. During the afternoon wind headed around to South-East + light snow began falling. Tempt. at 6 a.m. -14 at noon it rose to -3.°0 but at 6 P.M. it had fallen to -12°.0. Long went out with Jens to where the open water had been two days ago but returning later reported the pools entirely closed by new + drift ice from the north + that it was all thoroughly cemented. He says that no water for a distance of 3½ miles exists beyond the point previously visited while hunting. He returned to the berg but saw nothing of seal. Rice was quite successful in shrimp fishing today — having caught about 6 ounces. He expects to get at least a quart tomorrow. I made two nets this evening for him — using fox skins for bait. The dovekie legs make excellent bait. He was not successful in securing sea weed but with a slight
N.B.
It is quite probable that the reader may (+with good reason) think me insane when he glances over the entries which follow: but on reflection he will be charatible enough to credit me with a sound mind and — an empty stomach. I will state in explanation that owing to our megre diet + the constant gnawing of hungar our thoughts could suggest little else but food + our conversation during the long days of gloom + darkness were chiefly on this subject; and as each new dish was suggested and discussed I began this list at the request of a few of my comrads, but mainly as a guide to my future epicurean operations, am I so fortunate as to ever again rest my limbs under a civilized table.
D. L. Brainard
Cod fish balls, ham and fresh eggs — Rice
Make pudding of ginger snaps (Son-of a Gun) Gelatine, Nelsons + port wine to be made up at home. Honey on oatmeal. Introduce at home Tapioca, Sago, Blancmange, preserves of various kinds, Crab apple cider, cocoanut pudding, Gelatine, arrowroot, maccaroni + cheese. Get California port + muscatel wine from Lt. Greely who sends for them to California.
Wintergreen + sassafras for flavoring cider press [illegible] for winter use by corn, wheat, or alcohol. Tongues + [illegible][guess (ljw): sounds] of the cod or salmon, also the row at St. Johns. Soft shell crabs on toast. Frogs on toast. Deviled crabs. Tripe, stewed, fried + pickled. Jelly cake with alternate layers of chocolate, cocoanut paste + orange. Roast Kid. Lentil soup. Peas (green) cooked with yams + carrots. Green peas boiled [illegible] like potato cakes. Stuffed eggs, Dr. Pavy. applesauce flavored with cinnimon or nutmeg with lemon rind.
Prepare cake with layers (like jellycake) + each alternate one having paste made of crushed oranges, sugar, yoke of egg. the other paste of cocoanut, sugar + the white of an egg — the body of cake to be that of the sponge cake.
Noodles fried in eggs. Beef, Sheep hogs or calves heart well larded with breakfast bacon or pork (former preferable) + baked in oven.
The Rote-te-Gritza a German dish — Israel. Kidneys stewed in lime. Green corn pudding Mrs. Greely. Licorice drops to remove odor of brandy + Parsnip cakes.
Honey with [illegible] on buckwheat cakes, Israel. Suet pudding. Sweet potato cakes. Don’t forget Quince — also citron preserves, Ralston. Paste of hickory nuts + eggs + sugar use for jelly cake. The meats of nuts may also be mixed in cake dough. In ordinary cake (loaf) stir whole strawberries or other fruits + serve with sweet sauce like pudding cake, Schneider. Fruits (Strawberries, bananas, peaches etc) mashed + mixed in ice cream.
Fort Conger — 65 feet in length by 21 in width + 3 lean tos — one at each door. It stands east + west extends north + south faces to the west on Discovery Harbor.
Camp Clay on Clay Penn. at Cross Lake 18 by 25 feet — covered by canvas supported in middle by whale boat + on sides by oars. Walls 4 to 5 feet high of stone + banked outside with snow walls. the tempt. inside has ranged from +14 to +40.
New sledges made by Elison in 1882 (October) were 111 + 107 lbs respectively +
Total number of Musk-Oxen killed at Ft. Conger 103 animals.
Latitude of Camp Clay 78° 46’ North
Maccaroons a pastry. Marshmellow a confectionary.
Get Hub Punch at fancy grocers. Also the brandy peach. Use the Mango, Citron, plum, peach, pear, quince, apple, tomato, + the cucumber for sweet pickles.
Scramble eggs over fried noodles, Elison.
Discountance canned fruit + favor preserves. Macarroni with ham instead of cheese. Milk should be used in baking Maccaroni. Lt. G’s puff-balls or fired muffins filled with fruit of various kinds. Sliced pineapples + oranges with sugar as a layer for jelly cake. The sauce may be made into a paste, Rice. Potatoes + tart apples boiled + mashed together, Ned. Pears with skins cooked as vegetables with boiled liver. They may also be boiled by themselves — first paring + quartering. Make Crabapple jelly turnover.
Remove core from large sweet apples + fill cavity with sugar, butter + spices to suit taste. Place them in a deep earthen or procelain dish on a bed of bread crusts half covered by water + the top sprinkled with sugar. Serve hot + with light sauce, make hard sauce with cream instead of wine. Don’t forget tripe in all formes.
Boiled leg of mutton with caper sauce. Stew of shrimps. Strawberries with sugar and wine. Apple pudding — Whistler. Poppie seeds in cake + cookies by Ned — superior to carving. Blood sausage (of German butcher) to be fried before serving, Elison. Purchase in Washington sweet potatoes, peanuts + fruits to send home by freight. Send maple molasses + sugar to Elison, Lt’s G. L. + K, also Rice. Bhl. assorted eating apples to Rice.
Get liver sausage for lunches, best + cheapest — Ned — Molasses candy take butter + vinegar — Gardiner. For roast turkey, venison or cold meats use cranberry sauce, currant or any tart jelly. Soft shell crabs on toast the first thing in Washington. Baked apple dumpling the first thing at home. Lt. G. promises Dutchess Pears from his home, also scions of his brothers best apple trees. My father is to reciprocate. Israel to send me scions from Porter apple tree — the latter apple is a particularly fine one for fall eating. Introduce at home for cultivation the white currant, the white + yellow raspberry especially the latter which is better than the red. Fig, apricot, or peach paste — the second is best. Can be obtained in any confectionary store. Cream chocolates. Candied and dried French prunes. Dried citron in sugar — to get in fancy grocers. Bet a quart maple molasses against pound of goose sausage with Israel on result of Longs hunting — I lost molasses — Get smoked goose sausage in Jewish butchers.
Lemon Pie in the Vienna Café also the apple. Citron preserves with lemon. Sweatened corn bread with finely chopped apples at home. Corn bread with chopped suet intermingled. Lt. G. — Chocolate creams. Lard scraps or cracklings with fried potatoes — Elison. Purchase honey made in the fall during the buckwheat season — it is of a brown color. Spanish hash — Lt. G. Get mince meat [illegible] in Philadelphia — Gardiner. Guava jelly either in jars or boxes — the former the best. Proctor’s Star charts for students $2.50 — For general knowledge of solar system +c procure Newcombs + Haldens Popular Astronomy + Tait’s astronomical discussion in the International Scientific Series — Procure the latter work of which there [are] eight or nine volumes published. Tribune Almanac the best for general information — the Scientific American also publish a similar work of great value.
Lost bet of Boston Box Oyster Stew with Biederbick. Bet copy of Plutarchs Lives with Ralston that seal would be got on or before April 18th 1884 and won Scollops [illegible]. Elison’s egg pan-cake. Lt. Greelys corn fritter.
Send Elison syrup + maple sugar + 20 lb cheese.
The same to Lt. G.
Maple sugar [illegible] also maple creams. Liver dumplings — Elison. Baked peaches with cream. Preserve both the green + ripe tomato but separately.
Lost bet of cream pie with C.O.
Use blood (beef or goose best) in hash, gravies + stews. It may also be dried or frozen + used as required. It may be seasoned, a little milk + a few eggs added + fried or scrambled like eggs. this dish is recommended by Shorty + Israel.
I made bet of Putmans Dictionary of Dates that our new pemmican had lime juice in it. (April 18th 1884)
Use the wild grape jelly in a pie — it is also best for tarts. Whistler for tomato butter. Fry the dumplings left over from chicken pot pie + scramble eggs over them, Elison.
Bet with Elison of 1 gal. maple molasses against 1 gal. of home made wine that we would be on board the vessel on or before the 1st day of July 1884.
Bet the same against a bushel of peanuts + on the same date with Lt. Greely.
Get good work on Natural History. Purchase Eugene Sue’s Mysteries of Paris + The Wandering Jew.
Boil ham in sour cider instead of champaign after first parboiling it in water.
Get recipe from Champaign cider from Israel’s mother. Don’t forget to have Long make noodles (in every form), rum jelly a la Conger, [illegible] army plum duff, liver dumplings, puff balls, baked beans a la Conger + other German dishes when he visits at my home. Also baked macaroni + cheese a la Conger.
Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.

Commissary used at Fort Conger from 31st day of July to the 9th day of August 1883. The last date inclusion.

Milk 17 cans
Potatoes 10 "
Soup M. L. 2 "
Oatmeal 1 "
Sauce Cranberry 22 "
Corned beef 3 "
Roast " 2 "
Asparagus 6 "
Tomatoes 5 "
Eggs 8 "
Onions 13 "
Apples 6 "
Cornmeal 1 "
Currant Jelly 2 "
Butter 30 "
Bread 40 "

Articles in commissary stores condemned at Ft. Conger during the month of August 1883.
Bread 100 lbs.
Tea [illegible] 3 "
Pepper 1 "
Butter 9 "
Onions 1 can
Cranberry sauce 1 "
Roast beef 1 "
Potatoes 1 "
Beans 4 "
Eggs 2 "

Deduct from Inventory

Cache at Cape Baird when on retreat by boat August 10, 1883.

Corned beef 180 cans
Roast " 24 "
Extract " 25 "
do Mutton 7 "
Beans, baked 97 "
Apples 24 "
Soup Oxtail 24 "
Cranberry sauce 24 "
Milk 12 "
Butter 72 lbs
Pepper 2 ¼ "
Bread 976 "
Salt table 12 "
Potatoes English 14 "
Pemmican lime juice 135 "
do Polaris 225 "
do English 84 "
Bacon English 20 "
do U.S. 158 "
Tea[illegible] 20 "
Coffee Rio 37 "
Tobacco [illegible] 40 "

Cache taken from Cape Cracroft Aug. 11th 1883
Corned beef 24 cans

Cache taken from Carl Ritter Bay August 12th/83
Bread 125 lbs.
Pennican H.B. 110 "
Corned beef 24 cans

Cache of English rations lifted at Cape Collison August 22nd 1883

Pemmican plain 224 lbs
Bacon 84 "
Stearine 120 "
Bread 120 "
Salt 1 [illegible] "
Pepper ¾ "
Onion powder 1 [illegible] "
Beef 16 "
Alcohol 2 ¼ gal.

English cache of provisions removed from Cape Hawk’s Aug. 26th 1883

Stearine 342 lbs
Potatoes 168 "
Bread 250 "
Rum 6 gal.
Pickles, onions 10 "
Cache taken from Cape Sabine of 240 rations
Bread 210 lbs
Bacon 92 "
Beef 240 "
Dog biscuit 220 "
Potatoes 30 "
Chocolate + Sugar 30 "
Tea + Sugar 15 "
Tobacco 7 ½ "
Salt 1 14/16 "
Pepper ¾ "
Onion powder 1 14/16 "
Stearine 120 "
Matches, wax 3 boxes
Wicks (no) 50
Page 118 not scanned.

Sat March 22nd Continued

modification of the large pole he thinks that it may be successfully manipulated for the amiloration of our condition. He reports the fishing necessary at low stage of tide owing to crack closing when high. He saw either a petrified tree or a whale bone in sea at the glacier where he fishes. The shrimp are very small. I am going into Rosse Bay tomorrow if the day is good, to look for seals.
Tempts. inside +26.
C.O. announced this evening that after the first week in April if no game was secured he would reduce the food so as to extend it until May 1st.

Sunday March 23rd 1884

Clear with light west wind. Barometer fell slightly early this morning. Tempt at 6 a.m. -25.°5 at noon in sun -12 + at 6 P.M. -22.8. Inside +29.
The indefatigable "rustler" (Rice) as he would be called in the west arose at 3 a.m. to visit nets. He did not get many and a guy broke + much of the haul lost in consequence. He went down again at dinner time + secured about 4 pounds of the little animals. I went across Garlington Island by the ravine to head of Rosse Bay where I examined the front of the glacier for half the distance across bay, but discovered no evidence of any water having been there during the winter nor any hole or opening that an animal could get through. The ice (floe) along the front had been much broken but the openings which were made were immediately closed by the advance of the glacier. On my return to the island I examined all the ice-bergs in bay + found none of them aground + consequently no place where a seal or walrus could get through to the surface. I found all the north side of bay a perfectly level plain of new ice.
While on the floe a high wind prevailed — eddying about with great velocity. In crossing the island on my return I encountered a severe wind storm with blinding drift through which I could scarcely struggle. My nose, face, + fingers were quite badly frosted. Saw track of a fox + ptarmigan in Rosse Bay. Long had been out to the water + saw nothing but a dovekie. Use of wood discontinued + the burning of alcohol for cooking began this evening. Bender made a fish hook.

Monday March 24th 1884

Clear with light westerly wind. Tempt. at 5 a.m. -23, at 11 am in sun it rose to -6, but at 2 P.M. it had fallen to -21. Inside +28.8 Rice went down again at 3 am. + again before breakfast + again in the evening capturing in all about 7 pounds. This is highly gratifying + hopeful for our future.
A terrible scene occurred this morning. While cooking breakfast (tea) Biederbick fainted + others immediately complained + Israel followed in an instant. Others rushed out of the door, the lamps were put out + the plugs in the ventilation which had been forgotten were taken out. Nearly all those who went out immediately fainted, + were more or less frost-bitten. Lt. G. + myself quite severly. Through the exertions of Gardiner some of us were probably saved. Lt. G. said he thought me dead when he came out, I was lying on my back with my face perfectly rigid + white + to all appearance stifly frozen. Gardiner afterwords fainted + has since been feeling badly. He said that I was down about a dozen times. Several fainted afterwords when in the building. All but Pavy, Frederick, Elison, Salor, Henry + the two Natives fainted. The Dr. worked like a Trojan to assist the others. It was like our snow house experience caused by Carbonic acid from our lamps + from ventilation — the [illegible] having been forgotten in top of boat.
Two + one half ounces of bread extra was issued by Lt. G. on account of our condition this evening. About ½ lb of bacon in Lt. G’s mess was stolen during the excitement + much indignation felt, but the contemptable thief was discovered first by the bacon which he bolted having made him sick. + in consequence threw up and afterwords Jens acknowledged to have seen him take it. He will never be acknowledged by the remainder of us if we succeed in getting out of this scrape + will be at once ostricized when we reach a place of safety. A fox track was seen at hut + Jens afterwords saw him + followed the little fellow towards Sabine but the rascle proved himself to wily. Rice says he liked a few shrimps at the fishing place. Fox, bear + seal skins, the latter tanned, are being used for bait for the shrimp also seal lashings + dovekie legs. My fingers are very sore + much swollen. When outside + still conscious I looked down at my freezing hands + thought "My poor fingers if I ever get out of this scrape alive I will have to lose them — they are to far gone to save now."
I shot a white fox at 8:30 P.M. which weighed 5 lbs 2 oz net. The intestines etc will be eaten as heretofore.
I will never forget this horrible day — death so near to visiting us all + when he did not know but his comrades were dying this fiend thought only of feeding his inordinate appetite.

