Knight, Galle, and Crawford Families

Photograph of Ada Blackjack and Mr. and Mrs. Knight

This photograph was taken in 1923 when Ada Blackjack visited the parents of E. Lorne Knight, who Ada cared for until his death.


This collection of pages analyzes the perspectives of the family members of Allan Crawford, Lorne Knight and Milton Galle, all three of whom died on the Wrangel Island expedition. Each family had different levels of knowledge of the expedition, and thus different levels of involvement. Knight’s father, John Irvine Knight, was most involved with the planning and organization of the expedition, largely because his son had been on Arctic explorations in the past and was experienced. He corresponded constantly with Stefansson and even met all 4 boys on the expedition. Galle’s parents were in constant contact with John Irvine, who consoled them about the journey and allayed their fears. Crawford’s parents did not seem to be in contact much with Knight’s father; they did receive some reassuring letters from Stefansson. The parents received very little information about the journey once it began, and they all began to express concern when the supply ship wasn’t able to make it to Wrangel Island. 

After the news of the young men’s death spread, the families all reacted differently. Ada visited Knight’s parents, which consoled them tremendously and confirmed their belief that Noice had lied about Ada’s complicity in their son’s death. Knight’s dad seemed naturally upset about his son’s death, but didn’t seem to blame Stefansson that much. Galle’s parents were also emotional about their son’s death, but likewise didn’t seem to blame Stefansson. At first, the Crawford’s were incredibly distraught about their son’s death and wanted to remain out of the public eye. Their grief soon turned to anger, and they went on a campaign to blame and express their anger toward Stefansson calling him the “enemy.” The subsequent pages look at primary sources illustrating these feelings of the Knight, Galle and Crawford families.