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Title: Golden Alaska - A Complete Account to Date of the Yukon Valley
Author: Ingersoll, Ernest
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Golden Alaska - A Complete Account to Date of the Yukon Valley" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)

[Transcriber's Note: Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs= and italic
text by _underscores_.]

=North American Transportation and Trading Company=



    _JOHN J. HEALY, Dawson, Klondike Gold Fields_
    _ELY E. WEARE, Fort Cudahy, N. W. T._
    _CHARLES A. WEARE, Chicago, Ill._
    _JOHN CUDAHY, Chicago, Ill._
    _PORTUS B. WEARE, Chicago, Ill._
    _MICHAEL CUDAHY, Chicago, Ill._



    Portus B. Weare
    John Cudahy
    C. H. Hamilton
    J. J. Healy
    T. C. Power
    J. C. Barr


    Fort Get There
    Circle City
    Fort Cudahy

Operates Steamships

      between Seattle and Ft. Get There, St. Michael's
      Island, and steamboats from Ft. Get There, St.
      Michael's Island to all points on the Yukon River. The
      only established line running from Seattle to
      Klondike. Also operates large, well-stocked stores at
      all of the principal mining points in the interior of
      Alaska and Northwest Territory on the Yukon River. For
      rates and full information of this wonderful mining
      country call on or address any of the Company's

      Steamers leave September 10, 1897, first steamer in
      1898, June 1st, and every two weeks thereafter.

  =CHICAGO OFFICE ... R. 290 Old Colony Building=
      =SEATTLE, WASH., OFFICE ... No. 618 First Avenue=
          =SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE ... No. 8 California Street=


The Yukon-Cariboo British Columbia Gold Mining Development Company



    Shares ...
    $1.00 each. Full Paid--Non Assessable.

  E. F. J. GAYNOR, TREASURER, _Auditor Manhattan R. R., New York City_.
          _66 Broadway, New York City, Harrison Building, Philadelphia_.


  HON. JOHN H. McGRAW, Ex-Governor, State of Washington. Vice-President
        First National Bank, Seattle.
  CAMILLE WEIDENFELD, Banker, 45 Wall Street, New York.
  CHARLES E. JUDSON, President Economic Gas Company, Chicago.
  HON. BENJAMIN BUTTERWORTH, Com'sioner of Patents, Washington.
  HON. JAMES G. SHAW, Manufacturer, New Castle, Delaware.
  SYLVESTER T. EVERETT, V-Pres't Cleveland Terminal & Valley R. R.,
  CHARLES H. KITTINGER, 66 Broadway, New York, Harrison Building,
  HON. JOHN LAUGHLIN, Ex-State Senator, New York, Laughlin, Ewell &
        Haupt, Attorneys-at-Law, Buffalo.
  JULIUS CHAMBERS, Journalist, New York.
  GEN. E. M. CARR, of Preston, Carr & Gilman, Attorneys-at-Law, Seattle.
  THOMAS W. LAWSON, Banker, 33 State Street, Boston.
  GEORGE B. KITTINGER, Mining Engineer, Seattle, Wash.
  E. F. J. GAYNOR, Auditor Manhattan Railway Co., New York.
  PHILO D. BEARD, Treasurer Queen City Gas Co., Buffalo.
  J. M. BUXTON, M. E., Vancouver, British Columbia.
  GEORGE A. KELLY, 66 Broadway, New York.
  J. EDWARD ADDICKS, Delaware.

... THIS COMPANY is formed to explore and develop the GOLD FIELDS of
British Columbia, including the Cariboo District and the Klondike
District at the headwaters of the Yukon River. Shares of its Capital
Stock are offered to the public at par--=$1.00 per share=. The Company
has placed exploring parties in the Gold Regions, and now has its own
Agents in this marvelously rich field. Each party is in charge of mining
engineers, fully equipped for successful discovery and development.

Prospectus and additional information furnished, and subscriptions to
stock received at office of

    J. EDWARD ADDICKS, Harrison Building,
                  1500 Market St., Philadelphia.

[Illustration: JUNEAU CITY.]


    OF THE


    (_Formerly with the Hayden Survey in the West_)





Bullion Safe Gold Mining Company

    CAPITAL ... $1,000,000

    Shares ... $1.00 each
               Full Paid

Mines on the Yukon.

Mines on the Blue River.

      This Company owns =160 acres= of Gold-bearing gravel
      from five to forty feet thick containing many millions
      of value.

      A limited amount of the full paid, non-assessable
      shares will be sold at =one dollar= each.

      For prospectus and particulars, address,

    _W. L. BOYD & CO., 6 WALL STREET,
    NEW YORK._

    Copyright, 1897, by Rand, McNally & Co.


To make "a book about the Klondike" so shortly after that word first
burst upon the ears of a surprised world, would be the height of
literary impudence, considering how remote and incommunicado that region
is, were it not the public is intensely curious to know whatever can be
said authentically in regard to it. "The Klondike," it must be
remembered, is, in reality, a very limited district--only one small
river valley in a gold-bearing territory twice as large as New England;
and it came into prominence so recently that there is really little to
tell in respect to it because nothing has had time to happen and be
communicated to the outside world. But in its neighborhood, and far
north and south of it, are other auriferous rivers, creeks and bars, and
mountains filled with untried quartz-ledges, in respect to which
information has been accumulating for some years, and where at any
moment "strikes" may be made that shall equal or eclipse the wealth of
the Klondike placers. It is possible, then, to give here much valuable
information in regard to the Yukon District generally, and this the
writer has attempted to do. The best authority for early exploration and
geography is the monumental work of Capt. W. H. Dall, "Alaska and its
Resources," whose companion, Frederick Whymper, also wrote a narrative
of their adventures. The reports of the United States Coast Survey in
that region, of the exploration of the Upper Yukon by Schwatka and Hayes
of the United States Geological Survey, of Nelson, Turner and others
attached to the Weather Service, of the Governor of the Territory, of
Raymond, Abercrombie, Allen and other army and naval officers who have
explored the coast country and reported to various departments of the
government, and of several individual explorers, especially the late E.
J. Glave, also contain facts of importance for the present compilation.
The most satisfactory sources of information as to the geography, routes
of travel, geology and mineralogy and mining development, are contained
in the investigations conducted some ten years ago by the Canadian
Geological Survey, under the leadership of Dr. G. M. Dawson and of
William Ogilvie. Of these I have made free use, and wish to make an
equally free acknowledgement.

It will thus be found that the contents of this pamphlet justified even
the hasty publication which the public demands, and which precludes
much attention to literary form; but an additional claim to attention is
the information it seeks to give intending travelers to that far-away
and very new and as yet unfurnished region, how to go and what to take,
and what are the conditions and emergencies which they must prepare to
meet. Undoubtedly the pioneers to the Yukon pictured the difficulties of
the route and the hardships of their life in the highest colors, both to
add to their self-glory and to reduce competition. Moreover, every day
mitigates the hardships and makes easier the travel. Nevertheless,
enough difficulties, dangers and chances of failure remain to make the
going to Alaska a matter for very careful forethought on the part of
every man. To help him weigh the odds and choose wisely, is the purpose
of this little book.

[Illustration: MAP OF ALASKA.]


Districts, Capes and Points, Islands, Lakes, Mountains, Rivers, and


    First, or Southeastern district      8,038
    Second, or Kadiak district           6,112
    Third, or Unalaska district          2,361
    Fourth, or Nushagak district         2,726
    Fifth, or Kuskokwim district         5,424
    Sixth, or Yukon district             3,914
    Seventh, or Arctic district          3,222
        Total                           31,795

Capes and Points.

    Addington, C-9.
    Alitak, C-5.
    Anchor, C-5.
    Anxiety, A-6.
    Banks, C-5.
    Barnabas, C-5.
    Barrow, A-4.
    Bartolome, C-9.
    Becher, A-6.
    Beechey, A-6.
    Belcher, A-3.
    Black, C-5.
    Blossom, A-8.
    Campbell, B-6.
    Chiniak, C-5.
    Chitnak, B-1.
    Christy, A-4.
    Cleare, C-6.
    Collie, A-3.
    Constantine, C-4.
    Cross, C-8.
    Current, C-5.
    Dall, B-2.
    Danby, B-3.
    Denbigh, B-3.
    Douglas, B-2.
    Douglas, C-5.
    Dyer, A-2.
    Dyer, B-2.
    Edward, C-8.
    Elizabeth, C-5.
    Eroline, C-4.
    Espenberg, A-3.
    Etolin, B-2.
    Fairweather, C-8.
    Foggy, C-4.
    Franklin, A-3.
    Glasenap, C-3.
    Grenville, C-5.
    Griffin, A-7.
    Gulross, B-6.
    Halkett, A-5.
    Harbor, C-9.
    Hinchinbrook, C-6.
    Hope, A-2.
    Icy, A-3.
    Icy, C-8.
    Igvak, C-4.
    Ikti, C-4.
    Ikolik, C-5.
    Kahurnoi, C-5.
    Kanarak, C-4.
    Karluk, C-5.
    Kayakliut, C-4.
    Khituk, D-8.
    Krusenstern, A-3.
    Kupreanof, C-4.
    Lapin, D-3.
    Lay, A-3.
    Lazareff, D-3.
    Leontovich, C-8.
    Lewis, A-2.
    Lisburne, A-2.
    Low, C-5.
    Lowenstern, A-2.
    Lutke, D-3.
    Manby, C-7.
    Manning, A-7.
    Martin, A-7.
    Martin, C-6.
    Menchikof, C-4.
    Muzon, D-9.
    Narrow, C-5.
    Newenham, C-8.
    Nome, B-2.
    Ocean, C-7.
    Ommaney, C-8.
    Pankoff, D-3.
    Peirce, C-3.
    Pellew, B-6.
    Pillar, C-5.
    Pitt, A-5.
    Prince of Wales, A-2.
    Providence, C-4.
    Puget, C-6.
    Resurrection, C-6.
    Rodknoff, C-3.
    Rodney, B-2.
    Romanof, B-3.
    Romanzof, B-2.
    Saritchey, D-2.
    Seniavin, C-3.
    Seppings, A-2.
    Sitkagi, C-7.
    Smith, B-2.
    Spencer, A-2.
    Spencer, C-8.
    St. Augustine, D-9.
    St. Elias, C-7.
    St. Hermogenes, C-5.
    Steep, C-5.
    Strogonof, C-4.
    Suckling, C-7.
    Tangent, A-5.
    Thompson, A-2.
    Toistoi, B-3.
    Tonki, C-5.
    Trinity, C-5.
    Two Headed, C-5.
    Ugat, C-5.
    Unalishagvak, C-4.
    Uyak, C-5.
    Vancouver, B-2.
    West, B-1.
    Yaktag, C-7.


    Adakh, A-10.
    Admiralty, C-9.
    Afognar, C-5.
    Agattu, A-8.
    Aghiyuk, C-4.
    Akun, D-2.
    Akutan, D-2.
    Aleutian, A-8.
    Amak, C-3.
    Amaoa, D-3.
    Amatiguak, A-9.
    Amatuli, C-5.
    Amchitka, A-9.
    Amlia, A-10.
    Amukta, A-10.
    Andreanof, A-10.
    Andronica, C-4.
    Annete, D-9.
    Anowik, C-4.
    Atka, A-10.
    Atkulik, C-4.
    Attu, A-8.
    Augustine, C-5.
    Avantanak, D-2.
    Ban, C-5.
    Baranof, C-9.
    Barren, C-5.
    Barter, A-7.
    Besboro, B-3.
    Big Diomede, A-2.
    Big Koniushi, C-4.
    Bim, D-3.
    Biorha, A-11.
    Buldir, A-9.
    Chankilut, C-4.
    Chernabura, D-3.
    Chernobour, D-3.
    Chiachi, C-4.
    Chichagoi, C-8.
    Chirikof, C-4.
    Chiswell, C-6.
    Chowiet, C-4.
    Chugatz, C-5.
    Chuginadak, A-10.
    Chugul, A-10.
    Coronation, C-9.
    Dall, D-9.
    Deer, D-3.
    Dolgoi, C-3.
    Douglas, C-9.
    Duke, D-9.
    Dundas, D-9.
    Egg, B-3.
    Etolin, C-9.
    Flaxman, A-6.
    Forrester, D-9.
    Gareloi, A-9.
    Geese, C-5.
    Great Sitkin, A-10.
    Green, B-6.
    Hagemeister, C-3.
    Hall, I-1.
    Hassler, C-9.
    Hawkin, B-6.
    Hazy, C-8.
    Hinchinbrook, B-6.
    Igitkin, A-10.
    Jacob, C-4.
    Kadiak, C-5.
    Kagalaska, A-10.
    Kagamil, A-11.
    Kalgin, B-5.
    Kanaga, A-9.
    Kateekhuk, C-4.
    Kavalga, A-9.
    Kayak, C-7.
    Khoudiakoff, C-3.
    Khoudoubine, C-3.
    Kigalgin, A-11.
    King, B-2.
    Kiska, A-9.
    Kiukdauk, C-5.
    Knights, B-6.
    Korovin, C-4.
    Kuiu, C-9.
    Kupreanof, C-9.
    Little Diomede, A-2.
    Little Koniushi, C-4.
    Little Sitkin, A-9.
    Marmot, C-5.
    Middleton, C-6.
    Mitkof, C-9.
    Mitrofania, C-4.
    Montagu, C-6.
    Nagai, C-4.
    Nakchamik, C-4.
    Near, A-8.
    Nelson, B-3.
    North, D-9.
    Nunivak, B-2.
    Okolnoi, C-3.
    Otter, C-2.
    Paul, C-4.
    Pinnacle, B-1.
    Pribilof, C-2.
    Prince of Wales, C-9.
    Punuk, B-2.
    Pye, C-5.
    Rat, A-9.
    Revillagigedo, C-9.
    Sand, B-2.
    Sannak, D-3.
    Seal, C-4.
    Seguam, A-10.
    Semichi, A-8.
    Semidi, C-4.
    Semisopochnoi, A-9.
    Shumagin, C-4.
    Shuyak, C-5.
    Simeonof, D-4.
    Sitkalidak, C-5.
    Sitkinak, C-5.
    Sledge, B-2.
    South, C-4.
    Spruce, C-5.
    St. George, C-2.
    St. Lawrence, B-2.
    St. Matthew, B-1.
    St. Michael, B-3.
    St. Paul, C-2.
    Stephens, D-9.
    Stuart, B-3.
    Sutwik, C-4.
    Tagalakh, A-10.
    Tanaga, A-9.
    Tigalda, D-3.
    Trinity Is., C-5.
    Tugidak, C-5.
    Ugamok, D-2.
    Ulak, A-9.
    Uliaga, A-11.
    Umga, D-3.
    Umnak, A-11.
    Unalaska, D-2.
    Unavikshak, C-4.
    Unga, C-3.
    Unimak, D-3.
    Ushugat, C-5.
    Walros, C-2.
    Wooded Is., C-6.
    Wossnessenski, C-3.
    Wrangell, C-9.
    Wrigham, C-7.
    Yakobi, C-8.
    Yunaska, A-10.
    Zaiembo, C-9.
    Zayas, D-9.


    Aleknagik, C-3.
    Becharof, C-4.
    Iliamna, C-5.
    Imuruk, B-2.
    Mentasta, B-7.
    Naknek, C-4.
    Nushagak, B-4.
    Rat, A-7.
    Selawik, A-3.
    Skillokh, B-6.
    Tasekpuk, A-5.
    Tustumena, B-5.
    Walker, A-5.