Tuesday March 25th/84

Clear beautiful day with light westerly wind in the morning but calm in the evening. Tempt. at 6 a.m. -28. at noon it had rose to -0.5 in the sun. At 5 P.M. -12 (in the shade). Rice + Whistler went down to shrimp nets at 3 am + set a net at the large berg. Owing to the baits having been disturbed by the ice very few were obtained. In the evening however he obtained nearly 4 lbs of fine fellows. Schneider makes his baits by sewing rocks in skins.
Long + Fred (E) went down to the open water today + former reported having seen two holes recently made by walrus or seals near Cape Sabine with shells scattered about showing that the animals had been up. All we now want is warm weather for a few days. Fred came in in an exhausted condition nearly unconscious. He was supported by Long all the way from Sabine. If it had not been for his timely assistance Fred must have perished.
The affair of Henry’s was opened by himself this morning + all the disgusting details came out — Jens illustrating how he had observed Henry to steal the bacon. Fredericks + Biederbick told how they had observed that he ate none of his rations previous to the discovery of the bacon in his can which he had thrown up. Lt. L. testified to having smelled the bacon while Henry was vomiting. Long that he had seen him drink two rations of rum when we were recovering yesterday morning. Ellis that he had stolen canned goods at Fort Conger. Connell that he had circumstantial evidence of his having stolen canned goods from the pile last fall. Rice stated the case very clearly + suggested that he be confined as a prisoner. Lt. G asked the opinion of each man + without a single exception all were unanimous in the opinion that he was guilty. He then placed Henry in arrest + he is not to leave his bag without permission + is to be accompanied by a man whenever he goes out of doors.
He (Henry) stoutly protested that he was innocent of the crime charged against him + played the abused. A stew this evening of ½ oz lime juice Pemmican 1 ½ oz bacon + 3 oz of shrimp was of a particularly fine flavor + one of the best stews of the season. These shrimps have opened up to us an avenue of escape from this country.
Tempt. inside this morning on rising +27. Biederbick was relieved from cook this evening + Lynn detailed in his place. Ellis last evening asked to be allowed to eat tea leaves as he wanted to "fill up" as he said. This evening he was detected in taking a sly smoke in violation of orders. No change in the open water in the sound. Lt. G’s hands were frozen much worse than was at first supposed — They are very much blistered. My own are very sore + kept me awake much of the night but they will not interfere with my duty.
Supper cooked by light given through holes (ventilators) in boat.

Wednesday March 26th/84

Cloudy + calm in morning with Tempt. at 7 a.m. of -10 at 11 a.m. it stood at zero + at 4 P.M. -2.°0.
Rice saw ptarmigan track on Cemetery Ridge + he, Long + myself hunted successively but without success. The wind rose + snow began falling at 7 a.m. At 11 a.m. the wind changed to the South East + blew a gale — one of the severest of the season. I was out hunting + was blown down by its force. Rice was not successful with his nets today. He with a total disregard for personal safety went down to visit the nets through the howling storm this evening. At the bay he caught a few specimens of crustacean which were placed in alcohol. Schneider + Whistler made for Rice a spear + hook (the two latter made by Bender) with which to secure sea weed (kelp). Tempt inside +27.
The Eng. Chocolate which I found a few days ago + which was saved for Elison was found missing this morning + circumstances strongly point to Henry as the guilty party + the time was soon after our trouble on Monday.
Lt. Greely announced publicly today the appointments of Sergeant Fredericks + Hospital Steward Biederbick. It was discovered today that Ellis had been smoking the roots of saxifrage. Fred (E) is but little improved. Lt. G’s hands are quite badly frost-bitten. I find that the tallow in the bacon can is extra (8 lbs of tallow to 20 of bacon). A shrimp stew made fat with 1 ½ oz of tallow was excellent.

Thursday March 27th/84

Weather fair + calm. Tempt. at 7 a.m. -12. at noon -10 + at 5 P.M. -9. Gale subsided at midnight.Lt. G’s birthday — 40 years of age. Long + Jens went out to open water, Salor carrying kyak the latter returned in about two hours with 15 dovekies which Long had shot + Jens secured with kyak. Lt. K + Connell immediately went out with more ammunition + they soon all returned with 18 more dovekies making 33 in all, which is equal to as many pounds of meat. Great cheering + good feeling prevailed + Long was the hero of the hour when he threw the birds at the Commanders feet as a birthday offering.
Rice’s days work amounted to 12 lbs of shrimp + he made three trips to secure this result. This has been a fortunate day for us as 45 lbs meat or food has been added to our larder. This is I think the turning point in our fortunes. I went hunting for the ptarmigan but could not see any trace of him. Saw dark spot at bay + went out but it proved to be a discolored piece of ice. Henry asked to be allowed to do his duty + said that C.O. would kill him with injustice if he did not. He cried like a child but his request was received in silence + ignored by all as he is socially.
Snow began falling at 7 P.M. Jens was taken ill this evening but speedily recovered under effects of a dose of aromatic spirits of amonia + rum. Fred volunteered to go out tomorrow but will not be allowed + cursed + got angry with jealousy. Long shot 5 more which were lost. They are beginning to turn their plumage to black. Rice is using their heads + [illegible] [guess (ps): leg ] of wings for bait.
Ellis was detected in eating stearine again + was put under guard but he begged + cried + was released.
C.O. has set the time for the departure of Rice at about the 8th of April for Baird Inlet for meat.
Israel tells me that he caught the Dr. stealing bread from Elison’s can yesterday. I took an inventory of the rations today. The morning stew of 36 oz bread + 12 oz tallow + 7 oz shrimp made an excellent meal.
The cooks are using about 2 ½ oz alcohol per man per day. C.O. has owing to our improvement in our circumstances decided to have a warm stew each evening — he says that he had rather use the fuel now + eat the pemmican cold during the warm weather which will follow.
Schneider is showing himself to be a shining light + is trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his comrades for his wrong doing last fall. C.O. has decided to send out wall tent to be pitched near open water to keep the kyak in to prevent carrying it in every night. Tempt. inside + 25.

Friday March 28th/84

A beautiful bright day + calm in morning but light west wind in the evening. Tempt. 7 a.m. -24 at 4:30 P.M. -18. In sun it rose to +5.0. Inside + 26. I went out at 9:30 to Payer Harbor across Garlington Island. Barometer on ice-foot 30.28 at top of glacier 29.44 at summit of island 28.51 at ice foot in Payer Harbor 30.12. The altitude of the island is thus about 1900 feet. Had great difficulty in clambering down cliffs into harbor, stony. I found many traces of ancient Eskimo encampment + the relics of a broken bone sledge with wooden runners. I found a good place for our own camp near two small lakes if C.O. should decide to move party down in warm weather so as to be within easy reach of the vessel. Record cache in good condition. Pool of water between Brevoort + Stalknect Island.
Saw two seal blowing holes — one near the former island + the other between Sabine + Bebee Point at ice foot. The former newly made. From Brevoort Island I followed the open water to a point north of Cape Sabine then turned home. It washes the east side of the island. Saw large flocks of dovekies, fresh fox track + old bear track. Sledge track of last fall across Payer Harbor quite plain — this gives me hopes that the track remains in Baird Inlet + that Rice may be able to find the meat.
Jewell started out with kyak but being to weak gave it up. Lt. K then took it out. Long shot 14 dovekies. Rice the faithful + indefatigable worker captured 27 lbs shrimp in the morning + 24 lbs in the evening. He made 4 trips to his nets. This is a pretty good showing for the day. Tent taken out of house but so full of ice that it was not taken out to ice floe, but put on rocks to thaw out. Fred (E) shot 1 of 2 ptarmigans seen by Rice on Cemetery Ridge. He came in badly broken down from the exertion + says he will never reach home. The other native is in excellent spirits. The stew this evening had 6 oz shrimps in addition to 5 oz of bread meat + dovekie. This indulgence was owning to the clear capture of Rice this morning of 27 lbs. C.O. notified me that from next Sunday only 4 oz bread per day but for the decrease in bread a corresponding increase in meat would be made. Lt. Lockwood is getting much stronger. In fact he is quite himself again — he seems now [illegible] almost hourly. The evening readings for the present have been discontinued — owing to an inclination to sleep rather than hear them. When on summit of island I had a good view of the water. It is free of all ice except light ice of only two or three days old + any vessel could steam up the Sound without difficulty or hindrance. It [illegible] in close to Isabella + appears to reach the Greenland coast. I think that next year (summer) will be similar to the year 1881 — the channel open.

Saturday March 29th/84

Gale set in about 8 a.m. + continued all day with heavy snow + drift. Tempt. 6 a.m. -4.°5 at 9 a.m. 0 + at noon +1.0 at 2 P.M. -5. Breakfast of 4 ½ oz bread, 1 oz bacon + 6 oz shrimps but no tea this is an improvement on our usual morning meal.
For evening 1 [illegible][guess (ps): 1 ⅓] oz dovekie 1 oz bacon, 2 ½ bread + 11 oz shrimps. This was a most delightful stew + its solid contents more than we have been accustomed to for both meals. We are already beginning to feel the change although we have had only 3 big meals. The talks about food is not heard any more. Rice went down at 4 am to bait nets + again to [illegible] at 8, result 12 lbs. Owing to storm he did not go down again but contented himself with killing a ptarmigan + discrying 5 more. Long went out to open water but it soon drove him back so he cached kyak near water. Alcohol discontinued + stearine used this evening. Tempt. inside +25. All have complained of feeling chilly during last 2 days. C.O. tells me that he will send me in charge of party to explore Hays Sound. Israel + Fred will accompany me for 10 days. I made shot cartridges from those of the rifles. C.O. tells me that the Dr. has tried to compromise the old affair at Fort Conger + wants to form an alliance with him, but he (C.O.) refuses it. He refuses to denounce the Dr. with response to purloining Elisons bread as he is afraid that the Dr. may refuse to afford medical aid.
Bread has been reduced to 3 ½ oz per day. The last of our roast beef was issued yesterday.
Elison the poor devil often complains that he feels his toes burning + the soles of his feet itching when he has neither toes nor feet. He has been kept in ignorance of the fact during the entire winter. The rations of Long + Jens increased 5 oz per day in dovekie meat.

Sunday March 30th 1884

Gale continued all night with relentless fury but a slight lull occurred at 4 P.M. but in an hour it had begun again as strong as ever. Tempt. at 1 P.M. -3 at 6 P.M. -5.5 Inside +20.°5 the coldest for a long time but a comparatively comfortable night was spent by all owing to our increased food.
I went out hunting during the lull this evening but after two hours tramp returned without having seen anything. The water has broken away all the newly formed ice + encroached slightly on the old floe — the kyak however is safe. Fox stew in which shrimp enhanced largely with 1 oz bacon — rather thin affair. Barometer fluctuating greatly — this storm began with a rising barometer. Ralstons finger pronounced for duty by Dr. Pavy.

Monday March 31st/84

Gale continued all night with terrific violence—lull of an hour about noon but began again soon afterwards. Tempt. at noon +3.0. Long went out on floe + brought kyak in near land. He visited the open water + saw lots of dovekies + white caps. The water had broken into floe up to Beebe cache. No ice discernable in water. Jens went out during lull in storm + saw 2 ptarmigan. Fred (E) sick but a drink of rum restored him. Sgt. Fred also ill + Scheider cooked supper for him. Stew thin + unsatisfactory.
Tempt. inside this morning +18. The coldest since the house was banked. Our condition today has been miserable + many unpleasant remarks to augment our troubles have been made by those who should know better + who should set an example. The barometer has been steady or nearly so today.

Tuesday April 1st 1884

Gale subsided at 4 a.m. Cloudy weather calm from 9 a.m. Tempt. at 5 a.m. -5.5 at 11 a.m. +6 at 2 P.M. +10 + at 3 P.M. +7.5 + at 3:45 P.M. +2.°5. Inside +25. Rice made 4 trips secured 30 lbs. shrimp.
Long shot 11 dovekies + saw 4 seals one of which he shot at. He saw a walrus on the ice near Cape Sabine. I went hunting for ptarmigan saw two + fired at them twice at 10 + 20 paces respectively + neither was injured. The shot cartridges made from rifle bullets are not a success judging from my experience today. I found many meat caches + circles of stone indicating where the natives had pitched their summer tents + I also found a skull of a walrus of great antiquity also another piece of bone very friable + rotten. These prove substantially to me that they (the natives) used to spear the walrus when they crawled up on the rocks to sun themselves.
This is the worst day that I have ever passed in this place. I am so weak from hunger that I can scarcely walk + our wan pinched faces look wishfully toward the South for relief from that quarter. My physical energies seem to be resisted or reacted upon by my moral power + it is with the greatest effort that one can walk at all. No tea this morning but a poor thin stew — this evening however we done better.

Wednesday April 2nd

Clear with brisk west wind all day. The tempt. has been remarkable uniform having remained at -13 all day. Inside it stood at +27. Rice + Fredericks remained at shrimp fishing for 7 hours + brought home 32 lbs. Long + Jens were prevented from doing anything in the hunting line by the ice crowding down. The great water channel which two days ago was entirely free of ice apparently to the Greenland shore was last evening filled with ice which crowded down from the north. As the opposite coast is very distinctly outlined today, it indicates that the ice has completely choked the channel or otherwise the low temperature would cause much vapor + conceal the land.
I went hunting, saw ptarmigan tracks but no birds. Fredericks this evening relieved from cooking + Schneider detailed instead — the former is preparing for his trip to Eskimo Point with Rice for the English meat abandoned last fall when the disaster occurred. They start next Sunday. Fred (E) has had his rations increased to the same amount as the hunters (¼ dovekie — 4 oz) but he does not improve + is very sulky + angry because he is not given more food. He is without doubt the most unreasonable savage living. Although we are using 3 oz dovekie 2 oz bacon 2 ½ oz bread + about 12 to 15 oz of shrimp per man per day we all feel weak and hungry — the shrimp possess very little nourishment. We are all longing for a thick stew of seal meat + blood to strengthen our reduced + emaciated bodies. Food, food, food is the constant topic of conversation — this gnawing hunger has driven every other thought or feeling from our minds + left us but little better than animals with nothing but the instinct for eating. The animal passions peculiar to men in good health are now dormant + forgotten in our weakness + the craving for food.

Thursday April 3rd 1884

Clear with light westerly wind. Tempt. 6 a.m. -16.5 + at noon -9 at 6 P.M. -14. In sun +15 + at same time another ther. in shade indicated -8. Inside +25. Rice went down early, but owing to scarcity of bait got but 15 pounds + he worked faithfully all day to get those. Salor assisted him + he will now take charge of the fishing. Long + Jens again went out to the water which had opened out slightly during the night. They saw fresh bear tracks two or three dovekies + shot at a seal but got nothing. Lt. K. went out to the open water but returned tired + empty handed. Long shot two ptarmigan near camp on his return this evening. I went hunting about the camp but saw nothing but fresh fox track. I found another skull + some small bones of a walrus near the Eskimo caches. They were so rotten + indicated such antiquity that I am prepared to state that from my observation the Eskimo remains at this point are of an earlier date than those described by me + others in the vacinity of Fort Conger. Rations of Fred (E) increased to ½ dovekie per day extra. + he eats it raw. The ice appears to have [illegible] in the sound is very closely packed + throws off no vapor so the G. coast is more distinct now than ever before. It would not surprise me if it yet froze over during this month. Toward the north however in Kane’s Sea a few pools are to be seen.

