stefansson-wrangel-09-37-049

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The only Russian who ever looked for that island was
|Wrangel and he did not find it. The only Russian ships
ever in sight of the island were the ’’Taimai” and the
"Vaigatch." They were ordered by the Russian government
to try to rescue my men when they were on Wrangel Island,
but they failed to reach the island on account of the
ice. Before they had time to make a second trial the
war broke out.

There are no treaties so far as I have been able
to discover that have any bearing on the ownership of
Wrangel Island. It is commonly supposed that under the
terms of the treaty by which Alaska was ceded to the
United States the right of Russia to any territory to
the west of the boundary of Alaska was recognized, but
there is no such paragraph in that document, as can be
readily ascertained by any one who will take the trouble
to look up the treaty.’

The fact that Wrangel Island had been identified
by map coloration as a possession of Russia is attrib-
uted by Steffanson to the irresponsibility or ignorance
of publishers. When it was pointed out that some maps
Issued by the United States government showed Wrangel
Island in the same color as Russia, he insisted that
such an error on the part of the government map-makers
was likely to occur in view of the limitations of some
clerks in the employ of the government.”

If we only consider such of these facts as seem to
be fairly well accepted, we find that Wrangel Island was
discovered by the British in 1849; it was visited by
the Americans in 1881, and by the British in 1914; it
was finally occupied by Steffanson’s party in 1921.

A note in the New York Times for Oct.18, 1924,
says that a colony of British on Wrangel Island was re-
moved by the Soviet government. That there was a declar-
ation by Russia that she regarded the island as integral
with Siberia seems likely, though it is somewhat strange
that the declaration can not be found in the British and
Foreign State Papers. It seems reasonable, finally, to

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