Status: Indexed


to lose that idea in some sensational writing which over-
emphasizes the “hardships” and drawbacks of the North.
Those stories were given out verbally in interviews
(not written) by me at a time when I was in a serious
nervous condition. They were based on a hasty reading
of the documents. When I went to Nome the summer
of 1923, I was but recently out of the hospital where I
had undergone a serious operation. The nervous strain of
organizing and outfitting the relief expedition, the opposi-
tions put in my way in Alaska, the Soviet threats, plus
the task of maneuvering the Donaldson through the ice
to Wrangel, and, most of all, the terrible shock of the
tragedy I found on the island, all these were undoubtedly
responsible for certain incorrect impressions which un-
fortunately passed on into print. The false impression
of Wrangel (or any part of the North that I know) given
in my newspaper stories is offset by my own book, “With
Stefansson in the Arctic” (Dodd, Mead, New York, and
George G. Harrap, London), which I originally thought
of calling “A Polar Picnic.”
Though I actually wrote none of the newspaper stories,
I am responsible for them. I find that I used the words
“youth and inexperience” several times, although Maurer
and Knight were twenty-eight and twenty-nine years old
when they started on the Wrangel Island expedition, and
were experienced men in the North. It was only the other
two, Crawford and Galle, who were having their first look
at the Arctic.
As published, my newspaper stories gave the impres-
sion that the fatal journey away from Wrangel Island
was made under pressure of food scarcity, that the pur-
pose of the journey was to bring back succor, that the

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