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miles to the north. This was to have an unfortunate result. In
1879 Commander De Long, U.S.N., of the Jeannette, being on a
voyage of exploration, entered the pack near Herald Island, hoping
that he would be carried to Wrangel Island, where he might winter.
Actually he drifted westwards, but to the north of Wrangel Land,
which was thus shown to be a comparatively small island. The
Jeannette was finally crushed in the pack near Henrietta Island,
few of her crew surviving their subsequent hardships. Two years
later Captain Hooper, of the Corwin, searching for De Long,
landed on Wrangel Island, as it is now more generally called, and
took possession of it for the United States (). The
same year Captain R. M. Berry, U.S.N., of the Rodgers, made a
stay of nineteen days at the island, during which it was explored
and mapped, and the idea of an extensive land in this region was
finally dispelled.

There seems to be no record of any Russian ship having reached
this island until 1911. In the previous year the ice-breakers Tai-
muir and Vaigach had been fitted out at Vladivostok for the hydro-
graphic survey of the Arctic Ocean and islands lying off the Sibe-
rian coast. No narrative of the first years of this work is accessible,
but a summary of the geographical and hydrographical results was
compiled in 1912 by Lieut. B. V. Davidov and printed for the Rus-
sian Admiralty. This expedition must have erected the tall beacon
35 feet high which stands north of the entrance to the lagoon in
the sand spit between Blossom Point and Cape Thomas (‘Arctic
Pilot/ 1920, p. 477). In the summer of 1914 these same ice-
breakers tried to reach Wrangel Island again, to rescue the crew
of the Karluk (see below), but were unable to get within 30 miles
of the island, and so far as can be ascertained, no Russians were
ever on Wrangel Island before or after the single visit of 1911.

Nevertheless the island seems to be claimed by Russia. At the
end of 1916 we were informed by the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs that he had received from the Russian Ambassador in
London an official notification to the effect that “the territories and
islands situated in the Arctic Ocean and discovered by Captain
Vilkitski in 1913-1914 have been incorporated in the Russian Em-
pire.” Attached to Count Benckendorf s note was a memorandum
giving a summary of Vilkitski’s new discoveries off Cape Chelyus-

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