Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Quietly, State Dept. Turns Over American Islands to Russia, Others
NewsMax ^ | May 8, 2000 | Stephan Archer

Posted on 06/12/2003 9:16:57 AM PDT by Beck_isright

Quietly, State Dept. Turns Over American Islands to Russia, Others

In recent years several U.S. islands have been ceded to Russia and other countries, without congressional approval or public debate.

These islands, many uninhabited, are significant because they hold potential mineral, gas, oil and fishing rights – not to mention potential strategic military value.

So where exactly are these disputed islands?

The Arctic islands, which lie west of Alaska and north of Siberia, include the islands of Wrangell, Herald, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta.

The islands in the Bering Sea make up the westernmost point in Alaska’s Aleutian chain and include Copper Island, Sea Otter Rock and Sea Lion Rock. These islands together have more square mileage than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Though the United States had staked claim to these islands for more than a century, the State Department has been anxious to turn them back to Russia.

The tranfer would have gone unnoticed were it not for State Department Watch, a Washington-based group that monitors State Department acitivities.

Retired U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Carl Olson, who heads State Department Watch, recently checked with the Census Bureau, asking if it had plans to count the inhabitants of these disputed islands in the current census.

Olson was stunned by the response he received from the Census Bureau.

"Census Bureau officials were informed by the U.S. Department of State that these islands remain under the jurisdiction of Russia," wrote Kenneth Prewitt, director of the Census Bureau in a letter to Olson.

"Without confirmation and appropriate documentation from the Department of State to the contrary, the Census Bureau cannot include these islands as part of the State of Alaska," Prewitt concluded.

Americans Become Russians

Olson notes that the Census Bureau, with the approval of the State Dept., has just stripped Americans of their citizenship.

Consider the inhabitants of Wrangell Island, the largest of eight disputed islands – five lying in the Arctic Ocean and three in the Bering Sea.

Geographically speaking, the island’s inhabitants would also be citizens of the state of Alaska since no other American state comes even close to the proximity of the islands.

But if anyone desired to visit Wrangell Island, they would be greeted not by the Stars and Stripes waving proudly in the brisk air but by a Russian military tower.

According to Olson, the islands including Wrangell have 18 Russian soldiers and one officer and 50 to 100 inhabitants.

Olson insists these people have been made to endure foreign occupation by the Russian military and believes the U.S. government should do something about taking the islands back.

NewsMax.com contacted Mark Seidenberg, a former senior traffic management specialist within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and asked him if he believed the United States should pursue its sovereignty on the islands. Seidenberg, without hesitation, said "yes."

U.S. Territory for Long Time

U.S. claims for these islands are strong.

When the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, the impending treaty included all of the Aleutian Islands, including Copper Island, Sea Otter Rock and Sea Lion Rock.

A number of years later, in 1881, U.S. Captain Calvin L. Hooper landed on Wrangell Island and claimed it for the United States. One of the landing party was famed explorer John Muir.

Also in 1881, the U.S. Navy claimed Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta islands for the United States. Later that century, the British gave up their claim to Herald Island, allowing the Americans to take it over.

Claims of these islands, however, didn’t become an important issue between the former Soviet Union and the United States until the 1970s, when the concept of international fishing zones 200 miles from national coastlines went into affect.

With both the Soviet Union and Alaska having coastlines within a much closer proximity than the needed 400-mile buffer zone, a maritime boundary had to be established.

Secret Transfer

The resulting U.S.-U.S.S.R. Maritime Boundary Treaty was passed by the Senate and ratified by former President George Bush in 1991. Russia, however, never ratified the treaty because its leaders complained that the U.S.S.R. didn’t benefit enough from it.

Nevertheless, former U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker and the Soviet Union’s Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze signed a secretive executive agreement the year before that bound both governments to the treaty.

Currently, Russia is demanding hundreds of millions of pounds more fishing rights from the United States that would undermine the Alaskan fish industry and, subsequently, the state’s economy.

A wealth of petroleum and natural gas hang in the balance as well.