Friday April 4th 1884

Clear and calm with a tempt of -10 at 5 a.m. In an hour the sky had clouded, the wind blew briskly from the east + the tempt risen to +8. At 8 a.m. it grew calm + Long + Jens went out to the open water. I went to Cape Sabine. During the night channel cleared out again — Greenland coast distinctly outlined. Storm arose (snow + wind) at 12 N + I turned back first finding a bear track not more than two days old which led north over the new ice which was in motion when the tracks were made. Long also saw the same track. He also saw seal + only two or three dovekies. Salor with an inferior bait had very good success with his shrimp fishing — catching 15 pounds. I saw fresh fox track + the raven was seen several times. Tempt inside +26.5. Sky cleared during the evening + the tempt. fell to -8 at 5:30 P.M.
I propose to make a trip in a few days to the valley opposite Longs Point + on west side of Rice Straits. Bender complaining bitterly with a sore chest.
Lynn and Lt. L ration increased ¼ dovekie per day.

Saturday April 5th 1884

Clear with light west wind. Tempt. 6 a.m. +10 at noon -6 at 4 P.M. -13.
Inside +28. Fred (E) who has been ill for several days died at 9 a.m. the cause was probably owing to the exposure incident to his trip with Long to Mount Carey on short rations. In fact he slowly starved to death. He was buried at 2 P.M. + salute fired over the grave. His comrade did not display the stoicism that is usually attributed to his race but exhibited signs of deep emotion. He talks hopely of the future + recomends Eskimo Point as a good hunting ground. The hunters (Lt. K. Long + Jens) returned at 1:30 P.M. from open water having seen nothing. I worked all day getting Rice’s outfit ready. I am afraid that Lt. L. + Lynn will soon follow Fred (E) as they are very weak + cannot eat the shrimp stew. ¼ of a dovekie is now to be issued daily to each. Jens is to receive a double ration until further orders. Jewell + Bender are also very weak and look badly.
The death of the native was very sudden + unexpected. He passed away very quietly + without pain. He ate his breakfast two hours before his death + was out of doors twice during the night.
Whisler cut 2 holes in boat over which he nailed canvas to supply us with windows. The light does us good + is the means of saving us much fuel. Salor caught 12 lbs shrimp with the skins and skeletons of two dovekies. Rations for Rice 6 oz bread + 8 of pemmican, 6 alcohol.

Sunday April 6th 1884

Cloudy, calm. Tempt at 4 a.m. -10 at 6 -5 + at 3:30 P.M. +2 at 7 P.M. -8 Inside +27. Lt. K. Whisler Ellis + myself went with small sledge taking sleeping bag + 6 days provisions for Rice + Fred to summit of Garlington Island. Weak very weak 4 hours + 10 minutes to summit + 1 ½ hour to return. Rice + Fred started at 9:15 PM with our best wishes + prayers. Long had no success hunting. He saw 1 seal + 2 dovekies.
Salor caught 15 lbs shrimp. Ravens now seen every day.
Lynn our genial comrade has during the winter been rather petulant + irritable owing to the Isabella trip when his mind was undoubtedly affected. Talked [illegible] to Ralston at 11 a.m. + then soon after became unconscious and at 7 P.M. passed quietly away. How indifferently we look at anything of this kind now — what stocism is shown. Rice + Ralston slept soundly in the same bag with the corpse +c Reflections on his past life +c Light snow fell during the morning, but cleared in evening. A fine Eng. pemmican stew of 5 oz each had a very beneficial effect to us this evening.
Jens ration was yesterday doubled in addition to the 1/3d of dovekie daily.

Monday April 7th 1884

Snow falling heavily all day. Calm, tempt. 6 am -8.7 + at 1 P.M. +2. Inside +27. Lynn buried at 10 a.m. Lt. K. dug grave which was only 6 inches deep but in our weak state nothing more could be done. It was all that eight of us could do to get the sledge up hill to ridge. The Dr. says that Lynn literally died of starvation — a living skeleton indeed. He could not eat his shrimps for the last few days. I shot 2 ptarmigan with one shot. Biederbick diluted alcohol + with some slight flavoring made an excellent "moonshine" drink of which an issue was made this evening. The hunters did not go out — No shrimps either during the storm. Jewell + Lockwood I think will soon follow Lynn — they are failing rapidly. I saw a large bird flying west uttering a hoarse squak — resembled a crane. Jens is in good spirits. Several are taking the precaution of making their wills + writing letters to their friends.

Tuesday April 8th 1884

Wind + snow storms all night + day with much drift.
Tempt. at 7 a.m. + 13.5 + at 3 P.M. -5. Inside +27. Lt. fell in faint from exhaustion in ally way + much trouble expended in reviving him.
Jewell in almost a helpless condition + has about lost his grip. All feeling cold + miserable. Diluted alcohol again issued + a most satisfactory impression [illegible].
I went down through the storm after dinner to the shrimping grounds + came home at about 9 P.M. with 15 lbs. They are caught by lowering a net (made by putting a gunny sack over a barrel hoop + with bait in the bottom) into the ice hinge + then hauling after a few minutes. Locality is 3/4 mile from Camp Clay toward Cape Sabine + at foot of Shrimp Glacier.

Wednesday April 9th 1884

Storm continues unabated. Tempt. at 7 a.m. -7 + at 11 am +1.5. Inside +25. Lieut L. had been unconscious all the morning and finally breathed his last at 4:20 P.M. This will be a sad blow to his family. Biederbick + I laid him out — closed his eyes + looked over his affairs. Jewell about the same.
Tea increased to 1 cup per man. Jens extra ration discontinued. Rum (diluted alcohol) issued. Lt. Greely formally revoked the order relieving Lt. K from duty with the Expedition and again placed him on duty. He spoke in the warmest + highest terms of K’s conduct since leaving Conger + said that they had probably mistaken each others notions. C.O. gave directions about his effects in case anything should happen to him. I had Ellis improve a net with which Whistler attempted to fish near a small island not far from camp but no success. Ellis was again detected in eating stearine + was punished by having his dinner denied him but he cried + begged in the most abject manner for a remission of his sentence. The order was modified + only ½ his tea was taken. Jens shot a ptarmigan without success. Dr. Pavy has volunteered to cut the ice hereafter — owing to the weakness of the rest of the party.
Bender sick with his chest complaint. I took inventory today. Meat 144 lbs. Bread 70 lbs + dovekies 12 lbs. Can we live until May 10. — Sky is cloudy but every cloud has its silvery lining says the poet.

Thursday April 10th/84

The storm has now been raging for four days + continued until about 8 P.M. when it subsided to fresh breeze + snow eased. Tempt. 4 a.m. +2.5 and at 2 P.M. -9 at 7 P.M. -14. Inside +24. Jewell is trying to rally but the attempt is a very feeble one.
The last sad rites were performed for our late comrade + he was placed on Cemetery Ridge with the other three. I made a trip at 4 am to shrimp grounds + again at 8 + caught 12 lbs. In the evening I again went down + brought back 10 pounds. Jewell does not relish his shrimp + is slowly starving to death. Biederbick quite ill but he has wonderful spirits. Gardiner is gradually drooping. Connell and Ellis the same. Salor is not able [to] attend to the shrimp fishing + I have taken it off his hands. Whistler made a statement to both the C.O. + myself of which the conduct of Dr. Pavy in fall of 1881 + of which I must question him further on our return to the U.S. Jens is not feeling well. — What will we do without him in the Kyak. Alcohol for drink again issued. A suet pemican stew gives us much pleasure this evening. I used the last of the bird skins today + will now have to use the bones or carcasses — first removing the meat.

Friday April 11th 1884

A fine beautiful day — the best so far in this month, clear, calm + tempt at 4 am. -23 at 9 a.m. -15 + at same time in the sun it rose to +17. In the evening it fell to -24 at 9. Inside +25. Whistler went down at 4 a.m. to shrimp grounds + brought down about 3 lbs. I brought in at 11:30 a.m. after 3 hours fishing 8 lbs. Used seal skin + bird skeleton for bait. Long + Jens went out to open water at an early hour + returned at 3 P.M. without having seen anything except a walrus.
[illegible] (From this page turn to 154.)
Israel broke down in the health this morning but his spirits are good. Jewell does not rally except when alcohol is issued and late in the evening he became delirious.
I went down to the shrimp grounds after dinner and while awaiting the tardy little crustaceans + walking up + down to keep from freezing revolving a fine supper in my mind I saw a medium sized bear come in sight around the point 200 yds below me. My first impulse was to secrete myself behind a hummock + make an attack on the animal with the seaweed spear + hatchet but as they did not strike me as being particularly desirable weapons with which to encounter a ferocious + hungry bear I considered descretion the better part of valor + hastily decamped, taking the 5 lbs of shrimp which I had collected — not wishing to lose both bear + shrimp — Dodging through the heavy ice I managed to escape unseen + made as rapid progress as possible considering my weak condition. He came on with a sort of pacing gait + went in where I had been fishing. How I managed to reach the house as I did I have not the slightest idea but I had to abandon my heavy mittens + shrimp can on Cemetery ridge + dashing down the hill entered the hut in a very undignified manner + hurried Long + Jens off with the rifles to secure him. Lt. K. followed but soon returned completely broken down. At 9:50 the hunters returned + announced that they had met with success + that the bear had been met near cove—having followed closely on my trail — and retreated towards the open water — + that they killed him not more than 20 yards from the water. At once all was life and animation + in 20 minutes 9 of us had left with the sledge first taking 3 oz each of bacon to keep us up. Reached the open water at midnight + loaded him on after much difficulty + cut out some of the blood to carry home. Saw large seal on our arrival at water. This is Good Friday + the last fast day. Floe broke this morning + Long had a narrow escape. Jens [illegible].

Saturday April 12th/84

Clear, calm + a brighter day than yesterday. Tempt. at 2 a.m. -24 at 1 P.M. -14. at 7 P.M. -20.°1. We started back soon after midnight + was at hut at 2:20 a.m. having made a rather remarkable trip considering our condition. Ellis who went out solely for the rum + bacon which was to be issued at the open water was useless on the
this paragraph is a continuation from page 151. Not included in original transcription and transcribed by TMU
C.O. orders me to eat 2 oz extra pemmican daily in order to keep my strength. He also increased [illegible] + Jens ration 4 oz pemmican daily - all three sub rosa. Biederbick has found inconclusive evidence that Dr. P. stole the extract of [illegible][guess (ps): beef] which was missed last winter. the bright sunlight has had a very salutary effect on the health + spirits of all who have been out [illegible]. During this short rations imaginary bills of fare are being made up by [illegible] all what glorious feasts we eat in our minds.
Sat April 12th continued
outward trip + on starting back he informed me that he was no longer able to hunt. A drink of diluted alcohol + a fine stew of 5 oz American Pemmican with the addition of a few ounces of raw bear meat + blubber soon restored us to our normal condition. Bender + Biederbick skinned + cut up the animal which will dress about 400 lbs. Everything is utilized intestines lungs heart + head +c The stomach (which was nearly empty) the liver, wind pipe + feet I will use for shrimp bait. This fellow is our salvation — without him in two weeks Connell, Israel, Gardiner, Ellis, Salor, Biederbick, Kislingbury + Bender would have been in their graves. As it is they are just snatched from its brink. What rejoicing among us. We left some of the weakest weaping for joy when we left last night. Jewell died at 10 am. + Biederbick + myself closed his eyes + straightened his poor emaciated limbs + at 2 PM he was buried with the other four on Cemetery Ridge. Poor fellow if the bear had been killed 24 hours sooner he might in all probability have been saved. Whistler saw Henry steal a large piece of meat last evening + eat it while Bender + Biederbick was working on the bear. C.O. was kind enough to appoint me Sergeant in the Signal Corps to date from today subject of course to the approval of the Chief Signal Officer. This increases my pay [to] $17.00 per month. Kislingbury was in very bad condition yesterday but is now picking up rapidly as are all the others. It shows the affects of the mind over the body. Meat ration increased to 8 oz daily + all the shrimp we can catch. The hunters + the shrimper (myself) each get 8 oz extra of meat. Elison also gets the same.
Hunters did not go out today. Bender repaired their guns.

Sunday April 13th 1884

Clear + calm with tempt of -9 at 7 am. + -14 at 7 P.M. Inside +28.
I went down to the shrimping grounds after breakfast + brought up 20 lbs. Frederick came in at 1:30 P.M. with the sad news of the death of our friend Rice at 7:45 P.M. on Wednesday evening April 9th during the same storm. They had reached Eskimo Point where they abandoned the sleeping bag + everything except rum, fuel + rations.
Then travelling out into Baird Inlet in search of the meat in the driving storm, but against the advice of Fred. After 6 miles from land Rice broke down from exhaustion + weakness at 3 P.M. + Fred tried all available means to revive him with rum + cheering words, but he passed away at 7:45 P.M. How sad — the howling storm — his distracted comrade +c Fred buried him in a drift + went back to the sleeping bag + brought all the effects with sledge back as far as Cocked Hat Island where he abandoned it. He says there are [illegible] of open water at Eskimo Point between the ice bergs + Rice Strait is also open + in a pool he saw a seal. He also saw a fox near camp today. Fred has nobly performed his duty + this trip will be always conspicuous as the most heroic effort ever made in the Arctic. Long shot a seal at noon Whistler + myself dragged him in this evening. He will dress about 60 lbs. + give 35 lbs of blubber. C.O. has increased our ration of meat to 1 lb daily. He announced my transfer to the Signal Corps + promotion to Sergeant in the Corps + also transferred Ellis to the same branch + to the same grade. Jens saw white whales. Israel heard a snow bunting on the house this morning + Fred saw one yesterday in Rice Strait.

Monday April 14th/84

Clear + calm here in Camp Clay but the hunters say that the wind has been high at the open water + they saw nothing but a fresh bear track. I caught 22 lbs shrimp + returned very much fatigued but was then kept busily engaged in issuing until dinner. Schneider had managed to eat so much fresh meat that he threw up his supper + went to bed very sick. Biederbick caught him in the act of taking meat from the trimmings. Lt. G has not been feeling well for the last few days + the Dr. says his heart has been affected. He took a light lunch of bread + pemmican in the commissary + this evening feels much better. He told me that when a few days ago Israel had dispaired of life he had written a letter to his mother asking that 2/3 of his property might be given to me in consideration of my efforts this winter +c Rice has appointed Lt. Kislingbury M.P. Rice of Washington D.C. + myself as the executors of his will + requests that all his effects be looked after by us + such as deserve it be distroyed. Lt. G. told me that he thought that he would have no trouble in procuring me a commission in the Army on my return to the U.S. + Israel also volunteers his assistance. Connell saw a snow bunting on the hill today. Fred has not yet recovered from his severe trip + has slept nearly all day. Tempt. -15.2 at 7 a.m. + about the same in the evening. We are going to move to Payer Harbor about the 10th of next month. A detachment of hunters will however go down with the wall tent about the 25th inst. + all our effects will afterwards be moved by easy stages.

Tuesday April 15th/84

Clear with light westerly breeze. Tempt. -10.°8 at 7 a.m. + at 3 P.M. -12. Inside +27. I caught 15 lbs shrimps. Schneider came down + brought up my can. I have probably worked too hard as I am very weak today. Fred + Whistler went up to Cocked Hat Island + handed down the sledge which the former abandoned two days ago. Long + Jens saw three seals at the open water one of which Jens shot at but missed.
Gardiner had a fainting fit this morning but now feels better. The Commander taken ill with flux this evening + came into commissary for a meal of bread + pemmican which I hope will have a good affect as now on his good judgment depends our safety. Elisons bread decreased to 4 ounces + now 4 whole hard tack are issued two in evening + 2 in morning as a check on the Dr. The C.O. desires that I take the correspondence to the N.Y. Herald vacated by the death of Rice. The issue of 1 lb fresh meat has been extended to Monday. Ellis + Lt. Kislingbury are quite ill. Issue of rum or rather diluted alcohol is to be continued from day to day until further orders. 3 years ago today I received orders to join this expedition. Bread reduced to 2 oz per day.

