stefansson-wrangel-09-37-046

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prairie, noted for its interior granite cliffs, which
reach a height of 2000 feet, and is also famed as the
paradise of the polar hear.

Following its discovery by the British in 1849,
Wrangel Island was occupied in turn by Americans and
British, both of whom, according to Stefansson, permitted
their claims to lapse after five years, when neither
country provided for continuous occupation. The claims
of both the Americans and British were shadowy when the
ill-fated Karluk was wrecked off Wrangel Island in 1914.
The right of the British to occupy the island was re-
asserted however when seventeen members of Steffanson's
shipwrecked expedition landed, and later ran up the
British flag. Following the withdrawal of Steffanson's
men, the British claim lapsed in 1919, so toward the end
of the five-year period the explorer began the organi-
zation of his Wrangel Island expedition.

The little party that landed on Wrangel Island, for
the purpose of re-asserting the right of British occupa-
tion was composed of four white men and as many Eskimos.
The American members were E. L+ McKnight of McMinnville,
Ore., Fred Maurer of New Philadelphia, Ohio, and Milton
Galle
of New Braunsfels, Texas.

Only the leader of the party, a Canadian, was ap-
prized of the real nature of the expedition when it start-
ed, and he was Allan Crawford, a son of Professor Crawford
of Toronto University. The Americans, Steffanson ex-
plains, became identified with the undertaking simply
through love of adventure. But the Americans were let
into the secret when the party landed.

Canadian Government Not in the Secret.

The expedition, which was designed by Steffanson
to render an important service to his country was organ-
ized without assistance from the British government. In-
deed the exact nature of the expedition was not disclosed
to the British government until Steffanson went to O’Nawa
last Friday to make a report in person to Minister
Mackenzie King.

Steffanson has tentatively planned to sail in the
spring for England to report to the British prime minister
on the results of his latest undertaking in the far
north. But, pending instructions from the government
authorities, the explorer does not know whether his
country will accept from his hands the gift of Wrangel
Island, because of possible international complications.
He says he has established no personal claims by occupying
the Island.

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