When NewsMax.com contacted the State Department for an explanation, a spokesman said he wasn’t aware of any issue involving the Wrangell Islands and the U.S. government and that it was his belief that the islands have been recognized as a part of Russia since the 1800s. During the course of the interview, the State Department official asked if he was being "put on."

Even though now recognizing Russian jurisdiction over the islands, the State Department had testified at the June 13, 1991, treaty hearing that the maritime boundary agreement "does not recognize Soviet sovereignty over these [five Arctic] islands."

Enraged by the turnover of Alaska’s sovereign land, Rep. John Coghill Jr. of that state’s legislature sponsored House Joint Resolution 27, which beseeches the Department of State to inform the Alaska Legislature of any decisions regarding the maritime agreement.

The resolution further points out that setting a maritime boundary between Alaska and Russia is a "constitutional issue of states’ rights."

One of the issues over these islands and the surrounding waters are the fishing rights of Alaskan fishermen. Oil, of which Alaska has the largest national reserves, may also be abundant in the disputed territory.

Military Value

Olson notes the area's strategic value as well.

Beneath the icy waters around the islands, submarine warfare has taken place in the past between the former Soviet Union and the United States. The ice is now one of the last places for submarines to hide. The islands could also be hosts to vital facilities tracking hostile government movements.

"Everybody knows that the shortest distance between the U.S. mainland and Asia is the polar route, giving easy access to aircraft and whatever else," Olson explained. "And the Asian mainland doesn’t just consist of Russia. It includes China."

More American Islands Lost

Olson adds that the Arctic islands are not the only American islands the State Dept. has been giving away without congressional approval or treaty.

In recent years four American Pacific Islands – Washington, Fanning, Makin and Little Makin – have been ceded to the island nation of Kiribati without a treaty.

"Lost” islands include Nassau Island in the Pacific Ocean and Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank in the Caribbean Sea. The islands became American territory under the Guano Act in the late 1800s.

Regarding these three lost islands, the Census Bureau's Prewitt, in a letter dated March 15, stated, "With respect to Nassau Island, Bajo Nuevo, or Serranilla Bank, the Department of State has not informed the Census Bureau that claims to these islands have been certified."

In addition to the abandonment of the islands is the loss of all resources within a 200-mile economic zone of each island. As is the case with most of the Arctic islands, the economic zones around each of the islands may be more important than the islands themselves.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; Russia; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: alaska; arcticislands; borders; boundaries; constitution; fisheries; minerals; naturalgas; oil; russia; statedept; staterights; wrangellisland
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-88 next last
I reposted this old story because it is becoming an issue again. Apparently W is going to give away some more islands and reduce the fishing grounds of the fisherman up there by an estimated 300,000,000 lbs. of potential catch.

A friend of mine who is part owner of a fishing boat turned me on to this story. He's an ex-Vietnam vet and in his email to me, told me that the current administration is getting ready to turn over even more US territory to the Russians. The Eskimos on those islands in the story, by the way, did not get a chance to vote or offer to relocate to other parts of Alaska. They are now Russian citizens. The residents of the islands in discussion now, will not be allowed to vote either. Food for thought people. As I get more news on this, I shall post it.
1 posted on 06/12/2003 9:16:57 AM PDT by Beck_isright
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
No, citizenship doesn't change one eskimo to Russian from American.

This is an old Guanno Islands wives tale.

The U.S. issues temporary sovereignty to islands covered in bird guanno that are claimed by miners (guanno is useful in making black powder, or at least it was useful a century ago).

But when the mining stops, the U.S. guarantee on soveriegnty for the island ends.

And "island" is perhaps too strong a word. These are basicly large rock outcroppings.

Makes for great fear-mongering in the tabloids, though!

Congrats on falling for it.

2 posted on 06/12/2003 9:22:34 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
What the...??? I'd never heard of this!!!! Thanks for the re-post.
3 posted on 06/12/2003 9:23:03 AM PDT by Eala ("Here in France I feel at home." --Madonna. So go already.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southack
So basically speaking, ceding territory used by our fishing fleets in Alaska is okay with you? Oh, I forgot, you're a bushbot.
4 posted on 06/12/2003 9:32:12 AM PDT by Beck_isright (When Senator Byrd landed on an aircraft carrier, the blacks were forced below shoveling coal...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
Wrangel Island is part of Siberia. Go look at a map. I've never looked up the others, but my understanding is that the governing international law dates back to 19th century navigational agreements that (quite sensibly) split the Bering Straights between Alaska and Siberia. The navigational lines were drawn long before oil and mineral rights issues became salient. If there are a few specks of rock on the Russian side of the line, so be it.
5 posted on 06/12/2003 9:32:54 AM PDT by sphinx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southack
The issue with Russia has nothing to do with the Guano act islands that you are referring to.

