stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-013

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so hard in the mountains that they could not climb the highest of them."
It is to be inferred from the same entry that, while sea ice was beginning
to form, it was not yet stable enough to be safe or suitable for hunting.

On November 6th we read that "dog feed is getting low"
and a few days later we read that they are cooking up groceries into dog
feed. From various entries of that sort during the winter it appears that
the amount of supplies taken to Wrangell Island must have been a great deal
in excess of what we had planned together before they sailed north. It had
been our feeling then that full rations of groceries for six months would be
all that it was reasonable to take towards the two-year program of a party
who believed that they could be self supporting indefinitely by hunting. In
other words, we considered that the supplies for six months were luxuries and,
as luxuries, were about all they should reasonably allow themselves. At that
time they had been saying that they preferred to spend what money we had for
phonographs, of which they were all fond, and for candies and chocolate, to
which some of them were partial.

There had been two motives for planning that fox trapping
should be carried on energetically throughout the winter. We were not quite
certain of getting Government support next year and we desired to demonstrate
that an occupation of the island could be made profitable along such old-
fashioned lines as have been followed by the Hudson's Bay Company and other
traders in the Arctic. Not that we were much concerned with the value as a
trapping island, but rather that we wanted to show that this additional
merit also was present.

The entry for November 7th indicates that a good many
traps had been set already but references to them throughout the winter show
that, while foxes were numerous, the trapping was not very successful. This
is not very surprising, for the two experienced men, Knight and Maurer, had
never seen trapping done. They had been members of a scientific expedition

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