The American on the Endurance: Ice, Sea, and Terra Firma Adventures of William L. Bakewell.

Homespun memoir of a footloose and feckless wanderer from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, who happened to be in Buenos Aires in 1914 when Shackleton was looking for an able bodied seaman and took Bakewell on for the voyage.

p. 62, footnote 20: Of particular interest to Bakewell was the well-stocked library. During his time onboard, he claimed to have read every book more than once. He also said that Shackleton would ask How and him many questions and their opinions about the books.

p. 67: We had a very large library, containing one of the largest collections of polar books ever gotten together. I read the complete lot and many a pleasant hour I spent with the old explorers in the Arctic and in the previous expeditions in the Antarctic.

p. 78, footnote 31: Bakewell said that Shackleton emphasized the need for taking only the essentials…Shackleton, himself, tore the 23rd Psalm and Job 38:29-30 from his Bible that Queen Alexandra gave him. He then threw the Bible onto the ice. One of the men (McLeod) picked up the Bible and it is now in the Royal Geographical Society in London.

[Years earlier, during World War I, en route from Europe to Buenos Aires, Bakewell’s ship stopped at Dakar, a neutral port, to unload guns and ammunition and he had an experience not unlike my own in the same city.—DS.]:

p. 145: A barge came alongside to take the gun and ammunition. Aboard the barge were both men and women. I shall never forget the women and the babies. The women’s dresses consisted of a piece of cloth wrapped around their waists, one end hanging down to form the skirt, the other end was thrown over their shoulders leaving both breasts exposed. Such breasts, they hung down to the waist. The babies were tucked into the cloth that was across the shoulders and back. What was so astonishing to me was that when some of the babies wanted to be fed, the mother just took the beast and chucked it (yes, chucked is the right word) up over her shoulder and the baby grabbed it like a terrier would a bone. When the milk was gone out of one, the mother would very unceremoniously pass up the other and this I noted as a rule put the baby to sleep. When upon being released by the young savage the breast dropped back to the front of its own accord. These natives can never be accused of any false modesty. (7/9/14)

p. 162-63, on his postwar reading.