Wednesday April 16th 1884

Heavy snow fall with light westerly winds that continued all day. Tempt. at 7 am +5 at 11 a.m. +16 + at 3 P.M. +19.°8 at 7 P.M. +2. Inside +28. I caught 18 lbs shrimp during the morning + in the evening again hauled the nets + secured 23 lbs more. I will now leave them down + work both tides to avoid the dampness + exposure which several hours fishing necessitates + be consequently rapidly reducing my strength notwithstanding the extra 8 oz meat per day which I now receive. Israel is feeling quite weak + has had his ration increased 8 oz. Lt. Greely is feeling somewhat better today. He partook of another meal of bread + pemmican in the commissary house while I was issuing in order to preserve his strength + health. This in his case must be kept up at all hazards.
Lt. K. + Ellis are in a very weak state.
C.O. gave us some statistics this evening. The 12 oz of bear meat for supper was fried instead of stewed + was much more relished than usual. Ralston relieved from cooking in Lt. G’s mess + Fred taken from my side to cook for them. Shorty tells me that Rice gave as his opinion of the men of the party while he was dying that Henry, Bender, Schneider Ellis + Connell were characters too contemptible to live. Dr. Pavy, Ralston, Jewell, Lynn, + Whistler he had no earthly use for + Lts. Lockwood + Kislingbury he considered good hearted men but very ignorant + dumb + no assistance to the C.O. whom he considered a man. The latter he said was forgiven for anything that he might have done toward him + in his (Rice) eyes he had redeemed himself during the winter at Camp Clay. Henry paroled and given the limits of this peninsula.

Thursday April 17th/84

Clear + calm with a bright sunlight that fairly delighted our hearts weary of the intermidable gloom + darkness of the interior of our hut. Tempt. at 9 a.m. in shade +16 in sun +30. At 7 P.M. -5. + a beautiful evening. During middle of the day light snow fell + indications of high storm in straits so hunters did not go out. Inside tempt on rising this morning +28. Whistler made two more courses [of] windows in boat today + our light is greatly improved. I looked over the effects of Rice and Jewell today. All his personal effects were turned over to Lt. K + myself as his executors. His journal + notes + mss. were given into my charge in defference to a suggestion made by Pavy + they will be sealed by Lt. K. + myself tomorrow. C.O. refused to allow Lt. K. to act as correspondent to the N.Y. Herald + the matter according to his + C.O. promise yesterday will probably be turned over to me. Shorty Fred made public the sentiment expressed by Rice with his dying breath regarding the C.O.. He said that during winter he had redeemed himself +c
Fredericks hauled the nets for me today + secured 42 lbs in the two hauls. I have not been feeling well today + have layed off in consequence. I came home last evening in exhausted state.
Everybody is feeling better today. The C.O. especially has greatly improved. Weighed the blubber of seal — result 40 lbs. Fox track at Strait seen.

Friday April 18th 1884

A terrific snow + wind storm continued all day until evening when it cleared off + the wind died away. Tempt. at 7 a.m. -1.°5 at 11 am +12. 3 P.M. +0.°5 at 7 P.M. -3. Inside +30.°8 before fires started.
I weighed the seal meat today — result 38 lbs making a total (including blubber) of 78 lbs. I visited the shrimping grounds + brought back 18 lbs. Jens is making the small sledge for seal screen. Lt. Kislingbury + I sealed the notebooks of Rice + they were turned over to my custody to deliver to the Chief Signal Officer by Lt. Greely. Today we had over 100 lbs shrimps on hand. The issue of diluted alcohol still continues. The light in the house is now so that it is more agreeable but we cannot yet read from our bunks. Drip is considerable in house. I am feeling very weak + almost without ambition. It must be the change of diet that has made this change in my condition. Lt. G. again visited the commissary for a lunch of 8 oz pemmican + about 6 of bread. He told me that Ralston had been relieved from cooking on account of his having been detected by Gardiner stealing food from his mess. It will cost him about $350.00 (his mess bill) the C.O. says.
Everyone is much better today except Biederbick. He cannot eat his shrimps + has not been up. Whistler is to be also excepted with above list. He is very weak.
A fine stew this morning of 14 oz shrimps, 5 oz meat + 1 oz bread. This evening another stew of 15 oz shrimps, 10 oz meat + 1 of bread. Won’t we get fat!!!!!

Saturday April 19th 1884

Cloudy with heavy frost precipitation. Lt. west wind. Tempt. at 12:30 a.m. -17 at 8 a.m. +5 + at 3 P.M. +3.°5. Inside +29.°8. Barometer high + steady. Long did not go out this morning but Jens visited open water + saw a seal + a dovekie. Gardiner gave me the disquieting details of Ralston stealing while he was cooking also facts relating to his "light fingers" at Fort Conger. Lt. G again visited the store house for lunch + had 12 oz weighed out for the two next days. Ellis is worse — he could not eat his breakfast. Biederbick is better. Whistler’s strength gave out today. We are all very weak + it is hard to find men enough to empty the urinal tub and cut the ice. The Dr. usually attends to the latter job. I hauled 18 lbs shrimps + found that the raven had paid a visit [to] the shrimping grounds. The greatest difficulty I have to contend with is issuing the fresh meat which is all frozen + has to be sawed. This in my weak condition is very trying + I often feel like giving up but the future looks to bright + by sheer force of will alone I keep on. The ice in boat + on roof is now thawing rapidly + we are gradually removing it. We are now in circumstances to admit of everyone having all the shrimp he wants — no restrictions now. C.O. has awarded the prize of 1 lb of nuts or dried fruit to Connell whose date was on the 20th inst.

Sunday April 20th 1884

Barometer has been falling steadily all day. Tempt. at 7 a.m. -1. at 11 a.m. +2. + at 3 P.M. -0.5. Inside +29. Cloudy + stormy during the morning + evening in the middle of the day however it was calm + fine with bright sunlight + light air. Long + Jens at open water saw nothing but 1 seal. I caught 15 lbs shrimps. Ellis was very much broken down this morning by the flux but his condition had improved this evening. Dr. Pavy was detected yesterday by Long stealing Schneiders alcohol. A fine hard bread pudding (the last) this morning with 3 oz tallow each was the finest dish I have tasted since Christmas. This evening a fine stew of the trimmings of seal + bear heads the hearts, lungs, kidneys etc of 13 oz each + 6 lbs of bear blood to each side or mess. The blood enriched the stew beyond the conception of anyone unacquainted with its use + supplied it with a thick delicious gravy + at the same time imparted a flavor which proclaimed it the finest we have ever yet had in this place.
Schneider has taken another sleeping bag owing to quarrels with his bag mates.
Israels ration of fresh meat (8 oz extra) discontinued today.
Beginning tomorrow morning our meat ration has been reduced from 1 lb to 10 oz per day. The Dr. reported that the hunters extra meat was issued without any bone in it. Think of issuing a diet of bones to the men who are working hard to put food in our mouths!!! From this date the sun will be above the horizon at all hours + we can later amuse ourselves by looking at the midnight sun.

Monday April 21st 1884

Weather cloudy + stormy with puffs of wind from the west. Tempt. at 7 a.m. -1. at 5 P.M. -2. It rose to +10.3 at 11 a.m. I had an attack of diarrhea last evening + got thoroughly chilled + lost my customary sleep in consequence. Will not visit the shrimping grounds owing to my weak condition by Dr. orders. Long + Jens did not visit the open water. Dr. says that Elison + myself are the strongest of the party. The C.O. is recovering slowly. He again visited store house for a lunch of pemmican + bread. Dr. wants to compromise with C.O. + throws himself on the others mercy. He used Lockwoods name in connection with his [illegible][guess (ljw): drunk at Franklin Bay] in order to push his own case. Schneider accused of stealing meat while cutting it + also of unfairness in issuing out the stew. C.O. gave him a stern lecture + said if caught he would be turned over to the party. Everyone [illegible] stew-pot on our side spoiled by having a hole burned through its bottom. Long was the only man strong enough to do the outside work today. He is a wonderful fellow. Jens the happy good natured little fellow is in excellent shape + full of hope of the future + says he "is one of us."

Tuesday April 22nd 1884

Cloudy and stormy all day. In the evening the storm became particularly severe. Tempt. at 5 a.m. +5 at 11 a.m. + 10 + at 3 PM +15. Inside +28. Bender + Whistler have cut lining of the boat. Part of the stearine used this evening + tomorrow we again fall back on wood of which we have at present about 10 days. Long + Jens went out notwithstanding the storm but found the water space closed by drifting ice. I went down to shrimping grounds + found the baits badly [illegible] + got but 6 lbs. Will work the evening tide tomorrow. Schneider refused to cook this evening owing to the accusation of yesterday + the C.O. insisted on doing it for him + issued the bacon. He however allowed Jens to make the tea. 7½ oz cold bacon + 1 hard tack issued this evening make a good change for us. Schneider was told to get up + cook breakfast or he would receive no more food here. It is useless to say that he accepted the latter alternative. Dr. Pavy + Lt. K each recommended that our ration be increased to 16 oz each but he [C.O.] compromised by increasing it to 12 only. We have at this rate only rations for 20 days. The future looks dark + dreary for us with this stormy weather. On Dr. Pavys recommendation my extra 8 oz meat was cut off. Several volunteered to give up sufficient of their rations to make this up to me. C.O. came into the commissary + had a lunch. He also directed me to take anything that I would require in order to keep up my strength. This I cannot accept in justice to my comrades for while my health remains I am willing to work + when my strength is gone I hope someone will be strong enough to take my place. The C.O.'s strength must at any sacrifice be kept up for with him rests the credit of the Expedition + the U.S. He was not very well today. All the others except Israel + Gardiner were as well as usual. I issued the contents of the seals stomach for tomorrows stew. This is rather hard for those of fastidious tastes but we would like to have even all of this sort of thing we could eat. We have discarded reading at present owing to the scarcity of light and our conversation flaggs for want of subjects + all are asleep by 7 P.M. Perhaps this is better to plunge our troubles in sleep. C.O. gave me directions today as to the disposal of his effects in the event of his death. I also asked as a favor that my effects might be disposed of as [illegible] suggested. I advised the increase of the hunters rations to 24 oz but it was not approved of.

Wednesday April 23d/84

Bright clear + beautiful day with a light westerly wind. Tempt. at 5 a.m. +5 at 7 P.M. +2. It rose to +15 in the sun. Inside in the morning +28.7 + in the evening after snow was cleared of the keel of the boat it fell to +25. Trap door over stove made by Whistler. Bender made a stove + we began using wood this morning for cooking. Israels + Gardiners ration of meat increased 4 oz each. Long + Jens did not see any game today. There is very little water. I visited the shrimp grounds + put in the nets before dinner + returning went down again after dinner + brought back 30 pounds. I staggered over to the point beyond camp in search of ptarmigan but saw nothing — not even a track.
This life is getting almost unbearable — it is horrible. I am afraid we will all go mad. What keeps us up in my own case it is the thoughts of home a clear future with many enjoyments that I can expect. The faces of my friends + family rise up before me with reproachful looks whenever I think of faltering. Only 19 days provisions. The extra increase of 2 oz is to be issued in pemmican. Ration is now 12 oz. I saw two ravens at shrimping grounds.

Thursday April 24th 1884

Clear + beautiful day with a light westerly wind. Tempt. at 6 a.m. 0 + in sun +17 at 11 a.m. + 2.5 + at 3 P.M. + 3.8. Barometer steady. Inside before lighting fire +25. Dr. Pavy went down at 4 a.m. + put in the nets. After breakfast I went down + found that he had fastened the ropes so that as the tide rose it lifted the nets from the bottom + consequently nothing was found in them. He had also filled them with rocks + discarded baits so that if the shrimps had been so inclined they could not have reached the baits.
Schneider went down at 1 P.M. + brought back 8 pounds. He lost two lbs by falling down + also lost my ladle with which I remove them from the nets. I went down at 5 P.M. + returned at 7:30 with 12 pounds of shrimps. Long + Jens saw an ussuk seal but could get no shot. They found where a seal had been through the ice + also saw three more holes. Day before yesterday the Dr. was detected by both Elison + Fredericks in stealing the bacon from the former while feeding him. The following morning finding that he could steal no more he turned Elison over to Ralston to be fed.
C.O. + Lt. K. not so well today. the former again lunched in store house. Israel + Gardiner poor fellows with characteristic unselfishness did not wish to take the extra 4 oz but wanted it given to me in order to keep up my strength when shrimping. Schneider relieved from cooking + Bender detailed instead. The former to help me with shrimps. Two pots of stew this evening + of tea. Tempt inside at noon was +24.

Friday April 25th 1884

Stormy day. Westerly wind caused much drift + made the day a very disagreeable one. Hunters did not go out. Jens made seal screens. Schneider went down to shrimp grounds + returned at 4 a.m. with 10 lbs. He gave out + is now on the sick list. My rations have again been increased by 8 oz + I will endeavor by making 3 trips to get all the shrimps we want. I went down at 5 a.m. + found that Schneider had left the nets suspended + got only 4 lbs. I shot two ptarmigan on my return on Cemetery Ridge. I went down again at 6 P.M. + got 16 lbs. My legs are very weak + sore. Gardiner not as well as yesterday.
Tempt. at 7 a.m. +9 at 9 am +10.5 Inside at 6 a.m. +22.°5 — the lowest for a long time. The largest expanse of water in Straits that I have seen this year. The Spring tides have [illegible] it out during the night. Barometer has been falling all day. We have a double stew again this evening. the shrimps certainly help to fill ones stomach but they have very little nutriment — it is very plain that we could not subsist on them alone. By actual count there are 1300 to the half gill or about 700 to the ounce of the little fellows.

Saturday April 26th 1884

Cloudy with light snow at intervals + a brisk westerly wind which caused some drift. I hauled 10 lbs shrimps at 2:30 a.m. Made another trip at noon but could not raise the nets owing to high tide. Fredericks went down for me at 6 PM + brought back 7 lbs. He said that there was nothing of any account in nets. Everyone is feeling better today. I am having a new shrimp net made. C.O. again lunched in store house on bread bacon + pemmican.
Long + Jens saw a large ussuck seal at open water wind too high to admit of successful hunting. Barometer has been rising rapidly since morning.
Our conversation now is chiefly on the subject of food. From the present indication our stock of food will soon be a matter of the past.
Tempt. at 5 a.m. +7 at 11 am +10 + at 7 PM -2. Inside +26.

Sunday April 27th 1884

Clear with light westerly wind in the morning. Wind died away at 9 a.m. Tempt. at 4 a.m. +1 at 11 a.m. +14.5 and + at same time +37. in the sun. Snow melted slightly on the exposed surface of the boat. Tempt. inside +26. Outside at 9 P.M. -6. Barometer falling slightly.
I went to shrimp grounds at 4 a.m. + returned at 9 with 22 lbs. In the evening I brought abt 15 lbs more after 4 hours fishing. I now work both low tides + remain as long as the crack will permit me to haul. Salor made me a new net + Schneider [illegible] a line. Sick are better except C.O. Jens is getting weak. His + Longs ration is increased 4 oz. They went out to hunt quite early + returned during supper. They saw 12 white whales + Jens shot at a large seal on the ice.
Henry brewed the issue of alcohol without authority stole enough of the precious fluid to get thoroughly and disgustingly drunk. He is a born thief as his 7th Cavalry name will show — a perfect fiend. Dr. P. recommends that 4 oz bacon + pemmican be issued alternately each morning cold to assist our bowels which are now in a deplorable state. Jens is very weak, + says "Eskimo no good" in his honest, pathetic manner. We are struggling bravely — how bravely for life the world may never know for I am afraid that none of us will be left to tell the tale of our trials + suffering. No pen can adequately describe the horrors of our situation. With the one exception of the thief all are doing their best. Long saw two snow buntings. He says that Jens was close on the seal + the miss of the shot was very awkward.