    Aghileen Pinnacle, C-3.
    Alaskan, B-5.
    Asses Ears, A-3.
    Black Peak, C-4.
    Boundary, A-7.
    British, A-7.
    Cathul, A-7.
    Deviation Peak, A-3.
    Devils, A-3.
    Four Peaked, C-5.
    Franklin, A-6.
    Gold, A-5.
    Iliamna Peak, B-5.
    Jade, A-4.
    Kayuh, B-4.
    Lionshead, C-9.
    Lower Ramparts, A-6.
    Makushin, D-2.
    Miles Glacier, B-7.
    Mt. Becharof, C-4.
    Mt. Bendeleben, A-3.
    Mt. Blackburn, B-7.
    Mt. Chiginagar, C-4.
    Mt. Crillon, C-8.
    Mt. Drum, B-6.
    Mt. Edgecumbe, C-8.
    Mt. Fairweather, C-8.
    Mt. Greenough, A-7.
    Mt. Hononita, B-4.
    Mt. Kelly, A-3.
    Mt. Kimball, B-7.
    Mt. Lituya, C-8.
    Mt. Olai, C-4.
    Mt. Sanford, B-7.
    Mt. Tillman, B-7.
    Mt. Wrangel, B-7.
    Mulgrave Hills, A-3.
    Palisades, A-5.
    Pavloff Volcano, C-3.
    Progromnia Volcano, D-2.
    Rampart, A-5.
    Ratzel, A-7.
    Red, A-5.
    Redoubt Volcano, B-5.
    Shishaldin Volcano, C-3.
    Snow, A-5.
    Spirit, B-7.
    Tanana Hills, A-6.
    Vsevidoff Volcano, A-11.
    Yukon Hills, A-4.


    Allenkakat, A-5.
    Ambler, A-4.
    Anvik, B-3.
    Azoon, B-3.
    Baczakakat, A-5.
    Big Black, A-7.
    Black, B-3.
    Bradley, B-6.
    Bremner, B-6.
    Buckland, A-3.
    Cantwell, B-6.
    Chisana, B-7.
    Chitslechina, B-6.
    Chittyna, B-7.
    Chittystone, B-7.
    Chulitna, B-4.
    Colville, A-5.
    Copper, B-6.
    Cutler, A-4.
    Daklikakat, A-4.
    Dall, A-5.
    Delta, B-6.
    Doggetlooscat, A-4.
    Dugan, B-6.
    Fickett, A-5.
    Fish, A-3.
    Forty-mile, B-7.
    Gakona, B-6.
    Gersde, B-6.
    Goodpaster, B-6.
    Hokuchatna, A-4.
    Husstiakatna, A-4.
    Ikpikpung, A-5.
    Inglixalik, A-4.
    Innoko, B-4.
    Ippewik, A-3.
    Johnson, B-6.
    Kaknu, B-5.
    Kalucna, B-7.
    Kandik, A-7.
    Karluk, C-5.
    Kashunik, B-3.
    Kassilof, B-5.
    Kaviavazak, A-3.
    Kayuh, B-4.
    Kevwleek, A-3.
    Kinak, B-3.
    Klanarchargat, A-6.
    Klatena, B-6.
    Klatsutakakat, B-5.
    Klawasina, B-6.
    Knik, B-6.
    Koo, A-4.
    Kookpuk, A-3.
    Kowak, A-4.
    Koyuk, A-3.
    Koyukuk, A-5.
    Kuahroo, A-4.
    Kuguklik, C-3.
    Kukpowruk, A-3.
    Kulichavak, B-3.
    Kuskokwim, B-3.
    Kvichak, C-4.
    Liebigitag's, B-6.
    Little Black, A-7.
    Lovene, B-5.
    Marokinak, B-3.
    Meade, A-4.
    Melozikakat, A-5.
    Naknek, C-4.
    Noatak, A-3.
    Nushagak, C-4.
    Pitmegea, A-3.
    Porcupine, A-7.
    Ray, A-5.
    Robertson, B-6.
    Salmon, A-7.
    Selawik, A-4.
    Slana, B-6.
    Soonkakat, B-4.
    Stikine, C-9.
    Sucker, A-7.
    Sushitna, B-6.
    Taclat, B-5.
    Tahkandik, A-7.
    Tanana, B-6.
    Tasnioio, B-6.
    Tatotlindu, B-7.
    Tazlina, B-6.
    Teikhell, B-6.
    Traodee, A-7.
    Tokai, B-7.
    Tovikakat, A-5.
    Ugaguk, C-4.
    Ugashik, C-4.
    Unalaklik, B-4.
    Volkmar, B-6.
    White, B-7.
    Whymper, A-6.
    Woliek, A-3.
    Yukon, B-3.


    Afognak, C-5                409
    Alaganik, B-6                48
    Anagnak, C-4
    Anvik, B-3                  191
    Attanak, A-4
    Attenmut, A-4
    Belkoffski, D-3             185
    Belle Isle, B-8
    Cape Sabine, A-2
    Chilkat, C-8                153
    Douglas, C-9                 40
    Egowik, B-3
    Fort Alexander, C-4
    Fort Andreafski, B-3         10
    Fort Cudahy, B-8
    Fort Get There, B-3
    Fort Healy, B-5
    Fort Kenai, B-5
    Fort St. Michaels, B-3      101
    Fort Weare, A-7
    Fort Wrangel, C-9[A]        316
    Igagik, C-4                  60
    Ikogmut Mission, B-4        140
    Initkilly, A-2
    Jackson, D-9                105
    Juneau, C-9[A]             1253
    Kaguyak, C-5                112
    Kaltig, B-4
    Karluk, C-5                1123
    Katniai, C-4
    Ketchikan, C-9
    Killisnoo, C-9               79
    Kipmak, B-3
    Klawock, C-9                287
    Kodiak, C-5[A]              495
    Koggiung, C-4               133
    Kutlik, B-3                  31
    Leather Village, B-4
    Loring, C-9                 200
    Mary Island, D-9
    Mitchell, A-8               238
    Morzhovoi, D-3               68
    Nig-a-lek, A-6
    Nikolski, A-11
    Nulato, B-4                 118
    Nushagak, C-4               268
    Old Morzhovoi, C-3
    Orca, B-6
    Ounalaska, A-11
    Pastolik, B-3               113
    Redoubt Kolmakoff, B-4
    Sandpoint, C-3
    Seward, C-5
    Shageluk, B-3
    Shakan, C-9
    Shaktolik, B-3
    Sitka, C-8[A]              1190
    St. Orlovsk, C-5
    Sutkum, C-4
    Suworof, C-4
    Taku, C-9
    Tikchik, B-4
    Ukak, C-4
    Unalaklik, B-3              175
    Unalaska, D-2               317
    Unga, C-3                   159
    Village, C-4
    Wrangel, C-9
    Yakitat, C-8


    Weare, B 5
    Circle City, B 7
    Dawson, B 7
    Klondyke River, B 8
    Klondyke District, B 8
    Dyea, C 8


[Footnote A: Money Order Offices.]

[Footnote B: Post Offices not located on Map.]

[Illustration: [Drawn from a rough sketch made on June 18 by G. W. F.
Johnson at Dawson City.]]





The gold-fields of the Yukon Valley, at and near Klondike River, are
near the eastern boundary of Alaska, from twelve to fifteen hundred
miles up from the mouth of the river, and from five to eight hundred
miles inland by the route across the country from the southern Alaskan
coast. In each case an ocean voyage must be taken as the first step; and
steamers may be taken from San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Seattle,
Wash., or from Victoria, B. C.

The overland routes to these cities require a word.

1. To San Francisco. This city is reached directly by half a dozen
routes across the plains and Rocky Mountains, of which the Southern
Pacific, by way of New Orleans and El Paso; the Atchison & Santa Fé and
Atlantic & Pacific by way of Kansas City, and across northern New Mexico
and Arizona; the Burlington, Denver & Rio Grande, by way of Denver and
Salt Lake City; and the Union and Central Pacific, by way of Omaha,
Ogden and Sacramento, are the principal ones.

2. To Portland, Oregon. This is reached directly by the Union Pacific
and Oregon Short Line, via Omaha and Ogden; and by the Northern Pacific,
via St. Paul and Helena, Montana.

3. To Seattle, Wash. This city, Tacoma, Port Townsend and other ports on
Puget Sound, are the termini of the Northern Pacific Railroad and also
of the Great Northern Railroad from St. Paul along the northern boundary
of the United States. The Canadian Pacific will also take passengers
there expeditiously by rail or boat from Vancouver, B. C.

4. To Vancouver and Victoria, B. C. Any of the routes heretofore
mentioned reach Victoria by adding a steamboat journey; but the direct
route, and one of the pleasantest of all the transcontinental routes, is
by the Canadian Pacific Railway from Montreal or Chicago, via Winnipeg,
Manitoba, to the coast at Vancouver, whence a ferry crosses to Victoria.

Regular routes of transportation to Alaska are supplied by the Pacific
Coast Steamship Company, which has been dispatching mail-steamships once
a fortnight the year round from Tacoma to Sitka, which touch at Juneau
and all other ports of call. They also maintain a service of steamers
between San Francisco and Portland and Puget Sound ports. These are
fitted with every accommodation and luxury for tourist-travel; and an
extra steamer, the Queen, has been making semi-monthly trips during
June, July and August. These steamers would carry 250 passengers
comfortably and the tourist fare for the round trip has been $100.

The Canadian Pacific Navigation Company has been sending semi-monthly
steamers direct from Victoria to Port Simpson and way stations the year
round. They are fine boats, but smaller than the others and are
permitted to land only at Sitka and Dyea.

Such are the means of regular communication with Alaskan ports. There
has been no public conveyance north of Sitka, except twice or thrice a
year in summer, in the supply-steamers of the Alaskan commercial
companies, which sailed from San Francisco to St. Michael and there
transferred to small boats up the Yukon.

Whether any changes will be made in these schedules for the season of
1898 remains to be seen.

Special steamers.--As the regular accommodations were found totally
inadequate to the demand for passage to Alaska which immediately
followed the report of rich discoveries on Klondike Creek, extra
steamers were hastily provided by the old companies, others are fitted
up and sent out by speculative owners, and some have been privately
chartered. A score or more steamships, loaded with passengers, horses,
mules and burros (donkeys) to an uncomfortable degree, were thus
despatched from San Francisco, Puget Sound and Victoria between the
middle of July and the middle of August. An example of the way the
feverish demand for transportation is found in the case of the
Willamette, a collier, which was cleaned out in a few hours and turned
into an extemporized passenger-boat. The whole 'tween decks space was
filled with rough bunks, wonderfully close together, for "first-class"
passengers; while away down in the hold second-class arrangements were
made which the mind shudders to contemplate. Yet this slave-ship sort of
a chance was eagerly taken, and such space as was left was crowded with
animals and goods. Many persons and parties bought or chartered private
steamers, until the supply of these was exhausted by the end of August.

Two routes may be chosen to the gold-fields.

1. By way of the Yukon River. This is all the way by water, and means
nearly 4,500 miles of voyaging.

2. By way of the seaports of Dyea or Shkagway, over mountain passes,
afoot or a-horseback, and down the upper Yukon River and down the lakes
and rivers by raft, skiff and steamboat.


To describe these routes is the next task--first, that by the way of St.
Michael, and second--up the Yukon River.

Route, via St. Michael and the Yukon River.--This begins by a
sea-voyage, which may be direct, or along the coast. The special
steamers (and future voyages, no doubt) usually take a direct course
across the North Pacific and through the Aleutian Islands to St.
Michael, in Norton Sound, a bight of Bering Sea. The distance from San
Francisco is given as 2,850 miles; from Victoria or Seattle, about 2,200
miles. The inside course would be somewhat longer, would follow the
route next to be described as far as Juneau and Sitka, then strike
northwest along the coast to St. Michael.

This town, on an island near shore in Norton Sound, was established in
1835 by Lieut. Michael Tébenkoff, of the Russian navy, who named it
after his patron saint. Though some distance to the mouth of the Yukon
entrance, St. Michael has always been the controlling center and base of
supplies for the great valley. The North American Trading and
Transportation Company and the Alaska Commercial Company have their
large warehouses here, and provide the miners with tools, clothing and
provisions. Recently the wharf and warehouse accommodations have been
extended, and the population has increased, but if, as is probable, any
considerable number of men are stopped there this fall by the freezing
of the river, and compelled to pass the winter on the island, they will
find it a dreary, if not dangerous experience.

The vessels supplying this depot can seldom approach the anchorage of
St. Michael before the end of June on account of large bodies of
drifting ice that beset the waters of Norton Sound and the straits
between St. Lawrence and the Yukon Delta.

A temporary landing-place is built out into water deep enough for loaded
boats drawing five feet to come up at high tide, this is removed when
winter approaches, as otherwise it would be destroyed by ice. The shore
is sandy and affords a moderately sloping beach, on which boats may be
drawn up. A few feet only from high water mark are perpendicular banks
from six to ten feet high, composed of decayed pumice and ashes, covered
with a layer about four feet thick of clay and vegetable matter
resembling peat. This forms a nearly even meadow with numerous pools of
water, which gradually ascends for a mile or so to a low hill, of
volcanic origin, known as the Shaman Mountain.

Between the point on which St. Michael is built and the mainland, a
small arm of the sea makes in, in which three fathoms may be carried
until the flagstaff of the fort bears west by north, this is the
best-protected anchorage, and has as much water and as good bottom as
can be found much farther out.

The excitement of the summer of 1897 caused an enlargement of facilities
and the erection of additional buildings, forming a nucleus of traffic
called Fort Get There. Here will be put together in the autumn or winter
at least three, and perhaps more, new river steamboats, of which only
two or three have been running on the lower river during the last two or
three years. These are taken up, in pieces, by ships and fitted together
at this point. All are flat-bottomed, stern-wheeled, powerfully engined
craft, the largest able to carry perhaps 250 tons, such as run on the
upper Missouri, and they will burn wood, the cutting and stacking of
which on the river bank will furnish work to many men during the coming
winter. To such steamers, or smaller boats, all the persons and cargoes
must be transferred at St. Michael.

For the last few years there has been no trader here but the agent of
the Alaska Commercial Company, and a story is told of the building of a
riverboat there in 1892, which illustrates what life on the Yukon used
to be. In that year a Chicago man, P. B. Weare, resolved to enter the
Alaskan field as a trader. He chartered a schooner, and placed upon it a
steamboat, built in sections and needing only to be put together and
have its machinery set up, and for this purpose he took with him a force
of carpenters and machinists. On reaching St. Michael Weare was refused
permission to land his boat sections on the land of the Commercial
Company's post, and was compelled to make a troublesome landing on the
open beach, where he began operations. Suddenly his ship carpenters
stopped work. They had been offered, it was said, double pay by the
rival concern if they would desist from all work. Weare turned to the
Indians, but with the same ill-success. The Indians were looking out for
their winter grub. Here was the Chicago man 2,500 miles from San
Francisco and only two weeks left to him in which to put his boat
together and then hope for a chance to ascend the river before winter
came on. There was no time in which to get additional men from San
Francisco. In the midst of his trouble Weare one day espied the revenue
cutter Bear steaming into the roadstead. On board of her was Captain
Michael A. Healy. That officer, on going ashore and discovering the
condition of affairs, threatened to hang every carpenter and mechanic
Weare had brought up if they failed to immediately commence work. The
men went to work, and with them went a gang of men from the Bear. The
little steamer was put together in a few days, and the Bear only went to
sea after seeing the P. B. Weare steaming into the mouth of the Yukon.

