Memorandum by Mr. George M. Abbott of the Division of Eastern European Affairs


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After examining the attached file92 and consulting with Mr. Cumming, NOE,93 and Mr. English, Le,94 I called Mr. Humphrey95 and informed him that while Wrangel Island96 had been discovered by an American, the United States had never made any formal claim to sovereignty over the Island97 and that it had been occupied and colonized by the Soviet Government for a number of years.98

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George M. Abbott
  1. Not attached to file copy of memorandum.
  2. Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., Chief of the Division of Northern European Affairs.
  3. Benedict M. English, assistant to the Legal Adviser.
  4. Member of the Legislative Reference Service at the Library of Congress.
  5. Named for Ferdinand Petrovich, Baron Wrangel, a Russian Arctic explorer who sought in vain in 1823 to discover this island.
  6. Earlier correspondence in regard to the reservation of the United States of its right to Wrangel Island is printed in Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, pp. 278 ff.
  7. From 1926 the island was populated by some Chukchi and Eskimo peoples, had a polar observation post, and was administratively a part of the Khabarovsk kray (territory) of the Soviet Union.