Monday April 28th/84

Cloudy, almost a fog — calm, with tempt. at 5 a.m. -4, at 7 a.m. +5.3 at 12:30 P.M. +21. at 2 P.M. +8 + at 8 P.M. 0. Inside +28. I visited shrimp ground at 5 + returned at 9:30 a.m. with 25 lbs. I also fished up considerable kelp + other marine vegetation. I was very tired + Fredericks went down for me in the evening + returned with 10 lbs. Israel not so well. C.O. the same — his heart troubles him. The abnormal stools are fast reducing our strength. Gardiner is better. Biederbick fainted dead away this morning while at stool. Hunters say ice closed in + nothing seen [illegible]. Ration of diluted alcohol taken from Henry + he is detailed to empty urine tub + perform other work as a prisoner. C.O. again lunched in commissary.
Jens is in excellent spirits. Israel has promised him a new watch. C.O. a new kyak Lt. K. + Biederbick a boat + others have made similar promises.

Tuesday April 29th 1884

Clear beautiful day. Tempt. at 7 a.m. +6 at 10 a.m. +9. at 9 P.M. +4. at 11 a.m. it rose to +39 in the sun. Inside +27. I went down to shrimp at 7 a.m. + caught 20 lbs. In the evening I brought up 10 lbs more. Long returned at 2:30 P.M. with the sad report of the death of Jens by drownding. He had seen a large seal on a floe beyond a lane of water + while crossing to it had to transport his kyak over a drifting tongue of ice which he did by pushing it ahead of him — then reembarking on opposite side he had made but a short distance when the kyak began sinking. He sprang out + was soon dead but floated about half an hour. Long endeavored to assist him + came near losing his own life. Long tried also to save the kyak + the large Springfield rifle but both were lost. This is a sad blow to us + may prove fatal. Long saw several seals in the water afterwords — some of which he could have shot but as there was no way to get them out of the water he had to return without firing a shot.
Fredericks is going to hunt during the night + Long during the day. A terrible gale began at 7 P.M. from the South + straits badly broken.

Wednesday April 30th/84

A fine day, gale subsided at 1 a.m. + sky remained cloudy until about 9 a.m. when the sun broke through in all its glory + only a suspicion of a zephyr from the West.
Tempt. at 7 a.m. +2. at 2 P.M. +12. In sun +36. Inside +26.2 At 9 P.M. +7.
Long + Fred are to hunt one in day + the other at night. Long went to Payer Harbor + followed up the open water. Saw several seal holes + two bear tracks.
I devised + constructed a rake from iron barrel hoops with which I made quite a successful haul of marine vegetation. I think that if we are so unfortunate as to be unable to get more game we can eke out a miserable existence on this vegetation + shrimps until the arrival of the birds. I hauled 22 lbs shrimps in morning + 10 lbs at night + [illegible] kelp. C. O. is feeling better.
He took lunch again in store house. He also told me that he had written a letter to be found in his journal on the event of his death that owing to the weak state of Lt. Kislingbury’s mind I should assume command of the Expedition + in the event of my death Ralston, Gardiner, Fredericks + Long would follow in order. Everyone except lt. K appears to be improving in health.
Turf or the roots + leaves of saxifrage is being used quite successfully now as fuel in connection with the wood. I last evening suggested to cut off the bow or stern of the boat + try to make it water tight with a piece of painted canvas but the C.O. deemed it impracticable to manage owing to our weak condition.
Snow began falling at 6 P.M. that prevented Fred from going out. Long refused suffering with snow blindness.

Thursday May 1st/84

Tempt. inside +29. Everyone except C.O. are feeling better. The last of the lime juice was used yesterday. Last of the English pemmican was issued today. + all the bread will go tomorrow. This suspense is horrible. Will the last blow prove fatal to us? Something tells me that it will not. How can we die a horrible death by starvation after three years of severe labor in these regions without telling the world of the results of our work + enjoying the results of our success. Only 9 days rations left. One would not think that we were so near our end to hear us discuss subjects so near our hearts (food) as well as the probable changes in clothing gloves hats watches +c I think it probable that we could live on shrimps + the marine vegetation but my bait for the former is nearly all gone + my strength is going fast. I cannot supply these articles for 18 persons for many days more. Anyhow there is but very little nutriment in either article and an immense quantity would be required to keep us alive.
Tempt. at 7 am +9 at 1 P.M. +10 + at 11 P.M. +1.
Snow fell slowly + steadily all day. Fred went out hunting today + brought in encouraging reports of seal holes off Beebee Point. I fished for 6 hours + caught 23 lbs shrimps in addition to about 6 lbs kelp. In the evening another trip resulted in 2 lbs shrimps. Returned at 11:30 P.M. very tired + weak. Kislingburys mind is almost completely gone. Poor fellow, he talked so hopely of the future + his happy meeting with his four boys. Longs eyes are better. Two pots of stew + no tea this evening. C.O. asked each person individually his opinion with regard to the extention of the provisions. Most in favor of making them run as far as possible.
Snow fell all day.

Friday May 2nd 1884

Cloudy with light snow until 2 P.M. when it cleared sufficiently to allow Fred to go out hunting.
Tempt. at 6 am +2. at 11 a.m. +9. Inside +28.9.
Salor relieved Bender as cook in our mess. The latter troubled with lungs again. He went down with me to Shrimp grounds. Caught 24 lbs + 7 of kelp. Modified the kelp rake. Long went out this morning but saw nothing. I was sick this morning + unable to eat anything until evening. It was owing to the stew of last evening having an overdose of salt.
Last of our bread was issued today. Rations reduced to 8 oz except the hunters, shrimper + Israel + Elison. Everyone except Lt. K + C.O. are better. I find that someone had been tampering with the lock of commissary store house. The future looks very dark for us but as for myself I have lost all fear of death + now look forward to it as a relief from our terrible sufferings. My emaciated frame is nothing but a bundle of bones — it would not make a respectable hat rack.

Saturday May 3d 1884

Clear with light westerly wind, which however did not prevent Long from going to Rice’s Straits. He [was] gone 15 hours. Shot small seal in water but it sank 5 yds from ice. [illegible]. Fred came in at 1 a.m. + went out at 8 a.m. again after game. In the first instance he saw six seals + flock of dovekies. He broke through the ice + thoroughly saturated his feet. Today he saw four more seals. Ice about Beebee Point looks as if it was about to break up. Shrimps 25 lbs + kelp about 6 lbs. During the next Spring Tides I confidently expect to get enough kelp to last us for ten or fifteen days. I use the bears liver for bait, it is very good.
Whistler was caught in commissary store house by Bender. He had forced the lock + was eating bacon + had a large piece (about 2 lbs) in the breast of his blouse. He is the most abject cowardly + craven that ever disgraced mankind by his presence. I shot a brace of ptarmigan on Cemetery Ridge. Lt. G. is quite ill today. He said that he was afraid that he was about at his end. Everyone is better physically but the theft has upset the spirits generally.
The saxifrage is doing good work for us as fuel. Henry gathered a large quantity today.
Tempt. at 6 a.m. at zero. at 11 am. +12. at 3 P.M. +6. The tempt remains very low for this season. Even nature is against us, will nothing be favorable for us. Our ration is now only 8 oz daily except the shrimps + kelp in which there is little or no nutriment. Will these days of misery + wretchedness never end — can we endure it much longer with thieves + men devoid of all honor in our midst. Tempt. inside at 6 a.m. [illegible] Lt. G has taken nothing but three or four spoonfuls of stew.
Will anyone ever be able to decipher this writing. It is in great part illegible the sentences incoherent, + all written in a hurry + with great rapidity and under the most trying circumstances that our miserable condition would admit of.
Long saw no seal on the ice. He did not return until 9:30 a.m.

Sunday May 4th 1884

Clear beautiful day with the customary westerly wind (light). Tempt. at 7 am. +6. at 11 a.m. +19 + at 3 P.M. +6. In the sun it rose to +27. Icicles formed on rocks. Inside tempt. + [gap: omitted]
I caught 30 lbs shrimps + 2 of sea vegetation. I am steadily adding to the Natural History collection of specimens which we have been accumulating in alcohol. C.O. is somewhat better — [illegible] is quite himself again to the great relief and gratification of everyone. Fred saw walrus at Sabine. Long went out at 4 P.M.

Monday May 5th 1884

Cloudy + windy all day + light snow began falling during the evening. Long returned shortly after midnight having seen nothing. Fred went out this morning + only returned at dinner without having seen anything. I caught 28 lbs shrimps + 3 lbs kelp. Henry + Biederbick gathered saxifrage.
Ration changed somewhat. 4 oz pemmican is now issued in lieu of 4 oz of fresh meat. + 3 oz bacon will be issued in the same manner day after tomorrow. Tea is also increased to 3 inst of 2 spoonfulls in each pot. C.O. tells me that he has written a letter to General Hazen + also one to his wife. In the former he has mentioned his wishes with regard to me if I should succeed in getting through + as reports Long he wishes him to be assigned to Signal Corps + shown all possible consideration. Gardiner the same. Ralston and Jewell are to pay their mess bill. Cross to pay his from the time he was relieved by Fredericks. Rice + Israel are not to pay theirs. The latter is to be shown all possible consideration + all due credit given him for his scientific work. Fredericks is to be assigned to the Signal Corps as 1st Class Private retained as ambulance driver or useful man generally. Biederbick to be made Hospital Steward if possible. A commission as 2nd Lieutenant is to be my reward for services rendered in the interests of the Expedition. With regard to his wife I am to communicate all the requests made me by her husband. Everything looks dark for us. If the C.O. does not pull through the Expedition will have lost its best friend + the full benefit of our three years work lost — As for me I had rather be lain by his side on Cemetery Ridge than go back without him. So great is the respect admiration + affection that I have formed toward him this winter. He has indeed proved himself the man under the most trying circumstances.
Tempt. at midnight stood at zero. +16.°5 at 11 a.m. + +10. at 5 P.M. The Dr. tells me that my strength is failing + that he detects difficulty with my heart caused by over-exertion.

Tuesday May 6th 1884

A high S.E. gale set in at 3.30 a.m. + continued with great violence until 1 P.M. — Passage drifted full + party generally miserable. Half a lemon issued to flavor the diluted alcohol. It was good — we have only 1½ more — the only luxury in Ellesmere Land. Stormy discussion between the Dr. + C.O. in which the latter after ordering the former to "Shut up" four times told him (when the Dr. continued to talk) that if he was not the Dr. of the Expedition he (C.O.) would shoot him. Bender interfered + did not keep silence when ordered + was threatened by C.O. to shut. C.O. siezed Longs rifle + Bender asked Lt. K. to let him get behind him. I took gun from C.O. + compelled Bender to get in his bag. Connell announced that he thought a conspiracy was being formed to allow the strong men to get through + the weak ones to get along the best they can.
The starting of the whole matter was that yesterday Dr. recommended that the fresh meat be extended as far as possible + today Lt. G. ordered that the hunters have bacon + pemmican issued to them instead of the extra 8 oz of fresh meat as heretofore. In order that all kinds of food may run out at the same time. To this arrangement the Dr. objected owing to the great value of the bacon + pemmican. Sick about the same. Tempt. inside +25.0 In the shade at 1 P.M. +14. at 6 P.M. +20.0.
Issued C.O. 1 lb lime juice pemmican extra for four days use by his order.
Half (4 oz) of Elisons extra ration of meat cut off. I went down after dinner + after 3 hours work returned with 12 lbs shrimps + about 2 of kelp. The snow is falling heavily at the time.

Wednesday May 7th 1884

Wind from west with drift + tempt. at 6 a.m. +14 at 11 am. +32.5 + at 3 P.M. +15. The wind + drift are severe. Inside +27.
Day spent by many in the preparation of farewell letters to their friends. I did the same + got all my effects ready for Relief party in order to save them trouble. Section of boat cut out for fuel + space covered by canvass.
Ralston today asked me to act as his Executor in event of his death. I acceded.
Gardiner is worse also Lt. K. + Ellis. Owing to stormy day hunters did not go out. A terrific Easterly gale began at 2.30 P.M. I started out at 3 resolved to go to shrimp fishery but had not sufficient strength to face it + had to return. I was blown off Cemetery Ridge several times + was finally compelled to crawl up on my hands + knees.

Thursday May 8th 1884

Tempt. inside +30 Outside + +16 at 7 am + +6 at 9 P.M.
Wind subsided at 11 am. At 8 am. snow began falling heavily. I went to shrimp fishery at 7 a.m. + hauled net — result 12 lbs. after 5 hours work. After dinner I caught 22 lbs more + about 5 lbs sea vegetation. I felt very tired on my return this evening. The heavy vegetation rake is a strength reducer. Snow ceased falling + sun came out brightly at 2 P.M. Fred went out hunting at 4 P.M. Sick are about the same but their strength is gradually slipping. My own is going fast.
The Sound is an open sea in which a vessel may sail with impunity. It has increased considerably.

Friday May 9th 1884

Tempt. inside + 30.5
Tempt. of air at 7 a.m. +14 at 11 a.m. it had fallen to +13.0 at 4 P.M. it stood at +10 + at 9 P.M. +5.5.
Fred returned at 1.30 a.m. + reported having seen many seals one of which was drifting on the ice but he could not get at him. He also saw several gulls + a bird with a long beak. He reports a school of fish which were probably white whales.
The Dr thinks one may live through for a short time on the shrimps and sea vegetation. Some of the weaker however will have to go, they cannot possible survive the reduction at the present low state of the system.
Ellis prepared several baits for me when requested to cut the hair from other baits growled about getting out of the bag + working in the cold for those miserable shrimps.
The Dr. is doing wonderfully well. He cuts the ice, attends the sick + gives lectures + rustles about generally. I issued another pound of pemmican to the C.O. today. Cloudy with light westerly wind in the morning. Sky cleared at 1 P.M. but the wind continued light the entire day.
The daily issue of the diluted alcohol has a most beneficial effect on the spirits + general tone of the party.
Long went out this morning notwithstanding the unfavorable weather. He returned at 4.30 PM without having seen any seals on the ice + only a few in water. No birds seen. Israels extra rations of 4 oz was cut off today. Elisons has been reduced to 4 oz. The hunters receive 12 oz extra on days when they hunt + only 8 oz on other days. The shrimper (myself) receives 8 oz daily. Fred went out again this evening to hunt.
I caught 30 lbs shrimps after 5 hours work. I lost my kelp rake by the breaking of my rope. I secured small amount of vegetation with pole.
Whistler + Salor made their wills today.

