Mr. George Desbarats
Deputy Minister of the Naval Services
I have this morning a letter from Mr. Brock in regard to the application for our Expedition of Mr. Eugene Chevalier of Sorel.
Mr. Brock says that the Honourable Louis Coderre is of the opinion that Mr. Chevalier is an excellent man for the work. If that be so it is possible that our Expedition can stand having upon it one sailor who is not already trained as a sailor. I should have to see Mr. Chevalier however, before deciding […]
I will write him today saying substantially that the only poisitions open are those of common sailors and that if he is seriously an applicant for the Expedition, on the understanding that he does the work of a sailor, then I shall be glad to talk with him on the further condition that it will depend upon the results of our talk whether he is engaged or not for the Expedition.
American Museum of Natural History
Library and Archives Canada/Mikan 1641243
Many applicant’s letters included supporting letters or recommendations from important people and Stefansson had to be perceptive to discern the qualities behind the patronage. With the major positions on the scientific staff filled, there remained only the positions of ship’s crew, and that only on the Karluk, as the Alaska’s crew would only be hired in Nome.In those days there were no applications from women, and with good reason. There were very few trained female scientists, especially in the field sciences, and they would never have been considered for positions on the expedition. However, there were women hired in the North, mainly as seamstresses, and they were an essential part of the expedition, greatly contributing to its success.