The U.S. did / does have a very valid claim to Wrangel Island. Unfortunately, as looking at a map will reveal, we have about zero chance of ever recovering it and the other Siberian islands.

6 posted on 06/12/2003 9:41:48 AM PDT by Stingray51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sphinx
Yes, but those were "navigational" rights, not fishing rights. In this critical time where we have basically rented out all of our prime fishing territories on the East Coast, we could become a full blown importer of fish at the pace we are squeezing the industry out of business. And that is what is really sad. No one cares until their industry is exported out.
7 posted on 06/12/2003 10:04:18 AM PDT by Beck_isright (When Senator Byrd landed on an aircraft carrier, the blacks were forced below shoveling coal...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sphinx
You're right. As far as I know, it's part of a navigational treaty from around 1890. Having trouble finding linkable info. People should confirm the subject matter of articles before posting them.
8 posted on 06/12/2003 10:13:19 AM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions=Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
"So basically speaking, ceding territory used by our fishing fleets in Alaska is okay with you? Oh, I forgot, you're a bushbot."

You are such a doom-saying anti-Busher.

Here's TODAYS copy of the Wrangell Island Chamber of Commerce web site, 3 years *AFTER* NEWSMAX and Worldnet Daily claimed Wrangell Island was occupied by Russian troops with a Russian guard tower.

Enjoy your tin-foil...

 
Links
51st Annual Wrangell Salmon Derby 
Annual Calendar of Events 
Contact Us 
Sign Our Guest Book 
City of Wrangell, Alaska Website 
Membership Directory 
Membership Application Form, Wrangell Chamber of Commerce 

Events
Harvest Festival 2003 
51st Annual Salmon Derby May 10 - June 8, 2003 
Fourth of July 2003 
Festival of Lights December 5, 2003 
Wrangell Weather
Click for Wrangell, Alaska Forecast
Articles
Gateway to the Stikine River
 
Nestled on an island at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River, Wrangell offers visitors a friendly taste of a frontier community in the midst of some of the most unique and pristine wilderness in Alaska. Known as the "Gateway to the Stikine", Wrangell offers a step back into time. There is much to immerse yourself in:
-Walk among petroglyphs and imagine the people who carved them thousands of years ago.
-Visit Chief Shakes Tribal House, Totem Park and the Wrangell Museum for a glimpse in to the Tlingit Natives' way of life.
-Hike up to Rainbow Falls or stop and pick the abundant wild blueberries, huckleberries and salmonberries.
-Traverse the Stikine River Delta by jet boat fighting the tremendous current and seeking the ever-changing channel of the river.
-Fly over majestic snowcapped mountains, pristine lakes and calving glaciers.
-Rest in natural hot springs surrounded by the unmatched beauty of the wilderness.
-Explore untouched corners of the Tongass National Forest.
Welcome to Wrangell!!! A frontier community in the heart of Southeast Alaska.


Photo Courtesy City of Wrangell  

 
Classified Advertisements
 
The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer its membership on-line classified advertisements. If you are a Chamber member and would like to post an on-line advertisement, please contact the Chamber office for more information. 
 