[Illustration: STEAMER PORTUS B. WEARE.]

The Weare was enabled that summer to land her stores along the Yukon,
and was the only vessel available for the early crowds of miners going
to Klondike.

The mouth of the Yukon is a great delta, surrounded by marsh of
timber--a soaking prairie in summer, a plain of snow and ice in winter.
The shifting bars and shallows face out from this delta far into Bering
Sea, and no channel has yet been discovered whereby an ocean steamer
could enter any of the mouths. Fortunately the northernmost mouth,
nearest St. Michael and 65 miles from it, is navigable for the light
river steamers, and this one, called Aphoon, and marked by its unusual
growth of willows and bushes is well known to the local Russian and
Indian pilots. It is narrow and intricate, and the general course up
stream is south-southeast. Streams and passages enter it, and it has
troublesome tidal currents. The whole space between the mouth is a
net-work, indeed, of narrow channels, through the marshes.

Kutluck, at the outlet of the Aphoon, on Pastol Bay, is an Indian
village, long celebrated for its manufacture of skin boats (bidars), and
there the old-time voyagers were accustomed to get the only night's
sleep ashore that navigation permits between St. Michael and Andraefski.
On the south bank of the main stream, at the head of the delta, is the
Roman Catholic mission of Kuslivuk; and a few miles higher, just above
the mouth of the Andraefski River, is the abandoned Russian trading
post, Andraefski, above which the river winds past Icogmute, where there
is a Greek Catholic mission. The banks of the river are much wooded, and
the current even as far down as Koserefski averages over three knots an
hour. Above Koserefski (the Catholic Mission station), the course is
along stretches of uninviting country, among marsh islands and
"sloughs," the current growing more and more swift on the long reach
from Auvik, where the Episcopal mission is situated, to Nulato.

The river here has a nearly north and south course, parallel with the
coast of Norton Sound and within fifty miles or so of it. Two portages
across here form cut-offs in constant use in winter by the traders,
Indians and missionaries. The first of these portages starts from the
mainland opposite the Island of St. Michael, and passes over the range
of hills that defines the shore to the headwaters of the Anvik River.
This journey may be made in winter by sledges and thence down the Auvik
to the Yukon, but it is a hard road. Mr. Nelson, the naturalist, and a
fur trader, spent two months from November 16, 1880, to January 19,
1891, in reaching the Yukon by this path.

The other portage is that between Unalaklik, a Swedish mission station
at the mouth of the Unalaklik River, some fifty miles north of St.
Michael, and a stream that enters the Yukon half way between Auvik and
Nulato. In going from St. Michael to Unalatlik there are few points at
which a boat can land even in the smoothest weather; in rough weather
only Major's Cove and Kegiktowenk before rounding Tolstoi Point to
Topánika, where there is a trading post. Topánika is some ten miles from
Unalaklik, with a high shelving beach, behind which rise high walls of
sandstone in perpendicular bluffs from twenty to one hundred feet in
height. This beach continues all the way to the Unalaklik River, the
bluff gradually decreasing into a marshy plain at the river's mouth,
which is obstructed by a bar over which at low tide there are only a few
feet of water except in a narrow and tortuous channel, constantly
changing as the river deposits fresh detritus. Inside this bar there are
two or three fathoms for a few miles, but the channel has only a few
feet, most of the summer, from the mouth of the river to Ulukuk.

Trees commence along the Unalaklik River as soon as the distance from
the coast winds and salt air permit them to grow; willow, poplar, birch
and spruce being those most frequently found.

The Unalaklik River is followed upward to Ulukuk, where begins a
sledging portage over the marshes to the Ulukuk Hills, where there is a
native village known as Vesolia Sopka, or Cheerful Peak, at an altitude
of eight hundred feet above the surrounding plain. This is a well-known
trapping ground, the fox and marten being very plentiful. From Sopka
Vesolia (Cheerful Peak) it is about one day's journey to Beaver Lake,
which is only a marshy tundra in winter, but is flooded in the spring
and summer months. From the high hills beyond the lake one may catch a
first glimpse of the great Yukon sweeping between its splendid banks.


The natives call Nulato emphatically a "hungry" place, and it was once
the scene of an atrocious massacre. Capt. Dall, from whose book much of
the information regarding this part of Alaska is derived, describes the
Indians here as a very great nuisance. "They had," he explains, "a
great habit of coming in and sitting down, doing and saying nothing, but
watching everything. At meal times they seemed to count and weigh every
morsel we ate, and were never backward in assisting to dispose of the
remains of the meal. Occasionally we would get desperate and clean them
all out, but they would drop in again and we could do nothing but resign

The soil on the banks of the Yukon and that of the islands probably
never thaws far below the surface. It is certain that no living roots
are found at a greater depth than three feet. The soil, in layers that
seems to mark annual inundations, consists of a stratum of sand overlaid
by mud and covered with vegetable matter, the layers being from a half
inch to three inches in thickness. In many places where the bank has
been undermined these layers may be counted by the hundred. Low bluffs
of blue sandstone, with here and there a high gravel bank, characterize
the shores as far as Point Sakataloutan, and some distance above this
point begin the quartzose rocks.

The next station on the river is the village of Nowikakat, on the left
bank. Here may be obtained stores of dried meat and fat from the
Indians. The village is situated upon a beautiful bay or Nowikakat
Harbor, which is connected by a narrow entrance with the Yukon. "Through
this a beautiful view is obtained across the river, through the numerous
islands of the opposite shore, and of the Yukon Mountains in the
distance. The feathery willows and light poplars bend over and are
reflected in the dark water, unmixed as yet with Yukon mud; every island
and hillside is clothed in the delicate green of spring, and luxuriates
in a density of foliage remarkable in such a latitude."

Nowikakat is specially noted for the excellence of its canoes, of which
the harbor is so full that a boat makes its landing with difficulty
among them. It is the only safe place on the lower Yukon for wintering a
steamer, as it is sheltered from the freshets which bring down great
crushes of ice in the spring.

At Nuklukahyet there is a mission of the Episcopal church and a trading
store, but there may or may not be supplies of civilized goods, not to
speak of moose meat and fat. This is the neutral ground where all the
tribes meet in the spring to trade. The Tananah, which flows into the
Yukon at this point, is much broader here than the Yukon, and it is here
that Captain Dall exclaims in his diary: "And yet into this noble river
no white man has dipped his paddle." Recently, however, the Tananah has
been more or less explored by prospectors with favorable results
towards the head of the river, which is more easily reached overland
from Circle City and the Birch Creek camps.

Leaving Nuklukahyet, the "Ramparts" are soon sighted, and the Yukon
rapids sweep between bluffs and hills which rise about fifteen hundred
feet above the river, which is not more than half a mile wide and seems
almost as much underground as a river bed in a canyon. The rocks are
metaphoric quartzites, and the river-bed is crossed by a belt of
granite. The rapid current has worn the granite away at either side,
making two good channels, but in the center lies an island of granite
over which the water plunges at high water, the fall being about twelve
feet in half a mile.

Beyond the mouth of the Tananah the Yukon begins to widen, and it is
filled with small islands. The mountains disappear, and just beyond them
the Totokakat, or Dall River of Ketchum, enters the Yukon from the
north. Beyond this point the river, ever broadening, passes the "Small
Houses," deserted along the bank at the time, years ago, when the
scarlet fever, brought by a trading vessel to the mouth of the Chilkat,
spread to the Upper Yukon and depopulated the station. This place is
noted for the abundance of its game and fish.

The banks of the river above this point become very low and flat, the
plain stretching almost unbroken to the Arctic Ocean.

The next stream which empties into the Yukon is Beaver Creek, and
farther on the prospector bound for Circle City may make his way some
two hundred miles up Birch Creek, along which much gold has already been
discovered, to a portage of six miles, which will carry him within six
miles of Circle City on the west.

Meanwhile the Yukon passes Porcupine River and Fort Yukon, the old
trading-post founded in 1846-7, about a mile farther up the river than
the present fort is situated. The situation was changed in 1864, owing
to the undermining of the Yukon, which yearly washed away a portion of
the steep bank until the foundation timbers of the old Redoubt over-hung
the flood.

Many small islands encumber the river from Fort Yukon to Circle City,
and the river flows along the rich lowland to the towns and mining
centers of the new El Dorado, an account of which belongs to a future

This voyage can be made only between the middle of June and the middle
of September, and requires about forty days, at best, from San Francisco
to Circle City or Forty Mile.


Route via Juneau, the Passes and down the Upper Yukon River. The
second and more usual, because shorter and quicker course, is that to
the head of Lynn Canal (Taiya Inlet) and overland. This coast voyage may
be said to begin at Victoria, B. C. (since all coast steamers gather and
stop there), where a large number of persons prefer to buy their
outfits, since by so doing, and obtaining a certificate of the fact,
they avoid the custom duties exacted at the boundary line on all goods
and equipments brought from the United States. Victoria is well supplied
with stores, and is, besides, one of the most interesting towns on the
Pacific coast. The loveliest place in the whole neighborhood is Beacon
Hill Park, and is well worth a visit by those who find an hour or two on
their hands before the departure of the steamer. It forms a
half-natural, half-cultivated area of the shore of the Straits of Fuca,
where coppices of the beautiful live oak, and many strange trees and
shrubs mingled with the all-pervading evergreens.

Within three miles of the city, and reached by street cars, is the
principal station in the North Pacific of the British navy, at
Esquimault Bay. This is one of the most picturesque harbors in the
world, and a beginning is made of fortifications upon a very large scale
and of the most modern character. This station, in many respects, is the
most interesting place on the Pacific coast of Canada.

Leaving Victoria, the steamer makes its way cautiously through the
sinuous channels of the harbor into the waters of Fuca Strait, but this
is soon left behind and the steamer turns this way, and that, at the
entrance to the Gulf of Georgia, among those islands through which runs
the international boundary line, and for the possession of which England
and the United States nearly went to war in 1862. The water at first is
pale and somewhat opaque, for it is the current of the great Fraser
gliding far out upon the surface, and the steamer passes on beyond it
into the darker, clearer, salter waters of the gulf. Then the prow is
headed to Vancouver, where the mails, freight and new railway passengers
are received.

From Vancouver the steamer crosses to Nanaimo, a large settlement on
Vancouver Island, where coal mines of great importance exist. A railway
now connects this point with Victoria, and a wagon road crosses the
interior of the island to Alberni Canal and the seaport at its entrance
on Barclay Sound. This is the farthest northern telegraph point. The
mines at Nanaimo were exhausted some time ago, after which deep
excavations were made on Newcastle Island, just opposite the town. But
after a tremendous fire these also were abandoned, and all the workings
are now on the shores of Departure Bay, where a colliery village named
Wellington has been built up. A steam ferry connects Nanaimo with
Wellington; and while the steamer takes in its coal, the passengers
disperse in one or the other village, go trout fishing, shooting or
botanizing in the neighboring woods, or trade and chaffer with the
Indians. Nanaimo has anything but the appearance of a mining town. The
houses do not stretch out in the squalid, soot-covered rows familiar to
Pennsylvania, but are scattered picturesquely, and surrounded by

Just ahead lie the splendid hills of Texada Island, whose iron mines
yield ore of extraordinary purity, which is largely shipped to the
United States to be made into steel. The steamer keeps to the left,
making its way through Bayne's Sound, passing Cape Lazaro on the left
and the upper end of Texada on the right, across the broadening water
along the Vancouver shore into Seymour Narrows. These narrows are only
about 900 yards wide, and in them there is an incessant turmoil and
bubbling of currents. This is caused by the collision of the streams
which takes place here; the flood stream from the south, through the
Strait of Fuca and up the Haro Archipelago being met by that from Queen
Charlotte Sound and Johnstone straits. These straits are about 140
miles long, and by the time their full length is passed, and the maze of
small islands on the right and Vancouver's bulwark on the left are
escaped together, the open Pacific shows itself for an hour or two in
the offing of Queen Charlotte's Sound, and the steamer rises and falls
gently upon long, lazy rollers that have swept all the way from China
and Polynesia. Otherwise the whole voyage is in sheltered waters, and
seasickness is impossible. The steamer's course now hugs the shore,
turning into Fitz Hugh Sound, among Calvert, Hunter's and Bardswell
islands, where the ship's spars sometimes brush the overhanging trees.
Here are the entrances to Burke Channel and Dean's Canal that penetrate
far amid the tremendous cliffs of the mainland mountains. Beyond these
the steamer dashes across the open bight of Milbank Sound only to enter
the long passages behind Princess Royal, Pit and Packer islands, and
coming out at last into Dixon Sound at the extremity of British
Columbia's ragged coast line.

[Illustration: STREET IN SITKA.]

The fogs which prevail here are due to the fact that this bight is
filled with the waters of the warm Japanese current and the gulf stream
of the Pacific from which the warm moisture rises to be condensed by the
cool air that descends from the neighboring mountains, into the dense
fogs and heavy rain storms to which the littoral forest owes its
extraordinary luxuriance. During the mid-summer and early autumn,
however, the temperature of air and water become so nearly equable that
fog and rain are the exception rather than the rule.

Crossing the invisible boundary into Alaska the steamer heads straight
toward Fort Tougass, on Wales Island, once a military station of the
United States, but now only a fishing place. Between this point and Fort
Wrangel another abandoned military post of the United States, two or
three fish canneries and trading stations are visited and the ship goes
on among innumerable islands and along wide reaches of sound to Taku
Inlet (which deeply indents the coast, and is likely in the near future
to become an important route to the gold fields), and a few hours later
Juneau City is reached.

Juneau City has been lately called the key to the Klondike regions, as
it is the point of departure for the numberless gold hunters who, when
the season opens again, will rush blindly over incalculably rich ledges
near the coast to that remote inland El Dorado of their dreams.

Juneau has for seventeen years been supported by the gold mines of the
neighboring coast. It is situated ten miles above the entrance of
Gastineau Channel, and lies at the base of precipitous mountains, its
court house, hotels, churches, schools, hospital and opera house forming
the nucleus for a population which in 1893 aggregated 1,500, a number
very largely increased each winter by the miners who gather in from
distant camps. The saloons, of which in 1871 there were already
twenty-two, have increased proportionately, and there are, further, at
least one weekly newspaper, one volunteer fire brigade, a militia
company and a brass band in Juneau. The curio shops on Front and Seward
streets are well worth visiting, and from the top of Seward Street a
path leads up to the Auk village, whose people claim the flats at the
mouth of Gold Creek. A curious cemetery may be seen on the high ground
across the creek, ornamented with totemic carvings and hung with
offerings to departed spirits which no white man dares disturb.


