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I re-read the documents of the Wrangel Island Expedition with the exception
of Milton Galle's diary; and I have also re-read the stories which appeared
in the news papers over my signature
of the North American Newspaper Allians over my signature.
I am glad to take this opportunity of correcting some misjudgments. Having
spent a number of years in the Arctic and loving the Arctic and believing
in it as a habitable place, I wanted to show that Wrangel Island was valuable,
a very good game country, a desirable place to live, as we Northerners judge
places. But the general effect of my stories as published in the newspapers
seems to lose that idea in some
sensational writing which over-emphasizes
the "hardships" and drawbacks of the North.
Those stories were given out verbally in interviews (not written)
by me at a time when I was in a serious nervous condition. They were based
far too hasty reading of the documents. When I went to Nome the summer X
1923 I was but recently out of the hospital where I had undergone a serious
operation. The nervous strain of organizing and outfitting the relief
expedition, the oppositions put in my way in Alaska, the Soviet threats,
plus the task of manoeuvring the Donaldson through the ice to Wrangel, and,
most of all, the terrible shock of the tragedy I found on the island, all
these were undoubtedly responsible for certain incorrect
ideas impressions which I got unfortunately passed on into print. The false impression of Wrangel
(or any part of the North that I know) given in my newspaper stories is offset
by my own book "With Stefansson in the Arctic" (Dodd Mead, New York, and
George G. Harrap, London) and which I originally thought of calling
"A Polar Picnic."
Though I actually wrote none of the newspaper stories, I am
responsible for them. I find that I used the words "youth and inexperience"
several times although Maurer and Knight were twenty-eight and twenty-nine