Status: Incomplete

Wrangel Land substituted. Since this time map-
makers generally have used the latter name.
No human beings are known to have landed
on Wrangel Island from 1881 to 1914, when seventeen
men of the Canadian Arctic Expedition (commanded by
Vilhjalmur Stefansson) landed in March, remaining
till September (1914). According to orders from
the Department of Naval Service of Canada, the Union
Jack was hoisted on , and possession re-
affirmed in the name of the King.

Under the belief that the British rights
which arose in 1914 through British occupation
would lapse in 1919 through neglect, Stefansson
began that year to urge upon the Government of
Canada the importance of continued occupation, since
a No-Man's-Land in that quarter was becoming so
valuable through the development of aviation that
we might expect Russia or (especially) Japan to
plant a colony there and thus gain possession. In
1921 plans were being made at Ottawa for extensive
Polar work (including occupation of Wrangel Island)
when a dispute arose as to whether these operations
should be commanded by Stefansson or Shackleton.
From this resulted delay, and finally in July 1921,
the Canadian premier informed Stefansson through
J.B.Harkin, Commissioner of Dominion Parks, that no
expedition could be sent in 1921 but one would be
sent in 1922. Stefansson considered this delay
unsafe, and accordingly fitted out a secret
expedition to forestall what he believed to be
imminent Japanese occupation. A party of four

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