The few persons who formerly wished to go to the head of Lynn Canal did
so mainly by canoeing, or chartered launches, but now many opportunities
are offered by large steamboats. Most of the steamers that bring miners
and prospectors from below do not now discharge their freight at Juneau,
however, but go straight to the new port Dyea at the head of the canal.
Lynn Canal is the grandest fiord on the coast, which it penetrates for
seventy-five miles. It is then divided by a long peninsula called
Seduction Point, into two prongs, the western of which is called Chilkat
Inlet, and the eastern Chilkoot. "It has but few indentations, and the
abrupt palisades of the mainland shores present an unrivalled panorama
of mountains, glaciers and forests, with wonderful cloud effects. Depths
of 430 fathoms have been sounded in the canal, and the continental range
on the east and the White Mountains on the west rise to average heights
of 6,000 feet, with glaciers in every ravine and alcove." No Cameron
boundary line, which Canada would like to establish, would cut this
fiord in two, and make it useless to both countries in case of quarrel.
The magnificent fan-shaped Davidson glacier, here, is only one among
hundreds of grand ice rivers shedding their bergs into its waters. At
various points salmon canneries have long been in operation; and the
Seward City mines are only the best among several mineral locations of
promise. A glance at the map will show that this "canal" forms a
straight continuation of Chatham Strait, making a north and south
passage nearly four hundred miles in length, which is undoubtedly the
trough of a departed glacier.

Dyea, the new steamer landing and sub-port of entry, is at the head of
navigation on the Chilkoot or eastern branch of this Lynn Canal, and
takes its name, in bad modern spelling, from the long-known Taiya
Inlet, which is a prolongation inland for twenty miles of the head of
the Chilkoot Inlet. It should continue to be spelled Tiaya. This inlet
is far the better of the two for shipping, Chilkat Inlet being exposed
to the prevalent and often dangerous south wind, so that it is regarded
by navigators as one of the most dangerous points on the Alaskan coast.
A Presbyterian mission and government school were formerly sustained at
Haines, on Seduction Point, but were abandoned some years ago on account
of Indian hostility.

The Passes.--Three passes over the mountains are reached from these two
inlets,--Chilkat, Chilkoot and White.

[Illustration: HEAD WATERS, DYEA RIVER.]

Chilkat Pass is that longest known and formerly most in vogue. The
Chilkat Indians had several fixed villages near the head of the inlet,
and were accustomed to go back and forth over the mountains to trade
with the interior Indians, whom they would not allow to come to the
coast. They thus enjoyed not only the monopoly of the business of
carrying supplies over to the Yukon trading posts and bringing out the
furs, and more recently of assisting the miners, but made huge profits
as middle-men between the Indians of the interior and the trading posts
on the coast. They are a sturdy race of mountaineers, and the most
arrogant, treacherous and turbulent of all the northwestern tribes, but
their day is nearly passed. The early explorers--Krause, Everette and
others--took this pass, and it was here that E. J. Glave first tried (in
1891) to take pack horses across the mountains, and succeeded so well as
to show the feasibility of that method of carriage, which put a check
upon the extortion and faithlessness of the Indian carriers. His account
of his adventures in making this experiment, over bogs, wild rocky
heights, snow fields, swift rivers and forest barriers, has been
detailed in The Century Magazine for 1892, and should be read by all
interested. "No matter how important your mission," Mr. Glave wrote,
"your Indian carriers, though they have duly contracted to accompany
you, will delay your departure till it suits their convenience, and any
exhibition of impatience on your part will only remind them of your
utter dependency on them; and then intrigue for increase of pay will at
once begin. While en route they will prolong the journey by camping on
the trail for two or three weeks, tempted by good hunting or fishing. In
a land where the open season is so short, and the ways are so long, such
delay is a tremendous drawback. Often the Indians will carry their loads
some part of the way agreed on, then demand an extravagant increase of
pay or a goodly share of the white man's stores, and, failing to get
either, will fling down their packs and return to their village, leaving
their white employer helplessly stranded."

The usual charge for Indian carriers is $2 a day and board, and they
demand the best fare and a great deal of it, so that the white man finds
his precious stores largely wasted before reaching his destination.
These facts are mentioned, not because it is now necessary to endure
this extortion and expense, but to show how little dependence can be
placed upon the hope of securing the aid of Indian packers in carrying
the goods of prospectors or explorers elsewhere in the interior, and the
great expense involved. This pass descends to a series of connected
lakes leading down to Lake Labarge and thence by another stream to the
Lewes; and it requires twelve days of pack-carrying--far more than is
necessary on the other passes. As a consequence, this pass is now rarely
used except by Indians going to the Aksekh river and the coast ranges

Chilkoot, Taiya or Parrier Pass.--This is the pass that has been used
since 1885 by the miners and others on the upper Yukon, and is still a
route of travel. It starts from the head of canoe navigation on Taiya
inlet, and follows up a stream valley, gradually leading to the divide,
which is only 3,500 feet above the sea. The first day's march is to the
foot of the ascent, and over a terrible trail, through heavy woods and
along a steep, rocky and often boggy hillside, broken by several deep
gullies. The ascent is then very abrupt and over huge masses of fallen
rock or steep slippery surfaces of rock in place. At the actual summit,
which for seven or eight miles is bare of trees or bushes, the trail
leads through a narrow rocky gap, and the whole scene is one of the most
complete desolation. Naked granite rocks, rising steeply to partly
snow-clad mountains on either side. Descending the inland or north slope
is equally bad traveling, largely over wide areas of shattered rocks
where the trail may easily be lost. The further valley contains several
little lakes and leads roughly down to Lake Lindeman. The distance from
Taiya is twenty-three and a half miles, and it is usually made in two
days. Miners sometimes cross this pass in April, choosing fine weather,
and then continue down the lakes on the ice to some point where they can
conveniently camp and wait for the opening of navigation on the Yukon;
ordinarily it is unsafe to attempt a return in the autumn later than the
first of October.

Lake Lindeman is a long narrow piece of water navigable for boats to its
foot, where a very bad river passage leads into the larger Lake Bennett,
where the navigation of the Yukon really begins.

"The Chilkoot Pass," writes one of its latest travelers, "is difficult,
even dangerous, to those not possessed of steady nerves. Toward the
summit there is a sheer ascent of 1,000 feet, where a slip would
certainly be fatal. At this point a dense mist overtook us, but we
reached Lake Lindeman--the first of a series of five lakes--in safety,
after a fatiguing tramp of fourteen consecutive hours through
half-melted snow. Here we had to build our own boat, first felling the
timber for the purpose. The journey down the lakes occupied ten days,
four of which were passed in camp on Lake Bennett, during a violent
storm, which raised a heavy sea. The rapids followed. One of these
latter, the "Grand Canyon," is a mile long, and dashes through walls of
rock from 50 to 100 feet high; six miles below are the "White Horse
Rapids," a name which many fatal accidents have converted into the
"Miner's Grave." But snags and rocks are everywhere a fruitful source of
danger on this river, and from this rapid downward scarcely a day passed
that one did not see some cairn or wooden cross marking the last resting
place of some drowned pilgrim to the land of gold. The above is a brief
sketch of the troubles that beset the Alaskan gold prospector--troubles
that, although unknown in the eastern states and Canada, have for
many years past associated the name of Yukon with an ugly sound in
western America."

[Illustration: RAFT ON LAKE LINDEMAN.]

It is probable that few if any persons need go over this pass next year,
and its hardships will become a tradition instead of a terrible

White Pass.--This pass lies south of the Chilkoot, and leaves the coast
at the mouth of the Shagway river, five miles south of Dyea and 100 from
Juneau. It was first explored in 1887 and was found to run parallel to
the Chilkoot. The distance from the coast to the summit is seventeen
miles, of which the first five are in level bottom land, thickly
timbered. The next nine miles are in a cañon-like valley, beyond which
three miles, comparatively easy, take one to the summit, the altitude of
which is roughly estimated at 2,600 feet. Beyond the summit a wide
valley is entered and leads gradually to the Tahko arm of Tahgish lake.
This pass, though requiring a longer carriage, is lower and easier than
the others, and already a pack-trail has been built through it which
will soon be followed by a wagon road, and surveys for a narrow gauge
railway are in progress. At the mouth of the Shkagway River ocean
steamers can run up at all times to a wharf which has been constructed
in a sheltered position, and there is an excellent town site with
protection from storms.

An English company, the British Columbia Development Association,
Limited, has already established a landing wharf and is erecting a wharf
and sawmills at Skagway, whence it is proposed (as soon as feasible) to
lay down a line of rail some thirty-five miles long, striking the Yukon
River at a branch of the Marsh Lake, about 100 miles below Lake
Lindeman. By this means the tedious and difficult navigation between
these two points will be avoided, and the only dangerous parts of the
river below will be circumvented by a road or rail portage.
Light-draught steamers will be put on from Teslin Lake to the cañon and
from the foot of the latter to all the towns and camps on the river.

Dyea is a village of cabins and tents, and little if anything in the way
of supplies can be got there; it is a mere forwarding point.

Pending the completion of the facilities mentioned above, miners may
transport their goods over the pack trail on their own or hired burros,
and at Tahgish Lake take a boat down the Tahco arm (11 miles) to the
main lake, and down that lake and its outlet into Lake Marsh. This chain
of lakes, filling the troughs of old glacial fiords to a level of 2,150
feet above the sea, "constitutes a singularly picturesque region,
abounding in striking points of view and in landscapes pleasing in their
variety or grand and impressive in this combination of rugged mountain
forms." All afford still-water navigation, and as soon as the road
through White Pass permits the transportation of machinery, they will
doubtless be well supplied with steamboats. Marsh Lake is 20 miles long,
Bennett 26, and Tagish 16½ miles, with Windy Arm 11 miles long, Tahko
Arm 20 miles, and other long, narrow extensions among the terraced,
evergreen-wooded hills that border its tranquil surface. The depression
in which this group of lakes lies is between the coast range and the
main range of the Rockies; and as it is sheltered from the wet sea-winds
by the former heights, its climate is nearly as dry of that of the
interior. The banks are fairly well timbered, though large open spaces
exist, and abound in herbage, grass and edible berries. Lake Marsh,
named by Schwatka after Prof. O. C. Marsh of Yale, but called Mud Lake
by the miners, without good reason, is twenty miles long and about two
wide. It is rather shallow and the left bank should be followed. The
surrounding region is rather low, rising by terraces to high ranges on
each side, where Michie mountain, 5,540 feet in height, eastward, and
Mounts Lorue and Landsdowne, westward, 6,400 and 6,140 feet high
respectively, are the most prominent peaks. "The diversified form of the
mountains in view from this lake render it particularly picturesque,"
remarks Dr. Dawson, "and at the time of our visit, on the 10th and 11th
of September, the autumn tints of the aspens and other deciduous trees
and shrubs, mingled with the sombre greens of the spruces and pines,
added to its beauty."

Near the foot of this lake enters the McClintock river, of which little
is known. The outlet is a clear, narrow, quiet stream, called Fifty-mile
River, which flows somewhat westerly down the great valley. Large
numbers of dead and dying salmon are always seen here in summer, and as
these fish never reach Lake Marsh, it is evident that the few who are
able, after their long journey, to struggle up the rapids, have not
strength left to survive.

[Illustration: DOG PACK TRAIN.]

The descent of the Lewes (or Yukon) may be said to begin at this point,
and 23 miles below Lake Marsh the first and most serious obstacle is
encountered in the White Horse Rapids, and Miles Cañon. Their length
together is 2¾ miles, and they seem to have been caused by a small
local effusion of lava, which was most unfortunately ejected right in
the path of the river. The cañon is often not more than 100 feet in
width, and although parts of it may be run at favorable times, all of it
is dangerous, and the White Horse should never be attempted. The portage
path in the upper part of the cañon is on the east bank, and is about
five-eighths of a mile long. There a stretch of navigation is
possible, with caution, ending at the head of White Horse Rapids, where
one must land on the west bank, which consists of steep rocks, very
awkward for managing a boat from or carrying a burden over. Usually the
empty boat can be dropped down with a line, but when the water is high
boat as well as cargo must be carried for 100 yards or more, and again,
lower down, for a less distance. The miners have put down rollways along
a roughly constructed road here to make the portage of the boats easier,
and some windlasses for hauling the boats along the water or out and
into it. It would be possible to build a good road or tramway along the
east bank of these rapids without great difficulty; and plans are
already formulated for a railway to be built around the whole three
miles of obstruction, in the summer of 1898, to connect with the
steamboats above and below that will no doubt be running next year.

The river below the rapids is fast (about four miles an hour) for a few
miles, and many gravel banks appear. It gradually subsides, however,
into a quiet stream flowing northwest along the same wide valley. No
rock is seen here, the banks being bluffs of white silt, which turns the
clear blue of the current above into a cloudy and opaque yellow.
Thirteen miles (measuring, as usual, along the river) brings the voyager
to the mouth of the Tah-Keena, a turbid stream about 75 yards wide and
10 feet deep, which comes in from the west. Its sources are at the foot
of the Chilkat Pass, where it flows out of West Kussoa lake (afterwards
named Lake Arkell), and was formerly much employed by the Chilkat
Indians as a means of reaching the interior, but was never in favor with
the miners, and is now rarely followed by the Indians themselves,
although its navigation from the lake down is reported to be easy.

Eleven and a half miles of quiet boating takes one to the head of Lake
Labarge. This lake is 31 miles long, lies nearly north and south, and is
irregularly elongated, reaching a width of six miles near the lower end.
It is 2,100 feet above sea level and is bordered everywhere by
mountains, those on the south having remarkably abrupt and castellated
forms and carrying summits of white limestone. This lake is a very
stormy one, and travelers often have to wait in camp for several days on
its shores until calmer weather permits them to go on. This whole river
valley is a great trough sucking inland the prevailing southerly summer
winds, and navigation on all the lakes is likely to be rough for small

The river below Lake Labarge is crooked, and at first rapid--six miles
or more an hour, and interrupted by boulders; but it is believed that a
stern wheel steamer of proper power could ascend at all times. The banks
are earthen, but little worn, as floods do not seem to occur.
Twenty-seven miles takes one to the mouth of a large tributary from the
southeast,--the Teslintoo, which Schwatka called Newberry River, and
which the miners mistakenly call Hotalinqu. It comes from the great Lake
Teslin, which lies across the British Columbia boundary (Lat. 62 deg.),
and is said to be 100 miles long; and it is further said that an Indian
trail connects it with the head of canoe navigation on the Taku river,
by only two long days of portaging. Some miners are said to have gone
over it in 1876 or '77, Schwatka and Hayes came this way; and it may
form one of the routes of the future,--perhaps even a railway route.
This river flows through a wide and somewhat arid valley, and was
roughly prospected about 1887 by men who reported finding fine gold all
along its course, and also in tributaries of the lake. As the mountains
about the head of the lake belong to the Cassiar range, upon whose
southern slopes the Cassiar mines are situated, there is every reason to
suppose that gold will ultimately be found there in paying quantities.

This part of the Lewes is called Thirty-mile River, under the impression
that it is really a tributary of the Teslintoo, which is, in fact, wider
than the Lewes at the junction (Teslintoo, width 575 feet; Lewes, 420
feet), but it carries far less water. From this confluence the course is
north, in a deep, swift, somewhat turbid current, through the crooked
defiles of the Seminow hills. Several auriferous bars have been worked
here, and some shore-placers, including the rich Cassiar bar. Thirty-one
miles below the Teslintoo the Big Salmon, or D'Abbadie River, enters
from the southeast--an important river, 350 feet wide, having clear blue
water flowing deep and quiet in a stream navigable by steamboats for
many miles. Its head is about 150 miles away, not far from Teslin Lake,
in some small lakes reached by the salmon, and surrounded by granite
mountains. Prospectors have traced all its course and found fine gold in
many places.


