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seen no land other than Asia, Lieutenant Ferdinand
Wrangel was on a journey to test the theory and the
reports of a northern continent which were still believed
by his employers, the Russian Government at Petrograd.
He had traveled overland to the mouth of the Kolyma
with orders to make a journey out upon the sea ice and
to plant the Russian flag upon the supposed corner of
the supposed continent.

Wrangel arrived at the mouth of the Kolyma in 1820.
During the three years following he made journeys north-
west, north and northeast over the winter sea ice search-
ing for land. His route map shows that one of his parties
once came within forty or fifty miles of where we now
have Wrangel Island on the chart, but they saw no land.
They picked up again, however, the native story that
land had been seen; and they made, in April, 1824, a
very creditable effort to reach by sled the place where
the land was said to be. On being compelled to turn
his sledges back towards Asia, Wrangel wrote: “With a
painful feeling of the impossibility of overcoming the
obstacles which nature opposed to us, our last hope
vanished of discovering the land which we yet believed
to exist. . . . We had done what duty and honour
demanded; further attempts would have been absolutely
hopeless, and I decided to return.” (P. 348 of the 1840
edition of the work described below.) Wrangel laid
down upon his chart “from Native report” “the land
which we yet believe to exist” in a position some forty
or fifty miles west of where the island now named after
him was later discovered.

On turning back from his third and last sledge explor-
atory journey, Wrangel said: “Our return to Nishne
Kolymsk closed the series of attempts made by us to

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