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partly, why it was that British and American capitalists were putting money into the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway at a time when nearly half the people of Canada itself were firmly convinced of the folly of the enterprise and passionately opposed to having anybody try it. It is also a partial explanation of why Canadians of to-day will invest money in cattle ranches in the Argentine rather than reindeer ranches in their own country. It is not wholly because cattle are an ancient domestic animal and reindeer new to west Europeans. It is partly rather because their frank ignorance of South America has opened Canadians minds to any information about the Argentine, while their bigoted pseudo- limited knowledge of their own country has prevented them from taking an interest in places not half so far away or half so difficult to reach.

With American money at last available for carrying supplies to a party of British pioneers, I cabled to Nome, closing the bargain with Captain Bernard. The season was already at its most favorable stage. late. Knowing this, the Captain made the hastiest preparations and set sail on August 20, 1922.

A vote of three thousand dollars was given me by the Canadian Government before the Teddy Bear actually sailed but not in time to affect the sailing date, which had been determined by the help of my American friend.

The season of 1922 proved to be particularly icy in the region north and northwest of Bering Straits. Contrary to popular opinion, the amount of ice in a certain part of the polar sea any given summer has no relation to the temperature that summer and depends only on the winds that prevail in the wide region surrounding the area you want to navigate. Generally speaking ,there is ice between Wrangell Island and the mainland of Asia when the winds are from the northeast, north or northwest. The favorable winds are from the east, southeast, and south.

Captan Bernard made a faithful try. He followed the edge of the ice westward. Sometimes he ventured a little way out into it and was nearly caught,

Last edit 28 days ago by Samara Cary
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the vote was made on the basis of the followin g written appeal summparizing (though by no means completely) many conversations I had had both with the Minister and Deputy Minister of the Interior:

Wide space "Ottawa, Aug. 8, 1922.

Dear Mr. Cory:

Attached is the brief statement you asked for to be presented to Council on Friday. Please urge upon Council that there are on Wrangell Island four men in Canadian service whose lives are in danger. The arctic summer is nearly over.

Respectfully,

(Signed) V. Stefansson.

Hon. W. W. Cory, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Ottawa, Ontario Wide space

Statement Regarding Men Now in Danger On Wrangell Island

The facts with regard to the Expedition now on Wrangell Island are in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior. The men went to Wrangell Island to hold it/for the Empire and Canada, and I had no other motive in sending them there. I have spent on this enterprise all my own money and all I can borrow. Our claims to the island are clear and we should hold it. But the four men there have now been isolated for one year; they may be ill for all we know. They were confident, as I was, that I could get support to send a ship to them. We could have borrowed money had we received a lease in time, but this is now probably too late. A ship can be chartered in Nome to take supplies to Wrangell and to bring out such of the men as want to come out - total cost of charter and supplies about $5,000.00. Can the Government advance this money in some way? - details of repayment, etc., to be settled later.

When our men were on Wrangell in 1914 the American Government sent a cutter for them at many times the cost of the present enterprise. These now are our own men - a Canadian expedition engaged in a service for Canada. They have already accomplished their task and now need help.

Our arrangements are all made through the Stefansson Arctic Exploration and Development Company, Credit Foncier Building, Vancouver. Credit should be telegraphed there so arrangements can be made with Nome.

This Company was incorporated for the single purpose of securing Wrangell Island to Canada.

(Signed) V. Stefansson. Wide space

The season of 1922 proved to be particularly icy in the region north and northwest of Bering Straits. Contrary to popular opinion,

Last edit 28 days ago by Samara Cary
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the amount of ice in a certain part of the polar sea any given/summer has no relation to the temperature that summer and depends only on the winds that prevail in the wide region surrounding the area you want to navigate. Generally, speaking, there is ice between Wrangell Island and the mainland of Asia, when the winds are from the northeast, north or northwest. The favorable winds are from the east, southeast, and south.

Captain Bernard\made a faithful try. He followed the edge of the ice westward. Sometimes he ventured a little way out into it and was nearly caught,

Last edit 28 days ago by Samara Cary
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an event to be carefully guarded against here although not serious in the arctic north and northwest of Europe. If you get your ship fast in the ice of the European arctic you drift south into open water and freedom. If you get fast in the ice to the north of Alaska or eastern Siberia you drift with it to the northwest, being inevitably frozen in and carried across the polar ocean unless the ship is broken and sunk. This has been proved by scores of whaling ships and by De Long's Jeannette, Nansen's Fram, my own Karluk, and more recently by Amundsen's Maud.

Had the Teddy Bear been frozen in, it would have meant not only the loss of the ship but also that she would have been powerless to help the men on Wrangell Island. No one could be better aware of this than Captain Bernard, and so he was wise in running no risk of being caught. He retreated again and again barely in time and followed along westward until he came to where further progress was impossible because the ice touched the Siberian coast. He climbed high headlands in one or more places and saw the ice lying heavily packed twenty or thirty miles out to sea. There arose later rumors that Bernard could have reached the island had he tried harder. These must have originated among people who did not understand the conditions, and they were eventually completely removed by the testimony of the Wrangell Island party itself, who watched from the hills of the island the same ice that Captain Bernard saw from the hills of the continent. *

On September 23, 1922, Captain Bernard returned to Nome and the Lomen Brothers reported to me by wireless his failure to reach the island. This did not cause me any great worry, for I knew that, barring accident or sickness, the men were safe. The chances of accident were not many for careful men; the chances of good health are nowhere in the world better than in the Arctic. It is, in fact, one of the chief reasons why arctic explorers always go north again. You cannot be unhappy when you are exuberantly healthy. Describe a blizzard -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- * The text of Captian Bernard's report is printed in the Appendix to this book.

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vividly and correctly to a man in the south. He will shudder at the thought, pity the poor fellows who have to struggle through such a storm, and will congratulate himself that he is safe from it. But take that same man north and the climate and conditions will change his temperament so that the howling of a gale outdoors becomes a challenge with an agreeable thrill and difficult to resist. When you are well dressed and have mastered the technique of northern travel you face with delight a blizzard which your twin brother in the south shudders to read about.

Although Bernard had not succeeded, I felt much better because he had been able to try. Had financial difficulties prevented me from sending a ship at all, I should have been worried by my incompetence inability to hold up my end of the bargain with the boys. There had been the understanding that they would go into the field and do the actual work of keeping the flag flying while I was to have what they considered the easier if not the pleasanter task of converting those in power to the wisdom of our plans. Had the ocean been clear at Wrangell Island they would have had no theory upon which to explain the absence of a ship except my failure to interest Canadians in what we were trying to do for Canada and the Empire, and that would have hurt them who knew so well their own unselfishness and who expected the approval so confidently. But Bernard had told us that the ice had been blocking the way. That made my mind easier, for I knew the boys must have seen the same ice and must have placed upon it and not upon me or Canada the blame for keeping the ship away. I considered they would, accordingly, face the winter cheerfully, not conscious that what they were doing was being cousidered by their countrymen more foolish and less glorious than they had imagined.

As the winter advanced, my attitude about Wrangell Island remained unchanged except that I began to worry a little that I might get receive a wireless message any time from some place in Siberia. The understanding when the party sailed had been that they would certainly not leave the island by sledge during the winter of 1921-1922. There had been the suggestion that they might make a quick

Last edit 28 days ago by Samara Cary
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