Thirty-four miles below the Big Salmon, west-north-west, along a
comparatively straight course, carries the boatman to the Little Salmon,
or Daly River, where the valley is so broad that no mountains are
anywhere in sight, only lines of low hills at a distance from the banks.
Five miles below this river the river makes an abrupt turn to the
southwest around Eagle's Nest rock, and 18½ miles beyond that
reaches the Nordenskiold, a small, swift, clear-watered tributary from
the southwest. The rocks of all this part of the river show thin seams
of coal, and gold has been found on several bars. The current now flows
nearly due north and a dozen miles below the Nordenskiold carries one to
the second and last serious obstruction to navigation in the Rink
rapids, as Schwatka called them, or Five-finger, as they are popularly
known, referring to five large masses of rock that stand like towers in
mid channel. These other islands back up the water and render its
currents strong and turbulent, but will offer little opposition to a
good steamboat. Boatmen descending the river are advised to hug the
right bank, and a landing should be made twenty yards above the rapids
in any eddy, where a heavily loaded boats should be lightened. The run
should be made close along the shore, and all bad water ends when the
Little Rink Rapids have been passed, six miles below. Just below the
rapids the small Tatshun River comes in from the right. Then the valley
broadens out, the current quiets down and a pleasing landscape greets
the eye as bend after bend is turned. A long washed bank on the
northeast side is called Hoo-che-koo Bluff, and soon after passing it
one finds himself in the midst of the pretty Ingersoll archipelago,
where the river widens out and wanders among hundreds of islets.
Fifty-five miles by the river below Rink Rapids, the confluence of the
Lewes and Pelly is reached, and the first sign of civilization in the
ruins of old Fort Selkirk, with such recent and probably temporary
occupation as circumstances may cause. Before long, undoubtedly, a
flourishing permanent settlement will grow up in this favorable

The confluence here of the Lewes and Pelly rivers forms the Yukon, which
thenceforth pursues an uninterrupted course of 1,650 miles to Behring
Sea. The country about the confluence is low, with extensive terrace
flats running back to the bases of rounded hills and ridges. The Yukon
below the junction averages about one-quarter of a mile in width, and
has an average depth of about 10 feet, with a surface velocity of 4¾
miles an hour. A good many gravel bars occur, but no shifting sand. The
general course nearly to White River, 96 miles, is a little north of
west, and many islands are seen; then the river turns to a nearly due
north course, maintained at Fort Reliance. The White River is a powerful
stream, plunging down loaded with silt, over ever shifting sand bars.
Its upper source is problematical, but is probably in the Alaskan
Mountains near the head of the Tenana and Forty-mile Creek.

For the next ten miles the river spreads out to more than a mile wide
and becomes a maze of islands and bars, the main channel being along the
western shore, where there is plenty of water. This brings one to
Stewart river, which is the most important right-hand tributary between
the Pelly and the Porcupine. It enters from the east in the middle of a
wide valley, and half a mile above its mouth is 200 yards in width; the
current is slow and the water dark colored. It has been followed to its
headquarters in the main range of the Rockies, and several large
branches, on some of which there are remarkable falls, have been traced
to their sources through the forested and snowy hills where they rise.
These sources are perhaps 200 miles from the mouth, but as none of the
wanderers were equipped with either geographical knowledge or
instruments nothing definite is known. Reports of traces of precious
metals have been brought back from many points in the Stewart valley,
but this information is as vague as the other thus far. All reports
agree that a light draught steamboat could go to the head of the Stewart
and bar up its feeders. There is a trading post at its mouth.


The succeeding 125 miles holds what is at present the most interesting
and populous part of the Yukon valley. The river varies from half to
three-quarters of a mile wide and is full of islands. About 23 miles
below Stewart River a large stream enters from the west called
Sixty-mile Creek by the miners, who have had a small winter camp and
trading store there for some years, and have explored its course for
gold to its rise in the mountains west of the international boundary.
Every little tributary has been named, among them (going up), Charley's
Fork, Edwards Creek and Hawley Creek, in Canada, and then, on the
American side of the line, Gold Creek, Miller Creek and Bed Rock Creek.
The sand and gravel of all these have yielded fine gold and some of
them, as Miller Creek, have become noted for their richness. Forty-four
miles below Sixty-mile takes one to Dawson City, at the mouth of
Klondike River,--the center of the highest productiveness and greatest
excitement during 1897, when the gold fields of the interior of Alaska
first attracted the attention of the world. Leaving to another special
chapter an account of them, the itinerary may be completed by saying
that 6½ miles below the mouth of the Klondike is Fort Reliance, an
old private trading post of no present importance. Twelve and a half
miles farther the Chan-din-du River enters from the east, and 33½
below that in the mouth of Forty-mile Creek, or Cone Hill River, which
until the past year was the most important mining region of the
interior. It took its name from the supposition that it was 40 miles
from Fort Reliance, but the true distance is 46 miles. On the south side
of the outlet of this stream is the old trading post and modern town of
Forty-Mile, and on the north side the more recent settlement Cudahy.
Both towns are, of course, on the western bank of the Yukon, which is
here about half a mile wide. Five miles below Cudahy, Coal Creek comes
in from the east, and nearly marks the Alaskan boundary, where a
narrowed part of the river admits one to United States territory.
Prominent landmarks here are two great rocks, named by old timers Old
Man rock, on the west bank, and Old Woman, on the east bank, in
reference to Indian legends attached to them. Some twenty miles west of
the boundary--the river now having turned nearly due west in its general
course--Seventy-mile, or Klevande Creek, comes in from the south, and
somewhat below it the Tat-on-duc from the north. It was ascended in 1887
by Mr. Ogilvie, who describes its lower valley as broad and well
timbered, but its upper part flows through a series of magnificent
cañons, one of which half a mile long, is not more than 50 feet wide
with vertical walls fully 700 feet in height. There are said to be warm
sulphur springs along its course, and the Indians regard it as one of
the best hunting fields, sheep being especially numerous on the
mountains in which it heads, close by the international boundary, where
it is separated by only a narrow divide from Ogilvie River, one of the
head streams of the Peel river, and also from the head of the Porcupine,
to which there is an Indian trail. Hence the miners call this Sheep
River. The rocks along this stream are all sandstones, limestone and
conglomerates, with many thin calcite veins. Large and dense timber
prevails, and game is abundant.

Below the mouth of the Tat-on-duc several small streams enter, of which
the Kandik on the north and the Kolto or Charley's River--at the mouth
of which there used to be the home of an old Indian notability named
Charley--are most important. About 160 miles from the boundary the Yukon
flats are reached, and the center of another important mining
district--that of Birch Creek and the Upper Tenana--at Circle City, the
usual terminus of the trip up the Lower Yukon from St. Michael.


The sources of the Yukon are just within the northern boundary of
British Columbia (Lat. 62 deg.) among a mass of mountains forming a part
of the great uplift of the Coast range, continuous with the Sierras of
California and the Puget Sound coast. Here spring the sources of the
Stikeen, flowing southwest to the Pacific, of the Fraser, flowing south
through British Columbia, and of the Liard flowing northeasterly to the
Mackenzie. Headwaters of the Stikeen and Liard interlock, indeed, along
an extensive or sinuous watershed having an elevation of 3,000 feet or
less and extending east and west. There are, however, many wide and
comparatively level bottom lands scattered throughout this region and
numerous lakes. The coast ranges here have an average width of about
eighty miles and border the continent as far north as Lynn Canal, where
they trend inland behind the St. Elias Alps. Many of their peaks exceed
8,000 feet in height, but few districts have been explored west.
Eastward of this mountain axis, and separated from it by the valleys of
the Fraser and Columbia in the south and the Yukon northward, is the
Continental Divide, or Rocky Mountains proper, which is broken through
(as noted above) by the Laird, but north of that cañon-bound river forms
the watershed between the Liard and Yukon and between the Yukon and
Mackenzie. These summits attain a height of 7,000 to 9,000 feet, and
rise from a very complicated series of ranges extending northward to the
Arctic Ocean, and very little explored. The valley of the Yukon, then,
lies between the Rocky Mountains, separating its drainage basin from
that of the Mackenzie, and the Coast range and St. Elias Alps separating
it from the sea. Granite is the principal rock in both these great lines
of watershed-uplift, and all the mountains show the effects of an
extensive glaciation, and all the higher peaks still bear local remnants
of the ancient ice-sheet.

The headwaters of the great river are gathered into three principal
streams. First, the Lewes, easternmost, with its large tributaries, the
Teslintoo and Big Salmon; second, the Pelly, with its great western
tributary, the MacMillon.


The Lewes River has been described. It was known to the fur traders as
early as 1840, and the Chilkat and Chilkoot passes were occasionally
used by their Indian couriers from that time on. The gold fields in
British Columbia from 1863 onwards stimulated prospecting in the
northern and coastal parts of that province, and in 1872 prospectors
reached the actual headwaters of the Lewes from the south, but were
probably not aware of it; and that country was not scientifically
examined until the reconnaissance of Dr. G. M. Dawson in 1887. In 1866
Ketchum and La Barge, of the Western Union Telegraph survey, ascended
the Lewes as far as the lakes still called Ketchum and La Barge. In 1883
Lieut. Frederick Schwatka, U. S. A., and an assistant named Hayes, and
several Indians, made their way across from Taka inlet to the head of
Tahgish (a Tako) Lake, and descended the Lewes on a raft to Fort
Selkirk, studying and naming the valley. From Fort Selkirk an entirely
new route was followed toward the mountains forming the divide between
the Yukon and the White and Copper rivers, which flow to the Gulf of
Alaska, north of Mt. St. Elias. After discovering a pass little more
than 5,000 feet high, they struck the Chityna River and followed that to
the Copper River and thence to the coast. The Copper River Valley was
thoroughly explored somewhat later by Lieuts. Abercrombie and Allen, U.
S. A., who added greatly to knowledge of that large river, which,
however, seems to have no good harbor at its mouth. The miners began to
use the Chilkoot Pass and the Lewes River route to the Yukon district
in 1884. Some additions were made to geography in this region by an
exploring expedition despatched to Alaska in 1890 by Frank Leslie's
Weekly, under Messrs. A. J. Wells, E. J. Glave and A. B. Schanz. They
entered by way of Chilkat pass and came to a large lake at the head of
the Tah-keena tributary of the Lewes, which they named Lake Arkell,
though it was probably the same earlier described by the Drs. Krause.
Here Mr. Glave left the party and striking across the coast range
southward discovered the headwaters of the Alsekh and descended to Dry
Bay. At Forty-mile creek Mr. Wells and a party crossed over into the
basin of the Tanana and increased the knowledge of that river. Mr.
Schanz went down the Yukon and explored the lower region. In 1892 Mr.
Glave again went to Alaska, demonstrated the possibility of taking pack
horses over the Chilkat trail, and with an aid named Dalton made an
extensive journey southward along the crest of the watershed between the
Yukon valley and the coast.

Turning now to the Pelly, we find that this was the earliest avenue of
discovery. The Pelly rises in lakes under the 62nd parallel, just over a
divide from the Finlayson and Frances Lake, the head of the Frances
River, the northern source of the Liard, and this region was entered by
the Hudson Bay Company as early as 1834, and gradually exploring the
Laird River and its tributaries, in 1840 Robert Campbell crossed over
the divide north of Lake Finlayson (at the head of the Frances), and
discovered (at a place called Pelly Banks) a large river flowing
northwest which he named Pelly. In 1843 he descended the river to its
confluence with the Lewes (which he then named), and in 1848 he built a
post for the H. B. Company at that point, calling it Fort Selkirk. This
done, in 1850, Campbell floated down the river as far as the mouth of
the Porcupine, where three years previously (1847) Fort Yukon had been
established by Mr. Murray, who (founded by James Bell in 1842) crossed
over from the mouth of the Mackenzie. The Yukon may thus be said to have
been "discovered" at several points independently. The Russians, who
knew it only at the mouth, called it Kwikhpak, after an Eskimo name. The
English at Fort Yukon, learned that name from the Indians there, and the
upper river was the Pelly. The English and Russian traders soon met, and
when Campbell came down in 1850 the identity of the whole stream was
established. The name Yukon gradually took the place of all others on
English maps and is now recognized for the whole stream from the
junction of the Lewes and Pelly to the delta.

The Yukon basin, east of the Alaskan boundary, is known in Canada as the
Yukon district, and contains about 150,000 square miles. This is nearly
equal to the area of France, is greater than that of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland by 71,000 square miles, and nearly three
times bigger than that of the New England states. To this must be added
an area of about 180,000 square miles, west of the boundary, drained by
the Yukon upon its way to the sea through Alaska. Nevertheless, Dr. G.
M. Dawson and other students of the matter are of the opinion that the
river does not discharge as much water as does the Mackenzie--nor could
it be expected to do so, since the drainage area of the Mackenzie is
more than double that of the Yukon, while the average annual
precipitation of rain over the two areas seems to be substantially
similar. Remembering these figures and that the basin of the Mississippi
has no less than 1,225,000 square miles as compared with the 330,000
square miles of the Yukon basin, it is plain that the statement often
heard that the Yukon is next to the Mississippi in size, is greatly
exaggerated. In fact, its proportions, from all points of view, are
exceeded by those of the Nile, Ganges, St. Lawrence and several other
rivers of considerably less importance than the Mississippi.


Resuming the historical outline, a short paragraph will suffice to
complete the simple story down to the year 1896.

Robert Campbell had scarcely returned from his river voyage to his
duties at Fort Selkirk, when he discovered that its location in the
angle between the rivers was untenable, owing to ice-jams and floods.
The station was therefore moved, in the season of 1852 across to the
west bank of the Yukon, a short distance below the confluence, and new
buildings were erected. These had scarcely been completed, when, on
August 1st, a band of Chilkat Indians from the coast came down the river
and early in the morning seized upon the post, surprising Mr. Campbell
in bed, and ordered him to take his departure before night. They were
not at all rough with him or his few men, but simply insisted that they
depart, which they did, taking such personal luggage as they could put
into a boat and starting down stream. The Indians then pillaged the
place, and after feasting on all they could eat and appropriating what
they could carry away, set fire to the remainder and burned the whole
place to the ground. One chimney still stands to mark the spot, and
others lie where they fell. This act was not dictated by wanton
destructiveness on the part of the Chilkats--bad as they undoubtedly
were and are; but was in pursuance of a theory. The establishment of
the post there interfered with the monopoly of trade that they had
enjoyed theretofore, with all the Indians of the interior, to whom they
brought salable goods from the coast, taking in exchange furs, copper,
etc., at an exorbitant profit, which they enforced by their superior
brutality. The Hudson Bay Company was robbing them of this, hence the
demolition of the post, which was too remote to be profitably sustained
against such opposition.

