She Stayed in the Arctic for 5 Months All On Her Own

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  • Published on: Saturday, May 25, 2019
  • Some survival stories literally make your blood run cold, and such is the story of Ada Blackjack, a young woman who spent 2 years on a bitterly-cold Arctic island, unprepared for such an ordeal and mostly on her own.

    In 1921, 23-year old Ada Blackjack found herself on an Arctic island, far away from civilization, in the company of four men and a female cat named Vic. An unlikely scenario by all means, so how did Ada end up in that situation?

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    TIMESTAMPS:
    Why she decided to join the expedition 0:48
    What stood behind a seemingly well-organized expedition 2:28
    On the island with no food 4:16
    Why she ended up alone 5:11
    Becoming a photographer 5:57
    The rescue 7:05

    Preview photo credit:
    Ada Blackjack, 1898–1983: By Rauner Special Collections Library, https://raunerlibrary.blogspot.com/2012/04/ada-blackjack.html
    Animation is created by Bright Side.

    #AdaBlackjack #arctic #strongwomen

    Music by Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/

    SUMMARY:
    - Ada was 16 when she got married to Jack Blackjack, who was a local dog musher. Unfortunately, this marriage didn't bring the poor girl anything but despair.
    - Ada's son, Bennet, fell ill with tuberculosis, but she didn't have money for his treatment. She was forced to leave him in a local orphanage and set off in search of a job to earn enough to take him back home.
    - Ada heard about an expedition heading for Wrangel Island. It was organized by Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, and they needed an Alaska Native seamstress who could cook and maintain the camp and also knew English.
    - Wrangel Island is located about 250 miles (402 km) away from the coast of Alaska and approximately 100 miles (161 km) north of Siberia.
    - That's how Ada Blackjack ended up stranded on Wrangel Island for 2 years, which was the needed time to stake claim to an uninhabited land.
    - The plan was to settle up, organize a camp, and live off the land until the ship with the load of supplies arrived. But, as it often happens in life, nothing went as planned.
    - The people on the island were starting to panic. They had almost run out of food, and there was a critical lack of game on the island.
    - In January, one member of the expedition, Lorne Knight, fell ill with scurvy. To avoid starvation, the rest of the men decided to explore an area further away from camp in attempts to find some food.
    - Her only companion got worse and worse. In June 1922, he passed away, and Ada was left entirely alone on a frozen, deserted island.
    - The woman learned to shoot seals with Knight's rifle and made shoe soles from their skins. She hunted, checked traps, and even built a makeshift boat from driftwood and canvas.
    - When a rescue party finally arrived on August 20, 1923, the crew of the schooner "Donaldson" noted that the woman who met them seemed to have mastered her environment.

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    Source: https://youtu.be/sW-N2l4VSkM

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