stefansson-wrangel-09-27-039

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Samara Cary at Jun 11, 2024 07:01 PM

stefansson-wrangel-09-27-039

80

- 17 -

Government to finance the undertaking, I had taken up with my old friend, Jafet
Lindeberg
of Nome the question of getting Alaskan trappers and prospectors to establish
a colony on Wrangell Island. Lindeberg made out some rough specifications as to
what the outfit must necessarily be. It began with several thousand feet of
lumber and included sheet iron, tar paper, and the like. There would have to be
canned fruits and vegetables of all sorts, and beans and syrup, etc. When I
showed the list to Knight and Maurer they laughed over it and said that the only
way they could understand purchasing such an outfit in Nome and freighting it to
Wrangell Island would be if they were spending other people's money and wanted to
do a little grafting either for themselves or for their friends who were merchants
and the owners of the freighting ships. Knight said that if he embarked on such
an undertaking his idea would be to buy the goods with my money in Nome and stop
in Siberia to sell them again so as not to have the bother of carrying them to
Wrangell.

When Lindeberg was making out the specifications for the possible
Wrangell Island colony he was not thinking of what he himself would have liked to take with him [expect], for he
had tried the simple life in the early Alaska days and preferred it to the more
expensive and tedious outfitting of later years. But he was setting down what he
knew the present-day Alaskans would consider necessary for safety and comfort.
Accordingly, when the Silver Wave was being loaded by our men at Nome it was
lumber and tar paper, canned fruit and bacon that the Alaskans expected to see
going aboard. And When they saw that the outfit was wholly different and the quantity
very small, there was at once a beginning of the criticism as to supplies and
method which kept growing constantly after the ship sailed.

Alaska is only just beginning to develop soberly out of her
original state as a gold country where one man in a hundred made his fortune by
some spectacular accident and the other ninety-nine spent year after year in
dreaming that their turn was about to come. One who does not know the typical

stefansson-wrangel-09-27-039

80

- 17 -

Government to finance the undertaking, I had taken up with my old friend, Jafet
Lindeberg
of Nome the question of getting Alaskan trappers and prospectors to establish
a colony on Wrangell Island. Lindeberg made out some rough specifications as to
what the outfit must necessarily be. It began with several thousand feet of
lumber and included sheet iron, tar paper, and the like. There would have to be
canned fruits and vegetables of all sorts, and beans and syrup, etc. When I
showed the list to Knight and Maurer they laughed over it and said that the only
way they could understand purchasing such an outfit in Nome and freighting it to
Wrangell Island would be if they were spending other people's money and wanted to
do a little grafting either for themselves or for their friends who were merchants
and the owners of the freighting ships. Knight said that if he embarked on such
an undertaking his idea would be to buy the goods with my money in Nome and stop
in Siberia to sell them again so as not to have the bother of carrying them to
Wrangell.

When Lindeberg was making out the specifications for the possible
Wrangell Island colony he was not thinking of what he himself would have liked to take with him [expect], for he
had tried the simple life in the early Alaska days and preferred it to the more
expensive and tedious outfitting of later years. But he was setting down what he
knew the present-day Alaskans would consider necessary for safety and comfort.
Accordingly, when the Silver Wave was being loaded by our men at Nome it was
lumber and tar paper, canned fruit and bacon that the Alaskans expected to see
going aboard. And When they saw that the outfit was wholly different and the quantity
very small, there was at once a beginning of the criticism as to supplies and
method which kept growing constantly after the ship sailed.

Alaska is only just beginning to develop soberly out of her
original state as a gold country where one man in a hundred made his fortune by
some spectacular accident and the other ninety-nine spent year after year in
dreaming that their turn was about to come. One who does not know the typical