A little way down the river, Mr. Campbell met a fleet of boats bringing
up his season's goods, and many friendly Indians. These were eager to
pursue the robbers, but Campbell thought it best not to do so. He turned
the supply-boats back to Fort Yukon and led his own men up the Pelly and
over the pass to the Frances and so down the Liard to Fort Simpson, on
the Mackenzie. Such is the story of the ruins of Fort Selkirk. Fort
Yukon flourished as the only trading post until the purchase of Alaska
by the United States, when Captain Raymond, an army officer, was sent to
inform the factor there that his post was on United States territory,
and require him to leave. He did so as soon as Rampart House could be
built to take its place up the Porcupine. Old Fort Yukon then fell into
ruins, and Rampart House itself was soon abandoned. In 1873 an
opposition appeared in the independent trading house of Harper &
McQuestion, men who had come into the country from the south, after long
experience in the fur trade. They had posts at various points, occupied
Fort Reliance for several years, and in 1886 established a post at the
mouth of the Stewart River for the miners who had begun to gather there
two years before. Many maps mark "Reed's House" as a point on the upper
Stewart, but no such a trading-post ever existed there, although there
was a fishing station and shelter-hut on one of its upper branches at an
early day. This firm became the representatives of the Alaska Commercial
Company (a San Francisco corporation) and opened a store in 1887 at
Forty Mile, where they still do business.

Gold Discoveries.--The presence of fine float gold in river sands was
early discovered by the Hudson Bay Company men, but in accordance with
the former policy of that company, no mining was done and as little said
about it as possible. The richness of the Cassiar mines led to some
prospecting northward as early as 1872, and by 1880 wandering gold
hunters had penetrated to the Testintos, where for several years $8 to
$10 a day of fine gold was sluiced out during the season by the small
colony. In 1886 Cassiar Bar, on the Lewes, below there, was opened, and
a party of four took out $6,000 in 30 days, while other neighboring
bars yielded fair wages. By that time Stewart River was becoming
attractive, and many miners worked placers there profitably in 1885, '86
and '87. During the fall of 1886 three or four men took the engines out
of the little steamboat "New Racket," which was laid up for the winter
there, and used them to drive a set of pumps lifting water into
sluice-boxes; and with this crude machinery each man cleared $1,000 in
less than a month. A judicious estimate is, that the Stewart River
placers yielded $100,000 in 1885 and '86.

[Illustration: HARBOR OF SITKA.]

Prospecting went on unremittingly, but nothing else was found of promise
until 1886, when coarse gold was reported upon Forty Mile Creek, or the
Shitando River, as it was known to the Indians, and a local rush took
place to its cañons, the principal attraction being Franklin Gulch,
named after its discoverer. Three or four hundred men gathered there by
the season of 1887, and all did well. This stream is a "bed-rock"
creek,--that is, one in the bed of which there is very little drift; and
in many places the bed-rock was scraped with knives to get the little
loose stuff out of crannies. Some nuggets were found. At its mouth are
extensive bars along the Yukon, which carry gold throughout their depth.
During 1888 the season was very unfavorable and not much
accomplished. Sixty Mile Creek was brought to notice, and Miller Gulch
proved richer than usual. It is one of the headwaters of Sixty Mile, and
some 70 miles from the mouth of the river where, in 1892, a trading
store, saw-mill and little wintering-town was begun. Miller Creek is
about 7 miles long, and its valley is filled with vast deposits of
auriferous drift. In 1892 rich strikes were made and 125 miners gathered
there, paying $10 a day for help, and many making fortunes. One clean-up
of 1,100 ounces was reported. Glacier Creek, a neighboring stream,
exhibited equal chances and drew many claimants, some of whom migrated
thither in mid-winter, drawing their sleds through the woods and rocks
with the mercury 30 degrees below zero. All of these gulches and other
golden headwaters on both Forty Mile and Sixty Mile Creek, are west of
the boundary in Alaska; but the mouths of the main streams and supply
points are in Canadian territory. In all, the great obstacle is the
difficulty of getting water up on the bars without expensive machinery;
and the same is true of the rich gravel along the banks of the Yukon
itself. Birch Creek was the next find of importance, and was promising
enough to draw the larger part of the local population, which by this
time had been considerably increased, for the news of the richness of
the Forty Mile gulches had reached the outside world and attracted
adventurous men and not a few women from the coast not only, but from
British Columbia and the United States. A rival to Harper & McQuestion,
agents of the Alaska Commercial Company, appeared in the North American
Transportation and Trading Company, which increased the transportation
service on the Yukon River, by which most of the new arrivals entered,
and by establishing large competitive stores at Fort Cudahy (Forty Mile)
and elsewhere reduced the price of food and other necessaries. About
this time, also, the Canadian government sent law officers and a
detachment of mounted police, so that the Yukon District began to take a
recognized place in the world.

Birch Creek is really a large river rising in the Iauana Hills, just
west of the boundary and flowing northwest, parallel with the Yukon, to
a debouchment some 20 miles west of Fort Yukon. Between the two rivers
lie the "Yukon Flats," and at one point they are separated by only six
miles. Here, at the Yukon end of the road arose Circle City, so-called
from its proximity to the Arctic Circle. This is an orderly little town
of regular streets, and has a recorder of claims, a store, etc.

Birch Creek has been thoroughly explored, and in 1894 yielded good
results. The gold was in coarse flakes and nuggets, so that $40 a day
was made by some men, while all did well. The drift is not as deep here
as in most other streams, and water can be applied more easily and
copiously,--a vast advantage. Molymute, Crooked, Independence, Mastadon
and Preacher creeks are the most noteworthy tributaries of this rich

The Koyukuk River, which flows from the borders of the Arctic Ocean,
gathering many mountain tributaries, to enter the Yukon at Nulato, was
also prospected in 1892, '93 and '94, and indications of good placers
have been discovered there, but the northerly, exposed and remote
situation has caused them to receive little attention thus far.


During the autumn of 1896 several men and women, none of whom were "old
miners," discouraged by poor results lower down the river resolved to
try prospecting in the Klondike gulch. They were laughed at and argued
with; were told that prospectors years ago had been all over that
valley, and found only the despised "flour gold," which was too fine to
pay for washing it out. Nevertheless they persisted and went at work.
Only a short time elapsed, when, on one of the lower southside branches
of the stream they found pockets of flakes and nuggets of gold far
richer than anything Alaska had ever shown before. They named the stream
Bonanza, and a small tributary El Dorado. Others came and nearly
everyone succeeded. Before spring nearly a ton and a half of gold had
been taken from the frozen ground. Nuggets weighing a pound (troy) were
found. A thousand dollars a day was sometimes saved despite the rudeness
of the methods, but these things happened where pockets were struck.
Probably the total clean-up from January to June was not less than
$1,500,000. The report spread and all those in the interior of Alaska
concentrated there, where a "camp" of tents and shanties soon sprang up
at the mouth of the Klondike called Dawson City. A correspondent of the
New York Sun describes it as beautifully situated, and a very quiet,
orderly town, due to the strict supervision of the Canadian mounted
police, who allowed no pistols to be carried, but a great place for
gambling with high stakes. It bids fair to become the mining metropolis
of the northwest, and had about 3,000 inhabitants before the
advance-guard of the present "rush" reached there.


Hundreds of claims were staked out and worked in all the little gulches
opening along Bonanza, Eldorado, Hunker, Bear and other tributaries of
the Klondike, and of Indian River, a stream thirty miles south of it,
and a greater number seem to be of equal richness with those first
worked. All this is within a radius south and east of 20 miles from
Dawson City, and most of it far nearer. The country is rough, wooded
hills, and the same trouble as to water is met there as elsewhere, yet
riches were obtained by many men in a few weeks without exhausting their

So remote and shut in has this region been in the winter that no word of
this leaked out until the river opened and a party of successful miners
came down to the coast and took passage on the steamer Excelsior for
San Francisco. They arrived on July 14, and no one suspected that there
was anything extraordinary in the passenger list or cargo, until a
procession of weather beaten men began a march to the Selby Smelting
works, and there began to open sacks of dust and nuggets, until the heap
made something not seen in San Francisco since the days of '49. The news
flashed over the world, and aroused a fire of interest; and when three
days later the Portland came into Seattle, bringing other miners and
over $1,000,000 in gold, there was a rush to go north which bids fair to
continue for months to come, for one of the articles of faith in the
creed of the Yukon miner is that many other gulches will be found as
rich as these. One elderly man, who went in late last fall and with
partners took four claims on Eldorado Creek, told a reporter that his
pickings had amounted to $112,000, and that he was confident that the
ground left was worth $2,000,000 more. "I want to say," he exclaims,
"that I believe there is gold in every creek in Alaska. Certain on the
Klondike the claims are not spotted. One seems to be as good as another.
It's gold, gold, gold, all over. It's yards wide and deep. All you have
to do is to run a hole down."

One might go on quoting such rhapsodies, arising from success, to end
of the book, but it is needless, for every newspaper has been full of
them for a month.

One man and his wife got $135,000; another, formerly a steamboat
deck-hand, $150,000; another, $115,000; a score or more over $50,000,
and so on. These sums were savings after having the heavy expenses of
the winter, and most of them had dug out only a small part of their

It is curious in view of this success to read the only descriptive note
the present writer can discover in early writings as to this gold river.
It occurs in Ogilvie's report of his explorations of 1887, and is as
follows: "Six and a half miles above Reliance the Tou-Dac River of the
Indians (Deer River of Schwatka) enter from the east. It is a small
river about 40 yards wide at the mouth and shallow; the water is clear
and transparent and of a beautiful blue color. The Indians catch great
numbers of salmon here. A miner had prospected up this river for an
estimated distance of 40 miles in the season of 1887. I did not see


in the Klondike region and elsewhere along the Yukon are different from
those pursued elsewhere, owing to the fact that from a point about three
feet below the surface the ground is permanently frozen. The early men
tried to strip off the gravel down to the gold lying in its lower levels
or beneath it, upon the bed rock, and found it exceedingly slow and
laborious work; moreover, it was only during the short summer that any
work could be done. Now, by the aid of fires they sink shafts and then
tunnel along the bed rock where the gold lies. A returned miner
described the process as follows, pointing out the great advantage of
being able to work under ground during the winter:


"The miners build fires over the area where they wish to work and keep
these lighted over that territory for the space of twenty-four hours.
Then the gravel will be melted and softened to a depth of perhaps six
inches. This is then taken off and other fires are built until the gold
bearing layer is reached. When the shaft is down that far other fires
are built at the bottom, against the sides of the layer and tunnels made
in the same manner. Blasting will do no good, the charge not cracking
off but blowing out of the hole. The matter taken out, and containing
the gold is piled up until spring, when the torrents come down, and is
panned and cradled by these. It is certainly very hard labor."

Another quotation may be given as a practical example of this process:

"The gold so far as has been taken from Bonanza and Eldorado, both well
named, for the richness of the placers are truly marvelous. Eldorado,
thirty miles long, is staked the whole length and as far as worked has

"One of our passengers, who is taking home $100,000 with him, has worked
one hundred feet of his ground and refused $200,000 for the remainder,
and confidently expects to clean up $400,000 and more. He has in a
bottle $212 from one pan of dirt. His pay dirt while being washed
averaged $250 an hour to each man shoveling in. Two others of our miners
who worked their own claim cleaned up $6,000 from one day's washing.

"There is about fifteen feet of dirt above bed rock, the pay streak
averaging from four to six feet, which is tunnelled out while the ground
is frozen. Of course, the ground taken out is thawed by building fires,
and when the thaw comes and water rushes in they set their sluices and
wash the dirt. Two of our fellows thought a small bird in the hand
worth a large one in the bush, and sold their claims for $45,000,
getting $4,500 down, and the remainder to be paid in monthly
installments of $10,000 each. The purchasers had no more than $5,000
paid. They were twenty days thawing and getting out dirt. Then there was
no water to sluice with, but one fellow made a rocker, and in ten days
took out the $10,000 for the first installment. So, tunnelling and
rocking, they took out $40,000 before there was water to sluice with."


Commissioner Hermann, of the General Land Office, has announced that the
following laws of the United States extend over Alaska, where the
general land laws do not apply:

First--The mineral land laws of the United States.

Second--Town-site laws, which provide for the incorporation of
town-sites and acquirement of title thereto from the United States
Government by the town-site trustees.

Third--The laws providing for trade and manufactures, giving each
qualified person 160 acres of land in a square and compact form.

The coal land regulations are distinct from the mineral regulations or
laws, and as in the case of the general land laws Alaska is expressly
exempt from this jurisdiction.

On the part of Canada, however, the provisions of the Real Property act
of the Northwest Territories will be extended to the Yukon country by an
order in council, a register will be appointed, and a land title office
will be established.

The act approved May 17, 1884, providing a civil government for Alaska,
has this language as to mines and mining privileges:

"The laws of the United States relating to mining claims and rights
incidental thereto shall, on and after the passage of this act, be in
full force and effect in said district of Alaska, subject to such
regulations as may be made by the Secretary of the Interior and approved
by the President," and "parties who have located mines or mining
privileges therein, under the United States laws applicable to the
public domain, or have occupied or improved or exercised acts of
ownership over such claims, shall not be disturbed therein, but shall be
allowed to perfect title by payment so provided for."

There is still more general authority. Without the special authority,
the act of July 4, 1866, says: "All valuable mineral deposits in lands
belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, are hereby
declared to be free and open to exploration and purchase, and lands in
which these are found to occupation and purchase by citizens of the
United States and by those who have declared an intention to become
such, under the rules prescribed by law and according to local customs
or rules of miners in the several mining districts, so far as the same
are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States."

The patenting of mineral lands in Alaska is not a new thing, for that
work has been going on, as the cases have come in from time to time,
since 1884.


One of the difficulties that local capitalists find in their
negotiations for purchase of mining properties on the Yukon is the lack
of authenticated records of owners of claims. Different practices
prevail on the two sides of the line and cause more or less confusion.
The practice has been at most of the new camps to call a miners' meeting
at which one of the parties was elected recorder, and he proceeded to
enter the bearings of stakes and natural marks to define claims.
Sometimes the recorder would give a receipt for a fee allowed by
common consent for recording, and also keep a copy for future reference,
but in a majority of cases even this formality was dispensed with, and
the only record kept was the rough minutes made at the time.

On the Canadian side a different state of affairs exists. The Dominion
Government has sent a commissioner who is empowered to report officially
all claims, and while no certificate is issued to the owners thereof,
properties are thoroughly defined and their metes and bounds
established. The commissioner in the Klondike district, whose name is
Constantine, also exercises semi-judicial functions, and settles
disputes to the best of his ability, appeal lying to the Ottawa

As to courts and the execution of civil and criminal law generally, none
were existent in the upper Yukon Valley on the American side of the line
during 1897. The nearest United States judge was at Sitka. At Circle
City and other centers of population the people had organized into a
sort of town-meeting for the few public matters required; and a sort of
vigilance committee took the place of constituted authority and police.
As a matter of fact, however, the people were quiet and law-abiding and
little need for the machinery of law is likely to arise before courts,
etc., are set up. A movement toward sending a garrison of United States
troops thither was vetoed by the War Department.

Canada, however, awoke to the realization that her interests were in
jeopardy, and took early steps to profit by the wealth which had been
discovered within her borders and the international business that
resulted. The natural feeling among the Canadians was, and is, that the
property belongs to the Canadian public, and that no good reason exists
why the mineral and other wealth should be exhausted at once, mainly by
outsiders, as has largely happened in the case of Canada's forests. A
prohibitory policy was urged by some, but this seemed neither wise nor
practicable; and the Dominion Government set at work to save as large a
share as it could. As there are gold fields on the Alaska side of the
line, and the approaches lie through United States territory, a spirit
of reciprocal accommodation was necessary. One difficulty has been
averted last spring by President Cleveland's veto of the Immigration
bill, one provision of which would have prevented Canadian laborers
drawing wages in this country, and probably would have provoked a
retaliatory act.

