stefansson-wrangel-09-24-001-007

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-7-

Noice agreed to carry the Red Guards to Wrangell they would
probably have been the first Russians who ever set foot in
that island.

The situation was made more tense by the American news-
papers, publishing of that day which carried a dispatch from Vladivostok
saying that an armed Russian expedition was being outfitted
there "for the capture of Wrangell Island."

In view of this, situation I cabled Noice to disregard
both the newspaper story and the Soviet message. He was to
assume that a predatory expedition, even if carried out by
the Russians, would have no effect upon the ultimate nation-
ality of Wrangell Island. In case of a real dispute, this
would doubtless be adjudicated by an International Court
which would pay attention to discovery, exploration and
occupation. On those grounds the Russians have no case.

Some years there may be considerable interference by
ice, but in frequently the sea between Nome and Wrangell is
as open as the Atlantic. With good luck the Donaldson may
return to Nome any time after August 20 bringing such of
the island party as can be spared from the work going on
there. Those who return The returning party will then have a story to tell
that will rank with the most romantic in Arctic history.
Should the Soviet really intervene, or should ice prevent
the ship from reaching the island, there may be complications
of adventure and tragedy which no-one can now foretell.

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