Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/22

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INTRODUCTION

given to Wrangell Land, and upon British Admiralty charts it was very properly indicated as"KellettLand."

The name Wrangell Land, it seems, became associated with the island through a report of Captain Thomas Long, of the whaling bark Nile. In 1867 he reported that he had


sailed to the eastward along the land during the fifteenth and part of the sixteenth [of August], and in some places approached it as near as fifteen miles. I have named this northern land Wrangell Land [he says] as an appropriate tribute to the memory of a man who spent three consecutive years north of latitude 68°, and demonstrated the problem of this open polar sea forty-five years ago, although others of much later date have endeavored to claim the merit of this discovery. The west cape of this land I have named Cape Thomas, after the man who first reported the land from the masthead of my ship, and the southeastern cape I have named after the largest island in this group [Hawaii].[1]

Captain Long apparently was unaware of the fact that the island already bore the name of Kellett by right of discovery eighteen years earlier. But since Baron Wrangell had made such a brave and determined search for this "problematical land of the North," as he re-

  1. Quoted from a letter by Captain Long published in the Honolulu Commercial Advertiser, November, 1867. The same paper contains a letter from Captain George W. Raynor, of the ship Reindeer, giving additional geographic details.