Canada has already placed customs officers on the passes and at the
Yukon crossing of the boundary to collect customs duties not only on
merchandise but on miner's personal outfits. There is practically no
exception, and the duty comes below 20 per cent. on but few articles. On
most of the goods the duty is from 30 to 35 per cent., and in several
instances higher, but the matter may be very simply adjusted by
purchasing tools and outfits in Victoria or Vancouver, for thus far the
United States has placed no corresponding obstruction in the way of
Canadian travellers to the gold-fields, but, on the contrary, has made
Dyea a sub-port of entry, largely to accommodate British transportation
lines. The Canadian Government is represented in that region now only by
customs officers and 20 mounted police, but it is taking steps to
garrison the whole upper Yukon Valley with its mounted police,--a body
of officers, whose functions are half military, half civil, and which,
it may as well be conceded once for all, cannot be trifled with. There
is no question but that they will do their level best to enforce the
laws to the utmost. The commander of each detachment will be constituted
a magistrate of limited powers, so that civil examinations and trials
may be speedily conducted.

The plan is to erect a strong post a short distance north of the
sixtieth degree of latitude, just above the northern boundary of British
Columbia, and beyond the head of the Lynn Canal, where the Chilkoot
Pass and the White Pass converge. This post will command the southern
entrance to the whole of that territory. Further on small police posts
will be established, about fifty miles apart, down to Fort Selkirk,
while another general post will patrol the river near the international
boundary, with headquarters, probably, in the Klondike valley.

The mining regulations of Canada, applying to the Yukon placer claims,
are as follows:

"Bar diggings" shall mean any part of a river over which water extends
when the water is in its flooded state and which is not covered at low
water. "Mines on benches" shall be known as bench diggings, and shall
for the purpose of defining the size of such claims be excepted from dry
diggings. "Dry diggings" shall mean any mine over which a river never
extends. "Miner" shall mean a male or female over the age of eighteen,
but not under that age. "Claims" shall mean the personal right of
property in a placer mine or diggings during the time for which the
grant of such mine or diggings is made. "Legal post" shall mean a stake
standing not less than four feet above the ground and squared on four
sides for at least one foot from the top. "Close season" shall mean the
period of the year during which placer mining is generally suspended.
The period to be fixed by the gold commissioner in whose district the
claim is situated. "Locality" shall mean the territory along a river
(tributary of the Yukon) and its affluents. "Mineral" shall include all
minerals whatsoever other than coal.

[Illustration: FORT WRANGELL.]

1. Bar diggings. A strip of land 100 feet wide at highwater mark and
thence extending along the river to its lowest water level.

2. The sides of a claim for bar diggings shall be two parallel lines run
as nearly as possible at right angles to the stream, and shall be marked
by four legal posts, one at each end of the claim at or about high water
mark; also one at each end of the claim at or about the edge of the
water. One of the posts shall be legibly marked with the name of the
miner and the date upon which the claim is staked.

3. Dry diggings shall be 100 feet square and shall have placed at each
of its four corners a legal post, upon one of which shall be legibly
marked the name of the miner and the date upon the claim was staked.

4. Creek and river claims shall be 500 feet long, measured in the
direction of the mineral course of the stream, and shall extend in width
from base to base of the hill or bench on each side, but when the hills
or benches are less than 100 feet apart the claim may be 100 feet in
depth. The sides of a claim shall be two parallel lines run as nearly
as possible at right angles to the stream. The sides shall be marked
with legal posts at or about the edge of the water and at the rear
boundary of the claim. One of the legal posts at the stream shall be
legibly marked with the name of the miner and the date upon which the
claim was staked.

5. Bench claims shall be 100 feet square.

6. In defining the size of claims they shall be measured horizontally,
irrespective of inequalities on the surface of the ground.

7. If any person or persons shall discover a new mine and such discovery
shall be established to the satisfaction of the gold commissioner, a
claim for the bar diggings 750 feet in length may be granted. A new
stratum of auriferous earth or gravel situated in a locality where the
claims are abandoned shall for this purpose be deemed a new mine,
although the same locality shall have previously been worked at a
different level.

8. The forms of application for a grant for placer mining and the grant
of the same shall be according to those made, provided or supplied by
the gold commissioner.

9. A claim shall be recorded with the gold commissioner in whose
district it is situated within three days after the location thereof if
it is located within ten miles of the commissioner's office. One day
extra shall be allowed for making such record for every additional ten
miles and fraction thereof.

10. In the event of the absence of the gold commissioner from his office
for entry a claim may be granted by any person whom he may appoint to
perform his duties in his absence.

11. Entry shall not be granted for a claim which has not been staked by
the applicant in person in the manner specified in these resolutions. An
affidavit that the claim was staked out by the applicant shall be
embodied in the application.

12. An entry fee of $15 shall be charged the first year and an annual
fee of $100 for each of the following years.

13. After recording a claim the removal of any post by the holder
thereof or any person acting in his behalf for the purpose of changing
the boundaries of his claim shall act as a forfeiture of the claim.

14. The entry of every holder for a grant for placer mining must be
renewed and his receipt relinquished and replaced every year, the entry
fee being paid each year.

15. No miner shall receive a grant for more than one mining claim in the
same locality; but the same miner may hold any number of claims by
purchase, and any number of miners may unite to work their claims in
common upon such terms as they may arrange, provided such agreement be
registered with the Gold Commissioner and a fee of $15 for each

16. And miner may sell, mortgage, or dispose of his claims, provided
such disposal be registered with and a fee of $5 paid to the Gold

17. Every miner shall, during the continuance of his grant, have the
exclusive right of entry upon his own claim for the miner-like working
thereof, and the construction of a residence thereon, and shall be
entitled exclusively to all the proceeds realized therefrom; but he
shall have no surface rights therein, and the Gold Commissioner may
grant to the holders of adjacent claims such rights of entry thereon as
may be absolutely necessary for the working of their claims, upon such
terms as may to him seem reasonable. He may also grant permits to miners
to cut timber thereon for their own use, upon payment of the dues
prescribed by the regulation in that behalf.

18. Every miner shall be entitled to the use of so much of the water
naturally flowing through or past his claim, and not already lawfully
appropriated as shall in the opinion of the Gold Commissioner be
necessary for the due working thereof, and shall be entitled to drain
his own claim free of charge.

[Illustration: CHILKOOT PASS.]

19. A claim shall be deemed to be abandoned and open to occupation and
entry by any person when the same shall have remained unworked on
working days by the guarantee thereof or by some person in his behalf
for the space of seventy-two hours unless sickness or some other
reasonable cause may be shown to the satisfaction of the Gold
Commissioner, or unless the guarantee is absent on leave given by the
commissioner, and the Gold Commissioner, upon obtaining satisfactory
evidence that this provision is not being complied with, may cancel the
entry given in the claim.

20. If the land upon which a claim has been located is not the property
of the Crown it will be necessary for the person who applies for entry
to furnish proof that he has acquired from the owner of the land the
surface right before entry can be granted.

21. If the occupier of the lands has not received a patent thereof the
purchase money of the surface rights must be paid to the Crown and a
patent of the surface rights will issue to the party who acquired the
mining rights. The money so collected will either be refunded to the
occupier of the land when he is entitled to a patent there or will be
credited to him on account of payment of land.

22. When the party obtaining the mining rights cannot make an
arrangement with the owner thereof for the acquisition of the surface
rights it shall be lawful for him to give notice to the owner or his
agents or the occupier to appoint an arbitrator to act with another
arbitrator named by him in order to award the amount of compensation to
which the owner or occupier shall be entitled.

The royalty and reserve additions to this, made since the recent
discoveries and on account of them, are as follows:

1. A royalty of 10 per cent will be collected for the government on all
amounts taken out of any one claim up to $500 a week, and after that 20
per cent. This royalty will be collected on gold taken from streams
already being worked, but in regard to all future discoveries the
government proposes

2. That upon every river and creek where mining locations shall be
staked out every alternate claim shall be the property of the

These regulations, say the Canadians, are made with the purpose of
developing a country, which, as elsewhere shown in this pamphlet, is
capable of supporting a large permanent population and varied
industries. Whether they can be enforced remains to be seen, and
difficulties will certainly attend the collection of a royalty on
gold-dust. The effect of these regulations, it is believed by the
authors, will be to encourage permanent settlement and the treatment of
mining as a regular industry and not simply as an adventurous
speculation. Another effect, undoubtedly, will be to cause immigrants,
including Canadians themselves, to prospect and mine on the United
States side of the line, whenever they have an equal opportunity for

The boundary dispute does not as yet seriously affect the question or
rights and privileges in the new gold regions, as the disputed part of
the line, southeast of Alaska, runs through a region not yet occupied,
and practically the whole of Lynn Canal is administered by the United
States, and the Canadians act as though it were decided that their
boundary was farther inland than some of them pretend. From Mt. St.
Elias north, the 141st meridian is the undisputed boundary, and this has
been fixed by an international commission, crossing the Yukon at a
marked point near the mouth of Forty Mile Creek. Nearly or quite all of
the diggings upon which are written Alaskan territory, as also are the
valuable placers on Birch and Miller creeks. It will be a matter of
extreme difficulty along this part of the boundary to prevent smuggling,
to discover and collect Canadian royalties, and to capture criminals
except by international coöperation.


The Weather Bureau has made public a statement in regard to the climate
of Alaska, which says: "The climates of the coast and the interior of
Alaska are unlike in many respects, and the differences are intensified
in this as perhaps in few other countries by exceptional physical
conditions. The fringe of islands that separates the mainland from the
Pacific Ocean from Dixon Sound north, and also a strip of the mainland
for possibly twenty miles back from the sea, following the sweep of the
coast as it curves to the northwestward to the western extremity of
Alaska form a distinct climatic division which may be termed temperate
Alaska. The temperature rarely falls to zero; winter does not set in
until Dec. 1, and by the last of May the snow has disappeared except on
the mountains.

"The mean winter temperature of Sitka is 32.5, but little less than that
of Washington, D. C. The rainfall of temperate Alaska is notorious the
world over, not only as regards the quantity, but also as to the manner
of its falling, viz.: in long and incessant rains and drizzles. Cloud
and fog naturally abound, there being on an average but sixty-six clear
days in the year.


"North of the Aleutian Islands the coast climate becomes more rigorous
in winter, but in summer the difference is much less marked.

"The climate of the interior is one of extreme rigor in winter, with a
brief but relatively hot summer, especially when the sky is free from

"In the Klondike region in midwinter the sun rises from 9:30 to 10 a.
m., and sets from 2 to 3 p. m., the total length of daylight being about
four hours. Remembering that the sun rises but a few degrees above the
horizon and that it is wholly obscured on a great many days, the
character of the winter months may easily be imagined.

"We are indebted to the United States coast and geodetic survey for a
series of six months' observations on the Yukon, not far from the site
of the present gold discoveries. The observations were made with
standard instruments, and are wholly reliable. The mean temperatures of
the months October, 1889, to April, 1890, both inclusive, are as
follows: October, 33 degrees; November, 8 degrees; December, 11 degrees,
below zero; January, 17 below zero; February, 15 below zero; March, 6
above; April 20 above. The daily mean temperature fell and remained
below the freezing point (32 degrees) from Nov. 4, 1889, to April 21,
1890, thus giving 168 days as the length of the closed season of
1889-'90, assuming that outdoor operations are controlled by
temperature only. The lowest temperatures registered during the winter
were: Thirty-two degrees below zero in November, 47 below in December,
59 below in January, 55 below in February, 45 below in March, and 26
below in April.

"The greatest continuous cold occurred in February, 1890, when the daily
mean for five consecutive days was 47 degrees below zero.

"Greater cold than that here noted has been experienced in the United
States for a very short time, but never has it continued so very cold
for so long a time as in the interior of Alaska. The winter sets in as
early as September, when snow-storms may be expected in the mountains
and passes. Headway during one of those storms is impossible, and the
traveler who is overtaken by one of them is indeed fortunate if he
escapes with his life. Snowstorms of great severity may occur in any
month from September to May, inclusive.

"The changes of temperature from winter to summer are rapid, owing to
the great increase in the length of the day. In May the sun rises at
about 3 a. m. and sets about 9 p. m. In June it rises about half past 1
in the morning, and sets at about half past 10, giving about twenty
hours of daylight and diffuse twilight the remainder of the time.

"The mean summer temperature in the interior doubtless ranges between 60
and 70 degrees, according to elevation, being highest in the middle and
lower Yukon valleys."

Accurate data of the temperature in the Klondike district were kept at
Fort Constantine last year. The temperature first touched zero Nov. 10,
and the zero weather recorded in the spring was on April 29.

Between Dec. 19 and Feb. 6 it never rose above zero. The lowest actual
point, 65 below, occurred on Jan. 27, and on twenty-four days during the
winter the temperature was below 50.

On March 12 it first rose above the freezing point, but no continuous
mild weather occurred until May 4, after which date the temperature
during the balance of the month frequently rose above 60 degrees.

The Yukon River froze up on Oct. 28 and broke up on May 17.

The long and severe winter and the frozen moss-covered ground are
serious obstacles to agriculture and stock raising. The former can
change but little with coming seasons, but the latter, by gradually
burning off areas, can be overcome to some extent. On such burned tracts
hardy vegetables have been and may be raised, and the area open to such
use is considerable. Potatoes do well and barley will mature a fair

Live stock may be kept by providing an abundance of shelter and feed and
housing them during the winter. In summer an abundance of the finest
grass pasture can be had, and great quantities of natural hay can be cut
in various places.

Diseases: In spite of all that is heard in the newspapers regarding the
healthfulness of the climate of Alaska and the upper Yukon, the Census
Report of Alaska offers its incontestable statistics to the effect that
the country is not more salubrious, nor its people more healthy than
could be expected in a region of violent climate, where the most
ordinary laws of health remain almost totally ignored. From the
Government Report we quote the following:

"Those diseases which are most fatal to life in one section of Alaska
seem to be applicable to all others. In the first place, the native
children receive little or no care, and for the first few years of their
lives are more often naked than clothed, at all seasons of the year.
Consumption is the simple and comprehensive title for the disease which
destroys the greater number of the people of Alaska. Aluet, Indian and
Eskimo suffer from it alike; and all alike exhibit the same stolid
indifference to its slow and fatal progress, make no attempt to ward
it off, take no special precautions even when the disease reaches its


Next to consumption, the scrofulous diseases, in the forms of ulcers,
eat into the vitals and destroy them until the natives have the
appearance of lepers to unaccustomed eyes. As a consequence of their
neglect and the exigencies of the native life, forty or fifty years is
counted among them as comparatively great age, and none are without the
ophthalmic diseases necessarily attendant on existence in smoky
barabaras. Against snow-blindness the Eskimo people use peculiar
goggles, but by far the greater evil, the smoke poisoning of the
opthalmic nerve is neither overcome nor prevented by any of them. All
traders carry medicine chests and do what they can to relieve suffering,
but it requires a great deal of medicine to make an impression on the
native constitution, doses being about four times what would suffice an
Englishman or American.