Saturday May 10th 1884

Clear beautiful morning + remained so all day. Light west wind in morning but calm rest of day. Tempt. at 2 a.m. at zero at 5 a.m. +4 At 3 P.M. +6 at 9 P.M. +3. In sun it rose to +27.
Inside before starting fire +31 — the highest yet. Fred returned at 2 P.M. having seen only two seals + 1 white whale. He went out again after dinner. Long had no luck — he did not even see anything. I caught 36 lbs shrimps + dragged up 10 lbs of sea vegetation from 4 till 10 P.M. I was badly broken down on returning owing the heavy load + the blood flowed from my nostrils after the exertion of climbing the ice-foot. I made a new vegetation rake which is an improvement over the old one.
Greenland coast very plain + distinct tonight + the water perfectly free of ice appears to extend to the opposite shore. Long from the top of Cape Sabine reports Smith Sound open to the north + south as far as the cape can extend + no ice in sight. This looks favorable for the speedy arrival of the Relief Ship or the party from Lyttleton Island.

Sunday May 11, 1884

Clear beautiful day and only a breath of air at intervals from the west. Tempt. at 2 a.m. -2. Tempt. in sun rose to +37 at noon. At 3 P.M. (shade) +7.5 at 9 P.M. +1.
Inside +29.8. Fred returned at 2 a.m. and reported having shot a large seal but it sank before drifting to margin of ice. This is a sad loss for us — almost a fatal blow. He went out again this evening. Long went out after breakfast returning at 4 P.M. having seen several seals, one of which he came near shooting.
New ice has been crowding down in the channel all day.
Last of the pemmican was issued today — also all the fresh meat except ten lbs. which was ordered to be kept. Biederbick made a rake for sea vegetation today. Gardiner slightly better. Lt. K. + Ellis are worse. Biederbicks rake worked very well but the vegetation will soon be exhausted. I caught 26 lbs shrimps + 10 of vegetation.

Monday May12th 1884

Cloudy + calm in early morning but before 9 am the sky cleared beautifully. Tempt. at 1 a.m. +6, at 6 a.m. +9. At 8 P.M. +3. In sun tempt rose to +32.1.
Fred returned at 1 am having seen a seal + a gull. He saw a ptarmigan on the house on his return but had to go back to Cemetery Ridge for shot gun — on his return the bird had flown.
I went over to the point beyond camp for ptarmigan but saw nothing. I issued the last of the provisions today. They are for two days + consisted of 12 ½ oz bacon + tallow to each man in addition to 1 oz each per meal for stews for 6 meals.
The extra for hunters + shrimper extend only to tomorrow.
Israel feeling somewhat depressed in spirits today made a verbal will — his personal effects — 1 pair gold sleeve buttons + a gold pen with ivory holder he wished to go to his family as relics. His pocket knife to myself + something over two hundred dollars (in paper) to be used as follows: $25.00 to be taken for the comfort of Elison on the voyage down. $10.00 to each of the families of our faithful natives. $75.00 to be used by some of the following in the order named for the purpose of visiting his family. Major Greely, Brainard, Gardiner + Biederbick. The remainder of the amount or what is necessary is to be divided for the use of the Expedition on the voyage down. — for purchase of food +c I give this as an illustration to show the state of our minds how we are prepared to die + talk freely of the subject more as a matter of business than because we fear its dread approach.
Another section of the boat was taken off today. Canvas roof on the lean to was removed — this leaves us only the short passage way. Clothing was taken out to evaporate in the sun.
Long went out to the open water + saw nothing but two seals, neither of which were on the ice. He was very much exhausted. I caught 25 shrimps + 5 lbs vegetation. I also brought up a mullosk about ½ inch in diameter which I added to Natural History collection. Wind rose + sky became cloudy in the evening preventing Fred from going out. He came down to assist me instead with the buckets.

Tuesday May 13th 1884

Clear + beautiful day with no wind except previous to 9 a.m. when it was very light. Tempt at 10 a.m. +14. At 5 P.M. +9. + at 10 P.M. +5.0. In the sun it rose to +35.5 Inside +28.°5. All of us went out today except Elison. Gardiner is very weak + had to be supported. Ellis will probably go in a few days. He fell down in the passage this morning from shear weakness. We all stagger + reel like drunken men when we walk. Long is ill today. He did not go out. Fred however went + saw nothing but a raven + a small seal. He saw the marks on many pieces of ice where a seal had attempted to climb on the floe. Israel is better. C.O. about the same. Schneider had to be relieved from cooking this morning on account of faintness. Henry officiated as cook the remainder of day.
Some have eaten all their two days bacon + will now have to depend on the shrimps. A disgraceful scene occurred here last evening when I was a the shrimping grounds. The C.O. related to me the following. Lt. K. asked him for a copy of the order confirming the verbal order placing him on duty + in addition asked that the laudatory words which the C.O. had written in a private letter to Gen. Hazen be added. This among other things led to difficulty + C.O. informed K. that "he was a liar." The Dr. now took the opportunity of asking that a letter of the same character certifying his good conduct + medical skill be furnished to Chief Signal Officer + also copy be given to himself. C.O. under pressure was therefore compelled to write a letter but carefully mentioned only his medical skill — his conduct generally was not referred to.
The clothing is drying finely in the sun.
This is an important anniversary for me. In 1882 Lt. Lockwood + myself reached our farthest on the north Greenland coast + on the same date in 1883 we reached the end of our journey + more than the end of our rations in Greely Point at the Western Sea. This year our rations are consumed on the same date. I had Bender construct a dredge from an English bacon can to try for mollusks — made several hauls but got nothing but sand. I caught 22 lbs shrimps + about 4 of vegetation. I carry the shrimps in two large tin buckets hung across the shoulders with a strap. It is very hard + exhausting to carry them for the entire mile without assistance + I am afraid that my strength will not be equal to the task for many days more. Fred had narrow excape from being drifted away by detaching of floe.

Wednesday May 14th 1884

Clear beautiful weather until noon when light snow fell for a short time — began falling continuing all day.
Both hunters went out this morning, returning at 4 P.M. They saw a seal + 3 dovekies. the former they could have shot. No use however.
Tempt at 5 a.m. +7. at 8 a.m. +12. at 4 P.M. +15. at 10 P.M. +10.
In the sun it rose to +32. Bender made screen for hunters. Schneider is better. He however as a matter of precaution + business made his will. I am appointed by him to send his effects at N.Y. to his parents, also his notes after I have used them for my information all I desire. His watch + knife I also receive. Israel was quite ill this morning but during the afternoon felt better. Poor fellow, how bravely he faces the grim Destroyer. But we are all in the same fix + there is nothing else to do but die like men + soldiers.
Ellis + Lt. K. are weaker today. C.O. is not so weak as usual.
We were all lying about in the sun outside this morning on a sleeping bag like seals. It does us good and appears to give strength to our feeble limbs. We poor bloodless beings have but little foundation for the sun to act on. During over 5 hours hard work after dinner I caught only 20 lbs shrimps + about 4 of vegetation. My baits are very poor but I am utilizing every ounce.

Thursday May 15th 1884

Clear + cloudless weather all day. Lt. westerly wind. Tempt. inside +29. Outside at 7 a.m. +9 at 11 a.m. 16. At 3 P.M. +22. at 5 P.M. +14 + at 10 P.M. +10. In the sun it rose to +39. Water has been forming in pools on the rocks + on any dark surfaces that absorbs the suns rays. Long returned this morning before reaching the open water on account of faintness + exhaustion. All are weaker. Even the remarkable energy of the C.O. is deserting him + he has but faint hopes for the future. Fred returned at 3 P.M. without having seen anything. Dr. tells me that Schneider has symptoms of scurvy. Tonight ends our last stew with the oz. of tallow, all the others will be of shrimps + water. I caught after 6 hours hard work 21 lbs. shrimps + 3 lbs kelp. — Badly broken down — About four days more will wind me up.

Friday May 16th 1884

Clear weather with light wind from the west. Tempt. at 7 a.m. +11. at 12 noon +15. + 5 P.M. +11. In sun +34. snow buntings seen in great numbers every day for the last week. Hunters saw only one seal. My baits are so poor + much riddled that I got only 9 lbs shrimps. I changed to the morning tide. Of kelp I got 2 lbs. My strength is hardly sufficient to drag the rake. Connell went up the coast to the west for two miles but saw nothing. Tent hauled up on Cemetery Ridge + pitched there to be in readiness to shelter the survivors of the crisis which must surely come + who will probably not have sufficient strength to bury their comrades. C. O. Ellis Gardiner + Lt. K. worse. Salor is too unwell to cook — Bender took his place. Schneider is better.
The Sound was again entirely free of drifting ice. — a rolling billowing sea. Whistler was unable this evening to cut wood for breakfast owing he said to weakness. He however ate his stew + talked as loudly as ever. He felt sleepy I imagine. Bender who is coming bravely to the front cut the wood for him.

Saturday 17th 1884

Clear beautiful day but with much wind during afternoon + evening + precipitation of frost in the forenoon. Tempt. in sun rose to +40. In shade at 7 a.m. +12. at 1 P.M. +25.°5 at 5 P.M. +13. We are all basking in the sun every day on a pile of clothing + sleeping bags. It does us good. I caught 16 lbs shrimps + 4 lbs of vegetation. I was very much exhausted + weak when I returned. The hunters + myself will now receive a double ration of stew in order to keep up their strength as long as possible. The remains of the can of lard kept for salve for Elison was issued today in equal proportions to each. Last of the diluted alcohol was issued this evening. The saxifrage is taking another prominent part in addition to fuel. Several have taken the green buds + are using them in their stews. It does not injure the stomach + appears to possess some nutritive qualities when the buds are green.
The hunters now go out alternately — Long went today + saw only one seal. Ellis is weaker — the others are about the same. Snow melted rapidly on the rocks today. Schneider was able to resume his duties as cook this morning.

Sunday May 18th 1884

Blustery + stormy with a southeast gale during the entire day, accompanied by light snow in the early morning. Tempt. at 3 am +10 at 11 a.m. +18.
Long shot a large raven at 5 a.m. I had attempted it two hours earlier but he succeeded in escaping me. He is going to be used a shrimp bait. I fished in the storm all the forenoon but caught only 10 lbs + about 2 of vegetation. Hunters will not go out. A vessel could today sail in Smith Sound in an iceless sea. The ice appears to have broken in farther than before. To our satisfaction three more issues of diluted alcohol was found onhand. Ellis is much weaker. The C.O. is somewhat better. We are all about talked out. Conversation turns on nothing but eating — good living in the future + making imaginary bills of fare. These stormy days have a very bad effect on us both morally and physically.

Monday May 19th 1884

Gale subsided to fresh wind at about noon. The floe is swept clean in many places.
Tempt. at 7 a.m. +21. Inside +30. Fred went out at 4 a.m. to cut ice for breakfast + at once returned in a great state of excitement with the report of a bear a few yards behind the house. Long with rifle + I with shot gun (with bullets) at once started out. Shorty + Long had disappeared when I came out. I turned back after an hours run to breakfast + with the intention of not playing myself out + compromising the source of our only support—the shrimp. Fred returned at 10 am + Long at about 11 am having been unable to get near his bearship. He went to the north always keeping just out of range of the rifles of the hunters. I caught 15 lbs shrimps + 1 lb kelp after several hours of hard work. I am now very weak + cannot keep up much longer. Whistler gave out today from weakness and lack of will. Israel + Gardiner are worse.
The former was not able to eat his shrimps this evening. I am not able to eat all of my allowance of stew. English sledge cut up today for fuel. Ellis has been ill for many days + at 10:30 am he breathed his last. No symptoms of scurvy but death caused by starvation.
Connell + the Dr. gathered a large quantity of saxifrage for fuel.
Shorty saw dozens of dovekies at the open water today. Last of the diluted alcohol.

Tuesday May 20th 1884

Wind continued during the night + slight drift prevailed with a light fall of snow. Cloudy all day. The southerly wind has raised the tempt. to +31. + the snow is getting soft. Ellis buried at noon. The party so weak that enough men to haul him on the hill were scarce. Israel worse. 4 oz of the raven was issued to him. The C.O. says this is the last he can do for anyone.
Biederbick not able to eat his shrimps this morning. They are not palatable to me. I am afraid that I will have to throw up the shrimp in a few days I am so weak and much reduced.
Medford rum issued today. Bender + Henry gathered a large bag of saxifrage for fuel — it is also used largely by several in their stews. Ice has broken in much further + the water has very little drifting ice which proves that the North Water must have been mainly free of ice or it would have been driven up by the Southerly wind. The water is so clear of ice that a vessel could steam anywhere in Smith Sound. If the U.S. does not send a vessel with the Whalers when they pass Melville Bay during the first days of June it will be criminal on their part or the most inexcusable ignorance. We are striving hard to survive on the shrimp + kelp alone but as I only got 12 lbs shrimps + 2 of kelp this will make the struggle a hard one. All we want is a bear or a seal to save us from a fate similar to that which overtook the ill fated party of Sir John Franklin.

Wednesday May 21st 1884

Light snow has fallen all day but the air was calm + the tempt at 7 a.m. +29. at 8 P.M. +36. In the sun it rose to +42. Inside +31.8 — Great drip all day thoroughly saturating the bags. Snow is getting very soft + near any dark surface it thaws considerably. Hunters both out but their labor met with the usual result — 0. Medford rum again issued. We will probably move on the hill tomorrow owing to the drip. All are growing very weak. The Dr. says it is impossible to live on the shrimps + kelp.
We must have flesh. The party began to remove the snow from roof. I had a long conversation with the C.O. this morning he is rather dispondent of the future as do us all. He desires me to take charge of some of his papers in the event of his disease. I caught 12 lbs shrimps + 1 lb kelp. Very weak + tired — cannot hold out much longer. Yesterday Dr. circulated a paper himself certifying to his medical skill + devotion to his professional duties + asked for signers — A lack of modesty on his part.

Thursday May 22nd 1884

Cloudy with light westerly wind + a high tempt. In the dim sunlight it registered +48. No reading taken in the shade. Long quite ill this morning. Hunters did not go out owing to weakness + the preparations of our camp on the hill. I caught 13 lbs shrimps + 2 of kelp.
The tent was erected today + 5 men sleep in it tonight.
Lt. K, Connell, Israel + Biederbick are weaker today. Ralston at this hour (4 P.M.) is most likely dying. He drank his rum two hours ago + during the forenoon ate large quantities of saxifrage + sang a song. He also ate a portion of his stew not more than an hour ago but was fed by C.O. 4 ravens were seen at one time today. I thought I heard the howl of a wolf + Henry fancied he heard a skua.
The snow thawed considerably about the house. Drip is very disagreeable in the house. The Dr. wanted rum issued to those who worked (himself excepted) but C.O. objected + refused. [illegible] Last sentence illegible due to tearing. In Greely’s Proceedings, Vol. I, p. 519, the missing sentence in this entry reads: "The latter stated that no issue would be made unless all shared alike."

Friday May 23rd 1884

Cloudy with light snow in afternoon + evening — light west winds. Party except 5 moved to ridge + a shelter perched in front of wall tent. Ralston died at 1 a.m. very easily — he was not buried today owing to lack of strength in the party. Elison moved without injury or difficulty. They are highly pleased with their new quarters. Israel so weak as to be hauled on sledge. Kislingbury + Whistler about as bad.
I caught only 10 lbs shrimps — my strength not equal to managing the vegetation rake. Long at open water saw a skua + heard the bellowing of a shoal of walruses.
Fred has been [illegible] in erecting the shelter + making the sick comfortable.