Wrangell Video Offer
 
The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer you an exciting ten minute video tape that features attractions from the Wrangell area. The price is $9.95 plus USPS Priority Mail fees. A discount is offered to Chamber members. Click here to order!!  
Daily News
FBI Agent Probed After Criticizing Bureau 
Details Emerge From Plot to Bomb French Paradise 
Has the U.S. Really Mounted a Covert Operation in Somalia? 
Monkeypox May Have Spread From Human 
Priest’s Satan Warning Faces Court Challenge 
Broadcaster David Brinkley Dies at 82 
Experts: NASA Hasn't Learned From Failure 
Gov. Mulls Restricting Immigrant Driver’s Licenses 
Three Die in Severe Tenn. Thunderstorms 
FTC: Cigarette Ad Spending Skyrockets 
2 Students Charged in 2000 N.J. Dorm Fire 
Anti-Terror Laws May Ground Model Rockets 
PhotoFlash 

9 posted on 06/12/2003 10:16:54 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
The U.S. did / does have a very valid claim to Wrangel Island. Unfortunately, as looking at a map will reveal, we have about zero chance of ever recovering it and the other Siberian islands.

There are flights from Fairbanks to Wrangell every day. Seems like a lot of transportation for 119 inhabitants.

10 posted on 06/12/2003 10:18:38 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
"... But if anyone desired to visit Wrangell Island, they would be greeted not by the Stars and Stripes waving proudly in the brisk air but by a Russian military tower. "

HA Ha, BWAAAA Ha haaa!

11 posted on 06/12/2003 10:19:15 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
"So basically speaking, ceding territory used by our fishing fleets in Alaska is okay with you? Oh, I forgot, you're a bushbot."

Hey brainiac, is there a ... pause ... Russian Guard Tower on Wrangell?!

BWAAAA Ha Ha!

It just goes to show that some people will believe *anything* that they read if it in anyway supports their own anti-Bush political agenda...

12 posted on 06/12/2003 10:22:34 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Southack
That's Wrangell, not Wrangel Island.
13 posted on 06/12/2003 10:27:31 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
"The U.S. did / does have a very valid claim to Wrangel Island. Unfortunately, as looking at a map will reveal, we have about zero chance of ever recovering it and the other Siberian islands."

If you bother to look above, I've posted today's copy of the Wrangell Island web site by their American chamber of commerce.

There are also daily American flights going there so you can see for yourself.

And there's no Russian Guard tower on the non-Guano Wrangell Island, either...

14 posted on 06/12/2003 10:28:53 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
From the article... "A number of years later, in 1881, U.S. Captain Calvin L. Hooper landed on Wrangell Island and claimed it for the United States. One of the landing party was famed explorer John Muir."
15 posted on 06/12/2003 10:30:17 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Southack
There are two Wrangels or Wrangells. The website is for the community in the Wrangell Mts. Wrangel island is way up north. How copy? Over.
16 posted on 06/12/2003 10:32:04 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright; Howlin
"Apparently W is going to give away some more islands and reduce the fishing grounds..."

Awwww, nothing like posting a little factually incorrect fear-mongering when you attack your most hated GWB, right Beck?!

Hey, where's that Russian military tower again, on Wrangell?!

BWWAAAA Ha HAAAAA haaa!

17 posted on 06/12/2003 10:33:08 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southack
Hey, it's NewsMax, what do you expect? Next he'll be posting pics of the UN vehicles invading the US right now!!!!!! ;>)
18 posted on 06/12/2003 10:33:44 AM PDT by Ready4Freddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
From the Chamber of Commerce web site as I posted it above:

"Nestled on an island at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River, Wrangell offers visitors a friendly taste of a frontier community in the midst of some of the most unique and pristine wilderness in Alaska."

19 posted on 06/12/2003 10:34:51 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
Hey Beck, where did you go?!

Have you fled from your own thread re-post in disgrace already?!

20 posted on 06/12/2003 10:36:03 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
"That's Wrangell, not Wrangel Island."

Wrangel Island has always been considered the Chutchka (sp?) Autonomous Territory. Part of Russia.

21 posted on 06/12/2003 10:37:58 AM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions=Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Southack
*tap* *tap* *tap*

Is this mike hot? No response, Captain. The scoutship may be lost somewhere down by Sitka, which seems odd because he's supposed to be up around Kotzebue.

22 posted on 06/12/2003 10:38:14 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
"The Eskimos on those islands in the story, by the way, did not get a chance to vote or offer to relocate to other parts of Alaska. They are now Russian citizens. The residents of the islands in discussion now, will not be allowed to vote either. Food for thought people. As I get more news on this, I shall post it."

