Status: Incomplete


settled in 1923. The facts about the territory are acquired from
VI Peace Handbooks of the British Foreign Office.

Spitsbergen is an archipelago of two large and many small
islands, about 400 miles north of the coast of Norway. The
total land area is about 25,000 square miles.

The archipelago was discovered in 1596 by two Dutch explor-
ers, though probable previous discoveries had been forgotten.
There is also evidence that the Russians may have discovered
the islands before the Dutch, but subsequent to the probable
discovery by the Icelanders.

"The claim that Spitsbergen was discovered in 1553 by Sir
Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor had no foundation in fact,
and originated in the early days of whaling, merely as an arg-
ument against the Dutch claim, when the Muscovy company took
possession for King James. It appears, however, that in 1607
Henry Hudson, with an English expedition, landed in King’s Bay,
and that in consequence of this voyage the Merchant Adventurers
made Spitsbergen their whaling base for a series of years there-
after. In 1613 the Muscovy Company received a charter from
James I, giving them a monopoly of the Spitsbergen fishery.
A Dutch whaling company was formed in 1614, and laid hands on the
northwest corner of Spitsbergen.”

"The era of scientific exploration of Spitsbergen began in
1773, with the British expedition in H.M.S. ’’Racehorse"..; it was
followed in 1807, 1818, 1823, 1827."

"Scandinavian exploration was begun by the Norwegian geolo-
gist Keilhan, in 1827, and the Swede, Loven, in 1832. The Nor-
wegians did no more till the 20th century, but the Swedes from
1858 onwards led many expeditions, mainly for geographical and
cartographical work."

"German expeditions did much work in 1868 and 1871 on the
east coat, and again in 1910."

”ln recent years the chief exploration has been done by
Norwegians, who since 1906 have made an annual expedition to

Diplomatic history (p.29).

"On his discovery of Spitsbergen in 1596, Barents set up a
post bearing the Dutch arms. This act appears to have signified
a claim to the country. In 1612, Poole, one of the Muscovy Com-
pany’s captains, removed this post. About the same time Denmark

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page