Houses.--Almost every item has been taken into consideration by the
prospectors starting out to face an Alaskan winter except the item of
shelter when they shall have put their boats in winter dock. The result
will be that many hundreds will find themselves in the bleak region with
plenty of money and victuals, but insufficient protection from the cold
weather. From accounts that have come from Alaska and British Columbia,
there are more men there skilled in digging and bookkeeping than in
carpentry, and more picks and shovels than axes and planes. With the
arrival of parties that have lately gone to the headwaters of the Yukon,
there will necessarily be an immense demand for houses, for without them
the miners will freeze. This matter is beginning to receive attention in
San Francisco and Seattle, and preparations are now under way to provide
gold seekers with houses.

Within a week negotiations have been conducted between parties in San
Francisco and this city for the shipment of entire houses to the gold
regions. The houses will be constructed in sections, so that they may be
carried easily in boats up the Yukon or packed on sleds and carried
through the rough country in baggage trains. A New York firm which
makes a specialty of such houses has received orders for as many as can
be sent there.


No tents are used in winter, as they become coated with ice from the
breath of the sleepers and are also apt to take fire.

Clothing for Men.--A year's supply of winter clothing ought be taken,
especial pains being taken to supply plenty of warm, durable underwear.
Old-timers in the country wear in winter a coat or blouse of dressed
deer skin, with the hair on, coming down to the knees and held by a belt
round the waist. It has a hood which may be thrown back on the shoulders
when not needed. This shirt is trimmed with white deerskin or wolfskin,
while those worn in extreme weather are often lined with fur. Next in
importance to them are the torbassâ or Eskimo boots. These are of
reindeer skin, taken from the legs, where the hair is short, smooth and
stiff. These are sewed together to make the tops of the boots which come
up nearly to the knee, where they are tied. The sole is of sealskin,
turned over at heel and toe and gathered up so as to protect those parts
and then brought up on each side. They are made much larger than the
foot and are worn with a pad of dry grass which, folded to fit the sole,
thickens the boot and forms an additional protection to the foot. A pair
of strings tied about the ankle from either side complete a covering
admirably adapted to the necessities of winter travel. If the newcomer
can get such garments as these he will be well provided against winter

Women going to the mines are advised to take two pairs of extra heavy
all-wool blankets, one small pillow, one fur robe, one warm shawl, one
fur coat, easy fitting; three warm woollen dresses, with comfortable
bodices and shirts knee length, flannel-lined preferable; three pairs of
knickers or bloomers to match the dresses, three suits of heavy all-wool
underwear, three warm flannel night dresses, four pairs of knitted
woollen stockings, one pair of rubber boots, three gingham aprons that
reach from neck to knees, small roll of flannel for insoles, wrapping
the feet and bandages; a sewing kit, such toilet articles as are
absolutely necessary, including some skin unguent to protect the face
from the icy cold, two light blouses or shirt waists for summer wear,
one oilskin blanket to wrap her effects in, to be secured at Juneau or
St. Michael; one fur cape, two pairs of fur gloves, two pairs of surseal
moccasins, two pairs of muclucs--wet weather moccasins.

[Illustration: VILLAGE OF ST. PAUL.]

She wears what she pleases en route to Juneau or St. Michael, and when
she makes her start for the diggings she lays aside every civilized
traveling garb, including shoes and stays, until she comes out.
Instead of carrying the fur robe, fur coat and rubber boots along, she
can get them on entering Alaska, but the experienced ones say, take them
along. Leggings and shoes are not so safe nor desirable as the
moccasins. A trunk is not the thing to transport baggage in. It is much
better in a pack, with the oilskin cover well tied on. The things to add
that are useful, but not absolutely necessary, are chocolate, coffee and
the smaller light luxuries.

Beds are made on a platform raised a few feet from the floor, and about
seven feet wide. Often consists of a reindeer skin with the hair on and
one end sewn up so as to make a sort of bag to put the feet in. A pillow
of wild goose feathers, and a pair of blankets. Sheets, which have been
unknown heretofore, may become essential, but such a conventionality as
a counterpane would better be left behind.

Provisions.--There was a report that Canadian mounted police would guard
the passes during the latter part of the summer of 1897 and refuse
admission to anyone who did not bring a year's provisions with him. This
has been estimated as weighing 1,800 pounds. Whether this is true or
not, it is certain that no one should go into the Yukon country without
taking a large supply of food, and taking it from his starting-point.
Whatever is the most condensed and nutritious is the cheapest, and this
should be collected with great care. There is well-grounded fear that
famine may overtake all the camps there before the opening of navigation
in the spring. Newspapers on August 2nd reported agents of the Alaska
Commercial Company as saying:

"We shall refuse to take passengers at all in our next steamer. We could
sell every berth at the price we have been asking--$250, as against $120
last spring--but we shall not sell one. We shall fill up with
provisions, and I have no doubt the Pacific Coast Company will do the
same. We are afraid. Those who are mad to get to the diggings will
probably be able to get transportation by chartering tramp steamers, and
there is a serious risk that there will not be food enough for them at
Juneau or on the Yukon. After the season closes it will be next to
impossible to get supplies into the Yukon country, and a large
proportion of the gold seekers may starve to death. That would be an
ominous beginning for the new camp. Alaska is not like California or
Australia or South Africa. It produces nothing. When the supplies from
outside are exhausted, famine must follow--to what degree no one can


It was further understood at this date that there are 2,000 tons of food
at St. Michael, and the Alaska Company has three large and three
small steamers to carry it up river. It is hard to ascertain how much
there is at Juneau; it is vaguely stated that there are 5,000 tons. At a
pinch steamers might work their way for several months to come through
the ice to that port from Seattle, which is only three days distant. But
it may be nip and tuck if there is any rush of gold seekers from the

Alaskan Mails.--Between Seattle and Sitka the mail steamers ply
regularly. On the City of Topeka there has been established a regular
sea post-office service. W. R. Curtis is the clerk in charge. Between
Sitka and Juneau there is a closed pouch steamboat service. Seattle
makes up closed pouches for Douglas, Fort Wrangel, Juneau, Killisnoo,
Ketchikan, Mary Island, Sitka, and Metlakatlah. Connecting at Sitka is
other sea service between that point and Unalaska, 1,400 miles to the
west. This service consists of one trip a month between Sitka and
Unalaska from April to October and leaves Sitka immediately upon arrival
of the mails from Seattle. Captain J. E. Hanson is acting clerk. From
Unalaska the mails are dispatched to St. Michael and thence to points on
the Yukon.

The Postoffice department has perfected not only a summer but a winter
star route service between Juneau and Circle City. The route is overland
and by boats and rafts over the lakes and down the Yukon, and is 900
miles long. A Chicago man named Beddoe carries the summer mail, making
five trips between June and November, and is paid $500 a trip. Two
Juneau men, Frank Corwin and Albert Hayes, operate the winter service
and draw for each round trip $1,700 in gold. About 1,200 letters are
carried on each trip. The cost of forwarding letters from Circle City to
Dawson City is one dollar for each letter and two for each paper, the
mails being sent over once a month. The Chilkoot Pass is crossed with
the mail by means of Indian carriers. On the previous trips the
carriers, after finishing the pass, built their boats, but they now have
their own to pass the lakes and the Lewes River.

In the winter transportation is carried on by means of dogsleds, and it
is hoped that under the present contracts there will be no stoppage, no
matter how low the temperature may go. The contractor has reported that
he was sending a boat, in sections, by way of St. Michael, up the Yukon
River, to be used on the waterway of the route, and it is thought much
time will be saved by this, as formerly it was necessary for the
carriers to stop and build boats or rafts to pass the lakes.


Contracts have been made with two steamboat companies for two trips from
Seattle to St. Michael. When the steamers reach St. Michael, the mail
will be transferred to the flat-bottomed boats running up the Yukon as
far as Circle City. It is believed the boats now run further up.

The contracts for the overland route call for only first-class matter,
whereas the steamers in summer carry everything, up to five tons, each

Sledges and Dogs.--The sleds are heavy and shod with bone sawed from the
upper edge of the jaw of the bowright whale. The rest of the sled is of
spruce and will carry from six to eight hundred pounds. The sleds used
in the interior are lighter and differently constructed. They consist of
a narrow box four feet long, the front half being covered or boxed in,
mounted on a floor eight feet long resting on runners. In this box the
passenger sits, wrapped in rabbit skins so that he can hardly move, his
head and shoulders only projecting. In front and behind and on top of
the box is placed all the luggage, covered with canvas and securely
lashed, to withstand all the jolting and possible upsets, and our snow
shoes within easy reach.

An important item is the dog-whip, terrible to the dog if used by a
skillful hand and terrible to the user if he be a novice; for he is sure
to half strangle himself or to hurt his own face with the business end
of the lash. The whip I measured had a handle nine inches long and lash
thirty feet, and weighed four pounds. The lash was of folded and plaited
seal hide, and for five feet from the handle measured five inches round,
then for fourteen feet it gradually tapered off, ending in a single
thong half an inch thick and eleven feet long. Wonderful the dexterity
with which a driver can pick out a dog and almost a spot on a dog with
this lash. The lash must be trailing at full length behind, when a jerk
and turn of the wrist causes it to fly forward, the thick part first,
and the tapering end continuing the motion till it is at full length in
front, and the lash making the fur fly from the victim. But often it is
made to crack over the heads of the dogs as a warning.


The eleven dogs were harnessed to the front of the sled, each by a
separate thong of seal hide, all of different lengths, fastened to a
light canvas harness. The nearest dog was about fifteen feet from the
sled, and the leader, with bells on her, about fifty feet, the thongs
thus increasing in length by about three feet. When the going is good
the dogs spread out like the fingers of a hand, but when the snow is
deep they fall into each other's tracks in almost single file. As they
continually cross and recross each other, the thongs get gradually
plaited almost up to the rearmost dog, when a halt is called, the
dogs are made to lie down, and the driver carefully disentangles them,
taking care that no dog gets away meanwhile. They are guided by the
voice, using "husky," that is, Eskimo words: "Owk," go to the right;
"arrah," to the left, and "holt," straight on. But often one of the men
must run ahead on snowshoes for the dogs to follow him.

The dogs are of all colors, somewhat the height of the Newfoundland, but
with shorter legs. The usual number is from five to seven, according to
the load.

List of prices that have been current in Dawson City during 1897:

    Flour, per 100 lbs.    $12.00 to $120.00
    Moose ham, per lb.       1.00 to    2.00
    Caribou meat, lb.         .65
    Beans, per lb.            .10
    Rice, per lb.             .25 to     .75
    Sugar, per lb.            .25
    Bacon, per lb.            .40 to     .80
    Butter, per roll         1.50 to    2.50
    Eggs, per doz.           1.50 to    3.00
    Better eggs, doz.        2.00
    Salmon, each             1.00 to    1.50
    Potatoes, per lb.         .25
    Turnips, per lb.          .15
    Tea, per lb.             1.00 to    3.00
    Coffee, per lb.           .50 to    2.25
    Dried fruits, per lb.     .35
    Canned fruits             .50 to    2.25
    Lemons, each              .20 to     .25
    Oranges, each             .50
    Tobacco, per lb.         1.50 to    2.00
    Liquors, per drink        .50
    Shovels                  2.50 to   18.00
    Picks                    5.00 to    7.00
    Coal oil, per gal.       1.00 to    2.50
    Overalls                 1.50
    Underwear, per suit      5.00 to    7.50
    Shoes                    5.00 to    8.00
    Rubber boots            15.00 to   18.00

Based on supply and demand the above quoted prices may vary several
hundred per cent. on some articles at any time.

Fare to Seattle by way of Northern Pacific, $81.50.

Fee for Pullman sleeper, $20.50.

Fee for tourist sleeper, run only west of St. Paul, $55.

Meals served in dining car for entire trip, $16.

Meals are served at stations along the route a la carte.

Distance from New York to Seattle, 3,290 miles.

Days required to make the journey, about six.

Fare for steamer from Seattle to Juneau, including cabin and meals, $35.

Days, Seattle to Juneau, about five.

Number of miles from Seattle to Juneau, 725.

Cost of living in Juneau, about $3 per day.

Distance on Lynn Canal to Healey's Store, steamboat, seventy-five miles.

Number of days, New York to Healey's Store, twelve.

Cost of complete outfit for overland journey, about $150.

Cost of provisions for one year, about $200.

Cost of dogs, sled and outfit, about $150.

Steamer leaves Seattle once a week.

Best time to start is early in the Spring.

Total cost of trip, New York to Klondike, about $667.

Number of days required for journey, New York to Klondike, thirty-six to

Total distance, New York to the mines at Klondike, 4,650 miles.

Doane & McDonald

233-235 Monroe St., Chicago, Ill.

    Leather and
    Duck Clothing
    Fur Garments and Robes
    Prospectors' Clothing
    Three-Point Blankets
    Exquimaux Suits
    Sleeping Bags

[Illustration: No. 477.]

[Illustration: No. 21.]


Large Map of Alaska

SIZE, 24 × 36 INCHES.

From United States and Dominion of Canada Official Survey, revised to
July 29, 1897, shows in detail


The Routes from


Locates and names

    And all other points of importance.

    SCALE 1:3,600,000, OR 55 MILES TO THE INCH.

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      The story is well told.--_Herald, New York._

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      The interest holds the reader until the closing
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      ROBERT G. INGERSOLL says:--Your description of scenery
      and seasons--of the capture of the mountains by
      spring--of tree and fern, of laurel, cloud and mist,
      and the woods of the forest, are true, poetic, and
      beautiful. To say the least, the pagan saw and
      appreciated many of the difficulties and
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Miners' and Camping




Sleeping Bags

Camp Outfits



Primus Cooking Stove

=Used Exclusively by NANSEN on his Trip to the Pole.=

    Send 4 cents in stamps for Catalogue,
    and mention this Guide.

    =202, 204, 206, 208 South Water Street,=


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      the affairs of the Company will be well managed.


        Late Secretary State of Colorado.

    =WM. SHAW=,
        Capitalist, Chicago.

    =E. M. TITCOMB=, Vice-Pres't and Gen'l Manager,
        Eastman Fruit Despatch Co.

    =H. C. FASH=,
        Member Maritime Exchange, New York.

    =GEO. W. MORGAN=,
        Circle City, Alaska.

A limited amount of Shares are offered at =$10.00 per share=.

For information, address,

    Alaska-Klondike Gold Mining Co.
                        96 BROADWAY, NEW YORK.

        W. L. BOYD, SECRETARY.

    Gold Fields
    of Alaska

      We make a specialty of outfitting, and can supply you
      with everything you eat, wear, or use. We have ...

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Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired. Text uses Shagway, Shkagway and
Skagway once each.

Page iv, "intensly" changed to "intensely" (is intensely curious)

Page vi, repeated word "to" removed original read (travelers to to that

Page 49, "guage" changed to "gauge" (for a narrow gauge)

Page 50, "Lindemann" changed to "Lindeman" (miles below Lake Lindeman)

Page 52, "oulet" changed to "outlet" (The outlet is a clear)

Page 73, "reconnoisance" changed to "reconnaissance" (examined until the

Page 75, "Cambell" changed to "Campbell" (1840 Robert Campbell)

Page 79, "completely" changed to "completed" (completed, when, on

Page 80, "exhorbitant" changed to "exorbitant" (at an exorbitant profit)

Page 85, "murcury" changed to "mercury" (rocks with the mercury)


Page 123, "accurred" changed to "occurred" (65 below, occurred)

Page 127, "ophmalmic" changed to "opthalmic" (the opthalmic nerve)

Page 135, "raindeer" changed to "reindeer" (of a reindeer skin with)

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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.