Oh, I can't wait for your next "update"!

23 posted on 06/12/2003 10:39:46 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
"*tap* *tap* *tap* Is this mike hot? No response, Captain."

Understood. Carry on.

24 posted on 06/12/2003 10:41:01 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: cake_crumb
They aren't giving up Wrangell, and if they did they would give it to Canada or Seattle.
25 posted on 06/12/2003 10:47:11 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
"The issue with Russia has nothing to do with the Guano act islands that you are referring to." - Stingray51

From the article as posted above (that you didn't read):

"Lost” islands include Nassau Island in the Pacific Ocean and Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank in the Caribbean Sea. The islands became American territory under the Guano Act in the late 1800s."

26 posted on 06/12/2003 10:47:29 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: All
Still can't find the DEFINITIVE stuff I'm looking for, but here's a bit of history :

By Alexandra J. McClanahan
CIRI Historian

September 9, 2001, marked the eightieth anniversary of an ill-fated five-member expedition to a far-flung tiny uninhabited island that forever made life difficult for the sole survivor.

Ada Blackjack Johnson, who was born in Solomon on May 10, 1898, was just twenty-three years old when she was hired as a seamstress to accompany four other members of an expedition charged with colonizing Russia’s Wrangel Island, 85 miles off the northeast coast of Siberia.

Left a widow in Nome when her husband drowned, Ada did the best she could to care for her son Bennett who suffered from tuberculosis and later spinal meningitis. Two other babies born to the couple had died. She undertook the risky prospect of going to a place that was virtually unknown at the time because she desperately wanted to earn enough money to get medical care for her son.

The original plan had been to hire Eskimo families, with the women making boots and clothing and the men doing the hunting.

Ada Blackjack Johnson“. . .the Wrangel party tried to engage at Nome some Eskimo families, and did so actually. But when the time came to sail there arrived at the boat landing only the Eskimo woman, Ada Blackjack, who had been expecting to go along as a member of one of the families engaged. When she found that the others had broken their bargain she also wanted to withdraw, but was prevailed upon to go by the assurance that the Silver Wave would call in at some Eskimo settlement between Nome and Wrangel to hire families in which Ada could then take her place. . .With that program they sailed September 9th, 1921,” Vilhjalmur Stefansson wrote in his 1925 book about the expedition, The Adventure of Wrangel Island.

Stefansson had sent the party to Wrangel Island with the hope that Canada or the United States would be able to claim control of the island, which had always been a part of Russia. The island encompasses an area of about 2,000 square miles. It’s 80 miles long and 18 to 30 miles wide, which makes it about half the size of Puerto Rico.

Now a Russian wildlife refuge, in the early part of the century the island was mysterious because it is surrounded almost constantly by ice fields and often blanketed in dense fog. Melody Webb of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks wrote a paper describing the island and its history in 1981, and it is featured in Stefansson’s book as well as other books written about a previous expedition to the island sponsored by Stefansson that was equally disastrous.

The team Stefansson sent in 1921 included Blackjack and three other Americans as well as a Canadian. Stefansson’s secret hope was that including a Canadian would force the Canadian government into accepting its “responsibility” for claiming the island. Expedition members included Frederick Mauer and E. Lorne Knight, both 28-year-old Americans, American Milton Galle, 20, and Canadian Allan R. Crawford, also 20, and the man Stefansson designated as the group’s leader.

The Silver Wave arrived at Wrangel Island on September 16. In a dictated statement, printed in Stefansson’s book, Blackjack wrote: “When we got to Wrangel Island, the land looked very large to me, but they said that it was only a small island. I thought at first that I would turn back, but I decided it wouldn’t be fair to the boys. Soon after we arrived I started to sew.”

Although they planned to be on the island for two years, they brought supplies for only six months because they expected to live primarily off the land.

They stayed at first in a tent, then built a snowhouse. In the spring of 1922, the men killed more than 30 seals and 10 polar bears as well as geese and ducks, according to Blackjack, so meat seemed to be plentiful. That summer Knight went off by himself to explore and swam across the Skeleton River. He was never well after the trip.