Saturday May 24th 1884

Cloudy with light snow during the afternoon + evening. Tempt. at 12.30 a.m. +19 at 6 a.m. +24. Dr, Long, Salor + myself slept in the old shanty which is now pretty well dismantled. We carried up Ralston when we went to breakfast + buried him. Whisler died about noon very quietly. The Dr. says that his death was caused by fright more than any other reason. I found on examining his clothing that he had quite a quantity of tea in his pockets — most likely stolen when he took the bacon. I overhauled the effects of the dead men +c papers, final statements +c Fred + Long worked hard at the shanty trying to get out canvas for our shelter. I caught 13 lbs shrimps + only 1 lb kelp — changed to after dinner hour. Water has encroached to the first rocky point below shrimping grounds + Smith Sound is now an ice-less sea.
Schneiders face is badly swollen probably from the effects of eating saxifrage which now enters largely into our diet to take the place of the sea vegetation which I am no longer able to obtain owing to diminution of strength. Israel, Connell Biederbick + Lt. K. much weaker. The former cannot long survive + we will all soon follow if game is not secured.
A skua heard in the rocks above camp today.
The Dr. works like a Trojan assisting the sick + doing odd jobs generally. Caterpillars are getting quite numerous. Bender ate one to the disgust of everyone.

Sunday May 25th 1884

South easterly wind began blowing at 10 a.m. + continued all day. In the evening it had increased to a moderate gale + with the heavy drift + thickly falling snow I was unable to make my customary trip to the shrimping grounds, although the demand for it was great. Tempt. in sun at 8 a.m. +26.
We buried Whistler after dinner during the height of the storm. We (4 of us) still sleep in the old shanty + but poorly protected against the storms: but there is no help for it, our strength is not equal to the task of getting [illegible] [illegible] shelter.
My God! This life is horrible — it is almost burdensome — will it never change — will help never arrive. But I will not despair yet but while my strength remains will do all in my power to assist the sick + help those weaker than I am. Seal skin thongs were used in the stew this evening to eke out the scanty supply of shrimps that I am just able to furnish daily. Small quantities of the skin was also burned on the fire + then ravenously eaten + relished by the hungry party.

Monday May 26th 1884

Gale subsided after midnight to fresh wind. During the forenoon the weather was fine — the tempt in sun +46.5 + no wind. For the first time water enough to cook supper was obtained from pools on the rocks having a southern exposure. During the afternoon a light northly wind sprang up + the sky clouded + tempt. stood at +26.
Everyone felt better except the Dr. + myself.
Schneider was detected in stealing food (Shrimps + tea) and of making unfair divisions in the issuing of food. He was relieved + Bender has volunteered to do the cooking for both sides. The water again encroached somewhat + except a few drifting pieces of icebergs the sound is perfectly clear + a vessel could navigate without a rudder. I caught 8 lbs shrimps + 2 of vegetation this morning before breakfast + would have obtained more but owing to faintness + weakness was compelled to desist. I hauled again in the evening + obtained 12 lbs. Returned at 11 oclock in an exhausted condition. I think that I can extend the few inferior baits for shrimps to June 1st but after that date unless we get game we will have to depend for a few days on sea vegetation, saxifrage + a small black lichen (the tripe de roche) which grows here in abundance, a few pieces of seal skin + seal boots will have to be used as substitute for meat. An old pair of soles from seal skin boots furnished us in addition to a few shrimps with a scant breakfast + supper. Long went out to the open water but seeing some birds on the ice returned for a shot gun. He found them to be king ducks in large numbers but none could be obtained. Dovekies were also plentiful + two he shot but they drifted away.
Thermometer in tent on the ground +33 + one suspended 4 feet from ground +52.

Tuesday May 27th 1884

Clear cloudless day + calm during the forenoon but at 2 P.M. a southeast gale set in which continued until 7 P.M. Tempt. at 8 a.m. +24. In the sun at same time +55. Israel passed away just after midnight — he died very easily + talked of food, restaurants +c, after losing consciousness which was about 4 hours previous to his death. He had not an enemy in the world. For lack of strength we could not bury him. We worked all day to crest a shelter for the entire party + this evening we all slept together on the plateau. I was to much exhausted to go to the shrimping grounds after working but faint and sore turned in. Long went out to the open water again this morning + says there is myrids of King ducks but it is a matter of impossibility of get them. Water in abundance for supper + nearly enough for breakfast tomorrow was obtained from pools in the rocks. A violent quarrel to[ok] place between C.O. + the Dr. about the medicines, the details of which I have neither the interest, the inclination nor strength to record.

Wednesday May 28th/84

A cold disagreeable day with light easterly wind + cloudy weather. I caught 9 lbs shrimps + Long who went to the open water returned with a dovekie. He killed another but was unable to secure it. He saw several King + Eider ducks. The dovekie was divided between Long + myself by general acclamation.
The water encroached considerably during the gale last evening. Israel buried at noon. The channel is as open + free of ice as in August 1881 when we steamed up through it northward to Lady Franklin Bay.
The sick are about the same. The Dr. says that a few have symptoms of scurvy. Oh! I shall never forget the delicate flavor of the dovekie stew I ate this evening — Delmonico is forgotten for the present.
Tempt. at 2 P.M. +24.

Thursday May 29th 1884

Clear + calm in the forenoon but at 1 P.M. sky clouded + almost immediately a high southeast gale set in causing a furious drift, setting at defiance all attempts to protect ourselves in the shelter. In the tent however they did very well. The shelter was first blown full of snow + then it was blown down. Long was driven from the edge of the ice by its approach + joining me at the shrimping grounds we returned together to camp which was reached only after a severe struggle. I caught 8 lbs shrimps + Long shot a dovekie. I was caught in the old hut + held prisoner for two long weary hours on account of the fury of the storm + on returning to shelter found it had blown down thus rendering it impossible to get into the bag. The only alternative was to take a single Sheepskin bag and sleep out in the wind + whirling snow. Owing to the severity of the gale we were unable to cook supper. Notwithstanding I issued orders yesterday to the effect that no more seal-skin was to be eaten. I detected Bender eating some today. He confessed but said that owing to hunger he could not resist the temptation. I had Fred collect all seal-skin today + will lock it in the store house for future use for the entire party.
Tempt. in the sun at 9 a.m. +56. In shade +27.
Brainard does not mention in this diary entry that when he returned in the storm, Dr. Pavy and Salor refused him entry into the sleeping bag he shared with them in the tent. The first mention of this appears in Greely’s Proceedings . . . where Brainard writes, "Physically I could not enforce my rights in this matter, my condition bordering on utter exhaustion, and wishing to avoid any unpleasantness I crawled into one of the abandoned bags lying outside as the only alternative. This bag was frozen and filled with snow."

Friday May 30th 1884

Light snow fell all day accompanied by a light west wind. Tempt. at 10 am +29 + at 3 P.M. +27. I passed a miserable night out of doors with the wild fury of the storm howling about me a drifts accumulating about + inside my sleeping bag. My face, hands + feet badly swolen from the effects of the exposure. Gale subsided at about 1 a.m. but a high wind continued for several hours later. We had breakfast at 10 am after having fasted for over 26 hours. I caught 6 lbs shrimp. Used the last of the baits but they will last for about 3 days more. I saw 3 Brant geese, 2 dovekies + hundreds of King ducks, but all except an occasional dovekie are as far beyond our reach at present as the civilized world. How we manage to subsist on from 6 to 10 lbs of shrimps per day I have no idea + would like to have some light thrown on the subject. Most of those who do not work appear to lose very little strength while the Dr., Long, Fred, + myself are failing + weaking rapidly. The water encroached again last night. Shelter repaired in a most substantial manner. Gale from the northwest began at 9 P.M.

Saturday May 31st 1884

Gale of last night continued all day with unceasing fury accompanied by heavy snowstorm. We are not only held close prisoners in our shelter but in our bags also owing to the terrific drift which covered us more than a foot deep + also entered our bags. We were unable to cook + as we had no solid food consequently had nothing to eat during the day — not even a swallow of water. Of all the days of misery of my life this caps the climax. If I knew that I had a month more of this sort of existence before me I would stop the engine this moment as I do not consider 50 years of pleasure a sufficient reward for another months suffering + misery equal to the one just passed.

Sunday June 1st 1884

Gale subsided at 1 a.m. + we immediately turned out, cleaned out the snow from the shelter + scraped out our wet bags the best we could. Breakfast of 3 oz shrimps per man + cup of weak tea. This is a fair sample of our meals now — how we manage to exist is a wonder. We are all very weak + much depressed, especially those who were exposed to the fury of the storm in the miserable shelter + without food for over thirty six hours + as the end of that time when deserving of the best breakfast that could be ordered at Delmonico’s were content with 3 oz shrimps in a little of their soup + a cup of tea. Lt. K. became unconscious at 8 a.m. + breathed his last at 3 P.M. The beautiful Episcopal Service was read this evening as has been the custom on all these occasions. A short time before he became unconscious he begged hard for water + wound up by singing the Doxology. Sky cleared at 8 a.m. + sun came out brightly + remained until 3 P.M. when sky again clouded + light snow began falling. Tempt. at 10 am. + 35. In the sun it rose to +52. A pool of water formed on the ice-foot where it ran off the rocks. About our shelter pools also formed water sufficient for two days use was gathered today + it has formed in pools near at hand enough for a weeks use. This is very fortunate as our fuel is going fast. Fred relieved Bender as cook owing to the sickness of latter. Long shot a dovekie. He injured one of his eyes by recoil of gun + I had to lead him home. I caught 8 lbs shrimps.
The snow on the floe is knee deep + very soft. We were gone over seven hours + spent only about 1½ at the shrimping grounds. Very much exhausted on return. Knees very stiff also the anckles + joints + both much swollen + inflamed.
Flocks of eider + King + long-tail ducks as well as dovekies + a few gulls were seen.

Monday June 2nd 1884

A clear beautiful day — fresh S.E. wind sprang up at 8 P.M. Tempt. at time +35 — thawing quite rapidly. For the first time the sun had an effect on the ice-foot by melting it considerably. Snow is getting very damp + soft. Water in abundance is now to be had from the rocks for cooking or other purposes. I obtained only 5 lbs shrimps after nearly 7 hours absence. We buried Lt. K. this morning. Schneider not able to work. Bender but little better. Gardiner and the C.O. very weak. Salor became delirious at 7 P.M. Long shot a dovekie. I heard a walrus blowing near Disappointment Berg. Very few ducks were seen today. I think the large number seen yesterday was due to their having been driven from their favorite haunts about Littleton Island to this side by the S.E. gale and now they have returned. Vast fields of ice are moving down the Sound + I think by tomorrow morning the channel will be choked — perhaps this will drive in the seal + ducks to Disappointment Berg.

Tuesday June 3rd 1884

Weather fair. Southeast wind all day but thawing advanced considerably. Water is now trickling down the hill-side + forms in a pool near the hut thus supplying us with all the water we require. Long did not go out today owing to the windy weather. I caught 6 lbs shrimps. Salor died at 3 a.m. We were in the same bag but I did not get up nor remove him but immediately went to sleep until breakfast. Sick about the same. The dovekies killed lately have been divided between Long + myself + we find that they have strengthened us greatly + we are thus enabled to pursue our labors in the shrimping + hunting line.
I am glad to say that the channel was clear again this morning. Tempt. at 8 P.M. +31. Dr. P. was wandering in his mind this evening + making absurd prescriptions.

Wednesday June 4th 1884

A beautiful day. The wind of last evening subsided at 6 a.m. but sprang up again in the evening. This appears to be the normal condition of affairs here. The sick about the same except the Dr. who is better slightly but still far removed from his base.
An arrangement made between the Commanding Officer and four others and myself by which our condition will be ameliorated. I caught 7 lbs. shrimps. Long killed a dovekie. He shot 1 King duck + an auk but lost them.
Tempt at 11 a.m. +32. In the sun it rose to +62.
Fred + Henry are doing all the work about camp including cooking + gathering saxifrage for fuel in addition to cutting the fuel from the boat.
Schneider manages to get the salt water + is able to do nothing more. Bender + Connell appear quite strong but both are useless to us and have to be waited on like children. During the last few days I have eaten a great many of the black rock lichens (tripe de roche) + found them quite palatable + not at all injurious the experience of Franklin, Hayes etc to the contrary notwithstanding.
Smith Sound is a beautiful sheet of water today with not a piece of ice in sight + its surface + smoth as glass + as clear as a polished mirror. How easily we could be reached by a relief vessel + the whole party saved much suffering if not their lives if the Supporters of the Expedition only knew of our situation + would send a vessel with the whalers when they pass Melville Bay.
We buried Salor this evening in the tidal crack. I felt very weak + faint this morning but it passed away before night so I was enabled to go shrimping.

Thursday June 5th 1884

Fair weather, Lt. wind from west. Dr. very weak — can only drink tea. The tea by the way has been cut down to one kettle instead of two. I caught 5 lbs shrimps. Long did not shoot anything today. Tempt. 4 P.M. +34. Reindeer moss in small quantities has been found on this point. The vegetation (except saxifrage) including grasses, poppies, etc are getting quite green. The mosses are beginning to look beautiful Owing to the thieving operations of Henry the C.O. issued an order to Long, Fred, + myself to shoot him if any other acts of a like nature be repeated. I insert a copy —
blank space of 3½ inches left, but no copy inserted
Henry has twice stolen the greater portion of the dovekie issued to Long + myself while cooking it, taking advantage of the absence of Fred when he was issuing the stew in hut. He was also detected in eating seal lashing + skin in violation of orders + which was stolen from the public stock. C.O. desires me to note that [illegible] Long [illegible] was transferred to Signal Corps May 27th 84

Friday June 6th 1884

Clear. Lt. west wind. Tempt. 3 P.M. + 34 at 6 P.M. +30. I caught only 2½ lbs shrimps after over 7 hours work. My baits are all gone. What are we to do? I have tried everything we have but they will be attracted by nothing we now have on hand. I would again drag on the sea vegetation but my strength is not equal to the task. It is nearly depleted. I can do nothing more than stagger down to the grounds + return. A further confession on the part Henry to the C.O. of stealing + his being caught stealing shrimps this morning from the stew caused the C.O. to issued the following order
a blank space of 5¾ inches follows
No further explanation in this order is necessary. The order was duly executed at 2 P.M. Bender died at 5.45 P.M. + Dr. Pavy who has been weakening rapidly for the last few days passed away at 6 P.M.
Among Henry’s effects was found stolen seal skin boots, seal thongs + knives +c Considerable ice drifting down on Greenland side of the Sound. Flies in large numbers are now seen during the hottest part of the day.

