In August 1880, Norwegian Johan Adrian Jacobsen recruited two Labrador Inuit families to become the latest attraction in a European ethnographical exhibit, now known as a 'human zoo.' The eight individuals, aged nine months to 50 years, were exhibited in Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, and Frankfurt before they suddenly started dying. One died in Darmstadt, two in Crefeld, the remaining five in Paris.
Should I be indirectly responsible for their death? Did I just have to lead these poor honest people from their home to find their graves here on foreign soil? Oh, how everything became so totally different than I had thought. (J. A. Jacobsen, January 16, 1881)
Discover the moods, thoughts and qualms of this 27-year-old man; from his unsuccessful attempt to recruit 'Eskimos' in Greenland, his despair to see that Moravian missionaries in Labrador also opposed his project, his jubilation when Abraham agreed to accompany him with his family, to his shock of facing the first two deaths after doctors had told him there was no reason to be alarmed, the heartbreaking moment when Abraham had to hand over his three year old daughter to a hospital in Germany, and finally, the horror of being admitted to the smallpox unit of a Paris hospital where the 'Eskimos' as well as Europeans suffered and died around him.
"When I saw to Ulrike shortly after midnight, I noticed that she too would end her struggle soon. I tried to comfort her, but she waved me off with her hand, as if she did not want to see me at all. That was no surprise, because she knew that all the others had gone before her. I felt guilty to a certain degree for the death of these unfortunate people, even if unintentionally. Had I not come to Labrador, they would still be alive like all their relatives." (Johan Adrian Jacobsen, January 16, 1881)
This second edition of Voyage with the Labrador Eskimos, 1880-1881, has been expanded from 86 to 300 pages. It includes the English translation of a larger extract of Jacobsen's diary, new findings, and additional information such as correspondence from family, friends, and business partners, plus 54 photos and illustrations.