Throughout the summer, the group waited for a supply boat to arrive. But Stefansson’s boat had been unable to reach the island because of ice. By late fall, conditions worsened for the group and there was little meat. On Jan. 8, Knight and Crawford took the dogs and left for Siberia to get help. But they returned within a couple of weeks because Knight was too sick and weak to travel.

On January 28, Crawford, Mauer and Galle left for Siberia.

“They promised that they would come back after they got to Nome, with a ship, and if they couldn’t get there with a ship they would come over with a dog team next winter. They left with a team of five dogs and a big sled of supplies,” Blackjack wrote.

That was the last she or anyone ever saw of the trio. And from that point on, Blackjack’s life became a battle for survival. She did not know how to hunt and trap, but she learned quickly because Knight was too ill to be of any assistance.

By February, he had become bedridden. She kept a bag of warm sand at Knight’s feet and sewed pillows of oatmeal sacks stuffed with cotton to ease his bedsores.

When he died later in the spring, she was completely alone and at the mercy of the many polar bears that frequented the island.

Once, when she was hunting seals, she barely escaped from a mother bear and her cub.

“Finally, I realized it was a polar bear and I was four hundred yards from my tent. I turned and ran just as hard as I could until I got to my tent. I was just about ready to faint when I got there, too,” she said.

After a number of other close calls, Blackjack was finally rescued August 19, 1923, when the boat Donaldson arrived. Incredibly, Blackjack found her return to the more populated world to be nearly as harrowing as Wrangel Island. She was criticized by one of her rescuers for not finding a way to save Knight’s life, although Knight’s parents eventually vindicated her after meeting with her and issuing a statement that Blackjack had done everything possible to save their son’s life.

Still, poverty dogged Blackjack for much of her life. She married and divorced a man named Johnson and had another son, Billy, who eventually became a leader in the Thirteenth Regional Corp. Because she had little money and was not well, Billy and Bennett were put in the Jessie Lee Home in Seward for nine years.

When she finally scraped together enough money, she took the two boys to Nome where she worked herding reindeer and fed the children by hunting and trapping. After Billy left home, his mother continued to care for Bennett. She died in Palmer May 29, 1983.

Johnson recalls his mother with love.

“I consider my mother Ada Blackjack to be one of the most loving mothers in this world and one of the greatest heroines in the history of Arctic exploration. She survived against all odds. It’s a wonderful story that should not be lost of her self-discovery and cultural re-awakening. And it’s a story of a mother fighting to survive to live so she could carry on with her son Bennett and help him fight the illness that was consuming him. She succeeded, and I was born later. Her story of survival in the Arctic will be a great chapter in the history of the Arctic and Alaska. Time is running out, and soon this chapter will fade away unless we care enough to make a record of it,” he said.

When his mother died, Johnson had a plaque mounted on her grave stating simply: “The heroine of Wrangel Island.”

27 posted on 06/12/2003 11:00:25 AM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions=Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southack
Bookmaring and bumping.
28 posted on 06/12/2003 11:02:24 AM PDT by TruthNtegrity (God bless America, God bless President George W. Bush and God bless our Military!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
NewsMax.com contacted Mark Seidenberg, a former senior traffic management specialist within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and asked him if he believed the United States should pursue its sovereignty on the islands. Seidenberg, without hesitation, said "yes."

Hey, I'm all for taking back the islands, but this sentence is downright silly. A traffic management analyst with the department of agriculture? They might as well ask the guy from a corner store in front of Des Moines, IA while they are at it.

29 posted on 06/12/2003 11:03:22 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cake_crumb
Notice that the Newsmax/Worldnet daily articles both refer to the non-Guano Wrangell Island with their Russian military hype, but use the Guano Island Wrangel as their point of controversy.

Pretty deceptive, but typical of tabloids and tin-foilers.

Gee, no one is mining bird-poop (i.e. guano) on Russia's Wrangel any longer, so the U.S. has ceased claiming sovereignty over it.

Oh my, what a scandal! Quick, let's tell our readers that the Alaskan island Wrangell has been occupied by Russian troops and guard towers...