Saturday June 7th/84

Clear, with light westerly wind. Tempt. at 7 a.m. +31.°
Fred does all the cooking + camp work beside doing what he can for the weak. He is a wonderful man. Long + myself are growing very weak. Long killed nothing. I caught 2 lbs shrimps. I gathered up all of the seal-skin for use in stews + burning — that with the hair will have to be burned or roasted. I find very little + Schneider now confesses that Henry + Bender ate large quantities of it [illegible]
Biederbick + Connell gathered a few lichen + reindeer moss.
Dressed the Dr. + Bender for the grave but was unable to dispose of their bodies for lack of strength. This evening we dined off a stew composed of a pair of seal skin boot soles + a little reindeer moss + lichens. The small quantity of shrimps furnish material only sufficient for the morning meal. A small government watch (Chronograph) was found on Henrys person.
He stole it when we left Conger + intended to carry it back although its value was very small.
Caught 1½ lbs shrimps only.
Between entries dated Saturday June 7 and Sunday June 8th 1884 is the following
Send following dispatch of ten words from St. Johns N.F.
Mr. A. Brainard
David’s father Marathon
Cortland Co
New York
U.S.A.
Healthy but ravenous. Six months starvation. Expedition successful. Address Washington.
D. L. Brainard
April 2nd 1884
On the reverse side of this page (239), Sgt. Brainard had written:
Purchase the following articles of commissary stores on board ship if possible.
Cheese
Corn
Canton ginger
Citron preserves
Blackberry jam
Raspberry do
Lobsters
Milk
Plums preserved
Rasins
Quince preserves
Salmon
Sardines
Syrup maple
Figs
A cheerless stormy night + being cold + hungry is probably the reason that this list is now uppermost in my mind.
Camp Clay
D. L. Brainard
March 31st/84

Sunday June 8th 1884

The clearest, calmest, and most beautiful day that we have experienced on these inhospitable shores. The tempt. at 1 a.m. +31. at 11 a.m. + 3 P.M. +38. at 4 P.M. +40. + at 6 P.M. +35. There was a miserable stew of shrimps (less than 3 oz per man) this morning + a thin + unpalatable stew of seal thongs for dinner.
Schneider was set to work + roasting the seal skins with hair on + this was divided for dinner also. The C.O. worked for 5 hours and gathered about 2 quarts of lichens. Biederbick also collected about the same quantity. Connell gathered a small quantity of saxifrage Biederbick found an old bunch of saxifrage in full flower this evening. He also made another discovery which increases the perfidy of Henry — that of a small cache of bear meat in the rocks above camp. Biederbick quite weak + ill this evening. Long + I went down + procured the wood for fuel. Our strength is rapidly diminishing — if we should get game it would be impossible to bring it in. I wonder how much longer we can hold out on this starvation diet? Not long. If we are saved at all, a vessel will have to make haste. Connell’s gums are very sore — the Dr. told him a few days ago that he had symptoms of scurvy. Schneiders limbs are badly swollen, presumably from the same cause.
Sky clouded at 11 P.M.

Monday June 9th 1884

The morning opened cloudy but calm but during the forenoon, the clouds were dispersed + the sun came out gloriously. Sky clouded + wind from the west rose at 10 P.M. Tempt. at 9 am, +39. at 3 P.M. +38 + at 6 P.M. +38.5. Our breakfast consisted of only a few shrimps + the usual cup of tea. For dinner we had nothing for a stew but with our tea and burned seal skins were forced to be content. A few lichens were also used. The C.O. is indefatigable in collecting lichens. He was out from breakfast until dinner. Connell is about the strongest in the party. He [illegible] gathered 4 [illegible] of saxifrage. Biederbick worked at lichens. Schneider charred seal-skins.
We buried Bender in a tidal crack this morning + in the evening we also plunged Dr. Pavy into the crystal grave.
Since the departure of the greater portion of the snow from this point I have found abundant traces of hare (not recent) + a small bunch of musk ox hair. I have also found a few pieces of bone + wood the latter having been worked. They confirm my previous observations of bearing evidence of being of greater antiquity than those found at Fort Conger. I caught only about ½ lbs shrimps. One of my nets were lost by the rope breaking. Long’s 32nd birthday — the most miserable that he has ever spent. He received a spoonful of rum in honor of the occasion. I found a small piece of drift wood up in the rocks about fifteen feet above high tide. Long shot a dovekie + a brant goose but the latter escaped.

Tuesday June 10th 1884

Cloudy until 4 P.M. when the sky cleared + the sun came out brightly.
Tempt. at 1 a.m. +34. at 8 a.m. +32.8 at 12n. +45.
Gardiner worse; the others about as usual. Long + myself feel greatly refreshed by the dovekie stew and a good rest during the day. We had a stew of the black lichens this evening + found it of a gelatinous consistency + very palatable + evidently quite nutritious. The berg is now connected with the open water by lanes. Snow getting quite slushy in locations exposed to the sun. Saxifrage is now in blossom + ready for pressing. Grass is quite green. I saw a bumblebee today for the first time this season.
I caught 2 lbs shrimps.

Wednesday June 11th 1884

A clear, cloudless, and beautiful day with an occasional light zephyr from the west.
Tempt at 3 P.M. +40 + at 8 P.M. +38. In sun +62.
Long returned at 1.30 a.m. from the open water with two of Brunnich’s guillemots. One was given the whole party in a stew with lichens this evening and the other will be divided between Long, Fredericks and myself who at present are doing nine tenths of the work. Long went out again in the evening but returned unsuccessful. I had a still greater misfortune befall me. I found that the spring tides had moved the floe about fifty feet from the ice foot + the nets in dragging along the bottom had broken the ropes, thus losing nets, my poor baits + all. We will have no breakfast tomorrow morning + will have to content ourselves with a cup of tea. Poor fellows — how I pity them. But I will let them sleep on quietly + not disclose the disappointing inform until the cook gets up in the morning. I made a flag to be erected on the summit of the rocky point tomorrow as such any vessel that will (may) pass Cape Sabine. Schneider not able to go out today + Gardiner is worse. Biederbick is also worse but he managed to drag himself on the hill to gather lichens for the stew this evening from sheer force of will. Connell still remains very strong + looks well. He takes good care to not do to much work + thus weaken himself. The C.O. had the dysentery + did not go out to work today. There is scarcely a piece of ice in Smith Sound today visible from this coast. Why do not some whaler arrive soon + rescue the few survivors before it is to late. We began using the English compressed tea this evening.

Thursday June 12th 1884

Day opened clear + fine with a light westerly wind which continued nearly all day. Tempt. at 11 a.m. +36, at 9 p.m. + 36. We were without any breakfast this morning except tea. Long Fred + myself however ate half of our guillemot with a few lichens. I found another shrimping place this morning near at hand + in the evening after several hours work returned with only 2 lbs. Our evening meal consisted of a few lichens boiled + a cup of tea. Schneider worse, the others about the same as yesterday except C.O. who is better. Connell is the strongest of all. Long Fred + myself have the diarrhea. Cause lichens.
Connell this morning wanted to shift for himself, work + cook for himself alone. This is the first instance of this kind on record in the history of the expedition. He was quite abusive + used profanity in his conversation with the C.O. Gardiner died at 5 P.M. of Starvation + inflammation of the bowels. He was very patient + held on to life with great tenacity to the last. He lost consciousness about 2 a.m. + for hours previous he held a portrait of his young wife + his mother in his hand gazing fondly at their beloved faces. From this date I begin to look daily for a relief ship. The water has broken in to the rocky point nearest our winter hut.

Friday June 13th 1884

High southeast wind prevailed all day preventing the lichenpickers from going out. Our supper therefore consisted of a seal skin temiak, roasted or burned over a saxifrage fire. Our breakfast was of the result of last evenings shrimping + a few lichens. Condition of the party about the same as yesterday.
Biederbick received a certificate of discharge from the service but no final statement. He will be formally discharged on reaching Washington if he lives until that time. I caught 1 lb shrimps this evening. My baits are nothing but two guillimot skins + they are pretty well played out. Shorty the indefatigable cook has been bustling about camp all day notwithstanding the wind + disagreeable weather. Those who were troubled yesterday by diarrhea are better today. We did not bury Gardiner owing to the high wind.
Tempt at 8 a.m. +32 + at 10 a.m. +33 at 9 P.M. +31.5.
Flag blown down.

Saturday June 14th 1884

Gale subsided at 4 a.m. and the weather remained cloudy all day. Tempt. at 11 a.m. +41 at 5 P.M. +42 + at
Our breakfast was but a poor apology with the few ounces of shrimps brought in last night. We all turned out very weak to the days work. C.O. Connell + Biederbick picked lichens for supper + breakfast. Fred performed the usual camp work + Long + myself buried Gardiner in the ice-foot in the evening I went shrimping — result 1 lb. Long quite ill. He however went out but got nothing in the game line. Ice braking away from the shore rapidly. Disappointment Berg is now free. Connell saw a small seal + 4 dovekies in a small pool 50 yds from the ice foot. I put up flag again.

Sunday June 15th 1884

Cloudy, windy + disagreeable day. Long saw 5 walruses in our small pool near ice foot + many more in other pools. They however cannot be shot with effect unless they are on the ice. Sick about the same. Connell who is now the strongest man amongst our number declared this morning that he intended to abandon the party + live by himself depending on his own resources for a living — this is the height of selfishness. He has done nothing during the winter + spring, has saved his strength and allowed himself to be provided for by his comrades + now wishes when they are all weak to abandon them. Shrimp + lichen stew for breakfast + lichen stew for supper — both of small dimensions. The seal skin cover to Lt. G’s sleeping bag has been removed + divided between Connell, Schneider, Elison + Biederbick. The remainder of us will take the cover to Longs bag later if necessary.
Tempt. has ranged quite high during the day at 7 am. +30. at 11 am. 34 + at 7 P.M. +39. Light snow fell during the forenoon. Long saw a fox on the ice travelling towards the north.
Schneider this evening is begging hard for opium pills that he may die easily + quickly. We are now so that I believe we could eat anything. Crumbs of bread + picked from piles of filth. Henry ate ptarmigan droppings, Bender ate caterpillars + worms + saxifrage blossoms, lichens + other vegetation are considered as luxuries + delicious. How our stomachs will be surprised if they are ever again permitted to enclose civilized vegetables, choice steaks, ham, sausage, eggs in various forms, oysters, hot rolls, cakes, confectionary preserves, fruit +c
The lichens have been named by us "The Arctic Mushroom" Long saw no game. I caught only about a pound of shrimps after several hours labor in the cold wind. Thoroughly chilled + worn out when through. High wind in the Sound.

Monday June 16th 1884

Tempt at 7 a.m. +37. at 11 am +40 + at 3 PM. +38. A raw wind has been blowing all day which prevented the lichen gatherers from going out, consequently we had a meager stew of shrimps + lichens for breakfast + nothing for supper. Our condition is indeed a very miserable one. We are calmly waiting for death or relief, the latter will have to come soon or it will be too late. I found the minimum thermometer lost last winter during one of our terrific storms. It was in good condition. I also discovered that lemming have at some period or other existed on this coast by finding the skeleton of the head of one between a couple of rocks. It was of such great age + so extremely friable that it at once fell into pieces on coming in contact with my fingers. Our last resource except the lichens has failed us i.e. the shrimps. I worked as faithfully as my little strength would admit of for 5 hours + only succeeded in getting about two ounces + those I was not able to carry home — I was barely able to crawl in myself. My baits are now all gone + unless game is procured there is no further hope of anything in that direction. Walruses without number were observed sporting in the open pools all day but none appear on the ice where they may be got at. Disappointment berg moved silently out at sometime during the day. The last of our tea gave out this morning.

Sunday June 17th 1884

Clear beautiful day with a gentle westerly breeze during the forenoon. Tempt. min. rec. +30.5 at 7 a.m. +31.5 at 11 a.m. +38. + at 3 P.M. +36.
Saxifrage tea was served this morning as a substitute for tea this morning. It was quite bitter but was relished by some of the party. I drank only a few swallows it was so unpalatable to me. this was all the breakfast we had except a few who had a few mouthfulls of roasted seal-skin left from better days. In the evening a lichen stew made us still more miserable as it was not at all sufficient for our hunger but only aggravated it.
I brought up wood for Fred today but owing to extreme weakness was unable to cut it. He is also about broken down + could not saw any. Connell + Schneider look the best of anyone in camp but the latter is almost entirely helpless. Numberless walruses are bellowing + tumbling about in the water but we unfortunately cannot get at them.
The sleeping bags of Long and myself were today stripped of their oil-tanned seal skin covers + divided. This is the last material of this kind that we have for food in camp + we are all breaking down + will go about the same time. Who will be left to bury us? No one I think. This evening I repaired as usual to the shrimping ground, but my labors met with the same result as yesterday (about 2 oz) I came home completely exhausted + broken down by the exertion. I have given up shrimping until game is procurred that will furnish bait for the nets, and if able tomorrow will devote my time to collecting lichens or anything that will be the most useful to the party. The channel was perfectly free of ice this evening + its surface like glass.

Wednesday June 18th 1884

Weather cloudy with the exception of a few hours in the earlier part of the day. Tempt. min. rec. +30. at 7 am +31.5 at 11 a.m. +35. +at 3 P.M. +42.
We had saxifrage tea again for breakfast today + a portion of the seal skin cover boiled. There is a perceptible diminution of strength generally in the party. I was unable to go out until about 4 P.M. when I crawled + staggered I scarcely know how to the rocks + picked a few lichens. No fire was made this evening as we have nothing to cook, and besides Fred is unable to prepare more than one meal a day. A few mouthfuls of the boiled seal skin sufficed for supper. What is very remarkable in our case is that we long for certain articles of food, but do not have that gnawing + painful feeling of hunger with which we were troubled last fall + winter. We are now past that point.
Long shot two dovekies last night but he could not get them + they were drifted away by the tide. He will now change + do his hunting in the day time probably.
He however went out again this evening.
Schneider became unconscious soon after eating his breakfast + breathed his last at 6 P.M.
Connell complained of dimness of vision this evening on his return from gathering lichens. Biederbick very inconsiderately changed clothing throughout today. S. died just 3 yrs from the day detailed on Expedition.

Thursday June 19th 1884

Clear with westerly wind. Tempt. at 7 a.m. +34.5 at 11 a.m. +37.5 + at 3 P.M. 37.8. High wind (S.E) from 3 PM till midnight.
Long did not return until morning while Fred was preparing breakfast. He had killed two dovekies + 2 Eider ducks but the tide carried them all away + he secured nothing. I found a small piece of drift wood in the rocks about 30 feet above the tide level last evening. It bears marks of rough usage in the ice + also indicates great age. I found a similar piece a few days ago about 15 feet lower. The fact indicates the gradual rising of this Island. Water is now gradually eating its way into Buchanans Strait. Party are growing weaker rapidly — the lichens are scarce now. They seem however to provide considerable nutriment and had my recommendation been followed several others of the party might now be living. Several weeks ago I ate a large quantity + finding them palatable + not at all injurious earnestly urged Lt. Greely to begin using them + he probably would have done so but for the very emphatic and decided medical opinion of Dr. Pavy who pronounced them both dangerous + injurious to the system and directed or rather recommended that they be not resorted to except in the last extremity.
Schneider died of starvation + incipient scurvy. Connell also has symptoms of scurvy. I consider my swoolen limbs as an evidence of the same insidious disease. I was not able owing to my weakness to gather many lichens but I found a fine bed of reindeer moss on the hill. Breakfast lichen stew + a few pieces of seal skin burned to a charcoal for evening.

Friday June 20th 1884

A clear beautiful morning with a light westerly wind. Tempt at 7 a.m. +29 min. rec. +26.8 at 11 a.m. +33. + at 3 P.M. 38. High S.E. wind at 11 a.m. all day. Long went out at 3 am but got no game. Biederbick + Connell much weaker today. The former however although showing scorbutic symptoms went out for lichens. Connell’s mouth is much worse and swelling of his feet + limbs pronounce his case clearly one of scurvy. He was unable to go out of the tent today. The C.O. picked a few lichens. I brought wood + salt water for Fred + gathered a little reindeer moss. Schneider omitted a very bad odor from his mouth after death that was noticeable throughout the tent.

Saturday June 21st/84

Our Summer Solstice. Wind still continues in a gale from south.
Tempt at 7 a.m. +31. at 11 am +34 + at 7 P.M. +31. Min. rec. +28. Tent in dilapidated condition. Snow squalls at intervals during day. Ice has broken into Buchanan Strait for a long distance. A lichen stew for breakfast + a few pieces of boiled seal-skin for supper. Connell is worse — he says his limbs below knees are useless.
Since day before yesterday Elison has eaten his stew by having a spoon tied to his wrist.
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HomeDavid Brainard's Diary, March 1 - June 21, 1884
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