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month after the close of favourable navigation, and failed to reach
the island. This year, by the efforts of Mr. Griffith Brewer, a
relief party, under the command of Mr. Harold Noice, was able
to leave Nome in the Donaldson and reach Wrangel Island safely.
Before the expedition sailed Mr. Noice was informed by the Soviet
authorities at East Cape, Siberia, that unless the ship called at
Petropavlovsk for proper clearance papers, and took aboard a
detachment of Red Guards, it would be confiscated! On his return
Mr. Noice also reported that his attempt at organizing a relief
party had been met with hostility in Nome, where the island is
regarded as belonging to the United States.4

When the relief ship arrived at Wrangel Island they discovered
that disaster had overtaken the original party. The sole survivor
was the Eskimo cook. It appears that, being certain that a ship
would arrive in 1922, they did not take full advantage of the
hunting season, so that supplies were running short by Christmas.
They then determined to attempt to reach the Siberian coast, where
provisions could be obtained. Unfortunately Knight, the most ex-
perienced ice traveller, was suffering from scurvy, and was left on
the island with the Eskimo. The exact fate of the party is un-
known; in Mr. Stefansson’s words, “it seems likely that one after-
noon the party travelled too far into the gathering twilight, walked
on unsafe ice, and broke through.” Knight died on .
The Eskimo woman managed to support herself until the arrival
of the Donaldson. Before the ship sailed for Nome a party of
thirteen Eskimo, under the command of Mr. Charles Wells, were
established on the island with supplies for two years.

The above summary includes all the facts which seem relevant
to an attempt to estimate the value of conflicting claims to sover-
eignty. A Russian heard of it in 1824, but never saw it. An English-
man saw it in 1849 but never landed on it. An American landed
on it in 1881 and claimed it for the United States. A Russian ship
put up a beacon in 1911. It was quite unoccupied when the men
of the Karluk took possession in 1914, and since 1921 Mr. Stefans-
son has had a party in continuous “effective occupation.” His

4 This paragraph and the next are less exactly accurate than the paper is
in general, for it depends in part on the confused press accounts at the time
of the tragedy. Mr. Carl Lomen, who was in Nome at the time, says, for
instance, that it was unfair of Mr. Noice to allege that “his attempt at organ-
izing a relief party was met with hostility in Nome” [Note by V. Stefansson.]

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