< /MOCKING! >

30 posted on 06/12/2003 11:06:37 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King
See posts #9 and 11.
31 posted on 06/12/2003 11:08:49 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
Be sure to ping me in 3 years when you re-post this "article" again on yet another new thread...
32 posted on 06/12/2003 11:10:55 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southack
Yeah, I posted before I read the rest of the thread.
33 posted on 06/12/2003 11:16:38 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Southack
"Notice that the Newsmax/Worldnet daily articles both refer to the non-Guano Wrangell Island with their Russian military hype, but use the Guano Island Wrangel as their point of controversy."

LOL...yeah, I did. I VAGUELY remember a territorial disput at the time of the first Bush administration which MIGHT be the basis of this...urban legend. Confusion about names. That's what I'm trying to find details on, but since it wasn't illegal or even important, am finding nothing linkable along the lines of what I'm looking for.

34 posted on 06/12/2003 11:17:54 AM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions=Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Southack
I don't know why these guys are after the State Department when they could be going after you!

Look at that waving flag image of yours - all of the Alaskan islands are gone(birdsh*t and non-birdsh*t), and the rest of the state is shrunk to 1/2 size and given to the goldurn Mexicans!

Account for yourself!

35 posted on 06/12/2003 11:26:19 AM PDT by headsonpikes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Southack
Before you accuse me of not reading an article, perhaps you should read it more carefully. I stated that the dispute with Russia does not concern the Guano Act. It does not. There are other islands mentioned in the article that are Guano Act islands. The Siberian and Aleutian islands are not among them (not surprisingly given the climate).
36 posted on 06/12/2003 11:30:05 AM PDT by Stingray51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Southack
One is a rock frozen in the middle of the Artic Ocean off the coast of Siberia not close at all to any US territory, and the other is in SE Alaska in the Tonsags National Forest, close to the State Capital and the Canadian border.

Wrangel Island or Wrangell Island , Rus. Ostrov Vrangelya, island, 1,740 sq mi (4,507 sq km), in the Arctic Ocean, between the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea, off NE Russia. It is separated from the mainland by Long Strait. Generally barren, frozen, and rocky, it has an arctic station and a permanent settlement. The island is a breeding ground for polar bears, polar foxes, seals, and lemmings. During the summer it is visited by numerous varieties of birds. The island was sought by Russian Baron Ferdinand von Wrangel during his arctic expedition of 1820–24; he had heard of it from Siberian natives, but he did not succeed in finding it. It was finally discovered by Thomas Long, captain of an American whaling ship, who named it for Wrangel. Later George W. De Long, an American explorer, discovered that it was a small island and not a part of the mainland, as at first believed. In 1911 a group of Russians made a landing on the island, and in 1921 Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the Canadian explorer, sent a small party to Wrangel with a view to claiming it for Great Britain. In 1926 the Soviet government established the first permanent colony there, ousting the few of Stefansson's Eskimo settlers who had remained. The Soviet freighter Chelyuskin, trying to discover (1933) whether an ordinary cargo ship could navigate the Northeast Passage, was crushed in the ice off Wrangel Island. The party was marooned on the island but was later rescued.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wrangell Island – US 30 mi (48 km) long and 5 to 14 mi (8.1-22.5 km) wide, off SE Alaska in the Alexander Archipelago, south of the mouth of the Stikine River. It was occupied in 1834 by Russians, who named it for the Russian explorer Baron Ferdinand von Wrangel. The city of Wrangell, on the northern coast, grew around a fort built to prevent encroachment by the Hudson's Bay Company traders. From 1867 to 1877 it was a U.S. military post; later it became an outfitting point for hunters and explorers as well as for miners using the Stikine River route to the Yukon. Lumbering, fishing, and mining are pursued in the area.

37 posted on 06/12/2003 12:23:34 PM PDT by Ditto (You are free to form your own opinions, but not your own facts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
"Before you accuse me of not reading an article, perhaps you should read it more carefully. I stated that the dispute with Russia does not concern the Guano Act."

There is no dispute with Russia. The article for this thread was debunked 3 years ago, here on FR.

There are two islands, one Russian, the other American. One is spelled "Wrangel", the other "Wrangell".

