stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-061

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- 62 -

young men died. Success does lessen the sting of tragedy and their work
is being carried on to success. Wrangell Island is now occupied by fifteen
people under command of Charles Wells, an experienced hunter and trapper of
the far north. And the British ownership of Wrangell Island has been
effectively determined so that if the question is submitted to an inter-
national court, as the recent despatches from Ottawa tell us, then we shall
be certain of the verdict on the basis of the evidence.

Whether the British Empire decides to stand on its
rights is a wholly different matter. The United States has the next best
claim and between these nations any dispute can always be settled amicably
on a legal basis. But Russia seems to realize the value of Wrangell Island
better than any other country and is making protestations that are loud in
proportion to the weakness of her claims. Things often go without any
other reason to those who want them the most. Then there is the possibility
of internationalizing the island for the benefit of all countries. But
that, again, is a practical question which has nothing to do with the
spirit or value of the sacrifices made by Crawford, Galle, Knight and
Maurer, and has nothing to do with their success.

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