stefansson-wrangel-09-37-048

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sail ed from home . The sloop was commanded
by Capt. John Hammer.'

First British Discovery.

Wrangel Island was discovered in 1849 by a British
naval expedition under Capt. Kellett, who sailed close
in but did not go ashore. For a long time it was des-
cribed in maps as Kellett’s Land, and was supposed to be
a continent. When Kellett discovered this island it was
assumed to be the same sought by Baron Wrangel, who in
1825 came down the Kolyma River, which has its mouth
on the northerly coast of Siberia, and heard from the
natives that there was a great land to the north of Sib-
eria
. He made seven sled journeys without finding that
land.

In 1869 an American whaling captain. Long of New
Bedford, sighted Kellett’s Land, which was not shown
on his maps. But Long had heard of Baron Wrangel, his
search and failure, and he connected the island he had
sighted with Wrangel.

Long told of his discovery of the island and of his
having named it Wrangel Land in an interview for the
newspapers of his first port of call on his return, which
happened to be Honolulu, where there were a number of
papers published in the English language. His log gave
the position of the island correctly, but the discovery
which he supposed he had made did not constitute a claim
for America.

'In 1881 several American naval ships were search-
ing for the lost expedition of Capt. de Long, sent out
by the N.Y. Herald, when two of the ships landed men.
The first was the ”Corwin,” aboard which was John Muir,
author of ”The Cruise of the Corwin.” This party went
ashore for only part of a day, but another American ship,
the ’’Rogers,” landed there a party who remained for two
or three weeks.

Their explorations would give to America the claim
to Wrangel Island if they had decided to follow it up.
But this claim lapses in 1886. The situation, subsequent
to 1886 was that both America and Great Britain had
shadowy claims.

From that time, nobody landed on Wrangel Island, so
far as I know. It was frequently sighted by American
whaling ships, but they never took occasion to land.

One ship, the ’’Karluk”, a British naval vessel,
which was the property of the Canadian government and
her men all in the employ of the navy, was wrecked just
north of Wrangel Island In 1914, when seventeen men went
ashore and stayed on Wrangel Island from Feb. to Sept.
This is the only time that the island has been occupied.

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