The American island Wrangell is alive and well and still flies the American flag to this very day, as EVIDENCED BY THE FREAKING POST ABOVE THAT I MADE FROM THEIR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WEB SITE!

For crying out loud, do you not realize that your pathetic argument has been shredded and debunked by now?!

Get a grip!

Read the maps posted above, then go slap Beck_isright for posting this nonsense, again, 3 years after it was discredited.

38 posted on 06/12/2003 12:47:41 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Southack
Now I know a lot more than I'll ever need about places I'll never see. I learned to take NewsMax with a dose of salt some time ago, guess I'll add WorldNet to that list, too.
39 posted on 06/12/2003 1:51:19 PM PDT by gcruse (Superstition is a mind in chains.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Southack; Rodney King
There are two islands, Wrangell in Alaska and Wrangel (sometimes spelled in Wrangell) off the coast of Siberia. This is hardly a brilliant discovery on your part.

You state that the idea that there is a dispute with Russia has been discredited and debunked, as if there was no such island and as if there has never been an American claim to it. If that is your contention, you are wrong.
40 posted on 06/12/2003 1:56:16 PM PDT by Stingray51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: cake_crumb
Please this is no place for facts. It is time for HYSTERIA.
After all you saw this was from NewsMax didn't you?
41 posted on 06/12/2003 2:08:08 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (RATS will use any means to denigrate George Bush's Victory.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
"You state that the idea that there is a dispute with Russia has been discredited and debunked, as if there was no such island and as if there has never been an American claim to it."

That's a silly thing to say. There is no dispute with Russia over the islands (Wrangel, Wrangell), but that hardly means that the islands don't exist.

It is the article, as well as your argument, that has been debunked, not the existence of the islands.

42 posted on 06/12/2003 2:16:32 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Southack
You say there is no dispute with Russia. The article's point is that there should be. Personally, I think it is pretty clear that Wrangel Island was in fact part of the US at one time but that we have much bigger fish to fry at the moment. However, that does not make the article's contention with regard to Wrangel Island bogus or debunked or discredited or whatever other derisive terms you use to describe opinions that differ from yours.
43 posted on 06/12/2003 3:41:05 PM PDT by Stingray51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Southack
The City of Wrangell, Alaska, and Wrangel Island are not the same thing.
44 posted on 06/12/2003 4:06:26 PM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Campion
No kidding...
45 posted on 06/12/2003 8:02:28 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
Did you see the map in post #37?
46 posted on 06/12/2003 8:03:16 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Stingray51
"However, that does not make the article's contention with regard to Wrangel Island bogus or debunked or discredited or whatever other derisive terms you use..."

Did you not even read the *TITLE* to this thread (and to the debunked NewsMax article)??!!

"Quietly, State Dept. Turns Over American Islands to Russia, Others"

Did you miss the line in the article wherein NewsMax claims "But if anyone desired to visit Wrangell Island, they would be greeted not by the Stars and Stripes waving proudly in the brisk air but by a Russian military tower."

Look kid, that is the epitome of being DISCREDITED!

There is no Russian military tower on Wrangell Island, and I even posted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce web page (above, this thread) for Wrangell Island to illustrate that point.

Talk about being discredited...

47 posted on 06/12/2003 8:08:53 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
After reading this post, I wrote to my Senator and I just got the response today.
He writes:

Dear xxxx,
Thanks for taking the time to contact me me with your concerns regarding claims that the United States Department of State is giving Unites States land to Russia.
{snip formalities}
I understand your concern for the integrity of United States territory. I have contacted the Department of State regarding this matter and have been assured that the claims from the organization State Department Watch and its chairman, Carl Olson, are false. In addition, I am forwarding your concerns to the Department of State so that they may address this issue more fully.
48 posted on 07/14/2003 3:51:44 PM PDT by visualops (The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright; All
Since little girly Beck_isright posted his/her whining opus about fleeing Free Republic today, I've decided to re-humiliate him/her by bumping this thread wherein I thrashed his tinfoil nonsense about the U.S. ceding territory.

BUMP!

49 posted on 03/21/2004 1:34:18 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beck_isright
Beck_isright Flees Free Republic
50 posted on 03/21/2004 1:35:34 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-88 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson