Allan Crawford

Allan Crawford was born in 1901 in Toronto, and lead the Wrangel Island expedition at 20 years old. Stefansson’s plan was to send three volunteers to claim Wrangel Island for Canada. The volunteers were all of American nationality, and Stefansson needed a Canadian citizen to lead the expedition. Stefansson was recommended Crawford after appealing to the President of the University of Toronto in search of qualified candidates. At the time, Crawford was studying paleontology, chemistry, mineralogy, and geology at the University of Toronto when he heard about the expedition from one of his professors. 

Crawford reached out to Stefansson in a letter highlighting his background in sciences and personal details about his physical attributes. He writes, “I have never had any eye trouble and I believe my vision is above average. My circulation and heart action is OK and I have a good stomach. I have never had any serious contagious disease” (Crawford, Allan R. Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962). Crawford talks about his physique in an effort to market himself for the position. In an expedition to a place such as Wrangel Island, Stefansson was looking for someone who was fit enough to take on the role. Ultimately, Stefansson valued Crawford because he had had a solid scientific education. 

The cat on Crawford's right shoulder is named "Vic", as described in a letter from Frederick W. Maurer to Mary Maurer:

Coming up here on the boat the "Victoria" the stewart had a cat with three kittens. He gave us the prettiest one which we named "Vic" and we are taking with us as a mascot.