January 1, 1867
At Port Clarence, where they were almost entirely dependent upon the resources of the country for some weeks, living upon walrus and seal meat, without flour or bread, no symptom of scurvy made its appearance.
Travel And Adventure In The Territory Of Alaska by Frederick Whymper
During the winter of 1866-7, and following summer, Captain Libby, of our Telegraph Service, with nearly forty men, stopped at this inaccessible place. At Grantley Harbour, a good titation, and other houses (which have been left there), and portions of the telegraph line, were built by these men. It was, as before stated, the spot intended for the Bering Strait cable “landing” on the American side, and it has been already mentioned as the central point at which the natives of Kotsebue and Norton Sounds, and the neighbouring country, meet the Tchuktchis from the Siberian coast. Many whalers annually visit this harbour for trading purposes, and I expect to hear of a permanent white settlement being formed there. The experience of the earlier Arctic explorers, as of our telegraph men, shows that it is a good spot to winter in. Some of our men there, at one time very short of provisions, lived for months at an Indian village near Cape Prince of Wales. Supplies from the resources of the country were very uncertain. In 1866-7, the natives in the neighbourhood were almost starving, and were at one time reduced to boiling down their old boots and fragments of hide, in order to sustain life. “ Yet,” said a correspondent (a member of our expedition), writing from thence, “ the party under Captain Libby although without bread or flour for some weeks, escaped the scurvy entirely. The generally received opinion that scurvy is generated from want of flour, does not seem to be correct. At the station (Fort St. Michaers), where plenty of flour was received, and freely used, they wore afflicted with this disease; while at Port Clarence, where they were almost entirely dependent upon the resources of the country for some weeks, living upon walrus and seal meat, without flour or bread, no symptom of scurvy made its appearance.”
Some few of the workmen had suffered from frost-bite and scurvy. A propos of the latter terrible scourge, it is to be remarked, that our men at Port Clarence, the worst fed of all our parties, who had lived for a long time on a native diet of walrus and seal blubber, had not suffered from it at all, while those in Norton Sound, who got a fair amount of flour, &c., from the Russian posts, suffered severely from the disease.